Friday, July 31, 2009

Fried green tomatoes, Trumpet vine, Feminine

1. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And when cows knock down the tomatoes, fried green tomatoes!!!
2. The trumpet vine is taking over the wall. I love the lush growth, the hummingbirds that visit the orange flowers and the natural curtain it provides for my window.
3. I feel comfortable and feminine in my long-ish cotton skirt. I should sew more of these.
4. A bag of beets from B. is standing by the door. The big leafy tops stand tall out of the bag. And then, on the kitchen counter, I find farm eggs from B.! Today I feel rich.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A People Day with rain

1. Places to go and people to see this morning helped spur the day onward.
2. High tea served at 6:00PM. F.'s mom is visiting from Pakistan and she cooks for us.
3. We discuss the book, Three Cups of Tea. F.'s mom talks about life in Pakistan and we talk about the world's events from our own perspective, not the news'.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Comfort, Mushrooms, Friendly grocer

1. My favorite kind of rainy day. No thunder or lightning, just dark, gray, steady rainfall. I find this kind of day comforting and full of contentment.
2. There are gigantic mushrooms on the neighbor's lawn. Even though we are acres apart, I see them out my kitchen window, stems and tops. Any moment I expect to see a gnome perched on top.
3. I opt to head for the little, older grocery store in Troutville where they always seem to have what I need. It's the kind of grocery I remember as a kid where the clerks are friendly. I am not disappointed this time either and I decide that I will always head here when I've run out of something.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Walking, Come Along!, The Mall

1. In the cool morning we walk the scenic, three- mile Switzer Mountain loop.
2. I hear Chad say, "I want to hang out with my sister-in-law!", letting Audrey know that he and Chelsea want her to go to the waterfall too.
3. I take Tess and her two best friends to the mall. It's a special occasion to indulge in photo booths, soft pretzels, ice cream, earrings and purses.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Morning light, Pottery, Sleepover

1. I appreciate the daylight greeting me in the early morning. I do not take it for granted and I realize it is creeping away from me minute by minute each day, fading towards autumn.
2. The Glazed Bisque-It is a fun shop where you paint ready- made green ware pieces to your liking. I love the artistic atmosphere, the endless possibilities of items to create, and the hours we spend there this afternoon.
3. Chelsea phones to say they are coming to spend the night, just for the fun of it.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cake, Rain, Best Friends

1. I wake up to a lovely, golden cake that B. has baked for us. All I need to do is put the coffee on.
2. Nightly storms, not too violent, lull me to sleep with the rain.
3. Best friends reunited after one moved far away. Tess and her friend have a whole week together and it looks like they've never been apart.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Evening Ride

I love the shots Tess captures with her camera.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Stuffed mushrooms, Darkness, Sangria

1. White mushroom caps prepared with a delicious filling using crab meat, red bell pepper, coarse bread crumbs and fresh herbs. They baked crispy on the top and really hit the spot.
2. The porch is cozy with black night just outside the screen and soft candlelight inside.
3. We take turns scooping the fruit out of the sangria pitcher into our glasses.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Time to browse, Cheap wine, Better, A new baby

1. Leisurely wandered Walmart's aisles, sight-seeing. I had a list, but my real intention was to investigate the store and see what it could offer me.
2. Out of curiosity, I bought a bottle of Chardonnay for $2.94. Steve and I examine the label, chuckling and puzzling over what this will taste like.
3. During the night, I hear Audrey go upstairs to bed, which means she is feeling better.
4. Receive the happy news that a friend has had her first baby! Throughout the day, my thoughts wander back to when our daughters were born.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Clean beds, Bread, Keep walking

1. Weeding the flower beds, I enjoy all of the therapy that goes along with it. Not to mention a way-prettier garden to view this morning with that second cup.
2. A beautiful loaf of home baked bread from a friend.
3. A difficult day, but it gives me pleasure to feel peace as I walk straight on through it.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Grandin, Private, Fruit Pizza

1. Since Chelsea and Chad both work at the beautiful Grandin Theater, we are privileged to a free movie today. They all go to see Harry Potter.
2. Alone in the Viewing Room to see "Away We Go", I feel like a celebrity with my own private viewing. Eventually another middle aged woman comes in and we share this movie experience as total strangers, both chuckling at the same parts.
3. Tess arranges the fruit on our fruit pizza. It is so pretty, I hate to cut into it.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Drama, Canning, Distance

1. Morning breaks with distant thunder, growing stronger as it approaches, lending a dramatic start to the day.
2. Claire phones with multiple canning questions. I am happy that she is beginning her first canning experience, using her own garden.
3. From the top of the hill, the horses look like little plastic playthings. I imagine picking one up with my fingers and they are tinier than I thought.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

In town, Around the table, Mad Hatter bunny hutch

1. We take up exactly one full row at church.
2. All of us are together at the table. A rarer occasion after the children begin to move away and we cherish these times of laughter and sharing.
3. Steve's creative paint job on the bunny hutch causes quite a stir. Mostly with me and along the lines of, "That's not going in my garden". But I enjoy the banter and the support he gets from the children. I'm outnumbered and it is going in my garden.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Coffee companion, Pizza, Agricola

1. I'm usually up alone early each morning. But today Claire is visiting and she comes down early, too. We pour coffee and chat quietly while everyone else is asleep.
2. I cooked two fantastic pizzas tonight! I found some pizza dough from an Amsterdam, NY Italian bakery in, of all places, Walmart.
3. It is unseasonably cool and everyone must be tired of hearing me comment on this perfect weather. But, this weather is great.
4. We played a new game that Claire and Daniel brought with them called, Agricola. It is a good balance of challenge and interest and a little chance. All of us, from ages 12 to 50, liked it a lot.

Friday, July 17, 2009

1. It is a damp, humid morning. As we pass under the pines, the earth releases its sweet, musky scent of pine, cedar and dirt. It's the good smell of antique shops and old houses.
2. The bounty of summer's harvest makes it difficult to decide what to bake. Today I opted for a peach pie with crumble topping.
3. Left the air conditioning off to "experience" the warm weather. The breeze that kicked up this evening was all the more welcome and sent my spirits soaring.
4. Led Zeppelin does get me dancing! (Audrey rolls her eyes when she sees me.)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wineberries, Organized, A Hug, Twins

1. Audrey brings home a bucket full of wineberries and I bake a delicious pie.
2. Papers go in their respective folders, labels are given, everything in its place and I am deeply satisfied to be organized. Now I can think.
3. Tess randomly gives me a tender hug as I bustle by.
4. I'm at the window at dusk watching a family of deer. Father, mother and twins. The fawns are what capture my attention with their antics. They leap into comical sprints, long legs flying in all directions. Tess comes alongside me, then Steve, then Audrey. We have all left whatever we were doing and huddle at the window for this diversion.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


1. OK, I went tubing down a river, in a tire tube, in a bathing suit, and had laugh-out-loud fun. Only because the water was shallow for a long ways and our butts kept bumping along the buttom.
2. It rained, which didn't necessarily give me pleasure, but the weatherman forecast heat and humidity yet we had steady rain and wind. This was so way out of the forecasted range that we just had to laugh and carry on.
3. Bruester's Homemade Ice Cream Stand gives you a free scoop if it's raining (or snowing).
4. A nice hot shower when I got home.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sweet, Scared, Rider

1. A clear, fresh morning, trudging up the hill with Henri. The air is saturated with something so sweet, for a moment I think it must be artificial. Since that's impossible, I look for the source and find nothing. I must accept it for what it is...something heavily sweet in the air, period.
2. Baby bunny is back in the window well. With gloved hands I place it in a box with hay, parsley, rabbit food and water (thanks Audrey!). It looks very wild with it's mottled fur and wild features. We admire it for the morning and set is back out into the garden.
3. I watch Audrey ride Vandella into the hills until I can't see them anymore.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Poolside, D'Jango, Nesting

1. The sun's heat builds on my skin, then I slip into the cool water and breathe, Ahhhh!
2. My CD of D'Jango Reinhardt and Stephan Grapelli fills the car as I drive. My dad played guitar in this style. I grew up hearing him playing quietly, alone in his dark bedroom after dinner. It was always a comforting sound.
3. I woke up to find the rabbit's cage lined with white bunny fur. LeeLee seems to think she is having babies, but really only Pasha will enjoy this luxurious nest.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Friends, Relaxing, Volleyball

1. Seeing old acquaintances that I haven't seen in a while and greeting with a warm hug.
2. After lunch, we migrate to the porch and slowly rock while we analyze the day. No hurries, no pressure, sugar cookies in hand and loving family to discuss things with.
3. I glance out the window and see Tess playing volleyball with the older teens. She's not shy at all and steps right in to take her place.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Bunny, part II, Raspberries, Glass Knobs

1.In my garden- gloved hands, I lift the baby bunny out of the window well where it has probably spent the night. It appears to be uninjured and I notice its tiny feet and ears as I examine it. Off he goes, back into the garden.
2. Steve, Tess and I take a long walk in the evening. Tess spots wild raspberries on the bank and we eat a handful, still warmed from the sun.
3. I purchase pretty little glass knobs to go on the cabinet I have painted. They are like candy decorations for a cake.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Cool, Weeding, Wild Bunny

1. July has been unusually cool and I am glad. We can stay on the porch or outside even after the sun is high.
2. A morning's work results in a pretty, weeded garden to gaze at out my kitchen window.
3. Tess is picking snap peas, munching as she picks. Suddenly she comes running to tell me there's a baby bunny right among the peas and it's still there. I strain my eyes to focus on the camouflaged bunny and sure enough, there it sits, not moving a muscle just as its mother told it. We are amazed at how well it was hidden right before our eyes.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Origami Paper, Paints, Bunnies

1. Origami paper. The florals are so pretty, especially when there are metallics in them.
2. We head for the paint department at Lowe's to browse the color chips. I am overwhelmed with the strong desire to paint everything! Ironically, I go home with plain white.
3. The bunnies, Pasha and LeeLee, are so devoted and loving to each other. They are sweet and adorable and have quickly won me over.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sewing, M and M's, Relaxful Evening

1. I push myself to get out a sewing project that I have put off for too long. I formulate a plan and make progress.
2. Cold M and M's.
3. Steve and a friend enjoy a cigar on the lawn while they visit. I mow on the other side of the house so as not to disturb them. Now and then a faint waft of cigar smoke floats by and reminds me they are there.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Nice to See You, Errands, Why Not

1. Our neighbor, who was seriously injured in a farming accident 18 months ago, sits in a wheelchair on his front porch. I am so happy to see him outside and to be able to say, "Good morning".
2. We push ourselves to finish every errand on the list all within one drive to Roanoke. This will free up all the other days of the week and save on gas.
3. I walk Henri down to get the mail and decide to keep on walking.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Rain Shapes the Day

1. The sound of rain on the roof while we sat in church made everything cozy.
2. Reading out on the porch while it rains.
3. At dusk, the light turns a misty pink and gray. It is beautiful through the panes of window, but gives an eerie feeling.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day

1. Too many books and I need room for more. I carefully pull a boxful to donate to the library and I have no regrets in parting.
2. Sawdust everywhere in the basement, but the smell of freshly cut wood compensates for the mess.
3. I also love the smell of Calamine lotion. It's generally associated with poison ivy, (which I had annually as a child and now have again). I like to dab the cotton ball, feel the cool lotion and smell the it just me?
4. The town gathers on the ball field at dusk. We meet up with friends and family, everyone happy to be out in this evening. Once it's dark, the fireworks begin and all faces turn upward.
5. We walk back through town where families continue to celebrate in backyards with sparklers. I like walking after dark on a pleasant summer's night.
6. Audrey is home ahead of us and tells me that the Albino deer was lying in our front field when she drove in. I decide that this deer alone may eat my flowers.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Mountain Air, Rock Opera, The White Deer

1. The clear, sharp morning air clears my groggy head as I step out early.
2. Introduced the kids to the rock opera concept via Jesus Christ Superstar and Tommy. Danced and laughed and sang our way through.
3. I stepped out the door and caught sight of the albino deer grazing out front. The girls have been telling me about it since it was a fawn last summer and this is the first time I've seen it, pure white!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Brown, Thoughts, Possibilities

1. Yanked out a dying bush and was done with it.
2. It's a long drive to everything around here. These long drives alone give me time to contemplate without interruption.
3. The day is not done yet and that means there is still time and possibility for more pleasures!

There is a Pleasure in the Pathless Woods by Lord George Byron

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Tea Tavern, Cooler, Brake Job

1. A lovely brunch with friends at the White Oak Tea Tavern. The cranberry pecan chicken salad is delicious, served with a mini half-loaf of home baked bread and balsamic vinegar dressing for dipping. Iced black tea with a hint of raspberry- so refreshing! The atmosphere of this authentic log cabin-turned-tea tavern is cozy and welcoming.
2. Huge dark clouds usher in cooler air. It is kind of mother nature to give us a break now and then from the heat.
3. We peek out the window at husband and son-in-law working together on the car's brakes. They are huddled over the parts in all seriousness, hands greasy. Chad is wearing one of Steve's hats. It's nice to have sons in the family.