Author Archives: Elaine

Summer Cake

I’m not ready to be done with summer.

In the days before air conditioning in every home and car – if anyone remembers that era – there was “summer cake”. Layers of Hot Milk Sponge Cake filled with jam and topped with powdered sugar. A few years ago, I learned that this old recipe was called Washington Pie. Rather like Boston Cream Pie – they are cake and not pie.

cake

While the jam and powdered sugar are traditional, a simple chocolate ganache was better suited for an August birthday. My hubby was glad for that change!

The recipe apparently dates from the mid to late 1800’s. Mom’s note at the top attributes it to her mom and grandmother. Her grandmother lived from 1850 – 1929, a time when many letters were written and recipes shared among friends and family.

recipe

I use vanilla in mine, but do choose whatever flavor will compliment your topping and filling.

And, as an old letter with a recipe enclosed ended, “I hope you have good luck with this!”

Beautiful Callas!

My husband had gifted me with these beautiful blooms several years. My gardening with Calla story began in September, 2014. This post from last year has links for my continuing education project.

This year has been exciting! While we didn’t have a hundred percent bloom, the foliage is lush and the education of Elaine continues!

calla lily

I potted fewer bulbs in the large pot and there were 4 blooms. I also planted them in 4 smaller pots, no bloom.

I planted a group directly into the garden soil and those did the best with one white bloom and 4 of the pink to rose shade.

Calla lily bloom

This has been quite an adventure for me and I have enjoyed it! Seeds have been forming for quite a while now and I plan to harvest them and see what their future brings.

Growth

Lots of things have been growing in the heat of summer.

Whispers of Rest  When the weather is pleasant, I like to sit outside and read. Whispers of Rest by Bonnie Gray has been my 40 day companion for rest and personal growth. I enjoyed it so much, I’m starting over in August!

St Michael's  It has been many years since we took a trip to St Michael’s and the maritime museum. It was a hot day, but we did enjoy the indoor and outdoor museum features and a lovely river cruise.

Most days are home days this summer and while we will be settling into green, the flower gardens have been lovely – take a look!

Garden collage 1

Garden Collage 2

I’ve been working on some quilt projects this summer. Piecing a small project, sewing blocks together that I cut back before the broken foot, and sorting through the dwindling stash of old.

quilt plans  The last piece is part of a comforter cover I made long ago. It was seriously damaged when we had the fire, but I saved what I could. I just loved the colors. I’m trimming it down and backing it with the bird fabric for a kind of “cozy”.

jar of flowers

I haven’t forgotten Calla’s story. Coming soon…

 

Resting in the glory of June

June collage

For better or worse, I’m enjoying the flowers and ignoring a lot of weeds! Actually, until the last few days, the ground has been so dry that it will not give up the weeds but holds tight to the roots. Now that a bit has fallen, I’ve begun the slow process of routing them.

But soon I’ll have a story to tell – All about Calla!

 

What do you see?

20170602_164643-001

a. weeds overtaking grass

b. a delightful opportunity to hunt for 4 leaf clover

My Dad would always choose b. … and, he would always find one! Just like he always saw the jig saw piece that I had been searching for.  He never gloated over a finding, but if you looked quickly, you would see the delight light up his eyes.

Photo_2003_11_21_2_47_33_edited-001   Happy Father’s Day, Dad! Remembering you with love.

A new book by Bonnie Gray

Whispers of Rest

While we’ve not yet met in real life, I call Bonnie Gray – Friend. Since reading her first book, Finding Spiritual Whitespace, several years ago, I’ve been waiting. Waiting for this book that I didn’t even know she was writing! But here it is: Whispers of Rest. It is a wonderful encouragement to care for the most important part of ourselves – our souls. Taking time to learn to rest, finding peace.

In a world that churns with need and duty and is in desperate need of peace, we can learn through these “40 Days of God’s Love to Revitalize Your Soul” how to receive from God in new ways so that we can give, we can encourage, we can love – a little better – through rest and soul care.

Bonnie calls this a guidebook. In its pages, you will find:

  • Soul Care Tips & Trail Notes — Reduce stress and nurture your body and spirit.
  • Daily Beloved Challenges
  • Simple Prayer Practice

At www.whispersofrest.com, you will find information on ordering and downloading the free gifts Bonnie has prepared for us. These will include videos to share and an opportunity to join the online book club to begin on June 5, 2017. I hope you’ll check it out. Summer is a great time for refreshment of soul. I’m looking forward to it.

 

April Letters

I love getting “snail mail”, do you? April – National Letter Writing Month – write one letter each day! I did this last year and had fun looking up significant days and integrating some of what I found in letters.

This year, I’m doing a letter a week and I like the pace of it. I got this connection from Barb, who has been the inspiration for my more regular correspondence. I don’t remember how I connected with her, but I think it was a FB link from a writing site. I have so enjoyed reading her posts, following her on Instagram, and, getting letters from her!

 

Several letters came in the last two weeks and I plan to enjoy responding over the next few days with this lovely new pen from my brother and cups of tea. April is a wonderful time to send a letter or a post card, try it!

 

 

 

Days of watchings

My brother has been in town. He came for an event but the plans for the week exploded wonderfully into visits with his children and grandchildren, sisters and niece.  It was fun to see everyone. His grands are growing into lovely people. So much growth in the few months since we last saw them. And like a whirlwind, he is gone again.

In the midst of all the chatting and coming and going, I always do best to quiet myself although that can be very hard to accomplish – or even remember! But this week, I did. I got outside a bit to check on what the earth is giving. Of course, I have to show you. It’s best to crouch down and have a close look, sniff, or listen.  hellebore    Hyacinth  new growth I’m rather excited about the new growth near the rock. I planted packets of bulbs last fall and I’m anxious to see what they will produce. Hyacinth blooms multiplied and the Hellebores are always charming as the first harbingers of spring here. There are ponds on nearby properties and the other night, when it was warm, I heard the sweet spring peeper chorus.

It has been so very dry this winter, hardly any snow or rain, but last night, the storms came and the rain fell through the day. I had an appointment in town and drove my favorite long way home through the reservoir. There were very few cars while I was there so it was a bit like my private park. A few geese searched the ground for nibbles while I sat and enjoyed the trees.

And on a canvas of glass, I watched the rain make art.

                             evergreen     evergreen2

                             trees 2     trees4

Do click on the photos to see the “modern art”.

For a fun video of the rain, visit my Instagram page: elaineweger.