Mary Oliver

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?"

Saturday, February 27, 2016



It's soaking in the tub now but I'll post photos as soon as it's dry. I'm so happy with this sweater!


Sunday, February 21, 2016


We got a little snow on Presidents Day but it melted the same day so we didn't miss any school, darn it.

Gracie enjoyed hanging out as usual.

This is a photo I took over Christmas break; such a cutie.

I've been spending some time in my craft room lately and took this shot for some reason. The tower on the left is a Lantern Moon product and I am using it to store my WIPs in the hopes I will finish a few, instead of casting on for new ones all the time. So far, no luck. The IKEA cabinet was a freebie from a friend who was giving it away and I love it. It has a lot of room inside, despite the clutter you see on top of it here.

I met Melissa for lunch yesterday and I knit on the Stopover sweater body while she made boondoggles, her latest craze. The body is at the underarm point now, so I knit up the second sleeve last night and today.

Second sleeve against a tree for textural interest.

Melissa has been helping her dad clean up his house and she's found a number of photos that she's posting on Facebook. This is one of her at about 4 years old. Heartbreakingly beautiful.

And she posted this one of me at age 20 as my birthday photo; hard to believe I was ever this young. It was taken in Orlando, at the Wet n Wild water park, on a trip her dad and I took in 1980. It was our first "adult" vacation and water parks were a new concept then. I remember how much fun we had, two carefree kids, with not a care in the world. So long ago.


Saturday, February 13, 2016

Lessons Learned

Being sick for a day is one thing, but being sick for five days is a trying experience. I can't even imagine what it's like to be truly or chronically ill. The range of emotions I went through were mostly anger, exhaustion, frustration, more anger, and finally a near-acceptance that I was not going to bounce back quickly enough to suit me. When I'm too sick to do much knitting, I'm sick.

On my last day at home, I blocked the Imagine When shawl I made last summer and it made it look as gorgeous as the pattern had promised. I remember being disappointed in the pre-blocked shawl even though I know blocking can give miraculous results. It was silly to take so long to getting around to it, but it was a gratifying activity and easy enough to do while operating at less than 100% of my normal.

I'm almost finished with the first sleeve of my Stopover sweater and am quite pleased with the look of this. Can't wait to wear it!

I did feel well enough to read The Last Pilot, a book I really enjoyed, and start John Irving's newest novel.

Not sure exactly how I found this website, but I kind of love this sweater. I can so see myself wearing this in the house to stay warm and on my winter beach walks, which I haven't done nearly enough this winter.

I have spent a lot of time in my craft room this week, which means Gracie has too. This is a favorite spot for her when we're in here, unless she's perching on the chair with me. I think I took hundreds of photos of her up there.

When I was in bed, so was Gracie. We had lots of bonding time, that's for sure.

More craft room photos:




Including this one from this morning, which also shows the slight snowfall we had yesterday:

I did make it to school in Thursday, but was completed wiped out by the end of the day, so much so that I went to bed at 7pm that evening and slept almost straight through. I woke up around 1am long enough to grade a set of papers, which put me right back to sleep.

I actually felt really good on Friday, especially when I found out we were having an early dismissal due to a forecast of snow. While it seems silly to northerners who are prepared for it, our city budgets just don't have the same amount of money allocated for snow down here. And when there is a chance that school buses on icy roads would be at risk, erring on the side of safety makes sense.

I had another early night last night, so I'm hoping I continue to improve, especially since I had to start a second round of antibiotics. Clearly, the first round had not done the trick. Other than venturing out for an early brunch and some knitting with a few friends this morning, I plan to get a lot of rest on this three day weekend.

Here's hoping you have a lovely weekend too!


Monday, February 8, 2016

Tough One

Last week should have been better than it was. Monday and Tuesday were teacher workdays, which are usually enjoyable, if not as productive as I always hope. I started out the week with a 2nd degree burn from a hot glue gun, my worst burn yet. This is what it looks like now, almost a full week later. This one is going to leave a scar.

Tuesday was a very frustrating day due in large part to some administrative decisions as to what teachers had to do to close out the semester. I felt like we wasted at least half of the day unnecessarily.

Thankfully, when the kids showed up on Wednesday, things started to settle down, and began to improve. I had my classes do an activity using post-it notes and chart paper, so we could discuss expectations, and it went really well.


My favorite suggestions were, "helps all students pass with flying colors" and says,"try again, you'll do better next time". Isn't that cute? Especially when you realize these are 10th and 11th graders, not elementary kids. They also want teachers who are caring and happy to teach. Not too much to ask, is it? And of course one teacher-pleaser appealed to my ego by saying, "is named Ms. Horton". I wrote these out myself directly from their post-it's to make sure they were spelled correctly and appropriate. Not my first rodeo. I haven't done this before but I'll definitely do it again.

My mom turned 76 on February 6 and she still looks amazing, probably because she's still very active.

Unfortunately, I wasn't well enough to celebrate with her and my family, thanks to this stupid upper respiratory infection. I've been on antibiotics since Saturday, but it doesn't really help much with the symptoms, and in fact causes its own problems; enough so that I went to the health food store this morning to buy some probiotics to help my system balance itself out. I plan on knitting and resting for the remainder of the day in the hopes of feeling well enough to return to work. Unless you're a teacher, it's hard to appreciate just how much energy it takes to get through a school day. Unfortunately, it also takes a lot of energy to take a sick day when you're a teacher, due to lesson planning and logistics, even with the benefit of email, and especially at the start of a semester. What a pain being sick is.


I finally felt well enough to start knitting the first sleeve of the Stopover sweater and I love the colors! This photo makes the dark purple look more like blue, but it's called grape heather, so it's definitely purple.

I've had some recent knitting fails lately, specifically the different projects I've tried to make for my mom, using the incredibly soft Baby Grande Alpaca she loves. First I tried a Zuzu's Petals, but ripped back when I realized I didn't have enough of the cream color (and I had bought the last skein of it at my LYS). I didn't want to use two colors for that pattern as I don't think my mom would like it.

Then I tried the Present Cowl, a perfectly lovely pattern, but not a good match for the yarn and/or my mom. Finally, I started the Noro Striped Scarf, but miscalculated the width/cast on number. The yarn is so soft that it wanted to fold in on itself, which would make it too bulky for her and with only the two skeins, it would have been too short. So I've given up for now.

One of the things I did when I reorganized my craft room was to put my unfinished projects out in the open, using a three basket "tower" that Steve bought me back when we were first married. I had read about this idea somewhere and thought it made sense. It's supposed to slow down the urge to start new projects and remind you to finish up stuff in a more timely manner. Great concept, but it hasn't actually worked so far.

I think I'm going to take a nap now. Hope your week is a good one!


Saturday, February 6, 2016

Week at a Glance

This week was a trying one and the weekend hasn't been much better. My throat started hurting Wednesday night, but I assumed it was due to "first week voice", as speaking in a different register, otherwise known as "the teacher voice", for a longer than usual time can be a strain. By Friday afternoon, I was really dragging, but again, thought I was just worn out. Friday night was rough enough that I went to an urgent care this morning and they gave me an antibiotic for a upper respiratory infection which meant I've spent the rest of the day sleeping, drinking hot tea, and feeling awful.

The bright spot in the weekend is my Lopi yarn delivery for the Stopover KAL! It arrived yesterday and I have enjoyed looking at it and trying to decide on the color arrangement. I'm using the dark purple for the body, and am going with the pink, lavender, and teal. I really like the grey too, but will save it for another project. I think it'll look gorgeous and I am so excited. One of my friends is joining me and her yarn is due on Monday.

Here's a cute photo of Gracie, curled up in a heart shape. She's definitely enjoyed me being in bed today, as she kept me company the whole time.

This one was taken one night this week, in the sunroom. She gets into some interesting positions, that's for sure.

More next time, when I'm feeling better and have some lovely Lopi knit up!