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Would You Rather?

April 7th, 2010

Yesterday I spent the morning working outside, edging a new garden area and getting it ready for a cover crop. When it got hot in the afternoon I decided to stay inside spring cleaning the living room and cleaning the floors in the rest of the house.

When I was mopping the laundry room I noticed that the floor could be stripped and rewaxed. I tried to think the last time I’d done this task and I couldn’t remember, it’s been at least 2 years. I had to chuckle because I said, “Oh well, it looks OK and I don’t mind that it’s not shiny.” Six or seven years ago I stripped and waxed the floors every couple months. The floors were vacuumed and mopped several time a week and my house was really neat and tidy all the time.

The truth is that as much as we’d like to do it all, we just can’t. When we start a new hobby the time needs to come from somewhere. Now that I spend a lot of time gardening my house shows the change of interest. The gardens are much nicer and bigger than they used to be and the floors aren’t as spotless.

The house still gets cleaned, but it goes longer between cleanings, especially if we haven’t had a rainy day. At this stage in my life, I’d much rather have fresh tomatoes than a bright white freshly waxed floor.

So, what about you, would you rather clean or garden?

34 Comments to “Would You Rather?”
  1. Christine on April 7, 2010 at 7:56 am

    We don’t have much space (about 150 square feet between the two of us!) at the moment, so it seems like I constantly have to clean in order to make it appear orderly. One day, I hope to be cleaning less.
    .-= Christine´s last blog ..Making radish chips! =-.

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  2. kristin @ going country on April 7, 2010 at 7:58 am

    I’d rather do almost anything than clean.
    .-= kristin @ going country´s last blog ..It’s Milling Time =-.

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  4. Sherri on April 7, 2010 at 8:15 am

    This time of year I’m still feeling cooped up from winter so any chance I get to be outside I’m gonna take! We worked outside all last week and as a result my house looks like a bomb went off inside. But it doesn’t take long to get to look like that with 2 kids under 4!
    .-= Sherri´s last blog ..raw milk =-.

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  5. kitsapFG on April 7, 2010 at 8:30 am

    Is this a trick question?! LOL! I must prefer to garden (of course!).

    Cleaning has it’s rewards but I view it as a chore and not something I “want to do” – whereas I anxiously look forward to my time in the garden and doing those tasks associated with it.

    Reply to kitsapFG's comment

  6. Mrs. Mac on April 7, 2010 at 9:08 am

    I spend so much time indoors during the winter … that come the first nice day of spring I’m outta there! I hand wash all the floors twice a year. One of those times I move furniture. The rest of the time a good sweep or vacuum and then a damp mop is good enough. My vintage (new) linoleum tile floor in my bathroom has never had wax applied on purpose. I remember the days in my youth of having to wax floors. I’m so beyond ready for the weather to stay consistently nice.
    .-= Mrs. Mac´s last blog ..Closing In On $10K A Year In Savings =-.

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  7. Kelly on April 7, 2010 at 9:09 am

    I don’t mind cleaning, but i’d much rather be outside gardening (this time of year, when the bugs aren’t so plentiful). I’m “grateful” that my husband’s family, who live several hours away, come to visit fairly frequently (especially in the warmer months) since it forces me to give cleaning a higher priority when I might be otherwise outside…. “wasting” time… admiring my garden and reveling in it.
    .-= Kelly´s last blog ..Mortgage Milestone =-.

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    • Susy on April 7, 2010 at 6:03 pm

      Oh yes, I do enjoy getting visitors to force my to clean up.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  8. denise on April 7, 2010 at 9:11 am

    your floors look very clean! I’d much rather be outside yet come in to a clean house. I know, I want everything!
    .-= denise´s last blog ..messed up =-.

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  9. Sense of Home on April 7, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Well, now that you mention it, I like a clean house, but I love to garden. I find that as summer rolls around I spend less time cleaning than I do in the winter, and that really doesn’t bother me. First things first, and in the summer that means being outside enjoying fresh air, sunshine and growing green things.

    I also cook less in the summer and we eat more fresh food directly from the garden.

    I find though that I struggle with a lack of time, there are so many things I want to do and just not enough time. It is a constant battle to keep a balance in my life.
    .-= Sense of Home´s last blog ..Preserved Lemons =-.

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    • Susy on April 7, 2010 at 6:04 pm

      I know, I have too many books in my “to read” pile, too many seed packets in my “to plant” pile, too many plants in my “must buy” list, and too many things on my “to do” list.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  10. Allie on April 7, 2010 at 9:35 am

    This is a hard thing to come to terms with, isn’t it? I have so many things I WANT to do, but there are only so many hours in a day. I play the “which is more important” game all the time now.
    .-= Allie´s last blog ..ADD, Of Mice and Men, and Mrs. X =-.

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  11. Michelle on April 7, 2010 at 10:19 am

    There’s no contest…I’m with Kristin…I’d rather do anything than clean! I wish I liked it more! I love a clean home…I just don’t LOVE to clean!!
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..Brainstorming. =-.

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  12. the inadvertent farmer on April 7, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Seems we are thinking alike today! Kim
    .-= the inadvertent farmer´s last blog ..The sun is out…hurry RUN to the Garden! =-.

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  13. Amy on April 7, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Gardening…….”There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.” ~Mirabel Osler

    Reply to Amy's comment

    • Susy on April 7, 2010 at 6:04 pm

      So true. Love that quote.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  14. Blake @ Salt, Teak & Fog on April 7, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Oh my gosh, no contest. GARDENING. Even the digging, the lifting, the tedious thinning. Only problem is the more I garden, the more dirt I seem to track inside… so my house needs more cleaning. Vicious cycle, but I’m trying to both wipe my feet more… and not care that much!
    .-= Blake @ Salt, Teak & Fog´s last blog to make Mr Jacky happy =-.

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    • Susy on April 7, 2010 at 6:05 pm

      Yes, I know what you mean. This is why we have a strict no shoes in the house policy!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  15. Pampered Mom on April 7, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Hmmm….that’s a toss up. I suppose garden…can’t say that I enjoy cleaning per se, but I do like a nice and tidy house. I can think clearer that way.
    .-= Pampered Mom´s last blog ..Springtime View of My Garden =-.

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  16. sb158 on April 7, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Trick question, right? Garden, in not-even-a-heartbeat! I like clean as much as the next person, but I much prefer pretty flowers and home-grown veggies.

    Reply to sb158's comment

  17. melissa on April 7, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    Depends on the cleaning. Washing glassware is relaxing but I hate doing dishes otherwise. Doing laundry is invigorating. And I really have to be in the mood for gardening. Right now I could go for laundry, really.
    .-= melissa´s last blog ..England: more Monday pics =-.

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  18. Morgan G on April 7, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    I really love doing laundry; but, other than that, I’d much rather be outside getting dirty as opposed to cleaning up. Plus, the satisfaction that comes with gardening lasts so much longer – my first tomatillo seeds sprouted this week and the little guy will grow and keep growing – my floor, on the other hand, it goes from clean back to dirty in t-minus 24 hours.
    .-= Morgan G´s last blog ..Where I am… =-.

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  19. MAYBELLINE on April 7, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    Probably gardening; but I love when everything is clean.
    .-= MAYBELLINE´s last blog ..Bye Bye Birdies =-.

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  20. Meredith on April 7, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    I’d always rather garden — and it makes my house dirtier, too. My kitchen floor is now speckled with bits of dirt after my husband walked in the back door from weeding with me earlier this evening and forgot to take off his shoes. And I’d mopped yesterday. Argh!
    .-= Meredith´s last blog ..the volunteers =-.

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  21. Chrystel on April 7, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    I’m with you! My husband has been known to say “I hope it rains soon, I’m nearly out of underwear!”

    Reply to Chrystel's comment

    • Susy on April 8, 2010 at 12:17 am

      Too funny!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  22. deb on April 8, 2010 at 8:51 am

    I love spending my time in the garden digging in the dirt and saving the rainy days for cleaning.

    Have you talked about your favorite household cleaners before? That first picture looks interesting. :)
    .-= deb´s last blog ..peeking in at spring =-.

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  23. Ryan on April 8, 2010 at 10:06 am

    GARDEN!!! :) However, right now it’s a hard choice since we just bought a massive project of a house built in 1760 – there is so much to do inside and outside…. but as expected – the outside jobs are what we are focusing on during these nice spring days :)
    .-= Ryan´s last blog ..How to make over a kitchen using little sleep, little heat and lots of love….. =-.

    Reply to Ryan's comment

    • Susy on April 10, 2010 at 8:35 am

      Wow, that sounds like a lot of work! I love old houses. Great idea focusing on the outside work on these lovely days!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  24. Leiah on April 8, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Your floor looks pretty good to me. I’d rather be gardening and my floor shows that fact much more than yours does.

    Reply to Leiah's comment

  25. Kirsten on April 8, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Since so much of my gardening involves ‘cleaning’ the garden (raking leaves, weeding, staking plants, etc.), I’m not sure what to say :-) So much depends on the mood I’m in or the relative state of disarray of the garden vs. the indoors.
    .-= Kirsten´s last blog ..Keeping Track =-.

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  26. Squawkfox on April 8, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    Oh nooo. I have to choose between cleaning AND gardening? Since I live in Canada, I find I clean my home more often in the winter — it’s really hard to garden in the snow. :) There are just days in the summer when the bathrooms and floors can wait. Sunshine wins the battle — outside is best. :)

    Reply to Squawkfox's comment

  27. Sustainable Eats on April 9, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    I realized a few years back that cleaning was keeping me from doing other things so I just stopped. I try to keep things *sort* or picked up and germs at bay but otherwise it’s wasting my time. Between the kids, the garden, the dog, the chickens, making everything from scratch, writing my book, working, the blog I just can’t do it.

    When it comes time for pepperoni pizza if there isn’t pepperoni or cheese because I was too busy dusting there will be hell to pay.
    .-= Sustainable Eats´s last blog ..Dark Days Week 20 =-.

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  28. judy on May 11, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    Be outside working in the dirt! If we are outside more than the home can stay clean. It is in the evening that I will get wrapped up in cleaning. We can’t avoid it altogether.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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