Last month Aidan’s science teacher invited him to volunteer and take part in a “Trail of History“, where interpreters portray and demonstrate life as it was from 1670–1850 in the former Northwest Territory. The period clothing was provided and all Aidan had to do was show up, be responsible and work a two hour shift as a trader. I thought it was a great compliment that he was invited and that it would be a great educational opportunity for both of my boys to attend. I’ve never been to a historical reenactment but have always been interested and I really didn’t know what to expect. So with curious minds and my camera my boys and I set off for the day. The morning started out with a mile hike to the village. The landscape and the weather were the perfect backdrop for the tents, teepees and participants. We walked through the fog and trees and it felt as if we were walking through a sepia photograph.
The white tents and teepees in the village were amazingly beautiful against the white foggy skies!
A blacksmith getting ready for the day.
A group of men were firing cannons at the top of a kame. The smoke covered the sun like a cloud.
Books, slates, and benches in the schoolhouse.
I caught Aidan happily inspecting his dress for the day. He now wants a pair of moccasins. I was so inspired that I’m going to pull mine out of retirement.
Here Aidan is ready to go as a trader, waiting for someone to trade with. He worked in this tent with other kids his own age and they would trade goods (feathers, stones, wooden cutouts) with younger children who would pay $1 for their own bag of goods to trade. It was really a great way to include the younger kids and teach them a little bit about life back then. Aidan really enjoyed this and I am so thankful this unique opportunity.
Being a longtime vegetarian, these furs made me sad to look at but listening to the fur trader talk about life in the 1800’s was eye opening.
And then there was this man and his oxen. Oh my. It was in the two minutes that I had while he stood up, took a drink and walked away that I felt truly grateful for my eyesight, my camera, and learning how to use it more and more. I asked him if I could take a photograph of him. I took three. The last one being the last photograph here. I really am not one to pat myself on the back (I am quite critical of myself to a serious and debilitating fault) but I really love this photograph. It just works for me. Every time I look at it I feel the thrill of capturing something fleeting and beautiful and of being able to see my own growth as a photographer. After I shot these, he mumbled something like this, “Why would you want to take a picture of me? I’m so ugly.” What? I was stunned. I said nothing because I couldn’t even understand this. I was drawn to him because the fact is that he was so darned attractive to me – the lines on his face, his expression, how he commanded and controlled his oxen as if they were dogs, how his clothing coordinated perfectly with the landscape and his animals. I am going to try to find this man. I feel such a need to thank him for the inspiration and to show him how handsome I thought he was.
Sadly this was the last “Trail of History” at Glacial Park. I plan on researching some other historical events to take my boys to. I am thankful for this day, for the landscape and for the people who participated and made this event happen.
The apples we picked yesterday were so delicious that I had to cook something with them. With two boys at home from school with stomach ailments, I thought that home made apple sauce would be the best thing for them. This recipe is so wonderful I know that I’ll be making it again and again. It’s like an apple pie in a jar without the guilt of a buttery crust!
Oven Roasted Apple Sauce
(adapted from www.MarthaStewart.com)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Peel, core and cut apples into eighths. In a large mixing bowl combine the water, brown sugar, lemon juice and salt. Stir mixture. Add apples and spices and mix well. Place mixture in an oven safe skillet (or a 9 x 13 baking dish). Dot with butter pieces. Roast apples until they are very soft (30 to 40 minutes). Remove from oven and with a potato masher, smash until desired consistency.
Serve warm, chilled, or at room temperature. This applesauce should be refrigerated in an airtight container and used within 5 days.
We spent a beautiful and crisp Sunday picking apples at Prairie Sky Orchard in Union, Illinois. It finally felt like autumn.
There you are – beautiful. Your guiding hands on his. He is your puppet. You are there, teaching him about music and rhythm and love. Drums. These were the backbone of our band together and the reason why I met you. I am so thankful for the day I found your notice on the music store bulletin board, “16 year old female drummer looking for band”. It was fate, really. I was thrilled to have you as a drummer and even more thrilled to have you as a friend.
Then there is my boy – your godson. That smile on his face is pure happiness and excitement. It brings tears to my eyes. You stand over him eager to teach. You lend him cymbals for his first kit. Such a simple gesture yet but profound in our story – in his story.
I am grateful for you. I am grateful for music. I am grateful for how you love my children. I am grateful to love yours.
Looking through my recent photos there is an abundance of yellows, oranges, and reds. I’m not sure if it is because these were all shot in summer but these warm hues make me feel happy and lighthearted. I will miss that warm summery glow as autumn takes over and makes way for winter.
Thanks to Besotted Blog for this weeks creative prompt, “color”.
There are times when I find happiness and peace in dirty dishes. After all of the hours I spend in my kitchen cooking and baking, just knowing that a good meal was eaten and stories were told is pure joy to me. Sunday was one of those days. The kids were occupied and the house was (mostly) quiet. I was alone with my thoughts and the rainy day seemed to warrant a coffee cake. So uninterrupted, I was able to bake, clear my head, smile, and clean up before the scent of cinnamon and vanilla brought Zane in wondering what was for breakfast. It was a good start to the day.
Cinnamon swirl coffee cake
(adapted from Bon Appétit: Fast Easy Fresh Cookbook)
3/4 cup + 3 Tb sugar, divided
¼ cup chopped walnuts
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 ½ tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ tsp espresso powder (optional)
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
6 Tb unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup whole milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Generously butter a 9 inch round cake pan. Dust the sides with flour. Mix ¼ cup sugar, walnuts, cinnamon, espresso powder and cocoa powder in a small bowl. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
Beat butter in an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually, beat in the remaining ½ + 3 Tb cup sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the vanilla. Mix the dry ingredients in two additions alternating with two additions of the milk. Spoon 1/2 of the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Next, sprinkle the cinnamon mixture. Spoon in the remainder of the batter. Using a spatula, gently even out batter. Gently swirl a knife through the batter and cinnamon mixture.
Bake the cake about 25-30 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a rack.
This weeks inspirational prompt from Besotted blog is “tranquility”. It’s interesting to me how my source of tranquility has shifted through the years. I used to find it most often while I was singing and playing my guitar, weaving on my loom or embroidering. These days, with kids, I don’t find as much time to do those things. Instead, I find serenity and tranquility on a cool Friday night, with a pot of soup for supper, and knowing that I have my husband and kids with me for the weekend. Tonight, before our nightly reading ritual, I draped blankets over my canopy bed. We read together in our “tent” and the tranquility of knowing that we are together, warm, and well fed left me feeling very blessed and very peaceful.
This morning I woke to a lovely fog and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to snap a few photos. Inspired by the recent inspirational prompt posted by the wonderful Miss B. and Michelle P. I ran outside to get a few shots of the morning. It was really beautiful to walk outside into the fog and see how the dew had gathered and spiderwebs had mysteriously emerged everywhere overnight. Really, I must have counted at least 10 in my backyard!
Zane was eager to explore with me and was so intrigued by the science behind the fog (is it a liquid? is it a gas?) and I happily captured him emerging from the fields.
It was a really beautiful way to begin my day. I completely forgot about the breakfast to be made and the lunchboxes needing to be packed. Zane reminded me though, breaking the magic by yelling “Mom! Come inside! You are too obsessed with taking pictures!” Oh, it’s so true.