28 March 2011


The chinese fringe bushes are not quite as spectacular as they were, but the dogwood is now in full bloom. It's almost funny how much it looks like it did a few months ago, when it was covered in snow. Also, the ground cover in the flower bed near the patio has sprouted beautiful purplish-blue flowers.

The backyard azaleas are not quite blooming, but the ones in the front yard are spectacular. We didn't know what colors we had until a couple of weeks ago. Most of them are white, to my disappointment, but by the front door there are some pink and purple ones. Unfortunately, the bushes in the front are weedy and uneven in size after several years of neglect. As soon as they stop blooming I'll attack them with my shears and force them into conformity.

27 March 2011


When flowers start to bloom and the weather warms, most girls of my acquaintance start thinking about spring and summer clothes. Lightweight skirts and dresses, sandals, a cute hat or two to keep that delicate complexion from too much sun. Those of you who tan nicely, rather than just turn unsightly shades of pink and mottled red, can keep that to yourselves, by the way.

I probably won't be buying many new things this spring. I bought plenty of new clothes last year--mostly fancy things, anticipating job interviews and a job that never came--and wonder of wonders, even after eating my own cooking for a year they all still fit me. Even with budgetary considerations, and space "constraints" (I've already kicked my husband's clothes into one of the hall closets, though to be fair I let him put both the long gun and handgun safes in my closet), I can still ogle the pretties. If I had all the money in the world and a genuine need for new clothes, here are some things that might be on my list:


Floral-embroidered linen dress

Sailor-inspired collar and birdcages on the hem!

Sash-front layered skirt


Ribbon-trim straw sunhat

Button-front vest

L.L. Bean:

Mountain Laurel Sport Sandals. Not so glamorous, I know, but pretty enough and practical: I spend a lot of my springs and summers walking on uneven surfaces like gravelly festival parking lots, dirt trails, and grassy fields, through which I am often running in pursuit of an escaped dog. Practical and comfortable are important.

Washable linen skirt--one in every color, please!

Rain bucket hat, because unlike Washington and California, it rains on the East Coast during the summer.

Coldwater Creek:

Crinkle flare skirt

Print-detail cloche

All pretty, and pretty modest. What clothes do you love for spring and summer?

22 March 2011

Birthday Cake

Today is my husband's birthday. What better day for my first foray into cake-baking from scratch? His mother gave me a cute little recipe book of some of his favorites from home as a Christmas present (I had requested it--he is not always easy to cook for, and also we have moved a long way away from his parents this year), and among the recipes was a cake she has often baked for his birthday. Chocolate, of course. So I paired it with a chocolate buttercream frosting recipe from the Williams-Sonoma website and spread a tart cherry jam between the layers. I got to sample all three items separately during the assembly process (chef's prerogative) and each tastes pretty good, so hopefully they go well together. The decoration is simple, but I have no experience with pastry bags and don't feel up to piping anything, so I just bought a little tube of green gel frosting to do the lettering. Not too shabby for a first attempt, I think!

20 March 2011

North Carolina Springtime

White dogwood, magenta Chinese fringe bushes, and brand new patio furniture (thanks, Mom!). Mixed daffodils under the Japanese maple. The pictures are slightly overexposed because it was amazingly bright and sunny yesterday, and 85 degrees!

03 March 2011

Prayer Request

Please pray for my friend K.E. whose husband announced today that he is moving out immediately, leaving her and their two young children. This is apparently very sudden and unexpected, and K. of course is devastated. Hopefully this wound in their marriage will be healed, by God's grace.