Friday, May 15, 2015

Various and Sundry

The Big Star Quilt

If you scroll down to the bottom of my blog list, you'll see the names of the disappeared. These are bloggers who blogged for a time, whose blogs I loved, and who one day stopped blogging. It happens, but sometimes it feels like you've lost a friend. I feel especially this way about Dulce Domum at Bread and Roses. Fortunately, she's left her blog up, though she stopped blogging over two years ago, so I can go back and re-read from time to time. I know several of you who regularly read this blog once read Bread and Roses, too. Does anyone keep in touch with Dulce? Have an email for her? I keep hoping she'll come back. I wonder how she's doing.


I myself have not been a constant presence this year. I think the more invested I am in home and hearth, the more time I spend blogging. This has not been my most domestic year so far, though I'm hoping that will change.

We're finally getting the garden put in. Of course, the can't-live-without tomatoes went in at the proper time, because we don't mess around with tomatoes. But I'm just getting around to the zucchini and butternut squash and the herbs. I bought a few new perennials for the flower garden--phlox and coneflowers--and today I picked up the bedding plants, mostly my beloved marigolds, but a Dianthus plant and some portulaca as well.

What I have been doing that has kept me from gardening? Writing mostly. I finished a draft of a novel and a big grant proposal for the nonprofit I volunteer with. I made the quilt pictured above. The piecing took a weekend; the quilting took forever. I've been reading lots of books about quilt history, which I grow increasingly more interested in.

I'm taking a break from the writing and the grants to try to gain some control over the house. I have plans to spend a lot of time this summer painting. Paint is relatively cheap and covers a lot of ills. I have a long list of big projects I want done, but can't afford this very minute, and probably won't be able to afford for awhile. But I can afford paint, and I can afford to make curtains for the upstairs bathroom. That will have to do for the time being.


I'm reading a couple of books right now that touch on fasting. One is Thoughts Matter by Mary Margaret Funk, a Benedictine nun, and the other is Awakening to Hope: Why We Practice a Common Faith by Jonathon Wilson-Hartgrove, one of the founders of the New Monastics movement. Funk writes that fasting isn't necessarily going without food, but eating in a way that is ordered and mindful. Gluttony, she writes, "is the pattern of of eating indiscriminately with no thought of how this food is feedingi [one's] spiritual life." She writes about the "original order" of things as being "friendly, natural, organic, relational, whole and simple." I like that very much.

Hartgrove lives with his family and others in a impoverished neighborhood about five miles from my house. One day a week, the members of his household fast until dinnertime. Fasting, he writes, "is not a denial of food's goodness, but rather a joining of ourselves with God's longing that there might be food enough for everyone in a world that's been redeemed." Later, he says, "By way of fasting you come face-to-face with the truth that eating points to: you are a dependent creature, and you do well to remember it."

This week I've been trying to be ordered in my eating. This is hard for me in the late afternoon, when I'm tired and bored. I've been eating a piece of fruit and a couple of Wasa Crisps with Laughing Cow cheese spread on them. That's it until dinner. It's hard for me, but I like Funk's idea of food taking its rightful place in the order of things. I like the idea that there is an order of things.


A busy weekend ahead. Will has a baseball game tonight, and tomorrow I've got a haircut and Jack has a dinner party (!). One of his friends is turning sixteen, and she and her family have invited a group of friends to have dinner at an Italian restaurant.

Jack turned sixteen himself recently. We bought him and two of his friends tickets to see some bands in Raleigh, and apparently they had a big time. Now Jack has started playing electric guitar. I don't think he knows it's my electric guitar (I don't play it much) that he's playing. That would drain the cool out of things pretty quick, don't you think?

Then on Sunday, Will is going to a birthday party at a laser tag site about twenty-five minutes away from here. I'm looking forward to the end of birthday parties, at least the kind that involve me spending my afternoons driving back and forth all over town.

I'm going to work in the garden this weekend, do some cleaning in the garage and maybe even wash my car. Good times, ladies, good times!


Susan Zimmerman said...

Another blog that I found through you that I miss is Shiny Red Houses. Sara was (and I assume still IS) funny, a little irreverent, and a great decorator.

Your quilt is gorgeous.

Glad to hear that the writing has come to a comfortable place for a break. How lovely that it aligns with summer.

Heather said...

I'm still around, quiet, but doing well. Between the three children, renovating a beautiful but neglected old house, and focusing on artwork, well, the blog just sits. I do compose fantastic posts in the five minutes before I fall dead asleep, though.

You can lurk on my art site, Haven't used the blog page on it yet, but I hope to, one day, when I can stay awake past 9 again.

The quilt is lovely!

Gumbo Lily said...

I miss Dulce Domum too. I hope she might start up blogging again, but you're still here and I think I came upon you and your blog from Bread & Roses.

I like your quilt and the colors you chose.

All the best on your home chores.

Tracy said...

I can see why your quilt took so long to quilt. It is exquisite.

As you know Dh and I have participated in our church-wide fasts over the past two years. One of three weeks and one of six weeks. The authors you are reading are so right! It is not fasting from eating food, but choosing to abstain from particular things means you have to be more mindful, deliberate and careful about what you DO eat. And when you can't eat a whole bunch of stuff you kind of get to the point where you just don't want to bother figuring out what to snack on. It's too hard and not worth it. Coming from someone who loves food, that is saying a whole lot! Being mindful about food is what helped me be mindful about the things I was praying for during that time.

I think today's churches do us all a great disservice by not teaching and practicing fasting. On the edges of my mind I am beginning to wonder about how to incorporate this into my everyday life. But it hasn't reached front-and-centre yet. It will, I'm sure!

gretchenjoanna said...

I miss a lot of blogs...and I notice that just in your list there are examples of another thing I notice: blog names that are stellar. Bread and Roses, pneuma, Zest of Life and Lemons are a few of what I consider the worthiest and most in-drawing of names for what we bloggers envision and do. And yours, dear LLH, is also one of my favorite blog names. Please don't let your blog slip too far down those rolls.

gretchenjoanna said...

Also, I forgot to say what I first thought - I agree with Tracy that the word is EXQUISITE.

Pom Pom said...

Wow! The quilt! Gorgeous!
I know what you mean about the disappearing bloggers. Sadness.

Leslie said...

I absolutely LOVE the colors and pattern of this quilt. I really am thinking I need to take up quilting so I can create beautiful things like this, but I think it must be a discipline, and I am only disciplined in a few things.

I've quit blogging (hence my different google name/email) but I am out here reading.