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. http://www.outofthenestandbeyond.com/home_page.htm

This one is about femininity (not feminism). Click on all the subjects there http://www.positivelyfeminine.org/index.php

You might enjoy a kind of slide show here: http://lifestyle.msn.com/HomeandGarden/Home/StaticSlideshowBHG.aspx?cp-documentid=1314598 but you have to move the pages yourself by clicking "next"



picture: Roses and Lace by Joyce Birkenstock from Allposters.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Relax

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 http://www.piersidegallery.com/artists/rios/

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 www.ladiesagainstfeminism.org 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 http://www.ladiesagainstfeminism.com/artman/publish/article_20.shtml, 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 http://www.ladiesagainstfeminism.com/artman/publish/article_50.shtml 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: http://www.ladiesagainstfeminism.com/bookstore/index.htm 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 www.ladiesagainstfeminism.org. 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 www.ladiesagainstfeminism.org 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 http://homeliving.blogspot.com/2006/11/making-your-home-place-you-like-to-be.html)

(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 www.allposters.com

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