Has the Homemaker Died?

Garden Veggies ~ from Me & My HouseIn doing some sewing machine research, I came across an article I’d like to share with you. Some real wisdom and clear vision put forth here.

…The fact of the matter is, many of the skills and life choices often associated with modern survivalist living or prepping, were at one time the everyday skills and choices of simple living and traditional, old fashion common sense. …

I found it curious that a way of life that would have been considered quite normal and middle class in western Pennsylvania in the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s & 1970s, was by the year 2000, considered to be extraordinary, radical and a tad kooky.

I also found it interesting that in less than 2 generations the average American household had become for the most part, an isolated and non-productive, debt driven economic model.
The concept of a traditional and contained productive household economy had become alien. …

The average American housewife from 1920 – 1970 would today be considered a survivalist. …

Quotes from article by  “Granny Miller”
Click to read the whole article

Giving Thanks for Blessings

ThanksGiving is creeping up on us fast, and I’m getting things planned for our feast that will be held here with 29 of our family. I LOVE ThanksGiving! A Holiday with no mandatory gifts, no candy, just time to enjoy the family God has given us, and the bounty of blessings He has bestowed.

In addition to the abundance of food we are blessed with, I am thankful for so many “modern maidservants” that help me prepare that food. We indeed have been blessed with many things that are wants not needs, but do truly serve us well.

Our latest blessing is a dishwasher. Ours completely went out a week and a half ago. I didn’t expect that we could replace it right away, but I did the research to find one that worked well at getting the dishes actually clean. We decided we would get it while the great sales were going, and we found one on my list, in stock locally, that we could afford, that was rated very high. In fact the only one we could afford in the highest rating category on some sites. We gave up a few extras we were used to, in cycles and rack adjustability, but we have clean dishes and sparkling glasses. Thank you Father God. It will be a great blessing to not have to do dishes for a feast for 29 by hand. (For those interested, it is a Whirlpool Gold model WDT710PAY. This is the first I looked at Amazon, as I chose by test reviews which are not anything like what is seen on Amazon. It ranked better than 92% of other dishwashers.)

Another kitchen blessing is, of course, my Bosch. I thank God for introducing me to Shelly, somewhere around 20 years ago. She showed me how a flour mill and bread mixer could pay for themselves in a short time for our family. We have been blessed to be able to make fresh whole grain bread for our family (as well as MANY other things), save money while giving our family the best, and do it conveniently in just a few minutes. Whether for kneading bread and dinner rolls, or mashing many pounds of potatoes, or whipping up crowd sized desserts, my Bosch is a huge blessing, that paid for itself many years ago. (Click image or name for our Fall Special!)

Lastly, for today anyhow, is the maidservant that will probably get used more than any other for ThanksGiving–more times anyhow–my Cuisinart Food Processor. I had a hand-me-down old one many, many years ago, and then none for many years, and have been blessed to have one again. I’m so thankful for all the many things this servant does. Grating, chopping, slicing, mixing. We just wash it out and use it again and again, and love that the Cuisinart holds up year after year.

My greatest blessings are not things. We could do without everyone of these. But we are thankful for them. God has provided over-abundantly for us. And we give Him Thanks.

 


 

 

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‘Tis the Season

Yes, the Holidays are upon us. I’m not getting gift lists made as soon as I need to, to get the gifts themselves made, and I need to get on it. Time to pull out my Holiday Planner before time gets away from me and stress creeps in.

You can find Freedom & Simplicity™ in your Holiday Planning too! 

holidayplancoverFreedom & Simplicity™ Holiday Planning (ebook)

Do you need some help planning and organizing your Holiday activities? These festive Freedom & Simplicity™ forms will make it a snap. Whether it’s your Decorations, your Gifts, your Cards, your Meals, your Calendar, your … – we’ve got a form for that.

Print out as many of each form as you need (for your own personal household only). Put them in a Notebook Binder. And you’ve got your own brain-in-a-book to keep you organized and stress-free through the Holidays. (Well, I guess I can’t guarantee that, but it will help anyhow.)

22 pages of helpful forms and instructions. Forms have the same festive design as the cover.

Click HERE to order. Only $4.95. Immediate download delivery.

Simply Clean

Don’t miss this .99 Sale from my friend Lisa Barthuly! I will get my own review of this book up soon, but for now just saying, get it while it’s 99 cents because it is a GREAT one!

Simplify. Save Money.

Two things that seem pretty elusive these days, huh? Not so!

Would you like to rid your home of commercial, toxic products but don’t want to pay the price for the ‘all natural’, ‘organic’ products that line the shelf? Learn to make your own! Create everything from your own laundry soap, to homemade dryer sheets, antibacterial spray cleaners, potpourri blends, fabric softeners, calendula salve, homemade ‘Vaseline,’ handcrafted Eucalyptus Chest Rub . . . even tips for the outside of the homestead and much more!

A must have for those looking not only to simplify, but to cut that grocery bill down, create a healthier environment for our families, and revive the art of making our own!

A Simply Homemade Clean eBook is available now through August 31st for just 99 cents!!

FROM THE BOOK

If we knew how to make our own cleaning products to replace the toxic, commercial ones . . . would we? Would we put forth the effort required?

The desire to make my own products stemmed from the frugal, self reliant side of me. I wanted simple; homemade; natural. Remember the definition of simple is NOT ‘easier.’ Living “simply” in our times, means making a deliberate choice to differ from the mainstream of today’s societal norm. My desire changed over to sheer determination, when one of my children was diagnosed with a myriad of allergies, chemical sensitivities, and asthma. After much study and research, we were determined that we could not have those products in our home, they are useless (when God has provided all we need to make our own) and harmful to everyone in our home. Join me, as I show you how to easily make your own natural, homemade, handcrafted products that are not only less expensive but truly better for our families, our home and God’s Creation.

Pick up your copy of A Simply Homemade Clean–for just 99 cents!! CLICK HERE!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lisa Barthuly lives in the mountains of the American Redoubt with her family. She is a follower of Yeshua, Torah lover, Helpmeet, and Mama! She enjoys a simple, home-centered life, built on God’s foundations; studying Scripture, homeschooling, scratch baking and cooking, canning, candle making, gardening organically, raising dairy goats and chickens, she’s the family herbalist, enjoys goat milk mochas, reading, and loves a round of competitive target practice!

Visit her at her ‘homestead on the web’.

 

Spring Cleaning

My Spring Cleaning is getting off to a slow start this year. Throwing open the windows and doors to air out the house, and washing and hanging the curtains out to dry doesn’t work so well when the snow is still flying and the temps are freezing. But Spring and Spring Cleaning are finally here.

I find it easiest to tackle 1 room or area at a time. That way the whole house isn’t in disarray all at once. Depending on the time factor, we do 1-2 rooms per day for about a week, or 1-2 rooms 1 day per week for a couple months. Ideally, I’ve been going through drawers, shelves, baskets, and other stashing places throughout the Winter. Those things can be done easily in small snippets of time, one at a time. That leaves just actual cleaning to be done come Spring.

Spring Cleaning begins by removing curtains, bedding and other “cloth” in the room. Curtains, bedding and window blinds are washed, and preferably hung out to dry. Rugs are beat and aired out, and vacuumed and cleaned as needed. Pillows and bed toppers are hung out to air out. While these are all down and out, cleaning begins at the ceiling.

Ceilings, walls, and light fixtures are cleaned; windows washed inside and out. Furniture, including appliances, is cleaned and/or vacuumed, inside and out, and moved and cleaned under and behind. Pictures, lamps and shades, books and other nic-naks are cleaned well, books removed from the shelves to dust, then returned. Cupboards are emptied and cleaned, then refilled. Plants are thinned, trimmed, or repotted as needed, and fake plants/greenery is washed. Floors are swept and mopped or vacuumed and carpets cleaned. Then all is returned to its proper place and we have a completely clean and fresh room.

Time needs to be set aside for Spring Cleaning, but it doesn’t have to take a lot of extra time. On days that we are working on Spring Cleaning, we don’t do other house cleaning. The other rooms will be well cleaned soon, or just were. They’ll survive a week.

I hope Spring has sprung where you are, and that you are enjoying the freshness that comes with Spring Cleaning.

Packing away winter clothes and getting out summer ones will have to wait for another day. 🙂

Free Wusthof Products

Get FREE bonus gifts when you purchase Wusthof cutlery!

A great knife is the foundation of a good kitchen, and makes all the difference in its functionality. We love and highly recommend the Wusthof Classic line of forged knives. (The Culinar is also a forged series, with with a stainless steel handle.) Right now you can get FREE Bonus Gifts when you purchase Wusthof knives – starting with a Bamboo Cutting Board!

Just follow this link to our Amazon store: Wustohof FREE Bonus Gifts

Read what we have to say about knives and our recommendations in a previous blog post and  on our Good for You-Naturally!™ Resources and Recommendations.

Sharpen Up!

I may not be the sharpest knife in the block. But my block on my shoulders now is sharp about good knives and my block on the counter now holds quality knives – sharp and able to get the job done easily and effectively. I found this post buried in my unposted drafts – from Jan. 07! It’s about time I get this info out!

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Knives are far from my area of expertise. But a chef will tell you they are the most important kitchen tool. Perhaps they are right. As I note at the beginning of our Modern Maidservants page, to eat completely natural we wouldn’t need any tools but a knife.

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But I have spent my life with cheap knives that don’t hold an edge and are usually super dull. It wasn’t that long ago that I told my daughter I really didn’t see any need for expensive knives. But then I began looking at the reason I hated using mine so much. The edges were not only dull, but horribly knicked up, and the serrated blades were bent over. The proof came as I sliced a loaf a bread and ended up with a big pile of crumbs, and my daughter tried to dice chicken and ended up with shredded. Yes, it’d been too long since they’d been sharpened, but it hadn’t been that long, and they were losing an edge way too quickly. I knew it was time to do something.

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That began my research into knives. I found out that generally forged knives are higher quality than stamped, that high carbon stainless steel weds the best of carbon – great edge, with steel – no rust. I learned that Wustof and J.A. Henckels were the names to have, if you can afford them. I also learned that it is far better to buy 1 or 2 good quality knives, than have a “set” of poor quality ones. And that a good chef’s knife can easily cost double what I paid for the highest priced set I’d ever bought, but is worth it. Wusthof ClassicJ.A. Henckels Twin Pro

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I learned that Chicago Cutlery, whose cheap versions I’ve had in the past, makes a forged set that gets favorable reviews for the money. They are called Walnut Forged. That there is a line of stamped knives that ranks very well, and a 3-piece starter set costs about what I paid for my big so-so set. They are Forschener/Victorinox, the company that makes the Swiss Army Knife.

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I learned that my recommendations for which knives are most necessary, are pretty much the same as the expert chefs say, though I probably use my utility and paring more, and they all say the chef’s knife is the most used. Those 3 along with a serrated bread knife and a shorter serrated utility knife should be all you need, at least to get started. The only other knife you may prefer to have is a currently popular Santoku, Asian knife great for cutting vegetables.  If you prepare a lot of meat, you may want along the way to add a boning, fillet, and/or carving knife also. But I’d say, get an electric knife for carving. You can use it on bread too if you like.

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Update: After about 2 years of use, I highly recommend the Wusthof Classic line of knives. I’ve been totally pleased with them. They are worth the money to have a great kitchen tool that you use day in and day out. If you can’t afford Classics, the Wusthof Gourmet line would be good starter knives. I recommend them over the other recommendations here. Just get a couple to get started, and purchase Classics to fill in, and then upgrade as you’re able.