Housework ABCs

Today, I am busy deep cleaning as I prepare for our guests who arrive on Monday.  I found this meme at Cup of Joy. I’m not really a housewife, but since housework in Ukraine is much different than my (ahem) “housework” days in Texas, I thought I’d share a little of what I go through here. Actually, to show the difference, I’ll make each category have a Texas answer and a Ukraine answer!

aprons –
Texas: No. Ukraine: yes. Many people here use aprons because it helps protect the clothing they do have. They fry a lot of food which I am learning to do because it’s easy, even though I really don’t like fried foods), so there’s a lot of splatter, and when you own only a couple of outfits, you want to keep them as long as possible. For me personally, I have one, but do not use it all the time except when I fry.

baking –
Texas: yes – with help from my friends, who I will call “box buddies.” Just add oil, eggs, etc. I did make some homemade goodies, but followed the recipes to a tee. I’ve not yet learned to be creative with my food. Ukraine: not at all. There are no box buddies here; and when I do have a recipe, Ukraine does not always have the ingredients available to me. I’ve not yet learned to be creative with my food.

clothesline –
Texas: no. There’s a wonderful invention called a clothes dryer! Ukraine: yes, there are no dryers here. Along with a clothesline I also hang clothes on a drying rack, our doors, and over our heaters.

donuts –
ever made them?
Texas & Ukraine: no – but my mother makes wonderful donuts…mmm, that sounds really yummy.

everyday –
one homemaking thing you do everyday?
Texas: …um… there was nothing I did every day. Ukraine: Washing dishes, some dusting and sweeping.

freezer –
do you have a separate deep freezer?
Texas & Ukraine – no, but friends here in Ukraine do. They will buy a pig or cow and have it butchered, storing the meat for all year long

garbage disposal –
Texas: yes. Of course! Ukraine: no. it all goes in the trash can – and smells it up pretty fast. I’ve never emptied the garbage this much!

handbook –
y/n? I don’t quite understand this question, but I’m going to take it as asking if I have a handbook on homemaking tips. Texas: only my mother – who is a great advice giver. Ukraine: yes – the internet and friends who have lived here and have already learned the ways

ironing –
love it or hate it?
Texas & Ukraine: hate it – but you could ask me this question about all housework chores and get the same answer…oh, wait, except for cooking!

junk drawer –
where is it?
Texas: in the kitchen next to the silverware. Ukraine: right now we don’t have one b/c we don’t have an extra drawer…but we’re starting to accumulate ‘junk’ under the computer stand. That would be a good thing to declutter! (edit:  when i originally wrote this blog, i had not decluttered this area – today, in my deep cleaning, I decluttered it and made it all nice and neat! – it still has a lot of junk in it though).

kitchen –
design and decorating?
Texas: when I owned our home, we didn’t design the kitchen, but I did all the decorating. Ukraine: I’d like to! But we are just renting and it costs way too much! Now, if our landlord paid for it, I would definitely help!

love –
what is your favorite part of homemaking? Texas: my mother was always cleaning, so I had very little to do! Ukraine: chores aside – I love to entertain and nurture friendships. Our flat isn’t very cozy right now, but I enjoy trying to find ways to make it cozy and welcoming.

mop – y/n?
Texas: no, mom always did it – of course, I did it when we owned our home..probably not as much as I should’ve though. Ukraine: Yes. But…probably not as much as I should…

nylons –
wash them by hand or in the washer? Texas & Ukraine: washer – as with all things, why do it if there is something else to do it for me?

oven –
do you use the window or open it to check? Texas & Ukraine: open it up.

pizza –

what do you put on yours? I’m not sure how Pizza goes along with homemaking, but I’ll answer the question anyways…
Texas: chicken alfredo (with spinach, if available). Ukraine: mushrooms and…corn! Yes..corn, it’s yummy.

quiet –
what do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment?
Texas & Ukraine: internet stuff or read..or nap

recipe card box –

Texas: cookbooks, recipes I’ve collected over the years, or internet sites Ukraine: internet sites or friends who are knowledgeable about cooking in Ukraine

style of house –

Texas: 2 story house…I don’t know the style. Ukraine: apartment

tablecloths and napkins –
Texas: no tablecloth, but cloth placemats and napkins. Ukraine: the cloth tablecloth & napkins are only for special occasions, but we did invest in a little plastic tablecloth…I never thought I’d have a plastic tablecloth, but it comes in handy.

under the kitchen sink –
Texas: Cleaning supplies Ukraine : Cleaning supplies, paper towels & toilet paper …we have no storage in the toilet room. (I say toilet room, because all it has is a toilet. In Ukraine, the toilet is separated from the sink and bathtub).

vacuum –
how many times a week?
Texas: maybe once a week – either myself or my mother. Ukraine: constantly. We have all wood floors – so I sweep or use our special vacuum almost daily. It is extremely dusty where we live (plus add the dust from the construction on our apartment building); by the end of the day, you can feel the dust on your feet – which is why most people here wear houseshoes…I love to go barefoot, but I’m having to make a decision – wear slippers or have dusty feet.

wash –
how many loads do you do a week?
Texas: usually, it was 4 (lights, whites, darks, and towels); on Sunday. Ukraine: maybe only 2 with as much clothes as I can stuff in my little 5kg washing machine. One load of laundry takes about 2 hours to go through all the wash cycles. We only have water for 2 hour increments (in the morning, noon, and evening). So, there’s really no way to wash all my clothes properly divided in one day, as I used to do. Then, remember, we have to hang all our clothes. If I washed all my clothes on the same day, we wouldn’t have anywhere for all of them to hang. So, we are learning to take good care of our clothes and try to wear them as many times as possible without having to wash them weekly (except for the underclothing, of course).

x’es –
do you keep a list of things to do and cross them off?
Texas & Ukraine: nah. Well, there’s an occasional time or two when I’m really boggled with much to do..but it’s rare. When I was a teenager, my mother used to make a list for my brother and I to follow when we were on summer break. I don’t know if the list really worked then, either…(refer back to my answer about ironing 😛 )

yard –
who does what?
Texas: my mother, Josh, and I all did our share. Ukraine: our neighbors take care of the courtyard, planting lots of pretty flowers.

zzz’s –
what is your last homemaking task for the day?
Texas: um…he he..usually nothing…maybe load dishes into dishwasher. Ukraine: wash dishes by hand


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