Sunday, July 31, 2016

two hymns

for the beauty of the skies,
for the love which from our birth
over and around us lies
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

For the beauty of each hour
of the day and of the night.
Hill and vale, and tree and flow'r.
Sun and moon, and stars of light
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of human love,
brother, sister, parent, child (cat).
Friends on earth, and friends above.
For all gentle thoughts and mild
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise."

I want to follow Jesus.
God set the stars to give light to the world;
the star of my life is Jesus.

In Him there is no darkness at all;
the night and the day are both alike.
The Lamb is the light of the City of God.
Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus.

I want to see the brightness of God;
I want to look at Jesus.
Clear sun of righteousness, shine on my path
and show me the way to the Father.

In Him there is no darkness at all;
the night and the day are both alike.
The Lamb is the light of the City of God.
Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus.

I'm looking for the coming of Christ;
I want to be with Jesus.
When we have run with patience the race,
we shall know the joy of Jesus.

In Him there is no darkness at all;
the night and the day are both alike.
The Lamb is the light of the City of God.
Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus."

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Thursday, July 28, 2016

a free country

"A free country where people lack industry will be poor and weak; a free country where the family does not function will have a lot of children dependent on its government; a free country where religion teaches oppression will have oppressive voters. What we mean by liberal in the liberal regime is "free" and also independent. We mean people doing as they please to a large extent with their own property, their own spouses and children, their own consciences and duties to God."

                                               -     Churchill's Trial,   Larry P. Arnn (president of Hillsdale College)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

at home

Nancy and Eileen came for dinner not long ago; they brought this hanging plant.

It all started when Eileen came to the library to help out - she volunteers - and began her tale of woe. Their house (charming! I love it!) is a place of misery due to a neighbor (very next door) who plays his music full blast for hours every day. And who wants to close their windows in summer?  Also, they were getting new kitchen cabinets and that room was torn up. When I came home I told my brother, "We have to have them over soon."

I made chili and Rose's chocolate ice cream recipe and when they were leaving, they said they always feel so at home and comfortable at our place. What nicer thing can anyone say than that?

Monday, July 25, 2016

frittata success

Mastery of the frittata eluded me for years. I guess, looking back, I didn't understand it. My original impression of it was the spaghetti pie - remember that?  Leftover spaghetti, cooked up in a large skillet somehow so it all stays together, and with a bit of a crust. I had no idea how to even begin, and when I tried, it never cooked on top; I didn't have an oven-proof skillet, so I couldn't finish it off properly.

But somewhere along the way I realized that, where an omelet is egg with a filling, a frittata is lots of filling, held together by some egg. And then you cook the top of it in the oven. Ah!  When I realized that I thought I might be able to do it. And I did!

one of the last two pieces

So, this was it. With that old spaghetti pie in mind, I began my plan with some leftover orzo, cooked with mushrooms and chickpeas, nicely flavored. But first, I heated some olive oil in the pan and poked into the fridge for leftover veg. There was the dregs of a bag of salad greens, so I pushed them around in the skillet for a few minutes, and then I found the end of some canned diced tomatoes, so I added that, with some herbs which I forget right now. Then, in went the pasta, and there was lots of it. It was sticking together, so I added artichoke cooking liquid from the previous day, just to loosen it up, and when it looked ready, I whisked up six eggs (maybe salted and peppered?) and put them in. When I thought it must be almost done, I sprinkled the whole with shredded cheddar, stuck the pan under the broiler for four minutes, and it came out so nicely!  I did it! Two slices left, and I put them in the freezer; I'll be glad to see how it freezes. 


Sunday, July 24, 2016

"to settle down in the quiet of our own being"

"It is useless to try to make peace with ourselves by being pleased with everything we have done. In order to settle down in the quiet of our own being we must learn to be detached from the results of our own activity. We must withdraw ourselves, to some extent, from the effects that are beyond our control and be content with the good will and the work that are the quiet expression of our inner life. We must be content to live without watching ourselves live, to work without expecting any immediate reward, to love without an instantaneous satisfaction, and to exist without any special recognition."

                                                                                   -  Thomas Merton  (from our church bulletin)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

real Calphalon

At the thrift store/consignment shop last time, I saw a real Calphalon skillet for twenty three dollars, and grabbed it.

I have another twelve-inch, heavy bottomed skillet without a name on it, and it's good. But this one is better.

Monday, July 18, 2016

morning prayer

"O Lord, as we travel through this day of our life, our strength is in you; in our hearts are the roads to our eternal destination, the place where you dwell for ever with your people in joy and in peace. Sustain us as we pass through the bitter valleys of suffering; shield us as dangers threaten; let us rejoice in the springs of living water that refresh us on our way; and keep us faithful until journey's end, through Christ our Lord. Amen."  

-  from Magnificat,  July 2016

Saturday, July 16, 2016

making space

There aren't many personal things of my mother's which I am able to use, but it's nice when there are.

She had this pink-striped canvas-covered accordion file for clippings, and it's perfect for the magazine articles from the large stack of Magazines Which I Thought I Had to Keep. Turns out I don't, and even after tearing out what I couldn't bear to part with, it all fits in here easily, to my Great Surprise. How some things change!

Friday, July 15, 2016

chicken at high temperatures

I brought out an old issue of Everyday Food magazine, and decided to try a recipe of Emeril's for chicken wings, baked at 500 degrees.

I don't cook my chicken at such a high temperature, but I was curious. I would learn something either way: if it came out well, I would learn something about cooking at a higher temp and also have a faster method for occasions when I'd need one; if it failed, I'd have a better reason for avoiding the higher temps.

Twenty minutes on one side and ten on the other did not cook these things to my satisfaction, or even sufficiently brown them. I turned it down to 400 for a while, and then to 350 to finish. I'm not sure what I learned from this - maybe that I can start them out high to speed things up. That's something, I suppose.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

summer rain

This morning soon after daylight arrived, the heavens suddenly opened - and it came straight down, as it does only in summer.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Sweetie's in

We have another cat here.

It's Sweetie - we took her in.

Is anyone surprised?

Thursday, July 7, 2016

more garlic

Did I mention that the woman who was wanting to learn to braid garlic the other day, said she'd bring me some?

Well, she did!

Monday, July 4, 2016

hymn for America

I love this native land of mine, 
A noble land and free,
Adorned by nature's lavish hand
With fairest artistry,

Within this western sphere it lies,
A gem of peerless price
Whose shores are washed by ageless tides -
A long-lost paradise.

It was unto this gracious land
Our founding fathers came
To build a nation strong and grand
Unto thy glorious name:

A land whose firm foundations sure
Were built on faith in thee,
Where virtues's good and brotherhood
Were crowned with liberty.

Preserve this nation as thine own
And keep its people free;
Keep ever bright this beacon-light
Of truth and liberty!

-  from Magnificat, July 2016

Declaration of Independence, by John Trumbull

Saturday, July 2, 2016

our own garlic

A woman came in the library hoping we had a book on how to braid garlic. Not the usual way, but a fancy way; and no, she'd watched a youtube video surely ten times but couldn't follow it, so she was hoping for some simple photos. We didn't come up with anything, unfortunately, but she told me she pulled up her garlic (four hundred!) a week ago.

So, I thought I'd better pull up mine today.

The bulbs are small, but it is very exciting. Of course I chopped off the tops, and then found out it's better to leave them. I suppose it'll be all right. They need to dry for two weeks.

And now I have a space to put a watermelon plant Debra gave me.