January is for Reading; and a Bracelet Review



This week around the homestead hasn’t been much about the homestead. The seed catalogs from Fedco and Baker Creek still sit on the back of the coal stove, our particular place that “items to get to” seem to accumulate. The animals are maintaining- the chickens’ egg laying habits have stalled out to an egg or two a day. Honestly, I’m impressed they held out this long without an artificial light in their coop. Good chickens.

The goats have their winter weight on and spend their days lazily lounging in the warmest corners of the barn and half heartedly munching on generous hay rations. A month away from kidding, I’ve started supplementing their hay and minerals with a high protein grain mix – something they’ll consume until their babies are born and for as long as they produce milk afterward.

But really, we’ve been focusing more on the home-front than the home-stead. There are some changes we’re trying to implement around here — more about that later perhaps — but one change we’re trying to make is to read more. In fact, we’re even trying to implement a formal family reading time into every free evening we have.

In striving to read more real books lately, I picked up this old favorite, and once again it’s not failed to disappoint. Once more I’m swept away into the wilds of Maine and thinking this is a pretty good place to be — whether just in my mind, or in real life (it’s no matter, really) — tucked away, living simply, getting back to the basics, stripping away the unnecessary, and reducing the noise of this 21st century life… here’s an excerpt from the book that I came upon last night about winter. It touched me as I hope it does you:

“In civilization we try to combat winter. We try to modify it so that we can continue to live the same sort of life that we live in the summer. We plow the sidewalks so we can wear low shoes, and the roads so we can use cars. We heat every enclosed space and then, inadequately clad, dash quickly from one little pocket of hot air through a bitter no-man’s land of cold to another. We fool around with sun lamps, trying to convince our skins that it is really August, and we eat travel-worn spinach in an attempt to sell the same idea to our stomachs. Naturally, it doesn’t work very well. You can neither remodel nor ignore a thing as big as winter.”

Louise Dickinson Rich; We Took to the Woods; Copyright 1942, HarperCollins Publishers, inc.

I recommend this book heartily. Even if you have no desire to live in the middle of nowhere, you’ll come away with something. I wish I had known the author. What a lively, lovely, humorous, and fierce woman she seemed to have been …

On another note, I received this bracelet in the mail a couple of weeks ago from Judy Luxury. Click HERE for the link. It’s rose gold and cute and dainty and feminine and would look adorable on any young woman as well equally desirable on an … ahem … older woman. I tend to go minimal with jewelry. I have eight kids and little time to doll-up. I’m also a homesteader and wearing a lot of jewelry isn’t practical. In addition, I have little extra money to spend on jewelry for myself. So in this season of life, I eschew fancy and go for practical, and I’m good with that usually. However, I do like to feel like a woman. I do like to look pretty. Just because I’m a simple girl who lives in an old farmhouse and is surrounded by children and animals doesn’t mean that femininity has been lost on me. I have a small handful of necklaces (most with a story, and special to me), two or three rings, and a little collection of go-to earrings. Enter this bracelet. As soon as I put it on, I felt more feminine. It’s not too big that it will easily get caught on a kitchen (or garden, or farm) implement, and it’s not so small that it fits tight on my not-so-small-boned wrist. It fits just perfect and I will happily add it to my humble jewelry box to be worn more often — especially on days that I’d like to feel especially feminine. Like date nights. Or wildflower picking.


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  1. I love your featured image of book spines! I am such a reader I am reading four books right now! And we too are trying to implement shared reading time in our house. My husband and I are starting a book together. The book sounds interesting. And I do wonder about our insistence upon ignoring reality and pretending it isn’t there. I wonder what we lose when we fail to appreciate all aspects of life, nature, seasons. And I too love dainty jewelry, even though I am far from a dainty woman. haha. I just love your blog Elizabeth. Please keep it up.

  2. That quote from the book sounds so interesting. I like the perspective. Might give it a read 🙂

  3. This bracelet is stunning! I love how it looks a bit vintage. The book also looks like a good read.

  4. My husband and I would love reading this book. We always talk about quitting our jobs and moving to the country and living a simple life. I know it’s not easy, but its different. I guess we will just have to be happy with chickens for now.

  5. So glad you are aiming to read more books! That makes any book lover happy. 🙂
    Glad you enjoyed your book!

  6. I love the bracelet. I made myself quit buying bracelets because I never remember to wear them. lol

  7. What a beautiful bracelet!! I love following along with your homestead adventure!

  8. We homestead in Florida, but I am from Upstate NY! I remember what those winters were like; definitely a time to read a good book like the one you mention here. I’m adding it to my list as well. Also, that’s a lovely bracelet. 😀

  9. The bracelet is beautiful. I need to take the time to sit down with real books – I am an audible in the car kind of mom. Thanks for the recommendation.

  10. We Took to the Woods sounds interesting!

  11. I’m doing the same…trying to get more books in my hands this year. Love the bracelet!

  12. Thank you for your book recommendation. “We took to the Woods” sounds unique, fun and interesting. Lovely bracelet.

  13. Lovely jewelry, and cool book idea! I wish my kids got into reading more…!

  14. I love that you live on a homestead! I’m a city girl, but do desire to have chickens and maybe some goats one day!

  15. Pretty bracelet! I also don’t wear jewelry, only for special occasions. The quote spoke to me as accept winter for what it is.

  16. This is interesting! Coming from a city girl here, I am intrigued! I have always wondered what it would be like to live in the middle of no where and do the homestead thing. I don’t think I could ever survive it but its fun to think about! Can’t wait to look around your site more!

  17. Wow that bracelet is beautiful! And I’ve never heard of the book! I’ll have to read it 🙂

  18. We Took to the Woods sounds like a book I’d enjoy too. Can I borrow when you are finished? Promise. I’ll return it. Love the bracelet too. BTW, you are one of the most feminine women I know. Jewelry does not make one more girly. Love you just the way you are.

    1. You can definitely borrow it- you’d love it. Thanks for loving me just the way I am. 🙂 <3

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