Tuesday, September 19, 2017

How Much Distressing News Can You Take?

Hello Dear Ladies,

Are you one of those home bodies that just wants to be left alone to enjoy your family, a few special friends, and your home,  but have never been able to be free of the anxiety of distressing information? Some ladies complain that even in church, they cannot not reach the level of peace that surpasses all understanding, as evidenced in this comment recently sent to this blog.

"Lydia, Thank you so very much for your beautiful and encouraging blog (and videos). How do you mentally deal with issues such as human trafficking, abortion, etc.? While these issues must be disturbing to most all, they lay a particularly heavy weight on my sensitive heart. Do you simply pray when these things come to mind and then try to forget about them? In your opinion, how much attention should Christian homemakers/mothers/home schoolers give to these horrific issues? Our church highlights a different such issue each month. I want to do my part, but even reading through the material is so burdensome to my heart, I can hardly stand it. Thank you so much, in advance, for any response you have time to give. In Christ Jesus, Elizabeth."

I would like to hear from older ladies who have lived through the bad reports of their youth, and ask them to comment about whether they think paying a lot of attention to moral and political reports has benefitted their souls or the well-being of their children and husband.  

Please read what Roxy wrote about this subject here: http://livingfromglorytoglory.blogspot.com/2017/09/anxiety-verses-faith.html

How much time do you regret dwelling on tragic things or the moral problems of the time?  If you tried to do something about it, how much success did you have in eliminating the problem?  Did your anguish over any social problems in the world cause you to be less fully focused on the tasks at hand, and do you regret the time and emotion it took away from your home and family?  

If you could live those years again, would your response to the constant reports of tragedy and evil be different?  Are you emotionally and spiritually more stable because of social problems you tried to correct? If you could live those vital years with your young family over again, what would your priorities be?

Looking back on the causes you were concerned about, was any of it worth your time and has anything changed or improved?

Would you try to alleviate all the terrible social injustices or would you try to make your children more emotionally secure?

What would you do over again, if you could, for your husband, children, relatives? How would you spend time that formerly you spent on worrying all the bad things going on?

I recall in the 1980's a news story so dramatic it captured many young minds.  Many people tuned in to the daily news to keep up with the latest progress of the continuing story. There were even some homeschool mothers who included the event in social studies. 

The media stretched this story out for several months. Decades later, after all the anxiety the story caused, it was discovered that the entire thing was politically engineered and some of it was "staged", to create a national response for a desirable political change on the part of the instigators.  

All this time, these dear, soft-hearted parents were spending time in prayer and watching the event progress. What a waste of young lives at home. Their  children needed happy, carefree, secure childhoods, free from worldly worries. 

Years later, one mother told me how, after her children were grown and gone from the house, she regretted having spent so much of her time, her mind, and her emotions on the sensational report of the day. She wished instead, that she had spent the same amount of time and intense attention on teaching her children, who were also exposed to the unsavory moral issue. She claims she would have accomplished more, by taking her children on outings and teaching them about living.

The family needed to know more about  how to be loyal, respectful and kind to one another at home, how to be forgiving and tolerant of family members and how to value one another above others in the world. The weeks of time wasted on the news report and subsequent appeals from the church to contribute money, had taken up valuable time that would have paid better dividends if it had been given to her children and husband.

Today, the particular issue that was broadcast from churches and news rooms is no longer a concern, and a new social problem has taken its place in competing for her attention. 

Maybe reading these reports does not bother you.  That is just fine if you choose to be concerned about everything, but to the ladies who have to guard their emotional well-being so that they may effectively be "all there" and mentally present for their families, my caution to you is this:

Know how much you can take. Know your limits. Know when you have had enough stress, enough bad news, enough social and moral reports. Observe how it affects your personality and your love and response to your husband and children. Be able to sense if reading about or listenning to or talking about, thinking about such unlovely things is affecting your ability to be happy. (Happiness and joy are Christian virtues as much as weeping and mourning.)  Take a mental note of how your anxiety over these matters affects your children's moods. Remember your lives together at home are very brief. Don't use the precious time being anxious for things outside of your own duties at home.

Once again, I am not talking to you ladies who like to be involved in all the political and religious issues, who thrive in it and are able to do so and it not affect their emotional health.  This is for the ladies who have trouble focusing on normal life because of social issues.

Personally I think the most important thing is to put your energy and money into your own family and close friends you can trust. Even if you have grown children or grandchildren, they will need you. Your descendents are your best ministry, because they are the people you can interact with for the rest of your life. 

It is good to help in other causes, but perhaps you can do it as a family, or contribute to the church where you attend, and let the leadership distribute the money to the needy causes they choose. 

This is the way it was done in the New Testment church: when there was a disaster that affected people in a sister congregation, help was sent by taking up a collection for them or money was used that was already saved up for a future need.  In the church of which I am a member, a needy saint, (faithful church member) is given first priority with any kind of benevolence, and then what is left over is given to others.  

We limit benevolent help from the contribution,  to church members in distress and people we know. Individuals in church are always free to personally donate to any causes they desire, outside of the church collection.  For the most part, we allow the church elders to distribute money and we simply contribute every Lords Day. That is enough for most families, and it is one of the definite commands in the New Testament--to gather money to lay by for the church to distribute. 

Letting the local church make the contribution is good, and it probably is all the average person can afford to give to charity, beside what they do for their relatives, friends and neighbors.  If you are not able to do this, consider making a reasonable contribution to something or someone you trust and do not worry about supporting every cause you hear a plea for.

Your church contribution should be adequate social benevolence. If you give regularly to the church, you have helped people. The church makes it easier for you because they decide what causes to contribute to, with the collection. That keeps you from worrying about it. Letting the church take care of worthy causes is a good thing. You can limit yourself to your church giving, and maybe one other personal contribution. I like to have a little laid by in case someone comes to visit. It pays for the meals or the afternoon tea preparations. So, with me, it is church contribution and hospitality.  Perhaps you could decided on one or two things you can reasonably do.  I know someone who puts money and food aside to help one family every Thanksgiving or other special day.  

As for things like trafficking and abortion, these causes can be nipped in the bud from your own living room when you teach your children and influence your friends how to live. These moral problems will not go away without teaching, and I realize it costs money to produce films and books and places to help people in trouble.  Those who are able, can contribute, but some ladies need to know how much of this distress they can endure and what their limit is.  

Know how much you can take.

From a very young age we are all told in churches and schools that we should try to save the world. Sometimes women take this responsibility so seriously, they become exhausted with worry.

 I heard someone advise a young lady who was anxious about all the social injustice: "Your main responsibility is to your family and a few good friends. Do your very best for the family members God has already given you and it will prevent them from putting a social burden on others. Then, teach the children to help each other and to help you, when they grow up." This  was expounded upon with  great emphasis put on directing her emotions, time and money to her husband, children and parents.

It also goes for the gloom-and-doom, end-of-the-world prediction problem, too. (Probably worth another post).  One mother told me her children said, "We want to grow up and get married, have children, build a house, have a worthwhile life, just like you did. When you talk about the end of the world all the time, we are sad because we won't be able to have that hope for the future." This is a regrettable way to bring up children. We need to make them happy about the life they have. 

Just do the best you can for your own family and a few friends. That is the best save-the-world strategy. If you have any extra talent or service or money that is not being used by your own family, consider blessing someone you know: a sewing lesson, your own art work, an afternoon tea invitation etc. 

They say adrenaline is the "drug of choice" these days, and women are running on it and running out of it, landing in a state of nervous exhaustion. Some little gesture from your own hand--a gift, a visit, an invitation, etc. can do a lot. Also, try not to pass on this same habit of worry and running ragged to your family.

I look forward to your comments.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Coastal Scenes of the Pacific

I came home with these scenic  pictures,  and after enjoying a lovely picnic on the beach, realized I had forgotten to take a photos of the picnic, sand castle building, or  family members walking on the beach! I will have to make an urgent message to myself next time!  I was too absorbed in the experience. There have been so many times I have not taken pictures. I am seeing how fleeting these precious days are!

The Pacific was not so pacific yesterday and it was as they used to say in New Zealand, "a bit blow-ey".
We tried to have tea but the wind filled the cups with sand before we could pour it, so all we had was "sand tea."

We were trying to get away from the smoke from forest fires in our area. There was no smoke at the beach.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Home Keeping in Increments

I have been enjoying small portions of household activity each day. For years when I have hung the laundry my mind has been on things I needed to do back in the house. Lately I have slowed the task down and absorbed all the sounds and the warmth of the sun.

 We tend to wear our towels thin and stringy because they are so much more absorbent. Our family avoids any new towel and rifles under the pile
For the oldest ones, line dried.  The sun sanitizes the towels and sheets and puts a starch in them.

If I had a guest house I would include in the description: line dried towels and sheets wrinkled by the sun.

 Note my fancy tea table:

Tea tastes so good outside in such a scene. I think of previous pioneer women who may have been in the same location hanging out their clothes. I think of how future generations will enjoy this activity.

As has been pointed out by blog readers, the lint in the dryer actually comes from your clothing, and dryers can fade and wear out your clothes.  Even in winter I hang my laundry on racks inside the house. I don't miss hearing the dryer noise and I don't miss the high electric bill. Our clothes last a lot longer.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Celebrations at Home

Walter Dendy Sadler (1854-1923) — Afternoon Tea

When we were teens we loved all the new places that were available to have social events. Previous to that, everything happened in homes. But now after all this time, it is becoming more and more appealing and less expensive to celebrate at home.

This picture fromPinterest is a seashell tea set.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Changes Around Here

Hello Ladies,

This little room looks a lot better as a guest room for a boy.  The room had been a butlers pantry, sewing room, office, girls room, a room with two toddler beds, computer room and an attic. So far, this guest room for a boy  is the best change. 

The name of this fabric is "correspondence" and the brand name is "Eclectic Essentials" made for quilt backing. It would be lovely curtains for wide Windows, and may even look good as slip covers for chairs and couches, although it is a thin muslin fabric . (Wish someone would change the name of this fabric. The speller keeps taking over and changing it to Muslim!)

The fabric is now washed and ironed and laid out on the sewing table to cut out a dress, which I hope to do when I clean this up:  I had unexpected company after breakfast and then we had tea. Generally my energy is better for extra projects in the early afternoon, but I may have to use that energy for the clean up. I don't think I can concentrate on my sewing.  I want to share some reality with you 🙂

 Half of the kitchen is clean. This is a great day for sandwiches. 😊

This print also comes in what I would call ink-blue, which also would be interesting to sew. You might see a garment on this blog when I get the kitchen cleaned.
The pattern, above, was one in my collection from the year 2010.

Since Vogue was on sale, I considered using this pattern, below, but cotton fabric was not recommended.  I would draw the neckline differently and make the sleeves more tapered.


Monday, August 28, 2017


Greetings. We are resting today, but it doesn't slow down my mind from making ideas for more to do!

Above picture: The hummers ignored commercial food but when I made my own, they visited more often. Hummingbird food recipes are available online.

Our guests from Tennessee only stayed a very short time, having spent most of their vacation on the way to our place,  so we quickly took them to see a few sights:

This has to be called "Sun River, wider than a mile," because of the stream of sunlight on the water towards the close of the day.
Earlier,  this is the way the waves sparkled. I kept thinking of fabric to go with!

We enjoyed watching  approximately every 7th wave hit the rocks like this:
Above: it looks like fabric colors here--fluffy white cotton shawl over a dark blue skirt, light blue blouse, and brown lace up boots. What do you think? (I will certainly try to settle down for a moment and put a sketch here of the nature inspired fashion.)

I went into one of the shops and had a close look at this April Cornell dress to see if I could make one like it. It was made of polyester, and I was thinking about making one in cotton, linen, bamboo, or some other natural woven cloth.  This cost $130 and I joked with my husband that it was such a bargain I should get two!   There may be enough pattern pieces in my pattern collection to create something like it. It looked looked very good on me and it is an a-line, with princess seams, with a nice waistline.

Mrs. Tennessee Company made a delicious
southern breakfast for us and I felt transported into another country! She was amazing. She said she did not know what to do with herself so she had to cook.

I want to get back into sewing dresses soon.  I have the most unusual fabric, which is 105 inch printed muslin often used by quilters for backing.  It looks like something which used to be made for cloth sacks, mattress or pillow ticking. It might be something suitable for making sheets. As there is just enough for a skirt or a simple dress, I am curious about how it would look. 

I bought it because of the dusty rose color, which is not easy to find anymore since it is not as fashionable a color.  In the photo it looks brown but the color is the old fashioned dusty rose, like velvet.

How about a very loose pullover dress with lots of drapey fabric at the sleeves and hem, just for cool wearing at home.  I hope to get started on this during the week and if it is successful you will see a picture of it here. The sketch show a raglan sleeve and little tucks at the waist:

What would you call this print?  Post Mark, Spencerian, Cargo, Faded Rose? Maybe "Other" would be a good name.

One of my grandchildren and I are enjoying drawing clothing designs and naming the garments after places we have visited or things we have been or things we are experiencing: mountain, truck stop, road side, sea side, light house, garden, clouds, waterfall, desert, visit, moving, writing (a writing dress), afternoon tea, etc. We have sketched ever so many dresses and I hope to include some of her sketches here too.

The print looks like something from the 1800's

A quick stop at Goodwill yielded these two cups for $3.20 each. Their good condition showed they had been in a shelf and never used in their lifetime: no scratches, fading of color, cracks or chips.

This one has a print of a nasturtium on it.

Interesting how the labels on these old teacups is sometimes off center.  I would say this is from the 1960's.

The cup also looks good on this orphan saucer:

This one below is probably from the 1970's.

The pedestal on the tea cup gives it a quite a royal appearance, and Red Velvet is an elegant name.

It feels good to have new teacups, and since a couple of others have been chipped and retired to the broken China box and the garden, these two replace them nicely.

If I had not stopped by to chat, I may have had the dress cut out now. Even a simple post absorbs a lot of time but it is something that makes me feel relaxed, that I enjoy. I certainly hope all of you are able to enjoy something today!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Quiet Time For That Anxious Feeling

Even until very recently I had the custom of diving into the daily housework and routine of the house, and even bigger jobs, as soon as the day began. Now, I have been going "out" for morning tea and trying to break into the day more slowly and gracefully.

It does make the tasks begin later and end later in the day, but nothing can replace those fleeting morning moments. The birds aren't even awake yet but the chirps begin one at a time until others join in and the trees sing in a full orchestra.  It is so interesting how they never sing the same tune but nothing sounds discordant.

This morning I have a mismatched cup and saucer that go together just right.

I wanted to share this nice picnic basket I got on sale at Hobby Lobby for half price. I am so glad I waited for the price to be reduced.  I like it a lot better than the wicker ones, because it isn't so heavy and the wood fibers won't catch on anything. I have not tested how it will carry weightier things but the handles seem strong enough.

It comes in lime green also, and another color...maybe blue.
Some of my friends and I have been discussing feeling of being anxious to get home during times when we have had to be out and about.  Sometimes we were not sure it was normal to feel this way.
Are we having a panic attack or is it really something to do with having to be home; to feel anchored, stable and reassured.  I am sure some people mistake this for "separation anxiety" and if it is, there isn't a thing wrong with it!
A feeling to flee home is probably a signal to your mind that you need to go back to your nest.  I get that feeling sometimes when I have to be gone a lot for necessary errands, or if I am delayed in getting home.  There were a few times when I got a feeling I needed to go home immediately. In the past I wish I had gone with this instinct, because I now know you can never recover the time that passed by.

The feeling of longing for home is something God put in us as women, who create these nice places with good memories for our families.  Sometimes we think there is something better going on "out there" but really, what is important to a woman personally and have lasting value, will be the love and care she put into her home life.  That could be why we have such a strong desire to be home.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

A Wild Morning Tea

Hello everyone,

We are so grateful for your visits, your kind emails and any donations, which are so personally motivating.

The foliage is wild and untamed around here and we need to do a lot of trimming and edging and mowing! I was outside in the morning having a look at all that needs to be done.

I still want to create a sheet tent and also put some kind of outdoor living thing in he bed of the truck, as well as other outdoor rest areas, eating areas and recreation areas around the place.  We have a back patio, a shed, shady tree areas and many other places that could be created as places of interest with a few simple props as well as some water on the dry patches.
In one week we are expecting a couple our age,  from Tennessee!  I am outside today trying to see what parts of the property need some trimming and I am experimenting to see where we might enjoy a wee spot of morning tea with the best view!
This arbor bench is covered in grapevines and also has rusted so I am not sure we will sit here but I wanted to stage it and see how appealing or comfortable it would be.

On Thursday there was such a small group in ladies class ( busy summer harvest activities and all) that I asked my husband to join us and teach the lesson. He chose Romans 12 because he said that would be one chapter a Christian would need for navigation through the trials of life.

 It is very busy around here today getting ready for the Tennessee couple, so I won't post the chapter, but I expect some of you will comment on the contents of that chapter or post verses of Romans 12. I call it the citizenship chapter because that is the way the citizens of the kingdom of Christ will want to conduct themselves with members of the Lords church, members of their own families, and others.

The principles of Romans 12 also help a great deal when trying to live among the citizens of that "other" kingdom where people are not so respectful or peaceful.


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