Sunday, March 30, 2014

What is Now? ......

I struggle with all kinds of temporal realities. Then, now, yesterday and tomorrow all live together in the deepest sanctuary of my soul. I am not sure when or why I slammed most of my doors closed and locked them snap-shut, tucking the key carefully and enjoying the view to my life through windows and portals constructed to keep a whole lot of things from bothering me. "I'm in my own little world."

That seclusion of the spirit lends itself to the sparkling of the mundane, cleaning, polishing, planning small changes (and large!) to the daily surroundings. I don't think Cinderella had it too bad BEFORE she became the Princess... But, oh my goodness! I'm sooo slow. Little Prissy in Gone with the Wind was probably faster than I am... That's why in one solid week I've done half of two rooms... Maybe in Magical Housekeeping Math that makes a whole room?

I ordered new white curtains and a new braided rug for the living room, I tucked almost all my Easter finery here and there, and here I go for round two.  Mom has 9+ rooms... Whether it be today, yesterday, or tomorrow, it might suit me best to kick it a little. I just find my poor little mind out wandering alone, and the chances are it needs some shelter from the cold.

Have a wonderful week. Watch out Tuesday for April Fools!

Whimsy and Hugs!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

If you bake it...they will come

If you bake it, they will come.    I love drop in company. Now, that's not to say I'm usually very prepared. I have noticed that when my house is rather spiffy...nobody, I mean nobody shows a face.  If I'm all dumped out in the throes of some mess... Such as yesterday and today... Knock! Knock!

I tend to move in quarters of the room, cleaning and rearranging a little. All my incoming little Easter goodies are mingling with the departure bound St. Patrick's Day clutter treasures on the tarmac corner of my dining table terminal...  I really needed to push forward today...not to stop and bake.

But this morning I saw a recipe on Facebook for this beautiful cake. Pantry check. Miracle. We had everything. So I did stop and bake. While the pretty cake was just cooling, we heard a quick knock ..... and a friend popped in.  She was a Doll Club friend who had moved away a couple years ago. How totally groovy...  Surprise friend+warm cobbler/cake....  A little cannel of vanilla bean ice cream....  Yay!

(This beautiful corner once belonged to me... It is one of the few pictures I can find of my home across the meadow....)

All arriving and departing decorations, plus all custodial activities....came to a little halt to resume later. Then I postponed them until the rainy day tomorrow...

In case you haven't made this in a while, here's the yummy recipe!

Dump Cake

1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple with juice, undrained
1 can Comstock® Country Cherry
1 package Classic Yellow Cake Mix
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

½ cup (1 stick) butter or margarine

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 13"x 9" pan.
2. Dump in the can of pineapple with juice into pan. Then add the pie filling. Spread evenly.
3. Sprinkle cake mix evenly over cherry layer.
4. Sprinkle pecans over cake mix.
5. Dot with butter.
6. Bake for 50 minutes or until top is lightly browned.

Serve it warm or at room temperature.

P.S.   My wonderful idea to scour out the candle jar and re-use it for Easter eggs went bad after three days. The candle was a "Fresh Linen Keepers of the Light"... Very highly oiled and scented. I had soaked it and scrubbed it, but... I guess the lid being on brought back the residual scent.... The scent (and taste!!!) came back today when I served a piece to my sister/cousin who dropped in tonight. 
So..... Not card worthy...

Whimsy and Hugs!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Be Kind to Yourself, they say. . .

Mysterious, halting.. First nothing, then perhaps.. Then oh, yes! Green fields of wheat shout it loudly that one season we have been begging to arrive... She's finally almost here. Shhh! I did hear the forecast for snow on Wednesday!

Busy days here at our house. We have had a nice number of friends come visit us for coffee, for pizza, for any kind of visit.  Mom and I had a day trip to see her doc, which resulted in a good report... And my son took a weekend away at a wilderness event...

My thoughts have turned to Spring cleaning... And not a moment too soon! Is there anything more revealing than sudden sunshine through windows long camouflaged in frost and cloud..?

Time to spiff out the Blue Belle Mrs. Meyers ... The citrus wet jet swiffer, the lovely, signature, almond-scented waxing spray from Method.    Now, I have a long-documented love affair with cleaning products...  I love to clean, to strip to the bare and scrub up and out. But do I regularly do that? Not so much. So I ask myself why????! Then I remember a list of selfcare rules which admonished me to be very kind to myself. Be my own dear friend, it said. Well, I would never beat up a friend about her "little lapse" in Homecare....  So....

Hey, the Easter candy is here. Just being super kind and friendly....Offer myself a Cadbury? Oh, and a little Reese's egg....?

Don't mind if I do!

Hmm... So, that's the way it goes.

Ahem! Spring Cleaning starts tomorrow. For yes, Katie Scarlett, Tomorrow IS another day.

Whimsy and Hugs!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Morning Candles...

Up before dawn, listening to the rain, reading a little... Then that unmistakeable bump, jolt... Plunge into total, absolute darkness. We had no power for a little over an hour. One excellent bonus of charging my phone and iPad and kindle fire right by the bed is the available light from a lit screen. I grabbed the little lantern and took it in to Mom, lit umpteen candles throughout the kitchen, living and dining rooms... And listened to a frosty wind hurling itself against the house.

The outage was brief, current soon restored, and back into the calm morning rituals that begin each day...  The time without power was, since it's over, lovely, charming... Good for the spirit...

Friday, March 14, 2014

Time.. The '72 Luncheon.. And opening those eyes...

Photos from google image
Great insight and revelation take a lot of time. I'm sure the passing of time from four decades sounded astronomical to one Missouri teen in the early 1970's. She would never have given a thought to approaching sixty years old. She was far too sure of herself in those impossibly short skirts, the knee boots, and fishnet stockings. Swaying through a crowded corridor toward narrow beige lockers.. A special someone waiting at the corner of the stairs to walk with her to the next class... Football mums and long bus rides in the dark to cheer a team of Macon Tigers...

And then we wait. First comes love, and then comes marriage.. And then we find for some a baby carriage. And then, we wait some more. In movies the film cuts blur, etching the seasons, quick cuts of night and day, sunrises and red-rimmed twilights all passing in rapid, staccato flashes... In life, time passes differently.

For me at least time has been a series of startled awakenings to find myself suddenly older, often wiser but sometimes sadly not. To everything, turn turn, turn.  My baby disappeared into a wonderful young man who calls me Mom. And around me in town I wave at classmates and wonder why they look old! In the mirror, if I smile just right and flip my hair... She's still there, that girl from the lockers.

Today marked the fifth or sixth monthly luncheon for girls from Macon Class of 1972. We meet at a local restaurant for a couple of hours. For some of us, it's the first time to reconnect and spend any time at all with those we once knew so much better than we knew ourselves. I sat between my beloved college roommate and a darling girl who had torn us apart by moving away the summer after her junior year. She drove hundreds of miles to visit, to laugh. Also at the round table, my dear lifelong friend. The two of us started together in first grade in Excello school, a one-room remnant consolidated to Macon our eighth grade year. I laughed with my long time soul mate, a girl I have kept close contact with through all our births, Beth Moore studies, sadnesses, and joys. And the adventurous spirit gurgled forth from one who consistently pushes the wings of lining, shopping in costume with her daughters.
And one more, my dear friend who had lived in a huge, fashionable home, who turned 60 yesterday ---whose son sent her 600 roses for that milestone birthday because he couldn't be with her from New York... 

And we laughed, good crazy laughter that twinkled and erased any nasty traces of age. We hugged. A couple of us cried because after all these years, some dear parents, siblings, and loved ones had gone on... But mainly as I looked around us, I loved seeing the smiles. Nice people all. Sometimes the conversation turned to darker truths.. Past marriages for a few, untimely illness and death in the family  for a couple more. Certainly a knowledgable look between us when we mentioned the immeasurable sadness of watching our own children through breakups of the heart. Boob reductions... A new engagement for one who had tragically lost her husband a decade ago to cancer.  "I want to be married barefoot." She sparkled... And it was all good.
Nobody felt the need to tell her that was unusual... Or to run off and be married barefoot ourselves. It sounded perfect...

I guess we came about as close to mutual respect, acknowledgement, and acceptance as any seven disparate alumni can feel. I admit I was a little timid to go. I told Mom I had made too many bad choices, had too much arthritis, didn't think I would fit in to their lifestyles... I had the idle wish to contract a little flu bug so I could skip the shyness and self condemnation I thought I'd feel... Your typical excuses.

But magically by mutuality of heart, we all fit. The athlete, the happy wives, the florist, the race track vendor, the fiancée, the cutie bug, the nurses, the news writer, the grammas, the singles, the divorcees, the barbecue judge, the zip liners, the caregivers, the yarn spinners... The girls of '72, And me...  What a good day to "turn around," wake up from the mist of life, and smile.

Whimsy and Hugs!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Seasons Gently Tapping...

First, a huge thank you to all my blogging friends who commented here and wrote such kind things on my last post. Your comments are truly a soothing influence to my spirit.

Over the Midwest, we are throwing our arms out in a literal embrace of today's 73° weather. I drove Mom around for the first time in forever, and we turned wild, happy, -----goofy for the sunshine. It's hard to remember a longer-feeling winter, but with March midway, the blossoms are coming and the snow (predicted for tonight, unfortunately) will not have a chance at the longevity of earlier frosts. And that's a big smile for that!

As the dark, cozy throws and lantern displays yield to lighter, floral views, it's time for the Spring cleaning, salad suppers, and front porches again. And, surprisingly enough, this old housecat is down with that! I'm ready to dig in the dirt... (Not my usual stand on outdoor life). Let's hope the mood continues. Heaven knows, the poor gardens and borders could use some love.

I so enjoyed your comments about favorite childhood toys and gifts. Maybe you would like to
share a dream you have for outdoor life this summer. Mine? Simply to have one.. To spend some evenings and mornings working and reveling in some long-ignored nature. Only a few days until Spring! Hallelujah!

Oh, what a sight to watch the flocks of geese pausing in a tiptoe and waddle around on the last of the Lake ice...

Post Script:

I seriously wish you could sit with me tonight. I have lit my candles and turned out the lamps. Outside a blustery icy rain has dipped the thermometer to the thirties... And I am sitting here grinning like the cat who ate the canary. Whenever it's simply nasty, and dark, and the sound of sleet hits the wooden casements and glass windows... I love it... March... October... Spring and Fall...  Mercurial changes that echo the flimsy, fragile opinions that I toss about like leaves against the gales...  I must have loved the barren moors, the icy glens...  Or something like that!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Childhood Keys...

                  Linked to Craftberry Bush

Can you remember the most captivating gift of your childhood? What treasure did your heart grab onto, did you spend hours with? Did you have just one? I kind of think that idea about finding your heart where your treasure lies is very, very true when it comes to toys from the years when we were so very ourselves. (For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matt. 6:21) As a child, I had never thought about losing a love, being lied to, losing my way, or sacrificing little pieces of myself to satisfy the ugly demands of the day.  I just got up every day, slipped into my dresses sewn with love by my gramma, and did what I wanted... I had few chores, and I lived alone in the "middle of nowhere," so I found hours of delicious time...

I was fortunate to have wonderful family and friends who gave me just awesome presents, such as Barbies, dolls, bicycles, books, and little pet figurines. But, oh be still my heart, I truly loved, I mean loved my little blue Draw-a-Cartoon Artist board. It was actually just a light board, a concoction of plastic with an exposed on the underside "ouch!" Light bulb and translucent sloped drawing board on top... I love writing. I gave my heart to teaching. I live to cook. I come alive when I decorate... But I feel my spirit sing when I play with papers and markers, glitters and goop... I stand back and mentally hug myself when I create a pretty nook or table scape. Beauty is all around us.

Julia Cameron tells us to affirm ourselves as what we want to become. In that case, I am an artist. No formal training. Possibly no true talent or gift, but definitely a calling. Ephemera, Pictures... And creativity? I love to arrange, edit, and putter with the printed word, using all the pretty techie things, and I just love art in any form. Say it again. "I am an... Artist."  Insert your "joy" right there.

I also love the art of the day to day that I see from all of you...  Art in cooking, in home design, flowers gardens, raising animals, crochet, knit, and paint... Paper crafts and displaying treasures...

Today, my art broke forth in some jewelry splayed out on the little table in my bedroom. I followed the lead of Cielo in The Here and Now (on my side bar).. And I used my jewelry as a medium of art.

If you recall the hardest tug at your heart from childhood toys, I think you might find your muse tonight. My light board is around here somewhere, I have boxes of glitter and new markers in satchels, suitcases of pretty stashes of paper. Our souls yearn for a palette; this life provides it.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Selective Vision...

Do you have selective vision? I certainly do...  I consider the ability to see a spot of beauty and be cheered... A gift. With much to accomplish, this morning's first light focused my eyes on the prizes of character and soul most important to inner joy. I opened my eyes to this:

Cup of gratitude. You bet. Yes. I am thoroughly grateful for my life, family, friends... Treasures... Peeking through the cup handle, Hope in a Jar...  I love, love, love this product from Philosophy. One uber-extravagant jar lasts me almost two years. And who can't be blessed by the subtle reminder to keep HOPE? Since I sleep with heaters, I also love the morning kiss of moisturizer on my face and the lotion on my legs and arms and the soft fragrance from INNER GRACE, also a Philosophy product.. The hawkers hosts on QVC convinced me the scent was transportive. Yes, it is. The message on the bottle says it all...

Their product line is full of such poetry and uplifting... Well, "philosophies."

philosophy: to find peace, you must first quiet your mind and open your heart. abandon the pulls, pushes and obligations to see beyond. beyond deadlines. beyond material wants. beyond your impulses. to find peace, you must look beyond the turmoil of life and balance your spirit. in the absence of activity, you will find the only thing that matters, the gift of living in the present moment. become peace personified.
inner grace
when life gets stressful, it’s easy to lose your balance. this deep, emotional fragrance reconnects you to your center to bring peace and balance. inner grace is your mini-meditation for a guaranteed feeling of reflection. aqua leaf imparts peaceful balance; delicate freesia offers deep spirituality; and warm, sensual musk calms your thoughts.  (Website. ...No paid advertisements here. I just appreciate Philosophy's line.)

Good plan, huh?

So today, while gazing at the beauty of sunshine on fresh snow, I have been enjoying tea in my special, gratitude cup, floating a lemon slice in this morning's lemon zinger... The cup holds a surprise message from Psalms in the bowl...

It was -- 11° last night. Today the temp has finally at two o'clock reached 11°. A few boxes of spring and Easter florals and holiday decorations sit close by. It's hard for my mom to sit in clutter and love the beauty...

It's so fun to just putter and play...  But floors don't shine themselves and totes don't empty magically and locate all these items beautifully. Laundry.. Not jumping into place either.

See you all very soon! Think you so much for the comments you left on my last post... You are bright moments in my day!  Stay cozy!