Bloggers At Work – Am I Even Working?

September 8, 2010

in Random Grumbles,The (misc.) Adventures of Grumble Girl

The originator of this meme is Laurin Evans who asked me to participate…

Not long after moving from Toronto to Montreal, I started an online gift service, which allowed me to work entirely from home. I was all set up in my basement atelier for many years, which was rather glorious in hindsight… once my second child was born in 2008, I found it impossible to manage both babes, all the household dealings AND a business (especially since I wasn’t making a lot of money at it) so I let the business die. (Sniff.)

Last year I started writing a blog instead, and since it’s inception, I have a creative outlet again, and I’ve “met” all kinds of wonderful people through the internets. Managing to actually write the blog is still a bit of a trick most days, but I do try. *leans in and confides* Oythepreshaaaah! I’m constantly trying to forgive myself for being all perfect about it. Meh.

School is back on (at long last!) and I’m excited to get back to a routine of sorts. Oliver, my first grader, begins school at 7:55 AM, so we’re up and on the go from 6:30 AM. I don’t get to shower in the mornings because a) there’s just no time for that, and 2) my husband in usually in there, getting ready to leave for the day around 7-ish. He is of no help to me at this hour, so outside of the awesome coffee he prepares for us when he rises, we mostly just kiss each other goodbye, and I see him again around 6:30 PM. Or 7:30. Or whenever:30.

On the three mornings when Ava Scarlett goes to preschool each week, I’m back in the house around 9 AM and I have roughly until noon to get anything done on my own. I am usually wearing skinny jeans and a black t-shirt of some kind. Flip-flips or Crocs or barefoot. I have make-up on (I can’t go anywhere unless my eyebrows are drawn in at least) and I feel like I can answer the door for packages or a random neighbour. I have my hair all but shaved every other week, so hair is usually a non-issue. Hallelujah.

On days when I have a post just burning inside of me, I do my very best to just sit in front of my Mac and get it done. It’s got a large screen, which is handy for being able to block out the massive-mess-that-is-the-kitchen, which is where I do all my junk.

This is the room where we spend most of our time during the day. It is also something of a dumping-ground for the coming and the going… it makes me nuts, but I’m constantly reminding myself that we live in a home and not a museum. And yet I still strive for my magazine home. *shakes fist into air* “Damn you Martha Stewart! Uch. Devil!!”

On any given day, my kitchen (can you tell it’s the hub of the house?) looks a lot like this from where I sit. (Note – it doesn’t look like this ALL day – but always in the mornings, every day like clockwork. Grrrr…) When I look to the right, the rest of the house is down the corridor and away from me. (I can clean those places later.) When I turn to the left, I look out a window where I can see my delightful window-boxes of herbs (oh, how I love them!) and the upper balconies of my neighbours across the laneway. We live in a duplex on the second floor.

(Please ignore my daughters smooch prints on the window. I’m trying my best to.)

I’m trying to limit myself to a “10-minute tidy” of the kitchen on these mornings to myself… I just can’t stand the mess and I’m so easily distracted. I must stop this speed-clean by the time my next two cups of coffe have finished brewing. It is an exercise in discipline that I’m failing, but I try and try again. I must also limit my Facebook time and all things Twitter, because I am a social-media junkie and I just can’t quit you baby. Either of you. (Any of you.)

I’m not a phone-maven though. I don’t text and I hardly remember to even carry my cell phone, much less keep it charged. I think it’s from years and years of working from home. I was here ALL the time. I’ve never been much of a phone person anyway, so it’s always best to email. Or Facebook. Or Twitter.

I need to have some kind of music on – always. Lately I’ve been listening to satellite radio-type thing… I like rock alternative stuff that ranges between pop and indie. Keeps me bouncy without making me want to dance. (Well, usually.) I don’t answer the phone much… it’s just the tweeeeet! of you-know-what always calling, seducing me back into the on-going social party that is Twitter. I need to stop taking those booty-calls. It’s such an enjoyable time-suck though. And because these people are my friends, I want to spend the time, virtually making-out and stuff.

If the children are home while I’m trying to write, things don’t usually go very well. I end up yelling a lot, and then it’s all duct tape and punches… it’s much better for everyone when they’re off at school.

I’m hoping if I can get organised a bit better in the mornings this year, I might be able to do some other kinds of work. I’ve been poked about writing some stuff for which is very interesting to me, and last year I submitted something to the lovely ladies at Aiming Low and I would really love to do more of that kind of thing. (I can’t find the link to the post I submitted, but it was tres clever and funny. Just like me. Heh.)

It’s tough trying to juggle everything, usually entirely on my own during the day (family is too far away to help) and not earning a salary can be soul-sucking… but I dig having a bit of time to see if what I love to do counts for anything at all. Maybe that it counts to me is enough. Time will tell, I suppose.

But now I have to clean my house.


  • Laurin

    It's so nice to see into your lovely life a bit. I LOVE your kitchen. My kitchen re-do is ten years old and I'm restless.

    Boy, I wish I were brave enough to shave my head. It's a gigantic time-suck for me.

    Like you, I'm working very hard to get all my freelance done while the kids are in school, so I don't go crazy trying to work when they're in the house. As you know, it's ridiculous to even try.

    Thanks for participating today!

  • Jennifer Phillips

    Heh, I didn't post pictures because of the effort I would have had to made to clean up. Kudos to you for being better able to embrace the “home is not equal to a museum”
    I'm still working on that:)

  • ✓ momsmith

    I never clean up for people unless we are having a party. And I don't like hosting parties either so that works out great for me. I fully embrace the “my house isn't a museum” philosophy. Now to get my husband and mother on board.

    Also if it counts to you then it counts. That's all that matters. (I have to remind myself of this too, all the time). :)

  • Stephanie Keobel

    Lady I lurve your house, even when it's not museum perfect! You know why?
    Because it looks like someone actually LIVES there :)
    *says the girl with OCD*


    I love your kitchen as well. I really like the tile.

  • velocibadgergirl

    Oooh, totally love your balcony! And you're right about Martha being the devil…she makes us all look bad!

  • LL

    I swore I was going to post three times per week after I began my real proper grown up job. I have managed 1. And even that was difficult to birth. My last post was written over the course of a week, where as before I was working full time I would have cranked that out in a few hours.

    I want your kitchen btw.

  • nic

    your kitchen is lovely and lived-in, which is a bonus, in my opinion. if i ever found myself with such a beautiful space like you have for a kitchen, i would actually consider cooking.

  • GrumbleSibling

    Duct tape and punches. That's right up there with WD40 with essential tools for modern living.

  • Pat Steer

    YOUR herbs are bigger than MY herbs.

  • Grumble Girl

    Thanks so much for the invite, lady! It was lovely to peek inside your life too… we'll have to visit in person sometime. I'll clean up ahead of time…

  • Grumble Girl

    I think I must have been on crack to actually post a picture of my kitchen looking like that – holy crap, who am i??

  • Grumble Girl

    That is so, SO wise, lady. And I love hosting parties, so you should just come to my house. :)

  • Grumble Girl

    “Out, damned spot!!”


  • Grumble Girl

    Thank you! I'm happy we went with the “silver” grout colour. Takes the pressure off… heh.

  • Grumble Girl

    Right? And yet, I wish to be her. Not the shamed prison-Martha. The proud Hamptons-Martha, with the cleaning staff and the TV crew. That would be kinda awesome…

    I like my balcony too. When we sit out there in the evenings, we call it “Balconville.” We vacation there. It's… accessible. :)

  • Grumble Girl

    It really is hard to carve out the time – the demands of the day are soooo plentiful. We do what we can, right?

  • Grumble Girl

    Since Gourmet magazine closed it's doors last year, I can barely cook, it seems. I miss the pics. Le sigh. But I do enjoy my kitchen a great deal – I feel lucky to have made such a great space. It's what I always wanted. I just wish it was cleaner sometimes. Poo.

  • Grumble Girl

    You see? YOU understand!!

  • Grumble Girl

    I'm taller than you too…

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