Tuesday, May 20, 2008

What Questions Do You Have for My Answers? Part Three

These questions are SO MUCH FUN, y'all. I'ma quit thinkin' up my own original blog fodder and just solicit questions once a week or so from now on. Keeps me busy, and I know at least one of you has theoretical interest in the subject matter, which is probably better odds than when I'm writin' what I choose to write about.

Come on, let's dig into the ol' mailbag and see what kindof trouble we can get into today!

Crooked Eyebrow loaded me up good!

Since I'm new to visiting the lovely FriedOkra, how did you pick the blog title, how long have you been blogging, what is your favorite drink and when not pregnant, where do you love to buy clothes from?

Let's see. As some of my dearest blogging buddies know, I blogged at for several years as Mama-Bean, starting about 17 weeks into my first pregnancy, and then I created the "original" FriedOkra over there when Bean wasn't quite a year old. I needed a place to write the un-baby-related thoughts I'd started to have, finally and re-connect with myself after those first all-consuming months of motherhood. I loved that diary (it was a blog, I suppose, but I still refer to both of those Diaryland blogs as diaries) for its simplicity and the role it played in lightening my mental and emotional loads on occasion.

I named that second diary and this blog FriedOkra because I really wanted a title that summed me up and made me happy just to read it myself. And I think it does both pretty well. Okra's a bit of a bizarre little vegetable, but once you get past its weirdness and give it an honest chance, it's homey and down-to-earth and, well -- wholesome. Unassuming.

I love that when I think of fried okra, I also think of crisp line-dried sheets and deep, sleepy shady afternoons with a book from the library, the low hum of crop-dusting planes circling overhead, red slices of fresh, warm tomatoes and homemade, hand-churned coffee icecream on the back porch. Really, those are some of the best things about where I've come from, and the things that most readily explain who I am.

Also, I LOVE me some fried okra.

I've blogged here since July 2007, so not even a year yet, but I love this place and I see myself sticking around for many, many bloggiversaries to come. This current FriedOkra feels like a big old wrap-around porch to me, with an old swing painted coat after coat of shiny white, a lazy brigade of rocking chairs, a rag rug or two and cold, sweet tea served in Mason jars with lemon and a sprig of mint. I have my dear, wonderful, encouraging, brave friend and former college roommate Lainey (Blog In My Eye) to thank for bringing me to this more public blogging forum, despite my initial protests that it'd be too much work for too little reward, and I'll be indebted to her for it forever.

Turns out that blogging was made for this reflective, slow-thinking but fast-typing girl/writer-wannabe who enjoys the spotlight despite an awkward inability to confidently express herself verbally, except in writing. I've longed for an outlet like this my whole life, and it's blessed and fulfilled me in ways I never would have thought possible. To me there's no greater gift (besides family) than warm friendship and laughter, no matter the setting. No greater gift at all.


My favorite non-alcoholic drink - Let's see. Fresh-squeezed lemonade from Chick-Fil-A.
My favorite adult beverage - Jack Daniels. Neat. There, I said it. Don't click that unsubscribe button, y'all.


My favorite place to buy clothes when I'm not pregnant. Hmmm. Let's see - How about Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor Loft?


Cassandra of CJ's Chatter wants to know about my cleaning routines:

I would like to know more about your daily / weekly house cleaning schedule? Do you always do the same things (a routine)? How long do you spend cleaning on a daily / weekly basis? Hope that's not too boring of a question!

(Snicker.) Not boring at all. I laughed until I almost cried when I read this question. The ANSWER may be boring, but the question's quite ironically funny, particularly these days. There's another one that made me laugh that hard too, but I'm saving it for later because every time I go to answer it I get tickled again and giggle so hard I have to put my head between my knees so I don't hyperventilate and pass out.

But I'll answer this one for you.

Lemme see. Yes, yes, Cassandra, I guess I do a few things on the same days every week. Here's what members of my household can pretty much count on, in terms of housekeeping services, from day to day and week to week:

Every day - Make the beds (Bean's learning right now to do her own) and wipe down bathroom countertops and mirrors if needed. Cook meals and keep kitchen sink and counters cleaned up and free of dishes. I also try to straighten rooms up (with Bean's help) as we leave them throughout the day, so I don't have one colossal mess on my hands 15 minutes before Al gets home.

Sunday - I do all of the family laundry in the afternoon when we're all here together and wearing our relaxation duds. I like Sunday for this because I am all about starting the new week off with all the laundry baskets empty and the drawers and closets full. Also, Monday morning is just not the time to be scrounging around for that illusive last pair of clean undies. I wash, dry, fold and put it all away before bedtime, and I am STRICT with myself about getting it ALL DONE that day. No excuses. Monday's garbage day, so on Sunday I clean out the fridge and get rid of all the expired yuckies. I also package any remaining edible leftovers and freeze them for Al to take to work in a big cooler Monday morning. He puts them in his office freezer and eats them for lunch all week long.

Monday - Monday is meal planning and grocery store day. I also try to do my phone-calling (which I approach with fear and loathing because I am a total phone-a-phobe) and bill-paying and general corresponding on Monday.

Tuesday - Supposed to be floors and dusting day but isn't, usually. Right now I do the floors about a week after I find myself doing the "wipe the bottom of one foot on the top of the other" shuffle to get the crud off my bare soles. Floor-cleaning is much too tiring for me right now. Sometimes I dust, but what's the point in dusting if the floor's still filthy?

Wednesday - Humpday Washday. I do one load of towels, undies and kitchen linens. I also empty all the trashcans again. I can't abide trashy trashcans.

Thursday - Supposed to be Big Project Day - like for organization or gardening and stuff. And it's bookmarked to someday do some artsy things for my walls. Lately, not-so-much with the Big Projects.

Friday - Clean sheets and bathrooms day. YUM!

Saturday - Hair Day for Bean. If you have seen my child's hair, you will understand why it requires a day of its own. I wash, deep condition and comb out her curly little tresses, and every six weeks or so, I trim off the ends. After all that, I'm completely wiped out and need the rest of the day to recover. NOT KIDDING! She gets dampened, conditioned and finger-styled daily, but Saturday is the day for Serious Hair Management and Upkeep.

Jack Daniels. Neat.

Oh, I'm kidding, y'all.

Move AWAY from the Unsubscribe button.

We also run the weekly errands on Saturday - fill up the cars with gas, pick-up/drop-off dry cleaning and refill prescriptions, take cars to have 'em serviced, what have you. Same things everyone else in America's doing, which explains all the stinkin' traffic out there.

I probably spend a grand total of 90 minutes a day on the duties I've described above. My philosophy is this: Stay on top of it before it gets on top of you. I am NOT a fantastic housekeeper. I'm mediocre at best. But on most days you could stop by and I'd let you in without being terribly embarrassed. And so far, no one has been infected with salmonella or e. coli or what have you while under my roof.

And we all have on clean underwear.


  1. I don't like any trash in my trash cans either. Can't stand it! Isn't that odd?

    I love that Saturday is Bean's hair day. When I was growing up, I had really, really long hair and Mom used to wash it and dry it on Saturday night so it would look clean for church! Ha! With my limp, fine hair, I'm sure it looked greasy the rest of the week but I looked good on Saturday night!

  2. Wait until Peanut comes and you have the baby laundry! I love all of the small baby things but the 4 or 5 outfit changes required per day equals overwhelming laundry!

  3. You are too cute. How do you even make keeping house sound like fun?

  4. Again I say - you are funny! I'm glad to hear the family is doing alright in the clean underwear department. I also love the Saturday is Beans hair day. You must be doing good with it cause it looks great in every picture of seen, but I can also see that it's a lot of work.
    PS - my hand never even made a move to the unsubscribe button!

  5. How much do I love the fact that you make keeping a house actually sound like fun? :)

    My youngest daughter has hair somwhat like Beans (naturally curly, but not quite a much, obviously)...what do you condition it with? I've honestly thought about buying that olive oil spray from Dollar General that they use for dogs to keep their coats shiny. I have a horrible tangled mess in the back EVERY morning. :)

  6. I seriously laughed at your "move away from the unsubscribe button" comment. HA. (My husband is currently a wine merchant.)

  7. That picture you painted of where you come from and how fried okra sums it all up... just lovely! It makes me wish I had some Southern influences in my life.

    I fully understand devoting an entire day to child hair care - and the desire to slam the JD once it is over.

    We have finally discovered 'the' hair care products and routine that work for Princess's type of curls. It involved throwing away those detangling sprays and, yes, the swim cap.

  8. Oh I loved it!
    Describing your blog as your wrap around porch with a painted over white swing. I loved it.

    Mrs. Fried Okra, I think you rule.

  9. Beautiful descriptions. You even make okra sound wonderful, which this Northern girl knows is NOT true.


    I clean my house in one fell swoop each week. Theoretically. That way, I have the rest of my days free for fun. But I think I'm not far off from having to split it up. I will be back here to follow your format when that happens. It sounds perfect.

  10. I love your housekeeping schedule...wish I was so organized!

    I feel like I'm on your wraparound front porch sippin that sweet tea with you...yum! (and there's just nothing like a wraparound porch)

  11. Can I ask what products you use for Bean's hair? I need to start doing something more than the L'Oreal kids 2-in-one that I've been using for my youngest's uber-curly hair!

  12. Okay, I feel TOTALLY unproductive next to that list!
    Somedays I just kind of sit around and stare at the walls.
    Other days I do 800 loads of laundry. I don't like laundry. I especially don't like ironing.
    As for trash in the trashcans... my MIL will take out everything I put in the trash and put it in a different trash can. EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. It's too weird.

  13. If anything Jack Daniels. Neat. made me want to subscribe again. ;)

  14. I thought I was the only person, other than my mom, who had that same kind of routine when it comes to house cleaning. I've been called a neat freak, a cleaning snob, Susie Homemaker and June Cleaver, but the point is that *I* know I'm not overdoing it--there's just no time as a mom to get behind on the house, otherwise I can never get caught up again!

  15. Well, I do have to disagree with Kelly because I think okra IS wonderful and it's been far too long since I've had any fried.

    I do so love the way you describe things. Sumptuous.

    (Psssst - I'll tip back a bit of Jack neat with you any ol' day.)

  16. Thank you!!! I was so excited, after being away for a while, to come back and see that you had answered my question!

    You have an amazing ability to make any and every subject (even boring ones) so much fun to read about! I absolutely LOVE your blog, and want to thank you for being willing to share so much about yourself.

    About the laundry - I'm so impressed that you are strict with yourself about getting it ALL PUT AWAY! I'm pretty good at washing and drying, but the folding and putting away is something I'm always tempted to avoid. I'll have to think of you while I work on that part.

    Oh, and the foot wiping comment made me laugh, only because I have done that more often than I would like to admit.