Thursday, July 29, 2010

the fiction of Mary Stewart

When I was in high school, I discovered romantic fiction - and the popular romantic fiction of the day was by Victoria Holt, Phyllis A. Whitney, Dorothy Eden - and Mary Stewart.

Victoria Holt was my favorite at the time - she wrote many of them; so did Phyllis Whitney.  But I think Mary Stewart was really the best.  I read a few, not all.  She had a gift for description which I don't believe many could improve on - in those days I don't think I was very observant, but I noticed that you could read pages of her descriptions of scenery, and not be bored by it.

Working in a library, her books lately caught my eye for some reason, so I've recently read 3 of them, and the latest was my favorite, Nine Coaches Waiting.
I couldn't put it down, and it's not as if I'd forgotten the story!  It still seemed as romantic and suspenseful as it was to me 35+ years ago. 

If you're looking for something different, try some Mary Stewart. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Deuteronomy 15: 7-8, 10

If there is a poor man among your openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs....Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

where have all my mockingbirds gone?

The mockingbird is my favorite bird - no contest - I love their sassy ways!   There's always a day, in the middle of summer, when a mockingbird perches on top of the telephone pole at the end of our driveway and does his "tunes" all day long.  You'll invariably run into the neighbor who will say, "If I had a gun, I'd shoot that bird!", but that bird is working hard, showing what he's learned. 

They always appear very alert to me - like they're sizing up the situation, or casing the joint. I get such a kick out of them.

But I haven't heard one sing in our neighborhood in months!  I hear them when I go to work, but not at home.  I actually saw one in our yard a few weeks ago, but he was quiet at the time.

These photos were taken by my friend, Cyndi, who lives about a mile away; she's a real bird aficionado - has several feeders with many gourmet delights filling them.  I'm afraid she may have enticed my dear mockingbirds away from here!

I really miss them!

(photos by Cyndi Lou Who)

Friday, July 23, 2010

hit the jackpot

I recently acquired - I don't know how many - back issues of Gourmet magazine from the library where I work. It was very sadly, and suddenly, discontinued last fall, and we don't keep back issues of mags we don't get anymore, so....... This has been a favorite of mine for years. Yes, it's fancy, but I've always enjoyed the articles - it was a lot like a travel magazine, actually. 

Anyway -  I could usually find one recipe which seemed a maybe, and that's what I'm doing now with these issues - going through and tearing out possibilities.

  • Farmhouse butternut squash soup
  • Mexican chocolate pudding (made with almond milk!)
  • Sweet potato pie with gingersnap pecan crust
  • Paprika roast chicken with sweet onion (baked at 500, so you can actually roast a whole chicken after you get home from work!)

I am really filling up my recipe box!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mary Magdalene

Today is the feast of St. Mary Magdalene, the patron of repentant sinners. 

"Even so, I say to you, there will be joy among the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
 - Luke 15:10

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

finding a balance

  I have a fascination with the way other homemakers balance their days.
The balance of the different "parts" of work in the home. It's much like juggling, because I'm beginning to realize that it may not ever get finished, so you have to pick and choose what you're going to do today. And some women don't seem to feel rushed, while still accomplishing much. This is a great fascination to me!  Tasha Tudor was this way - she never hurried, but she had extensive gardens, sewed garments by hand, was a great cook (by all accounts), painted, and still took tea at 4pm.

  How do women do this?  I feel like I'm always trying to figure it out. Martha Stewart, on the other hand, does so many things, it almost seems impossible. I think I read someplace that she only needs 4 hours of sleep per night.  If that's so, perhaps it is possible. To her!  Still, it fascinates me, and I've learned a lot from her.  I think she has single-handedly helped to elevate the status of the homemaker in this society, which had fallen pretty low.

So, this is what I'm drawn to, and the theme of my blog.