Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Day in the Life of a Homemaker

Guarding and guiding the home entails more than meets the eye. Though I had a long list of things that needed to be done, not one task on that list was accomplished. There were many other things that took precedence. When someone asks you what you do all day, it is not always easy to tell them. If you wrote down every thing you do, it would be easier to see where the day went.

       For example,  today I hung out the towels, made the bed, prepared a hot breakfast, went to the post office, grocery store and cleaned up the porch, checked the mail and processed it, sorted a box of papers, prepared for a Bible class, cooked dinner and cleaned the kitchen.  

Sometimes people judge the homemaker by how many areas in a house are in good order, because they fail to take in to account the other things she does they do not see. No one notices that the laundry is caught up and no one counts the trip to the grocery store as part of her homemaking.  No one sees the time spent to pay the bills and get them in the mailbox at the end of the road.  No one notices the time spent writing a letter or sending a sympathy card. No one sees behind the closed coat closet that it has been organized, and cleaning out a desk is never noticed. Mending a tablecloth or sewing a button on a shirt so not as noticeable as a room cleaned up, but these things are all part of making things work better.

Another thing that happened during my homemaking day is the arrival of this pink doll pumpkin. That is a little squash next to it. Someone who knew I wanted the pink doll pumpkin left it on the table outside.

While I was doing the household shopping I found this delightful embroidery transfer.  I thought it would be enjoyable to have a dish towel for each day of the week, as part of teaching a younger woman, and also for the collection in her trunk. These transfers cost $1.59 at Hobby Lobby.

Even though the day is ending here, I still have some things I need to do before retiring, because I do not want to see the mess in the morning. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Attaining a Quiet and Gentle Spirit


                           The Quiet Hour by Albert Chevalier Taylor, English 1862-1925

It is sometimes easy to misinterpret the phrase "quiet and gentle spirit." It does not mean total silence.  It does not mean a woman has to sit back and silently tolerate rudeness and immaturity, and it does not mean she should allow anyone to insult or verbally attack her. It does not mean no opinion or discussion.  

A quiet and gentle spirit is an aura of confidence attained by consistently practicing certain attributes. A lady can confidently instruct someone or inform someone and still have a quiet and gentle spirit. A lady can manage her home and insist on decency and order and still have a quiet and gentle spirit.

There is a false understanding that a quiet and gentle spirit means a woman can not interact with anyone in her family; that she cannot correct her children (even older children) and that she can never put her foot down about anything or insist that certain language not be spoken in her presence. People mistakenly believe that a quiet and gentle spirit means that a woman cannot make improvements.

Let us see the ways to develop a quiet and gentle spirit.

1. Refined speech.  I posted an explanation of this here called Refined Speech for Christian Women. Ladies in the church need to be careful what they talk about concerning personal family information, or revealing things of a private nature, from family finances to personal failures.  Ladies also need to avoid talking about carnal things. It does not sound quiet or gentle.

 Compare ladies who talk about any and every sensitive and unpleasant subject known to the world. Which ones would you think of as having a quiet and gentle spirit? Maybe the free talkers are not loud, or maybe they just whisper all their delicious gossip, but that does not mean they are quiet. Quietness means more than not being loud.  It is being careful not to let out words that are passed around that others can use for harm.

2. Digninified clothing and appearance.  Although a woman can be as quiet as a mouse, a disheveled and unclean appearance with hair and clothing all askew is like noise and roughness.  There just isn't anything quiet and gentle in an unkempt appearance. The impression it gives is bad for the reputation of the home and the local church where such a woman attends.  Careful grooming and good taste in selection of clothing looks peaceful.  A woman in disarray does not give off the appearance of quietness and gentleness.   Instead, it makes her look in a hurry and worried.

3. Enjoying the home.  A woman who gives her housekeeping a pass and has a bad attitude about the state of the house, will present it in a bad light. A neglected house cannot serve anyone very well in its purpose. A woman may never speak a word and yet be thought of as nervous and noisy if her house is not looked after.  When you think of a woman you admire who has a house you love to visit, I am sure you think of quietness and peace. The house may not always be orderly but if a lady has a goal of getting it done and is working on it, it shows conscientiousness.

4. Daily quiet pastimes.  Reading and hand-work can make you more quiet and thoughtful. Test this out by getting in a comfortable place and writing a letter or card, mending, or doing a creative thing.  Notice how you can go from tenseness to relaxing. There is less or no talking required, and the mind engages in more thought. Bible study is paramount but make sure some of it is for your own personal improvement. There are many subjects covered in the Bible, and a quiet and gentle spirit is part of character.

I have listed four things that will greatly aid in developing a quiet and gentle spirit. This quality is a matter of character.  Character qualities to consider embracing are found in these scriptures:

2Pe 1:5    And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
2Pe 1:6    And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
2Pe 1:7    And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

Gal 5:22    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23    Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Rom 12:11    Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
Rom 12:12    Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
Rom 12:13    Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
Rom 12:14    Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
Rom 12:15    Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
Rom 12:16    Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
Rom 12:17    Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
Rom 12:18    If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

1Ti 6:6    But godliness with contentment is great gain.

These are just a few of the pertinent passages on character qualities, but there is enough there to fill up several notebooks of examples and thoughts on the subject. If you are wanting this kind of training, I would suggest working on one quality at a time by looking up the word-meaning and finding ways to apply it.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Enjoying the Seaside

These paintings from the 1800's give us a look at the way Victorians enjoyed the beaches.

The seaside was a favorite for romantic portraits.

Beaches provided a scenic place to relax.

Ladies enjoyed a "promenade" or painting, reading and penning in a journal.

A visit to the coast also relaxes the mind.

Crowded beaches showed people from all walks of life, often identified by their clothing.

The inlets were full of sea vessels.

The sound of the wind, the surf and the birds was part of the mental and emotional therapy.

One visit to the beach and you could be happy and refreshed for awhile.

As I have been to the coast this week, I was interested in how people of the past used the same beaches we use today.

Here is the ocean I visited.

It has been an eventful day here at my place, with all kinds of challenges, but God has been good. I remember Rose Kennedy saying, after the tragic death of her son, "We know God is good and we must always trust Him."  In such a time a deep sorrow she had a reverence that many people find difficult to lay hold of today.  

These two pictures are photographs of people on beaches in the 1800's.

The ladies appear to be relaxed, happy, content and at peace with life.



Roxy, at Living From Glory to Glory (see my blogroll) requests special prayers.  Please give this request to the minister or the men at church this morning who offer the prayers, and of course, please offer your own prayers!  

Update: Prayers have been answered. Please see Roxy's blog at Living From Glory to Glory on my blogroll.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ocean-Front Property

Included in this post are some beach-scene paintings  by artists of the 1800's. By the popular culture of today, it does not appear that the ladies are wearing beach clothing, but they are.  There were special costumes for sea-bathing, while those who wanted to "take in the air"  wore clothing they considered perfect for the sun and sand.

Above: a mother gently shows her child how to play in the sand. This keeps her baby close by and being entertained by the little shovel and pail the mother is using.

Another painting of structures that resemble the  bathing houses, and ladies at the beach.  A horse would pull the wagon that had a little structure on it that provided privacy for ladies to change into bathing costumes and then climb down a little step into the ocean in front of the cabin.  Afterwards they entered the shelter, dried off and changed and came out the other side to walk on the beach or sit on the sand.  I understand Queen Victoria had one of these specially made for her.

Above photo: Fabric Traditions brand 100 percent cotton dresses and shirt - girls size 8, boys size 10 shirt, and ladies size 12 dress.  I am still working on another dress in this line. 

I plan to replace these photos in a few hours with some clearer ones.  I do not know what was wrong with my camera, but it may have been there was a little fog early this morning when I took the pictures.  I did not want to wait for a new picture to show my beach line of clothing. It is most likely the only Ocean-Front Property I will ever have, so the labels inside the garments will reas "Ocean Front Property."

The boys nautical shirt was very prominent in the 1800's and most boys wore them for special occasions.  The above photo shows the loop in the back to keep the tie.

                                            Trim and tuck on the sleeves.

One of the nice things that goes on in this area is that a woman has a card class in her home, where other ladies pay a small fee to come and make the card she has prepared.  The car-card is made with several layers and mounting tape to give it a dimensional appearance.  

I was feeling a little uneasy yesterday  although I didn't communicate to anyone. I found in my email a message from someone I do not personally know, saying she was praying for me.  Just that knowledge brightened my day and I was able to forget any worries and get inspired to do things I had planned. Everyone needs a lift, so if  you have been thinking about someone lately, be sure and phone them or send an electronic message. You do not know the good it can do.

We did go to the beach so my models could wear their special beach-themed clothes. It was a blustery day with rain and very exciting to see the foaming water from the window by the table where our lunch was served.

In the previous post I  was talking about behavior fitting for older women, and I would like to continue with some of the thoughts that the ladies contributed to the discussion yesterday.

Ladies should never cause problems with the church they attend. It is a juvenile custom for girls to form a circle with their backs to other people and make others worry they are talking about them. Older women should be wary of the social rudeness that goes on. A young woman should be advised that gossip can break hearts and ruin reputations and destroy careers.  Loose lips sink ships, as the saying goes.  

While gossip is sometimes excused as learning pains for younger women, if the habit is continued into the mature years, it seems more odious.  In your younger years, practice what you want to be as an aged woman. If you lack discretion now and talk about any inappropriate subject at will, you might still be doing it as an older woman.  In an older woman, gossip and hasty, sharp replies seem more exaggerated, and will make a charactericture of her.  If you want to be a gracious older woman, make it a point to guard your thoughts and control your tongue so that the habit will be established later. 

Negativism and gloominess practiced in younger years can be hard to shake off in older years.  An older women with a sarcastic bite to her conversation will be avoided by the younger women and that will ruin any chance of teaching the younger women or fulfilling the Titus 2 role.  

As always, your comments are valued, so please leave more than one each.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Older Women

                                                  White Roses by Igor Levashov


My husband likes to stop in at Goodwill and check out the office supplies. There are sometimes high quality binders, briefcases, and other types of holders that are brand new yet very low priced. In spite of the computer age, some men still prefer to use old fashioned files and various types of boxes for their paper work.  Yesterday he found a couple of things he really needed at Goodwill  and I browsed for teacups.  The teacups seem to be getting more scarce.  I found this lovely vase, made by a florist company in Georgia.  The only good rose that grew for me this year was a creamy off-white one, so I have cut it for this vase.

Dollar Tree sometimes has some things that look like high-end merchandise.  The lantern candle holder on the mantel looks good with a led tea light.  Pretty table runners come in green, burgundy and off-white satin-look fabric, for only a dollar.  They have tassels on the ends and look quite smart in homes where the lady does not want to be extravagant but wants to have nice things.  That candle lantern is available in other colors.

We are having a ladies lunch and a Bible lesson tomorrow and I want to share some of the things I hope to teach, which the ladies will be discussing.  The table at the church fellowship room is set with seasonal things and the buffet table is available for people to contribute to the lunch.

It is always comforting to read what the Bible teaches about the qualities older women should have. Occasionally I hear someone say that the description of women in the Bible is not for today; that it was applicable only in the past. They want to apply their lifestyles to the Bible rather than applying the Bible to their lifestyle.  

The word "sober" appears several times in Titus 2 when talking about women.  I am sure you know it refers to being serious about life and not foolish or infantile in behavior. To be sober means to become more mature and wise as you grow in age.  

The sober woman does not need to act "cute" or send flirtatious, impish smiles to people to gain attention.  She has grown up and is beyond the junior high level of silly expressions and social manipulation. 

 The sober woman has a quiet confidence because she has been carefully filling her mind with profitable thoughts (that is thoughts that benefit her mental health and build her character) and trying to live up to God's description of a worthy woman.

Sometimes our parents would say, "Act your age" to remind us not to revert back to childish antics and juvenile attitudes.  These days, do we even know how to act our age?  For so long it has been socially acceptable to act like children and one hardly knows what age they ought to emulate.  Be serious-minded and it will automatically adjust to your age.  

One reason to be sober about life is that those coming after you in age will have something to remember when they need an example. Even at my age, I often wish there were older women I could observe in how they handle things like stress, gossip,  rudeness, and pushy, domineering women.  I would have liked to observe how my ancestors handled these things with grace.  A serious older women is a great help to the other ladies that want to know how to treat the situations that ocurr in life.

Sober-minded women are the ones that people will rely on when prayer is requested or when advice is needed.  

Serious women are not morose or depressing, but appropriately happy.  Happiness is more than a smile, so you cannot determine whether or not a woman is happy based only on a smile. There are a lot of silly women who are always laughing and smiling; women whose lives are so erratic that they could never effectively guide other women, so you cannot always judge real happiness by smiles. Wise women are happy women, but it is a kind of contented confidence that they project, as opposed to constant giggling. 

The serious minded women are not sharp-tongued, meaning, not quick to spout off caustic criticism and hasty remarks designed to intimidate others.

The sober-minded older woman will be serious about her home. She cares about effective  housekeeping and is concerned about the condition of her home. She may not have it all in order at the same time, but it concerns her. She likes the smell of fresh laundry and dinner cooking. She enjoys looking out clean windows and having comfortable furniture. She is happy whe there is a brightness to her home and a calmness in the atmosphere.  She cares about every cent her husband makes and guards the income with a watchful eye concerning wastefulness.  She sees her family as spiritual beings who need their souls fed as well as their bodies.

Naturally there is a lot more to be said on this subject and I am eager to read your comments.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Morning Rain Drop Tea

Hello Dear One,

I know there is more than one viewer, but there might be one particular person who needs a special greeting today, so my greeting is supposed to sound personal.

It sometimes rains early in the morning, and then the sun comes out, so this morning I had Rain Drop Tea outside on the porch. The gentle mist of rain sounds like what I refer to as the pale notes on the piano or guitar strings; so soft sounding that if the sun dies not appear today, my heart is filled with sunshine. 

Cucumber tea was the most like raindrops that I could find, because of its light color. It is available by the bag, but a cucumber slice floating in very hot water makes a great flavor, so that is what I made.  

These few moments allowed me time to read another page of the 2nd-hand book Called Tea With Jane Austen, which has history and descriptions of the tea foods of the era.

A subject that I have had in mind has been the question of how much time a Christian woman at home can afford to spend on the world's constant broadcasting of bad news, so I will address it as best I can now.

Horrid news does not go with this kind of activity that I am showing today, nor is it compatible with anything a homemaker has to do in a given day.  It will not get the laundry done or the meals made.

I was listenning to an old hymn called "Beneath the Cross of Jesus" and noted in the last stanza the phrase: "content to let the world go by". You can listen to he song and see the lyrics here:

Content to let the world go by:  Christian ladies have for the most part been content to let the world go by, and to tend to the duties of the home that were their own. They participated in their country's success by guarding and guiding the home and practicing good character, as well as teaching good values to the community by the way they lived.  Then, those who had great causes that Christians have always practiced, began to say, "Your country is a mess because you Christians just stayed home or kept your religion in your churches."  Many women felt they should be more concerned about the world, and took on the worries and stresses and burdens that Jesus warns not to carry.

The accusation that Christians were not "doing anything" to make the world a better place or to prevent corruption in government, was not true.  Ladies at home guiding and teaching  future adults in good character were doing a lot more for their nation than anyone in Congress or Parliament, because of the spiritual values these ladies promoted and sent out into the world. Women at home caring for their own property and posessions, being careful with their incomes and looking after own husband's nutrition, lifting the stress of the world from their shoulders by having well-kept, attractive homes and serving appealing foods, were doing more for the world than any summit meeting ever could.  One reason such women could do this was that they were free from the worry and heavy responsibility of worrying about politics.

Instead of working in the homes and churches where they grew in grace and good works, many women got caught up in causes that were Christian in nature but required their time and attention away from the home and church. While still at home,ladies began to feel anxious about current events. They once thrived and made a difference in the lives of others through the churches and the homes. Homes and families and churches are now the people than need the most emotional and financial help. It is time for ladies to take their ears away from the naysayers of the public broadcasts and get back to living the Titus 2 role, which really makes a difference in people's lives.

Instead of devoting themselves to home and church where they thrived, they began an endless campaign to fix the rest of the world, an exercise in futility. 

Ladies also began to believe the news broadcasts, without any way to investigate the stories.  There are people who once worked for the news media who write about how it creates a false reality on the screen and in photographs that do not tell the entire truth.  By showing the limited views that are only broadcast through a lense  they can create any thing they want the world to believe.

Today we have the disease of the month and the crash of the month and the tragedy of the month (or day) to interrupt the calmness of the home, and this can hardly benefit the home. The minute you start worrying, your immune system is compromised. When you worry and are not happy, your body seems to be more vulnerable to headaches and sniffles, tummy aches and all kinds of unpleasant things.

Worrying about things goes completely against the commandments of Christ, so my conclusion is, we must obey the command to pray for the those in political power, and let God take care of it. When you worry, you cannot have optimum health, and you are not able to control your home life. 

The news media is a privately owned organization that hand-picks bad news to broadcast, with the purpose of demoralizing you and making you lose hope.  The news media does not have your best interest at heart. It has an agenda to put people in a constant state of fright so they can also use their sponsors the pharmaceutical companies to sell you their antectdotes.  I have written about this in the past, but we all need to be reminded that the media creates stories or chooses the ones that benefit their agenda, and creates hype in order to get people to react a certain way. This is the bad news.

The good news is the Bible, and the last will and testament of Christ, the New Testament, is full of hope and assurance and peace. It gives life. The news is more often about death and depressing things.  As a guard of the atmosphere of the home, a lady should keep her mind free of this pollution.  Make sure you do not get a steady diet of the news media, for it creates fear, and fear and anxiety will not help your home.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Finished Sewing Project

When I showed a photograph of Pumpkins called Pink Porcelain Doll, I did not know there was also a variety called Blue Doll.  They are quite a bit more of a blue hue than the picture shows.  While both colors are great for indoor and outdoor seasonal decor, they apparently are quite tasty for soups and pies. I am watching the price on these pretty pieces and as soon as it gets more affordable I am going to buy one or two and place them on the tables for centerpieces on the front porch.

Picture below:my summer line of clothing.

The daisy fabric is all used up now except for a small plastic bag of tiny scraps.  The blouse and skirt on the left are the last addition to the set, and shown are garments for Me,  Mommy, and Daughter.  The ruffle on the skirt is a bias circle style trim that sews flat and easily onto the hem. The other two dresses have gathered ruffles which are more difficult to stitch.

When I am getting ready to sew, I select some patterns I want to eventually use, and put them in order according to which ones I want to sew first, in a small container. As I finish each project, I file the pattern in the back of the stack or put  it away in the big drawer I showed in the previous post, and get out another one to add to my box here.

You might be getting tired of seeing this fabric, so I have something quite different coming up in a future post.  After this sewing was completed I had to take a whole day to catch up on housekeeping. I sew like a quilter, with the slow-cooker filled with delicious food that will last all day, and some classical music playing in my sewing room.  I fill my thermos with hot water to make cups of my favorite herbal teas without having to take too much time away from my task.

Something free came in the mail this week that I enjoyed a lot.  It is a catalog of Victorian style reproductions that have a nostalgic look.

Victorian things are sometimes depicted as being overly dark and somber, which it find sad and depressing, but this catalog merchandise is quite pleasing to look at and very cheerful.

It is beyond my budget to order anything but it is lovely to look at and enjoyable to spot similar items at thrift shops and Goodwill for much less cost!  You can turn the pages of the Castle and Cottage 
 catalog at Victorian Trading Company online. Be aware that not every item this company sells is in good taste, but for the most part it brings back the beauty of some of the Victorian decor and architecture.  I like the pieces that reflect the beauty of nature, just like that bowl of roses on the first page instead, and I am thinking how easy it would be to make a similar bouquet for the mantel using a round jelly jar and some fabric roses.

I hope to post again soon concerning a subject that seems to be pursuing me: Should homemakers worry about everything?  How much should news reports affect her?  Should she get all tied up in knots over her future in the home?  My conclusion of course is already decided: The New Testament commands that Christians not be anxious.  It is actually against the law of Christ to fret and worry and get too caught up in some things.  Perhaps we can all talk about this.

Our days are still filled with sunshine.

Since sewing this, I have cut the sleeves shorter to wear in warm weather.

Fabric in a container, showing the pieces I want to use next.