Wednesday, November 30, 2016

there's an elephant in the manger

I can't keep her out of there.

She knocked over the Blessed Mother once; otherwise, it's amazing how graceful cats are.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

heavy weather

but welcome. We are so in need of rain.

"For one look at stumps, and roots, and wild animals - and every other unlikely thing - tells...that awesome miracles of grace are about to happen."

-  Magnificat,  November 2016

Monday, November 28, 2016

decorating at the library

My co-worker Katie made this book tree the other day at work. No, she wasn't goofing off; we're trying to decorate the library this year with a definite book theme. So far we made a fairly large one in the periodical room, against a wall, very similar to this. Also a few small ones made of (unwanted) book pages, like this and this  - we really need to do a lot more of those.  In the children's department, we got Trisha to do this - isn't that cute?  We're trying, but the place is big.

The large book tree took three of us to build - there's more to making one of those than we expected. And then, of course, there's our regular work to do - but we have only this week to finish; there's a town wide festival next weekend. I'll try to take more pictures. Wish us luck!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Advent, already

Arise, arise to meet thy God,
Arise, O Israel,
Arise, arise to meet thy King
Whose beauty none can tell.
More fair is he than light of dawn
That breaks o'er hill and dell,
Or than the gold of ripening corn
In the vale of Jezrahel.

More beautiful, more beautiful
Than sheen of early morn,
O Israel, he is thy King,
Yet crowned with piercing thorn.
Then rouse thyself, awake from sleep,
Arise, O Israel:
Acclaim this King who is thy God,
Whose beauty none can tell.

-  from  Magnificat, November, 2016

Friday, November 25, 2016

parsnip soup

This is what you do if a friend gives you a pound and a half of parsnips:

Melt four tablespoons of butter in a large stockpot and add

  • one cup chopped onion
  • one cup thinly sliced carrot
  • one cup thinly sliced celery
  • 1/8 teaspoon of powdered savory
and cook together on low until things are getting soft, or until you're done dealing with the parsnips.

Meanwhile, peel and slice your parsnips in 1/8" slices, then add them in, along with five cups of chicken stock. Cover and simmer 25 minutes, then blend all or most of it. Add one eighth teaspoon of nutmeg and taste. Add salt if needed.  Lovely for a quiet and rainy Friday in November.

adapted from an Epicurious recipe

Thursday, November 24, 2016

a nice Thanksgiving

After working hard all week cooking things ahead of time, it was a berry nice Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 21, 2016

the best cheesecake, ever. period.

I made the Apple Cider Doughnut Cake from Honey and Jam for a co-worker's birthday. But that's not the cake I want to talk about.

My brother's birthday rolled around again, so it was cheesecake time. And even though I used to rave about that low fat one, I've since come around to the idea that low fat isn't so good after all.

I had pinned a photo of a very high-looking cheesecake with a thick chocolate layer on top. I didn't think the recipe mattered at the time; just the way it looked, higher than the usual, with that chocolate topping. But when I looked at the recipe I liked it. Now I've made it twice, and I still like it.

I made it for work, and everyone loved it. I did make a mistake that time, though - I made a salted chocolate for the top, and didn't like that. You see, the cake is hardly sweet at all! So, a salty topping isn't the right thing for it. I also didn't have the correct pan.

But you can bet I got one before I made it the second time - a seven inch springform - I had to have that height!  And you can see it's nice and high. I made the right topping, too.

This is probably what you'd call a French style cheesecake, and since my brother's always been partial to the New York style, we got him two pieces of that from the local Jewish deli. But you know, he said it didn't taste so good to him anymore. Folks, I think this is it.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

might be privet

-  some berries growing outside the kitchen window.

The little statue, from a consignment shop.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

magic next door

A tree in my neighbor's yard catches my eye when I go near the bedroom windows on the north side. Golden leaves above, and a golden pool beneath. My camera couldn't seem to see it as my eyes were, but I finally got it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

George Washington's patrimony

"Each of us is the parent of his life. Do we know that the first form of self-government is governing ourselves - not through indifference or rigidity, but through respecting our fellows and wanting to play an honorable part in the world? Do we derive our notions of respect and our definitions of honor from our ideas of right and wrong? Do we have the strength and the heart to make them real? We are all citizens: we pay taxes, and if we're not felons we vote. How well is the experiment of our country going? Do we love our rights so much that we would resent laws we had no role in making as slavery? Do we love others enough that if we had unwarranted power over their lives, we would struggle to give it up? Do we teach our principles and honor those who upheld them? Do we understand that liberty isn't a vacation from restraint, but a duty to govern? That is the model that Washington's life gives us; that is his patrimony."

                                                                        -  Richard Brookhiser,  Founding Father 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

another Dottie Angel frock

I wore my Dottie Angel frock the other day to a library class in another town, and I actually got some compliments on it. My feeling is that it looks homemade, but it's always nice to get encouragement. I was going to get a selfie when I got home, but forgot...

Still, I finished another; and I discovered that the light blue scarf I knitted seems to look rather nice with it.

I'm going to do one more in this fall color theme. Three seems like a good amount. For now.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

coins of gold

A spendthrift lover is the Lord
Who never counts the cost
Or asks if heaven can afford
To woo a world that's lost. 
Our lover tosses coins of gold
Across the midnight skies
And stokes the sun against the cold
To warm us when we rise.

Still more is spent in blood and tears
To win the human heart,
To overcome the violent fears
That drive the world apart.
Behold the bruised and thorn-crowned face
Of one who bears our scars
And empties out the wealth and grace
That's hinted by the stars.

How shall we love this heart-strong God
Who gives us everything,
Whose ways to us are strange and odd,
What can we give or bring?
Acceptance of the matchless gift
Is gift enough to give.
The very act will shake and shift
The way we love and live.

- from Magnificat, November 2016

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

instant warmth

This is a photo of two felted, lambswool sleeves off a thrifted heavy-duty sweater/jacket. Today's temperatures were in the 60's, but mornings are much colder. I went to vote this morning in my sandals and these new, heavy legwarmers. They look cute and I love them! All I did was cut - the fit is just right.

Monday, November 7, 2016

being ruled

"Men must live, one way or another, and if they cannot live by ruling themselves, they will submit to the rule of others."

                                              -  from Founding Father, by Richard Brookhiser

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Friday, November 4, 2016

fall beauties

I'm recovering from late nights watching the World Series. A very exciting one, too - the last game a nail-biter to the final moment, with a rain delay taking place right before the tenth inning. I'm very happy for the Chicago Cubs; one hundred and eight years is long enough to go in between winning the World Series!

Yesterday I was actually outdoors in bare feet; I was pulling the weeds and dead tomato plants from the ground. It was a little cool, but I didn't mind. It was too beautiful all around for me to be minding anything. A bit of sprinkling in mid-day, and then sunlight and leaves whirling late afternoon. November! It seems a nicer month than when I was younger. I had to bring Dolly out before supper, just for a little while. This season can seemed enchanted sometimes.

I was watering the plants at the library today, and dead leaves outside caught my eye.

But it was two weeks ago when we saw a fabulous rainbow, and it was the whole thing, too. At home they always appear in the back yard and I have to run to and fro to glimpse parts of them between the trees. This rainbow stood outside the old entrance to the library, and it was all we could do to not look for the pots of gold at either end. It was vivid, and double. 

I was intent on getting it all in, so it's distorted, and the colors are going by this time - but it was great!