Saturday, August 20, 2011

Surviving Mount Washmore

You've probably heard of FlyLady. She's like a personal housekeeping coach, with daily to-do lists and encouraging emails. Too many of them, sometimes. I subscribe to her mailing list and delete about 3/4 of them.

Beginners are called FlyBabies. I am not a FlyBaby. I aspire to someday be a FlyBaby.

But I have read enough to know that the FlyLady term for a never-ending pile of laundry is Mount Washmore. And this week, I have survived Mount Washmore.

It's not because of our own laundry...or, I should say, because of our already existing laundry. No, genius that I am, I brought many, many loads more of laundry upon myself. I am fortunate to have a sweet acquaintance who has two daughters that are slightly older than my oldest. We've bought outgrown clothes from her before, and found them all cute, clean, appropriate, etc. So when she emailed me to let me know that she'd sorted through more outgrown clothes in preparation for a yard sale, and offered to let me have my pick first, I jumped at the chance.

My mistake may have been in taking Gene with me. Of course, we were out running errands anyway, and it would have been more trouble to take him back home...but his eyes absolutely glazed over when we walked into the living room and saw many - MANY - large black trash bags absolutely crammed full of clothes.

Knowing what sizes I needed, she had already moved eight of these giant bags to one side for me. Inside were sizes ranging from 5T (Milly's current size) to 8/10 (what I assume Rachael will wear in late winter, or maybe next summer. Hard to tell with her.) She said that there was an assortment of items - summer, winter, shoes, coats, swimsuits, pajamas. Gene sat down on the couch and sighed. And then he said something that I would have never expected to come out of his mouth: "How much for the whole lot?"

Oh, no question. He didn't ask because he thought the girls needed that many clothes - he asked because he knew that it would take me forever to go through eight huge bags of clothes.

He was right. Once we got all eight of those bags home, it really did take quite some time to go through it all. I started by sorting them into piles of lights and darks - I had been warned that they would need to be washed since they'd been stored in the basement. (They all still smelled clean, so it must not have been for very long...but I followed instructions anyway.) Had I paused to consider how long it would take me to wash all of those clothes, I would have likely reconsidered. Anyway, want to see part of our haul? Here's what I had washed by earlier this afternoon:

Yes, that's my kitchen table, and it is covered. There are piles of summer and winter clothes for each girl, plus pajamas. When I snapped this picture, the washer was crammed full of one load, and another load was drying. And still, these darks were waiting in the living room to be washed:

And all of these, too:

Those piles don't include the six winter coats and the pile of Hannah Montana t-shirts that Rachael wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole. (She detests Hannah Montana, but these little girls apparently loved her. There were at least thirty HM shirts in the lot.)

To say that my girls' current stash of clothes is excessive is an understatement. They may not have to ever wear the same shirt twice. However, I also won't have to shop for anything but underwear and shoes for the next year - at least. Gene came home with a little bit of sticker shock once the eight bags of clothes were paid for, but I counted 471 pieces (counting pajama and outfit sets as only one, and not counting the Hannah Montana stuff at all) and it averaged to only $.26 per item. Now that's how I like to shop.

Currently, the very last load of clothes is in the wash, and one is waiting in the dryer to be folded. I'm thisclose to finishing what seemed to be an insurmountable task yesterday. Most of Rachael's new clothes are already put away - I'll have to clean out Milly's drawers because I can clear hers off the kitchen table. But I'm close that I consider Mount Washmore conquered. And I never want to face it this way again.

If my Pink Saturday friends look closely at those laundry pics, you'll see that there's lots of pink (and sparkly!) to be found...but here's a little more pink anyway. My girls had their best friends - who are also sisters - over to play today, and they really princessed it up. I just love these girls.  :)

Finally, how about a Saturday 9? Let me know if you play along so I can check out your post too!

1. In a relationship, have you ever hung in even when you knew for sure it was over?
In a "romantic" relationship - not since high school. When it's over, it's over, and there's no point dragging things along. However, I find that friendships are harder to sever, even when you know they're no good.

2. If you had the ability to perpetually alleviate any pain on your body, what would it be?
Foot pain - that's just the worst!

3. What place would you visit if money were no object?
I would loooove to visit Italy - Venice, Rome, Pisa, I want to see it all. And if we could hop across to Athens too, so much the better.

4. What is one thing you would love to change about yourself?
My patience level. It's practically non-existent now, so any addition would be an improvement. Most people tend to assume that since I homeschool, I must have been blessed with an infinite amount of patience. Unfortunately, not so.

5. Do you think your parents were too strict growing up?
No, I think they were just right. I knew what was expected of me and, as long I did what I should, I was also allowed privileges and freedom to make certain decisions. Especially as a teenager, as long as I let my parents know where I was going, who I was with, and when I'd be back, I was pretty much allowed to do what I wanted. (That's not to say that I didn't slip up a couple of times. I was a teenager. But for the most part, I was a very good kid that didn't get into trouble.)

6. In general, how many old friends do you have that you talk to at least once a year?
Facebook makes it super easy to communicate with old friends that I absolutely never see...but as far as actually talking to face-to-face or on the phone to friends from high school or earlier, only three or four.

7. What was the last compliment you received?
Hmm, how sad is it that I don't remember?

8. Have you ever told someone you loved them but didn't really mean it?
No. Never.

9. In your opinion, would it be harder to lose someone close to you more as a child or harder as an adult?
Syntax being what it is, I'm guessing the question here is whether it's harder on a child or on an adult to lose a loved one. While it stinks for either one, I would have to say that it's usually harder on a child. It's so much harder to understand death as a child - especially when it's someone they're very close to. But on the other hand, children are more resilient than adults, and may begin to heal more quickly. Although I think it's more difficult for children, I would have to add one exception: no mother should ever, ever have to face the loss of a child. I cannot imagine anything more devastating.

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