Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Easter Flowers

It is hard to believe that it is already Holy Week. Perhaps the return of winter weather after sufficient sunshine and warmth over the past weekend add to my disbelief! (I am ready to be warm again!)

My friend C, with whom I share coffee most Monday afternoons, brought me a gift of orchids from her yard this week. They are one of the most stunning plants I have ever seen. She said that they are lymbidiums. Here they are

At the same time, she also cut two of my Iris, which are just beginning to bloom. Not as big as last year's flowers, they are still pretty.

While they are not typical Easter flowers it is good to have something fresh blooming in the house for Holy Week.

Tonight the choir will sing Tenebrae, tomorrow Holy Thursday and then Good Friday. Saturday, the Easter Vigil, and then Sunday. I remember snippets from each service, which I have not been able to attend for many years. EWTN will give me the services from the Vatican, if I can just remember to look up the schedule. Wishing seriously for podcasts here, and I suppose that I should go look for some!

I am grateful for the time that I spent singing this music when I was young, for it shaped so much of who I am and my adult life. Very grateful too, for my friend who brought flowers and for other friends who brought palms on Palm Sunday.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St Patrick's Day, 2010

The day is being celebrated here with Irish Soda Bread, thanks to a friend, who thought of me when she went shopping. I do wish that bakeries would have it year round; it being one of my favorite things.

In addition, I made Chocolate Stout Cupcakes Sunday and they carry the theme and taste of Guinness. No green beer here, thank you!

Over twenty years ago I bought this lovely set of Irish dolls at our church bazaar. I do not know the name of the person who made them, so cannot credit the artist, but I do dearly love them and think of that time as well as my Irish roots when I look at them. This year I finally made time to take some pictures. Here they are.

A happy and blessed day to you all! I am grateful for my Irish ancestors today.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Today spring shone through. The day was delightful, friends came visiting I got a minimal amount of work done. It is time to fit writing into the schedule again, but before I do that I have been indulging in playing on Facebook. In the process of seeing what friends are doing, I discovered a fantastic blog, The Lighthouse Keeper. The writer, a friend from my graduate school days, who is choosing to be anonymous in her blog, writes of an ancestor who was the last lighthouse keeper in Sandusky, Ohio. Sandusky is not too far from Toledo, where I grew up and where family and friends still live.

It is beautifully written, this blog that gives me dual connections--to the area that I grew up in and to a friend whom I haven't seen in so many years and whom I had lost touch with until the Internet brought us together again.

I love the powerful connections of history, having majored in the subject myself in college so many years ago that I can now properly speak of decades ago. My friend writes powerfully of history, research and genealogy--of connections. I highly recommend this blog. She has a compelling voice, one that I hope will be in print. It is thrilling to read such beautiful and powerful writing and know that I know the person behind it.

I am grateful today for pausing to read. Her blog is noted in my blog links to the right. I highly recommend it.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sunshine and Pictures

Today the sun shone long enough to take decent pictures. First I took the baby sachet that I kept when I sent the package off to my sister earlier in the week. Here it is.

My sister called just as I was beginning to write this post and she was so excited that her package arrived today! (I love priority mail.) We have a ritual that when I send a package, she opens it while we talk on the phone. I could hear her excitement and feel it too! She loved the sachets.

The last picture that I took was of these white and purple mitts. I can even type with them on my hands.

Several years ago I was experimenting with making triangle scarves and seeing how much I could make with one skein. For some reason, I made two of these in ribbing, which made them long and narrow and not very useful as scarves. They sat and were about to hit a give away bag a few weeks ago when I thought, "Wait a minute, the yarn is perfectly good and it is one of my favorite discontinued yarns." (Lion Brand, Wool Ease, Sport Weight) I had discovered that I particularly liked to combine two strands for a tweedy effect. So these mitts or wristers quickly materialized.

I am so grateful that the package reached Toledo safely and that the sachets are so pretty and so well-loved. Grateful for today's sunshine, too. More rain is on the way.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Roses in the Midst of Winter

Not really the midst of winter, but the end--and in my part of the country, from a weather calendar viewpoint it is already spring, but today my house smelled beautifully of roses.

Some months ago, my sister sent me a bag of flowers from her garden. A preponderance of gorgeous, dark red roses along with pansies and a few black-eyed Susans along with other roses. She had carefully dried them, for like me, she can't bear to throw them out. Then the problem was what to do with them. I suggested she send them to me and I would add them to my potpourri ingredients.

In a few weeks she will be giving a baby shower for her second grandchild (first granddaughter) so she commissioned me to make her a sachet for the favor for the guests to take home. Using her flowers was a natural!

In addition, I have accumulated a nice supply of herbs that have meanings appropriate to wishing the young lady well and oils to enhance the fragrances of the flowers and bring them back to their summer glory. Tea rose, old rose and rose garden fragrance oils joined violet and honeysuckle and finally a dash of clove and a liberal amount of patchouli.

The flowers, mixed with the oils nearly fill one bag and the herbs that I mixed on Sunday partially fill another. The dining room smells of roses and so do I, for at one point I wiped oil off my hands unto my clothes. I expect to dream of roses tonight. (Pictures will follow in another post. The light was too gloomy today to take good pictures.)

The library volunteer brought me two Mary Stewart novels, which I am sure that I read in my youth. I am enjoying This Rough Magic and just read all about the fabulous old rose garden in the early part of the book before I fell asleep last night. I dream of such a garden. When I first read the book forty or so years ago, I did not recognize the names of any of the roses. Now, after having a passion for gardening for the last twenty or so years, I do. (My passion is usually as an armchair gardener, but there was a time when I read gardening books as avidly as novels.)

The search for the fragrance oils led me to the website of the Rosemary House, an almost legendary herb business, that I bought many of my supplies from when I had an herbal craft business some twenty years ago. It is good to see they are still there and to be connected again.

I am grateful tonight for the rain that we have been blessed with in abundance this week, for the delightful fragrance of roses filling my house, for my sister's sweet generosity as she draws me in to be included in a family activity that I am too far away from and for the connection to a business that I had so long ago. Grateful too to be reviving my own.