It is the small simple things of life that bring us peace.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Storm watch

This week we've watched the approach and arrival of Hurricane Sandy; a storm that turned out to be a real "doozy" when combined with other forces of nature. I had to marvel that although we can predict the weather with close accuracy we can't control it.  There was nothing to do if you lived in the north east except prepare.  No way to stop it, it was a'comin!
I've always loved the weather.  Wind, rain, storms and sun all intrigue me.  Several times a day I check the National Weather Service for the local forecast; I watch the local television forecasts, too.  I love to be outside when a storm is coming or the weather is about to change.  The weather maps with highs and lows and front lines charted are a good read to me.

Years ago I had a paper hurricane tracking map.  I tracked several major storms on it; if the storm was really major I didn't erase the coordinate markings but left them for a future reference.  Back then I had to get the coordinates off the television.  Now I just check the National Weather Service, no paper tracking map needed but it isn't quite as much fun.

As the storm races on its predicted path it has left destruction behind.  The pictures of uprooted trees, flooding and destroyed property remind me of the power of the weather.  A force we can't control but we live with daily.

Friday, October 26, 2012

A nice little surprise

Last spring I had dutifully planted a tomato plant in a pot in the small sunny part of my yard.  I would love to have a little vegetable garden but the shade of the trees that I dearly love prevents the garden.  So I plant herbs and a tomato in a pot in this little sunny spot on the side of the house.  Tomatoes grown in pots usually don't produce a lot of fruit but this year the plant gave me several nice tomatoes.  I kept the plant watered a little but knew the season was over.  Or so I thought. 

Several weeks ago we had a little rain.  I can see the tomato plant through the kitchen window and several days later I noticed that it had greened up and put out new growth.  That's nice, I thought.  I didn't expect a plant that had weathered the summer heat to make blooms and set fall fruit.  But that's exactly what it did. A few yellow blossoms appeared last week.  Today I was surprised to look out the window and see several small tomatoes. 
I'm not sure how big these will get, and it really doesn't matter.  What matters is that this was a nice, gentle surprise.  One of life's simple pleasures.  And, of course I had to touch the leaves after I made the picture and then enjoy that wonderful tomato smell, another simple pleasure!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I like to make lists. Some better than others.  Grocery lists are a chore; shopping lists for fabric and quilt supplies are a pure joy.  Having a list helps me focus on what I need to do.  Sadly, I have gotten out of the habit of making lists routinely.  I just carry around all my to do's and planning lists in my head.  I have a spiral calendar that I carry around and jot notes in, but haven't really made lists.  After all, who has time to sit around and make lists?

I've always been good at multi-tasking at work.  I can juggle multiple tasks, prioritizing each one and working through each in an organized way.  No problem.  But for some reason I've lost total control of multi-tasking in my personal life.  It has been a downward spiral recently.  Big problem.  The solution, I've decided is that I need to start making lists again.  Seeing the task written down reminds me of what I need to do, either that day, during the week, or in the coming month. Making the list helps me focus and set priorities.  Just a simple thing, a list.

But wait, there's more.  How many lists have I made today?  Uh-oh, I think I need a list of the lists!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Friday, October 19, 2012

Out With the Old

This week I said good bye to an object that had been a part of my life for over 13 years.  It was finally time for my beloved Camry to go.  It had been my dream car when I bought it, brand new, in 1999.  It had made numerous road trips, camping trips, trips to births, a trip to a wedding, trips to funerals, trips to pick up the dogs, on and on.  It had been a part of my daily life for these 13 years.  Although it had almost 184,000 miles on it and was, um, shall we say gently worn it still ran good.  I would  have been happy to keep it for a while longer but suspected I was running on borrowed time. 

I hate car shopping, most people do.  I put off doing this for a year, so finally last weekend decided to get going and get it done.  I knew I would not go all over South Texas to shop for a "good deal" since I didn't have the time or the desire to do so.  So after a little shopping and a little negotiating the deal was done.  I picked up my Mazda CX-9 on Monday night.

Even though I was happy with the old car I realize that it is good to have something new, something different.  The change has been strangely refreshing. I'm still puzzled about why, though.  Maybe it is just the difference between the old and the new. After all, the car is just an object, a necessity but it does have new technology and feels up to date, not just plainly comfortable.  Sometimes change is good.
Lacy checks it out!

Saturday, October 13, 2012


I've mentioned before that one of the many blogs I like to read is Preservation in Mississippi.  (I really need to add my blog list to this blog, someday).  There was a post this week that gave me a pleasant surprise. The title of the post, Restoring Picayune's Disappeared WPA Mural jumped out at me because I love the words restoring and disappeared when given in a historical sense.  The WPA mural part sent me searching through the article very quickly because there is a WPA mural in my past.

The post is an excellent glimpse back into the WPA projects. The mural in the Picayune post office has been painted over, but there is a picture of the mural in the post.  Yes, why would anyone paint over a mural I ask but yes, people do things like that in the interest of progress and renovation.  When I saw the picture of the post office and the now gone mural I was amazed at the similarities with the post office in Eupora and the mural in the Eupora post office.

I made this picture on a trip through Eupora in 2008.  I had wondered if the mural was still there and was relieved to find it was.  I hope it still is!  The post office in Eupora has a special significance to me since my maternal grandfather worked there.  He was hired in the early 1940's and that prompted my grandparents to buy property outside Eupora and relocate there.  During my childhood I remember visiting him while he was at work on several occasions but my real memory of the post office was helping him lock up on Saturday nights.  Back then the post offices were not open 24-7 (that was a real scandal when the always open concept was put in place!) and on Saturday night it was his job to lock the post office.  I would hop in the back of his car, and if cousins were present they would also want to ride along.  There was no air-conditioning in the car, just four windows rolled down and the wind blowing!  When we got to the post office my grandfather would pull out his large ring of keys attached to a chain hooked to his belt.  One of the keys was a funny looking little key that would go in the light switch plate. He would then tell one of us kids to pull the chain and the lights in that section of the post office went out!  It was a simple thing but a big thrill for a small child.  While he locked the doors we would run up and down the stairs and always speculate if we could slide down the rail of the steep steps. We never got up the nerve to try!

I remember asking my grandfather about the mural above the Postmaster's door.  The farm scene intrigued me as much as the style of the mural.  His comment to me was, "that's one of those ol' WPA projects".  I'm not sure why he had such a low opinion of the WPA, but he did. I suspect that might have been a popular idea in rural Mississippi and that was why the Picayune mural (and others) were not preserved.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sunday's Simple Things

What simple things have I experienced today?

1.  Having time to sit outside on the deck and drink two cups of coffee this morning.  It was around 50 degrees and I was wearing my beloved red plaid flannel robe. There was just a slight breeze and the dogs were exploring the yard, quietly.  Thank you, Lord, for the gift of this quiet, peaceful time to start my day.

2.  Eating a warm bowl of old-fashioned oatmeal out of a Blue Willow bowl. I'm not a big oatmeal person, but this morning it just seemed like the right thing to eat.  Thank you, Lord, for the gift of food.
  3.  The smell of fresh cut rosemary.  I usually try to have cuttings in the kitchen window of rosemary, lavender, or what ever else is growing.  This morning the rosemary was very fragrant and lingered on my hands for quite a while after I arranged the cuttings.  Thank you, Lord, for herbs and their pleasant smell and taste.
 4.  Church service in the morning, an afternoon of football and working on a Christmas craft project.  Tomorrow is Monday and back to the treadmill of life, but today is simply Sunday.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Looking Back A Year Ago

A year ago this week I was in New England for my second trip.  I was loving the rain, cooler weather (actually, it turned cold during the week), the pumpkins, and what little fall color there was to be seen.  I was also loving everything else about New England!  So, to feed my nostalgia I am offering the following rememberances of a great trip.

Pumpkins at Pickity Place


The Serenity of the Shaker Village

Beautiful fall scenery

Dinner cruise on Lake Champlain

Quilts at every stop