Friday, August 24, 2007

goddesses, domestic and otherwise

and the fun just keeps on coming around here. While I was at my meeting and getting my hair done yesterday, my daughter was cleaning the house (well, it's fun for me!) and I came home to this Why, yes, there does seem to be a new Domestic Goddess in my kitchen. The old one, boringly, does not make ravioli, and if she did, probably wouldn't do so wrapped in a towel, fresh out of the shower. The old one doesn't vamp either, but the new one does. Wanna see?

Told you we were having fun!

Not sure how she managed, given what there was in my fridge, but she raided the freezer archives, dug through the fridge, scoured the larder, and took scissors out to the garden and we ended up with the ravioli in that great sauce you see simmering in the foreground above. Starters were baked (tart) apples stuffed with a yam-bacon-onion mix--a perfect combination, surprisingly.

We also had some hairplay throughout the day. Meg sent me out in the morning looking like this

here's a closeup -- she's got hairbands in here and bobby pins and it's all very Grecian, no?

she insists I can do this myself and it took her less than two minutes so maybe. (I usually soak my hair, towel dry, apply product, comb a pick through and scrunch the curls into shape all in about 45 seconds, then let it all airdry and pick a bit of volume into it an hour later in another 5-10 seconds).

I'll definitely never be able to do what Ronae, my hairdresser, did though -- straightening my hair after today's cut -- so this photo will have to do for posterity (my hair's already sucking up any moisture in the air, gaining volume and kinks by the minute!). It's such a transformation -- Megan found it disorienting and my husband at first thought my sister Kathy was visiting. I can see my sister Rachel most prominently, but get glimpses of Leona as well. (So strange when you have many siblings to see them pop up on your face unpredictably -- that's a whole rabbithole of a topic I'd love to pursue someday). Anyway, here I am in a self-portrait that somehow worked -- Megan and I were chatting and laughing as I aimed the camera--I look pretty happy in my daughter's company, don't I?

If you just drop by for the knitting or 'cause we share an interest in Paris or fashion or gardening, I hope you'll come back again despite this week's emphasis on family stuff. Sometimes this blog feels pretty unfocussed but I'm sensing some knitting together and I'm starting to see a big picture of me, one that I actually like. A good friend who's been following my posts e-mailed yesterday to say she was surprised to see I had a deeper interest in fashion than she'd realized (thankfully, she followed up by saying that it was not an interest belied by my appearance, just that she hadn't realized there was research or effort or whatever to accompany an instinct for shopping). Made me think of something my sister Rachel commented when I was beginning this blog about how my gradual revelations were similar to the process of making a new friend, revealing different parts of yourself bit by bit. And reminded me of how often I don't tell about something potentially blog-worthy simply because there's only so much room in a blogpost (and I talk your ears off far too often as it is!) -- that whole process of selection-and-combination that is central to any narration applies here in full force.

In my friend's e-mail, she wondered what I've read from the academic work on life-writing, getting, in her usual astute way, right at the nub of what has fascinated me from my first accidental forays into the blogworld. Most of the work I've seen on life-writing (my doctoral dissertation worked with fictional life-writing or life-writing as a trope, so I'm familiar with the territory) is several years old and I'll have to get some recommended readings from a colleague more up on the topic, but it seems to me more work is done on the more sustained, cohesive narratives -- booklength memoirs, autobiographies, biographies, etc. I find the blog format fascinating because it offers up fragments on an ongoing basis -- less, maybe, of the retrospective, although that's certainly here as well. Way more room for the reader to fill in gaps, to construct a provisional, contingent (imaginary) whole -- which is a bit scary for the writer, but freeing as well -- as long as we all try to remember that you don't really know the "real" me, if such a creature could possibly exist. You know what I look like, you know what I've chosen to tell you about myself on any given days, but what we know about each other is, as we say in my little patch of academia, "always already" limited to the representations we see.

Anyway, enough of that on this bright sunny morning. It's my anniversary and yet I have the luxury for this philosophizing because my sweet husband consented to take the dog in for her annual grooming -- by now, he'll have loaded her onto our 17 1/2 foot aluminium boat, maybe even loaded her off and into the car on the other side. He's going to pick up supplies for dinner and we'll have a relaxing day in the sunshine to celebrate 33 years of good luck and love and partnership! (when I think how frighteningly young we were when we made that commitment, I have to acknowledge good luck as being very important -- not to slight the love, just to be realistic)

To send you on your way, and as I send Meg on hers, here's one more hairdo shot -- isn't she lovely!


  1. Happy Anniversary, Frances and Paul! And many more... And Frances, seeing you with straight hair is crazy/fascinating! At first I thought: my god, she looks so differet. Then I looked again, or harder, and there you were, same as ever! Thanks for sharing. And btw, I now insist that you recommend for me just one or two classics on life-writing--you're an expert ALREADY (thought not always already, eh?! :))


  2. happy anniversary mom! looks like you and meg are having a great time together. (I think you look most like Kathy with your straight hair, but it is kind of a disorienting composite.)

  3. Happy Anniversary! Love the Grecian hairstyles, so classic. Mine is stick straight and wouldn't curl to save my life.

    Isn't is lovely to have a chef in the family?

  4. Thanks to all of you for the anniversary greetings.
    Lisa -- I'll have to get some authors/titles for you.
    Bronwen -- I thought Rachel more than Kath, but dad's with you
    femme -- yes, it's great -- do you have family chef as well?

  5. Happy Anniversary.
    Meg did a great job on your hairdo.
    What prompted the hairdresser to straighten your hair? Your idea or hers? I have to admit I like the curls better. Your curls give the look of relaxed but tidy at the same time, not an easy thing to do.
    I think the smile is definitely Rachels, eyes Kathys. Funny when I scrolled down to the last picture of Meg I thought it was Rhiannon.

  6. Happy anniversary. Love the hair shots! My sister and I have differing hair as well - and the grass is always greener. I would die for any amount of curl at all and she finds her hair unmanageable.

    As for the life writing, I find it very interesting that you commented a post or two back about your lack of 'academic writing'. I find the philosophical musings and reflections very à propos given the context of a blog. Who is to say that blog writing will not become the study of a new age of academia? :) My brother lamented a few years ago the decline of letter writing in our day. How are we going to gather the evidence of a noteworthy person's life for future generations. Here, perhaps, may lie one answer. Those who leave a record behind, be it in letters or in blogs, will leave a rich source of material for future biographers!!!

  7. Hilary -- it was my idea to get it straightened just for fun 'cause it was a sunny enough day I knew it might be my one chance -- I had it done years ago and Meg gets hers done regularly. I love the look for a fun change 'cause I think it looks much more fashionable or something than my usual unruly curls, but I'd never do it on my own. Ronae says she doesn't think I could -- apparently my hair has a pretty strong mind of its own! And I'm not surprised you saw Rhiannon in Megan's pictures -- those family genetics again!

    Valerie: Thanks for the anniversary greetings and the writing encouragement. Because of the nature of academia, I'm probably always going to be looking over my shoulder, worrying about not doing enough of the "right" kind of research and/or writing. But I agree with you that blogging itself offers much that is worthy both as a topic of research itself and as a place to theorize about other topics. I can't claim that my own blog does any of that, but I am very happily engaged right now in what maybe I'll call "primary research" in the experience of writing and of developing a very immediate audience, of exploring the possibilities for representing my life on a daily basis. Thanks for being part of that! And I agree with both you and your brother -- I, too, lament the almost complete erosion of old-fashioned letter-writing and the more rounded personality of "snail mail," but I think that altho' the one-to-one of that medium is on its way out, blogging can provide the same opportunity to sketch glimpses of one's life with words and photos and it can be surprisingly intimate.

  8. My MIL is a gourmet cook and my BIL is an actual 4-star chef who now has a personal chef biz. ( Lucky me...I married into a family of Foodies!

  9. you are lucky, femme! and that website looks great -- wouldn't it be wonderful to have a personal 4-star chef!


I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...