Saturday, December 18, 2010

Title.

Yesterday I took Miss Jazzy and two of her seven year old friends to Ballarat for the day. We played at a playground, we ate yummy snacks and we saw a movie.
They chatted and sang and danced the whole day through.

At one stage I overheard them discussing their Mums and what they do.
'My Mum is a lawyer in Ballarat' said one proudly.
'My Mum is a journalist for the Ballarat newspaper' said the other, just as sure of herself.
And then they turned to my Jazzy, 'What about your Mum? What does she do?'
'Ummmmm....I'm not sure' replied my girl.
I looked at her wearing a t'shirt I'd screen printed and a skirt I'd sewn, dying to hear her reply. 'Well, she washes the dishes sometimes and she sleeps and ummmm she does the laundry and she helps Dad get the eggs.'

Wowzers, talk about a quick crash down to earth.
Who on earth am I and what do I do?

This morning I reminded her of that conversation and asked her what her Dad does. 'He's a farmer, he looks after the animals and gets the eggs and plants vegetables.' she quickly replied.

I'm fascinated that some people get cool sounding titles to be proud of, whereas others, like me, don't. Somehow housewife and stay at home Mother don't sound like words I'd use to describe myself anyway. They include some but certainly not all of what I do. And I studied fine art with a Bachelor of Education at uni but that's not me any more.

I need a title that includes everything I am today:teacher, baker, washerwoman, cook, chauffeur, psychologist, lover, designer, artist, stitcher, knitter, friend, doctor, hairdresser, adjudicator, farmer, personal shopper, navigator, stylist, printer, nurse, vegetable picker............................................................

Don't get me wrong, I'm not feeling bad about what I do, I was the one at the movies on a Friday morning and not in an office after all.

Meanwhile, this afternoon, Bren is making a little dog house on the deck for Willow and her puppies, Pepper is passing him tools, Jazzy is playing Monopoly with a friend of mine and Indi is in Melbourne with her cousins.

So who are you and what do you get called?
I wonder.

I hope you are having a great weekend whoever you are.

See ya. XX

Oh and one last thing: what's your favourite thing to do with too many strawberries?

69 comments:

  1. How about calling yourself: chick with the cool new haircut!

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  3. When my kids get asked what I do, they say I work on the computer :). At work my title is Corporate Partnerships, Services Manager. Today I feel like someone who is just trying to get everything done - a mum.

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  4. I found becoming a stay at home Mum hard at first. I felt like I'd lost my identity! But now I realise there's just more to discover about me and a whole new adventure to embark on. It's only been 2 years and it seems like it has gone so fast already, I'm afraid I'll blink and they'll be teenagers so I'd better enjoy it while I can!

    btw I love strawberry semi-freddo, it's super yum and a great Chrissy dessert!

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  5. Aww Kate. I think i would be feeling a lot like you had I overheard Maddie say that!

    We do alot, us stay at home mum's. A job that some days I loathe and others I love. A job I firmly believed is undervalued by society.

    My mum was a stay at home mum right up until I was about 16. She looked after me and my two brothers (one who has downs syndrome and is very dependent) but it wasn't until I became a mother that I fully understood what she sacrificed and did for us.

    Jazzy may not know now what you do but believe me when I say that when she is a big girl with her own family...she will realise and know how much you did.

    Parenting is such a tough gig, especially when you make it your full time job. You get some rewards know but I reckon most come later x

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  6. Usually I get "mummy used to be a vet" Not sure what they consider my current job description. "She looks after us" probably. Makes it sound easy, doesn't it?

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  7. Oh, and strawberries? I just eat them as is.

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  8. I m going to ask my kids that question tomorrow and see what they say *eeek, bracing myself for that crash down to earth* I know what you mean though I wonder this sometimes too but then, like you, I realise how awesome it is to be the one going to the movies and not stuck in an office, though there is probably always that other side when 'they' are at a lunch meeting sipping wine and I am picking up a 3 yr olds poo from the back yard lol!! Even though I may feel down about being un-titled, or is that multi-titled? I remember how downplayed being a mum/stay at home mum/housewife/parent is in our society and how its so important for me to show my kids that it is the funnest/hardest/ challenging/rewarding/selfless/precious/important job in the whole world simply beacuse I am THIER mum and they are all of those wonderful and precious things too. As for stawberries well ours just get eaten, nothing fancy abou that :)

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  9. I am me! and I get called Mum. I like that alot better than being a bank teller and getting abused cause people hate banks.
    I get told that I am loved every day and always get thanked and appreciated for what I do.
    Money can't buy what I do....
    I love what I do. I get to sew or clean or cook whenever the feeling takes me....
    As for strawberries, I love Strawberry hazelnut gateaux from an ancient woomans weekly cook book that I pinched of my Mum.

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  10. Love the new haircut Kate! Oh I know how you feel after I stopped working when I had Isabelle. I am just a mum now but nobody truly understands how much work is involved until they are one themself I think! Mums are a variety and their job description changes everyday! Strawberries look delicious, and I prefer them just on their own or on top of pavlova but some people eat them with balsamic vinegar which is supposed to be very nice!

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  11. haha You need to have the title "Super Multi Everything Woman" because I think I do a lot, but you do more! When my kids roleplay the mother figure is always doing dishes and calling everyone 'sweetie'. Part of the reason the I blog is that so much of what we do is behind the scenes, no 'Employee of the Month' when you're an at home mum - but most of us definitely deserve it. My favourite thing to do with strawberries is dipping them in chocolate pudding!

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  12. Well tonight miss 19 (and almost moved out) called me a bitch !!!
    This parenting gig is killing me....

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  13. Eat them!!!

    Mmm... have little idea about what I do, who I am and where I'm going... but I'm about to rush out the door to see my boy flying a kite. Catch ya later.

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  14. Hi Kate, and thankyou! You comments here are really well timed for me. I caught up with some friends today and felt at a loss as to what to say as they all spoke about their careers and various other non-child related topics.

    So I came home, sat with my girls in front of a movie, and did some stitching. Being a mum and doing some craft. It doesn't sound fancy compared to promotions and corporate dinners - but it is my world and it fills my heart.

    Be blessed.

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  15. I am called, "Mama" and content with that. I've done the years of 40-80-hour work weeks, bottom to top of the corporate ladder, and I love this time to slow down and focus on our family. The only time it feels odd is when I'm with a bunch of working women who aren't mothers - but at least I understand that vast gap of comprehension, because I used to be on the other side. And the crossing of that gap was wild, life-changing experience. Still is, and I'm happy to be working on it.
    But wouldn't it be fun if they automatically said, "My mum is a superhero: she can do ANYTHING!" Because it's true, too :)

    Oh yum, strawberry season! Strawberry tarts are a fave at our table. Or strawberry pavlovas.

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  16. SUPER-MUMMY!!!! That's what you are!

    Apparently, my girl tells me, I'm "a patternmaker". I am. I'm also a whole lot of other stuff but there's no point explaining it to a 5-year-old. The lawyer and journalist are as well, no doubt.

    I reckon your girl should say that you're an organic farmer, too. In a couple of words, that sums up multi-tasking, ethical, home-based work (with a vague notion of a few of the tasks involved) and all the rest can go into the "other stuff that I am" basket. I bet more people would understand that title than would understand "patternmaker"....

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  17. I'm a Mum and proud of it. I think you did the right thing by explaining to your daughter her father's title. Now you just need to do your's. Farmer's wife sounds pretty good and will be less obvious as housewife to other littlies and adults whou think that a housewife does nothing all day but watch opray and play with modern electronic toys. Be proud of your title and your children should learn to be too. Cherrie. But I do love your daughter's innocent hesitation too. Cherrie

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  18. Here we use strawberries for milkshakes if they don't get eaten straight. My girlfriend makes the most delicious chocolate dipped ones - they taste almost alchohoic and all she has done is dip them in melted choc, no special brand, just what you like. Cherrie

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  19. One word SPECIAL!!! That's you title, or super woman.
    In the customs slip I had I to fill out what I did, and rather than say two casual jobs as front of house, I said Bearmaker- some people get a kick out of it.
    So you could say awesome kids clothing maker too.
    xoxo
    PS Love the gorgeous pic of you and your new do
    PPS. Eat the strawberries- or strawberry shortcake?
    Or a sponge with strawberries?

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  20. PPPS. Also Farmer? I often say my friend Kate whoses an organic farmer- people are always impressed.xo
    I will go now. promise

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  21. When we have lots of strawberries I like to puree them with a bit of castor sugar and then put them through the icecream machine for a divine sorbet, or I put the puree in icy pole moulds for yummy strawberry icy poles.
    It is hard to sum up all the things that a stay at home mum does under one title isn't it? I tend to say I'm just a mum, but there is so much more to being a mum than "just a mum" implies,if you know what I mean!
    Have a good weekend!

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  22. Domestic Goddess Farmer.
    That's what we are.

    xx

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  23. I grew up in the country (but not on a farm... I just got to visit them...) and used to get frustrated that "farmer's wives" were not called "farmers" when they did just as much to keep the farm going, just sometimes in different ways.
    My mum was a "doctor's wife" (and still is, but not in the country anymore) and did so much to keep the practice going, from washing towels to welcoming potential new doctors and their families (which I know had a huge impact on recruitment and retention)... but again, this work was kind of invisible...
    OK, so I'm incoherently ranting, but I guess I wanted to say that in the end, too many people just label people with a one or two word job title, when that's not the person at all... I think your daughters do, and will, get a sense of how much you do and how important it is, even if they can't sum it up in a neat phrase... and who would want to be summed up in a short phrase anyway??? xo

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  24. Oh I get it Kate! I haven't been in paid work since my four year old was born, and people still say "when are you going back to work?" as though I'm having an extended holiday! I 'used to be' a landscape architect which was fulfilling, but demanding - and difficult to pull off part time. My daughter often says that when she grows up she'd like to be an artist, and then a mummy, which concerns me a little - I try to tell her that she can be both at the same time and I must admit, I sometimes wonder if I should be setting more of a 'working' example. But in my saner moments, I know that I'm doing an important job right now, and that my kids will benefit and they'll know how to be great parents themselves.

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  25. Funny isn't it. We have been having similar discussions in our home. My kidlets, aged 11, 9 and 5 - the older two wonder why I don't work a 'paid' job. Miss G was just awarded top academic in her year level and couldn't understand why.

    I explained our society puts such value in academics and professionalism.... what about the value of love and integrity and the simple life I say! xoxo Rach

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  26. It is a big issue - I think most of us (if not all) grapple with issues of identity once we have kids. Apparently my girls tell people I'm an "artist"... not sure where they plucked that one from ;) Strangely enough, it embarrasses me more than if they said 'housewife' or whatever euphemism people use because that's not how I see myself.. makes me feel like a fraud.
    I love that your girl can wear her homemade clothes and not be judged by her friends... she's obviously a good judge of character :)
    I just love eating strawbs as they come and in great quantities (if I can get away with it!) Enjoy your haul :)
    Kx

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  27. "home-maker"

    ...with all that it takes to make a happy home. that title is how I describe my work.

    happy weekending!

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  28. Strawberry facials, then you can add beautician to your list, best applied in company with lots of giggles



    http://www.pioneerthinking.com/strawfacial.html

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  29. Oh I so know what you mean. The thing is I recently started a teaching job btu I find it so weird when ayone calls me a teacher! I really don't knw what my title "should" be. Once upon a time I was an engineer!

    And straws? Jam, strawberries and cream and strawberry shortcake!

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  30. you are everything to everyone.
    definitely strawberry jam, no question

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  31. It's silly isn't it! I wouldn't trade in what I do for an impressive title,not ever, but it's funny how when people ask I'd often get all awkward when I say full time mama..though I'm getting MUCH better at saying it more proudly, because I am after all very proud to be a fulltime mum & thank my lucky stars that we've been able to manage it...as for the stawberries, they never seem to last long enough around here to get very creative!

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  32. I find it harder to be super-multi-tasking "stay home" mummy,
    than go to work and "clean" your mind from all house related...
    I feel the same now actually - that I have decided to stay home at least 1 year with my baby Alona...

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  33. I want a title too! I hate it when you have to fill out paper work and put what you do on the dotted line! I never know what to write..so silly as we Mum's have a huge responsible 'juggling all the balls' job!
    I feel proud of what I do but want a title that sounds better than 'house wife'...I do like 'home maker' much better I think!

    I make a choc pav and put lots of strawberries and cream on top..yummo! (recipe on my blog)

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  34. My kids (now 18 and 20) had me as a stay at home mum until the last 12 months. When I was at home they discribed what I did as "just mum' even though I worked part time in our own business. Now I have a title and work outside the home they are less than impressed and constantly ask when I am having a day off!

    Lynda

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  35. Last week, we went over to a friend»s house and she served us Gnomes in the Snow! A sweet marscarpone concoction with strawberry (gnome hats) peeking above the snowdrift. He he he.

    Now a confession:
    I am entirely miffed at my own attitude to a lack of title. You should here the dithering and blathering prompted by a dinner party question: AND WHAT DO YOU DO?

    I've heard my kids discussing this stuff before. They decided that Mum MADE STUFF. That'll do.

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  36. yes... I am always torn by how to answer this ...I just asked Busy "what does mummy do?" and she said "you do sewing, you make rabbits and you fix sick people at the hostable". Pretty good description really.

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  37. What about Radical Homemaker (after the book) - its a great read and goes a very long way examining the value of people who work within the home.

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  38. according to my M: 'I look after everything'....that is it really - its a far cry from my crazy before life in the corporate world BUT its a lot more peaceful now and the bonus is I also get to follow my passion for writing!!!! I wouldn't trade places for anything!!!

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  39. I was at a corporate function the other day for my mans work. I don't really like these type of gatherings where it's all about "networking". We just went to make an appearance, then scuttle out the door when no one is looking. Anyway I was asked that question, "So, what do you do"?
    Where I replied " A stainless steel hydro technician" (dishwasher), which I received puzzled looks. I then had to add "a housefrau". This person then very quickly changed the subject, looked around quickly for someone else with better credentials to meet. Thankfully I was with two other ladies who were "normal" in the group, who rolled their eyes, laughed and called him a tosser.

    Strawb jam. Then scones, jam & cream, washed down with a nice cuppa.

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  41. And you need more kids! You have to be quick around here or you don't get any. The kids get to the strawberry patch before me. And the raspberries, little monsters strip the canes as soon as my eye is off them

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  42. Defying description is defying convention, so I think it's a good thing! I've always quite liked being a non-descript person. Sometimes I say Project Manager, because, you know, craft projects need management. xx

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  43. I get called "Arny Chrisy". My nephew has a lisp and doesn't quite pronounce his sounds yet. But I like being called that and I am the fun Aunty and he and my niece always run towards me in excitement when they see me cause they know it's time to have fun :)

    And strawberries.... I do this alot with raspberries too, I just make a sauce. Cut up the berries, put them in water with some jelly crystals of the same flavour, and boil them till its thick and gooey and eat it over ice cream!!

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  44. OOOOOH! I love this post! It's a great question. How do you encompass everything a mother does into one title? I guess I'll just go with Mum!

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  45. Facebook had a glitch on Friday, kept asking me to tell it where I worked - so I became the CEO and founder of BS Corp, complete with 6 employees!

    Now my bubba is getting big, and our baby-making days are over, I'm just starting to remember who Cate is - it's been a few years since I've seen her!

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  46. I've had third thoughts..What's wrong with just being Mum it's such a wonderful title to me. And if anyone wants to look down their nose well that's there problem not mine. I'm pretty happy (most of the time) just to be Mum

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  47. First and foremost id like to say that the aforementioned choc pav of dorothybills is to die for and you must check out the recipe on her blog as eating it changed my life.
    Well.... I was in the best company and it was at a fantastic craft day with all my best friends, me working on Mali's quilt, 'feel good' experience all round. Normally I prefer my strawberries straight up with the green bit left on for added fibre (for what its worth).
    I know who I am even without a title.
    Mother is the most endearing of job descriptions I could hope for, x

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  48. Hey there wonderwoman / supermum! Isn't it funny how the kids struggle to describe what you do because you do so many things. I often laugh that my kids would probably describe me as an engineer although that is only something I do for 8 hours a day, 3 days a week!

    And too many strawberries would have to mean jam (or a major strawberry pig-out)!

    PS. Love the new hair.

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  49. I have read a few of the comments and looks like its all said....hold your head and heart high...also
    I want to share with you something a very dear friend shared with me when i too encountered this a little while back...

    Mothering..(and i know you do more) (not in this script)
    is highly enderated
    not recognised
    not understood
    not honoured
    and is of the greatest importance
    Mothers are the Priestesses of the family altar. We have the ability to transform and create....it is in our hands. Lets hold our heads high when questioned and defend our role...xx

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  50. My 4-year-old sometimes wants to be a write-illustrate, sometimes marine biologist and sometimes Mama just like me. So I guess to her for now this word describes everything I do.

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  51. Domestic goddess....thats what I write on forms!!!

    Strawberry jam of course!!!

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  52. Always great thought provoking posts Kate! I don't think I saw blogger or writer on there but you certainly are a natural at those as well. Lou.

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  53. Great post !!!
    I like the "project manager" title idea, and I was thinking the same as Lou, you left off blogger from your list.
    Have a great day, Dee x

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  54. Strawberry daiquiris.

    I like domestic engineer, but I might just start dropping references to a list of my regular accomplishments within eavesdropping distance of the children!

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  55. it's pretty funny to hear what the kids think!

    my 6yr old says in art class at school 'i'm a really good artist bc my mum is an artist'!! funny :)

    then he comes home and says: 'mum, do you work?' to that i say, yes!

    strawberry smoothies are pretty good, and strawberry and vanilla muffins . . .
    xx

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  56. My latest post might give you another idea for your strawbs.

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  57. This is a real conundrum. I've asked this question a thousand times. We do so many things, how do we gather it all up in one name? Terms like "domestic goddess" and "home engineer" demean us all. It's like the old way of calling a female doctor a "lady doctor" instead of just "doctor".

    I'm a post modernist and I prefer to name things what they really are. I had a real problem when I first returned to my home calling myself a housewife, but that is what I am and now I proudly call myself that. I don't care that it's old fashioned, until we work out an accurate name, that's what I'll be.

    2. Jam, then preserve it in a water bath. It will keep for 12 months in the cupboard.

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  58. Mom - That is who I am and what I get called. I don't mind that title because it's the most rewarding and well deserved title there could be. I think it's better than lawyer, doctor, and reporter.

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  59. Gorgeous Kate - have you read Shannon Hayes' 'Radical Homemakers - Reclaiming Domesticity'? It changed my life. Really, for shiz. The girls just need cues as the language is changing!!

    Also: fruit leather. Blend, spread thin on a tray, cook overnight in super low oven. Heaven.

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  60. i'm not sure about what you can call yourself - mum-extraordinaire perhaps - but i do know what to do with excess strawberries.
    strawberry and lime jam.
    there's a great reciepe on taste.com.au, but the website seems to be down right now, so i can't post you the link. its a microwave receipe, but i didn't make it in the microwave. i made it on the stove, like proper jam, and it was so so so good! i know it sounds wierd, but it is really worth a try!

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  61. the site is back up - here's the link:
    http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/11753/microwave+strawberry+lime+jam

    have a lovely Christmas!

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  62. There is no such thing as too many strawberries.

    As for a title, yup...tricky bit that. Although I am partial to the title the small one gave me on my birthday, so I think I'm just gonna go with "The Most Awesome!" from now on.

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  63. mmm, strawberries, just like that or as a jam or with so good icecream.

    now the title dilemma, it's one of those things were I am also at a loss when asked. no idea how to feel, my identity has changed dramatically in the last 5 years that sometimes I don't even know who I am.

    you are so many wonderful things and your family knows it, they just love you & I don't think they think you need a title.

    you are just amazingly lovely and talented and I wish we lived closer so I could come strawberry picking with you & make you a yummy chai that I am sure you'd love.

    many hugs my friend ♥

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  64. Strawberries, chop them up and add some sugar and lemon juice. Let them rest awhile and then eat with gusto. Or chop them up and let them sit in a little sweet fizzy wine, like prosecco. Perfect summer dessert.

    Title..god this has made me think sooo many times since having kids. SAHM sounds so flat, housewife...I don't know doesn't work for me either. Think I will ask The Monkeys tomorrow and see what they think...

    ps. I've been having aussie garlic. It's fresh and it's awesome.

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  65. Mumma - that is what I am called at the moment and loving it. With my eldest ready to imbark on BIG SCHOOL I am going to enjoy the time with Baden. I am under pressure (a little) to return to work - but dont want to do what I did before I had the kids - hoping that maybe I could turn photography into some form of paid work - but there seems to be lots of them out there as well!

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  66. In a similar discussion, I heard the term "chatelaine" used.
    It sounds so cool and mysterious...

    I used to be a Finance Manager, but that sounds so boring... Chatelaine is much more sexy!

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  67. going through your blog and i love it! it may be too late for this now, but when i have too many strawberries i like to macerate them. sounds strange, i know. but its great to have on hand. make jars of, put in the freezer then pull out when ever you know you'll want some. great for waffles and pancakes or ice cream. and oh so easy to make!

    2 pounds of strawberries, hulled and chopped
    1/2 cup of sugar (or to taste)
    the juice from one lemon.
    mix and mash. let stand in a covered container so that the berries release their juices. stir occasionally. best fresh berry sauce ever. you can put less lemon juice. i guess i never really measure.

    enjoy.
    and thanks for all the inspiration.

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Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the way....so I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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