Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday Stroll - Goodbye to January

A snow storm veiled the village in white this afternoon as I walked. In summer, laughing children lean against the rails of this bridge, calling out to their friends swimming in the river below. On this last day of January, ice has formed along the edges of the river, narrowing it's cold swift flow, and a hush seems to fall with the snow.



The streets of town were nearly deserted, except near the little movie cinema with it's one screen. People were scurrying from car to theatre, their hats and coats covered in snowflakes. The steeple of the church just beyond the theatre was nearly hidden by the falling snow.

In the summer, children throw their lines in from the boardwalks and fishermen stand in the water in their tall green waders. But late in January, only the mallard ducks get in the cold clear water.

I wonder if they are dreaming of spring? I know I'm not the only one who is counting down the days.

Where ever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you happy days.
all photos by Aisling, January 31, 2010




Sunday Stroll Invitation


"The color of springtime is in the flowers, the color of winter is in the imagination."

~Ward Elliot Hour

If you have time this week for a Sunday Stroll, please post about it on your blog and then come back here with a comment and a link to your post. You may use the Sunday Stroll button at the top of this post on your post or sidebar if you would like. I will add participant names to this post so that other strollers may walk through your garden too. I'll check back as often as my day allows and try to keep the list updated. Enjoy the day!

Look who is strolling today:
Cloudhands at Uncarved Block
Margaret at Periodic Pearls

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday Stroll - Other Januarys

As I listen to the rain pelting against the front door, I've decided to stroll through the Januarys of the past few years rather than head out into the wet and windy afternoon. It is warm enough for the falling precipiation to be rain and cold enough for it to freeze on many surfaces, especially the big patches of snow that still linger on our country lane. All of the photos which follow are from January, most have appeared here on my blog in previous years, and most are from mid-month. So... this is January in my northern hills..





2006
2007
2008
2009 2010

Where ever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you happiness and comfort.

all photos by Aisling or Haiku

Sunday Stroll Invitation


"Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”
~ Lao Tzu


If you have time this week for a Sunday Stroll, please post about it on your blog and then come back here with a comment and a link to your post. You may use the Sunday Stroll button at the top of this post on your post or sidebar if you would like. I will add participant names to this post so that other strollers may walk through your garden too. I'll check back as often as my day allows and try to keep the list updated. Enjoy the day!
Look who's strolling today:
Margaret at Periodic Pearls

Monday, January 18, 2010

Inspiration - Kenbe Fem


If you have been reading my blog for long, you know that each year my family and I select a country to "adopt" for the year. We learn what we can about that country, focusing on the geography and customs, the people and their stories. In 2009, we studied Tibet. I haven't had a chance to summarize our study of that country and write about post about it but we were fascinated by the people of Tibet and the unique spirit of the people of an oppressed nation.


Around Christmas time, my daughters and I began to consider nations for 2010's study. We knew that we wanted to choose a Caribbean country, because we haven't done so yet though we have touched on all of the continents by now. We've been building this tradition for over 15 years now! Just before Christmas, my girls and I settled on Haiti. For the past several weeks, I have been "collecting" websites and blogs to use as resources for the year including the blogs of journalists and missionaries.


Like most of you, we have been reading and listening to stories of the devastating earthquake almost a week ago. After hearing the news, I checked in on each of the blogs I had been reading to see how all of the families I had been just getting to know had fared. I thought I would share a link to one blog. This dedicated missionary and her family are doing alright, but their hearts are hurting over the loss that surrounds them.




As I get to know the people of Haiti, even so early in my year of study, I am amazed by their spirit. In the face of poverty, storm and upheaval, these are a resilient people. The writer of the blog noted above says that the Haitians say, "Kenbe Fem" which means "hold or stand firm." I pray, as she does, that they will be able to do so under these circumstances. I am inspired by the outpouring of love and support from the world for these beautiful southern neighbors of ours. May it be in time, may it be enough... better yet, may it be more than enough. May it bloom and grow.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday Stroll - January Thaw

As evening settles into the hills, my daughter and I walk slowly along the lane.
Looking for color through the misty air, we see autumn's still-red apples clinging to naked branches. We find twilight washing down the sky like water colors,

streaming blue and purple light into the empty spaces between the poplar trees .

We find summer's flowers lying colorless on the icy edges of the road,

While bare trees reach up toward a sapphire sky.

Fences open onto sleeping, snow covered fields,

And in the heart of winter, in the stillness at the edge of night, grapevines are waiting for spring.

Where ever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you good color and beautiful company.
all photos by Aisling, January 17, 2010

Sunday Stroll Invitation


"Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you have time this week for a Sunday Stroll, time to go looking for the extraordinary, please post about it on your blog and then come back here with a comment and a link to your post. You may use the Sunday Stroll button at the top of this post on your post or sidebar if you would like. I will add participant names to this post so that other strollers may walk through your garden too. I'll check back as often as my day allows and try to keep the list updated. Enjoy the day!

Look who's strolling:
Margaret at Periodic Pearls
Me, here at the Quiet Country House

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday Stroll - A Day Late

I almost didn't go outside. The sound of the wind singing through the cracks around the doors and windows, the cold chill that came in with the sound, were enough to convince me that sometimes Sunday is a good day to stay indoors. I pulled on boots and coat long enough to snap an image or two of the snowy hills, and the sled at the ready on the front deck. The string is looped around a post to keep this lightweight glider from blowing away in these January winds.






Tiggy had the right idea, I believe, so I followed her lead and aside from some cooking I had a pretty lazy Sunday.


I couldn't get my photos to load yesterday, so here they are a day late. Wherever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you rest and relaxation.

all photos January10, 2009



Sunday Stroll Invitation

"To be alive, to be able to see, to walk, to have houses, music, paintings - it's all a miracle. I have adopted the technique of living life miracle to miracle."
- Arthur Rubinstein

If you have time this week for a Sunday Stroll, to walk and see the miracles around you, please write about it on your blog and then come back here with a comment and a link to your post. You may use the Sunday Stroll button at the top of this post on your post or sidebar if you would like. I will add participant names to this post so that other strollers may walk through your garden too. I'll check back and try to keep the list updated.

Look who's strolling:
Margaret at Periodic Pearls
Heather at Heather's Homemaking
Cloudhands at Uncarved Block
Christiane at Spiraling
Linda at Vulture Peak Muse

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Miss Maudie


Maude
May 15, 1995 to January 8, 2010


I would like to tell you all about this sweet, nutty girl who romped through our days for nearly 15 years, but how do you put so much vitality and verve into a written narrative? It has been clear for months now that Maude was slowing down... She kept her amazing spirit despite a growing list of aches and pains, but the last few weeks were difficult. Her little stubby tail had not wagged since before Christmas. We made the very difficult decision to ease our faithful companion's pain, and yesterday we had the veterinarian visit the house. Her lumpy plaid bed is empty now.

The brilliant sunshine glittering off the snow outside the windows makes my heart ache. What a beautiful day for a long walk. Maude would have loved to be outside on a day like this, but perhaps she is running in more beautiful fields now. I hope so.



"To sit with a dog on a hillside
on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden,
where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace."
~Milan Kundera

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Snowfall

video

(If you'd like to hear just the snowfall, you can turn off the music on my right sidebar.)

video by aisling, filmed 1/3/2009

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Sunday Stroll - Betwixt the Snowflakes

Snow dominates earth and sky in a northern winter, but beneath the pale sunlight and betwixt the snowflakes, caught in the crooks of trees and piled on vacated nests, there are remnants of other seasons.



















Where ever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you beautiful moments.




all photos by Aisling, January 3, 2009

Sunday Stroll Invitation




"Nature has undoubtedly mastered the art of winter gardening and even the most experienced gardener can learn from the unrestrained beauty around them."
- Vincent A. Simeone


This is one of those rare Sundays where I might not get outside and take photos. I don't think the camera would withstand the cold, cold temperature and the frenzied, blowing snow. I will wait to see what weather the afternoon hours bring. In the meantime, there are dishes still stacked on the counter from yesterday to tend to, and a novel calling my name from my bedside table.

If you have time this week for a Sunday Stroll, to walk into whatever weather the first Sunday of the year offers, please about about it on your blog and then come back here with a comment and a link to your post. You may use the Sunday Stroll button at the top of this post on your post or sidebar if you would like. I will add participant names to this post so that other strollers may walk through your garden too. I'll check back as often as my day allows and try to keep the list updated. Enjoy the day!

Look who is strolling:
Margaret at Periodic Pearls
Cloudhands at Uncarved Block
Me here at the Quiet Country House

Friday, January 01, 2010

A Little Quote and a Little Note: Nurture


"Nourish beginnings, let us nourish beginnings.

Not all things are blest, but the seeds of all things are blest.

The blessing is in the seed."
Muriel Rukeyser


I love this quote found today at the beginning of a new year which is attributed to Muriel Rukeyser, who is also responsible for one of my favorite quotes ever, "The universe is made of stories, not atoms," which you will find as a permanent feature of my sidebar. The idea that the blessing is in the seed speaks to me of nurture. As gardeners, we nurture. As parents, we nurture. As friends, we nurture. It is so elemental a component of who we are, or who we strive to be.


Let us nurture this seedling year, which is unfurling before us, a tender, sweet miracle of possibility.