Thursday, August 17, 2017

Harney and Sons – Mother’s Tray Gift

Mother's Tray Gift Pack from Harney and Sons

I received a beautiful package in the mail.  It is from the company "Harney and Sons."  It is a gift set called "Mother's Tray Gift" and is just lovely for Mother's Day!

The sturdy box was wrapped with a pretty pink ribbon.  There was a slide out tray on the side of the box. This contained the presents, which includes:

1. A gorgeous pink, decorative tin.  The cover says, "Louis Sherry" New York.   It is sealed with a sticker with the year 1881.  When the lid is opened, there is a cover paper with a few pictures and the words "Sea Salt Caramel" and "Sicilian Orange."   There are two chocolate treats inside. They both taste amazingly delicious!

2. Six single serve packets of raw sugar.   I used one in my cup of tea and it is wonderful!

3. A beautiful little tin with pretty floral decorations on the cover. Inside it holds three packets of the most delicious smelling tea!  It is lovely! Each loose tea is held inside a silken sachet.  You can make two cups of tea for each sachet.

4. Tea infused Lip Balm.  The flavor is "cherry berry" and it is organic and vegan. The size is 4.4 mL.  It has a barely light pleasant scent.  It goes on smooth and has a gentle shine.

In addition to this Mother's Tray Gift, I received three packets of tea, including "Chamomile" "Organic English Breakfast" and "Hot Cinnamon Spice." These smell and taste wonderful!

Harney and Sons are makers of fine tea and are master tea blenders. Their offerings are elegant. Their products are special treats!

They offer assorted teas, treats, and gift items.

Be sure to visit their site and watch their short Mother's Day video on their home page.  It shows their beautiful tea tins being re-used as planters. It also shows them serving tea with a beautiful tea set.

* Disclosure - I received this item for review purposes.  It was a blessing to receive and I hope my readers are able to purchase some for themselves. To find out more about my commercial breaks, please see my disclosure page. *


Making Money Last

Library of Congress:  Flower Vendor's Easter Display, early 1900's. New York

I was in the hardware store the other day. They had an entire floor devoted to decorative gardening accessories, patio furniture and pretty benches.  There were swimming pools and barbeque sets.  It was so much fun just looking at everything.  I saw the sweetest little garden turtle.  It was a decorative item for the outdoors.  It had the happiest, cutest face painted on.  I thought my grandchildren would love it.  But the cost was $28.  So I just stared at it for a bit and then moved on. 

Over the weekend, I was in the drugstore picking up a prescription for my husband.  I love to browse around while I wait. They always have such nice seasonal items.  I noticed they had a similar turtle as what I saw last week.  This one was a bit smaller, but just as charming.  It cost only $5.  I was delighted and happily paid for it.  I plan to put it in the front garden this coming week.  I know the grandbabies will love to see it as we tour the grounds on our regular walks this season.

Buying things on impulse can be such a dangerous thing.  Our money can disappear so quickly if we are not careful.  But occasionally buying something inexpensive that makes us smile can be pleasant.

This winter, I took all my saved coins and gave them to one of my grown daughters.   It used to be easy to save for a rainy day by filling up jars full of coins. But now the bank won't accept the rolled money. Instead, they direct people to a machine in their lobby. This machine counts all the change and prints out a slip so you can get dollar bills at one of the teller stalls.  But the machine deducts a certain amount as a fee.  I just cannot fathom paying this. It is such a waste, even if the charge seems small.  So I have been keeping a change purse with me.  Whenever I do any shopping these days, I count out the exact change.   It takes a few extra minutes, but I no longer have to worry about what to do with a jar full of money that is difficult to spend. The days of saving change for a rainy day seem to be out of fashion.

Since we homemakers do a great deal of the spending in a household, it is important that we find ways to make the money last.   Each week, I have been taking my receipts and recording my spending in a journal book.  This is for groceries and gas and also any bills I have paid.  I want to remember where the money went.  This helps me be more careful. I also enjoy remembering some of our adventures by reading old entries.  The day I bought the garden turtle and wrote it in the book will make me smile.

Dressing up to do errands or to go shopping was common in earlier days.  My mother always did this. She would put aside her housedress and put on something nicer before going out.  Rushing out the door all the time to get things we forgot, or to hurry some errand can cause us to be wasteful.  Often we will be in such a rush that we buy what is convenient or quick.  This will waste money.   Finances are a serious matter. We need funds for food, housing and clothing. These are basic needs.  But we should treat that money with a great deal of care and planning.  I always dress up a bit before going out because I am more careful in what I do.  Dressing up a little is part of being prudent.  It is part of being cautious and precise in such an important job as spending the household funds to care for the family.

Impulse buying should be so rare that we are thrilled when we actually spend a bit of money that was not planned.  This will make us very grateful for the little treats we have in life.

Making money last just means we don't easily part with it.  We are slow and careful with our spending decisions. We keep our bills and expenses low so we can have money in a savings account.  This is being a wise steward with what we have been entrusted with.  It also brings great peace and happiness to make that money last as long as possible.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

The Example of D.L. Moody's mother - Poverty in the 1800's.

My first Mother's day garden - Attempting a Garden.

Calling the Family Home - Mother's Dinner Bell.

Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 



A Raised Garden at The Estate

Greenland Gardener Raised Bed at our Vermont Estate

I am not much of a gardener.  I love to look at gardens and I enjoy the result of a productive garden, but I am not very good at taking care of one.   One of my favorite tools to keep things easy is to use a raised garden bed that came from Greenland Gardener. 

This is an 8 inch raised garden bed.  We have used it year after year, season after season, here in Rural Vermont.  It is top quality and is still in excellent condition. 

Some of the features of this product:

- It is stackable.

-  No tools are required for assembly.  My teenager put this together very quickly, right out of the box.

- The kit includes 4 planks and 4 brackets. 

- This will not rot, and it is weather resistant.

- It is made in the U.S.A.

- It also looks very decorative on our property.

We always plant cucumbers in our garden.  They are so productive and are easy to take care of in this enclosed space.  I also love that I can just put the garden bed anywhere on the property and have an almost instant garden. 

The above photograph was taken a few years ago.  We have not yet set it up this season, but will get it started in the next week or so. 

I was just looking at the Greenland Gardener site and their Facebook page and saw many great ideas.  I noticed they have the most amazing thing. It is a sort of greenhouse which goes over the garden bed.  It looks wonderful and I am sure would work beautifully.

To find out more about this company, please visit them at Greenhouse Gardener

There are many great pictures and helpful ideas at their Facebook page.

*Disclosure - I received this item for review purposes. To learn more about my commercial breaks, please see my disclosure page.*


Spring Work at the Estate

Spring 2017 in Rural Vermont: This picture was taken down the road from our Estate.

We have been walking the property seeing all the work that needs to be done.  Some of us did part of the raking.  The grounds had been so neglected last season that we still have our 2 acres covered in leaves from last fall.  It is heavy work getting it cleaned up.  I worked for about 15 minutes before I had to stop. I simply do not have the muscle for it!  But I will keep trying on each sunny day!

Some of our grown children have been working to help with the yard work.  We also have plans to plant more wildflowers since they take little effort and not much care.

I hope to get out to the back grounds and clean up my little strawberry garden sometime this afternoon. I will wear my gardening gloves and take the rake with me to gently remove old leaves and such.

The grass here is not quite green.  It is only starting to wake up from the winter. We often have frost on the ground into May, but we may have plenty of green at the same time.

John (19) and I were driving down our country road and saw some little ducks swimming in a flooded bit of land.  They looked so peaceful with a beautiful view of the mountains in the background.  John got a picture of the scene for me to share here with you.  Sometimes I forget how pretty the land is here and how grateful we are to live here.

Mister and I walked a bit around the house and noticed many repairs that must happen this summer. We have neglected them for so long, it has almost become a crisis.   There is some rotting wood around lower window frames and our peeling paint that has been ignored more than 10 years must be addressed. There is very little money to pay for such things and since Mister is disabled, and I know nothing about such things, we will have to find some way to get this work done. 

This large old house is very shabby and neglected these past couple of years.  But it is a dearly loved, humble dwelling place that I love.

I have not heard any birds chirping outside yet this season.  Once I do hear them, I will be so happy, knowing spring is really here!

Have a wonderful Easter!

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

The Reason our Home is being Neglected - The Shabby Garden.

Joy Despite Hard Times - Poor and Pretty Living.

Home Economics - Basic Cookery.

Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 



All Dressed Up to Keep House

Library of Congress:  May 1942, California Housewife

One of the nicest things we can do to make home a happy place is to get dressed up.  It was common for housewives to put on a pretty "house" dress and a nice apron each morning.   The work of vacuuming, polishing furniture, and straightening drapes is much more fun to do when one looks pretty and has a pleasant attitude.

I have a lilac - scented candle that sets a nice mood during the day for when I am cleaning or cooking.  Somehow, those little extra efforts of making the house look nice, and making oneself look extra pretty, brings a cheerfulness to the home.

Right now it is considered "mud season" here in rural Vermont.  The outdoors are not very pretty and that can get us down.  It is so important to take some time to make the indoors look inviting and cared - about.  If we take the time to brighten our appearance and the appearance of our homes, it will help prevent those depressing feelings we can get when there isn't enough fresh air and sunshine.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Oh, how wonderful this would be! - A Mass Exodus of Women Coming Home.

Hard Times - Living in Reduced Circumstances.

Remembering the days before he became disabled - Happy Days with Mister.

Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 



Mitten Strings for God – Chapter 7

I began this study back in 2008 when my children were much younger.  I never finished.  This morning I woke up very early and was looking for something to read.  I picked the book back up (it's been in my to read shelf all these years) and was reminded how much I loved it.  I also reread my old posts and was thrilled to read of our daily lives.  One day I will look back on my current days and will enjoy reminiscing like I did this morning.  

So lets see what I can do in 2017...

Chapter 7 in Mitten Strings for God is on Play.  

Play is much different in our home than it was in 2008.  

Our current favorite ways to play...

Artie - playing hearts with the men at Evans Training Center or basketball with the boys or ping pong with everyone
Kelly - watch a movie or reading a book
Currently Artie and I have been watching college basketball while the South Carolina Gamecocks made it to the Final Four for the first time in school history. 
Emily - playing with Chloe, shopping in stores and online, and hanging out with Lane
Stephen - video games and basketball
Bobby - running 
Terry - chatting with many friends on his phone, playing football or jumping on the trampoline

Looking back when I was their ages, my favorite play time was time spent with Artie.  Terry is just the age I was when Artie became my boyfriend (8th grade). We wrote notes and snuck around and talked on the telephone (which was attached to a chord and hanging on the wall!).  We went on so many dates - to the mall, the movies, out to dinner, to play putt putt.  Our funnest times were just hanging out at his mama's house cooking tacos with jalapenos and watching movies.  (this picture is probably 10th or 11th grade)

Katrina Kenison (the author) says "Children need time that is utterly their own." I believe that is true for all of us at any age.  Spring break begins here tomorrow.  I'm looking forward to having some free time that we just can't experience as much during the school year.  The neighborhood kids all come and play basketball and football.  Boyfriends and girlfriends will be in the mix of plans.  I'm looking forward to some spring time weather and meals.  It's time to wear flip flops and capri's.  It's a beautiful time to be alive!! 


Doing Less

Winter Scene, Dalarne

There is a gentle snow falling here in rural Vermont. It looks so peaceful and pretty as I look out the window.  Even though the calendar claims the season as spring, it is still winter here in the mountains of New England.

This is a good time to rest. It is a good time to make resolutions for the coming year.  Perhaps planning out little gardens to plant when the last of the frost is gone?  Maybe think about all the things we would like to do this summer?  It can be a happy time of bundling up and sitting near a cozy fire dreaming of spring flowers and sunshine.

I am doing less these days.  I remember when all my children were young. They helped me so much with the chores and housekeeping.  They did much of the cooking with me and the planning to keep budgets under control.  While they learned valuable life skills and work ethics, I had happy comrades to help me in my work. 

Now that the helpers are all grown up, I am not able to do all the chores and duties. So I've had to make changes - find ways of doing less of other things so I could rest more.   Of course, there is less work in a smaller household, but there can still be an urgency (in this culture) to multitask and be so busy with projects, making money, and running around that we can become stressed and burdened.   Sometimes, we do not even notice this is happening to us until we are forced to stop. Perhaps by a snowstorm or a car that will not work.  Sometimes it is by a sickness that forces us to rest.  Once we accept these detours (of sorts), and yield to them, we find a benefit of peace and a rest for our minds.

Doing less is definitely the opposite of the race this culture is running.  But it gives us time to read the Bible more and to pray more without rushing.  It gives us an aura of gentleness and spreads a light of cheerfulness to those around us.

Doing less can mean many things. To me it means I do not want to be swept up with the distractions and glitter of this life that tend to lure me away from a quiet, simple life of a happy, godly home.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

I want to be - The Mother Who Isn't Busy.

Good propaganda - Kitchen Sermons.

A happy day of -  Gracious Homemaking.

Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 



A Confinement

Mrs. White's Parlour in Vermont

This has been a cozy winter, here in New England.  Last month brought us many snowstorms which kept us indoors much of the time.  We are in the midst of a below zero cold spell right now. It is a time to rest and keep busy indoors.

A gentle sickness has brought a confinement.  I am weary and struggling, but know it should only last a week or so.  I have been resting on the parlour couch reading a Grace Livingston Hill book, but taking many breaks to give in to much needed slumber. 

Sweet visitors come throughout the day-  One of my daughters and her brood of sweet children.  Their mother comes for coffee, knowing Papa keeps a fresh pot regularly brewing.  I also love their visits, even if I am sound asleep and they wake me up.  It is cheerful to have such special visitors.

It feels like I am in a home hospital, getting plenty of rest, combined with precious family who are as quiet as can be part of the time, yet mostly lovely and loud as is their sweet nature.

I wanted to check in for a quick visit with all of you. I may be gone for awhile, perhaps a few weeks. But will return as soon as I am able.


From the Archives -

An Encouraging look at - "Poverty in the 1800's" about the Mother of D.L. Moody.

For the love of precious grandchildren - "I Hear Angels Crying."

Sweet Faith for Mothers - "All of God's Children Have Shoes."

Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 



A Winter Break

Homemade Muffins in the Parlour at Mrs. White's Vermont Estate

Here in the mountains of rural New England, it is quiet and peaceful.  Each day, this past week, there has been a steady amount of snow throughout the days and nights. It is not a blizzard, but a pretty, gentle accumulation of glistening, white to brighten the landscape.  It is lovely to see.

The boys have been shoveling out the cars and keeping the parking area, and walkways, in good order.  They are often doing this just before the sun sets as they wait for dinner to be served in the evenings. 

It is better to stay off the roads during these snowy days.  Errands and appointments are rare, or cancelled, as we wait for warmer weather. 

This afternoon's view from the front porch at Mrs. White's home.

I have been catching up on some organizing and heavy cleaning.  I have also been doing a lot of reading.  It is warm and cozy indoors with our wood pellet stove. 

Often, in the early afternoon, I welcome grandbabies to the table. I serve lunch or some homemade treat.  It is lovely to have company, especially when it is family!

Our pantry and refrigerator are full of the basics for cooking and baking.  I have no need to go to the market, for which I am grateful.   The other morning, my daughter wanted to bake a cake.  She didn't have a mix, so I got out my cookbook and showed her some easy recipes using what we had on hand.  You can make just about anything, on a whim, if you keep a steady supply of basic groceries, such as cocoa, powdered sugar, flour, and shortening.  All we have to do, is put on an apron and get to work.

In Pioneer days, settlers did well in the cold season if they stocked up on coal or wood, for their heat, to last through the winter.  They also stored the summer's harvest in a cellar, or on pantry shelves, since they knew it would not be easy to get supplies during the coldest months of the year.  How nice it would be if we were able to plan our lives around yearly expenses, rather than weekly ones.

This does not mean we can afford luxuries (like hot chocolate, steak, or "name brand cookies").  Just simple basic ingredients so we can make things from scratch. These might include flour and such for muffins, pancakes, and quick breads.   We can even make our own pizzas if we have cans of plain tomato sauce and some inexpensive hand-grated cheese.  Getting good prices on meat, here and there, so we can stock the freezer over time will also help keep us safe and cozy at home during the difficult weeks and months of winter.  Even if we could put up enough food to last a few weeks, it would be ideal in these modern days.

This is such a lovely time to stay home, putter around the house, do projects and enjoy the hearth and family. There is no rush or worry to go anywhere.  As many appointments and errands as possible are put off until spring.  This is the quiet time of year where we can just rest and take a winter break.


From the Archives -

Good advice from Colonial Days - To Earn and Not to Spend.

The Way it is for Many - Retirement Planning for the Poor.

How Nice it is to Be - Just a Housewife.

Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 



The Company Ready Home

Library of Congress: Mrs.Schulstad and her daughter setting the table for dinner. South Dakota, 1940.

There is usually a main room where guests first see when they enter a home. This is often a kitchen or living room.  These are the common rooms we housekeepers try to keep the neatest.  We also do our best to keep the bathroom tidy.

It is not possible to keep all rooms, of a house, perfectly organized and spotless at all times. This is because we do not live inside a magazine cover photograph. Our homes are not going to be "picture perfect." But we do well when we keep the main rooms company ready.

I have often read of the different temporary homes which Caroline Ingalls and her family lived in.  She did a few specific things on a daily basis:

1. She always swept the floors each day, even dirt floors in a sod house.

2. The beds were made each day. She made her own, and directed her girls to make theirs.  This was an expected chore.

3.  After each meal, she and the girls would wash and put away the dishes. She would put a clean tablecloth on the table. Then she would put the Kerosene lamp neatly at the center of the table. It made things look pleasant and tidy.

4. All were expected to sit up straight and use their manners, even if they were camping near the river on their way to a new homestead out west.

There was a time when they didn't have much and the children had been sick with Scarlet Fever. I believe this was in the book, "On the Banks of Plum Creek."   Some company was stopping by unexpectedly.  Ma (Caroline) worried about what food she could serve, since nothing special was available at the time.  Laura, who had been taking care of everyone said something like, "If it is good enough for us, it is good enough for them!" This is so sweet because the way in which they lived, good housekeepers, hard workers, and simple living with dignity, made any meal they served to the family, or to guests, a blessing.

In these modern days, we can certainly take a few minutes throughout the day to keep things neat.  I like to polish the bathroom sink, wash mirrors and put out a fresh towel each day.  I also make my bed each morning, and open the blinds to let in the cheerful sunshine.   I straighten flower arrangements (these are assorted plastic flowers that make things look extra nice all year round), straighten chairs, and put everything "to rights" in the main parlour. This helps to keep our home looking inviting and pleasant. 

It is good to just keep the house looking nice in case unexpected guests show up.   When my parents were in their elder (retirement) years, they used to do some extra tidying on Sunday afternoons, as that was the common time when church members would stop in to see them once a month or so.  Mother would be sure to have some coffee cake on hand for refreshments.  She and Dad would dust the furniture and vacuum the carpets. They would make the kitchen counters and table look extra pretty.  This was for "just in case" company came. If nobody stopped by that week, they would enjoy the special treat and the extra lovely home regardless.

Years ago, one of my grown daughters used to love to drop in for a surprise visit. She lived a few hours away and I never knew when she would just show up for the night, or for a day- visit.  I always wanted to have a warning so I could buy special foods I knew she liked.  As the years went by, I realized that I would much rather have her just show up unexpectedly. Surely she would enjoy any food we had on hand because it would be made with love. It was much more fun to have her come by without a warning. She loved to see how happy and surprised I was to see her! 

In my childhood home, special treats like cake or popcorn were reserved for once a week or special occasions.  Often this was on a weekend.  If company happened to stop by, they would share in the refreshments.  If they happened to show up on a weekday, they would have the common fare of whatever meal we were having - nothing special.  But we made sure our house was always decent and neat so we could share our happy home and life with our guests.

Very often, "Nothing special" in a cared- for, humble home is just what company would love to see.

To have a company ready home just means we housekeepers are doing our job of keeping a decent and tidy home. We look as nice as we can (as representatives of our homes), and gladly welcome weary visitors with a smile and with grace.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

The Way it Was - Retirement Planning for the Poor.

A Happy Marriage - Serving Mister.

Training Children - Nobody Wants to Clean a Messy House.

Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 


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