Housewifery Holiday

“Do you want to go walking earlier Monday?”  The text came from my exercise partner and BFF.  (Can you use that term when you’re over 50?)  She spends her days solving complex problems in a research laboratory.

“Earlier???  Off tomorrow?”  I’ve lost track of holidays.

“YES.”  She must think I’m nuts to forget Labor Day.  The unofficial end of Summer.

“Mmmmm….Off from work.  Must be niiiice.”  I texted back with subtle sarcasm.  I had just returned home from yet another grocery store run.  Parking in the driveway I winched at the uncut grass.  This is the week to do yard work.

“Speak to your HR dept.”  She smirked back.  Who says scientists don’t have a sense of humor?

 “My HR dept is taking a nap with an orange cat lying on his belly.  I’ll just check my employee handbook.”  Who says housewives don’t have a sense of humor?

Its a good thing too!  If I had an employee handbook the HOLIDAYS/VACATION section would have one entry:  PUT ANOTHER LOG ON THE FIRE.

I recently heard this titled Country Western novelty song the end of a long day of Housewifery – Laundry, Ironing, Meal Prep, General House Keeping.

It was evening.  I was wrapping up chores: gassing up the SUV, checking tire pressure – after visiting 2 gas stations to find a working air pump – delivering clothes to the dry cleaners and shopping at two grocery stores.  On the way home I was bemoaning the fact that the task of unloading and putting away groceries still awaited me.  But then this song came on the radio.

Laughed waaaay too much!  Good thing I was alone in the car.

So to all my working sisters – kick back, enjoy your day off.

I just might join you and spend the day making art!♥


FULL DISCLOSURE: My hubby is nothing like Tompall Glasser’s song.  I am the “kid sister” and he has taken me fishin’ – once. HA! HA!



GARDENING · Southernisms

A Memory Garden

Dear Mr. Garden Guy,

Do you remember the day I had to hide Momma’s yard tools?

A few years earlier we had finally convinced my then 84 year old mother to stop cutting her own grass. “Convinced” is a nice way of saying my brother took her push mower away for servicing and never brought it back.  Over the next couple of years, I took over her yardwork.   Momma, not satisfied with my loose interpretation of hedge trimming would redo her bushes wielding the most dangerous looking pair of clippers you ever want to see in the hands of an unsteady octogenarian.

Thoughts of a horrid implement haunted family, friends and neighbors.

fi-clippers clippers

So I hid her tools.  An assortment of handheld clippers, hoes and rakes made their way to my house.  I told you about it Mr. Garden Guy.  We both felt sad that an avid gardener could no longer enjoy her work.

Then one day her neighbor pulled me to the side:

“Yo momma been outside cuttin’ them bushes again.”  She said in a concerned whisper.

“What?!  Bbbut I..I… took all her tools!”  I stammered in disbelief.

“Well she was.  An’ she had a pair of long, rusty lookin’ clippers.  I think they must have been yo daddy’s.”  The neighbor’s testimony rang true.

My stepdad had been dead for decades.  It never occurred to me that some of

fi-nate-brelsford Brelsford

Richard’s tools may still be around.  Momma never threw away anything.

It took me a while but finally – on the backporch, under the chaise, in a crate, inside a wooden box – a plethora of ancient handtools.  Found and removed.

Miss. Daisy was not pleased.

Today, age is beginning to slow me down.  One day someone will take away my tools.  And Mr. Garden Guy I’ll miss growing my veggies, canning my pears and cutting my grass.

Foreseeing such a time,  I’ve begun a “memory garden” afghan.

Rows of simple granny squares echo my gardening process.  Starting with brown and black squares symbolizing the composted soil. Then seed.  More colorful squares – reds, yellows, greens and even purples- flowering and fruiting.

The afghan’s rows repeat like the rhythm of the seasons. Its an ongoing project.  Finished only when it is big enough, warm enough to hold all my cherished gardening memories.

Vegetables Credit: & Christa Richert
JUST FOR TODAY · Southernisms


“HOUSEWIFE: A married woman whose main occupation is caring for her family, managing household affairs, and doing housework.” – Oxford Dictionary.

“Denise, do you work anywhere now?”  A neighbor asked, evidently curious about my constant presence at home.

“Yes.  Yes  I work very hard as a full-time Housewife.”

There was a pause.  A puzzled but pleasant smile.  Finally “Well good for you!” ended the brief conversation.  Other responses have been:

  • “Must be nice.”
  • “It can’t be THAT much work.”
  • “No.  I mean WORK.  You still WORK somewhere don’t you?”

Thanks to popular t.v. shows, the perception of the American Housewife has often been misguided.  Be it the shapely 1950’s mother who did all her housework effortlessly in high-heels.  Or the current “real” Housewives who pass the day in a glut of lush extravagance and bickering.  I am neither young, desperate or have a rich husband.  I can not afford to squander precious resources like time and common sense.

My past roles – Art Curator, Artist In Residence, Art Teacher, Caregiver –  needed little explaining and were often met with respect and empathy.  However the term Housewife is little understood and is sorely in need of rebranding.   To help clarify matters, here are a few personal Q & A.


  • When did you retire?

I didn’t retire.  I still work.  I work very hard as a full-time Housewife.

  • Do you work part-time?

No.   I work full-time as a Housewife.

  • O.K. But don’t you do things online?

Sure.  I have a blog and a couple of online shops.  But…

  • Oh!  You’re an Entrepreneur.  Right?

Not really.  Earning extra money for the family budget is just  part of my work as a Housewife. Everything I do from cooking from scratch to making our laundry products is part of my home management.   Similarly, gardening and canning supplements our food stuffs.  Learning to sew and crochet adds to our wardrobe.   Collecting kindling and burning firewood during the winter saves on heating.  Growing and using medicinal herbs in teas, tinctures and salves keeps our immune systems up and medical bills down….

  • Gardening.  Sewing.  Herbs.  Cooking.  You’re  a Homesteader!  Are y’all gonna get chickens?







HEALTH & WELLNESS · Southernisms

American Grocery List

Reblogged from Thanks Elan Mudrow for a fun, satirical list that many of us have had a part in!

For a “Senior Moment” Stop at #6. Pay for groceries. Drive gas-guzzling SUV back home, ignoring that nagging feeling that you forgot something. Once home, remember #7. Drive back to store. Complete rest of steps. Return home too exhausted to publish original content on personal blog. Reblog someone else’s creative post. Whew! Thanks again Elan!


Elan Mudrow


  1. Broccoli
  2. Carrots
  3. Romaine Lettuce
  4. Avocado
  5. Spinach
  6. Mary’s Virgin Olive Oil
  7. Dave’s Corporate Fiber Bread
  8. Weightwatchers scammy little peanut chipotle BBQ tempeh tenders
  9. Red Wine, preferably under ten dollars
  10. Soy curly fries
  11. Buy a salad, premade, in a plastic bag
  12. Put back the broccoli, carrots, lettuce, and spinach
  13. Buy Wishbone Blue Cheese Ranchy-like chunky salad dressing
  14. Buy Tony’s Frozen Pizza with cheese inside the crust, topped with exotic free-range animal meat
  15. Put back the Weightwatchers in the “Unhealthy” frozen section that for some strange reason needs to be separate from the “healthy” frozen section. The only determining factor is price.
  16. Buy Jo Jos- topped with chemically treated fake jalapeño gooey sauce
  17. Put back Mary’s virgin olive oil and the soy curly fries
  18. Buy a case of Budweiser or equivalent that’s on sale
  19. Put back red wine or not, THEN pause, making it look like you are deliberating on the issue of…

View original post 107 more words

HEALTH & WELLNESS · Southernisms

Mid Life Crisis

Originally posted on Humor Columnist Blog. Great list from Sheila Moss about the facts of middle age. If you prefer to take a nap before reading her post – “here’s your sign.” And have a good laugh!

Image credit: Sign by Beierle

Humor Columnist Blog


Middle age is when you first suspect your body of betrayal..

Middle age is when everyone else suddenly becomes younger.

Middle age is when you refuse a senior discount because you’re not old enough.

Middle age is when you’d rather take a nap than go out on the town.

Middle age is when you realize there’s not much time left to worry about getting old.

Middle age is when you’ve already seen more than you want to — several times.

Middle age is when the opposite sex doesn’t seem quite as sexy anymore.

Middle age is when you notice how small the fine print is.

Middle age is when you’ve done it all, but can’t remember if you had fun doing it.

Middle age is when you get a sneaking suspicion that you might be mortal too.

Middle age is when it seems like there’s a lot more to remember…

View original post 99 more words

HEALTH & WELLNESS · Southernisms

Menopause & Marriage

“Can I stop wearing The Patch?” I wondered out loud.

That rhetorical question sent a panicky shiver down my Beloved’s spine.

I’m going through what we Southern women graciously refer to as The Change.  “The Patch”  – an adhesive dose of estrogen – has become a type of pharmaceutical marriage counselor.   It restores peace to our home by lessening mood swings – tears accompanied by sullen quiet followed by a healthy dose of outrage.   Can’t relate?  Before continuing, watch the following video clip from That 70s Show .  It accurately demonstrates the challenges of The Change.  Thanks Retired Army RANGER for posting on YouTube!



My husband loves The Patch.  My first inkling of Billy’s devotion to it came when he was laid off during the “Great Recession.”  We were able to enroll in a discount health care plan. Such plans are like grocery shopping with coupons when you really need food stamps!  With no real health insurance, I offered to sacrifice The Patch.  I could tough it out for a few months.  But Billy could not.

He spoke to the pharmacist.

“Hey.  Will y’all honor this discount card?  Good.  Because WE really need those Patches.  They are for my wife.  WE have got to use them.  Everyday.”  Knowing giggles were heard from behind the counter as Billy unhesitatingly plopped down $40 – double the insurance co-pay – for a month’s supply!

More recently, I had been complaining to Billy that The Patch seemed to no longer work as well. I was wearing the maximum strength and yet menopausal discomfort was returning – headaches, hot flashes, night sweats just for starters!  Why continue to wear the thing if its not working?

So there WE were sitting in the GYN exam room waiting for Cindy (Female Health Nurse Practitioner) and Peaches her assistant.  After a brief exchange of pleasantries, Billy stepped into the adjoining dressing room.  As my annual exam proceeded this is what he heard:

“Any new concerns Miss. Denise?”

“Yeah.  I’m wondering if I should continue wearing The Patch.  Its been several years now and I’m starting to worry that I’ve been wearing it too long.  Besides it doesn’t seem to be working as well.”  I proceeded to go into all the sweaty, details.  Cindy listened patiently as she probed my nether regions, checked breathing, heart rate, etc.  Finally she said.

“Well Denise its certainly up to you to decide.  But you were only peri-menopausal when you started on The Patch.  You’ve recently turned 50.   Welcome to menopause!”  Cindy assured me that my increased discomfort was quite normal.  Still the decision was mine.  Then she left me with Peaches.

“Miss. Denise, how long have you and your husband been married?”

“15 years.”

“Well if you want to be married 15 more years I suggest you keep wearing that Patch!  Menopause will make you so mad at your husband, even his breathing will get on your nerves.  You think you have problems now?  Stop wearing The Patch and see what happens.”

Billy emerged from the dressing room grinning from ear to ear.

“Oh so what did y’all decide about The Patch?”

“I guess I’ll keep wearing it.”

“I think that’s a very  good idea Shuggy.”

What do you do to make life more pleasant for you and your Beloved during The Change?  Helpful comments welcomed!