Thursday, July 18, 2013

Life these days

Well, life these days is not always stable, emotionally  
 It goes along in quite an equitable fashion for sometimes a week or so,
 but then one morning you waken, and the birds sing,
but there is nobody to share their song with,
 or the morning sun shines splendidly,
just catching the mountain top visible from the bedroom window,
and there is nobody to whisper to,
 'are you awake - look, look at the light on the mountain' - and loneliness sets in!!!

Each day I receive a posting of random poetry from 'A Year of Being Here" 
This morning, from Linda Back McKay, is a poem entitled 'On the Meaning of'
and oh, it touched me in that tender spot that most times I keep hidden away,
 and that, if truth be told, I want to keep tender, not callused over even with acceptance.
On the Meaning of

This is what life does
It wakes you in the morning
before the morning
glories open and gives you
the sound of your mother's voice.
Life spreads itself across
the ceiling to make you think
you are penned in, but that
is just another gift.  Life takes
what you thought you couldn't live
without and gives you a heron instead.
And a dragonfly, stitching its way
through the milkweed.  Life contains all
of your tears in a vessel
shaped like hands in prayer.
Life is shape, sight, sound, bone.
It whispers and sings and holds
you and you almost never feel it.
You push your way from phase to phase.
You are a horse with  blinders.
You think you are pulling, but you
are being driven.
While going about your solitary life,
one hoof in front of the other,
real life is turning the stars,
like mirrors, in your direction.
Linda Back McKay

But that is just on the melancholy days, and I only dare them infrequently, knowing of Himself's disapproval of such indulgence.....

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A is for Apple pie

ABC Wednesday

The letter is A

And the most appealing A I can think of right now is a delicious piece of APPLE PIE, fragrant with spices,  swimming in golden syrupy juices, with the apples encased in the most crisp and tender double crust sour cream pastry!

I have come across many elegant and complicated recipes for APPLE PIE, but here is a lovely simple version, and we all know that simplicity is at the heart of all goodness.

Here is Grandma Thompson's Prize-Winning Apple Pie as submitted to a Canadian Living contest.

an aside - I had a Grandma Thompson, and my mother was a Grandma Thompson to our children, and although I don't think this recipe refers to those particular Grandma Thompsons they were certainly prize winners in the arena of Apple Pie creations as far as their families were concerned.

This is what you will need......

1 Double-Crust Sour Cream pastry recipe  (Google it...)
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp coarse sugar

and for the filling....

8 apples, preferably McIntosh
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp cinnamon
1 pinch groundnutmeg
1 pinch salt
2 tbsp. butter, softened

peel and core the apples, and cut into 1/4 inch slices.  Place them in a large bowl.

In a small bowl combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt;  add to the apples and toss until well coated.

Roll out half the pastry on a lightly floured surface, 1/8 of an inch thick,  fit into a 9 inch pie plate.  Trim to leave a 3/4 inch overhang; fold over and flute the edges.

Put the filling into the pie shell, dot with butter.  Whisk the egg yolk with 1 tbsp. water, brush it over the pastry rim  and cover with the remaining pastry, rolled out, of course. Fold the overhang under the bottom pastry rim, seal and flute the edge.  Brush the remaining egg mixture over the pastry.

Cut steam vents in the top - as fancy as you wish (how about a maple leaf);  sprinkle with course sugar.

Bake in the bottom third of a 450F oven for 10 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350F and bake for 65 minutes.  Let cool on rack.

Enjoy!!!  A perfect old fashioned Canadian recipe, and I have no trouble at all in imagining my own Grandma Thompson creating it on the table in her own small pantry.  Thanks to Canadian Living.

For more great A's click here at ABC Wednesday, with thanks to Denise, Roger and all who help to make this meme as interesting and delightful as it always is.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sunday in the Studio

The 'Studio' being the back bedroom with its lovely northern window,  which now houses my loom, all the paraphernalia that goes with it, numerous weaving and dying and spinning books and about thirty years of Handwoven and Spin Off magazines which I devour avidly from time to time.

After church and a nice lunch out with a good friend I retired to the Studio (per se) to look at the naked loom and think about how it should be dressed.

New warps take some time to contemplate, and this is what I have been doing off and on for the past week since I finished the last throw on the silk mat warp and cut it off the loom, with glee.....

Cut apart and hemmed

washed and pressed (not a good picture)

The weaver sees lots of little flaws, but is so grateful for persistence and something created.
Many, many years ago, when my stash had reached gigantic proportions and there
were subtle comments as to its future, I used great quantities of random wool to make
a throw which pleased me then,  but which has now fallen prey to an inadequate weft, and is somewhat falling apart.
My stash is once again threatening to overwhelm me, and I have all the notes for this
throw, and I can fix the problem with the weft, - so no figuring,
and I am tempted to make a new one.
On the other hand I have this fabulous idea for a series of silk rag bags......
and so I contemplate, but hopefully I will waken in the morning with the decision made
and I can start winding a new warp and fill the hours with imagination
and the day with contentment.