Thursday, August 11, 2022

Adapting to The High Cost of Living

Library of Congress: World War I Poster, 1918. 


The cost of living has increased a great deal this year.  I have noticed it, over the last few months, whenever I am in the supermarket or at the gas station.  This can have a negative effect on families if they do not have creative ideas on how to adjust.  

The number one goal for our finances is to avoid debt as much as possible. If we are free from debt, we can adapt to the changing economy much easier than if we were burdened with loans and monthly payments. Debt hinders our freedom and stifles our ability to function financially.

I want to share some practical ideas and, hopefully, bring encouragement on getting through these difficult days.

Throughout our history, here in the United States, we have had our ups and downs with the economy. We have been through wars, shortages, droughts, natural disasters, epidemics, and The Great Depression.  We have had to adjust to these hardships, learning to take care of ourselves, our families, and our neighbors.  

In the illustration above, there is a poster put out by our government to boost morale and help encourage families to manage with what food was most readily available. The poster is from 1918, during World War I.  The image shows a woman serving pancakes, muffins, and grits. The canisters on the table show that these items should be kept in the pantry and used to provide nourishing, affordable food for the family. This type of education was very helpful as people needed to find ways to economize and make the best of what was available.

During World War II, around 1942, the United States issued war ration books.  These were intended to help each citizen buy a proper portion of necessary food while supplies were low. Our family still has three of these books. One belonged to my mother. The other two belonged to my grandparents.  The date listed on them is 1943. The printing on the back encourages citizens with these words:

"Be guided by the rule: If you don't need it, Don't Buy it."

These days, as I am in the supermarket, noticing high prices, I have to make some quick decisions. I am buying things that I do not normally choose. I am also avoiding things we normally enjoy.   For example, we used to buy 3 or 4 dozen eggs each time we shopped.  The price is much too high now.  We are only buying one dozen at a time.  I am baking less, and we are not eating eggs as often as normal.  I will walk by the eggs, or the dairy section, and notice prices I do not like, and I keep looking to find something we can afford. 

At this time, we have some garden produce that is supplementing our grocery spending.  We have fresh sweet peas, lettuce, and cucumbers.  We also have a good amount of fresh blueberries that we are enjoying. I do not can or preserve food, since I don't have the energy; but I enjoy what is seasonally offered from our property. This is one way we are managing to avoid overspending at the supermarket.

The gas prices have come down a little recently, but they seemed to be out of control for a time.  It is still very high, but we have learned to adjust. My budget for gas was $140 each month. I had to reduce this to $100 in order to pay other expenses which had increased.  At first, this was so painful since I could not go out as often as I wanted. I was not able to visit family as much as normal.  We had to reduce our trips to the store, which is difficult especially when we run low on fresh produce that we like to have.  But we are getting by. We are getting through this.

Each day we say our prayers. We ask the Lord to give us our daily bread. We have to trust that He will provide.  Instead of worrying, or panicking, we are practicing contentment. We are finding happiness in other ways. We will not allow ourselves to focus on the worries or uncertainties of the high cost of living.  We will trust our Heavenly Father to provide. We will do the work of being careful, of making changes, of going without.  It is just like the many storms which come through our lives. It will pass. Things will get better. They always do. The Lord blesses us and gives us peace. We keep our focus on Him, just like dear children who trust their Father to protect and care for them. 

We are grateful for the beautiful sunshine, the gentle rain, the delight of snowfall, and the lovely colors of autumn. In all seasons, what we see around us, and through the trials of our lives, we trust that God will provide. He always does.

Blessings

Mrs. White

From the Archives

Always remember - The House Comes First

Encouragement - How the Old Time Mothers Survived Poverty.

The joy of taking care of grandchildren - I Hear Angels Crying.

 

 

 - To find out more about this blog, or Mrs. White, please visit our About page. -

 


 

For old time encouragement in living simply on a limited income, order Mrs. White's book:

"An Old Fashioned Budget: Humble Financial Management for the Christian Housewife"

This slim, 77 page, paperback book is available for sale through Amazon.

 




Sunday, August 7, 2022

The Little Preacher


(Note - I will get back to regular posting very soon.  I am in the middle of finishing up a couple of projects.  After today's post, I am hoping to announce one more book, and then I will go back to regular blogging. Thank you for your patience!) 

                   The Legacy of Home Press presents:  "The Little Preacher"

"The Little Preacher" was written in the 1800's by Mrs. Elizabeth Prentiss.  It is a beautiful story of life for a family on a farm in Germany.  They are incredibly industrious!  (I have not read of such industry at home other than in "Farmer Boy" by Laura Ingalls Wilder!)

I have read this book several times, over many years.  It is about young Herman who grows up to be a clergyman.  There are hardships and trials but also blessings and Christian growth.  There is a loving, praying Grandmother who is a gentle and quiet, godly influence. 

 

Some years ago, I shared a quote from this book. It is on the left sidebar of this blog.

 It is as follows:

 "As to her, like most women, she had but one ambition. To be a good wife and a good mother, and to be beloved by her husband and children, was all she asked. [She was] a busy, affectionate, cheerful little housewife, whose voice would never be heard in the streets, but whose memory would always live in a few faithful hearts." 

 - from "The Little Preacher"

 

I transcribed this book from the 1874 edition, with a touch of gentle editing.  The book includes three original illustrations. The cover is a picture I took a few years ago. Early one morning, here in Vermont, I was driving by a farm.  The landscape and skyline were stunning.  I stopped and got a picture.  I didn't know it would end up being the perfect image for the cover of this book!

 This new edition of "The Little Preacher" was just published by The Legacy of Home Press.




  The book covers, in this series, are intended to show some of the scenery of Vermont. The Prentiss family built a  house in Dorset, Vermont in 1869.  This was where Mrs. Prentiss spent her last 10 summers.


                                                                        ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This book is the fourth in a series of books we are reprinting by Mrs. Elizabeth Prentiss.  Below you will find a link to both the paperback and hardcover editions of "The Little Preacher." 

 


 

"The Little Preacher" - The paperback edition.

ISBN:  978-1956616101

109 pages.

6 x 9




 

 
"The Little Preacher" - 
The hardcover edition.

ISBN:  978-1-956616-09-5

109 pages.

6 x 9 



If you are able to get a copy of this book and like it, it would be a great help to me if you will write a review on Amazon. Thank you!


Our first book in this series - "Stepping Heavenward."

Our second book in this series - "Aunt Jane's Hero.

Our third book in this series - "The Flower of the Family."

 

 I hope you enjoy these stories as much as I do!

 

Blessings

Mrs. White

 

From the Archives

Thrifty Wisdom from the Old Days - To Earn and Not to Spend.

Encouragement - Pacing Oneself to Keep House

Some ideas for Staying Cool - Summer Heat in Rural Vermont


- To find out more about this blog, or Mrs. White, please visit our About page. -

 

 



 

Sunday, July 24, 2022

The Flower of the Family

 

"The Flower of the Family" was originally published in 1854.  Lucy is one of ten children living on a farm, under the strain of debt and limited means.  The story follows her as she is devoted to her home and family. Her Christian character develops beautifully amid domestic cares and duties. After a brief illness, she goes to live with wealthy relatives in order to restore her health.  She is much appreciated and needed by those in her home circle. The Flower of the family is a description of a precious person who is greatly loved.  This describes Lucy perfectly.  There are many lessons gleaned from the pages of this book.  There are both sad and happy times, much like in all of our lives. Whether Lucy is living in poverty or surrounded by the luxuries of wealth, she has learned to be peaceful and content, with great faith in God.  I have read this story several times and find it wonderfully inspiring.

 

   Today, we present to you a new edition from The Legacy of Home Press. 

 I spent a great deal of time transcribing the 1883 edition (with a touch of gentle editing) to produce a beautiful new edition of "The Flower of the Family." 

This book was written by Mrs. Elizabeth Prentiss (1818 - 1878). She was the daughter of a New England clergyman, and the wife of a minister. She was the mother of six children and the author of several inspiring stories, including "Aunt Jane's Hero," and "Stepping Heavenward." Her writings continue to encourage and bless readers all over the world."

                           

 


 

 

 - Special features of the current edition, published by The Legacy of Home press, include:

 

   1.) George Prentiss (the author's husband) wrote the introduction to the book in 1883. 

   2.) Includes a Review of the book, written in 1877 by a New York publisher.


   3.) The cover photo was taken just as autumn was unfolding in Vermont by Mrs. White. It is one of the beautiful lakes near her home. 

 The book covers, in this series, are intended to show some of the scenery of Vermont. The Prentiss family built a  house in Dorset, Vermont in 1869.  This was where Mrs. Prentiss spent her last 10 summers.


                                                                      ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This book is the third in a series of books we are reprinting by Mrs. Elizabeth Prentiss.  Below you will find a link to both the paperback and hardcover editions of "The Flower of the Family." 



"The Flower of the Family" - The paperback edition.

ISBN:  978-1-956616-08-8

231 pages.

6 x 9

 

 

 


 
"The Flower of the Family" - 
The hardcover edition.

ISBN:  978-1-956616-09-5

231 pages.

6 x 9 




If you are able to get a copy of this book and like it, it would be a great help to me if you will write a review on Amazon. Thank you!


Our first book in this series - "Stepping Heavenward."

Our second book in this series - "Aunt Jane's Hero."

 

I hope you enjoy these books! 


Blessings

Mrs. White

 

 From the Archives -  

A Peaceful Heart - The Quiet Kindness of a Titus 2 Mother.  

 Testimony of the Mother of D.L. Moody - Poverty in the 1800's.

Some ideas to help - A Home Without Clutter.


- To find out more about this blog, or Mrs. White, please visit our About page. -

 

 

 

 



Thursday, June 30, 2022

Classic and Frugal Wedding Anniversary

The Parlour Table at Mrs. White's Vermont Home.

 

I am doing a few preparations for a quiet and simple wedding anniversary.  Our wedding was at 6 p.m. on a summer evening in July, 34 years ago.  I love that it happened around the same time as the 4th of July because the holiday atmosphere makes it extra special.  

We live on a limited, fixed income.  Our anniversary will reflect the quiet elegance of frugal contentment.  We are happy with every little blessing and the simple way in which we live. 

 We find joy in a neat and tidy home, with little touches of beauty.  There are mottoes of Scripture verses and other such sayings that guide our lives.  There are paintings of flowers and pretty lamps about the rooms.  These have been gathered up over many years, some handed down to us from relatives. Our surroundings reflect our family heritage. They bring a peace and serenity as we thank the Lord for each day.

To make the day of our anniversary stand out, to show that it is a little different than ordinary days, to remind us to reflect and to remember, I set the parlour table in a special way. (See the above photograph, taken a few years ago.)  I use a white tablecloth to remind us of weddings.  There is a pretty, lit candle,  some lovely flowers and our photo albums.  We have a small wedding album and then a binder full of pictures to remember the many years of our family's history.  As we go about the day, we will stop and sit at the pretty table, to smile and to look at the pictures. We are grateful for this occasion!

I will bake a cake and make some homemade frosting.  This will be served with tea or coffee, sometime in the afternoon.  We do not always expect visitors, but if any do appear, they enjoy the pretty table and looking at the pictures.  We happily offer some cake and the joy of a precious life - full of labor, long-suffering, forgiveness, peace, and the blessing of a life dedicated to God.

We are grateful.

Blessings

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

God's precious care of our lives - All of God's Children Have Shoes.

Old Time Thrift - Retirement Planning for the Poor.

Serenity in the Midst of Sadness - The Shabby Garden.

 

 

 - To find out more about this blog, or Mrs. White, please visit our About page. -

 


 

For old time encouragement in living simply on a limited income, order Mrs. White's book:

"An Old Fashioned Budget: Humble Financial Management for the Christian Housewife"

This slim, 77 page, paperback book is available for sale through Amazon.



 

 

 


Thursday, June 23, 2022

Quiet Duties of Home

"The Garland" by Frederick Morgan.
 


 I have been doing a great many things here at the Estate.  We are having cool summer days and enjoying our little village in our mountains of New England.  The work of keeping house, of being a wife, mother, and grandmother, are works of labor and of dedication and love.

We have been saving money by avoiding the use of paper plates and paper napkins.  I like to have those items on hand in case of sickness or emergency, but generally we do not want to use them.  This, of course, makes more work for me in the kitchen. Yet, it helps to make life pretty when I set the table with my nice dishes.   

Throughout the day, I take breaks from my projects and clean the kitchen.  I polish the silverware with a kitchen towel and put them away.  All the cups, plates, and bowls are washed and returned to their rightful place in the cabinet.  As I work, I hear the rushing sound of the river from our back property. I hear the sweet chirping of birds and the gentle rustling of the leaves in the wind.  It is peaceful work.

I have been sorting through my home library and finding as many children's books as I can.  These have been added to a small bookcase in our guest room.  Whenever the grandchildren come for a visit, they are delighted to look through the books and settle on the couch to read.  They have been enjoying a comic book of "Family Circus," several little biographies, assorted picture books with beautiful illustrations, and the usual assortment of "Little Critter" and "The Berenstein Bears."   I am always delighted when I can add some new reading treasure to the bookcase.  This makes the children happy!

One day, I found some old math workbooks from when my children were homeschooled.  These had never been used.  They were level books focusing on specific math skills such as subtraction or addition. I put these in with the other books for the grandchildren.   Several days went by before they even noticed them in the little bookcase.  They came out of the room, excitedly holding the books, and wondering if they could use them.  "Of course," I told them, as I sat nearby on the couch.  I had only three rules.  They could do any page they liked, but they must write the date, their name, and they must complete an entire page.  They took pencils and their books and rushed to a cozy spot in the downstairs livingroom.  While some of the younger children played, the older ones had a wonderful time occupied with math books, just for fun!

We have had company several days each week.  This includes my grown children and grandchildren.  Their visits are such a blessing and a joy to our days.  I try to make sure we have homemade muffins or some fruit to serve. 

On quiet days, when it is just "us" here at home, I take little walks on the property to check on my flowers, to visit the tiny vegetable garden, and to see our strawberry and blueberry patches by the back river.  These walks are very tiring, but the fresh air and sunshine are beneficial.  Soon I am back indoors to tidy rooms and make our home look pleasant and inviting.

I do some office work of handling bills, writing in my money diary, and making notes in my calendar planner.  Then I do a little laundry before sitting down to read with a bit of tea.  I love the gentle duties of home life, making a nest where we can rest and have peace in our hearts. It is a quiet work of service, dedicated with love. 

Blessings

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

A Restful Place- The Cultured Society of Home

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

Wonderful Days of Childhood - Summer Days with Small Children.

 

 - To find out more about this blog, or Mrs. White, please visit our About page. -

 


 

For old time encouragement in living simply on a limited income, order Mrs. White's book:

"An Old Fashioned Budget: Humble Financial Management for the Christian Housewife"

This slim, 77 page, paperback book is available for sale through Amazon.