Friday, March 06, 2020

The Simple Woman's Daybook: March Awakenings

Image from Pixabay

"Gazing on beautiful things acts on
my soul, which thirsts for heavenly light."
MICHELANGELO

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Today I'm offering the March Edition of The Simple Woman's Daybook. I'll be glad of your company as I chat about what's occupying my thoughts these days.

Being in a semi-retired mode (that is to say, I am no longer employed in the work force), I have the luxury of following nature's ebb and flow in its seasons. So, in Winter I have the freedom to hibernate and be quiet, but now, with Spring approaching, I join with the rest of nature, newly energized and ready to push out tiny green sprouts in anticipation of the season's wild flurry of activity.



FOR TODAY

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Outside my window...

First, there are blue skies and sunshine, then it turns grey and overcast, oh look, now the sun is shining again. There is a decided bite in the air as the wind blows, and snow showers are forecast, making it a little more Lion than Lamb-like today. Well, at least for the moment.

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I am thinking...

About how refreshing the word 'refreshment' is. I just have to say the word 'refreshment' and I feel brighter and more invigorated. I don't know about you, but when I have to attend a function, say a meeting or event, there's a tiny part of me that always hopes there will be refreshments at the end. If I see a notice, I look for the bottom line "Refreshments served." Oh, goodie! Even the promise of a simple beverage, hot or cold, at the end creates a warmth of anticipation.
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I am thankful...

That I can sit at my desk most days and work away on various writing and photos projects, including this one of dreaming up new things to share with you here on It's A Beautiful Life.

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One of my favourite things...

At this time of year is watching the days grow lighter. It's dark, it's dark, it's dark, and then one evening you notice as you're eating dinner that it's no longer pitch black outside. I don't know why it always comes as a surprise  but it does, every year. It's a real boon for us northerners.

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I am wearing...

Black trousers, black muted floral tee-shirt, silver bracelets, and a dab of pink lipstick. I like how the colour from the lipstick suddenly makes the pink in the floral pattern stand out.

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I've been watching...

"The eye seeks refreshment in painting."
GEORGE LESLIE HUNTER, Scottish Colourist, 1877-1931

Art documentaries on YouTube lately, usually in the afternoons when hubby and I sit down for a tea break. A time of refreshment for both body and soul. So very cultured, don't you think (wink)? I share the links for two of my favourites:
Michael Palin on the Colourists. Michael explores the lives and paintings of a group of four Scottish artists known as the post-Impressionist Colourists: Francis Cadell, Samuel Peploe, John Duncan Fergusson, and Leslie Hunter. They each have lovely work, some gorgeous still life paintings and landscapes with bold, bright colours. YouTube breaks this into four 15-minute segments.
Michael Palin on Scottish artist Anne Redpath. I like Michael Palin as a presenter. Never boring, he is articulate, thoughtful, with a lovely sense of humor. From watching his program, I've come to really appreciate and admire this new-to-me artist, Anne Redpath. I especially connected with her interview comment (around 1:30 on the video) about her magpie tendencies -- haha, I recognize that tendency, as I'm very much 'magpie' myself. She loved to collect items that reminded her of certain events or places and eventually used them in her paintings.
I wish I could show you pictures -- don't want to infringe on copyrights -- but any Google search will bring up lovely pieces from any of these artists for you to see.


Image by Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life
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I am enjoying...

The March/April issue of Victoria magazine. Bought a copy to browse while sitting at the hair salon.

Reeve Lindbergh, daughter of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, is this year's Writer-in-Residence. Reeve and her husband are farmers in Vermont, and she tells the sweet tale of how one spring during lambing season, a couple of 'orphan' lambs were brought into the house to keep warm and bottle fed. Their yellow Lab retriever kept a watchful eye over them. The lambs seemed to like his company and started following him around, as if he were their mother. They were eventually old enough to move to the barn with the other lambs; Reeve would still go out to feed them three times a day and the dog would come along. She says, 'Sometimes he would go and visit the lambs without me, often trying to bring them back to the kitchen. ... I would find the trio waiting for me by the back door.'  Awww, I just giggled when I read that!

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For World Book Day yesterday...

I finished reading Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache novel A Better Man. Now I'm about to delve into an old favourite, a book I haven't read in years: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. And, today I'm waiting for the delivery of my early birthday present, Victoria Magazine's new publication Our Hearts Are in England. Not sure if hubby will let me get a peek into it when it arrives or if he'll whisk it away until my actual B-day next month. We may have to arm wrestle.

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I am listening to...

Respighi's sprightly Ancient Airs and Dances. There are many pieces of music that I love, and this is one of them. This music, with its flutes, oboes, harp, and strings, makes me think of a warming Spring day, I always want to hum and tap my toes in time with the playful tunes. Not the original composer, Respighi the Italian violinist and composer, arranged this 'very old music in the modern clothes of the early 20th century'.

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I am hoping...

For an ice cream cone. Soon. Outside on a warmish day. Dairy Queen. Chocolate dipped in a plain cone. Wanna meet me there?

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I am learning...

Something new every day. Today's learning moment hasn't shown up yet, but I'll be sure to let you know when it does.

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In the kitchen...

There's nothing more comforting than the aroma of something baking in oven. New York chef Alexandra Guarnaschelli says it best, 'Winter blues are cured every time with a potato gratin paired with a roast chicken.' Batches of both blueberry and banana-nut muffins have starred in our kitchen this week.

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Around the house...

Dust bunnies have been hopping up everywhere: on window ledges and bookshelves, tops of pictures, around baseboards, behind the couch, along the piano. Obviously, it's been longer than I first thought since my last thorough dusting out. I am reassured however by the, ahem, wise words from American interior decorator Mario Buatta that 'dust is a protective coating for fine furniture'.

Image by Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life
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A moment from my day...

The pots of tulips we planted in the fall have been hastening to open. We put them in the garage with the idea of hauling them into the garden in late March/early April. However, at the beginning of February they started sprouting, pushing up green shoots while it was still frigid outside.

They are ready for Spring even when, as you can see from the photos, Mother Nature is not. Several pots now sit in the front window to catch the light of day. We are not sorry for their too-early start.

Image by Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life

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Thanks so much for stopping by. Sure hope you found something worth your visit. Please know that your comments mean a great deal to me -- they are a windfall of delight and cheer -- and I'm always glad when you have time to share a note.


Here's wishing you a beautiful day.

Hugs,
Brenda
xox


Linking today with Peggy @ The Simple Woman's Daybook




17 comments:

  1. “Dust is a protective coating for fine furniture.” Hooray! I knew it was good for something. Your post, but especially your tulips, brightened an already wonderful day. Thank you. 💕

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  2. I agree, that dust is a protective coating for the furniture . I wouldn’t want my furniture to me marred in any way, so I'll leave a protective coat on it. At least until I just can't stand it anymore. I'll be happy to join you at DQ for an ice-cream.

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  3. Brenda, I think you have made many of us happy with your quote about the protective nature of dust!
    Anne morrow Lindbergh was one of my much read authors many years ago. I'm interested to hear that her daughter is also a writer.
    Enjoy your beautiful early Tulips!

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  4. Golly, I hope we all receive an on-time spring. What lovely containers of tulips! How cheering, I like the word “refreshment” as well. I saw the words “light refreshment will be served” on an invitation just this week and didn’t care so much for that. Enjoy these late winter days...

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  5. That was a nice post, Brenda. Love your cheery tulips. Yes, it IS nice to see more light and less darkness. Gives us hope for spring. Susan

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  6. I love the joy of this post! Oh, so many things to comment on. I don't know that Respighi piece. I played The Birds by him and I think Pulcinella is based on something by him I think also.
    Yes, about refreshments! It's like the Sh is a gush of cool water!!

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  7. This made me long for spring, I love the tulips,

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  8. I really enjoyed your post! It felt light and airy, like springtime. :)

    Your tulips are very pretty.

    -Merry K.

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  9. Your pots of tulips are lovely! They do make one long for proper spring.

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  10. I'm a fellow Northerner and I can't wait to Spring Forward the clocks tonight! There is something about having daylight in the evenings to sit on the porch (when it warms up of course!) Thanks for stopping by Colletta's Kitchen Sink!

    Colletta

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  11. Ah, Bren - this post really touched my heart. You see, when we lived in Virginia we raised sheep (wool breed) for my weaving projects and we had a black Lab named Dawley. One year one of our ewes gave birth to a set of twins and she did not have milk for them due to having toxemia. It was the first part of March and cold. So the lambs came in the house to be watched ever so carefully by Dawley. She washed them and slept by them day and night. This story, as you can tell, really pulled at my heart strings. I am so looking forward to spring as well. Yesterday it was rainy, snow last night and today it is sunny and 50 degrees. But it is March. And a happy March to you!

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  12. Hi Brenda. Glad you stopped by and left such a nice comment on my daybook. Ice cream is one of my guilty pleasures. Wish I could be there with you to chat and enjoy some. Your tulips are absolutely beautiful. What a way to usher in Springtime :)

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  13. Spring is irrepressible, and your tulips attest to that. What a lovely pot of them you have. Tonight we "spring forward" and I'll enjoy the longer evenings, although I dislike the darker mornings. Spring is bursting out here although there is a chilly wind. I spent about an hour outdoors watching our grandson play soccer and am still trying to warm up, with a cup of tea and a hot rice bag. Brrr. I always enjoy reading your chatty posts, Brenda. Hope you got the ice cream!

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  14. I would love to join you for a DQ treat! I love their hot fudge sundaes.

    Even though it's still winter, I've been enjoying some small-batch ice cream by a local ice cream maker. This weekend, I got a pint of Portuguese Custard ice cream!

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  15. Brenda - it sounds like me you are starting to wake up from winter's hibernation. Your post makes me want to have some ice cream with you and enjoy a lovely talk over what you are reading. Have yet to read anything by Louise Penny...must put her on my list of authors to check out. Have a lovely week. Hugs!

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  16. Such a pretty daybook! Glad to have you joining us!

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  17. I loved reading your daybook! Your days sound absolutely wonderful. I love the pictures of your tulips. It reminds me of our time in West Berlin. We'd always buy flowers, particularly tulips, to keep all around the house (we had a basement apartment). I hope you had a lovely Easter!

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To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xox

PS. I do not always comment here, but I do look forward to coming and visiting you....