Category Archives: Chores

The 17 year quilt project

When the eldest was five years old, I decided I would make a quilt for her bed. Not just any quilt, but one that would last years and fit the size of a double bed. Now back then my health was much better and I was able to sit at the sewing machine for more than an hour or so. The quilt probably took me about six months to design and sew but since I had never made one before, I thought this was good timing. It turned out fabulous and over the years it has been re-sewn many a time, and finally a cover was made for it. The eldest is now twenty-three, and she still uses the quilt on occasion. A few years after my first quilt, I made a second one for middle child. Years went by and as my health deteriorated, sewing became less and less. Thus the seventeen year quilt project came into existence.

Our youngest, the teenage boy is still without a quilt and reminds me of this quite frequently. If I ask him why he hasn’t done a particular chore, he will ask where his quilt is? Finally, I asked him what design he would like? This decision took him approximately a year or so and then when he did give me the design he wanted, I cringed. It is beautiful but ridiculously difficult and I am not that good of a sewer. Either way, it was the design he wanted and of course it had to be large enough to fit his queen-sized mattress.

About a year ago, I enlisted the help of my husband to assist with drawing and cutting out the pattern and he even said I was nuts to try to sew it, but it is what the teenage boy wanted and I have slacked in making his quilt. So far I have sewn the base, cut out the parts of the star and ironed them for sewing but nothing has happened since then. My excuse is the nice weather came, I am busy with my garden, swimming and I can only sit for short periods of time. Luckily the teenage boy decided to attend university in town, so I figure I have at least another year before he may move out. The seventeen year quilt project will easily become the eighteen year quilt but it will be made with love, so I think he will use it for at least eighteen years.

How I tried to go on strike and failed

During the school year there are three people living in my house because the girls are away at college/university. When the school year ends for them they move back home, and well to be honest, all hell breaks loose because we now have four adults, the teenage boy and two dogs in the house (I blogged about this earlier When the students move back home for the summer).

Our house is more than large enough for everyone, but we still have to learn to live together again and this is proving to be difficult some days. Five people means more dirty dishes, yucky bathrooms, loads of laundry (okay, the girls do their own laundry most days), and just plain dust & dirt. Now I don’t ask for much, most days I will make dinner, some days I need help, other days my husband will cook if I am not well. It is the kids responsibility to wash, and put away dishes after supper and during the day if need be. The teenage boy usually cleans bathrooms and vacuums for me on the weekends while I grocery shop and do laundry (he gets to drive the car without paying for gas). The eldest goes away each weekend, during the week she works 7am to 3pm, and will referee soccer games in the evenings. Thus she doesn’t do dishes most days. Middle child also referee’s soccer most nights, and occasionally works on Saturdays. If she is in a good mood she will help around the house.  My husband works a full-time shift work job and does loads around the house to boot. He picks up doggie poop, sorts garbage and recycling each week, cuts the lawn, cleans the pool, fixes stuff around the house, cooks dinner and washes dishes too much.

Thus yesterday I cracked! There was a pile of dishes on the counter, and not one of my children offered to help me with dinner (it was only chicken burgers, but you still had to cut up onions, cheese, hot peppers, etc.). Thus I decided to go on strike, I would not even arrange the dirty dishes, something my husband does on a regular basis, and boy did they pile up. The teenage boy left right after supper to go to a friend’s house, and the girls well nothing. Hours went by, my husband kept stating that he could handle the mess, he is OCD and a mess in the kitchen is his worst enemy. Me, I could care less, I could hold out for days, we have lots of plates, forks, knives, and I had planned to use them all. Then my husband couldn’t take it any longer, he cracked, he got up and did the dishes, was I mad at him, you betcha. Probably one of the stupidest arguments ever, I was mad because he cleaned, and so mad that I slept on the couch last night. He was stunned. I don’t think the teenage boy was even aware of the argument since he was out all evening, the girls, well they know I am angry, but they said/did nothing.

Later, my husband said I could go on strike but I would have to choose not to protest using dishes, he just couldn’t handle the mess. So I guess I will let the dust pile up (this is my enemy, but I am strong), or I could stop feeding them. Will they care, probably not, they will just make themselves something and leave the mess. Maybe I could put a lock on the fridge?