Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentines Day Musings

I do not believe you should boycott this holiday if you are single (at least that is my opinion this year). It is after all a holiday, and an excuse for chocolate. If there isn't someone to give it to you, then wait till tomorrow and go get yourself some on sale. Well, it sounds like a good idea.

Personally I'm not really into hearts, the multi shades of pink and red, and the abundance of tawdry valentines. Which is actually why it is not my favorite holiday. I could go for red roses and chocolates, though I'm not sure about them being in a heart shaped box. Maybe. But it would have to be just the right box. I suppose I could take the candies out and put them in something else and then dispose of the box. That is an idea. I do have this recollection that I once saw a box of chocolates, heart shaped, from See's and I didn't think it was so bad. I guess it is what's in
your heart that counts.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Winter Walk

I like the rugged beauties of winter. The zest it gives you to be tromping down a winding road through the woods with the muddy gravel compressing beneath your rubber boots, the accumulation of snow from the plow still melting beside the road, while the sun breaks out from behind a cloudy sky, illuminating the lane ahead of me. Every once in a while I would pause and kick my boots into the slushy snow.

There were a few deer prancing through the woods, but no sign of the tames ones that approach for a pet. I paused to point out to Mummy the tree I discovered yesterday that had little buds, still tiny and pink. I’d love to climb over the fence and cut some branches to put in a vase in the house. I’m still enjoying winter, but I savor the promise of spring.

After an invigorating walk, it's home for a hot cup of tea.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Dressing for Dinner

(Tricia. Sorry I didn’t post something on this sooner.)

I just love the elegance of eras now past. Read just about any good book from last century and the heroine dresses for dinner. I suppose I originally got the idea of dressing for dinner either from a movie or a good book. It used to be everyone did it, well, let me quantify that, all the gentry did. I’m led to believe that in England they still do.

In a copy of Amy Vanderbuilt’s New Complete Book of Etiquette (I just love etiquette books) she has a section on changing for dinner. She believes ladies should be practiced in the habit of putting an effort into grooming for the evening meal from the time they are in the nursery, whether it is being clean and in fresh pajamas, to changing into a clean house dress as an adult. It is after all, says Miss Vanderbuilt, one of the criteria of gentility.

One of the things I like about what she says is it can be adapted from cottage to castle. If you live in a modest home with casual furnishings, you are best changing into something less formal than if you were dressing for dinner in a castle. It’s back to what I mentioned at another time about elegance being in harmony with its surroundings.

Dressing for dinner is a mindset you are putting yourself into. We have lost something important in our society, elegance. We are missing elegance in the everyday, in our clothing, our mealtimes, our very lives. That is a great pity.

A servant or two would make life ever so much easier. Unfortunately, few of us are blessed with this provision, which only means we have to make an extra effort ourselves. If done carefully and integrated into our lifestyle, elegance can become a habit that comes to us more naturally as we work at it over time.

To start out with I maynot completely change, just freshen up my hair and change to dressier jewelry, making it the thought that counts. However, that really isn’t my goal. My goal is to actually change into one of several dresses that I have accumulated for just such an occasion as the evening repast. Something smart, but understated, allowing more my choice in jewelry to distinguish it from my regular attire.

One thing I’ve discovered about myself is to ease into things gradually, making them a habit as a go along. Otherwise I have the best intentions and start out gung ho only to never really accomplish anything. Slow and steady wins the race. Or so they say. I have to admit, I’ve been slow enough about this goal.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Home again, home again...

I’m home again, but not yet into routine. It is good to be back; enjoying the snow covered vista’s, the laughter of my family, their teasing. The trip must have been good for me even though I got very tired. There is a bounce bubbling inside me just waiting to pop out and welcome new tasks.

The evening I got home my siblings were telling me about a video they had watched when my youngest brother piped up, “She is like you, always fixing everybody’s problems.” (That might not be a word perfect quote) Wow. I don’t know what problems I’ve solved, but his comment warmed my heart. What a privileged life I lead.