Saturday, January 31, 2015

not exactly as I'd hoped

I finally finished this plant-pot cozy, and took it to the library. I wrapped it round the plant pot, and secured it with two sticks from home. I can't say that I like the way it looks. In spite of the embroidery on the long edges, it still curls under and is hard to smooth out. The pot is slightly angled too, so it sometimes slides down. In short, it wasn't nearly as simple an idea as I'd imagined.

Yesterday I was about to remove it, but a co-worker didn't think it looked so bad, so I left it. I really think she was just being nice, but it's still there. For now.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

in the dog house, so to speak

Dolly was sleeping at suppertime, so I fed Henry. Finally I woke her and had her eating on the front windowsill. Turned around, and there was Henry behind her! What else is new. He has never forgotten how he had to scrounge for food (how long? we don't know at all), hence being ready for mealtimes is his main concern. 

I shooed him off the sill and he plopped onto the couch. Sorry, buddy - you're too close to her for comfort, hanging around there like a vulture.  I drove him off of the couch. Wouldn't you know, he went inside that gingerbread house and laid down very comfortably. I had not yelled at him, nor threatened; I just ushered him along away from the dining Dolly. But he still chose a spot where I couldn't reach him. (well, I could just take the thing apart, but he doesn't know that)

I did not think he could fit in there

Naughty boy.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


For so long I've been wanting to try it, but there was always some aspect that made me hesitate. Until I came across this on Pinterest - and that little video clip pushed me over that edge. I bought some plastic lids (from Amazon) and got me some vegetables. 

I put these together yesterday, during the blizzard. And after taking this picture, I made up a third jar. It's been one day.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


"Like an old silver spoon stored in soft gray flannel, hospitality neither dulls with time nor discolors with wear. It shines the brighter when brought to the table and used with regularity."

                                                -     Every Day Hospitality,   Thea Jarvis

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Eternal Light

Eternal light, shine in my heart;
Eternal hope, lift up my eyes;
Eternal power, be my support
Eternal wisdom, make me wise.

Eternal life, raise me from death;
Eternal brightness, make me see
Eternal Spirit, give me breath;
Eternal Savior, come to me.

Until by your most costly grace,
Invited by your holy word,
At last I come before your face
To know you, my eternal God

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Thursday, January 22, 2015

addressing the confusion

I think we have three address books in this house, many of them from years ago and with outdated information. I'd bought a blank one to start again but hadn't gotten around to it. 

And now I'm glad, because Susan Branch has come out with a much nicer one, in a binder which can be added to. It comes with lots of pages, but if I use them up, I can add any lined paper cut to the right size. I bought myself an array of colored pens - oh, this is going to be fun!

Thursday, January 15, 2015


"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."

                                       -  Melody Beattie,    from Simple Abundance

Monday, January 12, 2015

no hurry

I'm putting some of it away,

but not all. And no hurry.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

a gingerbread house for Dolly

Cyndi brought over a cardboard "gingerbread house" for the cats. It's cute - the floor in it is that thick cardboard stuff they like to scratch. See the snowflake hanging over her in the doorway?

It's got window cutouts, a door, a chimney!  And it does have that fancy edging they call gingerbread.
If I dangle a toy mouse through the chimney I can get Dolly to go partway in. Henry no (of course), but I don't think he could fit inside, anyway. Too large.

Another toy to get used to.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

a good use of leftovers

A couple of days ago I had a bit of leftover meatloaf and some chicken from the freezer I wanted to finish off. It wasn't much, so soup seemed the best course. (no pun intended!)  I made a thin carrot soup with some onion and pureed it, then added the meat. Then I found some peas and brown rice hanging around, so threw that in with it. Also some mashed potato and yam. It was much better than it probably sounds. There was a lot of it, so we also had some for lunches over the past two days. But there was still about a pint left.

A day or two before that we'd had stewed chicken and there was plenty of it - with today being so cold out, pot pie seemed like a good idea. I cooked up a few carrots and added a bit of broccoli left in the fridge. Mixed it up with the chicken (and there's more that I can use for soup on Saturday), sprinkled it with garlic powder, oregano and some savory. But when it came to the gravy, that carrot soup kept coming to mind. It was thinner than gravy, but I just added a sprinkle of flour to the mix and poured it in, put a crust on top and baked it. 

So many leftovers used up!  It was delicious.  I made a little salad with mandarins and lettuce, and that was our dinner.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

bird visitor last January

I was looking at photos from a year ago, and found this -

Last January while getting ready for work on a snowy morning I saw this bird. It's funny, because I was in a hurry, but it struck me that he wasn't familiar. He was a blackbird, stocky like a cowbird but not brown headed like them. He wasn't iridescent like the grackles, but a sooty black which I thought was pretty, and there may have been two or three of these birds, but just one by the time I got my camera. I took some pictures and went to work.

Here's the other photo:

I tried looking him up in books there and online. A bronze cowbird?  But they're a southwestern bird. I couldn't figure it out, so called the Audubon Society, who gave me the email address of a bird expert.

Meanwhile, it turns out Cyndi saw the same bird (she lives a mile away) and also took photos (better than mine).

photo by Cindy Lou Who

The bird man got back to me and said it was most likely a Rusty Blackbird, which lives in Canada and can be seen in winters along the east coast of the U.S., but they aren't that common. Here is a clip of one in Central Park. I'd sure like to see one again.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

yarn drama

really just the chiaroscuro of a poorly exposed photo. :D

Monday, January 5, 2015

Twelfth Night buns

They're not, really. They are Margo's Midwinter Breakfast Buns. But it's Twelfth Night, so that's what I'm calling them for today.

I did some things differently: used golden raisins, not currants; half the amount of whole wheat flour (we're not keen on too much of that); didn't bother chopping anything too fine; used honey not corn syrup; forgot about the salt.

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

icy morning

At last we had some holiday snow yesterday, which turned sleety and was supposed to turn to rain and all melt away

but what happened was a late melting of the ice when we were going to church and so much prettiness around the yard when we got home.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

our town

My boss gave us these ornaments for Christmas - the scene is on the green, in the center of town!  The women's club was selling them.

One thing more about the blossoming cactus. I nearly forgot to mention that this plant just appeared outside the staff entrance, under the book drop on a very freezing cold morning, maybe three years ago. It wasn't there when I came in, but later Gail went out for something and said, "Somebody left a Christmas cactus outside near the drop!"  It didn't look too good, but it (obviously) came around.

Yes, people leave us all kinds of things here.

Friday, January 2, 2015

what a little deprivation can do

The Christmas cactus at the library is entirely covered in blooms.  And beginning in early fall, all I did was give it less water than usual.