Thursday, December 23, 2010

If you need a good laugh this Christmas...

Go on over to the Prairie Mother.  She has a post that will make you wet your pants its so funny.  And in the middle of cooking, frantically cleaning and getting ready for the onslaught of hunters arriving the day after Christmas, I needed a good laugh:


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Frontier Christmas

The kids had the privilege to attend the Ft. Davis National Historic Site's Frontier Christmas last week with the local home school association.  We are so lucky to live in an area where we have an amazing historical treasure like Fort Davis and their living history presentations are a true gift to our children.  It was completely authentic, interesting and interactive.  Their volunteers and experts were engaging and friendly and the reconstruction of the fort and the day to day operations of the fort and the culture of the frontier is awe inspiring.  It's hard to put in to words how wonderful it really was so I'll let the kids tell you.

We met our friends at the Fort

We learned old fashioned games like pushing a hoop and the ring toss. 

It wasn't as easy as it looked.

Then we went in to the barracks and the soldiers showed us the uniforms they have to wear.  They are mostly made out of wool.

I like wearing the soldiers hat.  Later on, they showed us how to stand at attention and hold our weapons.

The ladies of the fort showed the girls what kind of clothes women had to wear in the 1880's.  There were bloomers and slips and bustles, corsets, capes and bonnets.

Some of the girls got to try on clothes that little girls would've worn back then.

There were many nice people who told us about what it was like to live here back then.

 There was only a few stops between San Antonio and El Paso and the road was very dangerous.  It was hard to get supplies

All of their supplies had to be transported by wagons from very long distances away.

All of the supplies were kept in the commissary, which was like the grocery store at the fort.


We then went to a house where soldiers wives showed us the wood burning stove and let us make cookies using an old recipe.
The wood burning stove was very hot.
Because the wood burning stove is really hot, the cookies had to be very small.

I really like the cookies

We made old fashioned Christmas cards to send to our soldiers

Our friend, Mary, gave us a tour of the Officer's house

It was beautifully decorated for Christmas.

Mary also showed us the beautiful hand made ornaments on the Christmas tree

We hiked up a trail to see some old photos posted along the trail.

We had a great view of the entire fort

As an added bonus, we got to meet Santa Claus for the first time.
 I guess he stopped to deliver goods to the commisary.

We had a great time at Fort Davis.  I hope we get to come back next year.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Decorating in a land without Hobby Lobby

For those of you who are geographically challenged as I am, it's sometimes hard to find decorations that are sophisticated and affordable.  Our nearest source of any home decor items is the local Dollar store or the hardware store, neither of which are very inspirational.  Now don't get me wrong, I like folksy, americana style made in china versions of snowmen and santas as much as the next girl, but I am always on the hunt for something more authentic.  So I started looking in the pasture.....

A friend of mine, who I have to say I've never met but we've become great friends through the miracle of the Internet, has proven to be a big decorating inspiration to me.  She lives on a ranch in southwest Texas, in a lovely rock home that has been her family for many generations.  She is wonderfully talented for using indigenous materials to decorate her home.  The photos I'm posting due her no justice, but I've had a downloading malfunction so bare with me.

I tried to copy her idea this year by taking a large, shallow, wooden bowl and placing antlers, leftover pine sprigs and pine cones in it with a ribbon garnish.   She used fresh apples and pine cones, which I think is a better idea. 

My version of my friend, Shawn's, centerpiece - I like hers better
One thing you will never have a shortage of when you live on a ranch is antlers or horns of some kind.  You find them lying all about the pasture.  I have used antlers for many things.  In fact, in my house you find a lot of wood, antlers, leather and rock. 

I used an old Hereford Association trophy to make a floral display and added ribbon for the holidays

I gathered rosemary from my backyard and made something to hang over the door so my husband can complain about it every time he walks in the door. falalalala
I am sparing you anything made with bandannas or barbed wire.

And I would love to hear ideas you have as well!!!