Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Not Doing the Dishes

Some of you may remember that six months ago I got rid of most of our dishes, see The Dreaded Dishes.  This is the follow up.

I love it.  Not just a little.  A lot.  It is working fabulously! 

A couple of my kids still think it's weird and swear they aren't going to do it this way in their own homes.  What do I care?  My kitchen stays clean (almost always).

To answer a few questions/address a few issues --
     *  I haven't parted with the china yet.  Or some stonewear.  Or some crystal tea sets.  Or some dessert dishes of my grandma's.  But they are packed up high, in cupboards too difficult to reach to be convenient.  And since I got rid of a lot, there is plenty of space for them.  And I have used some of them.  I pulled out the crystal tea sets for the Oscars last year, along with wine glasses.  My family felt spoiled!  It was fun.  I also used the dessert dishes when we had some young women over around Christmas.  It isn't any fun to own these things if I don't use them.
     *  I absolutely think you can get 2 and 4-year olds started on this!  Kids love to play in warm, sudsy water.  Get a stool and put them to work.
     *  Our dishes were rather eclectic to begin with, so we all have a different plate.  Most of us have different bowls and cups.  Some of us even have different silverware.  And for anything questionable -- Sharpies!  I had planned to take everyone shopping to get their own complete, matching set once we were fully converted.  Guess I better follow through on that soon. 

When I wrote my first post on the dishes, I didn't have a plan for the dinner prep stuff.  I've got that worked out.  There are seven of us in our home.  There are seven days in a week.  Each person is in charge of dinner one day a week.  People are too hit and miss on Friday (everyone here and there), so Fridays are fend-for-yourself.  That means I don't have a night to cook dinner.  Instead, I do the dinner dishes.  If you cook something and it's just for you, then you wash the pan and whatever else you used.  If you cook for more than yourself, I wash them.  This encourages my kids to be more polite and giving to each other, but still allows them the freedom to choose.  Also, if someone knowingly uses someone else's dishes, the offender is assigned dinner dishes for a week. 

Although I am more likely to stay on top of the dinner dishes than anyone else, sometimes I don't feel well and don't do them the same night.  Sometimes it's a few days.  If someone wants the pot before I get it done, they know how to wash it.  If they ask, I'll usually wash it.  But things don't back up too often.  And if they do, I run the dishwasher.  I run it once a week, regardless; dishwashers need to be run or they stink.  If I don't get behind and use it for that, then I'll wash everyone's dishes and the dinner dishes in the dishwasher on Sunday.

It only takes a minute or two to wash all of my own dishes by hand and usually less than five minutes to do all the dinner dishes.  I can feel with my own hands that they are clean.  I don't usually fill the sink, unless I'm washing a bunch of things.  I wet the dish and use a few drops of soap directly on the dish.  Then I scrub it with a brush, rinse, and dry.  (I think we've gone through two bottles of dish soap and two of dishwasher detergent in the last six months.)  We have two brushes and a couple of scrapers to wash with.  I've never understood using cloths or sponges; they just end up stinking and getting nasty.  The brushes really don't.  Once in a while I run them through the dishwasher on the top rack.  I have a draining rack next to the sink that I leave there all the time, unless we have company.

I had to teach my kids that paper towels are for messes and the dishtowel hanging on the fridge is for clean things.  Not everyone complies, but most do.  There has been some confusion about which silverware is whose.  It seems to get worked out.  No one is starving.  And I sometimes have paper plates and cups, but not always.

As I mentioned above, since I got rid of so much stuff we have lots of extra space in our cupboards.  Each person has their own spot in the cupboard to store their stuff.  With a nametag and everything.  They even have a little basket for their silverware.

I did run into one problem.  McDonald's was giving out Coke glasses for a while.  My husband is a McDonald's fan and a Coke fan.  Suddenly I noticed one in his cupboard, one in the drying rack, and found one still wrapped in the car.  We had a conversation and I asked him which glass he was going to get rid of in trade for the Coke glass.  And what was he going to do with the other ones.  He looked at me sheepishly and admitted he hadn't noticed that he was collecting again.  (Our deal is that he can collect only one thing, since he has hoarding tendencies.  He has chosen DVDs.  He has to pay for them from his budget and store them in his room.)  He ended up convincing a couple of the kids that they wanted one.  They each had to give up a cup in exchange.  He took the leftover cup to work.

I have a suspicion that a few other things have sneaked into the cupboards.  We'll do another check before too long.  Until we do, as long as it fits in their space and my kitchen stays clean, I can live with it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tag -- I'm It!

For those of my friends who read my blog but aren't really part of the blogging universe, I should explain something.  There are all kinds of elements to the blogging world that I was totally unprepared for when I started. 

One of these things is kind of like a game.  People make up rules, ask questions, and then tag each other.  If you get tagged you are supposed to answer the questions, follow the rules, and tag other people.  It's kind of like a chain letter.

I tried to play along once, early on.  It felt forced and silly.  It just didn't feel like me.

And, yet, here I am again.  I have refused to play many times since.  So why am I going to play now?

I really like Lisa, the lady who tagged me.  I thought it might be fun to post some random information about myself.  And I have no intention of following the rules.

Since answering questions is easier than coming up with my own random stuff tonight I'm going to answer the questions (although they aren't all really questions) she was asked as well as the ones she asked me.

Last book you read?  Toxic Parents by Susan Forward

Favortie song right now? Never Alone by Lady Antebellum (for the song itself and because a friend gave it to me)

Favorite place to shop?  I hate shopping.  I do like hardware stores and office supply stores, but I don't plan my days around going there like it's some kind of special event.

Best purchase ever?  Therapy!  (No, I'm not kidding.)

Most embarrassing moment, please?  I've blocked most of these from memory.  I once tripped running up the stairs in the high school hall while carrying two 32-ounce drinks.  That was pretty embarrassing.

First kiss story?  I was about seven; neighbor boy was six.  I ran home to tell my mom, who was on the phone, and was waved off with a "That's nice, dear."

Grossest food you've ever eaten?  Rocky Mountain Oysters.  (It's what's left over after they castrate bulls -- there are no actual oysters involved.)

What is your next vacation?  No idea.  I'm not big on vacations.

Favorite blog that you follow?  My daughter's, Singing Devil.

Celebrity you'd most like to punch in the face?  I'm not really a face puncher.  I'm more of a rock thrower.  I'd like to throw rocks at lots of people.

Something you LOVE that you're embarrassed about?  Goldfish crackers.  I'm not really embarrassed that I love them but about how many of them I eat.

On average, how many texts do you send/receive a day?  I'd guess 20-30.  I mostly text with my kids.

Are you a back/side/belly or fetal position sleeper?  Side sleeper.  (Interesting fact:  I do not move in my sleep.  I go to sleep in one position and wake up in the exact same position.  That means I wake up about every 2-3 hours because my body hurts so bad and I need to roll over.)

Your true feelings on Facebook?  I love the fact that I've reconnected with so many people from high school and my further past.  I hate the time suck.  And I hate how emotional it makes people if I don't pay enough attention to them or like their status updates.

If you had a whole day to spend by yourself, what would you do?  I have most of most days to myself.  I spend a lot of time on the computer.  Sometimes I read.  Mostly I sleep.

Favorite smell?  Fresh mown grass; wet hay and/or alfalfa fields; the street right after a summer rainstorm; babies fresh from a bath; my husband's and my son's deodorant; campfire; Pine Sol; Downy; baby powder; lilacs; violets; watermelon -- there are so many!

The pet peeves you never talk about?  Bad human smells.  Gas I can ignore -- it goes away.  Body odor and bad breath?  Not good.  (Did I mention I have a very strong sense of smell?)

What does your closet look like?  My closet is one area I haven't gotten to yet in my big purge.  It's filled with boxes and baskets full of things for me to sort, mostly papers.  I might have some clothes in it.  I'm not sure because I haven't opened it in a while.

Makeup staple you can't live without?  I don't wear makeup, but I couldn't live without Carmex!

Do you really floss and brush twice or three times a day?  I brush before I leave the house or spend time with others; I don't want to be the one with bad breath.  If I am in a time when I don't get out of bed for a couple of days, I probably don't brush my teeth either.  I floss when I have food stuck between my teeth, which is more often since I got my wisdom teeth out a couple of years ago.

Favorite name for a girl?  Favorite girl name that I didn't use:  Zoey.

If you're a blogger and want to play, go ahead.  It's kind of fun.  But I'm not going to tag you.  I am the party pooper who kills all chain letters.