Saturday, June 30, 2012

At sixes and sevens

Have you ever heard the very English expression at sixes and sevens? The meaning has something to do with confusion and disorder. I picked the title because those were the ages of the kids I taught last week. If you've been following my posts, you might think me confusing since I had told you I was done with work for the season several weeks ago. That was not a prevarication (I love that word). I just forgot to mention that I also teach hearth cooking at camp during the summer. Three weeks of camp--not consecutively, thank the Lord.

The first day I was quite concerned as to how the week would pan out. I planned to instruct my seven little dears in the art of making noodles from scratch. It was a cloudy day and the farmhouse kitchen was dark, so before we started, I lit some candles.

Little girl 1: Ooh, goodie--fire! Can I light something? I love burning things.
Me: Ummm, no.
Little girl 2: You like burning things? THAT'S cool. I like ripping heads off of dolls.
Little girl 3: Hey, everybody. I do a great impression of a zombie...wanna see? Wanna see? [Extends arms, makes blank expression, growls. Little girls 4 through 7 mimic]
Me: [Silently shoots quick prayer to heaven; attempts to regain order] We're making noodles, everyone. Noodles!

As the week progressed, they got with the program and really were a sweet bunch. I think their being able to wear colonial clothing helped in the calming process. It was neat watching them play at being 18th century maidens, lifting the hems of their gowns, pinkies extended, as they trotted daintily about.

I didn't have to wear my usual colonial garb--hooray! It's HOT there in summertime.

Also, I was glad for the denim that protected my "seat".

Bitten for the first time by a particular inhabitant of the farm, I now know the true meaning of getting "goosed". *ahem*

All in all it was an enjoyable week with the littles and my talented co-workers, who taught paper-making, working a cider press, animal care, and other cool stuff.

Besides the noodles, we made butter, gingerbread, corn cake, ginger beer, pickles, and ice cream colonial style.

Next post I will have some more pictures with recipes. Because I know you're all dying to eat homemade noodles and wash them down with ginger beer. Right?

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Necessity of Chalk and Bread

As it's essential for me to excercise creative muscles, I've been putting some of my favorite tools to work.

These chalks, or pastels if you want to get fancy.

And this book. Seriously, if you love to bake, see if you can find it at your local library or amazon. It has some amazing recipes and inspiring photos.

Look at this bread. Gah! It's become necessary for me to bake it weekly. It's SO delicious, and the texture, while tender, is firm enough to slice beautifully. Perfect for sandwiches. Mike said the size and shape reminded him of the type of loaf you'd see in an old black and white movie. I'm sure he meant it as a compliment.

Now onto the chalk. One of the best things we ever did was paint the pantry doors with chalkboard paint. It's been loads of fun to play with.


Joining Laura today.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The great escape

Mike enjoyed his celebratory breakfast in bed, along with a few thank-you-for-being-a-great-dad gifties. Then after a wonderful church service on Sunday morning, we had the whole afternoon to ourselves.

It was time to get out of Dodge.

Country back roads were calling

so we made a run for it - phones off -

I'm sorry - the party you were trying to reach... unavailable. Not even Superman was going to deter us from our adventure. He collapsed to the lower right of the phone booth--hilariously random

While driving along, my husband slammed the brakes every time I yelled, "STOP!!" so I could photograph something. Which I thought was exceedingly patient and kind, it being Fathers' Day and all. And fortunately, the only other traffic we had to contend with was Amish horses and buggies.

Don't you love the teal and white? Wouldn't you love to meet the person who painted their old barn those colors? I would.

oh, dear. (In truth I thought, yum. I like venison.)

We did some rummaging at a favorite junk spot

I found an old hand-crank egg beater. It has a red wooden handle and the paint is worn and the wood smooth to the touch where years of hands have gripped it. The beaters make a satisfying whirrzzing sound when you crank it. The old tin is marvelous because it has the word "cake" on it (cake being right up there with 'edible glitter' among the most beautiful words in the English language). And a xylophone - EEEEEEP! I feel a "as seen on Pinterest" project coming on.

We also a found a retro chicken watering jar which we are re-purposing as a water source for our bees. It's kinda like a little pub for them to stop at after a long hard day of foraging before heading back to the hive to tackle their honey-do list (yuck, yuck) We also snagged (very cheaply, I might add) a large roll of chicken wire, which was a blessing since Mike has been wanting to build a fence to keep out the ground hog that has been decimating our veggie patch.

On the way home, we made a spontaneous howdy-do to some great friends. We love them dearly, and our five minute stops always turn into at least an hour and a half.

Billy and Joan, thanks for being so gracious about our impromptu visit. And thank you for the "walking onions" for our garden

and the bouquet of wild roses. You were the icing on a great day.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"Some place cool an' green an' shady..."

Lalala, good old John Denver. That song's been going through my mind for days. A soul longing for rest, I think. We've been awfully busy with family obligations regarding an ailing parent. And it's right that we attend to them. But the man and I, in need of a break, have been dreaming of a day away. A little country back-road ride mayhaps? I got a bit of an "easy afternoon" today, for which I'm grateful.

This is my favorite warm weather spot for prayer and reading.

Been collecting a nice little reading pile for when I have free time.

Hmm...Percy Shelley's an interesting character. Lalala, "find yourself a piece of grassy ground, lay down, close your eyes. Find yourself or maybe lose yourself while your free spirit flies..."

P.S. I've been so behind in my blogging, both writing and reading. Hope to get back on track. And, don't forget, this coming July will be the ever Curious Acorn's 3rd birthday! And I'll be celebrating with another giveaway. Woot!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Good-bye petticoats, hello nail polish

I'm looking forward to a little break from the old farm. Time to pack the colonial garb into the cedar chest 'til autumn when the school children return. I'll be spending my summer in the 21st century. Whooopie! That means I get to wear nail polish any time I want. Believe me, when you have a job that makes your hands look pretty grubby, girly-girl stuff is a big deal. So it's adieu living history. See you in September.

Good-bye early morning drives on winding roads in dappled light

Good-bye little bridge that takes me back 300 years

Good-bye wood smoke pierced with sunbeams

Good-bye gathering

Good-bye old, deep window sills

Good-bye hauling

Good-bye still rooms

Good-bye students

Good-bye hearth and kitchen

Good-bye Mr. Blacksmith

Good-bye moths clinging to stone walls

Good-bye springhouse

Good-bye baby ox

Good-bye farm

See you in the fall


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