Monday, September 21, 2009

Summer Ends...

School began for the youngsters in our neck of the woods the first week of September but it won't be until the clock strikes twelve this evening that I will finally concede to the fact that summer is over. With autumn only hours away I suppose I should prepare for it by removing our Summer Fun List from its prominent position on the refrigerator door. As usual, we seem to have accomplished barely half of our good intentions. While there might have been a bit of belly aching over the fact that we never did get to go to Martha's Vineyard this year (#20), I never once heard a complaint over the lack of time spent cleaning out the basement (#31)!

The morning glories have proven to be the saving grace of #37's desire to enjoy the garden. What with all the rain bestowed upon us things were a bit meager, except of course for the slugs. The few tomatoes and peas were long ago eaten, the basil went moldy, and the fairy roses bloomed but once the whole season. The morning glories, however, began to greet me every morning in July and continue to due so to this day.

Our annual strawberry and blueberry picking adventures were also hindered by the wet weather. Week after week we waited for the perfect day to head out, but unfortunately most of the fruit rotted in place. While disappointed, to say the least, I was not about to let the holidays come round without a batch of freezer jam tucked away for our traditional thumbprint cookies.

And so, yes, my strawberries this year were picked not from the vine put from the grocery shelf.
It's bad enough I don't know how to make up "proper" jam in tiny little jars that can be decorated with calico and ribbons, but to know the berries themselves had such a dismal origin definitely adds insult to injury. It's somewhat romantic to think of the wee ones biting into their Christmas jam cookies and being magically carried back to a warm summer day out in the strawberry fields with their family. Unfortunately I think that only happens in fairy tales for I was informed, by quite reliable sources I might add, that they don't give a hoot where the jam, or the cookies for that matter, come from as long as they get their fair share!
The family puzzle (#17) was eventually completely, although mostly by my hand alone. Note to self, "I Spy puzzles featuring storybook characters are not a hit with teenagers. Must find one of the periodic table or perhaps a floor plan of the mall. "

A bonus activity during the month of August was the "Block Party Swap" I participated in. If you haven't been over to visit Elizabeth at Creative Breathing be sure to pop in someday soon. There is always something wonderful in the works over there to be oohed and aahed at. The swap was in celebration of her 301st post and involved decorating a 5x5 inch card stock block in your creative style. In return one would be created especially for you by Elizabeth. I just love the little girl in the bonnet she selected for me. The red gingham bow tie is just perfect!

It seems as if old book stores are becoming fewer and farther between. . . . .and so while we didn't actually get around to visiting one (#3), we did manage to stumble upon an antiquarian book show. Surprisingly hubby came out empty handed but have no fear I gladly made up the difference!

The Butt'ry Shelf Almanac was a very welcome surprise. . . . . I've had the companion cookbook to it for years and years and always wondered what delights awaited me within the pages of its mate. I suppose I could have ordered it off Amazon long ago but it's so much more fun to stumble across one that's waiting for you to find it!

This, however, was the true treasure of the day. . . . . The Mary Francis Sewing Book! I can't wait to follow along on her "adventures among the thimble people." Intended for young girls, each chapter introduces a new sewing skill along with a project that utilizes that skill. By the time the book is completed an entire wardrobe for one's special doll has been created, everything from an apron and a nightgown to a fancy dress and coat. I'm trying not to peek to much into it but it does seem as if all work is done by hand AND that all the pattern pieces are intact! Of course now I'll have to be on the lookout for my own special doll in the appropriate size to make all these pieces for.

In the meantime, however, there is no shortage of fun to be had with Lily Red around. Her tea party (#42) was a huge success. Lucy arrived with a basket full of confetti which was a great way to get the party started. Lucky for me I had that adequate supply of freezer jam, as Lily Red asked specifically for me to bring some as a side to her scones. Miss Prim Rose came, parasol in hand, and ready to share her sunny disposition with everyone! And not only was Lily Red the most gracious hostess, she also had a little something special for all her guests. . . . .

. . . . . the recipe to her special Cranberry Chocolate Scones! The ingredients are quite common,

and the directions none to difficult. I can't think Of anything better to make now that the cool autumn days are on their way.


  1. Ah, we have an unfinished list, too! This was a wonderful post...thanks for sharing the recipe. Yum!
    Can't help but think you might need a "Hitty" ♥

  2. Sounds like you had a great summer. I guess we never do all we intend, but we have fun trying (or not trying!) Basement didn't get done here either. How wonderful that you got those books! Your scones looks scrumptious!

  3. I laughed over your comments on your list, how no one complained about the basement! LOL!

    I love the Mary Francis books and I have several of them. If you go the Victorian Trading Company (you can Google it) they sell a doll the right size for the clothing in the book, at least they used to.

  4. Just think how wonderful we'd be if we did everything on our lists (And our houses looked like we wanted them to)!

    I loved your list of what you did, though. The jam will make wonderful memories, I'm sure.



  5. thanks natalie jo for sharing the scone recipe! - Looks so good!