Monday, February 12, 2007


I recently received one of those nostalgic emails about times past. This one was a particularly good one remembering the aprons once worn by housewives. It brought back memories of my own Mother, with her apron tied around her waist, cooking, cleaning, washing and all the other chores associated with being a farm wife. The apron was handier than a pocket on a shirt and Mother had several, all of which had to be starched and ironed on a weekly basis. (by guess who)
This email got me to pondering on other things from my childhood that are no longer used or even seen in homes and kitchens today. It brought to mind the dinette cloth, (not to be confused with a regular table cloth) which was used to cover the dinette table in the kitchen. It was usually square with a border of flowers or fruit and in any color and pattern you could imagine. I have always loved those simple cotton cloths. They remind me of grown ups having a cup of coffee (from the percolator on the stove) with a neighbor who stopped by on his way to town. Of pies and cakes baked for supper, looking so tasty, cooling on the dinette table and playing games or paper dolls cut from an old Sears catalogue with my sisters. Maybe that is why every time I go antique shopping, I am on the lookout for these old cloths. I have a collection, starched and ironed, in my closet and still use them anytime I have company.
Another item that is no longer needed or see is the matchbox holder. We always had one hanging above the kitchen cook stove filled with a big box of matches. They were metal and painted, here again, with flowers and fruit and I always thought they were so pretty. I can't remember when our match box holder, the apron or the dinette cloths fell by the wayside. I didn't even notice until I started to see these items in antique shops, (selling for a prohibitive amount) and wondered, just where did my inheritance go?
It also got me to thinking about what my daughter and her generation will look back on from their childhood and wonder "what happened to? " Could it be the avocado green and harvest gold appliances or the mushroom (shudder) canisters? What about Hollie Hobbie and Weeble farms? Only time will tell.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Frosty Morn

The winter weather continues on the swamp. This morning we had a low of around 20 or 21 degrees and a heavy frost covered the yard. Patches of thin ice floated at the edge of the swamp. The sun came out and is shining brightly making lots of sparkly diamonds on the lawn and melting the frost quickly. After another trip to the Wild Bird Store this weekend, we ended up with another hook pole and more finch feeders. They have started to arrive in herds, hoards, flocks however finches arrive. The feeders have been covered in the little birds with more nearby waiting a turn. This is not a good picture, but gives an idea of what it is like. They have just about emptied the thistle sock in 2 days but so much fun to watch. The cardinals are active along with the sparrows and squirrels.

This past week, Dear Husband and I passed another milestone in our life together. We celebrated our 38th wedding anniversary. Well, not much celebrating goes on after 38 years, but you get the drift. I had a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a trip to my favorite James Avery shop for a new bracelet and that is a lot of celebrating for me these days! It has been a wonderful 38 years and I don't know where the time has gone. I feel if anyone has been married that long, surely they must be old, but don't feel either one of us fit that category just yet. They say the trick to growing up is not to grow old, and while I am working on that, Dear Husband has that down pat. He will never entirely grow up so as a result will never entirely grow old. makes life interesting. I am thankful for each year, for even thought they weren't all easy, they were all good and I would not choose anyone else to spend them with. I am looking forward to many more.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

All is quiet on the swamp today. Duck season is finally over and once again sleeping in on a Saturday morning is possible without the irritating boom-boom-boom of a gun interrupting. The day is cloudy with a chance of some rain later. A walk around the yard shows signs of spring already, even with the recent cold weather. Buds on the rose bushes, hydrangeas and tulip poplar not to mention King Alfreds shooting up everywhere. The birds are keeping the feeders busy. We have goldfinches at the thistle feeder, but only a few. Nothing like last year when the feeders were covered with them. My friend at the Wild Bird Center says it is the same with his feeders. I am sure there is a reason, but I will let someone else figure that out. I am content to "let every bird sing his own note" as the old saying goes.
The Wild Bird Center is one of my favorite places to visit. The shop has all kinds of things for the yard and every kind of bird feeder you could almost imagine, from the whimsical to the very practical. We purchased a hook pole with a squirrel baffle several years ago, and for the first time ever, NO SQUIRRELS! It really works and we have been die hard customers ever since. They have a beautiful cockatiel that someone brought to them in a Target bag after finding it in the parking lot. Even though I am more interested in domestic birds than exotic, it is a beautiful bird and has lots of personality. I think it must be a female since it is quite taken with the male owner and seems to ignore his wife. Just another interesting feature of the shop.
Such are the highlights of my day and week. "It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day to day basis." M. Bonnano I have found that to be true. I have also found that the small pleasures like watching the birds at the feeder, talking with friends, visiting a favorite place are the things, when put together, that add up to happily ever after.
Enjoy the small things today.
Aunt C

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Rain Day

Today is a typical January day in Louisiana. The past few years have been unusually dry and this type of day rare. The rain started last night and has fallen steadily since. The weather gauge this morning at 7:00a.m shows 2-1/2 inches so far with up to 4 more expected. The swamp finally has some standing water and it looks more like the old Cypress Knee Swamp than it has in a long time. This is good news come spring. The ducks will have a place to paddle and plan new families & I can enjoy watching the egrets fishing in the shallow water. It is good sleeping weather for daughter Shannon who worked the night shift at the local hospital ER and was ready for a good rest.
Even though it is only January, I am ready for spring and looking forward to seeing the yard and swamp come to life. The birds are feeding regularly at the feeders and I heard the hawks calling in the yard yesterday. Maybe they were just getting ready for the wet weather coming. There is a possibility of some freezing rain later tonight and tomorrow, though I don't think it will be too bad here. Just in case, I have covered the outside plants once again.
This has been a weekend of rest and recovery for me after having a treatment last Thrusday. I am feeling good and would love to be able to get outside and do some gardening and yard work. Being cooped up in the house is not my idea of having fun for very long. But this time of year the weather is not usually very cooperative. I will try to take advantage of the opportunity to rest up, plan ahead and enjoy the rain while it falls. (however I think it plans to fall most of the week, so by the weekend, I probably will be a little more grumpy) Just trying to remember, spring is just around the corner and I am glad I don't live in Colorado!

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year

The beginning of a new year has always been a time of reflection on the last 12 months and a time for taking stock and making a resolution to do things differently in the year to come. Of course, in my case, most of those resolutions never quite come to pass, but I make them with optimism and resolve each January just the same.
The year 2006 was a good one for me and my family. Our daughter and son-in-law moved back to Louisiana after living in Florida for too many years and that blessed our hearts beyond measure. Our niece and nephew are the proud parents of healthy and happy twins and that reminds us there is hope for the future. I have gone back to work part time at a job I love, working with people I like, and once again feel I am in some way making a difference. The swamp has filled our spare time with joy in watching the wildlife and birds, the beauty of the flowers, the trees and all nature has to offer. Our parents are enjoying good health for their age and our siblings are all doing well. My own health has suffered a setback with having surgery but I am doing well and expect to recover and enjoy 2007. All in all, I couldn't ask for more than God has blessed me with already.
Some resolutions for the New Year:
To treasure each day for that day alone, not carrying the woes of the previous day or borrowing from the next.
To treasure each person I know for who they are, not what I expect or want them to be.
To not take for granted the time and place I have been given on this earth.
To be more spontaneous (hard for a ducks in a row person)
Once again, I am determined to work on this, but I know things have a way of crowding out even the best of intentions. It is always interesting to look back and see how well I have carried out the resolutions of the year before, but wait, I can't remember the resolutions of 2006! Hmmmm, maybe that is why my New Year's resolutions historically never come to fruition.
Hope your 2006 was good and 2007 even better.
Aunt C