Friday, November 30, 2018

Scenes of the Season

These were the cards I sent last year.


 Two more paintings by a gentleman named An Le, originally from China, who lives in California. Please refer to my previous post here to read about him. 

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer
Romans 12:12

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

When Ladies Dress to Show Respect and Dignity

Afternoon Tea by Artist An He
You can read his biography here.

Today I have two beautiful paintings by An He.

His bio mentions that his paintings reflect a "tremendous admiration and respect for women."

Is it possible that a lady dressed like this might aid the respect for women? Or that she might inspire a painter?

a woman in the island country of Tonga is asked what is special about Tongan women and what is different about them compared to other nationalities.

Because of the accent, and  occasional traffic noise, you might have to listen to this twice to hear what she is saying.

One of the answers given is "the way we dress. It is always to bring respect for  the woman. A woman in Tonga is given the highest respect, and much of it because of the way she dresses." She also mentioned that women in Tonga do not have to work on farms, do not have to go to work, but they are considered the highest in respect. The men have a great deal of respect for their sisters and mothers, for women. 

It is interesting to view the many Tongan wedding videos, and see how highly they respect marriage. There are many prayers and hymns and scripture readings at these events, and they have a great time celebrating.

a American young man who lived in Tonga explains more about their respect for women.

It is good that they value their women, for women do their part to keep the family going. Both the woman in the first film, and the young man in the second video talk about the importance of the family and the home. Their love for their parents and siblings is an advantage to any country they are in.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

First, Tea.

Hello Dear Ones,

I hope all is well with you today.

Because I am having a ladies tea in a few days, I am sharing some interesting pictures I am using for ideas. If you want to see more, go to my tea time board on my Pinterest, which is on the side bar.

A lady I knew years ago told me that when she got overwhelmed with things to do and didn't know where to start, she stopped for tea and made a list.  I have always found that to be helpful, even when it is hard to sit still in the midst of all that work!

These pictures so "go with" the Philippians 4:8 verse on whatever is lovely!

 Here's is hoping you'll create your own good news today, 

...notice what is going on inside your own house,

...and treat yourself, your mind and body, with dignity deserving of a child of God,
....being grateful for every little thing,

...and enjoy the journey of this day,

...taking note of the way others help you,

...and the elegance that tea time provides.

God bless you all with loveliness today.

"Whatever is pure, whatever is lovely....think on these things."
Philippians 4:8

Ladies this is what I want for my blog: to present loveliness and beauty.  And, I hope this is what you all want for your homes today!

Leave a comment about what is lovely in your home or your life today.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Susan Rios Art Calendar

I offered to show the first Susan Rios art calendar on my blog. Susan was happy to allow me to do this, so here it is!
It is a great way to have a lot of your favorite Susan Rios paintings on display for a considerably lower price than buying the paintings.

You can get it here   and on the link you can click on, underneath the picture of the calendar, some of the other pictures for the months.

Remember not to post her paintings on your blogs, facebook, etc. unless you have her approval. Artists really struggle to maintain an income based on their original material.

Here is one of her recent paintings:

You know how I like houses!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

A Pretty E-Card and Other Things

Hello Ladies,

I received this Jacquie Lawson animated email and wanted to share it. It is an advent calendar that goes automatically on your desktop, when you buy it ($4.99) so you don't have to download anything and it features a city in Scotland.  I didn't buy the calendar but I thought it was pretty and wanted to share it with you all here, as it is a picture of a living room, a timely subject for my blog. The fire is flickering, out the window you see the snow falling and the tree likes are blinking!  Isn't that the nicest thing?  Are not those plaid stockings so wonderful? (You stitchers will understand, because of the fabric) Click it for a larger view. It's just such lovely art!

I am so glad to be here this morning and greet everyone. As I am still working on the podcast aspect, I haven't posted much, but I hope to get a podcast finished to post here. It will be the same format as the Housewife Radio program I did last year, and I hope it can download easily on your phones if you need something to listen to while working. I know some of you are alone during the day at home and its nice to have someone talking in the background. I used to have my children and grandchildren talk to me or read something to me while I was working in the kitchen.

My mother and her friends turned the radio on, (although even as a child I recognized that some of the popular songs of the time were not in keeping with our values!) but now, with podcasts, we can broadcast our own things in accordance to our Victorian tastes.  Please leave me a comment and try to list some subjects you would like to listen to, so I have something to consider talking about. It is hard to come up with things, after blogging for about 20 years.

In the mean time I'm working on some "hot spots" in my house --the messes and piles I throw sheets over--to get things in order. I don't want to go missing in the laundry room or the storage room or the library--three of my hot spots. 

Also I am hoping to get a dress sewn, with fabric sent to my by one of my viewers (I am so sorry its been a year since I got that fabric in the mail!!).

As you know I am ignoring winter this year and celebrating the Australian season of summer, which occurs at the same time.  That way I don't put away all my sewing for the next season and get further behind. In spite of it being blazing hot in Australia, they have the nicest Christmas ornaments I have ever seen. Some of them are tropical themes, sea themes, and many other things.  I was looking at some of their videos from their Target, K-Mart , Costco,  Big W stores (similar to Wal-Mart)  and their Native Australian ornaments, and  have seen such gorgeous ornaments.

One of the goals I have is to get the house in good condition so that I can be more leisurely when summer comes.

I hope all is well with you and that you figure out how to tackle the season on a zero or low income. Its hard to squeeze out that extra expense, isn't it?  Homemade things are fine, but they take a lot of time!!

 To make it easy on my children, who bear the expenses of raising families,  I've asked for some particular "gifts of help" to have them fix things or organize things for me---get into places I can't reach, clean out a book shelf, and that spice/cooking supply shelf I haven't cleaned out in about 10 years. I hope I get my requests!  They could use their creativity to make it seem more "gifty".  Author and teacher Emily Barnes used to finish her refrigerator cleaning by placing a small bottle of fresh flowers inside. When you opened the door, what a soft sensation it was.  So maybe putting down the baseboards and crown moulding and cleaning out bookshelves could be turned into something creative like that. What do you think about some of this?

Also, I have added a couple of new-to-me blogs on my blog roll. I realize not all the blogs I include meet everyone's approval or preferences but they make it interesting to some of us.


Thursday, November 22, 2018

I Am For Changing Thanksgiving to October

Art by Susan Rios

Hello Dear Ladies,

At the risk of sounding revolutionary, I am for changing Thanksgiving to October, on the same date as the Canadian Thanksgiving.

It is silly to have a country so close to us and the Thanksgiving dates so different. It would be like having two different Christmas Days.

Also, the last Thursday in November is not the harvest nor the end of harvest. By then, the harvest is long gone and the leaves have rotted and you can barely find a pumpkin around here.  The October date would be so much better.

It is now only about four weeks til Christmas. People complain about the stores promoting Christmas in November before we have celebrated Thanksgiving, but I can see why they do it. There just isn't much time between those two holidays.

I am seriously considering having my Thanksgiving in October.

I looked up the history of the way it became the 3rd Thursday in November and it is not a very convincing reason, Its not set in stone, so it would be a good idea to get Congress to change it officially.

However, in the meantime, I'm going to change it for my home so that it coincides with the Canadian Thanksgiving. Even though I am a US citizen, my mother was Canadian and my cousins live in Canada. It would be nice if we shared the same holiday.

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving regardless.

Mr. S. was wanting me to get out the lights and decorations for December, a few weeks ago in early November because it gets so dark here. I was putting it off until Thanksgiving was over because the decor didn't go with the event. October would be more in keeping with the harvest.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

On a Road With No Signs

Mr. S. was feeling adventurous and wanted to drive a road we had often seen from a highway. On the other side of a river that ran alongside the road, were a lot of nice homes and gardens, cattle and fields. We wanted to see how those people got to their homes because there were no bridges across that river.

We found the road, but it was not marked on any of our maps. It also had no directional signs and no mileage markers.  I do not know how long the road was, but it took us an hour and a half to drive through.

The cows we saw were adorable. I wanted to have my picture taken with them but Mr. S.wanted to keep going.

The beginning of the drive was pleasantly normal; a two lane road with smooth pavement, clearly painted, as you see below.

We motored past pleasant paddocks  and shining waters:

A few minutes later the road became even smaller, with grass growing in the middle...
...then to only packed gravel with no lanes, no right, no left. We did not meet anyone coming the other way.  The road wound up into the mountains.

I asked Mr. S. if he knew where we were going, because there was no phone reception and no map book with the location on it.

He replied, "We are lost. But, we are making good time."

That is one of the sayings in his collection, so remember it. You might want to include it in your own sayings. 

Ever since I added his initials to my monogram, he has blindsided me with his wry, dry wit. I thought I would be able to predict him by now but I never expect what he is going to say. He isn't predictable.

Well we had to slow down to a crawl because the road became so narrow you could only call it a footpath.

...and eventually the road became dirt over occasional parts of cement...

We kept driving higher and higher up the mountain road...

..until it was an unclear path covered by leaves...
and I was becoming a little apprehensive. "Should we go back?" I asked. At least we would know where we were going.  But Mr. S. said it was too far and we would waste a lot of fuel. The road was too narrow for turning around and there were no turn-out areas on the side. He was for going ahead, even though now, there was not much of a road.

...and at one point Mr. S. tried to move a fallen branch.

I was glad he was wearing his red plaid lumber jack shirt. Every man in this area has one.  He looked the part and was perfect in the photo.

The branch was still on a fallen tree and  was so heavy and tough, we had to drive around it. It was not fun looking down at the cliff while going around that tree.  Note: get Mr. S. a chainsaw for Christmas.

After an hour we began to descend and the road was a little clearer. We saw no civilization, no animals, no evidence of anything at all. It was a strange feeling having no signs telling us where we were or how far to the next stop.

The trip was getting to be so slow, and I was thinking of all the things that needed fixing at home; all the things I'm so far behind in, etc. but I was stuck in the car on a long road, going at an armadillo pace.

As we got near sea level the highway was nicer; paved and marked, but still no signs. There was no cell reception either so we didn't know where we were. We didn't meet any other cars.

Eventually we came to a pub: no town, no neighborhood, nothing but a pub in the middle of nowhere. 

I wish you could have seen the picture I got of Mr. S. going into the pub to get directions but it was on his camera.   I waited and waited for him to come out of the pub.

  When  he got back to the car I asked him what took him so long, he said,"There was no one there but a dog. The dog barked at me so loud and long I was afraid he would tackle me if I tried to leave. I felt like I was under arrest. Eventually a man came and told me I was going the wrong way." 

So, we pulled up to the highway again, and there was a roadside tree trimmer-cutter machine going past. Since we had recently spent an hour and a half at the speed of 5 miles per hour, I was not enthusiastic about our car being behind the even slower tree cutter machine.

As the truck was going past, I was trying to get Mr. S. to pull out onto the highway and get ahead of him, but to our surprise the truck stopped, a man in a plaid shirt got out and began a casual I-have-all-the-time-in-the-world chat with  Mr. S.  He gave him the weather conditions on the road and asked where we were going, then pointed the right direction.  

When we got to the sea I couldn't pass up a photo opportunity so I had Mr. S. pose like a tourist.

A man in a truck (we Americans love our trucks) stopped and offered to take our picture together, because he noticed us trying to get each other's picture. Note: find a truck for Mr. S. to go with the plaid shirt;  a truck that will not break down.

The man was taking pictures of us and asking if we knew about the principle of "thirds" in photography. He wanted to know what my preference was for the photos: vertical or horizontal, so I told him, "Whatever makes us look skinny."  But, to quote an old saying, no cigar.

After he took the pictures of us, he showed me how to zoom in with my phone camera and take a picture. Usually I have to get someone 8 years old or under, to show me these things, but this man was very smart. 

He explained to us about the Greeks and their architecture. He said he had spent a lifetime in a career that required him knowing some things about the Golden Mean and proceeded to educate us  about the Greeks and the Golden Mean. I'll let you look that up, yourself, since he went at length on the subject and kept us standing there awhile.

The man then drew a map for us to follow to get the best views along the coastline and told us we were headed the wrong way for good views. We followed his advice and we were glad we did. I didn't even get his name  but he was quite knowledgeable about a number of things. However the sun was setting fast and I was not going take time out for his college course by the sea.

Here I was trying to get that clear green color under that approaching wave.

After feeling like we did not know where we were that afternoon, coming home and facing some of the housework did not seem so daunting. A ride always refreshes me and then I see the work around here with new eyes and consider new possibilities with it.

While we were on that road, I was thinking that we were lost for awhile, but what would have happened if we ran out of gas. In an hour and a half we never met one other person.  I think our kids would rather us not take back roads any more but we hate the express ways.  We probably should stay around the civilized world.

I'm enjoying the safety of home even more now and I thanked God for the opportunity to clean up the laundry room.

Speaking of cars and trucks. Ladies I remember when they were not very reliable and it was common to see vehicles stopped on the side of the road when they broke down. Don't you remember people driving slowly by and saying, "Get a horse"?  Vehicles are much more reliable now.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Minding the Manse

(my own photo)
I want to tell you the little canvas painting came from Dollar Tree for only $1.  I was looking for larger canvases to paint on and discovered these.

It has been awhile since I have posted and someone phoned to urge me on. When I protested that I did not have the time or the inspiration at the moment, she said, "Just post a picture, and say something; anything."  And so here it is.

Today I am busy minding the manse, which is a phrase I have created out of the fact that the preacher's home used to be called the manse.  I like to think that "manse" is short for "mansion." I have a long way to go in getting it to the mansion state, but am taking a break here just for those of you who might be struggling in the same area.

I need to state at the onset, that we as ladies of the home do not spend enough time praying for the success of our housekeeping, homemaking, and our roles as homemakers. In the big world of trouble and sorrow, God still cares about your concern to be orderly in the home.. Don't neglect to pray all the way and commit your work to the Lord.

While I am here, I will tell you something I have been considering:

The concept of living several roles at home.

I will address two of them:

The lady of the house, similar to royalty
The house keeper.

To the Maid:  Keep the house clean and orderly for the Lady of the house.
To the Lady: Provide tasks for the Maid.

Just think of yourself as the lady of the house who is going to be arriving soon after being away.

Then think of yourself as the maid who comes along and gets it all ready.

If you get up in the night and need to use the bathroom, or the kitchen, you are the lady of the house and you certainly don't expect to have to move the  many particles of flotsam and jetsam aside just to find the kettle or the glassware, and you need to have a pristine and fresh looking bathroom. You need to be able find your clothes in the morning and not have to rifle through piles of things to locate the hairbrush or your shoes.

Therefore, one of your roles has to be the maid. And, to be the maid, you have to set your mind on creating a orderly place for the lady of the house, not just to make life better for her, but to be able to have a clear conscience about your work.

 So while you are cleaning the bathroom and kitchen, you need to think of how pleased the lady of the house will be when she comes in to those rooms.
Fox and Jacobs Homes

Those two roles work together to make things pleasant.  Think also of what you deserve. You as a human being deserve to live in a clean home, and have things in order. You are not a pig in a sty or an animal in a stall to scrounge  around the floor for food.

You are created to be far above that because you are a human being with a soul, who deserves to have some dignity, some comfort, and the type of home environment that makes you want to stand up straighter and hold your head up and be proud of the Great King, the Savior we serve.  Remember, He said "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, as unto the Lord, and not unto men, for you serve the Lord!" (Ecclesiastes 9:10)

Therefore, as the housekeeper, you have to get that house ready for the royal lady who resides there.

So now it is evening, and the Lady has to sit at her royal desk (graciously cleaned and organized by the lady-in-waiting or the maid), and make a list of tasks for the household servant for the next day. She divides this list into morning, afternoon and evening.  When the maid (you) wake up, you will be living both roles: the maid, who goes to a clean bathroom to get ready for the day of responsibilities, and the Lady, who is going to manage the work.

You will be very happy that your maid, which is your other role, was thoughtful enough to leave the house in order for you, the Lady. You will wake up in the morning to thoughtful order and cleanliness.  You will think the maid you hired is awfully good and you will want to reward her in some way--maybe a special shopping trip, a tea party, ordering something from a catalog or online, or making a special thing for her to use.

In your maid role, when you hear the sound of the Lady arriving, you will quickly survey the entry area and the scene she will see before her when she enters the door.

As the maid, you will get your work finished before 4 o'clock and sleep well knowing you did not leave the work for the next day. You will instruct the rest of the household to clean up after themselves so that the maid and the lady of the house will not have to look at something unpleasant.

If you want to be smiling when you get up, have everything lovely and in order. Your maid role and your Lady role have to work together.

I'm not trying to make you feel fragmented, but feel like the two roles meld together in perfect harmony. Every time you pick up, prepare, clean up, etc., you are making things better for yourself, and you deserve better.  There is no reason a woman should have to live in chaos in her own home. It muddles the thinking and it makes her feel she is losing her mind. So if you want your Ladyship to be a dignified person with clear speech and logical thoughts, keep the house nice for her.

This duo-role job will remind you every time you put off something like wiping the sinks or cleaning the floor, picking up clutter and putting it away, that if you don't do it, you are going to punish yourself later with having to do it under stress or tiredness.

I was never one to promote self-respect, until I learned that you should "love your neighbor as yourself."  If you haven't got any respect for yourself, and you don't think you deserve better, you certainly wont be treating other, including the family, as well as you could.

What do you do as a maid?
What do you do as the Lady?

Remember, the more thoughtful and diligent the maid is, the more leisure time and creative time there will be for the Lady.

The tasks the Lady of the manor has given me today is to clean up the dining room and get all the bedrooms back in order and read one of the books and a post I promised to review. I'm glad she took the time to put it on paper.

The way I perform both roles is when I am working, I have an apron. When I am receiving guests or going somewhere I try to remember to remove it.

Ladies I am still studying the possibility of making podcasts but it will take some time to figure it all out. If I do get it going, I will read some of these posts so you can have something to listen to while you are cleaning or sorting or some kind of monotonous task.

Things for the maid to do:  follow a list and get your tasks done so that you will be happy in your job.
Things for the lady to do: Make a list of things that must be done in order to to be happy being in the house.

I do not want to draw too fine a line between the maid's responsibility and the Lady's tasks. It is advisable that the lady be thoughful of the maid and make her tasks lighter by ckeaning up after herself, putting things away and being automatically tidy. Leaving everything for a cleaning day puts strain on everyone. The clean-as-you-go principle reduces stress and balances the mind.