Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tomatoes

What's making me happy these days?

All I can eat vine-ripened tomatoes.


Especially as they sunbathe in the kitchen's morning sunlight.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A reflection of my packed life

A world of possibilities await me every morning. Yet I find myself secure and thinking how my life is, in a understated word, full; not unlike a lovely packed suitcase with separate compartments, filled with all potential necessities.


The ages of my children run over a span of twenty years. My firstborn son arrived in 1982, my second son in 1988, and the girls followed in 1996 and 2003, respectively. Charlotte was born four days before my twenty-fifth anniversary. We call her the "old egg" anniversary gift.

All my children are in a different stage of life and I find myself being needed in a wide range of different ways. Witt as a young adult, meets with me every Wednesday afternoon at four o'clock. We read the Word, pray and talk about his life, his future, his likes and dislikes. It also is an accountability check for him. This appointment is set on my calendar and I will do everything within my power not to change it, if the time needs to be altered, I will rearrange my schedule to fit what works for him.

Alan is in the process of transferring to another college. We are spending time visiting schools, reviewing and changing what we thought was going to be and finding out that is not the best for him right now. It is definitely a stayed tuned kind of operation at the present time.

Rose is 13, an older child, and a budding young lady. Everything that comes with this age is on center stage in full living color every day. She is at one edge of the spectrum, I'm am at the other. We coexist together beautifully, where love and grace covers a multitude of areas.

Then there is Charlotte. A six year old smack dab in the middle of fascinating childhood. She is capable of bringing me back to reality and revealing to me what is truly important in life and family. Because face it, these days pass entirely too quickly and I have proof that they grow up. I hold her tightly enough, literally too snug at times, but all within the realm of healthy allowance to encourage her growth in wisdom, statue and favor with God and man.

I love my life.

"Behold, I and the children whom the LORD has given me..." Isaiah 8:18

Monday, July 27, 2009

Felt Cookies


I call this child's play. A deep need of such play may grab me at any time and the results may be diverse. For me, recently, this need was nurtured in the making of these cookies. Indescribable fun I had in creating them from felt, embroidery floss and buttons.

Charlotte's imagination is running helter and skelter with a list of food items she now wants me to make for her from felt. The sky is the limit, and all the food stuff in between heaven and earth is just waiting for play days of happy hand stitching.

And yes, since you said please, you may have a cookie.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

late July prosperity

The mornings are darker now that July is fading into its last full week. I arise early and as Hannah Whitall Smith pens so eloquently, "And He said such delightful things, that to find them out became my supreme delight."

His Word is the best place to start my day. I am on a treasure hunt every morning.

Basketmaking has me in its grips. This basket especially is a favorite of mine. I call it my "Dorothy" basket, except I carry my knitting around in it instead of Toto.


By rule of thumb in my garden, basil is not usually potted, but put into the ground where it can stretch its roots down deep into the soil. But I had an extra basil plant this year and no where to put it so I decided I would plop it into a clay pot with some oregano. I zap it from time to time with just a small dilution of Miracle Gro. It prospers. Just as I desire my life in Jesus to prosper when I feed it.

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Romance

Even the starts and stops of the heavy, late afternoon traffic as we headed out on the highway this evening was able to stifle any ceremony of us being together......on a date. I wore a fuchsia linen dress, and dangling earrings with pink stones hung from my ears. The earrings that I had informed the girls in the past that I "never wear" because, frankly, they hurt my ears. Of course, that was the first thing Charlotte commented on when she saw me walk out the door. But I wore them anyway. I was in a dangly earring sort of mood. A black shawl was carried on my arm because one can always expect cold air conditioned restaurants in the south on summer evenings.

Before pulling out of our driveway, I asked him if he minded if I knitted on the way, which amounted to an hours drive before reaching our destination. He looked at me, smiled and said, "Go get your knitting". He drove, I knitted, we talked, the romance of another hour with my husband.

As we sat side by side in the dimly lit restaurant, the minutes were absorbed into thin air and we succumbed to being just us, a couple. This is the way I have always heard it should be.

"For once I can touch what my heart used to dream of,
Long before I knew someone warm like you
Could make my dreams come true."

Monday, July 20, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Rose with Zealand


A stallion foal was born at the farm where Rose takes her weekly riding lesson. He is a blaze by genetics, she is ablazed by proximity and touch. Who might be enjoying this moment the most?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Mops, Goggles and Books

First we clean

And then we swim.




The girls were eager to help clean this morning if swimming would be their deserved reward this hot, humid afternoon.



And for me, some poolside reading. I enjoy reading historical fiction from time to time. The King's Chronicles series by Lynn Austin is fitting the bill this summer.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Waiting for Miss Right

A letter came in the mail today. It was from a good friend who spends summers on a lake in Canada. How I enjoyed reading her letter with its beautiful calligraphic handwriting. Her statuesque 5'11'' daughter has started dating my handsome 6'3'' son. We say very little about this relationship in deference to our grown children. But we are smiling all under.



A violin that sits in a living room cabinet tells a story from my son's past. It was a gift from a girl that would sit on my bedroom floor and talk to me for long stretches of time. I liked the candor of this young woman. There have been others through the years.

With diligence I continue to pray.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Covering Chairs

On Sundays my family dines in our dining room. I pull out the good china, silver, and crystal and we enjoy sitting at a more formal setting, valuing the specialness of a special day. After all it is the best day of the week.

Because the chairs at the dining room table are used at least weekly let's face it, children drop food when they eat, or for that matter adults have a way of making their own sort of messes.

So many spots and stains had been scrubbed and some were actually able to be gotten out, but alas, some would be downright persistent in staying right where they were put without avail.

I know a lady who was willing to show me how to reupholster these chairs. Easy she says. I am such a team player.......so why not share the joy.....enter my gifted husband. I am glad to announce all the chairs are now beautifully recovered.

This past Sunday we all sat on the silk, taupe colored, newly covered chairs. My husband set a towel on each and everyone's chair. It was almost like being handed a bib.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Rooted

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
Colossians 2:6-7



Aspen trees are spread from root suckers contained within root systems that may live underground for thousands of years. That is a solid root. How my heart desires for my rooting in Him be be likewise.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Scented Geranuims

Rose scented geranium plants were annually bought and planted in my garden in days past. I especially loved their Victorian appeal. And as if just smelling them and delighting in their delicate pink flowers was not enough, I would bake loaf cakes and make jelly with their scented leaves. These days it is hard to find a source from which to purchase them.


But while at the Farmers Market this year I happened to discover citronella scented geraniums for sale. Their claim is they will keep away mosquitoes. It occurred to me that is exactly what they do. No mosquitoes get on the plant but that leaves more of you for the mosquitoes to feast upon!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Classic Tea


Classic Tea, 2:30 sharp, at a Inn in a town made prosperous by family tobacco money.

We all carried our ladies purses and wore our summer sandals which we settled under the spotless white linen tableclothed table.

Sitting at a corner table encircled by the multi glass-paned windows, we chose our tea preferences, pots of white tea with hints of pear and pineapple and mango, black teas laced with vanilla. The server called the sugar lumps (not cubes) , we collected the lumps to sweeten our tea with a little silver spoon.



Shiny elevators in the lobby upon which proper tea time behavior was discarded for a brief moment.



Because we were completely filled up, it was time to go home.

Monday, July 6, 2009

It's a Fairy's World

Somehow we were thinking that bored damsels might like to create a fairy world this summery afternoon. Hid under the zinnia plants, nasturtiums and oregano in the girl's garden the tiniest magical fairy room came alive.

Tables of twig legs and stone tops covered with nasturtium leaf tablecloth and set with fairy china composed of pine cone seeds and wild strawberries. For little fairy bottoms, twigs were topped with hickory nut shell halves (which also make delightful toadstools we discovered).

A miniature side table holds a bowl of global sized fruit.

Oh look, flower pillows to add decor to the bark and rock settee perched upon the plush moss rug imported from behind the playhouse.
We expect to see wee footprints in the dirt tomorrow morning.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Outside

Since the weather has been heavenly for July, and a holiday always screams for extras, we have eaten as many meals outside as possible,


beginning with breakfast on the patio

and ending with supper in the backyard. My husband had an idea that Alaskan crab legs would be a wonderful feast last night. We worked hard for every single morsel of sweet meat.

Completed "cute" skirt just waiting for cute pink sandals to cover my bare feet. Does anyone else go barefoot during the summer?


A game of Bocce to stir up the competitive spirit just waiting on the horizon of an absolutely perfect day.

Need to scoot, we will be celebrating with dear friends tonight at our house. Typical July 4th fare.....hamburgers, hotdogs, watermelon, homemade strawberry ice cream, lemonade....

....The volley ball net is up too.....more competitive juices are flowing.

Friday, July 3, 2009

It's July!

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." Galatians5:1


It seems we are celebrating Independence Day over a period of several days and no one is complaining. The hostess of last night's gathering said it simply, "I love the Fourth of July." My sentiments exactly.

Charlotte began her holiday with red, white and blue clothes and bright red finger nail polish.
A covered dish meal filled the hunger pangs and the old-fashioned games of tug- a- war, tube pull and the three legged race created tons of fun and laughter for all ages.


That might explain why I was in dire need of this site this morning.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Home packed with His Blessings

On Thursday mornings, the girls and I have a mission. The home of a young mother from our church with four sons 4, 2 1/2, 16 months, and 6 weeks, is our stopping place for a few hours. A home where the Word of God is written on pieces of paper and dry erase boards throughout her house. A home full of activity and life.....blessings.



We have art time with the three preschoolers.



I make her casseroles of macaroni and cheese for her supper to pull out of the refrigerator and bake during that can be tricky time when everyone is hungry and needy.




A home where lace curtains state the fragile beauty of God's grace and goodness.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

So glad you asked

I was secretly hoping someone would ask for the Focaccia Bread recipe. And someone did, so here it is:

FOCACCIA BREAD
1 tablespoon dry yeast( one envelope)
3/4 cup warm water
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons olive oil

Dissolve the yeast in warm water and let stand for 5 minutes.
Mix the flour and salt together and then add the yeast mixture and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. After stirring until incorporated, knead on floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 2-3 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turn and cover with plastic wrap. Set to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a pizza pan or round baking sheet. Punch dough down and rest it for 5 minutes. Form the dough into the circle shape. Create hills and valleys in the dough by randomly pushing the dough apart with your fingers. Brush with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with desired topping. Cover with plastic wrap once again allow to rise another 15 minutes. Bake for 20-25 minutes until brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

Now for the individual preferences, toppings!

There is a gamut of choices for toppings. Suggestions include:

thinly sliced red or vidalia onions,
roasted garlic, sun-dried tomatoes,
black olives, shaved prosciutto, rosemary
Whatever you might have around or anything that says delicious to you.

If you get a chance to make this bread I would love to hear feedback, but beware this bread could be addicting! Just ask, I should know.

orchid nursery

Once upon a time I bought an orchid...it died. Years later, someone gave me an orchid...it died. I thought there was more to orchid grow...