Mary Oliver

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?"

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Saturday, In the Yard

So sorry for those of you in colder climes, but it is gorgeous here in southeast Virginia. My lilac is blooming and so are many of the rose bushes.

The rosemary is practically taking over. Isn't my crab cute?

Gracie, yawning, although she looks a bit fierce.

She is really a pussycat though.

I took my first knitting class today; Laura Ayler taught it, and she was just lovely. She showed us how to design our own Shades of Truth, which I may try at a later date, but for now I'm just going to follow her very beautiful pattern. Two of my friends went, so I can show you three very different color combos.
This one is Lori's:
This one is Melissa's:

And this one is mine:

This pattern is a very easy way to play with color and as Laura showed us today, can have endless modifications. It's so fun to see how different the yarns look depending upon the color it is knit beside. I can see this pattern becoming an addiction. It uses fingering weight yarn and was designed with Madelinetosh Merino Light, but I am also thinking about making a modified version using worsted weight. Can you imagine this as a baby blanket? I can, probably because I am finishing up a solid color one and have two more to knit. Time to get back to it!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Gardening After Work

I had two knitting friends over on Sunday, and as you can see, Gracie was enjoying the sunny day.

She followed the sunshine, like the good cat she is.

I took advantage of a beautiful day today to get some gardening done. First, I planted a tomato plant in a five gallon bucket, using an idea from Pinterest.

Shards of terra cotta, for drainage.

Free burlap sack, from the garden center; wrapped on the outside for looks, and tucked in on the inside for retaining moisture.


Finished product. Kind of an interesting look, isn't it? Our two rain barrels are in the background of this photo.

Soaking the straw bales; I'm supposed to do this every day for five or six days, according to my resources.

The remaining plants, just waiting until the bales are ready for them.

I thought this looked nice; I wanted some greenery, and like the shells for a beachy touch.

And here's Gracie, keeping a wary eye out on me.

Now I'm off to bed. The weather is turning chilly again tomorrow, at least according to the meteorologists. I'm hoping they are right, as summer and the heat will be here soon enough. Have a happy day!


Monday, April 22, 2013


Melissa and I are going to try hay bale gardening this year. She is sharing a house with some other young women and felt the urge to garden, and I have been interested in trying this method for the past couple of years, so we decided to give it a try. It should be fun, each of us doing this at the same time. I went to a local nursery after work on Thursday and bought two bales for her and two for me. I also picked up two pots of day-lilies for the flower bed on the corner of our yard. I went plant shopping again today and bought tomato plants, a pepper plant, two cucumber plants, a variety of herbs, and some marigolds. I also picked up quite a few packages of zinnia seeds, because I love them so much.


Steve and I ate lunch on Saturday at a little place called Leaping Lizard, and I think that's what motivated me to buy all the plants. They have free range chickens, little teapots filled with zinnias, and lots of cute things all over the open air porch.



Sunday was a gorgeous, sunny day. I had two friends over and the plan was to sit on the beach and knit. We knew we'd need sweatshirts, but even those weren't enough, as the wind was kicking up whitecaps. So instead, we hung out in my sunroom and spent the day knitting in the comfort, only stopping to grab some food at the local pizza joint down the street. So relaxing!

Today is even colder, with gale force winds blowing in from the bay, so all the plants I bought are still in the car. I'm on the couch, with Gracie snuggled beside me, listening to the wind, and dreaming of hay bales covered in green plants and flowers. Gracie is probably dreaming of catnip. And fish. What are you dreaming of these days?



Wednesday, April 17, 2013


I am having trouble sleeping lately. Having trouble quieting my mind, being still. Not sure exactly why this is, but I'm trying to relax into it, trying not to fight it. School is fine, although today we had a bomb threat called in, which meant we spent ninety minutes outside in the stadium bleachers, trying to keep order, trying to answer questions, trying to maintain a sense of reassuring calm. The students were dismissed thirty minutes later than normal, I got a bit more sun than necessary, and a headache, but grateful it was only a false alarm. Afterwards, I attended a fundraiser event at a local restaurant with some friends and students, which was a nice way to turn the day around. Came home to my husband and cat and neighborhood in full bloom. Spring flowers are so lovely. Wisteria, dogwood, azaleas, daffodils, tulips, all tumbling over each other, competing for attention.

And now I will knit on the baby blanket and try to go to sleep at a decent hour.

Monday, April 15, 2013


Got my stitches out today. My students were rambunctious today, the internet at school wasn't working, which messed up my plans, and I was a bit crabby, probably because I couldn't get to sleep until very late last night. Luckily, we are all forgiving of each other and tomorrow is another day.


I need to follow the advice of Gracie and take more naps.

My oldest daughter is getting married this summer and she sent me the pattern she's planning to use for her wedding dress. She is making the short version. I can't wait to see it!

I made a Savory Vegetable Cheesecake last night, using the Enchanted Broccoli Forest cookbook; it was good, but I plan on tweaking the ratio of ricotta to mozzarella next time.

Making progress on the baby blanket, although I can't seem to get the lime green color to show up correctly.

Here is my Quality Control Supervisor:

And here she is after an exhausting evening of watching the show, Boss. What a cutie.

Gracie, not Kelsey Grammer.

Have a good week.

Saturday, April 13, 2013


It's finally feeling like spring around here, but it must be a banner year for pollen, because my allergies are kicking up big time. I'm so heavily medicated that I had trouble staying awake in class this week, especially during the showing of the movie version of The Odyssey. Oh my, Armand Assante is one heck of a hunky man!


I've been knitting steadily on the first baby blanket for my friend, the one who is having twins. Because of all the mistakes I have been making however, I've virtually made no progress. I think I'm at the exact length as I was last weekend. But I've gotten the repeat permanently planted in my brain and my fingers now, so it should be smooth sailing from here out. Which is good, because I will need to make a second one. This one is lime green, despite the washed out color of the photo, and I'm going to make the second one in a bright blue. The yarn is a baby friendly blend of bamboo and nylon, called Babyboo, and while I don't exactly love working with it, it seems like it is perfect for the project.



Meanwhile, Gracie is still enjoying her new home with us. She loves the morning sunlight.

And she loves her naps. Doesn't she look especially sweet here?

Steve and I walked on the beach this afternoon. It has been way too long since I was down there.

I love the back lighting of the sun in this photo.

And this view never ceases to fill me with contentment.

I am so incredibly lucky to live here. I need to remember that every day.


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sunday and the End of Spring Break

I thoroughly enjoyed my spring break staycation, although of course I didn't accomplish as much as I had hoped. But I did enjoy lots of knitting and visits with family and friends. I visited a couple of local knit shops and spent time knitting with people I don't normally see, made stops at a shop in Richmond, and one in Williamsburg, and yesterday, two friends and I took a trip to the Outer Banks to visit Knitting Addiction's newest location, and her best one yet! Jeannie's shop has been growing with each move and as always, she has created a gorgeous environment in her newest address. My friends and I sat on the comfortable furniture and knit the day away. We ate lunch at a wine ad cheese shop next door to Jeanne's, then went back and knit until the shop closed. The drive to and fro was filled with lots of good talking and the two who weren't driving got to knit all the way there and back, making for a pretty perfect day.

I was planning to return to work tomorrow, after enjoying the beautiful weather today, but instead, I was hit in the neck with a rusty nail from a home repair project and spent the day getting stitched up instead. It hurt like hell and I'm staying home tomorrow to make sure everything is okay. Planning to knit and rest up, and hoping to return to work on Tuesday. What a way to end the week, huh?


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Spring Break, So Far

Thank you to everyone who left a comment in my post about parenting. I truly appreciated each and every one. My youthful mom, and the lemon meringue pie she baked for Melissa, who didn't want cake this year. Beats to a different drummer, she does.

My spring break has been a lovely balance of relaxing, catching up with family and friends, knitting, and puttering around the house. I've made a batch of granola and pan of granola bars, using the recipes from Homemade Pantry, made dinner, ate out every day, stayed up too late, took a nap before 10:00 a.m., finished the Horizon Scarf, cleaned up the craft room, read a book, spent a day in Richmond with my stepdaughter, took stuff to the thrift store, and hung out with Gracie. Unfortunately, it's already Thursday, and I'm wondering why the week is flying by much faster than a work week!


I took advantage of some sunshine to artfully photograph the scarf, influenced by Gale and Stephanie's blogs.

The Dream in Color yarn is perfect for spring.

Gracie looks like she's drinking from the straw, doesn't she?

Happy Spring!