WELCOME The kettle's always on in Merryville.
It whistles a song of peace.
Merryville is a very pretty and some say a bit quirky, though neighborly, little town. A simple place, in a simpler time, it sits within a small valley ringed with evergreens, wild cherry trees and several small farms . Most folks who grow up in Merryville, tend to stay in Merryville. Just a bicycle's ride to the coast, you'll find the loveliest lilacs grow here in spring, and folks come from miles around, just to see our bluebirds, and to hear the blackbirds sing.
Now, while you may say that Merryville isn't a real place, you can't really say that it doesn't exist. Merryville is as real to me as any place on earth. It dwells in my heart, and in the spirit with which I try to approach living.
When I was asked to write my diary I did so with precisely these thoughts in mind. There is always room for a beam of light to remind us of the nobility and beauty of ordinary things, to celebrate them, but also to give thanks.
I've just come in from clipping these few small sprigs of flowers from my garden. This small vase belonged to my husband's mother, and I think perhaps it was Grandma's before that. It is perfect for little arrangements, and it brings a measure of grace to my days much in the way that having had these two women in my life, really and truly did. I am grateful to have known them and to have shared a love of gardening with them both as well. Happy memories.
It has been awhile, hasn't it, since I last wrote to you? Our spring time has been eventful, and I can hardly believe really, that tomorow is the first day of summer. My son had shoulder surgery in April, and stayed with us for a week or so after that, my Aunt Helen and her three daughters visited in May, during which time, my step-brother Mark, my step-mom's son, sadly, passed away. We became brother and sister when I was about 10 years old, He was only two years older than me, and so accepting and a very funny fellow. His later years were not good ones. I think that has made it harder in some way to let go, which doesn't make sense to me, for I truly wish him at peace. Life keeps on, but I have to say that my reserve of happiness has been greatly diminished in these last months.. It will recover, I know that, for I try hard to find what is good in everyday, it really isn't hard, but grieving takes many forms, it seems, and somedays, it will sneak up on you from behind memories that you thought you'd forgotten. Just all of a sudden. Anyways, I haven't been much in the mood for writing about such things, always the hardest part of being authentic in the world of blogging, I think.
I've been spending a lot of time thinking about my garden, and when I have the energy, I have been working in it some, planting a few new roses, and hydrangeas, and putting up a new little willow gazebo for vines to trail upon. I still have to install a stone floor, but when I do, this little retreat will hold a small bistro table and chairs and become a spot for enjoying morning coffee, or afternoon tea in the garden. It's not much to see as yet, but one day, I think it will look pretty, and be a nice shady spot to rest within.
I've been a bit preoccupied with reading about herbs, both gardening and cooking with them, and in the evenings, I've been enjoying the BBC series Born and Bred, which I love. It is a story that takes place in a little British villiage during the 1950's. It is filled wonderful eccentric characters, and every episode feels like the chapter of a delightful book, that you never want to end. It features beautiful scenery of the English countryside, charming cottages and the clothing, oh it is wondeful too. I've quite fallen in love with the dresses that the lady pub owner wears. The fabrics and buttons most especially. It has me thinking about wearing dresses more often, and perhaps one day, I will look for old dressmaking patterns in similar styles.
I haven't done much with the top of the piano this summer, but I have started to gather together a few garden themed things that one day will be added to my plant room. I have a few more things to look for. I have old garden watering cans and such, but haven't brought one inside as yet. Eventually though, I think it will become an inspiring collection to evoke the feel of the garden, especially on a a rainy and cold winter's day. I think about the garden year round. Creating a garden space inside with such things will be fun I think.
Well, I guess this is all the news for today. Thank you to those of you who still drop by to visit. My posts will probably continue to be a little bit far apart for awhile. I do appreciate you all, and hope you are well.
We are having a truly beautiful spring day in Merryville today. It is a grand start to this month of April, and I am so happy to see and feel the sunshine. I was sick for most of the month of March, and still have a bit of a cough, but it won't take long, with days like this, before I will feel very much better, I know. I spent most of the morning digging in the dirt outside, and repotting a couple of plants inside and just touching the earth for a bit and breathing in fresh air has left me feeling less edgy, in the way we sometimes do, when we aren't feeling as "grounded" as we'd like to be.
My indoor jasmine and the muscari are blooming and they smell so good. It smells just like spring should smell inside and outside our house and I feel so grateful for a life that allows me the indulgence of such things as blooming plants and the trickle of fountains and birdsong. both indoors and outside too, as I have the little girls parakeets living on the indoor back porch, along with a small wall fountain and my lovely plants too. They've been singing to beat the band. Miss Luna has been enjoying the warmer weather too, and I've been happy to just leave the front door open so that she can come and go in and out as she pleases.
I'm about to run to the pharmacy, and then I think I'm going to spend the rest of the day in the kitchen for the most part. I want to bake another loaf of raisin bread, start a loaf of rosemary bread, and prepare my ingredients for a tasty stir-fry that we'll have for dinner tonight.
The weather is lifting my mood and bringing me a bit out of the doldrums when it comes to cooking these days too. Soon, we will have lovely spring ingredients to use, like asparagus and strawberries. Won't that be nice? I can hardly wait!
Dear Beth, this is the new old tray that I told you about last time we spoke. Perfect size! I still haven't decided what color to paint it though.
Thank you everyone for taking the time to visit me still. Hopefully, my energy will be back soon, and things will become most interesting here in the coming days. I hope life is bringing you happy days.
There is something very satisfying about unmolding your own soap, even if it is of the melt and pour variety, which this happens to be. I recently took a very good soap making class, but even though it made me feel like I could make soap that I would be very happy with from scratch, by the time I bought all the equipment and ingredients to make it, it would be pretty expensive soap, and all I really want to do is make a few bars of good soap to add ingredients from my garden to and to have on hand to give as gifts now and then. I found a really nice goat's milk base and a glycerine and honey base at Brambleberry.com, that I combined, and then I added green tea and mint to that. I left it unscented, but there is a delicate scent of mint to this soap. Just a little bit, just enough to tease you a bit, but not overwhelm. I want to crochet a few pretty washcloths to have on hand too. Wrapped up together I think they will make a nice gift to have to give as a hostess gift, or to add to a gift basket on special occasions. I'm trying to get back into the habit of making things again, and to rebuild my stock of simple gifts to fill my gift drawer. I want to keep it filled always with small homemade things, so that like my Granny, and Momo, and Dear Mrs. Mannery, I will always have a "little something" to give to brighten someone's day. One thing that I have learned over time is that there is no better way to cheer yourself up, than to cheer someone else up. I think Mark Twain said that. It's true. So, I'm rebuilding my gift drawer, with homemade soap, and little stuffed calico hearts, and rolled beeswax candles, crocheted washcloths and other such things. Little things, to brighten someone's day.
Do you keep a gift drawer? May I ask, what do you take out of yours?
Oh, and this is a nice book written by British gardener, Rosemary Very.