Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Trash and Treasure

Dear Folk,

The summer is quickly ebbing and you know how you do nothing for weeks and then everything comes at once.  I have a special commitment for the month of August, plus this Saturday we are invited to a going away get together, for which everyone is bringing a dish, so I need to think about what to bring, then taking The Boy to Ithaca, followed by a special luncheon the following Saturday, always Feast or Famine.

I gave a treat to a poor pine tree which has lived in this pot for thirty years.  It was originally one of those twigs given to you for Earth Day or Arbor Day, from work, something like that and was just planted in a pot, having a small garden and nowhere to plant a pine tree, that was three houses ago.  It has travelled from one to the other.  How it lived in this pot for thirty years I don't know, could you say it has been well and truly Bonsai'd, not in the traditional sense but it has been.  We had to literally peel the pot off.

This is the new pot that I bought, but now I am second guessing myself and think I should have chosen a different one, well I could still do that and save this for something else.  However we did plant it with lots of lovely new compost at it's roots, it must be reaching out and saying, Ah!  Of course no sooner was it in the pot than the squirrels were digging holes in it and turning out the soil.

I found this out by the curbside for someone to take, so it has found a very comfortable resting place, by my back door.  It's handy just to step outside and have this comfortable chair right here.  Also Tinkerbell is very partial to wicker or rush seated chairs, they are her very favourite, even over a soft cushion, isn't that funny? Maybe it seems more natural to her.  Being free you don't worry if it doesn't weather so well, because down the road I always come across something else at the curbside.  It's a good way to furnish the garden.

Take care have a lovely summer.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Bouquets, Booties and Bobs of the Week

Hello Dear Folk,

I was thinking how nice this summer has been, so much less humid than many a summer before.  Blue skies and fluffy clouds.

A little bouquet from Mr. B, placed strategically in front of my sewing chair, for me to enjoy.  So many things going on, getting my mind around The Boy leaving for Ithaca, and working out which weekend we will take him up to Uni.

We, his mum and dad have not visited Ithaca since he was about fourteen, we were up there on vacation, as a family, visiting the Finger Lakes, it is a beautiful region.  Of course Rob has been up there several times.

When we are up there I hope to visit the Aurora Shoe Company, they make hand made shoes, and have been mentioned on SouleMama and Tiny Happy.  I really would like a made to measure pair for my trip to Hawaii.  I cannot decide between the open side with open toe, or open side with closed toe, burgundy or blue.  They are located half an hour north of Ithaca.  Nothing is better than a comfortable pair of shoes, something hand made in the USA and of quality.


A dinner from Jack Monroe's Blog.  Keralin Aubergine Curry.  I had all the ingredients, so did not have to go out and buy anything.  The aubergines, fresh from my garden, the only extra thing I added, just because I had it in my garden, baby mustard greens.  I served it with couscous which I have been enjoying for a change instead of rice.

I love seeing all those colours come together and then add the cumin and turmeric and all changes to a yellow hue.

My project this week has been to work on these baby booties, I have had such fun with them.  I lined these with brocade to walk on, and then got carried away with copper thread so stuck with other basic colours. 

A variation on this pattern, red felt lined with a cream coloured felted Merino jumper, they will be so warm.  I kept them very plain and I think it works well with these little buttons I found in my tin.

I've been thinking what a useful and enjoyable stitch blanket stitch is, neatening edges and pulling layers of fabric together.  All this hand sewing made me think of Dorcas in the Bible, Acts 9:36-43.  She must really have enjoyed sitting there sewing and sharing her needlework.

I debated on adding buttons or not, but decided to do so as the seams were hard to keep on centre at the back.

So cute, two pairs will never turn out the same, it's hard enough making the same pair to match.  The family always said of Grandma that her creativity always ran to one creation, I think mine is the same, there must be variation.


P.S.  I'm watching on You Tube "Love Among The Ruins", Hepburn and Olivier at their best, a must watch.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Book Meltdown, Kitchen Corner

How is your weekend going?  Yesterday, Saturday afternoon I had a meltdown in the Simla Room, actually a book meltdown, which lead to a rearrangement of a kitchen corner.  You know I love books, it's my Achilles" Heal, just cannot stop acquiring books.  I had so many piles of books in the Simla Room, that I had recruited this cake stand as a book pile stand, plus trying to do needlework, it was all too much of a mess leading to a meltdown.

This meltdown lead to a clean out of books, one's I might have liked to keep, but they just had to go, so I could be organized, I cannot work for continued periods of time in clutter.

I moved my cake stand to a little corner of my kitchen, replacing the basket that held veg, and good job I did because the potatoes had also had a meltdown in this hot weather, to wet stinky mass, ugh!  So now comes a cleanup of this little corner.

I am enjoying my little teapots here.

On the wall above are these lovely little hooks that I bought while in Halstead, UK.  A milk scalding jug, from Italy.  As a child we always were served coffee with hot scalded milk, in fact it was served about half and half, and when ever you went to a friends this was the way coffee was served, but not so much now.  Actually it's a nice way to serve coffee in the winter.

Also cleaned these sweet three dimensional replicas of two places in Bury St. Edmunds.  While in England a friend of my sister's was going to put these in a car boot sale, and I liked them so much that I said that I would buy them off her.  They were in the most ugly black plastic frames, which I replaced with shadow boxes.  The one at the bottom is the smallest pub in England, Wellington Arms, a Green King Pub, the other is a Florist's shop.

Sorry about the reflections.

While I was cleaning out books, I came across this Mennonite Cookbook I found at the Thrift, published in 1951, such a nice find.

I love the indented tabs on older American cookbooks.

Grandmother's table, notice the plate of cut bread.  There was always a plate of cut bread on my father's mother's table.  I think it's because they had a small holding and ate dinner midday.  And a lovely Pennsylvania Farm scene sketch below.

This is the Household Magazine cookbook that they used to put out, this dates to 1947, I also have another one that was Bob's mum's that dates earlier than that, but is in a much more worn condition.  Here again you see the use of indented tabs along the side.

Well that's about it.

What a terrible week news wise so sad.  I guess we'll all be checking flight plan pathways on future flights.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Whirling Butterflies and Other Things

I think 50% of my days I'm up at 4:30 or 5:00AM.  It's a lovely time of day in the garden.  Saturday I was outside enjoying a nice cup of tea when I heard this kerfuffle in George's tree, it will always be George's place, even though he died.  Two American Robins were chasing a squirrel around, up and down, they had the advantage as they could fly although squirrels are very nimble.

So the above flower is a hosta flower, when they are finished blooming they turn into a seed type pod, in fact quite a quantity form, I ate one last year just to try it, it didn't taste bad, does anyone know if you can cook and eat them?  The flowers really are quite pretty and much overlooked I think.

This is my teacup pot, which a squirrel came and dug in and turfed out one of my cat and kittens and I had to replant it, they are so naughty.  I was sitting quietly on the oak tree patio, and I hear this squirrel start with a chattering noise, I look over to the oak tree and there is a grey squirrel facing downwards looking right at me having a little fit that I am in his space.  Oh yes!  They have done this before.

I am reading Miss Buncle's Book, by D E Stevenson, it is a wonderful read, I have notes and will definitely do a book review.

Indian Feathers, Whirling Butterflies, I so love this perennial that I went and bought another one, the name so fits, either one.

Blister Cress another perennial planted, I wonder why they call it Blister Cress?

Tahitian Bridal Veil, I could not pass this by, it is so dainty, just had to show you the size, forgive dirty gardening fingernails.

So all on my Simla patio is blooming.  I see the basement door is in need of a paint, but it's such a job to sand, I wonder if you could buy a giant decal and just stick it over, something fancy, now that would be nice.

Mr B's blueberry cake, very good.

The Stash Lavender Breakfast in Paris tea I bought while away in Danville, so good.

A Thrift find, a Korean mug with lid, called Playing Ducks, I have long wanted one of these mugs which I have seen at the Korean store, but they are quite expensive.  This one $0.79 cents at the Thrift.

A few more perennials to plant.  I hope they all come up.  The trouble with perennials is that you plant them, forget about them and next year you are non the wiser if they do not appear.  I will just have to remember to look back in my blog.

A lovely morning, rounded out with a chat, my friend Jean from the UK phoned, so nice.

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