Monday, October 31, 2011

"when thou givest a feast"

"But He also said to him who had invited him, "When thou givest a dinner or a supper, do not invite thy friends, or thy brethren, or thy relatives, or thy rich neighbors, lest perhaps they also invite thee in return, and a recompense be made to thee. But when thou givest a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; and blessed shalt thou be, because they have nothing to repay thee with; for thou shalt be repaid at the resurrection of the just."

                                               - St. Luke: 14:12-14

"Each one of them is Jesus in disguise."    - Mother Teresa

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011

October Saturday

when it started -

I geared up and crept outside -

the fastest apple crisp I ever made - didn't bother peeling - the power had blipped too many times. It's delicious, if I say so myself. Why have I ever bothered peeling apples for crisp?  No more!

We have a lot more snow now - it's bowing down our trees and I'm watching our lovely cherry in the front yard and our little Japanese maple. There's a tree right near the shed and it's hanging over rather heavily. Every now and then you hear a crack outside.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

oh, dear

Yes, it's snow.

warm hands, wet chives

It's Thursday again, and I'm joining Leila and Rosie for their {p,f,h,r} -

This is my {pretty} - some merino wool I got for a pair of hand warmers. Looks like a little pumpkin, doesn't it?  

And this is my {happy} - hand warmers which I just finished last night

The same yarn, got on sale from Jimmy Beans Wool for four dollars and something a skein!   For the next pair, I'm going to alter the pattern a bit.   We're definitely in the weather for these things - today it's in the 40s.

I was also {happy} for my hot cereal on a day like this.  Kasha with raisins.

The {real}ity of leaving things until almost the last minute caused me to end up with a load of wet chives, gathered in the rain, and too wet to do anything with but let them dry in the oven. Which seems to be working out nicely; warming the kitchen and spreading their lovely aroma - not too oniony, just nice.

Thank you, Rosie and Leila!

round button chicken

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

brilliance underfoot

This isn't the clearest shot, but it was there on the step when I went outside to get the mail - so red and brilliant.  Of course, as I stood there in the doorway, Henry ran out - I just managed to grab him.

Monday, October 24, 2011

homemade dinner

Homemade rye bread, and beef barley soup.  I was pretty pleased with myself that I made it up rather than following a recipe (the soup, not the bread).

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

happy about crisp and pretty roses

Very {pretty} - the roses my co-workers got me on the occasion of my twenty fifth year at the library.

A lovely, fall, butterscotchy color.

And, {happy} because fruit crisp season is with us

pear crisp with dried cranberries - I got the idea from the latest Everyday Food magazine, but used my own recipe.

with many thanks to Leila -

round button chicken

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

twenty five years at the library

Receiving my engraved pewter dish from the First Selectman.

(photo by my brother)

How the time passes!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

morning glory

This tree is always a spot of October brilliance in our yard.   A very overcast day years ago stands out in my memory - it was literally glowing.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Jane, one more time

This one's for Debbie, who's commented on my choice of reading material of late - this, and then this.

Well, now there's this -

and though I just started it, it's very interesting!

In the section about Emma, after the scene where Emma makes a very cutting remark to Miss Bates, the author says:
"And that was when I finally understood what Austen had been up to all along. Emma's cruelty, which I was so quick to criticize, was nothing, I saw, but the mirror image of my own. The boredom and contempt which the book aroused were not signs of Austen's ineptitude; they were the exact responses she wanted me to have. She had incited them, in order to expose them. By creating a heroine who felt exactly as I did, and who behaved precisely as I would have in her situation, she was showing me my own ugly face. I couldn't deplore Emma's disdain for Miss Bates, or her boredom with the whole commonplace Highbury world, without simultaneously condemning my own."
and, "...Austen was asking us to pay attention to the things we usually miss or don't accord enough esteem, in novels or in life. Those small, 'trivial', everyday things, the things that happen hour by hour to he people in our lives: what your nephew said, what your friend heard, what your neighbor did. That, she was telling us, is what the fabric of our years really consists of. That is what life is really about." (my emphasis)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

the {real} quilt story

The last time I was here with Leila and Rosie I showed this quilt I was working on, and I received some very kind compliments. But I'm here today to tell the {real} story - the reason being that I am just a schlepper in the quilting sphere, and you can do this, too - most likely far better than I!

 The quilt top was made by someone else and I got it on ebay. It's worn in places, and the fabric has thinned. I chose it for the colors, and didn't realize the condition it was in.

When I put the layers together, I didn't bother to tape down the backing, thinking I'd smoothed it out sufficiently; so when I started machine quilting it, I found I had to keep unpinning and smoothing it out again as I went along.  Oh, well!

I wanted to machine-stitch it, so first I stitched in the ditches, then decided to do some parallel stitching across the whole thing, one way. Partly because of my carelessness in not smoothing it out enough initially, and partly because it wasn't put together evenly in places, there were areas where it didn't lay flat - it kind of puffed out between the stitching I had done. I decided to just topstitch it down and at that point I began to realize that it was not going to be a beautiful quilt. That's okay - I hope I'm at least somewhat adaptable!

Another terrible mess occurred on the back - I think I was zipping along too fast with the machine and there appeared some bunching, which I had no intention of ripping out (too much trouble)!  I was dismayed  and had a brief temptation to give it up - but I told myself to just cover it up somehow later. Ah, well!

But that isn't all.  I'd gone on youtube to find a video on making mitred corners, and thought I did pretty well with them. But, when I was cutting around the edge to trim off  the seam allowances, I cut into a couple of the corners and ruined them!  By this time you can imagine that foolish mistakes were almost de rigueur - what, another mess-up? What else?

To "fix" the bunching in the back I cut a rectangle of the binding fabric and, with a double strand of embroidery floss, whipstitched around the edge of it in a very obvious way, with a big Natalie Chanin style knot showing. If you're not a perfectionist, it's not use trying to pretend you are - believe me!  I have some yellow and white striped fabric, and I think I'm going to patch up the offending corners with it. Then it will look more presentable.

My point in telling all this is to prove that I really don't know what I'm doing, (but I want to do it anyway!), and to show all those who complimented me so sweetly that if you shed your concerns about having to do it perfectly, you are bound to do much better than I, and if you don't - it's fun anyway!

I learned a few things from this:
I need to tape the backing to the floor next time.
Stitching in the ditch is a pain.
I need to be more careful when trimming off the excess batting - and maybe employ a different method of cutting around the corners!

I also learned some other, positive things:
What a transformation is caused by the quilting process - how amazingly different it all looks afterward; even a cheap, vintage five dollar quilt top.
And, how the right binding around the edge can also do beautiful things to the whole piece.

Try it yourself - what have you got to lose but your hesitancy? Now, I have another covering in the house, and it matches. It's warm. It's cute. I won't mind throwing it on the floor or on the grass.

I will be more careful next time.

It cost me less than ten bucks.

Thanks to Rosie and Leila!     And, by the way - I realize this post may also be considered a {funny} by those who are expert in the quilting world, so I give you full permission to laugh.  :)

round button chicken

Sunday, October 9, 2011


"Moderation extends its ordering mastery down to the fountainhead from which the figure of moral man springs up unceasingly."

                                              - Josef Pieper,  The Four Cardinal Virtues

Saturday, October 8, 2011

there's a limit to everything

My brother said, "Hurry, and bring your camera!"

Apparently, Dolly was on the chair and Henry jumped up.

I guess she didn't mind too much.

for about five minutes.

then it was, "how do I get out of here?"  And she jumped over the back of the chair.

Friday, October 7, 2011

"I was thirsty"

"I was hungry and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; naked and you covered me; sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to me. long as you did it for one of these, the least of my brethren, you did it for me."

                                                     -  Matthew 25: 35, 36, 40b

(Thirst, by William Adolphe Bouguereau)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

yarning along with Ginny

I thought I would join Ginny today in her weekly Yarn Along.

I've done quite a bit on Lucy's Attic24 crochet bag - just a couple more rows, then I do the ruffle edge.  And I'm re-reading Persuasion along with Rachel who's got a discussion going on her blog. 

Making this bag is a way of trying to use up yarn, so it's not a lovely thing like Lucy's, with her carefully chosen colors. And because of all the colors, there's still so much yarn left!  But I haven't crocheted in years, and this is a fun and easy project; if it comes out well, I may do another.

If you haven't read any Jane Austen, Persuasion would be a good place to start - it's short, for one thing. And a very satisfying love story, for another.

Thank you, Ginny!