Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


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Thursday, December 31, 2009  


I'm working on my Let-It-Go list today ... much shorter than the Gratitude List I sort of composed in my head yesterday. Today, on this once in a blue moon ecliptical day, I'm thinking of things I would like to flush out of my life. There aren't too many of them, but they trip me up and keep me from doing the things I want to do – and doing the things I might want to do when I think of them.

And what would TheQueen like to let go of this year?

1. Unhealthful food - in unhealthful proportions
2. My sedentary body and it's accompanying aches
3. Grumbling while doing housework
4. Multi-tasking and it's evil twin
5. Auto-piloting
6. The mother of #4 & 5 ... Frittering away my time slash Procrastinating

So. Hmm. Well. That's a bigger list than I thought. In fact – if I were to really let all those things go out of my life – why – I'd be just about perfect.

Still and all – these are the things I want out of my life, in no particular order. I am not going to talk about whether a person can let go of these self defeating traits or if resolutions towards that end are good, because they spur you even if only for a little while, or bad, because if you stop trying you feel like a looser, or indifferent because ... what difference does it make anyway? I'm just stating that I would like these things to flow away from me and go live somewhere else – preferably at the bottom of the ocean.

What I will say is that just thinking about these defeatist behaviors flowing away from me makes me feel lighter, cleaner, somehow.

Other than that .... well ... I'll think about the rest of this tomorrow – at Tara. In the mean time, here is the last bit of Christmas Sparkle from my house to yours

posted by Bess | 2:15 PM


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Sunday, December 20, 2009  

Who's got Christmas?

We do! And Christmas snow!!

Yep. That's me out in the frosty midwinter - well, not mid but early winter. This is deep in the woods on the path between the mailbox and the house.

Everything is shut down today except, blessedly, the power. And if it hasn't gone out yet it isn't going to - so we here at TheCastle are blissfully happy. I woke up early Saturday to 6 inches of snow and quickly vacuumed the rugs because .... white blankets of snow are beautiful but white blankets of dog hair are not. Hustling slowly - if one can do that - TheQueen got her pretty little Christmas tree decorated, took the above doccumented walk through the snow, a hot bath, and settled down for an evening of Christmas present sock knitting.

Today the air is crisply cold and the sky is glittering blue and the spigot outside is frozen!

Good thing we don't have to use it.

Today will be more Christmas knitting and perhaps some marmelade making - there are an awful lot of oranges and grapefruit in this house. And speaking of Christmas cooking .... I succumbed to the most amazing dream I had last week - a dream of making and eating a cookie called Pecan Butter Balls. Now - since I had never heard of nor eaten a Pecan Butter Ball I was intrigued and went sleuthing the net for a recipe. Obviously a shortbread type of cookie, the recipes are all fairly similar. This is the one I baked last night.

1 1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 stick butter

1/4 tsp. salt

3 tbs flavoring (I used Jack Daniels, but vanilla would work just as well)

3/4 cup chopped pecans

preheat oven to 350
cream butter & sugar
add salt and flavoring
add flour
add pecans

roll into little teaspoon sized balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 20-25 minutes. Gobble up.

posted by Bess | 10:46 AM


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Wednesday, December 09, 2009  

Those missing pictures

This is the view from Robert's Landing - isn't it stunning? To the immediate left is Farmer's Hall Creek which winds its way up past John Allen's old home site. The next arm of water is Occupacia Creek, which gives its name to to the whole Bay. It goes up past the Bairds, the Ellises and up to Highway 17 eventually. Occupacia is the old Powhatan name for this creek. There is a thin brown line of marsh grass just to the right of the tree, barely visible. That is more Occupacia creek on its way to the river. the next arm of water that stretches to the right to those dark trees is Jacob's Gut - where we live and the bulge on the right is Dividing Creek which is just a little stream that divides our property from Robert's.

This is the wheat field last week - it looks even wetter today. Wherever there is brown there is dead wheat. :(

But when it isn't raining, we have gorgeous views like this walnut tree beseeching the moon as a pink dawn creeps up the sky.

Maybe next time there will be actual knitting content!

posted by Bess | 8:31 AM


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Sunday, December 06, 2009  

Pneumonia weather

After long silence, to borrow a literary phrase, I feel almost embarrassed to come back and post anything. But that is only when I think of this as a public place. If there is still any public out there wondering, I apologize for my long absence. As for the private space of this blog ahh well - here is a bit of an update on the Life-0-Bess.

After a splendifferous Thanksgiving holiday with a party every night, with precious guests, with constant cooking, eating, cork popping and drinking, TheCastle suddenly emptied out on Sunday morning and BD & I were left with silence and a sort of tiredness that surprised us. "Let's go for a ramble" the wise consort suggested and with cruise control set at 25 mph, we puttered around the back roads up at our end of the county and across into Caroline. I was utterly amazed at the difference in stamina between TheQueen of even 5 years ago and the 2009 version. (not to mention TheQueen of the 1980's - when she hosted weekend guests for 26 weeks in a row!)

We were tired. And maybe a little stupid with all the emotional upheavals of the past 2 months. Monday dawned gloomy and rainy and a slight sore throat began to prick me at lunch. By the end of the day I knew I'd be staying home on Tuesday - which was gloriously blue and fresh. Wed brought even more torrential rains while Thursday gave us shirt-sleeve temperatures. Friday started out sunny only to decay into More Rain which turned to snow on Saturday. The old folk around here call this Pneumonia Weather and though I've kept serious chest issues at bay - both BD and I are still coughing descretly.

The constant and often torrential rains have been the big surprise. I'm glad we aren't going into 2010 with a drought, but obviously - no crops are going to grow in those fields.

(should have been a picture here - huh - can't load it)

Today dawned bright and sunny, belying the ice on the road last night (when I was on my way to a Christmas party. No. I turned around and came home, calling in regrets. I had no desire to spend Saturday night in a ditch.) There was morning sunshine to dry the laundry and it was still nice out when BD and I took a stroll out to Robert's Landing - to have a look at the river in winter. It's a spare kind of beauty I particularly love.

(should have been a picture here - huh - can't load it)

There used to be a large white pine out here that dropped the prettiest cones. I would collect them for Christmas decorations. Alas, it went down in 2003 during Hurricane Isabelle.

Knitting? Fiber? you want to know about my knitterly activities? Silly me.

or rather

Silly you. It's Christmastime and I am doing gift knitting - so I am not posting photos. My fabulous cashmere shawl is waiting for January. My Other Secret Lace project coming along nicely but it will be a gift and I'm not posting photos of it till it's given. There are socks - and I am thinking there will be a hat. And I will photograph them all before they're wrapped up and put beneath someone's tree.

But since it is impossible for this Queen of ENFPs to live completely in the present, Future Projects are making noises, claiming my imagination and even a bit, my attention. I do want one sweater finished this winter. There is a Happy Yarn sweater I'd like to knit - and the Shelridge Farm Cardigan I plunked down bow coo bucks for last spring. There are some very lovely lace yarns that would like to be knit into More Shawls from Victorian Lace Today.

And I promise that these knitted projects will be well photographed and shared lavishly. That is - if blogger will let me load them.

This week I am less tired, more ready to give quality time to my job, and even more in the mood for Christmas. I have a lavish holiday this year, from the 24th through the 3rd and I intend to enjoy every moment of it. Already making plans to get up with friends, baking holiday goodies and working on another Christmas card. So - TheQueen is in a good place and hopes each of her three readers is too.

posted by Bess | 4:28 PM