Monday, September 5, 2016

Local Things

It's September! And that means... more heat. Hahaha. I'm jealous of all of the fall posts I see online from friends in the more privileged temperate climes. We're still staying indoors a lot to escape the blistering sun, torrid heat, and wilting humidity. Fall will come, yes, but we get our fall closer to Thanksgiving. Here are some things I'm looking forward to doing when the great outdoors less resembles the surface of the sun:

Old Town Spring

(all photos from the Old Town Spring website)

I've driven through this a few times on the way somewhere else and it's enchanting! It's the genuine old downtown of Spring, TX and the houses have been converted to myriad shops and cafes. One of the more interesting (to me) places:

Cupcake Fabrics & Quilts

I want to wander in, look at the quilting fabrics, inquire about getting the proper machine quilting implements for my sewing machine, and get inspired!

Mercer Botanical Gardens and Arboretum

(All photos from the Mercer Arboretum website)

(From their website:)
The arboretum and botanic gardens are divided by Aldine Westfield Road. On the east side is the botanic gardens where over 20 acres of beautifully maintained gardens feature bamboo, color displays, daylilies, endangered species, ferns, gingers, herbs, tropicals, to name a few. The east side also has an extensive walking trail system, a Remembrance Walk for memorials and honorariums, ponds, a visitors’ center, courtyard plaza, plus much more. 
The arboretum on the west side of Aldine Westfield features two playgrounds, a picnic area nestled in a woodland setting with 58 picnic tables, two barbecue pavilions, hickory bog, boardwalk, cypress swamp, maple collection and several miles of walking trails that wind through beautifully preserved woodlands.
Mercer employs a team of experienced botanists, horticulturists, and gardeners who offer a wealth of knowledge and information, and will gladly assist you in anyway they can during your visit.

And it's all free! :)

I intended for this to be a longer post, but I have spent so much time lingering over the local events (the free fall concert series in The Woodlands, etc.) that I have run out of time. Laundry calls! Have a great Labor Day!

Friday, September 2, 2016


This week has been busy. Two days ago our parish council president, Lex, who had been suddenly and mysteriously ill, died. Father had been visiting him daily in the hospital. Now we're preparing for a funeral. 

(This photo and the next two were taken by me and edited with the Brushstroke app.)

The family is not Orthodox but to our great relief they are on-board with an Orthodox funeral. This is the first funeral St. Cyril's has done in their current location and there are details to be worked out. Tonight we're meeting to practice the music. 

I am making some dessert to take to the mercy meal after the funeral tomorrow. Gooey Butter Cake is easy to cut into squares and easy to serve. We really don't know how many people to expect. 

Currently a few of our children are sick with colds, most importantly, the two babies. Mittens is more-or-less attached to me every minute of the day. She is happy for a few minutes but is otherwise miserable. Miss Moppet is cranky and her behaviour is two-year-old squared. This makes it hard to get anything done.

She enjoyed some frozen watermelon a few days ago. Frozen watermelon is what happens when you run out of room in the fridge and figure you'll just pop the half melon in the freezer to cool off for supper. 

And then forget until the next day.

I finally finished the last of the eight censers ordered this week and got them to the post office just now. 
The next project in line is a set of five miniature phelonia in liturgical colors for a church school. 

I had a bright idea to make a cake yesterday although it didn't turn out exactly as hoped. I mixed up a regular chocolate cake and put half of the batter in a bundt pan. Then I mixed up some peanut butter, confectioners sugar, cream cheese and a bit of whipping cream (just to thin it a bit). It was like the filling of a Reese's Cup. I spooned it into the bundt pan in a ring on top of the cake batter, then added the rest of the cake batter on top. I think it would have worked better if the peanut butter mixture hadn't sunk to the bottom of the pan (top of the cake). As it was, it was still pretty good and we ate it while it was still really too hot to eat.

Duchess and Flopsy had their first pep rally today at school. The theme was "overalls." Neither like overalls and refused to shop for something they didn't like and wouldn't wear. Duchess had this good idea instead and wore this today:

Get it? 

I have bread in the oven to have with supper tonight.

And so it goes. 
Life is messy and complicated but still has joyful moments.

Thursday, September 1, 2016


An alligator naps on the landing, biding his time. 
Everyone is fooled, 
not suspecting that this is no innocent 
"stuffed animal". 
He will choose the perfect moment 
to slowly rise on his powerful legs, 
his upper jaw opening as steadily and inexorably 
as a missile silo. 
The brief space of time 
before the balletic twisting of the neck, 
the tiny glint of light on a razor-sharp tooth, 
will be remembered as quiet, 
even gentle, 

But for now, he waits.