I had to learn AGAIN yesterday the lesson I have already had to learn a thousand times: That if I am being reduced to slumped-shoulder teary-eyed despair by all hundreds of things that need doing everywhere around me, it will actually HELP to actually DO some of those things. I don't know why it feels as if it's pointless, when I've learned so many times that it WILL HELP.
Yesterday after I refilled the soap dispenser, and picked the disposable flosser up off the floor and threw it away, and refilled the cat food container, and washed the pan soaking in the sink, and got out the Christmas address labels, I felt much MUCH better---even though I hadn't scooped the litter box, done any laundry, done any Christmas cards, or done any of the other hundreds of things that had been bringing me down.
I'd only made a FEW, SMALL improvements, each of which took only a few seconds or at most a couple of minutes, but those helped cut down on the number of things I was seeing every time I went into those rooms. The pan in the sink was only one thing, but it was catching my eye EVERY TIME I WENT INTO THE KITCHEN, and so it had felt like a dozen things, and so washing it was like getting a dozen things done. And every single time I went into the bathroom, I was seeing the stupid flosser on the floor, and then a couple minutes later thinking "Oh, the stupid SOAP dispenser!," so those two things felt like a dozen things, and taking care of those two things felt like getting two dozen things done.
Another recent set of lessons includes "Things That Will Burst Into Flame, FOOMPH!"
William has been engrossed in a series of wax/candle projects/experiments. Recently he's been melting down free candles (he got a bunch from a place we have in town that's like a Freecycle Hut: leave anything you don't want, take for free anything you do want) and pouring the wax into a large fish bowl with wicks dangling down into it. It's looking pretty neat, all stripey.
Anyway, you know what bursts into flame? Wax that got accidentally dripped on a stove burner and down into the little drip-pan underneath. First it just smoked a bit, and I thought, "Well, sure, this is what happens to anything that spills on the burner. It smokes a bit and then it's gone." But then: FOOMPH!! and there were flames, and I stood there staring at them and then slowwwwwwly got a cup of water and slowwwwwly poured it onto the flames, wondering why I was moving so very slowwwwly.
The other thing that bursts into flames: parchment paper in an oven set to broil. I was making a toasted cheese sandwich, and I took the pan out of the oven to flip the sandwich over and I noticed the paper was getting kind of brown, and then I put the pan back into the oven and FOOMPH!! The box of parchment paper has anticipated this, and has a temperature-limit listed---but I had been thinking "parchment paper = aluminum foil" for so long, I wasn't thinking about it anymore.
Oh, one more thing that bursts into flames: crunchy taco shell in a toaster oven. I only needed one or two and it seemed silly to heat up the whole oven for that, so I put them in the toaster oven. And they were doing very nicely, and then FOOMPH!!! I read the box, incredulous, and sure enough: "Do not use toaster oven due to possible risk of fire."
Gift ideas for an 8-year-old, part 2 of 2 - Last week I talked about the gifts we were getting/considering for Edward, who is turning 8 next month. This week it’s Elizabeth’s turn: not “girl gifts,” ...