I'm trying to re-establish my routines - the main one that got me through every day before I modified much of it to write my book, but also other smaller planning exercises that remind me to plant tomatoes in a pot so we'd have home grown tomatoes at Christmas, and make soap and cleaning products so we don't run out.
I keep forgetting the bread. I changed to an overnight dough and often forgot to mixed it before going to bed. Now I've decided to change back because we were wasting bread. Unless you eat that bread straight away, just baked, or toasted, it doesn't taste so good. So were going back to the normal sandwich loaf and I hope that will bring structure to my day. It had always been part of my daily routine. I would make bed, wash up, make bread dough, then clean up the kitchen and that would set me up for the day. Once I got the dough underway, the rest fell into place. I have to get back to making the bed after breakfast, then going to the kitchen to wash up, clean up and make the bread. When I do that, when I get the morning organised and underway, the rest of the day seems so clear to me. One thing just follows the other when I start out right. Daily rhythm.
But there are many other things to plan along the way, especially if you wish to make your own cleaning products or produce vegetables in the backyard. We'll be scaling back on our garden fairly soon. We've just planted lettuces, pakchoy and calendulas that will keep us going another month and I have one cherry tomato to transplant and another to plant in pots. These pots can be moved around and while we'd have little hope here of having any of the larger heirloom tomatoes on the table for Christmas, we have a good success rate with the cherry tomatoes. We have one three-quarters grown and in flower cherry tomato in a pot now, so if I plant the other two, we'll have cherry tomatoes right through until January. But if I don't do something about that now, like everyone else, we'll be buying overpriced tomatoes for our Christmas salads. The planning is essential.
And speaking of Christmas, that's another planning exercise because we tend to make what we give and those things need to be planned now. I know I'll give a few soap and face cloth sets so I might have to make another batch of soap soon so it's dry and cured before I wrap it. Face cloth yarn will be added to my knitting basket so it reminds me there is work to be done.
Daily house work and all sorts of daily, weekly and seasonal tasks have to be done in a life such as ours. The work is there if we're full-time homemakers or if we have two jobs - working outside the home and when we come back again. If we want homemade jams, sauces and soaps we have to make them. If we want fresh vegetables, we have to plant them. If we decide that our gifts will be mainly hand-made, we must schedule times to make those items into our daily activities.
Creating efficient routines is one of the most important organisational skills we develop in this way of life - there are so many small things to do, so many things to remember. Having a routine the allows you to work to the rhythm of your own home, with one thing flowing from the other, will help you get through your work. I have always relied on memory before but it's not as reliaable as it once was. I think I'll make up a daily calendar on my computer and slot in reminders for bread every morning, soap and laundry liquid every three months, gift making sessions before birthdays and Christmas, planting sessions during our growing season - March to November, and reminders to preserve summer and winter jams, relish and sauces.
How do you organise yourself for daily, monthly and seasonal chores?