Saturday, August 29, 2009

Finding the Simple Life.

Tasha Tudor

Yesterday was Tasha Tudor’s Birthday.  You can see how others celebrate her life by visiting Storybook Woods.

As a little girl I remember looking at her ‘A is for Annabelle’ Alphabet book and being enchanted with her whimsical art. 


Then as a young mother I remember viewing articles and pictures of her and being envious of her simple living…

tasha's gathering

her gardens…

tasha's garden

her nostalgic style, and again her magical art.

 tasha's art

It seemed her pencil and paint brush elicited the feel of the simple life she lived.  And I was saddened that pursuing her dreams of those virtues had cost her two marriages and estrangement from some of her children.  She was human after all and as human wasn’t perfect.

Today I choose to celebrate the good things she enjoyed.  The pleasure from a simple life.  One of Tasha’s favorite quotes happens to be one of mine.  

“If one advances confidently in the directions of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.”             ~Henry David Thoreau

Of my dreams, somehow they have changed with the years.  I used to dream of being a photographer.

And in doing so I found happiness in spending make-believe time with my young boys.


I used to dream of being totally self-sufficient and having a huge garden from which I would nourish my family year-round.

 Summer 1942

Today I am grateful for the things I do grow well, and even if I can’t find the time to preserve all that I grow at least I have friends with which to share fresh zucchini and tomatoes.  And in sharing I’m blessed with the kindness of others.  One sweet friend brought me a dozen beautiful brown and bluish eggs fresh from her chickens.

 Summer 1959

I also discovered I grow weeds better than anyone I know. 

Summer 1948

But in growing weeds I recognize the beauty in the strength of those plants that survive them.

Summer 1950

And I vow to keep fighting those pesky weeds as well.

I can’t tell you how much I enjoy taking a stroll while barefoot.


And even though I’ve been a rough and tumble tomboy my whole life, I’ve a funny quirk – I’m a tomboy who loves wearing dresses, skirts and aprons.  Even when gardening, weeding or playing in the park with my kids.  One neighbor thought me quite unusual when she found me weeding while wearing a dress.  I guess what I love about them is they make me feel like a lady, even when my daily actions are more of a worker.

I love Tasha’s quote about the subject.

I’m very fond of men. I think they are wonderful creatures. I love them dearly. But I don’t want to look like one. When women gave up their long skirts, they made a grave error…" ~Tasha Tudor

It seems the older I get I’m finding how to be less attached to things.  I’ve been fighting the clutter monster for years.  It’s a dreadful battle still.  But just look at the grand pile I’ve got going for a future garage sale.  

Summer 1924

I can’t wait to see and feel how my home feels after it’s lost many of the things that clutter it’s rooms.

 Summer 1925

I tackled my mudroom again this week.  I had it wonderfully set up last year.


With a bench and shoe storage containers.  But the kids could never seem to find a way to put their shoes away.  So the floor became cluttered and soon you couldn’t get to the hooks to hang your backpacks and coats.  And before too many months had passed it again resembled my typical mess.

Summer 1894

I really needed this room done before school started again so that after school routines could be in place on Day 1.

Summer 1893

So I tossed the shoe storage units and brought in a crate per child to hold their shoes. 

Summer 1974

This room is now dedicated to shoes, coats,  and school supplies.  It might not look as fine as it did last year but I’m convinced it will be easier for the kids and I to maintain.

Summer 1971

Baskets, now filled with back to school supplies, will hold all the papers and homework that they bring home.

Summer 1970

So I’m trying to really focus on the simple life.  Funny thing is, what I’ve found through all my dreams, my favorite isn’t my garden, or my art, or my quest to find the beautiful, or cut the clutter.  My favorite all time dream is a happy family.  Loving my husband, children and helping them learn to love each other.  That’s my favorite dream.


Anonymous said...

happy Tasha Tudor day! I love your post and think the improvements you made in the mudroom are genious! I need a crate for each of our piles of shoes too!
:) Missy

Anonymous said...

I, for one, love your zucchini. If you have another one around looking for a home, I'd be happy to cook it up for my mom this week :-)

Also, if you need sage or rosemary or bay leaves, I think I could hook you up...

Trena Doll said...

I remember that book! and Kudos on the mudroom. I've discovered that if my systems don't adapt, they soon descend into chaos. Wish I were better at adapting. (sigh)

Storybook Woods said...

Happy Tasha Tudor day, it sounds like a perfect Tasha day. I can not say this for sure but I think Tasha has just a bit of a tomboy in her. Thank you so much for joining in. Clarice

Anonymous said...

I am not good with comments but enjoy being a part of your life you have a simple beauty about you. Mom-ah

laterg8r said...

love how you grow beautiful weeds -hope your new organization system works for you :D

sugar plum fairy said...

tasha was a piece of art..
i really admire her :)
her garden book is my favourite!
**enchanted fairy dust**

Jorgelina said...

Happy Tasha Tudor day!!

Dawn S. said...

Hi Fawn Dear! Just wanted to let you know you won the Loobalee contest on our site, A Homemaking Journey. Send us an email at so I can get you forwarded to the lady in charge. Congrats!

Dawn Salisbury

Shiloah Baker said...

I love Tasha Tudor! Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures and your organizing project. Inspiring!

I would like to interview you for The Homemaking Cottage's Mothers of Large Families series. :) Email me at pinkginghamom @ if you are willing. :)

Elise said...

Hello, what a beautiful blog you have here ! I just had to leave a note for you - I've really enjoyed looking through your posts and pictures. They are all very interesting and creative. Best wishes and thank you...

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Oh I adore Tasha Tudor. I was lucky enough to get a catalog when of her lovely things before they went to auction.

blushing rose said...

Your post is beautifully written. What a great change of organization in the mud room ... I'm working on my laundry room right now.

Have a great weekend. TTFN ~ Marydon

Dina-Dyorre said...

I feel so guilty that I've never heard of her. I think, when I will be an old lady, I will be JUST like her. Away from all the technology that chokes us every day more and more, living a simple life.

Crunchy Christian Mom said...

Oh, I love love love Tasha Tudor, too! We share so many of the same dreams. And I'm switching to skirts soon, too. I have to since none of my pants fit and I refuse to buy more clothes! LOL. I have to learn to sew skirts instead!

Your mudroom looks great. I've had a single shoe basket for the longest time, but the boys' feet are growing so fast, shoes are always toppling out of it. I think they're going to need their own baskets. :)