Friday, November 30, 2012

Apron Memories

Recently our local newspaper "The Morning Call," published an article about aprons. Since I make them for my Etsy shop and was published (!!!!) in apronology magazine last year, I wanted to share some excerpts from the article, entitled "Apron Memories." The aprons pictured are for sale in my shop.

"She wore an apron with a big bow in the back over her dresses every day. (Mammy did not wear pants!) In the summer, she wore her apron to pick the garden vegetables, and she carried the vegetables gathered in her apron. She canned every type of fruit and vegetable that was grown on the farm. She would lift the hot jars out of the canner with the bottom edge of her apron."

"My grandparents raised chickens as part of their farm, and Grammy collected up to 300 eggs per day. I can still see her coming out of the chicken house holding the bottom of her apron full of eggs - sometimes she had as many as three dozen eggs in her apron."

"Most importantly, when she held her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, her aprons wiped many tears, sticky mouths and hands. Sometimes they provided that extra bit of warmth for a newborn."

"Mom used three aprons a day. The morning apron was for cleaning, the afternoon apron was for cooking and baking, and after dinner, the third apron was for visiting with her neighbor. The Sunday apron was always white with some trim."

"My mother had an apron lady from Quakertown who would come about four times a year with a suitcase full of aprons for sale. My mother always bought two or three and they were always the "cobbler apron" style - a full coverage apron with pockets across the bottom. It is a fond memory."

My own apron memories are of my mom's mother, Gladys, baking sugar cookies while wearing her apron, big round cookies dusted with sugar and a raisin in the middle of each one. My other grandmother, Julia wore, her apron when gardening - it had pockets in the front where she kept all the things she needed, including twine to tie up her tiger lilies. What apron memories do you have??
Love, Linda

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

First Snow

The first snow of the year
One of the pretty, feathery ones,
Without the howling wind and the prerequisite ice,
Whispering down to sugarcoat branches
Quiet, gentle, welcome.
Especially on my day off.
Love, Linda

Friday, November 23, 2012


Anita from Castles, Crowns & Cottages has won the December issue of Maryjane's Farm.
If you haven't yet visited her blog, please do so. Beautiful photos and enchanting poetry!
Current Cover of MaryJanesFarm magazine
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
In my Etsy store:
A Prairie Style apron:
Some Shabby Hearts to hang on the tree:
Some rose china:
And so starts the Christmas rush!
Buy handmade - Buy local
Love, Linda

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Giveaway

I don't know how many of you are familiar with Mary Jane's Farm Magazine.
Mary Jane Butters is an organic, simple-living, creative,
do-it-yourself farmer and author.
Current Cover of MaryJanesFarm magazine
While reading this month's issue, I was (once again) reminded of
our over consumptive, unhealthy, selfish society, and how we can help others this Christmas season, with very little effort and expense.

I am giving away a December issue of Mary Jane's Farm.
All you need to do is leave a comment.
I will draw the name on Thanksgiving Day.

A new book called "Half the Sky, Turning Oppression into Opportunity,"
by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, is reviewed in the magazine. I was stunned by the statement that "More girls have been killed in the last 50 years, precisely because they were girls, then all the men who were killed in all the wars of the 20th century."
The book, not only "raises awareness of women's issues, but also provides concrete steps to fight these problems." I want to read it.

An uplifting article about a woman, Jeanne Staples, of Martha's Vineyard, tells how she started "PeaceQuilts," a program for Haitian women to express their creativity and support themselves with independent, cooperative, quilt-making businesses. Their quilts, bags and other wares are beautiful.

An essay, "Fire in the Belly," resonated with me. It was sent in by a reader praising her wood stove. I'm sitting next to mine right now, with the teapot starting to sing.

A scary study about Genetically Modified (GMO) food.
 Not fun to read, but we Need to Know This!
 Lobbying in the US is preventing labeling of these foods.

Two pages of "Simple Country Pleasures," to put on the fridge.
A tutorial on making beautiful wheat ornaments and burlap wreaths.
 And warming winter soups!
A very cozy issue.

Just leave a comment. I will draw a random name on Thanksgiving,
Love, Linda

Monday, November 12, 2012

Vaca in NC

In mid-October, I took a week to go to a Harp Conference in Asheville, NC
with my harp teacher and friend, Sarajane. She pioneered Vibroacoustic Harp Therapy in the US, and more can be learned from her website, Planet Harp.
This post, I want to show the beautiful foliage of mid-October in the Smoky Mountains.
I took SO many pictures.
Downtown Asheville is artsy, crafty and a shopper's paradise!
Used book stores, galleries, ceramics, creative clothes and jewelry,
and fun little places to eat. And a great Shoe Outlet!
We had a suite.
So we went to the market and stocked up on necessities like
 Mounds ice cream bars, cookies and shrimp.
And wine.
Sarajane was attending a second conference the following weekend, but in between we had a few days to sightsee.
 Of course we had to visit the Biltmore Estate.
Me on the terrace viewing my (er, the) grounds.
We also visited Looking Glass Mountain, supposed to be the site of a strong magnetic energy vortex.

It was also a sacred place to the native Lenni Lanape tribe.
We drove on a very steep, very narrow road, with amazing drops to the valley. GPS doesn't work at all here.
When we got out of the car, I felt very grounded, almost like I was being pulled into the earth. It was a very calming spot.
We had heard that there were many UFO sightings in the area a few weeks before, so we visited the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute, PARI, to see if they had seen anything.
They have four large radio telescopes, as well as several optical ones.
PARI was part of NASA during the early days of space flight, then part of the Department of Defense, but is now a research and educational facility.
Scary tunnel underground between buildings.
These things are Big!
They hadn't seen any UFOs.
We picked up Ted, Sarajane's husband at the airport, who was arriving for the second conference, and I got on a plane and headed home. Lots of fun.
Love, Linda

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Belated Halloween Post

Due to the hurricane and resulting loss of power, my Halloween post
did not make it.
So, without further ado . . .

Several readers have asked me about the weed that killed Lincoln's mother.
So, here is an excerpt from the book, "Wicked Plants," by Amy Stewart.
(a fascinating little volume)

"Milk sickness was a disease that caused weakness, vomiting, tremors and delirium. Cattle contracted the disease by grazing on White Snakeroot, and it was passed on in their milk, butter and meat. Few people realized this at the time, and when Nancy Hanks Lincoln contracted the illness, she died after a week, as did her aunt, uncle and several other people in the town. She died at the age of 34, leaving behind 9 year old Abraham and his sister Sarah.

"During the nineteenth century a few doctors and farmers independently discovered white snakeroot was the cause of milk sickness, but news traveled slowly in those days. An Illinois doctor named Anna Bixby noticed the seasonality of the disease and speculated that it might have to do with the emergence of a particular plant in summer. She fed white snakeroot to a calf to confirm the disease. She led a campaign to eradicate the plant from her community, and almost eliminated milk sickness in the area by 1834.

"White snakeroot grows to four feet tall and produces small white clusters of flowers similar to Queen Anne's lace. The plant is still found in the woods across eastern North America and throughout the south."

Several other interesting tidbits are found in this book, including the fact that the drug company Bayer introduced an extract from the poppy in 1868,
 that it named "Heroin." It was sold as a cough syrup for children and adults,
 and was on the market for two years.

Happy Fall!
Love, Linda

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

I was in North Carolina at a conference for a week and raced Hurricane Sandy up the coast.
Got some gas, hauled in firewood, and bottled water.
Filled up the bathtub, started a fire in the woodstove.
And hunkered down.
Here's the aftermath at my house:
Big tree fell across both parts of driveway.
Smashed fence.
Hit house.
So, House of Beautiful Dogs has an ouchy.
No leaks though.
Also two large trees in the back yard fell,
And pines in the front - five total.
I JUST painted this!!!
Also no power Monday until Friday, No AT&T cell phone service
for several days. I was pioneer woman, heating water on the woodstove,
and cooking on the top, baking potatoes in the ashes.
Power finally came on last night.
Looooong hot shower.
But I wanted to live in the woods, didn't I?? Didn't I??
This was a little too much nature for me . . . you would have not believed that crash - at 2:45 a.m.
Hope everybody is safe! Love, Linda
P.S. My belated Halloween post, later this week.