Breaking the Ice

Clump #260:  Clean out ice maker; day eighteen of National Blog Posting Month.


Just when I despair of losing color and texture in the world as the leaves fall, brilliant berries come out and bird nests are visible.  Trees whose branches are almost barren make beautiful pictures on old brick and kelly green shutters,


as well as funhouse mirror shapes on grass.


Ahh, I’m trying to accept and embrace winter as a fact now, not just a threat.  And in the spirit of the big freeze, I de-clumped our ice maker today.  We had been noticing a wheezing sound coming from the fridge. At first we thought it was our cat coughing up a hairball (or her latest meal), but she was elsewhere and looking copacetic.  I finally called a refrigerator repair man who was scheduled to come tomorrow.

Then last night my The Voice-watching friend came over for our weekly guilty-pleasure ritual.  She heard the noise and said, “I think it’s your ice maker!”


So this morning I went into the darned thing and, wow, freed the stuck cubes, which stopped the pitiful noise.  I cancelled the repairman and saved us a clump of money.


Just call me Rosie!  Hey, that headscarf would be just the thing for the biting wind.

Ironing and Jane Austen: The Perfect Marriage

Clump # 249:  Conquer ironing pile in bedroom…again; day seven of National Blog Posting Month.


I took the photo above by the roadside on a walk today.  I just googled “large bright green tree seed” and it looks like an osage orange.   I wonder where it came from? Also, I wonder why I can’t keep up with our ironing pile, another wrinkled blob.  (Smooth transition.)  The only way I could face it was by turning to one of my favorite “ironing movies,” Pride and Prejudice.


I sat the pile down in this rocker and got the movie started. The last big clump of ironing I documented here was sped along by another Jane Austen story, the movie Sense and Sensibility, starring Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet. Fun fact: in real life, Kiera Knightley dated the actor who played Mr. Wickham, the villain; also in real life Emma Thompson married the actor who played Mr. Willoughby, who was the bad apple of that movie. Hmm.

I know true “Jane-ites” disapprove of this movie version of Pride and Prejudice.  Not wearing bonnets in public? Shocking!  Mr. Darcy and Eliza kissing? Scandalous! But I absolutely adore it.  I know Colin Firth is the ultimate Mr. Darcy, but this is a movie I can watch in one sitting, or standing at the ironing board, as the case may be.  The music is sweeping, the photography is gorgeous …


And those trees!


Where did they find trees this size:


Much like the size of my ironing job.  Just the napkins alone.


This summer we started using cloth napkins for almost every meal.  But they do have to be washed, pressed, and put away.


So many clothes we’ve lost touch with for so long … welcome back!


And if that wasn’t cheering enough, I had a “I didn’t kill it!” moment with a pansy orchid that was generously given to me this past Spring, and about which I was beginning to worry.  I noticed a brand new flower!


And a new, wrinkled leaf that I don’t have to smooth out.

I Made It To 30 Days

Clump #235:  Return furniture to carpeted rooms; final cooking and cleaning for guests; bring Dickens collection to car.   Day 30 of the 30 day challenge … baby!

Oh, the adrenaline is flowing, friends.  But one blissful fact lifts me up: Day Thirty!!  Whoo-Hooo!


Let me make one thing perfectly clear: my husband’s sisters are the greatest.  Fun, warm, down-to-earth, generous … just about any positive adjective you might imagine; I can’t wait to see them.  If they were here, they’d say, “Don’t fuss!”  So my pre-guest anxiety is wholly and completely of my own making, out of proportion to reality.  I guess that’s the puzzle I’m trying to solve in these posts.

Thank you so much for reading and following along this month.  Your support has meant so much to me, whether I’ve heard from you or not.  It’s always a surprise when I’ve received comments.  Really?  You’ve been reading?  How wonderful!  The following message was emailed to me today by a very dear friend.  I want to embroider it on a pillow … after I stop tearing up.

relax and enjoy your sister-in-laws visit.
I’m sure everything looks lovely!
No need to reveal what is hidden or
apologize for whatever you didn’t get to
You have a lovely home.
don’t forget you live there
And its the heart & soul of your family
home is where the heart is
and yours is filled with a lot of love
So please relax & don’t fret
 As promised, Charles has left the building.  The complete Dickens collection is in the back of the car, ready to donate tomorrow morning.  If they don’t sell at Fall Festival, I will give (read, lug) them to Goodwill.  (Sorry the font just shrunk … another puzzle I’m too tired to solve.)
At the end of this challenge, I’m whittling down my to-do list to what is practical for the very little time left.  But I’ve been keeping up with the mail and newspapers.  (I say with a shake of the fist!)  Yesterday’s Cryptoquote solution, in today’s paper, was so very apt. I can’t expect the house-transformation equivalent of a twenty-year-old tree.  But second best is pretty darn good.
I’ll end with a photo I took this evening from the car on the way home from visiting my mom.

The cows were coming home.  I stuck this challenge out ’til the …

Seasonal Journey

Clump #84: Mail card; recycle paper from study.

The greeting card, below, was one I’ve had for quite a while.  I bought it to send to two dear people we know from our Quaker Meeting who have been trying to sell their house and move.  The drawn-out process has allowed us to slip into denial that they would really leave.  But yesterday was officially their last Sunday at Meeting before taking off.  The card is made by a company called quotable cards.


My sense of loss was echoed by a great weeping cherry tree that stands outside our meeting house:


The few leaves left seemed like teardrops.

From the study, where I had recently let clutter creep back in, I pulled out a big pile of papers.  Exhibit “A” of “always some object in the way” from the greeting card quote.


Life’s journey seems easier in the Spring (the same tree earlier this year).


But even in my sad state of mind, I thrilled to the sensation of rustling through fall leaves.  “Happiness is the way.”