As keeper of our home, I take my role with utmost importance.
I was born before computers, cell phones and television. I remember a time that was more quiet and respectful.
I grew and changed and experienced and now I realize the burden of too much. The way this world is today has become scrambled, out of balance and spilling over.
I want our home as simple as it was long ago. I want to be the Grandma with graying hair that has a garden and wears baggy overalls and old shoes and a big floppy hat.
The wife, mom, grandma, great grandma that wears an apron as I am all of these things and I want to resemble my Grandmother as I remember her and hope I can become as gracious and live a Godly life as she.
I want to embrace getting older and not try to make myself look any different than I am because I feel this is the way that God wants me to be.
I have been doing my best to remember how things were long ago because I do not want to lose any of those memories. I had a good life but today's world is too loud, to fast, too rude for me.
I can do something about this.
I choose the rose soap today. The special soap that is saved for special times as it was in the past.
I have good memories of how my mother cleaned our home. All the particulars of how a home was supposed to be kept. There was a certain order and the way that clutter was kept under control. Meals were always at the table and manners were expected.
We have been planning for when Charles retires. It is a bit scary to retire today because everything is expensive and uncertain. Let this rose soap above be an example of what I am about to write about.
People should not live a life of spending and wasting with no plan or direction. It will catch up with you. We have several generations now that have never known a time before computers, social media, television, texting, tablets, video games and all these electronics. Sadly I can see that it has changed people.
As an older person it feels very different to walk through a store and see partially dressed women, children screaming or in a trance staring at an object their parent has put in their hands to keep them quiet. I feel I am in a different world that went bad and I cannot leave.
So remember the rose soap.
I have been sorting and moving linens around in the house and these kind of tasks makes me think about things. I have more items than places to put them these days and I am determined to do something about that.
We all know that fitted sheets are difficult to fold and I was doing my best to get a fitted bottom sheet to be neat and tidy to put away in the closet. I suddenly remembered that we did not have fitted bottom sheets when I was growing up or when I first started keeping a home. The top and bottom were both flat sheets.
In the past we simply tucked our sheets with neat corners and pulled them tight as we put the sheet over the mattress. I remember when the clippy thing came about to hook the sheet to hold it and I remember because it looked like the rubber clippy things on a girdle.
Then I remembered my grandmothers home and her sheets were all flat. So I did a search to find out when the fitted sheet was invented and found that the first patented fitted sheet was in 1959. So no wonder I remember life without fitted sheets. Also if the patent was in 1959 it was quite awhile before those fitted sheets would be on beds because the quality of sheets were much better in the past and people keeping house already had sheets.
I cannot even remember when I purchased our first fitted sheets, just like many things, I just transitioned during modern time and it just happened like so many things and makes me realize all the money that has been spent on items we never really needed.
The thing about sheets today, is the size and thickness of the mattresses today. I have a terrible time with these new mattresses, they are just too much! Why? Why does everything have to be extreme?
We bought a new mattress a few years ago and brought it home and I could not even climb up in the bed! I was terribly upset. Charles made a stool for me to get in and out of bed. We decided this was dangerous so we removed the box spring and Charles built a frame with plywood and we put the mattress on top of that. This is sad to me because many people have no reference to what normal is anymore.
In the past we slept perfectly well on a normal mattress which was not very thick. We also had a metal spring that went under the mattress so that would last forever. Those things are still around because I have seen them in salvage places. Now we have mattresses filled with chemical made foam and such as that.
I do remember from long ago that one of my Great Aunts had a tall bed. It was a very ornate grand bed but the legs of the bed were tall, it was not the mattress.
Remember the rose soap...
Now remember the pencil in this photo above and the rose soap.
Photo above are some of our journals and record books to the right side of this shelf. The pencil is what Charles uses to write in these books.
Each morning before he goes to work he takes one of the record books and the pencil and goes out and reads our electric meter, then the water meter, he checks two thermometers to see what the temperature is as well as the humidity and the rain gage. He observes while he is out there and will make notes such as the Wax Wings have arrived or the first humming bird sighted.
He has done this for many years now and we can look back and compare temperatures and wattage used and how much water we used at a particular date.
It is informative especially if we garden but it also helps to keep us in check with how much we use.
One time we found we had a leak and if he had not been reading the meter each day that leak could have gone on and done a lot of damage and a high water and sewer bill.
We do not get up in the morning and turn on a television. We get up with purpose and intent to do the best we can that day. It is difficult to accomplish our tasks if we have too much interference with electronics so we try and have a separation. Also we may miss some beautiful moments.
Living today it is inevitable that electronics will side track us and rob us of valuable time but we try to minimize this as much as we can. We have not always done this but we now see how important it is to try and not let it take hold of us and focus more on living like the past because we will be better off doing this. When we work in this modern world, electronics are a big part of our day so when we can get away from them it is a good thing.
We have added chores today living through a pandemic. Cleaning and sanitizing, washing masks and our clothing every time we go to the store or doctors appointment. It is not a normal time but we must adjust and get it done.
Charles and I have talked and studied and discussed so many things about how to live a simple life on retirement and we first realize a lot of mistakes we made and we do not want you to make them too if you are young or middle age.
The most important thing is stop spending. Do your best to not spend and make your life simple. You will need all the money that you can save later on when you are not employed. Many years before retirement, you need to be ready for those bumps in the roads. There can be illness, accident, disaster or a job loss. Young people need to be taught how to live below their income and the best way is by example.
What do I mean by simple? As keeper of the home, I mean think of everything that you can save down to the penny. Your life will not be a miserable life if you do this, make it interesting and challenge yourselves.
The pencil, Charles keeps up with his pencil and he will use it until it is down to a nub. People waste so much today that it is just hard to even imagine the amount of waste and waste is money.
The soap, I save my rose soap for when I want to feel special. I use a good unscented soap most days. This makes it very special when I use my rose soap and it is precious to me so I do not want to waste it. Think how it would be if we did everything like this. We can still enjoy nice things but do everything in a careful and less wasteful way.
Society has made it to where women feel they must wear make up and look a certain way and I am concerned how far this has gone.
Every woman has her own kind of beauty and a good man can see how pretty a woman is naturally. This last sentence was summed up by Charles opinion after asking him what he would say.
In the past we did not need many of the things we have today. We need a good budget, and our spending should be on purchases that are necessary for our home and when we have those items then we take care of them so they will last many years. Linens for our beds, dishes to eat our meals at our table. Pots and pans and then we stick with them. Think it through thoroughly before purchasing anything and make sure it is not toxic in any way.
We can decorate purposeful. Pretty canisters that actually hold flour, sugar and tea or coffee. Working vintage pieces that still have a use if it is something that we will use and not just decorations.
Don't be like the mother that would not let her daughter wear her pretty dress because she did not want it to get soiled and when it came for an occasion for the child to wear it the dress was too small.
Most women want a pretty home and as keeper of our home we can make our decorations ourselves by embroidery on our linens or homemade curtains. We can add special touches here and there and even draw or paint our own pictures.
Many of my curtains are homemade. I sew filet crochet inserts into cotton fabric so I can have privacy but also have a place to look out if needed.
I have shown our little pillow cover before that was made many years ago by simply sitting down and embroidering on cloth. Isn't this much better than something that we have just settled for?
We save money by taking care of the things we have. Our clothing and bedding and all of our home. The eves under our house need to be painted every couple of years, there is a lot of maintenance and doing it ourselves as long as we can means we need the equipment.
I believe that hanging the laundry is better than using a clothes dryer. It saves money and saves the fabric if done right. A sunny day with a breeze is wonderful. But care should be taken and turn darks inside out and more in the shade to keep from fading. The sun helps to sanitize and deodorize.
We worked hard to pay off our home and two vehicles and all debt but there are still a lot of expenses just living, insurance especially. I want to get things right and have what we need but we have to work hard so that we do not have clutter.
So I have had to think what my mother and father did and after talking with Charles we both want to keep our budget like it was done long ago and get rid of as many modern expenses as we can to be more like it was before all of this. We realize we cannot remove everything but hope to get close. As we figure this new budget we will share with you our findings.
This decluttering in a small home is taking me a lot of time because the small things are very difficult to go through and especially when I sew and knit and crochet and make lace and embroidery and do all these things. Charles does woodwork and repairs and is very crafty and makes our birdhouses and feeders and such as that. This does make for needed space for the tools to do these thing. But it also can help to bring in a little extra money if needed.
I have been trying to be very methodical about what I am doing. We even discussed options of not living here in this location or a house but we both realize that with health issues and I am quite a homebody staying put for now is what we will do.
I hope there is something in this post that is helpful. Below are links to the older keeper of the home posts.