Friday, April 29, 2016

best days

"It is spring again.  The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart." 
- Rainer Maria Rilke 

A best day could contain many different things.  Sometimes sitting on the couch with a good book, a great cup of tea, a purring kitten on my lap, and relative quiet is all it takes to earn that description.  Other days it's being outdoors in the sun with good company where all manner of critters are seen or sometimes only heard in the underbrush and reeds.  A best day can also be taking the time to be creative and productive in my crafty space, turning something imagined into something tangible.  Sometimes it's simply the days when Tim wakes me up with witty comments and keeps them coming all day long, making us both laugh again and again.  (Honestly, even his terrible sheep, pirate, and weather jokes make me laugh too.)

This time of year, I find it's rather easy to have a best day.  Maybe not when a migraine is pressing or sleep was fitful the night before, but spring just has a way of making things....better.  Hopeful.  Invigorating.  Peaceful yet energizing.  Rejuvenating.  Fresh.  It makes me want to hang sheets on a clothesline and walk barefoot in newly green grass.  To stop and smell the proverbial flowers.  To listen to Sidney Bechet on Pandora while getting ready for work.  To spend as much time as possible outdoors feeling the breeze that is at once warm and then suddenly chilly.  To bird watch for hours.  To break free of the bundled-upness of winter to embrace new warmth and all things in bloom.

How do you celebrate spring?

Thursday, April 28, 2016


Tim's classes wrapped up last week, and since it was also his birthday, we went south together to our former stomping grounds for two days.  Of course I wanted to visit one of my favorite spots - Montgomery Place.  Having had an extremely mild winter in upstate New York, a lot of the flowering trees, early flowers, and the stunning magnolia in front of the house had long since bloomed.  However, we did catch the end of the daffodils, the start of the lilacs developing buds, some fiddle heads furled and unfurled, one lone fritillaria that didn't photograph well, pansies pushing up through the cracks in the brickwork, several frogs and toads, and the general splendor of the grounds at large.  Bard College has purchased this historic site somewhat recently.  We are wondering what plans or possible changes are in the making.

Below appears to be a work space leading into the greenhouse.  It's part of a very charming building alongside the formal gardens with a long patinaed gutter and moss-covered roof.  Were it not for the chain across the door clearly meant to keep visitors out, I might have wandered inside and explored further.  It smelled of earth and dried things and old things and stone.  Growing up across the street from a greenhouse / florist has given me a permanent appreciation for places like this.   

the view into the greenhouse next to the formal gardens

What a lovely collection of feathers, baskets, nests, antlers, leaves, dried flowers, stones, etc.  This is definitely my kind of spot.

I was fascinated by these hanging nests.  I've read orioles build this type.
This little window caught my eye as did the wisteria seed pods in the tangle of branches.
The wisteria arbor in full bloom last spring.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016


I've just recently joined Instagram.  Go ahead and roll your eyes.  I'm well aware that not owning a cell phone, choosing not to be on Facebook, and participating in very little in the realm of social media is not the norm these days.  It's just how I roll.  However, some good friends had a beautiful baby boy not long ago, and their activity on Instagram inspired me to join.  (One of my latest finds in the blogoshpere, thanks to Flow magazine, also inspired me to join because her photos and words are pure joy.)

In light of others' photos, I thought I'd share some myself.  Apparently, spring has put a pep in my step and given me some much-needed motivation.

part of a bouquet from Trader Joe's
Examining my thread stash to see if a trip to Joann was in order.  I keep my sewing supplies in a cookie tin, just like my mom  and my grandmother used to do.  My tin has a Muppets motif - Miss Piggy is dressed as a cheerleader on the lid.
part of the Vischer Ferry Nature and Historic Preserve near Clifton Park, NY
Painted turtles sunbathing on logs.  I just learned the group names for turtles - turn, dole, nest or bale. 


Saw this slithering in the shallows.  It stopped and held still so I took several photos.  I later learned it was a northern water snake, a species known to be aggressive.  Yikes.

a view of the towpath one can stroll alongside the waterways

Perhaps this den belongs to the muskrat I saw swimming nearby.  It dove before I could snap its picture, but it was a pleasant sighting nonetheless.

thinking about garage sale season quickly approaching and what new delicate goodies I might find

a collection of garage and estate sale purchases from last year

can't seem to walk by the teacups and saucers without oohing and ahhing...or buying!

my ritual lap bonding with the kitten - we do this pretty much every morning