Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Women At Home

I neglected my blog all summer. I was busy, but also I stopped blogging because my blog looked so exhausting. It seemed to be a long never ending list of jobs. I have been considering why do I garden and is it worth it.  I kind of perked up the other day while outside planting garlic with geese flying over and honking at me on a chilly November day. 

So many like to tell women their place is in the home. In the home doing what?  They are to cook and clean and let the men be in charge, but in charge of what?  I stayed at home to raise my children and to homeschool them. Is this the future for my daughter?  What kind of woman will my son marry?  The world is a crazy place anymore.  When I was younger and my mother was home, she always was busy and our house had people coming and going.  Most of the people were neighbors.  We sat outside at night and talked.  My friend Theresa would come to get me to sit in her kitchen and watch her pressure canner while she had to do something else.  I had no interest in canning back then. She was older than I was, but we always were busy doing things.  She was married and I was still a teenager.  We went fishing, rode horses, and her family and mine would go to church.  We did not compete with each other and why we were friends, I do not know, other than we did not judge each other. Maybe, we really did not even know a lot about each other.  I think people know each other too well or they think they do by reading between the lines of texts and messages.  They cannot hear the voice or see the face to know if somebody is even joking.  Today, neighbors do not need you for a friend.  Most people do not even go outside in their yard.  They have jobs, family, computers and cell phones.  

It was not unusual for women to be at home all day cooking and taking care of children when my mother was a housewife.  They did not homeschool back then.  I would come home and find Theresa talking to my mother and they talked of making supper and desserts.  For me, this does not happen.  I have been homeschooling for years and stayed home.  Neighborhood children came to play.  I am not sure what my kids would have done if we had lived way off outside of town.  I know what would have happened.  I would have joined all kinds of things to keep them busy and I would have been on the road back and forth to town.  With me being home, the neighborhood kids could play in our yard.  The mothers went to work and the dads were home and then when she came home the dad would go to work, if there was a dad.  There were not any women at home canning, growing a garden, worrying about minerals in the soil, or GMOs in their food.  My son had 2 friends that were brothers.  For about a month they ate chicken nuggets and French fries that their mother brought home from her job at a fast food place.  The same happened years earlier when my daughter's friends ate hamburgers for a month when their mother went to work at a fast food restaurant.  I remember the kids kind of lost and the husband too.  Then, the mother came home with the sacks and off they ran to meet her and the doors shut and they stayed in visiting with her and eating their food in a sack.  The job would last about a month and then she would be home again and the husband would work and the mother would be wandering around not knowing what to do.  I see so many girls that say they need a job and they have a home and children to take care of.  I really do not know what the young people are going to do for jobs in this country.  

I have lived here in this house now for over 6 years.  The house behind me has seen several families come and go.  An older man just moved in and he told my husband that he likes what we have done with the garden and he wants to do the same with his yard. I have met several of the other neighbors.  I know a couple of names.  We smile and wave.  I have another a few houses away that I talk to outside when she comes out in the spring and summer to plant her small garden.  The house on the other side has an older man.  He is gone all the time and he will talk for a short period of time if you see him outside.  

There are not any like minded women to can and cook with.  I talk to my friend Ellie about what I cook and can, and she tells me all about what she is doing.  She lives in another state.  My own family does not want to hear about the tomatoes or the green beans.  They do not want to know about the weeds.  They sure do not want to hear the cherries need to be pitted.  We almost had World War III over pitting cherries last summer. 

I had a fit.  It was all poor me and nobody appreciates me and the food is being wasted.  I had such a fit that after son and daughter went swimming, they sat under the tree pitting cherries in their wet clothes.  They looked so sad, I almost felt sorry for them.  Well, I did end up feeling sorry for them and decided to freeze the cherries with the pits and make juice later. They are small and there are 3 bushes. The first year there were a few and we were so excited to see cherries and could not wait to make a pie.  The next year, not so excited and this year, I think everybody did all they could to not even look in the direction of the bushes.  I decided it was best I pick them and go get some exercise and sun.  I would pick a quart and put them in the ice box.  I would hope a certain daughter would see them and pit them for me, but they would get pushed back and then the next quart would come in and then I ended up pitting them.  My son looked so upset at the idea of pitting them that I did not even want to go through seeing that face.

What is my job?  Should I take the time to make jelly or applesauce?  I never buy applesauce anymore because it has fructose corn syrup.  I do not want to spend money for organic and most of the jelly has corn syrup.  Should I care about corn syrup?  Everybody else eats corn syrup.  Everybody else does a lot of things I do not do.  I did not see a big benefit this year with exercise for me.  I like to say that I am going to garden and lose weight.  Well, that did not happen.  I think the garden does keep me busy where I am not just sitting all day.  I have a lot of chores to do and I think that is good.  I don't want to make my family take care of the garden since they do not enjoy it.  Well, my husband does when he has time.  He would be out in the garden all the time if he was retired.  

I type medical reports all day from home.  I am a medical transcriptionist.  I have noticed in the last few years more and more people with heart disease at earlier ages. There are so many strokes that it is frightening. I have noticed more birth defects and thyroid disease is so common that normal thyroid function is going to become rare. My parents took care of me when I was born. They went out of their way to buy raw milk. I was given vitamins and the best quality they could find.  I can remember my mother snapping beans, shelling peas, shucking corn.  My mother was always cooking greens.  She would get so excited about somebody bringing her fresh greens that I look back and she reminds me of Granny Clampett cooking in her kitchen.  I will be 60 in a few months and I have no disease with a name.  I do not think I did so well with my children and I regret it. My parents were blind and my mother cooked from scratch and I have two eyes and wonder if I should do the same? 

I regret not starting my children on raw milk.  They had formula.  They were allowed to drink way too much pop. We had a lot of fast food hamburgers and chicken nuggets for supper without salads or anything green.  They ate a lot of breakfast cereal.  I did put them on raw milk when my son was only about 2 and when I could not buy raw, I did buy organic to stay away from hormones in the milk. 

I suppose my picky son might think all this is worth it if somehow I create food that tastes good, looks good, and is healthy too.  I do not want the garden to be all about saving money or stocking up on food.  I would like to see us have more energy and see some type of health benefit from the garden this next year.   It is my job to see that they are healthy and I just do not feel I have done my best.  I am going to make the most of 2015. 

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