food · Photography · Ramblings

a new season

I hope that Y’all came through the holiday season with blessings and all good things.

I in my elf slippers and Mr. Cottage in his flannel, we snuggled in on Christmas eve for a day of just doing for us.

Mr. Cottage and I have had a long tradition of cooking a special Christmas Eve dinner – something a little fancy.  Since the passing of Mother Cottage, we have invited Father Cottage to join us for Christmas Eve supper.  I’ve made various steak dinners these past few years.   This year, Father Cottage announced that he had other plans for Christmas Eve, so we talked about what we would do, for just the two of us.

Continue reading “a new season”

Country living · folklore · Uncategorized

Christmas tree folklore

Mr. Cottage and I took a little ride over the river and through the woods.

We arrived at Foxfire Christmas tree farm.  They have been in business for thirty years.  Way back in the day Father Cottage was an advisor for the Virginia Christmas tree growers association and worked with this farm.

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The owner supplies a saw and cart to haul the tree in and points us in the direction of the Douglas Firs, after confirming what type of tree we are after.

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Mr. Cottage watches as people claim the tree he thought was the one.

He kinda looked like a kid that had his toy taken away from him.

So off we go through the rows and rows of beautiful trees, but just not the right one.

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There were several people there with their dogs.

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When she was alive, we used to take our dog Cookout with us to get a tree.  She always picked the tree for us, it was the one that had a nest in it. How did that dog always know?

My heart felt a little twinge of those days past when I spied this nest.

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I’ve been longing for a puppy or two for a while.

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We find our tree.

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We head back to the barn to pay for our tree and enjoy some sights.

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This is our magnificent tree getting bundled up for transportation.

Many years ago before Mr. Cottage went into business for himself, he worked for the Virginia Department of Forestry.  Having both Father and Mr. Cottage working for the Forestry department, provided us with the access and the know-how; we entertained the idea of starting our own Christmas tree farm.

Recently while I’ve been re-imagining our life, I’ve entertained that thought again.

So while I keep my mind occupied with fantasies of puppies and growing Christmas trees, here is a tidbit of fun for you:

Christmas Tree Folklore*

This year over 37 million American families will celebrate the holidays with the fragrance and beauty of a real Christmas tree.

The tree, used as a symbol of life, is a tradition older than Christianity and not exclusive to any one religion. It’s a part of our holiday customs that engages not only our senses of sight, touch, and smell, but also our sense of tradition, hope and good will.

Long before there was a Christmas, Egyptians brought green palm branches into their homes on the shortest day of the year in December as a symbol of life’s triumph over death.

Romans adorned their homes with evergreens during Saturnalia, a winter festival in honor of Saturnus, their god of agriculture. Druid priests decorated oak trees with golden apples for their winter solstice festivities.

In the middle ages, the Paradise tree, an evergreen hung with red apples, was the symbol of the feast of Adam and Eve held on December 24th.

The first recorded reference to the Christmas tree dates back to the 16th century. In Strasbourg, Germany (now part of France), families both rich and poor decorated fir trees with colored paper, fruits and sweets. The retail Christmas tree lot also dates back that far – in those times, older women would sell trees harvested from nearby forests.

The tradition spread through Europe and was brought to the United States by German settlers and by Hessian mercenaries paid to fight in the Revolutionary War. In 1804 U.S. soldiers stationed at Fort Dearborn (now Chicago) hauled trees from surrounding woods to their barracks at Christmas.

The popularity of the Christmas tree then proliferated. Charles Minnegrode introduced the custom of decorating trees in Williamsburg, Virginia in 1842. In 1851, Mark Carr hauled two ox sleds loaded with trees from the Catskills to the streets of New York and opened the first retail lot in the United States.

Franklin Pierce, our 14th President, brought the Christmas tree tradition to the White House. In 1923, President Calvin Coolidge started the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony now held every year on the White House lawn.

Since 1966, members of the National Christmas Tree Association have presented a beautiful, fresh Christmas tree to the President and first family. This tree is displayed each year in the Blue Room of the White House.*

Do you have a live tree or an artificial one?  If you have a live tree what is your favorite variety?

Mine has always been the Fraser Fir.

See you later, Bye!

Kim

* Source Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association

DIY · sewing

sewing holiday projects with recycled fabric

Vintage Bark and Chenille Stocking
Vintage Barkcloth  and Chenille Stocking

I’ve finished a few sewing projects.

 Holiday stockings, all made with recycled material.

Some of the material is really old, vintage and some new, like the boho gypsy stocking was a skirt that I purchased at a thrift store and took apart.

When I purchased my first sewing machine last year, the first thing I wanted to make were stockings.

 Well, that didn’t happen.  A year later, and few false starts I’m on my way.

Vintage Bark cloth and Chenille
Vintage Bark cloth and Chenille
Vintage Bark and Chenille Stocking
Vintage Bark and Chenille Stocking
Traditional Plaid stocking
Traditional Plaid stocking
Traditional plaid stocking
Traditional plaid stocking
Traditional plaid red stocking
Traditional plaid red stocking
Boho Gypsy Stocking
Boho Gypsy Stocking made from an old skirt
Boho Gypsy stocking
Boho Gypsy stocking
Boho Gypsy stocking
Boho Gypsy stocking
Boho Gypsy
Boho Gypsy
Body made from vintage fabric, cuff, new
Body made from vintage fabric.

The body of this one was made using vintage fabric, I’ve had for many years.  That piece of fabric on the cuff is new.  It is a left-over scrap from a chair I am reupholstering.

Tropical Red Stocking
Tropical Red Stocking

What projects are you working on?

See you later, Bye!

Kim