Sunday, November 29, 2009

Fare thee well, November!

Ah, it's been a while! :)
Hope everyone had a nice holiday! We traveled up to SC for the day to visit my Grandmother and relatives. It was a good time of fellowship~ I'm looking forward to the upcoming weeks of cool weather..better excuses for homemade bread and COMFORTING soup!

Sweet Potatoes--Last of the harvest

My brother joining us...

I'm so glad they produced..we let this section go "wild" so I wasn't sure what to expect!


"Thou hast planted them, yea, they have taken root:

they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit" Jeremiah 12:2a

My sister holding a basket of small potatoes
(I really like her crocheted sweater--
We're working on a new project soon! )
I am holding the 2nd basket of potatoes~
We harvested about 13-14 lbs total--I hear smaller potatoes have better flavor (heh)
Well, we'll see!
Nearby pasture...
We were driving home to the cottage, and I couldn't help but capture this serene moment!


My Mother moved our antique sewing machine into the living room..(from the parlour)

I love the warm light shining through.


I think these were literally our last days of nice weather. What better time than to hang laundry while we still can :)


We've been raking leaves and collecting pecans..
(My Father and brother are in the background.)
My Mother enjoying the cool rain from the kitchen window...

"Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest"

Proverbs 6:8

Friday, November 20, 2009

Serving at Home

(Dad and I )

I'm so grateful that I'm able to use this time to be a stay-at-home daughter. I sincerely do feel like I've been given a great opportunity, and my relationship with my parents is continuing to grow closer, as I strive to honor them.

Today's society seems to see this as a step-backward, but if my goal is not to be a fast paced career woman, wouldn't it be more prudent for me to spend my time doing what will benefit me in the future? There is so much I desire and need to learn, so this bit of time is spent growing in character, convictions, home skills and ((gathering)) wisdom from the older generation!

The question of, "What will you do now that you've graduated?" has been brought up many times, but what concerns me is that 'serving at home until marriage' isn't viewed as a respectable option anymore. How unfortunate! Using my time at home is something I chose to do, and desire to do as a career--I personally believe it to be a noble calling!


Media Review

I watched this dvd, "To be One" a few months ago, and I'd definitely recommend it for those who want to learn more about courtship! I think many have a misconception of what courtship/betrothal means, but this dvd really highlights the differences. The beauty was showing all three each, you could tell the atmosphere was so sweet :) I also enjoyed the interviewing before and after marriage. They all stayed true to guarding their hearts, and I learned more about the symbolic parallel of Christ and His Bride. Link to website: HERE

~ I just discovered a new magazine called "SALT" and it's such a delightful read! It's run by a family (now expecting 13th child!) with great articles on Homemaking, Courtship, Family, Education and more. I really like the humor throughout, and they offer a *free* magazine HERE if you're interested! We're planning on supporting the ministry, please join us! It encourages me so much to see and hear of families who are training their young men to be providers and their young women to be homemakers.
Hmm, We all seem to be S P R E A D apart (location-wise) though!
Visiting Friends

A fortnight ago, we traveled up to spend the day with a dear family (who follow my blog) whom we'd met through other blog readers, and it was a delight!

~We had wonderful fellowship at their home, then we walked through the historic town for a local festival!We enjoyed ourselves so much! We hope it won't be too long before we get-together again :)

The above photo is of an older woman churning butter *sigh* I love her classic hairstyle and dress...I hardly ever see older women dressed modestly/femininely anymore....

I decided to make butter yesterday!

1. Pour 32 oz room-temperature heavy-whipping cream in 2 jars (half-full)
2. Shake! I shook the jars for about an hour
3. Start pressing & 'rinsing' the butter with ice cold water...this removes the buttermilk.
4. I added: 1/2 tsp salt, 1 TBsp raw honey, and 1 tsp dried rosemary. Wrapped the butter up until use.

Done! I made 1 lb. butter using 32 oz of cream.
It's *delicious*
In the Garden

I remove the old (lettuce) leaves so that the nutrients focus on new growth.

Lettuce and tomato plant...

Bell peppers..
They're small, but packed with flavor!
I guess that's the story with organic gardening....

I'm really excited about next years garden because we're going to do alot more...
I've been doing alot of research on what will grow best for our area, and how much we'd need to be self-sufficient, so that's exciting :)

Don't let the pictures fool you, the temperature is dropping, and it's starting to get cold!

So much to do!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sleepy days...

For the past few days, we've been receiving rain non-stop, and it's been wonderful!
Slumbering to the natural sound of rain ceaselessly pouring on the tin roof & waking to the beginnings of rain showers...Because we couldn't go outside, it was a great opportunty to spend more time "making home" as my Mother says!

I use vinegar/baking soda to deep clean the chopping board...

My sister & I baked cupcakes together...

I've been making so many pumpkin/apple/sweet potato recipes, that I was happy to taste just good, old-fashioned vanilla!
2 cups flour
1.5 cups sugar
2.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup cream (or milk)
1 TBsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
Combine wet ingredients...add dry ingredients
Pour into paper-lined muffin cups; Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 mins.
We baked quite a bit of cupcakes! I tripled the recipe :)

How do you like "Cupcake Mountain?" hehe
I didn't make all these for dessert, they're to be frozen for later!
Cupcakes keep for up to a few months (although I don't think these will last that long!)
I individually wrapped each one, sealed in container, then a freezer bag. To make it airtight, I used a straw to withdraw the extra air in the bag...

In total, we baked 58 cupcakes!! This was a great, basic recipe :)
Potato Soup w/ salad

Here's my favorite Italian (House) dressing I created last year...
1/2 cup each: olive and vegetable oil
1/4 cup each: red wine and apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp each: pepper, onion powder, ginger powder
2 TBsp powdered/fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup water
1.5 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp dried oregano
5 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
A delightful read:
I paged through Victoria magazines from the early 90's....
They're so feminine!

Antique books...
I love reading books written 75+ years ago--

All the books on this table are copy written circa 1840-1930

Mary I. Chloe (sp?)
her grandmother
on her 9th birthday
June 13th 1876"

"The ordinary arts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest." ~Thomas Moore

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Q&A and a review of my day...

" you (or your sister and mother) wear crocheted ponchos or sweaters throughout the day?" *A.J.

Yes, I've bought a few crocheted sweaters/shawls, but my sister wears her handmade sweater she finished last year. She's currently working on another project now that her blanket is finished! I've crocheted scarves, but I'm not diligent like she is! Wearing shawls is a must during the winter months! :)

"Just found your blog...and Love it! Does your family watch tv? What's a typical evening for you?" Anonymous

Our family has chosen not to watch television, but we do watch movies together! We specifically review & choose our movies through Netflix and it's a delight to have them sent directly to our cottage! We used to go to the video store to rent dvd's, but as you know dear reader, the advertisements and selection are not family friendly! So they unofficially succeeded in scaring us away! Plus, we love BBC period drama's, vintage classics, and christian films which are most often in stock via Netflix.

A typical evening for us is usually spent in fellowship! When my father comes home, he works outside for a while, then we eat dinner together in the parlour. A variety of subjects are brought up, then we usually discuss for quite a while! Also, if a dvd happened to arrive that day, most often we'll bring in dessert, then watch the movie together. PS) We do stay up (moderately) late! :)

" question is how to stay warm and wear skirts/dresses i live in a very WINDY cold place I wear 2/3 layers of thermals and jeans over the top and still can be cold any ideas?" *Anonymous

Great question! Here's what helped me when I wore skirts during our *cold* trip to St.Louis, MO during the winter:

*A good pair of COTTON tights....those thin nylon/poly whatevers don't do a thing! The only problem is that cotton doesn't have alot of "stretch" so you often have to purchase larger sizes...but the warmth is great!

*A warm pair of flannel-like capri's...sweatpants are fine, but in public I wouldn't risk the chance of someone spying the pant leg! lol So I like capri's to wear under calf/ankle length skirts.

*Heavy Skirt--Corduroy, Wool or Denim are great types of heavy material. Even though I love cotton skirts, they just aren't heavy/warm enough (for me) during the months of January and February!

*100% Wool-Blend socks--They're expensive so I bought ours in bulk for a discount price from Ebay. They feel 10x warmer than traditional socks...Oh, make sure they're Men's socks..they're better!

*Get rid of the jeans--Jeans are much colder than skirts! I won't go into detail, but believe it or not, skirts keep in/circulate warmth, while jeans actually leave you exposed to the cold! I found that for my own experience, there wasn't any need for jeans under my skirt- however your preference may differ of course! :)

*Try petticoats (cotton slips) It's what women have done for years and it works great!

*A good pair of boots..(I found mine secondhand for $5) I put away my flats and wear nice boots instead! They're warm and I like the old-fashioned look.


" looks like you have the same texture hair is me. Do you do anything for frizziness? Or to calm to curl so they will lay flatter? Just wondering!" *Shani


Yes, I once heard someone say "Treat your hair like fine lace!" and so that often comes to mind when I style my hair--although it doesn't have to be taken literally, I try to take my time to preserve length (I decided to grow out my more hair cuts!). It's hard to tame frizziness because often it's determined by weather (from the windy city of Chicago, to the humidity of the South) But here's what I try to incorporate regularly:

*Deep Condition often. This strengthens the hair & 'calms the curl' for me. Normally I use natural or homemade products.

*Use heavy conditioner instead of gel/mousse--I'm sure this won't work for everyone, but this "weighs down" the hair for me, reduces "frizz" and defines curls. Great on dry or wet hair. Herbal Essence works best as a heavy conditioner. This is my only store bought product for hair I consistently use.

"What is your daily routine on a "normal" day..." *Rhonda Jean
Fun question! In response, I decided to document my day through pictures:
We do things by "homeschool time", so it's really relaxed here, no rigid schedule! :)

~Thursday, November 5th~

7:15 am
Good morning!

7:30 am

Run outside to feed the cats and dog, complete devotions, shower, iron clothes for the day.

Dew laden grass...


In response to those who asked about everyday feminine's what I wore:

*Ruffle long sleeved blouse w/ high collar folded down
*Dress & matching belt *Brown shawl *Black lace up boots


My Mother made french toast for breakfast, but on a whim I decided to invent a pumpkin pancake syrup! It was scrumptious!!

Heat in a small saucepan:
1/2 cup milk till very hot
1/4 cup plus 1 TBsp Pumpkin puree
1 TBsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, ginger,cloves
Add 1/2 cup pumpkin mix to 1/2 cup pancake syrup.
Turned out wonderful, perfect for an Autumn breakfast!

9:15 am Finished Breakfast, read a chapter from the Word


9:45 am Homeschool Lessons

We laid out a blanket, and I taught my brother's lessons outdoors. Here's how we do the nature studies:

At the library, I asked my brother what new subject he'd like to learn about, and he chose the Rainforest! So we looked through multiple books on the subject, and chose the most interesting (with best photo's!) I then learn about Rainforest's myself, then choose what I'd like to focus on. I like to have a measuring tape nearby, so he can visualize how big the creatures are.

I read some, then ask him questions...He reads, then does copy-work in his notebook.

While he was writing, my sister joined us outside, and the two of us had a bible study. We simply picked Psalm 119 and read 5 verses each until the chapter was done. Wow, it's beautiful, long, and full of good truths to ponder on! By the time we were done, my brother completely finished his work.


11:00 am Bike riding

After lessons, the three of us went bike-riding through the neighborhood. Even though this morning was chilly, it did warm up!


11:30 am

When we came back, my brother had received his package in the mail--The Chronicles of Narnia dvd! He placed a bid on Ebay for the first time, and won! It was a great deal: $1.98 with Free Shipping!

11:35 am

Usually during this time I sew or play piano, so I decided to practice piano...

12 pm: Lunch! We usually sit on the front porch to eat and talk for a while

12:30-2 pm: My Blog, e-mail, and research :)


I set aside time to do photography:

My blonde cat, Jessie

He is Exalted
The king is exalted on high
I will praise Him

He is exalted forever exalted
I will praise His Name!
I walked up to the back of the property and started singing this as loud as I possibly could! I started to raise my hands, and at that vulnerable moment, everything seemed to just fade away... and all I could hear was praise ringing through the trees!

Texture of the overlooked

Sunlight pouring through the barn...

Last of the roses....


3 pm: Homeschool Lessons with Mother

My Mother teaches spelling, reading, writing, & math to my brother. He uses the revised McGuffey readers.

During this time, I'm overseeing my sisters' work.
She's working out of the Far above Rubies unit study.
Feminine Hairstyle

4:30 pm

Here's a favorite style of mine, that I usually use for re-enacting.
The previous night, I twist many sections of damp hair, then put up in a bun.
In the morning, I take out the twists so that my hair is now wavy.
Roll up hair ends, then pin directly in the back.Take pieces of hair from the sides to pin in the middle.
Here's what I base it upon:

4:45-6 pm We used this time to eat supper & prepare for the Little Women production at 7 pm. My sister and I dressed in our 1860's style dresses and also wore our shawls. It was at a Historic Church, and it was delightful to come as a spectator completely in costume!


7:00 pm

The audience of family and friends were really engaged and in-tune to the flow of the story, and the 1 act play was well done by the students!


A snapshot: 'Jo' March and 'Laurie' Laurence

8:45 pm- Arrived home

9:00 pm- I made some homemade Kettle Corn and my Mother, Sister and I watched a bit of BBC's Wives and Daughters before retiring for the night!

That was our day!