Monday, April 13, 2020

The Bee - Small Things, Gathered - Volume 1, Issue 3

Good morning, friends! I pray you all had a blessed and beautiful Easter weekend. In spite of how very different this season is, I truly enjoyed the quiet simplicity of our celebration. My husband and I rose early and ventured to a nearby park where earlier in the week we had spotted a garden and found it the perfect spot for a small, personal service of our own, and it was so lovely. He watched an online service later in the morning, which I had planned to do, as well, but I found our time together so filling that I opted instead to hold it in my mind, and reflecting upon our reading and the beauty that had surrounded us carried me through the day.

Our dinner, likewise, was simple, using things we already had. I made up some fried cabbage, potato salad, deviled eggs, and cooked a peppercorn pork loin that I had picked up on sale shortly before we went into quarantine. What I didn't realize is that unlike other pork loins I've purchased in the past, this one you cooked in the bag. Neither my husband or I particularly cared for it, and for me it was mainly due to the texture. Sadly, as we have quite a bit of it left over, I'm faced with the dilemma of how to improve upon its flavor and texture. My husband seems to think that our grocer stands behind their store brands and saved the packaging and will try to secure a refund once all of this mess is over, so we shall see. In the mean time, I'll keep you posted on my success with improving it!

And now, here are today's offerings of sweetness, gathered from across the internet.

"The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day.
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You're one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
a cloud come over the sunlit arch,
And wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you're two months back in the middle of March."
- Robert Frost
Two Tramps in Mud Time

My husband and I passed by several lilac bushes on one of our walks last week, and as always, I was simply captivated by their sweet aroma! But did you know that you can make Lilac Jelly? I certainly didn't! Unfortunately I don't think our neighbors would be fond of my picking blooms from their bushes, so maybe another time. But if you happen to have some growing in your own yard, maybe give this recipe a try.

Throughout history, women have turned to making things with their hands as a way of keeping busy and being productive during times of crisis. This is a wonderful article on that subject, with links to tutorials that you can follow should you decide to take up a craft yourself.

"The April rain, the April rain,
Comes slanting down in fitful showers,
Then from the furrow shoots the grain,
And banks are fledged with nestling flowers;
And in grey shawl and woodland bowers
The cuckoo through the April rain
Calls once again."
- Mathilde Blind 
April Rain

If you're a Wind in the Willows fan, you'll find the 1983 British stop motion animated film, here.  Produced by Cosgrove Hall Films for Thames Television and aired on the ITV network. The film is based on Kenneth Grahame's classic story The Wind in the Willows. I wouldn't say the quality is the best, but honestly, for me at least, that's part of the charm.

I am a HUGE fan of classic children's literature, in fact I've been dreaming up a series of posts on that very subject. But aside from the stories, one of the things I love most about vintage children's literature is the illustrations. Published in 1976, the illustration above is from the book Oh What A Busy Day illustrated by Gyo Fujikawa.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to find this particular book at the archives, but did come across another that looks equally as lovely.

A Child's Book of Poems

If you like vintage children's literature and illustrations, like I do, you might be interested in the joining this Facebook group.

The Golden Age of Illustration

It was through this group that I was introduced to Gyo Fujikawa, as well as many others.

I've even devoted an entire board to beautiful illustrations from the pages of children's literature, if you're interested in perusing it.

Favorite Things - Illustrators

And if sheltering in place is driving you nutsawoo... well. It's at times like these that the words of Agatha Swanburne are most needed. Fans of the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, don't miss this free (and fabulous) guide, available here.

And there you have it for today, my friends! I hope you'll find something here to fill some of your time as we all await for the world to return to whatever normal is going to look like, personally, I hope it looks a lot different than the before, but in a good way. However, as I could speak to that topic for another thirty minutes or so, I'll just leave that thought for you to ponder. Perhaps we can discuss it in another post?

Until then,

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