Mar 11, 2010

New Poll: What Are You Best At? (On the Sidebar)

I've been pondering about Tuesday's chore (Ironing Day), letting it roll around in my mind to see what I come up with.

During that pondering I have let my mind wander to the chores for the rest of the week. At each day I lingered and thought about how I felt about the chore, my level of competency, and my level of enjoyment. I noticed something: The better I am at the chore, the more I like it. I noticed something else: I'm not very good at any of the chores!

My grandmother on my mother's side was born in 1905. She lived a very hard life, full of poverty and a lot of bitterness. The man she married was her parent's choice for her. She (from what I've heard) was actually in love with someone else with red hair. She married my grandfather when she was 18. "Red" was no where to be seen, and perhaps never heard from again.

My grandfather was an alcoholic and, apparently, a mean one. Despite what must have been a pretty loveless marriage, that woman could cook, sew, garden, and keep a clean house like nobody's business. She lived in some pretty severe poverty. Until 1955, she did all of her cooking on a wood heated stove. She sewed ALL of her clothing and the clothing of her four girls. She made her own patterns. All that even though she was so very unhappy.

Then she moved into a house in the 50s that had electricity and indoor plumbing. That's the house I remember. It was ALWAYS spotless. Her bedroom (my grandfather divorced her some time in the 50s) was floral and feminine. Her gardens were amazing. The food was fantastic, good ol' southern cooking, and she continued to sew and crochet until she had a stroke in her late 70s.

My mother? Apparently she learned absolutely nothing, therefore, I learned absolutely nothing. My grandmother was NOT a teacher. My mom and I did take a few sewing classes together when I was a teenager, but I didn't learn much beyond a beginner level.

With that background, you will understand when I say that I had to teach myself how to do nearly everything.

Which brings me back to the days of the week and my levels of competency.

Wash Day? I don't know HOW it happens, but spots show up on my clothes and I have no idea from where. They just appear. It's the most amazing thing. It's also usually within one week of a new purchase, too. Very frustrating.

Ironing Day? I inevitably iron IN wrinkles. Again, the most amazing thing. I'm ironing along and the fabric does a tiny little bend that I go over with the iron. The wrinkles I'm trying to get out are still there and now this new, giant wrinkle mocks me. Sigh.

Sewing Day? I have never gone beyond the basics. I can sew a straight seam, fairly well, but even that surprises me when I've been ultra careful, take it out of the machine and it's CROOKED!

Marketing Day? I used to shine here. I was the coupon queen. I could fill the pantry for a buck-ninety-nine (practically!). Then I had a baby and I apparently lost this ability. I'm still looking for it.

Cleaning Day? Now this area has gotten tremendously better over the years. In my cleaning day post I'll relate a horror story that will curl your toes. My biggest change came when I realized I was trying to clean around too much stuff. I have now become the decluttering queen.

Baking Day? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! My poor bread making attempts have been just this side of disappointing. The bread tastes good but it keeps coming out looking like cow patties. Not visually appetizing, that's for sure. I'm determined not to give up yet!

Cooking? That's an every day thing, but I'm also pretty inept at that as well.

Well, that was pathetic! Why didn't Granny pass along these talents? The least she could have done was pass them along genetically!

So, here's my poll question:

From The Poem, at which task would you consider yourself most accomplished? On which day do you shine? Do you find that you enjoy that task the most because it's your best effort?

The poll is up on the sidebar--please go and vote!

After reading my own experiences, I may have to say "none of the above!"


weenie_elise said...

i love ironing... it's so soothing and quite zen like...

I also like sewing - but not cutting out, so I wish the scissors fairies would come and cut out all my material for me...

I like marketing and cooking...

washing is easy because I have a machine... but cleaning, blerch - it requires working on

Eva Girl said...

Washing Machine takes care of the laundry and I do hang it up to dry...taking it down, folding it, and putting it away...I need to do better. Ironing is much needed and never done. I do sew : ) I spend more then I like to on marketing. Cleaning is good. I can keep the house decluttered and clean enough.

FarmMom said...

I believe the poem also included a seventh day, but I didn't see it in your poll - weird. That's the one I am BEST at. Oh, well!

FarmMom said...

P.S. I forgot about the "maids" option, but since my maids are all unpaid help - I must say that I get what I pay for!! (They are actually pretty great little helpers!)

Lexi said...

DANG! I have more clothes in the washer--thanks for reminding me...AGAIN!

I do NOT iron. I ironed my arm once, that was enough.

I want to declutter...and February was a FAIL.

I can bake, and I love to cook. I also like to go to the food store.

Roxanne said...

Weenie--Ironing . . . zen like?? Hmmm. I'll have to think about that one!

Eva Girl--Which do you enjoy the most? Which do you feel to be your "forte?"

FarmMom--You noticed that ommission, did you? Ha! As for your staff, you just need to get them uniforms. Then they'll really feel like working!

Roxanne said...

Lexi--It looks like your forte is all the food-related tasks. That is so NOT my forte!

You must, however, step away from the iron until I explain something to you. Now, listen carefully. You're supposed to move your arm OUT of the way when you apply the hot iron--to the clothing.

Perhaps my catching this for you now will enable you to attempt ironing again.

You're welcome.

Packrat said...

Okay, spots - out! out! This could be a whole post. :) I'm a fanatic when it comes to doing laundry and folding and hanging clothes.

I like to sew. Altering a pattern irritates me, but it has to be done. I don't even mind mending - once I get started at it.

Ironing is okay if I'm not in a panic. There is nothing so satisfying as seeing nicely ironed shirts, pillowcases, etc.

Cleaning - ugh. I love the finished product, but, it doesn't stay that way. So why bother in the first place??

I can bake - even bread. I can cook. I hate to cook on a daily basis.

Gardening - I can do it. I know how. I don't even mind dirty hands, but I hate spiders and worrying about snakes.

Let's just say, that I know how to do all of these things, and I know how to do them well. (Not bragging. My mother and grandmothers insisted - do it right the first time or suffer the consequences.)

Just that by the time I'd been married ten years, I'd been doing some of these chores for more than 25 years. I just got more and more tired of doing these chores over and over and nobody appreciating it. So I stopped doing anything that wasn't absolutely necessary. (This is one reason I'm leery of *some* aspects of the "apron movement" because I've been there and done it.)

Tess said...

Ironing. I LOVE to iron!

I had a great-grandmother who worked as a launderess, and who WAS a teacher, so the secrets of ironing have been passed down for several generations (though diluted in each generation.)

My boyfriend doesn't understand why the sheets need to be ironed since they'll eventually end up on the bed anyway, but he definitely takes advantage of my mad skillz in ironing men's shirts!

Cleaning is my downfall. I'm lucky if I have a clean surface to knead my bread on, come baking day!

Roxanne said...

Packrat--If you have a helpful post lurking in you about those stinkin' spots, I will be the first one to read it!

I am STILL struggling to get to the point where things are done, and done well as WELL as having the right attitude about making the home run well. That's one of the reasons I'm bringing this up--I am always willing to receive wisdom from those who have mastered or at least been successful in these areas!

Grasshopper sits at your feet and is willing to reap from your wisdom!

Roxanne said...

TESS!!! You are an ironing guru!!!

I sit at YOUR feet, too, to glean from your experience. I also want you to pass along your ironing euphoria!

I think that means YOU need to do a post specifically about ironing so that the rest of us can aspire to your level.


weenie_elise said...

ironing is calm and peacefull and you can just focus on the white shirts and the smell of fresh linen and steam... like a zen rock garden or something :)

Roxanne said...

Weenie--the words calm and peaceful are not part of my ironing experience yet.

You, too, need to share how to take me to the "Ironing Zone."

I don't know. Everyone's joy in ironing comments has given me hope!

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