Monday, December 15, 2008

Thanks Be. . .

Dear Readers,

Our hearts are full of thanks today: thanks for kind neighbors who know how to fix furnaces; for electricity to run the furnace (The power was out on Saturday for about five freezing hours); and for the unknown neighbors who are doing the "Twelve Days of Christmas" for us! And of course, we are grateful for you, dear readers, for coming by and sharing a bit of our day with us.

The gift given us for the second day of Christmas~Joseph and a lovely artichoke (Our friends know we love those gourmet vegetables!)A beautiful faceless angel for day number 3

Here are a few photos of my husband for you, of himself as Bob Cratchitt ~

and Jacob Marley (We think he looks a little like the albino in "Princess Bride", but he's creepy enough!)~

And with the older girls at the theatre putting on the show~

And here are a few hints for this frosty time of year:

Be sure to take a little while, if you haven't done it already, to oil your wooden garden tool handles with linseed oil (You will be glad you did; I am still using a shovel and pitchfork that belonged to my grandfather, who died thirty years ago-He was always careful of his tools). You'll need to warm the oil first, and use a rag or paint sponge to apply. Also, keeping the blades in a bucket of sand will keep them from rusting.

When going out in the cold, be sure to NEVER breathe through your mouth~you'll freeze your lungs if you do! The nostrils are made to even out the air temperature before entering the lungs (This is so important to teach children).

Please leave some hot water out for the little birds, who suffer so much in the snow, along with bird seed.

If you have horses, please be sure they get extra oats along with hay, for they need heavier food in the cold.

Elderberries are said to be a good tonic throughout the cold season. They are very high in vitamin C. You can take the capsules, tincture, or concentrated juice. If you were lucky enough to gather some this fall, you can use dried berries, ground up and mixed with honey for children (yum!)

And here is a receipt for "Christmas Plum Pudding for a Large Family", from Godey's Lady's Book, December 1871 (We have not made this up yet, so cannot vouch for it personally!):

"Half a pound of suet, one pound of flour, half a pound of dried currants, half a pound of stoned raisins, two eggs, nutmeg and cinnamon to the taste, half a spoonful of salt. Shred the suet, chop it fine, and rub it through the flour. Wash, pick, and dry the currants; seed the raisins, mix the currants and raisins together, and dredge over them as much flour as will adhere to them. Beat the eggs till they are very thick and light, and add enough milk to form a batter-stir in the eggs, then the spices and salt, and lastly the fruit. Dip your pudding bag into cold water, turn it wrong side out, and flour it well, then turn it back again, pour in the batter, tie the mouth of the bag with a strong string, but take care to leave a space sufficient to allow the pudding to swell. Have ready a pot of boiling water, with a plate in the bottom to prevent the bag from touching the bottom of the pot, put in the pudding, and let it boil three hours and a half. Keep a kettle of boiling water to fill up the pot, as may be required. When the pudding is done, take it out of the pot, dip it for an instant in cold water, untie the bag, and turn it out on a dish. To be eaten with sweet sauce."

Lastly, please be sure to take some time each day to read a little something Christmasy (and worthwhile) to your children, even if it is a very short story. Our favorites emphasise GIVING instead of GETTING!

Love to you,


A Christmas Eve Tribute
(To the author of the "Christmas Carol")

As I watch the old lamplighter
Going down the street tonight,
Making all the dreary vista
Blossom into flowers of light,
I am thinking of the author
Who with many a radiant hope
Lit the prospect of the millions
Who in darkness had to grope.

Ye who call him but a scoffer
May have read the Gospel well,
But ye cannot teach a better
Faith than that of little Nell;
Ye can preach no hope transcending
That which Mr. Peggotty had,
And no charity surpassing
That which made Tom Pinch so glad.

Little Nell, as Dickens told us,
Asked upon her dying night
That she might be buried under
Something that had loved the light;
And I think that as the sunshine
Of his nature was a part,
Through her then he gave expression
To the wish of his own heart.

Therefore he should never slumber
In the abbey, cold and dim,
Where anemones can never
Weep their petals over him:
He should rest where living waters
Flow like liquid music by,
While the birds,
Like musical blossoms,
Hang upon the branches high.

~Clarence F. Buhler
(Godey's Lady's Book)


  1. I have read some of your posts. I like your style of writing; and I would revisit for reading more literature from you.

    If you like short stories and paintings, then a short visit to my blogs wold be an entertaining one.

    Naval Langa

    IT WAS FUN AT THE PLAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




  3. Wow that is a great tip about not breathing thru your mouth! I live in the freezing cold here in Alberta, Canada and I never knew that but it sure makes sense! Im so glad you mentioned that!!!
    Candy :):)

  4. What a lovely post.. I am so impressed you family does theater ~ what a wonderful learning experience for your children. May the Lord Jesus grant you peace this beautiful season...

  5. It's been a little while since I was able to visit~so glad I did! I enjoy your pictures so much, Marquetta and all the things you share. Your family is very special.
    Thanks for the tips for winter. I'm wondering where you might suggest getting linseed oil~doesn't it go by another name? I have a few wonderful old garden tools I really should take better care of. Thanks for the reminder! Sharon

  6. Thank you for your comments, everyone!

    Sharon-The boiled linseed oil is made from flax seeds, but isn't edible. I bought mine at Home Depot in a tin (like what turpentine comes in); I think any hardware store should carry it. Good luck with your tools!




Thank you for coming to visit — I look forward to hearing from you!