Sunday, March 30, 2014

Some Thoughts on Coffee and Artistic Expression

My car.
 (Okay, not really.)
It is still colder here than I like.  And still windy.  One more day for March to go out like a lamb.
I remember a children's book that showed pictures of kites for March.
Not many kites here.
Too many trees.

We were out and about this weekend.  Hanging around.  Not much seemed to be going on in town. But it was good to go around to Dancing Goats for real cappuccino, and then out for brunch on Sunday.

I must admit I am something of a coffee snob.  I don't mean that I won't drink gas station coffee now and then, I do.  What I mean is, espresso and cappuccino and cafe au lait should not be served in paper cups.  Part of the experience--a big part--is the presentation, the ritual of the presentation: the cup, the saucer, the little doily under the cup, the small spoon, maybe the little pitcher of milk.  Americans just don't get it.
With Americans its all about choice--an excess of choices--flavors, additions, sizes ad nauseam.

Anyway, I loved the murals and the blossoms and this little picture stuck to an electrical box.  People are always putting stuff I love on these electrical boxes.

And then, around in the Buffer Zone, when I went out for a run, I saw that someone had made an addition to Hope's name in the wet cement.

I don't know Hope, but I am guessing she is too young to get this joke.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Blossoms and Wind and Tweedy Professors

I keep thinking I won't have to wear my coat anymore.  I keep thinking, "This is the last time this year I'll be able to wear this sweater dress."  Why would I think such a thing?

Because spring has sprung, of course! This weekend I bought a frame for another raised garden bed.  I bought another blueberry bush.
But that was all.  (Temperance, temperance!)
Today it is blustery and cold.  The wind pushed my car as I drove home from work. A limb just banged on the back porch roof.
Two weeks till spring break.
I try not to count down my life.  I try to savor the days, the little things.  Push exhaustion and frustration aside.
So, while I listen to this wind, I guess I'll make myself another cup of tea and look for the good in my students' papers.  Maybe imagine myself as some worn tweedy professor in an armchair.  Don't tweedy professors love reading student papers?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The One Who Would Nap

This little guy has such a silly name: Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Seems like an insult in a cowboy movie.

When my son was very little, I would bring him home from his half-day school and we would eat a simple lunch together at the table: little sandwiches, baby carrots, and fruit.  Sun splashed across the pine table top and often when we looked out the window, we'd see one of these little guys hopping up the tree, stopping now and then to drill his holes or poke his beak into those already drilled.  When lunch was finished, I'd tell my boy it was time for his nap and he'd go off and lay on his back on his bed.  I might go sing him a little song and off he'd drift.  So sweet.

If he didn't nap, he'd start to nod off while I was making dinner.  He and his older brother would sit side by side on the couch, their short little legs stuck out in front of them, and watch Arthur while I chopped and stirred, boiled and drained, and set the table.  I know every episode of Arthur from those years in the kitchen.  I've actually seen very few episodes with my eyes, but I know them all.  
When my youngest would start to doze, my oldest would call out, "Mom! He's starting to sleep!"  And I would say, "Ice him!"
My oldest would get a piece of ice and put it on my youngest--and I'd call, "Don't sleep yet!  Wait till we after we eat!  It's almost ready!"
Every mother knows this, I think.  The child who falls asleep too early and then wakes at midnight or two a.m. and calls out what seems like 100 times for water or just to tell you one more thing or that he really can't sleep and doesn't know why.
I can't believe we'd "ice him," but it didn't happen often and it was really a kind of jokey activity.  Sometimes just the words "ice him" were enough to keep him awake till I could get the dinner on the table. 
Meanwhile, now, spring is here again.  Cold still, mostly, but springing up.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Busy Days

It was one of those incredibly busy weeks and weekends where everything runs together.  The light burned out in the kitchen and there hasn't been time to get a new bulb.  We've only made short dashes to the store for one or two items and our reserves are depleting.  It's a burning the candle at both ends kind of time.  Hectic.

On Friday I drove out to the country feed store right after work.  I buy rabbit chow in 25 lb. bags because it is much cheaper out there, and more nutritious, than the fare that is offered at city pet stores.  I can also get a whole bale of hay which snugs down just right in the back of my city car.
I love to stop in at the feed store because I never know what I'll see.  Sometimes a little goat or baby bunnies, or--like Friday--heaps of baby chicks!

I was so delighted!  They were all peeping like crazy and swarmed from one end of their bucket or trough to the other when people approached.

On Saturday I got to listen to dozens of teenagers reciting poetry at our regional Poetry Out Loud contest.  So inspiring!  We had to be there at 12:30 and didn't get out until around 5:00.  We were starved!  I usually don't eat like this--cheese burgers and fries and a Coke--but boy!  These were fabulous.
Roasted--much better than boiled

I felt silly taking pictures of this food.
But anyway.
The school day has been extended to make up for lost time due to the snow days, and now the clocks have changed too, so as a result I'm just exhausted.  Maybe this week I'll catch my breath.
(Not likely.  But I'm hoping.)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Clever Announcements and Dark Yarn

Isn't this the coolest wedding announcement?  I just love this kind of thing.  The record sleeve part has a magnet on the back so you can stick it up on the fridge--which we have.
We're steeped in the music biz around here so the marquee is real (you may recognize it if you watch TCM).
So cool.

I have been overwhelmed of late--same old job concerns.  But I've decided to make some changes, meaning leave this work at the end of the year.  It is a frightening thing to do, but we only get one life, and if you are loathing more it than you love, then something is out of balance.  I'm recalibrating here, and it is occupies a lot of my mental space.

Crochet time is my treat to myself--like some people buy lattes or get their nails done.  It 's my time out time, when I can just sit quietly and enjoy luxurious yarn and and watch some creation unfold under my fingers as my brain subconsciously moves through the rhythm of a pattern.  I love the dark color I chose for this shawl.  So different from other things I've made.  Maybe it matches my mood.

Saturday, February 15, 2014


Snow fell in the very early hours of Thursday morning, covering up the ice.  But before I was even out of bed, I could hear the dripping and wash off the roof and down the gutters.
Crocus are rare here.  I think maybe, like tulips, they only flower once because the ground doesn't get cold enough to fuel them.  These yellow blooms were such a pleasure, as were these happy little bird tracks.  Probably Mr. Robin and his wife.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Ice in the ATL

Oh more icy weather!  After the debacle last time with people stuck on the road for hours and children sleeping in schools, the governor and all the schools called off school too early and we sat out for a rainy day yesterday.  The ice only started falling early early this morning.
So--what to do on during this sequester?
Well . . . Stay in pajamas as long as possible without feeling like a total sloth.

Pop up a big bowl of popcorn and finish off another good Sherlock Holmes novella.

 Update my iPod shuffle so not all of the songs are favorites from 2005!

Catch up on some simple paper grading.

Finish that knitting project!

And of course spend hours watching Downton Abbey on DVD which someone (;-)) recently gave me as a gift.

Meanwhile, the ice began to fall in earnest.  It makes a chattery sound, unlike rain or quiet snow.  The ice sticks to itself and potentially makes really big troubles here. Each pine needle on the pines gets coated with ice which then makes the branches very heavy and they break off, crashing through power lines.  Tree crews have difficulty answering all the calls and getting from place to place on the icy roads, so sometimes power can be out for days.  Luckily, that hasn't happened around here.  Yet.  And of course we are hoping it doesn't.
Glazed gate lock



The ice is supposed to turn to snow and fall throughout the night.  I'm guessing school may be closed for the rest of the week.  If not, it will open Friday.  These short little school weeks aren't bad.