The Wisdom of the Pioneer Women

The Little House Cookbook: Frontier Foods from Laura Ingalls Wilder's Classic Stories
 We are studying American History this year.  While I was at the library checking out books I came across The Little House Cookbook.  In chapter 1,  the author goes into detail about what it took to keep your family fed back then.  Basically, it was a full time job  job for all family memebers.  "Pa pursued the food with a gun, trap, and a plow; Ma prepared and preserve it; and the children helped in both activities."

 I wonder often,what is so enchanting about the everyday life of the women of pioneer days?    Even my 9 year old daughter has told me how "cool" things were back then! Really?!?  I can't even get you to load the dishwasher without griping. You want to go to a well,  draw water, heat it up over a fire and wash the dishes by hand?!?  No matter how easy I tell her she has it....she still insists she would love to do it like the days of old.   Honestly, though,  sometimes I think it would have been good to live back then.  When all you had was hard work and  work was good! You could not get lost on the computer or watching TV for hours!  They worked 6 days a week and did not expect "me" time.  If they did not do what needed to be done....they would not eat! Discipline was a must! That is what I lack.  The discipline to make a schedule, and keep to it.  I am so spoiled by the convenience of today! It's not that those pioneer women had any less going on then I's that they had to be disciplined. They knew they could not let the ball drop. I let so many things slide until the last minute, because I know I can "throw" something together or clean it later.  While my family will not starve on these days, they do suffer. They suffer from the chaos that comes along with my slacking.  They suffer with meals that are "less" than healthful a lot of the time.  They suffer because I am not prepared to meet their needs with a smile and a happy heart.

In my attempts to change these bad habits, I am trying on the schedule of these pioneer women.  I've had to change a few things,obviously.  But, you would be surprised at how many things are pretty much the same.

Here is the schedule The Little House Cookbook  says these pioneer women followed to keep their homes in order. It makes me smile to realize that even back then women had a "schedule" to keep.  It tells me those of us with type A personalities have been the same since the dawn of time! 

Wash on Monday. 
Iron on Tuesday.
Mend on Thursday.
Clean on Friday.
Bake on Saturday.
Rest on Sunday.

"If you followed this plan, your house would be clean for Sunday sitting, with or without guests; your butter and baked goods would be fresh for Sunday dinner; and your best clothes and linens would be washed before any stains could set."
  I think the laundry part is brilliant.  I had never thought of this!  Wash on you wash your Sunday best right away!

 Here's what mine looks like:

Wash on Monday.
Freezer cook on Tuesday. ( I don't iron much.  No need to with today's great fabrics)
Mend on Wednesday.
From Scratch on Thursday. ( I make things like pancake syrup and chocolate syrup from scratch)
Clean on Friday
Bake on Saturday. 
Rest on Sunday.

I think some people have the idea that schedules are too rigid and don't allow for the flexibilty needed to be a people person.  I think it's the opposite.  I think if I keep to my schedule, the rest of my time will become more flexible because the essential things are taken care of.

I would love to read about any schedules you all have in place! Leave a comment or link up a blog post so I can check it out!

Thanks! Have a Blessed Day!


Michelle said...

I am right there with you and HAVE got to get a more detailed schedule planned out! I will get to work on that and report back...

How do you "make" pancake and chocolate syrup??

Brandi said...

Awesome post! I like the schedule but my only thought is can you get by with only doing once a week? That is the only part that would not work for me. I try to do a load a day, as long as I am caught up.Let us know how the schedule goes for you : )

Joyce said...

Michelle-I think the recipe for the chocolate syrup is in my recipe section. Just click on the link at the top of the page. If not I plan on posting both those recipes soon:)
Also, check out my post about the e-book Tell Your's an awesome time manager!

Brandy-I have thought the same thing. I am not saving all laundry for Mondays. I'll be doing towels and MR. Steady's laundry all week. It will just be mine and the girls that I do Mondays. that is the bulk of the laundry, but I think it will work out good. I have done it for two weeks like this and I love not having to think about laundry the rest of the week. The key is I can't leave the house on Mondays in order to get it done. I planned on doing a follow up post on how the laundry thing and let you all know how it is going.

Joyce said...

Michelle- some of my headers are not working:( I don't have time to figure it out right now, but I'll fix it later today.
Here is the link to the post with the recipe.