Happy New Year resolutions
I say Happy New Year resolutions for a good reason. Let's make our resolutions happy. Everyone wants to start the year losing weight, running a marathon, filling in an artistic bullet journal, eating healthy, planting a garden, learning how to paint, you know. Me, I get the urge to clean and declutter my house. It is to no avail. Somehow every year, I start with this – "I'm going to use up all my yarn and not buy anymore unless it is for a specific use. No more buying on sale and stashing it away for another day."
I have been known to save yarn, buttons, etc., that are special to me for something special. Guess what? The day never comes. Every day should be special for us. We woke up, and our families are safe, and we have jobs to go to and work to do and money to buy food and drinking water that flows from the tap, clean and cold (or hot). Think about how many people in the world cannot say that.
So, again I fill in my first month of the year in my bullet journal. Yes, I keep one, and it's handy and fun, but it doesn't look anything at all like the Pinterest photos of fancy lettering and watercolor illustrations. My old-handwriting (I use a mechanical pencil cause I love pencils) and maybe some taped notes or pieces of paper.
It works. I can write stuff down that clogs my brain when it should be focused on things elsewhere. I do grocery lists and calendar events and reminders to pay bills and stuff — line items next to bullet dots. I have never been very good at writing on the line, just like my garden rows all over the place — big letters, little letters, printed letters, cursive letters. Anything goes. The reason for that is if I wait to be as perfect as the journal pages on Pinterest, I never put pen to paper. That defeats the purpose.
So, the rest of the house gets a once over big time. You know, fan blades, move large pieces of furniture, light fixtures and desk drawers. Granted, it's not as thorough as I would like, but what's the point?
It just gets dirty again anyway.
Now, there are the bathrooms. Showers, in particular, are challenging to clean once they are more than a year old. I have a friend that cleans for a living, and she gave me this recipe for a cleaner that I have begun to use in the whole bathroom.
I'm susceptible to chemical smells and things that give my sensitive skin a rash. I usually wear a mask and turn the fan on and open the windows to use most chemical cleaners. So, this recipe, my friends, is a god-send.
1 cup vinegar, heat in the microwave
½ to 1 cup Dawn original dish soap, the blue stuff
1 spray bottle, glass or plastic
Put the Dawn in the bottle, add the hot vinegar and mix. Spray on the dry shower and allow to rest. Then go to work. The scum lifts, and the shower looks brand new. I also have started using a squeegee in the shower to eliminate droplets.
This cleaner is amazing, and your bathroom smells like you are canning pickles.
To dust, I found this recipe to use instead of toxic sprays. One time my spouse brought an anti-allergen dusting spray home that just about threw me into antiphallic shock — not kidding about my sensitivity. So, I sprayed it into the atmosphere; sorry about that, I didn't know how to get rid of it and replace it with yet another spray bottle from the big box store with this recipe in it.
1 cup water
¼ cup vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Lemongrass essential oil, optional
Mix and spray
There are many more cleaning recipes out there in the world of Google if you are also interested in homemade laundry soap or a general cleaner. Using baking soda and peroxide or vinegar really does work on glass top stoves and inside the oven also. These cleaners are so much better for you, your family, your pets and the world. So resolve to try an inexpensive household cleaner when you do your spring housecleaning.
Sue B. Balcom
Writing, or maybe talking, comes naturally to me and under the guidance of a great newspaper editor I have acquired skills that led me to author four books.