Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems. ~Rainer Maria Rilke

Saturday, February 28, 2009

A lovely day spent with an old friend.

We have had a couple of beautiful days of sunshine, big fluffy clouds and mild, warm weather. The flowering pear tree is blooming, the lavender is coming to life, and the daffodils are blooming. The tulips are pushing up through the dirt in my pots and the Muscari (or grape hyacinth) is spiking its beautiful, bright blue fowers through clumps of green grassy leaves. Spring is "bustin' out all over".

My friend Karen invited me to her house, in Ione, for lunch yesterday. It was a perfect day. The weather , as I said, was lovely. I haven't seen Karen for quite a while because of my busy-ness in the bay area and because Karen has had a lot of sickness which I have talked about before. She has had way more to bear than most folks and is in an on going struggle to stay well. Yesterday was our opportunity to get together and celebrate our birthdays and spend the afternoon just talking and laughing about our lives.

Karen looked great! and she was feeling really good. It was nice to see her this way because she has been so sick, off and on, for so many years. She didn't think she would make it into her 50's and 60's, but Thursday was her 64th birthday and ..,Karen, my friend, you have weathered many storms in your life but you are a much stronger person than you think you are. You have fortitude and an inner strength that fights all the demons and gets you through the hardest times. I know that you give all the credit to God, but I believe that this strength is only given when God sees our resolve to keep trying , to always make an effort.., and you do. I was so happy to celebrate your 64th birthday with you. The lunch was delicious and your home was, and always is, lovely. Thank you for the belated birthday present. It was not necessary but just charming. I will tell everyone about it next Wednesday. Thank you for everything. I wish you many more birthdays and I love you.
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Friday, February 27, 2009

Tornado Alley

A few days ago I went over to see my friend J who lives in a wonderful old victorian in town. We went out to lunch, bought Starbucks and came back to her place. This is her back door. Isn't this wonderful? This is the photo (above) I took at Christmas, so on Tuesday there was not any Poinsettia or Christmas decor hanging on the door.., but it was just as charming all the same.
If you will remember I did a Wordless Wednesday post on J's new kittens, Kansas and Twister, in early December. Well here they are, again, only they're teenagers now. They have turned into bigger, funnier bundles of energy. Kansas, (above) is not exactly the leader of the pack, but he can stare at you with those spooky blue eyes until you say "I give" and look away. I think he became a little annoyed at me for sticking the camera in his face all the time.He believes that "retreat" is the best stragedy when your not sure what's going to happen next. He follows Twister's lead and runs around for a while, then he lies down for a short rest in a sunny spot. He's a handsome dude and he knows it.

Twister, on the other hand is definitely the Boss. Ruler of her own kingdom. and master of mischief. Everything is a curiousity and everything has to be examined. Everything. Twister is , like her name, a tornado. She flies through the house and attacks anything, Bungee jumping off the stair landing without a cord. Waiting and pouncing; practicing for the day when she will confront all the wild felines of Amador County. Her eyes are filled with expectation and reflect a sense of wonder about the world she lives in. She is, in short, a mover and a shaker. I think I saw her drinking the Starbucks.

Not having had cats for a long time, I forgot how kittens and young cats can act. They are really funny, and even thought they are driving J crazy, she loves them. But then, she is a CAT PERSON. She understands them; although my guess is that they may be "outdoor" cats by summer. She is even training them to come to her when she whistles. They get a fishy treat if they come. It works. Maybe she could train them to use the toilet next. I hear it can be done.

Thanks for a fun day "J". We had a good time and I love those kittys. Please click on the pictures of Kansas and Twister for a close up of these two little rascals.

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Vintage Thursday; Simple and Practical Lovelies

These three little pitchers are just wonderful for cream, hot syrup or melted butter etc. They're small ( each is about 5" ) and come in a variety of shapes and colors.
They don't take up that much space and they are not expensive. I'm showing the bottom of the green one because it's got this cute little bird on it and also, because I want to show you that everything that has "U.S.A." on it is not McCoy. I have seen lots of people selling things on Ebay and saying that they think it's a McCoy because it has U.S.A. in the bottom. Some McCoy did have just a U.S.A. mark on the bottom , especially during the 40's, but so did other pottery. Just a heads up so you don't buy something that you think is a "real McCoy" and then find out it's not. This little pitcher is not a McCoy.
The last photo is of two glass syrup containers and a glass sugar keeper. I love glass containers with the plastic or lucite tops in different colors. The small one with the green top could be used for sugar too, but I think liquid would work better. I have no book on these pieces and my knowledge is limited, but I think they are pretty and useful.
When I was growing up my mother always put syrup, butter and sugar etc. in pretty containers like this on the table. No tubs, boxes or cans from the store were ever a part of a "set" table no matter how busy she was. This was who my Mom was and how she did things. It was also the 50's when the home was a place to be proud of and, being a "stay at home" Mom was a career. We always had dinner in the "dining room" and not in the kitchen. It was a time to talk and share our day with each other. Sunday breakfast was special and syrup was warmed in a pitcher to pour over homemade pancakes.
Life has changed and women are busier now. It's hard to find time for the little amenities that make life more beautiful, but there are still things that we can do to make our life a bit more special, even if it's just pouring milk into a glass pitcher and setting it on the table. Try one thing. A simple thing that someone will remember. Make a memory.

Go to coloradolady.blogspot.com for more vintage goodies and...,

I want to wish my friend Karen a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY.
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Monday, February 23, 2009

It's the Dog's Fault

It's raining. The wind is blowing. I didn't want to take a walk in the woods when the weather is so squirrely. I went down town yesterday so I didn't need to go today. I couldn't work in the garden. The prospector was gone all morning. The garage is too cold to work on gourds and the laundry is done. So..., against my better weight watching judgement, I made some chocolate chip cookies. Yep! I just made a management decision and I did it. With the help of my trusty canine companion (please notice the tongue), I threw a batch together, baked them and ate some cookie dough in the process. I just threw caution to the wind.
This is the recipe and a very good one. It's always on the back of the Nestle's chocolate chip bag, large or small. I like to add a cup of "quick" oatmeal ( you know; the kind that makes soggy oatmeal but you bought it accidently instead of the regular kind and you have to do something with it.) and only 2 cups of flour. This time I used pecans instead of walnuts. The rest is up to you. I'm not a gormet cook. I like to keep it simple.

The big bag of chocolate chips was purchased at Costco. I can't remember how much it was but I know that this 72 oz. package is a lot less expensive than buying the smaller bags at our grocery store. I haven't priced the generic brands, just Nestle's.
You can't see it in the picture but I opened the wrong end. Didn't even notice that there was a NEW way of opening the bag with a "press to close" seal across it. Good grief! Life is just one "new" thing after the other. Can't they just leave things alone. We old people don't like change, especially when it makes us look senile.

Ok, I guess you're all wondering why I would bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies when I'm on Weight Watchers. Well..,

..., Moke told me to do it. It's all his fault.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Well..., what can I say. We do tend to spoil our dogs around here. We have no excuses. This couch has been taken over by our canine companions and we let it happen.
But look at him. How could I tell him to go lay somewhere else just because I want to sip my coffee and read my book at THAT end of the sofa; the end with the reading light and the pillow.
Ok Moke! You don't have to rub it in my face. I know your the man. Sweet dreams dogface!
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