Thursday, May 22, 2008

Task #8: North Side of Kitchen

I worked my hour or so in the kitchen, but I will admit there is still much left to do. While I was working on it, I came to the realization that for several years, survival lay in hurry. When I had small babies, cleaning the kitchen meant either zipping through at top speed for the 15 minutes he was looking at his mobile, or delegating kids.

Now that I have more time, my rushed habits yet remain. I am trying to be more respectful, more peaceful, almost more contemplative about doing these necessary and never-done things. It does not come easily to me -- housework and cooking are what you rush through so you can get to the good stuff -- reading, thinking, writing, talking. But the Kathleen Norris book is right -- too much of that leads to acedia. For now I resolved to at least dwell on one thing and try to make it beautiful. I liked what Anna at Pleasant View Schoolhouse wrote in Lessons from Vintage Fiction:

A room isn't finished until it reflects the homemaker's love of beauty. A pot of primroses on the dinner table, an embroidered bureau cover on the bedroom chest of drawers, a clean dresser scarf on the buffet in the dining room--creating a home takes attention to detail.

Now, here are some BEFORE pictures -- we have a music center in the kitchen -- no compartmentalization here : ):

I spared you the pan with the scrambled eggs remains. My kitchen looks like this every morning -- we're a family of nine!

Some of the "after" views will have to wait until tomorrow because I only got to about half of it. I find the kitchen extremely challenging for my sensibilities. I dislike grease, I dislike strong cleaning agents, I find it difficult to work very hard on a small spot and have it look only better, not perfect.

But here's what I worked on:

The stove -- scoured top, underside, surface. -- swept underneath and collected a lot of little things, some from way back when the 5 year old was a toddler.

Microwave area -- wiped a bit -- I will admit I didn't get to the interior of those cabinets. My husband made the doors of them a couple of years ago ;-).

If you take a look at the first "before" picture, this is the after -- inside the bottom cabinet.
Detail: the tea kettle. I worked on this for about 15 minutes, scouring and polishing. I tried to make it look like it was loved and respected. That was my little try at perfection in the details for at least one thing today.

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