Showing posts from 2005

Unfolding Masterpiece

No words needed to describe this evening sky

Daily Tasks

When the children were growing up, this was one of my oldest daughters chores. To wash the chimneys of the lamps and fill them. She would also expertly trim the wicks so they would burn the best. Often times the whole counter top by the sink was lined up with lamps. The task is now mine but hardly a time goes by when I am filling the lamps that I don't think about my daughter cleaning them and never complaining about it. There was always a song in her heart as she helped out.
There is something satisfying about making the glass shine, knowing how bright the light will be in the evening hours because you did a good job.
I am grateful for work around the home and our little farm. It gives you a purpose. Everything we do around here is for a greater purpose than the task itself. Gibran wrote, " Work is love made visable." Profound and hopefully true for everyone. It is for me and I know it is for my husband. In the evenings when the warmth and glow from the woodstove crea…

$1 a yard Prints

Here are the prints. Now I just have to decide what to do with them !

Fabric Finds

It seems I have caught the quilting bug. Probably from being so inspired by some wonderful quilting blogs I have come upon. For so many years I sewed every bit of clothing we wore. Dresses and undergarments for the girls, shirts and yes, broadfall pants for the boys. We also made our aprons and such. It was a never ending task to keep up with the childrens growth spurts. During those years I made a few quilts, for warmth more than for the fun of creating something of beauty.
My sweet sister gave me a Wal-Mart gift card for Christmas, which was the perfect gift for me this year as it allowed me to buy FABRIC. Our Wal-Mart has great $1 a yard stuff. Better than the other local Walmarts. Ladies from all over come to our store for the good bargins. Its not unusual to see a huge line of ladies with many bolts in hand waiting to have fabric cut.
Last night my Gentle Man took me shopping. The first time I had been out in a couple weeks due to this pneumonia thing. To Wal-Mart we went, gift car…

Simple Beauty

The freshly gathered eggs lay in a simple woven basket on the floor while I took off my boots. The afternoon sun caught them in a perfect light against the honey brown wooden floor. The beauty of this simple scene had me run for the camera to capture this moment. Later, as I placed the eggs near my mixing bowl in preparation for suppers corn bread making, the simple composition of colors stirred a sense of perfect contentment. A homey warm feeling, the kind you want to hold on to.
Vegetable barley soup is simmering on the stove, parsnips on the top bobbing up and down like tiny buoys in a stormy sea.

Did I sleep through Winter ?

My senses are confused. First off I slept late, almost 9 am before I got out of bed. For me, that's unheard of but with getting over this pneumonia thing, I feel a bit justified for having a morning in bed. However, it seems that sleeping late sets things a bit off kilter. I wasn't sure if I should do my chores first or put on the kettle.
I did the chores first, of course. But even stepping onto the back porch was different this morning. The old tired boards seemed to creek in a different tone and the screen door slammed with a tin sound to it. The morning air was warm and spring like. That soft gentle cool air that carries a bit of warmth to it as if to promise more is coming. I was feeling a bit lost in this unusual morning. I wondered if I had slept through winter altogether. A flock of Cow birds darted back and forth across the pasture, as if they were looking for something, maybe Spring. Dull colored female birds hopping on the even more dull colored ground reminded me of …

Winter sky ?

With our drought and warm temps, this may be the closest we will get to snow. I have plastic snow flakes hanging from my porch and in the late afternoon they catch the setting sun and shine so pretty. I would much rather see the real thing though !

Fergus MacSnow Grows

Just had to share this picture of Fergus that I took today. He is growing like a weed and so funny. Amuzing himself by swatting water in the big waterer out back or by chasing the cats and chickens.
His ears are starting to stand up more now and he is getting his curly hair . Now if we could just teach him what "stay" means !

Looking Forward, Looking Back

This morning as I slipped out of bed, my bare feet hit the cold floor and had me running to my dresser to get some socks on my feet. A small reminder it is still winter. I took a quick peek out the window to see what the day was like. pulling back the homespun curtains revealed a sparkling blue sky , painted with ever so thin cirrus clouds. The wind is gentle today and not at all like yesterdays high winds. My eyes scanned the horizon where bare trees and grass the color of well seasoned straw caught my eye. I dressed in a hurry to get on with my chores as the clock was not allowing for daydreaming . Mr. Fergus MacSnow was barking his puppy bark, letting me know he is hungry and wants to play. Rooster Solomon, crowing up a storm to let everyone know he is still king of the roost. The rabbits banging their crocks together letting me know they are in need of food and water. Typical morning with some of the noisier critters.
The animal chores done, I move on to the do…

Back to Normal, post Christmas !

In the past few days I have had lots of time to just stay put and think. I consider it a blessing to have this quiet time of restoration of my health to define and or redifine some of the reasons we choose to live this seemingly "quaint" or "backwards" life style. To formulate answers to the many questions we get as to why we choose to live so differently than mainstream America. No cell phone, no cable TV, no laptops, no clothes dryer, no dishwasher. We are so low on the tech end of things except for the computer and the digital camera !
Simply put we want to live a life that has what we feel is essential for living a life full of love and purpose. Having time to visit with loved ones and friends. To always have time to stop and visit. To work hard enough to sleep soundly. To have a clear mind that is able to pray and sing. We find that by living simply we can accomplish this. By doing things like, growing our food, caring for animals that help susta…

Christmas fun

We had a wonderful Christmas day. Although I am still recovering from pneumonia, I was able to get our rather non traditional Christmas meal of Lasagna, eggplant parmesan, stuffed mushrooms and garlic bread on the table. We did have a chocolate yule log for dessert though.
It was wonderful having family around us and being able to talk several times to our loved ones on the phone. The pictures are of my husband Emery as he dishes out Christmas dinner with my son Steven in the foreground. Our youngest daughter Melanie and son Steven standing by the tree. My sister Sandy getting a hug from our daughter Melissa when she was visiting my family in Boston for Christmas.

Merry Christmas

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas !

Luke 2
The Birth of Jesus 1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to his own town to register.
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
The Shepherds and the Angels 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and…

Cozy Flannel Quilt

When my sister was here visiting from Massachusetts, she bought me the sweetest flannel to make a quilt out of . I have had the fabric sitting in the dinning room just waiting to be sewn together. I have wanted to finish this cheater quilt before Christmas but it just wasn't getting done. Today I just decided to spend the afternoon sewing and finally got it done. Its hardly a quilt really, no piecing and no batting. I made it just the two layers of flannel, much like a giant baby receiving blanket. I outlined each block with a feather stitch on the machine using white thread which looks nice on the back side as its a deep green flannel with white snowflakes on it. The white stitching just adds something to it. Its just the weight I wanted as there are plenty of heavy afghans and quilts around this house but not a lot of lighter weight blankets.
So now when the evening chill arrives, I can cozy up with my new blanket and a cup of tea.

Weather: 59 and sun just setting
Music: Swedish Ch…
Here is Melissa enjoying spinning on her Wee Peggy. Many years ago my girls learned to spin and both of them had their own spinning wheel. Melissa had a Ashford Traveler but never really liked it, she always loved her sisters Wee Peggy. Not long ago her sister offered to sell the Wee Peggy to her. Melissa's husband James bought it for her and gave it to Melissa as an early Christmas present. How sweet is that ?
How wonderful it is for me to see my daughter rekindle her love of spinning. For many years the girls wheels just collected dust in the living room. But I had confidence that at some point in time they would both want to get back into it.
Like a good mom, with a motive to encourage, I packed the wheel up with lots of wool for Melissa to spin with.

Weather: 50 F and sunny
Music: Winter Solstice

The warm glow of a love filled home

No matter what the weather outside is. The house is filled with love and a sweet glow from the woodstove and the lights. Ahh, there is no place like home !
Looking out the window this morning reminds me of the dreariness of the winter landscape when snow is missing.
The gray sky meets the tan colored grass and the two seem to blend into the most nondescript color. Bare trees and bushes reach upward only to blend into the sky as their tiny barren branches seem to disappear in the sameness of color.
Snowfall covers this sameness with sparkling white. Mounds and drifts creating shapes that catch our eyes and when the sun is out, shinning crystals appear like diamonds strewn over the landscape.
I believe God knows we need a bit of added beauty during this dull landscape time of the year, so he gave us snow.
A gift of beauty for us. The sky turns such pale gray in times of snow, showing off the darkness of the trees whether they be evergreens or just bare trees.
Rain is on the way for us today, making the dreariness more intense. A cold rain, mixed with some sleet. No delight in seeing it and certainly it chills you to the bone on the way out to t…
My oldest daughter is living many hundreds of miles from us and we miss her so much. She included this note to me in her box filled with Christmas presents for us. Since I wrote about Gingerbears today, I asked her if I could put a copy of her letter on my blog today. When I read it, tears came to my eyes. Not just sad tears because I miss her but tears that come from mothers when they are just so proud of their children and so happy to be a mother.

Gingerbear Making Day

Here are some pictures of our Gingerbears made today. Even though I had to make them with no children around, I know my grown up children still enjoy seeing them and eating them. Memories for all of us !
Way back in 1983 when our oldest was 3 1/2 and our newest addition to the family was only 9 months old, my sister Sandy sent the girls a book for Christmas. It was titled The Gingerbears First Christmas. The book is so sweet, its a story about a family that makes Gingerbears instead of Gingermen. The little bears come to life and help the mom and dad finish all the projects they have for Christmas. The little bears paint the dollhouse, knit a sleeve on a sweater, they string popcorn and wrap presents. All to make life a bit easier for everyone.
Well Santa comes on Christmas eve and sees the work the unselfish Gingerbears have done for the family. Santa gives each Gingerbear a little red heart to show how much heart the little bears have.
The book was instantly a delight to my little one. The very first Christmas of the book, I found a cookie cutter that was a bear. I stayed up late that first christmas we had the book and made little gingerbears with cinnamon red hearts on them and I pu…
I just saw on the news that this is the first time ever that TOYS are number two for Christmas shopping gifts. It seems children now want IPODS, Computers etc starting at a very early age. They showed 6 year olds talking to Santa and they all wanted electronics.

I just finished reading " A Little House Christmas Treasury" which is a compilation of Little House on the Prairie stories from all the books. The stories seem like such a contrast to what I heard this morning. The Ingalls children were delighted beyond words for a peppermint stick, new mittens and one year even their very own tin cup.
I do understand we not longer live in a world like that but seems like there should be some middle ground. Children today seem so greedy and needy.
I never see little girls taking their dolls shopping with them, or hear about little girls wanting a nice doll carriage etc. Do little boys really haul wagons around behind them collecting things any more ?
Even in my day, Christmas was much m…
It was a perfect day for rambling around the old homestead and snapping some photos. Solomon takes a dust bath, Smokey snoozes on a log in the sun, trumpet vines crawling up the side of the cottonwood tree. An old squirrel nest hanging in a tree and finally an old empty shell from a cicada
One of the joys of being prepared early for the holidays is missing all the craziness of the last minute shopping. My daughter, husband and I went to town for a leisurely visit to Starbucks. We sat there chatting and visiting while the world around us was running to and fro. There is a good view from the parking lot at Starbucks to the super Targets below.
Just look at all the cars ! Glad I was not there fighting the crowds.
Last year I started this afghan. I had so much fun working on it until I reached a part of the pattern that was wrong, the graph didn't work out. Which meant I needed to take out two rows. Since that happened, I was a bit discouraged and never seem to be able to get around to taking out the two rows.
I figure if this picture is on my blog, then in time, some of you folks will ask me if I got the afghan done. I will be shamed into finishing it !
There are so many stitches on the needles it amazes me. I could have done it on round needles but I prefer two needles for some reason or another.
I have decided to use a totally different graph for the center section which should work up quickly.
By end of winter this should be done ! Make sure to ask me about it around the end of February.
Gray skies and chilly temps prompted me to put coffee on the stove early this morning along with a pot of beans to cook all day long, filling the house with a rich molasses aroma.
After cleaning out the rabbit barn, the hot perked coffee sure tasted good. Not a fun job but part of the territory when you have critters. Time to bring the clothes in off the line as rain/snow mix is on the way.
I spend a lot of time thinking about living simply. Not sure why and how this desire to live the back to nature sort of life as it was called way back in the 1970's. Maybe it was reading Thoreau, maybe it was reading Mother Earth News when they were still connected to simple living. Maybe it was the stories my grandmother told me of how things were in the "olden days". You see her stories were fascinating tales of life in the Maritime province of Nova Scotia. Stories of her mother and grandmothers lives. Stories of life before everyone ran from here or there in their cars. Stories of home life. Stories of cooking for many children. Of relatives visiting one another and feeling connected. A life of fewer distractions.
I was given this painting when I was still a young teen. I have wanted to live in a log cabin from the time I was 12 probably.
When the girls in Home Ec class were building scale models of what they wanted their dream house to be, I built a cabin with a cook s…

For the past week I have had these ever constant thoughts about the way the modern world celebrates Christmas. So here is my rant about the subject.
If you have ever given much time to thinking deeply about something in a philosophical way, you know that before the whole picture is made clear in your head, there is that time of confusion before its all worked out as to just what your philosophy is. You have the gist of the idea down pat but there are the deeper elements that need to be worked out.
That's just about where I am right now on how I feel about the way Christmas has become some sort of monster of obligation with no joy for most people.
There are commercials that show a woman wondering how in the world she will get all her shopping done as she enters a store. It is apparent her list is quite long. Her mother however has the solution, runs right over to the gift card display and gets a handful of them, and they are shown happy in the …
Its no where near as cold as what my daughter Melissa is experiencing in Vermont, but there is a brisk north wind today that is riding on a cold front. It will be in the high 20's by morning.It was just a good day to cook some old fashioned comfort food. So we are having New England Corn Pudding, fried cabbage, mashed potatoes, sausage and for dessert, warm Indian pudding topped with a scoop of cinnamon ice cream.Just can't beat the old fashioned recipes when its cold and gray out.I just finished hauling in the wood for the night and the warm house felt so good. Chickens are all in for the night, the cats are sleeping on the back porch and Fergus is playing with his basketball. Clothes are off the line, folded and put away. Packages wrapped today and put under the tree. Tomorrow I had better get my Christmas cards and letter off to everyone or people will think I forgot them.

Here are the recipes for the corn pudding and the Crock Pot Indian Pudding.

New England Corn Pudding
My little office is a room of many purposes. The room sits between the living room and our bedroom. Its the room that contains all my exercise equipment, the roll top desk that my husband sits at to do his household accounting. Its the room where I study and the room from which I write. This room also contains the computer, a vital link to friends and loved ones. I have two windows in this room and often I find myself gazing out them, looking, wondering, contemplating and more often than not, in total wonder at the marvels of creation. This morning, looking out the windows gave you a real sense of winter. The gray sky, clouds flying rapidly across my view. Leaves tumbling from places unknown, carried on the wind like tiny messages from above. Birds feasting at the many bird feeders. Squirrels chasing each other up and down the branches. Hawks catching the thermals and enjoying their flight.As I was looking out my windows, I thought about this room and how much it contrib…
Wee little Fergus has discovered its great fun to tug on the hems of my skirts. For many years I have preferred to wear long ankle length skirts as my daily wear.
Now this young pup has discovered it is fun to pull me one way or another by taking hold of the fabric and pulling me.
He also likes to hide under my skirts as I go about hanging clothes on the line.
After my chores were done today, it seemed the perfect time to have a cup of piping hot peppermint coffee, topped with whipped cream and a sprinkle of red sugar.
It was delightful if I must say so myself !