A Clever Wife – Day 42

2 Feb

A Clever Wife Always has a cocktail ready for her husband…says Betty Crocker. A warm one in the winter and a cold one in the summer!

Hubby has been working late a lot and we haven’t had much time to spend together in the evenings. Today I surprised him with a Cocktail. Because I am sooo Clever.


½ cup pineapple juice

½ cup coconut flavoured rum

1/3 cup dark rum

Shake over ice in a cocktail shaker and garnish with a cherry and pineapple slice

Well when I handed it to him and said “it’s a martini!” he didn’t realize it was mostly alcohol and gulped down two. A few minutes later he asked me what was in them..haha.

It is almost Spring which means it is time to make a SPRING! cleaning Schedule. much more thorough and backbreaking than the regular old Winter schedule. Yay?




But I worked so hard….

14 Aug


Day 16 of my captivity

I haven’t cleaned my blinds since we put them up. And I should have. We have been renovating, making wood dust and drywall dust and ya know, regular dust for two years without one swipe of the swiffer.

Cleaning the blinds with a sock turned inside out (I read this is how it was done back in the day) wasn’t as effective as the little three-pronged cloth I found at walmart specifically designed for blinds so I had to really scrub. And ended up going between the two. I cleaned three blinds in my bedroom and two in my front hallway. There was so much dust and crap on the socks and the duster, I had to throw it all out. Even the handle. I can’t believe something in my house could be that disgusting.

checking the time I realize that took me well over two hours. Now I know why I never dusted the blinds.. or anything really.

Hubby is away on business for tonight, he’s finishing up a construction project about 3 hours away. Since I am alone I won’t be styling my hair (or putting on makeup!) and I am going to put my feet up and watch some Buffy the vampire slayer. Tomorrow looks to be very promising and hubby will be back. I will attempt to greet him at the door looking rested and pretty but that hasn’t worked out so far so I’m not holding my breath.

The next morning I deep cleaned the kitchen:

The microwave: Scoured, scrubbed and steamed with water and lemon juice.

The fridge: Threw out old food, and wiped down every surface. Used stainless steel cleaner on the outside.

The oven: Stainless steel cleaner on the outside, soaked and scrubbed the burner rings. Left the inside of the oven for another day (I haven’t cleaned it in two years, it’s a job all on its own)

The floor: I even waxed the floor with mop and glow!

The cupboards: Wiped inside and out.

The sink: Got all the gunk out around the drain ring. Polished the faucet.

And finally the dishes are done, and I ran a dishwasher cleaner liquid through the dishwasher.

I feel so accomplished! Then hubby came home and didn’t even notice the clean sink drains. I stood there, hand on hip, waiting for him to notice something! anything! There was actual sparkle to the face of the appliances like in commercials (and cartoons lol). It was FREAKING CLEAN!

But he didn’t notice….and I lost it. I started yelling! Seriously yelling! ‘Why didn’t you notice how clean it is in here!’ ‘I spent all day cleaning, how can you not tell!’

He looked like a deer in headlights (but really how did he not notice?). I felt really bad for yelling because as he awkwardly explained later (he’s not a man of many words) he was happy to see me and be home and not really noticing anything else. (*but it was sooo clean*!!)

Taking care of the home is a thankless, endless job and no one will really notice your efforts, but it will be painfully obvious when you don’t clean up!

Hubby felt bad and said “let’s go to the movies” I agreed, put on my make up and some perfume and while he was shaving his lumberjack beard, I fell asleep on the couch. We ended up watching a really crappy movie on Netflix and I drifted in and out of it. And like the past few days, my feet and knees hurt so much, Hubby had to carry me up the stairs.



The “gentle art” of cake making

14 Aug


Cake: a staple in the 1950’s household. 

I cleared the counters, checked my ingredient list, bought a huge bag of flour and set to work.

I got out the pink cupcake apron and I delved into my Betty Crocker Picture book to make a “creole devil’s food cake.”  The cake was easy enough to make. I was tempted to melt the chocolate in the microwave but they didn’t have microwaves in the fifties so I used the double broiler method described in the book. When I poured the chocolate and coffee mixture into the stand mixer and turned it on it all flew out, soaking me, the mixer and counter. I should have been using my plastic guard around the bowl. So I melted a bit more chocolate to add in, without really knowing how much spilled versus how much I was adding.

When I pulled it out of the oven it actually looked like a cake. Huzzah! I washed the stand mixer, bowl and measuring cups and set to work on the white icing for the top and sides. It did not turn out like the picture. My icing was really thick, not at all fluffy and creamy. I spread it over the top and sides as best I could and since it didn’t really look like the picture in the cookbook I skipped the cute chocolate circles.

Despite the weird icing the cake was so good. It really tasted like an oreo cookie and I ate three pieces in one day! Ha! Should I actually admit that?

The next day, I felt a little braver. I decided on the “Dutch cocoa cake”. I followed the recipe very carefully and it ended up looking like the picture. It was really good. Actually the chocolate cake tasted a lot like the Betty Crocker cake mix you can buy at the grocery store and next time I make this I might just cheat and use a box cake mix.

Hubby loved it. There is actually a cake just like this at the grocery store called “milky way cake” and it costs around $15. l I spent less than 5 dollars making mine.


My third cake of the week.

A variation of the Dutch cocoa cake. It turned out pretty well too. I used a little secret I learned on the food network and dusted the cake pan with cocoa so there wouldn’t be any white flour residue on the cake when I took it out of the pan.

There is so much cake around here. I took a big portion of my recent cake over to my parents and hubby has been taking cake in his lunch. There is still a lot left. I think one cake a week would be sufficient.

“A good way to fill your family up cheaply”:

Cakes are very inexpensive. And you can make quite a few with a bag of flour, sugar and dozen eggs. Is this really a smart snack for kids though as the cookbook suggests? I don’t see any real nutritional value to it. But compared to say a microwaved pizza pop or bag of chips it’s a better option. It is preservative free and I did feel full after eating one piece thanks to the eggs and lard. Also, in the fifties people were more frugal, had less and there wasn’t as much selection of food. Fridges weren’t the same as they are now and spoiled food was a constant reality so a cake that is good, cheap and can be stored for a few days without spoiling would have been like gold.

For this week though, I think I’ve had enough cake.

1950’s housewife for a year. Day 15

13 Aug

Tackling a Daily Deep clean: The bathroom

The bathroom got it’s first deep clean today. I decided to take my frustration out on the bathroom floor and got down on my hands and knees to scrub it with a bucket and brush. I cleaned the vanity, counter and mirrors with a cloth and a bit of vim. then followed up with newspaper and windex. I probably should have used water and vinegar because I don’t think Windex was available in the fifties.  I cleaned the toilet and actually got into the shower and scrubbed it from top to bottom. Then I took on the disgusting baseboards. I sweat through the whole event and afterwards my arms ached. I can see how the women of the fifties would have burned so many calories.

My mother told me that back in the sixties her mother (my gram) used to wash the entire kitchen/dining room floor by hand with a bucket and bristle brush. What! This is way more than the like, twenty square feet I covered in the bathroom. This astounds me. I’m certainly not at that level.

I made a beef tenderloin roast, dusted and cleaned my bed frame and night tables and put on tons loads of laundry. I feel like I might be able to finish the list very soon. What might help is if I get some runners to wear in the house while I clean because I am on my feet all day long with no support. By day’s end, my heels feel like pounded meat and my arches are about to collapse.

Day 14: Valentine’s Day

9 Aug

So to start the day off I actually managed to get out of bed and stay out. (Victory!) I am feeling slightly better now that I’m finished the second round of antibiotics. Hubby was running late so I couldn’t make him breakfast as I had the day before. I felt bad but also, I didn’t really have anything to make so it wasn’t a big deal. I’ll have to make more trips to the grocery store since I tend to run out of everything three days after grocery shopping. Seriously, how do people shop for a week? I’ve never been able to do it.

It’s been a while since my last post. It’s just hard to function when all I can think about is “do I have cancer?”

After two weeks of Doctor’s appointments and blood tests I have not received a diagnosis. I have another appointment tomorrow with an ENT and one on Tuesday with an Endocrinologist. I had to pee into a jug for 24 hours which may have been the most awkward and embarrassing thing ever.

Nothing says romance like a pee jug sitting on the bathroom floor.

I haven’t been able to complete the entire list yet but I think today I have a shot at it. It’s finding a balance between cleaning and writing that’s difficult. It’s usually one or the other. And preparing dinner is not always possible. Which is why we ended up so dependent on takeout food. But in the fifties it was increasingly popular for women to have part time jobs. And they still came home and cooked and cleaned and took care of the mister!

It’s Valentines.

I’ve been so sick, busy, and run ragged I actually have nothing planned for my hubby. Hubby is on his way home and I even begged asked him to pick up something for dinner because I failed at the most basic level. How to thaw a roast 101. I took a roast out and it by the time I should have put it on it wasn’t thawed enough to cook. So I was dinnerless. I ran up to have a shower before he came home because, and I hate to admit this, I wasn’t dressed, showered nor had I even brushed my hair today! Eep. I’m disgusting. But I get a pass because I’m sick right?

In the middle of my shower I realized I forgot to replace the conditioner and all I had was this old bottle of sulphate free condition that I absolutely HATE! I put a little bit on my hair and rinsed it really, really well but I was worried it would still linger in my hair. After I dried it my fears came true and I had the grossest, greasiest mop of hair. It actually looked worse than before I went into the shower. I put it in a bun, there was no time to re-wash it. So there I was sick, greasy-haired, and dinnerless — in my old sweat pants to top it all off.

Happy valentines ….

Testing out my 1950’s cleaning routine

8 Aug

Day 4: Testing out my 1950’s housewife cleaning routine

Day 2 and 3 were total write offs. I stayed in bed sick with the flu (thanks husband!). On top of my sinus
infection. It was the worst I’ve ever felt in my life!

Today, I got up early started the dishwasher and washing machine and ended up back in bed because 1. 5:30 am is really early and 2. I’m still feeling the effects of my super flu. A few hours later, I dragged myself to WM to get a carrying caddy for my cleaning supplies. (I seriously felt like a maid!)

After tidying my kitchen and bedroom, opening all blinds and airing the house I made myself breakfast of a banana and glass of Gatorade. My stomach not able to handle real food yet. I found a lovely surprise of cat poopie in the basement. I did 5 loads of laundry whilst walking over the new laundry room floor which hubby used way to much glue on and i could barely move over. It was
like being in quick sand. After walking on it that many times I twisted my ankle. I felt just miserable. Sick and tired and now with a slight limp.

I got out the olive oil and added a good splash to some hot water and mopped the floor then I mopped with soapy water.
It cut the stickiness in half. Enough for me to struggle through another 5 loads of laundry. I tidied up the basement quickly and put on some chicken. Since the fifties housewife walked almost an hour a day I jumped on the laundry drying rack treadmill and started walking. The pain shooting up my ankle was so bad, I gave up after two minutes.

With hubby on his way home, I am supposed to be greeting him at the door with prettiness — but in actuality — I look like crap. My hair is frizzy, my face is sweaty and I’m limping around the house like a peg leg pirate. (swearing like one too.)

By end of day my ankle, my feet, my knees, and my back ache.  And I am starting to wonder WHY I ever thought this was a good idea. After popping two motrin, my hubby has to carry me up the stairs to bed.

Spring Cleaning Guide

8 Aug

Okay, I’ve compiled some data on 1950’s cleaning routines from the following:

1. http://www.feministezine.com/feminist/historical/Good-Wifes-Guide.html — a feminist website (Irony not lost on me)

2. Betty Crocker’s Picture Cookbook (1950) — Full of plenty of helpful advice like “A full cooky jar makes a home homey”

3. My mom. Recounting her childhood and the way my grandmother cleaned and kept house during the early sixties. A few years later than my experiment but my grandmother is (and always has been) an old fashioned woman who spent her teenage years and early twenties in the 1950’s. She cooked liver every week and routinely washed down cupboards and walls.

4. My hubby. His grandmother, a real housewife of the 1950’s was an organized, frugal, apple pie making, light bulb dusting super woman

who faithfully opened and closed the curtains daily



So here it is!!

Cleaning schedule:


Monday – laundry

Tuesday – Ironing and baking

Wednesday – shopping and errands

Thursday – deep clean bedrooms

Friday – Full clean Kitchen

Saturday – shopping and bathrooms

Sunday – rest and spa




Morning (6 am to 11 am):


–          10 minute beauty routine

–          Doggies outside

–          Prepare breakfast for hubby

–          Feed doggies

–          Clear breakfast dishes

–          Gather any dishes from bedroom/office/basement

–          Load dishwasher

–          Open blinds

–          Throw back the covers

–          Air out bedroom

–          Gather laundry

–          Pay any bills


(11 am – 12:30 noon)

Sit down lunch

Make bed



Afternoon (12pm – 5 pm):

–          Pick up laundry/ hang clothes

–          Dust

–          Get everything off the floor

–          Take out garbage

–          Doggies outside

–          Sweep all floors

–          Mop floors

–          Fluff pillows

–          Water plants

–          Clean up bathroom – fresh towels, soap, and tp

–          Make a meal plan for dinner and tomorrow’s breakfast

–          Start any advanced meal planning like thawing meat or making dessert

–          Set the dinner table

–          Arrange the living room for our entertainment – newspaper, movie (Yes I said our, I changed it from “his” in the guides from the fifties because I refuse to wait on him in that way.)

–          Clear the entry way

–          Freshen up, do hair

–          Set out a tray for mixing drinks

–          Feed doggies

–          Wipe down counters

–          Clean sink




–          Walk doggies and pick up mail

–          Prepare dinner

–          Clear dinner dishes

–          Load dishwasher

–          Flush pipes with boiling water

–          Pack lunches and wrap any leftovers for my lunch tomorrow

–          Wipe down stove top

–          Relax  before bed (haha!)


–           No takeout food (we’ll see how my hubby can handle that one)