Wednesday, March 28, 2012

home remedies

Against an evening of loosing all hope, the morning finally dawns with things looking immensely brighter. Peppermint tea and saltine crackers are popular in our home for the aid of restoring needed balance. And when the tea is poured from a little porcelain teapot and served with a bit of blossom honey in a Jemima Puddleduck teacup, the journey of rebounding begins with an extra touch of whimsical consolation.

A unwelcoming and cruel "bug" came creeping into our household the middle of last week and wasn't pleased until both girls and me languished for "a spell". Charlotte did receive some tender administrations though.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

receiving and giving

 Even if the vernal weather has been pressing hard, my mind was stayed on the knitting of a pair of  wool fingerless mitts this week because I wanted to gift someone special . I began knitting them this past Sunday afternoon.

 Part of the fun of knitting and reading is finding someone to share like passions. Others must think so too, so without further ado, I am delightfully sharing with Ginny and her Yarn Along cohorts the completed mitts and a Interweave book called Gifted.

A box arrived at my doorstep last week containing the few books I had recently ordered. This book by Mags Kandis is filled with some wondrous knitting projects, most of which would make outstanding gifts. I am already dreaming and planning some future little things to knit or crochet, because "I love making stuff"(p. 9). And we all know the gifting and sharing of those things is part of the joy of creating them.

This is only one of the few devotional books I am reaping treasures from this Lent season. It was included in the same book order of the past week. It is small and can be carried along in your pocket, the accompanying Scripture passages are included in the back. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

here a comma, there a comma

everywhere a comma comma...

  I am thinking I might have a latent love affair with commas. I love using them! However, my desire to include them creates erroneous writing at times. They look so comfortable and contented sitting there in a sentence, but it is something like dancing a tango step in the middle of a waltz when used incorrectly. All this to say be kind when you observe my obsessive use of commas. Sometimes when I go back and reread my posts  I am downright appalled at my blatant ill use of them. But I can not help thinking how comfortable and contented they look hanging in there... sometimes they just need to swing on out of a particular sentence!

Another no no, 
yet another thing I am tempted to do.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

saturday whims

It began with a breakfast eaten at a wrought iron table while sitting outside downtown. Some of us settled for sausage or ham biscuits, while I personally chose the tempting hot bar of eggs, bacon, potatoes, squash and asparagus. My dear one decided a portion of my scrambled eggs should not be dismissed a a great addition to his biscuit.

photo by rose

The day got rolling  along as errands and a little shopping took center front during the morning hours.

Ever since I first learned of this magazine, Jane Austen Knits, I have desired to hold it in my hands and  indulge in its luxury. Already a project has been chosen from its pages and a heavenly deep cerulean blue dyed yarn of a merino/alpaca blend purchased (you see it on the top right hand corner) to be knitted into this:

 a short stay.

 The knitting needles are a present for Charlotte. It is time for her to have a nice set upon which she can  knit and purl. I know and can attest to the pleasure of having fine yarns and needles while enjoying the art of knitting.

And I have plans for the Cascade Superwash to be knitted into a pair of fingerless mitts for the Hospice social worker who shows up at my back door almost weekly. She comes in carrying Mr. Putter and Penny treats. She is tiny in statue and her bright smile would lighten up even the cloudiest sky. She knew my father because she just happened to be our assigned social worker when he spent his days here with us; he always called her not by her first name, but Mrs. King. She mentioned to me one day how her hands always seem to stay cold, I know the feeling exactly and that is why you will find me wearing fingerless mitts often during the cold months. She might not get much wear from them this year, but hopefully her dear caring hands, the same hands that have so mercifully caressed both my mother's and my father's face, will stay warm during whatever winter months are in her future.

Happy Saturday!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

love of an old cat

I read just last week how to determine the age of your cat, or dog too for that matter. Penny was born in March 1993 which makes her 19 years old in people years. Let's see according to the chart that puts her at the ripe old age of  92 years old in cat years. Yes, that is about where I would place her exactly with her limps, deafness and octogenarian habits.

She lives in the bedroom that has now become my mother's room. My husband has dubbed it the geriatric room, a stark statement of truth which seems mighty appropriate. Though I do miss her sleeping beside me these evenings.

She ventured out this afternoon while I was in the sun room.  Then she meandered back with arthritic finesse to a common spot in order to take an afternoon sunbath in the foyer's afternoon glow.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

weekend specials

There are those times that I would like to think I could ease into my weekend. Rise up on Saturday morning with a day of adventure and anticipation in my spirit, full of things to do and places to go without any hurry or lack. Reality finds me, however, discovering my own streaks of adventure in much smaller ways and nine-tenths of it works out to be plain attitude in approaching not only the tasks at hand but all the little extras too.
But I was able to sew on Charlotte's Easter dress and it is almost at the stage of completion. After  Saturday's appointment with my buttonholer and a threaded needle to do a little hand sewing it only lacks the addition of two more buttons on the back and then we are on to the final hemming.

Charlotte has assisted in the design of this dress. She accompanied me to the fabric store and chose a white eyelet with a light blue lining. Together we came up with the embellishment, a stack of yo-yos with a trio of the tiniest strands of dangling pearls. She is a pearly kind of girl after all!

Witt and Claire joined us for dinner. Somehow the momentum of the evening rose without any photos being taken. But is was lovely and a vase of forsythia with a few daffodils was set amongst us. I am always on the look out for a delicious dessert for Claire to eat that is both sugar and gluten free because I love her and want to please her.
After a dessert of ice cream and these extemely delicious little chocolate treats, we played several rounds of rummikub. Then it was time for them to leave, time change would create a Sunday morning with a muchly felt hour stolen from us. 

And if you have not checked out Claire's blog you should. She inspires me with her creativity, food and words.

Friday, March 9, 2012

a female's best friend

Cornstarch hails many virtues.

I personally keep a container on my pantry shelf for cooking and another one in the cupboard over my washing machine as an aid for removing spots, especially blood. Just place a small amount of dry cornstarch on the spot and make a paste with cold water. Let it set then rinse under cold running water. You may have to repeat the process. The last step is throw the item into your washing machine to launder normally. It works!

Friday, March 2, 2012

a gift of a certain day

The other evening we were cleaning up the supper dishes, a supper of a quick and easy Chicken Parmesan, and the words to this song became a topic of conversation. We were all trying to get the words and tune right, everyone adding their two cents worth but no one actually getting it right. YouTube to the rescue.

This is absolutely the best part of the movie. I could watch it over and over again and still never miss being totally delighted. I do not desire to have a pig, even one as irresistibly cute as Babe, and I think the low ceiling cottage has charm that might have possibilities. But that jig...oh my goodness...what I wouldn't like more than to be able to sing and dance right along with Farmer Hoggett!

And come to think of it who among us could not think of taking certain singular days, wrapping them in pretty paper, topping them with a fancy bow, and then presenting them as a gift to someone special?

If I had words to make a day for you,
I'd sing you a morning golden and true
I would make this day last for all time
then fill the night deep in moonshine.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Flora socks and Flora's book

A chocolate colored woolen sock being knit to match its mate is top priority on my #2 double points as I meet up with Ginny's Yarn Along. I knitted the first sock (and I am wincing slightly as I type this) about two years ago. It has a pattern with a four row change, and perhaps due to a distraction, I made a blunder while knitting the second one. It was small, I could have knitted on and consoled myself with the thought it was only a sock, no one would know. But I could not make myself continue on knowing I had made a variance in the pattern. It was like something stuck between my teeth, a constant nagging thought. However, I did not have the fortitude at that time to figure out from whence I had made the mistake. It was better to set it in the basket for another more convenient time. This winter was the time, I put on a now or never frame of mind and thankfully found the mistake without too much difficulty. I am happy to report I am on my way to the turning of the heel. These socks feel so wonderful on the feet and how I enjoy wearing a patterned sock.

Last winter we spent many a night getting to know the characters in this book by watching the BBC's series through Netflix. I knew I must read the books sometime during my lifetime. The trilogy put together as one book was a Christmas present to myself. I shamelessly ordered it through Amazon, wrapped it up, and placed it under the tree. Then I displayed such smug satisfaction when I opened it for all to see on Christmas morning. Late February seemed the perfect time to open its pages and enter into the world of Lark Rise and Candleford. I look forward to reading this book every evening just like I would look forward to eating a rich slice of chocolate cake. A perfect match with the socks if I may say so myself. I  have named these the Flora socks in honor of the author of this great classic novel.

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, ...