Saturday, August 19, 2017
 

Keeping a Home

pt 1 Washing the Dishes

Good Morning Homemakers, I like to do the dishes..do you? My Mother used to say she wud never have a dishwasher in her house..But then Dad remodled her whole kitchen and talked her into a dish washer ..Mom was happy with it…but she thot it was kinda silly ..i dont have a dishwasher and dont have the room for one in my kitchen anyway..My friend MaryL had a bit of arthritu…s in her hands..She said she loved to get her hands into warm sudsy
dish water especially in the winter..as it was so comforting.. As a
teenager i wud pretend to be asleep when it was time to do the dishes at my house..My Aunt Eileen in the old days always ran out to the out house when it was time to do the dishes..And she stayed out there until all the workwas done..The old-time housewives had a big enamel red and white pan that they used in the sink to wash the dishes with..They wud go outside and pump
the cold water into their pan.Then they wud bring the pan in the house and heat the pan of water on the stove…When it was hot they washed the dishes..Then they wud rinse the dishes with hot water poured over the washed dishes…The first things they washed was all the drinking glasses .. Then the cups and the plates ..and serving dishes..They had to be very careful in the old days as the dishes werent plastic..So after they were washed ..they were dried with a dish towel and put in the cupboard..The dishtowels were only for the dishes..not to wash up with…We children growing up wud try to use moms dishtowels for everything..i can still hear Mom calling to us kids “Dont you dare use my dishtowelnew for that”. That…meaning about anything…So anyway after the dishes were washed then the silverware was washed..And the last thing to be washed was the cooking pans.. My mother was very orderly about her homemaking ..i cud never figure out how to use Moms new dishwasher..My sister in law wud laugh at me when we all came to Dad and Moms for a holiday dinner..”Connie why are you washing the dishes in the sink with a dishwasher right beside you”? Well i think i just missed the ritual of the women in the kitchen laughing and telling stories and washing the dishes and drying them with a white cotton dishtowel,,,Mom and Dad are both in Heaven now..i sure miss them ,,Happy Mothers Day Mom..love connie

pt 2 Household Schedules

So you may say “When do i take the Baby to the Dr for his check ups? Well
you schedule your appoinments under special projects.. which wud be after
naps around 2;00 or 3;00 in the afternoon..This way you will have all of
your work done before you go to the Dr..And supper wont be late when Papa
gets off work and is home to eat supper..Also you as mother will have had
a short nap too,,And also schedule your grocery shopping on another day
between 2;00 and 3;00 also.. It wud be ideal to grocery shop on the same
day as you go to the Dr..But i wud be too tired for that if it was me with
my lil kids…But however you work this schedule just write it all down and
try to always make most of supper in the morning so that the evening family
meal wont be late…Also on your paper you cud make a list of 5 special
projects for each week.. Like maybe you have to go shopping for spring
clothes for the baby..Work out a day to go again between 2 and 3;00 pm..or
4;00..But this way you always have your work for the most part done..before
supper and supper is on time..Then you can just wash the supper dishes and
have the rest of the evening to be with the family ..Love connie

pt 1 Household schedules

Dear Mothers,,Thanks so much for sending in your home schedules..These are
just suggestions to give you ideas.. One schedule i went by when my
children were young and not in school yet was this one,,Get up early like
by 7;00 am. and get dressed..Eat breakfast and feed the children and get
them dressed for the day.. If husband has to go to work early pay close
attention to him…Make his lunch if he wants you too…Be sure to have
your face washed and a lil lipstick on so he will want to give you a kiss
Good-Bye..Ok so try to start your work around 8;00 in the morning..Try to
straighten up the house by spending about 10 min in each room…Dont do the
dishes yet ..Just clear the table and put dishes in to soak ..Just
straighten up the house ..like top clean each room..dont vacuum yet..just
put things away..Then around 10;00 start the family evening meal..If you
plan on having meatloaf then now is the time to make this up and put it in
the frig all ready for when 5;00 comes for supper…Also make your dessert
and put this in the frig too..maybe make a salad and refrigerate this..Then
when you want to put supper on by 5;00..its almost all done..Like maybe
around 4;00 you cud make mashed potatoes or some kind of potatoe dish…and
you will be ready for supper at 5;00.. So now it is around 11;00 in the
morning ..So now do the dishes and sweep the kitchen floor..Then vacum and
make the beds..and tidy up for lunch.. Try to get this done by noon and
just have something simple like leftovers or a sandwich for lunch.. Then
take a nap with the children,,lay down and read to the little ones..and you
take a nap too …Or just rest and pray and read your Bible..Then around
2;00 in the afternoon do a project..such as some deeper cleaning…Make a
list of 5 things you want to do for a special cooking or cleaning
job…Something special that will take a few hours to do..For example
Monday clean out your closet and get rid of the clothes you dont wear..Then
Tues do all the baking for the week.. Wed, start your garden,,Thursday and
Friday do extra cleaning for the weekend.. But this is to be done in the
afternoon between about 2;00 and 4;00..Then about 4;00 get ready for Papa
to get home from work..Get supper on by 5;00..after supper sit with Papa
and enjoy him and the little ones..Then around 8;00 start putting the
little children to bed..Give them their bath etc..And then spend the
evening with your husband…Now these are just suggestions for a young
mother..i know you older moms dont need this..love connie

pt 3 Housewifery Schedules

So about 7 or 7;30 we began our schooling.. But see the deal is you need to
have the house at least straightened up by the time the husband is up.. He
has his own work to think about..The Mother shud have her children under
control..They shud mind her whether the Dad is home or not..You cannot
homeschool if you cant get control of the children.. But do find a way to
control them so that you can educate them..i see Moms out running here and
there to Ladies Bible Studies and all that when the children are supposedly
being homeschooled..That wont work,,,But of course anything is better then
public school..So from 7;30 in the morning to about 11;30 we had
school..Then we had lunch and after lunch we had an hour that the children
did Science or whatever subject they didnt get done..Then an hour before
bed they had free reading and had to do book reports too..So while they
were doing school work in the mornings i did my homemaking and helped the
children with school…These schedules and all are good because it helped
me to stay on track ..Tomarrow i will write some more about schedules. Lets
write about grocery lists and menues for each week too .ok? Love connie

Schedules

Well let me see..i have lost this writing about 3 times now.. Shall we try
for 4 times?? Anyway the Lord is showing me that i am still a keeper at
home..I am a Titus 2 Mother…And i have the time now to put books together and write ariticles and send them into magazines etc.. so all is well.. But what is on my heart lately that i want to write about is our homemaking schedules..Some of the young women who wrote to me about my article in Above Rubies said to me “Well what does this look like on paper..? How do you live this life??” So cud some of you stay at home Moms write down your homemaking schedules? i will write mine down too..Ok when i homeschooled it was different then when i didnt..But we always had a schedule esp when we homeschooled..Most mornings we were up at 6 in the morning.. From 6;00 until 7;00 the children got dressed and did some chores..My house was
 always a mess in the mornings ..Because i wud get so tired and i wud go to bed in the evenings..And often Jim was up with the kids ..But Jim didnt do housework except on accasions,,So i needed the house to look decent when i had devotions with the children the next morning..So i wud have one of the kids run the vacuum before school ..Also i wud have the kids make their beds and straighten their bedroom before school..Because often they sat on their beds to do school work..to be continued..

pt 3 Every Wise Woman Builds Her Home

Ok..here is some more of the writing.. its about when we first met Frans wife.We entered the shed{kitchen}  thru a grape arbor..The arbor brot alot of shade and the vines of the grapes went all over the front of the shed and kept things cool in the kitchen..As  you entered this kitchen it was as tho worldiness just fell off  of you and you were entering the hallow of Gods Hands..When i saw Mother working in her kitchen i felt so peaceful..Fran introduced her as his bride of many yrs..Mother was quiet and reserved..i felt like i had entered her sanctuary and interupted her prayers..This wife had moral dignity and strength..Thru her domestication she brot out the natural ways of  her husband..She was discreet and chaste..i was a young wife seeking the older Titus mother…That day the Lord showed me a part of  what all of this meant..Mother didnt need to preach to me..her life showed me what being domesticated meant..To close this up i will  tell you one more thing Fran said about his bride..He said that he bot a herd of cows to care for just so he cud give his pretty wife fresh cream for her coffee every morning..Later i was to find out that Mother taught classes on Housewifery..i didnt get to go to them as i was so busy with my big family..But i was thankful i got to meet this precious family. When i first started the Happy Housewifery Newsletter this was the first story i wrote..i didnt get this one sent out..But i think this mother had alot of influence on me as a young mother with alot to learn..Love connie

pt 2 Mothers Summer Kitchen

So Fran tells us to follow him and we went to the Summer Kitchen,,The puppies were in a box waiting for the  children to come and get them just inside the door of this lovely old kitchen,,Ok i will tell you what it looked like..You walked thru a grape arbor that was shaped like a hallway to the front door of the kitchen..The kitchen was a long old out building that was not insulated and had a dirt floor in most of it,,,This precious wife and mother was cookin up a storm in there..She had a big old wood burning stove..But then she had other stoves in the building too,..One she was making cheese on,..and it had to be kept at a certain temp..Then she had another stove too ..i dont remember what that one was for..In a corner of  her kitchen was a huge pile of  bright orange  pumpkins and gourds that she had grown in her garden.Also she had piles of fall flowers that she wud dry..Mainly the  Giant  Marigolds and Zinnias ..Over our heads was the wooden beams..Mother tied her flowers upside down so that they wud retain their colors and wud dry out ..The kitchen ceiling was awash with  colors of Fall..It was gorgeous.. She also had dried herbs  tied to the beams.. Then she had shelves of Mason jars and baskets of tomatos waiting to be canned. Also  baskets of cucumbers to be made into pickles..Well Fran introduced his lovely wife to us..And the children played with the puppies for a while.,,After Mother met us and all she told us that she was a Christian.. They had 2 teenagers a boy about 14 and his sister was about 16..The children came out of the house to see what Puppy our children was taking,..And  the teenagers so admired their mother…and their dad,,But especially their Mother.. That sure touched my heart..  

Order in the House

Dear Mothers,

I am writing more about keeping a home organized as Kelly on our response group has asked me about it.

Ya know my son Jimmy was in the Navy. He went in at 18 and then I still had two teens in the house and three little ones under the age of 5 years old. Jimmy was an American spy. He was a part of a flight crew that flew over enemy territory and Jimmy had to read the computers and tell if there were any bombs in the area. To make a a long story short, we never knew where he was in the world as he couldn’t tell us. But often he came home on leave and we wouldn’t know when he was coming. Along towards evening, he would give us a surprise phone call from the airport. And then Wild Man would go pick him up.

One time the house was in a worst shambles then usual. I was about to cry, as I knew Jimmy and Jim would be back form the airport in about an hour. I called MaryL, my mentor. She said, “Connie, just make a nice meal and make sure you have it done by the time they get there.” Well, I hurried off the phone and got to cookin’. After I started a nice meal, I began to clean the living room and the children helped me. I was able to welcome our son and have a nice family dinner made for him. I can’t remember what I fixed. But when he was on leave, I would often invite family friends and neighbors over to visit Jimmy.

Two standard cakes I made were icebox cakes. Then we would have ice cream and soda or juice for the kids and coffee for the adults. The two cakes were very simple to make in two 9 by 13 cake pans. One was a chocolate cake mix and the other a yellow cake mix. After they were baked, I would put a chocolate pudding mix spread over the top. And the yellow cake, after it was baked, I put a vanilla pudding mix over it. Then I kept them in the fridge or covered on the front porch to stay cool. These cakes were simple to make — I never ran out of cake.

I would always have the children sit in the living room around the coffee table and the older folks sat where they pleased, usually at the family table. The children knew the adults were to be respected and they could sit where they wanted. Even though Jimmy was the Master of Ceremonies, he sat in the living room on the couch, balancing his paper plate on his knees. Our old milkman would yell in Jimmy’s ear, “So how is the United States Navy?”

Dick, our milkman, just died recently at 86 years old. He was at Jim’s funeral. But he was hard of hearing and always yelled. He had delivered milk and butter to us since 1973. He stopped in about 1997. He was a good Christian man. Our family will never forget him. He always knocked at the door and came on in. “ANYBODY HOME?” Jim could have popped him a good one many times but, thank God, he never did. Dick came when he pleased when he was goin’ by the area. He would switch us around and come even at night after the kids were in bed. The house would be asleep and here comes Dick, yellin’ “Anybody home?” I would ask Dick quietly if he could come in the daytime when everyone wasn’t asleep. But he said he had to come when he was driving by. Oh, what a character. Of course, the kids loved him and when they heard him come, they would jump out of bed and run to see him.

Dick also raised goats and would drive around with a big goat hangin’ out the back car window. The kids loved that and would run to pet the goat. I wanted a goat, too, for the back yard but Jim said “Absolutely not!” But our Dick started out delivering milk in about the 1940s and used a horse and cart.

Dick would come in and ask if he could use the bathroom and, as he ran by, I would ask him if he wanted a cup of coffee. Jim would motion with his eyes to me that he was not in the mood to entertain the milkman. Our lives were so ridiculous! Sometimes Jim would visit with Dick. The conversation was always … well, I would excuse myself and leave the room.

We do have fond memories of Dick and all the old family friends.

Family Order

But ya know when you are having guests with a big family, it can get crazy. But like MaryL has always told me, “Connie, folks notice if you make them feel ‘Welcome’ and if you have a nice meal ready.” And this is so true. I mean, yes, keep the house clean but mainly make sure you welcome your guests and have the coffee on and a snack — especially if your guests have been traveling for a long time to get there.

I am such a feather brain and what you see is basically what you get here. Like Aunt Toot says, “The coffee will be on and a pile of laundry will be sitting in the chair.” I don’t notice the obvious most of the time. I mean ya gotta live and let live. No one’s house is perfect. But my life as a homemaker usually pivoted from the kitchen. It had to. I didn’t buy a bunch of junk food as I couldn’t afford it. Our kids couldn’t go to the fridge and pick something up to eat unless it was fresh fruit or something. It was a treat for them to have cold cereal. So I had to make three meals a day. I spent most of my time in the kitchen.

My kids would vacuum and pick up as they had to. I tried to have the house picked up when I knew Jim would be home from work. And to me, it is so dishonorable for a wife to have company when her husband just arrives home from work. I would tell the children’s friends if they had been there for the afternoon, “Well, the kids’ Daddy will be home in a bit so I will have to send you children home.” And then then our kids would help pick up. Jim wasn’t hard to please as far as my homemaking, so things were far from spotless. But, no, I didn’t expect Jim to come home from work and not be able to even get in the door for the toys. And ya know the children and I had watched TV during the day. And we let Jim watch what he wanted when he got home and we let him rest in his chair for a while and have a cup of coffee. And I would have dinner about ready. But ya know to me that is just common courtesy. If I had to work all day, I would want someone to give me a break when I got home. And I mean, yes, we had emergencies, plenty of ’em. And many times, Jim had to come in the house a-runnin’. But I did strive to keep the house half way quiet for when he got off work. I mean as much as possible.

I would overhear many conversations and Jim always talked about “Connie and the kids.” We were precious to him as he was to us.

No, my house is often stacks of things here and there waiting for me to unstack it. But the main order in the family is contentment and harmony. Make a happy nest for the family, dear Mothers, and let the rest of it all fall into place. Always put husband first. He is not Mama’s helper. Teach the children to honor Daddy and he will teach them to honor you.

Love,
Connie

Happy Housewifery

When my children were all home at different ages, I tried to keep one main schedule. This was before I began to homeschool in 1988. Early in the morning after Jim went to work, I would top clean the living room. I would spend like about 10 minutes in each room, just top cleaning, no vacuuming yet.

The last room I would do was the kitchen. I would plan a family meal and start my cooking as I did breakfast dishes and cleaned up the kitchen. I tried to have an idea for a menu for the week. So in the morning I would either make salads or a dessert. Or made bread if I was out. Also I would put something in the oven or crock pot. So I had almost the whole meal cooked by 10:00 a.m. for the evening meal. Just refrigerate it or whatever. When Jim was at work at lunchtime, the kids and I would just eat leftovers or sandwiches. But I had a big family meal each day either for lunch or supper. But ya know in the winter, it was nice to bake or cook in the mornings as to warm the house up. And in the summer, the day is cool in the morning and it’s a pleasant time to bake. So around 10:00 I would have the supper meal figured out and the house was sort of a mess but at least organized. Then you, as mom and wife, feel happy as you don’t have to think about supper for the rest of the day.

Then late morning, you can do more cleaning and do the wash and vacuum. At noon, stop for lunch and then take a nap with the children or just by yourself. It’s a good time to read the Bible and pray. After your nap, you may have a special project to do like a deep cleaning of a room.

Try to just go to the store once a week. Plan one day that you just run errands and go to the store, etc. Then you can stay home most of the week. Running about takes a lot of time and energy. I would recommend making out a general idea of menu each week. That way you can plan a simple meal in the crock pot for the days you have to be gone all day.

Anyway, after your afternoon break, then you can start straightening the house for the evening meal. And after supper should be a time to be with the family until bedtime. It’s a good time to maybe do your crafts or sewing with the children. You have to feel … well … like anyone, that your day’s work has to end sometime. The evening can be spent reading to the children or playing with Baby. Giving baths and enjoying the children. It’s a time for Mother to relax and to read to the children about the Lord. A time to talk about God and listen to the children’s prayers. A private time for the family with no interruptions from the phone. No late visitors except they be invited and are family friends for the whole family to enjoy. Our children and their friends should be our friends, too.

My children loved to see Aunt Toot coming to our house. And, oh, they loved Jill and Dixie and Mary and Russ. I wouldn’t have let anyone in my house that didn’t love my children. Johnny would have been bored to death if he hadn’t had Aunt Toot to tease. He shot her with invisible ink on her new outfit. Oh, he loved to tease her. We set her in a chair that was wood and it collapsed to the floor. Then we said she broke our new chair and she should be ashamed. “I didn’t break it; I just sat down in it.” We said she must have gained weight. Jim had just gotten the chair at the Salvation Army and it was barely stuck together — no glue. But whatever works, ya know.

Aunt Toot was always good for a laugh. She had these food stamps and had to buy a package of gum at each gas station on her journey to my house. This way, she would have the change from a food stamp dollar to buy gas to get here. She must have been desperate for a laugh.

Emily and Dirt

A few days ago, as Em was here, she was saying that she remembered the old health food store we all went to. Ya know, that one I had written about. I thought it had been torn down earlier but Em said, no, that she remembered going there with her Mom when she was about 5 years old. Emily says, “The new Pioneer stores weren’t as good. I didn’t like them, as they were too clean.” Ya know, Dixie always said that if a house was too clean, then something crazy was goin’ on there. If there was no dishes out, or children’s toys on the floor, it wasn’t right. Showed that the family was only watchin’ TV and not doing any work.

Dixie used to come my house with Emily, late afternoon, just before they were to head back to the farm after grocery shopping. Well, you know my kids were artists and writers and musicians and I had papers everywhere and art projects goin’ on. I had 2 pianos and a chord organ in the living room. Then, of course, I was always cookin’ and had stuff on the stove and in the oven all the time. And when Dixie and Em would come, I would try to clean everything up all at once. Oh, I was a sorry sight, runnin’ like crazy to pick stuff up and at least clear the table to have coffee. I would apologize and say, “I am sorry my house is such a mess, etc. etc.”

Dixie would say, “Of course your house is a mess. You have 6 children.” Well, too, I had a dog and various other creatures running about that I didn’t even know I had until it was quiet. One time, a chipmunk jumped through the broken screen door. I tried to catch it, but then decided I needed some gloves, as I didn’t want to get bit? And I got in my drawer quickly to find gloves and all I could find was my old prom gloves from 1965. So I wore them and somehow caught the chipmunk. If anyone was here with a camera, I know I would be published in Mad Magazine. God knows, I am glad I ain’t. But, yes, the kids tried to help me catch the chipmunk but you know kids. They think its all funny and wanted to keep him.

I was always serious about getting crazy things back out of my house, not my kids. But whatever creatures the cat helped in, Jim, when he would get home from work, would want to rest? And to stop the parade just short of his return home was never easy. But I always thought of Dixie saying, “Of course your house is a mess. You have 6 children.”

Well, I also had a fruitful dog that had a litter of 14 pups about every 6 months. Also, I had 25 rabbits in the backyard. Jimmy, our oldest, was given a pregnant rabbit for his birthday. Her name was Aunt Jessica. I grew comfrey in my garden and fed them this with rabbit pellets? Well, comfrey is what they used to feed race horses in the old days? Well, our rabbits were as strong as miniature bulls. And big? Oh, my gosh! I finally sold them to this old Indian squaw I met at the grocery store. Those rabbits were as big as Thanksgiving turkeys and I bet those 25 rabbits lasted her all winter, and well into the spring.

I remember when the kids were all home and I got out of bed, my feet hit the floor running and I went all day until I collapsed in bed. I was tryin’ all the time to sell rabbits and puppies, sometimes kittens. This is all just after Jim got saved? The poor guy — it’s a wonder he didn’t run the other way. He would actually come home to all of us and seemed to be ok. But, anyway, all of this to say, don’t worry about messing your house up to live happily with your brood. But just clean it up just before your husband comes home from work. Make sure the evening is quiet for him and teach the children to respect Papa. He needs to come home to a quiet home and be able to unwind and watch TV for a bit before bed.

Our men have their own trials and tribulations. They need the stillness of a home where they are honored. And by 8:00, I put my children to bed. They could read books in their beds until they were tired. But the home was closed for business.

 
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