I Take That Back

I blogged yesterday about this book I was reading about the “New Domesticity.” At first, I found it interesting to think about how our current behavior changes society and the information that author presented was interesting.

As I read further last night, I realized that the author’s intent is really to show the downside of each of the things they are chronicling – making a living from handmade goods on Etsy, the rise of the handcrafted culture, attachment parenting, locavorism. It saddened me a bit, because I think the intent of these folks is good and also because I really believe that we should all be free to choose the lifestyle and work that we feel is best for us, without criticism.

Granted, I’m as much a believer in Western medicine (despite its many faults) as the next person, and there’s no way I would have considered not vaccinating myself or my kids, so some of her points are valid.

I gave up on the book last night, finding that much negativity too much for my brain right now. I wanted to post about it before yesterday’s post caused too many people to pick up the book only to wonder what on earth I was thinking.

That’s the great thing about the library though – three of the last four books I picked up weren’t for me right now. My brain wants something positive and encouraging, so I’ll be off to the library again soon to drop off the mis-matches and pick up a few new things to try.

Happy Tuesday all.

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Domesticity and Society

I picked up a very interesting book at the library this week, which talks about the “new domesticity,” which is essentially the movement for people to go back to more self-sufficient, handmade ways of living. This may be the one and only time in my life that I’m ahead of the trend, because while I took a few years off due to job obligations, I’ve been organic gardening, canning my own preserves, and making meals from scratch for over 20 years.

Maybe it’s just where I grew up and lived my young adult life. After all, in rural America it’s not trendy to have a garden. It’s just what you do. You don’t need HOA permission to have a clothesline; every house comes with one. While there are as many social climbers there as anywhere else, people don’t have gardeners to tend their lawns or housekeepers to clean for them. Doing it yourself is just how people live. To quote an old radio show (I can’t remember which), “I can fix that, let me get my tools” is commonly heard, and the person saying it is usually accurate.

The author talks a lot about societal change and how the members of Generation Y have seen the mistakes of their parents (and yes, I put myself in that category) and want something different for themselves. Hence, so many highly educated smart women are foregoing careers in order to stay home and raise their children. She notes the increase in homeschooling among groups other than conservative Christians, as well as a trend towards more handmade household goods and localvore eating. She further notes how my generation was rewarded for our commitment to corporate America by basically being tossed aside when the recession came. For our kids, watching that happen has undermined their trust in corporate America as well as their interest in playing that game. (Not that I can blame them; certainly it hasn’t been all sunshine and roses for me either).

So does this mean a great societal change in America? To some extent I hope so. While some feminists are really upset that the gains they’ve made in the world of work will be undone, I am personally all for it. After all, feminism is about empowerment, and about being able to make the choices that make sense for each woman and the people she cares about. I can’t speak for all women of my generation. Certainly for myself, it felt as if there was no choice about whether I would work outside the home – I simply had to work for us to survive.

It’s time that we stopped judging the choices of other women (or men, for that matter). In the best possible world, each family should choose the arrangement that suits them best, and which meets the needs of the whole family, kids and grown-ups alike. For my friends who are currently home with their kids, kudos to you. You have the toughest job in the world, and also the most important. The rest of us should be lining up to help you – and to be quite frank, some of us are just a little jealous.

Here’s to a more peaceful, loving and accepting world, for everyone’s choices.

Mardee

P.S. In case you want to pick up the book for yourself, it’s available on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Homeward-Bound-Embracing-Domesticity-ebook/dp/B008J2AGNW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1374512783&sr=8-1&keywords=homeward+bound+why+women+are+embracing+the+new+domesticity

This isn’t a plug for Amazon, just an easy way to make sure you pick up this particular book and not the similarly named one about lost pets finding their way home. (A blast from the past of my childhood).

TdF Progress (or in this Case, Not)

So, if I were the repentant type (which some probably will argue that I should be), I’d be here with all sorts of apologies for my Tour De Fleece performance. I could lie and say I’ve been sick or I fell off my spinning wheel or I was too busy at work or…well, you get the picture. But I won’t. Truth be told, this is my third year spinning in the TdF and my third year of falling off my bike somewhere at the end of the first week despite all sorts of good intentions. I don’t know why it is that I can’t focus my attention on a single task for a month, but I can’t. So, there you have it, the truth…Team Captain and all.

That said, we’ve had a blast so far, some sangria was made (and enjoyed), some good eats were gobbled, and some pretty darned good yarn was made (albeit not a lot by me. I think my total output so far is two skeins and on one of those all I did was ply).

It’s not like I was totally slacking. I did manage to make 18 jars of jam and spent the requisite number of hours scrubbing sticky stuff off the kitchen counters afterwards. I managed to replant the veggies in the garden that had either bolted due to the crazy June heat or pelted by hail or that just plain didn’t get a good start in the first place. And for some reason, I randomly decided that it was time to start practicing the piano again and I’ve been tackling some old pieces which were much harder than I remembered them.

So I guess the lesson here is that life will occasionally overtake you and you may set a goal and not stick to it. It happens. The important thing is to keep finding that next thing that gives you joy and do it, even if it means a few hours with scrubbie in hand removing the results from the kitchen counters.

Happy summer, everyone. I hope you are all still spinning. If I get a whim to, I might just join you.

 

Tour De Fleece Progress – Days Three and Four

So, if you’re counting, you’ll bust me for not riding on Day Two because I totally spaced it off. (I blame the sangria from the kickoff party). I managed to spin on Day Three and got a bobbin or so. This is Blue-Faced Leicester, which I can no longer name without hearing my husband chant “B-F-L! B-F-L!” cheerleader style.

In any case, day three saw some progress, about a half-bobbin of BFL, spun on the Kromski Polonaise, which is a beautiful wheel but much fussier than my Ladybug.

Day 3 Progress - 1/2 bobbin of B-F-L!

Day 3 Progress – 1/2 bobbin of B-F-L!

Day four saw continued progress on the same fiber, this time filling the bobbin. There’s a bit left but this stuff is lovely for hand-spindling so I think I may go ahead and ply.

Here’s the day four output:

Same BFL, this time with a full bobbin.

Same BFL, this time with a full bobbin.

How about you? How’s your tour going? Have you fallen off your bike yet?