Summertime, summertime, sum, sum, summertime!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Fresh air, a gently falling snowflake, the cooing of a mourning dove ~

Last night when I came out of work and breathed in my first inhalation of fresh air I took notice more than usual.  The night was dark black, instead of moonlit.  It was quiet, peaceful and the air was soft and cool against my face.  Snowflakes were falling soundlessly and gently to the ground.  I looked up into the sky to appreciate their beauty.  I delighted in the magnificence of God's creation of the seasons.  I know the snow can be a deterent.  To some, it can be messy,  tinged with street dirt then yucky in appearance, slippery and exertive.  I never tire of it.  I continually feel excitement and refreshed in it's presence.  Maybe the fact that I was born in winter has something to do with it.  Last night and  earlier this morning, I paused to embrace it.  It's as much a part of me as God who created it.  The confetti to my life's celebration in description.
When I was in third grade, I remember the bell ringing for us children to come in from recesss.  The day was hot and humid. After playing with zeel we were flushed, thirsty and in definate need of cooling restful comfort.  We were granted a quick trip to the drinking fountain and after taking in as many gulps as we could during our turn we were instructed to put our head down on our desks when we returned.  Our teacher knew too well what to do to soothe us into subtle submission to gain a re-newed burst of energy to finish the day with attentive wills.  She put on a record of an orchestra that portrayed a walk in the woods.  By it's rhythms and selected  instruments you could sense the heat of the day before entering the woods and gradually the melody  began to exude a more mellow rhythm.  You could begin to feel the soft, cool moss beneath your feet and the sound of the babbling brook in the distance, was so refreshing.  Some classmates even fell asleep.  It left such an impression on me of the ability in offering gentle soothing beauty of nature to lend a helping hand to another to comfort them.   I didn't want to forget that concept or her, Miss Wenger, for presenting it to us as a unique and creative respite from the heat of that day.  The windows were open but no breeze was circulating.  We weren't allowed to have electric fans, and yet what transpired was devine.

Beautiful!, yes?

The above mandala reminds me of the coloring and soft uniform layering of the mourning dove's feathers.
A lovely snowflake design using a cloud formation image.

I think the above mandala is a most wonderful artist rendition of a snowflake and what can be done with an empty wine bottle that could have easily ended up in a landfill or along the road in a ditch or alley somewhere in anytown, USA.  An amazingly talented artist in thought and ability.
Do you know what a mandala is?  It's a design usually forming a circle or square.  It means "sacred circle".   I first learned of them in an art class in college as a form of therapy that could be used to assist individuals in a healing process.  Mandalas are symbols of balance, peace, harmony and oneness.  The mandala expresses itself in nature in snowflakes, flower blossoms, etc.  Carl Jung saw the mandala as a powerful tool towards personal understanding and growth.  The mandala can be a representation of an individual's subconscious.  I'm not a follower of buddhist religion or meditation but my appreciation and love of art allows the mandala to express my thoughts today in an organized visual  of the ephemera I feel in acknowledging my love of fresh air, a gentle falling snowflake, the cooing of a mourning dove and my state of peace, happiness and harmony in it, while I have it.
What ever triggers your senses with a nudge to stop for a moment, to take it in, to feel the gentle peace of it, to embrace it; to appreciate it and to be thankful to God for it shouln't be ignored.  For it is pure beauty and comfort that would be missed.

Thanks to the fine artisans of Etsy at whose fabulous creations of nature helped to make visible my thoughts.
Mourning Dove in Snow by Nature Mandalas, Midcoast, Maine.  Allison Trentelman of Rocky Top Studio
Pine Tree Needle Mandala - Cleveland, Ohio of Playnature
Subtle Waters Mandala - Vleveland, Ohio of Playnature
Mandala snowflake window art, recycled wine bottle by trilobiteglassworks Rockville, Maryland
A beautiful snowy photo by a favorite fellow blogger, Pat, of backporchmusings from Missouri.
I purchased some photos, cards, crocheted hearts, etc. from Etsy vendors and plan to use them in grouping with a little heart made by P.J. Hummelt and given to me while on a visit to Portland, OR.  I'll show results of that piece in the future.  I can always find something I love at this site and I love sharing the things that I find and peg as my favorites.  Hopefully, they will inspire you to great thoughts, ideas and transformations! :)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Brownie Smile :)

It's that time of year!
Girl Scout cookies are going on sale everywhere!  Neatly displayed tables set up by members and their leaders at the malls, grocery stores and such.  Via family members and friends or neighbors, the girls are knocking on neighborhood doors with order forms and pencils ready to take your order writing in their young expertise.  Their main sales strategy is a smile and "Would you like..." they need not say more as I'm ready to buy none less than  3-4 boxes at a time. 
Scouting is a worth while organization aiding to teach girls values, skills, and socialization as well as focus on projects to benefit their family, troop, community and personal growth.
The day today is cloudy, misty wet and the outdoors is filled with dirty sandy, salty melting snow.  It's heart warming inside to look over some of my Brownie memorabilia.  A pin, a few badges, my brownie hand book and remember the fun I had in a troop in my neighborhood when I was in second grade.  We focused on presenting ourselves in a neat and tidy uniform, sharing, saving money, handling it and applying it to fund raising.  We focused on things we could do to help our teachers at school such as cleaning paint cans, or helping with bulletin boards, etc.  One of the most amazing aspects of my year in Brownies was going to Columbus, Ohio to attend a national meeting and having breakfast together as a group.  It was so nice.  I think it was the first time I realized the necessity of utilizing learned table manners and the difference it made in forming my character.  I used to love to lay on my bed reading and re-reading my manual.  I loved the graphics.  Sometimes it would inspire me to re-arrange my room and clean it well, other times it might direct me to try to do a little sewing project like a doll or stuffed animal.  It was fun to go through my mother's button box and pick out some things to use.  Old buttons, left over pieces of rick rack or lace.  Sometimes I would play grocery using one of those little hand held push button calculators to add up my make believe purchases all the while my little parakeet "Chippy" watched on and talked to himself in his mirror. :)  I still love the graphics in that book.  They bring a smile to my face.  In fact, smiling was one of our characteristic songs.

I've something in my pocket,
It belongs across my face.
I keep it very close at hand,
In a most convenient place.
I'm sure you could not guess it,
If you guessed a long, long while.
So, I'll take it out and put it on.
It's a great big Brownie smile! :)

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Salon, Beauty Parlor, Beauty Shop...

It's Friday and I had a hair appointment to do a little gray reversal.  Some women look so beautiful in gray, white or silvery hair, but me, I'm not so lucky.  I'm still in denial and choose get my hair tinted with a few highlights here and there.  My hairdresser, Venessa is the best!  She's pleasant, treats me like a valued customer and spends much time caring for me.  I love the scent of the shampoo, it's like none other and how the fragrance stays with me for the longest time well into the night and on my pillow.  The extra head message given during the conditioning rinse is so relaxing.  Once the cape is taken off I rise with a little pick me up and feel a little fresher, lighter and maintained.
While at the trendy modern loft style salon, I noticed only one sit down hair dryer with a hood.

 As always, Vanessa felt a need to put me under it in order for my foil wrapped sprigs to develop into a nice honey shade.

(A standard photo taken from a beauty instruction manual.  No way I'd have a photo of myself for a visual!)

 I was taken upstairs to a loft to use it.  Wow, I thought.  You come upstairs to sit under a hair dryer.  Interesting.  I had a few minutes to ponder how technology has changed everything in our daily lives why would cosmotology be left out.  Now, all that is required is a hand held hair dryer with diffuser in one hand and a round hair brush for the other to achieve a desired natural effect.
I also remembered going on Fridays to the beauty shop with my mother after she got off work from the brand new sparkling Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge not far from our home.  The beauty shop was appropriately named Sue Little's Beauty Shop as it was owned and operated by Sue Little in the back of her home in a neighborhood close by.  She had two shampoo basins, two sit down hair dryers and a couple of chairs for waiting.  After several minutes of Sue and my mom discussing the right shade to cover her gray, Mom would finally decide on the medium ash brown that we all knew she would select anyway  because she never veered from it!  It wasn't too dark and not too light for her taste.  Then I'd settle in hopping from chair to chair flapping through the magazines for what I thought would be an eternity waiting on her.

 They would chat, chat and chat some more, all the while my gum was getting old and I would wish for Sue to wrap my mother's hair in the brush rollers at the top and a little quicker around her finger to form a circle and held with a silver clip at the bottom.

 After primping mom with one last tease, a finessed curl at her forehead and a final spray that would hold her hair in that form for ever, Sue would take off the cape, mom would rise with a pleased smile, pay Sue and we were off in the car to go home where she was ready for a relaxing weekend with dad watching programs on our color t.v., one of the newer technologies of the time,  such as Lawrence Welk, The Midwestern Hayride and Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. Also a surprise visit from an older brother or sister, their spouse and tiny tikes in tow, my nieces and nephews might fill our weekend with happy togetherness.
 The aroma in the car going home was wonderful!  I thought she was beautiful!
When I was seven my mother was planning for an upcoming family reunion picnic.  She thought she would like her daughter to be transformed from a tom boy to a nice little girl with an upcurled perm.  Usually the only time a perm was necessary was Easter and then it was a Toni home perm.

  She made an appointment with Sue and dropped me off on her lunch hour and my older brother was to pick me up at three o'clock when he got out of high school.  After sitting still for Sue while I got that smelly perm, she finally took the cape off of me and I ran out the door where my brother was waiting at the curb.

  We sped off in a whirl and arrived home safely a few blocks away in his souped up convertible.  My mother arrived home to see her little girl in a hair blown scattered disarray.  "What happened to Krissy"?, she asked.  As she pulled a comb through my tangled hair which was now straight as before, my brother said, "Gee, mom, I just brought her home like you told me too"!   Mom then began banging the pots and pans to make supper a little louder than normal with a frown and turned up mouth to the right side of her face.

Someone else appears to have an experience with his older sister's cap style portable hairdryer.  It appears his mother either needed a helping hand to aid in drying her son's wet head and/or someone felt a need to photograph it for posterity and future use as a playful muse. 
My husband as a young boy and his sister's portable hair dryer.

I love his photo on my dresser in a grouping with our daughter as a baby and her first baby, our grandson Blake.

The next time you're at the salon you too will have time to think, remember, relax, get pampered and cared for to a refreshing and revitalized new you!

Monday, February 15, 2010

President's Day ~ The celebration of George Washington's Birthday

When I was in grade school I always remembered  my teachers putting up silhouettes of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln in celebration of their birthdays.  Being that I wasn't a politically minded child, the idea of respect for our leaders and their working on behalf of others for good and a better nation was my learned lesson.  I also appreciated the morning ritual of standing and saying the Pledge of Allegiance.

"It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible". 
                                                                    George Washington

All my life I have tried to pluck a thistle and plant a flower whereever the flower would grow in  thought and mind.
                                                                   Abraham Lincoln

As I get older, I have a greater appreciation for the weight the President's of our nation must carry on their shoulders and  I'm grateful for the ones that include God as their guidance.

Silhouettes from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission ~ Washington Crossing Historic Park
Digital Image Library ~ Indiana Historical Society


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Heart of My Heart...

To My Valentine!
Again, another Sunday afternoon doing leisure activities.  A unique project that Dennis and I shared together today.  It fulfills my passion to create something special using images I love and was enabled to be presented in this collage form with Dennis' help and technological know how.  This activity was fun and I so enjoyed the outcome that we made together!
Thanks to the help of  Pat whose blog named Back Porch Musings  is lovely in every way and her directions as to how she creates different images of interest  in order for others to possibly try. 
We used Picasa a free site that allows you to work with photos in various ways to create to your heart's desire!
Now to continue to use Picasa and it's abilities.  It's going to take some "time" and practice but I can imagine the possibilities. :)
I love today our Valentine's Day!  Dennis and Ryan have the first race of the season on, the Daytona 500, as well as switching over to the winter olympics and I'm enjoying my time here in blog land.
We have a nice meat and potato meal to bake savorly for our supper and I couldn't imagine a better way to spend my Valentine's Day than with my valentine sending good wishes to you!
Dennis and Kris
Our center prominent photo was a suncatcher ornament that P.J. Hummelt made and gave to me while visiting.  The other photos I thought were fantastic handmade finds featured on Etsy.
Embroidered Love - walkthetalk by Robin from Maui, Hawaii
Red Heart pin - hondamom from Dallas, TX
Hand Embroidered Card - by papermode home Paris, France
A Valentine Card for our grandchildren and their parents - Blake, Kate and Tucker, Matt and Jamie Coleman

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Snow falls down...


Snow by Kate Hal
Snow is white,
Snow is bright,
Snow falls down every night,
When we're in bed,
resting our heads,
snow falls down,
round and round,
and it doesn't make a sound.

This morning I can't help but remember...when it was snowing and we'd venture out, the ordeal it took to do it!
First, it was getting those boots on over my shoes and thick tights, it seemed to take an hour!  By the end of that chore I could relax once more and begin an arduous task of putting on a bulky sweater and a coat just barely big enough to go over it, (it always pushed up my sweater sleeves) then wrap and wrap and wrap some more a scarf that had no end.  Next it was time to throw over the hood and pull it down so tight.  it took a bow but not just a cute little bow but a tight one that grabbed at your neck!  Now for the zipper, that quirky zipper that would never go into it's socket.  Finally it would and I'd look up as fast as I could in hopes my lip wouldn't be caught in it!  The last thing to do was those gloves, it's true, one would be there but where "oh, where" was the other?
Finally found and I'm hot and in a tizzy!  Now my Mom and I were ready to head out and make our way to that one car garage where the car sat cold and dark.  She opened the door about seven inches, not more, and I'd crawl my way passed her black pat n leather, under the big giant wheel to a cold seat right beside her.  Then she'd start her up an we'd sit and wait shivering until it was time.  Time to see her beige toned nylon covered leg with black shoe press on the brake and begin it.  Her right white gloved hand would pull the handle behind the wheel to "R" and we'd back out to a world full of errand.

I hope today's snow doesn't cause hindrance but a sweet memory for you to

The snow covered chair photo named, Snow Chair,  and the old door photo named, Closed Until Spring, were note cards from an artist on Etsy called FancyMeFlyin by deberklein. 
My grandson, Blake 

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Ah-h, Sunday afternoon.  As I meander & navigate around this morning I'm getting that itch to make some area a new.  It doesn't have to be a major transformation to bring me happiness.  Sometimes all it takes is trading out a lamp and re-arranging pictures to give a room a whole new atmosphere and an enjoyable space to be in.
I love looking at magazines for ideas, I go to the internet & research decorating blogs, I even like to watch movies just to look at the decor without even following the story line.  Today, I'm at a loss for inspiration.  I think I'm somewhere between a fresh coat of paint and a good spring cleaning.  Maybe it's cabin fever.  But as the lightest little snowflake falls in the air today, maybe a spark of inspiration will too!  Until then, maybe I'll read a book or maybe not.  That's one of those great options that Sunday afternoon always brings.  Something to relax, enjoy and call my own.

I hope you are enjoying your Sunday afternoon as well.  I'd love to know what inspires you today.
What ever it is, enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ode to Joy

It's Wednesday and ho-hum a little yawn and stretch as I decide another cup of coffee is in order to get going. As I'm waiting for my water to heat (yes, I know, I admit, I'm one of those instant coffee drinkers) my eye draws to my living room.  That beautiful sunny, happy yellow beckons me.  A quick trip to the grocery earlier this morning to pick up essentials like fruit, salad fixings, chicken and such.   The and such?...a lovely bunch of white tulips.  It's one of those things that lifts me up and brings me joy!  I came in the door, located one of my favorite vintage McCoy vases and placed them in just the perfect spot!  A quiet, favorite corner in my living room that expresses completely that less is more.  For, the chosen items I've tenderly placed there one can appreciate reflexion of a fond memory and "the love in us".
Tulips are such happy flowers to have in the dead of winter.

This corner is minimal, the composition is one of my favorites.

I so love this simple black framed drawing here.  It fills me with happiness and fond memory this morning.
I'm so greatful for it.
A little girl named Emily Bear has the prodigious gifted talent to express the beauty and ode to joy I feel while coming into this corner waiting for my water to heat this morning.  
She plays in an orchestral debut a song she composed called - The Love In Us.
It will send you in a lovely sweet aura of beauty in sound and God's blessing.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Do you know what tomorrow is?

Rise and Shine campers, it's Groundhog Day!
A scene in Punxsutawney, PA  from one of my favorite passtime leisure movies.
I wonder how many of you consider groundhog day?  For a brief moment we might think of spring and it's possibility of arriving in six weeks.  Six weeks, that's not much is it?  It doesn't sound like much.  So for a moment we watch the festivities on the morning news taking place live in Punxsatawney, PA.   We watch the Grand Marshall pull the little fat critter out of his domain as we're sipping our coffee and then we focus our eyes to see...
Just as I thought, six more weeks of winter.
I'm amusing myself at the moment thinking if I were to take the day off tomorrow (Groundhog Day), I would make some hearty dish such as chili spaghetti, applesauce sprinkled with cinnamon, texas toast, a nice garden salad with a swirl of French dressing and a tall glass of ice tea.  I'd grab my comfy fleece throws and as the light gray stiffened cold bareness of the outdoors sends the last little bird home for shelter and quickly turns a deeper shade of gray, proceed to my favorite chair and watch the movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell for the gabillionth time. I'd be perfectly content and know that all is well in the world.  At least my world, that is. :)
 To all of you, however you decide to spend it!
It's only six more weeks until spring! :)

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