But I’m Not a Housewife!

Domestic Bliss, Eventually

The Joyful Housewife Has Moved!

Hey y’all!

Yes, I’ve been gone for a long, long time (for reasons which will eventually be explained in future posts). During this extended absence, which is due to familial obligations, I’ve managed to move my blog to a self-hosted platform!

I know change can hard – and it will suck for many of you to get used to the new address and appearance – but change is a given in life and is often for the best. 

I’ll see you over at my new blog home:

http://thejoyfulhousewife.net

Oh, PMS, You Old Gloomy Sight

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It appears that there is a social media answer for everything. If you’re having trouble letting your loved ones know you may have PMS, there is now PMSBuddy.com. Use it to send out alerts to your loved ones of your impending PMS, or use it to keep track of your friends’ moodiness. It reminds me of the story a cousin of mine told me about a co-op house she lived in college, in which the women all tracked their cycles on a wall calendar in the kitchen and then would talk about it: “I see you’re menstruating. How are you feeling about that?”

I’m not sure what I think about the site, but maybe it’s not a big deal to me because I don’t really experience PMS much myself. Sure I get a little bloated once a month and I’ve realized a days later that my weepiness and low self-esteem of late may have coincided with my time of the month, but I’ve hardly ever had cramps – and perhaps because of that I’ve never been a moody witch and then attributed it to PMS.

Women complain about premenstrual syndrome, but I think of it as the only time of the month that I can be myself.

~ Roseanne

While I was doing a PMS search to find a fitting image for this post, I came across a few blogs that I found very entertaining. (Incidentally they have the same taste as me as they have also chosen to use the same image for their PMS posts.) It has since occurred to me that the PMS post may be a litmus test for finding the type of blogs I like to read. Anyway I found these blogs amusing and thought I’d share the link love with you.

This one uses the word gobshite in it (Nothing woos me faster than saucy British English, a fact which is evident by the vast number of British TV comedies and dramas I’ve checked out from the library):

K8 the GR8: Still just a rat in a cage

The author of the next one seems to have the same taste in literature as me, is very amusing and dynamic in her posts, and lives in Cape Town, South Africa:

Being Brazen: Poor Me Syndrome

Would you leave your child with a male caregiver? – Child Caring – Boston.com

I thought this was interesting. I remember having a male caregiver at my preschool when I was little. I remember being embarrassed to go to the bathroom at the preschool because there was a partition that only covered the lower half of you. Your head would stick out the top. I remember being aware of little boys and not wanting them to see me go to the bathroom there. 

Anyway, the guy that worked there was great and much loved by all the kids. I think it’s a shame when people allow their fears to  get out of hand. 

Would you leave your child with a male caregiver? – Child Caring – Boston.com

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Millet For Breakfast

Hey y’all. I’ve got the sniffles, but the end of the semester is almost here! Two more days of teaching and then I get ready to see my family in California. Apparently there was just an earthquake there last night. Yikes! At least it wasn’t worse than that.

I’m starting a new habit of eating millet for breakfast. It’s a great whole grain and so fast and simple. We cook a large batch on Sunday (it’s so easy, just boil like rice) and keep it in a tupperware in the fridge. For breakfast, I just microwave a bowl full and add a little bit of honey, milk, walnuts, and raisins.

Breakfast Millet

Millet for Breakfast

For those of you who are gluten free (though I’m not sure I believe that’s necessary) there it is a gluten free whole grain!!!

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Wow! I blink my eyes and weeks have passed since I last posted. It’s been so long that I’ve begun to develop anxiety about posting again. It all started when I worked some extra hours at work. Then we acquired ants in the kitchen and I was battling them for days! Then the weather was bad here in Denver, a snow storm that cut out our Internet for a couple of days. Then, I started to develop carpal tunnel like pain in my arm and gave up knitting and typing for a while. Then there was the funk I was in. I get those from time to time. Finally, my husband bought me a terrific book (which I’ll post about soon) which inspired me to go to the library and bring home a giant stack of books to read…instead of writing myself.

Well, I think those are all the reasons for my absence. Since I’ve been gone, we’ve been doing some exciting things, though.We are still trying new grains and new greens in the kitchen. I wish I could say that my house was getting cleaned and organized during this time, but it’s been two steps forward, one step back with that area of my life. We invited friends over to grill with us and I cleaned voraciously. I managed to get through a very, very large pile of mail that has plagued our dining room, organized and stack them neatly in a box that could be hidden away when company comes, but when I lifted the box a day later, the bottom fell out and the mail is now in a nasty heap on the floor of the sun room. But, I’m making an effort, and that’s all I can do really. Move forward one step at a time. 

There is another excitement in my house these days. We are growing heirloom vegetables from seed and our seedlings are sprouting and growing strong! My husband and I literally sit and stare at them, maybe not for hours, but for a surprisingly long time! 

So, there you have it. I’m sorry I’ve been gone for so long. I’ll try to catch up. Pictures of things we’ve cooked, the book Tim bought me, and the seedling we are growing are forthcoming.

Marriage Monday: Do I Spend Too Much Time With My Husband?

tim-jessicapoloroid1

First of all, don’t laugh at this picture! I’ve been meaning to start writing a marriage column on Mondays for weeks now and I was dying to have a sort of logo for it. Not wanting to worry about copyright laws, I decided to use a picture of my husband and me, and this was the only one I could find on short notice. It was the first photo ever taken of the two of us, when we were dating. It was also the onset of us spending all of our time together.

On with the post. Some people, such as Darla Shine in her book Happy Housewives, suggest that it is unhealthy to spend all your time with your husband. I suppose some couples would go insane if they didn’t have their “guy time” and “girl time” respectively. But that type of genderization of activities is something my husband and I don’t really buy into. Well, to a certain extent. Yes I do enjoy sewing and knitting and watching “Chick flicks” (that even I roll my eyes at but still want to watch) but my husband doesn’t really do much that requires that he hang out with “the guys” without their spouses. He doesn’t hunt, fish, camp, mountain climb, watch or play sports, or even really get into video games, (and he doesn’t need to be out at bars trying to feel like a single guy and flirting with other women). Besides, on the occasions he does do any of those things, he would rather have me there too! 

The only time we really go out is with our favorite local couple. We either have dinner and play cards at their house or we actually go to a bar where we compete in a weekly pub quiz. (We often place in the top three, sometimes even get first place. Yes, I guess we’re dorks.) The husband in that couple watches March Madness, but he doesn’t do it with my husband, he does it at home with his wife, who is probably making jewelry in the same room. Meanwhile we are at our own house watching DVDs we’ve rented from the library, such as Globe Trekker and Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. Sometimes I’m knitting and he’s reading the Sunday or Wednesay New York Times. We make dinner together. We eat together. We used to go to the gym together, but I’ve stopped going. See? We do have some “girl things” and “guy things” that we enjoy, but we can usually be together while doing them.

Then there are weekends. The particular day that I conceived of this post, we had spent the entire day exploring Denver together. We had brunch somewhere, roamed some old book and antique stores for hours, got some amazing deals on work-pants at Goodwill (seriously), ate ate a fun bar, while looking at some of the books we bought, went to a movie, and went home to do lie on the couch together. It was right after this lovely day that I read the segment in Darla Shine’s book about being closer with your girlfriends than your husband. Now, she didn’t write it without a lot of thought:

I’ve been sitting here thinking for a few minutes about how I should write this step. I think it’s a very important step, and I want to make sure you don’t take it the wrong way…so, here it goes…

Your husband should not be your best friend. He’s your husband, and obviously you should have a very deep bond with him, but you absolutely must have another outlet in your life. You’ll never be a happy housewife if you wrap your identity entirely around your husband and children. 

(And somewhere in the book she says the only thing she really needs her husband for is sex and that’s about it. When I find it I’ll edit it into this post.)

I know my regular readers must think I really have it out for Darla, and I don’t! It’s just that I’m a very critical thinker and I don’t like over simplified generalizations that are not thought through. 

Some of what she said above is true, we should maintain and nurture our female friendships, especially when we become mothers, but what if your husband is your best friend? What if you really do enjoy doing everything together? My sister recently told me that on Saturdays the whole family likes to go grocery shopping together. She, her husband and all four kids. And they really enjoy it, gasp! Now, I do believe that if you spend 24 hours a day with anybody, you’re going to get fed up with them for a bit, but the truth is, I can stand my husband a lot longer than I can stand most other people, and he has said the same thing about me. 

Now, a couple of weeks ago, I did have a girl’s night. One of the girls’ husband and daughter were away for the night, so we stayed up late and had a kitchen dance party. We played disco and hip hop and danced like crazy (while drinking a few cocktails) and we marveled about how this was more fun that we ever had as single women out at bars. But, the truth is, we often have dance parties when our husbands are around, after we get fed up with playing cards. Sometimes we can get them to join us in the kitchen, being silly and dancing, other times they are in the living room playing Wii

I know this type of life isn’t for everyone, and if you bicker a lot with your husband, you may need some time apart. (But, I think all that bickering is a separate issue.) And, if you are spending that time with your girlfriends trashing your husband, you are doing your relationship more harm than good.

Okay, I have tons more to say about this subject. but I’ll leave it here for now. 

Tell me, do I spend too much time with my spouse? Do you?

For Those Who Have Everything (And Need To Keep It All Organized)

Have you heard of Blis (Best Life Information System)? If you are a reader of I’m an Organizing Junkie, you probably have (I think I found out about it by clicking on an icon on that blog). It’s a database to organize every single aspect of your life. According to the website:

BLIS is organized into 7 thoughtful sections: calendar, to do & to plan, home, health, activities, my choice, and address book. The web pages print easily to beautifully pre-designed pages; perfect for saving hard copies in the stylish leather bound binder. 

You can view the demo here.

I think it looks really cool, but I can’t believe how expensive it is! I guess I would expect it to have a one time fee of $125, like most software, not a yearly fee. What happens when you can’t pay that anymore? Do you lose everything you’ve saved?

I just don’t think I can afford something like that… (*Sniff*)

blis_logo