Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sunday Sentiment: A Reflective Moment

A glimpse into my summer.

Right now, I am...
:: enjoying my tea after a long day outside.
:: watching Momma and Bee (my grandmother) reading newspapers in the living room.
:: smelling the fresh summer breeze that is drifting through the windows of the kitchen.
:: looking forward to sleeping well tonight.
:: wishing for time this week to bake a pie with my fresh-picked wild blueberries!
:: hearing clicking keyboards, crinkling newspapers, the breeze of the fan, and the news on television.
:: feeling tired, but satisfied with my work in the garden today.
:: reminding myself that I have to finish sewing place mats for my future apartment.
:: rejoicing in the discoveries I made yesterday. Wonderful cookbooks dating from the 1920's to the 1960's found at a local yard sale!
:: laughing at our silly dog who rode across the lake today in the kayak, wedged between my legs.
:: being calm. My new Sunday night ritual is to rid myself of negative energy, and meditate to bring positivity to the week ahead.
:: happy to be at home in New Hampshire on this glorious July day.
:: working on a number of projects, most notably quilted place mats to match my Boleslawiec pottery.
:: noticing that I am in the mood for a second cup of tea-- not surprising, but also not a good idea before bedtime.
:: inspired to do so much, and realizing that I have an entire year ahead of me to do it!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Midsummer Fun!

One of my favorite blogs is hosting a ModCloth giveaway. For all my historical fashion-inclined friends, I hope you will take a look at some of Kellie's stylish creations and be inspired! Also from  Accordion to Kellie, a little midsummer fun:

What is your favorite cold summer treat?
I ADORE raspberry chocolate-chip ice cream. Perfect combination of cold, tart, and sweet.

Ideal summer vacation?
If I had the opportunity, I would spend the entire summer on an island in Maine. But the ultimate vacation would be a trip to Prince Edward Island. One of my life ambitions is to live by the sea.
Favorite summertime sport?
To be honest, I love wading in rivers and ponds. It seems very childish, but I always find the most interesting treasures.
Name your favorite book for the perfect summer afternoon read
 Anything involving historical fiction, romance, or farm adventures.

Current #1 summer goal:
Enjoy my last year as a summer camp counselor and try to stay positive!
A favorite summertime memory
A few years ago, I was invited to spend a week with some family friends on their favorite island in Maine. I have to admit that it was one of the most wonderful, relaxing, and thrilling weeks of my life.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday Sentiment: Summertime Adventures

June 16: My cousin invited me to sing the closing song at her wedding. It was a very emotional event, as her father (my Uncle Dan) passed away in late March. It was also my debut performance singing for people outside of my friends and immediate family.

July 4: A dear friend invited me to join him in Boston for Independence Day. We enjoyed the city all afternoon, and in the evening we attended the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular.

Halfway through the performance, a lightening storm caused the forced evacuation of the Esplanade. 15,000 people were evacuated into the Storro Drive tunnel in Boston. After 25 minutes we were allowed back out, at which point the Boston Pops played their signature piece "Stars and Stripes Forever". Confetti rained down on us, and the fireworks began.

During the lightening storm and evacuation, the rain held off. As soon as the fireworks started, it DOWNPOURED. But it was a blast (literally)!

July 14: A picnic in Prescott Park along the Piscataqua River with some friends from college. We called it a "reunion" because some of us had since graduated, but I prefer to think of it as the first of many friendly gatherings. Each contingent brought something to add to the feast. I came with my own lettuce, local tomatoes & zucchini, homemade garlic vinaigrette, fresh oatmeal bread, homemade peach-plum jam, and grapes.

All in all, it's been a pretty fabulously eventful summer so far.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sunday Sentiment: Project Wishlist Update

In January, I posted a list of projects that I wanted to accomplish. Now let's check in to see what I've finished this year so far!

  • Mug cozies-- Scandinavian pattern for Lily
  • Fingerless mittens for Ethan
  • Mittens for Daddie Working on it.
  • Cabled headbands
  • Baby sweater with locally farmed, dyed, and spun wool
  • Socks!
  • Fair Isle sweater
  • Sweater with Scandinavian pattern
  • Tablerunner for Momma
  • New potholders-- quilted
  • Quilt for Claire Finished!
  • T-shirt quilt for myself Working on it.
  • New swing dress for Spring semester Finished!
  • Undergarments! for swing dancing, etc. Working on it.
  • More farmer's market bags for Barb, Emily
  • Aprons for myself Finished!
  • Altering of old dresses Finished!
  • Denim skirt Finished!
  • Dog bed for Chessie
  • Rag rug
  • Hooked rug from scraps Working on it.
  • Tin lanterns
  • Cross-stitch finished! Working on it.
  • Seal and label seed packets from last year Finished!
  • Start seedlings for the Spring & Summer-- egg cartons
  • Frame drawings
  • Make more candles-- tapers, columns, and votives
  • Homemade shampoo Finished!
  • New batch of handsoap
Hmmm, it looks as though I'd better get going on my knitting! I think sewing is so much faster for me that I tend to prefer it. But I want to improve my knitting skills, so I ought to start some new projects soon.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Favorite Home Remedies

This year I've been striving to do away with the added chemicals in commercial soaps, painkillers, and hygiene products in my life. Being a fairly active person, the most difficult part of this transition has been weaning myself off of acetaminophen. About nine months ago, I broke a few ribs and found myself taking painkillers every few hours to ward off back pain and the pain of the actual broken bones. I am also prone to headaches, vertigo, and nausea. Needless to say, this has been quite an experience testing the limits of my pain threshold. In place of the over-the-counter medications that I used to rely so heavily on, I have found comfort in a few excellent home remedies.

For back pain and/or muscle aches:
-Drink a few cups of peppermint tea every day
-Draw a warm bath and add 1/4 cup baking soda & 2 cups freshly steeped peppermint tea (soak for at least 20 minutes, relaxing all muscles)

For nausea, indigestion, or bloating:
-Slice a few pieces of fresh ginger root & steep for 5 minutes to make tea-- drink a cup every few hours as long as symptoms persist
-Peppermint tea helps digestion as well, but it has a much stronger flavor and can sometimes give the sensation of filling you up before it provides relief
-If severe stomach cramps are a problem, I suggest steeping a teaspoon of caraway seeds in hot water & sipping slowly

For dizziness and/or vertigo:
-I drink ginger tea for my vertigo, usually while lying with a cool cloth over my eyes

And of course, one of my favorite home remedies is daily yoga! I find that doing a few stretches each night and meditating for about 20 minutes before bed helps me to focus on my body and its needs.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sunday Sentiment

 Yesterday, our family suffered a great loss. The youngest son of a family friend tragically passed away in a swimming accident. He was just 24, but had already lived a full and adventurous life. Although he grew up in a different state and we didn't get to see him very often, I thought of him almost as a distant older brother. Every year at Easter, he and his brother would join us in our egg hunt. After he and his family moved away, we only saw him once or twice a year-- at Christmas or Easter. Once, when I was seven or eight years old, we visited his new house in Vermont. We went to a play, and I rode with him and his brother on the way there. They told me that every time you passed a graveyard, you had to hold your breath until it was out of sight or the dead people would come after you. I think I believed that story until I was eleven or twelve years old. I remember he liked to collect camels figurines when he was young, and I saw his collection once. I wish I had gotten to know him better as I got older, because I so enjoyed hearing about his exploits and adventures in college and beyond. I last saw him in 2009 at the joyful occasion of his graduation from college. I hope that as his family and friends mourn the loss of him in this life, his gentle soul will continue to live on and comfort them until they meet again.