Mary Oliver

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?"

Monday, August 22, 2016

Carrying On

Now that I'm at the one week mark, I think the most difficult thing I'm feeling is the sense of aimlessness. I can't seem to settle on anything. When I'm at the beach, I'm thinking of what I need to be doing in the house, yet when I'm in the house, I'm thinking it's a waste of time to be indoors. I go into a room, wander into another, pick up a book, pick up my knitting, pick up the phone, or start cleaning something. I know I'll settle into a routine soon enough, especially once I go back to work next Monday, but it is challenging at the moment. Thank you to all who have commented or emailed; it is so lovely to feel your support.

Beach pictures!

I'm not sure why the water has been looking so sparkly lately, but probably something to do with the angle of the sun's rays. These were taken early Saturday morning.


I've been weeding all the flower beds, an hour here and there. Can't do longer stretches because of the heat and/or my sore toe, but it is looking better.


I will take the winter to decide how to change a few things up so that there is less maintenance for me. I think planting more rosemary is in my future though. Such a great plant for this area.

I like my homemade wreath on the front door, but I think it needs something else; a bow, maybe?

One of the changes inside has been to swap my craft room from the front bedroom to the back one, which is a tiny bit larger and has two windows. And this piece of furniture is now a yarn cupboard. I'm nervous about taking it out of the ziplock bags, but I've put plenty of moth repellant herbs in there.

The room is still a mess, but I'm taking my time. Truthfully, I'm a bit overwhelmed and will work on it when the mood strikes me.

Instead, I've been knitting more than usual. This is the Antarktik shawl, and I'm using two skeins of Sundara yarn that Meredith, my oldest, gifted me a few years ago. It's a pretty intuitive pattern, easy to work on while binge watching Father Brown mysteries.
We had a storm last night which lowered the humidity and temperatures just enough to make it a gorgeous beach day. Again, the water is just sparkling! Lots of waves for the bay, but typical after a storm.
Lori and Martha came over to hang out with me today and it was lovely. I love seeing the sailboats out.


That blue!

This photo of Gracie was taken last week on one of our hotter days. I had the ceiling fan and the floor fan going.

And this was last night, while I watched my PBS Sunday night shows; she's just not that interested in Inspector Lewis!


Saturday, August 20, 2016


It hasn't been a full week since Steve moved out and I'm feeling very sad and lost. I know my new normal will come but until then, I'm trying to treat myself gently and with tenderness. The beach is such a restorative place for me and I'm trying to make myself visit it often, but some days it's just too hard to do even that. These photos are a good reminder why I need to go, every day if possible.


Can not remember the name of this shore bird, but he's not a regular.

The water was sparkling!

Early morning sun.

I've been cooking too, which for some reason I had stopped doing. This was a quiche that was just so-so, but it looks pretty.

These were also a bit bland, but pretty.

Using leftover beans with an egg, to be thrifty and healthy. I definitely need to find my cooking groove again.

Finished my second Nurmilintu and am quite pleased with it. I ran short of yarn so only did two sections of garter stitch and two of lace but then added a half repeat of the lace and I like it a lot.

I found my yarn from the knitting guild retreat and I think I may use this to finally make the Nymphalidea shawl, although mine would be smaller due to my yardage. I'm also in the process of swapping my craft room and guest room, which is somewhat overwhelming. I have so much stuff. I'd like to reduce what I have but it's so hard to make decisions right now.

But there's always this sweet face to keep me company. And I've been binge watching the BBC Father Brown series while knitting. It's funny but when I first watched an episode a year or so ago, I didn't care for it, but now it seems to be perfect. Am I the only person not watching the Olympics this year? Father Brown, Doctor Blake, and Inspector Lewis are more to my taste at the moment. Comfort television, knitting, and Gracie. Soothing to my soul.


Thursday, August 11, 2016


Working on a second Nurmilintu, using yarn that is the color of Spanish moss. I want to make a Drachenfels next, but need to take the time to locate three colors in my stash that will work together.

Made a very small batch of ginger syrup but I think I let it get too thick. No matter, I've used it up already and bought a large knob of ginger on Sunday to make another batch.

I also made some farmer's market pasta, but something was missing; it was too bland.

There was live music at the farmer's market on Sunday, which I enjoyed with my stepdaughter, Stephanie.

On a cloudy day at the beach, I saw a pooped pup getting carried; she actually fell asleep right after I took this photo.

My daughter, Melissa, met me and two of my knitting friends, Lori and Cofield, to see the documentary, Yarn, Tuesday night, and I won a $25 gift certificate to my favorite yarn shop, Baa Baa Sheep.


I also bought this book at the thrift store in Tuesday for only $1; can't believe it's been twenty years since its original publication!

Gracie continues to sleep much of her days away, sometimes in the most unusual poses.



So why did I title this post, Reset? Because Steve is moving out and we are getting a divorce. I was very sad but not surprised, as we've been struggling to make it work for far too long. Now I've hit the reset button and am looking to a new and different future. All will be well, and all will be well.


Friday, August 5, 2016


My blog posts haven't been creatively titled lately, have they? I used to try for alliterative or otherwise catchy titles but recently they've been fairly bland. Hope you don't mind, it's just a slump.

Have you seen PurlBee's latest project? Reuseable market bags. The fabrics they used make the bags look quite elegant, so much so that I may just dust off my sewing machine and make a few for myself and/or gifting. I already have quite a few I've purchased from Ikea, but I'd love to make some prettier ones. Check it out and see what you think. They can't be too difficult, even with my rusty skills. I need to make a few curtains, and this might just be my gateway project.

Speaking of projects, I finished my Nurmilintu shawl today.



These photos are before blocking, but you can still see the lace. I don't usually cast on a repeat of a pattern immediately, but I did today, using another skein of yarn from the stash. I hardly ever gift shawls, but now that I've made so many, I think I'm going to start. It's really the only way I can use some of the gorgeous single skeins I've purchased over the years and I can't justify keeping them all as I don't wear them enough. My friend, Lori, wears her shawls all the time, but I am just too warm natured to get much use out of mine.

Lori, Kristin, Melissa, and I all took a mini-road trip today to Knitting Addiction, so we could visit with Jeanne, the owner, and treat ourselves to a knitting day. It was so much fun and so relaxing to sit in her lovely, comfortable store, knitting and chatting the day away. We ate a delicious lunch at Trio, the wine shop next door, then came back and knit some more. This is the same group of women I went to Rhinebeck with last year, as well as two knitting retreats, hosted by our guild, the past two years. We are all teachers who knit and we have a wonderful time together.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention my two day conference in Richmond, at the Library of Virginia. I went on Monday and Tuesday and learned a lot about the First Admendment. Although I'm an English teacher and the program was intended more for history teachers, I can definitely use what I learned in my classroom, as I like to use primary documents whenever I can. Plus I got a free night in a beautiful hotel suite! And the library was gorgeous too.


I also got to eat at one of my favorite Richmond restaurants, Kuba Kuba; dessert was this luscious Tres Leche cake. I shared it with my stepdaughter, Stephanie, and a friend of hers.

I came home to my sweet Gracie, who approved of my shawl as a pillow. Look at those ears!

Hope you are all well as the summer enters its last month. I will be watching the Olympics and working on my Olympic knitting project.


Friday, July 29, 2016


This has not been a great summer for me, but we go on, don't we?

I worked up a hat last week to use a skein of Malabrigo Mecha that I bought on impulse because the colors were so gorgeous. It's the Everyday Brew pattern and I'm going to put it in the gift drawer. My foot is propped up and looks normal, doesn't it? I'm happy to say I do NOT need surgery, a welcome piece of good news.

I decided to try Sinkmates, a new-to-me dishcloth pattern; I'll let you know how it turns out. It looks a bit weird in this photo. Also reading Everyone Brave is Forgiven, and enjoying it. Apparently I'm reading a lot of British WWII novels this summer.

I have a habit of scavenging and I lucked into these beauties one day this week. I think I have about fifteen of them, which is like finding $50 on the curb. Not sure where they will go but I'm starting with edging the corner flower bed. Or I will as soon as the temperatures drop a little bit.

Melissa and I went to a farm stand this afternoon and they had a little petting zoo area.

The poor turkey gets bullied a lot, so perches in the fence for protection, according to the farm stand girl.

These pigs were smart enough to get out of the sun.

Gracie watched the convention with me this week. I thought it was amazing to watch history being made and remembered feeling this way when Geraldine Ferraro was nominated as the first woman vice-president.

Say goodnight, Gracie!