This is the view from where my day begins. After the tea kettle has been set to boil and my cup is prepared; after I feed the four "starving" cats that mew piteously around my ankles until their dishes are set on the floor; after my bird, outside on the lanai has also been pet and fed, I head to the living room to my rocking chair, settle in with my tea and my Bible and let my day begin.
I deeply appreciate my quiet mornings and this time I have alone with God and my own foggy thoughts, slowly coming into clarity, has become a treasured part of my day. No longer a "discipline" as it once began, my morning routine is just that: routine; I am always a bit out of sorts if I miss it.
Another habit over the years has been to clean up everything after supper. What hasn't been so firmly established, however, has been to make sure the dishes are also dried and all put away before bed. I have long been a dish-drainer stacker, but I was finding that the last thing I wanted to do in the morning while waiting for the water to boil was to be putting away dishes.
So, now, before bed, I, with help if necessary, have been trying to have everything put away before I go to bed, so I can be welcomed by a peaceful kitchen when I greet it in the morning. Incedentally, I have had to resort to using bleach in the last year to really get my sink white. Despite baking soda, lemon juice, salt scrubs, and a multitude of other gentler, natural cleansers, nothing really works on a white sink the way bleach does. That said, I have found that I can use a tablespoon of bleach in a spray-bottle of water and it works brilliantly. I clean with baking soda and soap and then about once a week, give the sink a misting and that is all I need. I didn't really want to resort to this, but I comfort myself with the fact that my tablespoon of bleach goes a very long way and given that I live in the Sunshine State in the land of swimming pools, I am okay with using this small amount. Also, even though I love the look of a white, porcelain sink, I will not likely get another one for this very reason. At the present, as we move toward getting our house ready for market, little details like a very clean sink become important.
And you know, if white were still popular, we'd have a very sellable kitchen! :) I did used to have more, personal things on the walls, such as family photos and a few, fun posters. I like a kitchen to be very homey and comfortable, because we spend so much time in here. All of those extras have been removed and just a few things remain, so that someone else might picture themselves here. I confess I don't really like that idea. I do love our house. If I could move it up to Minnesota - and insulate it like crazy! - I would.
That said, I have loved all the kitchens I have ever lived in - purchased or rented. Apparently - if the HGTV "House Hunters" show that I watch over at my mom's on Wednesday night is any indicator - stainless steel everything seems to be pretty important to a lot of people. I confess that I just laugh when I see that folks will walk through a home with perfectly good appliances and talk about how they will "need" to be replaced. Personally, the only appliance we have ever truly "needed" to replace has been our dishwasher and that, of course, is an appliance of certain luxury. I have always had more of a "make do" mentality. If an appliance was not functioning properly, of course, we'd try to replace it, but I don't go wasting appliances on a decorating whim. Acutally, I have always loved that I can still provide noursishing, tasty food for myself and my family no matter what kind of kitchen I've had, be it spacious or a narrow galley.
I know that our kitchen is "dated" (it was built in 1986 and other than cosmetic changes, most of the original kitchen remains), but it has served our family well and I'd like to believe it will do the same for someone else. It's given me many a peaceful morning.