Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Beauty for Ashes

This past week I finished reading “Beauty for Ashes” by Grace Livingston Hill. Reading this book was like taking a mini vacation to the beautiful country village of Afton, Maine; where neat white houses line the country lanes, the aroma of freshly baked bread mingles with the crisp fragrance of pine trees and where people are friendly and have old-fashioned values.

Now this story begins in a quite different setting. The tale opens with the lovely young heroine of the story, Gloria, skipping down the steps of her family’s palatial New York mansion to the sewing room where the seamstress is making the last alterations to the gowns meant to be part of her elaborate trousseau. It is at this time that she discovers the tragic news that her fiancĂ© Stan has been murdered, but it is the circumstances surrounding his murder that makes the situation all the more unbearable.

After the funeral and formalities are over Gloria’s father decides to take her away for a while; to a place that is peaceful, and where newspapers will not want to snap her photo and exploit her grief. The refuge her father takes her to is his home town of Afton, Maine. Gloria is filled with delight upon seeing the large old white farm house where her father grew up. She is filled with wonder as her father speaks of the faith he was raised in and she develops a great interest to know of the deceased grandmother she never met but whose legacy seems to fill her father’s boyhood home.

During her stay in Afton Gloria is able to collect her thoughts, enjoy God’s glorious creation, and she also meets a new friend who challenges the way she views life.

Adventures ensue when Gloria’s father is called away on business and her sister Vanna comes to keep her company. Vanna has trials of her own to overcome and faith to discover. These two sisters discover the pleasure of simply living, the joy of salvation and the meaning of true love.

For all who love a love story with plenty of drama and Christ centered faith I am sure “Beauty for Ashes” is a book you will not want to pass by! : )

What books have you been enjoying this summer?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Aprons and Cook Books

Over the past two days I have been busy adding some new aprons and vintage cook books to my Etsy shop.

Three of the cook books are from the 1940's and the other is from the 1960's. They are really fun to look through; just filled with tasty recipes. : )

As you can see my sister Hannah's cat Claude enjoyed being a part of the photo shoot. It was a lovely morning; and very cool under the shade trees.

"Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations." Psalm100:4&5

Friday, July 13, 2012

The History of Aprons

                                           The History of Aprons

The principle of Grandma’s apron was to protect the dress underneath, because she only had a few. It was easier to wash aprons than dresses and they used less material, but along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children’s tears and on occasion was even used for cleaning 
out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.

And when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that ‘old-time apron’ that served so many purposes.

Share this with those who would know, and love the story about Grandma’s aprons. Or it can be a good history lesson for those that have no idea how the apron played a part in our lives.

Remember, Grandma used to set her hot baked pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set their pies on the window sill to thaw.

They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on the apron. I don’t think I ever caught anything from an apron…. but love!                   

-Author Unknown

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth of July

 Here is a photo of the wheat field across the road from us. What a blessing to see such beauty each day!

This morning when we first woke up my mom called me to look out the back windows of our home. I was surprised to see three wild turkeys! One of the turkeys was busy eating black berries that grow along the border of our yard. I took these photos out of my back bedroom window, so they are not quite as clear as they could be.

America is truly a beautiful country!

"America, the Beautiful"

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern impassion'd stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America! God mend thine ev'ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev'ry gain divine!

O Beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam,
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

-Katherine Lee Bates

"This is the day which the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24