Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Frosty With a Chance of Spring

    While out early this morning I observed a landscape full of contrasts.  The ground was white with heavy frost beneath  morning fog, trees and shrubbery were still gray and bare, but the sun was rising and the birds were singing.  In front of our home purple crocus slept surrounded by dead  plants and roses I forgot to trim in the fall.   Tulips and daffodils were beginning to bud and my baby iris plants were starting to grow.  
     Bird activity  increased this month but there hasn't been much more than various chirps-- until today..  Each year I wait for my favorite spring sound which is a finch (house finch, I think).  This morning I finally heard it.  The finches here have a long and very sweet song.  In past years there have been some very talented finches, including a couple that imitate other birds.  At least I think they were finches.  So sweet--I just love their sound!
     For me spring is a season of awakening and hope, a relief from what is usually a drab and depressing February.  Our March activities this year have been full of spring's theme.  Our kitchen walls have been stripped and painted (at least most of them), I have redecorated our family room, pictures have been moved around, my concert schedule has picked up both in dates and difficulty, and our middle son has left home to serve as an LDS missionary in Utah (yes, there are non-Mormons in Utah).
     After dropping kids off at the high school this morning I saw a study in contrasts at a stop sign.  After observing the heavy traffic I looked beyond the intersection and saw huge, broad rays of sunlight streaming through some trees just ahead.  It was very beautiful.  By the time I got home the fog was disappearing and there were no chances for photos.
     It was nice to see something so lovely near a busy intersection, but the traffic hindered my ability to enjoy it.  There was no time to linger and really take it in.  It seems life is like this for many of us.....very busy with not enough quiet time.  I remember the busyness and intensity of graduate school and how much I liked my daily walks to campus.  I enjoyed homes and yards, especially a particular rose garden on the way.  It was good thinking time.
     Sometimes I took a breather from school by taking a short walk to the chocolate or cookie shop near campus and getting a treat, or to Kazoos for a killer brownie or bagel.  Sometimes just doing research in the library was a relief from classes, my viola and assistantship duties.  The library was calm and quiet in contrast to the music building.  Maybe it is a bit like a decorator coming home to white rooms.  A relief from working with color all day....
     The most difficult period to find time for myself was when my children were young.  I don't recall taking much time to recharge spiritually, which was what I needed.  I could do sewing or practicing when they napped but I really should have been reading Scriptures more often.  I regret that...I think it would have improved my mothering skills.  Being a stay-at-home mom can be very lonely, especially for those who really need to socialize.  It can be quite challenging!  My sister has always worked but tried staying home after her second child was born...she was miserable.  I think she went stir-crazy.  After doing her best she made a careful decision to return to work. She has good kids......
     Well, this has been a rambling blog post!  Hopefully I will be blogging more since February is gone!!!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

March Madness

    Growing up as a Hoosier meant that March Madness was high school basketball tournament time, a very big deal in Indiana.  It is especially exciting when you live in a small town and you have a good team (we lived in a town of 20,000). I still remember the perfect  40 foot overtime shot that took our underdog team to state--final four teams-- when I was a junior.  We were all ecstatic! When my sister was in high school our team went to state again.  In the excitement the sidewalk around the courthouse was painted green and white. Tournament time can get pretty crazy if your school does well.
     March madness has invaded our home, but not from basketball. I think this is "fix-it-up" madness.  About the time we began preparations for my middle son to leave on a mission later this month (young men in my church--Mormon-- are encouraged to serve as a church missionary for two years)  I got hit with this madness.  Maybe it was a way to keep him busy, or maybe it was a way for me to be too busy to think about him leaving...who knows.
     Projects and projects.  First my husband pounded a hole into the kitchen wall  to make a set- in book shelf for my cookbooks.  And it is finished!  Then, stripping parties in the kitchen.  Wallpaper, that is.  A job I have put off for years because I knew it would be HUGE!!  Underneath yucky off-white wallpaper is tons of glue and turquoise paint.  Right now the kitchen  has what my husband termed "a rustic Italian villa" look.  Pretty good description when the kitchen is cleaned up.  Hopefully the week after this I can start painting....a joy compared to the wallpaper mess.
     About the same time I decided that I can't stand the curtains and colors in our family room anymore.  It ate and ate at me.  I thought, "There must be a way to change all of this with hardly any money...there has to be!".  I am doing it for fifteen dollars, spent for sheets.
     A few days ago it suddenly occurred to me that I need an inspiration piece.  I have seen decorators do this.  And I found it...a painting in the room.  I thought and thought and went through my fabric stash.  It works--I have what I need without spending a penny.  Yesterday I laid out the fabrics and  switched things around.  Now for the sewing.  I must be NUTS.  It will be so much better, though.
     In the midst of all this three cockatiels have moved in for a few months.  Our dog is BANANAS.  He would love to play with them, rip them up, and eat them.  So we have a whining dog and chirping, occasionally singing birds.  On a side note, the birds supposedly are all males, but there is definitely a pair.  I am guessing we might have eggs early next week.  Or we have two cockatiels who have embraced an alternative lifestyle.  Enough said.
     So........who knows when I will have anything of note to write about in here...unless it is the demise of me or a bird!

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In addition to being a violist, I am a wife and mother (three sons). I dabble in writing, handwork, sewing and photography.