Sunday, 3 May 2015

my little taste of the house on the prairie...

I am a dreamer, a romantic, an idealist...sometimes this does not work well with real life...sometimes that leads to a soul deep disappointment that life is not as I imagined it to be...the 'Free' song by Rudimental sums it up beautifully with the line 'this world ain't exactly what my heart expected'.

But sometimes the dreamer in me allows me to find joy in things that maybe others might not.  I love to read historical novels set back in the days when America was being settled, land being claimed and a new future was being forged.  Now I really can't even imagine how extremely hard that time of life was but the romantic in me loves what the novels portray as I read them, the excitement of that time, the new adventures and inventions, the community life and the fact that what they needed they made. 

The quilting circles, the home made preserves and bread, coffee on the stove, living off the land, the handsewn clothes and dolls, the rag rugs, the house raising done by communities when a new home was needed and the list goes on.  Now let's just remember being a romantic this view is just from the reading of many many beautiful historical fictional novels, and the watching of many many programmes and movies where the hard realities are glossed over by beautifully written words, fictional scripts, great actors, romantic notions and a 'utopian' view.

So with this in mind, for me, I find joy in the feeling that in my life I have a little taste of the house of the prairie.  Today with home baking done ready for the week ahead, the wood pile stacked and ready for the cold of winter and the stack of hand sewn squares being added to in preparation for two quilts for my two teenage daughters to be done completely by hand, I feel that joy at my little taste of times gone by.

This is what I mean by joy in things that others might not, like when I come home and see that wood pile it warms my heart and satisfies that place in my soul that lives in those novels and programmes. The hand sewn quilt that sits on my bed brings me joy each time I walk into my room because knowing that I have sewn the whole thing by hand makes me feel as if I am part of those women who have quilted for years, mostly out of necessity but also for joy, making handsewn treasures to be passed down to generations to come.  And I know it may sound silly but the fact that there is home baking for the week ahead (which trust me is not every week!) makes me feel a level of success that is satisfyingly connected to the women who had to bake from necessity to fill their family's hungry belly's.  These things make me feel grounded, centred and peaceful, they are a balm and tonic to the restlessness that sometimes creeps in when I get lost in the busyness of our modern day world and bring balance to my world.

So with all that said and feeling like I have a little slice of homestead in my rented suburban home surrounded by neighbours, shops and traffic, the romantic in me will celebrate the bliss, joy and happiness that surrounds me right at this moment.  I will continue to store up the precious life grounding moments like the firewood stack, the home baking and hand sewn quilts and find the joy in the small things, even if it is utopian, to help me survive the harshness that is reality.  Right in this moment at the red delicious 'homestead' the kids are quietly working on projects and homework, the husband is in the kitchen cooking up a delicious brew of butter chicken, the girls first games of the season have been played and enjoyed, the fire is on and warming our house, we have food to fill our belly's, clothes to keep us warm, cosy beds to sleep in tonight and so many many things to be grateful for, and I have a night of hand sewing ahead of me which is bliss.

I love that William Blake poem exert 'to see a world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wild flower' - to me it has always meant to see the amazing greatness in the small details of life and as it turns out the longer I am on this journey the more those small details in life are in reality very very large!

Oh it just makes me so happy!
My babies just before their first games of the winter season
Quilts in progress

Harry our little fluffy bum!  I'm sure he's smiling
These two recipes are a winner!  Making them for the second week in a row due to popular demand
Fabrics for the nearly 14 year old's quilt
Fabrics for the nearly 16 year old's quilt
Take care and till then


  1. This is a beautiful post. I love the sentiment, it's so important not to compare ourselves to others (so hard when social media is constantly bombarding us with perfection) and remind ourselves of what truly matters in life, stay true to what really speaks to our souls and be glad for all that we have. Your daughters are so gorgeous! I can't believe you are making quilts by hand, you have so much patience!

  2. Thanks so much Leanne! And really I just like not having to get the old sewing machine out, I love sitting watching the telly with my hand stitching, good old running stitch and squares of fabric, so easy but looks really cool if you have the right fabrics. The older I get the more I know in my soul that perfection is a myth! And those that portray it have all their imperfections hidden but they are still there. I don't find it nearly as intimidating now as I used to as I know at home when they are alone they are as human as I am :)

  3. Love this!! It's like you wrote what's in my heart! I felt the same content happiness yesterday when I finally finished our weekly baking and the house smelt like roast beef, fresh baked bread and home made muesli bar! I'm insanely jealous of your wood pile/fire place though!! (Also jealous of your quilting abilities...I need some lessons) I fully believe that suburban homesteading is a 'thing' and I'm welcoming it with open arms! I'd take the community of times gone by over facebook any day!

  4. Aw thanks Renee! I know I LOVE having a fireplace!! First rental in ages that has one and I just adore it. And the'd have no probs, it's easy as ;) Hope you are keeping well and hopefully we'll get to catch up sometime :)