tip of the iceberg

“A Late Riser’s Miserable Breakfast” by Carl Larsson

This is one of my favorite Carl Larsson paintings. I think it’s a combination of the appealing colors and the gentle reminder that some days just seem to start off on the wrong foot. For kids and adults!

There are 68 detected cases of COVID-19 in Connecticut now, all of them west of the Connecticut River in the western four counties, bordering New York. So far the eastern four counties, including our New London County, have no detected cases. But our state epidemiologist estimates there are 100 undetected cases for every detected case, so we are seeing just the tip of the iceberg. The suspense is getting to me. How bad will it get?

It was different in the last pandemic. The Spanish flu of 1918 entered Connecticut through New London.

In Connecticut, the state’s busy ports, and particularly New London’s Navy base, provided an easy point of entry for the disease. The state’s first recorded case of influenza appeared among Navy personnel in New London on September 11, 1918. By October 25, the State Public Health Service reported 180,000 cases. It appears the outbreak, after originating in New London County, moved to Windham and Tolland Counties and then continued on south and west to New Haven, Hartford, Fairfield, and Litchfield Counties. Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport, and Waterbury recorded the most flu fatalities in the state, but smaller towns like Derby and Windham were also hard hit by the disease, with even higher death rates per thousand than in the larger cities. The war ended in November 1918, but the flu epidemic raged on.

By February 1919, the flu had finally subsided, leaving 8,500 dead in Connecticut.

~ Tasha Caswell
(Eighty-Five Hundred Souls: the 1918-1919 Flu Epidemic in Connecticut ~ ConnecticutHistory.org)

Reading used to be my favorite occupation but in recent years I haven’t been able to do much of it because it would put me to sleep, even in the daytime. It’s been very puzzling to me why this would be so. But I think I might have finally figured it out. I keep losing my place when I finish one line of text and try to move down to the next. It was exhausting trying to focus and find the next line. Yesterday I tried holding a bookmark under the line I was reading and then moving it down to the next one. It worked! I read a whole chapter with ease! Looks like I can add reading back to my list of self-quarantine activities.

So now I am reading These Fevered Days: Ten Pivotal Moments in the Making of Emily Dickinson by Martha Ackmann. It’s nice to escape from today’s reality, even if for a few hours at a time.

on the year’s shortest day

"Peasant Interior in Winter" by Carl Larsson (1853-1919) Swedish Painter & Interior Designer
“Peasant Interior in Winter” by Carl Larsson

A sly gift it is, that on the year’s
shortest day, the sun
stays longest in this house —

extends the wand of its slow
slant and distant squint
farthest into the long depths

of our wintry rooms — to touch, with
tremulous light, interior places
it has not lit before.

~ Robyn Sarah
(Solstice)

an apple drops

carl.larsson.apple-harvest
“The Apple Harvest” by Carl Larsson

Life can be so long, now and then
lasting all of months on end
broken by tall grass,
deep-flowing rivers
and kisses
that last no longer than an apple takes
to drop
in that fleeting second between summer and fall.
~ Terje Johanssen
(The Magic of Fjords)

mind the cows

Carl-Larsson.thestable2
“The Stable” by Carl Larsson

Many said that now there was no hope of salvation, for a man might do anything and be in the wrong. There was no way to tell. It was better to stay on the steading and mind the cows and be content with such days as are left to one and cease to wonder about life everlasting.
~ Jane Smiley
(The Greenlanders)

curiosity and wonder

“The Bridge” by Carl Larsson

While we are born with curiosity and wonder and our early years full of the adventure they bring, I know such inherent joys are often lost. I also know that, being deep within us, their latent glow can be fanned to flame again by awareness and an open mind.
~ Sigurd Olson
(Listening Point)

light, simplicity, symmetry

“My Friends, The Carpenter & The Painter” by Carl Larsson

Now that Tim is back at work it is time to roll up my sleeves and restart the massive home interior improvement project. It was just before Tim’s heart attack in 2007 when we started by scraping the “popcorn” ceiling treatment off of the mold prone bathroom ceiling, and painted the ceiling with smooth mold-resistant paint. And the project has not proceeded much since then, time being consumed with elder care and one medical crisis after another.

And then there was the traumatic selling of our grandparents’ Cape Cod houses: Tim’s grandparents’ home in Provincetown in 2009 and the Dennis Port home of my grandparents in 2010. From each house we inherited furniture, keepsakes, paperwork (including boxes of someone’s poetry) and a baby grand piano, all of which have been stuffed wherever I could put them in a hurry. And I’ve tried to get it all organized ever since!

A home is not a lifeless object but a living entity, and like everything that is alive it must obey the law of nature.
~ Carl Larsson
(New Swedish Style)

I also have a vision of what I want this place to look like, and it involves the elements of Scandinavian style: light, simplicity and symmetry. One reason we bought this place is that we love the enchanting light here so close to so much water. Yesterday I spent some time with my paint color chip book and my collection of Scandinavian design books. When painting begins I now have chosen the colors for optimum reflection of light.

Simplicity and symmetry are proving more difficult to pull off, but I’m persistent if nothing else. Simplicity is getting there as I pare down – I’ve donated about ¾ of my books and many knick-knacks… I love de-cluttering, but it can be tiring as well as rewarding. Symmetry is getting there, too, although I think the kids may be tired of my calling them so often to help me move furniture up and down the stairs. If the furniture needs moving on the same floor I do it myself with those ingenious “moving men” disks. It’s not unlike a giant three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle!

FreeStyle is a no-cost design show where professional rearrangers de-clutter, reorganize and move furniture and accessories around a room to give homeowners a dramatic new look without spending a dime.
~ FreeStyle: Home & Garden Television

I love and used to watch FreeStyle when I got a chance and have adopted that philosophy while incorporating all these beloved antiques into our home. Especially since I’m blending them in with the contemporary pieces we already have. It’s been a challenge and an adventure and will continue to be as I keep at it!  🙂

Do you have a particular decorating style, or an eclectic one? What would you say is the mood of your home?

Ostara

baby red fox by Lamar Gore
baby red fox by Lamar Gore

It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!
~ Mark Twain
(Tom Sawyer, Detective)

“Springtime in Giverny” by Claude Monet
“Springtime in Giverny” by Claude Monet

We discover a new world every time we see the earth again after it has been covered for a season with snow.
~ Henry David Thoreau
(Journal)

“Spring Princess” by Carl Larsson
“Spring Princess” by Carl Larsson

Spring Equinox: March 20, 2011, 7:21 p.m.
March 20, 2012, 1:14 a.m.

Easter ~ Ostara ~ St. Patrick’s Day

Possibility

Activities:
Decorate eggs
Cut tulips

My slowly growing pysanky collection…

3.18.11 ~ Groton, Connecticut

I made two of the (less prominent) Ukrainian Easter eggs myself several years ago when Aunt Delorma and I took a workshop. It’s NOT easy!!! Can you guess which ones?