Tuesday, December 2, 2014

December 2

A morning of baking bread and making soup allayed the greyness outside my window. Colder temperatures had seeped in swallowing the world with an encompassing grey.  But the shaping of the loaves and the simmering of a soup on the stove created immeasurable soothingness for any soul.

 The "violin" school" that meets at my house every Tuesday afternoon commenced with a group lesson to practice for an upcoming Christmas program to be held at the nursing home. Beautiful music chased away any remaining specks of grey that thought they might still have a place to hide.

                                                                   (photo credit...tumbler)

Monday, December 1, 2014

December 1

An unseasonably warm day that rendered some cutting back of my mums and daisies.

Nutcracker costumes dot my home since I have in the past month:
                               sewn a Chinese costume,
                                made Russian hats,
                                 created skirts for angel costumes,
                                 affixed a pocket for the inside of Drosselmeyer's jacket,
                            and worked on the fittings of two tutus, Spanish and Flowers.

They will be delivered to the dance studio this evening, back where they belong.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

this was November

Mellow and worn, like the felted slippers worn on my feet on November days due to the cooler temperatures, yet
 as the days grew shorter and the shadows longer, I observed certain integral moments of time to snap and hold in place.

Each picture tells its own story.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

and from here we break...

As for now blogging has reached a pinnacle in my life, and from this view a break has enforced itself. I wish I could flip one of those old timey book of pictures that due to speed show a beautiful story in reel form, surely you know the kind of which I speak? That is definitely the speed, but the moments and issues of life are evolving daily...full to the rim, poignant, bittersweet, stretching to the uttermost.

Several weeks ago, I wrote a post in my brain. It was entitled, "upon whence she left". One thing I am still learning is that our children belong to the LORD, and their destiny is in His hands too. But letting go of a newly turned eighteen year old just would not register on a scale  in any path of wisdom and discernment as the best thing; add in very strong, influential outside forces, authority challenged, and impulsive brash decisions being acted upon, and you get a trainwreck, of sorts.

"Being submissive to God means you do not have specific expectations
 other than the goodness and glory of God."
Nancy Wilson
   The Fruit of Her Hands any that would like to know where I might presently be, and why I am silent, plainly stated, I am taking a break. Sometimes it helps to "put it all out there", but then silence might possibly be the inimitable choice, for now.

Friday, August 8, 2014

a dress for me

It is a treasured fact that I was born into a family of seamstresses. There were years that my mother and grandmother would literally sew my entire wardrobe, dresses, pajamas, coats, whatever was needed to clothe my growing body. 

I started sewing clothes for Charlotte over ten years ago, beginning with the intrinsic bishop dress,  this stemming from the simple truth of my addicted infatuation with smocking. Then I began sewing yoke dresses to smock, and I would continue to sew  annual Easter dresses, and to enjoy creating the fun summer dresses, with things such as yo-yo's, and loving the embellishment of embroidery on some, and the addition of a cross-stitched belt on a simple fall dress.

But this summer of 2014, my repertoire of sewing skills have expanded to my own wardrobe. 

This dress was worn to my Biscuit Bar Brunch and received many compliments from the ladies, which is the best form of reward in any endeavor to my way of thinking.

I am currently reading a book that simmers in my soul, every morning's dose taken in small portions. Jean Fleming was recommended by a friend; she is also the author of A Mother's Heart and Feeding the Soul, both of which I think would be excellent to add to your reading lists.

I am loving that In the Heart of the Home has revisited needle and thread once again. Please come and join along with us, sharing what you are reading and how a needle and thread are woven into the pattern of your day. It is the closest thing to show and tell since childhood!

Friday, August 1, 2014

the best stories

"Do you know," Peter asked
                 "Why swallows build in the eaves of houses?
                                  It's to listen to their stories."
                                                                                             ~J. M. Barrie

No matter how many times I might go out and come in through the doors of my house during the the tennis courts to take Charlotte to tennis lessons... to the pool for swimming... to the grocery store, well we do have to eat... out to meet up with someone for lunch... to drop Charlotte off at dance the store to buy paint, tile or flooring for home redos... to Latin fourth of July celebrations... to dine out with my husband... to church for Bible Study...
Home definitely tells the best stories of all.

Summers automatically write flavored stories of their own. And I like to think my house swallows build their nests with the intent to listen to these, our individual stories.

This was not at home, but when we returned home after a week at the beach, 
we certainly had wonderful stories to tell.

Some of our stories do, of course, involve food, either for simple family suppers or a gathering of friends or family.  You might want to try this carrot recipe, it is delicious. Pare boil skinned carrots until they are tender, slice into chunks, toss into a bowl with two whole garlic cloves, salt and pepper, olive oil and a splash of mild vinegar ( I used champagne vinegar). Cover and set for about twenty minutes or so.
 One morning last week I hosted a Biscuit Bar in my home with ten ladies whom share a common friend whose husband works for the American Embassy. This friend has been in Ireland for the past two years and will be leaving to live in D. C. for language study until they leave for China in the spring. I sincerely hoped to take pictures and give all the details of how I hosted this event. But wouldn't you know it I was so busy making biscuits up to the last minute, and timing is the key to this sort of event, that I did not even think about a single photo until everyone had left! But I took good notes if you are interested...

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

which whey?

 There is something about homophones that stir interest and delight.

To this extent, my delight  was in the making of some whey.

The trickiest part of this experiment was the acquiring of some raw milk product. My source was raw goat's milk, generously shared by Charlotte's violin teacher who keeps a flock of milking goats.

Another one of those Nourishing Tradition ventures that materialized from my "want to try" list. I did not keep the cream cheese left in the dishtowel, however. It took longer to curdle than I expected, and...well, no takers, including myself.

But the whey is refrigerated and will be used in the making of fermented things. Way to go!

Okay, I wrote this post back in the winter, so here I am jumping ahead to just several weeks ago when Claire and I made a Saturday morning visit to the Farmers Market with the intent to purchase raw cow's milk. I promptly came home and began to make whey. It is really quite simple; incase you have never tried making it, you simply put the fresh raw milk into a clean cotton towel and hang it over a large bowl. I suspended mine with a rubber band from my counter's knobs. It will drip for several hours, upon which the finished product will yield liquid whey in your bowl, and solid curds in your cloth. The curds are pure cream cheese, really quite tasty. We ate ours with pesto on a cracker.
Tomorrow Claire arrives at 2:30 with her bag and lemons  and we will try our hand at making fermented lemonade with our whey.

But as another side note, what I want to share even more is a great breakfast dish you can prepare in either the winter or summer.

Baked Blueberry Oatmeal  
2 cups of water,
 2 cups of oats,  
 2 tablespoons of whey
 Put into a saucepan, cover and let set soak until morning. 
The next morning:
add 2 cups of water 
1 teaspoon of salt 
 Cook until oatmeal is done. Place the cooked oatmeal into an oven proof dish, add a few dabs of butter and maple syrup, make this completely your own personal taste. Add 1 cup fresh blueberries and bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes. 
This will weigh heavily in getting your morning off to a great start!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

a July daybook

Joining up with the special ladies here at Simple Woman's Daybook.

outside my window...spots of color everywhere with flowers, hanging in pots, in containers, or in the  designated garden areas

i am hard it is for a young person to grow up

i am thankful...for the abundance of fresh vegetables available in this season

in the kitchen...salmon grilled with mango relish, grilled squash, and green salad

i am skirt with green shirt, and barefeet, unless I leave the home

i am creating...a dress  sewn especially for me with Simplicity pattern 2174

i am going an outside drama tonight

i was to convince my husband to take me to a peach festival tomorrow

i am reading...Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth

i am looking forward to...the weekend, and skyping Alan

around the house...unsettled because we are getting woods floors laid upstairs and everything is rather topsy-turvy at the present

i am guard my tongue....this is a constant prayer ongoing prayer of mine

i am looking learning Greek

quote of the day..."Help me to live circumspectly with skill to convert every care into prayer".                             Valley of Vision

beautiful things in the sea

Friday, July 18, 2014

looking back

Update and comments on the plan that was laid, especially since Leslie asked.
                                             I really liked how my plan kept me on track.

 In regard to Wednesday's list, I was able to accomplish everything because I basically focused on the list. While I might have been tempted in times past to just put off, or even possibly become sidetracked with something else, instead of pushing through with the completion of my list, on this day I faithfully kept to my plan. Also, the acute realization that there were many tasks and duties not on my composed list that I was able to get done too. 

Extra things not on the list that were accomplished:
* both cats brushed, and nails trimmed
*a blog post was done
*math lesson with Charlotte
*sitting through a violin lesson
*mint gathered to make a tea infusion

I had to share this photo that was snapped on my iphone. This young woman came into our life for a brief time while I was driving Charlotte to ballet class, and she caused a huge smile on both our faces.  I was reminded of Barbie, all pink and girly.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

to lay a plan

I have noticed that some of us women like to lay a plan for our days. A carefully laid out plan, a list, that may help create harmony and rhythm to the quotidian engagements of our life, and possibly assuage the ups and downs of any particular day. Summer to a large extent is lived in randomness at my house, but at the end of a day I might sense an unsettleness in my soul that makes me want to have some sort of plan to, at the minimum, work toward something....know what I mean?

So this morning I will begin to lay a plan... knowing tweaking is always a needed option.

*up early, Bible, prayer time
*walk several miles
* water inside and outside plants, even if the rains came last night and provided some relief, I must at least check them for dryness(especially those under shelter)
*clean refrigerator
*launder towels, dry, fold, and put away
*run vacuum in kitchen area

*sew on summer dress for myself
*sew straps on Charlotte's new ballet shoes, (and show her how in the process...she will be needing this skill in the future)
*make salsa with the abundance of tomatoes
*make a meal for a neighbor that has been seriously ill
*drop Charlotte at ballet camp
*run into grocery store and purchase some needed items
*make a few phone calls

I will see how this pans out. It is at least a start...

My windows are opened to the birds calls and the gurgling of my fountain this morning as I type this post! Glorious summer morning...time to sew! 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

basking in completion

Both of these embroidery creations were begun this past winter. Both were picked up from time to time to stitch. Both were carried along to work on while in wait (which still involves quite a bit of my time), during car trips, while listening to music lessons, or during long evenings of unwinding. Summer is presently in full swing, and I have just completed both projects.

A pink piece of toile fabric, embroidered and made into a pillow for Charlotte's bedroom chair.

Feeling whimsical stirred the inspiration for embroidering this tea cozy. Today the outside temperatures are registering around 95 degrees; without a doubt, this tea cozy will be hidden away for another time when keeping a pot of tea warm will be the most ideal!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

in June, on the porch

"I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was aways June?"

I know, without a doubt, it would be lovely!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

felicitations, all that, and then some

On Saturday, June 7, 2014...

     A very special event was held outside at our residence.

Rose was given a life charge by her father, and proudly handed her high school diploma. Afterward, all were invited to join in an open prayer time for her.

Forthwith, the food was brought to the tables by several willing hands, and the celebration continued with friends and family.

I remember the day of my son's graduation, how I enjoyed looking back and seeing the photo of all that came to celebrate with us, some of who are no longer with us.  Therefore, it would seem getting everyone together for a group picture could only complete this graduation event.

"I have no greater joy than to hear my children walk in truth".  III John 4

And a very special thanks goes to Priscilla for beautifully capturing it all...

Thursday, June 5, 2014

a morning visit to the farm

As soon as I walked through the gate the familiar smell accosted me and brought back  a surge of memories. Those days of shepherding mine own flock hold a store of pleasant reminiscences. The visit to this farm was rather impromptu, a friend stopped by and wanted to know if we could ride out with her and her grandson. We held fuzzy lambs, caressed peeping baby chicks, and listened to the open communication between the ewes and their babies.

A curious one appeared at the barnyard as interested as we were in the goingonness of the barnyard.

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, ...