Mary Oliver

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?"

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Smooth Recovery

This is the big snow we had at the beginning of the new year, know for some reason as the BombCyclone.  It was almost a foot high but the unusual thing about this snow was the week long low temperatures we had afterward that kept the snow around.  Usually,  when we get snow, it melts fairly quickly, but the low temps meant we lost five days of school in a row.
Thank you for your kind wishes; my recovery has been really easy.  I had some extra time due to the snow, which certainly helped, and then the fact that I haven't had to work a full week yet has also been good for my healing.  Last week we had a two hour delay on Thursday and a full day on Friday, then a three day weekend. I went to work yesterday, and we are actually off today as we are expected to get about three inches of snow during the day.  It seems crazy to be out for expected snow, but our area just does not have the budget for snow removal and therefore, it gets dangerous if you have kids and buses going home in the middle of snow and icy covered roads.  It's a truly tough call to make, because if the storm is late coming through, everyone will say the district overreacted, but we didn't make this call a few years back and it was definitely a white knuckle situation that no one wants to repeat.  

I had a lovely relaxing weekend with old friends watching football this past weekend and knitting up a storm. I'm working on the Apple Cider Donut Cardigan from the Rhinebeck Sweaters book, using the Green Mountain Spinnery Weekend Wool yarn I thought I was going to use for the Mary Rebecca pattern, before I read the pattern more carefully and realized I needed DK for that one.  Rookie mistake, especially since I had knit it up to the armholes already last year.  The only reason I had ripped it out was that I needed to change the size.  So that was kind of lucky, right?  This is the pattern photo from Ravelry; my color is raspberry.

This photo was taken about a week ago, so I'm a bit further along now.
 I made this hat out of a skein of Weekend Wool in pumpkin using TinCanKnit's Antler pattern for my cousin's husband.
My friend, Melissa, came over with lunch on one of my recovery days, and finished this adorable snowman hat for her soon-to-be-born first grandbaby.  
I finally hung up the orange and cinannamon garland that I made;  I got the idea from the Reading My Tea Leaves blog, and drying the orange slices in the oven made my house smell so good.  Even just having them piled in a bowl smelled great.
I got this package in the mail from Meredith, my daughter; she and her husband went to Iceland for Christmas and she picked up these two skeins of Lopi for me while she was there.
This photo was taken before Christmas while I was in Charlottesville with a friend for his birthday to see a UVA basketball game.  We met some friends for champagne at the Boars Head Inn afterward, before driving back home.  
And because I can't leave Gracie out, here she is, sitting on my lap while I knit.  I'm so glad she is still comfortable siting on my lap.
This is an Instagram picture my neighbor, Eva, took of Gracie, while I was out of town this past weekend.  She is so good about spending time with her, which makes me feel less guilty about leaving her.
Hoping you all have a wonderful week, whatever you are doing.  Peace and joy to you!



Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Surgery, Snow, and Gracie

My surgery went really well, and my recovery time was surprisingly enjoyable.  I was spoiled by my friends, my parents, and my daughter, Melissa, as well as my neighbor, Eva, and because of all their wonderful support, I was able to follow my doctor's orders to keep my foot elevated for the first two weeks.  When I went to my two-week follow up appointment, he was pleasantly surprised by how little swelling there was.    

I would have returned to work on Tuesday, except we were hit by the BombCyclone of snowstorms (I have no idea where that name came from) and school was out for five straight days, largely due to the extreme low temperatures that kept the streets and school parking lots covered far longer than normal.  This was good news for me, as it means that instead of being charged five days of sick leave, I only used two!  We go back tomorrow and will have two weeks left of this semester, before exams and beginning second semester, so it will be slightly anticlimactic, I suspect.  But at least I won't have much grading waiting for me.  I really got lucky.


I don't have too much time for a long post, but I wanted to catch up just a bit.  Most of my photos are of Gracie keeping me company on the couch;  today is the five year anniversary of her adoption from the pet rescue, and it turns out that if I sit long enough , she does like to sit on my lap after all.  It only took us five years to discover this.  

 Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and New Year, and hopefully I will be back in this space soon.

I have been knitting and I do have some snow pictures, but I'll show those next time.  Thanks for all your good wishes!




Thursday, December 21, 2017

Christmas Break

My Christmas break began today and I'm having my foot surgery tomorrow to correct the bunion on my left foot, which meant I had one day to do all the errands I wanted to do before being house bound for two weeks.  And since I don't have wifi at my house, I won't be able to post on my blog, so I made a quick run to the coffee shop for a last minute Merry Christmas post to everyone.  

It was a busy couple of weeks getting ready for the break, especially when I found out my doctor wanted me to take the first week of January off; the whole point of my having it done over break was avoiding time off, but it runs out that was out of my control, as so much of life is.  A lesson I have to learn over and over again.

This is the only tree I am having this year, due to my surgery but I think it is just lovely.  It's my shell tree with red bows added. 
I put strings of lights (free) on my railing, and added a thrift store wreath and I like it a lot.
I was lucky enough to get a free ticket to go with friends to see this production last week and it was wonderful!
Funny Christmas socks from another friend:
Gracie, snuggling up, looking sweet as pie.
And even though I take a bath just about every night, she always looks a bit worried and has to check up on me.  I think it's adorable.
Merry Christmas to you all.  I hope you have a joy-filled, loving, and peaceful holiday.  I'll be over here on the couch, knitting, reading, and napping for the next two weeks.  



Saturday, December 9, 2017

Cosy Weekend

I'm having a cosy weekend so far, probably due to the weather, which is rainy and gray and cold, just perfect for December.  There was even some sleet last night as I drove home from work.  As the forecast had called for a wintry mix, I changed my lesson plans yesterday, and instead, had a snow themed day.  First, I read Snowflake Bentley, a picture book about the Vermont farmer who first photographed snowflakes, back in the late 1800's.  Then we read and discussed two Robert Frost poems, Dust of Snow, and Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, and watched a time lapse video of a snowstorm that someone in Northern Virginia had filmed in 2016.  And finally, just for fun, I had them cut out snowflakes, using a variety of patterns I found on the Internet.  I have to say, the Internet does help when I want to do something on the spur of the moment.  I used to use the picture book and snowflake patterns when I taught science but trust me, the high school students enjoyed them just as much.  On Monday, I will start Dickens' The Christmas Carol, and as it is the first time I'm teaching this text, I hope it will keep them interested enough in the remaining eight days before break.  They are already getting a little rambunctious.   

I slept in later than usual today, and then sat around reading and listening to Christmas music until the afternoon.  The house smelled delicious because I decided to dry orange slices in the oven so I can use them as a garland.  I did this last year, but I overcooked them, and ended up piling them in a bowl instead.  They smelled great, they were just a little too brown.  Gracie enjoyed our quiet time, as she always does.

   I decided to go to the library, and I also stopped in at a little local craft fair.  There were lots of cute things, but I'm trying not to spend much at the moment.  Besides, I have so much stuff already, either bought as gifts, or supplies bought to make gifts.  I saw this very cool British car in front of the bookstore when I parked my car.

I went to the thrift store after work on Wednesday, and I got so lucky!  I bought seven pairs of pants for $22, most of them "name brands."
The young clerk who was in charge of the changing room was quite diplomatic about it being senior citizen discount day.  She phrased it as, "You're not 55, are you?"  Since I am, I was entitled to an additional 20% off the prices shown above.  I was very pleased indeed.  The pair I don't have in the picture still had on the store tag because they had never been worn; they were the highest priced pair, at $6.99, before the discount.  Crazy, right?  Almost all of my skirts for work have been bought there over the past eight or nine years, and quite a few coats and jackets as well.  I can't remember the last time I've bought a new coat.  As a matter of fact, I bought a really nice coat there a month or so ago, but as it had a suede collar, I've had it in the car ever since, intending to take it to the cleaners before wearing it.  After I bought it, I had buyers remorse, mainly because I already own more coats than I really need, so I procrastinated dropping it off at the dry cleaners.  On Friday, one of the teachers I work with asked me if I had a coat I could give to one of the students we both teach, and I was so happy I still had that coat in the car.  This student has been homeless, on and off, and is hard working and sweet, and I knew this weekend was supposed to be cold and rainy.  I was able to give that coat away immediately, almost as if I had bought it for that very reason.  Funny how things work out.
Gracie is still perching on the kitchen hutch every morning.  She looks kind of cranky in this picture.
 I took this one of her today, while I was reading.  She loves sitting on the arm of the couch while I read, or knit, or watch television, although she never sits on my lap.  Silly girl.
My weekend treat with my coffee:  a slice of vanilla cake with cranberries.  As delicious tasting as it looks.  And it was gone too quickly.  Sigh.
I still haven't gotten my outdoor Christmas lights up yet, but I'm hoping to do that before the weekend is over.  I thought it was going to stop raining early enough today to get started, but it didn't, so I'll keep my fingers crossed for a sunny day tomorrow, as the forecast has promised.  Or at least a day without rain.  For now, I'll go home and snuggle up with Gracie again, listen to more Christmas music, and start writing out my Christmas cards.
I hope you are having a good weekend, whatever the weather, and whatever your plans.  Peace to you.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017


Melissa gave me this lovely wreath last weekend and I have it on the inside of my backdoor so I can enjoy it while I'm in my sunroom.  Isn't it sweet?
I cannot believe this year is almost over. It's been a good one in many ways, even though there have been some difficult times as well. But that's pretty much the nature of life, isn't it?    

Here I am with Kristin and Lori at a baby shower for our friend Melissa's daughter, who is expecting her baby in January.  I didn't know the picture was being taken, and as you can see, I'm knitting.  We each gave her a small knitted item and a sheep related children's book purchased at NY Sheep & Wool.  Such fun.

 I think I mentioned that I couldn't find my favorite hand mitts, but I finally did.  I had a smaller box tucked away in the yarn room closet, and they were in there.  I found them just in time, as we are finally going to get some seasonal weather!  
I took a few photos recently and used the black and white filter; I kind of liked these two.
Gracie loves sitting up on top of this hutch sometimes, but rarely lets me take her picture.  Usually she jumps down as soon as I pick up my phone, so I was happy to get these of her.
And she's off!
I had lots more to say, but as it's a Tuesday night and I'm tired, this will have to do for now.  I hope you enjoy this month, whatever you celebrate.  I'm focusing on the light, in the form of candles and twinkle lights, the music, and friends and family, but that's what I enjoy regardless of the season.  I read The Gift of the Magi to my students today and played Christmas music while they did some related activities and it felt like a good day to me.  I'm planning to read portions of The Christmas Carol over the next week as well, and hope that goes well too.  Not sure why I haven't done more themed selections before now, but I'm glad I decided to do it this year.  Have a peaceful and joy filled week, dear ones.

Friday, November 24, 2017


I hope everyone had a wonderful and peaceful Thanksgiving.  I certainly enjoyed mine, and the grateful feeling continues today.  Yesterday, I took a walk on the beach before heading over to my parents' house for Thanksgiving with my parents, my sister and her family, and Melissa and her dad.  I am so grateful that he and I have gotten to the place where we are able to share family time again without all the hurt feelings we used to have.  It took many years, but we are here and I am truly, truly grateful.  Afterwards, I visited with a friend, Lisa, and her family; I've known them for over twenty years, which is a lovely gift.  Finally I stopped by Lori's house to visit with her family, before heading home to Gracie.  All in all, a lovely day.  
I took another walk this morning, and it was much sunnier.
This was my Black Friday haul, by the way:
The trees are stunning here in Norfolk right now:
And of course, I'm always grateful for my Gracie-cat, who loves her sunny spot in the kitchen.
Hoping the rest of the weekend is as calm and relaxing as these first two days have been.  Be good to each other, dear ones.