Why be houseproud?

[I originally had this entry as my “about” page, but I soon realized that it’s really a post, so I moved it here.  I can do that: I’ve got the power!]

Why be houseproud?  What does it mean to be houseproud? Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines houseproud as being “proud of your house because you spend time and effort cleaning or improving it.”  That definition is a good start, but it’s missing an important element:  being houseproud is deeply rooted in wanting to make a home out of the place where you live.  To be houseproud could be better defined as being proud of your home because you spend time and effort cleaning and making it homely.  “Making a house homely” can be encapsulated by the decidedly old fashioned word “homemaker”.  And while houseproud is not as fraught with meaning as “homemaker”, these two words still raise hackles. But here’s the thing: houseproud and homemaker are equal opportunity occupations.  Your prowess as a houseproud homemaker is independent of your race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, shape or size.  Neither houseproud nor homemaker need to be full-time occupations.  I spent years working very long hours in the legal field while still rocking my houseproud ways, so I can attest that you can be a part-time homemaker!  Being a houseproud homemaker isn’t reserved for folks who live with others, either, as I live now with the Mister:  I became houseproud when I moved into my first apartment all by myself, and my solo-living mum is one of the most houseproud woman I know.

And what do you do when you are houseproud?  You make things, and I like making things, you see.  I like making things quite a bit.  There’s a distinct possibility that I need to make things.  I knit and crochet and bake bread and brew kombucha and can tomatoes.  Oh, I suppose that’s not that unusual, is it?  Let’s be more specific:  I buy tatty old hand-knit Irish fishermen sweaters that I unravel for their wool, wool that I hand dye, un-ply, and then knit into something new.  I crochet small flowers out of thrifted darning wool, flowers that I turn into brooches or necklaces.  I bake rustic bread, mostly in the Italian vein, but my most recent bread passion was for sourdough bread made from “wild” yeasts.  All of that sourdough starter needed to be used for something as it was fermenting up to full strength, so I started making sourdough crepes and pancakes (and gained 5 pounds).  I bought a kombucha starter from marvelous woman at an Oakland food festival, and after nursing it to full size, started double-fermenting my kombucha (I store my bottled kombucha in an ice chest, just in case that double-fermentation action gets a little too vigorous).  I’ve canned tomatoes and tomato sauce – so easy and such fun to eat your own canned goods, yes?  I’ve also air-dried chiles and zucchini by the pound.  This year’s goal is to add hot sauce to my repertoire – from last year’s dried chiles and from this year’s fresh chiles.  Did I mention that I’ve made hard cider and have re-made clothes and sewn throw pillows cases and that I’ve plans to make my own clothes?  Oh, and I’m starting a business making things.

So you can tell, I like to make things.  Making things makes me so happy.  And it’s not just the act of making things – thinking about making things makes me happy, too.  Do you get a little giddy when you find a new favorite food blog?  I do!  (I’m absolutely in love these days with a Canadian food blog called Well Preserved.)  Do you pick up lovely little things in boutiques and think to yourself, “I could do that”?  I do!  (Mind you, often I look at those lovely little things and think that I perhaps couldn’t make ’em that well, or that I certainly am not clever enough to come up with that particularly lovely idea …)  Do you wonder if beets would make a good dye?  (I don’t wonder about that now:  they don’t, unfortunately, nor do lily stamens.)  Do you sketch designs for folding tables and found-art pieces and roman shades?  I do, too!

So, here’s the deal:  I’ll share my wild enthusiasms on this blog and flaunt my houseproud ways.  I’ll take pictures of my projects, and talk about how I made them.  I’ll share my latest favorite blogs and Pinterest boards.  I’ll review cooking and craft books, too.  And through all of this I’ll try not to frighten you with my enthusiasms, really I will …

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