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Steeped in Love

Sitting again at my favorite table, I found myself surrounded by a comforting, rustic elegance. An assortment of teapots resembling a chorus line of dancers lined a wooden shelf as if it were a stage. Each one dressed  more beautifully than the one before, each one vying for the brewers attention. The smell of tea and spices combined with the perfume from the lady next to me and wafted through the air. It smelled familiar, as I took a deep breath and let out a sigh of contentment. An intimate tea room with around 10 tables might seem small to some, but the formal place settings with beautiful linens and delicate tea cups makes it seem spacious and grand. Jenni, the owner, has a way of marrying rustic charm with formal elegance, arousing a sense of pleasure, relaxation and delight all at once. You get the feeling that every day should be celebrated and no occasion is too small to be special. It was closing time now and only a few customers lingered over their meal. Chatter and laught…
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I am Awesome

His hands firmly planted on his hips, his head held high, and his eyes on the prize, Liam marched forward with all the confidence of a seasoned soldier. His mission? To conquer the backyard swing at Grandma and Grandpa's house. My youngest grandson has the whitest hair, the bluest eyes and the most personality you can cram into a three years old body. He has the  incredible ability to take on the world with the unfaltering courage of a super hero. A smile broke across his determined face as he mounted the seat of the plastic, yellow, swing. A few pumps of his legs later, and he was flying through the air and proclaiming to the world, " I...am... awesome...!"  I watched him with amusement from my comfy, purple chair for quite some time. His eyes sparkled in the sunlight as his fine, white, hair rose and fell with each back and forth motion of the swing. From time to time he would shout out again, "I...am...awesome...!" with the same certitude and enthusiasm as t…

Subtle Changes

The days are beautiful and warm, but I am beginning to noticing the subtle signs, almost suggestions that the long, drawn out days of summer will soon dwindle into memories, and the quiet successor of more intimate, but, cooler afternoons is close upon us.  Grey and sometimes foggy mornings cover the thirsty earth before giving way to brilliant afternoons. The sun is waking up a little bit later each day, the geese are beginning to fly overhead, resoundinly announcing their arrival, while brown and golden hues begin creeping into the countryside. The artistry of maple trees are silently preparing for the unveiling of their dazzling display of orange and red hues in just a few weeks time. 
Typically, I crave this nestling in time of making the house all cozy and warm for the autumn. I have to confess though, I have struggled lately, not caring as much as I used to. Wondering what's the purpose of making my bed or decorating  my home, if no body is going to see it? Social distancing …

Mid-week Musing

Until about the seventh grade I had no idea there was any other kind of bread apart from the Wonder Bread I begged my mom to buy at the market. Remember the white, plastic wrapper with yellow, red and blue balloons on the packaging, promising to build your body 12 ways? (Of course I am showing my age here)  I also learned around the same time, thanks to my first Home Economics class, that  the blue plastic-wrapped tube with the little dough character isn't required for making cookies, cake doesn't have to come from the cardboard box with the iconic red spoon, and  Twinkies aren't  a part of the Basic 4 food group. Again, showing my age here, but before my plate, pyramids, and food circles, was The Basic 4 food groups, and before that, the USDA food guide was called the Basic 7.  I  think it was during the reduction from 7 to 4 food groups  that the Twinkies were sadly omitted.  I would soon taste  my very first home made bread, and from that moment on I ended my childish c…

The Healing Shelf

Plunging my hands into the basin of warm, soapy water, I settle in for a few moments of quiet. The kitchen sink often becomes my alter, where I wash away my worries and bring my praises and my heart before the Lord. Sometimes, I use my time there as a great thinking session. It’s a place where I can mull over and ponder the troubles of the world, often questioning my life's purposes and weighing them out against my expectations, doubts and goals. Sometimes I simply daydream, where I build elaborate gardens with grand pathways and delightful wildflower meadows, or open up bakeries with the tastiest of treats, warm beverages and cute, little wrought iron tables and chairs.    Glancing up at the window sill, I smile and greet the line up of  colorful, little jars, each filled with various sorts of living things that need some encouragement or extra love. A pink peony bud that toppled over in the rain was brought in yesterday, and now pokes its head out of an old, glass medicine bottle…

Fail, and Experience the Journey.

This spring, I received some of the best words of proclamation: "You will fail."  I know, they don’t sound like the comforting words you want to find inside a fortune cookie but hear me out.  Like  many others this year, I found the recent months filled with many changes. Unsettling news stories, loved ones losing their jobs, and social distancing left my brain scrambling to process all of this new information and trying to make sense of it. Interestingly,  I began to  noticed that some struggled with the uncertainty of what tomorrow might bring; finding this time to be stressful, lonely and unpredictable. Others seem to come to life. I  watched them flourish, as they ended stressful commutes, long graveyard shifts and dropping babies off at daycare. They instead, began going for walks, playing with their children and eating dinner as a family.  I struggled to keep  my daily routine as normal as possible, so as I  began to sort out information in my head, I also began to so…

Grandpa's Pickles

Wiping the sweat from my face, I glanced again at the directions on the faded pieces of paper neatly unfolded and  placed on my old, wooden, kitchen table. The smell of sugar, vinegar, and spices simmering away on my stovetop transported me back in time almost 30 years, to my grandma and grandpa’s kitchen. The chrome-banded, yellow formica table and the dated yellow vinyl chairs, all sported shiny, metal legs that tapered to the floor. White rubber caps fixed to the end of each leg kept the chairs from  sliding about and scratching the same linoleum that had been there since the 60’s. The top of the table, while always cluttered with notepads, pens, cigarettes, and  boxes of Bugles, always had enough room for a snack and  a good visit. Without fail, anytime you stopped by, you would find coffee in the coffee pot, soda in the back fridge and cookies in the cookie jar. Now, It seems to me that most people become known for something, and my grandparents were no exception. Grandma was kno…