Saturday, August 19, 2017
 

Archive for May, 2003

Wisdom’s Luxuries

Our huge bridal bush just bloomed beside the corner of the house, it seems for Mary’s graduation. At the side of the yard are the big purple iris blossoms. They smell just like grape bubblegum and they can fragrance a whole room. Mary made bouquets with the irises and the white flowers from the bridal bush.

Also, we grow the big feathery ferns to put in flower arrangements. And then I have rose hip bushes. The leaves on it are a dark brownish purple. Mary put these leaves in her arrangements, too. The pink bleeding hearts were in bloom and she put them in her vase. They were just lovely bouquets.

I have the pinkish purple yarrow that is about to bloom here pretty soon. It is mixed in with catnip that has a blue flower on it. I have these planted by the step coming up my walk. Yarrow is very easy to grow and the blooms stay out at least a month. Yarrow is a wonderful healing herb and I dry this herb for tea. (If you hang your blossoms upside down, they will keep their colors when you go to dry them for the winter.) Also this year, I planted the yellow yarrow on the opposite side of the step as the pink. Yarrow is so hardy and comes up every year and spreads easily. And to me, the more flowers the better.

I also have herbs growing along the front walk. I have mint that is getting out of hand and I love it when it does. I would rather have a mint cover for the yard than grass. “Grass,” I tell Jim, “is so boring.”

I used to have moon flowers up by my door, but someone I know thought they were weeds just before they bloomed and accidently pulled them out. So Papa went and bought me another package of moon flower seeds and I will plant them today. Moon flowers come out in the evening and stay out all night and part of the next morning. They are as big as pie plates and white and absolutely gorgeous. When I first had mine and they bloomed one evening, I got so excited I went and gathered up my neighbors to come and see them.

Papa is not quite the free spirit that I am and, well, when he accidently pulled out my starts to my moon flowers last year, he thought he was pulling out my giant sunflower starts. He doesn’t appreciate my sunflowers in the front yard. But I love them, as the goldfinches come and eat of the seeds in the fall.

I do have a sin to confess. I could murder Jim when he pulls out my flowers that come up on their own, like the volunteers. I mean that makes me livid … just so mad. I have to pray about this. I often tell him “Do not get near my gardens.” Well, he don’t appreciate my herbs like dill growing everywhere. I have those onions that grow every year, winter onions, and they are liable to grow up in the middle of the yard sometimes. Papa don’t appreciate it. I should be more sensible than I am, but I just can’t help it. I am a free spirit. I guess I will have to curb my free spirit, though, huh?

The hops I planted a few years ago is taking over, too. Now that I do thin out, the kids tease me so much about it and show it to all their friends. “Thats hops. My mother will make beer with it.” I really won’t. I got it to make herb pillows. I need something to put me to sleep. ZZZzzz.

Speaking of which, Papa is about to get up for work.

My Garden

Well, today I got most of my garden planted.

Then I put different kinds of peppers in two big pots, and I mixed sweet basil in the pots, too. One is a really old timey pan, not really a pot, with a bale handle on it. It is that gray marbley color? It was probably made in the 1920s. It had holes in the bottom, which was good for the water to drain through.

Papa is going out now to plant another pepper plant that I wanted in the garden, not in a pot. This will produce the huge green sweet peppers and the sweet red, too. (Papa had gotten a lemon tomato plant and he is planting that, also.) I think I can safely say that I have every kind of pepper planted now, just about every color and kind and shape. I just love to cook with peppers, and I love growing them.

I used the hay to put around my plants, and when I have potato peelings and all, I will hide them under the hay. Well, any peelings at all will do. I always feed my tomatoes and peppers like crazy.

Also, I have big bushes of comfrey. They are about five feet high. It comes up each year, but I will be cutting this down and using it to mulch the garden plants. We used to have rabbits and I would feed them the comfrey. I used to make alot of tea with comfrey. It is a cure all for most any kind of sickness, or used to be. Now they say, in the new herb books, it will kill ya. Well, it never killed me or my rabbits. My rabbits were the huge New Zealand Rabbits. I never had a sick rabbit; they were all as healthy as hogs. I guess in the old days folks used to feed comfrey to race horses. This herb has lots of vitamins and minerals. It has the large leaves and can be eaten in salads.

Also, up by the tomato and pepper plants is my Seven Sister Rose bush. It’s an heirloom brier rose. I adore it, and I love decorating the house with the long branches of roses. They are long branches with clusters of dark pink baby roses on them. I hang them across the door sills and windows to dry. And I also make a lot of potpouri with them and let them dry in loosely weaved old fashioned baskets. I also add cinnamon sticks and cloves from the store and, sometimes, orange peels and other herbs, too, if I think of it, like the mints or dill.

Well, any flower can be dried and is, here at the Hultquist Homestead.

I also grow the rosehip rose bushes. I have a lot of fruit on it by the fall. And I will throw some of the hips in my potpouri, too. Right now, the flowers aren’t even budding yet, but they will soon and then the rose hips come after the blossoms fall off.

I planted my moon flowers today, too. I will have to be sure I watch Papa, so he don’t think they are weeds and pull them out. I have teased enough about it that I think he will be more careful the next time.

I am happy this evening as an old mother hen. My flowers are blooming and my garden is planted. All is well in my nest.

I still will plant a few more things, like different greens … probably mustard greens and a few different lettuces. My garden theme is an Italian one. The romance of roses, and the sexy tomatoes for sauce, and the peppers to make spaghetti sauce. And oh! the basil, my luxury.

I must have several kinds of basil to plant everywhere. I have garlic planted, if Papa will leave it alone, and the onions he never leaves alone. He hates onions so calls them weeds and throws them out, long before they are big. Well, I wll try to get some again this year and plant them in a secret place.

But, oh, I could never have a summer garden without plenty of basil. I often put sprigs of basil in bouquets on the dinner table with roses mixed in. Well, and often mint, too, and catnip. Most of my herbs come up each year, but not the basil. You have to pretty much use that when it comes. I don’t really like it dried very well. I guess I just prefer it fresh. A plate of freshly sliced tomatoes with basil decorating it is Romantic.

A Wise Woman

Think of some mother married with a husband, working all day away from the home and makin’ a bunch of money while her little ones are at the babysitter. And that is supposed to be a picture of prosperity? I know a lot of babysitters and I wouldn’t take my children to any of them.

A single mom is different, and God gives her grace if her heart is home in the first place. But a mother trying to get away from home to work is a sad picture, and it certainly is not prosperity. It may make Mom feel good, but what about the children? Where does their prosperity come in? They don’t want money. They want love from Mother and Dad, and a peaceful supper in the evening. And I always say that the best thing a mother can ever give to her children is love for their Daddy.

A harmonious home is the best gift any mother can give, and it don’t cost a penny.

Mothers, the wise woman builds a home, and wisdom is a system of trade, just like the almighty dollar is.

Rise while it is yet night and prepare for your families.

Bake your breads and cook your meals from scratch.

It’s the time for a garden. See how many things you can plant this year and put up in your root cellars.

Look well to the ways of your households.

Plant herbs here and there in your yard and learn to use them.

Be wise mothers who listen to God. Don’t depend on the world for your substance.

When you go to the store, buy things to make things with, and then take your supplies home and make things from what the Lord has given you. Live out of your supplies at home and not from the grocery store.

Make what you need. If you have a big family, learn to make your own soap.

Be like the Little Red Hen. She was always prepared, and when the fox threw her in his bag to eat her later, she was prepared. She had her little pair of scissors in her apron pocket, and she was not afraid in the fox’s bag. She took her scissors out and she cut a hole in the bag and she escaped with her life.

Make a home for your family with your hands. Learn the skills of wisdom. Learn to make something out of nothing.

Let one meal lead into the next meal. Take your pancake batter from breakfast and learn to use this to start a yeast bread. Save all of your left over vegetables from each meal and make a vegetable soup with it when your jar is full. Learn and experiment with leftovers until you feel a certain pride as a frugal cook and baker.

Work in your kitchens until you feel that you are truly a kitchen saint and the Queen of a full pantry. Get some canning jars at a garage sale, and organize your cupboards and put cute labels on the jars … one for rice and another for macaroni. Use differnent jars to put dried beans in. (I am a nut for jars and I haul jars home from sales every summer. All sizes.)

Learn to make jams this summer. It’s not hard. Fill your cupboards with the works of your hands.

I am making bread from leftover mashed potatoes. (Actually, it was leftover potato soup made from mashed potatoes.) So I have made my bread at intervals as I have been writing. My bread is kneaded now and is rising. It is full of carrots from the soup and onions and parsley and all kinds of spices, like pepper and salt and some sugar. It will make a wonderful potato herb bread. Oh, and it has tomatoes in it. I had used some potatoes from another meal that had tomato soup on them. That will make some mighty good bread. I should have it all baked by the time wild man gets up and we go to the store.

Uh oh, wild man is up I had better get to runnin’.

Replies

You ask how would the virtuous woman deal with a man who drinks and comes home late? Ya know, Dixie’s husband was like that. And she used to tell me, “Connie, wisdom doesn’t look at evil.” Dixie used to just confess that Bill had quit drinking. When he drank, she looked at it as soda pop. She really gave this burden to the Lord and gave up worrying about it. She used to have to take Bill’s beer cans into town to cash them in for money. She never batted an eye or worried about it, as she looked at them like they were pop cans. One time, I had come out to see her and Bill was plastered. He was standing out in the garden hanging over a pitchfork stuck in the ground. As we talked, he said to Emily, the 12 year old daughter, “Hey, Emily, go get me another beer.” As she cheerfully obeyed, she passed her mother and Dixie whispered in Em’s ear, “It’s soda pop, Emily. It’s soda pop.” They walked by faith and not by sight.

They enjoyed Bill when they could, as he was often out on the road as a truck driver. Dixie saw many victories concerning Bill and his drinkin’ and other problems. But the trick is to walk by faith and not by sight.

The virtuous woman was a woman full of moral courage. So many times, we mothers and wives lack courage and the faith to just keep going. We can’t look at this and that circumstance. Ya know, my folks were pretty typical of the 1950s families. Mother was not a believer but learned a lot of Christian ways from her mother. I remember Mother ironing and my Dad yelling that he had had it and was leaving all of us. Well, he didn’t — he was just blowin’ off steam. Anyway, as he ranted and raved, Mother just kept ironing as if nothing else was new. I was about 5 years old. I said to my mother, “Mom, is Dad really leaving us?” And she said “No” — and she just kept ironing as if nothing was wrong. I was playing with my doll and I just kept playing with my things. I would look up at Dad once in a while but really never paid it any mind. I was watching my mother and she wasn’t upset and so I wasn’t, either. My brother and I just knew that Dad would blow off once in a while and when he did, we barely noticed. And I mean he was NOT quiet about it. He would get out his suitcase and throw it on the bed and drag his freshly pressed shirts out of the closet and throw them in the suitcase. He could cuss 50s style better than anyone I ever knew. But that was how the old time mothers handled stuff like that. I think they learned it from their own mother. And the day that Jim socked this guy in our living room for asking him to church — we never ever discussed it. This was before Jim really was walking with the Lord. But I mean, everyone has their upsets in a family. But I think the virtuous woman just doesn’t notice evil.

We mothers just have to keep ourselves in peace in order to be keepers at home. We cannot rise and fall with every evil that comes into our homes. Because, ya see, the Lord wants to plant good seeds in our hearts. Seeds of understanding and wisdom. And then we get these good seeds in there and the devil tries to rob us of them before they bear fruit. Read Mark 4 and how some let the cares of this world rob the good seeds out of their hearts.

On this earth, we can have Perfect Peace. We can be, as spiritual mothers, receiving from God and protecting His words in our hearts and then letting these seeds bear fruit. The word says Thou will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed upon thee. (Isaiah 26:3) That says PERFECT PEACE. And this is how you bear fruit as the virtuous woman. You keep your heart in perfect peace.

Women now days are taught to stand up for themselves and their rights. And Satan laughs at them all the way to the bank. He knows a woman like this is fuel for hell. They are useless to God. But the virtuous woman lays her life down for God.

OK, and you wonder if you should wear a head covering or not. Well, you have to sing along with your man. If he would be offended by it, just wear it at home when he is at work. Or if you are out alone. I think it is scriptural to be covered. I have long hair and I feel this is my covering. But I often wear a head covering. I would wear it more if I felt Jim wanted me to.

See, I am almost never out alone without Jim. I don’t go off with this woman or that one, unless I am helping my elderly mother who is 80 or my aunt who is 85. So I feel that I am always covered, anyway. And I never go some place when Jim is at work without telling Jim I am going. So I don’t feel that I am ever out from under his covering. I have to have his blessings where ever I go. I wouldn’t run off to something that I didn’t think he approved of after he has gone to work. An emergency would be different — if I was called to help someone. But even at that, I would leave Jim a note on the table. Papa almost never comes home to an empty house.

And you ask what does the virtuous woman do at home all day? Well Proverbs 31 says that she rises while it is yet night and prepares meat for her household and a portion for her maidens. So she gets up early and prays and does her cooking. She looks well to the ways of her household. She is as a guardian angel over the home and children while her husband is at work. She has a garden to tend and she stores food for the winter. She sews and makes things for the home. If she gets good at it and has extra, then she sells her crafts and puts this money back into the household. She schools her children in morals and manners and to know God. She takes the time to pray for her family.

Mary, the mother of Jesus, pondered many things in her heart. And some days, ya don’t get much work done. Some days, I have to just sit at the Master’s feet for most of the day and pray alone. I have to write stuff down and make lists. All of our work as housewives won’t be physical. A lot of it is prayer and pondering what the Lord is telling us about the family. The world is so goal oriented, and do do do. But the hidden mother is more wise. She can read the spirit and know when it is the Lord is calling her away from her duties to pray and seek Him. No, I don’t mean when everyone is waiting for supper. But when the family is off to work and play and you are alone. Maybe you just need to take out a pen and paper and write down a prayer to the Lord. Or write a letter to Ruby, the name I gave to wisdom.

A lot of my private writing is to Ruby, asking her about the virtuous woman. My mother was somewhat of an example to me. And I realize that many of you young moms feel lost, never knowing a virtuous woman in the flesh. And feel free to ask questions here about her. I mean, whatever you ask is probably what others want to know, too.

When I first started learning about the Titus 2 woman who was supposed to teach me to love my husband and children and to be a keeper at home? Oh, wow! I had to really comb the world. And I never found one. I found this one woman who cooked from scratch and could have been a decent Titus 2 mother with a lot of help. After I talked to her for a bit, she started braggin’ about her daughter who had a career. I thought to myself, “Naw, I will just keep lookin’.”

I think so many of us have such a deep longing for the virtuous woman. We are crying after a spiritual mother. We have been out in a dark forest for so long — so lost — and we so long to look at the face of our mother. We will know her when we see her. And so many older women knew her in their own mothers. But we have not, and we feel so depleted and cheated that we have never known her. And I have never known her. I feel like the older sister left in charge of my younger sisters. Like a child carrying on as our mother has died. We long so for her.

Ya know, you all will never know how inadequate I feel as the writer here. I barely understand this stuff about the virtuous woman myself. If I didn’t get it in the spirit, then I wouldn’t get it at all. The Lord tells it to me as I write it. And I eat the same stuff that I tell you. Only it isn’t me telling you this — it is the Holy Spirit. He is the teacher. I submit to Him and He funnels the wisdom through me.

I could write for days on wisdom. Inside my heart is a river that never runs dry. And I stand here as I write. I don’t feel led to sit down. I just have to move about when I write. But the only reason I have to quit is to do my work. And sometimes I nearly faint from loss of strength. I have much more spirit than strength. But if I had the strength, I could write at least 6 hours a day, and probably every day. Because the Lord within me is a river that never runs dry. I have volumes of books on wisdom inside me. When I tap into it, it is like an ocean. It’s not knowledge that I have — it is teachings within me that I long to understand.

In the old days, in about 1982, I wanted the wisdom that Dixie had gotten from the Lord. I would pray so hard for it at night that I started having headaches. My pillow would feel like a brick. I began to live a life of continual prayer for wisdom. I just longed for wisdom. I used to pray, “Lord, is there no balm in Gilead?” I felt so wounded and the only healing for my distress was wisdom. I wanted her as much as Solomon did. And I got it and built a home. And, oh, if only you all knew that the words I speak are not words from me but from the spirit of the Lord. I am only an empty and cracked vessel. A sick child who also longs for the virtuous woman, the spiritual mother. Yesterday, I felt like such a child. It was an eerie feeling that I was only a child.

I am here to tell you the truth about something. I feel so sorry for Jesus that I am His vessel. He needs someone so much better than I am to do this. I am so full of contention sometimes toward Jim and so full of fear, at times, concerning my kids. I am sure that I was not called for this. But the Lord looked for someone else and they wouldn’t do it. And so He looked among the women in the garbage and He found me and thought I would do OK. And that is about all you will get from me is probably the elementary. But I do feel that the virtuous women are out there but are in secret. They are hidden off someplace.

Dixie was very hidden. And she didn’t really like for me to even intrude in on her. But I was so hungry for wisdom that I pestered her and she felt sorry for me. This is all the truth. I am not saying this to be falsely humble. But the Lord led me out to Dixie’s farm just a few days before she would leave it. I didn’t know she was leaving — she never told me. But she had a picture of her farm and she got it out. And she showed it to me. And she prayed over me that I would receive all of the anointing that was on that farm. And she barely moved out of there and the landlords tore the house down. Bill had left her and then Dixie died. I was always Dixie’s worst nightmare. As I think she always knew that eventually I would receive her anointing. That she would die and have to pass it on to me. She loved Bill. And yet I think she read the handwriting on the wall. She had gotten tired of waiting for Bill to change and she backslid. And once she lost her way, she couldn’t seem to get back. And I just felt led to go out to see her just before she left the home and the place was torn down.

Oh, what a spiritual time it was with her that evening. I told her that I could not even receive the wisdom. And she kept praying for me to get it. But I never even know I have it until I write it down to you. At times, Dixie hated me and yet I guess she was just obedient enough to pray the wisdom of God upon me. I wanted the wisdom more than anything else.

Earth to Connie

Well, I have to get back to earth here and quit being so heavenly minded that I am no earthly good for my family. Jim has been going to work midmorning lately, so I have been thinking of brunch ideas to feed him before he goes.

I was going to tell you how I get my pork sausage to stretch. I try to buy the really hot sausage, then I crumble it up and fry it with a pound of turkey. I also add spices to this … just garlic and coarsely ground black pepper and salt. Then, I put it in a zip lock bag and freeze it. To make sausage gravy with biscuits, I just use about a fourth of a pound of the meat mixture. Papa could live on sausage gravy and biscuits. Also, I will use this sausage mixture to put over fried potatoes, about a forth cup. I would just fry the potatoes and then put the cooked sausage mixture over the top. Then I would maybe sprinkle cheese on the top of this.

I have a lot of beef roast left over from Sunday. I hope to make a vegetable soup from that today after Jim goes to work. A family up the street just had a fire about two weeks ago. They had to move to a hotel for a while. I wanted to bring some soup to them and maybe some bread, if I get it made today. I have a huge soup kettle to make the soup in, so this will be lots of fun.

I had gone to the store early one morning and I got some really nice potatoes for 50

 
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