Over the River and Through the Woods

Hey there friend!

Are you ready to head over the river and through the woods to Thanksgiving? Last night around five o’clock, I received a text message from our school district announcing cancelation of school for the next two days due to illness and not having enough subs. As you can imagine, our children were over the moon excited to hear the news of having an entire week off, as they were scheduled to be off beginning this coming Wednesday. Meanwhile I started thinking of how they could be helpful in preparing for Thanksgiving here at the homestead and how I was going to keep the house picked up that we just cleaned-Ha!

With three more sets of hands to help me this morning, we bundled up, headed to the town to the grocery store, grabbed what we needed for Thanksgiving Day (and what we didn’t really need), and did a quick walk-through T.J. Maxx, because I had to see what was out for Christmas! Did you know they have some of the best artificial garland? With our mantles being generous in size here at the homestead, I was thrilled last year when I found they had nine-foot artificial garland. Do you decorate with garland? If you haven’t before, garland, real or artificial, is a simple way to make a space feel cozy through not just the Christmas season, but all of winter.

I typically do not pull out any of our Christmas decorations until the weekend following Thanksgiving, but this year, I have put out some garland in a few places and put up our pencil tree in the living room. With the days being shorter, having the lights from the tree just seems to brighten our spirits. As for the rest of the decorations, they will have to wait until this weekend after we cut down our Christmas tree on Friday. Then it’ll be all hands-on deck to deck the halls together as a family.

Friends, I hope you enjoy this week with family and friends and that you have safe travels to wherever you are headed! Wishing you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving!


Did you know the 1844 Poem, Over the River and Through the Woods, by Lydia Maria Child is really about Thanksgiving?

William L. Simon, ed., Reader’s Digest Merry Christmas Songbook (1981)

At one time, “Over the River and Through the Woods” was a favorite song of the Thanksgiving season. It detailed the delights of a sleigh ride to Grandmother’s house and the goodies that would be found there by children and adults alike. But over the years, this jolly tune, which probably dates from the 1870s, has come to be associated with Christmas instead. In an old book of carols, there exists a published version of the song that dates back to 1897 and bears the name “Edw. Trotter, Rev.” as composer, but the attribution is somewhat suspect. The book also includes “The First Noel, ‘and the Reverend Mr. Trotter also listed himself as composer of that carol and of several other traditional tunes in the collection. Nevertheless, “Over the River” must have been familiar enough that members of Trotter’s congregation would have forgotten its actual composer and been willing to accept their preacher’s word that he wrote it. (Or, possibly, he did.).

The original, 12-verse poem is virtually never heard. Ordinarily, a six-verse (or less) version is sung. The poem was first published in 1844; these lyrics came from an 1854 edition of the book by Ms. Child. It has been freely adapted into a Christmas song, Over the River and Through the Woods – Grandmother. (https://www.hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com)

New this week on Grounded in the Middle podcast

If you’re on the go this week, you can tune into this week’s latest episode on Grounded in the Middle podcast. On today’s episode I am joined with author, Rose Ann Forte. We’re chatting about her new book, The Plans He Has For Me. I hope you’ll tune in to learn a little bit about a difficult time in her life and how it propelled her into the life she life she lives today.

Johnny + Christina Cison-What it's like to go against the grain. Grounded in the Middle.

Have you ever heard of the Old House community? If you aren't familiar, there is a large social media community who own or just love old houses and every day they gather around the world to chat about their experiences and share what they've learned about restoring and living in their old house. In today's episode, you're going to get to meet Johnny and Christian from the account @ourcornerofcurrituck and who were also one of my first old house friends when we moved out here to the middle. They are opening up today on why they chose to leave suburbia and their new build home for old house life and homesteading. Connect with me on social media @farmhousestoryteller Have a question or want to be on the show? Email me at thefederalfarmhouse@gmail.com  — Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/danielle-foulk/support

Farmhouse Storyteller Playlist

If you’d like to tune in to what I’m listening to out here in the middle, you can join me on Spotify where I have a playlist titled, Farmhouse Storyteller. You can easily find the station by directly clicking play to the right or searching for Farmhouse Storyteller on the Spotify app.

Recent publications

Link2Us Magazine published their Fall ’22 issue and it includes an article I wrote titled, Reawakening Traditions at the Homestead. While my article will give you a peek into our holiday traditions, you will also learn of the traditions that came before us! You can request a digital copy here or you can pick up a copy at your local Barnes and Nobles, Kroger, Books a Million, Fred Meyers stores, Albertsons, Hyvee, Kmart, and Amazon.

In addition, you can also read another article I wrote, Restoration in the Farmhouse, about how we found our way out here to the country on Make Me Available which is a website out of London, England. You can click here to read.

Link to follow:

Link2Us on Instagram

Make Me Available

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One Comment Add yours

  1. John Foulk says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you all as well.

    Liked by 1 person

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