Sadie and I as photographed by my sister and I’m not quite sure why dressing like this brings me such pleasure. The hat, shawl, apron, dress, spinning wheel…all hand crafted by loving hands. Even the shawl pin is hand made. Sadly, I’ve forgotten names but the shawl is hand spun, hand woven from a Michigan shepherd and the wheel from Prince Edward Island, Canada. The hat was made by a 90+ year old woman in southwest Virginia and the apron by a seamstress in southside Virginia. That same seamstress is making another dress and apron, sure to bring more pleasure to me.
Have you heard of #GrannyChic or #CottageCore? You’re ahead of me then…smile. Apparently when women were telling me years and years ago, “I want to be you when I grow up” it’s now a thing. People natter on about the good old days or simple living but if they knew the amount of work it takes to live simply they could well faint at the prospect. From my perspective, all it takes to live simply is to narrow one’s focus, drastically, to home. Like I told someone who wanted to live on a farm, “You can run the roads or you can run the farm but you can’t run both”. Meaning, if you try and run both you’ll succeed at neither and if you run the roads, the farm will soon show the neglect and, yes, people do talk.
Almost all of my time is spent on the farm, tending to what God has graciously given me stewardship over. I don’t remember the last time the television was turned on and most days are spent in the white noise of God…wind troubling the trees while hounds bark distantly, horses call me to visit and the cats spit at each other amidst birdsong and insects chirruping.
The world is too much with most of us and younger folks are returning to the land in droves. If they aren’t able to live on the land then they’re playing at an idealized version; think Marie Antoinette and her Hameau de la Reine and having fun. I say more power to them especially if they’re able to learn a skill or three at the same time (doubtful but one can hope). I’m fairly sure had I described my 3:00 a.m. shed visit to stick my arm up to the shoulder in a ewe’s rear in order to re-arrange a lamb would be met with — disdain? disbelief? disgust? The reality and the dream are often at odds with the other but such is life and social media #CottageCore groups number in the thousands!
To all of you who responded to the recent poll, thank you! I’ve been
slothful slowly going forward based on your comments and recommendations and even more importantly, have decided to give the information here, for free. You know me; you know I’m not a high tech person and have, for a long while, been stymied by everything dealing with technology but, (pat yourself on the back) I’m going forward because of you.
I’m working on the syllabus and will publish within seven days and in the meantime want to give you some helpful information. If you’re low-tech please visit Kim Komando for everything high tech. She’s been the digital go to for two decades and has taught me so much about on-line safety, how to clean up both phone and computer (who knew?!). As a matter of fact, I’m supposed to be on her program next Friday and have a couple of questions whose answers might interest you especially if you live in a rural area. Marianne, her production person, told me, “You could let your family and friends know you’re going to be on the program”. Hmmm. It didn’t seem to be a good time to tell her 25 years ago I was an extra in the last movie George C. Scott made (Country Justice) and it was only last week I got around to telling my parents. <grin> Mr. Scott was born in Wise County, VA, the adjacent county to where I lived, so it was rather like coming home. He lived in Dave’s cousins’ home while he was filming and she lived with friends. None of the extras received screen credit but we did get paid and they fed us fabulously well! Frankly, that was the draw for me…we’d just moved to Tazewell County and when, at a local restaurant, I ordered a Reuben it was a couple of slices of pressed meat with yellow mustard on white bread.
I kid you not.
Until then, I’d had only a few qualms about moving to the hinterlands but when that sad, pathetic little “sandwich” was placed in front of me… . Dave said the look on my face was, “YOU KILLED MY DOG!” Obviously, I’ve never quite recovered. lol
Someone else of interest is Lisa Y. Jones who wrote a book titled Financial Seasons Devotional; she sends a newsletter every Friday morning and it’s free when you sign up. Her story is remarkable in that she and her husband paid off $300K of debt in five years! I just saw her in an interview and she’s a lovely person; a Christian who loves God and isn’t ashamed to say. My opinion is when I need advice I’ll go to a Christian first as I feel we’re singing from the same hymn book.
One more highly recommended is Wendy at One Exceptional Life and her story is here. Faith Over Fear is being launched Sunday and well worth your time and money. I had my copy professionally printed when I transferred it to a memory stick and the printers did the rest. (Yep, I surprised myself!) This past year has been fear full and it seems everyone knows someone who has been drastically affected by the virus. There’s no surprise to God but sometimes we need help remembering our faith is larger than any fear slung in our direction.
Before I say good-bye, can you offer any suggestions for severe allergies? It’s only been in the last handful of years I’ve come down with hay allergies and I’m hoping it’s my only allergy. Recently, it’s been worse than dreadfully horrible; my eyes are slanted almost shut, my face is swollen and I’ve sneezed so much my chest and back hurt. I’m managing to tend to the animals but my needs aren’t being met and when I do get some energy, it’s used to help parents or family.
I’m re-reading that last bit and thinking (as usual) my reach has exceeded my grasp but that’s not saying much as neither seems to extend very far. Thank you Mr. Browning. I think.
On Monday, I drove around 500 miles, round trip, to pick up one-quarter beef from Fisher Cove Farm then two quarts of Jersey cream and a gallon of whole Jersey milk from Duchess Dairy. In the next few days I’ll churn the cream into butter then fix waffles, which I haven’t fixed in years, just so I can have them with home made butter! Visit here if you’d like to read more about churning butter using my Great Grandmother’s churn and Aunt Bonnie’s butter mold.
~ two gallons cream and one gallon whole milk – Jersey! ~
Might you be interested in seeing old style churning? If so, be sure and sign up to receive e-mails regarding new articles. I believe I can video and put the butter churning on youtube; I do seem to be stretching my technical abilities, eh? lol
Ronnie lends a hand and today we moved two chairs, a coffee table then he moved one hundred pounds of grain for the horses. That’s on top of the two inches of snow we had and the high today is 38F (3.3C) with a bitter wind making it feel like upper 20’s. I
‘m not sure I want to know what that is C. It’s around -2C; I couldn’t resist. A day for staying close to the fire and thankful for propane logs meaning no ash to sweep or logs to carry.
All right, signing off for realz now. The day is done, the dogs and cats are snoring all around, Gypsy Rose Lee purrs in my lap and Inky just slapped (OUCH) me because I abruptly disturbed him.
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