Friday, October 28, 2011

Kettle Keepers

This morning I was leafing through the latest issue of Christian History.  The issue's theme is health care and hospitals in the mission of the church.  Did you know that one of the jobs in the medieval hospitals was kettle keeper? That's certainly the role that I'd choose.  I would like stepping to a sick one's bedside with a rustle of my roughly woven wool skirt, my hair in a (red) kerchief, my eyes focused on their tired face.  "It's time for your tea, my dear."  I'd pour out (I'd be Mother, Angela!) and carefully pass their cuppa to them while saying a prayer, "Make them better tomorrow, Lord."  Oh, that would be a good task, wouldn't it?

 What kind of a kettle will you have, kettle keeper?  Copper?  Cast iron?  Electric?
 I think you'll pour a cup for someone today.  Maybe that someone will be little old you. Our son Brad is a tea drinker and he has found a local tea shop where he often shops for unique teas.  He and April bought themselves a Brown Betty.  Before Jeff left for Costa Rica last Saturday (language school for six weeks) we went to his favorite wing restaurant (he's crazy for hot wings) and I spied a tea shop nearby.  I shall go there today and report back to you.  I'll take some photos, okay?
Now, PIXIE talk!  Angela at Tracing Rainbows acquired a fine pair of pixie boots and now I consider her a true pixie. I have not found my soft red wool yet, so I have not started knitting my pixie hat. I will.  I drew a pixie for you.
 You like?  I shopped for pixie boots using Google Images.  These are nice!
 I cannot wear pointy toes.  I chose this pair.
 Oh, I want the pixie advent doll VERY much and I shall consider this possible purchase for a good month and then maybe I'll order one and I shall share her with you. Floss will do a Pause in Advent again, I bet. 
 Our maple tree experienced a rough shake with the snow on Wednesday.  She's shedding her leaves and they are floating down, little by little.  I've already placed some of her offerings in my new book (Building Academic Language by Jeff Zwiers) even though I've not read the book yet. I couldn't put leaves in my Kindle where I am reading No Idle Hands: The Social History of American Knitting.  It is fascinating and makes me feel knitty and desirous of a sit with my Elizabeth Zimmerman DVDs and to knit a row or ten.

 With the two wheelbarrow system, Bill and I were able to stack all the wood in a swift hour and a half!  We're a bit stiff today.
 Not to get all bossy, but do you suppose that while you are playing the role of kettle keeper you could read a few pages of Little Women aloud to someone who wants to listen or to your dear old self?  I will.
 If we have a fire this afternoon, I'll be Badger.  He's brooding in his den, a bit disgruntled that Ratty, Mole, and Toad are traveling without him.  They should be arriving in the woods of Minnesota any time now.  Lisa will keep them warm.  I feel sure she's a good kettle keeper.
My sweet sister sent me her The Wind in the Willows book.  Isn't that a sacrificial gift?  She received the book for Christmas in 1964 when she was just five years old.  She is not as obsessed with it as I am, so she mailed it to me.  It smells of mold, a delicious aromatic fragrance that reminds me of the woods we grew up in.  Thank you, Queenie.  (We had strange woods- dwelling imaginary friends:  Pook, Sone, Pinkie, and Queenie.)
This is the last weekday of my fall break, but I don't mind.  I look forward to getting back to my adorable eleven year old students.  Halloween is Monday and then my favorite holiday is coming.  November holds a lot of hospitality, cozy feelings, and home and hearth.  I send you warm simple love, good kettle keeper.
Here's a little something I found on YouTube.  Let me know if you like it like I do.
I like the click, click, click of needles and the shared opinions.


Angela said...

I'll wear my red pixie boots, and YOU pour the tea. I can lend you a HUGE minister's wife teapot that I inherited from my Mum [please note, the TEAPOT is huge, not Mum or myself]

blessings x

Farm Girl said...

I love the tea kettles and I think I would like that job too. Have you settled in after your lovely trip?
I have been staring at my copy of Little Women for days, it is funny that you mentioned it. Did you know, one of my earliest memories is sitting next to my Mother in her bed while she read that book and she would show me a letter on a page and then I would look until I found others like she showed me. I couldn't have been 2 or 3 I always looked at the picture on the inside cover of the girls and Marmee.

My tea pot is old one that I just love with Occupied Japan on the bottom.
I also have my grand mothers Brown Betty too. She always drank tea.
Thank you for coming by for a visit.
You always make my day better. Today, I am sewing, it is a perfect day too.
Have a lovely weekend,

April said...

I would use a polish pottery teapot, but I don't think it would be the most practical choice for delivering tea to the patients in a hospital. Something more simple and durable would be a better choice, I think.

Sara Lorayne said...

A red speckled tea that blue speckled camping gear you see in the sporting goods stores, only red.

Pixie fun. My feet are longer than most, so long pointy toes would really attract attention if I wore them; perhaps I'd choose something more round-toed too, like you.

It is going to be 80+ degrees here this cozy fires for us. But I shall think of you and enjoy yours vicariously...I can't imagine SNOW at all!

What a beautiful gift from your sister. Lots of love coming your way this week.

wayside wanderer said...

What lovely golden leaves you have! No leaves but dead ones here...yet. I used to have a navy Chantal kettle, but now I am kettleless. Is it wrong to want an electric one?

debbie bailey said...

I have a copper tea kettle that I heat up on the stove and a turquoise ceramic one I use when I want to be fancy and do it up right.

Snow already? Glad you have a large stack of wood at the ready. Enjoy your break.

This Youtube is adorable! Love their accents.

Gumbo Lily said...

Kettle Keeper, yes, I want to be that! I have an electric kettle. A Braun, that I bought several years ago after visiting England. I adore it! No more forgotten kettle left to burn dry on the stove because I got busy doing something else.

I love Little Women, so yes, I would gladly read a chapter to an invalid...or anyone for that matter.

Your sister is so kind and generous to give you her copy of WITW since you love it so.

Loved the women knitting video. My internet go stuck on part of it so I didn't get to hear it all, but it was so interesting to listen to the ladies chat and click their needles all through it. How do people knit replicas of houses and buildings? My goodness!

P.S. I just poured myself an evening cuppa.

Sue said...

My tea kettle is very white and boring but I have lovely memories of my grandmothers copper kettle, standing on a special stand by the hearth and always beautifully polished. I am happy to do the reading aloud especially such a great classic as Little Women.

The youtube video is wonderful bringing together tradition with new technology and recording oral history.

Shey said...

how amazing video! I loved listening to the ladies and watch all the wonderful things they knitted. =D
If I had a tea kettle I would choose an iron kettle, I'm fairly new to tea, I've tasted a couple I'm hooked now.

Farm Girl said...

Thank you for your sweet comments Pom Pom. That is the hardest part about having animals. You would think I would not be bothered by it but I never do get over it.
When I got up this morning outside in my big tree were 3 tiny stray kittens. Sleeping there in the cold.
My husband forbid me to go outside and save them. They maybe would have ran anyway, but it still tore me up.
Animals just show up and my house. I think I have a sign on my fence somewhere. :)
I hope you have a lovely new week.
Are you back to work this week?

Anonymous said...

I LOVE those red rubber boots... where did you ever find them?? Email me please!

Lisa Richards said...

I loved learning about kettle-keepers! I had never heard of such a thing. History is so interesting! I don't have a favorite tea kettle, but I do have a teaPOT which I will try to include in my WITW photos. It is very cute and woodsy and I think The Three will enjoy having tea served from it. I still haven't found them waiting in my mailbox, but I'll keep looking.
I really enjoy hauling firewood. It's a good excuse to get outside in the crisp fall air. In our new home we have propane heat, but I think we'll soon install an outside woodstove, so we'll once more get to gather firewood.
I haven't listened to the video yet, but I surely will.
Enjoy those 11 year olds! :D

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Do you live in the general Denver area? When I lived there, I frequented House Of Commons for tea, owned by an Englishwoman. It is near downtown - get a seat by the window :) XoLaura

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Tea Kettles...oh I use to get that magazine and need to again. What a precious job.

Love the shoes...and I enjoy tea also. Knitting...not yet, maybe soon one day...still painting and fixing up the house.

The dB family said...

I LOVE those red boots. I would enjoy them in my garden at this time of year which reminds me, I still have peppers to pick. I shall need tea when I come back in. I love the copper kettle, but I suspect it would be a bit of work to keep it so bright and shiny.