thursday: on things domestic


~omar makes a batch of scrambled eggs and was kind enough to color coordinate his cooking ingredients and gear.

~the morning light makes even a sink of dirty dishes and eggshells look pretty.

~i picked up cheryl mendelson’s book home comforts:  the art and science of keeping house again a few days ago and this quote keeps coming to mind:

Being perceived as excessively domestic can get you socially ostracized.  When I made hand-rolled pasta for dinner, I learned the hard way that some guests do not feel comfortable eating a meal that they regard as the product of too much trouble.

the book is a reference for everything house-related:  caring for books, how to stock a kitchen, the do’s and don’ts of making beds, everything.  and even though some of her ideas or suggestions are perhaps a bit over the top, the first two chapters are worth the price of the book.  she’s a lawyer who describes why she takes caring for her home seriously.  and whereas peterson’s keeping house:  the litany of everyday life (a book i love and highly recommend) is a theology of keeping house, mendelson’s is more a philosophy of keeping house.

Whether you live alone or with a spouse, parents, and ten children, it is your housekeeping that makes your home alive, that turns it into a small society in its own right, a vital place with its own ways and rhythms, the place where you can be more yourself than you can be anywhere else.

i credit mendelson for inspiring me to set my own rhythms, goals, and standards for my own house.  after i first read this a few years ago i started the “old-school” concept of a set cleaning day, wash day, grocery day, and for the most part we’ve followed it and enjoyed it.  

i would even say that the structure has been freeing.  go figure.


10 thoughts on “thursday: on things domestic

  1. that’s the ironic thing about structure: it frees you from the tyranny of doing a million other things that day, or from feeling guilty about not doing them.


  2. Yes, yes, yes…to this post! I get it. I get the ostracizing thing, the rhythm thing, the designated days and how freeing they are thing, and how alive a home is in the whole process. Needless to say, I think I’d really enjoy the book!

    (I, too, have been perplexed that it is freeing to have a scheduled time for the household tasks. But I guess it’s because when I have a set day, I can rest on the other 6 days, knowing that that thing will get done, in due time.)

  3. I’m so glad you posted on this– I was trying to remember the name of the housekeeping book…
    I like your clarity on this topic and that you think critically about keeping house and what it means.

    and I’ll eat your hand-rolled pasta without reservations any time I get the opportunity.

  4. Great quotes! Thanks for the book recommendations. I’ve requested them from the library and am excited to read them. A bit of structure would be good for me! 🙂

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