Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Well, here goes! After all the guests and relatives and dogs (4) had left for home this Christmas holiday, my cream colored carpet was not in the best of shape! Out came the Australian Guy's vacuum cleaner (Dyson... and still working like a charm, BTW!) and my newly-exchanged-for-a-new-one-at-COSTCO Bissel rug cleaner!
The Bissel does a decent job in its own right, but I got the bright idea to add a bit of TIDE to the hot water to see what happens. (Remember, don't try this unless you bought the thing at COSTCO). While there may be serious consequences for my behavior down the road, at present I have one darn clean carpet! So clean it makes me want to run out and have a manicure so that I can sit on the floor and graciously run my hand over my newly-cream-color-again ultra clean carpet! Happy Days!
Monday, December 26, 2005
A sweet voice left a message wishing the intended recipient a merry Christmas and also made plans for a visit, would he please call back to confirm.
Which made me kind of sad, as I and only I knew that they had flubbed the number and were leaving their message on my machine rather than Uncle Horatio's. Most likely, the caller will call again when they don't hear back from Uncle Horatio. Presumably, they will get the number right on the second try.
But what if they don't? What if Uncle Horatio never gets his message, and the caller assumes he is not interested in a visit? Had the voice on the phone left a number, I would have called and told them about the mixup...but they didn't.
So, before you write someone off as rude or not interested....make sure you didn't leave your message on my answering machine by mistake.
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Peace on Earth!
Thursday, December 08, 2005
I felt I needed to comment on this email that was sent in by a visitor to retrohousewife.com, especially the comment about "Go out and get a real job". This retro housewife maintains that running a household and being the primary caregiver of the children is a "real job", and is in fact, one of the most important ones around.
Liberation and voting have little to do with it; I do not equate being a housewife with any sort of oppression or bondage, and I always vote. Somewhere along the line, society did start to view the profession "Housewife" in this light, which to me is the ultimate in chauvinism. Because the role of keeping house and raising children is traditionally a woman's job, it is somehow of no value?
As for sitting around watching Oprah, or not knowing how to cook or clean, allow me to point out that there are members of every profession who are not quite as competent as they should be. Shall we do away with all waiters if one happens to spill a drink on a customer?
Also, "Wanting to spend quality time with the children" is a curious concept that has become the mantra of many these days, as if it were some sort of evidence of one's own virtue. The phrase is bandied about much the same way one talks about taking up painting to enrich one's mind.
I've got news for you folks, raising children is not about spending quality time with them. It is about living up to your responsibility to mold the little ones that you placed on this earth into quality human beings who will add to society or at the least not harm it.
Much of the time it ain't pretty, and it is not about sitting around reading moralizing, preachy stories to them for a half an hour before bed time. Fact is, when you take on too much, something always comes up short. Your kids will be just fine without the Starbucks crowd's version of quality time. They may not be fine without someone who has the time and energy to instill discipline and ethics into often unwilling participants.
Beating a child into submission is not raising a child, whether or not you remember the "lesson". It is the act of an unskilled and frustrated parent, and not at all useful in today's society. (How often does a boss pummel an employee who takes a questionable sick day?).
Yes, you may have more money with two incomes (although I do not necessarily agree with this, but that will be another blog), but if your personal balance sheet is what is important to you, why have the children in the first place?
Saturday, November 26, 2005
Here is a blog that you may find entertaining, or enlightening or something. Well anyway in the spirit of cameraderie, the happy ex-housewife blog is a good read!
Hope you all survived the holidays and had many Good Housekeeping moments...I will write a few tidbits about our lovely meal when I recover from my turkey hangover!
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
I got a lovely newsletter from BHG which had this recipe for an Apple Pie with maple...I love maple so I thought I would give it a try, and it was scrumpdilliumptious! I put a link to the original recipe, but just in case they delete it, I am reproducing it here. Bon Apetit! Here are the Ingredients:
1 recipe Pastry for Double-Crust Pie (see recipe below)
- 1/3 cup sugar 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 cups sliced, peeled apples (6 medium) * I used Granny Smith apples, which are my favorits for pies* RH
- 1/2 cup maple-flavored syrup or pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla Milk Sugar or maple syrup
- Prepare and roll out pastry for double-crust pie. Line a 9-inch pie plate with half of the pastry. Set aside.
- For filling, in a large bowl, stir together the 1/3 cup sugar, the cornstarch, and the salt. Add the apples and gently toss until coated.
- In a small bowl, stir together maple syrup, whipping cream, and vanilla. Pour over apple mixture. Fold until combined. Transfer to the pastry-lined pie plate. Trim pastry to 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate.
- Roll out remaining pastry and cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips. (Or roll out second portion of pastry to form a top crust; cut slits.) Weave strips over filling for lattice crust. Press ends of strips into crust rim. Fold bottom pastry over strips; seal and crimp edge. Brush pastry with milk and sprinkle with sugar. To prevent overbrowning, cover edge of pie with foil. If you like, place the pie on a baking sheet to catch drips.
- Bake the pie in a 375 degree F oven for 25 minutes. Remove the foil. Bake the pie for about 30 minutes more or until the top is golden. Serve warm or cool. Makes 8 servings. Note: To make pastry cutouts on top of pie, roll out pastry scraps about 1/8 inch thick and use small cutters to form leaf shapes. Moisten with water and place atop unbaked crust.
Pastry for Double-Crust Pie: (If you have never made pie crust yourself, here is a basic recipe...remember the trick to a flakey crust is not to overwork your pastry...this isn't bread, the less you mess the better! I learned how to make a pie crust in my 8th grade home economics class and I must admit, it was certainly one of the more useful things I learned in school! RH)
- In a mixing bowl, stir together 2 cups all-purpose flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in 2/3 cup shortening until pieces are peasize.
- Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of cold water over part of the mixture; gently toss with a fork. Push moistened dough to the side of the bowl. Repeat moistening dough, using 1 tablespoon cold water at a time, until all the dough is moistened (6 to 7 tablespoons cold water total).
- Divide dough in half. Form each half into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to slightly flatten 1 dough ball. Roll dough from center to edge into a circle about 12 inches in diameter.
- To transfer pastry, wrap it around the rolling pin. Unroll pastry into a 9-inch pie plate. Ease pastry into pie plate, being careful not to stretch pastry. Continue as directed above.
Nutrition facts per serving:
- calories: 435 oh well, at least enjoy it!
- total fat: 20g
- cholesterol: 10mg
- sodium: 205mg
- carbohydrate: 61g
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
I found this to be a humorous read! Old wives tales indeed! I do take issue with the entry about hair, and whether it grows in darker and thicker when you shave it! I personally have seen several cases where this has been the case, and the poor dears who attempted to avoid a proper waxing have now found themselves with proper mustaches, a la Groucho Marx. It is a fairly certain way to simply destroy your social calendar, as it is difficult to keep engagements whilst one is hiding in a dark cave.
Beware girls! Do not be tempted by your husband's razor! Instead, endure a few stings at the salon and enjoy your luncheons.
The Retro Housewife
Saturday, October 08, 2005
This time it involved my dear, long time friend Gwendolyn, and her quest to enroll her 2 year old son in one of those "statistically proven to help your child do better in school" preschools, in that liberal landmark of the left, the ever so politically correct (BART here!!??) enclave of Marin. (One just pictures the children skipping around amongst butterflies, not hurting anyone's feelings, and under absolutely no circumstances, playing ANY game to win.)
It seems, however, that pre-schools are now big business, not to mention exclusive, and one can't simply pop in with your child under your arm, scrawl your name on a form, hand them your dear child and run out the door before they notice that you wrote "Martha Stewart" on the intake. Noooooooo. There are appointments, and interviews and evaluations where both you and your child are evaluated on your fitness to attend preschool.
It was during one of these "evaluations" that the event in question occured. As Gwendolyn told it, she was sitting there listening attetively to the preschool teacher extol the virtues of their "Program", when the teacher lowered her voice a notch and said in one of those conspiritorial tones, "Of course, I have to tell you that some of the boys have had disciplinary problems, and had to be medicated so that they could continue to participate in the curriculum". She then went on to explain that the disciplinary problems involved not sitting still nicely, instead choosing to run around and disturbing the girls in their reading efforts. Mind you, we are talking about 2 to 4 year olds here, (whose parents obviously place a lot of value on being able to read at a very young age).
Now I grew up one of three sisters, and granted I spent at least a good 10 years convinced that the so called "differences" between boys and girls were merely the product of the white male opression of just about anything that moved and was not white and male. Girls only liked to play with dolls because their foolish parents stereotyped them at an early age, and boys would be just as happy with the same said doll as their sisters. That's what I thought, at least, until I had a son. From then on, all bets were off and I was faced with a small bundle of energy that never seemed to tire of running, jumping, climbing and generally making a racket. Not that my daughter is any shrinking violet, she just doesn't seem to have the inclination to try and hit the 15ft high ceiling with my excersise ball over, and over and over.
And let me dispell any armchair diagnoses that perhaps there is some hyperactivity going on here. In fact, when my son's friends come over, if the ball is in view (and I am not), it will invariablly get a kick, or at least an energetic toss heavenwards. It is, I learned, the nature of the beast, and in fact perfectly normal and desireable.
But Wait! Wasn't it just such similar behavior that was the reason for the little preschooler's precocious sponsoring of the pharmaceutical companies? Such behavior is considered "disruptive" up in Marin Preschools. In fact, an elementary school principal did actually suggest that I take MY son to the "Therapist" and seek some calming remedy in pill form after he and another boy had gotten into a pushing fight in the school lunch line. And it seems, the more often I tell that story, the more often I hear similar tales from other parents.
Somehow, the combination of the feminist Movement, political correctness, increasing violence in schools, an increasingly female school staff and a general acceptance that it is OK to trash the white male and blame him for just about anything has produced the general notion that normal male behavior is aberrant, undesireable and unhealthy and needs to be treated as any illness would be.
In other words, Diagnosis Male.
Friday, September 23, 2005
It's also earthquake season, and sure enough we had a 3.7 mini shaker. Which is just large enough to remind us that sometimes we are also just as tiny as the ants.
Saturday, August 20, 2005
As I was watering the lawn the other day, I was thinking about what it means to be a retro housewife and the roles of women and how they have drastically changed during my lifetime. I am officially part of what they called "Generation X" or gen-x, having missed the baby boomer bunch by a year. Mine is the first generation of women who actually grew up with the expectation that women would be more than housewives and mothers, that we would "have it all". The successful career, the perfect house in the suburbs, the kids that play little league, soccer, and belong to their local girlscout or boyscout troop.
In short, I am a lab rat of feminisim, and this rat would like to squeal a bit. I want to say up front that I am not ungrateful for the efforts of Gloria Steinem et all, but I am wondering if they thought this thing through. I can actually say I have done it all, the career women with the job in investment banking thing, the stay at home mom thing, the trying to have a career while raising two kids thing, and then finally, the saying what in the hell were we thinking and becoming a "retro housewife" thing.Did Anyone Think This Through?
This lab rat wonders if anyone had thought about how a woman is supposed to have that career, raise the children and keep some semblance of a home life together. Just how are we supposed to do this in a 24 hour day? Maybe women really are from Venus, at least those of the Feminist variety. The Venus day has 2802 hours in it, and I suspect that this is enough time to fairly devote enough time to each of the feats we are supposed to accomplish each day. What I want to know is... Did their plan involve relocating to Venus? If so, someone forgot to include the directions to Venus in the Feminist Handbook.The Results Are IN!
I think it is fair that the lab rats get to report in from the field, and maybe pose a question or two. My first question is, What Did We Gain? and by "We" I mean society. The collective WE. On the plus side, women have more rights, more choice, and more say in determining the course of their lives. We are better educated, more involved, and have a voice. We have respect and have shown that we can be doctors, lawyers and indian chiefs! Gone is the "little woman" who shouldn't bother her pretty little head about trivial things like finances and politics. We are taken seriously now. That is always a good thing in my book and it is good for society. So Hooray for that!
What did we Lose? is my second question, and that is easy for me to answer. We lost peace and serenity in our lives. We lost our children, and the lazy days of summer. Every day we shove off ill mannered, hyperactive, demanding children on daycare workers and teachers and expect them to raise our children. We wonder why we seem to have less time, why our schools are failing, and why half the kids are on ritalin or prozac for kids (reminds me of Gap and Baby Gap), and that no one really seems any happier.We also damaged and demeaned our male counterparts and left them bewildered and slightly afraid of us. We created an entire new industry of infertility specialists to try and do what nature did not intend.
That is why I became a retro housewife. At least in spirit, if not always in practise as the financial burdens of today's world no longer permit this. We need to really look at the role of women in our society, from the perspective of those who lived and are living the experiment."They" have always said that Generation X, in contrast to the Baby Boomers, had nothing to say. Well I would like to respond with that by saying, we have plenty to say, just no time to say it because we are too busy trying to survive all of the social changes started in the 60's!
The Retro Housewife
Friday, June 10, 2005
Today I saw a real pissing match. Took the dogs for a walk, nice long one an the beagle took a whiz, then Oslo came along and had to redo matters. (Picture of Oslo to the left)
On another note, ran into Carlos for the first time in many months, he gave me two big beautiful bouquets of flowers. Some people are just nice. Well off to coffee!
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
This morning I had a terrible scare.
Over the week-end, my son had his birthday party, which was a sleep over for 5 of his 12 year old friends. There had been a pinata, about 20 Lbs of candy and a lot of prepubescent boy energy sizzling through the house. Needless to say, even after my son's best efforts of clean up, a serious cleaning still needed to be done. By a professional...A real retro housewife.
I wasn't too worried about it, being that I had in my possession the vacuum cleaner with the English Accent; "The Dyson". The one that was developed by a man who for some reason spent a lot of time vacuuming, and became so enthralled that he devoted 7 years of his life developing his own, which according to him is the only vacuum guaranteed not to lose suction....
A little background here...and an admission of playing hard and fast with COSTCO's return policy. For those who are unaware, Costco takes back everything you buy there, including vacuum cleaners. My fancy British Cleaner was, in fact, my 5th vacuum cleaner this year. All purchased at Costco, and up until now, all returned. The reason? They didn't suck. Well ok, one was returned because the power cord turned out to be defective in that it allowed itself to be chewed in half by the tiniest of beagles. But the rest were just plain useless. But now, I was the proud owner of the only vacuum guaranteed not to lose suction.
So, I switched my DYSON on with the intention of disposing of the remains of the party. Started swishing back and forth, like one does, when I noticed to my horror that the dirt, doghair and candy remnants were still on the carpet. It had happened. The supposedly impossible. It had lost suction.
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Monday, May 30, 2005
Beagle and her oversized Pal OSLO are this Retro's daytime companions. Beagle likes to come snuggle up next to me when I am on the computer, and can sleep the entire day. Oslo is a 150 Lb Alaskan Malamut (sleight weight problem) who is really quite large. When he wants attention, he just comes up and flips your arm with his head...really quite effective as it is impossible to ignore. I find myself holding entire conversations with them during the day, and scolding them for using the wrong door when their paws are muddy. They actually seem to listen to me, which is nice. Cheaper than my shrink too...