Sunday, November 19, 2017


Cranberries.  Yesterday afternoon I made a cranberry salad for the church Thanksgiving dinner today.  It has lovely things - cranberries, celery, oranges, pineapple, walnuts.  Plus, jello. 

And, it didn't set up, ending up with a delicious thick cranberry soup.  This seems vaguely familiar, like maybe I used the same internet recipe another year with the same results.  So, off to the store for another box of jello, which usually doesn't live at my house.  Just one cup of water with the big box of jello, then mixed with the cranberry soup.  Perfect this time.  I reread the recipe about five times to be sure I hadn't done the math wrong when doubling the recipe, but it was right.  Oh, well, there is now cranberry salad.

The final result reminds me of my grandmother's cranberry salad, made for holidays, except that hers probably didn't have nuts.  It was probably the only "fancy" dish that she made all year.  If there were leftovers, she would save some for me since I loved it so much.

I'm not sure whether my grandmother's very basic cooking was a result of economics, or of post-depression memories, or of a religious commitment to plain living.  Or, maybe, she just didn't put that much emphasis on food. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

After the Concert

Nora the trombone player and her friend the flute player after their seventh grade band concert last night.

It was an amazing thing, in their newly combined school, to see 125 students in the band.  In October, just two months after first getting together.  Twelve trombones.  And it was nice to see Nora so happy afterwards, when the nerves were quieted.

I was sad yesterday to see that Nancy Zieman had died.  I don't think I ever watched one or her shows, or ordered from her catalog, but I always admired her.  It would have been so easy for her to have said that she couldn't be on tv because the Bells Palsey caused her face to look uneven.  She  may have said that at one point but she had her own show anyway.  And helped many people develop their passion for sewing.

Cold, drizzly weather this week.  Yesterday the leaves came off the trees so fast that it reminded me of snow.  

Monday, November 6, 2017

Scrap Baby Quilt

Finally, a baby quilt.  Most of the scraps are leftover scraps of binding, those 2 1/4" strips.  Just pulled randomly from my scrap tub.  If you make this, I recommend using the walking foot for piecing these long pieces.  I like the look of piecing the ends together on the bias, but it wouldn't have to be that way.

Last week Joann had binding by the yard at 60% off, plus an extra 25% off coupon.  I wanted an entire roll, which they didn't have in the battings that I like.  So, I have a roll of a batting that I haven't used before, Toasty Cotton by Fairfield.  I'm hoping for the best.  There are a lot of quilts in that roll, starting with the pretty pink top that came in he mail from Joanne (not the store) this past week.

These past warm days have been glorious.  I've done quite a bit of yard work, front yard only though.  It had been looking pretty sad.  Halloween night was the cold and rainy night during the week.  Three Trick or Treater's came to my door.  Only three.

Last night the warm weather disappeared.  I woke briefly to hear the weather alert on my phone and saw lightning, but I'm a good sleeper and couldn't be bothered.  This morning my heavy wheeled trash cans were tipped over and the air is chilly.

I am drawn to putting up my big Christmas tree with lights only, so that's what I'll do.  I live by myself, so I can do what I want.  It seems part of an energy that I have been missing.  I welcome it back. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Aaron and Self

Look in the upper left corner and you'll see a picture of a much younger Aaron on the dining room wall.  

I took his picture when I was visiting Aaron to admire his knee brace and crutches.  On Tuesday he was playing indoor football at recess and had a bad fall and knee injury.  That boy is crazy about football.

Wednesday's doctor visit revealed no break.  The knee was swollen and immobile.  Follow up on Friday revealed no tear, a meniscus sprain.  Saturday was no better, but yesterday he reported that the pain was less and he could move the knee a little.  So, improvement.

I took a small box of Lego's for Aaron and his sister.  Usually, he starts out, then asks Nora to finish, so I thought one box would work for both of them.  This time he quickly finished on his own, so no Lego's for Nora.  Next time, two boxes.

Aaron tells me that there are perks to having crutches at school.  He gets to ride the elevator to his second-floor classroom.  Another student is assigned to carry his books and help him get his lunch.  

Still, I know he will be glad to get back to his active life.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Great Day of Singing

This is one of those days when I don't "make" something but do alterations instead.  I enjoy that too, especially when I can help someone's ideas come into being.

Today was the Great Day of Singing at some of the Mennonite churches.  At my church, there was mostly singing, no sermon, with some folks describing why they like their favorite hymns.  Two of my favorites were in the mix.  Both are old hymns, I guess I like the old stuff.

The song below was sung at my cousin's funeral last October and at my aunt's funeral this summer.  I had a moment of incredible sadness.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
It is well with my soul,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

And this one, I love.  I think I've mentioned it before:

My life flows on in endless song;
Above earth’s lamentation
I hear the sweet though far off hymn
That hails a new creation:
Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear the music ringing;
It finds an echo in my soul—
How can I keep from singing? 

My grandmother used to play the piano and sing traditional hymns, but never the ones above.  Trust and Obey is the one that comes to mine.  Another of the old ones.  

Friday, October 20, 2017


Another church picture.  I was in a classroom I usually don't visit and enjoyed seeing the rug and the sunlight.

Years ago, I don't know when, I put a good-sized laundry basket under a sewing machine table and have ever since thrown in scraps.  And now it's overflowing.

This week, I started pulling out pieces.  Some, I've cut into 4" squares for a scrap baby quilt.  Others are strips, mostly left from pieces of binding, usually 2 1/4".  Those I'm sewing together for a different baby quilt.  And some I'm throwing away because they are too small for what I have in mind.

And so, we shall see.  I'm finding that an hour of this is enough for any one day.

Occasionally I recognize a piece of fabric, but usually not.  I'm realizing that I go through a LOT of different fabrics.

Yesterday, I enjoyed the news, reading the words of two former presidents. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

More Random

I was a greeter at church last Sunday, standing at the top of the stairs, and happened to glance over the railing.  And liked what I saw.

In the interest of having more light in my living/dining room, and hopefully a happier mood, I bought two new lamps, which I love.  A bonus:  I am always reading in bed, and that's fine, but I read a lot and don't want to spend all that much time in bed.  Hopefully the new light source will encourage me to read out of bed.

What I learned:  a three-way LED light bulb costs $10 and is a funny shape.

I put my latest baby-quilt-in-progress in a bag and will start on a new design of some kind.  I didn't like it.  There was nothing wrong with it, I just didn't like it.  One day I'll take it out again and it will be just right for then, but it isn't just right for now.