30 June 2007


I spent a leisurely afternoon making my apron and although there are flaws - the bib is too wide, the ties too long and I had to patch fabric to make it fit, I'm quite happy with the outcome. I'll never win any prizes for sewing, that's for sure, but I do enjoy making this and that for my home. I'll wear my apron as I'm working today and when it is washed and ironed, I'll make some adjustments so it fits me better. Wearing an apron is essential when I'm doing housework. I can wipe my hands on it, carry things in the pocket and it covers my clothes so that if someone visits I can quickly take off the apron and look reasonably clean and tidy.

Aprons drew me into housework. When I was working for a living I didn't do much housework, and didn't like doing it. Then I gave up work, I bought myself an apron, then made a couple more because I felt more like doing housework when I wore an apron. It was like I was dressing for a role on stage. Now I love working in my home and cringe when I think of the lengths I used to go to avoid doing it. I'm really stupid sometimes. LOL

I know there are a lot of people who dislike housework but accepting it as part of every day is just a shift in mindset, similar to those adjustments made to stop shopping, be frugal and conserve resources.Now I see housework as simply making my home as comfortable and beautiful as I can for my family, friends and I. Making my bed each morning isn't just part of the morning routine, it's fluffy up the cosy nest so that it's inviting and comfortable for us that night. Sweeping the floor gets rid of food crumbs and the dust our dogs bring inside. It makes the house look better and that makes me feel good. Dusting gets rid of the dust that would cause my asthma to start if left sitting on furniture. I dust so I don't get sick. Washing clothes is a breeze - how could washing clothes be thought of as work when all you do is put them in a machine and take them out again? Hanging them to dry in the winter sun is a chore I like doing, and folding them when they're dry and fresh and putting them away in drawers gives me a sense of a job well done, a feeling that I've done what needed doing. Planting seeds and tending the chickens gives us good food and flowers that can be brought into the house. Simple flowers or herbs in an old preserving jar are one of the mindful joys of being at home in one's own place.

Cooking and baking have always been a joy so baking bread most days and having fresh biscuits and cakes for our morning teas gives me pleasure. I love sitting on the front verandah with H and sharing time and conversation with tea and something home baked. Since we gave up working for a living we have grown closer and part of that is due to those cosy morning chats. We have been together over 30 years and we've reconnected and reestablished our relationship on our front verandah. It's easy being there with him, we've made it a nice place to relax. It pleases me when friends drop by and I can serve them fresh chocolate chip biscuits or Anzacs, or buttermilk scones with homemade jam and local cream. Cooking from scratch after picking vegetables and herbs from the back garden, supplemented with staples from the pantry comforts me, knowing that I'm providing good wholesome food, without chemicals and preservatives, within the boundaries of my frugal budget.

Of course there are some chores I don't enjoy, but they don't bother me. Who likes cleaning a toilet for instance? I don't really enjoy ironing, but I put on the TV and watch something while I iron quickly. The payoff is fresh and tidy clothes for the following week. I like to look clean and fresh when I go to my voluntary job each week.If you are one of the many who dislike housework, try to look at it with kinder eyes. See it as something you do for yourself and your family, see it as making your home a comfortable and warm place that you're happy to spend time in and proud to invite your friends to share with you. See it as fluffing your nest.

There was a time when women used to work very hard in the home. We are lucky that we've got washing machines and vacuum cleaners now that make our tasks easier, although keeping house is still time consuming and difficult at times. When I had young children on the weekends we used to all do our chores in the mornings and we'd be rewarded by relaxing all afternoon or we'd go out or watch a movie together. They didn't mind working hard if they knew there was a payoff. That's how I see housework now - I work hard for what I get out of it. All it takes is a change in mindset to turn it around. And isn't reinvention part of our simple lives?

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