Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Spirit of an Old Fashioned Gal, Stuck in A New Fashioned Land

I'm a throwback.  For sure.  I don't think I've ever, in all my years, felt completely comfortable living in this time zone.  I belong sometime in the past.  I can't explain it, don't know why, just is. 

There are some inherently backward issues with would I want to live in an earlier time, when day-to-life life was a lot harder, diseases more prevalent, social and sexual equality out of balance, conveniences less....bathtubs that had to be filled by-hand with buckets of water heated over an open wood fire kind of thing...and hopefully you got to be the first one in using the "clean" water.  Who would want to go back to that? 

I think perhaps my callings to an earlier time are simply a desire to be more connected to things that are real, of nature, and worked-hard-for....when hard worked seemed more appreciated.  I LIKE a hard day's physical work!  I identify easily with movie characters like "Ruby" in Cold Mountain....that girl could plow a field like any man.  That is so me! I may not be quite so un-squeamish about yanking the head off a rooster....but I'd have that field plowed & sowed alright and feel damn proud of that hard work...fulfilled.  That plowed land would feed me and my family.  That is power, to me.

Yet...I'm equally drawn to long flowy, romantic dresses and and an eager recipient of all the gentlemanly overatures and courting my Knight In Shining Armour can bestow upon me. I EXPECT that door to be opened for me, and cherish his every act of chivalry.  I like a man who is a strong (in body and opinion) man, and I like being a real woman...whatever exactly that is.  I've never thought I had to *act man* to get anything I wanted in life.  A subtle, confident, un-shrill woman can command whatever she desires.

"I don't believe make-up, clothing or hairstyle alone can make a woman beautiful or strong.  The most radiant woman in the room is the one full of life and experience and confidence."  - Sharon Stone

So as backwards as it may sound, I'm not reticent about taking pride in good old-fashioned ways and keeping them alive in my own life.  I LIKE to take care of my home & hearth. Sure, it's hard work to keep a home up, but we worked very hard to be able to buy a home, and I consider it "part of our investment" to keep it up! But mainly, I just like having things look nice and clean and comfortable "for us" to enjoy each and every day as our sacred space!..... 

I love to cook for and feed my family.  One of my favorite pleasures is to visit the local farmers market and wander the stalls, sniffing and choosing the most flavorful, colorful veggies, and then making a huge pot of soup to serve up with huge chunks of crusty bread and salad.  Best meal ever! 

I love fresh flowers in the house .....all the time, not just special occasions.....and take special pride in flowers grown in my own garden.

When time permits (admittedly this is not often, with my schedule) but I love to line-dry sheets and towels for that sun & fresh air scent!  You simply cannot replicate that with any scented dryer sheet!  And it sends you off to DreamLand like nothing else......

I love to set the stage for a very romantic evening alone with my husband and lure him into my lair, let him know yet again, he IS the center of my universe, my other half.

Holidays are times to build memories, continue rituals and must be followed devotely in the name of "it's our tradition"!

And I love to keep old habits & arts alive, pass them on to my own children, to hopefully someday pass on as remnants and memories of other influential lives, earlier times, that connected us together.

So many old arts, traditions, and plain old wise woman knowledge is lost over the years & generations, by the sheer neglect of no longer re-telling things, as people used to do so commonly around kitchen tables or backyard lawn chairs .  I think THIS is what I miss from the throwback past I imagine myself in...that personal connectivity.  Perhaps it CAN be revived via today's social networking through "cyber kitchen tables"....not exactly "the same"...but likely will have to do.

I picked up and am reading a recommended book...Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen and it's feeding my need for some good old fashioned charm.  If you liked Alice Hoffman's "Practical Magic" you'll likely enjoy Garden Spells!  And it's reminding me too, of the seemingly ignored tradition of growing/using edible flowers!  My personal favorites are nasturtiums, roses and violets!  And lavender butter cookies--the best!  So my contribution today, to dip into the past to revive old traditions and Magic-Up your menus.....

Edible flowers and their associated flavor they taste similar to!

Allium                        Onion
Lilac                           Floral
Rose                          Sweet
Tulip                          Cucumber
Marigold                    Spicey
Lavender                    Floral
Borage                       Cucumber
Calendula                   Peppery
Carnation                   Spicey, clove
Bee balm                    Lemon, mint
Cornflower                 Sweet, clove
Daylily                        Sweet, crunchy
Nasturtium                  Peppery
Geranium                    Taste varies
Squash blossom          Sweet
Sweet violet                Sweet, floral
Pansy                         Sweet or sour
Anise, hyssop             Sweet, licorice
Johnny-jump-up          Sweet

A great edible flower recipe book:


"Your possessions and traditions express your personality.  Few things, including clothes, are more personal than your cherished ornaments & rituals.  The pioneer women, who crossed a wild continient clutching their treasures to them, knew that a clock, a picture, a pair of candlesticks, a bar of soap, a bathing ritual, a prayer, meant home, even in the wildnerness."  Good Housekeeping, August 1952
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