Monday, May 31, 2021

Voice Version

Hello Everyone,

The video part was no good but my staff managed to rescue the voice part for you. This is even better because there isn't anything to watch and you can just listen while you enjoy getting your work done.


Monday, May 24, 2021

Slideshow 1

While going through old pictures and cleaning out some of my files, I gathered some  photographs from a couple of years ago, of my home,  and thought you would enjoy this slideshow. I hope to have another one showing the updated look around house and garden. 

This is put together to resemble the time when I had the "Inn at Calm Village." View it on your enlarged version for enhanced reality.

Slideshow by one of my technicians, Mrs. Humphrey of The Pleasant Times

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Overcoming and Thriving in the Home

Hello Everyone,
I'm honored you came to listen while you enjoy your beautiful homes. Today I talk a lot about character and a little about Exodus.


Here are the publications I suggested adapting into  personal "thrive" courses:

Below: there is a boys version available also:

note below; there is a manners book by the same author for boys/young men, called Man in Demand. 

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Cottage Core

Hello Everyone, 

This week I have been noticing something called "Cottage Core."  One of my visitors said, "Oh, I see you have a cottage core decor style."  I looked it up and found this book, above,

I was delighted to see it is  simply the use of hand made and handed down things we used back "in the olden days."  It is very comforting in these strange political times, when the world doesn't know which way is up.  Well, we do, at home, don't we.

Today I am sharing some photos of the sewing room, in which I have managed to put two beds--a daybed and a toddler bed. I kept the children's beds because I like them.

I am planning on speaking to you very soon.


Sunday, May 16, 2021

Bloom Where You Are Planted

Hello Ladies,

Please enjoy your household routine while you listen to the broadcast today:

I showed a panorama of a few changes around here.

The bulletin piece I read:

1. Plan your day, or your week, so that you have a workable plan.
2. Learn to do one thing at a time. A tense person tends to scatter his activities and when he is doing one thin, he is worrying about doing something else.
3. Do not take yourself too seriously. Keep a good sense of humor. God gave mankind the power to weep and to laugh. 
4. Learn the art of relaxation. Each person has to find his own way to relax.
5. Learn to live as though in the presence of God. God challenges us to live our best, then leave the rest in His hands. The strings of the harp might be drawn tight, so that there may be melody and beautiful harmony.  If we are to make a life of music as our Lord intends it, our lives must be drawn to a certain tension. We must let God to the tuning of us, for it is His fingerers that must pluck the melody from the strings. - R. H.

I spoke of keeping conversation on a higher level, and referred to the words of this hymn:

The scripture I read:

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue,[a] and virtue with knowledge,
 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 
and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.
 For if these qualities[b] are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 
10 Therefore, brothers,[c] be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.

 Peter 1:5-10

This old style shed is here on the same property as The Manse, and I am thinking of painting a picture of it.  It looks very rough but as storage goes, everything is very dry inside, and there is no mold or mildew or any scent of decay inside, even though it has no insulation. I thought of it when I was perusing wall art at the Hobby Lobby site and spotted several old shed and old barn pictures.

Sunday, May 09, 2021

Before the Cleanup

pastures we passed

Hello everyone, 

Our luxury train trip was extended from two days to five. There were 9 passengers which I accommodated in 4 luxury cabins and three sleeper cars.

During one of our scheduled stops, some of the passengers took an off-train excursion to visit friends in the vicinity.

While they were out, the other passengers and I “righted” the accommodations after a very active schedule on board.

Before the cleanup that evening, I caught a few snapshots of the original messes for your viewing.

The lounge car:

We stopped near an obliging field so one of the passengers could farm.  I don't think he was ever really off that tractor. He even ate some of his meals while sitting there. 

Below: not on the itinerary of arts and crafts on the antique train trip, but a smart young man created the most marvelous paper planes which I am still finding at the top of curtains and ledges. Was he trying to tell me something?

There was the most marvelous bird-watcher guest who stayed in this cabin while conducting his online business,  and he got up early to stand on the observation deck while the train was sitting still, to photograph colorful wildlife and florals.

This appears to be a brush rabbit. I am told it is rare to see one
in this area, but there is one that sits near the door in the morning.

We also get the "Mad March Hares" once in awhile, but
they haven't come around this year.   Rabbits are not normally
part of the wildlife here. 

We don’t call these “craft materials.” These are construction supplies. Great things were created from this box.

Favorite activities of the younger set.

It is always nice to arrive before the cleanup begins, and see the evidence of a meal taken on real dinnerware:

Publications perused by some of the lovely ladies aboard the train.

The most beautiful tea party was put on for me in the dining car by some of the guests but I didn't get pictures!!! I was busy sampling everything. 

As part of the "working holiday" fee substitute for the fare, the passengers repaired and fixed a number of things to help this old place serve us all better. I got a new doorknob, a new showerhead, a microphone for my broadcasts, and a donated printer all connected to my computer so that I don't have to send out printing to someone else. One of the energetic guests cleaned up the garden from the winter debris and got it ready for planting. They want to be sure there is food when they return for the next luxury vacation. 

Tickets were collected by the steward from my paper stash of scrapbook days:

 One of the passengers made my steward hat. Very creative how he used office supplies of pens and brads, with gemstone stickers.

This luxury trip got us all to thinking of the many other things a house could be used for to lighten the hearts of loved ones in these weird times.
 I am already thinking miles ahead of future vacations.

I hope to be talking to you again very soon.

A big thank you to those who regularly contribute. The food expenses for this "luxury train trip" were neatly covered by your sacrificial donations last month! The passengers thank you. The cook thanks you. 


Sunday, May 02, 2021

Luxury Holiday at Home - All Aboard

Hello Everyone,

I am gathering notes for the next talk, but it will be a few more days before I can make a broadcast. I am busy getting ready for the luxury train trip for my children and grandchildren. Some of them are coming early so I only have time for this brief message.  One of the children has cleverly created tickets for the passengers, which I will receive at the door. For those of you who haven't kept up with me, my home is the train. I have spent quite a bit of time watching luxury train videos and looking up the itinerary, menus and activities.  I have the cabins, the dining car, lounge car, off-train activities and have even ordered some train whistles. I hope I don't regret that.

I thought you might like to see the invitation I sent:

Join us for the two day trip on the luxury train called The Royal.

A steward will bring a wagon to your car in the parking area to allow you to load your luggage to be brought to the train. 

The guest rooms at The Manse are turned into sleeping cabins and there will be off-train excursions.
The dining car will be open for Scottish lunches. British tea fare is served in the English Garden gazebo during a stop.
As with all luxury trains there will be activities, lectures, live music ( train tunes) and a listen to real train whistles of the nearby passing freight train in the morning and a passenger train in the evening. 

The observation car will be the front porch. Please do not use it during the upcoming rain storm.

I’m in training for the foot races during an off train excursion.
Since some luxury trains have programs like cooking lessons, select passengers will be shown how to eat boiled eggs in an egg cup. ( I only have two egg cups).
Last month at The Inn, the art director taught how to make board games. This month on The Royal, will be featured making jigsaw puzzles. 

We will also be having theatre in the evenings when there no longer any visible scenery. Passengers will all have a role, including prop maker and stage manager.
Passengers will have self service hot beverages in their cabins before breakfast and throughout the day. Each cabin has its own coffee/ tea center with electric kettle, distilled water and English teas, coffee. Lime and lemon wedges provided for for that morning health giving, anti virus drink.
Due to sudden stops, the Royal requires all baggage stowed under table or chair in cabins, out of the pathways. The owner is not liable for accidents and carries no insurance.
Each passenger is required to present one thing for a “ teach something—thrive class” session. I expect to hear the history of trains and much more.
We have researched and chosen menus from The Royal Scotsman luxury train.
In lieu of fare for this exclusive trip, each passenger can choose one “ working holiday “ job, from computers to screen door repair to overhead light bulb replacement. 
The management.

This video was the best I could find of the Royal Scotsman.  I think we will have a unique trip aboard our own train, but we don't have such a nice video of it.  There are numerous other videos that show the off-train excursions and other activities. 

I have been amused by Darren McGrady, former chef of the Queen and later, Princess Diana. His video collection is a treasure trove of recipes and good humor. He left England to cook in the White House in the 1980’s and has been in the States for 20 years, based in Dallas Texas with his own catering business. He wrote the book “Eating Royally “ which I reviewed on a video last year, (I’m sorry I didn’t label my videos but the blog posts have labels so search words can be used) .I’m using his scone recipe and his Scottish shortbread recipe, with some substitutions for health considerations. He has a stuffed animal corgi he calls Winston, who he talks to in the videos. (His grandkids must love it). When he was reading his hate mail in one of his videos, he said to a comment about Winston being a fake dog: “Winston is real! Some people don’t know how to enjoy life!”

In one video where he cooks fish, he has a toy fishing pole for Winston. Like I said, his grandchildren must love his happy personality.

On a more somber note:  So far, in these crazy political times, we have been relatively untouched by tragedy and sorrow. However, this month already we have received calls from people we know who have lost loved ones suddenly, due to illnesses unrelated to the one heard regularly on the media.  These are such sad times for them, and for us. I extend my sympathy, and if you are one of these people enduring such deep loss and sadness, I extend my heartfelt sympathy.  We went through this a few years ago, losing all the aunts, uncles, grandparents, parents, and the people in our lives we dearly loved and who  made the world more interesting. Life was very bleak without them.