Summer’s Simple Pleasures


~  A June evening: flowers, fading light,
hand shovels, mosquitoes,
grandsons and daughter-in-law


~  In praise of perennials,
SO worth the extra money up front.

This purple and yellow plant was a 2008 Mother’s Day
gift from our church.  It  came back!  happy sighs…

~ While we’ve been pottering with perennials,
our guys have been getting wood for the winter.
They came across a nursing fawn.
Alas, the picture size was too large to post.

~  My vote for Salad of the Summer
I’ve made it a dozen times already this year.
Refreshing, tasty, a twist of heat, crunchy cashews.

~ Coming down the home stretch of
D Day: June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II.
Two things about this book:
1. I’m relieved that even though I’m working FT,
I can still get through weighty books. Just takes more time.
2. However difficult or thorny a challenge may present itself,
my life is easy compared to the soldiers of D-Day.

~ Remember the Six Panel Door aka the Christian Door?
How about this architecture feature (front upper windows)
in my friend’s new house?

~ Last year I joined the 100 Species Challenge.
This is a *life* project, folks.
Jessie gave me cute little copper garden tags
which help my wispy, lacy memory.



Simple Gifts in May – The Late Edition

~   May means lilacs and asparagus.

I love lilacs from afar (my husband is allergic).

I enjoy asparagus close up.
Yesterday a friend fixed it with butter and brown sugar.
I admit that sounds a bit different.
But it tasted yummy.

Pizza tastes delicious.
Our friend Isaiah ate pizza last week.
He’s coming home June 12th!!

~  The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.
And the Lord gives back.
Isaiah was given, taken away and is being given back.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.

~ Baby Isaac was born last week to our friends. 
Our church prayed publicly for a child to be born.
Yesterday was Isaac’s first day in church.  More tears of joy.

~  My husband is reading Andy Catlett: Early Travels.
I love that he is reading Wendell Berry.
Every murmur of appreciation
is followed by a what? read it aloud! from me.
Last night he read this, a perfect recap of our month.

We measure time by its deaths, yes, and by its births.  For time is told also by life.  As some depart, others come.  The hand opened in farewell remains open in welcome. […] And time that is told by death and birth is held and redeemed by love, which is always present.  Time, then, is told by love’s losses, and by the coming of love, and by love continuing in gratitude for what is lost.  It is folded and enfolded and unfolded forever and ever, the love by which the dead are alive and the unborn welcomed into the womb.  The great question for the old and the dying, I think, is not if they have loved and been loved enough, but if they have been grateful enough for love received and given, however much.  No one who has gratitude is the onliest one.  Let us pray to be grateful to the last.

~  Perceptions are funny things.
Recent visitors’ perception of our church:
1.  The women sure are happy.
2.  Wow, that’s some good singing.

~ New discoveries this month
Music:  Jamie Soles
Art:  Frederick Morgan
Food:  Jamie Oliver (via Netflix)

~ Deep, philosophical questions:
Should I catch up on my unfinished reading
or start new with
The Summer of Southern Literature?
(doesn’t that have a nice ring to it?)

Perhaps Southern Lit needs a year?

~  A new season, a new transition.
I’ve been teaching my kids at home since 1994.
And that job is completed.
I’ve accepted a full-time job at a local pharmacy.
My title is Manager of Internal Operations.
My husband and I decided that it would be good
for me to work 2-3 years to fulfill our financial goals. 
I’m using my gifts in an unexpected way.
A big change.

~ A never-done-before, breath-taking wedding processional
I’m playing for a wedding this Saturday.
The bride wants to come down the aisle to…
Amazing Grace.
I need to make some stylistic decisions.
I’m thinking quiet, elegant, open chords.

Simple Pleasures in February

The shifting light in the Eagle Cap mountains this afternoon

Close encounters
I enjoy deer a) on the grill, b) in between buns,
and c) when they are not completing the alimentary cycle in my yard.

My new favorite salad,
Asian Noodle Salad, the Pioneer Woman’s concoction.
I made it today at our friends’ house.
The score card: 8/8 tasters ADORED this salad.

I can’t wait for occasions to make this salad again.
Easter Sunday, for sure.
Fellowship Meals, check.
(your church probably calls it potluck,
but we get in big trouble if we use that word.)
When my brother and his wife come.
Every day this week.

My husband thinks if you added grilled chicken, it’d be perfect.

~ Laughter
I think “Oops!” must be my middle name.

1.  I confused nephrology (treatment of kidneys)
with necrology (whatever it is, it’s about death).

2.  Summarizing the situation, I pronounced,
“Well, it’s just time to gear up the loins.”

3.  Suggesting a brilliant possibility, I explained,
“I just wanted to put a bug in your nose.”

Simple Pleasures in December

If you’ve been around Magistra Mater for a while,
you know how much I loathe–despise–plastic inflatable Santas.
Detesting the abominable creatures was getting a bit out of hand.

Thankfully, I’ve found something to love.
We are opposing crass ugliness with simple beauty.

A wreath with a bow

And my new favorite Christmas/Winter decoration:
a star in the window.

My friend Katie has had one of these in her window for over a year.

It reminds me of this verse:
We have seen His star and have come to worship Him.

a view from the inside

Simple Pleasures in November

~ Political signage is down…well, 95% is!

~  James Taylor has a new album called Covers.
Here’s the cool part:
There is a free full album preview here.
We’ve listened to it at least a dozen times.

~  It’s candle season.  I’ve been enjoying
a grouping of votives from IKEA.

~ Soup/Stew/Chowder/Bisque season!
Last night we had Potato Corn Cheese Chowder.
I added chunks of chicken to please my meat-eating guys.

~ Sun and wind dried our lawn enough to mow up the leaves,
which transformed a four hour job into a twenty minute chore.

~ The slanting light of November has entranced me.
Right around 4:00 p.m.

Your turn!
What simple pleasures are you enjoying?
Do you have a favorite soup?
Favorite scent of candle?

Oops!  I forgot one of my favorite simple pleasures:
Organizing and cleaning bookshelves.
Here is the “after” shot of my little kitchen cart.