April 30, 2015

Ooh-boy...ever have one of those mornings where your body not so gently reminds you that you are (ahem) not quite as young as you think you are?  Welcome to my world!  It was so lovely after work yesterday that I was inspired to quickly change clothes and hang out in my garden for a couple of hours, weeding, weeding, and more weeding.  Darn crabgrass!  Observations to self:  no matter how pretty Russian sage looks, admire it in someone else's garden.  Don't invite it home...it becomes a guest that totally outstays its welcome. 

So I have a little puzzle for you to solve this morning.  This poem by William Blake plus song lyrics by Billy Dean equals who I got to hang out with recently...any guesses?

The modest Rose puts forth a thorn,
The humble sheep a threat'ning horn:
While the Lily white shall in love delight,
Nor a thorn nor a threat stain her beauty bright.

I can remember when you fit in the palm of my hand
Felt so good in it, no bigger than a minute
How it amazes me, you're changing with every blink
Faster than a flower blooms they grow up all too soon

So let them be little 'cause they're only that way for a while
Give them hope, give them praise, give them love every day
Let them cry, let them giggle, let them sleep in the middle
Oh just let them be little

I've never felt so much in one little tender touch
I live for those kisses, prayers and your wishes
Now that you're teaching me things only a child can see
Every night while we're on our knees all I ask is please
Let them be little 'cause they're only that way for a while
Give them hope, give them praise, give them love every day
Let them cry, let them giggle, let them sleep in the middle
Oh just let them be little

So innocent, a precious soul, you turn around
It's time to let them go

So let them be little 'cause they're only that way for a while
Give them hope, give them praise, give them love every day
Let them cry, let them giggle, let them sleep in the middle
Oh just let them be little

 Oh just let them be little

May your day be filled with opportunities to share your love. 

April 29, 2015

Good morning!  Due to a wonderful evening out (still singing Dancing Queen in my head) today's post will be short.  I blush to admit that staying up past eleven on a work night doesn't work as well as it used to!  Yesterday's gorgeous weather inspired me to take a quick walk around the neighborhood adjacent to my office, and the trees were showing off:

Here's a great poem by Billy Collins to start our days off on a perfect note (well, a poem and a rather large cup of coffee for me!)


If ever there were a spring day so perfect,
so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze

that it made you want to throw
open all the windows in the house

and unlatch the door to the canary's cage,
indeed, rip the little door from its jamb,

a day when the cool brick paths
and the garden bursting with peonies

seemed so etched in sunlight
that you felt like taking

a hammer to the glass paperweight
on the living room end table,

releasing the inhabitants
from their snow-covered cottage

so they could walk out,
holding hands and squinting

into this larger dome of blue and white,
well, today is just that kind of day.

April 28, 2015

Mamma Mia!

I'm so excited!  A friend has asked me to join her tonight at the Broadway production of Mamma Mia at our local arts center.  I've seen the movie but haven't had the opportunity to see the stage production, and I can't wait!  I love the ABBA songs and you already know how much I love the Greek isles.  In honor of tonight's excitement, here are a few reasons why I love Greece so much, with lines from Oscar Wilde's poem Greece:

We hoisted sail; the wind was blowing fair
For the blue lands that to the eastward lie.
The sea was sapphire coloured  
And all the flower-strewn hills of Arcady
every olive grove and creek
And a red sun upon the seas to ride

and the sky Burned like a heated opal through the air

I stood upon the soil of Greece at last!

The sea was sapphire coloured, and the sky
Burned like a heated opal through the air;
We hoisted sail; the wind was blowing fair
For the blue lands that to the eastward lie.
From the steep prow I marked with quickening eye
Zakynthos, every olive grove and creek,
Ithaca's cliff, Lycaon's snowy peak,
And all the flower-strewn hills of Arcady.
The flapping of the sail against the mast,
The ripple of the water on the side,
The ripple of girls' laughter at the stern,
The only sounds: -when 'gan the West to burn,
And a red sun upon the seas to ride,
I stood upon the soil of Greece at last!

Have a good day, and Opa!

April 27, 2015

...it seemed a thrill of pleasure

Happy Monday!  Even thought it is still a little chilly outside, my heart was warmed this weekend when three friends commented that they had missed my posts.  I honestly thought no one had probably noticed that I haven't posted in a while.  Sometimes it is hard to write and wonder if anyone reads my latest reflections or misses my poems when I take a break, so it was truly uplifting to hear that people really do enjoy what I have to say.  With all the blogs in the world, written on every conceivable subject, sometimes it is easy to think that you have nothing special to add to the universe that hasn't already been said.

The weekend flew by, as they usually do, in a mix of housework, laundry, shopping and craft work.  I have never defined myself as a "crafty" person (jack of all trades, master of none) but this last year has been a whirlwind of events that have required more crafting than I have ever done before, and has played a large role in why my posts have been few and far between lately.  I had intended to chronicle each event as it happened, but honestly, it just seemed to be stacked one thing upon another, so that I've never had a chance to catch my breath.

In the last year alone I helped organize a baby shower for my son and daughter-in-law, a bridal shower for my daughter, my daughter's bachelorette party, my daughter's wedding, followed shortly thereafter by Christmas crafting, and most recently  my mother's 90th birthday party.  All this on top of three long trips back to South Dakota for funerals, a trip to Indiana for a 100th anniversary church celebration and a (very!) long drive to New Orleans for a nephew's wedding, as well as some much needed home renovation projects.  And did I mention I work full time???  Whew...I get tired all over again just thinking about the past year, which I guess is my way of explaining why posts have been less frequent. 

My latest project had me floored.  Literally. In the same breath that I used to complain about the hideous blue shag carpet in my bedroom and hallway when we moved in to our home eleven years ago, I also commented that the kitchen/dining room floor Had.To.Go.  The parquet design was outdated, and extremely scratched and I couldn't wait to see it go. No, it really wasn't quite this shiny but I struggled to get a decent picture without the "glow".

Well, we all know how projects go...with four children to put through college remodeling often takes a back seat to more pressing priorities.  But once we put the new floor in the living room (replacing the awful green carpet) the contrast between the two floors was really vexing.  We finally were able to make my dream a reality, which meant, of course, that we once again had boxes of flooring in our living room...

as well as appliances spread all over...

but oh my, it was so worth all the inconvenience in the end!

I am a happy woman. I was a happy woman even with dreadful blue shag carpets and parquet linoleum, but the changes do make me smile when I walk in the door after work.  I feel like we have really put our "stamp" on our home and what's not to love about that?

Every time I stepped outside this weekend I was charmed by all the bird songs outside my door.  It gave me a small thrill of pleasure that Wordsworth mentions in his poem.  My wish for you today is that you also find a moment of pleasure and sweet mood, but hopefully they won't bring sad thoughts to mind like they did for the poet!

Lines Written in Early Spring

I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.

Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And ’tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.

The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure:—
But the least motion which they made
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.

The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.

If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature’s holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?