Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Spring Overflowing

Geneva, Switzerland. Picture by Stephen.
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"The cistern contains: the fountain overflows." ~ William Blake (English Poet, 1757-1827)

My brother was in Geneva in the early spring, when days were just warm enough to stroll through the wide avenues under the budding green trees and when early flowers were shyly welcoming the climbing sun. It probably wasn't a day that would prompt me to jump in this fountain.... but today is... at least in Virginia. Projected high? 97F. But, no rain.... yeah... so the construction continues.

I have had one person suggest that we show you Stephen's winter garden room construction... I suppose it might be interesting and perhaps my cousins who designed it, might pick up some interest in their business. We will see. Right now though, it seems to be at that point where I can see the light at the end of the tunnel... I just can't tell if it is sunlight or an approaching train.

So, today I will have to try and remain calm and collected and cool; staring at this picture might help a little as will seeing what other folks are doing with their Watery Wednesdays.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Roses Among Thorns

A sea of roses....adrift in time. Norfolk Botanical Gardens
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Let me show you
Sweet smell of a delicate whisper
Behind the vision of gardens
Go and read of your life
Tiny ripping at the heart
Drunk from a rose.
~ Erica Caitlin Lee

I miss the June days of mild heat.... in the 80's... and lower humidity. Surely, these are the draining dog days of summer. Funny though.. then I thought it was sweltering as I strolled through the botanical gardens. The rose garden is phenomenal, a sea of color across the green lawns and along the stone bandstand, a wall of red. White, yellow, pink, orange, bicolors, striped, speckled.... and of course red... deep dark red. They are intermixed, not segregated by color or size and floribundas mixed with climbers and hybrid teas as well. Here the dragonflies bask in the aroma and dancing bees flit from bloom to bloom. Soon the careful gardeners will be preparing them for the short winter rest we have around these parts... and next May the blooms will appear again, brighter and more beautiful than ever.

But will we survive the 95 degree temps with 100% humidity today? Thank goodness the air conditioner people were able to fix the unit this morning....just in time for Ruby Tuesday!!!

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Moody Mellow, Macro Yellow, Monday

Black-eyed Susan. Rudbeckia hirta
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"Where beams of imagination play,
The memory's soft figures melt away."
~ Alexander Pope

It's a "moody mellow, macro yellow Monday" here with a bright sunny day... finally! A usual August brings dry weather and the wish for rain, but this year we had 5 inches of rain in the first 15 days of the month and oppressive humidity and high temperatures on the days without rain. It is the prevailing "Murphy's Law" scenario... if a construction project is in full swing and you need several days of dry weather to complete many odds and ends of outside work, then you will be guaranteed to get torrential rain storms coupled with prolonged periods of drizzle and light rain...everyday except one. Of course, this will be the day that no one shows up to work. And the project drags on.

It is too hot and humid to go to the botanical gardens right now, but I had this black-eyed susan picture from my last trip in July. It is cheery and bright, inviting to butterflies and bees, as well as to we humans who need a break from the rain and the cares of life. It will have to do for Mellow Yellow Monday and Macro Monday as well.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Talking Heads

"Families are like fudge... mostly sweet with a few nuts." ~ Author Unknown

Clockwise from top right: Rick, Stephen, Dave. Posted by Picasa

"What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel that they are joined for life - to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories." ~ George Eliot

I've been a little busy. Stephen has been home for an extended period to rest (right!) and oversee his building project for a while. Our cousins from Illinois, who are masters at woodworking, came to do the inside trim, beams and some skirting on the new deck as well as build a trellis for the wisteria. They also brought gorgeous walnut furniture that they made for the room. So they have been busy with cutting, hammering, climbing, clear coating, painting and various other woodworking things. I took a break from the decision making for the project and plunged into the chopping and cooking for the workers.

My two cousins are thin and tall. How they remain thin I do not know. If I ate a minute fraction of what they eat, I would gain ten pounds in two days. Since Rick is mostly a vegetarian, we did a lot of rice and stir fry and salads. I chopped celery, carrots, bell peppers (green, red, yellow and orange), purple onions, snow peas, mushrooms, broccoli and cucumbers. Tons of salad greens were washed and spun. Boxes and boxes of brown rice cooked. Green peas, corn, fresh thin green beans, slivered almonds, black olives and bean sprouts were added. Our huge wok worked overtime... as did Stephen, for he is the master cook. I made fruit salad with fresh pineapple, bing cherries, cantaloupe, blueberries, mango, apples, and watermelon. We cooked salmon, catfish and chicken. And this was just for one day!

In addition.... a black walnut cake, carrot cake, cheese cake and a chocolate cake with buttercream icing were consumed. The cousins were here for two weeks.

Now, the chopping has taken a break... the meals are back to what seems like a minimalistic production... time for a little rest. And a little blogging.

Oh, this picture? We went to the beach... in the evening and with the flash and a little post production, I ended up with this strange floating heads shot. But that's a family!

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