Friday, June 23, 2017

"Time Enough for Dreaming"

There are certain times in the year when dreams seem possible,
even seem destined to come true.

June is one of them,
maybe because of the leftover emotions
from childhood--
School is out! Summer is here!

June seems like a new beginning.

Is that why so many weddings are in June?

Our dear Gladys Taber wrote:

" June one feels the security
that summer has just begun,
there is time enough for dreaming."

I do a lot of dreaming when I look through my vintage magazine collection
and the June issues are my second favorite.
Christmas issues claim first place with me.

I'm still a sucker for Bride covers and the above one from The Ladies' Home Journal
issue of June 1951 was my happy place this morning as I wait for the heavy rains and predicted strong weather to arrive.

We got up at 5:30 a.m. to get some things done before we lost the sunshine.
It's been a beautiful June morning and RH got a few plants in the ground before breakfast. 

I clipped some long legged herbs before the rains could beat them down.

Flowers on the tarragon were already weighing it down and they make a pretty bouquet 
in my kitchen window.
Did you know the flowers are edible too?

I can snip them for my salad dressings this week and maybe some for the pork chops RH plans on cooking for us because the sage needs to grow some more before harvesting.

I hope the model above,
bride Francine de Fere in her 
Christian Dior gown,
had her wedding dreams come true.

I didn't have a Christian Dior wedding gown but I did have a smaller version of her bridal bouquet.

Stephanotis was standard bridal bouquet flowers back then, and a decade later mine had it with gardenias--divine scent!

Looking out the window now, I see the rains have arrived. I hope people in the way of these storms are safe.
Tropical Storm Cindy has already claimed the life of a 10-year old boy, his and his parents' dreams ended.

Cherish your beautiful dreams.

I'm going to dream this summer
and I hope you do too.

Summer has just begun!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Schrafft's Oatmeal Cookies

Sometimes I just want a simple homemade oatmeal cookie.

No gourmet ingredients in it, please.

Just the old basic Schrafft's oatmeal cookie.

I turn to the recipe in Evans Jones' biography of James Beard,
my favorite chef of all time.

Jones says that "Cookies were more than the understandable sweet bites that bring passing comfort to most children--
they remained one of Jim's mild passions."

James Beard loved Schrafft's Oatmeal Cookies and so do I.

1. Cream 1/4 lb butter and 1 cup sugar together.
            [or 3/4 cup white sugar and 1/4 cup brown sugar]

2. Add 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla and beat till light and fluffy.

3. Stir in 1 1/2 cup oats [old-fashioned, not quick cooking]

4. Mix and stir together 1 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder,
          1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon,
          1/2 teaspoon allspice.

5. Add the butter and sugar mixture and 1/4 cup milk to the flour mixture
          and beat till well blended.

6. Stir in 1 cup raisins and 1 cup chopped walnuts.

7. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto greased baking sheet, 1 1/2 inch apart.

8. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 12 minutes.
          Remove and cool on racks.


Other than Jim's own books about his life, Evan Jones'
Epicurean Delight, The Life and Times of James Beard,
is my next favorite book about this complex man who taught
so many people how to cook good food.

Including a simple homemade oatmeal cookie.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

An Ordinary Life: Sunlight on the Breakfast Table

"The only difference between
an extraordinary life
and an ordinary one
is the extraordinary pleasures
you find in ordinary things."

Veronique Vienne

Dear One, or Two, or Three........

What was your extraordinary pleasure today?

                   Wishing you many,


Saturday, March 11, 2017


And lo, there was an Abomination that fell

upon the United States of America,

causing much travail.

Tempers rose,

depression fell.

Men gnashed their teeth in vain.

Women muttered and moaned

and screamed for a cup of coffee.

And the Abomination was called


It's here, friends.

Maybe a nap will help.

Wake up there, sleepyhead!

"Bah, leave me alone, will ya?
And did you get permission to take my picture?"

Shhh, go back to sleep....

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Long Love

Theirs was a long love.

I can't vouch for the early years,
I wasn't there then.

But a few years after this photograph was taken,
a dozen cousins and numerous uncles and aunts present,
I saw evidence that there was more than sweet smiles
between my grandfather and grandmother.

We were all outside awaiting home-churned ice cream,
aunts talking up a Tennessee tornado,
uncles joking and wondering if the ice cream was ready,
cousins pairing off by age.

No one was paying much attention to the old couple,
but I saw.

I saw Grandpa walk behind Grandma's folding chair,
bend and kiss the top of her head.

And with a mischievous smile he.....

he slid a hand in the bodice of her dress.

She slapped his hand away and fussed,
"Oh, William!"

He smiled and walked away.

There was a sparkle in Grandma's eye.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Be Good!

He knows if you've been bad or good,

So be good for goodness sake!

Merry Christmas from Dewena & R.H.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Leaf Burning

Leaf burning? Do you see it anymore?

I remember my father burning leaves in the ditch by the street in November and other men in the neighborhood out there too, each tending their little flames.

1951 ad

When I saw this ad in an old Progressive Farmer magazine, I remembered Autumn afternoons and that sharp fragrance released into the air.

It made me think of Laurence Binyon's bittersweet poem, fraught with symbolism of the Great War, but a poem I love simply because it is beautiful to read.

The Burning of the Leaves

Now is the time for the burning of the leaves.
They go to the fire; the nostril pricks with smoke
Wandering slowly into a weeping mist.
Brittle and blotched, ragged and rotten sheaves!
A flame seizes the smouldering ruin and bites
On stubborn stalks that crackle as they resist.

The last hollyhock's fallen tower is dust;
All the spices of June are a bitter reek,
All the extravagant riches spent and mean.
All burns! The reddest rose is a ghost;
Sparks whirl up, to expire in the mist: the wild
Fingers of fire are making corruption clean.

Now is the time for stripping the spirit bare,
Time for the burning of days ended and done,
Idle solace of things that have gone before:
Rootless hope and fruitless desire are there;
Let them go to the fire, with never a look behind.
The world that was ours is a world that is ours no more.

They will come again, the leaf and the flower, to arise
From squalor of rottenness into the old splendour,
And magical scents to a wondering memory bring;
The same glory, to shine upon different eyes.
Earth cares for her own ruins, naught for ours.
Nothing is certain, only the certain spring.