Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Welcome to Bad Martha

No. This isn't a commentary on Martha Stewart's life of crime. It's a blog for those of us who are the antitheses of Martha, and not for want of trying.

As a little girl, I relished those homey moments with my mom and grandma--the smell of freshly baked bread, apples with fairy kisses eaten right off the backyard tree, and homemade gingerbread cookies on the Christmas tree.

My mom delved into ceramics for a while, and every holiday was marked with the appearance of familiar faces. The perky Easter Bunny, the rustic nativity scene, and two spotted frogs that hung around all year. We saw the same tablecloth on special occasions, with a runner that my mom whipped up herself.

My holiday decorations consist of a short rosemary tree purchased at Trader Joe's and a store-bought wreath.

I got sidetracked by a career, but when I left that job to be a full-time housewife/writer, I longed to transform my house into a home. It's not just that wives are usually the one to take on that assignment, should they choose to accept it. Creating a home is a woman's gift. And it's never too late to start, right?

I want a garden, or at least a few plants that survive more than a week. A miniature fruit tree or pots of herbs would be nice. I want homemade decorations that I pull out every year. I want to conquer a sourdough "mother". I want to use all those beads and balls of yard I bought on impulse. I want to turn those cut out patterns into usable clothing. I want ketchup and BBQ sauce that doesn't come from a bottle.

In short...I want it all.

I'm not obsessed with perfection, which is good. I saw a dog treat recipe on a food blog recently, and all the cookies were shaped like doggie biscuits. The ones I microwave for my own dog look like blobs. But the dog doesn't care. And I know I'll get better with time.

Are there other women out there who have this same longing? Who maybe didn't pay attention in Home Ec class because they were busy driving the teacher nuts by singing "Twelve Days of Christmas" over...and over...and over. (The woman was a saint.) Are there ladies who would like to share their expertise with the less fortunate members of their sex?

I like that thought. Women used to hang together and teach the younger gals the tricks of the trade. I didn't take advantage of those moments, but I hope to make up for lost time. 

I'm off to try to make homemade jam. I'll tell you all about it.


  1. Dear Bad Martha, Welcome to the club. There are a ton of us out here who read the women's magazines, but our homes will never be on those glossy pages because we actually have a life. I might be a housewife/writer like yourself, but honey, I ain't married to my house. It will be fun to read your blog and see how you handle the things that don't quite make it into Martha Stewart Living.

  2. You're going to love the next post about making jam.