Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Local Comforts, Fruit Market Style

"Do small things with great love."
~Mother Theresa

I looked behind me and there she was, just like she use to be, many years ago.  Except that then she usually peeked over my shoulder to gaze at my spelling words or my placement of countries on a map.  And she was allergic to perfume.  I'll never forget that.

Even so, I refused to submit.  I proudly doused myself with the newest Bath and Body Works scent or spritzed Elizabeth Arden's Sunflowers on my wrists before heading off to school.  "I'll blame it on someone else," I always thought to myself.  (proud, proud grin)

While us girls busied ourselves smelling pretty, the mischievous lads took a more auditory route: syncing the alarms on their watches.  I'll never forget the sly glances and smirks of delight that ensued seconds before the witching hour.  Hands would race to cover toothy grins.  Fake coughs and attempts at throat clearing worked to conceal devious delight. And then....beep-beep...beep-beep. It was classic.  Sixth grade craziness in its most pure of forms.

Oh, the memories.

But today, as I turned around from selecting the perfect acorn squash, I met, yet again, the caring gaze of my sixth grade teacher.  No longer was she checking up on my decimal point alignment or gently reminding of the "i before e except after c" rule, but she, too, was choosing ingredients for her evening meal.

Without missing a beat, I became the student and she the teacher.  As we balanced our authentic wicker shopping baskets and dodged customer after customer, we chatted and chatted.  Amazingly enough we covered everything from handgun permits and automated social security payments to baby bunnies and yogurt covered pretzels.  Golly-gee, I bet we stood there and chatted for 40 minutes.

But that's the perk of shopping locally.  Not only do you have the opportunity to buy quality produce from your trusted neighbor, you get to feel welcome and 'at home' while doing so.  Although we took up plenty of space in a store bursting and crammed with freshness, no one seemed to mind.  A plastic shopping cart never banged into our legs and people never gave us unkind looks.  Rather, it proved quite the opposite.  

While we stood there, others joined in our conversation.  Amazingly, one of the school secretaries came in and the three of us ended up discussing the tragedy of technology and the sad loss of beautiful old schools.  Other people politely interrupted us to comment on the "beautiful beans" that overflowed from a wooden crate or to excuse themselves as the reached past us for fresh lettuce or tomatoes.  

Eventually, our conversation came to a close, and off we both went, gathering the items and necessary ingredients to make our healthy and fresh recipes.  As we poked around, we continually bumped into each other, stopping to comment on the numerous treats and about how much we enjoy the Havarti cheese.  Apparently, neither of us can boast of willpower, as we both gazed longingly at the refrigerated case, mouths watering, unable to resist a freshly sliced brick.  

And, since we're teachers- one new-ish and one retired- we couldn't help but comment on the strawberries and how they signaled the coming of summer vacation. 

With that, I added a package to my filled-to-the-brim basket, invited my teacher over for coffee and waltzed outside and into the sunshine.  

Driving home I couldn't stop myself from thinking about what it would be like when the roles switch. As much as I like to trick myself into believing that I've found the fountain of youth, someday...someday, I tell you... I'll be the retired teacher, talking with a previous student, reminiscing and chatting and catching-up on years gone bye.   

Will I ever run into previous students while shopping at the local fruit market?  If so, what will we discuss?  What will they remember about me?  What will be their crazy Mrs. Wheeler memory?

And that, my friends, is part of the joy of shopping locally.
I love the small town life.  I wouldn't change it for anything.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Easter Bunnies

"In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous." 
- Aristotle

Nestled underneath the protective branches of Terrance (the tree in the backyard-- yes, it has a name) and hidden among the lush myrtle lives the sweetest family of baby bunnies.

Just in time for Easter, these darling babies prepare to embark on the most wonderful of lives in this neighborhood.  The grass is green and soft, the flowers grow abundantly and the people are pretty nice, too.  (Most of us don't even mind a nibble or two of our gardens.)

What a perfect miracle.  What perfect little blessings.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sunshine Discovered

"Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul."
~Luther Burbank

Take a walk through our lawn with me, won't you?
I just made a cup of green tea and I'd be more than happy to brew one for you, too.

We'll stroll and shuffle our feet and gaze upon the new blossoms, chatting about the lovely, vibrant colors and the softness of the petals. 

We'll pause to sip our tea, savoring the flavors of fruit and chamomile. And then, before we know it, we'll find ourselves investigating something else- remarking, perhaps, on the yellowish hue or the subtle details that comprise a primrose.

I bet we find ourselves saying that if we could have it our ways, the forsythia would bloom all summer.  After all, it's so darn pretty.

Why, we'll most likely remark about the weather and how glad we are that the sun has decided to emerge.  
We'll comment on how the winter was insanely mild.  And, if we're honest with ourselves, we'll also talk about how much we missed a good old-fashioned, honest-to-goodness blizzard.

All the while, a little puppy will play at our feet.  We'll see squirrels zig-zag across the lawn, over the fence and up the trees.  Robbins will peck at the damp ground and work to gather nesting supplies.

All around us life will emanate.

Beautiful Dichotomy

"Infinite diversity in infinite combinations...
Symbolizing the elements that create truth and beauty."

The planting has commenced.  
Spring is here.

Ground and Sky

Earth and Water

Differences depending on one another.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Oh Little Leprechaun, Where are You?

"As sure as there are leprechauns to make a wish come true, 'tis nothing but the happiest of days I’m wishing you."
~Irish Blessing

I'll take responsibility for this one.  
It was all my fault.

It all started when I told her that today was an extra special day.  
Her interest completely piqued when I told her about wearing green or getting pinched.  
At that point, she was all about the shamrock kerchief.

Precious Little One, she looked everywhere.  

She searched behind every shrub and under every tree, sniffing and investigating all the little nooks and crannies.  I'm pretty sure there was a genuine combination of interest and awe in regards to having a little leprechaun to play with.

She even closed her eyes and counted to ten.  
"Olly Olly Oxen-free!" she declared.


You've just gotta love CT and her over-active, creative imagination.  She gets it honestly.


 “May God grant you always: A sunbeam to warm you, a moonbeam to charm you, a sheltering Angel so nothing can harm you. Laughter to cheer you. Faithful friends near you. And whenever you pray, Heaven to hear you.”
~ Irish Blessing

This morning, as I brewed some green tea (in honor of St. Patrick's Day) this little cloud caught my eye.  It's almost as if it were whispering, "This day will be full of wonderful, just you wait and see."

Without a doubt, 'full of wonderful' describes the day beautifully.

As a matter of fact, the day proved so wonderful, that Charlie currently rests between a blanket- think burrito style- with a pillow acting as a maraschino cherry.  
Blanket-puppy-more blanket-pillow.  Rough life, right? wink

She's exhausted, that tiny tot.  Today marked day one of her spring training.

I started with an early rise and then yoga class, followed by one of my favorite things in the entire world: garden supplies.  I quickly high-tailed it to the greenhouse, picked up some potting soil and some seed packets and a little seed germinating greenhouse thingy.  (Did I just type that?  wow. sad.)

With temperatures reaching into the mid 70s, CT and I spent the day outdoors, planting and walking and exercising and daydreaming.  We pretty much loved every second.  

We began by re-potting the seedlings I had started over the winter.  They had finally outgrown their little aluminum tin and were ready for a more stable growing environment.  We created two little pots of herbs.  One for us, and one for my sweet Mama.

If you have yet to grow your own basil and parsley, I suggest you change your habits immediately.  Life will never be the same.

And already I'm looking forward to the little seedlings this faux greenhouse promises to yield.  How convenient that the entire contraption is able to be reused and/or composted.  
Cheers to saving the Earth.

 Naturally, the seed planting component always stresses me out.  
What if I place them too deep?
What if I put too many seeds in one section?
What if I didn't dig deep enough?

Regardless, I'm going to remain optimistic.  I've seen trees growing out of cement sidewalks, so I'll cross my fingers and trust my amazing estimation skills.

After all that planting, CT and I went for a long walk in the sunshine.  Then, we came home and enjoyed a few chapters of our newest read before jetting over to 862 for a patio picnic and an ice-cream cone run.

I'd also like to point out that my pot of gold came today when my amazing father brought me a St. Patty's Day  hanging basket and washed my car.  

I'm not Irish, but I sure am lucky.
Lucky and Blessed.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Getting Greener

"Green thoughts emerge from some deep source of stillness which the very fact of winter has released."
- Mirabel Osler

Last Sunday Chad-o and I grabbed our gear and embarked on a hiking and fishing adventure.  As he busied himself catching those poor trout, I found myself lost in thought- amazed at the beating heart of nature. 

All around me, life was pulsating, emerging and thriving.

The smallest, yet strongest forms of life were being born.  
Tiny, delicate and fragile, the most minuscule spores of moss prepared to carpet the forest floor.

Ranging in color from bright Kelly green to tender golden yellow, the mosses found within the forest are as unique and beautiful as the numerous races of people that pepper the face of this great globe.

But however different, they all have a softness and strength that is gentle yet formidable, delicate yet intense.

Deep inside the forest, Nature is busy.

The preparations are well underway.

Setting the Stage for Spring

"Blossom by blossom the spring begins."
~Algernon Charles Swinburne

I first spotted this idea in a crafting magazine.  It was cute enough, but the suggested iridescent Easter grass and mega-gigantic pastel bow proved just a little too "Easter-y" for me.  However, the more I studied the idea, the more I found myself liking it.  

 I had to be careful, though.  Many moons ago, when I first became a teacher, I promised myself that I wouldn't, under any circumstances, submit to the typical overly-festive teacher stereotype.  Never would I show up on the first day of school sporting a wooden school bus necklace.  I swore that I'd never wear earrings that hinted at the upcoming holiday or season.  

And then there was this wreath...the wreath just seemed to push the ticky-tacky, festive limit.  

 Gulp. I couldn't help myself.  I had to make it.  Really.  I swear.  

But the good thing is this: where there's a will, there's a way.  

Thankfully, I visualized the original wreath with some slight major changes.  Goodbye bright, primary Easter eggs~ Hello pastel hues.  Adios clingy, shiny Easter grass~ Hola natural-looking Spanish moss.  See-ya later enormous puffy pastel bow with ten zillion loops and puffs~ hi-ya simple burlap knot.

Overall this was insanely simple.  Plus- huge perk- I managed to use the glue-gun without acquiring a medley of third degree burns.  Success on so many levels, right?  
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...