Mary Oliver

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?"









Tuesday, June 20, 2017

New Routine

 
 
School finally finished up last week; I feel like I took my time storing my things this year, in the hopes that the new year will be less stressful and more organized.  I also brought home some of my unit plan binders, so that I can plot out what I'd like to do while I have more time to think.  Of course, I always think I'll do this, but this summer my situation really is different, so I'm hopeful.
 
Meanwhile, I've been doing some yard work.  It turns out that I actually love weeding; I think it's very meditative and therapeutic, but I also love how visible and immediate the results are.  That being said, I also am trying to minimize the amount of upkeep I need to do, so I changed this little area last week.  The space at the front left of the photo is a little extension of the large flower bed; it was a little section of weedy grass that I turned into a bed a few years ago, but the gate caught on the edging every time I opened it.  Instead of weeding and mulching it yet again, I dug an inch or two down to remove all the weed/grass roots, poured a layer of sand, and then used river rocks as edging and hardscape.  I liked it so much, I decided to do the same with the strip of unnecessary grass along the deck, the length of the driveway strips.    I plan to continue to add and widen so that the area to the garage door, just to the right of the picture, is done this way, but as it's a bit pricey, I'm taking my time with it.  I really like it though.  
 
Surprisingly, I haven't been to the beach much at all. This picture was taken before the last week of school, and it's the last time I was there.  Of course, it's probably the last nice day we've had, as it seems like every day is cloudy and/or rainy.  
 
 
Gracie has begun begging for belly rubs, by throwing herself on any available rug. This one is in the bathroom, and this picture reminds me that replacing the ugly linoleum is another home improvement project I'd like to do this summer.
I took this picture this morning, as Gracie and I took our time getting up.  It's safe to say that we both enjoy the slower pace of summer.
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

It's Almost Summer Break!

I can't believe it, but another school year is coming to an end.  Thursday is my final day with students until September!  I have to say, this semester has been a fabulous one, so I'm kind of sad for it to end, although I will enjoy my time off.  I started going through the stuff in my classroom last week in an effort to pack it all up in a more organized way, and to get rid of the stuff I no longer want or need, so I feel like I'm in a good place.  

I finally got back in my yard this week as well; apparently, the month of May was the rainiest one on record, which meant that the weeds got out of control, and I was out of the routine of doing yard work.  I decided to cut the grass after work on Thursday, as the temperature was in the low sixties, and I did some of the trimming with the weed whacker last night.  I spent a couple of hours weeding the flower beds today, but although I have quite a bit more to do, it's going to have to wait.  I'm going to sit on the beach with a friend tomorrow as a reward for all my hard work, and to make sure I'm not exhausted on Monday.

I put the cages around the tomatoes; still don't know how to tell when this variety is ripe.
 
Zucchini blossom
 
Eggplant blossom

 

I went to the Chrysler Museum for a little while this morning to celebrate Knit in Public day, along with quite a few people from my local yarn shop, Baa Baa Sheep, and the Tidewater Knitting Guild. It's a great space, with lots of natural light.  
 
I wish I had taken a picture of my shawl there instead of at home, in artificial light, on the messy chair, but there you go.
 
I think I'm nearly done with this, but I'm not sure.  I have a hard time estimating how much yarn I have left, and I want to use it all up.  I am enjoying the pattern, even if I'm not knitting particularly fast.  I need to break out the cotton yarn for beach dish cloth knitting.
Gracie continues to photogenic.
 I think she sleeps in the oddest positions!
 
Hope you all are well and I hope my posts get a little more interesting! Maybe once I'm a little less tired?

Sunday, June 4, 2017

And Now, the Gratitude

Such wonderful, kind words from you all.  Thank you so much.  My week has been very busy, as the school year comes to a close. So many deadlines! Every email is marked Urgent! State testing every day! The stress level is palpable around this time, especially at the high school level. I received my 20 year service pin this week too, which is kind of mind blowing.  I cannot believe it has been that long since I started this career.  And although this profession seems undervalued and under attack, I can't imagine myself doing anything else.  I am so very fortunate to have the privilege of working with young people, because even though it can be frustrating at times, it is also amazing to be able to do such creative work on a daily basis.  It keeps me on my toes and always learning something new, either about a topic or about myself.  

I drove to Richmond yesterday to meet up with Stephanie for the first time since her return from her teaching stint in France.  It was wonderful visiting with her and catching up face-to-face.  We ate at Kuba, Kuba, one of my favorite Richmond restaurants, then walked around the Fan District for a bit.  The traffic on I64 was terrible but that's pretty normal for a summer Saturday.  

 

I have been walking on the weekends, although not on the beach for some reason.  Instead, I've been driving to nearby neighborhoods and parking the car, so I can explore new places.  I spotted this heron on my walk last Sunday, in the neighborhood near the Hermitage Museum.  Norfolk has a lot of wetland areas, which makes the scenery more interesting, I think.

 

 

I need to stay home and catch up on the yard work as I've been "running the roads" too much, as my mother-in-law used to say, but I guess the weeds will wait for me.  
 Finally, Gracie, sunning in one of her favorite spots: the beat up dresser I use in the kitchen to store napkins, dish towels, and tablecloths.  
 
The two windows make it a perfect spot for monitoring the birds and wandering neighborhood cats.  Unless she's posing for her photo session, that is.