Thursday, August 28, 2014

High Summer Sewing

I was so busy this spring and summer getting the yard and house in order that I did not get my summer sewing done. We are now in "high summer" and I have made a mad scramble to get the summer sewing done. There is still time, as even autumn yields very high temperatures and there is need for cool cotton clothing.

These mother-daughter dresses look a lot better on the models and not near as floppy as the photos. The pictures just do not do them justice. They look very elegant, slimming and sweet on the wearers! I have found that the bolts of fabric do not have quite as much yardage on them as used to be common, so I have not been able to buy enough for the other ladies in the family, but am working on using leftover scraps of the fabric combined with coordinating solid colors.

This is a Fabric Traditions brand that is thick and high quality. Walmart also sells some Fabric Traditions but it is thinner, and Hobby Lobby sells Fabric Traditions.  

This is an old pattern I had never used, and the dress looks very good on the wearer, as in the pattern picture.   I did raise the neckline and cut out a new facing to match, which I explain on the sewing section of my sidebar here, on how to raise a neckline.

  Someone asked how to lower a neckline and it can be done the same way, cutting the fabric lower than the pattern, and a new facing has to be made.I am taking an unused pattern each week, if possible, and trying it out.  

What I like about the older patterns I have used so far, is they can be sewn exactly as-is with no tweaking or fitting.  Sometimes I cut the outside seam a little wider for comfort, but generally they fit well.

I have made three sets of mother/daughter garments and when I get them pinned up on the line, I will portray them on my blog as my summer fashion "line".

I am going to put some water on the flowers now and then stop for tea and some crunchy fresh cucumber slices from the vegetable patch.  The teapot and teacup rubber stamps, above, came from Dolllar Tree a few years ago. They look pretty in the shelf.  I am becoming more fond of the clear acrylic stamps, as they are easier to center on paper.

Please have a wonderful day no matter what the circumstances and remember that contentment is the practice of expressing thankfulness for every good thing, no matter how trivial.  Life is too short to not care about the little touches of beauty. We can go through life thinking it is an ugly world we live in, or we can replace every disappointment by thinking about and doing something delightful.  

The media is our own brand of terrorism that enters the home.  It terrifies because it can never allow us to be peaceful and happy for very long, but we who are in Christ Jesus need not live in fear. We are in a different kingdom and we follow a higher king. 

I have posted this statement on several occasions but today I would like to emphasize the importance of living as proper citizens of that kingdom. It is the kingdom of light, as explained in the New Testament, and we are commanded by our great King to rejoice and to think on things that are lovely. 

Perhaps we are afraid to be happy for fear it will seem we are not sympathetic about the terror and tragedy in the world, or unconcerned about the great causes of the world.  The Bible says we can be happy because when we have obeyed the gospel and are "in Christ" we have internal peace because of our confidence in Him and our own compliance to His Will through obedience and faith.

Here are some statements I have posted before:

Do what you can do, and what you cannot do, leave to The Lord.

Take care of your family and you are keeping them from being a burden on any other system outside the home.

Seek after that which is good and true, within a Biblical definition. The world turns that around sometimes and causes confusion.

When my children were being homeschooled in the 1980's I had a quiet time where they went somewhere by themselves and tried to be quiet for awhile. They could read or write or create, draw, listen to music, but they could not talk. At first it was difficult, but years later they found it to be among their most pleasant memories.

Some kinds of noises can affect the mind adversely and bring on negative, fearful thoughts. Sometimes having a quiet time to retreat to one's room can help. I listen to a CD called Breakfast in Bed, which features music from around the world by the classic composers.  I found that listening to it made my mind relax and could sometimes ease a headache. It also was a good accompaniment to the tedious cutting out of patterns on fabric, the most time consuming part of sewing. It is available on Amazon, or here:

Although this verse is published over and over on many blogs, it is one of the verses that our family has benefitted from the most.

Philippians 4:8    Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things arejust, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Php 4:9    Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

While verse 8 is very familiar, not many people pay attention to verse 9, which has a promise.

A hymn we often sing has the most reassuring words, written by John Greenleaf Whittier (known as the children's poet) c.1872:

1 Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
forgive our foolish ways;
reclothe us in our rightful mind,
in purer lives thy service find,
in deeper reverence, praise.

2 In simple trust like theirs who heard
beside the Syrian sea
the gracious calling of the Lord,
let us, like them, without a word
rise up and follow thee.

3 O Sabbath rest by Galilee,
O calm of hills above,
where Jesus knelt to share with thee
the silence of eternity,
interpreted by love!

4 Drop thy still dews of quietness,
till all our strivings cease;
take from our souls the strain and stress,
and let our ordered lives confess
the beauty of thy peace.

The original poem had other verses that were not included when it was put to music in the hymn:

With that deep hush subduing all
Our words and works that drown
The tender whisper of Thy call,
As noiseless let Thy blessing fall
As fell Thy manna down.

Breathe through the hearts of our desire
Thy coolness and Thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Garden


                                    My flower beds are producing a little more color.


            It makes it interesting to get up in the morning and go out there to have a look.


I painted the mailbox flag to match the window trim color on the house, and now there is a possibility the house will be painted another color, but I am enjoying using the mailbox flag anyway.  In rural areas, the flag is put up when the owner is sending mail.  The mail carrier takes the out-going mail and put the flag back down after putting the in-coming mail in the box.  When we notice the flag is down, we go and get our mail.

Speaking of gardens, the Bible mentions a couple of important gardens where events took place. The first garden was the one God created for Adam to look after, found in Genesis.  The last garden was the Garden of Gethsemene where Jesus prayed. These were not like the flower gardens or the vegetable gardens we have today, but places with pools and streams and trees and walking areas, as well as terraced places with flowers.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Tea Tray


Life may be frenzied outside the home, but it can get that way in the home as well, if regular time is not set aside for sitting still.  The tea tray makes it easier to have a special moment or two by yourself
or with someone in the family. I have found the preparation of the tea tray is a great way to begin the day, or a resting time in the afternoon.

  The advantage of preparing a tray is that you can take it anywhere: the porch, your favorite lounge chair, the kitchen or your bed. You need not have a major clean-up of any area before you have your tea, since the only space you need is on a tray.


The tea tray takes the place of the dining room.  My own dining table is always in use, so a tea tray makes a perfect space for a little meal without having to clean up the table.  

You may not think you have time to stop for refreshments, but it is worth the time, for all the good it does.  I use teatime as an opportunity to gather my thoughts and organize my work and ideas on paper.  Once my tasks on on a list, they seem halfway completed.

Taking a tray with tea time supplies to a quiet corner of the house is also a good time to catch up on Bible study and other reading. I always have a stack of things I need to read before it is all outdated.  Teatime makes me stop and look through it or just rest my mind and my eyes.

If you are homeschooling, your children will delight in regular tea times, as they pause from their studies to enjoy an ancient custom using porcelin cups and special spoons, along with small bites to eat, carefully arranged on a tray.

It is good for children to know what is on the agenda during a day, so they will know what to expect. Teatime provides a few moments to make a list. You can start by asking, "What needs to be done today?" When you let them see your own list, they are more inclined to understand your goals and to be willing helpers.


While I was trying to figure out how to make an ordinary jar a little more interesting for a flower vase on a tea tray, I saw these vases in an Ikea catalog, which also had candle holders in the same style.  It looks so pretty and lacey, but there is no Ikea anywhere within normal driving distance, and the store does not have mail-order so I thought about how to get one of these pretty vases without leaving home or spending anything.


              The paper-cut vase wrapper holds some Queen Anne's Lace that grows here.

I did not think to make a step-by-step tutorial to share how I (tried) to imitate the Ikea vase, so here is a little explanation:

I first drew a pattern by rolling the glass on a piece of white paper And drawing the outline of the glass along the top and end as I rolled it. Then I cut out the shape, which is curved.  Following that, I folded the piece several times and then cut wedges and shapes on the folded edges, like you would a paper snowflake.  When the wrapper is unrolled after cutting the little pieces, it looks like the picture above.  I also cut a design on the upper edge of the paper.

The tea is made with crushed berries and hot water, poured through a strainer. Try different berries, frozen or fresh, to get other colors.  This tea is pink. The cucumbers are coming on in the garden, so soon I am going to make cucumber tea, which is very good!  I will post about it later.

                                         Above: Early morning under the grape arbor.

I was thinking to myself what I would like to be greeted with first thing in the morning, so I made a list:

- something pretty that someone has made,
- hot tea and some interesting mail,
- a clean, orderly house,
- quietness except for nature,
- a to-do list already thought out and written down,
- nutritious breakfast.
- a feeling of peace and gratitude.

All of things are practically free, and yet at times, so unattainable.  Achieving them takes time and effort and prayer. Most of the things people really want cost no money.

In the past I thought it might be kind of nice to wake up and see a pretty present, a surprise, or some nice thing, but now I know it would just be something to find a space for or eventually have to wash. The best gifts are the ones God gives us, that do not have to be stored: the morning mist and the cooing dove, the colored skies, the scent of honeysuckle by the door, or the pattern of a sunbeam coming through the window, loyalty of family and friends, salvation and happiness.

Here are some other things that cost nothing but time and effort, and reap the reward of a healthy mind and will do a lot to eliminate worry from your life:

1Th 5:17    Pray without ceasing.

1Th 5:18    In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Try doing only those two things in the scriptures, above, for just an hour each day. You might do a personal research study about what praying without ceasing means, and what giving thanks in everything entails.

I hope you have a wonderful day and see the beauty around you. One of the reasons people keep journals is to record the good things.  There are no rules for keeping journals. Mine includes my daily lists.

I usually put a shopping list on one side of the page, and then fold it back and tear off the list along the fold when I get ready to go shopping. 

There is not just one theme in this post because I am answering a request to share some of my daily life. I enjoy putting a little "x" beside each item as it is completed, and it gives the whole family a sense of well-being when the home is looked after.


This is a tea-tray rubber stamp I use. It was produced way back when tea time became common again--must have been a couple of decades ago!  I am now using the clear acryliic stamps more, because it is easier to see through them and know exactly how to place the image on the card or paper.  This card was made to look like a chalkboard, using the instructions here

Sunday, August 17, 2014

If All You Do...


There are such a lot of opinions about what women should be, or what they should be doing or not doing, that I wanted to drop by here and leave a brief message about it.  The  news media barrages us with the worries of the world, making it hard to really relax and be happy with the life and the duties that God has given us. We think we must occupy our minds with problems or that it is our duty to worry about the whole world. 

If all you do is make a cup of tea in a pretty cup and sit by the window with the sun coming in across your chair, you are doing something important and constructive. You are resting for a few minutes and thinking about your goals and dreams for your home and family.  You are doing enough, and you will find, with all there is to so, there is barely time for that.

One of the commands of the New Testament is that Christians should rejoice and be happy. These days we are made to think we are somehow hard and unfeeling if we attempt to get away from the pressures of the world and retreat to our homes to homeschool our children, paint pictures, sew, and take tea, be happy. 

 I love these old paintings depicting contentment, also a Biblical teaching. Even though the artists lived during a time of "wars and rumors of wars" they managed to concentrate on their mission, their work. While all the stress of their times is past and forgotten, these artists left something lovely and worthwhile. As the Bible says, people's works live long after they die.
When the cares of the world make you feel defeated, there are a few simple things you can do.  Remember that Titus  2 and I Timothy 5:14 give Christian ladies permission to focus on the home and family. It does not say they must scurry around solving the social problems of the world, but in being a homemaker, a woman does solve a lot of things. For one, she is not contributing to the chaos in the world. She is putting her house in order, teaching her children and being a good wife.  There will be less complaining and fewer troubled children for society to deal with. 

So, if all you do today is dress up for church, attend worship, and later have a simple meal at home, it is enough. Leave a memory of something good and lovely, and do something worthwhile in your home. Substitute a good thing for a worry.  Use stress as a trigger for getting busy making something better at home or improving yourself.

                                                             Dressed to Go Shopping 

If all you do during the week is dress in a beautiful way that inspires you, and if all you do is clean house and stand back and look at it with pleasure; if all you do is think on things that are lovely, you are pleasing to Christ and it is enough.  

Ladies sometimes worry that they are not doing enough ministry or charity, but if all they do is serve their own families and try to live lives of good example, it is a good thing and is very effectively evangelistic and charitable. 

One of the best ways to reduce anxiety is to make your home a lovely place to be and to serve tea to lift the moods of your loved ones (or yourself)be creative, have the teaching of kindness on your tongue.

Do not stretch your time and energies beyond your limits, because it can cause anxiety.  So if all you do today so try to enjoy prettiness, serve your own family and be thankful for the food set before you, it is enough.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Keeping House

Thank you all for such positive responses on the previous handshaking post.  Please continue to leave your comments.  They are very helpful.  Most of the time when something becomes a big trend, the voice of the rest of the people, maybe even the majority of well-mannered folk, is not heard. It is assumed that the new trend is normal, while the old paths, where the good walk is, (Jeremiah 6:16) are cold and unfeeling. A handshake has more warmth and meaning in it than it looks. Please check the end of the previous post for links to the art of shaking hands, and please leave more comments.

No matter how long you have kept house, or how much experience you have had, things change over the years when you move to another town, have a busy family, become a grandmother, or take on new activities.  You may find you need a different way of planning your housekeeping, from one stage of life to another.  Today I am showing you some of mine.

This is a book I like very much, which is a printed copy from the web.  I much prefer to buy a pre-printed book, as it is higher quality paper and well-bound, but this one was not available in that form. You can find it here   where there is also a house guide for boys that was quite well-done.

The qualities I enjoy best about this housekeeping book is the motivational pages and the step-by-step guide to cleaning each area.  As it is written to little girls, there is a calm sweetness that shows the love you can put into a task, making young people desire to be homemakers. It speaks to my heart when I need something more than a list!

It includes reprints of old household advertisements from the Victorian era and the early 1900's. I read sections of this book when I need to get my mind more focused on housekeeping, and when I find it difficult to start something. The instructions and ideas in this book is just one of the tools I use for homemaking, and it suits different needs.

I am including some posters you can print and frame for yourself. 

This pile, above, looks like a mess, but it is another one of my methods of getting some needed things done in a day.  I pile up the things that need to be done and either put them in a large container, or leave the stack on my bed to remind me. In this photo, the stack of things to do includes: 

-mailing out the church bulletin (I try to recycle my copy by mailing to someone who does not get one, and I always think that it is better news than the newspaper); 

-an order for Yorkshire Gold tea, which our family supplies for friends. I need to get the order ready today, so I have it on the stack and will be reminded; 

-sewing project, indicated by the folded fabric in the stack; 

-a box to sort and neaten and clean up so that I can find things in it more quickly--every day there is some kind of thing to clean out or sort;

- my Bible lesson that I have to prepare for ladies class;

-paper and rubber stamps to make a thank-you note to send in the post;

-a wooden swing seat that I want to decorate with paints, and hang up under a tree outside.

This is just one of my housekeeping methods.  I use it because I find I sometimes unknowingly bypass some item when it is written on a list.  I guess it is just not startling enough in print, so I have to put the actual item in plain sight.

Here is another notebook with a few housekeeping methods I use.

This one is the Sidetracked Home Executive card-file plan instruction, which you can print for free on the web. It comes from The Teaching Mom site here   Http://  

I like these plastic pages that already have the holes for the folder. That way, it prevents punching the paper, which sometimes cuts off words. Also, while using these pages, they do not get stained.

I began my homemaking life with that card file and if I had not abandoned it, would not have ended up be so behind in so many tasks today.  I had memorized the jobs and was doing very well, and then saw in the book that you could throw the cards away once you have started doing the jobs automatically without referring to the cards.  

A lady who joined a weight loss organization lost a lot of weight, and was advised to get rid of all her bigger clothes. The reasoning was that she would not be tempted to get overweight again. However through a few health problems when she was laid-up with illness, some of the weight came back and she had no bigger dresses to wear.

The problem of becoming disorganized again through moves or family events (company coming, trips taken, illness of family members, house rennovation, etc) is the reason I wish I had not thrown the original card-file away once I had learned to do the jobs without looking at the daily cards.  It seems to me like learning to acquire Christian conduct by reading the Bible, and then closing it and saying, "I already read the Bible. I have read it for years!" And never studying it again. By keeping some things, you have a solid foundation of information that once worked for you and you gain a better perspective of it.

I am busy now listing every task that needs to be done and then writing each task from the list on the daily, weekly, monthly, seasonally and yearly cards.  Having a card file with the daily work coming up prevents a sudden need to clean the fridge at the last minute when you are involved in something else. It makes you less crowded for time.

In the same notebook, above, I got a free print-out from the Martha Stewart Site, here There are some other lists you might like, too,mon that site and I printed several of them.

Here is a list I made of things that were on my mind that I felt were important.  I used this list to get my thoughts organized one day.

Everyone has their own method, as each home has different priorities and needs.  You can find a plan that suits you or you can make up your own. Put your plans and lists in a pretty folder and enjoy it.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Will You Not Shake Hands With Me?

                      "Will you not shake hands with me?" ( Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen.)

In this day of the "social gospel," the common courtesy of a handshake has fallen by the wayside. Everyone must be exhuberantly hugging, instead.  Will the handshake ever be recovered?  There was a time when a handshake was the sharing of something great and a high honor.  Today it seems to be considered too trivial, but how did the historical and dignified handshake ever become not good enough?

The titles of these two pictures, done on 1904, are "The Customary Greeting in Bulgaria," and, "The Customary Greeting in Norway."
Ladies,  I believe the handshake is a pure and dignified greeting.  I am very concerned about the amount of casual hugging that goes on in social circles.  Hugging is acceptable amongst close relatives and lifelong friends of the family, but it may be best to be reserved around others. 

 I have seen fragile old ladies, brought up on handshakes as the customary social greeting, overwhelmed and practically smothered by a big, hugging person.  One lady, caught by surprise, barely kept her cane steady while she extended her hand for the handshake, when the recipient chose instead to give her a big bear-hug.

When I was growing up, young, unmarried ladies did not hug any male person except her father, brothers, uncles and grandfather.  Young ladies actually preferred the propriety and safety of the handshake as a polite greeting.

Some of the "huggy-ness " between non-familial people was fostered in youth programs, both church and civic.  Youth were encouraged to have fun and to cast their built-in reserve aside in favor of hugging everyone. Hugging was considered more loving, and those who did not want to hug, were believed to have inhibitions and anti-social problems.  This attitude continued in other institutions and has become a societal norm.

The habit of young, unmarried ladies of hugging the young men and especially any handsome, married young men, is getting to be common, and I wonder if they know that it is better to shake hands with men they are not married to.  Hugs are more personal and can create a closer bond between people, and that can be a problem when close hugs ocurr between men and women outside the family who are not married to each other.

Some women are hurt when other women hug the the men but ignore the women. Why did that custom develop?  With the handshake, there is less distinction between male and female. No one seems to notice (or object) if a lady only shakes hands with men, but for some reason the hug seems too intimate for some people and can arouse suspicion as to motives.

Hugs between ladies seem to be quite alright, as ladies do not seem to object so much about this.  I have seen many hugs when ladies say goodbye at tea parties or Ladies Bible Classes and there seems to be no discomfort there.  I do feel a caution when the hugs become so casual that unrelated men and women begin using hugs instead of courteous handshakes.

Children should be taught to be reserved with their affection, in anything, in the name of safety, limiting it to their parents.  As adults have their "personal space" so do children, and no one outside the family should get too familiar or hug other people's children, especially if they can sense the parents reserve.  I know of children who have asked their parents not to let so many people hug them, because they are not comfortable with it.

I do long for the dignified handshake when I see that, in spite of this free and casual, lovey-dovey-ness where the majority of people embrace, there are some people squirming in discomfort under the unwanted hugs.  I have rarely seen anyone uncomfortable with a handshake.  A slight bow of the head might be an even more desireable common greeting if you didn't feel comfortable touching someone's hand, but in general, the good old-fashioned handshake is the most dignified, least intrusive and least offensive greeting.

In saying all this I am sure that those who are not keeping this subject in perspective will read this and make a quick judgement to the contrary.  Yet I do not object to hugs.  It is the constant hugging that is going on between members of the opposite sex that are not related, that seems to be a problem.

  I have seen really nice young boys and girls who are trying to be careful with their affections before marriage being caught off guard by impulsive, exuberant hugs from other young people who do not share the same sensitivity.

There are more ladies than the world realizes (because they are quiet, private souls) whose first hug with a man other than their own father or brothers, was their future husband.  I personally know several young ladies who want to wait and hug their future husband, rather than allow casual hugs from young single or married men to become the customary greeting. When I realized this, I considered that the common hug imposed on someone may not be received willingly.  We all have to be careful and not pull others into a modern trend that they are not wanting.

  Young girls have the right to be left alone if they want to save their man-hugs for their own man.  In a comment attached to this post, a lady writes that her husbands need for female hugs ended when they got married.  Whether people agree with that or not, it is wise to respect it.  A young man, also, may not welcome the familiarity of a female hug, wanting to reserve that affection for their future wife.

There was a time when parents and churches discouraged members from attending modern dances. It was explained that it was not right for someone to be in close bodily contact or have their arms around another person's husband or wife. Look how the hugging custom has gotten around that!

To be safe, a handshake is always a non-offensive and sincere greeting, and if rejected, it is not too offensive.  On the other hand, if you attempt to reject a hug from someone you do not care to hug, you may end up in an awkward type of wrestling match.

If you ever want to ward off a hug in favor of a handshake, hold one arm across your body and slightly away from it, to block the hugger, put one foot forward and extend your other hand toward their hand.  You will find their hand goes into an automatic hand shake and no one is hurt nor is any offence taken. I have seen this in action and thought it was very well-taken.

As per one of the comments, another  way to discourage huggers that catch you unguarded and suddenly wrap their arms around you or squeeze themselves to you, is to refrain from automatically bringing your arm around to simultaneously embrace.  If you stand there with arms at your side and do not in any way return the uninvited hug, they will not enjoy it and wont seek you out again (unless they feel a personal agenda to break down your personal space.)

It is sad to think of the future generations never being able to experience the sincerity of the formal handshake.  There used to be classes where "how to shake hands" was taught.  Students learned how to avoid too firm a grip, or how to avoid a fishy, weak handshake. There was an art in it. You learned to read people's personality, their strengths and weaknesses and their courtesy just by the way they shook hands.

The handshake has been a western custom for centuries. People sealed deals, surrendered,forgave, greeted and said good-bye with handshakes. In the 21st century the handshake does not seem to suffice. As a preachers wife, I prefer the handshake.  It was part of my upbringing, and hugs were reserved for more intimate relationships.  

Since hugging has taken over as a common greeting, the humble handshake is seen as cold and distant.  Those people who do not want to come into physical contact (or hug) beyond the touch of the hand or a bow of the head, are seen as stiff and unresponsive. 

Have another look at some of the  films done in the 1980's and 1990's (jane Austen, and  Elizabeth Gaskell novels) and notice the bowing and the handshakes. They carry a lot more meaning than is seen on the surface.  If these films had featured a hug for every handshake or bow, the tenderness and sensitivity would be lost.  Though there is some enthusiastic hugging and kissing shown amongst old friends and relatives, the other touches are highly prized, especially by the viewers. There is a lot of warmth in a handshake.

This is not to target any one person or any personal situation. In writing this, I speak to myself also, and  am looking more carefully at my own ways. It reminds me to be careful about my interactions with people and to be more aware of the way things look.

I can certainly understand how even handshaking can become too much for a person working in the public always greeting people, but the average person probably would not have to shake too many hands. Therefore, the handshake can be revived as a customary greeting.

Another observation: Has anyone a memory of churches before this present hugging-campaign?  Here is what I have noticed:

The churches had more members and though they all shook hands as a customary greeting, there was far more hospitality in homes, more friendly interaction after church services, and they didn't need gimmicks and entertainment or a big production/ show  or hugs to keep them coming.  The handshake was an easy greeting that threatened no one.  Today the hugs cause some people to leave early or shrink away or just not mingle as much.   Simply said, some people do not want to hug, and it does not mean there is anything wrong with them. There was more trust and ease between people when the handshake was the norm.  I am sure there were other factors causing the larger membership in churches,but during the handshake era there was a lot of genuine love and generosity and helping one another in churches.  People showed their love by their service to one another.

Read more about the power of a handshake here:

Some has recently asked me if it is necessary to hold hands with anyone other than family during a prayer. Sometimes in a church when a special meeting takes place, the teacher asks everyone to join hands across the room. For those who are not wanting to hold hands, I would suggest this: hold the hand of your husband or child on one side, and hold your Bible or clutch your purse with the other hand.  That way, you are atill participating when your family is standing, but exercising your own privacy.

Friday, August 08, 2014

As The Day Begins


                              The rose of All Roses, by Wilhelm Menzler, German, 1846-1926

As the day gets on its way out here in the west, I just want to leave a note.  I am going to put up another post soon, about keeping the home.  I have a few more things to do around here, first but I hope to blog at the end of the day.

Here are a few pictures of my flower gardens in the front of the house...

...and an indoor floral.

I have been kept busy caring for the gardens, so it is like taking on a couple of more rooms in the house.  

I will see you all soon.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

More Queen Anne's Lace

Queen Anne's Lace is especially abundant this year. It limes the roadsides and and pathways like a thick foam. 

I found some very intricate embroidery of the flower. The part that looks like a wore birdcage is what the flower looks like when he buds have fallen off, and these pieces are just as pretty as the whole flower.

A book I got for the children a long, long time ago shows one way to draw Queen Anne's Lace:

 There is a demonstration on a video here:      

It makes me happy that this flower grows freely in uncultivated areas and anyone may have it. Brides are now using them in their bouquets, and the silk imitation is available, too.

The heat so oppressive and sometimes I think the sun can sunburn your mind and make your thinking a bit blurry.  I have found it helpful to wrap a cold wet cloth around the neck, or even a cold wet bandanna with a bit of ice rolled in it.  It really cools the whole body.  Pitchers and bowls of ice water placed around the house can help it feel cool indoors, as,even with an air conditioner, it sometimes is not cool enough when there is humidity.

Using a blue background and Polymer latex paints (also called Scribbles) I have made a quick copy of the Queen Anne's Lace in the art book:


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