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. 


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Publishing at The Estate

The Letter, 1942

Since late last fall, during rare moments of leisure, I have been working on a project with Mrs. Hultquist.  She is the author of "Dear Kitchen Saints."   Her marriage testimony first appeared in "Above Rubies" magazine in the year 2000.  She has been writing letters to homemakers for many years.  She has encouraged and inspired many wives and mothers at home.

This past December, we published her second book, "Dear Christmas Mothers."  I have read it many times and found that, no matter what time of year it is, I am always cheered on and ready to get up and make my home a happy place for my family. Her writing is endearing and full of old time wisdom.

In this Christmas book, Mrs. Hultquist mentions a cassette tape that was made nearly 20 years ago.  This was of 3 of her youngest 6 children, along with Connie and her husband, Jim.  She had taught the children to play a little bit of piano and wanted to make sure they knew the classic songs, like "Silent Night," and "Drummer Boy." She also taught them "Silver Bells;" "We Wish You a Merry Christmas;" and many more.

As readers of her books and writings have been very blessed by her work, we knew you would be curious to hear this recording.  With that in mind, and after much work by a team of us here at the Estate (Including Great- Grandpa's technical work), we were able to transfer this cassette tape onto a CD.  I chose a small selection from the recording and we created a final version for the public.  This Audio CD was just released and is available for sale.  Readers of "Dear Christmas Mothers" will love it.

You will hear the children singing, along with their parents. As you listen to the piano playing and the laughter of an everyday family enjoying home and being together, it will warm your heart.  It will inspire you to get out the old music books, and gather the family around while you create your very own homemade, old fashioned Christmas.

I realize April is an odd time to mention Christmas resources.  I want to explain my reasoning.  Very soon, we are expecting another little blessing here at our Estate.  I expect to be very busy helping with our new grandbaby's care, along with her Mother, and the full time care of my other grandchild.  I am also expecting another grandbaby shortly after that.  With all this excitement, I don't know what lies ahead.  Time will be limited. So I wanted to release the Christmas work before life here leaves me very little leisure.

I also realize Mother's Day is soon approaching.  Many Mothers would love to have Connie's "Dear Christmas Mothers" and the companion audio CD "Christmas at Connie's."  I know it will make an encouraging gift!

Audio CD:  "Christmas at Connie's - 1996  (The Home Recordings)

(The piano on the cover of the CD, is from Connie's home.)

Book"Dear Christmas Mothers" by Mrs. Connie Hultquist

(The framed picture on the cover, was taken from the Piano at the Hultquist Home.)

May you have a lovely Christmas, and I hope you enjoy these homemaking resources!

Mrs. White

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