Sunday, December 29, 2013

A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS


At our house, at our age, we’ve come to the point of down sizing, trying to make things more manageable and to live more simply. And this year our Christmas decorations are less glitz and glitter and more basic. We put up a small pre-lit tree and decorated it with just our favorite ornaments; the rest will be donated along with the outside lights that neither of us are willing to hassle with. A cheerful wreath on the door and a less decorated mantle is enough cheer for us. As today’s rain washes away any trace of a White Christmas, we will still be glad and have ourselves a Merry Little Christmas.


From our house to yours, and to all our family and friends, who are the best part of life, we wish all of you,

A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR.



Saturday, December 14, 2013

I'M HOME, SO LET IT SNOW





It's been snowing lightly but steadily since early this morning. It's predicted to get worse toward evening so I'll stay put for the rest of the day. I was out  this morning clearing the snow off the deck and my car and it felt pretty cold on my hands and feet. The roads were OK and I took a drive with a friend to Athens for the Victorian Stroll. Things weren't starting till around one o'clock and we thought it best to head home before the roads became hazardous. It's good to be home where it is safe and warm. If your heading out today, bundle up and be cautious on the roads. 







Wednesday, November 27, 2013

BEING THANKFUL



For me, gratitude is to notice and appreciate what I have, rather than focus on what I think I am lacking. I try to remember that each day, I have exactly what I need. I have found the more I say this out loud and incorporate it into my daily life, the more I find it is so. And of course, there are those times of complaining, you can ask my husband or ask my friends, but when I am mindful and take time for gratitude thinking, I can raise my consciousness to a more joyful and balanced life. There always seems to be something or many things to be grateful for and my intention is to recognize it sooner, rather than later and to express it each day. Gratitude is simple but powerful and giving thanks is nourishment all year.   
  
HAPPY THANKSGIVING  TO ALL

Sunday, November 17, 2013

DEAR SANTA

I know it's a bit early, but I've written my letter to Santa. 
I want to make sure he gets it as soon as possible!





I think I found this on Pinterest but it spoke to me. 




Saturday, November 16, 2013

AFTER THE FRUIT IS GONE



This morning entering the kitchen
Tiny fruit flies swarming over
Two ripening bananas on the counter
Who’s sweet aroma begged me
To slice one for my cereal

Slowly eating my breakfast
The flies re-assembled
 On the one remaining fruit
Leaving me to wonder where
Will they go after
I eat the last banana?


Thursday, October 31, 2013

AUTUMN AFTERNOON






AUTUMN AFTERNOON

Wet leaves fall through the cool October
Another autumn arrives and I feel older
Out of this afternoon, comes another page
Dressing up in costume well-passed middle aged

Trick or treater's laughter, music rising in the sky
Painting pictures with such a youthful eye
Like writing scary stories in the trees
To filter down with the autumn breeze

MSW

Sunday, October 13, 2013

OCTOBER'S PARTY



October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came--
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.
                  George Cooper


  
In autumn days of chilly mornings and warm afternoons, there’s nothing that can catch my attention more than the call of these country roads. The earth spins in a blaze of color with a richness that delights the eye and seeps into my day. Following the light through the windows each morning, I find I cannot resist its charm. I yearn to be out on the road, where there is a new thing to be seen at every turn, every moment. Some days, it’s a strong bright sun followed by a mellower mood but the October wind can change the landscape at any time. Beyond the curve of the road or the next hill to climb, there’s a view that beckons. Sometimes with my camera or just my walking stick, I’m out embracing all its offerings while the splendor lasts. Oh, the sights you'll see!

sights in your own back yard
and out of the driveway
walking uphill

waiting for company

pass the barn and out to the meadow
 
fall resting place

even a friends garden gnome

a surprise back home in the driveway





                               TO ALL: A SPLENDID FALL!


Friday, September 20, 2013

FROM SUMMER



GARDENS AT OLANA, HUDSON NY


With cooler days and even cooler nights, summer continues to fade in my memory.
I found myself wondering what I had done with my summer days and checked back on my calendar. It seems I was busy doing this and that and a lot of running errands and too many trips to Albany for auto repairs. I did get to attend a writing workshop, which I so looked forward to each week. I managed to attend most photography club meetings and got together with my crochet and knitting group. I also took a ceramics class that proved to be pretty interesting. But, to reassure myself that I was actually out in the summer air, I had to check my photo files. I’ll share some pictures with you here. Enjoy the view!  


 CURIOUS HUMMINGBIRD



A POSING BEAUTY

DAPPLED LIGHT THROUGH THE TREES

AND ON TO THE FERNS


CEDAR GROVE, THOMAS COLE HOUSE
CATSKILL, NY

LOVELY TABLE SETTING BY THE FIREPLACE 

THE ARTIST'S PATH

UKRAINIAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
HUNTER, NY
DEER IN MY SON'S BACKYARD
NEW MILFORD, NJ
CHECK OUT THOSE ANTLERS


SUMMER FLOWERS ON THE FRONT DECK

MY ROCK GARDEN
WITH MORE GARDEN THAN ROCKS


AND MY LATEST VISITOR TO MY BACKYARD,
BIG BOY




Monday, September 9, 2013

PARAGON



There’s a highflying hawk 
that soars beneath the daytime moon
backlit by the brightest of sky
broad wings rise and glide in silhouette
is it a paragon-an advocate of war
that looms over our heads
with politics aside and keen sight
the hawk knows what it's searching for  

Saturday, September 7, 2013

SEPTEMBER


 Each year, summer always seems too brief as Memorial Day and Labor Day move closer together. On spring and summer mornings, you can hear flocks of birds arriving, but now, on their journey south, in search for a warmer climate, they leave the thinning trees. In September, you can feel and hear the summer receding before you actually see it. Each morning, there’s a lilt of new weather; it sings a little louder as September ages and flies right into your day. Before you realize it, you’re cutting pumpkins then stirring that warm comfort soup that waits inside your winter kitchen.


Monday, July 29, 2013

VAN GOGH



Taking this time to remember Vincent Van Gogh who was born on March 30th, 1853
 and died on July 29, 1890


 VAN GOGH

After painting peasant pictures  
Country settings-harvest landscapes
He was drawn to the pallets of Paris
Where color was everything

He took long walks to improve his color
With passion and torment he painted
 Poppies, olive groves and night cafés
Compulsively driven by brushes with death
And strokes of genius he worked

With turbulent eyes and brightly colored oils
Creating sunflowers, fishing boats, portraits
And starry nights that will live on forever

But at a young thirty-seven, left his canvas
With so much color and life unpainted
Making us wonder what madness drove him
To leave us with such an impression

MSW




















Sunday, July 21, 2013

IN SO MANY WORDS


WORDS

Like houseflies, we buzz upward and hit the white ceiling
Circling around the room, we pass the closed door
How long before we realize this present space and time?
Instinct moves us toward the light of the window
But we bounce off with no escape
Within these walls, this day, we co-exist
 It’s where words fly and we negotiate
To surrender to the will of each other





Saturday, July 6, 2013

REMEMBER THE DAY'S BLESSINGS AND FORGET THE DAY'S TROUBLES



MASTER BEDROOM
Andrew Wyeth


When I took my troubles to bed
Laid them on the pillow next to me
I thought I had put them to rest
So I searched for diversions instead

With heavy eyelids I drifted off
But during my restless sleep
I grabbed the troubled pillow
And placed it under my head

Next to my breath-I inhaled it
Near my ears-I listened to it
Above my heart-I embraced it
And all night wrestled with it

The next day I made my bed
With yesterdays troubles still
Lying there under the covers
Waiting for my sleepy head

msw

Thursday, July 4, 2013

DIGGING FOR WILD GARLIC


Yesterday, I had the urge to sauté the fresh string beans I bought at the market the day before. When I checked for ingredients and couldn't find any garlic, I remembered the wild garlic growing beside the sage in the front rock garden. It’s really a small patch of earth along the front walkway, so I approached it with only a small pointed hand shovel. Bending over, I could feel the strain on my knees and back, but kept digging and digging.  It was a challenge to pry the bulbs loose without damaging them. One after the other, I uncovered the fully formed but small garlic bulbs and laid them on the ground. There were only four or five but more than enough for an early nights dinner. After fifteen minutes of digging and pulling some weeds along the way, my back was beginning to ache. 

On the farm across the road, the tractor had been running for a couple of hours and the thought of working in the hot sun every day, planting, cutting and harvesting, made my back ache even more. One would really have to be dedicated to it or hungry enough. I headed for the kitchen with my small but ample crop.

I crushed some garlic cloves to sauté the string beans with olive oil, some to flavor the grilled pork chops and snipped pieces of the long stems to sprinkle on the baked potatoes. It would be our special meal of the week and except for the garlic, all purchased at the supermarket. With fork and knife in hand, my husband and I delighted in our simple but most savory feast. Across the field, the tractor was still running over the large expanse of land and I now felt much more appreciation for the farmer who would have many more hours of work before his evening meal. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

FLOATERS AND FLASHES


I’M KEEPING AN EYE ON IT…


As i write my words,
i blink my eyes
and dot my i’s…

 while more black dots float in…
and end. my sentences.
 before i am ready.

 my Ophthalmologist says:
it is a sign
of gel breaking….. away……

i will have to pay.  Attention.
To floaters and flashes…
And changes in my vision

because… a tear in the retina.
 can be serious… 
and the doctor never says:

 just keep an eye on it...

Friday, May 31, 2013

FAR FROM A SONNET



It seems like forever since I’ve posted here
And taking a break has its advantages
Like crossing off things on the to do list
Events that run into Memorial Day Weekend
And now, hot humid sticky weather
After those scary tornados on Wednesday evening

EXHALE…

The air conditioner is on for three hours already
Outside, the cottonwood has been blowing around again
It seems that my rhythm is off still catching up to May’s runaround
Which leads me back to writing and I think this is good practice
But getting back into the swing of things isn’t as easy as it seems
Fourteen lines, so far from a sonnet and I'm much closer
To the iced tea waiting in the kitchen   

MSW

Saturday, May 4, 2013

HARBINGERS OF SPRING



It’s more tempting to be outside these warm days than to be blogging indoors. Spring is full of daffodils and tulips surfacing into the air like underground swimmers that have held their breath too long. Migrating birds are arriving in flocks and I sit outside poised with my binoculars. The wild rabbits have brought their babies out to feed on new grass and there is so much more activity to pay attention to this season.

There is also another harbinger of spring that has had my attention. The black bears, also controlled by the rhythms of nature, slept peacefully through the winter. They are now visiting the neighborhood trash containers. In celebration of spring, they leave confetti from driveway to driveway marking their arrival. Residents, like park workers after the parade, come out each morning to clean up after them. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

WINTER'S DREAM




WINTER’S DREAM

During the night, the cold winter wind
Had me under warm quilted covers
Dreaming of creatures outside
I traveled into the dark woods
Where the trees moved together
And huddled for support
Snow glistened next to wild hooves
And I saw hot breath rise into the pines
That touched the starry heaven
The journey moved me slowly through
Coyote and fox, passing owl eyes
From branches of hollowed out trees
Echoing through the frigid forest dream
Trees whispered that the sleep was over
And the promise of spring was near
This morning I awoke to the sun
Struggling with winter clouds
And searched for inspiration
Through the finest of flurries
A pink glow on the snowy mountains
Appeared like divine revelation
It chased the night’s ice off the page
Making room for early birds
To bring me my sun-filled morning

MSW

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

THAT'S ENOUGH SNOW, THANK YOU!

WIND-BLOWN FEMALE CARDINAL
We're getting lots of snow here today on top of what fell last night. I hope that's it! Really now!!! Remember: tomorrow is the first day of spring. While it is so picturesque, I’ll be inside today, except to feed the birds. There's a bird feeding frenzy out there and I think I'll run out of food for them soon. I've noticed some Red-winged Blackbirds here the last few days and I'm trying to get some shots of them. I started a photo file to help identify the birds and I hope that I'm getting better in spotting and naming them. If I've identified any of these birds incorrectly, please correct me; I'd appreciate the help.  I'm taking some pictures from my window, where I can keep dry. For those of us that are fortunate enough to be indoors enjoy the view. 





RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS

MALE CARDINAL
BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD

DOWNY WOODPECKER



Sunday, March 17, 2013

HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!





La brea ata ann!
It’s a lovely day!

Happy St Patrick’s Day to everyone and Happy Birthday to my husband Don, who is seventy-four today! Without a speck of Irish blood in him, he feels he’s an honorary Irishman and the luck of the Irish is always with him.

This year, we’ll be celebrating at home and watching the parade on TV. The corned beef is already up on the stove and filling the house with a yummy aroma that always brings me back to my childhood. To trace my father’s lineage, I dream of traveling to Ireland with him.  That’s where my dreams take me today-to my grandparents Ireland. We travel the coastline beaches of Cork, and look for the Blarney Castle, walk in emerald grass with sheep abounding and enter the magical woods of Glengarriff. With our ears filled with music and lullabies, stories of leprechauns and laughter, we would sip some tea in a cottage of sod and relish that time forever.

As I prepare dinner for tonight, I leave you with an Irish blessing:
“May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night and a smooth road all the way to your door.”


Saturday, March 9, 2013

FORSYTHIA







Many years ago, I found this poem by James Hearst in an old magazine. I copied it, framed it and around this time of year, I like to share it with some of my friends. Tonight we will be setting our clocks ahead and I thought it was time to share it again with you. It is like an old friend that speaks of spring and hope and faith and of course the glorious Forsythia.


FORSYTHIA

You said, take a few dry

sticks, cut the ends slantwise

to let in water, stick them

in the old silver cup on the

dresser in the spare room and

wait for the touch of Easter.

But a cold wave protected the

snow, and the sap’s pulse beat

so low underground I felt no

answer in myself except silence.

You said, winter breaks out in

flowers for the faithful and

today when I opened the door

the dry sticks spoke in little

yellow stars and I thought

of you.


                     JAMES HEARST

Thursday, February 21, 2013

AUTOPILOT




Today, I was chauffeured by a strong wind and a burst of song. I don’t really know who drove my car home from shopping this morning. I seemed to be so engaged in singing an old familiar song that was playing on the radio. I sang loudly in the car as I sat behind the wheel and took every turn with a joy in my heart that sounded from my lips. Although I couldn’t remember all the words to this oldie, I sang on. It felt so liberating to be able to belt out a song where no one could hear the cracking and wandering of my voice. I thought I was truly present in that moment but I probably should have been paying more attention to the road. I was glad that I had chosen to take the back roads home on this dry but blustery winter day. Passing old barns and silos and country homes with charming front porches, I felt I was at last learning to navigate these country roads more confidently.

I arrived safely in my driveway and only then did I realize that I must have been driving on autopilot all the way home. I sat in my car a few moments and gave thanks for my safe arrival but began to wonder: who was really in control of my vehicle all along?