Looking Back | September 2020

Looking Back | September 2020

September showed up right on schedule, and lasted a whole month. — Jenny Wingfield

This was a month that I wish felt like February… short and over almost before it began. The days just dragged on and I had the worst case of the blues in September. It was hard to find one thing good in any of the 30 days and even in this look back there are few things. It feels like each day is an exercise in finding  something to distract me from my sadness. I am missing my family terribly and September was especially bad. I missed Heidi’s 30th Birthday (because, honestly… a call is just not the same as being there), Winston is growing *rapidly* and it feels like I am missing all.the.things. And I know there are so many of you who are going through the same things I am and I think about you every day… and I wonder will we get through this? How will this change us? I can’t imagine that any of us will be better for this enforced separation.

Thing I was most surprised by —

The smoke from the fires out west making its way here and  impacting our skies (and the air we breathe). It made me understand better how this was impacting those living in the midst of the fires. And it made me more worried for my daughter who lives near San Francisco (as if I needed one more thing to worry about, but worry more I did.)

Thing I was most grateful for —

Winston has been smiling, but not on “cue” or not when my daughter had her phone (of course, lol) but there was a moment and she managed to get one on camera!

Thing that “got me through” but there is no image —

The book club from my church. This month our Dear Church Zoom Conversations have helped me tremendously. Being in a group of people who are trying to find ways to be a better ally was better than I imagined. And though we finished our book discussion, October will bring continued discussions with a broader group of participants. I am nervous, but very excited to continue this journey.

And with that… my look back at September is over. Happy Monday everyone!

 

 

Looking Back | August 2020

Looking Back | August 2020

“The month of August had turned into a griddle where the days just lay there and sizzled.”
― Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees

Yes, this quote perfectly sums up what August was for me…a month of sizzling, never ending heat. By months end, my gardens were all looking rather fried. We did have some significant rainfall that made all the weeds leap to life seemingly overnight, but do you think I did any weeding? Yeah, that would be a big N-O, lol.

We also found ourselves at the six month mark of Pandemic times. My state went on “lock down” on March 15, but my house started at the beginning of March. The days have a familiar rhythm and it is hard to think back to what “life before COVID” was like. It almost seems like another lifetime ago. But some of the changes are so very good. I feel like a smarter shopper now, with a major shop about every 3 weeks. Yes, I pick up “fill in” items… veggies and fruits. But my garden provided loads of fresh beans, some incredibly delicious orange peppers, and a plethora of tomatoes. And all that helped reduce the “extra trips” out.

But some of these changes are just very bad, there is no way to sugar coat not seeing my kids and while I am extremely thankful for FaceTime, texting, and phone calls… it is really not a substitute for being together in person. It pains me to say that this will likely be “reality” at least through the end of this year and it is the thing that makes me the most depressed.


The Best Part of the Month

This, ironically, was not something I did… but rather something Vivi’s chicken did! Yes, one of those Easter chicks laid its first egg! There was much joy and excitement in this feat and it might have been one of the best photos I got all month!

Something New

Zoom Knitting seems to be here for the duration, and this month we finally got “smart” (yes, even knitters can take 6 months to get their act together!) One of our members had moved away, and we finally figured out a day and time that worked for everyone, her included! So Knit Night now seems like one of the best things as hearing her escapades again make for some much needed laughter. No one tells a story quite like Julia does!

Best “Oh, Wow” Moment/s

The August skies absolutely came through with the “Oh, Wow” factor! And they reminded me that looking up is always a good idea! They kicked “ho hum” mornings in the pants! And for those “end of the day” moments… well sometimes they provided that last needed thing for my daily gratitude list.

What I did Well and What I can do Better

Sadly, August had no “I did this well” moments. But boy do I have a list of things I can do better. While there are no photos here, August was a month that I learned the hard way that my opinion not something anyone needs… ever. I read some of the best reminders of this on your blogs this month… along with the reminder that there is no prize for martyrdom. Oy. There is a part of me that is very, very glad August is over… and with it, hopefully, my incredible talent for being the truly most obnoxious ass in North America. My goal for September centers around this quote:

Thinking doesn’t hurt. Words DO. — Anna Maledon

And that is my August… even the not so pretty parts. See you all back here on Wednesday!

Looking Back | July 2020

Looking Back | July 2020

In summertime, when the weather is hot, you can reach right up and touch the sky. — Mungo Jerry

Oh, July. I will not miss your incredibly hot, dry days. July was one very long run on day… an endless repeat of heat and humidity. I almost bailed on this look back post because, well, on month four of Covid-19-stay-at-home there were not a lot of “new” or “expanding my world” days. But Mary’s post convinced me otherwise. Perhaps a celebration of “all things at home” is exactly what I need to do!

Something new

The best new thing was the fried green beans for happy hour on the 23rd. After doing a little research, I settled on this recipe. Yes, it was a little work, but it was so worth it. The batter was light and crispy and the dip was excellent. (I subbed about a half teaspoon of tabasco sauce for the wasabi powder) If you have an abundance of beans and want to try something different, I highly recommend trying Almost Famous Green Bean Fries!

Best “Oh, Wow” moment/s

The early hours in the garden were absolutely my favorite times. Though most mornings started in the upper 70’s temperature wise, it was much better than the upper 90’s of the afternoons! I savored those moments outdoors because the remainder of the day was spent hibernating inside sitting in the air conditioning!

What I could have done better

I did manage to finish one project in July, but there are so many “lingering” projects that should be getting some attention! Instead, I spent lots of time in the tranquility of Knitlandia (my AC island). Here is to an August with less “checking out” time and more focused making!

The best part of the month

Hands down, the best part of the month were my grandchildren (especially Vivi’s birthday on the 21st) and Sherman, who continues to be the best pandemic companion…ever!

Finally, I am  thankful for this house – which is not the worst place to stay! And how can forget the joy of my local library, who provides an endless stream of books to while away the Pandemic hours with! (and all those Pandemic Happy Hours!)

Looking Back | June 2020

Looking Back | June 2020

Spring being a tough act to follow, God created June. — Al Bernstein


Something New

My new “thing” this month is thanks to Bonny… yep, I quickly became an Animal Crossings addict! So.much.fun! (do you play? we should be friends! lol)

Best “Oh, Wow” Moment/s

Every year, I micro-control what we plant in pots. I have specific ideas and want specific things. This year, I had to let go of that…the greenhouses were basically cleaned out when we went to get plants. So I ended up with things that would not  be my first choice…and they are just incredible! My pots are blooming and look gorgeous. So, perhaps I don’t need to be so controlling and picky!

What I did Well and What I can do Better

I finished a sweater, but I should be finishing the things in my “in-process” basket!

The Best Part of the Month / Something New:

The arrival of my new grand baby, Winston Gregory, was the absolute best part of the month! He arrived on the 30th, hale and healthy…and born at home! He weighed 10 lbs 4 oz and was 22 inches long! Yes, he is a big boy! As you can see, he is beautiful and is well loved by all! Genevieve adores him and is thrilled to be a big sister!

Christian, Heidi, Genevieve, and baby Winston!

Goodbye May, Hello June!

Goodbye May, Hello June!

Green was the silence, wet was the light, the month of June trembled like a butterfly. — Pablo Neruda

Well, that was an odd May, wasn’t it? But it’s over and this morning June greeted me with a chill in the air, a brilliant sunrise, and a riot of Weigela blooms!

I reveled in #MeMadeMay all month long. And I have not stopped! This morning I emptied out my closet with the intention of downsizing to just me-made clothes. May also had a wide variety of weather, so I could wear flannels, wool, and yes, even sleeveless tops!

I made note of things that I “need” (okay…I am pretty sure I don’t really need anything, but I noted some items are well loved and often worn, so I have started a list of “makes” for the coming months.)


I tried to take a photo of “life” every day in May, but I was not successful every day and I have given up on 1 Second daily videos for the time being.


What is there to say… there was an awful lot of drinking in May and lots of staying home. However, we have gotten creative with Happy Hour – I am going to try and “take us out of Pittsburgh” with cocktail and food a couple times a month. Hopefully these “stay-cation” Happy Hours will feel different, since the surroundings sure as hell aren’t! Ha!

Also, when you can’t go anywhere you begin to notice other things, or at least I have. The greening of my neighborhood was truly a site to behold and May’s chillier temps made that greening up a gradual affair, rather than over and done with and for that I am profoundly grateful!

What did you notice about May? What was good? Bad? Better?

Looking Back | April 2020

Looking Back | April 2020

A gush of bird-song, a patter of dew, A cloud, and a rainbow’s warning, Suddenly sunshine and perfect blue –– An April day in the morning. — Harriet Prescott Spofford

These words from Harriet Prescott Spofford sum up my April perfectly. We had lots of rain, some incredible blue skies, and a cacophony of bird-song this month. It also felt like it moved by at warp speed – which I hope means that I am getting used to staying home because I think May will be more of the same.


The Best Part of the Month:

Although there is no photo documenting it, some of my best moments of the month were spent journaling. I started a Pandemic Journal this month and my morning writing helps me to “dump” my worries on a page so I don’t have to carry them with me during the day.

Something New:

A new 100 Day Project began for me on the seventh and I am trying my hand at crochet. While the motions of crochet are not entirely comfortable, I am enjoying the result! Each circle feels a little bit better than the one before, and I have memorized the pattern, which is helping tremendously! Maybe in a few more weeks I will feel confident enough to try Genevieve’s Poncho again, that is after I watch some more videos on how to change colors efficiently!

Most Hilarious Moment/s:

Sherman manages to win the prize again this month – if you look at the 14th and 15th you will see his normal routine while we are eating our dinner. He vacillates between intently staring down the dog food containers or staring at us as if to say, “ummm, my Pug-lepathic skills are not working, can you help me out here?!” While he gets no additional food, he does win points for making us laugh!

What I did well and What I can do better:
  • In the do well column:
    • Cocktails (although, this is probably not a good thing…lol)
    • Non-sourdough bread baking
    • and a Pink Full (Super) Moon with a moondog!
  • In the Try Harder Column:
    • Sourdough…(although I am reading Tartine Bread, so there might be hope!)
    • Daily video seconds… apparently, this is way harder than it sounds because I missed lots of days!

That was it for a very speedy April! What made you smile last month?

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