Wednesday, April 18, 2018

New Arrangements With Familiar Things in the House

For a little leisure today I took a few old items and made a new arrangement for a centerpiece. The light pink floral bush is from Dollar Tree, only $1.00, and the candles are flickering battery operated lights. It is sometimes hard to figure out where to put small things, and since I try to avoid too much clutter, putting the flowers and candles inside the birdcage makes it one piece.

A creative arrangement puts a new look on old familiar things.

I was looking through the original Victoria magazines for the month of April, and remembering that although it was a bright spot back in the day when it first appeared in the market, the new issues today are much prettier and don't have the ads that were so unharmonious with the theme of beauty and refinement inside the publication. 

This is a tea cup I found in an old town.
A cup with a flower printed on the inside is always a pleasing thing.minknow that children love drinking from cups that have pictures on the inside. 

I received this cookbook holder from Hobby Lobby, which was on sale this week for about $7.00. Cookbook holders traditionally have been high in price, so it was good to find this metal one.

From Pinterest I found this little poem:

This is one verse, below, that I really try to live. I don't think it helps anyone to do well by scolding them. That is why I try to have supportive posts here.  

This is what most of the ladies I know express a need for.

The things ladies at home are the most concerned about and ask for prayer concerning, are these:

Good physical health.
Physical and spiritual safety of their children.
Stability of their husbands, both financial and spiritual.
Keeping the family in harmony with one  another and with God.
Being able to keep up with the housework. 
Dealing with criticism regarding their life as homemakers.

I have heard women say to their friends: You pray for me, and I will pray for you, that we can accomplish what God wants for us in the home.

That is one of the best prayers to be sent. 

Sometimes ladies worry about the world, but it would be better to use  time and energy to pray for their own families. They are a part of the world, too, which will never be on a news broadcast. You may be the only one in the world that prays for your family.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Pictures From Home

Two pictures from home today: a teacup next to a flower, and the morning light trying to come in through the fog.

I hope to have a video soon and show some sewing.

 I hope you have a lovely worship on Sunday.

 Mr. S. preaches very short sermons, 20 minutes or a little more, and still has a meaty lesson with high impact. 

Someone recently told us the "trend" today in churches is for someone to speak for an hour and a half.  I listened to such a person not long ago and it still seems like he could have got his point across in twenty minutes if he had left out the fluff, the jokes, silly remarks, long illustrations, rambling away from the subject, and stuck to the scriptures and simple explanations.

In the church, our worship consists of several things besides preaching:

-About 20 minutes total of singing hymns
-Another 20 minutes for the communion service
-20 minutes for the sermon.
-5 minutes for announcements
-5 minutes of scripture reading, appropriate for the sermon lesson

There are no rules about this, of course, and each congregation varies a little on the time allotments.

 When we were teaching our sons to preach, we asked them read the first gospel sermon given by Peter in Acts 2, and Paul's sermon on Mars Hill, to allow them to experience how long those sermons took to preach. Both these serious sermons took an adequate amount of time and stuck to the point. They seemed to have a quality of words rather than a quantity. We told our boys to try and get their message across to the audience in an appropriate amount of time when the minds of people were alert, before they tune out. This taught them to leave out the "fillers" and focus only on Christ and His Word. When a preacher develops a thorough knowledge of the Bible he will always have enough good material and scriptural illustrations without resorting to empty talk. 

Thank you all for your visit. Be sure and have a cup of tea today.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Good Days in Bad Weather

Hello Dear Ladies,

Today a pretty pink tulip appeared in my garden just outside the living room window. Instead of picking it for a still life picture, I decided to pose an old tea cup beside it.  I like this color and now, rather than looking in a fabric store for just the right shade to go-with,  I check my little collection of "pinks" in the sewing room.  If there is any white fabric, I sometimes can dip it in fabric dye to get a perfect match.

These are Waverly fabrics, with very nice names, like "Pink Slipper" and "Carnation".

Today is my first day of feeling well enough to be up and about, and I feel like I have been revived from near death. Some of you probably know what I mean! I also have a new determination to get some things in order around here and make my home the kind of place I would love visit or stay in!

It is still quite cold with poor visibility, so I won't be modeling my fabulous hat and dress outside any time soon. I quickly made this photo and raced back inside.

Mr. S. got the big idea to remove the fencing from around the property, as we have no animals any more,  and the fence spoils the view, interfering also with mowing. After digging out the posts and rolling up the wire fencing, he has some aches and pains. He likes home made soup, so I will be making some on this cloudy day.

There ought to be another description for weather like this, other than "overcast", "foggy" or dreary. Obviously it is a time when the earth is being replenished, but I suppose that dreary by any other name is just as dreary!

I read somewhere that all weather is given by God and not all of it is bad, it is just weather.  However I noticed in the Bible during one of Pauls missionary trips that the crew on board his ship became quite alarmed by bad weather, and rightly so, for they were soon shipwrecked.  We have to batten down the hatches; tie everything down that will be blown away, close the doors and heat up the house.

These are some old broken cups I couldn't bear to part with so They are stacked on the porch table collecting rain water.  I hope in dry weather to finally paint these aging railings, as I perceive the worn out look isn't going to be so in vogue in the future.

I was looking around Pinterest a lot when I was confined to bed, and found there are some very sweet minded people who make a celebration of inclement weather or hard times. They dress up, get out their best China, invite someone to drink hot tea, or use it as a day to create. They create memories for the dark days, have journal entries and photo albums.

Now to those who are at home but seem to be fighting off suggestions that they do "something else", let me tell you, it never ceases.  In a small way I fight off those suggestions, as whenever I decide to stay home an entire day without going out for any reason, it seems the urgency to go out just comes on stronger! I will be cleaning, cooking, sewing, arranging, getting paperwork in order, and then I need something to complete a meal, a cleaning project (more storage boxes!) It is all I can do to dig in my heels and stay put!

As I have grown older I have discovered the best way to defeat any addiction, urge, or unwise restlessness is to ignore it. Eventually the voices that call you will come less and cease their whining.  I learned this from managing appetite, time,  pain, anger, and other things! 

I am sharing these delightful picture from Pinterest for those of you who don't view Pinterest: if I had captions, they would be, "Natural and pretty for Nature."

It isn't a sunny day in these pictures but the theme is so delightful.

Gorgeous 19th century painting but I didn't find the artist: 

I appreciate your comments more than you know, and I want to thank the lady who donated $15 this month! It's such a blessing and you know I can stretch that a long way!

Keep on thinking things that are good and lovely.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Not The Most Interesting Topic: Not Feeling Well

Sleeping Woman by Carl Vilhelm Hosloe, Danish artist 1863-1935

Sick Woman in Bed, Austria, 19th century watercolor:
Above: wouldn't it be nice to have people attending you when you are sick at home? I would rather they clean my house while I slept.  There is an entire educational training involved in caring for a sick family member at home. Attendees must be clean, dressed cheerfully, able to make a bed, make nutritious soups, and many other things. This kind of training was included in our Home Economics classes of the 1950's. We learned how to load up a bed tray and how to keep a home patient comfortable.

A couple of days ago I felt myself coming down with something but fought it off until it finally got me.

Just before my brain and body were strongly suggesting complete bed rest, Mr. S., who saw me slightly pale in the face decided to catch me while I was still upright, to take a photo of this double rainbow behind the tool shed. It isn't very visible but he always likes a picture of a rainbow. This is the last thing I did before going under cover!

The day before I got really sick, I was busy with my hot glue gun embellishing a plain straw hat.

I made it to wear with this dress, which I also made, but it has been too cold outside to model it, and my photographer wasn't here. I like the pink on white print of this cotton fabric, of birds and flowers.
When I get well I hope to wear it.  I also made a fascinator using a headband, string of fabric roses, a butterfly and some ribbon:

For the hat, the materials and cost were:

Hat: Walmart $3.86 (comes on other colors too)
Silk flowers: $1.00 Dollar Tree
2 Glue Sticks for the glue gun, Dollar Tree package of 12/$1.00
Glittery ribbon: $2.00  Walmart
Headband, ribbon, or an elastic bandcan be added to keep it tied down, which is minimal cost.

Total cost: About 6.00

What I really wanted was this hat, but it was $200!
Photo from

I think it is nice that Ashro catalog has a category called "Church Clothes".

I didn't even bother to ask Mr. S. about it, because he would have said ....YES.  46 years ago he promised if I would marry him he would do everything he could to make me happy, so he always says "Yes" to the most outrageous things, even if he can't do it, even if I wanted a trip to he, like many women married to this kind of man born in the previous century, I have to watch what I ask for. I'm sure you know the problem with generous men!

My solution was to make a hat for $6 but then when I showed him the amount subtracted from $200, and suggested he owed me the remainder, which I supposedly "saved", he couldn't come up with the money. 

For the less mature who peek into this blog once in awhile, you need to know that long-married couples settle into a comfortable humor between them, which sometimes the young are critical of. For this reason I will tell you the hat/money incident was all part of our comfortable banter between us. WhenI tell Mr. S. I "saved" him an expense by making something myself, he then looks for the "savings" somewhere and we joke about how much he owes me or I owe him, but we both know it is all the same.

Sometimes Mr. S. will notice a tea cup and wonder why he had not seen it before.  I will tell him that HE bought it for me, that day he sat in the car waiting for me in an old town where he stopped so I could get out and walk around. The truth is, he really DID pay for it, but it is our special humor. Other times he will tell me to go get myself a birthday or anniversary gift, and days later notice something in the house, such as a small lamp, a new spatula, etc. I will remind him it was his anniversary gift to us and he will say he can't remember getting it. But this is our special humor. I've had people become very critical over things like this because they sometimes develop a set of rules for others to live by, and according to these rules, we have to be serious all the time.

 More about Mr. S. at the end of this post.

I have been so very ill (I won't describe the symptoms) that Mr. S. remembered some time ago when he had a similar illness, his natureopath gave him a remedy on the phone. He said to take a tablespoon of sauerkraut juice, followed by two tablespoons of tomato juice every twenty minutes for two hours and call him in the morning if he was still sick. He never had to make the call.

Mr. S., ever the gallant hero, decided to save my life, so he got his jacket on, braved the driving rain in the dark as he opened the car door, drove to the grocery store at 8 pm and found the two ingredients.

This is normal for Mr. S., since he had lots of practice back in the day when he would willingly go to the store any hour of the day or night, after I had a baby or needed something for a meal the next day.

 Once home, he set me up with little glasses of this remedy on a tray, so I could just take it every twenty minutes. 

Regarding the sauerkraut juice and tomato juice, one of the ingredients does one good thing, while the other ingredient does something else.  

I will let you look it up on the two links I have provided with these pictures.

Photo from

Image from

The concoction was not too bad when using the tomato juice last, as it is so much more pleasant to the taste.

The next day I was rather enthused to wake up and see it was daylight at 7 in the morning...I felt a little better and was looking out the window and at the clock. But then I saw on my phone that it was 7 pm instead of a.m. and I was so disappointed to realize I had slept all day and it was evening when I woke up. Of course I was feeling somewhat better and I was back to talking Mr. S.'s ear off on every known subject and some unknown.  He was happy I felt better and even happier I went back to bed to sleep off that last bit of stinging sinus pain and stomach pain.

There is nothing worse than being bedridden, too ill to get up and change anything, looking at things in disarray and hoping to live long enough to get it all in order so my children won't be burdened with it. Mr. S. is not in the least worried. He says we should let the children go through all our old boxes of papers and messy drawers of pens and pencils, because that is what we've both had to do in regard to our own parents. He thinks it should be a family tradition.  

Mr. S. never worries about anything. I, on the other hand, can always find an extra supply of adrenalin to aid me in finding something to feel urgent about, even when I am sick. 

My room has become a temporary storage area for boxes of things we need to go through. While I lay sick in bed, all I could think about besides the pain, was how I needed to get well enough to sort out those boxes and make the room look more like a bedroom than a storage shed. If medics ever have to come and aid one of us as we lie sick in bed, will they see two old people sleeping in a storage room and report us to social services?  Would they remove us from our own house and accuse us of abusing old folks? I think the horror of it made me take the sauerkraut juice a little more willingly!

Suggested get-well foods: The homemade garden vegetable blended soups made with the little blender you put directly into the pot of soup, always help me when I am sick. For some reason, however, they taste much better made by someone else and brought to me on a tray.

It has taken 3 days but I am feeling better, and still using the sauerkraut juice and tomato juice. However I believe you should stay in bed an extra day and not get too active right away. I had to cancel a few things but I am going to be in bed one more day just to be sure before I plough headlong into life again.

 Get Well Soup Fom My Kitchen

1 tablespoon oil or butter
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon each dried parsley and cilantro or Italian seasoning 
1 teaspoon RealSalt
1/2 cup ground turkey or meat (optional)
1/2 cup shredded cabbage
2 cups hot water, more or less depending on whether it is to be a thin or thick soup
1/2 cup tomato juice

In a saucepan, Cook 1/4 cup chopped onion in a tablespoon oil of your choice, until the onion bits are clear. At this stage you can add ground meat if you are including it. Then add 1/2 cup peeled, chopped red potato, 1/2 teaspoon each dried cilantro, and parsley or Italian seasoning. Cool until meat is broken.

To this, add a teaspoon RealSalt or Pink salt, Australian salt (any kind of mineralized salt) and 1/2 teaspoon white pepper. 

Stir with fork to distribute  the ground meat. Add shredded fresh cabbage or whatever additional vegetables you like. 

To this, pour in about two cups hot water and bring the soup to a boil on medium heat until all ingredients are soft. Add the tomato juice and cook until you think all the flavors are well blended. 

You can also make dumplings to add to the boiling soup, using any recipe you have. This makes all the ingredients in one pot, making less to clean afterwards. 

You can soften the soup a bit by using your old fashioned potato masher. I don't recommend blending this soup, as the flavor is better when there are still bits of recognizable ingredients.

We ate this so fast I wasn't able to get a photo but will try it again another time.

Monday, April 09, 2018

Decoration Day at Home

The Peaceful Village by Henry John Yeend King

Someone gifted me with a subscription to Victoria magazine, and this month I found  myself looking more often at several photos in it, so much that I was carrying the magazine from place to place, even in the car, to look at the ones I was most attracted to.
Finally I took the magazine to the Dollar Tree and sized up the pictures with frames.

Most people do not like o cut up this kind of magazine, but the pictures I chose were repeated in the magazine in different ways. 
I like this photo but am not at all fond of the blurry photo foreground trend, so I didn't use this one.  Still, I would like to build this gazebo, if someone would tell me how to do it. My only skill is sewing.
I took the glass out of the frames to reduce the glare and decide if the pictures look good on the wall, before I add decoupage glue as a surface glaze to the picture.

And, because these little frames have a stand in back, and are lightweight, I can include one of the pictures in a tea-cup package for someone.

This house picture has a summery, take-my-breath-away look:

I do hope Victoria magazine goes on to use higher quality paper similar to what MagCloud provides or Jean de Arc Living; so much nicer to the touch. As of now, the quality is no better than BHG or Family Circle, and they aren't worth keeping for a long period of time.
When searching Pinterst, I came across this saying:

I wish someone had drummed this into my mind decades ago. It is better to invest in your family and your own home, first and foremost. That is your ministry and your responsibility. I know a lot of women at home that are made to feel guilty for being home, and they are sometimes told they are privileged, and then thy feel they should help so many other people. Then, they become exhausted, while at the same time they neglect their own homes and families.

Also, along that line of thinking, homemakers can feel they shouldn't indulge in creative enjoyment or any interest other than the work of housekeeping. Leisure and work can exist together in a good balance. 

This has always been the occupational hazard for preacher's wives.  In years to come, it is your investment of time, money, wisdom, etc. in your own family and house that will bring dividends to them and to you.  Regarding charity, I had to make a rule for myself to help others that I personally knew in some way, (email, blog, phone, neighbor) rather than donate to causes I had no personal contact with.  Women at home are not big corporations with extra money to give away, and so, with what they have, they can give to their own family and friends without guilt. This is particularly difficult when you see and hear requests for charity all around you.  We give the church amount we have purposed in our hearts (a free will offering according to as we have prospered) and then, as individual Christians, we can do things for others as we please.  

I have a ladies Bible class in my home each week, for which I provide  the lunch and tea time, and we make cards after class, to send to our members and our friends and relatives.  I believe this is a reasonable amount of time and expense. We don't have to always personally know someone, in order to make them a recipient of any gift we send, but we try to involve people we can trace back to people we actually know.

Women are natural helpers and nurturers, problem solvers, etc. but if that desire and drive is not regulated and confined in some way to the family and their sphere of influence, they can neglect their own people. Women only have so many hours in a day, and must use that time to create comfort for their own family.

There is no doubt a lot more to be said about is, but in general, being careful to direct our emotions to our family and friends, and not get too worried about the rest of the world (which we can't possibly support or solve or help) is a good way to keep stable and save your own family.

Today I'm adding these magazine pictures to my house, and choosing one to give away, just like we used to do in the old days.  I remember even back before frames were so available, how we decorated our walls with scenery pictures from magazines, as if it was wallpaper.   We also used our own art.  We had rough looking scrapbooks made of brown paper, in which we pasted (from glue made of flour and water) pictures from magazines. When we were sick in bed or were confined to the house because of cold weather, we enjoyed looking through these scrapbooks.

So if you are worried that you do not give enough charity, make an extra loaf of bread or a few cinnamon rolls, or give a little something of your own talent, but restrict the majority of your time for the family and the house.

This is one of the photos I liked, but I wish Victoria mag. would use a higher quality parchment type paper, more pleasant to the touch, similar to Jean De Arc magazine. The publication is worthy of it.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

"Noise-ick": Must We All Listen to the Same Music in Stores?

In recent posts, I have reported the happy change in some restaurants and stores regarding the music (or Noisic, which is what we are calling the jarring, unsettling, upsetting absurd racket we are forced to hear). 

While  I am sure there has always been street music throughout history in the shopping areas, and the 19th century Victorian-era  shopping experience may have also been noisy, I do not know if it was as obnoxious as it is today. Parents notice their children are fussier and many people suffer from hearing loss today. There might be a connection with the horrid sounds of "popular music" we are all forced to listen to inside the shops.

Above: Late 1800's shopping.

Today I'm giving a flower to Target stores in our area for their silence. There has been no music in Target for several weeks and I have been able to actually think better and make better decisions about my purchases, which is a nice change, since I usually can't wait to get out of the store. I am attracted to their organic bedding, sheets, etc. and I like to take my time.

The silence in the Target stores was so pleasant that I made it a point to compliment every employee and manager I met throughout the premises, as well as leave a good review at Target stores (for their noise management) online.

Above: Late 1800s ladies shoe store. I wonder what kind of music they had to listen to.

Several employees told me that Target management was studying the issue of music (Noisic) to see if shoppers lingered and children were quieter.  I can already observe there are not so many children screaming. I wonder how hard modern music is on these babies and children's ears.

So this is a note to say I had a pleasant time at Target and really enjoyed looking through their linens, both the organic, the cotton-linen blends, the old fashioned percale sheets, and all the woven fabric comforters and blankets were so soothing to see and touch.  Target didn't pay me to say this. Of course I don't know how long this is going to last. Incredibly, there are some people so addicted to Noisic they actually complained that the store was too quiet.

On the other hand, the same day I visited Walmart and flunked them in the noise department. The din was so bad I couldn't hear my cellphone when Mr. S. was trying to find me. When I discovered he had called and I finally connected with him, I couldn't hear a word he said.

We can bring our own music these days, and we need not have to listen to someone else's music. It isn't as though we are too unintelligent to pick out good music.  And besides all the Noisic in Walmart, people were having to increase their own voice volume to be heard by their companions or the cashiers or other employees when help was sought. As much as Walmart studies the market, they ought to be able to pick up on what people are saying about the Noisic issue.  There were a lot more children screaming, and babies crying.

Because we have been in several places with better music and silence, Mr. S. and I cannot help thinking that word is getting out regarding this assault on our ears,  as some customers stay home and order from the web, in the pleasant quiet of their own homes. These places also stand to lose customers who just avoid shopping altogether. There are many people who don't like shopping the web because they can't see the item for what it really is.

There are noise laws prohibiting loud music from cars within a certain distance of residences, so why is it allowed in stores where there is no protection for our hearing? We have choices of where to park, and what to buy in the store. Should we not have a choice about the music?

If anyone really wants that music in a store, they can listen to it on their own earphones.  Even on an airplane, they have figured out how to choose your own music channel without making the person in the seat next to you listen to it. As successful  as some of these businesses claim to be, it's amazing they can't figure out the music issue.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Pretty, Easy Floral Craft

Note the hairstyle in this 1800's painting.  It is so much like some of the long hair styles being revived today.

For a quick bright spot in the home, nothing could be easier than picking a flower and putting it in a little jar for a table or mantel. This hand made moss wreath takes a little more effort, but is still quite simple.

These moss wreaths are so pretty and I have seen them in florist shop windows, the grocery store floral departments, and hobby stores like Michaels, but the price for the big ones are $40.00.

Today I experimented to see if one could be made at the cost of "free" or using supplies from the Dollar Tree.  

This was made for a little less than $4.00., which is a lot more beneficial to your family budget than $40.00!  I am not sure who would be buying a $40 wreath, because most people I know are very conservative with their family income, amd they are trying to teach their children how to make-do.

 These four items are from Dollar Tree, with a total price of $4.00. Naturally, you would not use up all that glue or all the ribbon or moss, so I would approximate the cost of materials would be $2 per wreath.
I used florist foam, (but styrofoam could be used) because that was what was available,  and I first glued a piece of sheer florist ribbon around it for hanging.

Then I painted glue all around the foam wreath and pressed the the dried moss on it. I used a wet brush and a little water to spread the tacky glue around. White school glue or flour and water paste would also work. 

The old old floral garland was saved from something or other,  but you could get a couple of things from the dollar store to stick straight into the foam after covering it with moss.  Here are some white berry stems, below, from Dollar Tree. You would need craft wire cutters, also from the Dollar store. "Picks" are floral stems and embellishments designed to stick into bouquets, and are found in floral departments of craft stores.

The back will be bare. I chose the floral foam partly because it had a flat back, making it hang better against the wall.

If you have adhesive spray, that would help keep all the tiny bits of moss from coming loose. Maybe you could dilute some white craft glue with water and put in a spray bottle. I haven't tried that. 

It is not necessary to have a wreath shape, since a square of foam, a styrofoam ball, or any other shape would make a nice centerpiece. 

If you see one of these wreaths and you are trying to prevent money going out as soon as it comes in, you might get a lot of satisfaction from making an item. 

As thrifty as this project is, you might be able to make it at almost no cost, from things you find outside, or in your kitchen or craft paper supplies.

Below: The back of the wreath will remain bare, and having the flat part of the florist foam wreath makes it lay nicely against the wall.

Another style, below, with dollar store ribbon, of which there is an ample amount left:

Check the comments for a good hint by a florist, Christine!


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