Jonquils (aka Daffodils to us more Northern folks) sent by a friend from a place where Spring sounds to be making a bit more headway.


Thanks J. for this peak at what’s to come. Spring will arrive and it’ll be more beautiful than we remember. Can there be anything sweeter than unexpected flowers from far away?

Yeah.. we’ve always been a little off

I wasted a few perfectly good hours this morning (and enlisted my husband in the project, too) looking for the grown-up version of this pic – I know it’s around here somewhere; can see it even in my mind – but I’ll be damned if I can put my fingers on it. It’s Kevin and I at the beach, me in a bikini looking amused, he up to his knees in the sand, building something to keep that amused grin on my face. I was twenty or so. He thirty or so. Grown-ups. Building sandcastles.

What’s the matter with us?

I heard from him the other day, for the first time since.. oh Christmas, and what did he do? He complimented me on my snowman. The one I built with the five-year-olds from the neighborhood. He told me about the snowman/igloo combination he built; you got to crawl into the snowman’s belly and hide out. Maybe have a nap there. Or a cup of cocoa.

What’s the matter with us?

My brothers and I… we’re a little off. But then, isn’t everyone, in one way or another? Of course I know there’s nothing wrong with us, at least nothing seriously wrong, but I wonder where this sense of whimsy comes from. Why do some of us still have it long past the time when others have grown up?

Not everyone sees the value in our foolishness either. Certain relatives just roll their eyes at us when we get laughing together and planning our next bit of imaginary mischief. Clearly, we are not to be trusted with the trappings of adulthood: the car keys, the checkbook, the children.

Sitting down to write this today, I thought of so many stories that point to our immaturity, but really I’m hoping some of you might share some stories of your own with me, from your families. Are you as *off* as we are?

Mr. Bean

Mr. Bean ATB 2/21/04

Yes–thou mayst eat thy bread, and lick the hand
That feeds thee; thou mayst frolic on the floor
At evening, and at night retire secure
To thy straw couch, and slumber unalarm’d;
For I have gain’d thy confidence, have pledged
All that is human in me, to protect
Thine unsuspecting gratitude and love.
If I survive thee, I will dig thy grave;
And, when I place thee in it, sighing say,
I knew at least one hare that had a friend.

–William Cowper

Note to a neighbor

You don’t know me, but might recognize me from the neighborhood. I walk by your house with the silly black Lab puppy in the early evenings; sometimes we wave to one another while you’re out to bring in the garbage cans from the street.

Maybe you saw me this afternoon on my knees in my good clothes in the middle of your front garden. I had the camera with me on the way in from work and couldn’t resist stopping to take some pics, even though I worried you might think me a little nutty for doing it.

You see, those snowdrops you’ve planted have been drawing my eye for the last week or so; in fact, I look for them there every winter around this time. Last year, their blooms were suspended in ice, but my winter weary eyes were reassured at the sight of them.

If you’d noticed my pausing as I drove by earlier this month, it was just so that I might catch a glimpse of the green shoots poking the way through their bed of ivy. That was magic enough the morning I finally spotted them, but last week their blooms lifted my heart some on a day when it was otherwise heavy.

I can see from your carefully-tended garden that you’re as much a lover of the most delicate flowers as I am. But snowdrops aren’t delicate and they’re as generous with themselves as we gardeners tend to be. Yours are slowly monopolizing the small space you’ve allotted them and before too long will be blooming down along the sidewalk. When that happens, I hope you’ll forgive me if you should find me there one afternoon with a small spade in place of my camera.

I’d be happy to return the favor, if only you’d knock at my door sometime and introduce yourself. I think I saw you out there one spring day at the edge of the garden with an eye on my patch of lily-of-the-valley. It’s quietly covering the ground beneath the dogwood trees and making its way towards the street.

If we wait long enough, your plot of snowdrops may meet my patch of lily-of-the-valley, and then our flowers will be neighbors too and we’ll not have to steal glances from one another’s garden any longer.

Ranting and spreading some joy

We are formed and molded by our thoughts.
Those whose minds are shaped by selfless thoughts give joy when they speak or act.
Joy follows them like a shadow that never leaves them.
” — Buddha

Dear Mary sent an award my way, as did Trixie a while back, and I’m just now getting around to saying thanks here. Thanks girls! Just goes to show you how behind I am that I’m only now acknowledging nice things said about my blog.

Trixie said this: Laura at Somewhere in New Jersey — This is one of the most polished blogs. Her writing is always thoughtful and considered.

Mary had this to say (and which I think is probably closer to the truth!): Laura at Somewhere in NJ — You can feel her softness and charm in her writing. Now and then, she rants and curses a little bit and we all love it.

A few of my closest blog buddies have said the same and I find it a little curious. Just ask someone who lives with me or has to work with me – that ranting and cursing happens a little too frequently. I recover pretty quickly, though.


Back to the ranting in a minute. First I want to mention a new blog that’s been making my day lately. It’s a collaborative photo blog called Shutter Sisters – lots of creativity and inspiration there for the photography buffs among us. Check it out! I’ll post a few other favorite *make my day* blogs in the next couple days.

Today’s rant: Phones. What else? I’d been away from the office since last Thursday and had 11 messages waiting this morning. No big deal. Wrote them down and planned on returning the calls late this afternoon. In an effort to maintain my (semblance) of sanity I try to get actual work done during… oh say, 6 hours of the day. Talking on the phone doesn’t count as actual *work* as far as I’m concerned because none of the piles on my desk get any smaller that way.

I also tend to screen my calls when I’m there at my desk and won’t answer the phone unless it’s either a call I’m expecting and know to be an urgent issue or the person is a pain in the ass and calls the secretary to put the call through to me. Otherwise I let the calls go to voicemail with the idea that I’ll return them in the afternoon when I’m brain-dead anyway and can’t get any other more useful work done.

So… today between 9 am and 2 pm I had an additional 14 messages to return. The kicker is that 11 of those were from the same frickin’ person! She called me over and over and over and left the same ridiculous long-winded message 11 times! In a row! And guess what? When I called her back – she wasn’t home. No answering machine either… lucky for her …cause you know how I’d have spent the last couple hours of my work day.


Just bits

Here’s something I’m learning lately about blogging: it’s really hard to come up with anything interesting to say when you leave thinking about it to the very last minute of the day. I’m days behind with reading all of your blogs and weeks behind with commenting or responding to your kind comments here. I’m sorry… I’ll catch up one of these days!

In the meantime, or today at least, have a peek at some pretty flower bits from last spring. Some type of azalea that I found growing wild at the edge of the woods. Hopefully, the muse will find me tomorrow with a bit of inspiration and a bit more time to write something worth your time.


Away and back

No… I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth! I just wandered away for a day or two and never got here to say that I’d be away. There were ducks for chasing and sunsets to see over Barnegat Bay. If you stretch your imagination past the dock and it’s lonely bench to the marsh on that far shore you’ll see a short-ear or two hunting with the harriers in the gorgeous golden light of late afternoon. I wish I had pics of that to share, but now that I’m back I have only to imagine them there in the far away distance.