Sunday, February 28, 2010
Today I painted our dining room. I thought I'd have this little project whipped out in NO time, and done. I thought wrong. It took me all day to do trim, walls and ceiling. The ceiling had some stains and damage that I had to patch, Kilz and paint. I did a pretty good job, considering I had no clue what I was doing!
Chris helped me hang a pretty little chandelier that I have had for several years. It was worth the wait. The light reflects in the big mirror and sparkles in the dangley prisms. Makes me smile.
The full moon of February was known to Native Americans as the snow moon (because February often has so very much snow,) or the Hunger Moon, (because finding food this time of year was a neat trick.) This morning the moon hung low and bright over the ridge- which was freshly frosted in a dusting of icy snow. The full moon is seen to us when the moon is directly opposite the sun. The cycles of the moon still hold an enchanted importance to me. Snow moon, hunger moon... sky-hung beauty.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
My friend Chez has inspired me to create "Thankful Thursday" posts, where I share something in my life that I am grateful for, even if that thing is imperfect. I am thankful to live in America. This country is imperfect, but oh! I am so lucky to be right here, right now. For this flag and all it stands for, I am thankful.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
This little puppy will be coming home to stay in about a week and a half.
She got a clean bill of health at the vet's today, and also had a bath and a trim up.
I feel guilty about bringing home another dog, but Chris says he does not care. And life is short. So... we need a NAME for this tiny thing! Latest ideas rattling around:
Come on, chime in!
Monday, February 22, 2010
One of my mothers favorite things to do was decorate one room by "shopping" from another. She would change up the look of the house just by moving things about. And she loved it!
When we painted the kitchen recently I decorated by removing a bunch of items from the front room into the kitchen. This left the hutch and side table in the front room looking rather sparse and forlorn. So, today I polished up the furniture and then went shopping. I shopped upstairs, and on the cold porch. I shopped in the living room and in the tall cabinet in the dining room.
I ended up with a whimsical candelabra tucked into an awkward corner in the kitchen, and a minimalist look on the big hutch... but I find it looks restful, and the candles in crystal are very welcoming.
I like to think my mom was smiling down at me while I tripped from room to room, finding treasures to decorate my life.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
I am an odd bird. I enjoy winter. I love the snow, the quiet, the beauty of the outdoors. And I love the welcoming warmth of home. That being said, I also am delighted by the first signs of spring.
For the last two weeks I have noticed that the birds have begun to call more, and that some of them are singing their spring time mating songs. And today I saw that the sugar maples are being tapped.
People here tap the maples when the sap begins to rise... they collect that sap in buckets and boil it down until it becomes that magical elixer, maple syrup.
Nature shows subtle signs of the change of season that are not always noticed unless one looks carefully. I have looked. I have seen. I have recorded. Spring is coming, sure as the sap rises.
My friends Carol and Glenn made me the most amazing breakfast this morning. I drove to their place, out in the back of beyond, through spitting snow. It is a stunning drive, with smudgy mountains in the distance, frozen brooks zigging through the woods, and an amazing mix of homes dotting the way. Ancient houses in poor repair, equally ancient places that have been restored,newer homes, and single wides all share the same "neighborhood." I even passed a yurt! It is one of the many charms of Maine.
The warmth of the wood stove at my destination was most welcome. Carol let me help beat the egg whites for her "fluffy egg nest" recipe with this adorable hand mixer.
Then she assembled the feast; home baked sourdough toast was topped with whipped egg whites, then the yolks were slipped carefully into the "nest." Each creation was topped with pat of butter and a dollop of heavy cream. (I could hear the sirens from the cholesterol police coming closer!) She baked the tray of nests until the yolks were just set. Glenn had carefully fried paper thin, perfectly browned, crispy bacon earlier. This was truly a memorable, beautiful and just plain delicious meal.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
My sister Dicy was an artist from an early age. She carved the horse seen in this photo when she was a teen. My dad hung it between two diamond pane windows on the horse barn on our property. Sister Deb lives in the home we grew up in with her family now.
Though many things have changed since I was a kid, it is such a delight that some things remain the same. I can still go "home" to the place my father built... the place where our family of 7 grew and loved and laughed and learned. Not many adults I know can say the same. That is a gift.
Who knew this wooden horse would remain when it's creator had passed? That is another sort of gift, altogether.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
I am so delighted with my "new" kitchen I had to add a couple more pictures. The hutch is a very old one that belonged to my Mom. When she first hauled it home from a yard sale it was (and I am not making this up) tangerine orange and cobalt blue. Since that time it has had many other face lifts. Now white, it holds some of my favorite treasures, Staffordshire dogs, old china and other things that make me smile.
We hung a lace valance over the kitchen sink window today... that one small touch softens the look of the room and looks delightful to me. The funky "Waters" letters were found amongst my uncles things when he died... that is my maiden name.
I love to be surrounded with things that make me happy to look at them. If items in my home are not useful, beautiful or wildly sentimental, out they go!
My sister Deb, her husband John and my niece came to visit for the weekend. Because... they are too nice! They painted my kitchen for me. John and niece Elyse are both a.) TALL and b.) excellent painters. Deb and I, on the other hand, should not be allowed to hold paint brushes. We are reckless and messy and splattery and just bad news when we paint. SO, John and Elyse did big work and made my kitchen so pretty.
Though not allowed to paint, I WAS allowed to cook... for breakfast we had heart shaped buttermilk pancakes. Delicious!
My kitchen and me? We feel the love!
Thursday, February 11, 2010
My sister says she buys tulips this time of year to encourage her that spring is coming. Since I love winter and am in no rush for it to be over, I don't share her rationale. I do, however, share in her delight at tulips, so I bought some. Do you see the appeal?
Meanwhile, my friend Chez (www.babystepscottage.blogspot.com) challenged me to join her in being thankful today for something that is not perfect. So. I am thankful for my feet! I had a pedicure today, a true treat. I am boasting hot pink nails that make me smile. My feet? Not so perfect. After an injury a few years back I have constant swelling in one leg, and a riot of really wild looking veins discolor my leg from ankle to knee. But I am not in pain and I can walk and ride and dance and work and climb and snowshoe and kayak.I can shift my truck and dig in the dirt. I can kick, too! And I am thankful, thankful for all of those things, despite the crazed appearance of my nether appendage. Thanks, Chez, for helping me remember that things don't have to be perfect to be perfectly wonderful.
Monday, February 8, 2010
I went to visit my table today. She is a thing of beauty! The blue and white crackle paint on the underside and on the legs is done, awaiting a beeswax rub. The top finish is in progress. She currently resides in a sunny loft where she is being cared for by a lovely woman with great artistic skills. Apparently the finish is something that is applied layer by layer and it takes time for the beauty to be created. I came home and looked at my mostly empty dining room with great glee. This weekend I plan to touch up the paint in there, wax the floor, wash the window and prepare for the arrival of my dream table! I have a chandelier that I've been waiting to have installed for several years. I'll see if we can get that taken care of, too, so the room will be ready for the wonderful new addition. This is SO exciting!
Sunday, February 7, 2010
This recent Groundhog's day, Punxsutawny Phil saw his shadow and foretold another 6 weeks of winter.
But today, on the way to the transfer station with a truck load of trash, I saw a dark blob at the foundation of my neighbors barn. I grabbed my camera and approached the blob, knowing I was in for a treat. And there was this young porcupine, looking for a snack on a patch of ground where the snow had melted. He stared at me balefully with a glittering shoe button eye, and rattled his quills a bit when I got too close. Looks like a sign of early spring to me.
I've had a love affair with reading since my sister Debbye taught me the magic within the pages of The Happy Hollister's red covered books when I was 5. She taught me how to read while we lay on our bellies on the bedroom floor. The books were old and smelled slightly musty, but they transported me.
For Christmas my husband gave me a Nook. This is one brand of a new technology, e-book readers. Small, slim, sleek and stylish, my new Nook will hold 1,500 books within its small self. And it is magical. Really, it is. Yesterday I was reading on my Nook. The author of the book I was reading made reference to another book which sounded interesting. So I clicked on "shop," and sure enough, the book mentioned was available for $9 and change. With the push of a button I was able to read the first 45 pages of the book, and I found it very interesting. So, I pushed another button that said, "buy now." And you know what? In less than 60 seconds that book was in the Nook. Ready for me to read. If that is not magical, I don't know what is.
My grandmother was born before most people had electricty or indoor plumbing in their homes. She experienced first hand the wonders of radio and then television! She never got over her total amazement that she could go to the grocery store and buy a Pepperidge Farm coconut cake, all baked and frosted and ready to serve to family or guests. And delicious! She adored them, and appreciated the magic of them when we were all rolling our eyes.
The technology changes. The Magic? It is still held in wonder.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Recently our daughter has been making "leave the nest" noises. That is not a bad thing, but like all change it takes some getting used to. I was thinking about her today while I ran an errand. I passed an empty birds nest frosted in snow, and stopped to snap a picture. When I got where I was going I saw another abandoned nest, snow capped- lovely. Coincidence? I think not.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Monday, while sitting at my desk writing a magazine article, my daughter came into the room. With her snake.
The sun was shining in. My kid put her snake on the window sill and left the room. The snake stayed there, basking in the sun, motionless. For a long time. Meanwhile the sun hit the prism hanging there... the walls were dancing with rainbows. Reptiles and rainbows. An incongruent combination.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
"Snowflakes are conglomerations of frozen ice crystals which fall through the Earth's atmosphere. They begin as snow crystals which develop when microscopic supercooled cloud droplets freeze. Snowflakes come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Complex shapes emerge as the flake moves through differing temperature and humidity regimes. Individual snowflakes are nearly unique in structure."
Me? I think they are created as a form of "higher" art.