Mary Oliver

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?"

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

August: The Longest Sunday (if you're a teacher)

My summer break is rapidly coming to a close and while I know I will complain about all the projects I didn't complete, I have definitely enjoyed my summer.  I've spent so much time outside, either working in the yard, or improving my skill on my paddle board, or simply sitting in the beach and relaxing.  The inside projects I had planned will have to wait for cooler weather.
I think I mentioned on my last post that I had started my Rhinebeck sweater, the Fern and Feather pattern.  Although I've progressed further than this photo shows, it at least shows the colors I chose.  I'm almost finished with the color work section, and would have been way past it had I not made multiple re-starts due to multiple errors, none of which were the pattern's fault.  No matter, I'm good now, and it should be smooth sailing from here on (cue the ominous music).
I went to a crab cracking party last month that a friend of mine gave, and it was so much fun; the quintessential summer party.  Crabs, beer, and corn on the cob, with lots of friends sitting around outside until late at night.  So much fun.
The beach looks like this so many of the days I'm there, but it never gets old to me.  My oldest daughter, Meredith, visited the week of July 4th, so I haven't traveled to NY this summer for the first time in many years.  She and her husband are moving to a new place in their same neighborhood this week, so I'm hoping to visit over Thanksgiving to see it, especially since they will have a guest room for the first time!
And here is my love, Gracie, sitting in a slice of sunshine, despite the summer heat.  Take good care of yourselves, my dear ones.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

(Very) Long Time No See

I have missed posting but it's become increasingly frustrating to use this platform, especially now that I no longer have wifi at home. But I'm not quite ready to concede defeat.   My summer break is well under way and it's been a fabulous one so far.  I'm spending more time outside than I have in many years, and it's wonderful.  Most days I'm either working in my yard or at the beach, and as a result, I'm tanned and happy.  
    I've gotten a lot more use out of my stand-up paddleboard this summer and I love it!  Since I'm spending so much time working in my yard, it's looking really good, and I've also power washed the siding on my house, so that looks better as well.  I'm having the roof replaced this week and I can't wait to see how much that improves the overall appearance.  In other words, even though I'm considerably poorer, cash flow-wise, I'm fairly house-proud.
  I was fortunate enough to go to Richmond last week with my special-education co-teacher to attend a conference on co-teaching in an inclusion setting, and we had a great time!  Kim and I taught one class together the first semester and really clicked, and so we advocated to work together the upcoming year.  When one of our administrators asked the two of us in May to apply for this conference, we jumped at the chance, hoping it would show our commitment to each other; apparently it didn't hurt, because our schedule has us teaching two classes together each semester, which is amazing!  We can't wait, and are already making plans.  At the conference, we also realized that we share a common interest in craft breweries, so we visited one in Richmond, and hope to visit some of the many in our area throughout the year for our planning sessions.  Win-win.
Gracie loves napping on my knitting.  My summer knitting is usually washcloths, like this one, however I did start my Rhinebeck sweater.  I'm making the Fern and Feather sweater using Cascade 220 Heather in straw with blue and I think it'll be gorgeous.  Pictures next time.  Happy summer, lovelies.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Hello, Old Friends, Take Two

I finally closed on my house, which means the last details of the divorce are done.  I consider myself a very fortunate and contented woman.  I'm not sure why I've been having so much difficulty with posting here but hopefully I've figured it out.  I've missed having a place to document the good things in my life,  like my garden and the beach, which is where I go to gather driftwood and shells to use in my garden, much like the old woman in the story, Roxaboxen.
And of course, my sweet, sweet, Gracie.
 Thank you, friends, for your patience and friendship.  Hopefully you know that you are no small part of my happy life.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

My House Is A Fine House

I don't know what happened, but I spent 30 minutes writing a nice post about my house and spring break with lots of pictures and then it disappeared and now I'm out of time, so it'll have to wait.  

The very short version is that I'm having a great spring break and that as of today, I'm the sole owner of my house!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Daylight Savings Time is Not My Favorite Time

I don't like change.  I especially don't like the weekend we change over to daylight savings time, no matter how many people tell me it means we get more daylight.  I am of the mindset that "cutting an hour off one end of the day and sewing it on the other end of the day" doesn't change a thing, and only serves to make many of us cranky, me among them.

So, I slept late this morning, and then spent a few hours in bed reading, now I'm in my favorite coffee shop, browsing blogs, Twitter, and Instagram, and drinking coffee, before I wander over to the Slover library for more books.  I've really been on a reading binge lately and while I love that I'm reading more, it means I haven't been doing much else.  My house is pretty messy, my Apple Cider Donut sweater is still unfinished, although I am ready to start the sleeves, and there are numerous other projects I want to do that are still undone.  Still, the cold weather is a good time for reading, so I'm going to embrace it while I can.  I seem to remember lamenting the fact that I wasn't reading enough not that long ago.  Apparently,questioning whether or not I'm using my time wisely is a constant comcern of mine.  At least Gracie is happy when I stay home and read.  She climbed right up on my lap, as usual.




I did manage to walk a bit yesterday, despite the cold and gloom.  I was visiting a friend who is recovering from knee replacement surgery and we decided to drive to the beach; we went to Back Bay National Wildlife Reserve, which is not too far from his house.
I'd really like to go there again, when Mike can walk for longer distances and I won't freeze in the damp cold.  I am really ready for some spring temperatures.  Peace and joy to you, from this mildly cranky blogger.    

Thursday, March 8, 2018

March(ing) On

I cannot believe how much time goes by between posts these days.  I just finished up the first term of the second semester, and everything is still going smoothly.  There are only three weeks to go until spring break, and time always seems to accelerate after that.  I don't plan to go out of town this year, but instead, hope to work in my yard again, just like last year.  I need to power wash the house, but will only do that if it's warm enough.  We had a terrific wind storm a few weekends ago, and I lost a lot of shingles off of the roof of the garage; I know I need to have it fixed, but I'm not sure how I'm going to afford it, so my plan so far has been avoidance.  I have applied to teach some summer school sessions, but I won't find out if I get a position until June, and even if I do, it won't be enough money.  Time to worry about that later.  For now, there are flowers.
My knit girls (Lori, Kristin, and Melissa) and I went to the Outer Banks the last weekend of February as a gift to ourselves;  we spent some time outlet shopping, knitting, eating, and walking on the beach, because despite the season, we got really lucky with the weather.  It was actually in the seventies and gorgeous.  Needless to say, we had a wonderful time.
This sign was in the bathroom of a restaurant called, "I've Got Your Crabs," and I thought it was hilarious.
Because I now post so infrequently, I'd feel guilty posting without a picture of Gracie, so here's a cute one:
 Hoping you all are healthy and finding ways to feel joyful as we head into spring.  Peace to us all.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

It's Been Some Time But All Is Well

I am in Corolla, NC, this weekend, with some knitting friends, and this is the view from our window this morning.  
Although it has been quite awhile since my last post, all is well with me. It's just more of a challenge posting without wifi at home than I expected it to be, but there isn't really much I can do about it at the moment.  I'm three weeks into the second semester and it's been great so far.  My classes are small and each one has a completely different feel to it, which keeps my day very interesting.  I teach English 10, Honors 10, and English 11, and while there are lots of similarities in the content, there is also a lot of room for variety, but this semester, each class has a very different and distinct personality, which I'm truly enjoying.  

Although it's only February, it looks like spring has arrived.  The daffodils and crocus are blooming in my front yard, although by this time next weekend, there may be snow on these flowers. 

I bought new curtains for my bedroom last weekend as a birthday gift to myself, and believe it or not, I bought them in the children's department!  I fell in love with pink pom poms on these, and thought they were perfect.  Sooner or later, my whole house may end up pink.  Who knew?
This is pretty much my nightly view:  Gracie, sitting by the tub while I take my bath, giving me her long suffering look until I get out.
Because this is where she wants us both to be:  on the couch, in the sunroom.
Or in bed.  Look at that sweet smile.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Smooth Recovery

This is the big snow we had at the beginning of the new year, know for some reason as the BombCyclone.  It was almost a foot high but the unusual thing about this snow was the week long low temperatures we had afterward that kept the snow around.  Usually,  when we get snow, it melts fairly quickly, but the low temps meant we lost five days of school in a row.
Thank you for your kind wishes; my recovery has been really easy.  I had some extra time due to the snow, which certainly helped, and then the fact that I haven't had to work a full week yet has also been good for my healing.  Last week we had a two hour delay on Thursday and a full day on Friday, then a three day weekend. I went to work yesterday, and we are actually off today as we are expected to get about three inches of snow during the day.  It seems crazy to be out for expected snow, but our area just does not have the budget for snow removal and therefore, it gets dangerous if you have kids and buses going home in the middle of snow and icy covered roads.  It's a truly tough call to make, because if the storm is late coming through, everyone will say the district overreacted, but we didn't make this call a few years back and it was definitely a white knuckle situation that no one wants to repeat.  

I had a lovely relaxing weekend with old friends watching football this past weekend and knitting up a storm. I'm working on the Apple Cider Donut Cardigan from the Rhinebeck Sweaters book, using the Green Mountain Spinnery Weekend Wool yarn I thought I was going to use for the Mary Rebecca pattern, before I read the pattern more carefully and realized I needed DK for that one.  Rookie mistake, especially since I had knit it up to the armholes already last year.  The only reason I had ripped it out was that I needed to change the size.  So that was kind of lucky, right?  This is the pattern photo from Ravelry; my color is raspberry.

This photo was taken about a week ago, so I'm a bit further along now.
 I made this hat out of a skein of Weekend Wool in pumpkin using TinCanKnit's Antler pattern for my cousin's husband.
My friend, Melissa, came over with lunch on one of my recovery days, and finished this adorable snowman hat for her soon-to-be-born first grandbaby.  
I finally hung up the orange and cinannamon garland that I made;  I got the idea from the Reading My Tea Leaves blog, and drying the orange slices in the oven made my house smell so good.  Even just having them piled in a bowl smelled great.
I got this package in the mail from Meredith, my daughter; she and her husband went to Iceland for Christmas and she picked up these two skeins of Lopi for me while she was there.
This photo was taken before Christmas while I was in Charlottesville with a friend for his birthday to see a UVA basketball game.  We met some friends for champagne at the Boars Head Inn afterward, before driving back home.  
And because I can't leave Gracie out, here she is, sitting on my lap while I knit.  I'm so glad she is still comfortable siting on my lap.
This is an Instagram picture my neighbor, Eva, took of Gracie, while I was out of town this past weekend.  She is so good about spending time with her, which makes me feel less guilty about leaving her.
Hoping you all have a wonderful week, whatever you are doing.  Peace and joy to you!



Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Surgery, Snow, and Gracie

My surgery went really well, and my recovery time was surprisingly enjoyable.  I was spoiled by my friends, my parents, and my daughter, Melissa, as well as my neighbor, Eva, and because of all their wonderful support, I was able to follow my doctor's orders to keep my foot elevated for the first two weeks.  When I went to my two-week follow up appointment, he was pleasantly surprised by how little swelling there was.    

I would have returned to work on Tuesday, except we were hit by the BombCyclone of snowstorms (I have no idea where that name came from) and school was out for five straight days, largely due to the extreme low temperatures that kept the streets and school parking lots covered far longer than normal.  This was good news for me, as it means that instead of being charged five days of sick leave, I only used two!  We go back tomorrow and will have two weeks left of this semester, before exams and beginning second semester, so it will be slightly anticlimactic, I suspect.  But at least I won't have much grading waiting for me.  I really got lucky.


I don't have too much time for a long post, but I wanted to catch up just a bit.  Most of my photos are of Gracie keeping me company on the couch;  today is the five year anniversary of her adoption from the pet rescue, and it turns out that if I sit long enough , she does like to sit on my lap after all.  It only took us five years to discover this.  

 Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and New Year, and hopefully I will be back in this space soon.

I have been knitting and I do have some snow pictures, but I'll show those next time.  Thanks for all your good wishes!