Saturday, February 26, 2022

Winter Whites

Thanks to all who have given me
these wintry treasures and trinkets:
Doug, Katie, Katy, Linda Michele,
my sister Peg, and Cracker Barrel.

Every now and then,
one of the waiters at our local Carriker Barrel
folds the paper napkins into roses for the ladies!

It will soon be time to replace those winter whites
with the soft pastels of early spring.
Only a few more days of February to go!
One of my favorite winter white e-cards
from Jacquie Lawson

Thursday, February 24, 2022

A Valentine From Ellie

After the Valentines, came the wall art . . .
and after the wall art, came the "cleansing":

Ben: “After the great cleansing, nothing remains of the first great lost work of Eleanor Rose save for a grainy image on a cell phone. Scholars would study that first work of the genius for years to come.”

Len: "Future scholars of this present time will lament the attempt to erase works from the artist's juvenilia. It will have to be reconstructed by advanced computer imaging and tracing of all of the missing images. They will need to remove that section of the wall to send it to conservators and restorers, of course. The term 'grainy image' will be understood as a synecdoche for the Plains States art movements of the mid-21st century."


Found sidewalk art,
on my walks around the neighborhood with Ellie

Monday, February 21, 2022

Valentines From Friends

As I've mentioned before on this blog -- and more recently on my Fortnightly Blog -- this idea that you have to be at least married before you can share a Valentine is totally alien to me. For my entire life, I've been exchanging Valentines with family and friends of all ages. Sure, sometimes to include romance, but not always. More inclusively, it should be about "the goodness of loving, the gladness of living," and everyone you love. What they say on Sesame Street about Christmas holds equally true for Valentine's Day: "If you believe in love, that will be more than enough."

For example, I 💘 the above Valentine dish cloth from my friends in Minnesota (not married to me; not married to each other).

And I 💖 this impromptu poem that my friend Mumbi texted back to me when she opened her Valentine today (a week late, but that's okay):

"As far as I'm concerned, 'late' is relative.
LOVE is not timed --
it is always within us and around us.
Time and distance don't affect its value.
I just think that LOVE is so important
and it is not celebrated enough.
When there's no LOVE, life loses meaning.
A good reminder that a broken heart can be mended
and experience and express LOVE anew!"

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Monday, February 14, 2022

Don't Dishearten

On Valentine's Day,
the heart wants what the heart wants!
Thanks to my friend Katie for the green glass heart
and winter snowflake jewelry!
In the summer of 1862, Emily Dickinson (1830 - 86) wrote to her friend Mary Bowles (1827 - 93), offering comfort during a time when Mary's husband Samuel Bowles (1826 - 78) was traveling abroad and Mary was missing him:
Dear Mary, When the Best is gone - I know that other things are not of consequence - The Heart wants what it wants - or else it does not care -

You wonder why I write - so - Because I cannot help - I like to have you know some care - so when your life gets faint for it's other life - you can lean on us - We wont break, Mary. We look very small - but the Reed can carry weight.

Not to see what we love, is very terrible - and talking - does'nt ease it - and nothing does - but just itself.

. . . Don't dishearten - Mary - We'll keep thinking of you - Kisses for all.

Years later, Emily comforts Mary
upon the occasion of Samuel's death.
Broken heart . . . broken words:

January 1878

I hasten to you, Mary, because no moment must be lost when a heart is breaking, for though it broke so long, each time is newer than the last, if it broke truly. To be willing that I should speak to you was so generous, dear.

Sorrow almost resents love, it is so inflamed.

I am glad if the broken words helped you. I had not hoped so much, I felt so faint in uttering them, thinking of your great pain. . . .


See the Everyman Edition of
Emily Dickinson Letters
(pages 139 - 140, 198 - 99)

Friday, February 11, 2022

Give Each Figure a Living Name

"We are poor passing facts,
warned by that to give
each figure in the photograph
his living name."

from "Epilogue"
by Robert Lowell

My mother and her mother were both very good about labeling the backs of photographs with names and dates and family connections. Still, even with the pertinent information readily available, it's not always clear what we owe to these distant figures whose portraits have one way or another come into our possession. As I studied the faces of these two on their long ago wedding day, the words of Lowell's poem seemed to capture the viewer's dilemma, a century hence:


Those blessèd structures, plot and rhyme—
why are they no help to me now
I want to make
something imagined, not recalled?
I hear the noise of my own voice:
The painter's vision is not a lens,
it trembles to caress the light.
But sometimes everything I write
with the threadbare art of my eye
seems a snapshot,
lurid, rapid, garish, grouped,
heightened from life,
yet paralyzed by fact.
All's misalliance.
Yet why not say what happened?

Pray for the grace of accuracy
Vermeer gave to the sun's illumination
stealing like the tide across a map
to his girl solid with yearning.
We are poor passing facts,
warned by that to give
each figure in the photograph
his living name.

Found in Day by Day
by American poet Robert Lowell (1917 - 1977)

When reading "Epilogue,"
some are reminded of Vermeer;
I give you Celia Beaux
Dressing Dolls
by Celia Beaux (1855 - 1942)
~ See More Portraits ~

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Jigsaw City

A constructive way
to while away the snow storm
and the post - Christmas blues:

Childhood Quilt Squares, taken from
the blanket my mother made for me in 1957
and I embroidered for Ben in 1992
~ Puzzle designed by Cathleen ~ 2020 ~

A Wysocki for Every Season

Agatha Christie Mystery
~ Thanks Katy & Peter ~ 2021 ~

Christmas Vacation!
~ Thanks Auntie Peg ~ 2021 ~

The Doors of Christmas
~ Thanks Ben ~ 2014 ~

Snow Day
~ Thanks Ben & Cathleen ~

Norman Rockwell
~ We've been doing this one every year since 1998! ~

Rose's Chocolates
~ Thanks Auntie Tina ~ January 2015 ~

The round butterflies were fun;
the triazzle butterflies were not!

Vintage Kitchen & Carousel
~ Both were presents from my mom ~
~ Thanksgiving 2004 ~

Coming up next:
I feel that it's about time
to do one that features a cat!

Saturday, February 5, 2022

Snowy Snowy Night

Snowy snowy night,
paint your colors pink and green . . .

“People make a great deal of the flowers of spring and the leaves of autumn, but for me a night like this, with a clear moon shining on snow, is the best -- and there is not a trace of color [except for green and pink!] in it. I cannot describe the effect it has on me, weird and unearthly somehow. I do not understand people who find a winter evening forbidding.”

― Murasaki Shikibu (c. 973 – c. 1031)

This beautiful color scheme for my outdoor Christmas lights came about not so much by design as by a happy combination of what was leftover after all the indoor trees were decorated and illuminated. Thank goodness the lights were still up for the big snowfall, although there was never really much doubt that such would be the case. With so much green, I had every intention of leaving them up through Mardi Gras and St. Patrick's Day.

When I woke up at 7am on Wednesday, February 2nd, I looked out the window, saw the garbage truck going by in the usual manner, and sadly said, "No snow!" I was wrong, however, to doubt the prognosticators on Ground Hog Day. When I awoke a second time, at 9am, it was a different story and a different world outside my window!

All Day


All Night

Here's how it happened . . .

February 2nd ~ 11:30 am

February 2nd ~ 2:30 pm

February 2nd ~ 5:30 pm

February 2nd ~ 6:30 pm

February 2nd ~ 8:30 pm

February 3rd ~ 11:30 am
24 hours in:

February 3rd ~ 3:00 pm
The clearing crew has arrived!
A 4 - snow blower event:

February 3rd ~ 6:30 pm
34 hours after snow began

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Elizabeth Barrett Browning:
The Poet's Vow

Thanks to my brother Aaron and sister - in - law Pam
for this beautiful antique copy of the
Poetical Works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning,
Complete in One Volume
, 1879.

I am honored to give it a new lease on life in my library!

To read more about my humble attempts at book repair,
see the most recent post on my book blog:

Mrs. Browning Rescue

@Kitti's List

Thumbing through the pages, I found these old
ribbons left behind by a previous reader,
apparently marking the spot of "The Poet's Vow"

Ballad ~ Background ~ Reader Response