Saturday, May 18, 2013

Country Living - An Old Favorite

An Encyclopedia of Country Living 
by Carla Emery
copyright 1974

Can you tell from these pictures that this is a true old favorite?
I ordered this book when we lived in the outskirts of Houston, Texas (30 years ago) and were dreaming of a country life in the north.

We have used this book MANY times over the years.  We referred to the planting times regarding last frost, how deep to set the seed.    It is full of how to's, recipes, dreams, and life.
She has a newer copyright but to be honest it lost some of the 'personal touch' .  It is still full of all the information but the stories of her life, children, family, farm weren't there - it was too sanitized.  I love this copyright.  It is full of their dreams and as we too were dreaming of our 'country life' it sung a sirens song to my heart.  
We moved 30 years ago to the north west and we have loved it!
We live in a very rural area.  
When we first moved here I had to call  the post office for my address.  There weren't any road signs.  I explained where we lived (5 miles north, 2 west, 1/2 mile north and who our neighbors were...  
Oh she said you're RR1.  I guess since I had called they now had our name and could put that in their file for rural rout #1.   It worked the mail came.
We didn't have two nickles to rub together and the house was just small. And I mean small 2, bedrooms, a bathroom, living room, kitchen.  It did have an enclosed porch that housed our washer and dryer and the shelves for garden produce.
I had my grandmothers jars and her old water bath canner.  My pressure canner was purchased for $20.00 at a yard sale.  I took it to the extension office to have it checked and it was great so the canning began.
We grew a garden, canned everything we grew.  When people from church were finished picking-canning all they wanted from their gardens they would call and ask if I wanted to come and pick any additional crops.  Yep I did.  The boys and I would drive DH to work so I could have the van and we would head to the garden waiting to be cleaned up.
 One year we canned 300 quarts of green beans along with all the other bounty of the year.  I didn't have to can green beans again for two years.  
We had a little chest freezer that we had purchased second hand for $50.00. 
DH did extra jobs after his normal day job.  He built a porch in exchange for 1/2 a hog, went hunting and the freezer filled with meat.

Our big night was Saturday night when All Creatures Great and Small would come on PBS.  It was one of our 3 channels on TV.  We would pop popcorn and have some home canned grape juice over ice.  It was something we looked forward to all week.
It was a simple life - we didn't have much at all monetarily.  It truth we were very poor by normal standards but we were so rich in love.  We were rich in work and time spent together as a family.  We were rich in dreams.  That's more important than money any day.
I wish you richness in life.
May you be rich with the love of family and friends.
May you be rich with shared labors,
and rich with dreams.
a little bird


  1. I also remember getting that book from a library book sale. Perhaps it will surface again..many things got 'recyled' a while back. Much of your garden and canning past rings true for me as well. Moved to the country 29 years back, bought an old pressure canner for $15.00 and the lady threw in some old jars as well! Have a blessed day. Oh, we are turning our little VillageHouse into a compact, old fashioned home and garden. Nothing else will do.

    1. Your VillageHouse sounds wonderful. I will be perusing your blog to check it all out.

  2. How well I remember your house, and the surprise birthday party you gave Craig with homemade root beer.


    1. It was a fun party. Hard to believe it was that many years ago. We haven't really aged have we? :-)

  3. What a wonderful book, and what fond memories.Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks for walking down memory lane with me.



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