Wednesday, August 28, 2019

owning up

"Be your own accuser, and He will be your pardoner."

                                            -  St. Augustine

Monday, August 26, 2019

a little more order

At one of the thrift stores last week, I found a basket with a handle, just right for a grab-and-go sewing kit.

The contents are a little crowded - maybe I can take out some things.

Planning ahead for the day when the little one discovers the sewing supplies on my desk - and the sharp things that are in there. I'm aiming to make room for this basket in my bookcase, out of her way.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

a contrasting hem

I'm finally finishing up a summer dress I started way back when; I'm ready to hem it.

I had pinned this image from Anna's website, Pleasant View Schoolhouse, because it seems I'm often drawn to hems with borders: it's the third photo down, with her daughter wearing a dress that looks like the hem is bound with bias binding. I love this look!

I decided to try it with my blue floral, and use a contrasting color.

The ruby red looks nice with it, I think.

I was trying to figure out the best way to go about it; using double fold is the ideal, but I wanted to use what I had on hand and I liked this color. I stitched it on to right side, intending to fold it under and secure it in back, but that would make a very thin band at the bottom, and I like this particular width.

I'm just going to trim and zigzag the seam allowance underneath there, and then leave it be; it's bias - it shouldn't fray, right? I like that width - we'll see what happens! I'll only have to press out the fold line.

Friday, August 23, 2019

written with a sunbeam

"The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for among old parchments or musty records. They are written, as with a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the Divinity itself, and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power."

                                                                -  Alexander Hamilton

Thursday, August 22, 2019

red and juicy

We're absolutely swimming in tomatoes. Which is a pretty nice thing. But it's not so much that I need to find a way to preserve them; I think we can manage to just eat them.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

utter madness

If we were sitting across from one another and talking, if you looked at my bare feet for any length of time, I'd start to worry you might tickle them.

You know how it is in the movies when something's going on just out of sight, and the main character is trying hard not to let on, but it's starting to get obvious? And they're making funny sounds in spite of themselves?

You know how the Three Stooges sounded - I think it was Curly, actually - that high-pitched whiny sound he made when the others gave him a hard time?

Have you seen Emma Thompson's "Sense and Sensibility"? I'm thinking of the scene where Edward has just arrived after the girls' father died and Margaret is hiding under the map table in the library. Edward and Fanny are in the room and Fanny talks of her plan to cut down some trees; Margaret makes some kind of noise from under there, and so Edward realizes where she is.

I was trying to have my supper - minding my own business to be sure - and the little Itty Bitty began hugging my ankles, gumming my feet, hanging on even when I raised my legs. It didn't matter what I did. With my mouth full, "mmmm!  ah! ooh! ha!" Afraid I'd choke on my food, I scooped her up and plopped her on the window sill in another room. But within two minutes she returned - refusing to give up her fixation on my feet. I had to put her in the basement and shut the door.

This is not a complaint. I'm just telling the story.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

a tiny fragrance

"[The Blessed Mother]...leads us to see in each other all the little virtues which make us dear to her, if we are sincere in our love of our Lord and of herself. No matter how ragged and unlovely a rosebush may be, it still has some bud upon it that has a lovely tint or a breath of fragrance, for which we like it, because the rose is so beautiful that a single petal is charming. So, if we strive to love heavenly things we become part of the family of the saints, and a tiny fragrance at least tells to whom we belong."

                                             -  Sister Rose Hawthorne,  daughter of Nathaniel Hawthorne, 
                                                                                         from Magnificat, August 2019

Saturday, August 17, 2019

curtains down and chickens in the yard

Since I love linen and cotton so much, I am ironing two or three times a week. But I'm in trouble now, since a little cat has come into the house; she just has to attack the electrical cord. So the second and third times I made an attempt, I waited till she was asleep. This meant nothing, of course - she didn't mind at all interrupting her rest when there was a cord to be chewed. I finally put her in the bathroom while I finished.

Of course,I heard a loud noise in there, and found the curtain and rod half down, needing the help of some pliers before I could set it to rights. And the toilet paper, some of it unrolled, of course. But I refuse to switch to polyester on her account! Otherwise, she is entirely precious.

The people behind our next-door neighbors have chickens; I love hearing them and have wanted to get a look at them, but I'd have to go way around, as there's a high fence between their properties.

Right after re-hanging the bathroom curtains, I decided to shake out a little rug near the back door. I hung it over the railing and when I turned to come in, I saw them out near the brook, alongside the bridge. They were looking at me. They had escaped their area somehow!

I hurried to google my neighbors' phone number, but I got a message that their voice mailbox was full. I rushed around our side fence into the next-door yard and up to the big fence, hoping I could see someone in their back yard, but it was hard to see through the chain link. I called out, "Patrick! Desiree!" Only the rooster replied, and I didn't want to get him stirred up.

I've read too many blog posts from chicken owners who've lost them to predators. I called my brother to stop at their house on his way home from work. Well, they were sitting outside; apparently they let them out now and then. But I don't think they realized they came through the brook and over to our property. If there is a next time, I will try not to panic about it.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

summer soup and a big cat

I'm a little bit thrilled to have found a new soup recipe that's really delicious (even though I had to turn on the AC to make it). It is in this month's Better Homes and Gardens*, and I used our own yellow squash and tomatoes in it! (I did alter it slightly, adding two extra cups of stock and only half the amount of lemon juice) I have found, however, that my point and shoot camera never takes a good soup photo - the look is always so shiny and unnatural; I couldn't get a good one with the DSLR, either. You will have to believe me, that it was great.

We have tomatoes almost pouring in now, but that is okay. A lunch with a couple of them warm from the sun, cut up and sprinkled with bits of feta is perfect.

They've been digging up our street, redoing the storm drains which are about sixty years old, so that's welcome.

It' is a bit inconvenient getting in and out, especially when someone is coming over and they're not sure how to get to your house when the road is blocked off. But it does give the cats something to look at.

*If you look at the link, you'll see the recipe heading says it's made with cherry tomatoes, but when you read the recipe you'll see it's made with full-sized ones. I wouldn't use small tomatoes for this.

Monday, August 12, 2019

"do you remember an inn, Miranda?"

"Do you remember an Inn, Miranda?"  - Hilaire Belloc, "Tarantella"

Yes, do you remember an Inn,
Where chairs rocked, creaking,
On the long veranda,
Where beds were elderly
To match the plumbing
But the manager smiled at our coming?

Far from the highway where the traffic muttered,
It was clapboarded white,
It was greenly shuttered.
There peace descended
When night began
And we paid by American Plan.

Remember the lobster redder than the wine,
The breakfast dining-room
That closed at nine,
The wavy mirrors
In the first-floor Women's,
The waitresses all from Smith or Simmons
And the crickets loud
But the busboys louder
And the reek of the leek
In the weekly chowder
And the carefree luggage
That porters brought in
And the baths you could launch a yacht in?

Nevermore, Miranda, nevermore.
Only the faceless,
Duplicated door
Of a thousand Motels
From Taos to Truro
With Television built in the built-in bureau.
Only the wallpaper, self-assertive,
And the dusty coming
And the going, furtive,
And the Howard Johnson's
For a meal, en masse,
And the clink of the drink
In the toothbrush glass.
Only the guests, neither gentlemen nor ladies,
But Messieur the Buick
Or Madame, Mercedes
And the fee in advance
And the sleeping pill
For the traffic roaring at the sill.

Let me fly to an Inn like a sword to its scabbard
Where the crickets cry
And the walls are clapboard.
Till I find a rocker
On a long veranda
I'll motor no more, Miranda.

                                     -   Lament for Lost Lodgings, by Phyllis McGinley

Sunday, August 11, 2019

planning ahead

How lively a household can be with a little one running around! But I've started a pinterest board for soft Christmas ornament ideas.

Friday, August 9, 2019

may He scatter and brighten

May the God of infinite goodness scatter the darkness of sin and brighten our hearts with holiness. Amen.

                                                          - from Magnificat, August 2019

Thursday, August 8, 2019

twice the sound

I didn't always know that I could plug my tablet into the boombox or stereo to get better and louder sound. For under ten bucks, the cost of the six-foot long cord.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

simple green soup

Gretchen mentioned in a comment that she used a soup recipe from Laurel's Kitchen to use up the summer squash when it starts piling up. I had to do and inter-library loan because our copy was long gone.

There is a recipe here, but she also gives a version which is really just a vague guideline; so I cubed up as much zucchini as would fit in the pot and cooked it slowly in butter, with some basil, white pepper and salt. Then I added a quart of water and chicken base. Warmed it up, and put some of it in the blender with maybe a third cup of cottage cheese. Salt to taste. I will keep this recipe,

Thanks, Gretchen!

Monday, August 5, 2019

little orphan Annie

Can you guess? It seems we're keeping her. Annie, the orphan. Unless, of course, someone appears who has a claim to her.

How do these things happen? We certainly had no notion of it when we got up in the morning. And one week after Mr. Kibble passed away.

high and deep and wide

God, be in our thinking, always as a guide,
God, be in our yearning, high and deep and wide;
God, be in our caring, with us intertwined,
As we grow to love you, heart and soul and mind.

                                                                       - from Magnificat, August 2019

Sunday, August 4, 2019

I can't believe it

I was just thinking that it took Mr. Kibble for us to get to know Diane and Bill a little, and now we would probably slip back into our routine of keeping to ourselves.

Bill called this noontime - the boy next door found a little kitten outside and called them, so they took her (?) while they are trying to find out where it belongs. It's a friendly kitty, it must have a home and maybe just slipped out the door and wandered.

How do I know it's friendly? 

She is here, for the time being, because the poor little thing is afraid of their two dogs. That's why he called; could we take it for a while?

The poor little orphan.