Saturday, December 23, 2006

A Happy Holiday

Several of my friends told me that last Monday they felt a little down. I suggested in moments like this that they think of what scenes or situations would cheer them up the most, and mentally walk through the scenes. This can sometimes motivate a person to create more cheerfulness in their life. The key is to change the things you can, and overlook the things you cannot. There is always something you can do to improve the situation. Try doing five things for the senses: the sense of smell, taste, sight, sound and touch. Then try five activities: do something for someone else, create something, learn something new by reading or watching, organize something or clean something, and try to look especially nice.

Here's to a peaceful and happy holiday.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

New Links to Enjoy

This one is about homemaking. Click on all her icons and her links page, as well.

This one is about femininity (not feminism). Click on all the subjects there

You might enjoy a kind of slide show here: but you have to move the pages yourself by clicking "next"

picture: Roses and Lace by Joyce Birkenstock from Allposters.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Warm Greetings to everyone. I hope the season does not bring on unnecessary stress.

This picture is by Susan Rios and prints of it can be purchased at

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Time to Rest

We are going to close comments for awhile and give everyone a chance to spend less time on the web, including ourselves. There is plenty to read in the archives and we have tried to post as many helpful sites as we can in the articles and comments.

Here in Oregon we have had a hurricane wind and were without power for quite a while especially in the country area where I live. It reminded me that we need to have an article, or link to someone else's, about the emergency supplies needed for such a time so that the family can stay warm and healthy during a storm or a power outage. Also there are safety rules that apply to things like candles and fuel and food.

Thank you all for posting, and especially our foreign visitors. We may continue to put up articles and links, but because comments have to be monitored we will be temporarily halting them. God Bless, Lydia

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Power of One

My daughter is expecting a baby any day now and I am "on call." This is her 3rd baby being born at home and her fourth with a midwife! Already the midwives are taking over their hospital equipment and getting ready. I would like to thank Mrs. Alexandra in Europe for her research and insight. As she has stated before, she grew up under a totalitarian government and a communist society. That is one reason why I value her opinion so much on this blog. She sees things happening in trends and in policy that I, having grown up in the free world, would not even suspect as being a threat to the freedom to be a homemaker! She understands how it comes to be, that the Biblical role of women as wives, mothers and homemakers, will be threatened. Mrs. A. speaks a host of different languages, and although English is not her native tongue, she writes it and speaks it impeccibly.

We want to thank all the people who post, and tell you that we appreciate even those who do not agree with us. Not everything will be agreeable to everyone, but most reading should be done with that in mind. I've always been able to discern between what applied to me and what applied to someone else, so there was no need to get offended.

Working women are really feeling the need to come home and take care of things. We are in a crisis with our marriages and our families. It is hard to believe, but there is power in one person. I read an article many years ago called "The Power of One," which told about how one vote in Congress made our national language English and not German, and how one person changed this or that, etc. There was a long list of men and women who changed things for the better.

Our homes and families and marriages are in a crisis, which effects the over all strength of our nation and our freedom, but it can be changed by the simple act of letting the women come home to have greater power over the family. The home must be guarded against things that divide loyalties internally as well: things like friends, television, movies, music, reading material have to be monitored by the mother. Our enemies are jealous of our freedom and our country. They know that the easiest way to defeat us and put us under totalitarian rule is to divide family loyalties. This is done when husbands and wives and children go in different directions with their lives, not having a common family goal. In the morning, everyone gets up and goes somewhere else, separate and apart from one another. It is bad enough that the husband has to work, without everyone else being so fragmented during the day.

One of the biggest threats to our national security is disloyalty and dishonor to parents. This can all be changed by making our nation family-centered, and that can begin with the women at home, influencing the way money is spent, the way life is lived, the way children are raised.

One belief I used to have, was that I could not home school my children or stay at home and be a housewife unless everyone else did it. I decided that if I waited til everyone else woke up and did it, I would lose precious time with my family, and my children would be among those numbers of children who went through life without a strong purpose.

Although I stayed home and homeschooled them in the early 80's, it felt very lonely, as no one on my street or any other streets was home. I used to put the children in the stroller and go for walks and see all the empty houses, thinking, "The women have gone to work so they can have these grand houses, which remain empty most of the time." No little tricycles in front of the houses, and no children's swimming pools. It all seemed as bare as the top of the moon.

After reading Helen Andelin's book, "All About Raising Children," I was fascinated with the concept of molding and influencing the lives of our own children, that she wrote about. In it, she had a section called "What's Wrong With School," in which she wrote about school not being sufficient to build good character in children, school taking too long away from home, etc. I wrote one letter to Helen Andelin and told her why I was homeschooling and gave her the addresses where some good teaching materials could be found. This was in the days before computers. She copied the letter 8 times and send it to each of her grown children. All but one of these children immediately began to homeschool their children, and did homeschool them throughout the years. One of her daughters even phoned me to get some ideas. I was an amateur at the time, yet the small bit that I did know about it, was important to her. Each of those children had an average of 6 children of their own, who are now grown, and married and teaching their own children.

Just one letter influenced 8, and who knows how many those 8 have influenced? There is a saying that the pen is more powerful than the sword. We can influence a lot of people through blogging and through doing the thing right in the presence of our friends and families. When you become a homemaker, it will surprise you how many people will want to do what you are doing.

One day there was a knock at my door and a woman who was a complete stranger stood there with her two children. She said, "I heard you were homeschooling your children. Can you tell me how I can do that, too?" I showed her some books and gave her some materials to read. She had a sister to whom she took these materials and right away the husband said he wanted his children homeschooled.

I was also a housewife, and one day a woman who lived at the end of the road phoned me. It was Saturday and she was not working. She expressed a desire to stay home but she said she wanted to wait and watch me and see how it ended up. She was going to miss out on many years of enjoying her home and her family. There are lots of people who will wait and see, and there are those who will go ahead and do something. The wait and see people will wait so long to do something, that the opportunity will be gone. I was just one person, and even though this one woman did not become a homemaker, she was influenced by it.

Another woman wanted to stay home and she said I was the only person she knew that was home so she wanted to come and visit me.During that time, she followed me around the house while I tended to all the things that needed to be done. She said she thought she could do that, so she quit her job and is home to this day.

I said all that to show how just one person can spread an influence without even trying. People notice what you do. The influence of one person can actually spread faster than telephone, tabloids, television or email.

It would be nice if homemakers could get together regularly and reinforce each other with ideas, and learn to how to live abundantly while saving money, and maybe that kind of thing will happen once again. Husbands could help reinforce their wives at home by being the provider and freeing them from other responsiblities, so that they can put their minds fully into managing the home.

Not everything can be learned in a school or a course of study. Some things, like home living, have to be figured out just by being there and observing from day to day what the jobs are. It takes some actual home living to figure out what you must do at any given time of day. You know for example, that people will need a meal at a certain time, clean clothes at another time, or certain paper work that they must have for something. These things can't be shown in a course of study, as well as they can just by experience.

So it is, that as time goes by, the homemaker can become better at what she is doing. If she spends the early years of her marriage at work, she misses a lot of the preparation that those early years give her.

Sometimes women come home for good after their first baby, and find that they cannot manage. Not only are they taking care of a baby, they are taking care of a house and a husband. If they stay home from the beginning of their marriage, they can use the time to get used to the way things run in their own home, before other responsibilities are added.

Because of the new baby, I probably will not be able to write as much, but I do have a new article coming up on in the LadyLydiaSpeaks column when it is updated. There are lots of other blogs mentioned throughout the comments and other articles, that show good examples of how to manage at home.

We have had several exciting things to happen becasue of this blog. I have made some new friends and been able to telphone them. We had a homemaking school for one day, in my home, in which 15 ladies of all ages attended and contributed lessons about the home! And, we were given the distinction along with other blogs like ours, of being banned in India by the Indian government. It has been a great year!!

Again, we appreciate the time each of you takes to make a comment.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A Matter of Good Housekeeping

This is a frank, undisguised message for young women who look down on housekeeping, or who think of it as a demeaning occupation, beneath the intellect.

When you visit a bed and breakfast inn, or a famous hotel, think of what kinds of comforts you could do without. If you are expecting to really relax and enjoy your vacation, would you appreciate getting a room with no clean sheets or towels? Would you like a room that is in shambles? Maybe you expect to rent a bed and breakfast and not have any food served to you, or , maybe the host points to the pantry and says to make your own breakfast. If you were paying a top price for a hotel, you would not like a room and see it all askew without a fresh smell, and no lights or any comfort of any kind. You would probably walk out, or complain to the manager.

Now let me bring you, in your mind, to the best hotel in the country. Let us suppose it is a cozy place in the mountains. You've saved up for this vacation for a long time and the hotel is one of the most important aspects of this trip. You expect to go to your room at night and really relax in luxury and forget about your worries. You want to rest and get refreshed, away from the cares of the world.

One of the first things you will notice is that the room is orderly. There may even be a tray of food on a table. The bathrooms have fresh bars of soap and clean towels. Everything that you expect and appreciate; everything that is lovely, got there by someone's housekeeping. Would you now say that such nice touches are demeaning? In some swanky places, a fresh pot of tea with scones are delivered to your room where you sit at a pretty table and look out the window at a pleasant view. Can you think for a minute that the service you are getting is a result of a demeaning occupation?

Without good house keeping, the world cannot go around as it does. We would be no better than animals scrounching for food in the trees, or lapping up water from a brook with our tongues. Good housekeeping makes the difference between uncivilized and civilized life.

Even if a student has no time for anything but study, someone has to do the things that makes that student's life smoother: the laundry, the dishes, food preparation, sweeping the floor, and emptying the trash. Some people have said it is more difficult to study and get their thoughts in order, in a disorderly room. Good housekeeping creates the atmosphere for clear thinking. It has been rightly said that "sloppy living leads to sloppy thinking."

A housewife has the time to create a beautiful home by the skill and art of good housekeeping. Good housekeeping is not a demeaning job to lift your nose in arrogance at. Labor and management cannot be separated in a home. The wife must be able to clean and manage the home.This is much different than being a maid, although there is nothing demeaning about being a maid. Prior to the 1900's, before factories or large chain stores existed, many young girls enjoyed working in the homes of rich people. It gave them a luxurious place to live, and it gave them a respectable position in life. Beyond that, marriage created even more respectability for young women.

In the 19th century, many young women prided themselves on their ability to sew, knit, bake, take care of a husband, and manage a home. They also wrote poetry and books. Some of them painted pictures that are famous. Today, there are many young women who think they have too much education to settle down to being a housewife. They feel that housekeeping is demeaning. In disparaging the 19th century women, saying they were not educated enough to be anything but a "housewife, they show a complete lack of research and study; a complete ignorance of the times. In some ways, life was very hard--for example, in certain places during homestead days, we had to carry water up a hill from a lake (we called it "running water" because we ran down the hill and back up again with buckets of water!), and that indeed was not pleasant, but those were only a few moments in the whole picture.

For the most part, women of the past were not miserable in their roles as housewives. These homes, which seem to have faded from the scene sometime in the 60's, had a warmth and a welcome that our homes in our progressive society lack. They were the kind of places where we were happy. They were given caring touches: the freshly pressed table cloth, the folded napkin by the plate, and the fresh towel on the edge of the sink. Housewives sweeping the floor did so because of the pride they took in their houses, and not because it was considered a demeaning drudgery.

There is more to a home than housekeeping. A wife needs to be able to manage her jobs. She has to adjust to the weather, the time of day, the time of the month, the time of the year. She has to be flexible with family needs and unexpected problems. While few people can ever really do it to perfection, at least the housewife knows what is necessary and can aim for that perfection.

This is what the Proverbs 31 model was all about: aiming for a standard. It was saying, in modern language, "It is hard to find a wife that is this good, but if you could, this is what she would be like." And, in being like, her, we are to understand that it is at least a standard to look up to. I will never accomplish the kind of things my grandmother did, but I still look to her as a role model. The Proverbs 31 example is a standard. Though a person may not be able to achieve it, there is comfort in knowing there is a standard to go by. It is a picture of the worth and importance of a wife when she takes her role seriously and guards her time and family carefully. And, all the things that the Proverbs 31 woman was said to have done, come under the role of "housewife," for housewives have a vast responsibility, even beyond housekeeping.

The mammoth amount of labor and the tiniest touches of delicacy that make your stay in a lodge or hotel memorable, are achieved by housekeeping. Think about that fancy resort you want to stay in. If everyone thought housekeeping was demeaning and all the housekeepers quit, and wanted to be in other careers, what kind of place would it be? If good housekeeping is so important to the hotel business, what kind of effect can it have on a marriage and a family? The very touches that mean so much in public places in this world, are housekeeping activities that some young girls call "demeaning." Think of the world without housekeeping. Even your favorite shops and restaurants obtain their ambiance through the careful work of housekeepers. You would not like them so much if this housekeeping was neglected because the proprietors thought housekeeping a demeaning job.

Observe something about many of the online shops on the web. A large proportion of them contain things for the home. Most of the things a woman buys has to do with enhancing her home or making life more pleasant at home. A large amount of the free enterprise that takes place on the web and at home, --everything from plumbing supplies to home decor---is for the home. The economy would certainly suffer without homes to care for.

The structure of a bridge does not look very important. You might not notice it at all. Yet without it, the bridge is worth absolutely nothing. A ship has a small rudder, that passengers don't even see, yet, it is the most important part of the ship. Without it, the ship could not serve in the capacity for which it was made. A realtor selling a house will make sure it is presentable. Housekeeping must take place in order to increase its value. As a young woman, you may have grown up believing that housekeeping is not important, yet, without it, a house depreciates in value.

Maybe you don't think much of housekeeping because it doesn't make you look important. An opera singer is supported by many other musicians. Can you imagine the clarinet section quitting because they are not noticed or given the high profile that the opera singer is? The singer can surely perform on her own, but the people in the background working to help her--even the one who pulls the curtain, is just as important. Without these people, the performance would not be a success. The same goes for marriage, home and family. Though the man takes the responsibility for his family, his support structure is his wife and children. Housekeeping might not seem very important, because, after all, we can hire someone to do it. Yet, the housewife has a more personal interest in her house. She does it for the people she loves.She is more motivated to make it the best place in the world.

A friend invites you over to her house for afternoon tea. You arrive and see that she has laid out her best china and cleaned up her house, just for you. She wants to do her very best so that you can have a good time. What if she said, "I'm, not going to do any housework. It is just demeaning." You probably would wonder if you had arrived on the wrong day, or if she was not very happy to see you.

Taking all this into consideration, it is undeniable that housework is the support system upon which many business and homes rely. It should be taken seriously. The family can tell a difference between beauty and ugliness; order and chaos. They will spend the most time where they feel the most dignified. I know teenagers who prefer to spend their evenings at home rather than at the houses of friends, or rather than running around to movies and restaurants because of the family taking so much pride in good housekeeping. It is not a small job. It is not insignificant. Without it, daily life would be miserable.

To add a thought, to anyone who thinks housekeeping is a low paying, demeaning job: try hiring a housekeeper for a day. I know a woman who charges quite a bit for housekeeping, by the hour. Her rates are very high, and rightly so, for she is very professional. She chooses a house a day and a customer a day, if she likes and she will work maybe one hour, on one particular task, and then go home. Maid services are expensive, also. So, if you are a housewife and a keeper at home, you are helping your family budget, and if you train your children to pick up after themselves, you are teaching them to be good stewards of money and posessions.

Painting: Once Upon a Winter's Night by Michael Humphries, from Allposters.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

A Look at the Past

It is sad to see so many young people who can't even fathom the strong marriage, home and family that was the norm just a few decades ago. Young women often write to LAF (Ladies Against Feminism) in the comments section and say that we are living in a dream world. Well, I would like these young women, who are usually students, to get out of their small world and expose themselves to more of the world than they are accustomed to. You will find that there are many young married couples really trying to make a go of it. They have had enough of broken homes. They have had enough of estranged families. They want something better.

Many of them grew up in divorced familes and want no part of it. Even they knew instinctively that there was something better than that. We all have pictures of our ancestors and records of family geneology, where people in families had the same surnames. We all hear the old songs recorded by crooners who promised to "change your name to mine, " or invited a woman to "have the same last name." Surely there has been left behind a record of that world of marriage for a lifetime and a house and family based economy. It cannot be erased. It is recorded in our scrapbooks, and our albums and our picture collections. It is recorded in books and stories. It is recorded in architecture.

I was in an antique store not long ago, looking at some of the old Victorian photographs of unknown people. I marvelled at how much you could tell about their lives just by looking at those pictures!! I do have a point of reference though, because I know who the people are in my own old photographs from the 1800's. They are interesting because in many of them, the people are standing in front of their houses with their families. The entire photograph represents a marriage, a home and a family, or maybe a farm that produced a living for that family. Husbands or wives appear together.

Queen Victoria knew what would happen if feminists got their way. She stated that men would refuse to take care of women and children and would let them work just like the rest. She said it would be chaos in her country. She called the feminist movement, "Wicked, wicked folly," and she was right. A century later, the U.S. Senate chaplain, Peter Marshall (whose wife wrote the story "Christy," upon which the movie series was based) preached a sermon called "Keepers of the Springs" here, in which he showed that feminism was only freeing women to swear, smoke and drink like a man, and it robbed them of their true feminine virtues that men had held so dear throughout history. The author, Taylor Caldwell write an article in "American Opinion" magazine here that from what she had seen of the Women's Liberation movement, it only made men more liberated to abandon women.

Young women, you need to know that life is more than what you perceive from the so-called women's studies classes in University. In fact, if they truly were women's studies, they would be honest and include all women and good women who raised happy families and helped their husbands be successful, and helped train up a moral generation. Young women, you need to contact the women at home and talk with them. You need to write term papers about them in an honest way. You need to do more research on the subject and not accept what is spoonfed to you through your education, which is sometimes called indoctrination.

Young women need to know that one of the reasons so many husbands and fathers wanted their women free to be home away from the stress of the workplace, was not to restrict them, but to protect them. Young women need to include in their curriculum the books in our book shelf at LAF: Come on: Be open minded. If you really love education so much, and are so open minded, be open minded enough to read some of these books and articles that I've mentioned here. You might also try the book by Gragalia that has been talked about so often on this blog.

Also, read "The Benevolence of Manners" (old title is "Simple Social Graces,") a book directed at women who think the feminist movement gave them so much, that shows the history of the Victorian women, their lives, their past times, their families, their marriages, their religion, their talents, etc. and compares them to women today. She named one chapter "How Far We Haven't Come." I remember the past: women like my mother enjoyed the freedom of being home and having their own little businesses at their leisure that they could run the way they wanted to. They were able to look after the house and the chldren without the pressure to perform that is so prevelant to day. They were accepted for who they were and what they were and not urged to "be more" which is all we hear today. They were happy. It was not a dream world.

You also need to read the Lady Lydia Speaks column at In addition, watch the videos that are suggested. Find all the books you can on creative home making. Homemaking consists of many things besides keeping house. Decorating is a real mood-lifter and can be incorporated into homeliving quite easily, without spending a lot of money. I will write on that sometime in the future.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Benefits of the Harmonious Home

I just wanted as many people as possible to see my article in the Lady Lydia Speaks section of Ladies Against Feminism. Click on and scroll down to Manners: Showing Respect and Honor at Home.

Occasionally, someone misunderstands the Ladies Against Feminism website, but we are for marriage, preventing divorce, teaching our children well, and being all we can be as homemakers. Jennie Chancey and I teamed up several years ago and created this site to help women understand that their homes and families needed them full time.We hope to encourage men to be providers and make it easy for their wives to stay home and guard it and guide it. I have posted several articles here to help women see that it is possible to save money by staying home, as well as earn it, without neglecting their families. (see

(December 4th) Some people say they can do just as good a job giving their families the time they have left at the end of the day, after putting in a day with a company or a day in another place of work. If such reasoning was given to an employer, I doubt they would be called a good worker, even if they gave "quality time" at the end of the day. There was a terrible change in society when women left their homes and went to work. The way meals were taken was changed.The way clothes were treated was changed. The way houses were cleaned was changed, and the way money was managed was changed. More divorces and more troubled children existed than any other time in our nation. It may be hard for intellectuals to understand the simple thing that will change it all back to the standard: the presence of the woman in the home, the father setting down standards for his family, and the children honoring their parents.

The article on honoring parents that I wrote, will show you that just because children are teens or grown up, does not mean that we should expect that they will disrupt the home or go against the parent's values. They don't have to do this.They can live more harmoniously at home than ever, if they follow certain principles.

Regarding the article on making your home a place you like to be, some of the shop owners that I highlighted, have stated that they ship to Canada and other countries, and that they also are willing to create or find what you are looking for if you can't find what you'd like. Even if you don't buy, the ideas at these shops will give new life to some things you already have, and show you new ways of using them. I have been noticing that some of the old men's tie-clip boxes--short jewelry boxes with little drawers, are now being re-painted and used on entry tables by the front door, to hold keys and other important things. It is such ideas like this that make home living and full time home making more exciting than anywhere else!!

painting: Deer Near Cabin by Caroselli, from

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Born at Home

Many babies are born at home these days, and it is good to see the midwives back in business, after being absent from our society for decades. Our daughter is having her third child at home any day now, and I must say how impressed I have been with the confidence and professionalism of the women who assist in these births. The atmosphere is so wonderfully peaceful and calm. Everything is at ease.

There is one need, however, that I think the childless women or the older women without children, could fulfill at such occasions.

When children are born in hospitals, visitors naturally have to walk past the wonderful gift shop which presents all manner of irresistable gifts for the new mother. I remember that someone bought me a beautiful, large pink ceramic baby carriage (old fashioned pram) filled with pink rosebuds. I treasured it for a long time til I broke it. I certainly wish I had it back now. My room was filled with flowers in interesting vases and personal things like bath products in collectible containers.

Because the baby is born at home, visitors are less likely to intrude. It is not as public a place as a hospital. Women who are able, could perhaps make it a point to see that the new mother at home can get some flowers and gifts just like the ladies in the hospital. It is easy to overlook this because you aren't walking past a gift shop on the way to the room where the baby is!!

Another service would be hair and makeup. We never had any success finding a hairdresser that would come to the house and style my daughter's hair, nor someone who would come and do her hands and nails and give her a facial. She was really worn out from the delivery and in a few days expressed a need for something like this. She and many other new moms said they just felt washed out and tired and not very perky, and that the hair, the facial, the hands, really needed a makeover.

Perhaps also some really good food attractively arranged, to keep her blood sugar up, would be helpful. The new mothers sometimes experience depression and it is largely almost 100 percent due to low blood sugar, which can be easily alleviated by good, dense, high calorie comfort foods that will stick to the ribs, so to speak. They must eat often, if not constantly. A big bowl of really good fresh fruit and some vegetables and dip, as well as lots of good things to drink--maybe some herbal tea in a special teapot and cup that is presented to the new mother.

Sometimes when a baby is born at home, people assume that the mother will have everything she needs, but it is easy to neglect and overlook things. For example, in a hospital, a shift of people will share in looking after her needs--making sure she has a shower and the baby is looked after, or getting her meals, keeping the laundry caught up, and looking after the other children. There is a houskeeping crew that changes the bedding, a meal crew that brings food and takes away the empties, a nurse that checks her vitals, etc. However, in the home, these tasks sometimes fall to both mothers, and usually one mother has to go home after a few days, so it can be quite a hectic time for the husband and the mother or mil. That is where other women come in. Their help is so needed and appreciated at this time.

One other thing that would be very helpful is a baby basket, with all the needs of a newborn in it. Although women have baby showers these days, they often wait until after the baby is born. The newborn needs a couple of outfits to wear while it is waiting for its baby shower. Babies go through half a dozen outfits a day sometimes, and there can never be too few things for them to wear. Also, care should be given to see that the clothing is either 100% cotton and of high quality, or a natural fibre, so that it does not cause a heat rash or some allergic reaction.

If you know of any good baby products, be sure to show us where they are, in your comments.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Making Your Home A Place You Like to Be In

Have you ever wondered why there are certain shops that are more appealing to you than others? Take a look at the elements that go into drawing in the customer. The place is well-lighted by something called indirect lighting. This means that small lamps and lights behind soft lampshades are coming from corners and places that do not hit you directly in the face or overhead. They seem soft and natural.

Secondly, everything is orderly. The shops have the same things where the same things belong.

Thirdly, they are clean. You rarely find gum wrappers or used tissues and soiled clothing among the merchandise. Thirdly, everything is beautiful, and even things that are not aesthetically appealing will be displayed neatly and attractively.

Fourthly, you want to visit again because there was nothing unpleasant to confront you, and that what you see there is appealing. This is the sort of thing that needs to translate into our homes to make them places of comfort.

Home living can be creative and even exciting to you. It takes a lot of study and intelligence to design the shops I am describing, and it takes a lot of thought and effort to make a home a place you want to stay in.

I have found some shops online that you might be able to get some ideas from. And, speaking of women, working, and shops, let me say that every woman at home has a home business. If you clean your house and find things to discard, putting them in a box for a summer yard sale, you are in business. If you shop for bargains so that your husband's provision can stretch, you have a home business.

If you are guarding your husband's income and investing some of it, you have a business.There is nothing wrong with women earning money. A good wife uses thrift and economic opportunity. The problem comes when she begins to put her family aside, when she has to rush a half hearted dinner, or run through the housework doing a less than perfect job, in order to accommodate her business. If she puts earning money first, her home and family will suffer. I know several women who have never had to work or earn their own money because they took such good care of their husband's money that they now have extra income.

Not all women will desire to have a shop or sell things. Some of them are in different stages of life. When my children were teenagers, I wanted them to understand enterprise, so I turned my back porch into a garage sale shop. There, we put discarded but usuable items, with price tags, and some hand crafted things. One of my children made beautiful grape vine wreaths that he sold.

Women who make things, often make more than they need, and sell to their friends. That is enterprise. The Proverbs 31 woman gave her garments to the merchant to sell. She did not sit in a shop all day while her home was negelected. Even if your house is clean and you are organzied to the hilt, if you leave it empty day after day, it will not be the same.

There is not the same atmosphere there when a woman is absent, as there is when she is home during the day. Her husband can testifiy to this by comparing the days when she has to be away at her mother's house, or when she is not home, and he comes home to an empty house. The atmosphere of home is just not there as much as when she is home all day to put all the finishing touches on everything. You can see the difference yourself when you come in after having to be out shopping or on errands. It takes several hours after that to get a feeling of "home" back into the house.

Men whose mothers stayed home, know this. That is why they like to go home for special celebrations. Their mothers somehow put a feeling there that modern homes do not have. That feeling was very simply the presence of the woman. Even if she is not well and has to lay on a couch or recliner, that home feels more like a home than one that is abandoned all day. There is a reason that the Bible says women should guard the home, and guide it. One is to keep others from breaking in and stealing things, and another is to create a sense of ownership and personality in it.

This is not to imply that women have to be home every single minute--indeed, that would be impossible, and it is a real treat to go somewhere else and see what is new and what other people are doing, to get refreshed and gather some new ideas for your own dear home.

Now let us go on to the shops I was speaking of. I have found many women who have shops at home, and why not? Little children love the idea of shops. When I was young, we never tired of playing store during the cold winter days when we had to be confined. Instead of waiting for a yard sale to get rid of their old things that they don't have room for, many people are setting up shops online, on ebay, or other places. The beauty of such shops is that they can monitor how big or little they will be. If there is only one product to sell, one time, the housewife will be done with it after the sale, until she decides to sell another product. She can close her store when she wants to. She doesn't have to be a slave to it. Many of these shops are very feminine.

This one is very pretty and the owners look like they are from the same family.

This one has a "suite of the month" where you can view the rooms of someone's home. Just look at the menu on the right.

Here is one that has the mantel of the month which is fun to look at and can give some ideas about creating the kind of atmosphere in certain corners of your home that are pleasing to you. Just look on the left for the icon.

I like which also has a cottage website. has some interesting things if you like pink and frosty things.

Try some of these blogs, the owners of which also have online shops
Sweet Necessi-Teas
Alecia's Attic
Janet's Creative Pillows
Of Bluebirds and Roses
Katie's Rose Cottage
Casual Cottage
Cottage Blooms
Wildrose Cottage
Shabby Suite
Beloved Creations
The Cottage Chronicle
C'est Chouette
Artful Creations
Barberry Field
Beloved Creations
Cottage Blooms
Cottage Chronicle
Janet's Creative Pillows
Just Art Pottery
Katies Rose Cottage
Make Mine Pink
My Hydrangea Home
One Womans Cottage Life
Sweet Remembrance
The Sewing Divas
The Shabby Suite
Treasured Heirlooms

Some of these blogs and online shops take ordinary things and make them look extraordinary. Contentment at home is partly the ability to appreciate what you have and to be able to use it in a creative way.

Someone reminded me to add these:

Making Your Home A Desireable Place to Be

Have you ever wondered why there are certain shops that are more appealing to you than others? Take a look at the elements that go into drawing in the customer. The place is well-lighted by something called indirect lighting. This means that small lamps and lights behind soft lampshades are coming from corners and places that do not hit you directly in the face or overhead. They seem natural. Secondly, everything is orderly. The shops have the same things where the same things belong. Thirdly, they are clean. You rarely find gum wrappers or used tissues and soiled clothing among the merchandise. Thirdly, everything is beautiful, and even things that are not aesthetically appealing will be displayed neatly and attractively. Do you have a corner or place in your house that really gets on your nerves? Do you ever grit your teeth around certain areas of your house because it is just so unpleasant to look at? Take a hint from some of the beautiful shops that you like. Another element in such shops are their feeling of warm familiarity. They may have colors
and scents that remind you of something; that conjure up a nostalgia that makes you want to visit again. There may even be soft music that seems to soothe your anxiety. You may purchase something and excitely bring it home, only to find that it does not seem as wonderful in your house. What you saw in the store was a combination of beautiful elements, and your purchase was part of it. You can get this feeling in your home, so that when you get up in the morning, you just want to stay home. The house can become very appealing, and even exciting to you. It takes a lot of study and intelligence to design the shops I am describing, and it takes a lot of thought and effort to make a home a place you want to stay in. I have found some shops online that you might be able to get some ideas from. And, speaking of women, working, and shops, let me say that every woman at home has a home business. If you clean your house and find things to discard, putting them in a box for a summer yard sale, you are in business. If you shop for bargains so that your husband's provision can stretch, you have a home business. If you are guarding your husband's income and investing some of it, you have a business. Now there is nothing wrong with women earning money. The problem comes when she begins to put her family aside, when she has to rush a half hearted dinner, or run through the housework doing a less than perfect job, in order to accommodate her business. The problem comes when she puts her business first. Women who make things, often make more than they need, and sell to their friends. That is enterprise. The Proverbs 31 woman gave her garments to the merchant to sell. She did not sit in a shop all day while her home was negelected. Even if your house is clean and you are organzied to the hilt, if you leave it empty day after day, it will not be the same. There is not the same atmosphere there when a woman is absent, as there is when she is home during the day. Her husband can testifiy to this by comparing the days when she has to be away at her mother's house, or when she is not home, and he comes home to an empty house. The atmosphere of home is just not there as much as when she is home all day to put all the finishing touches on everything. You can see the difference yourself when you come in after having to be out shopping or on errands. It takes several hours after that to get a feeling of "home" back into the house. YOu may even feel upon first arriving in the house that you are a stranger and the house is foreign. It just takes a lot more time and presence in the home to get that certain feeling in it. Men whose mothers stayed home, know this. That is why they like to go home for special celebrations. Their mothers somehow put a feeling there that modern homes do not have. That feeling was very simply the presence of the woman. Even if she is not well and has to lay on a couch or recliner, that home feels more like a home than one that is abandoned all day. There is a reason that the Bible says women should guard the home, and guide it. One is to keep others from breaking in and stealing things, and another is to create a sense of ownership and personality in it. Now let us go on to the shops I was speaking of. I have found many women who have shops at home, and why not? Little children love the idea of shops. When I was young, we never tired of playing store during the cold winter days when we had to be confined. Now, instead of waiting for a yard sale to get rid of their old things that they don't have room for, many people are setting up shops online, on ebay, or other places. The beauty of such shops is that they can monitor how big or little they will be. If there is only one product to sell, one time, the housewife will be done with it after the sale, until she decides to sell another product. She can close her store when she wants to. She doesn't have to be a slave to it. Many of these shops are very feminine.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Home in the Humblest of Places

(I certainly would have started my day on a different tone if I had read this in the beginning!)

"BEAUTY SPOTS".......Cleanly Simplicity
written by Mary Brooks Picken in 1925

Walking down the street the other day, I saw a shabby little doll on some half tumbled-down steps and a little girl five or six years of age with a worn-out broom, energetically sweeping the ground. I watched her as I came near and I remarked, "My, but you are a good sweeper." She lifted her little face and said, "I's making a clean place for my dolly and me to play at."

This is a beautiful thought, expressing one of the most essential threads in our garment of life--"a clean place for my dolly and me." If every woman would only love her family as this little girl loved her dolly--enough to keep things clean for them--life would be different for her and for those she should treasure.

The woman who loves her family enough to tidy herself up for their home coming, who provides a clean table and attractive food, if possible, for her family to eat, who happily keeps her floor swept clean, is building for herself in the hearts of her people tender memories and appreciation, which, though not expressed, will reflect in their lives over and over again and will help them in being kind and lovingly cnsiderate of some one else. And, after all, that is the way rewards should be expressed. They should travel down through the years to serve as good examples.

Some women say they haven't anything to do with, but the only people that I have ever known who didn't have anything to do with were those who did not have the desire to do. There are people living now who can tell of the dugouts out in Kansas before there was lumber or money there to build houses. These dugouts were caves in the ground with dirt flors, but many a time I have heard folks tell how cozy they were and how very clean and smooth the earth floors were kept. The women had no convenieces, yet they built happy hearthstones and gave a good start to their children. Kansas is a great state, and much of its greatness today is due to the love and unselfishness of its far-visioned pioneers.

I once visited a woman who lived in a box car on a railroad siding. A new piece of railroad was being built, and her husband was supervising engineer. A cleaner little place I have never seen, a soft cream color inside with white curtains on the four windows that had been cut in the sides of the car. The furniture, except the bed, table, and stove, were made from boxes painted in cream color and finished by means of white scarfs and curtains. Blue denim covered two trunks and several boxes, which served as seats. A box of pink geraniums was in each window, having been carefully packed and carried from the city.

She happily told how some of the men who worked on the road would come and ask to look in because " 'twas all so pretty."

I asked if it was difficult to keep the scarfs, curtains, table cloths, and bedding white, and the answer was: "Yes, quite a problem, but not so difficult as to do without them."

The husband of this little woman is going forward to a splendid success. They no longer live in the isolated region nor in the box car. I have often thought, as I have heard from these people, that this treasure woman is a true example of the old quotation: "Many women are like candles, finding their brightest moments serving others. 'Tis they who joyfully consume themselves in lighting the way for their loved ones."

"Give that ye may receive," is instruction that we hear, forget, and fail to heed; yet application of it can mean literally picking up a life of happiness instead of misery. Give smiles if you have nothing else. Give encouragement, good cheer. Make beauty come to you through your desire to express it. Your thoughts, deeds, motives, acts, industries, and desires--all can express beauty if beauty is in the heart; all can give happiness if love is the carrying vehicle.

Sweep a clean place for you and your loved ones to "play at." Learn to love people and their little ways--odd, queer, or lovely. Love folks and your work, and you will be doing a big part of what God wants you to do."

from: "Thimblefuls of Friendliness"

Monday, November 06, 2006

Getting a Feel for Home Decorating

A photo here from shows the use of fabrics in home decorating. In an old homemaking book written in the 1800's, there was a description of a young married woman's first home, in which the author told how cleverly she used pieces of fabric to cover boxes that had her possessions stored in them, until the couple could afford to buy their own furniture. Fabrics are one of the elements that make a house feel like a real home.

You can see more toile patterns and read about the history of toile fabrics (fabrics with scenes on them) here


Even if you do not sew, fabrics can be draped or folded and used to brighten up a room, as well as to protect the surface of wood furniture.

Letters at Home

Today there are many women and men separated for various reasons for long periods of time. Whether it be a job that takes men away or the military, there is a need to write letters of value to these men. Keep the letters sympathetic towards their plight, but avoid too much depressing communication on your part. Life is difficult enough for the men who are away from their families without perpetuating problems through the mail. Letters to men away from home will be a part of history one day. Think about how you would like such letters to be viewed by people in another era, if they are saved. If you can, be known as someone who has the confidence to lift up the fallen, rather than write things that create more conflict.

Letters mean a lot when people are away from home, and even though it is easier now to email or make cell phone calls, letters create a permanent record that can be read and re-read, giving comfort each time. Sending your best compliments will be appreciated far more than you know at the time.

Right now I am reading my parents' letters and getting a lot of information from them for a book about their lives. If they had not taken the time to write, I would not have this valuable resource. I know that a lot of people wanted me to write about homemaking or some such thing, but I think inside this book (if I ever finish it) you are going to see something about life that was simple and sweet and oh, so happy, that seems to be lost these days.

One never knows how much a letter really means, especially if it has information in it about how they are living their lives, what they do daily, who their friends are, and what their greatest concerns are. Modern history sometimes does not accurately portray life, but letters tell the real story!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Women at Home Save Men's Lives

For many years, it was observed that most heart attacks among men came in the morning. Why was that? Some cardiologists have observed that blood cells are sticky when an attack occurs. In the morning before breakfast, cells are sticky. After breakfast, they become slippery again.

Those who don't have a heart attack may get a tremendous headache or other ailments. A good, hearty, nutritious breakfast may be the answer to a healthy heart. When the body fasts at night, it needs to break the fast with a meal in the morning. One cannot imagine the early settlers skipping breakfast. The wagon trains and the cattle drivers all had chuck wagons with them to provide cooked meals. Not until the 20th century did the view of food change so drastically that people, especially women, began to skip breakfast. It has not improved the national health.

A good breakfast, like those that people used to eat prior to the 1960's, full of protein and calories, which might include a freshly squeezed orange, bacon, eggs, potatoes, and homemade rolls with butter and honey, keeps the body from drawing on its own resources and falling into a slump later on in the day. To read more about breakfast, go here

This, more than anything is why women should be home and take the time to provide a nutritious breakfast. It is even better if she has the time to shop for the highest quality ingredients and make it herself. She saves the health and lives of the men in her family. In the early 1960's when more women went to work, men were left eating a quick bowl of cold cereal or a piece of toast with coffee, and began to have more health problems. Throughout the day, stress increased at work, and problems with co-workers became more prevalent. Grouchy and unhealthy, many men had heart attacks.

A poor breakfast leads to a poor lunch, because a person will feel tired and upset, and very hungry by lunchtime. Eager to make up for the nutrition the body missed, they may resort to even more "quick" food that gives instant energy, rather than a good home cooked meal. A bad breakfast sets up a trend for the day. Women at home can change this, just by making breakfast a very special and important meal. Particularly essential is the pleasantness in which it should be served, not bringing stress and problems to the table.

Women at home have a great advantage because they can spend more time planning breakfast, and not have to rush off to work. If you have animals around, whether pets or wild birds, you know that even the animals eat breakfast.

One person commented on this blog that since the stomach is empty and it is not advisable to hit it with a huge, hot meal suddenly after a fast, to try eating sliced fruit or drinking fruit juice first, then wait half an hour. This is a very good idea, especially for those who are not hungry in the morning.

painting: Cavalryman's Breakfast.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Spice Rack Remedies

Ginger: Relieves morning sickness and motion sickness. Kills some of the bacterial caused by food poisoning. Good for upset stomach or headache. Make a tea by adding 1 teaspoon of powder to a cup of boiling water. Steep 10 minutes and drink. Fights inflamation, reduces spasms and cramps, stimulates circulation, protects stomach, helps arthritis, fever, headache and hot flashes and muscle pain.

Sage: Reduce menopausal hot flashes and night sweats by drinking a cup of sage tea three times a day. Add 1/2 teaspoon of sage to 1 cup boiling water, steep 10 minutes, drink.

Cinnamon: Relieves nausea, counteracts congestion, aids peripheral circulation, warms body, enhances digestion, dries up sniffles,(for sniffles and diarrhea, make a tea by adding 1 teaspoon cinnamon to 1 cup of boiling water) controls heavy menstrual bleeding.fights fungal infection, good for diabetes (adding 1/2 teaspoon a day to food or drinks can lower blood glucose levels , weight loss, yeast infection.

Cloves: Antiseptic and anti-parasitic properties, a digestive aid, relieves tooth pain.

Thyme: Rich in germ-killing compounds thyme can help heal a sore throat and ease coughs, colds and bronchitis. One teaspoon of thyme in boiling water for 10 minutes, strained, can be drunk or gargled. Sweeten as desired with honey, date sugar, or other natural sweeteners.

For colds and flu, lemon and honey in a cup of boiling water. Lemon is antiseptic and honey is anti-biotic.

This came from a scrapbook collection that I have, but there are many sources online where you can read similar things about using spices:
Vanilla, almonds, and many other flavors are said to have some health benefits. You can easily make a mixture of vanilla and cinnamon and simmer, just for the pleasure of smelling it. The sense of smell has a lot to do with a feeling of wellness.
Note: Pregnant women should check with their midwives before using spices, and anyone on drugs (pharmacuetical) should not take them because they react with the drugs unfavorably. Also, if you are addicted to anything, most of these remedies will not work. There are ways of detoxing the body, through a period of healthful eating, rest, good water and exercise, that will help you maintain good health and be able to tolerate herbs and spices, fruits and vegetables.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Another Good Link from the Past

This seems to be an interesting story about life, from past generations: Check down at the end for more articles like it.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Manners at Home

An inspiring description of homelife sent to me by a reader, written in 1894, can be found here: It has been posted on some other forums and blogs recently. Seems worth getting a copy of for your family.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

An Enduring Marriage

The Joy of Giving, painted by Albertina Palau, 19th Century

(Our settings have been changed, so if you need to copy an article for your notebook, just highlight it and paste it on to your email or some other type of document, and then click print.)
Many women want to be successful in the home. Carrying out this responsibility does not always depend upon favorable circumstances, or upon the co-operation of those around you. Women whose husbands have not been interested in following the Christian way of life, have still been able to have long marriages and stable home lives.

One of the most common misunderstandings about the home is that it should not have too many trials. Certain things should just "never happen," and if they do, then the marriage must be "ending," or "over," or, the home life and the parents authority are no longer "valid."

There was a commonly held belief that was spread around a few decades ago, that marriages that were not happy were not valid marriages, and that a home life that was uncomfortable or unpleasant in any way, was worthless. This belief was accompanied by the notion that if you were not "happy," you should leave the husband or the home.

If we are to ever be truly at peace, and truly happy in the home, then we must return to the old paths, where the good walk is (see the verse beneath the header on this blog.) In those paths, or that way of life, the verse says, you will find "peace for your souls." I hope to share just one or two things that women used to do that helped their marriages remain stable in hard times.

The term "old paths" does not mean you have to stop using your car or any convenient invention. It does not mean that you cannot go to the grocery store or use a computer. The old paths means to follow the beliefs that were laid forth from the beginning of the creation; beliefs that would guide your actions.

One of the first "old paths" you can read about in the Bible, is that of caring for someone other than yourself. Eve was created to be a "help-meet" for Adam. Adam was to toil by the sweat of his brow, to earn a living for his family. Cain, the first child ever born in the world, wanted to know, "Am I my brothers' keeper?" If women would focus on the care of the family and the house, they would find that they soon lose their focus on their husband's faults. When you are unhappy with your husband, you might try listing the many things you need to do at home to make life better, including house work, studying,serving others, or home maintenance.

The old paths, where the good walk is, which teaches us to serve others, will give us peace. First Corinthians 13 gives the perfect answer to those who want to know how to show love to their husband: through patience, kindness, and unselfishness.
In a previous post, I showed how a marriage could be compared to a ship, which was built for rough seas. Although the inside of the ship is safe and sheltered, the outside would endure the rougher seas. To say that it would only be worth sailing in during calm seas and sunny weather, would be to deny its purpose as a vessel created for the sea. Some critics of marriages will be quick to point out that the couple is "not happy," or that they argue, and that therefore, the marriage does not "work." Marriage was designed to serve the needs of a husband and a wife in difficult times, as well as in good times. It is such an important design, that no matter what kind of turmoil goes on around you, you can feel peace if you are doing your part to follow the old paths.
Couples are continually maturing. If they give up on their marriage when there are disagreements and failures, they lose the chance to mature and endure, and to pass on the example to their children and others.

The family is designed so brilliantly by God that when one person is sick, and not performing their duties to their mate, they are still married. Without children, it is still a marriage. When a husband is earning a living but hardly home, it is still a marriage. When the family has no money, there can still be a marriage. Many people during the Great Depression endured harder times that we do today, yet it did not destroy their marriages. While a wife or husband may be inadequate in their marriage, it is still a marriage, because God created it, and that is the way it is.

Just because a man is not the "spiritual leader" like a wife may want him to be, does not mean he is not a husband and does not mean there is no marriage. Everyone has seen long marriages where the wife, in her later years, loses her memory and does not recognize her husband or anyone else in the family. It is still a marriage. If a man is physically injured and has to live on a disability pension, would his wife complain that he was not a good marriage partner to her, and that he was not participating in the marriage or in the raising of his children? She would probably understand that this was a difficult situation. She would, hopefully, not add to his wounds by indicating that he was no more to her than a disability pension. His value as a human being would still be felt, and there would still be a marriage, in spite of his human frailty.
Today, people attempt to define marriage in their own eyes, according to their own likes and dislikes. If women want to have enduring marriages, they must return to the old paths, where the good walk is.
There are people today who remember their own parents marriages. They recall that their fathers were in their shop, garage or barn, building something or tinkering with a tractor, while their mothers were sewing, gardening, or visiting. Though they were not always in the same room together, their marriage was solid and they served their families.

Problems occur when people start re-defining their family according to the beliefs of the prevailing culture. This culture says that if something is inconvenient, difficult, distressful, uncomfortable, lonely, or poor, you shouldn't have to endure it. They misunderstand the meaning and benefit of endurance.

James 5:11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
A young women with three little boys consulted with the elders of the church where she worshipped. Her husband had not been behaving as he should. He was not involved with her in raising the children. She was not happy in her marriage and felt that she was being neglected. The wise, elderly men, who had already raised their children, gave her some very Biblical advice from the old paths. One of them read several passages from the scriptures including Titus 2, (wives are to love their husbands and children and guide the home) Ist Timothy 5:14,(younger women are to marry and raise children and keep house) and Ist Peter 3:1-2 (wives to win their husbands by their good example). They told her several ways to carry out these things:
1. Be a keeper at home. Even though your husband is not carrying out all his responsibilities as a husband, it does not mean that you abandon your responsibilities as wife and mother and keeper of the home. You will benefit him and your children and yourself by doing what is right, no matter what the difficulties are.
2. Make sure you live your beliefs, not talk them, because he will notice more what you do that what you say. Do not neglect to attend worship services faithfully, with your children. It is tempting to give up, but it is that weekly observance that may one day win your husband and bring him in to the faith. If he does not obey the gospel, he will at least gain respect for your religion if you are faithful.
3. Keep doing the things that you are supposed to do, and give him the choice to do what is right. Most people do not respond well to others pushing them. When it is their idea and it is something they want to do, they will be more motivated.
4. Have a stable home life, so that you will build under yourself and your children some habits and beliefs that will build a good support structure for you. Eventually your husband will recognize the difference in his own home, compared to the world that beckons him.
5. Do not worry if you do not see results. Some women may never results in their husbands, but they will at least have done what is right and good and created a good reputation for their marriage. They will have developed good things in their character and they will have lived a life of service to the ones God put in their care.
This was a sensible way that women of old would handle problems at home. Though they had troubles, they were reliable and faithful to their homes and families. They did what they could. Many of them had more hardships that women today have to endure, yet you can see on the old tombstones their names and the names of their husbands, with the words "married 5o years."
The young woman that did follow this advice is still married today and her husband has been dedicated to his family. If it were not for this stablizing advice, they may not have had such good success in their home.
Some wives will not follow this plan because they want to be guaranteed that it will "work." We are not told to find something that will work. We are told to be guides and guards of the home. Women need to make sure that they are doing all they can at home, before they try to reform their husbands. When you are tempted to be discontent, just be glad that you have a husband who is providing. Practice not complaining about anything. Remember the trials of people before you and learn to patiently endure.
Many years ago, I viewed a movie called "The Trap." It was the story of a rugged frontiersman, a trapper, who was looking for a wife. He was so rough and rowdy that he could not get any wife except a young, mute woman. She went with him to his cabin in the wilderness. She endured his rude manners with patience. When he threw something on the floor, she picked it up. When something was dirty, she washed it. When it was time to eat, she cooked food. They had many hardships, and her husband grew in his admiration of her and even changed some of his habits. I think my main appreciation of the woman in the film, is the fact that, rather than adopting the crudeness and rudeness of the man, she kept her manners and refinement and created a home. It was a dramatic film with breathless scenery, but it could have been the story of an ordinary woman at home today who faithfully attends to keeping the home and guarding her family. (Warning: not for young children. The trapper is depicted getting his foot caught in a trap, and more. Unfortunately this is not available on DVD yet. If it were, you could fast forward this unpleasant part ;-) "PLAY ALL" link is

You can also visit the YouTube Member Page at and play any of the eleven video segments.

Before you become unhappy with your husband, ask these questions:
*Do you always make the right financial decisions?
*Have you ever made a mistake in buying something that was too expensive, that you really could have done without?
*Have you ever missed an important opportunity because you forgot?
*Are all your papers organized?
*Is your book shelf organized?
*Is your laundry caught up?
*Do you have good organizing habits? Are you able to keep up with housework?
In reality, most women cannot possibly live up to this list, but it is designed to show you that women are not perfect. It also shows that when women have some interests at home, they will be too absorbed in them to notice the failings of their husbands, or too involved in their own business to correct their husbands. Personal freedom is precious, and to have a choice to change makes that change much more meaningful. If wives could also take up the job of praying for their husbands, they may learn to rely on God and not on themselves to change their marriages for the better.
To watch "The Trap" go here The scenes do not need to be clicked each time, as utube did a great job of making them come on automatically after each segment is finished.Warning: not an entirely pleasant film, and probably more of a "guy-film" than a gal-film.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Sweet Deception

A video here shows the truth behind the artificial sweeteners that are so prevalent. My own objection to them is that I don't know what plant they came from and I cannot be sure the body will process the ingredients. Although I am not exactly "thin," I know that when I ate many of the diet foods and artificial sweetners, I only got fatter. They seem to prevent the body from using up calories. In the end, real food, as close as possible to its original form, (an apple is better than a sweetened apple desert, for example), is the safest way to go. Real foods were created for the body. These imposter sweeteners and fake fats will eventually cause health problems, and may even prevent weight loss.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Food for Thought

Continuing with the theme of the effect of home life on society, here are some things to think about regarding meals.

Families actually enjoy sitting down to a plate of prepared food, or else they would not frequent the restaurants and eating establishments. There is something more to meals than food, for the ritual connected to a meal has a big impact on the mind. Compare the action of opening the fridge or pantry door and taking something out of a box and putting it to your mouth to munch on,(even fast food establishments have more protocol than this!), with the ritual of sitting down at a table and first looking at the food that has been carefully prepared. Notice the activity it takes to bring the fork to the mouth and eat it, compared to grabbing a cracker or a chip here and there and grazing until satisfied. Just the very fact that it takes longer to eat with utinsels, gives the body a more reasonable time to adjust to the food that is being sent to the stomach. For that matter, serving the soup or salad as an appetizer, was for the purpose of slowly getting the stomach used to food, before a big, hot, hearty meal hit it all at once, resulting in a stomach ache.

Rather than launch into an elaborate explanation about how lack of meal times at home contribute to the demise of young people and the ultimate breakdown of civilized life, I will send any brave souls to a link that will explain what I was trying to tell in the previous article, about how an author interviewed people in prison as to their childhood habits and discovered that a great number of them did not have mothers at home to prepare good meals for them. The article is called The Starving Criminal by Theodore Dalrymple and can be accessed here:

In this article, he talks about the lack of appetite in an era of plenty. It makes perfect sense to me, since there is a lot more to eating than food. I know that when I am unhappy or upset, I lose my appetite. There are certain situations that cause my desire to eat, to greatly diminish. As it turns out, it is only natural not to want to eat in situations in which your body and mind cannot fully relax.

So ladies, there is a lot more to staying home and a lot more to mealtime than this century knows, that the 19th century knew and practiced. They taught it from their homes, but the 20th century progressives thought institutional living was better, which included most meals away from home, (meals in colleges, high schools, head start programs, etc.) Many young people are reaping the sad results of it.

My husband's family ate all their meals at home, because their father did not like to eat out. He had been a bachelor til the age of 35, and once he got a wife, he was determined to eat at home. His children grew up "with their feet under his table," as he said, and they didn't eat out, either. It was a real treat when occasionally they broke with tradition and ate at a restaurant.

In my youth, I did not realize the importance of eating at home with the family, but after having my own children, I understand better, the reason for it. At home, you have less self-consciousness. You can say things that you believe, or wonder, without a dozen other ears picking it up and judging you. Parents can pass on their advice to their children with confidence. We had to sit across the table from each other and look at one another and be together, sharing the same food and asking for things to be passed, being courteous not to take the biggest helping, and leaving some for others.

Today, many families divide up during meal time and take their plates to their favorite places in the house and eat, apart from one another. I do think at least that is better than being away from home, but it is not the ideal. One reason that this habit persists, is that in some families where family members challenge the values of the home, eating together becomes so disagreeable that it is more desireable to eat alone in peace. We have a long way to go to bring back the valuable tradition of eating together at home.

Children feel they can be themselves when in the home, away from peering eyes and nosey neighbors. Mealtimes, bedtimes, --all times are good times to be home. That does not mean that you are locked up in your house 24/7, but that your foundation and anchor is the home. It cannot be your foundation if the most fruitful hours of the day are spent in someone else's home, or in institutions. Many of the people interviewed, stated that they did not really understand the purpose of meal times, beyond just eating for fuel. This article brings to light more of what I was trying to get across in my previous article. I think we probably don't know the impact we can have on our own nation, just by learning to eat at home.

At first, it might not seem appealing, but if the father will be the provider and let his wife stay home, there is more likelihood that this can be accomplished. The two of them can embark on the exciting adventure of gathering together the tools and supplies they need to have truly happy meals ;-). Everything from a cookbook to a bright table cloth, nice dishes and cutlery, to good cookware and bakeware and serving dishes, can make it actually more fun to eat at home than to eat out. Think also of the good you are doing in the family, by preventing the problems that this man described in his article.

I just know the first question that will come to everyone's mind is: What if sadness or depression or problems cause you to EAT ALL THE TIME? Well, let me ask you this: when you are unhappy, or there has been an upset in your life, or you are not feeling well, does it make you want to prepare a three course meal with a soup and an entree and a side dish followed by a dainty serving of pie and cheese with a proper cup of tea in a tea cup and saucer? If this is what people would do, instead of opening a bag of chips or a gallon of ice cream, they would not have the same problem of added weight, that they do, today. The problem is, that they do need, in times of stress, a goodly prepared meal, with all the time it takes, which would settle their minds. The activity of preparing it would prevent weight gain. I purposely do not keep much in my house that is easy to eat. Practically everything I have, has to be prepared. That way, when I am feeling out of sorts, I don't reach for a bag of cookies. If I decide to have some cookies, I will bake only one quarter of the recipe and eat them all, which is about 4 cookies. The effort of doing this from scratch is just so much labor, that I'm not likely to do it all day long. Ice cream can be a problem, so I may only buy enough for everyone to eat at once, and not be able to store any back in the freezer. If my husband and I have no family at home and want ice cream, we may buy a container small enough for two. Vegetables are purchased fresh and cooked or stir fried. This year, if I wanted vegetables, I dug up a carrot or two, broke off an ear of corn, and picked some tomatoes. I thought while doing it that it is certainly harder to over eat when you have to dig it up yourself every time you get hungry! While I don't think every one is able to do this, it is certainly a lesson in comparison. We may have a package of frozen vegetables reserved, but for the most part, nothing is very fast-foodish in our kitchen, on purpose.

If you buy a bag of cookies, you are more likely to binge. If I get a craving for potato chips or tortilla chips, I peel chips off a raw potato and cook them in a pan or in the oven. I do the same with tortillas by breaking them off into pieces and cooking them in a little oil. This prevents bored or restless eating, because after I've had to stand there and cook, I'm usually lacking the energy to cook more, and then it is time to do something else. The act of cooking actually is part of eating, for the preparation does something natural to the appetite, that reaching into the bag does not. I believe that there is a lot more to it than we actually know or can explain.

You might try Mr. Breakfast at
and also check out some sites about the affect of breakfast on your body. If you don't like breakfast and never feel you can eat it, you can do one or two things. 1. Stop eating dinner at night so that you will wake up ready to "break the fast," and 2. have a late breakfast. Personally, I find it hard to wake up and hit my body with a heavy meal, so it takes me awhile to get an appetite. One site I read showed how a big breakfast fuels the body for the rest of the day, so that even if you do not eat right, the breakfast will carry you through without affecting your health. One reason has to do with the way the body draws on its own resources if you don't eat a breakfast, and it taxes your insulin and other things, so that you crave the wrong kinds of foods. When I find that, I'll post it here.

The painting is called "At Breakfast." from

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Show Me

There are many good homemaking sites around that encourage women to return to the home and to dedicate themselves to being wives and homemakers. A problem arises when the wife, though confident in the decision to quit work and become a keeper at home, has to battle the doubts and fears of her husband, who may not understand a woman's role. In cases such as these, it is always good to point out to him that you are not trying to rebel against him personally, and that is not your purpose to create strife between you, but to do what is good and right to do. Then, suggest that you both give it a grace period to work out the problems of adjustment, and show him what you can do.

Many young husbands have not grown up with mothers and grandmothers who were truly keepers of the home, and nuturers of the family. They see only women in the workplace. Their own mothers and sisters always worked, and they cannot remember a time when women stayed home. Therefore, they find it difficult to understand the need for it or the reason for it. They may conclude that "taking care" of a family means making money. The wife may say she wants to stay home and take care of the house, but he may think that making money is the same as taking care of something. We are entering a generation that is trying to emulate and restore the Biblical pattern and the model of women before us; the women of the 1800's, before so many women went to work outside the home, but we also have to deal with several generations of people who have never seen this style of life in action. The "show me" method is always the best way to prove that something can be done.

Husbands whose mothers and grandmothers worked, and who are surrounded by working women, may conclude that being a stay at home wife is nothing but laying around all day. One woman I know, had to take care of her husband once when he got sick and had to stay home from work. After she got him some soup and brought it to him, he wanted her to sit with him and talk or watch television. She said she could not do so because she had to get her work done. She very busy that day washing dishes, doing laundry, cleaning the floor, going to the grocery store, and fixing meals. She said, "After that day, he never asked me what I did all day."

While I do not condemn any woman who works, I would ask that both the husband and the wife take a good, hard look at what the fruits of this really is, and compare it to the wife being at home. Years ago, a prominent author did some hands-on research, in which she interviewed many young men and women in prison. She discovered that none of them had mothers at home, and that both parents were very busy outside the home. She then interviewed those who had made success in their lives and gone on to become responsible husbands or wives, and were raising a family of their own. She discovered that their mothers had been keepers at home, waiting for them guarding them, and watching after their souls. She interviewed men whose wives were at home, and men whose wives were away. The ones whose wives were at home, were confident, healthy and happy. The ones whose wives were away, were rushed and worried.

Begin your new life at home by keeping the laundry caught up. Most marriages suffer when the wife cannot spend any enjoyable time relaxing with her husband because, after work, she has urgent housework to do. She finally lands in bed exhausted, after doing all the things that she could have been doing during the daylight hours when she was, instead, at work outside the home. The simple act of opening a drawer and finding a pair of matching socks, or a folded tee shirt, can take a lot of worry and tension off home living.

Next, learn to iron properly, a man's shirt. Have a look at people in jobs at airports and other places where there is an official dress code, and see where the creases are and and pressed areas. For instructions on how to iron a shirt, click here Having a pressed shirt and pressed pants each day is one way of showing how your being at home is a help. Some people think that ironing is no longer necessary or important, but even if some kinds of jobs do not require it, pressed clothing is a part of good grooming and sends the message that you take pride in yourself and your work. He will feel differently in a pressed shirt, and be more motivated to do his best. In Victorian times, men would no sooner think of going in public in torn, wrinkled clothing, than they would attend a state dinner in a pair of shorts.

Showing results of your homemaking is a way of providing evidence that the role of women is a successful and necessary one. Thoughtfully prepared meals, a clean kitchen, well arranged rooms and good decorating, are an advantage to your husband. If you work, you cannot pay attention to these details.

Being at home takes part of his tiredness away, for when he gets up in the morning, he does not have to find clean clothes or put any in the washer, fish things out of the dryer, iron his own shirt, make his own breakfast, pack his own lunch. While he is at work, the wife can take care of his mail, pay his bills, and look after his property. She notices when she washes a shirt that it needs a button. She checks to see that she has everything in stock for preparing dinner. She may even plan a quiet evening at home with him, and his favorite interests or hobbies.

Making a list that shows the things that need to be done at home, is very helpful in informing the husband of the many needs of the home and family. Showing him what you accomplished while at home during the day can impress on him the importance and the necessity of the woman being at home.

The other day a package came to my door. I was outside and the delivery person did not notice that I was at home, so left it there. I was glad I was able to get in inside the house to protect it from the rain. Little things like this are very important, as it keeps you and your husband self-sufficient, instead of depending on others to look after your things.

If a husband comes home and smells something good cooking, it relaxes him almost immediately. If the house is orderly and it looks relaxing and comfortable, he will be glad that his wife is a homemaker.

Showing a savings of money is a plus, in being a stay at home wife. Consider that each time you take the car and leave the house, it probably costs you up to twenty dollars, taking into account the cost of fuel and the places you would stop. Instead of getting a $3.00 drink in a paper cup, you can make a pot of tea and drink it in a porcelin cup at home. The cost per cup is just a few cents. Staying home saves the family expense, because you can spot unnecessary expenses. For example, I found I could monitor the use of electricity and keep lights off when not in certain rooms, and use an electric heater rather than heat up the entire house with expensive propane. Not everyone can do this, but this is just an example of how staying home can save you money.

Still, even if the wife cannot manage all these things, her being at home does not have to be justified by cleaning and cooking, but because her very presence is the main factor in home living. Just being there, even if she is not well and can only lay down upon the couch, is doing what she is supposed to do: guard the home.

If the wife approaches her responsibility in a kind and loving way, expressing it as a way to not only make her husband comfortable and happy, but also to be able to be fulfilled as a woman, he will be more likely to concede.

post script: Your appearance does have something to do with the impression that is formed about homemaking. While it is not necessary to wear a power suit or the kind of thing you would wear in the workforce, you can use the opportunity to wear a nice skirt and a feminine top. Support hose and sensible shoes (sensible without being ugly, that is), will improve your own view of life at home and the perception that your husband has of you in that role. If he sees that it improves your appearance and your dignity, it will reinforce in his mind the importance of the wife at home. One old story written around 1930, called "When Queens Ride By," accessed online in several places. One is written in narrative, and easier to read, but at present I can't find the link to it. It tells about a woman whose husband wanted her to work outside the home, and how she refused to do so and why. A part of this play reads:

Saturday, January 07, 2006

When Queens Ride ByBy Olive White Fortenbacher[Note: This prize-winning short play was written in the 1930s, but it calls to us just as loudly today. What an influence one woman can have!]John and Jennie Mangrave had eager plans when they married and took over the old farm. But their great faith dwindled as the first years passed. John worked later and later in the evenings. Jennie took more and more of the heavy tasks upon her own shoulders and had no time for the home and children. They were no further on, and life had degenerated into a straining, hopeless struggle.One hot afternoon, Jennie was loading baskets of tomatoes to take to town when the children came running to tell her there was a dressed-up lady at the kitchen door. Wearily she followed the children back and saw a woman in a gray tweed coat that seemed somehow to be a part of her brownish hair. She was not young, but she was beautiful! An aura of eager youth clung to her, a clean and exquisite freshness. The stranger in turn saw a young woman, haggard and weary. Her eyes looked hard and haunted. Her calico dress was shapeless and begrimed from her work.Stranger (smiling): "How do you do? We ran our car into the shade of your lane to have our lunch and rest for a while. And I walked on up to buy a few apples, if you have them."Jennie (grudgingly): "Won't you go in and sit down? I'll go and pick the apples."Stranger: "May I go with you? I'd love to help pick them."Jennie: "Why, I s'pose so. If you can get out there through the dirt." (She led the way along the unkempt path toward the orchard. She had never been so acutely conscious of the disorder about her. She reached the orchard and began to drag a long ladder from the fence to the apple tree.)Stranger (crying out): "Oh, but you can't do that! It's too heavy. Please let me pick a few from the ground."Jennie: "Heavy? This ladder? I wish I didn't ever lift anything heavier than this. After hoistin' bushel baskets of tomatoes onto a wagon, this feels light to me."Stranger: "But do you think you should? Do you think it's right...? Why, that's a man's work!"Jennie (furiously): "Right! Who are you to be askin' me whether I'm right or not? A person like you don't know what work is!"Stranger (soothingly): "I'm sorry I annoyed you by saying that. If you were to tell me all about it--because I'm only a stranger--perhaps it would help. Why can't we sit down here and rest a minute?"Jennie: "Rest? Me sit down to rest, an' the wagon loaded to go to town? It'll hurry me now to get back before dark."Stranger: "Just take the time you would have spent picking the apples. I wish I could help you. Won't you tell me why you have to work so hard?"Jennie (half sullenly): "There ain't much to tell, only that we ain't gettin' ahead. Henry Davis is talkin' about foreclosin' on us if we don't soon pay some principal. The time of the mortgage is out this year, an' mebbe he won't renew it. And it ain't that I haven't done my part. I'm barely thirty, an' I might be fifty, I'm so weatherbeaten. That's the way I've worked."Stranger: "And you think that has helped your husband?"Jennie (sharply): "Helped him? Why wouldn't it help him?"Stranger: "Men are such queer things, husbands especially. For instance, they want us to be economical, and yet they love to see us in pretty clothes. They need our work, and yet they want us to keep our youth and beauty. And sometimes they don't know themselves which they really want most. So we have to choose. That's what makes it so hard. Just after we were married, my husband decided to have his own business, so he started a very tiny one. I helped my husband in the store, but we would both be tired and discouraged after a hard day at the office and we didn't seem to be having any great success. The house got run down and dinner was always a hasty affair, and soon we both started complaining and bickering with each other. Finally, we decided that maybe I should stay at home and let him take care of his work at the office as best he could. And then I worked in my house to make it a clean, shining, happy place. My husband would come home dead-tired and discouraged, ready to give up the whole thing. But after he had eaten and sat in our bright little living room, and I had told him all the funny things I could invent about my day, I could see him change. By bedtime, he had his courage back, and by morning, he was all ready to go out and fight again. And at last he won."

Thanks to a reader, Heidi, for providing that link to the entire story, that I had been looking for, here

GUIDE, v.t. gide.
1. To lead or direct in a way; to conduct in a course or path; as, to guide an enemy or a traveler, who is not acquainted with the road or course.
The meek will he guide in judgment. Ps.25.
2. To direct; to order.
He will guide his affairs with discretion. Ps.112,
3. To influence; to give direction to. Men are guided by their interest, or supposed interest.
4. To instruct and direct. Let parents guide their children to virtue, dignity and happiness.
5. To direct; to regulate and manage; to superintend.
I will that the younger women marry, bear children, and guide the house. 1 Tim.5.