Feb 17, 2017

Hello from Roxanne at Haven of Home!

Image Source
I don't know if anyone who used to follow my blog "Haven of Home" is still receiving any notifications, but I thought I'd throw this out there!

The last time I posted was August of 2012.  FIVE YEARS AGO.  So much has happened since then (of course).  Two major things have happened in my life during this hiatus:

~ My son became a teenager (almost 15 and a good six inches taller than I am!).
~ My younger sister died on April 1, 2015 from colon/liver cancer, which was diagnosed in August of 2012.

A few days ago I was wandering around on the Haven of Home blog because I was trying to find a link that I had posted about.  As I read a post here and there, I started to feel like I wanted to blog again.  I loved getting to talk about all the aspects of homemaking.  I loved connecting with like-minded women.  I think I might be ready.

I discovered that several of the links are now broken, and some of my threads got dropped in the
middle when I quit blogging to help my sister.  So, I think I just need to start fresh.  I may transport some of my posts, or maybe I won't.

Either way, my passions are still homemaking with a love of mid-century style, homeschooling, and taking care of my high school sweetheart as we get ready to celebrate our 32nd anniversary in August.

So, if you get this note and want to drop by and say "hi", please do!  I'd like to catch up on what you've been doing for the last five years, too!


Aug 30, 2012

*TAP* *TAP* *TAP* ... Is this thing on?

Hey, Y'all!

Summer is about to come to a close at our house.  School starts on Monday.  It IS Labor Day, after all.  Doesn't that mean that J should labor?  He doesn't think so, either.

What a summer it has been!  I trust yours has been eventful and memorable in a good way.  Ours has been.  There have been challenges, too, certainly, but The Summer of 2012 has been fantastic.

I'm rolling some post ideas around in my mind.  If you're still out there reading my blog, stop by and say "hi" and catch me up on what you've been doing.  Let me know what your plans for autumn are. 

We're coming up on a new season in the calendar year and a new season in our lives.  For example, I'm going to begin my last year in the 40s.  I intend to make it a prelude to a wonderful new decade!

I'm going to be spending the weekend doing the final tweaking on my homeschooling as well as putting up the TONS of tomatoes are garden is producing.  One of our tomatoes was 2 pounds, all by itself!  We went to the fair yesterday and saw that we would have won third place if we had entered it.  Instead, we just ate it.

Our secret to mega tomatoes can be given with one word:

Manure.  That is all.

Jun 18, 2012

My "Summer Plan"

I mentioned in my last post that I had created a "Summer Plan."  I used one of the forms from an older version of Kemi's planner (see my sidebar for links to the planners) that showed the week-at-a-glance.   The form can be completed on the computer and printed, or, as I did, saved as a picture via the Paint program and used as a desktop picture!

Yes, a desktop picture.  Other people have pictures of their children, spouses, favorite vacation spots, or images of their hobbies.  Not me.  My desktop shows my weekly plan LOL!

If you click on the picture below, I believe it will enlarge.  Below the picture I'll describe what the heck it means!


No, I'm not the one playing tennis.  I should, of course, but it's actually my dh and ds.  They roll out of bed early, brush their teeth, grab a light snack and hit the court.  Meanwhile, I'm getting started on the laundry, making a good breakfast, and setting up my cooking plan. 

I have always done my laundry by doing one load each day during the week.  This is the first time in a long time that I've done it all in one day, but it's all part of my master plan to get the housework done so I can do OTHER things the rest of the week.  I'm loving this so much that I'm trying to figure out how I can do this during the regular school year!

The laundry is doing its thing, the men are getting some exercise and bonding time, and I'm lining up my groceries to cook a week's worth of meals in one day.  When they return, we eat breakfast and do our Bible reading.  My DH heads off to work, J and I spend a little time in the yard or garden improving something, and then I get started on the cooking. 

I knew that I wanted to do this and was about to look for some plans online when I stumbled across this book at a yard sale:

 It exactly fit what I was looking to do.  So far we've liked everything that I've cooked.  I'm about to do my 4th session on Monday and I'm Actually. Looking. Forward. To. Cooking.  Imagine that.  Two things are especially great about doing this (aside from having to just heat and eat throughout the week).  One is that none of the food that I'm buying is going to waste.  Nothing is lingering in the produce drawer, dying a slow, pathetic death.  Everything is fresh and healthy!  The second thing I really like is that I'm not having to do any major cleanup of the kitchen throughout the week.  Oh, JOY!

After I'm done with the cooking and kitchen cleanup, J and I do a thorough house cleaning (around the stacks and stacks of stuff), put away all the clean laundry, and then


I put the Family Movie Night on Monday because, after the busy day, I'm ready to kick back!


After breakfast/Bible/outdoor work, I set J to doing some state history activities while I do my paperwork.  That consists of bill paying, customer invoicing, filing, and working on the new school year.  When we finish with that, J and I work on some house project.  This coming Tuesday, for example, we'll be working on J's "notebooks."  In the evening, we all get to work on our respective computers without feeling like we're ignoring each other.  So far my husband hasn't gotten to participate in the evening activities, but soon (I hope) he'll not be working double shifts, 'cause the PM schedule is mucho fun too!


Usual morning startup with J going to his Mavis Beacon typing lessons while I put the finishing touches on my errand list.  I also do my grocery list even thought I don't shop until Friday.  After lunch, we head out and meander our way to band practice, doing whatever errands need to be taken care of.


DH leaves the house at 6:30 on Thursdays, so we don't eat breakfast together.  J and I do our morning routine and I gather up some snacks, our bottles of water, and we head out the door.  This past week he and I explored some side roads in our little town.  We came across a tiny graveyard and walked around reading the names and dates.  I let J decide if we'd go left or right at each junction (he loved that) and we spent about an hour just seeing what we came across.  We call these our "Adventures."  I want to incorporate time to do things for others in this time slot, too.  We'll see what I come up with.

We've been playing board games together in the evening, which has been very...interesting.  Let's just say that my 10yo boy is still having a little trouble with sportsmanship when he loses LOL!  Training time is always useful!


I'm working on some writing and drawing activities with J.  He enjoys both of those and I want to increase his skill in both areas.  I thought it would be nice to work on those without all the other school subjects hanging around.  I'm hoping that will make it a more relaxing and creative time for him. 

The same thought goes for the drum and piano lessons.  Less pressured.  Of course, right now it's just piano lessons because his drum set had to be dismantled.  He makes up for it by drumming on any flat surface he comes across.

We head to church about 5:00.  My favorite grocery store is near the church (half an hour away).  I shop for all the non-perishables before, leaving the few perishable items for after.  When I get home I load the frig and freezer, and leave the rest in bags in the pantry.  I don't have to put it away because it's all going to be used on Monday and throughout the week!  Did I mention how much I like cooking for the week on one day yet?


The weekend days are laid back and family oriented.  After church, I bring our food and changes of clothes (which I prepped on Saturday night), and we head out to do some family summer stuff.  We're already a half hour in the right direction leaving from there.  In the evening before bed, I do a quick plan for the upcoming week.

At this rate, I do believe I will accomplish much this summer and we'll have lots of wonderful memories!

Jun 16, 2012

I'm here, I'm here!

 Hey, y'all! 

I thought I'd post a quick (and long) update about what's been going on in my little haven.

Well, I have been busy, BUT, I've also been lazy regarding the computer.  I have found myself turning it on in the morning to check emails and take care of any customer stuff for my husband, checking my three favorite blogs, and then, get this...

shutting the computer off! 

I usually do another check before bed, too, but that has been it for weeks.  I have no idea why I'm doing this, but I'm enjoying the time off! 

I have looked back at all my posting plans and I do feel a bit bad that I've dropped the ball on them. The ones that really made me feel guilty were the "part 1 of 2" posts where the 2nd one never got written!  Perhaps I will ease myself back into more posting...

Recently two of my readers made it a point to see if I was still around.  I thank them for their concern and thought I'd do a post to catch you up.  Maybe something I'm doing could prove useful!

First off, I have a "summer schedule" that I've been using for 3 weeks now.  (Summer started early here!).  I'm going to do a separate post describing that.  So far we are loving it!

Second, it's been five weeks since the work crew removed the stained ceilings and mildewed insulation from our entire upstairs.  They put up the new drywall and then the work season kicked in and my husband began to work double shifts, six days a week on other people's houses.  He's working on it some tonight (Yay!) and my hope is that we'll stop living with all of our belongings stacked around us in teetering columns and get moved into the upstairs by October 1st.  My extreme hope is that it will be long before then, but I'm a realist.

Third, I've started to play piano for our worship band at church.  I played for five years before J was born.  Now that he's 10yo, our pastor asked if I would be willing to come back.  I am so thrilled to be able to minister through music again.  That means going to weekly practice and showing up early to the services, which takes time, but it is fantastic!

Finally, we've got the garden in, such as it is.  I've committed myself to my Five Year Yard plan and we're a tad behind thanks to the house shenanigans.  We're still going to persevere and do what we can do and perhaps we'll have more than A tomato show up this year.

That's my update.  Look for my post describing my "summer schedule" to come out in the next few days.  I'm pretty excited about it 'cause it's working for me! 

(FarmMom reminded me that I had started the year talking about decluttering 2012 items in 2012.  Apparently she and her family are doing this themselves and keeping track.  I stopped counting for a while, but I started up again.  FarmMom--I'm at 450!)

May 12, 2012

Passing Along Some Savings

Just popping in for a second to let you know about a sale that Kemi is having on her "A Home Well Kept" set of planners. If you've been considering getting them, now is the time.  The percentage off is for the set of two planners.

Use the code THNKSMOM and you will receive 25% off.  The sale ends Monday, May 14.

A perfect Mother's Day gift!

If you'd like to, click HERE to use my affiliate link to go to her page, or HERE to go directly without going through my affiliate link.  Either way, Kemi has a great product and is a wonderful lady and I would love to send business her way!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

We are FINALLY getting all that mold yucky muck yuck taken care of in our upstairs.  For the last two weeks J and I have been hauling things downstairs (the two rooms were storing A LOT of stuff!) while my husband was working out of town.  Yesterday, he and a group of construction friends have begun the transformation.  As of this afternoon, the new insulation is in, the drywall is almost all up and the first taping is done.  DH also put in three new windows (which should help the winter warmth tremendously).

I have a ton of cleaning ahead of me when they get done...

For the next amount of time (Week? Weeks? Months?) that it may take my DH to find time to finish the finishing, we will be living in chaos.  Right now we're sleeping in our little camper.  Boy am I glad we have that!

In the midst of all of that, J and I are finishing up homeschooling.  He has two weeks left and then I'm going to kick in our newest summer plan.  It involves field trips, for one!

I trust that everyone is doing well and wish all the moms who read here a Happy Mother's Day!


Mar 29, 2012

Takin' a Break

Well, it appears that I'm taking an unintended break.  I thought I'd go ahead and make it official. I'll leave everything up and will answer any comments, but I'll give myself a few weeks to go on as I have been.

I've got two more months of homeschooling to do before summer break and there's a possibility that our horrible ceilings on the second floor (from the roof damage last year) might get fixed soon.  If they are, I will rejoice loudly and then I will get busy moving furniture all over the place.  My husband is nervous.

Along with that repair, they will also put proper insulation into the attic.  During the summer we will finally put our wood stove in on the first floor instead of in the basement.  That will mean that we can sleep in the 2nd floor bedrooms in the winter without wearing hats, long johns, socks, and 32 blankets!  Very exciting!

If this does happen, I have really big plans for my "new" homeschool/office arrangement.  Be still my heart.

So, don't hesitate to leave comments or email me.  I'm not disappearing.  I'm just not posting for a few weeks.

Thanks and Happy Easter!


Mar 19, 2012

Pie of the Month Club: Banana Cream

It's March already!  Tomorrow is the first official day of spring and this year our spring has come WAY early.  It was in the 70s yesterday and today!  Normally there's a lot of snow on the ground and we're hunkering down for at least another month.

What better way to celebrate an early spring than tropical fruit?  This month's pie choice is Banana Cream.  This is not to be confused with the Southern delicacy called Banana Pudding.  That is in a class by itself.

Has anyone made any of the pies that I've posted about?  I've made them all and we've enjoyed every one of them.

Banana Cream Pie 
(This recipe is from my 1956 Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book.  They added "De Luxe version" over the recipe.  We shall see.  We shall see.)

For the Filling:

1 9" baked pie shell with high fluting
2/3 cup sugar
3 T cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Cups
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 T butter
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 large bananas

Mix sugar, cornstarch and salt in sauce pan.  Gradually stir in the milk.  Cook over med. heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils.  Boil 1 min. Remove from heat.  Gradually stir at least half of hot mixture into the egg yolks.  Then blend into hot mixture in saucepan.  Boil 1 min. more, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and blend in the butter and vanilla.  Allow to cool.

Slice bananas and layer 1/2" deep in pastry shell before pouring in cooled filling.  Bake at 400 for 8 to 10 min.

If whipped cream topping is used, garnish with a ring of sliced bananas.

Mar 15, 2012

Poll Results: Davy!

Yes, Davy (the cute one) is still everyone's favorite and that's fine 'cause my boy, Peter, came in second!  Micky had a good showing, and Mike even managed to pull off one vote.  Whoever voted for him, thank you.  I was going to be sad if he ended up with zero.

I've been playing my Monkees CD in the car for the last two weeks.  Correction, my SON has been requesting it for the last two weeks.  He has two favorite songs on THIS album.  One is "Heart and Soul" (#20) and the other is "Goin' Down" (#9).  Micky is scatting on that one!

So, Davy WAS the winner, but I'm going to attach a video of Micky to honor the torch being passed to the next generation.

Mar 14, 2012

Paper, Paper, Paper!

One of the reasons I haven't been posting is that I've been on the attack.  There's a quiet monster in my house.  It lives in every room and grows bigger each year.  It's name is Paper.

Oh, I've done sort of okay for the last couple of decades in dealing with it.  Things have mostly had a place to be, especially financial paperwork.  The rest, however, has been a thorn in my side, a challenge to my desire for order, in short, a beast.

The final straw that brought on this frenzy of attack was when my SIL wanted a copy of my FIL's death certificate.  I couldn't find it!  In looking for it I found four other things that I had been looking for.  The death certificate, however, is still MIA.  Something snapped inside me and I declared with raised fist, "Enough!"

I began to research to see what filing systems would free me from this beast and came across something very exciting--because it worked!  I did not buy the system but gleaned the process and setup from their free videos and information.  For those who don't have the several hours it took for me to gather supplies and set it all up, the system can be purchased.  It's called Freedom Filer.  See their demonstration video below:

After setting all of this up (hours and hours after research), I began to file.  It was AMAZING!  I could find things!  We just finished refinancing our house last week and everything was at my fingertips!  The long-term filing items (like death certificates) finally had a home.  (One day, FIL's certificate will turn up, I just know it.)  All my tax stuff wasn't in one huge file as in the past 2 decades, but instead pre-filed according to the Schedule C categories.  I'm (almost) looking forward to taxes next year!

There was still an issue, though: the things that needed something done with them before I filed them.  What I didn't know was that I needed "Action" files.  THIS ARTICLE entitled "Filing 101" laid out the foundation for what to do with the papers when they first show up.  On a wall pocket next to my desk I now have the following files.  When a piece of paper comes into the house, it has A PLACE TO GO that will not act as a black hole.  It actually prompts action!
  • Business receipts
  • Personal receipts
  • Receipts for items I might need to return
  • Tax information
  • To Pay
  • To File
  • Errands
  • Coupons
  • To Contact
  • Waiting for Response
  • 3 files of husband's worksheets for his jobs (Estimate, Project Schedule, Tally Sheet)
The Action Files idea came from THIS VIDEO and from spending about an hour and a half at the site's extensive free article section that I found invaluable.  Click HERE for those.

On the Freedom Filer website they have an area with many other videos for encouragement. (Click HERE.)  They also have a "Flow Chart" guide for the paper that I found especially useful.  (Click on the link below the picture to print this free chart.)  There are other free printable forms HERE for use in the filing system.

Click here for printable link.

That took care of Business and Personal financial paperwork, Long-term items to keep, Tax information, and Customer Files.  I already have a beautiful system for my housekeeping that is kept in a binder (will post on that soon).  There were two more areas of the beast to conquer:  Homeschooling and my son's constant production of paper.  I'll write about those two areas in my next post.

A huge load has been lifted off of my shoulders.  I think it was the heavy armor that I wore when battling this beastly entity.  What a joy (yes, I said joy!) it is when paper comes into to the house now.  I KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH EACH AND EVERY PIECE!  I kind of get all excited as I dash off to my Action File area or straight to the filing cabinet.  Can I count that as exercise?

Because of their many wonderful articles and videos, I was able to take advantage of their generosity of information to put this together in my home without cost.  Now that I've already done that, I see the excellence of the system and wanted to feature them so that others may look into it.  I do have to say that the price for the basic system would be very worth it.  I spent hours setting everything up.  Purchasing the system would SAVE tremendous time and effort on that step.

After much thought and encouragement from a friend, I've decided to become an affiliate for Freedom Filer.  All that means is that I get a small percentage of a sale if you choose to buy their product based on my review.  If this looks like something that would work well for you, please consider using the link below to purchase.

 It may pull things together for you just like it did for me!

Mar 8, 2012

Poll: In Memory of Davy's Passing...

Hi y'all!

It's been a looooong time, but I'm back.  I've been in the throes of several activities.  That coupled with feeling like I didn't have anything to say turned into a lazy streak where my blog is concerned.  I've had some time off and I think I might have a few posts up my sleeve now.

(BTW, Thank you, Eef, for checking on me.  I sent you an email.  Did you get it?)

In my next post I'm going to share what I've been doing about the buildup of ever-so-much paper in my house. I think I've put together some systems that are really going to turn this around for me.

This post, however, is dedicated to my childhood--a piece of it, that is.  Last Wednesday, Davy Jones of the iconic band The Monkees died.  Like the rest of the US who grew up in the same era, it was rather a shock.  He was only 66 and in very good health.  Or not.  

When I was a preteen, The Monkees TV show was being rebroadcast to a new generation.  Every afternoon after school I'd plunk myself down on the couch to watch.  In years before that, my channel changer (that I had to turn by hand) was settled on Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood.  No longer.  Now I wanted to watch the silly antics of some boys who also sang some really cool songs!  A more innocent time when the future was stretched out before me.

My favorite Monkee was Peter.  He wasn't "The Cute One" (Davy), "The Prankster" (Mickey), or "The Serious One" (Mike).  He was "The Quiet One."  I felt sorry for him, I guess.  The others got more attention, so I figured I'd throw some his way LOL!

Back to Davy.  Davy lived in Indiantown, Florida.  My SIL lives in a nearby town.  One day about eight years ago, she met Davy.  I think he was in a restaurant where she was singing.  Somehow they were introduced and he took a shine to her.  She did not reciprocate his interest.  She told us about it and how her thoughts were that "he was too old."  Mind you, she was 19 years younger, he being 58, she being 39.

She missed her chance.

Davy apparently met someone a year or so later that was 33 years younger.  Who knows.  Maybe when he met my SIL, HE was thinking that she was too old for him!

Anyway, does that count as having had a brush with celebrity?  Not my first, you know.  I went to school with Mike Scaglione.  I run in a level of society that many only dream about, don't I?

Or not.

RIP Davy.


But wait!

Were you a fan of The Monkees?  Which Monkee was your favorite?  Come vote on the sidebar!

Feb 23, 2012

Well, I finally got a clue as to why I couldn't post.  All of a sudden Blogger has decided that I have to, in fact, I absolutely must use their new system.  I thought there was something up with my WiFi, but evidently not.

I have had a cold for a few days.  It's almost gone now and I feel tremendously better.  I was going to post about it on Monday (I know, one of my more exciting posts!) and it wouldn't let me on.  Tuesday I tried again, but nothing.  Yesterday I was out all day and evening (errand day and band practice), so didn't check.  This morning I sat down to see if I could figure out the problem.  I figured out the problem!

Now that that is behind me, I will do a happy post and then I'll be back to my regular blogging schedule on Monday.

Here's the HAPPY POST:

I live in New England.  New England is known for having a goodly amount of snow in the winter.  I have come to embrace the seasonal conditions that come with living here.  This winter, however, has been the easiest, most surprising one we've had in the 15 years I've lived here!  I will describe the conditions with a list:

  • As of yesterday, there was NO snow on the ground.
  • There hasn't been snow on the ground for over a MONTH!
  • My son has been out scootering a lot.
  • My husband GOLFED last week, for heaven's sake!
  • Yesterday, it was 50 degrees.  Most of the days for the last 6 weeks have been in the 30s and 40s.
  • SUNSHINE has made its appearance quite often.
  • The Pièce de résistance?  Robins have been gorging themselves on worms in our yard and my husband saw a goose yesterday.
IN FEBRUARY, in New England.  

I am thrilled!


Feb 17, 2012


It's been A WEEK.  I mentioned that I was doing taxes.  It always takes me 2-3 days of concerted effort to pull this thing off.  This week I'm also pulling together paperwork for some bank stuff.

And homeschooling, and doing regular household stuff, and, and, and.

Next week should be more "normal."  Life is always new each day, isn't it?   I'm very glad that it is!

Until Monday.

Feb 14, 2012

Taxes--Part 1 of 2

It's that time of year again. TAXES.  I usually wait until the last possible minute. Do I hate them? Yes, I do. But, they're a necessary evil.

Wait, what was that word I used? Evil?

I was looking through some Ebay postings to see if I could find a picture of an old mid-century tax form to put on this post. Well, I did find some, but I came across something else that I thought was pretty funny. Apparently, I'm not the first to use the word "evil" in association with the word "taxes" (nor the last, I'm sure).

Look at this:


In 1957 a man named Frank Chodorov wrote this book.  The blurb on the auction says:

    "Frank Chodorov was an extraordinary thinker and writer, and hugely influential in the 1950s. This is his American classic that argues that the income tax, more than any other legislative change in American history, made it possible to violate individual rights that were at the core of the founding. He argues that income taxes are different from other forms because they deny the right of private property and presume government control over all things."

Well, how about that!  I bet that would be an interesting read. 

So, I'm doing taxes.  I've determined that, evil or not, I'm going to get them done, take advantage of any tax breaks that I can find, and learn what I SHOULD have done and keep notes for the 2012 tax year.   I'll share what I glean in the next post.

Are you done with your taxes?  HERE is how mine were going last year.  It seems that this year will be a shorter experience...

Feb 13, 2012

Needlework Challenge

I know.  It's definitely NOT summer.  It was 10 degrees here yesterday, though we're back up in the 30s today. 

The reason I'm posting this is that it sort of inspired me.  This article came from my August 1951 Family Circle magazine.  This is so NOT what you would find in today's magazines.  Oprah would not feature needlework projects for all that summer spare time! 

What struck me was the assumption that needlework was just done.  Since it was already being done, the magazine thought they would suggest something that would be lightweight yet useful.  I guarantee you that doing needlework of any sort has never crossed my mind when it came to thinking about what to do on a summer day!  Yet, the clip above claims that these types of projects would be the perfect "hot-weather hobby.  Only small pieces to hold and handle."

BUT, it has crossed my mind on these 10 degree, snowy winter days.  I always think of the big things I could do.  For example, Anna at Pleasant View Schoolhouse recently featured a coverlet made from recycled cashmere sweaters.  I totally want to do that.  It would be so soft and luxurious and perfect for a quick cover up while doing homeschooling reading or watching a video with the family. (Click on the source link below her picture to go to the post.)

 I would love to do that blanket, but I was overwhelmed just thinking about even starting it.  I have so many UFOs in my sewing area from years ago, that I'm embarrassed.  The Family Circle article, however, got me thinking about finding a SMALL project to do this winter.  I'm going to look around and see if I can find something that calls to me.  If I do, I'll post about it.

Do you enjoy doing small projects here and there?  Any suggestions?  I can sew and crochet.  I'm not a fan of embroidery, but perhaps I could revisit that and see if the decades that have gone by since my last project might have softened my view!  I'm intrigued and ready to create something!

Feb 10, 2012

Featured Blog: Small Notebook

Click here to go to the website.

I don't remember how I came across this blog. It was a rabbit trail, I'm sure. Her simple posts, though, are nearly always helpful. I even cleaned the holes in my dishwasher sprayer arms recently because of her!

I'm bent on getting to a level of simplicity that frees me and my family up to do what we really want to do. I'm a big fan of extreme decluttering. Rachel provides lots of unique ideas to make that happen. For example, she challenged her readers to decluuter one BIG thing. I always think of decluttering all the myriad small items that rattle around the house. It never even crossed my mind to look around for something big!

Rachel's credo in her "Welcome" section is:

Here at Small Notebook, you don't need to buy
more storage containers to get organized.

That revelation hit me about a year ago. What freedom that brings!

See you on Monday!

Feb 9, 2012

Pie of the Month Club: Chocolate Cream

Figures we'd hit all the cream pies (my favorites) when I'm trying to be good about my diet!  I will have a bite, but the rest will have to be taken care of by the men in my family.  I guess they're up for the job!

This pie is from my 1955 Good Housekeeping Cook Book.  It is NOT a mousse-type pie, but rather dense and pudding-like.  The source for the picture had a recipe that was similar, but the one I'm using has less sugar.  Here's the recipe:

Chocolate Cream Pie

Baked 9" pie shell
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 to 2/12 squares unsweetened chocolate, cut up
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups milk
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 T butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract

In double boiler, combine 1/4 cup sugar, chocolate, flour, and salt.  When chocolate is melted, beat with egg beater until smooth.  Gradually stir in milk.  Cook, stirring until thick.  Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, 10 min. longer.  Beat egg yolks with 1/4 cup sugar; stir in a little sauce; add to rest of sauce in double boiler.  Cook, stirring, 2 min., or until mixture mounds when dropped from spoon.  add butter, vanilla; cool.  Start heating oven to 350.  Turn filling into shell.  Bake 12 to 15 min.

Top with 1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped; sprinkle with shaved chocolate.

Feb 7, 2012

Vintage Hygiene: Body


This is the fourth and last post in my Vintage Hygiene series. (Click on links to read previous posts: HANDS, FACE, HAIR, or click HERE for all the posts at one time.)

Today's topic is the body.  One product came immediately to mind:  dusting powder.  Back in my youth (I refuse to call it "the old days"), my grandmother had these wonderful smelling round boxes of talcum powder--with the big giant puff!  I LOVED that stuff.  After a bath (not a shower at her house), we'd puff all over and dressed in our summer dresses.  With no air conditioning, it helped to keep you feeling clean and dry. They always came in pretty boxes and the smell was heavenly!


The talc would also come in shaker containers.  I see those around a lot today.  Shower to Shower comes to mind.  Fun name, boring bottle.  The commercial I remember said, "A sprinkle a day helps keep odor away...have you had your sprinkle today?" 

Lovely containers are still being made.  I just haven't thought about it in a long time.  Now that I've done some research for this post, I'm starting to think that I need to add some body powder into my arsenal.  I imagine I could get some modern ones that look as pretty as these vintage ones do:


Apparently, talcum is actually a bad guy.  Read this report that echoes several that I read.  I generally knew that I shouldn't buy anything with talcum any more, but I had no idea how really bad it is!

Pretty scary stuff!  The article mentions corn starch as a homemade alternative.  That doesn't sound as soft and pretty as the stuff my grandmother had.  Maybe it wasn't "the stuff" that intrigued me.  MAYBE it was

"the PUFF!"

Now that's what I'm talkin' about!  Just put together Cornstarch + a few drops of lemon or rose essential oil + The Puff and we might be onto something!   Yep, I think it's really all about the puff.  Very feminine, very pampering.

(Off to order a puff.  A big, pink puff.)

Feb 6, 2012

the Value of Money--Part 3 of 3

This is the final post about Irma and her daughter Connie. (You can read Part 1 and Part 2 by clicking the links.)

That fall and winter she looked better-dressed on less money than she ever had. Our advice, formerly unwanted and viewed as nagging, was now not only accepted but sought. She took a healthy pride both in the responsibility she had been given and in her own excellent record in handling it.

Along toward Christmas we reaped another totally unexpected dividend from our investment in independence. up to that time, clothes had been considered definitely second-rate gifts. They were things you got anyway. But that year's Christmas list included twin sweaters, a sports shirt, and a pair of western-style pajamas instead of the usual knickknacks.

Her father and I have found that our own attitude has improved as much as Connie's. We look to her now as a person with good sense, able to understand a definite limit and operate freely within it. We no longer feel our generosity was a dangerous precedent. We realize, of course, that with rising prices and Connie's forthcoming need for such items as formal evening dresses, we'll have to step up her allowance to meet the situation. But the basic idea certainly works for us, and I'd recommend trying it with any teen-age girl. The amount, naturally, depends on whatever you consider suitable. But you can't lose anything except the original investment--and I'll bet you won't lose that.

I didn't want to comment throughout the article as I thought that would be distracting.  I thought it could speak for itself.  I don't have any teenage or otherwise daughters, but I certainly will use this info as a model for teaching responsibility with money to my son.  In fact, we've been working on this with him for about 3 months now.  I may do a post about that as I'm finding the same types of shining maturity that Irma did.

Are/did any of you work with your child(ren) about money in the manner of this article? Did you have a different way of teaching financial responsibility?  I would like to hear it as we're at that point in our child-rearing journey.  We're going to raise a boy who can manage his money!

Feb 3, 2012

Featured Blog: Cozy Little House

I got to this blog in a fun, roundabout way.  First SallyFord left a comment on one of my recent posts. (Thanks!)  I clicked on her link to "visit" her blog which is Enlightenment for the Sleepy... and enjoyed the sweet pictures of her boys and the well-thought-out book review.  While roaming around, I saw a blog title on her sidebar that intrigued me: Cozy Little House.

So, I clicked on it.

This blog is written by a woman who lives in a "little blue house" in Oklahoma.  She's fixing it up on a limited budget (and doing a great job).  She also features other guest writers who tell their stories about thrifty experiences and small-house living.  She has a lot of ads on her site, but I don't mind as I'm hoping the money she makes from her blog will help her continue to cozy up her home.  She's also planning to open an Etsy shop with the finds she doesn't need. 

Now that I've passed this along, I'm off to read more myself.  Thrifty, cozy, small house--totally right up my alley!

Feb 2, 2012


Source with more info
Tuesday's post about vintage hair (click HERE) brought to memory a lovely pink, gooey setting gel called Dippity-do.  Does anyone else remember it?  My sister of the mod hot rollers fame swore by it.  Back then I just wanted to play with it!

I know we have setting gels now, but just the name "Dippity-do" makes it seem much more fun to use! 

Apparently it was still being made (just the green one) up until recently.  After a quick search I'm finding that all the online stores list it as "manufacturer discontinued."  The new bottle had the same name, but it just wasn't as appealing, I guess.

Well, there ARE still others out there.  I do think that "product" such as gel and hairspray are necessary to achieve the vintage styles.   (Maybe that would have stopped the frizzies when I tried to duplicate Samantha Stevens's hair?)  I remember (now) that my sister would put a good glob of the stuff on each wet section before adding the roller.  She also did something that was warm, I'm sure, but not very safe.  She'd put the vinyl hood of a hair dryer over her head and then fall asleep.  I always worried she'd electrocute herself. 

At least her hair would look good.

I found two commercials for Dippity-do.  The first was from the 60s.  I LOVED her style at the end of the commercial.  Did those rollers really create that?

The second one I REMEMBER AIRING! It's not good and clear, but it instantly took me back to 2nd grade. Sheesh!

Feb 1, 2012

Resolution Wednesday: 48 Weeks to Go

Explanation of Resolution Wednesday's categories.

Area 1: 2012 in 2012

Only 14 items this week.  I haven't started on the basement yet.  When I do, I expect the numbers to be MUCH higher...
Decluttered to Date: 158
Amount still to go: 1854

Area 2: Weight

Since January 1st I've lost a total of 6 pounds as of this morning;s weigh-in.  Slow and steady seems to be working. 

Area 3: Long-Term Goals

Nothing new to report here.

Area 4: Outdoor Time

A lot of my time outside this past week has been stacking wood. My husband built an AWESOME wood shed last fall. (Click HERE for that story. I never got the "after" shot. I'll have to do that in the summer.) The wood shed was completely filled with wood as winter started. The process now is that my son loads up a sled with wood, drags it over to the porch and then stacks it neatly around the perimeter. Nice, dry wood that we can grab and take to the wood stove as we need it! (Last year involved chipping ice and having the wet wood sizzle in the stove...)

We were running low so I volunteered to be the "stacker" while my son brought several loads. Trust me, this was beneficial "outside time" in more ways than one!  My shoulders say otherwise, but I'm just ignoring them.

Jan 31, 2012

Vintage Hygiene: Hair

This is the third post in my Vintage Hygiene series. (Click HERE for the first post and HERE for the second.)

Hair care has changed so much in just my lifetime. When I was born, the popular styles involved lots of teasing and hairspray.  A woman always had a "standing" appointment with the hairdresser who would shampoo and set the hair for the rest of the week. I remember my mother doing that and sleeping on a satin pillowcase to keep the style intact. 

When I was a kid/preteen, the styles changed to parted in the middle and straight. That worked out well for me! There was ONE perm situation when I was in 7th grade that I'd just as soon forget, though. My mother hated my "long, stringy hair" as she so nicely put it.  The humiliation I endured in my homeroom class the next day is with me to this day.  I thought I was off perms forever after that.

THEN came the 80s and early 90s--the era of serious perm-dom. I embraced the perm again, for several years.  About 15 years ago I got tired of all the fuss and went back to my naturally straight hair. I cut my own hair and I make it look as decent as I can, but I'm starting to get bored with it.

A year or so ago, I started reminiscing about how women used to work on their hair to try to achieve a certain style. I came across a blog called Bobby Pin Blog where a wonderful lady named Lauren specializes in vintage hairstyles. She even wrote a book (click the source link to see the information):


I've owned that book for a while now. Every few months I get out my hot curlers and attempt one of the hairstyles. So far they haven't come out quite as they should, but it's fun to try.

Speaking of hot curlers, Lauren found a set on Ebay back in 2010 that was EXACTLY like my sister's. My sister is 10 years older than I am. She graduated in 1972 and she STILL uses the same set of hot rollers she bought as a teenager. Here's a picture of the case:

And the inside:

Have any of you tried a vintage hairstyle? Have any of you seen a hairstyle that you used to wear "back in the day" and you're a little miffed that it gets the name "vintage?" (HA!)

Personally, I would LOVE to be able to have Samantha's hairstyle from the first season of Bewitched. I know she got it with hot rollers because in one episode she was wearing the rollers.  In the scene you could actually see the front and back of the roller formation.  I kept pausing to try to see the way she rolled it. I tried it out. I did not succeed. The one word that came to mind was "FRIZZ!" I still want to make it happen, though. Maybe one day! 


Jan 30, 2012

The Value of Money--Part 2 of 3

In last week's post (click HERE), Irma and her husband were having issues with their daughter Connie.  She was treating them like a money tree when it came to her clothes-buying habits.  They were at the end of their wits when they decided to analyze the situation and come up with a solution that they hoped would change Connie's perceptions.  Read on:

[Connie] needed to see her clothes outlay in relation to the family budget.  She needed to think of the various items in terms of suitability and continued wear.  Instead of which, she chose on impulse, and about a third of the time the item so loved in the store hung unused in her closet at home.  (Yep, just like the mall girl I mentioned.)

We decided to try turning the entire problem over to her.  We'd invest one hundred dollars in a bank account for her and let her spend it the way she wished.  The money would have to last from late September through January, and if she ran through it sooner, she'd have to struggle along with what clothes she had.  All we asked was that she keep a record of her expenditures.

Connie had a pretty decent wardrobe to start with, but she would need replacements and occasional small luxuries, perhaps a dress and a blouse or two.  Coats were not to be included--we weren't quite ready to turn her loose with such an important purchase.

We told her about our decision when school started in the fall. She was just fourteen that month.  Her eyes widened in awe at the vastness of the sum entrusted to her care.  She was thrilled with anticipation, and eager to start right in on the new project.  We had uneasy visions of the bank account's vanishing in the first two weeks.

It didn't.  It actually lasted past the appointed time.  And it did an incredible lot of good for the whole family.  The change in Connie's attitude was so dramatic as to be almost funny.  She turned, practically overnight, into a demon shopper who compared prices and quality with astonishingly good judgment.

I was invited to go with her on her first shopping expedition.  We spent many hours, but she bought nothing but a tweed skirt for seven ninety-five.  It would be fine for school, she decided, because it had flecks of color that would be a cover-up for inevitable smudges.

On later shopping trips, she proved just as sensible.  She bought only nylon socks, even though they cost more, because they lasted longer.  She concentrated on blouses and skirts instead of dresses, because they afforded more variety.  She began, and kept up, an account book that was excellent budget training.  By the end of six months, it also provided a bird's-eye view of which purchases had been worthwhile and which had been foolish extravagances.  Connie couldn't ignore those five-dollar white-fur mittens by burying them in a drawer, when they stared at her every time she opened her account book.

Next week: The Ultimate Results.

Jan 27, 2012

I love my vintage cook book collection. It's small, but it's growing! Today's featured book was given to me by a friend. (Waves to FarmMom!  Email some time!) My copy is the 8th printing which was done in 1956. The first printing was from 1938.

The book was put out by the Atlanta Gas Light Co., Home Service Department. The first page assures me that "It's Fun to Cook!" That would be because they are going to show me how to use my new gas range. They are especially proud of its ability to broil foods as there is an extensive amount of recipes for broiling everything, including dessert.

Today's featured recipe is for Broiled Meatloaf. I don't make meatloaf very often because of the long baking time, so this time-shortened version intrigues me. I will be testing this as soon as ground beef quits pretending it should cost as much as steak. I hope that's soon!

Broiled Meat Loaf

1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup crushed cereal crumbs (What kind of cereal?)
1/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon chopped onion

Mix all ingredients together and divide in half on waxed paper. Shape into two firm loaves. Arrange on cold broiler grill 6 inches from flame. Broil 15 minutes, turn, and broil another 10 minutes or until meat is done. Barbecue sauce can be brushed over loaves or served with them. Strips of bacon can be placed over loaves just before they are done and broiled until they are crisp. (Yum!)

6 servings

Jan 26, 2012

Poll Results

Thank you for coming and voting about my Friday subject.  It really helped me to see the interests of my readers.  The results were:

Vintage Recipes--66% 
Featured Blog--41%
Book Reviews--33%
Wordless Friday--16%

I'm going to take the top three as my Friday focus, alternating amongst the topics at will.  SO much better than talking about my grocery trips LOL!

I was sweating it a bit about Chaucer.  I've tried to read him, I really have.  My eyes rolled so far back into my head with boredom that I was afraid they'd get stuck there.  Maybe when he comes up in my homeschooling I'll try again.  Meanwhile, neither of those topics will get airplay on Fridays!

Come back tomorrow to see which of the top three I will choose.

Jan 25, 2012

Resolution Wednesday: 49 Weeks to Go

Explanation of Resolution Wednesday's categories.

One more day to vote on Friday's subjects. Come and let me know what interests you most!

Area 1: 2012 in 2012

MUCH better this week: 112 items from jewelry, books, and clothes. I'm going after son's room next week. He says the total will be zero. We'll just see about that!

Decluttered to date: 144
Amount still to go: 1868

Area 2: Weight

Down one pound. Exercising going well.

Area 3: Long-term Goals

This one is 9 1/2 years in the waiting. Before my son was born I played the piano in the worship team at our church. After he was born I tried to continue, but it just wasn't going to work with a little one. Now that he is almost 10, I decided to talk with the pastor to see if there was a place for me again. The only reason there was a vacant piano at all was because the lady who had been playing for the last several years just had a baby and was going to sit out! The pastor said yes and I started last week. Very exciting and a little nerve-wracking, too. It HAS been a long time!

The funniest thing is seeing the sheet music for the songs I used to play and wondering how they shrunk the words to such a small size.

Area 4: Outdoor Time

EVERY day this week except Sunday! When the three degrees stopped and we had a heat wave up into the 20s and 30s, I took advantage and sloshed around in the wet snow. We call this our "January thaw." It doesn't last long. February and March aren't as cold, but the SNOW will be high. That's OK, I have snow shoes!

Jan 24, 2012

Vintage Hygiene: Face

"To be beautiful and natural is the birthright of every woman." ~ Constance Bennett, 1937
This post is part two of four.  The first post can be seen HERE.  This week's topic is skincare for your face.  I'm definitely not one who has flawless skin.  FAR from it.  I have second stage Rosacea, which means that I'm 48 and still break out!  It's not actually acne like the teenage years, so it doesn't respond to normal care.  It is definitely frustrating.  On top of that, my skin is very dry.  If I try to exfoliate, my skin gets bright red and is painful.  Fun, fun, fun.
I know that the biggest factor that I could change to improve the condition of my skin is to completely stop eating sugar and instead fill up on whole foods, especially veggies.  Also, water, lots of water.  I'm working on that.
Meanwhile, I've actually been using a product that was invented 150 years ago:  Pond's Cold Cream.  I love it!  I use it to remove my makeup at night.  After I remove all the residue, I put on a another thin layer for the night during the winter.  I don't need the extra layer in the summer. 
My favorite vintage tip for my morning routine came from the Vintage Notions book.  The advice is to use COLD water to splash on your face.  After that, dab up the excess water but leave some.  Then, take a little of the cold cream and smooth it around, letting it soak in before applying makeup.  I've seen a major difference in the smoothness.  Winter is still a challenge, so I'm working on the food and water to aid that!
For fun I came across a You Tube video from 1937.  Constance Bennett goes through her morning routine after waking up in a bed that I am now coveting.  Her maid is a pest, though.  I wasn't quite sure WHAT Constance would do if she bothered her one more time!
Oh, and if you're lazy like I am and wear powder "rouge," don't be offended.  Maybe she's right and we should try cream rouge?  Constance would know.

Next Week: Vintage Tips for the Hair

Jan 23, 2012

The Value of Money--Part 1 of 3

I went shopping for clothes last week. With all the clearance sales and coupons for even more money off, I figured it would be productive. I was right! I did really well and I've got several mix and match basics for rock-bottom prices.

In one store, I was standing in line behind a high school/college age girl. The cashier commented on the party dress she was buying. The girl said, "Oh, I thought it was pretty. I usually do that. I buy something because it's pretty, wear it one time and then it just sits in my closet. Sometimes I give it to a friend." I peeked at the price on the dress. It was "marked down" to $50. In a bag at my feet was what I found at another store. It was filled with clothes for my son. I had paid $56 for the clothes. Know what I got? Five turtlenecks for this/next winter in basic colors, five more turtlenecks for the winter after that, one sweater for this/next winter, two for the third winter, and a long-sleeved rugby striped shirt for this/next winter. For $56.

So, I was looking through one of my vintage magazines and came across an article about parents who were teaching their daughter to be wise with money, especially when it came to clothes. Though this isn't "series" day (that's tomorrow!), I'm going to split up the article into three parts so that you can read it, too.

Maybe someone of the younger set (maybe the girl at the mall?) will come across my posts and see something to inspire them to be wiser about their money.. I hope so!

Experiment in Responsibility by Irma Simonton Black
from Woman's Day, November, 1952

I suppose every parent is touched and pleased when his youngster exhibits signs of dawning adolescence--the small pin worn by a twelve-year-old girl hitherto scornful of ornament; the slicked-back hair of a boy who, a few months before, had to be examined around the ears for cleanliness.

But there's one place it's likely to hurt--the pocketbook. This is especially true with girls. Our daughter developed a high, wide, and handsome approach to clothes buying that, at times, left us wishing for the careless youngster whose favorite costume had been a western shirt and a pair of faded jeans. And she shared this trait with all her friends.

The loafers, for instance. Why, everyone wore loafers! A loaferless thirteen-year-old, according to connie, was in danger of social ostracism. We pointed out that her feet were narrow at the heel and that loafers would slip. We said they weren't good for everyday shoes. Connie got the loafers. They slipped at the heel and hurt her feet. but another variety would probably be more comfortable, she said. Her friend Ginny had a pair that she loved. At this point, her father and I put a collective foot down, although we were considered a pair of stonyhearted old fuddy-duddies.

Then there was the rosy-pink dress, seen and loved at first signt on a routine shopping trip for socks. THe dialogue went something like this:

"Oh, Mother, look! It's just what I need for Linda's party!"

She did need a dress. But she didn't need this one. I looked at the price tag and gulped. "But, Connie," I protested, "it's more than I had planned to pay for a dress at this time of year. In a few weeks you won't be able to wear wool. And this would need frequent cleaning, so it wouldn't be practical for school."

"Just let me try it on, please, Mother," Connie pleaded. "I don't have to get it just because I try it on."

We retired to the dressing room with a saleslady in tow. Need I tell the result?

The new dress looked adorable, and Connie's devotion to it lasted. But it returned from every outing with a spot and spent most of the early spring and the following fall at the cleaner's. The cleaning bills just about tripled the cost of the dress.

My husband and I surveyed the next years with dismay. Connie was just starting. What would she be like by the time she was sixteen? We hated the prospect of constant bickering and admonitions, but we certainly didn't intend to fall into the opposite mistake of letting Connie think she was the pampered darling of a couple of millionaires.

(What will Irma and her husband do? Will Connie become the great-grandmother of the girl that I saw in the mall? Tune in next week!)

Jan 20, 2012

POLL! Come and vote: My Blogging Schedule: Fridays

In THIS POST I mentioned that my blogging schedule for 2012 would be:

  • Monday: Vintage
  • Tuesday: Series-type posts
  • Wednesday: Resolutions update
  • Thursday: Musings, Daily Life Stuff, or just General Stuff
  • Friday: Food report
  • Saturday and Sunday: No posts
Well, I'm liking all the topics except Friday's.  The Food Report is just not doing it for me.  Considering my dearth of comments on this one (except for Rebecca and Leslie--thanks, y'all!), I'm thinking this one can go.  I'm actually a little bored by it myself. 

I came up with some other ideas for Friday's topic. 
  • Vintage recipes
  • Book reviews (I do a LOT of reading)
  • Featuring another blog (I kind of like this one)
  • A discourse on the works of Chaucer (ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!)
  • Homeschooling
  • Wordless Friday
I'm going to put a poll on my sidebar and let you vote for what you think would be a useful, and/or interesting topic.  I reserve the right to override if everyone votes for Chaucer.  Just sayin'.

I'll make my decision and next Friday's post will reflect the chosen topic.

Come and vote!

Jan 19, 2012

Yes, Virginia, I CAN Budget!

Source (already sold)
Who knew? 

I have tried to use a budget for years but always came to the conclusion that I never had enough money to make a budget work.  With our sporadic income and the debt load, we just cut things to the bone and became poster children for frugality.  It seemed silly to make up numbers for "groceries," and "entertainment" only to have them pretty much never work out.

Well, it was a new year and, doggone it, I was going to make it work this time!

I came up with a two-fold system that seems to have fixed the problems I've been having:

ONE:  I have separated out a "Household Budget" from the rest of our money.  I determined what I needed to take care of the four areas needed to make the day-to-day stuff function:  My van gas and car washes, our clothes, our food, and miscellaneous household expenses like toothpaste and batteries.  I came up with a figure that would provide enough money to take care of these areas using my penny-squeezing abilities.  I separated that money into a new saving account and use one credit card designated for Household.   The money is there at the beginning of the month.  When that credit card comes in, it is paid off immediately.

TWO: I update the budget DAILY.  Every receipt is instantly recorded.  I know at all times what's happening with our finances.

The rest of the money that comes in is recorded in a different budget for General Expenses.  That one gets updated constantly as well.

It seems to be working.  What a relief of stress this is.  I don't know why I didn't figure this out sooner, but I'm so thrilled that it is finally established.

Like I said, who knew?

Jan 18, 2012

Resolution Wednesday: 50 Weeks to Go

Explanation of Resolution Wednesday's categories.

NOW I'm back on track and all my ducks are in a row!  My weekly blogging schedule is working out fairly well.  Sadly, I think my readers are bored.  I'm getting almost no comments.  Are you still reading?  Of course, if you're not, then you wouldn't know I asked LOL! 

So, AM I boring everyone?  If so, some constructive suggestions would be useful.  What brought you to my blog in the first place?  Am I no longer writing the types of posts that will keep you reading?  Please let me know and I will see what changes I can make.  If I'm going to keep up with a blog so well (pats self on back--HA!), I'd like to know that others are finding it useful.

Now, on with this week's roundup:

Area 1: 2012 in 2012

Well, not zero! My total for this week is a whopping 32. But that's 32 less things cluttering up the house! After I finish going through my pathetic clothes (see yesterday's post), that number will most definitely swell.

Decluttered to date: 32
Amount still to go: 1980

Area 2: Weight

It's yo-yo time. UP 3 pounds. Probably retention.

Area 3: Long-term Goals

I have been working my new finances systems and I am on TOP of this, baby! ALL receipts are accounted for. ALL invoices are moved through their various stages. It's awesome. I might do a little post on this, but it's pretty much nothing new or earth-shattering. I just made the budgets in the three areas (household, family, business) and I'm actually keeping up with them. Who knew?

Area 4: Outdoor Time

Sure, as soon as I commit to this, winter finally arrives. We have had HIGHS of 2. Degrees. I have made it a point to "air" the house by cracking a window for five minutes each day to give a chance for the stale air to exchange with fresh air. Can I count the new air INSIDE the house as outdoor time?

Jan 17, 2012

Vintage Hygiene: Hands

There are four areas that receive our regular attention, our daily ablutions.  They are: Hands, Face, Hair, and Body.   Well, they are four areas that SHOULD receive proper attention!

This post is one of four in which I will share vintage advice regarding these areas.  This was prompted by my walk down the aisles of the makeup and toiletries department of Walmart recently.  There. Were. Too. Many. Choices!  It made me want to run away.  I bought an eyeliner and a bottle of makeup because I was out of both, but then I was out of there!

In the past it was harder for the companies to promote their products than it is now.  The choices were limited.  In fact, in one of my cookbooks from the late 70s, there is a picture of a pantry with labels of blank construction paper on the cans!  Now when I go shopping, I feel overwhelmed and, frankly, annoyed.

When I saw an article from 1920 in the Vintage Notions book about care of hands, I thought it was refreshing and informative:
  1. Try to feel pride in hands.  A woman's hands are an expression of herself...they say..., "I am strong and useful and you can depend on me," [and] she has reason to be proud of them.
  2. Gloves are your friend: rubber gloves for hot water, work gloves for rough things, warm gloves for winter.
  3. To wash hands:  use warm, not hot water and soften with a pinch of borax.  (Really?  I'll have to look into that.)
  4. Apply soothing lotion after washing.  (The book recommends using almond or olive oil, glycerin with lemon juice, or glycerin with rose water.)
  5. Using an orange stick wrapped with cotton, dip in cuticle remover and run around the base of and underneath the nails, pushing the cuticle back and cleansing.  Then rub on a little Vaseline to make them smooth and shiny.
Vintage Notions, page 26 and 75

I love that the first thing mentioned by the author is seeing our hands as something we need to care for because we depend so much on them.  I also laughed about the gloves.  I am the WORST about wearing none of the gloves mentioned.  I have them, I just don't wear them!

I think I will fill bottles with some olive oil laced with lavender essential oil and put one at each sink.  That sounds so soothing to my winter chapped hands.  (I know, they wouldn't be that way if I would wear gloves!)

Next week: Vintage tips for the face.

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