Wednesday, October 30, 2013

teeny tiny road trip

It takes only a few minutes to get out of our suburban part of the city and into rolling country side. The Gardener and I decided to take a couple of hours the other day and "get out of town." It's amazing how much just a few hours away can do to refresh our spirits! There still isn't a lot of fall color here, but it was a beautiful day. 
Our destination was a small town where there was a shop I wanted to visit. 
It was so interesting and so much to see.
Followed by lunch at a small local cafe. (Our view out the window.)
Just a few hours in the country can be so therapeutic!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Little Ways

We managed to squeeze 12 of us around our table on a crisp fall morning to feast on brunch and to share our reaction to Rod Dreher’s The Little Way of Ruthie LemingA Southern Girl, a Small Town and the Secret of a Good Life. 

Books seemed a fitting centerpiece, and with the addition of two more plates found in a resale shop plus two off the wall, we were able to be graced with blue and white. We scattered quotes from the book around the table.

I think the orange ribbons added the most, as well as the
 delicious food that every one brought. My. we can put on a feast!
The book? The author, a writer/journalist, writes about his sister's life and death at the young age of 42, less than two years ago. So its very fresh, and you could say the story isn't over yet, as the author continues to experience the ripple effects of losing his sister and his new life in his small hometown.

The book was far more than a chronicle about a life and a death. It is a story about a life lived for others; and about family, relationships, community, going home, sacrifice, religion, trust, small town living . . . 

"I once asked Paw why, given that he was feeling sick that day, he was planning to go to the funeral of an old woman he didn't know well. 

"Respect," he said to me, slightly annoyed that he had to explain the obvious. "That family has lived around here for a long time."
 It's hard to know these things, much less find the wherewithal to behave this way, if you haven't lived in a place for years and come to make its stories part of yourself. 
Absence has consequences.... " (quote from book)
“The same communal bonds that appeared to me as chains all those years ago 
had become my Louisiana family’s lifelines. What I once saw through 
the melodramatic eyes of a teenager as prison bars were in fact the pillars
 that held my family up when it had no strength left to stand.”
(quote from book)

I think we would all recommend the book. 
We had 100% attendance that morning, including our friend 
from Germany on a stack of books at one end of the table!

Linking to Little Red House for Monday Mosaics.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

We Did It!

Yes we did! We successfully made bread with our mentoring group. Let me tell you I was as nervous about this as about taking a final exam, and felt similar relief when it was over. I had to teach the girls each step and I didn't have a lot of confidence. But it worked! And they were great fun!

We set up seven stations using the spacious kitchen of one of the mentors. It was perfect. We watched the yeast rise in the warm water and then "went to town." We had found a "cool rise" recipe that allows you to keep the rising bread in the frig up to 48 hours before baking.

By the time the evening was over the
bread was starting to rise so they
scurried home to put it in the frig.

How fun for me to get photo texts the next morning from
 three girls who had gotten up early and baked it for breakfast! 
I know one who is going to try baking a four-loaf recipe. 
Now they know how, should they want to make bread; 
for sure it's a money-saving skill.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

to market

A weekend with girlfriends in the mountains gave us opportunity to gaze upon and 
appreciate some fall color. It wasn't really the leaf color; it appears that we may not 
have much of that this year––but the fall farmer's market in a small city near 
where we stayed gave us much rich color to enjoy. 
Those fingerling potatoes mimic what we wish we could see on the trees!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

autumn greetings

I wonder how much use there is for autumnal greeting cards. 
Maybe a thank you after a Thanksgiving dinner invitation. 
Or just a hand written note to say "thinking of you."
Hand written notes or letters is a subject dear to my heart. 
And it seems to be a dying art. There is so much history found in old letters.
There is great loss in our lack of writing letters, or in emails forever deleted.
Sometimes when a grandchild visits we write a letter to mommy and daddy, address it, 
put on a stamp, and walk it out to our mailbox. If we're around at the right time, 
we can even see the mailperson pick up the letter. And then, the next day, 
I ask their mommy to have them help her get the mail from their mailbox.
 Maybe it instills a bit of the joy of communicating with pen and paper. 
At least they will know how to do it! I enjoy writing letters 
to them or my nieces and nephews, because . . .
. . . is there anything quite like finding a real letter in the mail?

Please visit A Haven for Vee for her very fun notecard party!

Friday, October 11, 2013

a food photo challenge

All mostly "healthy" food . . .
taken with my little canon point and shoot camera.
Usually a scene calls me as I visualize what it might look like.
Then I reach for the camera, aim it, and then crop later for the
 image I was seeing in my mind.
(Cropping photos is a favorite past time of mine.)
This food group maybe not so healthy ....
but the sweeties were from Wh*le Foods ...

Linking to Donna's Personal Photo Challenge; this month the subject is food.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

off the wall

It's easy for me to fall in love with a dish and now I have again. The thoughtful gardener found a set of six of these Churchill dishes with cups and saucers at GW for a song. Just a pure melody that was so cheap I can't bear to pay what  eb*y or Cr*igs is asking for the two more I now wish I had. 
So when eight friends gathered around our table the other night I scrounged around for 
two more blue and white plates. I liked the orange and blue together --- best I could do for autumn.
I found two on the wall. That night I played a little game seeing if anyone could find 
"something" wrong about the table.  The things they came up with almost gave me a complex. 
Like "one side of the table is higher than the other." ...  Huh?
This sweet girl who came down off my kitchen wall was the one they almost didn't notice.
We really did play a game though. I named it 20 questions. Yes I wrote them. We passed 
them in a little bowl around and around the table until all were answered. No one 
seemed to want to quit.  Questions that ever so subtly dug into our lives a wee bit 
and swung the conversation to all sorts of places, and oh did we laugh. 
Some were downright silly.  
I love this little butter dish by the way. In the lower level you put some water or a 
small ice cube. It keeps the butter firm. The small white inset is where the butter sits.
And see the quirky butter knife, which I have sitting 
incorrectly in the photo. Cleverly made.

Linking to  Between Naps on the Porch's Tablescape Thursdays.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

the search

We went in search of a pumpkin, better known to some little girls as Cinderella's carriage.
When we got to the farm the animals were scarce. Before long a trailer full of white cows arrive.  
Good enough for us to watch and exclaim over once they were in the pasture. 
Hide and seek: Can you imagine a very tall grandpa hiding in hay bales? Yes he did!
It's a toss up who had more fun, but it may have been the grandparents.

See Little Red House for other Mosaics!

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Shoe Fairy Part II

I had a sort of pay-it-back-return of the shoe story I wrote about a few months ago. The Gardener played a key role, and I'm still laughing about it.

I've been cleaning out. Seems like the time of year to do some of this and I don't think I'm the only one with this idea from what I've been reading on my favorite blogs. I decided the "wedding shoes" --worn when I was a senior bridesmaid for my niece--would be worn no more and I should give someone else a chance to use them rather than letting them sit on a shelf in my closet. Little did I know who would be the recipient.

I took them to the garage and placed them on the lid of the trunk. When next I got in the car I'd pop open the trunk and put them in with the other stuff headed for charity.

There was a lot going on at our house that morning so the Gardener said he was going to get some lunch at a fast food shop. He came back just mystified with a story to tell.  As he got to the window to pick up his food a lady banged on his car window. "These fell off your car."

He didn't recognized the shoes (I hardly wore them) the woman held up to show him and he was totally confused. "Do you want them?" he asked her.

"Sure," was the woman's reply. How did that little black pair of fancy sandaled heels manage to make it all the way to the restaurant without falling off? (We won't ask why the Gardener didn't notice them sitting on the trunk. :-)

I guess it was that lady's turn to get a gift of shoes.

Photo: Little One's new red shoes on her first day of school. Photo credit to CLC or EBC.
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