Monday, January 21, 2013

Winter Days at Home

The Study

I am mostly home-bound this time of year. The bitterly cold Vermont days make it difficult for me to get out much.  This morning, I will read some of Jane Austen's "Persuasion."   I have been working on this book for the past few weeks.  I read a little here and there. The story is fascinating and makes one enjoy the culture of home-life.

I shall have tea in a pretty cup, and have toast while sitting near the heater.  We have lost the use of our wood pellet stove this winter.  There is a coolness in the house that makes one a little weary. But we will get a new stove for the next season.   We are getting by, and will endure this temporary trial, just as we endure all the burdens that come our way - with patience and a hope for better days.

Yesterday, I was in several of the rooms in this old 1800's house.  I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. I had suffered an eye-injury in the morning and needed a warm, cozy room to rest in.  I went to the third floor and tidied up before deciding to listen to an audio-drama from Focus on the Family. It was Les Miserables. (Radio Theatre) It was amazing.  (A review will be posted soon.)  It kept me occupied for three hours, long enough for the pain in my eye to subside. I was then able to get back to a slower paced homekeeping schedule.

Each room that I enter, I see something that inspires me to clean, or make it look inviting and pleasant.  You can always tell when Mother has been in a room, because of those little touches that make home precious.  A home should look inviting and ready for hospitality, even if the only guests are the residents.

We have an abundance of snow outside.  Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to spend winters in Florida. But Mr. White assures me that he will fix our heating troubles very soon.  He will make sure I am happy and warm in our humble estate here in Vermont.  I will be patient and trust him.

Mrs. White

Life at Home - How a Housewife Passes the Time.

Remembering my Boston Aunt's Influence - Manners Learned at the Finishing School.

Happy Childhood Days -  When Television was Special.

For Home-keeping Inspiration, order my book - For The Love of Christian Homemaking

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Winter Homekeeping

Winter Memories

This is such a cozy time of year. The landscape in Vermont is completely white. We often see thick snowflakes gently falling to the ground. It is like a Norman Rockwell painting.

I am indoors this early morning, planning my housekeeping.  I will do dishes, wash the kitchen floor and vacuum.   Before I start working, I will open the blinds, and turn on a dim lamp.  I will be able to see the sun rise while I work. 

Homemakers often do a lot of extra baking in the winter.  This warms up the house and delights the family with fresh treats.  I will bake muffins and brownies today.

I have laundry to do, and some organizing.  I will put the wet laundry on a wooden rack, to dry near the heater.   Then I will have some hot tea in a pretty cup, and sit by the hearth for a little time of rest.

We will have a nice lunch this afternoon.  I plan to make a pasta dish with garlic bread and salad.   Then I will enjoy some reading, and perhaps a little television, before it is time to begin the evening meal.

May your Winter Homemaking create lovely memories for your family.

Mrs. White

Making Home Inviting - The Light in the Window.

For Those Difficult Days -  Take Back the Home.

No Matter What is Going On, this keeps this steady - Security of Home Routines.

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email.  I would also love to have you connect with me on Facebook and Twitter!


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Unable to Recover from Burnout

Childe Hassam An Urban Fairy Tale Land Art Print Poster

Years ago, we bought a country store. My husband and I were very busy raising and homeschooling our five children.   The children and I were also active in home related industry, like sewing and writing professionally. Our children worked with us at whatever we were doing and we all thrived.

As time went on, and children started to grow up and move on to college,we were losing our helpers. . .  the work was too much. The family businesses were falling heavily on the parents.  We couldn't stop it, or get out fast enough. Burnout was inevitable.  It weakened me, both physically and emotionally. I took years to "recover." 

At times I thought I had gotten better - stronger.  But I am still frail.  I am still weary.  When I start to feel better and energetic and motivated to do some such thing or other, and I begin, I have to stop myself before I "crash" from the wounds of burnout that will never go away.

I did far too much for too long and I will never recover.

I didn't see the warning. There wasn't one.  There was only excitement and possibilities in the adventures. And while I most certainly enjoyed our adventures, I will never be the same.

Sometimes, if you do too much, you might get to a point where the harm it causes you will never heal.

Mrs. White

"If you don't have time to pray and read Scriptures, you are busier than God ever intended you to be." -  (From Godly Woman Daily)

[Edited update - After receiving many comments (that I did not publish) and emails, I need to clarify something. This post has a message. It is explaining that in this society we mothers take on far too much. This will cause us damage.  It is a warning. Nothing more. It is not about me, necessarily, even though I use some of my own experience in the post. It is not about a person's health. It is not about my health.  It is about taking on too much, which is a modern plague.  Please heed the warning if it is meant for you. Otherwise, no worries!]   

What Life is Like - Living without Credit Cards.

No More Worries - The Note in Mother's Pocket.

Great Peace - Pleasant Days by the Fire.

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email.  I would also love to have you connect with me on Facebook and Twitter!


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Way to Get My Books for Free

Last month, I released my two books,

 "Mother's Faith," and

 "For the Love of Christian Homemaking."  These are both paperback books and are available for sale on amazon.

There is a fun way to get them for free, but it will take a little time.  Here's how:

1.  Use your swagbucks account, or set up your first account with them.

Swagbucks is powered by google and is simply a search engine.  The bonus is that you are randomly awarded points, as you search.  These can be redeemed for prizes, such as gift cards from Amazon.  I always redeem mine for $5 gift cards. When there is something I want to buy from Amazon, I can save up those gift cards and, very often, get the item for FREE!

There is no charge or cost whatsoever to use Swagbucks.

2.  Get points.  Once you earn 450, you can redeem them for a $5 gift card.

You can get points by logging into swagbucks, seeing the toolbar at the top of the site and click on earn. Here are two ways that are most common and easy:

 Choose "daily poll," to earn a quick point.  Choose NOSO, and earn 2 points.  (simply read the offers and choose "skip" to get through them to earn your points. It takes only minutes.)

You will get most of your points, however, by simply making sure you are logged into your swagbucks account and searching for whatever you normally need to search for.

3. Once you've earned enough gift cards, you can get one or both of my books for free!

4. From there have fun earning more free stuff, like movies, toys, food, household items, clothes and gifts.

Mrs. White

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

My Husband's Money

Something Wrong Somewhere' a Shopkeeper and His Wife Can't Get their Books to Balance..

My old fashioned ledger book is for my "House Account."  This year, as I started the 2013 entries, I gave the book a title.   It is to be called "My Husband's Money."

Each evening, as I write down any money I spent that day, I will see the title.  I will know I have been given a great privilege and honor to be put in charge of the management of Mr. White's finances. 

The last few weeks, in the bitter Vermont cold, I realized I needed a new pair of house slippers.  It was dreadful coming in the house and taking off my winter boots and just feeling so cold.   After some time, I stopped into a store and found a suitable pair for $6.00.  I also bought a special welcome mat to put in the front entry way. This cost $3.00 and is quite necessary since it helps get some of the snow off the shoes of the guests as they enter our home.  I was pleased with the practicality of buying both of these items.  The total will be handwritten in my book, along with an explanation of what I bought and why.  This is the recording of the history of my spending for the household of my husband.

At any moment, as I sit near the fireplace and hand-write entries in my financial journal, I would be proud to have my husband look over my shoulder and know I have done well with his hard earned money.  He will be content and at peace with his household affairs, being carefully tended by his trusted wife.

This accountability, of calling this year's Ledger book, "My Husband's Money," will give me a constant remembrance of the honor in which I have been given to take care of his funds.   It will stop me cold when I am tempted to spend frivolously and foolishly.  It will help me to keep a long-term perspective - of the future history we are making with our spending and saving, and prevent me from causing harm or waste in this materialistic culture.  

A few years ago when I first mentioned my House Account,  it was picked up by well-known blogger, Frugal Dad.  He and his wife decided to try a handwritten journal for their own home.  My House Account has brought me a tremendous amount of questions.  The following are a couple of links to help answer some of these questions:

1. The House Account (An introduction. This was originally designed as a monthly check-in, but I have given up on blogging continuously about it.) 

2. The History of our Financial Lives (includes photographs of my ledger book.)

Some have asked what I recorded, or how I separate things into categories.  This is for each family to decide for themselves, but I will share my own method.  I do not put things into categories. I don't particularly care how much was spent on transportation, grocery or insurance.  That is not my intention when writing out my ledger book.  I am simply keeping a financial journal of what I buy, or how I am spending.  This can be looked over, in a similar way as a personal journal, but we are seeing numbers and spending, rather than an abundance of words. 

The simplest way I can explain this is to share the three items at the top of each page of my ledger:

1. The Date.

2. Description.

3. Amount.

That's all there is to my ledger book.

My ledger book is not a budget. (I have a separate notebook for my weekly bills and planned expenses.)  It is a financial journal.    I can look back through the pages and see how much I spent each month and each year.  I can also see the carefulness, the love, the attention, and the reason behind the spending (there are notes in the entries) and look back to see the financial lives of the White Family Home.

Mrs. White

Please don't be one of these - Bossy Wives.

It is my constant goal to be - A Wife Who Does Not Complain.

My New Book - For The Love of Christian Homemaking.

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