Saturday, March 30, 2013

Getting Started, Not Virginia, Summer Plans

1. Finally! For weeks I've waited impatiently for the opportunity to work in the garden. Nature has finally supplied a beautiful Saturday and I take full advantage. Old work jeans, old sweatshirt, old sneakers, and my bucket-o-tools. How good it feels to dig in the dirt!
2. Chelsea posted a few photos of their new home city and the scenery is all beautiful. This one shows Chad's new employment in Golden, CO. I am drawn to that hill in the background and how different the landscape is from where we live. They will be walking this very street and I like to imagine where their footsteps fall.

Peak Cycles
3. I stop by Tess' room where she is busy at her desk, creatively cutting and pasting a poster of all the things she wishes to do this summer. It's done on black paper with colorful banners and flags that each have one thing written on them. I catch a glimpse of one banner that says, "Get a car." Oh boy.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Far Off, Taking the Fresh Air, Did You Miss Me?

1. I hear the unmistakable call of a Red-Winged Blackbird. This is a sure sign of spring! I just wish all the other elements (warmth, sun, flowers) would show up.
2. A walk in the fresh air is the best cure for this mildly nagging headache. Henri is overjoyed that I've taken him out. He darts every which way, stopping suddenly now and again to point. I can only smile when he, a Schnoodle, points. It's too cute.
3. One by one, the family returns home at the end of the day. Each time the front door opens, I can tell who it is by the whistle, sing-song call, or door slam.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

All In a Day's Work, Evening Liesure

1. Peacefully shelving library books in solitary orderliness. I spend time in the 560's and 790's, dinosaurs and drawing.
2. A little kindergartener is dreamily walking down the hall...backwards. He sees me approach and his face turns to worry. "I see you're doing the backwards walk", I say with a smile. His worry melts into a smile, he rushes forward, hugs my legs and continues backwards on his way.
3. We stroll the halls at The Jefferson Center to view high school student's art work from around the region. The theme of the show is, "Reflections" so there are many self-portraits on display. One entire class has entered their self-portraits as a group display. To me, these are the most interesting because not every student is obviously comfortable with drawing, but the self examination rendered onto paper reveals so much about him or her.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Running from Each Other, Getting Things In Order, Winter Walk

1. Waiting at a red light, I see a man and then a woman run from a gas station and around a parked car. First he runs after her, then he abruptly turns heel and runs away from her. Oh, OK! It's a friendly snowball fight.
2. It's a small gesture, but one that I appreciate very much. The VW dealership removes all the sticky gunk from my windshield when they put the new inspection sticker on.
2.a.They also want to take care of a recall on the fuel pressure sensor. I explain the work that Steve has just done and stress, "Do not touch anything under the hood." She crosses it and two more recalls off the list.
2.b. I've brought three travel magazines about Colorado to read in the waiting room
3. Henri and I have a good walk in the snow before it melts away.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

What a Difference a Year Makes, He's Amazing!, Snow Day

Lonely run-in shed.
A favorite view.

 1. I go back into my archives and look at March 2012. I can't believe how green and blooming everything was! The temperatures were in the 80's. Today is an entirely different world and a beautiful one at that.
2. Steve sent me a text message: "Your car is a rocket again".
3. For the rest of the day, we relaxed, read, and did much of nothing. It was perfect.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Pysanky Time, Building Up Song, Pineapple Salsa

It's important to start with fresh dye each year.

 These are the tools used to make the pysanky eggs, beeswax and kitskas.

Each line is drawn with beeswax wax melted in the kitska over a candle flame. The egg is then dipped in dye. Then the next layer of wax is drawn and the egg is dipped into the next color of dye and so on.

A straight line means a steady hand and an even flow of wax.
1. I ordered new packages of egg dye this year, and then lost them somewhere in the kitchen for a week. I finally found them and today we dumped the old batch and mixed the new! Tess was the only one with time to make a design today, but I loved smelling the melted beeswax while she drew.
2. There are more varieties of birds singing these mornings. Winter only heard the lonely "Caw!" of a blackbird or the echo of a woodpecker knocking in the woods. These new melodies are a lighter sing-song, shared among many birds.
3. I made this pineapple-mango salsa for lunch. The sweet fruitiness is a delicious contrast on salty tortilla chips. It's bright color matched the sunshine today.

Dice one pineapple, one mango, and half a red onion. Add 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (sorry if you think it tastes like soap), salt to taste and the juice of one lime. Mix and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. *If you like hotness, you may add a jalapeño, seeded and chopped.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Only Fifty Days Left of School, A Helping Hand for My Aching Feet, Safely Arrived

1. Instead of saying, "Have a good day!" I can say, "Have a good weekend!" I have never been more glad for Friday.
2. I've observed that when a little girl cries, whether it's for hurt feelings, a boo-boo, or anything at all, she is encircled by friends. They protectively surround her, cluck and coo like mother hens, hug and pat her back, and coax her to talk about it. We women don't change much in that respect.
3. He carried in all the groceries for me.
4. Their trip across country was uneventful of anything majorly negative and exciting in all things positive.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

And then they... and then she..., Let's Get You Home, Taking Her Sweet Time

1. Well, at least my day is good for a laugh.
2. It's the universal gesture to check for fever, a hand gently placed on a child's forehead. More so, it's a gesture to show that someone cares.
3. The first day of spring makes an effort for us with abundant sunshine. We'll have to wait for all the rest of her attributes.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I'll Love You Forever, Mr. T., Feeling Special

1. All twenty-six years, five feet, seven inches of her sits on my lap with her face buried on my shoulder. This hug could never last long enough and for a moment I make it last forever.
2. The custodian is my favorite person there.
3. When you enter their home you are hugged at the door, signed into their guest book, having your picture taken, and seated at a table with refreshments, surrounded by walls of pink. They are one of the sweetest couples I know, married over fifty years, and so much fun to be around.
3a. Ritz crackers sandwiched with peanut butter and completely coated in white chocolate. How does anyone not eat three of these?!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Sisters and Friends, The Perfect Compliment, Spring Bouquet

1. When they were little, two of the sisters did not get along. Admittedly, they displayed pure hostility toward one another. This worried me and I would tell them that some day they would be all grown up and they would need and love each other. (I wasn't sure if this was true, but it sounded good and some parenting I made up as I went along.) Now they are all grown up and they spent this last evening together on a double date with friends. I had to wait years to see if I would be right.
2. One little boy motions for me to bend down and listen. He tells me I have pretty hair. I know for a fact this is not true and he is blindly paying me a compliment, but it is the sweetest thing. Time and again, I see that children simply want to be accepted, liked and loved.
3. White tulips and pink carnations are pretty together in the white pitcher. They smell like springtime and Easter.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Four Leaf Green, I Needed That, Farewell and I Mean That

1. She found a four leaf clover on St. Patrick's Day. How lucky is that!
2. Sunday morning at church, hearing a great sermon that puts everything back into the right perspective.
3. A bittersweet day. Chelsea and Chad's last Sunday visit for quite a while. I am thankful for these years we've had them close by. They bring fun and joy wherever they go and there will be some lucky people in Denver should they get to know them. Oh goodness, this is going to be hard.
3a. Church friends combine resources to send them off with snacks and money for the road. It warms my heart to see others blessing my children this way.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

For My Birthday I Spent a Lot of $$$

Let's just say some days are better left forgotten. The kind of days when everything feels wrong and goes wrong and the delicate juggling act we try to keep in the air comes crashing down on our own heads.
I would first like to thank Officer W. for issuing me a traffic ticket for my inspection that expired two weeks ago. If he hadn't stopped me, I might not ever have noticed it was overdue. I would also be $91 richer.
I would also like to thank the mechanical-powers-that-be for giving me a car that is now parked on my lawn with the hood up and the engine guts all disassembled to pieces. How would I otherwise be reminded of what a great mechanic Steve is (even though that's not really what he does) who is able fix my fuel pump and cam shaft? I even got to peer into the mysterious depths of a VW engine and marvel at how a tiny little engine like that has the power to make a car run. I would also be $800+ richer. We had to recite our mantra: "It's less than a couple of car payments."
So, I started this day thinking it was all about me. My day, what I wanted to do, my plans and my schemes. Silly me. I was happy when it was my bedtime, though. I was ready to call it a day sometime around two in the afternoon. As Tess' piano teacher said, I need to call a do-over!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Easy Friday Night Meal, Movies at Home, Slowly But Surely

photo and recipe martha stewart everyday food
1. I plan Friday dinners to be easy, laid back meals. Tonight we had Steak Sandwiches with Red Onion Jam. To simplify even more, I used a good quality, sliced roast beef from the deli.
1a. On the side- shrimp cocktail.
2. Better than going out, relaxing at home with a movie and glass of wine.
3. The treat of one or two spring-like days to interrupt the string of  blustery, cold ones.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

In From the Blustery Sidewalk, Just What I Was Looking For, Back Again

1. A window table with B. at Bread Craft for coffee and almond croissants. I couldn't resist a loaf of cinnamon bread with icing to take home as a treat for the family's breakfast tomorrow.
2.  As we browsed my favorite shop, I told B. that I was looking for something wooden to put on my plain white coffee table. She gave me a hesitant look and said she had something wooden for me out in her car. Hmm, I can't imagine what it could be. Later, at the car she gave me this beautiful, distressed piece of barn wood her husband cut. She added a bird's nest and egg and enclosed it all in a cellophane bag. I had just bought the glass cloche and it fit perfectly over the nest. My coffee table is plain no more.
3. Back to the oral surgeon, slightly nervous and prone to feeling a bit shaky after this two month ordeal. He recommends another minor surgery (more stitches : ( and then he says, "I won't charge you." I think, "Wow!"Afterward, I sit in the sun-warmed car to let my nerves settle and then happily drive away.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Unleashed, Contained, Lucky Day

1. Capricious March weather gives vent to my moods. Month of my birth, no wonder. Shortly before and again after this photo, the sun shone brightly. Henri must have heard me exclaim my surprise because he came to look out the window too. It was an exciting display, so blustery and wild!

2. My notes are neatly typed and filed. I also reorganize my committee binder and now I feel like all is right in the world. (I know, I know, it's a false sense of security. But it works for the moment.)
3. A daughter shares her very good day via text. I don't care for texting, but in moments like these, I am thankful for it.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

"Life, too, is like that. You live it forward, but understand it backward."    
Abraham Verghese  Cutting For Stone

Monday, March 11, 2013

Changes, Meadowlark, An Easier Drive

1. A steady spring rain pattered on the window all night long. By mid-morning the sun broke through, refracting bright light from every glittering surface.

photo from
 2. I saw a bird on the lawn that I have never seen before. Ungainly, large feet and long beak, it's breast was daffodil yellow with a perfect black bib. After consulting the bird book, I learned that it was an Eastern Meadowlark. It says they are fairly common so I don't know why I've never seen one before.

3. It's still daylight when I drive to my 7:00pm meeting. Oh, little pleasures!

Too Much Beef, Texting, The Guys

1. We're discussing the co-purchase of a calf, to become a cow, to become our food. The problem is, we only have two refrigerator- freezers and no matter how I picture it in my mind, half a cow won't fit into them. I conjure up images of a talking cow trying to climb up into the freezer, arguing with me about the cramped space. Maybe if I ask politely...
2. I have the means (and the coupons) to invite Daughter #3 to meet me at the mall for a little shopping spree. I text this to her and get an unusually prompt reply with exclamation points.
2.a. Daughter #2 texts me at the same time as #3. She found someone to work her shift on Sunday so they can spend the entire day with us. The exclamation points are now flying everywhere!
3. Monday night pool for the guys is still going strong. J. deposits a fresh dozen eggs on my table as he passes through the kitchen each and every week.
3.a. R. passes through with a bottle in a brown paper bag. Steve pulls it out and says to me, "See R.'s hospitality?" I say, "That's very nice hospitality, R." and the smile under his beard is so big, it lights up his eyes.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Turning Toward the Light, What's for Lunch?, Where They Are Going

1. The sunshine irresistibly draws everyone outside to bask for a bit.
2. There was a baked potato fundraiser at church today. Huge, steaming, foil-baked potatoes were set out on a table ready to be loaded with topping choices. We each built our own favorite and took them home in Styrofoam containers. We had a salad on the side and it was delicious and filling. It also gave us a carefree day from cooking.
3. We traced our fingers over the map, marking out their route. We traced across many states, so far away and yet so exciting!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Emerging From Hibernation, Looking About, It's Convenient, His and Hers

1. It's a sunny Saturday morning that promises to be an almost-spring-like day. I feel an awakening pulse as we turn from the cold, dark days of winter and look about with sleepy eyes at what must be done. It motivates me to make a list of things to do...for Steve. Because he likes to cross them off.
2. The snow covered mountain tops of yesterday are now bare. I see Tinker Cliffs in the distance and I picture Chelsea hiking there right about now. (She put an invite on Facebook to hike there this afternoon.)
3. Our route home takes us by Breuster's. It's past lunch and we haven't eaten, so with guilty pleasure we heartily agree on ice cream for lunch. Butter Pecan for me, Cotton Candy Explosion for her.
4. He and I both want to use the kitchen tonight. He mostly needs one side and I, the other. It's a well choreographed affair with him brewing a rye IPA and me baking a coconut cream tart. I just hope the flavors don't somehow intermingle. Ew.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

A Good Egg, Not Much Longer Now, A Boost

1. Peeling a hard boiled egg and the shell comes off in large pieces.
2. I switched from garden clogs to boots because the snow was getting down into my socks. All the while, my thoughts were on the 64° forecast for Monday.
3. Nope, nothing fit right in the first two stores. Feeling discouraged and with time running out, I tried one last place. Everything fit just right and in a size lower than I normally purchase. (They must be cutting them bigger this season.) I needed that!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Happy Day, Snow Day, Saving the Day

1. Daughter #3, Audrey, turns twenty today! She's having a very happy day and I'm glad. A Todd Rundgren song goes through my head with the line, "The days and the years will go streaking by, but the time has stopped within my dream."

I've shared this before, but it's a favorite of mine so I'll share it again : )

2. We expected a snow covered landscape by morning, we expected school closings, we expected to stay in and read all day, and perhaps cook a pot of soup. It's nice when everything goes as expected.
3. Poor starling has flown down the chimney and pecks at the metal door for escape. I use gloves to pull out the bird, but the one I "saved" has long expired. I can't reach the live one, so Tess and I call our neighbor friends to help us. We get the bird released into the basement and then the four of us wave arms and shoo it out the door. We all give ourselves a pat on the back for our success.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Perfect Day, Goodies, Peeps on Fire

1. B. arranged a day out for us in Charlottesville. It had been ages since I'd gone out for a day like this. We walked in and out of all the shops, tried on clothes, critiqued the fit for one another, bought chocolates, and had a relaxing lunch in the Mediterranean restaurant. The grand finale was a stop at Trader Joe's, where I had never been before.
2. She recommended the bag of blood oranges, the coffee and lots of other goodies. I found a bottle of wine for $3.29 which I have to try simply for its cheap price. It will never go to waste, even if only for use in my sauce.
2.a. The peeled blood orange reveals a beautiful ombré interior of red, pink, and orange.
2.b. Claire phones while we're at lunch to tell me that Mari is asking to go to Nonni's house. Oh my heart!
3. Steve emails me this photo of chicks on a stick he saw at CVS. He knows I love to roast them : ) The sticks aren't intended for roasting, but he does bring home some regular Peeps for our wood stove fire tonight.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

In Common, Bittersweet, Candy, Treats and Other Indulgences

1. Three of us in the family have March birthdays, so we gather here for the weekend to celebrate. Saturday's dinner is the family's homemade meatballs and sauce with ravioli.
2. We also celebrate Chelsea's new job and we take this opportunity to all be together before she and Chad leave for Denver.
3. Mari tells her cousin, "I'm going to Nonni's house!" It warms my heart that she says it like it's something wonderful and exciting.
4. While walking and rocking Jonathan, he finds his thumb and calms right down. I think it's adorable.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Go To Sleep, A Visitor, The Forest

1. Mari's cry awakens me with a start. A glance at the kitchen clock shows midnight as I shuffle toward the guest room. Everyone has gone to bed with all the lights on. I have the privilege of shushing Mari back to sleep, then I turn off all the lights and tumble back into my warm, down blankets.
2. Sitting in the lobby at the elementary school, a child smiles shyly at me as she walks by.
3. J. has sent this beautiful time lapse video of a forest which I had to watch over and over. I'm especially surprised at how lush and green summer becomes.