Thursday, June 7, 2018

reading and knitting with "small things"

I was pleased to discover Ginny
had brought back her knitting and reading yarn along,
because frankly I do find myself enjoying
 the sharing of current reads and knitting projects.
And the best part is the fun of seeing
 what other knitters are reading too

When visiting Maine back in August of 2017, I could not wait to make a stop by the Swan Island dye shop, and while there I purchased this pattern.  In January, I drove to my local yarn shop and purchased  the required skeins of Swans Island merino wool in the beetroot color way.  I was literally itching to begin knitting with this yarn but I continued on with this sweater until it was finished, but now the  Madison is turning out to be a wonderful summer knit. The yarn is as soft as my cat's fur.

How George Eliot's Middlemarch became my present book of choice for the present has a story too. I never was much for allowing the length of a book to intimidate me, yet the timing must be right, Sometimes I wonder if it the palpable absurdity of beginning this novel will be the hoping it will not end. Some books are like that and it is a quite a pleasant treasure when you find such a novel.

Friday, June 1, 2018


Another wedding anniversary has come, so there we have it, another amendment to our records. Life is a continual series of amendments, but adding a new year onto the years of your married life, well, there just is not anything quite like it.

The possibilities of what we could do...well, while there are definite limitations, the greatest factor is the state of the home fires so to speak. And currently our extended home fires are having some major health issues, not my husband or me, but one of our children. We do not want to make such final plans of going away that can not be changed on a dime if needed.

But there is an US, so while waiting to hear if and how we may be needed in the days ahead we make simple let's go here and here plans. Being together is what counts when all is measured and secured, and amendments are only a shifting part of life.

Four decades...

"I only know what I know, the passing of years will show.
You've kept my love so young, so new
And time after time, you'll hear me say
that I'm so blessed to be loving you."

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

at the shore cum amica mea

So it was that on Thursday afternoon we headed out to the beach, two young girls (Charlotte and her friend), me and my friend, and Rancher, the Boykin Spaniel, squeezed into the back seat between the  girls. But excitement was way too high to let anything bother, even the sometimes heavy traffic and scattered rainstorms.

We read. 
I read this book while my friend read her latest book club's selection by Diane Mott Davidson.

We knitted.
We walked.

Some of us walked quite a bit to the pier in the rain making "enoing" possible.

And of course, Charlotte danced.

Having friends is a sweet form of respite. Doing the things we enjoy together, laughter, and hours of conversations flowing of life's current events while recalling the years of old memories. This friend lost her husband in a tragic air plane crash well over five years ago. Of course, we talked of him and of her three grown sons, remembering our sons many adventures together through the years. 
Now Charlotte has gotten to know this friend better, and thankfully we are still making memories

Thursday, May 17, 2018

music flow wrapper

She* gave it to me with a blessing. "Take it, knit it up", she insisted as she pressed the pattern into my hand. She assured me she would never knit this wrapper. So with pattern in hand I made a trip to my local yarn shop on a cold day in January and selected the yarn for this unusual one size fits all sweater.
Then I knitted throughout the sometimes snowy, many times windy, usually cold days of late winter, early spring.  As I watched the swirling snowflakes, as I drank hot coffee in coffee shops, and as I sat through many episodes of "Heartland" and "All Creatures Great and Small" at home in the evenings, I knit with a challenging pair of yarns, learning how to do Japanese short rows, and then upon realizing I did not like the look of those short rows with this yarn, I ripped and re-knit, preferring the German short row method instead.
But the day came when le bleu monster of a sweater was completed and blocked, and don't you know, the spring weather turned chilly once again giving full opportunity to wear it a few times before its summer sojourn in the cedar chest.

*Charlotte's wonderful and lovely piano teacher

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

a thick book

 As the list of books I want to read grows, my list charts, my piles of books, and shelves are only becoming larger and larger, but that is okay because the perfect time will perhaps present itself and I will actually begin to read a particular book. But many times certain books tend to loiter or make about- faces. 
When Alan was visiting back in May we spent quite a bit of time discussing books and various works of literature, since he is an English major afterall.  Middlemarch was one of the books he mentioned I should definitely read, and when GretchenJooanna mentioned a May/June read-along for this George Eliot classic, serendipity's charm performed its magic and I joined in this read-along line and sinker. Now that it is the middle of May, I am well into Book 2, and every time I pick up this book to read a bit, I become more hooked.

Monday, May 14, 2018

may in a jar

Time if ticking away and the "merry month of May" is in full-swing

which means sun-kissed ripened strawberries and grabbing our buckets and heading out to the fields. Therefore, I absolutely must not allow another day to come and go without sharing this simple combination, I like to call May in a Jar,  of strawberries, honey, and mint, which also just happens to be abundantly thriving in the garden at the present. The sweet taste of the strawberries mingle perfectly with the honey-infused syrup and fresh mint leaves creating the most delicious springtime ambrosia.

1 cup water
1 cup honey
1 quart strawberries
1/3 to 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

Bring the water to a simmer on medium high heat and whisk in the honey until it dissolves. Continue to simmer for five minutes, remove the pan from the heat and allow the honey syrup to cool.

Wash and hull the strawberries. I cut the smaller ones in half and quarter the larger berries(we can grow some rather large berries in these parts).  With your hands, tear the mint leaves into pieces, then I like to layer  the strawberries with the mint into a two quart jar so the mint is dispersed throughout. After the honey syrup is cooled to room temperature, pour it over the berries. Cover and keep in the refrigerator for a day. 

I enjoy eating this completely as is, but it can be served with cake, ice-cream, whipped cream or yogurt. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018


Early, at daybreak, she was placed in my arms. She was my first and last child to have been born at a birthing center, and after the  necessary baths and clean-ups, we strapped our newborn daughter into a car seat, got into the car to travel an hours drive, and as we turned down the long- graveled driveway to the farm, I sighed. We were home. That afternoon as the sun was pouring through the west-facing window I was in bed with my newborn daughter in my arms and how I marveled.
Today I continue to marvel

If I could have written a story that day of the thoughts I was pondering in my heart  as I held her, and the gamut of dreams and hopes I carried through the ensuing years for her future it would not looked anything like the reality of  what her life is today, twenty-two years later. Yet, I still marvel.

It is truly Rose's story to tell, it is not necessary for me give the details here and I only possess one perspective of a complex situation. This journey has changed me in more ways than I could express, but my sight is staunch today as I boldly look at the future for His total redemptive plan, I refuse to see anything less. What started in 2013 reached disproportional limits by 2014, and from there we hung on trying to stay afloat, constantly praying, sometimes with deep wailing, and trusting, always trusting the LORD.

She lives with her beautiful daughter four and 1/2 hours away from us at the present. She  is working  full-time and going to school. Neither she nor her daughter have contact or support from her estranged husband. To say I am not proud of her would be nothing short of a lie. I am tremendously proud of this courageous daughter of mine. And I marvel at His grace.
                                          Happy Birthday sweet Rose!

"The desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose." Isaiah 35:1

Sunday, April 29, 2018

no substitutes

Six years ago, I attended church on a bright sunny Sunday morning leaving my mother asleep with a capable aide. When I arrived home, an immediate path from the back door to the bedroom was my focus. Her breathing had changed, and I just knew. Shortly thereafter she departed, an eternal inheritance awaited ...

This bright sunny Sunday morning , six years later, I am not in church. On my bed amidst a fence of pillows lies a precious four month old. I have been his substitute mother since yesterday morning, and after a night spent at Witt and Claire's house,(DSS rules), I am tired and weary, yet my heart is full of the joy of keeping little wee man. I recall the blessings and griefs of a previous day too and I do believe it is all very relevant. The paths of motherhood through all generations and seasons are linked intrinsically, we never leave them far behind.

But I am thinking those helpful hormones and/or strong desires for a baby do give something extra of which I find myself in tremendous shortfall of at the present.

"I can hardly believe it after that horrible day last summer. I have had a heart ache ever since then. But it is gone now."
"This baby will take Joy's place," said Marilla.
"Oh no no no Marilla. He can't, nothing can ever do that. He has his own place my dear wee man child. But little Joy has hers, and always will have it."
~L.M. Montgomery

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

moving lugubriously...

Noteworthy that the day is wet and grey. Not just a misty rain, but a gentle rainfall. We all pulled ourselves out of our beds this morning, thirty minutes before we must head off in the dark to the airport. Alan was going back to his life in Bangkok, and I, for one, was not ready to say good bye. It was so much harder this time...I've known what two years feels like and each year that passes creates deep grooves in me physically as well as emotionally. I had time to ponder this anew during this visit,  remembering how far away he truly was going, and how long it would take to get to where he was.

A mother's heart must out of necessity snip the strings that tie her children to her, but they never forget what those tight binding strings of the past felt like. They are as real today as they were thirty years ago when he was placed in my arms for the first time. Those unique strings have been tangling around for quite some time now, and in my perspicacious vision they are free and blowing at times while dangling and tattered at others. Because life is like that.

We came home after we had made a stop at Waffle House (another story altogether...!) where we watched low flying planes in the sky. I stepped into the room he had inhabited for the past twenty-seven days and immersed myself in the mundane busyness of collecting towels, pulling off the sheets, looking at bits and pieces he had left behind...and the warmer clothes he will not need in Thailand. And while Charlotte takes a nap, and a fresh pot of coffee is brewing, I sit here and ponder things so deeply edged into my heart truly I can not even put adequate words to its expression.

Friday, April 13, 2018

let's talk Shakespeare

And Shakespeare? He, indeed, is not to be classed, and timed, and treated as one amongst others,—he, who might well be the daily bread of the intellectual life; Shakespeare is not to be studied in a year; he is to be read continuously throughout life, from ten years old and onwards. But a child of ten cannot understand Shakespeare. No; but can a man of fifty? Is not our great poet rather an ample feast of which every one takes according to his needs, and leaves what he has no stomach for? A little girl of nine said to me the other day that she had only read one play of Shakespeare’s through, and that was A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She did not understand the play, of course, but she must have found enough to amuse and interest her. How would it be to have a monthly reading of Shakespeare—a play, to be read in character, and continued for two or three evenings until it is finished? The Shakespeare evening would come to be looked on as a family festa; and the plays, read again and again, year after year, would yield more at each reading, and would leave behind in the end rich deposits of wisdom. (Mason, 1989e, p. 226)

We are at the end of this semester studying Shakespeare's "As you Like It'". I am using Memoria Press materials to aid me in this instruction. I have never been disappointed in the materials Memoria Press provides, they have aided me tremendously in instructing Charlotte by providing excellent literature choices. And we are getting in a Shakespearean mode by attending "Twelfth Night" at the local university tonight. 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

outside my kitchen window, she dances

The sun had forged its way into the late afternoon, and as  I was preparing supper I glanced through my kitchen window and this is what caught my eye and my delight. 

Charlotte was practicing her dance for her dances company's Garden Performance which is to be held in May.
Her natural grace and her love of dance bedazzled me.

reading and knitting with "small things"

I was pleased to discover Ginny had brought back her knitting and reading yarn along, because frankly I do find myself enjoying  the ...