Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Up for Auction

In case anyone is interested, I listed the vintage bedspreads from my earlier post on ebay.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Wild Forsythia, Lovely Salem, Go Away

1. The surprise of a bright yellow forsythia growing wild in the woods.
2. Each Monday has us driving through some old neighborhoods in Salem. The tended lawns, comfortable old homes with mature trees, and friendly sidewalks create an inviting atmosphere. If we ever decided to move closer into a town and give up the country life, this would be a nice alternative.
3. I bend over an old mirror to paint its frame. I am forced to see myself in the reflection and find it disconcerting. I'd rather paint in solitude and not see myself for company.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

No Condemnation, Puttering, Wives and Daughters

1. Today is Palm Sunday which leads to my favorite celebration, Easter.
2. This rainy afternoon drags on until Steve heads to the basement and begins to organize and clean. I catch the bug and find a painting project down there. Christmas music recorded off NPR in the 90's plays on the VCR. It's a little weird, but we go with it.
3. Watched the deliciously extravagant Masterpiece Theatre miniseries, Wives and Daughters on DVD. The kind of story where you loathe the stepmother, love the heroine and are captivated by the costumes and scenery.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Lost Time by Rabindranath Tagore

On many an idle day have I grieved over lost time.
But it is never lost, my lord.
Thou hast taken every moment of my life in thine own hands.

Hidden in the heart of things thou art nourishing seeds into sprouts,
buds into blossoms, and ripening flowers into fruitfulness.

I was tired and sleeping on my idle bed
and imagined all work had ceased.
In the morning I woke up
and found my garden full with wonders of flowers.

Grass, Earthworms, Dancing 50's Style

1. The vegetable garden had been planted with winter rye grass and today we finally got to turning it. The rye was so tall that Steve had to cut it before we could turn it. It released the strong, intoxicating scent of grass.
2. I counted eight, plump earthworms in the sod that I cut around a tree. I gently pulled them out of the clumps and placed them back into the soil, absentmindedly talking to them as I did so.
3. Tess hostessed a 1950's "sock hop" with her scouting friends for the younger girls in the troop. As soon as the music went on, the poodle skirts twirled and didn't stop for 2 hours. One brave boy had a grand time among the 17 girls. I can still see his smile.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Quick recipe, Home for dinner, Seraphine

1. The chicken we had for dinner was tasty. I use very thinly sliced breast fillets, dipped in egg and then coated with 1/2 c. seasoned bread crumbs, 1/2 c. self-rising flour and 1/2 tea. pepper. Pan frying delivers a quick and easy meal with lots of flavor.
2. Steve comes home for a dinner break before returning to work. I suggest he extend it for coffee and applesauce cake, which he does.
3. I watched Seraphine tonight. A beautiful biography with a "real life" pace to it. I was easily drawn into the the life and time of this artist.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bouncy?, Vintage Spreads, Free Time

1. Is it possible for your hair to "feel" better after a hair cut? My hair, my head and even my neck feel better after my trim today.
2. From the trunk, I found two beautiful vintage bedspreads that belonged to Steve's grandmother. They are white cotton with roses and rosebuds all over them. I love the piping detail. I made up the guest beds to see what they would look like. It took a lot of ironing.
3. Steve has been away, so the Pasta Fagioli I made for yesterday's dinner will serve us again tonight. No cooking frees up tons of my time to...iron bedspreads!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I Remember, Mozart, Black Clouds

1. My mom is 88 years old and talks about long ago times a lot. Today we chatted about neighbors from my childhood who had fled Russia during WW2 and eventually settled in our neighborhood. They were a quiet, humble couple who were kind to all us kids. But I mostly remember their beautiful gardens where I tasted a gooseberry for the first time.
2. Tess plays the piano and baby crawls over to watch and listen.
3. The sky is dramatic in contrasts today. Deep, dark and foreboding clouds to the west appear almost black. They are edged in bright white with sunlight streaming through to the east. I want to duck and take cover as the wind blows the black cloud overhead.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Thunder, Surprise, Feed me

1. I'm awake, but still have my eyes closed. I see a flash of light behind my eyelids and wonder...? Then I hear the rolling of thunder. Yup! That's not a winter sound and I like it.
2. The day of rain that was forecast never came to be. We had beautiful, breezy sunshine and blue skies with fluffy white clouds. Because I wasn't expecting this beauty, made it even more beautiful.
3. I have a ravenously hungry teenager, ready to consume any food within sight. I do my motherly duty and press healthy choices while hurriedly preparing dinner. She assures me she'll eat all this and dinner too... And she does.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

New England Boiled Dinner, Repairs, Rain is coming

1. The best part of the corned beef and cabbage dinner are the sticks of pepperoni I've added to the boil. They cook up plump and juicy, perfectly paired with the sweet cabbage, potatoes and carrots.
2. I sit on the pile of wood and keep Steve company while he works on the lawnmower. He says, " I have to tip the machine on its side." I like how he calls it, "the machine".
3a. I've managed to get the raspberries and rhubarb in the ground and the gardens fertilized before the rain begins. Now they can do their work together.
3b. After dumping the wheelbarrow, I take a few minutes to sit on the tree swing. Above me, a canopy of buds and below me, the valley rolling out into blue mountains.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I love farm and garden stores, Rocker cushion, Spring ski

1. The farm and garden stores were bustling early this morning. Audrey and I found red rhubarb roots to replace my green rhubarb. (The green is tasty, but not pretty.) We also found gold raspberry bushes to add to our red crop.
2. Twenty-four years with a bare wooden rocker and today I sewed a cushion for it. I'm pleased with how it turned out plus the added comfort. I wonder why I ever waited so long to do this?
3. Tess and Steve arrive home with big grins and sunburned faces. They went skiing in T-shirts and forgot the sunscreen. I listen to their stories and watch the videos that Steve made so I have a glimpse into their day.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring flavors, Evening walk, Itty Bit

1. Strawberries galore at the market + deep, red rhubarb = strawberry rhubarb pie for Sunday's dessert.
2. This evening is mild enough and the daylight long enough to walk after dinner.
3. For 12 days the tiny puppy has been lost. Audrey and various neighbors have spotted it in the road many times, but it always bolts away. Based on sightings, the little thing has covered miles on these back roads. Tonight, a lady stops while we're walking to tell us she's seen a little dog in the road. Steve and I rush down the road, treats in hand, but see no sign of it. I phone the owner and report the sighting to her. Later this evening the phone rings and the puppy's owner tells me they have found Itty Bit! She was near the area of the last sighting and came out when her owner called for her. Considering her tiny, Mini Pinscher size, coyotes on the prowl and freezing nights, it's a miracle. Itty Bit and all of us will sleep better tonight.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bananas via raspberries, Daffodils, Peepers

1. The baby gives us a good laugh when she decides to blow raspberries with a mouth full of baby food.
2. Daffodils greet us at the front door as we come and go.
3. Driving along the back roads in the evening, we hear the chorus of peepers.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Smells OK to me, Raspberries, Spring clean-up

1. Steve and I discuss Henri's unusual behavior. Yesterday Henri quickly greeted and then cuddled with our pastor, whom he hardly knows. Steve reasoned that David's dog, Jack and our Henri go to the same groomer. Henri must have smelled Jack's familiar scent on David and therefore accepted him right away. Amazing.
2. Tess calls from the raspberry patch, "Hey there are new raspberries coming up!"
3. I spent the afternoon cleaning up the perennial beds on the hill. The sun was warm and the work was rewarding.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Secretly placed, God calling, Sprouting English daisies

1. When I return home there is a box of pansies on the back doorstep, sweetly left by friends.
2. The phone keeps ringing and won't let me sleep the day away. I figure this is God telling me to get up.
3. On Saturday I planted peat pots with seeds that Claire gave me. Today they have sprouted!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Most Perfect Sunday

Our daughters and their husbands are all here and today was a most pleasant day spent together.
1. Tess performed in a piano recital of jazz, rags and blues. I love it when the shy-looking boy steps up to the piano and blows us away with a Joplin rag!
2. We gathered at Chelsea and Chad's apartment for sweets and coffee. There is a pretty brick archway to walk through where Chad hosts the guys in his garage, complete with mini fridge.
3. A walk around the city neighborhood of Grandin. We stop by Chelsea's garden plot, marvel at the buds on the trees, pass by the theater and shops, then swing by Pop's for Homestead Creamery ice creams.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Strawberries, Misty Sun, Friends

1. Fresh strawberries, sliced and sprinkled with sugar to serve with breakfast.
2. The sun streams out from the rain clouds as another shower makes its way across the fields. The combination of streaming sun and misty rain makes the landscape look ancient.
3. Daniel's parents (who also happen to be friends from our old days in NY) are in town from Alaska. These longtime friends are as comfortable as a favorite old pair of jeans to me.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Fellow shoppers, A hole, Spring rains

1. I pass several sweet, elderly couples shopping in the market today. One old gent is wearing aftershave and when I smell it, I think of my dad's Old Spice.
2. The earth is very soft and easy to dig. The hole reveals a bunch of earthworms and I'm glad the soil is so healthy. This is the perfect spot for a lilac bush just beginning to bud.
3. I have switched my wool scarves to cotton, my winter coat to rain trench, my static hair to frizzy.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Light bulbs, Entertaining, Spring rain

1. We take several minutes to scrutinize the light bulbs. We are debating how the light bulb company can state that the bulb "lasts two years" when it all depends on how long you leave your lights on. We agree that the "hours" figure is much more accurate than the "years" figure. We're really just having some fun, but the store clerk thinks we need help.
2. Baby discovers that the bench serves as a walking aid. She pushes it around the kitchen, taking halted steps and chattering away to herself. This is nothing new to babies, but the way it all instinctively happens is miraculous, not to mention entertaining.
3. The sound of rain in the evening. It definitely sounds like spring rain and promises to draw out the green.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ideal kitchens, Thinking of you, White to green

1. We browse the kitchen remodeling department at Lowe's. We open cabinets, slide drawers and marvel at all the clever storage ideas.
2. Dinner stays warming on the stove, ready for those who come home after I've gone out.
3. The slushy pile of snow on the north side of the house is finally gone.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The therapist is "IN", Sunshine, Go ahead, paint it

1. First day of gardening 2010! Down on my knees in the dirt, cleaning out dead stems, taking stock of what survived the winter and turning mulch. Tiny shoots of phlox appear and the daffodils are planning a party.
2. Tess and I just sit there, soaking up the sun.
3. I thought, "What the heck", grabbed a can of white and started painting. (Admittedly I hope that, "What the heck" doesn't turn into, "Aw heck.")
4. The flower bed I worked on sits right out the kitchen window. I glance at it while I prepare dinner and notice how it has gone from dead and dreary to fresh and promising.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Busy-ness, Smoke, Books waiting

1. A surefire cure for too much thinking is housework. Today I washed all the second floor windows, did all of the laundry including hand washables, ironed a pile of clothing that covered my entire bed, dusted, vacuumed, walked the dog, drove Tess to piano lessons, stopped in Books A Million, Kroger, the bank and the library, raked stones out of the grass, cooked dinner, and worked on the budget. I've exhausted myself into a good night's sleep : )
2. The air is thick with smoke from a controlled burn in nearby forests. The smoke filters the sun to an eerie pinkish-gray and we cannot help but be captivated by its effect.
3. I finish reading one book just as the library has another waiting on hold for me.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Peaches, Spring, The way to a man's heart...

1. The peaches are perfectly ripe for peeling and slicing. Audrey has requested peach pie with vanilla ice cream for her birthday. We all thank her for choosing this!
2. A day full of spring sunshine, so we take a leisurely walk up the road. We are passed by several cars, a tractor, and neighbors also walking. Seems like the world has suddenly come alive.
3. Chelsea asks me what's for lunch. I list the menu and Chad steps forward, bursting with excitement, and gives me a hug.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A birthday!, Being industrious, Special delivery

1. Today is Audrey's 17th birthday. Her gift is for the two of us to go shopping. We stop in all of our favorite stores, not buying much, but enjoying a wonderful time together. I remember that exciting night 17 years ago...
2. Sitting at the sewing machine, piecing together things that will spruce up the house. Today I made a pretty, white Roman shade for one of the spare bedrooms. Earlier this week I made a window seat cushion/slipcover. I love the piping and Tess loves her window seat.
3. The florist rings with a delivery. Flowers and candy from Audrey's friend in New York.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Pastry, She's here!, Success of the hunt

1. I ordered a pastry called a Cobblestone with my coffee at Panera's. An indulgent treat, baked in a paper muffin cup, formed of little balls of sweet yeast bread, soft inside, crunchy on top, filled with raisins, cinnamon and drizzled with icing. Monkey bread meets sticky bun.
2. Hundreds of little plastic flags line the highway in preparation for a construction project. They flutter in the wind like confetti; red, orange and yellow. They create a festive air and I feel like a VIP on a parade route.
3. I am hunting down books for Tess. The second store I visit has a copy, victory! AND at checkout, the clerk says, " We have this book for less". He returns with the exact same copy for $4 less! Double victory. I can't wait to bring them home to her.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Blue morning, Depend on it, Kindness

1. The moonlight cast a blue hue over the snow-dusted landscape this morning. These quiet, predawn hours are my favorite.
2. I like how I can reach into the dark hall closet and without looking, put my hand right on my jacket every time.
3. Our pastor came by and his kind spirit and words were a balm to our unsettled thoughts.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

White, Best medicine, If at first you don't succeed...

1. At first, I shook my fist at the snow falling from the sky. Later, I had to admit that it perked up the landscape and made everything look fresh again.
2. Chelsea and Chad came by this afternoon and stayed through the evening. It was a lively visit with funny stories that had me in tears. A healthy dose of laughter is good for what ails you.
3. I thought I would try a new cake recipe. I was hugely disappointed with how thin the cake turned out. So, into the trash it went with no guilt. I turned to a dependable recipe for my favorite chocolate cake. Espresso frosting changed it up a bit so I still felt like I had something new.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Sewing, Biscotti, Jake and Vienna (I can't believe I wrote this)

1. Fabric stores are exciting for me but I usually get distracted by all of the possibilities. Not today. I have a list. I have three projects to purchase for and they are all white. I love the simplicity of it. My list insures that I remember the little things like thread and velcro.
2. A newly filled jar of biscotti.
3. We have been following the saga of The Bachelor. (Let me preempt this by saying this is so not my taste in TV viewing.) Apparently all the teenage girls watch and I became caught up with them in this voyeuristic charade. Each week we roll our eyes, voice our disgust and say, "What?"
I am glad it's over and now I can get on with my life : )