Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Important to Relax

Today I am continuing be theme of making a house feel homey. All pictures on this post are my own and Pinterest-able.
The Lily, which I received many years ago on Mother's Day, has bloomed this year. We have discovered the solution to plants that won't bloom is to leave them in Mr.S.'s office where they are neglected!

Our gnarled old swing makes a pretty picture today... a prop for pink Columbine...

...and an unused gate painted light green looks good propped against a shed.

These colors, light blue and coral, are an an unusual combination but look good together drying on the line.

I recently bought a new towel and picked this one because of the colors. Interesting how towels are being manufactured these days with designs on them.  Before this, housewives were adding fabric borders and trims to towels.  

Here is my utility wagon. Various people have attempted to abandon this wagon and have it hauled away. Each time, Mr. S. Has repaired it back to working use. It has even painted at various times in other colors.
Though quite green out here, it is overcast.

Sewing news: I am interested in the patterns we used in the 1960's and 70's. Here is a picture of one I found on the web but it was sold. During the mini-skirt era there were patterns for longer dresses. I am trying to sew front buttons and zippers these days, and will try to post instructions on how to convert the pattern to button or zip in the front of the garment. I have read that you add inches to the front and eliminate the seam allowance in the back. It seems easier to use a pattern already made the way you want it.

My thoughts today on the home are concerning the pressure and tension that wells up in the homemaker sometimes within minutes after waking up. On reason for that is, her work is right there at home. Her work is all around her. The bed she sleeps in must be made, the sheets laundered. The place she sits to gather her thoughts and sip tea is a place of work. She can't ever really feel completely relaxed because there is always some work to do. The homemaker's husband generally goes somewhere else for his work and comes home to rest or at least to his own work and his own interests.

                 "A man's work is from sun to sun, but a woman's work is never done."

I have several suggestions for how this can be alleviated.

First, for the ladies who are home alone, do not get into your work right away.  If you can, do your errands in town bright and early, and then enter your home with a renewed mind.

My mother was rather isolated in the homestead days but she went outside in the morning and walked around, sometimes taking her cup of coffee with her.  

When you sleep and wake in the workplace, you can lose your sense of balance. Going outside for a little while and then coming back home puts time lines in the day that distinguish work from leisure.

Some thoughtful men provide  their wives gazebos, parlours or rooms of their own where the women can withdraw from the sight of housekeeping for a little while each day.  19th century publications urged husbands to make sure their wives had time out away from home, and encouraged men to take them on regular outings.

We all wake up to work.

This can become discouraging but it can be alleviated by interspersing regular times of relaxation. 

While we love being home, we have to be careful not to allow the work to become all consuming. There are stages in life where things will be jumbled (moving, house repairs, illness, loss) and it will make you feel inadequate and stressed.   Homes are to be "kept" but they are places where real life is lived;  where we get out our supplies and pursue our interests. 

Discouragement can easily occur if you wake up thinking of all your work. 

Allow no one to intimidate or pressure you regarding your work. Homemaking has to come from the heart. It is a combination of inspiration, creativity and love. When someone pushes you, it robs you of personal desire and motivation. Remind others to give you the freedom to approach housekeeping the way that helps you the most. 

Call a friend and encourage each other to get ready for the day. ( A very patient and tolerating friend).

Plan rewards for yourself.

Put away money each day if you can.

Homemaking is self-employment and that requires totally different dynamics than the way the corporate workplace operates.  

What would motivate me?

I would like a newspaper with pleasant news, to have time to write a letter, to try a new recipe and a new sewing project, new dish towel and dish cloth ( hand made would be nice)  a daily reward of some kind (like a homemakers perk), a call from a friend, a visitor, someone to visit and drop off a basket of goodies, a kind word from someone, prayers. 

One friend told me she would like to get up in the morning and open the door to a surprise. No, not a car or anything like that, but a simple basket of plants or fruit, a container with something personal or some free groceries. 

Because this won't normally just happen, the housewife has to be self motivated and give herself her own rewards. Sometimes the reward is simply the satisfaction and pleasure of being in an orderly home.  

It is very good to be thoughtful of other homemakers, give them a call and some encouragement.


Linda said...

Such an encouraging way to start the day.
Thank you.

Lynn said...

Hi Lydia,
I especially like the plan of going on errands FIRST THING IN THE DAY....I have been thinking of doing that for quite some time...but have not as yet done so. TODAY I WILL!!! It is still early and I will be on my way shortly....

living from glory to glory said...

Good Morning, Loved the photo of the teapot, the colors are really very pretty together! I am having a ladies lunch today and I just wanted to sit a minute here drinking my tea and get inspired. So reading this post was perfect for me.
It is a very overcast day, but I have chosen to enjoy this quiet morning and time in my home before getting my home ready for the company in a few. It is so important to relax...
Some days can start out at the speed of 100 miles per hour, but if I take time to read the Word and plan my day and enjoy a walk around the yard in the early morning and take my tea with me, I do feel refreshed. I am laughing over the time you took a cup out with you and misplaced it and found it the next season. It was probably because you set it down to pull a weed LOL
Much love and encouragement from one homemaker to another and to another whoever may read your blog post!
Always, Roxy

anonymous said...

Your Star Gazer Lilies are so beautiful and fragrant.

I am always encouraged and uplifted by your blogs. It gives me such motivation in the morning. Thank you for this Lydia. It means so much!!!
Other motivators are a short conversation with an encouraging friend about fabrics, sewing projects, gardening projects or decorative ideas for the home and garden, tea parties, etc.
A walk in my garden, greenhouse, field, and time to think of ideas I'd like to do there. Waking up to a de-cluttered and straightened-up house in the morning.
Visiting a fabric shop storefront or online and seeing photos of other ladies sewing rooms. All these really get my creative juices flowing.

Your comment of husbands providing a spot for a woman to retreat to and the poem following got me thinking of Men's caves and Women's She Sheds. (Do a search online for this, its quite encouraging.)
My husband is creative restoring an old shed for me to use for a potting shed. He found and purchased a greenhouse made from old windows for me to garden in. I fenced of a section of my yard with metal t-poles and weldwire fencing for my veg. garden.

A sewing room is always nice, however some ladies don't have the space for this so a closet converted to a sewing area is helpful particularly if one has small children and the doors can be closed and locked. Fold up computer desk/cabinet could also be used for a sewing closet. Keep a small lightweight sewing machine in an RV or camp trailer for a sewing room. Then if you go camping or traveling you have a ready made sewing room to travel with.
When first married I used a corner of our bedroom and an old desk for my sewing area.

anonymous said...

I so love your pattern and hope you find another one. Will keep my eyes peeled for one at the thrift stores for you.

Do you have a blog post or know of a link on enlarging small patterns? I too love those older patterns and still have some of mine.

ladypinktulip said...

Thank you for great reminder about enjoying our homes as we keep them. Kelly T.

Jenny said...

Thank you for your encouraging words, Lydia! I have had to readjust my housekeeping schedule since having a baby almost two years ago, and one pleasant surprise I've had is how good it feels to get out and about early. I used to get as much housework done as soon as possible and then run errands, but doing errands first (after breakfast and clean up, of course) I really feel fresher for the rest of the day. I also like what you said about not allow others to make us feel bad or intimidated about our housekeeping ways. That is very important, since a lot of people just assume that since a housewife is home all day, everything should be to perfect standards. Thanks again!

Lydia said...


That certainly is a problem, the way people believe we should have perfectly orderly houses. If we live in them most of the day, they are not going to be neat and tidy a,k the time. Also, it is impossible to keep a perfect house all the time if your life is centered in your home. housework is an art, and like an art, it can't be a grueling job that you hate. That is why I do not think people should be pushy about it, and I have seen some women who are in better health and happier who know when it is time to work and time to relax. If you will follow your natural instincts, you will be able to know when it is time to eat, wash, shop, etc. according to the needs of the people you care for. The reason I suggested going out at first instead of at last, is you won't have to face your duties at home right away and there will be so,e space between your waking hours and your home responsibilities. It seems to lighten things a bit if you can get out at first.

Marilyn @ MountainTopSpice said...

You have certainly shared some wonderful insights on how to make living and working at home more enjoyable, and not such a burden. I thought it interesting that back in the 60s and 70s men were encouraged to create a gazebo for their wives. I have created a little space outside in my garden for me to sit in the shade and look at my pretty flowers growing, and relax, drinking my homemade kombucha, it is a blessing to have this little quiet spot. Always enjoy my visits here with you, you are so encouraging and inspiring! Hugs to you today :)