Sunday, October 31, 2010

Show Off Your Cottage Monday

Welcome to "SHOW OFF YOUR COTTAGE MONDAY", a blog party I host at the beginning of each week to celebrate the things we love about our homes and how we live.
The House in the Roses
Today I'm celebrating the last roses of the season... I’m always amazed by the way these roses seem to defy nature. As if refusing to comply with death they thrive and bloom, yet they chose to surrender, humbly, to the new season's approach; mingling in meek harmony with their surrounding. I love the way these last roses of October join autumn in a mélange of colors and shapes that to me can only speak of a rare beauty that could never be alienated from melancholy.
Here are some photographs of my last bouquets… a cold rain have permeated our valley swooshing naughty winds around, and the garden has now turned crimsoned orange and tangerine reds. These are probably the last roses you will see here, until the return of another spring…
Tis the last rose of summer
(By Thomas Moore) Left blooming alone; All her lovely companions Are faded and gone; No flower of her kindred, No rosebud is nigh, To reflect back her blushes, To give sigh for sigh. I'll not leave thee, thou lone one! To pine on the stem; Since the lovely are sleeping, Go, sleep thou with them. Thus kindly I scatter, Thy leaves o'er the bed, Where thy mates of the garden Lie scentless and dead. So soon may I follow, When friendships decay, From Love's shining circle The gems drop away. When true hearts lie withered And fond ones are flown, Oh! who would inhabit, This bleak world alone? What are you celebrating? Take me to your cottage, show me how you live, tell me what's making you happy, or what's got you smiling, what new treasure have you find, your new creation!! Link, and take us there!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Hunter's Moon - All Hallows' Eve...

Were you out last night to see the full moon? Ah yes, I had to welcome this beautiful yellow moon of October! So I quickly wrapped a scarf over my head, and went out to the garden...

The “Hunter’s Moon”—they call it, and it is big and round and ever so enchanting... it hanged low and lovely in the night sky, and as I stood there with the wind and chill of the night dancing in the canopy of trees, I could feel her silvery glow infusing the garden with magic... it was truly marvelous!

The Hunter’s Moon is no ordinary moon; it behaves in a special way. Here in our valley it’s mirrored in a cool, dark sapphire sky... and sometimes you can even see the rings around it too! Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that ice crystals shining in the glow of the moon? And what do you call the moon, “Mr. Moon”, or “Ms. Moon”? I don’t know about you, but I see vermillion lips! I like to think that the moon dresses in pearls. I see a lovely pearl sateen dress, and I see earrings in stiletto style and a freshwater pearl strand tied with ribbon on her neck... but I can never ever picture a moon with hair in my dreams... do you imagine a moon with hair, or a hairless moon?

Oh and do you see what I see? I see witches flying the Cosmos too!! But that’s normal I suppose! After all, it’s All Hallow's Eve and anything and everything can happen... I tell ya, it was just marvelous being out there in the lonely garden under the full moon last night!

And can I tell you something else? I had the loveliest of dream the other night... and you were there!! In my dreams!! Yes, yes it was you I’m sure! It was around Christmas time, and I went to visit you in your enchanted wood! Winter never came there and we wandered off into this magical land skipping and singing and holding hands like little sisters do!

It was so special, and magical! All sort of mysterious and delightful things happened while we were there, and we shared so much in common we could have passed by real sisters too! It was warm and sunny and all in all a delightful and enchanting place to be! I remember us talking about how we were going to take oodles of pictures of us so that later we would showcase them on both of our blogs! ;) Isn’t this curious... and odd? Do you ever dream with people you don’t know? Or dream about your blog? I woke up smiling...

By the way, I believe that each of us should have our own special enchanted wood—a mysterious and magical land where the fantasist in us would find heaps of opportunities for glorious adventures. I have my own enchanted wood, and I am sure I have seen you there once or twice ;) You can always leave me a breadcrumb trail in the form of a comment or two when you visit, so I can go meet you there and play! ;)

Well, I better be off now! Nightfall will be upon us before you know it, and you know how it goes... comes night, and with the first kiss of the full moon there they will be—witches and goblins... all sort of creatures would pervade your garden, and what it was a lovely place to be a minute before will turn into a scary place... an unfamiliar and mysterious place if you would!

Oh goodness me, did you just hear that? Ah yes, a very estrange noise! Over there amidst the bushes! And is that what I think it is? Oh yes, the Halloween witches are already here; lurking the darkness! Can you see them too? Vines are growing hair and I see bushes growing arms and fingers with long nails... Oh I'm sure I heard a shallow breathing behind the butterfly bushes... Ahhhrrrrggg!!!

Ah yes, the witches are here and they're taking over the garden! Are you hearing enchanted incantation in your part of the world? Can you see witches in your garden too? No? Well, be careful... be very careful for when the wind is in the west witches all over the world would be brewing their magic brews. You can hear them singing their magic songs already, and some of their wildness might get inside you!! Oh I better hurry inside. I much rather be inside my cozy house anytime during the night! When I think of my home, my very soul fills with a sense of peace beyond words... a presence larger than life itself moves around me and encompasses my small world... I'm not afraid any more. For this I am thankful. My soul is overflowing with thanksgivings.

(Image Sources: Digital Art-Internet) HAPPY HALLOWEEN, EVERYONE!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

At the office - ramblings...

What do you use at the office for your hot drinks? Most people have a favorite mug that they use for their coffee, or tea... my co-worker (almost ready for retirement now) has the scariest of mug I’ve ever seen... really! It’s black and it reads in huge white letters: “Beware, I’m armed and have premenstrual tension”... eekkk! Scary! Which brings me to my subject today, and what I use at the office for my hot drinks...

Being the kind of girly girl I am, you know I have to have a cup... and saucer too, of course! I have seen some real pretty mugs out there and had been tempted to get one for the office many a time, but I still prefer my pretty teacup! Coffee, tea, or a nice cup of hot chocolate on a cold wintery morning at the office certainly taste better in an attractive teacup... big and round like this one! What are your preferences? What do you use for your hot drinks at the office?

I found this sweet vintage plate (for free!) at one of the two thrift stores across from our office building... can you imagine that? Not one, but two thrift stores within walking distance! ;) That’s where I usually go (a lot) during my lunch breaks... St Michael’s Cathedral with its lovely ivy-covered stone façade and stained glass windows sits right across my office, and that’s where their tiny thrift store is, and that’s also the view (including the parking lot) I get to look at every hour of every day of my life... now, don't get me wrong, I do love that numinous old church, and I consider myself fortunate to have that as a view and not something else (I could be stuck in a cubicle), but I would do anything, I mean anything to be able to work from home and enjoy the view of my lonesome garden all day long instead.

Anyway, back to my new “free” vintage dinner plate... is just so pretty, and dainty too! I do use it thought, and I like to keep it around my desk along with my cup and saucer... And I love that the colors match perfectly! I think we should be able to surround ourselves with those things which make us happy either at home as well as at the office. As you can see here, I like my office plainly feminine and romantic!
As I was saying, this little thrift store gives away a lot of things they think not worth keeping, or selling, but which I usually find charming! Like my pink vintage earrings I showed you here... Quite a few of the books I have read lately had come from there too... books they toss, but gems to me! Like these here:

St. Michaels have the loveliest moss-covered secret paths where hydrangeas, bleeding-hearts and the English ivy grow together in perfect harmony... I love to go by there—by their little and mysterious mausoleum and sit on the stone bench beneath the Japanese maple just so I can surround my self in its peaceful silence... I cut a few hydrangeas yesterday (I hope they won’t mind) and now I’m drying them on top of one of my bookcases... fresh or dried, they look pretty either way... I wish I could grow hydrangeas in my garden, but I haven’t had any luck with them...

Oh, and did you notice that pretty painting with the three little wee fairies in it? Isn’t it lovely! It was sent to me awhile ago by an artist with amazing skills for beauty—“Elizabeth Barczynski. I am glad I finally found her name (had lost it—sorry!), so I can now thank her properly. You can visit her here!
It amazes me how drastically seasons seem to change from one day to the next... just a couple of days ago my garden was aglow; filled with new blooms and roses that looked better and healthier than ever... only Sunday I cut a few to adorn my table, the scent was intoxicating; each gorgeous in their frailty and beauty... then, a cold rain came swooshing naughty winds around, and all of a sudden the garden turned crimsoned orange, and tangerine red... now all the colors are falling off the trees. It is a beautiful sight, and yet... so sad. I’m sad to see my lovely garden go dormant for such long time.
And what are you up to these day? I'd love to hear it!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The haunted garden - Halloween Party

Mystery surely flutters around delicious October! October is a bird carrying on its mellow wings secrecy and all sorts of mysteries, it sings and breaths little things in my ear as he rustles through the grass... Ah yes, October is the most mysterious of month ever! And I can attest to that because I was born in October! But of course, silly me, that’s not exactly the type of mystery I’m referring to! It’s the garden... some people think it’s haunted!
It was especially creepy this evening during my daily walk at dusk.
There was something lurking in the underbrush I’m sure, and dangling from the branches of the crabapple tree I saw the most disturbing of things ever... a hanged man! Of course, it was just a Halloween dummy made of old clothes stuffed with straw that perhaps some weird kid from the neighborhood had left there the day before, but either way you can imagine how startled I was by it! More disturbing things kept happening that evening. The strangest of mist started to creep in, and an unsettling flutter of wings was heard in the otherwise quieted garden. When I turned around I thought I saw the creepiest of image across the water in the birdbath.
A face... I’m sure it was a face!—a mystifying face like those faces you see in ghost stories and books and movies of the sort! Oh the eeriness! Oh the creepiness of the moment and disturbing atmosphere! As you can imagine, I quickly collected my skirts and run back home as fast as I could... Running... running.... tumbling over the flowers, down the empty ivy path I went... through the bushes, through the maple trees, through the gates... Until I was finally safe in the comfort of my home. As you would expect, sleep would not come to me easily that night. The moon shone in my window and slanted across my bed, and a night breeze brought the smell of roses and honeysuckle into the room. Outside, leaves rustled, but I didn’t hear anything else. No goblins’ voices, no ghostly sobbing, no strange cat meowing... just the sound of the night breezes in the garden.
Slowly I finally drifted off to sleep, but much later I woke up again. The house was silent, and my cat Morning was crouched on the windowsill at the foot of his bed. His body was tense, his ears cocked forward, and his tail lashed back and forth furiously. As I sat up, I heard him growl softly, not at me but at something outside.
Cautiously, I peeked out the window. At first I saw nothing but the moonlight whitening the grass and blackening the shadows...
Then something moved near the garden, and Morning growled again... It was a white cat! He was creeping along the edge of a shadow, but while I watched, he paused and looked up at my window. The moonlight reflected in his eyes, making them two silver disks. When he meowed softly, Morning lunged against the screen, tearing at the wire with his claws and growling.
Grabbing my cat, I pulled him away from the window, but he writhed free and disappeared under the bed, still growling... as Morning vanished, I looked fearfully outside. The white cat was gone, but the scraggly bushes moved with the breeze and the shadows they cast swayed on the grass... the sweet smell of roses filled my room, and I shivered as a gust of wind blew over me. Then, as if it wasn’t creepy enough, things got even creepier! I heard something in the darkness outside. It wasn’t the breeze in the leaves or a cat meowing or a night bird calling; it was unmistakably the sound of a child crying... Truly afraid, I fought against a strong urge to scream, or run away. As if he sensed my feelings, Morning came out from his hiding place. Purring in my ear, he curled up on my pillow until finally the two of us fell asleep together... The whole thing was creepy, so very creepy, indeed! But that was last night! Now the warmest of sun has return to the land vanishing all shadows of fear! Bathed in wonderful morning sunlight, the garden has lost its sinister quality, and I find myself delighting again in the shady center of my little hide out.
I wouldn’t be scared away by a white cat anyway… would you? Of course not! Especially on a day like today, when I’m having the most delightful time celebrating the enchantment of October with tea and friends and visitors from all over the world.

If you haven't heard of it yet, there is a party soon to start at Frosted Petunias. Oh, it promises to be pure magic underneath the full Halloween moon! And I surely would not want to miss it! So with that said, I am going to change into my little witchy self and head over there right now! You're welcome to fly with me in my broom if you like, but don’t delay, dark is almost upon us, the night garden boast a magic all of its own, a magic that must be shared only at our party, so hurry!

"Double, double, toil and trouble,
Fire burn and cauldron bubble."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A tale of little creatures

One of the most exciting things ever about autumn (at least for me), is the return of the little creatures! Ah yes, one by one you’d see them come—out of this impenetrable wood I call “my garden” they would come… marching, singing, fluttering around!
Sometimes, I even forget they're there, or that the garden had been their home for years...

Some of them are cute and tiny...
Some are big and imposing, and there are even some which most be not confused with the rest of them creatures...

Even so, they all come out the same, dancing, singing, strutting along with the rest…
Surprise always fills my eyes when the October moon grows orange and swollen, and all God's creatures small and great come out at the first kiss of autumn, just to amuse me...
You see, as the garden nurtures and grows greener through spring and summer, the underbrush and shrubbery start to grow thicker and thicker... Gnarled, tangled vegetation finally settles in, and the garden becomes this unfathomable world where anything can disappear, and anything can grow and anything can happen... until finally, the garden starts to thin out with autumn, and you can finally see; really see, what's going on there....
And so, it happened the other day... as I was walking through the garden welcoming the little creatures back to their soon to be winter “Wonderland”, I felt something hard under my pretty pink shoes...

“Ay ayayaiii!”—I heard someone scream! As if in pain! No no it wasn’t me! I was perfectly fine. But when I looked down, I saw something, (or someone?) trying to come out of the ground under my feet. I could not believe my eyes! “Pardon, Miss”—said that ‘something’. “Could you please move your feet off my head?”
Ay Dios mío, oh gracious goodness me!! I’m so sorry!”—I said, and went down to my knees to see who I was talking to... The little creature shook the dirt off his head with a swift movement, and the sooner I saw his sweet big brown eyes I was madly in love with him! 
Oh he was the cutest little bunny ever! The cutest I’d ever seen! And he was in perfect condition too! I looked down at him in amazement and realized he was a small stone creature... real stone! I carefully turned him around and, what do you know... a message! Yes yes, there was a note on his belly or under him, written by his mommy! It read: “My name is ‘Cookie’. When I was a wee little bunny, my mommy put me in my baby brother’s crib to keep me from having bad dreams. It worked! My mommy is Atlanta Artist Telle M. Stein. I’m an original creation, handcast and hand finished, and I can either be kept inside your home or outside in your garden. Thank you for loving me!"

In the garden—precisely the place where he’d been ever since I adopted him from our local “thrift store adoption center” for only $1.75, just a few days ago! My heart is full of joy, I am a little girl singing and dancing under the Hunter's Moon with all my little creatures around! That's how happy I am and so thankful I can be his new mommy now!
You can read more of this artist, Telle, and her awesome work here.
Good night everyone! Sweet dreams!