Monday, March 29, 2010

White Linen

In church yesterday someone prayed using the words, "intricate work of the Holy Spirit", which immediately put a picture image in my mind having to do with the hand sewing I am totally engrossed in these days....drawn- thread hemstitching.

After drawing out the linen threads, you collect three tiny threads, and then embroider them with stitches in order to make a fine edging along the border of what is to be, in this case, a table napkin. I am mesmerized with each little stitch of this involved work.

And so on this Holy Week, I am also absorbed in certain remembrances regarding white and linen:

"Though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow." Isaiah 1:18

"So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen." Mark 15:46

The intricate work of the Holy Spirit.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Saying it with a Song

Nothing seems to beat those impromtu date nights with my wonderful husband. A little bit of gussying up and out the door with anticipation of spending uninterrupted time with him. We dined at a fabulous new restaurant downtown in our state's capital.

Traveling home always finds us turning on the radio to a popular evening show, the only time we listen to it is when we are on a date night, it adds history. But it also becomes one of the most favorite parts of our date night, music to listen to and sing along with as we course down the highway amid the headlights and shadows.

This song is one of those songs that puts a smile on your lips every time you hear it. My husband and I totally agreed of how true the message is only grows bigger, brighter and better.

Since Youtube is my source of every rhyme, reason, or whim of our culture, there could be no other way to actually share it with you, other than possibly taping us singing it together! Spiral Staircase does it so much better!!!! Yet we certainly have quite a bit of fun our way too.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Happy over many things

Happy Spring! Happy Sewing!

Since Wednesday's bout of green and afternoon teas served on the patio with green-sprinkled brownies, Spring has been jumping out at us like little cottontail bunnies with twitchy noses.

This weekend the Smockers Guild that I belong to sponsored a two day workshop. Kari Mecca taught us ribbon embroidery on a silk purse. I have plans you know, I believe it would be lovely to carry it in the wedding.

In Saturday's class we were taught how to make animal buillions on a diaper shirt. My plans are for special babies in my future.

So many hours of hand-sewing and learning new things.

I arrived home to sparkly windows, my busy beaver family had cleaned all my windows on this spring Saturday! Thank you dear ones!

Tonight's meal celebrated the first day of spring with supper al fresco.

Happy things, and we do not want to waste a single one.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Weekend Menu

Feedings this weekend...nourishment for the spirit and soul.

I will be attending this conference with a friend. I have seen Sally Clarkson in person several years back at a homeschool conference. I appreciate her ministry of encouraging women in their faith and calling.

There are frozen turkey potpies in the freezer, Rose's idea of preparing dinner. I do not sweat what my family will eat when I am away. They get hungry...they eat.

When I arrive home at 5:30 on Saturday afternoon, I will have four out of town guests at my house. This morning, between packing and schooling, I have cleaned the guest bathroom, changed the bed sheets and vacuumed and dusted the guest room. Instructions have been given for Rose to clean her room for the other two guests, a young mother and her adorable one year old.

These guests are very good friends. They go into your kitchen cabinets, grab what is needed and generally make themselves at home. I am not sweating this either.

A basket of chocolates atops the bureau, a little sweetness to feed any cravings.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Dream of Spring

All nature seems at work,
slugs leave their lair
The bees are stirring-
Birds are on the wings
And winter slumbering
In the open air
Wears on his face
A dream of spring.

S. T. Coleridge

Isn't Coleridge's metaphor of winter perfectly defining? I imagine the most detailed picture of winter (masculine) with a spirited smile as he dreams of spring(feminine) yet to come. I think I might wear a dream of spring on my face too these days, especially after some of the springlike days we have had this week. Or at least the dream of spring has greatly affected my afternoon pursuits.

After reading in last year's journal that my lettuce and spinach seeds had sprouted by mid-March, I plowed my little rows with a blue- handled spade and carefully planted the light- as-a-feather lettuce seeds and round spinach seeds into the rich brown soil. The empty seed packages now edge the rows and so begins the wait... for those first sightings of green.

The winter's dirt and grime was hosed off the white wicker porch furniture and then the job of giving it a fresh coat of white paint was begun. Shake, spray, shake, shake-S-P-R-A-Y... a rhythm all its own.

When not being carried around in the arms of the six year old owners, the dolls commenced their first sun bath of the season. Like me after their brush with winter, they were in dire need of those extra doses of Vitamin D!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Chocolate Dessert

If you are looking for a fabulously scrumptious chocolate dessert, look no further.

And let me highly recommend this one.

It can be found here.

Except the next time I make this dessert, I will have a crowd over to help eat it. A little bit goes a long way, and makes for a very pleasing ending to a meal.

Now that I think of it, several of the recipes in this book were tried and hailed as excellent by those I serve on a regular basis. I am highly considering purchasing this book. For the most part I find her recipes simple to make and accommodating when certain alterations are desired or needed.

I thought I would prepare the veal chop saltimbocca recipe included in this cookbook using boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead of the veal, served over angel hair pasta...yum! It was elegant, delicious and simple, just add a fresh green salad. One of those meals that would be perfect for company, and only taking about 30 minutes from stove to table.

Monday, March 8, 2010

A bit of randomness concerning today

The spring-like weather created new ridges in what would have been normally just an ordinary Monday.

I downloaded some pictures onto the computer and there was my lovely daughter at the ball, all dressed up and ladylike

with a bun of rhinestones and wearing pearl earbobs.

I received a phone call from a friend one day last week asking if she could come over Monday morning and see my tea things. She is planning to host a Ladies' Tea in a couple of weeks and wanted to borrow some things that she thought she might need. I loved hearing about her plans for the tea, the foods she would be serving and how she intended to set her tea table.

I brushed the cat outside on the front stoop after lunch. Her soft light undercoat blew away in the gentle breeze as I imagined an expectant robin finding it and carrying it off to weave it into its first nest of the season.

Grabbing a cup of water and a cookie, I sat in the sunshine to give myself a good dose of Vitamin D. A handwritten letter was begun to a dear friend on a note card that included a knitting pattern for a weekend sweater. We enjoy sharing patterns and recipes. She sent me a unique block pattern to knit in her last letter.

Tiny crocuses surprised me as I glanced at their random dispersions throughout the flower beds in my yard. Since their life span is short I forget where they hide dormant during the other months. Their annual surprise never cease to delight anew.

Coming in because the lengthening of the late afternoon shadows hid the sun's warmth and I had become chilled, the letter was finished with my shoulders wrapped in a wool shawl.

Then I observed the sun as it was leaving it mark on random places in my house, on the schoolbooks still resting on the kitchen table.

And giving a rosy glow to the white china sugar pot on the dining room buffet.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Brighton Ball

Tonight our local homeschool group is hosting a Country Line Dance, better known as the Brighton Ball, for teen-aged young ladies and young men. They held a practice event last Friday night to learn the dances, and it was so much fun just watching them spinning, twirling, curtsying and bowing.

But tonight the girls will be wearing their ballgowns and the men their best dress-up wear of suits or tuxedos. We watched the ball scenes in the movie Pride and Prejudice several times to catch the proper flavor of how to make and adorn Rose's dress. Then we would get lost in all the fun of the ball and have to go back and watch it over and over! I used the Sense and Sensibility pattern, regency gown. Just the sewing gave my heart a little skip every time I heard the faint swish of the purple-headed needle whishing through the pink silk fabric.

As she walked through the door I heard the gentle swishing of her gown. I don't know who's heart is skipping the most, mine or Rose's!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

the warmth of sepia

And how I desire to express the warmth of serving my elderly parents at this time in their lives.

Daddy turned eighty-four yesterday, so we baked a basic buttermilk cake and frosted it with ganache icing, knowing how much "Granddaddy loves chocolate".

We drove the one and one-half hour on the interstate with Mr. Putter riding in the crate in the back of the car. To celebrate life.

Our times are treasured with them, regardless of the realities of the giants in their lives that become even larger giants in ours on an almost weekly basis.

Nothing is easy about this road.

Sepia highlights it beautifully.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

master design

" I was also learning that most of us are not anything like as realistic as our God. We like to deal with high-flown theological abstractions. (After all, they can be kept at safe arm's lengths).

He deals with the lilies of the field,

the yeast in the housewife's bread

patches on garments

and curing Grandmother's arthritis.

So of course the master design for us to advance toward our heavenly home via the nitty-gritty of family life would be just like Him."

Catherine Marshall
Meeting God at Every Turn

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

what I was doing when March stopped by

mindfulness: a time to read, usually in bed at night or perhaps at kitchen table while waiting for the potatoes to boil

fruitfulness: a time to plan when to begin planting the tiny lettuce and spinach seeds in the raised beds outside my kitchen window, where the daffodils are stretching from their long winter nap

wellness: a time to warm the cold hands and fortify with hot drinks laced with honey and lemon

Welcome March!

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 ...