Easter. Gotta say that I’m feeling a bit teary nostalgic about Easter this year. OK… a LOT nostalgic. Here’s the deal. My son in away at school finishing his Masters in Accountancy and studying for his CPA Exam. He gets up in the morning, studies all day, goes to bed. Next day… get’s up in the morning, studies all day, goes to bed. Basically it’s “Groundhog Day” (hated that movie!) with a gym workout thrown in here and there for sanity measures. And a couple beers on the weekend. He has taken Exam #1 (of 4) and #2 is May 1. Needless to say, he will not be home for Easter. My daughter recently started a new job, and is possibly scheduled to leave town for work. Soon. Like maybe Easter Sunday… morning?
OK. So back to the ole “nostalgic part“. I was lying there in bed last night, unable to fall asleep because my brain was in overdrive (been there, done that; right??) I remembered back to all of the funny little Easter memories that just tickle my heart to remember…
Making our easter sugar cookies (they were bee-you-tee-ful…gotta say!), the coordinated family Easter outfits, dyeing Easter eggs, chocolate nests for the Easter table, “the bunny corsage”. Sigh…! Makes me so happy inside just remembering everything. You know what else makes me happy inside at this time of year? Decorating the house for Easter and spring! Are you a “springtime decorator”? It’s a definite mood lifter for me!! It’s like chasing away the winter blahs, and making everything seem fresh and alive again!! So today I am sharing with you a few little snipits of springtime at the Toth house. Welcome…
When I was writing my May newsletter, I mentioned how much I loved May. And springtime. And flowers. The grass is green, the trees are budding, the warm sunshine a welcome reward after a cold, never-ending winter. I feel especially blessed to have a May birthday. May 2 to be exact.
I awakened on my birthday to the sound of our local weather forecaster, Joel, sharing the good news for the day; “An absolutely miserable day ahead…drizzly, dreary, raw raindrops…” Wait – Did he just say RAW raindrops? What the heck…?? He was, obviously, confused. This is May, and May is warm and “springy”. There was only one thing to do. Change the channel.
Well – looking on the bright side (huh?) – It appears we have very accurate weather forecasters here in Kansas City (on “KMBC”; Channel 9. And BTW – Just kidding about changing the channel – TeeHee!) Yep – They were spot on. “Raw” was certainly an appropriate adjective to describe the moisture that was falling from that dark, dreary (May) sky. All. Day. Long. By afternoon, my “Happy Birthday” songs, via family phone calls, had joined chorus with a rather unique style of “background music”… the ping, ping, ping of sleet and ice pellets whipping against the window. This sleet and ice soon turned to (gulp!) SNOW… at which point I declared that my birthday had been officially postponed.
Once that had been decided, we settled in for a cozy evening at home. It had been a crazy couple of days full of unexpected surprises; so a warm blanket, a glass of wine, a fire in the fireplace and an episode of Downton Abbey was just what the (birthday) doctor ordered. Especially when there is a winter weather advisory. In May. At the end of the night, the hubbie had an idea. We went outside and “wrote” the date, 5-2-13, in the snow as documentation… of a birthday to remember. And just the beginning of what (obviously) promises to be a very exciting year!!!
So it looks like we’re getting some new neighbors.
The first clue was discovered amidst the sweet little pansies on the front porch. I had planted them next to the front door at the very first sign of spring. They are cheerful little survivors… and for me, a real sense of hope after a LONG winter. I say that because here in the midwest, “springtime” teeters on the edge of full blown winter. Yep. Sure does. As I type this, the cold (winter) wind is a’howlin…
OK – so anyway… I went to take the dogs out last night for their last “potty break”. The front porch was covered with; well… birdie poo-poo. Right up next to the front door. Actually, it was even ON the front door. Weird. Clue #1.
It was then that I noticed that it looked like a wild (and angry?) rodent had thrown a temper tantrum in that little “shreddy filler stuff” that I had carefully tuckedaround the pansies in the planter. There was a big hole where the shred had been “removed”, and it was then haphazardly strewn about in little piles everywhere. Hmmm… Clue #2.
We have little birdies that used to come every spring and build a nest. That is, until my hubbie decided that he didn’t like the “ambiance” of a front porch covered with “birdie droppings”. And a wife that wouldn’t let him use the front door once “the babies” arrived. So he decided that HE was smarter than a bird. He put bricks up at the top of the pillar… kinda like taking the “vacancy” sign down. Well, it worked for a while…
It wasn’t until morning when I took the girls out for their morning potty break that I saw the final clue. (OK – Is it me, or does this whole post seem to revolve around one basic subject??)
You see, we have TWO pillars. Ouch!! Being outsmarted by a bird… that stings.
I LOVE Easter. It is a springtime holiday, and just for that reason alone it is a favorite of mine. Spring is cheerful and happy and hopeful… The flowers peeking up from the soil (sometimes right through the snow… like now!), there are little baby animals everywhere, warm rain and sunshine replace the sleet and freezing rain, we trade in the winter parkas for light jackets and pastel sweaters… I could go on and on and on. Suffice it to say that I simply adore spring. As a little girl in a big (Catholic) family, we had huge family gatherings for Easter. It would start with church and my first warm, fuzzy memory… a “bunny corsage“.
A carnation with googly eyes, pipe cleaner ears, little whiskers and a big bow. To this day, one sniff of a carnation and I am instantly transported back in time. Priceless.
After church we would head to my grandma and grandpa’s house for a day of celebrating with tons of food and sweets and extended family. There was always ham and scalloped potatoes and lots of cousins. We used the “pretty plates” and ate in the dining room under the beautiful chandelier. My Aunt Adeline would always make the coconut coated “lamb cake” and my mom would make little chocolate nests that would sit at everyone’s place.
These little nests are made by melting chocolate and mixing with torn up “Shredded Wheat” cereal to form little nests. Fill each nest with jelly beans and little “Peeps” or fuzzy bunnies or chicks. Funny story. One year my mom didn’t actually have “Shredded Wheat”, but she did have some “high fiber bran cereal” on hand. That should work. Well it worked all right. Really well, in fact. Especially for a few of my brothers who liked to sneak other people’s nests when they weren’t looking… (teehee!)
So time marches on… and suddenly you are in the position of “making” those special memories for your own children. Some childhood memories we did our best to “re-create”… others we made up as we went along. I still remember going to the florist when my daughter was maybe four years old and attempting to explain a “bunny corsage”. Ha! Aunt Adeline’s “lamb cake” became the inspiration for a happy little bunny cake that the kids used to make and decorate. The chocolate nests were a tradition that survived the test of time – Made with Shredded Wheat, that is. When the kids were little we had an Easter Village, Easter trees and even made an Easter gingerbread house one year. We were big on dying Easter eggs – our “trick” was to use 2 “tablets” per color to make them extra bright – and we made the most beautiful decorated Easter sugar cookies; chicks, bunnies, crosses, flowers, ducks… beautiful AND yummy; gotta say!! But once again, time marches on. Now those little people of mine are college seniors. Easter is… well; different. I still decorate, but I realize that is basically for me at this point. But that chandelier that hung in my grandma’s dining room is now hanging in my dining room. The “bunny village” is tucked away for safe keeping and I have saved all of the cookie cutters. Yep. I am patient and confident. There is no doubt in my mind that there will, once again, be bunny corsages in our future. Someday…
Have you met the newest internet sensation; “Grumpy Cat” (aka “Tardar Sauce”)?? Well I have a hunch that this cute little kitty is simply SICK. OF. WINTER. Am I right? Let’s be honest… We are ALL a little grumpy. Or a LOT grumpy. “Spring” arrived this week… Really??? So what about the 5-9″ of snow that is forecasted for tomorrow? Well, I have really been trying to kinda, sorta be positive about the winter thing with the whole “good moisture for the spring flowers” thingie… OK. That’s a lie.
Truthfully, I find it extremely difficult impossible to even remotely feign any semblance of positive thoughts when it comes to cold. snow. ice. sleet. winter. Period.
So what to do…???
Well, first of all, we vow to never, ever, EVER believe “Punxsutawney Phil” again. EVER. (Sorry, Phil. Nothing personal)
So here’s my master plan.
I think that we need to just storm heaven with positive SPRINGTIME energy and thoughts… So simple; Right?? OK. Since we’re being really honest here, I’m going to make (yet another) confession. I have already (kinda) made the attempt to project these positive spring thoughts via my Facebook page for quite some time now. In fact, I think we’re coming up on winter storm #3 since I started my little “campaign“. OK, OK… before you start thinkin’ what you’re probably already thinking… I am not the one to blame! I simply need HELP!!! This is not a reason to STOP!! Oh no, no, no. This is simply our motivation to BUMP IT UP!!! Are you with me, friends??? I’m gonna get us started today with some happy little “springlike” images. We need to smile. We need warm, happy thoughts to project out into the universe. WE NEED SPRING…!!!! So here we go. Hey, we’ve got nothing to lose; Right? And to start off the whole “smile thingie”, watch this quick video clip of sweet little “Grumpy Cat”. Too cute. She is really just sleepy in this video, but I find her to be adorable. HAPPY SPRING, my friends!!