an ordinary day

Several times during our last trip to the US, I was asked, "What does a typical day for you look like?" In a word: unpredictable. On a daily basis, what I've planned doesn't pan out, unexpected urgent tasks come up, and I just have to go with the flow!

I've learned that I need a weekly priority list rather than a daily to-do list. What must get done this week? What needs to be done this week but can be postponed? What would be nice to get done this week if I have time? Then I can do those urgent things but still follow my priority list to get done what needs to be done when I have the time.

Tuesday last week was a typical day, in that it was completely unpredictable. I had planned to work on the computer, doing Maisha Kamili record keeping, planning social media posts, and maybe even get some educational reading done. That did not happen...

5:02 am
My alarm started going off. I hate mornings, and pre-6:00 in the morning is especially abominable, but Rodgers and I have been exercising together and early morning is the best time for that. My alarm starts very quiet and gradually increases in volume over the course of 3 minutes. It's a gentler way to wake up.

5:35 am
I was up and ready to exercise with Rodgers. Our video lasts 25 minutes.

6 am
While cooling off and drinking water, I read through some emails and Facebook updates. Rodgers turned on the kitchen faucet and discovered that the water was running again! We had not had water since the previous Wednesday. Even our rooftop water storage was empty. I had tons of laundry piling up. I put my "top priority" load in the washing machine, after pre-treating and scrubbing the dirt and sweat in boys' white school shirts.

6:25 am
Nate was up; I reminded him to feed the cats. Then I went to wake up Ben while Rodgers reheated waffles leftover from our breakfast on Saturday. We ate breakfast, and I got the boys ready for school while Rodgers took a shower and got ready for his errands.

7:30 am
The Ken-Tex men left the house for the day. I got myself ready for the showered and dressed, mentally rearranging my priorities. Now my priority was keeping the washing machine running as long as we had water. I would not have uninterrupted time on the computer, so that would have to be done Wednesday morning.

8 am
I hung up the first load of laundry and started the second. Then I did my Bible study and washed dishes from Monday, which had been postponed in hopes that we would have water on Tuesday. (And we did! Yay!)

9:30 am
Rodgers sent me a text that he was heading to Mombasa to get the car a/c checked out again. It hasn't been working for months, and the weather is only getting hotter. I don't know when he asked the a/c man about his availability, but suddenly, he was available, so all plans were canceled in order to take the car to him.

By the time I was finished with the dishes, the second load was almost done in the washing machine, so I read a blog post. Magazine article may be more accurate - it was Christianity Today, "God Wants You to Get Some Sleep." It mentions a book called Liturgy of the Ordinary, which was intriguing considering my word for the year. Then I hung the laundry and started the third load in the washing machine: towels. At that point, I could hear water trickling into the rooftop water storage. This was very good news.

Since the water was still running, I stripped the beds and put clean sheets on. Maybe I would get 4 loads of laundry clean in 1 day!

If you've never put sheets on bunk beds with mosquito nets, I have to disclose: it is a very strenuous activity. Always consult your physician before beginning a new exercise program.

I did a little organizing in the boys' room. They are responsible for keeping it clean, but it helps when I make sure things are where they belong, put some things up in the top of the closet, etc.

I heard goats in the yard. Rodgers and the boys always chase them out, but I can't be bothered. I have too much else to do.

11 am
Rodgers texted me that there was a leak in a pipe in the a/c. I was skeptical that it was the real problem since we've had the pipes fixed a dozen times. But ok. The only welders are actually on the island of Mombasa, none in the suburb where he was, so he was off to the main city.

Some of the clothes were dry. I brought them inside to make space on the clothesline for the towels. I made myself a little reading plan for the 4 non-fiction books I have been "meaning to" read, but haven't gotten around to.

12 pm
The washing machine chimed again that the load was finished. Water was still running. I hung the towels and put the sheets in. Then I heated up some leftovers for lunch and turned on the TV. After lunch, I read for about 30 minutes, then fell asleep for 15.

In the middle of that, Rodgers called me and said there was a bigger problem. The a/c condenser was leaking, too, and it was not accessible, so I would have to get the kids from school, and he would be home late. I brought in the rest of the clothes, which were now all dry except for jeans.

2:30 pm
I hung up the sheets - all my laundry was done! Since I would be cooking supper and helping boys with homework at the same time, I started prepping veggies. I had to dice several tomatoes and an onion and cut zucchinis and carrots into spears. I also put away the clean dishes, which were dry by this time. Then I got dressed in "going out in public/walking to school" clothes.

because everyone needs a treat now and then
4 pm
I left home for school. It's about a 20 minute walk, filled with people running out of their shops to call after me and boda-boda (motorcycle taxi) drivers pacing me, trying to convince me that I need to hire them. We always take a tuk-tuk home when I walk to get the boys from school. Sometimes they want to walk, but at the end of the school day, they are so tired.

4:30 pm
We got home and I gave the boys a snack, and we all relaxed for a few minutes. We had lollipops because it was a hard day, and we all needed a treat!

5 pm
Then they started their homework, and I started cooking supper, bouncing back and forth between the kitchen and each of the boys to give homework help.

6 pm
We ate supper. I called Rodgers to see if there was any chance he'd head home soon - not yet. He'd had some trouble getting the right part. After supper, the boys helped clean up the dining room, and I put away leftovers.

7 pm
I sent the boys to the shower. We read some picture books while they had a bedtime snack. (I know! They just had supper a few minutes ago, but they always want fruit or yogurt at bedtime.) Then they brushed their teeth and got in bed. They like to fall asleep listening to me read chapter books. We were reading Superfudge (again).

my clean laundry chair - it was so hot and sunny that almost everything was
dry before dark
8 pm
Once they were in bed, I turned on the TV to keep me company while I folded all. that. laundry. I think it took me an hour. Finally, I laid down on the couch to watch the end of Bones.

9:30 pm
Rodgers let me know that he was getting something to eat, then would head home. I expected him around 11 or maybe later. I went to bed early, reading a book until I fell asleep.

11 pm
I heard Rodgers come home. He took a shower and got in bed. I kissed him and fell right back to sleep.


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