Facet No. 2 of Homemaking

Facet No. 2: An ideal homemaker is ambitious and enthusiastic through application of the law that how one feels emotionally greatly determines how she feels physically.

There are women who feel bored even when they have several small children to care for, dishes piled in the sink, clothes to wash, and a dirty house to clean. They aren’t bored because of a lack of things to do, but rather due to a lack of stimulus. They regard their housework as futile because they are not able to manage it properly and because they do not understand its over-all purpose and are not able to visualize the rewards. Their boredom has developed into a chronic case of inertia, and there they sit — the housework mounting right along with their contempt for it as well as for themselves. These women need special help with the attitudes and skills of homemaking.

Some other women are bored because they feel there really is not enough in the home to keep them busy. Perhaps their families are small or their children are grown, and after several hours of routine work each morning they have nothing but a l-o-n-g day to look forward to. The antidote to such a situation is a shot of imagination. Such things as reading, sewing, decorating, music, outdoor life, interest in people and a desire to be of service to them are excellent cures for the malady of boredom. One word of caution, however: time-killers, such as too much or the wrong time of television shows and movies or sensational stories offer only a momentary illusion of having a purpose in life and afterwards one’s boredom and restlessness is more intense than ever. Seek activities which, instead of being busy work and escapes, are purposeful and edifying.

The Art of Homemaking by Daryl V. Hoole

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Fathers

Today I found myself crying over how beautiful the relationship between babies and fathers can be. I will always be grateful to have a wonderful husband who is an attentive father to both of his children, born and unborn.

My husband’s relationship with our daughter began while she was still in the womb — I remember waking up one night to discover him gently pushing against my stomach, then waiting for the baby to bump back, the two of them playing this game while I was dead asleep. When I made that final push during labor, it was his arms that caught her, and his voice that declared, “It’s a girl!” She had a struggle with breathing during those first moments, so when they rushed her off to the NICU, my husband went with her. Consequently, he was the first person she saw when she opened her eyes.

Now, when our daughter wakes up in the morning, the first thing she wants is to be held by daddy. One of her favorite games is to hold onto daddy’s finger and walk around the house with him. And of course, there’s nothing anywhere near as fun as being spun around and tossed into the air by daddy. I am proud to say that our daughter is a ‘daddy’s girl’.

With our new baby, my husband and I share moments of quietly sitting together and feeling the baby kick and squirm. When the time comes for this baby to make its entrance into the world, my husband’s arms will once again catch it.

Neither my husband nor I want him to be a second mother to our children — that’s my job! We want him to be a Father, strong and protective, and someone worthy of admiration and emulation. His relationship with our children is very different than mine, but it is still just as beautiful, and just as important. The wonderment at being blessed enough to witness such a relationship is enough to make me cry.

An Ideal Homemaker

“An ideal homemaker is lovely to look at and lovely to be around — she has a wholesome attitude and a pleasing appearance. She has the courage to be happy and strives to live above the grievous faults of moodiness, sulkiness, and complaining. She is gracious and thoughtful and is consequently adored by her family and admired by all who know her.”

The Art of Homemaking by Daryl V. Hoole

Butternut Squash Soup with Fried Sage Leaves

Butternut Squash Soup with Fried Sage Leaves

  • One 3-pound butternut squash
  • Olive oil, for coating the squash halves
  • 6 cloves garlic, not peeled
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 18 whole fresh sage leaves
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, or 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 quarts Quick Stock for Winter Squash soup (see below recipe) or water
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup diced fontina cheese or other Italian-style melting cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out and reserve the seeds. Lightly grease the squash halves with olive oil. Place them, cut side down on a baking sheet and tuck the garlic cloves underneath the cavities. Bake until tender when pressed with a finger and glazed on the bottom, 40 to 60 minutes. Remove and let cool enough to handle.
  3. Scoop out the pulp, reserving the skins, and place it in a medium bowl. Peel the garlic cloves and put them into the bowl with the squash pulp. Add any juices that have collected on the baking sheet.
  4. Heat the 1/4 cup olive oil in a sauté pan. Drop in the whole sage leaves and fry briefly until speckled and darkened, about 1 minute. Remove to a paper towel to drain and set aside.
  5. Transfer the oil to a deep and wide soup pot. Add the onions, chopped sage, thyme, and parsley and cook over medium heat until the onions have begun to brown around the edges, about 12 minutes.
  6. Add the squash and garlic, stock, and salt to taste and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, partially cover, and simmer gently for 25 minutes, until thickened but still liquid.
  7. Remove from the heat and, when no longer bubbling, purée in a food processor or through a food mill gently. Reheat and ladle into bowls. Distribute the cheese among the bowls (it will sink and melt into the soup). Garnish each bowl with fried sage leaves, and freshly ground pepper to taste, and serve.

Note: The soup can be served straight away without puréeing. It will not be a svelte, but it will have an equally appealing texture that hovers between silken and chunky.

Quick Stock for Winter Squash Soup

  • Simmer 10 cups water with the squash skin and seeds, half a sliced onion, any tiny cloves from the center of a garlic bulb, parsley stems, and 2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, and strain.

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Aquatic Crabs

Three years ago my husband took me to a wonderful little island off the coast of South Carolina, and we discovered that it was right in the middle of crab mating season. It was love at first sight. Seeing those millions of quarter-sized crabs scuttling around and waving their oversized claws at us pretty much made my brain explode with delight, and I’ve talked a lot about how much I love crabs ever since.

So, when we went to the pet store the other day and discovered that they had aquatic crabs for sale, I had to get a couple for my aquarium.

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I LOVE CRABS!

A Season of Spiders

My husband and I decided to go for a leisurely hike yesterday evening, letting the baby take the lead with her small steps and cowgirl boots, when we spotted a giant tarantula on the side of the trail — I had no clue that tarantulas lived in this area, considering that I grew up here and never once saw one before. I hate tarantulas, and thought the thing was awful and horrible, so I quickly grabbed the baby to keep her away from it

My husband decided that he wanted to adopt it.

He took off his shoe and chased it inside, then I screamed when the tarantula tried to escape from his shoe, and forever later we made it back to the car and found another container to put it in. After a quick stop at the pet store to pick up some crickets, my husband transferred it over to my betta fish’s old tank.

Now it’s sitting next to my fish tank, where I have to look at it.

And I really really hate tarantulas.

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Happenings with my baby

My baby is having more teeth grow in, which has had her very unhappy for the past few days. It was a relief when I saw those little white teeth start to poke through those poor swollen gums, because it meant that there would soon be an end to the screaming. My baby has gotten quite good at ear-splitting screeches.

This morning she’s back to making her cuter noises. One of her favorite things to do is to run around rawring at everything, so I affectionately call her my Baby Monster. It’s very precious to hear her playing make-believe with her little voice.

The past week has been full of the ups and downs of motherhood, and I wouldn’t have my life be any other way.