Friday, October 31, 2008

Forced Computer Rest

Yes, I love technology....but there are times when I must say I can live without it

.......and I do.

But this time it was a case of forced hiatus. My computer must have caught some kind of horrible virus and suffered a terrible crash. It is presently "in the hospital". While I have missed blogging and reading certain blogs, I also realized that the times of going back to those days of the not so faraway past are over.....I most certainly rely upon this form of technology more than even I would like to admit. Emailing for upcoming horse shows, 4-H events where I am the one in charge of food, prayer news, etc. One must shout," Alexander Graham Bell arise! " Therefore, if my telephone did not ring enough with everyday calls and the recent deluge of political was added all the calls of missed emails!

So hopefully by next week I will have it all taken care stayed tuned. I have had a delightfully splendid week of an afternoon tea at a charming hotel, Christmas ornament making, horse shows......minus the extra phone calls. Thankfully my answering machine is working beautifully!

And the most thanks go to Alan for allowing me to borrow his laptop this afternoon in order to get this post out.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Twenty-six years

Turning twenty-six on the twenty-sixth....demands a yellow cake with a raspberry filling and an icing of whipped cream abundantly sprinkled with coconut.As tradition dictates, the dining room is decorated with brightly colored streamers. Even the "big kids" expect it and would miss not having this provincial form of hoopla awaiting them on the morning of their birthday. Many a birthday eve my husband and I have been up late hanging the twisted crepe paper streamers from the corners of the room.
My youngest and my eldest share the best kind of gift.....hugs and kisses. We laughed at all the funny expressions that ensued from Witt's face!

Witt attended college in the mountains, where it can get rather cold. Every Thanksgiving holiday we could expect him to arrive home with a beard. Now it seems that as soon as the weather starts to get cool, the beard appears once again. Now unless someone thinks I do not like husband has donned one for over twenty-five years. Yes, I most definitely like men in beards....but this man is my son!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Keeping T cozy

Look what is keeping my teapot cozy, panoply for such humble duty. I knitted it from the wool of my Romney sheep which I dyed in this pleasing shade of purple.....perfect.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Daily Living Obsession

"I tried to advise her, "said Bella. " I pointed out that when we were young we broke away from this tyranny of domesticity," said Bella, her color high. "She said why? and I told her we wanted to live for bigger things: movements, ideas, causes."
"What did she say to that?"
"She said, That's just it. You had causes. You didn't live.' The girl is obsessed with living, daily living, that's all you can call it," said Bella, more than ever incensed.
China Court
Rumer Godden
That is what I have been doing these days. Living, daily living....that's all you can call it, and I love my obsession!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Corn Bread Muffin Prep

Promotion of the "stool" from the bathroom sink left this past used little stool just resting in my pantry.Usually the protocol for Charlottte helping to cook is to drag a kitchen chair across the floor. I absolutely loved seeing this stool in use once again and it was a perfect height for my now five year old baker.

Corn Muffins were on the menu to prepare to go along with a pot of chili being served at a basket making class I was attending- such Fallish comfort food should always be shared.

This old tin was a find in an antique store years ago. It has a deep burnished, well-worn look and makes the most fun autumn muffins.....can you see the leaf embossment on one row of the tins?

Corn Bread Muffins

1 1/2 cup cornmeal

3 tablespoons of flour

1 egg

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 teaspoon soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

2 cups buttermilk

Sift dry ingredients into bowl. Beat egg and add to the buttermilk. Add this mixture to dry ingredients and beat well. Add the melted butter. Pour into greased muffin pan.

Bake 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until brown.

I prefer to crumble my muffin in my bowl of chili.....but you can do whatever suits your fancy.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Picnic Days

Last year I was mindfully drawn to a picnic basket that was for sale. The former owner reported that she had purchased this unique picnic hamper in England and had hand carried it on a plane. Because my husband knows me so well, and he could see me smile from the tip of my head to the bottom of my toes with delight when I saw it, he generously agreed to purchase it for me.All the pieces were accounted for and attached to their assigned places, a perfect table setting for four. Look at the stainless silverware! I am not partial to eating on plastic utensils so this is by far my favorite amenity.

In my imagination we pull up to a hilly countryside meadow, open the boot of the car, pull out my treasured picnic hamper that has been filled with chicken salad sandwiches, havarti cheese and crackers, crisp granny smith apples, chunky brownies, and iced tea in the thermoses. The lovely vintage tablecloth is spread upon the grassy ground and floral cloth napkins are brought out.

But this is not just a daydream........ such picnic days are being enjoyed and it is only in my imagination that I hear the picnic basket speaking in a enticingly beautiful British accent, "How lovely a picnic would do today, don't you think?"

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Attic Finds

One does not have to leave home to discover vintage charms.

In order to make a cluttered attic look somewhat straightened, I rallied my troops, however unwilling, together today. Our mission was to get all the clothes, scattered from here to there over my attic, distributed to their proper places - some piles to be given to friends and other piles donated to goodwill. Rose's outgrown clothes were neatly boxed and labeled in order to be ready for Charlotte as she grows each year, because even if I tell her in a firm voice, "Absolutely do not grow any bigger.... I am going to put a brick on your head to keep you little...." still much to my chagrin, she grows!

We moved into this house 5 1/2 years ago. I was seven months pregnant, therefore many boxes were carried upstairs to the attic... for later. I found so many treasures today as I opened box after box.

Such as these pillowcases I started embroidering about twenty-five years ago. The skirt was to be crocheted lace ( I have not found that box yet).

And these pillowcases I embroidered as a ten year old maiden and slept on throughout my childhood. So many of the stitches have come out and need to be redone. This does not even distress me. Homemade things should be lovingly used and it is a good feeling to see normal wear from such purposeful use.
The greatest find by far was my grandmother's hand crocheted lace edgings. As I gently fingered them I knew my grandmother would have liked that. Now I must begin embroidering pillowcases once again. Twenty-five years has been entirely too long!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

cabinets, coffee beans, and candles

A particular corner cabinet in my kitchen was in sore need of attention. This is the same cabinet I open every single morning to ease out a coffee filter to make the morning's pot of coffee, and every afternoon to scrounge around the tea selections in order to seep a soothing cup of tea.

It was a pitiful sight!

All contents were removed and laid on the counter, then neatly rearranged and stored back in the cabinet. In the process some old hazelnut coffee beans were discovered. Just enough to place into an old "Quaker Oats" oatmeal dish with a chocolate scented candle- coffee house aroma permeated my kitchen. What an added treat to my now orderly cabinet!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Charlotte embroiders

Charlotte sat in the prism friendly foyer to embroider this afternoon.
There were dazzling rainbows everywhere!

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Simple Family Feast

"Making a home that is a joy,comfort, and encouragement is one of the most important things anyone can do. The home is the basic building block of society. Home also shapes the individuals who comprise it..."
For the Family's Sake
Susan Schaeffer Macaulay
My cup was running over as I sat around my dinner table tonight with my husband and our four children. Such simple things can make one's heart light. My older son, who will be 26 on October 26, isn't part of our regular mealtimes anymore. When he does make an unexpected stop and stays for supper we have such a marvelously warm time. All mothers know this uncontested truth, every single child is unique. They each add to the dynamics of the family and when one is absent there's a certain haunting emptiness. Yes, you adjust and become accustomed to the change, yet it never is the same, and never will be for that matter.

But tonight we were all together...eating and talking and laughing...My family.
I want to believe it was chiefly for our company that he stayed, but it might have been the spaghetti with homemade basil pesto swimming throughout the tomato sauce.

And after dinner, Charlotte danced for us.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Creating a Legacy

While at a prayer conference I attended a few weeks back, the author of this book spoke several times. I could have sat and listened to her for hours. Not only was she witty and delightfully entertaining, but she related so many ways to create and leave a legacy for the generations that follow.

Many of the things she suggested we already do as a family, but I am now inspired to undertake new traditions that I hope and pray will be engraved on the lives and hearts of my children and their children and their children and so on....... that is quite a rich inheritance to leave behind and one that I most definitely desire to pass on.
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Highly recommended!

" teach their children, the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget His deeds but would keep His commands." Psalm 78:5-7

Friday, October 3, 2008

A Note of Thanks

Yesterday the girls and I were in the next town for a morning Bible Study and were invited to stop by for lunch at a dear friend's house. This is the sort of friend that is as comfortable as chili and cornbread served by the fireside on beautiful glazed pottery dishes. It just feels so right! I sat down this afternoon to write her a little note and thank her for her graciousness and to let her know how much I appreciate her. That too feels so right.

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, ...