adventure, books, england, travel, vacation

Personal reading history

Happy Valentine's Day! I've been hunkered down at home with a nasty virus, and the wintry mix outside isn't doing much to make things feel more festive. So instead, I've been daydreaming about our summer honeymoon in England. Josh and I have been studying guidebooks galore, making lists of places to see and trading visions… Continue reading Personal reading history

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18th century, activities, childhood, crafts, holidays, vacation, winter

Colonial Craft: Pomanders

Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and that you're settling into 2014. I spent Christmas with my family in Ohio, listening to my dad's beloved Ray Conniff Singers and cooking up a storm. We spent many an evening by the fire and even processed maple syrup in one long day… Continue reading Colonial Craft: Pomanders

19th century, afternoon adventure, dining at downton, history lesson, vacation, victorians

Afternoon Adventure: Vanderbilt Mansion, Hyde Park

About a month ago I met up with my parents in Hyde Park, New York, for a weekend of sight-seeing and poking around historic places (this is the order of the day with my family). After touring two painters' homes on the first day, we headed to the Vanderbilt Mansion bright and early on Saturday.… Continue reading Afternoon Adventure: Vanderbilt Mansion, Hyde Park

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, activities, baking, boston cooking-school, canada, fruit, summer, vacation

Blueberry picking (and muffins)

It's been two weeks since we returned from vacation in Canada, and I can't stop thinking about it. Even though I've since joined my parents for a weekend in upstate New York. Even though Josh and I have entertained and seen friends and gotten thoroughly back into the Providence swing of things. Even though school… Continue reading Blueberry picking (and muffins)

afternoon adventure, history lesson, maine, ohio, school, shakers, vacation

Afternoon Adventure: Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village

As a teenager I went to an all-girls school, one steeped in tradition and programs that recalled English prep schools. One of the big ones was chapel, where we heard guest speakers and senior speeches. Before the program began, we often sang a community song, with sheet music left on every other chair for students… Continue reading Afternoon Adventure: Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village