Monday, May 31, 2010

Recovering, A new skirt, Help

1. Tackled the mountain of laundry and reached the summit!
2. I was only going to cut the fabric for my skirt pattern, but ended up sewing the whole thing. A pretty cotton skirt for summer using a 1930's reproduction fabric.
3. Steve says, "Would you like me to do that for you?"

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Lights, A pretty spread, Define: Yataghan

1. Steve hangs lights from the pergola. We are all excited to think how pretty they will be tonight.
2. I like preparing the cheese board. The Havarti with dill matches the green glass board, and the Brie is perfect under the glass dome. A cracker basket is just the right size for the Parmesan crackers and a large clear platter is suited for the fruit. It's fun to scrounge through my limited pantry and come up with workable serving solutions.
3. A hilarious round of "Fictionary". A game where players make up definitions to obscure words, trying to make them sound believable in order to earn points. This game makes me laugh to tears every time.
4. The lights do look magical as we enjoy the garden and porch this evening with friends and family.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Walk, Drive and Stroll

1. We encounter the girls on horseback as we walk the back roads. Lea whistles and they come galloping up to us.
2. I say, "Shhh" and we stop, heads turning upwards to the tree top searching for the source of the loud hum of buzzing bees.
3. Spontaneously decide to pack up dinner and bring it to Chelsea and Chad's apartment.
4. We walk to Pop's for ice cream and are treated to the last two songs of the Wright Kids performance. We continue to stroll the sidewalks, enjoying our ice cream. Butter pecan...heavenly.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Green sprinkles, Change of weather, R & R

1. Havarti flecked with dill, so pretty.
2. Thunderstorms roll through and cut the hot, humid air with a sharp and refreshing breeze.
3. The Parnases arrive for the weekend and we greet with exclamations and hugs all around. When I am outside after dark, I hear voices and laughter quietly filtering from the open windows. It is a hushed and content sound.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bread Craft, Habitat, White roses

1. Ordered coffee and brioche at Bread Craft, downtown Roanoke. We took a little table in the window and visited over cup after cup.
2. Poked around the Habitat Restore where they have wonderful old and new fixtures for any sort of building project. I especially liked the old wooden doors with window panes, priced at a mere $20.
3. Pretty white roses from B. become more beautiful as they relax in the vase.
4. The owner has named one of the new foals after her- Audrey.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Leisure, Another favorite, In the garden

1. We agreed in our preference to spend the day reading and sewing rather than going out.
2. I read The Moonflower Vine by Jetta Carleton. A mild story of a farm and daughters which thoroughly suits my taste. The writing is beautiful and insightful and I longed for more by this author. However, this is her only novel, a rare bloom like that of the Moonflower.
3. The sharp, pungent smell of dill as it crushes underfoot.
4. A baby Mockingbird waits inside the garden fence, sticking its head out between the slats looking for mother.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Home, Valley mist, Growing heartily, Evening

1. Everything looks different after being gone for a week. It takes a day to reconnect with my home and garden. Once the routine has brought me 'round to each area, I feel balanced again.
2. At dawn the mist is settled in all of the hollows and valleys.
3. The vegetable garden has sprouted and the rabbit hasn't eaten it.
4. Tess and I visit the library and come home with three books each. In the evening, we sit on the porch and read until dark.

New York Food

1. Gene's Fish Fries, a summer tradition since 1960. I like how the ends of the fillet hang off the bun, topped with cocktail sauce and a side of cole slaw.
2. My favorite bagel; an everything bagel, not toasted, with vegetable cream cheese and wrapped in crispy white paper.
3. I brought home bags full of groceries - Grandma Brown's baked beans, maple syrup, Boston brown bread, Freihoffer's corn toaster muffins, cider donuts, Manischewitz and bagels.

Monday, May 24, 2010

All in a New York minute

1. We pass around the bucket of plastic toy animals, sticking our noses in and breathing deep of childhood memories.
2. We're all visiting on the back porch when we hear the distant jingle of the ice cream truck. Big, 20-something kids that they are, they jump up and run for the door, hands digging for money in their pockets.
3. My brother-in-law is clearing overgrown trees from the yard. Several helpers grab onto the rope and they make a game of tug-o-war, pulling down the large branches.
4. At my in-laws, a bowl of frozen York Peppermint Patties sits in the freezer right where it always is.
5. He hands me a Waterford crystal goblet filled with Manischewitz Concord Grape and says it's OK to take it outside.
6. An unopened bottle of Seagram's Crown Royal dated 1952 is found in the basement. This is the year my parents built their house and I guess it was a gift that my dad stashed away. He wasn't a drinker.
7. Ah, that NY accent. Everything has an "aw" in it, cawfee (coffee), bawl (ball), Gawd (God). No y'alls up here, only you guys.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Softly falling, Diamonds, Road trip

1. Five am. I make my way into the dark kitchen to start the coffee. A window is cracked open and the quiet patter of rain is soft and soothing to wake up to.
2. Thousands of beads of water collect on the windshield. It is a magical glass-scape for a few moments before running into rivulets.
3. Excitement (mixed with a bit of anxiety) as I prepare to travel. Off to New York to see my family!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Passion, Jackson, Capturing the moment, Stone wall

1. He's a very good sport when it comes to my "To Do" lists. If he does something extra, he will add it to the list just so he can cross it off.
2. Horse and rider are hot, sweaty and tired. She announces, "He needs to be sold to Purina." It's a (sort of) empty threat and we have a good laugh as she describes his antics.
3. I like how Tess is always on the fringes, snapping away with her camera.
4. Steve is building the stone wall. I stop to fit a rock or two, as does Chelsea and then Chad. Soon we are all simultaneously fitting rocks as pieces to a puzzle.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A wonderful day of gardening which makes me so happy.

1. The vegetable garden that was a blank, dirt canvas, is now shaped into rows and circles. The hand of math has been imposed upon it-- 2" deep, 1/2" of fine soil, 18" apart. Lovely!
2. Many years ago, my dad gave me a spool of string. It's a large spool that will probably not run out in my lifetime. I think of him when I use it and how, without words, he taught me to garden
3. Tearing open the paper envelope and pouring seeds into the palm of my hand. Smooth, shiny, white beans; long, sharp cosmos; bumpy, ruffled beets. I ponder the miracle that is packed into these tiny shapes.
4. I mow, he trims, together we admire the beauty of a garden in May.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Satin, Don't mind the rain, Cod

1. Tender lettuce leaves from a friend's garden that handle like satin when I wash them.
2. We finally get out to the garden when big plops of raindrops begin to fall. Ignoring them, we are treated to a cooling shower as we work.
3. Wild-caught cod offered at the market; breaded with a cornmeal coating, fried and served with cocktail sauce--so delicious!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lovely rains, Pasties, Quick like a bunny

1. Continuing rains keep me from working in the garden. Instead, I tackle a long list of chores piling up in the house. It feels really good to cross them off the list.
2. Hand pies made with a butter crust and filled with ground beef, shredded potatoes and carrots.
3. A rabbit is visiting the vegetable garden daily. I send Gunner out to chase it away and I get to see what the term, "high tail it out of here" means.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A deep drink, The price is right, End is near

1. Wonderful, soaking rains deepen the greens and nourish every planted thing.
3. $44 clothing marked down to $24. And it fits perfectly...Yes!
3. We're watching an apocalyptic type movie while lightning and thunder boom outside the window. There's nothing like some special effects : )

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sometimes she just hangs out with them.

Difficult to function without...

1. Around 2 am. on this chilly morning, the power went out. Strange that it woke us. We slept horribly until 6 am. with still no power and the thought of no coffee, no hot shower, no coffee, no heat, and no coffee made it difficult to get out of bed. Steve made the executive decision to haul the generator in from the horse shed where he had been using it for a building project. Within minutes, the furnace was warming the house, coffee was perking, the refrigerator was humming and the computer was on. Today couldn't get any better. (except at 7:30 when the power came back on.)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Cozy, A wise man, Good flavors

1. A cotton scarf around my neck on a chilly morning.
2. I was intrigued by the courtroom proceedings. A very wise judge weighed the evidence and handed down a perfect and just ruling. I am impressed.
3. A thrown together dinner hits the spot- sweet Italian sausage, roasted potato slices and garden salad, yum!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

What wind?, No reason, A great hike

1. Tempestuous wind keeps knocking us about, but we alter plans to make fun in spite of it.
2. Claire has brought gifts for everyone and sets them at our places on the table. There's something about seeing gift wrap all about and the day takes on a festive air.
3. Audrey escorts us on a short hike. We reach the top where we are treated to a 360 degree view at the top of the world. The breathtaking view is impossible to capture with the little camera I'm carrying.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Strawberries, Shopping, When we were young...

1. Claire brings a bucket of farm picked strawberries. We have a strawberry feast for breakfast.
2. I am pleasantly surprised when she chooses a ruffled blouse instead of a T-shirt and patent leather instead of flip-flops.
3. Tomorrow my mom will visit with her last surviving sibling. There used to be seven of them, now they are two; Mom is 88 and Uncle Tony is 95. How I wish I could be there to hear the stories they tell about their childhood during the Depression as Italian immigrants growing up in the city. Last year we sat for hours, laughing to tears at their childhood antics. Mom jokes that at their age they shouldn't wait a year between visits.
4. Toddlers in cuddly pajamas with hair still damp from their bath.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Babies- a theme that happened by chance today

1. Everyone at the market was extra friendly today. I think it was because I had a cute baby in the shopping cart.
2. Three hours to spend downtown this evening, waiting for Tess. I enjoy these alone times when I can just wander. I went to see "Babies". A simple documentary, no dialogue, yet very thought provoking. Why didn't I ever think to tie them to the bedpost so they couldn't crawl away?
3. Claire and Daniel arrive for the weekend. They announce that we will be grandparents! This will be our first grandchild. So many thoughts rush through my head... joy!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Meditating, North breeze, Relax

1. Contemplative baby, what are you thinking?
2. We sit near the window where a cool breeze refreshes us.
3. Evening. I sit on the porch and feel the aches of the day fall away. I enjoy my pear Schnapps and cigarillo, watching the smoke float away with the aches.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tomato, May Nights, Set on "shower"

1. We pass a red, square-shaped van with plates that say "Tomato". Tess quotes Monk and says, "You can almost taste the symmetry".
2. The blooms on the Salvia are an intense purple and the blanket they create is stunning.
3. Winding down the day with the ultimate relaxation- watering the garden.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Picture perfect, Fresh beds, On time

1. A 'perfect weather' kind of day when sun will warm you and the shade will cool you. You may take your pick.
2. Fluffing the mulch so it looks deep, dark and fresh again.
3. Steve says he will be late from work, but comes home at his regular time.

Driving down Wheatland Rd.

Monday, May 3, 2010

In the garden, World goods, Beautiful evening

1. A gentle, overnight rain makes gardening pleasant this morning. Tomatoes are placed and a home is found for the English Daisy seedlings. There has been no deer damage this spring and I'm puzzled, but pleased.
2. Yes! Target has Belgian chocolate. No wild goose chase for this school project : )
3. As evening approaches, the humidity moves out, the sunset turns pink and the air becomes refreshing.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Oasis, Something fun, Downtown

1. I have two hours to kill in an unfamiliar town. I am thankful when I find a garden center where two hours will fly right by.
2. Evening approaches, nothing to do, too hot to cook. An air conditioned movie with popcorn for dinner sounds perfect, so we head for The Grandin.
3. Driving through the city on a warm evening with the windows rolled down.