13 January 2012

Neighboring On The Air or Radio Homemakers...

A few years ago my family and I purchased a little piece of Heaven, 20 acres and a small cabin in the Mountains...and this city girl discovered a whole new world!  
Endless vistas, fresh air, wildlife, no water?? We decided to remedy that part immediately albeit it took 306 ft of hard drilling through glaciers! We now have a solar powered well and I am glad to say the money was worth it! 

The wildlife part took a little getting used to...Elks, mountain lions, brown eagles (nasty), coyotes and wolves lives in these parts and prints and scats are evident, particularly in the wee morning! We quickly realized a stroll through 'our' woods was not to be undertaken lightly unlike a leisurely stroll in the downtown park! 
Realization came fast when a black bear visited us one evening... We both spotted each other and had pretty much the same reaction:...AAAAAHHHH!!! before he/she scampered  into the woods and I quickly locked the cabin door!
I rather enjoy the antics of tiny red squirrels, chirping chipmunks and comical prairie dogs on our land and I am still hoping to get a glimpse of that elusive elk (he/she tantalizes me with a few hair hanging on the siding!)

We have a generator of course, a wood burning cook stove and use oil lamps just like the Amish. It is cozy and we love the peace and quiet (generally disrupted only when some lone coyote howls in the night or some idiot discharges his shotgun...).

Without telly or computer however we rely on a small transistor for outside world news and entertainment. This means the local radio station broadcasting from the valley, including an oldie program which brings back many memories, an heavenly half hour of Songs of Praises on Sunday mornings and a Saturday Party Line...
I had never heard of such a program but it sounded very much part of the West so I often put it on for a glimpse of life in these lonely parts! 
It took a moment for me to realize the man who stated he and 'Bertha' needed to part from each other after 3 years meant Bertha the sow, was now for sale...

What must it feel to live miles away from every amenities (21 miles down a steep mountain to reach the only general store/gas station) and another 6.5 miles to the nearest town? Going off once or twice a month for supplies? (wait... we do the very same on the island?!)

For decades 'neighboring on the air' by Radio Homemakers was the answer! I first heard of this program through 'The legacy of Home' thanks to Mrs. White. Take a moment to check out the video she uploaded and you will quickly understand what I mean! 

In 'Neighboring on the Air' you will discover the original blogging system! Today Bloggers across the globe uses the Internet to reach out readers and share their thoughts and ideas, crafts, good times and bad ones, often sprinkled with much wit and a good dose of wisdom! 

Radio homemakers such as Evelyn Birkby provided practical information designed to help day to day activities, offering companionship and inspiration on all sorts of areas such as recipes, biographies and household advices and best of all, still applicable today! 

 For a few examples, Page 66 yields a great Hand lotion:

1/2 pint glycerin
1/2 pint bay rum
1 pint rosewater or rainwater
1/2 ounce tincture of Benzoin
1 large TBSP quince seed (soak in rosewater 24 hours and strain)

To make: Mix all together and use each time after having hands in water!

And try Quick Fondant Easter Eggs on page 130 (Martha Bolhsen's recipe and a delight!)

'Neighboring on the Air - Cooking with the KMA Radio Homemakers' by Evelyn Birkby is a wonderful insight in Americana, and a tribute to the amazing women who reached out over the air to isolated US homemakers! 
Worth every cents I paid for (Thank you again Mrs. White!) and a keeper!

Note to readers: All opinions expressed are entirely my own!


1 comment:

  1. Absolutely wonderful post!

    Your home in the moutains sounds lovely!

    And the book is delightful. It is encouraging and inspiring, and I am so happy to have a copy!

    Mrs. White


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