What Would Martha Do?


People ask me about Martha.

(Reminder: My name is not actually Martha. It’s Lori. Or, Gorgeous-Sweetiepie, if you’re feeling affectionate.)

I don’t know Martha, I’ve never met her or been to a taping of a show. This is not a Martha Sanctioned Blog.

(But Martha Staffers are welcome to call me. Let’s do lunch!)

I do not have a farmhouse, or anything farmlike. I do not raise chickens, and I have exactly one rosebush.

(Despite their  high-maintenance-ness, I do not think the cats actually count as livestock.)

I have a 1900 square foot, very typical suburban house. It has no architectural features, no glass block windows, no sunroom, no  mudroom.

(That’s not to say that it doesn’t have plenty of mud.)

My kitchen is the size of potholder, I have enough counter space to house one toaster and a salt shaker.

(Who needs pepper?)

My home-grown efforts consist of a leggy basil and an upside down tomato plant.

(And one murdered cilantro, but the authorities haven’t been able to prove anything yet.)

I have a job, a business, three kids, two cats, a blog, a year-long fundraiser, a husband and no staff.

(Having a housekeeper come once does not a staff make. She didn’t even have a name-tag.)

So people ask me, given all that, why pursue the Martha Standard? Am I in need of more medication? Do I have an inferiority complex that needs feeding? I’m I simply a masochist?

I don’t have the necessary letters after my name to answer those questions in a way that isn’t totally made up, so we’ll go with “No,” cause it’s easier and you have other blogs to read.

Here’s my answer: everyone has something that makes them feel really good. For some people it’s a new pair of shoes, or something lovely for their hair. For some people it’s a new pot of flowers, and for some it’s the smell of a new book. New shoes are not a new wardrobe, a floral hair-clip is not a $200 cut and color. New flowers are not re-landscaping and the new book is not actually a trip to an exotic locale.

But a taste of those things is all we need.

We smile, we feel special, or just a wee bit indulged.

That’s what Martha is for me.

I do not need to have the giant farmhouse, or the five-acre garden. I do not host sit-down dinners for 20 (where would I put them?) or sew my own slippers.

But a new, delicious recipe makes me happy. A crafty project that I can make someone for Christmas make me feel talented. Photos of beautiful gardens and elegant interiors gives me ideas for the color on the wall or a way to arrange the patio.

Cooking, crafting or decorating because I’m inspired by something that Martha does gives me that same taste of a life more grand that other people get by buying new clothes. I’m not a clothes person. I’m a “Oh that’s an AWESOME vase for the fireplace!” person.

And the fact that Martha gave me the idea for a really funny blog? Cake. Icing. You do the math.



Filed under Humor

39 Responses to What Would Martha Do?

  1. Love it!

    (I believe we all have a tiny, itty, bitty piece of Martha dying to get out!)



  2. KLZ

    Hang on.

    I’m not sure you can be my adopted daughter anymore.

    A new book is not the same as a trip to an exotic locale? I think you are mistaken.

  3. Aaaaah, so it’s all starting to make sense to me now.

    I still want the barn and the chickens and well penned goats. I’ll give you all the rose bushes and vases. What say you? (Though we may have to split the milkglass collection.)

  4. A mudroom makes one Martha-like? Holy Cow, I’m Martha-Like.

    Oh wait, you mean an actual room where one removes one’s shoes, not a room simply filled with mud? Drat, I was so close.

    On the bright(er) side I will have a glass block window, once we renovate our bedroom and bathroom, which has now been moved down the renovation list. 🙁

  5. This is such a very sweet, encouraging post.

    Sigh. It is easy to get all caught up in the “everyone has it together but me” mode.

    Thanks for the kindness…I will sit and think up something I can MarthaPoint on.


    • Martha is far more versatile than people think.

      For instance, my Martha might be your..oh, I dunno…chocolate truffles!


      And you know what would make it even better? Sending me some!!


  6. I also have murdered several cilantro plants…why can I not get those things to grow??

    I love this post – it’s such a good reminder about what is and isn’t important.

  7. Hmmm…what is Mother Hen’s “Martha?” So glad you almost asked!
    Mother Hen loves the look of an empty page/screen, ready for whenever inspiration strikes.
    She loves photos of her wee chickets when they were actually wee.
    A comfy sweater on a cold day, a hot drink to warm her wings, and “House” on her TV is divine.
    Oh, and jigsaw puzzles…jigsaw puzzles and word games and a brand new newspaper or magazine are lovely occupations too!
    Cleaning, cooking, bleah! As for decorating, well Mother figures there is only so much you can do with a coop.
    Leisurely yours,
    Mother Hen

  8. Friends and fellow Cilantro killers- it’s not us, it’s them. Cilantro grows stupid fast, sets seed and dies. Eat it while you can or keep replanting.
    Also a mudroom is my dream. I mean I really dream about it. I have plans and everything. Some days I really think it’s there.

    • HA!

      I feel SOOO vindicated! I have killed so many cilantro plants!

      I was sure it was me!

      But I use so much of it…it would be so handy to grow on my own.

  9. liz

    I don’t care on what levels of All Things Martha you actually connect with her on, just as long as you don’t take inspiration from the Kardashians or Justin Bieber or someone.

    • Ugh.

      I don’t even know what the Kardashians are famous for.

      Seriously. What are they famous for?

      And fortunately my teenage daughter wants nothing to do with Justin Bieber.

  10. I second the motion! It’s so true. We all need a taste of something that makes us happy. For me it comes in books, piano music and my blog. I do not pursue the Martha standard, but I have a grand time watching those that do!

  11. You may not be “the” Martha, sweetie-pie, but you are MY Martha. I have no chickens, all-white walls, and no vases I made from tulle netting and duct tape. But when I bring a little treasure home and spend time moving it around from here to there, I get a taste of Martha.

    Like when I visit your blog.

    And with the rain coming, I will once again have mud in my living room, which now you are saying may qualify as an actual mudroom. Thank you.

  12. I’m with ya. It’s like my little department store makeup. Sometimes it’s just a taste of something that you need…not the whole shebang.

  13. I feel like I’ve been bamboozled. This whole time I thought I was visiting Martha and earning points for my celery and chickens.


  14. Alright, Gorgeous-Sweetypie:

    loved it. I am so with you. You KNOW I am the “ooh love the vase above the fireplace” kind a gal.

  15. For some weird reason, I’ve been thinking about Martha a lot lately, and how – despite all she’s “done” – women still absolutely adore her and what she stands for.

    That’s the kind of person we should all strive to be. The kind that goes to prison and comes out on top.

    Or, you know, just makes really cute things for the kitchen table.

    In all seriousness, she’s a great inspiration and role model. She actually DOES stuff (stuff that doesn’t involve miniature dogs and crotch shots), unlike other celebs.

    Yes. Yes, you are in good company with the inspirational role models.

    • I honestly cannot say where my decorating addiction came from.

      But, well, it’s there. It means I have a lovely home to live in, and…I don’t, you know, knock over liquor stores or anything to support the habit.

      And you know, home-made marshmallows! How awesome is that!

  16. I’m sorry, what? Shoes are not a new wardrobe? Have you SEEN my wardrobe? What exactly constitutes a wardrobe, anyway?

    You know what makes me happy? MY NEW PAINT! Omg I want you to come see it. You would be so happy too! Viva the color!

  17. Well said! I would like to be a world traveler, but alas, I have two small children and no sugar daddy. My visits to Maui, Ireland and Hong Kong are distant memories, only provable though the photo albums. So for now, driving to my sister’s house 4 hours away in St. Louis is my taste of travel from time to time. Does it make me Anthony Bourdain? No. But it does ease my antsy pants desire to get out of town for a different view.

    • Yes, exactly! You totally get me! (I love when that happens.)

      And I’m an avid reader, I love the written word in totally inappropriate ways.

      But the warm-glowy-happy feeling, for me, comes from doing something fun in/for/to my house.

      Like, you know, slow cooked pork with roasted yellow potatoes, served on plates that are resting on home-made placemats.

      This is my happy place. 🙂

  18. It’s mind boggling.

    How can I love you so much when we’re just SO very different?…

    A new, delicious SPANIARD makes me happy. A crafty project which leads to gifts of jewelry or trips abroad makes me feel talented. Photos of Javier Bardem and elegant footwear give me ideas for the what I will do with my next big account.

    I’m not a Martha person, Miss Lori. I’m a “Oh that’s an AWESOME set of ass cheeks/shoulders/smouldering dark eyes!” person.

    And yet, I can’t keep myself away from you and your points.

    – B x

    • Umm…I’m good with those things that bring you to your happy place.

      Oh yes I am.

      I just don’t get to HAVE them any more.

      So, I cook and decorate instead.

      And I don’t WANT you to stay away.

      I’m addictive that way.

      And delicious.

      Ask anyone.

  19. I wondered what your twitter name(and blog name, but I see you more on twitter) came from!

    • I made a wisecrack once about people who had names in their twitter handles that were different from their names and how confusing it was.

      Then I went…ummm…hey…wait a second…

      There’s a story about how the whole actual “points” thing came along.

      I suppose I should share it some day!

  20. Get out of my head!


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