Another HOT day . . . another day of resting with my ankle elevated . . . one could tend to become a bit grumpy over these two factors in life, save for the cooler blowing a chill wind and the innate love of reading, writing, chatting over tea, and all the other “loves” that take a backseat to floors needing a sweep, dishes needing a swipe, and laundry needing a plunge in an ordinary day. So, in this additional extraordinary day I will simply grit my teeth and recline.(I can hear you all feeling SO SORRY for me. Truthfully, I’m so tired of it. I’d love to grab the powerhead and hoover away!)
So, you may wonder, how have I been spending my time? Well, let’s see . . . last Saturday, while Elizabeth and Lydia were away at weekend-long events and Rachel was waiting patiently for the clock to strike five so that she could attend her Sunday School pizza-and-movie night, Rachel and I popped on one of the Franklin Springs DVDs and enjoyed a visit with the West Ladies of Tennessee.
Wait . . . you haven’t met the West Ladies? Well, let me tell you – they are a delight! A treat! A breath of fresh air in a stale world of pop-culture.
I first heard of these ladies when they visited fellow blogger Jewels. Later I purchased a DVD set from Franklin Springs including Inherit the Land, a survey of several families who march to their own drummer and live closer to the land. This myriad of definitions for “Simple Living” delighted our whole family. We met some who live as we do and many who live quite differently. The West Ladies particularly interested us in their down-home style and overflowing JOY! My girls eagerly took mental notes of things to do and change and try.
The folksy charm of the West Ladies begged for another visit, and so I later added the Homestead Blessings DVDs to our library. Baking bread, making candles, fashioning soaps – what a fun bundle of visits with truly useful tips and inspiration. The West ladies invited us into their kitchen and began sharing from the heart and working with their hands. We sat and smiled, laughed and pointed at one another saying, “That’s you alright!” pausing often to rewind and take another look or write down a missed step. Creative energy always runs high in this woodland cottage, but the energy positively sparked from eager fingertips with each episode’s conclusion.
In addition to sharing home-spun skills, these ladies overflow with the love of the Lord. They truly strive to live thankfully and prayerfully in an Eden-esque setting they feel blessed with. I could so relate to this joyful way of greeting each day and all the work/troubles/joys/delights contained therein. I do not know the intimate details of their lives, but a family consisting of a mom and three daughters living off the land in rural Tennessee led me to believe that somebody (probably Mom/Vicky) knew a great recipe for taking the lemons in life and making a vat of lemonade sweetened with prayer and hope and the Love of Jesus . . . and she shares the sweet product freely.
We may not live in rural Tennessee and talk with the cutest l’il ol’ accents, but we sure could relate and even laughed as we found our counterparts with the West gals. The girls said Vicky/Mom and I share much in common save for the accent. I noted how the daughters all shared personality traits with my girls in the same birth order. We also oooohed and aaaaahed over their cute home-styled fashions – Hannah’s lace-up dirndl-style jumper won hands down as my favorite. More inspiration . . . more projects brewing.
By the time we finished the series we had loads of new ideas. (I breathed a sigh of relief a few days later when Elizabeth let go of the idea of beekeeping to acquire quality beeswax for the candles. Thank you internet for supplying a reasonably-priced source.) Our meals have been sprinkled with Hannah’s fool-proof “Pizza Bread” and other bread creations. Elizabeth’s tasty pasties employed the very same dough as the pizza bread.
In addition to the food and crafts, their FABULOUS PANTRY provided the needed push for Gary to get that project done and marked off the list. (Thank you, West Ladies! That bit of impetus was WELL WORTH the price of the DVDs.)
As Rachel and I re-watched one of the DVDs last Saturday, she remarked how much she liked their singing. The Appalachian “Hill Billy” style is sadly underrepresented in our music library (only a smattering of Smoky Mountain Sunday CDs fills that slot), so I popped over to CD Baby and ordered their recordings.
Here’s a YouTube sampling for you to enjoy:
If you like good ole time music you will love these gals. And if, like me, you appreciate a variety of styles to supplement your classical-leaning diet, I guarantee you will find something to smile about as you listen to the simple sentiments and enjoy the bucolic slice of life they inhabit. You may just find yourself tapping a toe and humming along. At the very least you will have appreciated a couple of minutes in the company of four very fine ladies doling out homestead blessings from their home, aptly named: Homestead Blessings.