Chanthaboune’s and my entry for the writing contest went in the mail yesterday, allowing me to cross something off my list for the month.

Another goal for May is to get into the habit of having a simple schedule that will keep my life serene through the summer. To this end, I am enlisting flylady.

My friend Partygirl told me about flylady. Partygirl is a good person to listen to when it comes to housekeeping. I drop by her place before work often enough to know that her house is pleasant and comfortable pretty much all the time, and if it is a Saturday, there might be mimosas in the rose garden. So I took her advice and checked out flylady.

Flylady is a free email reminder service. You check your email in the morning and have a message telling you to, as it might be, wash the faces of your kitchen cabinets. Now, my mind is generally on higher things, so if I waited till I thought of washing my cabinets on my own…. Well, it would be a long time, that’s all. But with flylady I see that it is time to do that, and while my breakfast oats are cooking, I do it.

It’s a pretty simple system. There are daily routine tasks, a weekly housecleaning, and monthly things. You also get reminders to do your BSE, floss your teeth, check your calendar for the next day, and suchlike. I like not having to think much about housework because someone else is keeping track of when I last cleaned my refrigerator.

People have complaints about flylady. For one thing, they say, she is irritatingly cute. Well, this is true. I have a higher tolerance for cuteness than I used to, now that I have spent all these years working with teachers, but even so I must agree that she is too cute. However, you will find that, if you program your spam filter to refuse everything that contains the term “testimonial,” that will cut a lot of the cuteness. The rest you can just overlook and ignore.

Second, people say there is too much mail. Again, your spam filter will help on this. But most of the messages do not need to be opened. You see the subject line saying “What is for dinner?” and think, “Ah, yes, I had better think about that,” and delete it.

Finally, people say that they do not like to be told what to do. I don’t mind being told what to do, as I have no trouble ignoring it. In fact, when Partygirl brought it up , she said, “Flylady tells me to clean out my car every Friday, and I don’t do it.” For those who have a rebellious streak, I would think this would be a plus. After all, if you had a friend who reminded you to clean out your car every Friday and you never did, she would eventually give up. Flylady does not. If you get a kick out of refusing advice, go ahead and ignore it. Some Friday, years hence, you will get the reminder to clean out your car, and do it. And be glad you did.