Sunday, January 29, 2012

Book Review: Housework Blues

Housework Blues by Danielle Raine

I'm just a few pages shy of finishing this book, and in my humble opinion, it should be required reading.  Not only that, I think perhaps one of its subtitles should be "Life 101."  I haven't learned so much helpful, useful information from a book in a long time.

I saw this book on another blog, but I think only the one so far.  My thanks to whoever it was that wrote about it!  I decided to purchase a copy because with the constraints on my time and energy, not even my normal desire to keep a nice house had been enough to do just that.  I needed some help with my attitude and my reasoning regarding housekeeping.  I've found help aplenty in this book.

As the back book cover warns, one won't find many actual housecleaning hints.  That's not the purpose of this book.  No, this book helps us with the feelings many of us have regarding the futility and boredom of doing the same housework over and over again; that overwhelming feeling of it just being neverending; the sense surely we've been born for something better than cleaning house; the feeling that if I can't keep a proper home, I must really be a failure; and so much more.

The thing that struck me while reading was how so much of Ms. Raine's insight and logic could be applied to other situations:  employment we don't care for; relationships that are necessary but unpleasant; anything that requires time and energy that either we don't have or that drains us, leaving us unable to enjoy life.

In case it matters to you, the author refers a time or two to zen, a couple of times or so to Buddha, a page on feng shui, but this did not bother me at all.  I only considered her to be well-read, and not that she was trying to shove these things down our throats.  She mentions the book The Secret.  I have not read that book so I can't really comment-- only to say about all of the aforementioned, that "every good and perfect gift comes from above..." (James 1:17). 

I will reread this book and soon.  And this time, I will underline my favorite points so that I can locate them by just quickly flipping through.  This book is encouraging, and the "best bits" of it just might be life-changing.  I highly recommend it!

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings. Wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be disheartened, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

Johnson Oatman Jr.  1897 (PD)

Wishing you a blessed Monday,
Bess (who had quite the time figuring out how to put Amazon links in my posts again)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Rose Chintz Tablescape

This week I'm joining in congratulating Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage on the occasion of the second anniversary of her Tea Time Tuesday blog party. Wonderful achievement, Sandi!  Thank you for all the fun and beauty you provide blogland every week.

Sandi sometimes shares her Rose Chintz china by Johnson Brothers on her blog.  Susan Branch also has a collection of the same, along with other ladies, of course.  I inherited my mother's Rose Chintz service for eight, but it is newer, not vintage.  It still has the same pretty pattern, but for example, the insides of the cups are plain on the newer sets.  Also, I've noticed the "blue" on the flowers on my dishes is put on rather haphazardly.  Such is progress, I guess.

For my tablecloth today, I chose an afghan made by my grandmother.  The pattern is called "Sea of Tranquility."  Somewhere I have a copy that my mother wrote out.  Using an afghan was a stretch, but the dish pattern seemed too busy with the quilts I have, and I have already shared my lace tablecloths and was in the mood for something different:

The dining table to my grandmother's set is very small, and doesn't lend itself well to much of a centerpiece.  Once the table is set, the "center" isn't very pronounced.  That's OK, though, because I don't have much centerpiece material.  The candlestick was Grandma's as well (the mark is Volkstedt: pre-WWII from some quick research), and the little figurines (bells); the salt and pepper shakers were my great aunt's (the musician, not the artist); the silverware belonged to my grandmother on my father's side (its simple pattern can be seen better in this post); and I bought the little gift book used.

That's a nightlight that I wound up removing from the tablescape.
One can place a drop of fragrance on its top.

My mother's stemware (she bought it just a few years prior to her death):

Rose Chintz:

"Dishwasher and Microwave Safe"
I think that's kinda sad!

To get a better look at the needlepoint chairs below, you can go here:

My mother loved dishes, as do I, and had other sets to serve eight.  But I broke all the other sets up, and sent half to auction, the Rose Chintz being the only full set of eight that I kept.  Silly, because I'm not apt to hold a formal dinner for eight in my little house, but I just didn't want to break up the set.  So thanks, Sandi, for letting me share my Rose Chintz at Rose Chintz Cottage!

(I doubt my place settings are arranged correctly.  One day I'll have to do some research on that.  For now, I just do what I like!)

Rejoice in the Lord always.
I will say it again: Rejoice!
Let your gentleness be evident to all.
The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious about anything,
but in every situation,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.
And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds
in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:4-7

Grateful for all of you,
Edit:  Oh my!  Had I known this was going to be my most popular post, I would have "done so much better" (or at least chosen a prettier tablecloth)!   :o)

In addition to Sandi's party, I hope to be linking this post to the following wonderful places/posts. Please go visit them, you'll be glad you did!

Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday
Cielo at The House in the Roses for Show Off Your Cottage Monday
Kathy at A Delightsome Life for A Return to Loveliness
Martha at Martha's Favorites for Tea Cup Tuesday
Terri at Artful Affirmations for Tea Cup Tuesday
Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for Pink Saturday
Thank you, Gracious Ladies!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Pottery Demitasse Cup

Happy Friday Evening!

At least in my little part of the world, it's Friday evening and the start to my weekend!  Hurray for weekends! This demi was part of my mother's collection and was obviously (when viewed up close) made by an individual, and handpainted.  Well, made by one M. A. Hadley, to be exact.  I don't know who she was, but possibly a friend of my grandmother's.  (Edited to add that I didn't realize there was a Hadley Pottery company when I posted this, so I doubt Ms. Hadley was a friend.)  Mom once mentioned that as a young wife she had to stop relaying that she collected demitasse cups because she was getting more than enough to suit her.  I think I kept seventeen, and a few others went to my sister-in-law.  Just a "nice size" collection.

I received the sleigh figurine, oh goodness, must be over
thirty years ago.  It came with a bottle of Red Door fragrance by Elizabeth Arden.
I still like Red Door (and the figurine, too)! 

The Winter devotional, below, is from a series written by Vonette Zachary Bright.  She co-founded Campus Crusade in the early 1950s with her husband, Bill Bright (who is now deceased, I believe).  There is a book for each season and every one is filled with wisdom, encouragement, and common sense. These devotionals are definitely keepers for me.

My silly large glass of bookmarks I collect that didn't wind up in the full shots. I now also make bookmarks from cards I receive if there's a pretty section on the card that is suitable.  They vary in size, but in that way I get a sweet memento without having to save all the cards.  I recently realized I need to write the names of the cardgivers on the backs of my bookmarks, because one forgets-- even when she thinks she won't!

I've been singing (to myself) this great and timeless classic by Fanny Crosby lately:

To God be the glory,
great things he hath done!
So loved he the world
that he gave us his Son,
who yielded his life an atonement for sin,
and opened the life gate that all may go in.
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
let the earth hear his voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father through Jesus the Son,
and give him the glory, great things he hath done!

Well Dear Ones, off to watch a Mapp and Lucia episode on Netflix.  Have only seen the first two, but I think they are wonderful!  I so hope you have a great weekend, and later this week I hope to have a post to join Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage for her Tea Time Tuesday's Second Anniversary Party.  Her theme is roses.  It should be lovely!


I hope to be linking this post to the following wonderful places/posts. Please go visit them, you'll be glad you did!

Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Debra at Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday
Charlotte for Spiritual Sundays
Thank you, Ladies!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

My Mother's Mother's Mother's Things

My Great Grandmother Hulda's, that is.  She was born in 1866 and had her first (surviving?) child at the age of 29.  My grandmother would come along three years later in 1898.  I won't tell you the year my mother was born because she would come right down from Heaven and throttle me!  :o)  Mom was always secretive about her age because the women in our family have, for many generations, been older than their husbands.  Me, too, when I was married.  But I digress.  I have three wooden kitchen utensils painted by GG Hulda, in a primitive Grandma Moses fashion.  Above is a winter scene. Below is the only plate I have of her "good" dishes.  It is Rosaline by Alfred Meakin, and she had a set sent over from England:

The "big" picture of what I'm sharing today, plus there will be an extra or two thrown in at the end of the post:

See the little stool in the photo?  Great Grandmother Hulda crossed the Atlantic from Sweden at the age of two (1868) and sat on that little stool for the crossing.  My grandmother said Hulda simply carried the stool around the ship with her and sat down when she tired.  Of course, it's been painted, but it still has a few original square nails.

Hulda in a "colorized" photo which has been placed
in a Lefton frame by my Great Aunt Addie

Since I inherited them from my grandmother, I believe the chalkware, china doll, and little lamp were more than likely Hulda's.  They could have come from the paternal side, but how often does that happen?  Well, at least it's a tragedy how little I have from my own father's side of the family.  I'm very grateful, though, to have been blessed with much memorabilia from my mother's side.

A well-used vegetable dish is the only other piece I have

The crocheted tablecloth was either made by Hulda or her eldest daughter.  It unfortunately does have some damage, but it's easy to hide it to the back! Someday I would like to have this beauty blocked:

Her painted utensils; the lake scene is my favorite:

Hulda's School Hymns book (missing its first pages), a schoolbook of hymns in Swedish (1883), her autograph book ("presented to Hulda Christmas 1880"), and a school hymnal published in 1901 that was probably one or more of her children's:

The Dickens Birthday Book... has more than one person's handwriting in it, but I believe it to have been my great grandmother's at first (I don't find a copyright):

A lot more of the photo shows by not using Picasa (but it's probably just the user!):

Many of the pages are too light to read, but following are some samples from her autograph book:

I'll "translate" as I am able beneath each photo.

May 22, 1881
Think of me in the hours of
pleasure. For get (sic) me not in the
hours of leisure and if forgoten (sic)
in the hour of care, give me
one thought in the hour of
(Love the artwork!)
Friend Hulda- May you ever be happy
And never get snappy.  A Friend
These humble lines which here I trace
Years may not change or age reface
They may be read though valued not
When she who wrote them is forgot--
July 21, 1881
Dear Friend Hulda
When far away and friend (sic) are few
Remember me and I will you
("friend" is misspelled throughout)

January 11, 1882
Friend Hulda,
If you ever hope to be a wife,
For many a call you will have
In your life to Darn, Darn, Darn.
Would you keep your children neat
And clean. Would you save there (sic) toes
From frostbite keen. Then never
believe that Darning is mean but,
Darn. Darn. Darn.
Over there.
Over there.

The final entry dated 3-80-"82 (sic):

A little bit of this and that.  The marking on the old, crazed plate is so faint, it's unreadable.  The knitting needles and crochet hook are very old, not the new versions:

I don't know if this calling card holder belonged to my GG Hulda or not, but it came down to me via that lineage:

I have longed for thy salvation O Lord;
and thy law is my delight.
Psalm 119:174   (KJV)

Whew!  You'll be happy to know I won't have an extra-long post like this for awhile! :o) Sorry the last part of it got locked in as one long caption!  I couldn't manage to break free! But I hope you enjoyed seeing these oldies.  The autograph book fell apart while working with it for this post, but I did go through it all page-by-page.  Some of the entries are in Swedish.  Perhaps in the future I'll share a few more entries in a much shorter post! The old rhymes are fun.

God is good!!!

I hope to be linking this post to the following wonderful places/posts. Please go visit them, you'll be glad you did!

Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for Pink Saturday
(see the pink flowers on the calling card dish?) :o)
Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday
Cielo at The House in the Roses for Show Off Your Cottage Monday
Kathy at A Delightsome Life for A Return to Loveliness
Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Table Top Tuesday
Mary at Very Merry Vintage Style for Share the Love Wednesday
Kim at Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays
Thank you, Gracious Ladies!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Another Demi

I hurriedly took these shots on my lunch hour today so that I could share this sweet demitasse cup.  The bottom says Ridgways Shelton England, and above that it says Cornwall.  I haven't done any research on it as yet.  Like all my demi cups, this belonged to my mother.

The border is all around the cup.  It is sitting on one of
my journals.  I think I bought the necklace around 1970; it's held up well!

This demi compared to a regular teacup below (however, I forgot to put the teacup on its saucer):

One of these days, I will try to go through my posts and label all the ones with demitasse cups so that they'll be easy to locate.

The Lord is good to those
whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him... 
Lamentations 3:25

Hope you are finding time this winter to refresh your spirit,

I hope to be linking this post to the following wonderful places/posts. Please go visit them, you'll be glad you did!

Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday
Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage for Tea Time Tuesday
Martha at Martha's Favorites for Tea Cup Tuesday
Terri at Artful Affirmations for Tea Cup Tuesday
Thank you, Gracious Ladies!