Mary Oliver

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?"

Monday, April 24, 2017

Betwixt and Between

I feel as if I'm in a bit of a holding pattern as I wait for my divorce to be finalized.  There are many things I'd like to write about, but can't, as this is too public a platform, and that has had the effect of keeping me quieter than I'd like.  This past weekend was a challenge but I'm not really sure why, unless it was due to the grey weather.  I saw friends, took walks, and generally tried to make sure I did some things that I know are good for me, but I was a little blue nonetheless.  Anyway, I came through it and I'm back at work and feeling much better, so all is well.  I know there are some things I need to do inside my house that will help my state of mind, so the sooner I stop procrastinating, the better.  
I am very happy with the amount of yard work I did over my spring break.  I ended up planting three cherry tomato plants, three zucchini squash plants, and three eggplant plants, all in the front beds.  I transplanted a few rose bushes to make room for the vegetables, and I did lots and lots of weeding.  Still plenty to do, but I'm okay with that.
I only managed to walk on the beach once that week; the light was gorgeous.
 My knitting room is a disaster area and I think it's having a negative impact on my knitting.  I pulled these two skeins out and began the Nymphalidea shawl, but I'm not in love with it, which is weird, because I bought these at Rhinebeck in 2015 with that pattern in mind.  I've stuck with it so far, but I'm really considering ripping it out and casting on for the shawl in the Mason Dixon Knitting Book #3, since I have so much yardage.  Then again, maybe not.
One constant is Gracie.  Whether she is napping with one eye open,
 Or sound asleep,
Or giving me the cutest look ever, 
She's my sweet shadow, sticking by my side as much as she can.    

Hope you all have a lovely week.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Busy Days

Oh my goodness, this has been a busy week.  I had brunch with friends on Saturday, bought a new lawn mower and weed trimmer on Sunday, and have worked in my yard for three to four hours every single day since then.  But I made sure to do other things as well, like reading, knitting, walking, and meeting friends for coffee and lunch.
My mom has wanted to ride the Tide, our area's light rail, so we did that on Monday.  We met my daughter, Melissa, for coffee, then mom and I played tourist, walking around downtown Norfolk, touring the Slover library and the newest hotel on Main Street, before having lunch in a bookstore cafe.  It was such fun!
 This view was from the hotel; the little bit of water you can see is the Elizabeth River, Norfolk's waterfront harbor area.  Those heads in the picture are actually a sculpture in the hotel lobby, not real people.  We had gorgeous weather for our little adventure, and walked a lot!
 My tulips have finally blown, but it seemed like they lasted a long time this year.
Gracie enjoyed my week off, although I wasn't inside with her very much.  Still, she knew I was around, and in and out of the house; here is a shot of her enjoying the morning sunshine.
I took advantage of the beautiful weather to photograph my finished Hitchhiker shawl.
I spent Wednesday morning in the Ghent section of Norfolk, at Baa Baa Sheep, my local yarn shop, but I also spent a lot of time walking through the neighborhoods there too, enjoying the azaleas.
Today, I walked around the Freemason area, which has a lot of Victorian style homes, before visiting an exhibit of Toulouse-Lautrec's work at the Chrysler Museum with Melissa, who had the day off.
We ate our fish taco lunch al fresco; the weather this week could not have been better.
This picture was taken at the end of the street Melissa lives on; I love the view.
I came home to finish tidying up my yard work by mulching the vegetable bed I planted.  I put in two cherry tomato plants and three zucchini plants, although I may need to move one of the zucchini; not sure there will be enough room for them all.  
 Although my yard is looking pretty nice, the inside of my house looks as if I'm in the process of moving in or moving out!  At the beginning of the break,  I decided that I would work outside as long as the weather was nice, and work inside if it rained, but it never rained!  So now, I need to get the inside straightened up before Monday.  I can't believe the week is over already!  Other than that though, it really has been a nice mix of relaxing and working in the yard.  I'm very happy with all I accomplished outside, and I think I'll go back on Monday satisfied and rested.  
And before I know it, it'll be summer break! Right?

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Gracie and Gardening

Spring break has officially begun for me!  Oddly enough, my semester has been going so well that it kind of snuck up on me. More often than not, I'm beyond ready for the break, but this year, not so much.  Which is not to say that I won't enjoy it, because I definitely will.  I plan to do a lot of relaxing but I also want to work in my yard as much as possible too.  First item on my to-do list is to buy a new lawn mower.  I'm getting an electric one so I don't have to bother with gasoline or with starting one.  I owned an electric one years ago and it suited me just fine.
Meanwhile, the tulips continue to look beautiful.
I planted snapdragons and spearmint in a pot together for my front porch.
 I also put this lavender plant in a pot for the time being; I've planted lavender in the flower bed before and it never seems to survive, even though the sandy soil should be a good fit for it. I'll see how it does in a pot.
My new door mat looks pretty alongside a big pot of geraniums; those petunias in the far right of the photo still need planted somewhere but I haven't decided where just yet.
Gracie was watching me through the kitchen window while I weeded in the back yard the other night. She is strictly an indoor cat but she has lots of windows to look out of.
She naps everywhere.
 Guess she knew I was taking her picture.
Another favorite napping spot.
Vera, I hope you got your Gracie fix! Thanks for asking about her.
I was fortunate enough to meet up with another internet friend yesterday. Larissa, a blogger I've read for years, was vacationing in the area with her family, and took time out of her schedule to meet me for tea and a chat.  It was so good to meet her in person and get to know her better.  She is as lovely as I thought she'd be.  I know that social media can have negative implications in our lives, but it has also enriched our lives in so many ways too.  I think it's like anything else; it all depends on how you use it.  And I'm grateful for the connections I've made through it.
Have a great week!

Saturday, April 1, 2017


March went out like a lion in our area, with torrential rain and even some tornado action, but today was clear and beautiful.  I had heard there was to be a Quilters Guild Show in Elizabeth City this weekend, so my mom and I made the 45 minute drive to see it, and had lunch out afterwards.  Part of me felt I should have stayed home and started working in my yard, but the smarter part of me knew it was a better use of my time to spend it with my mom.  She's become less willing to venture away from home over the last year, so anytime I can tempt her to do so, I have to take the opportunity.    

When I got home, I potted the plants I had bought this past Monday.  These are the plants beforehand, since I didn't take an after photo yet.

I bought a geranium, lavender, snapdragons, petunias, spearmint, lemon balm, and lemon thyme.  The fern on the far right is a houseplant I put outside so I could give it a thorough watering.    

More tulips have opened since last week.

And this groundcover plant has really spread, although the perspective is off; the plant is much smaller than it looks here.
I wish I remember what it's called.
I begin tutoring another student who is on home bound instruction tomorrow, which is a good way for me to earn some extra income.  I did this back in December and January with another student, and it really helped me out, so I'm grateful another opportunity came along.  I need to buy a lawn mower and an airline ticket to New York so I can pet sit for Meredith and Ryan in July.  I can't believe I haven't been up there since last July!  This is the longest I've gone with out traveling there, but at least I've seen her since then.     I'm still working on my Hitchhiker shawl, although I think I'm about three-fourths done.  School is still going great, and believe me, if I can say that a week before spring break, it's amazing.  My youngest, Melissa, had her 28th birthday on Friday, which of course is simply unbelievable to me. We celebrated last weekend, so I took flowers to her last night; she was working a double shift, but I wanted her to celebrate it anyway.  

Still reading lots, so much so that the librarians recognize me again, which I like.  I've always loved the library, ever since I was little.  And since I'm teaching Fahrenheit 451 to my Honors 10 class, I've been reminded of that.  I had them listen to a podcast the NEA did for the novel that included an interview with Ray Bradbury discussing his love for the public library, and it was just wonderful.


Wishing you a wonderful week filled with books, friends, and other things you love.