Mary Oliver

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?"









Saturday, May 28, 2016

Week's End

With the daylight lasting longer, I've been able to get down to the beach after work for a walk a couple of days this week. Needless to say, it's a great way to relax.

I see lots of dogs on the beach, but very few cats. This is as close as I was able to get to this one.

Also saw this shore bird; a friend tells me it is a yellow-crowned night heron, hunting crabs for dinner. I've never seen one before.

Whereas the seagulls are regulars.

 

 

These flowers were free bulbs I dug up from a neighbor who was re-landscaping; I love them! The border is scavenged driftwood.

To kick off a unit on how our perspective shapes our writing, I had my students create a personal coat of arms, based on their definition of values, customs, national identity, and heritage. I felt like they did a nice job on them, so while it doesn't make a lot of sense to hang student work up this late in the year, it seemed a shame not to.

Gracie looks like she had a rough day, doesn't she?

 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Mostly Knitting

Steve and I went to Baltimore over the weekend to visit his brother and sister-in-law and to attend a house party of a friend. The friend lives in a historic row house in the Federal Hill section of the city and she and her husband are the artsy, free spirited type of people that I enjoy being around, so it was a lot of fun.

My sister-in-law, Diane, started knitting ten years ago, right after she met me, so now we love to share our projects, pattern finds, and yarn stories. This trip, she and I went to her local yarn store, the whimsically named, Woolstock. I loved these mugs, but took pictures instead of buying them.

This common saying, "yarn is cheaper than therapy", is a bold faced lie, but it's cute nonetheless. Having experienced both, I know yarn is way more expensive, but it's still worth it for the joy it brings me.

This wreath was also at the shop; I've seen yarn wreaths before but the floppiness of this one really appealed to me. The subdued colors are lovely too, don't you think?

As Baltimore is about 4-5 hours each way, depending upon traffic, I was able to knit quite a lot. This is the almost completed Puerperium Cardigan, done in DK weight mercerized cotton. Sherbet colors.

I bought 2 skeins of Sunseeker, a cotton yarn with just a little sparkle in it, while at Woolstock, and cast on for the Pebble Beach Shawlette, a lightweight shawl that is totally unnecessary but will be beautiful in this summery color way.

Oh, right, another just-begun project. This is the fish pillow pattern from KnitPicks that I think will look wonderful in my sunroom, especially in these tropical colors. I took this photo in Friday afternoon, while waiting to meet Melissa for a quick coffee. This shop is just around the corner from her apartment and I was able to snag the only outside table. The cobblestone street reminds me of my time in England somehow. I cannot believe it has been almost twenty years since I was there. I really want to go back to Great Britain.

Finally, a picture of the blown tulips in my classroom, also taken on Friday; my students think I'm crazy for buying flowers "that will die", but I tell them they're good for our souls.

The monsoon season finally stopped today; hope you are looking forward to a wonderful week.

 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Beautiful Weather, Flowers, and Food

My talented youngest daughter made me this beautiful Mother's Day card; the inside was as lovely as her drawing.

 
Speaking of Mother's Day, my sister took my mom to the Botanical Gardens to see the Lantern Asia exhibit I saw in March, and they ran into my friend, Lori, and her mischievous son, who surprised my mom with a kiss. I adore her expression!
The roses in our our yard are so beautiful this year, probably due to the cool and rainy spring we've had so far.

I saw this beauty in someone else's yard this past weekend. It smelled as good as it looked.

The rose was in this yard, which is the type of messy, lush garden I'd love to have.

This is the finished one skein sweater, with its goldfish button attached.

And this is a retro baby sweater over half way done. Our baby clothes drive is for the entire month of May and I'm having such fun that I ordered more yarn for it!

I went to the GreekFest this weekend and managed to not eat one of these. But I didn't feel deprived, especially since I ate there on Saturday and Sunday.

The weather could not have been better.

I came home for a long walk in the beach both days to walk some of the calories off. In the space of thirty minutes it went from this:

To this:

I also booked our accommodations for Rhinebeck 2016! We wanted to stay in the same house but the woman is selling so we found another option nearby and just as close to the sweetest yarn shop:

My dad turned 69 on Friday, and he still looks amazing.

Gracie says goodnight.

But only after watching Call the Midwife and Wallander on our local PBS station.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Mother's Day & Miscellany

I took my mom out to brunch at the Oceanfront today, just like we did last year, so she could enjoy the monster truck show. Yes. My 76 year old mother loves monster trucks.

I had my hair colored back to the original, with a little auburn thrown in. I've been putting highlights in for so long, I had forgotten how dark my hair really is. It was a bit of a shock the first week, but I'm enjoying the look now.

My stepdaughter, Stephanie, has been in Southeast Asia for the past month, and this is one of the pictures she shared. I love her smile! She started in South Korea, then went to Vietnam, Cambodia, and is now in Myanmar. She's keeping a blog of her travels and both her photos and her writing are wonderful.

Last weekend, Steve and I went to the Jefferson Lab Open House. I wasn't particularly interested, since I don't teach science anymore, but it was a great way to get in 10,000 steps. I knit some too. Steve, on the other hand, was entranced. Or enthralled. As you can see.

The majority of what I saw looked like this. There was a surprising amount of aluminum foil to be seen, along with thousands of pounds of magnets.

And a few buildings like this. Please don't ask for any more details.

The high school prom was last night and I went to help out for the first time in my four year tenure there. I loved seeing so many of my students looking so glamorous. I don't feel comfortable posting any of their pictures, but this is one of me and the Latin teacher, a young friend of mine. The venue was great too. I will definitely go again next year.

I've been doing a bit of charity knitting for our knitting group; they are supporting Newborns in Need, and it's fun to do some quick baby knits. Consequently I've been doing some binge watching, and this series was great, despite a little difficulty with the accent and dialect. Lots of knitwear to be seen too!

Despite having some baby yarn in my stash, I bought these three bright beauties today.

Isn't this hat adorable?

 
I think Gracie is becoming a camera lover, don't you agree?

This is my latest favorite; posing with her hand knit catnip toy. Because a cat this gorgeous deserves the very best.

 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Grateful

I'm not sure if I accurately conveyed the seriousness of the slump I was in since March, but I'm so very thankful that I'm on the other side of it. Apparently, all I needed was a change in medication to feel like myself again. I have renewed respect for people who struggle with depression, something I so very rarely have to deal with, and the fact that mine is easily managed with the proper medication makes me grateful beyond words. I have been on an anti-depressant for the last ten years as a way to deal with anxiety, but recently the other side of the coin reared its head and made every work day feel like I was serving a prison sentence. I spent at least three weekends in a row sleeping 12-14 hours a day, only to return to work just as exhausted as when I left. Thankfully I have a good doctor who was willing to prescribe a new medication for me and it improved things almost immediately. The reason I'm sharing this here is the same reason I'm so open about it at work: mental health care is nothing to be ashamed of. If you need help, get it.

 

More spring flowers.

 

More Gracie.

Yarn bombing.

 

This photo looks like Gracie is trying to read a knitting pattern in order to help me correct my error.

Finally, a lovely photo of a group of women friends who call ourselves the Beaches, taken this past weekend at one of the women's wedding. So much fun and so much love.

Hope you have love in your life.