Thursday, July 31, 2014

Queen Anne's Lace


(Today is Friday, August the 1st)

Queen Anne's Lace is a fluffy flower that grows in poor soil, on roadsides, empty lots, fields and hillsides.

As I am trying to figure out a different blogging program, I have had some trouble getting a post up lately. The pictures I want to show are appearing at the end of the post, so you will have to scroll down to see the Queen Anne's Lace embroidery and crochet pictures.

  Queen Anne's Lace is also pictured on teacups and fine china.

We picked massive bouquets of this lovely lace when we were children, thinking it was the most luxurious blossom.

There is a little purple blossom in the middle of the flower.

I have been getting an outdoor area set up for a Queen Anne's Lace Anniversary Tea, but was waylaid by thunder and lightening, so I will post more pictures later. That reminds me of an old joke. When one of my cousins was getting married, he remarked that marriage was made in Heaven, to which his friend replied, "So is thunder and lightening."  I have come indoors quickly to view the lightening from the window.  It really is spectacular but I would rather be on this inside looking at it than out in it. 

My own Queen Anne's Lace bouquet on the table outside.

As I am getting used to yet another blogging program and have not mastered it completely, the pictures are added at the end of the post rather than exactly where I want to put them. You will have to scroll down to see the sky-scene, and the Queen Anne's Lace with the purple flower in the middle. Also I added the Folkwear Garden Party Dress, which I made 22 years ago and wore for an anniversary.  I am hoping to make an anniversary dress today, using a much easier pattern, with flocked muslin, that looks like Queen Anne's Lace. (Picture of fabric will appear at the end.)

This is a common scene around here. Queen Anne's lace thrives in the minerals provided by roadside gravel and sand.

Here it is in a bridal bouquet.  It is also available now in artificial bouquets, made of latex and silk.  I have seen it in stems and wreaths at craft stores.

I can hardly understand how I missed getting the Embossing Arts rubber stamp, above, and the Personal Stamp Exchange stamp, below, when they were in all the catalogs back in the 1990's.  At the time, they were quite an expense, but now are appearing in some of the thrift stores.

Below: the sky before the storm.

I hope to see you later when I finish the Queen Anne's Lace Tea.  This is our 42nd anniversary, and I know there are many of you ladies reading this who are also in your 42nd year of marriage. I am sure you all think they broke the mold after you got your husband!   

A sample of Queen Anne's Lace embroidery.

Pretty bridal bouquet of Queen Anne's Lace.  This is exciting because it is not expensive when you can pick your own from an obliging field.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Little Trip


                                                       Morning Light by Susan Rios

Today I am going to visit a Hobby Lobby that  has just opened.  It is 40 minutes away so I am making a day of it.  I have never been to a Hobby Lobby.  I was just thinking how nice it is to have had something "saved for later" in my life.  There are still a lot of things I have never done.


Here are two pieces of fabric I bought at Hobby Lobby. They were marked down 30 percent from the original price.  When I got home I thought better of buying such small quantities, because it took 45 minutes of travel to get there.  

On the way home, we got stuck behind a farm tractor we could not pass, so it took us a lot longer to get home.  We took the scenic route instead of the expressway to reduce the stress, and it really paid off in terms of a general feeling of well-being today.


I appreciated the music at Hobby Lobby.  When I walked in, A Mozart piece was playing. After that, familiar old hymns.  Everywhere I go to do my marketing or errands I have to listen to trashy music, so this was a great relief from the usual assault on my ears and my mind.

I also bought a fancy button using a discount coupon from the web which br out the price down to $1.79.  That is still a lot to pay for a button, but this one is special.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Home Scene

                                                       A Sunny Corner, by Susan Rios

Some of the programs that I use for blogging have not been serving me well in the past few days so I have been posting lovely paintings instead, hoping that they send out the message of homemakers who love their homes.

I am always delighted to see a painting or photograph of a calming interior of part of a house, and this corner with the chair is one of them.  There should be a place for every homemaker in every home that is kept to her pristine standards, where she can feel she has realized her goal of being a good keeper at home.

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted a nice home. It could have been anything from a cabin to a trailer, but it would be a place of beauty, order and rest; a place I could make my own with personal possessions and things that reflected the beauty of the Creation.   This is what many homemakers want.  There are some people who have sought it all their lives and never attained it, for one reason or another: illness, family problems, lack of family cooperation,  lack of time,  lack of knowledge, or discouragement. 

Some women have never wanted a luxury vacation, or beautiful jewelry; not even expensive furniture or original paintings. They never wanted a swimming pool or a bonus room or a fancy new kitchen. They did not desire expensive clothes or shoes --- maybe they just wanted to sew their own.  All they ever sought was a clean and pretty house, kept in repair, with normal and necessary appliances; a house looked after as though the owners had respect for the house, respect for each other and a high regard for the lady of the house. 

I believe our homes should be a reflection of our hearts. Our property should reflect our belief in good stewardship, as the Bible teaches. We should keep our houses as though Jesus were coming to see us. 

 Not everyone around us will practice this cleanliness and neatness, but if the Christian homemakers will insist on keeping their realm in order, it will be a shining light to the world.

If you have been struggling to get your home the way you have always dreamed, but cannot seem to attain it; if you feel like crying over it when you wake up in the morning; if you are angry at the lack of perfection in your home, there might be a few things you can do to change things for good.

1. Remember you are not obligated to pick up after everyone. Husband and children are expected to be thoughtful and not leave work for you to do.  You may have to come on pretty strong in the beginning if you want to establish some good habits.  They will get tired of hearing your voice, but assure them that the constant reminders will stop when you no longer have to tell them to pick up every little thing. Sometimes just a look of disapproval or of being displeased will be the signal they need to clean up after themselves. If you consistently make everyone pick up after themselves and do their share of the work (or more, going the second mile) they will hear less of your voice and will notice how pleased you are that they are not adding burdens to your work.

2. Just because you are a homemaker, and home during the day, does not mean the family can disrespect  your standards of housekeeping. They should not insult you by leaving things all over the place or making fun of your high standards.  This training is very good for them. They should never be adults leaving a trail of trash or lost shoes wherever they live. Good standards begin with the homemaker, and she has the duty to enforce them, for the home is her domain, given by God, and she will be giving account to Him for how she has taken care of it.  She is not obligated to clean up after able-bodied people and is allowed to insist that they take care of themselves. Babies and toddlers are a different matter. The homemaker's job is to guide the home. This means that she can tell other people how to clean up after themselves, to make the home a better place for everyone.

3.In illness, when things are getting out of order, you can still do a lot of praying about it. 

4. In total chaos that you do not think you will ever create order from, you can begin your day with a serious prayer for help from the Lord. He is our aid and our deliverer. Sometimes, cleaning a house can seem like walking through the valley of the shadow of death, but you can fear no failure, because our prayers for excellence will be answered.  If you will pray to get through your housework, you might find you can do more than you ever expected.

5. The New Testament teaches us to be good stewards, and shows a parable of what happens to the unfaithful steward who did only what was required of him and nothing more. We need to fear that being negligent of our homes can cause us to lose what we have. Things will deteriorate if not cared for. Things will cost more money to repair if not looked after properly.  

6. We can cause people to have an unfavorable view of the true Christian faith, when we neglect housekeeping.

7. Do not be intimidated by people who say you are too focused on housekeeping. There has always been the saying that "people are more important than things" but keeping house means you care enough about people to make a clean and pleasant dwelling place for the family and for company.  In order to keep things from getting out of control, you have to develop picking-up habits that never quit. If you  have a messy family, you cannot let one single thing get out of control, or it will slide into an avalanche once the pile gets too big.  Let outsiders mock all they want, but do develop good habits and be determined to keep them.

8. Beware of the distractions of ministries, charities, social things, too many classes to attend, or things that will take away your time.  Your home is the center of your ministry, your charity, your social life and your creativity. If you become overwhelmed, try eliminating everything outside the home until you get total control of your housework and get caught up with everything.

9. It helps to have a pretty notebook and pen to write down the following things:

     -Everything you need to do in  your home that is urgent.
     -Things that need to be done eventually
     -Things you would like to do that are not necessary but personally fulfilling or interesting
     -What you can do today (dishes, floors, laundry, putting things in order, cleaning off the tops of tables, etc.)

It is satisfying to list the "today" things and check them off, including the start and finish time.

10. Realize that homemaking is not as simple as just doing the dishes.  I almost never get out of the kitchen having just washed dishes. There are always extra things involved, such as wiping around the sink with a towel, cleaning the fingerprints off the stove and dishwasher, sweeping the floor, re-filling the flour jar, straightening a few things in the spice cabinet, etc. There is always the chance you will spill or drop something, which will entail mopping the floor or double-bagging the trash and replacing the bag in the bin.  

Everything task has other tasks connected to it. Sometimes while training children in housework, they will claim they cleared the table after a meal. Certainly, they removed all the dirty dishes, but left crumbs or napkins or other things.  We have to avoid the attitude of just doing enough to get by. We cannot be completely happy at home unless we go beyond what is absolutely necessary.  Of course, a lady has to develop the good sense to do only what is necessary if she isn't feeling well or if she is in a hurry due to some pressing problem.  

If you treat homemaking as a service to a great king and a respect for yourself, it helps a great deal in how well you keep the house. 

The Bible teaches that whatever your hands find to do, to do it with all your heart, as unto the Lord, and not unto men.  This is a good motivation, because if your efforts are limited to pleasing other people, you might find you can never quite get their approval, or they will disappoint you by not appreciating what you do. If you go over their heads and work for the the Lord, you are serving someone who is giving you the ability to do what sometimes seems impossible. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Home Scene

                                                                   Hidden Cottage

Friday, July 18, 2014

Paintings of Home

                                 Just dropping by today to share a new painting by Susan Rios.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Refined Speech for Christian Ladies

We love to have serenity in the home, so we clean and beautify and add all kinds of elegant touches. We are particular, or "picky" about where things are placed or what color they are because we want everything in the house to have a harmonious feeling. We want our homes to be places of peace and rest.

Our speech should be as refined and as beautiful as the things we value at home. When something is refined, the dross, dirt, and impurities are removed so that the product is pure and clean. Our speech should be free of impurity.

Before I can suggest the elements of edifying, pleasing conversation, it is necessary to discuss the harm of corrupt communication.

Improper speech is offensive and destructive.

Rude, critical remarks and spoil the sweet atmosphere.

Crudeness is a lack of completeness, unfinished, lacking in perception, and lacking in culture.

No lady in her right mind would dare to serve her guests a cup of tea in a dirty teacup, and a guest would not even think of bringing her personal trash into a house where she was invited. We all want to give our guests our very best, and mature guests do not want to leave a bad impression on the hostess.

It seems though, that there is a big disconnection of this principle (uncleanness or filth) regarding the way women talk these days, and they especially tend to be unrestrained in what they talk about when in a group of other women at a tea party or a ladies class. This is particularly sad because they are usually dressed up, wearing a hat, and there is a dainty table laid out for them.

 There is no greater blame on the young, than on the old. While we might expect filthy talk from those "who never knew our God," we are in real trouble when ladies of the Lord's church become careless in their manner of speaking. They understand why they value their lovely furniture and their well-appointed homes, but they fail to view their speech in the same way.

In days gone by, especially in the home, parents guarded the speech of their family carefully, not just to avoid rudeness, but to keep corrupting talk from tainting the family and making home life unpleasant.

 While Christian women generally agree that swearing and cursing should never be included in their conversation, there are those who do not realize that subject matter, such as talk of bodily functions, private husband-wife relationships, jokes about private parts of our bodies, references to physical desire, and innuendos about such things, are included in the Bible's admonition to have pure speech. (Colossians 4:6 and Titus 2:8)

Women may reason that as long as they are not using foul language and uttering curse words, that it is okay to talk about anything and everything. However, even without filthy language, there are some things that are not appropriate to talk about.

There is an erroneous, worldly and unBiblical practice to talk about everything from underwear to intimate relationships in detail. Some women believe that as long as they are not gossiping or criticizing, that any subject is safe to talk about.

Ladies always need to be careful around little ears and not violate their innocence with talk about grown-up things they are not ready for.

 Discerning women also have to understand that it is possible to offend the purity of anyone, any age, whether married or not. The more a Christian lady strives for pure thinking and pure living (unblemished by filth), the more she would be aware of how speaking of things which are "done in the dark" can harm the pure in heart, no matter what age they are.

Lectures on pure speech often bring up questions about things that are recorded in the Bible, and whether or not it is okay to discuss them. This all depends on how such situations involving sin are discussed. Just because it is in the Bible, it does not give ladies leeway to indulge in impure curiosity or speculate on sensuous details of sin.

I have observed many mothers over the years who were very successful in teaching their children about the sin that is described in the scriptures and still not indulge in describing the corrupting details.

Sincere ladies can develop sensitivity and a sence of shame regarding the kind of talk they engage in.

Nonetheless, there are still some women who may find it hard to discern what should and what should not be spoken out loud, so I will suggest some guidelines to abide by. That way, if a situation comes up and a person is tempted to join in an inappropriate discussion, they can think of these rules.

1. Avoid talk about personal bodily functions. Even discussing your digestive tract can be a problem when other ladies just want to have polite, cheerful, uplifting conversation. Keep your monthly cycle totally private and never mention it in a sewing circle or a ladies Bible Class. Most people agree that the subject of intimate, private things CAN be discussed privately with a trusted friend. 

Bear on mind that not everyone in a group will be comfortable talking about private things. You just have to be careful that the people you are with approve of it and do not subject your hearers to things they are not comfortable with regarding private things.

2. Speak not of things that create pictures in the mind of immodesty of any sort, or any graphic description of anything to do with physical privacy or private parts of the anatomy. Conversation alluding to bathing can even become embarrassing, even if it is about cleanliness.

3. Really refined Christian ladies never discuss their womanly cycle or details of childbirth except with a mother or close friend privately.

4. Do not talk about the details of your family finances to anyone outside of the family and be careful not divulge such private things to your children. 

5. Bringing up past bad experiences and telling them in detail, time after time, is not polite conversation.

6. Begging. Edifying conversation will never manipulate anyone into giving them something. It is not good form to whine about your financial setbacks.

7. Avoid the bad conversational habit of one-up-man-ship or "I do it better."

8. Coming in late to a conversation that has already begun and adding your opinion without having heard the whole matter.

9. Correcting everyone every time they speak, on their grammar or the things they are saying (unless you are training your children).

10. Always asking "why?" Or "Why is that?" In response to every thing anyone says.

11. Walking into a conversation between people and blurting out "Now what??" or just demanding to know what someone is talking about.

12. Not discerning when you are not included in a conversation.

13. Rudely excluding someone in the same room with the same company, by talking about something experienced by the two of you (wasn't that tea party we went to fun?") that others cannot relate to.

14. Never being interested in the other guests and only wanting to tell your own plans and your own experiences.

15. Silly talking with no point.

16. Doting about words and strifes. (1 Timothy 6:4)

17. Great swelling words of vanity. (2 Peter 2:18)

18. Hasty, sharp responses.

Some of the above subjects can be covered in another lecture.

To prevent inappropriate talk, you first have to be careful what you think about. Watch out for where your mind goes and turn your thoughts back to whatever is lovely and pure and good. Your thoughts will guide your tongue. James explained that when he used the bits in the horses mouth as an illustration to the problem of controlling the tongue (meaning your words).

An article that explains it well is here.

To halt inappropriate talk, learn to find something in the conversation that can be used to change the subject. Catch on to a word or idea that is being discussed and say that it reminds you of something, and see if you can ask a question about it, that will get people off the other subject. Note that sometimes people with bad habits and impure thoughts will use the same tactic to talk about things that are untoward or vulgar.

To get conversation back in control, you might have to use drastic measures and tell the ladies that they need to move on to more decent subjects. If you have children within hearing, it will be important to stop people before allowing corrupt talk to offend their ears.

There is something else you need to know, that is very important, about listening to silly, unregenerate talk. It puts a bad taste in people's mouths (a figure of speech meaning a bad memory) that they cannot get rid of.

 I once was a guest at a ladies gathering where one of the other guests began talking about her anatomy "in the vernacular".

The other ladies were embarrassed but never said anything and some of them got up and went into the kitchen, while others bravely tried to change the subject. It was even more serious that there were some little girls sitting politely by their mothers. The words they heard would be replayed in their memories and pollute their minds with thoughts that would crowd out innocent childhood thinking.

The older ladies were so disturbed by such foul talk (including bathroom and bedroom talk) that some of them departed with deeply glum expressions. I heard later that a couple of the more refined guests went home and wept for their sister in Christ who had been so thoughtless. Although she was eventually enlightened by a very kind lady, the damage had been done and could not be undone.

People who let-loose their tongues do more than let out words that will be forgotten. Such words also bring up images in people's minds that they play again, and will not go away for awhile. Furthermore, it is just as bad to pollute the mind of a child as it is to pollute the thinking of anyone else, whether they be the age of 18 or 80. This is because The Lord has told us in his word to have pure minds and think on pure things . (Philippians 4:8)

Crude talk of those things "done in the dark" (1 Timothy 4:7) make you appear to be less refined and less of a lady. Corrupt communication is bad for your future influence on those who might be guided by you.

We can reason and talk and try to convince ladies to guard their speech, but if their hearts are not convicted that it offends Christ and affects their standing with Him, they will be forgetful hearers. They need to know that when they let foolish talk escape from their mouths, and do not bridle the tongues, (James 3:2) that they violate and corrupt other people. It is also disrespectful.

Ladies need to train their consciences to be sensitive enough to blush at corrupt communication. The ability to cringe or blush is developed when you pay attention to and dwell on whatever is good, lovely and pure. Then, the impure will stick out like a sore thumb and be immediately recognizable.

 You should abhor the thoughts and sounds of corrupt communication.

Your speech reflects your morals and your religious views. An unbridled tongue can cause another person to have impure things on her mind. Be accountable for every word you speak and know the harm or the good that you do with your words.

 Language can be used for good or for ill, and you need to be remembered for speaking whatever is good, lovely and pure. What God has to say should be the final word on our language, so here are some verses to think about:

Eph 4:29    Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

Col 3:8    But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

Tit 2:7    In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,

Tit 2:8   Sound speech that cannot be condemned; that he that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed.

.Eph 5:12    For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

1Ti 4:7    But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.

Psa 19:14    Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

There are so many things to talk about, which are interesting, stimulating, encouraging and beneficial,that it would take a life time to relate them. There is so much untapped glory in beautiful, edifying, or instructive words, one cannot tell it all.  there is simply no time to indulge in corrupt and fruitless talk.

Corrupt communication is limited and amounts to saying the same stupid things over and over. If you engage in it, you do not appear to be very bright or wise.

A visitor to a ladies Bible class once remarked, "I would like to come back each week to the ladies Bible class, but the ladies indulge in too much bad news and too many 'organ recitals' describing surgeries and health problems with all the details of blood and gore."  We all need to be careful that our group conversation does not center on things that are revolting to others. While we may talk personally to a friend about these things, they are not edifying for a group.

I know people who have handicapped children with mental imparities that still are able to train them to avoid filthy talk. If a mentally-challenged person knows the difference, then any lady can master the art of polite and clean conversation, both at home and in public. It is better just to forget you ever knew any of those words or subjects and get them completely out of your mind. Then, the next time you hear them, they will jolt your senses and you will see clearly the difference between light and darkness.

When polite ladies refrain from vulgar talk, it has an influence on the society around them. Refined speech is a bigger influence than people realize. As you refine your speech you will begin to notice that you are reducing you own stress. Foul-mouthed people will not feel comfortable around you and might keep their mouths shut. If you try to be a real lady and speak only what is sweet and nice, you become a great influence and you keep a right relationship with God.

Just as any woman sincerely following the Lord's admonition in Titus, chapter 2, wants her home to be clean and orderly so that it may comfort and edify the occupants, Christian ladies ought to keep their speech pure and lovely in the temple of the Holy Spirit, (the tongue, in the body, which is he temple, should be well-regulated and disciplined), so that hearers may be taught the greater issues of the Kingdom of The Lord.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Refinement in Daily Life

Stone Bridge Cottage, by Sung Kim, (American)


A lot of depression and discouragement can be alleviated by having a daily observance or quiet celebration. A time set aside each day for taking tea in a special cup, or just sitting still for a quiet hour restores the mind and regulates jumbled, racing thoughts. I have worked at making the morning tea a regular ritual, and have noticed a difference in my health and presence of mind when I skip the ceremony, as small as it is.

This morning I have got out an old cup for morning tea.

Now I am ready to restore order in the house and plan some extra things to do, which I plan to feature here in a few days.

I am always on the lookout for rose-themed cups like this at Goodwill and garage sales. The price is almost nothing at thrift stores, but teacups are getting harder to find. I use my teacups and give them a regular workout by having guests for tea.


And now I am on to another subject; that of polite behaviour with your whole presence. This is from an old lesson I taught many years ago to children, but its message needs to be revived for grown children, young ladies and a few older ones.



In the home it is not polite to block someone in a hallway. It is rude to crowd up too close to a family member in the kitchen or put pressure on someone by getting too close to them, crowding them, especially if they object. In our country, people believe in minding their own business , as the New Testament teaches, and so it is considered rude to look over someone's shoulder to see what they are reading or writing or doing, unless invited. It is also rude to be too inquisitive about personal, private matters, the exception being parents with their own children.



Politeness in public requires us to avoid being too curious about what someone is eating (peering closely at their plate or their beverage) and it is rude to try to get involved in a conversation to which you are not invited, especially with people you do not know well. This all begins in the home, where family members should not hover over someone who is eating or writing or reading.



One of the very first lessons many of us were taught by our parents was the value of minding your own business. This is more of a principle than a rule, since it has far-reaching results. If you as a young lady will always be reticent with people and keep a polite distance, not nosing into other people's personal things, you can never get a bad reputation or be labeled as a nuisance.



In shopping situations, do not walk in front of people while they are looking at merchandise, nor try to look at the same item or get too close to something they are buying. Shoppers do not like people to see what they are buying. Even though shopping is a public activity, people's purchases are private, and the amount of money they pay at the checkout is private, so it is polite to stand back and at least not look as if you are too curious about their transactions. It is best to stand a little distance and not look at what they are doing, that is, if you are really trying to be polite.


In any social setting, never stand up in the middle of two people talking so that they cannot see each other. That is as bad as having too large a centerpiece on the dining table which blocks everyone's view of one another. Also, be careful when in a group not to sit with your back to someone (this does not include church, where everyone faces the speaker or song leader). Children are not actually as guilty of this as are adults. I have been to baby showers and wedding showers where I have seen ladies place a chair right in front of someone blocking them from the conversational circle. (Classes are valuable to demonstrate what these sort of things really look like.)


Sometimes people use their bodies to be over-bearing with others in public. In Church, there is often a time after the worship dismissal to converse with people, and it is necessary to be aware that you can block other people from visiting with certain ones if you stand too close and monopolize anyone. Socializing is like a dance, in that you have to allow others to cut-in when you see they are politely waiting on the side to talk to the one you are near. When they do that, assume they have tapped you on the shoulder and are wanting their turn with the guest.




I observed once that a couple had come to church from another state, and after the meeting was dismissed, one person seemed to "swamp" this couple, blocking them from meeting anyone else. Only when everyone had given up waiting to welcome the couple and gone home, lights were finally turned off and the preacher said he needed to lock the meeting house, did this couple escape the rude, over-bearring person who stood in the way of others greeting them.



Another problem that you need to be aware of is that of engaging in troll-like social behavior in the church and other social situations. A troll is someone who follows you around. Sometimes in a church fellowship, when a person sees someone talking to someone else, they immediately go over there and take over the conversation. They may follow the person around and discourage her from socializing at all. This is not the same as watching your children or staying close to your mother, which is appropriate in social situations. I am speaking to young ladies who may be forgetting to be polite and neglecting to respect people and keep a little distance.



In Victorian times, young ladies were deliberately taught not to be too forward or too imposing, and to be quiet and discreet; to "know their place". In this day and age, such teaching sounds too formal, but whatever is good about society, particularly church, becomes miserable when someone trolls other people and will not sit quietly and mind their own business. Several times I have seen rude women, young and old, cause people to physically stiffen, retreat and shrink back from fellowshipping, because they felt they were being trailed or monitored in their personal conversations with other people. That is not the same thing as watching that someone does not get lost in a hallway or helping someone to find their car in the parking lot, or making sure people are safe. The personal monitoring I am describing is a rude, in-your-face snooping.


There are probably many more things that can be said about how you can be polite with your personal presence around other people, but it would take volumes to explain every detail. A really discerning person will learn to detect the reception they get and read people's body language. If they are not real receptive to you, learn to take the hint before you cause verbal anger in the other person.


The New Testament, the spiritual law of Christ for this age, makes behavior very simple to understand by the admonition to be courteous in 1 Peter 3:8. Courtesy is the act of making sure others are respected and not offended by what you are doing. It means putting the comfort of others above your own and not aggravating them in any way. As a young lady, you need to be grown up enough not to have every little thing spelled out for you down to the tiniest detail, as when you were a toddler.

Being grown-up means to pay attention to your own behavior and restrain yourself in order to be courteous and non-threatening to others. When you are out-of-control in your social life, people will be correcting your or avoiding you.The mark of a mature lady is being self controlled so that others never have to control you.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Morning Tea


Still Life of Porcelain and Biscuits, by George E. Foster, German/American 1817-1896

Available from Allposters


Good morning. I have been out in the garden in the cooler moments and now am having my morning tea.


Flower Arrangement Tips



The flower garden is filling out, and I went to the above link to find out more about arranging flowers for the home. There is a slide show instruction from a flower-arranging school, too, plus seasonal bouquet ideas. For further flower-arranging instruction, do a search on YouTube.


My flower beds are filling out.


Many years ago in an ettiquette class I taught the importance of using our hands for good. Children should keep their hands to themselves and not aggravate other people with their hands. They should learn self-control by having their minds trained for good things, and then have their minds control their actions. I am sure everyone knows what it is like to be "picked on" by a child who cannot keep her hands to herself. Hands should not be bothering other people.



If this is not learned in formative years, it can lead to trouble later on. The Bible says a lot about the use of hands, for good or for ill. I particularly never liked other people handling my babies and children in public---tickling, stroking, grabbing, picking them up, twirling them, etc. I feel that just as adults have a personal "space" and you keep a polite distance and do not get up too close, that children's personal space should be respected.



Polite behavior demands that we not only stand a polite distance from people but we also are careful to control our hands, not meddling with other people's children. Teen girls are wont to be obsessed with children, but they should practice polite restraint and not touch other people's children unless invited.

An old plant holder with a birdhouse theme, from a former anniversary.



Hands also have to be guarded and trained by the mind not to touch everything that the impulse demands. The Bible teaches us to control the impulses. Young ladies need to practice the art of restraint in the homes of other people, in church, in the market and when with their siblings, cousins and friends. If you restrain your hands you can never be guilty of damaging property, personal or public, and can never be accused of anything offensive or tawdry.



If you are a young lady having trouble knowing what to do with your hands, you might try practicing flower-arranging. Your hands will be so busy from the intricate work required in this skill, and your mind will be duly and thoughtfully focused on something worthwhile. There are a number of ways to use such careful creations, and there are numerous facilities that would welcome such a sweet gesture.


Young ladies who are having a struggle controlling their hands need to direct them to a worthwhile work, such as the flower arranging I suggested, or art or gardenning, sewing or some other thing that has something to show for the effort. How about becoming a dedicated housekeeper and keeping your mothers house clean, at the same time keeping your hands out of trouble and busy with something useful.

Meddling with other people leaves no reward but frustration on both sides, and nothing to show for it but loss of friendship and respect. They should engage their hands in something that requires them to mind their own business, or keep them still.



There is an old saying that idle hands make mischief, but The act of holding your hands still and being politely refined in your movements, not threatening anyone by the way you handle yourself, is good, too. The idle-hands-make-mischief slogan can mislead some young ladies into thinking they cannot hold their hands still, ever.



If young girls and young ladies are having difficulty controlling their hands, they can meditate on the teaching in the New Testament that says Christians are supposed to be quiet and mind their own business and not meddle:



1Th 4:11    And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;

1Th 4:12    That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.


Sometimes people are convinced they are being "friendly and outgoing" and must be always aggravating others with their hands, (especially brothers and sisters) but this is not true help or true affection, especially if the other people do not like it.



The above is part of the lesson I taught on how our hands can be used for good or for ill. Sincere young ladies will not wish to be offensive to others and will desire to build their social skills in a pleasing way, rather than being pushy. A pushy young lady who will not accept instruction on this matter will become a pushy old lady someday who will become a terrible plague on other people. Mothers are obligated to teach their children a hands-off policy regarding people and things. When my children were little, I finally had to establish a hands-off policy regarding other people tugging on their clothes or their hair or aggravating them, including siblings.



I have a few more "lectures" coming up, from old manners lessons for children, including one on crude language and one on important old sayings. Pleasant times at home depend on some teaching and training. It is nice to sit and have a cup of tea with the children, but if they are not taught how to make their hands behave, the purpose of the event is spoiled.







Friday, July 04, 2014

You Are The Country


Base your country, where ever you live, on who you are and what you are guiding your family to be. The spiritual qualities from Christ and the character qualities you are teaching your children---this forms the country you are living in.


Do not base your beliefs about your country on what the news media and other media is portraying. That media is in the business of demoralizing the people of the country. They will not only loudly broadcast the most tawdry things, but they will create their own news, often of events that did not really happen, show them on film for the purpose of getting you to give up on your country.


The best news is who you are in Christ, how you live your beliefs, what you are doing at home, and that is really what your country is.

Today we are having our own parade, which has become a tradition. In the hot weather we do not have to sit in a long line of cars when leaving an event. We have our own parade with marching bands, two and three-wheeled vehicles, all the farm wagons and buggies we can find, and we eat at a long table set outside. We do not have to go far to find the utilities we need.


In past years, other families have joined us and we have had a train-stop speech from a local politician running for mayor of our seceral-acre country. The speech is usually quite stirring, explaining what a country is all about and how following the New Testament principles can make a country thrive. Having a population of New Testament abiding Christians can benefit a country.


Christians have the blessings of two countries. They have dual-citizenship because while residing on an earthy country, they are citizens of a "better country", (Hebrews 11:16) referring to the kingdom and citizenship of Christ.

We sometimes have strawberry lemonade in the 4th. You can see how to make it on The Pleasant Times.

Search that blog also for Mylar fireworks made out of straws and shiny papers. Before the fire -works that exist today, matches were never used to make a firework show all the sparkle. Children dropped homemade sparkly things from a height to make them swirl and curl colorfully, catching the sunlight, all the way to the ground.



Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Real Berry Tea

Berry tea is a delicious drink, especially when taken in a fine teacup.
This colorful and incredibly fragrant tea is made with frozen berries. These are from Costco, but any kind of frozen berries will do.
Put the berries in a strainer over the top of a tea pot or tea cup and pour boiling water over them.

I always want to share the scent of this wonderful tea, but they have not invented a scent patch for computers yet. I have served this oftenin my home and it is a favorite. The scent of this tea is so relaxing! I cannot serve it to you personally, so I hope you will make some for yourself and tell me It is true about the fragrance.

This lovely teacup comes in a pretty gift box, and can be ordered at my other blog, Lovely Whatever's, where there is a collection of art and pretty things for the home.


Some people have asked me to allow them to donate to my blog. I do not have a donate button and I do not require any payment for my efforts here on this blog.

However, for those who want to contribute something (and will not take "no" for an answer), I would like to tell you about something you can do.

Go to my other blog, Lovely Whatevers and select a pretty teacup or something else for the home and buy it for yourself.

This way, you will get something for your contribution, and it provides a discount for me if I ever need to buy anything from the merchants I select for that blog.

Today I will address the topic of ministry. Several times I have been asked to take part in a "women's ministry".

Some of the ministries existed to raise money for charities. Those who joined the ministries would create interesting events for the the women in the ministry, to bring friends and recruit more members.

My first observation of these ministries that were introduced to me, was that the women involved were spending quite a bit of time away from home. The leaders were especially pressed for time because they were out recruiting more members for their ministries, and spending time networking their selected charities and ministries.

I did wonder how some of these women in ministries got their laundry done and kept meals on the table for their husbands. I find that even though I am home all day that cooking and keeping house-and-garden, it fills the entire day and I still never get it all finished.

It seemed to me that some of the ministries were as time-consuming as working at a job outside the home. The difference is that at least in working outside the home, a person would be paid. Some of the ministries cost quite a bit as you donate to one cause or another, or pay admission fees to an event.



Women at home should be very particular about what they do with their time, especially if they have children at home. If they have no children at home, there is still a lot to do. A ministry, like a home business, can take over your life and crowd your time.


One of the problems of being involved in something like a women's ministry is that it can make you rush through your homemaking so you can attend a meeting of your group on time. When you are in a hurry, the task is just not as enjoyable, and even your thoughts become rushed.


The New Testament allows women to be keepers of the home. When home making is done conscientiously, the task is very fulfilling. It becomes a personal service to others and personally rewarding to you.


Homemaking is not less of a ministry than the women's ministries that are being promoted. Before you get involved in one, have a look at all the things that need to be done for your family. Then take a personal analysis of your own health, such as getting enough rest, eliminating stressful thoughts and situations. Perhaps you need to be taking time for correspondence, or sorting family mementos and photographs into books. There may be yard work or flower gardens to care for. Take a little time to thoughtfully list all the things you need to do or things you wish you had time to do, and you will find that the home and family itself is a huge ministry.


Some of these women's ministries are promoted with a tea party, and that is very appealing. I have attended several, and found there is never anything said at the meetings to encourage the woman to keep her house or take care of her husband and children. I have never found them to be ministries about true Titus 2 womanhood, nor about how women who have more time, can serve the local church members. Many of these women's ministries do not operate within a church.


Women's ministries can cost some money. Sometimes the fees for charitable events may seem minimal, but for a woman who is trying to live within her family income, a contribution to such a ministry can cost as much as the ingredients for several family meals from the grocery store. I have found that helping someone monetarily, someone I actually know, who can use the money, is a good ministry. While there is nothing wrong with giving money to a ministry, you can have your own ministry where you decide who to give your gift to, and it can be a quiet, simple act, that does not involve spending a lot of time away from home.


If you are guarding the family income, the best way to contribute to a charity is in your weekly church contribution. In the church I attend, the men are in the leadership, and they budget a certain amount of the contribution for benevolence. They also distribute money to help spread the gospel, through radio and printed matter and the supporting of preachers at home and overseas. They send money to aid congregations in distress in other parts of the world.



Your local congregation of the Lord's church helps churches in poorer countries, so a regular contribution from a family at church each week goes a long way. The church sends money and men to dig wells in Africa and preach the gospel, while you get your housework done, teach your own children and prepare nutritious meals for your husband. While you fulfill the Titus 2 scripture, the church ( which includes you) fulfills the great commission (Mark 16:15-16) by sending teachers and providing world-wide correspondence courses.




Ministries may appeal to ladies at home because they have more freedom to come and go throughout the day. It is easy to feel you are doing nothing if you do not get involved in a ministry, but the home is a full-time ministry that must not be neglected. It is important to train your mind to focus on the serious God-given ministry of taking care of husband, children, and home. A family can set aside just a little time every month to do something for the church members, send out a Bible correspondence course, or extend hospitality. There is ministry enough in all that.


Be assured that your home is your mission field and is the best ministry on earth. There are a lot of neglected husbands and children and houses when women get involved in ministries. Even if ladies are asked to do something for a woman's ministry while at home, it can use up the time a homemaker needs to do a thoughtful and thorough job. There is a lot more to being a keeper at home than cleaning and cooking. There are spiritual values included in every task at home, and that is a ministry. Never allow the pressure to join ministries that use up too much of your precious time.


You can minister from the home via correspondence or blogging, and you can minister in the home by serving your family. It is important to reach out to others but it should be with the purpose of creating the impact of your life upon theirs with the gospel. Your children can be in your "family ministry" by watching what you do to personally help others. Many women's ministries are women-only, without the entire family unit.


If you know you cannot possibly join a ministry but feel you are missing out on something, try having a lady over to share a cup of tea. This can be as rewarding, if not more.


Some of these women's ministries appear to be a re-marketing of Toastmasters speech classes, and motivational courses. You can get good speech training by reading aloud to your children and reading the Bible aloud. There are good homeschool speech courses you can take in your home, with your children.



Meals and laundry are as much a ministry as anything else, and what is more, they are natural and God-given duties. When you clean house and teach your children at home, and teach them how to look after a home, you can know for certain that you are already in a full-time, woman's ministry.


You do not need a women's motivational ministry or find-raising ministry to do good works. I know several families that go as whole families to places like the crisis pregnancy centers and soup kitchens to teach and to serve and to donate needed supplies. You can do this independently and make your family the vehicle by which it is done. I have attended several of the women's ministry tea socials and been disappointed (especially that the tea does not seem to be made properly, with boiling water, but that is a minor problem :-)So your home is probably the best place in and from which to conduct a ministry.

If you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he will eat for a lifetime.



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