Monday, March 28, 2011

Riding in a police truck

Yesterday I took a ride in the rear seat of a police truck.  A police officer drove up to my house and invited me in, right as my sister-in-law and mother arrived for a visit (embarrassing!).  It seems he mistook me for the wife of a notorious thief who has recently moved into our area, so it wasn't a long ride.
Even pulling weeds can be relaxing when you
have a view like this from your garden.
Once I was home again, we had a wonderful "ladies day in;" filled with pulling weeds, hanging laundry, shopping in the gemach, and creating a gourmet lunch, which was served on my shiva'at haminim (seven species) Armenian pottery.  Don't you just love how even the most mundane or tedious tasks can be fun when you have someone to do them with?

Today is my last day alone.  My husband comes home tonight after a full month in El Salvador.  So excited!  I'll have a few pictures and stories to share from that in the coming days.

All the women around here have started talking about Pesach cleaning.  Me?  Well, I try to make a division between the cleaning for spring and Pesach, which I've found makes the two feel less overwhelming (since they come around the same time of year).  I've slowly starting my spring cleaning already as the weather has been warming up.  You know, shaking out and airing the heavy blankets, going through the kids' clothes and "donating" whatever doesn't fit to my gemach, cleaning out the dust bunnies from under the bedroom dressers, etc.  It's a natural instinct in me, like the cleaning bug that hits in the final trimester of pregnancy.

One woman asked me if I'm worried about the clothes on my porch making a problem for Pesach.  I answered that I check the pockets of coats and purses (though admittedly for coins and the old tissues that might gross out my customers) but that I don't need to be concerned about someone eating the lint out the pockets on the jeans they'll buy.  People just don't do that and that's what bitul chametz is for anyways (basically labeling dust as being nothing more than dust).

Drink plenty of water, eat well and rest whenever
you can to keep your strength up.  If you get
sick because of ignoring your body's needs it
will make your preparations much more difficult.
Honestly, we clean our homes every week, if not every single day, and it's really only the kitchen, dining and maybe living rooms that need a good Pesach cleaning.  Don't even start this more than one week before or you'll go crazy trying to keep it chametz-free until the holiday begins.  It's important to give our children good memories about the holiday and to go into it rested enough to participate in the seder.

Right now, if you haven't started yet, try to work on one spring cleaning task each day until you're done.  Be realistic with your goals; this might not be the time to work on home-improvement projects...even if you would like to show them off to visiting family and friends.  You'll be surprised to learn that you have a break of a week or more after finishing spring cleaning before you have to clean for Pesach.  The only other preparation that you need to start this week is working away at the chametzy foods that you bought too much of in bulk after last Pesach.  Also, start brainstorming about non-Jewish families you know who would appreciate your remaining chametz, because you shouldn't have to burn more than a few crumbs.

I'll have more to recipes to share and lessons learned from past holidays over the next three weeks.  What is your favorite "Kosher for Passover" recipe?