April 2008

I happened to glance out the window yesterday while it was raining – and this was what I saw!! I ran out to the car, got my umbrella and camera and started shooting away!!!!

It was unbelievably beautiful in person – these pictures don’t really do it justice! If you look closely, you can see it is actually a full double rainbow- cool!!!

Those pot o’ golds at either end, were deep in the forest!


One of my favorite childhood memories, was from someone else’s grandmother’s house.

We would spend summers in Rhinebeck, and as a small child, my summertime friend was Joanne. Joanne had the perfect, idyllic life- at least to me, the suburban child, yearning to be a year round country child.

I had my first sleepover ever at Joanne’s, where I saw my first live birth! Joanne’s mom woke us in the middle of the night to watch their dog have puppies!

I recall barebacking in a foggy field, 2 little girls on 1 horse, my friend trying to scare me, telling me this field was an old cemetary full of ghosts!

I remember wandering thru her grandparents’ farm house shortly after her grandmother (whom I’d never met) had died. On the back of the kitchen door, was an old hook filled with worn aprons. I was cautioned not to touch- they were to be left just as her grandmother left them.

That image has remained with me, almost 45 years, and probably started my fascination with aprons.

It was more than just aprons on a door- it was what they represented- love, warmth, hard work, a different way of life. Of course, I didn’t realize that when I was a child. To remain untouched, was to preserve the memory of their grandmother. I hope those aprons came to life again, to be worn by my friend or someone in her family.

That little vignette, stuck in my memory, and aprons have come and gone in my life- an unending fascination! Altho no one in my family ever wore them, I have just been drawn to them. I admired them, created and sold them, and am now collecting them for my own use.

I now have my own rustic hook in the pantry loaded with vintage aprons I have collected since moving to the country. I have “apron fairies” (friend Mary and my mom) who gift me with fabulous apron finds. And, I frequent a local church rummage sale, where the ladies know me only as “the apron lady”. They are sure I must own a tea room- I am always on the lookout for tablecloths and aprons!

It’s time to end this trip down memory lane, slap on an apron, and get to work!

Lily of the Valley is a flower of my childhood. My grandmother’s house was the huge, old white house on the corner, whose many rooms are still vivid in my mind to this day. Grandma loved flowers, but was never much of a gardener. Whatever came up on its own, was her garden!

Along the front of the house were rhododendron, which never impressed me, but, a huge lilac bush outside the back door did! This time every year, that bush was literally covered in the fragrant blooms!

Along the side of this old house, still alive in my dreams, was a narrow garden of mint and lilies of the valley- my 2 favorite scents!

I just recently discovered that the Lily of the Valley is the national flower of Finland. It is no coincidence then, that Finnish blood runs thru my veins! My grandmother’s parents were Finnish born- Kahkonnen was their name. Did grandma inherit the love of the flower from her mother, as I did from her?

My grandfather’s 2 favorite flowers were Black Eyed Susan and Queen Anne’s Lace- at least that is what he told me. These also grew wild, in my grandparents’ country home in Rhinebeck, so again, there was no real “gardening” involved- they were just there!

My homage to my grandfather, in our previous home, was a garden full of  Rudbecki and Queen Anne’s Lace, surrounded by butterfly bushes and 2 huge hydrangeas. I am hungry to recreate that here in our new (and final) home!

I am planning a shade loving garden with hydrangeas and my lilies of the valley carpeting the ground around them. The mint will be limited to large pots until my garden studio is completed. Then, many types of mint will be “released” to grow wild around the perimeter. There is already an established lilac bush on the site, holding fort on the corner of my vegetable garden.

I am of an impatient soul. I can see this garden in my mind’s eye. With minimal funds, a few new plants, and high hopes, I will have to trust in nature that this spring’s labor will result in my dream garden in the springs to come!

All is well, rain saturated, and hopeful, in Mountain Meadows tonite!


“…when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near.”

Mark 13:28


As I sit with my favorite pottery cup of Buckingham Palace tea, I am remembering Friday’s tea with 2 dear friends at Oatlands.  Altho I prefer my tea in a hand thrown pottery mug, there is something to be said for tea the traditional way, in a delicate china cup, pinky raised, and tiny little treats to tempt the palate and enlarge the waistline!

Tea is making a comeback, slowly edging Starbucks and Daily Grind to the backround- at least in my mind!!! There are tea rooms, children’s tea parties with their American Girl Doll companions, and a proliferation of anything tea related in catalogs, gift shops, and supermarkets. Even tho I LOVE my decaf mocha, tea will always be uppermost in my heart!!

See the next post for more pix from our day at Oatlands Plantation.




“Whatever you have forgotten, you can remember. Whatever you have buried, you can unearth. If you are willing to look deep into your own nature, if you are willing to peel away the layers of ‘not-self’ you have adopted in making your way through the tribulations of life, you will find that your true self is not as far removed as you think.”


–Meredith Jordan


I was so excited to participate in my first zentangle exchange with the friend that introduced me to this latest obsession!!! Patty is a talented artist, whether it be zentangles, altered books, or simply having the eye to take a great photgraph! You can see her work at www.bitze.wordpress.com (see her link in my blogroll- Magpie’s Nest). My exchange zentangles can be seen there also! She posted them the day of the exchange (thanks, Patty!)

We did our exchange when we met for tea at Oatlands Friday (see previous post ) . Patty also had show & tell -a BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL altered book, whose theme was India. She carried it in  an equally beautiful cloth bag, and when she took the book out, the  scent of incense  enveloped the book. It was perfect and really made you “feel” India, as well as see it! I wish I had thought to take pix of this work in progress, but got so wrapped up in the pages, I forgot!!! but I’m sure it will appear on Patty’s blogblogblog soon!!

Anyway, these zentangles of hers, seen above, started with a stamp of 2 lovely ladies, and the doodling commenced!! There are not enough hours in the day….!!! Thanks for being able to part with them – I know how hard that is!!! Guess now I need to set up an album with my “z’s” and the exchange “z’s”- yes, I want to do more exchanges!!! I have the perfect vintage photo album with black pages that will show off these mini works of art perfectly!

And, OH,NO!!!-I have started a GIANT zentangle. I was waiting for my daughter to get off the computer, and sat in the comfy rocker in front of the easel.  I was just playing (daughter takes a looong time to get off the computer), and she looked and said ” You are NOT making a giant zentangle, are you? ” Lo and behold, I was!!!  I was sitting, there was a blank page in front of me, and, well, there ya’ go!!!

This ‘tangle’ should take a long time, but we’ll give it a try!!!! If it gets finished, I’ll post it!!!

For those of you who fell in love with Belle


 and Rambo

from a couple of posts ago- they are doing just fine!!!

Last night, we got a call from the neighbor letting us know they were feeding at 5, so the daughter and I hiked across the field to see them.

Since the last thunderstorm – the hay fields have zoomed up in height! Last week, we walked the dogs and it was ankle high. Then, we had one small thunderstorm, but it was enough rain to soak the parched fields. Within a few days, it seemed like the fields were sooo tall-they shot up to knee height!  Half way across the field, I could feel the workout in my thighs- it felt like walking on the sand at the beach. The field is flat, but has little ditches and ruts (and groundhog holes!) that you don’t see until you step in them!  The daughter said it was more like walking thru the waves!! But we both need the exercise!! If we had a 4 wheeler, we could have zoomed across the field, and Belle would have gotten her bottle a little sooner!!!!

Belle was ravenous- and wasted no time in sucking the contents of that bottle down! She would have  taken more – but could have easily become very sick – ’cause they don’t know when to stop!!! It’s a different story when they are nursing off their mother, they can come and go as they please, all day long.  Bottle intake has to be limited to twice a day. The formula is very rich in supplements, so twice a day is perfect, despite what Bell might think!!

She was introduced to some bits of grain yesterday. At first, she just kept licking, looking for more milk, but managed to get a handful of grain down. There was not much chewing going on in that process. She doesn’t quite get the idea yet!

And, when mealtime was done, she was just like a petulant child who wants more- she stomped her feet and bumped her head against the pen and ran around in circles, and let go with one plaintive little “moooo”! We would reach over and pat her tight curly fur, but when she discovered those hands had no more food, she would go into her little “bad baby”  dance! Soo cute!!

Turns out she is an Angus/ Simmental cross, not Angus/ Charolais, as previously thought.

Rambo is also doing very well. He is older, is down to one huge bottle once a day, and is very much into eating grain. The farmer’s elderly dad has become very attached to Rambo, and takes charge of his feeding. When old enough, Rambo will be sold, Belle, however, will stay on the farm.

As long as Belle remains in the pen near our property, we will continue to visit and update everyone. Eventually, she will move to the barn, and then out with the other cows. It will be kind of hard to tell her apart from the others then. I think that once she is off the bottle, and with her bovine relatives, she won’t have much interest in her human friends any more! Until then, we will enjoy our visits!

All is well, and very wet again, at Mountain Meadows this morning!



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