Sunday, March 26, 2017

Visions of Spring

It’s a well-established fact that I love bedding and enjoy a seasonal change of my quilts and duvets.  I think we should blame my childhood, when my bed had a set of trellis-patterned floral sheets.  I remember the print and how much I enjoyed following the pattern with with a race car, up and down the rows on the sheets.  I loved those sheets and their arrival on my bed always made me happy.  I don’t play with race cars anymore, but I do enjoy a change of bedding.

Spring Break occasioned the changeover of my closet (more on that later) and if Spring clothes were in the wind then I wanted Spring bedding as well.  In an uncharacteristic display of practicality, I realize that though I long for Spring’s green and warmth, what I actually have is longer days that are still quite cold and often below freezing in the evening.  So the down comforter must stay.    But I have a fern-printed duvet to provide the longed-for green.

The duvet is warm.  So I’ll tuck into a warm, Spring-like bed in the evening.  That’s happy!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Front Porch in March

On the first of the month, eager for the warmth and sunlight of Spring, I headed to the front porch, set out some warm weather decorations, and made pictures to share on my blog.

Nearly at once, the wind began to blow and much of March has found the bunny flag at a horizontal.  I spent my time looking to keep the items on the table from blowing right off the porch.  It didn't seem right to post pictures of an idyllic porch in the sunlight.  Then it snowed and it’s remained cold enough for the snow to linger in my yard.  So much for my dreams of Spring.

Mother Nature hasn’t quite gotten with the program.  But April is just around the corner and Easter is on the horizon.  

And I always live in hope.  

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Cat in a Coat

Tiger rather enjoyed the portion of closet clean-out that landed him a collection of coats for his napping enjoyment.  He tucked right in for his afternoon snooze.

It’s hard to be a cat in Sassafras House.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Seasonal Bunnies

I have a soft spot for the furry creatures who live in my backyard, especially the squirrels and bunnies.  My affection for the rabbit world is long-standing.  Something about those fuzzy tails and perky ears charms me.  And I especially love pictures of anthropomorphized animals.  Knowing this, when T came across the illustrations of Racey Helps, she knew I would lose my mind when I saw them.

I have them on my bulletin board at school and swap them out on a seasonal basis so that I can appreciate the variety in my collection.  The illustrations are cute and sassy, with terrific attention to detail.  The bunnies headed to school have carrots and slate boards in hand; there is a chestnut roaster at the edge of a snowy field where the bunnies play; the Mama bunny wears a cheery and slightly exasperated expression as she herds her babies to get a balloon; the teacher bunny is unfailingly patient.  They are just my sort of thing and they make me ridiculously pleased when I see them. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

One More Scene of Winter

Last Tuesday’s snow forecast originally called for nearly two feet of snow.  We didn’t receive that much snow, but there were about 10 inches in my corner of the world and that was plenty enough for me.  It was a dense, wet snow packed down by sleet.  JT and I stayed inside until the storm was over.  Outside, one of the squirrels that lives in my yard hunkered down in the dogwood tree.

The backyard squirrels love this tree.  On sunny days, they chase one another up and down its trunk.  But last Tuesday was not a day for playing games.  Squirrels and humans tucked in for the storm, which is likely to be our last storm of the Winter.  Soon enough, the squirrels will scamper around the green lawn.  I’m looking forward to it!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Front Yard Flowers on Monday: Week 4

The vernal equinox starts today and I am ready to turn my face toward the sun.  I long for flowers and the lush green color of Spring.  There is sparkling sunlight today and the forecast promises temperatures nearing 50 degrees, which sounds lovely to me.  I’d guess that the flowers underneath this covering of snow are just as eager for sunlight as I am.

We’ll need several more bright, sunny days to melt the snow from last week’s storm.  Until then, the bulbs in this bed rest quietly and I learn another lesson in patience.  

Sunday, March 19, 2017

On Leadership

On Friday, T and I wandered north to Hyde Park, New York, the home of President Franklin Roosevelt.  We visited the president’s home and his presidential library and had plenty of time to think about the meaning of leadership in American history.

FDR wasn’t perfect, of course, but comparisons to the current resident of the White House don’t highlight FDR’s imperfections nearly as much as they reveal the vast inadequacies of the current occupant.  To read FDR’s descriptions and plans to deal with the Great Depression is to understand that leadership requires both the capacity to develop plans to address national problems and also the ability to express compassion and sympathy that will lead to national courage as we address our shared challenges.  FDR always seemed to understand that our problems were collective; that we must look after one another.  Instead, Donald Trump is rolling out a budget of tax cuts for the wealthy, an unnecessary wall, and vast weapons increases paid for by cuts to nutritional assistance for children and elderly.  Gutting the NEH and the NEA and ignoring the ways in which our privileges demand an active presence in the world isn’t leadership.  It’s foolhardy cowardice.  Trump’s plan isn’t about compassion or understanding; instead it is a reminder of how far our nation has sunk.

As we walked through the library displays on the years of Roosevelt’s presidency, we listened to selections from his Fireside Chats. Even now, the compassion and concern in his voice is palpable.  The comparison to Mr. Trump’s  efforts to communicate with the nation is just so disheartening.  At times I wasn’t sure which of Trump’s shortfalls was worse: the lack of leadership, the incoherence of his rhetoric, or the complete lack of principles in Trump’s world view.  It’s a sorry list of deficits.

FDR’s genius was in his ability to be genuine and sympathetic as he led the nation forward.  His definition of the national interest was broad and compassionate and his ability to sustain courage in the nation made us better together.  FDR’s policies were driven by genuine concern for the people, not an interest in adulation.   

I tell myself there are leaders like FDR in our future.  I tell myself that our current divisions are temporary.  Four years isn’t such a long time, I think.  We can endure and come out the other side of Trump’s reign with a better sense of who we are and who we want to be.  I want to have confidence that our history can be a guide to our our future.  I live in hope.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

So This Happened

Internet, the boy will be driving on his own in short order.  He has hours of playlists and says he now plans to run away from home. That's as may be, but for now he's yet to get a license and doesn't even know how to pump his own gas, so he won't get far.  In the meantime, I'm driving around with his wheels, playing my music and living it up with the rear camera and the automatic transmission.  He will be licensed soon; don't say I didn't warn you.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Snowpocalypse in March

The forecast for truckloads of snow meant that JT and I cut short our college visits and came home last night.  This morning finds us holed up inside while the snow comes down.  As of this writing, we’ve got 6 inches on the ground and it’s blowing sleet and snow like crazy.  It’s hard to know how much more snow and ice will come our way but there is nothing like a snowstorm to remind me that I am not in charge of everything, so I  plan to relax and enjoy the madness.  It can’t last forever, right?  RIGHT?

My favorite weather source reports that this will be like shoveling concrete so I am going to bake cookies before we face the outdoors because denial of the chores at hand is more delicious when there are warm oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  This much snow says Winter far more than it says Spring but Spring Break is exactly what we’re about right now.  I could complain but I have the day off and we are safe and snug inside.  A little Mother Nature-enforced lying around with books, cats, and cozy blankets isn’t the worst way to spend a day, so I'll count my blessings.