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Profiles & Talking Points

The Evolution of a Domestic Engineer

Posted by Lane on June 14, 2011 at 7:56 PM

by Jamie Anne Grimes


Lane has asked me to take a few large steps out of my comfort zone and tell you more about little, old me. I love talking about gardens, saving money on groceries and making wonderful food, but I tend to clam up when it comes time to talk about myself. Where to begin?

My name is Jamie, I answer to Mom, honey also. I recently turned 40. I've been happily married to my sweet husband for over 14 years. We have two wonderful kids, aged 13 and 11. I'm a stay at home parent and domestic engineer. I've been a housewife since before my 13 year old was born. I never had huge career goals, I never wanted to be the boss, being a "bad ass" business woman never appealed to me.

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a wife and mother. The kind of mother who was home when her kids got home from school, the kind of mom that made fresh cookies and made the beds....the kind of mother who was able to let her kids......be kids. I came from a home touched by divorce. My mother had to work, I was a latch key kid, I spent a lot of time looking after my younger brother. I was not much of a kid by the time I was 13, I was a little adult. A little adult with adult demands and a child's temper. I'm sure I was a peach to live with.

Lane and Jamie at 13.  Ah, the 80s.

And at 16...And at 39

The main point of my teenaged angst was that I wanted to do it differently. I wanted to be at home. My ideals lined up with the 1950's more than the late 1980's- early 1990's when I was a teen/young adult.

Housewives and stay at home parents are more common today in 2011 than they were in 1997 when I got married. It was shocking to my family that I wanted to stay home, I'm not sure they understood. I was raised by a strong, independent Mother and I also had a strong, independent step-Mother. I wanted to be a strong, independent domestic engineer...it confused them. My domestic skills have evolved over the years.

I'm embarrassed to say that when I was 21 I had no idea how to cook. I tried to make French toast, put the egg in the pan and covered it with bread and milk. I'm pretty sure my friend peed herself rolling on the floor laughing at me. I'm not kidding. I was clueless. The only thing I knew how to make was reservations. I was awesome at ordering things through the drive thru also. ;) After the French toast experience, I made myself a promise that I was going to learn how to cook. It's been an interesting ride. I've had many successes and many FAILS.

By the time I was 24, I felt brave (or crazy) enough to host a Thanksgiving party for my friends and then boyfriend (later husband) Wes. It went pretty well, but I'm sure the large quantities of wine we ingested helped a lot. Wes and I married in 1997 and my sweet husband has at least "tried" to eat everything I've subjected him to. Venison steaks, sta-goo (too much liquid in my stuffing) and funky pumpkin pies....he tried them all.

Now I make homemade oatmeal bread, granola, and a rocking slow cooker lasagna. I've come a long way, baby. I'm not saying I'm perfect, because I'm far from it. A basket full of clean clothing, that need to be put away, is eyeballing me as I write this. My beds are not always made, my floors get dusty and sometimes I lose my temper with my kids. I'm a work in progress, but aren't we all?

My blog, a Dash of Domestic follows my domestic adventures, successes and failures. I'm not too proud to post my FAILS. I truly believe that anyone, even those who feel they can burn water, can learn some level of cooking skills. I do my best to write easy to follow recipes with lots of pretty pictures. Thanks for reading!

Categories: Dash of Domestic

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Reply Kim
8:33 PM on June 14, 2011 
Enjoyed it Jamie, and I think it's great to let others know that you were not always the domestic goddess in the kitchen that you appear to be now!! Not everyone understands that cooking is a learned skill :)!
Reply JamieAnne
11:20 PM on June 14, 2011 
Kim says...
Enjoyed it Jamie, and I think it's great to let others know that you were not always the domestic goddess in the kitchen that you appear to be now!! Not everyone understands that cooking is a learned skill :)!

Thanks Kim! I agree with you cooking is a learned skill. My daughter was SHOCKED when I read her the part about the french toast. She's 11 and I have already taught her how to make it. :)