Tuesday, June 30


I cast off the Fantoosh shawl last week and it is really a beautiful pattern.  I was a little taken aback by how small the littler version turned out to be, however, I am hopeful that will be a great shawl for my tiny sister-in-law.  She just finished up her residency and is going to be starting her first job as an anesthesiologist in the next few weeks.

I used Dr Zhivago Madelinetosh in Tosh Merino Light.   

A Wee Bit of Length...

Our girl is getting such long legs that we have been on the lookout not only for longer length dresses and skirts, but also for a slip with lace to extend some of the current things her wardrobe.  Enter, Hanna Andersson's pretty little girl slips.  They are light, airy, comfortable, and have a generous eyelet edge that adds the sweetest touch to my sweet girl's outfits.

Beautiful and Useful...

I bought a few little treasures at Purl Soho yesterday:  a packet of Fringe Supply Co. knitting stitch markers, one little metal measuring tape made in Germany, and finally, a Bellocq copper tea strainer.

Monday, June 29

Monday, Funday...

Today was the feast of Saints Peter and Paul and we were so happy that we were able to celebrated with my father-in-law's parish on their patronal feastday.  My husband grew up in this church, we were married here, this is where Father John was ordained, and our daughter was baptised here, as well.  There are many happy memories for our family in this church.

After Liturgy and the festal meal, we went on a family trip to New York City.  The sole purpose of this adventure was to visit Purl Soho.  Sugar Plum and I had been there a few years,aho, but that was before we knew how special this little shop is to the crafting community.  We got to spend a lot of time perusing the gorgeous wares and even took home a few small treasures. 

Our day ended with bacon cheeseburgers - my very favorite food.   I hope that you had a Monday that was full of fun, too! 

Sunday, June 28

Joyous Feast!

Tomorrow is the patronal feast of my Father-in-law's parish and 2015 is their hundredth year anniversary!  I am so thankful that we are able to celebrate the Divine Liturgy with them on this special feast!  Holy Saints Peter and Paul, pray unto God for us!

Saturday, June 27


On the hottest days, animals pant gently in the shade, children grow fractious, insects drone, everyone is enervated until the cool of the evening.  No one eats anything, except fruit and ices.  But tall glasses of cold drinks, tinkling with ice, floated with fruit, sucked through straws, are endlessly welcomed.  Iced lemon tea.  Iced coffee.  Milk shakes.  Homemade ginger beer, lemonade, elderflower or red-or black-current cordials, topped up with soda or sparkling mineral waters.  Summer punch."

Susan Hill


Friday, June 26

Living and Learning: This Week...

Living Well
Earlier in the week, I dropped off my trusty leather tote (which was looking rather battered) at the cobbler for cleaning and polishing.  It is back to looking it's best...  I'm so glad that I can extend the life of something that I enjoy so much.

Have you seen Ida yet?  Completely filmed in black and white with English subtitles, it tells the tale of Anna, a young novitiate about to take her vows.  Before she can do so, her Mother Superior instructs her to visit her only living relative to find out her family's story. 

We've wrapped up our school year and have swung right into the summer reading program at the library, $1 movies at the local cinema, trips to the zoo, lots of swimming, and even some new experiences the next few weeks!

Jennifer L. Scott has a third book in her Madame Chic library coming out in October and I can't wait to read it.  Here is her book announcement from a few weeks ago:

In Season
Cherries!  We've been buying them by the bagful and I love pouring them into my favorite bowl and enjoying their beauty in the sunshine on our table all day long.  The only downside is the endless pits I find scattered around the house!  Button's godmother forwarded on this great article from Saveur chock full of cherry recipes.  I am really looking forward to baking cherry clafoutis after the Saints Peter and Paul Fast ends on Monday.

Thursday, June 25

Basic Black Wool...

I am all ready to cast onto my second neck-down boatneck pullover.  I decided to go with black for this second sweater and am using Cascade 220 Sport (8 skeins for a size large) ordered from yarn.com.  I plan to come up with good name for this black version of the sweater.  I love my grey Stone Cottage one and can't wait to wear it when the weather cools.

Some notes:  
-  For my last sweater I used worsted weight yarn and am going to try this one in DK.
-  I will be using a size 5 16" circular needle for the neck (the pattern recommends a size 4 for the ribbing and a size 6 16" for the first few inches.
-  I will use a size 6 29" circular for the remainder of the sweater.  I used a larger size (maybe a 7?) for the last one.

Early Summer on the Nature Table...

Tuesday, June 23


 I dreamed last night that I was selecting beautiful art supplies for a class that I was taking:  a brass pencil sharpener, fancy pens and pencils, metal rulers, and thick paper.  I kind of love that my Pintrest boards are showing up in my subconscious.  It makes for a very pleasant night's sleep.

A massive thunderstorm just blew in and it was such a relief to sit on the porch swing and feel the wind and a little bit of the rain cooling down the scorching air.  It was so hot yesterday and today (109 degrees F according to our van).  I was able to test the suitability of one of my linen skirts in this heat, and I am so pleased at how breathable it was.  I always wear skirts (this is the first year in over twelve years I have owned a pair of shorts) in hot weather, but they are normally made of stretchy knit fabric and I just didn't realize how bad they were for high temperatures.  

The field of wheat across from our house is nearly ready to be harvested.  I took a few minutes to take pictures before that happens...  it is a sight to behold.

Sunday, June 21

Happy Papa's Day...

...to all fathers, step-fathers, godfathers, grandfathers, fathers-in-law, and priests!

Why Do We Need to Go to Church?

Many people who rarely attend church have a kind of consumer’s attitude towards church. They come to church, for instance, before a long trip – to light a candle just for the sake of it, so that nothing would happen on the road. They come for two or three minutes, hurriedly cross themselves and, having lit a candle, go on their way. Some, entering a church, say: “I want to pay money so that Batushka would pray for such-and-such” – and pay money and leave. The priest needs to pray, but these people themselves do not participate in the prayer.

This is a wrong attitude. The Church is not a machine for buying “sneakers”: drop your coin and candy falls out. The Church is a place to go to live and study. If you are experiencing certain difficulties or if one of your neighbors has fallen ill, do not limit yourself to going and putting up a candle. Come to church for the divine service, immerse yourself in the elements of prayer, and lift up your prayer for your need along with the priest and the community.

It is important that attendance at church be regular. It is good to attend church every Sunday. The Sunday Divine Liturgy, as well as the Liturgy on great feasts, is the time when we can, by giving up two hours of our earthly affairs, plunge ourselves into the elements of prayer. It is good to come to church with one’s entire family, in order to receive Confession and Communion.

If one learns to live from Sunday to Sunday, in the rhythm of the church services, in the rhythm of the Divine Liturgy, then one’s whole life will change dramatically. Above all, it will become disciplined. The believer knows that next Sunday he will have to give an answer to God, and he lives differently: he does not allow himself many sins that he would otherwise allow himself if he did not go to church. Moreover, the Divine Liturgy itself is an opportunity to receive Holy Communion, that is, to unite with God not only spiritually, but also physically. Finally, the Divine Liturgy is a comprehensive service at which the entire church community and each of its members can pray for everyone that troubles or worries him or her. The faithful during the Liturgy can pray for themselves, and for their neighbors, and for their future, bringing repentance for their sins and asking God’s blessing for their further ministry. It is very important to learn to participate fully in the Liturgy. In Church there are also other services, for example, the All-Night Vigil – a preparatory service for Communion. One can order molebens [supplicatory services] for the health of one person or another. But no so-called “private” services – that is, services ordered for someone’s specific needs – can take the place of the Divine Liturgy, because the Liturgy is the center of church prayer, and it should become the center of the spiritual life of every Christian and every Christian family.

Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev

Friday, June 19

Living and Learning: This Week...

Church in the Home
It is hard to believe that we only have ten more days until the feast of Saints Peter and Paul.  We will be able to celebrate with my father-in-law's church (it is their patronal feast-day), so it will be extra special!

Our house has been a bit neglected these past few weeks with the end of school, over night guests, and travel), and I intend to set things right this week.  I plan to work my way through the house over this coming week.  Honestly, cleaning is not my favorite activity, but the result is always worth the effort.  

 I saw the preview for the documentary, Iris, a few weeks ago.  Doesn't she seem like a trip?  I love seeing how people live and this seems like it would be so much fun to see. 


Kitchen, Pantry, and Table
We had a few minutes to duck into the National Museum of American History while we were in D.C. this week and were able to view Julia Child's kitchen.  It was amazing and I am very thankful that I was able to really soak it all in while my husband manned the camera.  He got some great pictures that I will be able to enjoy looking through.

I'm nearly finished knitting a small version of the Fantoosh Shawl and am starting to think about what will be next on my needles.  I was very pleased with the Stone Cottage pullover sweater that I knit in the late winter and am tempted to start another.  It seems odd to think about knitting something like this when it is so hot outside, but I think that I will be very happy to have a second cozy sweater to snuggle into when November blows in.  The question is, what color should I pick? 

Monday, June 15

Summer Wardrobe...

I haven't done a wardrobe post in awhile (here's the last one), but have been very inspired by the ten item wardrobe that Jennifer L. Scott advocates on her blog and in her books.  As longtime readers know, I have always aimed for a small wardrobe for myself and for our children.  I am a very plain dresser, so it wasn't difficult to round everything that I use on a daily basis up to do a little photo shoot.  

I have been very inspired by linen for awhile now, but this is the first time that I have really integrated it into my summer wardrobe.  I have three linen skirts and a pair of wide legged linen trousers to wear this summer.  They are all from J. Jill and have either been purchased on Ebay or at deeply discount prices from the online store.  I really love that J. Jill offers clothing in tall sizes (only online)...  it was wonderful to pull on the trousers and have them actually fit my long legs!  Most pants that I try on are high waters on me.  The fifth bottom that I have for this season is a pair of long shorts (similar, here).  The army green color is versatile and I love the length (just above my knee).  All of my shirts are from Target and are boat-neck 3/4 sleeves.  They have several choices in their store currently (these are a mix of shirts from this year and from last year). 

I was able to upgrade my bathing suit and went with a suggestion from a friend.  I chose a navy blue tankini and it goes well with a navy blue and white cotton tunic I use as a cover up.  I am excited that my hat from last summer is still holding up well, as is my beloved tote bag.  The sandals are Born and were my Pascha shoes this year (and hopefully a few years to come!).  As for jewelry, I have been experimenting with dangle earrings for a few months and it has been a fun way to dress up my outfits.  Since it is so hot, I often don't accessorize with much, so the earrings add a little more personality.

What are you wearing this summer?
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