Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How To Beat Housewife Fatigue

Being a housewife is not all soap operas and bonbons. This job takes patience, concentration, and organization. It's easy to become overwhelmed or fatigued. Your family comes home and messes up what you just cleaned. Or they forget that you like to go out and take a break from time to time. Here are some tips to keep from burning out. 

One Room Rule

Only commit to cleaning one room a day. Everything else should be maintenance. So on Monday's I clean the kitchen from top to bottom. The rest of the day is the usual vaccuming, bathroom sink touch up, coffee table rangling and baby toy round up. That leaves plenty of time for me to do other things, preferably outside of the house. 


The easiest way to tackle your work load is to delegate it to others. You don't need a chore wheel. You just need people to do what you say. If I tell my husband to take the trash out when it's full, it will never be taken out. He will simply shove the trash down further and further despite the smell, and tell me there's still room. Instead, I pull a Peggy Hill from King of the Hill. I hand him the smelly bag of trash and he takes it out. With my son, I take all of the toys off of the floor in his room and put them in a trash bag. I then set that bag at his bedroom door. I tell him, "These are the toys that are going to the trash if you don't put them away withing the next hour." It's amazing how fast his room gets clean. 

Time Limits

Sometimes it's hard not to feel pressured to clean the whole house all in one swoop. If you can't fight the urge to behave like the Tazmanian Devil, set a time limit to it. Set a timer for 1 hour. Then, like a hurricane, clean as much as you can in the house. Start with the most important things like the dishes or the toilets. This will train you to clean quickly and to start with what's important. This leaves the entire day. If you find that your house is messy again by the end of the day, give yourself another 1 hour time limit and go for it. When the timer dings, stop. No exceptions.

Schedule It

I actually have my housework on a schedule. For example. Tomorrow, I have a meeting from 9:30 am to 12:30pm. So from  7:15am to 7:30am I will be in the kitchen cleaning up that morning's dishes. From 1:30pm to 2:30pm is my hurricane hour. I will be vaccuming, straightening up the living room and putting away the laundry. I keep to this schedule. I still feel busy but not overwhelmed. 

Skip It

Yes, being a housewife is a job. Especially if your spouse is out working for pay. You have a responsibility to keep the other half of your lives as worry free as your financial life is. But sometimes you just can't do it. Everyone is entitled to a vacation or sick day. My son goes on Thanksgiving vacation next week. I will be on vacation as well. That means, everyone will clean up after themselves. My husband however, will be working overtime so we made a compromise. I will take my vacation the week after Thanksgiving in exchange for working the week of Thanksgiving. This means my husband is taking over at home and giving me time to get my hair done, get some sleep, get my nails done, have some wine etc. In the end he is grateful since he benefits from my happiness. Husbands will do anything to keep you in the mood.  

Get Rid of It

Maybe you're overwhelmed with housework because you have too much to begin with. Just last week I realized I was ALWAYS doing dishes. There were always so many dishes. Then I realized something when I was reorganizing my cupboards. I had too many dishes. There are only 4 of us in the home. I have a complete set of dishes for a family of four. I didn't need the other three sets. The fact is, no one will wash out their dishes if there is another bowl in the cupboard. They will simply pile the dishes higher in the sink and keep grabbing new ones. But if there are no bowls after breakfast and lunch has come around, your family will actually have to wash out their dishes, thus making less work for you. Even if the chore falls on you, it's one set of dishes or pans to clean rather than four. The same goes for laundry. You don't need five little black dresses. You only need the one that makes your husband drool and your friends jealous. Get rid of clothes you never wear no matter how cute they are. You shouldn't have more than two complete towel sets per person in your home. You'll save time and money on laundry.

Friday, November 4, 2011

3 Reasons Why Bank Transfer Day Will Succeed and Fail


3 Reasons For Failure

1. The 99% are still paying their rent on the 3rd of the 5th of the month. That means that their rent checks will not clear until about Tuesday, November 8th.

2. The 99% are also typically overdrawn already when their social security, child support, and unemployment direct deposits come in. Bank of America does not allow you to close an overdrawn account. 

3. The 99% are frequently on Chexsystems due to non-payment of loans, financial hardship, or bad divorces. Chexsystems prevents account holders from switching banks. 

3 Reasons for Success

1. The 1% don't want to be at a bank that does not give them maximum concessions for minimal effort on their part.

2. The 1% are tired of being in line at the bank behind people complaining about their account fees. It reminds them that they have money when everyone around them is struggling to stay afloat. They want to distance themselves from the rest of us. 

3. The 1% are not emotionally attached to the major banks nor are they held hostage by Chexsystems. Part of the reason they are the 1% is they move their money regularly to the bank that pays them the most in returns. It's not an issue for them to switch banks. The 99% are tied due to direct deposit and auto pay.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Dos and Don'ts of Donating

It's that time of year when people get rid of their old stuff to make room for the new stuff they probably don't need. As a frequent community volunteer nothing irritates me more than sorting through people's filthy junk to salvage something that can be sold or donated through the Salvation Army or the Goodwill. Here are some basic rules when it comes to donating. 


  • donate anything for which you wouldn't pay money
  • donate used lingerie or under garments
  • donate incomplete dish sets games or puzzles
  • donate dirty items
  • donate shoes if you have a history of athlete's foot

  • wash items before donating
  • repair minor rips or tears or missing buttons on clothing 
  • fold or bind outfits together so pieces aren't accidentally separated
  • donate new packages of undergarments
  • donate trendy clothes that are still in fashion

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What To Do With Pumpkin Guts

The Seeds

Toast 'em

Take dried seeds and roll over them with a rolling pin. Be sure that you are cracking the shells. Place them in a bowl of water. The shells will float and the seeds will sink. Let the seeds dry again for 3 to 4 hours then season as you like and toss in a frying pan with a touch of oil or toast them in the oven.

Wear 'em

Let the seeds dry for 6-8 hours. Then take a needle and thread and get creative with it. Your kids will love this one.

Bake 'em

Add the seeds to your pumpkin bread, muffin or granola recipe. You can also add them to a salad, although this requires no baking.

The Guts

First separate the seeds from the guts (the stringy part). Then puree it in a food processor until it is liquid smooth. You don't want any strings in your baking. Now you have the same stuff they sell in a can without all of the processing, cost, and preservatives. Use the puree in this recipe:

Pumpkin Bread
Makes 2 Loaves

2 cups of fresh pumpkin guts
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. nutmeg
3 cups sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup water
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Use your fingers or a beater to separate the pumpkin guts, making sure they’ll be able to mix well into the batter.
Combine flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar in large mixing bowl. Add eggs, water, oil and pumpkin. Stir until blended. Add nuts. Mix well. Pour into two 9×5″ loaf pans. Bake 1 hour. Cool slightly and take out of pans to let cool on a rack.