Saturday, March 28, 2015

Beulah Land



Good Day, Dear Ladies, 

I hope this page will make you feel joyful and content at the same time. Being home may mean you are alone a great deal of the time, but it does not mean you have to be isolated or lonely.  Some of the weblogs on my sidebar have very encouraging daily posts, and most weblogs invite interaction through comments, so I would urge you to contact people and make friends. I know many people the world around, as do some of you, and have even had visits in my home from them.  The web is an opportunity for Christian homemakers to fellowship and build one another up.

Today I was thinking about this song, "Beulah Land."  It has several different tunes, and this one, (click on the video below to hear it) is interesting to me.



                           

As I read more of the Bible I find things I had not thought too much about when I read about it in the past. Today I saw the words, "Beulah Land," and wondered what it meant and where it came from.  It is seen in this verse 

"Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate; but thou shalt be called Hephzibah and thy land Beulah; for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married." Isaiah 62:4

The verse alludes to the people of God turning back from a life of emptiness to worship God.  Beulah means love or marriage.  When we turn from the desert of sorrow and sin to the light of God's word and begin to follow the commands of Christ, we enter Beulah land, the sweet "land" of true life.

So, I hope you will click on the song and enjoy it. It is not the traditional tune of the hymn you are probably familiar with, but I like it because it comes across with sweet sincerity.  "There my hopes on thee I stand," it says.

 This song also speaks of Heaven as Beulah land. "I am kind of homesick for a country, to which I have never been before,...where my home shall be eternal."  Songs like this confirm our faith and give us a reason to do our very best and beyond that.


Tea Party by George Sheridan Knowles

I am honored that you have come by here, perhaps for your tea-break, and I hope you are using a fine cup and saucer and having a pretty treat. Today I am going to do a few things at the church meeting house in preparation for the Lord's Day tomorrow, and I have of course, some sewing to work on, a house to clean and a bit of writing to do. I am working on tracts and bulletins for Christian women, and I hope to offer them as free printables some day. 

Coming up on this weblog also I have been collecting pictures and doing some sketches of garments in relation to God's creation---a way a lady at home can have something nice to wear that is like nature in its color and pattern. I hope I can settle down and finish that soon. ;-)

John William Waterhouse "The Soul of the Rose"

I have often been reluctant to buy fresh flowers because it seems a waste of money, however, if it is included in grocery perishibles, which of course never last more than a day or two around here anyway, I am considering including flowers  aspart of the groceries, along with perishible purchases. Sometimes there are bouquets at the grocery stores under the cost of five dollars, and what a blessing to have some flowers at the table or in the living room to delight visitors or your own family.There are other advantages to purchased flowers. So today I hope if you are having a day where you need something extra, go get yourself a single rose or a bouquet of carnations or some other thing. If you want these store bouquets to last longer, keep them in the fridge until you want to use them, or put them there at night if the weather is hot.  


Dollar stores also have excellent imitations. Florals give bright, fresh color spots for you throughout the home.  It is always enjoyable to see them as I walk through the house putting things away or sweeping or some other kind of housekeeping.




                                  
                                          Dollar store florals are quite nice, too. Even the crystal ribbon wrapped               around the vase is from the dollar store and comes in several colors. There is enough in the package to use on several different things.
                                    

                               
                                                    Perfect for gifts, too.

                               

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Salve For Your Circumstances





Salves and ointments are mentioned in the Bible in both a physical way and a spiritual way. The Word of God contains answers to many problems that have been a concern to people since the beginning of time.  No matter how many new studies and therapies and modern methods people claim will "work", the answer to the bad mood is in the scriptures.  Let us see how to apply it.

Have you wondered why just a generation ago there were so many people who did not feel the need to vent their anxiety or their anger or have a "meltdown"? They were raised on the principles of self-control and long suffering, which they applied to problems in their lives.  They were willing to bear the stress rather than express it because they knew a temper fit would harm others as well as themselves. Self control was applied to discontent and frustration. 

In a capsule: Apply Christian virtues to your circumstances, rather than applying anger and vengefulness. Do not use circumstances as an excuse to blame, verbally attack, falsely accuse, or lie. When you are in less than desireable circumstances, when your plans have not worked out, or when you feel disgruntled, resentful, mean or jealous, apply "Love is patient, love is kind" instead of applying anger or stress.  

One thing that is prevalent today is the belief that although you can forgive something, you also have to level a punishment or payback.  This comes from a misunderstanding of the reality that one may be forgiven yet still endure consequences of his error. This is a true principle, but no one has God's approval who wants "payback."  Plans will never be realized when a person insists on personal justice, revenge, payback, or giving someone what they deserve.  This is an old feuding type of mentality that has emerged again.  People used to make comedies out of the feud and the payback mentality, but today it is being practiced  again, and what a sorrowful thing it is. We need to learn from past generations, from the great examples of the Bible, and from personal practice of the principle of forebearance.  A Christian has been redeemed and cannot go back to the old ways he once practiced. He has to put all that revenge stuff away.

Apply the Biblical salve of deference and understanding, realizing that not everyone is the same and not everyone has the same level of maturity.  If you insist on revenge, you are not giving people a chance to grow, and you are not relying on God.  

There are others who behave badly, verbally attacking family members, church members or co-workers, and then try to excuse it by pointing to the mistakes of others as "trigger points" that cause the outbursts.  There is nothing that can justify such bad manners. If this kind of boorish behaviour comes from a youth in training, it can be somewhat tolerated as long as they seem to be trying and learning to overcome it and improve. 

However, adults who should have long ago overcome such tendencies will be thought of as immature and untrustworthy (not worthy of being trusted with your confidence or your dreams and hopes) unless he or she excercises self control and overcomes the bad reaction.  There is a simple remedy: when the symptoms of resentment, envy and anger come on, take patience and understanding. If you blow up, you will destroy your credibility and develop a reputation  that will be hard to live down. If you take the cure of long-suffering, you will be a great example and others will want to live up to it. Our circumstances do not need to determine our moods.

Of course everyone forgets themselves from time to time, and it is best to forgive yourself and learn from your failings and try not to make the same error.

If you have been wronged, apply patience and allow time to let things work out. Often if you wait, you will observe those who are up to no good getting what they deserve in a natural way, and those who are wronged being recompensed by God.

Apply the Spiritual Salve to the circumstances.



Lighthearted quote for today: Ah! I see the tea is ready. Let us go and have some!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Keeping Your Independence


(Photos from Pinterest)

This subject may not apply to everyone, but for the ladies who have had this problem, this is for you.

Keeping your independence at home can be quite a challenge because in your life as a homemaker,  from raising children to retirement years, there may be people that want to boss you around.  They like to control what you do and tell you how to live, even to the point of coming into your home and trying to dominate you and manage you.  Being a homemaker seems to attract these types who want to take your freedom away from you.  Though not everyone will experience this, it does happen to some people, and it can be quite disorienting.

There are those, also, who see homemakers as people who need to be ordered about. You can show that you know your business by not catering to other people's opinions, and by approaching homemaking in a professional way, not as though you are home to let yourself and everything else "go."  However, even if you have a sick day, other people are not authorized to tell you what to do just because you do not happen to be up and working every minute.

To keep your independence, you need to learn how much interference you can tolerate and how much is harmful to your family. There are those who come across as friendly but want to get you into arguments and conflicts about your values and beliefs when they do not agree with your decision to be a keeper at home.  The issue most often brought up by these people is that of earning money. They are focused on this and think you should be, too.  They cannot understand how you can possibly "make it" and they want to push you into their way of thinking.
 Your willingness to engage them in conversation and your availability may cause them to think you do not have serious, pressing work in the home, and they feel obligated to monitor you. It easy to allow these people, for the sake of peace and politeness, to regulate aspects of your life. You can lose your independence and fail to develop your creative side, if you become subject to them. They can slow you down and thwart your efforts to accomplish your plans.

Being at home requires you to be independent enough to plan your own routine.  Each lady at home determines what works best for herself and her family.  You can turn the tables on those who want to direct you in a different way, and teach them by  example. Be busy and be determined to keep your home the way you desire.  Be an example and a teacher of good things by the way you live. Avoid arguments by developing a few phrases such as, "This is the way that works best in my home," or "I have studied this and learned how to do this," and "I hope I can be what God wants me to be, in guiding the home." Few people can argue with "This is my choice. I hope it will bless my family and be a good example to others."  Those who have objections will realize your way of life is determined by a belief and by your faith.

Keeping your independence is important because you cannot be obligated to other people to do things with them or cater to them, when you need to attend to your family and things at home. It is easy to get attached to what other people are doing, and it is so important to be independent enough to run your own home and get your work done, as well as allowing yourself adequate rest and leisure.
If you have been regulated in the past by other people's schedules and demands, it will take some adjustment to work on your own.  Sit down for a moment with pen and paper, focus your thinking, and write down things you need to do.  Then, arrange the list according to what time in the day things can be done.  Follow your plan, making reasonable allowances for delays and interruptions, and always go back to the plan and continue where you left off. 

One reason to be an independent worker is to provide a good example to others of how to complete a task. Become self-motivated by trying to do your best and to please God.  Like the coney and the ant and other animals depicted in The book of Proverbs, ladies at home do not need any boss. Their king is Christ and their law is the Bible. They have intelligence enough to write it their hearts and follow it. Their live for The Lord privides incentive  and reward.



Below: papers from Graphis 45 company. Their papers are thicker than most, with sentimental scenes of years gone by that people are recreating today. I saw these in a craft store but did not buy any. I am still thinking about them so I found these on their website.  Type in Graphics 45 and see what they have.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A Gift


Would you like to have a gift delivered to your door, especially on a cold, rainy, dark day? Today we are delivering one to someone and I would like to tell you how we made it. 

To offer comfort and cheer to someone in the hospital, we have prepared a gift basket for her.  As the shopping in my area is limited, the ladies of the local church and I did our best to make a luxury-looking basket using the dollar store, Goodwill and the grocery store.  

We found two teacups at Goodwill, with no damage or chips or any sign of wear. The basket will be delivered  by a relative and they will both have a tea time together.  Dollar Tree had some realistic looking hydrangea stems and colored glass jars.

The recent Victoria magazine has a bright bouquet on the cover, which, in itself gives off a happy feeling.

Shrink-wrap is no longer in style, which is something we used to wrap packages in, but in its place are clear cellophane basket bags that fit over large baskets quite well and are a lot easier to manage than shrink-wrap.  It is wet and windy outside and we wanted the contents of the basket protected in something waterproof for transport.
The basket is from the dollar store and is reminiscent of a vintage shopping cart. 

The bag is twisted tightly and fastened with a kitchen clip. Although the bags come with wire ties, it is much easier to open using the clip, available in a package of 4 colors at Dollar Tree.

Inside is also a package of gourmet cookies and high quality tea.  A hand-stamped card was made by one of the ladies.

I can remember when cellophane bags and gift wrap were very expensive, and now we have fairly attractive packaging from dollar stores. 

While we do not want to be stingy, we also have to be careful not to make gifting a burden on anyone, so we try to keep the costs down. This makes it possible to create more charity baskets and get-well gifts. The cost of this basket was as follows:

Floral , basket, wrapping papers, ribbon - $4.00 from the dollar store
Cookies, tea bags and magazine  $10.00 from the grocery store
Two teacups and saucers from Goodwill- $2.50

Of course this can all be made almost without laying out any cash, by finding things at home that you cannot use anymore, and making a gift with them.  

If you want to give something like this, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. 

-First, make it have a cheerful appearance, as first impressions set the mood for openning the gift. 
-Second, wash the teacups if they are from a thrift store, and use soda bicarbonate to remove any stains. Remove price stickers, rinse in hot water and dry well. Pad the saucers with squares of bubble wrap so the cups do not chip in transit. 
-Third, if uncertain what to put in the basket or what kind of container to choose, find something YOU would delight in receiving, as well as the other gifts inside.  If it is something you would like, it might please someone else.

Long ago I discovered that creating a gift for someone else was just as good or better than getting one. When I get to feeling that I want a little lift or a little excitement, I put together a gift (within my means and my ability) for someone.


This weblog is my gift to my readers, like a basket of your favorite things. I know I like to get mail, and I am sure you do, as well, so I try to put up informative and useful, uplifting posts whenever I am able.

May you have lovely moments in your little dwelling for the remainder of this day.

These interesting plastic baskets, like the old shopping baskets or laundry carts, also were available in pink and other colors at Dollar Tree and would look nice in the laundry room with white towels folded neatly inside, a pretty perk to the house.

A close-up of the handmade card.

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Working Day




Good morning dear ladies of the home,

I woke up to a dark rain storm, followed by a brief slice of sun, and I took the above picture of the handmade swing and pretty meadow behind it. However icey cold it was I felt like I was transported to a vacation resort!

As I have not made any progress on the sewing project I have no photos to show, so I found a few things I like from the web.  The above picture is a reproduction mailbox, the kind usually hung on the outside wall of the house. Anyone remember these?  They cannot even be found in a second-hand store these days. This one is actually available at Victorian Trading Company and I am already trying to figure out how to get one, or make one like it.  

A pretty pillow, also sold at Victorian Trading. I will one day gather up my handmade pillows and get a photograph.

I hope to catch up on paperwork and correspondence, and the pink typewriter would suit me fine.  I have a old green one that I have never shown on this blog. I keep intending to show my desk and all the things I use, but always have beds to make and a kitchen to clean, laundry, etc. Hopefully I can catch up soon and go on to other things.


Last week I was in a craft store briefly and saw some scrapbook papers I really like, made by a company called Graphics 45. Their things are works of art that could be framed "as is".

I do have something special to show you that I am going to be doing, so I may be posting more than once today on this weblog.

In the meantime, let us keep our optimism and continue to be good examples in the home as homemakers and home keepers.  Do not let thoughtless remarks of others dampen your enthusiasm or make you give up on your goals.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Sewing Time


Art by Mandy Lynn from Allposters


Hello dear ladies at home,

Today I am trying to finish a sewing task I began a few days ago.  There is always something to do to interrupt me and I am ignoring everything in order to work on this. Roxy, at Living From Glory to Glory web-log sent the the fabric and I am happy to say I have it in the machine and am stitching away. Hopefully soon it will be on the dress form for a picture.  As you can see, below, I am tweaking it from pieces of two patterns from the 1980's.  I always had good success with these patterns and styles because they could be sewn up according to your size and never needed adjusting. The patterns were no trouble at all to sew, and our skills increased as each pattern introduced an element on the dress such as a peplum, puffed sleeves, laced bodices, and other things of interest.


Southern Lady magazine online features this photograph of a lovely old house and agarden gate.


Below, one of the ladies I know who farms, makes these nice bags from the feed sacks. She lines them with cotton fabrics and she makes handles for them, matching the fabric with the color of the bags:

These bags are very strong and we buy them from her and use them for groceries and storage. They are great to use to hold clutter when cleaning a room.



Art by Mandy Lynn from Allposters.

This is the bodice of the dress.  Check back for updates on this post, if you are interested.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Lady's Daily Rest




A Web-Log called Adventures in Keeping House (see my Blogroll) honored me by mentioning my reminders to ladies at home concerning adequate rest.  Sometimes we get so busy at home we ignore our thirst or our tiredness and keep moving about the house doing, doing, doing! There is so much to do! If there are only two at home, you can be occupied the entire day cleaning up after yourself and inventing more things to do.



Pinterest 

You may sense the attitude of skeptics that you should not be allowed any leisure time, since you are a homemaker. You must not allow yourself to be intimidated by those who do not think you deserve any rest at home.  If you had a mother and grandmother; great-grandmother or other acquaintances who stayed home and  took care of the house and family, you will remember they had their sitting time and their resting time.

 They never apologized for it nor did they feel guilty, and never did they give a long explanation to justify themselves for staying home or for resting periodically. They had a clear conscience in taking rest. They had to rest up so they could take care of their families. They cared about their homes and they were conscientiousness and genuinely concerned about the house being in order and the children being guided.

Pinterest

We used to get our house work done as quickly and as thoroughly as possible in the morning so  we could go "out" while it was daylight, for essential business errands or grocery items.  After we came home we would hang up our coats and handbags and prepare tea.  It felt good to sit awhile and be refreshed before completing other tasks.  I discovered from one of the Grandmother's diaries that she did her  daily house work, and then got busy doing something she was interested in.  I know a farm lady; a shepherdess, as I call her, who gets her work done and out of the way so she can enjoy making quilts or oil painting.

Allposters

It is very probable that you will need more rest if you are a full-time homemaker, and you should not neglect it. You make more movements, move faster, doing a lot of different kinds of work.  You say, "When I get finished with my housework, I will rest," but it will not be finished and you will encourage illness if you do not stop for a rest. 

Suffice it to say that when you begin your day, do it with your resting time in mind.  Keep the thought of  things you want to do--reading, perhaps, or some other thing you enjoy, as a goal. Wash, sweep, pick up the clutter, and make everything nice for your leisure time. 

Most of us will never have tea at the Savoy, but it does not mean we should deny ourselves that elegant pleasure of morning or afternoon tea. If you have a tray of some kind, make it as exquisite as possible in your circumstances and take some time to sit with your family to enjoy this fine ceremony.  Note how these few moments in the day can revive you, mentally and physically.  Put some spiritual values into the conversation by complimenting and encouraging and expressing gratitude.

If no one is available to share this privilege, enjoy it on your own.

Some ladies have found that regular rest-times have been a great health benefit.  I think it is good also to allow children of any age, even those who think they are too old for a nap, to have half an hour to an hour of quiet rest. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

By the Sea





I am visiting relatives who are staying in a place by the sea, and on the way, I stopped at a Goodwill and found a seaside treasure; a plate with a slight aqua blue color. 

Both the plate and the bowl, below, $1.99 and I selected the bowl as gift for one of the relatives who collects them.  

All the cousins are now over the age of 70 and are good at taking naps. Below is my DH on one of the couches.  It must partly be due to their Kansas farm upbringing, where it was common to take a nap in the middle of the day.  


We do not have much time here, although the cousins are staying longer, so I am looking around to see what I can see.  I took some pictures outside their balcony.  One of the cousins makes proper hot tea and she and I will stop and have some.






Saturday, March 14, 2015

Afternoon Tea by the Sea



Good morning dear Ladies at Home,

Several years ago I took a party of Victorians, ( in full costume)  including parents,children and friends, to a little beach, where we set up a Victorian afternoon tea on a cloth covered picnic table.  The men carried the heavy picnic baskets with real china and old silver teapots.  As I cannot locate any pictures of the event, I have always wanted to reenact the whole experience, this time with good pictures.  It turns out I may have that opportunity soon.   I will post pictures this coming week.

In the meantime I have assigned myself so much to do:

-Writing free brochures and booklets for Christian ladies on various subjects of family life and some subjects concerning the woman's part in church; (will post on this web-log)

-Sketching out some designs for sewing clothes from the pretty cotton fabrics, for all occasions, and then sewing some of them. (Will post the drawings and the sewn clothing if it ever gets from the paper to the garment ;-)

-Get more organized by sorting through papers, art supplies, old pictures, and boxes of things from days gone by.

-Finishing painting the house both outside and inside.  I have a half-painted bedroom, dining room and kitchen and half the window trim outside. Life keeps interrupting it. For some reason, people want to sleep and eat in these rooms and there doesn't seem to be much time inbetween!  Do you remember the Extreme Makeover shows that would send the family on a vacation while the house was being re-done---that would work for me, as long as someone else did the painting and I was on the vacation.


Back to the tea by the sea:  Over 15 years ago  several people stopped on a pathway just above where our table was set and we Victorians were walking around on the nearby beach and took pictures of our group. It will be a smaller event this time; likely only me! I will not have the Victorian group on this trip but will have the meal anyway. This time will be the same tea things and the same costumes and maybe a similar beach.  I smile as I think how the Victorian styles are kind of locked in history, like the Koine Greek of the New Testament, and cannot change, historically.  That way we know what the pattern is!




I hope you have a lovely day. Our Saturdays are very busy and I plan to stay home so I will not lose much time. I am hoping to finish a sewing project and do a few other things.  It seems in a home here is breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the day goes so quickly!

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