Saturday, May 2, 2015

something to think about

"There is an Indian proverb or axiom that says that everyone is a house with four rooms, a physical, a mental, an emotional and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time, but unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person."

                                                                  -   Rumer Godden,  from Simple Abundance

Friday, May 1, 2015

"as if the sun were hers"

Napping everywhere
Stretched in the sun
As if the sun were hers
Awash in warmth
And furs.

                                                                                                            - Karla Kuskin

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Pinterest recipes: creamy spiced cauliflower soup

In trying really hard to use up things in the cupboard, I searched for a recipe which called for coconut milk. Whatever I'd bought that can for, it hadn't happened. I found a nice soup recipe.

Oh, this was so delicious!  You can imagine the aroma of two onions, four cloves of garlic, cardamom, cumin, turmeric, coriander and a bay leaf sauteeing.  My brother told me I could make this soup anytime.

Monday, April 27, 2015

"the most human things we do"

"...any small acts of transformation are among the most human things we do. Whether it's nudging dried leaves around a patch of cement, or salting a tomato, we feel, when we exert tiny bits of our human preference in the universe, more alive."

                                        -   An Everlasting Meal,  Tamar Adler

Friday, April 24, 2015

a winter of our discontent

Three things:

One - Yesterday was Shakespeare's birthday.
Two - I'm currently reading a book about how they found the bones of Richard III. (very interesting)
Three - Yesterday it actually snowed a little here!  (it's cold and not very spring-like)

Glorious spring wouldn't be bad, either. Or even a normal spring.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Pinterest recipes: Homemade chicken and broccoli casserole

I think it was Leila who provided a link to this recipe, which uses a homemade version of cream of celery soup. I followed it more or less, but used all broth rather than any milk.

It would be a good way to use leftovers, with a layer of broccoli (or other veg) on the bottom, and chicken layered over it. Then, two cups of the soup, mixed with mayonnaise, lemon juice and a bit of curry powder. Grated cheddar over all - and I'm sure I used extra because I had it - and bread crumbs because I didn't have panko.

Quite delicious!  And with the mayo - very filling. I didn't need to serve a starch with this; just some cut-up cukes and it was fine. And more for tomorrow.

Monday, April 20, 2015

little jar of honey

I'm not entirely clear on why honey crystallizes - something I read says the cold can make it happen. That makes sense, but I also wonder if moisture getting inside the jar can cause it; I try to keep it away from my steaming cups of tea.

Realizing that it's best to get it out of there at the first signs, after heating the container in hot water, the honey got scooped into a conveniently charming little mason jar which says "Garden" on it. Delightful!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

the $20 meat loaf

A few years ago, my brother had a customer who suffered from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The poor man ended up dying from it, but from this association my brother learned that some think it's caused by eating bad beef - related to the mad cow situation - and he was starting to lean toward wanting us to buy only grass-fed or organic beef - as good quality as we could find. Meanwhile, on my end of it, I was coming across videos online of the terrible treatment of these unfortunate animals and this one from Germany, of some happy cows gamboling about in grass (which they'd never seen before), when some kind-hearted neighbors had arranged for them to escape the slaughterhouse. So, I was also not wanting to eat regular beef anymore, albeit for different reasons. And that's how we came to be spending lots more money on beef, (not to mention having far less variety!).

With a two-pound meatloaf in mind for Sunday dinner, I made my way to the organic meat area at the supermarket the other day. I should have seen it coming  -  in fact, I had, but chose to ignore it. The pound of grass-fed ground beef which used to be $6.49 a pound, was now $9.99.  I say I knew it was coming to this, because for the last two weeks the sign had said, "$5.99!  Four dollars off!" Oh, brother.  And, here it was. A two pound meatloaf was going to cost me twenty dollars. I couldn't believe it. I really wanted to cry. At least, I felt that I should be crying!

Well, I bucked up and bought it. And when our purchases went through the checkout I watched the screen. Guess what? It was on sale! So, our twenty dollar meatloaf was only a twelve dollar one.  I took no pictures of it, but they always look the same - here's a previous one. So, we got a reprieve - this time. But it's going to happen one of these weeks.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

"I will love them freely"

"I will heal their defection, I will love them freely; for my wrath is turned away from them. I will be like the dew for Israel: he shall blossom like the lily; He shall strike root like the Lebanon cedar, and put forth his shoots. His splendor shall be like the olive tree and his fragrance like the Lebanon cedar. Again they shall dwell in his shade and raise grain; They shall blossom like the vine, and his fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon."

                                                  -  Hosea 14: 5-8


Saturday, April 11, 2015

brightness of another kind

Today the sun shone brightly. Yesterday, four of us from the library went for an outing.

It was cold, rainy and damp. But what should await us at the museum - bright flowers glowing in pretty planters  in spite of the gloom of the day. 

They were such a welcome sight! Then an angel with a torch appeared right before we went home. 

Brightness of a different kind. Still wonderful!

Monday, April 6, 2015

"clothed in the light of glory"

(unknown artist)

Stripped on Holy Thursday to wash the Apostles' feet, stripped on Good Friday to hang upon the cross, Jesus risen and triumphant is clothed in the light of glory, before which no enemy can stand, not even the raoring waters of chaos and death.

                                                                         - Magnificat, April 2015

Saturday, April 4, 2015

ironing the Easter tablecloth

So little Cindy (her name is Tootsie now) can dip it in the water bowl tomorrow.  Yes, she's back for a week!

"mysterious cross"

The regal dark mysterious cross
In song is lifted high,
The wood on which the Son of Man
Was stretched against the sky.

Upon this wood his body bore
The nails, the taunts, the spear,
Till water flowed with blood to wash
The whole world free of fear.

At last the song that David sang
Is heard and understood:
Before the nations God as king
Reigns from his throne of wood.

O blessed Tree, upon whose arms
The world's own ransom hung;
His body pays our debt, and life
From Satan's grasp is wrung.

O sacred Cross, our steadfst hope,
In this our Passiontide,
Through you the Son obtained for all
Forgiveness as he died.

                              -  from Magnificat, April 2015

Friday, April 3, 2015

"into the black immensity"

"Try to imagine a man of action, some sort of explorer, about to set forth on a journey. His powers of persuasion have aroused a few enthusiasts who have decided to follow him. The start of the journey is a triumph. A rain of flowers, wild applause, the delight of the crowds. In towns and villages flags are out, there are displays of lights, the bold travelers are feted. The very countryside revels over their passing through it.

Yet the joy soon dims. The wayfarers enter new lands which know nothing, understand nothing, and care less. Sometimes also our travelers arouse misgivings. Their passionate desire for the Yea or Nay of the Gospels, excluding all other forms of discourse, assuredly does not recommend them. Little by little the food and the wines are replaced by potato peelings, and the contents of chamber pots succeed the flowers.

The enthusiasm of his companions is already wholly extinguished. Several of them have withdrawn on various pretexts and have not returned. The faithful few, in their turn, seek means to flee without too greatly disgracing themselves. They had not foreseen that there would be suffering.

Still, those who are left resign themselves from shame or from pride. As long as there continue to be human dwellings and men good or bad, a little effort still makes the journey bearable.

But now it happens that both the one and the other become sparse. We are entering into the desert, into solitude. Here are Cold, Darkness, Hunger, Thirst, vast Weariness, dreadful Sadness, the Agony, the Bloody Sweat.

The rash traveler looks for his companions. He understands, then, that it is God's good pleasure that he be alone amid torments, and he goes on into the black immensity, bearing his heart before him like a torch!"

                                                      - Leon Bloy,  from Magnificat, April 2015

Thursday, April 2, 2015

constant prayer

"...every prayer, even prayer in the most radical solitude, is never isolation of oneself and is never sterile: rather, it is the life blood of an ever more committed and consistent Christian life."

                                                           -  Pope Benedict XVI,  A School of Prayer

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

never again

I mean, I'll never make macaroni and cheese with milk again! I made it Christmas Eve using a chicken broth "white sauce" and it was delicious, if somewhat rich. This week I used vegetable broth instead - just right. 

You should try it.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

April comes!

If there comes a little thaw,
Still the air is chill and raw,
Here and there a patch of snow,
Dirtier than the ground below,
Dribbles down a marshy flood;
Ankle-deep you stick in mud
In the meadows while you sing,

"This is Spring."

-  Christopher Pearce Cranch 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

foggy afternoon

With still much snow on the ground, today was in the fifties. It poured for a while and then got very foggy.

Maybe thunderstorms later.

make room

"The Lord does not free us from evils, but helps us to mature in sufferings, difficulties, and persecutions. Faith, therefore, tells us that if we abide in God, 'though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed every day', in trials...

Therefore, the more room we make for prayer, the more we will see our life transformed and enlivened by the tangible power of God's love."

                                                                   Pope Benedict XVI, A School of Prayer

Monday, March 23, 2015

classical Dolly

Listening to some Liszt -

because she gave jazz up for Lent.


"For Saint Paul, prayer is above all the work of the Spirit in our humanity, taking charge of our weakness and transforming us from men attached to the material world into spiritual men."

                                                    - Pope Benedict XVI,  A School of Prayer

Friday, March 20, 2015


At six forty-five this evening, spring arrived.

It's been snowing since midafternoon.

exhibit A

No winter lasts forever;
no spring skips its turn.

         - Hal Borland

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Winnie the Pooh's Chocolate Tea Bread

There's a little bitty cookbook in the children's section at the library, Winnie the Pooh's Teatime Cookbook.  And years ago I discovered a delicious chocolate tea bread in it. I thought I'd make it for Easter ahead of time, but the recipe wasn't in my box, and I could not find it online anywhere. So, here it is, in the interests of deliciousness:

Chocolate Tea Bread

2 sticks butter
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 c. cocoa
1 c. plain yogurt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 3/4 c. flour
4 oz. chocolate chips

Cream butter, sugar and vanilla till light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing rapidly. Gently mix in cocoa, yogurt, b. powder, soda and salt, then mix in flour*. Lastly, stir in the chips. Put into greased and floured 9x5 loaf pan and bake about an hour at 350 F. Leave in pan to cool with a towel over it. 

*and for the love of Mike, Pete, or whoever - put on your reading glasses so you know to put in one and three quarters cups of flour, not one and one quarter cups (which is what I did - well, it'll just be more fudgy, right?)! I'm writing out this recipe in large letters ASAP.

by the way - the illustrations are by Ernest H. Shepard.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

"the only way to fulfill our life"

"And we learn from Jesus that constant prayer helps us to interpret our life, make our decisions, recognize and accept our vocation, discover the talents that God has given us, and do his will daily, the only way to fulfill our life."

                                                            -  Pope Benedict XVI,  A School of Prayer

Saturday, March 14, 2015

a paradox

"Adam and Eve thought that the 'no' to God was the crowning point of freedom, of being fully themselves. On the Mount of Olives, Jesus brings the human will back to unreserved 'yes' to God; in him the natural will is fully integrated in the orientation that the Divine Person gives it...Thus Jesus tells us that it is only by conforming our own will to the divine one that human beings attain their true height, that they become 'divine'; only by coming out of ourselves, only in the 'yes' to God, is Adam's desire - and the desire of us all - fulfilled: the desire to be completely free. It is what Jesus brings about at Gethsemane: in transferring the human will into the divine will, the true man is born and we are redeemed."

                                          -  Pope Benedict XVI,  A School of Prayer

Friday, March 13, 2015


for St. Patrick's Day, with my little statue I bought on Etsy.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

grass around the rose bush!

Well, it was just the other day when I was saying that I wouldn't be able to reach the roses to do my end-of-March pruning. But I guess I was wrong! We still have plenty of snow, but it's shrinking away from the edges of things.

There are some things you like to be wrong about.