I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
I think that I shall never see
Happy Arbor Day, my friends!
I hope you enjoy your Friday.
O wind, where have you been,
That you blow so sweet?
Among the violets
Which blossom at your feet.
The honeysuckle waits
For Summer and for heat
But violets in the chilly Spring
Make the turf so sweet.
(From Sing Song, by Christina Rossetti)
Good Friday morning, one and all - another week come and gone!
I wanted to pop in quickly this morning and share that pretty bit of verse. I spotted some violets growing beside our church last Sunday, quivering in the shade outside the west door. And oh, how I love violets! They're so tiny and unassuming but when you look at them up close, they are just exquisite ...
But violets in the chilly Spring make the turf so sweet ...
My friends, Earlybird has an appointment with his neurologist today and we're hoping to get some answers regarding his EEG results, medication, etc. These visits are alway a bit of a trial - between getting us all into the city (and home again) and easing EB through the anxiety of it all - it's a stressful situation on a lot of levels. So I would especially appreciate your prayers and good thoughts today ... I am working on finding my center of "peace" this morning, so that I can be a source of peace for my boy, too ... I know he'll need it.
Thanks so much, everyone ... I'll see you here again very soon.
How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!
Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
Rivers and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside—
Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown—
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!
(Robert Louis Stevenson)
Remembering all those wonderful, warm days swinging at my grandparents' house when I was just a little girl ...
Such sweet, simple times.
Happy Friday, my friends!
She hears the twitter of the birds
Finding the largess she has spread,
She sees the beauty snow has wrought
Where winter berries flaunt their red.
The lonely cries of circling gulls
Touch minor chords in her own heart;
In lace-clad tree and crystal bush
She feels a magic counterpart.
She likes the snowman’s pixie charm
Created by her wee one’s hands;
And looks up from her homely tasks
To share the whimsey he commands.
She has a kinship with the earth
Though busy in her own domain,
And comprehends its noble plan
From just a kitchen window pane.
This poem was written by a Milly Walton in 1949. I found it in a charming little book my folks gave me - which they found while cleaning out their attic - The Beauty of Motherhood: Selected Writings About The Joys of Being a Mother. I think it must have been my mum's, perhaps a present on one Mother's Day or another ...
But I was so struck by this sweet and thoughtful little poem - so perfect for so many of us! - I just had to share it here. The sentiment (and illustration as you can see above) is especially lovely for this time of year!
Well, my friends ... this is my little Valentine to you ... a wish for a simple, sweet moment like this. Delighting in the beauty of nature, and relishing the joy of your home. :)
Happy Weekend, my friends ... see you all again very soon ...
What a blustery start to the month! It's surprisingly mild here, but the wind is gusting like crazy! Can't help but think of that Clare poem: "I love the fitful gusts that shake The casement all the day ... "
Just a few photos from this week ... how I love the colors at this time of the year! Not fiery and vibrant like October, but more subdued and mellow. Earth's getting sleepy it seems ...
Don't forget to "Fall Back" this Saturday night! How will you spend that extra hour Sunday morning?
Have a great weekend, my friends!
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.
With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.
The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring."
~ Elizabeth Coatsworth
Just after 8 p.m. last night, as we sat down to watch It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, we noticed the cats staring out the back window, peering into the darkness with a look of absolutely enchanted curiosity. We flipped on the outside lights to see what was up, and lo and behold - it was snowing!
I had just finished telling the boys about my favorite childhood Thanksgiving, when all the cousins went for a long walk after dinner and on our way back it started snowing. I've always held that memory dear - for the family togetherness as well as the perfectly timed first snow of the year. I do love a late autumn snow ...
But this is just crazy.
Snow in October? Snow before Halloween? We have a storm heading our way this weekend ... bringing with it anywhere from 1-3 to 3-6 inches, depending on its ultimate track ...
But let's focus on calmer, happier things, shall we? Let's embrace the season before us, and make ready for a new month to enjoy. I spent some time perusing my November notes recently, and I thought I'd share a few themes and plans for next month ... things that make November special for our family.
Give thanks to the birds ~ make them some homemade suet treats. Set them out on Thansgiving day morning.
On All Soul's Day (11/2), create a remembrance altar - tiny tealights (rosemary candles if I can find them/make them), marigold blossoms, framed pictures of departed loved ones.
Collect woodland goodies so the kids can make "Thanksgiving Potpourri."
Field trip! Visit a local cranberry bog ~ make a fragrant relish for Turkey Day.
Go on a nest walk: look for squirrel dreys and all kinds of (now visible) nests.
Observe varieties of moss and lichens in the woods (and backyard). Sketch in journals ... make a tiny terrarium for the Nature Shelf.
Display our Thankgiving books.
Launder soft throw blankets and place them in a handy basket.
Make watercolor post cards using soft, autumnal colors - russet, amber, gray, olive - and write Thankgiving greetings to send to friends and family.
Look for the returning juncos, our little snowbirds that herald Winter's return. (We spotted one the other day - so I guess this snow should not be surprising!)
Push our clocks back (11/5) and make way for shorter, darker days.
Take time to enjoy the sound of geese flying overhead.
Organize the pantry early in the month - make sure we have our holiday baking supplies in order.
Order mixed dried fruit for making fruitcakes.
Mix up mulling spices:
Mix: 2 cups dried orange peel, 2 cups broken cinnamon sticks, 1 cup whole allspice berries, 1 cup whole cloves, 4 broken star anise. Store in closed jar.
To use: Mix 1/4 cup spices per gallon cider, wine or apple juice. Simmer 30 minutes before serving.
(From China Bayles' Book of Days)
Clean, shop, cook for Thanksgiving. (That's oversimplifying things, but that's a whole 'nother post!)
Set up a knitting basket - start working on scarves for Christmas.
Hang our Gratitude Banner to work on all month.
Write out different autumnal and thankful words on small pieces of paper. Let EB make his own "November poetry."
On Martinmas (11/11), gather donations for the Parish Food Drive.
Work on Advent Calendar Project (ready to go 12/1).
A couple more "snow" pictures from this morning ...
It might be crazy ... but it sure looks beautiful!
And as I finish this post (10 a.m.) the snow is all gone. The sun is shining and a seasonable day is ahead. Snow or no, I hope you all have a nice Friday ... and a happy last few days of October.
Take care, keep safe, and be blessed ...
I'll be back again soon!
I salute you!
I am your friend, and my love for you goes deep.
There is nothing I can give you which you have not.
But there is much, very much, that while I cannot give it, you can take ...
No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today.
No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant.
The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy.
There is radiance and glory in darkness, could we but see. And to see, we have only to look.
~ From a Christmas letter by Blessed Fra Angelico, 1513
I got a little crazy with the colors, but hey - it's Friday!
Have a happy weekend, my friends!
Late lies the wintry sun a-bed,
Before the stars have left the skies,
Close by the jolly fire I sit
When to go out, my nurse doth wrap
Black are my steps on silver sod;
From A Child's Garden of Verses, this is one of my favorite Stevenson poems, and I particularly love this collection of his works, illustrated by Gyo Fujikawa.
Happy Friday, my friends ... the long weekend is upon us!
Any special plans? :)
"January cold and desolate;
February dripping wet;
March wind ranges;
Birds sing in tune
To flowers of May,
And sunny June
Brings longest day;
In scorched July
The storm-clouds fly,
August bears corn,
In rough October
Earth must disrobe her;
Stars fall and shoot
In keen November;
And night is long
And cold is strong
In bleak December."
So much happens in a year ... which month's your favorite?
*I have another post for today - pictures of some crafts we made for Little Christmas - but I thought it would be nice to start the day with a bit of poetry. See you later this afternoon ... :)
The little Christmas tree was born
And dwelt in open air;
It did not guess how bright a dress
Some day its boughs would wear;
Brown cones were all, it though, a tall
And grown-up Fir would bear.
O little Fir! Your forest home
Is far and far away;
And here in doors these boughs of yours
With coloured balls are gay,
With candle-light, and tinsel bright,
For this is Christmas Day!
A dolly-fairy stands on top,
Till children sleep; then she
(A live one now!) from bough to bough
Goes gliding silently.
O magic sight, this joyous night!
O laden, sparkling tree!
~ Cicely Mary Barker
"I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December
A magical thing
And sweet to remember.
'We are nearer to Spring
Than we were in September,'
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December."
~ Oliver Herford
I was thumbing through old nature posts as I'm writing up a little talk on winter birdfeeding for Nature Study Club next week, when I came across this picture. There's just nothing so cheerful as the noisy little chickadee on a cold winter's day. :)
Well, we're off to the tree farm this morning! It's bright and chilly here, but the clouds are moving in, and there's a promise of snow in the forecast. Hooray!
Have a lovely Friday, my friends!
The March wind roars
Like a lion in the sky,
And makes us shiver
As he passes by.
When winds are soft,
And the days are warm and clear,
Just like a gentle lamb,
Then spring is here.
~ Author Unknown
After the past few rainy/snowy/windy/cold days ... we're looking forward to a warm sunny weekend here in New England. (Warm being a relative term, of course - the lower 50s will feel so good right about now.)
Happy Friday, everyone!
Lilies of the valley
ring each silent bell
when May's bright moon
lightens up the dell.
scurry here and there
dancing to the music
they can hear quite well.
Don't forget to look for the Full Flower Moon tomorrow night!
Lilies-of-the-valley are the birth flower for May.
It is the first mild day of March:
Each minute sweeter than before
The redbreast sings from the tall larch
That stands beside our door.
There is a blessing in the air,
Which seems a sense of joy to yield
To the bare trees, and mountains bare,
And grass in the green field.
I don't know what kind of weather YOU all had today, but here in southern New England we reached SIXTY degrees! I think it's safe to say that Spring has officially Sprung!
The cool March air feels so good, so fresh ... it was the first day in many, many months that we've been able to open windows all over the house. The air was just so gentle and mild. If I'd had my wits about me, I would have laundered our Easter linens today and hung them on the line to dry. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow - it's supposed to be just as nice.
The boys are playing in the yard right now, and it just makes my heart so happy to see the balls, bats, trucks and swings in motion again. The neighborhood is waking up after a long quiet winter - the girls next door are chatting on a trampoline, there's a meeting of bikes on the road, the little boy across the street just showed up to play, and I smell someone burning off in the distance. Whether it's a grill or a leaf pile, I can't be sure, but it smells good. When I can smell fresh dirt and woodsmoke in one sniff, then it smells like Spring's in the air.
And speaking of Spring in the air, I wonder if we should listen for peepers tonight? Maybe I'm pushing it, lol ... but the nights are getting milder. Time to replace the flannels with cottons, the comforters with quilts. I can say for sure that my youngest will be in need of a bath tonight - as you can see from the picture above, he spent some time "building roads" this afternoon. That's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it. ;)
Well, I'm going to get going now ... Bill is on his way home from work, and he's picking up pizza on the way, so YAY! My work here is done ...
Let the weekend begin! Have a GREAT one, my friends!
*Technically this poem is called "To My Sister," but I didn't include all of the stanzas, and the feeling I was trying to capture for Poetry Friday was expressed in that very first line. :)
sap is sure to run.
Moon looms in
waiting for the sun.
Did you see the full moon last night? It was breathtaking!
Technically, the moon was "full" on Wednesday, but it was raining here then. Last night was clear and beautiful, though, so I stood out on our deck, taking pictures through the darkness. I could almost hear the peepers in the woods ~ they won't start stirring for another couple of weeks, but it was fun to imagine.
This past week was a busy one - it really flew by! - and next week brings lots of fun. St. Patrick's Day, St. Joseph's Day, our Maple Sugaring trip and the First Day of Spring! I will post our plans for next week over the weekend. I'm still nailing down all the details. :)
Dont' forget, tomorrow is National Pi Day! (3.14) Are you going to have a little fun with it? Today I'll pull out the Sir Cumference book, and on Sunday we'll make individual pizza pies for lunch and enjoy a delicious grasshopper pie for dessert. I'm going to try to make a chocolate "pi" symbol on the top of the pie. Fun, right? :)
Well, I hope you all have a great weekend ~ I'll check back in again sometime soon!
Happy Friday (the 13th)!
p.s. I just looked out the window and noticed this in the western sky:
Sorry about those pesky telephone wires, but I had to show you the morning moon, too. :)
"In the bleak midwinter Frosty wind made moan, Earth stood hard as iron, Water like a stone; Snow had fallen, snow on snow, Snow on snow, In the bleak midwinter, Long ago." (Christina Rossetti)
And with midwinter comes the inevitable bout of cold and flu. I'll be back in a day or two!
October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came -
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.
I took this picture just a few minutes ago in the backyard - I just couldn't help marveling at the way the fiery foliage stood out against the brilliant blue sky. We're in for a beautiful weekend up here in New England - sunny, highs in the 60s. Football weather, we call this. :)
I am going to be take a blogging break over the weekend, as it figures to be a busy one for us. I've got about 101 errands to run and Bill is helping my dad with some house projects. I do want to remind you all that tomorrow begins the Barnes & Noble Educator's Discount Week - yippee! Definitely a good excuse to pop in for a pumpkin spice latte and maybe a little early Christmas shopping.
So for now, I wish all my dear readers a wonderful Columbus Day weekend, and I'll see you all again sometime soon ...
“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves.
We have had our summer evenings - now for October eves!”
This picture would be infinitely prettier without the telephone wires, lol, but I still couldn't resist showing you this picture of the moon rising last night. (I hope you can see the thin silver crescent hanging there just over the treetops?)
I tell you, there is just nothing like an autumn night - the air so crisp and cold and it smells just like I remember when I was a child. (What is it about being outside at night that brings you right back to childhood?) The breeze last night was strong and the light was magical - and I could have spent an hour just watching the moonrise in the southwestern sky. As it was however, I had dinner dishes to wash and a few children to put to bed, but it was a lovely moment while it lasted. :)
Thanks for stopping by today - I wish you all a Thoughtful Friday and a Lovely October, too.
Dragonfly, damselfly, butterfly, bee,
All in the garden, waiting for me.
Cricket, cicada, and katydid
All love to sing, especially when hid.
Spittle bug, stink bug, assassin bug, flea,
All these critters are better left be.
Summer in a snapshot: an electric-blue damselfly perched on a snow-white hydrangea blossom ...
Summer in a snapshot: an electric-blue damselfly perched on a snow-white hydrangea blossom ...
All the names I know from nurse:
Gardener’s garters, Shepherd’s purse,
Bachelor’s buttons, Lady’s smock
And the Lady Hollyhock.
Fairy places, fairy things,
Fairy woods where the wild bee wings,
Tiny trees for tiny dames ~
These must be the fairy names!
Tiny woods below whose boughs
Shady fairies weave a house;
Tiny tree-tops, rose or thyme,
Where the braver fairies climb!
Fair are grown-up people’s trees;
But the fairest woods are these;
Where, if I were not so tall,
I should live for good and all.
(by Robert Louis Stevenson)
My mind is very much on flowers this week. First of all, everything is blooming right now ~ the trees, the shrubs ... the lawn. ;) The landscape is a riot of color! And second of all, I'm making up my garden list for this year, considering what I'd like to grow in containers on the deck. (I had given some thought to raised beds in yard, but they will have to wait for next year - we have too many irons in the fire at present!)
But here's my plant-wish-list so far ...
- nasturtiums (for the windowbox)
- morning glories
- moonflower vine
- sunflowers (for along the back fence)
- roses (climbers for the shed, preferably with hips)
- Chinese lanterns
- mini-pumpkins (white and orange)
- peppers (hot or sweet?)
- tomatoes (plum, cherry)
- runner beans
And Herbs, as I can find them ...
- basil (for pesto)
- lemon balm
- butterfly weed
- lavender (we already have a bed)
I'll bring this list to the nursery this weekend - or maybe next, depending on the general craziness of the holiday crowds. I am looking for healthy seedlings for the most part, though I know some of these things do well (maybe even better) planted from seed. We'll see what I find! I'd like to do my planting on Memorial Day weekend, just like my grandpa used to. :)
Well, have a great weekend, everyone ~ and a Very Happy Mother's Day, too!