"The Lord bless thee
and keep thee...."

- Numbers 6:24

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The Quaker Kitchen
Free online video cooking classes

Plain Dress Info

Christian Spiritual &
Plain Essays

Learn about life on a farm!
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Quaker Anne's
Children's Stories
Stories include:

How Bees Make Honey

A Chicken is Born

A Haircut for Sheep

A Baby Horse is Born

A Baby Goat is Born

Lassie Saves a Lamb

...delightful children's stories about life on the farm, complete with beautiful illustrating photographs...
- The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

Questions for Quaker Anne page 2

  • Are all Quakers plain?
  • What is the difference between "Quakers", and the Religious Society of Friends?
  • Have you always been a Quaker?
  • Why do you use the name "Quaker Anne"?
  • What guided your decisions in terms of Quaker plain dress and plain speech?
  • Did going plain affect your children or grandchildren?
  • Which pattern do you use and what fabric is best for making plain dresses?
  • You seem to wear solid colors, what about printed fabrics?
  • Do you drive a car?
  • Do I have to remove my prayer cap when my drivers license photo is updated?
  • Must I remove my head covering going through airport security?
  • Do you use electricity, have modern appliances or a telephone?
  • Do you use the Internet or social media?
  • Should I home school my children to avoid worldly influences?
  • Are there home schooling programs that you recommend?
  • Can I be "plain" and still have a television?
  • I do not live near a Quaker Meeting, can I still become a Quaker?
  • How do I decide which Quaker group to worship with or belong to?
  • How can I offer active Christian service on my own, as an isolated Friend?
  • Are there other Quakers in your area which you worship with?
  • Where do you attend Meeting for Worship?
  • How do you regard the Bible?

    Which pattern do you use and what kind of fabric is best for making plain dresses?      You seem to wear solid colors, what about printed fabrics?
    My thoughts about clothing fabric include a personal story. But, first let me say that solid versus printed fabrics, fabric weights and even dress styles, are all strictly a matter of personal preference. What does the Lord require of thee? That is a question answered through prayer and personal discernment. For myself, I wear solid dark colors.

    As for the type of fabric, I feel that clothing should be made of natural fiber and cotton is usually the most affordable and comfortable. My skin type is very fair and sensitive so my skin does not tolerate synthetic fibers.

    When our children were growing up, they knew my feelings about the "perils of polyester". Synthetic fabrics are just not healthy for one's skin, not even polyester or (other synthetic fibers) blended with cotton. So, our children were dressed accordingly. Natural fiber clothing is best - especially clothes made of 100% cotton.

    Well, our children thought their mother simply had a "peculiar aversion to polyester". Then, the day dawned when our youngest son, in his late teens, came home with the happy news that the local volunteer fire department had accepted his application to be a volunteer fire fighter. He was thrilled and so were we for him. Then, with a sheepish look, he told me that to his amazement a strict rule and requirement for all fire-fighters was that they only wear all cotton clothing when responding to a fire call. Anyone wearing any kind of polyester or synthetic fiber blend what-so-ever would be required to leave the scene of a fire. He told the Fire Chief that his mother would be happy to hear that! In fact, I was.

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    Do you drive a car?
    Yes. We also drive a horse drawn wagon, and tractors, trucks and various other types of motorized farm equipment.

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    Do I have to remove my prayer cap when my drivers license photo is updated? Must I remove my head covering going through airport security?
    As it pertains to the Department of Motor Vehicles in the United States, I can only share my experience here in the State of Michigan. When the time came to renew my license, I simply stepped into the photographing area as directed. Then, the department personnel asked of me; "Would you please remove your hat?"

    I politely answered; "It is not a hat."

    And that was that. She quizzed me no further, nor pressed the issue. My drivers license photo was taken with my prayer cap on. It should be noted, I had removed my bonnet before hand, and just had my white prayer cap on.

    My experiences going through airport security have varied a bit over the years. But, regardless of the ever changing requirements, being patient, polite and cooperative is absolutely essential. It not only demonstrates love of neighbor and the peace of Christ Jesus towards those doing their jobs in awkward circumstances, it also sets a good example for onlookers - some of whom may be children.

    To start, I always remove my black bonnet before hand, and also take off my long outer cape or remove my shawl, which ever one I am wearing, and send those things along with my shoes and other personal items through the scanner. I do leave my prayer cap and apron on. Going through the security scanners myself, I am usually then asked to step aside for a further security sweep. When this happens, I remove my apron but ask to be able to keep my prayer cap on. If I am allowed to keep my prayer cap on, I caution the security officer to be very careful checking my head with their bare hands because straight pins are holding my prayer cap to my hair. If I am further required to remove my prayer cap, I then ask for a privacy screen. I always carry a scarf in my pocket, in case this happens, to cover my head once the prayer cap is removed.

    One time, the security officer was very nervous about submitting me to and carrying out the extended procedure. As tiny beads of perspiration began to glistening across her forehead, she told me in a quiet voice that her supervisor was watching and evaluating her. I truly felt sorry for her, and sincerely assured her that it really was alright with me for her to do her job and perform thorough security exam procedures on my person.

    These are the times we live in, and if the security procedures required of air travel passengers is too much to be endured, then alternative transportation arrangements would be in order. We must, all of us, do our duty and be cooperative, understanding and kind.

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    Do you use electricity, modern appliances or a telephone?
    We use electricity and try to be very conservative using it. For example, we make the best use of daylight with sky lights and windows where possible.

    I do use some modern electric appliances, including a washing machine. But, I also use non-electric kitchen aids and appliances as well. For instance, instead of a coffee maker, I use a non-electric stove top percolator. Thee may view one my instructional cooking videos about how to use an old fashioned, non-electric, stove top coffee percolator
    HERE at the Quaker Kitchen.

    I also use a treadle sewing machine, though I do not sew as often or as well as I would like to. I use a treadle spinning wheel to spin yarn from our Cotswold sheep wool. Most of our daughters also spin wool and when they were young, we used to spin yarn together (like a family spinning guild!) during the winter months and then knit hats and scarves and socks.

    I have never been one to use the latest popular kitchen "gadgets" so to speak. I use a hand grater, or slice with a knife rather than use a food processor. I rather whip eggs with a fork or mix recipes by hand than use an electric hand-mixer. My kitchen contains tools which are plain, practical and durable, instead of dubiously proclaimed fashionable, new and improved ones.

    We do use a house telephone, and carry cell phones when away from home.

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    Do you use the Internet? What about Facebook or other forms of social media?
    We do use the Internet, but prayerfully, cautiously and limitedly. We feel strongly led to use the vast potential of the Internet for the advancement of the Kingdom of God, and our Christian ministries reflect that. Creative use of Internet provides broad opportunities for sharing the Good News with others in creative and meaningful ways on a global scale.

    I comfortably use Twitter to promote peace, share the Love and Light of Christ, foster interfaith and Christian ecumenical understanding, plus share general Christian education and encouragement.

    Facebook, however, I have a difficult time using but I try and put it to use when I get a chance. However, it has been difficult to adjust to the way Facebook uses and redefined the word "friend". But I keep working at it and eventually, I will become more comfortable with it.

    Having expressed that, social media does provide very usable and powerful platforms which can be used for the work of Christian education and ministry.

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    Should I home school my children to avoid worldly influences? Are there home schooling programs that you recommend?
    Children who are home schooled deserve an excellent education. Therefore, the decision to home school should be very carefully considered because home schooling is not an easy undertaking.

    While there are a variety of curriculums available for parents to consider when planning to home school their children, continual parental guidance and oversight is imperative to ensure that excellent education is achieved.

    Also, there are usually a variety of opportunities available in most communities for parents to involve their children in so that broader lessons beyond the home classroom can also be learned. Consider nurturing the development of your child's social conscience, instilling the values of volunteering, environmental stewardship, and community activism. These concepts should be regularly explored and endeavored early enough in a child's life to make a positive life-long impact. Children grow up and as adults they need to know how to live in the greater world beyond home. While it is certainly understandable that Christian parents would strive to avoid exposing their children to vile and corrupt "worldly" influences, children also need encouraging life lessons to teach them how to contribute positive efforts to making the world a better place to live in.

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