Sometimes Monday | 9.11.23

Sometimes Monday | 9.11.23

I pondered posting today because I don’t really have anything significant to contribute. In my pondering I wondered if a pandemic that has killed so many has somehow diluted the impact of what happened 22 years ago. Perhaps today’s significance is more personal – not that I lost someone 22 years ago – but rather because I can remember exactly where I was when I heard the news down to the very minute.

However, life moves on but it does not mean we forget…not that horrible day 22 years ago or the long slow march of COVID. Rather it means we are living and hopefully fully living each and every day.

So sometimes Monday is for remembering… and living. And perhaps cleaning out my painting space with a sigh of relief that one small brown dog seems to be doing a bit better.

See you all back here on Wednesday!

Last RIFF of Summer | 9.8.23

Last RIFF of Summer | 9.8.23

I had other plans for today post but life got in the way yesterday… bigly.

A small-ish issue with Sherman required some extra attention yesterday morning and a rather lengthy vet visit yesterday afternoon. But we have some new meds to try and I am hoping he is feeling better soon!

My plans for reacquainting myself with my painting spot did not happen … and it might not happen this morning either. I will have to see how Sherman is doing today… but it is absolutely on my radar!

I am falling back on the simplicity of a bit of a Friday RIFF… so let’s get started!

Re-adjusting —

Kym shared some links this week that I had been contemplating one of them until I saw this fun little knit from Leila Raven and I realized that this is exactly what I need.. fun, stripe-y, and I have the yarn in my stash! This is the motivation I need to finish my Pressed Flower wrap because I want to knit this next!

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A post shared by Leila Raven (@leila_raven)

Investigating —

This week I saw a *new-to-me* butterfly in my back yard, Google told me it was a Great Spangled Fritillary… a member of the Nymphalidae family of butterflies. It was so fun watching it hang around for all of Wednesday afternoon. A lovely addition to the plethora of Monarch’s that are in love with my butterfly bush this year!

Hello, Lovely!

Fresh (air) Poetry —

You Are Here… Yes, yes Ada Limón, The Library of Congress, and National Parks are getting their Poetry ON! I discovered it on that site formerly known as Twitter this week and yes… I am super excited for the anthology of poems! (Especially since poetry has been in the spotlight this week… and if you are a member of the Armed Services who writes, reads, or recites poetry… well done you!) I will be reading some poetry this weekend… it is the best sanity-saving thing I do!

Finally —

Today I am going to hope that Sherman has a good day and I can spend some time refreshing my painting spot. But… I am not beating myself up if I don’t because outside of that my week has been very productive. My *computer desk* has been decluttered and I have used it! My calendar got some “face time” with me… and that felt so good! We even had a bit of rain yesterday… not enough, but some is better than none.

That is it for me this week! I will see you all back here next week. Have a great weekend everyone!


In My Backyard | 7.28.23

In My Backyard | 7.28.23

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!



Currently | July 2023

Currently | July 2023

A new quarter… a new currently list. I love these post to look back on and see what I was doing 3 months ago but I hope you find something interesting or something inspiring in them too!

Soaking In —

Rainer Maria Rilke… I am so in love with him. I have been reading (again) through two of his books – Letters to a Young Poet and Rilke’s Book of Hours. The pages are becoming more dog-eared and I have underlined so many passages in each. And yet, if I turn back to pages I had read before… I still find something new, something moving, something inspiring. Recently, two things keep jumping out at me… surrender

“If we surrendered to earth’s intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees.”

and live

“…the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

Surrender to the day and just live it fully! That is my new morning mantra. Good direction for my day and so I will joyfully continue soaking in some Rilke wisdom and see what else he has to show me!

Savoring —

The final episodes of Endeavor. It has been such a great series and I am sad to see it end, but I will be savoring each episode… and then I think I will queue up some vintage Inspector Morse to complete the circle. In the things I did not know category… I had no idea that John Thaw’s daughter had a part in the Endeavor series. She played the delightful Dorothea Frazil. I shall miss them all terribly! And if you have finished them… no clues please. Ha!

Appreciating —

While I am very much wishing that former me had spent more time thinking about what I would do with my Year of Stitching. And while I very much like each month, I have been stymied about the “final product” for them. I have toyed with a multitude of ideas on how to display them but they are each so big… I don’t have the wall-space to hang them! And so the conundrum of what to do with them continued….until I got some incredible inspiration from a much wiser maker about putting them together in a book. And that inspiration has me very excited. I have begun the process of pulling out fabrics to begin my “page” construction. I think there will be a bit more stitching as I pull each month together. I have some foolish idea that this won’t take all that long once I get everything cut… but my wiser inner voice is telling me that this won’t be a July Finish, but if I stay focused it will be the thing that gets me through the Heat of Summer!

And there you have my current situation. Of course, there are many other things going on… but these things are things I want to remember when I look back on my year. I will see you all back here Wednesday!

Last RIFF of Summer | 9.8.23

A First Friday of Summer RIFF | 6.23.23

First Summer Friday is a rainy one in my neighborhood… but that is okay, we need the rain and it smells so good outside! My tomatoes are growing by leaps and bounds and they are all loaded with tomato blossoms! I hope this means an abundant year of tomatoes… my fingers are crossed!

But how about a bit of a RIFF to ease into Friday…

Reconstructing —

I began the cosmetic knitting on poor Gnifty this week. A new nose and a bit of a beard have been knit and are awaiting attachment. And I have begun bird knitting! I am using those tweed mini skeins I got from Fibernymph Dye Works with this years Pi yarn! Tweed yarn makes for some cute birds! Ha! And, Vera will be excited to hear that there will be a crow!

In (search of) —

June has been full… but it has also been empty. Empty as in Monday is our “check in” with what we did with our word this month… and I have…nothing. Not one singe thing. So… my challenge will be to pull *something* together so that I can give an update… of all that I did not do this month. LOL

Oh… and then there is a certain summer painting class that I have not done one single thing for. This morning I sat down and hashed out a plan to attack those 6 lessons and get myself back on track.

(neighborly) Frustration —

This week our neighbor chopped down all their bushes (which provide a “fence” on the east side of our back yard). And I mean chopped… as in to the ground… sigh. So this morning we are heading off to a plant nursery to see what we can find to plant in our yard to compensate for all that.

(more neighborly) Frustrations —

It is summertime… and that is very evident in the volume of vehicles parked at our neighbors across the street. They have 4 kids of varying young adult ages that all live at home… yes, And it seems they all have a plethora of friends who all have cars *and like to spend the night* and that volume of cars is making it challenging for Steve to get out of the driveway for work each morning. I am waiting for the morning that I hear a huge crunch when he hits one of those cars… accidentally or on purpose… oy.

And with that… let’s get this weekend started!

See you all back here on Monday with something about my word!

Sometimes Monday | 9.11.23

Sometimes Monday…is Juneteenth | 6.19.23

The best thing for any day is poetry… and today is no exception! I stumbled across this beautiful poem by the brilliant Tracy K. Smith (you can listen to her read it here)

And if you want to hear the Geechee Gullah Ring Shouters… well, enter the rabbit hole here!

Wade in the Water

by Tracy K. Smith

for the Geechee Gullah Ring Shouters

One of the women greeted me.
I love you, she said. She didn’t
Know me, but I believed her,
And a terrible new ache
Rolled over in my chest,
Like in a room where the drapes
Have been swept back. I love you,
I love you, as she continued
Down the hall past other strangers,
Each feeling pierced suddenly
By pillars of heavy light.
I love you, throughout
The performance, in every
Handclap, every stomp.
I love you in the rusted iron
Chains someone was made
To drag until love let them be
Unclasped and left empty
In the center of the ring.
I love you in the water
Where they pretended to wade,
Singing that old blood-deep song
That dragged us to those banks
And cast us in. I love you,
The angles of it scraping at
Each throat, shouldering past
The swirling dust motes
In those beams of light
That whatever we now knew
We could let ourselves feel, knew
To climb. O Woods—O Dogs—
O Tree—O Gun—O Girl, run—
O Miraculous Many Gone—
O Lord—O Lord—O Lord—
Is this love the trouble you promised?

Tracy K. Smith, “Wade in the Water” from Wade in the Water. Copyright © 2018 by Tracy K. Smith.

See you all back here on Wednesday!

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