Monday, April 24, 2017

Finally Green!

Dear Mildred,

     The world outside my window has transformed!  It is finally green!  Not that pale yellowy-green of a very young spring, but a true green...still young, but maturing. The leaves have not yet filled in the trees but the grasses of the fields and lawns are that shade of green only spring can offer.

     I adore it.  My birds eat at it.  My rabbits scratch at their hutch doors for me to pick some for them, and I gladly do.  My neighbors tinker on their lawn mowers in anticipation.  

     It is long-awaited and I feel refreshed and renewed.  It refracts through my windows and reflects on my walls.  It is in the air and all eyes turn upwards to the nurseries in the branches, waiting for the buds to pop and those leaves to stretch and mature.  Just as with the grasses, the leaves will surprise us.  Seemingly overnight they will unfurl and one morning we look out our windows or take out the trash or drive to work and realize the trees are dressed and debuted.  

     Spring is here.



Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Homemaking Myth

Dear Mildred,

     It is amazing how letting a lie take root in your heart, even just a small portion of a lie, can have a profound affect on you. I realized recently that a source of anxiety, unhappiness, and frustration in me was rooted in believing the lie that housewifery is worthless compared to having a paid career.

     Now, I would have been the first to defend being a housewife in a debate.  I would be the first to encourage a fellow housewife who is feel like a drudge.  I like to proudly announce that I am a homemaker when asked what my occupation is.  But, deep down I realized I still harbored the myth that being a housewife is somehow lacking.

     That belief affected my joy and abilities in performing my duties.  There was the constant, nagging, biting demon at the back of my neck saying, "it's not enough, it's not enough."  I felt like I had to do more and more and more and attain this unreachable standard and then finally, finally, I would feel like I have contributed and proven my worth.  That, anxiety, though was a homewrecker.  I felt brain-fogged and muddled by it.  I couldn't focus enough to even do whatever "enough" was.  I had no joy in it anymore and found fault in too much.

     I think what snapped me out of it was hearing my husband defend homemaking and appreciating what I do coupled with just being fed up with my own self-manufactured rat race.  Also, my state recently instituted free college for residences and I considered enrolling.  The problem is I have no idea what career path I would even consider!  I realized I have always had a heart for homemaking and that is where I am happiest, healthiest, and most productive.  

     I have plenty to take care of here and keep me busy from before sunrise to well after sunset.  And now that I do not believe the lie anymore and evicted it from my heart, I can see the joy and the importance and the value in what I do.  I am more focused and getting so much more done than I ever did under that yoke of anxiety.  "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light," thus saith the Lord.  


Mrs. D. Scott

Monday, April 17, 2017

Gardening: A Joyful Obligation

Dear Mildred,

     Though the nights are still cold, it seems winter is behind us enough to begin gardening.  The purple crocuses have given way to the yellow daffodils and forsythia.  Infant leaves are beginning to emerge on the trees.

     Every year I am told by well meaning loved ones that I ought not to put so much effort into gardening.  It's too much what with the children and the housekeeping and all.  Every autumn I grump at my failure upon keeping up with the garden and tell myself to make it smaller in the spring.  Every spring I scheme up ways to make it bigger and more productive.

     I feel a moral obligation to garden.  After all, I have the land.  It feels like such a waste to have an open expanse of mowed grass where a garden would thrive.  I have the skill.  I may as well use what my father taught me.  I have the need.  It isn't cheap to buy organic, locally grown, fresh produce. I have the love.  I do enjoy gardening, even if I am not a P. Allen Smith.  

     Spring opens up hope that perhaps this year I will keep up on the weeds.  This year I will not let produce go to waste.  This year I will have a flower garden about which neighbors will remark.

     This year, I am more realistic than idealistic about my gardening.  It is what it is because I can only do so much.  Still, a bit of effort and all that.

     I put in some bulbs and tubers I purchased at Aldi today.  Afterward I prepared two raised beds and planted spinach, lettuce, cabbage, kale, and peas.  It felt good to stick my hands in dirt.  It felt so accomplished to shovel out my own compost to use in the beds.

     Have you done any gardening yet?  I look forward to hearing about your green thumb!


Mrs. D. Scott

Friday, April 7, 2017

Estate Sales

Dear Mrs. Rothwood,

     Today finds me in better spirits thanks to my youngest being cheerfully willing to accompany me to two estate sales and a book sale.  In true irony to my previous letter of complaint about a houseful of piles and stuff, I blew my entire week's pay ($60) on estate sale finds.

     I love estate sales.  Pawing through a deceased person's belongings and gleefully making a pile of findings while low-balling the grieving family seems morbidly atrocious, but, alas, I enjoy it and it lifts my attitude.  Two years ago I walked out of one with a free bottle of Chanel #5 among my treasures!  How could I be unhappy about that!?

     Today, my purchases included:

A television.  I have been wanting one for the playroom downstairs.  Sometimes, while doing my housework in the main part of the house I don't want to hear another episode of Wild Kratts or Duck Dynasty.  Now, I can send my kiddos downstairs while I enjoy peace upstairs.

A Big Boss frozen treat maker.  It is my hope that the lure of ice cream-like frozen concoctions of fruit will lure my daughter to eat more healthfully.

A necklace.

Fence posts.  Because I always need to repair fences around here.

Garden tools.  Because my kiddos are always breaking mine or losing them every year.

A lamp that clips onto something.  My son needed one for under his loft bed.

A vintage outfit in pink and gray houndstooth.

Vintage roller skates complete with carrying bag, roller skating manual, and two pairs of knee pads.  For my daughter.

A Mark Eden Bust Enhancer.  Because it is vintage cheeky fun.  I just had to.

A vintage hardcover copy of Don Quixote.

A 1949 Boy Scout manual.  For my oldest boy who likes those kinds of books.

A stack of vintage 1960's women's magazines.

A paper bag stuffed full of stuff from a $5 fill-a-bag basement.  It included 4 stuffed
animals, a vintage magazine, turpentine, linseed oil, bug spray, spray paint, old files (for hubby to repurpose), a trowel, a square, a yard stick, sandpaper, and I am sure I am forgetting something.  

     It was such a fun haul!  There are more tomorrow, but I am out of my fun money.

     Do you go to estate sales?


Mrs. D. Scott

Thursday, April 6, 2017


Albert Lynch

Dear Mrs. Rothwood,

     Spring cleaning is in full swing.  How is your spring cleaning coming along?

     Piles.  A large family in a small house seems to equal piles.  Piles of clothes, piles of books, piles of toys, piles of papers, piles of projects, piles of blankets, pillows, shoes, mittens, cereal boxes.....

     I have to admit, dear friend, that I am getting to my breaking point concerning these piles.  My life seems to be a perpetual cycle of cleaning and moving piles.  Much of it is the season we are in.  The children are no longer babies, so the baby piles have moved out.  The children are no longer toddlers, so the toddler piles have moved along.  However, they are still fast-growing, ever-changing kiddos, so I am in a new season of shifting things around.  Plus, now that homeschooling is largely a thing of the past now, I have homeschooling piles that will be heading out the door.  

     Still, it is a challenge to have a large, hobby-loving family wadded into this little cottage with very little storage space.  It would be such a luxury to have room for things and a place for everything.  Right now the only possibility for that would be to become extreme minimalists, and that isn't going to happen.  My family loves their stuff and hobbies.

     Unfortunately, it feels like my life and talents are being snuffed out by it all as I spend day after day cleaning, organizing, discarding, moving, and trying to make work all of this.  There is very little time, energy, money, or space for my own peace of mind and utilization of talents.

     As soon as this rainy weather pattern blows out to sea I will be able to at least turn my focus out of doors.  That'll boost my spirit.  There are piles out of doors, too, but at least there's elbow room and places to put it and fresh air.


Mrs. D. Scott

Monday, April 3, 2017

The Thaw Reveals

Dominique Amendola

Dear Mrs. Rothwood,

     April has arrived!  Winter is officially over!  Spring!  My favorite season!  

     I love spring, even early spring when nothing is pretty yet.  The snows have melted away and uncovered a brown, muddy, ugly world.  My poor yard is littered in broken toys long forgotten once the first snows fell.  There are bits of trash the blew out of vehicles and neighborhood trash cans on those windy winter day.  Sticks, leaves, pine cones and needles, fowl feces, and gardens still asleep under autumn's ruin. There is just so much to do!

     Inside is just as bad.  This long bout of illness has left me two months behind in spring cleaning.  Not to mention that it also put my family two months ahead in building up messes!  I am still suffering the affects of all those back-to-back ailments, but the warmer temperatures and peeks of sunshine bolster me.  

     My due-date for spring clean up, inside and out, is Memorial Day.  That is when we host a big family picnic and I want my property in tip-top shape.

     What has the thaw revealed in your yard? 

Sincerely yours,

Mrs. D. Scott