Sunday, October 28, 2018

Go, Red Sox!

They have won the World Series.  In their cute "away" uniforms.

internet photo from game 4

Saturday, October 27, 2018

a fine day

Debra and I went to our favorite lunch place today.

It was the perfect day for it; we were having a nor'easter, with heavy bands of rain whipped along by gusty winds. Lots of colorful leaves are on the ground now.  But we were inside, eating our omelets and drinking hot tea. This place has mismatched dishware, flowers at every table, the work of local artists hanging everywhere you look. There is a fireplace for the cold months with a poem or pleasant saying on a large blackboard above, a quiet atmosphere prevailing where they don't rush you out near closing time. I am not sure if omelets or charm is their specialty - both, I guess.

It was so pleasant. Didn't leave me much time to get things done at home, though. And October is almost gone, with no windows washed! I always wash them in October, but this year it was rainy and too cool. I will have to regroup.

"Sometimes when I have a day with many small things going awry, I suddenly think as dusk lets fall her soft violet color, that it is very silly of me to mind the stresses and strains. It was a day, was it not? I had the free air to breathe, and the sky to look on. Why should I complain? ...  A day is a fine thing, and we shall never see this day again.

It is not a thing to take too easily."

                                   -   Gladys Taber, from Stillmeadow and Sugarbridge

Thursday, October 25, 2018


Each spring I photograph the cherry tree in the front yard. And every fall I have to photograph the swamp maple in the back. It's the brightest thing on our property.

Some years it glows with red but not this time

this year, orange. I'm always awestruck by it.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

wisdom from Lucretia Garfield

I borrowed a cookbook from the library, favorite recipes of all the First Ladies up to Lyndon Johnson's time in office. It's rather disappointing - they ate lots of white sauces and thick sorts of foods which are so different from our modern tastes. But this caught my eye about President Garfield's wife, Lucretia:

"Mrs. Garfield had been compelled in the early years to take on many domestic chores for her family which were not always as appealing to her as literary and cultural affairs. Long years before she became the First Lady, while she was deep in the mundane task of kneading bread for her household, she had developed a philosophy of life, which became an integral part of her. ..Making great batches of bread appeared to be an inescapable duty, so she determined that she would overcome her dislike for this chore by taking a very special interest in it. .. she wrote:

The whole of life became brighter. The very sunshine seemed to be flowing down through my spirit into the white loaves, and now I believe my table is furnished with better bread than ever before; and this truth, as old as creation, seems just now to have become fully mine - that I need not be the shrinking slave of toil, but its regal master."

-  from The First Ladies Cook Book

Monday, October 22, 2018

a very small harvest

I quickly cut back the rose bushes today - just two. There were so many red ones! They're now in a pitcher in the kitchen.

And the other bush gave me a few rose hips. The branches were arching and I should have cut them before this, but better late than never - the weight from the winter snow would cause damage, otherwise. So I pulled off all the hips, but only two or three are red. I suppose only the red ones are ripe - what can I do with just a rosehip or two?

Sunday, October 21, 2018

resting in hope

If this world should pass away,
If an army block my way,
Should the fruit fall from the vine
Long before its harvest time.
If you cut the final thread,
Cast my youth among the dead,
I shall rest in hope of you,
And your promise shall prove true.

-  from Magnificat, October 2018

Thursday, October 18, 2018

doing our daily duty

"The dimensions of paradise in us comprise the large-hearted and minute accomplishment of our duties each day... Doing our daily duty involves being glad to be where we are so that the Kingdom of God may reach us, may spread across this piece of earth that is ourselves; it is accepting as a large act of obedience the matter that we are made of, the family of which we are a member, the profession that we belong to, the people who are ours, the continent which surrounds us, the world we are inserted into, and the time that we are living in. .. It is in paying this debt in contributions of one cent at a time each second that make us just."

                                                              - Madeleine Delbrel,  from Magnificat, October 2018

not September

This is what I call a September sky. At least, where we live.

Trouble is, it's twenty degrees too cold. And it's not September. And I guess I'm just a complainer.

Now I'll look forward to some proper October weather. Otherwise, it's a long time until April.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

thinking of next summer already

At the height of summer's heat, I found myself longing for a slip of a dress (or two) to just throw over my head and be cool. I purchased fabric for two dresses, but couldn't get to them in time. Still, I don't want to leave them until next year. I just finished one, an orange gingham

and the other is a chambray with an all-over white floral. They will be so nice when the time comes!

Monday, October 15, 2018


We picked the green tomatoes at the same time.

There's one in every group, isn't there?

Saturday, October 13, 2018

the advantages of a well thought-out shopping list

As soon as I entered the supermarket, I realized I'd left the coupons, the money and the shopping list at home. So I went from memory.

I didn't forget a thing, except the cans of beets for the local shelter! I guess my memory isn't as bad as I've been thinking.

Saturday doin's

I had to put on shoes today, and it's only mid October. I so didn't want to! But when it's raining (again) and in the fifties, well.

I don't think our heat has come on yet, but when I'm home I make a point to use the oven, if possible and that helps to warm up the house, along with other cooking and my ever present ironing.

There are our own squashes! I fit them all in the roasting pan and cooked them up first thing today. Acorn squash are so hard to cut - I just poke a few holes in each and roast them whole. What beauties!

Otherwise, outside it looks more like November in places.

But I can never resist the silhouettes of almost-bare trees.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

next year, bush beans

We never got many green beans this year, from that late-blooming beanstalk outside our door; the blossoms just appeared too late, and we wanted to end the garden and put Mr. K's shelter over there near the outlet for the heated cat bed.

My brother said, "Next year, I'm going back to bush beans."

Saturday, October 6, 2018

a nice dream

"Try being governed by those who can still look at the stars at night, or spend an hour watching a beetle under a dry leaf in the forest, or dream over a glow worm in a field of May wheat."

                                                                 -  Carlo Carretto, from Magnificat, October 2018

Friday, October 5, 2018

autumn with Robin Hood

"...the time of fall had come, bringing with it its own pleasures and joyousness; for now, when the harvest was gathered home, merry bands of gleaners roamed the country about, singing along the roads in the daytime, and sleeping beneath the hedgerows and the hayricks at night. Now the hips burned red in the tangled thickets and the haws waxed black in the hedgerows, the stubble lay all crisp and naked to the sky, and the green leaves were fast turning russet and brown. Also, at this merry season, good things of the year are gathered in in great store.
  So passed the seasons then, so they pass now, and so they will pass in time to come, whilst we come and go like leaves of the tree that fall and are soon forgotten."

                                         -      Robin Hood, by Howard Pyle

I am so enjoying this delightful book!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

a little gift

Beth came by the library and was bemoaning her overflow of zucchini and cukes.

She came by another day with two jars of relish for me. Tucked neatly into a crocheted bag - she is an ace crocheter.

just big enough for two jelly jars

We used up the relish almost immediately. I had made a meatloaf, so we just had the zucchini relish with it, in lieu of gravy. I mixed some of the cucumber relish in with some tuna salad the next day. Home grown, homemade and very welcome!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

a good day for Mr. Kibble

I haven't said much about our little friend lately, but there is always so much that could be said.

Mr. Kibble had stopped using the shelter about two months ago, and my brother was afraid it was his fault - he had brought the food dish and put it inside while Mr. K. was in there. We weren't sure this was the reason, but it's quite possible that the little fellow had thought his whereabouts were a secret.

Meanwhile, the kitchen garden plants got pulled up a week ago and the shelter moved back near the outlet; it's been getting cooler and now it's near the outlet so the heated beds can be turned on. But he didn't seem to pay it any attention.

Then my brother started putting Mr. Kibble's food bowl right outside the entrance - he would eat, and then come back to us for more, maybe glancing inside briefly. We would later see him sleeping in our flower beds (no flowers, just shrubs) in front of the house, on the mulch. He really seemed to like it in there, sometimes where it gave him a good view of the road, and others right behind and under the rhododendron. And when it rained, as it has so often lately, underneath the picture window which juts out enough to keep him dry.

on a dry day

But we hated to see it - a warm, dry shelter waiting for him, while he spent a wet night in a flower bed. It was sad. We wondered if he'd ever forget his negative experience in the shelter and give it another try. 

Well, I have to credit my brother's persistence in putting that food dish right near the shelter - this morning we saw him exit the place before he came up to get food! Hallelujah! I think he's in there now. I'm grateful. Yesterday was rain all day, and I saw him in the front bed but around suppertime the rain got heavy and there was thunder. Maybe that was the deciding factor. I asked St. Joseph to please see if he could get him into the place, and lo! 

This makes us feel a little better with winter coming on. Meanwhile, Diane came by the other day and it seems she may try and get him inside again this year - we'll see. If he only knew the plotting and planning which whirls around the thought of him!

two in one

When I sew, I tend to take my time; I am prone to hastiness, which often leads to error, which I then have to fix. But I do think it takes me too long to make a project.

I finished the apron the other day. It's plain, but I didn't have any appealing ideas for decoration, so that's what it will be, but it is reversible.

One side is this soft green all-over print and the other is

this, which if you're a lover of the Old Country Roses china pattern, will be familiar to you.

I was copying the apron Margaret sent me a few years ago  -

a very simple shape which I used for a pattern. Hers is not reversible; she used three fabrics for this: the large floral, the solid light blue and a bold stripe on the inside

as a channel for the ties.

I had three fabrics, the two above and a solid green. But I couldn't decide which of the two prints would look better for the main apron piece. I'm not good at imagining how a finished thing will look and I couldn't "see" if the green floral with a pocket from the larger floral would look better, or the other way around. I was going to use the solid green for the tie and other areas of trim. While my mind was dithering, I saw this on pinterest:

basically the same shape, but reversible! So that decided me. But this one has sewn-on ties, and I wanted to use Margaret's method.

I don't if she made this up or used a pattern, but the way the ties work is a pretty good idea. There is one long (88 inches) tie which runs through a channel of bias binding on the wrong side of the apron; it goes around your neck and when you tie it in the back, it adjusts to your size by scrunching up along the channel. Do you get what I'm saying?

See the scrunching?

Because I was using two layers, I didn't need to make any binding, I just sewed a certain distance away from the curved side edges and made the channel that way, leaving openings at either end. For the tie, I used a length of double fold bias and stitched the edges together. 

It's so plain because I was afraid a pocket on one side would make it bulky and less attractive when wearing the other side. This is a gift for a young woman friend of Debra's who just got married - I barely know her, but I know she has one apron. I knew she needed another. Now she will have three options!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

more from Gladys

"To make a home beautiful, to create a good family life, seems to me a job as important and dignified as any, and there is no reason why pushing a vacuum cleaner is incompatible with thinking about Plato or Aristotle or Parker's Aesthetics."

                                              - Gladys Taber