Thursday, March 28, 2019

The Happy Birthday Set

A friend's post on facebook inspired me to try a new card. The first one was so fun that three more followed.

Speaking of birthdays, a friend had one this week. At prayer shawl this morning we celebrated her, and I made a cake. Yes, I did. Miracles do still occur!
Lemon poppyseed

It was a large bundt cake with four eggs and a cup of sour cream. Delectable. Rather than a sugar glaze that purports to be lemon but is really just sugar and sits atop like a helmet, I wanted a tart lemon glaze that wicks down into the cake. The glaze was 1/2 squeezed lemon juice and 1/2 sugar, warmed just until dissolved and drizzled into the holes I poked in the top of the cake.
To offset this decadence, Adam and I had a salad last night.
 We staved off snackiness with mac/cheese and fried okra, however.
Our lime tree is blooming after losing most of its leaves.
 And an ornamental cherry (or plum??) is at its fabulous stage.

 The crocheted shawl is done and delivered. A second one is now underway.
Really, life is rather delightful right now because our church is such a happy place. They are a bunch of sweet people and there is no snarky conflict. We are so thankful. Adam's philosophy of church work has been quiet, steady perseverance. Waiting, which is what God usually asks us to do. I pray it continues. As far as my sorrows (which we all have) I am learning slowly to keep them wrapped tightly in prayer. It softens their painful, sharp edges and reminds me to trust them to the Lord, who designs and implements my future, where those sorrows will have their end.

Wherever you are, I hope spring has arrived and you're surrounded with bird song, blossoms against blue skies, and growing things. 

More on Anne Lindbergh

I'm only partway through The Flower and the Nettle by Anne Lindbergh.
 Image result for anne lindbergh
A few important events in her life to bear in mind:

She was born in 1906.
She married Charles Lindbergh when she was 22.
Her first baby, Charles, was kidnapped and murdered when she was 26.
Two years later her beloved older sister Elisabeth died of pneumonia. Anne was 28.
Gift from the Sea  - 1955. She was nearly 50.
Her husband Charles died when she was 68.
The Flower and the Nettle  - 1976. A collection of her personal letters and diaries, 1936-1939. She was 70.
She died in 2001 at age 94.
(Her obituary in the NY Times.)

I find myself puzzled by the Lindberghs' lives and by Anne's diary (1936-1939) especially. The kidnapping and murder of her first child was by far the most important and traumatizing event in her life. Yet at p. 190 in the book, she's said baby Charles's name only twice, and that only in letters to her mother. She does not talk about him in her diaries. Once or twice she's vaguely mentioned the idea of a brother, in the context of her second child, Jon.

In 2008 Reeve Lindbergh, their youngest child, spoke about her famous father, noting that she'd never heard him mention baby Charles -- ever. People try to manage their grief various ways; Reeve said she thought the death of baby Charles was the force that damaged the Lindberghs' marriage so badly and drove them apart. This is to be expected. Perhaps it was more brutal, a more extreme separation, because of their public fame. 

Anne's eventual conclusions about marriage are expressed eloquently in Gift from the Sea, which I've already discussed here. The solitude and loneliness she embraces, the lack of intimacy and romance, the slow decline of a marriage, she accepts all these as normal and expected. In 1937, she clearly adores her husband and complies to him utterly. It's an "I worship the ground you walk upon, and so should everyone else" attitude. She longed for privacy and safety of course, as did he, and they felt they found it in rural England. I think they hoped they'd left America for good, but World War II drove them back there. I've yet to discover what went awry within the marriage in the 1940's, but by the early 1950's, Anne is involved in an extra-marital affair. I do wonder if they never dealt with the baby's death together, grieved together, dealt with the guilt together -- the child's death was a direct result of Lindbergh's fame. Did that fact haunt him relentlessly the rest of his life?

He is a shadow and a statue in The Flower and the Nettle, the father who is always working, always flying, who has no time to play games with them or tell stories. He is above all that simple play, in her eyes. She flies with him in his small plane to Germany, to France, even to India, leaving her small children at someone else's home in England. Wouldn't that scare her, after having a baby stolen from his crib, in his room at night? How did she leave them for weeks at a time to be co-pilot and tag-along with Charles as he did light diplomacy? She struggles with it, but always goes with him. Fast-forward to 1955 -- she goes to the beach without children or husband, looking for solitude, only sharing it a little with a sister. Within 15 years she's done a thorough about-face regarding her husband, in spite of bearing him six children.

Charles Lindbergh is more complex yet. The world-famous man whose family suffered so from his fame chose to have three additional families in Germany, fathering 7 children there. These families were kept secret from Anne and the family in the U.S., and were only revealed in 2003 after her death. Why would an intensely patriotic man, only a few years after WWII, begin families with 3 German women, especially when his first child was murdered by a German man? Did his fame, and the disaster it created, compel him to have children who were so hidden that even they did not know his identity? Did he long to have families impervious to the fear and danger he'd inflicted on his first family?

They were broken utterly, and their marriage was broken utterly, by the horror of the baby's death. Yet somehow they decided between them to just shove forward, be resilient, silent, strong, happy. They were both brilliant, creative, independent, ruggedly hard-working, and they used these qualities to move past the event, without success. It shredded them both.

Anne later longs for solitude, simplicity, peace, time to think away from that high-flying world. This is Anne in 1955. She's passed the stage of life when she leaps into a cockpit and flies into danger and uncertainty with Charles at the helm. She's at her own helm. Her world is within, and writing is her therapy. In her 1937 diary entries we find no mention of the event that shattered her world. Apparently in later diaries she addresses it, describes it, describes herself in it. The Flower and the Nettle is long; I may never get around to her other diaries. 

Four volumes of her published private diaries and letters share this interesting dualistic type of title: Hour of Gold, Hour of Lead; Locked Rooms and Open Doors; The Flower and the Nettle; War Without and Within. Her life was full of conflict and contrast. But in Gift from the Sea, the book baring her soul and her mind to her readers and winning her literary fame (fame, again!), there is no conflict, there is no war. She seeks simplicity, solitude, and peace. And she realized she could not have them with Charles Lindbergh.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Hello, friends

Yesterday we worked outside, but today it's cold, overcast, and windy (gusts of about 29). So we're inside again.

I did finish the blue booties. (But never again will I knit that loopy yarn with little needles!!)
And as I took that photo, I saw a bumpy spot worse than the other bumpy spots, and found a dropped stitch that needed mending. And one is a little bigger than the other. It was way too hard to keep track of stitches on that project! Enough of that.

Adam ordered a book online for my birthday, but I think it's really a book from his childhood he longed to have again.
So he says he's buying it for me to do Grandma Reading :)

Movies we've watched lately:
Darby O'Gill and the Little People
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
The Quiet Man
Borderline (1950 with Fred McMurray)
From Russia With Love (We enjoy 007 movies.)
Another awful movie with WAY too much cussing, so forgettable that don't recall its name. Just the cussing.

Our daffodils are nearly done. But here are some daffodil memories.
 I have lots of these doubles (below). I can't take credit - the previous owner must've planted them all.

There's a farm post, if you want to go read more about seedlings and chickens.

And last, for those who enjoy seeing what cards I'm painting, here are a few more. If you want to view an album of all the cards available right now, look at the top of this blog on the tab bar for the page, "Watercolor Cards for Sale," and you can see them there.

Oh -- and I'm still knitting on that baby blanket.
Finally, I finished a prayer shawl I'd been working on for over 6 months. They have to be 60" long, and that last 10" take  f  o  r  e  v  e  r .
 I made a glaring mistake that I'm not showing you ... hiding it on the other side!
Now I'll start a new shawl with this yarn, crocheted, which will go much faster on this gargantuan hook.
I have been taking it easier, promise. Love to all! I'm enjoying catching up on your blogs, slow but sure.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

One Down, One to Go!

Baby booties, that is. (These aren't my booties. This is the photo of the pattern from the book.)
I finally got knitting on this tricky pattern.
It calls for a "boucle" yarn -- a yarn made with lots and lots of tiny loops (almost curls) all along the yarn strand. I had this yarn in my stash:
Some knitting is easy on the hands with little tension. This pattern is not one of those :( 
I knitted the first little bootie and had to stop for the day - sore hands. I'll do the second one tomorrow, I hope.

 There's an i-cord band around the opening, but you'd never know it with all those loops. It was a little maddening avoiding putting one of the double-pointed needles through those loops.
 Double-pointeds were made to drive knitters insane.
Pretty flowers at the grocery store, just for you!

Last but not least, here are the cards I've painted since we last chatted. I've sold some more in the past week! So exciting. Many, many thanks to my encouraging customers who are dear friends.
Another misty forest scene

 Lots of layered flowers

 Another ocean scene, this time without the tutorial
 And two cares with text - a first! Chickens seems a good idea, since they always have lots to say.

I haven't been feeling quite up to par lately -- tooth trouble, achy neck, general fatigue, and a lymph gland in my neck that seems a bit large. Just stuff. I try to take it easier than usual. The weather here (we really can't complain, compared to other places) has been cold, crazy windy, and rainy. We are hunkered down inside until we see blue skies again!
Oh!!! And Lady Grey, one of my silkie hens, has decided to go broody again! I thought she was a bit long in the tooth for that behavior, but no! I'm hoping for a few little chicks in about 20 days. Hooray! Here's the mama: