Monday, August 31, 2020

all good things

 "All good things are one thing... That is what I am every hour of the day. Sunsets, schools of philosophy, babies, constellations, cathedrals, operas, mountains, horses, poems - all these are merely disguises. One thing is always walking among us in fancy dress, in the grey cloak of a church or the green cloak of a meadow. He is always behind, His form makes the folds fall so superbly."

                              -  Chesterton, in a letter to his fiancee

Sunday, August 30, 2020


 The bird bath is up because the brook has been dry, and the mourning doves are the ones enjoying it the most. Every day I see one there - the same one, I like to think - sitting quietly, facing out and tail in, usually. They are quiet, simple birds and this seems in keeping with their ways. 

I heard this today in a podcast - the quote is from Josef Pieper, the podcast from Christopher Perrin:

"Contemplation is a knowledge about what is present, and thinking is knowledge about what is absent."

Saturday, August 29, 2020

miracle at the grocery store

 I never gave a thought to St. Anthony.

I was at the supermarket, looking at the salad. The ones in the big, rectangular plastic boxes. I suddenly realized I could see out of one eye and not the other - my contact had popped out in a freak sort of occurrence. I rolled my eye around, hoping I'd be able to feel it in there, but - it didn't seem to be in the eye. In fact, I thought I'd heard a tiny "plunk" where it had dropped. 

I knew from experience that it could be caught in my hair, on my mask, sitting on my cheek or in my eyelashes, and I carefully felt around me. I actually removed my mask and was busily searching. Next, I looked on top of the salad boxes, but I didn't see anything. I blessed myself - yeah, in a public place, and I didn't even care - and asked my guardian angel to help me locate it. I kept looking around on the floor in front of me, looking and looking; you can see light reflecting off them if you get the right angle. Nope. I said a Hail Mary - this is my usual procedure when losing a lens. I was calm, but incredulous that it had just popped out in this public place, that I have a week off from work and it would be very hard to do any sewing or anything enjoyable with only one eye, so to speak (that's right, I have No Spare, and No Glasses - judge me if you must) but eventually I had to give up. It had been about five minutes and it was in there somewhere, but it had probably fallen down between a grate under the produce. 

I suddenly realized I hadn't replaced my mask, but the area was unusually quiet. I continued with my shopping, feeling unhappy but telling myself, like Mr. Bennet, that it had been my own doing and I ought to feel it, that I need a new prescription anyway, and other similar things. We finished, and got in line at the register. I could see we were stalled there, and I thought of my contact lens and that maybe I could run over there and look for it one last time. Should I? Should I not bother? 

I Almost Didn't. But something caused me to just quickly run over there and look once more. I picked up a box of salad, and another. I grabbed a third, and there was something on the lid. My lens.

If you're unfamiliar with my history of losing my contacts, you may read this if you like. And I do want to say this: We all have an angel guardian - I am not anybody special. Give yours a thought. They are only too glad to help.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

useful footwear

These perforated clogs were a smart purchase. They make it easy to walk in wet or muddy ground - I wear them when I water the garden or have to go out in the rainy yard. They'll also be a help if I ever have to get into the brook (when it isn't dried up).

Monday, August 24, 2020

pretty butterfly

 There was a butterfly on the zinnias. Butterflies are easy to examine, since they aren't concerned with being looked at.

I got out the butterfly identification guide. It seems to be a tiger swallowtail. Except the one in the book has a black border on the wings, and this one doesn't seem to. I googled it

Now here you can see some black edging on the underside. I don't know what to think. It seems to be the only butterfly of that color for our region. Well, maybe that just means he's an individual! Aren't we all!

Sunday, August 23, 2020


 We've had some misty mornings lately.

There's so much atmosphere to late summer. Let the drama begin.

Monday, August 17, 2020

plugging along

 We are having a soaking rain this evening. It's very welcome, as things have been quite dry. The brook has dried up, which it often does in August, but even the lawn is almost dead in places and scratches the bare feet to walk on it. 

But the zinnias are doing very well, and having bright flowers next to the back steps is delightful.

My floral top only needs the armholes finished off, and will be done. 

Finishing them off with bias tape is always a somewhat lengthy affair. I sew it on, turn it to the inside and pin with all-metal pins (not plastic heads!). I spray it with water, press it, spray, press. I leave it to dry. Another day I remove the pins, spray and press again, pinning it again, trying to get the binding to stretch sufficiently. I baste, spray and press again. About half the time, it doesn't get perfect, and I don't know why. Especially at the neckline, the aim is to get it laying flat, and it doesn't always. I've seen videos of women who sew on the binding and then turn it under and top stitch it immediately. What! How is this possible? So, I labor on. But it's almost done.

A month has passed since Sweetie's diagnosis; outwardly, she seems the same. She is still eating, still a picky eater. She still comes in my lap when she's wanting a snack, she still can jump up to the chairs, the beds, the windows. If she's having pain, I can't detect it, but she still fusses at her mouth after eating. For my part, I searched around the house for Holy Water and found some from Medjugorje, so I bless her with that from time to time. And I bought a flower essence which is supposed to support the immune system - I spray her with this three or four times a day. Yes, she is terminal, I know, but it won't hurt her or interfere with her thyroid medication and I prefer to do something rather than be without hope. 

Lord God, you have made heaven and earth by your great might, with your outstretched arm;
nothing is impossible to you.  Jer. 32:17

I really don't expect anything, but I don't want to feel later like I never tried.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

birds and butterflies, cats and Chesterton

I really need to bring a camera when I go into the garden; there was a catbird complaining about something in a nearby bush, and I thought it would have made a cute little film. When I looked around to see who he was upset with, there was one of Diane's fluffy yellow cats - Leo, or Leon - I can't tell them apart. Then as I watered, some sprayed over the zinnias and a monarch butterfly rose up. I need to at least have the thing nearby, in case.

My camera seems to have a smear on the lens, or something. It's old - I need a new point and shoot.

 I've got hold of Maisie Ward's biography of G. K. Chesterton - it's great.

"My great ambition is to give a party at which everybody should meet everybody else and like them very much."


Mr. Gilbert Chesterton
requests the pleasure
Of humanity's company
to tea on Dec. 25th 1896.
Humanity Esq., The Earth, Cosmos E.

"G.K. liked everybody very much, and everything very much. He liked even the things most of us dislike. He liked to get wet. He liked to be tired. After that one short period of struggle he liked to call himself 'always perfectly happy'. And therefore he wanted to say, 'Thank you'."

You say grace before meals.
All right.
But I say grace before the play and the opera,
And grace before the concert and pantomime,
And grace before I open a book,
And grace before sketching, painting,
Swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing,
And grace before I dip the pen in the ink.


Here dies another day
During which I have had eyes, ears, hands
And the great world round me;
And with tomorrow begins another.
Why am I allowed two?

what I wish for my dear country

Oh, come in early morning,
The dew is on the flower,
There's laughter in the woodland,
And music in the bower;
The world is full of gladness,
And sings the Maker's praise,
There's not a note of sadness,
To mar the matin lays.

Oh, come in early morning,
The sun is climbing high;
And all the world is smiling,
Beneath a cloudless sky;
There's not a piping blackbird,
But sings with lusty glee;
There's not a little lambkin,
But frolics on the lea.

- from Magnificat, August 2020

Sunday, August 9, 2020

patience and a thimble

 I'm slowly working on my floral top. I had almost forgotten how tightly woven that sheet fabric is; I basted the bias to the neckline with great difficulty, and will probably have to use a thimble when I sew it. 

I guess I'll also have to use patience.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

another kind of bunny

My brother took a truckload of debris to the dump today - this is what's left. It's a pretty big pile.

Guess who is on the cover of the new postage stamp catalog? 

My favorite cartoon character. It's the little things, isn't it? 

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

in the nick of time

A storm came our way yesterday, a tropical storm. The library closed early and I was at home with the cats, Dolly crying because I wouldn't let her in the windows. But the wind was too strong and I wanted all the windows shut in case of flying objects.

A big limb came down in back near the bridge, and the corn, which we thought would soon be ready, was every which way.
But my brother picked it all - there were several ears that looked good, though a little small. I took two, and cooked them. Sweet, juicy and delicious! I'm so glad we didn't lose it. 

Today we had lots of people come in the library hoping we had power so they could do some work. It could have been much worse - it could have been a hurricane.

Monday, August 3, 2020

where the buck stops

"I regret that I have no gloomy and savage father to offer to the public gaze as the true cause of all my tragic heritage; no pale-faced and partially poisoned mother whose suicidal instincts have cursed me with the temptations of the artistic temperament. I regret that there was nothing in the range of our family much more racy than a remote and mildly impecunious uncle; and that I cannot do my duty as a true modern, by cursing everybody who made me whatever I am. I am not clear about what that is; but I am pretty sure that most of it is my own fault. And I am compelled to confess that I look back to that landscape of my first days with a pleasure that should doubtless be reserved for the Utopias of the Futurist."

                                                                   -   G. K. Chesterton

Sunday, August 2, 2020

westward expansion

Some of the squash has decided to "branch" out. 

It rooted itself in the lawn outside the fence. 

Saturday, August 1, 2020

July's end

My co-worker, who forgot her lunch yesterday said she'd rather run naked down Main Street than eat a sardine. I told her I would mention this on my blog - she said as long as you don't give my name

July is over. The air conditioning has been running every day, it's been so August-like all month. The tomatoes are growing larger but are still entirely green. Except that yesterday as I watered the little garden near the house, I thought I spied some red, way at the bottom and behind - one red tomato, on the bottom of a plant and in back, near the house - where the sun doesn't shine! Now how could that thing be first to ripen when it was virtually in the dark? 

It's a year since Mr. Kibble died, and a year since the Orphan arrived.

I have missed sewing, and realized that I could use a blouse or top to go with my blue and white knit skirt. I'm tired of looking online, so I'm intending to make one. I'm going to use an old sheet, and the top section of a dress pattern, and we'll see what happens next - I'm sort of copying something from pinterest.

I keep forgetting to mention that my British Country Living magazine has been coming on time and I realized by ordering direct (instead of through Amazon) I am saving about twenty five dollars a year!

I've been reading Linnets and Valerians with the Elizabeth Goudge book club on instagram. "The drive was long and bumpy but glorious. The heather and ling were beginning to colour and the gorse smelt like peaches in the hot sun." Does gorse, in the hot sun, smell like peaches? I would like to know that.