I'm daughter to Lissie, sister to Jess, wife to Brien, mom to Hannah, Lily and Eleanor. I am a stay at home mom to my girls, and my free time is dedicated to gardening (I confess I'm still a novice and look to Lissie and Jess for advice), baking and cooking, and card making. I'm doing my part to make the earth a bit greener, trying hard to avoid processed foods and HFCS, and find the "slow food" movement intriguing and inspiring. I love visits to my local farmers' market, fresh produce, reading, getting out in nature, and spending time with my family.


Catholic, homeschooler, lover of books and great wine and an amateur gardening addict.


I'm Melissa aka "Lissie", mother of Rachael and Jessica, and grandmother to a passel of the sweetest children on the planet. I'm a semi-retired public educator and professor who works from home for a small publisher. I am a lover of all things beautiful ... flowers, the mountains, nature scenes, the innocent faces of children, and my rock and fossil collection, to name a few. I enjoy shopping at the farmers' market for fresh foods and then experimenting with new recipes. Good food and good wine delight me. I love to travel so my suitcase is always packed. Like my daughters, I take pleasure in simple things ... clothes drying on the line, tomatoes so fresh they are still hot from the sun, good books, and interesting movies. I'd like to know everything before I die.
Spotlight On

I kept seeing this book discussed in various places that I visit online so I ordered it and have really enjoyed it. Frankly, I am in awe of families that can really be self-sufficient. I do my best with vermicomposting, growing some of our own veggies in the spring/summer/fall and buying organic when I can. I try and make my own bread and get local meat. But I have yet to try my hand at making homemade yogurt or sewing all my kids clothes. The ladies who seem to have the time for this also seem to have a slightly different household workload than my own with their spouse also around the vast majority of the time. I'm not complaining, I'm just saying that sometimes practicality wins in my life and that means occasionally pulling into Chik Fil' A or using plastic ziploc bags and ditching them or throwing out leftovers instead of using them up.

But if I am really getting down to nitty gritty honesty, my biggest problem is lack of discipline. This is an overarching problem throughout many areas of my life from how I choose to spend my free time to not planning ahead to pack nutritious food prior to heading out with the kids knowing I am going to be tired and hungry and susceptible to pulling into Chik Fil' A. I definitely have a sense of entitlement that I should have fun and free time to waste on Facebook and video games instead of choosing to spend that time doing something more productive. Speaking just about this very thing on her blog, Sharon Astyk wrote a really great piece in response to an article written in Salon about the book. It was a really thought-provoking blog post and I encourage you to follow this link and read it. It made me think and since I read the post I am more aware of the things I take for granted that I can buy easily and cheaply.

Here is an excerpt from her post:

There's a kind of willful incompetence that is endemic in our society, and it is the territory of privileged folks who characterize basic, functional human work as something you need a special gift for. And this serves them well. As long as you don't know how to do something, and can naturalize your "flaws" as just "how you are made" you don't have to apologize for the fact that you are sticking someone less privileged with your work. In fact, you can totally sympathize with them, and totally care about justice for people just like them - at the same time that they get paid badly or treated badly for doing work you could do too.




kathunter said...

Wow! I think that she makes a very strong point. It goes to the general attitude of entitlement that prevails in many societies. I'm not saying I'm not HUGELY guilty of this, but I think real critical thinking about this is necessary in order to motivate me to figure out what I do and don't stand for.

sara said...

I do not see that taking the easy way is entitled. I was frugal when it was yet to be cool. REUSING or REPAIRING is a necessity and with a large family it is a way of life. Now is it ok to grab McDonalds once a week.. sure why not that doesn't say entitled that says ... hungry.


Carrie said...

Interesting. I don't know - I think I'm plenty capable, but I just have NO interest at all in doing any of those things myself. And I don't think it makes me entitled b/c I don't want to do them....

I do what I have to - like cooking from scratch - b/c my kids have food allergies and I want us to eat healthy. And we've always got tons of snacks when we go out and about, but I don't feel bad about getting the kids fries from chik fil a since it's one of the few fast foods they are allowed to get....

Frankly although I like having a well run household there is really nothing about ensuring it happens that appeals to me - I just do it b/c it's a necessary part of raising a family. My ironing pile is perpetually high though...

Jess said...

Carrie, I think that is exactly the point of the article that I linked - no one wants to do that menial work, I certainly don't. I have admitted that I do not even want to try and survive without my automatic dishwasher, for goodness sake, on this very blog!

I think this point is that not only does no one want to do it, that those who do have to do that work are earning really horrible wages to be compensated for it. And that is a real shame. I could make my own pickles (using the example from Astyk's piece) but I've never taken the time to learn how or to try it myself.

My example of Chik Fil'A was to demonstrate that I am so privileged that having to plan ahead to feed my kids does not even enter my mind most of the time. And that is kind of sad, really.

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