Real homemaking vs. Online media homemaking.

Photo by Mark McCammon on

Ah, the destructive fantasy of social media. The perfect homes decorated with IKEA and Pier 1 Imports. The minimalist look and everything so sparkly clean. I used to watch the channels trying to find some cleaning or decorating inspiration and would shut off the computer feeling disgruntled with my old house and thrift store or hand me down furniture.

When I had my channel, the community voiced their joy at finding a home less than perfect and a kitchen less than clean.

Right now I’m purging like mad to make airy space in my house and to redecorate it in a more natural style. I want the Earth in my home and a Zen like feeling through out. I want to feel like those monks making bread and washing rice in clean, sparse kitchens with wooden bowls and old kettles.

Here is how it’s truly going so far:

Yes, please do laugh. This is reality. I have three children, three dogs and a husband who escapes to work and then the garden in the evenings. I don’t blame him. I envy him.

I’m trying to make life easier. Less to clean, less to move about, less work. I need time to be plentiful for me right now…or by August 1st.

The whole month of August is devoted to writing a novel…novella…novelette…we’ll see how it goes but I promised my editor I would have something for her to edit soon. And it is fiction. Fiction is not easy. I do NaNoWriMo often to get my creative juices flowing but I missed this July NaNoWriMo virtual writing camp. Too much drama got in the way of my making magic.

I have emptied the house of a huge recliner that the neighbors now enjoy. I huge L shaped cream couch and ottoman that showed every dirty smudge and took up most of the living room. There was an old red velvet chair of my mothers loaded with bad juju vibes. I broken trunk. Seven paintings that brought me no joy. Kitchen aprons and gadgets. Baby stuff. Bags of clothes. A big and heavy TV. A hot dog cooker from the gas station. So much.

Then I had no living room furniture at all. That wasn’t really the look I was searching for but it was easy to keep the floors nice.

I found a new, fabulous brown couch for $125 the next town over and a flower chair for free only because a cat scratched the back of it. With some rearranging of furnishings and plants I have a delightful living room that makes me smile in the morning.

It is a must that you have a home that is clutter free for easy cleaning and keeping tidy. A clean and tidy home keeps you mentally balanced. My kitchen will never be minimalist because I make everything (almost) from scratch and I cook and bake a lot in this kitchen. I love plants so those will abound and my cupboards are loaded with books, another love.

My house is over a hundred years old and every decade it seems someone did something different to it. My house is funky. I like that it is so funky so I can play with it, paint the rooms rich colors and not be so particular about it.

My yard has been neglected for decades. But we have a lot of land for a house in town. I’m so grateful for this. We planted so many fruit and berry trees and put in a 1,200 sq ft garden. It takes a few seasons to figure out the suns patterns in your garden. We hadn’t counted on planting this year but with the quarantine we thought it best to work hard and fast. I look out my kitchen pantry door and watch the sun rise and fall in the backyard. I have planted the cabbage and corn in the wrong spots. Next year I’ll switch them and have better luck. I planted everything and I now see what thrives here and what struggles.

Running a home is a craft and art form. It is to be played with and experimented on. People are so serious about having everything match and be perfect.

I want my home cozy and inviting. I want to cook delicious food. I want to become so good at gardening I can grow organic produce at least two or three seasons out of the year. I love Asian homemaking channels (a bit fantasy but I get ideas) and I love gardening documentaries especially when they grow tons in a tiny yard. It gives me hope.

The last thing I want to do is kill my joy of homemaking with comparisons and jealousy. Many people come in my home and say “this is my dream” when they see the garden out the back door. They don’t wince at the shabby chic decor.

I think most people want simple lives. They dream of the funky house with a small mortgage. I used to envy the ugly old cars people drove because I knew they had no car payment. I’m now blessed with two ugly old cars. Amen.


  1. Hi Kate and Friends,

    I am purging and organizing this weekend as well. It’s good to keep check every now and then.
    I used to schedule my cleaning routine but rarely followed through because I was either overwhelmed or was lazy. Now I tack extra cleaning on daily. For example, instead of doing a deep bathroom clean twice a week, I would spend 5 minutes before I get in the shower to wipe down the counters, sink toilet, etc. and on the weekend tackle what is left and takes less time. By breaking down the routine, it’s always clean and feels like less work. I would do the same with the rest of the place. Taking an extra few minutes to wipe down the sides of the counter or the decluttering and wiping the coffee table (even if it looks clean!) before I sit down to watch something.

    With kids and pets, it is challenging to keep a perfect home but I would take an imperfect clean home that is well lived in over something sterile and cold. Your home always looks cozy.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Excellent blog. I have been to a house that has the same exact kitchen that is in your thumbnail. It may look shiny and clean, but I knew right away that it was not a functioning kitchen the lady has food delivered. I am like you, cooking from scratch and it is impossible to have no pots and pans or gadgets on the counters when one is cooking all the meals at home. I will take your warm, inviting kitchen any day, any time. Oh btw, I love the way that Molly is peering from behind the stove, she is such a delicious little pooch. Thank you for keeping it real. Hugs to the 3 doggies and the kiddos. Take care, stay safe.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m purging as a part of changing my life. Getting rid of the old but not bringing in anything new – I’d rather have the space to breathe. I’d love to see a current photo of your living room if you feel able to share it!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I just commented to David the other day how all the houses on TV shows and commercials are all the sparkling white perfect looking sterile kitchens. We are finally about to have our kitchen finished. David started it but because of his back he couldn’t finish it. The contractor is working on our daughters house right now that we own but she’s going to give him back to us for a short time before David’s surgery to do our kitchen and redo our shower.And we want to make it fun and colorful and unique. Not white and sterile and perfect. We have a house almost as old as yours it’s gonna be 100 soon, with a big chunky molding and it can take lots of color and that’s what we want do.
    You have done more in your backyard then we have done in 18 years in ours ! You do inspire me though to get out there and use this big lot of land we have to get gardens in and make it our dream and next year after David’s surgery that’s what we’re going to concentrate on.
    A blog I watch that inspires me on my home is called little poet. It is actually a channel about a woman who had her husband leave her in her 50s after 20 years of marriage and had to start over with absolutely nothing. What I love about this channel , is her first , but then it is her apartment. She had to do all of it on thrift store finds and it is absolutely stunning. She has some pieces she brought with her from the marriage but the charm and warmth and beauty in her small one bedroom apartment is just inspiring! She also makes the most beautiful videos I’ve ever seen. She has a real knack with the camera and turns ordinary videos into absolutely beautiful videos with all her camera work. Even if she isn’t for your demographic her channels worth checking out just for her decorating and just for her . She’s charming and sweet has been through a lot and has not let it jade her ! I like the warmth of her place because like you I can’t stand all those cold sterile houses. I forgot who told me about her or where I heard about her but it’s a great channel definitely worth checking out because she has some videos about her apartment that you can just watch and see what you can do on a small, very small in her case when she first left her marriage, income.
    She shares a lot of make up tips for aging people it’s just a really fun, warm, beautiful channel.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I adore the warmth and love that is in your home. It really is so much prettier than the sterile houses. Your choices bring joy.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’ve always loved your eclectic style as it’s much like my own! Watching you on your former channel gave me the courage to completely embrace that style when I come from a family growing up with the very sterile minimalistic look and a mother who is ever critical on how I would put my little house together, but I have a tremendously different income, (very low), and I just love coziness and old fashioned! So about 6 months ago I started my journey of painting, and thrifting my little place together as I braced myself for the comments to come from her. I now LOVE my home! And continue to work my way upstairs as finances allow to get to were I love it, I can’t believe that I let someone else’s opinion echo in my head for so long. So thankful you are back here, ( I got your link from Tessie)you are such a blessing and encouragement, you are loved by many 💕

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I love your optimism…no furniture, but the floors were easy to keep clean. LOL. Last year I bought an inexpensive fixer-upper house built around 1900 which has a double-lot yard and a free standing garage and shed on a dead end street in a small village. It also has a clothesline the entire length of the yard. I’m doing the majority of the cosmetic things by myself on a very very limited budget since I live on disability. Nothing had been done to the yard for about 20 years. One day soon after I moved in I was feeling very defeated at the way the yard looked and knowing how much other stuff I still needed to do in the house to make it somewhat clean and livable. Someone suggested a young handyman they knew so I hired him to clear out dead trees and poison ivy and haul some trash away for me. On his second trip he brought his wife along. When they got out of the truck she had tears in her eyes and he said, “I told you it was a beautiful, amazing place.” It turns out they rent in a run down part of a city with a postage stamp size yard. She said she longs for a quiet yard like mine for their children to play in safely. They came in the house and even though only one room was painted and everything was pretty much in boxes sitting around they were amazed at the potential. I think of that often as I am doing each thing to bring my little home back to life. And as I’m walking around my part-way done rooms I find my heart thanking God for the blessing of having this place and all the second-hand items I’ve lovingly picked out for it (even my sinks and lights have come from church sales and thrift shops). Even if I was able to go out and buy a brand new house with brand new matching everything in it, I would not be happy. I love my little nest that has charm and personality and reflects my life. Each of us should follow our own path and make a home that is fitting and comfortable for us, not a magazine cover. You have done exactly that. ~Sally

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I searched and found you. I am so glad that you are still blogging. You are a wonderful writer and we all need a way to express ourselves. Agape love to you and your family. Stay fierce.


  9. I love my little kitchen. Sometimes though, when I see all those HGTV and pinterest kitchens I “Forget” how wonderful and cozy it is. Then I see your kitchen and it reminds me that my kitchen, just like yours, is about as perfect as a kitchen could be.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. So glad to find you again Kate. I was worried when your website disappeared but an evening of investigating brought me here. My sister gives me a subscription to Australian Home Beautiful magazine for my birthday each year. Lately I’ve found I don’t enjoy looking through it – there are no ‘real’ homes. I’ve told her not to renew the subscription when it’s next due. I want to see homes where people really live and where I could picture myself living too. Thank you for giving me that!

    Liked by 1 person

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