Sabbath Rest


"For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations."

- Psalm 100:5

Finding a New Daily Rhythm

Something has seemed a little off kilter in my world. It's late August and no school planning is taking place, because we are all done homeschooling. Hmm...what's going to give me that feel of the changing of the seasons? Well, since we live in New England, that's not going to be too difficult to figure out. But what about the daily rhythm? With the exception of my life before kindergarten and a period of eight years between college graduation and the start of our homeschooling, every other year of my life has been characterized in September by the start of the school year. It's what heralds the return to routine, and discipline, and productivity. It's what's kept us from sinking into an abyss of endless summer with no responsibilities. It's grounded us. It's grounded me.

Time for a new plan. So, the current plan, which has been working for a whopping two weeks (so, I'm not quite ready to declare it a success) looks something like this:

Mornings (roughly from 6:30 until noon) are reserved for my personal and homekeeping duties: quiet times, exercise, quick bits of computer work, gardening, laundry, menu planning, preserving all the produce from the garden, etc.


And the time after lunch (roughly from 1:00 to 6:00) is reserved for sewing.

It seems to work pretty well, as long as I can stay home most days. So, the weekly plan is to attempt to only leave home on Sundays and Thursdays (and sometimes on Saturdays). Thursdays are dedicated to grocery shopping and volunteer work.

I pledged "nose to the grindstone" a couple of weeks ago, and so far...so good!

History Around Every Corner


One of the best things about living in New England is that around every corner, in the most unexpected places, there's a little bit of history. On this week's jaunt to the wool shop, we also spotted this covered bridge (c. 1854 at a cost of $500). We had to pause and get out of the road multiple times while trying to take our pictures, as it's still well-traveled today. As I listened to the cars rumble over its wooden timbers, I couldn't help but imagine how the clippety-clop of horses' hooves would've sounded.

Lake Serenity


The best part of hitting the road early for a quick run to the wool store (an hour away) is a view like this along the way...oh, and wool waiting at the other end! Wool is always good!

Sabbath Rest


Q. 107. What doth the conclusion of the Lord’s Prayer teach us?
A. The conclusion of the Lord’s Prayer, which is, For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen, teacheth us to take our encouragement in prayer from God only, and in our prayers to praise Him, ascribing kingdom, power, and glory to Him; and, in testimony of our desire, 
and assurance to be heard, we say, Amen.

- Westminster Shorter Catechism 

Rescued from the Rain


All week long I'd been reminding myself to cut some blooms from the hydrangea tree. It's in full bloom right now and just gorgeous! And when it started to rain today, I suddenly remembered...the hydrangeas!  So, I rushed out and rescued some from the rain.  An arrangement for the living room and one for the dining room table. One of late summer's blessings!

The Next Season's Victims

I'm notoriously bad with potted plants.  Turn me loose in the kitchen garden any day!  And I keep the perennials alive too!  But potted plants cringe when they see me coming.  Until about two weeks ago, I had succeeded in keeping a rosemary plant and a lovely lavender topiary alive.  And then I forgot to water for a few days, and that was the end of that.

Now I've repotted with the next season's victims.  I hope everyone in the family enjoys them while they can.  They are lovely!


Lunch and a Last Hurrah

Oh my, but it's been a summer of fun! Lots of running coast to coast and all over New England with and without guests. Since Colette has Mondays off, today we made a trip down to explore Concord, Massachusetts. We did a bit of antiquing, some picture taking, some house gawking. And then we wound up here, at The Colonial Inn (c. 1715), for lunch. This was one last hurrah before I must seriously turn my thoughts to shopkeeping and sewing, sewing, and more sewing!

The historic inn was a munitions storehouse when the cry went out that "the redcoats are coming". 


We shared a delicious sandwich of chicken, pesto, sundried tomato, mozzarella, and arugula.  Yum!


It was a fun time with my girl!


And now nose to the grindstone!

First Big Harvest

Thus far, this has been a fabulous year for gardening! Here's a photo I snapped with my phone of our garden a few weeks ago, probably at its peak of prettiness...before any of the squash leaves started to get a bit yellow, or the tomato plant leaves started to wither.  Every year we change the pattern of the kitchen garden around a bit.  And this year, Colette set about making some wattle fencing to define the beds, and that makes all the difference!  And the layout is just really working for me...easy to reach everything in every bed, easy to wrangle the house around, paths are roomy without consuming too much space, etc.


So far, all my harvesting has been just a few things at a time...three zucchini, a handful of tomatoes.  The day before yesterday, I picked another modest amount of everything that was ripe.  And then today?...THIS! Whew!  It has really taken off!


I'm going to be one busy lady in the kitchen!  Salsa, zucchini bread, and pesto are all going to be whipped up and take their spots in the freezer. The green beans and eggplant are part of tomorrow night's dinner. Some of the tomatoes became a caprese salad for our picnic dinner tonight. It's the happy eating time of year!

Revolutionary War Battle Reenactment

I took so many photos the day of the Revolutionary Reenactment at Old Sturbridge Village, it's really difficult to weed through to choose the best to share with you.  But I think I've finally done it.  I love the long rows of tidy, carefully labeled camp tents. I love the simplicity of everything.  And yet I love the details. Here are my favorite photos of the preparations before the battle, during the battle, and immediately after.















And, in case you're curious, the Redcoats won the battle that day.  The British tourist standing behind me during the battle was glorying in this.  I couldn't resist turning around with a smile and saying with a wink, "I'm sorry to tell you, but ultimately...it doesn't end well for you." He laughed.

Sabbath Rest

Blooms from the farmers' market.
"Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost."

- Thomas Ken, 1674

Of Revolutionary Fashion and Food

I've been quite absent lately because my in-laws have been here for a visit, and we've been busy running hither and yon having fun!  Each year, Old Sturbridge Village has a Revolutionary War Reenactment that is the largest in New England.  It's one of my favorite events to attend, and my in-laws planned their visit to coincide with the reenactment this year.

Each time I go, I try to focus on one thing to learn more about. This time I chose two...fashion and food. I attended a talk on dressing a colonial lady, which I will share with you in a separate posting.  But these were the fashions that caught my eye that day, particularly for their details. I'm passionate about details, because for me...that's where the beauty lies!







This was one of my favorite ensembles of the day.  I loved it for its simplicity and for the chatelaine hanging from her waist. She stood near us for the battle reenactment, and another reenactor complimented her for her neat and tidy appearance. Yes, that was what set her apart too...the tidiness of her look. Very pretty!


Turning my attention to food now...

To the best of my knowledge, reenactors at such an event always come in groups.  And the groups have pitched their tents and set up camp for the whole weekend, taking their meals together.  When we first arrived, fires were being stoked for the cooking of dinner, and lunch was being served.

Lunch always seems to be a simple, elemental affair...cold meats, bread, cheese, fruit...all easily eaten with one's hands.



But dinner takes hours and hours to prepare. And as the day progressed, the smell of the cooking fires and the aroma of cooking food wafted through the air until we all wished we could just pull up a stool and stay for dinner! Truly, I want to learn to cook with skill over an open fire, because I think we could easily do this in our fire pit. And how fun would that be?

Seasonal summer squash simmering over the campfire.


One particularly ambitious group was roasting a whole pig, sandwiched between two metal grates.


Pork loins roasting on spits. Oh my!  I SO want to do this!  I spoke with the lady tending to the cooking, and she said that they should take 3 to 3 1/2 hours to cook.  They must be turned regularly to insure even cooking.


And this was the cooking set-up that seemed most versatile to me.  They are a set of fire irons and a series of "S" hooks that enable you to lower or raise various pots to the height necessary for proper heating. Putting this on my Christmas wish-list, I do believe!


I already can't wait to go back next year!
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