Thursday, October 4, 2012

My Kitchen Window View: October

I've been piddling around the house, rearranging things, cleaning, and pretending I'm a stay-at-home mom because I'm on fall break from school.  It's been glorious!  Today I updated my kitchen window sill with some branches from my yard and "shopped the house" for a mantel clock I forgot I owned.  Happy October!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Sending My Son to College

It's been 24 days since we moved our son into his college dorm.  I was and am very excited for him, but I was unprepared for my own grieving process.  I started mourning a few days before we left.  I couldn't stop thinking about a little blond toddler who rode toy fire trucks and fell asleep in my lap.  He wouldn't fit in anyone's lap now, but I'd give anything to go back in time when he was three or four.  I loved walking with him, holding his little hand.

The day came to load up two cars to make the trip to his campus.  My main goal for the day was to stay composed enough not to embarrass him in front of his new friends.  The university has a tradition of holding a special worship service of dedication for the freshmen and their families. Parents form a giant circle, the kids (all 550 of them!) are all put in the middle, and we pray over them.  I dreaded this moment for months.  When it came, I looked around at the other mothers dabbing their eyes and sniffling quietly.  I wondered how they could hold it together.  Everything in me wanted to sob in that uncontrollable, gasping for air, ugly crying that matched how I was feeling inside.  I managed to preserve my dignity and not embarrass my boy. 

My solace came in the fact that I spent the last 18 years preparing for this day.  My grief would be very different and much worse if he didn't want to leave home, if he clung to us, or if he had no desire to pursue his God-given potential.  So I pray for him. I putter around in his bedroom trying to clean around his accumulated clutter.  I make menu plans in my head for his first dinner back at home.  I wait for his phone calls and marvel in the immediacy of Skype. I look on Pinterest for "how to mail cookies."  It's really going to be OK.  He's two and half hours away.  Not too bad.  I can do this. Still hurts though...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

New Growth

Grape tomato seedlings in my kitchen windowsill.  To the left is a photo of me with my grandmother in 1965.

My boxwood in an urn.  My urn is looking a little chippy.  I might have to pull out the black spray paint.  Although I sort of like it that way.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Saturday, March 17, 2012

In the Kitchen

This morning I filled the crock pot with vegetables and stew meat.  I decided to not make it a chore like I usually do.  I didn't procrastinate and say "Oh I don't have time to do all that.  We'll have that meal another day."  No, today, I decided to take my time and find some joy in the mundane.

I peeled the carrots first.  The little slivers of peel came off so easily as I slid the blade across the carrots.  It was so pleasing to see the rough exterior give way to bright orange carrot underneath. "What a pretty color," I thought.  After cutting potatoes and onions, I mixed everything with the meat and seasonings, added a can of bright red tomatoes and put the lid on the crock pot and congratulated myself for planning ahead.

I remembered the almost overly ripe strawberries in the refrigerator.  I'd better wash them so we'll eat them today before they spoil.  I took out a fresh cutting board and a clean knife.  How pretty the green leaves were against the red berries.  I almost hated to separate them.  I halved the berries, sprinkled a little sugar on them, put a lid on the bowl, and set them on the table.

We once lived in a town known for its strawberry farms and annual strawberry festival.  I learned there that room temperature berries taste best so I left mine on the table so the sugar could draw out the juices.

Hmm..maybe we need to plan a visit to our former town in May and buy berries directly from the farmers.  Until then there's a little bowl of strawberry goodness shipped from Florida waiting for us on the table.

Friday, March 16, 2012


As I sat down in the "reading chair,"  I noticed the view outside the west-facing windows in the living room.  The silhouettes of the trees formed a stark contrast to the graduated colors of gold and black.  Gold and black?  How odd.  Sunsets are purple, pink, orange, and red.  As the sun set further, I saw purples join with pinks to overwhelm the gold.  I tried to look back down at my book and concentrate on the words, but it was no use.  I just wanted to stare at the window.  The colors were changing every few seconds.  The phone rang.  Phil said "Go look out the front door.  There's a beautiful rainbow.  Then go look out the back door."  The rainbow formed a large arch that seemed to loop over our neighborhood.  What a pretty way to welcome the evening.

It's Thursday, but not just any Thursday.  It's a spring break night and that means we will stay up late watching various mysteries and detective stories from England.  We have so much fun trying to solve the case before the fictional detectives.

So it's been a great day...God-glory viewed right outside my house and God-gifts (my family) nestled together enjoying each other's company.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Blue Willow Bedroom

Here's some inspiration pics of bedrooms I like.
A bedroom by Phoebe Howard, one of my favorite designers.  The convex mirror over the bed, the swing arm lamps,  the blue and white palette (of course!) and the beautiful wood bed all make me swoon.

This pic's been in my inspiration file for years.  I love the mix of blue, white, vintage art, houseplant, and toile.

I love this bed, the contrast of the black and white, and the open casement windows.
They remind me of homes I've visited in Germany. (Been there lots...)

The white matelasse coverlet is soooooooooooooooo purty.
from Melissa Ervin Designs (
A guest room by Phoebe Howard.  Another cool round mirror and great blue fabrics.  Love it...
The lovely Ms. Phoebe Howard herself.  An American classic.