In My Home This Week: Strictly Routine


This kitchen is called the "Fiesta Ware" kitchen, named for the colorful pottery dishes.  I love how the accents in the room also contain those colors and so does the floor tile.  I'll tell you all about Fiesta Ware in a moment, but I think it safe to say that this kitchen was designed in the latter part of the 1930's, since Fiesta Ware hit the market in 1936.

The kitchen truly is a testament to the chinaware for which it was named.  It was meant to be bright, open, cheerful and highly functional though compact.  Affordable would be a key word to use with this kitchen, something it also drew from the Fiesta Ware line that inspired it.

Armstrong was known for it's use of cork in it's line of flooring and here we see Cork used as the neutral backdrop to allow all the other colors to pop.   Honestly?  I'm not a fan.  I don't like the walls and cabinets all being cork colored.  I'd much prefer a pale soft yellow or even that deep pretty blue used on the stool and chair for cabinets or even the same bright white as the stove, but I'll just bet the idea was that this color would 'hide' dirty splatters and fingerprints.  I've yet to meet the material that does, just saying.

Criticism aside, let me share my views of this kitchen.   I expect that tall stool to the left is meant to be used at stove or sink...or so I'll guess since I can see no other purpose for it's being in the room.  I'm guessing it's likely the refrigerator is on the back porch and there's a 'service' door there on that end of the kitchen.  

I note that the countertops here also utilize tile.  In this instance it appears to be the same cork color.  I honestly can say I don't mind it half so much on the counter tops.  I think it's the pattern on the walls that is putting me off.  There appears to be a decent amount of storage on either side of the stove and work surface as well.  I like that there is a vent in this kitchen.  It would be key in removing cooking orders and I think it's likely a good thing, because if we temporarily look at the dining table it seems to be seating for 8.  I take that to mean that this room serves as a dining area as well, as it's unlikely anyone would put a table for 8 in the kitchen otherwise.

Back to the working part of the kitchen area, I like that window there near the sink and stove.  I'll just bet any breeze there is welcome when the weather is warm, not to mention the natural light in daytime when one is most likely working in the kitchen anyway.

Again in this week's kitchen we see that slightly higher counter above the kitchen sink.  I'm beginning to realize that this is a mighty clever thing.   For one, unless people are standing directly in front of that counter and peering over, any messy dishes can't be seen.  I've often thought that the greatest disservice we women have done is accept a completely open kitchen area.  You've nowhere to hide the mess dinner has made.  You're sitting there attempting to chat with guests and, if you're like me, your eyes will drift towards that piled high sink or the cluttered counter a dozen times.

What's more that high counter is actually a built in china cabinet.  Just look at all the storage.  There's display room for the pretty Fiesta Ware pieces and it appears that the far end has a cabinet door so one might put the other necessary but not quite as pretty items behind it.   And at the end we see best, there is a whole row of drawers of various sizes.  Just think of having the silverware and serving pieces handy in those drawers.  I'll wager that deeper bottom drawer holds tablecloths or dishtowels.

Now that we've gotten back around to the dining table, note how the chairs are painted various shades.  Now look at the windows.  I'm suspecting that subtly painted floral design is on a bamboo shade.  The window wells are painted the same lovely  blue as the stool and the one chair we can see and if you enlarge the picture you'll see the shelves in the china cabinet are painted blue as well.

Look for a post about the iconic Fiesta Ware tomorrow.  It was really interesting to learn about!


I'm not going to do Zone work this week.  I went into hyperdrive last week and did all the curtains and a lot of other things and this week I mean to scale back and be a bit less of a servant to my own demands.

There's always work to be done...Agreed?  This week I've made my plans but they aren't quite all they might be.  I expect to do things this week.  Non-work sorts of things.  All work and no play, etc. make a dull girl as well as a dull marriage and a dull writer.  However, I wanted to take time to list routine tasks and jobs that I typically don't mention.  I tend to list other jobs over and above these routine things.

In any week I do a 'routine'  twice, on Sunday and on Friday.  This is basic housekeeping especially focused on the 'keeping' part.  A house that is decently kept can tolerate a couple of days with just daily chores being done in between the routine.   A routine  day involves picking up things and putting them away properly, cleaning  the bathrooms and doing minor chores like emptying trash cans, tidying surfaces, any obvious thing that must be cleaned or dusted and of course, sweeping or vacuuming the floors.  This is the day to mop floors if they really need it.  

In the kitchen,  I plan meals, gather fragments, etc. while I'm cleaning the fridge.   Then I clean the kitchen.  I   will remove all items on the counters and wipe them down as well as the appliance fronts.   I wipe cabinet doors, sweep and/or mop the floor.   This is the day the trash cans get washed out if they require it.

I will take time to sweep the porches and patio on those two days just to try and keep them tidier. I'll clean any smudges on the entry way storm doors. Routine days also see me watering houseplants and the plants on the porches.  

On Sunday the routine also includes stripping towels and sheets.  I'll remake the bed and then put out fresh  towels.

Daily cleaning:  make the bed, do the dishes, wipe down counters. Put away any clothes we've worn or laundry we've done.  Make meals (that's just a given isn't it?).   I don't work as long nor as hard on the in between days as I do on Sunday and Friday in the house.  I might (might is key here) sweep the kitchen daily but I do not sweep the front entry tile or the bathrooms daily nor do I vacuum daily.    

Most weeks, but not this one, I generally will do zone work or yard work on the days I do my daily tasks.   These are also the days I will work on projects indoors or out.  Routine days are full enough without adding any extra work.  


The kitchen this week is going to get a break.  I'm not planning any big baking day or kitchen prep days.  I want to keep meals simple and clearing up just as simple.  I don't do this often but every now and then it's nice to give yourself a break and this week that is my focus.  I find this much easier to do when the weather has warmed and one doesn't want hearty breakfast or dinners to get through the cold days and nights.  

We have few leftovers from last week, not even enough to gather a fragment from!   That's highly unusual. We've plenty of easily prepared meal items that can be made in a few minutes time.  

Plan a picnic and pack for it.  

Plan for afternoon snacks.  I don't want a big something but just a bite or three of something to hold me until supper time which we continue to eat later than we previously have.   One day I made cheese wafers and another day we had a small bowl of chips with a bit of dip.  It's just something big enough to tide us over until we get to the supper hour.   Lunch has usually disappeared by then and supper is still a few hours away.


Read.  Do Sudoku.  Take a walk.  Journal.  Study my Bible and color a page or three in it.  Sit on the porch with a glass of iced tea or water.  

What I won't be doing: sticking my face in front of a computer for hours on end mindlessly looking at YouTube or checking Instagram or having a peek at Facebook or Pinning a thousand recipes I'll probably never ever in a hundred years make even one of.   

What generally happens following a few days of such treatment is that I get super inspired to do all sorts of things.  So I'll keep a notebook nearby me when I'm being leisurely and make notes.  I'm sure next week I'll be right back to my usual busyness but a break is what I need and a break is what I mean to take.
(C) Terri Cheney