Tuesday, September 20, 2016

musings about the passing of time

A bush full of marigolds: 

When you're young, "old" people will tell you how fast time goes by.  And when you're a new parent, people will go on and on about how this stage "won't last forever" and you should cherish it all, even the annoying parts.  It's just amazing, though, how many things will not fit into the time I have.  

It strikes me how much more I get done in a span of time if I turn off all social media and email.  

I have been accused, more than once, of being completely out of touch with what's "in," and of being old-fashioned.  Tone of voice aside, it's not the insult it was meant to be.  The more life experience I have, the more I begin to see the value of quality over quantity.  Frankly, there are so many more valuable uses of my time than racking up a high number of Friends, which, let's face it, are actually Acquaintances.  

If you wonder, here are some of the recent experiences causing my musings: finding out why someone hasn't been speaking to me for two years; a classmate being diagnosed with breast cancer; being taken for granted; being cherished; a seemingly minor decision with lasting consequences. 

But I'm still here, and life goes on; there's still Truth and time for forgiveness.  So here's to paper books, candles that have time to burn, homegrown tomatoes, handwritten letters, handmade gifts.  Yes, Anna, it's time for Christmas crafting :)

And yes, it all goes together.  

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Hmmm... Really.

My husband was flipping through a magazine and absentmindedly stated, "I already know what my 'spirit animal' is."  To which my youngest asked, "What is a spirit animal?"
Dad:  "Oh, it's an animal you identify with."
Youngest:  "OoOOooh.  Mine's a sloth."

Sunday, September 11, 2016

9/11 - Fifteen Years

The buzz around schools these days is that the new kids coming up through high schools are the first class learning about 9/11 from a historical point of view, as opposed to a personal point of view.  I don't know, it's still personal to me, and I don't see how that would mean nothing to my kids.  I guess we're not talking about it much anymore.  Time for some remembering.  

Thursday, September 8, 2016

artist: Marilyn, knitwear designer

Continuing my photo project on artists and craftsmen, allow me to introduce you to Marilyn, of Black Water Abbey Yarns

Marilyn and I were introduced by mutual friends (who knit) and since then, I have had the opportunity to photograph some of her beautiful pattern collections.  Marilyn distributes high quality wool directly from Ireland, so it is no surprise that many of her patterns feature elegant cable work.  

Through the process of photographing her work, I have had the opportunity to get to know Marilyn as a person and an artist.  As she travels to yarn and fiber shows around the country, Marilyn sells not only her own beautiful yarn and patterns, but also a selection of items such as cards, soap, and pins, from small-business artists.  In other words, she is helping the creative women around her, too.  Whenever we meet up to transfer projects, I walk away from our conversations feeling newly inspired.  

I am pleased that Marilyn agreed to let me shoot a bit of her creative process, including swatching, designing, knitting.  She had some wonderful colorwork projects on needles while I was there; I look forward to seeing her next round of finished pieces.


Find more of Marilyn's patterns on Ravelry here.  See my ongoing project of artists and craftsmen here or here.  What sort of artist shall I seek out next; have any suggestions?  

Friday, August 12, 2016

quick garden update

Quick.  The tomatoes are terrific.  If you use tomatoes for anything, they are so much better fresh.  I keep picking the peppers before they have a chance to change color.  The tomatillos are taking over, I don't know what to do with them!  We've done green chili and tomatillo sauce.  I planted them for salsa, but that only uses one.  Suggestions?

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Pear Butter and Other Canning

While perusing my canning cookbooks, I came across some pear recipes.  In the end, the one I used was online, here.  My boys were skeptical of the star anise but we made it once as-written and it is pretty great.  And we wondered, are there other kinds of anise?  I went and got more pears for another batch (and pictures, of course!)

I made more peach preserves.  It's the easiest thing to come by in large quantity, a box of good peaches, and a crowd pleaser, definitely.    I used my favorite recipe as previously posted.

And lovely strawberry... preserve.  Jam?  I'm not sure.  Poor strawberry stuff, no spices; just lemon and sugar - and I used all the lemons.  I ate that strawberry after the pictures, and it was delicious.

I'm thinking that these would all be perfect for a tea party, and perhaps I should make some lemon curd.  Have you made lemon curd?  I'll have to look for a recipe unless you can suggest one...?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

July 2016 Garden Report

As you can see, the garden is doing its job.  I'm not sure I've done mine, but considering I only planted two thirds of the garden, and we had two hail storms early in the season, we're going alright.  

We had a couple of rounds of snap peas - one of my favorite things.  I intended to plant more but I'm thankful for what we had, as they are so much better fresh than store-bought.   

Currently, we have a daily allowance of tomatoes - perfect for throwing in salad or fajitas.  There is nothing like a fresh-picked tomato.  Soon, we'll have some big ones ready for salsa and marinara.  The tomatillos are taking over - how did I not know this would happen?  Their lovely little lanterns are fun, though.

I wish I had planted corn, potatoes, onions.  They seem like no-brainers but since they don't come in pots, I did not get them done.  What should we plant next year??