Sunday, February 14, 2016

You Don't Know Love....

First grandchild!

When I was expecting my child, a little lady at the nursing home where I was working said to me, "You THINK you know love now, but you will realize how wrong you are when  you have your child."

She was right.

I probably made my child a sort of religion. I saw everything through those new eyes and enjoyed every minute of showing this amazing person the world.

Guess what?

I learned about love again this week. This special person magically came into my life and I am so smitten that I border on stupid. Complete strangers have to admire the pictures of this little one as I declare this is the most perfect child ever created.

I have it bad.

Happy Valentine's Day! May someone love you as completely as I do this special star....

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Creating

Lots of wee ones coming these past few weeks and I have been busy with needles of all kinds getting ready for their arrival! I love making baby snugglies for lots of reasons, but the main ones are that it is a terrific way to surround them with lots of love and, frankly, because they are so much faster than a baby to make!

Here are just a few of the things I have created this month...

A jelly roll quilt..

Redwork pillows

Cabled knit baby blanket

Baby surprise jacket

Easy peasy baby hat

Crochet baby blanket
Two more baby sweaters and a baby blanket were finished, as well, but I neglected to take a picture before they went to their respective owners.... so frustrating to forget that, isn't it??

We had quite a bit of snow last week which gave me a few days of making. It was quite delicious to snuggle up with fiber, cats, and tea and just watch the snow as I puttered away. I do think retirement will be easy for me -- when that time comes!

Are you creating a lot these days? How are you spending these icy cold days?

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Nun and Me


Several years ago, when I was still co-directing the NEH Concord Workshops, I met a very kind and very young nun from the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary who had become separated from her companion. Sisters are not permitted to be alone in public, so I asked if I could stay with her until she located the missing Sister. She was a teacher and, before long, we had formed a friendship based on literature and our devotion to the Holy Mother (I am not Catholic, btw, but I am quite devoted to the Mother Mary). Sister recommended some books and, her friend being found, we parted company.

We have remained friends, corresponding occasionally, sharing books and experiences. And, through many "coincidences" things have unfolded in our relationship that speaks to Divine influence and planning. Prayers I asked her for have been answered and resulted in remarkable interconnections in both our worlds that neither of us could have anticipated.

Our worlds are so very different and, yet, she has contributed to my life in a myriad of ways. I am enriched by her influence and that of her Sisters. And, I have come to understand that her life is just as challenging and interesting as mine. Convent life is no doubt just as real as mine; it isn't sequestered, but, rather, it is rich, full and, even more amazing to me, more useful than I often feel mine is.

And, what surprises me even more, is that friends can be found anywhere if we are just willing to open our eyes and hearts.

Merry Christmas, dear ones!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Beautiful....

  One baby blankie... 

 Two baby blankie... 

Three baby blankie... 

Nothing brings me more joy than knitting something warm and snuggely for a new life coming into this sometimes cold and unkind world. I knit love and good wishes into each stitch, thinking of the new life and the potential that is there. And, it seems, these days, I am surrounded by a lot of new life, great potential, coming into this world. I hope they are able to make of this world what my generation seems to have failed at --- kinder, more loving, and gentler... 



And stars to dream by... 

What is beautiful in your world? 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Best Medicine....

Six hundred pounds of pork...
If laughter is the best medicine, I should be the healthiest person you know...

Today, we delivered our pork. We had 600 pounds to deliver and 2 friends were picking up theirs from the processor at the same time we were. A short time later, my phone rang:

C: I have a head.
Me: A head? What kind?
C: A pig head.
Me: They were picked up by G and T to make souse meat. How do you have a head?
C: I don't know. But I have it. BTW, I wish had a picture of me when I opened the bag. I was okay until I turned it around and saw the snout.

By this time I was a puddle.....

A bit later, the phone rang again. 

C: Are you coming to get this, um, this, um thing in  my car?
Me: The pig's head? Yup. I'll be there in a bit.
C: It's in a cooler; will it be okay?
Me: I don't think it will go anywhere. If it's cool, it'll be fine.
C: I can put it in the dumpster....
Me: I'll be there in a bit. G and T want it...

Again, I was a puddle... It wasn't that she was so funny, but the background music in my car was killing me.... Mister kept whistling the theme from "The Godfather..."

And, so, it goes... 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Here, piggie....

July
Joyfully, the pigs are headed to the processor tomorrow and will return in lovely vacuum sealed bags for the freezer. Frankly, I am tired of carrying food to the, er, pigs... It is true that they do... Eat. A. Lot. All. The. Time. We are up to nearly 75 pounds of food per day... It's exhausting!

These porkers came to us in April and weighed all of 35 pounds. Now, we estimate they are close to 300-350 pounds. They are so large that we could barely get the trailer ball on the truck without both of us pumping the lift.. Now that is Some Pig. 

Three are sold, on hoof, to friends who will pay for the pig once it is dressed, but not finished, by weight. Then, they will pay for the processing and pick it up. One is ours that we will split with my parents. And, the last will be shared between a number of relatives, and, I hope, some left over for us. 

Pork is one of those things that if you haven't ever had pasture raised, you have been cheated from savoring a flavor without description. The stuff that comes from the grocery pales in comparison. Our porkers play in the mud, stretch in the sun, dig holes and wallow in the water, root and eat grubs, and have non-GMO feed for their entire life. We tell them from the beginning of our relationship what their fate is and that we want them to enjoy a fine, wonderful life. We scratch them, hose them, and chase them (or they chase us) in a game of tag. I gather apples for them and find them scraps, such as corn cobs when I can corn, so they have treats. They really have a marvelous life. 

Once they are loaded on the trailer, which we do gently and not with a prod or anything that will hurt them, we feed them corn one more time and tell them how we honor them for providing us with good meat for the coming year. We thank them for being sweet piggies and for the pleasure we have had with them. 

This past fall, when it had rained for eleven straight days and Mister was out of commission with a neck injury, I was out feeding them. Their lot was slick as goose grease and I was having trouble walking with their feed bags (they weigh 50 pounds). One pig got on my right and another mirrored that one on the left... and they started scratching their backs on me... until I slipped in the mud and fell flat on my face... and they continued scratching until I got up... I was mudlicious from left to right, top to bottom... and had to hose off in the yard... If I could have stopped laughing, I would have been annoyed... but somehow, the visualization of a 60 year old woman being scrubbed by pigs cracked me up... 

And, you ask, after loving on them, playing with them, and enjoying them, how, how can we eat them? Easy. We name them Pork Chop, Tenderloin, Sausage, Ham, and Roast.... 

 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Tranquility

November Twilight. The world's most perfect light...

 "Make you the world a bit better or more
beautiful because you have lived in it."
Edward Bok 

Bok Tower, Lake Wales, Florida      

Perhaps... just perhaps... we should focus on this?