September 20, 2017

Domestic Bliss

It's early morning now and the house is still asleep. The crickets continue to make their music, the sky is just beginning to wake up and I sit here, in my corner, a single lamp lighting the downstairs, making my plan for my day. I've been giving my morning routine a makeover and I'm enjoying the benefits.

Lately I've been happily working in the studio organizing and cleaning, paring down to just the things I really love. Of course, it always gets worse before it gets better but somehow in this room that is just fun.  It is such a luxury to have a space of my own and one I never take for granted.

There is something about having a fresh slate that has me feeling more creative than ever. I'm clearing the clutter from my brain as I clear it from the room. The downside of having a Sacred Day though, is that I have a hard time giving myself time in this room on ordinary days and I'm realizing that I need to change that.

I'm starting to get back to a more regular cooking and cleaning schedule. It feels so good to feel like I have some control in my day to day life again. This recipe, given to me from my sweet neighbor Helen, was one of my favorites of the summer.  Just chop large tomatoes or prick cherry tomatoes and cover the bottom of a 13x9 dish, add salt and pepper to taste, add cubed Brie, garlic and chopped basil and cover with 1 cup of olive oil and toss. Let sit for about an hour. I put mine in the oven for about 10 minutes at 350 to soften my tomatoes and cheese and then added cooked pasta and chicken sausage and tossed, topped with parmesan cheese and served with a warm, crusty baguette. My favorite meals have no true recipe. It really is about using all of my senses when I cook.

When I'm not cooking, I'm assembling dinner. It's our favorite to have on Friday nights this time of year. It always tastes best when eaten on the porch and enjoyed with a glass of red wine.

As for cleaning, well I still have limitations which can be frustrating but I do what I can and get help with the rest. I'd rather spend my time hand washing knit socks and pressing linens than cleaning floors and showers. I wonder if I can get a doctors note indicating it should be that way?

I have really been enjoying picking up my camera again to capture the small, simple, moments that continue to be my favorites. I'm getting back to my old life and rediscovering my old passions and joys.

I'm making lists and plans and dreaming of new adventures. We are in the middle of a very unwelcome (by me, anyway) heatwave here after a very mild August and an early September autumnal chill that had me daydreaming about all things fall: You've Got Mail and When Sally Met Harry, reading Mitford books, watching Charlie Brown movies, making soup and bread, baking all of the pumpkin things I can and of course new fall inspired knitting projects.

If you're looking for me, I'll likely be right here having a tidy and a good sort and sitting down to relax with a good book or crafty project. I kind of like you, September.


  1. Good morning. While I am a huge lover of your blog, not having a blog of my own, I have just never commented before. I find you and I are alike in many ways and I must share that as we are having a heat wave in Pennsylvania, I am feeling the same way about it as you are. I too am fortunate to have my own craft room and while I cannot knit (yet), I dream of knitting socks and enjoy seeing yours.

    1. It's never too late to learn, Susan! I hope you will find a local knitting class and try it out. It's incredibly soothing! Thank you for taking the time to leave your first ever comment.

  2. Oh Jen --love seeing a post from you! Your food looks so yummy and am so happy to hear that you are getting back to all the things you love and do so well and skipping that shower cleaning and floor scrubbing! :) Your craft room is fabulous! My dining room is now a sewing room and it looks like a fabric store exploded in there! But, I've heard creative people need space and so I'm giving my girl space to create and sew in her little doggie bandana business. Also having that unexpected and unwelcome heat wave -- next week -- cooler temps a promised! Have a wonderful day sweetie!

  3. We have the same here - August was cool, early September found me turning on the furnace, and now as the calendar is about to show that it's officially fall it's hot and humid - go figure!

    I always feel such a sense of peace when I visit your site, Jen. I'm glad you are getting back into your hobbies and enjoying life again.

    My morning routine has also taken a turn, in the form of a new furry friend that needs to get out at dawn! I guess it's just as well that I don't sleep anyway, huh? Darned hot flashes.

  4. I am so happy that you are feeling well and starting to plan what you want to do. After dealing with this type of trauma, just take time to enjoy everything to the fullest. Time goes so fast the older you are that you miss the little things. When I retired from St. Vincent in 1997, I was only 56 years old but had move to a small town with an old house to live and decorated. I will be 76 at the end of the month and now have downsized to a condo in Carmel. I simply can't believe how fast those years have gone by. I did stop and smell the roses and allowed myself to enjoy all types of crafts, reading, etc. My point is "create when you feel like it" and enjoy your knitting, etc., or whatever you want to do and NOT feel guilty. Enjoy every moment of every day as if it is your last. You have a beautiful life where you are and I am so happy that you made that dream come true for yourself and your family. Its a lovely place to live.

  5. I always enjoy your posts and wish there were more! Love the serene photos of your home too. It always looks so inviting and relaxing. Enjoy the fall, even if it feels like summer!

  6. I can feel the contentment and peace coming through your posts...I am so glad you're feeling well enough to craft and cook again. That pasta dish sounds delicious. We still have fresh tomatoes here, so I think I'll give this recipe a try. It's very hot here in northern IL, too right now - in the 90's today and through to next week. Hard to believe this time of year. I really don't mind though...I'm trying to hang on to every last bit of summer that I can. You don't have to shovel sunshine. ;-)

  7. Your gentleness always comes through in your posts, my friend. You are pacing yourself and that's perfect.

    I'm very much like you with recipes, I rely on intuition and taste.

    We share the same love of movies and books.

    Keep healing. You have my love.


  8. Dear Jen, I'm so thrilled to see a post from you that so very much sounds like you again! I'm a daydream & firmly believe it's good for the soul, time well spend & often the best ideas are born whilst daydreaming. Oh I'm so with you on Autumn (Fall), I love this time of year.... good movies, comfort food, & snuggling under blankets is my perfect. Hope the Autumn chill you are longing for arrives with you so! xx

  9. Such a beautiful peaceful post, I adore your crafty space and that food looks so yummy, continue to pace yourself and take care... May x

  10. This post is making me smile! Your studio space is so lovely.....I would love to create something beautiful in looks like is has great energy! I noticed you're reading The Shell Seekers! Great book!

    Also, we love Cheese Plate Friday Night around here. It's the *best* Your little spread looks perfect.

    We had a mild August and early September here in Central Alabama,'s been a little hot this week, but it's about to cool down again.

    Have a wonderful Thursday!


  11. Such beautiful everyday... I love your hand knits on the washing line!

  12. It's so wonderful to hear the joy in the ordinary back in your day. The one thing about aging is that is teaches us to guard what is sacred while still striving for new dreams. I love to hear you share the everyday in your life, it is always a sweet reminder to love the domestic bliss in life.

  13. LOL!! I couldn't help but laugh at your shower and cleaning floor wish! I haven't vacuumed for 4 years. Once hubby took it over, he found he liked it. What? I too look forward to those movies and my Gladys Taber books and Ham and Bean Soup. Take care and enjoy! :) Kit

  14. I'm so glad to hear that you are feeling better. The tough days make us appreciate the good ones even more, don't they? I'm also trying to make fall happen, despite the weather -- When Harry Met Sally & You've Got Mail are on my Sunday to-do list, as is baking pumpkin bread.

    And yes, a doctor's note regarding chores seems in order :)

  15. This post brings me such a sense of peace and contentment. Like all the commenters above I am glad to see you back to reminding us of the beauty all around.

  16. As Anonymous wrote above--I feel that warmth surrounding me when I read your posts. It's what hooked me from the beginning in following your blog. I can imagine having a cup of tea and cookies with you, and just talking abut life.

    I'm much like you with just following my instincts with putting food together. When I have to break it down to a recipe for my blog, that's tough. I do want to try your pasta. Brie? OMG!

    I have a theory about messy craft rooms, even offices (mine is at the kitchen table). We leave them in disarray because we have exhausted our creative energies, and we want to walk way with a sigh of happiness, and maybe relief! At least I do. Or perhaps something else we consider imperative beckons. My method is to stack. As a writer I have folders and notepads and journals and pens and junk!!! I stack everything neatly. It inspires me to move on and upward the next time I sit down. So maybe just spending 2 minutes after a project, straightening and making a little pile, or putting thread or yarn or fabric in little basket-I hope that appeals to you.

    And the cleaning. I have this terrible virus that knocks me on my bum whenever it wants to. That, with a terrible back issue, has me doing housework veeeery slowly, and trying not to do anything strenuous. My daughter sold me on the Swiffer Wet Jet. It's a whiz. I never thought I'd like a mopped floor, but I do a quick sweep in the kitchen, and whatever rooms I need to do, and then use this Swiffer thing that really makes a nice clean shine on wood floors. About every other week I do go down and get along the perimeters of the room, under the cabinets and around baseboards. That's where the dust, crumbs and dog hair go!!!

    Just some thoughts as you get your energy level up.

    Sending love...the cool temps have arrived. I want to make a huge pile of leaves (and they have been falling for over a week!), and jump in them. Metaphorically, of course!!! :-D

    Jane x

  17. This post made me smile Jen!! I can feel your happy and peaceful energy coming thru!! I think I might have to try that pasta recipe. It looks so delicious. You also taught me something that I didn't know. I always wondered why my tomatoes didn't bust open when I cooked them in pasta or other dishes. I'm going to start piercing them!! Thank you for that!!! : ) Have a beautiful weekend!! xoxo

    ~ Wendy

  18. HI Jen...
    I see you are just as creative as ever!
    I had lost touch with your blog, but I am going to remedy that!!!
    Linda :o)

  19. Just popping in to say I hope you are enjoying each new day and doing what you want and love. I know the "village" where you live is very beautiful this time of year. (Its beautiful all the time) Fall makes us think of yarn and knitting, however, that's part of your life all the time and I envy you making socks. I love the ones you hung on the line. I am sure they give you much pleasure when you wear them. Enjoy each day and live life to the fullest. Sending you ((((hugs)))).

  20. This is such a beautiful post. It made me feel peaceful and reminds me to make more time for myself. I hope you continue to pick up your camera as your photos are absolutely lovely. Have a great day.


Thank you for taking the time to say hello today! I always love to hear what you have to say.