Monday, February 28, 2011

Brief sunshine, February's done, Trash to treasure

1. I sat on the wet grass this morning and had to change my clothes when I got inside.
2. The air is soft and balmy. It isn't long before the heavy rains come and begin the greening-up process.
3. I began painting the dresser that we found by the roadside last fall. It will add a little interest to an empty corner in the kitchen and I will use it to store our dining linens.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Awakening, Chad's day, Staying up late

1. The Forsythia and Lilac buds are swelling. Daffodil buds hang their demure heads and yellow fields show tints of green. There is nothing sweeter than the promise of spring.
2. I served a delicious Beef Bourguignon Soup poured over egg noodles for lunch, in celebration of Chad's birthday.
3. We got comfortable around the TV and watched the Oscars, sharing our own commentaries as they went along.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Big plans, Fun to be with, In our dreams

1. A very early morning flurry of activity as Steve and Tess leave for a day of skiing. They are excited and happy to go. I am excited and happy to stay.
2. It may be a sign that this teenage daughter is growing up. She doesn't bring her ipod when we go out together and instead, we talk and interact for hours.
3. Testing mattresses, neatly lined up in long rows. First this one, then that one; lie this way, then that way. Finally she says, "I just want to jump on them all." I gaze down the expansive row and imagine what fun that would be. We look at each other and smile.

* I would like to make note of three different salesmen who were exceptional today. I complain a lot these days that stores don't hire good associates, but today we hit the jackpot. The gentleman at the Mattress Depot was professional, knowledgeable, and friendly. He made us comfortable to look around. The owner of Leatherhous assisted us while we chatted, discussed business, and he explained the variety of products. Lastly, the young man in Advanced Auto Parts even asked if he could carry my bag out for me. (It was a single plastic bag.) I thanked him but told him the day I needed help with a bag like this, I was in trouble. Kudos to these businesses for their customer service!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Shine!, An enemy, What I made for dessert

1. Brilliant sun breaks through the clouds and brings the world back into sharp focus.
2. I experienced the strange sensation of the wind trying to push me off my feet. It was that strong today and a gust caught me off guard, pushing me sideways so that I had to fight back. It was nothing like my dreams of flying : )
3. I love the little pearls of tapioca in the pudding.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

We need the rain, Abe Lincoln had good eyes, No problems

1. It is a dark and dreary day. The kind of dreariness where something sinister would happen if this were a novel. But for me, nothing to do but laundry and ironing. Such a mundane day that lunch is the main highlight. A fried red pepper and egg sandwich with a slice of Provolone melted on top and eaten on a hard roll.
2. So dark and dreary in fact, that the power went out around 8PM. I lit an assortment of candles and little bottles filled with oil and wick. We came from our separate rooms and gathered around the lights. Steve read aloud (by headlamp) while we chatted.
3. Retreating to our beds in order to keep warm, I'm surprised how cozy and comfortable it is under the down. The rain still sounds nice, too.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Refreshing news, Love these guys, Out with it

1. Roba Dolce would like to spread some kindness. Check out their blog to see how you can help spread good news. ( The Coconut Gelatto is my personal favorite.)
2. I watched an entertaining documentary called The Parking Lot Movie. It takes place in nearby Charlottesville, VA and offers an interesting glimpse of humanity through the microcosm of a parking lot.
3. I reduced several stacks of papers, receipts and magazines to trash. Why I hold on to things so long is beyond me. Maybe it's just so I can have this good feeling when I finally do throw it away.

Today's view, Her battery is dead, Eats candy and watches soaps

1. The fog closes in and the day becomes more subdued. Woodsmoke scents the air while large, wet snowflakes fall heavily from the mist.
2. Our high school is a 20 mile, round-trip drive over back roads and mountains. I wouldn't say it's convenient, but it is interesting in a scenic way. And a manual transmission is always fun on country roads : ) I drive it twice today.
3. Yesterday, Tess' hair stylist asked me what I'm doing now that Tess is in school and I have all this free time. My mind went blank and I had nothing to give. So, today I printed a daily planner in 15 minute increments and decided to fill it in for one week, to see exactly what do I do all day?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Making it cozy, Good reports, A new use

1. Dusting off all my old pictures and re-hanging them on the newly painted walls makes them look new again.
2. Even better than hearing about good grades are reports like, "She smiles a lot" and "She is kind to others".
3. Bid and won a sweet, little, cotton tablecloth on ebay that will become a curtain in the hall bath.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

It's not fair, Fiber-licious, Filling the bag



"True greatness is revealed through kindness to the children and the weak." (from Pastor David on Luke 9:48)

1. I'm rifling through Steve's sermon notes to see if he caught something I missed. He has the keen ability to multi-task as evidenced by the scribbles scattered among his notes. I've often accused him of not paying attention, but he remembers everything about the sermon as well. He claims this is what helps him concentrate.
2. I made B.'s recipe for Lentil Stew today. Slices of turkey sausage are little prizes in some of the spoonfuls.
3. I told Chelsea we would drop off some stew since she is having her turn with a head cold. I find other odds and ends to add to the bag, like cookies. Steve contributes a home brewed beer for Chad.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Bank bakery, A sign of spring, It gets better

1. On Fridays, my bank gives each customer a little white paper bag containing a warm cookie. The cookies are pretty good, but the white paper bag is what makes them special.
2. Bulky bunches of asparagus, strapped with rubber bands, stand at attention under a sign that advertises a good price. I bring home two bunches to roast for dinner.
3. Sometimes I prefer a mild, cloudy day even better than a sunny one, when I can smell the moisture in the earth.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Can it be?, Keeping in good company, Our sweet fix

1. It reached 72° so we went out with no jackets! It felt like we were getting away with something we shouldn't be doing.
2. The simple joys of life through a toddler's eyes: Tearing up dead leaves produces waterfalls of giggles, cruising in the seat of a shopping cart is worthy of squealing laughter, saying, "Yum" a lot while you eat, and chattering to yourself while riding in the car. Life is pretty,darn good!
3. These cookies are one of our favorites. They are so huge, you only need to eat one. *I reduce the salt by 1/2 teaspoon.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

This is exciting! It doesn't smell sweet yet, It was with the dishes

1. My environment is changing color, slowly and chameleon-like, from warm yellow to cool gray. The impact is more dramatic than I imagined it would be.
2. We sat outside on the grass today! Brown and scratchy as it is, it still felt good to sit on the ground. It was mild enough that we could take our time and not be hurried in by the cold.
3. I almost forgot where I hid my chococlate. I hid it from myself because I have no willpower whatsoever and I want it to last for at least a few days. Found it! I savored some and left some for tomorrow.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sweet baby, The Law of Nature, My place of employment

1. She has a habit of holding her little fists together while she is sleeping.
2. I began reading Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis for our small group study. I have to re-read passages to be sure I'm following his logic, but I do enjoy the way he thinks.
3. Steve put the kitchen cabinet doors and drawers back in place and I want to do a little jig because I'm so glad the job is finished. On to the walls...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Coming to visit, And now we are eleven, The older folks

1. Steve holds Mari with her head snuggling his neck. He smiles and gets that blissful-holding-a-baby look.
2. Our daughters' childhood friend has come to visit for the weekend. They have chosen to meet up at our home which is halfway between D.C. and Raleigh. Another of their mutual friends comes over with her family. These four friends have become eleven, including husbands and children.
3. Steve and I escape to our own friends' dinner party. Conversation and laughter keep us out long into the night.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

More rest, Water-colored raincoats, Trusting- he's usually right

1. They have closed school today (??). A. and T. are slowly recovering from the flu and this gives them a chance to sleep the day away without feeling like they are missing any more school work.
2. The store clerks are unpacking boxes of spring clothing and setting up new displays. Oh, it's a happy, pretty-colored sight!
3. I cringed as Steve measured water into the paint. (We were having issues with the paint being too thick to properly spray.) This all seemed so wrong, to water down the paint, but it worked! I'm back in business and the job will be finished by the weekend.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Perspective of a story, Hollywood's Cafe, A painting break

1. Circumstances had me at two different study groups today, covering the same book and the same section of pages. Even though the assignment was identical, the women offered completely different discussions.
2. A fun lunch date with friends. My sandwich of breaded eggplant, roasted vegetables and melted provolone on Italian bread was built to perfection.
3. A day off from painting. I needed it.

Perspective in the winter woods

There are a lot of caves, sinkholes and other interesting land features in our neck of the woods. Tess and Chelsea had some time to go exploring, camera in hand. These casual shots just happen to show a different perspective on the same cave. Sometimes things are not what they seem...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

"Faith" from Peace Like a River by Leif Enger


"Where do you think you are going?" Dr. Nokes demanded. I think he feared the sickness had touched the part of Dad's brain in charge of good sense. "What do you have for directions?" he asked.

And Dad, eyebrows raised in delight with his forthcoming answer, said, "I have the substance of things hoped for. I have the anticipation of things unseen."

Dr. Nokes was posing these questions to Jeremiah Land as he prepared to take his family on a risky venture in an Airstream camper while not being fully healed from a bout of pneumonia.
Couldn't these questions be posed about life in general? I imagine someone asking me, as I walk the path of life, "Where do you think you're going." What do you have for directions?" And my answer would be the same as Jeremiah's. Because really, I have no clue where I'm going and I certainly have no directions. But God has given me the substance of things hoped for and the anticipation of things unseen. And therefore, joy.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Warm through the window, Etiquette aside, We're ready!

1. Sunshine and brightness boost our spirits as we limp through flu season.
2. When Steve carves the ham, I give bystanders permission to pick. This makes Chad's eyebrows go up in a happy way.
3. We have the proper munchies for the Superbowl.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The big day, Just pull the trigger, Dressed for success

1. The kitchen base cabinets are all painted and today I began to spray paint the doors. Steve built a painting "room" for me in the basement, encased in plastic. He installed fluorescent lights, so I could see better, and built a room sized easel to set all the doors on. I think about what a good team we make and I am thankful.
2. I'm still pleased with the gravity- feed paint prayer. These doors would have taken hours longer without it. And now I leave behind no brush strokes!
3. I wear a uniform of old clothes, a big-pocketed apron reserved for painting, and a scarf tied over my hair. It somehow makes me feel competent to tackle the job.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Perfect, A fire fit for a queen, Simple fare

1. I browse the boutique, searching for a birthday gift for a friend. I don't know what I'm looking for, but I'll know it when I see it. There it is! It has found me.
2. Driving along a stretch of road, the air is thick where someone is burning apple or cherry wood. I briefly consider making a U-turn so I can drive through again.
3. One of my favorite lunches; a hunk of bread and some good cheese. Do wish I had some olives, though.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A change in the weather, Brush in hand, Insight

1. The weather indulged my desire for variety today.
2. Painting, painting, painting. It's a meditative experience when the house is quiet and I'm alone at it.
3. A lively discussion at book club tonight. I appreciate the opportunity to see what someone else sees, and my eyes are blind to, in a passage.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Better than a Christmas tree, A smile says it all, Where did we leave off?

1. Steve asks me to help him with some wood at the table saw. I play the role of Grandpa Walton, guiding the boards as they exit the saw. The sharp scent of pine bursts forth with the first cut and fills the basement with the most wonderful aroma.
2. I think I am forgiven by daughter for the embarrassment I caused her. My apology is no sooner off my lips and she breaks into a lovely smile.
3. I'm caring for my little friend today, whom I haven't seen in a while. She cuddles into my lap, handing me book after book to share with her as if no months have separated our visits.