Thursday, April 02, 2015

Signs of Spring

Trees in bloom

 Squirrels digging in the greening grass
 Weeds growing in rocks.

Nest building.
Dodge Street seen from the top of the hill near Burt Street.
Student housing on the college campus. Note the rails on the windows that would typically be for a balcony. I can see it as a precaution on upper floors lest someone accidentally plunge out a window...but on the ground level as well?! I know I wasn't the most cautious student but even I could have managed not putting myself through a ground floor window. I swear, it is like we don't let American children grow-up. I guess this is just the obvious outcome-a playpen safety rail for college students. This is a nursing school, by the way. Someday these are the people that will be taking care of me in old age. Sigh. 

 Our shadows at 7 PM.
I only get to be tall for about 30 minutes in the evening. I started to recite, "I have a Little Shadow", but got the eye-roll from the child. Funny, he used to beg me to read it again and again.

We walked past a large flowering shrub that Danny stopped to smell.
"Smell how sweet this thing is."
I went over, took a sniff, and...nothing. I looked at the white flowers, and before I could say it, Danny was laughing. Yep, Jasmine. At least I'm consistent. I still can't believe I got to my age without understanding this sooner.

My wardrobe that can't decide if it is winter or spring. It was 80 degrees today. By 7 PM I needed a jacket to sit outside. I have no idea how to dress for this nonsense!

This skirt is silk, and nicely lined so I grabbed it as a "seen from the corner of my eye" purchase on my way out of Goodwill. Mr. ETB was along, and mentioned that the colours were terrible, but he has no idea how much brown I have in my wardrobe-this was going to be easy finding something to wear with it. That's what I thought, until it got cold again and I needed to layer. Yes, I have the perfect peasant top to go with this skirt-eventually. Maybe by July.

Outfit Particulars:
Silk skirt-Goodwill
Vintage Naturalizer shoes-Thrift World
Twin Set-Sears, old
Vintage brown handbag-Can't remember
Orange 60's clip earrings-Hand-Me-Ups
Bangles-all over
 I really seem to be on a beige kick of late.
 With red, it *almost* looks like a spring palette.

Outfit Particulars:
Vintage Campus Casuals cotton pullover with red buttons-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage 70's Koret of California snap front skirt-Goodwill
Red Slingbacks-Thrift World
Vintage Red Handbag-Goodwill
Red bangle-Goodwill
Enamel flower brooch-Hand-Me-Ups
 1970's Polyester beige hounds tooth jacket-Goodwill
60's clip earrings-Hand-Me-Ups
Black Hills Gold necklace-Gift from Danny

I finished making the Easter egg candy today (hollowed out egg shells, hardened in the oven and filled with a buttercream "White and yolk" surrounded by chocolate.) It is an effort every year, and I always swear I won't do it again, but when I see people having fun peeling away the eggshell to reveal the chocolate egg I tell myself, "Oh, it wasn't that much work" and like a dummy I do it all over again the following year! I suppose I wouldn't have anything to moan about if I didn't.
Pesach begins at sundown tomorrow evening, so there's a bit of holiday overlap as it lasts a week (8 days as it starts the night before the first full day). I have new holiday dishes this year as the old ones were getting seriously chipped.
 These were overruns I purchased at TJ Maxx. They didn't have enough of either colour, so I did mix and match. I have a blue and yellow vintage tablecloth from the 50's that will look perfect with these. These were *so cheap* that I almost hesitated, but they seem well made, even if the glazing itself isn't all that exceptional. Pesach is difficult because you need a set of dishes that never had leavened bread on them. I could buy something at a thrift store, and then put it through a sterlising wash, but for something that only gets used one week a year, I didn't have much incentive to shop around. Four dinner plates for $4.99 is better than I could do at most thrift stores. I'm not personally so religious I would care if the plates were only for Pesach, but if I invite anyone over for tea that is observant, it would be nice to have a proper plate to serve them on, rather than disposable paper.
 I thought the birds were a nice nod to Danny's interests. My last holiday dishes were purchased long before he came along.
 Bowls with designs at the bottom are the best. What better incentive to finish your soup than to see the birdie at the bottom of the bowl? "Hi birdie. Did you like the borscht?"

The Seder is fun, and a nice way of keeping cultural traditions going. It is long, but there's food, and storytelling, and singing, and at the end a prize for finding the  piece of hidden matzo needed to end the seder (essentially the kid that finds it extorts a prize so the long evening can end). I've always given Danny a balsa wood glider for a prize. This year, I bought him a huge kite shaped like a plane made of lightweight Styrofoam. With a 4 ft. wingspan I don't think he'll be losing it in the park. 

I hope the birds like matzo because they won't be seeing bread for a week. 
"Better put out some raisins too, lady. Matzo gums up my works something awful."

Me too, Mr. Grackle. Me too. Pass the prune juice.


Beth Waltz said...

Beautiful dishes, Goody! It's good of you to be so considerate of those who are observant. My Jewish friends all have stories of the times they made that extra effort to accommodate elders and so discovered they had taught the young ones unintended lessons.

A local ethnic market features a specialty meat counter that is both kosher and halal. Once upon a time I arrived behind a Jewish matron who'd acquire 6 splendid lamb chops. I bought the other 6as an alternative to an Easter ham. Then a very young Muslim woman appeared behind us and asked the butcher if he had more. Her husband's family was coming and... We who had coped with holiday dinners smiled at one another and plopped our chops into the youngster's cart and considered ourselves blessed.

Enjoy your holiday, your way!

Bibi said...

Those dishes are absolutely gorgeous!
I'm afraid we are limited to Corelle ware at our house. (Teenaged boys are unfortunately a bit rough on dishware.)
Holi & Vasant Panchami were a bit subdued here this year. The Maoists are trying to 'minimize' religious holidays here in Nepal, but Nepalis aren't having it for the most part. The Maoists have however cut down on the length of religious holidays (which was a good thing as some of these festivals were 21 days long & Nepal has around 500 publicly observed holidays.)
India & Nepal don't really have 'seasonal' colors. Same colors are popular all year 'round, some festivals require certain colors though.
I think I must be the only person in the world that doesn't really care for 'spring palettes'. Pastels look horrid on me, I much prefer fall & winter.

Unknown said...

My dear gal,
Never underestimate the power of prune juice. :)


Curtise said...

As someone who disregards all religious observances, and only does a very minimal Christmas under sufferance (I ignored it when I lived on my own), I feel a mixture of amazement and awe at the lengths others go to! Plates that are only used once a year? When they are so pretty?! No bread for a week? I'm hopeless, aren't I, I just don't get it! Ha, I don't generally get beige either, but you're right, combined with bright red, it looks great, and the silk skirt might also work well paired with the turquoise, green or orange in the print.
80 degrees? We've had hail storms and howling winds, brrrrr. Xxxx

Goody said...

@Beth Waltz
That's such a nice story. Yes, I remember being young, and doing family dinners *shudder*.

People like their festivals-something governments would do well to remember.

We stocked-up!

It would be more of a trial were we very religious (or religious at all) but as it feels optional to partake of the traditions, it becomes something fun to look forward to.

Hope the hail leaves you alone-murder on a garden in bloom.

Propagatrix said...

I just survived the Triduum, which is a major undertaking for church singers. Mass three nights in a row and then again Sunday morning. This Saturday was my first time doing the Exsultet as a solo; the thing is about ten minutes long and sung in the dark (plus tiny booklights). Also had to co-cantor the Psalms and the Litany of the Saints. Now things will be relatively quiet until Advent, and I can have cheeseburgers on Friday again.

Goody said...

That sounds like a marathon! I hope you're able to give your voice a well-earned rest (and plenty of tea with honey). I'd just point and grunt for the next couple of weeks, but then that's already close to how I communicate with my family. Yay for Friday cheeseburgers!

Mim said...

Those are great dishes. I hadn't realised the plates had to be completely untouched by leavened food for Pesach. I've enjoyed reading your posts mentioning it, it's good to learn about different customs.

I also really like that skirt! It's a keeper.