Tuesday, June 30, 2015

last day of june

I have finally come full circle to the knowledge that as women, some of us simply enjoy reading about another woman's day, as in the everyday things written down in a diary or common book of old. It rounds us as we can relate to the ordinary things that make another woman's daily life happenings so close to home.

...So on that note, here on this last of June, is a record of my day.

 6:00 Thankful for the summer light as I arouse from my sleep chamber and head to the kitchen. The cats, George and Serena precede me, begging for breakfast. I always oblige them finding that makes  my morning routine less distracting. I delight in the pink petunias outside the window while the coffee is set to brew.

6:15 A stretch routine while listening to Elisabeth Elliot on Gateway to Joy.

6:20 I step to the sun room and pick up my Bible, my journal, and prayer cards. Oh, and I see Charlotte has left her *little book* for me to read the message she left, whereupon I will leave her a note of encouragement in return.

To the back porch, coffee and books in hand. I sigh with contentment, sit quietly, and then begin my quiet time.

8:00 I am dressed in brown shorts, a blue denim top,*Jambu* walking shoes. I pluck the little bits of grass that have lodged themselves between the pavements waiting for A_____, my walking partner. We begin our daily walk and prayer regime after she arrives.

9:15 Home to discussing Charlotte's plans of the day; she manages a small schedule of schoolwork in the summertime. A load of towels put into the washer.

9:25 I am having a guest come for lunch at 11:30 on this day, so I begin to make the crust for the tomato tart I will be serving. I grab a colander and head to the garden to pick some sungold cherry sweet and delicious. Along the way I decide to cut a few hydrangea blooms for the table. A gathering of thyme, basil and mint are snipped in the kitchen garden too. One large Vidalia onion to caramelize in an iron skillet with butter. Watermelon cut, this will be doused with mint syrup and lime juice  and put into the *Cuisinart* later for a granita.
Tomato tart
Green salad
Watermelon Granita

9:40 My husband is working at home this morning in his office and has a question I must run upstairs and attend to.

10:00 Time to dress. A floral skirt of aqua and turquoise, a sleeveless white blouse. I don an apron over my head to remain spotless as I continue to chop, shred, and cut.

Charlotte shreds fontina and Gruyere cheese and stirs the onions as they are caramelizing beautifully and making my kitchen smell absolutely tantalizing. I set the table in the sun room and clean the powder room. The load of towels are switched to the dryer.

10:30 Green salad with beets, cranberries, almonds and Parmesan cheese placed in a bowl, add fresh thyme to simple vinaigrette which will be tossed with salad before serving.

I hurriedly rush into my bathroom to apply the lightest application of makeup and lipstick, just in case my time gets crunched. I find if I have covered all bases of my personal care at least an hour before my guests arrive, it saves me from immeasurable stress. Who wants your guest to show up only to find the hostess looking harried, or have to wait while she dresses?

11:00 Crust rolled out onto tart pan, layers of cheese, onions, tomatoes added. Put into the oven. Realize the dirty food processor in the dishwasher is needed to puree the watermelon. A quick wash  in sudsy hot water and in a mere 3 seconds the watermelon is ready to be put into the cold Cuisinart bowl.

11:30 She arrives right on time bearing a basket squash and cucumbers from her garden, and a jar of smiling black- Eye Susans.

She offers to help and keeps me company as I toss the salad, pull the tart out of the oven, and arrange the food on the plates.

4:15  Time on the clock failed to stand still and all too soon it was time to say "adieu".

5:00  Kitchen cleaned. Upstairs to work on post. A telephone call to Rose.

6:15 A large thunderstorm is now upon us. I watch the trees bend in the wind through the rain spattered windows. Lightening hits close! Charlotte is disappointed because the plan was for an evening swim with a friend at the pool. I am dreaming of leftover tomato tart...

*Seldom do I manage to get photos of events happening, so the photos were shot after the fact...
hopefully, you get the And the times are approximate...

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

yarn along

I must say it is good to be able to skip over to Ginny's Yarn Along this Wednesday and see what some of you are knitting and reading. The Prairie Ridge Shawl  I was knitting last week was completed and is on the blocking board at the present. I know I will love pulling this shawl out of the cedar chest to wear this winter. For now knitting a sock in a self-striping Opal wool satisfies the "knitting need beast" in me. It carries well to the pool and in the car, especially since I found DP Wip Tubes to hold my sock knitting. I do not know about you, but I stuff my little projects like socks and mitts into my pocketbook or a carry along bag, but on numerous occasions I have been known to whip out my DP project only to  discover I have dropped stitches in transit. Not any more!

Opal Stadtgefluster Potpourri colorway knitted on 2.5 cm dp's in a plain simple sock. I begin this type of sock by casting on 64 stitches with a k2p2 ribbing. Mindless knitting but that is one of the glories of knitting socks of this sort, especially on hot summer days.

I did want to mention the needlework traditions magazine, Piecework. I love this bimonthly magazine that features some sort of handwork including, but not limited to, knitting, crocheting, tatting, embroidery, beading, or lace making.  Reading the history written about a featured type of needlework is informative along with project patterns you can create for yourself. I have yet to do so, but one can drool and dream!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

how I make my tabbouleh

Something about summer and the abundance of parsley in the garden puts me in the mood for making tabbouleh. When I was pregnant with Charlotte twelve years ago, I craved tabbouleh and would eat it for lunch several times a week. It was the most satisfying lunch eaten with crackers. It still is. Ingredient additions can vary somewhat depending on your personal taste. Here is how I make mine.


1 cup bulgur wheat
1 cup boiling water
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 cup cherry or roma tomatoes, seeded, and diced
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 cup fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup fresh chopped mint
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
salt and pepper

Pour boiling water over the bulgur wheat in a heat proof bowl. You may wish to add about 1 teaspoon of salt to the wheat at this time. Stir, cover, and allow to sit for about 30 minutes. Your wheat will puff up and absorb the water. Add all the fresh ingredients and toss to mix well. Season to taste with the pepper and any extra salt, then cover and place in the refrigerator.  Tabbouleh is better if you wait until the next day and allow the flavors to mingle before eating it. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

a summer yarn along

It is a sizzling hot June day, and a perfect day to take part in Ginny's Yarn Along.

 Before leaving on the fifth of this month for Vermont, I considered what I wanted to take along to knit since we would be driving for two days to get to our destination in central Vermont. All in all it was a fairly easy decision to make since I had been wanting to knit a shawl for quite some time. I found this Prairie Ridge Shawl pattern, and as I sorted through my stash I ran across  two skeins of a hand-dyed single ply 100% wool yarn I had purchased a while back. I love the variations of the colors in this yarn, maybe that is the reason I hung the skeins on the door knob of my closet and left them there to admire for a spell about a year ago. I would from time to time hold the skeins in my hands and dream of what I could knit with this wool. This yarn is working out beautifully for this shawl. I am using addi turbo lace circular needles. The turbo lace needles have tapered points and are quite nice in the hands.

While in Vermont we were able to clean and paint the fellowship hall of a church in the small town of West Topsham. It was cold and rainy as we labored together for two solid days, but on Wednesday we awakened to the sun and temperatures that settled to a beautiful 72 degrees. We drove to Tunbridge where we had the most delightful visit with Sue Thomas. I remember watching a TV Show called Sue Thomas, F.B.Eye back in the 90's, a true story of a deaf woman hired by the FBI to solve cases due to her exceptional ability to read lips. I read Sue Thomas's book, Silent Night, while on the journey home, and I have just begun reading her second book, Staying in the Race. As we sat on her deck that afternoon her love of God was so evident, and His peace was sensed in every breath she spoke, because this remarkable woman speaks clearly in spite of her deafness. Silent Night tells this story and gives a thorough account of her life. We listened to her talk about God, and the vision and the work He has given her. All too soon it was time to leave.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

pickle addition

Egg Salad and I have a union of sorts. We go way back, and while I have my standby traditional not to be disputed addition of ingredients, where I do experiment is with the addition of pickle, the variety of pickle that is since either sweet or dill pickles will make a delicious egg salad. This day it was sweet gherkins.

Then I add a tad of mustard, a good helping of mayonaise, salt and pepper and spread it on whole wheat bread for a sandwich. It is also very good on a cracker.

Deviled eggs are basically the same ingredients. Though I do like to add a garnish of fresh chives when the herb garden is flourishing.

reading and knitting with "small things"

I was pleased to discover Ginny had brought back her knitting and reading yarn along, because frankly I do find myself enjoying  the ...