Tuesday, April 28, 2009
~ Corazon Aquino
We're inside now, Charlie T. and I, and we're fully enjoying this evening storm. Won't you join us as we sip raspberry sangria tea, read magazines, and listen to the plip-plop of the raindrops?
As the storm approached, Little Peep and I took a stroll through the lawn. We noticed some of the bushes, shrubs, and trees beginning to show some signs of life. Ever the adventurous ones, we took off with the camera, in full hopes of capturing these blooming delights before their warm springtime shower.
We came across this little guy. How he managed to settle in along the sidewalk, we have no idea. But, we're glad he did. Even if he's the only one, he's pretty sweet and a welcome addition to the habitat on Dott Avenue. Against the stormy sky, he almost looks as if he's glowing. Or, perhaps he's just happy to share a pad with us.
As if begging for a drink, the Sand Cherries turned up their tiny faces, smiling at the sky and showing their lovely delicate petals. It's amazing how beautiful they are if one takes the time to truly study their intricate features. Sand Cherries- it's good to see you again.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Tucked away at the junction of the Youghiogheny River, the Casselman River, and Laurel Hill Creek is the tiny, quiet town of Confluence. It's beyond special to me for many reasons, and as soon as I cross the "whistle bridge," as we so affectionately named it many moons ago, I am filled with a sense of peace and calm. Someday, I just might live there.
Today, was the seasonal opening of my favorite restaurant, The River's Edge Cafe. If a more serene place exists, I'd love to see it. Do yourself a favor and take a weekend jaunt to this historic town. I promise that you will be greeted with beautifully crafted homes (some in need of much love), welcoming bed and breakfasts, down to earth people, natural, old-fashioned landscaping, and the best sweet potato fries you'll ever eat.
If you're extra kind, and bring along your own loaf of stale bread, it's quite possible you'll make friends with one of the many delightful duckies that patrol the river. They quickly befriend those toting any type of carbohydrate treat.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Therefore, according to my calculations, chamomile seeds germinate in 3 short days. Amazing. I need to plant more, as they are quite kind to my gardening ego.
Along with the chamomile, I also planted seeds for basil, chives, thyme, and rosemary. From what I've read, it's more difficult to grow herbs from seed, but naturally, I have chosen the path of most resistance. Wish me luck.
Monday, April 20, 2009
I bought this interesting plant as a gift for me on St. Patrick's Day. Nothing quite as classy as buying yourself a present, huh?
It just so happens that I'm completely and totally in love with my purple shamrock plant. It sits, quietly perched, on the kitchen counter and never utters a word when I sneak chocolate chips from the baking cupboard, or gummy bears from the candy drawer. She's a marvelous secret-keeper...
Every now and then, she yields the prettiest white flowers. The contrasting colors prove quite stunning and make me love her that much more.
Good night, dear shamrock plant. I heart you.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
And of course, there's the hosta, slowly poking through the damp soil.
Yes-sir-ree. The yard at 403 is a happening place, full of quiet activity.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Oh Spring, Oh Spring, where art thou? It would be really nice to see your sweet, warm face and feel the gentle breeze blow through the air. I'd love to start taking afternoon walks with the puppy, or enjoy an evening stroll with my honey pie.
But, alas, winter continues to hold my flippies and shorts and little seedlings hostage. How they would relish the opportunity to venture out of stuffy closets, tightly packed drawers, and makeshift greenhouses. Shine sun, shine- You can do it!
No, I'm not hopelessly in love with Spring. I'm just in the mood for a change of pace. Plus, these pussy willows are so looking forward to being firmly planted in a sunny outdoor location. Although peaceful and content on the shelf above my desk, they are excited for a more organic home. They are ready. They told me so today.
What do ya say, Mr. Golden? Will you come out and play? (pretty please, with a cherry on top)
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
It's a dreary day and it also happens to be the last day of Easter vacation. Charlie T. and I decided it would be a perfect day for knitting. We've been cuddled up and knitting this curly whirly scarf for the past few hours.
I have a thing for scarves. Actually, I have an entire drawer in my dresser devoted to them. The drawer has become so full that my closet now has numerous ones draped over hangers or hiding out under winter coats.
I think it's still raining or drizzling or misting. Whatever it's doing outside doesn't really matter. We're quite cozy in here-- drinking coffee and knitting like grannies.
Yesterday, my mama and I enjoyed a day out. We visited some of our favorite haunts, but spent hours at Kathy's Kreations in Ligonier where we were enveloped into a world of yarns and wonder. Looking at the cute little puppy in the above photo, you'd never imagine that she'd sneak into my knitting bag and chew my bamboo needles. No. Not a chance. Not her. (wink*)
Imagine my happiness and surprise when I found a used bin of knitting needles in search of a new home! And, to make matters even better, they were only 50 cents a pair. Lucky me!
Monday, April 13, 2009
~Virginia Woolf, The Diary of Virginia Woolf, 1927.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Naturally, there were a few errands, but it was rejuvenating to cross them off my list. Plus, now I officially do not lead a double life. Finally, after 9 months of marriage, I went to the Social Security office and changed my name. I guess there was a small part of me just couldn't imagine being someone else.
I also made a completely random stop at the Erbe Shoppe. I only wish you could go. The place is so quaint and charming and makes you want to move to a cottage in the woods where you can plant your own garden, admire your flowers, sip tea on a shady porch, and cook all your meals using organic, homegrown goodies.
The shoppe is quite tiny, really. It's probably not any bigger than your bedroom. However, it's stuffed to the gills with all kinds of herbal treats; loose teas, handmade,natural soaps, essential oils, baggies of fresh herbs, books, jellies and jams, coffees, and tons of cute trinkets.
Plus, I met the kindest, most interesting man. He's a lawyer uptown. Apparently he visits the little shop everyday for a cup of tea and some conversation with the owner, Ann. He walked all around the store with me, pointing out this and that, suggesting his favorite teas, and talking about life. I really enjoy being around people like that. Real, honest, kind people. People without an agenda. People who can loose themselves in the art of conversation. So rare these days, don't you think?
While talking, exchanging stories, and choosing teas, the squawking and tweeting of some nearby birds caused a mild disturbance. The three of us (me, the owner, and my new pal) went outside to investigate. Above the door, directly under the sign, a mama bird was tending to and nurturing her eggs.
The owner went on to inform us that this bird has been making her home above the bay leaves and under then sign for more than five years. None of us could identify the species of our feathered friend, but found her to be highly entertaining to watch and listen to.
It was a good day. I picked up a few new teas, purchased two vanilla beans (one for the sugar dish and one to make extract with), found some nifty soaps, sampled a remarkably delicious bar of Belgium dark chocolate, and enjoyed some simple and refreshing conversation with two of the nicest people.
Then, I got in my rickety red car and went for a drive. I took this picture while cruising along a road in Zehnerville. Isn't it just a lovely day (grin)?
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
The greenhouse proved an invigorating stop. I could have spent hours browsing the isles and hundreds of dollars on seeds, hanging baskets, and the gorgeous hydrangeas. They honestly were perfect...so perfect they looked artificial.... (I would have photographed them, but people were already looking at me strangely. I was balancing three plants, a purple shamrock, and attempting to steady my camera. Obviously, I was not your typical flower shopper...)
Even the boys have been bitten. They pick at the girls and make fun of Edward and Jacob, but the funny thing is they actually know about them and haven't even read the books.
For better or worse, they are subject to constant chatter about Edward and his silver Volvo, Jacob and Bella's time at LaPush, and the ever present battle about who is hotter: Jasper or Emmet. It's honestly hilarious to listen to. I wish you could hear it. I always jump into the conversation, adding my two cents and stirring the pot.
Monday morning brought many jealous girls as two of my students started off the week with Twilight tote bags. They proudly carried their notebooks and folders into room 11 in style. The envy was apparent as the other girls flocked to check out the new goods. Naturally, they all plan to get their own this weekend.
Since Monday we have started a Twilight collection in the room. We are making a collage of Twilight memorabilia. We have pictures, magazine articles and photos, t-shirts, tote bags, computer printouts, bookmarkers etc. I revel in the excitement-- they are talking about books!
When I think about all the children that have borrowed and read and enjoyed and passed my book on to the next student, I just couldn't be happier. I find true delight when I look at a book and it shows wear and tear.
I glance around my classroom at the numerous copies of Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn and observe the ripped covers, curled pages, and cracked spines. I don't mind one bit.
This means they have been read. This means they have been loved.
(The above photos were taken in my classroom on Monday afternoon, as we attempted to make a quick collection of all items Twilight. I tried my best to capture the tote-bags, the aforementioned coveted accessory.)