27 December 2008

the wall, she is gone

"Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls." 
~~Joseph Campbell~~

Architects, in their quest for a balance between design and function, are willing to try unusual features in homes. We had (yes, I am so excited: h.a.d.--past tense) a wall which separated two areas of our home and housed the fireplace. It has always felt like it blocked the flow and energy and light in the house. It didn't quite go to the ceiling (it was a wall, it was not a wall), included a recess for a television (which we used to store baskets and pottery), and partially blocked the ingress/egress of the door to the back patio (I ask you, who designs a wall to partially block another doorway?).

It's gone {let's hear a squeal and do a little happy dance}. The rooms are now a single, greater room with space to breathe and visit and move. This very much delights me. The light from the windows aren't impeded by the wall anymore. Everything feels brighter and cheery.
We had no need for the fire place. We live in a climate where it does, on occasion, lightly frost, but truly our winters are mild. The chimney hole will become a sky light this coming summer. More natural light!

I would like to thank my husband for continuing to putt up with me and my ideas of change. "This is just a small wall, can we take it down? What if we push out the side of the house a few feet on the west side? See this space here, which we really don't use to its best potential--what if we take off the roof of the garage, use this space for a staircase, and add on another bedroom, bathroom, exercise room, and gathering room up there. It's "do-able", isn't it? Let's build a walled-in terrace, our own little grotto." These proposals are but a few of the many I have thought up.

I would also like to thank our daughter, for being such a good worker and great sport about her nutty mother. And then there's the great big thank you to her for having strong bones and not breaking any of these said strong bones when the wall fell on her (oh, yes it did!)--actually it somewhat bounced on her several times as gravity pulled it down, then it pinned her leg as a final assault. Just to make it clear, it wasn't the dry wall that fell on her...it was the massive amount of wood framing. She has bruises--big bruises--and scrapes. She's a red-head--she rarely bruises. Sorry daughter, for sending you back to your home with lumps and bumps, back to the barrister world of the courtroom, skirts, and heels with bruises.

26 December 2008

boxing day...day of goodwill

I rather love the origins of "boxing day", and I see that South Africa continues that genuine spirit as "day of goodwill" where gifts are given to those less fortunate in society. I like that. Our home is blessed with gifts, electricity, warmth, a refrigerator and pantry of food, friends, relatives, and love. Sadly not everyone can claim this to be the case.

I have added a button to the sidebar for Free Rice. This is a small, but I believe sensational, way to help others through the UN World Food Program. Oh, and a bonus: you can help yourself through extending your knowledge of vocabulary, grammar, geography, math, language learning, chemistry, and art. We have such a rich language and so little of it is used. I blame video games and television (but I digress).

Go to Free Rice. Play. Have the kids play. Watch your bowl of rice multiply.

24 December 2008

peaceful evening

Observing (and participating) in different perspectives and persuasions of the season's festivities within our extended family this time of year is a grand, yet delicate, waltz.

May peace surround your time with friends and family.

May the darkness be lit by warming fires and spirits.

May the delight of laughter fill your home and heart.

20 December 2008

the wassail is on the stove

We are busy preparing for one of my favorite changes in seasons. We have a tree...this is not a normal routine for us, but I love the smell of the pine in the house when it is so cold (yes, it is too cold here in California--just not the same kind of cold as my friend in the northeast) and dark, so many long hours of dark. Solstice gifts are wrapped. Tree decorations are waiting. Drums and strings are tuned. Candles are set out. And the wassail...oh, I have been given a wonderful recipe for this most delightful and warming drink. Give it a try (make adjustments to the quantities, depending on the number of folks who are thirsty and cold):

1 quart fresh apple cider
1 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
6 whole cloves
1 stick of cinnamon
**simmer (do not allow to boil) these ingredients on very low for 1 to 2 hours. serve warm.

02 December 2008


What is the color of fear? Of pain? How does one journey along that tangled, grey-toned and thorn-infested pathway with grace?

One period of waiting is over. Another begins.

I am reminded of this:

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.