Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The Homemaking List

Library of Congress: A Writing Desk in Bedroom, 1920, Detroit Publishing

Sometimes, as I am working around the house, I like to sit at a pretty desk, or table, and write a list.  It is a homemaking list. This will contain things I want to do, such as:

Bake Brownies
Tidy up the Guest Room
Write a letter
Go to the post office
Make Lasagna

It takes me several days to accomplish it all.  My recent homemaking list took me 5 days to complete.  Often, I will add a few more items as I think of them. These might be fun things like:

Work on grandbaby's apron
Clear off my desk
Set a pretty table with the tablecloth and flowers
Get a package ready for the post office
Have afternoon tea with cookies

I just add things as I go along.  These are not regular chores. These are just little things I like to do in my homemaking.

I once read about Jackie Kennedy's time in The White House. When she arrived, she was the mother of a little girl, and a brand new baby.  She was dedicated to her husband and children, and she also had projects she enjoyed doing.  She loved antiques and set about bringing in historical pieces as she redecorated The White House.  (Each new First Lady is given a budget for redecorating.)  She was also busy with social events.  One day the social secretary told her she had to do a certain task. It was something Mrs. Kennedy did not like.  She was gracious in her response. Then, in her quiet and sweet demeanor, she approached the head usher in charge of the House. She confided to him in her gentle voice, "I don't have to do anything."  That was all she had to say. Her happiness in that home was paramount. 

I keep thinking about that because, for some reason, it makes me happy.  We all work very hard at home.  We do a great deal of work in cleaning, cooking, baking, and taking care of our families.  We don't have to make homemade pizza, or coffee cake from scratch.  We don't have to bake cookies, brownies, or cake.  We don't have to serve dinner at a nicely set table. The store offers many pre-made treats that can be easily obtained.  There are paper plates and frozen dinners for those who want them.  Yet the way in which we run our homes can bring a great deal of happiness and comfort to the family.  Many of us do all the work because we genuinely want to.

I was just sitting here writing while the stove bakes the brownies, and the washing machine cleans the laundry and thinking what a blessing it is to be at home.  In the middle of trials, labor, dishes, messes, and trying to keep everyone healthy and happy, we sometimes get overwhelmed and forget the quiet effort of keeping ourselves cheerful.  We should take the time to watch the sunset out the kitchen window as we wash dishes.  We could take a break to sit out on the porch and just enjoy the quiet afternoon air.  Taking a few minutes to read a pleasant book can bring a great deal of peace and refreshment to a weary soul. These things can all be written on a list. We write them out to help us remember to take care of ourselves as well as taking care of the family. 

The homemaking list is a just bunch of thoughts we want to do to keep up our spirits.  Does it make you happy to eat freshly baked brownies? I certainly enjoy them, especially if they are made from a Ghirardelli double chocolate brownie mix! Making a batch of these will be on my list as often as possible.  I also love to have Canada Dry Ginger-ale or hot chocolate. These things are luxuries to me and I write them down to remind me of lovely things that bring me joy.  Writing out little notes of happy things we want to do can be a pleasant part of homemaking.


From the Archives -

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

Old Time Colonial Advice - To Earn and Not to Spend.

Always Remember - The House Comes First.

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. 


tammy said...

Nice blog ! The lists are good to know. thank you and GOd bless yo u

Kay said...

Hello Mrs. White
I also must have my lists or I just cannot stay focused and organized...even with the lists sometimes I get off track. Your blog is such a pleasant read and calms my nerves just to read it and imagine you there on your beautiful estate. I love my home too and would love to be able to stay here more than I do. I try to be available to help with our ten precious grandchildren and must be away some, but my desire is to be at home cleaning and puttering(my word) around just enjoying my work. I hope you & your family have a very Merry Christmas...God bless!
Kay Walker

Anna said...

Thank you for your lovely blog. I found it very recently through a link included by Karen at Moments with Mother Culture. This is my first comment.

I do something like this list in various forms. Recently, we have been out of town, and while away, I made a reflective list on ways to improve our extremely small home using the five senses for headings. Under each sense, I listed ways that came to mind to improve the experience of the house for all of us. Some were tasks toward which I want to be more accountable, some involved items to buy, and some included activities to be sure to do in the spaces. The list helped me tune in to the experience each of us have in the house at given points in the day. Making this list was a great pleasure to me and implementing the ideas in the list will be, too, I'm sure of it.

Deanna said...

Dear Mrs. White, Lovely post you have shared. I am a list maker. This helps me stay on track of the To Do list. Much on my list this week. God bless and may you have a blessed Christmas!
d on the Prairie

Candysfarmhousepantry said...

I do the something but only in my difference journals. Nothing like being at home. Found you on Simple Homestead Blog Hop.

Regina said...

I too make lists with my daily planner. I don't always stick to my list because something always come up but that's okay. I think Jackie Kennedy must have been an awesome first lady. I love freshly baked treats too but like you said we don't have to make every treat from scratch because honestly it can get a little stressful.

Debby in Kansas said...

Good Morning, Mrs. White!
I am also a list maker. I think it started when I was about 8 yrs. old, if you can imagine. I was going away to camp my first time & our leader gave us each a list of what we needed to bring. I remember reading the list and telling my mom which of each thing I wanted to bring, specifically. And on the master list of "pants", for instance, I wrote down which pairs of jeans. And thus began my life of lists! Now, I keep them for everything. I've got daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, etc. Lists for each store, for each event, etc. In fact, this morning I'm starting on my Christmas list for 2019 so I'm ready to start looking for gifts during this year's clearance!

I love the list the writer above wrote about home and the senses. That's very special and really makes sense for the ultimately cozy home.

Tammy said...

Dear Mrs. White,
Thank-you for taking time to write this post (and all your other ones). They are very encouraging. I like the idea of putting enjoyment things on the list. Mostly my list has the many things I need to get "done". I sometimes find that I'm hurrying through them instead of enjoying myself.
Merry Christmas!

Debbie Harris said...

Hello Mrs. White ~
Your postings since I have found you have been a real delight and inspirational encouragement to my heart, thank you!
I look forward to what the New Year shall bring through the writings of some of you dear ladies.

This posting was a beautiful way in which to encourage others in their homemaking lives.
There is great joy in the home, and being organized as we go about our days and lives makes life just that much sweeter.
I too am a list maker, though I liked your way of adding things on the list in order to take care of ourselves as well as our family members.
"Writing out little notes of happy things we want to do can be a pleasant part of homemaking." Very well said. :} I must implement that into my list making.

Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones ~

Hilogene Oltman said...

Ah what a lovely post today. Thank you for writing it. I found myself smiling as I read it.
Happy holidays and best wishes for a wonderful new year!

Heavenly Home said...

Thank you for describing your homemaking list. I make lists like this too sometimes, though not as often as I should. It helps to write down the tasks that we need to do.

Billie Jo said...

Your writings always touch my heart.
I find myself inspired every time I visit.
And that is the exact brownie mix we use!
So good!
Have a cozy, blessed Christmas, my friend.
If I may call you that. : )

Linda S said...

I enjoyed your post very much. It has me sitting here thinking about my must-do list and my want-to list and how to balance the two. Thank you for the encouragement and thank you for sharing with us this week at our Encouraging Hearts & Home Blog Hop.
Merry Christmas!

Vicci said...

You're making a list, and checking it twice! :)
Merry Christmas to one of the best writers out there. And, thank you for sharing your gifts to the world.


Deborah Montgomery said...

What a lovely post, as always. I've always been a list maker. It leaves room in my head for other things, than remembering what I need to do! xo

Feminine Belle said...

In a fast whirlwind like pace of the world, it is important to take time out for self. It was said of the Hoppi Indians,"When things speed up, you slow down."

In list making:
Mrs. White, you give me pause in speaking about making lists. You have given me new insight that I should write down items in which I enjoy that should be included in or around my day.

Our day should not only include work, but pleasure. It is a pleasure to be home, and a joy to serve our families in which God blesses. Keeping this in mind, we bring pleasure in the form of a mini gift of thoughtfulness to ourselves.