Archive for February 8th, 2007

Cribbed from Mimi’s blog. Actually, I ended up going to the source, someone called Rosemary, because somehow Mimi lost some of the letters of the alphabet. Apparently this is supposed to be called the “Domestic Goddess” meme, but as anyone who knows me knows, I don’t Do goddesses. Call it the “Domestic Domovaya” meme, a domovaya being the female of two little Russian house spirits who keep things ticking along for the family (and mess things up if they don’t think the family is taking good enough care of the home!).

Aprons- Y/N- I love aprons but I don’t always wear one. My favorites are “housewifey” aprons, you know, the full apron with the bib and a gathered waist and a ruffle around the bottom. Try to find one. I’m seriously considering making a couple. I used to wear them all the time, till Functional and Utilitarian came into vogue, and I wish it would go away again.

Baking– Favorite thing to bake: Kulich, Russian Easter cake. I used to bake a lot more when the kids were home, but the hubster doesn’t like baked goodies, and I’m too fat to deal with them myself. (One thing I refuse to touch, BTW, is cookies. One afternoon, about 20 years ago, I made five dozen chocolate-chip cookies, and the kids and hubster, who were watching a movie, consumed every single one. That’s it! Cookies are too much d*** work to vanish in a single afternoon.)

Clothesline- Y/N Absolutely! Good for the environment, good for the wallet, clothes have a smell and feel that no fabric softener could ever give them (yes, I use that too). In the winter I dry clothes on a rack in the kitchen, which humidifies the house.

Donuts– Have you ever made them? No. What, this New Yorker?! Doughnuts are something you buy in a bakery!

One homemaking thing you do Every day– Well, dishes, of course. And dinner.

Freezer– Do you have a separate deep freeze? No. When living in Europe, I got used to shopping every day, and I still do that. If we know it’s going to snow, I’ll pick up a few extra meals and freeze them in the refrigerator freezer, but otherwise, no, a big freezer would be a waste of money for us.

Garbage Disposal– Y/N? Yes. When ours broke a few years back, there was no question about replacing it. I didn’t grow up with one, though — they used to be illegal in New York City, not sure why.

Handbook– What is your favorite homemaking resource? Currently I use FlyLady, when the CHAOS gets to be too much. But my all-time favorite is a book published in the 1970s, “The Psychiatrist’s Wife’s Guide to Housekeeping,” written with wit and a healthy dose of reality.

Ironing–Love it or hate it? I do hate it, but since the hubster has all-cotton shirts, it’s a necessity — one I have neglected far too long at this point. I’ll only iron five shirts at a time, though.

Junk drawer–Y/N? Where is it? Yes, in the kitchen. How do people manage without at least one junk drawer?!

Kitchen: Design and decorating? We did this two years ago, the whole shebang — new cabinets, new floor, new stove (natural gas!), new color scheme — blue and white. Oddly enough, we don’t spend any more time in the kitchen now than we used to, and I think it’s because the room is too blue — it gives off a very cold feeling. But I’m not sure what to do about it. Paint the blue wainscoting red??

Love: What is your favorite part of homemaking? Hanging the laundry out on the line.

Mop Y/N Not as much as I’d like. Who has the time?!

Nylons– Wash by hand or in the washing machine? In the machine, of course. Again, who has the time to wash things by hand?!

Oven– Do you use the window or open the door to check? I open the door. I used to have to open the oven, when we had an oven without a window, so now I turn on my light and use the window all the time.

Pizza– What do you put on yours? We used to get mushroom pizzas, but again, that was a kid thing, and since they’ve moved out, I don’t think we’ve had pizza at all. (The original blogger, Rosemary, wrote: “My family likes it plain so we usually get plain. I like ham, bacon, black olives– almost anything different, but my family won’t go for it.” It struck me how many things Mom likes go by the board for the sake of the family. You ALL know what I’m talking about!)

Quiet– What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment? Blog, pray, read, needlework. There are a lot more of those since the kids grew up. The hardest time of the day is around 3:00 or 3:30, when they used to come steaming in the door, and the real work of the day would begin. Dinnertime is hard, too — as my optometrist said, “There’s a voice that should be at the dinner table, and isn’t.”

Recipe Card Box Y/N? I have one, that I used to use a lot more often. It has all my favorite recipes from our time in Germany, and I still like them the best. Maybe I don’t use it so often because I have them all memorized, after nearly 38 years???

Style of house– Good question. It’s supposed to be a “ranch,” with everything on one floor, but it doesn’t fit my idea of a ranch, big and sprawling. It’s 950 square feet, with two bedrooms, a living room, an eat-in kitchen, and a three-season enclosed porch. I would like to call it a bungalow or a cottage, which sounds much homier. I would also, if I won the lottery, which I don’t play, like to redecorate the outside in an Arts and Crafts style.

Tablecloths and napkins? When we use the kitchen table, yes. Cloth napkins, too. But again, we rarely use the kitchen table anymore — we eat in the living room off the coffee table, listen to the radio, catch up on each other’s day, and watch TV if there’s anything worthwhile (our current definition of “worthwhile” is NCIS on Tuesdays and some PBS train program on Mondays — they run a couple).

Under the kitchen sink– organized or toxic wasteland? Pretty organized, actually, but that’s because the garbage disposal takes up so much room that there isn’t room for very much else. I would love to store my dishrack down there (no dishwasher), but there just isn’t room for it — so it stays in the second sink (we have a double sink, part of the kitchen upgrade).

Vacuum– how many times per week? I blogged about this awhile back. I hate vacuuming. I hate the noise, mostly, but I also hate lugging that monster around after me. I vacuum only when I really have to, and the rest of the time, dust-mop and carpet-sweep (I need a new carpet sweeper, too). We don’t have carpets, BTW, just rugs and hardwood floors.

Wash– How many loads of laundry do you do in a week? One a day, if I keep up with it. This one’s a little funny, though. As anyone with kids knows, the best description of laundry is FlyLady’s “Mount Washmore,” and from Kathleen Norris (“The Cloister Walk”) I cribbed the story of the lady who says she’s going to have engraved on her tombstone, “At last her laundry’s done.” I’d do it, too, if I thought my Orthodox cemetery would let me get away with it. Anyway, the week after my daughter got married, I went down to the basement laundry room to tackle the wash — and there was nothing. One little pile of underwear, from the hubster and me. Our son had decided to start washing his own laundry, and I looked around and thought, “My life is over.” It’s scary how much laundry can take over your life!

(My own personal “Washer B” question: Front load or top load? We have a front load, and I love it!)

X’s– Do you keep a daily list of things to do and cross them off? When life doesn’t get away from me, which, come to think of it, is the whole purpose of keeping such a list. But it’s invaluable to me, in terms of keeping track of things like appointments, phone calls, and errands — It is called a Franklin Planner.

Yard– Who does what? My husband. Mimi and I share a lot in common, including a black thumb. Every year I buy annuals at the gardening center, and if I get around to it, I plant them — otherwise, he does that, too, as well as tend his vegetable garden. And in the fall, if he still has productive plants, he brings them indoors and keeps them alive on the bay windowsill. One year my daughter asked us if we were growing the Little Shop of Horrors. My husband’s very good with plants.

Zzz’s–What is your last homemaking task for the day before going to bed? Diehes. Once the dishes are washed, the day is done, though if my husband would let me, I’d make his lunch, too. Poor soul has to get up at 3:00 a.m. and leave the house at 4:15 to catch the bus to Boston, where he works, and I just don’t see that after a day like that, a man should have to make his own lunch. But he does.

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