Monday, March 27, 2017

And so, Gilbert and Sullivan This Morning



Dear Mrs. Rothwood,

     How do you find the modern world, dear friend?  I have always been called an old soul.  The past has always been a fantasy of mine.  

     I am finding the modern world more and more vulgar, loud, dark, overwhelming, and over stimulating.  I can no longer watch most modern movies or television shows not only for moral reasons, but because the action, lighting, camera work, and sound effects drive me away.

     Today's fashions leave me yawning and bored, or shocked and dismayed.  Today's music yields little inspiration or joy.  Beauty and loveliness have been replaced with vulgarity and sex appeal.  Etiquette and decorum has been replaced with anything goes.

     I'm sorry.  It is tiresome to be an audience to anyone who complains about times present.  I know every generation has done so, yearning for the rose-colored past.  I am not idly complaining, though.  I do realize that I have a choice.  I have control in my own life.

     And so, I played Gilbert and Sullivan this morning.  And while I am still in jeggings (oh, I am getting so bored with jeggings, but they are comfy and easy) I wear a silk blouse.  And I write to you.  Lovely!

Sincerely,

Mrs. D. Scott



Sunday, March 26, 2017

And So it Lingers


Dear Mrs. Rothwood,

     My sincere apologies for not writing to you in such a long time.  My illness will not abate.  What started as strep throat turned into a cold, then bronchitis, and now a sinus infection.  I have religiously taken my vitamins and supplements since October and yet my immune system cannot keep up.  It needs sunshine and dirt. 

     The calendar says spring arrived March 20th, but indeed it has not here. Winter lingers with arctic temperatures combined with March winds-winds that ought to be bringing in the warmer weather that melts snow and coaxes the crocuses out of hiding. There is no such spring right now.  Just cold, gray, windy, icy winter.

     There is good news, though.  Our chicks have hatched!  20 adorable little balls of fluff and peeping have broken out of their shells and into our lives here.  The children are particularly fond of them and have already named several.  We have Fuzzbert and Sleepy, that I recall, and I named one Penguin, though now we have two or three with the same markings making it impossible to tell which one is actually Penguin.

     All of the eggs came from our own hens this year.  Next year I plan on ordering out to bring in new breeds.  Black Copper Marans are on my list.  I love how dark and chocolate-like their eggs are.


     Have you been planning your garden?

Sincerely,


Mrs. D. Scott

     

Friday, March 10, 2017

Miserable March


Dear Mrs. Rothwood,

     Wintertime tends to linger long past its welcome here.  March is notoriously a cruel month.  I have already had crocuses during a spring-spell, only to have them destroyed by winds and arctic temperatures.  I just looked at the extended forecast and this March continues to be consistently miserable.

     Gray.  Cold.  Windy.  COLD!  


     I try not to make it a habit to complain about the weather, especially since it is normal conversation here.  It gets rather tiring hearing people say, "It was the worst winter ever," every single year.  We've actually had a mild and pleasant winter with few snowfalls, and even fewer storms.  But! March is tiresome.  We are all itching for spring.

     There is only one thing to be done about it, and that is to endure March with some effort in being positive.  My positive effort is wanting to spring clean the house.  I hope to do so.  This recent illness has knocked me down quite a bit.  I spent yesterday in bed.  So much needs dusting and wiping and washing after a long winter.  Now is the time to do it before the warmer weather and sunshine beckons me to abandon the indoors and begin my work out of doors.

    And if my health fails to uphold me on a ladder, wiping dust off high shelves and corners, then there are always books.  March can be endured with books.

    How do you endure March, dear friend?  Are you reading anything exciting right now?

Sincerely,


Mrs. D. Scott

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Medicinal Herbs

                                         

Dear Mrs. Rothwood,

     May this letter find you well in body.  As for me, some sort of germ has come upon me.  I am not sure what sort it is, but my neck, throat, and ears are sore from swollen glands.  The germ is receiving a blitzkrieg of natural remedies.

     Since my throat feels tight and swallowing is a challenge, it is soup for lunch.  I have a delicious chicken bone broth in which I added the following:

1. Red Cabbage:  anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial

2.Celery:  good for weak conditions, and boy, do I feel weaker than normal

3. Garlic: antibiotic, expectorant


4.  Turmeric: anti-inflammatory, immune booster

I also have spinach, carrots, bay, zucchini, mineral salt, pepper, and onion powder.

I think I will also toss in some Thyme, which is an antiseptic, expectorant, antimicrobial, and antibiotic.


The bone broth gelled up nicely, too, so it has the healing properties of gelatin.

    Teas have been my main source of fluid.  Green tea, oolong tea, black tea, herbal tea (agrimony and chamomile).  I have been taking grapefruit seed extract, vitamin C, bromelain (heals mucus membranes), echinacea (immune booster), goldenseal (reduces phlegm and heals mucus membranes) and also making compresses of essential oil blends with vitamin E oil for lymphatic draining.

     On top of all that, I am taking baths in either epsom salts or apple cider vinegar.  Mineral salt water gargles and listerine gargles are part of my routine.

     I admit, it is all very tiresome, but at the same time, it has been a long, hard winter of illnesses in our home.  I thankfully didn't catch all of them, but eventually a body wears down, especially after a winter in.  A good sunny, warm day with the ability to soak my body in the sun will do a lot to boost my immunity again.


Sincerely,

Mrs. D. Scott





Monday, March 6, 2017

Miss Cuthbert



Dear Mrs. Rothwood,

     Just a short note today.  Growing up I always wanted to be Anne Shirley, but now I realize I am so much more a Marilla.  And while there is no romance and thrill in that (as many of us women want to be the exciting heroine) there is a sense of peace and satisfaction.  I am content to be a Marilla....with a bit of Anne's influence.

     Perhaps that is why, deep in the recesses of my bosom (hat tip to Anne there), despite being smothered by my feeling that I ought to aspire to be an Anne, I always had a warm spot for Marilla.  I inwardly nodded at her practical wisdom and cringed at Anne's drama (why couldn't she just behave!  But, then she wouldn't be Anne....see I am a Marilla.)

     Although, I can completely see my daughter being very much an Anne type, which only reinforces my Marilla role all that much more.

     Yes, quite content.

Sincerely,

Mrs. D. Scott


http://strangersandpilgrimsonearth.blogspot.com/2017/03/the-art-of-home-making-mondays-please.html


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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

My 7 Lenten Tasks



Dear Mrs. Rothwood,

     A blessed Lent to you, dear friend. How are you observing this Lenten Season?  Is it of great importance to your denomination?

     I love New Years and I love Lent.  Both are great opportunities to shake off the cobwebs and chains of bad habits and adjust my focus back on the Lord and true priorities in life.  This year I have chosen several ways to observe Lent.  I did not choose them lightly or flippantly.  There is a reason behind every one:

1.  I have logged off of Facebook.  I sorrowfully admit to an addiction to that line of social media and would be embarrassed to know how much time I have actually wasted on it.  It has increased stress and sorrow in my life and taken focus off of my job as wife and mother.  I have grabbed Facebook before grabbing my Bible over and over and over again.  So, for Lent, no Facebook.  I look forward to how much time I find for myself!

2. I put my chocolate stash away.  Yes, it is cliche to say, "I give up chocolate for Lent," but it is more than that.  I am not giving up chocolate per se.  If my mother serves her delicious chocolate pudding pie, or my child offers half of his chocolate cookie to me, I will eat.  This is about my personal, private, share with no one, needless calories stash.  I have a very hard time actually fasting because of health issues, so I am giving up extra, needless nibbles and indulgences.

3. I am choosing to dress up more.  I don't know why.  I suppose I want to feel more intentional with my life, rather than just living in "survival mode" and whatever is easiest.  


4. I will be using up what I have in the house.  So, no extra purchases unless needful or beneficial.

5.  Be more intentionally social.  I am a hermit.  I am severely introverted, shy, and I have social anxiety disorder, but I do get lonely and know it is good to be hospitable and social (especially away from social media.)

6.  Of course, more time with the Lord.  I will put on worship music.  I will read the Word more.  I will focus on God more.

7.  Read more.  This goes hand-in-hand with social media.  I would spend so much time on Facebook that I stopped reading books!  I have a kindle account full of books.  I will be reading them.

     That will be my Lent, dear friend.

Sincerely,

Mrs. D. Scott

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Importance of Keeping House



Dear Mrs. Rothwood,

     Vintage women's magazines are a bit of a passion for me.  I love collecting the housekeeping ones from the 1930's-1960's.  Within their pages are articles and ads that reveal just how important women's work was in the home.  It seems it was just taken for granted that women wanted to, and were needed to keep the home and thus keep the nation.

     I also have a collection of Bettina's cookbooks, a fictional lady who prides herself on keeping a lovely, modest home and feeding her family well on economy.  (A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband with Bettina's Best Recipes, A Thousand Ways to Please a Family with Bettina's Best Recipes.)

     Additionally, I have vintage housekeeping booklets meant for new brides as they take up housekeeping.  

     One thing is very apparent in all of these sources:  housekeeping was an important career for the betterment of the family unit, and thus our nation.

     I never really saw it that way before.  I always figured it was just a quaint way to go about my day, because, frankly, I hate the idea of having a boring old day job, and I loathe the idea of trying to balance one with raising children.  So, while I have been able to, I have been a stay-at-home woman.

    Something happened recently that really shifted my thinking, though.  My youngest son was diagnosed with allergies.  Usually stuff, really, but it hit me.  Listening to him sniff and snuffle and sounding like he's talking through a glass of water breaks my mother's heart.  The doctor told me that I need to make sure the dust and mildew of the house is kept down, and the air purified to help him.

     Now, my house isn't filthy and unkempt. But, coming home and seeing that it isn't immaculate worries me.  We live in a small cottage, and we are a larger family.  That means there is generally more dust and less air.  To accomplish cleanliness and health for my family truly is a full time job!

     My grandmother keeps her home immaculate, and always has.  She had a routine every week that kept her house spotless.  One may say that a well-kept house is the sign of a wasted life, but it certainly helped keep her and her family healthy and well.  

     It isn't drudgery.  It is life-saving!

     I am not sure how much longer I have to be a stay-at-home woman, so I am renewed and determined to make the most of it.  Lent starts tomorrow, so this is a perfect time to make changes.  

     Oh, and to purchase just one more vintage magazine before Lent...in which I promised not to spend needlessly on myself during that time.

Sincerely,

Mrs. D. Scott
housewife