Here's a scrumptious soup recipe to start today's post.
Northwoods Bean Soup
Chock full of smoked sausage, spinach and white beans, it'll cozy you right up on these cold winter days. It's super quick to make!
Recipe at the end of the post.
I wanted to delve into the realm of Home Keeping this week.
I want to talk about routines, menu planning and laundry.
I'm not apologetic.
They are three of my favorite topics.
Before I get into the nuts and bolts of it, I wanted to talk a little bit about the attitude of homekeeping. Today will be more about the 'why' than the 'how'.
I want to be June Cleaver. I look a little more like Aunt Bea, but that's ok. She's a domestic goddess too. How cute she was with her baskets of fried chicken and biscuits.
I plan on wearing pearls and vintage dresses on a daily basis.
I've been collecting patterns and do believe I'll make this one first.
I almost can't stand it myself!
I wasn't always the domestic maven that you see before you. In fact, I didn't make a bed until I was married at the age of 21. Sad, but true. My mom was a perfectionist when it came to the house, so she pretty much cleaned up after us, and did everything herself. She said we wouldn't do it right. Ladies, please don't do this to your children.
After being married for a few months, my house was in chaos. Why weren't things being put away? Who made this mess? Glen lovingly reminded me that my mom didn't live with me anymore, and I'd have to clean up after myself. I resented the fact that I had to work a full-time job in the city of Chicago, and come home and keep an apartment clean, AND make meals. Why was it that "I" had to cook dinner at 7pm when I got home from work, and "He" didn't? I fought that for years.
Laundry? It was done when the last clean clothes were on my back. True story. Glen gets up for work, going to a new job that he's recently started. I'm sure you've heard this same scenario in your house. "Honey, do I have any clean underwear?" In my bitter mind I'm thinking, well, YOU should have done some laundry, but I say "Oh, well, I guess you are all out, I'm doing laundry today (now that I know you have no clean underwear)"
"Here, wear mine" I said.
He reluctantly wore them. (Can't believe I'm putting this on the internet). They were a tan satin panty with lace around the legs and top.
He wore my panties, ya'll.
After being at work for a couple of hours, he's called to the office. He's being sent to the Dr. for a physical.
He's wearing my panties.
That was my life in a nutshell.
Frustration, anger, lack of skills, sheer madness.
I'm really not sure what the turning point was for me. I just knew that I didn't want to live like this. I began to love our little apartment in Chicago, and I loved the feeling that I got when the fridge was stocked, the house was clean and order and plenty were restored. I began identifying myself with my home. I was no longer bitter. I no longer felt 'I'm above this'. I settled into a routine that kept the house clean, the laundry done, and food on the table.
It was a good feeling.
And then I moved into this 140 year old farmhouse. Holy moly, that was a whole 'notha story.
We've all seen the cute little plaques that say:
"Martha doesn't live here."
"My house was clean yesterday, sorry you missed it"
Have you ever scheduled a Tupperware party so that you would actually clean your house? *raises hand*
Have you ever hidden when someone knocked at the door cause you would just die if they saw the mess you were in?
Why do we apologize when we are in a mess, and yet some of us feel the need to apologize for being good homemakers? Being overly domestic is seen as something of a bad thing it seems.
I want to encourage you to examine your heart today and see what it is you really feel about making a home.
Where could you improve?
Where could you relax a little?
Everyone standards are a little different.
Comfort and health should be your utmost concern.
I'll share my weekly routine with you.
I really encourage you to make a routine for yourself. For some of you, you may want to do all of your housecleaning in one day. I like to break mine up so I do a good cleaning of each room weekly, and keep the rest of the house straightened up. At the MINIMUM if you will make your bed, keep your sink clean and keep things picked up, you'll feel like you are top of things.
I grocery shop once a week.
I have a large garden, so in the summer, I try to break it up in sections. Obviously, in the winter, I'm not doing it, but I'm putting it here to give you an idea. I've taken a picture of the sheets that I've had hanging on my bulletin board for a year now.
Here's what my week looks like:
Monday: Laundry, clean kitchen (please note that the laundry is not done until it is put away)
garden section B
Tuesday: Clean office, plan the week's meals, garden section D
Wednesday: Grocery shopping, clean bathroom and porch, garden section A
Thursday: Clean bedroom and livingroom, garden section C
Friday: Clean upstairs, garden section E
This is what works for me. It's a guideline, not a law. I like it because it leaves my weekends free to pursue other interests, or go places without feeling like I'm leaving work behind. I don't want to give you the idea that my house is perfect. It's not. If you moved the stove, I would faint dead away from embarrassment. If you looked in my shed out in the yard, I'd have to kill you. For the most part, my house is clean, dusted, vacuumed daily (I know, it's just my thing, I really can't help it), and there is always dinner on the table. I don't cringe when unexpected company stops in anymore.
My daily routine consists of this:
When getting out of the bed in the morning, I tear the covers off and air the bed.
(more on this in later posts, as far as WHY)
After getting Glenco off to work, and having coffee, and blogging, and sending emails.....:-), I will clean whatever room is due that day.
I make the bed.
I go room to room after that and make sure things are in their place.
I replace the kitchen towels with fresh ones. Washcloth, hand towel, and drying towel.
I clean the bathroom mirror and toilet.
Sometimes I vacuum again in the afternoon. It's a sickness.
Before I go to bed, I quickly walk the house, straighten the couch cushions, and make sure things are picked up.
I'm curious to know what works for you. Please feel free to share tips, thoughts, or anything else that you think will help.
If you liked this post, and would like to see more about Homekeeping, please tell me so. If you'd rather I stick to diapered chickens and mannequin phobias, please tell me that as well!
Obligatory chicken picture.
Stubs, the egg laying machine.
Northwoods Bean Soup
1 cup of baby carrots, chopped
1 cup onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
7 oz. turkey keilbasa, halved and sliced
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 t. italian seasoning
1/2 t. pepper
2 15oz cans Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
6 oz. baby spinach
Saute 1st four ingredients in a little bit of olive oil, or cooking spray for five minutes.
Add rest of ingredients, except for spinach and simmer five minutes.
Put two cups of soup in blender or food processor until smooth.
Return it to the pan.
Add spinach, and stir til wilted.
Makes 5 servings
From Cooking Light Magazine