I Was Groomed For This

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I grew up in a tiny town of 1,700 (and that included everyone that lived in the country) in Northwest Iowa called Alta. I’m not sure if it was the location/culture of the Midwest or if it was the time (‘70s), but my brother and I started preparing for our domestic futures at a young age. In reviewing this site idea with my marketing guru and friend Susan, I was lamenting on the fact that I am not the type of blogger that is going to take a photo of every step of the process. I said, “If they don’t know how to measure out the salt, then there is a problem!” She went on to say that her daughter (who is heading off to college) wouldn’t know how to follow a recipe. Seriously?!? What’s up with that!? I think that is a disservice.

I have great memories of baking with both of my grandmothers and my mom from a very young age. I started babysitting my brother (4 years younger than me) after school and throughout the summer when I was 10. We had, what my mom called, “fend for yourselves nights” on a regular basis. So perhaps it was survival mode—but if you didn’t know how to cook, you could be hungry! We also had a chore list every day that had to be done before you could move onto anything fun. And it didn’t involve an allowance. It was just part of being part of the family. So we had to help with the laundry, vacuuming, loading and unloading the dishwasher, and preparing meals. As a result, we are both the domestic goddesses of our households. My brother recently posted on Facebook that he was ironing my sister-in-law’s dresses. As an aside, I did not get the ironing gene.

So 42 years in the making, I have been groomed to be in this place—a crazy working mom and homemaker that has lots of ideas of survival to share with others. And while I won’t be taking a photo of every step of the process—seriously that would make dinner preparation take hours! I promise to not leave you in the dust. Easy is the name of the game.


I’ve always been a bit of a “foodie”. Nothing better than Chex mix, ketchup and ice cream!


I couldn’t be more than 2 here—and helping with the dishes. My mom started us young!


I took that lovely loveseat to college. By then it didn’t have any legs on it and it sucked you in when you sat down. And years after this photo—when we were still using this vacuum, I ran over the cord and sparks arced through the room. I still have a phobia of vacuum cords!


Here’s an early gardening photo. In the background you can see the garden tilled and ready for planting. I will confess that, not from a lack of trying, but my mom did not pass along her green thumb to me.


One of my earlier tablescapes.


And of course, all of my homemaking grooming included how to be a great mom. Even though it appears that Mrs. Beasley is “naked”.

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