Sunday, January 17, 2021

Keeper of the House


A Bedroom in Mrs. White's Vermont Home

I have not been able to do as much housework as I would like.  I want to keep the house and be a good homemaker.  But time and energy are limited.  The rooms are neat, but the vacuuming and the floor washing have been neglected.  I am grateful to at least accomplish one or two important matters each day.

In the midst of all the work, and worries from the world around us, I like to do a little neat decorating that brings happiness to us all. I try to do these no matter how tired I get.  Have you ever looked at the kitchen table and thought it would be nice to put out a fresh tablecloth? But that extra bit of energy takes a great deal of effort!  In most cases, I would do it anyway. It doesn't take long to make things look cheerful.  Perhaps it is only 10 minutes of effort, here and there, throughout the day, to add that extra touch of happiness in homemaking. 

Every house needs a keeper.  Someone has to do that little work to keep things clean and pleasant.  Someone has to do the shopping, plan the meals, do the laundry, make the beds, and keep things nice.  It is such an honor and a privilege to be the keeper of the house.

Whenever I have some especially difficult work to do, I find a nice old fashioned sermon to play on the kitchen radio. It is easier to work when hearing a precious message.  Today, I heard Dr. Harold Sightler preach, "What Are They Among So Many." I believe he was around 80 years old at the time of this sermon.  It is powerful and encouraging.  This helped strengthen me to do the work of making a homemade batch of pizza for the freezer.  I always keep out a few of the pizzas for the day's lunch when I make this.  I love to hear old fashioned sermons and old gospel music as I work. It brings me a sense of peace and joy.

We had a great deal of snow today.  The roads are quiet and peaceful.  There are no crowds in our rural, mountain village.  The wood pellet stove is keeping the parlour cozy.  One would not even imagine there is trouble in the world by just enjoying the happiness of home life.  This is what I hope to provide for all my family and guests - a place of refuge!

The little duties of keeping house are what keep our minds busy.  The morning work of making beds, sweeping the kitchen floor, and cleaning the breakfast dishes, can bring peace if we remember to do it all for God's glory.  We do our work for the dear Lord. We trust Him for all things.  Remembering this, as we work, creates a precious bond, in our hearts, to our Father in Heaven.   Nothing needs to be done in a hurry, for that would only cause stress and panic. Why should we worry?  It is better to schedule the chores throughout the day in order to do it calmly. We must not let the problems of the outside world affect our mood.  If mother is calm and cheerful in her work, the entire household will benefit.  

I have not been able to keep up with correspondence or blogging.  Our internet is not dependable. It has been limited for months.   But slowly I will get caught up, as time and energy allow.  I hope you are all healthy and well.  Thank you for being here.


Mrs. White

 From the Archives -

Old Time Living - A Louisa May Alcott Winter

Financial Struggles - A New England Winter on a Small Income

A Mother's Greatest Use of Time - A Humble Parlour as a School of Theology.

Find Home-keeping Inspiration, in Mrs.White's book - For The Love of Christian Homemaking.  Paperback, 274 pages.

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

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Cheering Up the Home


Mrs. White's New Coaster With a Winter Scene.

As soon as we saw the first snow, here in Vermont, I wanted to do special things to cheer up the home.   My husband set up the Christmas lights on our garage and front porches.  He set out our little 6 - foot tree, on a stand, in the center of the front grounds.  These Christmas decorations help brighten the mood and make me smile.

One afternoon,  I had to go to the pharmacy.  I wandered around the aisles of Christmas displays as I waited for the prescription to be ready.  I had just a few dollars and hoped to find something special.  I found a beautiful coaster with a charming winter scene (see the above photograph).  It was only $3.00.  This sits on a tea table in my room.  It brings me a bit of joy.

With all the worry and stress going on around us, I am focusing on the home instead of on the news. I am busy with the family and homemaking and trying to bring peace and stability to our lives, despite the fear of our times.  Right now, it is the season of Thanksgiving and Christmas.  There are many precious days ahead.  

I have been looking at photo albums and treasures from parents and grandparents. They have lived through many rough days, just as we are living through ours.  But the heritage of home, making a cheerful and restful place for the family, has always been the priority throughout the generations. 

I am planning little gift ideas for our 12 grandchildren. I am thinking about the Christmas fudge and cookies I will make to give to the families of my grown children.  I will listen to old gospel music, precious sermons, and wonderful, old fashioned Christmas music on my kitchen CD- player.


The Christmas Tree - after it was just set up for the season on our front grounds.

After my husband set up the lights and the tree, I had to go out on an errand. It was not yet nightfall when I left.  Some of my errands are stressful as shopping and banking are full of reminders of a virus we cannot see.  These are tiring days, but the work must go on.  After I finished the shopping, the sun began to set.  The Vermont landscape was so peaceful.  As I drove along, I remembered the Christmas lights at home. I had hoped my husband would have them all turned on for me to see when I returned.  Soon I was driving towards our house.  I was delighted to see the lights.  It was so cheerful and fun and happy to see something so beautiful despite what is going on in the world around us.

Every day, if we could only find some way of cheering up our surroundings, bringing laughter and joy into our home, and helping to boost morale as we trudge through this life.  It is certainly an adventure.  Despite all the trials and troubles, we can create moments of happiness.  Mother and Dad are often the ones to make the home a memorable and wonderful place to be.  We can do this no matter what is going on in the world. We can protect the home and guard our families, bringing them joy and blessings, with the help of our dear Lord.


Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Training Children - Nobody Wants to Clean a Messy House.

Frugal Wisdom - Why The High Cost of Food?

Family Life - The Secret to a Happy Home.

Find Home-keeping Inspiration, in Mrs.White's book - For The Love of Christian Homemaking.  Paperback, 274 pages.

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

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Old Time Homemaking

Part of the Grounds at Mrs. White's home in Vermont.

Last week, in the early hours of the morning, we had to drive through a nearby town.  The roads were quiet and peaceful without much traffic.  As we were enjoying the scenery, an unusual sight appeared. It was a beautiful horse and buggy coming down the road.  An Amish family were sitting comfortably in four of the seats, heading home from an early morning drive.  This is a rare vision, for us, because a few Amish families only moved here a few years ago.  I am always inspired by their quiet, old fashioned way of living.  It was like watching a living museum as we passed by them.  I wanted some of their peace, knowing they never watch the news or hear it on the radio.  They continue on each day living their daily, precious ways that many of us have lost sight of. It is a way of being in the world, but not of it.  It is great trust and faith in the Lord for all things.

This has encouraged me in my homemaking.  The last few weeks, I have been home a great deal. I am avoiding the stores as much as possible. I have plenty of time to pace myself throughout the day. I clean and cook and rest. It is a blessing to be productive at home, doing the old time work that housewives have always done throughout the generations.

 We have had to set up a garden this year.  The seeds were ordered in the beginning of April.  Our last frost, in our region, is in late May.  We have been enjoying wonderful, homegrown food.  Even though we do not have much money, I have been able to go outside, each day, and gather a modest harvest to have a simple lunch.

Fresh peas and lettuce from Mrs. White's garden.

 It is easier to live on a small income when one must rely on Yankee ingenuity to get by with limited resources. Even though we have a great deal to learn about growing our own food, and getting the energy to do the work, we have been able to enjoy fresh food from our own property.

Yankee - style garden with homemade posts at Mrs. White's Vermont home.

My husband has been gathering whatever scrap supplies he could find, from our garage, to build a humble garden this season. (His disability causes him to work much slower than he would like. He has to take many breaks.)  We are growing peas, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, strawberries, and blueberries.  We hope to add more next year.

I love to take a break from my housework to go outside and walk the grounds.  We found some wild blackberries at the perimeter of the property.  It was such a sweet treat on a hot summer day.  As we walk, we check the plants, our flowers, linger at the river behind our humble Estate, and then stop to do some necessary weeding of the garden.  We walk and work together so the burden does not rest too heavily on one person.

Sometimes, in the late afternoon, I go into one of the front rooms.  I have rearranged furniture and set up a card table in this room.  I like to listen to an old record of gospel music, sit at the table, enjoying the view, and do a little writing.  Some days I will simply sit by the french doors and do some hand-sewing.  This is an incredible room to just think on that which is lovely and feel the blessing of peace and joy, knowing the Lord will take care of us.

A Room for Writing and Sewing at Mrs. White's Vermont Home. (An old gospel record is on the table.)

I have been listening to The Isom Lee Trio.  This was a church singing group of a father and his two adult daughters.  Mr. Lee was a preacher who encouraged and inspired whoever was blessed to hear his sermons.  Many years ago, my father gave me a tape of Reverend's Lee's last sermon. It is incredible and such a blessing.  Now I have a record of their old time gospel singing. The songs and piano are something like you would hear in old southern churches.  It is from another time, a precious time, of faith and godly living that we dearly need in these modern days.

Dad had a record player here, when he and mother used to live with us.  They lived here with us for 9 years. At one point we had four generations living together in this old house.  I now keep his record player in our front room.  While I sit and hand sew cloth napkins, or do some mending, I can listen to the hymns of Tennessee Ernie Ford or the Isom Lee Trio on the old record player.

The Record Player in Mrs. White's cedar cabinet in the front room, here in Vermont.

Listening to the gospel songs, from the old days, encourages me in living the old ways. This was a time when family was the center of home life rather than materialism or the constant pursuit of entertainment.  It was a time when money was used for practical purposes and frivolity was rare.

Here at our Vermont Estate, we live simply and on my husband's income. We are a one - income family. I am a housewife and am grateful for the privilege of staying home. But there is a cost.  There is a great deal of old time work to live within one's humble means.  We must think of duty and practicality.  There is plenty of work we must do, each day, even if we struggle with our health.  We are very careful with the funds we are provided with. We have to find ways to save money for emergencies, annual bills, and repairs.  One of my children called it a "Walton's Budget," referring to "The Waltons" television program.  The family saved up to meet the needs of problems and necessities. They always expected many rainy days and had to save all they could. I love that thought of calling it a "Walton's Budget."  These modern days, people save for vacations, to buy a new boat, or to go on a shopping spree.   Many have no idea how to live on a limited income.  It is old time family homemaking. It is a way of life that brings great peace and rest in simple living with a great faith in God.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Wisdom from Colonial Days - To Earn and Not to Spend.

Good Management - The Housekeeper's Budget.

Old Time Ways - Standard of Living.

Find Home-keeping Inspiration, and little visits from our home, 
 in Mrs.White's book - For The Love of Christian Homemaking.  
Paperback, 274 pages.

An Invitation - Just click on this link to Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. (Be sure to check your email to verify your subscription request, so it will go through.)

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Time for Some Rest - A Visit to Mrs. Lincoln's Home in Vermont

The Lincoln's summer home in Vermont.

I think we need a little rest and recreation.  Perhaps we can forget about what is happening in the world, and just take a short break.  Shall we go and visit Mrs. Lincoln's Home?

We visited the city of Manchester, here in Vermont, late last summer.  We were able to tour the summer mansion of the Lincoln family. We also walked part of the grounds. It was an incredibly, restful place to see. I was also inspired as I thought about home life in 1910. This was a time before television, computers, easy transportation, and modern distractions were able to drastically change the culture and our way of living.

The property consists of nearly 400 acres and was purchased by the son of Abraham Lincoln around the year of 1904.   I was intrigued by the sense of quiet, peacefulness as we walked towards the large home.

The entryway is beautifully decorated and was clearly designed to welcome the family and their guests. It looks comforting and beautiful.

The front entrance of the Lincoln home in Vermont.

As we walk into the house, we see the main room before us. It is large and bright with sunshine. The home is supplied with stunning flowers taken directly from the grounds of the property.  There is a back door right behind the couch.  Soon we will go out there and see the flower gardens and enjoy the view.

The front room is the center of the 1st floor of the Lincoln Home.

To the right of this front room is the main parlour.  It has a piano, a fireplace, and beautiful chairs.  I noticed there is a small library of books in nearly all the rooms of this house.

Main Parlour on the 1st floor of the Lincoln Home.

I can just imagine the family enjoying an afternoon of reading by the fire, or listening to Mrs. Lincoln play the piano to entertain the family. Did you know that Mrs. Lincoln was a trained pianist?  She learned this accomplishment to amuse and brighten the days of her family and guests. It was a lovely way to pass the time and add some much needed culture to their daily lives at home.  There is another piano in her private sitting room upstairs. We will see it in just a few minutes.  I want to linger downstairs just a little longer.

The dining room is elegant and beautiful.  The room is bright and cheerful. This room is to the left of the main, front room.  You will notice a stately portrait of Mr. Lincoln above the fireplace.  He looks handsome and distinguished in his suit.  It gives the property a thoughtful sense of history and a realization that a real family lived in this beautiful home.  They dined in this lovely room.

Dining Room on the 1st floor of the Lincoln Home in Vermont.

 Just to the left of the fireplace, there is a doorway leading to the butler's pantry.  This is a small room, with the kitchen just on the other side.  The butler's pantry is the first room on the left side of the house which leads to rooms which were used by the staff.

Butler's Pantry at the Lincoln Home in Vermont.

Would you like to see the kitchen?  It is charming! It is a nice, sunny room with lots of little tables for making pies and bread, or rolling out cookie dough.   It has been set up to look like the cook had been baking and preparing delicious food for the household. It gives me a happy feeling thinking of old time kitchens and an old fashioned life.

Kitchen at the Lincoln House in Vermont.

 Across the hall, from the kitchen, is the butler's bedroom. It is as neat as a pin!  Then we see the dining room that is used by the servants.  It is so cozy in here. I would love to just sit and enjoy this quiet room while doing some knitting.  There is a dining table in the center of the room. To the right, is a charming lamp and a seating area.  There is a work basket for mending and knitting.  This is right next to a beautiful rocking chair.

Private dining room for the staff at the Lincoln Home in Vermont.

Shall we head back to the other side of the house?  There is a magnificent hallway connecting the rooms on the first floor.

Hallway connecting the rooms on the first floor at the Lincoln Home.

Next I want to show you the guest bedroom.  It is beautifully decorated. I love the cozy lamps, pretty carpet, and lovely wallpaper.  This room also has a writing desk, complete with stationary supplies, in case the guest would like to write a letter.

Guest Bedroom at the Lincoln House in Vermont.

There are more rooms on the first floor, but I think we better just glance at Mr. Lincoln's library so we do not disturb anyone in there. Then we can go upstairs to see some of the rooms used by Mrs. Lincoln.  Here is the stately Library:

The Library at the Lincoln House in Vermont.

Shall we go upstairs?  We will take a little rest in the sitting room at the top of the stairs.  This is the private parlour of Mrs. Lincoln.  There are charming, pink couches, where we can sit and have tea.  Should we do some hand- embroidery or just have some cookies?

Mrs. Lincoln's Sitting room in Vermont.

On the other side of this bright, sunny room, is a writing desk and a piano.  Perhaps someone will play for us while we have a tea break.

Piano in the sitting room at the Lincoln house in Vermont.

To the left of the sitting room is Mrs. Lincoln's bedroom.  It is connected by a door to her sitting room.  Just across the hall from this is a bedroom just for her grandchildren!  It is a dreamy room with a lovely table and chairs for checkers.

The Grandchildren's bedroom at the Lincoln House in Vermont.

 I have to show you the other side of this darling room.  There are some toys, books, a cozy fireplace, and a comfortable chair where Mrs. Lincoln can sit and read to the children.  It is such a cozy, happy room for the little ones to enjoy.  If you look closely at the mirror, you might be able to see me taking the photograph. Oops!  Pardon me!

Other side of the Grandchildren's Bedroom at the Lincoln house. (With Mrs. White in the mirror!)

We really must not take any more of the family's time. Shall we go out to the back garden?  The flowers and scenery are stunning!

Flower Gardens behind the Lincoln House in Vermont.

 It is incredible to walk around and enjoy the restful view of this property. It is so quiet here and just lovely.  Can you imagine coming out here and gathering some flowers to decorate the house?

Back view of the Lincoln house in Vermont.

We will walk to the other side of the back garden and rest on this nice bench.  Won't you join me?

Mrs. White at the Lincoln House in Vermont.

I had a nice, restful visit. I hope you did too. Thank you for coming along with me.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Making the Best of Things - Poor and Pretty Living.

A Homemade project to Delight grand-girl - Tea Napkins.

What Many of us Crave - An Ordinary Life at Home.

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

Find stories of home life, with photographs of my home, in this encouraging book. 

 Paperback, 200 pages. 

An Invitation - Just click on this link to Subscribe to The Legacy of Home  and have it delivered directly to your email. (Be sure to check your email to verify your subscription request, so it will go through.)

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Heritage of Family Bibles

Bible for Grandbaby, with lace hem tape for bookmarks, at Mrs. White's Home.

My father was often seen reading his Bible.  He would be in the recliner with a nearby lamp to brighten the text as he read.  I would also see him sitting at a desk as he studied the Scriptures.  I will always remember that about him. When we children were young, he gave each of us a Bible of our own, with our name inscribed on the cover.  It is a cherished possession that I still have all these many years later.

When my own five children were little, they were each given Bibles once they were old enough to read.   I would gather them around me, after saying, "go get your Bibles."  Each had their own and took turns reading.  We also had hymn books to sing from.  This was daily worship or family Bible time.  It was a little church in our home.

Now that I am a grandmother of eleven, I have the same opportunity to share my love of the old family Bible.  The babies see our Bibles here at home.  They want to take down a copy and settle on the couch to read.  A couple of years ago, when one of the boys started Kindergarten, he wanted to borrow my Bible.  I said it was time for me to order one for him to keep for his own.  A few weeks later, when it arrived in the mail, he was so happy and thankful.  It is a traditional black Bible. He reads it each day and loves it.

Last year, one of the grand - girls entered Kindergarten.  Some weeks ago, she asked me something like, "Do you remember when you gave a Bible to my brother?"   I knew she wanted her own copy.  I love these precious opportunities to share something that I cherish. I like to wait until they show an interest. I want to know they are ready.  I quickly ordered a pink one this time.  It is a "gift and award" KJV Bible from Hendrickson publishers. (They cost about $5 each.)

I handed this very special book to my little grand-girl.  She is a new reader and will take her time with the words inside.  I showed her the index and how to find the page where the Psalms could be found.  We turned the pages to Psalm 117.   I told her it was a special chapter that her Mother used to read to me all the time.  Then I wanted to save the page for her, but the Bible does not have a ribbon book marker.

Grand-girl and I took a quick look inside my sewing box. We found a little package of white lace hem material.  We cut out a couple of pieces. I told her, "These will be your book marks.  You can keep one on the page for Psalm 117.  The other book mark is for any special page you want."  She was so happy and proud of her new treasure.

The other day, the Mother of these dear children told me that they sit and read their Bibles together.  These are the same, sweet grandbabies that have gone to church with me a few times when they were younger.  I would give them tiny baby Bibles of blue and pink. One for each child to hold as we sat in the pew of church.  I remember them being so sweet and respectful. They were so well behaved at having the privilege of getting all dressed up and going to church with grandmother.

There is a beautiful Christian heritage of owning Bibles in the home.  This legacy of reading and cherishing the Word of God is such a blessing to the family.  It is something little ones should remember about Mother and Dad.  They should remember this about Grandmother and Grandfather. The love of the Bible ought to be passed on throughout the generations.  This can be done by example and by just catching that sweet spirit of seeing such joy and peace in reading the old family Bible.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Always Remember this - The House Comes First.

Wisdom from Colonial Days - To Earn and Not to Spend.

A Blessing in Hard Times - Peaceful Homemaking

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

Find stories of home life, with photographs of my home, in this encouraging book. 

 Paperback, 200 pages. 

An Invitation - Just click on this link to Subscribe to The Legacy of Home  and have it delivered directly to your email. (Be sure to check your email to verify your subscription request, so it will go through.)