28 February 2010

Eff Off Winter

I am ready to say good bye to this winter.
It was cold.
Sad and dark.
It had its moments.

But I am ready for it to go.

21 February 2010

Tea and Sympathy

I went into the garden and threw a swath of saffron silk over my eigthteenth century potting table. I was thumbing through a first edition Jane Austen when my dearest Stefanie came to call for tea...

Well, no...but I do follow blogs that read like that. Ideal lives, in the garden while the rest of us are thawing out in pilled sweat shirts and tubesocks. Still, I read the idyllic posts because I need someone to be living a content warm life somewhere. However Friday afternoon I was writing a post in my head that did sound a little like that...

I had gone to the school book fair. Parents donate books all year then same tired parents return to scoop up the discarded books of others. I expected loads of paperbacks but was surprised to find many old books and sheet music as well. I took armloads from the very first shelf. I had to drive up while children hauled boxes then loaded the car. For. Thirty. Dollars. Seriously, who gets rid of a field guide?

We brought the books into the library and started going through them. My daughter delighted at a book of quotations which, in turn, delighted me. 

I took the opportunity to show her a rare and unexpected gift I had received from my sister as a kid. The Treasure Chest is a book of quotations I feel in love with when I was close to my daughter's age.

The phone rang. Stefanie was nearby and wanted to come get a box of books (again) that involved a poor book club timing issue on my behalf. She offered to help me out with that. As we sat flipping through these old books Stefanie pulled up {in her MiniCooper which is so her because she would be called Sporty Spice in a diffeent set of circumstances} and she was  bearing a cup of tea.

A hot cup of tea. In a birdie and nest mug. Bird and nest. She knew I had been sick with a cold all week and she knows first hand what is to care for a fading mother. And she knows me.

I do not know if Stefanie really knows what that mug of hot tea meant to me. I settled back inside, sipping tea, perusing old tomes and wrote this post in my head.

I receive that tea and friendship Stefanie. Thank you so much.

16 February 2010

Mrs. Bird Redux

It has been one year and 107 posts since I started my blog. You cannot know how much it and your readership and friendship has meant to me. I was just airing the difficulty of watching my mother fade in an email to my friend Stefanie. Mother's pain is increasing, her weight is now within a single digit of her age, her hair is gone and her nails are starting to come off. I closed the email with "I sound much better on facebook and my blog huh? It is the persona I am hoping to live up to."

This explains how vital this blog has been.

I wanted to honor this one year by replaying a post I really liked. It was posted 11 months ago today. I hope you like it. Thank you for everything. I appreciate you.

I ran across this vial in a large button bag I purchased at an estate sale a year ago. I love this bottle so much. In 1956, a Mrs. Bird was prescribed something to take after meals three times daily. She kept the little bottle and placed buttons in it. I have not opened this bottle. But she surely did. What was in it?

Mrs. Bird may very well have been in the kitchen wearing a wonderful little organza apron, baking cookies and making potato salad for the ladies auxiliary. Maybe she had a bit of dyspepsia from all that dough rolling and such and was taking a little something for that.

Perhaps Mrs. Bird was having a bit of arrhythmia from rheumatic fever she suffered as a child. Though sickly, she had a lovely childhood where her dearest mommie and she would spend time embroidering pillow cases where they would lay their dear heads at night. Wee girl needed quite a lot of sleep, but she was a pistil and didn't let her frailty get her down. She graduated high school and married Mr. Bird just after the war. They were raising their little clutch in their happy little nest known as home.

However, my first thought was that Mrs. Bird was using mother's little helper, something in the diazepam family. Valium, perhaps. Small enough to fit a month's worth in this wee little jar. Maybe she wasn't as gleeful as everyone had hoped over that Hoover for her birthday from Mr. Bird. Maybe all the chirping from those little nestlings running around the house, screaming for their next meal didn't fulfill Mrs. Bird as Better Housekeeping suggested it might.

Maybe Mrs. Bird was in a desperate situation of longing and lust for a neighbor with whom she shared coffee and lingering hugs.

Maybe Mrs. Bird had lost herself in the needs of others and found solace for a few minutes a day writing poetry no one would read. She eventually would throw away the poetry, give up on her dreams and slip into the comfort of what that little jar held.

She outlived everyone of the other ladies in the neighborhood. She buried Mr. Bird, finally, he had gotten so much kinder in his last years, trying to get into Heaven and all. She missed him. She finally gave up all the care giving and gave herself many joyous hours of reading and writing, and needlework, until her fingers could do no more. She teetered around in a garden wild and chaotic with roses and hydrangeas and viburnum. She rocked and thought of the lost years she happily let go. And she fell asleep dreaming of her mother's hands....

13 February 2010

Heart Session No. 8

And she says "I've come to set a twisted thing straight."
And she says "I've come to lighten this dark heart."
~Suzanne Vega

12 February 2010

Heart Session No. 7

To understand any living thing, you must, so to say, creep within and feel the beating of its heart.
~W. Macneile Dixon

11 February 2010

Heart Session No. 6

'Twill make old women young and fresh,

Create new motions of the flesh.

And cause them long for you know what,

If they but taste of chocolate.

~James Wadworth

To those in any state of menopause.

06 February 2010

Heart Session No. 2

Be like the bird that, passing on her flight awhile on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her, and yet sings, knowing that she hath wings.

Victor Hugo

To my bird...

05 February 2010

Heart Session No. 1

Above all things, I hope I have given you a nest and wings...
Robin Thomas

For my precious giggly sparkle belle fairy girl.

04 February 2010

Mimosa Neck Cuff for Haiti

This Mimosa Neck Cuff is available on Haiti by Hand the Etsy site by Rebecca Sower where proceeds from all items go to the relief effort in Haiti so near and dear to Ms. Sower. Her efforts go to training Haitians to make and create, produce and sell their own art.
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