16 June 2008

Now I Know My ABC's...

…of housework, that is!

A fellow blogging friend posted the ABC’s of housework on her page – thought it might be fun to do the same. Even though I have someone who comes 5 days a week to work in our home/help with the cooking, it is amazing (I think) how much of my time is still consumed with “working around the house!”

Aprons – yes or n0? Absolutely not! That just means one more thing to wash and since dear children find a way to get my clothes filthy already, what’s a little flour or oil?

Baking? I do like baking for special occasions and when the kitchen is not over 115’ ... but that rarely happens these days. My baking/cooking adventure planned for this week is donuts with maple icing – just haven’t decided if we are going to try cake or yeast donuts... hmmmmmmm...

Clothesline – yes or no? Who’d use a dryer when stepping outside is like crawling inside one? Yep, we only use a clothesline (or the frame for the mosquito netting on our bed when raining), and we are currently in process of training the younger crew how to hang things on the line and still require a minimum of ironing.

Donuts - ever made them? Yep and planning to again this week.

Everyday - one homemaking thing you do every day? Couldn’t choose between the following: Laundry, dishes, sweeping the desert back out of my house.

Freezer - do you have a separate deep freezer? Used to – but it wasn’t working and we’ve since found that not having one cuts our electric bill significantly, so we are presently doing without... unfortunately the freezer part of our fridge is only limping along, so it is a cause for celebration when we actually have ice in the morning!

Garbage disposal – yes or no? Do pets count? Our horse and dog eat almost any and everything. Otherwise, we burn burnables and a fairly recent development in Niamey is a garbage service that comes by and takes our garbage away after we haul it out to the barrel.

Handbook – yes or no? Nope, unless you count my Bible. It is amazing how much I find within that affects even something like housework.

Ironing - love it or hate it? I actually like ironing – but prefer it when we are home in the States to trying to iron in the heat here.

Junk drawer - where is it? Several, scattered in different places throughout the house. Now, if we could just keep the junk in those drawers instead of piled on the nearest flat object...

Kitchen - design and decorating? Well, interesting question. We’ve not done much to our kitchen since moving into this house, and the African idea of a functional kitchen, compared to our western ideas don’t really meet... We’ve painted some walls and cabinets/doors, but that is about it. My least favorite part of my kitchen is the height of my counters – I have to stand on tiptoes to wash dishes because the sink is so high.

Love - what is your favorite part of homemaking? Taking care of my kiddos – the house stuff usually just drives me crazy, but I love being with my children in the home, so that makes it worth it.

Mop – yes or no? Yes. We use a cloth wrapped around the end of a push broom or go down to hands and knees, scrubbing by hand.

Nylons - wash them by hand or in the washer? Nope, never wear them. Even in the States. There, I just use tanning creams because I can’t stand wearing them.

Oven - do you use the window or open it to check? Always open it – get to better enjoy the smell!

Pizza - what do you put on yours? Cheese, of course. Then it just sort of depends what we buy/find in the market. Sometimes we can find pepperoni-ish sausages, sometimes we’ll use ham, sometimes hamburger –either as hamburger or spiced as sausage, onions, fresh garlic, mushrooms and black olives (both we can find canned), occasionally pineapple. One of my new favorite tricks is to buy a small can of ratatouille, crush up the veggies (eggplant and zucchini) in that tomato-based sauce, and it already has a delightful spice so that I don’t have to mix up the sauce myself AND it hides some vegetables that my kids don’t normally cheer about.

Quiet - what do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment? Sit and enjoy the silence, because it so rarely happens.

Recipe card box? I’ve got a folder of favorite recipes already written out in French for my house help to use. Other than that, I use cook books and search for specific recipes on-line.

Style of house? Cement block – sort of a ranch with a terrace/porch and a huge (for here) sandy front yard.

Tablecloths and napkins – yes or no? Yes, usually when company is coming for dinner and when my munchkins haven’t “borrowed” them to do something with their dolls. Or, when we've been working on a puzzle on the table and want to cover it up so we can eat!

Under the kitchen sink? Empty metal cans that we use to freeze water for ice, empty glass jars that we use to hold peanut butter, two large tubs that we use to wash dishes and vegetables, small bottle of bleach to wash veggies.

Vacuum - how many times a week? Never – wash the small throw rugs usually twice a week and sweep about 3 times a day.

Wash - how many loads do you do a week? Over 25 – then I stop counting.

X’es - do you keep a list of things to do and cross them off? Not a written one, but one is always going in my head.

Yard - who does what? Our guard rakes the sand, waters the garden and usually takes care of the deposits left by our pets. Kids are responsible for the terrace and picking up their toys. Tim helps with the horse. I usually weed out the garden (where several baby chameleons are presently living – and they are actually kind of cute!), or give a very specifically defined task to our guard. We are thinking of maybe trying a veggie garden soon....

Zzz’s - what is your last homemaking task for the day? Usually something to do with laundry – either folding it, putting it away, starting a last load of laundry to start with in the morning, or distributing it to the appropriate child’s bedroom (who is already sleeping) so that they can take care of it the next day.

(image by Jan Brett)


  1. Richelle, I am so glad you did this meme. It is so insightful to your daily life as a missionary...fun...and something all women can relate to. As I was reading it, I was thinking how well this would be for a sort of presentation for a church or ladies' group when you are back in the States. When is your next furlough? Add this one to your "missionary toolkit" under "presentations". :)

    Have A Happy Day!
    Deborah @ A Cup of Joy

  2. I also loved this entry...it's so neat to see your daily life and the ways that it is similar to mine and how it is different.

    I loved your comment about the Sarai and Abram passage. For me, it is *only* in hindsight that I see God's wisdom in my husband's "no". When I am telling him what is on my mind (my plan), if he doesn't agree, then I often feel like he hasn't listened and it drives me bonkers.

    I am enjoying the bible reading. I am a tad bit behind today, I hope to finish before I go to bed.

    Do you find that reading it in french provides a fresh view of scripture?



Stop in for a chat! I love to hear what you have to say ~


Related Posts with Thumbnails