Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Barn Bonnet Completed

Just in time for the cold weather, I finished knitting the barn bonnet.  I so enjoyed knitting with the Mochi Plus  wool.  Very soft and very easy to work with.   For my new barn bonnet I used  Chrystal Palace Yarns, Autumn Rainbow # 557 and Taos Kaibab #26

Finding Pleasure in the Simple Things

Fall colors hang off branches,  frost on roof tops melting quickly as the morning sun shines down brightly. Birds darting from limb to feeder, and back again.  Feasting on seed, helping them find the energy to stay warm.   This mornings fire in the stove, sending smoke up the chimney in great plumes, creating a sort of veil over the land.  Sunbeams forcing their way through the smoke, streaks in the morning sky.  Sitting on the floor  by the stove, tending the fire, looking out the window, seeing so much to marvel at.  Natures majesty.  Finding  time to enjoy the simple things in life.  Blessed to have the time to watch smoke curl and dance and see birds eat their morning meal.  People often ask us, "why do you choose to live the way you do, its hard work ?" Ah, yes, it is harder to build a fire each morning then to just set a thermostat, but look what I would have missed this morning !  Same for cooking from scratch a meal that took 12 hours to prepare, "why do it ?"  Simple, for the joy on the faces around the table as we talk about how many generations before us have eaten the same foods.  How I can sit there, watching the family eat, remembering my mother and grandmother sitting around the table with the same feelings I am having.  Knowing that Mei-Ling, Yen, Elizabeth and Victoria are soaking it all in.  Learning, experiencing what family history is all about.    Emery and I smile each evening knowing that someday our grandchildren will look back with fondness the times they came to Grandma and Grandpa's house and fed the chickens, made bread, used home made soap in their bath and helped get kindling or pick fresh vegetables from the garden.   Its about the simple things in life that stay with you, binds your hearts, one to another.  Creates life stories, and gives you so much more than shopping can.  
And, it's about having time to find the pleasure in the simple things.   

Monday, November 28, 2011

Hot Chocolate Time

I picked up Mei-Ling from school so we could have some craft time together, but first things first. Its a hot chocolate sort of day.  We called mommy and Yen to come join us for this special treat.
This is how Mrs Santa Claus makes it for Santa and how we make it for cold wintry days.
A little red cup for Yen and a Holly Hobby cup for Mei-Ling.

Chilly Morning

It got down to 29 F last night, which means we woke to a cold house.  Neither of us bothered to build a fire before we went to bed as the house was still toasty warm from all the cooking and baking I did yesterday.  
Before the sun was up, there was a big pile of wood next to the stove and lots of kindling.   In no time at all fire was burning brightly, warming the house up enough that we could take off our inside coats !


My new Barn Bonnet is coming right along.  Now just the finishing touches to be done.   The last photo is of a bonnet I made several years ago.  The picture was taken before I sewed the picot edge down.

Our Belated Thanksgiving

Due to my nasty head cold, we delayed Thanksgiving Dinner until Sunday evening.  What fun we had !  I cooked up a storm, 4 hours cooking on Saturday evening and a full 8 hours of standing on my feet cooking on Sunday.  I loved every minute of it.  Not a mix or packaged food to be found.  What a joy it is to work lovingly for my family, preparing all the foods eaten on Thanksgiving in our family for generations.  Traditions are such a lovely way to connect family.  Once again I reminded the children that they are the 11th great grandchildren of one of the pilgrims, Francis Cooke, and when the little ones are a bit older, I will tell them, that they are the 12th great grandchildren of the very people that celebrated the first Thanksgiving !    We were not able to get a photo of Yen that turned out good, that sweet boy is in constant motion.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Some Good Finds At Homestead Heritage

With only the two of us home, I needed a smaller pan for certain meals, so this little stainless steal pan met that need and after all these years of cooking, it was time for some new kitchen knives too.  Love that their items are from North America !  Also purchased a couple kinds of organic Kale seeds at the general store.  We love Kale.   At the Fiber Arts store, I found some of the yarn I was planning on ordering on line.  The fall color yarns will be knit into a new barn bonnet for me.  I need a new one and this yarn will be perfect.  The baby rainbow colors will be for socks.  A perfect combination of needs and wants met !  I picked up some bamboo double pointed needles to try.  I have never used bamboo knitting needles so am anxious to try them.  
The weavings were mostly want.  I love Swedish Cotton weavings and these were in the colors I like, plus like most of the items at the fair, done by children and teens.  What beautiful work !  Such care to every detail.   Now, on this windy cold November day, its a perfect time to get started on that barn bonnet.   The pattern is in the Winter 1993 issue of Spin Off magazine.  So glad I have kept so many of the back issues !

Friday, November 25, 2011

Homestead Heritage Craft Fair 2011

Homestead Heritage Craft Fair

Once again its time for one of our favorite events of the year.   
Homestead Heritage Craft Fair   We have been going there on Thanksgiving weekend for nearly 20 years now.   
Check back tonight for pictures from the day !

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Some Of My Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes From Past Posts

Cranberry Casserole

Vermont Maple Pumpkin Pie

Herbed Buttered Parsnips

Perfect Pie Crust

Hancock Shaker Village Pumpkin Bread with Orange Butter

Crock Pot Indian Pudding

New England Corn Pudding


The wood stove is creaking and popping this morning as the fire grows and heats the iron.   The clock on the piano steadily ticks away the minutes, that wonderful little clock a gift from Emery and the girls over 20 years ago.  It is well loved, even though its not made of any special wood or made to be an heirloom. How I love my peaceful life.  
Today, the day before Thanksgiving, its a good day to go about our tasks, being thankful for all that we have in our lives. 
I am thankful for freedom to believe as I do.

For love, both giving and receiving it.
For the joy of being a wife to a godly man.
For my children, the people they are, the compassion they show and how they are good people.
For my grandchildren, a love I could never have imagined, unfolding daily.
For my home, simple and full of contentment.
For my extended family for what they add to my life.
For the beauty of nature, always available to me.
For living the life I always dreamed of.
For simplicity.
For having lived a plain life for so many years and all it taught me.
For friends that encourage.
For waking up each and every day feeling serentity, joy, peace, hope, faith, love, and contentment.
For a healthy body and mind
For fresh air
For a warm bed, good food and all the clothing I need.
For balance in my life
and for eyes to see, ears to hear and lips that can speak.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Prayer Request For Melanie Update

Melanie was taken to the hospital last night and many tests were done.  It appears her heart is fine, they just are not sure what the pain in her stomach is from, so more testing needed.   She is in pain so we are praying for relief for her.  Her breathing is better.   We know that God hears our prayers, which is great comfort.   The children stayed with us last night and were as good as gold.  Such joy to have them here with us.  They are both so well behaved and sweet natured.
Keep Melanie in your prayers that they find out what is causing all these problems. 

Melissa and Melanie this last weekend

photos from my day

Much To Catch Up....

In mid January, we saw the passing of my father and after nearly two years of caring for him, it was so hard to see him leave u...