Monday, July 27, 2020

green bean pickles

So many beans coming in, and I don't want to do the same thing with them every day. I froze some, just in time to find out I don't have to blanch them first, apparently - many say they're better if just trimmed and frozen like that.

But I did blanch some, and then made quick pickles with them.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Lord of all everything

Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,
whose trust, ever childlike, no cares can destroy;
Be there at our waking, and give us, we pray,
your bliss in our hearts, Lord, at the break of the day.

Lord of all eagerness, Lord of all faith,
whose strong hands were skilled at the plane and the lathe,
Be there at our labors, and give us, we pray,
your strength in our hearts, Lord, at the noon of the day.

Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace,
your hands swift to welcome, your arms to embrace,
Be there at our homing, and give us, we pray,
your love in our hearts, Lord, at the eve of the day.

Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm,
whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm,
Be there at our sleeping, and give us, we pray,
your peace in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day.

-  Jan Struther

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Sweetie and other things

My brother went outside to water the garden after work, and thought he heard a rustling or something underfoot. He looked down to a depression which we suppose was made by rabbits and he saw some movement, under the surface. I want to know this: if they're living in the garden, why aren't they eating it?

The little Orphan dragged the lap-sized afghan off the living room chair and into the kitchen, leaving it there on the floor. Sorry I missed that.

The vet called us last week - Sweetie has cancer. It is an aggressive type, and she said she's got three to six months to live. 

Sunday, July 19, 2020

patience and trust

Do not fret because of the wicked;
do not envy those who do evil:
for they wither quickly like grass
and fade like the green of the fields.

If you trust in the Lord and do good,
then you will live in the land and be secure.
If you find your delight in the Lord,
he will grant your heart's desire.

Be still before the Lord and wait in patience;
do not fret at the man who prospers,
a man who makes evil plots
to bring down the needy and the poor.

Calm your anger and forget your rage;
do not fret, it only leads to evil. 
For those who do evil shall perish;
the patient shall inherit the land.

- from Psalm 37

"Grant us the wisdom to recognize your love at work in hiddenness, the faith to trust in your love at work in weakness, the hope to live by your love at work in darkness"

                                                                -  part of a prayer found in Magnificat, July 2020

Friday, July 17, 2020


This is what I found when I got home today. I can't believe they *all* let him eat his lunch. (by *all*, I mean Dolly). 

Thursday, July 16, 2020

know your history

"To not know your history is to remain always a child."

-  Cicero

one of many possible translations, of course

Sunday, July 12, 2020


"A path is a place worn hard by the repeated passing of feet. The repeated passing of familiar thoughts through the landscape of the heart can wear hard paths no seed can penetrate without the saving action of the plow. Critical judgments, blind prejudices, unexamined  beliefs, indifference can all harden the heart to the Word."

                                                       -  Magnificat, July 2020

"To pray every day, whether one feels like it or not; to care for the sick, even when they are fussy and ungrateful; to attend Mass every Sunday, even when the priests give mediocre homilies and the choir needs a lot of work - this is how we sink deep and abiding roots."

                                                     -  Bishop Robert Barron

Thus have you prepared the land: drenching its furrows,
breaking up its clods,
softening it with showers,
blessing its yield.

You have crowned the year with your bounty,
and your paths overflow with a rich harvest;
the untilled meadows overflow with it, 
and rejoicing clothes the hills.

- from Psalm 65

Saturday, July 11, 2020

from one thing to another

The fireflies are out there, darting and twinkling. I brought my ipad outside, thinking to film them. I couldn't. Is it possible? But why are people in their houses, not even caring this display goes on every year at this time? This magic.

Dolly would eat all day long - she often falls asleep with her head near the bowl.

We opened the library to the public. Almost everyone tells us how glad they are we're open. One woman who lives across the street said that when she was alone over these few months of quarantine, she'd look over and feel better, knowing we were there, at work. She's a quiet woman - you never know what people are feeling.

I like to look at my magazines that come every month and write down things which inspire me: projects, recipes, images. There was a cauliflower soup; it seemed nothing unusual. Meanwhile, when the whole virus started up and there were gaps in the grocery aisles and we didn't know how bad it would get or what to expect, we bought some canned soups and vegetables. Now, I'm wanting to use up some of this stuff. So today I cooked up a head of cauliflower with tarragon and pureed it along with some chicken gelatin and water, then added two cans of chicken soup and half a can of peas. It was quite good! And all just because I saw a picture of something.

Sweetie had her biopsy on Tuesday, soon we'll see what the results are.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

nice for salads

A bottle of fig vinegar I got for half price at the supermarket, for which I'd never pay full price.

Monday, July 6, 2020

that still, small voice

My brother just told me a story; he was intent on my hearing it - it was his confession.

He was not further than a mile away from our home this morning, doing errands, and noticed a dead squirrel in the street that had been hit. He usually stops and moves these creatures to the roadside, so they don't get run over - even though past help, it still seems the right thing. But he didn't listen to that inner voice as he was in a hurry, trying to make good time. When he passed by again, someone had run over the squirrel.

A little later he returned that way and there was a dead hawk in the spot; it had stopped to eat and someone else had come along and hit it.

He knows this was all because he didn't listen to that inner urge.  It's not always easy, is it, to hear that, to be attuned to it?  But he'll remember this.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

garden peas

Our own peas!

In Under the Tuscan Sun, Frances Mayes tells of a trip to town, where she passed a woman sitting outside her doorway, cat sleeping at her feet, and shelling a huge pile of peas. "She looked up and rapidly said something in Italian and I smiled, only to realize as I walked on that she'd said, It shouldn't happen to a dog."

After I'd shelled this small amount, my brother came by and wondered why I'd done it. The pods are edible. Well - I had wondered what was different about them! That's okay; I put them in a salad today.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Poem in Praise of the Continental Congress: a Fourth of July hymn

Thank you, Mr. Jefferson,
For bearding the British brass.
And thank  you, Mr. Adams,
Of Braintree (Quincy) Mass.
Carroll and Clark and Clymer,
Harrison, Hancock, Hart,
Printer Franklin and Planter Hall,
I thank you one and I thank you all
For rising up at your country's call
And giving the Fourth a start.
Thanks with gratitude more than cursory
For handing July an anniversary.

What is so rare in these sovereign states
As festive weather on festive dates?
Sneezes hamper the Yuletide kiss.
Autumn glooms on the Armistice.
Easter's certain to be contrary.
Washington picked out February.
But east and west and south and north
There's strawberry shortcake on the Fourth.

So hip and hip and a loud hooray
For glorious Independence Day,
Day auspicious for every comer
Because it falls on the Fourth of summer,
When winds are soft and air's a prism
And climate's conducive to patriotism.
Fathers, I'm grateful when I remember
You might have fixed on the Fourth of November.

You might have chosen August,
When lawns begin to parch,
Defended Man in the middle of Jan.
Or the horrible first of March.
But you thought of parades and picnics,
Of a blue American sky,
Of driving fast in a brand-new car,
Of rowing boats and of breaking par,
And you set it down on your calendar
That you'd choose the Fourth of July.

So thank you, Button Gwinnett,
For a celebration blithe.
And thank you, Roger Sherman,
And thank you, Mr. Wythe.
Hopkinson, Hooper, Heyward,
Livingston, Lewis, Lee,
Merchant Morris, of Morrisania,
Morton, the jurist from Pennsylvania,
I'm happy you surged with that freedomania.
Thanks for the Land of the Free,
For giving us liberty's deathless chime
And a holiday in the summertime.

-   Phyllis McGinley