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Chicken soup

March 4, 2012

Chicken soup – kinda!

It’s Day 8, but it feels like much more.

So much has changed in my head over the last week and although my house is still very far from anywhere good, there is a noticeable dent in the devil-horned mess. It’s not the end, nor even the beginning of the end, and I wouldn’t even go so far as to say that it’s the end of the beginning…

But, you know, things are happening and that’s good!

BabySteps tasks for the day were to add a second 2-minute hotspot into the day (one in the morning, another one before bed) and to start writing down morning and evening routines as the start of my own personal “control journal”.

Now, I’ve been somewhat resistant to the idea of having a control journal. It all sounded rather – twee? anal? unhelpful? What’s more, I’ve never even managed to keep a normal diary or calendar before, and to document my every move day in, day out, week in, week out, month in, month out seemed like a giant and hopeless task. And if the point of FlyLady is develop good habits, surely the point is that they should be habitual. Like cleaning my teeth. I don’t want to be consulting a book for every move I make.

Well, I decided that at least some of that sounded like my Bad Little Voice. And I decided that half the reason I don’t like the idea is because I don’t like the name. And I decided that I should at least give it a go – where’s the harm in that? So this weekend Miss Fly and I have made our very own FlyBook. It’s got a morning routine and a bedtime routine. My daughter insisted that *she* wanted a morning and bedtime routine in the FlyBook as well, so that’s in there too.

So far it’s going well, and if things carry on like this I shall have to tip my hat once again to the FlyLady. If only for the not having to nag morning and night (have you brushed your teeth yet? why aren’t you in your pyjamas!? ad nauseam) this is going to be worth every minute spent on it. I really like having an agreed and documented routine for my daughter, and I think it’s going to help us both avoid those near-daily morning and night-time battles that leave us feeling grumpy and out of sorts, if not worse. I have a suspicion it’s going to be surprisingly useful at keeping myself in line too!

I didn’t have anything much planned for today so we’ve mostly lazed around, but I’ve managed to fit in some bonus cleaning and planning, too. I feel like I’ve moved mountains – and with really little effort. Oh, if I list out today’s bonus achievements, I’m going to go squeeeee! – so here goes:

  • Signed up for a Cozi calendar and set up various routine appointments and reminders.
  • Bagged up 8kg of outgrown clothes and taken them to be re-used.
  • Spend the £4 I got for the clothes on cake and vegetables.
  • Realised that “until my birthday” (I’ve been telling people they’ll be able to come around by then and even that I might have a small OMG party in my house!) is only 2 months away.
  • Panicked.
  • Used the Cozi “to-do” list to make an 8 week plan to get my house in shape.
  • Realised it’s actually 9 weeks until my birthday.
  • Stopped panicking.
  • Two loads of laundry – although not yet put away!
  • Cooked a proper meal.
  • Washed up.
  • Planned next week’s menu. (You have no idea how much OMG that is. I have *never* planned menus – I barely know what I’m doing more than a day or so in advance, never mind what I’m going to eat next Friday!)
  • Did an online grocery shop for delivery on Tuesday.
  • De-cluttered my hall cupboard for 15 minutes.
  • De-cluttered my kitchen for 15 minutes.

That’s on top of normal hot-spotting, sink-shining and all the other bits that are in my new FlyBook routines.

I feel like some kind of superwoman and yet, definitely, I didn’t really work that hard today. The calendar and planning took some time but I quite enjoyed it and I was sitting down at the computer, so it almost doesn’t count.

My final pièce de résistance culminated in what you see in today’s photograph. Not only is the top of my cooker pretty durned clean, but this pot here is the key to saving my cupboards. It’s chicken soup. Kind of.

Let me explain.

I hate wasting food, I really do. And there is a lot of packet food in my cupboards that I am never going to eat. Cous cous, green lentils, various non-favourite dried fruit (cranberries and apricots prime among them), TVP, the pasta bake crumble mix that comes in a separate pot with your jar of pasta sauce (which, I discovered some while ago – after buying a load on special offer – my usually not-that-fussy daughter absolutely will not eat – she likes the sauce but not the topping), quinoa, bulgar wheat…

All that stuff. But I can’t just throw it away.

So here’s my solution. As I’ve been de-cluttering the kitchen the “food I won’t eat but can’t throw away” goes in a box. A selection will get mixed up and cooked (if necessary) each night until the box is empty. Tonight’s delicacy is cous-cous, TVP, old dried apricots, a pot of crumble-mix and three wrinkled apples, all cooked up together and left to sit rather unappetisingly on my stove until the morning.

Assuming it hasn’t exploded by then, my chickens are in for a real treat for their breakfast. There’s not much grass about right now, so they will appreciate it, even if nobody else would!

I’ve totally earned a new dustpan and brush.

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