We finally got some rain around here, along with rolls of thunder loud enough to wake us up at night. I always enjoy these first rains, and expect to see how lush and green everything will soon look after a long summer draught.
Mr. Duck looks very excited about the rain as he waddles around our front yard. The kitties seem to be less enthusiastic.
On rainy days it's especially comforting to remain at home, tending to projects that need to be done inside. Outdoor chores, such as running to the store or working in the garden, are often postponed, and it feels so nice to pull out the winter blankets, do some ironing, curl up with a hot cup of tea and a good book, or knit while you watch the raindrops roll down your window.
I'm re-reading some posts previously published on "Home Living", which are especially encouraging for young wives. I love the very balanced, sensible way of Mrs. Sherman to talk about prioritizing, using our time wisely, and establishing a routine - which, in my opinion, is more important than fancier skills (which are of course very nice and worth learning too). For example, quilting, sewing, knitting and so on is lovely - but without organizing my time and establishing a simple routine, I'm lost.
I generally try to divide my day in two parts - morning, which is anytime before lunch; and afternoon/evening. In the morning hours, I'm most productive and energetic, and so I try to do "heavier" work during that time. After I've done my morning routine, which includes making beds, doing dishes, emptying trash cans and general tidying up, I might do some washing, cleaning, organizing, and sometimes cooking. If I need something from the store, I'll try to do that before lunch as well.
In the afternoon, I like my time to be more relaxed, and so I dedicate these hours to quiet, comforting work, such as baking, writing lists, mending clothes, or crafts. I think it's my favorite part of the day - the major tasks already done, and still lots of time left. Later in the evening, I often make some calls, answer a few emails, read up a bit on interesting subjects, and just relax until my husband comes home.
An important thing I've learned: to be productive and relaxed at home, you need to be present at home. If something makes you spend a lot of time away from home - it might be shopping, or visiting friends, or social commitments - you're always playing catch-up. Mess, clutter and dirty laundry seem to breed while you're away; you forget what you have in your refrigerator and pantry; eventually, your home becomes so unorganized that you feel tempted to run away from it. That's why I love days like today, when it's raining outside, I don't need to go anywhere, and can fully dedicate myself to my domestic duties.