Monday, February 20, 2017

a pretty patch

I like my flannel nightgowns, and I got a funny tear on one of them. In front of the underarm, near the seams. A funny place, and the rest of it in good condition.

First I cut a piece of cotton and pinned it below the tear, intending to reinforce the whole thing and do some sashiko type stitching all around it. It was awkward trying to finagle it - I wasn't able to get the torn edges to meet back together again, but I stitched the piece with white thread all the way around the tear, and then did some reinforcing stitches in light pink, in three rows. I didn't think to take a picture, but here's the back:

You can see some of the stitches here.

When I finished the hand stitching, I still had the patch fabric showing through in the center - not that I minded that, but it was a thin piece of stuff, and I didn't think it would hold up to wear. I decided I had to make a patch to go on top.

I found some white sheeting and cut a larger triangle than the area I was patching, then pressed each of the sides under. I basted it on and then chose burgundy thread and a scallop machine stitch.

I'm all for making patches look obvious!  Here you can see just where it is on the nightgown -

So it ended up covering my hand stitches, but it's a learning process. I think I needed both a bottom and a top patch to keep the whole area strong, so all's well that ends well. I hope it holds up.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

fresh air and a fresh understanding

I actually had windows open today - and it's still fifty, even now! We'll be able to enjoy this warm-up for a few days.

Yesterday I read this:

"Jesus invites us this morning to deny ourselves - to realize that we do not know who we really are".
(emphasis mine)  It really struck me; this will be good to remember during Lent, which begins in a week and a half. Very good to remember - the purpose of Lent.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

coming along

I'm definitely the tortoise rather than the hare with most projects

not to mention that I do have other things to do at the library other than crocheting all day. But it is coming along. And it looks nicer than this picture.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Henry's very little adventure

If it were any other cat, you would be right in wondering why I would post this at all. But Henry isn't one hundred percent cat, and so when he scrambled up onto the back of a chair, it was sort of a big deal.

I'd been shopping and left a few bags on the chair, where he sometimes likes to nap. I was so surprised when he was suddenly up so high - Henry, who doesn't like being up high.

He realized he had a good view out the front door.

But as he began to wonder what ever had possessed him, I cleared off the chair, and he came down. And that was that.

Monday, February 13, 2017

like this

It began to snow yesterday while we were at Mass and continued all day, like this -

and we were nice and cozy inside, like this -

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Valentine scone

Friends had given us a Cinnamon Quickbread mix for Christmas, with a cute baking pan attached. I was surprised to find a list of ingredients which didn't sound bad at all, so today I made it. The recipe called for milk, but I used sour cream because I had it, and added an extra pinch of baking soda. The little pan wasn't usable because that gluey stuff which attached it to the box would not come off, but we have an old heart-shaped pan and it was the same size. The batter ended up very thick and so I tossed a few chocolate chips on top, and knew they wouldn't sink to the bottom.

It came out like a big scone. Very yummy. And that was the Last of the Christmas Goodies.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

gobs of it

There was a robin in the front tree two days ago. One always thinks of spring when they show up, but it's only early February, and the Audubon Society says there are some who stay up here all winter. But we will still always think of spring when we see a robin.

Yesterday it was sixty degrees while I was in the library. Not when I went to work, or when I left, but in between.  Or that's what they all told me.


At three o'clock, and seventeen inches. (Is this the kind of winter you dream of, Lynda?)  ;-)  It's about nineteen by now, and drifting.  Actually, this kind of weather is far more likely here than 60 degrees in February. It's just that it's been quite a mild winter until now. 

a close-up for you

But I think that's it for the mildness. There was actually thunder and lightning with this storm.

Monday, February 6, 2017

paperwhites in white paper

I haven't have much success with bulbs indoors before, but I'm trying again.

These are in an unattractive gray container, so I stuck it in the first paper bag my hand found. And I just remembered they're paperwhites. Ha!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

crocheting at the library

About three weeks ago I saw a box of yarn in Trisha's office, and realized we had to do something to use it up. She gets many donations of yarn and fabric, and I just got this sudden notion to make something - anything!

She said that a small throw might be nice; it's all in double crochet and I do two rows a day, generally, and am trying to keep it harmonious with the children's department colorway. So far, so good.

Monday, January 30, 2017

improvement in the bathroom closet

Debra got me one of those nice canvas bins, and since it's gray, I thought of the bathroom first.

It's serving as my new ironing basket; I cleaned all manner of unnecessary items from the bottom of the of the previous one, and tossed an old and cracking plastic bin which held rags I never seem to need. Things I needed to do for a long time, and accomplished entirely in the space of about ten minutes, all because of this new, unexpected gift. Wow.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

sashiko style mending

I say sashiko style - I am totally unable to make stitches in neat rows.

But I like the idea of covering the whole area with stitching, which really reinforces everything

and the knit fabric I'm using, which seemed maybe a little thick, is being nicely flattened out by all the stitches.

These are my brother's thermals - the seat is worn, but the legs are good. So, I'm patching.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children

God our Creator, 
we give thanks to you,
who alone have the power to impart the breath of life
as you form each of us in our mother's womb;
grant, we pray,
that we, whom you have made stewards of creation,
may remain faithful to this sacred trust
and constant in safeguarding the dignity
of every human life.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, 
who lives and reigns with you in the unity
of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

- from Magnificat, January 2017

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Margo's Midwinter Buns again

I made Margo's Midwinter Buns again and brought some to work Friday. I make buns of this sort rarely, but it isn't because they're not wonderful. We just don't want this kind of thing (bready, sweet stuff) around so much.

It was a sudden scheme to make them, and I found I didn't have all the proper ingredients. And I altered things somewhat, too; I used one-third the amount of yeast, and water instead of milk, because I didn't want any dairy. That was a concern because I know milk makes bread nice and soft, but they were fine as far as that goes. I thought I had walnuts, but couldn't find them, so used pecans instead, but not toasted, and not a cup. I also threw in some dried cranberries, left out the sugar (but not the honey!), used a little extra melted butter, pumpkin pie spice in place of cinnamon, and mini chips so I didn't have to chop. A big concern was that I didn't have any orange zest, which would give the whole a nice fruity aura. I puzzled over that one a long time, until I thought to add a splash of red wine!

The filling came out delicious, which is a relief, but I'm not experienced in making these filled rolls, and I think there was too much filling. After rolling it up and cutting into one-inch slices, they were very full and hard to shift over to the baking pan without fruity pieces falling out everywhere. Also, the dough was starting to get too soft, and got to feeling wet, which made me decide to chill it for two or three hours (as the recipe says you can do), until I suddenly realized it might take a long time to unchill because I used so much less yeast than called for. Because of all this fiddling, I didn't finish them till suppertime, but they're awfully nice, and will be a little treat for us till they're gone.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

sinus troubles and other things

We had a Christmas snow at Epiphany - at last.

It disappeared when the temperatures got up to sixty on Thursday; I actually brought trash out to the curb, after dark, in my sweater! But it's snowing again, so we'll see how much it brings.

I have a sinus infection which is taking its (slow) course, but had me in no frame of mind or heart to blog for a while. I've done lots of reading. I got one of those Pride and Prejudice spin-offs for Christmas - five hundred pages! - which entertained me when things were at their worst. It was perfect for illness, as I wasn't able to read anything more involved, and it wasn't something I would have gravitated to in healthier times. It wasn't bad, but I do wonder why anyone would want to rewrite a famous story; the author was definitely doing her utmost to avoid all the unpleasantnesses from the original - they are all gone from her book.


Sometimes you know that you've invited illness to come along. Several people near me have been sick in recent weeks and I didn't catch any of it, but I've been eating too much sugar, and way too much dairy - with my chronic allergies I know I should limit myself - and it finally got me. Well, I am eating clean now. I bought organic fruit and nuts, organic canned soup (haven't felt much like cooking). Larabars. Herb tea - Stash's Christmas in Paris. That is delicious! Minty, with an aroma of cocoa and some vanilla. Also lavender, but I can't detect it, and thankfully it doesn't make me sleepy, as lavender is a sedative. I just happened upon it while on Amazon - it's very smooth and soothing. I am having a Belgian chocolate now and then, but I have no desire for cake, and I haven't had dairy in a week. May it last.

lovely paper plates from Cyndi

The other day Dolly and I listened to a podcast on Teddy Roosevelt. It was from the Circe Institute, which I think is geared toward homeschoolers. Anyway, I was often laughing, not because it was funny, but the man could do so many things that when his abilities are listed, you just have to laugh because it seems so incredible. But they did tell a story. And I have to tell it here.

Apparently, Teddy was expert in ornithology, and when he was President there was a certain bird which could be found in the Adirondacks - this is in New York State - and he wanted to get a photograph of it. He took two Secret Service men with him, and they hiked into the area. I don't know how long this all took them, but they got to a spot where he could see the nest. Unfortunately they were at the edge of a steep cliff. 

He convinced the two to tie a rope around his ankle - yes, that's what I said - and lower him down headfirst - headfirst, yes. He got the photo. Well, they couldn't pull him up. Not all the way. So he decided to cut the rope, which sent him down thirty feet (!), where he bounced off something and landed in a stream. 

They thought they'd killed him. They got down there and found him face down in the water, inert. Then really thought they'd killed him. One tapped him gingerly, whereupon he leaped up and cried, "That was BULLY!" 

Can you imagine such a thing? He reminds me of Winston Churchill in a way, in attitude at least.  

Thursday, January 12, 2017

something to meditate on

I put away the Three Kings today. I hope Henry won't miss them too much.

The Holy Family is still there, which should be enough for his meditations.

In between the naps.

Sunday, January 8, 2017


My Master was so very poor,
a manger was his cradling place;
so very rich my Master was
kings came from far to gain his grace.

My Master was so very poor, 
and with the poor he broke his bread;
so very rich my Master was
that multitudes by him were fed.

My Master was so very poor,
they nailed him naked to a cross;
so very rich my Master was
he gave his all and knew no loss.

-   from Magnificat, January 2017

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

obscure delights of Christmas

"...the spirit of Christmas is a paradox precisely because its largeness is made manifest in the smallest of ways: in little kindnesses, tiny pleasures, and obscure delights among ordinary people in the simplest of circumstances."

                                                      - from Christmas Spirit, by George Grant and Gregory Wilbur

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


I had just said to my brother two weeks ago, "Can it be your clients all know that you're not eating so many sugary things?"  He hadn't come home with anything; and if you've been reading here for a while, you know the mountains of stuff he gets at Christmas.

Well. I just needed a little patience.

He brought all of it home last week.

I've been trying to keep it under the tree just on one side, so the cats can get under there if they want to. This is growing. There's more, though.

This, plus three plates of cookies on the kitchen table; three cakes in the freezer. 

When I came home this evening, I found Henry between two tins of goodies, looking as if all he wanted was to figure out how to get them open. They had been left right in the middle of the doorway to the living room, although my brother insists he didn't leave them like that. Will we ever find out what that was all about? I doubt it. 

Right now, Henry is laying under the tree with his cheek resting on one of the tins. Yes, Henry, we do have Too Many Cookies. No, you won't be getting any.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas gifts

O rich the gifts you bring to us,
yourself made poor and weak; 
O love beyond compare that thus
can foes and sinners seek!
For this we raise a gladsome voice
on high to you alone,
and evermore with thanks rejoice 
before your glorious throne.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

little by little

A man came in the library today wearing a Santa hat. It was red, but he was not Santa.

I keep getting asked if I'm ready for Christmas, and surprisingly, I say that I'm doing pretty well. Wrapping one present here and there when I have time is working out well. The cards aren't done yet, but a few of those at a time, without getting too overworked about it, and I'm getting them out little by little, too. Even the cookies are being baked, a batch here, and a batch there. I am trying not to feel that I "must" do this or that; I am doing what I honestly can, and what I'm seeing is that right in front of me is what I should do next. It's a different way for me, and interesting. May it continue.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

the King comes on in might

Hope, O you broken hearts, at last!
The King comes on in might,
He loved us in the ages past
When we sat wrapped in night;
Now are our sorrow o'er, and fear
And wrath to joy give place,
Since God has made us in his grace
His children evermore.

Friday, December 16, 2016

"a delightful land"

"Thus says the Lord; observe what is right, do what is just; for my salvation is about to come. .."

-   from Isaiah 56

"Then all nations shall call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land, says the Lord of hosts."

- Malachy 3:12

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Santa's favorite cookie

Santa came in the library today. It was Santa Claus himself - he couldn't have been anyone else; a full, snowy beard, and a Santa hat. Except it wasn't red.

His shirt was tan plaid flannel, and the hat was also tan or some other neutral color; I got the idea he was having some time off. There was a lady with him who was researching something, and he stayed quietly nearby. When she approached me to ask a question, I said, sotto voce, "He needs to get back to the North Pole!" She assured me he was working Very Hard, so I let it go. She would know better than I, wouldn't she?

As they left, I called out, " 'bye, Santa!" He turned to me and, with a thumbs up, said, "Remember - chocolate chip!"

You heard it here.

Monday, December 12, 2016

snow, and some wrapping, but maybe no ornaments

I said it was supposed to snow last week, but the snow didn't appear. Last night, however, it did!

And it covered the ground, and was still there this morning, but then it turned to rain and melted eventually.  But it was enough to make me play some Gabrieli brass music, for a festive air. And I made cookies. There is not enough time to do everything.

I got the tree up yesterday, and in a different spot than usual - you can see it from the kitchen. I had to shift around only a couple of things and it's all so perfect! We'll never put it in the corner again. It needed a garland, so I decided to use my precious length of wide red satin ribbon - it's just barely long enough. I told my brother that I'd eventually get around to the ornaments, but not yet. He surprised me by saying he didn't care if I left them off, because he likes it. That's how I feel! I'll take them out next week, but don't know what I'll do with them. Dolly and Henry love to lay under there, ornaments or not.

I've been wrapping one thing each day, and it's working out pretty well. Better than getting overwhelmed.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

look up

Arise, the kingdom is at hand,
the King is drawing nigh;
Arise with joy, you faithful band,
to meet the Lord most high!
Look up, you souls, weighed down with care,
the Sovereign is not far;
Look up, faint hearts, from your despair,
Behold the Morning Star!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Dolly gets cozy

Sometimes Dolly likes to get inside one of the dresser drawers

and sometimes we let her.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

snow soon

It sifts from Leaden Sieves -
It powders all the Wood.
It fills with Alabaster Wool
The wrinkles of the Road.

-  Emily Dickinson