I am sure all you seasoned homemakers know how much time it takes away from your homemaking interests, when of necessity you have to go out for errands and appointments. These days, even a car has appointments for maintenance and repair.
Each day I wake up determined to get some neglected part of the house in order and then the daily work, hoping to leave time for journaling, painting, sewing and letter writing. Every day there is something to be done outside of the home, which seems to take more hours away from it. When this happens I wonder if I am really being a "keeper at home"!
Being a guard and guide of the home does require going out for the things we need for upkeep. Country women like to stock up on things that will last for long periods of time, but that has its limits due to seasonal foods and other seasonal things. Sometimes I will think I have an entire week sequestered at home, but each day will require a trip in the car for something that is necessary to keep the house in order.
Being a keeper at home and a guard and guide of the home may not mean a lady will be there all of the time. It means she cares about the well-being of her family and the order of her house enough to take advantage of opportunities to enhance it all: a trip to the farmers market, a stop by a river for a picnic, a little day trip for family photographs and scenic views, making good use of of money through careful shopping and sales, going out for sewing supplies, cleaning supplies and parts, etc.
If you get a bit breathless over the amount of energy you spend outside the house (even your yard work) it is good to remember you are going about the business of your home, and in a sense, your Heavenly Father's business, as His Word points to the woman's responsibility of keeping the home.
Sometimes I enjoy getting out, just for ideas that will enhance my home-life. I like to see the floral arrangements in the grocery stores and look at the furniture arrangements in a home furnishing store, or just browse a little local shop on the off chance I might find a very inexpensive teacup. I may come home with nothing but a head full of color and ideas.
Some of us grew up with mothers as full-time homemakers, and they were sensible enough to know when they needed to stay in, and when they should go out. They knew they had to have meals on the table on time, the laundry hung, the house clean and other things done, and would not have deliberately neglected their families just for selfish reasons.
Yesterday I did not get around to the things I really wanted to do, but I did manage to clean out a drawer in he kitchen, mail a package, make afternoon tea, sew a couple of pillowcases for a room that needed them, make a trip to the grocery store, take out the trash and water the flowers. That isn't "progress" in some things, but little by little it buys more time for other things the next day. No one really notices, but these tasks create a smooth order in home living.
So don't feel daunted if there is sometimes a time when you can't seem to get anything done. You may be doing more than you think. I would suggest you make a list of things you DID accomplish, alongside your to-do list and you will see there are just as many things you completed, that were necessary for the upkeep of the home and the well-being of your loved ones and friends.
(Picture from Magnolia Hall Furniture)
This is what I would consider "lawn" which is similar to soft muslin, only more silky to the touch. These pillowcases are very soft to the skin and soothing to sleep on. The fabric comes in several colors and is available, or was available, at Walmart. I am thinking of sewing the same fabric as trim to a bed sheet, to match.