December 27, 2008

Some time away...

I don't think I will be blogging for alittle while; I just don't have much to say. I also don't think it will really matter because I don't get more than one or two replies, which messes up my original idea of having a converation of sorts. You may be reading and not replying, and that's okay too if you want it to be that way.
I'm tired; tired of everything, from all the hate in the world to my own little world-plum tired.
I'll be back at some point Dear Reader(s).

December 25, 2008

December 24, 2008

A beautiful Quote...


"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful."
Author: The Rev. Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993)

December 23, 2008

December 22, 2008

A few winter quotes...


"Backward, turn backward, O Time in your flight; Make me a child again for for tonight." Author: Elizabeth Akers Allen

"The cold wind burns my face, and blows its frosty pepper up my nose." Author: Robt. Louis Stevenson

"The days are short, the weather's cold, by tavern fires tales are told."
Author: New England Almanac, Dec. 1704

December 21, 2008

Christmas is...


"Christmas is more than just a day...
It's the feeling of hope in our lives. It's the promise of peace in our world. It's the bessing of love in our hearts."

Author: unknown

December 20, 2008

What a child can imagine...


"I wish you all a Merry Christmas!
I wish us all a world as kind as a child can imagine it!"

Author: Dorothy Thompson (1937)

December 19, 2008

Isn't he handsome?


I have a fixation with the moon. Every night I either look outside a window or step outside (with a jacket on) to see the real moon. As you may have noticed, I even have the phases of the moon as a sidebar on this blog. I cannot describe why or how I became interested in it; all I can say is that I just did. The moon is interesting in its ever-changing shape and color. It also seems like a friendly soul, if you choose to give it a personality of sorts. I like the fact that it/he/she watches over us at night, and gives us light as well. I absolutely adore moonlight in my room at night; it makes me feel soothed.

Countless people walk from their car to wherever it is they are going, and seldom give the moon a first glance, let alone a second glance. Me, I could stare at it until my neck begins to hurt. I love the moon.

December 18, 2008

The little bell...


The sound of a Christmas bell resonates beautifully in my ears. I can hear it on our Christmas tree, also when the front door opens. However, the simple photo above does all the justice it should. It's simple, and ever so pretty. I think most times, the most simple things in life are the prettiest.

A couple of nights ago, I watched "It's a Wonderful Life" with Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed (along with a cast of other great actors). At the very end of the movie when a bell twinkled on their Christmas tree, the youngest girl told her Father, that's when an angel gets their wings. So, Clarence the angel had received his wings.
It's such a good movie, filled with reality and Hope for the future.

December 17, 2008

Remember these?


When I saw this box, a flood of memories came rushing back to me. Were they my Mother's? They looked just like some of her old ornaments. They also looked like some of the ornaments on my Grandmothers' Christmas trees when I was a kid.

Every year, with wild excitement we would bring the ornaments down from the attic. We waited in longing anticipation for the boxes to descend to the living room rug. The ornaments themselves, were securely wrapped and stored well. However, when it came time to take the boxed ornaments out, the actual boxes seemed old, almost broken down, with the cellophane wrap on top half torn. Looking back now, I think it was the hands of time, as well as hand me downs. However, that didn't stop us. We decorated, practically dancing around the tree, trying to find just the right branch for each ornament. If I had it my way, I would have decorated the tree by myself, because I wanted to put on as many ornaments as I possibly could.

Another big thrill was that my Father and I had a tradition of going out to find our Christmas tree. I use to wait anxiously for him to have his morning coffee, and then off we would go, usually to the same garden center as the year before. He liked the owners and the trees they sold. When the tree was decorated and relatives were complimenting how pretty it looked, in part it was because my Father and I started by selecting the tree first; the rest came later.

Even though I am uncertain as to where those ornaments are today, I still love what they mean to me. They were shiny and unique in shapes and sizes. They instantly remind me of my childhood Christmas trees of years gone by. Add those ornaments to a tree with big bulb multi-color lights and tinsel, and well, you get the idea. Merry Christmas to my childhood Christmas trees, and yours too!

It's here, and it's beautiful!


Can't follow those poetic words from Longfellow, so I'll just let it be.
Thanks for stopping by.

December 16, 2008

I see it and I feel it!!!

Andy


Even Andy the dog, who lives in Nonquitt, is ready and waiting for the snow to come!
P.S. Andy belongs to Hubby's Godmother.

December 15, 2008

Wishing for snow


Okay, that does it; I just heard the report of rain for Monday and Tuesday. Why doesn't Mother Nature wave her magic umbrella, and turn it into majestic white snow. The kind that even makes people who don't like snow, acknowledge its beauty. A girl can dream can't she? I feel another dose of poetry is needed.
"Let snowflakes dance in fields of gray,
Let winter stars come out to play and light the skies above...
Let firelight kindle hearts within,
Let toasts and songs and dreams begin.
Let the world be wrapped in love."

Author: unknown

December 14, 2008

I need more winter poetry


Although we have not had any snow, my vote has been cast. In order to help myself get through these rainy December days, I've been reading some winter poetry and literature. If you've never read "A Child's Christmas in Whales" by Dylan Thomas, read it or see the play. It is fantastic, and puts the holly in your holiday.

Life doesn't get much better, than having my socks warmed by the fire with Leo my cat sitting by my side. I can read, write out Christmas cards and/or sing to the Christmasy music we play, and good 'ole Leo stays by me through it all. I love him. When I see him sit by the fire, I think of the quote by Robert Louis Stevenson, "Close by the jolly fire I sit. To warm my frozen bones a bit."

December 13, 2008

I need some poetry


I knew by the smoke, that so gracefully curl'd
Above the green elms, that a cottage was near,
And I said, 'If there's peace to be found in the world,
A heart that was humble might hope for it here!"

Author: Thomas Moore

December 12, 2008

Home...


Whenever I look at this simple picture, I don't think; I feel. There is a strong desire in me for the warmth of feeling cozy. It makes me feel all is right within my little world. Home is comfort to me on a very deep level.

December 11, 2008

If only...


If only the rain we had yesterday was snow, our homes and the outdoors would look as pretty as this!

December 10, 2008

The fun and simple joys of Christmas


It's Christmas in December. Try to get caught up in the magic of the season and not the commercialization of it. I've noticed that if you smile at people, they most times will smile back at you. It's fun! In order not to stress out, Hubby and I have been doing one thing per night, whether it is decorating, or lights on the tree or wrapping gifts for loved ones far away. Then we go back to our regular evening routine. This aides us in not getting that rush-rush feeling. It will all get done, just try and not let it be at a price to your health. High levels of stress is unhealthy.

Enjoy the rest of Christmas in December, and remember to smile. It feels good!

December 9, 2008

Give to all...


Please feed the birds,if you are able to, where you live. The tiny sparrows, and the bright red cardinals and the morning doves will all appreciate your generosity. And it is very relaxing to watch them from your window enjoy what you just gave to them.

December 8, 2008

Give Peace a Chance


October 9, 1940 - December 8, 1980

December 7, 2008

Once upon a time...


"Once upon a time in a world long forgotten, there were no bionic men dolls, no robots with ray guns, no barbies, no burpies, no flashlights or blenders, no machines that played back the voice of the sender.

Christmas tree candles couldn't all blink sequentially, battery powered buglers couldn't oompah perpetually. Stockings were smaller, their stuffings were simple, a hand knitted scarf, a hand whittled whistle.

Why did people still cherish the holiday season? We're not really certain, but we think that the reason that there was still laughter without all these toys, is that there was still love, and it's love that brings joy."

May you have a joyful holiday season.
Author unknown

December 5, 2008

Is there anything else?

December 2, 2008

November 30, 2008

A Few of My Favorite Things...


Dear Readers:
I have decided to start a house diary. It will indeed be a work in progress. I want to document things about our house that I like for prosperity. I will continue to come back to this particular blog after I take more pictures. Currently, our house is in the midst of how it looks on a regular basis, and Christmas decorations. Whatever, suits my fancy, is what I will document.


Our winter kitchen curtains. In the summer, it's yellow and blue Provence.


Leo is our very handsome cat; I love him, love him, love him!


This is our favorite Grand-father clock. And it works too!


I love this quote high on the wall.


This is perhaps my favorite item. It's a statue of Degas' Ballerina. The photo doesn't do her justice. She's detailed and utterly gorgeous, just the way a ballerina stands with perfect posture. She's cast in bronze, and her tutu is a subtle shade of turquoise, while her bodice is another subtle shade, but of gold. The swirls of hair on the back of her head shape into a gorgeous bun. Sometimes, I put my hand on her hair, just to feel the beautiful swirl-like texture. Her legs and slippers are detailed in ways my description won't do justice. We've named her Isabella, and she poses for us in our living room.

November 29, 2008

Smiles that speak volumes

As mentioned in the blog below (Nov. 25th), Hubby and I travelled to NH to be with his brother and family for Thanksgiving. The photos below are just some of the fun and laughter we shared as a family! Happily, I was behind the lens instead of in front of it! ;)







November 25, 2008

Road Trip


Early Wednesday morning, Hubby and I will be on the road to New Hampshire to partake in a Thanksgiving meal on Thursday, with his brother Chip, sister-in-law Lisa, and their three teriffic kids. His older sister Anne, who is flying in from Chicago will be very surprised when she sees Hubby and I, because we've kept it on the QT. Our drive will be approximately five hours; that is alot of car time. I have already selected some CDs and will pack sandwiches and beverages tomorrow morning. We are also bringing fixings for homemade cornbread that I will make either Wed. night or early Thurs. morning. It is a delicious William-Sonoma recipe. We will also bring crusty rolls, and Best Brownies Ever for just having around the kitchen (not for the dessert table), and a few bottles of the bubbly.

I am looking forward to getting away for a few days. I think it is nice to freshen up one's eyes. Family time will be fun; I'm looking forward to hearing about the new job world from Stephanie, now living in Boston. Theatre and college life will be a hot topic from Andrea, and first semester boarding school from Ethan will be interesting and humorous in the way he tells a story.

I believe Thanksgiving is a time to STOP the traffic and give thanks for what is important in our lives. I believe we give thanks all year long. However, I find it interesting to hear people's thoughts and feelings as we go around the table, telling each other what we are truly thankful for.

Dear Readers: I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving. I look forward to seeing you again.
Thank you for stopping by.

November 23, 2008

A Path


I took this photograph of a wooded path in a park called Loantaka, near where I live. I have spent many years riding my bicycle, walking and horse-back riding on this very path. One day, I had my camera looking for subjects to photograph. When I started walking around, I realized this particular path was like an old friend. It is a very serene and safe place to be. The leaves rustle on the tree tops, and the dirt path is patted down. Even now, it seems to draw me in. On a sunny day, the sun dapples its rays through the trees, and all is well with the world for that moment in time. It's a home for small animals such as chipmunks, squirrels and lots and lots of birds.

At this time of year, the leaves are down, which makes crunching just teriffic! What I enjoy is seeing the trees without the leaves. They show their true and interesting forms. Have you ever noticed that?
My Grandmother had a saying "When the trees undress, we dress. When the trees dress, we undress."

I like this path; it has a beautiful quiet sound. I wonder what Robert Frost would say about it...

November 21, 2008

The Seasons


The Seasons
"Spring is a time of dancing feet..and rivulets on city streets...of laughing kisses, hair unfurled...Spring is the time when boy meets girl.

Summer is the time of beach and pool...shady forests, dark and cool...strawberries topped with fluffy cream...Summer is the time to sit and dream.

Fall is the time when canning's done...cooler the eye of the noonday sun...bright is the leaf on every tree...gone is the sound of the honey bee.

Winter is the time for woody smoke...naked the branch of every oak...white is the snow for miles around...winter is the time for quiet sound."

Author: Martin Buxbaum

November 16, 2008

Georgia O'Keefe November 15, 1887 - March 6, 1986



What delights us in visible
Beauty is the invisible


Georgia O'Keefe had the talent of keen observation. As an Artist, she travelled to the US Southwest (primarily New Mexico) very often in her young adult life (eventually taking up permanent residency). She saw the beauty in the desert landscape, and painted it. Of course, let's not forget the large flower paintings, which to this day keeps her name very much alive in the art world. Could she have stayed in upstate New York, and continued to paint farm barns, or New York cityscapes? Maybe. However, she had a calling, a yearning to do something different, and that was to follow her heart.

November 15, 2008

Grits Anyone?



Today, Hubby made his Mothers' recipe for homemade Grits. This recipe was given to her by a friend on Sanibel Island. It is one of the most delicious, mouth-watering and comforting foods you will probably ever taste. Hubby made this dish for my Mother this afternoon. Recipe as follows:
Ingredients for Step 1:
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
1 c. water
1 t. salt
3/4 c. NON INSTANT Grits
Boil water in double boiler TOP over direct heat. Add salt; slowly stir in grits, stirring all the while. Put over hot water in double boiler BOTTOM (low-med. heat). Stir in 1 c milk. Cover and cook until liquid is absorbed, stirring a couple of times. This may take anywhere between 15 - 30 mins.
Step 2:
1 stick butter
1 c milk
1 beaten egg
1 T. sugar
Add butter and melt - off the heat. Add 1 c milk mixed with egg, and the stir in the sugar. Pour into buttered 9" pan. Bake for 50-60 mins, until nicely browned.
Serves 4-6 Enjoy!

November 11, 2008

A Thank you on Veteran's Day and Everyday

A Surprise


I have received a nice surprise; I am a recipient of the Superior Scribbler Award! It means I write well, I guess. Thanks to Midnight Madras
for presenting this award to me. The good news is that I get to pass it on to four or five more deserving blogs.
The rules of the award are as follows:
1. Post the award on your blog
2. Link me for presenting it to you leohaven
3. Link the originating post here scholastic-scribe
3a. At the bottom of that linked page, add your name to Mr. Linky's list.
4. Pass the award on to five more deserving people.
5. Post these rules for your recipients.
And now the following are my picks for the Superior Scribbler Award
(Drum roll please)

1.carolinescarolina
- your writing is soulful. Whether you know it or not, you have a book in you.
2.Impoverished Preppy
- I always enjoy reading your blog. You have a gift for the written word.
3.Dessert First
I am well aware of your newly published cookie book "Fieldguide to Cookies" :) I can imagine how extremely busy you must be at this time, however, I believe your talented writing skills deserves an award.
4.endment
- your writing and photography is sheer poetry. Thank you for sharing it.

You've been officially awarded - Congratulations!

Isn't it Romantic?


I love this painting for one Big reason:
It is the way in which the man looks at the woman with such intensity and love. It appears to him there isn't anyone else around except the woman with the red hat. The tilt of his head is of wonderful interpretations. I never get tired of looking at them. The Artist is Pierre Auguste Renoir. The title is "Dance at Bougival"
Whenever I come across this painting, I always get a slight butterfly-like feeling. I think Renoir was in love when he was painting them, perhaps a reflection of his own life.

November 8, 2008

A Longtime and Long Distance Friendship



My very dear girlfriend Nancy and her daughter Abbie live in CA. It is a beautiful place, with lots of trees and outdoor activities for Abbie. I was elated to hear that Abbie has been taking guitar lessons. She recently played guitar and sang before the School Board (while Nancy sat in the back 'quietly' crying with pride and happiness). I hope to get a picture of Abbie playing guitar, and will post it. She is such a great kid!

Nancy and I have been friends since Junior High School. Yes, you read correctly; I was in the 7th grade and she was in the 8th grade. We lived down the street from each other, and I would help her work on science projects, (knowing that I would probably be working on the same projects the following year in Mr. Church's science lab). The projects entailed learning the human bone structure. I specifically remember helping her to memorize all the bones in the body, along with laughing and more laughing. Two teenage girls really have the art of laughing down pat. We also had a ritual of baking a cake in her Mother's kitchen every Sunday in the wintertime. I guess the summer was for swimming and no cake. Much later on those Sunday afternoons, we would walk to my house, and test out my Mother's famous meatballs and sauce with Italian bread. Those were yummy days with lots of laughter, talks till midnight, Carly Simon music, and now - great memories.

Currently, Nancy lives far away from where she grew up, and it's a wonderful place for her and Abbie to be. The last time they visited Hubby and I, Abbie had a blast going through our toy box and playing with everything she could find. She also introduced herself to "Wormie" - in the strawberry patch. He is made of felt and rides up and down on a dowl. As you push up, his face comes out of a strawberry patch, and he is just ever so cute. I love him, and I am a long way away from being 10years old. But that goes to show you, sometimes there's not much difference between a 10 year old and a 50 year old, and in this case I am thankful for that!

Nancy, I'll always hold our friendship dear to my heart, and now I have Abbie to love as well! :)

November 6, 2008

Kindness


"Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. and the third is to be kind."
Author: Henry James

November 1, 2008

A Tribute to my Father

As the holiday seasons approach, my mind wanders to the time when my Father was alive, and here for the festivities. Halloween through Christmas; he loved it all. There are no words that can adequately describe the depth of my feelings. They sit deep inside me, and then will spring upward when I sometimes don't expect it. The following is my tribute to a great man, who loved people and life itself - my Father.

A Tribute to my Father
It seems like only yesterday my Father and I were discussing current events or the neighbor’s dog. Then it happened. He told us he was going into the hospital for a minor bladder procedure. He had seen blood in his urine, and the Urologist told him small tumors needed to be removed. He would be a few days in the hospital, and then home. I was filtering out the words I wanted to hear: small tumors and a few days. I think my Father wanted to believe that was all there was to it. Looking back, my entire family lived under this cloud of denial.

My Dad made it through the surgical procedure, and as the Urologist predicted, he came home within a week’s time. With some rest and my Mother’s loving care, he then brushed the dust from his boots, and continued living his retired lifestyle with my Mother. Everyday was another place for him to visit, whether it was the County Library where he so kindly brought the Librarians’ candy, or to the country club to hit a few rounds, and joke with his golf associates. It was obvious to us he was glad to have his family around him, and it was priceless to have him with us.

It wasn’t long before the tumors grew back, and this time with a vengeance. No one could deny the inevitable. My Father’s time was coming to a close. How do you deal with that ocean of truth staring at you?

In retrospect, I can vividly remember my Father raising the training wheels on my green bicycle, and pushing me to go forward. I was happily screaming, and could hear him laughing behind me. What seemed like the next minute, I was looking at a man who aged overnight, lost weight, and knew full well that when he looked in the mirror, he saw himself dying, and he felt very sad.

I do not know all the corners of my Father’s life. He was a young single man during the swing-time of the early 1940’s. He was handsome with a full head of dark wavy hair, and a winning smile. When he told stories of hearing the big bands of the day, his hazel eyes lit up, just like a kid on Christmas morning. And it was only when I was an adult, I found out that before he married my Mother, he owned a horse named “Peaches” and loved to horseback ride. I think about how much information we are not privy to about our parents. Take them out of the “parental role” and they are men and women, who had childhoods, teenage years and young adult years, long before they had children. Once, when I was reminiscing about being the best ping-pong player in the neighborhood as a kid, my Father told me he was a ping-pong champ in his younger days. It was only by coincidence that I found out we shared the same feather in our caps.

One day, when I was driving my Father home from one of his hospital visits, he said to me “I love the quote on that car’s bumper-sticker…when words fail, music speaks.” At that moment, he was reading poetry. He did not have many words to say thereafter. The cancer was draining his body, and he was slowly slipping away. I held his hand whenever possible, and thanked him for being such a great Father, and for giving us a wonderful home life. I never left his bedside without kissing his cheeks and forehead. I wanted him to feel my love.
Early one morning when he was ready, he stepped out of his body, and moved onto his new path. I believe the warm light he must have seen and felt was the love of God, and that of his Mother and other loved ones already on the other side.

Although I miss my Father with words I can’t accurately describe, I also understand it was his time to die. There are days when I am drained with grief so deeply that I wonder how and if I can go on. Other times, I hear his voice or see his smile while in a sleepy dream, and I can actually feel happy again, knowing he is “somewhere” around me. It soothes the ache in my heart.

Here I stand at the age of fifty, and have come to the realization that our lives consist of many chapters. The sun may shine in some of the chapters, and hide behind clouds in other chapters. All in all, it is part of life’s journey. It is the love for my Father to keep his legacy alive by sharing his stories with others, and letting the world know that a very kind and wonderful man once lived here.

October 31, 2008

October 29, 2008

Desiderata written by Max Ehrmann in the 1920s

The author is Max Ehrmann, a Poet and Lawyer from Indiana. It has been reported that Desiderata was inspired by an urge that he wrote about in his diary. "I should like, if I could, to leave a humble gift-a bit of chaste prose that had caught up some noble moods."
Sometimes it good to re-read this once or twice.
DESIDERATA
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

October 20, 2008

A Summer Treat


Well, this morning some of my summer flowers and plants have turned to looking like spinach. That only means one thing; I have to get myself out there and work on Phase III in the garden. The first two phases were annual clean-ups, and cutting back of perennials. The final phase will be to plant the one hundred seventy something tulip, daffofil and crocus bulbs that have been purchased. But have you ever not wanted to 'git out there' and just do it. I'm in that mode now. To get motivated, I've had to go to a couple of online garden sites where I purchased the bulbs to remind myself of the spring joy there is to come. Good news: Hubby has taken some vacay time, and will be my garden partner!
By the way, the photo is of a Hibiscus flower. :o)

October 19, 2008

Tea Time


My Mother and I went for lunch on Friday, at a most charming restaurant and tea room called Sally Lunn's. Originated in England many many years ago, it is now a permanent fixture in a small town about 30 mins. from where I live. In addition to 'high tea' they also offer cottage pie, lamb and beef pasties, their famous scones, many tempting homemade desserts and a very long list of teas. My Mother enjoyed a hot mug of mulled apple cider w/apple slices and lemon wedge. My beverage was a cinnamon tea-warm and comforting. I selected homemade chicken pot pie for lunch, and my Mom ordered French Toast stuffed w/warm apples. It is the best French Toast I've ever tasted. Sorry no photos at this time. I know - blog sin #1. The pot pie was full of vegetables and chicken w/a puffed pastry topping-delicious! We managed to leave without dessert, which is almost impossible to do. The tea room is as charming as you can imagine: mix'n match tablecloths with white lacy overlays and cloth napkins. All around the walls stand curio cabinents loaded with tea services for sale. Tea cups and saucers abound on shelves as well. When we were done looking around at the vintage prints that also hang on the walls, we then carried out our little white bags of scones with devonshire cream and jam for Saturday morning breakfast. There we were, two smiling women with their little white bags. When I called my Mother this morning to say "hi" she was enjoying her scone. I could tell she had a smile on her face. And that makes it all worthwhile!