Sunday, February 27, 2011

Random love

Oh, yesterday was fun. My cousin came down early for a little birthday brunch.  She  Mom and I spent the day with books, magazines, hot coffee, and a little nibble of cookie....  Supper was over, and we were settling in for the night...  Then the phone ran!  It was my son, and he and his sweet family decided to come down and surprise us one night early.  Both his lady love and that sweet little boy are going to be gone early today, so we don't have time for a game or anything.  They brought down a game called "Imagine If...."  It was really fun, and we played it twice!  I was the definite loser on that one...   but the winner overall because I got an extra night with my son and his family.

They stayed late, and it was a blast...  Today is chili and salad and cherry pie...  Yum-o!

Tomorrow.... the forecast doesn't sound like a snow day tomorrow....  Back to Class!

Doesn't this look like spring?  Would you care for a berry?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Winter's Whisper, , ,

So, welcome to the cozy world here in Meadow Lane Woods.  Once again the wintry weather has covered us with abundant beauty---  a soft, deep snow.  Another day off from school, and another chance to hold a tea party and play or work to my heart's content.  Come in...  We are having a witch's breakfast of hot coffee and chocolate!  I think healthier fare is in the works, but in Practical Magic, the aunts served brownies for breakfast.

I have a new toy that arrived yesterday.....  I bought a Project Runway sewing machine!  It was very inexpensive, so I am hoping to create beautiful things for my friends and family.  My gramma sewed, and I think the "gift/talent/muse" will be hereditary?  Perhaps!  We can dream!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tomorrow it begins all over again...

The work week starts tomorrow.  I have enjoyed this little time off with my family.  Here are a couple more shots of the bright blue skies from Friday's jaunt.  Tonight we see rain on the windows, and the skies were cloudy.  But what a wonderful time today with family.  My son and his lady love and little boy were here with my almost son.  We fixed traditional Sunday fare with roast, vegetables, casseroles and fruit for dessert.  Then we played a new game called "Apples to Apples" and we had a blast.  I won one of the three games, and my son's sweetheart won the other two...  It was such a blessing to play a game with family and see the blustery day outside the window...
Paris, MO.  Their courthouse is majestic, don't you think?
Have a wonderful week.  I know Monday will be a fun day for my students who made the honor roll second quarter because they get to enjoy a reward party.  So far, I don't know of anything else in the works, but I think my lessons are outlined and a few papers copied.  That always makes me feel a bit less weary on Sunday night.  Hugs from Missouri.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Bluest Sky

 Do you ever just get into the mood to explore the beautiful world all around?  Today our school gave us all a free afternoon.  The two gifted hours arrived in the perfect timing with the most amazingly blue skies I think I have ever seen.  Possibly the blue sky pierced the gloom and clouds that have cuddled our landscape for so long...  All I know is Mom and I HAD to go on one of our famous drives.  We knew we wanted to see something magical, something to capture in pictures and in our hearts to commemorate such a beautiful day...
 In our travels to Paris  (yes, my dears!  Paris!!!) we discovered what appeared to be an old French fairy tale castle...  It was a shade of palest, baby pink, and it was standing far off against the sky.  Oh, yes, the castle called us to turn the car around, "Come back!  Come visit!!!"  We obeyed the call.  After all, when can a pair of Midwestern women visit a pink castle in Paris on a sunny February afternoon? 
 The rooftop pointed our vision to the skies...  What caused this castle to be abandoned?  What princess or fairy weaver had left the hall so long ago and let the ruins and brambles overtake the view?  We circled around.
 The back seemed desolate...  What kind of saucy scullery maid had worked her way through the courts in this place? We believed we might see the hint of civilization in that cart....  but alas!  Where was the fancy steed that had pulled it there?  We drove away with one last look at our pink Parisian castle
 Ah...  the castle is set in a cemetery...  a beautiful, old cemetery called Walnut Grove in Paris, Missouri.

 Now, let me ask you this.  If you were driving along and saw this, wouldn't you circle back to visit its majesty, as well? 

Our canvas....

Hello, quiet world.  It is about three a.m., and the still soft welcome of the morning and moonset tell me I am about to hear my sweet Enya music...  set to softly play at 4:00 a.m. Sometimes I am up; sometimes I turn it off and crawl back to bed; sometimes I don't even hear it because I am deep in my dreams.  Celtic music is my passion, and it soothes any cares or worries from the night. Warm winds have melted the snow, and the birds are so happy they are singing and hugging themselves in pure joy.

Want to see the picture the dawn is painting??? 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Old Foggy.... EEEEEEE---OOOOOOOOOOhhhhhhhh

This morning's fog was hanging there, waiting for me as I got into my car for school...  creeping around the corners of the barn and haunting the edges of our woods.  I loved it, and if I hadn't been running just a tad bit behind schedule, I would have snapped happily away for as long as the grey mist awaited and the sun remained hidden.  I watched the sun's silver light through the clouds...  The fog brought it to a silvery, moon-like state, and I was glad to see it.  I love the sunshine, but I sometimes think it is all uppity over the moon because it is so much brighter and beloved, especially during the winter...  the moon doesn't stand a chance, except with lovers and poets...  and me.

I know..  I am NOT the girl for teaching today.  This would be the moment to grab a book and a cup of hot tea or coffee and head for a cozy nook to spend a happy moment in some faraway land...  The good, deep fog bewitched me, body and soul.  I was a goner as soon as I stepped into the aura of it.  I couldn't stop my heart and mind from taking a little trip to my childhood, to the going-to-sleep story my daddy always told me of "Old Foggy."

His story was one of a young soldier ( My Daddy).  The army soldier was away from his family and his girl (Mom)...  The story always got better then.  I wasn't any different from anyone else in this world.  I always loved the stories and magic to be all about me.  My daddy usually told me this story as I was winding down and trying to sleep.  I fight sleep like a little tiger, but the long and inspiring tale of "Old Foggy" always brought me into that dreamlike state that leads to bed.  "Old Foggy" was the name Daddy gave to the ship that transported him across the Pacific, to Japan, and then gloriously BACK HOME again...  I wish, for genealogy reasons, I knew the real name of the ships, but to me, the name will forever be "Old Foggy" (both ways, which I know is impossible or highly unlikely.)

The Pacific must have been wreathed in fog for night after night, and the ship bellowed the fog horn, "EEEEEOOOOOOOOHHHHH" that my Daddy could imitate with his deep, baritone voice.  I loved to hear him sound that horn in the story...  It meant he was headed home to his girl...  and then the story ended with the most magical of all events...  After he got home and stayed there where he was happy for a while, he had a little girl...  and she was the reason he had traveled back over the ocean during that post WW2 time...

And that little reason/princess was me.  So, you see when the fog is out and the sun is hidden, that little princess doesn't think she should have to work...  she wants to crawl back into bed and listen for that comforting voice....  and the warm tales of the "Old Foggy" story-teller from her past...

However, this is 2011, and my dear students await...  Some of them are going to work on PowerPoints this morning, and the fog in my brain BETTER move on out!! haha...

Gotta Love the weather....

Melting Beauty

Today was a grey and rainy day, nothing like this photograph...  and I think the snow may be gone by tomorrow night except in the deepest drifts or the strange piles of snow at the edges of parking lots.  The winds and the balmy weather draw me toward spring...  only about a month and a few days away...  I have always loved that first peek at green grass.  My cousin usually spots it first!  In this shot we are looking at the lily bed....  ah, sweet lilies!  Such a graceful, easy flower....  What do they think under all this cozy snow?

Monday, February 14, 2011


Lovely tulips arrived at my desk today, a gift from a lifelong friend and her husband----  I could believe in spring with these beauties on my desk at school
Hope you all had the sweetest day.........  Mom was my valentine date tonight.  We watched American Pickers decorate William Shatner's home-----  cute.

Happy Valentine's Day!

May all your cares be lighter than air as the magic of love helps you through the day!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Valentine Day

 This was a wonderful day in my corner of the world..  The sun came out and thawed several inches of snow.  I can tell because now my little deer in the yard has his whole head peeking out from the snow instead of just the tips of his ears!!!  I have been working on Homemade Valentines from the Heart this year.  I made these turtles and put them in little petal papers I ordered from Etsy...  They came from Japan.

Mom and I had two parties today!  I was hoping for three, but I couldn't locate my friend in time..  My cousin came down for coffee and cherry cinnamon rolls in the morning, and then two friends were here for dessert after they went out to lunch..  I just couldn't face the slickness today...  I *ahem! slid my car into a huge snowbank yesterday on the way home and had to call for assistance from my cousin's hubby and my "almost" son...  They dug and pulled and finally got me out, but with the melting water on top of the ice, the whole landscape beams treachery to me...  I just loved staying in and made candy and cakes and decorated Valentines...  

I think I have become totally lazy lately when it comes to photographs...  I always have my new phone handy, and it takes fairly decent photos, so I have taken to snapping everything with it, uploading immediately to Facebook and then using them for the blog.  I don't think the quality is as good as my other camera, so I need to start using it again...  My gramma used to tell me to keep my feet of the "path of least resistance"...  I loved her sayings so much...
 I baked everyone a star cake with crystal sugar toppings in flavors of chocolate and strawberry.  My friend brought down Valentine Tea.  It is a delightful blend of chocolate and tea and roses.  I love it.
 I made several of my famous felt heart pillows and decorated them for my friends, my cousin, Mom, and my son's lady love.
 I put together  little Valentine treat baskets for everyone...
 Our new cheerful cardinal plates made the table quite wintry and celebratory...  And my cousin brought down the cutest wall banner she made me.  I absolutely love redwork.
Tomorrow is spaghetti and homemade bread and a little Valentine lunch for family...  Mr. Half Moon is shining through my west window, the bed is looking cozy and welcoming...  I think it has been a long day, and I will hop into it...  Love and charm to all...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Even though the wind chill in Missouri is well below old Mr. Zero, my Valentine Sis, AKA the cowboy snowman cousin, has saved the day, bringing in a breath of spring!.... I love these beautiful flowers, and I also love the pretty and yummy heart cookies...  So delicious with a cup of hot tea right before I scuttle down to my domain for the night...   You really know how to spoil me, honey!  Thanks!!!

A New York Minute 2

The sequel begins...  Last year my composition class created a multi-author thriller called A New York Minute.  It's time...  The presses are rolling, and our third-person, omniscient minds are in gear.  This year the title was a snap:  A New York Minute 2.  

They write.  They edit...  and then I publish, backdating until the story ends.

Today was a fairly happy day after Zoo Mania yesterday.  Kids after a 6-day weekend are W.I.L.D....  today I just had to move my chair back by one three-party group of boys...  They probably didn't talk any less, but they were talking to me!!!  I dunno...  "Mama said there'd be days like this..  there'd be days like this, My Mama Said!"

Sunday, February 6, 2011

My Packer Past

Tonight I am watching the Packers play in Superbowl 45, and I'm thinking how my allegiance to that team began.  I was nine years old, and my dad told me we would be expecting a visit from his army buddy from WW2.  I don't think he had seen him since the war, and it was 1963, summer.   Mom got busy in typical Mom fashion, and we cleaned and cooked and set the table in anticipation of company.  I was excited because this family had two daughters--- one in her teens and one who was ten.  The day arrived, and we had lunch and took the family to see all the sights...  I remember we drove to show them Big David, one of the biggest coal shovels in the world....  and then Dad, his buddy Norm, the new friend my age, Binky, and I went for a tractor ride over the farm.  I kind of think we got stuck...  But what I do recall was that magic that happens when two people become friends for life...  We vowed to always write letters (which we have done off and on...  better when were little)... We would definitely come to each others wedding....  (Well, she came to mine.)  And since they were from Chippewa Falls, she asked me to promise to be a Green Bay fan for life.  It was a matter of grave importance to her, so I agreed....  Since that day we have seen each other maybe a total of four hours.....  But I sent her a note today on Facebook.....  and she remembered my promise....

Vince, Bart, Brett....  and even a Packer tree one year a long time ago!  She sent my baby boy a warm up suit 30 years ago....  and that's my story....  It isn't looking too hot for my Packers.....  time will tell.

Well, 13 wild turkeys strutted down the drive today....  They were pretty glad to find some grub a little closer to the surface.

Friday, February 4, 2011

A beloved mantelpiece

 The snow fairies are happy in Missouri right now...  Yes, we are....  But there is starting inside, deep inside us snow fairies..  a distant longing for some sun and some flowers and some sky that isn't reflected in an icy landscape.  Yes, I am ready for spring..  That doesn't mean we'll get it any time soon, although my friends and family constantly "boo" me for loving snow...  Somehow they were right aggravated at me for "causing" the advent of our 2o inches we received on Tuesday...  So I did what any snow fairy might do.  I have been engaged this morning in "spring" cleaning little corners and spots of Mom's house. 
 The first place to tackle is always the mantel.  We decided to go with a traveling rose theme for Valentine's Day.  I was afraid I had lost my "touch" as I wandered about her house looking for disparate pieces to match and mingle.  I believe items call out to me, "Here I am!" they say.  "Will you choose me for the mantel?"  I sometimes don't know Mom's treasures well enough, and they are shy.  But finally these few rosy china pieces made the journey from cabinet to mantel top...   
When I finish, I will add in a few Vintage Valentine impostors, and the look will be complete.  I would love to make a banner today, but I am not sure I have time.  I have some friends who are brave and fierce enough to face our dreaded driveway.  My son and his lady love came last night for some fun and lasagna, so the path has been made.  My cousin's hubby created a deep road through the icy drifts, and it looks like bridge railings along the side of the road.  Sometimes I wonder how (and why) my dad decided to build so far back from civilization.  I guess this old house was already here, and that settled  it.  Family Legend has it an old Swedish man built this fireplace, and even though it looks primitive and old, my parents always adored it because they could recall his Swedish laughter and his accent as he created a hearth for their early home together.  My parents had the real love story that books and movies try to recreate.  High school sweethearts, pioneers on the prairie, so to speak, together....  a lifelong enchantment with each other...  Ah...  vintage Valentine, indeed.

Stay warm and happy!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

 So... how cool is it to get up when I please, fix myself a little decadent comfort food lunch of a pot pie and chocolate chip cookie....  and be off school for the whole week....????  Wind chill was minus 19 this morning but my cousin's hubby bladed the road and my son is bringing us some supplies....  I have been working on some valentine surprises. 

I am glad Puxatawnee Phil predicts an early spring.  I think most of us will agree.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My Cousin's Valentine...

So, remember the holiday that's rapidly approaching?  I am happy to post this beautiful mantel from my cousin's house...  She has a wonderful collection of vintage Valentines, and she also has the touch to create a lovely, festive delightful decor.  I just love it..  

I asked her tonight if I could post this, and she laughed and assured me it was fine.  "Tell them it's the same cousin who fell beside the Cowboy Snowman."  I laughed and agreed I hadn't asked her permission for that one...  here. 

Do ya get my drift?

Well, the weather today is cold, cold and clear...  My son's 4-wheel drive is plumb stuck in his driveway...  I know I have no hope on mine...  The guys that do the blading (a dear cousin and a dear neighbor) are both swamped and frozen and stuck and blading for all they are worth...)  The cows won't walk through these drifts, so farmers are hand-digging paths through five foot fields to get them to the water... 

But Mom and I are warm and cozy...  I don't know if there will be school tomorrow or not.  Many have already called off, but ours had a reputation of going when the others don't...  (I dunno why.)  But I won't be making it in...  Minus 25 wind chills tomorrow morning...  I'm pretty sure I'm staying in...  This is a taste of what retirement might be like..

I am having no trouble with finding lovely pastimes and enjoying myself...  There is a dire need for Diet Coke in this house, and Mom is getting a bit cranky..  (shhh!  Don't tell her I said that!)....  She is feistier than I am and fights the inevitable...  Don Quixote and the windmills...  I mean, honestly....  what is there to do about this weather???  Just count our blessings that we are all okay, the electricity held...  that we are warm and inside.... 

I am no Pollyanna, and I get my share of grief from friends and family who think we should rage against the night...  I know...  I just can't...  or won't...  or don't...  Plus, it IS beautiful this morning...  purely pristine and untouched....  With all the manipulation and control and sometimes often wreckage that man does to nature...  it is kind of a triumph to see who is REALLY at the upper hand...  nature has a trump card every hand...  What majesty, power, and destruction is involved.... 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Groundhog Day Blizzzard

 On the east side of the house the drifts are pretty high...  over the sills
 Finally about 3 pm  all my chickies were in their homes and off the roads.... Highways are closing all around and the wind is brutal with the low temps and flying snow.....  So this is a blizzard.  I will say I don't recall it ever worse.  I feel for anyone out in it....

Mom took the opportunity to make a 8 by 8 pan of cookies from her favorite author ever, Gladys Taber.

Brown Sugar Chews

1 egg
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c flour
1/4 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1 c. chopped pecans or walnuts

Mix egg, brown sugar, vanilla,  Add flour, salt, soda.  Beat all with spoon and stir in nuts.  Bake 15 min. at 350 degrees in 8 x 8 floured, greased pan.  Cool in pan.  Cut in squares.