Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Living in Reduced Circumstances

People Line Up to Receive Surplus Foods in St. Johns Arizona. Oct, 1940

Several years ago, during a major oil crisis, gas prices rose to over $4.50 a gallon here in rural Vermont.  This caused food prices to skyrocket, partly due to the cost of fuel for the freight trucks who were delivering inventory to all the supermarkets.  

Many could not afford to drive to work and had to find ways to carpool, walk, or find some other form of transportation.  I remember having to give up going to church and limiting youth group events for my (then) teenage children.  It was shocking to realize we couldn't afford the gas to drive to church!

One of the hardest things during this time was having just enough food to feed one's family with little or nothing left over to share with a guest. Many did not entertain at home. Having company was rare and difficult. Offering just a cup of tea to a guest when one wanted to offer cake or pie was depressing!

Nobody wants to live in want or hunger. Nobody wants to feel like buying sugar to bake cookies would be a financial burden when the family needed more nutritious foods like vegetables or meat.

Food pantries in our county were suddenly full of the more affluent in our area.   We were told that many could not afford to buy food and pay basic living expenses at the same time.  One large church in our area was open on a daily basis and gave out emergency food boxes which were expected to last a family, or individual, for a couple of days.  We were seeing both homeless and middle class in the same breadlines.  Nobody wanted to be there.  Nobody wanted to need charity, but the economy forced many to seek help just to eat.

Another church in our area had a monthly potluck supper offered right after the morning service.  Almost everyone brought hot food, desserts, salads, bread and treats to share with each other.  This way each family could contribute what they could and enjoy a nice big meal without feeling like they were getting a handout.    This same church also provides a large spread of refreshments in the dining room after every Sunday service.  Most of the food is brought in by members of the congregation and is a lovely way to comfort one another with both food and fellowship.

There were certain days of the week where local supermarkets would provide display tables with food samples.  Children of customers were also given a cookie from the bakery or a piece of cheese from the deli.  This made grocery shopping, on limited funds, a special outing and a way to gratefully enjoy a special treat. It benefited the stores as well since they were able to offer new foods, and have a nice way to encourage customers to shop.

Today, times are better.  Gas prices have dropped to around $2.88 in our area.  This is the lowest I have seen it here since before the oil crisis hit our nation.  Yet, there will always be someone, or some family, struggling through a time of poverty, a time of "reduced circumstances."  These are the people on a financial adventure who will overcome the difficulties with prayer, faith, hard work, and the blessing of a good church family.

Mrs. White

* [This post is an excerpt from my book, "Economy for the Christian Home."] *

From the Archives -

I will never Regret Staying Home - A Humble Parlour as a School of Theology.

He Still Hears us - Prayers Which Cannot be Uttered.

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. 


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Time with Mister

Winter Scene, Dalarne

One of the grown children called in the early evening.  He just finished his shift at work and had locked the keys in his car. Could someone come by with a spare set and help?  We looked out the window. It was not quite 5 o'clock.  It was dark and snow was falling.  The streets were slippery. Mister offered to drive.  I went along for the ride.

Rural Vermont in the winter is a beautiful, peaceful place to be.  I find it very restful when Mister does the driving. I can sit and enjoy the snowy landscape.  Mister often reaches out to hold my hand as he drives along.  He lets me listen to what I like on the car radio.  At this time of year, Christmas music is playing continuously on our local station. 

When we arrived at our destination, Mister got out and cleaned off our son's car.  The door was opened with the spare key, and the engine was started to warm it up.  I watched the two of them under a lamplight, talking, as snow fell all around them.   I was thankful to be in a warm, cozy car.

As we drove back home, it was pleasant and quiet.  I remembered our last outing, when we dropped off one of the vehicles for repairs early one morning.  The drive home with Mister is always special because it doesn't happen very often.

In almost 3 decades of marriage, we have never had a "night out."  We never went on a "date." It is not something we ever thought about.  Our time outside the home or family was always practical.  Our outings are essential errands.  They have always been that way.

During these drives, we don't argue. We don't talk about any worries or problems because they don't enter our minds.  We enjoy the car ride and the beauty around us.   Mister makes sure the car heat is warm enough for me, and that I am comfortable. He opens the door for me and makes sure I am safe.  These gentlemanly acts of kindness are what make the trips a little respite from the trials of life.

We are also very grateful when we arrive safely back at home.  Despite our flaws and normal annoyances in daily life, we have work to do.  It does not matter that we are both worn out.  Our children and grandchildren need us.  They need us to stand strong - together-  and get back to the business at hand - the striving and cultivating of a godly lighthouse, despite a cold, imperfect world.

Mrs.  White

From the Archives -

Are You one of These?  - A Good Little Housewife.

When Things Gets Stressful, It is time to - Take Back the Home!

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

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, November 20, 2014

Sweet Holiness on Mama's Birthday

Sermons in the Fog

I had 30 minutes in the kitchen. Two of my grandbabies were in the nursery with their Uncle. He babysat while I went into my favorite room in the house.  I got out the bundt pan and made a chocolate fudge cake.  While I worked, I turned a CD sermon on my kitchen radio. It was by the late Dr. Curtis Hutson.  It was so precious!  At the time the sermon was recorded (I think it was in the 1990's), he had cancer.  He was in his last days here in this world.  Someone had to help him onto the pulpit, he was so weak and weary.  He preached a beautiful, heart-stirring message, and he also broke into humble songs. I sat on my kitchen stool and frosted the cake, as gentle tears came to my eyes.  These were tears of sweet happiness.

In old southern churches, congregants are often seen crying with a peaceful and joyous look in their eyes.  Onlookers may not understand. But what is happening is that the message being preached (through a heart close to the Lord . . .  a humble precious heart), causes a melting of the normal coldness and frost the world seeps onto our hearts.  Our tears are ones of holiness.  We are being warmed by the fire of godliness and it melts our souls.  It makes us well.  The tears, with a sweet smile, is a sign of happy joy in the Lord.

I was so grateful to be in the kitchen doing what I love on this special birthday.  It is a good day to be revived and reflect upon one's life.  

How much more work can I do for the Lord? Each day is an honor and a gift.  Each birthday I am drawn closer to my last day here in this world.  I am heaven bound.  Not because of me, but because of the dear Lord who is longsuffering and merciful. 

I am so grateful for the laborers in God's holy fields, who lift us all up and encourage us along the way - no matter how rough and difficult the road can be.

Mrs. White

From the Archives:

We Need More of This - Homemaking Propaganda.

An Inspiring Life - Corrie ten Boom - In My Father's House.

Lovely Hymns - Singing Comfort to Baby.

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, November 16, 2014

Preparing for a New England Thanksgiving

Plimoth Plantation, Massachusetts Scene

I am reminded of my old Massachusetts home at this time of year.   Our family had a membership at Plimouth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts.  I took my children there many times.  We wandered around the living museum observing costumed actors going about the historic daily life of the Pilgrims.

The settlement was right beside the ocean. The whipping sea winds made the cold Autumn weather icy and bitter.  (Having lived most of my life at the ocean in a nearby town, I know how difficult the winter ocean air can be.) The simple homes the people lived in had fireplaces to keep them warm.  Each house had only one room. They were like tiny cottages with a bed and a table. Each family: mother, father and children lived in their own cottage. I saw the hard work each had to do. There were gardens to cultivate, heavy clothing to wash, outdoor kitchens to work in, an abundance of wood to chop, and babies and children to take care of.  This was all for survival.  This was the beginning of a new life here in America for these foreigners.  I often thought how much warmer and nicer life would have been if they had settled out in the mountains rather than by the cold ocean. But it was far too dangerous at the time.

On each of our many visits to the Plantation, we sat in their humble church.  I was in awe.  I love how the people themselves built the church using the nearby trees for building supplies.  There were straight and plain benches for the congregation and a place in the front for the Minister.  This was where he encouraged the people and inspired them to holy living so they could face the coming week ahead.  This was where he preached and taught against sin and convicted their hearts and minds to stay on that precious heavenly path. 

The journey the Pilgrims took to get to this country was treacherous.  Have you seen the Mayflower ship?  A short drive from the Plantation brings you to Plimouth Rock and the Ships for tourists.  We have walked through the boat and have seen the living conditions, which tells me that those people had a strength of character and a moral endurance to accomplish something few of us today could manage. 

Many died on that ocean voyage.  Many also died before the first year on the Plantation.  I am sure the Pilgrims prayed constantly for health and continued courage.  The Bible was the most important book to them.  They taught it to their children.  They comforted one another with it's words.  They lived it!

That first Thanksgiving was modeled after the Biblical time of feasting. The Pilgrims, who were deeply religious, most likely were inspired to do this from Leviticus 23: 34, which is the commandment for the Feast of Tabernacles (or "Sukkot"- meaning "booths" or "temporary dwellings").  This was a time to gather up the harvest to worship and thank God for his provision. 

This time of year, many of us want to throw a large celebration.  We might spend far more money on food than we can afford, and not even consider it's folly.  The high cost of food makes many of us poor.  For those who have farms and are growing their own apples and fruits, have their own turkeys, and grow their own vegetable - these are the people who can have a plenteous table with food grown for very little cost, with the work of their own hands.  But for the rest, who have to buy every apple to make a pie, or have to buy the turkey and the potatoes and all the rest, far too  much money can be easily spent.  This is not the purpose of the Thanksgiving holiday. 

In our home, I have to count the cost.  I have to find the sales and "scour out the land" to make our Thanksgiving wonderful, but something we can afford.  We will have our own family and guests as well.  It will be a precious and delightful time.  But I will host this in a manner in which I can afford, and with creativity and the works of our own hands.  I will make what I can, and buy what I can afford.  We mothers can make these special times because of our labor and prudence.

The Pilgrims were a humble people who sought after holiness.  Their first Thanksgiving feast was a joyous time to enjoy the prosperity of an abundance of food the Lord had provided for them.

Let us follow their example despite a consumerist, ungodly culture around us.

Mrs. White

From the Archives:

What Life is Like - Living Without Credit Cards.

Mother inspires the Family - The Cultured Society of Home.

Summer Days at the Estate - Walking the Gardens with Baby.

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. 


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Home Life in New England

Cape Primrose (small)

I noticed some little pine cones around some of the trees on the front grounds of our Estate.  I thought it would be so nice to bring them in, and decorate.  I wanted to get back out there with my grandson and have him help me. He is 2 years old now.  But things got very busy with the care of the house and the care of two of my grandchildren.  My sweet, little grandboy has a sister who is 7 months old.  I remember walking around the property with him the first year of his life. I showed him my attempts at gardening and he loved being held while we walked and talked about the Estate.  His sister hasn't had that privilege. I have found it difficult, in my old age, to tend to both of them on the grounds without help.  I get tired much too easily.  So I have to conserve my strength, leaving outdoor playtime with the babies to others in the family.

The other day, I noticed new daisies growing by the front porch. I would walk by the window and see them starting to blossom from a large plant one of the children had given me this past mother's day.  I couldn't believe new flowers were coming at this time of year, here in cold New England, in November?  It made me smile.

I am making Thanksgiving preparations and want to get back outdoors to gather some pine cones to decorate.  I will have to make the effort, this coming weekend, to take my grandbaby girl out with me.  I need to show her what the grounds look like this time of year. I want her to see the leaves before they are covered by the coming Vermont snow.   I remember, this past summer, walking her by the back river as we listened to the rushing of the water on the rocks.  There is a serene peacefulness to being out in this quiet retreat we call HOME.  

I was tidying up my dressing room and found a miniature porcelain doll. It is a little pilgrim doll I bought, years ago, while in a gift shop at Plimouth Plantation.   I will bring it out to display on the hutch in the parlour. The children will enjoy seeing it when they come home for Thanksgiving in a couple of weeks.

I have limited Internet access, and have enjoyed being completely without it for a few months.  I hope to write here when possible, but will continue to send out a monthly newsletter.  Old fashioned mail is such fun.

Mrs. White

From the Archives:

Encouraging children to clean -  Nobody wants to Clean a Messy House.

A Challenge and a Privilege - Living on Mister's Income.

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, August 26, 2014

Old Fashioned Motherhood

Bedtime Prayers

I have taken three months off from blogging here.   During this time, we welcomed our fourth grandchild this summer.  We are also helping the great - grandparents as they pack up and get ready to move south. Things are changing at our Vermont Estate.

I have had temporary access to Internet this past week.  I wanted to let you know that a new book has just been published.  I wrote it as I was helping take care of my grandchildren.  I have been remembering all the things we did when our own children were little, and what life was like a generation ago. 

I put together a small little book, "Old Fashioned Motherhood." It is a short, but peaceful read that will encourage the Christian mother who is taking care of babies and small children.  It has little bits of advice on a variety of topics.

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

ISBN-10: 0692274731
The Legacy of Home Press

This is a 62 page, plain, paperback book with a simple cover.  It was written as I sat in a rocking chair by the parlour window, rocking one of my grandbabies.  I hope it will encourage you.

I would love your help in getting the word out about my new book.  I am very grateful for your support and encouragement!

I don't have much time online, but will be available for a few more days.  This will be the last post for quite some time. 

For those who are interested, I am writing a small monthly newsletter and sending this out by regular mail. It is free to subscribe. I only ask for a self-addressed-stamped envelope to make it easy for me, both financially and in the saving of time.  You would just need to email me to request my personal address.  Please find the details on the last post.

Writing this post is making me realize how incredibly time consuming blogging can be. (gentle smiles.)  Two of my grandbabies are here and they have just gone to bed. I have some tidying to do and then I will get my rest.

I hope you are well.  God bless you and your families!

Mrs. White

From the Archives:

Getting the Children's Help - Nobody Wants to Clean a Messy House.

Poverty and Peace - Living without Credit Cards.

A Beautiful way to Live - Simplicity of Old Fashioned Homemaking.

Just in case I am able to come back:
An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Letters from The Estate by Mail

Send a Letter

Vermont is beautiful this time of year.  Early this evening, after I made supper for the family, I went out on the back grounds of our Estate.  We have a rushing river which is beautiful and peaceful to see.  There is a waterfall off to the far right.  It feels like a retreat to be able to walk the grounds here and enjoy the fresh air.  Mister has done the mowing and our flowers are growing nicely.  A small garden is in place.  Our grandbabies kept me busy today and I have enjoyed doing my housework.

Soon another grandbaby will arrive.  The great-grandparents, who live with us, are slowly recovering from this year's traumatic health difficulties.  We have been greatly blessed, despite many trials and hardships, here at our humble 1800's Colonial house.  Thank you for allowing me to share my life with all of you.

I have been writing here on this blog for 5 years now.  I started the blog, against my personal will, because a friend unmercifully nagged me to do it.  (gentle smiles)  It has been a tremendous amount of work that turned into a ministry of sorts.  I have enjoyed writing the personal letters and essays, which have been like visits!  I am also very grateful for all of your encouragement and support over the years.

As of the end of this week, I will no longer be blogging. Most likely, this will be a temporary absence.  In the meantime, since I won't be online for quite some time, I will be writing letters of sorts to send out by regular mail.  These will be just something plain and short, from 1 to 4 pages, depending on how much time I have.  They will be similar to the posts I have been writing here on the blog. These will be visits, essays, and encouragement for the old fashioned Christian housewife who seeks a godly home.

The first newsletter will go out sometime in June (2014).  Directions for subscribing are as follows:

Since I don't want to publicly post my private address, I need you to send me an email. Just let me know you are interested in receiving the letters.  I will then give you my address and simply ask for a business sized, self-addressed, stamped envelope.  There is no cost to subscribe. 

Email to:
puritanlight (at) gmail (dot) com

(NoteIf you are reading this after May 31, 2014:  I will be checking emails now and then at the library. Please bear with me if it takes several weeks for me to respond. I greatly appreciate your patience.)

I also hope you will continue to read the blog. The archives are here and will remain.  My books will continue to be offered for sale on Amazon, including my newest title, "Living on His Income."

May God bless your homes.   I will see you at the mailbox. . .

love, Mrs. White

A Sample From the Archives -

You can do it! - Housekeeping with a Will.

When Mister and I got married, we took this - A Vow of Poverty.

Please be one of these - The Mother who Isn't Busy.

I have never regretted staying home - A Humble Parlour as a School of Theology.

Special times in Marriage - When Groceries are the Presents.

Encouragement for Hard Times - A Mother of Sinners.

This sums it all up for the wife and mother at home - The Mission House.

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

In case I am able to come back:
An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Nothing to Do in the World but Rock Babies


I have full charge of 2 of my grandbabies for much of the day.   We have set them up on a routine which is good for their health.  They get the "air" by going outside to play, and enjoy the sunshine.  They have their meal times and nap times. 

The other day, I had a fussy newborn and took her out on the front porch.  I snuggled her up with her Winnie the Pooh Comforter and rocked her in the chair.  It was such a pleasant day.  She drifted off to sleep.  One of the "Uncles" had the other grandbaby on the front property. The little one was toddling around having a marvelous time.  As I sat there with the children, I didn't think about laundry or cooking. I didn't think about the vacuuming. I thought that I had nothing better in the world to do but rock the babies!

Another day, the new baby would not be consoled unless I walked down passageways and staircases here at the old Estate.  I am sure that those in some of the rooms often thought a person was coming, but no one appeared!  Because we went up and down the stairs, over and over, and they creaked as we went. I can just imagine my daughter looking over her shoulder, towards the doorway, thinking that someone would be there any moment!  We do get amused over the littlest things around here. (gentle smiles)

Because it is so busy here, I have trouble getting supper ready. We tried to make it early in the morning to save for later. But that didn't work.  Yesterday, I did what little tidying I could around the care of the babies, but most of the work was not done until the little ones had gone to bed.  I made supper for the next day. It was beef stroganoff. This went into a casserole pan and was placed in the refrigerator for whoever had a minute to heat it up!  I also did the dishes, cleaned the rooms and made the parlour look nice.  This is what I will have to do each evening, so I can continue to have nothing to do but rock the babies all day!

Since we are losing our Internet, I have come to appreciate the longing for a quieter life.  When I was first notified a few weeks ago, by the great-grandparents who are in charge of such things here at the Estate, I was delighted! "Well, that is fine with me! I will just stop blogging." I was almost relieved!  Now, I love to write, and I love writing here, but I am constantly tempted to take on review jobs that are exhausting.  I honestly need a little forced break to quiet down for a season.  It was almost like the time when we lost our phone service. The company had made some mistake and the account had been compromised.  They shut off my phone and it took them weeks to set up my new service.  I didn't mind one bit, and I was happy to wait it out.  We had no phone for about a month or so?  What a delight that was to me! (gentle smiles)  Of course, there were difficulties when I couldn't talk to my grown children who live away from home.  I also had to retrieve an occasional message elsewhere when a need arose. But overall, I was happy without the phone.

I have come to accept these little "supposed" trials in life. They are a gift!  I am also looking forward to writing little letters and sending them out to any readers who want them.  I have already talked to many of you about this, and the response has been wonderful.  Very soon, perhaps in a day or two, I will explain how you can subscribe to my letters by regular mail. These won't cost you anything but a stamp! 

The babies are out with their Mother but will be back very soon. I have bottles to make and a kitchen to clean.  I have been watching old BBC programs of a series of Jane Austen movies and I love them.  I will find one and set it up.  I watch them in the afternoons while feeding the newborn. She  loves them too.

Mrs. White

PS:  I will post at least once more before the end of May, when I lose Internet.  Most likely, it is only temporary. Perhaps I will be back in a few months?  Be sure to watch for information on subscribing to my letters by regular mail.

From the Archives -

So nice to have! - The Common Rooms.

Getting Along - Forgotten Kindness in Marriage.

Back to Blogging After a Long Illness - Sweet Rest.

My newest book is ready!  "Living on His Income." It is a small 64 page, paperback book.  It is designed to encourage the old fashioned housewife to live on her husband's income.

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


Analytical Grammar (A Homeschool Review)

Product - Analytical Grammar curriculum and DVD.  (A systematic approach to language mastery.)

Recommended age - Grade 6 and up.

Website -

Created by - R. Robin Finley (A retired language arts teacher.)

Contributing author -  Erin Karl (Robin's daughter. Erin taught middle school language arts.)

It is quite intimidating writing a review for a language arts program. Of course, I will second - guess every thing I write!  But this program is exceptional.  I have been using it with my teenage son.

Here are the basics:

There are two bound workbooks. 

One is the student book -

There are 35 units which cover such lessons as:  pronouns, comma rules, helping verbs, active and passive voices, and many more.  These are designed to be done in order, each lesson building on the last one.

A lesson consists of:

Notes:  Explains the objective, uses definitions and examples, and introduces the lesson.

Exercise #1:  Since we used the DVD along with the binder, we watched the lesson on DVD.  The Teachers were wonderful. It was like having private tutors who were professional, to the point, and took the time to carefully explain the exercise to viewers.

Exercise #2:  The student does this on his own.  It is similar to the first exercise.

Exercise #3:  Similar to the previous exercise, continuing the practice and work required to thoroughly learn the unit.

Some of the units include a "Skills Support":  A lesson for the student to complete.

Each unit ends with a Test.

What I love about this program is that each exercise is only one page long.  It is not cluttered up with directions or endless text.  It is to the point, clearly written, and helps the student get the job done.

The teacher book is the same as the student book but has all the answers filled in.


This is a set of four DVDs.  All 35 units are included here.  This is very well done.  I found it to be an invaluable teaching resource to go with the workbook.

Overall, the program is just what I have been looking for.   We did this program first thing most mornings. If we were at the table, I would set up a laptop for my student to watch the DVD.  He could also watch it on television in another room.   He worked wherever he found a quiet room.  I greatly appreciated the DVD because I felt like my student was in the capable hands of excellent tutors, who could teach this subject better than I could! Why? Because they have dedicated much of their lives to the study and teaching of this one subject.  Their teaching method and curriculum is well tested and worked beautifully for us.

 Mrs. Finley and her daughter have uncomplicated language arts and made it very easy to learn.   I was impressed with the quality of the program and how well everything was explained. 

My student has a greater appreciation of sentence structure and the purpose of grammar.  He has always been a struggling learner.  This program has improved his reading and writing skills, by helping him focus specifically on the study of language arts.

*Disclosure - I received this item for review purposes.*

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Leaving the Blog World

Bogey's Pub

Dear Readers,

I wanted to send you a little warning note.  Sometime next week, I will stop blogging.  We are losing our Internet access.  In the past, I have been able to get around computer and Internet troubles, by visiting my local library and writing sporadically. However, at this point, I cannot get up the energy or the time to write while away from home. It would be too difficult.

Most of my writing is done by an open window, here at the Estate, in the spring and summer. This is when little ones are napping or the sun has not yet risen.  Those are the quiet moments when I can write.  At other times, I might be in the kitchen finishing up some homemade biscuits or making dinner. While the food was cooking, I would sit by the fire in winter and write.

Writing while away from home is not something I can manage.

Over the next few days, I will try to finish up some blog posts that are obligations (a homeschool review comes to mind.)  I had also planned to share a tour of the interior of our house.  We won't have time to finish up our projects and get a post ready in time.  I deeply apologize for this disappointment.

 I will also announce my new book that has just been published. It is my last book as far as I can see.  I started working on it a few months ago.  It is about being an old fashioned Christian housewife. I have received all kinds of questions, through email and comments, about being a housewife in today's financially difficult world and wanted to write this book to meet that need.  I hope to announce it early next week.   I hope you will be watching for it!

Since I won't be here, I dearly hope those of you who have been reading my blog, and who have enjoyed my books, that you will encourage others to visit here. The archives will remain.  I also hope you will recommend my books, which will continue to be available for sale on Amazon.

Some of you have my address and are welcome to write to me via regular mail.  I will do my best to write back.  I will also try to check my email every other month or so, if I am able to visit the library. [My email address is: puritanlight (at) gmail (dot) com ]

I had hoped to start a little newsletter to share my visits by regular mail, since I cannot write here anymore. I don't know if that will be possible. But it is an idea. (If this does happen, I will place the information on the sidebar of the blog before the end of next week.)

I expect my last post will be the announcement of my book.  Thank you so much for your constant encouragement and kindness over the last 5 years.  I will miss you!

Mrs. White

From the archives -

A beautiful place -  The Cultured Society of Home.

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

Don't let this be true!  - Only Rich People Have Clean Houses.

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

Just in case I am able to come back:
An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Happy Days with Mister

Part of Mrs. White's front property in Vermont

Mister has spent the last few days working on our 2 acre property. He uses a "push mower" and did some of the gardening. He painted our picnic table, painted the wood posts that are around some of our little flower gardens, and made the yard look pretty.

While he has been outside, I have been indoors caring for the home.  I wash dishes, sweep floors, scrub sinks, prepare and serve meals, do laundry, hang clothes to dry, and take care of the family - especially the two grandbabies.  Mostly, I sing "Amazing Grace," and "Bringing in the Sheaves" while I work. And I hear the chirping of birds through the open windows.

This past year, I have had to be away from home.  He has missed me, and all the things I do here to make this place a home.  I have spent much of my time at hospitals and taking care of the great grandparents.  My absence has been greatly felt.  It looks like I will have to be away from this estate again sometime soon, when another new grandbaby is expected.  Hospitals and sick rooms keep calling me away.

This evening Mister said, "You have a beautiful yard, my dear."  He tells me he does all the work to make me happy.  I respond, "You have a beautiful house."  We both smile.  We are both weary from the day's chores.  We know we both work very hard here, for the family. It makes us both happy.

The other day, Mister said something special that has greatly amused me.  I was having difficulty with one of the faucets in this old 1800's house.  He keeps having to fix it for me.  This time, I asked him to please just go to the hardware store and replace it all.  He reached over to the faucet and fixed it in his own Yankee way, and said sweetly, "This is the way I live. . . You will have to learn to live this way too."  And I have been smiling ever since.  Because do you know what?  We live a charming, old fashioned life. And I love it.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Have you visited our property? Tour of the Estate Grounds.

You can do it! - Housekeeping with a Will.

A Review of one of my Favorite books - "In My Father's House" by Corrie ten Boom.

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. 


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Grandmother's Nursery

Mother Holding Baby

We have done some rearranging and set up a little room as a nursery for the grandchildren.  The room is one of the smaller ones, with a gate at the door.  There are beautiful wood panelled walls.  There is a crib, toy box, little bike, and a big chair in the corner where I can read stories to the babies.

I want to find vintage photographs to put on some of the walls. We already have letters and such for educational purposes.  The room is a cozy, happy place where I will spend part of my day with my grandbabies. 

Of course I will still take them along with me when I am cleaning and cooking. They will be busily occupied in carriages or highchairs on the upper floors where my kitchen and parlour are set up.  They will happily watch and laugh while I vacuum.  We will also go out on the grounds of this estate to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine all through the spring and summer.

But a great part of our day, will be that joyful little nursery. This is where I will rock the babies and sing them lullabies.  This is where all my attention will be for them.  This is where I will not be busy with anything but the care and nurture of babies.

Grandmother's nursery is a happy place for the children.  This will be their domain and the place we will love to play.

In every home, there ought to be a quantity of time devoted entirely to children.  It goes by much too fast.  While it may seem like mother or grandmother is not doing anything at all, she is creating incredible memories and security in the hearts of the babies.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Thrift does not have to mean serving rice and beans - Basic Cookery.

The Horse and Carriage ride with baby - Snowy Days at our Vermont Estate.

Remembering my Childhood - Manners Learned at the Finishing School.

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. 


Friday, May 16, 2014

I Cannot Do it All

Parsons Gardens Park on Queen Anne Hill, Seattle, Washington, USA
Photo is of a Garden park in Washington

The weather here at the Estate is lovely.  Mister has painted one of our picnic tables and it helps make the front property look fresh and new.  He also helped me plant cucumbers in a small front garden.  Our strawberry plants are thriving up on the hill. This is our third year as amateur gardeners.

Each day I open the windows and put potted flowers on the sills.  I have daises, mini roses, white flowers and purple ones.  These are all on the second floor and as I look at them, I can see the lower landscape of the property. It reminds me of a cozy apartment where window boxes and patio gardens are common. It is a touch of home that anyone can have.

I have vacuumed and swept and polished the rooms. I vacuumed the front staircase and cleaned the entryway.  I have done laundry and dishes. I have baked and cooked, and took time to enjoy my pretty flowers.  Then one day, not too long ago, My glasses went missing.  I am always losing them. But this time, someone accidentally stepped on them.  I normally use them to read and to drive. I also like to wear them when I clean so I can see all the crumbs and messes, to make everything look sparkling and nice.

 So this past week, with my impaired vision, I have learned another needed lesson. I cannot do it all.  Others have stepped in, and life has been more leisurely. I still clean and cook, but others are doing some of the sweeping and washing.  Others are doing all the driving. I was clearing off the table and doing dishes and one of the children said, "Mom, how can you still clean when you can't see?"  I told her that I had everything just about memorized and it was a habit to just keep working. 

The laundry and the housework are a basic part of my daily life.  But when I cannot see the jelly grandbaby has gotten on the floor, someone gets the mop and washes it all up.  I only notice it when I step on it. But someone comes along and gets it clean. (gentle smiles)

Because I cannot see very well, I am more quiet.  It has dimmed one of the senses that keeps one on alert and overly busy.  I work at a gentler pace and the family has been sweet about this, my latest handicap. 

Soon I will have a new pair of glasses. They have been ordered.  The money has come as a blessing from the Lord.  A donation came the day before the glasses broke.  I am taken care of by my precious Lord before a need has even happened.

I am thankful to learn that others come around me and help me through this life.  Even if this is just in housework and errands.  If you notice this post has typing errors, please understand. I have the keyboard memorized, but can't see well enough to fix my mistakes.  That is just like my life I suppose, flawed despite my best efforts.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Take Back the Kitchen! - Mother's Home Cooking.

Cleaning can be Recreation - The Care and Keeping of Home.

Remembering - Living without Credit Cards.

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, May 12, 2014

Nobody Wants to Clean a Messy House

"Messy Room, Neat Boys", October 22, 1955

Cleaning to me is part of decorating. I go through the house and tidy things up and make them look pleasant to the eyes.  Home decorating is a way to create a nice atmosphere for the family.  This is done without money. It is done everyday when the chairs are made neat and pillows are fluffed. It is when furniture polish makes surfaces bright and gleaming in the afternoon sun.  It creates an ambiance.

I clean throughout the day, or else things will get out of control. I clean whenever I see something out of place, as I walk by the way. (Of course, stopping at a certain hour to end the day's work and enjoy some leisurely rest.)  I clean a neat home, but of course the work is a little harder at mealtime when the most work is needed to be done.

But nobody wants to clean a mess.

We have all walked into an unattended kitchen and seen spills and crumbs and dishes all over the place.  This is a messy mess and no one wants to go in there.  Very often this happens when it has been left to the care of children or teenagers.  They just don't have the experience to keep things nice and keep messes decent.

We have also seen a child's bedroom that looked like a tornado had been there.   No housekeeper would walk in there without sighing.  This is not a pleasant type of cleaning!  So we call in the child and we put them through a training session. I love to make these humorous.  I will say to the child, "I wonder what happened in here?"  To which the child will shrug and look around to survey the damage. It is almost like the child was oblivious to the mess until mother pointed it out.  I smile and say, "Well, let's clean this together."  Do you know why I don't demand the child do it alone? Because that would be unfair and too much. It is obvious that help is needed to get things under control.  I also use this time to re-teach how to do the work.  And lecture about cleanliness. This not only gets the message through, but sometimes bores the child so much they would rather have the room kept clean than have mother talk about cleaning for hours! (gentle smiles)

I will show the child how to make the bed by taking all the bedding and throw it on the floor. I will put on a sheet, arrange the pillow and make the bed.  I will talk while I do it, as if I am sharing how to make a meal from a recipe.  When it looks nice and neat, I will say something like, "See? Doesn't that look better?"  When the child's face brightens (probably because he thinks he got out of making his own bed), I will say, "Now it's your turn." I will take all the bedding and throw it back on the floor. Then I will watch and direct while the child remakes his own bed. 

Next we go to the bureau drawers. I start with one drawer.  We sort the junk from the clothes and fold and make things neat. Then I take it all back out and put it on the floor. The child redoes each drawer on his own, just like we made the bed. 

We go on to the bookcase, the floor, and all through the room until I have shown how to clean it all, and the child has redone my work. 

Granted, I must have time to do all this, and it only happens a couple of times a year.  But once the training session is done, that child does not want to hear me say, on another day, "Hey, do you want me to help you clean your room?"  (smiles)  Because now they have learned that it is quicker and easier to just do it on their own.

We can do this with any room in the house - the kitchen, the living room. We can re-do jobs with the children until they are ready to take on the chores responsibly and on their own.  Children should be taught to spend between one and two hours a day in personal cleanliness and chores. This is something they will have to do all through their lives.

However, sometimes when we mothers are too overwhelmed, sick, or tired, we might just walk into one of those messy rooms, sigh, and say we will work on it later.  We will just have to make that mess look pretty, rest up, and then get the help from the family to retrain and make the home look nice again.

This, of course, is the training ground for children to gain an excellent work ethic.  These skills we teach, to have a clean home where their own labor made it happen, is what helps build character.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Mother's Christian Example in the Home - The last Witness of an Era.

Pleasant Times - The Parlour in the Morning.

Motherhood - What I Learned from My Husband's Weariness.

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. 


Friday, May 9, 2014

Bedtime at the Estate

Mother Wishes Her Two Children Goodnight

The sun had gone down. The grandchildren had their baths - the toddler and the newborn.  John (16) and I scurried around doing dishes and cleaning the parlour. All the children's toys and clothing from the day were put away.  The last of the laundry was finished and we tucked in all the kitchen chairs. 

"It is almost bedtime. . " I called out to one of the children.  I shut off the bright lights and turned on some dim lamps.  This is part of the signal to quiet down the day.  A nice cup of milk and a blanket and pillow were prepared for the toddler.  He laid down happily and was quiet in his little bed.  The newborn went off with mother.  The house was quiet and peaceful.

John and I sat at the table and did our Bible time. 

Soon it was time for we grown ups to go to sleep.  It had been such a long day, with so much work - laughter and noise! We had cleaned and cooked and worked here at the Estate. We were tired.

I love that children have their own bedtimes.  We adults work very hard watching over them and tending them.  It is good for them to have a routine of baths and quiet and snuggling up in their little beds.  We parents need to have our own peaceful, evening routines after the young ones are asleep.

While we do not always get every bit of the day's work finished here, I love to take one last glance back over the rooms before the last light goes out.  It is a moment of gratefulness for all we have, and I am able to rest content in our happy home.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

When you are too tired - Make the Mess Look Pretty.

Inspiration for Mothers - Radio Homemakers.

Remembering my Heritage - The Blessing of Being a Half - Southern Mama.

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. 


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Common Rooms

An Interior

In every home there are common rooms. These are the rooms where everyone congregates. They are like public rooms which the family enjoys for eating and recreation.  Each member of the household has a bedroom for their personal belongings.  The common rooms include items the entire family can use.

One way to keep a home tidy and inviting is to encourage the family to keep personal belongings (such as clothing, shoes and papers) in their own bedroom.  Most of us will bring things into the dining room and write or sort, or perhaps leave our shoes in the entryway for a time.  But we should be encouraged, after a reasonable time, to put those items away. This will help keep the main rooms nice and neat.

To enjoy the main rooms, they should be well dusted, swept and vacuumed.  The furniture should be polished and any curtains or linens should be regularly washed and cleaned.  This keeps the rooms fresh and pleasant.   Chairs should be kept in their places, or tucked in an orderly fashion. This is pleasing to the eye and brings peace as one enters a room.

If there is a cabinet, bookcase, or hutch, these can be stocked with games like chess, checkers, battleship, scrabble, monopoly and other fun items the family can use when they are gathered together. 

If at all possible, most of the main rooms should not contain a television set.  They should be rooms for visiting and talking and for enjoying fellowship within the home.  A television could be in another room - like a living room or family room. Today, many have TVs in their kitchens and dining rooms, or in every room in the house.  If the house can accommodate at least one common room - one main room - for just visiting and enjoying each other's company, without personal belongings or clutter scattered about - this would be a very pleasant place which helps make a house a home.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Good manners and making the morning formal - Breakfast at Home.

Hard work - Homemaking Survival.

From my childhood - Manners Learned at The Finishing School.

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, April 22, 2014

Running Away from Housework

Sewing, 1906

Each day this past week, an errand called me away. This meant that my work at home was done by someone else.  I would listen to symphonies on the classical music station in the car.  Peacefully driving down the road, one would have thought I was running away from my housework.

There is certainly plenty of things to do here at the Estate. We have a patient to care for, a newborn baby, a toddler, and the rest of the family who need nourishing meals, clean laundry, and a clean and sanitary home.  They also need a pleasant home and a cheerful place of rest. 

We are in the midst of a thorough spring cleaning, which is often delayed due to the cold, prolonged Vermont winter.  How does one wash windows and clean screens when one cannot open the windows due to the bitter cold?  But the weather has warmed up, and those chores are ready to be taken on.

There are also regular, or routine, tasks that must be done each day, much to the chagrin of one's family.   It seems like this generation is less interested in cleaning than the last.  My mother-in-law spent almost all her time at home. We all visited her.  On the rare occasion she visited us, she would notice something out of place and offer housekeeping tips. She did this so sweetly and cheerfully.  At one point, I had two active little girls, ages 2 and 3, who ran around the large living room playing with all their toys.  At this moment, my husband's mother happened to come by.  She noticed the toys scattered all about and started to pick them up. She said something like, "See?  Just put them all in the playpen and everything will stay neat."  She loved a clean home and kept hers lovely and pleasant.  Another time, years later, we were living in an apartment building. Someone had given us their old furniture, which we didn't need. Mister stored it in the common basement.  One day he offered to give one of the TV stands to his mother.  I didn't realize he had not bothered to clean it before he brought it to her. Long neglected in the basement, it was covered in dust!  (Horrors!) Well, the next time we visited her, she showed it to me. It was all clean and shiny. "Look how nice this looks!" She said to me.  "All it needed was a little dusting and polishing!" She was so cheerful and kind.  I just nodded and said it looked lovely.  It's funny how she thought I needed help with cleaning!

My own mother was a great housekeeper as well.  When Clorox disinfectant wipes were first invented, she had a pack of those with her wherever she went. She loved them!  She would bring them over to our house and use them, much to my amusement.  I didn't understand the fascination. But this same lady takes a feather duster out to dust the inside of her car!  Can you imagine this kind of dedication to cleaning? 

My mother, however, did not offer cleaning advice. She and I have this sort of "cleaning sickness" that we just go in to a place and start cleaning.  We love it!  There were times when she would visit, while I was recovering from some illness, and when she had left, my husband would notice those little touches of cleanliness.  He would see his coffee maker was spotless and would say with a smile, "Your Mother has been here!"  This is a lovely type of cleaning, where you just adore the work and love to make things look nice.

I only wish the current generation would stop writhing and squirming to get out of housekeeping.  When chores are mentioned, they often run the other way. (gentle smiles) So this morning, I made a nice long list of lovely spring work that needed to be done.  I left the list on the kitchen table for my family.  These are extra chores like washing the windows, raking the yard, sweeping the porch and sweeping down the stairs.  I plan to make such a list each day for the residents of this grand Estate.  It is my hope that if they get into a morning habit of plenty of cleaning jobs, they will pick up on that coveted virus me and mother call a "cleaning sickness," where they will love it as much as we do.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

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

A Lovely Gift from My Daughter - The Long Awaited Present.

Guess What Today Is? - A Lovely Day for Cleaning.

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, April 21, 2014

Sneak Peek of our Kitchen

I am planning to post pictures of the interior of our Estate. We are continuing with our spring cleaning and painting.  It is taking much longer than I anticipated!

In the meantime, I wanted to give you a quick look at our Kitchen.  Matthew (21) painted the walls and Mister did the cabinets.   These men are very sweet and kind to paint the kitchen in pretty spring colors, since that was what I wanted!  It is a purple kitchen.  I have a new lamp on the counter.  You can see my radio over near the window, where I listen to the old time gospel music, or of old time sermons.  I also added a grape colored carpet for in front of the sink. (The carpet was not available for the photograph. - gentle smiles.)

This picture was taken just days before our newest grandbaby was born.  This new little baby girl is a joy to our hearts.  Of course, her grand arrival here at our Vermont Estate has slowed down the work.

A full tour is forthcoming.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Pleasant Outings - Going out with Mister.

When You Worry About Money, Remember this - All of God's Children Have Shoes.

Are you One of These? - A Good Little Housewife.

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. 


Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring Preparations at the Estate

Pink and Yellow Roses

Yesterday morning I found some pretty roses on my kitchen table. These were just 3 small flowers. One was yellow, another was white, and the third was a pretty shade of pink. They were in a miniature white vase.   It was a gift from Mister.

The flowers look so pretty and give one hope that the warmth of spring will soon arrive here in cold Vermont.

Our kitchen work is almost finished.  We are spring cleaning and painting throughout the house this year.  My oldest son (at 21) did most of the kitchen painting.  Mister did the rest of the work this past week.  I will share pictures once all the rooms are finished - it will be an interior tour, much like the one I shared last year of the grounds.

Yesterday I bought many items for my pantry for good old fashioned home cooking. Potatoes were on sale, so I bought 4 bags. I will make fried potatoes, mashed potatoes and use some for a potato, broccoli and cheddar soup with homemade biscuits. (Certainly not on the same day!)  I also bought a few bags of chocolate chips and will make muffins and cookies.  Getting busy in the kitchen to create meals for the family is even more fun now that the kitchen has a fresh coat of pretty paint!

I bought many things so I could stay home, and cook and bake at my own pace the next few weeks.  There is nothing more forlorn and sad than having a sparsely filled pantry.  It takes away the creativity and makes meal time sad.  I like to think about supper in the late morning and begin preparations by early afternoon.  It is extra nice when something has to simmer for a few hours. It makes being home extra special with all the lovely scents of home cooking.

Mister and I are talking more about our summer gardening plans.  We have several seed packets of different types of flowers we will plant around the property.  I have daisies and hollyhocks, and Sweet William.   I also have this wonderful book, "The Backyard Homestead" which includes charts and ideas for planning a home garden.  It is inspiring.

A few years ago, when we amateurs began our gardening adventures, I started keeping a little book for our Estate.  It describes where the strawberry garden is, and where we grow our vegetables.  It is like a history and guide of the Estate.  This is wonderful to refer to from year to year, but it is also a keepsake for whoever takes over after me, such as our grown children (as heirs).   It is almost like a special book of running the Estate.  When things slow down for me (will they ever? - gentle smiles), I hope to add the meals we made here and the types of recipes that were commonly prepared here.  It is a history of life at the Estate.

Soon Mister will paint our chambers a pretty blue.  We have the most beautiful white curtains for each of the large windows in our room - (A generous gift from a dear friend).  Then we will continue on through the house with little repair projects and get the Estate ready for a lovely spring and summer.

Somehow the deprivations of Winter have faded away.  I am grateful.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

The Traditional way of frugality - Basic Cookery.

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

Remembering Last Summer, when He carried Me - Walking the Grounds with Mister.

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, April 8, 2014

The Mother Who Has Time for Prayers

1950s Family of 5 Saying Grace before Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner Mother Father 3 Children

One of the most important benefits of having a full time mother at home, is her prayers.  She is in the sanctuary of home.  Her concerns and focus are entirely devoted to husband and children, and in the care of their home.  She should be in the habit of praying while she cooks and cleans. 

While she is washing floors, ironing, and mending the clothing, her beautiful prayers will ascend, as a sweet melody, to heaven.

When her husband and children are out, they feel a sense of peace and security, knowing how much their mother loves the Bible, and is faithful in her loving and fervent prayers on their behalf.

This time of fellowship with the Lord (even in the midst of housework), provides a holy warmth and gentleness to her soul.  It softens her heart and helps make her sweet.  The family sees this and senses her strong faith.

We mothers, in our own efforts, cannot change the family. We cannot even change ourselves.  But striving for a closeness to God; hour by hour and minute by minute, will bring us great joy and contentment. It will bring us into a bright and precious walk with the Lord.  This is the state a mother is in, when she lives her life in a way as to have time to pray for her loved ones.

 Ideally, this is the mother at home.  She is of great value.  Her price is far above rubies.  No amount of money she could ever make could replace her constant, heartfelt prayers.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Please be one of these - The Mother Who Isn't Busy.

In case you ever wondered - How a Housewife Passes the Time.

I will never regret staying home - A Humble Parlour as a School of Theology.

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.