Sunday, February 26, 2012

worth not the same as usefulness

"Although the desire to be useful can be a sign of mental and spiritual health in our goal-oriented society, it can also become the source of a paralyzing lack of self-esteem....When we start being too impressed by the results of our work, we slowly come to the erroneous conviction that life is one large scoreboard where someone is listing the points to measure our worth....In solitude we become aware that our worth is not the same as our usefulness....When you are able to create a lonely place in the middle of your actions and concerns, your successes and failures slowly can lose some of their power over you. For then your love for this world can merge with a compassionate understanding of its illusions."

                              Henri Nouwen,  Out of Solitude 

Friday, February 24, 2012

something on the floor, and something on the ground

I was cleaning the hall closet the other day - there's been a little latex-backed rug in there for ages, and it was getting crumbly - I threw it out. But I wanted something on the floor - what with the vacuum and ironing board, it could get scratched, so I made up a floor cloth with some red checked duck from the stash. It was easy and quick, and I like the way it looks.

I had to use a flash in this dark space.

 I looked out the window during the night to see a whitish looking sky - I thought it must be fog. When I got up this morning, I saw this -


 White stuff all on the ground!  It's gone now. But, what was it???? (it was pretty, though)  :D

It's really Lent.

Joining Leila again this week for {pretty, happy, funny, real}.

round button chicken

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ash Wednesday yarnalong

I'm still working on the squares for the baby blanket - I've done four; three pink and a cream.

I just finished Madam, Will You Talk?, another of Mary Stewart's thrillers. I so enjoy them every once in a few months. This is one I hadn't read before, and very exciting. Her books just suck me in, and I think a lot of it has to do with the level of descriptiveness; she had an amazing ability for that.

I'm still with The Devil's Right Hand, but now that it's Lent, I'm veering a little toward books which will help me along during the season.  Working in a library is funny - I buy books which appeal to me, and then find a spot for them on my shelf. And there they sit, because books at work grab my attention first. And anyway, if I own something, I can read it any time, right?  I won't be at the library forever!  (although I've been there 25 years already)

Well, Lent is a time to clear out stuff which is hanging around - spiritually and otherwise, so I'm going to be working on my bookcase, among other things.

I found the Miracles of John Paul II.   Which aren't really "yarns". But I'll be yarning along with them, anyway.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Flower Song duet

Listening to some classical radio this morning, I found out it was the birth anniversary of Leo Delibes, born 1836.  I know nothing about him, except that he wrote an opera called Lakme, and there is a most beautiful duet in it, known as the Flower Song.

Monday, February 20, 2012

primitive-style stuffed cat

I saw one in a book and had to try my hand at it, made with some cotton from an old blouse.

I stitched around the edges by hand, as you can see by the unevenness. That's okay - maybe I'll make a few more. As if we don't have enough cats around here already.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

at the end of the hallway

with the crocheted bag I finished (ages ago), my mother's suitcase, and the button and circle quilt which will take almost forever because I'm usually knitting instead.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Thursday, February 16, 2012

old-fashioned bowl and pitcher

Don't you love those pitcher and bowl sets that you see in period films which take place before the era of running water?  I do.

I have a co-worker who, when she re-does a room in her house, will bring in all sorts of decor in case one of us might like it. Which is where I got this.

It sits on my bookcase, and looks very well there.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

"the eyes of an animal"

"The eyes of an animal have the capacity of a great language. 
I sometimes look into the eyes of a house cat. 

Undeniably, this cat began its glance by asking me with a glance that was ignited by the breath of my glance, 'Can it be that you mean me? ...Do I concern you? ...What is that?'

There the glance of the animal, the language of anxiety, had risen hugely - and set almost at once.

Just now the It-world had surrounded the animal and me, then the You-world radiated from the ground for the length of one glance, and now its light has died back into the It-world."

                                   -      Martin Buber,   I and Thou

Monday, February 13, 2012

a cold return

Yesterday the blackbirds came back - for a while they were all over the place.

I haven't seen them come or go in years - I guess they've been passing through while I was out.

I don't exactly remember when they've come back before, but it seems kind of early to me - yesterday it was very cold; around 20 when I took these pictures.

I don't know where they go for the winter, but here, it's been very mild almost all season. Would that make them come back early, if indeed they are back earlier than usual? But how would they know?  It just seems coincidental that it's far milder than normal, and (I think) they're back sooner than usual. And they had to pick one of our few cold days to arrive!

I hope they know what they're doing.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

something new in the living room; something missing in the mail

I bought this from Anna a few months ago - it was already pieced, and layered with a corduroy backing and cotton flannel in between, and pinned all over. She advertised it as a possible baby blanket; I knew it would look good in the living room.

I only had to bind the edges, but it was hanging around - till now!


It does look very nice on the back of the couch, just as I thought.

On the {real} front, I learned a long-overdue lesson today.  For the past few years, I've ignored my checking account - I don't balance it; I don't even open the statements when they come in the mail. It just doesn't seem as vital to me as keeping up with the housework. Of course, I subtract my checks as I write them, but....  math, I was never good in.

I don't even look at the totals on the deposit receipts!  Until one day recently I happened to notice that the total was way over what I thought I had in there.  I decided I'd better start doing online banking, just to more easily keep track of things. That was last week. 

Yesterday, I received a note from the town, saying we were delinquent on our property taxes. I wrote that check in mid-December!  It must have gotten lost in the mail!  But if I'd been looking at my accounts, I would have seen it and wouldn't have had to pay a fifty dollar penalty!  So. It isn't my fault it was lost in the mail, but as for the rest, as Mr. Bennett said, "It was my own doing, and I ought to feel it"!  And, I do. 

Pitiful, isn't it?

round button chicken  I bet Leila never did anything like that.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

a baby blanket and a murder

I've had my eye on this cute baby blanket for a couple of years, I think.  I recently got some chunky yarn reduced at a local yarn store which was closing. I decided to make it!

I've got three squares done. If you're a member at Lion Brand, you can see the pattern, called the Country Cousins Baby Blanket. It calls for five squares of one color, four of another. I don't have enough to do it their way, but I can get four from the pink, and four from some cream.  I also have a skein of white and one of off-white. I'll figure out what I want to do as I go along. I may make some stripey squares.

The pattern calls for Homespun - a yarn I really don't like, although it does give it a nice appearance. How well it would hold up after a few washings I can't guess.  I used that yarn once and it separated while knitting - I don't trust it. Not to mention the curliness of it, which gives a nice effect, but you can't even tell what kind of stitch you've been doing!

Well, enough complaining!  I'm using Plymouth Encore Chunky, which is one quarter wool. We'll see how it turns out.

My reading choice is hardly something which juxtaposes very well with a baby blanket -

The Colt family story is kind of local history, and I am acquainted with the author. Otherwise, I'm not sure I'd have the stomach to read this gory tale. His Nathan Hale book was far more to my taste - history, I love!

Thanks to Ginny and her yarnalong.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

two hundred

Charles Dickens was born two hundred years ago today  -

something impossible to ignore.

A Happy Birthday to him.  And God bless us, every one.

Monday, February 6, 2012

a hymn

Put now your trust in God,
In duty's path go on;
Walk in His strength with faith and hope,
So shall your work be done.

Commit your ways to Him,
Your works into His hands,
And rest on His unchanging word,
Who heaven and earth commands.

Give to the winds your fears;
Hope, and be undismayed:
God hears your sighs and counts your tears;
God shall lift up your head.

   -  from Magnificat,   February 2012

Sunday, February 5, 2012

I swear...

...I love an original simile, but they're not so common.   I picked up an old Country Living from 20 plus years ago; there's a story in it by a Mary Coleman, beginning with a day which "dawned mild as a spinster's oath...".

Probably couldn't be written today, could it?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

February Saturday

Saturday is such a long day, and I'm always looking for a way to re-think my routine, such as it is, so that I can get things done while still feeling like a human being at the end of the day.

 silk tulips are cheery

I managed to clean and freshen up the living room, make dinner ahead of time and bake some blondies for tomorrow's dessert,

and, (by the grace of God) still have some time for knitting!  And, a little reading.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

post holiday season {p,h,f,r}

Dolly captured contentment today by perching near the Holy Family. She's the right color, but the proportions are kinda {funny}.

I captured it by stewing a chicken, which smelled wonderful all through the house, while I tended to other things. Aromatherapy - a {happy} thing.  Also, I went to visit my neighbor, who told me she loved the lemon cake. Her niece had two pieces, and she doesn't really care for lemon.  Everybody {happy}!

My poor daffodils are pushing their way up, unaware that it's {real}ly still winter.

round button chickenWith thanks to Leila and Rosie.