April Daybook

Outside my window…

Spring in the South means an explosion of flowers. Flowers carpeting the ground, flowers cloaking every bush, flowers drifting down from the trees. The leaves are full-sized already, but still a glow-in-the-dark spring green. Our bulbs are just past peak, pink, red, and white azaleas surround the house, the dogwoods are done, and our Bradford Pears look gorgeous and smell awful, as Bradford Pears are wont to do.

Thinking…

that He is risen indeed. The Easter “He is risen!” greeting, and the rumbling “He is risen, indeed!” response always brings a smile. We had a peaceful Easter with blueberry muffins for breakfast, a few chocolate eggs, church, Easter dinner with friends, and a relaxed afternoon making calls to family before sign out from the hospital.

Thankful…

for a rare Saturday off together without work or chores. Carl treated me to a pancake breakfast before we drove an hour north to a beautiful state natural area on a lake. We spent the morning hiking on its hilly wooded shores, ate lunch and took a nap on the beach, explored a rural town with a fantastic warehouse of old wood furniture and a delicious bakery, and spent a lazy afternoon reading, baking, and watching brainless TV episodes on YouTube. Every so often, it’s nice to put aside the to-do list and take a vacation in your own backyard.

In the kitchen…

we made Carl’s favorite food for Easter, a French Apple Almond Tart. Plans are brewing for an asparagus-centric meal since our out-of-town neighbors gave us permission to raid their garden.

Wearing…

new jeans and a blue oxford-cloth shirt.

Creating…

my work wardrobe. Or rather, recreating. These days I rarely wear business dress since I work remotely. Every so often, though, I still take a business trip to New York or Washington, D.C. and need to pull together a coherent wardrobe. Wool slacks dropped at the cleaners. Rarely-worn shirts ironed. Dresses inspected and coordinated with shoes and wraps. I am not a shopper or a clothes person. However, after reviewing my clothes and admitting I’ve worn the same three dresses since my teens I gritted my teeth and set off on a marathon shopping morning that turned up….nothing. My genetics run to beanpole, and few styles combine a slim cut with business-appropriate hems and necklines. A second, despairing inventory of the closet turned up a beautiful blue silk dress found for a few dollars on clearance in my early teens. It’s sat unworn since college, too baggy and quite long but too pretty to abandon. Armed with a recommendation from a friend, it’s now at the tailor’s getting shortened to knee-length and taken in at the sides. A stylish, new-to-me silk dress for nice dinners and church for $30? Given that just the silk fabric could’ve cost that, I’ll take it. The misery of dress-buying has been forestalled for another year.

Going…

to New York at the end of the week for meetings while Carl works in the hospital over the weekend. It’s always a bit of a feat traveling from here to other states. The closest airport is tiny and only has flights to three cities. Traveling means catching connections or a long drive to another airport.

Wondering…

how late we can get away with planting the garden. The Man kindly dug up a new bed for me, doubling our space for growing food. Now to buy manure, break up the dirt, build the cucumber frame, and plant.

Reading…

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. I reached page 700 one year before having to drop it when school got intense five or six years ago. This time I’m on page 200 and hoping to finally make it all the way through.

Hoping…

for a peaceful week of hospital call….ha!

I am looking forward to…

rock climbing. A church friend and I meet weekly at our local climbing gym for a couple of hours. It’s a great workout: fun, varied, and challenging. Mixed up with bike rides, runs, push-ups, sit-ups, yard work and a weekly trip to the local school’s obstacle course it makes keeping fit fun rather than a chore.

Learning…

cooking tricks. Wrap a head of garlic in foil, pop it in the oven at 400 for half an hour. Let cool, cut off the top of the head, and squeeze out the cloves. Perfect roasted garlic!

Around the house…

I’m working on lots of projects. Carl’s on-call weeks often leave me tackling household updates during quiet evenings. In the past couple of weeks I’ve worked on cleaning and refurbishing a 1920s gateleg table I found on the cheap in town, installing new bifold doors in the kitchen, organizing the pantry, preparing the yard and garden for summer, hauling old debris out for bulk pickup, having an old map framed, prepping a mirror for painting, and scrubbing grout which just so happens to be my least favorite chore on this earth. If we ever build our own bathroom it will not have white tiles, white grout, or, worst of all, small six-sided white tiles with white grout, each line of which needs to be scrubbed vigorously leading to hours of work and thousands of brush strokes. Just saying….

A peek into my day…

I usually avoid knickknacks and prefer uncluttered surfaces, but every once in a while a $5 ceramic bird just calls your name. This one nests over the kitchen sink.

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2 thoughts on “April Daybook

  1. I love the sound of your weekend. Glad you were able to put up your feet so to speak and enjoy it. A very nice ceramic bird. I go minimal on the knickknacks too – my Mum says it is an extreme reaction to her ‘collections’. Personally, I just find it much easier on the eye and the cleaning.

    • My Mom, too, has a lot more decorative items out on shelves and tables than I do. They’re very tasteful, but my personal style runs a bit simpler. I broke far too many of her pretty china plates by accidentally bumping them off the wall as a kid.

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