Wednesday, May 28, 2014

RIP Phenomenal Woman

 

I have just learned of the death of Dr. Maya Angelou, and I grieve.  It was some of her poetry and writing that inspired me to want to be a writer. She was the voice of women everywhere in addressing violence against women and overcoming hardship. I remember an interview done with her once where she talked about how she wrote every day.  She rented a hotel room by the month...in it, a typewriter and her writing materials.  She said she treated her writing as a job...as a privilege.  How thankful I am that she had such a strong voice, set such an example as a strong woman. RIP, Marguerite.  Your earthly journey has ended, but your voice will never be silenced.

Phenomenal Woman
by Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman

Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.           
 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Rains of Winter

 

Every valley drinks,
Every dell and hollow;
Where the kind rain sinks and sinks,
Green of Spring will follow.
 
From "Winter Rain"
by Christina Georgina Rossetti

Friday, August 16, 2013

Love Note to My Son




Time it was I had a dream
You're the dream come true
If I had the world to give
I'd give it all to you.
I'll take you to the mountains
I will take you to the sea
I'll show you how this life became
A miracle to me.

You'll fly away
but take my hand until that day
So when they ask how far love goes
When my job's done, you'll be the one who knows.

All the things you treasure most
Will be the hardest won
I will watch you struggle on
Before the answers come
But I won't make it harder
I'll be there to cheer you on
I'll shine the light that guides you down
The road you're walking on

You'll fly away
but take my hand until that day
So when they ask how far love goes
When my job's done, you'll be the one who knows.

Before the mountains call to you
Before you leave this home
I will teach your heart to trust
As I will teach my own
But sometimes I will ask the moon
Where it shined upon you last
And shake my head and laugh and say
It all went by too fast

You'll fly away
but take my hand until that day
So when they ask how far love goes
When my job's done, you'll be the one who knows.

Lyrics "The One Who Knows"
Dar Williams
 
Love being your Mommy, Sweet Boy. I can't imagine my life without you. So proud of you and loving you every moment...
Mommy

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Waters of March



It's the wind blowing free, it's the end of the slope
It's a beam, it's a void, it's a hunch, it's a hope
And the river bank talks of the waters of March
It's the end of the strain, it's the joy in your heart
                                                         from Waters of March
                                                         by  Antonio Carlos

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Nest Building Time


My son is only two years old, but he is already fascinated with nature and the Great Outdoors.  He notices flowers and bugs and birds and trees and all the little things that I tend to walk by without noticing.  Trying to see the world through his eyes has made me a better observer, too.  I love to watch him play in the yard, as I can see the wonder on his face as he attempt to "take it all in."  This time outdoors has become very special to us both.  So, I never want to miss an opportunity to turn our time outdoors into a fun project or lesson that I hope he enjoys. 

A couple of weeks ago, he was awe stricken by some of the birds who have taken up residence in our yard.  We talked about birds and how some birds live in trees and others in special houses.  As we discussed them, I decided to have him put together a "Nest Building Basket" for the birds.  We put all types of things we thought a bird might be able to use to build a nest:  pieces of twine, twigs, fabrics and fibers, straw, etc.  We put it in a wire basket and suspended it from one of the trees in our back yard.  Imagine our delight the first time we saw a bird checking out the supplies!

Today, I was reminded of our project as I sat in my office, glanced out the window, and saw two small finches building a nest on the side of a tree amongst the ivy.  I am anxious to watch them over the course of the season, and I like to think that our Nest Building Basket helped out an equally productive bird or two in our own back yard.

Happy Spring!
Photo Courtesy of:  Squidoo

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Getting Ready for Spring

I love spring!  I get so antsy as the weather turns a bit warmer and the daffodils start to peak up through the ground.  I usually can't wait to dig around in the yard and the flower beds.  And, according tomost gardening experts, now is the time to get out there!  A common mistake many people make is waiting until the weather turns much warmer and flowers are beginning to bloom to pay attention to their yards.  Unfortunately, by then, it is too late to really prepare for your yard to show at its best.  At the end of February and early March, I begin the season by doing the following task list before I do anything else:

I'm in Zone 7, so this may not fit everyone's March to-do-list.  Those of you a little further north will want to wait a month or so...

  • Remove all the leaves, twigs and fallen branches that have accumulated in the yard over the winter months.  Even though I removed all the leaves in the fall, there will still be some in the spring that have blown in over the winter.
  • Trim up the foliage on the summer blooming perennials that are above the ground.  I normally trim up my evergreen herbs like rosemary, etc. during this time.  I also prune most of my roses in March.  Keep in mind that it is too late to prune your spring blooming perennials and shrubs (forsythia, quince, etc.)  - prune these later after the blooms have gone.
  • Dig out all the weeds that have started to spring up in the flower beds.  As hard as it is to believe that those suckers can grow in February...they do.  Weeding now will reduce your job in this regard later in the year!
  • Cut back vines and ivy that has grown out of its territory.
  • Cut back ornamental grasses, including liriope, and the dead stems of perennials (I always leave these during the winter for the birds and other wildlife) to a few inches high.
  • Loosen the old mulch with a cultivator (or in my case, a gloved hand) acorns and other dried plant matter that has accumulated around my shrubs and perennials.  Air needs to be able to better penetrate those roots!
  • Reseed and fertilize the lawn.
  • Fertilize my spring bulbs.
Here are some photos of our yard in spring and summer.  We are still in the planning and planting phases of our landscaping, and there is so much more to do, but we are quite proud of what we have accomplished.






















Happy Gardening!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Jane Austen Meets Twenty-First Century Technology



 I have had an obsession with the novels of Jane Austen since I was a young girl.  I remember the first time I read Pride and Prejudice:  so began my maddening crush on Mr. Darcy that would last until...well...now.  The first time I watched the BBC's on-screen version of the novel, I fell instantly and madly in love with Colin Firth.  I mean, what woman couldn't?!   So, for the better part of my life, I have been a true Janeite.  I love having a membership to JASNA, the Jane Austen Society of North America, although my husband seems to have no understanding of this.  I pity him.  I cannot imagine my life without the influences of Jane Austen and her wonderful literary characters.  It was through reading the works of Austen that I first realized I wanted to major in English Literature in college.  And it is against those same works that I measure every other novel I have ever read. 


So, just imagine my excitement when I read about the BBC releasing a new interactive game for facebook based on Jane Austen and the characters of her novels!  Truly!  I was so astonished (in a good way), that I had to copy the press release here.  Read for yourself!


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BBC Worldwide Limited


BBC WORLDWIDE TO CREATE A JANE AUSTEN GAME FOR FACEBOOK
Jane Austen’s Rogues and Romance coming to Facebook this Spring

LOS ANGELES, CA (February 23, 2012) – BBC Worldwide is preparing to bring the world of Jane Austen to Facebook in a new interactive game inspired by her work. Developed in partnership with Legacy Interactive, Jane Austen’s Rogues and Romance will re-create the world of her novels allowing players to take part in an imaginative adventure that follows the path of Elizabeth and Mr Darcy after they are married.

For almost 200 years Jane Austen’s work has stood the test of time with legions of fans worldwide enjoying her witty character portrayals and depictions of 19th century English society. Her novels have inspired countless adaptations, prequels and sequels including The Jane Austen Book Club; Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Clueless. Jane Austen’s Rogues and Romance will mark the first time her works have inspired an online social game.

Robert Nashak, EVP, BBC Worldwide Digital Entertainment & Games, explains, “Social interaction is at the core of Austen’s work and we felt that was a concept we could explore that had a natural synergy with Facebook. Rogues and Romance is a fun romp of a game that celebrates the world of Jane Austen.”

“I am a ‘Janeite’ of long standing and thrilled to be able to translate my secret obsession into a fun social game,” says Ariella Lehrer, CEO of Legacy Interactive. “We are determined to deliver an experience that passionate Austen fans will love, as well as gameplayers who know of Austen but have never read her novels.”

Jane Austen’s Rogues and Romance is set to launch on Facebook this Spring. The game takes Pride and Prejudice as its starting point following the newly married Elizabeth and Mr Darcy on a hidden object adventure with an intriguing twist. Players will be able to take their place in society leaving calling cards, attending and hosting receptions and pursuing courtships. Each player will have their own manor house and be able to indulge their penchant for fashion with a choice of Regency-era costumes.

For more information, please contact:
apps.facebook.com/janeaustengame
www.austengame.com

About BBC
BBC Worldwide Limited is the main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The company exists to maximise the value of the BBC’s assets for the benefit of the licence fee payer and invest in public service programming in return for rights. The company has six core businesses: Channels, Content & Production, Sales & Distribution, Consumer Products, Brands, Consumers & New Ventures and Magazines, with digital ventures incorporated into each business area. In 2010/11, BBC Worldwide generated profits of £160 million on sales of £1158 million and returned £182m to the BBC. For more detailed performance information please see our Annual Review website:

www.bbcworldwide.com/annualreview

bbcworldwide.com

twitter.com/bbcwpress

So, for all those other Janeites out there, mark your calendars for March!  I know I will be counting the days!  :-)

And do, please, leave a comment for me, as "my idea of good company is the company of clever, well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company." (Jane Austen).

Dreaming of Darcy,

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Wire Baskets: My latest fetish




You know, I am thankful that I can admit when I have a problem.  I am not sure that it helps the situation, but at least I CAN admit it.  My latest problem is:  I CAN'T STOP BUYING ANTIQUE (or antique-looking) WIRE BASKETS!!  I love them. I love the way they look.  I love the way I can store things in them...pretty things or useful things.  Things. I love things, too.  So it is important that I can store them in something fabulous. I adore the two above from The Pottery Barn.  They're the perfect size for the kitchen.

My most recent purchase of wire baskets were the two great looking ones from One Kings Lane.  They are treasures, and I use one of the larger ones on the kitchen cabinet to hold all of my cutting boards - it works perfectly. 


From Hudson Goods (hudsongoods.com)

I also recently purchased an antique, German apple picking basket.  It's in my husband's bathroom, and I use it to store his towels.  I roll the towels, and it's actually a pretty way to display something needful. 

Another one of my favorites is in our family room holding all of my magazines.  And I have others.  I am just waiting to try to decide what I can use them to hold or display.

And there will be more.  In fact, I just can't seem to help myself when I see one for sale.  I have found a terrific place for finding old wire baskets and other special vintage finds.  If you have a fetish like me, I promise you it will be well worth your time to visit Hudson Goods.  Be impressed.  This is a wonderful place!

Would love to hear about how others use their fantastic wire baskets! 

Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Books by Lamp Light?



I saw this on the HGTV website and fell in love with it.  I have a similar lamp that I purchased a couple of years ago at a craft fair, but I ADORE the shade on this one...or the lack thereof. It seems to be an old, wire apple-picking basket.  HGTV has even offered instructions on how to make this cutie.  Click here for a visit.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Antique Glass Insulators

  
Photo by Patrick Conn, PCONN, Flickr, "Around the House."

 My grandfather was a collector.  He collected everything from old tobacco cutters, to antique scales, to toy metal cars to coal company script.  One of his favorite things to collect was antique glass insulators.  A few years ago, my grandmother took me out to her old barn, showed me an old crate full of glass insulators, and told me they had belonged to my Grandfather...and now I could have them.  My "Granddaddy" was adored by my brother and me, so to inherit anything that had been important to him was a thrill for me.  They were dirty and heavy, but I somehow managed to heave the crate and its contents to my old car.  I still have all these old insulators, and every time I see them, they bring a smile to my face.  I have no idea WHAT to do with them, but they make me smile nonetheless. 

Photo by Julie Green, DestinyCaptured, Flickr

My husband has encouraged me to get rid of them.  I don't think I could do that.  These pieces of glass are a part of history.  Some glass insulators were made as early as the 1850's and used for telegraph lines.  Later, they were used for telephone and power lines.  Imagine all the communications that have passed by these little treasures!  If only THEY could talk!

Boston in the 1860's in front of Old State House.  Notice over the tops of the buildings all the old insulators!

Memphis, Tennessee, 1907, Union Depot. Wow...look at all the poles and all those insulators!

Louisville, Kentucky, 1906, Corner of Fourth and Main.  Here's a nice closeup of a pole with insulators...many, many insulators!

Hemingray Advertisement, 1926

In an attempt to find a creative way to display my antique glass insulators, I discovered on the internet an absolutely WONDERFUL idea!  Pendant lights made from glass insulators!  Below is a photograph of those listed on Remodelista.com.  Aren't they FABULOUS?  Now I won't rest until I can find someone who can turn my Granddaddy's old insulator collection into pendent lights for our house.


I am looking for other interesting things to do with these little pieces of glass.  If anyone has any ideas, I would truly appreciate you sharing them here.  I would love to find creative and wonderful ways of displaying these sentimental collectibles.

Emeralds in the Sky

A booming train derailed the silent night
The fallen poles in skins of moss unroll
A trains conductor pounding rails in-flight
Around the glass, and through the wires control

The rare conductors weren't common names
Those colored jewels, emeralds in the sky
Atop the threaded perch, flamboyant flames
Where mustard yeller insulators spy

A million miles of wire across this land
Converting sounds from golden amber girls
To ears of purple ponies on demand
With pleated skirts a dancing dancer whirls

The hemingrays beside the lost zicme
Between the poles a catenaries sag
Our saddened faces watch a crosses plea
In piles of poles and crosses, raise the flag

Memories wonder through our minds of glass
Our crystal balls of color now amass
In homes of those who wonder why, and as
Memories never fading from our eyes
Our minds release the emeralds to the skies.

~Wesley Willis, 2007

Happy end-of-July,


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mommyhood

I am ashamed at how neglected my blog has become over the last few months.  While I have missed blogging desperately and thought of it often, I have had a good excuse for being MIA in Blogdom.  I thought I would post a few photographs of the number one reason why I had to take a hiatus from blogging for a few months.  I promise...it's a good one!  :-)

My precious son vs. The Carrots. Guess who won?

Sweet son with his brother, Max. 

First trip to the park. Guess who's a fan of the swings?

Celebrating a milestone birthday!  My baby turned 1!

First vacation:  Headed to Florida to visit his great-grandparents and other family members!


Our Sweet Boy was baptised, and afterward, he played in the Holy Water.

And then he drank it.

Playing in the toy box...uh huh....IN the toy box.

And climbing OUT of the toy box (and back IN and back OUT and back IN...)

Showing off his sweet side.  Not!  :-) 

Developing a keen interest in remote controls...just like Daddy.

And capturing his Mommy's heart with that sweet smile.

My Angel
 It's been a busy, busy, busy few months!  And it's STILL busy, but we're managing to get the hang of this parenting thing. Finally.  We have even been able to develop a schedule of sorts that allows us a little "us" time to do the things that we need to do.  Some things that are necessary to live.  Some things that are necessary for our sanity.  My blog falls in the latter category.  :-)  Yea, me time!  When the baby drifts off to sleep, I plan to sneak downstairs to blog a bit.  It may not be every day...but it will at least be once a week!  :-)

Mommyhood is WONDERFUL...but WOW!  I feel as though I am chasing my tail half the time...running in circles, trying to keep my head above the tidal wave of tasks and responsibilities to keep from drowning in them.  Actually, I'm loving every minute of being a Mommy.  And after a year and three months of it, I know why so many Mommies told me so many months ago, "Dont' forget to make a little time for yourself."  They were so right.  That time may come at 9:00 at night after the baby has fallen asleep...but it WILL come. 

How do you other Mommies manage to keep up with all those activities associated with being a mommy and still carve out a little times for yourselves?  If there are any great secrets, I sure wish someone would share them with me. 

Blissfully happy (albeit a little tired),