But I’m Not a Housewife!

Domestic Bliss, Eventually

Archive for Blogs I Love

Oh, PMS, You Old Gloomy Sight

pms

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

Blog Confession Number Four: I Kind of Like Goop

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Image via New York Times, Feb. 22, Fashion & Style

A couple of weeks ago my husband passed me an article from the New York Times (Martha, Oprah … Gwyneth?) as we relaxed together that evening. He likes to show me articles that he thinks I’ll be interested in to turn me on to the Sunday New York Time. I do share his joy over the the Sunday paper, it’s just that, these days, I’ve usually got stacks and stacks of books which I’m trying to get through for my blog….These things take time.

Anyway, I have ambiguous feelings about Gwyneth Paltrow, which have recently swung towards the positive end since I finally rented Sylvia from the library. Her performance was so good, I couldn’t help but have warm feelings toward her, despite her many differences from me (I just like to relate to people). 

And yet, I shy away from people who are born privileged with the slender physique that money can buy. People who have homes in the Hamptons and London and talk about the Kabbala, fasting and detoxification, and such New Agey stuff as “the Inner Aspect.” 

Here’s how the Times introduced her new website:

The enterprise attracting the most media sniping right now? Goop.com, a lifestyle Web site and e-mail introduced in September that hits subscribers’ in-boxes on Thursdays with tips like “police your thoughts” and “eliminate white foods.” The site’s name is derived from Ms. Paltrow’s initials, and its slogan, “Nourish the Inner Aspect,” positions it deeply in the New Age realm. 

As the current model for Tod’s, the Italian luxury brand, she looks at home lounging around like Grace Kelly — outdoorsy and to the manner born. It seems that despite several lowbrow films, an aura of pleasant and tasteful hauteur remains. So why is she suddenly on TV giving dieting and fitness tips, backing a gym, writing a cookbook and an online newsletter full of shopping advice, kabbalistic musings and discussion of the Master Cleanse?

See? You would think I would hate that! My husband had fun reading aloud snippets from the NYT criticism and from her website itself and we chuckled over it together, but when he was at work, late the next day, I found myself sneaking onto her site (and then telling him about it later for a laugh.) 

And although she’s been criticized for her recommended reading list (which was compared to a high school reading list) and for her banana nut muffin recipe – “Does the world really need another banana muffin recipe?” asks Beth Wareham, in the NYT article. (Actually, I haven’t yet noticed said muffin recipe. There was a recipe for buckwheat and banana pancakes, which I found interesting because they lacked milk and eggs – and because the buckwheat crépes I’ve had at our favorite Crépere are really good!) And even though her travel sections firmly espouse a certain class level of which I’m not a part, as when recommends places to eat and stay in Paris and talks about being taken there by her father for a weekend getaway when she was a kid. And even though her holiday shopping guide include things like women’s watches for over $1,000 well despite all that, I still kind of like it!

I like it’s simplicity (and yes, it has been compared to Real Simple magazine). The layout and photographs are calming. Her food sections are really my favorite and give me the hope that someday I’ll enjoy cooking for my family – which is the premise of a new cookbook she is working on. Most of all, her menu for a one week detox (something I don’t actually believe in) provides a healthier alternative to the fasting that is so popular and actually looks good! I’m not a dieter, but I’m always longing to find something which will inspire me to break out of my bad habits and make me feel clean and fresh and energized so that I can begin to live a healthier lifestyle from now and into the future. 

So check it out and tell me what you think of it.

Blog Confession Number Three: Someday I Hope to Cook Again

I’ve really fallen off the cooking wagon. I guess I’m just incredibly overwhelmed. I’ve been having trouble sleeping at night and I’m having chronic tension headaches. My headaches are confined to the muscles of my scalp – for those of you who aren’t sure if there really are muscles up there, I assure you – they’re there! I suppose this is an improvement over the excruciating jaw that pain I used to get when I let stress overtake me, but it’s still no fun. I think I need a new pillow.

Moving on, I was up in the night again tossing and turning and I felt really overwhelmed by life.

Wait, before I regale you with the thoughts that press on me in the night, let me continue with the original purpose of this post: I want to start cooking again. I’ve found a couple of recipes on new blogs (new to me) that I’m interested in trying. 

Tico Tilapia with Gallo Pinto, by My Sphere of Domesticity ~This one is nice because fish is the only meat I eat, but I need courage to buy it and cook it. It helps to know that others are doing it too.

Cake aux Olives et au Jambon, by Dedene of Soyez le Bienenvenue Chez Moi, in yesterday’s post: How much do I hate housework?, ~ I like this because it’s a quick bread and has olives in it. I’ve been craving olive bread. Don’t eat ham though….

So I’ll be sure and let you know if I ever, ever make these dishes. (Let’s hope so.)

Back to my insomniac worries. It’s always something you know? We’ve gotten two tickets in the past two days because I didn’t realize that my car registration was expired. ARGH! (Now we are cleverly parking the car in back of our house where the cops can’t see it, take that! – We used to park there all the time until we realized that we would rather park on the street and avoid our crummy neighbors, than park in our shared lot.) We already have stupid bills that we shouldn’t even owe, because try as I might, I just can’t NOT get screwed over by phone and cable companies! They hate me! The bills are just growing and growing and I’m not working full time….

But then I decided I’m not going to let this defeated feeling drag me down. One thing I’ve learned in life, that I find hard to remember, is that life is equally horrible and wonderful at the same time all the time. It’s really your choice which side of it to see. 

So I choose to bring my self back up! I choose to believe that life is really very easy! I mean, I get to wake up most days and choose what to do with my day. The whole bill thing is simple, really – start paying them off! Spending money on bills doesn’t have to feel this terrible. I can apply myself and work out a budget, I do have a master’s degree for goodness sake!

And on that note. I don’t have to feel dragged down about the state of my kitchen, or the fact that I don’t cook anymore. I choose to be positive. I’m going to clean and I’m going to cook….someday.

Another Reason to Avoid Doing Housework

Yikes! I’m sure you’re all familiar with the studies which show that women are still earning less than men, or the studies which demonstrate the supposed monetary value of a housewife, but a Vanderbilt professor of law and economics, Joni Hersch, has found that housework decreases the earnings of both men and women. That is, the more hours a woman spends on housework, the lower her hourly wage will be, regardless of her profession outside the home.

You can read the story here:

Women’s and Men’s Earnings Hurt by Housework

I suppose that’s why such successful career-holding mothers as Caitlin Flanagan, and Penelope Trunk have – or have had – nannies, cleaning services, and “House Managers.” (And by the way, when Penelope Trunk announced that she hired a House Manager, her reader response was off the charts. People do NOT like a working mom who can afford such luxuries. Surprisingly, of her 175 commentors, it was the men and fathers who were most supportive of her decision.)

I think the moral of the story is that you cannot have it all – there will always be a trade-off.

A ‘Lil Sugar for Your Coffee This Morning: A Post in Two Parts

Part One

Having studied Linguistics, I’m not often offended by any single word. Words simply exist. And yet, context and history often do combine to load words with unpleasant connotations. Take the word housewife. I have put it in the title of my blog and still, I cringe when I hear it. Perhaps I feel I can claim this word  because I also work part-time in and out of the home and feel that I use it ironically in this new millennium.  I’m not yet a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom), I’m not a very good homemaker, and somehow, SAHW (stay-at-home-wife) bothers me most of all. I think there will always be debates over these words.

For commentary on the use of housewife vs. SAHM vs. homemaker, check out lilsugar.com – Tell Mommy: Does the Term “Housewife” Offend You?

Part Two

Image via themediansib.com

Image via The Median Sib

In my last post, I wrote the first of many posts on marriage. For a fun article on “Marrying One’s Self” check out Sexy in Van City, a blog by several 30-something gals living in Vancouver, BC. Enjoy yesterday’s post by Kittyn:  A la French Maid! 1950s House Wife Cleans The Home… the sexy way, in which she describes her transition from dating herself in 2008, to marrying herself in 2009. Gone will be the cluttered home, piles of clothes, rotting leftovers, (sinks full of dishes, if she’s anything like me) as she uses healthy, homemade cleaning products (baking soda, vinegar, and lavender oil) and gets dressed up in a fun, feminine costume, turning on the tunes and considering it a workout. 

I enjoyed Kittyn’s post immensely and it has provoked a lot of self-reflection. I find it a wise revelation in many ways. First, one must value herself before she can expect to be valued by a man (or partner). And second, it echos the sentiment of of homemaking in general. When we “nest,” or “home-make,” or “play house,” we are creating a pleasant environment for our loved ones (spouse, children, family) and for our selves to live happily and stress free in a hectic world.

New Social Network for the Domestically Inclined!

I am drooling over this new website:

Divine Domesticity Social Network

Oh. My. Gosh! I cannot believe this beautiful new social network brought to us by Ali B. of Divine Domesticity!!!! It is gorgeous and fun and I urge you to check it out.

As for her blog, I’ve been meaning to talk about it for a couple of weeks since I found it, but time is always so short. I definitely recommend it too. She posts everyday with lots of recipes. I hope, I hope, I hope, that when I’ve been blogging for 4 years, my stuff will be just as awesome as hers!

On The Gentle Art of Domesticity

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Like Glassford Hill Girl, the young author of a pretty blog I’ve just discovered, I’m curious about this new book by Jane Brocket, The Gentle Art of Domesticity. How can I not be in love with Jane Brocket when she has this to say on her personal website:

I’m a late-starter in life; I have never exactly rushed into things like proper jobs, house-buying, marriage, children. And the same applies to my writing. It seems I’ve been storing up all kinds of literary inspiration for years but am only now getting it onto paper….

I am also the creator of yarnstorm. I set up yarnstorm in February 2005 in order to write about knitting. The subject matter soon expanded to include quilting, baking, gardening, colour, inspiration, books, paintings and films (in fact, all the good things in domestic life). I am now blogging at the new jane brocket blog

This is true inspiration to a girl like me who is only now exploring her domestic side (and who is attempting to conquer her undomesticity) at the age of thirty. I often feel like I’m behind everyone else and clueless about these things – hence, my M.O. for this blog! Not only that, but I have latent aspirations of publishing my own writing someday (don’t we all, fellow bloggers?) and it was the creation of my first blog, The Shaggy Dog Story, a knitting blog, which led this new blog, where I spend most of my time musing about all things domestic.

My kindred spirit in the UK!

Has anyone bought or read this book yet? I usually get a Barnes & Noble gift card for Christmas, so perhaps I’ll get it soon and share more about it.