Category Archives: summer

Benjamin Button

Today is the last day of school and the start of another summer vacation. I hear the kids splashing and zooming in the neighborhood but none of them are my kids anymore. I try to decide if that makes me sad? No, I am not sad but it is a tender moment to remember those days – little boys on bikes and go karts with the sounds of summer around each turn – and a little girl in braids, sunkissed hair, and a pink swim suit – very tender. But, these days are good too and I am writing to post something that proves it. Elizabeth is filling out profile paperwork for college “matches” and she had to include her favorite quote. It is something, for me, that says she was listening all of these magical years of childhood and it is evidence that she has become the daughter that is a perfect “match” for me. I hope you enjoy this:

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summer rain

These summer days are rolling on and I am loving nearly every moment. It rained, hard, the other day and I had to stay inside, so I painted the entire day – taking breaks only to mess around on the computer and gaze out of the window. For me, this was a proverbial “heaven on earth” situation. I’ve said this before, it’s not the “big” things in life that bring happiness – those things can sometimes be spawned by ego and laced with vanity – it’s the little things – the things that all of us have. It’s you appreciating the rainy summer day and the sunshine that illuminated the earth when the rain stops, it’s seeing the good in people and doing good, it’s the self-satisfaction you feel when you have completed a difficult task or created a piece of art or it’s the cup of coffee and an early June morning when the house is still and it’s just you and the universe – anyway, I had that kind of day. Awesome stuff.
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Dog Days

 The “dog days” of summer are here – they began this past Sunday, July 3. They will continue through August 11. It’s something we’ve all heard – those dog days of summer – and certainly have all felt, but do you know why it’s called “dog days”? It’s all about Sirius, the dog star (it’s the largest star in the Canis Major constellation).During these sultry days of summer, Sirius rises and sets with the sun – a belief from antiquity that “explains” why it is so hot. Okay, that’s an oversimplification but it’s the general idea. Now you know why it’s so hot – because of Sirius.
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kieffer pears and happiness

The kitchen was hot this midsummer  morning peeling Kieffer pears that had fallen from the tree, fallen from a strong furious wind in the middle of an extremely hot day – trying to cool off the planet but instead made a wreck of my fruit trees. So, here I am in mid-June with a bucket of premature pears. I left some on the ground for the hens – I’ll get them later in the eggs they lay – but I am putting most of them in a crisp or cobbler of sorts. It’s a wonderful summer morning – one I will remember in December when soup is on the menu and holiday anxiety is trying to sneak into my life. I think these mornings are the “times of my life”. I say this with an emphasis on “my”; I don’t include the lives of my family in this, for they are the “reason” for my life and have my total devotion and all of my heart. I say this to refer just to me, if there were just “me” – this would be my kind of happiness, very simple, very non-threatening, very organic living, living that keeps a slow pace that allows awareness and time to extend myself more. My twins were telling me about a study conducted on a college campus about a guy dressed up in a clown suit riding a bike through campus – and when asked if they had seen him, only a very small percentage had even noticed – too busy being “connected” to technology and stress. For that bit of time in the kitchen with my fallen pears, I am content and connected…
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apples and choices

Somehow, today feels like the first day of summer vacation for me although it began on May 28. I am finally at a place where my mind is clearer and my routine is no longer there. The day is wide open for me. First, I write. I find that when I do things “for me” first, I am more giving later. I choose writing in the early morning and painting late at night – that’s how it works for me. This art, while beautiful and magical, is also a burden; it insist on your time and effort – time taken from daily chores and thoughts taken from everyday concerns. It is something you must do but yet it fills up so much space, space needed to be wife, mother, friend, teacher, gardener, housekeeper. But I don’t know why I even concern myself with this, art it something, like a crying baby, that must be attended to. So, for me, I find that if I just sit here for a bit of time in the early morning before the house stirs and before I become someone’s else, I can satisfy the muse and again, late at night when the house is still again and I have energy, I sit at my easel and paint and the next morning when I get up the first thing I do is go to my easel to see what happened the night before – it is so nourishing.

 I am not here to preach, for I have no credentials and I don’t care for that sort of approach, but I am here to share things I think are worthwhile. So, I have decided to post a copy of 12 fruits and vegetables that you might want to consider buying organically – the Dirty Dozen for 2011.

  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Strawberries
  4. Peaches
  5. Spinach
  6. Nectarines (imported)
  7. Grapes (imported)
  8. Sweet bell peppers
  9. Potatoes
  10. Blueberries (domestic)
  11. Lettuce
  12. Kale/collard greens
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bye bye bees

Well, yesterday has been accomplished – I painted and I went to lunch with my twins – both enterprises were very satisfying and enjoyable. Having 5 children is a bit complicated and I try to capture a few moments away from the group theme and yesterday was one of those times.
this is where Matt, Drew, and I had lunch
this is the painting from yesterday
About the bees; they are gone now. The bee keeper came Thursday and extracted more honey (and gave me a sample quart!) and told me they would be here Friday evening (last night) to move the hives to Arnaudville. It seems the sugarcane is not a good thing for them and they will burrow in the dirt if he leaves then here. They will return in the spring. I will miss them so. I spent a part of each day walking through the field to get to them and just watched them and listened to their onomatopoeia and was totally fascinated by their busyness, then I would sneak past them and come home through the woods – it was such a pleasant excursion and kept me so close to  nature. Anyway, til next spring…it is beyond any words I can transfer from this keyboard – eating honey from my yard and peeping into “the secret life of” beekeepers – simple pleasures are the best, hands down.
and these are the bee keepers
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The house is full of summer – I can tell by the way the late afternoon sun filters in through the blinds and redesigns the keeping room and the kitchen counter is layered with squashes and cucumbers while a tomato ripens in the kitchen window. I can see the changes in the night sky and the June bugs fly around the porch light and the cicadas call in the middle of the day when the heat is deep and the trees are still. I know it’s summer when I see a scattering of unfinished books on sofas and chairs and window sills and the laundry room is harnessed and there is banana bread in the oven and fresh coffee three times a day and my studio smells like turps and oils and my head is filled with possibilities. I love June.
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We have a hammock now. It says summer to me. I tried it out one afternoon late and it took me to another place. There is something eccentric about looking at your physical world while lying in a hammock – the perspective changes not only physically but spiritually also. The sky and its infinity become your vantage point and all of the worldly sort of things disappear – traffic signals, roof tops, wires, steel; all you see is what nature has created – the perspective is uplifting. Then there is the comfort of being snuggly suspended a little ways off the ground and the wind giving you a gentle push now and then. I recommend hammock therapy for everyone this summer – the view is out of this world.
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