Friday, August 28, 2009

Happy Tasha Tudor Day!

Dear Friends,

Welcome today to our part of the world. We thank you for coming by, and hope you've had a lovely week, as well! Ours was spent busily preparing for Grandma and Grandpa Graham. They are coming to visit us and see Mr. Graham perform as Captain Crewe in "A Little Princess" at the local theatre.

We wanted to share a little of our humble celebration for our dearly departed Tasha Tudor, whose birthday is today. Although she is no longer on the earth, we feel that her spirit is just as strong as ever.

AnnaMarie made this clay figure of Tasha and her goat and dove~Too bad the camera wouldn't cooperate and made blurry pictures!

AnnaMarie also made a fruit ice for us this morning (And decorated it with mint and flowers) out of frozen apples and bananas, with a little organic lemon flavoring for just the right touch of citrus.

Too bad the angel isn't edible! ;)

Later in the day, we had a tea at a local park~

Perhaps Mr. Graham is going over his lines in his head?

We used our forget-me-not teapot to remember little Victoria, who was born and died last year.

And watched "Take Joy" and "Take Peace", the video biographies of Tasha Tudor.

All in a all, it was a pleasant way of remembering the lady who has been such an influence in our lives. May her memory be always kept alive.



"The past wasn't as romantic as people seem to think. There were many hardships, especially for women. They usually had large families of six or eight; they were pregnant most of the time or nursing when they weren't. Think of all the spinning and knitting and sewing and cooking and woodgathering. It was constant. No wonder that saying, 'Man may work from sun to sun, But woman's work is never done.' I don't say they were unhappy, but I think they were tired most of them." ~Tasha Tudor (Somehow this quote seemed appropriate after our week of deep cleaning!)

Monday, August 24, 2009

To Everything There is a Season. . . .

. . .And this is the season to clean the house!

Dear Friends,

We won't be on the computer much this week, as our in-laws are coming to stay this weekend. After having lived out of doors most of the summer, we are looking around and seeing that we have our work cut out for us! My, how things get out of hand when one's back is turned!

We are extremely grateful that we've had a nice, soaking rain over the weekend, so we do not have to worry about our green babies perishing in the heat of the sun while we tidy up inside. Instead of stressing ourselves out over the amount of work to be done, we are choosing to be glad that Grandma and Grandpa are giving us a chance to really bless our home ;) . All the same, we will be taking lots of nettle seeds, ashwaganda, and milky oat tincture to help us deal with the stress!

Clarice at Storybook Woods reminds us that this Friday is Tasha Tudor Day~try to leave an hour or so in your schedule to have a special tea to honor her birthday. We'll be gathering her books from the four quarters of the cottage and arranging a little vignette in the parlor, which we hope will be clean by then!

We will look forward to catching up on everyone's blogs when we can. You bring great joy to our lives.

Love and blessings to you,



"While the son must be taught some business in life, there is one business which should always be taught a daughter-the business of housekeeping, in all its departments." ~Mrs. Julia McNair Wright, "The Complete Home"

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Nature Notes~ Edith Wharton Need Not Fear...

That I will outdo her own works in scope or execution!

Dear Friends,

What a beautiful, sunny day we're having here. It's supposed to get up to 90 degrees, which will make the squash and tomatoes much happier than the cool 68 degrees we had the other day.

The girls and I have been trying to keep up with our nature journals, before the warm weather ends and we have to do it more creatively! Everyone was assigned the task of gathering five different trees around the yard, and to make imprints of the leaves on paper.

You'd think it was a crime scene, if you didn't know better!

They also were to press another set of the same leaves for comparison, and these two sets of leaves will reside next to each other in the girls' journals.

Soon it will be time to go on leaf walks, collecting the brilliant colors of autumn to iron between waxed paper and make into other crafts. Perhaps we'll obtain some beeswax from our local honey vendor and dip the leaves this year.

It would be quite a task to dip burdock leaves!

May you have a very merry day, dear friends, and may you enjoy these last precious weeks of summer.



"If mothers could learn to do for themselves what they do for their children when these are overdone, we should have happier households. Let the mother go out to play! If she would have the courage to let everything go when life becomes too tense, and just take a day, or half a day, out in the fields, or with a favourite book, or in a picture gallery looking long and well at just two or three pictures, or in bed, without the children, life would go on far more happily for both children and parents. The mother would then be able to hold herself in "wise passiveness’ and would not fret her children by continual interference even of hand or eye - she would let them be." Charlotte Mason

Monday, August 17, 2009

Let's Play the Glad Game!

Dear Friends,

A Merry Monday to you! We passed a quiet weekend here at Merry Hearts Cottage, doing the little everything things that make a house a cottage :) . We were even able to take a quick trip to Wolverine Canyon, where we enjoyed a brisk breeze and harvested lots of herbs to bring home for teas.
Blue and White and Green~~ such harmony!

This sunflower doesn't let being different hold it back!

As this new week and school year officially begins, we feel ready to dust off some of the stresses and strifes in life which sometimes do beset us, and check them at the door. We've even started a little place to post your blessings, in the Pollyanna Club blog! Feel free to stop by and share something that made you glad, when you were feeling sad.

We just finished reading the delightful book "Daddy Long Legs" by Jean Webster, which was published in 1912.

Mr. Grasshopper begs us to notice that he has rather long legs, himself!
(Blogger thinks this photo is MUCH better sideways)

It's a rather one-sided novel, written in the form of letters which the fictitious Jerusha Abbott writes to her anonymous beneficiary, who is paying her way through college. Jerusha is an orphan girl who was raised in an asylum, so life in the wide-wide world is seen through her fresh eyes. There are many delicious domestic details of gowns and rooms, and a lot of whimsical illustrations (drawn by Jerusha) throughout.

Here are some of the quotations we enjoyed:

"You know, Daddy, I think that the most necessary quality for any person to have is imagination. It makes people able to put themselves in other people's places. It makes them kind and sympathetic and understanding. It ought to be cultivated in children. But the John Grier Home instantly stamped out the slightest flicker that appeared. I don't think children ought to know the meaning of the word; it's odious, detestable. They ought to do everything from love."

"I think that every one, no matter how many troubles he may have when he grows up, ought to have a happy childhood to look back upon."

"It's true, you know. The world is full of happiness, and plenty to go round, if you are only willing to take the kind that comes your way. The whole secret is in being pliable."

"It isn't the 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 forever regretting the past, or anticipating the future.; but to get the most that you can out of this very instant."

"Most people don't live; they just race. They are trying to reach some goal far away on the horizon, and in the heat of the going they get so breathless and panting that they lose sight of the beautiful, tranquil country they are passing through; and then the first thing they know, they are old and worn out, and it doesn't make any difference whether they've reached the goal or not."

Aren't those worth remembering? We shall have to purchase this issue from our friends at Storybook Home Journal, and delve a little more into Jerusha's world!

Thank you, my friends, for being part of our family's life. We enjoy so much your comments and friendship. Blessings to you all today,



Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sabbath Readings~"The Mother a Sculptor"

Greetings, dear friends! I'd like to share with you this thought from "The Mother's Magazine", 1847. Though my copy of this magazine is crumbling, the words still ring true.

**The original copy**

"Every mother is a sculptor. Though perhaps she dreams not of it, she is engraving lines on a tablet that are to endure for ages. Scarcely a day passes that her hand does not trace new words on the mind and heart of her child, or engrave more deeply and indelibly those of former days. Say what we will of influence, there is none so powerful, for good or for evil, as that of a mother over her child in the nursery. Some one, who, we know not, has given utterance to this sentiment in language much more impressive than any we have at command. He says:

'You may readily trace on the sandy beach impressions distinct and multiform, but the next rolling wave will wash them out. The spots and stains of your earthly robes may be removed; the ravages of a storm that strips nature of its beauty and glory, may be repaired; time and culture may re-clothe it with its former fertility and beauty. But, oh! remember--and may it be written with a diamond impression upon your soul--that the impressions of child, the precepts which you chisel down into the hearts of children, will, like letters graven on a rock, remain forever. If they are in types of vice, nothing short of omnipotent, divine grace can erase them. If in the beauteous forms of virtue and holiness, they will brighten and beautify in the sunlight of a heavenly and eternal day.' "

A blessed Sabbath to you~


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Fun at the Pow Wow

Dear Friends,

A merry day to you, dear ones! Your friendship means so much to us, and your kind and thoughtful comments. Thank you for coming by our home.

Would you like to come along with us as we travel to the Shoshone-Bannock Festival at the Fort Hall Reservation? Be sure to bring your own chairs, as it's mighty crowded this year! Be sure to bring lots of money, too, if you want to buy some beautiful handcrafted souvenirs!

We're grateful that our Indian friends try to keep alive their cultural heritage through pow wows around the country. Different tribes send contestants to dance in various categories, with a grand champion being announced from each category. They try to earn a little extra money by selling goods such as rattles, jewelry, turquoise, and even tribal t-shirts.

Here we see the young men's dance competition~

And here we wish we could buy everything they had!

This is our favorite sign~Heap funny!

We enjoy seeing the beautiful costumes on the contestants waiting their turns.

Don't you love the baseball cap on the young man in the middle? Boys will be boys!

Cousin Skye and Evangeline do a dance of their own.

Frankie isn't too sure about the loud drums and singing!

Whew! All that dancing wore us out, didn't it? We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did, though.

Have a blessed day.


"Laura looked and looked at the Indian children, and they looked at her. She had a naughty wish to be a little Indian girl." ~Laura Ingalls Wilder, "Little House on the Prairie"

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fun With Herbs

Dear Friends,

Thank you for coming by our home today, and may you enjoy your stay!

We want our friend Lady Farmer to know how thankful we are for her gift of this beautiful apron, modelled by AnnaMarie. It will become a family treasure, for sure!

We have been enjoying a few new herbals lately, and especially love this beginner's handbook by Julie Bruton-Seal and her husband Matthew.

Although it was originally published in England, it has been revised in this edition for an American audience. I especially liked the little quotes from Dr. Christopher on some of the margins ! :0) I really would recommend it for anyone who is just learning about herbal remedies. It's full of beautiful pictures and creative ideas for using locally-available plants, which I think is something we all should focus on. I believe that the plants which grow around were put their by the One who knows what needs we have in our particular area, and that every area of the world has its own set of plants which will heal that which ails us.

Another fun discovery are these "Herbal Roots" magazines,

which are put out monthly by Kristine Brown of Luna Herb Farm. They were created especially for children, and are full of learning activities, poems, and songs about the featured herb. We have only looked through the yarrow and calendula issues, but the girls have really had a lot of fun with them. We are looking forward to collecting all the issues, as time and finances allow. For $6 you get a pdf printout, which you can print for each child, so it really is very economical if you have more than one child using it. This month's herb is calendula, and we are starting seeds right now in pots, since we don't have any growing in the garden this year.

We hope that you will take some time to wonder at the beauty and glory of God's creations, and how He planned for us to have everything we need from the earth, the sun, water, and the air we breathe~how could anyone believe that it all happened by accident?

Love and peace to you and your loved ones today,


"Harvesting wild plants for food or medicine is a great pleasure, and healing in its own right. We all need the company of plants and wild places in our lives, whether this is an old wood, a mountainside or the seashore, just down the street, or in our own backyard. Gathering herbs for free is the beginning of a valuable and therapeutic relationship with the wild." ~Matthew and Julie Seal

Monday, August 3, 2009

Busy Days

Dear Friends,

Happy August to you! We are still trying to believe that the summer will be coming to an end soon, since it seems as though it had just begun. With August comes the yearly realization that all the things we had hoped to accomplish in the summer are probably not going to come true.

It is with a sense of urgency that we begin harvesting herbs and greens in earnest, and enjoying as much time outdoors as possible, since we know that fall is just around the corner, and with it, six months of boots, gloves, coats, and hats. Summer is the mother's friend, an easy time of bare feet (no socks to look for or wash), living and eating out of doors, with lots to eat from the garden and from the wild.

Last weekend we enjoyed visiting with cousins, both the children's and mine.

My niece Andrea (middle) learns to enjoy swimming in green pool water :).

My cousins Natalie and Aubrie, who were my closest friends growing up, were up from California visiting other relatives. They stopped by with their children at my mother's house for a bit. I hadn't seen them for eight years, so it was a real treat to catch up a bit.

Natalie, Aubrie, and Me

Natalie's girls loved playing with our kittens.

Meanwhile, the chickens have been enjoying the summer, too, when they can finally wander about the place without scratching up seedlings!

And WE are enjoying the sunflowers that the fairies planted, both the tall and the small!

May you and your family be blessed today, and kept in the hollow of His hand.


"Let love, peace, and the Spirit of the Lord, kindness, charity, sacrifice for others, abound in your families. Banish harsh words, . . .and let the Spirit of God take possession of your hearts. Teach to your children these things, in spirit and power.. . .Not one child in a hundred would go astray, if the home environment, example and training, were in harmony with. . . the gospel."
~Joseph F. Smith