Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Mother Earth News Fair

 
Dear Friends,

Yesterday we went with our friend Elisa to the Mother Earth News Fair in Topeka, Kansas. It was quite a foggy morning, so we were grateful to arrive alive!

Although the ExpoCenter was filled to capacity, there was a good atmosphere and everyone was very friendly, which helped to prevent feelings of claustrophobia. As you can see by the flyer, there was plenty to see! I wished I'd had time to see several speakers like Joel Sallatin, but there was only so much little Hyrum would put up with.


Johnny's Seeds, Seed Saver Exchange, Botanical Interests, and quite a few other seed catalog companies were there, along with many, many wonderful vendors offering great prices on their wares.



Workshops were going on almost everywhere, with all sorts of helpful information being distilled from those who love the simple life.


The children were invited to try their hand at cob building~

And Frankie was in heaven at the John Deere booth!
 
 For me, the pinnacle of the event was getting to meet Rosemary Gladstar for the first time. She had been in the Ozarks last year and then in Kansas earlier this year and I had to miss her, but finally I had my chance! I had to stand in line for what seemed like forever, and certain little ones were "dying" of thirst, but we made it at last. It's nice to meet someone who is a celebrity in their own right, but who is down to earth and very warm and friendly. Rosemary treated everyone she saw with respect, and she acted like she was glad to see me. She was the one who suggested getting a picture of her with my family, and told us that we reminded her of her own siblings. When I told her that I discovered her through the Tasha Tudor books, she said, "Tasha and I were such good friends, and I miss her so." She then said that my Tasha looks just like someone in one of Tasha's books.




While I was standing in line to see Rosemary Gladstar, the girls ran into the girls who put out "The Kings' Blooming Rose Magazine." We knew that the Bryant family live in Kansas and had wanted to meet them, so we were very tickled that we were in the right place at the right time. It's wonderful and precious to have kindred spirits who embrace femininity in such a beautiful way.


We would loved to have gone to the Fair with all of our blog friends as well. Wouldn't that be the greatest fun? 

I hope you enjoyed a little glimpse of our bit of fun, and thank you for your blessed friendship.

Love,

Marqueta.

P.S. Rosemary says that she would like to see the word "beautility"(An object that is both beautiful and useful, generally objects of industrial design which are meant to have utility while having a pleasing aesthetic) used in our everyday lives, so I thought I'd pass that along to my beautiful friends!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

'Twas the Wee Laddie's First Birthday


Dear Friends,

Can you believe a year has gone by since little Hyrum made his entrance into the world? He is already walking like he's done it all his life, and is a little ball of energy, getting into everything already. We won't be bored any time soon!

For his birthday celebration, we visited a nearby historical village called Missouri Town 1855. They were having an autumn festival, so we were able to witness cider-pressing, sorghum-making, apple butter-stirring, blacksmithing, and lots of musicians playing fiddles and dulcimers. Two of the volunteers there told us we need to come out and do some reenacting, since we were already dressed the part!



We fell in love with these hand-made dulcimers, and plan on buying on once we save up a "few" pennies (Tasha wants one made from Sycamore wood)~
 

Hyrum enjoyed getting up and personal with horses and oxen, since he loves animals but doesn't get to see them much in the city.



It was a cold and blustery day, and the birthday boy needed a nap, but we surely enjoyed the old-time atmosphere, and we do plan on learning more about becoming volunteers.








There are several buildings which have been lovingly transported and restored from around Jackson County. We loved being inside them, especially with cozy fires burning in the fireplaces.


Becky had fun with this horse, too, till she discovered its pick-pocketing tendencies!


My father had a dream of owning a string of mules to use for hunting expeditions, so they hold a special place in my heart. These mules were very patient with all the work they had doing tours~



Old dolls that were loved by a wee miss a long time ago~


We pray that you are having a wonderful autumn, dear friends. Thank you for celebrating little Hyrum's first birthday with us!

Love,

Marqueta

Friday, October 3, 2014

Harvest Days

Dear Friends,

We've been enjoying beautiful fall weather lately, including a nice big rainstorm that has perked up our flowers, and brought mushrooms to life.



We have had two successful Giant Swallowtail butterfly released so far (we had to euthanize one with a crippled wing), and are waiting for the last crysalis to be a butterfly. It takes six weeks or so from caterpillar to butterfly, which is a long wait, compared to a Monarch! We definitely don't mind waiting, with the beautiful creature that comes forth.


We have been collecting and processing many bushels of apples lately, and see piles of apples in our dreams at night. The freezer is full, the dehydrator is full, there are roughly four dozen quarts of applesauce on the shelves, and another box full to put by before they go bad. It is a true blessing for us to have such abundance, and we are grateful for always being provided for in so many various ways. We had enough apples to make plenty of juice, and we learned a trick of drying the pulp after juicing, then grinding it fine in the blender to use as a sweetener. I love making use of every good thing!


Every time I put food by I feel a real presence of my grandmother ancestors, as well as millions of other women around the world who are sharing the same task with me. I imagine us all sitting around a giant bowl, knives and fruit in hand, showing the love we feel for others in a tangible way. The need for nourishment, both physical and spiritual, will never end as long as the earth shall remain. May we always be true to our loved ones and do our best to provide these things, praying over each meal we prepare or food that we put by. May the Lord continue to bless us all with His great abundance, and with eyes to see it.

Love,

Marqueta

After Apple-Picking

By Robert Frost
 
My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still,
And there's a barrel that I didn't fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn't pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and disappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.
And I keep hearing from the cellar bin
The rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.
For all
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap
As of no worth.
One can see what will trouble
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it's like his
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
Or just some human sleep.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Of Butterflies and Tea Parties

 Dear Friends,

Our last Monarch has come and quickly gone, joining the others for their epic journey to Mexico. May they arrive there in safety!

We were invited to a dress-up tea party by a sweet friend from church. Her husband used to work at a tea house, and he spoiled us with a real proper tea, down to lemon curd and Devonshire cream.

While waiting for the water to boil, there was time to enjoy a game of croquet (you need not supposed any of us are experts at the mallet!)~







 After tea (which was scrumptious) we went for a promenade along the shore of the lake nearby. It was jolly good fun! Won't you join us as we stroll? Our photographess will be sure to get your good side!
 









 May you enjoy this day, dear friends, wherever you are, and may life bring you many little happinesses along the way.

Love,

Marqueta

**********************
“It isn't the great big pleasures that count the most; it's making a great deal out of the little
ones--I've discovered the true secret of happiness, Daddy, and that is to live in the now. Not to be
for ever regretting the past, or anticipating the future; but to get the most that you can out of this
very instant."

Jean Webster, Daddy Long Legs





Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Annual Doll Fair


Dear Friends,

We are in the middle of "butterfly-hatching days" here at Birdsong Cottage. There have been 24 Monarch crysalids in all, with one or two going off on a new adventure each day. Soon we will be suffering from Empty Butterfly Cage Syndrome. :)


The small dolls had their annual fair this past week, and it was another fun one. Hyrum and the chickens made it a little difficult outside, but everyone worked really hard to make it all come together!


The queen and several princesses~



The Animal Show~


The horses before the big race~


The quilts and aprons were lovely, as usual~



And some wonderful foods were made for all to enjoy!


I wonder what next year's fair will bring?


Love,

Marqueta