Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Read Along: Week 24- Indians in the House

This week, Laura, Mary, ma and baby Carrie encounter Indians in the house. They are scared stiff and overcome with the smell of skunk! The Indians wore skunk pelts. Read a bit about skunks, why they emit the smelly spray, why their pelts were used and the history of fur trade and it’s importance in North America.
Nat Geo
pelt info
pelt info
history of fur trade
Now that that smelly business is over, ma is grateful that the Indians did not take all of their cornmeal. She has to make more for supper that night, and this time, she puts molasses on it. Molasses can be made from sugar cane or sugar beets. I’m guessing they used molasses from sugar beets, and it was the third boiling, the blackstrap molasses that was used. Interesting, the significant amounts of vitamins and minerals-see here:
wiki Molasses link
This is likely closest to the recipe that ma used to make her cornbread, though she’d have done it over the open fire. LH cornbread recipe
For a bit of a change, try this Sassy Molasses Cornbread recipe: (http://www.globalgourmet.com/food/recipes/cornbred.html)
Of course, with the holiday season upon us, I feel that I can not overlook the classic gingerbread cookie with molasses! Now the question is, how do you like your gingerbread? With a snap, or soft and chewy?

By bethanyg

Read Along: Week 23: A Roof and a Floor

  • Family activity: If you and your kids made a log house back at the beginning of our read-a-long, they may enjoy making some furnature like a bead-stead or a table.
gathered twigs or popsicle sticks
strong string
white glue
small amount of scrap cloth
needle & thread, scissors
cut the twigs or popsicle sticks to size (I used pruning shears that were handy) and use strong string to bind the uprights to the cross-pieces as in these pictures:
activiy pt1
activity pt2
This may require cooperation (like neighbors helping each other): one person holding the pieces together while the other does the tying. Once the whole frame is together and can stand on it’s own, add a dab of glue to the joints to strengthen them & set it aside to dry.
When dry, glue other twigs/popsicle sticks across the frame lengthwise (on the lower cross-pieces) for the bed or the other direction ( on the upper cross-pieces) for a table.
activity pt3
While that is drying, make a small mattress for the bed out of scrap fabric and a little stuffing. Use another piece of scrap fabric for the blanket (or table-cloth if you’re making a table).
  • Activity: Nature Journaling
The Ingalls girls spend much of their free time exploring and observing the beautiful world around them. This is a wonderful activity for all ages and all seasons. Lets begin a nature Journal. This can be as simple or involved as you like. You can start with a spiral notebook or a fancy blank journal book. The journal can include anything from temperature & precipitation reports, sketches, found objects taped or glued in, to poems whether original or copied. Here are some links to give you some ideas and inspiration:
When I was young, my Mother took us on nature walks, pointing out flowers and birds along the way. Once we chose a small plot of ground and marked it out with some twine. We returned every few days to record what we saw in that little patch. This is another way to approach nature journaling.

By SarahJayne

Read Along: Week 21- Fire in the Hearth

This week Pa built an indoor fire place so Ma can cook away from the outside elements: We don’t often cook over an indoor fire these days but I love sitting by a fireplace. It’s so cozy!
This week activities:
1: Check out this fireplace safety site. If you have children there is also a childrens game section to this site that is a lot of fun.

2: Another great thing about a fire place (or any heating source) is that it helps dry out wet mitts and boots! But do you ever have trouble finding a place to hang them? Here is a neat string rack idea.
And here is an idea my grandmother used. When I was little, she made on for each of her childrens families.
alt text
  • One 3 foot tree branch with multiple branches hanging off of it and at least 1 inch diameter at it’s base.
  • Utility knife
  • Pruners
  • Wood glue
  • Clear varnish
  • finishing nails
  • 2 pieces of 1 inch thick(ply)wood 2 inches wide and 12 inches long
  • 2 pieces of 1 inch thick (ply)wood 2 inches wide and 3 inches long
With your pruners, prune back each stick branch to be about 6 inches long. Using your utility knife, carefully peel the bark off of you branches and your main branch.
Varnish the entire branch to water proof it and let dry.
Make your base. Glue the 1x2x3 pieces of wood to the ends of one of the 1x2x12. Clamp to dry. (this makes feet)
Cross the two pieces or 1x2x12 in the middle to make the stand. Glue and clamp to dry.
Place the branch in the center of your base and with a hammer, nail through all the layers of the base and into the branch to hold it in place. (Alternative, use a drill and a screw.)
Set beside a heat source and place your mittens on the branches to dry!

3: What do you like to do when you relax by a fire? Read a book, curl up under a blanket, roast marshmallows?

by FineandFancy

Read Along: Week 21- Two Stout Doors

After last weeks episode with the wolves, I would be kind of partial to a wooden door over a quilt as well!

This weeks activities:
Hand craftsmanship is now considered an art form. Shaker furniture is popular for being made without nails, just as Pa made his door. When possible they would opt to use a lot of traditional joints in furniture and other pieces and would use mortise & tenon and dovetail/finger joints.
Here is a link for making your own foot stool shaker style.

Most of us don’t have access to materials or time to build a door or furniture, but we sure can admire it!

2: Create a seasonal wreath to decorate you own door.

Ravelry has a list of free knitted and crochet patterns

And my favorite crafting blog One Pretty Thing has an entire list of beautiful wreaths with tutorials.

3: What kind of safety so you use on your own house doors. Do you like doors with windows or prefer a solid door for privacy? Do you use dead bolts or slide bolts for added home protection? Do you like the idea of security alarms?

by FineandFancy

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Knitter's Prayer

While visiting my aunt recently, she gave me A Knitter's Prayer, something she had cross-stitched years ago. I thought I would share it with you, it seem like something Laura or Mary would have made.

A knitters Prayer

I pray when risen from the dead
I may in glory stand;

Perhaps a crown upon my head,
But four needles in my hand.

I never learned to sing or play
So let no harp be mine

From childhood to my dying day,
Plain knittings been my line.

And so as close the trumpets call,
I have not fame or riches;

But sweet contents knit in my soul
A million happy stitches.

Simple Play

The Christmas fliers have been out in abundance over the last two weeks, full of talking toys, computers and remote controlled cars.  Even the doll houses have lights that works and sound cards that make the family talk! Wii and it's games of virtual imagination are big on the scene and what toddler wouldn't like a tractor with flashing lights and real motor sounds?

But what I long for as a mom is a house with home grown imagination and occasional moments of piece and quiet!
Mary and Laura had very simple play toys, made from the natural resources around them or toys that imitated adult responsibilities.

Here is a little list of toys and games that I find quiet, educational and fun for my children.

Wooden train set - we have a battery powered plastic set, but for children under 5, it is difficult to put together, trains crash as they run at different speeds depending on the battery power, and the pieces break when a parent accidentally steps on one hidden under the laundry.

Our wooden set though.....fits perfectly with any building block set, can be cheap or expensive (Thomas verses store brand) and can be put together in any order by any set of cute chubby fingers that is willing to try!
I always enjoy hearing  the gentle "chugg chugg whoooo" from my littlest family member

Cloth Dolls - I get so tired of dressing Barbie for the umpteenth time, because her limbs are so stiff for DD to get her dressed. Rag dolls, Waldorf inspires dolls or cloth and wire dolls such as doll house dolls or  the Pony club or Only hearts are "girl shape" inspired and easy for young fingers to dress on their own.  One rag doll can become a baby, a sister or a best friend at play time, and can be as much fun as any barbie if given with a generous wardrobe.

Books - The window to the imagination, almost any kind will do! Finding books that are age appropriate and easy to read for the child is a good idea.  But also having books that you can read as a family can inspire great moments together. Offer to read a new book to a child in your life!

Paper, Ribbons, Scissors and Glue-  My childrens favorite Holiday gift is when Uncle B raids the dollar store paper and craft department.  I personally avoid paint and markers, but I have no issues scrubbing up glue off my table! I have had some very interesting pictures, creatures and "items" created at our table from little ones imaginations without prompts or suggestions.

Just Like Mom: (or Dad!) - Let your children help with chores by providing miniatures of your tools, such as little aprons, small squirt bottles with vinegar and water, little dusters and mini cookie cutters. Let them use playdough when you're baking.
I am all for plastic work tools and hard hats as well, so they can be fixers like Dad.

Out door Fun- Today we had our first snow, and there are two snowmen in my yard! The sleds are out and the skates cleaned up, ready for the local rink. In the fall they made pretend camp fires from pruned scrub, pretended to be birds in nests with the leaf piles. And in the summer they spent  hours throwing rocks in the lake and building sand castles and motes. And last spring the loved jumping in the puddles and planting and watering seeds in the garden. There is always lot's to do outside, even without buckets of toys. Head outside and explore and see what Mother nature has left for us to play with!

Toy Tip: Let the batteries wear out and don't replace them! If a toy can be "used" without the batteries, leave them out and let the children start using their own imaginations again.

by FineandFancy

And to You a Cozy Winter!

'Tis the season for preparing for the long cold winter ahead. For making the home cozy and warm, for reflection and planning for the coming year. I think of the "winterizing" done during the pioneer times (stacking straw against the house for warmth, putting up preserves, stocking pantries, attics and cellars) and I compare that to what we do now. Some still can and preserve, stock pantries and cellars with food they have grown and harvested.

I turn to making the home cozy with Christmas decorations, prepare for time indoors as we are not able to get out to play like we were able to all summer long. Reorganizing toys and books, rearranging furniture and bedrooms. Decluttering and minimizing what we have, but also adding the cozy items, like blankets on the couch and warm touches like throw rugs in front of the doors. Placemats and tablecloths come out too in the colder months. It seems the textiles just warm the place up.

For me, this time of year brings out the crafty side as well. Combining the warm textiles and craft makes this a very exciting time for me. I want to make table runners and coasters, placemats and candle wraps. Felted bowls filled with goodies. I'm not a big fan of cross stitching (doing it, I mean, though I do appreciate the craft!), and I'm not a very good seamstress, but I so enjoy the simplistic beauty of the crafts I found at the Pilgrims & Pioneers Primitives website. The stitching on the items is inspirational--and maybe a bit deceptive, as it makes me think that even I could do that!

These acorn napkin rings by Betz White are adorable and inspirational as well. Poinsettia napkin rings made of felt? Adorable. Santa ones? Reindeer? Mittens? The possibilities are endless, and I think I could pull these off.

Repurposing things is included in this spurt of craftiness. Using felted sweaters, I've started creating scarves, coasters, mittens, flower pins, bracelet cuffs, cowls/gaitors, mug cozies, my list went on and on. This site  and this site  were terrific inspiration, as well as searching flickr.com for project pictures.

I like to think of crafting that I can do and involve the kids. I imagine sitting by the fire (we don't have a fireplace, but one can dream) sitting on the floor with my kids and cutting and creating and using these decorations in our home. The sense of pride and accomplishment they feel! I cherish the warm memories of sitting and creating with my mom and I hope this is a tradition I can carry on with my family.

This winter season I wish you find warmth, in your home, in your heart, in your crafty soul. 

by bethanyg

Great Aunt Bertha’s Woodstove

Aunt Bertha Harper -mid to late '60's

Aunt Bertha was a wonderful cook, considered the best in the family. Almost all of the old family recipes in my recipe box came from her. None of them are secret for she always gave such things freely. Besides, her “secret ingredient” wasn’t something you could buy at a store; it was her expertise at cooking on a wood stove.

Food cooked in that old wood stove was just better. Of course, back when she was a girl, learning to cook from her mother, everyone had a wood stove. Even when those new-fangled electric stoves became available she insisted on keeping her wood stove. Several decades of experience made it as easy for her to cook with wood heat as we do with gas or electric. She simply KNEW how much wood to add to achieve the heat needed. When enough time had gone by for the fire to heat up the oven box, she’d wave her hand in to feel the temperature. When it was right, in went the cookies. A kettle of water always sat on the stove-top ready for tea or hot chocolate should anyone stop by for a visit. Neighborhood children were sure to stop in after school to see if she’d been baking that day, amongst them my Mother and her siblings who all lived next door. It was a sad day when Aunt Bertha’s grown children, concerned for her safety, finally convinced her to switch over to an electric stove. She was never truly satisfied with her cooking after that –it was missing the “secret ingredient.”

Knowing this family heritage of baking, I was so pleased when my grandma commented that my sugar cookies were the closest she’d tasted to Aunt Bertha’s. I know it wasn’t the stove, but it may have been the other ingredients that have changed since Aunt Bertha’s time. Farm fresh eggs with rich orange yolks, and fresh, raw goat’s milk really do make a difference. Now if only I could switch out my oven for a wood stove!

Aunt Bertha’s Sugar Cookies:

2 c sugar
1 c lard
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1 c milk (sour)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp nutmeg
5 c flour

-Cream the sugar and lard together then add the vanilla, eggs, and milk
-Mix in the baking powder, soda, and nutmeg
-One cup at a time, mix in the flour
-Spoon out onto a greased cookie sheet and press in the middle to make a well; put jelly in the well
-Bake at 350 until the bottom edges start browning.
This is also a good recipe for rolling out & using cookie cutters; it’s not too sweet so it’s just right when frosted.

by SarahJayne

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Read Along: Week 20- The Wolf Pack

When I was in first year college we had required course during reading week called intersessions, where we each chose from 5 destinations to do hands on volunteer work.
I went to a small first nations village in the extreme North of Alberta with 20 others where we shared two hunting cabins with no electricity, cell phone service or plumbing. We had a hunting guide and access to 2 rifles for protection and kept warm by pot bellied stoves.
It was the middle of February and all our ruckus pretty much scared away the local wildlife. But one night we heard a commotion outside our cabin. We figured it was the boys staying in the other cabin playing pranks on us, we had heard them howling from their cabin and then we heard them digging around and running around our cabin. The guide was staying in our cabin, and looking back, I think the idea that this was a prank was his suggestion, to keep all us women calm.
When we went out the next morning we saw wolf prints all around our cabin. The leader of the 3 wolves had a paw print as big as our guides hand. No one ever had the urge to use the outhouse through the night after that!! We also found out that the guys in the other cabin had figured out there were wolves out side and were “concerned” through out the night (my guess is “FrEaKiNg OuT!”)

This weeks activities:

Research your local wildlife. Even if you’re in the city wolves coyotes and foxes probably inhabit the country side of your County. bethanyg has found a great link for wolf watching
When you are camping, or even hiking or picnicking carnivore animals are the reason you must store your food and garbage properly. Read here about choosing and packing and storing food for eating in the wilderness.

  •  make a crafted wolf to go with your cabin and wagon and dolls. Here are some different versions
sewing (although it is technically a scotty dog, in wolf colors I think it would still make a nice wolf
sewing, advanced
knitted puppet
And speaking of wolves, I always think of Little Red Riding Hood! You could design a red cloak for your rag doll and with your new wolf project, tell the story of Little Red Riding Hood!
Here is a link to a really cool paper project as well for story telling
Little Red Riding Hood

  •  mmm…..tastes like chicken!
Laura and Mary enjoyed their supper of prairie hen drumsticks. What are your favorite poultry recipes…care to share? Email us the recipe and we will add it to a recipe section!

by HatsFineandFancy with research assistance from bethanyg

Saturday, October 31, 2009


I have two neighbor friends that will be moving in the next couple of weeks. I am overwhelmed for both of them as they gather their families and belongings and venture into new neighborhoods. Both friends have children and dogs. One is moving to a new house while the other is moving temporarily to a condo until they can locate a house to move into. Both are using moving trucks for some items, one is using a Pod to help store some things until they find their house. Boxes and planning what gets put in the Pod, what gets put in the basement storage, what gets moved first, who will be there to help move the heavy items, how to juggle getting the closings and paper work settled, the kids to/from school. Keeping little ones occupied while cleaning, organizing, setting up the homestead takes place. The list goes on!

Then I recall the Ingalls' first move. The covered wagon, exchange of horses, and careful planning and packing, setting off and just deciding when it was time to stop and set up camp. The journey was difficult; no road!, no warmth!, no rest stops to use the bathroom!, no place to stop for a quick bite!, no entertainment for the kids in the back seat!, heck, no back seat!

Can you imagine moving to a new place with no other people, no furniture, no house even!? Leaving what you know for something you know nothing of. Planning for meals for - who knows how long- before you got back "to town" to get necessary provisions. How do you know how much corn meal to bring? Flour? Beans? What tools and utensils? Personal items? And to complicate matters, traveling in a covered wagon included more difficulties than lack of comfort. Each item packed had to be in it's own special, secure space. The wagon itself could only hold so much weight as well. Too heavy and the horses wouldn't be able to pull as well for as long. Or make the journey, say, across rivers, all the more dangerous. Too little provisions would result in running out of essentials and no where to restock, risking health, safety and the ability to build shelter once a suitable plot of land was found.

What would you bring with you if you could only bring 2000 pounds worth of items? Read here: http://www.essortment.com/all/pioneercovered_rjtw.htm for an idea of how one pioneer woman packed and planned her covered wagon, the preparation that went into journey. Read here: http://www.laurasprairiehouse.com/crafts/packingyourcoveredwagon.html to plan your own journey in a covered wagon. How different would it be preparing for a move in modern times? I must say, being a knitter and spinner, I'm pleased to see that a spinning wheel may have been included in the packing! And the spinning of the wagon cover! What a task!

I'm not sure which type of preparation sounds better when I compare moving out on the prairie and moving in modern times. It seems there may be benefits to both. But I do know that the adventure never ends, and a woman's work is never done. I'll miss my friends as they move, not too far, but not across the street either, and I hope to find the grace of Caroline and the adventurous spirit of Charles when I approach change in my own life.

by bethanyg

A Visit to the Past

  In the little town of Whitehall, AR a log cabin village has been created.  Most of these cabins have  been carefully taken apart and re-assembled here, safe from the dangers of development.  For two weekends every year this village wakes from its century-long sleep to host the activities of reenactors and give visitors a taste of history.

   Come, walk with me; the day is cool but bright.  On a beautiful fall day like this, there's no telling how much fun we could have.  The mule has already been up and working since day-break, turning the sorghum press.  I hear the folks boiling down the sap to make molasses are giving out samples.  On the way, we'll likely see the broom-maker and his wife at work in their shop and the printer setting up and inking all those little metal letters to print out this week's news.  

   Winter is a coming, besides the chill in the air, the thick winter quilts airing out on the laundry line are a sure sign that cold weather is ahead.  Is all this talk of winter making you feel cold?  Well, we'll just stop in to visit in this cabin.  I see smoke billowing out the chimney; a warm fire would be most welcome.  The housewife is busy about the cabin and is glad we stopped by; she says she'd appreciate it if we could watch her little one while she finishes up supper.  The men-folk of the area are all out getting the last of the hay bailed up, soon they'll be done and come looking for that big pot of black-eyed peas and sausage.  Hmm.... I can smell the cornbread; it's almost ready!

   It's such a peaceful life here; it's so sad to think of the changes that are coming.  On the other side of town the army has set up a recruitment office and all the young men, full of promise and potential are lined up to sign their names.  The loud boom of the canon is no less unsettling, every hour reminding us of those who will soon be marching off.  Heaven preserve us and bring them home safe!  With all the young men, brothers and fathers, headed off to war, the school-house has been closed; all the younger children who would have filled it with the sounds of laughter and sing-song chants of times tables are needed at home to help their Ma's run the farm.  

   I'm glad the little chapel is still open!  In times like these, such a place of solace is all the more dear.  Would you like to go there; there are some folks gathering up there to sing the praises of the Lord.  I hear the bell ringing now; they must be getting ready to start.  After all that singing, perhaps we could walk on down to the general store .  We can get some sasperilla, my treat, and sit around listening to the musicians gathered on the porch while we watch the sun going down over this fair little town.

To see images from this excursion, please visit http://sarahjaynesphotopage.shutterfly.com/

Making Butter

If you asked me 5 years ago if I would consider making my own butter, I would have looked at you like you'd grown a 3rd eye. Even a year ago I probably would have scoffed at you. Why would I want to make my own butter when I could buy it at the store?

When the activity came up for making butter, I still thought it was silly. After all, my dad had once told me that if you shake one of those little containers of creamer that it would turn into butter. I hate to admit it, but I shook and shook that thing and nothing ever happened.

Then I got the idea that I could use my Kitchenaid mixer to make butter. Why not? I did some googling and found that other people have done it before. I bought my cream and tried it. I felt a little like Laura Ingalls when Pa brought home the sewing machine and she thought of running the sheets through it instead of hand sewing them together with little tiny stitches. I'm sure my great-grandma rolled over in her grave, but that butter I made came out just like any other butter with a lot less work.

As a society, we need to know where our food comes from. I read an article in our local newspaper the other day that mentioned that kids think that apples come from the store, not a tree. I thought butter came from the store. Not really, but it doesn't hurt to take time to think about where things come from.

by a-chan 

From a churn to a mixer, what a difference a century makes!
picture by Hatsfineandfancy

Read Along: Week 19- Moving In

  • This chapter reminds me of a poem by Eugine Field, Wynkin Blynkin and Nod. I wonder if He saw the same sky Laura did with the big moon. Covered wagons were often called Prairie Schooners because of the large canvas tops, like the one that nearly blew Pa away as he was attempting to strap it down as a roof for the house. (I imagine Laura would have thought that sailing away with a canvas to the sky would be a grand adventure!)
Here is Buffy Sainte-Marie singing the poem for us…..

What other poems remind you of nature or traveling?

  •  Laura often talks about helping her sisters dress and undress their buttons. Read this blog entry about button strings that girls use to collect, very interesting reading.
Lets make a button craft using buttons from your button box (if you don’t have a button box, plan your project and buy the ones you need)
Here are some links:
Here are some button fairies strings. Here are some instructions, but it’s all up to your imagination!
A choker, where you could add a button to the center flower.
A wire and button brooch
A fabric based pin
A felt heart brooch covered in buttons
Here is a crochet coffee cup cozy
and a Knitted button band
You could also string them for bracelets or necklaces as well

  •  Enjoy sifting through your button jar if you have one. Enjoy the different shapes and sizes and textures. Pick one or two out for the younger members of the family and make a dancing button yoyo to play with
 By HatsFineandFancy

We had other button craft ideas come in after this posted on Rav.  All great ideas, so I will share them with you as well .....

bethanyg -Thought I’d add a couple that we do/will do.

Bookmarks on strings with beads or buttons–length of string cut longer than the length of a book. Knot a little way down, string with beads or buttons, tie top knot. Can do the same to the bottom length of the string. The empty part of the string lays in the book while the beads or buttons hang from the top/bottom.

Felted cuffs from sweater, embellished with buttons.

Felted sweaters, cut into flower shapes and embellished with buttons.

HatsFineandFancy -I found another neat button idea, another  book mark :o)

Friday, October 30, 2009

When Grandma Cooked

Here is a poem written by my Great Great Uncle Clifford Tremain.  I don't have a date for when he wrote it but I'm guessing 1950's, early 60's... reminiscing about his childhood. It was just found by a historian and published recently  in the Cambridge Advocate newspaper.

When Grandma Cooked
When Grandma cooked for the threshing gang
In the days of long ago,
She didn’t have water hot and cold
Right at her elbow.

She carried the water from a spring
About half a mile away,
And didn’t join a bridge or social club
To pass the time away.

She had to split her own firewood
To make the kettle boil,
For there wasn’t any such thing
As electricity, gas or oil.

Now besides these little chores or tasks
That she had to do,
With one hand as she went past
She rocked the cradle too.

The vegetables must all be peeled
And ready for the pan,
For Grandma had never seen
The Modern old tin can.

Huge loaves of bread she had to bake
And pies and cookies too,
For it took an awful lot of grub
To feed that hungry crew.

A crock of butter she must churn
Besides the other fuss,
For in those days of do it yourself
There wasn’t any surplus.

She must go out and hunt the eggs
Before she made her cake,
And it would be superior
To any modern make.

And when the threshing had been done
And the gang had all been fed,
She would then the dishes wash
Without any modern dope,
 In a pan of suds made from
Good old home-made soap.

by Clifford Tremain, Hespeler Ontario

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Read Along: Week 18 - The House on the Prairie

A big thanks to SarahJayne for writing this weeks read along! 

This week’s chapter contains yet another frightening experience for the Ingalls family. The pioneer life is filled with dangers, and so far we have seen how Pa and Ma try to keep things light to shield the girls from their fears. Here we see what really frightens Pa, seeing his dear wife injured. It must have been terrifying to be so far from help with only home remedies to treat any sicknesses or injuries.

  • For those sharing this little house adventure with their children, this may be a good time to discuss first aid and how to tell the difference between a break and a sprain. Here is a website with simple directions. It may be interesting to talk about the kinds of medicines and remedies available to the pioneers and how medicines have changed since that time. You can find some info on that here, here, and here.

  • Our craft this week is also more geared towards the young’uns; however I have to admit I had a lot of fun with it too. We will be making a homemade guitar or fiddle.
-4 to 6 rubber bands of the same length, the thinner ones will give a higher pitched sound
-a small box that your rubber bands can stretch around
-two pencils
-an exacto knife (parental use here, obviously)
-anything you might want to decorate your instrument with
To make a bow for your fiddle
-a wire coat hanger
-another rubber band
-wire cutters & pliers
1 cut a hole in the box with the exacto knife to create a soundbox
2 stretch 4 or 6 rubber bands across the hole
3 slide the pencils under the rubber bands to keep them from touching the box
4 have fun plucking the strings as a guitar
If you want to play this as a fiddle, you’ll need a bow
1 using the wire cutters, cut the wire hanger as shown:
making the bow oct09
2 using the pliers, bend the ends around to make a handle and holders for a rubber band:
making the bow2 oct09
3 add the rubber band and play! Note: mine didn’t make much sound just sliding it across the strings; I found that it worked better when striking them diagonally and bouncing the bow.
Finished project:
box fiddle oct09

  • To hear some fabulous fiddle music head on over to the
Henry Reed Collection which was put together by folklorist, Alan Jabbour in the 1960’s in an effort to document and preserve the folk music of the Virginian Appalachians. Many, if not all, of the 184 recorded songs would have been known and played by Pa around a campfire (including Old Dan Tucker). So light some candles, turn off the lights and listen to the sounds Laura & Mary heard. Maybe the kids would like to play along on their hand-made instruments too.

  • Discussion topic:
When the area of the big woods became too settled, Pa wanted to pick everything up and leave, yet it seems that the family’s interaction with their neighbors like Mr. Edwards are the most memorable, joyful times described in the books. I find this seeming contradiction interesting; What do you think?

By SarahJayne

Monday, October 19, 2009

Read Along: Week Seventeen - Prairie Days

Here are this weeks activities….

1: Go birding! Laura talks a lot about the birds she saw on the prairie. Using online or books from the library look up some of the birds she mentions, as well as some from your own area. Watch the bird feeder you made or sit still outside in your yard or at a park and see what birds (and other wildlife) live around you. Write a description of them, even if you don’t know their names and then research to name them.
Here are three links to help you get started on your bird identification and sounds

Audubon Society
Birds by Description
Birds Audio

2: Make a bird mobile. Whether you hang a few from your window or gather sticks or dowel to hang them from a child’s bedroom ceiling. You might even make a few to hang on a Christmas tree! Here are some versions to choose from……

Felt ornaments

3: Life and chores went on no matter where they were. Can you imagine how awkward laundry would have been for ma? How do you think you would do washing sheets outside in a tub? What other daily chores do you do that would be made more difficult done outdoors without modern conveniences? Feel free to leave a comment!

by HatsFineandFancy

Monday, October 12, 2009

Read Along: Week Sixteen - Camping on the High Prairie

I love camping. I’ve roughed it, tented it, trailer’ed it and enjoyed rustic cabins. I just like being away from the hustle of cities and I love looking out a window and seeing nature right outside. But after two weeks I am more than ready to go home to real bath tubs running water and electricity!
I am writing this post on a damp and cold autumn day in October in mid-west Ontario. I know within a month we will probably see snow. But the trees are changing colors and I am sure we will still have a few more sunny days to enjoy outside. And of course, we will soon have piles of leaves to clear from the yard. So here is what I have planned for the our family, and I hope everyone else will enjoy participating as well.

  • 1: Lets make beans! Soaked beans are a food Ma could have carried with them, but they would take too much time to make.
Baked beans and chili are a staple for camping in our region and comfort food at our house. I especially like putting them in my crock pot and forgetting about them until supper. Homemade baked beans are my favorite, but I rarely have time to soak the dried beans and cook them. But I have come up with a recipe that makes canned beans taste really good. (and you need the cans for the next project!)
Home-style Baked Beans
4 cans of Beans in Tomato sauce (Pork and beans)
1/3 cup molasses
1 1/2 tsp dried mustard
1 onion chopped fine
1 pkg of sausage
Cook the sausage and onion together and cut the sausage into 1 inch pieces.
Add all the ingredients to the crock pot and stir. Cook on low for 4 hours.
Serve with Corn/Johnny cakes

It would be great to see your bean or chili recipes as well, feel free to post!

  • 2: Twinkle little star! Lets make some stars…
Knit or crochet Christmas tree star ornaments. Use them as gifts or on the front of cards Crochet a tree skirt Make a blanket
Here is a beautiful paper star and Sewing versions are also available.
But here is the project I encourage the most. Tin can luminaries! They are perfect for the next two seasons. Put them up as fall decorations and use them right through to Christmas. They would look perfect as accents around a jack’o’lantern or as lights for caroling in December.
alt text
1 large can, washed and label peeled. You can leave it silver, or spray paint with a paint meant for metal.
Tea light candle, burnable or LED battery powered (From dollar stores in Christmas section)
coat hanger (or strong wire)and pliers with wire cutters (optional for hanging luminary)
1/2 inch doweling 1 1/2 feet long (optional)
small screw in hook. (goes with doweling)
Fill the can to the top with water and freeze until solid in the freezer (this keeps the can from crushing when you hammer)
Mark out a star shape and any other desired design with dots using a marker.
Place the nail on a dot and hammer through the can into the ice. Repeat for all your dots. Hammer two holes near the top rim across from each other for the wire handle if desired. Melt the ice and dump it out. Dry the inside and place candle inside.
To hang from a hook or tree….
Cut the coat hanger and thread through the two top holes. Bend into a handle shape and bend ends of wire up to keep from coming off.
To carry while burning….
Screw the hook into one end of the doweling and hook the handle of the luminary over it.
Hint: use a piece of dried spaghetti as a lighter if you don’t have a BBQ match or fire lighter.

  •  3: As a family, plan a fall yard work day.(It doesn’t matter what climate you’re living in, there is always seasonal clean up to do.)
Then the fun part! In the evening, Clear an area for a small camp fire. (As a child we would build it in the recently harvested vegetable garden at the edge.) Check with your local fire department for the local rules on backyard recreational fires. Most areas do allow small, contained fires. Don’t use the fire for burning brush or leaves. Here is a link for building fires and fire safety if you have never built one before. As dusk settles, light your luminaries for extra light and eat bowls of chili or baked beans and Johnny cakes as a family around the fire. Enjoy the sunset and make a wish on the first star.

by HatsFineandFancy 

p.s Don't forget the marshmallows! 

Monday, October 5, 2009


Here is a posting from group member bethanyg on their painting project. Thanks for sharing it with us!

Today we did some painting projects. It was part of the weekly read-a-long projects with the Little House on the Prairie Group on Ravelry. I've mentioned it before, but each week we read a chapter and do some projects. This project was to reflect on the sky at sunset~those beautiful colors. We decided to throw in some fall items, since it's definitely upon us here in West Michigan. (I scraped my windows yesterday morning!)

Here are the girls in action:

Goosie's project

Peanut's project

And our finished projects, which we hung on the windows. They are like stained glass, and are beautiful.

Goosie's final project

Peanut's final project

Mom's project

Read Along: Week Fifteen - Crossing the Creek

What a scary memory for a young child like Laura to remember. But this chapter does remind us that Pioneering was not the romantic image we give it sometimes. Life was dangerous and hard.
Activities for this week:

  • Sit down with the family and review swimming rules. Talk about the differences of swimming in a river or lake vrs a pool. Here is a wonderful link to the Red Cross to refresh you on swimming survival.
  • Despite the very bad day Laura’s family had, she still reflects on the beauty of a sun set. The activity for this week is to create something using the colors of a sunset. Here is a wonderful scarf pattern and a childs pullover.
But there are other artistic forms you could use to complete this activity…you could Photograph sunsets each night for a week, or do a series of timed photos in one evening. Step outside every 5 min and snap a photo from the same spot and see the changes of a night sky.

Or….Paint a Picture of a sunset. Here’s a Little House Group original tutorial!

alt text
(this is my cheaters version done on adobe illustrator)

  • 1 piece of white sketch pad paper or water color paper (heavier bond paper a little lighter than card stock)
  • childs box of water colors with “sunset colors”
  • 1/2 or 1 inch wide paint brush (a childs brush will be fine as well)
  • spray bottle of water
  • clean sponge or soft rag
  • 1 piece of black construction paper same size as drawing paper
Take a look at sunset pictures (google images is a great place to start) and note the colors, where they lay in the sky as the sun goes down. Use your picture as a guide to place your paint on the paper.

Spray your white paper with a thin mist of water. Make sure the entire sheet is damp. If your paper is shiny, it is too wet. Use a sponge to wipe off any extra water. (This is called a wet in wet technique. If you need pictures, here is a tutorial)

Start adding paint to the paper with a wet brush using your picture as a guide. The colors should start to bleed and blend together. Clean out your brush as you change colors. Spray the paper lightly again if the paper begins to dry.

Let your paper dry or try a alcohol or salt technique to make your sky paper extra interesting.
Take your black paper and fold it in half. With a pencil draw a frame and then 1/2 of a tree, attached to the bottom of the frame. Make it as basic or as intricate as you wish. Cut out the frame (with tree attached) and lay it over top of your dry water color sky. Attach with glue or tape or your favorite scrap booking method from the back
If you make 4 small sky papers, you could do 1 for each season. Sunsets tend to look different at different times of the year

  • Share a comment here about a special memory about pets in your life. They really are mans best friend!
By HatsFineandFancy

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Read Along: Week Fourteen - Going West

Onto our next book! Here are this weeks activities.....

  • In a journal or as a family, plan an imaginary trip/move.  If you could choose to move some where else where would it be? Use a map and plan a route.  Discuss what things you would take with you if you could only take with you what fit in your family vehicle.  Would you choose items to put in the car differently if you were making a permanent move rather than for a vacation?
  • Make a covered wagon  There is an inexpensive kit if you're not craft savvy or a few free designs on the web such as this shoe box one, or a milk carton, and another from Popsicle sticks. This would look great sitting beside your log cabin! 


If you're not up to making a wagon, how about knitting a few pairs of red mittens for the family? If you don't live in a cold climate, you could still use them at Christmas time.  Use them as a place setting.  Make a few medium sized childrens mitten. Roll a napkin and a trinket or dessert mint together and place into the mitten.  Decorate the cuffs with ribbons and a name tag.
    • Can you imagine how rough their ride must have been? Rides can sometimes still be hard on children in our lives.  They get bored and tired of sitting just like Laura did. Mary and Laura only had their one doll to keep them company on their travels. Lets make a travel bag for the car.  I love crayon totes,  and how about coupons for planned stops! There are travel pillows and mini stuffies (or knitted/crochet).  A travel bag is also a great idea for Christmas gifts for your children or nieces and nephews.  Or if you do Samaritans Purse shoe boxes (or other charity gift boxes).  

    What kind of things would you pack in a bag for children on a long trip? We would love your comments!

    Travel Stuffies: Beanbag dolls by HatsFineandFancy

    Tuesday, September 29, 2009

    Aprons: A Short History

    Pioneer women would have worn aprons and pinafores daily. They were also a staple in both my grandmothers kitchen drawers.  I even remember one grandmother pinning an on old tea cloth (square table cloth) that she kept just for when she did cake decorating. She used a diaper pin to pin it to the front of her dress.

    I love aprons, the Hillbilly Housewife converted me. I really had problems with our children taking me for granted, that I should drop everything and come running  to fix every problem. Wearing my apron actually made a big difference.  It became my "Mom at work" uniform. They now know that when I have it on I'm in working mode and am not to be disturbed for things they can do by themselves.
    I also really like this history lesson on aprons.  It has been posted as a link before, but it is a worth while read.

    I received one of those “send it to everyone” emails from my cousin that I actually enjoyed reading, and I pass it on to you…

    By HatsFineandFancy

    • Apron History
    I don’t think most kids know what an apron is.
    The principal use of Grandma’s apron was to protect the dress underneath, because she only had a few, it was easier to wash aprons than dresses.
    And they used less material, but along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.
    It was wonderful for drying children’s tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.
    From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched
    eggs to be finished in the warming oven.
    When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.
    And when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around
    her arms.
    Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent
    over the hot wood stove.
    Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.
    From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.
    In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.
    When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.
    When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.
    It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that ‘old-time apron’ that served so many purposes.
    - source unknown

    My 1st year garden

    By a-chan

    Growing up, my mom always wanted a garden. When we finally bought a house "in the country," we were excited that we could have our own garden. Over the years, gardening has really become a passion for my mom. I always had a little corner that I could plant whatever I wanted. Some years I did flowers (daisies, small sunflowers, a mini rose bush) others I tried carrots, mini pumpkins and kohlrabi. In high school, I took over the pumpkins. We tore out the side yard to plant a pumpkin patch. I was really into it for a few years, but stopped once I left for college.

    My husband and I bought a townhouse 3 years ago, in town with a small yard. I didn't really think I could garden in it until this spring. With everyone so into growing your own food, I thought I might be able to make it work.

    I didn't really think it out very well, but I jumped right in. I picked out my favorite things to grow and started the seeds inside. After they were growing, I dug up a small plot in my front yard and shoved the starters in the ground. Surprisingly enough, nothing died! The radishes were ripe first, then some kohlrabi. The rest has been a little disappointing. My pumpkin vines didn't grow pumpkins and I only got one lemon cucumber. My sunflowers were blown over in a wind storm.

    I already have a plan for next year: square foot gardening. I can use the same space I used this year, but plant a lot more.

    Herbs: To Dry and Taste

    It's time to reap the benefits of that herb garden! Drying your herbs allows you to use them all year long. To dry herbs, first harvest them by using a knife or scissors low on the stem. Remove the lower leaves exposing part of the main stem. If herbs are dirty, spray with a mist bottle and dry thoroughly. Bundle 5-10 stems together and tie with kitchen twine or yarn.

    Find a dry, warm (68F/20C), dark and well ventilated space to hang the herbs. If you can't find a dark place, use a brown paper bag with ventilation holes to cover the herbs as they hang. Leave the herbs for 1-3 weeks or until leaves have become crumbly. Thicker stems will take longer to dry. Choose to keep the leaves whole, or crush or grind finely. Store herbs in air tight jars, label. Herbs will keep one year.

    Here are some recipes courtesy of Midwest Michigan Herb Association.

    Herbal Blend Popcorn

    3 Tbls. butter-flavored sprinkles (like Molly McButter)
    2 Tbls. grated parmesan cheese
    1 tsp. dried basil, crushed
    1 tsp. dried parsley flakes, crushed
    1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary

    Mix all ingredients together and put in a 4 oz. shaker bottle. To keep free flowing, store in refrigerator.

    Basic Herbal Mustard

    1 cup yellow mustard, divided
    1 cup Dijon mustard, divided
    1 Tbls. honey, optional
    2 Tbls. of your choice of herbal blends, listed below.

    Stir all ingredients together and put in a sterile glass jar. Cover and (if using for gift) decorate lid with a square of fabric and raffia. Label. Let set about 2 weeks in a cool, dark cupboard for flavors to blend. Refrigerate after you begin to use the mustard.

    Three Herb Blend

    1/3 cup dried dill
    1/3 cup dried basil
    1/3 cup dried parsley

    Scarborough Fair Blend

    1/4 cup dried parsley
    1/4 cup dried thyme
    1/8 cup finely ground rosemary
    1/8 cup finely ground sage

    Herbs de Provence

    2 Tbls. dried basil
    2 Tbls. marjoram
    1 Tbls. summer savory
    1 Tbls. thyme
    1 Tbls. finely ground lavender
    1 tsp. ground rosemary

    Herbal mustards can be served with pretzels or over sausage links or ham. It is also good mixed with plain yogurt and drizzled over blanched vegetables such as asparagus or cauliflower, served warm or cold.

    By bethanyg

    Pioneers of the Ozarks: A Book Review

    A Book By Lennis L. Broadfoot

    A Review By SarahJayne

    The records of history are full of dates, facts, and the accomplishments of important people, but these form only the embroidery decorating a more substantial fabric. That fabric is made up of the everyday actions, choices, and work of a nation's people. Most often the thoughts, cares, and beliefs of such people slip away unrecorded in favor of the events that history deems “important.” Pioneers of the Ozarks by Lennis L. Broadfoot is a joy to read because it offers that rare glimpse into the lives of the real history makers –those who rolled up their sleeves and made a home and community in the midst of wilderness.

    The author begins by introducing himself, the son of homesteaders who had moved from Tennessee to Eminence, MO. He writes of his early childhood in the small log cabin that his parents had built from the timber off the rugged land. From a young age, he developed a fascination with people and capturing their images in sketches using bits of soap on a window pane or a broken piece of chalk snitched from the one-room school house. As a young man, Broadfoot traveled west, working as a ranch had and drawing scenes of the west. He eventually received some formal artistic training and became a free lance commercial artist. In 1936, Broadfoot left California to return home and begin the works featured in this book. He says of this decision; “I would rather draw a picture of an Ozark grandmother loitering about her cabin....than all the glamour girls in Hollywood.”

    In his pictures, Broadfoot shows us the harsh realities of pioneer life written in the wrinkled, leathery faces of the elderly, who speak to him of their memories of the civil war as he sets down their likeness on paper. They share also their joys: their love for the beauty of the Ozarks and the provision of its wild resources, their appreciation of the community that works, laughs and mourns together. Many of the people choose to be shown at work or with examples of their craftsmanship,. These are people with an intense sense of pride, in workmanship, ingenuity, and independence. They seem to define who that are by what they do, how they provide for their families and the services they provide the community. Others prefer to share the picture with their animal companions, a hard working, gentle team of oxen, the loyal donkey who carries its owner deep into the rugged hills in search of mushrooms and ginseng root, or the fearless coon dog laying at his proud master's feet.

    The wisdom of these Ozark pioneers is timeless; their cares and fears as relevant today as the day they shared them with the author. John Musgrave and “Uncle Sammy”, both veterans of the civil war (though on different sides) share many of the same thoughts on the horrors of war and the suffering it brought to soldier and civilian alike. Many, like the out-of-work carriage builder looked upon the “progress” of the automobile and the way it was changing society with skepticism and a touch of bitterness, saying that it “has caused all the world to go speed crazy and do nothing but burn up time and money.” The women seemed very concerned about the future of homelife. Arminta Taylor, aged 91, comments, “People these days don't know nothin' about raising families. Times are too modern, and they druther raise poodle dogs than babies.”

    The hardships of pioneer life would provide most with ample opportunity to complain, yet the folks that have shared a bit of their lives with us through this book chose not to. Instead, they told Broadfoot as he quietly sketched how grateful they felt and how contented and peaceful their lives had been. Mrs. Delilah McKeethlen , who is knitting a sock as she speaks, says, “I'd ruther live outdoors an' sleep under a shade tree with nothing to eat but corn bread an' sorghum molasses if I can live in peace an' go to church than to have all the wealth on earth, an' live in a mad ol' world...” Basket-maker, Bob Derryberry on the next page adds, “I have wondered a lot ov times jist how I got by an' raised my family, but if a feller is handy about doin' things, the Ozarks is a purty good place ter live, 'cause ye can find material ter make most anything ye want.” Out of all the characters in the book, old Tom puts it best: “I am out in the hills early an' late. I see the ground hogs sit on high cliff rocks, and chirp. I watch the squirrel as he runs grapevines or sits in tops of tall hickory nut trees an' whittles nuts. I see the chipmunk as he scampers along logs with his pouches filled with acorns an' nuts, storin' them away fer winter's food. I see wild deer leap, an' hear the wild turkey gobble. I hear the wolves howl, an' the ol' mountain bobcat as he gives a wicked, vicious roar high up on the brushy mountainside. I hear the owls hoot, an' the whippoorwill an' nightingale sing. I see an' hear all these things that I love an' enjoy, an' yet people wonder if the meager sum I get fer choppin' wood is all 'Ol' Tom' gets out of life.”

    I encourage you all, see if this old book is in your library; I believe you will find it as interesting and informative as I have. It will certainly give you another layer of understanding as we continue our readings of Laura Ingalls Wilder's books and the struggles and adventures of her family.

    The drawings of the pioneers are so interesting and perfectly suited in their carefree, somewhat rustic nature to the subjects that I would have liked to show you a few. Unfortunately, I wasn't sure about the possible copyright issues, so instead I'll just direct you to other pages where you can see them for yourself.

    http://www.westplains.net/tourism/artsandculture.asp -scroll down (also on this page is Laura's Mansfield house)

    Monday, September 28, 2009

    Read Along: Week Thirteen - The Deer in the Woods

    I love autumn. It is my favorite season because of all the colors and smells it holds. But it does remind us that winter is coming, and there is always a lot to do to get ready when you live in a snow climate.

    So here are this weeks activities:

    • 1: Not all of us live where we can see Deer and other large, beautiful wild animals. But no matter where we live there is one species that can be found almost anywhere, Birds!
    Hang a bird feeder - build or buy a wooden one and some seed and hang it from a tree that you can see from a window. You could also collect pine cones and “butter” them with lard (from the baking isle in the grocery store) and then roll the cone in bird seed. Tie a string around the cone and hang from a branch. Now Watch! Get to know your winged neighbors. Be on the look out for birds. If you don’t recognize them, look them up on a provincial or state autobahn society web site or books from the library. Take pictures or draw them in a journal and add a description and any information you learn about them.

    For sewers, beginner or advanced, lets make a nine patch wall hanging or pillow to start with. Here is a wall hanging or doll quilt tutorial and a pillow tutorial (great for first timers). But feel free to search for your own pattern as well. Try sewing some of it, if not all of it by hand. But if you get flustered I won’t mind anyone using the machine. Inspiration is always welcome. So feel free to show off quilts you have made or handmade ones you have in your own home. Send us a pictures please!

    • .What do you think about Laura’s life? Did it bring back memories of your own child hood? What was your favorite part of this book?

    Wednesday, September 23, 2009

    Little House on The Prairie

    SO... we're onto book two real soon.  The most popular name used to referance Laura's travels Little House on the Prairie. So pick up your copy and dive in! If you have trouble locating a copy, here is a link for a download PDF version BUT sometimes the site "Megaupload" has border on offensive advertising on their download page, (so don't open the link in front of children!) The PDF's are clear and include the pictures from the books and are family looking friendly.

    Monday, September 21, 2009

    Read Along: Week twelve - The Wonderful Machine

    alt text
    Farming equipment sure has come a long way since Pa’s day! (That’s my dad and my son “Deere” hunting at the local dealership…they were looking for lawn tractors!)

    Activities for this week:
    •  Take a fall walk down a country lane or a local farmers market to collect fall things. If you choose to hike, pick up leaves and nuts and enjoy the fall colors. Go to a pick your own orchard or pumpkin patch!
    If you choose the farmers market, pick up seasonal fruit and vegetables, some to eat and some for decorating with.
    Which ever you choose, don’t forget to take a deep breath and enjoy the earthy smells of autumn :o)

    • : Make a hat! (I’m seeing potential Christmas presents stock up here!) Any kind will do… knit, crochet, sew or figure out how to braid like ma. Make a toque, a cloche, a beret or one worthy of the Derby.
    If you would rather, pre-purchase a hat and decorate it with ribbons and flowers for fall to use as a wreath on your door.
    Or, make a hat or bonnet for your doll (remember the ones we made a long time ago!)

    • 3: It’s getting closer to pumpkin season, lets share some recipes for pumpkin or squash. Desserts, side dishes, soup and preserves.

    by HatsFineandFancy

    Wednesday, September 16, 2009

    Read Along: Week Eleven - Harvest

    Poor Charlie! I wonder if he learned his lesson after that? One bee sting can hurt, but a whole nest of them stinging could have been fatal. There were no Dr.s near by every Ma and Pa had to rely on their wealth of knowledge about the land to survive. Knowing which plants took away pain, or fever was important.

    • Discuss First Aid as a family. Learn your local emergency numbers. Put together a first aid kit, one for the car, kitchen and one for the bathroom. Don’t forget burn ointment and a pain relief ointment, bandages and cleaning pads/swabs, tweezers and a bottle of alcohol or peroxide.

    •  Make a hot/cold pack for pain relief. Make a bag from quilting quality cotton fabric and fill it with rice or barley, corn feed or wheat and sew it closed. Make them in different shapes, long for under your neck, small for little boo boo’s, square for joints or wide for back aches. Add petals such as rose, rosemary or lavender for some aroma therapy. Keep in the freezer (cold effect will last about 30 min when in use) or mic in the microwave about 5 min for hot treatments.

    • What home remedies do you use, for colds, coughs, fever, stings, slivers etc. Lets talk about them below (and so no one else has to add this warning…) use at your own risk. Most remedies are not “medically approved” so check with your doctor immediately if you use them and have adverse reactions.
    BUT, that does not mean that they don’t work so I would love to hear what remedies you use!

    By HatsFineandFancy

    Read Along: Week Ten- Summer Time

    1. Mrs. Peterson gives Laura and Mary little cookies to snack on for their walk home. Make a batch of shortbread cookies to eat with tea, or perhaps some sugar cookies, complete with pink icing (or whatever color suits your fancy).
    2. Research and discuss the many different ways that folks heat their homes. Laura and Mary had to gather wood chips for the fireplace. How do any of you heat your homes in the winter? We simply have an old gas furnace, but we also have a fireplace. One of my SILs had a pellet stove when she lived at her last residence before purchasing her current one. If you are reading this with your children, discuss the pros and cons of different types of heating (fireplace, woodburning stoves, pellet stoves, solar heating/cooling, gas heat, steam, baseboard electrical heating, gravity heat, etc.).
    3. Discussion questions for the group: What color hair do you have? Is it your natural color? What color were you born with? If your color didn’t change naturally (and you’re willing to confess ;) ), why did you change it? Are you one of those whose hair did change naturally?
    4. Make some homemade cheeses. Here are some links below for some various kinds: Ricotta cheese easy Mozzerella cheese very involved Yogurt cheese extremely easy! this is like cream cheese, and can be mixed with anything to help lower fat content in foods by “thinning” them out with it :D Mascarpone Cheese so easy and inexpensive to make, I can’t believe it’s that expensive to purchase in a store! It does take a couple days, and it doesn’t stay fresh longer than a week, but I hear it’s worth it.

      By Tracey4610

    Free Blog Counter