Sunday, February 11, 2007

Homemaking Meme

I picked up this Meme of domestic questions in alphabetical order over at Mimi's Bigger than a Breadbox blog...I thought it was sort of interesting so I decided to give it a go (with some minor adaptations).

A is for APRONS
Do you wear one?

YES. I have four or five folded on the shelf in my pantry. My favorite one is a bright blue paisly full body apron that my son made for me in home-ec class during fifth or sixth grade. Of course, I grew up in a world where boys took shop and girls took home ec, but he came of age at a time where the both genders were equally welcome in either class. I also used to have a really cool plastic pie server that he made in shop, (I guess learning how to cut and bend the acrylic was pretty cool) but it got left at a cub scout pot luck many years ago. I still miss it.

B is for BAKING
What is your favorite thing to bake?

My husband makes awesome applesauce cookies. He also makes great pies. I don't bake. In fact, I'd live on bag-o-salad and canned soup if weren't married to such a good cook. He rules the kitchen.

Do you use one?

Nope - I have a gas dryer. I did have a clothesline for a while in Arizona and also in Ohio. Maybe in Michigan? I love the smell of sheets taken fresh from a line. But the convenience of the drying definitely wins for me.

D is for DONUTS
Have you ever made them?

It has been MANY years - but yes; My husband has fond memories of the donuts his mom used to make when he was a little kid - usually whenever they butchered a pig and were rendering the lard. Makes my arteries feel thick just thinking about it, but from his accounts they were mighty yummy! These days if we want a sweet treat we stick to tapioca pudding.

E is for EVERY DAY
What one homemaking thing you do every day--

This implies consistency. I am probably the least consistent person I know. I go through binges where I am determined to make my bed every single morning when I get up. And then after a couple weeks I don't. I have periods where I wipe down all the counters every single evening and sweep floors so it will be tidy when I get up the next day. And then I don't. I never let things get truly out-of-hand to the point of living in squalor, but I admit that there are a lot of tasks that I am all too willing to skip for a day..or two....or maybe three? Of course, in my defense, it's just my husband and I here without other household polluters, so we generally don't make that much mess.

F is for FREEZER
Do you have a separate deep freeze?

Yes. Actually we have two - one upright in the pantry and then a big chest freezer out in the garage. Also I have one of those cool refrigerators with a BIG freezer compartment at the BOTTOM so it's not in the way when I open the main door of the frige. Ya know, while I'm thinking of what's in my freezer...I really do need to get some of that stuff cleaned out from the outside one. I think we still have some salmon and halibut left over from when we went fishing in Alaska and that was over a year ago. HMMMM.

The weird thing about the outside freezer is it occasionally has dead animal carcasses in it. EWE!!! Kinda gross, but my husband does taxidermy as a hobby. He's quite good at it, I just think it is very, VERY strange for anyone to want to decorate their homes with the stuffed heads or full bodies of dead fish or animals. It's pretty creepy when I go looking for a pot roast and pull out a dead pheasant or woodchuck or some other critter waiting to be stuffed.

In the family room (read husband's TV/game room) is the only place these dead things are allowed to appear in our household. They sorta give me the heebie jeebies. He has a deer, an antelope, a javelina, several birds and some fish. I tease him that on resurrection morning they are all going to leap from the walls and give him what for.

Do you have one?

Yep. I have this morbid fear of getting my hand stuck in it. I'm not sure why.

What is your favorite homemaking resource?

I have a whole stack of cook books and how to books and such....I generally ignore them all. I do really love my garden books though, and love peering through them this time of year while I plan out what I'll plant in the spring.

I is for IRONING
Love it or hate it?

Don't do it. Really. I own an iron. But I'm not sure where it is. I will iron a few specific pieces for hot dates or job interviews. The rest of the time I live with what I get by hanging things up promplty when they come out of the dryer. I've been known to re-wash an entire load that sat in the dryer too long and got crumpled rather than iron them. NOT my thing.

Where is it?

Um, this question is way to singular. For my house, it shoud read "where are they?"
One in the kitchen. One in the garage. Don't even ask about the junk shelf in my office closet. It's all good stuff, and just sort of random that doesn't belong anywhere else.

I just looked at the kitchen one. Wow. THAT's where my leatherman tool went. Whew! I had wondered.

K is for KITCHEN

How is yours decorated?

I have a long wood shelf along one wall with various things on it...Russian nested doll, antique jar full of old marbles, old glass insulators, antique flat irons, etc. Along the top of my cupboards there are nutcracker men, a model of the Mayflower, some fancy vases and various pretties. The walls are painted a light beige with white trim and we have cream colored ceramic tile - pale blue counter tops. It's a happy kitchen. (made all the happier because of my beloved does most the cooking!)

L is for LOVE
What is your favorite part of homemaking?

Relationship building. The house maintenance part is stuff that I do, but it's no life mission or anything. I don't despise it, I don't glory in it. It's just part of the process. I've lived in tiny simple houses and lived in big elaborate houses. The one we have right now is unquestionably way bigger than we need for just the two of us, but we both enjoy it a lot. I love the cozy feeling of security it provides. But it's just a house. I'd miss it, but I really could move away from it tomorrow if the right opportunity came up someplace else. When I think of HOME I think of the feeling I get curled up in the crook of my beloved's arm. Where ever that may take me is just fine with me.

M is for MOP
How often do you mop?

I clean the bathrooms, do the vacuuming, other sorts of tasks. Husband usually mops.

N is for NYLONS
Do you wash by hand or in the washing machine.

I had to laugh at all the vehement comments I read by other women about nylons. Actually I don't mind them. Hey, I remember the old garter belt days, and today's panty hose are a far cry more comfortable than those beasties!

I do mine by hand and then hang then over the shower curtain rod to dry. I have LOTS and I wear slacks much of the time, so I only have to do this about once a month.

O is for OVEN
Do you use the window or open the door to check?

I open the door.

P is for PIZZA
What do you put on yours?

We never make pizza. (Although I must admit that after seeing the scrumptious creation that Jacquandor made I've been tempted to try.) (Hey Kelly I can't find link to your pizza creation - where did it go?

Q is for QUIET
What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment?

Make some noise.

Do you use one?

HAVE one. USE it is another story....

I've got recipes written on all sorts of odd scraps - envelopes, etc. They are in a fairly neatly stacked pile on top of my recipe books in the cupboard over the stove, with the recipe box on top of them. I use that random pile far more than anything in the box. I think my husband uses the box.


What type of dwelling do you live in?

Big old 2 story with wrap around porch. The guts of the house are over 100 years old, but it has been totally reshaped, remodeled, added onto over the years. It still has the charm of an old fashioned house with good bones, but fortunately all new plumbing and electric and a fairly new roof. I love my house!

Do you use a tablecloth? How about napkins?

We almost always have a tablecloth on. I use cloth napkins about half the time and paper towels when we are being extra casual.

Is yours organized or toxic wasteland?

Mine is rather schizophrenic. On one side it is quite orderly with various cleaning products neatly stacked in a plastic basket. On the other side is a haphazard accumulation of mason jars, bowls too big for the other cupboards, barbecue tools and whatever else I wanted to put away quickly.

V is for VACUUM
How many times per week?

Once for sure, more often only as necessary. This is a task I don't mind at all.

W is for WASH
How many loads of laundry do you do in a week?

Probably 5 or 6. I don't count. I usually do wash on the weekends, sometimes throw in a load during the week if I need to. With just the two of us it's not a big deal.

X is for X

Do you keep a daily list of things to do and cross them off?


Y is for YARD
Who does what?

My husband cuts the grass and will shovel snow on those few rare occasions we actually have snow. He also is in charge of the rototillers ( a big one and a Mantis) so he tills things up every spring. We mutually share the gardening and flowerbeds. We like working together out in the yard. I LOVE leaf raking the first three or four times...But by the time our giant maple trees finally get done I'm just sick of it.

Z is for ZZZZ's
What is your last homemaking task for the day before going to bed?

I like to make sure the counters are wiped down and sink is clear before bed, if I think of it. If I don't, it's not the end of the world.

Ya know....Doing all this has really got me thinking about what sort of homemaker my mother was, and her mother before her.

My grandmother ironed EVERYTHING and was forever preparing big meals. She was never employed outside the home so with the exception of some volunteer work she did in the community her home and family were her whole world. Also, she lived in the same house for over 50 years - so she truly did define herself by that place.

My mother was overwhelmed by raising five rowdy kids so her housekeeping definitely took a backseat to monitoring our shenanigans. When I was younger, the house I grew up in ranged from clutter to squalor. Housework overwhelmed her. Later on after all of us kids had moved out things got somewhat better, but even then she seemed at a loss for how to deal with details of managing her home. Her famous line was "I'll put it in a box and sort it out later". After her death I had the task of dealing with row upon row upon row of floor to ceiling boxes out in the shed behind our house that she never had gotten around to.

As for me - I like things orderly. I keep most of the rooms fairly picked up. But I do not define myself by my role in the house. Part of that is because I also work full time and part of that is because I've moved so much that I no longer think of the place that I live as any serious sort of extension of me. It's just where we are for now.

Interesting how each generation of women in my family has had such a different approach and experience with this role we call homemaking.


Mimi said...

I hate this new Blogger, gah! I made a comment.

Anyway - my husband does most of the cooking here too - I LOVE that!

Sorry about the linkage mixup - Deb's post is here

Pondering Pig said...

Gadzooks, woman! I thought you were a rail-thin, black coffee sipping intellectual reading Proust while smoking hand rolled Egyptian cigarettes through a foot long holder. And stroking her equally rail thin Siamese cat. Don't you have a maid or someone do the vacumning, poor thing?

Belladonna said...

Now Pig, we've had this conversation before. You know better! I do not drink coffee, I do not smoke and I don't even like cats. As for the "rail thin" my dreams maybe.

But while we are on the topic of preconceived notions...I'm glad your fiddle playing daughter finally posted a picture of the infamous pig so the rest of us out here in the bloggosphere can give up our own false notions, eh?

Jaquandor said...

Behold my amazing pizza baking demonstration here!

(Wow, that read like a spam comment -- you did ask!)

Pondering Pig said...

Well, did I at least get the part about Proust right?

Belladonna said...

Nope - I've never read Proust in my life. Maybe I'll add it to my list for "one of these days", but as is I'm already bemoaning the fact that there are so many books I want to read and so little time to curl up and savor them.

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