Monday, March 30, 2015

hat lady

This girl loves hats and is even happier if several purses are hanging off her arms.
So a birthday was a good reason to get at least one crochet project completed.
Tucked under the hat are her first-ever wisps of stick-out pigtails.
What a busy day it was turning two. 
Joining in Monday Mosaic.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

glass slippers

I have a favorite scene in the new C*nderella movie. What fun it was for me to take Little One to see the story with real life characters--a story we had acted out so many times when she was a bit younger.

Any young child coming out of this movie will be thinking about forgiving others, having courage, and being kind. I find that uplifting.

Back to my favorite. As we know Cinderella's best friends are the little mice that scurry here and there. Tension builds towards the end when the king's men travel around doing the glass slipper fitting thing. (I'm always amazed how there isn't one other foot somewhere in the kingdom also the size of C's.) But how will C get a chance to try it on since she is locked in the attic? Oblivious to what's going on downstairs, she sweetly sings but only the mice can hear it. Her little friends seem pretty smart about what's happening and get the idea to hang on the handle to open the window … three make a chain and try but it's not quite enough. The chubby one decides to toss his cheese-snacking habit for now and joins the mouse chain, being just the extra weight needed to crack the window and let C's lovely voice be heard down below. What a wonderful example of creative thinking, teamwork and love for a friend. And of course they all live happily ever after.

Photo: Little one at three wearing her "these will do for glass" slippers.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

mowing again

"I love cutting the grass this time of year. Its lush green color and rich scent spill into my psyche. The tidy definitive rows do something for my love of orderliness and sense of accomplishment. And when I mow I wish I could be a child in our yard. My mower turns a corner under trees that would make wonderful tea party places or passes over expanses of lawn begging for blankets spread out for doll playing. There's a few potential climbing trees and tall bushes for hide and seek. Mowing affords time for my mind to deliciously wander back to childhood and visions of delight in simple things. An hour later muscles may ache, but my mind is refreshed like I've been on a short holiday."

So went one of my first posts nine years ago this month. One-thousand, four-hundred and fifty-one posts later I'm still at blogging, and haven't yet run out of things to say. Close--yes, but not yet.

The lawn is lush and green in this first blush of spring. I still love mowing when it looks so beautiful after I finish. Later in the summer when it's so hot and dry, it's a different story and not so fun.

Now nine years after that post, mowing is a little different. I no longer have those childhood dreams as I mow around shady trees because, sadly, those big old trees in our front yard are now gone, replaced by new ones that are stretching up but yet to provide shade for those childhood dreams of play.

And after six months off from yard work, I mowed for the first time this week with my new knee. It was wonderful. A year ago the twists and turns around the yard were painful. Now the pain is gone. A little bit of newness all around this spring. And much gratitude.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

by the sea

Is there anything quite so mesmerizing as the sea? 
Each wave speaks new words, 
crashing in a slightly different place as the tide creeps in or out.
Thoughts come more clearly, 
it's easier to breathe deeply. 
Maybe more so on a gray blustery day.
We linger just a few more minutes; 
it's hard to pull away.
The Gardener and I spent a long weekend at the beach.
So restful. We even enjoyed a full day of torrential rain
because we had nowhere to go. We read and napped.
And we came home refreshed.
"My soul is full of longing 
for the secret of the sea,
and the heart of the great ocean sends 
a thrilling pulse through me."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Saturday, March 14, 2015


Isn't he beautiful?
And that's the Gardener's red shirt.
The day the Gardener flew home from Thailand he didn't leave until midnight.
A friend wanted him to go pet the tigers, and I persuaded him to go "for the
grandchildren's sake." When I didn't hear from him until the next day I
began to feel guilty and the "what ifs?" piled into my active mind.
But he was fine and enjoyed the experience, though not without some risk.
These big cats are raised from birth in a loving environment, are NOT declawed,
and are well fed. They sleep a lot, just like little cats, and if you pet them
according to the rules, all is well "they say."
There was a waiver to sign when they entered the area.
Then only tense moment was when the tall Gardener stumbled
near an "ambush" of the "junior high age" tigers. 
The tigers were unphased.
But the guards--they were a bit rattled.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

lessons still

I felt like my mother's child even as an adult. She would give me her gentle warnings or 
reminders up until she died. "Don't you need a sweater?" "Be careful going home." I learned 
early on it was not nagging--just gentle "hugs" -- a reminder of her love and care for me.
And I was always learning from her--even how to gracefully die at the end of her life.

I've come to realize that my mother is still teaching me. As I continue to sort through her things, 
I find "lesson nuggets" as I see more intimately how she lived and why she did what she did.
 I learn the most from letters she wrote or received.

 I came across a gem the other day--a birthday letter she had written to a dear friend. 
It reminded me of the letters we heard our (GHWB) 41st president wrote.
Letters of encouragement. 
My mother was not fond of public speaking, but she did express herself 
so well in writing. Her example in this particular letter
has reminded me how important affirmations are.

I'm doing better now in following her example. 

Wouldn't it just make your day to receive a note of encouragement
inside a birthday card?

Thursday, March 05, 2015

not much

 There's not a lot going on in "Podsoland." The weather isn't great and life has been 
pretty routine. Not much to blog about. But when I looked at my photo file 
I found a few things have happened. We had friends over for dinner with an
 international flare two weeks ago. It's the curry I have written about before, 
but I thought the toppings were so colorful I had to take a picture.
 The children of our local deer family have grown and visit every day.
This time I knocked at them from an upstairs window and they saw me and 
stared me down. I moved away and so did their eyes, I came back and
they looked at me again. They are getting very at home in our yard.
 The Gardener is about as far away as he can be. We keep in close touch
with F*ceTime--what a wonderful thing--but I feel like I can't catch up with 
him as he is 12 hours ahead of me. Meanwhile when he is away 
I do enjoy cooking some veggies that he can't eat.
 Two-thirds of the grands were over and they are really
into tents right now. Amazing how long they wanted to stay in this
old pack n play--that is, as long as it was a tent. 
 My cousin happened to be on a train in Chicago that passed through the
town where I grew up. How thoughtful of her to text me a pic of the iconic 
water tower that I saw nearly every day of my childhood. 
We had the "Great Stain Bust Away" at our mentor group the other
night, making a natural stain remover. Each girl brought a stained item to work on.
Most of the stains were successfully removed we heard the next day. 
Being young moms, they all said they
could. have. brought. ten. garments.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

bedtime birthdays

So there we were. Baby sister bathed and in bed. Little Brother bathed and in jammies. Time for Big Sister to have her shower and then some bedtime stories. But something catches their attention. The big cheeseburger bank is suddenly morphing into a birthday cake. And the party planning (bedtime stalling) begins.

"We can't read stories right now, Grandma, we're planning your birthday party. Please don't look over here while we're working." They keep busy right by the cake for the longest time. But what they are doing I'm not sure. Of course I can't look. But I hear words like streamers, balloons, gifts, candles, cake, presents.

Suddenly it is time. They run around the room waving their arms shouting, "Pretend you see balloons, streamers … you have to pretend a little Grandma." That's not hard for me. The room comes alive with all the trappings of a party. There are presents wrapped in baskets and a big candle on top of the carrot cake. The singing of the birthday song begins with vigor. I go over and blow as hard as I can to get the large carrot candle out in one blow. They cut the cake in big pieces and it is delicious. And then it's time for presents. I open them slowly, wanting to enjoy the surprise of each gift.

Finally the last crumb is gone, the balloons are popped, and it is time to brush teeth. That's something you do after cake, right? An easement into bedtime. One story and Little Brother falls asleep in his bed. But big sister, that's another story. She brings up the subject of French braids. "Just one time, Grandma?" This grandma's a big softie, that's for sure.
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