Monday, August 31, 2009

It's a Girl, Cooler, Adorable

1. A friend and her little grandson spend the day at my house, waiting. Her second grandchild is being born today! The day closes at 5:50 PM with joyous phone calls announcing the birth.
2. I slip on a jacket to drive to the store this evening. When was the last time I wore a jacket outside?
3. Not quite two, he takes the young lady by the hand and leads her around. He's confident, inquisitive and charming.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Friends, Sundays, Falling Leaves

1. Long time friends visiting from far, far away. Our paths have taken us from New York, to Alaska, to Alabama and then all to Virginia. I always love to see their faces and remember the years back in NY.
2. I like the rhythm of Sunday afternoons. After church Chelsea and Chad come by. We lunch, talk and rock on the porch, nap, and regroup for fun. Tonight we play on the lawn, take the dogs out to romp, ride Vandella, and perhaps pull a few weeds for fun.
3. I'm tending a fire out in the field with my back to the woods. The sky is pink with sunset and a few yellow leaves flutter down from high behind me. Fall is coming.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Thistle, Rain, Christmas Trees

1. A monstrous thistle was growing right in the middle of the horse pasture. The foliage is scary and prehistoric, but the thistle flowers are so beautiful. If we were to have a family crest, I would have a thistle on mine.
2. After a blistering, sweltering week, the rain has come and I count on the promise of cooler weather to follow.
3. Walking past the Christmas tree farm, I think about how soon it will be that we are choosing a tree! I like to imagine the cold day that will be while I endure this heat and humidity.

*In the language of flowers, the thistle (like the burr) is an ancient Celtic symbol of nobility of character as well as of birth, for the wounding or provocation of a thistle yields punishment. For this reason the thistle is the symbol of the Order of the Thistle, a high chivalric order of Scotland.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Spiderworks, The Audrey Foundation For..., Fairy House

1. In a hurry to make an early morning appointment, I caught a glimpse of a magnificent spider web on the roadside. It was a large work of art, appearing to be a wheel within a wheel, glittering with dew. I am kicking myself that I didn't back up and take the time to get a better look. But even just that glimpse glitters in my head all day.
2. No, we didn't win the Megamillion lottery jackpot. But we had fun around the dinner table taking turns on how we would spend that money. Very insightful...
3. A little fairy home is built at the base of the pergola I am staining today. Shaped rocks, pieces of wood and sticks construct an intriguing abode where any little person would be happy to live. (I have enjoyed Tess's companionship and help with the staining.)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bunny Nest, Noisy Birds, August

1. A telltale clump of gray fur in the grass catches my attention where I'm mowing. Sure enough, it's a wild baby bunny nest with baby sounding like a crazy squeak-toy. I carefully cover back over it leaving this mowing for another day.
2. The growing flock of starlings is holding convention in the trees. The moment they stop chattering, I lean forward to watch the flock take flight. But they have tricked me and are only quiet for a moment before they start their noise back up.
3. I sit and ponder the subtleties within the seasons. The slant of sun, shades of foliage, sounds of insects and birds, and touch of the breeze mark the date as late August. I remember as a young child being aware of these subtleties within the seasons and now I wonder; did we always know them or do we learn the patterns early on?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Baby, Flocks, Warm Cookies

1. A sweet little baby in my care today, brings memories of my early mothering days.
2. Starlings are flocking in the fields, sweeping down in waves.
3. Warm cookies from the oven warrants a pot of coffee this evening. I take some to Audrey where she is doing homework. I like her smile when she sees warm cookies served with a fork.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Time Capsule, Lunch, Logs

1. The little tin time capsule contains: coins, a stamp, the front page of our local newspaper, a straight pin, a marble, a note from us, and a cigar wrapper.
2. Chelsea and Chad lunch with us on the porch. We lazily enjoy our meal, talking and catching up.
3. The beautiful wood scent of our friend's log home. All different kinds of wood from floor to ceiling envelope us in warm tones.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Grosgrain Ribbon, Fried Pepper Sandwich, Holes, Al Fresco, Peonies

1. I spend the day sewing colorful bands of grosgrain ribbon onto Tess's curtains. I love grosgrain ribbon. It reminds me of Easter hats and gift packages.
2. Super-tasty fried pepper and egg sandwich for lunch. My mom used to pack these for me when I was in grade school. I would be a little embarrassed when the olive oil would soak through the brown bag, but it sure beat the other kids' peanut butter sandwiches.
3. We peer down the deep post hole, thinking we should toss something into it as a time capsule before it gets filled in.
4. Rather than clear the table of my sewing, we dine on the porch. This impromptu decision is fun and much more pleasurable since the weather has begun to improve.
5. A neighbor brings us a box full of pink peony roots and a bag of white! I have always wanted peonies. These were originally planted by his mother many years ago, on other farm properties and now we will help spread them.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Clouds, For Me?, Screech Owl

1. Mountainous, billowing cloud formations; majestic, roiling thunderheads. The sky has been most interesting all week.
2. Chelsea calls, Claire calls, Mom calls, Steve calls, Audrey calls, Kathy calls, Peter calls. Some days I am undeservingly popular.
3. There is an Eastern Screech Owl that calls in the dark, early morning hours. It's a singular, haunting call that always draws my attention.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Books, Rainbow, Badminton

1. Audrey needs books for school and I love an excuse to go to the bookstore!
2. Badminton in the rain with a rainbow over our shoulders.
3. Tess laughs and laughs at our badminton moves. I guess mothers and fathers might appear funny when they play badminton.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Fit, Fractals, Raspberries

1. Shopping supplies me with a pair of jeans that fit (!) and a pair of comfortable walking sneakers. The plan is that the fit of item #2 will help with the fit of item #1.
2. Re-watched a Nova edition about the fractal geometry of nature. Benoit Mandelbrot's discovery of fractals amazes me. The closer I look at creation, the more I see our Creator.
3. I leave the precious few raspberries found in the garden as secret gifts here and there for the girls.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mad Bunny, Corbin, Bright Color

1. Leelee-the-bunny bats at me like a boxer. She doesn't like me to mess with her "housework" as I clean the hutch. I know she is annoyed, but she comes off as very cute and gives me a good laugh.
2. In line at the market, a sweet, gray haired man wears a belt tooled with the name "Corbin" on the back.
3. Just when the perennials are fading, the few annuals I've planted grow big and bright and really shine in the garden.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Not Long, Sewing, Mowing

1. The air blows cool on my face. It comes from the north and even though the temperatures will soar to 90, it foretells of autumn.
2. Tess uses the sewing machine to make curtains for her room. I hear the stop-and-go hum of the motor from the other room.
3. I mow swathes of tall grass like Pac man, chomping away.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Finch Song, Bunny Nose, Plum Gallette

1. I enjoy hearing the trill song of the little golden finches in the garden. They cling upside down on the zinnia stems, pecking the seeds.
2. As I bend close to the screen to change the water on the rabbit hutch, one of the bunnies comes up and puts her nose to mine. For a moment, boundaries of animal vs. human seem to gray.
3. Plum gallette for dessert. Wonderful!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Corn Fritters, Barefoot, Peaches

1. Delicious corn fritters for dinner. This is an updated version from the ones I usually make and we all agreed that these are better.
2. Badminton, barefoot in the soft, cool grass.
3. A nice man left peaches in our mailbox! These locally grown peaches are sweet, juicy and perfectly ripe.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

New Year, Crisp Apron, Organized

1. Sorted and organized another year of school books. I always thought of September rather than January as the beginning of a new year. New paper, new pencils, new studies...endless possibilities.
2. As I sift through papers, I find stories and drawings the girls made in elementary grades. I slow down to read these and lovingly place them in a folder to save.
3. A fresh, crisply ironed apron out of the pantry.
4. I'm in an organizing groove and I sort and arrange my cookbooks. This feels so good!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tortilla, Fresh Tomatoes, Tunnel

1. Tonight I am in love with the potato tortilla, flecked with roasted red pepper.
2. No matter if the tomatoes disappear from the platter. Just step outside and bring more in!
3. Traveling along our country road at dusk, the trees form a tunnel. My headlights search the way through the tube.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Beauty in Anger, Bucks, Daydreams

1. The horses gallop with breathtaking beauty across the field, set off by a horsefly on Vandella's back. I only wish I could look this majestic and thrilling when I am angry.
2. Bucks slowly raise their heads from grazing to look me in the eye and size me up.
3. An hour's wait. Rather than run hectic errands, I decide to sit in the shade and simply wait. It is an hour well-spent.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Favorite Pastime, Movie World, Playing

1. Reading on the porch in the cool of the morning.
2. Emerged from the matinee, squinting in the bright sun. Got our bearings and walked back into reality from the make-believe world.
3. After the sun is low, we knock the volleyball around in the yard, joking and laughing with the kids.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Creek, Freedom, Playful

1. The creek is wide and swift, but only knee deep. Steve firmly parks two chairs on its rocky bottom and we sit with the water coursing around our legs. Tree lined and peaceful, we quietly daydream.
2. Young children, hot dogs in fists and orange soda mustaches, burst with excitement at the liberties of the great outdoors.
3. There is an endearing quality about a man who boyishly plays with bunnies and puppies.

The Deserted Garden by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

When graver, meeker thoughts are given,
And I have learnt to lift my face,
Reminded how earth's greenest place
The color draws from heaven, —

It something saith for earthly pain,
But more for Heavenly promise free,
That I who was, would shrink to be
That happy child again.

click on the title to view the entire poem

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Healing, Relaxing, Happy Men

1. I wake during the night and realize the pain is gone and the new medicine is working. Without pain, I snuggle into my pillow murmuring my thanks to God and fall into a restful asleep.
2. Spent the afternoon with daughters #2 and 4 at #2's apartment while the men went off to an event. Swam a little, flipped through some good decorating magazines and napped on her comfy sofa.
3. We drive to pick up the guys at the end of the day and they are all smiles.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Rose of Sharon, Cool Breeze, Salty-Sweet

1. The Rose of Sharon are blooming everywhere around town and country. Tess takes notice of them and says she would like to have a purple one. A few hours later, Audrey arrives home with a bucket containing... a purple Rose of Sharon! Seems her employer dug it up and sent it home for us. Tess and I look at each other in wide-eyed!
2. The cool breeze is a pleasant surprise when I step out for an evening walk. I go farther than planned so I can make it last longer.
3. Lots of butter and maple syrup on my pancakes.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Confetti, Cascades, Scrabble

1. Butterfly season has arrived. Like fluttering pieces of confetti I see them from the window; yellow, blue, orange. I must duck out of their way when I walk outside.
2. Thick, wavy hair falls into the most beautiful cascades under the stylists talented hands.
3. We three have a good, challenging game of scrabble on this rainy evening.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Rest, What to Eat, Night

1. A much-needed, luxurious nap this afternoon. I wake feeling rested and energized.
2. I'm stretching the days until I head to the market for groceries. I enjoy the challenge of creating meals and desserts out of whatever we have stashed in the freezer or on the shelves.
3. Poor Henri-the-Schnoodle doesn't feel well. Tess and I walk him late tonight, hours after dark. We have a full moon and the night sounds from the woods are creepy. But the air is balmy and Henri perks up, so our little adventure is fun.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Rest, A Good Book, Raspberries

1. I return home and sigh with relief. The comfort of home, a safe haven where I can rest and heal, is tangible.
2. American Creation is an inspiring, compelling account of the early years of America's republic. I am in awe of what the founding men of this country accomplished and I am humbled by the men who sacrificed and fought for this ideal.
3. The raspberries we planted last spring are ripening and we divide a few amongst ourselves each day.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Almost Silent, Tracks, Spied Upon

1. There is no other sound but the rain. It is a quiet, hushed morning when the power goes out and I don't even miss it.
2. The pair of tire tracks go into the field and disappear into the tall grass.
3. We stop in the middle of the road to check the bike. When I look up, there is a deer just a few yards off staring at us. It has been watching us the entire time and we were completely unawares.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

True love always, Ouch!, Ice Cream

1. "Steve to Lee", 28 years ago today...
2. Audrey kisses my finger to make it feel better.
3. We go out for ice cream. I have been looking forward to the chocolate coconut almond all day. Everyone gets to have their own favorite.