The weekly “little of this, little of that” feature here at Like Mother, Like Daughter!
Care to hear all about my latest major nesting project?
I’ve had in mind for a while now that I really wanted to deep-clean and reorganize my little galley kitchen. (You just CAN’T bring a new BABY into a house with a kitchen that hasn’t been properly CLEANED!) But I knew it would be such a project and wasn’t sure whether we’d actually be able to get to it. It had to be a weekend affair: I was going to need full-on support of another adult, and The Artist has been busy many of the recent weekends, spending his Saturdays working.
Then, on a recent Friday morning, when I was mixing my bread dough in the morning, I somehow managed to drop my whole jar (about 1.5 cups, I’d guess) of yeast into one of the lower cupboards. But I didn’t just drop it. I flung it, apparently with some kind of uncanny twisting motion, such that — though it landed in the far back on the floor — it managed to coat every item on all three shelves of the cupboard with a fine layer of yeast. Pots at the back of the top shelf somehow had yeast in them. Dry yeast: a substance fine enough to be difficult to clean up, but certainly gritty enough to make itself known underfoot.
A blessing in disguise. Suddenly, my pipe dream project became a top priority, and our Saturday plans were set!
In the morning, The Artist unloaded everything — everything — out of that little space.
Another blessing: it was that one weekend when New England got a taste of spring, before we fell back into winter mode. So I was able to open the window and the back hall and air out while I cleaned (all my other windows are still insulated! I was willing to sacrifice what was left of my little galley kitchen window’s scraggling bit of insulation). The fresh, bright breeze felt so. good.
The Artist took the kids to the park while I attacked the space.
A preliminary vacuuming. Then climbing up on the counter and cleaning from the corners of the ceiling and upper moldings, to the top shelves, and all the way down, with soapy water and sponge/paper towels. (My only regret at the rest of the family being out: there was no one present to photograph me squatting up there with my 8 month belly.) (Don’t worry – I was very careful and forced myself to go slowly.)
(Yes, that drawing up there came down eventually for a cleaning before all was said and done.)
Then scouring out the sinks. And scrubbing down all other surfaces. Sweeping, then wet-swiffering. Hands-and-knees scrubbing of floor corners with rags. Q-tips were deployed.
By the time I was ready to put things back in, The Artist and the kids were back and we’d all had lunch, and I’d spent a fair bit of time mulling over the best arrangement. After 2.5 years here, I was better equipped to make decisions about where things really need to be in order to be efficient and ergonomic. It’s a tricky conundrum, isn’t it, that one has to commit to placing items in the kitchen as soon as one moves in! Those are hard decisions to find a chance to revisit!
I made sure every item was clean before it went back. Down to removing crustiness from the shakers of my spice jars.
I culled a cardboard box worth of items to dispose of/pass along. A separate bag of recycling.
I am a new woman.
In other news: this week’s links!
We’ve had some excitement around LMLD land recently (more on that soon!), so I don’t have much to recommend this morning. But here are some thoughtful and poetic pieces for you:
- On Beautiful Women from David Warren. My mom wants you to know that, if Warren wasn’t on our list of resources for the male reader that we published a few weeks ago, he should be! “This short post is a treasure,” she says.
And, from the Archives:
- How to Get the Kids Doing Dishes… and Opening Up.
- The Library Project: Warm Family Life
- Soaked Oats Granola Bars
- Seven Strategies for Dinner with the Barbarians