Monday, December 28, 2009

Winter Household Hints

Good Housekeeping, March, 1926

Good Housekeeping, March, 1926

Giclee Print

Buy at

The old Good Housekeeping magazine covers were so pretty, I wish that more magazines today would realize that a charming painting on the cover might run up more sales (I think I would be tempted to buy one just to frame the cover!).

In these frigid nights, warm comforts can be found at home, with a little effort on the part of some kind soul in the household:

Large canning jars can be filled with hot tap water, the lids twisted on tight, wrapped in towels, and placed under the covers at the foot of the bed about 1/2 hour before bed-time. The jars create a nice warm spot for cold feet to discover. (Be sure to remove the jar at bed-time.)

Towels and pyjamas can be warmed up in the dryer at bath-time or bed-time for family members.

Keep a hot pot of tea on the kitchen counter for people who need a warm drink. Warm the pot up with hot tap water, then discard the tap water and add the tea and boiling water. Put a cozy on the pot. After the tea has steeped, remove the tea bag or tea ball and put clean dishtowels over the pot and cozy to keep it warm longer.

An easier way to have an instant hot drink is to keep some cider on the stove. Apple cider, or apple juice and cranberry juice mixed, with some mulling spices, on low makes a delicious hot drink. This is a delightful surprise for drop-by visitors or family members who have just come home.

Maine - Interior View of a New England Homestead, Woman by the Fireplace

Maine - Interior View of a New England Homestead, Woman by the Fireplace

Giclee Print

Buy at

I enjoy giving gifts to friends who I know re-purpose the gift wrap, bag, or bows. I enjoy receiving gifts that have nice touches like wide ribbon or a special tag, because I do save them and re-use them on other gifts.

Keep a special Christmas wrapping box and fill it with the bags and bows and ribbons you have saved. If a bag or bow has been re-purposed for several years, and is too wrinkly, you may want to leave that one out! Though you may no longer be in the mood, after-Christmas sales are the time to stock up on wrapping paper and ribbons. Half-price is a good price!

This year, easy thank-you notes for Christmas gifts were made by removing the string from very special gift-tags that adorned our family's gifts, and pasting them on colored card stock. Try "pulling out" a color from the tag with the card stock you choose, for instance, the snowman below has a beige nose, pink cheeks, and sage touches. He would look good on any of those colors.

This 3-dimensional snow-man gift tag (with a real button and accents of felt) would look good on any of these three card stock colors, and make a quick, easy, and impressive little card.

Here is an easy non-dairy doughnut recipe I had success with this morning:

Beat 1 egg.
Mix in
1 1/4 cups water
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sugar (I used "evaporated cane juice" sugar; you can use turbinado sugar, or try honey or agave, with less water)

In another bowl, mix together
3 cups flour
1 Tablespoon non-aluminum baking powder
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2 or 3 dashes of salt

Oil for frying
(set aside for topping: confectioner's sugar and cinnamon)

Stir dry ingredients into the liquid ingredients until moistened (you may have to add water, a tablespoon at a time, if the dough is too dry). Roll out on floured board 1/2 thick. Cut with cutter (a round biscuit cutter with a smaller circle cut out with a bottle makes the traditional donut shape). You can also cut strips with a knife and twist them.

Heat oil in pan. I used 1/4 inch of oil and turned the donuts as they browned, but those who have a deep fryer or more oil can do it that way. Carefully place donuts into oil and fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Dust with confectioners sugar and cinnamon. Serve warm.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Very Merry Christmas!

The Pleasant Times Christmas Tree

I would like to express appreciation to the Ladies who take the time out of their busy lives to show the rest of the world something beautiful, good, or wise through their blogs. Whenever I have a moment to go down my links list, I always come across a post that makes my heart glad. Thank you, ladies, who stay true to your calling and brighten your corner of the world.
Have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Proverbs 31:10-31

10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

The Seamstress
Buy at
13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.

A Woman from Algiers, 1871
Buy at

14 She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.

15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.

Washing Day
Buy at

17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.

A Woman Sewing in an Interior
Buy at

18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.

Winding the Skein
Buy at

19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.

Buy at

20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

Woman Standing in Snow, Holding Holly in Her Apron, A Fair Puritan, 1897
Buy at

21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

At the Stile
Buy at

22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.

Freedom of Speech
Buy at

23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

The Material Market
The Material Market Giclee Print
Buy at

24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.

25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

The Dinner Horn
27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

In Her Loving Arms II
Buy at

30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.

The Flower Girl. Early 20th Century
Buy at

31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.