Mary Oliver

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?"

Monday, May 30, 2011

Long Weekend

Wow. Made it to the weekend. Finally. And despite how beautiful the weather has been for going to the beach, I just haven't had the energy. Weird.

This past week was tough. I had a lot going on at school, reviewing for the SOL test, and I had a bad headache at least two out of the four days. Stress and allergies is my diagnosis. I also had a couple of nights out, one for a friend's birthday, and the other a Jimmy Buffett concert with my sister, which was her birthday present from me. Turned out to be lots of fun, despite my being tired. I think this makes the third time I've seen Buffett and he always puts on a fabulous show; this time was no exception. A great way to kick off the summer, plus it was great doing something fun like that with my little sister. There's nothing like sitting out on the grass on a warm night, listening to music.

I've been wanting to sew lately, but I seem to be dragging my feet for some reason. So I decided to tackle making some fabric bread bags, ala SouleMama. I've been baking bread, despite the heat, but either I had some old whole wheat flour or I've lost my touch. So after two batches of yucky tasting bread, I tossed what was left of the wheat flour and bought a new bag. I'm starting another batch right now and if this doesn't turn out right, I don't know what I'll do.

This is the French Beer Bread I made last weekend; tasted terrible, although it looks good.

These two are the loaves I made with the new flour; they look terrible, but I'm hoping they taste good.
I've put them both in the new bread bags I made, to give as a gift to my parents; today is their 52nd anniversary. I can't even imagine being married that long, but I'm glad they did. And are.

Happy Anniversary to my mom and dad!

Other than that, there's not a whole lot going on here at the beach cottage other than reading and sleeping late. Maybe a little knitting. Come to think of it, that's a pretty good weekend, isn't it?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Happy Birthday, Meredith Anne!

She still loves her winter hats!!

Happy Birthday to my darling daughter!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you."
~ Lao Tzu

I found this quote over at SouleMama's blog and it's so perfect, so in tune with how I try to live my life, that I wanted to include it here too. Oh, and by the way, she just had her baby!!

I stole this fabulous idea from SewLiberated's blog. For now I've only the half-pint jars so I've just sorted out the double points, but I can definitely see using the larger size jars and a wall mounted shelf to store them all. In time.

While Stef was packing for her trip to Italy, I pulled down all of the suitcases we had in the attic. It's kind of cool that she took one of my vintage 1978 high school graduation gift pieces of luggage with her. At least my suitcase is going to Italy, right? As I went to put the unused pieces back in the attic, I decided to keep a large one out to store some of my thrifted sheet collection. Maybe if the collection is more accessible, I will do some sewing soon. I'd like to make a few bags, both as storage bags and as gift bags. Maybe even some bread bags? Or is that too weird? To use thrift store sheets as bread bags? I mean, they are clean now, right?

Although there are no photos here, I'm hoping to have a photo shoot this weekend with Melissa, who is home from college. She's so photogenic that I just have to use her to model some of the latest knits! Should be fun; wonder what her fee is??

**And by the way, although I found that quote over the weekend, I've had a most discontented day today. I hate SOL review time. But this too shall pass.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Weekend Joy

Nothing like a sunny weekend to chase those blues away! After a short nap last night, I got energetic enough to mix up a batch of French Beer Bread. I had to put it in the refrigerator overnight since I started it so late, but it's on it's second rising now, almost ready to put into the oven. And the house smells so yeasty and welcoming already!

We've got the windows open to let some fresh air (and pollen) in, and we're helping Stef get ready for her study abroad flight which leaves tomorrow.

As for knitting, I've started another Saroyan shawl using some Madelinetosh Vintage yarn that I bought at Mosaic in Blacksburg last weekend. Isn't it funny how where we buy our yarn or knit our projects frequently serves as a memory connection to places and/or events? I know that I will always remember Melissa's graduation weekend whenever I use this shawl because of where and when I bought it. By the way, this is my first Madelinetosh purchase and I have to agree with the legions out there who have already sung its praises. It has a lovely springyness to it and the colors are beautiful; a real joy to knit with it. I chose a mostly brown yarn with some blue surprises in there. (Yes, it does help mend the blues, Rudee!)

I finally photographed two baby hats I made over the past week or so. One is out of a Noro-type yarn, but since I've lost the label, I can't remember the name.

This one is out of two skeins of Mission Falls 1824 Cotton that I picked up at The Yarn Lounge on my last visit to Richmond.

One of the PE teachers at our school just had a baby girl and I'm not sure which one of these hats is more girly. Any suggestions?

Hope your weekend is joyful!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bittersweet Blue

Been having a blue kind of week, partly from the SOL stress and partly due to post-graduation feelings. This post at Slow Love Life really summed it up for me, as did Katrina Kenison's post over at The Gift of an Ordinary Day. Parenting adult children is so different than parenting young children. Bittersweet, as most of the big moments in life are.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Graduating in the Rain

I haven't been to many college graduations, but this one seemed pretty big to me. They said that the Virginia Tech class of 2011 was the largest one in the history of the school, at about 5,000.

This photo shows the football stadium before the graduates were in it. The men down on the field were actually using leaf blowers to dry the seats from the rain that had fallen earlier in the day. Here is a rather ominous public service announcement on the jumbo tron.

Finally the graduates are all on the field. It looks grey and misty because it was. Grey and misty.

A glance to our right shows the storm moving in over the stadium. Did we have umbrellas?

No, but lots of the smarter graduates did. After about five minutes of torrential rain, with the commencement speaker bravely trying to be heard, the lightning started and the graduation was abruptly over.

Here are the kids in the parking lot after we made the trek back to the cars.

I don't know how Melissa managed to stay so much drier than her sister, but she did.

Luckily, the Saturday ceremony was indoors, and she was able to walk across the stage and receive her degree without getting rained on, so all was well.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

They Did It!

They graduated!! This four day weekend was an incredibly moving experience for me, but for now, I'll just let the pictures tell the story.

Melissa with her high school friend and college roommate, Kate. They had good times and trying times, but they were perfect for each other. They're both just now realising how much they will miss living with each other as Kate heads off to grad school and Melissa comes home to look for a job. Me and my beautiful daughter. Words fail to describe how proud of her I am.

My parents and sister with the graduate!

The girls again, this time with cake!

This morning after breakfast, before we headed back home.

More stories and photos later. As always, it's good to be home again.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


It's been a crazy week, no time to blog.

We're headed to Blacksburg to see these two graduate from college. Melissa is on the left and her best friend and roommate is on the right. My baby daughter is graduating from college tomorrow and I cannot believe it. This has been a week of wondering where the time has gone.

I'll be back with photos and stories.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!!

My mom, on the day she found out she was expecting me, me, at ten months of age,

my first born daughter, Meredith, around age five,

and Melissa, my youngest daughter, at age twenty.

The years go by so fast.

I am so grateful for my mom and my girls, my stepdaughters, my sister, and my nieces, as well as all the other women in my life.

Have a lovely day.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Have you ever noticed that when you're away from home, you think of all the things you'd like to accomplish, if only you were home? Well, maybe you don't think like that, but I sure do. I think about how organized I would get everything, how I'd plan delicious, thoughtful meals, and how much knitting I'd get done. Lately, I've been thinking about the knitting.

I've been browsing Ravelry's pattern library (and wow, can you lose a lot of time doing that!) and my own pdf library, even printing quite a few, so I can get started right away. I want to make a bunch of mini sweater ornaments to give away at Christmas, a pair or two of the Blueberry Chocolate Wrist Warmers, a Mustard Scarf and Leg Warmers, both by Jane Richmond, the Gap-tastic Cowl, a Diversify cowl, a Falling Leaves hat, a pair or two of Basic Cabled Mittens, and a couple of Eazy-Peazy Baby Cardigans, to have on hand for the babies that keep being born to teachers at my school.

And as if all that wasn't more than enough, I'm starting to get an urge to crochet as well! I have loved the ripple blanket ever since I saw it on Alicia Paulson's blog. Oh my, what's a knitter to do? What would you do?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I Promised You Roses

Steve and I walked down to the beach after dinner yesterday. Our shadows were long. Saw an amazing sky near sunset. I never tire of seeing the colors of an evening sky.

But I promised you roses the other day. Turns out, Steve cut this one back before I had a chance to photograph it. (It was hard to take pictures during all my napping time.) But it's beginning to bloom again, so I took a few photos this evening. It's name is Joseph's Coat.

Gorgeous, isn't it?

In knitting news, I finished the kitchen rug I started over spring break. It doesn't look like much in the photos I took, but I did like how this one showed the color scheme. And my crocheted edging. I had forgotten how quickly crochet is done. As I've been thinking about those ripple blankets lately, I may give it a go. At the very least, I think I'll crochet a couple of wash cloths, just for fun.

Still coming along on my spring break sock. I really love these colors, especially when shown against the wood of our back deck.

Just for future comparisons, this is the part of our front yard that Steve has dug up for a massive rose bed. The Joseph's coat rose is at the top of the photo, and he has planted four (or six?) roses in the main bed. I'm not sure of the master plan yet, but I'm sure it'll be lovely.

Here it is in relation to the front porch and the other side of the front yard. Lots of changes going on around here.

Hope the rest of your week is rosy!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Oh, What a Beautiful Day!

I forgot to mention in my last post that a very large portion of my weekend was spent napping. I mean a huge chunk of napping time. Steve waited on me hand and foot from Saturday afternoon until Sunday night, even going so far as to grade the tests I had given my classes on Friday. Oh, and Sunday morning, he made me pancakes! Of course, I had to nap some more after that breakfast. Later that night, I watched the new series, South Riding, on PBS and liked it a lot. (Better than the NY Times did apparently.) Looking forward to the remaining two episodes. Such a beautiful, restful time I had.

Needless to say, I woke up with lots of energy this morning and just bounded through the day, ending with a stroll down to the beach after dinner. (I cooked, just in case you think I'm thoroughly lazy!) I worked the crossword puzzle, then read some more of the book, Relentless Pursuit, I've been engrossed in since I bought it at the Stamford Library booksale. It's about Teach For America; I bought it for my youngest, who is graduating college next weekend (what?!), but I'm reading it first and it's fascinating.

Now I'm off to soak in the tub, knit a little, and read a little. Not a bad life.