Friday, May 29, 2015

ten plus two

Days ago she woke up with visions of a lemon cake with lemon icing. Because at ten plus two birthday cakes are things to dream about and anticipate.  We pulled out the vintage cookbook and together we came up with a cake that satisfied her visionary lemony birthday cake.

 And then fishing rods and worms took center front...we headed to the pond of a good friend to fish. Maybe, just maybe we can hook a ten plus two dream here too!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

strawberries and smocking

A phone call last evening from my neighbor, it is the last days of strawberry picking, an invitation ensued. We headed out to the fields this morning and I came home with a gallon of the ending season's bounty. The strawberries this year have been deliciously sweet, and I have found a way to make them have a longer life if kept in the refrigerator with a few simple tips. Place unwashed berries in a Tupperware container, or any such container with a tight fit will work fine, then layer the berries with wax paper on the bottom and a paper towel on top. Tighlty secure the container's top and place it into the refrigerator. I was pleased to find the berries lasted over a week when prepared in this way. Since today's berries are the last of the crop, I do not expect them to last as long, but tomorrow I have big plans for them anyway.

The gentle art of smocking a garment keeps me happy. A pink batiste gown was completed and Charlotte is enjoying wearing it to bed at night. We are venturing to the Green Mountain State next Friday and Charlotte has asked if I might have her robe smocked and sewn so she will have it to wear. I was right on schedule, until I realized I had pleated, blocked, and smocked two right sides. Woe! I sat outside on the back porch and ripped out the gentle smocking, consoling myself that this was only a minor setback. Grace was applied, the pleating was completed, the blocking was done, and I plan to begin to smock once again his evening. Only a small kink!


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

signatures of May

May comes with a pomp and a circumstance...leaving many signatures of activity that must be consciously enjoyed in their simplicity.

*cherry red geraniums potted for the front porch
*co-hosting a bridal shower with Claire, for her sister
*sweet strawberries to pick in the fields
*smocking a robe for Charlotte
*a barred owl to observe in the woods
*fermented lemonade set to brew
*listening to Elisabeth Elliot reruns
*suppers on the patio
*end of year testing
*preparing a trip to Vermont in early June
*visiting and shopping with Rose
*harvesting sage
*piano recitals
*a garden dance performance
*a strings concert in the backyard
*checking the bee hives
*graduation parties to attend

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

the plum...yarnalong

Reading and knitting equals a wonderful time to join with Ginny's yarnalong this day in May.

It exists because of the snow. My husband drove me to the yarn shop in late February so that I could  purchase some wool with this project in mind. It was very cold outside and predictions of more snow were in the forecast. Of course, there was the other matter of me desiring to improve my continental knitting and the exercise of knitting a sweater for my daughter appeared to be a sensible thing to do. My local yarn shop did not carry Classic elite yarn in her shop, so it was suggested I try Cascade yarn. Other than reworking the gauge and going down two needle sizes, all went well with its sizing.  Since I thought of plums as I knitted the sweater in the multi-colored yarn, I named it as such.

A very good childhood friend of mine first introduced me to J.R.R. Tolkien when we were about eleven years old. I was not impressed with this trilogy even though she praised Tolkien and shared parts of these books with me. I could tuck myself away for hours and read, but fantasy or science fiction of any sort were always put aside for other classic novels or a well-written biography. Then I entered adulthood, and while science fiction still stirs no interest whatsoever,  I have discovered the delight in the pages of other books  included those written by J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.  Frankly, I am not sure I would have grasped the gems of some of these novels back then as a child. Because I have read to my children throughout the years, I am taken away to places I missed as an eleven year old, and the journey makes me happy. Charlotte and I have been reading the The Hobbit together. 

"You don't really suppose, do you, that all your adventures and escapes were managed by mere luck, just for your sole benefit? You are a very fine person, Mr. Baggins, and I am very fond of you; but you are only quite a little fellow in a wide world after all!"

the completion of Middlemarch

It took exactly two months! I began reading Middlemarc h on May 7 and finished reading the Finale on July 7. It traveled within my home a...