Monday, January 16, 2006

Yea of little faith

I worked on my sock last night while watching a movie, The Birdcage. I think that there are a few more errors in my sock than there were before, but seeing as they shall only grace my feet and I shall not display them for inspection to any keen knitter, I can live with them.

So I am looking out the window at "flurries". Looks like snow to me. And there is a windchill of -20 this morning and I suggested that my 11 year old wear her snow pants and she refused. Sigh. It has started. Cool wins out over warm. I don't think that she is in danger of frost bite but it is a 20 minute walk to her school. Her choice. Her consequences. So long as they are not endangering her, I shall bite my tongue when she makes choices that I don't agree with. How did my mother do it? Or my grandmother? GOD! That woman had 17 kids! Yup, you read right, 17. Good old back woods New Brunswick RC. Apparently when mom was young (she was #3) when the priest came around, if Memere wasn't pregnant or carrying an infant, he would say that she wasn't doing her job. Her job being, of course, to breed more Catholics. I think that the pope should try having 17 kids and doing all of the work that comes with them. Maybe he would change his tune on birth control. Could you imagine cooking,on a wood stove no less, for 17? Mom left home to go work before her youngest brother was born. In fact my older sister is a year older than our youngest uncle.

We've come a long way, baby!

12 comments:

Kate, the Odd Ball Knitter said...

My mother came from a tribe of 13, 11 of whom survived childhood. One of the reasons she had to have that horrid back operation after she developed Parkinsons was due entirely to the fact that she'd injured her back as a child working on the farm, trying to do a man's work when she was just a little girl. Surgeon said he sees it all the time in Depression area children.

Somewhere there has to be a happy medium. I don't know about your lot (probably a lot more independent than my one) but I have to keep kicking myself to keep myself from spoiled La Princess. Somewhere in my brain, I just don't seem to get that she's going to be an adult some day.

jackie said...

I find that my kids are a strange blend of independent and helpless. I must admit that I make them do what they can. I refuse to be mommy martyr. " Are your legs broken?" And they all excell at complaining and procrastination. I hope that some day they will figure out that if you just sit down and do the frickin' homework, the homework will then be done and they can go do other things. Some days I think that they enjoy sitting at the table with books and papers, watching my blood pressure rise.

My grandfather worked in the woods, so no farm work for mom. Housework and gardening and child care, yes. She quite often had to miss school to take care of her younger sibblings. And then she quit school and went to work to send money home for her family. My, we do live in different times.

Anonymous said...

I'm the youngest of 15 children, all living. Mama et pappa no longer with us. They where amazing, to say the least. We are all happy and well adjusted adults. It was not a question asked when told to do chores, study, babysit your siblings. She worked as a nurse and pappa was a fisherman. She baked 24 loafs of bread every Friday before going off to work. 12 girls and 3 boys.
My brother would steal a loaf and sell 25 cts. per slice on the curbside but 50cts.for the priest..

jackie said...

Mom never asked us to do much in the way of chores. She once said that she wanted us to live as she had not, but I don't think that she ment to turn us into selfish indivduals. I still have a bit of a selfish streak in me, I must admit. I wish that I had started the kids on chores earlier. BUt for so long it was in the range of "it's easier and MUCH less bother to just do it myself" and I never got in the habit. With one excecption. The kids all put their own clothes away and I can usually get one of them to set the table. But dishes and sweaping, froget it!

jackie said...

What does your brother do now? I am very impressed with the entrepeneural streak that caused him to charge more to the priest!

Anonymous said...

HE HAS HIS OWN PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO, HE DID THE SAME THING WITH BOILED EGGS. IN THOSE DAYS THE PRIEST WOULD MAKE HOME VISITS AND THAT'S HOW MY MOM FOUND OUT. MY BROTHER SAID, SHIT MOM LOOK WHERE HE LIVES, MEANING THE CHURCH.WHAT A RIOT WE HAD. OH THE STORIES I COULD TELL. I HAVE HAD MY SON IN STITCHES TELLING HIM OF OUR ESCAPADES. YOU SEEM LIKE A GREAT MOM, YOUR CHILDREN WILL REMIND YOU OF THIS AS THEY GROW OLDER..Like your blogs.

jackie said...

Thanks for the stories and the positive comments. I must admit that life seems more interesting in larger famlies. Life is certainly interesting here.

Anonymous said...

there are some drawbacks being from a large familly it is that one doesn't make friends outside the familia. I am french/italian. Not living near them is difficult because i am socially disfunctional. I spend most time reclusive and live in a country setting. So let us leave that for now. The why i found your blog is due to the work you do. I also like odd ball knittery. Myself i do quilting and crochet and needle works. The crochet is traditional filet using my own designs, and the quilting varies, some traditional and crazy..Not near as wonderful as you and your ever talented friends. As a young girl we where to learn these things as it was important for a girl and her dowery. I still have things from when i was only 9 years old. U know the needle work samplers. At 12 i was placed in a convent,it was necessary for young girls to learn these things, as discipline and to be the perfect eventual wife and mother who could sew, knit, crochet, embroider etc.. I no longer have husband, single with a 22 yr young man studying law.
I write and paint as well. I make perfect french pastries and pies,and can cook italian to no end.. I spent 10 years in Africa, teaching art. Have yourself and yours a good day. I will continue to watch your blogs as well as odd ball knittery...you seem like a good group of friends with a great sense of humour, a bientot..

jackie said...

I love cooking too! My husband is a VREY good cook when he has the time. In fact he wooed me with food when I was working at the local health food store.
I have also dabbled in quilting (tops only) and crocheting (nothing too challenging) I have seen many quilts that are works of art! Never sell yourself short! It is unfortunate that in this day and age traditional "womens work" is underappreciatedand under valued. I bought small doilies for "snowflakes" for the Christmas tree a few years ago for the outragous sum af 49 cents each! Even if it only too you 15 minutes to make one, that is $2 an hour minus supplies. Not a living wage. A friend reciently bought a hand crocheted table cloth at an antique show for $25. It broke my heart.

Liz said...

mary bought a native handwoven sash in a dollar junk box at an auction. Sotheby's valued it in the thousands. Totally misunderstood values on textile work

Anonymous said...

i,ve crochet 14 tableclothes,14 bedspreads,hundred of doilies,macasars,filet curtains,on and on,and am still going strong, who cares what others think eh!

jackies hubby said...

Jackie's husband here. I don't do any of the craft work Jackie does. She's a very talented woman who seems to be able to take on any new art form and excel at it in short order. I understand nothing of colour so it's all kind of a mystery to me. But I do love to cook, and it's true that food was a major part of our courtship. I feel rather badly that my job now consumes so many hours in a week that I have hardly any time to cook. I love cooking and look forward to a time when I can once more "court" her with grand creations in the kitchen. She appreciates the care I put into food, and I enjoy her taking pleasure in eating it. But good food takes time, and these days I just don't have a lot of "spare" time. In the 60s we were promised that technology would liberate us to have a lot of spare time, but in fact we ended up working a lot more. When I retire this is a societal problem I'm going to work on.