Thursday, July 28, 2011

Inspiration

((pictured: sauteed red potatoes with leeks and summer squash; sauteed radicchio with garlic and leeks and lemon juice (thanks Farmer Teresa!) Amish corn and the best little rib eye ever!! Thanks Hubby!))


You may recall my CSA rant back in May.  No? Well, then: http://sonowiknow.blogspot.com/2011/05/community-supported-agriculture-joys.html.
My Wednesdays have become my menu base this summer.  Hubby and I wait for the knock on the door when the CSA Fairies deliver their wonderfulness (Thank you ever so, Jogging Jean,  Kool Kortni, and Running Mama for your efforts!)  Then the fun begins!  Plotting and planning our dinner and making sure we have enough garlic and olive oil to do it up grand.
This week, as Hubby and I cooked up the summer squash and leeks for lunch, I had a scathingly brilliant idea. Our dining room overlooks our garden.  Or jungle depending on your viewpoint.  These past few years, I just haven't given the attention to my flowers like I need to in order to make the back yard wonderful.  Between the Call of the Sewing Room and the Quest for Fun, I am just not interested much in my in ground flowers anymore.
But I'll tell you what, I am really interested in aiding my CSA for next year with my own produce in the place formerly known as my flower garden.

While Hubby and I noshed away on our vegetabley goodness, we discussed what to do with our mass of echinacea: (Lovely Wife and Eldest Admin) and the nicest little natural fence on our north side.  Our perennials; Move to the front.  This summer, we bought a composter as a preparation for this shift to our own little back to nature movement.

Hubby hates outdoor work.  He supplanted our early married income with lawn mowing and I believe he burned out (literally) any interest in all things out doors.
However.
Hubby retires this December.
You see where this is going, right?
With half the income and twice the fun, the two of us mini farmers are going to go organic in our yard with vegetables to share and can and freeze.
Our voices got higher as we tried to top the other on superbly fresh ideas for our retirement days.
It sound terribly cliche and trite but oh so lovely to these two elder farmer wannabees.  If we could talk Neighbor Nancy into raising the chickens, we would have it made.

You heard it here first.  Keep me on task and when the dark of winter oppresses us, check with the two retirees regarding their 'Farming Plans' and make sure that we are on it.

I must go cut into my CSA cantaloupe and wish you were here to share it with me......

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

And Now, For Some Refreshment.....




Seventeenth Century Nun's Prayer

LORD, thou knowest better than I know myself that I am growing older and will someday be old.  Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.  Release me from craving to straighten out everybody's affairs.  Make me thoughtful but not moody, helpful but not bossy.  With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all, but thou knowest, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end.



Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details, give me wings to to get to the point.  Seal my lips on my aches and pains.  They are increasing, and love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by.  I dare not ask for grace enough to enjoy the tales of other's pains, but help me to endure them with patience.



I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility and a lessening cocksureness when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others.  Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.



Keep my reasonable sweet; I do not want to be a saint - some of them are so hard to live with - but a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil.  Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places, and talents in unexpected people.  And, give my, O Lord, the grace to tell them so.  
Amen.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sweet Spirited Sweetie

This Little Girl.
She is the captivator of my heart.
She is my bud, my sweetie pie, my little kindred spirit.
Physically, we have few similarities.  Her mama resembles her dad more than me, so Miss Viv fluctuates from looking like her daddy one minute to zooming me to her mama's toddler days in a breath.
Since her first days on this earth, we have bonded closely.  I can still remember the soul searching stare that she gave me at three days old.  We had a pact, we two.  At that moment we made an unspoken deal that we would be there for the other.  I could feel the essence of her personality in that one soul piercing moment.  I constantly was concerned that my absences would make her forget our pledge, but I would only wait for the perfunctory few minutes before her little synapses would fire and she would grin and reach for me and we would reconnect our hearts. 


 I love that her little head is the shape of her Papa's.  Hubby has the nicest shape head and it was nice of him to share it with our kids and now grandkids.  I love that her smiling eyes hearken me back to Eldest/Admin's innocent, sweet, toddler eyes.  I love that her strawberry blond curls match completely the little snippet of curl that I have in an envelope of E/A at two and a half.  So, what, I have thought, is there of me within this sweet little composition of DNA?  I have contemplated this very thing till my recent visit with my little sweetie...


Compassionate and sensitive, she has fears.  I clearly recognized the look, the excuses, the reflection of things which could be considered....risky.  When she found this tree in Unca Debbin's yard, you could tell, when she lifted her legs from the ground, that she had performed a very brave thing.  Vivie has not been the child that you had to over warn about danger. Indeed, she will warn us.  'Be cahful, Mimi', she will remind me as I carry a large load.  'Mimi, you okay?' she will call if she hears my voice take a different tone.  Her looks of concern as she see other children 'get it' for bad behavior, shows the degree of empathy that she carries.   I know those looks.  I wear those looks.  I could deride her when she does not get on the rocking horse that talks.  Instead, when she looks at it skeptically and responds that it's 'too big' for her, I agree and say, maybe later, leaving the doors open for more courageous experimentation at some other time.



It is okay, these fearful things of hers.  In time, with the right combination of encouragement and patience, she will make strides in trust of the world. (which, seriously?)  Anyway, her Mimi will be there for the testing of her courage and applaud her simple victories.  When her little feet came off the ground and wrapped them around the tree, I secretly said, good for you Viv, I know that took a lot.  Outwardly, I just kept taking photos of the moment, knowing someday it will be important to her.
So as she sang loud and strong and kept yelling for Unca Debbin to 'See me?  See what I am doing?', I rejoiced for the simple victories in life and am prepared to partner with her in the challenges.....

I love you, Vivie......

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Shop is Open!







I started writing this post about my NEW ETSY SHOP only to be interrupted by MY FIRST SALE!!
Well....


The opening of my etsy shop is the next step in my business plan that started in my brain (and those of my two girlies) two years ago.


Eldest/Admin wanted me to be prepared well for business and wisely advised on taking Baby Steps.
While I still have miles to go, I now see how wise she was in the gradual evolution of The Plan and how it has played out.  And I appreciate those that have showed me by their own wise shops, how to do it well.  And to Rabbit Rita's ritabunny.com encouraging tutelage.


Mama's Collection is just that.  My age old collection that now needs others to care for it.  Baby Girl would most likely take it all but is limited by space.  Soon, I shall add my bags, utilizing my full fabric collection, to the shop, but for now,  while I keep up with orders, I shall be content to enjoy watching my things on the internet being viewed by the international scope of the marketplace of etsy.com.
Adding new things each day will help keep the assortment fresh.  So,  if you don't see something you're looking for, just ask; I could have it!!


So here's to my first sale and onward to many more!!


(just click on the link to the right to view the shop!)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Piecing Quilts

 Four years ago today, Eldest Son married Lovely Wife.
 I knew LW before ES did.  Youngest Son knew her before me.  She subtly and profoundly entered our friendship circle and ultimately our family, in the most quiet and sweetest of ways.

 LW's engaging smile usually brings anybody in.  The children in her classroom draw near to her and her instructive ways.  Our Miss Vivie adores her Aunt Tarlie.  Lil' Lady loves peering at eyes bigger than hers. Even doggies and kitties find it hard to resist her charm.  And so do lots of others.....
 Long, long time ago, in 2000, ES and I had a birthday lunch together.  He was in a lonely place and was having a hard time seeing any light in his tunnel.  I asked him if he trusted me.  Reluctantly, he said yes.  I asked him if he believed me when I told him that what God had planned for him was so much richer, that he would forget the dark, lonely days.  He, reluctantly, sarcastically and with a great deal of cynicism, agreed.
Not even two years later, their paths crossed.  Fireworks were lit in their separate lives and both were waiting for God's timing.


I do believe, if you were to ask him, especially on this day, if Ol' Mom was right, he would nod emphatically and smile that smile that he put on July 14, 2007 and has seldom left him since.....


Thank you, Lord, for your good timing and plans......


Happy Fourth Anniversary, Carly and Devon.....


(THREE MORE WEEKS!!!)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New Spin on an Old Favorite


My good buddy, Rabbit Rita,www.ritabunny.com and I are on a mission.


We are paring down our cluttered homes to accommodate our grandbabies. And we are driven like a couple of Fords.  We give each other pep talks when our resolve slacks.  We celebrate our successes and applaud each others determination. We have had fun in the doing.


I kinda went into a deficit on my end when I helped her by taking three of her *several* boxes and boxes of fabrics from her reenactment sewing days.  I also agreed to take lots of cooking magazines off her hands.     What a lovely treat those old magazines have been!


And because it's mid summer (really?) and you are ready for a summer like supper; one that has little fuss and a whole lot of flavor, I thought I'd share this little ditty from 'Cooking Pleasures', July/August 2002.
It was lunch for us today and it was pretty amazing.


I think you'll agree:


Bacon-Tomato Salad


12 slices bacon
3 tbs extra virgin oil
3 thin slices baguette or other rustic bread (I used large breadsticks and sliced them)
3 tbs mayo
1 tsp freshly ground pepper (divided)
5 cups romaine lettuce, torn into bite size pieces
4 beef steak tomatoes cut into small wedges
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil


1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Place bacon on rimmed pan and bake 25 minutes till crisp.  Place on paper towel to drain.  When cool, coarsely crumble.
2.  Heat 2 tbs of the oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat until hot.  Add bread slices, fry 3-4 minutes, tossing until golden brown.  
3. In large bowl (that you will serve in), stir together remaining 1 tbs oil, mayo and 1/2 tsp of the pepper.  Add lettuce to coat.  Scatter bread over lettuce.  Top with tomato; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 tsp pepper and crumbles bacon.  Garnish with the basil. (the basil gives the salad an amazing umph!)


Enjoy your Midsummer Salad Supper!

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