Monday, January 31, 2011

See Spot Run!
If you are of a certain age you will remember the Dick and Jane books.

Years ago when Miss Is was just a wee girl
we visited Prince Edward Island
and met a very nice mother and daughter.
The mother sang the praises of the Dick and Jane books.
I was surprised because they seemed so repetitive and frankly, boring,
and so backward...
I did not want Isabel learning all about that pre-women's lib behavior;
I am such a child of the 70's.
Long story short, this woman went on and on about how the books helped her
daughter learned to read.
So I searched used book stores and found 7 or 8 books.
We read them together but they were boring, just as I remembered.
It was fun as a flashback,
but wasn't really the thing for me or Miss Is.

So we went back to our daily ritual of reading aloud two or three
wonderful books
with interesting stories
and beautiful illustrations.
And these books sat untouched on the bookshelves
for years and years.
Until the other day.
Miss Is is always buying and selling textbooks on Amazon
What a brilliant idea.
Often I am going to the post office for her
and then the Eureka moment!
Sell those Dick and Janes.

Check out the illustrations below
and see how
Dick and Jane grow
with each revision.

Within 24 hours I had sold one
then another 5 days later
and another 5 days later
The ones that sold were the revised Dick and Janes from the sixties:
the kids are grown up and
the vocabulary is a bit more advanced
the layout of the books was different.

So I guess that is why these were the first to sell.

Check out the names - just like Madmen!
except this mother seems a little more maternal.

I have four more listed on Amazon.
Bye Bye Dick and Jane

Saturday, January 29, 2011

snow fatigue
even for me, a hardy New Englander
We shovel paths all around the yard
to give our dog Libby some room to run
and to get to grill, the kindling stash, up the back stairs
the front door, the back door
All these paths remind me of a childhood game my sisters, brother and I
called Witch
We would spend hours raking leaves in the autumn
to create paths in the back yard and to make houses
then we would play...
it was like tag; you could only run on the paths
and you were only safe in your house
if you were caught at a dead end
off to jail you would go and could only be rescued by being tagged.
Hours of fun...and a little raking too.
this path to the wood pile,
where two roads diverged...which one one to take...
and a few loops for extra fun
the snowy world from Libby's eyes
as she runs down a corridor of snow
that's the garden - you can just see the tops of the fence posts
and more snow next week!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My house on Christmas Day 2010
January 27, 2011
We haven't had snow like this since 1995
beautiful whiteness this morning
blue dawn
sounds muffled
coffee ready
Garden shed today and a month ago
Someone told me recently to look up and look out,
there is beauty all around us.

This morning I saw the lovely meringue cap on the lamppost above
see how the top twirls up to a point.

I thought it might be fun to chart the snow piles with the weathervane
Early December above - then it all melted
one week ago - January 19, 2011
look in the center of this photo
see the post sticking up out of the snow mound

January 27, 2011
You cannot even see the weathervane
Looking from my perch as I compose this entry;
the lattice has a whole new design.

Look up and look out;
there is beauty all around you.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The peacock is the ancient symbol of eternal life in Christianity
and the national bird of India.
This particular guy was walking around the grounds of a retreat center
where I enjoyed two peaceful days.

Pickles (yes, that is his name) perched in a tree
watching over us.
His colors were spectacular:
brilliant blue with the shock of white on his head
and vivid iridescent green eyes on the plumage.
I did not witness the fan
and could not capture the beauty of the colors with my camera,
but pickles was a beautiful sight.

Peacock imagery below
via Habitually Chic

Coco Chanel Coromandel Screen Detail
The days were bright and cold.
Rhododendron leaves tightly curled,
sound of crunching snow,
feeling frozen nose hairs,
all signs of temperatures in the single digits.

It was like winter camp for the soul.
I loved every minute.
Contrasts of cold and natural beauty
warmth, wisdom, welcome

The theme was balance.

Words of wisdom:
Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Monogrammed frames
where a big hit again this past Christmas season.
Here are a few...

Enjoying the winter hibernation,
when I am not busy doing my other work.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The google doodle often sets the tone for my day...I like to figure out what the doodle is about, especially if it is not obvious.
Today is the 50th anniversary of JFK's inaugural address; a speech that I will never tire of listening too.

Yesterday, Sargent Shriver, first director of the Peace Corps, died.

So many good programs have grown out of the Peace Corps, all with the idea:

"Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can for your country" JFK

Peace Corps - " a program that builds peace and friendship by sending Americans to work for human dignity and human welfare in the third world." Peace Corps website

So today, a nod to the spirit of volunteerism.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

pomegranate season is ending.
oh i am sad.
for the last 3 months these delicious seeds have brightened up my cereal in taste and color
i am hoarding them now.
you can keep them in the fridge for a month or more.
and do you know the easiest way to decant the seeds?
cut in half
tap the outside edge with the back of a wooden spoon and presto the seeds tumble out into your bowl - tip courtesy nigella lawson.
and persephone
do you know that story+
6 pomegranates and doomed to hades for 1/2 the year - hence the dark winter -

But the end of pomegranate season means
that spring is on the way.

Another new year resolution, (which has been on my list for years now)
read Edith Hamilton's Mythology.
I read D'Auliers Book of Greek Myths to Miss Is as a little girl
and we read another book, Classic Myths to Read Aloud by William Russell
and we listened to myths on tape...
Perfect background for understanding all the references in her english, history and art history classes - As a student, my knowledge of mythology was sorely lacking...but there is always room to grow.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Very exciting
close to finishing a project
close up
this is going to the dorm room in Massachusetts
so I better get cracking

I started this throw 2 1/2 years ago
with my knitting friends,
the knit wits.
We all decided to do the same project, click here,
but in our own colors of course.
Most everyone finished.
My progress has been slow and and not so steady.
I hope to finish by month end.

New Year's Resolutions
If I write them down
share with the world at large,
then just maybe I will succeed.
Get my projects finished.
One knitting project per month
Get through one magazine per week (I have stacks)
Read one book per month
Hard to read and knit and work and do chores...
but where there is a will there's a way.
Work on more happiness every day.
No more procrastination.
And last but not least,
develop more MRR Design business.
Remember to be grateful.
Trust in my faith.
Trust in myself.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Another snowstorm
about 18 or 20"
shoveled the driveway
& off to the office I went
I really wanted to stay home by the fire
and finish my knitting projects
here are a few that are waiting, waiting, waiting to come off the needles
well some haven't even been started yet
fingerless gloves
just lost my pair this weekend
lime green cashmere mittens for my goddaughter
never finished them last year
color much better in person
scarf started in October...
Sweater that has been almost finished for years
gotta make this a priority

lots of yarn for socks
lime green cotton for dish cloths

ends of cashmere for neck warmers
left over from my mother's stash
I think this will make a nice small scarf

reminds me of shoelaces
still not sure what to do with it
made this suede-like wrap
and then tried to take it apart for a long scarf
just figured out I can double it and
it makes a nice neck warmer.
Miss Is will take this back to school

and speaking of Miss Is
here is the baby sweater I started 20 years ago.
I have a thing about not finishing???
I will get this done and save for the grandbabies.
The first thing I see when I get out of bed in the morning
baskets of my stash.
That ought to motivate me.