Cogitating

The definition of cogitate is: “To think deeply about something; meditate or reflect.” 
I’ve been cogitating.

It’s hard to believe the last time I wrote a blog post was in May. The Covid-19 pandemic, turmoil, social unrest, and changes in our world have been truly mind-boggling in the past several months. I must admit, I’ve had to really take time (all while working harder than ever at home to meet deadlines and commitments) to really look inward and think about many things. I’ve challenged myself to examine old beliefs in new ways with a fresh perspective. I’ve been heartbroken at the state of our world and a little selfishly mourning the loss of plans made, trips cancelled, and a lack of a return to normalcy. Have any of you felt this way? Lost? A little adrift? Frustrated, sad or broken? Yeah, me too. 

I’ve tried to post an update here on my blog many times but as I sat looking at the blank screen, the words wouldn’t flow. 

Until today. I finally feel ready. 

Rather than focus on anything negative (of which there is so much on social media), I choose to focus on the positive things that happened since I last wrote a blog post, because there has been plenty for which I am grateful. 

We enjoyed a lovely week with our oldest son who was able to fly out from Virginia for 8 days. This was the first time our family has been together since Christmas. We went to the beach and spent time in the mountains. We played games — almost every night! We had rousing games of Settlers of Catan and the boys beat us soundly in Mario Party video games. Most of all, we laughed. A lot. 

All you Harry Potter fans will enjoy this. We’ve been trying for over a year to get a family photo of us wearing our Hogwarts “House” sweatshirts. We finally remembered at 1:30am — just hours before Josh needed to head to the airport to fly back to Virginia! 

Our son, Andrew, adopted a cute Tuxedo kitty he named Thomas O’Malley. This sweet, rough-and-tumble little guy doesn’t know he’s a small-ish cat (8 pounds). He thinks and acts like a big kitty and we’ve had fun getting to know his quirky mannerisms and frisky ways. He had a rough start in his life and Andrew found him through a local rescue. With lots of good food and love, he has rebounded and is now healthy and happy, plus he and Cheeto have become quite good friends! Andrew will be taking Thomas back to Virginia with him in the fall when he moves into an apartment with his brother. 

While it may not look like it, Cheeto is twice Thomas’ size!

During this time of stay-at-home orders, we’ve been able to stay at our cabin for extended periods of time. The days have been sunny and dry and the nights even lovelier; crisp and cool. The deck has been a place to be to really enjoy the weather. 

That’s the moon — not the sun — rising over the mountain tops.

We’ve taken lots of rides along the beach and in the mountains to enjoy the weather and beautiful scenery, all while having long talks and discussing current world affairs. And it has been these fabulous vistas which have helped keep us centered and focused with eyes heaven bound.

I’ve been working hard on mastering my sewing machine and all the amazing features and presser feet. Cheeto has helped, of course.

I’ve been teaching a FREE BOM Blitz class series on the Facebook Janome Sewing Classroom page. It’s been such an amazing experience! It has been a fabulous opportunity to connect with quilters from so many countries and from every state across our great nation, too. It’s not to late to join in the fun! You can download the FREE pattern and supply list; simply CLICK HERE. To order the kit, contact your local Janome Sewing Machine dealer OR CLICK HERE. The third FREE class is scheduled for Saturday, July 11 from 1 – 3 pm EST and the fourth and final class is scheduled for Saturday, July 25 from 1 – 3 pm EST. Even if you’re getting a late start, you can go back and make the first six blocks. This is a skill-building series and you’ll learn a lot. So please join me. If you have my Precision Flying Geese Ruler (or any previously named version of my ruler) plus a jelly roll bundle of 40 – 2 1/2″ strips and 3 1/2 yards of a background fabric, that’s all you need to begin! If all you need is the ruler, you can get one quickly; simply CLICK HERE. 

Cheeto is ever the helper as I prepare for the BOM Blitz classes. Don’t worry — I’m ALWAYS super careful about his kitty toes when I stitch!

I taught a virtual Mystery Quilt Class for the Vermont Quilt Festival the last Saturday in June. There were more than 40 of us on the ZOOM platform and it was such a fun time! I thoroughly enjoyed seeing and chatting with all the students who signed up and tuned in from points near and far (one person all the way from Germany!)

During this time of reflection and contemplation, I have also been getting in touch with my Mom’s fabulous pie recipes. I have conquered Banana Cream, Dutch Apple, Pecan, Pumpkin, and most recently, a delicious cherry pie! 

As previously promised, here is my Mom’s scrumptious recipe:

1/2 – 3/4 cup sugar
2 cans Oregon Red Tart Cherries (in water)
3 TBLS cornstarch
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 TBLS butter
2 pie crusts (I used two Pillsbury Pie crusts, but you could make your own homemade crust.)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Drain the cherries and reserve the water from both cans.
  3. In a saucepan, stir the cherry water (juice) into the combined mixture of the cornstarch and sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened. 
  4. Remove from heat. Gently stir in cherries and almond extract. Add three or four drops of red food coloring, if desired. 
  5. Pour filling into pastry lined pie plate. 
  6. Optional — pour 1 ounce of kirschwasser (cherry liqueur) over the cherries.
  7. Dot with butter and lay crust over fruit. Sprinkle pie crust with sanding sugar. Seal and vent.
  8. Bake 30 – 40 minutes or until crust browns and filling begins to bubble. If necessary, cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil for the last 15 – 20 minutes to prevent over browning. Cool pie several hours to allow filling to thicken before slicing.
  9. Makes 8 servings.  

And finally, this past weekend we quietly celebrated July 4th. There were no fireworks this year as our state is back to Phase 1 with the hefty rise in COVID-19 cases. So restaurants are closed again for dining in with take-out as the only option. I’ve been cooking. A lot. The hardest part is thinking up new and different dishes to prepare each day. Anyone else in the same boat?

But the bottom line is, I’m back. I hope to post many more blog posts here in the coming days and weeks. I hope you’ll drop me a line in the comments and let me know how you’re doing. Know, that I’m praying for you all and for our great nation to heal. In so many ways.

God bless the USA!

14 Comments
  1. Where can I get the pattern you and your husband are holding on the deck?

    • Linda — that’s a pattern I did as a “tutorial” for CRAFTSY years ago. I think it is time for me to resurrect this pattern again!

  2. Thank you for the many quilty things you do and being a part of our quilty and Facebook friends!
    So glad to read your posts and see how all our lives are kind of disarrayed, but how we all continue on! Thank goodness for quilting and sewing of all kinds and our cats!

  3. Such a wonderful post.
    So hard to think this virus is continuing with such force.
    So very happy you had time with your sons. Fun and laughter the best medicine.
    With Baldwin County, Alabama being a “hot spot” we keep ourselves quarantined. Miss our family dearly, with some not understanding why (at ages 78 & 80) we keep our distance.
    I am so enjoying the “Blitz”. Three more blocks for me and I can start putting it together. Thank you so much.
    You, Mr. Kim, sons and fur babies continue to be healthy.

  4. Love your posts here and on FB. You are such a joy and light in an otherwise very dim and negative world. Can’t wait until we can come for a visit! 💙💙💙

  5. Ever since the cruise where I met you I have enjoyed your classes on line it almost felt I was in the sewing room with you. I almost talked to you when we were watching.I love this quilt since I saw it on the ship.

  6. Kimberly I am sooooo happy to see your blog post. I too have been having issues about the whole Covid thing. I am definitely go to print out your wonderful quilt pattern as I love a nice Sampler. Praying that your whole family stays well in all this.
    I was so sad to hear about BluPrint closing its site. Still want to get all the classes that I have paid for. Especially your classes.
    Have a bright and sunny summer and looking forward to your next post! Thank you for your wonderful tutorials. God bless you, Kimberly.

  7. It’s so wonderful to hear from you, Kimberly. What a joy to have your entire family together for a week! Thank you for your mom’s cherry pie recipe. I made a blueberry pie for the 4th and will try this one next! Yummy! Take care! We will make it through this!

  8. Hi Kim! That was a great blog post! So glad you were able to get in some great quality time with family. The new kitty is so cute!! Thank you for sharing your Mom’s Cherry Pie.

  9. You always bring such positive and beautiful thoughts to anything you do.

    You inspire the quilting world with your talents and willingness to teach and share.

    I’m so blessed to remember all the fun times I’ve shared with you and the family from that first time we met in Paducah. That class was my first experience in taking a class and from there the wonderful times in Vermont and Florida.

    Looking forward to future adventures with my “buddies”!🤗

  10. I hope to make this cherry pie. My husband and I love cherry pies. We are in phase 2 in Louisiana so we can go to restaurants but social distancing and mandatory wearing masks wherever we go. I love your post. the pictures of the beach are wonderful.

  11. I always love your posts, Kimberly! I admire how you balance the realities and struggles we are facing in our nation with positivity and gratitude for many of life’s simple pleasures. And thank you for sharing so many photos of the beautiful vistas you’ve captured! I’m enjoying the BOM Blitz and look forward to the next session in a few days! Blessings to you and your family, dear lady!

  12. Always love your blogs. I haven’t been doing as much sewing. Just haven’t been motivated. We spent a great week with our great grandson, Cole, and loved every minute of it. I got to feed him and hold him and cuddle him. I even sang to him which he seemed to like. Most of the family request that I sing “Far Away” but not Cole. He smiled and calmed down. Melts my heart every time he smiles at me. We will be doing “Face Time” so he won’t forget me until we see him at Christmas. I’m all ready counting the days. You and Mr. Kim stay well.

    Evelyn

  13. Hi Kim.

    So glad you have finally managed to spend some quality time as a family, and the views you posted are just stunning. Positivity is One of the greatest commodities anyone can have during these difficult times and you always show your positive side to all.

    Looking forward to visiting your studio on Saturday [even though it will be a virtual visit] as it always puts a smile on my face, and I even end up talking to you 🤣🤣.

    We realise how lucky we are to live where we especially do during this difficult time and our Thoughts and prayers are with you and everyone in the USA and elsewhere during the current Pandemic.

    You, Mr Kim and family [both human and feline] stay safe

    Sue

Leave a Reply