Faffing, Pottering And Plans For Our Victorian Workers Cottage Of 1851

 Oh my! I have so many things to share. I've been busy as a bee. I've had an outpouring of little Women/Mermaidling bespoke painting orders, and in between painting and fine-tuning the manuscript of The Tale of Sawyer Lamb, I've been labouring on endless undertakings at the cottage. From cleaning the chicken coop and run to clearing out the old garden, and sewing some new work (1850's) dresses I've been quite active. Since becoming severely dehydrated, I've been convalescing. Whilst sitting in my bed, I took a gander at a few Instagram feeds from the explore page, and I rightfully cannot fathom how these youthful mums have the stamina and ability to churn out so much content. I even made a small mention to my mum yesterday while having tea, and she retorted with," Raquel, you used to be that hyperactive when you had your four small children too."

Which I know genuinely I did, but I look heretofore now and think hindsight is 20/20. Is it not? I have not the desire to be that active and available to the world at this stage in life. Perhaps it's an age aspect or understanding the grasp of working entirely too hard, which parallels to resistance. I only say that because why I resulted in such a busy lifestyle was because I was reaching for an unmet desire within my soul that I couldn't mass. So to combat my inadequacies, I stayed massively "busy" to the point of becoming physically ill. But that's not to say every other woman in the world that is invariably on the go, is similar to me; however, it'll be quite the new dialogue seeing these women about 15 years from now. Oh golly, I sound like a bitter Betty, don't I? I must get on because I don't want to dampen your spirits, but rather uplift them. So away we go.
Jeffrey, my (Beloved Gardener) dug the trench all along with the rear of Scarlette Rose cottage and placed a drainage system so that it wouldn't flood when the next big downpour of rain comes, which will invariably happen. I bought a box fan and placed it in the cottage window to tie me over while I continue to do work inside the cottage in preparation for when we dwell in the cottage. Yes, can you believe that I will and am thrilled to the bone about living in a one-room cottage that will not have running water but is opting to use only an antique water pump and carry water to our clawfoot bathtub? Could I have running water and all the accoutrements, yes? My father said he would happily supply a water system and I could buy a water heater for running warm water. I may change my mind in future, however for now; I'll attempt to live as closely to the Victorian era as possible. I feel like a real Tasha Tudor. One thing I may relent on is securing is a Single Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner/Heater above the cottage window. This wasn't really going to be an option, and I won't use it regularly, however, because last week I became severely dehydrated caused me to reflect on the substantial risk of such heat indexes. Thank goodness I have essential oils and loved ones. They lavished me with extra cherishing, and I believe that's why I've been able to pop back more quickly than usual. Florida climate as you may well know has the potential to be dangerous and especially (wearing victorian clothing such as I do) I'm not going to risk it again. I had moments of absolute despair, brain fog and I'm still not convinced the onset of Sawyers one year mark of having passed was not the initiator of my weakened state. Here's a pretty little mourning poem from my victorian poetry book, I thought I'd share with you.

When Sorrow Sleepeth Wake It Not
When sorrow sleepth, wake it not,
But let it slumber on;
If grief is for a while forgot,
It's power that while is gone.
The mind may, from the pause, gain strength
To grapple with Its foe,
And thence may rise, to prove, at length,
Triumphant over woe. 
Home Songster,1883, p.94.
Florida weather is dreadful at times, and it takes a much-enabled body to endure massive laden farm life in the type of temperatures we have. So, yes, indeed, I'll be placing a small unit in the cottage. My father has used a workers cottage 1851 house plan (one I drew up on graph paper. I make it sound much more formal than it was, Errr...) with an indoor privy. I am having my pa (hahaha, I had to say that, I mean my father) construct a small closet around the loo that looks like an outhouse. It'll be inside the cottage but enclosed for privacy. The whole concept of how we will live in the cottage is with the approach of unfitted living. Have you ever heard of an unfitted kitchen? It's that same concept, but instead of just an unfitted kitchen, I'm creating an entire living arrangement in an unfitted setup, which means that the whole home is open with no division of walls to separate. The bed, bath, living room, parlour, writing den and entry are all open. That's how many folks built their lodgings back in the pioneer days. Think again of Little House on the Prairie. They had the one room where pa and ma slept, with no door and a loft where the kids climbed up and slept. The rest of the home was open. Well, since the cottage in total is less than 500 Square foot, one must use every square inch with purpose and functionality. I plan on cooking using my antique wood burning stove (it has only two cast iron plates, below), and I'll use a small antique icebox (one drawer) for the few items that need refrigerated. The benefit is that my folk's main house (Carter's Cottage) has a cookstove and running water if ever I need to I can use theirs. It's just a short stroll across the garden (honestly; it's directly in front of the cottage). The reason for me living this way is for the learning to immerse myself into the Victorian time period even more substantially rather than merely dressing in the period clothing. I look at it as research. If I'm to write excellent books that are full of authenticity, one would need to know what things are like in physicality. In my opinion, it's not enough to merely read about history, but one must immerse themselves in understanding the lifestyle truly. That, to me, is what a spectacular writer does. They become submerged and engaged, and that creates brilliant and believable storytelling. Not everyone believes this; however, I do. And I can say with all honesty having experienced particular events and then sharing them with someone is the difference between my convincing you through believability or you look at me side-eyed with scepticism.
Most affably yours til my next swim, Raquelxxx


  1. Good Grief Girl - Drink your water! Dehydration is no joke. And I think taking into account your health and geography is wise. Tasha lived in VT. FL is a bit different. As you said, you can use it sparingly (but will be able to keep yourself well.) And you are keeping us in suspense~ awwwe, am sooo waiting for the cottage unveiling:-)
    Wishing you a superb day.

    1. Hey cutie, how are you? I miss you as I'm always eager for your blog posts... I'm a demanding gal and want to read your blog every day...(smile) can you believe I became dehydrated, it's bananas! Yes, VT, was such a beautiful place for weather or should I say photos. Raquelxxx


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