Saturday, March 20, 2010

Clean-Up Week

Guess what I'm doing for National Quilting Day? No, not quilting or designing--cleaning. Yep, cleaning.

My son is coming home for Spring Break today and I need to make room for the mess he's probably going to bring with him. Better to start out clean so it doesn't get too overwhelming. Then, when it's done, it'll be done, and I'll have more time to play. When I was a kid in public school, Spring Break was always called Clean-up Week, so it's fitting. I've been so busy lately that I never helped get his room into shape after he left the last time, like I promised. A couple of his things need mending and maybe I’ll get to it before he arrives today, at the last minute. Hey, does that count as quilting? Didn’t think so.

My husband drove up to get my son this morning (in the snow, can you believe it? It's March.) and I get to stay home and clean. So I brought out some of  my favorite cleaning supplies--miracle cloths (lots of them), a feather duster, my Bona mop for the hardwood floors, and Zud, a good start. I'm looking at them now. I'll get going soon, right after I finish this, I promise.

When I woke up this morning, the sink was shining clean and that always makes me feel good, like I've actually accomplished something. Sometimes a clean sink just does it for me. That's a trick I learned  from Flylady and every now and then I go back to her for help. 

I love my sink. The divider is really low so you can easily clean large pans or cookie sheets.

I'll finally clean off the kitchen island too and organize some of my quilting stuff. I was too busy with other things this week to take care of it much. I love to spread out stuff on the island for cutting and organizing because it's a great height and close to my sewing area but then I get lazy and don't put everything away like I should. And papers and magazines get out of control everywhere else. Years ago, when I worked in an office I had a really neat, clean desk, honest.

There'll be laundry today too. I don’t believe my son actually does much laundry while he's at school, as awful as that sounds. I hear that he sometimes goes to Target for underwear when he runs out instead. So there'll be laundry and lots of it. And, good mom that I am, I'll probably help. He deserves a break—he's been working hard and getting really good grades, so I can’t complain. Also, he'll actually manage to graduate in 4 years, not 5 or 6, always the fear, so we really appreciate that.

I was working furiously on the book while he was home during Winter break and felt a little guilty that I didn't spend as much time with him as I would have liked—I still had to work even though he was home. Not that he chose to spend THAT much with us anyway, but every now and then when a friend was busy and he had some free time, I had to say no, I had a schedule to keep to and I couldn't just drop everything when I was in the middle of a quilt or had a chapter to finish. Sorry. Dad had to work and so did I, even though I was at home and it didn't look like I was working, looked like I was "just sewing."

Having kids means not always having all the time I’d like to spend on quilting. And even though the projects I make for my books are fun, they're still for work. Sometimes I really want to make something different, maybe a project or two designed by someone else that I see in a book or magazine, but don't always have time. The hard thing is juggling everything I want to do with everything I NEED to do, but it's the same with everyone else I guess. We all have our choices about the things we make and the time involved and does it take time away from family? In the end I'm really lucky to be able to call this work because I love it. Life's a tradeoff.

So I'm thankful my son wants to come home, even if it’s not exactly to see US. Last year he took a road trip during break and we didn't see him at all. I have more time now and perhaps this week he'll pencil us in for a lunch or dinner or maybe a movie or two if we're lucky. I promised him we'd go through my old record albums I saved from the sixties--I hear kids are going back to turntables and albums.

At the end of last summer he said he was anxious to get back home. I was confused until I realized he meant HIS home—college. Sad but true, he's all but gone and coming home now is just a visit. According to the census, he doesn’t even live here—the form told us to exclude anyone living away at college so they don't get counted twice. And, before you know it, my daughter will be gone too. Mixed emotions for sure, but ahhh, think of the quality quilting time I’ll have then . . . 


Elyte said...

Despite where we live in the world our problems and concerns can be quite similar. I know my son does't want talk often but when he does you have to drop everything and listen because you never know when the opportunity will arise again. Despite where they go and and who they share their lives with we will always have a special place in their lives and they will fill us with pride. This week end I made the needlecase from your book Remembering Adelia and I love the way it showcases the fabric combinations. Thank you and happy Quilting Day.

Valentina said...

Oh Kathleen! Oh Oh oh... I just 'discovered' you and I am in Love! I can't even read your words properly, because my heart is doing a crazy peter-patter seeing quilts-quilts quilts! Oh, How I love your quilts AND YOU WRITE BOOKS!!! I need them! Oh... swooon...
I will be back when I settle down a bit and introduce myself properly...
Thank you for the best Quilting day present EVER!
Valentina from Cyprus

Kathleen Tracy said...

Thanks Valentina,

Nice to know SOMEBODY appreciates me, LOL.

Shasta Matova said...

I've got the cleaning bug too - and when I clean I feel guilty about not quilting, and vice versa. Thanks for the 9 patch pattern. I should try to whip up one of these in between cleaning and other projects.


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