Friday, November 15, 2013

Autumnal Musings

 What to say.... I want to blog about the geese and ducks that have been coming to the pond, this autumn ~ Or, about my sons' incredible drawings, these days ~ or about the rabbit (sad news on that front, unfortunately - but, then, good news - I keep putting it all off!) ~ or, I'd love to tell you all about my madcap experiments in the kitchen (think fish heads!!!) ~ or so many things that I keep thinking would be fun to share. I love blogging!! It's like a rosy colored journal - a way to stop and focus on the good!! Not to mention, for me, it feels like uber pen-palling with friends from all over the world!!

But, the reality that fills up my sights, these days, is dust!! Between the three dogs having staked out a favorite place to play and roll (that has, now, turned from grass to fine sand) and the sanding of the dry wall upstairs (yes, we kept doors closed and plastic up but it's like a thick fog that gets everywhere!!) and the spiders coming in from the cold and spinning webs everywhere... HONESTLY!!! It looks like we live in a haunted house!! Then, there are the boxes that we're drowning in... it's all hard to explain but - we had to clean out our attic and, hopefully, at the end of this project we'll have closets. Sometimes the mess wends it's way through our home like the Great Wall of China. I keep thinking that, at the end of this, we'll get back to living and I'll REALLY have something to blog about but, then, yesterday, I felt like we'd never make it - that the chaos would stretch on forever!!

Enter a fascinating and timely book that I just happen to be reading. It's called, "Dwelling in Possibility: Searching for the Soul of Shelter" by Howard Mansfield. It's all about what makes 'home' and I am LOVING this book!! There's history, philosophy and insight and it's already opening up my heart and eyes!

One of his insights/questions is, what is a house for? Is it a box to house a huge screen lit up by an electronic glow? Is it a storage shed to hold mountains of stuff? What LIVES in a house? It's a question I'm asking myself - what lives in my house - and there are some things that make me blush but, yes - People! my family lives here!! and, well.... lots of plants. Oh! and books! and lots and lots and lots of china! (The way it makes itself at home around here, perhaps it does rather rule the roost! oops! =/) And, we can never ever forget - LEGOS live here!!!! (I step on one at least once a week!)

But his point is deeper. We don't live in houses - we live in our skin - in our hearts and minds and spirit! We spend so much time scouring magazines and paying for boxes to organize, organize, organize in a search for a better life, perhaps? But, it seems never ending! He says, "what's keeping you from living? Throw it all away, step over it, push it into a corner, under a tarp, into the garage, barn, storage shed. Mice, rats, mold, mildew will have their way. Just go live your life." and, there's so much more but you'll just have to get the book! I just want to share this quote from the book with you by Thomas Merton that was so inspirational for me!

"If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I think I am living for, in detail, and ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the thing I want to live for. Between these two answers you can determine the identity of any person. The better answer he has, the more of a person he is."

~ Thomas Merton

I feel deeply moved and challenged!!


P.S. Pretty autumnal bouquet was photographed next door at my MIL's peacefully lived in home! ;)

Friday, November 1, 2013

A moment...

This is a short, scattered and rambling post! =)

I have so much that I could say!

Our family has been lost in a maze of renovations all year. It's so hopeful - so exciting - and... we feel so displaced. I've disappeared from most places - not just blogland. The trouble is, even though so many happy, pleasant and lovely things are still happening, when I look around me, everything is a mess! Just everything - everywhere - a mess. And this is our reality. Life is good but it gets messy!

It can be a jumble.

I need quiet so badly! I need solitude! I need order in my surroundings!!!


I have been thinking - for a whole year, now, actually (and this is where the so much to say comes in....) I've been thinking about what 'perfect' really is - but I won't go into it. I just want to say that I've been ruminating about it and my thoughts become more and more free.

(And, really, I'm not changing the subject, here.)

I love how Erin, the beauty at Floret Flower Farm blog, does a 'This Moment' on Fridays.

It's wordless.... just a moment to capture - to be thankful for - a sweetness to remember.

So, even though I've got words, here. I am going to try to do the same thing on Fridays.

Here is my moment from this week.

It's amazing what happens when the world is blustery outside and the power goes out and everyone else in the family goes off to boy scouts....

and this view... it isn't styled - it isn't perfect. I've only just 'stuck' things on the mantle and the kettle is still on the hearth from when I blew the fuse in the kitchen because I was doing too many things at once. But this was a perfectly boring and beautiful moment this week! =)

But, wait! I have two moments to share....

it snowed all morning on Wednesday! I went pumpkin shopping! =)


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Rose Garden

The basic story is this:

I had been very busy, this past spring and it had been raining, literally, nonstop... and so it came to pass that I didn't quite realize until the buds were ripe and heavy on the vine, that the roses had been conspiring to surprise us with the most gobsmacking show of proliferation and beauty!

It was tremendous!! And that's it! =) That's what happened. The rain stopped, the sun shone out and the buds opened and I have nothing else to say but it was grand!!




Friday, July 12, 2013

What season is it?

What can I say? It looks like I'm about to blog about my garden but... nope!! No sensical, orderly blogging will come to me (and, trust me, I've been trying); so, I will blog where my thoughts seem to want to go. And, what I really want to say is that, although amazing and wonderful things have been happening around here, life is just not perfect!!

Do you ever feel like you're trying to do the old circus act of keeping a bunch of plates spinning at the top of thin poles all at once? Well, I'm pretty talented at getting a bunch of them going but, eventually - crash!! Er, the crash would be my house. My garden. My exercising. My prayer time. (whooops!!) And my blogging. Things are not quite right with the world but, happily, I've made it through all the excitement and life is turning back into the wonderful humdrum that I love! I mean, can I hear an 'Amen!' from the choir, here?! Anyone know what I'm talking about or do you all have it perfectly together at all times? ;)

So, life not being perfect, these are pics from last year's garden because, sadly, none of my delphiniums made it through the winter. I've got some new pots of them but haven't had a chance to put them in the ground, yet. And, oh - the lilacs, this year WERE perfect and the roses INCREDIBLE!

But this post is about strawberry picking.... strawberry picking, last year!!

(last year's flowers!)

(Last year's strawberries!)

When I first moved to Vermont, our church used to put on a spectacular 'strawberry supper' for about 200 people. A group of us would go out early the morning before and pick and pick and pick and pick and pick and eat quite a bit, too - that might be why it took so long to fill all those flats!

Well, we don't do the suppers anymore and this was the first time that the boys had ever gone picking. We picked one flat with the intention of making our own strawberry jam!

Keep pickiiiinnnngggg....

Well, three of us picked while Toby sampled and supervised!

And there was the most horrific and gruesome accident while we were there!! =O

(Those of you with sensitive sensibilities may want to look away for a moment!)


(Yup! I'm the mother of three boys!!)

(um, a grasshopper from last year!)

Well, we made jam but saved some strawberries out for strawberry shortcake. I made homemade biscuits for the first time and discovered that they're ridiculously easy to make!

As for the jam, after two attempts at boiling, adding pectin and lots more sugar, we have lovely, runny ice cream topping!! (They make wonderfully sticky and oozing PB&Js, too!!!) And, actually, I think that the reason my psyche insisted that I write this post is because it is trying to tell me something.

It is trying to tell me that those jars of strawberry goop from last year would work just as well on shortcake this year, too!!

Perfect!!! =)


Thursday, July 4, 2013

George Washington Slept Here!

Hello! Do you remember me?? I miss all of you so very much!! I miss this little journal desperately and have so many things waiting to share!

I just couldn't let this Fourth of July, Independence Day pass without sharing these pictures. In fact, I've been waiting all year to show you these, since, these were from last year's celebrations!

And, last year, it was another homemade, very casual, easy event! I gardened for most of the day and was pretty tired; so, I cooked and Mom (MIL - a.k.a. the lady next door, up the hill) let us use her clean house to eat in since thunderstorms threatened!
I am not very gifted with large, family style salads and was determined to make a good one, this time. And, it was!! So fresh and crisp!! I can't remember what else we ate, though. =/ Apparently, I was too busy enjoying the moment to take pics. I just remember the fun!! =)

Inbetween dinner and dessert, we had a 21 spud salute with the potato gun (from Lliam's science project. That thing comes in handy and it's such a comfort to know that if zombies or squirrels ever DO invade the world, we'll be ready to turn them into mashed potatoes!)

Then, as dusk fell, we headed down to the little pond behind the barn for s'more dessert and s'more noisy fun and chatting into the wee hours with the fireflies and mosquitoes!

It was grand!!

My sister was trying to write a message for you.... I think it says 'Happy Fourth of July'!! ;)


Great Grandma!! =)
(She lives next door, too, in a cozy and adorable hobbit hole underneath MIL's house!)

And this one has a message for the future, too! I think it says, 'snow'!!
(I like to think so, anyway, it's so hot and humid today...)


Off I go to make potato salad and shuck corn!!

Happy Fourth of July to you!! =)