Monday, February 22, 2010


Yesterday we spent the day with a homesteading family, who has a remarkable story of voluntarily going Electricity-free for a year! This was so inspiring and we conversed about farm animals & transitioning to simple living! 0o0h, have I got some ideas! hehe

They're almost completely self-sufficient, and this is where we hope to be someday. Goodness, we have so many projects we're working on right now, but apparently, that's the story of Homesteading--the projects never stop!! lol

*rolls up sleeves* I'm ready! :)

Work day at the Cottage

We had friends over for a work day--the fellowship was great and it turned out to be a lovely day, so we got quite a bit done!!

Since the weather was nice, I got out my washtub and soap, and started heating water on the stove to wash my 1860s dresses. (They smelled of campfire smoke from the re-enactment!) Well the younger girls were so interested that they insisted on helping, so we had alot of fun!


Starting on the first dress...

Scrubbing on the washboard....

Working hands

I thought they'd only do one dress, but they washed two more, plus an apron! lol
It was sweet watching them all work together. Afterwards, I helped them rinse and wring out the dresses, and hang them on the clothes-line.

My favorite Homemade Honey Wheat Bread!
^The above loaf is braided^ :)

*2 pkgs active dry yeast (or 5 tsp), *1 cup warm milk (or milk substitute) *2 eggs, *2 tsp sea salt, *1 cup warm water, *1/3 cup honey (or brown sugar, *5.5 cups flour, *1/4 cup shortening, butter or oil


In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. To the dissolved yeast, add the warm milk, honey, eggs and 3 cups of the flour. Mix, cover and allow to rest for 30 mins. Stir in salt and pour the dough on top of the remaining flour. Carefully work in the flour..this may be sticky!! Add in your oil/shortening. Knead dough..try not to add in too much flour, it's ok if it's somewhat oily and sticky :) Place dough in lightly oiled bowl, turn over so the dough is coated. Cover and place in a warm (70-80 degree) environment until doubled in size (I wait exactly 1 hour.) Punch down, cover and let rest another hour (or until double in size) Punch down, remove from bowl and divide dough in half. Cover, let rise for 10 mins. I then braided mine to rise on a cookie pan, but here's the traditional way: Roll each half into a rectangle (14x7). Starting from the shorter side, roll up tightly, pressing dough into roll. Pinch edges and ends to seal. Place in a greased loaf pan, cover w/ cloth and let rise an hour.

Bake loaves in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown to your satisfaction! Makes 2 loaves, and easily doubled :)


This morning's breakfast--Toast & jam complete w/ hot tea...
It's a tradition here to buy roses at the end of February...this gives the root system enough time to get established before the spring comes! So I took a day and planted quite a few...

Our vintage well (pump) house...

Rain soaked blossoms...

This is the dewberry patch area, and the center is somewhat of a marsh right now :) That's ok, because I think being able to retain extra rainwater will help during those upcoming dry spells! The dormant canes are showing signs of new leaves coming soon. I love going to the back of the property on rainy, cloudy days like this..more bird's singing, the air seems refreshingly more clear.

"Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle ... a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl. And the anticipation nurtures our dream."

-Barbara Winkler


Kate said...

Mia, thanks for sharing this! You've given me a great idea. As you may have seen on my blog, I am pregnant. My husband is also often away for business. This spring's work seems so daunting for me this year. A work party would be the perfect solution! I have so many people who are practically banging down my door looking for ways to help me (I am so blessed, I know!) that this would be a perfect opportunity...and who doesn't like a good BBQ to celebrate afterwards!

Also, over the years I've noticed more and more Christians becoming interested in self-sustained living or even just living closer to God's creation. I often wonder if this is God's way to instill in us preparedness ways as the world changes and as His coming draws near.

God bless!

Jenna said...

We're going to try the recipe right now! Thanks for another inspiring post:)

Autumn said...

As always, I love your pictures! We are trying to become self sufficient as well, and it was lovely to hear from someone else who feels the same way!


Erika said...

Once again, Mia, I am refreshed and inspired by your beautiful posts. Thank you for sharing that recipe. Lord be with you in all your endeavors in homesteading. :)

Persuaded said...

How fortunate you are to have friends who are such an inspiration! I'd love to live more simply and actually would like to try living with only limited electricity (for just a couple of hours a day.) No one else I know has even heard of such nonsense, so they all think I am an absolute loon;)

I'm sure you are such a blessing to your family, my dear♥

Samantha said...

OHHHH I really really want to live as self-sufficiently as possible some day!!! I LOVE your washtub and washboard, the bonnets, the shawls, the dresses, your well house, the rose bushes and plants...ALL OF IT!!! It's so beautiful! It seems like you've always got something to do and have lots of fun doing it.

Your bread looks heavenly and that last picture is just gorgeous!

In Christ,

Shelley said...

Loved your post and the pictures today Mia....blessings

Ali said...

Great post Mia!

How neat! It would be so neat to live like that.

I love your pictures you do such a GREAT job!

MaryFran said...

Mia, as always loved your post. I sure would love to find some like minded ladies in my area. Around here I'm considered odd. But, isn't that what we're called to be? "Peculiar people" I wouldn't have it any other way.
God Bless,

Billie Jane said...

Now my first thought was why would you want to live without electricity unless you had to? I know that you aspire to a simpler life, and that not having all the 'gadgets' that need electricity can force you to spend your time differently... but why cant you do that anyway? Not criticising... just wondering what exactly is it that you feel electricity has taken away from us? And whatever it is... why can't we have it along with electricity? Apologies for the philosophical questions but as charming as your blog is (and I do enjoy reading it) from time to time it sounds like you are re-inventing the past - which was definitely not as idyllic as your blog sounds. I love the idea of asking friends to help with odious tasks!

Bonnie said...

oh that beard looks delicious! How is it for sandwiches? I make 99% of our bread, but its so hard finding one that will hold up for sandwiches, and my littles do so love them!

A Joyful Chaos said...

Great post. Thanks for sharing.

Rhonda said...

Oh I would really like to try to live without electricity! My husband and I have been talking more about going "off grid" Are you going to do more postings about what your friends do? I would really be interested in what they are doing! I would really like to become more self-sufficient on our homestead. Live more "green" and recycle, reuse, and repurpose!
I enjoyed your post Miss Mia! I look forward to more soon!
Many Blessings to you and your family!
P.S. I started to crochet a shawl!
I think I will do a blog about it .
I would love it if you dropped by my blog Miss Mia! I just started it, not too long ago.
Have a wonderful week!

Mia said...

Thank you all for your delightful comments!!

Ms. Billie Jane,
I understand exactly what you mean...nothing is wrong with electricity, I just would like to gain the skills and knowledge of how to get along w/ out it. If there was a power outage etc., those skills would come in handy!! Also, learning more about solar heating etc. is something I'm looking into.
Don't worry Ms. Billie, I'm certainly NOT re-inventing the past!! I wouldn't want to go back, I'm happy in the 21st century! I just think there are certain "back-to basics" skills from the past that would be good to know, and it just so happens that I ((personally)) like to wear more old-fashioned clothing,lol.
Thanks for reading, and I appreciate your questions, I hope I answered them ok!! :)


Anonymous said...

Dearest Mia,

Thank you for sharing your beautiful day!

Spring is definately here :)



Billie Jane said...

Dear Mia... of course you have answered my questions perfectly... and I do forget that 'modern' girls may not know how to wash clothes without a washing machine! I too love the old fashioned clothes - I have several outfits from the 1870's through to the early 1900's... but alas very little opportunity to wear them :-( you are most fortunate in your choice of lifestyle... I shall continue to read with interest!

Becca Runs Sometimes said...

Wonderful post and photos! Thank you for taking the time to post the bread recipe as well.

Rhonda said...

I made your bread, yesterday, and We love it! Thank-you for sharing it with us! Looking forward to more beautiful posts and lovely recipes to try!

Many Blessings to you and your family.


kpaints said...

Mia, thanks so much for your beautiful post! I love the pictures you shared! Especially loved seeing 'how washing was/is done" I collect those wash boards and have never even used one! Ha! I sure wouldn't be very good at it if I need to use it. I do hang my laundry out on a line, not this time of year but I have a wooden rack that I use inside in the winter. Thanks for your postings and I hope you finally got the website I sent you for the shawl. Karen

Erika said...

I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoy your blog and all the photos you have. Thank you.

Pat said...

Mia, I was very blessed to "find"
your blog last week. I was so
enthralled that I got a cup of tea
and read through many, many old
posts. At points, I laughed out
loud. At other points I was so
touched by the beauty and simplicity
of your posts and pictures, I cried.
I have told many of my friends about
your blog. The music alone renews
me. I am a homeschooling mom. We
have been homeschooling for almost
14 years. Thank you for your
inspiration and love you give
through your blog. It is a
wonderful place to visit. Pat

Mia said...

Ms. Rhonda,
I'm so glad you enjoyed the recipe!! Thank you :)
Ms. Karen,
I know what you mean, when I found my first set of old wash boards, I couldn't wait to use them! As long as they're washed(ironically) really well, they work great!
Thank you for the email :)
Thank you, Ms. Erika!
Ms. Pat,
Your dear, heartfelt comment truly touched me (and my Mother whom I showed it to!) I thank the Lord that you found encouragement through my blog site...You've encouraged ME! :)

In Him,

Doreen said...

What an absolutely wonderful blog you have inspiring and beautiful. I can not wait to come back when I have time to sit and read and take everything in.

Take care, Doreen

Ginny said...

Miss Mia,
I enjoy reading your blog. I also enjoy reading all the comments. They are both so inlightening.
I do envy seeing the rose bushes starting to bloom. We however are in the midst of a good snowy winter. We shall not see roses for a long time. Enjoy your spring as we wait.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for reminding me about roses. I want to plant me a few bushes, too.

Pink and red are my favorite !!!

Mrs. Teresa

Danielle said...

Hi Mia!

I just stumbled across your blog the other day- and I have to say its delightful! I share many of the same loves :) Family, homemaking, classic books and movies, an interest in homesteading, the list goes on...

It's been encouraging to read accounts of you and your family- so sweet! Someday me and my sweet Man hope to have a house with some land so our babes can have lots of room to roam... but for now we are grateful where God has us, and love to dream about the future! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, Mia!

It must be so much fun living in the South! Re-enacting, roses, warmth... I hope I get to live down there someday. But I guess for now I'll be happy with my snow.

By the way, I've awarded you; if you'd like to participate, the rules are on my blog.


aemi said...

Ooh, you've got some quince blossoms! We have a bush just like that at our house, but yours is blossoming ahead of ours. <><