With my nose to the grindstone…

With my nose to the grindstone…

I managed to check several things off my lists from yesterday! Applesauce is done (and today it is going in the freezer once I have organized it a bit!) AND…the charity knitting is done and it will get a nice Soak™ bath and some blocking this morning!

I do have one fun thing planned this morning and that is a bit of catch up with a couple of very dear friends via a video conference call. Good thing because once those things are done my day is all about spreadsheets. Oy.

Wish me luck, I am going to need it!

Travel Tuesday

Travel Tuesday

Today we are heading home from Michigan. But, I will leave you with this incredible photo of Lake Michigan. I wonder who the lucky bride and groom were!

Keep your fingers crossed for moderate traffic and smooth travels!

See you back here tomorrow!

Randomly, Tuesday

Randomly, Tuesday

Even though the weather is all summer-y here again, each day there are more red leaves on my burning bushes. It’s as if they are reminding me that no matter what the thermometer says autumn is THURSDAY! You are welcome for that bit of news…

There was a bit of excitement last week! The Man Booker Prize shortlist was announced and I was happy to see that I had already read one of the books! AND last night my hold for Paul Auster’s 4321 came through! Thank you, Carnegie Library! Reading shall commence shortly!

iOS 11 will be out later today…and I should tell you all, it is quite awesome. I signed up for the public beta and upgraded to it last week and the improvements are nice! Oh, and for all your iPad users…the update there is even better! Oh, and there are some pretty interesting new watch faces for iWatch users!

There are open sign-ups until Thursday at The Balanced Life. Really, it is the hardest, fun thing I do! Don’t you want to join me?

And, finally, Shepherd’s Lamb now has a newsletter! And, they are sharing a discount code for all new subscribers! You can sign up here. (in case you missed my thoughts on their Rambouillet Yarn)

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Every Day Good

Every Day Good

There is so much going on every day and not all of it good. So, every day I try very hard to have something good to focus on, I thought I’d share a bit of that with you!

Watching: The eclipse! Even though in Pittsburgh we only got a partial eclipse – it was spectacular even with some cloud cover. The changes to the light were stunning. You will be happy to know that our household listened to the directions of not looking at the sun to prevent retinal damage. This was not the case for everyone… Perhaps this should be a test for competency? And, as for the digital watching: Game of Thrones (of course!) and Endeavor! I also watched the finale of Broadchurch and honestly, I was a little disappointed. But, I won’t say any more than that for all those who have yet to watch it.

Stitching: Every single day and I am really pleased with how August is unfolding. Really pleased! I also went and got some button craft thread and my hope is that I will soon turn this pile of tee shirts into my first AC garment.

Reading: and listening like a maniac as I chase down my cover all! I am just 2 squares away and have about 18 hours of listening to do. I am eager to get them done because Beach Music by Pat Conroy just came off hold for me at the library! I am also reading the Essays of E.B. White on my Kindle and I have both books by Laurie Colwin (Home Cooking and More Home Cooking). I am almost done with Home Cooking – I should have it completed this week. This has really been the most spectacular summer for reading. Ever.

Picking: Tomatoes…so many tomatoes. That picture above is from this morning! I know, you are all probably sick of hearing about tomatoes, but this year, the volume of large tomatoes has been really quite spectacular. In past years, I have been happy with the dozen we have picked, but this year has had a bumper crop with no signs of production slowing down! Also, raspberries… I picked enough again this morning to make a batch of jam. I know these are such awful problems to have. Spending time in my garden is really the best time, I would not trade it for anything – even with the bunnies decimating our beans! There should be a “not picking” category perhaps, because outside of the handful of zucchini we picked at the beginning of the season, it has not been a good year for them at all. We have picked a sum total of zero since then and it does not look like that will change. I am not sure why they are having such a bad year, but my neighbor is not having any success with his squash plants this year either.

Eating: Tomatoes from my garden! Every.single.day! And, for those things we aren’t growing: sweet corn, peaches, and an incredible variety of peppers! August is the month where I am quite certain I could become a vegetarian.

Looking forward to: Our trip to Michigan! We finalized the dates and have our Airbnb reservation all set. It is the one thing that is really giving me something to look forward to! Why? Because…

Dreading: The end of August. The arrival of Labor Day. The return of dark mornings. Having to turn lights on at night earlier. This summer I have really tried to not “wish ahead” but rather spend more time in the moment enjoying. This has been an eye-opening practice – I am much happier with each day and I am worrying less about tomorrow, or next month, or next year. September, you can just wait your turn – there is lots of August left!

Celebrating: Sherman’s 5th Birthday on Saturday! Every day I am so incredibly thankful for him. He is a bright spot in our day.

That is a slice of what is good in my life right now; how about you? What’s good in your life?

Be Still

Be Still

After a few very grey and cool days it appears that the sun is making a return today! (Which is very welcome even if it is not bringing the warm weather with it!) And, this morning the blog is decidedly lacking in subject matter so I thought about just writing in hopes that some brilliance would bubble to the surface.

But, sometimes, the brilliance is silent and I am struck by this month’s theme at The Balanced Sisterhood. It is all focused around meditation, stress relief, and rejuvenation. Meditation has been part of my life for a very long time now, but after all that time being still is not always easy.

I have this month’s print out at my desk where I meditate and write as a visual reminder that being still is okay and more than that, it is necessary. In those moments of stillness there is sometimes tension inside me as the external fights just being still. I am a “doer” – as in I must always be doing something… knitting, reading, stitching, writing, cooking, cleaning, doing. However, when I push those thoughts away and just focus on being still wonderful things can happen. I realize that being still is vital to being active – my thoughts are more ordered and less chaotic and I have less tension and stress in my body. Even just 5 or 10 minutes of stillness is enough to energize and organize my day.

In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you. Deepak Chopra

As in all things, this is a work in progress but, there is progress and that encourages me to keep going! What about you? Do you have a meditation practice?

Unrelated but relevant

Unrelated but relevant

Oh, Tuesday – I have nothing today so I am hoping that if I just start writing inspiration will hit.

This weather has been exactly what my annuals like – they are growing like mad and are all showy and beautiful.

The perennials are at the “in between” stage and I am looking for things that will bloom later in the summer to add in next year. Although, the Foxglove looks a bit bedraggled, it is still blooming.

Our Butterfly Bush is spectacular this year and it is taller than our pergola!

Audiobooks have been the best thing this summer. I have listened to so many great books by great narrators. Currently, I am listening to The Help and I am enjoying it – although, perhaps enjoying is not the best way to describe a painful novel however, the narration is superb.

Steve bottled his third batch of beer yesterday and on a related note, since the beer brewing began weight loss has been in a holding pattern. Steve says this is unrelated, but I think it is very relevant!

That is all I have for this Tuesday – I am going to try making these this morning. I will let you know how they turn out!

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