June 29, 2022

I swore off grocery shopping, and other lies I've told myself

SUMMER MASTER PLAN:   It's almost July, and I still haven't shared my foolproof plan. Brace yourself. It's earth shattering.

I announced during PART 1 of Mother's Day* that I  was going to take the summer off. I'd be happy to participate in my usual duties to a point, namely driving people around if needed. Most of my time, I decided, would be spent writing. 

*PART 1 because two college boys weren't home yet. I demand a do-over. 100% availability hasn't happened yet. Updates as they become available. 

Me:  Kids, you're capable of doing laundry (I don't mind doing the laundry, I just want people to sort it and PUT IT AWAY), making dinner, going to the grocery store, and cleaning the house. While I have the summer off, I wanna write for 3 hours a day. Uninterrupted. Occasionally I'll also read and nap poolside at the local pool. (super grateful that raccoon spa is not necessary again this year). Plan to pitch in. God help the child that shrinks away from doing anything around here and has the nerve to say:  I WORKED TODAY. Your father and I never stop working. I know you  have jobs, but you have time to make dinner, get groceries, etc. 


Since I never bothered to share my plan with you, I have updates at the ready. Feel free to take 10 seconds to ponder how you think this has been going so far. Hold that thought . . .  

UPDATE:  The summer started off with me focusing all available energy on Mini's graduation video. It was a labor of love, but it turned out sweet, entertaining, and downright hilarious at parts. If it wasn't 47 minutes long/ if I knew how to share it, I'd post it somewhere for you to enjoy, or I'd mail copies to interested parties. 

The video was complete a full week before the party. A new record. I switched gears and paced myself over the next week to make the food and clean our pit sty house. 

After the party:  time to write. 

Well, there is still time in the summer left to TRY to peel myself away from the duties/children that call to me, etc., but who am I kidding? Unless I move to an island or come and stay with one of you in a hidden guest room, (any takers? Remember I eat GF and I like cranberry Mike's Hard Lemonade) 

my master plan is . . . 


You all knew this was a pipe dream, right?

One night, I was tired, but I needed to get some writing done. It was either blog-related or memoir. I attend a writing group and occasionally it's my turn to read. I prepare my chapter to submit to the group in advance of our meeting. 

The next morning, Coach said to me:  I hate that you go to bed so late. (ulterior motives, me thinks, wink, wink) I wish you could get your stuff done earlier in the day, so you can go to bed earlier. 

I stared at him. Blinking, slowly while I chose my words carefully.  Then I shared what my day looked like leading up to the later-than-preferred bedtime: 

I use my ventriloquist
 skills to say regularly: 
Oh, I rescheduled Reg's EEG to an earlier slot since we aren't going to Yellowstone. I called American to request the miles back that we just bought for that flight. I took two kids to the dermatologist. Curly needed new bathing suit bottoms, so I shopped for those online. I drove a kid to L.A. Fitness, then picked him up. I emailed so and so. I cleaned up dog vomit. AND I DON'T HAVE A DOG. I was out of salads for my
lunch, so I made three salads. I did three loads of laundry. Someone ate the last hard boiled egg, so I boiled a dozen more . . . so I could put them in my salad. I drove (insert JUST ABOUT ANYWHERE YOU CAN IMAGINE), and then drove home again. I replied to a WHAT'S-FOR-DINNER text from Tank, because that was necessary. I shuffled stuff around in the fridge for awhile, because I was bored. Clearly. I answered a few texts from caddies about how soon I could get them, and Ed texted to request a car so he could workout after his zoom internship. Then I wrote.

Trust me, Coach really wants me to have time to write and do the things I want to do and he wants me to be rested because sleep is my favorite, and I feel icky when it's in short supply. Try as we might, the kids are not catching on to the JUST-DO-IT-(YOURSELF) concept. Maybe I need to wear more Nike clothing.

I make 1 salad to eat and 2 to
store in the fridge. Basically
I grumble every 3rd day.
Then Mini wrecked a car. We bought a car (more on that soon). Then I spent a lot of time packing and grocery/clothes shopping for our trip to the resort in Wisconsin with my side to celebrate Mom's 80th. I survived. Details soon. Highlight:  comments made by my nieces about their moms' issues filled me with just the right amount of I-KNOW,-RIGHT? Even though I was well behaved enough not to say "I know, right?" 

I get a little overwhelmed when I feel behind in the blog. What can I say? I wanna  keep all of you in the loop and STUFF.KEEPS.HAPPENING. Sometimes I think it'd be easier to do a giant phone call. That'd probably work, right?

Go ahead, hit me with your told-ya-so thoughts that you would've uttered had I given you enough time to prepare your thoughts on my master plan. Or invite me to your spare room. Be careful, I might show up. First, I have to drive to Cartersville, GA next week with Reg for travel b-ball. We were supposed to fly, but I think I'm gonna cancel our flights. 10 hours is far for me to drive and not get sleepy, so call me. We'll get caught up. Or hit me with your carve-out-writing-time ideas. Not early mornings, I workout then. 

Happy 4th of July - hoping you'll check out my posts next week Tuesday/Thursday because of the holiday. Really hoping that you leave a comment. Don't be shy. 


Nicole MacPherson said...

There are only so many hours a day and you sure fill them to the max! Hope you have a good long weekend!

Beth Cotell said...

It sounds like you just need to go check into a local hotel for 72 hours so you can write and rest. Is there any way you can make that happen? If you have someone drop you off, that would free up a car!

Ernie said...

Nicole - It never ceases to amaze me that as soon as they are out of school life gets busier, even though most of them can drive. There are always things to do. How do the things ramp up just because they are not at school? The tots I sit for need things and I feel like my kids can do so much for themselves, but there are appointments to make and bathing suits to buy and drivers license to get. It never ends. With Curly and Reg's basketball camps over, I'm hoping things become less hectic. Reg has travel practice far away DAILY, but if I agree to be without a car mid day, then he can drive there and back himself. A long weekend might be just what I need.

Ernie said...

Beth - Oh, I like the way you think. That does sound delightful, but I don't think I can justify the expense. I'm paying $788 next week to stay in an Airbnb in Georgia for 5 days while Reg and I attend his b-ball tournament. I think today I will start a meal sign-up schedule. Two kid have made dinner so far. We need to make it more of a regular occurrence.

Julie said...

when I was a kid/teenager we all had a day we had to make dinner (five kids = week days covered) . . think we had to plan week before so necessary ingredients were on hand . . don't recall how long it lasted . . .

Ernie said...

Julie- Such a great plan. Each kid found a new recipe to make during the shutdown portion of covid. I need to get more insistent that they handle a meal each week. No need to make new recipes . . . just put food on the table. Glad yo know that it can be done.

Suzanne said...

It was a really good effort! Hopefully you will find some sort of happy medium that allows you more time for writing.

Ernie said...

Suzanne- I am hoping that the end of basketball camp - which involved multiple trips back and forth to the high school, will free up some of my day. The kids can now go caddy all together, which means the house can be mostly quiet. Except for Finnegan.

mbmom11 said...

A schedule for having kids cook dinner sounds good. You need to make sure someone (not you! ) signs up to the dishes.
Do you have a friend who has a patio/deck/spare room where you could go hide and write? I think you'd need to get out of the house, turn off your phone, and block out the texts and calls that might come through and let them cope. (I'm one to talk - on a recent trip to my son's graduation, I made sure I had lists and schedules for the ones at home, verbally told them multiple times what was going on, and I still got a call from one daughter crying because something went sideways. What she thought I could do from 900 miles away I do not know. )
As for laundry, get rid of half your kids' things and see if they notice. Too many clothes becomes too much to handle and it's easier to just let it sit there. (I just did this to HS junior daughter because she gave me grief about her needing to pick up her room. I took away all the clothes that were on the floor of her room and stuffed them away. She's not naked yet, and at least I can tuck her little sister in now without tripping over clothes.)
If nothing else, I hope you enjoy your Georgia trip. Maybe you can sneak in a little writing down there.

Ernie said...

mbmom11 - We do have a schedule for kitchen duty for 6 nights of the week. That works relatively well. I'm no neat-nic but they do mostly suck. They can load a dishwasher but can't make room for EVERYTHING and they don't bother wiping down counters. They put water in pots and pans and feel like MY WORK HERE IS DONE. Half of them forget to start the dishwasher.

I started a schedule this morning for dinners. Sign up one night a week each week. I also have started a schedule for groceries - two trips to the store a week. So each kid does it every 3 weeks. I made a list of stuff this morning that they need to do before they go to bed - don't even think of hanging out with friends until it gets done. There are plates in the living room. Empty Gatorade containers in the upstairs hall. 3 baskets of laundry to sort in the family room. A collection of dirty? clothes and towels on the stairs landing. WHY? Three kids didn't get loops today at the golf course so I just announced that my house ought to sparkle by the end of the day.

I missed a bunch of texts from Ed today asking if I could pick him up from an earlier train so he didn't have to stay in the city for a late meeting that he could do here from zoom. And I feel awful. Coach said TOO BAD. YOU SHOULD PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY MORE OFTEN.

I love 'she's not naked.' That was another time suck - I have been helping /demanding the girls get their room in order. Curly has order in her closet but most of it she doesn't wear or it doesn't fit her. I've been insisting on her eliminating. Then we also did some shopping so she'd have clothes to wear - not just basketball stuff.

I am hoping to find some time in GA to write. I don't have the schedule yet for his game and the dumb airbnb is 27 minutes away from the venue. I can bring my laptop and write in the car between games though. Dreading the drive. I've never done a book on tape, but it might be time.

joymariecooks said...

Phew your summer sounds BUSY. I think for the trying to get time to write thing you're doing it backwards by trying to fit it in after/around everything else. You should schedule in some chunks of writing time and then fit other things around that. Your kids are old enough that left unattended they won't colour the walls, or eat random objects etc like my kids would 😂

Also your reply to a comment above about how the kids stink at dinner cleanup made me think of how my mom definitely made us go back and redo dinner cleanup A LOT for awhile lol

Ernie said...

Joymarie - It is busy. I'm still stunned that it is busier when they are not in school, especially now that they are all older. The issue I think is the driving/car situation. Even the kids who can drive places can't always get there unless I drive them because there aren't enough cars. Curly can't drive herself, so I'm still driving her especially because the older kids are all at their jobs by the time she needs to be somewhere - or the car we have at home is not a car an available driver is allowed to drive, like no kid is allowed to drive my dad's car. Then the doc appointments and ortho appointments that I have to go to with Reg and Curly because they aren't 18 crop up in the middle of the day. We hope GW will be done in the shop soon, and then I have a few kids who can drive that one. I definitely do not prioritize writing . . . always thinking 'I'll just get dinner going, then I'll switch the laundry, oh wait gotta pick up that kid,' - before you know it the day is done.

Oh how I remember the days when I had to watch their every move, and had to buckle in and out of car seats and spend half my life applying sunscreen. That WAS definitely busy. Fun too, but good thing I wasn't trying to write back then. I would've pulled my hair out.

I'm all about making them redo the kitchen. I have made them reload the dishwasher before. One issue is that they clean the kitchen after I go to bed, or when I'm too tired to notice. I was awake when Tank was finishing up the kitchen the other night and he claimed that he wiped down the counter. Not even close. I made him come back and actually wash it. I should probably do their laundry 'half-ass' and leave wet clothes on their beds to see if that gets their attention.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I think you should take the kids' duties one step further with you and Coach going out to dinner each night...or even packing a picnic and letting the kids fend for themselves. Sounds like a dream, right?

The endless laundry and cleaning would exhaust even the most energetic person...I don't know how you do it and keep a sense of humor.

Bummer about the summer plans. You are going to do all the driving to GA?

Ernie said...

Suz- Next week will be interesting with me in GA. Yesterday the kids' non approach to taking initiative hit the fan. The only writing I could focus on was my gripe list. I managed to put some humor in it, or I'd lose my mind. I will post the kist here at some point.

The mountain of laundry that I cleaned but refused to sort was handled last night. How did that happen, you ask? I posted a sign on the dining room freezer (see that, it still exists). NO ICE
CREAM WITHOUT MY PERMISSION.They wanted it, they had to start sorting.

Yes. Reg and I are driving all the way to GA. I can bring all of my food and avoid cost of renting a car. Plus so many flights are getting cancelled. Didn't want to be stranded. Dreading it, honestly. Might leave the 4th to break it up. Getting an audio book. Mini could chat with me all day but Reg not as chatty. Crossing fingers that I can stay awake. I'll have to do some phone-a-friend calls.