A poem by J.F. Conant

He who loves an old house never loves in vain. How can an old house used to sun and rain, to lilac and to larkspur and an elm above-ever fail to answer the heart that gives it love?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

And then...peace broke out!!!

On Christmas Day 1914, all across the Western front, an amazing thing happened....peace broke out! Soldiers laid done their weapons and walked out to meet the enemy with open hands and open hearts. They exchanged small gifts. They sang Christmas carols. They even played soccer.
It was reported that military leaders on both the German and British sides were actually concerned that if the men got to know the enemy as men, they would be unwilling to continue fighting!  Can you imagine that? Peace might have broken out! They wouldn't want to continue to kill one another.

Today we celebrate the birth of the King of Peace. I can think of no greater gift to give or to receiver then the gift of peace.  Maybe today we could make the effort to offer our hand in friendship to our enemies. Perhaps we can find ways to work out our differences without bloodshed and war. Sound like an impossible dream?
If it could happen, Christmas day, the day of miracles, would be the day!

I wish you a happy and peace filled Christmas season! All good things in the New Year!! God Bless you with the peace that passes all understanding.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Whatever happened to good manners?

Last night I attended a concert at the local high school.  I arrived a bit early as I had volunteered  to "babysit" the 7th & 8th grade band until it was their turn to perform. Now, these are 12 and 13 year old kids. I sort of expect them to need some reminders...they're young...no parents or teachers around...they're exited about the concert. But I was not prepared for the incredible lack of manners displayed by not only other kids attending the show, but the adults!  I don't know if they never learned good manners or what, but it was a sad commentary on this community.

First of all if one of my boys walked into a room and left their hats on their heads, we would snatch them off those children so fast they'd think they'd been scalped!

Secondly, all the cell phones and hand held games lighting up the darkened auditorium was not only distracting, but disrespectful of the performers as well.

Another issue was how many people came in and out (some repeatedly) during the performance. Evidently bladder control issues are rampant is Ontario County NY! And not only did they repeatedly leave and come back, but they didn't even wait until the song was over to go back to their seats!! Dear Lord, were they all raised in barns!!!

I am posting a few rules for the theater in hopes that next time I go to a show around here, I might actually be able to enjoy it more!

When attending a theatre performance, audience members should, most importantly, be considerate of others at all times.  Here are some rules to follow.

1. Be on time.  Getting to a performance at least fifteen minutes early will allow you to get seated and look over the playbill.  When people arrive late, they inconvenience the other audience members and are a distraction to the actors.  In some theatres, the ushers will not seat you until an act ends, if you are tardy.

2. Dress appropriately.  If you are going to a nice theatre, dress up a bit.  Don't wear jeans.  Live theatre is much different than going to the movies.

3. Turn your cell phone off or on mute.  Never take a call in the theatre.  If you must answer a call, go out into the lobby.

4. Whisper, if you need to talk.  Try not to make too many comments.

5.  Don't put your head together with your companion's.  Avoid constantly moving your head back and forth.

6. If you have *refreshments, take care of the litter.  Do not put it on the floor. Do not make a lot of noise with wrappers. Dispose of them, when you leave.  *Note: Some Broadway theatres are now selling refreshments in the lobby and allow audience members to eat and drink  during a play.

7. If you bring a child to a performance, go over the rules before you get to the theatre.  Do not allow a child to rock in the seat or push the seat in front with his or her knees.If your child begins to cry, please leave the theatre for a while.

8. Avoid wearing a lot perfume or cologne.  You are in a confined area. If your scent is overpowering, you are forcing others to breathe in too much perfume.  A very small amount goes a very long way.   

9. Be considerate of others' right to be able to watch and listen to the performance.

10. Do not leave the theatre until after the curtain call.  It is very distracting and rude to the actors and other audience members to have people exiting, while the performers are still on stage and taking their bows.

And may I add just one more? If you are sick, for Pete's sake stay home!!! I know you want to see little Johnny or Susie perform, but a crowded auditorium is no place for you to be when you are contagious!
Here endeth the sermon.....

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Am I just getting old? Oh! I hope so!

I think there's something wrong with me. I seriously don't mind that I am getting older. I don't mind the grey hair at all or the crow's feet. I'm not crazy about all the poking and prodding the doctor's want to do to you, once you hit 50, but hey...you can always say "no!" 

I have friends and acacquaintances who fight getting older like it was a death sentence. They dress young, they try and act young, heck some of them even trade in wives, husbands, cars, and/or jobs in an effort to find someone or something that can make them "feel" like they did at 25. My question is, why? Been there. Done that. Got a tee shirt!

I found a quote from Longfellow this morning that I wanted to share:

"For age is opportunity no less
  Than youth itself, though in another dress,
 And as the evening twilight fades away
 The sky is filled with stars,
   invisible by day."

Neat thought, hu? One worth some consideration I think. 

So, before you reach for that bottle of hair dye or make an appointment with the plastic surgeon for a lift or a tuck....I hope you'll take some time to realize once you hit a certain point in life, it's a whole new ball game and that ain't a bad thing at all.  You need to realize that you are getting a do over!

You can use all your experiences, your knowledge of the world, your connections and your money (if you have any) to do ANYTHING your heart has dreamed of!  Pretty heady stuff.

Tell me now, does being "old" sound so bad when you think of it that way? I think it's sounding pretty cool, actually.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I want to see this movie!

Collin Firth stars as King George  (Queen Elizabeth's dad) in the new movie: The King's Speech.  It looks awfully good in the previews!!

It's a snowy December day. And what am I doing?

Starting tomato seeds of course! I almost died the other day when tomatoes at the grocery were $4/lb! Are they kidding me?

So this morning I went down to the basement and went to work growing my own.

The key to getting seeds to start indoor is a heat mat. Until the little plants begin to push through the soil, they don't actually need light, but they do need warmth.  The heating mats look like heating pads without the cloth covers. 

I filled the little seed trays with seed starter soil (It's lighter and does a better job holding in the moisture the seeds need to sprout) and watered the soil. Next, I put 2 seeds in each "compartment". These seeds are only from last year. I expect a good sprouting ratio, but with older seeds it's better to be safe then sorry.
After that I lightly covered the seeds and put the lid on my seed tray and slipped it onto the warming mat that I had set up in my little plant house in the basement.

Soon there will be little baby tomato plants pushing their way into the the world.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Winter Evening

When snow falls against the window,
Long sounds the evening bell...
For so many has the table
Been prepared, the house set in order.

From their wandering, many
Come on dark paths to this gateway.
The tree of grace is flowering in gold
Out of the cool sap of the earth.

In stillness, wanderer, step in:
Grief has worn the threshold into stone.
But see: in pure light, glowing
There on the table: bread and wine.

Georg Trakl


I love a pretty dress. Don't you?

  A dress always makes me feel more feminine. But it's so hard to find anything pretty any more. Isn't it?   This morning I found the link to a website that I just adore! Teaching Fellowship Dresshttp://www.modcloth.com/store  Modcloth has clothes and shoes and lots of cute things! And, while not exactly cheap, the prices aren't OMG awful either.Truffle Cake Gloves
Brings the Party DressNow, my only real concern about some of these dresses is the length. They are rather short. (I just hate it when more mature women try and dress like they're still 20!) But, I also think that, within reason, and with good taste (and once I achieve my weight goal) I could pull quite a few of these outfits off.
Here are a couple other places I like to shop: http://www.coldwatercreek.com/
One of my New Year's resolutions is going to be to pay more attention to my appearance. I think some new frocks make a good start!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

She's at peace, but what about the rest of us?

  Elizabeth Edwards passed away. A strong woman who worked hard to support her husband's political ambitions, while raising a family and fighting a terrible disease.  God grant her rest and bless her poor children. Because they are left to be raised by a man who is a liar and a cheat.

You know what really kills me about the whole situation? He could very well bring his girlfriend into Elizabeth's house to raise her children!!! The thought of that just makes me physically ill! 

Why do all these famous people get a pass?  People are like " Oh well. That's in the past. Forget about it now."  Really?  I think the fact that they are liars and cheater speaks LOADS about their characters.  And yet Elliot Spitzer got a big job at CNN and Newt Gingrich is on FOX News.  These guys are pigs!!! What the hell people??? Why isn't every woman in America letting the networks know what we think of their choice of  commentators??  Sorry, I don't want any of these guys representing me in ANYTHING!

People make mistakes. I do think there should be forgiveness. But.....getting caught and then apologizing does not make it o.k. AND does not mean everything should go back to how it was before. ESPECIALLY in public life.   Shame is not neccisarily a bad thing. Especially when it's EARNED.

Hear endeth the sermon.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

So much has happened in the last week...

 There's been good news and sad news and "we don't need this right now" news. But all of it has kept me hopping!

The good news is that we FINALLY sold our house in Amherst.  I ended up having to drive up there on Wednesday, to make sure the boys that rented the place had gotten all their stuff out and cleaned it up a little. I took Matthew with me  and we took care of the house, stopped at my favorite junk store (OMG! They must have gotten a new manager since we moved, because there was not a real bargain to be had. Everything was rearranged and overpriced. I sure won't miss that place like I thought I would!) And we stopped at this little European style butcher shop to get some Kielbasi (It's hard to get REAL Kielbasi outside an area with a lot of Poles. I loaded up, so Joe is going to be a happy man when he gets home). Then we went to lunch. 
By the time we headed out of town, it was really snowing hard and the roads were getting bad.  I was able to keep ahead of the worst of the storm though and we made it home by late afternoon.  It's a good thing we did leave when we did, because the State Police closed that road shortly after we got home! It didn't re-open until 6 a.m. on Friday!!!

The sad news is that my little female Boston, Alice died in her sleep early Tuesday morning. It was rather unexpected. She had been a little under the weather for a day or two, but she was eating and drinking and using the bathroom, so we decided to just keep an eye on her.  But it was obviously more serious then we had believed.  Alice now rests in the yard, underneath  a big pine tree.  We're going to miss her.

Then there were doctor's appointments, job interviews, I had new tires put on the car....you get the picture....life has been so hectic, I hardly know whether I am coming or going!

We do have the tree up and the house decorated. The coal stove is going full time now and there's some baking going on as well.  It's a cozy time of year, if you can sit still long enough to enjoy it.

Today I have completed my chores and plan on relaxing with a good book or two. Maybe I'll write some letters or play with my scrapbooks.  Later I'll make supper and then, when the table is cleared I will challenge some poor child to a game of Scrabble....
What a nice way to spend a snowy winter's evening. Don't you agree?