Saturday, September 21, 2013

Same Mess, Different View.

My kitchen for the last few weeks...

it isn't pretty.

"You bit off more than you can chew."
It's a common enough phrase, but what if it feels more like sometimes is,
somebody threw the pie into my face,
no, threw four pies into my face,
one after another,
and then handed me a napkin to clean up the mess.

It all has limited life,
counter life to be more exact,
or floor life.

It is a race against the ever breeding fruit flies,
the power of the invisible spatters of the creeping corrosion of mold.


 None of it will wait long.
It all demands immediate recognition and care.

And yet, still life goes on.

The little humans demand constant feeding and care.

Somehow, three square meals are supposed to go into their little bellies,
although with as much as they eat, they don't seem so little.

The big human needs his meals as well.

The magnificence of a pristine kitchen is a dream that only those colorful magazines
and homes where the people live somewhere else all day long must possess.
Someday I will have a kitchen that doesn't look like a zookeeper's workshop.

The son calls from the other room.
His dinosaur domino kit is frustrating him and he wants some help.

The oldest is beckoned to fill in for the steamy, sticky-faced kitchen maid.

The assortment of single socks that Violet has weeded out of the clean laundry for me waits in a pile.  Without their missing mates, she leaves them on the couch unsure of further direction.

  The couch wears a temporary "slip cover" since the other has been forced to take that trip to the mountain in the basement where the washer forever trudges through it's daily spins.

 Other sorted and folded pieces await their final trip up the stairs.
Little bodies are limited in their hauling abilities, so this rests on my shoulders.

I groan at the thought.

 Craft projects litter the ironing board...

while others cover the table.

 The molding fruit is sorted and tossed; the good is cooked,
stirred, a hot and tiresome job with the many others still looming and silently shouting,
"Process ME!  Process ME!"


The fruit is then dumped into the bag to drip,
splattering sticky purple drops in precarious heights hinged on thin legs.


I sigh.
Messes, messes, everywhere.

How does one ever conquer.

Then I see this.

And I realize that maybe my view of things should be...


Maybe my view is spoiling the fruit that is all around me.

A garden that produced well so that we will have food for the winter as well on our tables today, yesterday, and tomorrow.

Organic peaches an Amish woman was willing to sell for a reasonable cost:

an unexpected happiness.

I had given up on ever finding organic peaches.

 Food for supper:
most of it we have grown ourselves,
but just the fact that we have food for supper,
something not everyone in the world has,
is something to give thanks for.

 A kitchen:

I have a kitchen:
I have a stove that works,
I have electricity to make it work,
I have counters to work on,
a floor to stand on,
I have food to cook,
I have the ability to cook.
It may not look beautiful all the time,
but it is.

My kitchen is beautiful.

 I have kids who want me to help them
who like for me to play with them.

They create things

 and that is far better than sitting idly and having to be entertained by somebody else in a digital box.

 Their messes are temporary schools of learning that will someday turn into something useful
and if I squint really hard, they are actually colorful.

The tiny pieces all over the floor
are plastic raindrops of colorful happiness.

(Okay, that may be slightly overstated about the ones on the floor,
especially when I step on them and have then sticking to my bare feet;
but pretty colors: yes, I can say that.)


The kids do help and do their part;
they do their jobs, what they can.

 And we do have
 socks to keep our feet warm...

even the mixed pairs I occasionally find on my feet,
when necessity demands.

 We have clothes to wear and keep us warm,
a sizable assortment of them, actually.

 We have special treats, like berries that Levi loves to eat
and are so good for him,...

and the syrup they make will be a great treat in yogurt
and on pancakes.


They are bottled up treasures stored away for a time when I don't feel so overwhelmed in the steam of the kitchen.

A harvest of thanksgiving in September is certainly better
than having to 'beware of  grouch prosesing' in the kitchen.

Sometimes, I get lost in the steam of life's hot oven,
but there is a better way.

"Thou are good, and doest good;
teach me thy statutes."
Psalm 119: 68


  1. Oh wow it is messy and then yummy, what could be more fun...what a lot of work but look at the rewards, everything looks delicious, wish I had a jar right now,,,loved your writing and pictures...cute as can be kitchen...come for a visit...Phyllis

  2. I love the second view, thank you for this wonderful post...

  3. The mess will all be worth it when you're enjoying the fruits of your labor this winter! Loved the Beware of Grouch sign. ;)

    1. Thank you, Jennifer. It is nice in the winter to have that canned bit of summer. :)

  4. Glass half full. Sometimes it's finding the gap so we can turn around and change the perspective. I know I have had to pull up my odd socks some days and look at things from another way. What a wonderful bounty.

  5. I LOVED reading this post! Thanks for being real and reminding me that I'm not alone. blessings~~angela

    1. Thanks, Angela. I think we all go through days like this, with differing variations of the drama. :)

  6. I completely get this. So glad with your post. Now I know it's not just here ;) I often fleed into one of those magazines you mention just to see a perfect house but then again, a house isn't a home until it's lived in and your house looks like a real cosy and warm home.
    Your ironing board with the 'waiting' craft projects brought a smile to my face. Sweet memories... No little kids here anymore(all teens, help! Believe me, things won't get any better ;) just a warning), but I do remember the ironing pearl craft projects lying on my ironing board, waiting to get their finishing touch. Thanks!

    1. Thank you, Marian. Ironed some more of the wretched things tonight...oh, I mean bits of childish crafting splendor. :) They are pretty creative...and my kitchen is cleaned up tonight as well. ALMOST looks like a magazine, if I squint and smile. :)

  7. You have clearly put into words the feelings of every woman who has undertaken food preservation for her family....both sides!

    Beware of Grouch was too cute!

    Hugs, Linda

    1. I love your picture by your name and your name as well. :) Thank you. Yes, their signs and notes are hard not to love, even when they step on the toes. :)

  8. This made me tear up. We are all so blessed and I thank the Lord for providing for us all. God bless you and your family.

    1. Yes, indeed. We are blessed. I feel so terribly when I take that for granted. Thanks for commenting, and God bless you and yours as well. :)

  9. What a great journey through mothering you just took us on! I cracked up when I saw the sign...


    1. Hi, Sue!! :) Thanks so much...yes, those signs are pretty honest, aren't they. :)

  10. enjoy these hot messy days with little ones. It goes by too fast & you end up sitting in a clean house wondering where the time went ! Violet is so funny !

    1. Yes, so I hear. :) Hard to imagine it when you hear, "Mommy....Mommy...Mommy...Mommy...Mommy" ever 3 minutes, but I do know it is temporary and try to grab up some patience. :) And they do make my world a better place. :)

  11. I think your kitchen is beautiful. It is the kitchen of a life liver, you are fully living your beautiful life. I wish I had a garden we could eat from and fruit we had grown. I miss processing my own food from our garden. You will look back on these days and only remember the good memories about it and the mess and the sweatiness and frustration won't be the memory. Enjoy your family, they grow up so fast and they don't need you and you miss them being little, and you wish you had relaxed more and taken life in stride. They are a precious gift.
    Jacquelene L

    1. Thanks so much, Jacquelene. What great thoughts!!


I love your comments!