Thursday, July 29, 2021

in the lovely world where songs are sung that men hear in dreams

 "Until now life for him had meant the aridity of earthly duty and the dews of God. Now he was aware of something else, a world that was neither earth nor heaven, a heartbreaking, fabulous, lovely world where the conies take refuge in the rainbowed hills and in the deep valleys of the unicorns the songs are sung that men hear in dreams, the world that the poets know and the men who make music. Job's world. Isaac's world. The autumn song of the robin could let you in, or a shower of rain or a hobby-horse lying on a green lawn."

Or a phrase written by the late, great Elizabeth Goudge. From The Dean's Watch.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

quiet Sunday

 Note to self: resist adding too many noodles to the pot when making soup. I've done this more than once - it was fine, but really, today's chicken soup didn't need quite so much pasta.

And I also made ice cream. Clare, this is for you! This is the recipe, I've made it many times and it's adaptable to what you've got in the fridge. This is what I did:

In the blender, I whizzed:

  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of sugar (today I used raw, like she did)
  • 1/2 cup of cocoa
  • some mint extract
  • 2 cups of a mix of plain Greek yogurt and light cream, about 50/50
Chill, and when your canister is ready, make your ice cream! We actually finished off the batch right away, because it was so nice and cold. The recipe is from a lady named Rose, who passed away a few years ago; she was a friend of Rhonda Hetzel of Down to Earth.

I just finished The Wild Silence (The Salt Path sequel), by Raynor Winn - I could hardly put it down. If you've been wondering about The Salt Path, just read it! Her suffering, her determination, her writing. Unforgettable.

Monday, July 19, 2021

"joy is a homing pigeon"

 I found a very pretty hanging plant at the supermarket, but since I brought it home it's been looking bedraggled.

Now the rain has eased, and it can perk up again. I don't know what it is - the true color is a little warmer than this.

From The Dean's Watch:

"With renewed civilities the three old gentlemen bowed to each other and the door was at last closed. Politeness was important in the city in those days. There was time for it."

 And, "As I see it, there is no giving without giving away. But joy is a homing pigeon."

Sunday, July 18, 2021

keep us all in peace

This was in Magnificat today:

For those who wander in the deserts of disbelief and despair,
Lead your people home!

For those who browse for food in the pastures of untruth,
Lead your people home!

For those who do not know that they are lost,
Lead your people home!                 

There were two more thunderstorms last night, with loads of rain in attendance. I lay there during the first one around 2:15 amid the flashings and thunderings, and wondered how high the brook was getting, and if we'd see the bridge overturned in the morning. The next was an hour later, but mild in comparison. This morning, all appeared normal. But you can hear the rushing of the water from the house; if I wasn't nursing a headache I'd go out and film it for you, but, maybe tomorrow.

May the God in whose ways our fathers Abraham and Isaac walked,
 the God who has been our shepherd from our birth to this day,
 the Angel who has delivered us from all harm,
 bless us and keep us in peace. Amen

Saturday, July 17, 2021

too much rain

We have had so much rain lately - so much.  Everything has an overgrown, semi-tropical look outside, and thunderstorms! We have thunderstorms almost every day - for weeks! I'm not exaggerating. 

Yesterday they issued a flash flood watch for this afternoon, through till tomorrow evening, so I decided to hurriedly make a grocery delivery order, rather than go out in rough weather. Glad I did, because it rained and thundered and rained more until I could see, from the kitchen window, the brook rushing right under the bridge. The brook isn't level with the ground - it's a couple of feet down, but the water level was up there all right. And on the street, the storm drain at the end of the driveway was overflowing, not to mention a "stream" which ran down the side of our yard along the fence, a path the brook originally took before being diverted by the developers, but it seems to still remember. My brother voiced concern that if the water overturned the bridge, it might end up damming the brook. And then there would be a mess. That was three hours ago - I can't see the water anymore from the window. I've been looking at photos from the flooding in Belgium - may God have mercy on them. 

Just like last month wasn't very June-like (much hotter than normal), this month doesn't much feel like July - it's way too wet, and swings from hot and very humid to cooler than normal. It isn't nice enough to spend much time outside. I wonder what August will bring. 

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever.
Who split the Red Sea in twain,
for his mercy endures forever;
And led Israel through its midst,
for his mercy endures forever;
But swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea,
for his mercy endures forever.

- from Psalm 136

Thursday, July 15, 2021

"only the young are homebound when they can't go out"

"...Miss Montague sat apparently idle, her hands caressing the cat in her lap. Beyond the west window, behind the steep old roofs of Worship Street, the last of a fiery frosty sunset was burning itself out....Motionless in her chair Miss Montague left her room and went up and down the streets of the city, seeing the remembered pattern of its roofs against the sky,...knowing as she turned each corner exactly what she would see, for she had the city by heart....If anyone at this moment was thinking of her it was as a very old woman who never left her house except to go to the Cathedral in her Bath chair when she was well enough, and perhaps they pitied her. They did not know how vivid are the memories of the old and that only the young are homebound when they can't go out."

                                                                 -  Elizabeth Goudge, The Dean's Watch

I'm moving along with The Dean's Watch, and that last line really struck me. I love Elizabeth Goudge and have read several of her books, also this seems to be a favorite with many. But when I bought it last year I couldn't bear what seemed to me a heavy, gloomy atmosphere - so I put it away, surprised and disappointed. Meanwhile, I'm participating in this reading challenge; one of the things is a book I've avoided. Well, this was it, and you know, I'm really enjoying it now. There is a proper time and place for everything.

I worked on my dress today, carefully hand stitching the lace to the area somewhere near the neckline seam, if that's the right term for it. It's where the bias binding is sewn to the neck; I decided to attach it only there and leave it free everywhere else. I decided the other day to do my sewing or something creative for an hour first, before other things. It's nice - I took my time and forgot about everything else. 

It's the feast of St. Bonaventure today -

"When we pray, the voice of the heart must be heard more than the proceedings from the mouth."

It's also Rembrandt's birthday. I hope the two of them are in the same place.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

a hope

 Almighty God, your word is cast
Like seed into the ground, 
Now let the dew of heav'n descend
And righteous fruits abound.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

now you see it, now you don't

 I think this is how I'm going to do the lace "collar"

I first pinned the sections further back at the shoulder seam, with a gap in the middle of the neckline; that looked all right, but then I thought I could maybe gather a length of it and stitch it along the whole front of the dress, but it didn't take long for me to change my mind about that - it might be clownish. So, I tried it like this. I don't mind that the sections don't reach to the shoulder seam, as I am aiming for a funky collar look, anyway. I'm not trying to make it look real. So, the upper edge of the lace pieces is just folded over the neckline and I guess I'm just going to hand-stitch it in place. I didn't know any other way to do it - I felt I had to bind the neckline first as I usually do and then figure out the lace. I've sewn several versions of this pattern (over-the-head, a-line dress), and I like finding ways of making each one distinct.

Okay, now this will be one of the strangest things you've seen this year.

This is a skirt. It's a heavyish cotton knit, in a "natural" background color, with blue and white flowers. I'd noticed a slight stain, visible only to me probably, but I put it in the Oxi Clean to soak and got lazy and left it there more than two weeks. But along the way, I thought it had turned this light purplish color. Now, I'm always soaking something or other in Oxi Clean and the only thing it does is get the stain out, eventually. This skirt is entirely made of cotton. I saw it in there, and thought, well, I suppose I won't mind having a skirt in that pretty shade, but I was in a lazy spell and I still left it in the Oxi Clean. I even threw in some other items, and stirred things up. This didn't affect anything else in this way, but some of the purple skirt stuck up into the air, and when I finally took it out, the part in the water was purply, but not the rest. As you see, above. 

Well. I rinsed it out, and decided to just pin it up on the clothesline and figure out what to do with it when it dried. Well! It's fine now! If this isn't the weirdest episode in my history of doing laundry, nothing else could be. I did notice that when I hung it outside, it was getting dark and it seemed almost phosphorescent. I suppose there's an explanation for it, and I'd like to hear it. But anyway, the stain is gone - ha! I should hope so, considering how long it soaked. And the skirt is put away for now. And I refuse to be afraid of Oxi Clean.

Sunday, July 4, 2021


 "For the first time a nation sprang forth, not simply from the bond of people living together in a place for years, but rather from an idea, the principle of the truth of the human person as sacred and unrepeatable. The Declaration acknowledged our origin as beings made by God, with rights God himself gave us. It is God's law - his plan - that declares unequivocally that at our creation by the divine hand rests our equal liberty and the rights inherent in us as God's creatures. Our liberty arises not from us, but from the one who made us."

                                                -  Anne Husted Burleigh, from Magnificat, July 2021

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."

                                                    - Ronald Reagan

Thursday, July 1, 2021

books and a project

This is my book pile this month.

Piranesi I'm reading along with Joy Clarkson's podcast. It's interesting, and strange. Apparently there's a connection with The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, so I found a copy in the children's section at the library, of all places. The complete poem, and with illustrations!

I just read Antigone with the Literary Life podcast; A Circle of Quiet is with another group. The Dean's Watch is just for me, but that will be slow going. 

On top is the shift I started last summer. I'm doing the armhole and neck binding. And after hemming, there's some lace I hope to use for a faux collar of sorts.