Beautiful sunny morning in Brooklyn. I raised the window and looked out, letting in the cool air, refreshing on my skin. The cedar deodoras are beautiful and survived last month's tornado, our friends reporting that they had bent and swayed at swooping pitch "like flags." They're very flexible, trunks and cantilevered branches. I believe they originate from the foothills of the Himalayas, which I imagine is quite a windswept place.
Survived all the housecleaning, and am thrilled that I managed to get in a few little extras that will make our house seem more like a country B&B for our weekending friends (they're in our house while we're in their apartment). I baked a pair of rustic fruit tarts, one for them and one to take down with us. I thought it was nectarines that I had pulled out of the freezer, but just had a slice with my coffee - no, it was plums, but whichever - so delicious, acerbic fresh fruit hinted with lemon zest and cinammon, buttery, satisfying crumbly crust.
I was fortunate to be able to pick up our neighbor's CSA (community supported agriculture) weekly share at the farm yesterday, and the best part was snipping flowers from the cutting border - possibly the very last blooms for the year, as I believe frost is expected this weekend. I was tired and a little stressed out from trying to get all the housework done, and I instantly felt freed and happy and able to exhale and relax just to step along the border with my glass of water, snip a bloom here, another there. It changed my head and I came home feeling relaxed and refreshed and happy. And thrilled that I could put beautiful flowers all around the house: on the hearth in the living room, airy floats of pink cosmos in an earthenware jug; dark red zinnias paired with purple salvia in a crystal vase on the bedroom dresser; long, livid magenta plumes of something, placed in the lovely pale green art nouveau vase (a gift from our friends) on the sideboard; a mustard jar of yellow zinnias and feathery spikes of lavender on the kitchen table; and on the windowsill above the sink, a tiny cobalt blue bottle sporting a spritely zinnia and miniature companion grape salvia. All the flowers throughout the house, every few steps a fresh delightful display, ought to be a nice distraction from the deficiencies of the ever-unfinished fixerupper. Also - it felt really good to be able to provide more than just the basics, clean house, fresh linens - but beautiful grace notes too, the touches that make things special. Arranging them - putting together the fruit pastry, snipping the flowers and placing them in all the containers of sugar water - pleased me greatly, at least as much as I'm sure they will have delighted our friends.