Today, even with its inclement weather and darkness here out west, was a special day. When I woke up, I changed the calendar and surprised myself with a new painting by Janet Kruskamp. I'll be putting some of her artwork on Lovely Whatevers when my "staff" comes back to work.
After breakfast, I bundled up and went outside to pick the apple blossoms that appeared in this cold weather. To them, I added this pine cone that looks like a rose. There are quite a few of them on the ground here.
I was also excited to get out all the past issues of Victoria for the month of May. Here are 1990 - 1995. I haven't opened them yet to see what was in them but I am sure they are as lovely as they were the year they came. I am looking forward to having time to sit and look through these again. There is almost one per week for this month, which is better than a subscription magazine coming each month.
I did quite a few things today that were "grunge jobs," so, as a treat, I made this new shelf arrangement for May. As I have mentioned previously, our house is used and lived in from morning til evening, with very few places left alone. This is the one shelf I have that does not get disturbed or used. Today I decided to gather up anything I owned that looked like a rose. The round table cloth is all scrunched up on purpose to make it fit on the on the mantel shelf.
Later in the day, my daughter played "Song of the Lark" to me on the piano, to celebrate the first day of a new month.
I sympathise with every woman who does not have access to a car, or cannot leave her home often because of pressing responsibilities, lack of money, or distance. I am presently without transportation but am reminded once again of the freedom within the home and outside it to do many things for others. And, the less I travel, the less it costs, so there is some advantage to this. It actually does not cut spending completely, because there is always the phone, the catalogs and UPS, which comes straight to the door ;-) if I get too desperate.
My husband wants to take me somewhere expensive for my birthday next week and said he had a gas station in mind, since gas was probably the most expensive thing he could buy me. I sometimes think I would rather have the money! One lady I know says it costs her $65.00 to fill her mini-van. That would buy a lot of fabric, or part of a new chair or couch. I could take several friends to a tea room several times with that kind of money. We really must re-think our distance problem, and create a village system where we can get our basic needs within walking distance. Another solution to gas prices is to keep the prices reasonable everywhere and raise the gas prices only in Washington D.C. Things would change in a hurry.
Here is something I was asked to comment on regarding how to extend sympathy to those who had lost a loved one.
When I was younger I was not sure what to say to someone who was in grief. I looked in etiquette books and read books written especially for Christian women. For some reason, it wasn't concise enough for me to get the thought into my head and remember it when I needed to. I will just use a familiar verse from the Bible and see if it can be made clear.
Romans 12:15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
I can remember when my brother died a lady saying to me: "I'm so sorry to hear about the death of your brother. I know how you feel. I lost a brother when I was very young, and I still miss him."
I don't think it has to be a big, complicated issue to extend sympathy. It really helps if all you say is, "I am very sorry for your loss." Sending a card is always appreciated. These days you can email some very pretty e-cards that have good sentiments.
As awkward as it can be, it is still better to send a card or say something, than not to. People who lose loved ones feel very alone. Anything you do will help. Also, I have observed that extending sympathy becomes easier with age.