Mary Oliver

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?"

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

So Long, 2014

I don't have a lot of negative feelings about 2014, despite the fact that both of my parents underwent treatment for cancer. The good news is that both are considered to have beaten their cancer and are in excellent health. The fact that I still have both of my parents is a wonderful gift and I'm grateful for it.

I have a wonderfully supportive network of friends and family, including my husband, Steve, and my lovely daughters and stepchildren, and I do work that I'm very proud of and am passionate about.

I just found out yesterday that I have a liver disease that can only be managed with diet and exercise, so while I sulked about it for about 18 hours, I'm grateful that I can do something about it. The plan is to follow a Mediterranean diet and exercise at least three times a week, so I started today with a forty minute walk on the beach I love so well. I always swore that if I lived this close to the beach, I would walk on it every day, and it's way past time to make good on that promise.



Happy New Year!


Monday, December 29, 2014


I'm enjoying my after-Christmas knitting, although I'm actually still knitting a Christmas gift for Steve. But since it's an extra gift, I don't feel any pressure. I wanted to use this gorgeous Green Mountain Spinnery Alpaca Elegance yarn I bought in May at Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival and I decided on the Ancient Mariner Watch Cap pattern. I absolutely love how it looks. (Oops, I finished it since I started this post. Not working seems to make my knitting go faster. Huh.)

My oldest daughter is in town and since they're vegetarians, I wanted to make sure I had some snacks for them. Even though Steve and I don't eat a lot of meat, I sometimes feel stressed about having a variety of foods.

I made a White Bean Dip, using lots of garlic and lemon juice and loved it, although it was thinner than I expected. I also made a Black Bean version, swapping out the lemon juice for lime, and adding jalapeƱo slices and chili spices in place of the garlic. (I would have left the garlic in, but not everyone loves it as much as I do.) I also had a pan of macaroni and cheese and deviled eggs, along with a bunch of other stuff. They left today and our refrigerator is still packed with food, so I'd say I made enough.


Oh, how I love having my girls in the house at the same time. It happens so rarely and it makes me so happy. I was in the kitchen a couple of times doing dishes and listening to them talk and it was so very nice. They both missed Stephanie, which tells you how much they love her.

This is the old advent calendar the girls loved when they were growing up. They used to compete to see who would be the first one up in order to move the mouse to the next pocket and they still love it, even though they usually aren't here to move it anymore. Melissa told me she loves that I still hang up the Christmas cards on the door; my mom always did it and so do I.

I bought a personalized bone for my parents dog, Bailey, for Christmas from an Etsy seller, and she loves it.

I hung the girls' stockings up too, even though they are too old for them. Traditions are important, especially to them.


Melissa posed with her dad's dog, Henry, at his house.


And Gracie napped on the hand knits I had on the bed, before I was able to wrap them.

Olivia, known as Ollie, enjoyed her rope toy that I bought her for Christmas, although her look seems to say, "Why are you bothering me?"


The day after Christmas was so warm that we all took a walk on the beach.


This is Steve, Meredith, and Ollie, as they enjoy the smells of the bay.


Meredith and Ryan left around 3:00 this afternoon, which makes me sad, but we definitely enjoyed our time together, as short as it was. Today was a rainy, cold day, so Meredith and I elected to stay curled up in the couch in our pajamas until they left, knitting, chatting, and eating leftovers. Oh, how I wish she lived closer so we could spend more days like this together.

Hope your Christmas was lovely and your after Christmas even better.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas Trees

My shell tree, bought for me by my mom, two years ago.

Our tree, exactly the size and shape I wanted. It smells so green and good.

A downtown tree, at the bonfire, two weeks ago.


How are the trees looking where you are? Hope you love them, wherever you are.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Catching Up

Steve and I took a day trip to Charlottesville last month to celebrate our 8th anniversary and the weather couldn't have been more beautiful.

We went to a couple of apple orchards and brought back twenty pounds or so, some of which made it into my Thanksgiving pie.


As anyone who is married knows, it can be difficult, and second marriages with blended families are even more difficult, but we are still here and still committed to each other and for that I am grateful.

Another event I'm grateful for is the fact that my dad successfully completed his prostate cancer treatment and did amazingly well. Doesn't he look wonderful, especially at his age of 77?

I do still knit, by the way. This is the second Thoreau hat I've made and I really like the pattern.


And this is the Koolhaas hat, a Jared Flood pattern I've wanted to make for a year or so. I love it although it was slow going, mainly because it required my full attention on every round. But worth it, don't you think? It has to be warm, because it is the heaviest hat I've ever made. Steve loves it

Next time, pictures of our tiny Christmas tree!


Monday, December 8, 2014


I'm hoping I have finally solved my blogging issues. I deleted and reinstalled the Blogsy app, and I can access my photos again.

We finally got our heater repaired, which saved us some money but as we know, nature abhors a vacuum, which meant something else needed to break down.  So I spent the weekend mopping up after our water heater died, and the money we saved by repairing the heater instead of replacing it was used up in buying and installing a new hot water heater.  I guess I shouldn't complain, but man, we have had our share of house issues this fall.

I made an apple pie for Thanksgiving using the all butter recipe from Smitten Kitchen and I've got to say, this may be the prettiest pie I've ever made!
I finally get to post a few pictures from my Rhinebeck trip! I love this shot of the World Trade Tower taken from the Tribecca area on my last night in the city.
This shot in Central Park was taken the day I arrived; it was a gorgeous weekend.
Me and Meredith; I have on my Transatlantic Shawl and she is sporting a wool scarf she bought there.

My Lisa Souza purchase, which I plan to use for a Nymphaldeia shawl. Not sure when I'll start it but I think it'll be beautiful.
Not the most flattering photo of me, but I sure enjoyed being there.