Monday, February 22, 2016

The Setting of the Home (Video 8)

Greetings, Ladies,

I am so glad you have taken the time to come here and visit, because I will  be sharing my thoughts about the role of the homemaker. 

The foundation of your love of the home and of your reason for being the guard and guide of the home, lies in your belief.

Generally, there are two ways to believe:  1.) to acknowledge or admit something, and 2.) to be persuaded, convinced.

The Koine Greek, the original language of the New Testament, uses the words "persuade" and "convince" for the English word "believe" in several places.

A person can give a mental nod to something but not be convinced enough to do it. It is the second kind of belief that I will be talking about today: to be convinced.

When you are convinced about the validity of your role, your performance will be better than if you are only mentally acknowledging it.

Sometimes ladies at home feel some doubt, especially if anyone close to them questions their role at home. They may begin to wonder how they can prove it is their responsibility to keep the home and be watchful of the people they care for, but if they can create their setting to support their role, it helps their performance to feel more natural. This is not always so, as women who truly believe in their role can carry it in any circumstance. However, it is always creates an incentive when your home becomes, in a sense, your castle or your cottage or your own vacation resort.

The type of belief that shows you are convinced of something, causes you to do something. You may believe you should be a homemaker, and do nothing more than give mental assertion to it, but if you are truly convinced, your homemaking will become dynamic and meaningful.  Your belief will be evident by the things you do to make the home a place where the family is nurtured, protected, comfortable, and has a chance to grow and learn new skills and knowledge. 

The home is also a setting for the homemaker, who is performing an important role. How can she perform this role with all it entails, if the setting is not convincing?

This brings me to the idea of the setting of the home as a support system for your role.  Whatever your dwelling may be, small or grand, it can do a lot to help you feel confidently convinced of the value of your role as the lady of the house when it is created as a setting to support your performance.

As you supply the home with things necessary for many needs in daily life, you feel a noble sense of purpose for yourself and others.  The library, for example,  (which may only be a bookshelf in a corner, with a chair) becomes a place where edifying reading material is supplied. The dining room, (where people actually dine with one another) is a place free from work and other distractions, and the sitting room is a destination of luxury and comfort that provides a sense of contentment. You may have a sewing room  and a kitchen, each with its own function.

These settings that surround you, as the homemaker, give reality to your role. Even if you live in a caravan, your dwelling has things that support your performance at home.

If you have ever listened to a historical re-enactor explain how his or her role becomes easier, they will never fail to mention the location, the setting, the costumes, the architecture, the interiors and the other people in their supporting roles, the carriages and the horses, etc.  They will say the setting,  and the location make the scene so real that the performance becomes natural. The location, props, setting, animals and other actors put them inside the world they are attempting to emulate.

In the same way I think the homemaker needs to look at her home as a setting for the the art of homemaking.  As the performer in a historical re-enactment needs to have the things around that make the role feel real, the homemaker needs to make her home a  supportive setting for who she is.

To support her role, she must surround herself in the things that comfort her and give her a feeling of home.

Most performers will say that, although they are intellectually aware of the roles they play, they become more convinced (and so do onlookers) when they perform in the location that "goes" with the character they are playing.

For a happier existence at home, create a  convincing  setting around you that  says the home is a beautiful place where something very noble and spiritual is taking place. It says you are presiding beautifully as the lady of the house.  It convinces others that you know what you are doing and that you are settled and established in the noble deeds you perform.

Some of those settings may include things of a physical nature, such as the furnishings that give the family comfort, or the reading materials that give them the spiritual grounding they need and that reinforce their beliefs. 

 Just as a performer will go to the location of the story he is telling, the homemaker will create the setting for her role. She will enhance her location with the props needed to help her perform her responsibilities, whether they be things for the kitchen or things for the laundry room.  

To reinforce this illustration, you might listen to an interview with your favorite historical performer, about how the settings and the location, along with the costumes, help her in performing her role.

I have tried to summarize the idea of the "setting" and the support for your role, in video # 8, below:


I hope you enjoyed my little talk today. Thanks so much for watching!


This is the dress I was wearing in the video.  It is made of Waverly cotton, approximately $3.00 a yard from Walmart and comes in all delicious colors!  The weave looks like linen but the fabric is silky and feels very soft to wear. The label on the end of the bolt called this color "orchid."

I never wear a scarf at home, as usually I have an apron, but I used this scarf for the video.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Dignity in the Home (Video 7)

Thank you for joining me today on the subject of Dignity in the Home.

Dignity means: to elevate in high esteem, to make worthy and worthwhile, to give true honor, to develop a noble elevation of the mind. We are familiar with the phrase: "Strength and dignity are her clothing" in the book of Proverbs, but how does that feeling of dignity permeate the home?

To dignify something, you pay attention to it, take it in, promote it, enjoy it or cultivate it. To give dignity to the home, you have to develop a heavenly view of your earthly dwelling and a spiritual focus on every material thing in it, plus,  every action that takes place. Elevate the home to be good and noble, and it will be a place worth living in.

When we say that something is heavenly, we get a sense of abandoning to a pleasant scent, a comfort, a sight or a sound. You might say your mother's cooking is "heavenly" or a certain flower has a "heavenly" scent. You would mean an indescribable sensation of well-being.

 In a home that reflects heaven, every object and activity has both a sense of stability and of joy. The home can show love, honor and peace by the use of light and color, sound and scent, careful selection of furnishings and objects. as well as the mood of the homemaker. Her words should be instructional yet uplifting enough to give family members a sense of elevation of spirit and purpose in their lives. It is here at home they will learn to tap in to their full potential as human beings and to glorify God in the way they live.

Acquiring the spiritual attributes of happiness and contentment will involve some house cleaning. Sweep away the unattractive habits of criticism, demeaning outbursts, and demoralizing. Avoid idle talk and accusing words. 

The home has a different set of values than the higher criticism and nitpicking, lying and bad moods of the rest of the world, but sometimes people dishonor the home with anger, pouting, demoralizing others, and in general, making the atmosphere so unappealing that people do not enjoy it. There are those who have had a bad day and want everyone at home have a bad day, too. So be careful not to spread discouragement at home, and remember the New Testament teaches to build one another up.

The Bible constantly warns that the time is short and we must make the most of it, so do not hesitate to dress the house in dignity, as the most honored place on earth. Add to it orderliness, cleanliness, beauty, books and your own creativity. Those of you who have raised children know how fast the time goes and how important each moment is!

Please keep sending me emails to help me refine this video method of teaching and sharing. I have a long way to go before I am will be completely happy with the results, and I hope to find time to learn all the things you can do in a video.

This is another Faded Glory cotton cardigan.

The blouse is all cotton, 

And has a nice edging, and is loose and comfortable at home. Crinkled cotton texture.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Hospitality in the Home (Video 6)

Breakfast in the Garden by  Giuseppe De Nittis 
Italian 1846-1884

1Peter 4:9  "Use hospitality one to another without grudging."

Hospitality is one of the ways Christians demonstrate the love of Christ to others, and yet it has many benefits to the one who shows hospitality. 

To help you become more at ease with hospitality, I have set up a tea table and will show you just a few things that might help you develop a love of hospitality. 

If you are not yet at ease in giving hospitality, begin with your own people: your family, and the people with whom you feel the most comfortable. Children especially love tea time, as they delight in the fancy settings, love to hear the sound of the tea spoon against the china cup, and enjoy pouring the tea from the pot, adding milk and honey, and eating all the little bites of attractive foods.

When you show hospitality, or entertain your children, they will become familiar with tea time and develop an appreciation and a respect for it. They will continue the tradition, as it brings so many happy memories.

You will notice on my tea table that I use plastic over the table cloths. A lot of people have written and asked me if this is proper etiquette and then want to know, if so, where they can find the plastic for their tables.  Although tea books and etiquette lists of the past have stated it is not proper to cover the table with plastic, most people I know are using it to protect their special table cloths.

I find the least expensive, and thinnest plastic from the roll at Walmart to be the best, because it adheres to the table better. The heavy plastic moves too easily and can fall off. People use it because they want their guests to be at ease and not feel worried about spilling things. Tea can drip and the foods sometimes are a little messy but it is good to let everyone stir and sip and enjoy themselves without worrying about staining the tablecloth or getting the surface of a table wet.

In America, some people are using honey to sweeten their tea. The tea books all say it is not proper to use honey in tea, but when I ask people why they use honey, they reply brightly, "Because we like it."  If no where else, the home is a place you should be able to do as you like, so honey is served here, especially since other people want it.  Most people here still use no milk and no sweetener in their tea, preferring it plain.

The little biscuits with jam you see on the tea table are called "Afternoon Ruby Tea Biscuits" which I got from the Anne of Green Gables Cookbook at the library years ago. I tweak the recipe a little, substituting some ingredients, and you may like to do the same if you have special preferences. You can find the recipe online.

 One way I changed the recipe was to indent the dough to make a place for the jam, as I show in the photo, below. After baking and cooling the biscuits (scones), I fill the indentation with jam The original recipe is more complicated as far as cutting the pieces of dough and putting them together, which takes up a lot of time, and I found people do not really care for the jam to be baked along with the biscuits. That is why I add the jelly after baking and cooling.

Although there was only only one item served, most people provide some little tea sandwiches  You can do some research and find the kinds of tea sandwiches recipes that would suit your family. 

I chose tea time as way for a beginner to extend hospitality, because it does not require a lot of cooking and it is not necessary to serve hot food. For adults, however, the tea must be hot, so be sure to bring the kettle of water on the stove to a boil before pouring it over the tea bag in the teapot. ( Never put a teapot on top of a burner on the stove.) i use the Hamilton Beach electric kettle for boiling water, which has automatic shut-off and a temperature indicator for special teas which require different settings. It also reheats the water autimatically if you like. See picture at the end of this post. Tea time magazine usually has a page showing the temperatures required fir making herbal teas and green, white and other types of tea. 

This is a scone recipe, not a cookie. 

                   I have made a short video for you on tis subject and I hope it makes you want to start practicing hospitality at home. The important thing is to "show hospitality to one another without grudging" as the New Testament tells us.  


Since It has been requested that I show what I wear at home, I have tried to get some pictures of the outfit I am wearing in the video. 

 Years ago Victoria magazine had a photo of a cardigan and skirt set I really thought looked comfortable, but I never was able to find anything like it:

                         This is the issue where the adorable mother-daughter set was found:
Over 25 years later I ended up with a very similar ensemble, created from a Faded Glory brand cardigan (cotton and rayon, approximately $8.00 at Walmart this last week,  just like the yellow one in the previous video) and a "vintage" skirt someone gave me a few days ago. I knew when she handed it to me it would be just what I needed to make the outfit I was looking for.  

           I made the collar scarf years ago, and today fastened it with a large rose button.


                                        This is how everything looks on the dress-form. 

The skirt has a Ralph Lauren label and it has a very comfortable fit.  The lady who gave it to me (thanks for donating to my worthy cause :-) got it from someone who always purchased very high-end clothing. It seems a lot like the Laura Ashley brand shown in the Victoria magazine mother-daughter picture I posted in this article. 

Does it bother anyone that people call these clothes "vintage", when they were things you used to wear in the 1980's? They seem as classic and updated to me as when I first saw them in the picture! Now if I could only find that lovely blouse that the model was wearing with the cardigan. I probably have a pattern for it somewhere.

I prefer to use an electric kettle to heat water for tea. I sometimes take the kettle to the tea table and plug it in to an outlet or power strip behind the table so that guests can have hot water conveniently.

Below, the comb in my hair that matches the cardigan is made from Dollar Tree ingredients consisting of a hair comb, hot glue and a branch of silk apple blossoms. It was made to go alongside a French twist hair style, and matches coral and rose colors in clothing. You can get a hot-glue-kit at the dollar store, as well.

Thanks for all your nice comments!  I will be making one more hospitality video soon, I hope.


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