There's Mail From Mom!

Wouldn't it be nice to have a letter from mom in the mailbox each time you checked it? Here's a place to check your mailbox for a heart-to-heart talk with mom...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Very white shirts for hubby!

When I was a young bride my grandmother loaned me her "Hints from Heloise" book. It was love at first reading. I hung on to it and regularly promised my grandma I'd return it (someday) and used many, many of its tips. I ended up giving it back to her just a few weeks before she died and never saw it again.

I would give anything to have it now, not only for the sweet memories but also for its practical, everyday, very reasonable tips. Many times it rescued me when I had no money but plenty of little problems to solve. I remember her tips for how to hang laundry allowing me to have line-dried clothes that actually looked good! I did this from March to November in Indiana. A considerable savings! I also used a cheap cleaning solution made with ammonia (very cheap) to scrub my floors. I remember being so pleased with the results on old, old tile floors. I recall getting mildew out of some clothing after searching the book for a solution. As I remember I used sour milk and sunshine--but that's been a long time ago!

Today I guess Martha Stewart would be considered the homemaker's guru if you wanted a solution. (However, she's a little pricier in her solutions.) About once a year I buy a Martha Stewart magazine and it's her issue that has practical how-to's in it. I always save that issue as a reference book in my library.

One year she had an article on how to get your white dress shirts (well, I think she said white clothing in general) very, very white. I tried it and it works! It can be a little frightening when you get the shirts out of the dryer and they are heavily wrinkled, but a good steam iron and spray starch and they are crisp again. is a my version of how to get hubby's white dress shirts (make sure they are cotton!) beautifully white again. You will not believe how dirty the water will be as they are soaking and if you do it without mentioning it to him he will ask how you got them so white. (Well, some men won't notice, but they're the same ones that don't notice if they've shaved or if their shirt tail is in or out!:)
1) Heat two gallons of water over high heat, and bring it to a boil. (This is a lot of water so you might want to use two pans for lifting later.)
2) When it comes to a boil, turn the heat off and let the pan(s) sit for about five minutes.
3) Have a dishpan or bucket of some kind in your sink and carefully pour the water into it.
4. Add 8 oz. of powdered oxygen bleach. DO NOT use chlorine bleach and don't do this while your pan is on the stove. It will bubble and foam. Be sure you stand back. Stir it with a wooden spoon to mix it all through and get it dissolved.
5. Add about 3 white shirts to the bucket of solution. Make sure they're completely immersed in it.
6. Let them soak. Stir every once in a while and keep them in the solution till the water is cool enough you can get the clothes out comfortably. (I usually do it in the morning and let them sit most of the day.)
7. Drain the solution off and rinse each shirt well with clear water.
8. Launder them as you usually would.
They will come out pretty wrinkled from the dryer. Just give them a good steam pressing and then press again using a spray starch.
Also, I made the mistake of putting a shirt in that was more polyester then cotton and it took up the dirty color of the water instead of releasing it! I have done shirts with a little polyester or another fabric and they do fine for me.
I use laundry time to pray over my family as I fold or hang up their laundry. I also love making my husband pleased with always having clean clothes in his closet and drawers. It makes him even happier if he sees me go the extra mile to make his clothes look their best, even if they aren't that new!
I cherish the books I have when women found their greatest joy in planning meals, shining windows, setting a pretty table, making a special meal or desserts, and washing her family's clothing. I read and reread my books where the homemaker wrote them with pride and encouraged other homemakers in their domestic role.
As a keeper at home I want to do a quality job. I want my family to have sweet memories of their mother making home a wonderful, wonderful place to be. I hope this will encourage you as you serve the Lord in the domain He chose for us!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Family Field Trip...

We had a wonderful day last Friday. Thanks to Robin St. James for asking if we wanted to participate in it!
This was a field trip that we tried to take back in the fall and it got rained out! It wasn't really a reenactment as much as little "snapshots" of the Battle at Fort Sanders that took place during the Civil War.

We learned all kinds of things that we didn't know. The students were divided into groups and sent to stations to learn about the battle. I didn't know that the Union won this battle or that the fort was simply made out of earth with ditches around it.
Our first stop was the fort. Soldiers there told us about the fort, about life for a soldier, and about the battle.

Then we went and met a woman who told us about having two sons, one who went with the North and one who was fighting for the South. She talked about having your crops and animals taken and learning to live off of the land while trying to survive. She ended her talk with looking up to the mountain and saying that each day she looked at that mountain and said "I will look to the mountain from whence cometh my help--my help is the Lord."

Next we were given a lesson on the weapons of war from the 1600's to World War I. We learned how a battle could be won by simply having the right weapon at the time. It also made me thankful for those who were willing to face death to keep us free as a country.

Last we listened to a young man who was a Confederate who explained what they faced that day at the Battle of Fort Sanders. He talked of them charging across the "killing field" to get to the fort and then falling into a ditch they thought was shallow but instead swallowed them up over their heads. The battle only lasted about 20 minutes but it was deadly for the Confederates that day.

We ate lunch together and listened to Civil War music being played. Very relaxing to sit and eat and visit.

Last of all we headed back to the fort to watch the cannon being fired and listen to Mr. Lincoln. The man playing Mr. Lincoln was very, very good. In his talk he quoted the Gettysburg Address and his address he gave when leaving Illinois.

It was a field trip that will long be remembered by our family! A little walk in time past in Tennessee on a beautiful spring day!