Monthly Archives: December 2010

Out of the mouths of babes.

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Out of the mouths of babes.


I had the grand pleasure of spending the afternoon yesterday with a five-year old.  Since my own chldren are older now (my “baby” is 17) I had forgotten about seeing Christmas through the eyes of a small child.  Michelle is the granddaughter of a friend.  She was shy at

first and didn’t talk.  To engage her, I asked if she wanted to see our Christmas tree. 

Tree in the Parlor....with its finishing touches by Michelle.

Of course she did!  She took my hand and we walked to the parlor where our tree is.  I had just finished decorating it and the boxes and assorted left-over decorations were still on the floor, lending the look of the same tornadic clutter that used to be under the tree after our children finished opening presents.

Her eyes opened wide at what I thought was awe of my beautiful 9 foot Frasier fir standing proudly with blue and white lights and similar themed ornaments.  Then she looked at me and asked…”can we finish decorating it?”  She had decided it just simply wasn’t done.  I asked her what else it needed and she went right for the red and black Moroccan bows I had from a tree of Christmas past.  “THESE!”  So after we finished tying those on, we had to put on a few mis-matched ornaments I wasn’t intending to use because they didn’t match my picture of what the tree should look like.  She asked me about each ornament and my answer reminded me why I was keeping them in the first place.  “This is one my husband made.”  “This one my daughter gave me as a gift.”  ….and so on.  Why hadn’t I put them up to begin with??? 

A few extra ornaments to remind us to look to our hearts at Christmastime.

When Michelle was satisfied with her work on the tree, she asked about the rest of the ornaments and I explained that many came from a pretend


Christmas tree that I have but wasn’t going to use because we had this real one.    She said if I had it then it was real and I should put it up.  When asked where should we put it, she marched about the house and made her decision.  Right in the hallway. She explained: that way people can see it from either door they come in, from the kitchen, or if going down the hall to another room or to bed upstairs.  She figured the hall was the one spot where everyone could see it.  She thought my tree in the parlor was too hard to find.  So…taken with her spirit, I went and got that tree.  Michelle and I put it up in the hallway.  It’s decoration job is truly beautiful.  All of the ornaments are in a blob about 2.5 feet off the ground.  I asked her if we should spread them out a bit….”no, this way I can see them too.”  I was taken by the thought that young children live in a sea of legs.  Pictures are hung high in the room, windows are out of their line of vision too.  She wanted to see all the ornaments on the tree. 

Young Children like to see the beautiful things in the world too!

SOOOOO….if you visit Bygone Basics this year.  We have a tree in the hallway, and yes I plan to leave it there, and yes, it is fully decorated.

My Christmas wish is that each of us is blessed with seeing the wisdom of young children.

The best place in the house for a Christmas Tree

Putting Food by…

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Fun with friends!

Experience Putting Food By with friends

The term “Putting Food By” refers to an older way of life when a household made use of each season’s bounty as it occured. For example, when it was asparagus season (May/June in Michigan) asaparagus is pickled, canned, frozen, baked into cookies (yes..and they are yummy), made into soups, casseroles, and srambeld into eggs…to name a few methods. Similarly each season has its own bounty and families/friends/neighbors worked together to make each harvest period yield well for each household. I love the phrase, “many hands make light work.” Indeed they do! I have found that many hands make plenty of pats on the back, belly laughs, shared lasting memories, and applause for a job well done. Putting Food By not only saves a household dollars, but it also ensures a healthy food source, solace in knowing that there is food in the pantry, and makes lasting friendships the making of the product and the sharing of it as well.
So…instead of throwing a party where you have to cook or cater and worry about how you’ll entertain….consider this:
Plan for a seasonal harvest in your area, have friends, neighbors, or family over to capture that amazing flavor in a mason jar. 🙂 …while saving money and creating a fabulous and unique time wtih people you care about.
Indeed consider learning how with a session at Bygone Basics…we indeed will make it an Experience you will never forget.

Check this out

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Kath Usitalo’s blog  about Bygone Basics.  Be sure to subscribe to hers if you aren’t already.  Fun to read about everything she experiences.

Blogging…who’d a thunk it?

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As my welcome note from WordPress says…HELLO World. Kath Usitalo just unintentionally got me hooked on her blog, so I thought I’d give it a go.
Bygone Basics now has a blog and I look forward to sharing with the world what we do here. More later….

Hello world!

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Welcome to This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!