Thursday, April 21, 2016

Encouraging Literature for Homemakers

Golden Hours

One of the things I love to do is read good, wholesome literature which inspires me.  As a Housewife, I am mostly encouraged by old stories of home life for mothers and wives.  Elizabeth Prentiss is one of my favorite authors. Her book, "Aunt Jane's Hero" shows the beauty of a humble, simple Christian marriage. It is her best book!

Another author I like is someone I only recently discovered, even though she wrote her books in the early 1900's.  These are Christian fiction and are written by Grace Livingston Hill.

It is easier to find affordable, inspiring books when they are discounted, or when you can get them used for a very low price.

The most important theme in the books I like is that they lead me to heavenly ideals and inspire a noble virtue in daily living.  They lead one to the Lord and to His precious ways!

In thinking about literature that is currently available, I have been searching Amazon.  They used to discount the books for sale.  My own books are offered there and used to be reduced to a more affordable price. It surprised me to realize they are no longer cutting prices.   I was able to put in a request on each book to get them drastically reduced in price.  The only book I can't seem to get low enough is "For The Love of Christian Homemaking." But I will keep trying!

If you have been wanting one of these books, such as "Living on His Income" (which is now listed at $4.29), or one of the other books, I hope you will find them much more affordable.

For a direct link to all my books listed at Amazon, here is the link:

Mrs. White's Books on Amazon. 

As Mother's Day is soon approaching, I hope you are able to find some special literature to cheer you on in your mothering!

For those who have been wondering how I am doing, I am feeling much better. Nice weather has come to us here in rural Vermont.  Mister and I sat on the front porch early one evening and enjoyed a rest while looking over the landscape.  It is a beautiful time of year!  

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Are You a Member? - Mother's Benevolent Society.

Is This True? - Only Rich People Have Clean Houses .

Old Time Advice for Homemakers - To Earn and Not To Spend .

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, April 2, 2016

A Home Without Clutter

Nature's Glory I

In my childhood home, I don't recall seeing piles of paperwork, junk mail, or even any bills. My mother kept things organized and out of our daily vision.  The living room, kitchen, and bedrooms were neat and relaxing. We would deep clean things on a weekly basis (dusting, washing floors, etc). We also had daily work to keep things looking neat. 

Sometimes I would see my father at the kitchen table with his checkbook and paperwork.  He would also have a cup of coffee, and some coffee cake when he was finished.  After that, we children had no idea where he kept his files, or even his bank papers. All those things were out of our sight. They had a place, but not sitting out in a pile of clutter. There was order.

In later years, as my parents lived here with us for 9 years, I was able to see more of how Mother kept the clutter away.  Every few months she would have the card table set up in her dining room. Here is where she would put stacks of papers, files, and old bills.  Over the next few days, as she had time, she would work on sorting and tossing whatever was no longer needed.  The card table was in an out - of - the way corner of the room, and did not take away from the beauty of the rest of their home.  Things were still kept neat while she continued to keep house around this little "project" of sorting out the old clutter. Mother worked slowly and walked with a cane, but after a couple of days, all was finished and the card table was put away.

This is what I have been working on, in my own home, the last few days.  Each day, I sort some files and papers and toss what is now clutter.  Yesterday, I even took three bags of unwanted books and movies to the library as a donation.  I want to clear out many more things to make room for only what is most important. 

It is a very slow work right now, as I have only recently recovered from a difficult illness. I get tired so easily.  But I love doing things that make my home look nice, even if I am only able to work a little each day.

I have a card table set up in one of the rooms, and will work on organizing those papers this coming week.  We are told we only need to save files and papers that go back 3 years.  Anything over that, in most cases, it is okay to discard.  I also have children's schoolwork in folders that I will always keep. There are cards and letters that are special and will be filed away. 

This necessary part of housekeeping - keeping the clutter away - is something that ought to happen on a daily basis to a small degree. Then, as the example of my mother, there will be times we need to spend a few days in deep clutter removal, to eliminate "things" that may have accumulated that we really don't need.

A Home without clutter can be such a peaceful place.  It is a nice goal that can be accomplished with just a little bit of daily effort.

Mrs. White

From The Archives -

Wouldn't You Like to Know? - The Secret to a Clean House.

Happy Days at Home - Confined to The Nursery.

Financial Troubles - 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. 


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Hospital Visit

Cape Primrose (small)

My sixth grandbaby was born early this year. I have been honored to be at the hospital to welcome each new baby into our family. A couple of weeks ago, the 7th baby was about to arrive. I started to pack my things, preparing for a 2 hour drive into the city to stay with family and be there for the baby's arrival.

Just as I got my suitcase out, I was struck down with a terrible illness.  I was devastated that I could not travel. I knew it was impossible in my condition.  This would be the first time I was not there when a grandbaby was born.

I struggled to fight off this illness for a week, telling the family I would be there as soon as I was better, as soon as I was no longer contagious.

Things started to get worse.  For the first time in more than 10 years, I had to go to the hospital.  I needed help. I could not recover on my own.  Mister was right by my side. He sat in the room with me while the medical staff took care of me.   Despite his being disabled (from an accident in late spring of last year), he stayed with me, making sure I was okay.

I have been bedridden all this time, trying to get up a little each day to build up my strength. Some mornings I have managed to do the dishes, or fold laundry.  One morning I went for a ride with Mister to the pharmacy to pick up his prescription, but it wore me out so much, I had to go back to bed for the rest of the day.   Each day I try to do a little more, while still resting as much as possible. 

I have been left feeling very weak, but am much better. Soon I will take that trip to the city and finally see my 7th grandbaby, a little girl. We now have three grandgirls and four grandboys.  We are so thankful.

My oldest son cheered me up by bringing home a beautiful, vintage couch for our parlour.  There was an Inn near his work that had closed down and he was given some lovely furniture.  I was delighted he gave me the couch.  It is a pretty blue and looks so homelike and comfortable.

I look forward to getting well enough to vacuum and dust and to clean and keep house.  But I am grateful to have a family who has taken over all my housework so I can recover.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Simple and Pleasant  - An Ordinary Life at Home.

Wonderful Days at Home - Domestic Life.

Marriage - When Groceries are The Presents.

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. 


Monday, March 7, 2016

A Church Diet for The Family

Photograph by Arthur Rothstein: Library of Congress

Sunday used to be family day. 

 In my childhood home, we would get all dressed up in our best clothes on Sunday morning.  We would hear Dad singing some hymn as he went about the house, preparing for the day.  He would put on his best suit and get his much loved, worn Bible.  Mother would put on a special dress and her pearl necklace.  She had a pretty Bible Dad had given her. I can still see her, in my memories, holding that Bible with a sweet smile on her face as we prepared to go to church.

We children loved that drive to the church, with the family all together.  Dad had worked every weekday. Then on Saturday, he would work on the house and maintain the cars. He would labor in the garage and in the yard. But on Sunday, all of that work was put aside.  It was a day to worship the Lord, and be with the family.

Our social life, as a family, revolved around the church.  We were delighted to see everyone there each week. There were programs to get involved in and plenty of opportunity for ministry.  My sister and I worked in the nursery, were involved in Sunday School, attended youth programs, were members of the choir, and part of the nursing home ministry. We loved this work because we loved the people we went to church with.  Most of all, we loved doing the Lord's work.

After the morning Sunday School and Sunday service, we would go home for lunch.  We always sat at the kitchen table and ate together.  This was normal for all of our meals in those days.  This was a big part of manners and building a bond with one another.

At this time we would rest, perhaps lay down for awhile. No one ever did chores on Sunday (other than basic meal preparation and clean - up).  All of our major housework, laundry and cleaning had been done during the week, along with a big cleaning day on Saturday morning for the weekly work.  Sunday was a free day of real rest and family time.

We would have a light dinner in the early evening, all together.  Then we would head back to church for choir practice and the night service.

Our Sundays were full of Bible reading, prayer, Christian fellowship, rest, and precious family time. This was the common way of life for generations of Americans until recently.

These modern days, we have fallen into step with a corrupt world. Few go to church. Many have dusty Bibles from lack of use.  A great many parents work 7 days a week, from home, or at their jobs. They are less available to their families, with cell phones and computers making more "work" and "productivity" a normal part of a great deal of their time. This has caused a weakening of morals; it has become a destroyer of health; it is a major contributor to the destruction of the family unit.

Yet, there is a solution. . . .  We need a steady church diet . . . We need to stop working on Sunday. This is the most acceptable day of the week to take a break from the hectic pace of modern life.  The churches are open.  The bells ring on Sunday morning to remind us to stop what we are doing, gather up the family, and worship together.

We need to read our Bibles, pray, and be with our families without the interruption of work, chores, or worries.

A Diet is something we do for our health. Sometimes we start a diet thinking it is boring.  We are often forced to begin a healthier way of eating by a physician.  Once we start that diet, we begin to feel better. We establish a routine, and our health and energy improve. It is not long before that "boring food" becomes our favorite and we begin to crave it;  It does amazing things for us.

There is also The Great Physician - We are being warned that our spiritual welfare is in peril.  We need a healthy diet to feed our souls. That first Sunday morning of going to the church will seem boring.  We will think of a great many things we'd rather do. But taking that first baby step of going to church and making it a priority in life will start to heal the soul.

We need to get back to the old paths.  Our parents, our grandparents, and the generations of parents before them, knew the way of peace for the soul. They knew how to keep a family together.  They knew how to nurture the love and unity each household needs.  They knew that Sunday was the Christian family day and they kept faithful to that church diet.  We need to be reminded of their wisdom.

 Today, I am remembering the example of my parents.  I am grateful for all the effort it took for them to take us to church and spend time with us all. They made our family very close by their time and attention.  They taught we children to love the Lord, to love the Bible, and to love the Church. They did this by example. 

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Encouragement - How a Godly Mother May Guide and Imperfect Family.

Lovely Days at Home - The Gentle Art of Homekeeping.

Financial Struggles - How the Old Time Mothers Survived Poverty. 

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, February 18, 2016

Technology in the Life of a Homemaker

Woman Writing Letter at Bureau

I love things that are familiar. There is comfort in being around the same things and doing each task in the same way. When new technology is introduced to the public, it is hard to add them to our lives. Something about the familiar and the old ways starts to get lost.

 I have a hard time with cell phones, DVD players, computers, and even microwaves, in our modern lives!

Years ago, a microwave was not a common sight in kitchens.  We heated our food in the oven, or on the stove top.  Popcorn was made in a sturdy pot, with a little oil, and shaken over a flame.  Now it is most commonly made in a microwave.  It was not long before the microwave was accepted by many homemakers and brought into their kitchens.  I, on the other hand, hesitated. It was not until I was married for over 20 years before I finally decided to let a microwave into my kitchen. (gentle smiles)  I realized that as my children were becoming adults and had all kinds of work and class schedules, it would be easier for them to reheat their dinner at whatever hour they were home, by using the microwave.  But I will tell you that I never use it myself, unless I am heating up water for a bottle, or using the built- in timer.

The other night I was watching a program on DVD. Somehow the picture froze and I had to get one of the children to help me fix it.  I have no idea how to set up a DVD player, or how to make it work.  Flat screen televisions, which have become very common today, also scare me.  The screens are so large, I have trouble adjusting to the vision before me. It also makes a home look entirely different than it did when television sets were built into pretty furniture.  It is less cozy.

When my older children started buying cell phones, I thought it was a wonderful invention for them.  It was wonderful for me to be able to call them anytime, no matter where they were in their daily activities.  I worried less about them, knowing they had a phone on their person at all times.  But a phone for me? That was unheard of!  I had a house phone.  I remember using a rotary phone only a few years ago. I love the old fashioned feel of those old phones.  We also had those long cords where you could only go so far in the house, perhaps making it to the stove to stir dinner, while talking to a family member on the phone.  Why on earth would I need a cell phone and the high bill that seemed to come with it?  Then an incident happened late last year, a health crisis of a family member in another state, and suddenly I had to travel by airplane.  I thought it would be best to get one of those cell phones since payphones in public are almost non-existent now.  The children taught me to text and make calls and now I understand this need for technology and am very grateful for it!

As for computers, they seem to wear out and need to be replaced. I have two broken down computers (including a second- hand laptop) which I am struggling to use for writing.  I dearly need a new one. I have needed a new one for years, as these computers keep getting worse.  But I cannot understand all the new ones they are currently selling. The price of them is outrageous and so hard to come up with enough to pay for one.  All I want to be able to do is write on this blog and do simple things like that. It is too bad they dont' sell one specifically for homemakers. . .  at a gracefully low price.  (gentle smiles) I would want a pretty, old fashioned design to complement the gentle decor of my old home.  I would want simple software like Microsoft word and Windows to make my life easier.  And it wouldn't hurt if the computer was a pretty shade of pink.

I should also mention cars.  Some of my children can hold their car keys by the window and start their cars from inside the house! It is shocking!  We can now even unlock the car doors by pushing a button on the key chain.  There are digital numbers and words on our dashboards, suggesting that we turn on our headlights, or telling us road conditions. Some vehicles even tell us the temperature outside. This is very helpful in the cold winters here in Vermont.

Technology can be a wonderful thing. It is just hard to let go of the old familiar way of life, and learn how to adapt to modern inventions.  Some will certainly make our lives easier. But, sadly, other things cause life to be less simple - less peaceful.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Please don't become one of these - Ex Housewife.

Such happy days - Cleaning House with Baby.

Financial hard times - When There isn't Much.

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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