Have yourself a merry little Christmas, make the Yuletide gay.
~Ralph Blane~

Friday, March 27, 2009

Lunch With my Friend


All my woman friends are strong people. My admiration for these wonderful ladies is endless. They are survivors of life. All are in their 50's or 60's and they have all had trials that rival a best selling American novel. I have known most of them for many, many years.

By Sunday of last week my son was doing better and my daughter-in-law was home, so I decided to play hookie and go see my friend C in Sacramento for the day. I had called her and planned a visit a few days before. She lives in a gated complex in what is called The Pocket, near the Sacramento River. It's a beautiful apartment complex with a lake and ducks. She has a small deck that faces the water, lots of trees and the ability to make a small one bedroom apartment into a charming, peaceful and lovely home.
All the shells (in the photos above) are from places that she has lived, mostly the Mendocino Coast, and she always has them tucked on shelves and laying on the edges of her deck railing. To me they are a symbol of my friend "C's" gift of simplicity; the "less is more" quality of her life. She is the master of the beautiful arrangement. She has her own photos(black and white) of places that she has visited, mostly in Europe, that she has elegantly displayed on her walls. Photos of buildings that are old. Amazing architectural forms taken with her focused and visionary eye. Everything is white with shades of serenity and always a touch of blue. I love this home of hers. I envy the simplicity and the "One world at a time" (Thoreau) life that is always wrapped around my friend's existence. She has come from hardship, illness and pain. She lives with determination, bravery and pragmatism. She is a person I can trust to give me hard and honest advise. She is like my "big sister" and we both love good food. So we went to lunch..., a new Japanese Restaurant in downtown Sacramento. Very good food. Came back and sat talking until she had to remind me what time it was.

..., and then there's her new kitten, Maximus(Max for short).

Just so you don't think that C. doesn't have "attachments" I would like you to know that not only does C. have a new cat, but she has a beloved daughter .., and a mother, brother and family who live close by and bring all the concerns that families do to your life.
But back to this new cat. It's still a baby. It's beautiful and it's discovering the world outside. We had so much fun taking pictures of Max, doing his thing. Kittens are so curious and filled with a sense of wonder about everything. Everything they say about cats is true: Independent, transient, "taking a message and calling you back" and totally ignoring you if they choose to. It's all true. But look at this cute creature. C has always had cats. My favorite was Jack, the cat who thought he was a dog, who would follow us through the trails of the Pygmy Forest in Mendocino and discuss politics with us.... Well not really , but you felt like he could.
And now there's Max. Max the little gladiator, the ruler of the deck railing, keeper of the shells and guardian of the realm. Rock on little one. Keep the lions at bay. Keep my friend safe until I see her again.
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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Who's Birthday is it Today?


Happy Birthday little man. Noni and Papa want to wish you a very happy day, filled with happiness.
You're our first grandson. You are very special. From the day you were born you were a package of determination, energy and vulnerability and this makes you who you are..., this wonderful little boy.
We love you so much.

Here is an old, favorite poem just for you...

Where did you come from, baby dear?
Out of the everywhere into here.

Where did you get your eyes so blue?
Out of the sky as I came through.

What makes the light in them sparkle and spin?
Some of the starry spikes left in.

Where did you get that little tear?
I found it waiting when I got here.

What makes your forehead so smooth and high?
A soft hand stroked it as I went by.

What makes your cheek like a warm white rose?
I saw something better than anyone knows.

Whence that three-cornered smile of bliss?
Three angels gave me at once a kiss.

Where did you get this pearly ear?
God spoke, and it came out to hear.

Where did you get those arms and hands?
Love made itself into hooks and bands.

Feet, whence did you come, you darling things?
From the same box as the cherub's wings.

How did they all just come to be you?
God thought about me, and so I grew.

But how did you come to us, you dear?
God thought about you, and so I am here.

George MacDonald (1824-1905)

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Little Bean and the Brush

It's amazing to me..., with all the toys that my grandchildren have, it's the little things they find in a drawer that have so much more value. I guess I shouldn't be so surprised. I'm the same way. Maybe we all are. I go to thrift stores and look for the one, old, inexpensive object that has some mysterious appeal to me. The beautiful spoon or funky vintage knick-knack that only speaks to me.., the dog statue , the cup and saucer, the small McCoy wall pocket with a chip in it. An item that would be overlooked by someone else but when I see it I know that it's something I've got to have. Maybe it's the color or the shape. Maybe the lost art of generations that knew how to crochet, knit or embroider. Something says "Buy me". I know a lot of you understand what I'm saying.
Whatever it is, I understand why my littliest grandson found this wonderful brush; a special acquisition in the back of a drawer that is usually off limits to him. A pretty, easy to hold blushing brush that has soft brown bristles tinged with pink..., that smells good and feels wonderful, even "tickley", when rubbed on the face and hands. With his little two-year old sense of wonder, he had discovered a truly magical gift; a "find" worthy of a temper tantram if someone tried to take it away from him. He told me in his limited, matter of fact English that it was a "boush" and even more by the body language and satisfied look on his sweet little face, that this was his very special "chattel" of the day.
I may have to start Little Bean early in the fine art of thrift store shopping and , of course, share my expertise. Maybe he's got my shopping DNA. Between his Mother and I, he will have excellent training in the fine art of finding a good deal. See that expression in the bottom left photo? He has that " Can you give me a better price?" look already. The " I'm not leaving until we negotiate this deal." look...., that's it. That's the look!... He's a natural. I just know it.
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