Tuesday, March 31, 2015

April comes!

If there comes a little thaw,
Still the air is chill and raw,
Here and there a patch of snow,
Dirtier than the ground below,
Dribbles down a marshy flood;
Ankle-deep you stick in mud
In the meadows while you sing,

"This is Spring."

-  Christopher Pearce Cranch 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

foggy afternoon

With still much snow on the ground, today was in the fifties. It poured for a while and then got very foggy.

Maybe thunderstorms later.

make room

"The Lord does not free us from evils, but helps us to mature in sufferings, difficulties, and persecutions. Faith, therefore, tells us that if we abide in God, 'though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed every day', in trials...

Therefore, the more room we make for prayer, the more we will see our life transformed and enlivened by the tangible power of God's love."

                                                                   Pope Benedict XVI, A School of Prayer

Monday, March 23, 2015

classical Dolly

Listening to some Liszt -

because she gave jazz up for Lent.


"For Saint Paul, prayer is above all the work of the Spirit in our humanity, taking charge of our weakness and transforming us from men attached to the material world into spiritual men."

                                                    - Pope Benedict XVI,  A School of Prayer

Friday, March 20, 2015


At six forty-five this evening, spring arrived.

It's been snowing since midafternoon.

exhibit A

No winter lasts forever;
no spring skips its turn.

         - Hal Borland

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Winnie the Pooh's Chocolate Tea Bread

There's a little bitty cookbook in the children's section at the library, Winnie the Pooh's Teatime Cookbook.  And years ago I discovered a delicious chocolate tea bread in it. I thought I'd make it for Easter ahead of time, but the recipe wasn't in my box, and I could not find it online anywhere. So, here it is, in the interests of deliciousness:

Chocolate Tea Bread

2 sticks butter
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 c. cocoa
1 c. plain yogurt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 3/4 c. flour
4 oz. chocolate chips

Cream butter, sugar and vanilla till light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing rapidly. Gently mix in cocoa, yogurt, b. powder, soda and salt, then mix in flour*. Lastly, stir in the chips. Put into greased and floured 9x5 loaf pan and bake about an hour at 350 F. Leave in pan to cool with a towel over it. 

*and for the love of Mike, Pete, or whoever - put on your reading glasses so you know to put in one and three quarters cups of flour, not one and one quarter cups (which is what I did - well, it'll just be more fudgy, right?)! I'm writing out this recipe in large letters ASAP.

by the way - the illustrations are by Ernest H. Shepard.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

"the only way to fulfill our life"

"And we learn from Jesus that constant prayer helps us to interpret our life, make our decisions, recognize and accept our vocation, discover the talents that God has given us, and do his will daily, the only way to fulfill our life."

                                                            -  Pope Benedict XVI,  A School of Prayer

Saturday, March 14, 2015

a paradox

"Adam and Eve thought that the 'no' to God was the crowning point of freedom, of being fully themselves. On the Mount of Olives, Jesus brings the human will back to unreserved 'yes' to God; in him the natural will is fully integrated in the orientation that the Divine Person gives it...Thus Jesus tells us that it is only by conforming our own will to the divine one that human beings attain their true height, that they become 'divine'; only by coming out of ourselves, only in the 'yes' to God, is Adam's desire - and the desire of us all - fulfilled: the desire to be completely free. It is what Jesus brings about at Gethsemane: in transferring the human will into the divine will, the true man is born and we are redeemed."

                                          -  Pope Benedict XVI,  A School of Prayer

Friday, March 13, 2015


for St. Patrick's Day, with my little statue I bought on Etsy.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

grass around the rose bush!

Well, it was just the other day when I was saying that I wouldn't be able to reach the roses to do my end-of-March pruning. But I guess I was wrong! We still have plenty of snow, but it's shrinking away from the edges of things.

There are some things you like to be wrong about. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

St. Gertrude of Nivelles, patron of cats

I have no remembrance of how I found this site - this blog with a post about the patron saint for cats.

And this image, so appealing with its bright colors, this nice woman and her little friends.

But you can bet she's going to have a place on this blog, along with St. Margaret of Scotland.

Monday, March 9, 2015

a little faster; just as good

Last week I got the idea it would be nice to have certain things on hand in the freezer; so, now there's pizza dough in there and today I made some biscuits with my favorite recipe from Food Network magazine.

Except that, instead of fighting with the sticky dough in order to roll it out and cut, I just grabbed little blobs and plopped 'em on the baking sheets. Just as tasty.

Lemon-Thyme Biscuits

2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 T. wheat germ
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
4 T. cold butter
1 c. buttermilk

Measure out the buttermilk and let the dry thyme soak in there a while. Mix dry ingredients, then cut in butter with pastry cutter or whatever method you like. Mix in the buttermilk. The dough is sticky, so knead it a little, then pick off rounded pieces and place them on cookie sheets. Bake at 425F for about 13 minutes. (If your sheets are thin, check for burning at the bottom.)  

slightly adapted from Food Network's recipe

Sunday, March 8, 2015

growing pains

"Our mothers were racked with the pains of our physical birth; we ourselves suffer the longer pains of our spiritual growth."

                                 -  Mary Antin,  from Simple Abundance

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


"If we follow the Good Shepherd - no matter how difficult, tortuous, or long the pathways of our life may seem, even through spiritual deserts without water and under the scorching sun of rationalism - with the guidance of Christ the Good Shepherd, we, too, like the Psalmist, may be sure that we are walking on 'paths of righteousness' and that the Lord is leading us, is ever close to us, and that we 'shall lack nothing'."

                                                                    -  Pope Benedict XVI,  A School of Prayer

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

too many potatoes

Because when I was sick and making a grocery order for delivery, I was so sure we were low on potatoes but didn't want to go way downstairs to look.  I ordered a bag, and of course we already had a full bag. Ahem.

So, I cut wedges and roasted some to go with the minestrone (with added meatballs - is it still minestrone with meatballs?) I made for our company.

But I need to do more.

Monday, March 2, 2015

beautiful wool afghan

I had forgotten about this

and came across it in the bathroom, top shelf of the linen closet. I'm pretty sure of who made it - it wasn't me!

It's very very heavy, so I know it's wool; and I'm wondering why I put it in the bathroom - I don't want it in a such a steamy place.

Neutrals, warm pinks and aquas - a real heirloom.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

planting seeds

"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant."

                                                     -  Robert Louis Stevenson