Thursday, June 30, 2016

Sister's Inside Day

Sister spent much of this beautiful day inside. I couldn't help following her around with a camera. Meanwhile, Fitzwilliam has spent the last forty-eight hours in front of the computer. Fortunately with his eyes closed.

I've put a few new things in my etsy shop recently--take a look. All the proceeds go to charity!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A Tiger Lily Has Escaped the Deer

These generally get trimmed by the deer. I love them for their spottedness.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Evening in the Library

We had a rainy evening, and there we were, curled up on our velvet couches under the skylights in the library, reading by lamplight. It was my whole dream for this space.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Weekend with Molly

She's a born and bred city girl, but we dragged her through the poison ivy woods, sat her in the river, and she and Felix saw a bear. And she's still smiling!

Come back soon, dear!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Thursday, June 23, 2016

This Is Why We Frame Things

 . . . because it makes them look legit. These are going in the library, in the little bit of wall space left around the book shelves. 

The long-suffering Composer devoted several hours today to that Sanding the Staircase project. Messy? Yes. Even with the stairway encased in plastic, there has been brown dust everywhere.

We're cleaning and cleaning, because . . . Felix and Molly tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Loose Ends After the Wedding

It's been two and a half weeks since Giles' wedding, and Clara and I were just thinking today that things almost feel back to normal. All the things that got pushed to "after the wedding" have been settled--almost. We're still in the middle of a big project of sanding the staircase up to the library. My poor husband--he's the one doing that nasty job. As soon as he finishes we'll clean everything up, remove the plastic sheeting that's draped everywhere, and finish furnishing the library.

And that will all be before Friday, which is when Felix is coming for a visit!

Bella's life doesn't return to normal until after this first term of summer school, when she can stop studying night and day. I'm so proud of her: she is working her tail off to succeed in this class that requires tons of memorization.

I've been working on this Alabama Chanin-style table runner. It's got a lot of applique, and now I'm quilting around all the pieces. When I can get back into my sewing room I'll find some sequins (matte white) and some embroidery floss, and keep on going. It's what I do when I have to sit.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Every Evening a Bowlful

Every evening we pick a bowlful of produce. It's usually a lot heavier on the green beans than that. We've been feasting on them.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Daisy Ames*, Sock Monkey Nurse

Today they were mostly nurses, and then they were college students.

*She's been reading more Cherry Ames. Again.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Planning the Rehearsal Dinner (When You're Far Away)

You, too, might have to host a rehearsal dinner at a venue far from home that you've never seen. Or, you might get lucky and not have to do that. Here's what worked for us.

1. You're going to have to have some idea of how many people are coming. Get that number figured out as soon as possible.

2. That will help you figure out your venue. With the right size crowd and the right budget, you could just take over a restaurant--but this wouldn't ever be my first choice. Restaurants don't encourage mingling, there's often no room to stand around and visit, the noise level is often not in your control, and the food is expensive.

3. We were able to find the perfect space--a very large room with plenty of windows, with small round tables and chairs, and an attached kitchen. We were lucky. We also had a Right-Hand Man on the Ground (Molly)--a local with insider knowledge, who scouted out just the right spot for us. You should get one of these people if you can.

4. Then I went to Yelp and looked up the restaurant with the best ratings. It was a tiny, hole-in-the-wall Latin restaurant--inexpensive, and people raved over the food. Although the proprietor barely understood my Southern accent, we did arrange for them to cook taco fillings, tortillas, and condiments for fifty, and deliver everything to our spot. Then they stopped answering the phone for two weeks. I sent Molly by to reconnoiter. They stayed mysteriously closed for days, but eventually resurfaced. Disaster averted.

5. To keep costs down, and because I like cooking for people, the girls and I planned and prepared side dishes--a giant guacamole, a giant dish of cubed canteloupe with a spicy pepper relish, and a giant vat of cucumbers in vinegar. We were able to prep all those things in the little kitchen, the day of.

6. There was no room to refrigerate the four large dispensers of infused waters, so I prepped them that day by starting off with small amounts in my canisters, and continually topping them off with ice as it melted. By evening they were perfectly full and icy cold and ready to serve.

7. We drove to the wedding, so were able to pack our own tablecloths, vases, serving bowls, serving utensils, knives and cutting boards, etc. We supplemented the table decorations with flowers we cut on roadsides, and a few thrift store finds. We ordered cute paper goods ahead of time and had them delivered to Molly (she was the best).

8. It's good to keep in mind that you're just feeding good food to a crowd of people who are happy to be together before a wonderful, sacred day. As long as there's a place for them to stand around and hug, and something to eat, you've done well.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Oil Painting: Coleus

Lots of Tuesday nights I show up at the painting studio hoping that our instructor has brought something to paint. Tonight it was a vase of coleus foliage. I've never grown nor painted coleus, but it was kind of fun. You get in there with the red and the green.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Fitzwilliam Takes an Elbow

Fitzwilliam takes an elbow on the kitchen floor.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Roger Leaping

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Enchanted Kingdom

This time of year my garden seems like my own enchanted kingdom.


I made the best decision ever when I planted lavender at the entrance. The bees don't mind when you brush past them.

Pole beans up and over the arbor. I'll pick the beans when they're just a quarter of an inch in diameter. They're planted in old piles of manure--the leaves are ten inches across.

The "black" hollyhocks are finally blooming. I didn't know what they'd look like. Gorgeous.

Everything's better with Sister, of course.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Report from Millenialland

My fellow believers, be encouraged, and do not believe that all is lost in Millennialland.

Around the country and the globe there are young people who stand on the revealed Word of God, whose lives are built on solid rock.

They shine like lights in the world in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.

They are teachers, social workers, veterinarians, scholars, therapists, missionaries, business people, entrepreneurs, writers, parents, scientists,

and they are holding fast to the word of life.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Let's Do This!

 A fancy city florist came down to do the beautiful flowers first thing on Saturday. The sedum is in the bride's bouquet.

Felix's arbor was dressed in greens and white blossoms.

The chairs were set and ready. 

I had the honor of pinning all the boutonnieres on the gentlemen.

Honey, you're making me cry.

Fast-forwarding to after the ceremony (these are the Composer's pictures and he didn't shoot anything During the Wedding--he's a civilized person).

The bridal party did a quick photo shoot nearby while the guests made their way towards the reception pavilion. That was a lot of good-looking.

 All the food was prepared by a crew of Tia's friends--I think they are caterers. I know they are Jamaican, and I believe they stayed up all night to cook, bless them. We ate very well, with four kinds of chicken, fried plantains, rice and peas . . . .

As a junior bridesmaid, Daisy was seated with the wedding party. I don't believe we'd have ever heard the end of it if she had been seated elsewhere. She would have felt it keenly.

Felix toasting (with sparkling apple juice).
Well done.

A traditional game. These two were good sports.

Felix and Molly.

The cake was traditional Jamaican Black Fruit Cake--not as black, we were assured, as it would have been if it were a Christmas cake. I couldn't eat any because of the gluten, but you better believe I enjoyed the smell. I love fruitcake!!

 We're in-laws now! In case you're wondering, I didn't make my dress.

Giles says thanks and goodbye. They went off to change and slip away.

Only family came to see them off, which was kind of sweet.

We were all getting tired.

Oh, they're married now, you can tell!

That's a red sports car! Giles had rented a "beige Kia" and was surprised with an upgrade--a little lagniappe from the Lord.

Bye, sweethearts!

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