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Hello and welcome to The Housewife’s Redemption, a blog originally written to track the progress of my job search as a fifty plus year old woman who last worked when computers were chewing on punch cards. Also, in the blog’s beginning, I hoped to throw light on the economic woes of 2009 and be a voice of reason and encouragement as well as to offer a cooking or laundry tip or two. However, the economy was worse than even housewives could predict and, contrary to rumors aflutter today, has probably, maybe, can’t-really-tell only gotten worse in a bad sort of way. (Yet, compared to the rampant, horrific violence of 2015 & 2016 any economy at all could be considered a bright spot.) Anyway, not only was my kitchen wisdom of 2009 totally disregarded by Oprah and CNBC’s Jim Cramer as well as certain people in the White House, I failed in my personal pursuit of finding a job. It was a genuine and complete failure if you don’t count my brief stint as a copywriter for a Russian virtual hooker business. (My job was to tell clients that their encounters were in fact not real-live hookers and therefore the company was not actually responsible for their satisfaction. I know. Sleazy. And apparently my payment was just as virtual, as in virtually nothing.) Anyway, dear friends, sometime in 2010, I put a temporary lid on the job search and turned my attention to writing about my rather ordinary life and the life of my children and pets.

Later, remarkably, I was employed for a time. It was a mere 6 months but the job took me far away from my laundry room across the wide world to Shanghai. Really. No, really. Fortunately, in the summer of 2012 the Chinese economy coughed and sputtered (easy to predict from the other side of my Cuisinart). And not really willing to witness yet another econ 101 case study on stupidity and greed, I took my leave and instead spent a few hot July days moving rocks around my backyard with a broken shovel. An effective balm (and marvelous metaphor, you might say) to soothe indigestion caused by Chinese food and several years of frustration.

Since then, my family has accomplished much and experienced a lot. My husband retired little more than a year ago. I thought about making that a new blog theme, but frankly his retirement has been too treacherous a topic for me; in other words the experience has lacked any humor. (Confucius say—Husband retire early; Wife run away.) Moving on, our son, Alex graduated from Emory with a Math and Linguistics degree and now is pursuing stardom as a singer-songwriter. Our daughter, Analise, earned her Master’s in Finance at SMU—the first of her generation on either side of the family to receive a graduate degree and, as she likes to point out, the only one in our immediate family to have a real job. (Good, maybe she can hire her mother or at least pick up the lunch tab. Even better she can hire her father. ) Kyle the cat is still kicking, although our other two pets have kicked the bucket. Now Kyle is keeping young by sprinting up the stairs ahead of our precious labradoodle puppy, Percy. Percy has earned her AKA Good Citizen certification and we are off twice a month to bring cheers and silliness to people who need both.

And me? Well, housewives grow old but we never give up; instead we just strengthen our relationships with our cosmetic dermatologists…

Now if you are curious, bored, or just have time on your hands and would like to peruse the posts of The Housewife’s Redemption below are a few suggestions.

Cheers to all and to all a good day! Y’all come back soon.

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You may recall, that I get out of bed somewhere between 4:30 and 5:30 almost every day depending on how late I stayed up, how many times I woke up, and how often the cat criss-crossed my chest during the night. Sometimes it also depends on what mischief my subconscious is making. This morning, a Jerry Seinfeld dream kept me in bed until almost six. His monologue was that good, even though he was wearing a tacky red suit and shouting by the side of a gravel road like an soul-saving itinerant preacher in search of a revival tent. The Seinfeld dream came after going back to sleep to recover from a 3:00 am near-nightmare about a sex cult. Well, not really a cult but a thriving business catering to midddle-age couples. There were three of us couples involved–I can’t tell you who because you may know them and ask about their fetishes and, you know, other stuff. So, the way this titillating and intriguing business worked was that we each were assigned a partner with whom to have an educational and rollicking sex frolic. I met my partner and while he was young, much younger than me, he looked like a toad, just flat out unfixably ugly. In spite of that, he seemed confident, not necessarily enthusiastic, yet ready to slog through our encounter like the stalwart sex soldier he evidently was. But, first, he asked to examine my underwear. I got worried, trying to remember the last time I changed it. He saw my panicked face and, with a bored sigh, condescended to tell me that lacy, lovely bras and panties were a requirement to participate. Lace? Who knew? So while he turned around looking for his latex gloves, I opened a door to exit and there standing beside a bed was a dolled-up, teddie-wearing sex-tart. My husband was sitting at a desk nearby, reading the Wall Street Journal. He glanced up when he heard the door and gave me a look that said Uh huh and what are you doing?

Of course, I started to explain, but lucky for me, it all came out as gibberish and, suddenly, I felt all frolicked out, content to stop my car, offer Jerry a ride, and drive off looking for redemption.

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Here I am. A gray, murky Monday morning. I have been gone for much of the last gasps of March and all of the young month of April. It is good to be home. There are things to do. Housework. Yardwork. Catwork—which involves more than you’d think since Kyle has become, late in life, an only child-pet. No longer content to aggravate squirrels and stalk lizards in the courtyard, now he must be rubbed and held and engaged in long, one-sided conversations about whether he does or does not like his food. These discussions are quite boring in their predictability: Kyle does not like what is in his food bowl, particularly the dry as old bones Meow Mix. To make his point he’ll throw up emphatically on the new rug in the den, the slimy stuff punctuated with a shiny green grass blade.

Recently, Kyle has taken to sitting on Alex’s head while he sleeps. While Alex sleeps, I mean. The cat isn’t sleeping, of course. He is tail-swishing vigilant, watching for the moment Alex’s eyes twitch with groggy semi-consciousness. Our son is a better man than me and certainly more patient than my husband who many times has sent that poor cat soaring from the bed toward the door.

Fortunately, just this morning I finally found one of Kyle’s long-missing mice. Now maybe he’ll leave me alone and return to his game of pretend predator. Pouncing is good for the kitty soul.

My pouncing days are in the past but I certainly need to figure out an exercise that I will stick to, although that prospect is overwhelming in the absence of an ounce of discipline. Some years ago, I worked out with a personal trainer, who turned out to be, as they all are, a sadist. Since then I have walked fairly regularly except when I don’t which is also fairly regularly. There are times, though, I am dumbstruck with agoraphobia and can’t leave my house. On those days, if I get particularly perky, I’ll go up and down the stairs, skip and speed walk from room to room. I mean I do try. Really, I think about exercise all day long. I wear a fitbit and am awfully attached to it. I even have the Seven Minute Workout on my phone. It is supposed to be effective, that is, if you do it. Otherwise it does nothing, at all. Seven minutes once a day sounds so easy. And the sound of it is easy. It takes longer to scrub the cat vomit off the rug. But there’s an uncanny similarity between the two—I play hell making myself do either.

But since this is a Monday and I have been having too much fun in the past couple of weeks, now I have to make myself miserable. As soon as the sun peeks out from behind the smog, I’ll take a walk and then later just maybe spend seven minutes thinking about working out.