family, honesty

Slow Fall

A few nights ago, B finished dinner early, but she wasn't quite ready for bed. So we sat on the floor of our living room in front of the Christmas tree, classical radio playing softly in the background, and read through Peter Spier's Christmas!, one of my favorite childhood books. There are no words, only… Continue reading Slow Fall

books, family

Building a Little Library

The book situation in our house has always been a bit...precarious, mostly thanks to my habit of acquiring more books than our shelves can hold. Josh keeps books, too, but he's much better about borrowing from the library and only holding onto those he receives as gifts. No, the problem is mainly due to me. There's… Continue reading Building a Little Library

19th century, 20th century, adventure, afternoon adventure, family, ohio

Afternoon Adventure: The Tavern Club

Happy December! I've just returned from a whirlwind trip home to Cleveland for Thanksgiving, and it was wonderful to see family and take long walks and eat lots of delicious (modern) food. Around the holidays we often reflect on the past--not only our recent past and childhoods, but the "family past," stories about my grandfather's… Continue reading Afternoon Adventure: The Tavern Club

canada, cleaning, domesticity, family, homesteading, honesty, lessons learned, vacation

Hand wash only (II)

A few days ago, I started thinking about the difficulties of looking at the past through rose-colored glasses. Let's face it: life without electricity, equal voting rights, or antibiotics would be way harder. To explore this point further, let's look at life without two rather nice appliances (albeit just for the two weeks that we… Continue reading Hand wash only (II)

canada, domesticity, family, homesteading, honesty, lessons learned, vacation

Hand wash only (I)

It's easy to wax nostalgic about the "good old days," that halcyon golden age when kids didn't do drugs or drink underage, and life was simpler, without cell phones and social media complicating things. (Yes, I'm guilty of this!) There are a few things wrong with this kind of thinking, though: first, the "good old… Continue reading Hand wash only (I)

20th century, baking, dessert, family, settlement cookbook, summer

Devil’s cake no. 1

Yesterday I celebrated my birthday! I turned 27, just a few weeks after this blog turned 2. In between melting in the 90-degree heat and dashing through torrential rainstorms (yes, it was an eventful day, weather-wise), I enjoyed a pastry from my favorite bakery, assembled a Settlement birthday cake, and tried out a new restaurant with… Continue reading Devil’s cake no. 1