Sunday, January 6, 2008

The new homemaking club?

I've read that homemaking clubs began to appear in the 1920s. I don't know when they started to decline, but at least in the years when the idea of "modern homemaking" came into being, groups would gather to discuss, at least in theory, ways to make homemaking easier. I imagine it was more about socializing and sharing a bit of gossip than anything else, but the idea of these clubs got me thinking.

Is blogging the new homemaking club? I think, in a way, it is. Now granted, there are plenty of groups of people that meet in person - church groups, farmgirl groups, community activists - but the Internet and blogging has opened up a forum for people with specialized interests to meet up virtually.

I've been impressed with blogging since I first discovered it, waaaaay after those on the cutting edge were already into it. I love the democratic nature of it, the ability for anybody anywhere to get out a soapbox and speak their mind. Sure, a lot of it is crap, but I'd rather wade through the crap then have people restricted in what they can say. (I say that even after getting a nasty and stupid spam comment the other day...)

Blogging, at least for me, serves as my homemaking club. I find out all kinds of information from visiting other sites, reading stories from other homemakers, sharing things that work and don't work for me. But as much as I like the virtual nature of blogging, I think there is something to be said for meeting folks in person. I dream of meeting up around a kitchen table, sharing coffee and life's ups and downs. A regular old coffee klatch, as it were.

But in person or online, I do think there is value in community, in sharing our stories - whether they are about homemaking or not - and making our lives a little more than just the daily grind. I hope you think so too. Have a cup of virtual coffee and take a seat at our Internet table. I'm excited to hear what everyone has to say.


Anonymous said...

For the three years I was back in Utah (shiver) it was Blogging that saved my sanity. Seriously. The ether connections I have made have blended into my reality. Now that I'm back on the coast, I have literally sat around kitchen tables with blog friends. And I gotta tellz ya, it's the greatest.

Also, that spammer was from hell! You might wanna word verify your comments. That particular rant was eeeeeeevillllll! (in my head, I said that in a really scary voice)

Speck said...

Oh! Oh! Oh! I love the idea of the coffee klatch to share homemaking ideas. (Pulls up to the table; cream no sugar, thanks.)

1) I found a nifty use for those Swiffer Sweeper thingys. I hated buying the replacement cloths (wet and dry) so I bought a fistful of really, really cheap white bath washcloths to use with it for wet mopping. They are the perfect size. Just dampen (with cleaner or just water) and wring the washcloths and stick 'em on the Swiffer Sweeper thingy. Turn over when dirty. When the second side is dirty get a fresh one. Bleach 'em with the socks next time you do laundry. Much, much cheaper solution than the SS wets cloths and no SS wet cloth dingy film on the floor.

2) I'm still looking for some kind of disinfecting/sanitizing cleaner to use on hardwood floors that won't damage the hardwood or leave a film. Currently I just use plain water to damp mop but with critters and a husband I think I need a chemical additive to kill microbes. Any ideas???

3) Reynolds Wrap Release = 4 stars. Don't bother buying regular Reynolds Wrap or any other brand of aluminum foil.

4) And I have a wonderful crockpot vegetable soup recipe to share if anybody is interested.

Kimberly Ann said...

I'm loving your ideas. As far as the hardwood floor cleaner, my first thought was a vinegar/water solution, and google concurs. Here's what I found on a flooring website:
"Q: Is it true that cleaning with vinegar and water is best for hardwood floors?

A: Yes, as long as you follow this guideline: 1/4 cup to 1 gallon of warm water. Vinegar is acidifying and more is NOT better!! More than 1/2 cup to a gallon of water will instantly dull your beautiful floor"

I can always use more crockpot recipes, so please share!

rosemary said...

I do use vinegar and water for my faux wood floors (as in on sale at Home Depot), but here is a FYI....clumping cat litter under that pad or floor washing cloth = streaks and a mess.

Actually I put a damp old dishtowel over the end of my broom and hold it in place with rubberbands and sweep/wet mop my floors using a spray bottle of the above.

I live by one blogger, and have met Hat....I am the one that brought SweetPea into her life. I was nervous about meeting her in person because I was afraid there would be dead moments in conversation....there were not and I love her to pieces. If I was closer to bloggers I would try to meet them I think.

I used to meet with women in the neighborhood when my kids were small and I was a stay at home mom. Sadly, after becoming a single parent that all ended. It was a sweet time in my day.

Speck said...

(I got this recipe from my friend Mary, thus the title.)


3 cans 15oz. Veg-All
3 cans 15oz. diced stewed tomatoes
3 cans 8oz. tomato sauce
1/2 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
(That's about a fistful of macaroni if you don't want to measure)
1/4 t. Tony Chachere's Cajun Creole Seasoning
1/4 t. Lemon Pepper
1/4 t. Accent
1/4 t. ground black pepper
1/4 t. salt
Adjust any of these seasonings to taste.

Open the cans and toss 'em in the crockpot and shake in the seasonings. Three good healthy shakes of each of the seasonings are about 1/4th of a teaspoon if you don't want to bother measuring. (Can you tell I hate measuring stuff????) The Tony's seasoning will give the soup a bite, so go easy on that if you don't want to clear your sinuses with each spoonful.

Set crockpot on low in the morning and it will be ready for the evening meal when you get home from work.

If you want to eat it sooner than 8 hours, cook the macaroni first before adding it to the pot.

If you want meat in the soup, add 1 pound hamburger, browned, drained and crumbled. Or debone the leftover KFC chicken from last night and throw it in.

This is a good dish to have simmering all day if family members are in and out during the day on odd schedules. Be warned this makes a LOT of soup. The good thing is it freezes very nicely. Put a serving in a Ziploc one-quart freezer bag, squish out all the air, then lay flat in the freezer to create a frozen sheet. To serve, hold the Ziploc halfway off the countertop and whack it to break the sheet in half. Turn the bag one quarter turn and whack again so there are four pieces. If you don't break it up you won't be able to get it out of the bag. Open the bag and put the pieces in 1) a microwavable bowl; or 2) a saucepan to reheat on the stovetop.

This soup can be made quickly on the stovetop in a large pot (dutch oven size). Bring to a slight boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer on low for at least an hour for the seasonings to meld together. But it's mo' better in the crockpot.

Speck said...

Rosemary -

I know what you mean about the clumping cat litter. I get down on my hands and knees with a whisk broom and get EVERY speck of that stuff up before mopping.

My hubby once poured a bunch of it on an oil spill in the driveway. Then it rained and soaked it completely. I needed the services of the Don't-Strangle-Your-Husband Angel when I found it the next day. He thought cat litter was cat litter.

That wet cat litter was the slimiest pile of nastiness I have ever seen in my life. We had to borrow a pressure washer to get it off the driveway. And it didn't even soak up the oil. Pffttt!

Homemaking Tip of the Day: Don't let husbands near clumping cat litter.

Speck said...


I love the blogging community. It's a wonderful way to find one's choir; those people who are singin' off the same songpage as you.

Being with people who understand you: Priceless