Thursday, July 21, 2016

The In Between Days

Blueberry Buckle

Our little people headed home a couple of days ago. Right now our house is quiet and the floors are toy-free. (Did I tell you about the single black Lego on our dark rug that I "found" early one morning?) In this house with no grandchildren, we can finish a cup of coffee while it's hot. We can read the newspaper and watch the morning news shows (which is all pretty depressing) and eat a meal without hopping up a dozen times. But we are missing the early morning snuggles and the bedtime stories and all the hugs in between.

I miss getting fashion advice from the two-year-old, who told me I needed higher heels when I dressed for church on Sunday. I miss hearing Little Sister telling Daddy-O, "Sometimes we make bad decisions, but people love us anyway" after he did something that she is not allowed to do. So hard not to laugh!

While this house is empty for a few days, I'm making plans for "Camp Mimi" next week. Only one little one this time. Little Sister is coming to spend a week at the farm, by herself, to enjoy activities planned just for her. I have a bit of a plan, but we will have it all figured out by the time "camp" begins. 

So in these days between visits, I'm catching up on regular things here, like laundry, cleaning, reading (something beside Berenstain Bears) and knitting. Just started a new shawl from Curious Handmade. Right now it's at the "doesn't look like much" stage. But I've seen photos of other knitters' finished shawls and they are lovely. Right now the temps are staying around 100 degrees here. No need for any kind of wrap or shawl. But cooler temperatures will come back. I'll be ready. For much of our winter, a shawl will be all the outerwear I'll need.

We are finishing up leftovers from our kid-friendly meals. Maybe the best of the leftovers is the Blueberry Buckle I baked with the very last of the blueberries we picked. This is an old recipe from an old cookbook. My mother gave me a brand new Better Homes & Gardens cookbook when I graduated from college. It is still my go-to cookbook, even though the pages are now yellowed. I have notes jotted all through the book. The penciled-in words beside the Blueberry Buckle recipe say "very good!" Indeed.

You can find the self-rising flour version of this recipe here. It's good either way you do it.


1/2 cup shortening (I used half shortening/half butter this time)
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly cream shortening and 3/4 cup sugar; add egg and beat until light and fluffy. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together to blend. Add flour to creamed mixture, alternately with milk. Spread batter in greased 11x7x 1-/1/2 inch pan. Top with berries. Mix 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup flour and cinnamon. Cut in butter until crumbly; sprinkle over berries. Bake 45 minutes. Cut into squares. Serve warm.

School for Big Sister (10th grade) and Little Sister (5K) begins on August 4. After that, there won't be very many visits to the farm. And then I'll go back and look over this blog and remember how much grandparent fun we've had this summer.


  1. Wow - your grands really start school early. Some of mine start mid-Aug and that even seems early to me. (It would seem WAY too early if I was still teaching...) That cake looks so yummy. I made a peach/blueberry one when my grands were visiting that was gone in the blink of an eye. Yes, the house is very quiet when they leave...

    1. It is crazy early. The schools where I live start a couple of weeks later. But the grandchildren will get a full week fall break, a full week at Thanksgiving, a full week spring break and they get out sooner than the kids here. So I guess it evens out.

  2. So enjoyed this post. I'm in the middle of knitting for my soon-to-be-born grandson, cooking all the veggies and fruits coming in daily from my urban farm and, to be honest, thinking about my parents, each of whom dies last August three weeks apart. Meanwhile, the everydayness of this post.

    1. My dad and my father-in-law passed away in the same week several years back. What an emotional whallop when it all happens at once. Sending you gentle thoughts. What are you knitting?

  3. It made me smile (and sigh) to read that for most of your winter, a shawl is enough for outerwear. Camp Mimi sounds like fun. Hope you enjoy your time.

    1. Our winters are why so many people retire here. :-)


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