Monday, May 31, 2010

Bridesmaids' Luncheon

For the past two years I have hosted a Bridesmaids' Luncheon in my home. But this year I attended one hosted by an aunt of Claire's with my two bridesmaid daughters.

The enchantment of blue hydrangeas only added to the moments

of smiling, hugging and talking of the upcoming events.

my family of daughters...they enchant me.

Friday, May 28, 2010

apron string conversation

It was late by most people's standards, unless you were a night owl. It had been a fun but long evening of team effort as we prepared the venue for tonight's affair.

He came into my bedroom and leaned against my dresser. We talked. There was a glimpse of similarity to this scene, but it was suspended in that moment of conversation. But after he left, it all came to the top like cream that rises on those milk bottles of my childhood. This was the last time that he would do this and my mind was flooded with the countless times of years past that this was a normal occurrence. Coming into my bedroom late at night , to talk, mother and son.

Those apron strings that have been stretching taut these past years snapped last night. But they snapped with gladsome tunes of, "Thank you for all you have done," and a delightful conversation, mother and son.

Monday, May 24, 2010

ordinary,simple and rich

The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest.
-Thomas Moore

The green- potted herbs flourishing on my back porch remind me of how rich and green my home life is these days.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Garden Performance

The threatening rain clouds held off for Charlotte's Ballet Garden Performance.

Behind the charming old train depot, under stately oak trees, beside a bright red caboose

our little blue-skirted ballerina danced prettily.

Witt and Claire joined us on the blankets

And brought fresh-cut roses from the garden, tied with white satin ribbons

I enjoy these things that life are made of.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Lemon-Herb Dressing

Experimenting with fresh herbs to make salad dressings for upcoming dinner to be served on a bed of fresh greens.

This simple dressing was declared a winner.

1/3 cup olive oil, or canola oil if that is your taste preference
1 Tablespoon honey mustard
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1-2 Tablespoon fresh basil

Whisk all ingredients together until well blended.

Try substituting other fresh herbs: mint, tarragon, chives

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Whoopie Pies

It seemed like the most sensible thing to do; nothing should be allowed to besmirch this rainy day.

Whoopie pies from Everyday Food, improvisation being a necessary norm, strawberry jam was folded into the whipped cream.

Rose asked, " Mama, what are you making?"

"Whoopie cushions."

They were then served to the afternoon Girls' Bible Study Group.

...the Whoopie pies that is.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A week-long post

There most definitely should be a word to describe my days of late. This word should be colorful, active and with many letters of the alphabet swirling all through it. There is a tufted titmouse that has built a nest in our basketball goal's stand. She flies in and out all day tending to her little flock of birdies. She is busy, watchful and purposeful. I can think of no better comparison of a thing that portrays a portion of my life at the present.

Rose's fourteenth birthday was celebrated in style. A very good friend who lives out of town showed up to stay for a few days in the middle of all the birthday activity. But she is a tried and tested friend, the sort of friend that rolls with the punches, whatever is going on in my household at the time, she fits right in. I can go to her house and it would be the same way. Therefore, when she woke up that morning I handed her a cup of coffee first then stated, " Today, we are going to bake a cheesecake." She did not even bat an eye. Together we learned how to make a Brownie Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake. It was scrumptious! And neither of us are cheesecake bakers.

Mother's Day was spent with three of my four, not perfect because we missed Alan tremendously, but still nothing ruined my day with the three of them. After lunch we visited Witt's place. It is so charming since Claire's feminine hand has waved over every inch of it. They will be living there together as husband and wife in two more weeks.

I especially loved the window boxes she suggested and he obliged.

Our 50+ guests will meandered through this rose garden on their way to the Rehearsal Dinner that will be served under a tent on the other side.

Certainly the song that goes "And you got to have friends....." has been proven over and over, I have a very full supply. This week it occurred in the form of a friend in encouraging me, "Yes, we can make the table cloth overlays for the tables..."all 80 inches per tablecloth. We set up long rectangle tables in the middle of her new kitchen and we measured, sewed seams, and rolled hemmed the edges. All pressed and waiting now between my foyer and dining room. These tablecloth will make the tables pop with the pink and orange color scheme,
I am dizzy already.

Friday, May 7, 2010


If there ever was a month that describes a saying,"I have been running since my feet hit the floor this morning", then it must depict the merry month of May in levels and opportunities of activity.

On the sidelines of a long stretch of activity this week:

I found myself in a strawberry patch picking strawberries and in the kitchen flipping pancakes and baking strawberry bread. A new sweetener was brought to my attention this week which I must report is quite marvelous. I was even able to pour it over my pancakes instead of syrup and it received an A+ for texture and taste. A little experimenting with strawberry bread, one loaf with the agave syrup and one loaf with sugar, and no difference could be found.
  • The amount of liquid in your recipe must be reduced by 1/4,
  • you must lower your oven's temperature by 25 degrees,
  • add 2/3 to 3/4 less agave syrup than sugar called for in your recipe.
There is a quirk that creeps up on me every once in while. I have learned to live with it and there are even times I can make something creative and tangible come about as a result of it. This seeming quirk clears the overwhelming fog that I may get lost in when there is so much to do. It rather goes with my own little saying, "It will all get done by and by."

So one foggy day I embroidered wispy wildflowers on a piece of felt, the outside of a colored pencil holder for Charlotte.

You can find the directions in Amanda Soule's, The Creative Family. I thought I would edge the outside of my holder with a black blanket stitch to complement the rolled spirals with a bit of snappiness.

Girlish and useful, for an almost seven-year-old artist in residence.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Homemade Deodorant

I have been on a quest for a natural deodorant for some time now, one that could be made fairly simple at home from ingredients found in the kitchen or in the bathroom, not difficult to find items. And the most important factor of all, obviously, was that it was effective.

I have been testing one particular formula of homemade deodorant now for over a week and feel as if I can at least make a statement about it from my own experience.

1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup cornstarch
2-3 drops of essential lavender oil

These are the total ingredients for the deodorant I prefer. The baking soda deodorizes while the cornstarch acts as a mild antiperspirant. If a less powdery and more moist deodorant is what you desire, you may add about 5-6 tablespoons of coconut oil. But be warned that this gives it an oily, moist texture and you will need to be careful of not getting it on your clothes. You could try blotting after an application to help. Also, adding a few drops of tea tree oil is an option I plan to try on my next batch, especially since I believe in the benefits of tea tree oil and an item I keep in my bathroom cupboard.

Using a cotton ball to apply the powder works fine. I made a cotton crocheted applicator, and even though the powder adheres to it nicely, it lacks softness. It will need some perfecting before I pass on the "how to". Now I know the powder puff came by its name for a reason!

This totally wonderful concoction of homemade daintiness rests in a jelly jar on my bathroom counter. I use it daily, with pleasure.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

make mine fancy, please

Four more weeks. You could ask Claire and she would tell you the exact amount of days, yet days are way too short for me...I must think in weeks.

The Rehearsal Dinner invitations were signed, sealed and delivered recently. Only one return due to lack of proper postage, it happened to be traveling to Canada and I unknowingly mailed it with the group of those not venturing abroad.

On my list of things I would like to do one day:
Take a calligraphy class at the Community College.

Meanwhile, I am self taught. So all my "fancy nancy" penmanship needs must be done in this manner.

But it works for me!

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, ...