Thursday, June 22, 2017


The morning glories are tackling the porch quite nicely, I must say.  

I absolutely love them.  I love the way they greet me when I go out to feed the cat in the morning.  I love the way they curl and close later in the day.  A few times a week I pull them out of other plants (today, a hosta!) and train them to climb the porch instead, and so far it's working!

Vigorous and indestructible: even the ones I transplanted (to the other side of the porch) are twining their way around the porch rails now; they're just smaller than this.  

For now......

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Summer Solstice, Summer School

...and the pool!

We took a couple of weeks off from school after standardized testing.  (Sometimes I enjoy resting on my laurels, and Finn gave me that opportunity yet again this year.  For a child who doesn't seem to do more than a sliver of school each day, and is so absent-minded I don't think I will let him have a driver's license, he sure does well on those tests.)  But today we began afresh: summer school.  

Summer school exists because Finn needs an extra hand to hold in math computation.  We also added in Bible, poetry, recitation, and nature study today because those things are just plain fun.  The whole shebang took an hour and a half and then we spent three hours at the pool.  Not bad!

His summer art class begins tomorrow.  It's our only consistent obligation this summer, and I'm happy to have weeks of low-key living spread out in front of us. Although I had grand visions of the projects I would do during our time off (painting the kitchen cabinets!), I actually don't think I'll do much. I want to soak in these halcyon days of summer, and be sure they are halcyon. Just tonight during our family gratitude time my husband was reminiscing over his idyllic summer days and evenings: the pool, the unhurried schedule, playing games in the yard, catching fireflies, playing in the creek.  

My kitchen cabinets can be smudgy for a few more months (or years?). Because babies don't keep.  

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Camp Whatchamacallit

So my bestie Allison and I have hatched a plan! She was visiting yesterday--she lives out of the state--and she latched onto a passing comment I'd texted to her a few days ago about having our own "camp" here on our farm.  She loved this idea and as we talked about it, we realized it's completely feasible. 

So we're working on dates for our yet-unnamed camp (aka, Camp Whatchamacallit), which will include her son (age 7), Finn (10), and Annie (6).  

Our brainstorm list takes up nearly a whole page in my planner already.  We'll have homemade camp t-shirts, crafts, a nature hike with a botany and butterfly and bird expert (my father-in-law!), fossil-hunting with a mountain man (my brother-in-law!), pool time, kayaking on the lake, archery, BB gun, morning and evening devotions, a camp Bible verse to memorize, a service project, camp songs, a hymn to memorize, S'mores......what wonderful memories we will make!

Now we have to actually organize and pull it off.  Planning together will be interesting, since I'm very much a linear thinker and Allison is more creatively circuitous.  We'll play to each other's strengths, I think!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Rainy Street Scenes

This evening on the way into the city for a haircut I was caught in the worst rain of my driving life. The interstate was a mess, but it wasn't until I got to the city that things were really bad.  I started shaking on the freeway (60 mph wind gusts?  sheets of rain?  visibility of only a few yards? yes!) and exited onto the high street, then drove up the hill--which involved crossing a main thoroughfare which had become a tiny stream. I found a side street at the top of the hill and parked there. I called my hairdresser, who reported that the road in front of his salon was a creek, and that I should not come. 

So I sat in my parked car.  And I waited.  And waited.  And prayed (not just for myself, but for anyone caught in the maelstrom).  And waited. 

This was my view when I parked.  The rain was so loud.  The lightning and wind were epic.

When I saw the mountain, I felt a surge of relief. 

And after nearly an hour perched on this hill, the sun erupted.

When I finally got home, a rainbow arched into the valley....but I don't have a photo of that blessed sight!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Two Views of the Mountain

We returned my in-laws' truck this evening.  When we arrived at their house, the backyard view was full of grey.

And as I sat chatting with my mother-in-law, while my father-in-law showed the children all sorts of photos of Ecuador on his camera, I saw that the light outside had changed.

This world is so beautiful. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Three Reasons to Celebrate

First, my enormous mulching project is done! I don't know how many square feet of flower beds I have to mulch, but it's A Lot.  What's time consuming is the weed-pulling, the plant dividing and transplanting, the planting of new plants...and did I mention the wire grass? I've been steady at it for a couple of hours a day for several weeks. 


Second, we had 15 minutes at the thrift store today and I walked out with two milk glass lamps, a cashmere sweater, a huge milk glass footed bowl, and the piece de resistance--a vintage handbag, navy blue, in buttery Italian leather, in pristine condition.  I spent $16 on all of it!  And each item filled a need I had specifically thought of over the last week. Thrift stores are a blessing. 

Finally, last night in the shower I heard something fall and immediately realized my pearl earring had dropped.  I put my foot over the drain, turned off the water, threw on my bathrobe, and called my husband...but to no avail.  The earring was gone.  I was sad, because not only do I love my pearl earrings, they were a gift to me for my high school graduation from my beloved Grandma Polly

But I still said a prayer, because things are wont to turn up in my life. My husband's wedding ring, which he lost in the yard?  Turned up the next year in the tomato patch.  My diamond and sapphire ring, which I thought I'd lost in the yard? Turned up *in the sofa!*  My beautiful gold earrings which were a very costly gift from my father many years ago?  Turned up in my sister's jewelry box!!! My husband had forbidden anyone from using the shower until he could get home and look more closely at the situation after work today.

I was on the last few square feet of weed removal this evening when Annie came outside with a smile on her face.  You married a genius, she said, and held out her hand.  My earring!  My husband had gotten the shop vac out and 10 seconds later it was in hand. 

 "I kind of wished it had been more of a challenge," he said wistfully.  Only an engineer would say that!

A 1950's Nightgown for Annie

Sewing my way through my collection of size 6 vintage dresses from my grandmother, I started the process with something simple: a nightgown.  I used leftover fabric from my Crepe dress; Annie had requested a long dress for playing outside, but I decided to go with a nightgown instead. 

Unfortunately, I realized that the skirt pieces were missing from the pattern envelope!  So I just cut my own; the only tricky part was including an armhole curve at the top of the skirt pieces.  

I skipped the lace trim because I didn't feel like fussing with it, and because my fabric is already very busy.

So ideally there would be more fullness in the skirt, but I used the largest pieces I could cut, and gathered them into the yoke, and self-bound it all (including the waist seam! I enjoy making bias binding), and Annie truly loves it. She floats around the house in the morning like a real lady of leisure!