Mary Oliver

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?"

Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Quiet Season

I, like most of you, love the calmness of the week between Christmas and New Year's Day, and this year I've appreciated it even more.  I spent most of the 26th in bed, just catching up on my rest, even though I didn't feel stressed about Christmas.  I think it was a residual tiredness from being sick, but whatever the reason, I gave in to it and rested.  I spent some time this week catching up with friends, but still had a lot of quiet time at home.  I started taking down the Christmas decorations but haven't quite finished because I'm still enjoying the smell of my tree and the twinkling of the lights, even after taking all the ornaments off.  I'd like to get it all taken care of before I return to work, but if I don't, I'll be okay with it. Another benefit of living alone.
I've done some knitting, but mostly I've been on a reading binge.  I'm on the 8th book in the Louise Penny series and I am smitten with her writing.  It's a mystery series but it's so much more than that.  I think I read one review that said it's more literature than mystery and I agree, in the sense that it makes me think about the big ideas of kindness, and love, and integrity.  Give her a go if you're looking for a good read. 
Speaking of love and kindness, I've been reaching out to strangers as I've gone about my errands.  I've always been comfortable with talking to people I don't know, but I've been doing it even more lately.  Probably looking for human contact since I spend more time alone, but also as a way to foster kindness and connectedness in this scary new world we're entering.  Anyway, it's been good.
My daughter, Melissa, did a watercolor of Gracie for me for Christmas and I love it.  I'm going to frame it and hang it in my yarn room.
I took this photo of my parents with their favorite child, Bailey; I think they both look amazing.  Mom will be 77 next month and Dad will be 80 in May, and they are both still very active, which keeps them young.  My mom is a dynamo, with more energy than I have most days.
Another photo of the precious one.  I gave them a set of photo coasters of Bailey, that I bought from Snapfish, and they absolutely loved it.  
This is Gracie's new favorite morning spot.  I took this photo yesterday,
 and this one this morning!  Almost identical.
 I couldn't resist sharing this beautiful picture of her in front of the tree. 
And I used the Best Nine app, but couldn't get the photo without the text for some reason.  I was surprised there were only three photos of Gracie, but not surprised by all the knitting.
And finally, the picture of myself I like so well.  This is the one I took on Christmas Day, and I like it so much because it shows me how truly content I am.  I am in a very different place than I was last year at this time, but it is okay.  In fact, it's better than okay, it's good.  I know that whatever 2017 has in store for me, I'm pretty sure I will be okay.  Best wishes to all.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry, Merry Christmas

I had a wonderful Christmas Day and hope you did too.  I am so much happier than I expected to be.  Life is so good.

Merry Christmas

Wishing you and yours a peaceful and joy filled Christmas!  
Love from me and my camouflaged Christmas cat, Gracie!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas Eve Eve

As I'm still recovering from my horrid illness, I stayed home most of the day yesterday and today, other than visiting the doctor for another medication.  And it's been lovely, now that I'm over the worst of it.  I've been listening to the public radio station which has played gorgeous Christmas music programs pretty much nonstop.  It's one of my favorite things about Christmas, I've come to realize over the years.  
  I've had a citrus and cranberry mix bubbling on the stove to make the house smell good, and I've done a batch or two of candy making to give away.  I've made my usual Toffee Pecan recipe, but I also tried a Peppermint Bark recipe from Orangette, to give to my cousin.  It seems like it turned out well although it wasn't as much candy making as it was candy melting.   Other than that, I've been knitting, reading, and even took a short nap, so I'm completely relaxed.  
I did catch Gracie in a compromising position this morning, trying to liberate a few extra treats from her treat jar.
She looks pretty guilty to me, don't you agree? Hoping you are having a peaceful holiday season.      

Monday, December 19, 2016

An Abrupt Ending to a Lovely Visit

Ryan, Meredith, Ollie, and Sinon left Saturday morning, and as always, it felt like it was too short of a visit.  Meredith and Ollie really enjoyed the beach this trip, more so than usual it seemed.  Probably because the weather was mild most of the week.
 Melissa met us at the Hermitage Museum and Meredith took this photo of her; that girl is the most photogenic person I know, and I have no idea who she gets it from!
This was taken on one of the early evening walks we took, I think, based in the look of the sky.
I was so happy to spend so much time with the both of them.  It felt so stress free.
Meredith made a quilt for Melissa as a Christmas present; this photo doesn't really do it justice, but I'll get a better one eventually.  The fabrics are gorgeous!
Gracie didn't love the extra visitors, but she managed well enough, carving out some secret places to be nearby yet invisible.  This photo was taken after they left.
This has been my view since Friday.  I came down with a virulent strain of a "flu-like virus" according to the Urgent Care doctor I saw on Friday night.  I had taken off work Friday in order to spend the last day of Meredith's visit with her, but by 3:00 pm, I was prostate on the couch.  The tests for strep and flu were negative, so the diagnosis meant I got no meds.  I'm still running a fever and my throat is worse, so I'm going back to the doctor this morning to follow up.  I have been miserable all weekend, but I think Gracie has quite enjoyed the snuggle time.
 Missing work for fun is one thing, but missing to be sick, just sucks.  At least it didn't mess up much of my time with Meredith.

Monday, December 12, 2016

NOW It Feels Like Christmas!

Melissa was out of town this weekend, and she asked me to check on her cats, so I took the opportunity to walk around her neighborhood.  This was a tree on her street, all decorated.
And this is the view at the end of her street; it's the Elizabeth River, and I caught it at sunset.  Beautiful, isn't it?  I forget how many waterways there are here, but I never cease to enjoy their beauty.
I went to a friend's son's wedding on Saturday night, and while I had a moment or two of sadness, for the most part it was a chance to catch up with old friends.
The wedding was at the Virginia Beach oceanfront, but this is an inlet nearby.  Again, the water is so beautiful.
 Meredith and Ryan arrived last night and she and I took Ollie down to the beach this morning, but we got caught in a rain storm.
 Since it was raining, we decided to go out for lunch to the restaurant where Melissa works.  I had a champagne cocktail, which made a nice change from my normal Monday lunch!
 The weather cleared up by the afternoon, so we were able to take a nice long walk on the beach.
 The full moon looks so lovely.
 And the sunset was gorgeous as well.
I sure wish Meredith lived closer or visited more often, but I am happy to have the time I do have with her.  Melissa took off tomorrow so the three of us can spend the day together.  I am a lucky mama.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Party Time

Can I just say, I have not felt like partying? But I'm following the "fake it til you feel it" philosophy for now, and it's working. Sort of. At least I'm not curled up in bed, hiding out from my life. I had a party at my house on Sunday for ten women I work with now or worked with at my last school, and it seemed like everyone had a good time.  I had the tree partially decorated, lots of candles burning, and everyone brought food to share. We also did a gift exchange where you draw a number, pick a wrapped gift, with the option of "stealing" a gift from someone else.  It was fun but it's an indication of my frame of mind that I didn't take a single picture! I went to my knitting guild party last night; it was a potluck too, and I had a good time.  Since my group wore matching clothes again, I got a photo. Clearly, we were pretty pleased with ourselves.    
Can you read the sweater?  It's a sheep, with the words, Fleece Navidad.  I'm going to have an entire wardrobe of zany knitting clothes if we keep this up.  Melissa, the woman on the right, made the table decoration out of yarn.  
I met my youngest at the Hermitage Museum in Norfolk on Saturday, to see a temporary exhibit titled Stickwork, by Patrick Dougherty.  It was a little odd but it was a gorgeous morning to be outside.
 The museum is right on the Lafayette River, and the grounds are lovely.  They aren't manicured, but rather respect the wetlands and native wildlife.  I need to remember to visit more often as it's so peaceful and it's only a few miles from where I live.
 I'm truly the happiest when I'm with my daughters.  I think it shows.
 I hope you are doing what makes you happy too.

Thursday, December 1, 2016


The tree has lights.  700, to be exact.  I love the shape but I think I may need one more strand, as it's a very full tree.  I'm loving the pine tree smell and the lights, as always.  Decorations go on tomorrow, in time for my party on Sunday.  
Although Gracie seems happy with it just as it is.