Thursday, October 20, 2011

Decorating Our Nests

Since families lived in caves we have felt the need to express ourselves by decorating our dwellings. In the 60s, avocado green and gold were THE hot colors whether you were buying new shag carpet or a new-fangled appliance such as a blender.  In the 70s I once lived in a furnished trailer for six months that included large appliances that were dusty rose pink. It was difficult to be creative in a muted pepto bismol bottle.

Today taste isn't just about color. Cottage, French country, modern and something called shabby chic are splashed throughout design magazines.

But at this time of year, we put all that aside and think ORANGE.

Go into into any store and you are guaranteed a wide selection of glittery, shiny, scary, funny, plastic and blow-up  decorations to make your lawn a festive canvas of Halloween gloom and doom.

For our home, I prefer a pile of different types of pumpkins with some straw and dry cornstalks. But I love the Americana of orange pumpkin lights, flying witches and ghostly webs hanging in the trees seen throughout the neighborhoods, particularly where children live. There you find the excitement of deciding what super hero or princess you will be on that one night of the year when it's acceptable to ask neighbors for candy.

It's time to put those tombstones in the yard, buy candy that you will try not to eat, and fall in love with orange all over again.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Reasons I Procrastinate

Top 10 reasons why I procrastinate.  

10.  Maybe "it" (whatever I have to do) will go away.  
This has never happened to my knowledge. Dust bunnies thrive, paperwork piles up on the desk, project deadlines loom large if I don't attend to them.

9. I'm not in the mood right now.
Why does my mood make any difference?  When am I ever in the mood to clean the bathtub?

8. I don't have time.
This one is viable, but I'm really just making excuses.  

7. It's not at the top of the priority list.
So I ask myself, why is the project on the list at all if it never gets to the top?

6. It doesn't appeal to me.
Poor baby.

5. I'd rather be ___________. (Fill in blank)
A startling revelation.

4. I don't think the end result will be good enough.
Now we're getting somewhere.

3. I'm bored with the project.
It happens.

2. I forgot.
Thanks goodness for post-it notes

1. I lost the post-it note on the desk I've been meaning to organize.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Art on the Highway of Life

Yesterday, hubbie and I were on a four lane by-pass in town that includes artists' outdoor sculptures scattered here and there. We've talked about them often, but this time, I said, "STOP!" (Luckily there was a ramp where he could pull off the road.) 

It was noon so the sun was high, but I grabbed my camera which had a 50mm lens attached. I wanted to take a closer look at what we call "whales' tails" for that is what they are.

Their graceful lines are surrounded by noise, power lines and humans rushing to their next destination.  Yet the tails' presence is powerful and peaceful at the same time.

This final view isn't very peaceful for it shows the hustle and bustle of life and how those tails fit into that.

It's my belief that creativity can be found in the everyday "stuff" and that art is not limited to something hanging in a gallery or featured in an outdoor sculpture. But as we rush through our days, it is so easy to rush by the beauty and art of life. Truly seeing life with a camera and words is one reason I first was attracted to blogs this summer. It is there I see cooking blogs highlighting flaky pie crusts or a steaming bowl of soup on the kitchen table. Photographers feature red berries dripping with autumn's rain, children concentrating on their finger paints, and dogs entertaining us all with their expressions. Bloggers give of themselves in their opinions, their crafts, children, etc.  Isn't all that and more the art of life?

Sometimes I have to remind myself to stop, to appreciate, to be grateful for art on the side of a highway, for my husband loving me for better or worse, for family and friendship, for my church community, for the wonder of nature, and for so much more.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Saying Good Bye to Summer

With the flip of the calendar there is a shift in the wind and weather.  Fall has shown its face in Virginia. Although I welcome the joys of autumn--crisp air, sitting near a fire, a warm cup of tea, the change of colors from greens to oranges, golds and reds, I need to say my farewells to summer.

Farewell to tomatoes warm from the garden.  You have blessed me with juiciness and an acidity that nothing can match. You are the reason to make a farmers' market chopped salad. Your simplicity invites a touch of fresh basil or dill and a stroke of extra virgin olive oil all sprinkled with salt and pepper. You are my king of summer tastes.

And good-bye to the delicate leaves of basil. You've dressed our salads and created some lovely dishes with your pesto goodness.  Walking through the garden, just brushing against your leaves, you shared that delicious scent of summer.

As light fades, after-dinner strolls slip out of our schedule. It becomes too dark and too cold to stroll outside watching the children play or just visiting with neighbors. 

Temperatures will continue to drop and then the final good bye is to the screen porch.  Except on the warmest summer days, the porch is a great place to share a meal, read a book or listen to nature. There you can watch the birds and squirrels, hear the rapid sounds of rain falling from leaf to leaf, or wonder at the flight of a hummingbird.

We must say good-bye to summer so we can welcome the joys of fall. It is time to find those warm yoga pants, some socks, a cuddly blanket and a good book.  I can smell the soup simmering now. 

Please share your summer good byes. And your hellos!