Sunday, October 25, 2020

As A Woman

 

[Harper's Bazaar September 1942]

As a woman, a woman much older than the model above, I have sometimes felt overcome with longing these last seven months.

A longing to get out and shop like she is.

At an antique shop, even at Goodwill.

A longing to go to the hair salon for that polished look that can only be gotten there.

To eat lunch out, to celebrate my son's recent birthday at a good steak restaurant downtown.

To go grocery shopping myself instead of making a list for my husband. 

To shop for pumpkins at the Farmer's Market downtown, for the magnificent eye candy colors as well as for pumpkins.

To see a movie at the theater. 

A longing to talk to strangers waiting in the checkout lane and at the post office.

I don't want to be a cry baby about all this. I do count my blessings. I love being at home with my husband and dachshunds. But sometimes it really gets to me, this longing to be out and among other people. This feeling of isolation that realistically looks like it may be going on for another year.

Yes, we senior citizens have to be kept safe...but safe for when? And what mental and emotional health will we be in by then?

Yes, it could be worse, much worse. It always could be worse but that's never much current comfort.

Don't mind me; I'll light a candle and turn on my music and stop complaining...until another day.


 




 

Friday, October 23, 2020

A Personal Blue

 


Agnes Sligh Turnbull: I love the fall with an intensity I can't explain...I never feel so richly satisfied with life as in autumn months. Today the sky was a deep, personal blue...As though the color had been mixed on a touchable palette by graspable fingers in our own time and space and spread abroad by a smiling Artist who had worked long to achieve just that special blend for our pleasure."

 

This blue sky was given to me yesterday afternoon as I stepped out onto my kitchen porch to take the dachshunds out after their dinner. A gift from the Artist.

Agnes Sligh Turnbull has been a gift to me for many decades.  

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Cather's The Professor's House

 

 
 
 
Somehow I missed The Professor's House when I was reading my way through Willa Cather as a teenager. What can I say after reading it this summer? 
 
I don't think I've ever not been able to put down a book that I liked less
 
Page after page I turned, not being able to stop. The words were beautiful, the characters interesting. I even got through the flashbacks into youthful days of exploring the west. 
 
I loved the Professor! But...but...
 
Oh, well. Here's one paragraph that made me love the Professor:
 
The Professor happened to come home earlier than usual one bright October afternoon. He left the walk and cut across the turf, intending to enter by the open French window, but he paused a moment outside to admire the scene within. The drawing-room was full of autumn flowers, dahlias and wild asters and goldenrod. The red-gold sunlight lay in bright puddles on the thick blue carpet, made hazy aureoles about the stuffed blue chairs. There was, in the room, as he looked through the window, a rich, intense effect of autumn, something that presented October much more sharply and sweetly to him than the coloured maples and the aster-bordered paths by which he had come home. It struck him that the seasons sometimes gain by being brought into painting and into poetry.
 from The Professor's House
by Willa Cather
 
That one paragraph kind of makes the time spent reading this book worth it.  

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Teale's Autumn Across America


 Years ago I got Edwin Way Teale's North with the Spring from the library and devoured it but never went on with the series.

 


 Last month, in a hunger for autumn, I ordered his Autumn Across America and have been luxuriating in the pages as Teale began in Cape Cod to travel all across America to California in search of autumn.

 


 This has been my way of living out my favorite Autumn quote from my Autumn Pinterest board here...

By George Elliot, written October 1, 1841:

Delicious Autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.

 What a wonderful idea! And when I reach California I think I will order Teale's Wandering Through Winter.

I might as well show you more of my bed table...

My Aladdin lamp with the Dogwood shade, one of many Aladdin lamps in our house that were gifts from a dear friend who worked for the company, sits on top of some books to give it height but are also favorite books to look at when I sometimes take everything off the old table to thoroughly polish instead of just dusting. The marble heart was a gift to me from our daughter many years ago.


 She also gifts me each Christmas with a refill for my calendar. Both of us think of each other when we change the page, although she never looks ahead to all the months when she gets hers. I'm not patient enough to do that!


 That's my favorite Tasha Tudor book that is always near at hand since I had a Tasha Tudor moment in Nashville (post here). 

Here are two new pictures for my bedroom art gallery that I found on my one day out this summer, our masks on as they were on everyone else in the antique mall  except for one young blonde woman who was carrying around an extremely heavy large crock. She didn't seem to have a breathing problem so I don't know what her excuse was. Yeah, I'm still ticked off about that but I'm in love with these pictures.


They're quaint and lovely and in the above picture you might can see the windmill in the background. That was enough for me to proclaim these my Dutch pictures. 

And here's something that does help me relax before bed if I remember to rub it on my neck, Young Living's CBD Calm roller. [No, I don't sell it but if you want to know someone who does, email me and I'll put you in contact with my daughter-in-law!]


Goodnight, take a good book to bed with you and sweet Autumn dreams!

 

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Katherine's House

 

 
 
 
 There was a house in the Fall 2010 issue of Country Home magazine that I was besotted with and saved the pages in my Autumn idea file. The house belongs to Katherine Whiteside, garden author.
 
The kitchen has been pinned many times on Pinterest and it drives me crazy that there weren't more pictures of it other than the one on the right, above, and a closeup of a cupboard below on right.
 
 
It must be a small kitchen as Katherine is quoted as saying, "A chef once complimented me by telling me I must be a good cook because I didn't need a lot of counter space."
 
As Katherine also is co-author with Robert Arbor of one of my favorite cookbooks, Joie De Vivre, I suspect she is indeed a very good cook. 
 
There are so many things I love in Katherine's house and ten years have not dimmed my love of it. Her reading corner, left above, with it's gallery of paintings has a south facing window where she forces bulbs in winter. She has a book called, forcing, etc. that I would love to have. 
 
 
Those pumpkin colored walls? I adore them! They remind me of the orange I painted my eldest son's bedroom when he was about five. I have a picture somewhere, must find it. Katherine says that she painted the rooms the colors of sunrise and sunset colors that are so beautiful where she lives and because they compliment complexions.
 
 
 
I am so enamored of her window with the gourds and glass pieces. I have a few big gourds on the front porch and am thinking about bringing them inside so I can enjoy them more. The glass pieces remind me of the top of the vintage cabinets in our son and daughter-in-law's house where she has a gorgeous display of clear glass pieces. 

 
Katherine had been an organic gardener for over 25 years at the time the article was published. 
 
I have to admit that this is one of the few houses I've seen in magazines that I could move in and be happy as a tick on a fat dog. 
 
Touches of orange always make me happy and I was thrilled when I glimpsed a flash of orange outside our kitchen window this morning, snapping a series of pictures, only one of which was not too blurry to recognize as a late visiting monarch butterfly. 
 

 
I hope he/she catches up with the others migrating so far away. Maybe the latest hurricane is throwing them off course. They're so fragile it is a wonder they ever make it to southwestern Mexico. One of God's many miracles.


Wednesday, October 7, 2020

"If in early October..."

 I may need a second day of rest, or semi-rest. Just to ease myself back into what October should be.

By now, when I was younger, it would have been October everywhere I looked.

From the front porch, by the door...

 

 

And by the steps, a dachshund or two always at my side...

 


 

All the way back to the picnic shelter...

 


 

And in every room in the house, including an October tree holding ornaments of the critters of Valley View...

 


Where did the energy go that used to accomplish all that?

 

If in early October one does not feel completely possessed by the spirit of industry, he had better retire immediately to some green and solitary island where food, clothing, shelter and membership dues are not a problem. If one does not abound in energy in mid-autumn, he will be incapable of any action by February first.

          By Abbie Graham

          from Time Off and On

Oh dear, poor February. I'd better eat my Wheaties and get busy. 

  




Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Rest

 


"If you're exhausted, rest." 

Today I followed Jeff Foster's admonition to rest.

I first saw his "Let Yourself Rest" on blog friend Peggy's blog Season-to-Season and the lines reached me and I printed it out. 

But who has time to rest? This morning while dusting the books beside my reading chair in my bedroom as part of this week's attempt to use the Mt. Vernon cleaning method on my bedroom, I found the paper I'd printed out back in April. 

I sat in my old reading chair and read...

"If you don't feel like starting a new project, don't...

"If you don't feel like talking, stay silent. If you're fed up with the news, turn it off. If you want to postpone something until tomorrow, do it."

And....

"If you want to do nothing, let yourself do nothing today."

And so I put my feet up on the hassock and have done nothing.

The dishwasher swished along and the washing machine chugged and the dogs were let in and out and I moved from my bedroom to my office recliner but other than that, I've done nothing. 

After a night of having woken up at midnight and not sleeping again until 4 a.m.,  this day of rest has been welcome.

No television, no music, no reading. Not even much thinking.

And it has been good. 

 

"Time does not always need to be filled."

Thank you, Mr. Foster.