Monday, January 31, 2011

A Monday Monday

Is the difficulty of Monday mornings universal?  I keep telling myself that I need to devise something wonderful for Mondays.  For example, wouldn't Mondays be better if they held the best evening meal of the week?  Or that Monday afternoons included a stop at a favorite cafe for a delicious healthy snack?  Or if Mondays meant a cup of tea with a dear friend?  For me, this semester, Mondays mean assistant teaching in the morning and classes in the afternoon (today is an exception) so I haven't built something extra special into my Mondays... Don't misunderstand me, I LOVE my hours at the school, but it still involves getting up TOO EARLY on a Monday morning!

On this particular Monday, the last in January, one little girl in school was struggling with the absence of her parents.  Her sadness was leaking out her blue eyes and trickling down her sweet face.  I asked if it was a school problem, a friend problem, or a home problem, and she told me that her parents had gone on a trip without her.  She was really missing them.  The teacher whispered to me that her parents are coming home today, so when I got a chance, I asked the girl if she wanted a hug and told her I heard that her Mom and Dad would be home today.

"Isn't that great news," I asked her.  She nodded, still crying.

As we read in a small group in the hall, she leaned against me, sagging with the heavy weight of WAITING for something good to happen.    But, she got interested in the booklet we were reading, all about different books by Eric Carle and about the creatures he writes about and illustrates so colorfully.  Pretty soon, she was chatting and involved.  When I passed her on my way out of the building, she gave me a quick hug and a smile.  I asked if she was doing better and she said yes, with a generous smile.

I like how she handled her emotions.  When things are too tough, and you are waiting for things to get better, get fully engaged in what is going on around you!

Where ever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you comfort and joy.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Slow-Motion Sunday

"I wish that life should not be cheap, but sacred. 
I wish the days to be as centuries, loaded, fragrant."  
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The sun was brilliant today and the skies were blue and bright.  Despite that, it was very very cold and I kept my outdoor activities to a minimum.  I stayed in, except for a quick jaunt to the market for fresh produce and locally baked bread.  Often our bread is VERY local, because I enjoy making it myself!  I love to open my refrigerator and see the shelves well-stocked with lush greens... baby arugula, and romaine lettuce, and a fragrant bunch of cilantro... crisp bright carrots... blood oranges and intensely green locally grown Granny Smith apples.  Yum!

Wherever you are, whatever the weather, 
I wish you warmth and full and fragrant days!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday Snapshot - Light

I see the soft light filtering through the blinds, as afternoon eases into evening.

I hear Golden Days by the Damnwells.  "Baby please don't rush...Keep the tempo slow and blue...Let me hear the words you say... Let's go and get tangled in chains of golden days..."

I smell a tiny white lilac and lavender candle, as it flickers on the counter next to me.

I taste Spearmint chewing gum, and feel refreshed and uplifted, as I contemplate my plans for the remainder of the day.

Wherever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you good energy.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Saturday Snapshot - Song

I see my eight year old son making a sandwich of three throw-pillows from the love seat, as his song of childhood flows in a constant stream of chatter from his lips.

I hear Regina Spektor singing and playing her piano, and if her music was color it would glow, vibrant and shimmering, through this softly lit room.

I smell rosemary and thyme from the Mediterranean Vegetable Soup with dumplings that I made for dinner.

I taste Tulsi Sweet Rose Tea from Organic India and feel its comforting warmth while outside an arctic wind sings wildly. I think I'll stay inside tonight; I'm pretty comfortable where I am.

Wherever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you comfort and song.

Just a note:  All the photos on this blog, thus far, have been from my little inexpensive cell phone.  I am without a camera at present, but like to give you at least a little glimpse of my corner of the world with each post.  This was taken today, in the late afternoon in the village.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Saturday Snapshot - Drifting

"Seeing, hearing and feeling are miracles, and each part and tag of me is a miracle."
~ Walt Whitman

I see blowing and drifting snow moving in vertical sheets across the frozen surface of the lake.

I hear Linkin Park playing on Grooveshark, drifting through the otherwise quiet house.

I smell Indian incense, called Vishwa Shanti, drifting in fragrant, curlicues of smoke through the kitchen.

I taste Organic White Tea with vanilla and feel it warming me from the inside out.

I am sort of drifting through the day... a little cleaning, a little homework, a little guitar playing, a little reading.  I have a small gathering to attend this evening, and afterward I will probably drift off to sleep listening to the wind that is forecast to blow all through the night.

Wherever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you contentment.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thrifty Thursday

As a facet of my "new life," I am having to be more thrifty than ever.  I have always avoided senseless waste, but am having to find new ways to stretch my limited dollars.   I have recently learned (the HARD way) NOT to buy coffee at the dollar store.  Do not let the small cute package fool you.  It is not good coffee, in a small quantity, being sold for a dollar.  On the other hand, the 100 orange & black pekoe tea bags for $1.00 is very decent, and a good buy.  How can I complain about a  hot cup of freshly brewed tea for just a penny?

Other great dollar store buys that I enjoy include flashcards and other cute teaching materials and Yardley's bar soap.  I love Yardley's English Lavender or Lemon Verbena soaps and I love that I can find both every time I stop in at the dollar store.

What are your favorite $1.00 finds?

Wherever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you joy in small things.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tuesday Tales

One young lady arrived at school today fashionably attired in a fawn-brown tunic sweater with long pink sleeves and a pink ribbon tie at the waist, soft brown leggings, and tall brown boots that I wish I could find in my size.  I complimented her on her ensemble saying, "I love your outfit."  To which, this self assured six year replied, "I know that."

Wherever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you peace... 
and the confidence of a six year old girl in a GREAT outfit!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Monday Motivation

"The potential possibilities of any child
are the most intriguing and stimulating in all creation."
~Ray Wilbur

Up bright and early.  Today is my first day of assistant teaching.  I am heading off soon, down a snowy winding road, to meet two classrooms full of lively, interesting  first graders with whom I will be interacting for the next sixteen weeks.  Wish me energy!

I have a lot to look forward to in the weeks ahead.  What are you looking forward to?

Wherever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you peace and good energy.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Slow-Motion Sunday

"Slow down and enjoy life.  
It's not only the scenery you miss by going too fast - 
you also miss the sense of where you are going and why."
~ Eddie Cantor

For me, no matter how busy the rest of the week might be, Sunday is a S L O W motion day.   I take the time to make a decadent cup of Turkish coffee.  I gaze out the window... accomplishing nothing for long slow stretches of time.  I take too long in the shower.  I cook something messy and time consuming... but only if I feel like it.  

Outdoors, the snow is piling up, as it has been for the last week.  The walks I shoveled yesterday have vanished in the soft chill of the day.  They can wait until tomorrow...  I have daydreams to linger over.

Where ever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you contentment.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Fresh Start

"Things will happen in your life that you can't stop,
but that's no reason to shut out the world.
There's a purpose for the good and for the bad."

---"Crazy Pete" Sims (Walter Sparrow), Now and Then

Since I stopped writing my Quiet Country House blog last July, so much has changed in my life. For one thing, I am no longer living in the Quiet Country house, but rather in a tidy little cottage in the village which I sometimes featured in my Sunday Strolls or other posts. I am going to begin again, here at this new blog.

This coming week I will begin the assistant teaching semester of my university experience in a local first grade classroom. I am inspired and excited to begin! I will post when possible, sharing glimpses of this new journey I am beginning... in both my evolving personal life and in my professional endeavors.

Wherever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you peace and inspiration.