Saturday, April 07, 2018

Spring Puttering

"Nothing is so beautiful as Spring
     When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush...
    The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
    The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling."
                                                                                                   Gerard Manley Hopkins

Spring is not my favourite time of year. I enjoy each one of the seasons, but Spring is too capricious and moody: one day smiling with sun, the next sullen with a chill wind that drives like a knife. Still, I cannot deny the absolute delight of seeing green shoots and flowers emerge from the brown earth. Blossoms in the rain are as equally beautiful as those in the sun. 

All the fresh newness outdoors inspires me indoors to putter. I looked up the meaning of the word today: busy or occupy oneself in a leisurely, casual, or ineffective manner

Today I've been puttering. It's been leisurely and casual, but I hope not ineffective. 

Puttering goes alongside housecleaning for me. The house hasn't been dusted since before I left for Mexico. Taking everything off of mantels and tabletops in order to dust is a perfect opportunity to put things back in new ways. Above is the result of the living room mantel putter. 

The kitchen mantel is narrower and I have a hard time finding things to fit. I've been craving greenery and need to replace some of my houseplants. Today I went out into the garden and clipped whatever I could stick into water - rosebush leaves, trailing vinca, and a cornflower getting ready to bloom. The light is rather dull today with grey skies threatening rain and the clear glass with greenery brightens things a little. 

You might remember my "Her Ladyship" mug I received for Christmas. For Tim's birthday last month, I looked for the matching "His Lordship" mug, but Murchie's said they didn't have any more. 
What to do?
I spied the Chauffeur mug and since he usually drives when it's the two of us, I purchased it. He thinks it's quite funny. And I confess to thinking about Lady Sybil and Branson in Downton Abbey! 

I finished reading The Nightingale on our short trip last week, and re-read the ending again this week. It's the story of two sisters in France, during World War II. A lovely, sometimes heart-wrenching story. 

Before I left on my long trip last month, I went outside to take a photo of the back of the house (bottom left). Tim was planning to do some major puttering while I was gone. He replaced the sliding glass doors with a single door with a large window, and installed a new window in that blank wall to the left. This is all part of the ongoing kitchen renovation that is going to take years rather than months. The fireplace was the first step. The window and door are the second. 

There is still finish work to do around the inside of the door and window and that is being worked on in his free time. As well, we will paint the outside once it's warm enough. This project has made a huge difference in the amount of light in what was rather a dark room. I like having the table right up against the window.

There used to be a white lattice railing around the deck, but that was removed last fall. The new deck is in Tim's shop, waiting for a stretch of good weather for installation. After that there will likely be a long hiatus in renovations. 

It's been good to get back to home cooking again. Since halibut is in season, I pan roasted a filet and served it over roasted tomatoes from our garden (roasted and frozen last summer), with sauteed kale picked fresh from the plants that are bursting with green leafiness. 

Yesterday morning, while sitting at the table by the window, I spied a flash of colour in the lemon balm stalks that need to be cut down. This Finch, probably a House Finch, stayed long enough for me to change the lens on my camera and take quite a few shots. There must have been something delicious on those dry stalks.

Speaking of the seasons, Gladys Tabor writes, "Who can say which is the most beautiful? Each has its own charm, each bestows its own blessing, and we welcome each in turn...There is a security in knowing that spring follows winter and summer comes after spring...I wish all my friends, everywhere, the joy and sweetness of spring." 

Whether you are reading this in the midst of a late snowstorm, or perhaps in early autumn in the southern hemisphere, I wish you joy.

Linking to Mosaic Monday, hosted by Maggie of Normandy Life.  


  1. Lorrie - somehow, I can't imagine your puttering to be ineffective!

    Earlier this week, I saw some daffodils emerging from the beds outside church, but I am sure they are regretting it now as we are in the midst of another snow squall today!

    I am SO impressed with the reno that Tim completed while you were on your trip. It totally transforms the back of the house. Well done!!!

  2. Loved reading the Nightingale...Kristin has a new book out and am hoping to get my hands on it soon...we have so much to be thankful for...and your reminder is timely.

  3. I always look forward so much to the Spring that sometimes it almost hurts. But as you say she is so capricious, moody and sometimes downright sullen letting us down time after time. However, when she does smile all is suddenly forgiven and she is simply the best.
    Gosh Tim is a handyman to have around - I am most impressed - we have to get people in to do jobs like that.

  4. Isn't your finch delightful! I wonder if there are a few seed heads for him to enjoy on the twigs.We are finding Spring very undecided here, one day pouring rain, the next pale sunshine, and occasionally warmth!

  5. I'm sure as a child summer was my favorite since we ran the streets (often barefoot) all day long. I love Fall in the States, when the weather starts to change, the sights and smells are different, and it's time for wardrobe switch. But here in the desert, I prefer winter since it is when plants flourish. Spring actually marks the end of the growing season since the summer heat isn't far off. April around here can be very moody indeed.

    Nice renovation of the back of the house. Enjoy the view from your kitchen table. :)

  6. I love the table pushed right up to the window as well. The reno created new options for you. Puttering is, in my book, extremely effective and healthful.

    Spring? So overrated!

  7. I love Spring but it is short lived here. That was one of my favorite books last year, I had to not read another book for a while after I was finished with it. I think I had to absorb it a little longer before I was ready to let go.

  8. The new window and door look great and your halibut meal sounds wonderful.

  9. Lorrie-I really like the new door and window. I bet it really brightens the kitchen!
    While I like Spring I dread all the mud that goes along with it and much prefer summer and fall. Can't say I like winter AT ALL! lol
    I have not read that book but will add it to my list now.
    Hope you have a great Sunday- xo Diana

  10. The green leafy plant looks like it has a diamond in its center, just waiting for you. Puttering (in your hands and Tim's) is a v constructive activity with beautiful results. Thank you for the good wishes -- it is theoretically Spring here in Florida, but feels like neither that nor Fall.

  11. Weekend puttering is one of my favourite activities. I liked your display of Beatrix Potter and Susan Branch books. The new window and door also look fabulous. I'm impressed that your hubby did it himself! I must admit that I'm not huge fan of dusting so I won't say how often I do it. HA!

  12. Dearest Lorrie; I could help but to smile reading your comment for Spring. Thank you for the words "capricious.sullen and putter" :-) Sometimes we have to be sad for the sudden rain and Spring wind for the Cherry Blossoms.
    Oh I LOVE your mugs and wished to have them, haha. I don't have license and my kind husband takes me whenever he has nothing to do. My husband is also do a little "DIY"; but Wow lucky you♪
    Sending Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan to my Dear friend, xoxo Miyako*

    1. Haha, I should have written "could not" p;-)

  13. Spring is an unusual season where I live in Colorado. It can snow up till June and pants and trees struggle to bloom in the changeable weather. We always hope for rain or snow as summer is very dry and fire danger is high.

    Your new door and window look very nice! I love looking out my windows while we dine so I know you will enjoy dong the same. .

  14. Such lovely photos of flowers!! Merry. The mugs are delightful. What fun!! Wishing you well!

  15. I like a good putter, too, in fact I've puttered around the garden doing some weeding, deadheading and feeding this morning and both the garden and I feel much better for it. The living room mantel looks fresh as a daisy with it's blues and green offset by sparkling glass and Tim's hard work on the back of the house has it all looking spiffy too. Cheers to Her Ladyship and the Chauffeur for a job well done.

  16. Delightful post, Lorrie! I enjoyed it all -- the blooms, your mantel, the work on the house (love the mugs and I giggled at Chauffeur), and the halibut made my mouth water! Hope your week is delightful, too. Happy Monday!

  17. That added light will be a huge transformation to your room. So nice your husband has the ability to do the work. And that you have the ability to put together such delicious meals with ease.

  18. Puttering is one of my favorite activities! I agree that dusting gives a great opportunity to put things back differently! I like your renovations and by doing it slowly, you get a chance to live with the changes and decide what’s next?

  19. Luv the her ladyship team up mug. Happy puttering.

    much love...

  20. I love those mugs too..just so perfect! And it's fun seeing your little Peter Rabbit books...oh and Susan B! I bought The Nightingale but couldn't get into it. I know it's just seemed too hard right now. Sweet hugs!

  21. Your photos are just lovely. Spring is not cooperating here in Wisconsin so far. we have fresh snow. Baseball opening day cancelled today in chicago. THey are promising 60s later in the week. Hmmm. I sure hope they are completely correct. EVERYONE is gloomy. The kids are in Spring Session at the barn and still wearing winter jackets...

  22. I share your love of puttering, and I do not consider it "ineffective" in any way. Actually, it feels quite satisfying to connect with your surroundings and make something more organized or more functional or more beautiful.

    Love the changes that you are making to your kitchen! I know you're going to enjoy sitting at the window . . . already you've had opportunity to capture that darling little finch. I think that anytime we can add natural light to your surroundings it is a good thing.

  23. I generaly enjoy spring, but have to agree with you when it comes to this spring. We are still sitting by a cozy fire here in April. I don't mind that, but the grey, damp days don't inspire. Like you, I like to putter around our home. I need to do some puttering to clean out a closet or two.

  24. This spring we were blessed with long consecutive sunny warm days since late March, but then bitter cold returned with vengeance. Now I’m relieved It’s warming up again. Hazy sky often caused by the yellow sand from the Gobi Desert mingled with toxic substance from industrial China is one of factors I don’t like Spring so much despite all the fresh beauties. I like the way how you display things on the shelves and the renovated kitchen with more light through such nice door and window. I’m so impressed with your husband’s skills.


  25. Lorrie, I know what you mean about the table by the window. I have my dining room table next to the balcony window in the living room as the dining room window is too high to see out. I loved seeing the green in bottles. Check out my post about window sill art. Have a great week. Sylvia D.

  26. I love puttering too and it is amazing what one can get accomplished! I love the new window and door, fresh light is always a joy! And the table right against the window will be much enjoyed as well. Such beautiful pictures of your blooms! I agree with you about spring, it is so moody and unpredictable. But the glorious blooms that finally come about because of spring I just love. The mud, rain, gloominess, not so much. But as the saying goes, April showers bring May flowers, and I believe there must be a lot of truth to that, lol! Have a lovely day :)

  27. It must be lovely to have some quality time at home after all your travels. This time of year is so magical with the daily changes in the garden. Your kitchen is going to be wonderful. We did something similar a few years ago, changing our windows and door around. It made such a difference. B x

  28. I love Spring, too. You have some lovely shots. Looks like some good long term renovations happening. Glad the bird sat still for you to take that shot!

  29. A lovely post of words and pictures.
    My two favourite seasons are Spring and Autumn.

    Your pan roasted halibut filet served with (home grown) roasted tomatoes and sautéed kale looks and sounds wonderful.

    All the best Jan

  30. I do love Gladys Tabor, thanks for the quote. How fun to be renovating your kitchen and now you can sit and look out the window with your meals. I do love being able to do that.


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