Monday, August 23, 2010

~:A Cottage is:~

Heavy doors that crreeeaakk and squeak...
An open door to neighbors and friends
An entrance to a refuge
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Antique piano keys...
Played with expression and feeling
A warm comfort to listen to and enjoy
Accompanied by singing
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A childs project
My brother writing "Moms Aprons" on driftwood....
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Well worn floors over 70 years old
Footsteps that have tiptoed down the hallway

Hardwood standing strong under the weight of many bookshelves...

Everyday bearing the scratches and wear of "living", especially Homeschooling

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Old window panes...
Enclosing the distant sounds of laughter and conversation

Protecting us from the outdoor elements

~

I wanted to share with you a little about our home, and it's many Imperfections--that in time, become endearing. To us, "Cottage" is a lifestyle, a way of thinking {in a sense}. We don't have the most up to date things, but take delight in what we do have.

~

^I'm beating egg whites for Old-fashioned pound cake^
My Mother and I often comment that we take pleasure in what many consider 'insignificant'. Doing simple home chores, learning skills, taking notice of the nature around you. Sifting through thrift shops to find that one treasure we've been seeking. Living simply, but having a FULL life :)
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...Freedom
It has been a fulfilling journey so far to be a stay at home daughter. For us, this is new & refreshing, and there's so much freedom because its a path that we've chosen. Choosing to be content, and to celebrate the small, everyday things in life. Honestly, the time I spend out here in the country, really, has been too much fun :)
~

...The simplicity of Flowers
The joy of discovering a new bloom--brought inside to brighten the meal table

Or left outside to continue to attact the butterflies...

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"But the true idea of a home is that it is a place for growth. It is a place for the parents themselves to grow--to grow into beauty of character, to grow in refinement, in knowledge, in strength, in wisdom, in patience, gentleness, kindliness, and all the Christian graces and virtues."

'Homemaking' by J.R Miller, 1882
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^The youngest helping me prepare dinner^

We had dear friends spend the weekend with us, and we had so much fun! :)
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Browsing through a vintage shop...
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Sewing inspiration!

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One of my finds was this vintage apron!

The white pockets in the front are nice--perfect for holding my camera :)
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Oh, I'm carrying up old watermelon to the chickens :) They *enjoyed* it!

ps) The bucket is actually quite heavy w/ other compost, that's why I'm leaning!
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As we walked through our neighborhood aka down a long country road, we came across this abandoned cabin.
I wonder what it looked like 100 years ago...
How many families grew up in this small home?...I'll never know.
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Many of our neighbors grow acres upon acres of cotton, and as we walked, our Mothers stopped to observe...
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Amazing, eh?
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"...he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"
2 Corinthians 5:17b
I love observing nature and finding surprises like this--then, applying it spiritually...
the beauty of a "new" creature :)
~

A cottage is...
Home.

Monday, August 16, 2010

An Old Fashioned Campmeeting

~The lake & picnic area~
My Mother and I traveled up to Missouri with our church--We drove through the night, and arrived that next morning. We were deep in the country, and the surrounding acreage was a glorious sight.
~
It was exciting to fellowship with friends,
then right away we started the service w/ singing...
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Checking the schedule on the bulletin board
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I loved how we had the option to seek the serenity of the wilderness during the day.
My dear friend and I were inspired to explore...
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~My friend near the lake~
The weather really did feel like Georgia! The humidity was incredible :)
We both put on our hats & brought our cameras. I supplied the granola bars and fruit for her backpack; we really had a great time!
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A bit of color as we hiked through...
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~Filtered sunlight in the woods~
There's a peacefulness about spending part of your day in the 'elements'. Nothing artificial, just keeping your senses open--aware of your surroundings. Drawing inspiration from the simple things, and slowing down your pace to appreciate it all.
~
~Encouraging the Elderly~
The young men and women took a trip through the countryside to visit an older man who lived nearby. He's no longer able to travel, so we all gathered in, and filled his home with a-cappella singing. We sang older hymns he knew & remembered from long ago.
~
~Praying~
Then the young men gathered around him, and it was asked if he had advice to share w/ the younger generation. He was able to impart precious wisdom, encouraging us to stay faithful to the Lord. Tears filled his eyes as he shared. It was so moving, and I'm grateful I was able to come and experience this visit.
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Mother and Daughter
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~Worship~
My friends and I were able to sing, "It is well with my soul" onstage that morning. One young woman expressed the song in sign language, I fingerpicked the song on my guitar, and 2 other women sang in beautiful harmony as we lifted up our voices.
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I am so encouraged by the older women who attended and that I was priviledged to meet.
There were many sweet 'Titus 2' examples :)
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I enjoyed being able to talk with the young ladies..I remember being that age, so I made sure I was always avaliable, especially for those who needed a friend. I'll tell you what, those girls kept me laughing!! Life is *so* dramatic for them, lol.
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There were many large families, so babies were always in rotation for young women to hold! It really was a sweet sight seeing the celebration of new life.
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"He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul." Psalm 23:2-3
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On the grounds, there were many peach and cherry trees,
and even a nearby chicken coop & hens!
As my friend and I picked cherries, there were children by the lake fishing.
I told them I'd have to bring my fishing pole next year :)
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Singing hymns together
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During service, I sat w/ such a sweet family; Their daughter rested upon my shoulder the whole time.
(Her and I are on the far right)
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~Evening service~
The outdoor pavilion & benches were constructed in the 1800's, and it all still stands strong today.
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In the late 19th century throughout the turn of the century, families would gather here from the surrounding counties for 'camp meeting- time'. The crops were harvested, and it was a time of fellowship and worship... how exciting! :)
~"They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship,
to the breaking of bread and to prayer." Acts 2:42

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The past week has been so encouraging!
The next time my family travels out that way, I'll let y'all know so we can meet some of you! :)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A Summer-time Update


:for you:

Due to internet circumstances, I haven't been able to get online to update, and it really has been too long! However, this absence has allowed me to get other things done, as the high outdoor temperature has kept us inside during the day to work on projects.
~

In the Garden...

The tomato season is dwindling down, so now our biggest producers are peppers and okra!

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Homemade Baking Powder

*1 TBsp Cream of Tartar, *1/2 TBsp Baking soda, *1/2 TBsp cornstarch= 2TBsp baking powder

Self Rising Flour

*1 Cup flour, *1.5 tsp Baking powder, *1/2 tsp Salt= 1 cup Self Rising Flour
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I still manage to bake when I can on overcast/rainy days, and substitutes always come in handy! :)
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A reader asked about what we usually cook throughout the Summer months. Our meals are usually light, with less meat/cheese and more fresh vegetables.

(Don't worry we make up for it during the winter months, *trust me*)

I love incorporating my own canned condiments w/ dinner as well.
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For lunch, it's almost always Salad "with all the fixin's" (uh, that's the southern way of saying garnish, but despite the meaning we pile on extra) lol! Its complete w/ homemade dressing, too.
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In the above photo the menu consists of:
*Lightly Stir-fried red potatoes w/ green beans
*Steamed organic carrots (because we didn't grow carrots ourselves, we buy organic)
*Buttered rice (we switch up between brown, wild, and white rice)
*Honey Cornbread muffins (I also made an extra pan--it's cooling by the window)
ps) For dessert we have fresh fruit or fruit smoothies!
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My Mother has been hanging up fresh herbs to dry...
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Our favorite is English Lavender. This bouquet has been drying for a month, so my Mother rubbed off the fragrant blossoms into a bowl for potpourri. (Next time I'll make a sachet) All day the kitchen air was filled with the scent of Lavender, it was simply lovely!!
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Mother in the parlour, mending one of our blankets.

We usually spend our time in the parlour reading aloud, sewing, crocheting or working on projects. During the heat of the day, this area is our refuge, lol!
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I'll be traveling up to Missouri soon (for an event), and will be back to post on Aug. 16th.


I'll be sure to have lots of photo's, you'll enjoy it, I'm sure!!




Yours,
*Mia