It has been a long time since I showed you an impressionistic shot from the toy camera. Here you can see the Windblown Shadows quilt, with the completed center and the first border, reposing over the back of the couch. Well, no you can’t see it. The black and white thing at the top is a cat. The apparent halo surrounding the cat is entirely misleading. She is an essentially selfish and rather naughty cat. You can’t see that, any more than you can see the quilt.

And that is a shame because it is a thing of beauty. The colors — the eucalyptus green with the soft rose and yellow shades, and then the surprise of the tea-dyed sheet music print border echoing the shading of the trees in the vineyard print as well as the sheet music print in a wine shade — well, I’m sorry you can’t see it. Here, though, is a detail, stray threads and innacurate corners and all.

I am piecing a second border, and then there will be a solid border of the sheet music print, and finally a border of the eucalyptus green to complete it. Or possibly a deep border of the green and a narrow binding in the sheet music, set on the bias. It will be tough to decide.

Some other things have been decided, though.

Here is the fall choral piece I am going to be working on: Vaughn Williams’s Dona Nobis Pacem. La Bella and Egypt say that the director of the Master Chorale is a lot of fun, so I’m going to give it a go. There are about 100 in the group. I have never sung with such a large choir, so that all by itself will be a new experience. And I am an enormous fan of Ralph Vaughn Williams, and I have friends in the choir, so it should be a pleasure all around.

That is Monday nights. Party Girl and I will be returning to our Tuesday night class, and of course Wednesday night is always church choir practice. This is quite enough excitement for a slightly agoraphobic woman of my age.

Actually, I know a woman who is a bit older than I who goes out dancing most nights, but she is single. That makes a difference.

My husband goes out with his fellow ex-pats a couple of nights a week. They play pool. My husband has trophies for his skill at billiards, and owns these pretty cues that you can’t quite see on the right. I stay home on those nights, to be with the kids, but frankly the kids go out a lot themselves these days. Thursday and Sunday nights are our family nights in.

The mornings are scheduled, too. I get up early to have my tea, read the news, and IM my daughter. Then I feed everyone, do the housework, drive #2 son to school, go to the gym, and come home to get ready for work. On the 29th I will begin the HGP, which will consume the remaining time before I leave for work.

You will notice that I am not complaining. I could not do all the things I want to do, and also have a pleasant home life, if I didn’t schedule everything. And I have come to experience the routines as rituals instead of mere routines, with the meditative pleasure that word implies instead of the irritation of sameness.

But after summer, it is a bit like putting shoes on when you have been barefoot all weekend — you want to put them on, but your feet still don’t feel quite at ease at first, do they? Today, the last day before the return to the school year schedule, I intend to enjoy a final uncommitted stretch of time. (Oh, of course I am going to church, and the boys have supply lists to shop for, but apart from that —) I shall be piecing a quilt instead of climbing a tree, but I will still strive to remember what summer means to children.  To save up a bit of that feeling, as we capture summer berries in a jar of jam.