Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Echoes of old Gospel Music

Mrs. White's Parlour Table

Last night, after I cleaned the kitchen, I sat by the fire and did some mending.  In the background I could hear the sounds of old gospel quartets singing "They'll be no disappointments" [in Heaven], "Keep Smiling," "I've Got a Mansion," and "Brother will you meet me there?"  This was coming from my kitchen radio.

Listening to these beautiful old songs from old time singers as I worked with my sewing needle gave me a sense of great peace and joy.

Sometimes I forget how wonderful it is to sing and to hear hymns. Sometimes I forget the words to old cherished songs from my hymnbook. I am grateful for CDs of old music and a CD player to hear them.

Still, nothing is better than a church congregation holding the old hymn books and singing together songs like, "Amazing Grace," and "Rock of Ages."

Bringing the culture of holiness, into one's home and daily life is a privilege.  It is a blessing.

My children and grandchildren are familiar with the old songs as I have them playing while I cook and bake in the kitchen. The echoes of old gospel music plays quietly in the background as we visit at the table over coloring books or a game of checkers.  The music is in my car as I go out on errands.

And when the house and my life are quiet. . . . sometimes, I still hear the memory of some precious song in my mind and heart. And it is the most sweetest, comforting echo of all.

Mrs. White

From the Archives - 

 Remembering my Father - Holiness from the Garage.

My Heritage - The Blessing of Being a Half- Southern Mama.

Hard Times - Living in Reduced Circumstances.

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. 


Sunday, January 31, 2016

For the Love of Books and Book Publishing

Photo from the book, "Old English Country Cottages"  1906

During my childhood, my father worked as a machine mechanic in a printing shop. He would often bring home discards or irregular "books." These were simply blank pages with a comb binding.  We used them as sketch pads. Most likely they were "test runs" to make sure the machines were working properly.

We had bookcases in most of the rooms in our Massachusetts home. Dad also had a workshop in his garage with homemade bookcases to hold his manuals and maintenance books.  He built and repaired many things in his shop.  Once he made me a beautiful bookcase and painted it pink.  It made my bedroom look lovely!

Each of we children had many books of our own, including a complete set of "Little House on the Prairie" books. In the downstairs den, there were built- in bookcases made by my grandfather. These held a complete set of Funk and Wagnalls encyclopedias from the 1930's.

Mother had homemade recipe books from her own Mother. These were comb-bound or stapled to hold them together.   Elementary schools often held fundraisers by collecting recipes from the children's mothers and compiling them into pretty booklets.

I absolutely love books and have several hundred in my own family library here at the Estate. I am often adding new titles or old vintage books to the collection whenever I find something special.  These are sometimes discards, gifts, or cost a few dollars.  Last year, I found a few lovely books in a discard box at our hospital gift shop. 

Many have book ideas and want to have their books published. I hope I can give you some ideas that may help.

There are three types of publishing:

1.  Royalty Publishing -

This is a where a large company gives you a publishing contract and does all the publishing at no cost to you.  When sales come in, you are given an agreed upon royalty payment.

Often the author does book tours and signings.  These writers may also be called upon to be speakers at churches and conferences.

One example (of non-fiction) is Margaret Jensen, the author of "First We Have Coffee."  She wrote several beautiful books which were published by the likes of Harvest House.

Fiction author, Beverly Lewis is another example. She is well known for her Amish stories. 

You can find a listing of royalty publishers in the annual book, "Christian Writer's Market."

2. Self  - Publishing -

This is where the author pays all costs involved in the printing of books.

An example of this type of publishing is "The Learning Parent" company founded by Rick and Marilyn Boyer. They set up a company name and published their own books. They are much loved in the homeschool industry and have a large, beautiful family. Be sure to visit their site, "Character Concepts."

When you do your own publishing, you need to find a printer.  Today, we can use "desktop publishing" to our advantage using "Word Document" and different types of software to create our own books and then send them to a printer for publishing.  (You can find a printer online or in your local phone book.)

You would first need to do all the technical work yourself - including editing, proofreading, etc. There are many freelance workers out there who would be happy to help you for an hourly rate. 

You could also work with "vanity" presses for a fee to help with every stage of editing, proofreading, design, printing, and marketing.  A list of these types of publishers can also be found in "Christian Writer's Market."

There are also some print-on-demand publishers including Createspace which is associated with Amazon.

3. Homemade -

If you are looking to publish a small number of books, you might like the homemade option.

- Sewing -

I have seen printed pages carefully sewn together with thread to make a lovely creation.

- Comb binding-

There are small comb binding machines you can purchase from office supply stores. These are easy to use and are perfect for things like cookbooks and children's schoolwork.

- Stapled -

You need publisher software and a duplexer printer (prints on both sides).  This simple type of book can be stapled together in the center (to look like a regular size book) by using what is called a "long reach stapler."

These make charming homemaking books, especially when you use card stock in pink or lavender paper for the cover.

 They are also good for homemade coloring books and comic books for children to write and draw in their own "books." These types of books require nothing but blank paper and a stapler!

In whatever method you choose, there will be plenty of research and trial-and-error. We learn best by trying and learning from our own mistakes. Writing and publishing is very hard work! It can often be a labor of love with little reward.

John Wesley had his sermons and books published on a regular basis. He hired a printer to do this work for him.  In his journal, dated September 1756, he says, "It is now about eighteen years since I began writing and printing books; and how much in that time have I gained by printing?  Why, on summing up my accounts, I found that on March 1, 1756, I had gained by printing and preaching together, a debt of twelve hundred and thirty-six pounds."

- From "The Works of John Wesley, volumes 1 - 2," page 385.

  In later years, he made profits from his sales and had much money to give to charity. His books were later picked up by traditional publishers and are still in print today!

For busy authors in these modern days, who self publish, They can make a living by writing, publishing, and speaking. Hal and Melanie Young are a good example of this, with their ministry work and printing company, Great Waters Press. They are most known for their book and blog, "Raising Real Men."

There is also a gentleness to writing and publishing books. I have recently discovered an old fiction author, Grace Livingston Hill, who wrote from her home.  I also read her biography by one of her grandchildren. Her books are Christian treasures and so inspiring.

I also know of a housewife who has a charming room just for her writing, artwork, and book printing projects.  She sells vintage books from a small online shop.  She shared pictures of the beautiful room she works in, complete with fireplace, lamps, antique furniture acquired from her own family, and 19th century book presses!  Her shop is endearing!  You can visit her and learn more about her shop by going to "Lanier's books" to see her post, "A Tour of the Shop.

If you have an interest in purchasing books or of writing and publishing your own, I hope I have given you some ideas and a good start for your own research.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Homemade and Thrifty - Basic Cookery.

Great Faith and Blessings! - All of God's Children Have Shoes.

We need more of this - Homemaking Propaganda.

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. 


Thursday, January 28, 2016

Domestic Life

Mrs. White's sewing project at the dining room table.

I have 2 yards of pretty cotton fabric. I am using it to make 2 dozen cloth napkins.  I have a pattern for the napkins, but wanted mine smaller than the instructions called for.  I folded the pattern piece over and just cut to the size I wanted.  I use my kitchen table when I do my sewing projects.  Then I take the cut pieces and my sewing basket and hand sew when I have time.  So far, I am almost finished hemming the sides of 4 of the napkins. It has taken me about a week now. This is because I do it as if it were an old fashioned work basket from days gone by.

Homemakers used to have mending, knitting, and sewing projects in a work basket. They could take this with them wherever they went, or just have it near their favorite chair near the fireplace.  They would sew during their leisure hours, or when visiting with guests and family in the parlour.  I am sewing without pressure and without rushing. 

My sewing basket was given to me when I was a teenager by an Aunt.  I have carried it with me through many homes, many moves, and many states during my lifetime.  It is an essential part of my housekeeping.

I also have an old yardstick which was found in our 1850's house.  (It was in the sewing room, which we later converted to my dressing room.)   I am guessing it is from the 1940's or 1950's.  It is very lightweight and has an advertisement on it.  It is for a Real Estate company here in Vermont. This was a brilliant tactic to keep their company in the eyes of homemakers.  Most women were sewing clothes, curtains, tea towels, and tailoring hand - me down clothing to fit their children. That yardstick was in constant use!  The ladies would see that company name several times a week.  These days, companies give calendars and refrigerator magnets.  But I love to see the ad on my yardstick!  It makes me think of all the homemakers before me who were capable with their household sewing projects.

I have been so busy around the house doing projects. I have staircases to sweep, baking to do, and, clothes to organize.  Today, I had a visit from some of my grandchildren.  They arrived at the lunch hour and caught me by surprise. I was grateful for a steady supply of wheat bread, peanut butter and jelly, and fresh apples with cinnamon. I also keep apple juice and juice boxes on hand for such visits.  I have lots of little books I read to the babies while they eat their lunch.

Late last month, I bought a few toys which were on clearance. I keep them here for the grandchildren to play with.  When my oldest grandchild arrived (he is 3) I brought out an imitation etch-a-sketch for him. It cost me 75 cents and he was greatly amused with it!

I keep two little bowls full of crayons on my sideboard table near the kitchen. There is also a stack of scrap paper.  My granddaughter (21 months) enjoyed coloring in the highchair.

Soon we went downstairs to play in "grandmother's nursery."  This is a charming playroom full of toys for the babies.  There is also a cozy love seat for me to sit and rest while the children play.  I brought out a toy tea set which delighted the babies.  There is a set of four cups, spoons, and plates along with sugar bowl and teapot.  We have two toy kitchens in the room so there is much to do and enjoy.

When the grandbabies went home, the house got very quiet and I went back to my work.  I had supper to make and napkins to hem.  I will rest in the little back parlour and read for awhile and drink some tea.

Tomorrow there are errands to do with Mister.  I will bring a blanket and sit in the passenger seat while he does the driving.  It is snowy and cold here in Vermont and it is so nice to bring a blanket for comfort and warmth. Then we will head back home to our cozy fire and enjoy our domestic life.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Peacefully at Home - Simplicity of Old Fashioned Homemaking.

What Would Happen - If I Visit You at the Dinner Hour.

Remembering Old Time Thrift - Building our Homes with Little Money.

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. 


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Back to Blogging Again

Flowers in Mrs. White's Kitchen

Today marks two months since I last visited here. I had hoped to return to blogging early this year.  We have had all kinds of trials since last November, but we are okay.  Health crises and urgent traveling have made it difficult for me to write here.   Things are getting better.  Early this year, our sixth grandchild was born!  We are so excited.  We feel very blessed.

It is very cold here and there is so much to do.  Last week, I had been traveling back from the city (a 2 hour drive) and I had to do the grocery shopping when I got home.  I knew I would have to carry heavy packages into the house. The wind was whipping cold freezing air, making the outdoors very difficult to endure.  It is in these moments when we have to tell ourselves, "toughen up!"  We have to "keep moving" and get the work done!  Once all has been accomplished, it is so wonderful to sit in a cozy house near the fireplace!

Tonight I made 2 batches of homemade pizza. Some I froze for later, the rest will feed the family.   I cleaned up all the mess and am looking forward to a good night's sleep.

Next week, I plan to get back to a regular routine of blogging.  I will try to write once a week.  Thank you for your patience, as I have been gone many weeks.  I hope all is well in your homes.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

In Case You Wondered - The Secret to a Clean House.

A Special Lesson - To Earn and Not to Spend. 

A blessing to be The Lord's Spoiled Children - All of God's Children Have Shoes.

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. 


Saturday, November 21, 2015

A Break from Blogging

Country Church

Dear Readers,

I wanted to just share a quick note to let you know that I am not going to be writing here for some time. I hope to be back in late December or early next year.  There are some health difficulties in my family and I am needed.  I need to stop blogging for a time to avoid any pressure or extra work that it may cause. Writing is hard work!  (gentle smiles)  So a rest is in order while my family needs extra care for the next month or two.

I also wanted to tell you that I just published a new book, "Mother's Hour."  

It is just a simple, humble book:

"Mother's Hour

Encouragement from Home for The Christian Housewife

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • ISBN-10: 0692579974
  • ISBN-13: 978-0692579978
  • 44 Short Chapters - Half from recent posts on this blog, and the other half from my private monthly newsletter that goes out by regular mail, "Letters from the Estate."

Available at Amazon.


Description from the Back Cover:

"There used to be radio programs called, “Gospel Hour” and “The Hymn – Singing Hour” which were a great blessing to many of the Lord’s people. They would pause from their work and sit by the radio to hear the spiritual nourishment. Sometimes they only had a few minutes to spare. Perhaps they only heard the end of the program, or a few minutes in the middle, but this was enough to get them back to a joyful state of mind doing the great work of the Lord in their daily lives. . . .

Mother’s Hour is designed to be a time of refreshment, a time to stop and read a sort of modern day radio program. It contains domestic writings for mothers, wives, and grandmothers. The author wrote these from her home in rural Vermont. Here she shares some of her life as a Christian Housewife. These are like devotionals; some are brief while others are longer. These writings were mostly gleaned from a private monthly newsletter sent to subscribers by “old fashioned” mail. The rest were taken from her blog, “The Legacy of Home.” You'll read "To Earn and Not to Spend" - "The Diary of a Housewife" - "Putting Papa First" - "Setting up Housekeeping" and much more. . . .

Whether you have a few minutes or an entire hour to sit and read, it is the hope of the publisher that you will find encouragement for your work in a Christian Home."


 Thank you so much for all your kind notes of encouragement and support!

 I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving with your families. May your Christmas be peaceful and joyful. And may your New Year be one of health and happiness.

I will be back as soon as I can.

Mrs. White

From the Archives:

We need More of this - Homemaking Propaganda.

It doesn't have to cost much - Basic Cookery.

Happy Hours - Cleaning House with Baby.

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


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