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

Friday, May 22, 2009

Cookies for a Good Reason?

I bake cookies for a lot of reasons. Sometimes for no reason at all. Yesterday I baked cookies out of guilt..., for the Prospector.

"Guilt? Why is that Farmlady?" Well, I'm leaving for a whole week, again, and I just thought that I should do something nice for the man who will take care of everything here and hold down the "fort" while I'm gone. This is not to say that I only make cookies when I'm leaving town. I don't need a reason to bake. I bake "Just because" most of the time.
But this time I'm going away for fun and frolic. My sister and I are going to the Art & Soul Retreat in Asilomar, Ca. near Monterey and Carmel. This is a workshop/festival on the grounds of the Asilomar Conference Center right on the Pacific Ocean. It's so amazingly beautiful. I stayed there years ago for a choir festival and have wanted to go back again ever since.

So the cookies are a part of my guilt for leaving; a bit of nervousness about what to expect when we get there; and just plain excitment.

We will be taking a 3 day class from Nina Bagley. It's called Mystorian Necklace & Book Workshop. Nina is a gifted jewelry artist who I have come to know through her Blog: Ornamental. She is an amazing artist and we have always wanted to take a class from her. We are really looking forward to this trip.
Tomorrow I will drive to my sister's house, see Mom and stay overnight. Sunday we will drive to Asilomar and check in. We will be back in Lafayette on Thursday and I will stay there until Saturday or Sunday to visit with Mom and have dinner with my son.

This is going to be so much fun!!!


Cookies: Oatmeal, cranberries and pecan with orange peel. Same recipe as chocolate chip cookies but substitute dried cranberries for choc. chips and pecans for walnuts. Um, um good!


A note: Nina's dog Aspen died last week and she has been very, very sad about losing him. If you could leave a comment to console her I would appreciate it. These creatures are so much a part of our lives and when they leave there is a gate left open for a long time. I just want her to know that no dog will ever take Aspens place but there will be another animal that will need her love..., and love her in return. I know where of I speak.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Vintage Thursday: My Very Own "Old Thing"

I hate to admit it. This is MY book and it's very old. All of you youngsters who love all things older than yourselves should go crazy here. Before Cd's, Ipods, IPhones, computers and even TV, there were a lot of big musical instruments in the homes of the world called PIANOS and if you played the piano you usually had sheet music or books to tell you how to play a song. It was a lot of hard work and you had to take lessons to learn how to play this instrument.
My Mother was very gifted. She had taken lessons for years and could play just about any song that was put in front of her. She could sing like an angel, and since she always wanted to be an Opera singer, a Diva of the Met and La Scala,( this was where the word "DIVA" was originally used), she brought the world of classical and modern music into our home and our lives.

This Golden Songbook was given to me, by my parents, in 1947. I was 3 years old.

My Mom probably sang these to me for the first year or so, but after that I sang every song in this book and I can still sing any one of them, almost for memory. This is the kind of memory that is a priceless gift. Standing next to my mother, learning to read music, watching her hands move gracefully on the keyboard and listening to her voice..., I learned to sing. The memory of all those years and this little song book are so dear to me that even now I feel tears in my eyes and hear the songs in my heart.

Go to Colorado Lady's blog for more Vintage Thursday Things. She is the host of these wonderful Thursday's posts filled with interesting vintage photos and storys that I know you will find very enjoyable.

Click on photos to enlarge them.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

More Than a Moment of Doubt

Some days seem harder than others. You wake up and see the black vultures resting on the fence in your garden. Is this a sign of something or are they just resting from a long night of pillaging? Why would they be here?What do they want and why are they so close to the house?

It makes you want to hide so no one can see you. There is a feeling that no matter where you go or what you do, Life is about to take a sharp turn , a different direction. No matter where you try to hide, this huge alteration will happen anyway and being where you are, with all the protection you think you have, nothing will guarantee safe keeping.

...and then you hear the peeping in the eaves of the front porch. The baby finches are hungry and mommy must be close by. You see the cycle of life in four beautiful baby birds ..., and the sun is shining..., and the buzzards have flown away.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

The Visit continues..., Bean on the move.

After lunch my son and I took the Bean to Wallmart and Papa took a nap. I needed a few things there and it was a "cooler" choice than the park. The temperature was rising and you just don't play in the park in almost 100 degree weather. (That's Noni talking, not the Bean.)
For a few weeks I had seen a sign on the highway that said BOUNCEVILLE and an arrow pointed up the hill near a storage business and some commercial buildings. I didn't pay much attention to this sign because it looked like a "kid" thing and , well, I don't think about "kid" things very much anymore..., until I have a puppy worm grandchild in the house with not much to do and it's 97 degrees outside. This is how we discovered Bounceville. Daddy and the Bean knew about these places. It seems that there is one in Elk Grove called Bounce World and they knew exactly what to do. I didn't have any socks so I just took pictures. You have to have socks to PLAY. Next time I will bring my socks because this is really fun and Noni is not going to miss out . For $7.00 a child (adults are free ) they can run, climb, jump, slide, shout, run into stuff, rest and do it all over again. A tired, worn out parent must have invented this place. What a lifesaver to parents and grandparents.

The Bean came close to collapes and had to rest a few times. But this little kid definitely got his moneys worth. Finally, he stopped and got that glassy eyed look of total fatigue. It was time to go home.

As we drove back down to our house a squirrel decided to play "outrun the car" with us. He was running ahead of us, in front of the car. His little legs were moving so fast that it looked like an old silent movie and my son and I started laughing . The Bean, from the back seat says.."What you laughing about?" He could'nt see the silly squirrel and I said.." There's a squirrel in front of us. He's running straight ahead and doesn't know he should go off to the side of the road and up a tree." The Bean said.." You don't run over him."( this was not a question. It was a command ) and I said.."Oh no Bean. We would never do that. It's just funny to watch.", and in his typical, serious response, he quietly said.."OK."

At home he played in the sprinkler and watered EVERYTHING with his cool firehose (a toy you connect to a hose). The Prospector and our son sat in the shade discussing the ecomony and house prices and jobs etc. I stood in the sprinkler and took pictures and made sure that the bird house in the tree above the lawn (with baby birds in it and an unhappy mother Finch complaining from the fence) didn't get sprayed with water.
Finally after a snack and a quiet book reading on Noni's bed, the Bean and his Daddy packed up and drove back down to their home in Elk Grove.
"Come up again soon, Bean. Next time bring Mommy and your brother too. We love you."

We went out to dinner with some friends that night. Had a lovely time. Came home and went to bed early. Gee, I wonder why?

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Bean and his Daddy came to visit

We got a phone call early yesterday. It was our son, down in Elk Grove, and he wanted to know if he and the Bean could come up for the day and visit. Mommy and Baby Bean were going to do some intensive potty training and wanted a little less activity around the house. Of course, I said "Come on up."
When they arrived, after the hugs and kisses, the Bean said he wanted to go down to the "veg'able garden" and pick the "ta-matos". "Oh Bean", I said, "The tomatoes are just little plants right now. They don't have tomatoes on them yet." He thought about this and said..." Well, Noni, we can go see. Do they need water?"
Then I remembered the little gourd seedlings that I hadn't finished planting and asked him if he wanted to help me plant them. "OK." he said. ( He's a man of few words, like his father. I love this.)
We got the little gourd seedlings and a couple of "diggers", the hose and MY CAMERA.
"Smile Bean". and he did. I took a few pictures and then (top right)..., the LOOK; as if to say..., Enough with the camera, Noni. I'm waiting to dig and plant stuff.
So I handed the camera to my son and the Bean and I planted the little seedlings.

..., and then came the best part: WATER. If there was one thing in this world that little boys agree on, it would be that water and dirt are the most wonderful combination in the whole world. My grandson is a MUD connoisseur, a prodigy of the art of blending and mixing. Give him a spot of dirt and some water and this boy is in his element.
"Did you water each little plant, Bean?"..., "Yes." he says. "I need to wash my fingers first. " I watch him play, with total attention to the task... " Be sure each plant gets soaked really good."... "OK." he says. Then the hand goes into the mud and more water is added. He never looks up. He is one with the mud. My DNA, my mothers DNA and my grandmother too have found a host in this grandchild of mine. We will work on the finer points.

I want you to look at the position that he's in. It's 90 degrees, no shade anywhere nearby, I'm sweating like a racehorse and sitting down on the edge of the raised vegetable bed looking at this little boy..., squatting ON his feet, rear end NOT touching the ground, knees up to his chin.., watering and playing for at least 15 minutes. Try that position, folks... Bet ya can't do it.
What happens to our agility? When did the squatting stop? Reality hit hard: No more camping without a porta potty. Squatting in the woods is gone forever. I might fall backwards and never get up. The mental picture was ugly. Where was I going with this......
It was just a moment of stark reality. a vision of how far I am from the agility of my childhood. It just came and went in a split second. I'm OK now. I'm older than yesterday, but I'm OK... Crap!

Tomorrow: The Bean in Bounce World.
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