Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Last Glimpse of Autumn

   My favorite season is slowly coming to a close.  There is still another month of fall, but in my part of the country everything is fading to dull grey and brown, the leaves are all gone, and winter berries are showing their bright faces as the only bit of color left among the growing things.   

   The rose hips are shrinking into faded orange. 
 I harvested many of them for tea but couldn't use all of them.  

I call these the "Helstone roses" since they bloom small and bright peachy yellow... just like the ones from the Hale's in North and South. :)

On an extremely random note, have you ever had rose hip tea?  If you haven't I would advise you to get your hands on some dried rose hips (not that that's very easy) and make yourself some right now.  It's perfect for cheering up the sullen soul. (A case I come down with frequently in the cold months.)

Rose Hip Tea

Steep 2 tsp dried rose hips and 1 tsp black tea into 1 cup of boiling water.  
Add a bit of raw honey to taste.

I like to add the black tea to give it some body.

Therese was born for the winter months I think.  
She spends more time outside this time of year than inside.

We have already had several sprinklings of snow, but only once did it pile up.  I am willing to deal with the cold so long as there is snow to brighten things up.

This little rose is still hanging onto the bush out back at the edge of the woods. :)

How is the weather where you are?  Have you been dumped with snow?  Are there leaves still on the trees?  Do share, I love hearing from friends around the country.  And beyond. :)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Civil War Christmas Tea

This afternoon I had the amazing opportunity to be a part of an elegant afternoon tea at the Patterson Homestead, a living history home and grounds built in 1816 with reenactors representing the 1860s.  I have been starting to volunteer at a few more living history sites in Ohio to add to my experience so I can maybe.... possibly.... hopefully..... one day get an actual full time job as an historical interpreter.

You see, only just recently did I discover that you can do this as a job.  Most reenactors are just hobbyists, but many take that interest to entire new level and become what is called an "historical interpreter", or one who "interprets" life during a certain period while in costume at a living history site.  I think I've finally found my dream job, people.  I have talked to many interpreters recently and learned what type of experience and history studies are required for a job like this.  I'm excited because this is something I could take with me my whole life.  This is what I want to do!  It just took me this long to finally figure it out. :)

Anyway, enough about that, let me show you what I was up to today!

The Patterson Homestead was absolutely gorgeous.  I loved the architecture, the small rooms, beautiful woodwork, rough windows.... and it was all decorated for a perfect Victorian Christmas.

A cheerful wintry wreath greets visitors at the back kitchen door.

Antique lace curtains graced the kitchen windows.

I wore a green and blue calico day dress with an ivory sash and crinoline underneath.  I think the Civil War era is my favorite time period for fashion.  I still have my old hoop skirt in my closet that I haven't worn for years.  I've been doing all this 1880s stuff and forgot how fun it was to walk around like a floating bell shape. :)

*cue the terrible quality selfies*

...and the brooch I wore.  Loved the purple. :)

Once we were dressed and the tables were set, there was some free time until the guests began to arrive.  I took the opportunity to roam around with Darcy and get some pictures.  This was the main dining room where the guests were seated.  Don't the table settings look lovely?

The house was decorated so beautifully... I felt like I had stepped right into Louisa May Alcott's classic.

That tree had some amazing period ornaments.

While the guests were there I was way too busy to take pictures.  The ladies were all dressed up so elegantly and everyone brandished their best etiquette.  To my utter delight, we had five British guests who joined us for the afternoon.  I found myself taking tea to their table more often than others just to linger about and catch snippets of their oh-so-very-British conversation.  Goodness me do they take their tea seriously!  And my what great amounts of it they took!  And lots of milk too! ;)

While we were clearing the plates of cranberry pumpkin scones away, a storm threatened to keep us all at the house.  Which in all reality I would not have minded one bit.  Thankfully it cleared up by the time we all left though.

When all was put back in order we stepped outside for a breath of the outdoors.  The rain sweetened the fall air and cooled us off from working under all those layers.

I didn't want to put an end to the enchanting afternoon, but I am excitedly looking forward to helping with upcoming teas, as well as working at two new living history sites that I just passed volunteer training for.  I promise to post soon about that.

Until then, have a lovely evening!  It is storming pretty bad here... I hope we don't lose power.  That means no electricity.  And that means no internet.

That would be bad.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Homestead Diaries | Through the Eyes of a Child

The past few Saturdays I have been bringing along my younger sister, Therese, to the farm to relive history with me.  She loves wearing the clothing, doing the work, and enjoying the historical pastimes.

Last weekend she and one of the other girls cleaned up the kitchen and then ground all the coffee we had roasted that morning.  

After every bean was ground to a powder they took to playing some parlor games.
We have a lot of children visitors come through the farm, and they always ask what young people did in the old days before there was TV, computers, and video games.  (Can you imagine life without those?  Oh yes, it really would be absolutely *horrifying*) 

This past weekend Therese and I took her friend along with us for her first day at the farm.

It was chilly out that day, but they kept warm with all of their running around. 
After they stocked the wood boxes in the kitchen and parlor, they sat inside with their yarn and warmed up by the stove.

Visitors like seeing young people around the farm representing life in the late 19th century.  We don't have a lot of youngsters around, and the children like to see people their own age.  It helps them relate to what their life might look like back in the day.


It is so much fun bringing them... I really need to do it more often. :)

Have a lovely day!

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