Friday, February 26, 2010

the music of the piano

Several years back, Jim Brickman's music was introduced to me and I have not stopped being a fan of his since that day. I play his CD's in the car or in my kitchen while I go about my daily duties. His music seems to create fitting scores to go along with the minutes and events of my day.

Consequently, music of other artists playing the piano began to take space in my repertoire of music selections. So when David McClintock came to my church one evening to do a mini concert, I knew I had found yet another means of listening to good piano music. The piano talks when he plays, and I understand the song it is playing. His music includes a variety of hymns and classical music, along with some of his own originals. So lovely.

Here he is playing "Fur Elise" with his added features under a black light. He actually performed this for us that night as part of the concert. Self taught, he plays by ear. I do like his piano playing.

Most mornings while preparing breakfast, I will put on one of his CD's and as the sweetness of "Blessed Assurance" pours forth , Charlotte will do her ballet moves across the floor.

It is all very good!


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

bread for my table

It does not take much to entertain my mind these days. I am nurtured in being carried away with just the thought of the most simplistic of activities. So it has been this winter with the desire of making bread on a more regular basis.

This book landed in my book basket at the library with a loud thump this past week and I knew I was destined to discover how to make this activity possible in my already full day.

Almost a week was needed to acquire the suggested tools given in the book, but I had decided in order to make it work as flawlessly as possible, I would take the author's advice. After all, he did write the book. The pizza peel was a tool I did not own until now.

Today was rainy and dreary, therefore, the smell of bread baking in my kitchen was a good thought. There were a few minor mishaps. Note: Be sure to use a container big enough to hold the rising dough.

The timing of steps given in the book were rather accurate, so I was able to bless my family tonight with an artisan loaf of bread to eat along with the turkey meatball soup.

Another mishap was the making of only one loaf...two would have been better, especially since Witt stopped by and ate dinner with us.

I now have a large circular Tupperware container in my refrigerator holding dough that will be made into tasty loafs of bread in the days to just five minutes.. and I do believe that is correct timing.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Quilter's Basket

The basket is resting.

It is waiting for later use. This basket will be used when I make my quilt, because it is called the Quilter's Sewing Basket with dowel.

I prefer to call it the Quilter's Basket of Dreams since every time I pass its resting- self I dream of the quilt I shall make one day in the future.

In the meantime I will find some sort of use for it because nothing created for such purpose should be resting for too long.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Ice Skates

Just in time to prove how easy the Olympic ice skaters truly make it appear, the girls were able to go ice skating this afternoon on an inside rink.

For me this visit was like going back in time and I experienced those tingly feelings of a deja vu magnitude. This particular sports center contains not only a ice skating rink, but a pool as well, and happens to be the same one I spent many a Saturday attending swim meets when Witt was a year round swimmer.

We would sweat in the humidity and warmth on the poolside, then hurry over to the rink side from time to time in order to cool off.

Today I was freezing but I did not hurry over to the pool side to warm up, I drank hot chocolate instead.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Over a period of time and posts I have mentioned the hand smocking I do on some of Charlotte's dresses. Several of you have stated you do not know much about it and some have even requested to know more. Since I am in the midst of smocking Charlotte's Easter dress as I watch the Winter Olympics on some of these February evenings, I thought I might share a bit.

Smocking is an beautiful old art. At first the Anglo-Saxons would wear a "smock" which was a type of undergarment worn under a woolen dress. They would decorate this undergarment with fine stitching and then cut the neck of the dress lower in order to display the hand work.

I can still remember my mother pleating, by hand, a blue dress for me and then smocking a geometric design across the front. Today, however, pleaters will do the pleating for you by gathering the fabric in even pleats. There are several basic stitches of smocking. By the arranging and combining of these basic stitches in different ways you are able to create the lovely designs.

While pregnant with Charlotte, smocking was birthed in my life. I was taught to smock and I can't adequately describe to you how it feels to make the needle threaded with embroidery floss pass through those tight little pleats and watch it form those beautiful designs. Smocking to me is simply...gratifying. I believe I could do it for hours on end.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

gathering of hearts

I envisioned little wool hearts

here, there, and everywhere.

So I picked up my small crochet hook and fingering weight red wool and made myself some.

But the most treasured hearts of all, are already mine.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Keeping a container of home-baked granola in the kitchen pantry has become routine at my house. I have learned to throw it together almost with my *eyes closed* as I go about some other task while in the kitchen- homeschooling Charlotte, folding a load of clean clothes or while making telephone calls. Granola gives allowance in changing the recipe a bit with either the addition or the omission of certain ingredients. In attempts to cut down on the brown sugar in this batch, I added an extra tablespoon of honey along with 1/3 cup coconut.

Inadvertently, I had bought whole allspice while at the market. Since I like this spice in my granola, my porcelain white mortar and pestle worked nicely in grounding the allspice, a fulfilling task, rather reminding one of an apothecary of the past.

Just as I thought, delicious!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


"Last of all came Domestic Science. One great advantage to being a junior girl was that you were eligible to take Domestic Science.

"I think I'm going to love Domestic Science," Betsy said.
Betsy Was A Junior
Maud hart Lovelace

"For me it is recognition - recognition of the worth of homemaking, of overlooked skills, of ordinary things. Above all it is the recognition of the small but significant moments of pleasure that come with an acceptance and enjoyment of the domestic space."

The Gentle Art of Domesticity
Jane Brocket

Domesticity presides over my life, yet I am certainly able to master it and even take delight in the substance of which inevitably creates the minutes and hours of my day. I swell in the very meaning of the word and I willingly abide with the satisfaction of knowing there is no better place I would rather be.

Some domestic pleasures on this day:

:teaching Charlotte how to crochet

I love to crochet. She would comment every once in a while, "I thought you said it was easier than knitting."

: smashing and chopping of fresh vegetables

Preparing guacamole to go with the pot of beans simmering on the stove for tonight's dinner.

:sewing a sleeve on the silk peach colored dress I am making

Rose will be attending a Regency Era Ball in March, more on this later.

:completing the fingerless mitts made from Malabrigo yarn, a heavenly blend of wool and silk.

I had knitted a pair of mitts from the same pattern in a luscious shade of creamy sand for Claire as a Christmas gift. They were lovely on her long slender hands.

: hand washing the dishes from our afternoon tea

Even though my automatic dishwasher is always in some process of being loaded or unloaded, I savored those few moments of washing those pretty china things in the soapy suds.

How was the art of domesticity revealed in your life today?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Daily Light

First published in 1794 in Great Britain by Samuel Bagster, this little black book is a treasure and has never ceased to feed me. It consists of two scripture readings during the day, one for the morning and one for the evening. It contains no additional devotional thoughts, only pure light from the Holy Scriptures. It sits on the table in my kitchen's sitting area, a feast.

And if you do not have one to hold in your hands, you may read the daily readings here.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

China Teacups

We were passing through a popular department store for some reason or another recently; whatever the reason, it has completely slipped my mind. But as we walked by the china department I remembered that Witt and Claire had registered their china pattern and I wanted to see the pattern they had chosen.

A glimpse of a shelf containing mix matched china caught my eye. Three matching teacups and saucers were setting there waiting for me at an unable to be resisted bargain price, almost a steal.

Especially pleased to know it was Waterford.

I am thinking these china teacups cups would make nice gifts, to be given with a special blend of tea, and maybe a little dish of homemade scones on the side, tied up with satin ribbon.

Monday, February 1, 2010

points of view

It's all in the angle. This past weekend the angle of the kitchen rocker was adjusted to look outside the windows at our winter wonderland.

It was a favorite viewing spot throughout the day.

Some of us sat and drank coffee.

While others sat and smocked.

That is when we were not outside viewing this.

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, ...