Monthly Archives: February 2013

Building a quilt

I’ve loved using these reproduction fabrics – for years. And while I have loved them I am also glad to be coming to the end of them now.


It will be interesting to see the end result in its riot of color. I’ve made many things with these fabrics but never the queen size Dresden Plate design quilt of “Every Day Dishes” that I had in mind at the first. For me, quilting can be like that unless I am very determined from the outset to make all the fabric ‘behave’. And that, I must confess, has nothing to do with the fabric and everything to do with a creative mind galloping on imagining other possibilities and making a small quilt or two or five and a few other projects along the way until there is just a pile of scraps. More cutting and lots of sewing till show and tell and then I will be the most surprised!

Tuesday breaking dawn


I love the breaking open of a new day! Today was especially lovely to me and a wonderful morning for baking.

The coming of the Lenten season always brings up one of the few symbols of my German heritage that we enjoyed while growing up – donuts!

My Mom always made cake donuts covered with sugar or cinnamon sugar which I must confess we enjoyed well into Lent as her recipe made so many. My variation started last week when I mixed flour and water, added a little yeast, and set it to grow a lively sourdough starter. First there were pancakes and now donuts from its bubbling crock. A mere ten from my recipe, fragrant with nutmeg and covered with cinnamon and sugar will sustain me with thoughts of home.


My mother-in-law made “kreppels” probably from “Krapfen”, deep fried dough sprinkled with powdered sugar, for her family. Although hers were plain, I remember the German bakery near home with rounds of fried dough filled with cream or marshmallow and dusted with sugar, a favorite for my Dad. I find myself smiling now remembering the explosion of cream in my mouth when I bit into the soft browned dough.

Donuts now in the freezer will satisfy us for some Sundays to come. And the mysterious fragrance of the starter will call forth more pancakes or perhaps some biscuits another morning.

Sunday in Snow

Just when I am tired of cold and winter, snow falls and the beauty of it cheers me.


The bowl of starter is bubbling with the mystery of yeast and sourdough pancakes are the treat of the day. I take my walk about gazing through the windows. Snowbirds – Juncos – have visited the back step in hope of an easy breakfast of spilled seed. Magnolia buds show no sign of waking from their winter sleep. It is a day of rest and simple pleasures here. I hope you found beauty and rest in your day.


Precious Waiting

My older sister once suggested to me that dying is like being born; for many there is a long labor into that next phase of life while others are delivered quickly. I pondered this unwillingly knowing that a loved one was moving closer to the time.


And now here we are at the birthing room to eternity. We hold hands, give hugs, speak love, stroke hair. We are present, loving, though our hearts ache.


Saying good-by to this woman friend, sister, aunt, sister-in-love is a hard work and I want to snatch her from it all and cradle her long. I’m so grateful that the daily skilled hands of nursing are those of an old friend who loves her well and who is spending herself to serve.


Folks gather, mostly women, caring friends all; they sing, read passages, speak love, hug, soothe, and make her comfortable. Hours pass and I am unsettled, my spirit restless like the flames that leap, at odds with the restfulness of the tulips.


I wait for my peace to settle in me, for rest to come. Time is slow and hurried together as I sit and rock and look out at the bare winter trees, dark and still. And almost I hear their tree-hearts beating strong and steady, deep and slow in this season full of memory deep within of growth and life past and hope future.


Time has no meaning now as she seems to hear us no more, but we speak on and sing to her spirit while snow falls in the night. And then in the early morning light while the snow falls gently, quietly, her warmth slips away carrying with it her voice, her humor, her laughter, her wisdom and she is free, free from her long, long walk with cancer.

January 24, 2013, a new life began for all of us and we hear her voice, her humor, her laughter and her wisdom deep in our hearts.