Saturday, October 22, 2016

This Week

I woke up early today (for a Saturday morning) and thought I'd pop in here while the house was still quiet and share some of the happenings from this week.

After some beautiful clear skies, the clouds rolled in Thursday evening.  The pictures don't do the colors justice.  Imagine them ten times more intense.  A few minutes after I took this, the heavens opened and dumped almost an inch of rain and hail in less than an hour.


When Emily from Charming the Birds from the trees shares these little vignettes of what she's eating and reading, I always think they look so enticing.  So here is my lunch one day this past week:  homemade hamburger barley soup and bread~ one slice with butter and one with jam~ it's so good I indulged in two pieces!~ and A Nantucket Christmas by Leslie Linsley, an older library book from 2004 but which is nevertheless full of beautiful pictures of lovely interiors.

It's got me thinking about and planning for Christmas.  It will be here before I know it and I'm determined to get ahead this year!


Dave and I got home from Kansas last weekend to find that Hannah had deep cleaned the sewing/laundry room, which included organizing the fabric so that it actually fit in the cupboards and washing and ironing the curtains!  The finishing touch was these sweet pink and white geraniums.  What an amazing daughter!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

More Reasons to Love the Midwest

Look at that!  Beautiful!  Breathtaking!

Dave and I were in Kansas over the weekend promoting Wittenberg Door and building support at a sister church.  I had never been farther west in Kansas than Lawrence, but our trip took us well west of center.  Far from being boring, as I had always heard Kansas was, the scenery was gorgeous!  The huge sky and wide open spaces!  The ripening fields of corn and sorghum!  The colors!  The distant vistas!  Sigh.

I guess I'm just a midwestern girl at heart.

Sunday, October 9, 2016


Have you heard of hygge?  I first read about it this time last year.  I loved the idea and started a Pinterest board for inspiration.  Here's what the BBC says about it:
"The Danish word, pronounced "hoo-ga", is usually translated into English as "cosiness". But it's much more than that, say its aficionados - an entire attitude to life that helps Denmark to vie with Switzerland and Iceland to be the world's happiest country."

In reality, our family has practiced hygge for years without knowing there was a term for it.  I think of it as highlighting what is best about each season and making the most of it in our homes and lives.

Something about autumn magnifies my desire for hygge.  It must be the falling temperatures, lengthening darkness, and need for coziness.  Today, it manifested itself in my trying a new recipe to munch during our family movie night:  pretzel bites with cheese sauce.

Oh. My. Goodness.

The pretzel bites were awesome and they weren't even hard to make.  I didn't use the cheese sauce included with the recipe but instead used my old standby~ white sauce with cheese melted into it with a little garlic.

Dave pointed out how hygge-ish it all looked, so I snapped a quick picture.

Homemade pretzels and cheese sauce, a bottle of Sam Adams (for him, not for me or Hannah), and X-Files (which we interrupted to watch the presidential debate).  Good times!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

This Week

Whatever happened to my good intentions to post more than once a week??  Here it is Sunday again, and I've not blogged since last Sunday!  I will keep trying . . .

This past week Dave and I took my mother-in-law to two doctor appointments.  With her increasing dementia, having both of us along is very helpful.  It takes one to drive and park the car and the other to point her in the right direction and make sure she doesn't ditch her walker and oxygen. She is happy, cheerful, and despite what I just said, cooperative, all of which are great blessings for us all.  She reminds me of Martha Washington and her resolution always to be cheerful no matter what the circumstances.

Autumn is really here now with cooler temperatures, less sunlight, and my nesting instincts kicking in.  Do you feel that too?  That as soon as it begins to get chilly, suddenly you need to cook, clean, and light candles?  I don't know why I'm drawn to home and homemaking more than ever during this time of year, but I am.  It's time to think about and plan for soups and stews, jackets and flannel sheets, warm socks and sweaters.  How about you?

We took our granddaughters to Lloyd's Pumpkin Patch yesterday and had a wonderful time.  It was our first time to visit and we were so impressed!  Admission was very reasonable and there were so many fun things for the children to do.  Arane wasn't too sure it sounded like something she wanted to do, but when it came time to go, she didn't want to leave.  Here are some highlights~

Riding the barrel train

Inside the hay bale house and entering the maze

Arane loves to climb!  Thankfully, there were lots of things there for her to climb on.

The corn box (like a sand box, except filled with
corn instead of sand) was a big hit with both girls.

This goat stayed there the whole time we were visiting.

Watching the ducks

Arane climbing up to the slide

Verity in the pumpkin patch

Gathering eggs

At the entrance

Plus so much more!  The weather was perfect, too.  I think we made some happy memories yesterday!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Art and Crafts

Lots going on this past week, as usual.  A few weeks ago, I was asked to teach the kindergarten religion class at the grade school attached to my church, so four days a week it's up-and-at-'em for me!  No more leisurely breakfasts.  I am enjoying the students and the time in an irl classroom.  I've been teaching for an on-line school for so long that I'd forgotten what it is like to actually be able to see the students!

Preschool with the granddaughters included making Indian corn.  Each week, the concentration on their faces is priceless.

Hannah and Arane impressively whipped up this sweet doll quilt in about an hour and a half, using scraps and leftover blocks from other projects, all chosen and arranged by Arane.  She ironed and used the sewing machine (with Hannah's help and supervision) for the first time.  She was so proud of herself!  



Yesterday was Museum Day, so Dave and I spent a couple hours at the Art and Archaeology Museum of the University of Missouri.  It's always free, but we thought Museum Day was a good excuse to visit.  We really enjoy museums of all types but especially art museums.  The AAM is known for its 100-plus-year-old plaster casts of ancient Greek and Roman statuary. It's the next best thing to being in Greece and Rome!  We also looked at ancient Greek and Roman archaeological finds (jugs, jewelry, religious objects, and the like) and early Christian art.  (What can I say?  I married a pastor who is also a classicist!  Good thing I'm interested too. . .)

The stunning view of the cast gallery from the entrance~

Some favorites~



The feet of Laocoon and his sons

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, September 17, 2016


I finished Hannah's quilt today at long last.  The binding gave me fits for awhile, but Hannah gave me some pointers and it went much faster and better.  It's kind of funny that she asked me to make her a quilt at all since she's a far more accomplished quilter than I am.  In fact, this is only my second quilt ever.  It is far from perfect, but as Edith Schaeffer used to say, "If you insist on perfection or nothing, you'll get nothing."  

I don't consider myself a quilter; I've just made two quilts.  While I really do appreciate people who make quilt after beautiful quilt with lovely, coordinated fabrics using fancy machines and gadgets, I'm more interested in plain ol' scrap quilts made with whatever is on hand.  Not that I used only scraps for this quilt.  I would have liked to have, but Hannah wanted a definite color scheme, so I bought a good part of the fabric.  But the fanciest gadget I used was Hannah's rotary cutter and mat to cut the border, which I could have done with scissors.  The rest was done with nothing but a pair of scissors, a ruler and pen, cardboard templates, straight pins, and my little Janome.  I enjoyed the challenge and creative satisfaction of making something useful and beautiful with limited means and resources.  Always more rewarding than throwing money at a project!

My meager sewing skills have been acquired through Youtube, websites, and trial and error . . . or maybe I should say blood, sweat, and tears.  Anyway, I'll be moving on to my next sewing project.  I wonder what it will be . . .

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

From My Commonplace Book

Some recent additions to my commonplace book~

"All the members of a family [need] to accept, fully, the fact that taking care of themselves by cooking is as much a part of life as taking care of themselves by eating."~ Christopher Alexander, A Pattern Language

"Thrift is the really romantic thing; economy is more romantic than extravagance. . . thrift is poetic because it is creative; waste is unpoetic because it is waste. . . if a man could undertake to make use of all the things in his dustbin, he would be a broader genius than Shakespeare."~ G.K. Chesterton

And a not-so-recent entry~

"What I learned then, I believe strongly now: that if mass production is bad in the creation of bread or cheese, it is much worse for the formation of vulnerable human beings.  The work whould be entrusted only to the craftsman who loves his materials and will have his name on the thing he creates."~ David Mills, on homeschooling

My first blog entry from my commonplace book is here, in case you are interested in reading my very brief explanation of how I keep mine.