Thursday, June 26, 2008

Daily Benefits

Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loadeth us with benefits..." Psalm 68:8

Meditation, by Elinor Polin, from Lovely Whatevers

(check the older posts at Lovely Whatevers, for more beautiful paintings)

With my 50 percent off coupon at Jo-An Fabrics, I bought this book. "Sew Pretty" has high quality pages that are nice to the touch. I'm very particular about books and if the paper is cheap and it sends me shivers when I touch it, I usually won't keep it around for long. This book is a pleasure to read, even if you aren't going to sew anything, because it gives so many good ideas for storage for the home, as well as how to use scraps of fabrics, for all kinds of useful things, from how to make yourself a pair of slippers, to wall pockets, place mats, wall pockets and cozies for coffee servers. My "staff" has moved away and I cannot figure out some things about the camera, or I would take pictures of the inside of this book for you. I haven't seen such a nice book in a long time. Well done, well done.

In my post about the first year at home, I did urge young brides to spend that year making things for their homes. There is a reason for it. Life just gets busier and busier. I am so glad I had that first year because, even though I have long worn out the home made place mats and matching curtains, it gave me the knowledge for future projects, which I did with ease, in later times. This book, I really, really think the woman at home in her first year, would enjoy having. It is mostly done in pink, but some projects make you think: ah, this would be lovely in sage green or lemon meringue.

And now on to something new, for me, at least. Before my staff (those next door neighbors you can read about at The Pleasant Times )
they introduced me to Netflix. I have often spoken of movies that were made many years ago that had bright color, good lessons and historical content. I found that Netflix has many of these movies and I gladly put in my order. Being frugal, I found this program to be much cheaper than the local video store rentals, and it has a lot more movies. Our first order was the series "Sissi," about the Empress of Austria. We enjoyed this colorful story, but were pleasantly surprised that included in the series was "The Story of Vicki," or "Sissi: Victoria in Dover, " a fictional romance about Queen Victoria meeting her Prince Albert. It was portrayed by the same actress, as the Sissi series, and we actually liked it better.

In this series, including the flick about Victoria, Romi Sneider stars with her own mother, Magda Sneider, who plays her mother in the film. Romi looks amazingly like the portraits that were painted of Sissi,by Franz Xavier Winterhalter in 1865. "Sissi" is entirely in German, with English subtitles. The man who plays her husband is the same actor who starred in the German/English film about Ludwig Von Beethoven which we saw as children, called "The Magnificent Rebel." This movie is in English, and features the music of Beethoven throughout the film. It is not available for American DVD players, but if you have a computer, it may allow you to play a foreign film.

Empress Elizabeth, by Winterhalter, from Lovely Whatevers

Another Netflix series we are immensely enjoying is the first season of Daniel Boone!! Remember the song? I think this is a good series for children, as it shows such resourcefulness. Daniel is in danger and finds ways out it, quite skillfully. He has a close bond with a friend from an American Indian tribe, who teaches him all kinds of survival skills. When the men of the fort are away and the women need to defend themselves, they really use their wits.

Zorro, the original, with Basil Rathborne and Tyrone Powers, is the last one we have seen and of course, enjoyed. It is in color, and while watching it I think I discovered an actor in the recent BBC film, "North and South." Remember Mr. Bell, Margaret's benefactor? The young captain in this film, is a lot like Mr. Bell. I loved the Spanish interiors in this movie and the wonderful costumes, and mantillas.

Having this system of viewing movies, ends up being about $13.00 a month, for people like us, and enables me to preview videos I might like to own in my library.

The Fallacy Detective 36 Lessons on How to Recognize Bad Reasoning

Before my staff moved away for the summer, I was privileged to sit in on some of the daily lessons that these young parents offer their home-schooled children. Mrs. H. has a lovely technique that reminds me of the description of the Dame Schools in early American colonial times. She sits in grandmother's chair (the one with the crocheted lace header on the back of it, also belonging to her grandmother,) while the children sit at her feet and the baby is in her lap. She reads aloud anything she wants them to know, and this is one of the books that she has been using. I'm utterly fascinated with it. Throughout the reading of any of her books, the children get closer and closer, until they almost have their noses in the pages.
This is a book that many serious homemakers could use, especially if they have children around, or, like some of us, get objectionable viewers who want to argue. The stories in it relate many examples that you will recognize: for starters, a father wants his son to do something, and the boy does not want to do it. The father reminds him that he didn't do his job, and the boy says, "You ought to be glad that I am not a criminal or an axe murderer!" Then, the story shows the techniques used today, of distraction, false reasoning, and accusation, designed to take attention away from the point. The Fallacy Detective

Apparently there is an entire series of these kind of books. If I had to do it over again, this is one book I would use with my children. It prevents them from taking you on a long, long trip around the block (or around the world) and makes them focus on the important tasks at hand. It prevents circular reasoning, a problem that besets many people, not just children, today. I can't help but think some of these bad conversation habits (faulty reasoning, distraction, accusation, focus on self) are habits formed in childhood.These books help parents teach their children about sound reasoning, and teach them how to use their minds.

I just wanted to share a site called Victoria's Rose Cottage. As you know I am very supportive of women in business at home, and love the way they love their homes! I personally don't have the time to have a shop but admire those who provide these lovely places.

I recently got two beautiful magazines in the mail. One is the new "Make Mine Pink" catalog, and it has the nice glossy pages that feel so good to the touch. While so many of our favorite magazines are using cheaper paper,(many which I've stopped buying for this very reason) this was a refreshing change. Inside, is a pictorial demonstration of how to paint an old coffee table, as well as a very good article about the history of braided trims.

Since our neighbors, the Bumpfries, moved away, (you know, that family from the hills that Lillibeth writes about on her blog), I've been missing Miss Pooh Bear, and her singing (she likes to hum the tune "Marie's Wedding" by The High Kings, one of that families favorite Irish groups.) Apparently they get their name from some legend of Highland Kings, as opposed to Lowland Kings, or something, but Miss Pooh Bear can hum this song perfectly. Her Daddy is Irish, you know. Oh Miss Pooh I just want to scoop you up and squeeze the sweet juice right out of you and kiss those fat cheeks, but while you are gone, I am going to try to clean up the mess you and your brothers made here. With your family absent, Papa and I are getting very fat, having to eat the entire Lemon Meringue Pie all by ourselves. But your other Papa and Grandma will be very thin, having to share the pie with all you children.


Lydia said...

Comments are allowed on this post.

Anonymous said...

enjoyed this.

TO BECOME said...

This was great. I enjoyed reading your post. Thanks for sharing. connie from Texas

Anonymous said...

just wanted you to know how uplifting and inspiring your blog is to me! I have been married to my wonderful husband for a little over 3 years and worked outside the home until August of last year. While working I always felt so tired, so cranky, and preoccupied. Our home wasn't disgustingly dirty, but it was cluttered, unorganized and not very inviting. That of course, made us both miserable! I worked 9-12 hours a day, so we ate out much of the time. I thought because I was working in a church (assistant to the pastor and in charge of publications and media) that I was "contributing" not only to God's work, but also to my husband, by bringing in money. After a particularly grueling work week and miserable 2 days at home.....I woke up one morning, very early and just cried out to God in tears and in hopelessness. My job was killing me, my home was in shambles, I was too stressed to do anything about it and my marriage was hanging in the balance. I couldn't meet the needs of my husband, something I felt strongly about. So I prayed and prayed...and prayed some more. That morning, on our little deck, I felt for the first time that God was calling me to be a homemaker. My husband and I talked and prayed together and 8 weeks later....I was able to leave my job to be a housewife.

Never have I been this happy! I have always loved to cook and sew, but was never able to really hone these skills. I love leading a simpler life and cannot imagine I didn't listen to God sooner! I always thought that prestige came from having nice things, having a good job, being able to take the best vacations, "looking the part" etc.

Now that I am home, my husband is happier, we actually save money, eat healthy and can share with those who are in need. I love trying to be a "proverbs 31 woman" with the help of the Lord!!!! I am in awe how much my attitude has changed, how wonderful my marriage is, how great God is!

This sadly has come at a price, most of our friends have turned their backs on us. My girlfriends are disgusted that I quit work to be a homemaker and others are resentful of it. It still can hurt sometimes, but both my husband and I know that this is where God wanted us to be.

Wow, this is longer than I intended! I just really wanted to say thank you for your insight and information you make available for women like me. It has made the loss of friends easier to bare..... thank you again!

Farris Racer

Kimberline said...

Dear Farris,

Thank you for sharing your experience. Find your friends in places like this :) There are many likeminded ladies who come here and it seems to me most of us could use some more friends!

I'm going to make an effort now to be MORE Of an encourager to younger women who want to stay at home and will seek to be a better example as well.

Great post, yet again, Lydia. I always love seeing a picture of your granddaughter. All your grandbabies are gorgeous, but I just get a KICK out her big, wide open mouthed smiles!

Oh and I love books in the same way you do. I look for pretty pictures, good content, good quality pictures and some books just fit exactly right in my hands. They are just a pleasure when all these things come together in one book! Enjoy!

I'm debating about whether to keep a book I got from the Creative Home Arts Club right now. It says it is a decorating book, but it is more of a craft book. I'm going to flip through it again this evening and decide if I keep it or send it back. I guess it will depend on if it makes me smile or not and if the paper feels right! :D


Lydia said...

Kimber, I'm really serious about the paper quality. There is some paper that is so bad these days that it will eventually sour and smell in the book shelf. I recently got a book that sounded so good in the description, and the cover looked great in the picture. It was about quick hostess gifts. I thought it would really be useful. It had a spiral binding which squeaked like fingernails on a chalkboard when the pages were turned. The paper was just awful and the pictures were not inspiring. It was such a contrast to this new book I just got at JoAnnes. I like buying them there because I can touch them! Also I want to mention the Gooseberry Patch cookbooks, because even though the pages are not glossy, they are soft, and the content is inspiring. You can actually have a lie down and rest and read the little hints at the bottem of each page that are so much fun. I like "Come On Over" because the picture on the front is so pretty and it looks nice in the dining room on the buffet. There is never a discouraging word in the Gooseberry Patch cookbooks, and I think every recipe I followed, turned out well. They must really test their recipes. I haven't tried them all, so there could still be a mess up. But women at home need bright, encouraging things and just like a dull textbook, a dull cookbook or sewing book can take the life out of the effort. We ought to surround ourselves with things that uplift us. There are enough dark days and upsets in the world without letting the home get that way.

When women get all upset, they sometimes just need to read a pretty book. My husband always tells me not to worry about anything because he will take care of everything and so all I need to do is look pretty and read a cookbook. ;-) ;-) ;-)

Lydia said...

Dear Mrs. Farris,

I have often been asked why people attack me. Well, you know what happens, since you left the broad path and started walking a quieter, less popular path. While you are doing what everyone else is doing, you don't stand out very much, and it doesn't bother anyone. When you decide to quit and do something else, it burns them up. They feel envious or condmened. I heard from someone who said that even in front of her children, relatives will ask her things like, "When are you going to get a real job?" People are just that bold. Yet if I were really that bold, and said something like, "When are you going to quit neglecting your family and come home and give them some decent meals?" or "How long has it been since you cleaned your house?" (don't worry, I wouldn't say that to anyone!) they would create such an uproar and try to have me sued. When the world rules, they think you have no rights, only they do. You can't say anything but they can. I remember when I was a young homemaker, how people would avoid me. When they saw me in a store they would duck down another aisle. The cashiers I knew were not friendly, but oh, now this is the clincher, they would take my money. The people at church were not friendly, but they always passed the collection plate to me. They weren't hostile about that!

The Cottage Nester said...

Very nice and sweet post! I am going to check out that book for sure....sounds like something that could be used for the good.

Farris said...

Dear Lady Lydia,
That is so true and sad! Especially so when people assume that a lady is uneducated, unintelligent and a doormat just because she manages the affairs of her household and meets the needs of her husband and family!

I recently discovered that I was the topic of a close friend's blog (well, not so much friends anymore). She, and others, had ridiculed everything that I stand for as a homemaker and Christian. These are girls that I used to spend alot of time with, in college and attended church with....I was shocked! Although, I probably shouldn't have been!

Even before I felt led to be a homemaker, I was never one to be part of the "feminist movement", it never seemed....natural, I guess.

Anonymous said...

I know you must feel rather lonely at times since leaving your job & coming home. It's such a shame your girlfriends couldn't simply be happy for you, accept that you made this decision with a lot of prayer & mature thought, & stop behaving as thought your choices were an indictment of their lives. Perhaps they thought that all your lives would stretch out together into the future, an unbroken thread of working at your paid jobs. Try to be as kind as you can, but please do not let them get under your skin too much, & poison your attitude with their anger & disgust.

I wish you all the best on this new venture. Your husband will be blessed by your actions, & you will know a kind of contentment that you never have before. All the intelligence & drive you once gave to your job at the church, will now be directed toward your homemaking.

God's blessings,

Kimberline said...

Dear Farris,

I'm sorry that your "friend" did that to you. I've had similar things done to me on the internet and know how painful it can be. You are welcome here!


Kimberline said...


That was a really nice post you made to Farris. It was well said and very insightful. I really appreciated reading it and feel it could be applicable to so many of us at different times. I think most of us have probably have similar issues to what Farris has shared.

You had a way of really connecting to what it can feel like to be hurt the way she was. You were able to be a real encourager because of your empathy. It even encouraged me and it has been awhile since anyone chewed on me for my choice to be at home. Again, well said!