Friday, May 31, 2013

brain teasers

After so many years of working as a nurse, I still find myself waking at 5 am. And at 7 pm I feel a nudge to give Mom a call, as I always did every evening at that time. Today I drove past the spot where mom had a little accident. It was the last time she drove. And when I drive past the D*V I'm reminded of when my dad tried to pass the vision test, but sadly could not connect it all in his mind. The end to his driving.

I can't seem to help these internal "triggers"  (for want of a better word) which turn into reminders of another place or time for me.  I like the associations that come with them . . . many years of a fulfilling career, wonderful "check in" conversations with Mom, just to hear her voice and know she was OK . . . .

As for the end of my parents' driving days, both somewhat sad times have a wonderful memory attached. It was hard to watch my intelligent dad, after driving for more than 70 years, struggle to connect warning signs, stop signs, etc. But what I remember most about that day is the young man who was testing him.  In a busy government agency, he took time with my dad.  He let him repeat the test, he talked gently to Dad, and finally suggested that he get a nice ID card that looked just like a driver's license. He understood what we were facing, and he showed us the utmost sensitive care.

What I remember most about mom's accident is the 40-something woman who came to her aid. She saw what was going on and jumped out of her car to help Mom. This angel in disguise phoned me, and gave mom a place to sit in her car while waiting for me to arrive. She gave witness to the accident, made sure mom was OK and was a great comfort to her. She set a high standard for me to emulate.

I like these little reminders of the sweetness of life.

Sunday, May 26, 2013


We enjoyed a walk at a river front park on our recent trip to Florida. And also enjoyed the cool breeze and   
lack of humidity! Kind of like it is here this weekend.  Delightful!

Joining Little Red House for Monday's Mosaics ... lots of lovely photos of England on Mary's blog today!

Friday, May 24, 2013

half an oval

Sitting in an outdoor eating area, next to bubbling fountains, my eye was drawn to beauty. 
I stayed involved with our table conversation as I slowly fell in love with my view.

It was as if the iron work became clearer as I studied it and the pattern seemed so lovely to my 
eyes. I think the longer we look, the more beauty we see in an object (usually.) 
I began to realize that this was an arch, yes, but it wasn't half a circle, it was half an oval.
This view has a car in it and I used bluer tones to primp it in my edit program.

A wonderful lunch with friends, made all the better for conversation with a view!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

the storm

Sunday found me scooping up water flooding into our porch. The deluge of rain was more than the patio drains could handle so the water overflowed into my newly cleaned porch. I grabbed up towels but that wasn't enough so got a dustpan to scoop the water into buckets. As fast as it came I scooped.

I was transported back to our life in Africa. We were expecting our international boss and 10 others for dinner as they traveled through our town. Everything was ready and then a terrible storm came up about two hours before their arrival. We lived on the second floor but the winds and driving rain pushed water under the doors and flooded the main room of our second floor flat (photo of that storm above.) We grabbed buckets and dustpans and bent over and scooped up bucketful after bucketful. A newly cleaned floor, barely dry, greeted our guests.

This storm story is in no comparison to the storms in Oklahoma this week, but it is a reminder that we have no power over nature. My heart is heavy as I think of the loss and destruction this week. Just how would I cope if I lost everything in less than an hour?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

end of year

So the 14 fit nicely in our dining room and we enjoyed a festive evening together
as we celebrated the end of a year of our mentorship group. I was thrilled that all the 
flowers that made up the tiny bouquets in assorted jars were all from our garden. 
We gave each girl a journal and we printed up menus "just for fun." I put 
photos of them in tiny frames to make place cards.
We mentors all contributed to the meal and it was delicious.
We are all looking forward to next year and already making plans.
We might tackle some bread making and knitting among other things!

Friday, May 17, 2013

the weekend comes

The weekend is upon us. So far we have a sunny day, but rain and clouds are predicted for the next few days. How is it that leaning over to take in the scent of these peonies transports me immediately back to summer visits to my grandmother. Her garden was full of them and I am on her porch reading a book, enveloped with beauty around me.
Babysitting the grandchildren last night: big sister has a motherly touch, I noted. 
The two sisters are in love, and it's so nice to see Baby looking up at 
her sister with smiles and delight.
Brother doesn't usually sit long enough to do much eye gazing, but he 
is a help to his sister in retrieving paci's as they fly out of her mouth.  
Note the proverbial matchbox car fitting perfectly into his little hand.
I make this recipe at least once each Spring, and tonight's guests coming was the perfect 
time to have it. I've made this for at least 35 years and it always brings us to a family story 
of me putting it together one time in Africa with less than the perfect ingredients.
 Of course it was the "best ever."
Do you have recipes that have become traditions? 
Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

may days

These photos were published here in May 2010, a birthday lunch on the porch for a dear friend. I think the pink and green theme could make a nice set of photo notecards. The pollen is just about gone now, and I am late cleaning the porch to get it ready to use. That's the one sad thing about a porch here -- the pollen is so heavy you can barely use it until it's gone ... and then it takes a good scrubbing. So I'm off armed with bucket and rubber gloves and a bottle of bleach.
Joining Vee's Monthly Note Card Party

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

a glow of pink

From our bedroom you can look through two rooms and see our back door. 
Yesterday I noticed a pink glow on our bedroom door and it took me a minute to realize 
it was reflected all the way from the open back door. You can see it here on the laundry room door.
We've been away for almost two weeks and when we arrived home we were amazed at 
how our knock out roses had flourished. With the cooler temperatures and the rain 
we've been having, they are in their full glory. Eldest son had picked me a bouquet and 
had it on the table for our arrival home on Mother's Day.
We enjoyed a little visitor here all day yesterday ... and had fun 
with his shadow as he got ready to go home!
I hope to visit you all soon as I catch up from being away.
Meanwhile I've extended and angled our table to fit 14 tonight--
the last meeting of our mentoring group. Thankfully I'm not doing all the cooking, 
but I do need to go pick some roses for the table!

Friday, May 10, 2013

happy mother's day

 I've written about these pictures in the past, so I'll just post them again as I find them so beautiful, 
and this year, can imagine this a table set for all our mothers we honor and remember so dearly!
Happy Mother's Day.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Line Lessons

There's one pharmacy where I declare I will never again drive up to the outdoor pick-up window. Two excessivly long waits is more than I ever want to do again. Since I have a lot to do with my time, I don't like sitting in such a line. But over the years I've learned the secret of not fussing with unexpected waits. I find something to do. Of course doing nothing is one, not so unhealthy option. Just rest. Or read, or write notes in a journal or review my calendar. And, note to self: carry camera all the time.

This time I did happen to have my little camera with me. So I started to play with it, and learned a few things I hadn't yet discovered in my "hit and miss" way of learning how to use it. And I was amused to take a picture of the security mirror and find myself in it (see the beige car patiently waiting in line?)

Monday, May 06, 2013

shoe fairy

The other day I was helping a colleague arrange some decorations for a special event at our office. I had brought in some glass jars to help and she filled them with lemons and limes and water and candles. etc. It turned out really nice.

As we started arranging things, I ran into the mail room to bring back some old books to use to raise some of the jars. Sitting right there on the giveaway table was a pair of shoes. Actually just the style I was hoping to find in a store. I stopped to try them on. Perfect fit. I wore them out to where we were working.

"Look!" I exclaimed to my friend, "Look what I found!"

"I just put them there," she replied. "Just on my way out here to work on this."

It's just one of those "moments." They happen every so often. Did I mention they were just the shoes I was going to shop for?  I call such moments "winks from God."

Strangely enough, just a year ago I wrote a similar post about shoes at the same office!

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Iris Spring

My friend Jane lives on a farm. Occasionally she will send me a photo showing the beauty of
 her surroundings. You can see the mailboxes across from her house on my sidebar. 
These two photos show the beautiful mist of a spring morning that she
photographed yesterday.  Lovely irises and "snowball hydrangeas."
All photos by Jane; she is my "guest blogger" today!
Thanks, Jane!
Connecting to Mary's Little Red House  for "Spring" inspiration.

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