Thursday, March 19, 2015

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ March 19, 2015

Well, look at this!  I'm posting {phfr} on the actual day, which proves the age of miracles is not over.

{Pretty} and {Happy}

I'm lumping these two categories together, as I so often do.  Truth be told, most weeks it's completely arbitrary what I designate for each category.  The two are usually inextricably connected in my mind.

Remember the bonnet I'm making for my baby granddaughter?  Here's the completed project in all its glory.

I used this easy-to-follow pattern from Purl Bee.  I am a self-taught seamstress with a lot to learn still, and every time I begin a project, I'm sure it's going to be a complete and utter failure.  Then, mid-project, I suddenly feel that it's all going to work out after all.  And lo and behold! A baby bonnet appears!  It was so easy I think I will try another one.


 This was Monday:

So I spent some time outside planting pansies.  I'm always so happy when pansy weather comes. They are such cheerful little flowers with their faces lifted to the sun, declaring that winter is past at long last.


We had a dump truck load of garden soil delivered to our raised bed this week.  It's going to be mixed with the truckloads of manure Dave hauled over the summer.  We have a compost pile, but it would take an awful lot of compost to fill our (new) raised bed.  Hence the soil.  Now if we can keep the deer and other critters out, we may just have a harvest this summer!

This guy is an artist with a Bobcat!

I had feared this lamp was gone forever.  Lizzie and family (see sidebar) gave it to me for Christmas, which was perfect because I have a. . . ahem . . . rather large collection of blue and white transferware.  But it never turned up upon our arrival home.  Well, this past week we were straightening up some of the darker recesses of Hannah's room ('nuff said about that) and there it was mixed up in a bag or yarn!  What, you don't keep your lamps with your yarn?  No?  Well, we usually don't either, but this bag of yarn was something she had been given for Christmas, so it does make some sense, you see?  Anyway, I was thrilled to find it!  Now I just have to find the right shade . . .


Last weekend was more than acceptable weather-wise for March, so this guy burned some brush while reading theology. I think he may have been smoking his pipe as well.  I could tell he was really enjoying himself.


Mr. and Mrs. Goose seem to have moved into our neighborhood on a semi-permanent basis.  We think they are scouting around for the perfect place to set up housekeeping and start a family.  We've been feeding them cracked corn, which seems to have bolstered their courage because they've been wandering all over the yard.  Today, they took a fancy to the garden especially.

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Sunday, March 8, 2015

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ March 8, 2015

Squeaking in under the wire with just about an hour before {phfr} closes for the week at Like Mother, Like Daughter!


Doesn't this melt your heart?  Look at that fuzzy head, those bright eyes, those rosy cheeks, and that adorable toothless grin!  This is my six-month-old granddaughter, Verity, who is the spittin' image of her mother at this age.  And I haven't seen her (or her equally adorable sister) since Christmas.  Boo!  Lord willing, that will be remedied at Easter.

Photo taken by Lizzie


My mother turns 85 today, and we celebrated with a party yesterday.  Let's see, there were her four daughters, two sons-in-law, five of her grandchildren along with four spouses, three great-grandchildren, a nephew and his wife, two great-nephews plus one wife and one significant other. And a partridge in a pear tree.  It was just the kind of celebration she likes.  For so many decades my mother has been the memory-maker for the extended family, and her service to us all has earned her much love and respect.


The geese seem to have forgiven us for the frozen pond last week.  They returned to a fair bit of open water two days ago.  Sections of the pond were still covered with a thin layer of slushy ice, but that didn't stop this goose, you broke through like an ice-breaker.  See the path he left in his wake?

And speaking of the pond, we saw the turtles sunning themselves today for the first time this spring!


This little guy ran into our window and sat dazed on the ledge for about ten minutes.  He eventually flew away, though, so I guess he was all right!

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Sunday, March 1, 2015

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ March 1, 2015

All Too {Real}

First, let's start with the snow that came down yesterday and overnight and into this morning.  Normally, I like snow and enjoy winter, but once the calendar turns to March, I want it over presto.  No more snow and I want temperatures at least in the 50's for the highs.  It's an unreasonable expectation, I know, but there it is.  Happily, this snow is not going to last long and we will be getting temps in the 50's by Tuesday.  (I know I shouldn't be complaining at all when we've gotten off pretty easily this year, especially compared to the Northeast!)

This is about an hour after the snow started.

And this is the view from our screened-in porch.  It reminds us of stepping through Lucy's wardrobe. We joke that we ought to put a lamppost back there.


I teach music classes for The Potter's School.  I almost always manage to get my schoolwork done on weekdays so weekends are free, but circumstances conspired against me this week, and I was doing class prep on Saturday.  Alas and alack!

Once again, shame on me for complaining.  I love teaching for TPS, and I feel like I'm doing my part to transmit the treasures of Western civilization to the next generation.  I am acutely aware of the blessings of working for TPS and all that it entails, and I am thankful they keep me on year after year!


Or perhaps {mildly amusing} is a better description.

The pond has been frozen over on and off all winter.  When it's frozen, the geese go elsewhere, presumably to someplace warmer and with open water.  So I was surprised to see them walking through the yard today, clearly perturbed that the pond was iced over.  But they left funny little footprints in the snow.

They walked all the way up to the deck.  I'm sure they would have lodged a
formal complaint if they could have found anyone to tell.


I like to sew, though I'm not very good at it yet.  I've never taken a class.  Mostly I succeed because I can follow instructions and I know how to find things on Youtube when I am truly stumped (like the time the instructions said to "stay-stitch" something~ I had no idea).  But I like fabric and I like making pretty and useful things out of little more than a piece of cloth and some thread.  I like the process and the way the item begins to take shape.  I remember sewing a doll dress several years ago~ one of the first things I ever made~ and being so excited when it actually began to look like a dress!  It was then that I knew I could learn this.  The time I spend sewing is restorative and relaxing.  I ought to try to make time for more of it!

Right now, I'm making a baby bonnet for my six-month-old granddaughter, Verity, following these instructions.  The fabric came from the scrap bag and I already had the interfacing, so it is essentially free.  

I'm at the point of sewing the pieces together, and so far, it is coming together pretty quickly and easily.  If it turns out well, I'll probably make a couple more in different colors.  Is there anything sweeter than a baby in a bonnet?  I don't think so!


Okay, so I will reluctantly admit that the snow is pretty, even if it is March 1!


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Sunday, February 22, 2015

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ February 22, 2015

It's time for this week's edition of {phfr}!


After a mild, dry January, February has been comparatively cold and snowy.  The pond is frozen solid and there's been quite a bit of snow, though nothing like what the northeast has experienced.

February is the hardest month, don't you think?  Christmas is long over and winter has lost its appeal. Anything that reminds us that spring is on its way is welcome.  So when I saw these Valentine flowers on clearance for $2.24, I brought them home.  They are dianthus, which I've always grown outside in the summer, but they look great in this container I got for Christmas.  I may plant them outdoors when the weather warms up.  Dianthus will return the next year if the winter is not too harsh.


Speaking of spring and planting flowers, I'm trying my hand at growing impatiens from seed this year.  The yard has so many possibilities for gardening, but it could get expensive buying flowers from the nursery.  I planted a total of 54 little peat pots, and I think I can easily find places for them if they all do well. I was excited to see the first sprouts this week!


Today is Dave's birthday, and we had a quiet celebration with just the three us~ just the way he likes it.  We had lunch out and later he opened his presents and had blueberry pie, his favorite.  (What is it with men and pie? Give them pie over cake any day!)  I was disappointed that one of the gifts I ordered for him, the 28th edition of the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament, did not arrive on time.  So I wrote a note and wrapped it up.  He was happy to know that it's coming, but it's still too bad it didn't make it in time for his birthday!

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Sunday, February 15, 2015

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ February 15, 2014

Linking up with Like Mother, Like Daughter . . .

{Pretty} and {Happy}

It's all {pretty} and {happy} this time!

Lots of sickness in the family this week.  First Dave, now Hannah.  Hopefully, I will be spared!  Dave managed enough energy and lucid thought to help me hang the new curtains in the entryway.  I don't know how many curtains he's hung for me over twenty-seven years of marriage (dozens, I'm sure!), but he always does it cheerfully.  He's gotten very good at it too!

The space is so small that I couldn't get a shot of the entire window.  I was standing as far away as I could!  The curtains are about six feet long.  All I did was sew up the top and bottom and left the selvages on the sides as they were.  Then I added some clips and there you have it!  The world's easiest curtains!  I'm pleased with the way the orangey-red in the fabric matches the door and also with the shot of color they give to this otherwise white space.  


These are not Valentine's Day flowers.  Dave brought them to Hannah and me the day before because . . . ?  I don't really know why.  Maybe he read this post?  Nevertheless, they are much appreciated!  They are a welcome foretaste of spring, especially when a big snowstorm is headed our way.

Valentines' Day is not a big deal around here, nor has it ever been.  It's not that we are against romance, but it feels to us like something Hallmark and florists invented to sell their stuff.  I mean, very few people seem to realize anymore that it is actually Saint Valentine's Day, and it seems to us that a lot of thoughtful acts throughout the year make for a far better marriage than a grand annual gesture.  So we exchange a little candy (or in Dave's case, beef jerky) and that's it.  It's how we like it. :)


Morning and evening light is the best, isn't it?  What isn't enhanced by being doused in the sparkling morning light or the mellow light of evening?  I can never decide which I like best.  I took these one bright, sunshiney morning.

Even the dishwasher is more appealing in the early morning light!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

From My Commonplace Book

"You are indeed the heirs of a remarkable legacy~ a legacy that has passed into your hands after no little tumult and travail; a legacy that is the happy result of sacrificial human relations, no less than of stupendous human achievements; a legacy that demands of you a lifetime of vigilance and diligence so that you may in turn pass the fruits of Christian civilization on to succeeding generations.  This is the essence of the biblical view, the covenantal view, and the classical view of education.  This is the great legacy of truth which you are now the chief beneficiaries."~ Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch

"The world is a stage, and most of us are desperately unrehearsed."~ Oscar Wilde

"I have been feeling very much lately that cheerful insecurity is what our Lord asks of us."~ C.S. Lewis

"It is like walking up an escalator or swimming with the current~ to beget children, to love children, to encourage their growth, to ease their sufferings, and to suffer oneself with them even to our death . . . But the chilling truth is that industrialism brings on a paralyzing gluttony and greed in which the quality of life is quantified.  Paradoxically you cannot afford to have children in the affluent society.  The world has never been so rich and wretched as in these air-conditioned Edens where another child would sap the payments on the second car. . ."~ John Senior, The Death of Christian Culture

Sunday, February 8, 2015

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ February 8, 2015

Joining Like Mother, Like Daughter (as is usual on a Sunday night).


Want to see my new terrarium?


I had a terrarium when I was a teenager, and when I saw some on the web recently-ish, I wanted another.  But naturally I didn't want to spend much money.  I managed to scrounge everything but the plants themselves, so I was pretty happy.  I found this glass container in the storeroom (it was my in-laws').  Perfect!  I had to try several stores before I found two different kinds of succulents~ I guess they are in high demand now~ for a total of $8.  There was (never used) aquarium gravel in the storeroom too.  That storeroom is a treasure trove!  I got some moss out of the yard, and also a big rock (which you can't see in the picture).  I always have potting soil on hand.  A piece fell off the big plant when I was handling it, so I found this little pot and the little dish it's sitting on in the~ where else?~ storeroom!

Is it a sign that I lack personal depth that doing little things like this disproportionately boosts my spirits during the most dreary month of the year?

The big rock from the yard and also a piece
of coral from~ you guessed it~ the storeroom!


February is a dreary month, except our family celebrates two birthdays.  First up was Hannah's, and it was a big one.  She turned 18!

Blurry picture, cute smile!


For all the dire predictions that this winter was going to be like the last one, it has in reality been warm and decidedly, conspicuously non-snowy.  Granted, last year we were in northern Illinois and now we are in central Missouri, but predictions of direness were being made for here.  Behold the snow we received this week, which is indicative of the amount of snow we have received a total of three times so far:

Pretty ho-hum, but the birds were very active at the feeders.


The snow was Wednesday.  By Thursday it was melted, and by the weekend we had highs of 70.  Dave and I took advantage of the warm days to take a walk on the Katy Trail.  We weren't the only ones:

Minnie needed a little rest before she resumed looking for her owner.

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