Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Moment of Leisure

I have had a few moments of leisure on the porch this morning, and in this post I will share with you some other things going on in my home. That is an old teacup on the table that I got at an antique store in Coburg, called Primrose Lane. It is in an old house with an upper storey and I always like going up there where she keeps the tea things.
The table cloth is a piece of 60 inch woven fabric, which I cut in a circle (using another round cloth as a guide) and hemmed on the machine.
It seems like there should be more leisure time out in the country, away from neighborhoods and shopping areas, but I keep finding things that have to be done.
There has been a lot of rain, which is so pleasant to listen to in the night, and it is always so nice to see the change in the lawn the next day to a nice green color. It keeps me in the house, finding more things that need to be cleaned, organized or repaired.

Someone gave me a heart-shaped wooden shelf to put in a little space in my living room. I like the warm color of the varnished wood.

There is a birthday party today for a lady who moved here from the South, and I am taking her this little gift. It is a round box that has a nice print on it,

as shown, above and below, of a crown motif, Paris, old postcards and postage stamps.
the box contains a tea cup, and the plate has the same print as the box.
The teacup came with a silk tassel.
I think the lady will enjoy using this teacup becaise it has the look of fine china and is strong enough for daily wear-and-tear.

I like that the teacup came in a box with a ribbon and does not need to be wrapped or put in a gift bag. I still have to make a gift-tag, so she will know it was from me, but am already a bit rushed for time so I may use a colored post-it sticky note instead.
I posted a similar teacup my Lovely Whatever's art blog to show where to find cups like these.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Use of a Broken Teapot

Consider using cracked or chipped teapots as garden ornaments. Since this one is cracked at the base, it has good drainage. I put pebbles in it first and then topsoil, added a plant and some mulch.


I have added a pretty new blog to my blogroll, and hope it gets many visits: Inner Beauty of a Christian Wife

The subject I chose for today is The Woman's Duty at Home, a reader-requested subject, which includes the question of how much authority a woman has in her own home, to guard it and guide it.
There are a number of religious books and some teachings circulating that claim a woman has no authority at all in her Titus 2 role, but I cannot see that at all. Titus 2 and various other New Testament scriptures teach that the Christian woman must guide and guard the home. These scriptures give the woman the authority they need to make rules and establish policies regarding how that home should be run. If she wants people to remove their shoes at the door or not engage in loud conversation, or if she wants them to pick up after themselves, wash before they come to the table, or help with the housework, she has the authority to enforce that. She does not have to appeal to anyone to give her permission to be a keeper of the home, a guide of the home and a guard of the home. She already got permission from God's Word.
A keeper at home is working under the appointment she was given by Christ, as indicated in the scripture. In my opinion, homemaking is a work set apart from the world, with a special significance different than any other work. She should be treated as a sister in Christ, with honor and respect. Her children should not yell at her or berate her or complain. If they are older children who know better, she should not allow them to eat a meal or help themselves to anything in the house that she looks after, until they return to good manners.
Some women continue to make life easy for the scornful and disrespectful people that make her life hard at home. They feel they are not being feminine if they put a limit on such behavior or if the reprimand anyone, but if she does not do this, she is not taking her job seriously. Would any manager of a business allow the co-workers to harass and disrespect the other employees or the owner of the company? Home is more sacred than government, more sacred than business, and it was created even before the church came into existence, so its importance should be respected by the members that dwell together in it. Home therefore must be guarded and guided and protected, and that includes the dwelling place and the people in it.
Other women want to make their husbands guide the home, and in waiting for that to happen, women neglect their scriptural duty to guide the home and guard it. Guarding entails being particular about unwholesome influences, including company, and being particular about orderliness and cleanliness, design and style. In general whe you guard something you keep it intact and prevent intrusion and erosion, physically and spiritually.
Women have always taken charge of the home, and it is not wrong for a woman to rule her home. God has given Her charge of it. The problem today is the intimidation by those who say a woman is domineering if she rules over her household tasks and trains her children to be polite and respectful. Women are instead taught to be too timid even to prevent the rude takeover of their homes. They sometimes will allow children and men to wreck the house and bad-mouth the woman. Sometimes a woman allows so much license in the home that the atmosphere deteriorates into a hostile environment and the woman has to take to her bed. If a woman does not guard the condition of her home and her children, including their manners, she is in derelict of duty.
Guiding includes planning the family social life, keeping track of appointments and important posessions, and preventing things that might harm the family spiritually or physically. Guiding includes teaching manners and good judgement in preparation for life.
Women cannot depend on men to run the home, and so they must gather up their courage and tackle the job with all the strength and determination they can muster. Men must often be away from home, sometimes for weeks at a time, and the women at home can it just give up and wait for the men to be home before they do their duty at home. We can take a lesson from the brave widows who, left with children to raise, applied themselves to the task and did an admirable job on their own, with no complaining or resentment.


Monday, June 16, 2014

A Rainy Day

Still Life of Lilies and Roses by Margaret Margetts

The temperature has turned very cold and it is raining now, and that is why I am in the house blogging.I wanted to show off my repaired mailbox. A friend came and painted it, after her husband re-built the stand and secured it. Country mailboxes tend to loosen and lean and get a little beat up over the years, so he also smoothed out all the dents! The numbers will be up on it soon, but even though they are not, I am confident anyone can find my address on the web. :-)
It rains and snows hard all winter up to the spring and then, instead of slowly easing into spring, we get hit with a sudden heat wave and a dry spell. Gardeners rush around trying to get the flower beds looking nice before it rains again.


There is a very inexpensive weekly magazine called Women's World that I sometimes look through when I am waiting in line at the grocer. It is a publication of only good news, and every title has an exclamation mark! Not everything in it is conservative or modest, but once in awhile there are some very bright photographs of gardens, rooms, and places around the world, that are worth saving. Here is a peek inside the Issue that is out for the week of June 23, of the pages I am saving.

I thought this was simple, and those of us who are not using refined sugar can substitute some other sweetener from nature.

It is starting to rain and is quite cold outside, and as I could not take a picture of the front flower bed without getting raindrops on my ipad, I took one from inside. The garden isn't growing and filling out as fast as I would like, and I often see photographs of gardens located in even colder climates that are already lush and full. I do not know what their secret is!

I thought I needed a fresh batch of top soil to give the flower bed a boost, and this is what I bought for $4.50. I like the brand name: Filthy Rich!

These are called Keys Of Heaven, which is Valerian, an herb, that I understand comes in other colors. It grows prolifically and yearly in abandoned areas, especially around old church buildings and meeting houses, so it is no wonder it is doing so well in this spot.


The roadsides are full of the color of lupines, wild sweet peas, buttercups, cornflowers, wild roses and I cannot name what else, but I cannot get them to grow in my garden! They prefer the minerals in the gravel of the roadsides.

I have been sorting through things and have noticed the little gifts around my house sent to me by readers: a tea cup, a Dennis Lewan painted plate, Victorian gift books, crocheted kitchen things, cards, a hand made scarf, a shawl, and some other treasures. If you sent me something that I did not mention or acknowledge, please let me know. I do wish I had thought to keep a gift journal with pictures and details of the senders. I want everyone to know that I still have the things they have sent and they are appreciated. These days very few people have time to write or send little packages, so I consider it quite a sacrifice when someone goes to the effort to mail something.

For the lady in Australia who asked about the mailbox, here is a link to the photographs of mailboxes I took when I was in Australia last year:

The flag indicates there is mail for the postman to pick up. It prevents him from shoving the new mail on top of the outgoing letters. Then he puts the flag down to indicate the outgoing letter was taken.


Saturday, June 07, 2014

Home Improvements

Photo courtesy of Country Living

As the weather has been so dry, we have taken the opportunity to finish installing the floor in the living room. Because I was buying a box of flooring every now and then and storing it in the shed until I could get enough to complete the job, I misplaced the boxes for a couple of years. Other people had stored things in front of it and it got lost.

As things would go, the company that made that particular color and design of flooring has discontinued the pattern, and I was one box short of the boards reaching the entire floor. Today we are getting another box of a slightly different kind and color, but hopefully the the old couch and the old piano will cover up the discrepancy. In an old house that is disintegrating, who minds if the floor boards do not match?! As Lord Cumnor said "For that matter, who minds anythin'? It is not as if we were going to a funeral!" This was followed by a hearty laugh.(Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell)
Photo courtesy of Country Living
Photo courtesy of Country Living. This is the closest to the way my living room will look when the project is completed.

You can see here how we are "living" in the living room.

The furniture has been moved out into the big tent. I will get it all arranged properly and then have a morning tea there and post pictures.

I used the old carpet that was taken out of the living room and put in the tent. Things will look better soon. In upheavals like this I make a point of keeping the kitchen cleaned up and the laundry caught up. I can control the "food and raiment" part. That aids in contentment.

The two shades of flooring, above. We still have to put on the trim around the edges.
A lot of things are in the hall and it is a tight squeeze to get to the bedrooms and bathroom but the trauma should be over in about a week if I last that long :-)
The garden is improving. This pink impatient is making everything more full and colorful.

As I have been entertaining some thoughts about contentment, I will continue with the subject. It is very easy to lapse into discouragement when there are changes, especially sudden changes like relocating or tearing up the inside of a house in order to add improvements. Yet the Christian is admonished to be patient and content. How can that be possible, especially when a lady is wanting peace and order?
Everyone that has this experience has developed their own way of dealing with it. For myself, I find it enormously helpful to read these verses:

Heb 13:5    Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

1Ti 6:6    But godliness with contentment is great gain.
1Ti 6:7    For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
1Ti 6:8    And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

Control what you can, and leave the other things alone. Keeping the kitchen clean and meals provided, sometimes sending out for fast food, helps. We cannot use the tables but we can go outside to eat. That is what I call "eating out." Keeping the laundry caught up is something I can control.

Last week there were 13 ladies in the Ladies Bible Class, where we read more about Abraham. He was a tent-dweller who packed up and moved often. His was the first edition of the modern motor-home. He was very rich with gold and silver and other precious treasures, as well as in flocks and livestock, so you can imagine how much weight he had to pack, and how slow the move would be.

All he and Sarah's household was packed up and put on camels, and tents were folded up when they got ready to move again. When they arrived, their house was unpacked and the furnishings and kitchen things were arranged again in the tents. So if you think you have trauma in your life, think of Abraham and his constant moving. He did not always know ahead of time the exact location of his next move, but he had faith. That is what faith is all about. It would not be faith if we knew exactly how things will be, down to the last detail.

Heb 11:8    By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
Heb 11:9    By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
Heb 11:10    For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

Christians, wherever they are, belong to a different kingdom with different foundations; spiritual ones. So, whatever situation they are in, they have a better king, a better citizenship, a better home.


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