It's just hard to do everything. My new obsession with cooking things from scratch is eating up much of my free time, along with my new organization/cleaning kick. Bill's theory is that anything that you can manage to do consistently for three weeks becomes a habit, so it's looking good that a clean house (relatively, anyway) is now habitual for me! It's really nice, although I wish I could get the kids to help clean up their toys. They have a very bad habit of dumping their toy bins out all over the floor as soon as they wake up in the morning. If it's not all out by the end of the day, their day has not been a success. I've tried everything to get them to clean - coercion, bribery, threats, trying to make a game out of it - but nothing works. They're smarter than I am.
The newest thing that's eating at my brain while I sit in traffic is trying to figure out something creative to do with the kids' clothes that are too stained, ripped, or just generally too worn out to consign or give away. Every piece has some good parts on it, so I've been thinking about quilting, or making some kind of crazy rug out of it all - I just can't decide. It doesn't help that my sewing machine has been sitting in its box, unopened, since I bought it three years ago... I used to sew a lot as a kid, but I just barely remember how these days.
All these new domestic pursuits are again forcing me to reevaluate how I spend my time. I'm currently trying to get all my new patterns ready for TNNA, but my heart just isn't in it for some reason. I keep asking myself why I feel compelled to have my own pattern line when I've been able to keep myself plenty busy teaching and submitting to books and magazines. Do I need to do it just because it's there to be done? I think the TNNA show will give me a good indication of whether or not I really have it in me. I'm also wondering if going to wholesale-only was the wisest choice. I have been getting bigger orders, but they're extremely few and far between right now. We'll see how TNNA goes, and perhaps I'll go the complete opposite extreme and switch over to only selling downloadable pdfs. After all, the grass is always greener... One of these days I'll figure out the right mix.
Tomorrow, my mother-in-law is coming over for the afternoon and we're going to make gingerbread houses. Yes, that's a plural. I find myself overly uptight about letting the kids help me in the kitchen (my mom was like this, and I think that it contributed to some of my issues surrounding cooking and the kitchen...), so I'm hoping that making gingerbread for me to make a "Martha" house in addition to gingerbread for each of the kids to make their own smaller houses will save us a lot of grief in the long run. I'm quite certain that Sydney and Owen will each have a very different take on how a gingerbread house is supposed to look. We'll see how it goes.
I've been going nutso in the kitchen all week - I made applesauce, which I then turned into applesauce muffins. I also made bread pudding, meatloaf and mashed potatoes, and chicken in the crock pot. Tomorrow I'm going to attempt chicken cacciatore in the crock pot along with more mashed potatoes. I found a recipe that uses sour cream, cream cheese and garlic salt - it is just unbelievably good! Right now, I'm attempting some of the famous No-Knead Bread. I mixed it up around noon, and it's supposed to rise for at least 8 hours and preferably 12-18. Well, it looks about the same right now as it did right after I mixed it up. I'm hoping that I'll come downstairs tomorrow morning and something miraculous will have happened... The recipe says that it's pretty much idiot-proof, so that would indeed be the bread that I'd manage to screw up.
And now it's back to deadline knitting for me. I'll talk to you again next week, if not before! Hopefully before - this weekly blogging is extremely pathetic, even for me.