Saturday, March 30, 2013

An Easter Blessing

Blessing, by John O’Donoghue
blessed be the longing that brought you here
and quickens your soul with wonder.

may you have the courage to listen to the voice of desire
that disturbs you when you have settled for something safe.

may you have the wisdom to enter generously into your own unease
to discover the new direction your longing wants you to take.

may the forms of your belonging - in love, creativity, and friendship -
be equal to the grandeur and the call of your soul.

may the one you long for long for you.
may your dreams gradually reveal the destination of your desire.

may a secret providence guide your thought and nurture your feeling.

may your mind inhabit your life with the sureness 
with which your body inhabits the world.

may your heart never be haunted by ghost-structures of old damage.

may you come to accept your longing as divine urgency.

may you know the urgency with which God longs for you.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Over Before We Know It....

A smidgen of beautiful sunshine around these parts today...  But the forecast is for more gloom, more rain, more overcast ....  I associate Easter and Good Friday with this kind of weather, the dove gray beauty of Spring.  Our vacation begins tomorrow at one o'clock.  We traded in a longer vacation for the days at the end of the year to make up the blizzard weeks we were off...  I couldn't be more ready.

A long time ago my grandparents had some wonderful friends who had lived in the same house for many years.  Something happened to them, possibly financial or more likely health-related, that I never understood, but they were going to have to move from that home they had loved all their life... My grandmother wanted to help them avoid this move, but something was in the way of helping them keep that home.  Our family was in turmoil with sadness for them.  One morning our phone rang those familiar two shorts, our party line's signal for my gramma...  Then a phone call came in to my mom, and the news was out...  My family was prepared to help.    

Gramma's message:  "Vera and Ernest are moving right now!...  the people who bought their home are coming in the front door, and they have to get their stuff out the back!"  

My family galvanized in our own cars and pickups to move those pots and pans, linens and delicious granite-ware pitchers... The story goes that Mom plopped the lid on a pan of bacon that was frying and buried it all in a towel, carrying it out to the car as is...  Daddy carried out the old rocking chair with Vera's sweater still hooked on its spindle.  The old couple just wrung their hands and cried. Mom and Gramma cried...  it was just pretty awful until Vera finally started laughing.  She came over to my gramma, gave her a hug, and made the statement:  "Well, honey, I had really been dreading my last night in the house.  I thought spending that last precious night would kill me," she said.  "Now I don't have to face it..  It already happened, and I didn't even realize it."


Sometimes life gives us those funny gifts in the middle of some kind of loss or sadness---  we see a way to appreciate the good things that we have been given, and we forget to be sad because it is just too late for much of that..  It is time to move on.  I am not speaking of real losses such as death or divorce..  but of those other kinds of loss, such as moving, changing homes, or leaving a lifelong career...

Possibly some of us are facing something like that...  and we have already had our "last night in the 'old house'."  We have had our last "first day of school" and our last chance to share the magic of a favorite novel with a class of teenagers....   The only thing left to do is laugh and move forward... I promised myself retirement wouldn't be sad or difficult...  You guys hold me to that promise.  Okay?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Oatmeal and Snow Days...

What could be better for the author of a blog called "Oatmeal and Whimsy" than warm oatmeal cookies, a cup of raspberry mocha, and a little nap.....  Well, probably an ice water, exercise, and grilled chicken, now that I think about it.  But I had that yesterday.

After yet another named snowstorm zipped through yesterday, my son cleared out our drifted drive and then drove my car up and down the road.  Then, through the night, the winds rearranged the snow, and I couldn't get out again...  So today I made him a batch of broccoli soup, (with almond milk because he is doing the Paleo, non dairy thing).  Mom made potato soup for us.  Then, after he fixed the roads once more and left with a friend to see the movie, Olympus Has Fallen, Mom made chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.  Her recipe, on a little, yellowed newspaper clipping, is wonderful!  Crisp outside and chewy/soft inside...  She bakes hers for ten minutes at 375.  These had chocolate chips, but she often uses nuts, raisins, etc.  if you can find a little time to bake, I recommend these-----enjoy!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Once and again....

No matter how much we "think Spring!"....... The weather has other plans.  We are smack in the middle of yet another eight to ten inch snowstorm....  It hasn't started yet, but the skies look like it.   I'm all out of sick and personal days, but I may have to stay home anyway.  Boo. Hoo.

Here are some brown sugar, glazed cookies and a peek at my Spring bouquet.  Mom used a recipe from her aunt from 1941...  And the flowers were from a dear friend, a surprise waiting in my car the first day of Spring.  Come over for a cup of hot tea, coffee, or spiced cocoa.....  We can celebrate the snowfall....

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

First Day of Spring...

It's there beneath the earth...  Spring awaits.  I think it was purely ready to bound out of the ground and bloom profusely, and then it heard the forecast for more snow this weekend, so it decided to lie asleep a few more days...  But it cannot mask itself from the pure beauty of the air.  Especially in the morning pinks of clouds, dawn, and promise...  It's time to plant and dream and begin to throw off the comfortable dormancy of a winter too long, too cold, and too brutal.  Even this snow girl has had enough of winter for one year.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Can't say where I'm going, but I sure know where I've been...

Just a little Easter trimmings make my desk cheerful (and remind me we have only six and a half days until our Easter break.)

Yesterday a dear coworker gave me a paper to fill out regarding my retirement.  The first section, family...  was a dear and easy section.  Although my immediate family is very small in number, that section makes me smile. Then was the middle section, listing all the classes I have taught and the organizations I'd sponsored.  I went a little nutty on that one.  Too many to list (but I didn't realize that until I'd scribbled SOOO many things in that blank it looked ridiculous...  37 years is a lot of time to try almost anything once.

Then the last section blared at me:  LIST YOUR PLANS FOR RETIREMENT.  I sat and stared at that section.  Uh.  Nothing.  It became painfully evident I have once again failed to plan (which they say is planning to fail).  No plans.  It felt kinda dumb to pen in, "Go home."  That's really as far as I've thought.  I would love a dear little business that is part local shop and part online emporium for gifts, candles, whimsy... I might love to travel with Mom or my son.  I definitely need to clean two houses and a garage/barn.... and a porch filled with insulators.... Then there's that book I've always been thinking I'd write...  But what does a person about to retire from 37 years in the classroom write in that blank really?

This morning I found the dear coworker and asked for a fresh sheet...  a do-over!  I'm still debating what to say I've done....  and that plans for the future section?  I dunno...I guess I could write, "Do whatever I want!" in the blanks..."Whatever Mom wants?"  haha...  "Sparkle!"  .....  ???????????

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Monday, March 11, 2013

Domestic Therapy...

Just a little domesticity makes the day go so much better.  A little laundry in to soak, cookies made and sacked, and coffee and candles lit to accompany an evening watching American Pickers....   My son goes to work at ten p.m. And somehow when I wake up through the night, I don't feel quite as comfortable...  He's fine and is such a night owl that it's the perfect shift for him....  I'm just not used to changes, and a big one is coming...

I graded my last set of ME Notebooks.  Eight more Mondays....  Still Sounds good to me!

Sunday, March 10, 2013


Good Morning!  Ooohhhhhh, foggy!  I looked out this morning to poofs of white opacity floating between my windows and the world.   Only a few words from Mom were able to change my mind about traversing the slimy road to the store...  It can wait until tomorrow....  Today is for  a mint mocha latte  in my Irish green Fiesta square mug.  It is for baking a batch of chocolate crinkle cookies and creating lunch for my son and friends.  It will be for catching up on his new job and playing spinner with Mom...  And wondering who invented the mixed blessing of Daylight Savings Time.  Perhaps I don't show my status as a farmer's daughter, but I am not a fan of springing ahead....

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Natural Sparkle

 What miraculous designs sparkle in the setting sun.  Lovely views from Mom's front porch.


Last night after my son got off the night shift, we sent pics of lolcats back and forth by text and texted funny things we remembered...  It was a hoot!  I don't know why we didn't just call, but even though texting is more for the young, I do enjoy the pace and economy of it..   I was remembering a terrible/awful story about one of my best friends and a dead rat!  There are a lot of parts to the tale, and I'm betting zero of you, let alone me, want to see it in print...  but my son did.  Something about that story caused him to laugh, and he typed, "Bwa-Ha-Hahahaha."  I could hear his big bold laugh with just the written word.  And it made me happy.

Today I haven't worked much.  Couldn't go in because of that drifted drive.  We hired the "man" to come back...  Work took a brief while, cost a lot, but helped us once again to think we could traverse the snows of Meadow Lane.  Having a big bladed truck is a ble$$ing.....  I did discover the cartoon maker on my smartphone..  Cool!  Have fun if you can.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Blizzard winds

Even though we had our drive professionally graded, today the high winds totally closed it up again.  Mom called me to come home early, which I did...  But still my Taurus wouldn't travel all the way...  Just a little over half.  Then stuck.  Then my son slid sideways pulling me.  Son Stuck.  Neighbor who always says to call if we need anything (but he maybe regrets that)....  Pulled out my son...  Who pulled me backwards all the way to the highway...  Finally the tractor tamped a road? In the icy goo with slimy mud underneath....  And my son drove me in...  And in I'm staying...  All tracks and signs of a road are gone.  I later learned a bus got stuck taking students home...

My front window was a mess...
I loved what I saw out the back...  Two levels of help.....

My little haven

So, for about an hour I was car bound, drifts up too high to open my door, waiting on my deliverers...  I though about that happy cow commercial with the poor cow from Wisconsin who sets out in the blowing snow to walk to California...  It felt strangely familiar...

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Memories, wicker, and a special antique...

Look who is 86 years old!  This cute little green dresser was purchased by my dear grandmother for my mom when she was two.  For as long as I can remember Mama has kept baby brushes and little combs in the top drawer.  Sometimes we have put small doll quilts and pillowcases in those pretty drawers.  During my snow day time at home, the dresser took up residence beside two special little "girls" in wicker chairs.  On its left is a special doll made and dressed in French lawn by one of mom's dear friends.  She is a pretty treasure.  To the right is a perky little fairy, a gift from my son and I to Mom as a "last day of school" gift when Mom used to be his baby sitter...

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Soufflé sewing

Probably the mos exotic egg dish is a soufflé, and these handsewn Easter eggs are certainly off the path...  Tomorrow a maintainer is contracted to dig us out...  I'm excited to be connected with the mainland again..  Here are my new projects today