Monday, March 20, 2017

Preparation for a Road Trip and Overnight Stay

Hello Dear Ladies,

After a weekend of jumbled contents in bags and cases, (modern luggage) I decided there has to be a better way. Below is a photo of a Victorian doll trunk which is a replica of the real "luggage" of the 19th century. Unfortunately there does not seem to be any combination of the two eras combining light weight convenience of today with organizational compartments and convenience of yesteryear.  It has been ages since I used  a real suit case with compartments for my carefully packed supplies. Fancy updat d suitcases just do not hold a candle to the old invention of the case that could stand upright as a closet.

If this could be made in a compact size that would fit in today's vehicles, it would be ideal. Bring it into your room, stand it on its end and open it. You can pul out a shelf and make a table for your tea set. I have seen some of these 1890's travel trunks that include a folding chair and table. 

Duffle bags and back packs create the problem of having to rifle through the entire contents to find something, whereas compartments like the above would give such a sense of elegance and order.

Even with things categorized into smaller bags within the travel bags or suitcases, it does not encourage easy access to everything.

These pictures are from Pinterest:

I would like the above built for me of lightweight non-buckling, non-bulky materials, but with the drop-down table added from the pictures below, placed a little lower so two folding chairs, also included, may be placed next to it. 

Below: on a recent road trip we found this colorful vintage train which is now a hotel, gift shop, restaurant and a few other things. 

Yes, I do travel in these clothes. With warm leggings and boots, it works in variable weather. 

We returned to Oregon via the old highways because we wanted to see some of the old towns.
Something else to take: a blank book for sketches and notes:

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A Talk About Marriage With Video 31

Hello Ladies,

I have been invited to speak to a small group of ladies at a marriage retreat. In the 45 years we have been married and the 50+ years Stan has been a preacher in the Lord's church throughout the world, we have never been asked to be guests at one of these events, nor even attended one! We have never received an invitation in all our lives and so I must conclude they were waiting to see if our marriage worked out! (Either that, or someone reported us bickering with each other and decided to wait 20 more years to invite us to deliver a lesson on marriage). Stan's lesson to the men is VERY good and I hope he will stop as he rushes through to his office, and make a video about it, that I can post here.

Since this invitation to the retreat,  I have been busy all last week trying to get the lesson written, so if you have not heard from me via letter or email, that is the reason. When the weekend is over, I will play catch-up with my social life and correspondence. As usual, I over-did it by putting the lesson in Open Office and making it into a small booklet to give away, and of course am dealing with the script jumping around each time I add something and the subsequent task of getting it printed and stapled together.

You see the painting, above.  The name of it did not transfer to my pictures when I saved it so I do not know the artist or date. I chose it because that is really how I think ladies classes should be: a dignified lady sitting at a table with other ladies, sipping tea, passing on helpful advice, answering questions, pointing the way to success in the home and family.  I don't know about you but I cringe when I see a woman speaking at a pulpit, even if she is speaking to women only. I feel very uncomfortable doing that, although I do not mind speaking at a tea party or ladies class or to friends.  So, I hope this small group of ladies will allow us to have this lesson at a table or in a living room. 

The lesson is called "Staying on Board" and Has a nautical theme using seafaring terms from the Bible. I will try to post it here when it is completed.  Since I do not charge anything for the cost of material, I cannot send a copy by mail but you may download and print it when I post it here. (If I can get some help from my personal in-home computer techs).

In general, women will find it better to stay on board and get through rough times. If there were more women willing to share the details of hard times in marriage, it would reassure others who feel their marriage is being threatened by the pressures of the world.

In this lesson I describe two Bible couples who endured out-of-this-world stress.  I hope to reveal some of that on a video which I will post here. I am not saying I can get it done within the hour but maybe later on today.

Thanks for coming here today, and thanks to a couple of you who are so loyal with your contributions. I do not want anyone to contribute if they cannot afford it, but I do appreciate your offerings because I know that no one in the US has excess of money anymore! Everyone I talk to is just struggling to survive, so when someone sends $10 I am thinking they could have put a meal on the table with that, and yet they graciously contribute it. Well one thing you will never see, is us living extravagantly with other people's donations, so you know it is used well and deeply appreciated. I usually show you the patterns and fabrics I buy 😊 and I list the cost of the ingredients of sewing projects so you can see how to make a dollar stretch. 

Contributors as well as regular readers have an open invitation to tea or to be overnight guests in my home, and are welcome to phone, skype or email, provided we can work out dates and times. There is no charge for that!

Here is a video summary of the lesson on Marriage:


Applicable Nautical Terms:

Aboard, Afloat, Adrift, Afore, Anchor, Afloat, Ashore, Aground, 

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

On Bleak Days


Bleak weather has now engulfed us for eight months!  Isn't a season supposed to be three months long? Apparently not winter, this year, at least!

Have a look at this scene from my window. Could it get more dull and cold?  

Today I want to share a teacup trio, which was sold at Homegoods, or TJ Max, a store similar to the reject stores in Australia. These cups may also be found at Ross or Marshalls, which are similar stores
The trio was $4.99 and discounted further at the check-out. The cost per item was a little more than a dollar each, and it is always a thrill to get the best bargain for the buck!  By the way, I was told ( but have not researched ) the reason a dollar is called a buck is that the earlier dollar bills had a picture of a buck (deer) on it. Everyone still refers to a dollar as a buck. Also a deer skin, calked a buckskin, was worth a dollar, so a dollar was called a buck. They may have also traded using buckskins, which brought about the saying " worth a buck."
I looked up this brand on the web and learned it is quite a bit more expensive!
Today I wanted to make a video but the weather was getting worse and I had to go out for a few supplies in ordered to spend the next few days sequestered at home.  Of course the invitation to tea is always open to anyone who is getting cabin fever and decides to brave the driving wind and sleet and come on by.
These are the primroses that do well indoors in winter. They look like tiny roses.

When the weather has been bleak for a long time it makes for a very bleak house, too! It is easy to lose ambition and energy and let your creativity fall by the way.  A couple of solutions I have resorted to when the day was just too dreary:

*Get all the daily work done as quickly as possible and get all the children covered up in bed or on the couch with you and watch favorite movies like Wives and Daughters, North and South and and all those others. Even better, create your own movies and watch them.

*While I did use the phrase "as quickly as possible" I do want the say how good it is to slow down and not rush through your day. Hurrying can cause confusion and mistakes, so especially if you have children at home, no matter what age, it is beneficial to live at a pace where your mind keeps up with the speed!

*Add a few water color paintings to your sketchbook, or design some clothes on paper. Make planning sheets for sewing, which include sketches, fabric swatches and event.

*Hand write little story book for your own amusement, illustrating with scrapbook clip art. If others in the home will participate, you can have a book club and make speeches to promote their books.

* Make your own catalog for your family to order from. Include ordering sheets. Offer by description and illustration things you are able to give them. This can include photos, your own stories, artwork, sewing, and other things. 

*Bake a cake, or fill the slow-cooker or roasting pan with a savory dinner. That will fill your home with good scent and give you a little more incentive to endure the day.

*Make a hand printed newspaper about your own home, with your own cartoon strip, your own events throughout the day.

*Make your own magazine. How often have your said you disliked certain things in a favorite magazine? Why not make your own with scrapbook papers?

*Make your own movie.

*Compose your own music and songs.

*On bleak days I tried some DIY things I had always wanted, like making hair spray and cosmetics and skin care from kitchen food supplies. You might have noticed the walnut stain on my hair, the cocoa powder on my eyebrows, the arrowroot powder on the roseacea patches of my face, the beet juice with coconut oil on my lips! Bleak days don't seem to have a hurry to them since they are the best times to try new make-it-yourself things. One bleak day recently a friend came and showed me how to use skincare products that suit "older" skin conditions.

When the bad weather gets your mood so low you feel sick, stop, drop and pray.

*Prepare a basket or giveaway box for someone else who might need the cheering up.

*Dress your best, even if you are not going out. Note in your journal what you wore on the bleakest day of the year. 

*Turn the whole season into Bleak Celebrations at home. Get out the seasonal lights and have a parties at home. It will give you a chance to wear the dressy clothes you rarely use. I read once that winter was the social season in Victorian times.

*If none of the above appeal to you, clean out a drawer or shelf each day of the winter months so the summer will be free of extra work.

*Sort through and eliminate old papers and books.

*Clean up your crafts and sewing.

*Exchange a pile of old magazines with a friend.

*Invent family games of your own and do not use commercial games. You will be pleased with what everyone creates. They do not have to be board games either. One family I know created "bored" games and came up with all kinds of interesting things.

*Instead of Queen for a Day, be Maid for a Day. It is actually a lot more interesting if you research the duties of a maid.

*Rearrange a room in your house and put things in non-typical places to give the room a new atmosphere.

* Make sure you converse with someone every day. I made a video once about how it activates the hearing which activates the mind and how important it is to hear your own family members voices and to interact with them.  

Well ladies I am getting tired just reading this list. I certainly do not wish to imply that these things should be done, or should be done all at once.  In bleak weather it is sometimes just as relieving to make lists of things you would like to do. Sometimes it is enjoyable just to compare lists.

If you tend toward sadness in the dark evenings, it is good to know that it is always more depressing in the evening and that your feelings will lift in the morning.

The tea is made with dried rosebuds and lavender and is supposed to be calming. I once researched the herbs and essential oils Victorian women used in times of grief, low moods, and distress. It was interesting how much of this knowledge is being revived today. There so were many natural things to use for many common maladies.  Lavender  and rose are not among my favorite scents--I prefer orange--but the tea is delicious!  In Victorian times it was claimed that certain scents in sachets tucked inside pillowcases aided in relaxation.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

From My Home

Hello Ladies,

Today I want to post something more lighthearted than the previous post. I was looking around the house and noticed how cheerful this chair and table looked, so am sharing it today. 

If you like the teapot, you might check your Ross or Marshall stores (similar to the reject stores in Australia). The cost is usually about $4.00 or less for a cup and saucer. It is not a heavy stone wear and has the delicate feel of bone china but is made of glass or ceramic. The tea tastes delicious, 

especially  when it looks pink, like this raspberry tea here:

If you came to tea, I would use this plate, and so I wanted you to see how pretty it looks with the pink charger under it. These come from Michaels and are available in other colors. Charges are like placemats in that they can make the table setting look bright and warm.

Apple Blossom plates by Acropal, which has similar quality to Corelle or Corning. I have had these 30 years.

The charger, below, is like a placemat that sets the plate pattern off beautifully, and it is made of plastic.

The cup is Grace's China brand, not to be confused with Gracie China. They are very similar products.

As I leave this page today, here are some thoughts from Romans to the followers of Christ:

...Be tenderly affectioned one to another; in honor preferring one another;

Rom 12:11  in diligence not slothful; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

Rom 12:12  rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing stedfastly in prayer;

Rom 12:13  communicating to the necessities of the saints; given to hospitality.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Should A Husband Expect His Wife to Earn a Living When He is in Christian Ministry?

Faith, by Arthur Hughes. (1832-1915)

This is the subject today, which will be answered. You probably know some of the things I will say, and why.  It is a question that appears often on my search area.

As usual, this is my opinion based on experience,  observation, Bible study and the testimonies from other women.

Preachers of the past considered the ministry a career, just like any other job, and as such, made certain to raise sufficient funds in order to support their families and pay for their cost of the work they provided. As it was back then, preachers must have the money to provide for the house and the family.

As in any job in the self-employment category, be it a house-builder, private truck-driver, farmer, piano teacher, personal accountant or anything else, there are supplies and expenses involved. In addition to the family support, preachers  must have a working fund to provide the supplies they need.

If you marry a man who is already a preacher, he is probably supporting himself, and if he is not able to do that with preaching, he may have other jobs on the side. 

 The woman who marries into the ministry understands she will not be married to a very rich man, and adjusts as best she can when she believes she should be home and really wants to fulfill that role in a natural way. She knows beforehand of her husband's career choice and can make plans to adjust to it. When he begins his preaching career at the start of the marriage, it allows the family to mold to meet the financial challenges.

Painting by Victor Gabriel Gilbert, French 1847-1943

There is another problem, however, when a woman marries a man who has a regular job with a decent wage, and then later in the marriage he decides to give up secular employment for a lower pay job in ministry, or even a no-pay job in ministry. The family has adjusted to the income the husband provides, and when he becomes a minister, this changes drastically and can cause a lot of problems.

A decision like this should be weighed carefully if it puts the wife at risk of having to give up her home and children while she goes out to work full-time to support her husband. There is nothing in the Bible that says a woman should be the provider when her husband chooses to go into a low, or no-paying ministry.  Therefore, he has the duty to  make sure that he can raise or find a source of income, before he disturbs his home life by making the woman be the provider. If he cannot get support or make an income for his ministry, he should get a paying job with wages that are paid regularly.

In a previous post I wrote, "Should Christian Husbands Send Their Wives to Work?" (the most popular post next to "How to Adjust a Sewing Pattern" (which amuses me even though the two are not really that unrelated), it shows  scriptures such as Titus 2 and First Timothy 5:14 which give women at home the wonderful opportunity to be busy and pursue the important things of the home and family.  The posts tells why a man cannot contradict scripture to fulfill his own "calling" or ambition.

These days I have heard of all kinds of preposterous things being called ministry, such as  beating the drums in a band, ballet dancing, oil painting, singing performances and entertainment, all which require a substantial income to conduct full-time.

It is interesting how many times people will call something  a ministry while violating the very reason for the ministry. A scriptural ministry will not require the wife to become the provider. If the scriptures are our guide, then no ministry should be taken up in contradiction to other scriptures. 

I doubt you can find any of these talents I mentioned being used as paid ministries in the Bible. Preachers were paid, and maybe Dorcas was given donations when she sewed for the poor (we do not know), but ministry was understood to be the preaching of the Gospel for the conversion of souls to Christ. Most of the new "ministries" I hear about are not like this at all, nor is anyone hardly persuaded to  obey the gospel.

The above list is quite a bit different from ministries like food distribution (Gleaners), providing housing and shelter (Shelters and local Missions) and feeding the homeless (Soup Kitchen).

The soup kitchens, shelters and gleaners are places where volunteers donate their time while keeping their regular jobs. Financial donations from people will pay for the food and shelter. Individuals or families  who want to minister full-time in them, will have a pension to live on or are supported by another job.  Homemakers sometimes contribute portions of their time to these ministries. These things do not require personal artistic talent or skill
as much as personal sacrifice, time, donation of products, or money.

On the other hand, a man who is in a music or entertainment ministry serves a different purpose that is not as desperate as described in the previous paragraph.  It is not even as desperate as the service a preacher provides. It is something else, completely. A music ministry, for example, is personally fulfilling to the person with musical talent while sharing it with others. The only difference between someone who wants to do it for a church and someone who wants to do it for the public, is the way the money is earned. The one who does it for ministry expects to be supported on church funds, like a preacher does. 

Many preachers I know who serve small congregations raise their own support, by sending out a "support letter." They contact all their friends, fellow church members in other places, and relatives, and ask for monthly support to be sent. They raise this support in order to pay their bills and stay in the ministry, and allow their wives to continue to be full time homemakers.  This is a wise way to make provision for the family when a small church cannot fully provide a monthly salary. If they cannot get support or a living wage from the church, they should get another job that guarantees wages for time spent at work.

If a man whose wife is home is insisting she "go to work" to support his ministry, he is not following the way  the prophets and apostles were supported. There is no evidence their wives became the breadwinners to enable their husbands to be ministry.  These preachers lived on the support of the congregations and individual Christians they ministered to and served. Although women could donate to the support of a preacher, there is nothing in scripture to show wives going to work so the husbands could preach.

 Preachers and people in ministry should get regular jobs if they cannot be supported by individuals or a church. There can be an advantage in this, as the church is less likely to be offended when the preacher buys something or seems to be getting ahead or living beyond the way the members of the church (who support him with their hard earned money) live. Another advantage of having a secular job is it makes the preacher less isolated and gives him more contacts for ministry. 

Booker T. Washington, who began Tuskegee Institute (b.1856, d.1915) wrote that he was disappointed in the men who wanted to become preachers. He said too many of them were just doing it because they thought preachers lived an easier life and did not have to work. The preaching was harder because there was very little pay. The salary then had to be raised, which was another full-time job going around talking to people and soliciting their donations. After gathering support for a year, a man had to then go on another fund-raising tour to reinforce the previous support, a trip which took more time away from his ministry.  Booker T. Washington advised them to get some training in a skill so they could provide for themselves if they went into ministry.

Booker T. Washington

Today it is the same. When a preacher raises support, he can then devote time to  teaching, preaching, visitation,  weddings, funerals and such, but he has to take time out to revive his supporter's interest in supporting him. He has to send out newsletters of his progress in the local church . Sometimes his supporters will want to come and check him out, stay a few weeks and visit to discern his needs. So much time is spent on fund-raising that very little real ministry is accomplished. That is why churches often give a set wage to preachers.

Raising funds seems like a lot of trouble but in any self-employment, there is a certain amount of the same activity. The man who owns his own business will have to take time to keep investors interested, erstwhile actually doing the job he likes.  It is certainly more trouble than having a secular job that guarantees a certain wage, which I think is brilliant and very Biblical.  But raising support or getting the local congregation to support a man in ministry is far more noble than insisting the wife provide the living so the husband can be a minister.  

If a man cannot provide for his own in ministry, he should wait until he is retired and has a pension to live on. If he does not want to burden a small church  to provide him a salary, he should raise support. If he is working in a large church, he should insist on a normal wage if they can provide it, but he should not look at his wife as a resource for funds for the following reason:

*It puts more stress on the wife, which will bring more uneasiness and stress into the home.

*It turns the woman's focus away from the home and on to making money. At the end of the day, the real emotional support she should be giving to her husband and the praises and admiration he needs from her, will not always be available. Her emotions and her time will be "spent."

*It contradicts God's command for women in the church to be busy at home. (See Titus 2 and 1st Timothy 5:14. 

*Also, look at New Testament examples where the evangelists worked as tent makers or other things to provide for themselves, or gathered money from churches for their travels.

*Instead of developing the soft, feminine personality that comes from being a relaxed and happy keeper at home, the wife who is sent to work against her will and against her religious convictions, may form a caustic, snappish, hard-edged personality, impatient with her family. Denied the leisurely time it takes to really manage a home with thought, and unable to concentrate on her housework, she may begin to hate the house and hate housework. As she goes to work each day and fights the world, she loses her femininity. In the previous post is a link to a radio broadcast where my guest explains how little attention can be paid to detail at home when there are other demands on a woman's time. She shares how going to work hampered her ability to care for her home in the way she really needed to.

*The husband cannot and should not hold his head up in society or in church or the family if he has required his wife to go to work outside the home to support him. Unless his back is broken or he has severe brain damage, he should not expect this.  God made a man to work and be a provider for several reasons. Some which I can think of are: It builds him as a man--increases his masculinity, and it gives him personal dignity. It also gives the wife a feeling of security and well-being so she can more naturally attend to home living  and giving the house a wonderful atmosphere.

*If he is in ministry but his wife is in business to support him financially, there is less chance she can have the time and energy to provide the social life and hospitality in her home that is so necessary for ministers. As a preacher's wife, I have always had to keep this in mind. Keeping the house ready to receive visitors is part of supporting your husband's ministry.  If you are out working, you will always be pressed for time, and your interest in having company will diminish.  

*A minister who sends his wife to work is contradicting the Word of God he claims to be ministering, in order to gain his position.  I do not even believe the wives should get jobs when the husbands are in preacher's colleges. If a man wants to go to college to study preaching, he should raise his support first, and then enroll.  A woman can be a housewife in every stage of life if she is determined to do that, but a man must support her role, as well.  As Mr. Knightly told Emma,  "I cannot have my happiness while destroying your Father's happiness," a man would be wise to fnd a way to  fulfill his dream of being a minister without destroying his wife's dream of being a keeper at home.

*Regarding the lame excuse that being a "helpmate" means to help her husband by providing the money: This only applies in helping him to determine how to manage the money and wise ways to use it.  Too many ministers are using the helpmate-clause of the Bible as leverage to send their wives to work.

*Sending his wife to work may cause them to "lose" their children. Though they may grow up in the home, they suffer a spiritual and mental detachment from the values of their parents when a mother is not home because she is supporting the father's ministry.  A father in ministry is hard enough (he will often be absent from the home while helping others), but losing their mother from the home  during the most impressionable years is worse. When a man goes into ministry, he should make provision for the family and make sure it will not cause a lot of upheaval in family life or in the marriage.

It is different when the children are grown and the older couple decide to take the retirement and go into ministry. In this case, neither one of them will have to get a secular job, and both are free to aid the church without asking for money. However, men need to consider the consequences of sending their wives to work, whether for ministry or not. It can affect the woman so deeply that it will put her emotions off-kilter.  It can affect the children, as well. The bonds of the family are developed in the home, and these bonds are too casually broken when money becomes more important than the home life.

All that being said, the Bible states that a laborer is worthy of his hire, and that the ox should not be prevented from eating while treading out the grain.  A man in ministry should make sure he can get a living from it and not expect to provide it "for free" and then send his wife to work to provide for it.  The money should come from the church he serves or from personal support he has raised. He can use his own investments, or an income from a retirement fund, but he should not use his wife as a support source for a life he has chosen. She can support him in many other ways, through providing hospitality to others and spiritual encouragement to him.

While discussing the aforementioned reasons, an objection invariably arises that a man's profession should always be given priority. To that, I say that a man's family should come first, even before his business, but to the modern mind it is interpreted as saying he should quit work and stay home with his children. On the contrary, he should choose work and be able to support his family financially, but not choose a work that will destroy the loyalty and trust of his family. If he chooses a ministry and requires his wife to get a wage, his children will lose respect for him, and for her, as neither parent will have time for the children or the home.  Ministry has to be monitored carefully, too, so that  it does not absorb all of a man's time, and so that he will not "lose" his own children while trying to save the souls of others.

There are also the usual arguments about ministry being first;  in other words, a man's devotion to the Lord will always come before anything else, but obviously, if a man really loves the Lord and knows he will be accountable to Him all his life and at the end of it, he will take care of his family first and not use ministry as an excuse to quit earning a living. Your family is the greatest and most neglected mission field and your marriage and children are your first ministry.  If ministry harms the family, it is not really preaching the truth.

A man is not really serving God Biblically when he puts his wife in conflict with Titus 2 and the keepers at home scriptures. He is neglecting his most important ministry of providing for his family when he pressures his wife to get a job or spend a lot of time at home trying to make money. That does not mean she is totally forbidden to find ways to make money, but it must not become first in her life.

As the Bible says, two are better than one, and if you as a wife are being challenged and confused by a man who is using ministry as a reason to send you to work (or, in reality, a second job), then you need to make sure of some things before he goes in to ministry. 

A wife is supposed to be a good helpmate; that is, to be a helper to her husband. And to do so, you must become a good counselor and adviser and be able to see danger ahead, like the ship's captain's first mate. The first mate will not take over the ship unless the captain is gone, but he will help the captain succeed in his own job.

 A man's first job is to provide for his family.  You must insist he raise a family support fund and a working fund before he quits his job.  If he is already in ministry and pressuring  you to work, he should show you that he, too, is willing to go work at a second job to support his ministry. It is his responsibility to replace his income with either a part-time job or raised support, and not depend on the wife being the provider.

As for myself, my family has and is living on different sources of income all at the same time, through part time secular jobs, donations, church funds, and private enterprise. Here in the US people do not depend on their jobs for their entire source of income, since those jobs might not last a person's lifetime. So, whether or not a man is in ministry, he makes sure there are back up plans for financial plans. 

The wife should not be considered a source of income beyond what she contributed from the home, by her frugal ways and intelligent management, as preventing expensive damage to things, and selling things when there is no longer a use for them. However the wife needs to be careful not to be so obsessed with money that she turns her life toward it even in the home, for money-making can take over home living to the point that real home life and real homemaking is neglected.

  This is one blessing of a husband's provision: it allows the wife to devote herself to taking care of things at home. One blessing of the wife being a homemaker is that it allows the husband to devote himself to his success at his work, while his wife helps him by providing for him at home. The two of them work together for each other's success.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Housewife Radio

Afternoon Tea by Paul Fischer, 1863-1934

Please note: there are two recordings so far, but the dates are wrong and we will try to fix it.

If you get a chance to listen to this (it is saved, so if you missed it live, you can still hear it) please leave a comment on this blog post!

Today, barring last-minute glitches we will hear (clearly rather than my previous muffled attempt) from a lovely lady who has a lot of great things to say about her experience of finally coming home and her personal response to the Titus 2 instructions to Christian women.  Let's remember that Titus 2 is also addressed in a large part to men, so read it it carefully for the details, which include young and old alike.

As per usual, ladies, please do not think you have to stop and listen to this. It  is designed for you to tune in when convenient, such as when you are folding clothes, doing routine things where you might need some music or appreciate someone talking to you. I remember  how much I enjoyed hearing my children read to me while I did some kind of house keeping. It paced me and I got a lot more done!

To the lady at Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth blog, I am extremely honored by your posting of my Visitation video. Your blog brings me a lot of visits.  I am sure that subject deserves a lot more conversation.  My biggest problem is finding someone at home to visit, or getting someone to come and visit. I see a definite trend downhill on this, from former times.  While we all do our regular visits to institutions such as hospitals, etc, we need to find these neglected people who are at home who may also need visits. I know that places like children's homes, retirement centers, etc. have plenty of activity and regular visits, judging by the amount of people going in and out of those institutions, but what I see is an absence of home visitation, and not necessarily to the shut-ins, but to homemakers. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that so many home keepers have to be out of the home either working at a 2nd job or else running errands and doing a lot of necessary things elsewhere to keep the home running.This might be a good topic to discuss on radio sometime.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Winter Vacations

Hello Ladies,

It is easy to be vacation-minded in summer when everything is sunny and bright, but it seems more important to ease the cold and confinement of winter with a vacation from home.

This is one reason visiting is so good.  If you can find one other person who will allow you to visit, it is like a nice vacation.

It is a good idea to make provision for a winter vacation, because even travel to visit a friend does cost something. 

In summer when you are not paying so much for home heating, and when food is cheaper at the farmers markets, and you do not have to buy so many warm socks and mittens, you may be able to put aside something for that winter escape when it seems more confined at home.

An acquaintance of mine takes her sewing machine on a winter vacation and goes to a hotel where, unhindered by housework, happily stitches for several days. I realize most people here would not want to spend the money on that, but it may be possible to plan such a thing in other ways with other resources. 

This winter is taking its time with its visit so I am planning an escape  (at home) to the Empress Hotel. My guest rooms will be filled, and despite the sorry fact I could not locate any used Empress Hotel teacups at a fair price, we will just pretend. We are planning to dress up for a dress code in this fine place :-) and of course I am cutting out a special dress. 

There are other winter vacation ideas that will enable the lady at home to be refreshed to return to her duties with a renewed appreciation of home life.

*Shifting the furniture around is like having a new house. 

*Re-purposive rooms: I recently moved my sewinf to the kitchen for the winter. It is warmer there and not so isolated, and The kettle is more accessible. I fill the slow cooker and can quickly access anything the family needs for refreshments and meals. It is like a one-room house with everything at arms length.  

*Change an office into a guest room, or a bedroom into something else. I always wonder what it would be like to take a seldom used dining room (when people prefer to eat at the kitchen table) and turn it into a living roo, or office or something else. 

*Save the money you might not notice going out (on eating out, coffee, thrift stores, etc) and use it for the winter hotel vacation. I know someone who takes a winter break in her own town. Her whole family checks into a local B&B they like, every winter. I think this is a great idea. Also, there are very inexpensive  motels that have up-to-date furnishings and facilities thst cater to families. Children love this!

*Grandparents enjoy getting an extra room in winter for their children and grandchildren, at an in-between distance.

*Our parents ordered recreation kits like art, sewing, construction of small things, and food supplies from catalogs and then spaced out the projects throughout the most difficult months of winter. 

*Set aside supplies for your own home made creations. Get the berries you picked in the summer,most of the freezer and make jam, learn to make something every day and if you are not in the mood, make lists and make plans.  It is always an adventure.

The point is, careful consideration should be given to ensure the housewife has vacations throughout the winter. We do not need vacations from summer weather, but from the confinement and hardship of winter.  

If this is not possible, it is important to go somewhere locally a few minutes each day or whenever it is necessary.

Winter comes again this year, so get out a calendar and dream up some plans to intersperse those lonely, confined days with short vacations, visits and invented celebrations.

Summer has a vacation atmosphere even when staying home, but winter is really when we need vacations.

Empress Hotel teacup.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Housewife Radio

At four pm Thursday ( northern hemisphere)  American Pacific Standard Time I hope to have a livestream broadcast. This will give me time to find a friend willing to call in.

If you did not get to listen to the live radio show, you can hear it recorded, here (I think)

Please let me know if the above link works!

Please do not think you have to take time out of your home keeping to listen. Housewife radio is designed to listen while you are occupied with other things.  I was told that Housewife Radio really works, because during a 15 minute broadcast someone was able to complete a few tasks.

The next one scheduled is Monday the 29th Feb. at 3 pm , and unless something unforeseen happens, I do have a caller lined up. If you want to hear one tomorrow, please contact me, and if you would like to be a guest, it would be very nice, especially if there are topics you like.

If you would like to be a guest, let me know.  

A Book Review for a Friend -- "The Long Way Home"

As life would have it, there is always, always something to do at home. Consequently, I have delayed unnecessarily a book review for a long-time European friend.  Some time ago she wanted to write an adventure, and in Barbara Cartland fashion, created a fictional galaxy-land for the tale she really wanted.

Do you remember when reading a book of fiction lifted you from life's heavy concerns and took you away to another place and time? The Long Way Home does that. It contains action, a bit of mystery and some romance.

Because I cannot sit still for very long, I did  not read this right away as I had intended, and I am sorry I did not publish this review sooner. 

If you are an American, you will be attracted to the British type characters of yesteryear; the kind that held the stiff upper lip in times of stress, and, do not forget the tea. We all love the Brits with this type of description, and this is exactly what Sanne Wijker has developed into her main character. Though the hero of the story lives quite sacrificially, he wants to save a few things: save his country, save his own neck, amd save his girl.

You can access her book here and read the publisher description. The author is an avid reader of a great many old books and has brought into this story some things that make the reader keep reading and wanting to know what happened. The only thing I did not like about reading this is, the sequel is not yet published!  

I know some people are not avid readers of other-Galaxy stories, but perhaps they may know others who would enjoy a book like this.

Belated congratulations for this young housewife's first novel!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Visitation: Video

At the Cottage Door by Henry Margetson (1861-1940)

Hello Ladies,

As I do not write or memorize or even edit my videos, please do not expect them to be professional. I figure if you were here at a class, I would not be precise or perfect in my presentation anyway. 

I have started Housewife Radio today but have not made a program yet. I will put a notification on a post if you want to tune in, and will indicate the date and time. At that time I will arrange to have ladies I know call in to discuss a chosen topic.

My subject today is "Visitation," because I have talked to several ladies who say that is one part of home-life that is really missing. I suppose the rushing about to do errands and business and essential shopping has cut in to the time that might have been used for leisurely, non-stressed visiting.

My parents visited people, not because my parents were all stressed out, lonely, or had problems, but because they knew it was good for the other person to be visited. Now that may sound awfully strange to young women today, and I can understand, because they may have never observed a visit. Gone are the days when people stopped by for pie or to just see you. 

It was not a case of feeling such a sense of importance that they thought other people would be overjoyed to see them, but it was a way of giving the other people a sense of well-being and a certain kind of grounding or feeling of being human. It showed them they were not slone nor would they be left alone or forgotten.

 I know the experience of long, dark winters, and as a child, longing to go visit someone. It was our way of getting away from our own concerns, too, and investing in the lives of others who may need us.

 We never tried to be imposing and we always were alert to the fact that the people we visited may have other plans, may already have visitors, were unable to see us, or were busy with something that needed attention.  Also, watching our parents interact in conversation help us figure out how to visit.

I was just thrilled the other day when someone phoned and asked if she could come and visit! But it began the day I sent her a note that said, "Please feel free to come visit any time."  In those days long ago, our parents could not give anyone a warning they would be visiting, but it did not matter because having people drop in was expected; it was part of life. 

 These days, you have to phone before a visit, because people are on the go all the time and you might not find them home if you make a cold call. Instead of letting people suffer by waiting for an invitation, I say, "Come by any time."  After that, it is their turn, and their decision. Now they can make the choice of a time to take me up on the offer. That way, in a sense, the Lord decides for me when to show hospitality.  I have not had much success with making invitations for a certain date, to have visitors. 

How does visiting differ from other forms of contact? Well I think if you would study all the things that go on during a visit, you will find that your eyesight, your mind, your hearing, and your feelings have an entirely different response. The day does not seem so overcast. You bring sunshine into someones life and gather all types of information from each other.

Jane Austen, whom so many ladies love to read, formed her novels by listening to conversations of visitors.  It is said she did not like to leave her home, but that she received visits and kept note of the words that were spoken, as well as the countenance of the visitors. There is so much more going on in visits that it is hard to analyze it all. A child sitting in the living room listening to the adults picks up on the "feeling" of the whole thing.

Of course I expect ladies will make visits worthwhile, discussing things that are good, pure, lovely, inspiring, sympathetic and encouraging.  They will hopefully refrain from criticism or vulgar talk, envy and other unpleasant things. The purpose of visiting is to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep and avoid making it an unpleasant experience for others.  In the old days you would not be welcomed if you had been impolite or made anyone uneasy. Politics, religion and matters of the heart can be discussed if the people you are visiting are like-minded and if it does not frighten little children.

I do not know if anyone here is familiar with The English Home magazine. Although I do not have a subscription to it, I sometimes linger at the magazine section in a bookstore just to check out the back page where a Mrs. Minerva has a column on polite behavior.  This month she wrote about the art of choosing fabric. She mentioned how her husband disliked the task so much that she found it difficult to concentrate on choosing the fabric, so she allowed Mr. M.  to not accompany her inside  the fabric store again.  I think she may have simply left him home to do something he was more interested in. 

Since I mentioned on the video that a visitor came yesterday, I cannot resist telling you how that turned out. 

 My husband came in to see a table set for two, for tea, with gleaming tea pots, real china cups and little gold teaspoons surrounding a pile of delicate sandwiches, some salads and all kinds of fruit delicacies. The tea was steaming out of the spout and I was eager to pour the first fragrant cup!  As we sipped we would be enjoying some very good comversation about everything in the world.

 Mr. S. greeted my friend and lingered awhile as he asked about her husband and how everyone was doing in her neck-of-the-woods.  He was especially concerned about Mrs. W.'s spiritual growth and they discussed things like worship and Christian values. 

At length, I decided to serve the tea before it lost any degree of heat. As I poured, he and my visitor began talking about the Sasquatch.  I am not going to explain what that is. You can look it up on the web. 

 They talked and talked about the things each of them had heard, and what friends of theirs had seen, and so forth.  I am not exaggerating when I say the more they drank tea, the more they kept up a lively conversation about the Sasquatch and the myth surrounding it. 

I was beginning to feel a little apprehensive about the time. Would I be able to talk about fabric with my friend? Would there be time for her to show me her patterns she brought along, or talk about her family? Well, as it turned out, after the tea and sandwiches were good and gone, Mr. S. excused himself and went to his office. We did have a little time to ourselves, but we would have had a lot more fabric-talk time if the major part of her visit had not been used up on Sasquatch, whoever he or she is. 

 So, like Mrs. Minerva, I invited Mr. S. to make an appearance each time someone comes to tea, give the normal greetings and find out how their husbands are doing,  but then excuse himself to go back into his office and write a good sermon!  

 Of course ladies, please note I have said all this because it was so amusing, and this is tongue-in-cheek. I do not want to read all over the web that Mrs. Sherman was upset and kicked Mr. S. out of the tea party! You know how those false reporters are, and what a spin they put on everything.

  My family saw such humor in it all they suggested I buy the pastry called "bears claws" and invite people for a special Sasquatch Tea. I was telling a friend a church about this delightful visit but of course had to interject the Sasquatch conversation, and she said the same thing: at the next tea, serve cake with paw prints or tracks on it. 

find the recipe for bears claws

Mrs. W. I enjoyed your visit immensely, and this post was all in good fun! You can actually talk about anything you want, just so long as you sip tea with me again!


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