Friday, February 27, 2015

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the mountains
from where shall come my help.
My help shall come from the Lord
who made heaven and earth.

May he never allow you to stumble!
Let him sleep not, your guard.
No, he sleeps not nor slumbers
Israel's guard.

The Lord is your guard and your shade
at your right hand he stands.
By day the sun shall not smite you
nor the moon by night

The Lord will guard you from evil
he will guard your soul.
The Lord will guard your going and coming
both now and for ever.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

a rose knit skirt

I bought the fabric months ago and put together the six-gore skirt, and then it sat waiting for my hand stitching; my second skirt of the Alabama Chanin style. I like the gray one with four seams - with this I'm  going a little fancier. Just a little.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

exhausted cats

because sleeping two thirds of the day is so tiring, you know.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

homemade breadsticks

When my cold was waning I had such a desire for a crunchy cracker or chip, and searched my cookbooks for recipes. But the bread sticks in Alana Chernila's Homemade Pantry are what caught my attention.

I made them yesterday. While it's very satisfying to eat them, it was a lot of work for just thirty two, which take no time at all to disappear. Rolling these little things between your hands wasn't as fast as you might expect - yeast dough isn't so biddable as Play-Doh.  And, unless I put in more salt than I should have (don't think so), they are quite salty. Still, I can't help thinking that if I could do it in stages it might be worth it to try again. We'll see. I'm enjoying them while they last - yesterday with hummus, today with peanut butter.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Sunday, February 22, 2015

plenty, even on the parched land

If you remove from your midst oppression,
false accusation and malicious speech;
If you bestow your bread on the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted;
Then light shall rise for you in the darkness,
and the gloom shall become for you like midday;
Then the Lord will guide you always
and give you plenty even on the parched land.
He will renew your strength, and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring whose water never fails.
The ancient ruins shall be rebuilt for your sake,
and the foundations from ages past you shall raise up;
Repairer of the breach, they shall call you,
Restorer of ruined homesteads.

If you hold back your foot from the sabbath
from following your own pursuits on my holy day;
If you call the sabbath a delight,
and the Lord's holy day honorable;
If you honor it by not following your ways,
seeking your own interests, or speaking with malice -
Then you shall delight in the Lord,
and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
I will nourish you with the heritage of Jacob, your father,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

- from the book of Isaiah 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

a true story

I brought in the mail. Dolly was on the back of the couch. There was a package. She looked interested. 

What is it?
"Dolly, Kiss My Face."

And then she did.

the dear girl.

Friday, February 20, 2015

"feathers on the windows"

"It was a very cold cold that there was not only frost but feathers on the windows most of the time ...and there was much snow and wild wind in birch and spruce. And never a thaw, not even in January, although Tillytuck was loath to give up hope of one."

                                          -    Mistress Pat,  L. M. Montgomery

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

why try to fast

" the new Adam. At the beginning of his ministry in the gospel of Matthew, we read, 'When He had fasted 40 days and 40 nights, He became hungry.' Hunger is that state in which we realize our dependence on something else  -  when we face the ultimate question: on what does my life depend? Satan tempted both Adam and Christ, saying, 'Eat, for your hunger is proof that you depend entirely on food, that your life is in food.' Adam believed and ate. Christ said, 'Man does NOT live by bread alone.' This liberates us from total dependence on food, on matter, on the world. Thus, for the Christian, fasting is the only means by which man recovers his true spiritual nature. In order for fasting to be effective, then, the spirit must be a part of it. Christian fasting is not concerned with losing weight. It is a matter of prayer and of the spirit. And because of that, because it is truly a place of the spirit, true fasting may well lead to temptation, and weakness and doubt and irritation. In other words, it will be a real fight between good and evil, and very likely we shall fail many times in these battles. But the very discovery of the Christian life as 'fight' and 'effort' is an essential aspect of fasting."

                                                      -   from the USCCB website

Monday, February 16, 2015

big bird

I was putting the finishing touches on Anna's coffee cake - the sour cherry version, in honor of President's Day (or, at least, the first president) - when my brother came in, saying, "Quick, grab your camera - there's a hawk in the front yard!!"  Well, we do see them now and then, but I washed my hands and went to the window. Wow!  This bird was a giant.

You know they're large, but it's another thing to see one sitting calmly nearby.

bigger than Dolly

He's gone now. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

a cat-shaped patch

The sheets covering the living room furniture have tears in them - mostly from Cindy - and the mending I did just made things worse. If you can't mend something invisibly, then I think it's better to be very obvious. So, with this wabi-sabi idea in mind, I made some patches and zigzagged them on. Of course one is a cat shape. The rest are rectangles.

I had to zigzag from the back, and hopefully can make the stitching into a design at some  point.

These at least have personality - next time, perhaps a sleeping cat shape!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Dolly sweet

Listening to Faure's Dolly Suite.  It was on the radio.

Well, I'm not sure how well she was listening. It wasn't jazz, after all.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

clean and white with no end in sight


One thing about frequent snowfall is there's no dirty snow. Before it can get black from exhaust fumes, it's all covered over again with new whiteness.

And a little more tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

cutting a jumper down to size

I found a denim jumper on ebay for twelve dollars. But it was an extra-large, so I knew I'd have to make it fit. 

 A heavy weight, tank-top styled a-line with slits, and some buttons on the left side. Way too big and way too long.  And one of those funny little patch pockets right smack dab in the middle of the upper back. So, the first thing I did was remove the pocket, and take in the center back seam; probably an inch and a half, or two.  There was no seam in the front, and a cute array of daisy-like flowers all over it, but there was only way to take it in, so I cut it up the middle and sewed a five eighths inch seam there. I also topstitched in white on either side, just because I thought it would be a good thing to do.

That was enough to make it fit me, but I had to hem it. I hate hemming thick fabrics, so I cut five inches off the bottom and machine embroidered a design which I hoped would echo the flowers, and I happened to have some pale lavender thread to match the daisies, so -

It looks well, I think! It'll fray beneath it and have a pretty border.

I re-attached the little pocket, and discovered a slit right above it that my seam ripper must have made. My sewing machine doesn't do much embroidery, but there is a heart shape - I thought I could cover it up with that.  I sewed two white hearts right there,

but wouldn't you know, they ended up one on either side of the untouched tear. So I ended up just zigzagging over it with denim colored thread.

This project was a very simple fix, but I was emboldened to try it from seeing so many clever re-dos on Pinterest.  To not be deterred from buying something because it's the wrong size is taking a chance, but to be able to make do is too appealing to resist. Now I have a new jumper, and I like it!

Monday, February 9, 2015


and, outside the bathroom window, these are growing by the hour -

through a foggy window

Nothing boring about winter around here.

cutting a swath

Thursday, February 5, 2015

what the wind blew in

There was more snow again this morning and a lot of wind,

which blew this fellow over to the corner cabinet, where he settled very happily near some wintry dinner plates.

Monday, February 2, 2015

very snowy

On top of the blizzard from last week,

the air is full of snow again.