I am a Homemaker

I have many roles in my life, of course, but I see “homemaker” as part of my identity. It’s not a consolation prize or because I’m not empowered. Now when asked about what I do for work, instead of telling people only about my for-profit pursuits as a self-employed person I’m now also sharing that I’m a homemaker. I even added it to my LinkedIn profile! The conversation usually goes something like this:

“I love cooking and cleaning! When Wayne comes home he has a hot, nutritious dinner made from scratch waiting for him on the table.”

I sometimes get a look, so I follow up with: “You know, like June Cleaver.”

“Well as long as it’s a choice,” is a common response, or a variation along the lines of concern that I’m fallen prey to antiquated societal dictates. No. Well yes less the dictates. It is a conscious choice! Is it so odd for a woman to consciously choose to find joy in house work or apartment work, wherever you live work? Does that make one a vapid throwback?

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Mosquitoes and the Magic of Summer

Minutes ago a mosquito followed me into my house and then into my home office. I have been trying to get away from it since it bit me in the neck when I sat down at my desk, at which point I looked in the mirror to see how bad the bite was. Besides its sneaky snack attack it had followed me around the house and in the mirror I could see it was flying up and down around the rest of my neck. Rather than smacking myself while trying to send it onward to its next spiritual station I ran back into my office. Hopefully I’m good for now.

Ever since I wrote my post about it not making economic sense for me to work on a follow-up retro diet book when I admitted to myself (and all of you!) that it would be cost-prohibitive, I’ve been enjoying a sense of relief. I appreciate those of you who commented or emailed to let me know you’d be interested in a fee-based subscription newsletter!

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A Love of Lentils: A Recipe for Freedom

The philosopher Diogenes was sitting on a curbstone, eating bread and lentils for his supper. He was seen by the philosopher Aristippus, who lived comfortably by flattering the king.

Said Aristippus, “If you would learn to be subservient to the king, you would not have to live on lentils.”

Said Diogenes, “Learn to live on lentils, and you will not have to be subservient to the king.”

-Louis Israel Newman

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Garden Update: Chipmunks, Fairy Tale Eggplant & The Seven Dwarfs

Early in July I finally found a charming weathered hand-painted concrete set of the Seven Dwarfs at an antique & collectible shop in Cornish for $45 that costs around $900 new when painted. Those who have been following my blog for a while know I adore vintage kitschy garden statues of animals and gnomes. Since it’s not unusual for people to call me “Snow White” when I tell them about my yard pets I wanted to complete the cast of characters. I also figured they would make terrific props for chipmunk photo sessions. Tailor, however, did not agree! Check out the little linked video for her reaction. A couple of days later, she disappeared!

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Yankee Thrift Is Good Business

Hello everyone! What a lovely summer it has been here in Maine! I hope to share a garden update within the next couple of weeks.

I’m thrilled to announce that I have begun writing a secret book that I think you will enjoy reading once it’s complete! It’s like my fingers are on FIRE* when I sit with my laptop each morning.

Now that I’m embracing writing as a full-time job as a means for an income I have to be business-like in my approach in addition to having enough passion about the material to keep me energized. A nice problem to have is that I have more interesting projects than I do time. I wish to continue blogging here, too, and that is income-free but not without expense. That’s why I apply good old Yankee Thrift to business savvy decision-making!

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Yesterday I Celebrated 25 Years of Sobriety!

I am truly blessed and humbled to have reached such a milestone. Wayne and I went out to dinner yesterday to mark the occasion. I have many things to share about my sober journey; so much so that I’m going to write a book. Yes, that’s now two books in the works! Additionally, the summers in Maine seemingly last only a New York minute and they are joyfully filled with outdoor pursuits and relaxation. For those reasons I haven’t the time to post here as much as I have the past two years, but I’m not going away! I’ll still be posting here, just with less frequency. I’m also actively updating my Instagram account since I find it quick and easy to do so when time is limited, so let’s stay connected!

Simple Recipe: Patriotic Red, White & Blue (Berry) Ice Cream

July 4th used to be a frosted holiday for me meaning that it was about consuming artificially colored overly sweetened highly processed “patriotic” red, white and blue cupcakes on display at the grocery bakery. You know the ones of which I speak that seem to be everywhere this time of year? I used to think I was treating myself by eating them even though I felt awful afterward. That’s so yesterday but definitely not eating retro. Now I make ice cream from scratch with wild Maine blueberries or rich red strawberries that we picked locally and pure heavy cream from the local dairy that doesn’t add gums. Here’s my recipe for 1.5 quarts of red or blueberry-infused ice cream:

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The Good Life: Yankee Thrift in Action

With Wayne being a Baby Boomer and me, GenX, retirement is something for which our budget revolves around. When Wayne starts collecting social security it likely will be funded at 100%. For my generation? Not likely! Saving for us isn’t just a way of life but as old age approaches, a necessity.

In the examples below you’ll see how Yankee Thrift  is the way to a richer life for us. It’s about making smart purchases without the purpose of showboating. In other words it’s not about buying something because it’s on trend, or you need the latest model, or to feed an insecure desire to impress. It’s about quality and self-reliance with the smarts to know when you need to secure the services of a professional or invest in a big expenditure. We save where we can and spend more on where it counts. You’ll see how in each example we’re cutting back but it’s not a sacrifice:

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Yankee Thrift Explained, The New Yorker, 1961

Take thrift, that presumed state of misery and penny-pinching. Proper Yankee thrift, on the contrary, feels delicious. In my experience there is a kind of nausea that attends too long a time of buying too many clothes for too much money; of paying more for restaurant dinners than they are worth; of disgorging lavish tips for which one is not even thanked (as who doesn’t have to, these days).

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Feeling Heartbroken

I haven’t seen my dear little Buster in over a week, and Sunny hasn’t been by since last month. I did see a fox run into the woods near Buster’s burrow a few days ago. I also heard a hawk in the woods later that day. Maybe it was the same hawk that dive-bombed my neighbor’s bird-seed party, the attendants of which were numerous songbirds and the chipmunk that lives in her front yard.

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