June 24, 2014

Peaceful Steps

 The ferns are tall and beautiful now.
Many years ago, a random conversation brought to my ears the startling revelation that the woods are terrifying for some people. I laughed only because I thought the man that was telling me this was kidding, but it soon became apparent that he was not. Although he found the (dark) woods terrifying, he said he felt safe walking the streets in any city any time of the day or night!  And so I learned that what brings peace to one person does not necessarily bring peace to another.

Unlike my acquaintance, I grew up with the woods in my backyard, and so, for me, it was always a place of wonder, discovery, and a refuge. No doubt there were many dangers lurking, but I always felt safe. (Fearless youth.) These days coyotes have trotted all the way across the country, and on the way have bred with the timber wolf.  Perhaps if I had grown up knowing that they were a part of the landscape, I'd feel more at ease. Of course, animal attacks of any kind are not prevalent, but depending on where I am going and how far I'm hiking it's probably wise (both then and now) to buddy up before starting out.
Blue Flag Iris
Yellow Flag Iris

 A few lines from Robert Frost...

                                                The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   
                                                But I have promises to keep,   
                                                And miles to go before I sleep,   
                                                And miles to go before I sleep.


June 17, 2014

The State of Things

Since I'm a fan of Downton Abbey, I thought I'd make this Edwardian Kitchen Garden Cake. After reading the recipe, I discovered the cake is salt free and vanilla free. Not the type of recipe that I am used to but I decided to forge ahead.  Missing a springform pan, I used a quiche dish.  
What a moist, tasty cake it turned out to be! As you can see the icing sugar got away from me. (In the scheme of things what's a few hundred extra calories?)

On the needles...

Not a lot of progress because a Diva house guest kept me up for three nights running. And after being here more than a week, she still refuses to shut it down at a decent time. She stands outside the bedroom door and yells and she doesn't care to sleep with anyone and wants what she wants now. 
 And so of  late, even though the pattern is easy, it's been knit five rows and take out six or seven.

  Thankfully Whoo, my morale boosting knitting buddy recently arrived to save the day. You can find one here.

Now without further adieu allow me introduce Diva Sadie, the tortoise shell Tabby cat.

                             Wearing her Kitty caps, Sadie looks self-satisfied and innocent. 
 Caps or no caps the mat is now in shreds, but the lady of the house said, that's okay as long as I am happy. (K, I freely admit it:  I find decorum tedious, but when it suits my fancy, I can be truly loveable...sigh...)
Yo, you..yea you... sup with this tiny stool? This dang place is going to the dogs.

June 05, 2014

Garden Oasis

I love to garden.  And I find it liberating to pitch the gloves and just dig in.  For me, planting seeds and watching them grow lifts and nurtures the spirit, enhances my sense of wonder; promotes peace and satisfaction, and when I planted vegetables there was the added bonus of pure freshness. These days I only start Nasturtiums and Morning Glories from seed, but I am still enthusiastic about gardening.

 I keep saying that I am going to limited the number of containers I plant. After all, if I plant too many, the water brigade usually falters.  Perhaps I am a slow learner, but in recent years I've discovered that if I live in a area with good ventilation the best time to water is in the early evening. Then as I walk through the door in the morning, while taking that furtive glance over my shoulder at the pots outside, I catch a glimpse of quilt free beauty. The flowers, instead of giving me that droopy fatalistic look that emphatically states it's all over but the crying, sing halleluiahs. And the grateful Sweet Alyssum sings the loudest. Preferring cool temperatures, Alyssum craves extra water in the summer. It's a prissy plant that needs grooming, too, but if I treat it especially well, this year, the new variegated leafed variety just might bloom all summer.  Time will tell.

P.S.  I caved and bought more plants today ~ so much for the manicure and something called limits...

"To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves."

Mahatma Gandhi

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