Cleaning for Happiness

Who doesn't love that first time in spring when you can open every window in the house??  By far one of my favorite smells!  SPRING CLEANING......opening the windows to air everything out and finally cleaning those areas you hope your mother-in-law doesn't peak into.  And if your mother-in-law is anything like mine she will say something.  I have taken spring cleaning to a bit of an extreme this year.  I love to clean, not only because I enjoy cleaning but because I am happier and can think more clearly when things around me are in their proper place.  My least favorite time of day is when the sun falls just right in my kitchen and I can see every speck of dust on everything!  My husband says "just stay out of the kitchen that time of day".....yeah good luck with that one.  

I decided to not only clean out the clutter and Wisconsin winter filth but to rid us of all the stuff we don't need or even use.  I am up to three car trips to Goodwill and a lot of furniture sold online, I have even threatened to sell our couch when our boys won't stop jumping from it.  I believe if something doesn't bring you joy get rid of it.  Such a simple concept, it really makes you look at the things you own differently.  Let's just say a lot of our stuff doesn't bring me joy.  Nothing has gone unturned from towels, toys, books, clothes even the boxes in the corner of our basement storage, which lets face it everyone has.  

Now, within that cleaned out corner are my seeds growing for our garden now.  So I have replaced our junk with new life.  Some shelving, growing trays and regular hung lights, again another simple concept.  There is definitely something to be said for growing your food from seed.  Last year was the first time I did it and I'll say it, I was really proud of myself....toot toot goes my horn!  Self satisfaction is all we are all looking for, right?  Our boys love going downstairs to check on the seeds.  They get so excited when they see the little tiny green popping its way through the soil.    

Along with spring cleaning is the lovely job of cleaning out the freezer.  Living on a sudden tight budget causes you to make use of EVERYTHING you have, even eating those questionable containers that nobody marked what it was.  I just make my husband eat first so I can see if anything bad happens to him.  One thing we had a ridiculous amount of was blackberries.  So blackberry pancakes, muffins, pies, cakes, jam, and syrup have all been made and we still have a lot left!  I remembered I also have some dried lavender.  Now most people wouldn't think those two things go together or to even eat lavender, you either love it or hate it.  My brothers have referred to my baking with lavender comparable to eating a bar of soap.  I still love it though.  So this Easter morning I will be devouring Lavender Blackberry Scones (using my own ground flour and churned butter of course) with a delicious cup of Folgers coffee....yeah I know, but remember tight budget.  

Happy Easter and Happy Cleaning!!

Natalie Kohlhagen