7QT: Of Spiders and FLYs

 Been a while since I've done one of these...let's do it!
I missed Small Success Thursday yesterday but this is what I would have posted:
Look at that sink! Sparkling!
 If you've ever looked around on the mommy blog interwebz, you've probably seen or heard something about FLYLady.  FLY stands for "First Love Yourself," I think.  Anyway, this lady runs an online community that advocates some help for getting household clutter under control and having a system for cleaning.

I first looked into it when we were living in a rental house which had no dishwasher and weird pipes, so when I saw that her first principle was always to have a clean and shiny sink, I just thought, "Lady, you are taking some choice crazy pills."  Many people must share that view, because one of the Questions on her FAQ page is "Why do I have to shine my sink?" Here is her answer:

This is your first household chore. Many of you can’t understand why I want you to empty your sink of your dirty dishes and clean and shine it, when there is so much more to do. It is so simple. I want you to have a sense of accomplishment. You have struggled for years with a cluttered home and you are so beaten down. I just want to put a smile on your face. When you get up the next morning, your sink will greet you and a smile will come across your lovely face. I can’t be there to give you a big hug, but I know how good it feels to see yourself in your kitchen sink. So each morning this is my gift to you. Even though I can’t be there to pat you on the back, I want you to know that I am very proud of you. Go Shine your Sink. – FlyLady 

(Here's the link to that quotation, by the way.)
When I read that, I rolled my eyes big time.  "Your sink will greet you and a smile will come across your lovely face?"  As my mom would say, gag me with a wooden spoon.  I thought it was nuts and also quite impractical.  I had all kinds of good reasons in that house and every house thereafter why it was a waste of time/unnecessary.  

And then a few mornings ago, I was washing the breakfast dishes (no dishwasher in this house either), and I noticed that the sunlight was creating lovely iridescence in the soap bubbles.  "That's kinda pretty," I thought.  When I was finished, I looked at the sink, and by George, it did make me feel good.  

Maybe it was just the sunshine, maybe I was just at a low ebb for morale, maybe I have given up on all rationality; but looking at that clean sink and two dishracks full of clean and drying dishes was a cheery sight.  

My secret weapon is my ScotchBrite Dish Scrubber filled with Dawn dish soap and white vinegar (and no, I'm not getting paid for product placement!)  I saw it on a pin for cleaning the shower, but I think it works wonderfully on the stainless steel sink.  

Of course, now I have to wonder whether any of FLYLady's other tips will work.  Uh oh...she also advocates getting dressed to the shoes every morning before the kids are up, so as to feel more like a professional in your home.  I get the idea, but boy do I dislike the idea of the execution.  I like to grab every last dribble of sleep I can get.

But that's the hard thing about finding out something that works when you finally apply it to your life.  You're no longer to dismiss out of hand everything else put forth in that source or by that person as being ridiculous. It may all be, but you have to give it a look.  I can't just scoff at FLYLady anymore...I might actually have to be a more charitable and less arch person.  Rats.

On to spiders: I don't like them.  I would describe myself as arachnophobic.  I can't remember a time in my life when I did not fear spiders.  I have a memory of being about Ruby's age and being told my by mom that spiders were more scared of people than we were of them and thinking, "That can't possibly be true."

Why, then, have I allowed a trapdoor spider to live in our bathroom window for the past month?  It is unaccountable.  The spider appeared after we came back from a week of housesitting for a friend.  Its web has gotten bigger and bigger.  I don't know for sure if it is a trapdoor spider, but it is the kind whose web is made of the very sticky, cotton-candyish silk, like the kind that people put out for decoration at Halloween. It has a little funnel area where it sits and waits for prey.

As soon as I saw it, I thought about getting out the vacuum and vacuuming it up.  But then, I just thought, "He's not bothering anyone.  He's staying in the window.  We don't open the window.  I guess he can just stay there."  I mentally planned to get rid of him as soon as he showed signs of trying to colonize the rest of the bathroom, but so far he's been content to stay there.

His name is Trevor.  That's right, I named him.  (Ruby insists on calling him Clever.)  Trevor the Trapdoor Spider.  Allen and I have also tried to bat houseflies into his web for him to eat.

I guess this is all in an effort to be a little less hysterical around spiders.  I won't lie, I still squash them sometimes (usually if they startle me or they are on me, they get my worse end of my "fight or flight" reflex).  But Trevor and I have made our peace, at least for now.

Again, I realize that this is pretty ridiculous and unimpressive to most people who don't care about spiders one way or another.  Baby steps, people, baby steps.

But now let's talk about something much more adorable than any arachnid ever could be.

A little while ago I got to see this sweetie pie:
Sarah and her darling little Olivia Paige

A baby who weighs under 23 lbs?  Yes please!
So sweet, so lovely, such a wonderful addition to a wonderful family.  Big brother Liam is an ace of a brother by all accounts.  He turned 4 the same day Allen turned 27: birthday twins!

Look look!  I'm learning to take not horrible pictures sometimes!  Also, I love my volunteer roses.  Sadly, one small bush seems to have been taken out by having Little Tikes cars smashed into it repeatedly, but the others are going great guns and extremely tall (one is probably 9 or 10 feet tall!) Thank you, City of Roses!
Did you read my latest post at Real Housekeeping?  You really should click it if for no other reason than to see the truly terrible pun in the title.  Everything I know about puns I learned from my dear dad.
Just downloaded my friend Emily Roig's newest single, Go, from iTunes.  How cool is that?  You should give it a look-see here:
 and then hop on over to the iTunes Store and get it!
I, for one, can't listen to this song without movin' and groovin'.

And that's all for now, folks.  In the time it's taken me to write these "quick" takes, my chidlren have destroyed my living quarters.  Oops.  FLYLady, help me now!
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


  1. Loved your post on Real Housekeeping! And this post too! That song was great by the way, so thanks for sharing :) And about spiders - I'm not an arachnophobe, but I don't exactly want to cuddle up with the creatures either. My general rule of thumb is: are they venomous, then they get annihilated and sent to Heaven, if they are harmless, it all depends on where they are. If they are in my bed or jump on me, I am afraid I squish them. I do also try and save spiders sometimes. I guess I grew up in a country with very many venomous spiders, and even when my family moved to Germany, she's ended up in hospital twice because of spider bites (funny enough not in South Africa). I think that it's okay to be cautious of them. I'm all for saving God's creatures, but sometimes I admit I do kill them. And maybe I need to check this FLY lady out...and I need to buy a shoe rack. I left such a nice one behind in the US. Sadly I couldn't bring it with me.

  2. Thanks for the encouragement to go shine my sink! I used to be really into the Fly Lady... she's great! ;)


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