27 posts categorized "Old Children's Books" Feed

Vintage Apple Books

Apple family2

I have a whole library full of vintage books and realize I do not share enough of them with you. Here is some apple books I love.

Mr. Apple's Family by Jean McDevitt (above). I have to say out of all the books here this is my favorite and not just because of the utterly charming illustrations. It is about Mr. and Mrs. Apple,  their children MacIntosh, Johnathan, Delicious, Snow Apple and baby Ann Apple and their move from the city to their little apple farm. A very charming read.

Apple pie inn2

Look at the beautiful cover on Apple Pie Inn by Mary Dickerson Donahey. The cover is the whole reason my mother bought me the book. But it is a sweet story about the Stephan family and in troubled times turning their home into Apple Pie Inn. There is a mystery as to the two men who rent rooms Apple Pie Inn.

Little apple tree2 

The Little Apple Tree by Dolli Tingle is a small, simple story about seasons. My girls loved this book when they were  a toddler.

Cider w rosie2

Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee. The novel is an account of Lee's childhood in the village of Slad, Gloucestershire, England, in the period soon after the WW1. It chronicles his traditional village life. The identity of Rosie was revealed years later to be Lee's distant cousin Rosalind Buckland. I found this interesting article about Rosie.

Do you have any favorite apple books?

Shades Of Summer

 Summer living 5

In the summer, I always crave the colors of sea shells. Soft purples, blues, greens, corals. I also just have less stuff out. I want light, air, open spaces, lots of white.  

Summer living 3 

Summer living 4

I did pull out a few of my favorite summer children's books. Houses from the Sea by Alice Goodey , Loraine and the Little People of Summer by Elizabet  Gordon, Golden Nature Seashore, Brambly Hedge Sea Story and Leaves From Nature Storybook, Young Folks Library. I am never to old for these books or at lest I do not want to be xoxoxox

Sumer living 

Summer living 2

Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette

Zina book

This coming week I have my hubby's and my mother's birthday and Valentines day. So I am going to take a week break from the blog. But I wanted to leave you with a recipe to inspire you to make something yummy this week and think of me.

This wonderful image above is from Flower Fairy Tales, a old children's book on-line. Sadly it is not in English, but I love the illustrations.


Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette

I head of garlic, roasted

1/4 cup of olive oil

1/8 or so of cup balsamic vinegar *

1 tsp. honey or agave

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl mash the peeled, roasted garlic. Then start mixing the oil and garlic together. Add a little at a time so the garlic gets worked into the oil, apposed to just floating around the oil. Then whisk in the rest of the ingredients. You can re-fridge what you do not use up to one week.


* the amount of vinegar is completely up to you. I do not like my vinaigrette's too vinegary. So I use a small amout of vinegar to oil but do what suites your taste. I also like my vinaigrette's fairly salty. Remember to please your palette xoxox

My Home


So here I promise to get my blog back on track and my laptop up and dies. I lost everything. Photos, sites, my baking issue template and master (that one kills me) and so much more. Now I have to start all over again. So I am asking you to be a bit more patient with me. Hopefully I can post more Autumn corners, before Christmas : -0 Clarice-who family thinks her laptop is her umbilicalcord to life. I am so sad xoxoxoxo

PS. thank you for all the kind comments. I did have a choice to back up my hard drive, but  $100.00 to do it, is just more then we can afford right now. Also I do still have my baking issue for sale, I just lost the master copy and templates. Let us just hope I never need to fix or change anything. Thank you dear readers, you are much to sweet to me.

Book from Betty Jane and Her Friends

Squirrels and Other Fur-Bearers


WALKING through the early October woods one day, I came upon a place where the ground was thickly strewn with very large unopened chestnut burrs. On examination I found that every burr had been cut square off with about an inch of the stem adhering, and not one had been left on the tree. It was not accident, then, but design. Whose design? A squirrel's. The fruit was the finest I had ever seen in the woods, and some wise squirrel had marked it for his own. The burrs were ripe, and had just begun to divide. The squirrel that had taken all this pains had evidently reasoned with himself thus: "Now, these are extremely fine chestnuts, and I want them; if I wait till the burrs open on the tree, the crows and jays will be sure to carry off a great many of the nuts before they fall; then, after the wind has rattled out what remain, there are the mice, the chipmunks, the red squirrels, the raccoons, the grouse, to say nothing of the boys and the pigs, to come in for their share; so I will forestall events a little: I will cut off the burrs when they have matured, and a few days of this dry October weather will cause every one of them to open on the ground; I shall be on hand in the nick of time to gather up my nuts." The squirrel, of course, had to take the chances of a prowler like myself coming along, but he had fairly stolen a march on his neighbors. As I proceeded to collect and open the burrs, I was half prepared to hear an audible protest from the trees about, for I constantly fancied myself watched by shy but jealous eyes. It is an interesting inquiry how the squirrel knew the burrs would open if left to lie on the ground a few days. Perhaps he did not know, but thought the experiment worth trying.

And The Winner's Are


Congratulations Karla you are the winner of a skirt and Jody you are the winner of a pair of pants. I will have Christy e-mail you to get your info. Thank you to all who participated in the give a-way, both Christy and I are so thankful. Ladies I know you will be thrilled with your Remember Your Childhood skirt/pants !!! 


I wanted to share the wonderful gifts my girls made me for Christmas. Aubern'e made me this gorgeous gold crown. I know it was a lot of work but the love the cut edging and the Elizabeth Gordan illustration. Chloe made me this beautiful silhouette ornament. She cut out the silhouette and glued it to the plaque. Thank you girls, you know your mama so well. I am always impressed with your creativity and out-of-the-box thinking xoxoxoxo

Winter Banner


I was going to wait till after Thanksgiving to posts my winter banner, but then I realized that right after Thanksgiving is when all the craziness begins. I will spend a week taking everything down and setting up for Christmas. I have so many fun ideas in my head, we will see what I actully get done. I thought I should take care of the blog now while I have the time.

I wanted to tell you about a favorite book of mine. In the banner you will see a picture in the back of six sisters and a Christmas tree. This is from a small book called "The Doll In The Window" by Pamela Bianco. It is about Victoria who had saved her money all year so she could buy her five little sisters Christmas presents. But when she visits the toy store, she saw the most beautiful doll and suddenly forgets about wanting to buy her sisters a toy. Christmas Eve she takes the coins out of her bank and went to the toy store, all the time thinking of the beautiful doll instead of her sisters. I will not give away the ending, but it is a very sweet story and Ms. Bianco's drawings are really wonderful. She is the daughter of Margery Bianco who wrote The Velveteen Rabbit and another favorite book of mine, The Little Wooden Doll.

An Island Story


Believe it or not there was something else about our journals I did not mention, what we listen to. My girls are pretty versed in history. They find it a fascinating subject, so I decided this year in true Charlotte Mason form we would just focus on some of the historical fiction we have been meaning to read but had not gotten to. I discovered LibriVox this summer and what a wonderful (and free) resource this is. It is listening to stories read by volunteers (thank you volunteers). They have quite a collection of classics. Our hands are so busy sewing, cooking, writing, knitting, ect., this seem a prefect way to do all we needed and wanted to do in our day and still have time for wonderful literature. Multi-taking at it's best. We have been enjoying An Island Story by . H. E. Marshall. 

Our Island Story was first published in 1905 and became an instant classic. Beginning with the Romans and following the triumphs and foibles of the good, not so good and the downright despicable figures of history; we are treated to a dazzling montage of kings, queens, barons, knights, explorers, movers and shakers that have played a key role in the history of England. Marshall freely mixes folk tale with historical fact and in so doing paints a very vivid picture of the past in a style reminiscent of all that is finest in the children’s story telling tradition.This is the first section of that work and will carry you from the time when Tacitus first sang the praises of Britannica to his Roman readers up to the vicious and bloodthirsty confusion that is the War of the Roses (about 1500 years).

I actually own this book and several others by Ms. Marshall. Aubern'e love her Scotland story book. Even though this is suppose to be a story for children, I thoroughly enjoyed it and encourage you to try listening to it. The next book we plan to listen to is A Connecticut Yankee In King Aurthur's Court by Mark Twain. 

What Miss. Charlotte Mason has to say about learning history

"The fatal mistake is in the notion that he must learn 'outlines,' or a baby edition of the whole history of England, or of Rome, just as he must cover the geography of all the world. Let him, on the contrary, linger pleasantly over the history of a single man, a short period, until he thinks the thoughts of that man, is at home in the ways of that period. Though he is reading and thinking of the lifetime of a single man, he is really getting intimately acquainted with the history of a whole nation for a whole age. Let him spend a year of happy intimacy with Alfred, 'the truth-teller,' with the Conqueror, with Richard and Saladin, or with Henry V.––Shakespeare's Henry V.––and his victorious army. Let him know the great people and the common people, the ways of the court and of the crowd. Let him know what other nations were doing while we at home were doing thus and thus. If he come to think that the people of another age were truer, larger-hearted, simpler-minded than ourselves, that the people of some other land were, at one time, at any rate, better than we, why, so much the better for him"

Dust Under The Rug


I have been reading the Book Trails books to myself. I LOVE old children's books. I read this wonderful story, it is a typical moral story that was written to children at that time. But what I loved was how the moral was handled. I will confess that when I read that the little girl had not swept the dust under the rug, I though oh great the dwarfs will not pay her (I was getting pretty mad). But no they did. I am sure at that time a grot was what she would be paid for, for the work she had done and was all that she had expected. But unbeknownst to her there was sooo much more. I am like that little girl, I tend to take the easy route. Which works but there are greater rewards for me, if I would dust under the rug. 



Dust Under The Rug

Well for the child, well for the man, to whom
throughout life the voice of conscience is the prophecy
and pledge of an abiding union with God!

There was once a mother, who had two little daughters; and, as her husband was dead and she was very poor, she worked diligently all the time that they might be well fed and clothed. She was a skilled worker, and found work to do away from home, but her two little girls were so good and so helpful that they kept her house as neat and as bright as a new pin.

One of the little girls was lame, and could not run about the house; so she sat still in her chair and sewed, while Minnie, the sister, washed the dishes, swept the floor, and made the home beautiful.

Their home was on the edge of a great forest; and after their tasks were finished the little girls would sit at the window and watch the tall trees as they bent in the wind, until it would seem as though the trees were real persons, nodding and bending and bowing to each other.

In the Spring there were the birds, in the Summer the wild flowers, in Autumn the bright leaves, and in Winter the great drifts of white snow; so that the whole year was a round of delight to the two happy children. But one day the dear mother came home sick; and then they were very sad. It was Winter, and there were many things to buy. Minnie and her little sister sat by the fire and talked it over, and at last Minnie said:—

"Dear sister, I must go out to find work, before the food gives out." So she kissed her mother, and, wrapping herself up, started from home. There was a narrow path leading through the forest, and she determined to follow it until she reached some place where she might find the work she wanted.

As she hurried on, the shadows grew deeper. The night was coming fast when she saw before her a very small house, which was a welcome sight. She made haste to reach it, and to knock at the door.

Nobody came in answer to her knock. When she had tried again and again, she thought that nobody lived there; and she opened the door and walked in, thinking that she would stay all night.

As soon as she stepped into the house, she started back in surprise; for there before her she saw twelve little beds with the bed-clothes all tumbled, twelve little dirty plates on a very dusty table, and the floor of the room so dusty that I am sure you could have drawn a picture on it.

"Dear me!" said the little girl, "this will never do!" And as soon as she had warmed her hands, she set to work to make the room tidy.

She washed the plates, she made up the beds, she swept the floor, she straightened the great rug in front of the fireplace, and set the twelve little chairs in a half circle around the fire; and, just as she finished, the door opened and in walked twelve of the queerest little people she had ever seen. They were just about as tall as a carpenter's rule, and all wore yellow clothes; and when Minnie saw this, she knew that they must be the dwarfs who kept the gold in the heart of the mountain.

"Well!" said the dwarfs all together, for they always spoke together and in rhyme,

"Now isn't this a sweet surprise?
We really can't believe our eyes!"

Then they spied Minnie, and cried in great astonishment:—

"Who can this be, so fair and mild?
Our helper is a stranger child."

Now when Minnie saw the dwarfs, she came to meet them. "If you please," she said, "I'm little Minnie Grey; and I'm looking for work because my dear mother is sick. I came in here when the night drew near, and—" here all the dwarfs laughed, and called out merrily:—

"You found our room a sorry sight,
But you have made it clean and bright."

They were such dear funny little dwarfs! After they had thanked Minnie for her trouble, they took white bread and honey from the closet and asked her to sup with them.

While they sat at supper, they told her that their fairy housekeeper had taken a holiday, and their house was not well kept, because she was away.

They sighed when they said this; and after supper, when Minnie washed the dishes and set them carefully away, they looked at her often and talked among themselves. When the last plate was in its place they called Minnie to them and said:—

"Dear mortal maiden will you stay
All through our fairy's holiday?
And if you faithful prove, and good,
We will reward you as we should."

Now Minnie was much pleased, for she liked the kind dwarfs, and wanted to help them, so she thanked them, and went to bed to dream happy dreams.

Next morning she was awake with the chickens, and cooked a nice breakfast; and after the dwarfs left, she cleaned up the room and mended the dwarfs' clothes. In the evening when the dwarfs came home, they found a bright fire and a warm supper waiting for them; and every day Minnie worked faithfully until the last day of the fairy housekeeper's holiday.

That morning, as Minnie looked out of the window to watch the dwarfs go to their work, she saw on one of the window panes the most beautiful picture she had ever seen.

A picture of fairy palaces with towers of silver and frosted pinnacles, so wonderful and beautiful that as she looked at it she forgot that there was work to be done, until the cuckoo clock on the mantel struck twelve.

Then she ran in haste to make up the beds, and wash the dishes; but because she was in a hurry she could not work quickly, and when she took the broom to sweep the floor it was almost time for the dwarfs to come home.

"I believe," said Minnie aloud, "that I will not sweep under the rug to-day. After all, it is nothing for dust to be where it can't be seen!" So she hurried to her supper and left the rug unturned.

Before long the dwarfs came home. As the rooms looked just as usual, nothing was said; and Minnie thought no more of the dust until she went to bed and the stars peeped through the window

Then she thought of it, for it seemed to her that she could hear the stars saying:—

"There is the little girl who is so faithful and good"; and Minnie turned her face to the wall, for a little voice, right in her own heart, said:—

"Dust under the rug! dust under the rug!"

"There is the little girl," cried the stars, "who keeps home as bright as star-shine."

"Dust under the rug! dust under the rug!" said the little voice in Minnie's heart.

"We see her! we see her!" called all the stars joyfully.

"Dust under the rug! dust under the rug!" said the little voice in Minnie's heart, and she could bear it no longer. So she sprang out of bed, and, taking her broom in her hand, she swept the dust away; and lo! under the dust lay twelve shining gold pieces, as round and as bright as the moon.

"Oh! oh! oh!" cried Minnie, in great surprise; and all the little dwarfs came running to see what was the matter.

Minnie told them all about it; and when she had ended her story, the dwarfs gathered lovingly around her and said:—

"Dear child, the gold is all for you,
For faithful you have proved and true;
But had you left the rug unturned,
A groat was all you would have earned.
Our love goes with the gold we give,
And oh! forget not while you live,
That in the smallest duty done
Lies wealth of joy for every one."

Minnie thanked the dwarfs for their kindness to her; and early next morning she hastened home with her golden treasure, which bought many good things for the dear mother and little sister.

She never saw the dwarfs again; but she never forgot their lesson, to do her work faithfully; and she always swept under the rug.

This story can also be found in From Mother's Stories by Maud Lindsay I love Maud Lindsay's books too

Book Trails


I have had several people ask me about the books I posted. They are called "Book Trails". They are a set of children's books that are collections of stories from many authors. Each book has a theme and the stories in that book are based on that theme. There is a total of 6 books. They are originally published in 1928, but my books are from 1946. They are beautifully illustrated by Maud and Miska Petersham. The sad news is they are hard to come by and are expensive to buy. The reason I posted them (but was too hot and tired to write about them) is I was lucky enough to be given a set by a dear friend. I have tried for years to buy a set without paying a fortune. I collect old children's books (by the way my favorites are My Bookhouse books, which I will post about another day) I love how old children's books are written, much more then a lot of new children's book. So if you are lucky to own some of these books or have family who does (Kelli !!) you are a lucky girl. 


The Young Gardeners' Kalendar



Roses pink and roses red,
Hold a court in every bed;
Stately lilies tall and white,
Pay them homage day and night.

Marigolds and poppies show
In a rich and radiant row,
And beyond their splendid line,
Irises in purple shine.

Honeysuckle scents the air,
Loveliness is everywhere,
And beside the border-grass
Venus's own looking-glass.

Now the privet bears its flowers,
Now the petals fall in showers
Where a white syringa-tree
Guards the homely honesty.

Bulbs must come from out the ground,
Young ones must be good and sound,
And with care be put away
For another gardening day.

Water well, and tie, and trim,
June fills quickly to the brim,
Fills with work for those who'd be
Helpers in her husbandry.

From the The Young Gardeners' Kalendar 

Seacrow Island


Seacrow Island by Astrid Lindgren is a book we discovered last summer. This is the same author as Pippi Longstocking and Children Of Noisy Village (another favorite). But this book is one of those children's books that is enjoyable to all. I felt it had a different tone and a bit more depth then her other books. Both Chloe and I loved it and it is a perfect summer book to read. Plus any book about a charming old run down cottage on an island, has me hooked.

" The four Melkerson children were a little bit worried the day they arrived on Seacrow Island. After all, their impractical father had rented the cottage for the whole summer without ever setting eyes on it.  And a man on the boat had told Pelle, the youngest Melkerson, that the cottage had a leaky roof. And here they are getting off the steamer and it is pouring rain.

But the needn't have worried. In spite of the cottage leaky roof, there are many pleasant surprises in store on the island. For Pelle, who loves animals, there is Bosun, the most gigantic dog he has ever seen and his irresponsible owner, Tjorven.

For John and Nicolas, there is Teddy and Freddy, who knew all about boats and exploring, even though they were girls. And for 19 year old Malin, the island is the place were she feel in-love for the first time. By the end of the summer, all four children and their father know the Seacrow Island had to remain their home."



Parisians adore the sunshine. On a sunny day the many squares and parks are peopled by children dressed in gay costumes, always attended by parents or nurses. The old gingerbread venders at the gates find a ready sale for chunks of coarse bread (to be thrown to the sparrows and swans), hoops, jump-ropes, and wooden shovels,—for the little ones are allowed to dig in the public walks as if they were on private grounds and heirs of the soil. Here the babies build their miniature forts, while the sergents-de-ville (or policemen), who are old soldiers, look kindly on, taking special care not to trample the fortifications as they pass to and fro upon their rounds Here future captains and admirals sail their miniature fleet, and are as helplessly horror-stricken when the graceful swans sally out and attack their little vessels, as when from Fortress Monroe the spectators watched the "Merrimac" steam down upon the shipping in the roads.



Here the veterans, returned again to childhood, bask in the sun, and, watching the fort-building, forget their terrible campaigns amidst snows and burning sands, delighting to turn an end of the jumping rope or to trot a long-robed heiress on, perhaps, the only knee they have left.



Parisians are very fond of uniforms, and so begin to employ them in the dress of citizens as soon as they make their entry into the world, even before they are registered at the mayor's office; for the caps and cradles of a boy (or citoyen) are decorated with blue ribbons, and the girl (or citoyenne) with pink.

Every boys' or girls' school of any pretension has a distinctive mark in the dress, and so has each employment or trade,—the butcher's boy, always bareheaded, with a large basket and white apron; the grocer's apprentice, with calico over-sleeves and blue apron; and the pastry-cook's boy, dressed in white with white linen cap, who despises and ridicules the well-blacked chimney-sweep, keeping the while at a respectful distance. And we must not forget the beggars, with their carefully studied costumes of rags, or the little Italians, born in Paris, but wearing their so-called native costume, which has been cut and made within the city walls.



The little ones of the outskirts of the city are generally independent and self-reliant youngsters, and sometimes, before they are quite steady on their feet, we meet them already doing the family errands, trudging along, hugging a loaf of bread taller than themselves. But the rosy plumpness of the fields is wanting; for children are like chameleons, and partake of the color of the locality they inhabit, so these poor little ones are toned down by the smoke and dust of the workshops. Their play-ground is under the dusty, dingy trees of the wide avenues; but they have the same games of romps their peasant mothers brought from their country homes, and above the noise of the passing vehicles we often hear their voices as they dance round in a circle, and sing verses of some old provincial song.



The delightful hours spent in boyhood, going to and from school, are unknown in the gay French capital to children of well-to-do parents. Instead of starting early and lingering on the way, they watch from the window until a black one-horse omnibus arrives, when a sub-master takes charge of the pupil, and the omnibus goes from house to house, collecting all the scholars, who are brought home in the same manner, the sub-master sitting next the door, giving no chance to slip out to ride on top, or to beg the driver to trust a fellow with the reins; and as it is the custom to obey all in authority, the master is respected. Girls are either sent to boarding-school or go to a day-school; in the latter case, always accompanied by one of their parents or a trusty servant. But the parents, if their means will not permit them to send their boys to schools that support a one-horse omnibus, or if they have not a servant to go with them, perform that task themselves. In the schools for the poorer classes, when teaching is over, the children file out, two by two, the older children being appointed monitors, and the little processions disappear in different directions; the teachers standing at the gate until they are lost from sight, for they have not far to go, as there is a free school in each quarter. But I pity the charity-school girls. Although always neatly and cleanly dressed, they are all alike, with white caps, and dresses which might have been cut from the same piece. They file through the streets or public gardens, under the charge of the "good sisters," and perhaps they stop to play or rest sometimes, but I never saw them do so. Perhaps there is no real reason to pity these charity-children, boys or girls; but I remember my own free and happy school-days in America, and so I pity them.


The Golden Name Day



One of my all time favorite books is "The Golden Name Day" by Jennie Lindquist. It is a perfect spring book. The Golden Name Day is a children's book, but a children's books for everyone. Like The Secret garden. It is just one of those magical stories about Nancey and her time with her Swedish grandparent. It is a joy to read, a story were everyone is kind (this is a pet-peeve of mine. I will not tolerate my girls to be unkind just because they are children and will not read books were others are unkind. Now you know were Chloe gets it from :) and just a sweet story about a family. Which is my favorite thing to read. It is hard to get a copy of this book but I know my library has it. There is also two sequels The Little Silver House and The Crystal Tree. Which are both good but not quite as magical as The Golden Name Day.

  "Nancy standing in her frilly dress with fireflies around her, she has come to live with her Swedish grandparents because her mother is ill. She learns about many Swedish customs, including name days. Since her name isn't Swedish, she doesn't have a name day and feels left out. She meets a Polish girl and learns Polish-Americans celebrate name-days and that there is a day for her middle name--Wanda. There is also a quite a bit on how she and her cousins decorate their rooms. Nancy chooses yellow rose wallpaper--some editions of this book have a pattern of yellow roses on the endpapers."

Blackboard Sketching




Hello I do not know if anyone has worked with soft pastels but we love them. What we love is how easy they are to draw with and how wonderful they are for layering colors. I took a class a long time ago about how to get children interested in art. She recommended soft pastels. You start either with light and go darker, visa-versa. You make a basic shape like an oval and start adding to it. Lets say a  fish, add smudgy fins, face, ect. Then finally add strokes to define your picture. It is amazing how much detail there is for little effort. This is why this is good for a reluctant artist.

I love them because I love to smug all my colors together and these blend so beautifully. The soft pastels we use is a 60 box of half sticks by Rembrandt. I know they are a bit pricey but they last forever. I found them for a very good price at Blick. If you want to set the pictures so they do not smudge, spray them with hairspray. But this does darken the colors a bit.

Now to my post I found this wonderful old book Blackboard Sketching by Fredrick Whitney. He is sketching with chalk on a chalkboard but uses the same technique I was talking about. I think the soft pastels would work wonderful with this book. I found Blackboard Sketching very charming and inspiring. My favorite combo !!!


Mousehole Cat


A favorite Christmas book is MouseHole Cat by Antonia Barber. You can read the book on-line and see the real mousehole. I love that thereis a real town and picturesw that you can see of it. There is also a simple movie made form the book that we love. At the end of the movie they show the Mowzel festival every Christmas.

At the far end of England, a land of rocks and moorland stretches itself out into a blue-green sea.
Between its high headlands lie tiny sheltering harbours where the fishing boats hide when the winter storms are blowing.
One of these harbours is so small and the entrance between its great stone breakwaters is so narrow that fishermen called it "the Mousehole".
The people who lived in the cottages around the harbour grew fond of the name and they call their village Mousehole to this day.
They say it in the Cornish way, "Mowzel", but you may say it as you choose.
Once there lived in the village a cat whose name was Mowzer.
She had an old cottage with a window overlooking the harbour, an old rocking-chair with patchwork cushions and an old fisherman named Tom.

Christmas Book Tradition


One of our favorite holiday traditions is to read a Christmas book every night. We start the day after Thanksgiving and read one picture book. We wrap the books in gift wrap, so we never quite know what book that night we will be reading. We now have sooooo many book, (more then the nights), so I take the extra books and put them in a basket. We will usually pick one of those to read to. We always read the same book of Christmas eve "A Christmas Story". So we know what book this is, I have the girls turn around the paper and wrap that book with the back side of the paper. Even though the girls are getting older, they love this and can not wait to pull out the book and wrap them. Here is a list of (not all) but some our favorites. One of our favorites and not well known book is The Christmas Carp by Rita Torqvist

"The days before Christmas, Grandpa buys a Christmas tree, and Thomas buys a carp (a traditional Czechoslovakian Christmas dinner main course) which he name Peppo. Peppo swims in the bathtub while Thomas feeds him cookies and pretends he is a whale. But as Christmas dinner draws near, Thomas grows very sad. He wants to Keep Peppo for a pet. "

0849958830 A Child’s Christmas At Saint Nicolas Circle by Thomas Kinkade

074121623x_1 The Secret Santa Of Old Stanington by Mark Kimball Moulton

0741208660_1 The Visit by Mark Kimball Moulton

Polarjkt_1 The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg


Hw799_1 The Year Of The Perfect Christmas Tree by Gloria Houston

0863153720_2 Peter and Lottas Christmas by Elsa Beskow

Hw766 Alabaster Song by Max Lucado

Hw74 The Christmas Cat

Beckys1 Becky’s Christmas

Cover_corgivilleb Corgiville Christmas

Hw75 Dolls Christmas all by Tasha Tudor

111_1The Last Straw by Fredrick H Thury

Hw72_2 The Christmas Carp by Rita Torqvist

Hw79 Santa Comes To The Little House

Snow Angel by Debbie Boone

Christmas On An Island by Gale Gibson

Hw7Lucy’s Christmas by Donald Hall

Babar Babar Fathers Christmas by Jean De Brunhoff

Cnd The Candy Makers Gift by David & Helen Haidle

Gifchristorywildsmith A Christmas Story by Brian Wildsmith

A Christmas Card For Mr. McFizz by Obren Bakich

Hw77 The Sugar Child by Monique De Varennes

Kit The Christmas Day Kitten by James Herriot

Appl_1 Apple Tree Christmas by Trinka Hakes Noble

Boy The Boy Of The Bells by Carly Simon

Questions, questions



I survived the weekend and made the best Apple Cream Crumb pie. I will post recipes later. Also I received yummy mail that I will post. The lovely thing about guests (besides being with wonderful people) is enjoying a nice clean home. There is nothing like guest to get me to clean my house.

Well you ladies have a lot of questions lately so I am here to answer them xoxox


Mrs Staggs asked

“I am wondering are they marked with the name of the pattern? “ The cherry sugar bowl and creamer.

Well sadly there is no name if the print on it. This is all it says Rosen thale Bavaria and the number 56.

Little Jenny Wren asked if I would share some of my books. Well I have a lot but I will share a them now and then . Here are a few favorites.

"More Really-So Stories" by Elizabeth Gordon. I LOVE any book by Elizabeth Gordon. If I can get my hands on a copy of a book by her I will. This book is short stories about different bits of history with the most amazing illustrations. It is not on-line but here is "Four Footed Folk"

"Flowers and Their friends" by Marget W Morley. Now I have lots of nature books in story form and even though the title sounds like this would be one of them it is a bit more factual. But I still love this book. Here is "Wasps and Their Ways"

"Among The Pond People" by Clara D Pierson. This does sound like it is a bit of a sci-fi movie {- ). It is actully a very charming book about nature (told in story form, ofcourse). Plus you are lucky it is on-line

There is also "Among the Forest People""Among the Night People" , "Among the Medow People"

Dianatha asked what we are having for Thanksgiving.

Well I am still planning. Dear hubby will deep-fry the turkey. Mostly because then I do not have to deal with the turkey (I hate turkey but everyone else loves it). This is what I am thinking of at this point (but it could change any minute, with my whims). Rye bread stuffing with maple sausage, toasted pecans and dries apricots (the tangy kind of apricots), cranberries cooked in port, Chloe wants mashed potatoes and gravy. Okay here some honesty, I can not make good gravy and Central Market make good gravy (not great but good) so I load up on their gravy !! Pumpkin cheesecake and Aubern'e wants to make pecan pie. Basically my mom and sis do the veggies. Although I have to have fresh chestnuts at Thanksgiving, so I am trying to work them in. Maybe green beans with chestnuts. But I am still contemplating it. What are you make Dianatha ???

Gill asked how I put up the paper background in my china cabinet.

All I did was tape the paper together and tape it to the back of the cabinet. You can read about it here

Jody asked about the paint color in the library.

Well I can not find it so far. I know it is Bemjerman Moore. I think it is HC-41 but as soon as I find it I will post it.

Living Nature Books


I have a huge weakness for old children’s books (and have a large collection), especial old nature stories. As I have already confessed when I was younger I thought science and nature was boring (shock). But I think it is because I am not a fact girland a lot of science books are just facts. When I found through Charlotte Mason about living literature and books about nature set in story-form, I was quite excited. We have found this is a much more engaging way to learn about the world around us and then that sparked an interest in science. With that interest sparked we have then turned to learning more. I am big lover of "Instructor Literature" series booklets and was very excited to find these online. These are small booklets, so easy to print up. They are PDF files. I think it is pretty special to be able to have these booklets. They are hard to find and then pretty expensive. These are geared to younger childern but I enjoy them.

Little Plant People by Anne Chase

Little Plant People At Home

Little Plant People Of The Waterway


The Burgess Bird Book For Children


"I wonder sometimes if you folks who are at home all the time know just what a blessed place home is," replied Jenny Wren. "It is only six months since we went south, but I said it seems ages, and it does. The best part of going away is coming home. I don't care if that does sound rather mixed; it is true just the same. It isn't home down there in the sunny South, even if we do spend as much time there as we do here. This is home, and there's no place like it! What's that, Mr. Wren? I haven't seen all the Great World? Perhaps I haven't, but I've seen enough of it, let me tell you that! Any one who travels a thousand miles twice a year as we do has a right to express an opinion, especially if they have used their eyes as I have mine. There is no place like home, and you needn't try to tease me by pretending that there is. My dear, I know you; you are just as tickled to be back here as I am."
One of the things I love about Charlotte Mason is how she used whole literature to teach facts. I am not a fact person and as a child I though I hated reading (because it was mostly text books). Although being dyslexic did not help. But as a grew up and I realized there were so many ways to learn something beside just reading a list of facts. Good literature can pull you in, tug at your heart strings and make you feel that you are there. You experience something, which is a wonderful way to learn. I have come to look at learning in a whole new light, thanks to Charlotte Mason. It is not just a list of facts, dry and dull. We are very into nature study. I think it is so important to be aware of the world around us and how it works. Chloe is fascinated by birds. How the live, how they build their homes, how they communicate, ect. I am always on the lookout for any whole literature about birds. One of our favorites is Thornton Burgess books. I love his stories but I especially love his series of animal nature stories. These are written in story form but go into much more depth and give lots of facts in a narrative fashion. There is the bird book, animal book, flower book and sea-side book. . Sadly only the bird and animal stories are on-line. They are pricey but I highly recommend them. Between me and two friends we have them all. Even if you do not homeschool or even have children, I think all would enjoy them. Here is the bird book and you can have a look for yourself.

Annabel's House


I had seen the cover of this beautiful book Annabel's House by Norman Messenger (Sorry I can not remember were right now) and did a search. I came up with this wonderful site that has pictures from the book. It is a popup dollhouse book. I am in major love with the illustrations. Plus I love dollhouses and anything Edwardian. Enjoy !!!


"The back cover says....

A magical recreation of an Edwardian home, complete with figures to press out and secret doors to open, that will provide hours of enchanting play for every child. 


This is Annabel's house. If you ask she will tell you that she shares it with her brother Tom, some cats and a dog, two tortoises and a parrot, mummy and daddy, Sarah the housemaid, cook and Joseph the gardener plus nanny and her baby sister. 

It's Annabel's birthday and mummy has hidden her presents all over the house. There are many places with doors and lids and things to lift and explore in Annabel's house and many doors to open to walk through or see what lays beyond. 

There's a story to follow (all visual) or make up your own, lot's of surprises and even a mystery. Who belongs to the legs we can see just disappearing out of sight as we roam through the house? "


Betty Leicester: A Story for Girls


I have been looking into other books by Sarah Orne Jewett. I have read about half of the Country Of Pointed Firs. I found she was quite a prolific writer. Here is a list of poems, essays, children's books, novels by Ms. Jewett. I found this children's book Betty Leicester: A Story for Girls.

I have not read it but looked it over. I found this passage charming. Maybe because I have a 15 year old dear daughter who feels just like this.
"Betty had seen strange countries since her last visit to Tideshead. Then she was only a child, but now she was so tall that strangers treated her as if she were already a young lady. At fifteen one does not always know just where to find one's self. A year before it was hard to leave childish things alone, but there soon came a time when they seemed to have left Betty, while one by one the graver interests of life were pushing themselves forward. It was reasonable enough that she should be taking care of herself; and, as we have seen, she knew how better than most girls of her age."
There is also a Christmas book Betty Leicester's Christmas
If you have a Sarah Orne Jewett recommendations, I would love to hear about them.

A Story About A Darning-Needle


A Story About A Darning-Needle

There was once a Darning-needle who thought herself so fine that she believed she was an embroidery-needle. 'Take great care to hold me tight!' said the Darning-needle to the Fingers who were holding her. 'Don't let me fall! If I once fall on the ground I shall never be found again, I am so fine!'

'It is all right!' said the Fingers, seizing her round the waist.

'Look, I am coming with my train!' said the Darning-needle as she drew a long thread after her; but there was no knot at the end of the thread.

The Fingers were using the needle on the cook's shoe. The upper leather was unstitched and had to be sewn together.

'This is common work!' said the Darning-needle. 'I shall never get through it. I am breaking! I am breaking!' And in fact she did break. 'Didn't I tell you so!' said the Darning-needle. 'I am too fine!'

'Now she is good for nothing!' said the Fingers; but they had to hold her tight while the cook dropped some sealing-wax on the needle and stuck it in the front of her dress.

'Now I am a breast-pin!' said the Darning-needle. 'I always knew I should be promoted. When one is something, one will become something!' And she laughed to herself; you can never see when a Darning-needle is laughing. Then she sat up as proudly as if she were in a State coach, and looked all round her.

'May I be allowed to ask if you are gold?' she said to her neighbor, the Pin. 'You have a very nice appearance, and a peculiar head; but it is too small! You must take pains to make it grow, for it is not everyone who has a head of sealing-wax.' And so saying the Darning-needle raised herself up so proudly that she fell out of the dress, right into the sink which the cook was rinsing out.

'Now I am off on my travels!' said the Darning-needle. 'I do hope I sha'n't get lost!' She did indeed get lost.

'I am too fine for this world!' said she as she lay in the gutter; 'but I know who I am, and that is always a little satisfaction!'

And the Darning-needle kept her proud bearing and did not lose her good-temper.

All kinds of things swam over her--shavings, bits of straw, and scraps of old newspapers.

'Just look how they sail along!' said the Darning-needle. 'They don't know what is underneath them! Here I am sticking fast! There goes a shaving thinking of nothing in the world but of itself, a mere chip! There goes a straw--well, how it does twist and twirl, to be sure! Don't think so much about yourself, or you will be knocked against a stone. There floats a bit of newspaper. What is written on it is long ago forgotten, and yet how proud it is! I am sitting patient and quiet. I know who I am, and that is enough for me!'

One day something thick lay near her which glittered so brightly that the Darning-needle thought it must be a diamond. But it was a bit of bottle-glass, and because it sparkled the Darning-needle spoke to it, and gave herself out as a breast-pin.

'No doubt you are a diamond?'

'Yes, something of that kind!' And each believed that the other was something very costly; and they both said how very proud the world must be of them.

'I have come from a lady's work-box,' said Darning-needle, 'and this lady was a cook; she had five fingers on each hand; anything so proud as these fingers I have never seen! And yet they were only there to take me out of the work-box and to put me back again!'

'Were they of noble birth, then?' asked the bit of bottle-glass.

'Of noble birth!' said the Darning-needle; 'no indeed, but proud! They were five brothers, all called ''Fingers.'' They held themselves proudly one against the other, although they were of different sizes. The outside one, the Thumb, was short and fat; he was outside the rank, and had only one bend in his back, and could only make one bow; but he said that if he were cut off from a man that he was no longer any use as a soldier. Dip-into- everything, the second finger, dipped into sweet things as well as sour things, pointed to the sun and the moon, and guided the pen when they wrote. Longman, the third, looked at the others over his shoulder. Goldband, the fourth, had a gold sash round his waist; and little Playman did nothing at all, and was the more proud. There was too much ostentation, and so I came away.'

'And now we are sitting and shining here!' said the bit of bottle-glass.

At that moment more water came into the gutter; it streamed over the edges and washed the bit of bottle-glass away.

'Ah! now he has been promoted!' said the Darning-needle. 'I remain here; I am too fine. But that is my pride, which is a sign of respectability!' And she sat there very proudly, thinking lofty thoughts.

'I really believe I must have been born a sunbeam, I am so fine! It seems to me as if the sunbeams were always looking under the water for me. Ah, I am so fine that my own mother cannot find me! If I had my old eye which broke off, I believe I could weep; but I can't--it is not fine to weep!'

One day two street-urchins were playing and wading in the gutter, picking up old nails, pennies, and such things. It was rather dirty work, but it was a great delight to them.

'Oh, oh!' cried out one, as he pricked himself with the Darning-needle; 'he is a fine fellow though!'

'I am not a fellow; I am a young lady!' said the Darning-needle; but no one heard. The sealing-wax had gone, and she had become quite black; but black makes one look very slim, and so she thought she was even finer than before.

'Here comes an egg-shell sailing along!' said the boys, and they stuck the Darning-needle into the egg-shell.

'The walls white and I black--what a pretty contrast it makes!' said the Darning-needle. 'Now I can be seen to advantage! If only I am not sea-sick! I should give myself up for lost!'

But she was not sea-sick, and did not give herself up.

'It is a good thing to be steeled against sea-sickness; here one has indeed an advantage over man! Now my qualms are over. The finer one is the more one can beat.'

'Crack!' said the egg-shell as a wagon-wheel went over it.

'Oh! how it presses!' said the Darning-needle. 'I shall indeed be sea-sick now. I am breaking!' But she did not break, although the wagon-wheel went over her; she lay there at full length, and there she may lie.


Mary Frances Cookbook

I am sure all my dear readers adore Mary France's books by Jane Eayre Fryer. But if (shockingly enough) you have not heard of the Mary Frances books, you much investigate them. We have the knitting/crocheting book, the cookbook, the housekeeping book and the sewing book. I have found these books engaging and helpful in teaching my girls and I new skills. We just got the cookbook this Christmas and I am going through it with Chloe. I love how she creates this fairy world and it is so amusing you do not quite know you are learning. I was lucky enough to find the Mary Frances Cookbookon-line. I love this. Then you can really look at a book. Read it and see if it something you would actually like to purchase. Don't you just love the internet! Here is some information about Jane Eayre Fryer.
Enjoy !!!

Jane Eayre Fryer, daughter of Isabella Van de Veer and Mortimer Haines Eayre, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1876. After graduating from Northfield Seminary, Massachusetts in 1896, where she specialized in domestic art and science, she taught Latin and English at the Mt. Holly Military Academy in New Jersey (1897-98) and supervised the domestic art and science program at the Jacob Tome Institute in Port Deposit, Maryland (1899 - 1902). In January of 1902 she married John Gayton Fryer of Providence, Rhode Island.

Ten years later, in 1912, she published the first in a series of juvenile books designed to teach young girls fundamental domestic skills. Entitled The Mary Frances Cook Book. Adventures Among the Kitchen People, the simple cook book is couched in a whimsical narrative about young Mary Frances' attempts to please the grown-ups as well as the "kitchen people," animated culinary tools who help her follow the basic recipes her mother wrote down for her. "Some very wise people will call this a story book," the author writes in the beginning, " some a manual training book, and others a cookery book, but Mary Frances knows better; she knows that it is a Book within a Book that introduced her to Aunty Rolling Pin and a lot of other dear, dear friends . . ." The inspired illustrations by Margaret Hays and Jane Allen Boyer are entertaining for readers of all ages. Other books in the series include The Mary Frances Sewing Book (1913); The Mary Frances Housekeeper (1914); The Mary Frances Garden Book (1915); The Mary Frances First Aid Book (1916); and The Mary Frances Knitting and Crocheting Book (1918). Fryer's other books include Young American Civic Readers (1918-1919); The Mary Frances Story Book (1921); Mrs. Fryer's Loose Leaf Cook Book (1923) and The Bible Story Book for Boys and Girls (1924). Fryer made her home in Merchantville, N.J.


Wildflowers and weeds

Travlers joy copy 
I am very into children's books especially old ones. I find them much more enjoyable then most adult books. I have so many books. I set them aside and sooner or later we come across them. It is like shopping in my own home. I have a bedroom I have turned into an English library (I will post pictures one day). Well our latest find is "Travelers Joys by Beshlie"
Travelers joy2 
This lovely picture book is all about names of weeds by the wayside. Even though it was written in England we have a lot of these wildflowers and weeds here in Washington. Each page has a lovely drawing of a flower and then a little summary and antidote about the flower. Even the different country names. It is quite charming and engaging. Chloe is having so much fun hearing about the different names and now wants to rename all our plants. Our favorite out of the book is kitty-come-down-the-lane-jump-up-and-kiss-me.
We also love to color. There is a wonderful site that has wild flower coloring pages  . We are going to find the flowers in the book to color.