Currently Reading: History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution

For many years now, I've been wanting to read Mercy Otis Warren's work on the American Revolution. 

She was unusually well educated for a woman of her time, and the first to write a history of the revolution. She was a friend of Samuel Adams, Thomas Jefferson, George and Martha Washington, John Adams, and many other of our founding fathers, giving her an inside and unique perspective on the times in which they all lived. 

I have often visited her portrait, painted by John Singleton Copley, at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. 

Photo credit here.
It is my understanding that her book, certainly revolutionary in its own right for the time...being written by a woman and published under her own name, has never been out of print. It is considered an excellent analysis of the events surrounding the American Revolution. Several different versions are available on Amazon. If you purchase it, I would issue a word of caution to choose the correct volume, as it is a three-volume work. I am reading just volume 1 this year.

After reading nearly half of it, I admit that this woman, educated at home, with her keen observations of the times and perceptive scrutiny of the virtues, vices, and character of the notables of whom she writes, makes me...with my college degree...feel...well...quite stupid. Her eloquence of expression, wit, and command of history are admirable.

It is not an easy read. It's not that the text is so much the challenge. But the book is literally a reproduction of the original and makes use of the long "s" throughout, which makes reading it a bit of a challenge. (To read more about the long "s", click here.) Here's an example from one page.

I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to enhance their knowledge of this time period of American history!

Winter Get-Away in Maine

Last week, we went on a two day get-away to Maine! We stayed at the historic Kennebunkport Inn (c. 1899).

We loved the classic interior details and nautical touches, and the friendly staff was top notch!

I adore eating breakfast out. Seriously, I'd rather eat breakfast in a restaurant than any other meal. And this restaurant had comfy chairs, down throw pillows, and a cozy fire going in the fireplace...score! Settled in for a leisurely breakfast.

After breakfast, we explored the town of Kennebunkport. Signs like this one can be found all over town to point you in the right direction.

We drove along Ocean Drive with its views of the Atlantic on one side and classic, New England beach houses on the other. The most notable home being the Bush Family compound, seen here.

While Hubby did some work back at the hotel, Colette and I did a little post-nor'easter beach combing. We saw driftwood, shells, numerous lost mittens, one boat shoe, lots and lots of seaweed, and several dead fish.

Then we headed over to Pineland Farms to try out cross-country skiing for the first time. Although Colette snowboards, and Hubby and I used to downhill ski, none of us had ever been on cross-country skis. It's quite different, in that you can't really turn or stop. So, it's go straight or go home. But we were willing to try! 

Yikes. Just looking down at them, big chicken that I am, all I could think is...they're long and skinny and they won't turn. I'm probably going to die!

But these two were feeling adventurous, especially Colette, who rented skate-style skis and was tackling it with gusto.

And this beautiful, young lady with the dazzling smile is our future daughter-in-law! She used to cross-country ski competitively, so she was the real pro in our group. That's her sweet mom in the background.

We fell, we laughed, we struggled to get up, we thought we had the hang of it, we fell some more, we admired the scenery and the softly falling snow, we fell again. We all definitely want to try it again sometime!

The next day we visited a local nursery (full posting coming on that), did a little antiquing, and then visited two lighthouses before returning home.

We LOVE coastal Maine! Every time we go, we leave with a few treasures (seashells, salt water taffy, and Flying Pig bread this time) and some great memories.

Here We Go Again

This was the view out at the garden shed just last Thursday. Fourteen inches fell on us during that nor'easter. And tomorrow? least that much is expected to arrive again,  depending on which forecast you believe. Fortunately, I had planned some tomato soup (frozen from last summer's garden) for dinner, so we will all be cozy and snug! I already made a run to the fabric store, so we're fully stocked up there in projects and materials. Steaming cups of tea will be in order. And periodically, we'll ease the sliding glass door  open about six inches and stretch our arm out as far as it will go, stick a yardstick straight down into the accumulating snow, and holler back in the announcement of how many inches we have now. In a few weeks, I will turn a corner and want all the snow gone and flowers everywhere...instantly. But for now, I'm enjoying each and every flake!

Maple Syrup Shopping Tote

Maple syruping time is upon us here in New England! So, I couldn't resist making a shopping bag to celebrate the season. I kept one for myself, but two are listed in the shop! Click here to go visit!

Nor'easter - Questions & Answers

Being the winter lover that I am, I am thrilled to report that we're having a nor'easter! We are expecting 8" to 14" of snow!

I get numerous questions about the infamous nor'easters from friends and family in California. I thought it might be fun to answer the most common ones here, to satisfy the curiosity of those of you who might also be unfamiliar with them. 

What IS a nor'easter?
In non-meteorologist language...a nor'easter is the name of a storm that forms when warm, moist air coming out of the south collides with cold air coming from the north. The storm then approaches New England from the northeast, having the perfect conditions to produce lots of snow.

Are you prepared for the snowstorm?
Yes. We make sure we have on hand: groceries, ice melt, "storm chocolate" (an essential, because comfort food is a good thing!), batteries for lanterns, lamp oil, and gas for the generator.

What happens if you lose power?
We have a generator. It doesn't run the whole house, but it runs the essentials and a few more. It will run: the basement lights (because the house "systems" are located there), the garage door openers (because that's just convenient), the well pump (so we can shower and have running water and toilets), the stove, the light on the oven hood (so we can have one light in the kitchen), the heater, the outlets in the kitchen island, and all the lights and electrical things (TV, DVD player, etc.) in the family room. So, basically we have lights in one room, plus the oven hood. No lights upstairs, so we use battery-powered lanterns to see on the second floor.

What's the longest you've been without power?
Five days. But that was an ice storm, not a nor'easter. But we knew people who were without power for two weeks during that storm.

Do you drive during a snowstorm?
Not if we can avoid it. Since my job is from our home, I can easily stay home during a storm. But that's not the case for all of us. And for many years, I ran kids who didn't yet have their own cars to and from their jobs. So, we all drive in it when we have to.

Does Hubby go to work during a snowstorm?
Usually...yes. Like most people, if he can telecommute that day, he will. 

Do you put chains on your car?
No. We haven't seen anyone do that since we left California. No one does that here. Our highway crews are equipped to deal with storms. The roads are plowed throughout the storm, and the roads are sanded and salted thoroughly. 

People drive carefully and slowly in a storm. My rule of thumb is that I don't go faster than I'd be willing to slide into something. So, if I'm slipping down a hill at 20 m.p.h., then I'm happy to go 15 or 10 m.p.h. People really are most sensible about driving most of the time. And learning to drive sensibly in it is a matter of practice.

I hope that gives you a better idea of life during a nor'easter! I'll close by leaving you with this...Like most people in New England do before a storm, I went to the grocery store today and got some essentials. What I find consistently amusing before a storm is the run on eggs that every store seems to have. As though we all can't live without eggs for the next 24 hours! Makes me laugh every time!


Easter Dessert Inspiration

It's hard to believe that Easter is less than a month away! We always host Easter at our house. But last year we were in England, so we didn't. And I must be feeling the long span of time, because I've already begun thinking about menus and table decorations.

Early last Sunday morning, I spent a bit of time (while eating an omelette and listening to Sunday Baroque) glancing through my SPRING INSPIRATION Pinterest board for some Easter dessert ideas. I knew I wanted to do a trio of small desserts plated for each person. But which ones? After studying all the possibilities, I've decided on the following:

Chocolate Mousse-Filled Chocolate Egg. Link here.

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry.

Shortbread Cookie decorated with an iced sprig of lavender. (Link to directions here.)

Are you making plans yet? What's on your menu?

Photo credit here.

Snowy Morning

The view looking east this morning...a couple of inches of fresh snow! And by noon, it was all gone. But no worries...a big storm is expected to arrive on Wednesday! 

Working Out

This year I set some fitness goals...lose a few pounds, possibly walk a half-marathon, and definitely tone, tone, tone. So just after the first of the year, I joined the Barre 3 online program. I love yoga and I love ballet, and this program incorporates both of those with an intensity that really gets the heart pumping. Just what I need!

We live about 30 minutes from everything, so being able to access an exercise program online seemed ideal. Days when I don't have to go anywhere are pure bliss! I am so impressed by how similar the online program is to being in an actual studio. Just when my knee starts to hurt, it seems the instructor is saying, "Now, if you feel any pressure in your knees, just take a higher stance for this one." Perfect. Just like having your own personal coach. Three mornings a week, I creep out of bed while everyone else is still sleeping and do my workout. Feeling good so far!

Book Recommendation: Reformation Women

Reading more is on the agenda in my effort to balance all the various aspects of my life this year. As such, in January I read this book.

So little is written about the women of the Reformation, that I was thrilled to see a work devoted to them. It traces the lives of a dozen women...wives, daughters, sisters, friends...whom God used to reach the lives of many during the Protestant Reformation. While not as much is written (or survives) on the lives of women during this time period, the author has pieced together the information that is known, devoting a chapter to each. In the very last chapter, which was my personal favorite, she synthesizes all the information and traces the commonalities of all the distinctive women. It was encouraging and faith-building to note how God uses us all, exactly where He's placed us. Many of these women were obscure, and God raised them to prominence for His purposes. And others were prominent, and God brought them to states of poverty and abandonment for His purposes. Yet they never stopped serving Him or lagged in their faithfulness to duties or in their devotion, and their ministering presence was appreciated in every stage of their lives. An encouraging read! 

A Winter Cocktail

While searching around for a good wintertime cocktail, I happened across this one, The Black Almond (click here for link). Orange and almond liqueurs, black spiced rum, and ginger ale blend wonderfully without any one flavor overpowering the other. We had them last night before Sunday dinner. Fabulous! Next time, I might cut the alcohol quantities in half and increase the ginger ale, as it was a tad strong for me. But great winter flavors!

Lavender Sachets

Sometimes it feels good to make something that doesn't take two weeks of my time. That was the case with these lavender sachets. Simple, beautiful, aromatic! Sold by the pair, and in the shop now! Click here.

Washington's Birthday!

Happy Birthday to George Washington! On this grand occasion, we will be passing around plates of cherry pie! Huzzah!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...