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?



  1. Wow Rhonda I thought I was the only one left who wears an apron lol. Mine are more like 'pinnies' they wrap around me and do up with a button at the back of my neck, I'm all ways wiping my hands on my bottom lol so covering just the front wasn't an option. Yours looks beautiful!

  2. I love it Rhonda, I think I may try and make one this weekend. I get covered in mess all the time. Thanks for the info. Neisha

  3. That's a nice apron Rhonda and, even better, YOU made it! I don't have one (yet) but I always associate them with my Grandma. Lots of memories but one in particular - the lady a couple of doors up didn't wear aprons but WIPED HER HANDS ON HER DRESS! Scandalous behaviour :-D.

    It also took a while for me to realise just how important having a welcoming home is. Working full time means I need to be fairly organised but it's worth it to have a comfortable haven at the end of a long day or week. And? Hubby does the ironing. Don't hate me :-D.

  4. Well done on the apron. I love to wear an apron when I'm working, love the big pocket at the front to put pegs in as I hang out the washing, love to be able to wipe my hands on it , gather a few vegies or fruit in it and take it off to signify break time when I stop for a cuppa.

  5. Hi Rhonda
    I get a real sence that you love your simplified life! What a joy to slow down and really engage with the significant tasks of creating a home, sharing your life with family and friends, food production and preparation. There is a term I read about once - the concept of "elegant frugality" that I think really applies to your life, and its something I try to cultivate in mine.

  6. kirsty: Thank you. I grew up with my mum and granny wearing apron.It was commonplace in the 50s to wear an apron so I guess I picked the habit up along the way.

    Neisha: believe me, if I can make one, you can. Let me know how you get on.

    Susan: LOL! your neighbours and the reaction to them sound very familiar to me. It is an important thing for all of us to have a welcoming home. BTW, tell your DH that I make terrific buttermilk scones and I have a good iron. ; )

    Jenny: I brought the eggs inside this morning cradled in my new apron. It feels natural and motherly to use an apron for all sorts of jobs. I have to admit though, I leave mine on most of the day, even when having a cuppa.

    Duck hearder, thank you for your observations. I think you're spot on. I feel happier now than at any other period in my life and everyday I am grateful to be able to live like this.

  7. I too like my Mum tend to wear my apron when I am cooking. Although I must say mine fits poorly and i really should get my fiend mandy to help me make something more elegant. I too like wiping my hands on it and having the pockets to put things in. I love the term "elegant frugality", well put Duck herder. It is something I aspire to :)

    Is it too late to get loofa seeds and maybe some rosella ones. I can remember helping my Mum make rosella jam when we lived in the tropics!

  8. Putting my apron on has become a bit of a ritual for me too.
    I don't particularly like cooking so I bought myself a lovely apron(very cheap at Spotlight) and now when I put in on in the early evening I know it is time to get into 'cooking mode'.
    I think I will use my apron as a pattern and make a 'housework apron'(I used to sew alot and I still have my trusty Janome) I quite like housework(especially hanging out the washing)and would love to have a special apron to do it in.
    I have lots of wonderful childhood memories of my Mum and Nan in their aprons.
    Thanks fort he trip down memory lane Rhonda :)

  9. Food for thought there Rhonda - a wonderful post.

  10. I really appreciate you sharing your mindset for doing housework. I've never found it an easy part of my life.

    I knew I needed an attitude change and you have shown me the way. Thankyou.

  11. RHONDA THANKS FOR REMINDING ME THAT I SHOULD WEAR AN APRON WHILST DOING HOUSEWORK I TOO generally just wipe my hands on my clothes but reading these blogs I have a new direction in life thanks


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