From our Gentlemen's Farm in bucolic Bucks County, PA to a home nestled in the Piney Woods of The Lone Star State . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . This is our journey and these are our musings as we homeschool, play and pray our way through a wonderful life.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ladders - From My Point of View

3 Moms,  1 Theme,  3 Perspectives
per-spec-tive: a visible scene, especially defined by one's personal point of view.

Join us by sharing your point of view.

Mary Elizabeth's Ladder (Virginia)

Peggy's Ladder (The Woodlands)

Charlotte's Ladder (in London)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Dandelions - the Misunderstood Wildflower

Only in the twentieth century have we labeled the dandelion a weed.  They have so many uses that they seem almost magical. Gardeners used to weed out the grass to make room for the dandelions!

In my work I am learning more about natural approaches to life. I am starting to routinely ask myself, "Why did God make this?" and, "Is there a way to do this without using chemicals?" Today the journey lead me to, of all things, dandelions.

Dandelions are cropping up in high end organic produce aisles and specialty grocery stores. Checl out the price tag. They are among the most expensive items, costing more than prime rib, swordfish or lobster. So what is it with these dandy plants?
  • The roots are dried and sold as a no-caffeine coffee substitute - for $31.75 a pound.
  • You can enjoy a complete meal, from dandelion wine and dandelion salads to dandelion quiche, and dandelion soup. This can be followed up by dandelion ice cream! If you over-indulge, a cup of dandelion tea is the perfect remedy, since dandelions help the liver flush hangover-inducing toxins from the body.

When it comes to traditional herbal medicine, the root and leaves can be used to treat:
  • liver disease
  • constipation
  • poor digestion
  • regulating blood sugar levels

Now let's talk vitamins!
  • Vitamin A - More vitamin A than spinach or carrots.
  • Vitamin C - More vitamin C than tomatoes.
  • Folic acid, B6 and trace amounts of B1, B2, B3 and B5
  • Vitamin E and Vitamin K - These notables fat soluble vitamins are found in dandelions.

What about minerals?
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Trace amounts of zinc, copper and selenium

The History of Dandelions Dandelions have deep roots in history. They were well known to ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, and have been used in Chinese traditional medicine for over a thousand years.

Dandelions probably made their way to North America on the Mayflower. I imagine the dandelion would have been a sweet reminder of home. In all practicality they were probably brought along for their medicinal benefits.

Historically, dandelions were world-famous for their beauty. They were a common and much loved garden flower in Europe, and the subject of many poems. In Japan, whole horticultural societies formed to enjoy the beauty of dandelions and to develop exciting new varieties for gardeners. 

In the 21st Century Dandelions are making a comeback. If you don't believe me check out your local high end grocery! To top it off, Discovery News has reported an interesting bit of dandelion news. It seems this yellow blossom and its saw toothed leaf have been studied in the field of rubber. According to new research being done in Ohio dandelion root sap could be made into a rubber of equal quality to traditional rubber from trees, at a lower cost! We should all take another look at those little yellow plants!

In my work with EveVenture I have learned so much about more natural approaches to life. For the past 7 years it has become my passion to share this information with others. Come along for the ride!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Clothespin - From My Point of View

3 Moms,  1 Theme,  3 Perspectives
per-spec-tive: a visible scene, especially defined by one's personal point of view.

Join us by sharing your point of view.

Mary Elizabeth in Virginia
                                             Photo courtesy
Peggy's son in Philadelphia

Charlotte in London
(discovered @

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Pearls - From My Point of View

3 Moms,  1 Theme,  3 Perspectives
per-spec-tive: a visible scene, especially defined by one's personal point of view.

Join us by sharing your point of view.

Mary Elizabeth in Virginia
Jackie and Jack Jr 1962

Peggy in The Woodlands
My Mom 1950s
 Charlotte in London
photo credit:

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Leap - From My Point of View

3 Moms,  1 Theme,  3 Perspectives
per-spec-tive: a visible scene, especially defined by one's personal point of view.

Join us by sharing your point of view.

Jack in Penllyn

Kristin in Pennsylvania

 Alicia in Austin

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Stained Glass Easter Eggs

We made these absolutely lovely Easter Eggs this year! 

You can find the directions for creating this stained glass, mosaic effect at The Re-Club.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Springtime News About Town

Flowers are blooming . . . . We went to a fascinating workshop on Biblical Herbs and then stayed and played! 

The sun was shining so brightly that even with the gusts of strong breezes we could feel that scorching Texas heat on our skin. Thank goodness for our new glasses that magically turn into sunglasses! We still found ourselves squinting in the bright sunshine though!

Our wildflower season was short and sweet because we have had so little rain. :-(  
Usually we have weeks of colorful fields and pastures.

The colors faded much too quickly.
And, the  Black Eyed Susans never even visited this year!

The Bluebonnets were here and gone in the blink of an eye! 

But we did manage to get a "first" Bluebonnet picture!  That is a very important rite of passage through the years in The Lone Star State.

Art class hit the streets and the outcome was spectacular! I especially like the chalk-coated knees. :-)
This student did a fabulous job with depth and color, don't you think?
The vegetable garden is looking good!
We have already enjoyed a few freshly picked tomatoes.

One of our older neighbors stopped by today. She was out for her daily constitutional and made a beeline for me when she saw me working in the garden. She wanted me to know that she has been watching our tomato plants . . . . she told me that she didn't want me to think she was a stalker!  

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Easter Bunny Escapade

I found a perfect gift for my youngest . . . .  100 Reader's Digest Magazines via a swap group. I really like the swap group; it fits well with my frugal instincts as well as my resolution to recycle.

This little adventure turned out to be utterly charming. It began with the good fortune of my being the first to request the swap for the magazines! I learned later that others were before me in the queue but unwilling to go the distance - literally!  These little Reader's Digest gems were waiting for pick-up some 30 miles away in the quaint little town of Cut and Shoot, Texas.

Now, 30 miles into town is not a venture I would want to undertake. But 30 miles into the country? That is another case altogether!  It just kept getting better and better . . . . .

After 25 miles into the country on a Farm to Market Road, the directions went something like this:
Turn left at Bass Lake Dr. (just beyond the Cinco Ranch fence)
Turn right after the group of mailboxes.
Cross the cattle guard* and turn right at the fallen tree.
Look for the little brown cottage behind the grove of Oak Trees on the left.
If you get to the lake you have gone too far.

What I did not expect - but felt a thrill of anticipation upon learning - was that after the group of mailboxes . . . . the road turned into a dirt road.
And it just got better. The cattle guard was set over a small stream and was fairly narrow. The width allowed for my car's girth but with no room to spare and, of course, no guard rail.
Beyond the cattle guard the road itself narrowed and took me around a bend into . . . . the woods.

I do not have a four wheel drive vehicle and I was unsure if I would be able to keep on the path if it became any more wild and untamed. My fears were unfounded. Just around the bend I found the grove of oak trees and the cottage. I found my son's Easter Basket treasure of old magazines neatly stacked in a box and waiting for me on the steps of the cottage.

I snapped a couple of pictures on my way out of the grove.

*  a cattle guard is a type of obstacle used to prevent livestock (such as cattle) from passing along a road or path.  It consists of a depression in the road covered by a transverse grid of bars or tubes, normally made of metal and firmly fixed to the ground on either side of the depression, such that the gaps between them are wide enough for animals' legs to fall through, but sufficiently narrow not to impede a wheeled vehicle. They rely for their effect (of barring passage to animals but not to wheeled vehicles) upon animals' reluctance to set foot upon them.

NOTE: Because this is a public blog the ranch and road names have been changed to maintain the anonymity of the exact location. :-) After all, Cut and Shoot is very small and I would hate to inadvertently give out the exact directions to this beautiful little neck of the woods! It is, after all, a private residence.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Our Valentine's Day Door

Our February has been given us some bitterly cold weather with random days of reprieve. I love those glorious previews of Spring.

We have spent our February enjoying homeschool, creating rosaries, and making our Valentine's Day wreath.

This wreath started as a simple concept that, of course,  presented a few glitches requiring a bit of re-thinking and tedious patching. All in all, it was fun to make!  This year we rode the learning curve . . . . next year it will be a breeze to make.  :-)

Our bird cage was empty until yesterday.  Now it has some very pretty yellow daffodils in it.  And what says, "Welcome to Spring," better than daffodils?

Little by little and week by week our door, home and land will reflect the coming Spring. I love to see the changes and I enjoy reflecting that change in our home.

So, what's on our February list(s)?

* The nights are dark and cool.
* The weather is unpredictable. Be happy for warm and cold!
* The ground needs preparation for Spring - which is very close.
* The February Moon will be full on Friday the 18th. It is called the Snow Moon or the Budding Moon.


* Heart Wreath on front door! <3
* Time to scrub all the windows, sills, screens and sashes ~
* Time for carpet cleaning
* Garage goal . . . make ready for wall frame
* Set up candle making supplies
* Deep Clean Kitchen (especially counter tops) with herbal (Melaleuca) cleansers.
* Ceiling fans cleaned
* Bring hums back home
* Back deck painted and backyard deck power washed/treated
* Upstairs hall painted and 4 new pictures hung
* Boys making Blanket Chests  :-)

* Family Rosaries
* Tuesdays - Latin Mass :-)
* MODA prayer class planned to begin in March
* KinderMusik class planned - to begin in March
* First Friday (4 - changed to 10th) √
* New Beginnings Homeschool Group (11 - changed to 17th)
* CCs Brunch (12) √
* Minute2WinIt Party (12) √
* CCs Steak Dinner (13) √
* Family Dinner Celebration for CC -  (14) √
* J & V to Game Night - date still to be chosen
* Family Game Night - date still to be chosen
* Father to lunch - date still to be chosen

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Pennsylvania Girl in Texas

I enjoy finding extraordinary beauty in nature. I am drawn to woods and fields, to bucolic countryside and the surprises hiding around each turn of a path.  I feel a rush of love for God's earth in many places.
Sometimes it is in the nooks and crannies of the countryside. Sometimes it envelopes me because it seems to go on for acres and acres and miles and miles. Sometimes it is a garden nestled next to the  fence line of a suburban home that almost touches its neighbor.

From the rolling, lush hills of one of Pennsylvania's most beautiful counties to the green drenched landscape of east Texas I have developed a passion for the sheer perfection that I have gratefully found in both places. Many of my Pennsylvania friends are very surprised to find that Texas, in my neck of the woods, is as exuberantly green as their beloved east coast landscape.
I would, in fact, bet that most would find it difficult to differentiate between PA and TX in the photos on the left sidebar.  :-)

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost