Archive | 8:42 PM

Snow and Flowers

9 Mar

This morning I waited until it was up to freezing to take Hawthorne for his walk.

I took the red plastic sled with us, and after the first run down the hill almost directly behind the house, I got some snow shoes on.  Not knowing when one is going to sink in up the knees is disconcerting.  The clematis arbor stopped my descent.

Then we went up to the hill east of the house and I sledded down that one, Hawthorne following.  Then we went back further to the middle of the field and slid east.  The snow was so slick and fast that I had to put brakes on (feet and hands) for nearly half the hill’s length to ensure I did not go into the bushes at the bottom.

For the last run of the morning I walked west across the east field (there is alfalfa underneath all the snow) through the hedgerow and up to the hill’s high spot just outside the cornfield and went down towards home.  On this run, I veered to the right of the arbor, over a flower bed, narrowly missing the roses, and ended up right in front of the open garage door, much to the chicken’s amazement.  At least they sounded amazed.  Maybe it was my whooping.

I woke up this morning so thankful for the snow.  February winds play havoc on the foliage and buds of the hellebores.  But not this year.  They have all been safely tucked under great deep banks of snow.  Jay thinks there may be March winds that could do the same.  I hope not.  Even with today’s 50 degree F temps, it will take days for the snow to uncover the plants.

Saturday before Angela arrived I cut flowering quince and pussy willow branches to force into bloom.  The pussy willows are already beautiful; they have been sitting on the kitchen table, soaking up heat from the oven and drinking lots of water.  Lovely pink and grey pussies are out.  I pick off the curving brown, loose, hard outer covers from the flowers–they are like small claws falling off as they bloom.

The quince branches spend part of the day on the dining room table and then the nights out on the porch because Pounce is a little too fond of water.  He would tip the whole container over to get some in the night.  The buds are swelling slowly.

A New Emma

9 Mar

PBS has a new version of Austen’s Emma that is accessible online.

I stayed up late and watched the whole thing one night.  It is very, very good.

In what way?  Providing clear motivations (based on their individual backgrounds and that time in history)  for the quirks of the people in the story; Miss Bates’ nervous talking, Mr. Woodhouse’s worrying about health, Mr. Weston’s concern for his son appearing, for examples.

Using these motivations, the characters are presented compassionately, not made fun of, not shown as objects of amusement.  So when Emma ridicules Miss Bates at the picnic, one is with Mr. Knightly wholeheartedly when he says “Badly Done!”

Emma has been my least favorite of Austen’s books.  This version of the tale makes one want to reread and reconsider that stance.

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