Saturday, June 29, 2013

Rural Homemaking

Claussen Inn Rocking Chair

Yesterday, I tried to go out on an errand. I had my grandbaby with me.  We were to do the grocery shopping for the Estate. We drove down the long driveway, then two houses down before the car died.  I pulled into the neighbor's driveway, took baby out of the car, and walked home.

I am home-bound in a rural area.  I no longer have a running vehicle for my own personal use.   Yet, I am okay and at peace with my circumstances. 

I will bake and cook more. . . I will clean more. . . I will sew and knit and read. . .  I will decorate and rearrange rooms to make them more pleasant.  This large old house can always use some extra attention.  I will make the downstairs rooms more guest-ready.   I will spend more time enjoying the grounds, and my humble gardens. 

Rural Homemaking is nothing new.    Cars were not even commonly used until the early 1900's.  People stayed home more, and used horses to get around.   I remember reading this book by a "Yankee" Vermonter about his growing up years.  There was so much common sense wisdom in his experiences.  Adults would scold people who wanted to go out all the time, by saying things like "better off staying t' home where [you] b'longed, and shouldn't ought to go gallivanting all over Creation."   He also described how his Mother (and most other women of the time) did not feel comfortable leaving home in a car.  She wouldn't even go for a drive until she was sure her house was clean from top to bottom just in case she got killed.  She would say, "I don't want someone else to have to clean up the place for a funeral."     His Mother made sure all the children were freshly washed and wearing clean clothes if they even went to the store.  It was an ordeal, which tells us that going out was not a common, daily event.

My mother-in-law spent most of her time at home.  She had visitors, mostly her grown children and grandchildren.  She was a loving hostess, and life-long homemaker.  She had little flower gardens, and enjoyed doing projects like painting an old chair.   Pretty birds frequented her Massachusetts yard.   She did all her laundry in the walk-out basement, and hung the clothes on rows of clothesline that Papa set up for her near the washer.   She loved home, and we always knew where to find her.

In rural areas, without public transportation, or the ability to walk to necessary stores, it is a little more difficult to go without a vehicle.   But we will get by.  We will make do.  It will be my latest challenge, my latest adventure.

Somehow, the needed shopping and errands will be accomplished even if I am completely ensconced at our lovely old home. 

Mrs. White

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

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


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Historic Summer Lessons at the Estate

[1936 Home Schooling in PA: Carl Mydens: Library of Congress]

With political upheaval happening all over America, our religious heritage must be taught repeatedly to the next generation.  Starting today, and during the entire month of July, I will be reading and teaching my last Home Schooled Student from Marilyn Boyer's Book, For You They Signed.  I bought this a few years ago, at a great discount from the Boyers, when I had money. It is an incredible investment.

Last Independence day, John (15) and I read The Declaration of Independence (1776) and studied all the signatures (in the beginning of Marilyn's Book).  We also read about the life of one of the signers.  It was thrilling, sad, and convicting.  This year, we will spend the month reading the entire book. This will become a tradition in our family - to remember, and to apply it to our  lives.

In this culture of endless entertainment - video games, computers, cell phones and movies, it is often hard to get students to sit still, to reflect, to concentrate and to think.  It is essential that we provide a routine of quiet study time, even if there are distractions happening all around us.  To be quiet and read despite the culture around us, is one of the greatest needs of our time.  We Home Schooling Mothers have to find a way to make it happen.

To Teach children to focus, we can play games of mental math drills, spelling drills and Bible trivia.  Many years ago, I had a group of children I was tutoring.  I also had an adjoining room full of preschoolers who were loudly playing.  The students sat in a row and had to listen to my random questions and answer as quickly as possible.  One of the children (around age 12) kept laughing and was distracted by the noise of the other children. We had fun, but I kept encouraging him and practicing with him, how to "tune out" the noise, and focus on the drills.   It was a wonderfully, productive afternoon.  We must teach our children to tune out the distractions around us, so they can learn and study essential truths.

John and I will spend a little time in the late morning, reading Marilyn's book.  We will find time in the twilight hours, and we will find time in the parlour, sitting in our antique chairs while supper is cooking. We will find the time and the concentration  to read the entire book and to reflect on the amazing Christian History of our nation.  I am sure we will be talking about it with guests and family members. It will spread, and it will infect us with courage and bravery to live God's way, even if no one else in this Country seems to.

Mrs. White

For More information about Marilyn's book, visit her store: "For You They Signed"

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


Monday, June 24, 2013

Singing Comfort to Baby

Front Porch In Maine

Late yesterday afternoon, I brought grandbaby out on the front porch to see the pouring rain.   Our Vermont acres looks like an English garden, or an amazing view of an Ireland landscape.  The rain was soothing and quiet.

Baby is 9 months old and is teething.  He was fussy in the house. I wanted him to be distracted by the fresh air and pretty views.  He loves my front porch. 

I sang "Amazing Grace" to him, slowly and softly, while I paced the porch.  He was happy and content.  Then I rang the bell, which is right near the sliding door on the porch.  Baby looked at me with wide eyes and then smiled.  .  . A few minutes later, one of my sons appeared from the back yard, thinking I had called him.  We laughed.  I was just showing baby the fun things at the Estate.

I sang to baby some more, about faith in the Lord, and eternal matters.  He listened and looked at me, while we walked the porch and enjoyed the rain.

I remembered when all my children were babies. I always sang to them.  "Bringing in the Sheaves;" "Trust and Obey;" "Shall we Gather at the River;"  "When the Roll is Called up Yonder;" are some of the many hymns I sang to them, over and over, throughout their babyhood and growing up years. 

There is peace and joy when one's heart is at home.  There are heavenly matters to pass on to the next generation, from a quiet heart, who isn't distracted or overly busy with outside cares.

Teaching babies about our Heavenly Father, can easily be started with simple songs, and joyful hearts.  This is the most comforting thing to little souls.

Mrs. White

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

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


Friday, June 21, 2013

It's A Wonderful Life - by a Sweet Pastor's Wife

For the last several months, I have been reading a book by Terrie Chappell.   She is the wife of  Paul Chappell, who is the Pastor of Lancaster Baptist Church in California.

The church, when they first arrived, was falling apart and in a terrible area. There were only a few congregants.  It now has a membership of over 7,000 people!

Mrs. Chappell is a homemaker and Mother of four grown children.  She is known to be a sweet, meek-hearted lady who loves the Lord. She is a dedicated Pastor's wife and is much loved by those in the congregation.

She was urged to write a book to encourage women.  "It's A Wonderful Life: Serving God Joyfully in Marriage and Ministry" is the result. 

This hardcover book consists of three sections and sixteen chapters. There are 257 pages.

Section One is about our Personal life.  This covers the definition of a godly wife, becoming a godly woman, preparing for ministry, etc.

Section Two is about Family Life.  She talks about balancing the family and the ministry, praying for your husband, developing memories, etc.

Section Three is about Ministry Life.  Here you'll find a wealth of wisdom on challenges in the ministry, hospitality, and being a blessing to your church family.

Terri writes as if she is standing before us, at a Mother's Tea, speaking in a friendly way; making us smile, laugh, and want to take notes!  She mixes her own life stories with beautiful lessons about living a godly life.  

She shares both practical ideas and humble encouragement.   Even though the book has a great amount of help for the wives of pastors, it is also greatly needed for wives of laymen.

Mrs. Chappell writes in a gentle way that makes you feel as if she is a dear friend.  I highly recommend this book to wives!!

For More Information, or to buy a copy:

- Directly from the Publisher:  "Striving Together Publications" - "It's a Wonderful Life."

*Disclaimer - I received a copy of this product for review purposes. This review is my own personal opinion. I would not recommend a book unless I sincerely found it to be beneficial.*

To find out more about my commercial breaks, please see my disclosure page.

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


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mother's Little Car Accident

Oldsmobile Ad, 1920

I don't like to drive.  Many mothers in the old days didn't know how to drive.  Even in the 1950's, there were housewives who didn't even want to learn.  They had too much to do at home.

In this modern day, driving for the homemaker, has become a necessity.  Even though I would rather have everything I do be home-based, I have to drive all the time.   I have to accept this as a "season" in my life that will someday slow down. For the most part, however, I am at home and love it here.

  Yesterday, I spent the day at our Estate (our house), with Mr. White.  He was doing yard-work.  I walked around with him during his breaks. We enjoy the property and want it to look nice.  We often walk the gardens, and check on our plants.  The strawberries are the only ones doing well.

Later, I made homemade beef stew with biscuits for the family.  I cleaned, did laundry, hung towels on the line, and did some tidying.  I was tired.  We had one of the grandbabies here.  The house was full and happy. We even visited a little with Nana and Grandpa (who live in a small apartment in our large 3 story house.)

By early evening, it was time for an errand. I took John (15) with me.  He has his permit.  He would love to learn to drive, but I am having trouble getting the motivation to teach him.  I keep trying to put it off.  I tell him, "we will get you into classes sometime soon. "  I am too nervous and anxious when I get in the car.  It would be too much to have to teach.

John and I went to a convenience store.  He wanted a movie.  As I was pulling into a parking spot, I heard a crash.  (shudder).  John was shocked .  . .  It was only a small, short crash, but it startled us both. . . Everyone in the parking lot looked over at me. . .  I smiled . . .

"Well, go see if there is any damage." I told my son, wearily. 

He walked in front of the car, on his way to a redbox machine.  He looked down at the front and laughed to himself, then walked on.   He is entertained by my mistake. I am sure he will go home and tell the family and they will all laugh. I am happy to be the source of their entertainment today.  Still, I have no idea what happened.

He tells me that I hit a small pole at the curb.   I never saw one.  (He is happy that I won't be the one teaching him to drive.)

Later, at home, I got out of the car, vowing never to drive again and  wishing someone would take away my driver's license.    I saw that the only damage was to our front license plate. It was all twisted up and partially mangled.

I walked slowly into the house. . . I had to tell Mr. White.

Thankfully, he was understanding.  He fixed the license plate. But he didn't say what I hoped he would say.  I wanted him to tell me that I never had to drive again, that everything would be okay.   He only said, "Be more careful next time," and went about his day.

I am realizing that if I don't want to drive, I have to start saying "no" to many things.  I have to plan out my week better.  I have the power and the will to stay home more and to do less.    I want to be more like the housewives of yesteryear who spent far more time at home than many of us do. Yet, I know I still must venture out.  This is a daily battle for many homemakers of today.  And this little car accident is a shocking reminder of my need to stay home much more than I do.

Mrs. White

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

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!


Shabby Apple Presents - Vintage Style Clothing

It's time for a Commercial break, brought to you by Shabby Apple.

This clothing company offers a lovely, fashionable array of items for women.

Their vintage clothing line offers dresses with dreamy names such as "golden afternoon" and "peony."

"Gondola" from Shabby Apple

They also sell charming aprons, bags and jewelry.  Shabby Apple offers an enjoyable online shopping experience. Have you visited them recently?

*Disclosure - This has been a commercial break. I will receive an item from the shop for review purposes.*

To see more about my commercial breaks, please visit my disclosure page.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Walking the Gardens with Baby

Nature Trail Art Print Poster

I had my little grandson with me. He is 9 months old, and such a happy child. There was a sweet warmth in the Vermont air.  I picked up baby, and brought him out to my gardens.  Now, if you came to my house and looked at the grounds, you would see something far different than I do.  You would see a 3 story house that is in serious need of painting. You would see old porches and tired steps.  You would see little attempts at gardening throughout the land.  (gentle smiles)  But the world, as I see it, is a great Estate for us to explore. . . for baby and me

I showed him the lonely strawberry plants beside the front of the house.  The soil is not happy there. The plants need to be moved. But we checked on them anyway. 

Near the tired porch steps, there are 4 new rose bushes. (Mr. White had planted them for me this past Mother's day.)  I was surprised to see that flowers were starting to appear.  Baby delighted in my happiness as I explained it all to him.

We walked to the front and saw the lilies had stopped flowering.  These had been vibrant orange, sparkly white and robust yellow!  But the flowers had gone away, leaving only the green leaves and a memory.

Next, baby and I walked up to the back hill.  There are the blueberry plants and 2 happy strawberry plants.  There are several strawberries ripening and waiting to be picked! 

Near the hill is a sweet, rushing river behind the property.  It is framed by pretty trees and lots of plants.  There is a beautiful scent of the outdoors which make one happy.

Baby and I walked to the sad part of the land. . . Mr. White and I had planted starter seeds inside egg cartons and put them in our little greenhouse. Just like we did last year.  But a storm came, with lots of wind and rain.  The next day, we noticed it had fallen over and egg cartons were upside down in the grass. Baby and I like to visit that spot, each day. I say to him, "I wonder if my spinach will still grow?"  He smiles at me and wonders what I am talking about.  But I know, someday, we will have carnations and hollyhocks growing up with the grass.

Mrs. White

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

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!


Monday, June 3, 2013

The Gentle Society of Home

Startling News

In the rush of daily activities, sometimes we forget how calm and gentle home life can be.  There are certain things we can do to help us remember. . .

- We can have special touches in our favorite rooms. This may be a living room, entryway, or dining room.  Little touches of soothing artwork (like pretty flowers, landscapes, English gardens, or elegant families from the "Victorian" or "Romantic" eras.)   Nice, quiet background music of classical or gospel would be lovely and soothing.

- What we wear, and how we look.  There is something I call "Casual Elegance."  This is whatever makes you feel dressed up, yet comfortable.  For me, that is my blue cotton skirt (knee-length), a pretty top and a nice sweater.  (All from either J.C. Penny or Macy's - purchased at their annual winter clearance sale, for very little money.)  We can also have a classically, elegant hairstyle.  This may be a loose updo, or whatever brings out an aura of old fashioned sweetness to the look.

- Setting a neat table for evening refreshments, and turning on a dim lamp will calm one's nerves, if one remembers to forget the outside world for a time. (This means not to talk about it, or worry about it, for a little while!)

- Being quiet. . . (smiles). . . We often talk too much, worry too much, think too much, and want to multitask every minute away!  Being quiet and content takes effort, but it will bring peace and gentleness to the family.

Every day, we can take little steps of progress to cultivate a gentle society in the home.   We must use our creativity and be the light of our homes.  This may mean it is always our own ideas, and our own labor that makes this happen.  But this is a beautiful, noble work. . . to bring gentleness to a home.

Mrs. White

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

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!


Announcing Winners

Dear Readers,

I have already contacted the winners of my two giveaways.  They are. . . .

For the Betty Crocker Baking Kit:


For the $25 Home Depot gift card, RainFall Waterpik Showerhead, and set of Candles:

Illinois Lori

Thank you so much to all who entered! 

Mrs. White

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!