I have very much been enjoying my blog break… perhaps a bit too much. I have done some serious contemplating on my continued blogging. Most of it has revolved around the “creativity” issue…

i.e. Do I have any fresh ideas, thoughts, or anything of value to release into the void…

My answer to myself was… maybe a thing or two… maybe. Jane, who is much wiser than I am, once shared this wisdom in a comment here “Blogging once a week has advantages.” 

It certainly does… and so these thoughts continue to rumble around my brain. I am not ready to give up blogging completely, but I need a shake up a bit in an effort to find a new creativity well to drink from!

So as a more quiet July draws to a close… a quiet that may extend into August as well.

So why am I here today? Well… some months ago I read a book and that book has stayed with me in a most profound way. I have not stopped thinking about it… but better, I have been applying it to my life… that is, I have been paying much more attention to the world around me with some delightful effects!

(and if you are not currently following Margaret on Instagram… you should be!)

I thought that a nice way to close out each month would be to share things I have noticed from the month… things outside and inside…

This week I have been closely watching my tomatoes begin their journey from green to yellow to orange to red. For a tomato lover this is absolutely the best thing of gardening… harvesting the fruits of my labor. A couple of FB friends have prolific gardens… and they both shared some advice recently that I am taking action on. It is all about when to pick those tomatoes… and both of these ladies pick their tomatoes when they begin to break color from green to yellow. (Judy Wright shared this article that explains it clearly.) I have a baker’s dozen tomatoes all at various stages of ripening on my kitchen sill and I am prepping my living room sill today as well!

Last Saturday, I watched in awe as our resident rabbit, a proud and watchful poppa, carefully dig a new nest for his mate. This will be the 4th nest I have noticed this year. However, this is the first one that I caught in the construction process. I have only seen the mother near the nest a couple of times this week, but he watches it all day. These rabbits have brought such joy to my days… I feel honored that they trust us to raise their young in my yard.

In July I began putting a few shelled peanuts (unsalted, of course!) out for our resident squirrel and imagine my delight when I discovered that putting peanuts out meant I would see more Blue Jays! Now, the Blue Jays greet me every morning with the hope of me putting out a peanut or two. Their antics are quite hilarious and I am enjoying them so very much!

The hot weather means that I have been putting out more water for the wildlife. I have also been making sure the gravel dish has water for the insects as well. That same heat and humidity has kept me indoors most mornings this week… quick trips out with Sherman that finds us both wilting a bit as we head back indoors. There is no joy at all for me in this heat and it must be even less joyful for the animals, birds, and insects that can’t escape to a cooler place.

Since solstice, we (Pittsburgh, that is) have lost 39 minutes of daylight… I did not notice less light so much as the month began, but I absolutely am noting it as the month ends. I am missing those minutes of daylight very much… and I am wondering if winter would be more delightful if it was brighter!

In the quieting of the days… I have much been thinking about my making. I am wavering a bit on finishing projects… my desire is to have small portable things… easy to pick up and put down. I don’t want to be “chained” to a room to craft so I did not sign up for a painting class this month. And despite all that I found myself craving artistic inspiration so I really am shaking things up!! I have signed up for a hand appliqué class that begins in August. I know nothing about appliqué and I am looking forward to learning more about the process. I have this lovely idea in my mind’s eye of me sitting in the cooler morning air as I get comfortable with needle turn appliqué. This idea fills me with joy and I think that it will give me something to challenge me… something to inspire me… and something to help me extend summer beyond August and into September sitting on my porch stitching something.

Last but not least… did you see these!? I have plans to begin them this weekend!

What about you? I would love to know how your are quieting your days or what you noted in July!

See you all back here on Monday with my word update!



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