Sunday, May 31, 2009

Good Food, Fun Times, Family

1. A very tasty strawberry rhubarb pie with a crumble topping that had every flavor and texture exactly right.
2. Tess is home and it's fun to hear her weekend away stories and of the good time she had. A short while later she was napping; fast asleep with a little snore going on.
3. Today was a very pleasant Sunday with Claire and Daniel here. Claire is working on her genealogy book and we wracked our brains to remember names and dates. We felt so victorious when we remembered a detail.
4. We listened to the recording my parents made the year they were married, 1947. We heard my grandmother singing "O Solo Mio" in Italian. I wish I could have been there.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Roanoke Art Show, Relax, Great Dinner

1. Beautiful summer-like morning. We all head out to the art show downtown to say hello to friends who are showing their pottery. Lots of wonderful artists sell their work, the streets are packed, a band plays in the market square. Steve and I both like the same display and we bring home a 3-D pottery fish in nice glazes.
2. Time for a lazy nap and another book to start reading.
3. Impromptu guests for dinner make it more of a party. Sangria! It's always a pretty color in the pitcher and the fruit slices are tantalizing.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Free Time, Star Trek, Never Alone

1. Tess is packed off for the weekend and happy to go. This leaves two days wide open! Even if I have nothing planned, the fact that I could is a great feeling.
2. A date with Steve to see Star Trek. I wasn't too excited about going, but it was entertaining and I was caught up in the moment. I'm glad the movie wasn't too cheesy.
3. Claire and Daniel drove into town for the weekend! One child leaves, another returns...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Henri, Matchbook Garden, Rain

1. Henri-the-Schnoodle takes on a funny posture when he plunges into the tall grass. Head down, shoulders hunched, he becomes a hunter. Suddenly, a quail flies up! Henri is flushing quail! Funny little Schnoodle.
2. Claire gave me a novel item. It's called a matchbook garden. You remove each matchstick, which has seeds glues to the end, simply stick them in the soil and voila!
My Italian matchbook garden has now sprouted with little seedlings of basil, oregano and tomato.
3. The rain fell again during this quiet evening. The downpour hitting the leaves sounds like a rushing creek in the woods.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dark Sky, The Fawn, Aprons

1. The sky had turned steel-blue and very dark, a solid sheet of it. A few minutes later the rain came in torrents. The sky scape is rarely boring here.
2. Audrey is pretty sure she saw the fawn with its mother. I believe she is able to recognize one fawn from another. In a year I'll be cursing this deer for eating my garden, but for now I am happy it has its mother.
3. I like putting on my apron in the morning. It makes me feel ready for the day.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Chamois, Piano Music, The Old Table, Hermits

1. Someone hung a chamois cloth on the basement stairs and I like the smell of it each time I pass by.
2. Tess plays the piano and the music drifts out the open windows to me in the garden.
3. The old table on the porch smells good and aged. My very own antique shop smell whenever I sit near it!
4. The hermit cookies are incredibly good. With candied ginger, soft raisins and icing, the flavor is exactly what I was looking for.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Vacation, Smile, Vandella

1. A vacation at home. Reading and coffee on the porch. So goes the day!
2. Audrey's smile.
3. Vandella is a beautiful horse, especially when she moves.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Why Did the Turtle Cross the Road, Haying, What To Do When You're Locked Out

1. I stop the car and get out to lift a turtle across the road. No little old ladies around here. Just turtles. Such unusual creatures, turtles...
2. It's haying time! Tractors and machinery rattle down the road. The hillsides are dotted with hay bales and we pass fields in all different stages of cutting, drying and baling. Oh, the smell of freshly cut hay!
3. She tells me the doggie door is 10 X 14 inches.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Roaring Run, Rock Seats, Dinner

1. We hiked in the woods to a waterfall that is close to our home. I always forget how beautiful this place is.
2. Rocks scattered in pools of sun and shade. I first choose a shady rock since I am warm from the walk and I feel the mist from the waterfall on my skin. Later, I move to a sunny rock and enjoy the warmth.
3. German potato salad for dinner with its warm, sweet vinegar flavor. I have been craving this dish all week.

Home by Talking Heads

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Locked Out, Wishes, A Chalk World, The Fawn

1. She tells me that she crawled in through the doggie door when she locked herself out.
2. The girls sit at the fountain so I pass out pennies for them to make wishes. We all get a lot of entertainment for that few cents.
3. The world appears in chalk colors today. The green, green hills against the blue, blue sky and a scattering of fluffy chalk clouds thrown in for good measure. It looks the way young children paint things and I see they have it exactly right.
4. Audrey lifts a tiny fawn into my arms and I desperately want to be its mother and love it forever.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dog and Pony, Fresh Scents, Sound

1. Henri-the-Schnoodle and Jenny-the-pony get acquainted nose to nose. To my surprise, they both begin munching grass together.
2. Fresh air from the open window mixed with the scent of a Capri Blue Volcano candle.
3. I serve lunch on the porch, inspiring the girls to play there all afternoon.
4. We debate: The little speakers hidden discreetly on the shelf or the big honking speakers that are literally pieces of furniture?
After listening to the little ones with their flat sound, we decide the big ones are necessary. These flank the piano and now I need to "decorate" them somehow, but wow what a sound! (Steve did a good job hiding his eagerness to install them.)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rock Geranium, Rock Wall, Connections

1. I enjoy this rock geranium from my friend in Alaska. It traveled a great distance to get here! After being chewed down by rabbits last year, it has vigorously returned.
2. The first rock has been placed in the wall I attempt to build.
3. Phone calls from both Claire and Chelsea! (I have a love/hate relationship with Verizon. I am thankful for the connection to my daughters, but the exorbitant rates annoy me.)

The Cookie Jar by Edgar Albert Guest

You can rig up a house with all manner of things,
The prayer rugs of sultans and princes and kings;
You can hang on its wall the old tapestries rare
Which some dead Egyptian once treasured with care;
But though costly and gorgeous its furnishings are,
It must have, to be homelike, an old cookie jar.

There are just a few things that a home must possess,
Besides all your money and all your success—
A few good old books which some loved one has read,
Some trinkets of those whose sweet spirits have fled,
And then in the pantry, not shoved back too far
For the hungry to get to, that old cookie jar.

Let the house be a mansion, I care not at all!
Let the finest of pictures be hung on each wall,
Let the carpets be made of the richest velour,
And the chairs only those which great wealth
can procure,
I'd still want to keep for the joy of my flock
That homey, old fashioned, well-filled cookie crock.

Like the love of the Mother it shines through our years;
It has soothed all our hurts and dried away tears;
It has paid us for toiling; in sorrow or joy,
It has always shown kindness to each girl and boy;
And I'm sorry for people, whoever they are,
Who live in a house where there's no cookie jar.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Cookie Jar, Waves, Who's Child is This?

1. The cookie jar was emptied within a day.
2. There is something hypnotizing about the wave patterns of field grass in the wind. The seed heads shimmer in the sun and the movement is so fluid.
3. Tess tries on the "sulky teenager" thing, but it is not her nature and she changes back into herself after 10 minutes.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Spring-Fall-Spring, Chatting, Baby

1. It has turned sharply cooler, but I sit on the porch anyway while everyone is still asleep. For a moment it feels and appears like fall rather than spring and I am glad when I turn it back into spring.
2. On the phone she is sad and lonely. I ask if I have told her the story about...and a few minutes later she is chatting. I'm glad my diversion tactics are effective.
3. The guest of honor opens gift after gift for baby and we are all blessed to be in on this welcoming event.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Test, Evening Out, Kids In

1.Out early, long lines and red tape are all worth it to see the look on her face when Audrey says, "I passed!"
2. The Fincastle Winery has an evening of Bebop Hoedown music and wine tasting. People have brought picnics and they relax on blankets and chairs in the mowed field, while children run and play. The band has lined up their cars behind them, hoods raised to provide battery power for their amps. It's a beautiful setting surrounded by vineyards, mountains and woods on this mild evening.
3. Chelsea and Chad drive in and we stay up late catching up and talking about their future plans.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Enjoy the Drive, Pretty Setting, "Take Me Home"

1. I take a leisurely drive on the back roads this morning. The windows are open, the air is soft and smells good.
2. I find a little garden nursery, privately owned and tucked away out in the country. From the parking area, it is a pretty walk, over bridges past a rushing creek, around a pretty arbor with a goldfish pond and up to two greenhouses full of little treasures.
3. I smile as I read the plant stakes. "I'm cute even without blooms", "Move me into a bigger pot and see what happens", "I'm a licorice plant and I grow every which way". I enjoy the owners sense of humor.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Veronica, Rain, New Pony

1. I brought home two purple Veronica spicata (Spike Speedwell) from NY to put in the new perennial bed. I love the sharp spikes on these plants.
2. A heavy downpour this evening with lightening flashes and low rumbles of thunder sounds so dramatic out there.
3. Vandella has been bullying the new pony all week, showing her who's the boss. But this morning they are nuzzling and grooming each other. We all go the window to witness this tenderness and agree that Vandella isn't so naughty after all.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tomato Plants, Music, A Puppy

1. I shop for tomato plants and find some interesting varieties. Tess will love the yellow cherry tomatoes. I feel as though I am coming home with a prize!
2. Steve hooked up all of our old stereo equipment, including turntable, in the living room cabinets that he built. I had a chance to play two old albums that I randomly chose from the boxes. The Edgar Winter Group and Godspell. Frankenstein gets turned up N&L.
3. Audrey brings home a new puppy to visit. She is a hound with the sweetest face and eyes, long silky ears and beautiful coloring. While she explores, her nose rarely leaves the ground.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Planting, Glorious Day, Thick Grass

1. Seed packets lined up in the basket, ready for planting. We part the dirt and place the seeds in this ancient ritual.
2. Perfect temperatures and sunshine draw us outside over and over again today.
3. The bountiful rains have helped our newer lawn to really thicken up this year. It is quite a beautiful carpet.

Returning Home, Memories

1.Returning home to Fincastle always gives me great pleasure.

While in New York, I stay with my 87 year old mother. She still lives in our family home which was built in 1952. It is chock full of memories.
1. I find some old cassettes and get them to play in my Dad's stereo. My parents were musicians and these cassettes are recordings my dad made of them playing their music and singing. Chelsea and I decide to bring them home and see about having them transferred to CD's.
2. My dad rarely sang, although his voice was very good. I find a song he sang, "How Deep is the Ocean". It is a love song to my mother. Of course I cry, but I am so happy to hear his voice and I miss him.
3. Another cassette is from 1947, the year my parents married. I hear aunts and uncles who have long since passed. Their voices are young and strong, singing and laughing.
4. I find a scrap book of my dad's from the 1930's and 40's. Photographs and WWII memories.
5. Uncle Tony treats us to stories of his childhood. He is 95 and Aunt Marie is 92. They are sharp and funny and we spend hours listening to him tell of life growing up in the city in the 1920's and 30's. His stories are vivid and I feel as though I am right there.
6. Tess and I do a little shopping at stores we don't have here in Roanoke. It's our little treat.
7. Dinner out on Sunday with my sister, Candy, her family, Mom and Tess. We enjoy a bottle of Chianti and laugh over dinner.
8. I stop in twice to visit with Steve's parents. Pete shows me around the house and yard and we catch up on things over coffee. He saved me a piece of his homemade apple pie. I generously share it with Tess even though I'm sure she's already had a piece.
9. The kids and I did some yard work for my mom. We cleared out an overgrown flower bed near the back door and I filled it with bright yellow marigolds that are so bright, my mom can't miss seeing them.
10. The Lily of the Valley that I transplanted to my mom's garden 40 years ago are still thriving!
11. My mom and I work in the kitchen together, me cooking and baking, she cleaning and fussing. I tease her to keep out of my way.
12. She longingly mentions bread pudding and asks do I ever make it? The next morning I present her with a warm dish of it. She eats it for lunch, dessert and breakfast the next day.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Away to NY

I am off to New York for several days, so my blog will be quiet. Later!

Cute Cat, Done!, Wonderful Scent

1. I little black cat sees me coming and ducks into the tall grass so I won't see it. But its tail and behind are left sticking out. After I pass, it backs its way out and looks after me to be sure I'm gone. Smart cat! Well, sort of.
2. A pile of ironing...Finis!
3. I recall the sweet, flowering scent that filled the air as we walked across the lawn at M.'s house. Its source remained a mystery. It is strange that such a pretty scent would not divulge itself. Now Tess calls me to the back of our property to say how wonderful it smells back there, but she can't tell where it's coming from. Hmmm, another mystery that this time I must solve.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Rocks, The View, Tired,

1. We set out early with Barbara and John for a rock gathering expedition on John's family land in the mountains and woods. The weather is perfect in my opinion, rain and mist, setting the perfect atmosphere for such a trek. The mountains are beautiful in the spring! The scents of wet earth are everywhere as we explore the land, shuffle through old, abandoned houses (and outhouses) and have rock-piles galore to pick from. The truck is loaded with my mossy, lichen covered rocks, parallel on two sides, for my future rock wall. I keep asking Steve, "Just one more?", as he checks the springs and tires.
2. John leads us to a hilltop where we take our packed lunch. The view is breathtaking and the food tastes so good.
3. The good kind of, fall into bed dead tired, sleep.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Symphony, So Pretty, Rain

1. Steve and I listen to a symphony of birds together.
2. Audrey is beautiful in her gown. I keep looking to take it all in. She always wears jeans and a T-shirt.
3. A peaceful evening on the screen porch, rocking and listening to the rain fall. I daydream easily today.

Friday, May 1, 2009

50 (again), Linen, Bunnies

1. The doctor says, "I see we turned 50!" And I say, "Yes, we did!"
2. My linen fabric arrived today! It is impossible to buy linen in our small town. I found an inexpensive, reliable, online source. Now my decorating options are endless!
3. The annual show of "Bunnies Dart Around the Field" commenced this evening. The dogs and I watch them from the porch, entertained.