Monday, August 30, 2010

Days Of Bounty

On Saturday Ken and I drove to Vermont to visit friends in Brattleboro. While we were there they took us to their local farmer's market, the likes of which I have never seen. It was amazing and my photos do not begin to capture the bounty of items for sale, food available, or fresh produce heaped in baskets. Artisans offered their wares in booths that circled a grassy area where people gathered to talk and eat ~

We lunched on Thai food, a BLT made with locally grown products and fresh-baked bread, fresh-squeezed lemonade, and homemade cookies ~

Basket after basket of fresh produce made my mouth water ~

On Sunday I called my friend in town who has offered to share the bounty of her garden. She starts work each spring, hand tilling the soil and adding only natural ingredients for enrichment. This year she constructed a system of hoses she can keep in place, which eases the work of watering. She says that after five years she has the garden she dreamed of. On one side grows garlic, onions, cabbage, squash, cucumbers, and green beans (not seen just off to the left) ~

On the other side grows Swiss chard, kale, beets, potatoes, carrots, and corn (which isn't ready to harvest yet) ~

There is a separate plot for tomatoes, which aren't ready yet either. We came home last night with vegetables to have with dinner every night this week ~
Nothing defines late August better than a harvest of friendship and fresh vegetables.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Half Of It

Half of what I write in my head never sees the light of day. There are several reasons for that:

- Sometimes it's not my story to tell. I promised myself that I would keep the focus on me.

- Sometimes it is my story but others are involved. If I discover upon closer examination that there is no way to leave them out of it, I will not write it here.

- Sometimes I whine. Who likes whining?

- Sometime it's the "same ole story." I am trying to get to the next place, and I will never be able to do that if I keep telling myself the same story. If the same theme keeps repeating itself, it's time to do things differently.

That last reason is why I wanted to see the movie Eat, Pray, Love. I remember when I read the book that Liz found herself in the same place again and again ~ waiting for something to happen, looking for what was missing in her life. I was impressed with her ability to remove herself from her daily life and travel the world, determined to find God and happiness. The book is very much about her internal journey.

The movie brings to life the places Liz visited and the people she met. The scenery is beautiful. I like Julia Roberts, and I enjoyed watching her actions and facial expressions. The vulnerability that Liz felt was obvious on the screen.

Some reviews of the movie have been critical of the emotions that Liz felt and the situations she found herself in. Those reviewers are lucky that they've never felt despair and found themselves praying on the bathroom floor in the middle of the night. Those who are critical are fortunate that they've always known who they are and what their purpose is.

I have a lot of respect for Elizabeth Gilbert's decision to chronicle her journey and share it with the world. It did become a commercial success, but she didn't know that would happen when she started out. For me, the more people I know who have been down this road the more encouraged I am to keep going.

I don't have any plans to travel to Italy, India, or Bali. I don't plan to write a book.

What I do hope to do is share more of my internal journey. Sometimes I keep quiet when I would do well to share what I am feeling and thinking. The last poem I posted was a result of literally being forced out of bed to bring how I was feeling out into the open. After a few more tears and bit more time, I felt better.

My goal is to feel better and better. The journey continues....

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rainy Night

by Sharon

Tiny drops of salty water

Please go.
Leave me be.
I am moving on,
can't you see.

I will not say the words.
That song is not mine to sing.
There is no time for regret,
nor room for memories.

Let go and don't look back,
moving forward is the key.
Forgive, forget, and forge ahead,
surrender every dream.

Time is not mine to hold,
it moves on every plane.
Whereas I am flesh and bone
and tears come down like rain,
but present all the same.

Hold on.

Have heart.

The day will dawn again.

The sun will rise
and light will shine

to clear away the rain.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Take The Cake

The wedding cake was as beautiful as it was delicious - yellow cake with chocolate between the layers that were enveloped in fluffy white icing and topped with delicate sugar flowers of yellow, red, and white ~

I didn't think too much about the tradition of saving the top of the cake because there are friends and relatives of the bride in the Boston area, and I thought one of them would freeze the top portion for later consumption. Then Sunday evening my younger son got a message that asked if Ken and I would take the top of the cake home with us. Okay. We could handle that. Monday morning we were handed a cake box with the top of the cake inside. Here is Ken outside the hotel in a photo of the box on top of our luggage before we head off, on foot, in the direction of the train station ~

I carried the box several blocks and it sat on a bench while we waited for the train. The box rode securely on the luggage rack all the way to Maine. Once we got it home I had to figure out how to preserve it so it would be edible several months from now. So I googled "freezing the top of the wedding cake" and the first link had all the info I needed: freeze the cake, uncovered, for two hours to harden the icing; securely wrap the frozen cake in 3-4 layers of plastic wrap; then place the wrapped cake in a box and wrap the box in 3-4 layers of plastic wrap. It just so happened that I had the perfect box ~ it came from a winery in California and the cake would fit inside ~

The box would fit on a narrow shelf in my side-by-side freezer ~

So we have the top of the wedding cake in our freezer, the farthest place it could be from the newlyweds. My brother-in-law suggested that we ship it to California on dry ice before their first anniversary. I am sure we will figure something out. We always do.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

You Make Me Feel Like Dancing

Months ago Ken and I talked about taking a dance lesson or two before the wedding. In theory it was a good idea. In practice it was next to impossible to find anywhere to pick up a dance lesson in the summertime. The best we could do was a how-to lesson on YouTube. My son and his bride took dance lessons at an Arthur Murray Dance Studio in California, so I hoped he would give me a quick lesson before the big event. As luck would have it, the groom and the groomsmen spent the afternoon before the wedding in our hotel suite. I took advantage of the time together and asked my son to give me a twirl around the coffee table ~

Then Ken and I took a few practice steps. The things we remembered from the video were to stand up straight, smile wide, and look at each other as if we were looking at the most beautiful person in the world. We could do that, and we got a case of the giggles every time ~

At the reception, the only couple we wanted to watch on the dance floor was Peter and Claudia ~

They did a beautiful job, complete with a twirl ~

I heard just before it was my turn that Peter had selected the song What A Wonderful World for our dance. I knew I wouldn't be able to hold it together if I listened to the words, so I focused on Peter. We talked about what a wonderful day it had been, and I told him I knew he was going to be happy. We talked and laughed. There would be time for tears later ~

Ken was slow to take to the dance floor, but once he was warmed up he was raring to go. We haven't danced that much since our own wedding. Somehow my daughter caught us in one of the few moments of the evening when we weren't grinning ear to ear ~

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

First Post-Wedding Post

We are home. It was a wonderful week-end. The wedding was everything that everyone hoped it would be. Several of us captured special moments with candid photos. Two photographers documented the entire wedding day. So there will be many photos to share here and on FaceBook. In the meantime, Leo was glad to see us last evening. The suitcase has been unpacked, and I think he would like us to stay least for awhile.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Aqua And Green

* Shhhh ~ this is still a secret. I think the bride and groom will be too busy to read this in the next few days. If you see them, please don't tell.

** This is still a secret after the wedding. The bride and groom are on their honeymoon but have their laptops with them. Shhhhh....

It has been an interesting couple of weeks. On the one hand I have had things to do to get ready for my son's wedding. On the other hand my duties have been few and I have been removed from most of the action. Still...there have been things to tend to, phone calls to make, emails to send, errands to run, and sewing to do. Months ago I started making a quilt for the soon-to-be newlyweds. Over Christmas I asked my son, in a round-about way, about color schemes and patterns. He's not a fan of flowers and prefers contemporary patterns. I know they both like blue and green. So the search for material began, and I selected nine different fabrics. The center square in each nine-block is a heart pattern ~

And that heart fabric also forms the border on the front and around the solid blue backing ~

I created a pattern unlike anything I've done before, and it's hard to explain without a drawing. Suffice it to say that polka dots and stripes alternate ~

There are a few details to finish before I put it in the mail to California next week. It has been nice to have a project to focus on during these days before the big event. The quilt has put away for now. Tomorrow morning we will board a train to Boston. I have received a lot of support as I have prepared for this weekend ~ thank you. I am taking all of it with me.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

After The Rain

A few weeks ago, when heavy rain carried away a good portion of the mulch on the new steps and the soil surrounding the plants, Ken and I knew we needed to make changes in our landscaping plan. I was disappointed because I wanted the woodsy look of mulch, but it wasn't going to stay put. We took a trip to a home improvement center and discovered a totally new product ~ 16 x 16 inch "pavers" made of recycled rubber, 3/4 inch thick and formed to look like bricks. We left the railroad ties in place and put down a barrier [also made of recycled materials] to keep the soil off the steps. Ken was able to cut the "pavers" to fit with a utility knife. Many bags of sand [for the base] and hours of work later, we had steps that will hold up to the hardest rain. Last evening a thunderstorm moved through and heavy rain followed. This morning the ground was soaked, and the steps were still in place ~

We are a long way from finished with projects in the yard this year, but it feels good to have one area least for now.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Dresses And Shoes

The dresses are finished. The pictures look flat but we are not ready to model them yet. You'll have to wait for wedding pictures. My daughter's is a teal linen with a sheer, teal & green sash. Mine is some-shade-of-green (moss? sage?) brushed satin, which for future reference shows every little thing, even water from a steam iron [at this moment it is ironed, spot-free, and ready to go which means I will not do another thing to it until I don it for the wedding] ~

Now I need opinions about my shoes. The ones I have are the right height, comfortable, and have straps that go around my ankles which give good support. In other words, I can dance all night in these shoes. However, are they dressy enough? Will anyone notice my shoes?

Now I need to get back to work. I have something else to finish and share later this week.'s a surprise.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


This week and next - life is all about wedding details.

Getting the hems even because that can make or break a garment.

Making sure the zippers are in straight because some people will see more of the back of me than the front.

Tacking down the facings so they are flat and leave a smooth finish.

It takes me a long time to do something right, especially when it's something I haven't done in a while. As long as it has taken, each step along the way has come back to me. Sewing is like riding a bike ~ once you know, you never forget how.

I called this evening to confirm all the hotel reservations I am responsible for. I could tell the person on the other end of the phone was impatient, but that was okay because it's her job to answer the phone and my job to ask the questions.

Then I called to confirm plans for the rehearsal dinner. This is the third time I've spoken to the manager and each time she has been courteous and helpful. We talked numbers and table configuration. In the morning I will send an email with our main-course choices. I finally feel assured that plans are set.

I have been through photo albums several times looking for specific photos to display at the reception. It was wonderful to have a reason to look back over years of photos of when the children were little. I saw people I forgot I knew. We had some of the most wonderful times with friends ~ birthday parties, holidays, vacations, outings, and get-togethers.

I have been going to bed late but I have been getting at least five hours sleep at a time. It feels like I dream all night, and there is so much going on in my dreams that I don't remember specifics. No more wine or news after 8:00. I've started taking calcium again and a Chinese herb to help me sleep. I think all of it is helping. After the wedding I will be more consistent with my routine so I know better what is making a difference.

Time online...
Lots of hours at the sewing machine has cut into my time on the computer. Dresses will soon be finished! I miss my daily blog reading & commenting and will soon be back to it.