Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Secret to a Clean House

Mother and Daughter with Vacuum, Retro







I have been in many homes and noticed a contrast between lovely surroundings and overwhelming messes.  I realize it is very hard to keep a home clean. I realize we are busy and tired.  Having a house full of family would seem to make it even more difficult. Some seem to take the approach of taking several hours, one day a week, to really clean a piled up mess.  Some, with small children, get a babysitter so they can do the cleaning.  What I would like to share with you today are some "secrets" to having a clean house.

Here is the most important, little known, secret:


We don't clean a house because it is messy. We clean a house so it doesn't become messy.

Here are the tips:

1.  To cut down on the spider population, you must regularly sweep and vacuum baseboards, corners and ceilings. (Daily or weekly)

2.  To keep a clean kitchen, shortly after a meal, do the dishes. Do them right away.

In my childhood days, we would sit at the dinner table after a meal. Our parents would go into the living room for coffee and to watch the news. We children (one or two of us) would then immediately do the dishes, wash the counters and table, and sweep the floor. We did not leave the kitchen, after a meal, until the kitchen was clean.

If you wait to do the dishes, everything gets hardened and it is much more difficult to clean.  It is also overwhelming and unpleasant.

3.  Make the beds each morning.  Fix the sheets, fluff the pillows, and neatly pull the blankets up over the pillows.  Make it look neat and pretty.  This creates a nice atmosphere in the bedrooms.

4.  Do the laundry at regular times. If you have to go to a laundromat, don't leave until your clothes are completely dried, folded, and placed in a basket.  Always fold them and put them away.  Make time to do this. Schedule your day around when the dryer is going to stop. This is an efficient part of keeping a nice home.

5. If there is a spill (of food, drink, or crumbs), clean it up immediately. This is a safety issue. Even restaurants, stores, and businesses have this policy of immediate care.  If left untended, it could damage your property. Or someone could accidentally step in it and track it all over the place. This makes it even more difficult and time consuming to clean.

6.  Pass the time (with small children) by cleaning together.  Most families color, paint, and do crafts with preschoolers.  There is certainly a time for artistic endeavors. But don't ignore the fun and educational opportunities in cleaning, as a game, with little ones.

For example:  If you are spending an hour taking care of a 4 year old, get a basket of laundry and each of you get a clean facecloth. Step by step (with smiles and encouragement) teach the child to fold.  You fold it over once and say, "your turn!"  Then watch as the child copies your action. Repeat until at least a few items are folded.  Next, start picking up books and saying, "let's put these on the shelf, will you help me?" Or, (to put toys away) help sort different items into little bins (perhaps by object or color).

In daily life, involve your children in the chores by happily and willingly cleaning together each day. This is how the work gets done!

The children will love spending this time with you and go along with the cleaning.  In this way, children are learning, and having fun, while important work is being accomplished.

7. Here a little and there a little. That is the secret approach to keeping the home neat.  You pick things up as you go about your day at home.  You neaten a room when you walk into it.  You do not sit and rest when things are in chaos.  You do the work - you do the duty. Then the reward is to sit in the pretty room and take a break.

Now remember the most important secret of all, because it is a pleasant and happy way to clean. And that is to clean as you go along. Clean the house in a way that prevents messes.  Make it a joyful part of your daily routine - to clean and to bless those around you by your cheerful efforts.

Blessings
Mrs. White


From the Archives -

Don't Let this Be True - Only Rich People Have Clean Houses.

A Winter Drive - Time with Mister.

In Case you Wondered - Why The High Cost of Food?




Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."





An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 





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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A Shortage of Babies

A Mother with Her Baby in a Pram and their Nanny in the Garden




When my first baby was born, everyone in the family was so happy.  Company came by to sneak a peek at the sleeping infant.  We even had to make special trips to visit distant relatives so they could see the baby too.  The arrival of a baby was the most exciting thing in the world and such a gift!

I remember how the nursery looked.  I was given many lovely things at the baby shower.  A pretty crib with matching changing table, a high chair, a carriage, and a playpen were all the basics.  The clothes were in abundance, along with baby blankets for swaddling and snuggling.  I received rattles and handmade sweater and bonnet sets. It was so much fun caring for the baby with all the happiness and support.

Each time I announced that I was expecting another child, my mother-in-law would clap her hands with delight.  Her smile lit up the room with her delight!  This happened with each of my five babies (her grandchildren). She was also so happy when any of her children were expecting a treasured baby.

It is important to have this kind of loving support from family and friends.  It makes those difficult days of caring for a sick baby, or not getting enough sleep, so much easier.  While there are certainly rough days of caring for a fussy baby, when we get though those times victoriously, we feel as if we have achieved much! We are doing great work caring for babies and children, and bringing them up in our loving homes!

These days, there seems to be a shortage of babies.  There are not enough welcoming arms to usher them into this world.  A baby and a small child bring such laughter and fun into our lives.  They bring beauty and happiness.  Mother Theresa is quoted as saying:

"How can there be too many children? That is like saying there are too many flowers."

For those who don't have much experience with caring for babies, there are many willing mentors in grandmothers and good friends.  It is worth the effort to find the right people (when family members are not available) to encourage and cheer you on in the great joy of motherhood.

May God rise up many who will lovingly care for an abundance of babies!

Blessings
Mrs. White


From the Archives -

The greatest fun in the world - Playing House in Real Life.

Some Encouragement - Inspired to Keep House.

Happy Days - Cleaning House with Baby.




Mrs. White's nostalgic book for Mothers:

 - "Old Fashioned Motherhood - Baby and Child Care Advice from a New England Housewife."




An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 





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Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Little Back Parlour

http://thelegacyofhome.blogspot.com/2015/07/blogging-without-pictures.html
Visiting by the back fence at Mrs White's Vermont Estate



I have a little room off in the back of the house.  There is a small sofa in there where I sit with an afghan.  This is where I like to take my housekeeping breaks. This room has a bookcase full of good Christian literature, a basket of sermons on C.D., and my old Bible and hymn book.  I keep a small table beside the couch to hold my tea.  There is a window with a white lace curtain which flows in the breeze.  I can hear the rushing sound of the river at the edge of the property. It is a peaceful and quiet retreat.

Sometimes I get overwhelmed by the "excitement" and "rush" of the world around me.  We are shown so many ideas of things to do with our time, or things to buy, or entertainment to take us away from it all, that it can weary the soul.  This is why I like the little back parlour.

I recently came across a couple of charming books by an author I have never heard of before. Her name is Grace Livingston Hill.

The first book I read was published in 1929, "The Prodigal Girl."  It was about a father who came home from work one day realizing that his children were out of control.  They were selfish, rebellious, and ungrateful.  The neighborhood youth were running wild, and the  schools were teaching things that were breaking up families.  The parents took their children out of the schools, packed up the family and went to stay in the old home place in rural Vermont.  It was lovely to see them cope without the luxuries of "city life."  But the best part of the story was the theme of godliness and redemption that came so sweetly through.

The second book I read was even better. It is called "All Through the Night," about how the Lord is with us through dark times (the night) and joy comes in the morning.  The main character was a godly young woman who has to welcome contrary relatives into her home.  They are unbearably rude and difficult to live with.  She does an amazing job as their hostess, knowing that her aim in life is not just her own comfort and happiness, but the leading of others to the Lord.  Her patience, kindness and long-suffering was an incredible lesson. The story was very peaceful, despite all the trouble the relatives caused. It was a delight to read.

These types of books are so hard to find. But I love to read old books like this, which have a beautiful Christian message.  This is what I do in the little back parlour. Then I am ready to get back up and minister to my own family.

Blessings
Mrs. White

From the Archives -

A wonderful goal - To Earn and Not to Spend.

Happy days - Cooking for Mister.

Some Encouragement - Ideas for a Happy Home.




Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."




An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 





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Sunday, August 9, 2015

An Afternoon Drive in the Vermont Countryside

http://thelegacyofhome.blogspot.com/2015/07/blogging-without-pictures.html
Visiting by the back fence at Mrs White's Vermont Estate



Early this morning, I heard the church bells ring in our village.  I was sitting in the back parlour with my blanket, tea, and a book.  I thought of my neighbors on their way to our little church and smiled.  If I had the strength and the energy, I would have gone to the service as well.

I spent most of the day resting.  I managed to do some kitchen work and a little reading.  Mister and I were too tired to make our supper so I asked if he wanted to take a drive to the market.  Our boys had already gone to work for the night.  There was nobody home to help us.   A peaceful drive in the country would be just the thing to cheer us.

Even though it is "summer," there is a chill here in the rural mountains of Vermont. I often take a little blanket with me for our car trips.  It always makes Mister smile. He does not understand some of my peculiar ways. (For instance, he has never heard of washing a dustpan after use, but it is one of the essentials in my housekeeping. - gentle smiles.)

It is lovely to sit in the passenger seat while Mister drives because I can look around at the scenic mountain views as we go along into the next town.  There was not much traffic today.  The stores were fairly quiet. 

I bought some fresh spinach, a watermelon, and a package of miniature cookies.  One of the grandchildren should be here tomorrow and I want to make sure she has some special treats. Sometimes I make her lunch, putting it in a brown lunch bag just for fun.  I also like to give her a little cup of fresh fruit.

After the market, we went to a fast food restaurant to get Mister a hamburger from the drive through window.  This is something we rarely ever do. I wanted him to have a special treat to cheer him during this time of his physical suffering and confinement.  He tries to order something for me, even though I do not eat much and would rather just have a salad at home.  So to make him happy, I let him buy me a small French fry.

The drive home was quiet and pleasant.  Storm clouds were darkening in the sky.  Rain started to fall.  The setting sun shone a beautiful glow onto the bright green grass and through the pretty trees.  As we drove into our driveway, we were happy to be home.  Mister and I are very patient during our trial and are grateful for our little drives in the countryside. 

Blessings
Mrs. White

From the Archives -

A quick clean of the dustpan in - Happy Homemaking.

Our current trial - Mister is Not able to Work.

Remembering Happy Childhood Days - When Television was Special.




Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."




An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 





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Saturday, August 1, 2015

Puttering Around the Estate

http://thelegacyofhome.blogspot.com/2015/07/blogging-without-pictures.html
Visiting by the back fence at Mrs White's Vermont Estate



I am called away from home many times during the week.  There are appointments to keep and essential visits to make.  I have also been industrious in the kitchen, baking muffins most mornings.  Since blueberries are in season, it doesn't cost much to make fresh blueberry muffins. I have also made banana muffins and chocolate chip.  This is a nice, filling breakfast food to delight the family.

The other afternoon, my oldest grandchild (almost 3) came into the kitchen asking for cookies.  I told him "there are no cookies here."  But I gave him a cup of juice and a portion of a muffin.  He smiled and was content.  I remembered when he was just a 9 month old baby. I would take him for walks in my gardens and show him the flowers and the strawberry patch. I would tell him all about the land. He would look at me content, and he would sigh and then hug me.  This was the same happiness he showed when I gave him the refreshments the other day. So very precious.

Since Mister is recovering from his accident, I am by his side almost always.  But it happened that I was needed elsewhere. There was a crisis and I had to go out.   Mister wanted me to go help another family and said it was good.  Then I thanked him for allowing me to help someone else, because I knew it was a great sacrifice for him to be without me during his difficult time. (Our teenage son would remain at home with him.)

Soon the crisis was over and I was home.  Mister and I had appointments the next morning and there was a visit to make.  By the time we came home I was shaky and worn out.  I rested for a little while and then recovered my strength. There was sweet kitchen work to do in my purple kitchen with the old southern gospel playing on the radio.  The dishes seemed to wash themselves and I happily worked.

Then it was time for a walk around the grounds. I picked fresh and colorful wildflowers for a little white vase on the kitchen window-sill.  I checked my strawberry patch, and looked at the rushing river at the back border of the Estate.

The day seemed to pass so quickly, as many days do when we are in our older years. I walked through many of the rooms in the house until I settled myself in the little back parlour to read "Great Expectations." I was having such fun resting with this great work of literature that when my teenage son entered for a visit, I had to explain portions to him, and suffered him to listen to me read several pages of this 1800's novel.  We had a lovely time, but soon it was back to domestic duty and checking on Mister.

Many days will come when I will be called away from the Estate to help others.  When I return home, I will always delight in the little home tasks as I putter around the Estate.

Blessings
Mrs. White


From the Archives -

Our current trial - Mister is Not able to Work.

Even though I am back online, and blogging again,  I am still writing these - Letters from the Estate by Mail. 

This is an excellent book - Corrie ten Boom, "In My Father's House."




Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."




An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 





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