August 26, 2013

A day late and a dollar short Sunday Quote

The sky is the daily bread of the eyes. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

August 19, 2013

Sunday Quote

What you seek is seeking you. -Rumi

August 17, 2013

A good white

Behr Soft Breeze was the winning pick. A white paint with the merest hint of pink that softens and gives depth. We ended up with the paint plus primer only as Home Depot did not have our color in eggshell finish in the just plain paint which would have gone on easier (also we had already primed the walls to cover up the previous dark color). Fyi, it goes on like sludge pudding making detail work a bit tough and drips need to be fixed or it dries in big paint raindrops. On the upside, loving the color and so far, the coverage is very nice.

August 16, 2013

Painting

Cannot access any photographs for some time while we renovate. This moving furniture and possessions, scrubbing walls, tearing up carpets, painting...probably the best work out I have had in awhile. Exhausting but empowering, and so much fun to see things start to come together. Picking the paint has been the toughest task. Over 100 shades of white - who knew? Although, some of those taupe or rose shades called white petal or sea shell are seriously just pale pink and tan, not white at all. Stuck some samples up in the wall...a tough call. Might go with Behr's Hushed White but only because my brain is refusing to think much more about it. This is an interesting way to spend a vacation although I think work will seem restful after some of this activity.

August 14, 2013

Pennies

Pulling up the side of the ancient rug in the biggest bedroom and there it is, wedged in the wood, an ancient looking penny. I laugh out loud. I still find them everywhere and usually when I am in a state of in between, going from one mood to another, a time of flux and that trepidation for the next step, or just, like now, so many changes all at once and trying to figure out which rock to step on in the rushing stream, which one won't wobble. I find them when they are needed. I find them waiting for me on a car seat, inbetween rocks at a swimming hole, on the carpet where I have just walked where they were not before. All these years later, they are still there, true directions for me, more sure than any compass. Praise God, I say when I pick them up. And with that small piece of grace that is such a larger act of kindness and reassurance, I can step on to the next rock without fear. Praise God. The original essay I refer to was in two different Chicken Soup for the Soul books...here is a link to it online that someone posted.

August 13, 2013

How to Live, lesson 4003

It's not a group activity. It's what you do or don't do, what you do with your days, your time, to move towards your goals. Choose hourly, daily. It's entirely your deal. Discipline is remembering what you really want.

August 11, 2013

Sunday Quote

Fear not the strangeness you feel. The future has already entered you. It is pulling you through life by your heart. - Martha Beck

August 7, 2013

Time Travel

Picking my son up from an afternoon at the beach which just happened to be one of the beach clubs in the town I grew up in, the very same beach club I spent childhood summers at - and the guy at the entrance shrugs when my husband and I ask if we can go in and find him. Lovely, a surprise jaunt back in time...down the steps, the smell of the sea seems to funnel through the old wooden lockers, still remember how creeped out I was as they had no lights in the little ones way back when...much better the bigger ones with a lightbulb later on. Walk past the old photos of swim teams on the wall, the children smiling up are now adults with children of their own. It was like stepping into an old photograph come to life, so odd yet truly delightful. Seeing this old clothes wringer was like the touchstone to time travel, I remember rinsing off my suit, wringing it out before we went home, this rush of memories. This is the stuff of mythology, of poems and lines in short stories, woven into dreams, bedrock of memory. My Father after work scanning the beach for us, my mother and her thermos of iced or hot coffee, my sister, always the better swimmer, out on a float with friends while I stayed on the beach playing mermaid in the water, nets and little silver fish. What has changed - everything and nothing. Children run the beach, the mommies watch and chat. The beach is so small compared to my memory, the long walk out to the Point not so long, the walkway not so wide. One of the steps down at the Point is gone, a float is moved closer, a different float is gone. Lifeguards don't allow kids in the grass, on the rocks, did they back then? I remember a nook in the rock wall that is gone, I remember sitting there wrapped in a towel when it was raining. Something about it, I can see why I love old French paintings of beach scenes, the very civilized settings where it is almost a still life, a tree here, a bather there, a gazebo, an striped umbrella. My son is unimpressed at the swooning comments of my husband and I, lost in memory. For him it was just a fun day with pals, of course. The rosehips climb the fence and I am in Cape Cod, in Nantucket, at every and any Connecticut beach, the scent of roses and salt, my younger self, my children's younger selves, our lives always tied to the east coast, the Long Island sound, waters off of New York and New England. We walk for the car and the ribbon of memory unties and slips off into the light summer breeze, heading out somewhere in all that blue.

August 4, 2013

The Cloisters on a Sunday

My fabulous daughter took me on a mystery jaunt today - trying to figure out where we might be going I wore sandals but brought sneakers, had bug spray in case a hike, water, money and camera in case shopping thing, and we arrived to my great pleasure at The Cloisters. I have not been there since pregnant with my now 14 year old which was astonishing to consider as it seemed not so long ago. Right away we saw an abandoned staircase leading to nowhere but overgrown grass and mysterious folds of trees - and there was a cat at the bottom looking quite magical like he had been waiting for some story to unfold. We took this, of course, as a good sign and carried on. It was just amazing. We were there for the Unicorn tapestry exhibit - while they have tapestries that remain at the Cloisters, there was the big famous one (here it is in the link) as well as some other amazing art - no photos allowed in the hallway. In the rest of the museum photos were allowed as long as no flash was used - hence these. Always is a good idea to check with the guard in these situations. The guards were wonderful, very helpful, one noticed us trying to find the frog detail in the unicorn tapestry without any luck and pointed it out, another guided us to where the outdoor garden with the quince trees was. It was really so much fun - I dearly love all things medieval (should have stayed with that major in college, Medieval Lit, but no, I wandered off to the siren calls of other lits and have often regretted it...ah, well. Life can't be all Beowulf and mead for everyone, can it? Virginia Woolf ruined it all for me, the brilliance of To The Lighthouse...but I digress. The gardens, in and outside, were wonderful. My daughter found her favorite plant, Deadly Nightshade, among the whimsical poisonous groupings (plants are grouped by medicinal, culinary, poisonous, and just larky fun more or less) and I went so insane over the gardens, the woven branch trellises, the herbs, that I took an alarming amount of photos so I can add some medieval greenery to the garden at home. Just a great day. If I am to be mysteriously swept away, I could not ask for a more pleasing surprise. Thank you, Jessica!

August 1, 2013

The Arrival of the Pod and some Petals

What I have been awaiting with great anticipation - a pod! Not the kind that turns you into an alien creature in your sleep (although I should possibly read the contract more carefully just to be sure) but the kind that lets you trundle your living room furniture into it so you can pull up your impossibly ancient and grotty carpets and have wooden floors that have been in hibernation beneath all these years. While we waited in a light drizzle for the pod to be unloaded by a very efficient man who was working in said drizzle and had to unload a pod at a slant, I kept out of his way by taking photos of my front yard hydrangea...love these last two images the best.