Little Suzie Homesteader
Don't let the name of this website fool you. It's a shorthand way of describing the easiest way of living with chemical sensitivity. It just so happens that all the things one does in homesteading are things that help with chemical load. The "Suzie" came from a line of housekeeping toys all the little girls in my age group wanted called Suzy Homemaker. There were ovens, vacuum cleaners, blenders, even a juicer. Back then, they were really cool toys. Now they have those “toys” in preschools, but not nearly as colorful and the teachers call it “dramatic play” in the “housekeeping” center. Back then, the toys were expensive and ultimately the adults decided they were unnecessary, and finally they were declared sexist. Now, the school “equipment” is still expensive; however, educators no longer think learning how to take care of yourself is unnecessary for a 4-year old. Unfortunately, most of the tall people I know still find those toys sexist outside of the classroom, and that’s o.k. It’s hard to explain that homesteading is like homemaking on steroids and boys need to know these things as well as girls and men really need to pick up their share of the load, especially the tasks that don't require heavy machinery or loud, obnoxious motors. Sure, you can think of homesteading as dramatic play, as not real work, even question whether it is sexist or not. I can accept that. I’ve wondered those things myself. But that's because the truth of homesteading is it is a lot of fun. There are few things that feel as real as growing and/or preserving your food and seeing it stack up in the pantry. There are few things you can do that are as challenging mentally and physically as figuring out where the chemicals are in your life and how to get them out. Replacing cleansers, clothes, and even carpeting can get pretty dramatic unless you go about it in a playful way. What isn’t true is that it is: 1. Simple, 2. Charming, or 3. Cheap. But then, neither was Suzy Homemaker so I guess we have a lot in common even after all these years.