Television

Since coming back from Virginia I have had a terrible time dealing with TV. At my parents house the TV is almost always running and usually pretty loud. My mom helped me by moving my chair out from under the TV so that I didn’t have it blaring directly behind my head. That definitely made a difference. But the constant TV is still leaving me with this uncomfortable feeling every time the TV is on at my house. I keep leaving the room to find someplace quiet. Of course this isn’t really fair to everyone else who lives here. Both my husband and my daughter like watching shows. I definitely don’t begrudge them that. I just don’t want to be in the same room as the running television. But me leaving makes them feel like they can’t watch TV, which is not what I want. It’s just overstimulating. And I can’t hear myself think so that I can write or read or create anything or even just enjoy some quiet.

I have a love-hate relationship with television. There are some shows that I really like, but even then I don’t like to watch them all the time. Overall I actually hate television. I’ve gotten better at watching movies. I went through a period of time where movies were too stimulating and I didn’t even like to go see them in the theater, but I improved. The TV has some really interesting documentaries that I like and some very artistic shows that I enjoy, but yet truthfully for me it is just a big box of noise and speed and anxiety. I secretly hate the TV. I tried to spend some time by myself when I was at my parents house. A lot of that is just that since I am bipolar and I have anxiety I need some time to myself in general. I cannot function if I am being social 24/7. But part of why I went back to the room I was staying in was just to get away from that TV. Everyone else has a right to watch as much TV as they want. I just can’t stand to listen to it.

I am diving deeper into art and writing. I still have all these great books to read, and I have begun with a book of persona poetry. And of course the book about homemaking that I have been writing about.

I got up early this morning and went for a drive. I like to do that, to just get out and put on some music I like and enjoy some space.

I am trying to get rid of my social exhaustion but so far I have not been very successful. I enjoy being back in my little nest with my little family, but I just don’t really want to talk that much. I keep to myself with my books or magazines or paints. I blog because for some reason I seem to be able to pour thoughts out on the page better than I can to another person. I have some friends that I would like to get together with but I just don’t seem to have it in me right now.

Truthfully I wish I could take a separate trip. All alone in a quiet little room with books to read and paints to use and a pen for writing. Just absolute silence except for the rare occasion I want to play some music. No TV. No interruptions. No conversation. Just me alone.

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My New Studio

Today I went a little wild and I tried a small art store at the south end of town. I’ve been watching videos on abstract painting on the Coursera app, and I have really been getting interested in it. I have always loved abstract painting, but through watching these videos I have learned a lot about how to do it. I’m sure I will never be a great artist but I think I could have fun and make some interesting images if I keep trying at it for a while. So I bought textured mediums, paint, brushes, mixing pan, gesso, pallet knives, and some panels and artist trading cards to paint on. I have set up the studio in the laundry room instead of at my craft room desk. First of all my craft room desk is in a carpeted room so if I get paint on the floor, like I did at the yellow house, it probably won’t come up and we will end up owing base housing a lot of money. I really don’t want to have to pay that. But the laundry room has enough space on that big counter for me to spread supplies out and work on creating. And right next to it is a deep sink. That means I have easy access to immediately wash my paint brushes clean. And I can do so in a sink that I don’t have to worry about staining or getting any gunk on. It’s a laundry room deep sink. It is designed for dirt and paint and anything else you can think of. So it’s a perfect environment for me. I’ll be sharing the space with Parsnip, who lives in the laundry room, but so far he seems interested in what I’m doing and he nuzzles my feet.

I’m really going to try to stick with this for a while. I’m not going to give up if my first few images really suck, which they probably will. I’m just going to enjoy the process and see what I can create. And it will be fun to photograph what I create and edit it on my phone and see what I can make out of that. I think this will be a lot of fun.

Housewife

Grateful skirts swirl in a breeze maybe meant for them.

Design is Holy,

is enamored of its Designer,

is a crossroads of means and ends.

A housewife manufactures sunshine in her laboratory,

the beakers from the store always having a sale,

her thesis supervised by green,

and critiqued by her children.

After 20 years who will know whether the

skirts were mended or replaced?

Just that they were infused with laughter

and smelled like mother in the living room

living with her eyes full.

 

Translated into Afrikaans and Xhosa, then back:

 

Skirts twirl in the grateful air
they were meant for.

Design and the Holy Spirit,

are enamored

of each other.

Is the intersection of the cross where it all begins?

The woman who produced the sun in her lab,

is studying all the ways you make happiness from the mundane.

Her thesis is green from watching her children.

After 20 years will you know that

the aprons can be repaired or replaced?

You will appreciate the humor.

She won’t.

 

 

skirts and gratitude for the atmosphere,

either of them.

Design and Holy Spirit,

make enamored designs,

are the ends on the cross.

The woman who makes the sun in her lab,

Her laboratory in Delaware furnished by a company

in Hong Kong.

Her thesis supervision is green.

So is the clock looking at her children’s energy,

their youth,

her youth.

After 20 years you will know that

the skirts can be repaired or replaced.

As you appreciate the humor in it,

and sort mothers by whether they baked cookies or used the microwave.

In her eyes you live fully,

live fully alone.

Men Have Authority

Men have a unique responsibility to lead their families and those around them.  In the Garden of Eden God made man first, and it was to man that he gave the task of naming the animals. To name something is to have a sort of authority over it. God did not give this task to Eve. He gave it to Adam before Eve was in created. And when Eve was created he was created to be a partner suitable for Adam. Adam was not created for Eve. Eve was created for Adam.

I have recently ordered several books on biblical gender roles and biblical femininity. As a wife who tries to submit to her husband these are topics that are of interest to me. Currently I’m reading through an 8-week study, although I’m reading it all at once, called True Woman 101 Divine Design. It goes over different Bible verses about creation and submission and marriage and spiritual leadership. I’m in an interesting section right now that talks about the biblical roles of men. Men were assigned to work the Earth. Women were not given that assignment. We were not tasked with working. We were tasked with having children, and then later verses of the Bible keeping our homes.

The authors pose the following question. What does God’s design for men reveal about His heart for women? I think it reveals a lot of love for women. God loves women. He made us creatures of beauty and rather than put the burden of authority and Leadership on our heads he gave it to men. That’s not to say that he loves men any less but rather that he created them differently. They are designed to be our leaders and our protectors and we are designed to submit and to be protected.

I am reminded that the relationship between man and wife is supposed to mirror the relationship between Christ and the church and between God and Jesus. Although we are one flesh with our husbands, wives are supposed to submit just as the church should submit to Christ and just as Christ submits to God. That does not make Jesus lesser then God. That does not make the church, his bride, any less loved or holy.  That certainly does not make wives worth less than their husbands. But our God is a god of order and this is the natural Order of Things. There is a hierarchy. And God has instituted the hierarchy since the dawn of creation. He had it in His plans even before then.

Sometimes I find a lot of Beauty in my role as a wife and mother. I certainly see a lot of Beauty in submission. Other times I chafe a little bit. There are some dreams that I used to have that now I cannot fulfill because to do so would be to break up my family or to short change them or misuse family funds. I am not my family’s provider, and so my career ambitions and educational desires come second. Of course I don’t want to be a man and so I don’t want the job of being the provider, but this does mean that being a professor is never going to happen for me and that going to Seminary and becoming a creative worship Arts director is never going to happen for me. I don’t have the geographic mobility and my place is at home. So I should find my joy there.

I hope my scattered thoughts make some sense, and I hope that you’ll join me over the next several weeks as I write about gender, submission, femininity, homemaking, and living a life that is pleasing to God while still trying to find good creative and intellectual Outlets. I am not June Cleaver. I hate cooking, I don’t know how to sew, and I have help with the housework. I love reading and writing and debates. I adore art. But none the less I know I am supposed to be a keeper at home first, and subject to my husband.

 

Housewife

Grateful skirts swirl in a breeze maybe meant for them.

Design is Holy,

is enamored of its Designer,

is a crossroads of means and ends.

A housewife manufactures sunshine in her laboratory,

the beakers from the store always having a sale,

her thesis supervised by green,

and critiqued by her children.

After 20 years who will know whether the

skirts were mended or replaced?

Just that they were infused with laughter

and smelled like mother in the living room

living with her eyes full.

 

Translated into Afrikaans and Xhosa, then back:

 

Skirts twirl in the grateful air
they were meant for.

Design and the Holy Spirit,

are enamored

of each other.

Is the intersection of the cross where it all begins?

The woman who produced the sun in her lab,

is studying all the ways you make happiness from the mundane.

Her thesis is green from watching her children.

After 20 years will you know that

the aprons can be repaired or replaced?

You will appreciate the humor.

She won’t.

 

 

skirts and gratitude for the atmosphere,

either of them.

Design and Holy Spirit,

make enamored designs,

are the ends on the cross.

The woman who makes the sun in her lab,

Her laboratory in Delaware furnished by a company

in Hong Kong.

Her thesis supervision is green.

So is the clock looking at her children’s energy,

their youth,

her youth.

After 20 years you will know that

the skirts can be repaired or replaced.

As you appreciate the humor in

And sort mothers by whether they baked cookies or used the microwave.

In her eyes you live fully,

live fully alone.

Serving My Husband

Women are supposed to love and serve their husbands. Husbands are supposed  to serve their wives as well, but that is not the topic of this post.

How do you serve your husband? Do you get up to get him a drink? Do you serve him food? Many women seem to be uncomfortable with this idea but I would argue that doing these things is a good. It is probably something I need to do more often in my own marriage. That’s not to say that your husband can’t ever get up and get you a drink, but ladies, when did we become so turned off by the idea of serving our men?

Yesterday I gave up. Craig had had a bag that he brought home from the ship that had been sitting in the laundry room in front of the dryer for weeks.   I had been waiting for him to take the time to organize his stuff and put away the bag. But I just gave up and took the bag out of the laundry room and put away as much of his stuff as I knew how to put away and put the bag in an inconspicuous place out of the way. And it actually felt good. My husband is a very busy man and he does a lot. This was one less thing for him to have to do. Now I’m not great at organizing so the stuff that I didn’t know what to do with and left in the bag he’ll have to address eventually, but I put away everything in the bag and sorted out the trash to the best of my ability and now I don’t have to bother him about the laundry room. And our laundry room looks nicer.

When Craig cuts the grass, one of the ways in which he serves me and our family, I always go out and bring him a glass of ice water. I think this is important. Yes he could walk back into the house and get himself a glass of water but as his wife I want to get one for him.

I wash my husband’s laundry, but do I put it away for him? Most of the time the answer is no. And while I don’t think that I should have to put it away for him since I am already washing it for him, wouldn’t it be nice if I put it away out of love sometimes?

What am I overlooking? How can I serve my husband better? Is there anything he doesn’t like doing that I can take over instead? Can I do housework in such a way as to serve and honor my husband? What do you do to serve your husband?

Like Marilyn Monroe as a Housewife

A congress of confetti has decreed

every wind must blow up.

The ground breathes.

I look like Marilyn Monroe as a housewife,

standing in my yard with my dress billowing around me.

My husband sees me with his eyes shut.

Hands open.

The hours I have given him clump between his fingers like cat litter

I will wash them with aloe.

I will dry them in silence.

Our daughter has been sequestered with the sequins

and she has sewn a shining dress.

See her straddle the breeze.

She learns from me.

Crappy Friend, Dirty Animals

This morning (Thursday) I was a totally crappy friend. One of my friends was throwing a birthday party for another one of my friends and I slept right through it. This constant sleeping is really a problem. I feel so bad. And my friend only lives across the street so it’s not like I had some big journey to get there. I literally had to roll out of bed, throw on a dress, and walk across the street.

I am ashamed of myself. The get-together was early, being from 9 to 11, but that’s not that early. It’s not like it was a 6 a.m. breakfast or something. Craig is going to be home tomorrow and I am asking him to wake me up at 7 or 8. I must start getting up earlier. I’m just so out of it in the morning that I sleep straight through alarms. Craig has been trying to help me get up earlier but this morning he forgot. And at any rate I need to get myself to where I can wake up at a reasonable hour without any help because waking me up is not his job. It just goes to show how hard it is to wake up when I have something in the morning that I want to go do and I sleep right through it. It’s not like I was waking up to filing my taxes. I was waking up to going to a get together with friends. That’s something I look forward to. And I still slept right through it.

Today we bought a steam cleaner and went to the condo to steam clean the rooms that are carpeted. I have definitely learned a lesson in being a landlord. No dogs and no cats allowed. The room that belonged to the tenant with the dog and the cat was so much dirtier then the other tenants’ room. We were renting to a married couple and the wife’s friend. The friend had the dog and the cat and the carpet where her bed was sitting is still so nice and pristine. The rest of the carpet is just permanently darker even after steam cleaning. The carpet in the other room doesn’t look like that.

The fact is that dogs and cats, especially dogs, make houses dirty and some people that own them do not do the cleaning necessary to keep up with the animals. Dogs go in and out of the house all day and track in mud and dog poop and debris. They also lick themselves and rub on to the carpet. They are dirty animals. If you have an exceptionally clean person you may not notice that, as they will be regularly vacuuming and steam cleaning and mopping for themselves. But overall dogs make for dirty carpets.

We steam cleaned to the best of our ability and we’re going to steam clean again tomorrow. So we will be turning over clean carpets to the buyer. Having a dog in the house significantly shortened the life of the carpet though. It isn’t a big deal, but when I rent out my yellow house next year I know that I do not want to accept people with dogs or cats. No pets allowed except maybe small ones. This is also because while we were trying to show the house the girl who owned the dog kept not wanting to show the house and saying it was too hard for her because she didn’t have a place to put her dog and her dog has crate anxiety. I shouldn’t not be able to show my house because of an animal and it almost came to that more than once. It was a constant battle, even with 24 hours notice and a monthly rebate on rent for showing the house in good condition. 

I posted about this problem in a landlords group online and I got interesting responses. People who were not dog owners, and a few reasonable people that were, sided with me and said that the tenant needs to be willing to show the house with the legally mandated 24 hour notice, and that their dog is their problem. They are lucky to be allowed pets at all. We didn’t even charge a pet deposit. But all the dog lovers jumped in and said how I should be willing to pay for doggie daycare then ( I guess on top of the rental rebate I was offering for showing the house nicely, something I didn’t have to do), and that you can’t expect a dog with anxiety to stay in a crate. They even said if I have to have the unit sitting empty for a few months (because of not being able to show the condo while the tenants live there because of the dog) and pay the mortgage myself and lose thousands of dollars so that her dog and her don’t have to be inconvenienced I should be okay with that. I thought that landlording was a business  but apparently  it’s animal comfort first  and money second. It really taught me a lot about these animal lover people and I just don’t want to rent to them. Explanations to these people that someone else’s dog should not cost me potentially thousands of dollars in lost rent or a lost sale goes right over their heads. But…but…cute puppy!…..but it is scared of the crate….but it is time consuming to have someone come home and walk the dog…awww look its tail is wagging.        Don’t care.

Never again.  Having animals on my property is a privilege, not a right. If it is going to inconvenience me or cost me money I am not going to do it. Never again will I be yelled at by a tenant because I am inconveniencing a dog. If it can’t stay in a crate it can’t stay in my house. I will not have someone else’s dog become my problem.

Housewife

The following are 3 poems, all titled “Housewife.” The first is the original poem I wrote. The second and third are poems I created by translating the original poem to Afrikaans and Xhosa and back to English again, and then editing what I got. This is part of a larger project I am working on where I have my work translated to Xhosa and Afrikaans, and edit the results. It is a fascinating way to create new poetry, and the possibilities from these two languages are almost limitless. I sometimes like to play with other languages, like French or Hebrew or Italian or Farsi, but Xhosa and Afrikaans are my favorite. What do these poems say to you? If you’re a housewife, or your mother was, how do these poems speak to your experiences with housewifery?

Grateful skirts swirl in a breeze maybe meant for them.

Design is Holy,

is enamored of its Designer,

is a crossroads of means and ends.

A housewife manufactures sunshine in her laboratory,

the beakers from the store always having a sale,

her thesis supervised by green,

and critiqued by her children.

After 20 years who will know whether the

skirts were mended or replaced?

Just that they were infused with laughter

and smelled like mother in the living room

living with her eyes full.

 

Translated into Afrikaans and Xhosa, then back:

 

Skirts twirl in the grateful air
they were meant for.

Design and the Holy Spirit,

are enamored

of each other.

Is the intersection of the cross where it all begins?

The woman who produced the sun in her lab,

is studying all the ways you make happiness from the mundane.

Her thesis is green from watching her children.

After 20 years will you know that

the aprons can be repaired or replaced?

You will appreciate the humor.

She won’t.

 

 

skirts and gratitude for the atmosphere,

either of them.

Design and Holy Spirit,

make enamored designs,

are the ends on the cross.

The woman who makes the sun in her lab,

Her laboratory in Delaware furnished by a company

in Hong Kong.

Her thesis supervision is green.

So is the clock looking at her children’s energy,

their youth,

her youth.

After 20 years you will know that

the skirts can be repaired or replaced.

As you appreciate the humor in

And sort mothers by whether they baked cookies or used the microwave.

In her eyes you live fully,

live fully alone.