Tuesday, November 30, 2010

We're bigger than you, I'll take that challenge- with a smile, This is my normal

1. I have their grain, so the horses gallop towards me. I always feel like this is a game of chicken. Will I flinch and turn or stand my ground? They stop on a dime every time and never run me over. How do they do that?!
2. The challenge: Drop everything when the phone rings at 8:40 am (I'm not even dressed!), drive 12 miles over the mountain through rain and mist to get Audrey from school. Then drive another 22 miles on the interstate, in rain and mist, with tractor trailer trucks, to the doctor's office. The catch- I must be there by 10:00. The clock behind the receptionist's desk reads 10:02 and we made it alive! Just don't anyone look at my hair.
3. It is evening and I'm pulling warm, spicy gingerbread cookies from the oven. This is more my pace : )

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A little help decorating, Fun kids, Paper and scissors

1. The indispensable ladder, makes anything possible. (Along with a husband and his power tools.)
2. The younger folks gather at our house and make a party out of nothing. I thought the pantry bare, but they somehow make a feast.
3. I'm cutting paper snowflakes when the gang arrives. At evening's end, the table is covered with paper chains, paper dolls, snowflakes of every shape, paper crowns and a paper airplane. Ryan has also fit his body through an 8-inch square piece of paper. Again, they make something out of nothing. Imagination.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Freshening up, Raw materials, Nice cologne

1. Steve sets up the painting area for me. All I have to do is point and shoot. (With the paint sprayer.) The vanity chair we found yesterday is painted into a fresh, white gem.
2. We live two doors down from a Christmas tree farm and old Mr. Nelson gives us permission to cut pine boughs from his overgrown pine forest. Tess and I gather armfuls into the truck. Then we have an adventure trying to back the truck out of the field. I drive as Tess says, "Left, left, more left, even more left!"
3. Steve smells like Rosemary and cold air. The hose spigot is behind the Rosemary and he's been filling the horse trough.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Found treasure, What to eat the day after, Wintery pine scent

1. Someone has tossed out a mirrored dresser and a cute vanity bench! We make a quick U-turn and go back home for the truck. Steve is all for it and we make a good trash raiding team.
2. Leftovers...need I say more?
3. Twisting off the little metal cap from a glass bottle of Frasier Fir reed diffuser and filling the room with pine scent.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Quietly thankful, Twas brillig and the slithy toves, First word, If you bake it they will come

1. This is the first time in many years without guests for Thanksgiving. Even some of our children are absent for the first time. But it has been a pleasant, slow-paced day, filled with our favorite foods, only made in smaller quantities.
2.We crept into a dense, black wood that felt very mysterious. We are searching for the elusive pine boughs.
3. Chelsea asks Claire if the baby has said her first words yet : ) Claire says, "Well, she puts the "g" sound at the beginning of all her cries".
4. At 6:30pm two of the absent children detoured here for pie and coffee. At 10:00pm another child returned home and headed straight for the pumpkin pie.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Welcome Granddaughter!

1. Today our family welcomed a sweet baby girl into the world! I was so happy to hear Claire's voice over the phone telling me the baby is, "Really, really cute".
2. Wonderful son-in-law! Daniel sent photos right away.
3. Steve is reading my blog profile out loud and says I need to add grandmother to the description of who I am.
4. Thankful for baking, ironing, shopping and doctor appointments. Yesterday these were anxiety-producing activities, but today they were anxiety-reducing distractions.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Life 101, Where we live, Resting

1. I turn to Psalm 23 at the end of an exhausting day of doctor appointments and phone calls for our injured daughter combined with news of pregnancy complications for our older daughter. I know all will be well, we just have to get through it. The Lord is our Shepherd... and so much more.
2. Back roads take us deeper into the countryside on our special delivery. We pass several big, beautiful, but run-down farmhouses. One reminds me exactly of the Waltons television show. It's easy to imagine these homes back in their splendor days, full of families and farm life.
3. I hear the turn of his key as Steve finally gets home from work at 10 pm. Now doors are locked, lights are turned off, and the house settles to rest.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Lovely morning, Productive but never caught up, Now?

1. The moon slowly sets behind the woods out back, casting bare branches in silver.
2. Just when I've done all that I can do for one day, I get a second wind and surprise myself!
3. She's finished working and is just waiting for the baby to come. So when she phones me three times today with a variety of questions, I can't help but think, "It's time?"

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What season IS this? Dreaming of white, Reuben

1. Our home is certainly a study in contrasts.The first half was spent among Christmas shoppers and the second, mowing grass, spotting a dandelion and hearing crickets chirping.
2. With Christmas on my mind, I decided to mow the slope where we go sledding. Just in case we get snow this year.
3. I have introduced another person to the Reuben sandwich. Needing another fix, they phone me from the market asking where to find the sauerkraut.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Evergreens, Where's Santa?, One of my favorite things

1. Christmas trees, stacked deep, flank the entrance to the market. It's a little early for my holiday clock, but they did smell glorious.
2. The Salvation Army bell-ringer dude was dressed up like Elvis. Including a wig.
3. A hot water bottle on my lap while I read warms me through and through.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Surprise!, Surprise, Really surprised

1. Each morning I open the shades as a matter of routine. The brilliant pink sunrise, bright as a neon sign, makes me pause at the window and break routine.
2. The florist has delivered a basket of flowers. I suspect she is smiling not only for the beauty of the blooms, but for thoughts of the sender.
3. A semi-invalid teenager allows me to mother her. I am in territory that has been off limits for years. : )

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A lot to be thankful for

I rush up the road after the phone call comes, not knowing what I will find. My daughter lies in the ditch, invisible from the road if not for the neighbors and EMT crouched beside her. A short ride to gather leaves has suddenly turned painful. Vandella spooked, for no good reason, and bolted from the road, throwing Audrey head over into the ditch. Being in a great deal of pain and unsure of her injuries, we decide not to move her until the ambulance arrives. And then kindness, compassion, training and love take over.
1. For the children playing in the field who saw Audrey fall and ran for help. Otherwise, she may not have been spotted in the ditch for quite a while.
2. For our neighbors, the Benges, who called me, called 911 and brought a pillow for her head. The man who gave his jacket, and the other Benges who went after the horse, I am eternally grateful.
3. For Mr. Switzer whom I wave to in his pickup truck every day, but have never spoken to. His fatherly concern, and desire to stay until he knew Audrey was safe warmed my heart.
4. For Roanoke Memorial Hospital's efficiency and expert staff, especially Dr. Seamon, orthopedist, who showed us x-rays and explained her broken bone.
5. For morphine, valium and ibuprofen. They have their uses : )
6. For her boyfriend who held her hand.
7. For coming home, settling in and a healing process begun. It could have been SO much worse.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What I want vs. what I did

1. If the day got any darker, it would be night. Shrouded in fog for its entirety, I fought the temptation to sleep all day and I baked a lot instead.
2. Come evening, we fought the temptation to stay in from the rain and we ventured out to visit friends who are in town from Alaska. There, I got to cuddle a new baby girl.
3. I gave in to temptation and ate a huge, ultimate choclate chip cookie right before bedtime.

Monday, November 15, 2010

November woods, Ready to give, That was easy

1. The sky has turned gray and now it looks like November should. We turn the lights on early in the evening and a coziness settles over the house.
2. I like to keep pastry boxes on hand, ready for filling with cookies, cakes or pies. I was on that side of town today so I stocked up. The crisp, white boxes remind me of a blank painter's canvas, waiting for something to be applied.
3.Phoning a total stranger and finding friendliness on the other end.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Lazy day, Being available, Goodness in a jar

1. We darkened the living room in the middle of the afternoon and watched a movie, complete with popcorn.
2. Steve and I sit in our respective chairs, reading. As the kids pass through from here to there, they stop and talk with us. I've noticed that when he and I sit together (seemingly doing nothing) the kids find us, plop down, and talk.
3. I have a jar of applesauce to give.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Fall in the kitchen, A new view, Only a few left

1. The aroma of simmering McIntosh apples draws a smile from anyone passing through the kitchen. By evening, jars of applesauce line the counter.
2. A freshly washed picture window makes the world shine!
3. Riding bikes, riding horses, scrambling on hay bales; a sunny and mild November day is used up with nothing wasted.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Just discovered, Cute, Get real

1. 2nd Helpings Cafe, located on Williamson Road, is run by the Rescue Mission with all profits going to the Mission. They serve Boar's Head cold cuts, homemade soups, scones and Homestead Creamery ice cream. I ordered an excellent lunch there today and I will definitely return.
2. I bought a tiny little something for baby's Christmas stocking. It's the first gift I've purchased for our granddaughter who is due very soon!
3. My favorite vendor at the Stocked Market isn't all the way from Texas or somewhere far away. And they don't sell gimmicky, overpriced items. They are Chocolate Paper, located right here in Roanoke, offering practical items that we all need such as gourmet chocolate.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Driving down our road, Jackpot!, Happy ending

1. A hawk flies ahead of my car, becoming an escort as his path merges with my own. His wings beat in time to my music, Roxy Music's Avalon, before he glides away.
2. A friend over at Savvy Nest has encouraged me to shop savvy. Kroger is generous with their coupons and today I shaved $93 off my grocery bill!
3. Warm, walnut filled brownies with a scoop of vanilla ice cream at the end of the day.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Autumn deepens, Love These, Sounds like her, but...

1. The woods have tarnished to bronze and copper, polished brightly by the sun.
2. McCain's sweet potato fries, crispy on the outside, tender and sweet inside, sprinkled with salt. It's the crinkle cut that makes them special over other brands.
3. Our ancient answering machine uses a tiny cassette to record messages. The poor librarian's voice plays back in a baritone, telling me that I have a book waiting. I play it back three times.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Rest and recuperate, with cuddles, and kisses

1. I gave myself permission to take a sick day, scrapped everything, covered up with a blanket in the recliner, watched a movie, read a book and napped.
2. Henri is a sweet, loving little Schnoodle who is very good at cuddling.
3. Audrey gives me a random kiss in passing.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A New York Weekend

1. Driving a ridge line along the Mohawk River in western NY, a line of geese flies along the opposite bank. I estimate it must be at least a quarter mile long. The string contains several V's that weave an interchange within itself.
2. It's been months since we've seen our families. Big, secure hugs reaffirm our bonds and we get on with the business if visiting.
3. Mom's spaghetti and meatballs. (Little happy jig.)
4. My sister and I chat in the living room. Mom comes in and covers each of our laps with a blanket.
5. We rake leaves, fix pipes and do other odds and ends. But what really makes my mom the happiest is her ability to serve us.
6. A Sunday drive for apples, cider donuts, maple sugar candy and smokey cheese.
7. We leave NY on a cold gray morning with sleet hitting the windshield. Ten hours later, shedding scarves, sweaters and jackets along the way, we arrive in sunny Virginia where it's 65 degrees.
8. I am so thankful that Steve came with me.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Contrasts, Dusted off, Still learning

1. One of the little lilacs has a bloom on it. I bend to sniff it, thinking it will be scentless or defective in some way. But no, it holds the sweet scent of May and every memory of spring!
2. While making the rounds of bedrooms this morning, I notice that Tess has costumed her dolls for Halloween. They usually sit, untouched, for months. Today we have a gypsy, a cat girl and a colonial girl, all smiling because they are still loved.
3. A lively, insightful, sometimes hysterically funny discussion at the women's book study tonight.
*Spell check wants me to replace "women's" with "womenfolk" Huh?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Let there be sleep, Whoops!, Count me

1. I don't have to wake the girls because school is closed today. I hate to wake someone when they are tired and sleepy, so I'm glad I don't have to do that to anyone this morning.
2. I didn't realize that my comment to the sales girl made it sound like my daughter doesn't wear underwear. After we left the store, my red-faced daughter brought it to my attention. I laughed and laughed. Poor daughter, at least she saw the humor in it.
3. Voted today! It is an honor and a privilege.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Stopping by, Perfect climate, Gathering

1. B. stops by to pick up her dishes and we manage to fit in a nice "catch-up" visit.
2. Today is sunny, 58 F.with no wind and is absolutely perfect for anything outdoors. Mild enough for a light jacket or vest, yet cool enough to work in the garden without heating up. And low humidity means I have lots of energy!
3. I can't see the birds, but I hear them fill the treetops in the woods. They are clicking and chattering rather than chirping.