Holy Week:: Selah

Holy Week is drawing to a close.  I’m in two minds about it.  It’s a shame to see my favourite week of the year speed by.  On the other hand, the crescendo of the Resurrection is so compelling, so exhilarating.

I was worried that this week would be full of stumbling blocks for our family, we had scheduled every possible thing to co-incide.  But we were wise and allowed things to fall away.  We slowed our pace and worked together to complete tasks, and enjoyed the journey through the days.  Yesterday was spent preparing the krashanky while James and Joséphine napped.



William, Louis, and Sophie begin peeling onions


… and Carrie


Happily working together.


There’s still time to make your own.  Here’s how::


Collect the peels of about 10 lb. of yellow onions into a bowl:



Place them in a pot. Ours has a handy basket insert, but you don’t need to have one of those.

Children (and grown-ups) love the crunch of the dry skins…


…and helping in the kitchen.


Add 8 c. water to the pot:


and 1/4c. white vinegar


Bring to the boil, cover, and reduce to simmer for 30 minutes.


You’ll need 12-18 clean, white eggs which have been left to come up to room temperature.


Place them into a stainless steel pot in a single layer.


Strain and cool your dye to room temperature. Then pour it in over your eggs.


Make sure your eggs are completely covered. Add more cool water, if needed. Bring to the boil again and allow to simmer 12-15 minutes.


If you haven’t achieved the colour you want after 15 minutes, remove from the heat and allow to sit until you’re happy with them.


When the eggs are completely cooled, rub them with olive oil and a soft cloth or paper towels.


Pack them up nice and safe in their carton to bring to church on Holy Saturday so that they can be blessed.


We’ll be bringing our krashanky to our new parish tomorrow morning for blessing, along with Father David’s holy water bottles for Vigil.  They’ll be eaten for breakfast before heading out to the 11:30 Easter Sunday Mass, where Brian will serve.  Later in the afternoon, we will return once more to church – this time to our old parish, St. Joseph’s, where William will serve on the altar for the first time!

And somewhere in there, we’ll make time to sit down to dinner together, and reflect on the myriad graces that come to us through Christ, and His Church.  The graces we celebrate this Holy Weekend and throughout the year.

Wishing you and your family a blessed Eastertide!


Before the Rush

As soon as the weather softens, and the days lengthen, one of them will ask: “Mama, can we go to the village?”

Hours and hours of walking, running, exploring are no more than a twinkling when you have such beautiful surroundings.  The buds haven’t broken yet, the blossoms are still waiting to break forth in all their frothy glory.  Even at its barest, still so lovely.

Quiet until the season takes hold, we are almost alone, excepting a few small school groups.  Perfect for finding inspiration in details overlooked in a bustle. And there was much to inspire.  And much good use to put that inspiration to.  In just a few short days more.

Come along::

Child's Bedroom at the Fitch House


Back Entrance to the Salem Towne House

Parlour at the Towne House



More of the Parlour


Dining Room at the Towne House.


I love the light in this room. So warm and gentle.


Upstairs Bedroom in the Towne House. Such a beautiful quilt on the bed.


Bonnets and clothing left out in the large muraled bedroom.


This Masonic symbol is painted on the ceiling of the large upstairs room.


I love the canopy on this bed. Doesn't every girl dream of such a cozy place to slumber and dream?


We close on our farm Monday, 25th April.  The day I commence my 5th decade. Momentous, thrilling.  We’re so looking forward to sharing that adventure with you.

{this moment} red letter duck


{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ at SouleMama for all to find and see.

Comfort and Joy

Mother Nature played quite a joke on us today.  She sent us several inches of new snow.  While the children were out taking advantage of what (we hope) will be the last snow of the season, I made a nice, big pan of macaroni cheese and worked on my crocheted cowl.

It nearly always takes a while for spring to warm up here in Massachusetts.  So I figured I would get a lot of wear – possibly 9 whole months – out of knitted and crocheted cowls.  They’ll be especially handy for early morning and evening milkings.  I really don’t like my neck to be cold.  And I have an awful lot of extra skeins hanging about just waiting to be used up.  This one is a soy/wool blend in a colour called “African Violets”, which I frogged from a nearly completed sleep sack.  Somehow, it got buried at the bottom of one of my workbaskets and little Jo outgrew it before it could be used…

Just look at these happy faces::

Joséphine - 5 months old tomorrow




All rosy from making snowballs outside, and ready to partake in one of our favourite Lenten Friday meals.  I share the recipe with you, below.  I hope you’ll love it, too::

Macaroni and Cheese

4T butter

2T oil

2 shallots, minced

1 tsp garlic, minced

4T flour

1 tsp dried ground mustard seed

4 c. warm milk

2 c. white cheddar, shredded (reserve ½ c)

8 oz. cream cheese, cubed

½ c. Swiss cheese, shredded

½ c. light cream

2 lb macaroni, cooked

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Sauté shallot and garlic in butter.  Combine flour, salt pepper, and mustard, and add to pan.  Cook for approximately 2 minutes.  Slowly add warm milk while stirring constantly.  When the sauce begins to thicken, add cheeses, one at a time, stirring until completely melted.  Finish sauce by adding light cream.  Sauce should be very liquid.

Stir sauce into macaroni and let sit 5 minutes.  Pour into a large casserole that has been oiled.  Top with remaining cheese or bread crumbs.  Bake for 30 minutes.

Serves a family of 10.

James recommends an accompaniment of salade mixte. But perhaps you would prefer yours on a separate plate…

{this moment} sleepyhead

James in the early spring morning light.


{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ at SouleMama for all to find and see.


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