By: Revanche

On one of those days …

September 8, 2014

Most of my days are “those days”. Days where I’m happy if I’ve managed to work a full day and get things done, fed myself real food, taken care of the dogs, and possibly even created less mess than I cleaned up.

Most of them are “Igh, feels like crap” days.

But on occasion there are those stellar days when I didn’t just work, I didn’t just eat, I’ve also: cleared the monthly finances, done the housework, made an actual meal, and done some financial research. Even played with the dogs, not just skated by with a walk and some petting.

They’re rare and I love them all the more when they come around. Never mind that there’s a big ole letdown in the aftermath when I can’t do that much in one go again, the actual day is pretty fantastic.

Anyway, I haven’t decided yet which day this is, but PiC’s caved in our ongoing (wimpy) battle over whether to handwash or use the dishwasher because the time and energy we save not handwashing can really be better used on the 30,000 other things that need doing but for which we don’t yet have some sort of automated, robotic way to do them. So that’s kinda nice. It does mean that I more routinely horrify horrified the dog when the dishwasher runs (just Doggle, Seamus is utterly indifferent), but today’s run has had me hopeful he’s going to he would get over it as we‘re not stopped fighting over where he should go in case of Dishwasher Lives! Emergency.

This whole thing’s got me thinking about how else we can save more of our energy.

Also it’s got me thinking about how in the old country, as recently as during my childhood, food was always fresh and we weren’t connected or didn’t rely on electricity around the clock ..

dishes and clothes were always washed by hand, using rainwater or water brought up from the river if it’d been a dry winter or especially hot summer;
meals were planned based on what was fresh at market and cooking them always included marketing once or twice a day;
electricity was only possible when you cranked the generator and sometimes not even then so bedtime was sundown;
forget actual running water for showers or toilets;
and good grief, the mosquitoes. I don’t care who you are or how tough you are, if you’re a blood bar for mosquitoes, you would hate them too.

I loved my time growing up in the rural farmstead but never will I ever romanticize that pioneering type life!

Right, so back to the point… !

I’m still mulling over whether it’s worth hiring help to lightly clean the house; we don’t typically care about super cleanliness unless people are coming over to stay.

Perhaps the solution to my inability to keep up with the shedding (by rugs and by dogs) is really just the robot vacuum? Or is cleaning that thing more trouble than it’s worth?

I’m actually back on the fence about the dishwasher – I need a better tutorial on how to load it or something.

We’ve experimented with ordering in a little bit more during the hectic times using coupons and deals. It’s absolutely a load off my brain and energy to not think about what to cook on delivery days but I’m not in love with the offerings all the time and without a deal it’s not quite cost effective enough to win me over. Still, we’re playing with the idea of scheduling delivery twice a month and economizing by buying and cooking more fresh produce regularly.

Is it weird that the only outsource candidates are cooking and cleaning? Everything else seems to require our input/judgement calls: looking for deals, managing the household finances (though I am now outsourcing our taxes because BRAIN), routine shopping and tidying, laundry, dog medical care. Of course I do enjoy doing laundry, and most of those other things, so probably that’s why it doesn’t make the list.

It’s not like we have vast sums of money to spend on this stuff, I’m just pondering aloud while I figure out how to maximize the money we do spend and the time we could use more wisely.

What would make your lives easier?

11 Responses to “On one of those days …”

  1. NZ Muse says:

    Definitely a dishwasher. I accepted in marrying T that this would probably be a requirement for us to stay sane if we were to stay married long term. Unfortunately we’ve only ever lived one place with one so far.

    I’m also starting to think about ordering certain groceries – produce and meat boxes – mainly for convenience and mindlessness (you don’t have to pick out individual stuff, you just pick your box). Been feeling very uninspired by food shopping lately.
    NZ Muse recently posted…My Scarlett O’Hara declarationMy Profile

    • Revanche says:

      Grocery delivery – I have been doing a bit of this, but only for storeable foods like pasta and snack bars. I wanted to do produce boxes but they’re awfully pricey for what we get, considering how much less it costs for a LOT from the semi-local produce shop ($33 for a maybe 15 lb box vs $20 for 20 lbs of produce). I can’t quite bring myself to do that. Meat boxes would be neat though…

      I wish you a dishwasher in your near future!

  2. Emily says:

    We have an energy star dishwasher and I couldn’t live without it! Dishes definitely feel cleaner through the washer than my grubby handwashing.

    I tried Blue Apron recently, thinking it would save me a bunch of time, but it really didn’t! The recipes take a really long time to prepare and I still go to the grocery store weekly, since it only provides 3 meals a week. So just a hint, don’t go for Blue Apron if you’re looking for some time savings.

    • Revanche says:

      Thanks for the tip! I’d heard of them by name but didn’t know how they worked. I’m definitely not into long-prep recipes 😛

  3. Lauren says:

    We tried a house cleaning service right before we had guests over (who were coming in the weekend before we left for a trip and I just couldn’t mentally handle ALL THE THINGS) and they just weren’t as good as I am by myself. Which pissed me off bc I am paying them $$. So not for us at this time, but would love to hear your experiences.
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  4. Simon E. says:

    Dishes begone and my life would be a whole lot easier. I love cooking, and the kitchen but when it comes to the dishes…uugghhh…just let them pile there for a couple of days before I pluck the energy to clean them 😉 It does take a toll on mental energy though…seeing them there every other day.
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    • Revanche says:

      Heh so a dishwasher would be good? I find that I simply cannot cook when there are dirty dishes so I end up doing dishes, cooking, doing more dishes. I don’t mind so much though.

  5. Y’know, it depends on the cleaning person. If you’ve read Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed, you’ll know that services train their employees to move stuff around and polish stuff superficially as fast as they can, but inveigh against really cleaning. Occasionally you’ll find a person (usually a woman) who really knows how to clean…but these days 98% of them are not speakers of English. That’s OK if you can manage Spanish or the appropriate Asian language, but it’s difficult if you’re trying to communicate in sign language.

    I’m really thrilled with the lady my neighbor (native speaker of Spanish) recommended when I realized I would need someone to help me through the current health fiasco — so thrilled I think I will keep her on if and when this mess comes to an end. But by and large? If you want something done right, do it yourself. 😉

    IMHO, the dishwasher is more water- and probably more energy-efficient than washing by hand, and if you have a decent machine in good condition it’s one heck of a lot more sanitary.
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    • Revanche says:

      Agree about the cleaning: Hadn’t read the book but it just doesn’t make sense to me to pay if I end up having to do it again or if the dirt was just pushed around 😛

      PiC is super skeptical about the water and energy efficiency but it’s also probably b/c we like to have clean dishes all the time and we don’t go through enough dishes to run the washer more often than once every 2-3 days.

  6. […] of tough and now it’s going to have to be accommodations and thinking ahead. I’d already been thinking along these lines when we were just becoming a dual-dog household, it’s even more important […]

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