Mary Oliver

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?"

Sunday, April 12, 2015


It's the last Sunday night of spring break and I probably got more done today than I did all week! As usual, I'm berating myself for not accomplishing enough on my to-do list. Why is that? As if relaxing and reading aren't productive enough to count for anything. I know some of this is due to my mother's work ethic and example. At 75, she attends an exercise class every day, as well as keeping up with house and yard work, while I often feel as if I'm frittering my time away if I'm not working as hard as she does. My house and yard are never up to the standards she sets for herself and yet it's not as if she ever says anything about either.

Speaking of not working, I had a little quiet time one morning this week and after spending too much time scrolling through Facebook and reading blogs, I picked up my knitting. And as I knit on my gazillionth wash/dish cloth, I thought about why I haven't gotten around to finishing the three (four?) almost completed sweaters I've got tucked away somewhere in the craft room. I'm not really sure. I know two have mistakes and I don't seem to want to spend the time thinking about how to fix them, but that doesn't explain the other two. Fear of finishing? Fear of fit is probably the closest to the truth, but still, that's just silly.

I love making things and have always crafted, but knitting has not only given me a craft that's portable enough to allow me to devote lots of time to it, it has given me an entire community and culture as well, in a way that no other craft has before. I wonder how much of this is due to the Internet, but bottom line is, it doesn't really matter because this is the craft I don't think I'll ever tire of.

Anyway, I did get lots of yard work done, as is evident by the amount of weeds and branches that are bagged up and waiting for trash pickup day AND my aching back and shoulders. According to the MyPlate app on my phone, weeding uses more calories than walking, so that motivated me to do more than I had planned, which is a good thing. I'd show pictures of the yard, but as I didn't take any "before" photos, it isn't really photo worthy. And I managed to go through my closet this evening in preparation for the work week; it's a bit ridiculous how many skirts I own, regardless of the fact that all of them were bought at the thrift store. It was eye-opening, to say the least. Again, not really something to photograph, even if I'm satisfied with the accomplishment.

I do, however, have lots of cat photos, probably because I spent so much time with them this week!


Fern, my youngest daughter's cat, is on the left, and Gracie is on the right. They're not the best of friends although they get along most of the time. I think Gracie tries to pretend Fern isn't really here.

Fern likes to drag my yarn out during the night and here she is, bold as brass, with a ball.

She also is desperate to get outside, despite our refusal to allow her. She sneaks out as often as she can, but thankfully doesn't run from us when she's successful. We just scoop her up and bring her back inside, where she meows to be let out.

Even though I think Gracie will be glad when she goes back to live with Melissa, I will miss her playful ways.

I'm off to bed and hopeful that my first day back will be a short and uneventful one. I think a lot of coffee will be the order of the day tomorrow. Only 44 more school days until summer, but who's counting?



  1. I have the same problem with sweaters! I have two vest things that are really all-but-done but not quite there yet, need some edging or finishing thing, and I just keep putting it off. After all that knitting, it seems pretty dumb, but I fear they won't fit well and I'll be bummed and/or then have to do something about it!

    1. Thanks for your comment; I think that's the same reason I don't finish. If it's not right, it becomes another item on the to-do list! Congrats on the weight loss, I'm also doing that and agree about hanging on to some of the large sizes for awhile as I've been up and down so many times and can't afford to replace clothes every time. Read the tidying up book too and it impacted my tee shirt drawer in a good way. Baby steps, right?

  2. Rose, don't be so hard on yourself. Your break is supposed to be a break so you can handle the rest of the school year. You aren't supposed to be on a mission to get things done every second. I usually finish sweaters but they often don't fit quite right, too small or tight, too short or too something. I tired to sew this past weekend with disastrous results.
    Hugs to you,

  3. Oh, hell. Is any one of us ever really DONE with anything?

    Rose, there is very little sense of Completion in teaching, except at the very end of the year. Kids are constantly making up work, tests, handing in crap late...we are at the mercy of soft deadlines. Yet, when we don't finish up things ourselves, we feel immense failure.

    Maybe as teachers, we have a fear of failure itself. After all, we are conditioned to avoid it at all costs; we want our students not to do it.

    So...what's the answer? That probably depends on you. You could finish up those projects and wait to give them as gifts to people who they do fit and who would love and appreciate such a wonderful present! You could take them to a knitting get-together and ask for help from others. You could say, "This project is holding me back from my joy. I'm ripping it completely back and salvaging the yarn that I can."

    Regardless of what you decide, you can always say, "I am, each day, doing the best I can."

    Go read some Mary Oliver. XXOO

    1. Thank you Mere, and thank you Nance, for your kind words. Funny how I would give YOU the same advice, yet am reluctant to cut myself some slack. I have had a bi-polar week in terms of a terrible Tuesday and a wonderful Wednesday in teaching land, which I will write about in my next post. After I lounge about and do nothing for a short time. 😉

  4. Looks like Spring on the Chesapeake is coming along nicely. I love how indifferent cats like to be in photos :0