we are either on the second or third (or 29th?) day straight of grey overcast sopping wet rain. most of the school supplies are packed, as are the craft items, the cookbooks, and the baking stuff. so, we are in the house staring at each other a lot.

normally, this would be my go-to weather to put up a pot of soup and do some baking that i don’t usually have time for (cinnamon rolls from scratch, yeast cakes, etc.).

oldest daughter got her driver’s license yesterday, so she was able to take the kids off to the library last night, which is perfect because now at least they have reading material and books on tape. thankfully, we have netflix and working internet so everyone can periodically retreat to their separate corners. the boys are fairly happy to be plugged into their game system 25 hours a day, and i can obsessively check the blog for comments 😉

it’s so ironic that as we as a society have found more ways to waste our time, we are less and less able to enjoy the down-time we have. this kind of goes with my post way back on teaching kids to entertain themselves, but i think it is even bigger than that.

i once heard a very good lecture that opened with how much time people waste now that we have microwaves. yes, you read that correctly. the speaker was saying that is used to be that you prepared whatever food- say a tray of baked potatoes or a loaf of bread or a stew or whatever, and then you set it on the flame or in the oven. you knew it would take a while to be ready, so you got busy with something else. now, when pretty much all food can be made or reheated in 2 minutes or less, what do we do? we stand there and watch the timer on the microwave count down the seconds til it beeps. if we would add up all the 2 minutes and the 30 seconds and the minute and a half times that we are completely engaged in a useless activity, we would be shocked at how much time we actually waste. so, in the spirit of saving us time, microwaves are one example of a device that actually eats our time.

i am trying to give the kids lots of breaks from their respective machines. i keep trying to find busy work for them- take out this bag of trash, bring up some clean laundry, wipe off this counter. but, at the end of the day, they know and i know that these things are not essential or pressing, and we all have that lack of satisfaction that comes from doing something just to fill time.

so, today i am looking down the barrel of another long day. the kids are happy to be completely unproductive from time to time, so they are okay with this new status quo. i am going to a doctor’s appointment in another city, so a few of them will come with me just for the adventure of being somewhere else. we are definitely getting to the stage where we are just burning daylight, though, and i am wondering if i am overlooking something that we could be doing and just aren’t.

so, all you creative and wonderful people- any ideas????