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.