Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Kirsten Dream Birthday

You know there is a popular saying applied to several things in life, especially regarding children, simply stated, "May all your dreams come true".

This is something parents like to do for their children

as much as it is humanly possible.

Charlotte's birthday dreams were easily met this year....a Kirsten American Girl doll.

Did you notice the smile on her face that absolutely could not be erased? Now my dreams have come true too!

Happy sixth birthday sweet Charlotte.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

At Camp

"Hello Mudda, hello Fadda,
Here I am at Camp Granada.
Camp is very entertaining,
And they say we'll have some fun if it stops raining."

A package of goodies: baked brownies, candy and a favorite stuffed horse, was sent off this afternoon, following the letter that was posted earlier this morning to our first-time camper, Rose. She was very hesitant about leaving us when the time came to head to the mountains to drop her off yesterday. But full assurance was given in regard to our camping days of how much fun was to be had at camp. Sometimes I find that my children need an extra dose of encouragement to try new things and then their confidence is boosted and they consequently experience a wonderful time.

But there are predictions of rain all week, so I "made" her pack a raincoat. I am thinking every time she pulls it around her shoulders she will possibly thank me in her heart. Mothers just know these things.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Wedding Bliss

Ordinary words do not suffice, visions to be pondered and memories of a thing of beauty, a joy forever will stretch over a lifetime.

Both of my beautiful daughters were a part of the wedding party of this precious bride who is greatly loved by us all. Charlotte, in her puffed sleeves, did an excellent job dropping rose petals down the aisle while Rose, nervous but composed, was a striking junior bridesmaid.

A popular gathering place was the candy table where candy abounded from glass jar to glass jar.There was candy to eat, lots and lots of candy. The bride had a tale to tell about all her pursuits of pink and green candy. A fanciful idea loved by young and old.

There was twirling of fancy dresses

and dancing of tired feet unshorn of shoes.

"Daddy, won't you please?" The most special dance of all belonged to Daddy with his tiniest Cinderella.

There was blowing of bubbles.......

and the capturing of bubbles.

The fragrance of this glorious day lingers stout.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Bridesmaids' Luncheon

Taking advantage of a few moments before we scoot off to the rehearsal...

So glad to be able to sit down and rest a spell.

The Bridesmaids' Luncheon was a joy to give for this bride, a 1:00 affair on the wedding eve. Traditional wedding-like colors of white and ivory happened to be my choice. The idea was planned from a fabric I wanted to use for the table covering.

Donning the chairs with ribbon bows and fresh ivy, simple elegance is best.

And since everyone loves presents and chocolate, in whatever order, I made chocolate truffles and tucked them inside these pyramid-shaped boxes tied up with satin ribbon and tipped with the most delicate white flower.

The menu is tried and true:
Chilled Zucchini Soup garnished with fresh chives
Proscuitto and Cheese Quiche, with chopped parsley
Fresh minted fruit
Yeast Rolls with herb butter
Iced Tea
And glorious cake...........decorated with gumdrop rose petals and mint leaves.

Can you tell my herb garden is flourishing?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Taking Time for Tea

I relish open windows as one of the highlights of warmer weather as long as it is comfortably possible, until that point we must regretfully succumb to air conditioning. The outside sounds are clear and distinct: the wind rustling in the trees, the birds calling their melodies from here to there, the children conversing lively while playing. I can even hear the sunshine shining when I listen hard enough.

So what if my days are jam packed with last minute details and preparations for this weeks events, teatime in the playhouse with Charlotte was not to be missed. We munched like hungry caterpillars on goldfish and raspberry yogurt-coated pretzels then smiled through a reading about Pete on Geranium Street. And the buzzing insects filled our ears with their sounds from the opened windows in the playhouse.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sunbeam Music

Gently touching the piano keys and singing little melodies, what a wonderful way to begin a day.

The dissection of the many noises blending throughout my house in the natural stirrings of any given morning is usually nil, but on this particular morning, my attention was riveted with Charlotte's sweet music. The truest form of sunbeam music.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Mighty Good Lettuce Crop

We are continuing with the harvesting of our wee garden patch. The spinach was completely pulled last week and this week's bounty has been green leafy lettuce. Only a few short rows left to pick and store in my refrigerator to enjoy fresh organic salads all week.

Wash, wash, and wash again.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Crystal Plans

My head is spinning with the upcoming events for the wedding of a special young woman, a good friend's daughter.

I am so pleased you asked, yes, I am hosting the Bridesmaids' Luncheon. It must be what I "do" ......and I certainly love it!

Nine invitations sent, and nine accepted.

The crystal chosen for the place settings is my "everyday"Sunday crystal, made by Mikasa. Nice crystal, with an affordable average price, thus I can use it weekly without regrets for Sunday dinners. But I still hand wash it (if you are wondering). I bought only eight ice tea glasses in this pattern two years ago, but nine are needed for the luncheon. Off to the store I scampered to purchase more. Since I had to place an order, I figured why not get four more to keep this little mishap from stirring itself again in the future.

High hopes of the order arriving in time for Friday's luncheon. It needs only be delivered to my door by 12:00. I can then give it a expeditious sudsy bath and slip it into place on the table before the first guest graces my doorway. A very good plan.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Spreading Little Bits of Sweetness

After arriving home from picking in the strawberry fields yet once again this morning, the girls fixed up a little tin pail of strawberries for an elderly shut-in couple.

We visited. Charlotte demonstrated her ballet steps. Photographs of sons and daughters-in-law were passed around to admire. Big hugs wrapped us in warm, old clasps as we were leaving.

You start out to spread goodness but come away smothered in a double dose of sweetness. The blessing boomerangs....I hope my daughters caught it!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Finish Line

Last minute fittings with my real live model. Goals for completing the dress were set a couple of weeks ago and the promising finish line looms just ahead. The last quarter mile to be completed this week involves, cutting buttonholes, sewing on the buttons, and tuck hemming.

Batiste is a fine and dainty fabric, calling it wrinkly is much too common a description. Let's suffice it to say I have an appointment with starch and the hot steam iron planned this week. Already I am smelling the starchy mist even as I hear the whoosh of the escaping steam.

However, I am sure I shall not be able to get it as stiff as the crinolines which are worn underneath. A very good thing for Charlotte's sake!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Friday, May 8, 2009

Upon Rose turning 13

My daughter turned thirteen today. She mourned the fact; apparently leaving her childhood days behind does not appeal to her. But all the extra fanfare and planned celebratory festivities helped tremendously to encourage her to "forget all her troubles and smile". Her positive mindset about such things was restored.

Strawberry cake is traditional for Rose's birthday, but this year she surprisingly requested cheesecake. I love to bake cakes, however, cheesecakes are not my forte. A friend who makes some of the most amazingly good cheesecakes volunteered to bake one for Rose's birthday. It's chocolate swirl, even my not particularly partial to cheesecakes husband (probably the reason I do not make them), placed his stamp of approval on this cake.

Friends stopped by this afternoon to deliver birthday wishes and gifts. Due to shadowy clouds threatening to drop rain as they have been known to do frequently these days, we forsook having tea outside under the shade trees, and instead set the dining room table for an afternoon birthday tea.

Afternoon Tea Menu:
Cinnamon Rolls
Chocolate-covered strawberries
Assorted cheeses
Tea with cream and sugar

While at the beach last week after enjoying a splendid lunch served down by the river, the girls and I moseyed around some of the gift shops. These candlestick additions were gladly snatched up in the wink an eye. Little plastic cups containing miniature holes where you stick fresh flowers rest atop the candle holder, just add water and fresh flowers, of course.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

May Strawberry Breakfast

Nothing shouts strawberries like the month of May. So to the fields we scampered early one morning. Then we came home to make breakfast.

The berries were rinsed thoroughly under running water. My eyes feasted on the visual beauty of the red fruit against the white colander. Something about bright red strawberries in white containers spells beauty and grace to me.

This cookbook has the most deliciously simple whole wheat pancake recipe. (do not let the "new" fool you, I have had this cookbook for quite some time). Maybe it is the added wheat germ that gives it an extra pleasing taste.

Truthfully the sweetness of the berries was enough to make this dish completely nourishing and delectable, but a drizzle of maple syrup brings it up a notch. I close my eyes, to enjoy every single drop of savor from the maple-topped berries.

A wonderful way to start a May morning, don't you think?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sand in the Ears

Because Rose will be turning thirteen this week, the past weekend's venture was in response to her desire to take two good friends (sisters actually) and go away to the beach.

Gentle sea breezes were not on the agenda, however, the wind's velocity whipped us into all kinds of shape. But it definitely did not hamper the joy and delight we had while there with one another. As I walked down the beach, I took heart in the fact that I was receiving so many benefits from all the resistance. It was a wise choice I made to go at first against the wind so its powerful strength could help push me back to the cottage after the workout. The blue rockers on the porch hauntingly rocked all night, I felt as if we had visitors.

The water was cold. Nevertheless, the ocean's magic tempted the girls to run and play in the waves for several hours each day.

It seems Charlotte brought a bit of the beach home with her. She walked into the kitchen this morning and reported she had sand in her ears! I have always love wonderful times and things that linger, regardless of how or where those things might happen to turn up.

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, ...