What will the New Year bring?

This past year was good to us. So, what will the New Year bring?

earthGirlWe’ve had our share of growing pains. The kids are grown and on their way to who knows where. Let’s hope we’ve taught them well. With love we’ve learned from life’s mistakes. Sometimes, it’s best to forgive and live life anew. Know this, that it is wiser to forget those petty squabbles over this and that. For things don’t matter, it’s family and friends that matter most.

So, what will the New Year bring? Tomorrow and another day, a moment shared with you.

happyNewYear

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Thomas Chippendale

The 18th Century was the height of the Age of Enlightenment. It was an age when John Locke and Thomas Jefferson radically suggested that “all men are created equal”, that nations are capable of self-government. It was an age of travel, discovery, industry, and the exchange of intellectual ideas. It was an age of reason and culture.

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In the later half of the 18th century, Thomas Chippendale’s The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker’s Director (1754) became the guide for English and American cabinetmaking. Chippendale did not invent the Chippendale style, but his love of French design found expression in the use of naturalistic carving and English cabinetmaking with new mahogany woods from the far-flung British colonies. Thomas Chippendale’s influence as an interior designer is demonstrated by the large number of aristocratic clients he had and the many manors and homes he furnished and decorated. Other cabinetmakers adopted his style and incorporated their own rich creative blends of Gothic, Asian, and French Rococo designs.

Chairs in the Chippendale style became rectilinear, with square seats (replacing rounded and carved Windsor seats), chair backs with carved patterns that flared at the top corners. Claw-and-ball feet with sharply articulated talons reflected the imperial ambitions of the British Empire, as well as the influence of Asian art. Mahogany, imported from the Bahamas and Jamaica, became the cabinetmakers wood of choice (replacing English oak) because of its strength and beauty.

Ernest Valeton de Boissière and Silkville, Kansas

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Ernest in old age

We are such stuff
As dreams are made on,
and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

The Tempest, Act IV, Scene I, lines 168 – 170.

In Kansas, take Interstate 35 from Emporia to Overland Park, take the Williamsburg exit, go to Old Highway 50, and travel east and south a few miles. There you will find a one room schoolhouse built of Kansas limestone. The school is all that remains of Silkville, Kansas and the dream of Ernest Valeton de Boissière.

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Everyone is familiar with the first French Revolution, which occurred in 1789, eventually making Napoleon emperor. Napoleon’s rule lasted until 1815 when he met defeat at Waterloo. Louis XVIII became king. In 1824, King Charles X assumed power. In 1830, a Second (July) Revolution took place and Charles X’s cousin, Louis Phillip, took power. By 1832, conditions in France remained bleak. The death of Jean Maximilian Lamarque sparks the June Rebellion of 1832, which provided the background for Victor Hugo’s book, Les Miserables. In 1848, the Third French Revolution took place leading to the election of Napoleon’s nephew, Louis Napoleon Bonaparte. He declares himself emperor. In 1851, he declares himself emperor. In 1870, a disastrous war with Prussia deposes Louis Napoleon and establishes the Third French Republic.

Ernest Valeton de Boissière (1811 – 1894) a Frenchman dreamed of a community  where everyone would share the wealth. Ernest Valeton de Boissière.

In 1868 at the age of 58, De Boissière bought 3500 acres of land in Franklin County, southeast of Ottawa. His goal was to begin a silk making farm, thus the name Silkville.

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By 1870, 70 acres of white mulberry trees were planted on the rolling landscape. From California, French silkworm eggs were imported. And by 1874, a three story stone farmhouse was ready to house the French families who came to live and work in Silkville.

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By 1876, Silkville was displaying its silk ribbon at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia and winning ribbons. As cheaper Japanese and Chinese silks became available over the years, the farm added the production of butter and cheese to make money.

Meanwhile, the children of Silkville went to school in the one room schoolhouse that still stands at the corner of Old Highway 50.

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Foreign competition and the availability of land defeated the dream. By 1892, de Boissière, at the age of 82, converted the farm to an orphanage and donated the land to the Independent Organization of Odd Fellows.

Silkville School
Silkville one room school

The dream may have ended but the idea of sharing and caring is universal.

Taurus Recliner

ImageThe Taurus Recliner by Stressless and Ekornes features the patented Glide System which responds to your body movements allowing you to move into any seating position. The Plus System automatically provides correct support for your head, neck, and lumbar area. The headrest adjusts automatically forward as you recline so you can read a book or watch TV even when reclined. If you’re feeling tired, the headrest can be placed into a sleeping position with a simple hand movement to lie flat and relax.

Stressless bases swivel 360° and allow movement with just a slight push of your foot.

Stressless Sunrise Recliner

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Sunrise Recliner

As welcoming as the morning sun, Stresslsess Sunrise is both refreshing and relaxing.  With softly rounded contours, the Sunrise offers warming comfort for any room of the house. 

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Having a full 360° swivel feature coupled and patented Glide system, the Sunrise responds to the motion of your body to provide exquisite comfort.

To ensure that your Sunrise is a perfect, it is available in small, medium, and large sizes in leathers and fabric in the colors of the rainbow.  Experience the Stressless Sunrise recliner at Traditions Furniture.

No Man is an Island

ImageThis is one of my favorite pieces of prose, written by John Donne as Meditation XVII for King Charles I in 1624 while Donne was convalescing from an illness and, obviously, in contemplation of his own mortality. The image is a lonely rock that stood just off the coast of northern Spain.It makes one think.

No Man Is An Island

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

John Donne, Meditation XVII,1624