Sunday, June 14, 2015


I see that I had loaded these photos days ago, then not added words.
I'm a bit surprised to see that it has been nearly a month since I created a post.
I've slapped a photo or two on my Face Book page, made a few brief comments, all the while missing the centering that comes from sorting my thoughts into whole sentences and paragraphs.
For over a year now, I've had a sense of striving to keep up--a sense of being unsettled.
We are working on our third house renovation and adjusting to the second move within that year.
I daresay that could account for the scattered and sometimes witless impression of spinning in 
slow circles. 
The heavy crop of strawberries has now finished--it must have been perfect strawberry weather--enough gentle rain, warm days, resulting in berries to be picked and prepared for freezing nearly every day for a month.
We have eaten our share--on shortcake biscuits, on lemon cake, sponge cake--eaten them on waffles for breakfast.  At last count, 50 + plus quarts have been stashed in the freezer to be enjoyed in the cold months of winter.

I have kept the smaller of my two sewing machines [the Elna] set up on the table in the dining alcove.
I unearthed a stack of curtain fabric, losing a frustrating amount of time rummaging about in bins, finding elusive chunks of yardage in the basement room where oddments have been heaped.  These were pieces of fabric which I was sure were in the bins stacked in my yet to be wired sewing room.

The first window to be curtained was the east one in the pantry. The window is not due east--in fact the house sits between the two wooded ridges catty-corner to the points of the compass.
This window does catch the brunt of the morning sun bouncing off the shiny roof of the shop which is a few yards across the graveled drive at the lower level entry.
I dragged out a pair of lined curtains which were made to hang in the entry of our last Wyoming house. I ripped off a border along the center edges of the panels, refinished the lining and hems, and achieved a rather gaudy but effective hanging for the pantry.

The pantry shelves appear to have been cobbled together by someone who was less than a skilled carpenter.
The walls were painted in the ubiquitous blue semi-gloss favored by the Amish, odd bits of 'trim' were haphazardly nailed to support the sturdy wooden shelves.
At some point Jim will rework the shelving for me.

I have always appreciated the convenience of a pantry.
The New England farmhouses of my youth had them--some small and simple, others rather grandly arranged with shelves and high cupboards to hold the stores a rural family needed for the long winters when trips to the market would be few and far between.
Jim incorporated pantries into the design of the Wyoming houses.

My collection of large crocks cannot be arranged above the kitchen cabinets which reach tight to the 8 ft ceiling.
For now, they are ranged on the floor in a corner of the pantry.

The repurposing of the curtains and tidying of the pantry shelves took up most of a morning.
I wish I could account for the hours of other days.
I've  made lined valances for the master bedroom, shortened two pairs of charity shop curtains to fit under the printed toppers--soft creamy cotton in a loose weave.
I made curtains for the adjoining bathroom--while I couldn't match the fabric of the altered curtains, the off white cotton which I had in my stash goes well.
I have sanded and applied polyurethane to two vanities and a set of drawers for the bathrooms of the lower farmhouse.

I have pottered in the garden, setting out perennials.

Fussing over seedlings on the side porch.

My three small rosemarys have been given fresh soil, the tiny lavenders pricked out and established in a motley collection of pots and old plastic trays.

It is a season that rushes from springtime to full blown summer heat.
I cannot keep up!


  1. It is good to see you back here and I can tell you have been busy. The strawberry harvest is fabulous.

    1. Terra; The extent of the strawberry crop astonished us--the plants were established by the former owners. This season, our 6th summer in Kentucky, has been the best for berry harvests.

  2. Lovely snap shot of you moving in and creating curtains, and I do envy a pantry any day, so useful. We would call all those yummy strawberries a glut, lots of strawberry jam.

    1. Thelma, "Glut" describes the strawberry crop very well. We don't eat much jam anymore, so these berries will be thawed for use as sauce over cake or puddings.
      I think a pantry is one of the best spaces a house can have.

  3. You and I are in similar situations right now, as I race round trying to get jobs finished, tidy outside and in, prior to the house going back on the market. If we were to get a buyer quickly, it would be HELL trying to sort out what's going with us (especially in Keith's woodpiles - me, I'd burn 9/10th of it!!!)

    You had a brilliant strawberry harvest. I have had 3 fruits from the few plants I have in pots in the polytunnel, but they tasted SO good.

    1. Jennie; I've noted your exhaustive busyness this spring--with a lot of to and fro. However one plans for a move the last few days are a dreadful crunch. Our 'to-be-sorted' clobber landed in a basement room here--I am disheartened each time I open the door!

  4. I am so glad to see a post from you. I figured you've been very busy getting settled into your new home. You've had quite the busy year.

    Have a great week and I like the curtains in your pantry.


    1. Rainey; I think the bright curtains are 'growing on me.' I try to keep the vision of how the house will look when we are finally finished.

  5. Fifty quarts of strawberries! I want to live in your freezer. Love your pantry, wish mine was that big. My husband would carry off your jugs and crocks if he saw them.
    Glad to see you blogging again.

    1. Janet; I gloated over the pantry when we first viewed the house--never mind the amateur construction of the shelves. I love the jugs and crocks--one is missing a handle, none of them are by distinguished makers, but they remind me of the ones in my Grampa's farmhouse cellar. I picked up several in Wyoming, the rest have been around since our years in Vermont. A really huge one got smashed several moves ago. [Sad.]

  6. You have been busy! That's quite a strawberry harvest. Ours are just setting fruit. Reminds me I have ti get out the bird netting today. I'd take your pantry, cobbled together or not!


    1. Jane; Your berry season must be even later than we knew in Vermont--strawberries always ripened for our June 22nd anniversary. The pantry shelves save me getting down on my knees to haul things out of lower kitchen cupboards. There is also a cold storage pantry in the basement for canned goods and storage of empty jars and such.

  7. It's so wonderful that you had such a good strawberry crop. And I love how you are re-purposing curtains. My real love is the pantry, though. I have a fairly nice one but nothing like yours.

    1. Lillian; I'm enjoying the work of repurposing curtains and utilizing my fabric stash--it makes for a rather wild mess in the dining area, but that's the handiest place to sew just now. If I have to be tidy in a hurry, I drag the fabric, ironing board and sewing machine into the adjacent pantry--its that roomy.

  8. I was recently thinking that it had been a long time since you posted and there you are today. I'm not surprised that you have not written anything, it looks as though you've had lots to do. Those strawberries make me want to go and pick some tomorrow at the 'pick your own farm'.
    Glad you are ok

    1. Briony; In other times and places when we depended on 'pick-your-own' berry farms, I was always the last one out of the field--no thought of how many berries would need to be hulled, sliced and put in freezer bags. I think I'm OK--but spread a bit thin just now.