Breakfast of champions for aristocracy everywhere…even here!

When we moved into Summerhill, one room had me stymied.  The previous owners used this room as a sitting room, but honestly how many more places do I need to sit or lay down?…o’k reclining is one of my favorite activities and I do try to make it look cerebral by having very smart books and dictionaries laying about;)….but I decided that this room would be a breakfast room.  How so very proper!  How utterly charming and perhaps aristocratic at the same time.  Since no one is handing out “lord” and “lady” titles these days, I must remain satisfied in my humble post as “the little misses”.

I am happy to report that the breakfast room is usually a favorite of any that come to visit.  Admittedly, it is very pretty, but I think that our guests just enjoy the fact that there is food always available and they don’t have to ask to get it.



I love how this room greets us in the morning.  It overlooks a terraced garden, pond and it looks east.  The morning sun is always uplifting, which is great, because I need some encouragement to get out of bed!

The room is all about making sure that we start our day in the right frame of mind.  Breakfast was always something that we rushed through, but I really wanted to make it easy to make good choices.  I always have on hand fresh fruit, some cereal in antique canisters, euro-style bread for the toaster, and of course our coffee maker and espresso machine.!  The side-board is a stainless steel bakers table with a maple top ( an awesome hand-me-down from my brothers business, Coffeeco) and the table and chairs are Saarinen(I didn’t know who that was until I bought them…I just buy what I like-I am really not up on the who’s who!)   I found them at my favorite flea market.  I like the fact that they are tulip chairs and my cotton panels are tulip as well.  This whole room makes me smile every time I enter.

“Breakfast is a notoriously difficult meal to serve with a flourish”. Clement Freud.

 I sure do try.  People, take care of yourselves; inside/out!

walking meditation among the chaos

Grass thick with dew.  The moon grudgingly holding the sky  in the west as the sun rises lazily in the east. I walk our dog Cally on our trails.  Crickets, birds and even squirrels calling.  I use my morning walk to set the tone for the day.  Gratitude extended to our Creator.  I stop periodically to stretch or to enter into a yoga pose.  Nothing beats yoga off the mat.  Feeling light.

Reverie interrupted as Cally lurched  forwards to what had previously been an unseen ground-hog.  Cally had a bad run in with one last year, where upon his face was clawed, just missing his eyes…resulting in a vet visit, rabies shot and meds…We were perilously close to another go-around, I instinctively yelled “Aaaahhhh!!!” then “Cally, NO!”..maybe more like a battle cry or demonic wail than a clear command! It worked though because  both Cally and the ground-hog stopped in their tracks…I laughed inwardly at the absurdity of the situation….where is my camera?!  Both animals staring at me now, apparently waiting for the next instruction…to which I accommodated with”Cally, Come!“.  He did come, was treated, and the ground-hog waddled off looking periodically behind him (and I believe he would have scratched his head if his arms were long enough)  Perhaps thinking…“what the?”!

My heart returned quickly to its pre-surprise state.  As did my state of calm.  This is what walking meditation does for you.  You may enter into a situation of stress in your day, but are able to respond clearly and quickly.  The event  resolved as soon as it began.

Thich Nhat Hanh is a Buddhist monk and scholar.  I have read many of his books and apply many of his lessons to my life, daily, easily.  From his book Happiness, he says:”Our mind tends to dart from one thing to another, like a monkey swinging from branch to branch without stopping to rest.  Thoughts have millions of pathways, and they forever pull us along into the world of forgetfulness.  If we can transform our walking path into a field for meditation, our feet will take every step in full awareness.  Our breathing will be in harmony with our steps, and our mind will naturally be at ease.  Every step we take will reinforce our peace and joy and cause a stream of calm energy to flow through us.”

If I can do this, so can you…walking to the car, in the grocery store or mowing the lawn.