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Contemporary Asian Cuisine


Contemporary Asian Cuisine


Keep pets well-groomed. The only thing messier than dog hair all over the bedroom is wet muddy dog hair. Keep a stack of washcloths or hand towels next to the door for wiping pets’ muddy paws, legs, and belly. Also brush your animals and take them for baths as often as they (and you) can stand it.


Clean up leaves before the snow. That way you’re not tracking them inside all winter long. (If this tip has come too late, then save it for next year.)


Create a landing strip near the entry door for incoming items. Clean it out each evening, put- ting things back where they belong. Combine this with using cubbies or hooks or crates to organize family gear.


Give things away. Equalize belongings as a preface to spring cleaning. Do a clothing exchange, a white elephant book gifting, or a kitchenware purge. Win- ter is the time to hole up with only what is precious and necessary. It is also a wonderful time to give to those who don’t have.


Share the work. Teach children to shake coats off outside and participate in keeping the house clean. Enlist other families, too. My personal favor-


ite is to start a dinner-swap with one or more other families, to keep the sludge (for the night, anyway) out of the kitchen.


Have your tools prepared for the snow. Put snow shovels somewhere easy to access, and stay ahead of the weather by being prepared: Buy salt before it snows, stock the cars with ice scrapers, fill wiper fluid and antifreeze, and keep the gas tank close to full so that it will be less likely to freeze.


Do less. And thus, make less mess. This sounds dumb and impossible, but throughout animal history winter is time to rest. Sleep more, take on fewer obli- gations, and spend the extra time finding spots in your house where you can best enjoy the few hours of strained sunlight.


Listen to holiday music while you do chores. Of course.


Remember that spring will come soon. Sea- sons are one of those mortal things that always remind us of the impermanence of everything. Be like the Buddha and try to enjoy the sludge marks and muddy jackets because they are some of winter’s most beautiful markers.


JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2013 | 47


©iStockphoto.com/Joshua Rainey


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