Saturday, July 30, 2011
2. Afternoon thunderstorms, the typical summer kind, break up the monotony of blazing sun.
3. I've missed the sound of crickets chirping at night. It's one of those sounds that remind me of childhood summers in NY, falling asleep near an open window to the sound of crickets. I heard them today, but in the early morning out on the porch. It's a peaceful sound.
Friday, July 29, 2011
2. It's a "Wishlist" so we get to imagine anything we'd like to have on it. It doesn't mean we'll get it, but we can wish all we want.
3. Chelsea phones from Floydfest where she is volunteering for the weekend. We are both surprised that her phone works from the mountains. I think she is being thoughtful to touch base with me because of The Incident* that happened the last time she was there.
4. Claire also phoned to say that they sold their Miata. She said she's a bit sad to sell the little, red, two-seater convertible but she's happy because now they are three.
*I'll write about this when I have more time
Thursday, July 28, 2011
(I halved the recipe to serve three.)
2. As tradition has it, the ladies gather each month to celebrate whomsoever has a birthday. Tonight we met over wine and cheese, good stories and lots of laughs. Happy Birthday, Sara!
Oh yes- and a wonderful glass of Muscato!
3. A light drops from the sky like sparkling glitter falling from a holiday card.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
2. In order to avoid the heat, I waited until 7:30 pm. to work in the garden. It was nicer than I expected with even a little breeze at the top of the hill. I stayed out until 9:00 when darkness began to make it feel lonely.
3. An ice cold glass of Coca Cola with bubbles that bite my throat and flavor that is loud and strong.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
2. We encounter a medical professional whose questioning is direct and with purpose. He exudes confidence and knowledge. This is a relief considering all the waiting rooms we've sat in these past eight months.
3. A surprise billing reminder arrives in the mail. It's due tomorrow! There's no way to make the drive to pay it in person, so we log onto their website, zip, zip transfer the funds, print a receipt, zip, it's paid! Think of the gas we saved! Oh how I love efficiency!
Monday, July 25, 2011
2. The internet has the service manual for our eight year old dishwasher (which I misplaced). We can look up parts, troubleshooting guides and how-to videos. Looks like we can fix it ourselves.
3. Daily rains have helped green up the parched landscape, just a tad.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
2. Our little screen porch is encapsulated by the night. A lamp glows on the table and cicadas chirp from beyond the darkness. We have all mixed something cool to drink, Chelsea's has freshly crushed mint. It's good to have all of us together, chatting and laughing as a "whole".
3. The refrigerator is opened and closed a lot this weekend.
Friday, July 22, 2011
2. It was unbearably hot today, but we managed to get out of the air conditioning and enjoy the porch later in the evening.
3. Claire, Daniel and Marian drove in tonight for a weekend visit! Words fail in expressing the joy I feel when I hold Mari.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
2. I have the bounty of summer in my shopping cart. Peaches, nectarines, plums and strawberries. Life will be spare of these come winter, so we'll enjoy every fresh bite while we can.
3. Here come the tomatoes!
* She offered me seeds but I think there are customs laws about importing that sort of thing, so I declined. I can see myself being responsible for some sort of natural disaster like the ladybug problem we have : )
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
2. A sun-warmed tomato fills the palm of my hand as I twist it off the vine.
3. My friend introduces me to the Fresh Air child who is staying with them. She is 500 miles away from home, spending summer in the Virginia countryside. When I tell her that I am from New York too, her shy demeanor falls away and a brief flicker of smile meets mine.
3a. This reminds me of being with my dad when he would run into old friends and they would shout to each other, "Ey! Paisan!"
Monday, July 18, 2011
2. I sit in the shade and remove my cap. When the breeze hits my sweaty brow, it has the effect of air conditioning.
3. I'm determined to wipe the slate clean and pay off my library fine of $1.20.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
2. A lovely, lazy afternoon, rocking, reading and visiting.
3. We walked across the field to say hello to the new neighbors in the rental house. He is a landscape designer and they plan to give the place a face lift. Yes!
Saturday, July 16, 2011
2. The weather was overcast and cool, tricking me into imagining it was autumn.
3. Heads of lacy dill are spread over the kitchen table, mildly scenting the room with the garden.
4. Steve leaves his mark as evidenced by a lone string bean inside a jar of pickles, or slices cast into a jar of spears.
Friday, July 15, 2011
1. My treasure today is a half-bushel of pickling cucumbers from Ikenberry's. They came tightly packed in a clean, white box, fresh from a local farm.
2. My canning book has margin notes that I've made over the years. I see that I bought a half-bushel of cukes in 1997 for $12. Today they cost $16. My notes also tell me how many quarts and pints a half-bushel yielded in 2005.
3. I notice Steve in the garden, picking dill. I think he's excited about having hot dill pickles this winter.
1 clove garlic
2 heads dill
1 piece of hot red chili pepper
1 Tablespoon canning salt
3 quarts water
1 quart vinegar
Pack pickles into hot, sterile jars. pour boiling brine over pickles, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
You may leave out the hot pepper, if desired.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
2. We take our little friend into the garden. Cherry tomato juice drips down her chin and a fistful of wax beans is clutched in one hand.
3. I like slipping the skins off boiled beets.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
2. Back to work on the basement with Tess. We've accumulated three large garbage bags to throw away, a huge pile for Goodwill and a much neater storage area.
3. It's finally bearable to sit outside at dusk. The balmy breeze isn't exactly refreshing, but it's nice to feel it stroking our skin. Our voices sound hushed in the night.
Monday, July 11, 2011
1. What to do when it's too hot outside? Clean the basement! The "three pile" rule definitely helps: give away, throw away, keep.
2. The barn swallows have tripled in numbers and they perform multiple aerobatic groups simultaneously. When at rest, they all line up on the power lines.
3. A flower within a flower goes unnoticed unless we look closer. There are so many mysteries hiding out there...
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Saturday, July 9, 2011
2. The morning was cool enough for reading on the porch.
3. Claire writes that she has put her hands in the Arctic Ocean. As a youngster, she always dreamed of traveling. I'm really glad she can fulfill these dreams.
We have no time to stand and stare?—
No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
Friday, July 8, 2011
2. Morning coffee with friends sharing cares and concerns. S. also shares a bag of fresh Georgia peaches.
3. The clouds are low and heavy with rain. By evening the ground has turned sodden from hours of rain. Finally.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
1. It's a drizzly, quiet morning for picking wineberries. Tess is a great berry-picking companion and doesn't complain while we fight brambles and bugs to claim our reward. A half mile walk back home, a refreshing shower, and then I'm working on tonight's dessert.
2. Steve made a CD of all the music on our computer for me to play in the car. It's a schizophrenic compilation of everything from Led Zeppelin to Nat King Cole, a bunch of jazz, to Trace Adkins "Honky Tonk Badonk-A-Donk." The afternoon's drive is one wild ride.
3. I love my new glasses! Now that I can actually see what they look like on my face, I'm pleased with the choice we made.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
2. The bird identification book with its beautiful illustrations is left open near the window. As soon as our daredevil visitors zoom in, I find their markings and identify them as Barn Swallows.
3. The strawberries are pretty, red jewels in the ironstone serving bowl. It's an orphan piece of ironstone, old and aged with no lid and therein lies its beauty.
Monday, July 4, 2011
2. I did some cleaning and organizing in the basement today. Each time I go down for laundry, I admire the tidy shelves.
3. The kids all have their own activities today. Steve and I opt out of seeing fireworks and late into the evening I take Henri for a walk instead. It's very peaceful with only one car passing by.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
2. These swallows do more than fly as a mode of transport. They perform daring aerial acrobatics, soaring, darting and diving in what appears to be a game of fun.
3. I brush my hand over the lavender blooms, releasing it's wonderful scent. Butterflies and bees have been in a frenzy over it for weeks.
4. Steve rented the movie, 3:10 to Yuma. I watched it with him, eyes partially covered. It was very good, though.
Not all the vats upon the Rhine
Yield such an alcohol!
Inebriate of air am I,
And debauchee of dew,
Reeling, through endless summer days,
From inns of molten blue.
When landlords turn the drunken bee
Out of the foxglove's door,
When butterflies renounce their drams,
I shall but drink the more!
Till seraphs swing their snowy hats,
And saints to windows run,
To see the little tippler
Leaning against the sun!
Friday, July 1, 2011
1. Turning the calendar page to July so a fresh month is laid out before me.
2. I move from one room to another, changing chairs, lighting and mood for the book I'm reading.
3. The tractor stitches tidy rows of quilting all over the fields and hills.