Monday, September 8, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook...

Here is a picture thought I am sharing (above). I hope it's okay to take this painting from the webpage of an artist I discovered through my friend, Laura A (I am sending you his way, after all). I love his domestic paintings. I've always particularly been drawn to art that features simple, ordinary, daily life and objects. People going about their routine duties. I enjoy this man's art, and I thought I'd share it with you.

Outside my window it is absolutely dark. The only thing I've seen out there this morning are the headlights of my daughter's car as she drove off to work.

I am thinking about something my son told me. Estonian composer Arvo Part asked a janitor somewhere how a composer should write music. The janitor said quietly and sincerely, "Oh, he should love every note!" Arvo Part loved that, and he took it to heart. I want to live my life loving every note. I've been thinking that I want to see the things I do as mattering enough that I'll put in the effort to ensure that they are not "off" notes, meaningless notes, sloppily written or sloppily played notes. Or to put it more positively, I want to play notes that are meaningful, purposeful, beautiful, crafted, careful (caring!), always mindful that each individual note matters. I want the notes to by guided by, shaped by, and marked by love. If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing well. And, quite rightly I think, as Chesterton suggested, if a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly. But always with effort. Always loving each note.

"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the father... Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord..." ~Colossians 3:17, 23

From the learning rooms. Oh, we have been done with our official homeschooling years for a while now, but my grown kids continue to learn. Always. It's what they do, and that continued and joyful pursuit of learning and growth and becoming all that God created them to be is a joy for a mother to watch. Aimee and Josiah and Aaron were all here this past weekend, and Michelle, Monty (I need photos of these two!), and family hung around, too. And I watched my kids interact and talk about things. Each of them still loves learning. They each pursue something in particular with passion, but they also have many diverse interests and creative gifts. Literature. Music. Art. Cooking. Writing. Languages. Many other things. And it's not just my own kids, but the girls married young men with passion for their interests and a desire to learn and grow. And it's a joy to watch my little bookworm grandsons enjoy their books more than anything else.

I might resume
Project Feeder Watch here this year. The kids and I did it for many years.

I am thankful for the little gifts of every single day. The routine. The quiet. A country life. My family. Laughter. God's care and provision. Good food on the table. Funny grandboys. God's created world. Physical health. Four walls and a ceiling around me. A car that runs. Sight. Smell. Hearing. Taste. Touch. Breath.

From the kitchen. An abundance for which I am immensely grateful. Lately, more raw food. Even more vegetables than usual. Green lemonade. Smoothies. Raw zucchini "spaghetti" with creamy lemon-chive dressing. Grated, sauteed cumin carrots. New "Waldorf" salad from a raw cookbook. Heavenly chocolate-cinnamon cupcakes (fairy cakes!) with mini chocolate chips, topped with yellow almond frosting and "Happy Birthday to Roman" sprinkles. In the oven right now are "coconut sprinkles" (from a Sally Fallon book) that I use to top my sprouted grain cereal in the morning. Today, I intend to make chocolate baked custard with this week's leftover raw milk, sweet potato salad, and probably some kind of seafood for dinner.

I am wearing. Oh, drat! I should have dressed before coming online. Okay. I'm wearing my pink nightgown, pink pajama bottoms, a blue polar fleece jacket, and bare feet. Today will be a shorts or skirt day, though, because it's supposed to reach close to 90 degrees.

I am reading The Gentle Art of Domesticity, The Perfect Hostess (a reprinted from 1930 or so, light-handed look at hostessing), New Gardens of the American West.

I am hoping to get in all of this winter's wood supply very soon.

I am creating a home. A life. Meals. An atmosphere. Order. Beauty. And with my hands, I want to make a simple quilt. I want to make curtains for the dining area of the house. Slipcovers for the ottoman and ugly chair. I want to begin planning and making gifts for Christmas. But one thing at a time. I know how important it is for me to focus on one thing at a time, or none of it will get done.

I am hearing the hum of the hard drive and the refrigerator. Nothing else but the clicking of the keyboard. The quiet is nice. It's peaceful. (And the sky is brightening just a bit as I sit here.)

Around the house. Aaron is visiting and will be here for another week. Michelle is coming out with the boys today. Roman will certainly want to make "suh-foomies" (smoothies), so we'll probably have my favorite blueberry ones. I'll water the grass. We'll go to the dump with garbage and recycling (the boys love watching the heavy equipment and getting a sucker from the lady at the pay station). Scrub bathrooms. Clean out and organize the freezer. Play with the boys. Work outside. Sit outside. Drink coffee outside this morning.

One of my favorite things is, oh, let's see... Getting up early in the morning. I like the quiet. It's quieter than at other times of the day, it seems. Peaceful and lovely. A nice way to start a day.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week. To write some long overdue letters. To clean out the overgrown, messy herb garden. Not to miss my daily walk. To dry some lavender. To cut the grass. To enjoy my son during his visit. To have Michelle and Monty over to dinner.

And now it is light outside, and I don't want to miss a lovely morning. Time to get up from this chair and make some coffee. There's good stuff to do!
The Simple Woman's Daybook,
a feature of
The Simple Woman blog.