Sunday, April 28, 2013

sunny day

It was a cool, gray, early spring day when I took these photos in the city. 
But to me they say sunshine!

Helen Keller said, "Keep your face to the sun and you will never see the shadows."

Connecting to Mary's Little Red House for Monday Mosaics.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


"The sky is blue so we know where to stop mowing."
                            (Harold T. Stone)

Yesterday I mowed the lawn to my delight. Yes I said that. I love to mow the lawn and have been the mower most of my life. It seems (though I may have a selective memory) that I mowed our lawn when I was a kid as the rest of the family had hay fever. Poor me. But my delight yesterday is partly because I felt so good after having a cortisone injection in my painful knee. I'm enjoying freedom from pain, but I mostly love mowing right now because the grass is thick and high and very green. I hate mowing in the heat of summer when the grass is fickle and it's hard to see where the mower has been. Rather, I love to mow when the rows are obvious and it looks like something has been accomplished when I am finished.

The same with cutting hair. I find it relaxing to cut someone's hair. I've always cut the Gardener's, and it's a good time to chat together, though I must say, our talks are shorter as it doesn't take as long to cut his hair anymore. :-)
The Gardener does most of the other yard work; the mowing is too hard on his long back. So we work it out nicely. And what a thrill it is to see the first blossoms on our new little dogwood tree he planted last fall to replace the old trees we had to cut down.

I'm sure there must be other women who mow lawns 
and who (unprofessionally) cut hair 
... and who have painful knees and new trees!
Joining Mary's photo Challenge: Tree

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

beauty at 25 cents

I had a hard time packing up my mother's clothes. It seemed so comfortable seeing them in the spare closet, yet I know other women could be making use of them. So I gathered them up and took them over to the Help Center where they have a lovely boutique. The Gardener suggested I just do it and I took his advice. Since I was there I stopped in the boutique to have a look around and met a young friend and her son looking for tennis shoes. I told her what I had just done. I know she has a close relationship with her mom like I did with mine, and I wonder when the time comes for her to do the same, if she'll remember my moment.

At the shop I happened upon three sparkling wine glasses for 25 cents each. I didn't think about how nice wine would look in them, but how nice a candle would look. I added it to our dinner table that night, using up on old red Christmas candle. I think it's a winner at 25 cents!

Speaking of my mother's things being used by others,  I mailed my mother's hearing aids to an old friend of the family who I knew was needing aids. Mom's were adjustable by computer ... could it work? Sure enough, a texted photo this week let me know they were refurbished and working. She says she thinks of her old friend every time she puts them in her ears. It just makes my heart sing!

Monday, April 22, 2013

on pitch

The Gardener leaned over to me and whispered, "Do you realize we're among the younger in the audience?" I looked around me at the mostly white-haired, seasoned and well-dressed people. Many were in my parents' generation or close to it. We were at the funeral of the "America's beloved gospel singer," George Beverly Shea, a close family friend for all the years of my life. It seems as though my parents' generation, the Builder generation, is leaving this earth in droves, many even in these past months.

We made a day of it, driving "to the mountains," as they say in our city when we are headed to the beautiful mountain area of our state. I wanted to be there to honor the man who was such a close friend of my father's. and I am so glad we went. I will not forget the moment they brought in the casket, covered with white roses. His voice rang out clearly over the sound system singing an old song, "Safe in the Arms of Jesus." You could have heard a pin drop in that large auditorium. It was beauty and glory all mixed together. The honorary pall bearers included a red-uniformed Royal Canadian Mounted Police. For Mr. Shea was born in Canada and his country sent a delegate to honor him at his death.

There were very few young people there. Most of that age probably don't even know the name of this man who has won two grammies and sung live before more people than anyone else ever in history. With an 80 plus year singing career, his record probably won't be beat.

He had a great sense of humor. Someone said that several weeks ago he exclaimed to his wife, "Can you believe I'm 104? Are sure I'm really alive?" His son spoke of his father's favorite place on earth, a small humble pine cabin in the Canadian woods. No heat, and so simply built, it was never damaged by wind or water. How like his father. That's what I remember--his quiet humility and his gentle spirit.

What moved me the most were the recordings played of his voice singing familiar songs, as clearly as if he was there himself. I sat spellbound, every word sung by that familiar, incredible voice embedded in my heart since I was a little child. There weren't many dry eyes when his casket was taken out as his recorded voice sang, "The Holy City."

Someone said that when asked what he wanted to be remembered for, he quipped, "Always being on pitch." And indeed, he always was.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

birthday tea

It seems like it's been a long time since friends gathered at my house.
A milestone birthday for a friend seemed a good time to meet and to celebrate.
We planned a simple menu, but then Boniface brought the "icing on the cake."
Mini cupcakes fresh from the bakery. Who could resist? 
Linking with Little Red House for Monday Mosaics and How Sweet the Sound for Saturday Pink!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

blue and white

 My favorite color is green. But I love, love, love blue. Especially blue with white.
 I should make it my favorite color, but it runs a close second. 
 The Gardener found these egg cups at Good Will. 
He has such an eye and knows my love for all things Delft and Dutch.
 He brought the hanging blue teacups and saucers home from Romania in his 
suitcase in a box, barely secured with wrapping, and they made it. I still marvel. 
And the little salt and pepper holder is also from Romania, but I brought that. 
It's wood so no fear of breaking there!.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


I'm yearning to catch spring up in our city again this season.
Unfortunately for the first time in my life I find myself with an allergic reaction to our
abundance of pollen. Apologies for the low resolution of these photos, but that's what
 happen when you pull them off an old post to work with them.

Thanks to Vee for hosting this fun card party every month.
And oh yes, if you use cards of this shape (the top three--square)
don't forget you need extra postage.
Did you hear that the canceling of Saturday mail has been canceled?

Check out other creative notecards at A Haven For Vee.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

without a home

These colorful glass containers have adorned our bathroom windows for quite some time. 
If you look closely in this top image, you can see where they came from.  
With the installation of a new window we have a narrower sash and no room for my ladies. 
I've found the light still reflects on them in their new second-choice position. 
It's not bad at all down on the counter.  
How like life. 
When the punches come, we adjust, and often it can turn out to be 
just as good, or even better than the original plan.
Joining Mary's Little Red House for mosaics on Monday.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


I had forgotten about Mary's prompt until today but have found myself gazing up at the sky and taking
pictures anyway.  It seems just days ago we were raking up leaves, and now they are back. 
I love looking up at the "leafing in" at the top of trees set against the sky,
 especially when it is as deeply blue as it was last Saturday. 
This is what you call "carolina blue."
This was yesterday; more blue and more leaves in. The cherry blossoms have started.
This morning the cherry blossoms seem in full bloom and more leaves since yesterday 
but the blue sky is gone as we are expecting some big storms later today.
This is a perfect day to view the sky as the sun pops out for a minute and then clouds roll 
past ... definitely unsettled but interesting to watch.
Lastly, per Mary's hope, the cloudy sky reflected against city buildings.

Please go visit Mary's Little Red House to see more sky views.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

a hug around my neck

 A curious square box arrived at my door from an unfamiliar address. It was just a couple of days 
after my mother’s death and tears filled my eyes as I opened a "knitted hug" 
from a blogger friend. I was overwhelmed with her thoughtfulness 
and the wonderful sentiment expressed in the enclosed card.    
I’ve been a fan of Tanna’s blog for years, and always delight in her beautiful, prolific handwork. 
To have one of my own seemed surreal. And indeed it was a hug. I enjoy wearing it around my
 shoulders, bringing comfort and warmth in the cool weather --- not to mention 
it includes my favorite colors (as you see from the pillows on my sofa.)

Wow. Her gift was just one example of the outpouring of love and sympathy we received after 
my mother’s death. I  learned a LOT about how to care for someone when they are mourning.
Meals, flowers and plants to tenderly care for, a prayer shawl, cards, notes, 
visits and the list could go on.  
Maybe one of the best lessons came from my youngest friend. 
Rather than saying "Let me know what I can do for you or if you need a meal ..." she said, 
"I'm bringing you a meal, and please choose which night of these three is best for you."
The effort people made to join us--from near and far--for the celebration of mom's
 life ... I was amazed at how much that comforted and encouraged me. 

And many comforting hugs. It reminds me of the song I love to sing to "Little One":
 "I love you a bushel and a peck ... and a hug around the neck."

I do hope I'll do better next time someone I know suffers a loss.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

lunch break

the homes of Georgetown, SC
lunch view

 Our lunch break was at a fish shack during our day and a half in
delightful Georgetown, SC.  It was beautiful spring day with a nice 

breeze--so much of a breeze that we opted to eat inside.
The houses there were delightful and I could have "house gazed" the whole day.

Connecting with Mary's Little Red House for Monday's Mosaics.

Friday, April 05, 2013

what we see if we look

So far today is cold and dreary after a
day of rain. But there is spring beauty all around. I stopped to take this photo as I reminded myself that beauty is there if we look for it. Even in dreariness, (especially if there are spring blossoms)--even in an industrial area!

"What we see depends mainly on what we look for." So said John Lubbock, a British Statesman in the 1800s.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

the staff of life

Baking bread usually requires a whole day at home. That doesn't happen for me much 
anymore, but I wish it did for I dearly love a good knead of bread, if there is such a word. 
And of course, the results that come out of the oven, the scent ... and, well, I love it all. 

                      "I'm going to learn to make bread tomorrow. So if you may, imagine me with my sleeves 
                          rolled up, mixing flour, milk, saleratus, etc., with a good deal of grace. I advise you if 
                                         you don't know how to make the staff of life, to learn with dispatch." 
                                                                              --- Emily Dickenson.

Joining Mary's Thursday Photo Inspiration: bread.

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