American Housewife and America


I thought I was going to stay in one place for awhile but it turns out I am flying to the state of Michigan on Friday. My mother is 91 years of age and quite frail and I decided we needed to visit again before it is too late. I will be in northern Michigan for one week. My old school friends from the Class of 68 are going to organise a lunch while I am there too in central Michigan (Grand Ledge) where I grew up. My father is buried there and I will take some flowers to the cemetery for Memorial Day. I have not seen the classmates outside of the Class of 68 Facebook page for 49 years. It should be a lot of fun.

After a week in Michigan I will be flying back to San Francisco to visit my sister for two weeks. She lives just north of there. I am also going to have a coffee with blogger, ‘James Reads Books’ as he lives in the area so that will be fun. We have followed each other for a few years and he is now collecting vintage Penguin science fiction books.

I am taking Penguin with me as Mr. Penguin will be taking care of our five pets at home for the three weeks I am gone.

I need to be back in Tasmania by the 11th June as I am going to a theatre presentation of Dracula on the 15th. I should be over my jet lag by then.


I am currently reading the book American Housewife by Helen Ellis. There has been a lot going on and it is a book I can actually concentrate on. It is a series of short stories and very light hearted.

Good Reads states:  

A sharp, funny, delightfully unhinged collection of stories set in the dark world of domesticity, American Housewife features murderous ladies who lunch, celebrity treasure hunters, and the best bra fitter south of the Mason Dixon line.

Meet the women of American Housewife: they wear lipstick, pearls, and sunscreen, even when it’s cloudy. They casserole. They pinwheel. They pump the salad spinner like it’s a CPR dummy. And then they kill a party crasher, carefully stepping around the body to pull cookies out of the oven. These twelve irresistible stories take us from a haunted prewar Manhattan apartment building to the set of a rigged reality television show, from the unique initiation ritual of a book club to the getaway car of a pageant princess on the lam, from the gallery opening of a tinfoil artist to the fitting room of a legendary lingerie shop. Vicious, fresh, and nutty as a poisoned Goo Goo Cluster, American Housewife is an uproarious, pointed commentary on womanhood. 

The writing moves along quite quickly, there are some funny lines and it is good to pick up during the day while you are trying to do other things and needn’t worry about losing your place. I am enjoying it. If you want to read something more serious where you think about issues,  then this is not the book for you. However if you are a bit headachey or have something stressful going on, are tired or just tired of deep and meaningful books then this one is a good one.  I wouldn’t say it is uproariously funny. I think Bill Bryson is uproariously funny. Though I laugh in places. It isn’t always too far from the truth of the life of the housewives of the 50’s and into the 60’s. I really don’t think I could have endured that lifestyle and we are so lucky we have so many more choices now.

Tomorrow I will be sorting out the few clothes I need to take and of course my camera gear which takes up more room than clothes, my tablet, laptop etc. Penguin doesn’t travel with much and I am pleased to say this is the 4th continent he is goinSnip20161117_4g to visit in his life. Pictures will go up on Instagram (follow Travellin Penguin) and I will keep up reading notes, photography, funny travel tales (if there are any) and any surprises that occur. My sister and I hope to visit a few places around California or might go on a road trip for a few days. I think America is the best place in the world for a road trip.

Hope you’re all doing well and the people in the northern hemisphere are enjoying nicer weather and the southern hemisphere people are staying warm and getting used to shorter days.

13 thoughts on “American Housewife and America

  1. Hmm, best place or second best place (after Australia) for a road trip? Either way, I agree that it’s a wonderful place for road tripping. We’ve done so many road trips in the US and those holidays are ones I remember again and again and again. I’ve been checking Instagram regularly over the last week but somehow haven’t seen any of your US posts until today. I didn’t realise how distracted I’ve been (by my own parents – Dad 97 was last Sunday and Mum will be 88 on, yes, July 4!). Anyhow, hope you are having a good time. And hope your visit with your Mum went really well. Must be tough being so far away.

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  2. Hope the trip is a good one… My brother has a houseboat in Sausalito, but I think he’s in Paris at the moment… I trust Penguin will handle the traffic down ther okay: it can be challenging…


      1. My sister lived in Novato for many years ! Enjoy your visit. If it’s still open, try the beer at Moylans. Really good !

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  3. Sounds like a really interesting trip. Imagine to meet your class after so many years. You must have a lot of things to talk about. I presume you don’t meet your family that often so another treat. Have a great time. I am sure Penguin will also enjoy the trip. Wow, he has travelled more than most!

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    1. Family trips are bittersweet. Penguin is doing well hitting his 4th continent. Quite funny. I just hope I will recognise classmates as several are now bald , haha.


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