Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Autumn in Vermont

Autumn scenery at Mrs. White's Vermont home. 

It is amazing outside here in Vermont.  The temperature is warm with a gentle breeze. The sky is bright and sunny, while colorful leaves fall all around us.

I found Papa outside doing projects. I told him we should take pictures of the beautiful scenery here at the Estate. He was relieved to stop and take a break.   (It is good to have opportunities like this to keep laughter and happiness in a marriage.)

We each have our own cameras. We kept trying to get a perfect photograph of falling leaves in action.  The leaves are so small, in front of the vast trees in the background, that the camera can barely capture them as they travel to the ground.

Finally, Papa suggested he throw some in the air while I take a picture. This way the camera could capture what we were seeing.  This is the result:

A toss of leaves in Autumn at Mrs. White's Vermont home

We had a lovely break, from our home responsibilities, out in the fresh air.  Now we must get back to housekeeping.  I enjoyed visiting with you. I hope you are having a peaceful fall season.


From the Archives -

Teaching Children - Nobody Wants to Clean a Messy House.

You Can Do It! - Housekeeping With a Will.

Happiness in - Poor and Pretty Living

Mrs. White's special book for homemakers:"Introduction to Home Economics:  Gentle Instruction to Find Joy in Christian Homemaking." Paperback, 200 pages. 

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


Saturday, September 29, 2018

Days of Housekeeping

Library of Congress:  Howard family moving into their Alabama home, 1937.

I remember the early years of my marriage.  We had moved into our first home. It was completely empty.  We had limited furniture and not many possessions. The boxes were few.  We had packages of brand new items from our wedding.  Soon we had to find curtains and bedding and a kitchen table.  My parents had given us a couch, a bureau, and a few other pieces of furniture. We had to set up housekeeping with limited means.  Because we did not have much, it was easier to keep things neat and clean.

These days, many of us are fighting clutter and an abundance of items.  The common teaching out there is to "purge" and "declutter."  This is because, over the years, we tend to accumulate more things than we seem to know what to do with.  But we do not have to throw out things that are useful. We do not have to give away, or trash items, that we can neatly pack away for the future.

We often read of grandmother's attic and the old trunk full of treasures.  This is where grandchildren come along and find wonderful things from the family's history.  Often an old shawl, toy truck, or precious book finds a new home with one of the decedents.  Sometimes, baby clothes are carefully stored away because we should always expect a baby will, someday, enter our home again.  I don't think any of these possessions should be purged.  But we do have to get rid of junk and trash in order to have a neat home.

It can be quite an ordeal to keep a nice home when there is too much clutter around.  Often it is almost impossible to find enough energy to do the daily work, and take care of the family, while organizing our possessions at the same time.   This is where having set days for specific housekeeping is helpful.

If we simplify the work into a weekday schedule it may help keep us peaceful and happier.  This work is over- and- above the normal tasks of preparing meals, making beds, taking care of the family, etc.

Expect to spend between 2 and 4 hours on each of these days. You might want to do a few hours in the morning and then work again in the early afternoon. Take lots of breaks so that you are well rested.  Get help from the family if you still have children at home. Small children love to help with the work.  Older children are often willing to help if we are cheerful and offer to play board games, etc. during breaks. This makes the work a social event and is more enjoyable.

Here is an example:

Monday -
Organize and Declutter.  This work will always be necessary.  It would be nice if it was part of our weekly routine.  We may want to file papers, sort photographs, handle the bills and finances, pack up seasonal clothing, put away books, organize the closets, etc.

Laundry, sewing, mending clothes, ironing, tidy drawers and closets, wash bedding.

Do all the deep cleaning (bathrooms, wash floors, dust, vacuum, etc.)  In my teenage years, working as a maid, it took us 2 hours to do the basics of deep cleaning for an entire house.

Grocery shopping and errands.  I always get extra tired on days I have to go out.  This is a good day to serve easy meals to keep things simple.  Buying the groceries, using a carefully prepared shopping list, setting up the week's menus, and bringing it all home takes a great deal of frugal effort. (You might want to use this day to post next week's menu in the kitchen so you have your plans all ready in place.)  Sometimes on these errands we may also have to stop at the bank, go to the library, or visit a relative.

Heavy Baking and Cooking.  This is a good day to bake a cake for the weekend. We might want to make easy food for next week's lunches to put in the freezer (like homemade pizza and lasagna).

I believe one of the biggest obstacles of keeping a nice house is being overwhelmed by clutter and messes. Sometimes we end up throwing out things we really wanted to keep. We might do this because it is hard to keep home neat and we often feel guilty for having so much stuff.  It doesn't have to be this way. I believe that a good schedule of keeping set days to do certain work, including a day just for organizing, will make our homes more pleasant and easier to manage.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Is This True? - Only Rich People Have Clean Houses.

A Treasure - Homeschooling with Grandbaby.

It is how we make it -  The Cultured Society of Home.

Mrs. White's special book for homemakers:"Introduction to Home Economics:  Gentle Instruction to Find Joy in Christian Homemaking." Paperback, 200 pages. 

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


Saturday, September 22, 2018

An Apology

Flowers in a hospital room of a White family Member

A short time ago, a family member was hospitalized for a few days.  I spent a great deal of time there. In the photograph above, you will see some white daisies. I bought these from a local florist shop to brighten the hospital room.  This was my view most days as I sat in a corner chair and read a book while the patient slept nearby.  Things are improving and everyone is back home again.  Illnesses sometimes come out of nowhere but we are grateful for good doctors!  All is well.

During this quiet time I realized how rushed things are here with the blog. I am often writing very short emails in response to very dear letters. Sometimes I will write a post, and without thinking or proofreading enough, I will publish it and get back to my family and home work.   Upon reflection, sometimes weeks, months, or years later, I realize some of what I have written was unclear, not my complete thoughts on a matter, or downright offensive to some. (I am sure all of my books have mistakes in them.)  I apologize for this.

I have stacks of correspondence here at home, with precious letters that have been sitting on my desk, carefully read and appreciated, but no response from me as of yet. I feel guilty about this a great deal of the time.  Please know that I cherish your words and think about them often, even if I don't say very much in return.

In the blogging world, on occasion, I try to leave comments on other blogs I visit. I do not do this nearly enough as I ought to.  There are so many amazing bloggers who write wonderful things and I know they appreciate visits and comments.  It is a way to say, "I have visited and have enjoyed reading your thoughts." Often what they write is very helpful and provides inspiration in one's own life. I feel guilty for not visiting and commenting as much as I should.

I owe many letters, comments, and emails to many dear people.  I often take weeks or months to respond even though I want to respond, and enjoy writing back. I am just so slow.

I recently published a book and have had some glitches with it because I was in such a rush to finish it, and had procrastinated so long, and wanted to just finish and get back to my family, that I disappointed some people. Again, I am so sorry.

I make many mistakes and don't always do, or say, the right thing.  Again, I apologize and hope you will be patient with me.

I do love writing and corresponding and am so grateful for you all.  Even though I enjoy doing this, it is very time consuming and very hard work.  We all have homes and families who need us dearly.  We all have limited time. But it is a blessing to be encouraged and to encourage others!

If we didn't just stop for a few minutes to write and to visit, it would never happen. It is okay to take a break to write.  It is wonderful to visit.  But it is even better when we have grace and patience with each other, knowing we are all flawed (especially me!).

Thank you for being here with me no matter how often I mess things up here. Most likely, everything I do is going to be flawed.  Thank you for being forgiving.  Thank you for your kindness and prayers.  I am so very grateful!


From the Archives -

Making things for Grandbaby - Tea Napkins.

Finding Joy in Homemaking - Poor and Pretty Living.

Marriage - Serving 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, September 11, 2018

Introduction to Home Economics - My New Book

Cover of Mrs. White's new book.

For the past year, I have been working on a little homemaking course. I had elaborate plans and wanted to share such projects as making a pretty pillowcase (complete with photographs for hand-sewing), tips on cleaning, and working in the kitchen.  But it became so complicated that I gave up!

Eventually, over a period of several months, I realized I could only do something very simple and basic.  I would include a large gathering of my writings from the last 2 years, as well as three easy projects for the reader. 

The book is now published and is available for sale in paperback.

One of the projects includes detailed information about setting up a "House Account." Many have asked me to show a picture of the inside of my financial journal. I created a fictitious one, based on my personal spending.  The picture is inside this book.  I hope the description and instructions will help those who have shown an interest.

There are a total of 72 short "chapters" which contain many writings from my private newsletter. These include daily life as a homemaker and grandmother.  One of my favorites is called "The Little Mother" about my 3 year old granddaughter who is such a delight.  Some of the writings also include many blog posts, from here, over the last 2 years.

The process of doing the book was very time consuming, but I loved picking out some peaceful photographs to share.  These include some I have posted here on the blog recently, such as a covered bridge here in Vermont.  Here is a picture of my binder where the manuscript was kept while I did the editing and proofreading.

Binder notebook for Mrs. White's manuscript.

I enjoyed looking at the cover of the book, which includes a picture of a beautiful teacup given to me by a dear friend.  There is also a teapot and creamer, which was given to me by another dear one.  I printed up the cover-art to place in front of the binder.

Binder containing the manuscript for editing and proofreading of Mrs. White's book.

I am relieved the book is finished.  Here is a description from the back of the book:

"Whether you are currently a homemaker or want training in your future vocation at home, this course will provide a peaceful and pleasant study. There are 3 units with subjects covering life and lessons on:  "Family and Home;" "New England Thrift;"  and "To Be a Lady."     You will also find space provided for a "homemaker's diary."     There are three projects to complete along with each unit. You will learn: How to keep a financial record for the home by setting up a "House Account." How to set up a simple menu plan. How to do a cleaning challenge.    The foundation of the course is found in essays of instruction and encouragement, through reading about the daily life of a New England Homemaker."

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: The Legacy of Home Press (September 11, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0692189173
  • ISBN-13: 978-0692189177
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches

The book is called:

  It is available for sale at Amazon.   This is just a very plain, basic, simple book. But I hope it encourages you and gives you some ideas for your own home. 

I am not very good at marketing or trying to get the word out. Any help in spreading the word would be very much appreciated.  Thank you so much!

Mrs. White

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


Monday, August 27, 2018

The Day Room

A Room in Mrs. White's Vermont Home

Many years ago, when we first bought this house, great-grandfather (my Dad) walked into one of the rooms and called it "The Day Room." I had never heard that term. He was an Army Veteran.  He served during the early 1960's.  In those days the soldiers had a bright, sunny room where they could rest and have their break for games and visiting.  It was called "The day room."  Ever since then, this is what we have affectionately called this room in our home.

The room is technically a bedroom and has been used as such throughout the years. But most often it has been used as a living room or a front parlor.   I very often find myself inviting guests out of my kitchen and into this pleasant room. There is an adjoining bedroom on the other side which is used as a playroom. It is full of toys and little beds. It is enjoyed by all the grandchildren whenever they visit.

The rocking chair by the window belonged to my grandmother.  It is charming and delicate.  I have to steer gentlemen away from it, encouraging them to take a seat on the sofa instead. It has been repaired many times and cannot take a great deal of weight. This is why I love to place floral, feminine blankets and pillows on it so they are not quite as likely to choose it for a seat. (gentle smiles)  It seems like in my grandmother's day, chairs were not as comfortable (or sturdy) and were only designed for a brief rest.

The blue sofa on the left is covered with a blue flowered sheet I inherited from my mother.  Pretty floral patterns are not as common as they used to be, so I am delighted to have this. It is well worn but pretty.  The sofa used to belong to my parents.

There is a very pretty, large green couch on the right.  It was given to my son by an elderly lady from an old family Estate.   He was willing to let me have it, quite a few years ago, for fifty dollars.  I was delighted!  I covered it with a floral quilt to match the curtains on the windows.

You will also see a matching curtain in the doorway.  There has never been a door here. We have always used curtains in this spot.  I believe the previous owners, of our humble old 1850's house, may have taken some of the doors with them when we bought it.  The family included an auctioneer who possibly sold them at a nice profit.

There are sheer tan curtains, behind the floral ones, on the front windows.  They used to be in our bedroom upstairs.  I thought they would look better in this room.  I bought them many years ago, from a clearance pile for four dollars each.

Television set in Mrs. White's home

There is a television set in a corner on the other side of the room.  It is built into a piece of furniture.  We paid twenty dollars for it at some kind of flea market sale.  It is lovely and old fashioned. It works perfectly with a DVD player.  In the photograph above, you will see an old radio on top of the television. This belonged to great-grandfather.

A gold lamp with a cream colored shade, by the window, belonged to my Aunt.  There is another one on the other side of the room.  I love the cozy look of pretty lamplight in a pleasant room.

Back behind the lamp is a wooden TV stand holder.  I often set up one of the tables for my computer in this room. I will sit on the couch and do some writing.  At other times, I will just rest on the couch and watch an old black-and-white movie on a cold winter afternoon.

But most often, I will look into this pretty "day room" and sigh, with a prayer of gratefulness, for a peaceful place to sit and visit.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Essential - The Privacy of Home Life.

Finances - Retirement Planning for the Poor.

It is okay to be - Just a Housewife.

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. 


Related Posts with Thumbnails