Only moments after taking this photo I found two more in the kitchen.
Since returning from Canada at the end of December, life has been such that cleaning has been a low priority around here. I'm in class every day, Matt is preparing for a new semester of teaching and working on a ton of applications for next year, and have I mentioned that Shira's not sleeping well?
Our house is so teeny tiny that cleaning, and just as importantly, tidying, is necessary for survival. But lately we have felt so overwhelmed by life that very little has been cleaned and even less has been put away. Don't get me wrong: we "keep house" everyday, what with the laundry and dishes our family of four produces (don't even get me started on the toys). But we have not given any attention to those small, though necessary, acts of putting things away when we come home at the end of the day. So on our counters you would have found at least a week's worth of notes and drawings from Alyce's school, empty snack cups, and multiple sets of hats and mitts; at the front door you'd have tripped over the fifteen pairs of shoes we kicked off at the end of each day; and on the bookcases you would have seen high piles of all those little things that Alyce passes us all day long (markers, beads, unicorns, rocks, tiny pieces of paper, half-chewed carrot sticks). And mountains of dust. I say you would have found because today I reached my limit of chaos and spent the afternoon cleaning the house. Usually I turn to the kitchen and cook or bake away my frustrations, but today I needed to move. Shira sat in the middle of the room while I puttered through the house putting everything away in its place or in the garbage. How glorious a clean house feels. Sadly, though, there are no cupcakes. I'm starting to rethink my decision to clean over baking.
All of this is really just to tell you that in my efforts to clean this afternoon, I finally decided to face that long-overdue pile of recycling. Our run-of-the-mill recycling happens every day (thanks to Matt taking it out to the bin each night), but one pile has been ignored for weeks now. We buy our eggs from the local food co-op, and these eggs come from a local farmer (in the summer we can buy from him directly at the farmer's market). He reuses egg cartons, so the expectation is that we return our cartons each week when we pick up new eggs. I have failed, failed, failed with my egg carton returns (it might have something to do with the fact that I always have at least one child on top of me when I'm running out the door and making room in my arms for egg cartons ranks as a low priority). We go through a lot of eggs since we don't eat meat in our house and because I do so much baking, so this is how I ended up with sixteen eggs cartons on my table today. In honour of putting things away, I collected all these eggs cartons from the kitchen and moved them to my car. I'm certain that I'll bring them to the co-op any day now.
May your day be filled with similar achievements! How exciting.