Mary Oliver

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?"

Thursday, August 31, 2017

A Quick Update

Now that I'm finally posting my NY pictures, I wonder why I was procrastinating?  I know I was concerned about posting too many, but now I've decided to just post as many as I want.  Hope you enjoy them.  

On Sunday, after I left the O'Keefe exhibit, I decided to visit another unfamiliar yarn shop that was nearby.  Because the weather was so good, I walked, even though it was about two miles away.  And I'm so glad I did, because it was a beautiful walk along Prospect Park, with incredibly lovely old homes.  


Brooklyn Museum
Brooklyn Public Library
Army Plaza, the entrance to Prospect Park.
This home reminded me of London for some reason.
This movie theater isn't due to open until next year, but I love what they are doing with the marquee to promote poetry!  I'm going to try to do something like this in my class room.  Check out their Instagram feed, using the hashtag moviemarqueepoems.  

I had not heard anything about this shop ahead of time, and although it was small, as most places in NY are, they had some lovely yarns. 

Since they carried Quince & Co., I bought two skeins of Sparrow, the 100% linen yarn, and am actually almost finished with the Strathcona scarf by Jane Richmond.  
On Monday, I took the subway into Manhattan to visit the children's bookstore, Books of Wonder, and saw this gorgeous mosaic.  Surprises like this are what makes NY so magical for me. 
I stopped by Lion Brand Yarn Studio, and was just a tiny bit disappointed in their window.  They usually have insanely elaborate displays, but this one seemed awfully tame for them.
I went to Knitty City as well, as they had scheduled a week long summer break, and I would have hated to miss going there.  Not only do they have scads of beautiful yarn, books, and unique notions, they are super friendly.  I had hoped to attend their Tuesday Bryant Park Knitting group, but couldn't fit it in my schedule.  Maybe next summer!
One of the things I love about New York, is that you can always find a great place to eat and drink coffee.  This little place had the best cannoli; wish I had gotten two!
It's thanks to these two that Ive gotten to have this vacation for the past three summers:  Olivia, aka Ollie, a fairly worried dog.
And Sinon, the most affectionate cat I've ever known.
Next time, lots of pictures from my visit to the Cloisters.


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Back to Work

As much as I love my summer breaks, I'm almost always glad to return to work.  I don't think I could ever be a work-from-home person, or at least I would need some serious training in order to be productive.  I really like schedules, at least as a framework.  I crammed so many things into last Sunday, because I knew it was my last free day!  Even this upcoming weekend won't feel free because I'll have so many work related ideas floating around in my brain.  

Since I never got around to posting about my two weeks in New York, I'm going to throw in snippets here and there, mainly so that my photos are preserved somewhere safe.  I'm actually thinking about printing some of them too; do you miss printed photos sometimes?


I ended up visiting all five boroughs on this visit, although it wasn't my original plan.  I had two days with Meredith before she and Ryan left on their trip, then seven days alone, and four days with her when they returned, although she did go back to work for two of those days.  It was wonderful to spend that much time up there, and she took me to some new places that I probably wouldn't have seen otherwise.  As a matter of fact, it was her idea for me to take the Staten Island Ferry as soon as she realized I had already been to four of the five boroughs, so of course, I did.


I thought about grouping by borough, but I'll just post in a fairly chronological order instead.  im not sure why, but I love taking a photo of my suitcase in the airport; probably because it represents my excitement over traveling.  I do love to travel.
Luckily for me, Ryan was working from home the Thursday morning I got into NY, so I was able to drop my suitcase off at the apartment before I went off exploring.  I knew I wanted to stay in Brooklyn that day, so I went to Woolyn, as I knew they were going to close for a break on Monday.  It hadn't opened the last time I was up there, and I have followed them on Instagram, so was excited to visit.  It was small but cute, and the clerk was very friendly.  Cute ice cream cone display, isn't it?
I was super excited to visit the Books Are Magic bookstore, owned by author, Emma Straub, and it did not disappoint.  Lovely, larger than expected, and a great selection.  She has author events all the time, and I can't imagine not being there on a weekly basis if I lived nearby.  
One of the cool things about having one or two destinations, is that I end up seeing all kinds of things I'd never see otherwise.  The Brooklyn Cat Cafe is one example.  How cute is this "come of shame"?  It's more like those airplane neck pillows!  Looked a lot more comfortable.
And when I wander, I'm always finding cafes to sit in to rest, or gather my thoughts, or to simply soak up the feeling of being somewhere new.  Cheesecake was on my list and this caramel one was heaven, especially with the accompanying cappuccino.
Meredith took Friday off so we could hang out, and had planned for us to meet a friend of hers and take the new ferry to Rockaway Beach.  The ferry leaves South Street Seaport Pier in Manhattan, but since we had some time, she took me to the Occulus.  I had seen the outside of this mall/subway stop last year, but mistakenly thought it was related to the 9/11 Memorial Museum.  It was gorgeous!
I'm not sure why, but I take a photo of the new World Trade building every visit.  
A friend of mine loves the musical, Hamilton, so she asked me to take a photo of his grave if I had the chance.  
It's in the Trinity Church Cemetary on Wall Street; I thought the way the sunlight naturally illuminated it looked pretty cool.
I already posted a photo of me with Defiant Girl, but this is another one; the random person who took it for me instructed me to pose just like the statue.
The ferry to Rockaway just started running in May, so it was quite a popular attraction, but it was a great way to see the city.    
Coney Island was one of the places I had planned to visit on this trip, but this is as close as I got.  I felt like going to Rockaway satisfied that particular desire.  I think it would be more fun to visit with someone, so I'll wait until another time.
It was a nice beach with a super wide boardwalk, but it is quite the commitment to get there.  Very different from my three block walk.
This was taken from the Rockaway Pier, as we waited to board for the return trip.
The Verrazano Narrows Bridge was so pretty, as seen from the boat.
A different look at the city skyline.
We met another of Meredith's friends at the Lincoln Center that night.  I rarely go out in the city at night when I'm on my own, so seeing it lit up was a treat.
After the two of them left for their trip on Saturday, I went to the Brooklyn Museum to see the Georgia O'Keefe exhibit.  It did not disappoint.
O'Keefe sewed many of her clothes, and the craftsmanship on this pin-tuck blouse was amazing.
Eating Mister Softie ice cream is a New York treat for me, and so I had a cone after I left the museum.
I had a neighbor check in on Gracie every day, and she was sweet enough to post this photo of her in Instagram; clearly, Gracie was enjoying her visits!
  I hope you enjoyed the first installment of my travelogue.  Now that I'm back at work and have less discretionary time, I'll probably catch up on blogging quickly!  The paradoxical nature of time. Peace and joy to you all.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Girlfriends, Grief, and Gradually Moving On

Chris loved the beach, so after her service, our group decided to go to her favorite spot, so as to remember her in our own way.  It was a good way to spend a little more time with her and each other. 
Since that day, I've been moving slowly, crying some, and trying to be good to myself by enjoying the quiet, small things. I'm also trying to accept my inertia, or ennui, or what is probably actual grief.  I have less than two weeks before I go back to work, and despite having piles in every room, and things that need doing, I'm spending an awful lot of time doing very little.  I'm sure I'll regret my lack of accomplishment, but for now, it's simply all I can do some days.
 Gracie, has apparently rediscovered the ceiling fan; she was scared of them her first summer, but as I use them in almost every room, she got used to them.  Or at least she had, until they seemed new again, after my two weeks of vacation.
Her sweet heart-shaped face.
My little zinnia section of the flower bed; they are some of my favorite flowers and I never feel as if I've planted enough.  Next year I'm going to seed them in every space I can and see if that will finally satisfy me.
I drove to Richmond yesterday to spend time with Stephanie.  She's been in Arizona, near the Grand Canyon since the middle of June, leading a group of teens in a wilderness/service thing, and I have missed her.  We had brunch, went to a knitting shop, walked across the James River on a suspension bridge, and had coffee and tres leches cake at Kuba, Kuba, one of my favorite RVA restaurants.  It was so good to visit with her.  Not sure where her next destination is, but I don't think she'll be here too long, so had to see her while I had the chance!  She is quite the world traveler.
Thanks to all who read and/or comment here; your kind words really mean a lot to me.  The news seems to bring new heartbreak and fears on a daily basis, and it's hard to comprehend the level of hate that seems to grow exponentially, but we cannot let hate win.  Keep the faith.  Peace to us all.