Thursday, March 31, 2011

The ladies, Success with a dress, "This is the famous Budweiser beer", Disappearing act

1.I set a pretty table and bake a Pineapple Upside Down Cake to pamper some friends who are coming by. One daughter enters the kitchen and says, "Oh, are the ladies coming over?" Another daughter comes in and says, "Is that for the ladies?"
2. I finished sewing a summery cotton dress for myself. It's a relaxing endeavor that I enjoy, working with fabrics to make something out of nothing.
3. Audrey quotes an entire beer commercial at the dinner table. Steve responds with one that he's memorized, then Audrey comes back at him with a third and then quips, "OK you're turn."! I am dumbfounded that people (let alone my family) would bother to have entire beer adds memorized. I'm laughing at their quick retorts.
4. One of "the ladies" has gotten mascara on the linen napkin. Not to worry, honestly! I toss them all on the counter and forget about it...until evening, when she emails to say that she sneaked the napkin home to wash it herself. She is such a fun mischief maker : )

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A day in Roanoke, First things first, You're perfect for this, Buy now!

1. My car is in the shop for the day and a friend has offered to meet me there and take us out for a day of exploring.
2. Our first stop is Bread Craft where we enjoy almond croissants and coffee at a table in the window.
3. She hands me a newspaper article with a job opening and lists all the reasons of why I would be perfect for it. It's nice when someone else has so much confidence in you.
4. I buy a pretty, pale turquoise sweater to extend last year's spring/summer wardrobe. It's marked down on sale, plus another a 20% off coupon.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Here we go again, How spring looks, My kitchen window

1. Spring taunts me with mysterious scents. I sniff and follow my nose to an elusive scent that I cannot quite place. I want to say Witch Hazel, but I know that's not it! Mother nature and I will continue this game again tomorrow.
2. Bright green fields are ringed with bare branched trees.
3. I stand at the window, gazing out while I talk on the phone. My feet keep warm at the heating vent while I watch cloud shadows creep across the hillside.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A winter meal, It's become a routine, A simple, quiet craft

The first application of wax will be the white in the design. The stylus, called a kistka, holds melted beeswax that runs down into the tip.

Heating the kistka in the candle flame to melt the beeswax. The egg has some colors applied and the black wax hasn't been removed yet.

The finished egg with red applied as the final color.

1. A large pot of Pasta Fagioli warms us on a snow-dusted afternoon.
2. One is on the sofa, one is on the recliner and one on the other sofa. One may even be up on her bed. I'm in a chair. Lazy Sunday afternoon and most everyone is napping or reading.
3.With slightly renewed energy, they decide to decorate eggs.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saturday's baking, Something for the weekend, A good one

1. I crave all things coconut. So I baked a coconut cream tart for Sunday's dessert along with two apple pies; one for us and one for the new neighbors.
2. The library calls to say my books are in (!) so I dash out to get them.
3. The Thirteenth Tale has quickly drawn me in.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Now you're talkin', Stocking up, The math gene

1. Exhausted teen released her heavy backpack to the floor, kicked off her shoes and slumped into a chair. She didn't care to interact with the curious toddler who was captivated by her stormy entrance. That is until the toddler started making horsey sounds.
2. Checked off books read from my Goodreads list and added three new titles to borrow from my library list.
3.Daughter #4 tells me she has a 100 in math. I then realize daughter #3 hasn't asked for help with her Trig. all semester so I ask her about math. She says she has an A. Huh! Who would have thunk it! I am impressed, surprised and relieved that they don't take after me.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Josephina's goat, Two new sounds, Heavy load

1. I like to see the roly poly goat, all white with black tips, that lives in Wildcat Holler.
2. Nature's wake-up call was deep, rolling thunder, echoing in the hills behind the house and rattling the windows.
3. Much driving today, over winding, hilly country roads. Mumford and Sons provided the music which blended perfectly with the scenery.
♪ "Awake my soul. You were made to meet your maker." ♫
4. A phone conversation with a friend lightens my burdens and helps me to keep on.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Wintered over, The best part, There she goes!

1. I give the perennial bed just one hour of my time. Then I walk away. This is how we remain on friendly terms and I anticipate another nice visit in the dirt tomorrow.
2. Two sticks of pepperoni simmer in my corned beef and cabbage.
3. She phones to tell me the baby has rolled over for the first time. "I just had to tell somebody!", she says.

Monday, March 21, 2011

And his personality is...?, Spring is in the inside air, If at first you don't succeed

1. My husband asked for sugar cookies, cut square, undecorated. I would have made flowers and bunnies, frosted and sprinkled with all the colors of spring. So, for this week, the cookie jar is filled with plain squares.
2. Doors and windows are open today allowing the scents and sounds of the garden into the kitchen.
3. Tess shows me the intricate egg she has begun to decorate when it goes tumbling out of her hand and crashes onto the floor. We stare at it for a stunned moment...then laugh. It's all we can do! She immediately begins to make another and I admire her patient nature.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Smoothing out the wrinkles, A favorite smell, My island runneth over

1. Chelsea brought all of us a Dead Sea mud facial. We girls line up at the bathroom mirror, applying the blue goop to our skin while Steve and Chad run for the camera.
2. The beeswax releases a soothing aroma as it is melted over the candle flame.
3. Each family places a covered dish on the kitchen island and it is soon laden with a feast of good things to sample.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pysanky to welcome spring!

In honor of spring , I brought down the Pysanky that we've made over the years.

Claire's handiwork is fine. All lines are etched with a kistka, a heated stylus filled with melted beeswax.

My favorite to make use brown eggs dipped only in black dye.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Flying low, Newest program for me, Earplugs

1. Fighter jets roar over the house, inspiring both fear and awe. I run to the porch and see the next one blast by. This force is oddly out of place here in the quiet countryside. To think that there is a human being inside of it!
2. I'm enjoying the Doc Martin series with its beautiful scenery and quirky characters.
3. Picked Tess up from school and went straight out for dinner and a crazy, noisy concert. No, I didn't like the music and neither did Tess, but it was still fun to be out.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

In our teeth, Yellow with a bit of pink thrown in, Pure comfort

1. The Spanikopita I made for brunch is loaded with bright, green spinach. So, we will get our Irish green in via Greece today.
2. Spring is blooming everywhere! Forsythia, daffodils, and pink flowering trees.
3. B. has knit me the coziest pair of wool socks.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Stillness, Shopping for little girls, Pampered

1. The house and property are shrouded in fog. We head down the road where we break out of the fog line, leaving its peacefulness behind.
2. She has gift cards to spend on baby. I wish shopping for my clothes could be this fun. Then again, my clothes aren't this darned cute : )
3. Claire finishes making dinner, then she and Tess collaborate on dessert. They are sweetly leaving me out of it!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It's really tomorrow but I did these things today

1. In celebration of my 52nd year on earth, five dear friends treated Claire and me to lunch.
2. In celebration of my 52nd year on earth, I scheduled a colonoscopy. I decided to do this because I love my sister, because I lost my friend Lynn to colon cancer last October, because I've already put it off for two years and because the doctor said I would feel so good from the drugs they'll give me.
3. In celebration of my 52nd year on earth, I baked the best chocolate cake from my favorite recipe. I think the coffee and buttermilk are the secret ingredients : ) I use a different frosting recipe, though. As follows:

Cocoa frosting:
In a large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat 2 2/3 cups confectioners sugar, 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened, 1/3 cup milk, 2 tablespoons light corn syrup, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, until blended. Increase speed to high; beat until frosting is smooth and glossy. Add more milk if necessary until frosting is an easy spreading consistency.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Good morning sunshine, Beautiful painting, He speaks "Baby"

1. Mari greets the morning with smiles. I snuggle my face into her sweet little neck and rub my cheek on her baby soft hair.
2. The office halls are lined with beautiful oil paintings and watercolors. One in particular is an impressionist style oil of an old woman standing in a doorway, one hand leaning on it for balance. A wide gold frame sets off the beauty of browns and grays in the painting. I see my future self in the woman, and the beauty of the painting makes it alright.
3. Steve seeks out the baby, picks her up and talks to her "in that special way".

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Today's dessert, Extended hours, And it smells good too

1. Store bought tart shells made dessert a snap today. I made pastry cream for filling and then decorated these little gems with fresh fruit.
2. Sunshine extended well into the evening.
3. Steve is installing pegboard in the basement and it's making a huge improvement on the organization of things down there.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Kitchen corner, Emerging, I see skies of blue ♫ ♪

1. The drawer pulls for my free-dresser-make-over arrived and I finally stocked it with linens.
2. I found my gardening gloves and spade and had some fun!
3. I stayed up on the hill and stretched out on the grass. It was very quiet except for the sound of the wind as it swayed the budding tree limbs and ruffled the horses' manes. My daydreams expanded with the view of hills and valleys to the mountains beyond.

* The dresser came with a pretty mirror, but it wasn't suited for a kitchen. I saved it in case we ever change its use to a bedroom.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A spectacle, Drawn to the fury, New venue

1. A strong wind created sheets of driving rain across the fields. I watched from a curtained window where I was safe and warm.
2. Creeks and stream beds that are usually timid now rush with muddy water. Banks are overflowed and the water foams in its rushing madness. We stop the car and roll down the window so we can listen to the sound.
3. The simple act of moving a framed picture from one room to another has created an entirely new look for the picture. Where it was once blah, it is now fantastic!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sing it!, Something we both enjoy, History may repeat itself, but...

1. Nothing, including this dreary rain, can dampen the mockingbird's song. He sings loud and clear from the rooftop as though it's the sunniest day in creation.
2. Her favorite thing to do is sit on my lap with her baby doll and have me read one picture book after another. I'm cool with that.
3. A quote I heard today, "History is linear and all history flows into the lap of God." (Tim Keller)

Monday, March 7, 2011

It's all true, A welcome change, Nice to see you

1. Debbie over at Greener Pastures made me laugh today : )
2. Packing wool sweaters away, under bags of lavender, and pulling springtime cottons out to take their place.
3. The buds are really swelling on the lilacs, crabapple, and ornamental plum. The flowering almond bush has turned its twigs from brown to red, pumping sap to the tips of each branch. I go from tree to tree, performing the role of Welcoming Committee.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Audrey's day

1. Eighteen years ago today I brought forth a force to be reckoned with. We named her Audrey, which means "noble strength". Perfect.
2. A steady rain drummed on the metal roof during the entire church service. It sure beats the blizzard of '93 that we suffered in New York the week after Audrey was born.
3. Two of the cutest little living creatures came to live at our house today. Tiny Robo Dwarf hamsters. Chelsea and Chad gave them to Audrey as a surprise (to all of us) birthday gift.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Good Books, Body language, No kitchen duty

1. I finished reading three books this past week. The Kitchen House, Water for Elephants, and So Brave, Young and Handsome. Leif Enger is one of my favorite, new (to me) authors. I particularly enjoyed his first novel, Peace Like a River .
2. There is lightness in her step and a bounce in her ponytail when she walks away from the car.
3. In celebration of Audrey's birthday, seven of us went out to dinner. It was nice to relax and have someone else do the cooking.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Tablecloth to Curtain

I love vintage linens and small cotton tablecloths make perfect curtains. I recently bought this one on ebay to replace my old one that had become worn after 8 years. One, quick seam and it's done! In the center photo you'll see a tiny name tag in red lettering sewn onto the corner of the tablecloth. Vintage comes with a history.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Backroads again, Tempted to follow, I'm in trouble now

1. Joni Mitchell was my driving companion music today. A beautiful poetess, " Won't you stay, we'll put on the day and we'll talk in present tenses."
2. Wagon tracks cut through the field and disappear over the crest of a hill.
3. A friend from Greece sent over a heavenly cake called Karidopita. It drips with moisture and is loaded with walnuts and cinnamon flavor.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Playing with books, rearranging the shelves

The "black" shelf with Claire, Daniel and baby Mari. I love how they are laughing in this photo...well except for Mari. But she laughs a lot now, too.

The "green" shelf with some of the little, felt wee folk that I enjoy making. Their hats are made from acorn caps.

The 'red" shelf with my favorite photo of all four girls as babies; Claire, Chelsea, Audrey, Tess.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The back road, Party at Target, My life

1. I drive past an expansive field that was planted with some kind of cover crop and is the most brilliant emerald green.
2. An older woman in line ahead of me gets carded for her bottle of wine. I tell her to think of it as a compliment. We chuckle which makes the young man at the register blush.
3. Summing up the daily log that I kept for a week, my time is mainly spent on laundry, meals and driving errands. At first I'm depressed that my days are this mundane. But after much thought, I decide I really wouldn't have it any other way. Particularly when life's punctuation marks make it so exciting.