Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘tradition’

Decided to start this year off right, with a pan of gooey, sticky cinnamon rolls.  It is a new year, and time for some new beginnings.  New traditions, more fun, and less rules.

I have really missed writing here, and want to resume.  However, I will be taking a new rout this year.  I am no longer focusing on pretty pictures or deep thoughts.  I am not going to kick myself for sharing the nitty gritty of everyday life.  My goal is to find beauty in the everyday things.  Today, it was the joy of my family as they consumed these rolls.  It was the butter and syrup bubbling all around them, as they cooked.  It was Daniel, joyfully dancing around with his first loaf of bread, proudly sharing it with everyone.  These are the beautiful things.   What are the beautiful things in your life?

* * * * *

To make these rolls, I melted 3 tablespoons of butter in the pan, poured in some corn syrup and sprinkled on some pecans.  Then  rolled a batch of Hop Yeast Bread dough out into a 12″ x 18″ rectangle, buttered it, sprinkled on cinnamon and sugar, then rolled it up into an 18″ long log.  Sliced the rolls and placed them in the pan to rise.  They were baked for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  To serve, dump pan upside down onto a sheet of waxed paper and scrap all the gooey topping onto the rolls.  Eat while still warm.

Read Full Post »

100_4689

This week we have spent time each day writing Thank Yous to friends and relatives, who blessed us at Christmas.  Saying thank you was one of my least favorite things to do as a child, because it meant writing an inadequate letter–for those gifts I really liked, but didn’t know how to say so, without being gushy or wordy, or the opposite, one I simply did not mean–for those gifts I would have rather not of had.  Thankfully, the latter kind were few and far between…

I always felt the need to be very specific, and to make sure my note was as much of a blessing as the gift I had received was to me.  To that end, I undertook to make a few simple note cards, which can be dressed up, to suit the recipient.  I, at least, am confident sending these out.  They carry my good will, even if they will not be cherished.  Some ideas have to be let go of, and I am glad to say, every note I have written so far this year, has been completely heart felt.

My children seem to have none of these hang-ups.  They are perfectly content to say, ‘Thank you for,’ and simply list everything they were given by the individual.  The letters are done.  The fuss is over; and life goes on.

I’m sure there is merit in both outlooks.  When a truly special, unexpected gift arrives, it is nice to be able to let someone know how grateful you really are.  Yet, when something unusable arrives, it is good to let the person know you appreciated the thought, and move on, without feeling guilty.

My mother taught me this one summer, when a woman decided that we were poor and she should help us out.  She began bringing food by.  Food she had pulled out of the dumpster behind the grocery store.  Food that had been on her shelves for years, and was covered in dust. 

My mom graciously accepted the gifts, wrote a nice thank you note, and through the trash away.  As not to hurt the woman’s feelings, my mother began setting aside some produce from the garden, to bestow on this woman.  She soon saw that we had plenty–after all, we were sharing it with others.  That simple act of kindness put a stop to the unwanted gifts.

Read Full Post »

100_4666

As the year draws to a close, it is a time of reflection. A time of remembering…the good and the bad.  2008 has been a wonderful year for me.  So many good things have happened.  I have grown immensely as a person, and my family is something I can be proud of.  Not everything I planned got done.  Somethings, I realize never will. Not everything I tried was a success, but next year is coming! 

I would like to share with you some of the highlights of this past year.  Some of the thing I never want to forget.

My Most Memorable Conversation:

Daniel had just begun potty training, and I was sitting in the bathroom, talking with him.  He told me this and that, rambling on, when I told him he was precious.

He looked at me a moment, then smiled, and said, “Yah, I’m precious!” 

Something about the was he said it made me wonder what he was thinking, so I asked.  “Daniel, do you know what precious means?”

He smiled, and said, in his deepest, growelist, hissyist voice, replied “Yesss my Praciousss.”  A perfect imitation of Smeagol.

Oops…should use the words properly before allowing a monster to introduce them!

My Favorite New Recipe:

Ginger-snap Cheesecake, with Blackberry Topping.

My Most Useful New Skill:

Knitting socks and sweaters.

My Biggest Accomplishment:

Getting published!

Biggest Project Stated Finished:

The Wedding Dress I made…starting with making the pattern to fit the bride and match a picture she had found on line.  (Sorry, all the pictures are stuck on my old computer.)

Actually, time wise, my husbands socks was just as ‘big’ of a project…but the skill needed and scrutiny involved were different.

Most Important Truth Discovered:

People will treat you the same, whether it is money or love they owe you, when they are not willing to repay.

“Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.”

-Romans 13:8

God used the above verse to teach me this, when I was quite upset by some ‘friends’ who would no longer speak to me, after I had helped them out.  (I didn’t help them out for any reason other than “that’s what friends do.”  I never expected to be repaid, or even really thanked.  i.e. pass it along, if you feel the need to do something.)  He showed me that they reacted the same way as those who had left my daycare, still owing some on their bill.  (Several people would not talk to me after they left, on good terms…and I never sent more than one bill…so it wasn’t like I was pestering them or hanging guilt over their head.)  I value relationships very highly, and try to be a good friend.  This was a very important lesson, because it showed me that no matter what you do, someone will not be happy with it!

Favorite Blessing, sighted this Year:

“May your dreams come true, and your dragons be few.”

Best Gift Received:

My garden!  Thank you Manny, for tilling it up.

Best Habit Formed:

Picking up after myself.  Though this one is not perfectly mastered, I find, like with an instrument, the more I practice it, the better and more natural I become at it.

All-time Favorite Blessing:

“May those who love us, love us.
And those that don’t,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He doesn’t turn their hearts,
May He turn their ankles.
So we will know them by their limping.”

-An Irish Blessing

 

Thank you for stopping by.  Thank you for reading.  Thank you for the kind comments left behind. 

May you have a wonderful, beautiful, New Year!

-Christa

Read Full Post »

100_4562

To

AMERICAN MOTHERS,

on

WHOSE INTELLIGENCE AND DISCRETION

the

Safety and Prosperity

of our

REPUBLIC SO MUCH DEPEND,

This Volume

is

Respectfully Inscribed.

 

This little volume was given to me one summer, by my cousin, when she worked at the Moose Historical Center.  She gave it to me, knowing my love of old books.  However, apart from its historical value, I have found it to be a true treasure. 

The author, Mrs. Child, writes for a middle class audience, assuming the reader have a domestic or two, and a home to keep her busy, plus the care of her children.  She discusses everything from the mother’s attitude, domestic violence, the child’s attitude, discipline for different ages, entertainment and education.  She gives extra advice, concerning the education of daughters; books, including a book list, and ‘views of matrimony;’ but instead of rambling on, I will let the book speak for itself:

“Few people think the management of very young babes has anything to do with their future dispositions and characters; yet I believe it has more influence than can easily be calculated.  One writer on education even ventures to say that the heaviness of the Dutch and Vivacity of the French are owing to the different manner in which infants are treated in those two countries.

The Dutch keep their children in a state of repose, always rocking, or jogging them; the French are perpetually tossing them about, and showing them lively tricks.  I think a medium between these two extremes would be the most favorable to a child;s health and faculties.” (opening paragraph, p. 1)

“It is important that children, even when babes, should never be spectators of anger, or evil passion.  They come to us from heaven, with their little souls full of innocence and peace; and, as far as possible, a mother’s influence should not interfere with the influence of angels.

The first and most important thing, in order to effect this is, that the mother keep her own spirit in tranquillity and purity; for it is beyond all doubt that the state of a mother affects her child…

Effects on the bodily constitution will be more readily believed than effects on the mind, because the most thoughtless can see the one, and they cannot see the other.  Children have died in convulsions, in consequence of nursing a mother, while under the influence of violent passion or emotion; and who can tell how much of moral evil may be traced to the states of mind indulged by a mother, while tending the precious little being, who receives everything from her?

Therefore the first rule, and the most important of all, in education, is, that a mother govern her own feelings, and keep her heart and conscience pure.

The next most important thing appears to me to be, that a mother, as far as other duties will permit, take the entire care of her own child…

Do you say it is impossible always to govern one’s feelings?  There is one method, a never-failing one–prayer.  I consoles and strengthens the wounded heart, and tranquilizes the most stormy passions.  You will say, perhaps, that you have not leisure to pray every time your temper is provoked, or your heart is grieved.–It requires no time–the inward ejaculation of ‘Lord, help me to overcome this temptation,’ may be made in any place and amid any employments; and if uttered in humble sincerity, the voice that said to the raging waters, ‘Peace!  Be still!’ will restore quiet to your troubled soul.”  (portions of p. 3-5)

For inquiring minds:

  • This book The Mother’s Book, by Mrs. Child can be found for sale here.
  • The quilt was hand stitched by my Great Aunt Betty, using scraps my Grandmother had left over from years of making her own and her children’s clothing.

Read Full Post »

wool

For centuries, wool has kept mankind warm.  

Winding this yarn, I was reminded of that, and felt blessed.  Blessed, that it is available to me, despite the fact that I own no sheep.  Blessed, that I had a grandmother to interest me in the arts of yesteryear.  Blessed, to be part of carrying on a worthy tradition.

Casting on, for a pair of small socks, I wondered at the warmth and comfort they would bring.  The look of delight on my sons face…when he discovered this pair would be for him.  His younger brothers smiling, as they were reassured, sooner or later, they too would wear these socks.  The reassurance, that it is worth the effort to make socks, knowing they will last for years, even with much use.

Until this spring I had never owned 100% wool, and was unaware of why it had been treasured for so long.  I quickly discovered its easy care properties.  Articles made of wool need not be washed to stay fresh, only aired out.  They are warm, even when wet, and can hold up to 30% of their weight in liquid with out feeling wet.  Wool is naturally anti-bacterial.  Due to this, it does not need frequent washing.  Because of that, I need fewer articles of clothing.   This is especially nice when it comes to ski socks.

Read Full Post »