1950s Home Management Book ... page 419

The Daily Work

"The easiest way to plan the daily work is to divide it into three parts. The first is tidying up and quick cleaning, including airing and putting straight all the rooms and parts of the house in daily use, removing surface dirt and dust, bed making, attention to fires, central heating apparatus and water heaters if any, and sanitary fittings such as bath, hand basin and lavatory pan. The time required for this work will vary greatly according to the type of home and family, but it will be less troublesome if such jobs as airing and straightening of living rooms, emptying ash-trays and putting away books and papers are done overnight".

The second job is the preparation, serving and clearing away of meals. Careful planning is of great help here, so that the time and effort spent in shopping is minimised and the amount of cooking done is not excessive.

The Weekly Turn Out
The third job is the weekly or thorough turn out of some part of the house. This may sound a contradiction of terms, but every day except perhaps Saturday and Sunday, part of the home in turn must be thoroughly cleaned, though not necessarily every part every week. Rooms not regularly used may only need turning out occasionally, others perhaps every two or three weeks, though bathrooms, lavatory and kitchen are among the three weekly 'musts'. If regular cleaning is done conscientiously the occasional or 'spring' cleans will be less formidable, and may not be necessary at all except when redecoration is required."

It is so lovely to read this and think about how important it was in 1950. Then part of me thinks ' yeah, but she never had Lego, slot cars and pokemon cards to deal with'. Having a small house also means that we live in every inch of it! I really need a 'parlour' where guests come into and sit. A room that is always kept tidy and inviting. The only problem is that we have a cottage style house where you walk in the front door and off to the side from the hallway are all the rooms. Two bedrooms are at the front of the house and then you walk into the lounge room on your right and kitchen on your left.

Do you have a 'special' area of your house or do you live in it all ?


1950s Home Management Book ... page 418

"Most people will agree that some sort of plan is essential in running a home, but let if first be made clear that household routine is a very individual matter, and it is impossible to lay down hard and fast rules. However, as all homemakers have to struggle with the problem, let us see if some useful guidance cane be given which will help every household to work out its own salvation".

What Has To Be Done

" The next step is to decide what has to be done to keep the household happy, healthy and comfortable. The first essential is good feeding, and this is a task needing knowledge skill and ingenuity. It includes planning, shopping and the preparation if interesting well-balanced meals, plus serving, washing up and clearing away day after day for seven days a week.

Next to feeding comes clothing, for if the supply of clean, tidy clothes runs out the members of the family will find themselves in dire straits indeed. Household linen and soft furnishings must be included in this too and, whether the laundry is done at home or sent out, time must be allowed for care and attention to clothing, and making, mending and renovation."

"Third on the list is the care and cleaning of the home, from daily attention and thorough cleaning to special cleaning in all parts of the home, decoration, renovation and repair"

"last but by no means least, the housewife must find time for her own relaxation and recreation and to take an understanding interest in the life and pursuits of her family. The routine must be adaptable, or family difficulties will arise because the mother has worn herself out trying to keep to a strict plan and has no energy left to deal with personal problems or to devote to entertaining"

" We now have to fit all of this into a workable plan".

This is from a two book series called "Newnes Home Management". My mum got them at a book sale or garage sale for virtually nothing and I love them. They have everything from cooking to budgeting. There is even a section entitled 'housework for the figure' in which you can keep a shapely body by stretching a little further when you dust ! LOL

Household management has been on my mind as I work through my management binder. I have noticed that bloggers have been discussing the pros and cons of Flylady ( http://www.flylady.net/) or GTD ( Getting Things Done - book by David Allen) What is the best way to manage a household ? Do you subscribe to any one method ? Wash on Monday, iron on Tuesday like the old days ? Do you spend the weekends doing housework when you should be out there 'living' ?

I will post more on the 1950s method of 'keeping house'. Who knows, we might learn something !

The Tea Towel

As you may remember I have taken it upon myself to single handed revive the lost art of 'air pot' use http://avisionsplendid.blogspot.com/2007/09/chaning-world-one-air-pot-at-time.html

I laughed recently when a girlfriend in Sydney told me that she is single handed reviving the art of giving tea towels ! Remember when people went on holidays they brought back tea towels and spoons as gifts for people ? She cracked me up ! We decided then and there that we are not reviving spoons, just the tea towels.

I can remember receiving tea towels for my 'glory box' when I was young. The tea towels were usually brown with pictures of kangaroos on them LOL !

When I was travelling out west earlier this year I picked up two gorgeous tea towels from Inverell in brown and pink that had Australian recipes on them. I gave one to another friend for her birthday with some other bits and pieces ( after telling her our revival story). I gave the other one to my friend from Sydney when she was visiting last week. She laughed so much ! She said she loves it!!!

A few days after giving the first tea towel away my friend turned up with one from England (where she's from) saying she had brought this back with her and now she knew exactly who would appreciate it. Oh gee I laughed !

Do you remember the tea towel and spoon giving tradition ? It makes me laugh !
So, join the club, lets do a revival of the commemorative tea towel.


The Stockpile

After a successful shopping trip on Monday the stockpile is up and running again. If you haven't heard of this concept before, my aim is to have enough 'stores' built up in my cupboard that I only purchase things when they are on special.

I have been doing this for so long now that I have a sense of the rotation of the specials, that is, that Vegemite may come on sale every five weeks and during that time my family will use 3 jars so when it comes on special I will buy 4 jars to cover it.

If you're just starting out, take a percentage of your grocery money and use it to build up your stockpile. Each week you can devote more money to the specials and then you are left with a base line of weekly things that need to be purchased. If there are no specials to be purchased in a particular week the money just goes in the jar for next week.

I have found that I save so much money shopping this way and can 'eat out of my cupboard or freezer' any time I need to which is great in emergencies or when you want to save all your grocery money one week or if you are so busy you can't go and do a 'proper shop'. It prevents you from doing 4 runs to the grocery store a week to get ' just a couple of things' which over the week adds up to more than your usual budgeted amount.


Monday Monday ....

Today I am off to do the shopping. Not just any shopping, but my 'extreme shopping'. Frequent readers will know that I take my grocery shopping pretty seriously! LOL http://avisionsplendid.blogspot.com/2007/08/extreme-shopping.html

The good thing about shopping today is that I won't have the children with me, so there's a dramatic saving straight away ! I will also go to ALDI which is about 40 minutes away. I go with a friend and we share the petrol cost. It's also a nice day out to go to a place that has shops that we don't normally see.

I am looking forward to getting my menu planning sorted out, my budget money up to date and re-stocking my stockpile. We let it run down over the summer because we were going to be away so much and I wasn't working, so we used up much of our stores.
I am almost finished updating the sections in my planner http://avisionsplendid.blogspot.com/2008/01/new-planner.html For those of you that asked about it, I will update you on the inside workings of it once I have completed it.


The Proverbs 31 Woman

Some years ago, and I can’t remember how, I stumbled across this concept of the Proverbs 31 woman. It is a verse from the bible. If you are ‘anti religious’ or simply not religious, don’t switch off just yet ! View the concept as you would any quote from Ghandi, Stephen Covey, Tony Robbins or any other personal development ‘guru’.

The basis of the verse is a mother telling her son what sort of woman he should look for in a wife. That basic idea written thousands of years ago has been the basis, particularly in America, for women to adopt a particular way of life, that is, the mother who serves her family.

I personally love the philosophy behind the ‘concept’ of the proverbs 31 woman. I will paste the full text here for those of you that are not familiar with it. Once again, I ask you to put your religious position aside and read it as a text. I have kept it in the ‘old’ language for effect and you must remember it’s about 2000 years old.

10 A virtuous woman who can find? for her price is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband trusteth in her, and he shall have no lack of gain.
12 She doeth him good and not evil all the days of her life.
13 She seeketh wool and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
14 She is like the merchant-ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and their task to her maidens.
16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and maketh strong her arms.
18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is profitable: her lamp goeth not out by night.
19 She layeth her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She spreadeth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household; for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 She maketh for herself carpets of tapestry; her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
24 She maketh linen garments and selleth them; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing; and she laugheth at the time to come.
26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and the law of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her, saying:
29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her works praise her in the gates.

I love this ideal. The proverbs 31 woman is loving, intelligent and entrepreneurial. When I read through each verse it gives me ideas of how to work harder at aspects of my life.

I am reminded that by doing my husband ‘good and not evil all the days of his life’ I am insuring a good marriage. I have found that over the years the more I do for him the more it is returned to me. I find it a sad part of society today that many relationships break down because of this ‘why should I do that for him, he never does that for me’ philosophy. Going out of your way to do things for your partner brings gratitude and then it turn they do something for you and the cycle continues.

When I read through this passage I am reminded of the importance of the 6P principle. When it snows I want my household clothed in scarlet – meaning that I have an emergency fund so that if something goes wrong I am prepared.

I also think…..

- I want my husband to have full confidence about the way I manage the family finances and plan for our future.
- I want to be entrepreneurial , that is, I can invest wisely and see a return on the vehicle I chose to build our family wealth.
- I want to be ‘strong for my tasks’ in that I think it is important to remain healthy and look after myself physically.
- I rise early and prepare the day for myself and my family

Of course, the verse that always gets me off the chair and into action is the one which mentions “she watches over the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness”

I believe that society’s view of the stay at home mother is significantly shifting. It is slowly crawling out from under the grip of the feminist model that degraded the role of being “just” a mother or the idea that ‘serving your husband well’ was a form of oppressive slavery that had to be fought against!

Rather I see society as slowly shifting towards a model where even career women take off extended periods of time to ‘invest’ in the growth of their children by being the stay at home mother. There are even now ‘stay at home’ fathers !

I have been a teacher and a lawyer and a stay at home mum. I know which, by far, is the most important job that gives the best return and it’s nothing to do with money. The best return is when you make home made tortilla wraps and your six year old says ‘ the ones you make are so much better than the ones from the packet’. Joy of joys ! :>)



See them jump when I announce " who would like me to scrub their feet in the bath?" It works so much better than screaming " get in the shower NOW !!!!"

I light the candles, set the mood.

They lay back, relaxed, and enjoy the pampering. I scrub their feet with a peppermint scrub that's crunchy and smells great.

They love the attention. Little do they know I am hypnotising them, slowing them down, preparing them for bed.
They get out, we read together and they go to sleep so easily and quickly.

 Little do they know of the hypnotic, soothing effect of light and water.

I think I will try it myself.

Reading Aloud

At the moment we are reading the Spiderwick Chronicles. The boys are really enjoying it. As I was reading to them last night I had 'a moment'. We were tucked up in our queen size bed, me in the middle. Each boy had hold of my long hair and were twisting it through their fingers. This is something that they have done since they were babies. It still amazes me that Number One son will be ten in August and he still twists my hair {(:>) joy of joys!}

As we sat reading I remembered back to my training as a school teacher. There was something called the nuerological impress method of learning to read. It's where an adult reads aloud to a child and the child tracks or follows along with their finger. There were studies at the time that showed that kids really responded to this style of learning and picked up reading quickly. They also learnt all the intonation, that is the ups and downs in your voice, or the expression.
But... you know what I reckon teaches children to read ? ......

LOVE. Snuggling them up, taking the time, immersing them in rich stories, that special togetherness that probabaly can't be studied scientifically. It's probably called 'modelling' or 'osmosis' but to me it's the love quotient. - making reading a fun, intersting, magical world of escape rather than a punishment, chore, or something you have to do so you don't get in trouble for missing your homework at school.

Teach them to LOVE it. Reading can take them on many adventures in life.


The Greatest Balancing Act

The most difficult job of all that a mother has to do is balance her roles. I often say in a funny accent "Everyone wants a piece'a me!" And often times it is true.

I work outside the home, four days a week. I have every Monday off. I really love my stay at home day. I put my apron on and bake and organise and clean and get ahead with things and it gives me a wonderful sense of peace.

I used to be a school teacher.

After my first son was born I went back two days a week in a job share and it nearly killed me. I hated having to leave him, even though I had a really good 'Day Care Mum'.

 I agonised over whether to leave or not. In 2000 I started studying again externally and fell pregnant with my second son. That was all the persuading I needed. I resigned from my teaching position and cranked up my study. I studied full time waiting for the baby to come.

My son was born in May 2001 and I juggled two little ones and the study. It was then that I learnt the value of redeeming my time. I gave up television ( except Seachange on Sunday nights on the ABC) and started to get up really early, sometimes as early as 4am, to do my study without interuption.

To cut a long story short, I had about five years at home with the children. Two years ago I was given the opportunity to work three days a week in the area that I had done my second degree in. I started the three days and eventually it turned into four days.

The boys are in school now, but not a day goes by when I don't consider coming home again. It's just the little things. Number Two son sat doing his homework this week and I thought I need to be there with him when he does it. Hubby is home with the boys when they do their homework and he is very good with them, but it's not the same. He is a great cook as well and has a meal ready when I get home. but it's not the same. The difference is , that when I get home from a busy day I have very little left to 'give'. I would be happy just to lock myself in a room for an hour until I 'come down'.

So... it's the great balancing act. I enjoy my work. I like the stimulation. However, the stay at home mum is the most important job in the world in my books! It's not about the money. We have survived before on very little money. Sometimes we do better on a tighter budget because I manage it so much better - last time I budgetted really strictly when my first son was born, we ended up being able to carpet the house with the surplus !

So, if I don't need the money and I agonise over the stay at home role, I bet you are asking why do I stay ?

The answer is complicated. I really like my work and I am grateful for the opportunity to be getting the experience. I don't want to walk away and live with the regret of what I could have acheived. I also think that I can invest as much money as I can for the future of my boys. Goodness knows what it will cost to put them through university if that's what they choose.

One good thing at the moment is that I can work flexible hours. My aim this year is to start early and finish early, hoping to be home at 4.30pm. That way I can still have a little down time before I slip into my apron and enjoy my children!

Are you caught in the great balancing act ? How do you juggle work and family ? Does your financial situation pin you to a job you hate ? Email me or leave a comment. I would appreciate your feedback.


Thnking Back

This image brings back memories. It is the inside of an EH Holden from the early 1960s. It's the same as the one my Grandmother had, except hers was grey.

My sister sat in the back and I sat in the 'back back' as I called it. It was a stationwagon and I was quite hapy to roll around in the back as a five year old. There were no seatbelts in the car, but we were lucky to ever go over 60km an hour LOL !

When I saw this car in the motoring museum at Inverell when we were on holidays I just had to snap some photos. It brings back some lovely memories.


Rain Rain Go Away.......

Rain Rain Rain Rain..........................................

We have had so much rain! Who was praying for rain? C'mon, own up now ! LOL Haven't you heard the saying ' be careful what you pray for, you just might get it' ?

Here are some stats:

Rainfall summary:
31st January/1st February - (1.2 mm)
1st February/2nd February - (49 mm)
2nd February/3rd February - (4.8 mm)
3rd February/4th February - (8.6 mm)
4th February/5th February - (12.8 mm)
5th February/6th February - (9.8 mm)

Number of rain days: 6
Maximum rainfall rate: 960 mm/hour at 10:05:00 on 31 January
Total rainfall for February: 86.2 mm
Days since rain: 0
Last Rain amount: 9.8 mm

That's every day so far !!! Boy.......bring on some sun..................... please.

April Theme: Re-organise and Transition

In the Southern Hemisphere, April is in Autumn.  The days here are still warmish, but there is a sneaking whisper in the wind. That whisper ...