Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Positive Forces

Snow is once again a blanket of white on this town and forest, so I especially appreciate the kitchen windowsil covered with potted herbs and bright lemons and tomatoes.

I was feeling a little sick the past few days and was glad to discover the Alan Titchmarsh gardening show, which kept me thoroughly entertained and dreaming of springtime and my own small garden. He makes everything look so easy. Watching the plants thrive and grow on that show made the snow outside seem quite out of place. But I know that it won't be too long now.

I also watched a few episodes of the fabulous, adorable Jamie Oliver's 'At Home,' and find his passion and enthusiasm for everything he does so incredibly infectious.

I feel more and more that what we read and watch effects us, and I am feeling drawn to positive, funny, inspiring books, movies, and television shows. My mother in law loves reading children's books, and I think she might be onto something. I think it might keep your brain and your spirit young and optimistic.

So I am welcoming positive forces and people into my life now, and looking for creative ways to fill the remaining winter days.

xoxo country girl

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Magical False Spring

Sometimes, mid-winter, the temperature climbs, the snow melts, the creek runs strong and singing, and the sun shines. It's what we call a 'false spring,' because although it sure feels like spring for a few days, it won't be long until chill and snow return.

We have been enjoying these days of sun, no one as much as the dogs, who immediately jumped into the creek and ran like mad over the pressed carpet of brown leaves. Birds are chirping like it's spring, too, and the air is warm and friendly with their song.

Everything is brown and green, the colors of March. I try not to let it trick me into believing that winter is over. Though today I saw unfurling leaves on a naked stalk of elderberry, and the round dark green leaves of wild violets that grow so close to the ground almost convinced me.

But there will be snow again soon enough; birds and plants and creeks will go back to sleep under ice and grey skies. False spring gives us the gift of hope and reminds us what it feels like to be warm...reminds us that green and growth are on their way, if not quite yet.

xoxo country girl

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Lower Pastures

"Dear Barbara,
Yes, it takes living to find out what value life has. I think, when we are very young, we dream of everything on such an immense scale. Most of us, as we grow older, gentle the wild ponies of our heart. Then you find, on the lower pastures, the small flowers that are there, and you know the richness of small busy tasks and ordinary living."

-Gladys Taber, Stillmeadow and Sugarbridge

It's back to ordinary life here now that our winter vacation has come to an end. My life changed when I learned to notice the small simple things in life. The sweet smell of fresh laundry as you fold it, hot from the dryer. A small bouquet of fresh flowers for the table. A ripe avocado for breakfast. Watching puppies play and sleep. 

A quiet, uneventful day where all I did was walk the dogs, iron, match up pairs of my husbands 1 million black socks, and cook a nice meal, is a blessed one. Better for nothing in particular to happen than for something bad to happen. So I cherish the every-day. Life on the lower pastures, as Gladys Taber calls it. The cheerful hum of the dishwasher. Sunlight on the bowl of lemons and limes. The postman stomping, smiling, a parcel outstretched, his breath misty puffs as he comes in from the cold. Jack Johnson while I mop the floor.

Yes, I'll take life on the lower pastures any day.

xoxo country girl

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cold Happy Days

These have been such happy days, spent with my husband and two dogs. I think we've watched a record number of movies (and we're still not done yet); we take walks in the very cold fresh air, me snapping photos of all the rustic beauty winter offers; we share meals together, nap, read, paint, and have long conversations about everything.

For many years I took hour-long jogs every morning before the sun came up, and now I am motivated to start again, though I'll begin with power-walking since I'm out of shape and have very little condition. I am so happy that the new year has begun, bringing with it inspiration and fresh energy.

Ramon goes back to work next week and I'll re-open my shop, so these are the last few days of relaxed luxury. They have been so enjoyable, so I am sad to see them end. But at the same time, there is something about the rhythm of daily life that I am looking forward to.

Enjoy these winter days,

xoxo country girl

P.S. The first picture is of the town center here where we live. Isn't it lovely?


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