Monday, February 24, 2014

Rainy Day Musings

It has been cold and wet, with a steady, drippy rain -
on the roof, flowing through gutters and woodland streams,
 pitter-pattering as I take my morning walk to feed the birds. 

The recent snow in the mountains is melting from the rain,
filling the creek below with the song of lonely water spirits. 

After a heavy rain, when the night is clear and cold,
we can hear them singing like lost souls, 
echoing in the canyon. 

The mist meets the sky, as I go about my morning chores. 

I stop and listen as I shake rugs over railings.
I hear the Steller Jays already staking out territories for nesting. 

Every year at this time,
 the peaceful co-existence of winter
gives way to the squawking, raucous cries of territorial rights in early spring. 

Birds of all species chase each other back and forth,
 clearing their throats for the announcement of property rights and heirs. 

Northern Flickers join the chorus with loud cries to one another. 

Always on the lookout for danger. 

I hear the hollow, reed tapping sound of the Bald Eagle, with his mimicking entourage of two Ravens. 

 A sound that immediately gets your full attention, so rich and vibrant, a sound meant to carry for very long distances. You can hear this sound in the music of our Native American Peoples.
 A rhythmic, hollow, musical percussion. 
Another territorial warning, perhaps?
A call to a mate? 
Or simply to announce its regal presence? 

Although I have lived in this forest for over 30 years, I still don't know all of its languages. 

Never-the-less, I keep the cats inside. 

Not that Miss Ling Ling would stay outside in that rain. 

She just likes to stand there in the open doorway while I wait for her to decide.

She rushes back inside until the next time.

Ten minutes from now :)

So we stay inside where it is cozy and warm 
and leave the birds to decide for themselves where home might be.

Over the weekend, The Mr. had a bit of plumbing work to do. 

My kitchen faucet suddenly lost pressure. 

 The trusty plumbing wrench was called into duty. 

This was a gift from my Dear Father when we built our home, 30 years ago. 

It was his for many long years before that, given to him by a cherished older brother. 

Sort of a bonding kind of gift......between men. 

Is it possible to dearly love an old wrench?

Afterwards the faucet made this strange, bird-like whistle whenever it was shut off,
which gave us immense pleasure watching the cats react.

They stalked around the kitchen in hunting mode with tails lashing.

The whistling soon stopped once all the air was forced out of the lines.

But we enjoyed it while it lasted.

While the water is once again flowing inside and out, we try to stay dry.

There are signs of spring everywhere, here in our temperate rain forest.

Already, the first harbinger of spring in the forest -
the Osso Berry tree, otherwise known as 'Indian Plum',
 has already sprouted leaves.

But while I wait for nature,
I provide some beauty and cheerfulness of my own
- with grocery store primroses!

For less than $20 I have my own happy garden.

It is warm enough to leave them out during the day, but I carry them inside at night, rack and all.

These dreary last few weeks of winter can drag on, can't they?

I am getting a serious case of cabin fever.

We stay cozy in front of the fire,
with two dogs and two cats
who refuse to go further than through the pet door onto the deck.

I have been trying to keep busy.

Cooking healthy meals,

Organizing - (does that ever end?)

Even doing a bit of sketching on my new kitchen 'desk'.

Something I haven't done since last fall.

Here I have my 'tools of the trade', #2 pencil, vinyl eraser,
 and a (mourning dove) feather to brush away mistakes.

My art chest full of supplies waits nearby.

While we wait for better days, I try to stay focused.

I am working on some sweet botanical crafts to share with you next time,
as I pass these wintry hours until spring returns.

I know someone who can't wait!

'Till then.....

A little poem I wrote -

Mist Floats

Rain drops

Regret Lingers

Wishing you no regrets.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Cozy Cottage

The weather has been unsettled with the forces of nature fighting between Winter and Spring. 

After a deep freeze with sunny,
but very cold temperatures brought down from Canada, 

Miss Spring has been trying to push Old Man Winter aside,

with warmer temperatures, but lots of rain,
straight from the Hawaiian Islands. 

The Old Man is not ready to concede just yet, 

and so he has turned Miss Spring's rain into icy hail. 

With a mighty roar of thunder in case she wasn't listening! 

So while our electricity blinked off and on,
 never going out completely, 

we watched nature's fury unfold. 

Cozy in front of the fire,
 but with two anxious dogs who decided long ago, 
they do not like the voice of thunder. 

Although, the cats - being wiser souls- thought the wet dogs
much more disturbing than any sound of thunder,
and stalked away disgusted with their canine, whimpering cowardice,
 seeking refuge in the quiet master bedroom. 

With the weather outside so frightful,
that left the Mr. an unwitting captive. 

It was the perfect time to corral him into hanging shelves. :) 

I had to take advantage of this unexpected opportunity. 

It just so happened that I went out shopping with daughter Heather, and cousin Shawnee, last weekend. 

We went to Historic, Sumner, WA, with its wonderful downtown of antique and gift shops. 

When I spied these little wire shelves, I couldn't resist.

I have been looking for the perfect shelves to hold my
Spices with Tea Dyed Tags.

It's so convenient to have them right where I can see them.

When I found the second wire shelf,
I knew they would make a great pair. 

This one holds my collection of striped diner cups.
My favorite cups for tea. 

My heart shaped tea infuser (a gift from my Sis-in-law),
 and heart shaped cutter, are ready for tea and cookies. 

It also holds my favorite cookie plate, tea tin, and a spice grater for nutmeg or cinnamon.

I also found this enameled work table. 

It makes the perfect little kitchen desk. 

Someplace to sit and sketch, or do the bills. 

Or hold extra serving dishes when I have the family over.

Having limited square footage requires creative thinking. 

So while Mother Nature's seasons battle outside,
 we stay cozy inside. 

Waiting for Miss Spring to assert herself. 

She self-assuredly smiles with a bit of sunshine,
 melting Old Man Winter's wrath. 

Sending in the singing birds to also melt his heart. 

While I say thanks to my hard working Mr. with a cup of tea and a heart shaped cookie. 

Wishing all of you a glimpse of Spring to warm your hearts, too.


Thank you, Dear Friends, for your visits.

I treasure each and every one of them.

'There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.'

- Linda Grayson -

Friday, February 14, 2014

As Time Goes By

Every Valentine's Day I bake Sweet Heart Sugar Cookies

This is a recipe that was passed down from my Grandmother, Beatrice Euphemie. 

We called her 'Nana Bea'. 

'Bea' was her nickname. 

She passed this recipe down to my Mother, who passed it down to me. 

A recipe from 'The American Everyday Cookbook'

My Grandmother chose this recipe just for me

and I did inherit her original and well worn cookbook with the recipe inside. 

Every year since we have met (we were High School Sweethearts), 

I have made these sweet cookies for my Dear Blue Eyes. 

He has always remembered this special day. 

This is my very first Valentine from him. 

I was in 9th grade. 

He was in 10th. 

With Braces. :) 

We have endured through all of life's offerings. 

As time goes by...... 

He always brings me roses. 

This year with chocolates. 

And movie tickets for tonight. 

And the sweetest of cards.

I cook his favorite meal (Sweet and Sour Chicken with Rice), 

and bake his favorite cookies. 

With coupons xo

I've set a special table for just the two of us. 

Using my Mother's Royal Albert bone china (Lady Carlyle)

for the very first time. 

I wanted  a very special occasion to unpack it for the first time. 

She loved this china and my Father bought her each piece, one at a time, on their own special occasions. 

I always brought my Mother roses on Valentine's Day. 

And a little treasure. 

A sachet, or a pretty dish. 

Or something handmade. 

She kept them all. 

I've added some precious porcelain heart boxes that I have collected over time. 

Some are sweet gifts. 

A tiny sentiment.

 A declaration. 

Waiting for a sweet toast.

(Pomegranate juice and ginger-ale, as we will be driving)

Cupid plays a love song. 

Sweets for the sweet. 

The tiered servers are precious gifts from my Sisters.

An enduring Love's celebration. 

I wish you all a Happy Valentine's Day

Sweet Friends. 

I hope you celebrate this special day with someone you love. 

Valentine's Day is for everyone- 

Friends, Mothers, Children, Grandmothers. 

A celebration of love.


Don't forget to eat something sweet. 

Hugs xoxo

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