Friday, May 12, 2017

A Weak Gardener

White dogwood tree near river at Mrs. White's Estate

I have a new white dogwood tree on the back grounds.  My boys bought it as a Mother's day gift for me.  They planted it back by the rushing river.  It is a beautiful spot.

Today I walked out back to work on my strawberry garden.  Mister planted it for me a few years ago.  It always produces some nice fruit for me each season.  This year I have a little white fence around it.

I cleared some more leaves and did a little weeding.  It is tiring work.  I used to be stronger and able to endure much more.  Now I am a "weakling" and have to pace myself in any labor I attempt to undertake.  (gentle smiles.)

After a short time, I thought it would be nice to have my bench nearby to sit and take breaks under the shade tree.

My son-in-law gladly moved our bench, from the front grounds to the back property, late this afternoon.  It is right near my strawberries.  It looks inviting.

Strawberry garden and a bench for resting at Mrs. White's Estate

I managed to clean up a small portion of the garden.  I hope to work on it again on the next sunny day.  The fresh air and pretty landscape helped bring me some cheerfulness.  We have had a long, difficult winter. 

Now I am back indoors for a tea- and- cookie break.


From the Archives -

For the Tough Times - How the Old Time Mothers Survived Poverty.

It Does Not Have to be Difficult - The Basics of Lovely Housekeeping.

Remembering my Childhood - Manners Learned at The Finishing School.

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, May 2, 2017

The Privacy of Home Life

Library of Congress: Cornelia Horsford House, 1915 New York.

I used to walk past historic homes in the suburbs of Boston on my way home as a child.  There were large old Estates with beautiful fences and pretty gates to close in the private grounds.  The landscapes were lovely in spring and summer months as all the flowers were in bloom.  There was such a sense of rest and peace in those properties.

I love houses that are set back away from the road.  They are more private and quiet. I also love to see a variety of rooms in a home.  There is more peace when you can go from room to room. I see many homes of today with an open feel to them, as one enormous room is designed to hold the kitchen, dining and living areas.  It seems so busy and there seems to be a lack of privacy.  It reminds me of a studio apartment where there is not enough money to have more than one room. It is also similar to the one - room houses of Pilgrim days, where the sleeping area was right next to the kitchen table. It was one room for all things. 

I prefer to have a real dining room, a formal living room, and a separate kitchen.  I would love a room for a library with large windows to look at the grounds of a humble estate to see wildflowers and hear birds chirping in the trees.  I love the peace and respite of a large old home with many rooms.  I love the beautiful grounds set away from a busy street. It is a place of privacy and a respite from the busy world. 

Home should be a restful retreat where the family and their visitors can have places of comfort and quiet.  It would be lovely if cameras were rare and not pulled out to snap photographs every few minutes to share with the world.  Home should be a place of privacy.

It used to be that we had to buy film for our cameras. We could only take so many pictures at a time. We reserved them for special occasions like birthdays and holidays, with occasional photographs of daily life.  Then we had to wait for the film to be developed before we could share the pictures with others.  This was part of keeping things private.  Our family photos were shared only with family.  We would share only a select few with close friends or guests when they visited.  We are losing part of our privacy when we share every aspect of our lives with the public.  This is taking away some of our peace and our rest.

Home and family used to be a special thing that we wanted to protect.  We wanted to maintain that quiet and that happiness of rest from anxiety, busy-ness, and stress. Home was where Mother and Father were keeping the hearth cozy and the dinner warm in the kitchen. It was a quiet place we felt loved and safe.  It was a place of privacy.  This was where you could tend the gardens, maintain the homestead, and enjoy the family while shutting out the world for a time. 

Even in city apartments there are often many rooms where you can find peace and rest.  There are often window boxes for flowers, and little balconies for plants.  When the door of that city home is closed, there is a private world for just family and home life.  It is a place of peace and quiet from the hectic world.

Oh how nice it would be to cultivate a private home in today's world.  We can recreate that old time feel by setting up our rooms and yards in a way that has some separation from the public.  This would be such a happy place where one can rest a weary heart from the anxiety of life.  This is where one could rest and recover before going back out to do one's necessary work in the world.


From the Archives -

It doesn't have to be Difficult - "Simplicity of Old Fashioned Homemaking."

When there are no Words - "Prayers Which Cannot Be Uttered."

Taking Care of - "My Husband's Money."

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. 


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Harney and Sons - Mother's Tray Gift

Mother's Tray Gift Pack from Harney and Sons

I received a beautiful package in the mail.  It is from the company "Harney and Sons."  It is a gift set called "Mother's Tray Gift" and is just lovely for Mother's Day!

The sturdy box was wrapped with a pretty pink ribbon.  There was a slide out tray on the side of the box. This contained the presents, which includes:

1. A gorgeous pink, decorative tin.  The cover says, "Louis Sherry" New York.   It is sealed with a sticker with the year 1881.  When the lid is opened, there is a cover paper with a few pictures and the words "Sea Salt Caramel" and "Sicilian Orange."   There are two chocolate treats inside. They both taste amazingly delicious!

2. Six single serve packets of raw sugar.   I used one in my cup of tea and it is wonderful!

3. A beautiful little tin with pretty floral decorations on the cover. Inside it holds three packets of the most delicious smelling tea!  It is lovely! Each loose tea is held inside a silken sachet.  You can make two cups of tea for each sachet.

4. Tea infused Lip Balm.  The flavor is "cherry berry" and it is organic and vegan. The size is 4.4 mL.  It has a barely light pleasant scent.  It goes on smooth and has a gentle shine.

In addition to this Mother's Tray Gift, I received three packets of tea, including "Chamomile" "Organic English Breakfast" and "Hot Cinnamon Spice." These smell and taste wonderful!

Harney and Sons are makers of fine tea and are master tea blenders. Their offerings are elegant. Their products are special treats!

They offer assorted teas, treats, and gift items.

Be sure to visit their site and watch their short Mother's Day video on their home page.  It shows their beautiful tea tins being re-used as planters. It also shows them serving tea with a beautiful tea set.

* Disclosure - I received this item for review purposes.  It was a blessing to receive and I hope my readers are able to purchase some for themselves. To find out more about my commercial breaks, please see my disclosure page. *

Monday, April 24, 2017

Making Money Last

Library of Congress:  Flower Vendor's Easter Display, early 1900's. New York

I was in the hardware store the other day. They had an entire floor devoted to decorative gardening accessories, patio furniture and pretty benches.  There were swimming pools and barbeque sets.  It was so much fun just looking at everything.  I saw the sweetest little garden turtle.  It was a decorative item for the outdoors.  It had the happiest, cutest face painted on.  I thought my grandchildren would love it.  But the cost was $28.  So I just stared at it for a bit and then moved on. 

Over the weekend, I was in the drugstore picking up a prescription for my husband.  I love to browse around while I wait. They always have such nice seasonal items.  I noticed they had a similar turtle as what I saw last week.  This one was a bit smaller, but just as charming.  It cost only $5.  I was delighted and happily paid for it.  I plan to put it in the front garden this coming week.  I know the grandbabies will love to see it as we tour the grounds on our regular walks this season.

Buying things on impulse can be such a dangerous thing.  Our money can disappear so quickly if we are not careful.  But occasionally buying something inexpensive that makes us smile can be pleasant.

This winter, I took all my saved coins and gave them to one of my grown daughters.   It used to be easy to save for a rainy day by filling up jars full of coins. But now the bank won't accept the rolled money. Instead, they direct people to a machine in their lobby. This machine counts all the change and prints out a slip so you can get dollar bills at one of the teller stalls.  But the machine deducts a certain amount as a fee.  I just cannot fathom paying this. It is such a waste, even if the charge seems small.  So I have been keeping a change purse with me.  Whenever I do any shopping these days, I count out the exact change.   It takes a few extra minutes, but I no longer have to worry about what to do with a jar full of money that is difficult to spend. The days of saving change for a rainy day seem to be out of fashion.

Since we homemakers do a great deal of the spending in a household, it is important that we find ways to make the money last.   Each week, I have been taking my receipts and recording my spending in a journal book.  This is for groceries and gas and also any bills I have paid.  I want to remember where the money went.  This helps me be more careful. I also enjoy remembering some of our adventures by reading old entries.  The day I bought the garden turtle and wrote it in the book will make me smile.

Dressing up to do errands or to go shopping was common in earlier days.  My mother always did this. She would put aside her housedress and put on something nicer before going out.  Rushing out the door all the time to get things we forgot, or to hurry some errand can cause us to be wasteful.  Often we will be in such a rush that we buy what is convenient or quick.  This will waste money.   Finances are a serious matter. We need funds for food, housing and clothing. These are basic needs.  But we should treat that money with a great deal of care and planning.  I always dress up a bit before going out because I am more careful in what I do.  Dressing up a little is part of being prudent.  It is part of being cautious and precise in such an important job as spending the household funds to care for the family.

Impulse buying should be so rare that we are thrilled when we actually spend a bit of money that was not planned.  This will make us very grateful for the little treats we have in life.

Making money last just means we don't easily part with it.  We are slow and careful with our spending decisions. We keep our bills and expenses low so we can have money in a savings account.  This is being a wise steward with what we have been entrusted with.  It also brings great peace and happiness to make that money last as long as possible.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

The Example of D.L. Moody's mother - Poverty in the 1800's.

My first Mother's day garden - Attempting a Garden.

Calling the Family Home - Mother's Dinner Bell.

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. 


A Raised Garden at The Estate

Greenland Gardener Raised Bed at our Vermont Estate

I am not much of a gardener.  I love to look at gardens and I enjoy the result of a productive garden, but I am not very good at taking care of one.   One of my favorite tools to keep things easy is to use a raised garden bed that came from Greenland Gardener. 

This is an 8 inch raised garden bed.  We have used it year after year, season after season, here in Rural Vermont.  It is top quality and is still in excellent condition. 

Some of the features of this product:

- It is stackable.

-  No tools are required for assembly.  My teenager put this together very quickly, right out of the box.

- The kit includes 4 planks and 4 brackets. 

- This will not rot, and it is weather resistant.

- It is made in the U.S.A.

- It also looks very decorative on our property.

We always plant cucumbers in our garden.  They are so productive and are easy to take care of in this enclosed space.  I also love that I can just put the garden bed anywhere on the property and have an almost instant garden. 

The above photograph was taken a few years ago.  We have not yet set it up this season, but will get it started in the next week or so. 

I was just looking at the Greenland Gardener site and their Facebook page and saw many great ideas.  I noticed they have the most amazing thing. It is a sort of greenhouse which goes over the garden bed.  It looks wonderful and I am sure would work beautifully.

To find out more about this company, please visit them at Greenhouse Gardener

There are many great pictures and helpful ideas at their Facebook page.

*Disclosure - I received this item for review purposes. To learn more about my commercial breaks, please see my disclosure page.*

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