Friday, July 27, 2007

Get in on Life...

...before it passes you by.
I placed these cozy cottage here because of a couple of incredulous comments I received that I deleted, about cottages. These young women stated that a cozy cottage would not really help a depressed woman,  but I submit that this symbol of life at home is exactly what is lacking in the lives of many frustrated and depressed young women.

Serenity Cottage

Serenity Cottage

Art Print

Burns, Richard

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Throughout history, women married young because they were finished with childhood and had the ability and the inclination to start a home of their own. Young men also were eager to build their own houses and have a wife and family. This was changed in the 20th century by modernists who thought education was more important than marriage, home and family. The focus would be on "bettering" oneself through education.

Young women are convinced to sit through their child bearing years and give their years of true vitality to classroom activity, under pressure to get college degrees and careers. They are expected to earn a living on their own, pay for their housing, and eventually get married and have children. They must establish their careers and that takes time and money and concentration, and the home once again takes second place. This also cheats the young men, who need to get married and have children while they are young.

Swans Near Gazebo

Swans Near Gazebo

Art Print


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When women are not able to have children, they still are benefited by home life, which is very good for their strength and their general health. The workplace does not provide all that a woman needs for her well-being, but the home, when managed as it was intended, does. Between the ages of 15 and 35, women are supposed to increase their load-bearing exercise, and it is not a coincidence that this is also the time when women of the past would have been carrying their children around, lifting them up, and playing with them. The exercise of the fitness salons does not have exactly the same benefits as the exercise gained in caring for the home and property.
Serenity Cottages II

Serenity Cottages II

Art Print

Burns, Richard

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The book, "Home Comforts," shows the intricate details of running a home, and if it were put to the test, would be greater than most college textbooks.
I have been deliberately misunderstood when I mention education. Each time I do, I get a pile of people on here shrieking in protest and casting dust wildly into the air, jumping around like little banty hens, protesting that I am "anti-education." I am not. I am just saying that the system of education either needs reform, or we need to seek alternatives.
Arbor Cottage

Arbor Cottage

Art Print

Kim, Sung
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Sometimes these girls, on summer vacation after 9 months in school, (that is an interesting number, is it not?) heavily laced with Karl Marx beliefs that women aren't contributing anything at home, will read the homemaking blogs and see women their own age whose lives are well under way. With husband and children and a little cottage ,they are making a place where they spend many happy hours. These girls looking in may become envious. Envy is the main sin of Marxists, who think this world should be run in a completely different fashion than the way God designed it in the form of marriage, home and family.

There are alternatives to everything, if we would dig a little deeper. At a young age when women need to be active, and need to have love in their lives with a good husband, and children around them and a home to care for, they are told it is inferior to marry and be at home, and are instead convinced they must be shut away into college dorms that make cattle and sheep pens look roomy, and forced to study in a distracting and stressful atmosphere. The piles of assignments heaped on them make it impossible for them to love life and enjoy beauty. Their future is sabotaged from the beginning of education with loans that will weigh heavily on their finances for many years and may effect their chances of having one of those cozy cottages when they get married.
Westfalische Landschaft IV

Westfalische Landschaft IV

Art Print

Neck, W.

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After the years of study are over, they still do not know how to live their lives, manage their money, get married to a steady and good man, and raise a decent group of children. They will, however, be qualified to work their youth away at jobs and hardly have time to think. They will be qualified to serve the public in some capacity but have little time or stamina left for their home life.
Such a load can only be borne a certain period of time before they finally break down, either mentally or physically. I have seen this mental breakdown through the comments that come through when I dare to suggest that young women would be far more involved in real life through the home and family.
The Country Cottage

The Country Cottage

Art Print

Leader, Benjamin...

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Even at home with their parents, a young woman can contribute a lot that will be mutually beneficial to them. The pressure that young girls are put through from an early age, can lead to many of them taking prescription drugs to reduce the tension, drugs that they find very difficult get out of their lives. The stress of studying and working and trying to make ends meet also causes them to want to cut loose and party, rather than seek the refuge of a good home life.
Peaceful Evening

Peaceful Evening Art Print
Duncan, Robert
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College and career can wait: marriage and homemaking cannot. One reason for this is biological, and another reason for this is interest level. By the time a girl has gone through college and career, she does not have the skills or the interest for marriage and home life. Homemaking is quite different than classroom activity, as our Mrs. Alexandra, who was once a college professor, can tell you. It takes a lot more knowledge and a lot more stamina, to be make a success of home life, as well as wisdom, which will not be learned in highschool or college. I have been attacked for taking the stand that getting married young and making a home for a husband, caring for him and enabling him to take care of you and buying a cottage for two, but I challenge you to find a popular artist to day that wants to paint pictures of the workplace, a songwriter who writes about woman at work, or a poet who pens praises of working women. Today, Thomas Kinkade, Susan Rios, Robert Duncan, Sung Kim, Richard Burns, paint beautiful cottages. I suspect their beauty alone is not all there is to it, but what they represent: marriage, home and family.
More importantly, it is difficult to find any women who put everything they could into their home and family and still worked outside the home, climbing their way to the top. No one can serve two masters--either the home will get the short end of the attention, or the work outside will suffer. It is impossible to do both jobs and put all you've got into them.I've known many brilliant girls who got degrees and claimed to be very successful in business, but they were not successful in relationships and were not able make wise choices regarding husbands and were not able to train and teach their own children. Today, there are many women who have chosen home, and they are both able to teach their own children and maintain a stable marriage. It is shocking to see these brilliant professors, judges, lawyers and so forth, that element of society that is supposed to be smarter than the rest of us and somehow more dignified and higher, go through one marriage after another. Not all of them do, but a great percentage of them, while being smart in their chosen fields, fail in their home life. (Summer Roses by Susan Rios

White Door Cottage

White Door Cottage

Art Print

Warwick, Dwayne

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The best thing a young woman can do is opt for marriage, home and family while she is young. If that doesn't happen for them, they can go home to their parents and be a help to them, and get themselves out of a system that seems to be defeating them. That cozy cottage is not held out for them as something to strive for, in the world of apartments and parties, but one day they will wish with all their hearts that they had aimed for that peaceful resolution and put all their energy and money into acquiring it, rather than the elusive success that they are told their student loans will one day bring them. They really need to grasp ahold of life before it passes them by.
For further reading, see

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Songs Women Loved

When I write about art, literature, poetry and music as being both subtle and great influences on our culture, I wonder if many people understand it. The rebellion of the 20th century removed the great art and poetry which spoke of marriage, home and family. It told of courtship, flowers, loveliness, mothers, babies and beautiful architecture. It reinforces the good and the pure and the lovely in life. Bad art and literature and music tends to bring out more coarseness in young people. I think there ought to be another rebellion, a quiet one, where people throw out these imposters in music, art, literature and architecture, and elevate what is good and truthful and complimentary! The following are some songs that were once very popular. Young men loved to sing them and young women thrilled to hear them. They spoke of marriage, permanence, a cottage for two, and building a life together. Notice the highlighted words, that would make a feminist cringe today.

Sleepy Time Gal

Sleepy time gal,
You're turnin' night into day!
Sleepy time gal,
You've danced the ev'ning away!

Before each silvery star fades out of sight,
Please give me one little kiss,
then let us whisper "Goodnight,"
It's gettin' late and, Dear, your pillow's waitin' . . .
Sleepy time gal, when all your dancin' is through,
Sleepy time gal, I'll find a cottage for you.

You'll learn to cook and to sew,
What's more, you'll love it, I know!
When you're a stay-at-home, play-at-home,
Eight o'clock sleepy time gal!

<> (this is sure to draw some outraged progressive/modernist, feminist women)

Painting: Daydreams by Marcus Stone

Tea For Two
Picture you upon my knee,
just tea for two and two for tea,
Just me for you and you for me, alone!
Nobody near us, to see us or hear us,
No friends or relations on weekend vacations,
We won't have it known, dear,
that we have a telephone, dear.
Day will break and you'll awake and start to bake
A sugar cake for me to take for all the boys to see.
We will raise a family,
a boy for you, a girl for me,
Oh, can't you see how happy life would be?

(Do you think I'll get in trouble for posting this song??)

My Blue Heaven

Whippoorwills call, evenin' is nigh
Hurry to my Blue Heaven
Turn to the right, there's a little white light
Will lead you to my Blue Heaven
You'll see a smilin' face, a fireplace, a cozy room
Little nest that nestles where the roses bloom
Just Molly and me, and the baby makes three
We're happy in my, in my Blue Heaven
You're gonna see a smilin' face, fireplace, cozy room
And a little nest nestled where the roses bloom
Just Molly and me, and the baby is three
We're so happy in my Blue Heaven
We're happy in my Blue HeavenWe're happy in my Blue Heaven!
(I'm sure they'll come in droves to attack the blog again)

Monday, July 16, 2007

News and Notes

The fashion editor of the web, Miss Lillian, is back, with a new fashion idea at The Pleasant Times . The book, shown on the left, "Just Breathing the Air," is available now. Mrs. Chancey will update LAF possibly August the 1st, because she is so busy. If you are new to homemaking and really want to make the best of it, I would urge you to explore the sites listed on the left, which recommend useful books, and also read these books and periodicals to get you started. Other readers can post their suggestions here too.

Swans Near Gazebo by Chiu, from Also check out the other 575 paintings by this artist by clicking on the name Chiu or typing it in the search area. They are wonderful.

Any by Emily Barnes, including "The Spirit of Loveliness"

Cheryl Mendollsen's "Home Comforts."

Linda Lichter's "The Benevolence of Manners."

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Longevity of the Victorian Architecture

In is a subject of interest to me that the buildings of the Victorian era are still evident in many places in the world. From Alaska to Tasmania, there can be found a Victorian structure that has been restored and is used to this day. I have seen Victorian homes in New Zealand, countries in Africa, Europe, Canada and even Hawaii. It not only has had a lasting presence but a lasting appeal!

I remember though, in the 1950's how some people were burning down such houses, which were called "painted laidies" to make room for modern housing and tract homes that would make more money. A society was formed to step in and rescue any house that was a hundred years old, and some houses that were 50 years old. This was called the Historical Society and they were able to put a stop to the razing of these houses.

These homes have endured the various climates and social upheaval and remain for us to admire today. Even countries as far away as Norway and Sweden have historic areas where one can see the beautiful homes built in the 1800's.

As I explained in a previous article, the Victorian architecture was not necessarily "Victorian," because they borrowed from other known styles of the past. That is why the houses were so different from one another. Some had Gothic characteristics. Others had Italian or Roman qualities. Still others were called Gothic Revival
Jacobethan (the precursor to the Queen Anne style)
Painted ladies
Queen Anne
Renaissance Revival

When I post here of my interest in Victorian homes, it is for several different reasons. One is that it was never one particular style, but rather the time frame (the period of time in which Victorian was Queen of the British Empire), and another was the versatility of the styles. They looked good in different settings, whether they were by the sea or in the mountains. They could take on different national qualities, depending on the country, the climate, and the materials available where they were built.

Everywhere you go, you can see them. There are in Russia and India, for example, still beautiful Victorian homes. These plans are still used today. I was walking around in a new housing development not long ago, which was entirely Victorian in nature, and yet could name some of the styles listed above. These houses had several things in common.

One of particular importance that modern homes do not always include, is the front porch that people may sit on. It was important in past centuries to have this as an extra room. There they could keep an eye on their neighborhood and their children and keep in touch with others. The front porch went by the way when some of the more modern homes began to be built. However, in the 1960's-1990's houses, many people are giving them a facelift, by adding porches and upstairs sections, creating a more Victorian look.

The reason I like the Victorian houses is that I know that the era was so staunchly family oriented. The home was considered the most important element of society. As the home goes, so goes the nation, they said. It was a time when a man's greatest accomplishment was to provide a nice house for his family, and women felt dignified by having a home all their own to take care of. It was a time when church and family were the highest order of society.

Todays painters are busily putting the image of these houses on canvas, as you can see by the painting above called Victorian Seaside by George Bjorkland who paints many beautiful scenes today. In fact, the painters of today paint beautiful paintings of the Victorian gardens, houses, carriages and fashions. The newer housing developments are using similar plans to the Victorian houses and creating the feeling of the old fashioned neighborhoods and country homes, once again.

Note: at the request of a special friend, I enabled comments for this post. Before you object, please observe:

I did not say Victorian homes were perfect.
I did not say Victorian houses were the only ones worth living in.
I did not say we should all live in Victorian times.
I did not say I hated futuristic modern homes (although I dont like them)
I did not insult any person.
I did not say you are wrong if you don't like what I like.

Even if you don't like the Victorians or their houses, please allow us the freedom to express our views and the courtesy of a kind reply. Dissenting , complaining, and discontented comments will be immediately cast into outer darkness, via the convenient rubbish can that only blog editors can see.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Just Do It

Due to the recent embroilio on the Victorian article regarding the family habits, I am cutting off comments. Emails are welcome if there is something of importance that I should look at.

Homemakers I'm sure get similar problems in their lives. Women often have problems with people who constantly attack their way of life. There are friends and relatives and even strangers who question their right, their ability or their sanity. I would guess that homemakers are so swamped with work to do that they barely have time to get involved in a debate about whether to stay home and concentrate on managing the home and getting it in ship-shape.
It is easy to get caught up in such debates but it can leave you feeling rather sick and then it debiliates you to the point that you cannot put the joy and the beauty and love and order into the home and the family life that you really want. These naysayers, these negative thinkers, these bitter, jealous people, can really give you a go. Their comments can distract you from doing what needs to be done.
The best argument in favor of what you are doing at home is to do it. My mother had 7 children and it was not until the early 70's that feminists began to attack her. She looked at them like they were very daft, when they said, "What do you do all day?," "Why don't you work," "Why did you have those kids?" and other more insulting comments. She said to one person who was trying to get in an argument, "You know what my advice to you is: just don't worry so much about me. I'll be alright. You just mind your own business."
That is what we can do and that is what they can do. The best way to prove a belief is to live it, and to our comfort, generations of women before us have done it and they did not end up living under a bridge. As one statesman in the early 20th century said,"Being a homemaker is better than a high college degree. You can't do better than working at home and making it a haven of rest for the family, raising upright children and having a long-lasting marriage. There is nothing better."
I went to the public schools in my youth and I recall the subtle and not so subtle attitudes that were taught about the home. We were told that if we wanted to do better than our mothers, who were "just homemakers" we would have to get an education. Education was power, they said (instead of the former saying "Knowledge is power") and so if we followed their system, we wouldn't "have to be homemakers." Instead, we could be "liberated" from that life and be "allowed" to work 8 hours a day at another career. They never told us how we would squeeze in housework, marriage, children, etc. or how in the world we would stand up to the stress, physically. They never told us the statistics that existed even at that time, about the many children who were neglected by this system.
Now we find there is a quiet revolution of sorts, with women saying, "If you say I have a choice, then let me have my choice to be home and take care of the children, my husband, the laundry, the dishes, etc. Let me be organized. Let me be artistic. Let me choose when I will rise up and when I will sleep. Let me choose how I will make money and spend it."
On this blog, we've tried to put a few inspiring stories and examples to help us all understand the worth of the homemaker and how she contributes to the home and to the business world and to the nation. We don't need to spend a lot of time defending it because we live it and it works. The ones that don't agree and don't like what is being said, should take a good look at themselves: are you really happy? Is your laundry caught up? Do you have clean sheets on the beds? Is the bathroom clean? Have you taught your child anything today? Did you pack your husband's lunch? Are you available to listen to his ideas? Are you clean and well dressed? Have you gotten rid of bad habits? Are you consistently engaged in arguments with other people, either online or off? Are you on time for appointments, or do you inconvenience others with your tardiness? If you are really happy and you have your life together, there doesn't seem to be any reason to attack me. It is a tremendous waste of energy that could be spent in creativitity. If you have time to debate people you have time to start your own little business at home and do something worthwhile. I realize some of the comments came from kids that read my parents blog because they found someone that stands up for authority and for order in the family and will not sympathize with adult children that run all over their parents. Parents can't be who they are supposed to be, and cannot have lovely homes and families if there are dissenters in their home that destroy the peace. It is the same with this blog. It is hard to be a homemaker when others are arguing about whether or not you should be doing it.
When summer is over we may invite more comments. Until then you can email
Beautiful family life and memories and pretty yards and houses are not created by unstable people, so if you think the homemaker and the ladies that want to earn money at home while watching over their families and houses are a little "off" then I would challenge you to get busy with your life and show something for it. The painting, above is by Dwayne Warwick, a current day artist, who paints many lovely pictures of cottages and other things.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Creating Beauty Around Us

I've enjoyed the Cottage of the Month, the Mantel of the Month, and the Shabby Suite of the Month, which you can see on the sidebar under "Other People's Houses." These are sites that feature boutiques that sell embellishments for the home. Each month, they feature someone's humble home that is made to look elegant by dressing it up and displaying things that bring joy to the heart.

I've lived in a number of what we might call "unfortunate circumstances" and have come to recognize that it is not so much our income that matters, as to how we live our lives. Once you allow beauty to take over your home and your being, you are rich. As I get older I realize that whining about the kind of house we live in or our income, results in a memory that cannot be erased. We have to make the best of things. How will the next generation remember us, as a people? We we depress them, or will we inspire them?

I've seen some houses that a lot of people would refuse to live in, made into the most appealing sanctuaries. One lady took her tiny home and created a hanging garden all around it. I visited it and didn't even know I was still on a crowded street. She had somehow blocked out the distraction of the outside world. When I had tea with her I came away refreshed and happy!

The painting above is called "Harbor View" by one of today's artists, Paul Landry.

Here are some things you can make out of cast-offs that other people do not want, which will cost you only a few dollars in paint...and sometimes you can get left over paint or returned paint, practically free:

This was an old headboard that had peeling veneer and was scratched up quite a bit. I used semi-gloss paint, and some craft paints, including metallic gold, to make it livable for my home.

This was an old end table that had sort of a hard plastic type veneer. I had it in the yard sale and my daughter rescued it, saying it looked rather Regency, so I painted it white. Now it is a table she uses for a lamp.

Another piece here has drawers that work really well. It needs a few touch ups where I nicked it bringing it in the room, and it may get another coat of paint.
Here is another old piece that no one wanted, that serves as a side table for a bed. The white paint makes color so much brighter. I find that even without the effort of painting, when a piece is clean and smells nice and well decorated, it creates a cheerful place in the home.
If you want to make the candle stand or the birdhouse, here is how:
You will need a glass candle holder, such as those you find at dollar stores or Goodwill. Find an odd china saucer that doesn't have a matching cup. Use a special glue that is for glass, and glue the candle stick to the bottem of the plate. You can get beads on a twill tape, by the foot or yard, at WalMart or any sewing store. Glue them on the under side of the plate with the same glass glue. I could not get hot glue or elmers glue to work for these projects. Get a pillar candle at the dollar store and paint elmers or white school glue around it and roll it in prisma glitter or the glitter of your choice, and there you have it. The birdhouse ornament can be created with a wooden candle stick and a bird house, glued with wood glue. You can find most of this at a dollar store.
You'll be inspired by another nice editorial by this lady

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Posts Allowed on...

... The Pleasant Times. Mrs. Humphrey hosted a parade, with the military, cowboys, the fire department and the salesmen!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Fun on the 4th

Years ago we decided to celebrate our independence by having our own parade and our own celebration, free from the crowd, from the dangers and the loud noises. Firecrackers frightened my baby and I decided it was not worth going to some of the public celebrations, finding parking, and being in the heat. Ever since then we have had our own harmless fun. Read more about our flameless firecrackers at The Pleasant Times .
We kept these Victorian firecrackers in a big round tin, and used them year after year. One year we sold them, and the fans, for 10 cents each and the people who passed by were delighted to get them!

Painting "Seaside Memories" by Susan Rios.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Quotes by Victorian authors: "There is in this world no function more important than that of being charming--to shed joy around, to cast light upon dark dys, to be the golden thread of our destiny and the very spirit of grace and harmony. Is not this to render a service?"
"Her presence lights the home; her approach is like a cheerful warmth; she passes by, and we are content; she stays awhile and we are happy. Is it not a thing of divine, to have a smile which, none know how, has the power to lighten the weight of that enormous chain that all the living in common drag behind them?"

Painting: Summer Breeze by Susan Rios from and

PS> Our statcounter allows us to know what countries are viewing the blog, though it does not reveal any names. We think we "see" our friend, Desiree, in the United Arab Empirates, whose husband has a job in Dubai. If it is she, we'd love to know what life is like for her as a homemaker there!


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