Farmers' Market Season

The farmers’ market season is in full-swing. Colette’s been doing really well this year…selling out (or nearly so) every single week! At today’s market she sold: lemon-blueberry scones, raspberry-chocolate chip scones, M&M cookies, chocolate chip cookies, almond-poppyseed bread, rosemary-olive oil sourdough bread, artisan white loaves…



…baguettes…



…and brownies. These brownies. Let me tell you. The batter? It’s so chocolatey, it’s black. Black!





Not counting the breads, two of my other favorite things at the market today were theses flowers:


And this potpourri of squash! Aren’t they beautiful?



Grandbabies


Felicity and Theo came over for the day! They spend one day a week with us, much to our delight!


Theo is just as busy as a toddler can be! We call him “The Randomizer”. That is his job as a toddler. He randomizes every room. He picks up objects from one place, carries them around, and sets them down someplace else. And he runs from place to place. The pitter patter of little feet can be heard all over the house! LOVE that!


Here he is, running towards me, with the randomized objects in a trail spanning two rooms.


He also discovered that he could climb up in Pater’s chair and sit there as though he owned it!



Just look at that face!


And here’s my other grandbaby!



Just a few more weeks until the Little Miss arrives! My mom asked me if Theo understood about the new baby coming. I laughed and said, “Theo is too busy moving things from place to place and chasing the dogs around to know anything is happening!” Although today we heard him say “baby”. So cute!


Sabbath Rest



How great is the love the Father has lavished on us,
that we should be called children of God!

- 1 John 3:1

Tidbits

Bite-sized kabobs just perfect for a summer picnic: one grape tomato, one small piece of basil, one cube of fresh mozarella.



A little burst of Italian refreshment on a hot day! Everyone was happy!

When Life Gives You...

…broken chocolate chip scones unfit to sell at the farmers’ market, make strawberry shortcakes! Yum!



Self-Sufficiency and A Life of Awareness




Another quote from my Eric Sloane book, The Spirits of ’76, that I enjoyed was:

“The extent of unawareness today would be unbelievable to the early American. All the necessities of life being made for you or done for you by someone unknown from somewhere unknown, produces a dehumanized existence in which the only part left for us to play is to pay out money in exchange. The old-timer seldom paid out money, instead he knew the source, the ingredients, and results of his everyday life; this gave him the satisfaction of self-security and self-vitality instead of existing in a somnambulistic state as modern man tend to do.”

- Eric Sloane

Cherry-Limeade

We’ve tried a couple of the drinks on our list of refreshing summer drinks (click here for the list). The first one we tried was the last one on the list, June Bug. Let’s just say that there is something (SOMETHING!) wrong with that recipe. It was not a pretty experience. It involved 30-40 minutes of cleaning up my kitchen, taking a shower, washing my hair, and a little fuming that ran somewhere along the lines of (yes, I actually did say this), “We are going to have that drink if I have to put on my swimsuit and plug that blender into the outlet in the front yard!”


But the Pioneer Woman always comes through. She’s never cruel. And everything she touches is delicious! Her Cherry-Limeade recipe was no exception.



And all those cherries resting on the bottom…Felicity and I dug them out with a fork and devoured them! Yum!


Click here for the recipe. You won’t regret it!

Sabbath Rest

The bugbane (black snakeroot) is blooming!

“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, "Do it again"; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”

― G.K. Chesterton

Thought Provoking


Recently, I purchased a gem of a book, The Spirits of ’76 by Eric Sloane. It focuses on the differences in how Americans think from the time our nation was founded until the book was published for its bicenntenial. This particular quote really stood out to me:


“I have often wondered if a modern city family were given fifty acres in a secluded wilderness or prairie land, along with a gift of a thousand dollars and even the means of getting there, what the result would be. My guess is that to most people, the fifty acres would hold no promise whatsoever except for what price it could be sold. And being too far from urban attractions, few city families would have the vision, or courage or even the simple will to pioneer a farm.”
- Eric Sloane

Summer Home Atmosphere

This is the third in a series of postings on how I think about the atmosphere of our home in a seasonal manner. If you’d like to read the first posting, Winter Home Atmosphere, click hereor the second posting, Spring Home Atmosphere, click here.
 

In my mind, each season has an atmosphere all its own, and that atmosphere spills over to: the kitchen, touches of beauty and comfort, and our activities. Here is how I am thinking about this summer:


Summer

Fun. Free Time. Fresh. Food. Green.

The Kitchen:
- berries
-grilling
-corn
-tomatoes
-herbs
-ice cream
-salsa from the garden
-cobblers
-frosty, fruity, and/or sparkling drinks

Touches of Beauty and Comfort:
-air conditioning
-sunflowers on the table and in the windowsill
-cool breezes from open windows
-crisp, cool sheets on balmy summer nights
-did I mention air conditioning?

Activities:
-houseguests
-evenings on the deck
-resting in the hammock
-beach and lake days
-gardening
-preserving all that’s homegrown, fresh, and local
-school planning
-new grandbaby!

Banners in the Shop

Sometimes I pursue creative endeavors that don't involve needle and thread.  Just once in awhile.  It's a nice break.

In the shop now are two banners...great room decorations!  They will both appeal to the lover of classic literature.






Highlights & Independence Day


As you know, we have had a visitor so I haven’t been blogging very regularly.  After she'd been here about a week, her parents and grandma surprised her by ringing our doorbell one night! Surprise! Whew! I can’t believe we all kept that secret for all the months of planning it! But surprised she was! What fun!


Here are a few pictures highlighting what we all did together:


We toured the Canterbury Shaker Village.


For many of us, the most fun we had was when we went “barning”. Yes, “barning” is a new verb we invented. It is defined as: wandering around the countryside, knocking on the doors of complete strangers, requesting permission to look at, walk into, gawk, photograph, and generally admire their barn. Oh my! What fun! We went in barns that were 250+ years old! This one, in our town, was built about 1840.


To celebrate our guest's birthday, we went to dinner at an historic inn. Delicious!


We spent a day at a lake. Beautiful! Crystal clear, warm water! Lots of fun kayaking!


We toured Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts. We had just toured this home, Old Manse, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s house.




Sadly, our guest's parents had to return home. Not nearly a long enough visit! But her grandma and I had a blast bopping around New England! We went to my favorite used book store and then to The Vermont Country Store.



And then came the 4th of July! What an experience! We drove into Boston to celebrate the 4th on the Esplanade (a narrow grassy strip along the Charles River) where the Boston Pops concert is projected over speakers to the hundreds of thousands gathered to hear and to watch the fireworks show. See how tranquil the Charles River looks.


Then looking just to the right of that scene, you see the mass of humanity staking out their viewing spots for the fireworks show. We’re not particularly fond of large crowd events, so we figured this is one of those “we’ve done it once in our lifetime”-sort of events.


We found a good viewing spot and planted ourselves for the afternoon and evening. We met other friends there as well! We all had a nice picnic dinner together. It got dark. We chatted and listened to the concert. Then there was a rumble of thunder and a little lightning. Then some more thunder and lightning. No rain. Then the music stopped and an announcement was made to evacuate due to threat of lightning strikes…hundreds of thousands of us. Groan. We packed up and moved (like a herd) just outside the area. After about 40 minutes, we were allowed back in. We spread out our quilt and opened our chairs, took our seats, and resumed listening to the concert. Then the fireworks began! Amazing! Then I felt a raindrop. And another. And another! Then the rain started coming down in sheets! By the time I had passed out three umbrellas, I was soaked to the skin! You could’ve wrung out my clothes. But we, and the hundreds of thousands of others, were undeterred! We enjoyed the fireworks show just the same! And after a few minutes, the rain stopped, the umbrellas went down, and we all stood amazed at the most amazing fireworks show ever!


The next day, we spent a quieter day at Old Sturbridge Village.



Then my friend went home. We miss her! But we still have our original guest here in New England for a few more weeks! She’s not staying with us the whole time, but we get the joy of spending each Thursday with her!


Sabbath Rest


Lord, this bosom's ardent feeling
Vainly would my lips express:
Low before thy footstool kneeling,
Deign thy suppliant's pray'r to bless:
Let thy love, my soul's chief treasure,
Love's pure flame within me raise;
And, since words can never measure,
Let my life show forth thy praise.

- Francis Scott Key, 1817

Early Summer

Early summer flowers from the farmers’ market…add a sturdy, brown crock…lovely and cheery centerpiece!



Happy Independence Day!

From our home to yours, we hope you have a splendid Independence Day! Here are some delightful summer and patriotic homes for your enjoyment!






Some of the old sentiment is alive and well here in New England.



4th of July Celebrations in 1898

A month or so ago, I purchased an antique book called Fun or the Household. Mostly it is full of parlor game ideas. But there are also ideas for various holidays. The celebration of the 4th of July really caught my eye and made me laugh out loud. Enjoy!






Makes our 4th of July celebrations look positively dull!
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