Create a shopping list for paschal foods and family basket and file in Cycles of Grace Notebook Three.
Im going to teach a dear friend how to make Paska and Kulich on the afternoon of Lazarus Saturday. Traditions such as these are all the more rich when they are passed on, person to person. My friend Sophia taught me how to make both festal desserts and now I have the opportunity to share the art with my friend Mary. And all the while my children are learning as they anticipate and participate in the tradition. They are so happy to add our baskets filled with these loaves of sweet bread and cheese to the overflowing tables to be blessed by Father after the midnight Liturgy. Having been part of the process makes it all the sweeter for them.
In preparation for our day in the kitchen, I think it would be helpful to create a shopping list of all the ingredients for both recipes as well as for the eggs to be dyed and the food for our baskets. (Well dye eggs on Holy Tuesday before Bridegroom Matins.) Filing the shopping list in my notebook will prevent me from repeatedly creating it, which is obviously what I have been doing.
I need to take a quick inventory on the festal shelf in the garage (which needs to be neatened as I do so) and figure out how much cheesecloth I need to purchase for making Paska. The cheese molds and baskets need to be cleaned and made ready to use. The basket covers need to be cleaned and ironed as well.
Its almost time for the Spring Menu. (Can you read the joy in that sentence?) The Apostles Fast, which begins a week after Pentecost, is particularly long this year, so I think the childrens favorite festal meals need to fill in the slots of the 57 days of the Spring Menu. One of the last of our cycle of menus yet to be set to page, I need to gather my recipes and create the weekly shopping list, filing all in my Cycles of Grace Notebook Four.
The childrens clothing for Pascha has been purchased or collected and will need to be ironed before Holy Week. Im trying very hard to leave no chores for Holy Week so that we can focus on the services that will fill each day.
The weather is changing and it is time to put away much of our cold weather clothing. As Ive already combed through the closets and drawers to gather donations, clothing that will not fit the children next year needs to be stored in the garage bins for the next child in line. I would like to purchase two large bins, one for each of the childrens bedroom closets in preparation to store winter clothes that are likely to fit next fall. It seems that this may make the cold weather clothing transfer easier next year.
Bathrooms. Clean thoroughly. Its the last item on my lenten cleaning list. (I cant believe I made it through the entire list. I suppose an entire month of being shut-ins made that possible.)
Bathrooms. Cabinets. Medicine.
The bathrooms are the one area of the house that I feel could use a major reorganization. I need to resurrect the cleaning caddy stocked with supplies for each bathroom: window cleaner and rags, countertop wipes, shower and bath cleaner, scrub bush, toilet bowl cleaning refills. Its so much easier to give the room a quick wipe down when the cleaning supplies are right on hand. I tried baskets for this, thinking they would be pretty; but I think bathroom supplies should be stored in an easily sanitized container. Will be on the lookout for a good one.
The medicine cabinet needs to be sorted and old prescriptions and expired drugs need to be discarded. Desperately.
In organizing the bathrooms this week I want to keep in mind the principle of active storage. This is a helpful hint that I picked up from The Well-Ordered Home and its worked beautifully in the kitchen. The idea is that you need not store everything with the same level of accessibility. The most frequently used items are stored at arms reach, preferably in the area they are most frequently used. Items of less frequent need are stored toward the back or top shelves of the cabinets/closets or even out of the room completely. Its so nice to open the kitchen drawer under the counter top on which I prep food and pull out a knife without ever leaving my work space. Surely the bathrooms can be organized as such.
Revisit daily/weekly cleaning routines.
We abandoned the normal afternoon routines to focus our attention on lenten cleaning. Im going back and reading what I wrote last summer and tweaking the plans a bit.
Front flower beds.
They remain bare. A trip to the garden store over the weekend is in order. We havent decided on the variety of shrubs to plant. Indian Hawthornes perhaps? Ive pulled out Neil Sperrys Complete Guide to Texas Gardeningfor inspiration.
If the planting of shrubs doesnt help retain the soil in the beds were going to have to seriously consider a low border to serve as a retaining wall. The rains continue to wash the dirt down the yard and onto the sidewalk. A mess.
Add additional soil to the gardening list.
Speaking of gardening, I need to place the parish order for the paschal flowers this week. The palm fans and pussy willow stems have been ordered and will arrive on Thursday. And speaking of Thursday, that is the great feast of the Annunciation. An icon carpeted in roses is the plan. Must pick up those flowers Wednesday evening before Great Vespers.
Cycles of Grace: Notebook Four. Gut and re-organize the entire notebook.
The original organization reflects the lesson plans for this season more than the life of our home. The new ordering of the sections needs to reflect our daily life. More homemaking and less homeschooling. There is no reason to organize the paper plans as they are neatly filed here.
Purchase a small file cabinet to organize papers.
Print out this post and file in Cycles of Grace Notebook Three. (I loved having my posts from last year to help me plan.)
Finish painting the main hallway and front living areas. (Probably will not get to this until after Pascha, but I need to keep it at the top of the list.) The kitchen, breakfast nook and family room were finished over a month ago. I love the calm tone of the colors. The hall and main living areas are going to be a color called Basketry. Very soft and very neutral. Goes perfectly with the Macchiato and Dusty Olive already on the walls.