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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Log Cabin In The Midwest (My Little House)

When I was growing up I spent most of my childhood living in a beautiful log home.  It was hand built by my parents and skillfully decorated by my mother.  The log cabin was nestled at the base of a sloping bluff in the countryside of Wisconsin.  It reminded me of the stories from Little House that I had read many times.  In the fall the colors would pop; yellow from the Paper Birch, burnt umber from the mighty Oak, bright pinkish orange from the Sugar Maples and the deep rich green from the many varieties of pine dotting the forest behind our house.
This beautiful picture was found in ETSY shop Carla Dyck Fine Art Photography at http://www.etsy.com/shop/CarlaDyck?ref=seller_info
I was blessed with a large 70+ acre yard and took many long walks through the trees.  My favorite pastime was to hike towards the top of the bluff and along the way I would discover many new herbs and plants.  The air would be damp and cool, the sun was bright cutting through the mist, and the forest bed would emit a the sweet smell of freshly fallen autumn leaves with every step I took.  I would get so excited at the thought of what I could make with the scraps of paper birch bark, the dried herbs or the nuts that I harvested (if I beat the squirrels to them.)  It was a wonderful playground that tantalized the imagination.  I often came home loaded down with treasures to cook, dry, or decorate with. 
Despite being a modern construction the log cabin had many antiques and features that gave it the old fashioned country feel.  My favorite was the old cast iron wood stove in the dining room.  I loved this little wood burner since it was one of the only sources of good dry heat that would successfully dry all of my treasures.  I carefully bundled the herbs by their stems and hung them around the freshly stoked stove.  I begged for any old sheet pan my mother had and placed the small items into the oven space. Most often the house would be filled with aromas of drying mint, comfrey, and chamomile (my favorites and these were the most abundant herbs.)   I looked forward to the days it was cool enough to start the wood stove since in the Midwest it was always so humid that drying things was a challenge.  
This sweet miniature replica looks a lot like the stove I grew up with.  It can be found in ETSY shop Rubees Nest at http://www.etsy.com/shop/RubeesNest?ref=seller_info
While I no longer make the home brew teas, I still make the other natural crafts and continue to add my own personally collect and dried touches to each.  I love my new life in California and rarely miss the cold winters of the Midwest but I get a touch of nostalgia with each project I create as it takes me back through time to my little log cabin at the base of the hill.

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