Friday, 18 March 2011

Pink Saturday and Sunny Sunday

This weekend, I'll be away for Pink Saturday. But I wanted to play, so here's my early post....

In a few hours, I'm heading off to spend the weekend camping with my husband, son, our dog, a bunch of friends and their dogs.

I am a recent convert to the the world of camping.  For years, my version of "roughing it" was a hotel without room service.  Yes, it's a cliche, but for me it was true.

Now I have a different view.  I am not looking for "Glamping", the new trendy travel option where you sleep in a tent, but have priceless rugs on the floor, or are served meals by a butler!

I love our ocassional, simple get-aways into nature. But with a few additions that most hardcore campers wouldn't include, like:

From the album of Vintage Chic Decor
Pillows.  Not just a sleeping pillow.  A pile of collected-at-thrift stores and estate sales pretty pillows, just perfect to pile up in the tent for an early morning read or a midday rest.

Image from Bliss'd

Candles. Pretty white candles, unscented, to cluster in glass jars in the center of the table.  They look lovely, the jars keep them from falling over, and the unscented-ness means they don't mask the smells of the trees, campfire or yummy food.

A lovely quilt top from the Pink House blog
Quilts. Yes, our air mattresses keep us off the chilly ground which I appreciate, and a sleeping bag is warm, but the fake, nylon-y texture of sleeping bags makes it uncomfortable to me.  And if you have them unzipped to use as a cover, they slip off and slide away.  Old quilts and my soft washed-a-zillion-times cotton comforters, on the other hand are warm and soft and wonderful to cuddle under when the evening temps fall.

Photo by E Gallagher
Art supplies:  Not everything, not even a lot.  But I do have to have my little box of watercolors, some brushes, a pad of watercolor paper and some pens.  I've gone a few times without these, and the unmet need to create something was so strong, that not having the right supplies with me took something away from my enjoyment.  So now these supplies are must-packs.

Good tea:  I've already packed my selection of herbal teas (tissanes, really, since there is no real "tea" in them).  A wonderful chai, a tangy lemongrass and sage, a refreshing mint with bergamot, and Good Earth original (my all time fave!)

I'll also pack my hiking boots, some ancient jeans that are perfect for getting dirty, and a good trail map, because I like that part of the weekend, too.  But when it's time to be around the campfire, or in the tent for the night, I'll be ready with the little things that make it all a little more special.

Tea, anyone??

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Oh no, a Nook is NOT the same as a REAL book!

Call me a ludite.  Say I'm hanging on to the past.  But I will not give up my old-fashioned, paper and print books.

I looked at the Nook with my 13 year old the other day... 

She went on and on about how wonderful it would be.  I thought about how I couldn't risk tossing it in the beach bag along with my sunscreen, a still -slightly sandy towel and a cold water bottle.

She talked about how great it would be to be able to put so many books on one reader.  I thought about how it would be impossible for those "books" to ever acquire that wonderful "old book smell" that makes used bookstores so enticing.

She showed me how she could change the font and the amount of back light.  I thought about how it would mean the end of stumbling upon that old once-upon-a-time favourite book that got wedged in the back of the bookshelf, and just begs you to put your feet up and re-read a book that feels like an old friend...again.

She showed me how she can even go on Facebook, right from the Nook.  But all I could think about was how a good book, a glass of lemonade and a long summer afternoon alone under a tree would never be the same if you had to worry about the charge on your "book's" battery running out.

I am not a computer novice, nor an Internet neophyte. My career is online.  I use every social network there is, and some that are still in Beta releases.  I write, code and link for hours every day.

But when it comes time to read the latest mystery by my favourite author, give me a paperback, a patch of grass on which to stretch out, and a cool drink close at hand.

In the end, we left the bookstore without a Nook.  Our family will have to remain Nook-less for awhile longer.  But we did have 3 new, REAL paper and print books. I have held off the electron tide for another day...happily.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

The end of year one. The start of something deeper.

My husband and I are coming to the end of our first year of marriage (although we've decided to continue to calling ourselves newlyweds indefinitely!  It's just too much fun to give up!)

We have not had the typical first year of marriage.  Instead of just two of us, my new husband went from a lifetime of being single to suddenly having a wife...and kids...and a dog...and two cats. And then there are the scrapbook supplies and the books...Especially the books (Hi, I'm Lindsay, and I'm a biblioholic...) I know he didn't count on the books! (Although to be fair, if he had just counted the bookcases in my old place before we got married....)

The economy and jobs meant that we didn't go from the wedding to a honeymoon.  In fact, we are still waiting for that...maybe later this year.   And then in January, my husband had to move to another state to take a job so we are temporarily living in separate states and only see each other for about one weekend a month.  THAT sucks...seriously.

In other ways, we are typical.  We've spent time this year getting to know what it's like to live with each other.  We've started learning how to meet each other needs, and balance that with our own wants and needs.

We've negotiated the important issues like how to load glasses in the dishwasher, and exactly how long it really takes to get everyone out the door and into the van.  We've talked about the house we want, the trips we hope to take, and the things we want to do together in the years ahead. And it has been getting better and better all year.

But the other day, something big happened.  

My husband is home for one of our all-too-brief visits, and we were talking.  The subject doesn't matter.  But I was so certain I was just plain correct about something.  You know that feeling, right?  You are just absolutely sure that you have all the facts lined up, and that there is NO WAY you could be wrong.  Yeah.

And then he started to talk about the subject from his point of view  And I was stunned into silence.  I heard the words, but I heard something else that meant so much more....I HEARD his love.  The subject wasn't love.  But the words were.  The ideas he was sharing came from a place of love.  His ideas were different than mine to start.  And then he brought in what I had been saying, and pointed out how we were BOTH right.  And BOTH wrong.  Suddenly, being right didn't matter at all.

At that moment, when I sat there listening to his words, and the meaning behind them, the love I felt grew infinitely deeper. I actually felt the the connection between us strengthen.

In that moment, my love for him went from what I THOUGHT was a lot to something I never even imagined.  

Something so small...the discussion wasn't about anything life-shattering.  Something so big...the words my husband lovingly chose shifted everything so dramatically.

Monday will be our First Wedding Anniversary.  But you know what?  I already got the very best gift.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Texture...close up

Barbed wire, Odessa , Texas 

I LOVE texture...I love surfaces that show something about their age, or their experience with the elements.

Fishing net and sea shells, Fort Lauderdale, FL

I love things that have different textures, the smooth, with the rough, the natural with the man-made, like the net and the sea shells...

....or when it's unexpected like this flower I spotted on the 200+ year old porch of an old Pennsylvania house.

Flower on the wooden porch of Rockford Plantation, Lancaster, PA

The cool, fluid contrast of rain drops on a metal chair was enough to make me reach for my camera, even if it means getting soaked and having to go back to work looking like a drowned I did when I took this shot.

Rain-adorned chair, Sunrise, FL

I know, there are some who appreciate the pristine smoothness of a modern table top, or a Scandinavian dresser.  But for me, it's the surface that begs to be touched, to be experienced with my fingertips...or my camera...that gets me to stop and look.

How about you?  Textured or smooth?  New or old?  Freshly minted, or well-aged?

Friday, 4 March 2011

Pink memories of a baby doll -- and a lesson

I am camera-less for now, so my Pink Saturday post has to rely on words and other people's images.  But the memories are all mine.

I was thinking the other day about a doll I used to carry around with me, a pretty little doll with a pink outfit I loved...Baby Cuddles.  (I'm amazed that I actually found a picture of her online!)

Lots of little girls have memories of a special doll that they loved.  But this was different.

Cuddles taught me a lesson I've never see, I really wanted that doll.

I REALLY wanted that doll.

And then a few days before my third birthday, I saw a box on the dining room table that looked like the doll box (At almost 3, I couldn't yet read the cursive writing on the box, but I remember it looked as pink and pretty as the doll box in the store) ... and so I peeked.  I lifted up the bottom corner of the box, and looked inside. It was the doll!

But instead of feeling good, I felt awful!  At 3, I knew I had cheated, and on my birthday morning when I had to pretend to be surprised, I felt even worse. 

I had the exact doll I had wanted, but my peeking had stolen some of the joy.  I loved that doll (I still have her, in our storage for now) -- but I never forgot the lesson.  On that spring day, I learned that some things are better left for the right time and place. And over and over, throughout my life, I've stopped myself from "looking ahead" or trying things that were best left for later...all because of Cuddles.

It's funny how a small event early in life can teach us so much.  I've met so many people who have equally memorable -- and meaningful -- early memories.Events or words that shaped them for years after.

But this was such a little thing.

If it was a major event, I could understand the lasting impact.  But this was small.  And my parents never knew, so there was no punishment or scolding to make worse. So how could that small action have so much impact?

Maybe it's because we are a tabula rasa at that point, and in our uncluttered state, the little things mean more. Or maybe it's because we are still so fresh from G-d, and open to the lessons.

What lessons from childhood have you kept in your heart?

Happy Pink Saturday!