Friday, December 31, 2010

Restocked, Refreshed. Renewed

1. I went grocery shopping to restock our very bare cupboards. I like the feeling of filling the shelves and bringing home taste-tempting things to offer the family like a perfectly ripened, sweet pineapple with honey Greek yogurt.
1.a. Bought four more little glasses that are perfectly weighted and shaped to fit the hand.
2. Went through the automatic car wash and transformed the car from grubby to shiny new.
3. Considering the past year, I'm glad it fades behind me and a new adventure stretches out ahead. May I handle whatever it brings with faith, love, and grace.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Possibilities, FUN!, A good kind of tired

1. Waiting for daughter at a new hair salon, one of the stylists stops to chat with the receptionist. She's beautifully tall and willowy. I hear her tell the receptionist that she's 5'7" and I think, "That's my height! With 3" heels and 20 pounds less, I could look like that!" It won't happen, but it's nice to know that it's a possibility : )
2. We attend the annual Vintage Ball where 280 dancers sashay, weave and twirl to music of the 1700's. The dresses and hoop skirts are beautiful, the dances are done in unison and we thoroughly enjoy the evening. Dancers clap their hands in double time and the occasional "Whoop!" livens up the room even more.
3. We fall into bed at 1 a.m. and my last, comforting thought is that no one has to get up by the alarm in the morning.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

After dark, Something different, Attic room

1. It was the first opportunity we've had to drive through our little town of Fincastle after dark. Strings of Christmas lights crisscross the streets, lighted Christmas trees shine in bay windows and shrubs are covered in white lights. It was a beautiful sight to behold.
2. Friends cooked a delicious feast of Indian cuisine for us. We visited for hours, telling stories and laughing at ourselves and one another.
3. A light shines way up high in a third story attic window.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A few of my favorite images- Christmas Weekend

Feeding Time

Mine and Hers

Grandpa Steve

Tess on Steve's homemade sled.

Buche de Noel


Claire and her baby

Notice how someone only takes the peanut butter part of the fudge? : )

Chelsea and Marian

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas morning, Magic snow, New love

1. One by one, we wake up and gather by the Christmas tree. The first arrivals chat quietly, sip coffee and patiently wait for the others to come down.
2. Receiving a gift is a wonderful thing, but it really is the thought behind it that touches hearts.
3. A gentle, new snow falls throughout the day. In the evening, we are drawn outside to its silence, peace and beauty.
4. A new family member is with us this year! Marian fills our hearts with love and we marvel how one day, Poof! there is a baby among us : )

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Christmas!

My days are chock full of blessings in the simplest, but most meaningful forms. The celebration of the nativity of our Lord and Savior gives joy and purpose to our gatherings. All of us together under one roof for a few days, good things to eat, kind thoughts given through gifts, friends, laughter and memories. A pretty tablecloth, baby's first smiles, candles, lovely music, a warm house and cozy bed at night, indulgent sweets, the smell of baby's hair, board games, eggnog, wrapping papers and ribbon.
Last night we opened a bottle of Crown Royal that my dad had saved from 1952. It was the year he and my mom built their house. We decided to celebrate the addition of our first grandchild (and his first great-grandchild were he still alive) by opening this saved relic. We're not a family of drinkers, which is probably why my dad never opened the bottle in the first place, but we decided this was a fitting occasion. Life is to be lived today! So we toasted baby Marian and thanked God for our blessings. And under my breath I thanked Dad and hoped he wasn't mad. Of his three daughters, it would be me that opened the bottle.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tying up loose ends, Filling the stockings, My favorite color of winter day

1. Placing cakes and pies in bakery boxes and then tying them up with ribbon.
2. I made the table in my bedroom into a wrapping station this evening. Here, I could wrap little packages in privacy with all the supplies at my fingertips. The best advantage is that it's not back-breaking like trying to wrap on the floor.
3. The winter solstice. And all day the sky was my ever-favorite color of deep, deep bluish-gray. It's especially beautiful with the white winter hills beneath it.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Simple pleasures, Sweetness, Beautiful voices

1. When I phone Mom this afternoon, she's having a coffee break. "I decided that every afternoon I'm going to have a hot drink and a biscotti", she says.
2. The photographer has put Mari's photos up for us to view. They're so creatively done, I'm laughing and crying at the same time. This baby has my heart in her tiny fist.
3. I finally have time to bake and go at it until 8:00pm, getting everything boxed, tinned, refrigerated or frozen. (8:00 is my cut-off time so that Tess and I can watch "The Sing-Off".)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

My kitchen- the lab, Happy baker, You're too old for this

1. The guys decided to perform an experiment. "Why not make beer from horse grain?" They are the funniest pair to watch in action. They took careful notes and made a total mess.
2. Tess took charge of her Buche de Noel for French class. Here, she pipes meringue mushrooms that will decorate the log. She, on the other hand, hardly made any mess.
3. He went out to feed the horses and when he came back in, he said. "I fell!" Frantically, I asked him, "How? Where! Are you hurt!?" He said, "I was sledding down the hill, standing up." He's fine and I slapped him for being stupid.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Up for grabs, Efficiency, White glow

1. Calling out, "Who wants to lick the fudge pan?!"
2. Tacking four errands on the back of another so it all gets done in one sweep.
3. At bedtime, I go from room to room, turning off lights. Even after they're all out, it still looks bright to me. I peer out a window and see that the moon and snow are casting white light everywhere.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sort of made it, I did it!, The right holiday look

1. We traveled the roads with no trouble. But upon our return, we only made it halfway up our driveway before we got stuck. Some friends pulled up just as we began hauling groceries. With five people to carry bags, we only had to make one trip!
2. For thirty years he has been begging me to do this one thing for him. But I just could not bring myself to do it. My inhibitions and lack of self confidence kept me from saying yes. After all, I'm not a professional. Today, I decided that I am ready to give in to his desires. First, I had to see how this is done (thank you internet). Then, I went to the store and bought the special appliance we needed and hid it in the closet. Next, I sent him a message that said, "Tonight your wildest dreams will come true." When he came home from work, I led him into the master bath and told him to remove his shirt. And then I cut Steve's hair. He is a very happy man... and he owes me twelve bucks.
3. Christmas lights look extra pretty under a blanket of snow.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The sound of winter silence, The gift of an empty day, Light to see

1. A thick blanket of snow silences the world. The only sound I hear are the large white flakes pouring from the gray sky and landing with a gentle, "shh".
2. I spend the entire day sewing a Christmas stocking for Mari. It is embellished with gingerbread boys because I know one day she will be baking them with her mom. I imagine the Christmases in her future and what gifts she might find in her stocking.
3. In order to see my stitches better, I pull a chair up to the picture window in the kitchen. My feet rest over the heater vent while my eyes behold the winter wonderland outside. This is a really nice spot for sewing.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

More, Accidentally funny, Celebrate

1. I babysit my little 17 month old friend today. I give her lots of hugs and each time I let go, she signs, "More Baby". I guess this means more hugs : )
2. I'm driving home after dark, enjoying the lighted Christmas displays. At one corner, I notice three of those large blowup characters, bending forward and looking at the ground. Lying before them are two lighted, wire deer, blown on their sides by the wind. It appears that Mickey Mouse and his friends are peering down at the dead deer with huge smiles on their faces.
3. Everyone anticipates a snow day tomorrow, so the kids are feeling pretty festive.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mending, Ahhh, BINGO!

1. Bones mend themselves. I knew this, but to actually see (in weekly x-rays ) is amazing.
2. The car heater kicks in when we get about a mile down the road. Two miles and we can stop shivering.
3. My large LL Bean tote is perfect for hauling packages to the post office. I don't have to struggle with balancing boxes, fighting the wind and opening doors. Love it!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas shopping and wrapping day

1. I bought and stashed away two bags of peppermint puffs. I'm not crazy about regular candy canes, but the soft peppermints, like King Leo peppermint sticks and puffs are wonderful. I'll share them when the kids are all here.
2. Wrapping gifts is more fun when I like the wrapping paper I've chosen. This year I like it.
3. I've chosen several small gifts to send my mom as a goodie box. I wrap each item individually to prolong the fun when she opens them. This is my favorite type of gift to send someone who is old enough to be beyond "needing" anything. Luxurious hand cream, biscotti, and an easy-read measuring cup make up part of the gift.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday, Consolation prize for the cold air, Celebrate!

1. A particularly excellent sermon on "The View of Christmas From Heaven" using Genesis 3:8-15, where it all began, when a perfect world was turned upside down.
2. Winter has come early this year and we see big, fluffy flakes out the window for a second weekend in a row.
3. We gather with friends this evening for a small Christmas party. I enjoy the sense of humor we all share.

He became what He was not, without ceasing to be what He was.
Christ became what we are that He might make us what He is.
- Athanasius (4th century)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Blissful retreat, I give you my kitchen, My closet is as cold as the North Pole.

1. Since the last three days have been spent in bliss, holding baby and visiting with Claire, I have lots of energy when I get home.
2. I keep a wide berth from the kitchen while Audrey and a friend bake cookies. The house fills with a wonderful aroma and they are kind enough to let us have a sample.
3. Our walk-in closet holds the Christmas stash in a totally disorganized pile of bags and boxes. I package and stack everything neatly, which leaves a lot more space, plus it doesn't mess with my neatness compulsion.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A little side trip, No cooking today, The best part

1. We visit a special exhibit of Norman Rockwell at the art museum. I lose all sense of time and place as we wander the rooms, viewing his nostalgic paintings.
2. Daniel cooks a delicious chicken alfredo dinner for us.
3. Lots of cuddle time with baby.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Falling in love, Henri, we're not in Roanoke any more, Dad holds down the fort

1. My first kiss on our new granddaughter's head. Silky soft hair, pursed lips and furrowed brow as she studies me for the first time in her life.
2. I am struck by the amount of silk and extravagance in Nordstrom's lingerie department at the Raleigh shopping mall. In Roanoke we have mostly flannel and camouflage : )
3. Tess's account of dinner while I'm away reads as follows:

Dear Mom,
I just wanted to let you know that Dad's cooking is fine! Although yours is better, today we had fish sticks. So that Dad didn't have to wash any pans, he cooked on tin foil. We had fun standing up and eating off the island, and we ate our salad directly out of the salad bowl so we didn't have to do dishes (Although we did use our own forks) We also used plastic cups so we wouldn't have to wash those either.
We hope you're having fun with the little baby!
Love Tess

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Bedside manner, It's so cold you can..., Winter

1. Our family doctor: She takes the time to chat and ends the visit with a hug.
2. A customer in the hairdresser's chair talks about Michigan winters and driving on frozen lakes.
3. Tess and I watched A Charlie Brown Christmas. My favorite scene is where the characters are skating on a frozen pond. This program always reminds me of my childhood winters in New York. Charles Schulz used the perfect colors and shades of light to capture his winter scenes.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Buy, buy, buy!, Pressure, Shelter

1. Stumbled in on Macy's sale quite by accident. I went in to check on an item I had my eye on as a gift for someone. Regular price $80. Today it's 40% off plus a 25% Friends and Family Discount = final price $36.00!!
2. It's just as I imagined. We hear a loud pop and something hits the floorboards below the living room. I just knew things would explode when one brewed beer.
3. The wind is bitter and relentless as I carry hay across the field to the horses. I take it into the lean-to where it's calm and cozy. VanderBandy prances to me with his neck arched, frisking in the wind. I'm glad somebody's happy in this weather!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Smaller than last year, but still big, First magical snow, Am I dreaming?

1. I can feel the cold air coming off the tree as it stands in our house.
2. The sky slowly deepens to a sheet of dark gray. And then the snow begins. A pretty, gentle snow that we special ordered to coincide with tree trimming.
3. I remember hearing his voice say that we need to get birdseed. But either he said it as I was falling asleep, or I was truly dreaming it. I have to ask him if it was real.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Rescued, A favorite hobby, Christmas by mail

1. I'm out too early for my next errand, but the library isn't open yet and I've nowhere to go. A friend happens to stop by to leave books in the drop-slot. She invites me to join her and another friend for coffee-perfect!
2. Our church's youth group is having a progressive dinner with dessert being served at our house. I'm so happy to spend the afternoon baking and preparing to make it special for the teens.
3. Packages arrive in the mailbox.

Cheesecakes, Gingerbread, Apple Pie and Mint Brownies




Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fun time, Beautiful book, Cuddly little guy

1. Play time with the gingerbread cookies, adding a bit of whimsy with the Royal Icing.
2. I purchased "The Mitten" for a special, little someone this Christmas. Our daughters had this book and I always loved the illustrations.
3. Henri's fur is extra soft and cuddly after his groomer visit, making me want to hug and kiss him whenever he is nearby.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Ready or not, Missed you all, Comfort food

1. Snow flurries whirl at the window on this cold, blustery day. This is the cue to turn on Christmas music while I bake.
2. Back to our book study after a long break. I've missed learning and laughing with the ladies.
3. I had saved a bit of turkey in the freezer and tonight we have it in the form of an exceptionally good pot pie.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

We're bigger than you, I'll take that challenge- with a smile, This is my normal

1. I have their grain, so the horses gallop towards me. I always feel like this is a game of chicken. Will I flinch and turn or stand my ground? They stop on a dime every time and never run me over. How do they do that?!
2. The challenge: Drop everything when the phone rings at 8:40 am (I'm not even dressed!), drive 12 miles over the mountain through rain and mist to get Audrey from school. Then drive another 22 miles on the interstate, in rain and mist, with tractor trailer trucks, to the doctor's office. The catch- I must be there by 10:00. The clock behind the receptionist's desk reads 10:02 and we made it alive! Just don't anyone look at my hair.
3. It is evening and I'm pulling warm, spicy gingerbread cookies from the oven. This is more my pace : )

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A little help decorating, Fun kids, Paper and scissors

1. The indispensable ladder, makes anything possible. (Along with a husband and his power tools.)
2. The younger folks gather at our house and make a party out of nothing. I thought the pantry bare, but they somehow make a feast.
3. I'm cutting paper snowflakes when the gang arrives. At evening's end, the table is covered with paper chains, paper dolls, snowflakes of every shape, paper crowns and a paper airplane. Ryan has also fit his body through an 8-inch square piece of paper. Again, they make something out of nothing. Imagination.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Freshening up, Raw materials, Nice cologne

1. Steve sets up the painting area for me. All I have to do is point and shoot. (With the paint sprayer.) The vanity chair we found yesterday is painted into a fresh, white gem.
2. We live two doors down from a Christmas tree farm and old Mr. Nelson gives us permission to cut pine boughs from his overgrown pine forest. Tess and I gather armfuls into the truck. Then we have an adventure trying to back the truck out of the field. I drive as Tess says, "Left, left, more left, even more left!"
3. Steve smells like Rosemary and cold air. The hose spigot is behind the Rosemary and he's been filling the horse trough.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Found treasure, What to eat the day after, Wintery pine scent

1. Someone has tossed out a mirrored dresser and a cute vanity bench! We make a quick U-turn and go back home for the truck. Steve is all for it and we make a good trash raiding team.
2. Leftovers...need I say more?
3. Twisting off the little metal cap from a glass bottle of Frasier Fir reed diffuser and filling the room with pine scent.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Quietly thankful, Twas brillig and the slithy toves, First word, If you bake it they will come

1. This is the first time in many years without guests for Thanksgiving. Even some of our children are absent for the first time. But it has been a pleasant, slow-paced day, filled with our favorite foods, only made in smaller quantities.
2.We crept into a dense, black wood that felt very mysterious. We are searching for the elusive pine boughs.
3. Chelsea asks Claire if the baby has said her first words yet : ) Claire says, "Well, she puts the "g" sound at the beginning of all her cries".
4. At 6:30pm two of the absent children detoured here for pie and coffee. At 10:00pm another child returned home and headed straight for the pumpkin pie.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Welcome Granddaughter!

1. Today our family welcomed a sweet baby girl into the world! I was so happy to hear Claire's voice over the phone telling me the baby is, "Really, really cute".
2. Wonderful son-in-law! Daniel sent photos right away.
3. Steve is reading my blog profile out loud and says I need to add grandmother to the description of who I am.
4. Thankful for baking, ironing, shopping and doctor appointments. Yesterday these were anxiety-producing activities, but today they were anxiety-reducing distractions.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Life 101, Where we live, Resting


1. I turn to Psalm 23 at the end of an exhausting day of doctor appointments and phone calls for our injured daughter combined with news of pregnancy complications for our older daughter. I know all will be well, we just have to get through it. The Lord is our Shepherd... and so much more.
2. Back roads take us deeper into the countryside on our special delivery. We pass several big, beautiful, but run-down farmhouses. One reminds me exactly of the Waltons television show. It's easy to imagine these homes back in their splendor days, full of families and farm life.
3. I hear the turn of his key as Steve finally gets home from work at 10 pm. Now doors are locked, lights are turned off, and the house settles to rest.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Lovely morning, Productive but never caught up, Now?

1. The moon slowly sets behind the woods out back, casting bare branches in silver.
2. Just when I've done all that I can do for one day, I get a second wind and surprise myself!
3. She's finished working and is just waiting for the baby to come. So when she phones me three times today with a variety of questions, I can't help but think, "It's time?"

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What season IS this? Dreaming of white, Reuben

1. Our home is certainly a study in contrasts.The first half was spent among Christmas shoppers and the second, mowing grass, spotting a dandelion and hearing crickets chirping.
2. With Christmas on my mind, I decided to mow the slope where we go sledding. Just in case we get snow this year.
3. I have introduced another person to the Reuben sandwich. Needing another fix, they phone me from the market asking where to find the sauerkraut.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Evergreens, Where's Santa?, One of my favorite things

1. Christmas trees, stacked deep, flank the entrance to the market. It's a little early for my holiday clock, but they did smell glorious.
2. The Salvation Army bell-ringer dude was dressed up like Elvis. Including a wig.
3. A hot water bottle on my lap while I read warms me through and through.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Surprise!, Surprise, Really surprised

1. Each morning I open the shades as a matter of routine. The brilliant pink sunrise, bright as a neon sign, makes me pause at the window and break routine.
2. The florist has delivered a basket of flowers. I suspect she is smiling not only for the beauty of the blooms, but for thoughts of the sender.
3. A semi-invalid teenager allows me to mother her. I am in territory that has been off limits for years. : )

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A lot to be thankful for

I rush up the road after the phone call comes, not knowing what I will find. My daughter lies in the ditch, invisible from the road if not for the neighbors and EMT crouched beside her. A short ride to gather leaves has suddenly turned painful. Vandella spooked, for no good reason, and bolted from the road, throwing Audrey head over into the ditch. Being in a great deal of pain and unsure of her injuries, we decide not to move her until the ambulance arrives. And then kindness, compassion, training and love take over.
1. For the children playing in the field who saw Audrey fall and ran for help. Otherwise, she may not have been spotted in the ditch for quite a while.
2. For our neighbors, the Benges, who called me, called 911 and brought a pillow for her head. The man who gave his jacket, and the other Benges who went after the horse, I am eternally grateful.
3. For Mr. Switzer whom I wave to in his pickup truck every day, but have never spoken to. His fatherly concern, and desire to stay until he knew Audrey was safe warmed my heart.
4. For Roanoke Memorial Hospital's efficiency and expert staff, especially Dr. Seamon, orthopedist, who showed us x-rays and explained her broken bone.
5. For morphine, valium and ibuprofen. They have their uses : )
6. For her boyfriend who held her hand.
7. For coming home, settling in and a healing process begun. It could have been SO much worse.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What I want vs. what I did

1. If the day got any darker, it would be night. Shrouded in fog for its entirety, I fought the temptation to sleep all day and I baked a lot instead.
2. Come evening, we fought the temptation to stay in from the rain and we ventured out to visit friends who are in town from Alaska. There, I got to cuddle a new baby girl.
3. I gave in to temptation and ate a huge, ultimate choclate chip cookie right before bedtime.

Monday, November 15, 2010

November woods, Ready to give, That was easy

1. The sky has turned gray and now it looks like November should. We turn the lights on early in the evening and a coziness settles over the house.
2. I like to keep pastry boxes on hand, ready for filling with cookies, cakes or pies. I was on that side of town today so I stocked up. The crisp, white boxes remind me of a blank painter's canvas, waiting for something to be applied.
3.Phoning a total stranger and finding friendliness on the other end.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Lazy day, Being available, Goodness in a jar

1. We darkened the living room in the middle of the afternoon and watched a movie, complete with popcorn.
2. Steve and I sit in our respective chairs, reading. As the kids pass through from here to there, they stop and talk with us. I've noticed that when he and I sit together (seemingly doing nothing) the kids find us, plop down, and talk.
3. I have a jar of applesauce to give.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Fall in the kitchen, A new view, Only a few left


1. The aroma of simmering McIntosh apples draws a smile from anyone passing through the kitchen. By evening, jars of applesauce line the counter.
2. A freshly washed picture window makes the world shine!
3. Riding bikes, riding horses, scrambling on hay bales; a sunny and mild November day is used up with nothing wasted.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Just discovered, Cute, Get real

1. 2nd Helpings Cafe, located on Williamson Road, is run by the Rescue Mission with all profits going to the Mission. They serve Boar's Head cold cuts, homemade soups, scones and Homestead Creamery ice cream. I ordered an excellent lunch there today and I will definitely return.
2. I bought a tiny little something for baby's Christmas stocking. It's the first gift I've purchased for our granddaughter who is due very soon!
3. My favorite vendor at the Stocked Market isn't all the way from Texas or somewhere far away. And they don't sell gimmicky, overpriced items. They are Chocolate Paper, located right here in Roanoke, offering practical items that we all need such as gourmet chocolate.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Driving down our road, Jackpot!, Happy ending

1. A hawk flies ahead of my car, becoming an escort as his path merges with my own. His wings beat in time to my music, Roxy Music's Avalon, before he glides away.
2. A friend over at Savvy Nest has encouraged me to shop savvy. Kroger is generous with their coupons and today I shaved $93 off my grocery bill!
3. Warm, walnut filled brownies with a scoop of vanilla ice cream at the end of the day.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Autumn deepens, Love These, Sounds like her, but...

1. The woods have tarnished to bronze and copper, polished brightly by the sun.
2. McCain's sweet potato fries, crispy on the outside, tender and sweet inside, sprinkled with salt. It's the crinkle cut that makes them special over other brands.
3. Our ancient answering machine uses a tiny cassette to record messages. The poor librarian's voice plays back in a baritone, telling me that I have a book waiting. I play it back three times.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Rest and recuperate, with cuddles, and kisses

1. I gave myself permission to take a sick day, scrapped everything, covered up with a blanket in the recliner, watched a movie, read a book and napped.
2. Henri is a sweet, loving little Schnoodle who is very good at cuddling.
3. Audrey gives me a random kiss in passing.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A New York Weekend

1. Driving a ridge line along the Mohawk River in western NY, a line of geese flies along the opposite bank. I estimate it must be at least a quarter mile long. The string contains several V's that weave an interchange within itself.
2. It's been months since we've seen our families. Big, secure hugs reaffirm our bonds and we get on with the business if visiting.
3. Mom's spaghetti and meatballs. (Little happy jig.)
4. My sister and I chat in the living room. Mom comes in and covers each of our laps with a blanket.
5. We rake leaves, fix pipes and do other odds and ends. But what really makes my mom the happiest is her ability to serve us.
6. A Sunday drive for apples, cider donuts, maple sugar candy and smokey cheese.
7. We leave NY on a cold gray morning with sleet hitting the windshield. Ten hours later, shedding scarves, sweaters and jackets along the way, we arrive in sunny Virginia where it's 65 degrees.
8. I am so thankful that Steve came with me.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Contrasts, Dusted off, Still learning


1. One of the little lilacs has a bloom on it. I bend to sniff it, thinking it will be scentless or defective in some way. But no, it holds the sweet scent of May and every memory of spring!
2. While making the rounds of bedrooms this morning, I notice that Tess has costumed her dolls for Halloween. They usually sit, untouched, for months. Today we have a gypsy, a cat girl and a colonial girl, all smiling because they are still loved.
3. A lively, insightful, sometimes hysterically funny discussion at the women's book study tonight.
*Spell check wants me to replace "women's" with "womenfolk" Huh?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Let there be sleep, Whoops!, Count me

1. I don't have to wake the girls because school is closed today. I hate to wake someone when they are tired and sleepy, so I'm glad I don't have to do that to anyone this morning.
2. I didn't realize that my comment to the sales girl made it sound like my daughter doesn't wear underwear. After we left the store, my red-faced daughter brought it to my attention. I laughed and laughed. Poor daughter, at least she saw the humor in it.
3. Voted today! It is an honor and a privilege.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Stopping by, Perfect climate, Gathering

1. B. stops by to pick up her dishes and we manage to fit in a nice "catch-up" visit.
2. Today is sunny, 58 F.with no wind and is absolutely perfect for anything outdoors. Mild enough for a light jacket or vest, yet cool enough to work in the garden without heating up. And low humidity means I have lots of energy!
3. I can't see the birds, but I hear them fill the treetops in the woods. They are clicking and chattering rather than chirping.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday lunch, Autumn stroll, Happy Halloween

1. Pork loin stuffed with figs, apricots, breadcrumbs, sage and garlic provided a very tasty lunch.
2. We took a walk down the back road on this perfect autumn day. Henri tugged the leash and sniffed everything, the 'kids' jumped on hay bales, and we commented on the beauty of golden mountains. Henri and I stuck to the road while the others cut through the woods and explored on the way home.
3. Fincastle's center square is filled with costumed children and families for the annual Halloween parade and Trick-or-Treat. Orange and yellow lights are strung across the streets, many homes are decorated and the entire town is festive. We watch from the sidewalk, laughing at clever costumes and cute children. I think- Norman Rockwell.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cyclocross, Pop's, Kermee

1. Cyclists gather at the starting line, a convergence of helmets, spandex and spokes. Then the clown shows up. Chad comes in second...to the clown!
2. We're too hungry for just ice cream, so we take a booth and order from a menu of grilled cheese sandwiches. Mine is Swiss cheese with avocado, artichoke hearts, mustard and horseradish, toasted on homemade white bread.
3. Our movie for tonight and I still get a kick seeing Kermit ride the bike.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

HUGE, The sound of silence, A message from...

1. Baking potatoes that are the size of a dinner plate. I'm not sure I want to know how they grow them so big, but they will make a great meal with all the toppings added.
2. The purring sound of the engine makes my heart leap. This is how a perfect machine was intended to sound you VW dealership mechanics-who-couldn't -fix-it-so-my-husband-did.
3. When I return home tonight, I ask Steve if there were any calls for me. He says that Senator Goodlatte has called, as though for me personally and not bothering to mention that it was a robo-call.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Brightness, Mom, Helping

1. The sugar maple is flaming orange. A bright contrast even in a dreary, damp landscape.
2. In halting, somewhat slurred speech, my mom quotes the poem, "Trees" to me over the phone.
3. Tess and I study science together. I'm glad that I am still involved in her education, even though we don't home school any more.


Trees by Joyce Kilmer


I think that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,

And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;

Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Spring- NOT!, On time, What is he thinking?

1. The balmy air and sweet smell of rain and earth confuse my senses. I could swear it was spring. In the predawn darkness, it's easy to pretend.
2. I'm always very happy to get the mending and hemming projects done. I usually procrastinate and sometimes the clothing misses the season for which it was intended! Today it is done.
3.Henri and I have a long moment of staring at each other, eye to eye. What goes on in his little mind, I wonder?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Going Greener, The best part, 8pm on PBS

1. We've started recycling everything. Plastic, tin, glass, paper and non-meat food scraps. The organic compost will serve our garden and the recycling is all dumped at our local elementary school's recycling station. Very little is left for the landfill. I can now cancel our trash pick up since we'll only have a couple of bags per month and we can take that to the landfill ourselves.
2. Buttery, crunchy bread crumbs on top of creamy macaroni and cheese.
3. Antiques Roadshow- still my favorite program!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

An autumn weekend

1. A most glorious weekend of sunshine, a fall color palette, and mild temperatures. There's nothing better than being right out in it. Even a walk to the compost pile as an excuse to be outside is worth it.
2. Claire and Daniel came home for the weekend. We celebrated the upcoming arrival of their baby with friends and family.
3. I'm not into touching pregnant women's bellies, but I was eager to touch my granddaughter, so Claire helped me feel some bumps and kicks as I introduced myself.
4. To balance the nuisance ladybugs and stinkbugs, we have butterflies and wooly bears visiting the garden. One of the lavenders is still in bloom and the butterflies flock to it.
5. We share the last handful of raspberries for the season.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tess, The softest silk, Celebrate!

1. Today Tess turns fourteen. She's a little put off that she has school on her birthday. She thinks everyone should have their birthdays off. Sweet Tess, she fills my heart with love.
2. I scoop a handful of silk from a milkweed pod. It feels like kitten fur. I carry it for a while, rubbing the silkiness between my fingers and then I let the wind blow it from my hand, up and away.
3. No dinner to cook, no cake to bake! Tess has chosen to have carry-out pizza and a Bruester's ice cream pie. We all like her choices a lot.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Steamy, Funny scene, Osage Orange


1. It's a dark and rainy morning, a cozy morning for ironing. I move the ironing board to the kitchen where it's brighter, plug in an audio book and feel the steamy warmth from my work.
2. Our church house is bustling with noisy children on Wednesday nights. As I exit through the back hall, our pastor and another young man are huddled in the bathroom doorway, staring at the toilet bowl. "What did they put in there?", our pastor asks.
3. Bingo! Enough leaves have fallen to reveal the heavy Osage Oranges hanging from the branches. Tess leans out the car window and plucks one off the tree. The unique texture and bright lime green color are perfect under a glass cloche.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My favorite part, Ironing, Quality time

1. The kids comment about the abundance of carrots in the stir fry. I tell them it's fine if they don't like them, I put all the extra in for me.
2. I iron colored leaves in waxed paper, leave them for a few days, then remove the paper. The wax coating preserves them long enough for decorating purposes. I like how the wax paper melts and crisps together as I glide the iron over it.
3. It's dark too early for her to have time to ride the horses. I look out into the dusk and see her lounging on one horse while the other stands with them, the three of them just hanging out together.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Echoes, Indian Summer, Content

1. A very still morning except for the raucous calls of the crows. They make the landscape sound lonely and prehistoric.
2. Jacket mornings and T-shirt afternoons.
3. A day in the company of Baby. At fifteen months old, she happily chatters to herself, to me, to the dog, and through the glass door to the horses. It reminds me of what my mom used to tell me; that babies need to be happy with themselves.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Not for breakfast, Thank you, Personalities

1. Platters of Blue Collar Joe's donuts that are cut into bite size wedges. This way, one can sample three or four flavors and have only eaten half a donut!
2. Beautiful autumn weather continues. We've appreciated one more afternoon on the porch, knowing these days are numbered.
3. When I enter the kitchen first thing this morning, I notice carved pumpkins lined up in a row on the counter. I can tell who carved each one.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fincastle Fall Run, Young Folks, Older Folks

1. We find a sunny corner near the courthouse in town, keeping warm while we wait for the runners to appear. Smiles break out on their faces when they hear us clap and cheer.
2. Kids and their friends are coming and going throughout the day. They drive off to fall festivals, pumpkin patches, apple butter making and bonfires. They are young and adventuresome. One young friend talks about his hike on the Pacific Crest Trail, another young lady who grew up in S. Africa will soon be leaving for Ecuador. Three of them have won and placed in the 5K this morning! They are all in their early twenties and the world is spread out before them.
3. Steve and I mostly stayed home today. Contentedly so.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Saving me from boredom, Penny rug, Fragile night sky

1. I decided to listen to the audio book I had saved for my canceled NY trip titled, Saving CeeCeeHoneycutt. I listen while I cook, sew, drive and wait for Tess at piano. I'm glad to have it and it's an interesting story.
2. The wool felt circles are saved in a cigar box. When I take them out to work on them, the aroma of cedar and cigars gently wafts out.
3. Tonight, the sky was a piece of deep blue stained glass, framed in black with a faint light glowing behind it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Gunner

We said goodbye to Gunner today. He was the most faithful of dogs, big-hearted, kind and loyal. His name, G√ľnnar means "brave", but he was really a big baby. He loved romping in the fields, getting into mischief with his buddy, Remington, eating Milkbones, popcorn, ice cream cartons or anything for that matter. He would let a child poke his face, nostrils, eyes and ears while he tried to nap. He slobbered when he drank his water, shed incessantly, and went berserk at the UPS truck. He liked to sit with his chin on the windowsill, watching the world outside. He wagged his tail until the end, allowed us to love him in all our imperfect ways and he loved us unconditionally in return. I am very thankful to have had the best dog.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A gift, Lost at once, Duct tape

1. I shopped for Tess' birthday gifts today. I like shopping with someone special in mind. I think of her while I search and I get excited when I find just the right thing.
2. When I got home at 4:00, Steve reminded me by phone, that he would be late. I scrapped the dinner menu and the girls and I ate leftovers.
3. A breeze rattles the crab apple tree and all its leaves tumble down at once.
4. She has used duct tape to patch the hole in the crotch of her jeans. It doesn't want to come off and I wonder (not seriously) if I should just leave it rather than patch them.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Bittersweet, Warm October, A delicious pound cake

1. I didn't find any pretty, colored leaves, but I did find a new source of Bittersweet vine closer to my house.
2. The weather was so mild this weekend that we were back on the porch for a Sunday afternoon.
3. Claire sent me a recipe for pound cake, knowing that I am on an everlasting search for the "perfect" pound cake. She said it was the best she's ever tasted, so I baked one today. Yes, this is my favorite so far. I love almond flavoring, but you could easily change it to lemon, vanilla, orange or anything. I wasn't crazy about the frosting since a glaze, or none at all, would better suit a pound cake. But this was a big hit with everyone.

Barbara's Pound Cake

3 c. sugar (just do it)
2 sticks butter, room temperature
1/2 c. Crisco
6 eggs, room temperature
3 c. flour
1/2 tea. baking powder
1/4 tea. salt
8 oz. sour cream
1/4 c. buttermilk
2 tea. almond extract

Cream together sugar, butter and Crisco. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
Slowly add half of the flour mixture to the wet until blended. Add in sour cream, buttermilk and almond extract. Then slowly add remaining flour mixture. Mix thoroughly.
Pour into greased and floured 10-inch angel food cake pan.
Bake at 325 F, for about 1 hour 20 minutes or until done when tested with toothpick. Let cool completely before icing.

Icing:
Mix together:
4 c. powdered sugar
1 stick butter, room temperature
2 tea. almond extract
Enough milk or cream to make proper consistency

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Packaging, How to relax, An easy meal that feeds a crowd


1. I like how the bottle of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce is wrapped in paper. I remember my mom using tins of anchovies that were wrapped in paper, too. I recall many products that came with a paper wrapping. I think it makes a product more appealing.
2. Mom asks me what I'm doing. "Oh, just laundry, cooking and cleaning. You know, relaxing around the house." And it's true. As long as I don't have to drive all over kingdom come and I'm home, then it's relaxing to me.
3. I like cooking up a pork shoulder for BBQ. It pretty much cooks itself in the oven for four hours, the meat falls into shreds (I love this part), and then I add my favorite recipe of barbecue sauce. Sunday dinner will be easy when all I have to add are some toasted buns and coleslaw.

Friday, October 8, 2010

A new day, Love the green signs, Clear and mild

1. Woke up feeling much better with hopes that the day might actually be normal.
2. He drives, I navigate using the GPS on his Blackberry. "I don't like this thing, can't I just watch the roadside for interstate signs?" I look up and there they are! The old-fashioned way still works and I relax in my seat, feeling comforted.
3. Beautiful, bright stars in a black sky.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wednesday


1. It's nice to have beautiful things right at the beginning of day. Coffee is always my first pleasure. Sunrise is a close second. Today's sunrise was exceptional. I knew the color would be fleeting, so I took Tess' camera, left it on automatic and clicked.
2. Changing from blue jeans and shoes to sweat pants and slippers.
3. Steve goes to the drugstore for me. He brings home medicine and a hot water bottle. But first he wants to compare the dog's pills to mine; they are identical. "Why can't you just take his pills?" he asks.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It's here!, Telling of the day, Babies

1. Dramatic clouds are my visual entertainment of the day. Deep, dark and huge, they billow over the horizon and fill the sky. The sun shines through breaks of clouds, illuminating the green earth in bright contrast.
2. I feel my cheeks turn rosy in the autumn air. A chain saw buzzes somewhere over the hill and the scent of wood smoke is in the air. Autumn is here! I am thankful for outside work today.
3. The girls take turns telling school stories, grades and assignments. There is so much to tell.
4. Claire sends me a link to a photographer they have engaged. I can't help but cry when I see these sweet pictures. Baby photography has come a long way since my girls were born.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Kind to animals, Organized, Silliness lightens it up

OK, some days are just plain hard. Like today. But if we think about it, we'll still find beauty in the midst of it all:
1. I admire the way veterinarians handle a dog. I'm the, "Ew vomit, ew slobber, ew smelly" kind of person. But the vet expertly handles a sick dog while sweet-talking to the poor thing.
2. A mom flips through her two boys' homework folders and book bags, cramming study time in during their wait. She drills the little guy on his geography and he recites the answers spit spot. I smile at him and he is very proud of himself.
3. "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein". It helps a bit.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Good earth, Nicely done, Best medicine

1. The potatoes smell like dirt while I peel them.
2. Chocolate/coffee punch with floating ice cream balls, pretty cupcakes on tiered stands, little round cucumber hors d'oeuvres, and other treats create an appealing reception table.
3. We play a charades- type game with friends which results in plenty of laughing at ourselves.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Radford Highlands Festival

We will take these pitchforks and throw a 16 lb. sack over the 22 ft.bar.

I will fling it backwards, the method that works best.

My favorite cute dog of the day.


Warpipes of Roanoke getting ready to march.

Enter the Haggis

This band is great! Love the fiddle.
My daughters stand the same way : )

A day of picture-perfect weather, men in kilts, games, cute dogs, bagpipes, And Enter the Haggis.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Colors of autumn, You've GOT to be kidding, 9:00 Bedtime

1. All sizes, shapes and colors of gourds and pumpkins are available at the garden store. Even though I love the colors of autumn, I choose all white pumpkins and gourds.
2.At the market, the bagger forgot to put my roast in the shopping cart and I didn't realize it was missing until I got home. I was in a time crunch, but I had to make the forty-two (I wish I were kidding) mile round trip to get it back. I popped "happy" music into my CD player and went for it. The kind manager at Kroger gave me my roast, the $16 cost of the roast, and a gift card for $10. That's the way to run a business and I will still drive the distance to shop there.
3. It's Friday evening, the weekend is wide open and the stress of the week begins to melt away.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Cinnamon, A pleasant spot, What to do during piano lessons

1. Warm little muffins, dipped in melted butter, then rolled in cinnamon sugar, melt in your mouth.
2. The library is the perfect place to spend my extra 20 minutes. It's right in town, it's near the school and everyone is friendly.
3. It was a toss up between the home store and the antiques mall- I chose the antiques mall. I'm less inclined to spend money there because I'm perfectly happy to browse.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Better late than never, A good match, A good day

1. After one day of sun, the rains have returned. The greens that are left in nature are deepening to a lushness we haven't seen all summer.
2. A pot of Pasta Fagioli simmers for dinner, perfect for a cool, damp day.
3. She tells me about being called on in class and being rewarded with a lollipop for having a perfect answer. We're never too old for lollipops. (Or rewards in general.)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Changes, Perking things up, Packaged

1. Breaking clouds gave way to sunshine and clear air. Cloud shadows rolled over the mountains contrasting the sunny spots of gold flecked trees.
2. It is finally time to add touches of fall to the house. A harvest plate, some dried leaves and berries, and sunny orange mums change things up.
3. I packed up a chicken pie, assembled in a foil pan, then wrapped and labeled for freezing, into a bakery box. I keep bakery boxes in various sizes along with foil pans and plates on hand for when I take a meal or treat to someone. These are so easy to transport with no dishes to return. (I made an extra for our freezer!)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Raleigh, NC



1. Steve has loaded the crib, dresser and high chair onto the truck. We add our suitcases and Henri and we're off to visit Claire and Daniel!
2. I've packed sandwiches for our dinner on the road. Steve says, "Ever since Cape Cod, you've packed a picnic when we travel." (That was in 1981.)
3. Claire and I leave early Saturday morning for the Liberty Antiques Fair. The guys stay behind to tile the laundry room floor. This seems unfair, but they're happy, so we're happy.
4. It is hot, hot, hot. A vendor is selling freshly squeezed lemonade so we sit in the shade with a glass and sip lemony sweetness piled with ice cubes.
5. Browsing 100 acres of antiques is a bit overwhelming. I buy a wooden dough bowl and two vintage Christmas ornaments for my collection.
6. Preparing dinner side by side with Claire.
7. We opened her new paint spray gun and practiced. She is a pro in no time. The cradle is very pretty with its new coat of white paint.
8. Sunday brunch at Tir Na Nog in downtown Raleigh.
9. On our drive home, we stopped at a working mill. It has finally begun to rain and the sound on the tin roof of the mill was peaceful. The rest of the drive home was through a wonderful, soaking rain.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Rummaging, Summing up, Is that...?

1. I found two back issues of Country Home in the sale bin at the library. A prize for 20 cents!
2. The kitchen is the gathering place at the end of the school day. (It's where the food is) The girls share their stories and we give each other our opinions.
3. One daughter never, ever, ever sings...except in the shower with her country radio station on.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Love, Out the window, That's me!

1. I happened to be pulling into a friend's house when a caravan of church friends drives up at the same time. They pile out, hauling cleaning supplies and a vacuum. She has been sick and they've come to clean her house. The look of surprise on her face is priceless.
2. Thunderstorms were a rare occurrence this summer. When the storm rumbled in this afternoon, I realized how much I've missed them.
3. I refer to myself as "Grandma" during a conversation with my mom about the granddaughter we're expecting. We share our disbelief and pleasure that this stage has come to our lives.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It could have been a LOT worse, It's hard to pull when you're laughing, Snails

1. I have driven a month with my "check engine" light on, so I reluctantly went to the VW dealer. The malfunction was due to a mistake they made the last time I was in and there will be NO CHARGE to fix it. Yes! And my car is zippy again now that cylinder 2 is firing properly.
2. Steve and I need to move the huge and heavy compost bin across the yard. He uses two of the kid's scooters as dollies; I pull, he pushes. This cracks me up and I laugh all the way across the yard at the two of us maneuvering this hulk on scooters.
3. Silvery snail trails crisscross the cement landing.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Artificial cooler, Makita, Evening

1. Still thankful for air conditioning! I always have a burst of energy in the fall with long lists of projects I would love to tackle. But the daytime heat is relentless so I use the cool air conditioning and keep moving down the list.
2. After a frustrating attempt to hand-sand our butcher block island, Steve came home and dug out the orbital sander for me. I love this little guy! (I mean the sander) The island is now soft as a baby's you-know-what, and sealed against spills.
3. I work outside until it is too dark to see, wishing for just a little more daylight because it's so beautiful out here tonight.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Painting friend, Happy faces, Start dumping


1. I made a new friend today. It's a Campbell Hausfeld Gravity Feed Spray Gun. I was a little intimidated by him at first, but we quickly became friends and I'll never use a paint brush again, (if I can help it.)
2. The Cosmos that I laid out for pressing looked so cheery, I had to take their picture.
3. Steve finished building our compost bin today. It has two sides which will enable us to rotate our piles. It reminds me of a dog kennel because it's so big, but we'll have it filled in no time.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fields and trees, Synchronized, Cool down

1. Nature is changing her color palette. Greens fade into browns and golds, while reds and burgundies turn up their hue.
2. The fire alarm blasted just as we opened the door at school. We looked at each other with expressions that asked, "Did we do that!"
3. Late summer evenings turn cool as soon as the sun sets.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Greeted by three, Feels nice, Think of it this way

1. Visiting a friend's log home built in the woods. I smell the creek as I walk up the drive, then a spicy aroma blends in at the front porch near the pumpkins and mums, finished with the sweet smell of wood enveloping me as I step inside.
2. Staining wood outside after dinner with a refreshing breeze as my constant companion.
3. Finding ways to explain a math or science concept and seeing your child "get it".

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Meandering, Freshened up, Coming home

1. Walked alone, in circles at Target, comparing items and taking my time.
2. A haircut! The last week leading up is always the hardest, but it makes the cut feel even fresher.
3. Coming into the driveway after dark when the house lights are on. Home looks so inviting after a busy day.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Alone, Happy child, Big sound


1. A solitary, pale pink bloom emerges on the Flowering Almond. Whatever would possess this dear little thing to bloom all alone in the fall when all its mates bloomed long ago last spring? I talk to it and give it a kiss for being so sweet and brave.
2. Baby giggles to herself from the backseat. We laugh in return from the front seat.
3. The crickets' song fills the field tonight.

Random Photos of the Day #4

Sedum, Autumn Joy

Random Photos of the Day #3

My favorite view looking south

Random Photos of the Day #2

The north view from our back hill. Tidy rows of grape vines at Virginia Mountain Vineyard.

Random Photos of the Day #1


From an animal menagerie that was on on a child's cake in the 1950's

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sharing thoughts, Easing into autumn, They're back

1. When you're visiting with a friend and hours go by in what seems like only minutes.
2. A blue sky day, warm and not hot.
3. Tiny little stunted raspberries ripen on the canes. They're making a last-ditch effort in their comeback after being eaten down by deer this summer.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A very good lunch, And what do you think about...?, Young love

1. We had a delicious pork roast rubbed with a mixture of Dijon, olive oil, garlic and rosemary. It crisped over on top as it roasted. I cooked it over a bed of carrots, onions and potatoes.
2. We reconnected with book study friends tonight. As always, the comments are insightful, thought provoking and flecked with bouts of comedy.
3. He shaved off his chops and she can't stop touching his baby soft face.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Overcast day, New use, Fresh wood, 9/11

1. The misty kind of rain that sticks on your eyelashes and frizzes your hair when you go out for the mail.
2. I have re-purposed the table to serve as a desk in our bedroom. Tess helped me place it today and it's perfect; just as I imagined it would be.
3. The newly built compost bin smells of cut wood. (It won't smell this good for long!)
4. I listen to a montage of audio clips from 9/11. Moving comments, speeches and remarks from that day cut through the pain and bring out the pride that I have for my country. The good in humanity far outweighed the evil that day.

Friday, September 10, 2010

I'm not quite ready, At the right stage, Time to relax

1. The sedum is turning pink, leaves are scattered under the crab apple tree and the sun has a different slant. Summer is gently fading and fall is arriving whether I'm ready or not. I suppose I should get with the program.
2. A tractor pulling a load of budding mums turns into Country Corner and I make a mental note to stop in there next week.
3. Coffee and apple pie on the porch this quiet evening.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Arrivals, Clear the calendar, Cooler

1. Two packages on the doorstep and one in the mailbox!
2. It was supposed to be a very hectic day with appointments from morning to evening. But Tess came home early with a cold, so we canceled everything. I'm not pleased that she is sick, just glad to have the flexibility to scrap everything.
3. This evening's walk with Henri was extra pleasant. The wind rustled the leaves all along the way.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

An old friend, A new friend, Riding with friends

1. We have a table that we found in the basement of an old house we bought in 1989 in Saratoga Springs, NY. It's an ancient farmhouse style table that we've carted with us wherever we have lived. Today I'm getting it ready for a new spot in our bedroom. I love it the same as always.
2. It is a functional thing of beauty, this 18 quart, white enameled, electric roaster. It exudes presence as it sits on the table, confident that it can feed a crowd.
3. The kids ride in the back of the pick-up as we head home over back roads.

Favorite wake-up, Show and tell, Tunnels

1. Biscotti dunked in coffee; my favorite breakfast.
2. Steve and I attended parent night at the high school. The teachers review the syllabus for each class and I realize our kids are being given a huge amount of knowledge and information to absorb. I admire the young, sharp mind and realize how fuzzy my old one is.
3. We tunnel home through the dark. Trees grow like a bower over country roads and our headlights help us worm our way through.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Ivory, Variety, Censored

1. I unwrap a bar of Ivory Soap and place it on the shelf in the linen closet. The big old house we rented in Maine was stocked with Ivory Soap and I want to experience that smell again.
2. The kind of perfect weather where you can sit in the sun or the shade and still be comfortable.
3. We've been watching The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour on DVD. Hysterically funny, I remember watching this with my family back in the late 60's.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Cosmos, Funny bone, Promise

1. Orange and yellow Cosmos light up the garden. You can see the artist's brushstrokes on each petal.
2. Talking with my mom on the phone, I make a comment that sends her into giggles and laughter.
3. "O Joy that seekest me through pain, I cannot close my heart to Thee. I trace the rainbow through the rain, and feel the promise is not vain, that morn shall tearless be." From the song, O Love That Will Not Let Me Go" by George Mattheson

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Lost Episodes

1. I've lost a few days here! Busy mornings, busy afternoons. It's all good.
2. Toasted coconut, crunchy and sweet. If I keep nibbling, there won't be enough left for the coconut cream tart.
3. It has been months since we've had weather this gorgeous. Sunny, breezy, cool and invigorating.
4. I think Tess actually likes school.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Nothing new, Shower, Crisp and clean, Zero

1. An errand takes me to the other side of town where I have a chance to browse some second hand shops and the Habitat Re-Store. I like the chippy old doors and beautiful fixtures from old, torn down places.
2. The temperatures are still running in the 90's. I drag the garden hose through the kitchen and out to the screen porch where I give the walls and floor a wash down. The icy spray is refreshing around my bare feet.
3. Fresh tablecloths and clean floors make me very happy.
4. She would like to ignore the zeros in math equations. We discuss why this might not be a good idea and we examine the huge difference it makes when they are ignored. I understand her reasoning- zeros are big, fat nothings so why bother with them.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fall treats, Catching up, Repelled

1. I baked little apple pies because I can't wait for cooler weather and I want to start eating autumn foods now.
2. B. came over for a nice, long visit over coffee.
3. Sweeney's deer repellent seems to be working. The deer have not munched my Black Eyed Susans for a while and today there were enough blooms to pick a little bouquet.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Lined up, Life in the country, Gift from the garden

1. Packing lunch bags- ice pack, cold things, warm things, napkins; fitting the contents like puzzle pieces and then lining the bags up on the counter.
2. While the glue set, we had to sleep with a sheet in place of the front door. The weather was dry and mild, so no problem... until I turned the lights off for bed and thought, what if a bear wanders by and smells food? We go back into the living room to slide a piece of furniture in front of the opening. It probably wouldn't stop a hungry bear, but at least we'd hear something crash and awaken us.
3. A bag of lavender placed in the old dresser to freshen it.