Friday, December 31, 2010
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
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
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
Saturday, December 25, 2010
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
2. Daniel cooks a delicious chicken alfredo dinner for us.
3. Lots of cuddle time with baby.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
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:
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!
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
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
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
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
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.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
2. Buttery, crunchy bread crumbs on top of creamy macaroni and cheese.
3. Antiques Roadshow- still my favorite program!
Saturday, October 23, 2010
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
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.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
A day of picture-perfect weather, men in kilts, games, cute dogs, bagpipes, And Enter the Haggis.
Friday, October 1, 2010
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Monday, September 13, 2010
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.