Everything sublime is as difficult as it is rare. Baruch Spinoza

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Of Dust And Dishes

You sometimes see a woman who would have made a Joan of Arc in another century and climate; threshing herself to pieces over all the mean worry of housekeeping.
Rudyard Kipling

It's a cold, rainy day, barely above freezing. I leave the horses in the barn on days such as this, so I have a little free time available for other much needed chores.

Like last evening's and this morning's dishes sitting on the counter.

And a pile of laundry waiting for folding.

Instead I'm doing this.

I have a point in here somewhere. Here it is......Mark opened a new business account this month, which I am a signature on. He brought the papers home for me to sign and low and behold, next to my name was 'Homemaker'. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with this job, I sometimes wish I had it. But I don't, I slave my $%&^@ off in the barn 7 day a week!

As the above photos show, if I did have this job, I should be fired. I am not good at it. I am good at stable management, breeding mares and foaling them out. I'm good at stallion management, pasture management and fixing fences. I clean a mean stall. But I totally fail at housework. Completely. Besides, household dust makes me wheeze, so I see no reason to disturb it.

When hapless Mark is asked why my job is homemaker, he goes into survival mode. He has no idea, the banker just put that in. I think Mark was asked if I work, and of course he said 'no'. 

Mark doesn't understand that it isn't offensive to me, but rather I was curious how someone so completely awful at the job could be hired and retained for almost 30 years. I surely would have fired my worthless butt years ago if I knew I was responsible for the home. Now I have this creeping sense of unease, this idea that I should be doing more than sliding the dog hair along with my foot until I get a pile to pick up. Or periodically blowing dust off my computer.

I believe I will not think too deeply on this. I believe I am a barnkeeper and it's best to keep it that way. It's worked this long, why fix what neither of us has seen as broken.


  1. I think it sounds better to say the Keeper of the House... a little more official. I just give up and occasionally don't do what I usually do just to show exactly what it is that I do do...

    Alright off to shovel again.

  2. Jules, believe me, I am no keeper of the house. I've often thought there was a cruel joke played on me, that I should have been born a MAN. Other than cooking, I'm no good at the duties. And cooking is asexual, as my son is a chef!

    I know how difficult the job is and that most women perform it whether it's their main job or their second job. When I look around this disaster I know what you do, because I don't, at least not too often. : )

  3. Found your blog over at Jules. I am a total fan of horses...raised them for years in NC and showed dressage. Now I'm living in ND and loved seeing your post. First...loved the horse pics...great rider you! And secondly, I will stand up for anyone that can manage the workings of a horse farm no matter the amount of the herd. It is truly a full time job that most think only of just riding...they are like a group of kids that totally rely on you. Now couple that with a bundle of dogs and you have a full blown job! I have always felt that being called a homemaker was a lot better than a home breaker!!

  4. Hi boylerpf. Thanks for stopping in. I'm not the one in the photos, only the profile photo. I wish I was as young and pretty as Kristina!

    I tried to make it clear that it isn't being called a homemaker that was the issue, but rather that I'm really not. I detest housework and will avoid it at all costs. I'll clean the worst stalls ever if it means getting out of washing a floor.

    Horses are worse than toddlers because they NEVER grow up! And they always need something.

    What kind of horses did (do?) you have? How do you like living in ND? A bit of a change from No. Carolina. : )

  5. Looks rather like my place. Some days it looks like all I'll keep is the house. I detest housework too. Luckily I homeschool. The strange mold growing on the place gets written off an a science experiment. ROFL.

  6. "...this idea that I should be doing more than sliding the dog hair along with my foot until I get a pile to pick up." This made me laugh out loud!

  7. i too leave dishes and although i fold the laundry directly from the dryer into baskets, it can take me ages (read: weeks) to put them away. and i think i would be a little ticked off at the designation homemaker. it has such a 1950s ring to it.

    much better to be barnkeeper. :-)

  8. how about residential technician? I fail at the home-maker job, too...that's ok though, it was never on my to do list. Now that it's just me and the dog, the house looks pretty good, most of the time...as long as I keep the sink covered and the bedroom door closed :)

  9. Jean, somehow I didn't see your post. I'm glad I made you laugh, I think you can use a good guffaw! I am, sadly, serious.

  10. Being a barnkeeper is a respectable occupation. Who wouldn't be proud to pitch horse crap for a living, or in my case, for an occupation!

    giantspeckeledchiihuahua, your screen name conjures up quite an image! Thanks for stopping in. What I'm called means less to me than what I do. I do horses, not houses. : )


I really appreciate the concept and sentiment behind awards, but I cannot participate in them anymore. I have too may and I have not got the time to devote to participating properly. To all who have honored me, I am grateful but I don't have seven more things to tell anyone about myself! And I'm a terrible passer-oner.