A piece of cake and a slice of pie.

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Entwined Garden it is a Cake—a sheet cake—large and cut into sections.   The house designed by my engineer husband Phil is on an east west axis back to front and north to south. On the Solstices we have light streaming in across the floors… it is always a celebration!

Entwined home & garden

Facing West

The gardens evolved as therapy for my soul in the long years of construction—I needed color against the red clay and sense of purpose—fluid swaths to soften the edges—frosting on the cake.

Entwined Villa View

Entwined Garden South

It is there I always know where I am and what direction I am facing. Continue reading

Message Sent

Message

A loud CRASH breaking the silence, followed by raining shards of glass hit the parquet floor, my polish grandfather had crafted.

Scrambling up the stairs, a jagged gaping hole through the window pane in the living room. Icy Chicago winter air curling around us.   My grandmother now frozen in disbelief, tears running down her round cheeks.

Inching closer to the grenade, I reached for the large hunk of black coal wrapped in brown butcher’s paper, tied with string.

The scribbled lettering said “Get out polack, if you know what is good for you.”

Now my whole body was trembling. Should I translate the words to Busia?

Her head now shaking uncontrollably, left to right, left to right, as she dabbed the tears with her flour covered apron, she understood the message that pierced her core, that pierced her view of the prairie.

Would she stay or would she leave the home in the land of the free, she escaped to at a mere sixteen, risking everything.   This home she built with her husband to raised her six children?

She needed no translation.

 

 

Gratitude from down under

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I awoke early—it was Saturday—the second one in March, in anticipation of a spring-like day. With the weather report crisp and a “to do list” a mile long, a whole glorious day planned in the garden to quench the cabin fever of a relentless winter.

There was something in the air.

Still under warm covers, I opened my eyes to the world through my I-Pad.   A Word Press notification introduced me to a wonderful story by a writer in Australia, Deb Hunt, a blog titled Snap Decision about gardening and loss of her Mum. Something I know all to well.

Next I perused GRATITUDE—which so inspired me.  Gratitude from down under. Continue reading

Growing loss

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This time of year, I long for the Cherry trees. White blossoms tinged with hint of pink in March, a sweetly scented confection, attracting all sorts of bees to a drunken pollen orgy. Often their legs so full of pollen, they cling to the branches lazing in the successful harvest as if dead to the world.

April brings a snow flurry of petals, lazily drifting down covering paths & driveway, exquisite organic snowflakes that melt as quickly under the warm spring sun. The leaves now emerging large, soaking up sun and rain, camouflaging shelter for birds.

Next emerge the delightful bulging fruits, in an array of Spring Greens as the begin to plump. The chatter of baby birds fledging… Flying here & there following their parents’ calls.

May oh, sweet May, fruits change from green to pink to deep dark plump red jewels glistening in the sun.

Robins, summer tanagers, bluebirds, cardinals, grosbeaks, jays, mockingbirds, and woodpeckers flock to snatch a fruit, or snack on insects attracted by the bounty.

When my future husband found the 7 acre wooded property back in 1983, there was a clearing in the woods with 3 Cherry trees in bloom. A shaft of light hitting them like a message from God “Thou shall build your home here!” And so he did.

He designed the house & garage around those Cherries.

For years, he & his young daughter picked cherries every Memorial Day weekend. The bucket of the large Green John Deere would be fitted with a seat, with a seat belt, and up, up Katherine would be lifted with a bucket to harvest, giggling with delight.

Other years when I joined the family our vintage red pickup would be backed up to the hill and ladders lashed securely to climb up to into the canopy. Buckets and buckets of cherries would be harvested.

These Cherries were not sweet like Bings sold in groceries stores… These were a tart variety. Freshly baked pies with lattice tops were made, dusted with cinnamon sugar. Pies, or tarts, or cobblers and buckets of cherries in cute blue plastic pails would be delivered to lucky friends and neighbors.

Cherries would be pitted, then frozen for a taste of Spring later in the year or made into creamy Cherry ice cream.

Slowly the trees began their decline. Life expectancy is only 20 to 25 years. One by one the were removed as the remaining tree languished!

I miss those trees at Entwined Gardens. I miss the anticipation, the picking, pitting, baking & sharing. Most of all, I miss Katherine’s excitement of bringing new friends over well into her twenties to share the joys of picking cherries.

Music for a Moment… Music for Life

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Music for a Moment—Violin with Heartstrings

There is a piece of music that tugs at my heartstrings, every time I hear it on Pandora. I know not what it is, but the violin is so melancholy and heartfelt that I must say it is my favorite.

To hear that music makes me pause, it speaks to my soul. Perhaps, I will pay attention and find out what it is next time. Yet, I rather think the randomness of hearing it without hitting a play button—makes it ever so much more meaningful—bittersweet and otherworldly.

It is the one piece of music that is not a “soundtrack to my life.”

I love it for the pureness of the sound and passion in the playing.  I am grateful for the randomness!

 

Music for the Past—”Viva La Vida” Cold Play

The driving upbeat sound “I used to rule the world…” turn it up!

Way UP!

I love to play this in the morning—Play it loud—Get up and dance around! It motivates me to clear the decks and start a new project. I feel like my younger self again—in a time where I made a difference every day.   It was fun solving problems being empowered.

That was then, this is now.

For me it was the overthrow of a company—I had no part in it. Shaking hands with the orchestrator of the ruse for the first time—made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. There was no stopping what had been set in motion. He wiped out a company and with it, hundreds of jobs.

A man’s life work—a body of work—sucked down the drain and those of us with it.

Yes, there are fond memories and all the good we did for a town, yes, we were creating jobs… but those jobs for the greedy meant nothing—only their gain and a hefty Swiss bank account or two.

I also think of that photo of Saddam Hussein in his undershirt unshaven hiding … what we do to other people… He was a pawn of our government.  We set him up.  We took him out.

But today I choose to dance for myself.

That was then, this is NOW!

Live the life!

 

Music for Life

Tapestry                                                                       “Tapestry“ by Carole King

A song from my past—a music for my life— from early beginnings a fascination of textiles of things Entwined—music for life.

A life of ups and downs but always creating new lines of pattern, moving forward, creatively living, sometimes the edges are a little frayed but they can be fixed or just appreciated with time. Color excites me.  Color soothes me. Fabric evokes such rich memories of family—sitting at my grandmother’s feet learning to stitch, rhythms of up and down, up and down—sometimes having to pull out and begin again—creating patterns, creating texture, creating things.

Lessons learned of up and down and redoing until you get it right, at least satisfied.

Up and down—a grandmother’s smile—a touch, a skill for a life of lessons—living, learning, creating, sharing—an Entwined Life.   Always staying busy, up and down.

What Music gets your juices flowing?

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