Friday, January 23, 2015

Healthy Pleasure

Once you lick the frosting off a cupcake it becomes a muffin . . .
and muffins are healthy.
You're welcome. :-)

Who knew vegan could look so good? I arrived too early for my afternoon appointment so decided to pass some time at a nearby bakeshop. The choice of 'healthy' treats was breathtaking. It's all vegan so it's healthy in my books. You're welcome. :-)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

From a Lofty Vantage Point

How do the birds make great sky circles . . .
They fall and falling they are given wings.
Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, Persian Sufi mystic (1207-1273)

Along the final leg of today's morning commute, I chanced to meet up with a magnificent hawk perched on the very tip of a pine tree. I stopped in my tracks, pulled out my phone to take a photo, took a few more steps forward and took another photo. As I continued this stop/start rhythm up the slope and past the tree, she kept an eye on me but never moved from her vantage point. My wayside guardian considered the situation from a higher perspective and knew she had nothing to worry about.

The morning's frigid temperatures necessitated inflating one's plumes and probably accounts for 50% of this regal creature's size. I felt similarly inflated inside cumbersome but warm layers of coat, sweater, scarf, mitts, wool socks and boots. In the future, I will be watchful for my feathered wayside guardian and will aspire to her lofty outlook.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

A Scrappy Weekend

When life throws you scraps, make a quilt.
A quilter

Quilters are quite proud of themselves when they use fabric from their "stash", probably because it assuages any guilt for having a closet full of beautiful yardage purchased without a particular project in mind. Using the stash also inherently carries with it the permission to buy more fabric. This is all very logical if you are a quilter. ;-) Mom and I also keep bits and pieces that 'may be useful one day'. Today was one of those days.

I plan to host the quilting ladies for lunch and had the 'bright' idea that I should create quilted invitations -- an idea conceived in conjunction with a recent article about quilted postcards. So I rummaged through my stash and the bag of bits and started making the fronts for what will be 4" X 6" invitations.

The project has challenged my (poor) mathematical skills as I struggled to remember to add in seam allowances and keep the sum total of all the pieces within the invitation's overall size. Even with those frustrations, I couldn't have been happier passing the time creating these little quilts. A few more tops need to be made and then I will layer them with the batting and the invitation particulars that have been printed onto fabric sheets with an InkJet printer. Once finished, they will be nice little mats for the ladies' tea and coffee cups.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Handsome Brew

Handsome is as handsome does.
English proverb, first published by Geoffrey Chaucer, in The Wife of Bath's Tale (1387)

Jameel means beautiful or handsome in Arabic and the Museum's courtyard cafe is graced by the charming barista named Jamil. He serves up perfect coffees and daily doses of big smiles and positive philosophy, boosting both body and soul on afternoon coffee breaks. He told me of the best source of Arabic coffee in the big city with a proprietor who roasts the beans and blends in the perfect amount of cardamon. Jamil insisted that he bring me a sample and the freshly ground beans did smell sublime through the bag. So today I was finally able to use my Egyptian kanaka (coffee pot) that has graced my stove top as a decoration for the past year. The ahwa was divine and so I must go track down this heavenly source for myself. Stay tuned.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Found Treasure

Our most treasured family heirlooms are our sweet family memories.

Over the years I have often thought about the little blanket that a great grandmother gave me as a child for my doll. I remember being presented with the gift and enjoying the feel of its soft cotton. I recall sleeping with it simply clutched to my face as it was too small to cover me. I thought it was long gone, along with the other too well-loved toys of childhood; but Mom found the little quilt wrapped in protective paper tucked away in some boxes in the basement. I am so very fortunate that this little sample of my great grandmother's fine handwork has survived. Now I must find a way to display this treasure that is imbued with happy memories of childhood and a loving woman.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Saturday Morning

When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.

Tecumseh, Native American leader of the Shawnee (1768–1813)

Ahh, Saturday mornings. How I love snuggling under the warm covers. No alarms. No train to catch. No appointments until late morning. Seeing light through the window blinds I figured it was time to get up and be active. Lifting the blinds I found an astonishingly beautiful filigree across the glass. The day was off to a beautiful beginning. This post is the one thousandth little delight in my chocolate box of life. How fortunate I am to be so blessed!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Under the Cover of Winter

And don’t think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It’s quiet, but the roots are down there riotous.

Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, Persian Sufi mystic (1207-1273)

Looking out the window at the winter snow blowing, I was grateful to be ensconced in my little abode, snug as a bug in a rug, hanging pictures and clearing out some boxes from the den. January is certainly conducive to taking stock, tidying up and germinating seeds in one's soul.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Dancing Daylight

Daylight, full of small dancing particles and the one great turning, our souls are dancing with you, without feet, they dance. 
Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, Persian Sufi mystic (1207-1273)

Ever so slightly, and yet noticeably, the days are getting longer. I am seeing more sunlight during my commute to and from work. Today, because I dallied and was some twenty minutes behind my normal routine, I was treated to an amazing sight when I arrived at work.

The Sun gleamed through the park's supernatural cypress trees cloaked in their winter mantles. Its rays reached far across the street where the windows of an otherwise bland office building had the magnificent role of mirroring the light back onto the museum's shadowed face where the light danced to a heavenly rhythm.

The sight made my footsteps into work a whole lot lighter!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

More New Year Bubbles

Look within. Within is the fountain of good, and it will ever bubble up, if thou wilt ever dig.
Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor and philosopher (121-180)

Today's bubbles appear in a glass flute, remnants of the prosecco served this afternoon to family gathered in my little abode. The laughter and good cheer launched the year perfectly. Now in the quiet afterglow of the party, the bubbles resembled a crystal ball -- or perhaps a snow globe. In either case, looking inward into their depths foments inspirational wonder in my soul. Cheers to the new year!