Mary Oliver

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?"









Monday, September 29, 2014

Girls Weekend

I had some much needed girls-only time in the Outer Banks of North Carolina this past weekend and the weather was amazing. I came back so relaxed that the workday just flowed by as smooth as silk. We hung out, ate, knit, played cards, and talked nonstop, as well as soaked up some gorgeous late September sunshine on the beach. Our ages ranged from early thirties to late fifties and I think that added to the depth and range of the conversations.

I started a new Wingspan, using a skein of Lisa Souza merino, bought last year at Rhinebeck. I figured if I want to buy any more of her gorgeous yarn, I need to knit up what I already own.

I met my youngest, Melissa, for dinner after work, just to catch up with her, and have been snuggling with Gracie ever since I got home. I need to knit some more, so I can have another lovely day tomorrow, don't you think?

 

Monday, September 22, 2014

FOs

The upper respiratory virus kept me flattened the entire weekend, so I took today off to recuperate, which turned out to be a great idea, since I slept until 10:30 and felt like I'd been run over by a truck when I did get up. Mostly I sat around and read until around two o'clock, when I decided that getting out in the fresh air could only help, so I walked down to the beach and sat for an hour or so, knitting.

I finished the Hitchhiker and the blue-green mittens, and I know the sun and fresh air made me feel a lot better, even if I was exhausted by the time I walked back home. Love the look the wind gave my hair, don't you? (Not really.)

I took a picture of the bulletin board in my classroom last week; I used the Mary Oliver quote I love so much and surrounded it by my students' goals in the shape of a peace sign.

The whole board is surrounded by goals on sentence strips; a school wide activity. The left side of the board is filled with quotes about reading.

Gracie kept me company today. She's my little shadow. I love this pose of her with her little paw covering her eyes.

Back to work tomorrow, in the hopes that I have enough energy for the day.

 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

UFOs

The state of my knitting is bordering on ridiculous. I have ten projects languishing, some of them so close to finished I have no idea why I haven't completed them.

This sweater was blocked and ready to be seamed when I realized I made an error; I haven't touched it since May.

I have only the bind off to do on this Hitchhiker shawl, so I can knock that out now.

I think all that needs done on this pair of handwarmers is seaming the ruffle on one of the pair, but since I decided I don't love them, I've stalled out.

Same with this pair.

One Monkey sock done, one to go.

Only thumbs remain on this pair of mittens, so that's next.

Not sure I've gotten much further than what this picture shows, so I need to unearth it.

And this cowl has gone by the wayside for no real reason, except maybe the glaring error?

Started this shawl for my cousin, then realized it wouldn't be as warm as she requested it be, so here it sits. Plus, I changed my mind about the pattern. Frog pond, here it comes.

This one is the alternate shawl and it's two-thirds complete but it's a fairly boring knit so I've run out of steam. As it's a deadline project though, I'll need to buckle down fairly soon.

As I have been laid low all weekend with the upper respiratory virus that's been going around, I've not gotten any knitting done since Thursday. Oh, and if that wasn't enough, I have a nasty case of poison ivy that's been driving me nuts. This weekend officially sucked.

So, what have you been knitting?

 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

This and That

Hello again. I took this photo at a coffee shop last weekend using a Polaroid app and love the way the shadows look.

I am settling into my back to school routine now. The first two weeks of school went well, despite my proclivity for expecting too much from myself. I think the stress I felt was more about my unrealistic expectations than anything else. But doing a little yard work to burn off some of the anxiety really helped, and the fact that the yard is looking pretty good is just a bonus.
 

I have a great schedule this year. My first block is an honors class, my second block is my Transition class, and my third block is an inclusion class; I have a co-teacher for the third block and she is awesome to work with. It was tough to settle into three preps, but I think I've got a handle on it now.

I've booked my train ticket to visit Meredith in October, and we will be visiting the Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival again; needless to say, I can't wait! This time though, I really don't want to buy as much as I want to just enjoy the event and the time sharing it with my daughter. I've been cleaning up my craft room and the amount of beautiful yarn I already own is a bit embarrassing. I love my stash but it really is too indulgent and fiscally irresponsible for me to continue to buy more, until I either knit a lot more of it up, or else reduce it by selling or gifting. Obviously I won't completely swear not to buy anything, but I do want to be more thoughtful about what I choose to buy. For instance, the beautiful Dream in Color Tulips baby sweater kit I bought on my second visit was a purchase I never regretted, especially since I knit it right away. But the yarn I bought last year is still sitting in my stash and that's just ridiculous.

 
Stephanie seems to be doing well in Togo; that's her in the red skirt. We were worried about the Ebola scare, since it was in a few of the neighboring countries, but it seems as if she's in the clear.

 

She sent us a mask that she bought for us and we have hung it in the sunroom:

I can't believe that she has two more years over there. We hope to visit her next Christmas, but haven't decided on the location yet. As much as I've always said I'd love to visit Africa, I don't think I'm up to it after all. Time will tell, I guess.

I spent the day with my friend, Lori, knitting at our LYS, which was very relaxing. I'm two thirds of the way done with my cousin's shawl and itching to start a new project, but picked up my unfinished Hitchhiker shawl instead. Having my UFOs in a basket, ready to grab, was a big help when I was looking for something else to work on.

Well this post was a bit disjointed, but it was either that or no post at all, so here you go. Have a great week!

 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Whew

Why, hello there. As usual, I'm not sure where the time has gone. I just finished my first week with students and for some reason, I'm especially stressed. It's my third year here, I have low class numbers, a great inclusion partner, and an honors class for home room and first block, and yet I am feeling the pressure in a big way.

I know that part of the reason is I have three preps instead of one, and a new textbook to use, so those are new factors, but it doesn't really explain it. I know I'll figure it out, but for now, I'm struggling.

Let's look at a few pretty pictures, shall we? My sweet Gracie, enjoying the morning sunlight last weekend:

Snuggling on the bed with me; is that not the cutest expression?

A lovely spider on the back of the house; it even has an egg sac in the web. Someone told me this is a knitting or zipper spider. Pretty appropriate.

I knit at our first high school football game of the season, like you do. It was a perfect night for football, with a hint of autumn in the air.

And one of our gorgeous sunflowers. The yellow against the blue sky is such a perfect pairing.

And of course, I still have the beach, although the summer is waning. But I'm ready for the lower temperatures; in fact, fall is my favorite season, especially on the beach. It's the perfect weather for knitting and reading, don't you think?

The changing of the season is always interesting, no matter how often I've experienced it. Hope your weekend is wonderful.

 

Friday, August 22, 2014

A Last Hurrah

I finished the Strathcona! For an easy, well written pattern, I sure had some difficult moments with it, but I never really figured out why. Lack of attention is the most likely answer, I'm sure.

I've also been cranking out wash cloths, using the Almost Lost pattern. Steve keeps calling them doilies, but I think they are pretty, and slightly more interesting to knit than my usual Grandma's Favorite.

As for my latest big project, I've finally decided on the shawl pattern and yarn for my cousin. I started with Tern but felt it looked a little boring for a wedding, so I bought some Luna (think Kidsilk Haze with sparkles), and am stranding the two together, using another Jane Richmond pattern, McMilne. Although the pattern still seems a bit casual somehow, it's a doable one for me. While a lace pattern would be prettier, I truly don't think I could finish it in time without putting too much stress on myself, as school will be very busy the first month or two. And both my yarn store owner and my husband like the way it looks, so I'm going to go with it.

I've also been destroying my house, in a last minute effort to accomplish everything I had planned to do at the beginning of this summer. Cleaning out closets, but leaving the mess in the room(s) where the closets are located, spending three days cleaning the stove while letting the dishes pile up; you know, the usual routine. I did finally clean both bathrooms and the kitchen, including the refrigerator and cabinets, so I feel better.

And for my last hurrah, I had to have my car towed to the shop last weekend, when my door locks finally quit working, leaving me locked out of my car on a Saturday night. The guy who came to tow it said he'd never seen anything like it. Oh well, at least it happened before school started. I wouldn't want to have any money left over, now would I?

Edited to add: It turns out I'm not quite done with "disasters". While flossing yesterday, I popped out part of a molar. But I've put the word disasters in quotes because none of these things are truly disasterous. I've still had a very lovely summer and really am a fortunate woman.

And don't tell anyone, but I am looking forward to school starting, even though I had a great summer. I love my free time, but I do like a schedule too. Quite a paradox, isn't it?

 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Tick, Tock

The countdown has begun and I'm trying to cram as much summer into my last two weeks as I can. At the same time, I've begun to think about school and all the details I need to put into place. Quite a conundrum, no? (Gracie just wants me to hang out with her.)

I've been knitting, enjoying the beach, hanging out with friends, doing lots of yard work, and just generally living like a kid. In other words, I've been doing what I like, even more than usual. Many days end with a bath at 9:00 p.m., in order to get all the dirt and/or sand off of me, and while sitting in the tub, childhood memories of playing outside all day flood my mind and senses and make me smile. I have so enjoyed this summer, even more than I usually do.

This was Friday, when friends came over to hang at the beach with me.

 

I think part of the reason I've enjoyed myself so much is due to my friend, Lori, who is at a similar point in her life: our kids are grown and we have very little in the way of responsibilities to structure our days. Oh, we both have bills to pay and all that, but neither of us have children at home to drive around or cook for, and so our days are pretty much our own. And we are making the most of it.

Last week, two friends (Lori is the one on the right) and I went on a "field trip" to a North Carolina knit shop we love, to sit and knit there for a change. The owner, Jeannie, has just started taking a truck of yarn to different areas of the state, as a new marketing strategy, and let us take a peek inside!

We ate lunch at a little place right next door to the shop, to minimize lost knitting time.

Steve is going to be out of town Monday and Tuesday, and Lori and I are planning to knit and go to the beach tomorrow, and knit at a local yarn shop we love and eat at a great lunch spot on Tuesday. As a matter of fact, Lori will probably sleep over at my house tomorrow night, just for fun.

I'm still knitting my linen scarf, Strathcona, but it's almost finished. I could have finished it this weekend, but I kept losing track of the right and wrong side and having to rip out, but it didn't bother me too much. Luckily, the linen yarn is very forgiving that way. Steve and I were in the car for about ten hours yesterday, driving to and from Chestertown, Maryland, on the upper top of the Eastern Shore, so we could celebrate a friend's 80th birthday, and I thought that would be the perfect opportunity to finish up the scarf, but it didn't work out that way. The drive was lovely just the same. We had planned to stay overnight, but couldn't find a room available, so we came back, which worked out better in the long run.

Chestertown even had a yarn bombed tree, but alas, no yarn shop.

Steve and I had coffee and breakfast in our favorite coffee shop today, then I took a nap before we went to a cookout at Lori's house. I did a little yard work when we got home, and have been reading on and off since then. As I said, it's been a wonderful summer.

I hope your summer has been a great one too!