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traditional homemaking: a homemade winter! - Page 6

post #101 of 324
Okay. I feel like a slacker today reading about all you productive, creative mamas. Especially today. Tell me other moms have days where it feels like NOTHING gets done. Here was my day:

Get up later than I wanted because my cosleeping kiddo won't sleep without me in bed and had a bad night; made a late breakfast of pancakes; made bread; put in load of laundry; knitted two rows; worked on my sermon for Sunday; read a looong chapter in our chapter book to my girls; taught my 6YO DD how to knit; made boxed (organic at least) mac and cheese for lunch; did family art time where we all drew a dinosaur circus performer, a sun, an owl with lights on it (don't ask me - it was 3YO DD's idea) and Christmas lights; knitted two more rows; updated my blog; started trying to figure out dinner; gave my kids bread, almond butter, and homemade blueberry jam and hardboiled eggs while I figured it out; spent half an hour pretending to be a dinosaur; helped the girls clean their toys up; put dishes in the dishwasher; decided that we would make it a new year's eve tradition to eat ice cream for supper and so I made ice cream; worked a bit on our farm newsletter; put the girls to bed; remembered the laundry I started 12 hours ago and put it in the dryer; and here I am.

Does anyone else have days like this where there is nothing to show for your day and you feel like you got nothing done? Seriously. How was that my day? LOL.
post #102 of 324
Thread Starter 
sounds like a busy day! making ice cream in particular it happens to me a lot.

i've cleaned the house a LOT today, which feels great, and i've also begun knitting a pair of cabley handwarmers. i'm going to make a longer thumb on these ones and so i'm adapting the latest pattern from purl bee for that.

have a lovely new year's eve! off to bring in the new year knitting with friends

post #103 of 324
Yeah, sunnylady, that sounds pretty productive to me.

For me, for some reason my level of satisfaction is directly tied to how the house looks at the end of the day. If it's pretty tidy, I feel good.

It's all right today. We slept in and had breakfast out, which I hate but dh really wanted, so we went. So, we were lunch-free. We hit the library for books and movies, and then I baked a big batch of bread (I freeze them) and cooked a pot of chili. Which my dh apparently is not interested in eating. Then I did some knitting, and just now I read a little for a work project I'm considering.

I'm trying to decide how much I want to work outside the home. I get sucked in because it's work I enjoy, and it gets me the (almost) instant gratification of people being pleased with my work...as opposed to the personal work I want to do, but I just can't be bothered to set aside time and place. Also, there's the whole money thing. But already I can see that I can't balance it all. I've only recently begun to see that, indeed, being married--that is, being a partner to my spouse--is a job for me. I don't like the way that sounds when I type it here. I don't mean it in a bad way. But I am likely only going to work until the first signs of spring (kidding in March, I guess), and then I'll be once again 100% dedicated here.

Happy New Year, mamas.
post #104 of 324
That sounds like a day I dream of having sunnylady!!

I think the most productive thing I did today (aside from caring for and playing with the DC) was making hambone and bean soup in the crockpot. I have become obsessed with reading again (voracious reader through teen years, got married and forgot about books ) and was lent a copy of You Are Your Child's First Teacher, so that is what I have been doing instead of household things. I'm kind of soaking in the last days of the holidays with the kids and next week I'm hoping to get our new routine going. Well, get it a bit more structured anyway.
post #105 of 324
Sunnylady, I lurk here because I always feel so unproductive in comparison and you post was no exception. Your day sounds incredibly productive to me
The first day of the year is just finishing up here and I haven't really done much at all except play with the kidlets and talk to dh. DD requested DH make pancakes for breakfast, we had lunch out (while shopping for a crock to make saurkraut, no luck ) and now DH is roasting the last of our grass-fed beef for dinner so I haven't even done any cooking.
I did shine the sink though. My only NY's resolution is to give flylady's 31 babysteps a go. Not the shoes though. I've tried before and I get her point but we have free range chickens in the yard and a crawling baby inside. We take our shoes off at the door for a reason!
post #106 of 324
Welcome to the newbies!
Originally Posted by _ktg_ View Post
Did I say scared... I meant terrified Angelique too bad you didn't live closer as I would take sewing lessons from you in a heartbeat!
I taught myself from patterns and books. I'm no expert, but I can assemble basic things. I think it's my willingness to completely screw up and start over that has gotten me this far.

Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post
I figure that building/woodworking isn't much different than sewing right??
I laughed when I read this because I feel the same way. Before I got pregnant, DH was running his own carpentry business and I was his "apprentice" (lackey). With a strong background in art & crafting, carpentry mostly makes sense.

Originally Posted by artparent View Post
my tall girl would like to sew clothes for her doll, and now that she hasn't got quite so much around to be busy with, it seems like we can get started. anyone else sewing with children?
As kids, we crocheted clothes for our barbies. Not sure if your DD is interested in crochet, but the freeform sculptability of crochet allows for quick success IMO. I know that in the frontier days, boys and girls used to help with the sewing around age 5 & up, so she should do great!

Originally Posted by whoMe View Post
Angelique, have you seen there's an allergen-free recipes and meal ideas thread in the allergies forum? I think it's linked in the resources sticky. Lots of great ideas in there!
Thanks. My solution was to go completely off the wagon...

Sunnylady- I used to feel that "nothing to show" feeling a lot until I revised my expectations. My current criteria for a "productive" day: Everyone dressed and fed, actively played w/ DS, did any cleaning (even a little), did anything else (even a little). That's enough!

Happy New Year!!!
May your meals be healthy and delicious, your floors be shiny, your crafts inspired, your children engaged, and most important of all: May your home be full of love!
post #107 of 324
Thread Starter 
happy new year, mamas. i happily spent it soused, with an old friend, and teaching a new friend to knit i'm not sure if it was the blue moon, but none of our children could get to sleep - my poor folks had one of mine bring in the new year with them

so we're a little sleepy out here, but i have been working on the pair to my cabley gloves, and i cut up a bingo game i once printed + laminated, it is off marthastewart kids...very pretty but must come up with all the bits to go with it we've been having a *great* time with 'brain quest' games with the little one, she loves it, and it points to what we haven't played with much, in her case it is recognising written numbers, so i got out the play money today and bingo...maybe we can play some card games sometime too. before we forget about it again and just live

i have a request to do some sewing with my tall one, must find materials.

i started the day with some yoga! it felt like a huge relief, as if i hadn't really been present in my body these last few months. i hope to make this a lifelong practice.

oh, by the way, i finished the lion brand cowl, i wore it out last night, it was very cosy but i may put in a couple of ties hidden inside to tighten it up around my neck, or something...if i make it again i might decrease it around the back of the neck somewhat, and make it longer. i want a different pattern for the grey one i want to make. 73 projects on my brain.

post #108 of 324

the days are flying by! my computer has been acting up and is now in the "shop" hopefully getting all better. i have tried posting here a few times in the past weeks, but it freezes every time. arg. i love my lime green laptop

last night we shared a lovely hot bonfire in the snow and potluck and fireworks show at a friends house, got home after 1am with 2 out of three littles asleep..and slept in till 10am this morning *sigh*
we are currently under assault by some major snow. we spent the late morning at the local polar bear swim (did not actually get wet) & bonfire..ate veggies dogs and hot apple cider with cayenne, then headed to the sledding hill where we got completely soaked and freezing. its heavily snowing but big fat wet flakes that melt when they land on you. still, we had a ton of fun, at least till we got icy fingers and toes.

now we are home, enjoying a cozy evening by the fire, the kiddlets are watching a movie, a special treat and baby is napping.

i still have my tree up, its so bright and sparkly and im feeling like im not ready to say goodbye to it just yet. usually by this time im so ready to get it out of the house..

im kind of in limbo with my body. af is late and im feeling pretty off.. but i poas last night in the early morning and got a bfn. it was a year old though & expired..so im not sure what to think. its putting my head in strange places though because i am having baby lust and know i should not be thinking of having babies right now. my sil is pregnant and my best friend in the world (she lives in holland now) both due in the summer.. im surrounded by pregnancy and all i seem to see are new babies and pregnant woman. my littlest one will be 2 in a few short weeks and i know that's part of it, but i would really like to get my moon and be over the speculation and onto being really carefully trying to avoid.

on home-making..not much to add.
i got a brand new king sized feather duvet & white cotton cover for Christmas from my mama, so i have been trying to spend extra time snuggled in heavenly warmth...a few days left till my boy is supposed to go back to school.. im thinking of keeping him home another few days though..im really enjoying the slow days.
post #109 of 324
Happy New Year!

We had a nice night last night. Oldest dd went to an old friend's house for a slumber party which was nice. She hasn't seen her old friends for quite some time and I know she misses them a lot. The rest of the family cuddled up on the couch with popcorn and sparkling apple juice and watched some episodes of "Man vs Wild" which we all love. At midnight the kids got to go outside and make a bunch of noise with the rest of the neighbourhood (and boy was it noisy! LOL) and then everyone was off to bed at about 1:00.

Today was pretty quiet since I was still beat from the late night with the kids but I did manage to do 4 loads of laundry and make 2 loaves of bread. This weekend I plan on doing more de-cluttering and organizing so hopefully dh can drop load of stuff off at the Salvation Army on Monday. It always feels so good to see that stuff leave the house, like a weight lifted off my shoulders.

Fern - I am in the same boat as you with the baby lust. My brother just announced that he is going to be a daddy over Christmas and we just found out that our neighbour is pregnant as well. It feels odd to not be the one pregnant or with a small baby. I know that having another just isn't a good idea right now since our life right now is so uncertain. Dh isn't working due to several disabilities (which we've been waiting for ages for various doctors and tests and possible surgery). Dh keeps bringing up another baby and I have to keep reminding him that it's just not possible (okay, it's possible but wouldn't be very responsible) right now. Ugh, I'm hoping 2010 brings good luck, good health and peace with whatever we decide as far as family goes.

Oops, forgot to mention that ds's wrist is fine. No break and he's completely back to normal.
post #110 of 324
I struggle with being a homemaker. I'd like to be one, but I find it hard to get off the computer and organize my time sufficiently. Also, both my parents worked full time and I grew up on frozen dinners, so I don't have a RL role model. I feel pretty clueless.

So I have some questions for all you lovely homemakers (sorry for dumb questions):

What is your definition of a homemaker? What tasks does s/he do?

What is your schedule like?

When are you done with your day? What do you feel you need to get accomplished to feel like your day was productive?

What book(s) do you recommend?

post #111 of 324
Thread Starter 
earthnut, welcome. we're all learning + aspiring here, join right in!
for me being a homemaker is growing from balancing needs in the home for cleanliness, order, health, good diet, appropriate clothing...caring for children and helping them learn, making this little internal world work for everyone in the family....to becoming something of a calling, where my home is beautiful, considered, and where the homemade is central. it means that instead of meal being a chore, it is something i am involved in from as early as possible and all the way through...i hope one day to grow a lot of my food, preserve it, learn how to prepare it in different ways. i may move towards homesteading/having a small holding, or i may never even get chickens, but for me i'm already in a state of homemaking. i like my day to end when the children are asleep, though i may spend the evening making something while i spend time with my sweetheart...i also like for weekends to be quieter. to feel productive i love to have made something, but to feel peaceful i need to have the place reset, more or less. that means a clean kitchen, toys put away, and laundry in good order...spaces clean + clear for the most part. this is not always happening!!!
will look for my best books..

i am so happy, our floors in london are being finished today! they are GORGEOUS and the whole house is lighter and brighter. i'm going to bring my old finnish broom with me (very small, shaped like a rustic hockey stick) to use there. i can't wait to go settle in and set up the old studio as a children's room, and the old family bedroom as *our* bedroom...put everything in its place and just enjoy it (keeping it clean + maintaining tidy is less inspiring, but you know )

only i'm having too much fun in vancouver

i love my cabley gloves, and i've started a pair of socks for my seam-sensitive little one. i decide to base the toe on the knitty 'widdershins' and used their universal toe up to calculate the size. then the variegated yarn was so beautiful i have decided to just do stockinette, though i may add some lacy stuff at the leg. it is entrancing to watch the colours grow.

what are you making?

post #112 of 324
For me, homemaking has meant sacrifice, to an extent. In my case, it means saying no to a career-track job outside the home in order to ensure that family needs are met to the fullest extent possible.

In our case, it is a smallholding, with livestock and chickens and gardens. We do grow a lot of our own food, and what we don't grow, we do cook with few exceptions. So there is a lot of work around the home, no matter the season, and then the cleanup after the work itself.

What I have found is that it makes our home truly the center of our family life, rather than a crash pad. We eat almost all meals as a family, we work together on a lot of tasks, and much of our social life takes place here, too.

I have a close friend who lives in a city but also, IMO, is a traditional homemaker. Obviously, no chickens or livestock and her garden is smaller, but she works daily at making her home the center of the family life. In her case, more time is spent on creating homemade clothes, toys, decor, etc., but spending time on our kids' educations, teaching them skills in the kitchen and at a crafting table (which also happens to be our kitchen table )...that's all part of the job.

And all this is not to say I have completely given up WOHM. I still do, to varying degrees. I'm much more careful now, though, about making sure I have the time and energy at home to take care of things.

My cowl is about halfway but I have had to take a break because my hands are locking up. So, I am working on other things, writing, and working out at the Y. Loving the membership, and looking forward to really using it when the kids are back in school.
post #113 of 324
Welcome earthnut! I agree with Artparent, we're all learning here and its more fun together.

For me being a homemaker, is defining a balance between my career (full time WOHM), school & home projects and a lifestyle both DH & I want to build for our kiddos. Homecooked meals from scratch (less processed if possible), learning the art of preservation,using homemade cleaners instead of other pre-made items, more upcycling & recycling, gardening, composting, learning to knit & sew to create items which I now buy (socks, rugs, quilts, curtains, & towels).

My mom was a SAHM until we all were in school, I'm the oldest of 3 and that's it. I love to cook - learned myself, but I can barely bake, and yikes to sewing & knitting. This xmas she is supporting my desire to learn to can and etc with some lessons next year during the season, but this was after 2 years of badgering her about it.

We just got done with our monthly grocery run, so I'm going to be busy cooking & preparing items for freezing today. I'm trying very hard to switch our meals to a more seasonal embrace so lots of soups, chilis, speghetti sauce which doubles for lasanga. Last night after the costco run, we got one of their prepared chickens, and I chopped up an acorn squash, rutabaga & green apple roasted them and served it with some basic risotto.

I've also started 2 jars of homemade vingear (white & red), so hopefully in 12 weeks I'll have some of that to enjoy! DH has also mentioned he wants to start making pizza crust from scratch (we cheat for time sake on worknights with premade dough) so we might be learning to bake together.
post #114 of 324
Thread Starter 
yum, we loved pizza night, we'd used the breadmaker to make the dough at the time, but no reason to really. if i can figure out to make it gluten-free, but without corn...maybe i can try it again! i'm starting to think i and one or both of my kids may actually be gluten intolerant. interesting article on this. we used to invite friends round and we'd all put the pizzas together, i will never forget how much fun it was

interesting how working at home or outside the home plays into all of this. sometimes i'm not up to much else, but sometimes i can handle my art practice or some design/illustration work as well. i think the more organised i get the more i take on

ktg, how did you make the vinegar? i'd love to make some properly

post #115 of 324
post #116 of 324
We do pizza dough in the bread machine too. I tried it in the kitchenaid last week, but it was much easier in the bread machine so that's what I used tonight.

Homemaking to me is taking care of my family and home in the best way I can that works for us. I have been making more meals from scratch (and baked goods too), cleaning on a schedule (no schedule=no cleaning for me), and making a calendar to organize myself and all of the activities. I've also cut down the use of the computer. Previously, I had it on all day and would pop on for "a minute" and end up wasting an hour. Now, I don't start the computer until the kids go for their afternoon nap. I am accomplishing more that way. I also sew clothes for the kids from tutorials from various blogs and/or Craftster. This spring I am hoping to put a garden in, but I'm not sure it will be as large as I had hoped. Our soil isn't ideal at the new place, so I'm thinking of a raised bed. However, we just moved here in July and have many other things that need to be done, so i may have to settle for a few containers of veggies.

I would also like to know how you make vinegar! I just learned how to make vanilla extract a few weeks ago, but we use much more vinegar!
post #117 of 324
Originally Posted by earthnut View Post
I struggle with being a homemaker. I'd like to be one, but I find it hard to get off the computer and organize my time sufficiently.
Hi, earthnut! I'd say I'm an aspiring homemaker, too. My Mom was a SAHM, but I grew up thinking that was a second-class path and I didn't really pay much attention to what she did. I do remember a clean house and dinner every night at 5pm.... which made my Mom laugh when I told her. Apparently, things weren't nearly as smooth as I remember. Which gives me hope for my failings not ruining my kids!

Anyway, I've been a SAHM for a little over 2 years now, and I'm just starting to take it the homemaker part of it to heart. It kinda reminds me of the deschooling that homeschoolers talk about. I spent a long time letting the house go, letting it keep the state it was in when DH and I both worked long hours. I'll let myself chalk some of that up to having an infant/young toddler, but a lot of it was just a lack of effort on my part.

It's only been since about last summer that I've started to see homemaking as my job (although I've been cooking for our family for years). I've tried a lot of different skills and approaches; for instance, daily/weekly schedules of what to clean didn't help me at all and I'm still a terrible knitter, but I'm good at cleaning little areas at a time and I'm a decent sewer as long as I don't have to follow a pattern. But I try to do enough during the day that, at the end of the day, I feel like I've been productive.

My goal is to make incremental progress in each area. I've cooked for a long time, but it's only recently that I've been baking our own bread (thanks, 5 minute refrigerator bread!), and I'm currently working on cutting our grocery purchases down to the most whole foods that I can. Around the house, I've finally made a habit of keeping the dishwasher cycling and keeping dirty dishes from piling up, and keeping the main living areas pretty clean. I'm currently working on those side areas that love clutter. I've now sewn enough that I can make clothes for my daughter, and I'm slowly slowly slowly working on the knitting.

I'm not the most patient person, and I usually get frustrated by small steps. But for some reason, I'm finding a lot of satisfaction in seeing the slow progress I'm making. But I've had to find my own path and areas that inspire me (or give me a kick in the rear); trying to adopt someone else's system didn't work for me.
post #118 of 324
Originally Posted by greenmamapagan View Post
I did shine the sink though. My only NY's resolution is to give flylady's 31 babysteps a go. Not the shoes though. I've tried before and I get her point but we have free range chickens in the yard and a crawling baby inside. We take our shoes off at the door for a reason!

us, too ... same reasons!! backyard chickens and a baby on the floors.

I grew up in a no-shoe house, and I find shoes in the house to be rather uncivilized. So I made that a rule for my family as well.

I've been a FlyLady-follower since 2000. not so committed, most of the time, but DH & I have made it a resolution for this year. tooooo much to do around our house, so we're going to follow her schedule more deliberately this month.

My life over the next 6 weeks is mostly going to be governed by kids' birthdays, though. DD3 turns one next Sat. DD2 turns 6 in Feb. DD1 turned 10 in Dec, but her bday party had to be postponed, so it will be sometime in between the others. I'm have very clever home made plans for all if them.

post #119 of 324
Thanks for the welcomes! I went to college but have never had a 'career' so I'm not giving that up. I want to be at peace at being a homemaker (without a nagging guilt about not having a 'real job' ). I do have many self-taught skills -

I can crochet (I know how to knit but it is slow and stressful. My mom has a knitting machine for when I really want to knit)
I can sew, rudimentarily. I seem to best without a pattern.
I can cook, though I've had no motivation to do so recently.
I can bake bread, but I haven't done it in a while because we found a place to get free, artesian bread.
I can grow my own food, in fact botany was my major in college.
I have chickens, and hopefully bees this spring. Someday I'll get goats, but with a new baby, I don't know when. And we live in the middle of the city. :nana
I collect mushrooms and wild plants for food.
I can can, we've been quite productive in this for the past couple years.

But I don't feel all those skills make me a homemaker. I think I'll start trying to have a tidy (if not clean) house each day. Cleaning is another thing I have no motivation for.
post #120 of 324
Thread Starter 
earthnut, those skills are great! i didn't have a clean house until i *had* a baby - because i never really had a reason before. it started to drive me quite mad...i found flylady really useful for me and have adapted my own routines to that. when i do them life is very, peaceful, and my home becomes increasingly beautiful. there's lots of time for everything you want to do. i find the trick for me is to make it an aesthetically satisfying experience, to the point of becoming spiritual i've written about washing the dishes this way. i actually really love putting on my beloved rubber boots and taking out the compost now though i still forget and avoid it! and i love my weekly cleaning hour because everything is reset to clean, and if i get a certain level of clean + tidy it is so easy to maintain - then everything else i want to do falls in line.

PNC..i need better computer habits too. as you can see

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