Friday, December 30, 2016


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Rehearsal Evening

We are in a winter wonderland for Felix's wedding. I stepped out to run this morning and there was snow everywhere!

Everyone here worked so hard today, transforming the church sanctuary into an evergreen forest with eight fir trees (bless the Christmas tree farm that cut them down and gave them to Felix for free!)

A second crew was busy in the reception space, turning a big blah room into a twinkly enchanted land.

Meanwhile my mother, my cousin Sal, and I prepared the rehearsal dinner. Yesterday I had cooked at Sal's house--a giant vat of beef stew and another of creamed chicken. Those got finished today, and a mountain of cream biscuits got baked, and vast quantities of salad with citrus got prepped.

Just like last time, I forgot that I had to actually go to the rehearsal, and leave my dinner preparations right at the crucial time! Next time I will get it right.

Unbelievable, these precious young men lined up for this occasion.

Oh my, here she comes on her father's arm. She walked down this aisle with Felix in June when they were bridesmaid and groomsman at Giles' wedding. Who could have known?

Stepping up.

The view from the evergreens.

These two!

Tomorrow is it!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve Dinner

A small group this year as the boys are already in the Northeast preparing for Felix's wedding. We sat down with the grandparents for Christmas Eve dinner.

Tasting menu of assorted sausages
Mushrooms stuffed with crab and cream cheese
Smoked oysters on crackers
Grapefruit, avocado, and romaine salad
Cheese tortellini 
Dark roasted asparagus
Cheese log, grapes
Waldorf salad

Friday, December 23, 2016

Fog and Coziness

A day of rain and fog, food shopping, gingerbread cookie baking, list-making, dish-washing, and general coziness.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Clara Presses Forward on Her Bridesmaid's Dress

Closing in on the end of the bridesmaid's dress--just the charmeuse sash and the hem are left, and the hook and eye.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

I Had a Minute to Sew

I had a minute to sew! And was determined to use up some of my stack of wools. I made four bags assembly-line style, and this pair of blankets for the car. I like to have something to cover up with if I'm traveling in cold weather.

They're available in my etsy shop and all the sale proceeds will go to a young family hit with unexpected medical expenses due to a premature birth and complications. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

A Wedding Cake for Felix

Felix asked if we could provide his wedding cake--and I agreed, flattered that he apparently thinks I can do anything. Clara and I started baking the layers up to freeze. There are nine.

 She went to the kitchen and produced a test cake last week.

"This looks great!" I said. "Where did you get the recipe?"
"Cupboard door," she replied.

It's our beloved gingerbread, which will be trimmed, stacked, frosted, and decked out for the celebration.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Almost Too Good

Almost too good to be true. This life is filled with wonder!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Oil Painting: Box of Chocolates

Not a quilt, but the same appealing (to me) array of squares you can mess around with.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Felt ornaments are my very favorites.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Daisy Hosts a Party

Daisy put together her own Christmas party for five friends. I made the food up for her, but she had it all planned out, including the games she got from her American Girls Handy Book (or something). They ate a lot of little sausages and drank a lot of cocoa, and then there was a LOT of running in the house. So glad she joined 4H and tapped into the motherlode of little girls who love rabbits and chickens just like she does.

Friday, December 09, 2016

Log Cabin Quilt: A Garden for Molly

A wedding gift for Felix and Molly: this log cabin quilt. I designed an entire house around it!

It's going on the master bed in the stone house.

It has extensive embroidery around three sides, several verses from the last chapter of Hosea, mostly about beautiful gardens.

Those who live in His shadow will again raise grain.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Felix's Desk, Twenty-Three Days Before His Wedding

He's home for just a handful of days more, and then we'll meet up with him again for his wedding. After that, he'll be half of a new family*. Wow.

*But still sort of ours too. I don't think Molly will mind.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Short Hike, by the Lake

A short hike after church on Sunday is all we had time for.

Also, it was all we needed. Water, woods, rocks, moss.

Of course Felix climbed a tree.

Bonus: pelicans.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Our Home-Grown Onion

Periodically Daisy puts out an issue of our home newspaper called the Animal Times. Today Clara, in a masterful stroke of procrastination, instituted a home-grown version of the satirical Onion

* * * 

"Student Turns in Handmade Pants in Lieu of Final Paper"

Student Clara P. shook the academic community this week when she turned in a pair of pants that she had made, instead of the final paper, in Dr. Janet Willoughby-Esperanza's "Introduction to Graduate Study," a seminar-style English class focusing on the films of 1964, primarily from the perspective of gender studies and psychoanalytic film theory. Willoughby-Esperanza described the wide-leg velveteen pants as "a brilliant, radical commentary on the interplay of masculinity and femininity in the oeuvres of these filmmakers."

Clara P. was distressed by Willoughby-Esperanza's interpretation of her pants, stating in an interview with the Pleasant View Pigeon that she had not intended to make any such statement by submitting the pants: "I just didn't want to write the essay. I kept putting it off until there wasn't time to finish the pants and the paper, so I decided to just hem the pants and turn them in instead of the paper." In an email addressing Clara P's objection, Willoughby-Esperanza explained that much of current literary critical theory rejects the idea that the meaning of a work is determined by the author or creator's intention, and stood by her original analysis of the pants' implications.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

The Kitchen Counter Cooking School

"I could not have predicted the residue and damage that a lack of cooking skills had on people's daily lives. Among the boxes and cans, I found a larger story of perceived failure that left them struggling with guilt, frustration, and a stinging lack of confidence. . . ."

--Kathleen Flinn, The Kitchen Counter Cooking School

This fascinating book follows the author's work with nine ordinary people who don't know how to live with real food or how to function in their own kitchens. By the end of the book, Flinn's compassionate, enthusiastic coaching has transformed them.

Cook your own food, and teach your children how.

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