Monday, June 21, 2010

Bye Bye Weekend

The weekend has come and gone and hardly ever felt like it was here. I love the weekends - it's so nice having the husband home to help out with the kids. Makes me wonder what women did back in the day, you know... where the children were "woman's work," and before the invention of anti-depressants, anti-anxiety and anti-whatever medications!! I feel as though I accomplished virtually nothing over the weekend, but man did it feel good! We had a lot of family time just hanging around the house on Saturday and concluded in a session of trying to catch fireflies (good thing none of us have aspirations of going pro in this sport, because we all stink) who managed to elude us quite successfully.

Looking ahead at the week, I'm trying to think through my Operation Household Perfection missions and I've not come up with them just yet. Either I'm feeling overly lazy, or the Benadryl I took for my swollen allergy eyes has taken over my brain and slowed it down considerably.

Today's goal: To come up with something for dinner that doesn't come through a car window... I think I can... I think I can...

Yours truly,

The Attempted Housewife.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Laundry and Chips Ahoy

I've decided that being a "housewife" is like self-induced amnesia. For the life of me, I can not remember what exactly I did all day yesterday - but I know I did something because I dropped like a fly and fell asleep in the living room recliner at 9 o'clock (after sending my husband on a quest to find Chips Ahoy cookies and milk... which I ate an undisclosed amount of)! Yet, when I rise this morning... the house is in no better a state of tidiness for my efforts. What gives? 30 match-box cars in the living room floor, assorted shoes strewn about the house, someone dropped a crumb in the dining room floor (which has now been INVADED by 3 million ants... seriously guys... how about the early bird gets the worm and the rest of you little buggers stay outside?), a few dishes in the sink, and full laundry baskets.

I wonder if the housewives of old every felt like calling Merry Maids. Furthermore, I'm starting to suspect that my role models (JC and DR, seriously? read back a few entries) may have had some sort of chemical dependency that gave them such a pep in their steps. All the same, the show MUST go on. T-13 days until I leave on a 2.5 day trip with our oldest child to camp - which means I'll be entrusting the home and two younger kids to the husband, jinkies. I suspect one of two things shall happen: 1) The house will implode and I will return to find a pile of smoldering rubble, or 2) The house will survive, but be in some massive state of disarray when I return. I choose the first.

Today's Mission: Tackling the sock basket. Now, before you get all smug and start to look down upon my sock basket... admit that you do, too and get over yourself. If you don't have a sock basket, you're not a true patriot... I'm almost positive it's in the Constitution, Mayflower Compact, Treaty of Versailles, or something. Either way, it's going DOWN today!


The Attempted Housewife

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ironing Failure and Take Out

Yesterday seems a bust. My quest for ironing perfection was brought to a halt by a 2 year old with a 101 degree fever. Dinner also took a backseat, literally. I had the husband pick up pizza on the way home from work. I find myself weary and dreary this morning as I try to pull it together, thinking.. "WWDRD?" (Oh come now, surely I don't have to spell that out for you? Fair enough: What Would Donna Reed Do?) I wonder how chores were accomplished and meals prepared in 1950 with sick children underfoot? Surely I'm not to believe that June ever texted Ward on his way home from the office and said "Hey... pick up a pizza, would ya?" She would TOTALLY have gotten the business.

Well, putting yesterday aside, I think I am going to leave ironing with it (wasn't too keen on that task anyhow... though, extreme ironing is something I think I could get into) and move on to the next task. I think today, wait for it.... wait for it..., I will attempt a cake from scratch. That's right, you heard me - the way it used to be done. Just me, some flour and sugar... a few eggs... and an electric mixer. So what... I'm pretty sure Alice (Brady Bunch) had an electric mixer and how much more domestic does it get? That's for this afternoon, this morning - I'm going to attempt a feat that baffles modern science: folding all the laundry that has been stacking up in baskets for the past week.

Yours truely,
The Attempted Housewife

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Dinner Roll Perfection and Extreme Ironing

The homemade Potato Yeast Rolls (recipe on yesterday's post) turned out fabulous! I think my 7 year old daughter would have eaten all 24 of them if I hadn't put a stop to it. (The husband liked them, too.) My "Attempted Housewife" goal of the day: changing out all of the bed linens, and ironing. Now, I'm not up for the ironing emmy, however - I can hold my own with one of these bad boys. The question? Am I doing it the RIGHT way? Let's see what I can find on the net about the correct way to iron....

I haven't found a how-to-guide for ironing just yet. However, I did stumble upon a site called ExtremeIroning. HILARIOUS! Check it out:
I mean, who knew you could iron underwater (Disclaimer: I am not, nor will I ever, recommend mixing electrically powered apparatus and water.), being pulled behind a taxi (Disclaimer: Extreme motorsports are best left up to the professionals. Do not try this at home... or, on the streets of New York for that matter.), or outdoors overlooking a cliff (do you think there was a power source there... maybe they sell battery-operated irons?).

I will continue on my quest for a how-to-iron guide for the simple after I get the laundry going.


The Attempted Housewife

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Do You Think 50s Housewives Took Naps?

So far today, I've washed two sinks full of dishes (dishwasher is broken so I had to do this the old fashioned way and take them out and beat them on a rock... wait...), 3 loads of laundry (yes, with my modern machines... I'm not a nut), changed a minimum of 6 diapers, prepared two meals (Hey, canned soup can be a meal!), and I am now baking some homemade Yeast Potato Rolls (recipe below) to go along with the chicken and noodles I am making for dinner. The two youngest are napping and I'm sitting here wondering - did Donna Reed and June Clever never take a nap? Something tells me I already know the answer to that question.

POTATO YEAST ROLLS (These rolls are surprisingly easy to make and they are AMAZING! ... this isn't really too much a part of my quest for home perfection, as I've made these periodically in the past... of course - I bet Donna and June made homemade yeast rolls every day!)
  • 2 packages fast acting yeast
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tlbsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup dry potato flakes
  • 6-7 cups flour, divided
  • 2-1/4 cups water heated to 130 degrees F
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
In large bowl of electric mixer, place yeast, sugar, salt, potato flakes and two cups of flour - mix together to blend. Pour in 130 degree water and oil. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes with regular beater. Insert dough hook and beat 6-1/2 minutes longer, adding flour 1/2 cup at a time, using enough to make dough elastic and no longer sticky. Cover dough and let rise in a warm spot for 30 minutes.
Punch down dough and form into approximately 24 rolls. Place rolls on lightly greased cookie sheets, cover and let rise 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Bake rolls approximately 12 minutes until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheets to rack to cool.

My Quest for Perfection

It recently occured to me that my attempts at keeping a clean, organized, peaceful home were failing. Not through lack of effort, I suppose. Perhaps it was more a lack of well-directed effort. I've decided that to achieve what I've set forth to achieve (you know, household perfection) I was going to have to step it up a notch. Afterall, June Clever and Donna Reed may have been fictional characters who merely put on heirs - but something about them was real, they represented (allbeit in a seriously overdone manner) millions of women around the world who were making their own vain attempts (probably less vain and more successful than my own) at household perfection.

I have made the decision to chronicle my journey from cluttered junk drawers, sock baskets, microwavable dinners and overall confusion to a calm, peaceful, tidy and well kept home. Now, make no mistake - you won't see pictures of me in dresses, heels and pearls - because well, I'd rather die. What you will see, however, is a word painted portrait of a real (non-television drummed up) woman on a mission!

Yours Truely,

The Attempted Housewife