Women’s Work

While I do enjoy  figuring out how my great grandma got by without plastic, there are moments, fleeting but real, where I stop and marvel at where I’ve found myself.

The truth is, this is my second go at learning these lost kitchen arts. Long ago, before I succumbed to the mainstream, I was a righteous country girl. I made my share of bread, and had chickens. I learned to can “open-kettle” style (which, if that sounds quaint, is the kind of preserving that causes botulism), and wildcrafted herbs up and down the Rio Grande. My greatest ambition in life was to, well, do what I’m doing now – be a mama who writes occasional poems and whips out two loaves of fresh bread while singing “The Bramble and the Rose.”

Between those tender years and now, I did a little exploring, a little branching out. I’ve never stopped wildcrafting, and making simple medicines, but I also became a registered nurse, and worked long shifts at the local hospital. I kept writing poems, but also studied deconstruction and semiotics. I became hooked on Trader Joe’s. And now here I am, making tortillas, singing nursery rhymes, and nursing my two year old all day long.

Sometimes the strangeness of it all strikes me. And I stop and marvel for a moment.

I try to honor all my teachers, all my passions, every road I’ve gone down, even the ones I’ve backtracked from. And then returned to, when the time was right. Who knew becoming a domestic feminist diva bad ass bread baker could be so empowering? And so baffling?

Where’s all this going? Just here. Where I am is where I am. And the bread tastes better than ever.

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9 thoughts on “Women’s Work

  1. What a beautiful circle of life.
    Having children has helped me renew my love in the domestic arts as well.

    *wondering about your April green words party. I feel like all I’m writing lately are tributes to the season and explorations on the garden. Ready to party.

  2. There is something to be said about the satisfaction of being in your “niche” I love the definition… A situation or activity specially suited to a person’s interests, abilities, or nature from Middle French, from nicher to nest

    Do you have any special bread recipes you’d be willing to share???? ~:o)

    • I’m thoroughly converted to the no-knead method. Mother Earth New has a couple how to articles, and the web has countless more resources about it. If you haven’t tried this yet, I encourage you to experiment. So easy, so good.

  3. Have you heard of Radical Homemakers by Shannon Hayes? Check it out. I’m reading it now and it’s kind of changing my life.

    I nurse my two year old all day long too. But, she is my second child and I have been nursing someone all day long for almost five years now. It’s sort of lost it’s charm and is at times an annoyance. (shameful to admit, but no one knows me here, right? 😉 Anyway, your post with the quote from Everyday Blessings was very helpful to me. We mustn’t rush this life, even the annoying parts…

    Thanks for being here. I enjoy your writing.

    • I just got wind of Radical Homemakers and it sounds right up my alley.
      Sometimes I can’t help but think of the two year old as a giant mosquito that I love very much.

  4. You had the perfect foundation. I think exploring is critical to figuring out what was truly you. And I think that your being natural with your medicines and being a registered nurse puts you at a huge knowledge advantage!
    Nicola

  5. so. here you are. and where have you been all this time? right here? hard to believe it took me till now to find you.
    not only does your path through life sound familiar, but you even picked the same darned wordpress theme…. yeesh.
    well, nice to meetcha. if you chance by my blog, be warned that my latest post contains some (repeated) R rated language. i’m not always such a filthy mouth.
    see you around, for sure. don’t worry if i stalk a little. i’m house trained.

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