Friday, August 28, 2009

Farmer Boy

There's nothing quite like reading the Little House books to both give me inspiration about things to do with my kids at home and also to make me feel like a totally inadequate homemaker. I'm re-reading Farmer Boy (the only little house book they had at the library, and one of my favorites), and his mom is amazing. Here are merely a few of the things that Almanzo's mother happens to find time for during her day: weaving cloth, sewing clothes, knitting warm things, making three full hot meals every day (a single sample dinner menu being fried apples and onions, roast beef, brown gravy, mashed potatoes, creamed carrots, boiled turnips, countless slices of buttered bread with crab-apple jelly (home made, no doubt) and birds' nest pudding with cream. Umm... that's like a whole week's menu around here!), making cheese, donuts, bread, pies, scrubbing floors with salt and lye (that's a natural cleaning product to try!).

I do feel very comforted by all of the sweet times Almanzo's family has together. What could be cozier than eating popcorn and drinking hot cider by a hot stove in the winter time with Mother knitting, Father whittling, Royal carving sticks, Alice doing embroidery and Eliza Jane reading the paper aloud? These people are adorable.

And talk about feeding my unrealistic dreams of moving to a farm. There's so many interesting things to do around there... things like breaking calves and milking cows and cutting ice for the cellar. Wait. I guess we now have freezers.

Ben reminds me that the whole thing is idealized. They probably only ate popcorn by the fire every new and then, or a few times a year. They did have to wake up in the middle of the night to CHASE ANIMALS AROUND. Talk about a disrupted night. And I guess they did have backbreaking work day in and day out.

But I'm choosing to buy into the utopia for now. You'll find me in the kitchen making dinner in my apron, trying to see if I can drum up some desert for tonight. And wondering where on earth I can fit a loom in our living room.

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