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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Storm Gathers

Clouds come in as the evening falls
Momma bird scolds her young
Treetops sway in the gathering breeze
Knowing soon a storm will come
Rain will fall across the land
Flowers will drink their fill
Creatures will hide in bush and grass
Keeping safe from a soaking chill
I will in my snug home stay
Out of the wet and cold
Dreaming if the vibrant grass to come
And bright flowers petals to unfold.

The view from my favorite deck seat.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Color On A Gloomy Day

Our April showers have spilled into May,
It's chilly, and gloomy and wet,
But still robins sing and there's green on the trees,
And splashes of colorful flowers around,
With such a display through my window each day,
What reason have I to frown?

Lilacs are so pretty!

Spring is such an up and down time. One day it's sunny and warm, the next it's chilly and wet. Yet the landscape steadily awakens after lying dormant in the Winter months. Every day new color is added. Leaves appear on trees seemingly over night; did you ever notice how many shades of green there are in Spring? With increased warmth from the strengthening sun flowers begin to bud and bloom, adding splashes of color- pink, purple, yellow, and pale creamy white. It's dazzling! The angle of the sun changes as it climbs higher in the sky and stays out longer. Even when it's cloudy, you can tell the winter is gone because night falls later in the evening and retreats earlier in the morning. Soon I'll be hearing baby birds squeak-chirp from their nest in a tree near my house, then I'll get to watch as they practice flying first from branch to branch in the tree, then branch to wire, and finally tree to tree and beyond my view. Usually Blue Jays are the ones who nest in this particular tree.
This is the Maple tree where the Jays will nest and raise their family.

I love living here where there is much color and variety of tree, bush, and flower; some planted by us or neighbors, and some by Mother Nature using the wind and birds to plant the seeds of different foliage. It makes for a cheerful view through my window, even on a gloomy, wet day.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter Time

Two little chickie decorations in my bay window.

Easter Rhyme

Did you color boiled eggs?
Did the bunny bring you treats?
Does your heart sing "Allelu
The Lord is risen it is true"?
Enjoy each aspect of this day,
Happy, Bless-ed, Easter Day.

Easter is a time of transformation and renewal. Brown groups of sticks are transformed over night into beautiful splashes of color in the landscape. It's also a chance to have some treats like chocolate bunnies and jelly beans. Be careful there or you'll be transforming your wardrobe by buying larger sized clothes! Haha!

Blooming forsythia in my front yard.

The thing about forsythia is that it reminds me of my mother and childhood. We had a beautiful row of it bordering our back yard between ours and the neighbor's. it's the first thing to bloom, its bright sunny yellow flowers hinting at bright, warm days to come. Mom loved flowers, and the color yellow, it's only natural that this plant should immediately bring her to mind.

This is a shot of some of our trees laden with buds on Easter morning under a beautiful blue sky.

We have many trees here, which is nice for shade in the summer, and great for the birds and squirrels to live in. One of the pleasantest things to do is sit quietly listening to the birds chirp and twitter, and squirrels scolding and scampering through the trees. It's amazing watching them run through the network of branches as they travel tree to tree on a lazy summer afternoon. 

Spring is a time of renewal, time to wake up from the cold winter's slumber and feel reborn; like the trees and flowers, wake up and let your splendor show.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


Seaside Park where Island Beach State Park begins. 2010

I love being near the ocean, It stirs something in me; something about the unharnessed wildness speaks to me. It tells of life hidden under the surface, secrets yet to be discovered, and unrelenting motion. At the same time, I find it soothing. The sounds of waves breaking on the shore, rushing up the sand with foamy edges is a sight and sound that comforts; it's mesmerizing.. I could sit and watch it for hours.

I haven't been down the shore in many years. My husband and I used to go every year in the early spring and again in Autumn when the sun is still golden and warm but the air hints of chilly nights. I love it in the off season when it's too cold for most people. I'm not a sun worshipper, lying on the beach for hours perfecting my tan. I like a little nip in the fresh ocean air as I comb the beach for sea glass and shells. The wind off the water blows the cobwebs from my mind, clearing way for fresh thoughts, and memories to rise to the surface.

My aunt used to live in a shore town and when I was 19 it was there that I retreated for a few days after the break up of a whirlwind relationship that left me hurt and breathlessly wondering where my young life was going. For hours I walked the beach on cold, gray November days contemplating my feelings about everything. I'd return to my aunt's house, red nosed and rosy cheeked to share a pot of tea and confidences. Sage advice and laughter were shared over fragrant steaming cups poured from a large green ceramic teapot in the little shore house which was filled with framed and copious numbers of books on shelves and stacked on tables. It was cozy but not cluttered for such a small space. It was a perfect retreat for figuring things out, and my aunt and uncle comfortable hosts.

One day soon I hope to visit the ocean again, if only for a few short hours. It feeds my soul and clears my thoughts like nothing else can.

Seaside Park, NJ

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Food Scents

Image may contain: food

This is a poem from Facebook that I wrote and posted a couple years ago.  The picture of banana bread is more recent.

Scentsational Sunday!

Apple cinnamon oatmeal and toast scented the morning air,
French onion soup made at lunch-time made everyone feel quite fair,
Banana bread in the afternoon made the whole house smell so good,
The aroma of meatloaf and mashed potatoes promised yummy dinner food,
The day ended with homemade rice pudding scenting the evening time,
I'd have to say this scentsational day was gastronomically divine!

I think there's nothing better than a house full of the scent of good food.  It's part of the reason we love the holidays so much.  The smell of our favorite foods cooking brings back warm memories of family or events that lie dormant until awakened by the heavenly mingling of sweet and savory delights we look forward to enjoying. The feelings evoked by foods cannot be denied. Some, such as those described in the poem above, are the ultimate in comforting.  Cinnamon, onions, baked goods, and meatloaf bring me back to my childhood when the house would be warm in winter and smell of wonderful homemade meals and snacks.  They also bring me the satisfying knowledge that I am capable of filling my own home with the same comforts for my family.  Letting them know that they are loved and cared for.  I can't imagine giving them any greater gift than that.

The rich aroma of coffee brewing brings back so many memories for me.  First there are the memories from childhood and young adulthood when I lay in my bed just off the kitchen, my father getting ready for work to the sound of the percolator, toaster, and eggs cracking for his breakfast.  His gentle voice talking to the dog as they shared bits of toast dipped in coffee from a saucer.  Later in life, the scent of coffee figured in a big way as I worked in a donut shop.  The air was always filled with the smells of coffee brewing and the sweet odor of donuts.  My coat, in winter, always smelled of coffee.  As I grew into adulthood, the smell of coffee in the morning shared over breakfast with my husband on weekends was a staple, and we still share that weekend ritual although now we are more likely to be drinking from take out cups and watching the weekend morning news program in the living room. In the afternoon my daily cup of coffee is a nice pick me up.  No matter what else is going on, if I catch a whiff of  coffee I am almost always calmed and in a better mood.
Today was so warm that I headed out to the back deck with a cup of coffee and a book.  Such a treat in February!

The smell of someone grilling meat outside is another memory inducing scent.  Mostly it happens on weekends, but sometimes on a week night especially in summer, the air is filled with that mouthwatering tang of barbecue.  Memories come flooding in of trips to state parks and roadside grills, backyard parties, lazy weekends, and hamburgers, hot dogs, and toasted marshmallows.  Gas grills are nice for convenience, but give me the old fashioned charcoal and time spent outside with a squirt bottle of water to put down the flames so as not to burn the food as it cooks.  Those are some of the nicest times to remember.

I love the smell of tea; any kind of tea.  English Breakfast is my favorite on week day mornings, and peppermint my favorite before bed.  I just love the scent of a freshly opened box of tea!  Sometimes when I need a little post dinner pick-me-up to get me through kitchen clean up and lunch packing duties I brew a cup of Constant Comment which is an aromatic blend of black tea, orange and spice.  It is a heavenly perfume that I enjoy when I open the little foil packet to place it in my cup to await the magic that happens when boiling water is poured over the teabag. When I was growing up my mother was always a tea drinker and if one of us was sick she brewed us a cup of tea with lots of sugar in it, which was soothing and comforting.  Some of my fondest memories as an adult with my mother involve a cup of hot tea after dinner enjoyed over a game of Scrabble or Rummy at the dining room table.  Whether as a wake up call or a soothing end of the day treat, for me tea is a balm to be enjoyed sip by sip.

                                                   My top three favorite teas that I always keep on hand.

So those are some of the scents that we enjoy at our house.  It makes for such a pleasant, comfortable atmosphere enjoyed by us and anyone who visits.  I hope that your home is filled with delicious aromas every day.