I found a cheap oil lantern and oil at Wal-Mart the other day and my husband filled it up for me this morning. Upon realizing this evening that he had done so, I decided to light it.
I have had a very bad day. Not only was I feeling under the weather (I had a migraine and resulting severe nausea) but, despite the fact that it is Sunday, my husband has returned to his "Friday's off" position and was not at home. To top it all off, I woke up in the middle of the night with a screaming tooth ache. I really need to see a dentist, immediately. [Ironically, it didn't bother me much during the day...] Because I was feeling ill, we stayed home from church and I spend some time reclining in my bedroom while my children "watched TV" in the other room. I put that in quotes because that is what they were supposed to be doing. What they were really doing was playing with my flour. I have a gigantic container of whole wheat flour (probably about 10-15 lbs worth), a 5 lb container of unbleached bread flour, and a smaller container of corn muffin mix (from bulk, maybe about 4 cups worth) stacked right in front of the pantry. They were not inside the pantry because there isn't much room, but if I reorganize it there probably will be, but I hadn't done it yet. First mistake. Anyway, the kids had dumped in some of the bread flour into the large container of WW flour and then poured a bottle of red juice into it and then added a bag of 6-7 apples and covered it with the rest of the bread flour. Of course, their aim was off and several cups of flour hit my carpeted floor. The entire container of corn bread mix also hit the floor, though a small amount made it to the bucket. My daughter had flour in her hair, that's how I knew that they were up to something. Of course, wonder child that she is, she blamed the whole thing on her brother. I was too upset to deal with them, so I sent them to play in their room while I figured out how I was going to go about salvaging what I could from their cooking disaster.
While they were in their room, they took about half the clothes off the hangers and their bedspreads off the bed. What little toys they have in their room were also in the middle of their room. They helped me straighten that (minimally...remember, my head was throbbing and I had the awful feeling of morning sickness, without the pleasant reminder that I was pregnant...) and I put the TV on again only this time, I was watching with them. They wandered around and started playing again, so I flipped it to something a little more stimulating for my adult brain. One can only take so much Dora. It was around this time that they dumped a cup of water onto my bedroom floor (also carpet) but I didn't realize it until several hours later when I stepped on the soggy animal cracker that was also dropped. They also stole and ate an entire can (small) of almonds. I was ready for naptime by now. I got out those Uncrustable sandwiches (you know the frozen PBJ sandwiches...how much more convenient can you get than frozen PBJ...you don't even have to slather on the PB, just open a plastic wrapper...all for the low low price of...nevermind, they are ridiculously expensive and only about half a sandwich, plus they are on white glue, errr bread, but the kids like them and they are a special treat). Then it was naptime.
After naptime, I was feeling slightly less nauseous but my head was killing me worse than ever. I rested in my room again. I don't know why because it didn't work the first time, but the kids are usually more interesting in the afternoon TV programming, so I thought it would just work until the medicine I had finally resorted to taking kicked in. (Mind you, I'm still in my PJs). That is about when I realized that my son had my bottle of Febreeze and had succeeded in spraying it all over the place, the hall carpet was literally soaked, there was a pool on one of the chairs (thankfully, wood chair), he "washed" one of the apples in it and then headed to his room. After covering that room in lavender fragrance, he headed into my room which is where I intercepted him. There were a million different times where I stopped a child from doing something they shouldn't have, so I suppose I should rejoice that it could have been worse.
So, to get to the actual point of why I am writing this...in the evening, I realized that my husband had filled up the oil lantern and the kids were curious what it was all about, so I read the instructions and lit the wick. After enjoying the warm light for about 20 minutes, I told them that we had to turn it off because the living room was too dirty. So, I flipped on the lights, blew out the flame and began to clean the living room. For the first time all day, the kids and I actually worked together. Jordyn and I had done some laundry, she was very excited to get to be the one that actually switched on the machine and put the soap in it. (Hmm...I think I see a daily chore here...). While that was running, we picked up the million different random things that were laying around and the kids did fairly well as "go-fers" and we had it all picked up and vacuumed before they tired of the game. I didn't pick on them when Jordyn decided that she was some sort of animal so every time I told her to put something somewhere, she carried it with her teeth (ouch!) while crawling on hands and knees. I just allowed them to help out whenever they came back into the room and I had a steady supply of things for them to run and do.
Finally, we gathered the candles out of Mommy's room (I love candles) and we put the lantern on the coffee table in the living room and we went around the house turning off the lights. It was late, so the kids didn't get to enjoy the candle light too much, but they still had fun. Now, here I am, sitting on my couch with my coffee table full of candles and one oil lantern, while I type away on my laptop. What a juxtaposition. I remember seeing that exact same thing on one of my favorite blogs, Lentils and Rice. She is taking a blogging break right now otherwise I would link to the post I am talking about. I think I could really get used to this type of lighting. It probably isn't as cheap as a battery-powered flashlight and it definitely isn't as poweful or bright, but I am thinking that in the evenings, when I want to wind down and when I want the kids to wind down, a little lantern glow and the wonderful flickering flames of candles might just be the ticket. I love it.
The lantern and oil combined cost less than $10.00 and the amount of oil I got will last for a long time. I will be doing this again, definitely. Totally worth it!!! Now, I may look into some nice beeswax candles. What a relaxing tone to set for the evenings and a wonderfully peaceful way to end this crazy day.