April 1

Until We Meet Again

I have a job.

It’s this blog.

I never intended for it to become a job.  In the beginning it was a pleasant hobby.  My mission.  My contribution to the world.  Something I did in my free time.   Something that contributed to, didn’t detract from, my home life.  It kept me focused on who I wanted to be.  It kept me on top of my house work. It kept me focused on my family.  It really helped me stay on track.

As happens with blogs, however, over time you start to realize that you need to organize yourself better if you are to keep it going.   You have to plan posts and actually write them on schedule.  Which means researching and gathering on your non-writing days and being very committed to a time schedule.   It means answering comments and emails every day as they come in.  It means promoting your blog so that you can reach more of the world (which was the goal, right?).  It means reading and commenting on other people’s blogs for hours on end (part of promotions).  It means maintaining Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest pages for the blog.  It means so. much. work.

It means that if you are going to spend 20-30-or 40+ hours a week working on it, and paying hundreds of dollars a year to keep it going, then you’d best monetize it.  Well… monetizing is tons more work, and it makes me feel guilty, and it brings with it lots of criticism.  And it doesn’t make nearly what you’d think it does.  I’m talking less than a dollar an hour invested per month.

My point is that I have a job again.  Except for all the emotional pay offs, this job eats up my time but does not contribute to my family anymore.

Mr. C and I talk about this all the time.   Especially at those times when I’m having peri-menopause emotional upheaval.  If you’ve been a regular reader, you have seen my contributions peak and level off repeatedly in the past 6 months.   It’s just too much sometimes.   This is one of those times.

My kids are all grown.  My youngest grandchild starts school in the Fall.   My time is less needed at home so I’m feeling the need to go out into the world and do something out there.  I’m not sure what, but something.  Something that takes all my concentration while I’m there, but that I can leave behind when it’s time to go home.  Something that leaves my brain free to rest at night.

So I’m taking a break from blogging.  I don’t know when I’ll be back.  The blog is paid until Summer.  I’ll reevaluate sometime between now and then.   We’ll see how it goes.

Love you all, but it’s time to take care of me for a bit.   I hear this is a common revelation during the Change of life.  I’m kind of liking it.   –Until we meet again…

April 1

Cleaning Checklist for April 3 – April 9

Good morning!  I simply can’t believe it’s already April.  Can you?  My spring time scramble has begun.   Getting ready to do a spring cleaning week next week, starting to prep my gardens, cleaning up the patio furniture, switching out the clothes.  So much to do!  No worries.  It will all get done.  Here’s a list to help you through it.

Click to enlarge or use the PDF version below.
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PDF Version:  April 3- April 9

March 31

2 Things You Need To Know About Peri-menopause That May Save Your Life.

Two- the number of the day.  Two posts coming today.  The first is the 2 things you need to know about peri-menopause that may save your life.

I’m writing this today because this happens to be one of the days where I’m experiencing both and every time this happens I say “I really should warn them… ”

So here I am.  Warning you.

There are lots of things about menopause and peri-menopause that you read about in books, magazines, blogs, and articles.  But two of the most life-threatening are seldom mentioned:

(1) Crazy, over-the-top anxiety/ panic attacks.  Often with full-blown heart gripping pressure and palpitations.  And

(2) Short, intense bouts of suicidal-level depression

Thankfully, for me, neither of these are long-lasting effects.  They come from out of the blue, last for a day or two, then go away until their next uninvited visit.  But while they are here, they shut down my life.   I can scarcely function at all.

But here’s the thing.   Doctors who do admit to anxiety and depression during “the change” like to say that women who were prone to anxiety and depression before menopause will likely be the ones to experience these attacks during the menopausal transition.  Not true.

I have always been the happiest person I’ve ever met.

Maybe nobody knows what it is or where it comes from or why, but they need to stop implying that it’s a personality quirk or female drama episodes or all in our heads.  It’s real.  It’s dangerous.  And it can happen to any of us, or all of us.  And sweeping it under the carpet isn’t helping.  We need to be warned so we can be ready.

For me, today is an anxiety day.   I can almost (sort of) deal with these now.  I’ve learned that when the chest tightness sets in and the worrying begins, and my brain screams to shut down, I need to meditate. and that helps me calm my body.   Some days, like today, I have to stop literally every ten or fifteen minutes to do some deep breathing and meditation.   It’s annoying, but I get through it.   It’ll be almost the only thing I do all day.  For me, journaling and blogging often helps too.  I can type through my worries.   It’s taken me almost a year to figure out how to work through these anxious days, but I’m finally doing it.

It’s the depression days that scare me most.

Again, happy person.  Me.  Chronically.  I have the most amazing life.  I have great dreams and lots of adventures.  But when those intense depression days hit, something very strange happens.   Out of nowhere comes thoughts that seem to be coaxing me to leave this world.     “All this could be over forever.  No more worries.”  or “Imagine just going to sleep and not waking up into this world.  Wouldn’t that be nice?”  or my favorite “We could do it together–Mr. C and me.”

Crazy right?  yeah.  It’s that kind of crazy.  And it’s so real, and it makes so much sense at the time.   I find myself starting to agree and think it’s a good idea.   Often times I find myself thinking of arguments to tell Mr. C to try to convince him to do it with me.  Once or twice, many month ago, I found myself debating how to do it and making preparations.   That’s the day I picked up the phone and called Mr. C and told him what my brain was doing.  Needless to say, he was alarmed.  He came home.

We talked.  A lot.  And by talking through it, I realized that this had been happening every 4-5 weeks for a while.  I’d suddenly wake up profoundly depressed one day, fight the urge to do something stupid and permanent all day, go to bed, and wake up feeling like my normal happy self the next day or at the very most two days later.  It must be hormonal, we reasoned. (I have since begun marking them on the calendar and discovered they are absolutely cyclic.)  So… we agreed then that whenever I wake up feeling like that I am to tell him immediately.  And I am to then pack up and go visit or go to the bookstore or shopping for the day.   No staying home alone.  All I need to do is get through the crazy hormonal day, so I am to find pleasant distractions and stay WITH people, even if they are people I don’t know.

So far, obviously, it’s worked.  But that’s because I know what’s going on and I have a support system and a plan in place.   How many women don’t have those two things?  How many women experience intense hormone-induced depression and never tell anyone?  How many act upon it like this woman did?  Why isn’t this a better known issue?

I think that every time a woman goes for a mammogram, this discussion should be happening with the tech.  Or at the very least, some literature on the subject should be stuffed in her hands, or displayed on the wall in the waiting room.   However they do it, every woman needs to hear that these things may happen and she is NOT crazy.  She is normal.  It is part of the change, and she just needs to kick into gear with the plan she should have in place BEFORE those days ever come.

So there.  That’s it.  I had to warn you.  So this doesn’t happen to you unexpectedly.   And you need to warn your daughters when they get old enough to understand what you are talking about.   We need to spread the word.   Tell them.

Tell them it’s temporary.  It’s not real depression.  They don’t really want to hurt themselves or leave this world.   Tell them.  Don’t do it.  Call a friend.  Visit.  Swim.  Read.  Do anything, but don’t stay home alone!

Okay.  I feel better.   God bless, and take care, Ladies.  We’ve got this.

March 30

Medical Actions of Herbs — Terminology You Need to Know

Part 3 of the Our Healthy Home Series is really just a bit of a dictionary of terms that you will run into and need to know before you start creating remedies, tonics and such.   The Medical actions of herbs are usually mentioned under “Actions” any time you do research on a particular herb.   If you don’t know what the words mean, however, you won’t get very far.   So here are some of the most common ones you will run into.

If you have not already read them please see Part One and Part Two and Part Three for important warnings, disclaimers and helpful getting started information before proceeding.

Following many of these descriptions are examples of herbs that can be used.   These are general guidelines.  You should always fully research every herb before use to be sure of its particular contraindications and warnings which are not listed here.IMG_2239

Alteratives — Typically referred to as blood cleaners or blood purifiers.  They help you liver and body take in nutrients and get rid of waste.   Some common ones:  Burdock Root, Dandelion leaf and root, Echinacea, Oregon Grape Root, Nettles, and Yellow Dock Root

Analgesics/Anodynes — reduce pain.  Some internally, others externally.  May also reduce pain by  providing anti-spasm actions and reducing cramping in muscles.   Examples:  Skullcap, Valerian, Chamomile, Clove

Anaphrodesiac — reduces sexual desire

Antacids — Neutralize excess acids in the stomach and intestines.  Examples:  Slippery Elm, Fennel Seed, Dandelion leaf and root, most seaweeds

Anthelmintic/ Parasiticides — Herbs that destroy or get rid of worms and parasites    Examples:  Aloe, Garlic, Chaparral, Wormwood, Thyme Oil, Tansy

Antiasthmatic —  relieve symptoms of asthma by dilating bronchioles and breaking up mucus.  Examples:  Lobelia, Mullein, Yerba Santa, Pleurisy Root, Comfrey leaf and root

Antibiotic — Stimulate the body’s immune system (and some may have direct germ killing ability).  Examples:  Echinacea, Golden Seal, Thyme

Anticatarrhals — Aid in elimination and prevention of  thick mucus build up.  Examples:  Ginger, Sage, Echinacea, Golden Seal, Garlic, Mullein, Yarrow

Anti-fungal — destroys or inhibits fungal growth

Antihistamine — chemical that blocks the action of histamine in the body

Anti-Lithic/Lithotriptics — Herbs that help prevent and eliminate urinary tract or billiard tract stones and gravel.  Examples:  Gravel root, parsley root, marshmallow root, cleavers, cornsilk, Oregon Grape Root

Antiseptics/ anti-microbial — herbs that help prevent the growth of bacteria and resist pathogenic microorganisms. They help the body strengthen its own resistance to infective organisms and throw off illness.   Examples:  Golden Seal, Chaparral, Calendula, Myrrh, Sage, garlic, and some essential oils such as Pine, Clove, and Thyme.

Antiperspirant — reduces sweating

Anti-spasmodics — ease cramps and muscle spasms.  Examples:  Cramp bark, Lobelia, Skullcap, Wild Yam, and Valerian

Antitussive —  relieves coughs

Aperitive — stimulates the appetite

Astringents — constrict tissue and reduce secretions and discharge.  Examples:  Witch Hazel Bark, Bayberry Bark, Oak Gall, Uva Ursi

Bitters — cause a reaction in the taste buds that then stimulates digestion.  Examples:  Gentian, Golden Seal, Horehound

Carminatives–  stimulate the digestive tract and calm the stomach.  Reduces inflammation in the stomach and intestines.  Help to rid the body of excess gas.  Examples:  Angelica, Anise, Cardamon, Ginger, Dill, Cayenne, Peppermint

Cholagogue — promotes the flow of bile

Demulcents — Soothing and healing for irritated and inflamed tissue.  Examples:  Comfrey, Slippery Elm, Licorice, Chickweed, Aloe, Mullein, Oatmeal

Diaphoretics– Induce sweating (when taken hot) to bring down high fevers.  When given cold they act as diuretics instead.  Examples:  Yarrow, Catnip, Ginger, Peppermint

Diuretics–  Increase the flow of urine.  Examples:  Parsley, Cleavers, Bochu, Dandelion, Nettles, Yarrow

Emmenagogues — Promote Menstrual flow and bring on the cycle.  Tonics for the female system.  Examples:  Pennyroyal, Rue, Black Cohash, Angelica, Blessed Thistle, Motherwort, Yarrow

Emolients — Applied externally for softening and soothing skin.  Examples:  Flax seed, Slippery Elm, Comfrey, Chickweed

Expectorants–  help to expel mucus.  Examples:  Eucalyptus, Elecampane, Lobelia, Coltsfoot

Febrifuge — reduces or prevents fever

Galactogogues — Increase mother’s milk secretion.  Examples:  Fennel, Blessed Thistle, Raspberry

Hallucinogenic — causes visions or delusions

Hepatics — Herbs that help the liver.  They tone, strengthen, and increase bile flow.  Examples:  Dandelion, Oregon Grape Root, Golden Seal, Yellow Dock.

Hemostatics– Help Stop Hemorrhaging and internal bleeding.  Can also include astringents.  Examples:  Cayenne, Yarrow, Shepherds Purse, White Oak Bark

Laxatives —  Promote Bowel Movement.  Examples:  Cascara Sagrada, Senna, Flax seed, Rhubarb root

Nervines — calm, strengthen, and tone the nervous system.  Examples:  Catnip, Chamomile, Oat Straw

Pectorals– General healing and strengthening of the respiratory system.  Examples:  Coltsfoot, Elecampane, Mullein, and Licorice

Rubefacients — Stimulates dilation of the capillaries of the skin causing reddening and warming of the skin.  They draw inflammation and congestion from deeper tissue.  Increase circulation.  Examples:  Cayenne, clove, ginger, mustard

Sedatives — Reduce stress and nervous disorders.  Sleep aid.  Examples:  Valerian, Passion Flower, Chamomile, Skullcap

Sialagogues — stimulate salivation.  Aid in digestion.   Examples:  Cayenne, Black Pepper, Ginger

Spasmolytic — relieves spasm of the smooth muscle

Stimulants — Increase energy of the body.  Examples:  Cayenne, Peppermint, Ginseng, Sage, Horseradish

Styptics — Reduce or stop external bleeding.  Examples:  Yarrow, Cobwebs, Shepherd’s Purse

Sudorific — causes sweating

Tonics– strengthen and nourish specific organs of the body.  Usually will have general effect on the entire body however.  Examples:  Ginseng, Nettle, Dandelion, Raspberry Leaf

Vulneraries — Promote cell growth and repair.  Helps stop bleeding and heals wounds. Examples:  Aloe, Comfrey, Golden Seal, Chickweed, Calendula, St. John’s Wort.

March 29

How to Survive on One Income (Updated)

Ahhhhh yes.   Time for  another reblog update and I’ve been wondering how I was going to approach this one this time around.   This was by far my most controversial post to date.  I get more hate mail from this than from any other.   I almost hate to change it at all.

But alas… Let’s see where I can and should update without changing the flavor of the post because that would just be such a sad thing.  Here we go.

Note! This Part 1 is ONLY for women who want to live like a 1950’s housewife. This means that if you proceed, you are saying that you want to live in an old-fashioned, admittedly probably completely sexist,  male-lead home. If that’s not you and you are just looking for tips to surviving on one paycheck, skip to Part 2. Agreed?  Again.  If that’s not you, do not proceed.  Do not pass Go.  Do not collect $200.  Had to throw in the Monopoly reference to go with the photo.  :)

So here it is.  How to Survive on One Paycheck–1950’s style

Page_1If you want to live like an old-fashioned 1950s housewife (AGAIN..note…I’m not talking to career women. I am talking to the women who, by their own desires and choosing, want to live as housewives.  Yes I’m repeating myself), where you stay at home keeping house and tending the kids while your husband goes to work, you can. To be able to live and survive on one pay check is possible. Today we are going to talk about the two big things you must do first to make it possible. Tomorrow we’ll get to all the little details of the “step by step.” But you must be able to do these two steps first before any of the rest can succeed. You ready?

First and foremost is that you have to hand over care of the finances to your husband. Why? First, because if he is going to be solely responsible for bringing in enough money to pay all the expenses and keep a roof over your heads, he needs to see first hand where the family finances stand on a weekly basis. He needs to pay the bills. He needs to budget for the groceries. He needs to see it and experience it so that he knows if he is doing enough.

If you are controlling everything and paying all the bills, and you tell him there isn’t enough money, it is possible he won’t believe you.  Or he may suspect that you aren’t spending wisely. He may even think that you are stashing money and not telling him. He sees plenty coming in, and he will believe there is plenty to cover everything. He will likely get angry, dig in and refuse to make changes. But if he is doing the finances himself, and he sees for himself that you are sticking to a budget but it’s not enough, he will know.  He will adjust where necessary without argument or household distress.

It is equally important that you do not let him tell you that he prefers you to keep the books.  Of course he does.  It’s easier.   But it won’t help either of you.  Having him take 100% responsibility is a psychological thing for both of you.  Not a convenience thing.   He must, must, must have control over every aspect of the money.  He must understand down to the fibers of his bones that the care and keeping of his wife and children are entirely his responsibility. (And his own personal victory when he does it well!)

The second reason you need to turn over the finances to your husband is because if you want to live the life of a 1950’s housewife, you have to live all of it. It doesn’t work half way. If you want to live the gender role of a traditional woman, you have to let your man be the man. You have to step back and let him lead his home, and doing the finances is a huge part of that.   . . . . Did that sting a little?  If so, don’t worry.  You aren’t alone.  To this very day I struggle with shutting down the urge to questioning Mr. C’s spending habits, but I’m getting better.  I don’t even know why I feel like I need to question.  Everything is always paid on time.  I have everything I need and want.  I just can’t seem to get those last little bits of control freak out of me.

Eh.  I’m working on it. Anyway… Where was I?

Ah yes.  Back before the introduction of feminism, this is how it worked.  A man woke every day with just a few things on his mind. After he got that first one out of the way, his laser focus shifted to his duty to provide for his family, and that’s all he kept his attention on all day long.  It has been a man’s instinct to think this way for thousands of years. (Hunt and gather, you know?) It’s only been since after the end of WWII and into the 1970s that gender roles started to become foggy leaving most men not knowing what their role is in this world anymore.   Poor dears.  They have lots of new crazy rules of engagement thrown at them, which is confusing because for most the instinct to lead and provide is still strong.  They’re just waiting to take the reins.

Ok so before you start to back-peddle, let me add this. You have nothing to fear. Just as it was back then, it is the same now. A man not only feels compelled to provide, but he feels compelled to keep his family in the highest social status that he can afford. (The man with the most toys wins!) He will keep you in the very best house that he can afford. He will want to insure that his wife looks as pretty and is wearing the best fashions as he can afford. He will insure that his children are dressed as well as and can participate in as many sports and activities that he can afford. He is not going to short change you or his kids. Why? Because it’s his instinct.  And he wants to look and feel successful, which means you and your home have to look good.

One of the things I was most shocked to learn about is the secret life of men. Secret to women, that is. It’s a brutal, stressful world that they live in—far worse than anything a woman can imagine, simply because our brains and our thoughts don’t work the same way as theirs. But since all men wake thinking the same thing—keep my family at the top!–theirs is a world of fierce competition. They wake up ready to fight. Men spend their entire existence comparing themselves to each other and fighting for position. They fight to win women. They fight to win and then to keep their jobs. They fight for social status. They fight for admiration and acclaim. Sometimes they fight for their own (and our) lives. No matter where you look in a man’s world, there is a fierce battle going on, hence the constant need to look and feel “manly.”

One of the most stressful places for a man is in his work place. There is almost never peace and there is always a lot of back-stabbing there. There has to be. The guy on top gets paid the most. The guy on the bottom gets near nothing. To allow a fall to the bottom is not only financially disastrous, it is humiliating to a man. And to add to the humiliation is the constant, nagging fear that for most families, a fall to the bottom of the social status ladder is often a fall that will last for many generations. Once beaten down, it is nearly impossible to recover and pull out. Some families never do. The emotional burden and stress of knowing that his children, grandchildren and even his great grandchildren will be effected by how he performs today is enormous.

Tell the truth.  When you are working outside the home are you ever considering how it will effect your grandkids?  I didn’t think so.

I almost can’t stand to even think about that constant burden, yet men are designed in such a way that they have the emotional strength and physical ability to fend off the stress that comes with such a huge responsibility. They tend to think more logically and less emotionally.  They focus on only one thing at a time, not 100 like women do.  Their bodies are more rugged, more prepared to take on stress. They are literally designed to handle that type of stress better than we are.  (And we are better designed to handle other stresses better than they.) Those amazing creatures happily take on the full social and economic responsibility for their wives and children, and they will likely never speak of it as a burden because it feels natural. It feels right.

To have the responsibility to be the sole provider, however, could not be bearable or even possible unless your husband has control over decision-making. He has to have the freedom to be able to decide what job to take that will best provide, where to live, how to live, and he needs to have your 100% cooperation in allowing him to be the decision-maker. Remember that word “obey” that was taken out of the marriage vows? This is where it comes in. It didn’t have anything to do with being a slave to your husband. It had to do with respecting his decisions about how he was going to lead his family and obeying his instructions regarding those matters. You get input, of course, but whatever he decides is final. Welcome back to “obey.” If you can’t accept this, then you can try to live like a 1950’s housewife, but odds are that it will not work for long—not without a whole lot of relationship-damaging suspicion, resentment, and arguing.

Besides, why would it be so bad to just let go and let your husband be the head of the house? If you see that as degrading, ask yourself why. Why would it be degrading to be in a happy marriage where your husband feels manly and treats you like a lady and where your children feel protected and happy? What has happened to our thinking? We as women have got to stop seeing everything as a fight for equality. Despite what our generation was taught, we are not meant to be equal in all things. We, as women, are designed to excel at certain things and men are designed to excel at others. Why can’t we honor that?

Tonight sit your husband down and tell him that you want him to take over care of the finances. If it’s true, tell him that you feel like he is better at that type of thing than you are and that it’s just too stressful for you to deal with. If, on the other hand, you struggle with the idea, tell him you struggle with it but you can see how it would benefit both and you think you should give it a one-year trial–no matter what.  If you must, show him this post. Do what you need to do to get him on the same page. And then step away. Resist the urge to show him how to do it.  Resist the urge to remind him what to do. And do not check up on him.  He is capable. Let him step up to the challenge. He may shock you with his abilities. And yes, he may occasionally mess up, but so what. Haven’t you occasionally messed up? Let him be. Remember when we talked about accepting him completely, just as he is?

Watch for the updated versions of these prior posts coming soon!

Part Two — the steps to getting there.
Part Three
Part Four

March 28

Weekly Cleaning Checklist–Better late than never. :)

My apologies for the delay.  The stomach bug hit our house this week.  Has it visited you as well?   If so, add a good disinfection to the list below.   Doorknobs, toilet handles, computer keyboards, phones, faucet handles, refrigerator handles, everything that people touch during the course of a day.  Disinfect it.  Then do it again 2 days later.    Repeat until there has been no sickness in your house for at least 4 consecutive days.  Why 4?  I have no idea.  It’s just what I’ve always done.

Hopefully you escape it and you just need to follow this list instead. :)  Click on the boxes to enlarge.  Or download the PDF for ease of following.   You will note we are beginning the seasonal transitions.   We’ll be building up to a nice Spring Cleaning week.   Ahhhhh i just love the aroma of cleaning products in the morning.  I can’t wait.

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PDF version:   March27 – April 2

March 25

Why Real Feminism Allows me to Choose to be a Housewife

I came disastrously close to being a lifer as a very successful corporate career woman.  That’s what they said I was supposed to do.  That’s what they said I was best suited for.  They; My teachers and school counselors. They; the tests and screenings. They; The women who came before me, who fought hard for equal rights and for the freedoms that I would never have had if it weren’t for them. There’s only one problem.

They were wrong.

Ever since I was a very little girl I wanted to be a wife and a mom.  I didn’t play with dolls quite the same way that most little girls do.  I used all the money I got as gifts to buy real baby food and diapers and clothes.  I played on schedule, as if my babies were alive and needed to eat and be changed. I learned to knit, crochet, and sew.  I learned cooking basics.  I started building my hope chest full of household items.  I devoured Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care book and began babysitting as soon as I was allowed.   I even read What to Expect When You’re Expecting when I was just 15, dreaming of the moment when I could finally marry and have a baby–a family of my own.  I knew exactly what I was best suited for.  I would be an amazing wife and mother.

But they wouldn’t let that happen.

Instead they convinced me that I was mistaken.  I was meant to be so much more than just a housewife.  They taught me business and how to ace an interview.  They taught me how to claw my way up a corporate ladder.  They told me that I was one of the ones who would go far.  I was smart and talented. They gave me my mission.  Go.  Be a strong, independent woman. You can do it! They said.  So I did.  I won business competitions and became the President of the Future Business Leaders of America.  I was well on my way.  They were happy.  Then summer of my Junior year came.

It was a pleasant, lazy summer surrounded by friends.  I was inseparable from my boyfriend, and I fell in love.  Before I knew it, we had conceived my first child. So that was that. I was in love and having a baby. Nothing they told me before mattered.  It was everything I ever wanted.  I would have my husband and baby and a humble home and fill it with love.  I was excited and ecstatic.

They were not.

“How dare you?!” My favorite teacher scolded me.  “You know better than that! You had so much potential.  You HAVE so much potential!”  She went on.  And by the end of that lecture she had me back on track.  I’d have my baby, we agreed, but I would still go on to college and then on to that corporate world.  I wouldn’t marry.  I’d finish school.  She’d help me. I’d still be a force to reckon with.  I’d still blaze new trails.  She believed in me.  Part of me wanted to believe too, and so I agreed, with just a few compromises.

In 1986 I gave birth to my daughter, graduated high school, got married, started college, then turned 18.  In that order.  And I did try to follow our plan. I did.  I went through the motions, but it just didn’t feel right.  Despite that I continued on with college and went out in the working world and before I knew it, I was eighteen with two children and divorced.  What was going on?  What happened to my family and my dreams? How did this happen?

They said I’d be okay.   

Just keep moving forward with the plan, they said.

Thankfully it didn’t take long until I met somebody knew. A good man.  He was raised to respect women’s rights.  He loved the look of a woman in a skirt suit and heels.  He, too, supported my plan to be a corporate sensation.  Good.  A better match, I reasoned.  He supported me spending days and many nights and weekends away from my growing family as I built my career.   And as my career grew, I tried to convince myself that I must be doing what was right because it was working. I was good at what I was doing.  I was promoting and making my mark and making good money.

So why was I so unhappy?  Why was I drinking and starting to dabble with mind-numbing drugs?  Why was I allowing men in my field to talk to me and treat me like a sex object? Why was I allowing myself to be put into positions where my marriage was threatened?  Why was I having thoughts of suicide?  Was this the world that they wanted for me?   

I was so tired.

By that time I had a husband and three daughters who barely saw me.  I was drinking heavily. I was bitter and bitchy. I had no time to be a mom.  I felt like and talked to my husband like he was beneath me, like the enemy, and I’d hear myself speaking to him (at him) and cringe.  I was working the plan, but I was so far from being the person who I wanted to be that I didn’t even recognize myself anymore.  I hated the me I’d become. Something had to give.  

Thankfully it didn’t take long before my dear husband tried to leave me.  He would have succeeded too had I not gone out and sabotaged his truck.   But I did, and he was stuck at our house and that forced us to talk and scream and cry and figure out what was wrong.  And when we finished screaming and started talking we decided that if we were going to salvage our marriage–our life– I had to call, right then, and quit my job.  It was our only hope. I’d stay home and be a wife and a mom and we’d put the pieces back together, if we could.  Well I made that call with tears streaming down my cheeks.  They didn’t fall because I was saddened to leave behind everything I had worked for.  Those were tears of relief.  

That was the day I came back to life.

Many things have happened since then.  I’ve learned so much about myself and this world, about what feminism is supposed to be and what it is not, about gender roles and why they are sometimes okay.  I’ve learned and continue to learn how to be a better wife, mom, and now grandma too. I’ve struggled on and off with the compulsion to earn my share of money for our home, each time collapsing under the weight of trying to be “that person.”   I’ve struggled with the guilt of knowing I’d missed out on huge portions of my kids’ lives because I was too busy trying to be important to people who don’t even matter to me.  I can’t even remember those people’s names now.

I’ve watched from afar, sadly, as family matriarchs have steadily become a thing of the past, taking their arts along to their graves with them.  And I’ve gotten angry at the world for letting that happen.

I look around me and watch as latch-key kids grow more and more distant from their families, getting into trouble and often growing into confused and bitter adults.   I see young women who have no idea how to cook, clean, sew, or do basic housewifery.   I witness young men who no matter how old they grow will never be real men.  They’ve had that privilege and duty taken away from them by the women who scream that they aren’t needed anymore.  We can do anything they can do and probably better (they claim.)   And when those young girls and those young men marry, it’s often a disaster.  No one knows what to do, and nothing gets done.  Houses, children, and marriages are a mess.

But here’s the thing.   What I haven’t seen is very many happy women.  I have not personally met more than a few who marched out into that workplace and came back a happier person.  I have only seen overwhelmed, overworked, depressed women trying to do it all and finding no satisfaction.   I’ve seen lots of guilt.  I’ve seen lots of divorce. I’ve seen lots of scheduled play dates and mindless video games taking the place of quality time with family.  I’ve seen lots of ladies who gave up their identities in exchange for the identity society told them they should have.  But I have not seen lots of happy.

That’s what this page is about.   Bringing back the happy.

I used to think I was anti-feminist, but I now know that was just my bitterness and disappointment speaking.  I agree with the concept of feminism.  I believe we should have equal opportunities.   It just so happens that I believe that “equal opportunities” includes having the right to choose to live as a wife and mother in a distinctly male-lead household if that is what makes that woman and man happy.  And I believe that was the original intent of the movement.  It was never supposed to turn women into men. It was supposed to give more opportunities and more choices.

I’m here to bring back matriarchs and manly men.

I’m here to grab the hand of each and every woman around the world who finds great satisfaction in making her home and her family her priority career and to tell each that she is okay.  There is nothing wrong with her.  She is not less.  She is more.  Much more.  She is a dying breed, a treasure.  She is valuable beyond words.

I’m here to bring dignity back to housewifery.  I’m here to continue to unlearn what I was taught about career and to relearn and re-teach the lost arts of keeping home, growing relationships, hands-on childrearing, home remedies, family traditions, quilting, cooking, family bonds, and all of the aspects of being a great family matriarch.  

I’m here to take a stand.  To say enough!  To give housewives a voice again. To create an apron revolution!  And when we’ve created a virtual army of traditional families, I intend to take it to the next level by recruiting the help of our political heads.  We can get this world back to where family came before money.  We can get this world back to where a family could afford to put family before money, to where there could be a stay-at-home parent there for the children.  There could be dinner on the table every day at 5.  There could be stories read and bicycles ridden.  

Do you remember the smell of sheets fresh off the clothes line?  Do you remember Saturday morning pancakes and family picnics?  Do you remember Sunday dinner?  Do you remember your last family matriarch?  The woman who held family close together and kept the traditions alive?

Let’s bring it all back.  Together.  Join me.  Subscribe (for free) to this blog in the right column of this page.  Join in on our Facebook page.   And bond with other housewives from all over the world in our Facebook housewife group.  

Together we will take our lives back.  Together we will become matriarchs.  




March 24

Chinese Brown Rice Recipe

Chinese Brown Rice Recipe
Chinese Brown Rice with asparagus, onion, and red peppers


Asparagus (3/4 lb or so) cut into small pieces about 1-2 inches
1 medium sized yellow onion
1/2 of a red pepper sliced thinly
Sriracha Sauce (to taste)
4 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/3 cup blackstrap molasses
2 Teaspoons sugar (optional)
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
2 heaping tablespoons chopped garlic
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder

Lemon juice (optional)


(1) Cook the rice in a rice cooker.  If you have a steam tray, cook asparagus there at the same time.
(2) Saute onion and pepper in water in a large skillet.  If you didn’t pre-cook asparagus, throw that in the skillet too.  Cook until soft, adding water as needed to keep from sticking.
(3) In a saucepan, combine soy sauce, Sriracha Sauce (start with a few teaspoons), broth, molasses, sugar, ginger, and garlic.  Bring to simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Add arrowroot powder.  Allow to thicken slightly.  Turn off heat.
(4) Once veggies are softened, add rice to skillet then pour the brown sauce on top.
(5) Heat through and serve.   Additional Sriracha can be added if you prefer a little more kick.  A tablespoon or two of lemon juice can also be added for some zest.


March 21

A 1950s Easter

In the 1950’s, more than 90% of those living in the USA identified themselves as Christian, so a 1950s Easter was a big deal everywhere you looked. A typical day might have looked something like this.

The kids might have woken up to a wonderful Easter surprise!

And then the busy day began.

There were fancy outfits and Easter bonnets galore


of course, there was Easter Sunday Church service (This one held at a drive in theater)


Then  a stop at the bakery and the store for more Easter treats.

There was eggs to color and candy to eat.



And of course an Easter parade of music!


There were stories to read


And tv shows to watch


Bunnies to visit


And maybe the family cooked

Check out our 1950s Country Ham recipe here
Country Ham Recipe


Or maybe they went out to dinner


To end the day you might have gone to a show.


But no matter what you did, you did it surrounded by family and friends.

From our home to yours, we wish you a good old-fashioned styled, Happy Easter! May your day be perfect and your biscuits not burned.  (A family tradition in our house.)  :)


March 18

Cleaning Checklist for 3/20 – 3/26


Is it time to put out the hummingbird feeders where you live?  Be sure to sanitize the feeders before you fill them for the first time.   And don’t forget that the little guys really like the homemade sugar water better than most of the commercial ones.     Here’s the recipe for hummingbird nectar: Mix 4 parts water to 1 part table sugar in a pan. For example, use 1 cup sugar to 4 cups water. Make sure to use cane sugar only.  Bring to boil then turn off.  Allow to cool.  Viola!

Below you will find your checklists for this week.   Click to enlarge or use the PDF version below.   Happy Spring!!!

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PDF Version:   3:20-3:26