Saturday, April 7, 2012

Spring events.

The Spring air is now saturated with the fragrance of honeysuckle and wisteria.
 Inspired, I quickly get a small basket and make my way across the pathway, toward the vines that creep up the old hardwood trees.
No matter how many times we repair it, our screen-door squeaks and creaks as it always has :) Hearing that familiar sound, I quickly open the door for my sister as she brings in the eggs from the hen-house.
When we added compost to the garden, little did we know that volunteer Tomato plants would sprout! It's fun to have mystery plants...I wonder what variety they'll turn out to be?
The seedlings are now over 6" tall, and we're beginning to transplant them into other areas.
We've had days where we get quite a harvest of leafy greens--broccoli, various lettuces, kale, mustard & turnip greens, and of course collards ;)
We divided and planted the strawberries a few weeks ago, and so far we've been harvesting a good handful daily. I freeze the berries for now, so that we can have strawberry preserves later!
The beauty of peach & pear blossoms.
One hazy afternoon, I began to pull up old collards to freeze for later...
And later that evening we drove down to visit a neighbor--and we were greeted by her goat, Chocolate Chip! I had a good laugh when I heard the name :)
Our town recently had a plant sale, where local residents could come and bring their plants form the backyard, and either swap or sell! We attended bright n' early, so that we wouldn't miss anything!
My Mother picked up a hydrangea right away :)
What a great way to meet new neighbors and learn about different varieties of plants. I made sure to get an Aloe Vera plant--there's nothing like fresh aloe in the garden!
We often use Mason jars to display flowers from the garden.
Homegrown Broccoli salad for lunch...yum!
Here's a basic recipe:
1 bunch of broccoli (about 6 cups of florets)
1/4 cup yellow onion
1/4 cup raisins
(chopped pecans are optional)
1/4 cup chopped bacon
*up to 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
Dressing: 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 TBsp red wine vinegar. Mix this dressing separate before adding to the broccoli mixture.
What a delight to come across these delicate wildflowers... I enjoy the wonder of discovering new types of plants at the beginning of the season :) You never know what will decide to bloom here at the cottage!
It's nice to be able to take a moment to get some last-minute mending done. I finally had enough time to sit down and sew a 'new' button onto my linen blouse. The button is handmade from gourd--I love it!
It's early in the morning, and after traveling miles through rural backroads, we stop at a local eatery for breakfast. Across the way, acres of farmland were highlighted by the warmth of the sun; and it was simply inspiring to see a landscape so unaltered.
I had an opportunity to go on an adventure :)
With our carpet bags packed, and hat boxes tucked in, I would say our group is ready for a trip!
Dressed in 19th century attire, we gather up our things at the station. In the distance, we could hear the whistle of the train begin to get closer to the station.
Soon enough, a vintage steam locomotive makes its way towards us. I held tightly to my carpet bag, and made sure we had everything we needed--Ticket in hand, I climb aboard.
As we traveled through mill towns & scenic countryside, it was lovely to be able to greet and wave to spectators who came out to see the train.
The rhythmic 'clickity clack' of the train certainly added to the nostalgia, and soon we were engaging in activities to pass the time. One was a game of Draughts, but we soon realized we didn't have a board.
So one young woman decided to make one, and ended up sewing the checkerboard, using a spare cloth. It worked wonderfully well.
As we walked down one of the narrow corridors, I enjoy glancing out the window as the train travels over high bridges. Many of us brought our own 19th century plates, drinking vessels and such, which was used during meal time.
The next day, anticipation increased as we neared the station. Traveling by railway had many amazing moments and opportunities for various scenarios. New friendships were formed & many memories made along the way. When we did reach our destination, we began to prepare for a busy week ahead...
We were set up at the living history event as a working camp--meaning that we had to feed all the wagoners and refugees. Every morning at 5 am, we awoke to the crows of 'Drumstick' the rooster ;)
He caused a little mischief, but it added to the fun of having animals around.
Washing and hanging up the laundry is a daily task.
And with all the rain and mud, it was much needed!
Everyday the wagoners and men on horseback came into camp weary from their travels. I enjoyed hearing their stories about the events that would go on during the day.
What a magnificent sight to see so many mules, horses and oxen hitched onto authentic wagons.
We probably hauled water about twice a day, filling up as many buckets as we could. To get to a water supply, we crossed a large field, until we made it to the corner of the woods.
One morning, it decided to downpour in rain. That was the day the wagoners needed rations for their journey, which meant 40 loaves of bread! We were certainly determined, and were able to keep a hot fire going, even though it was still drizzling steadily.
I learned quickly how to keep the heat on the dutch ovens consistant, and I think we ended up making about 35 loaves that day...we were worn out and soaked with rain!
Before I headed into town, I was able to participate a few scenarios,
and camped under this shelter for a while. :)
It was so nice to be able to go through the various shops, and purchase needful things. I was able to finally get a good set of original 19th century cutlery for meals.
The peach pastries were fairly simple to make..filled with pickled spiced peaches, brown sugar and cinnamon, & baked over the fire.
 This darling young girl stopped by with her mother to visit us in camp.
After each meal, we washed everyone's individual dishes...
...And more dishes! There were many original crocks, red ware, etc. And even though they were antiques, I was encouraged that we were able to use them freely, just as they were intended :)
(This wagon was hand built by one of the wagoners to use with his team of oxen)
I'm thankful for all the cooking I've learned at home, because at events like this, those skills certainly come in handy :)
One of my favorite challenges was in preparing a Chocolate cake from scratch using an 1840s German recipe. Although I had to triple the recipe, luckily it turned out quite well and I think the camp enjoyed it.
Here's a peek of my tintype. My portrait was taken right before we traveled back home.

It's nice to be home and finally be able to share with you about my adventures for the week :) I had a delightful time, but I count it a blessing to return to such a peaceful little spot out in the country.
Everything has grown so much-- I look forward to updating you on the various vegetables in the garden, and our homesteading endeavors!



AuntLou said...

Thank you for all the work you put into this post. I found myself sighing as I finished reading. I think the sigh was part satifaction and part regret that it was over. :)

Country Mouse said...

Lovely photographs, as always! Your tintype is just charming. Did the train offer sleeping quarters?

Jennifer said...

Wow, Mia, what an adventure! I loved hearing about it and seeing your lovely photographs. It must have been difficult to live under those conditions when you're used to a little more comfort and convenience. :-)
I love broccoli salad, and my grandmother's recipe which I use is almost identical to yours, although we don't use broccoli fresh from our garden! Yum!
Thank you for this post. I have missed hearing from you, and I know you are a busy young lady, but I really appreciate your efforts. It's a blessing to so many, I'm sure!

ladyhawthorne said...

Another wonderful posting with beautiful photos. Have you ever thought of selling copies of them? You are very talented. Love the photos of the event, I'm more into the renaissance era but your group sure seems to have a lot of fun!

Eyebright L said...

It looks and sounds like you had a lovely time! It would be such fun to take part in an event like that.

Thank you for sharing your experience with us!

Cynthia Berenger said...

Dear Mia,

What an amazing experience! I appreciate your blogging about your reenactment activities as well as your garden. I agree with other posters that your photographs reveal a uniquely beautiful perspective. I love a good broccoli salad, too.

Agape always,

Sage Kaplan said...

Amazing post, I loved the pictures.

Katalin said...

Ez fantasztikus, csodálatos csodálatos!!!:)*

Becky said...

As usual - absolutely beautiful and uplifting.

Naomi said...

Wow!! lovely post Mia!! I always feel so refreshed after reading your blog!! (:

gail said...

How lovely Mia, I really liked the pictures in the train. Not sure I would have liked the rain though. I'm looking forward to hearing about your garden.
Blessings Gail

Sue said...

A beautiful post. I always feel calm and more appreciative of life after reading your posts. Thank you!

Julian said...

Dear Mia,
I have been looking forward to your posts! What a grand adventure to go on a train and to do re enactments! Youare so very blessed! The plant swap was a wonderful idea, and I hope you got plenty of good ones! The pictures you take are always so very beautiful. I know that you are glad to be home. Write to me sometimes,and ill wtite you back.Great to hear from you. May you have a blessed week ahead.
~::~ Christina

Karen Bates said...

Your photos are just stunning, what beautiful country! I adored following your fun 'vacation' week...thanks for sharing such an unusual trip...the train ride alone must have been wonderful! Please share more pictures if you have them.

Chaos Cottage said...

I love reading your posts. What a lovely adventure you had. Keep writing. You are very talented in so many areas.

Anonymous said...

Happy Easter !


Pamela@ Our Pioneer Homestead said...

I LOVE your blog~
Happy Easter!
I wish You all the best~
Pamela :)

Marqueta (Mar-keet-a) said...

Dear Mia,

Your garden is doing so well, and you deserve it, after all the hard work you've put into it! Thank you for sharing the wonderful reenacting opportunity; I can see my girls doing something similar in the future. :)



gail said...

I so enjoy reading your posts, along with the beautiful pictures. Your gardens look wonderful -- I enjoyed seeing the bowls of greens! And I loved hearing about your train and your living history adventure. Thanks so much for sharing.

matty said...

Dear Mia,

I love the photos and the story of re-enacting! How fortunate you are to be where you can do this. How I would love to be in a place where I could do the same!

I love your photos and stories of your life. It sounds lovely!



Tammy said...

How fun!
I loved sharing this adventure with you. Beautiful pictures, too.

Mrs. Mari said...

Thank you so much for sharing about the re-enactment you participated in. Re-enactments are so fun to do-I throughly enjoy them. I do Regency and RenFaires, and find them exceedingly delightful, doing everything from making my costumes to outdoor cooking. It is all so much work and yet so much fun, and the friends I have made is the best part :) This coming Sunday I'll be attending a Titanic Remembrance Luncheon and we will all be in 1912attire. I ended up making two tea dresses and now I must pick one to wear---hard decisions :)

Your photos are beautiful. Have you consideered submitting to a magazine for publication?

Blessings, Mrs. Mari

Shelley said...

Lovely post...the train ride must have been wonderful...blessings dear Mia...thanks for sharing your adventurous life with us.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mia. thank you for posting!!your blog is just wonderful, every word, every thought, every picture.

elizabeyta said...

Thank you so much for sharing.

I loved the pictures of the train ride and reenactment. Though, I always enjoy the pictures of your garden.



Rhonda Devine said...

Thank you, Mia for sharing this wonderful glimpse into your adventure! I've always been fascinated by re-enacting--we've done little bits here and there, mostly at our home recreating the pilgrims coming to America in the fall.

Rhonda Devine
Walking with

xo.sorcha.ox said...

Looking at your photographs is so much fun! Especially since I've always wanted to spend a day in 19th C attire. ;)

Stephanie said...

What a beautiful post, as usual, Mia! I am always so inspired by the effort you have made to go back to a simpler (though hard) life.


Jennifer said...

I'm glad to see God is blessing you with a wonderful spring. It looks like you enjoyed yourself. Were you at a reenactment; where was it? Have a blessed day.

Lyric said...


You are living my life, LOL! Seriously, as others have stated I so look forward to reading your adventures. Somehow I've got to figure out how to be notified immediately when they are posted. I usually stumble upon them when I need my Ms. Mia time.

We are in the process of building a small family farm and your homestead and lifestyle is of serious encouragement to me. I attempted the beginnings of a garden and nada. I am working to not be discouraged.

Also, thanks to you I have decided to ditch the jeans and pants for modest skirts and dresses. I am amassing patterns to help me accomplish this. My little stash is growing with a 1950's Rock-a-Billy shirt pattern, a couple 19th C patterns from Sense & Sensibility, some underthings patterns and muslin to make them all on my antique treadle and hand crank sewing machines.

I do hope you share more on modest dressing. The thing is I'm a big girl and have never seen the type of dresses that you wear in any of the thrift stores around here (Florida); yet I remain encouraged. Then again, I do have my sewing machine. Heirloom fabrics are interesting to locate; at least affordable ones. Again, I remain encouraged.

Thank you Ms. Mia for taking the time to commune with us via the WWW.

Cordially happily yours,


Linda said...

So lovely to read another wonderful blog post from you Mia. :) God Bless you and your family - Linda

Miss Elizabeth said...

I just found your blog recently, Mia, and it is so gorgeous. Such lovely photography.... you are very inspiring.
By the way, I have tagged you on my blog. :)

janice15 said...


Kennesa said...

Dearest Mia,
I love your photos of the reenactment! They are so cool! And the train! Wow!
Thanks for the lovely post!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing all this; you take beautiful photos.

AbigailDawn said...

It's so very nice when you share the reenactments you participate in and bits of your home life. It makes my heart happy that there are people like you and your family, as well as those who do the reenactments. I hope one day to be able to do them also. I just need to find out if there are any in our state....

AwaydownSouth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AwaydownSouth said...

That looks like such a fun event! Any chance you'll be at Resaca?

Rena said...

Hi Mia, I'm new to your blog, having just discovered it I read the whole thing from end to beginning! :) I began sceptically, but now really appreciate that your love for God is not just words, but shows in all aspects of your life.

I've been dressing modestly all my life, and it had become more habit than anything else - but you have reminded me that it can be beautiful. Thanks for that. I hope you keep posting.

Greetings from Australia.

Doreen Frost said...

OH MY..your blog is so wonderfully inspiring. I am so thankful I have found you. I will be back to visit often.

wishing you a wonderful day,

Juli said...


Your blog is truly a blessing. I love your beautiful simple life. I love Tasha Tudor, and your lifestyle so very much reminds me of her. God bless. Juli

Laura Lee said...

Mia! How are you, dear?
I'm not sure if you have a juicer or not, but if you try juicing about 6 large leafs of kale, a few apples, a pear or two, and maybe a handful of spinach in the morning, it gives you a wonderful boost of energy and a great dose of nutrition!


XO Laura Lee

Amy said...

Hi Mia!
You have such a beautiful site. I love the old fashioned pictures on the side of your blog!!!! Your re-enactment dress was lovely! Its so nice to see old fashioned ways of having fun. I really enjoy old fashioned things, too! :)
God bless,

Anne@A Little Fur in the Paint said...

Dear Mia, I have just found your lovely, lovely blog and I am a new follower...
My family members have been re-enactors for years and have a sutlery, as well...your adventure looks just amazing, though ~ much better than ours! I am so glad to meet you, and invite you to visit me!

An At Home Daughter said...

Hi Mia,
I just love your blog. It's sooo beautiful. Your gardens are just lovely. How do you keep them all watered in the heat of the summer? And do you have trick to keeping the bermuda grass from taking over your gardens?
God Bless,

Terri Cheney said...

It was so lovely to meet you and your family this evening at our friend's home. I hope that I might have the pleasure again in the future of seeing and speaking with you. You're such a strong encourager for young women!

Ashley said...

Dear Mia,
I'm a Christian African-American stay-at-home daughter as well.

My mommy and I found your blog several months ago and we really, really enjoy looking at it. I love your vintage outfits. They are so beautiful!
I really enjoy sewing and have made several vintage costume outfits. I sew quite a bit for myself and my two sisters.
I have seven siblings total, five of whom (including me), are adopted. We live on a small farm and have 6 horses, 2 dogs and 13 chickens I raise the chickens. We love to garden and are trying to expand it more.
I'm studying herbs this year and so Mommy gave me a small garden to plant herbs and other things in. We have an established herb garden containing echinacea, lemon balm, parsley, oregano, peppermint, spearmint, applewood mint, chives, lemon basil and we started lavendar and chamomile. I am pretty excited to see how it all turns out.
We have been getting really warm weather for spring so the plants are really taking off.
I play the piano and I love to sing. Our family does concerts sometimes which is really a neat thing to get to do together.
I love writing and at the moment am working on writing a novel in a year, using a writing curriculum. I have a blog and I sadly do not update it very often. I haven't had it up for very long though.

I've been wanting a pen-pal and when I saw how much we had in common, I was wondering if you or your sister were interested in being pen-pals with me! Just a thought! :o)


Anonymous said...

Mia, Is everything okay? You have not posted in quite a while...

Kim said...

What a lovely blog.... I shall return often, I am sure... I hope your time after this post does not indicate either illness or your deciding to stop posting. I wish you well indeed, and hope to read many more tales of your home making!

Miss Nicole said...

Miss Mia,

I wanted to stop by and tell you what a lovely blog site you have! All your photos are so well-composed, are so tasteful, and exude tranquility and beauty. I feel instantly more peaceful every time I visit. The photo collection on your sidebar is impressive - such gorgeous women!
Love your re-enacting adventure you've showcased here.
Looking forward to your next post.

Hope all is well with you,
-Miss Nicole

Anonymous said...

I alway's enjoy your blog Mia, I have not been for some time due to circumstances but was delighted that you are still doing such a beautiful job with it, thank you and warm loving hugs from Vermont

Circus Girl (Zoë) said...

Wow this looks incredible! I must come back to your blog for longer later as it looks wonderful! :)

Tiff :o) said...

Wow, what a great adventure! Your tintype is so neat, so authentic looking! I love your lifestyle. It reinveigorates me to get back at it.

Julianne said...

We're ready for a new post anytime Mia! Blessings!

Anonymous said...


Just wanted to say I miss your posts and pray all is well with you and your family.

God Bless,

Miss Jen said...

Lovely, Mia!!
It was such a joy to visit you!
Miss you!

~Miss Jen

Homeschooling Meme said...

Love this! So peaceful.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures, who is the music by. It is beautiful but sounds sad.


DeAndrea Muhammad said...

Great Pics!

Liz said...

Miss your blog posts... hope you come back soon to update us on cottage life!

Ray Lovegrove said...

A stunningly beautiful blog. Thank you so much and best wishes from Wales.

punkleface said...

dear Mia i so miss your blog i hope everyone is well .....

iin sulastri said...

This could be one in each and every of several many blogs that may certainly i have anytime visited this blog is extremely fascinating and qualified in terms of topics discussed, thanks admin

permainan games zuma
permainan game zuma
permainan zuma online
zuma ku
permainan zuma deluxe