Flowers, corn on the cobb and …

August 30, 2006 at 5:29 pm | Posted in country living, crochet, food, free crochet patterns, knitting | 2 Comments

Dorothy's FlowersYum and ouch … that’s what I have to say about last night’s Ice Cream Social.

Yum: Raspberry sauce, blueberry sauce, strawberry sauce, fresh chopped local peaches, hot caramel, hot fudge, chopped salty peanuts, whipped cream, ten-ounce blocks of french vanilla ice cream.

Ouch: Ten-ounces of ice cream is a heck of a lot of ice cream even without some of each topping. I still feel full.

The fund raiser went better than we thought it would, and instead of raising $300 for the classrooms at the church, they raised more like about $500. It rained early in the day, but no rain during the “social”. The person who was supposed to grill the hotdogs was delayed due to a new job he landed and started yesterday, so I volunteered to grill the dogs. My husband cooked the corn on the cob outdoors in turkey cookers, and I was nearby manning the hot dog grill. There were many hats to be worn and we got in plenty of exercise … all of us, not just my husband and I. Joy, fellowship, and bushels of goodwill abounded. It was a perfect day in the country participating in a perfectly country activity.

Dorothy brought buckets of flowers from her garden and made arrangements in lovely little baskets to set on all of the tables. When the evening was over, she gave the flowers away to any of the women who helped so we each would have a bouquet to take home. She also brought each of us a musk mellon picked fresh that day from vines her husband planted. I haven’t ever had a musk mellon that I know of, but tonight that will change.

Winters Airy ThrowI was not able to knit at all yesterday, but I do have a gorgeously sweet throw my daughter crocheted for me to share. It is her design and craftsmanship, so I am getting her to tell me the directions so I can prepare a pattern for anyone interested. This little throw is lighter than air and the little green bows on it add a touch of sweetness that I treasure, coming from my daughter to me.

When my husband gets home we have to run over to the church to take down the big tent from the Ice Cream Social, and meanwhile I have work to get caught up on for a client. So I must end off for now.

Wishing you the best …

~firefly

An Ice Cream Social

August 29, 2006 at 12:56 pm | Posted in country living, food, knitting, yarn | 8 Comments

Hand Knit Christmas Stocking ProgessToday, a brief blog. Our church is having an ice cream social fund raiser tonight, so my work day will be cut short. My husband and I went over to the church last evening to set up the big outdoor party tent and tables to get a head start on preparing for tonight.

“Ice Cream Social” … how wholesome and divine the words. The community is small, so they won’t raise much–maybe $300 at best. Quite a lot of work and preparation has gone into it and though it would be wonderful if more tickets could be sold, the work will be worthwhile even if only for the opportunity for fellowship. That is what I have learned from this humble, hard working community since arriving here last spring.

The lady whose idea it was to put on this event is a gardener of flowers, vegetables, berries, and fruits. She and her husband are older and retired. They have a few married children and twenty or so grandchildren all living right around here. As a family they are known for their beautiful voices; many of the grandchildren sing in choirs. Early on in my “living in the country” career she took me to a high school performance in which one of her older granddaughters was singing and playing the paino. I was stunned ever so plesantly at the number of truly talented students performing that night. And, her granddaughter was by far the most talented. She graduated this year and earned a scholarship at a nearby university for the arts (about an hour away) for her talent and hard work.

Dorothy is the older lady’s name. She has prepared fruit and berry sauces for the ice cream tonight from fruits and berries she grew and harvested in her abundant garden. There will be hot fudge and carmel sauce, whipped cream topping, chopped nuts. I generally don’t eat dairy, and especially have to avoid ice cream because I get food alergies, plus I try to stay away from sugar as much as I can for general health reasons. I have not had anything resembling a hot fudge sundae in at least ten years. Tonight, however, I will indulge and tomorrow I will give you a full report.

We are also preparing and serving hot dogs and hamburgers, corn on the cob, ice tea and lemonade. About sixty people will attend and it will be quaint and fulfilling. My husband is coming home early from work so we can head over to help out with the rest of the set-up and the food preparation. Of course, we will help serve as well.

I am enjoying sharing this part of my husband’s life with him. Most of the small congregation at this church are older people. Although my husband is in his early 50’s and I am in my late 40’s, we represent more of the “youth” of the church. My husband, I have learned, is relied on by the older people quite a lot. He is always ready to help, to work hard, to bear the brunt of the burden of responsibility for many events and tasks. And frankly, they need someone like him. I am grateful for the opportunity to be on hand to make his help go further.

I have only made a bit of progress on the ribbed cuff of the Christmas stocking I am knitting for him as you can see in the photo. Today and tonight there will be no knitting, and I must end off for now as well.

Have a good day my friend … and stay dry if you can but do enjoy the rain if you have some today.

~firefly

Man Yarn

August 28, 2006 at 12:17 pm | Posted in country living, knitting, yarn | 11 Comments

Today’s blog is dedicated to Secret Mojo

Oar Locks at the Boat HouseLast time my husband and I went fishing (he fishes, I man the anchor) he noticed the little metal things on the sides of the boat that hold the oars were not in good shape; one, in fact, was broken. A couple of days later he told me he had ordered oar locks. Not being familiar with the word, I heard “orlocks” so all I could conjure in my mind was a creature out of “Lord of the Rings” or something. A few days later his “orlocks” arrived via UPS on the same day as some yarn I ordered.

When he opened his package, I recognized the look of delight and rapture breaking out on his face. It was very much like the look I felt break out on my own face when I opened my yarn earlier that same day. So, I called the oar locks “man yarn”.

I spent much of Saturday down at the cottage on the river with him. He needed to mow the lawn up above at the cottage plus down below on the river around the boathouse. We have a problem with red squirrels getting inside the boat house, taking walnuts in there with them and making quite a mess so I swept the out the boathouse while he mowed lawns.

Winters Jewelry SampleMy actual mission that day was to photograph some of the jewelry my daughter makes using the weathered boards on our dock as a background. My husband built the dock several years ago and it has aged but held up well. It was a beautifully pleasant afternoon doing chores, hearing my husband mowing the lawn and moving about doing his chores, and having creative camera time on the dock. My husband put his new man yarn oar locks on the boat while I finished up my photo shoot. We had a lovely time.

Late afternoon we went back over to the cottage for another fishing trip and to try out his beautiful brass oar locks. It was overcast so I opted not to take the camera with me … big, gigantic mistake. When we got out on the river, my husband set the boat in out in the current and we drifted slowly down stream as he fished. The first time we fished, he rowed us up stream, so I had not seen what things looked like down stream until this weekend.

Oh my … leaving the camera at home was silly indeed. Such beauty, such rustic surprising beauty. There are willow trees all along the banks of that river, and they sweep up and out over the water creating mysterious secluded spaces. Long, flowing grasses grow down in the water and wave luxuriosly in the current. Duck weed floats in clumps creating glowing green patches on the surface of the water. Turtles lay about on dead tree limbs along the banks of the river. A king fisher sweeps along the surface of the water gobbling up dinner while dragonflies dance gracefully by. Bullfrogs start warming up for their evening chorus and little minnows jump out of the water as they are chased by larger fish down below.

Being on that river, easing our way down stream together with fresh new oar locks on our boat, enjoying each other’s company in a wholesome and quiet manner captured country living at its best for me. Ahhhhh … peace and relaxation.

Lavendar Scarf and Stitch MarkersI made more progress on my scarf this weekend, though not as much as I would like to report. I normally make my way through one knitting project before beginning another, but last evening I decided to start my husband’s knitted Christmas stocking even though I still have quite a ways to go with my basketweave scarf. What can I say … I love the man and wanted to have a project going for him.

One of the most delicious surprises of my life I experienced this year (and it gets me everyday) is this simple truth … love can be incredibly sweet and new no matter your age. In the movie “Under the Tuscan Sun”, toward the end, the main character says something along the lines of, “Unspeakably good things can happen, even late in the game. It is such a surprise.” I have found it to be true, and it is such a surprise. If you are alone in any way, take heart and have faith … though it may suck royally right now, it might not last forever.

I wish you a fine and loving day.

~firefly

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