I suppose you could call it a book tour, indie style.
Or the busy, spring season right after your book comes out.
Or you might just call it hitting the road again.
It's a fun week after a great Easter Sunday. I'm heading out to the Fairmount Public Library in a few hours where Director Linda Magers graciously invited me in to give a "What's in Your Attic?" audience-participation program tonight. We will have fun!
Big thanks to our mutual friend, Cathy Shouse, for introducing us, and for using her fine journalism skills to spread the word in area newspapers, including the Marion Chronicle-Tribune.
Tomorrow, I'm speaking at the Henry County Extension Homemakers' annual Achievement Day. It will be a happy time with a good number signed up to attend. They haven't gotten to have this annual time together since April 2019.
I look forward to seeing what the Homemakers bring as they will provide centerpieces and decor with heirlooms they will also share in a show-and-tell activity at the end of my program. Another fun day when the sun rises tomorrow.
A couple fun things to check out. I was interviewed for this podcast on April 10.
This looks quite interesting. Who knew?
And finally, here's my most recent column for the newspapers I write for. Enjoy the rest of the week whether you're wearing your heavy-duty winter coat like I did last night, or sandals, which I hope to sport on Saturday ... at my third gig of the week.
Goal: Do better than ‘light’ housekeeping
If you’re amped up on spring cleaning, ready to blend that perfect mix of vinegar and water to make the windows shine, if you can’t wait to tidy up the landscaping, or clean your woodwork, you have my admiration.
It’s my second spring as a retiree, and our house could use some sparkle, our landscaping some tidying, our woodwork some scrubbing.
I’ve allowed light housekeeping to become a permanent state. In fact, using the word “light” as a descriptor is more aspirational than actual.
This isn’t what I thought this era would be. I figured with all this time at home, and the kids out of the house for some years now, our house would resemble a bed-and-breakfast lobby, but somehow, I’ve found other priorities than making that happen.
Such as routinely hanging out in my pajamas until noon.
It’s not that I can’t clean in my PJs. I’m just lazy. But also, morning is when my mind is as nimble as it gets. It’s when I catch up on email, work on book programing and publicity, and come up with my best ideas—the ones that seem less than outstanding by afternoon.
Since his retirement seven years ago, Brian has taken over the vacuuming and most laundry except for what I call “specialty” loads. This is the clothing with tricky fabrics and icky stains that need the kind of TLC Brian won’t provide. He prefers gathering all dirty clothes and stuffing the lot into the machine.
He's the Bobby Knight of laundry. No matter the fabric, the stains, nor the colors, the dirty clothes are all expected to pull their weight. Then he turns up the heat in the dryer.
Brian is gruff with our laundry, and doesn’t make exceptions for fabrics that need a little more encouragement to come clean than, say, poly-blends. It’s as though he’s lecturing the sweatshirts and dress pants, the church clothes and underwear. “You’ll all get along. That goes for you lightweights. And for you with special instructions on your tags—dream on. No one is a VIP in this load, got it?”
So that’s why I pull some things out before he gets to them. You know, the delicates and hand-washables that need a little boost. Some of us require more hands-on support than others. Call me the laundry good cop to his bad.
But dusting? Brian doesn’t dust. I’m not big on bed-making unless someone is coming over. If that’s the case, it’s game on, complete with stacks of dressy pillows, meant to glamorize ordinary beds.
Today I surprised myself. I took a chunk of my usual morning writing time to thoroughly clean out the refrigerator and freezer, along with relining fridge shelves with plastic to pretty-up the aging surfaces.
Martha Stewart would be horrified to see what I had in there to throw out. It amounted to a kitchen garbage bag full of bulky containers and leftover-too-long food remnants. But the end result is a thing of beauty: pretty bowls of oranges and apples; the cheeses lined in a row in their drawer with the cheese sticks separated thoughtfully from their perforations for easy grabs.
Even the potatoes are reclining comfortably single-file in their mesh bag with a suite, uh, drawer to themselves.
We can even see what’s in the freezer over looking at jigsaw-puzzle-esque pieces of partial bags of fries and tater tots, blurs of frozen strawberries, and cartons of low-cal freezer meals.
When I finished, I needed a nap. It was 9 a.m.
But I need to sweep and clean the floors, dress the kitchen and dining room tables with tablecloths and centerpieces. After all, the church ladies are coming over for a supper meeting tomorrow.
I keep opening and closing the refrigerator door for inspiration, and as a reminder that I can do this! What happened to the lady who wanted to open a B & B nine years ago when she wrote her first book?
I don’t know why I’ve become so, shall we say, relaxed about housekeeping. I always figured I would accomplish many things if I only had the time. But 15 months into retirement, I now know that it’s not about time. There are just other things I’d rather be doing.
Such as writing this column.
It’s time to get back at it and knock out that kitchen. Then, I need to make sure I have everything put away from Christmas.
After all, Easter is over.