Friday, August 27, 2010

miscellany

It's Friday. And my post is one full of a variety of things...

Liriope should never have abided taking on the name of monkey grass. While it might be somewhat bossy and overbearing at times, it does give spiky purple bubble blooms every August to snip and bring inside; I like to add pink zinnias and set them on the kitchen table.

 To my way of thinking lately, everyone should take their daughters along when they go shopping. Both girls insisted that this dress was beautiful. "Please Mama, buy it, you look soooo good in it!" With their insistence and the tempting sale price, I brought it home and wore it out on a date last night with my husband. His first remark, "You are wearing something very young looking." To which I replied," Of course I am, the girls helped me pick it out. Hopefully, people will not think you are out with your daughter." After we recovered from our laughing fit, we headed out the door. Other than the 60% off sale price, I believe the colors in the fabric of this dress are what pushed me over the edge. However, I am happy to report the first thing the lady at the restaurant said to me was, " I like your dress."


A new door was hung between my kitchen and dining room. This was an acquisition I have been desiring for quite some time. Now it is waiting for several coats of paint...Wonder who will  be the designated one to do that?

 Charlotte had a favorite friend spend the night and two pink duckies joined them in the bathtub. The more the merrier certainly rang true in this case.

These are only a sprinkling of the things which make me thankful to embrace family and home on this Friday.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A country wedding

One of the groomsmen from Witt's wedding was married Saturday. In a wide opened field, with accompanying sunshine and curious grasshoppers, the bride and groom made their sacred vows.


Then everyone walked back down the freshly mown path to a pole barn for the dinner, the dancing and the merriment that was to follow.

 (Claire waiting for the merriment to begin.)


Hayrides were offered for those willing to sit upon bales of hay in their wedding attire.


  A dinner of Greek food was served on different patterned plates and set on tablecloths of either pale wheat, honeydew green, misty rose or antique white. (I seem to take note of such things as plates and tablecloths.)


The band  loaded their equipment onto a trailer decorated with sunflowers.


 I know this is a horrible photo, but I loved seeing Witt and Claire dancing on the sawdust ground.

We watched as the shadows played their silent game and the sky hit a shade of deep midnight blue,  while the mini-lights twinkled and the flickering candles seemed to dance too.



 Too soon, everyone gathered outside to see fireworks explode into the sky with bursts of color and light.  Then the newly wedded couple said their goodbyes, got into the old, white sedan and drove off through the field, the car's headlights illuminating the darkness to give them a way out...and off.

I loved this wedding event, it fit this precious couple to a tee.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

turquoise bishop




When I first started smocking dresses for Charlotte, the pattern of choice was one designed by Ellen McCarn; a very traditional bishop pattern made to span over several years of growth in your child.

I know Charlotte will be reaching the age soon that she will not desire to wear a bishop. She will opt for the "older" girl look. But I knew there just had to be another bishop yet to be sewn for her before she crosses over into the land from little girl to big girl.

This summer while I sat under an umbrella by the pool, or traveled  in a car to visit my mother, pink floss was smocked on a turquoise bishop. Then five pink bullion roses were added in the center front.

And I knew I could count on my girl,  just as I thought, she loved it!

Monday, August 23, 2010

morning has broken


August begins to have other fascinations, and you do not have to look very far to enjoy their simple delights. The early morning light begins to change as the sun has a later rising time.


My most standards my vegetable garden is, well, pitiful. But the morning's harvest was gathered with appreciation and thoughts of BLT sandwiches later on.







What I consider very agreeable visitors joined me on the back porch.



Seventeen year old Penny even decided this delightful August morning was not to be missed. This is an exception to her rule, because as she ages she has become more reclusive, preferring the safety of my bedroom for the most part. Penny was given to my son, Alan, by my mother when he was five years old. She has been a pet member of our family for a long time. Somewhere through the years she "adopted" me as her owner, upon which I did not protest, since I fancy her.

Friday, August 20, 2010

weeding

August is an overgrown month. Many things in my life have become crowded and untidy.



My garden is a  living testimony to the month of August. The extremely hot temperatures make weeding  not as fun as it was at the beginning of the summer. The messiness began with the cleomes taking over, the knowledge that their seeds will abundantly fall to make next year's production in my garden even more intrusive stirs me to keep a heavy hand on pulling them up. The monarda, while it brought such lovely visitors of hummingbirds, has a reputation of spreading far and wide creating a canopy over the lower lying herbs and stunting their growth. Yesterday, I spent a brief  bit of the morning, making  the herb garden tidy. Now my uncovered parsley can flourish, allowing the swallowtail butterflies to stop by and lay their minuscule eggs. Very soon I will seek for the munching caterpillars during the still hot days of September to watch them grow plump in  preparation to cocoon themselves for the cycle to continue.


And we can not forego grieving the passing on of summer. Every year, the story repeats itself. My heels are dug in. Maybe I should consider weeding these thoughts too and move on.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Rustic Apple Tart


Appley goodness visited my kitchen yesterday.

My husband braved the ladder as we picked apples on Witt's trees once again. This time the apples were not being culled due to the overabundance as they were before, but were ripe for the picking, tart and delicious.

The thoughts of tarts have been bouncing around in my mind as of late, and since apples were aplenty in my kitchen, I thought they were the best choice for the moment. The recipe was found here, however, I did not use the apricot preserves in my tart. The use of so much butter was somewhat disconcerting, but  the recipe called for a small amount of sugar, so the taste is definitely in the buttery crust and the apples.

 Cinnamon and nuts would be good additions, and I might add them in future apple tarts.  I am thinking this tart crust recipe would also be good with peaches and raspberries, or maybe even plums.

Definitely rustic, as in simple

I just took one out of the oven for Sunday's dinner. My husband expects a scoop of ice cream on the side will take it to even higher levels of delicious. He is probably right, but I can not imagine it being any better than it already is.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

needle truth




"Take your needle, my child, and work at your pattern; it will come out a rose by and by. Life is like that-one stitch at a time taken patiently and the pattern will come out all right like the embroidery."
-Oliver Wendell Homes 











Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My traveling companion



 Drinking from plastic cups is something I will not normally sustain. Yet this year I was given a *Tervis* tumbler as a gift, and I must say I have become very fond of it, especially on these hot, summer days.  Fill it with ice and a cold beverage and it will remain cold for quite a long while. It is reported to keep hot beverages hot in like manner.

But for now, it keeps any threat of dehydration from besetting me.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A Reticule Inside and Out

This has been a season for creating reticules; not pocketbooks, clutches, or even purses, mind you, but little bags of silk set apart for toting to those special occasions. 


It all started in March with this reticule.  Clutched in my hand on my son's wedding day gave it bona fide status for a special occasion. The dusty rose pink ribbon was the exact shade in the dress I wore. I gave thoughts to what its contents would be too, which ended up being a lace handkerchief, a tube of lipstick, and a tampon. I could be assured all dire essentials were covered.


Several new things were learned on this project, one of which was beading. Beading appears to add elegant shimmer to any special occasion reticule.

Setting it amongst the dried blossoms on my hydrangea bush was another special occasion altogether, but I thought it had a lovely space there too.





Thursday, August 5, 2010

I'd rather be sewing

"In between times, whenever he could, he would chat to Ella while she was busy sewing. He could always make her laugh, even if her mouth was full of pins."
Ella's Big Chance
Shirley Hughes


 On these hot August days, my hands stay occupied with lovely fabrics of satin batiste and silk dupioni, little threads, needles and thimbles, tiny beads, and little sewing "snip" scissors.


Not on school curriculum at all. Maybe I am in full-fledged denial.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

and one more makes seven





We all dined together this evening.

Witt and Claire will be leaving for Canada on Saturday, so this will probably be their last visit with us until they return the following week. It was a grand time. We sat around the dining room table and talked and laughed as the candles gave off their soft alluring light, the sort that made lingering completely necessary.

The meal was quite simple actually, steaks cooked on the grill, risotto, focaccia bread, salad greens tossed with cucumbers, sungold tomatoes and homemade green goddess dressing, sliced tomatoes with balsamic vinegar, mozzarella cheese and a leaf of basil,( if you have not tried that one you must...easy peasy, and oh, so good!)

And since Claire has taught me to think beyond the box of sweetened desserts, cantaloupe sorbet with mint and lemon thyme was served.

Before leaving the table, there were contests of blowing out the candles. Alan won that one with bravados all around.

Then we cleaned up the kitchen together, without anyone running into each other. It was as if we had practiced.

Isn't that what family is all about, after all? Claire is fitting in so beautifully. The piece we had been missing and anticipating for years.

SO here are a few more photographs from the wedding day.

(If anyone would be kind enough to explain how to navigate the photos around on the post I would be most sincerely grateful! The new blogger has been a teeny bit of a challenge these days.)

november as it looks now

"After the leaves come down, the countryside has an open look. New vistas appear, hills unseen when summer's wealth of green is spr...