Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring Preparations at the Estate

Pink and Yellow Roses

Yesterday morning I found some pretty roses on my kitchen table. These were just 3 small flowers. One was yellow, another was white, and the third was a pretty shade of pink. They were in a miniature white vase.   It was a gift from Mister.

The flowers look so pretty and give one hope that the warmth of spring will soon arrive here in cold Vermont.

Our kitchen work is almost finished.  We are spring cleaning and painting throughout the house this year.  My oldest son (at 21) did most of the kitchen painting.  Mister did the rest of the work this past week.  I will share pictures once all the rooms are finished - it will be an interior tour, much like the one I shared last year of the grounds.

Yesterday I bought many items for my pantry for good old fashioned home cooking. Potatoes were on sale, so I bought 4 bags. I will make fried potatoes, mashed potatoes and use some for a potato, broccoli and cheddar soup with homemade biscuits. (Certainly not on the same day!)  I also bought a few bags of chocolate chips and will make muffins and cookies.  Getting busy in the kitchen to create meals for the family is even more fun now that the kitchen has a fresh coat of pretty paint!

I bought many things so I could stay home, and cook and bake at my own pace the next few weeks.  There is nothing more forlorn and sad than having a sparsely filled pantry.  It takes away the creativity and makes meal time sad.  I like to think about supper in the late morning and begin preparations by early afternoon.  It is extra nice when something has to simmer for a few hours. It makes being home extra special with all the lovely scents of home cooking.

Mister and I are talking more about our summer gardening plans.  We have several seed packets of different types of flowers we will plant around the property.  I have daisies and hollyhocks, and Sweet William.   I also have this wonderful book, "The Backyard Homestead" which includes charts and ideas for planning a home garden.  It is inspiring.

A few years ago, when we amateurs began our gardening adventures, I started keeping a little book for our Estate.  It describes where the strawberry garden is, and where we grow our vegetables.  It is like a history and guide of the Estate.  This is wonderful to refer to from year to year, but it is also a keepsake for whoever takes over after me, such as our grown children (as heirs).   It is almost like a special book of running the Estate.  When things slow down for me (will they ever? - gentle smiles), I hope to add the meals we made here and the types of recipes that were commonly prepared here.  It is a history of life at the Estate.

Soon Mister will paint our chambers a pretty blue.  We have the most beautiful white curtains for each of the large windows in our room - (A generous gift from a dear friend).  Then we will continue on through the house with little repair projects and get the Estate ready for a lovely spring and summer.

Somehow the deprivations of Winter have faded away.  I am grateful.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

The Traditional way of frugality - Basic Cookery.

Please don't be one of these - Ex - Housewife.

Remembering Last Summer, when He carried Me - Walking the Grounds with Mister.

Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Mother Who Has Time for Prayers

1950s Family of 5 Saying Grace before Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner Mother Father 3 Children

One of the most important benefits of having a full time mother at home, is her prayers.  She is in the sanctuary of home.  Her concerns and focus are entirely devoted to husband and children, and in the care of their home.  She should be in the habit of praying while she cooks and cleans. 

While she is washing floors, ironing, and mending the clothing, her beautiful prayers will ascend, as a sweet melody, to heaven.

When her husband and children are out, they feel a sense of peace and security, knowing how much their mother loves the Bible, and is faithful in her loving and fervent prayers on their behalf.

This time of fellowship with the Lord (even in the midst of housework), provides a holy warmth and gentleness to her soul.  It softens her heart and helps make her sweet.  The family sees this and senses her strong faith.

We mothers, in our own efforts, cannot change the family. We cannot even change ourselves.  But striving for a closeness to God; hour by hour and minute by minute, will bring us great joy and contentment. It will bring us into a bright and precious walk with the Lord.  This is the state a mother is in, when she lives her life in a way as to have time to pray for her loved ones.

 Ideally, this is the mother at home.  She is of great value.  Her price is far above rubies.  No amount of money she could ever make could replace her constant, heartfelt prayers.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Please be one of these - The Mother Who Isn't Busy.

In case you ever wondered - How a Housewife Passes the Time.

I will never regret staying home - A Humble Parlour as a School of Theology.

Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Publishing at The Estate

The Letter, 1942

Since late last fall, during rare moments of leisure, I have been working on a project with Mrs. Hultquist.  She is the author of "Dear Kitchen Saints."   Her marriage testimony first appeared in "Above Rubies" magazine in the year 2000.  She has been writing letters to homemakers for many years.  She has encouraged and inspired many wives and mothers at home.

This past December, we published her second book, "Dear Christmas Mothers."  I have read it many times and found that, no matter what time of year it is, I am always cheered on and ready to get up and make my home a happy place for my family. Her writing is endearing and full of old time wisdom.

In this Christmas book, Mrs. Hultquist mentions a cassette tape that was made nearly 20 years ago.  This was of 3 of her youngest 6 children, along with Connie and her husband, Jim.  She had taught the children to play a little bit of piano and wanted to make sure they knew the classic songs, like "Silent Night," and "Drummer Boy." She also taught them "Silver Bells;" "We Wish You a Merry Christmas;" and many more.

As readers of her books and writings have been very blessed by her work, we knew you would be curious to hear this recording.  With that in mind, and after much work by a team of us here at the Estate (Including Great- Grandpa's technical work), we were able to transfer this cassette tape onto a CD.  I chose a small selection from the recording and we created a final version for the public.  This Audio CD was just released and is available for sale.  Readers of "Dear Christmas Mothers" will love it.

You will hear the children singing, along with their parents. As you listen to the piano playing and the laughter of an everyday family enjoying home and being together, it will warm your heart.  It will inspire you to get out the old music books, and gather the family around while you create your very own homemade, old fashioned Christmas.

I realize April is an odd time to mention Christmas resources.  I want to explain my reasoning.  Very soon, we are expecting another little blessing here at our Estate.  I expect to be very busy helping with our new grandbaby's care, along with her Mother, and the full time care of my other grandchild.  I am also expecting another grandbaby shortly after that.  With all this excitement, I don't know what lies ahead.  Time will be limited. So I wanted to release the Christmas work before life here leaves me very little leisure.

I also realize Mother's Day is soon approaching.  Many Mothers would love to have Connie's "Dear Christmas Mothers" and the companion audio CD "Christmas at Connie's."  I know it will make an encouraging gift!

Audio CD:  "Christmas at Connie's - 1996  (The Home Recordings)

(The piano on the cover of the CD, is from Connie's home.)

Book"Dear Christmas Mothers" by Mrs. Connie Hultquist

(The framed picture on the cover, was taken from the Piano at the Hultquist Home.)

May you have a lovely Christmas, and I hope you enjoy these homemaking resources!

Mrs. White

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 


Monday, March 31, 2014

Gracious Homemaking

Leaving for School

In the quiet of the morning, I am busy with home duties. I tidy the parlour, and start the tea.  I make Grandbaby's playpen look inviting.  His blanket is neatly folded over the side.  I take a little box and fill it with small toys. This is placed in the corner of the pen, along with a few carefully displayed books.  When he is brought upstairs by his Mother, he is excited to go in there while we prepare the morning meal.

I visit with the great-grandparents (who live with us) for a few minutes to see how they are doing.  I hear the plans for the day and then get back to my own home duties.

My teenage son sits at the table with me, over tea, and we study.  I have a stack of large books and have taught him how to use them.  We have The Strong's Concordance,  The 1828 Webster's Dictionary, Matthew Henry's Commentary, along with our Bibles.  We study in the parlour and then he goes off to do his own studies.

Soon I am busy with Grandbaby and his Mother.  We cook and clean and smile and laugh.  We talk as we work and we watch all the wonderful antics of baby.  Another little cherub will be here very soon and we are excited! 

I take a little rest in the parlour chair and try to read.  I have an afghan and sit near the fire.   It is not long before someone calls me away to another part of the house. I am needed for this or that. But I am ready.  My book reading is put down at any moment, because I am on-call for the needs of this house. 

Afternoon arrives and grandbaby needs his nap.  Portions of this house suddenly become quiet as we get the little one settled to sleep. 

The dinner hour is here and we start cooking.  There are dishes to do, and laundry to check on.  Often someone comes in - whether it is one of my grown children, or Mister, and wants to talk and have a little parlour visit. We take a break from our work to sit for a while.

It is getting late.  Grandbaby needs his bath and his bedtime.  I visit the great-grandparents again and make sure they are settled for the evening.  Then I do the evening chores while listening to old time gospel music on my kitchen radio.

We have evening prayers and a little Bible reading.

When most of the family has gone off to bed, I am back in the kitchen, doing those last minute chores which bring joy to the family - making it all look neat and pleasant.

This is gracious homemaking. It is cheerful work in the home and a kindness in caring for the family.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Please don't be one of these! - Bossy Wives.

The Way it Should Be - The Mother Who Isn't Busy.

Marriage - When Groceries are the Presents.

Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 


Monday, March 24, 2014

Housekeeping - With a Will

1940s Blonde Housewife Wearing Apron Cleaning Polishing Wooden End Table in Ornate Living Room

Duty is very difficult in a self - indulgent world.   We wives often want to live in leisure, enjoy hobbies, and relax.  Today, the American Dream is considered to be all about retirement!  Yet, working in the home makes our surroundings pleasant, peaceful, and orderly.  I recently heard the advice from a doctor (from a 1940's movie) suggesting to his nurse that an upper class housewife should let some of her servants go, do 6 hours of housework a day, and then her health would be recovered in 3 months! 

"Duty with a will" means we have the right attitude of perseverance.  We do the daily chores despite our mood or emotions.  Often the task seems overwhelming and we have trouble even getting started.  Perhaps we have neglected the deep-down cleaning for weeks or months.  This becomes a mountain of impossibility!  But with a will, we can take each step and work little-by-little to make things nice.  Years ago, I read this old book about this young man who had to work in the fields.  I can't remember all the details but I remember him saying to himself over and over again, "With a will, Joe!"  And this became the motto of his life.  He did his duties and he did them well.

One of the sweetest things I've found to help get that "will" strong, is to dress for the day in a housewife's uniform.  This is a special outfit that says, "I am the hostess of this house and am happy to serve and make sure you are comfortable."    For some this may be a little jewelry, a special hairstyle, a pretty dress and . . . of course. . . a pretty apron.   This says that home is lovely and I am happy to work here.

Many mornings I have been giving myself little "pep talks" so I can drag myself out of bed. (gentle smiles)  Life can get overwhelming and exhausting and we have to learn to do our very best, despite these challenges. 

On a daily basis, grandbaby keeps me busy; my (mostly grown) children keep things exciting around here; and the care of my parents (the great-grandparents who live with us) have health issues which are a constant concern.    I also am dealing with a gnawing disappointment I feel because I have not been able to knit an old fashioned sweater- and- bonnet set for my new grandbaby, who will arrive next month.  Regardless of this,  I still have a home to keep, a husband to care for, and plenty of work to do; I will not despair.  I will do it, to the best of my ability, with a smile and with a will.

Mrs. White

P. S.  Thank you to those sweet readers who have sent me gifts and cards in the last couple of months. I cannot tell you how very precious those surprises have been to me and my family. God bless you!

From the Archives -

I am looking forward to doing this in the Spring - Walking the gardens with Baby.

It's all up to you, Mother - The Cultured Society of Home.

We need more of this! - Homemaking Propaganda.

Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 


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