Saturday, March 31, 2012

another use for an apron

While cooking, I turned to pick up my apron again, but I found that my apron has another use -

as a nice, soft kitty bed.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Thursday, March 29, 2012

bargain {p,h,f,r}

I'd emptied my bottle of rosemary, and went into the pantry closet to get more.  

This gives me a nostagic feeling - it came from a locally owned supermarket which went out of business because a chain market had moved next door. Of course, I like the bigger selections in a larger store, but small stores can surprise you sometimes. They had these large plastic jars of herbs so cheap, and excellent quality. 

No more.

real good, real cheap, really gone

I was very happy to find one of those brussels sprout stalks for only a dollar in the reduced produce the other day! Have you seen how expensive they are?

Cooking them up last Sunday, I decided to add some grape tomatoes, also from the reduced section.  I made a shrimp and cherry tomato recipe once, and liked it. The grape tomatoes have tougher skins, but with a little salt and some herbs it was pretty good.  And cost a dollar fifty eight cents.

More pretty yellow outside.

round button chicken Thanks to Rosie and Leila.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

prayer at Mass for this day in Lent

"Enlighten, O God of compassion, the hearts of your children, sanctified by penance, and in your kindness grant those you stir to a sense of devotion a gracious hearing when they cry out to you." 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

apron from a blanket

My mother had a blanket - I'm sure from a thrift store - so pretty; it was one of those cotton thermal-weave affairs, but with a watercolor-type design of large pink roses. One day she called me in to her room - there was a big hole in it; she told me to throw it out. But I couldn't. I cut the hole out of it and saved the rectangular pieces. For ages.

Then one day, I made an apron out of one rectangle.

You can see it's old; but it's still good for an apron - cotton is always good.

 I made another and gave it to a friend. I still have two or three pieces, in my to-do pile. One of my to-do piles.

Friday, March 23, 2012

a touching dog rescue video

My brother drew my attention to this story - a dog rescue - the sweetest little dog you ever saw, but get out your Kleenex.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

a summerette?

We've truly had a mini summer these past few days, resulting in much beauty around the yard.

The daffodils bloomed on Monday.

And when I came home from work yesterday, there was the forsythia in full bloom - a month earlier than last year!

The other side of this was that my roses, which I hadn't pruned yet, were leafing out.

That's a real lotta leaves!

I'm usually outside in late March, coat on, pruning near the tiny leaf beginnings - today it was sandals, bare legs, and quick before it gets too hot out.

a rosehip from last fall

I pruned this rose after taking pictures. It's now a shadow of its former self.  For the time being.

round button chickenJoining Leila with a few reals and pretties. Thanks!

Monday, March 19, 2012

daffy flowers

Blooming on the last day of winter - they must be dafft.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Psalm 137

we read this at Mass today -

By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat and wept when we remembered Zion.
On the willows of that land we hung up our harps.
For there, they who captured us requested songs of us,
and they who tormented us, mirth: "Sing to us from the songs of Zion!"

How shall we sing a song of the Lord in a strange land?
If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand be forgotten!
Let my tongue cleave to my palate, if I remember thee not,
if I place not Jerusalem above all my joy.

Bear in mind, O Lord, the day of Jerusalem against the children of Edom,
who said, "Throw down, throw down the very foundations thereof!"
O daughter of Babylon, thou destroyer, blessed is he who shall repay thee
the evils thou hast brought upon us!
Blessed is he who shall seize and dash thy little ones against the rock!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

instant curtain

Well, practically.

Last night I was pondering what type of valance I wanted over the sink, and a thought I had drove me into the linen drawer. I pulled out a tablecloth I'd gotten from etsy - white, with bold red stitching on it. I like this tablecloth, but knew I'd like it way better on the window. It's cotton, but with a linen-type weave, very similar to the fabric I bought for the kitchen curtains. So, today, while the corned beef and cabbage was cooking, I cut into it and made a valance.

Didn't have to hem it, because that red stitching is all around.  I love it!

And then I suddenly realized that I have a space in the middle where I could actually put something decorative!  I got out four custard cups.

That's what I came up with on short notice.

Am I happy! 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ides of March {p,h,f,r}

I just just looked out the front door and noticed that my daffodils are ready to bloom.

It's March fifteenth.  In southern New England.  I don't know what to think, except that this is the most pleasant winter we've had, and our temperatures this week have been May-like. Next week is supposed to be in the seventies. May it continue, and I thank God for it!

Was in the kitchen cleaning today, and decided to take down the curtains over the sink.

I have no idea how to photograph a window with sun shining in - I suppose it's hard to see, but I show this because I know that I have to make new curtains, and I keep putting it off.  Since there's a shade on this window, I thought I'd like to look at it bare for a while, while I ponder what I'm going to do.

The present curtains are cute,

but they're quite old. I've even avoided washing them as long as I can, because I know they'll fall apart.

They're already starting.

and I've repaired them as much as is worth the effort to do.

I have some nice linen/rayon blend which I bought for this purpose, and I guess I've been waiting for the right inspiration, but haven't had any 'aha' moments - I'm just going to have to make some regular curtainy curtains.    So, those are my reals for this week - my early daffodils and my sad curtains.

And I have one pretty -

Dolly, of course!  I have no children, but I do have two pretty cats, so they do show up here often.

round button chickenThanks to Rosie and Leila, and I hope spring is in the air wherever you are!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sunday dinner

yesterday's dinner menu


turkey kielbasa
mushroom pot pie
mashed sweet potatoes
iceberg lettuce wedges with blue cheese dressing

Saturday, March 10, 2012

a little cake for a birthday

for a friend

 a one-layer orange cake, with vanilla silk (a soft buttercream) frosting, white sanding sugar, and Smucker's Orchard's Finest Northwest Triple Berry preserves on top.

Friday, March 9, 2012

St. Frances of Rome

Today is the feast of St. Frances of Rome, who was born in the late 1300s. She was a wealthy noblewoman who expended much energy and money in serving the poor.

(The Vision of St. Frances of Rome, by Orazio Gentileschi)

There's a story I read about her once: while doing some spiritual reading one day, she was interrupted by her husband several times. She must have borne it very patiently, because when she went back to the book the last time, the letters on the page had turned to gold.

St. Frances of Rome, pray for us!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

a good airing

Not just the afghan, but the whole house - such a beautiful day!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

March {p,h,f,r}

Joining Rosie and Leila at the eleventh hour here -

I've noticed on the blogs which have the best photographs, that the blogger tries to only photograph in the sunshine. Well, I don't have that luxury - we have plenty of light here, but only the living room gets actual rays of sun coming in in the afternoons.

But some rays fell on these kitchen towels when I was folding - I thought it was pretty, if you excuse the wrinkles.  :o

Going through Leila's archives, I read her piece about rags for cleaning, and it made much sense to me. But I hesitated - not sure why, until Anna's post the other day. She's made some cloths from two layers of cotton, wrong sides together and zigzagged all around.  Aha!!  I knew that was the missing link - the double layer idea seemed so much more substantial to me. But I have nice dish towels, it's the bathroom where I need something better, so I made up a bunch of smaller, squarish cloths, not particularly color coordinated, but they're a big help already!


I'm very happy about these!  Thank you Leila and Anna!

I'm sure I've mentioned before that Dolly has shredded most of our upholstery in the living room, so I have sheets draped over everything; I try to keep it neat, not always with success.

The other day she was hiding underneath one of these, playing.

We still think she's awfully cute.

It's March, and around here that's synonomous with mud.

really muddy

But spring is coming.  

round button chicken Thanks Rosie and Leila.

"Expectation as Patience"

from Henri Nouwen's Out of Solitude:

"The mother of expectation is patience.   

 Without patience our expectation degrades into wishful thinking. Patience comes from the word 'patior', which means to suffer. The first thing that Jesus promises is suffering: 'I tell will be weeping and wailing...and you will be sorrowful.' But He calls these pains birth pains. And so, what seems a hindrance becomes a way; what seems an obstacle becomes a door; what seems a misfit becomes a cornerstone.

That is the great conversion in our life: to recognize and believe that the many unexpected events are not just disturbing interruptions of our projects, but the way in which God molds our hearts and prepares us for His return."

Saturday, March 3, 2012

thinking about food

As everyone who cooks regularly knows, you have to be thinking about food all the time. Well, it's Lent. It's a time of fasting. So, having to think about food seems to get in the way of the whole idea of Lent.

I was pondering this situation when I remembered something I'd done during Lent a few years ago.  I made the same thing for supper, each week, on the same day of the week. Everyone was in agreement on this - no one minded at all.  So I'm doing it again.

The same thing every Monday. The same thing every Thursday. The same thing every Saturday. Those are my days off. On Mondays, I'll also make a pot of soup which we can eat on Tues. and Wed.

Sundays will be as usual, a step up from the rest of the week.

I feel relieved.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

a surprise from Hana

Dear Hana, over here, has so kindly nominated me for a blog award - God bless her!


Hana is a nice young woman in the Czech Republic; she loves costuming and often travels around eastern Europe, then shows pictures of her wanderings which I really enjoy seeing. I discovered her when she joined a sewing forum I belong to, and something about the way she thinks and says things just caught me. And, she's a cat lover!  I don't think I need to say any more about that.  :)

I am supposed to nominate five other blogs I like, blogs with less than two hundred followers. So, here are my choices -

Sunny Corner Farm in Australia is a great favorite of mine!  Tracy's a sheep farmer, but she grows a lot of things besides sheep. Since I know I'd never last as a farmer, I've pondered why this is so fascinating to me. But I am always drawn by women who seem to do all sorts of things, but don't appear to be rushed! Tracy does all sorts of things outside, and still has time for needlework, not to mention her gourmet cooking - oh, if I were well-to-do, I'd want her to be my personal chef!

A Simple Life  is my next choice - I actually know this person! We work together at the library. Her blog is very different from mine - the photographs are so excellent, so artsy. And she's very clever at making things. You'll just have to take a look.

Beloved's Bride is the blog of a beautiful red-haired young woman, married to a military pilot. They have four cute children whom she's homeschooling, but I am also getting an education reading her blog - I get a big kick out of her techniques with them. She was also one of my first follower's, bless her!

Thrift At Home is a newer favorite of mine. Margo knows a lot about being thrifty; she sews very well and has a good eye with her creations. Her recipes sound real good. And, she has an Etsy shop.  I like blogs of people who know more than I do - she has many good ideas.

I've tried to determine if any of these have already received this award, and I don't think they have. My fifth choice is Val's blog, My Pretty Little Rough Patches. Val is a soft-hearted, sweet girl, fairly recently married to her long-time sweetheart and they have a very pretty cat. Val loves everything sweet and pretty and cozy and charming and family and gentle, etc. She's a dear.

Thank you again, Hana!

a "real" snow

In my fifty six years in this New England state, I have never seen a winter like this one - consistently mild, with almost no snow. The October storm doesn't count - there was nothing normal about that one. So, I think we've had two snowfalls, each of which lasted a day or two. And temperatures are definitely higher than usual. But we finally had a real snowfall yesterday.

Only a couple of inches, but It covered everything except the roads.  (because it was a wet snow and I'm not sure the ground is very frozen this year.)

I wasn't looking forward to it. They were predicting a bit more, and everybody was complaining - we are so spoiled by this lovely winter, we've become a bunch of wimps!  But I have to say that it's very pretty, and I don't really mind it.

It's going to continue in the above-freezing temp range, so it will go soon. That's okay, too.