Thursday, March 26, 2009

'Beige! Just my color.'

The color du jour for True Colours Thursday is the ever present, ever lonely color b-e-i-g-e and at first I was ready to give up before even started this post. Like our fearless host of TCT, I'm asking, 'when is cream, tan, off white, etc. beige?' So, being the Queen of waffling**, I get to pick what looks like beige to me. . .hmm, waffles. . .yum!

I think I have covered all the angles--animal, vegetable & mineral as well as dubious cat traits. Hopefully your eye will catch a bit of beige lurking in each shot.
[title quote attributed to Elsie DeWolfe]


Thursday, March 12, 2009

A vi'let on the meadow grew...

The colour du jour for True Colours Thursday would be VIOLET.
Visit the colorful meme here.
When I think 'violet,' my mind always wanders into the garden or along a path in the woods. . .
And shade the violets, That they may bind the moss in leafy nets. John Keats

My favorite artwork that centers around violets is by Albrecht Dürer, the father of the Northern Renaissance. This was done circa 1503.
Hath the pearl less whiteness
Because of its birth?
Hath the violet less brightness
For growing near earth?
Thomas Moore

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Happy Birthday, dear Cakes

She was born on an early Wednesday evening to the soft sway of an easy listening station piped into the operating room. Two doctors helped deliver her into the new world she was reluctant to visit--flipping like a small dolphin and hiding high under my ribs for another two weeks. She was named Vanessa for her sleepy first 24 hours but finally given the name Audrey to make me happy. She grew up to be not only Audrey but Cakes, Chocolate Eyes and now just Aud. Strong, beautiful, funny, generous, hard working, left handed, artistic, ever so stubborn and kind, I'm still reeling when I realize that she's been on this earth for thirty years today!

No sense in asking where the time went. . .I have memories to last a lifetime. Now I am jealous of the time because I want to keep her as a daughter/friend, watching where she goes and with whom. And what I know about her is that she will make a difference in the world--even more than she did in mine.

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You. Dr. Seuss

Friday, March 6, 2009

A borrowed book meme or check this one out!

A book meme--what could be more fun? A meme about books. I'm borrowing this from a talented blogger/writer, Anno and since it is an open invitation, give it go yourself. I'd be interested to know your choices. . .all in the spirit of getting to know you better. So,

Four Childhood Books I've read:
1. Little Women / Louisa May Alcott
2. The Secret Garden / Frances Hodgson Burnett
3. Black Beauty / Anna Sewell
4. The Little Prince / Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Four “So-Called Classic” books read and never forgotten.
  1. Les Miserables / Victor Hugo
  2. Catcher in the Rye / J.D. Salinger
  3. To Kill A Mockingbird / Harper Lee
  4. My Antonia / Willa Cather

Four personal modern “Classic Novels”

  1. Prodigal Summer / Barbara Kingsolver
  2. Father Melancholy's Daughter / Gail Godwin
  3. Caramello / Sandra Sisneros
  4. Fugitive Pieces / Anne Michaels

Four authors I've read again and again

  1. Daphne Du Maurier
  2. Chaim Potok
  3. Anne Tyler
  4. Oscar Hijuelos

Four authors &/or books I'll never read again...ever

  1. Tobacco Road / Erkskine Caldwell
  2. Bonfire of the Vanities / Tom Wolfe
  3. The Lovely Bones / Alice Sebold
  4. Cold Mountain / Charles Frazier (just too heart wrenching)
Four books on my “To-be-read-list"
1. John Adams / David McCullough
2. The History of Love / Nicole Krauss
3. The Audacity of Hope / Barack Obama
4. When You Are Engulfed in Flames / David Sedaris

Three Fiction and one Non-Fiction I’d take to a desert island (instead of 2 each)

84, Charing Cross Road / Helene Hanff
Bird by Bird / Anne Lamott
We The Living / Ayn Rand
Carry On, Jeeves / P. G. Wodehouse

Four Book recommendations I have followed (and loved)

On Beauty / Zadie Smith
Collected Stories of Amy Hempel
Women Who Run With Wolves / Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Pride & Prejudice / Jane Austen

The last lines of one of my favorite books:

He had always been more sensitive than the people about him to the appeal of natural beauty. His unfinished studies had given form to this sensibility and even in his unhappiest moments field and sky spoke to him with a deep and powerful persuasion. But hitherto the emotion had remained in him as a silent ache, veiling with sadness the beauty that evoked it. He did not even know whether any one else in the world felt as he did, or whether he was the sole victim of this mournful privilege. Then he learned that one other spirit had trembled with the same touch of wonder. . . And there were other sensations, less definable but more exquisite, which drew them together with a shock of silent joy: the cold red of sunset behind winter hills, the flight of cloud-flocks over slopes of golden stubble, or the intensely blue shadows of hemlocks on sunlit snow. When she said to him once: "It looks just as if it was painted!" it seemed to Ethan that the art of definition could go no farther, and that words had at last been found to utter his secret soul. . .

from Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

word-less Wednesday

You say Permian, I say Paleozoic

ABC Wednesday's letter is G and for me no leaf is prettier than the ruffled, fan shape leaves on a Ginkgo Biloba tree, also known as Maidenhair Tree. The leaves are thick and have a faint waxy feel. Ginkgo biloba in Chinese is yín xìng 銀杏 but gets it name from the Japanese word ginkyo--yínguǒ 銀果, meaning silver apricot which is eaten in Japan.

These photos are from a tree in my neighborhood. Their leaves seem to unfurl later in spring and are some of the last to fall in autumn--maybe due to living in Zone 5. I remember the tall slender trees lining streets near the Frank Lloyd Wright Robie House in Chicago.

The Ginkgo is a living fossil, with fossils recognisably related to modern
Ginkgo from the Permian (last of Paleozoic Era) dating back
270 million years.
Visit ABC Wednesday Round 4 for more great 'g' words. You might want to join in the fun. Our host, Mrs Nesbitt asks if we say good morning, afternoon or evening when posting for ABC Wednesday--and since I'm always behind schedule it is definitely good afternoon from Minnesota!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Where art thou, o spring?

Listen, can you hear it? Spring's sweet cantata. The strains
of grass pushing through the snow. The song of buds swelling on the vine. The tender timpani of a baby robin's heart. Spring.
[from Northern Exposure, Wake Up Call, 1992]

If I could I'd pick a bunch of white Cosmos, bring them in the house, put them in a vase and just sit there staring** at their perfection. However, today the temp is hovering around zero with the possibility of more snow and temps near 40 by Friday. Spring inches her way north. In the meantime, visiting Today's Flowers is a great idea to add cheer to a cold Monday.

**Sometimes the mind, for reasons we don't necessarily understand, just decides to go to the store for a quart of milk. [also from Northern Exposure but I'm pretty sure I could have written it too!]