Saturday, February 18, 2012


I suspect that some of you will not have had the experience that I had growing up and, then, some of you will groan with recognition. Some of you will have been magically self possessed. I was never sure of what my style was or how I came across to others or, even, who "I was" in general. I've always felt awkward and not in step with the rest of the world. For example, there's always been some secret code of what to wear if one wanted to be popular and I just can never seem to crack it. While everyone else wears Levi Jeans, I've always preferred a skirt.

Then, one grows up and starts to hear that it's a wonderful thing to be unique. Well, alright, then! Even though it seems peaceful from afar to just fit in.... I'm, apparently unique and that's a good thing. ;) However, I'm, still, not quite aware of myself. So, I've been learning to just express and to simply let it be what it is - to just let myself be who I am and to not worry about how it all comes across.

I've stopped trying to be clever!

This has played out in a curious way in my surroundings. I love to feather my nest but, until I moved to this new home, only a couple of years ago, I had never had an environment that was fully mine to shape (you know, with the okay of my husband. ;)) At first, I tried to decorate according to 'the book' but, like my struggle with clothes' fashions, I had such a hard time figuring it all out.

So, finally, realizing that the less I try the better it looks and that, if I like it, it will probably fit in - even if, technically, it shouldn't - I've been relaxing about the whole thing and waiting to see what comes out of my lack of effort. I was wanting my rooms to be soothing and neutral but, what I've been surprised to realize is that I am colorful!

When we first bought the house, I had read a wonderful piece of advice. It told me that as I looked through interior magazines and books, I should take note of the spaces that make me stop and gasp and try to figure out what it was about those rooms that I liked so well. That's how I wound up with the brown walls in my dining room. What has followed after is purely by accident.....

The "before"

(There was an old phonograph in pristine shape waiting to be collected by the woman who inherited the house. It was filled with records from the twenties, thirties and forties. Spectacularly charming! Not so the wallpaper and rotting rug)


I've always wanted bleached, Scandinavian type floors and, even though I know that the floors in the whole house should flow - it's not possible so I went with what I wanted, et, voila! =] We love them!

We painted the ceiling a definite and obvious blue that's, also, subtle at the same time.


The walls are what I would call a Scandinavian brown - not the usual and obvious choice. In the summer, it fits harmoniously with the views out the windows - especially the blue pond - and it has a warm and organic feeling in the winter.  It's an odd neutral - not beige or white. It's beautiful like rich, chocolate cake dirt is beautiful in the garden. Happiest of all, every color that I love seems to sing its heart out next to it.

Just look.....

So the moral of the story is to go with what you love and don't bother trying to be anyone but yourself. Even better yet, don't try to be yourself - just be and....

colorful is definitely good! ;-)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Puppy Love

 Valentine's Day is always a bit higgledy-piggledy for us. As I confessed, last year, somehow, we just can't seem to make it fit into one day, really. I'm afraid that I'm just too mellow at this time of year to work myself into an organized frenzy to make it all happen at once. On the actual day, as long as we have chocolate and flowers and all the school Valentines delivered - we know that, in the end, it will all turn out alright. but what to share with you all, today? I think that, at this point, I might be the last blogger to squeak their post in for this festive occasion. Well, I've decided to show you everything I've got (er, everything we've accumulated so far so that we can celebrate, that is - don't panic!)

I've got the chocolate, the flowers and some cheery new flatware for when we have the chance to sit down and have a yummy treat together. Oh, all sorts of fun things are happening this year for Valentine's 'day''s just slowly happening over the next week or so; so, I'll share that shtuff with you later.

In the meantime, I do have some puppy love to share with you....

Either you'll think that this is soooooo romantic or you'll think, like Lucy:
"Ugh! I've been kissed by a dog! I have dog germs! Get hot water! Get some disinfectant! Get some iodine!" ;-)

(it's even cuter if you click on 'youtube' and watch it there. It's easy! =])

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

a Christmas flashback (in which Katy gets to spend a thousand dollars at the craft store and sings a solo)

Some of you may have noted, if you've read my blurb "about me" in my profile, that I'm married to the pastor of one of the small country churches, here, in town. It's true! =] It sounds rather idyllic, doesn't it? but, there's been no sleepy or simple rural existence for us - especially, this year! (Actually, I think that 'the uneventful life' might just be a myth). This year, our church community has, literally, been through fire and water! The water I refer to is, of course, Hurricane Irene which really did cause some tremendous damage to our town and the outlying areas. The fire was set in our 'prayer closet' by some unknown individual on a rainy day, last spring. (Not the kind of fire you want to start in a prayer closet, I mean!) It was, of course, a frightening thing but we barely had time to register the reality of it all as we were standing out in the dark, drizzly night by the light of the parade of firetrucks up and down Main Street, before we were told that they had caught the fire just in time. A moment later (and I mean seconds!!!) and the flames would have been fully ignited in the walls and attic where they would have been beyond the firemens' reach. I am - we all are - so grateful! SO grateful! The 'church' isn't made up of brick and wood and plaster - it's made up of people. However! We tend and love our little sanctuary - a beautiful historic building. It holds so many memories and, I should, also, mention,'s super set up to worship in!!! ;) =]

Well, the building was spared but there was tremendous water and smoke damage. Our burgeoning church huddled (crammed ourselves) together cheerfully, on Sunday mornings, downstairs in the vestry, through the very warm summer months. In the meantime, the main sanctuary was undergoing the most thorough renovation and spring cleaning it's ever, ever received. Perhaps, a hop, skip and a jump down the road, we'll call it a wonderful blessing in disguise but, up close, hasn't been a walk in the park - not bad - not easy. Anyway, Vermonters just love how adversity gives them a chance to really show what tough stuff they're made up of. They really shine! So, no trouble! ;)

What was totally eaten by the flames, though, (besides those tremendously ugly, pea green, moth eaten, dusty, old choir robes - "Hallelujah Chorus", anyone?) were all of our 'decorations'. Particularly missed were years and, even, decades of accumulated Christmas festiveness (and, I think that 'accumulated' is a good word, here.) We'd spent years finding quality things at good deals that needed to be replaced come Christmas time. ....and, yes, I spent a thousand dollars at Michael's Craft Store (after really, really shopping around - and that's with 50-75% off pre-Christmas shopping, too!) ...and, it turned out so beautifully - more beautifully than we had planned, which was an appreciated piece of serendipity, since we were at the mercy of what was available. We bought our ribbons, we bought our greens, we bought our silk flowers and shiny berries and put it together - problem solving with our resources all the way - and stood back and gasped! We couldn't have planned it any better!

It turned out to be a huge but fun project and the sanctuary was decorated just in time for the community choir's Christmas Concert. The church was absolutely packed! I got to sing a solo that was sheer joy and....we've built more memories together, of course, that no flood or fire will take away!

(Just a note as you look through the pictures: we are undergoing an organ transplant. It's been removed and is being cleaned and restored, to boot, in the process; so, there are usually brass pipes that line the front of the sanctuary, between the two trees. It should be mostly back by Easter. We just stretched some deep sky blue felt across and put an appropriately glowing "Bethlehem star" there to hide the mess. ;) Also, around the time of the winter solstice, something very special happens. The sun is at such a slant that, in the afternoon, the rose window glows in a spectacularly golden way that it doesn't do through the rest of the year. Some of those images are dark because I couldn't expose for both the dark room and the bright window. It's always a breath catching sight - especially, because it's usually discovered silently - when no one else is there.)

but, the church is made up of people.....decorated in festive Christmas red! (teehee!) ;)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

the winter garden

I could, also, call this post, "just forget what I said in the last one...." I had just finished putting the finishing touches on my dreamlike words of winter isolation and had contentedly sunk down into the muffled quiet - the comfortable pillow - of a welcome hermitage, when, the temperature rose and we experienced a week of unseasonally warm temperature. A vague sort of thaw! I mean, we have patches of bare ground, here and there!!! Someone even said that they heard the chickadees calling their spring songs. I'm confused - I was all ready for winter but who could resist venturing back out of their cave - both literally and in their psyches - when they hear that!?!

Being reticent to hope too soon for spring - only to have 'Indian Winter' sneaking back to disappoint - if you don't mind - I'd like to celebrate the pretty, glittery winter garden that we had, early on. Ooooh, we had some sparkling mornings at the very beginning of the season! The light was thrilling! =] In the meantime, I'm still going through one kajillion, bazillion photos of my summer garden - trying to get them down to a handful so that I can, FINALLY, share them with you - wish me luck! ;)

(try clicking on this next image so that you can really see the ice crystals...=])

The Sky is low - the Clouds are mean.
A travelling Flake of Snow
Across a Barn or through a Rut
Debates if it will go.

A narrow Wind complains all Day
How some one treated him
Nature, like Us is sometimes caught
Without her Diadem.

~ Emily Dickinson