blogging · crafty · lists · parenting · Renovation · waxing philosophical

Day 93: What’s on your photo roll?

I think you can tell a lot about a person by their photo roll. Take my dad, for instance: his photo roll is mostly plants and wildlife, with occasional spurts of family snapshots. You can tell he’s a green-thumbed family man who lives near the ravine.

My photo roll says a lot about me, too. Here are some of the most common types of photos I take with my phone:

Rashes and injured limbs

Guess which one hurts. Aw, go on, guess

I’d say about 20% of my photos these days are of medical problems. Skin rash? Let’s take a picture (maybe even next to a ruler or measuring tape so we know if it’s getting bigger.) You foot hurts? Let’s photograph both feet to see if one looks swollen.

You may think this is a direct result of the shift to online doctor’s appointments; it’s not. I have rash pictures dating back to 2014. I’ll admit it can be jarring when one scrolls through my photo roll, but these pictures have proven themselves useful over and over again.

One hundred consecutive kid selfies

These happen when my children get a hold of my phone. Before I set it down, the last picture on my photo roll is something normal (okay, given the first item maybe not normal normal, but normal for me.) When I pick it up again, there are a hundred pics in a row that look something like this:

“Hello? Is this thing on?”

Perfect parenting moments

These are photos of times that everything went right. Scratch that: these are times when something went right, and I had to document it for posterity. Things like beautiful birthday parties, the bigger kids helping the little ones, or idyllic photos of my carefree children playing out in nature, barefoot. These are the photographic evidence I’ll need to remind myself that I actually did a pretty good job of this parenting thing.

Child labour

I really just can’t get enough of pictures of my kids doing real, valuable work in the house. Cooking, cleaning, laundry… I have dozens of those.

Endless renovation shots

While we were building our house, Mr. December used my camera to document the process. We have hundreds of photos of everything from the fully-gutted shell of our house to the exact position and placement of the wires, before the drywall was installed. It’s a lot to scroll through, but those photos have come in handy on many occasions.

Pretty food

Remember the days before digital photography, when you had to wait for the film to be developed and then you had to go knock on everyone’s door to show them what you made for dinner? Yeah, me neither. But I’ve often fallen into the trap of photographing food I’ve made — especially adorable things like the bento lunches I made for K when I was younger and less jaded.

Stuff I make

I try to photograph everything I make with my own hands, from quilts to bookcases. Most of these photos don’t really go anywhere except this blog, but there was a period many years ago when I was selling stuff I had sewn. My photo roll from that time is full of pics taken for my now-defunct Etsy store.

And a bunch of other stuff…

I have photos of my little blue Yaris after it got rear-ended on the 401; stuff I was selling on Craigslist; “before” pics of me in workout gear (note to self: I looked better in the “before”. Maybe just be happy with where we are right now, hmm?); and, of course, normal everyday snapshots.

So… what’s on your photo roll?

education · Independence · Kids · mental health · parenting · The COVID files · waxing philosophical · whine and cheese

Day 91: Having Difficulty

Dear Family,

Today was a difficult day for me. I slept very poorly last night even though I went to bed early, and I mostly walked around in a daze all day today. I’m sorry I wasn’t more available to you. Nevertheless, there are some things that I want you to understand:

I get that it’s frustrating to have a wife or mom who’s disorganized and tired much of the time. Please believe that it’s frustrating to be that wife or mom. I want to be available, on the ball, and organized for everyone, and when I can’t, it hurts – especially when I can see that I’m disappointing the people who matter most to me, and even more so when it’s not an infrequent event.

I know you’re super frustrated to be stuck at home with us instead of out there with your friends. I know that our existence right now is a lot like the movie Groundhog Day, the same thing over and over. But you know what? Our relationship doesn’t reset itself every morning. If you unload all your angst by yelling at me for an hour, I might not want to snuggle on the couch and watch movies right after that.

It’s okay to have to figure things out for yourself. Not sure what you’re supposed to do next in your workbook, and now I’m napping? Don’t you think there’s an excellent chance that what I want you to do next is the… wait for it… NEXT thing in the workbook? Use some imagination here, people! Look for clues! Maybe my 90-minute nap made it more difficult for you to know what to do, but it’s disingenuous to say that you couldn’t do anything without my say-so. Especially when your checklist specifically says “check the calendar for page numbers!”

I have ADHD. I have depression. I have fibromyalgia. I have a concussion. These are not excuses, they are facts. I try my best. It’s often not good enough. It makes me angry too — the me that I see these days is not who I thought I’d be at forty. It’s not who I want to be for myself or for you. On days like today I’m not the mom I want you to remember when you think of your childhood.

I don’t like wallowing in self-pity. I don’t like crying; it gives me a headache. I’m going to bed now so I can be a better me tomorrow; hopefully tomorrow my best will be good enough.

Love,
Me.

education · family fun · Kids · The COVID files · waxing philosophical · whine and cheese

Day 73: Reset

It’s the most effective solution to most computer problems: unplug it, wait ten seconds, and plug it back in. I’m starting to feel like it might be an effective solution to a lot of life problems, too.

I’m really enjoying life these days. I generally wake up when my body is ready. So does everyone else in this house. We all sit down and eat breakfast (not necessarily at the same time.) Mr. December goes to work. K spends some time in the tree swing. Around 9:45 the kids are settling into their schoolwork and I’m circulating between them. They take breaks as they need them. Lunch is unhurried and is often child-made. School work only takes a few hours; the rest of the day is for playing. We’re getting plenty of fresh air and sunshine, if not a ton of exercise. We all eat dinner together, the children do dinnertime chores, and we read or play until bedtime.

When we venture out the front door there are people — actual people! — on their front porches. I’ve found that our neighbours are quite neighbourly when they’re not rushing off to this class or that event. Sometimes I even have time to call friends I haven’t spoken with in months or even years. I’m not driving my kids all over the place every day, and I don’t have to do the annoying pickup at our large school with zero parking spaces and no traffic circle.

N is still having piano lessons on Zoom, but the girls’ violin teacher has been unable to do online lessons. R sometimes participates in the online classes from her dance school, but there’s no stress if we miss it. When online schooling became a problem for us I felt no compunctions about telling the school that we just weren’t going to do it. If we can’t make it work for us, it’s out.

A few weeks ago I remarked that I actually felt very free, not having to feel bad about not going places or doing things. Before COVID, I would have felt guilty RSVP’ing “No” to an event that I could attend, but didn’t want to.

It’s true that the kids miss their friends, although that loss hasn’t affected them in any catastrophic way (that I can see.) In fact, I’m starting to see them really bonding with each other, kind of like they did on our 2-week road trip last summer (I’ll have to tell you about that another time, if you want to hear about it.)

So when people talk about getting life back to “normal” or “opening up”, I cringe a little inside. Right now it’s easy to live this simple life: we have no choice, since there’s nowhere to go and nothing to do. But when the lockdown is over and we have long days at school, long days at work, bumper-to-bumper traffic through endless construction zones… will I be able to make the difficult decisions and just say no to everything but the things we really value? Or will I revert to my old exhausted, road-raging, guilt-ridden self?

Good Grief · waxing philosophical

Day 72: Aunty Leah and Me

We finally buried my aunt today. When I say “we,” I actually mean “The ten people who were allowed at the grave, the nearly two hundred people who joined in on zoom, and I, who was standing in a school parking lot on the other side of the fence from the cemetery.” The last time I was at that cemetery was about a year after my grandfather died. At his funeral I gave a speech. As I stood in the parking lot today getting sunburned, I thought about what I might have said about Aunty Leah had I been given the chance.

When I was three months old, Aunty Leah took me down to the ocean just behind her house, and helped me “swim” in the tidal pools.

When I was four (or so) years old, she assigned me the job of pasting the Gold Bond stamps from “Big B” (grocery store) into the stamp book. She left me to it and came back to a garbage pail full of single stamps. “Why on earth are you throwing these out?” she asked. “They didn’t fit on the line, so I had to take them off before I glued the others in,” I responded. Then Aunty, exasperated, taught me that it was, indeed, possible to use stamps that weren’t all in one strip to fill a line, and that the overflow from long strips could be used in the next line. It seems stupidly obvious now, but I truly hadn’t thought of it.

When I was nine, my Mum made some comment about my crooked tooth (yes, singular. They were all straight, except for this one tooth that was perpendicular to the rest.) I was particularly sensitive about it; I ran crying from the Shabbat table. Aunty followed me into the kitchen and told me about how parents sometimes say and do things that aren’t intended to be hurtful, but somehow end up that way. She shared some of her own perceived parenting misses. She taught me that even adults make mistakes and admit them.

When I was eleven, Aunty and Uncle came to stay with us while my parents traveled to Norway and Sweden for a conference. Over those three weeks Aunty taught me yoga (I still think of her every time I do a Sun Salutation) and the importance of doing a “dry run” (in this case for carpool, but it’s applicable to many things.)

Many of these stories make Aunty Leah sound like a sweet, empathetic soul. She was, but you wouldn’t know it at first sight. She was scary. I mean, every kid and some adults were scared of her, probably because she always spoke frankly. If you were doing something she didn’t like, boy, would she make sure you knew it! She opined about everything, including the reluctance of Torontonians to respond to a simple “Good Morning!” Growing up and living in Barbados, which is (or was) a perfect illustration of how the village raises the child, she didn’t hesitate to teach her sons’ friends such things as how to blow one’s nose properly.

Aunty taught me that it’s possible to disagree with someone and still love and be proud of them. When I was twelve, I celebrated my Bat Mitzvah by chanting the entire Torah portion and the Haftarah (for those who don’t know, that’s a lot of material, and many B’nei Mitzvah do less.) After the service Aunty hugged and kissed me and said, “Mazel Tov, Lovey. You were wonderful. But you know, if you were my daughter, you wouldn’t have had a Bat Mitzvah.” Feeling cocky, I shot back: “Guess it’s a good thing I’m your niece and not your daughter then!”

Aunty taught me the importance of maintaining friendships. Every time she came into Toronto, I’d watch as she pulled the stool up to the kitchen counter, opened up her phone book, and started calling everyone she knew in Toronto. It was always, “Hello! It’s Leah. We’re in Toronto and I just wanted to call and say hello…” now it seems like a quaint thing to do — long distance calling is relatively cheap and everyone is just a Zoom call away — but for much of Aunty’s life, that was the way to keep in touch with your long-distance friends.

It wasn’t just when she came to Toronto, either. Aunty had friends all over the world. I suspect it was her tendency to talk to everyone, coupled with her frankness, that let her make friends easily. Once you were her friend you learned how generous, hospitable, and loving Aunty was to everyone in her sphere.

I had many examples of good marriages growing up, most notably my parents’, but also Aunty Leah and Uncle Benny. It was clear to everyone that they adored each other. It was also clear that they argued on occasion and that Aunty would snap at Uncle. And despite the exasperation, you could always see their love underneath everything else. Five years ago we celebrated their fiftieth anniversary with a big brunch party; the looks they gave each other as they danced to “The Anniversary Waltz” are etched in my mind.

I have so many memories of Aunty Leah that I could fill a book. When we were together for Pesach, she showed me how to make raisin wine; Her banana bread was the first food Mr. December and I ate together right after our wedding ceremony; We swam distances together in the ocean and she taught me how to position my tongue so that I wouldn’t swallow salt water. I could go on and on, but for the sake of brevity I’ll stop here.

The last time I spoke to Aunty was on Pesach; I phoned to say Chag Sameach and she told me stories about how the average Bajan was reacting to COVID. She asked about the children. I asked when we would see her next, and she said it was a bit up in the air and depended largely on Uncle’s health. “Goodbye, Lovey,” she said before hanging up, “I’m looking forward to seeing you next time.”

There won’t be a next time, a fact that makes me cry whenever I contemplate it. But there were so very many times in the last forty years that Aunty and I saw each other and laughed, ate, swam, and talked together, and for those times I am very grateful. Her memory will be a blessing, just as her influence in my life has always been.

education · family fun · Kids · mental health · parenting · waxing philosophical · whine and cheese

Day #Ican’tcount: School’s out for summer

First things first: Apparently, just like with our counting of the omer, I can’t count one day at a time. I have two posts titled “Day 58”, and I’m not going back and changing numbers. So today doesn’t get a day, and tomorrow’s entry will continue the counting from yesterday’s. Clear as mud? OK.

Our government finally announced today that schools will be closed until the end of June. That changes absolutely nothing in this house, since I will continue to assign work and teach my children things that schools don’t teach anymore; Things like cooking, times tables, and how to identify and fix run-on sentences (that was today’s writing lesson.)

On the surface, I don’t have much to be stressed about. I’m learning, though, that the stress of uncertainty is insidious. I attended an online town hall meeting for E’s school, where the general message seemed to be, “We’re preparing for anything, because we can predict nothing.” Great to know they’re preparing, but it’s more than a little frustrating to come out of a meeting with only the same knowledge you brought in.

The kids’ Jewish overnight camp told us weeks ago that they wouldn’t be running this summer, while the overnight music camp they attend at the end of August is still hopeful about being able to open. I started cancelling our epic family trip to the U.K. that we’d planned for June (four weeks in England, Wales, and Scotland! Sob!) and simultaneously looking for a cottage to rent this summer (although apparently there’s a ban on short-term vacation rentals in Ontario right now.) See why I’m feeling so uncertain?

At least life is never boring around here; today we held a funeral for a bird that flew headfirst into our glass patio door. Poor little guy — we put on vinyl gloves (that we have thanks to COVID) and checked to see if he was breathing at all or if he had any kind of little birdie pulse. No and no.

N got to work digging a little bird grave, while E looked around for a stone to mark it with. Meanwhile, R held our bird friend gently. “I know he’s dead, but we should still treat him respectfully,” she said. “He’s a human being, after all.”

“Um, R? He’s not a human being. He’s a bird.”

“OK, yeah. But he’s a creature and we should be kind,” She clarified as she gently laid the bird in the ground.

At times like this, I realize that despite all their tantrums, weird behaviour, picky eating, hitting, laziness, backtalk, rivalry, lack of hygiene, and flouting of bedtime… these kids are going to be wonderful adults.

IMG_3872
Poor birdie. We hardly knew ye.

Just the two of us · Kids · parenting · waxing philosophical

Day 63: A real-life folktale in reverse

K has essentially been an only child for a week now. I’ve learned a few things in that time:

  1. It’s way easier to be what our society deems a “good parent” with only one child.
  2. I still enjoy spending time alone with Mr. December.
  3. I’m in agreement with Mr. December when he says, “I don’t listen to complaints from people with fewer than 2 children.”

Mr. December and I have always been thankful for the love and support our parents lavish on us (hopefully they know how thankful.) They truly go above and beyond. This past week, the grandparents decided that since we’d all been isolating in our own homes for 7 weeks already, it would be okay to have the grandchildren visit them. If they, being in a high-risk age group, were okay with the potential risk, we were too.

(Disclaimer: just because we did it doesn’t mean you should too. Your decision on if, when, and how to see relatives should be based on your personal circumstances and not on the actions of some blogger you just encountered last week. No, not even if that blogger is absolutely brilliant and someone you wish you could be friends with, which you totally can – just drop me a comment.)

So off they went: N and R to my in-laws, and E to my parents. It was a very quiet, relaxed week during which we all got as much sleep as our bodies needed. There was no arguing (although there was still yelling — we have an adolescent in the house, after all) and everyone ate the food that was served.

Tonight they started coming back. E is asleep in her bed. When she came in this evening the noise level went up significantly, but there was still a decided lack of sibling-on-sibling aggression. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about R and N coming back tomorrow.

You know that folk tale where the farmer’s family can’t stand their home because it’s too cramped, and the rabbi tells them to go home and bring all their livestock into the house so that when they take it out again, the house will feel quiet and spacious? I feel like I’m living that tale in reverse. We gradually removed kids from our house until it was quiet, and now we’re adding them back in all at once.

Will I be overwhelmed? Will it be wonderful? I used to love it when my house was full of people — the more the merrier, I always said — and then I got used to it just being the six of us, and then just three of us. Could these past eight weeks have possibly changed how I feel about a busy household? I hope not.

Only 15 hours before I have four kids again. In the meantime, I’ll be downstairs tidying up the Makery so you can actually see the floor and the workbench when I give you the tour.

community · gardening · waxing philosophical

Day 62: Bees, I’m so sorry.

It was a beautiful day today. The sun was shining, the temperature was warm(ish), and when I woke up and went outside I was greeted by my garden: Sweet purple flowers, blue forget-me-nots and beautiful yellow blooms everywhere. It was gorgeous.

And I’ve gone and killed it. Now it’s flat, boring, mostly lifeless.

Some people would say I’m being pretty melodramatic about mowing the lawn. To them I say: I hate lawns.

I know right now some of you are shaking your heads and declaring me a heathen. Hear me out: a perfect, green, velvety lawn is a sign of affluence — which is the whole reason lawns were invented. They were a statement that the homeowner (lord of the estate, whatever) owned so much land that he could afford to plant one with a purely ornamental crop that has no practical or economic value whatsoever.

Still, I’d have labelled lawns as pretty innocuous if it weren’t for the fact that we’re seeing declining bee populations; no wonder, since there’s less and less for bees to eat. Know what bees and other pollinators love and rely on in the spring? Dandelions. Suddenly, monoculture lawns (as in, a lawn made up of only one specie of plant) look a lot worse from an environmental perspective… and that’s before we’ve even considered the air pollution, noise, and excessive amounts of water that are involved in maintaining that perfect green carpet.

I know it’s better for the earth and for the pollinators to leave the dandelions alone. I know it, and I still mowed my lawn.

The fact is that I have neighbours whom I like, and I’d like for them to like me. They’re the sort of people who will actually go outside and pluck the dandelions from their lawns one at a time (which to my mind is a colossal waste of time, but whatever.) When they look at my lawn, all they see are millions of dandelion seeds waiting to take flight right onto their lawns. They see me making their life more difficult… and they hate looking at my “ugly” lawn, sprinkled here and there (and everywhere) with flowers. So in the interest of being a good neighbour, I mowed them down (the flowers, not the neighbours.)

I feel like I need to apologize to the earth and the bees. I’m sorry — I tried my best and then caved to peer pressure. Maybe when it all grows back I’ll try something else, like a lawn sign. Ah, lawn signs — instant credibility.

41rbli

Kids · parenting · waxing philosophical

Day 60: On letting rice dry out

Want to cover your floor in cooked rice? Hire a few toddlers. It always worked for me back when my kids were little (actually, there are still a couple of them who can be relied on to strew rice across the floor like it’s grain being tossed to the chickens.)

I’ve never been so keen on cleaning up promptly. I’m not proud of it, and yet my procrastination has a way of making things easier in the long run.

Take the rice on the floor, for example. If I tried to clean it up right after dinner (or even an hour later) the rice would be all gummy and moist and would stick to the broom or get smeared on the floor by whatever cloth I was using to wipe it up. If I procrastinated and left it until morning, however, the rice would be dry and super easy to sweep up with the broom. It was basically the opposite of our society’s usual “better to do it now!” message. In the case of rice on the floor, procrastination paid off.

Turns out that’s true of paperwork and filing, too. Today I finally attacked the giant box of “stuff to file” that I’ve been stashing away since we started our renovation three years ago. I had built it up in my head to be a gargantuan task. Instead it was incredibly easy. Basically anything from 2017 or 2018 didn’t matter anymore. Oh, sure, I keep our tax returns forever, but phone bills from three years ago? Nuh-uh. In the end I recycled more papers than I kept.

IMG_3792
Yup, this is the discard pile… the first of several.

I’m starting to think that sticky situations in life are like sticky rice; they get less sticky as time goes on and then they’re a cinch to clean up. What feels like a huge deal today won’t even register as a problem in ten years; it might even have resolved itself without intervention by then.

Parenting is often like that. All those times that a child says, “I need your help right now!” and is told to wait a second. Five seconds later they say “Never mind, I figured it out myself!” That delay in responding saves effort, sure, but it also gives the child time to learn something and gain a bit more skill or independence. In short, procrastination can be beneficial for all involved.

I’m aiming to be more aware of it these days. Kid not motivated to do school work? Children fighting with each other? Sure, I could wade into the fray and try to actively resolve the situation, but it would be messy and far more difficult than just letting it be for a while. Despite my propensity for reacting quickly to provocation, I plan to remind myself that it’s okay to just go to bed and see if the proverbial rice is dry in the morning.

 

education · goodbye clutter! · Kids · parenting · waxing philosophical · whine and cheese

Day 58: It gets worse before it gets better

After I posted my tour of the living room I decided it was past time to take everything out of the drawers under the window and get them organized. Today I worked my tail off for 6 hours, and the drawers look great.

The rest of the living room does not.

IMG_3723

As Mr. December came out of his office this evening I met him as he walked through the Makery to get to the stairs.

“I spent today throwing out papers and reorganizing,” I said.

“Wow,” He said, looking around the makery with all of its surfaces covered in stuff. “Well, I guess it has to look worse before it looks better!”

“I wasn’t cleaning up in here.” I said flatly. “I did the drawers upstairs in the living room.”

“Ohhhhh…” He said. “I think you should probably do down here, too.”

Thanks, Captain Obvious. Once again, you have saved our village.

~<>~<>~<>~<>~<>~<>~<>~<>~<>~<>~<>~<>~<>~

We have a wonderful, unique opportunity this week to focus our attention on K. All three of her siblings are staying with grandparents for a couple of weeks, which means she’s an only child. Last night she thought that was a good thing. Today she seems less sure.

When I’m running between four children’s academic activities I don’t have time to sit and deal with the resistance K puts up every time something is difficult. I mostly say something like, “Sulk if you want, but get it done,” and then I leave the room to check on someone else. Very often she spends the next hour listening to music, swinging to calm down, or reading her current book until I check on her again. Then we repeat that cycle until dinnertime.

But now I have time to sit on her. As the excuses roll off her tongue, the tough love rolls off mine: “Nobody cares about excuses. You have to get your work done. If there are problems, try different things until you solve them, or ask us for help. But get your work done. I’ll sit here and wait.”

In a way, K making academic progress is like decluttering and organizing my drawers. It initially looks like everything is ok because she’s sitting at a desk in the library with a pencil in hand. Then I get involved and start to ask questions and see what’s actually going on. Now we’re at the stage where it’s all a mess: she’s getting worked up about the uselessness of an assignment and nothing is getting done.  That’s where we’ve left it for tonight… just like the living room.

 

better homes than yours · blogging · crafty · DIY · Renovation · waxing philosophical

Day 55: Is it designer? Well, yeah…

It’s a running joke at this point: whenever a product of some sort claims to be a “designer” anything, Mr. December starts to scoff. “What does that even mean?” He rants. “Obviously it’s designer — everything is, because everything is designed by someone, right?” Then he prances around a bit, displaying his “designer” shoehorn, our “designer” minivan, and the kids’ “designer” school supplies.

So when someone messaged me last night and asked whether I’m a designer, my first impulse was to say, “Well, yeah! I designed this stuff, right?” For the record, however, I do not work as a professional designer.

People sometimes ask me where I come up for ideas for the cool features in my house. It’s pretty simple, as I see it: I made a list of all the things in our old house that were problematic. Then I figured out how to solve them for our new house. Or I walked myself through a day in our home and thought of all the things I needed to do in each room — which is why, for example, we have enough drawers in the powder room to hold powder room stuff and last-minute “we have to get out the door now and you need to brush your hair and where the heck are your socks!?!” stuff.

When I come across things that have clearly been designed without considering how they’ll be used, I get kind of annoyed. My pet peeve for today: Perler beads (or melty beads, or as IKEA calls them, PYSSLA.)

If you don’t know what they are, Perler beads are tiny plastic beads that you place onto a pegboard to make designs. When your design is finished, you iron over the beads (using a piece of parchment between the iron and the plastic) and the beads fuse together. The result is peeled off the pegboard and used for… um… you know what, I have no idea what they’re used for, although it has occurred to me that they’d make great sukkah decorations seeing as they’re rainproof.

What’s my peeve? Let’s think about this: when using melty beads to make a pattern, one usually wants specific colours for each part of the pattern. Why, then, are they packaged in a huge multicoloured jumble, like this? Just so that parents like me can be put to work finding “all the reds, eema”? If you ask me, it’s badly designed.

IMG_3662

(Although if you ask an Occupational Therapist, they’ll tell you it’s excellent fine motor skills training. These beads require a very exacting pincer grasp.)

Anyhow, as I frequently do, I’m taking matters into my own hands. I ordered a case of divided plastic part organizers (from Dollarama — yes, they sell online if you’ll buy a whole case), and I’m stealing a few minutes here and there to sort the beads by colour so that we can spend our crafting time on… crafting (and not sorting or searching.)

IMG_3663
Enter a caption

“That’s nice,” you say, “But why are you telling us this now, when we all just want to see the rest of your house?”

Because, dear readers, I want you to understand that I spent months and months designing our kitchen. I had to solve problems like people getting in the way of the cook when all they want is a drink or a snack; the frustration of searching through many cupboards to find the exact package of food I’m looking for; dirty handles on the garbage drawers; and the fact that I often dislike kitchen islands (they get in my way), but they are wonderful for cooking and baking with kids. 

So yes, I designed the heck out of our kitchen. I want to show you everything in there, but that’s a really long post for a Friday (when I spend much of my day making challah.) I guess this post is my preamble to the tour of my kitchen, which I really do hope to post by Sunday night at the latest.

In the meantime, it’s late. My “designer” bed is calling me.