After thunderstorms, summer has returned. Neighbors and friends leave zucchini on my front porch but I'm not complaining. I don't plant them so I enjoy everyone else's harvest. The cucumbers are rolling in from my garden. On Monday, I made a second batch of bread and butter pickles. I cranked up the music while I sliced, diced, pickled and thought of my Mom. I learned to can by working beside her and this is the recipe she used. Her heart and her kitchen were often filled with music. My voice has aged and I can't hit the higher notes. Still high on vinegar, cucumber, spice fumes, I sang to my heart's content. Singing is good for the soul.
The scrappy shawl is back on my needles. Not being one to give up, I searched my stash one more time and discovered a skein of sale yarn. Who knew this shawl wanted to be blue instead of purple? Of course I had a skein of blue yarn - several in fact. This Corriedale yarn is a base different from the other scraps, but it works well. The other good news is I have knit parts of the pattern so many times I know the stitch patterns I prefer. My shawl isn't going to replicate the designer's pattern but as Elizabeth Zimmerman wrote, "I am the boss of my knitting." She was a wise woman.
I listened to Lucy Gayheart by Willa Cather while I put the shawl back on the needles. It's an old-fashioned story and like several other of her novels, death is part of the plot. The ending, while not of the "happily ever after" variety, is satisfying and well done. I admire the way she layered and repeated themes. I also finished Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Linda Brent. I can see how it was shaped to influence abolitionists at the time it was published, 1861. The glimpse into one community and family living in slavery is worth reading. I plan to look for more details on how the book came to be written and published. Literacy is a powerful tool. I'm not sure what I will read next.
As always on Wednesday, I am linking with Kat and the Unravelers. Ripe nectarines wait for me on the counter. I've never made jam from nectarines but I'm going to give it a whirl. Cue the music.