Sunday, February 28, 2010

Families in Peril

"Lighting the Way"

Ephesians 5:25
Ist Peter 3:7
Ephesians 6:2
Proverbs 31:25

Psalm 55:22 Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

Knowing the pressures on families today, I would like to declare a Home Living Day of Prayer for families you know that are in peril: those with problems and anxieties and those under attack or bad influence.  Prayers should go up especially to the homemaker who is enduring pressure to leave her responsibilities and enter the workforce to make money, and the parents who need strength and courage to teach their children, and for those who have laboured in the children, that both the children and the parents would overcome and have great joy.  Pray also for marriages that are under attack.  God bless everyone for this kind favour!! 

The Family

Saturday, February 27, 2010

On Earth, As It Is In Heaven

The famous prayer in Gethsemene asked that God's will be done on earth -- as it is in heaven. If women really want to guard their homes and make them havens, they have to think of ways to make the homes be a taste of  heaven. Heaven has no confusion or indecision about what is right. Heaven has no rebellion or disrespect. There is a continual wedding celebration (Revelations 19:9).  It has no ugliness, no despair or fear. Heaven has no discordant notes.  Poets of old have compared home to heaven. 

 The home is more than just a crashing place for people on their way to do something more important. It should be the center of life.  One reason that families seem so disjointed is because they are not regarding the home with heaven in mind.  Things should be done here on this earth, as they are in heaven.

If you have ever tried to get rid of the disruption of the rest of the world and retreat at home, you probably notice that the world doesnt want to leave you alone. It always seems to be trying to get in your life. One woman told me that when her first child was born, she and her husband decided not to have television in the home. Her set had broken down anyway, and it was a good chance to eliminate television.  "When friends noticed we had not television, they began bringing over extra tv's!  I had televisions come at me from all over the place!"  Finally, just to keep down the pressure, she accepted a television and left it in her garage.
The home should be made into a pleasant dwelling by every means possible, and may require  eliminating some noise or clutter.  Think of the home as the most glorious place on earth, a mirror of heaven.  If things are to be done on earth, as they are in heaven, then they must be beautiful, orderly and glorifying.

As it is in heaven, home life can be a resting place and a place of praise. Here are some ideas that might be of interest, in making the home heavenly:

1. Eliminate as much bad news as you can. Network television and radio broadcasts the worst news and demoralizes people.  The Bible says we ought not to talk about the things "done in the dark."  You may not think it effects you, but too much bad news eventually leads to depression and despair. If you constantly listen to what bad shape the world is in, you may lose hope. The Bible, on the other hand is GOOD news, which gives the solution and escape from such bad news.

2.Don't buy in to the despair of this world. Make every word pleasant and informative, but never shrink from doing right or teaching what is right.

3. Don't allow criticism of the homemaker. She is the light of the home. If you allow it to be dimmed, there is no guide for the day to day things in the home. Don't drive her away with criticism, blaming, condemnation, and lack of appreciation. Furthermore, teach children to honor the parents. This goes a lot deeper than just bringing her flowers on Mothers Day. It means to apply the heart to the wisdom she has taught regarding their life choices. It means not to offend or attack.

4. Clean house.  In the worst of times, it is doubly important to have a clean house. In the book, "One Small Woman,"  the story of an English woman who went to China during war time, she said, "If your house is dirty, clean it."  She was referring to the fact that you can always do something to improve life for others.

5. Decorate your house.  Even the poorest of people can clean and decorate. Putting up a picture, or bringing in a jelly jar full of wild flowers can make the humblest home a type of heaven. Decorating offers you the opportunity to put your own personality and love into the dwelling place place, by using an abundance of your favourite colours, and surrounding yourself in the things that you like looking at. The home is a woman's domain, and she should make it a place she would like to be. There are shops we love to be in because of the scent or the lovely merchandise. Think of that when you decorate your home. Try to put the scenes you like, in the home. Its your right and your responsibility. Women need to reclaim the home and make it heavenly by the way it looks.

6. Make your house smell heavenly. Cleanliness, good cooking, and the scents of nature can make a home blissful.

7. Dress up and fix your hair and makeup before starting the day, if you possibly can. It makes a big difference in how you treat others and your home. It makes a huge difference in the respect you get.

8. Don't allow arguing. There is a saying, "If Mama ain't happy, ain't no one happy."  The mood of the home largely depends on keeping the homemaker free from agitation and worry. Its so important to respect her God-given position in the home and not undermine it or ridicule it in any way. Don't upset the cook, for obvious reasons. If you want the woman to really do a good job at home, don't pick on her or make her job difficult. The woman has to establish rules about this. She is the one who will determine how she is treated. When people mistreat the homemaker, it is because they can get away with it. Homemakers need to practice being firm and confident with people. Don't allow anyone to interfere with your work at home.

9. Improve your home and your skills. Learn something new, and be creative every day! One reason I post crafts is because I believe that hand work is good for women and it is more productive than working at an office all day or standing behind a cash register at work. It gives you results you can see for years and years and gives others great pleasure.  Nothing is more reassuring to a family than to see the homemaker contented and happy, making pretty things from the home. I have shown the "Tilda" books here before. The author, a Scandanavian woman who lives by the sea, shows how to make small projects from quilt fabrics: a handbag, a teddy bear, doll, slippers, hat, apron, foot stool, ornaments for all seasons, fabric fruit, cloth wreath, storage bags and containers, envelopes, and little things that can be done on the spot.  She  loves the home and her books are illustrated in the pretty florals and shades of nature.  This book hearkens back to the old Simplicity sewing books that were made for the home, with patterns to trace, in the back. These little projects are perfect for the busy homemaker who needs some down time to rest and still get creative.  For those who do not sew, there is a host of other creative things you can do. I often show paper crafts for the non-sewer.

10. Teach your own children at home. Choose curriculum that shows some of the old ways. Having your own children at home, learning to be agreeable with you, creates a totally different atmosphere in the home. When children are discipled, rather than just "taught", their wills are  in alignment with their parents. They will be "wrought together." Sometimes women will watch a historical film, or look into the paintings of the 18th and 19th century,  and note the niceties going on in an ordinary day at home; the meal preparations, the taking of tea, a conversation with a friend, discussions about literature, or a talking at length about a great Biblical principle, real singing or piano music in the background while you wash dishes, walks in the garden, or "a turn around the room."  They long to reproduce this in their own era. This is the kind of life you get, when you homeschool. Your culture changes.   You CAN reproduce the life that our ancestors enjoyed, but it takes a different mindset to recreate it. THe Bible is our perfect example. Reading it will cause us to create heaven in our homes. If you homeschool your children, you will come closer to reproducing the "old paths, where is the good walk" because you will not have an invading culture coming into your own home every day. Your children will be content, and willing to learn, and your husband will feel that the work he does to provide for the family is not being dismantled daily by the deterioration of home life. If you homeschool, you wont have the extra conflicts in the home that create a cold atmosphere. There is no conflict in heaven.

1l.  Spend much time in prayer.  It brings you closer to heaven than anything.

For more beautiful cottage paintings, be sure to look at  where I will be adding more.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Matter of Modesty - A Lesson for Young Girls

You are welcome to use this in a class.

There are several aspects to womanliness. This lesson explains the part about modesty and feminine dressing. Feminine is not the same as femininism. Feminine is the opposite of masculine. A feminine woman looks different than a man, and acts differently. She is softer, more gentle, and submissive. Masculinity means take charge, be brave and strong. The way a man dresses is rougher, with stronger fabrics and a more masculine design. A woman's clothing is supposed to be for the shape of a woman, not the shape of a man. And for that reason, I would like to talk to you about modesty today. It is easy for a preacher to quote the modesty clause in Ist Timothy 2, verses 9 & 10"

1Ti 2:9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

1Ti 2:10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

However, it is up to older women to teach the details of modesty. It would be inappropriate for a man to speak of some of the personal reasons for modesty, and that is why I am writing you today. You will hear what Paul wrote about modesty, from the pulpit, but the older women will see some things in it that you might not hear preached in public.

Painting from the early 1900's. Which one is the woman, and which is the man? Do women look like men, today?

I have interspersed paintings of the previous century, so that you can see the difference between men and women's clothing. Do you think the men and the women looked opposite in their dress--that is, the women very soft and feminine and the men strong and masculine? It is obvious that men and women did not always dress alike. In the 1960's designers invented the famous style called unisex. It was meant for both male and female. Its purpose was to blend the sexes. The Bible emphasises the differences between men and women, not the sameness. The Old Testament strictly taught that men and women were not to wear clothing of the opposite sex :

Deu 22:5 The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.

This was painted in the 18th century. Do you think the womens clothing is different than the man's? What are the differences?

The scripture says that a woman should not wear anything that pertaineth to a man, so the designers of the late 20th century clothing got very clever and just created pants for women and tee shirts for women, in women's sizes to fit women's bodies. Generally, only men wore jeans, so the designers made jeans that fit only a woman's body. Women could wear clothing that pertained to men, such as jeans and tee shirts and mens shirts, and still say, " I am not wearing men's clothing. I am wearing women's clothing! See: it says Misses, size 12!" Do you see how wiley and clever that is? Today you can go to any big box store and find even underwear that looks like men's underwear but only fits a woman. The designers want to blend men and women so that there are no visible differences.

Is there a difference between the appearance of the boy and the girl in this painting found in an old book from te 1800's? What are the basic differences? Do you think you could identify the male and the female from a distance, or would you have to get up really close to figure it out?

You might look at clothing out there on the rack and think, "Hmm, this is the women's wear section, so it must be okay for me to wear it." Think again, because the modern designs are not made for women to look girlish or innocent. In the last two decades, a woman named Laura Ashley, from Wales, designed clothing for women that she said "made women look sweet. " She disliked the fashions of the 1960s when the mini skirts and the hip-hugger pants were promoted. She gave the world an alternative with her pretty little prints and soft feminine styles. In the late 1980's, the modern designers began to undermine her styles by flooding the market with stretch materials that were made into "sexy" clothes for girls and women. No longer were they allowing the pretty Laura Ashley prints and the modest styles of other designers. They were pushing out anything that was sweet and innocent looking. There were other great designers who made beautiful clothing for women, and there needs to be good designers today. Perhaps that is one talent young ladies need to cultivate: to design and make patterns that bring out the sweetness and innocence in women.

Here is a sample of a Laura Ashely Design from 1986. Does the dress make the woman look more like a man, or like a woman? Does the design try to bring out the sexiness in a woman (for example, showing details of her chest or her bottom, like the jeans and tee shirts do today)? What is the advantage of the more flowing skirt, to a woman who is trying to be modest? (What does it hide)

The scriptures say that women should dress in a way that is shamefaced. This is a type of bashfulness, or shyness. It doesnt mean you arent interesting or normal. It means you arent trying to show off your sexuality or your private parts. It means you would be embarrassed if anyone saw any part of your body that would be naked. Sometimes women bend down in their low cut jeans, and you can see everything!! Their nakedeness is exposed. Or, maybe they lean over in their low cut tee shirt and you see cleavage exposed. (You see now why a preacher cannot teach these things. It would embarrass a man to talk about the details that I am describing to you). That is nakedness. What is wrong with showing cleavage, or a bottom, tightly wrapped in jeans? Well, anything from your armpits to your knees is nakedness. In the old Testament, the priests were not allowed to let anyone see their naked thighs. If you wear things that show off your thighs, or anything above the knee, it would have been considered nakedness in the Old Testament. Now you might say "Oh, but we are living under the New Testament and it doesnt say what is naked or what is not." Remember that the New Testament says,

Rom 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

Lets say that together a couple of times. Now let me ask you a question: What is one purpose of the Old Testament stated in this verse? That's right: it was for our learning.

Here is another Laura Ashley design from the 1980's. Point out the differences between this garment and that of a man's. These differences are what makes it feminine

rather than masculine.

Here is another pattern that was popular just 20 years ago. What sort of mood do you think this kind of dress would make a woman feel? Happy? Relaxed?

I am not saying that everyone should wear Laura Ashley styles. I am simply showing you that alternatives to todays jeans are possible. Let me explain something about the mentality behind the low cut trousers for women today: A few years ago on QVC I heard a designer say, "The new style for women is masculine from the waist down, and feminine from the waist up. The model was showing very straight pants that were low cut, which made her figure look like a boy. The top was very immodest and low cut, showing all her female assets to the hilt. She was "busting out all over" as the old song goes. The designers call sexuality feminine. They design jeans so that girls and women will look like young boys. This will get the attention of the so called alternate lifestyle types who lust after strange flesh. It will not be in your best interest to wear these low cut jeans. The focus of this fashion is deliberately in two places: the cheeks of the buttocks and the crotch of the front area. Do you want people looking at these two places? First of all, can you really minister to someone from there? The eye is drawn to the tightest and most revealing part of the clothing. It is better to draw attention to the face, for it is there that you really shine forth the message of God. It is where your expression is. It is where your voice is. It is where the real you is. It is where you reveal what you think and believe. You can draw attention to the face by lovely hairstyles and makeup, and by wearing clothing closer to the face. This means you have to cover up the bare areas of the chest and the waist. People will automatically look at the bare areas. If your thighs are bare, you rob people of the opportunity to see the real you, for they will not be curious about who you are. They will have an eye full of your thighs and that will create the wrong kind of interest.

This outfit is from Victorian Trading Company catalog. It is just as timely today as it was a long time ago. Made in fresh new prints, it makes a woman feel classic and covered, and yet very sweet, innocent and feminine. With leggings and boots, it can be worn anywhere in cold weather. I remember back in the 1950s that we wore jeans--yes, but they were worn UNDER our skirts, to keep us warm. We would have been EMBARRASSED to be seen in jeans otherwise.

Young peasant girls, painted in the 1800's, in Italy. What are some of the MAJOR differences in their appearance, and a man's? I would say two: their hair, and the long flowing skirts.

I want to tell you a couple more things about jeans and pants. First of all, it is hard to get them loose enough to be truly modest, and if they were, the would be truly ugly. One thing our mothers taught us in the old days was never to leave our rooms without looking at ourselves in the mirror from the back. Jeans do not bring out the best in a woman's figure, for they show every flaw, every extra pound, and every sexual part. Maybe they dont expose the nakedness, but the suggestion is there. Do you know what a suggestion is? It is something that makes the mind think of something else. Sure, you aren't naked in those low cut jeans, but they suggest something beneath them, because they mold to the body as though they were underwear. In fact, what was underwear only 75 years ago, is outerwear today. Designers could not get women to walk around in their underwear, so they made underwear out of outwear fabrics. Bikinies and bathing suits, shorts and tops, which normally looked like underwear, were made in denim and heavy fabrics, then sold as outer wear. It was an easy way to corrupt western women and remove their natural modesty.

Now let me tell you what low cut jeans, or any jeans do for you. First off, they give you a phenomenon called "whale butt." Whale butt occurs because the horizontal line of the jeans, the waistband, goes across the widest part of the rear end. That makes the eyes of the beholder look across this way and that and get the illusion that you have a very broad bottom. Do you want to look fatter? I guess it really is up to you. You all have a choice, but I hope you will choose beauty over fashion.

The other thing that happens when you wear jeans is something called "muffin top." Muffin top is something people secretly snicker at when you dont see them. It means that your bottom has been so squished into those jeans that part of your belly pops out like a muffin that has spilled over in a pan. Then, you have to buy special items of clothing just to cover that. I noticed recently that you can buy a special stretchy tee shirt band that you simply wear on your waist so that you can cover your tummy when you wear low cut jeans. This just adds more layers at the waist line, making girls look more fat and more ridiculous.

Designers are not your friends. They care nothing about what happens to you. Those jeans and sexy tops will attract predators. Not everyone in the world is nice and innocent. Not everyone keeps their hands to themselves. Read my article called

pattern from 1990. I am not saying that everyone should dress like this, but just consider the difference between these and today's designs. Laura Ashley wanted women to look sweet. Designers today want women to look sophisticated, business like, or sexy.

Also, read: and the articles here

and take the modesty quiz here :

Reading these articles might be something you want to do as research to decide whether or not jeans are modest. I am not saying women should wear dresses, because dresses are not always modest. They should wear MODEST, feminine dresses. If they wear pants, they should wear something that covers their rear end. The bottom is the focus of sexuality today. Pockets sewin on jeans are deliberately decorated with shiny metalalics, to call attention to your buttocks. When you walk, the pockets will go up and down and men (and women) will look at them. Do you want people to focus on this, or on who you really are? When you go home today, look up the articles on these sites and read as many as you can, for they contain a wealth of information that will help you develop your OWN conviction about whether or not jeans are modest.

To Young Women: Insuring Your Success as Homemakers

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hang Down Your Head

The Blessings of Women at Home

It is still snowing in many parts of the country. It always reminds me of the days when women  were home, providing a real home life for their families.
In those times you had to be confined together indoors a lot, and the parents of that generation knew how to thrive.  Although we had cars and trucks, it was important to stock up on supplies, because the road would become inaccessible.  A snow plow would come through once in awhile, but you could not be certain when, and then your truck might not start.  Parents would fill their pantries full of supplies so that they could make just about anything to eat. 
Mothers thought it was important to keep children busy in useful things that would develop their imagination and skill.  They invented creative projects  made from the  cartons and the boxes and paper bags that the groceries came in. Sometimes we had extra things such as paints and glitter.  If we had none of those things,  parents of that generation knew how to make substitutes.  There was always a way to make paint and make things sparkle or glisten.  Lacking coloured paper for a project, we took our crayons and made it.  It was interesting to see the variety of things we could make without fancy supplies.

We did go outside in the snow and had a wonderful time.Coming indoors was quite a treat, and many a child can remember their mothers preparing hot chocolate from basic ingredients, and melted cheese sandwiches from home made bread.  Mothers staying at home made quite a difference, for they were in no hurry and didnt mind making things from basic ingredients.

When I have time, I will make a replica of the set of dollhouse furniture that was popular in those days, from empty grocery items, which were painted and glued in a way to make couches and tables and chairs.  Women of that time knew how to make a stage with a curtain, so that children could put on a play with paper bag puppits or puppits made with cardboard attatched to popsicle sticks. 

Winter brought on illness sometimes, and it was then that our mothers shone.  They knew how to make a bed tray with foods and drinks that were not difficult to digest, and provide a pile of things to cut and paste or read, while in bed.  The tray had to be pretty and the food presented in a lovely way on the best dishes. Favorite books and magazines saved from months gone by, were put in a stack beside the bed.  Usually there was a child's page in the womens magazines, and Betsy McCall paper doll had such pretty outfits and pets.  The boys liked the outdoor life magazines and books their father's read. 

 These pleasant, restful activities were essential in recovery from illness.   Some mothers knew how to bathe the child and change the sheets with the little patient still in the bed. When the children were sick, it also gave mothers a chance to sweep the floor and get the kitchen cleaned up.  Children of that time can remember calling their mothers from their sick beds and having them drop whatever they were doing and go to their sides immediately.

Meal times were a highlight of snowed-in winters.  In northern climates it often would stay dark the entire day, so these meals provided dividing lines to distinguish one part of the day from the other. It could get discouraging if the darkness at 8 o'clock in the morning was the same as 5 o'clock in the afternoon, so those meal times kept us cheerful and in touch with what time it was. 

Parents believed that children who were fussy either needed a nap, or more work to do. They would say that if you had time to complain or fight, you had time to work. If children were bored, they also worked. There was always plenty to do and mothers did not feel that they had to do it all. Children helped with laundry and cooking and learned to do these things as soon as they were six years old.  If mothers got sick, a child between the ages of 6 and 12 could manage the home and look after younger children just fine. That could not have been possible if it were not for these mothers at home who took the time to patiently show the children how to clear a table, wipe a surface, sweep a floor, wash and rinse dishes, wash clothes,  cook and keep younger children safe.

This leads me to the more important subjects of women at home. Eventually, even mothers will be home without children, as they grow up and get families of their own. The presence of the woman  is still necessary to give the home a feeling of love and warmth.  As she gets older, she has to think of her health. Staying home, even with no children, brings out the feminine qualities in a woman: softness, sweetness, goodness, lack of hurry or worry.

I do not believe that children can have the proper physical, emotional, social and spiritual nourishment if they are not at home with mothers who are willing to spend the time with them. It is tragic that women today think that making money is more important, and they are depriving their children of these wonderful memories. I do not even think that debt is a good enough reason to abandon your home life and go to work. Your children will know that money is the foremost thing on your mind, and what is that teaching them? 

 What kind of childhood will they talk about to their children?  One of being rushed from one institution to another, or a happy, carefree child hood free from worry and heavy responsibility?  I truly do not believe that God intended for society to raise our children. He appointed parents to do this.  I know a single mother with two children who is at home with her children and giving them the emotional and physical stability they need for their lives.   Debt can be managed, by making arrangements for affordable payments within your ability.  Daycare of any kind is not good for children, as they bring home the manners and habits of those who look after them. It is better for children to relate to their parents than their day care workers. In the end, it will pay dividends. I have often thought that when you send your children to others to be cared for during the most impressionable times of their lives, they will one day turn their backs on you and institutionalize you, because they will not have time for you.

Staying home at first will take some adjustment. You have to be a self starter and an independent worker. You have to learn to live without being regulated  by a boss. You have to develop self control and personal determination. One purpose of having children is to teach parents. Parents learn to how to be parents by training and teaching their own children.  They learn the things that the mothers of old knew, by being cooped up with them on winters days, and having to be resourceful. There is an old saying, "Necessity is the mother of invention."  This means that when you are looking for something to do that will enrich your childs life at home, you might invent something to do that is completely your own idea.  You will be amazed at what is available within the home, to teach and train children's character.

Still Snowing

Friday, February 19, 2010

Mozart's Laudate Dominum (Praise the Lord!)

Press Here to find out more about this classical painting.

The words to this song are found in Psalm 116. Here is the English translation:

Praise the Lord, all nations;
Praise Him, all people.
For He has bestowed
His mercy upon us,
And the truth of the Lord endures forever.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and forever,
and for generations of generations.

Listen patiently, because after the solo, is a wonderful choral anthem that is very moving!

For free printable sheet music go here

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Particle Physics And Astronomy Research Council

I would like to acknowledge a new visitor from the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council in the United Kingdom,  and those from Nsuk-designcouncil-ll
who has spent quite a few hours here. Please check the side bar and read the Politics section, and the Education and Enlightenment section,  as well as the Theme articles.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Household Motions

Press Here to View this beautiful Belgian Painting from the 1800's

She was a phantom of delight

When first she gleamed upon my sight;

A lovely Apparition, sent

To be a moment's ornament;

Her eyes as stars of Twilight fair;

Like Twilight's, too, her dusky hair;

But all things else about her drawn

From May-time and the cheerful Dawn;

A dancing Shape, an Image gay,

To haunt, to startle, and way-lay.
(my notes: This is like the first, surface impression, by the poet, based on the outward appearance of the woman.Note that the poem shows the layered technologies of the woman: he says that on a nearer view he sees the "pulse of the machine.") 
I saw her upon a nearer view,

A Spirit, yet a Woman too!

Her household motions light and free,

And steps of virgin liberty;

A countenance in which did meet

Sweet records, promises as sweet;

A Creature not too bright or good

For human nature's daily food;

For transient sorrows, simple wiles,

Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears and smiles.
  (my notes:  Upon a second look, and upon closer acquaintance, the poet sees something always valued: the sympathy and understanding; the depth of her emotions. Now, she is more than just a pretty vision of delight. She is posesses the God-given human qualities of genuine sorrow and joy.)
And now I see with eye serene

The very pulse of the machine;

A Being breathing thoughtful breath,

A Traveler between life and death;

The reason firm, the temperate will,

Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill;

A perfect Woman, nobly planned,

To warm, to comfort, and command;

And yet a Spirit still, and bright,

With something of angelic light.

William Wordsworth (18th Century Poet)

(my notes:   "A Traveller between life and death."  We dont belong here: heaven is our home, prepared for those who obey the gospel and live faithfully, but until then, we are on a journey where we make the best of things, let our light shine, and draw others to Christ by our joy and obedience.  Many poets of the past have recognized the temporal verses the eternal. This one line: a traveller between life and death, describes the woman on a  temporary mission designed for the eternal destiny.)

In this segment of the poem, he  sees the woman with much deeper and enduring talents: she has strength to guide and to warn. She has skills in the home and she is "nobly planned."  The poet goes from the first impressions to the deeper knowledge of the woman. I liked the "household motions" because it is such a good reminder to allow housekeeping to be a joy. Most jobs are drudge jobs, but the graceful way in which they can be done, make a huge difference in the atmosphere of the home.)

This poem shows the observation of a man in the 18th century, about a woman's movements about the home. He says that her household motions are "light and free," and that she steps about freely, with confidence to monitor the home. He recognizes her strengths of firm reasoning, endurance, foresight and skill. 

The poem is a good reminder to make household routines more like a serene walk than a resentful attack.Some women make people run to the far corners of the house because of their aggressive attack on housekeeping; others can do it in such a way that it becomes poetic. I had a friend in my early days that fascinated me by her approach to homemaking. Though she never appeared to "do" much, she was always moving about, picking up things and straightening, and never sat down until she had briefly gone through the room and put it aright.  She saved herself a lot of hard work by the "clean as you go" method, and yet no one was ever really aware of what she was doing, because she conversed and walked around her house as though she was walking in a garden, enjoying the vacation.  It would be nice to learn this kind of approach, which would increase the contentment and well being of everyone around us.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Window Pictures

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

A Few Cold Weather Activities

Cold weather  has advantages. It is a great time to be creative and it helps children learn to be resourceful.  Activities like this are quiet and provide hours of contentment.  

Heart shaped cookies like this are so pretty it would be nice to have some just for decoration. The backing is  made of heavy brown paper from a large grocery bag, and the top is white cardstock or textured papers  decorated with puff paints. For very young children, instead of the puff paint or glitter paint, try using scrapbook trims, sewing supplies,  applied with a solid glue stick, and stickers, or crayons, to imitate the lovely heart cookies in the cookbooks or bakeries.

Press the pictures for closer views. They can be inserted in envelopes with a few words of kindness written on the back, or they can have holes punched to make gift tags from them.

This is called Cottage Bread, made with oats and molasses that has wonderful cake-like texture.   Served with tomato-basil ,vegetable soup, it is a perfect lift on a cold day.  It was originally called cottage bread because it was shaped like a cottage. This recipe was invented to accommodate left over cooked oatmeal made for cereal. I once stated that eating this bread would change the most hardened outlook on life but now I say that there should be horns and cymbals and a huge ceremony with a robe and a crown for the maker of this bread.  (Guess I'll have to make a paper crown ;-)  I've heard men rave on and on about it and begin behaving as though they just entered a special spiritual realm over the likes of this bread. I'm not guaranteeing that it will turn out perfectly the first try. Keep practicing, and eventually you will get something people will look forward to coming home for.

You will have to scroll down on her page to find the recipe.  Its a nice one because you dont really have to use bread pans, and you dont have to knead it.

For another bright spot on a snowed-in day, enjoy this pretty blog.
Its really uplifting to see women posting beautiful thoughts and creative ideas. 

Monday, February 08, 2010

Pretty Petals

To view this painting by Igor Levashov, press here

To cheer up dark winter days, I suggested finding a primrose, often sold for less than a dollar, and bringing it indoors as an inexpensive bouquet. If these are not available, here is a lovely alternative: carnations.  However, these are hand made with tissue paper and chenille stems. The total cost for a huge amount of them, is about two dollars at dollar stores. All you need is a stack of tissue wrapping paper and some wire stems like these.  If you add a vase and some felt tip pens from Dollar Tree, you pay about four dollars for supplies that will make a LOT of carnations.  It amounts to about a penny per flower.  Try them in different colours.

 These are just a stack of white tissue, traced around with a small bowl and then cut with the deckle edge shaped scissors. The edges are painted with a felt tip pen in colour of choice. To find directions for tissue paper flowers, type it on your search engine. There are many step by step instructions for these, and dozens of appealing  books available about tissue paper flowers.    I made these very thick, so that they look like cabbage roses. The chenille stems look like they are in water. This is a bright spot for winter and a very easy craft for children. Try them with some of the glittered tissue paper you can get or with brighter hues.

To those of us who are snowed in, it is a great encouragement to know that the countries in the southern hemisphere, particularly Australia, are having sunny days, sipping lemonade and iced tea on their verandas.  I've collected some of my favourite blogs that have imaginative creativity on them. They wont suit everyone but you might find something that makes your heart sing.
This delightful one is in Dixie, I think - A lovely blog!
Press on the photograph for a close up view!  I plan to do more and add a tutorial of my own, sometime today.  These really do not look as good in the photograph as they do in reality. Around the house they look absolutely real, and it gives me a chance to use old jars and vases. Dollar store has some beautiful vases that look like crystal. Check out the candle department for candle holder jars. I also made my stems stronger by folding the chenille in half and winding it back up the stem, doubling it.

Here are some variations of this pattern:
The red rose in the center top was made by cutting smaller circles for the inside middle. Instructions for the daisy can be found on the web, but basically it is just the same, with petals cut around.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Bright Spots for the Home

A bouquet of flowers is such a bright spot during the winter months, but even the grocery store flowers are high priced this time of year. Primroses are only about 80 cents a plant and they last a lot longer than cut flowers. They make wonderful table centerpieces. This one is on the dining table,
and this one is on the little table next to the couch. Set the entire pot inside a decorative container or one of those pretty gift bags.

Mothers and Grandmothers will be thrilled with this new  Little Golden Book called "Little Mommy" which

takes a little child through an entire day of a little girl pretending to be a mother with dolls for children. The story begins in the morning when she wakes up, and continues with various activities such as getting her babies dressed, making breakfast, baking cookies, going outside for a walk, a neighbor visiting for tea, teaching school (the alphabet and numbers), meal times, housework, and bedtime.  It is a wonderful book that shows children the delights of home living, and boys enjoy reading the story just as much as the girls. The artwork shows the contentment of home life so beautifully, that even if you are not a mother or a grandmother, you might want to get the book for yourself.

Scroll several posts down for the "Hearts for Home" article!!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Household Motions

"She Was a Phantom of Delight"

She was a phantom of delight

When first she gleamed upon my sight;

A lovely Apparition, sent

To be a moment's ornament;

Her eyes as stars of Twilight fair;

Like Twilight's, too, her dusky hair;

But all things else about her drawn

From May-time and the cheerful Dawn;

A dancing Shape, an Image gay,

To haunt, to startle, and way-lay.

I saw her upon a nearer view,

A Spirit, yet a Woman too!

Her household motions light and free,

And steps of virgin liberty;

A countenance in which did meet

Sweet records, promises as sweet;

A Creature not too bright or good

For human nature's daily food;

For transient sorrows, simple wiles,

Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears and smiles.

And now I see with eye serene

The very pulse of the machine;

A Being breathing thoughtful breath,

A Traveler between life and death;

The reason firm, the temperate will,

Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill;

A perfect Woman, nobly planned,

To warm, to comfort, and command;

And yet a Spirit still, and bright,

With something of angelic light.

William Wordsworth

She Walks in Beauty


She walks in beauty, like the night

Of cloudless climes and starry skies;

And all that's best of dark and bright

Meet in her aspect and her eyes:

Thus mellowed to that tender light

Which heaven to gaudy day denies.


One shade the more, one ray the less,

Had half impaired the nameless grace

Which waves in every raven tress,

Or softly lightens o'er her face;

Where thoughts serenely sweet express,

How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.


And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,

So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,

The smiles that win, the tints that glow,

But tell of days in goodness spent,

A mind at peace with all below,

A heart whose love is innocent!

Lord Byron was the 6th Baron Byron. The above poem was written in response to seeing his cousin, Lady Wilmot Horton, in a mourning dress at a party of Lady Sitwell's on June 11, 1814. The poem was written by the next morning. It was published in Hebrew Melodies in 1815.

The poem can be found, for example, in:

Byron, George Gordon Byron, Baron. Byron's Poetry: Authoritative Texts, Letters and Journals, criticism, images of Byron. Frank D. McConnell, ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1978.

Harmon, William, ed. The Classic Hundred Poems (Second Edition). New York: Columbia University Press, 1998.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The Importance of Home Schooling

Monday, February 01, 2010

The Cheerful Home

Check out Country for other ideas that make home life bright.

Also check out the cottage of the month, here:

The mantel of the month for February will be up soon.