Friday, April 14, 2017

Spring Work at the Estate

Spring 2017 in Rural Vermont: This picture was taken down the road from our Estate.

We have been walking the property seeing all the work that needs to be done.  Some of us did part of the raking.  The grounds had been so neglected last season that we still have our 2 acres covered in leaves from last fall.  It is heavy work getting it cleaned up.  I worked for about 15 minutes before I had to stop. I simply do not have the muscle for it!  But I will keep trying on each sunny day!

Some of our grown children have been working to help with the yard work.  We also have plans to plant more wildflowers since they take little effort and not much care.

I hope to get out to the back grounds and clean up my little strawberry garden sometime this afternoon. I will wear my gardening gloves and take the rake with me to gently remove old leaves and such.

The grass here is not quite green.  It is only starting to wake up from the winter. We often have frost on the ground into May, but we may have plenty of green at the same time.

John (19) and I were driving down our country road and saw some little ducks swimming in a flooded bit of land.  They looked so peaceful with a beautiful view of the mountains in the background.  John got a picture of the scene for me to share here with you.  Sometimes I forget how pretty the land is here and how grateful we are to live here.

Mister and I walked a bit around the house and noticed many repairs that must happen this summer. We have neglected them for so long, it has almost become a crisis.   There is some rotting wood around lower window frames and our peeling paint that has been ignored more than 10 years must be addressed. There is very little money to pay for such things and since Mister is disabled, and I know nothing about such things, we will have to find some way to get this work done. 

This large old house is very shabby and neglected these past couple of years.  But it is a dearly loved, humble dwelling place that I love.

I have not heard any birds chirping outside yet this season.  Once I do hear them, I will be so happy, knowing spring is really here!

Have a wonderful Easter!

Blessings
Mrs. White

From the Archives -

The Reason our Home is being Neglected - The Shabby Garden.

Joy Despite Hard Times - Poor and Pretty Living.

Home Economics - Basic Cookery.






Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."





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Friday, April 7, 2017

All Dressed Up to Keep House

Library of Congress:  May 1942, California Housewife

One of the nicest things we can do to make home a happy place is to get dressed up.  It was common for housewives to put on a pretty "house" dress and a nice apron each morning.   The work of vacuuming, polishing furniture, and straightening drapes is much more fun to do when one looks pretty and has a pleasant attitude.

I have a lilac - scented candle that sets a nice mood during the day for when I am cleaning or cooking.  Somehow, those little extra efforts of making the house look nice, and making oneself look extra pretty, brings a cheerfulness to the home.

Right now it is considered "mud season" here in rural Vermont.  The outdoors are not very pretty and that can get us down.  It is so important to take some time to make the indoors look inviting and cared - about.  If we take the time to brighten our appearance and the appearance of our homes, it will help prevent those depressing feelings we can get when there isn't enough fresh air and sunshine.

Blessings
Mrs. White


From the Archives -

Oh, how wonderful this would be! - A Mass Exodus of Women Coming Home.

Hard Times - Living in Reduced Circumstances.

Remembering the days before he became disabled - Happy Days with Mister.




Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."





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Friday, March 24, 2017

Doing Less

Winter Scene, Dalarne


There is a gentle snow falling here in rural Vermont. It looks so peaceful and pretty as I look out the window.  Even though the calendar claims the season as spring, it is still winter here in the mountains of New England.

This is a good time to rest. It is a good time to make resolutions for the coming year.  Perhaps planning out little gardens to plant when the last of the frost is gone?  Maybe think about all the things we would like to do this summer?  It can be a happy time of bundling up and sitting near a cozy fire dreaming of spring flowers and sunshine.

I am doing less these days.  I remember when all my children were young. They helped me so much with the chores and housekeeping.  They did much of the cooking with me and the planning to keep budgets under control.  While they learned valuable life skills and work ethics, I had happy comrades to help me in my work. 

Now that the helpers are all grown up, I am not able to do all the chores and duties. So I've had to make changes - find ways of doing less of other things so I could rest more.   Of course, there is less work in a smaller household, but there can still be an urgency (in this culture) to multitask and be so busy with projects, making money, and running around that we can become stressed and burdened.   Sometimes, we do not even notice this is happening to us until we are forced to stop. Perhaps by a snowstorm or a car that will not work.  Sometimes it is by a sickness that forces us to rest.  Once we accept these detours (of sorts), and yield to them, we find a benefit of peace and a rest for our minds.

Doing less is definitely the opposite of the race this culture is running.  But it gives us time to read the Bible more and to pray more without rushing.  It gives us an aura of gentleness and spreads a light of cheerfulness to those around us.

Doing less can mean many things. To me it means I do not want to be swept up with the distractions and glitter of this life that tend to lure me away from a quiet, simple life of a happy, godly home.

Blessings
Mrs. White

From the Archives -

I want to be - The Mother Who Isn't Busy.

Good propaganda - Kitchen Sermons.

A happy day of -  Gracious Homemaking.








Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."





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Sunday, March 12, 2017

A Confinement





Mrs. White's Parlour in Vermont

This has been a cozy winter, here in New England.  Last month brought us many snowstorms which kept us indoors much of the time.  We are in the midst of a below zero cold spell right now. It is a time to rest and keep busy indoors.

A gentle sickness has brought a confinement.  I am weary and struggling, but know it should only last a week or so.  I have been resting on the parlour couch reading a Grace Livingston Hill book, but taking many breaks to give in to much needed slumber. 

Sweet visitors come throughout the day-  One of my daughters and her brood of sweet children.  Their mother comes for coffee, knowing Papa keeps a fresh pot regularly brewing.  I also love their visits, even if I am sound asleep and they wake me up.  It is cheerful to have such special visitors.

It feels like I am in a home hospital, getting plenty of rest, combined with precious family who are as quiet as can be part of the time, yet mostly lovely and loud as is their sweet nature.

I wanted to check in for a quick visit with all of you. I may be gone for awhile, perhaps a few weeks. But will return as soon as I am able.

Blessings
Mrs.White


From the Archives -

An Encouraging look at - "Poverty in the 1800's" about the Mother of D.L. Moody.

For the love of precious grandchildren - "I Hear Angels Crying."

Sweet Faith for Mothers - "All of God's Children Have Shoes."




Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."





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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A Winter Break

Homemade Muffins in the Parlour at Mrs. White's Vermont Estate


Here in the mountains of rural New England, it is quiet and peaceful.  Each day, this past week, there has been a steady amount of snow throughout the days and nights. It is not a blizzard, but a pretty, gentle accumulation of glistening, white to brighten the landscape.  It is lovely to see.

The boys have been shoveling out the cars and keeping the parking area, and walkways, in good order.  They are often doing this just before the sun sets as they wait for dinner to be served in the evenings. 

It is better to stay off the roads during these snowy days.  Errands and appointments are rare, or cancelled, as we wait for warmer weather. 


This afternoon's view from the front porch at Mrs. White's home.



I have been catching up on some organizing and heavy cleaning.  I have also been doing a lot of reading.  It is warm and cozy indoors with our wood pellet stove. 

Often, in the early afternoon, I welcome grandbabies to the table. I serve lunch or some homemade treat.  It is lovely to have company, especially when it is family!

Our pantry and refrigerator are full of the basics for cooking and baking.  I have no need to go to the market, for which I am grateful.   The other morning, my daughter wanted to bake a cake.  She didn't have a mix, so I got out my cookbook and showed her some easy recipes using what we had on hand.  You can make just about anything, on a whim, if you keep a steady supply of basic groceries, such as cocoa, powdered sugar, flour, and shortening.  All we have to do, is put on an apron and get to work.

In Pioneer days, settlers did well in the cold season if they stocked up on coal or wood, for their heat, to last through the winter.  They also stored the summer's harvest in a cellar, or on pantry shelves, since they knew it would not be easy to get supplies during the coldest months of the year.  How nice it would be if we were able to plan our lives around yearly expenses, rather than weekly ones.

This does not mean we can afford luxuries (like hot chocolate, steak, or "name brand cookies").  Just simple basic ingredients so we can make things from scratch. These might include flour and such for muffins, pancakes, and quick breads.   We can even make our own pizzas if we have cans of plain tomato sauce and some inexpensive hand-grated cheese.  Getting good prices on meat, here and there, so we can stock the freezer over time will also help keep us safe and cozy at home during the difficult weeks and months of winter.  Even if we could put up enough food to last a few weeks, it would be ideal in these modern days.

This is such a lovely time to stay home, putter around the house, do projects and enjoy the hearth and family. There is no rush or worry to go anywhere.  As many appointments and errands as possible are put off until spring.  This is the quiet time of year where we can just rest and take a winter break.


Blessings,
Mrs.White

From the Archives -

Good advice from Colonial Days - To Earn and Not to Spend.

The Way it is for Many - Retirement Planning for the Poor.

How Nice it is to Be - Just a Housewife.



Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."





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