Hello May | 5.6.24

Hello May | 5.6.24

May is the month of expectation, the month of wishes, the month of hope. — Emily Brontë

Simply put… I love May. It is the month of “best of” so many things!

I have, at least, one bunch of allium bulbs that are blooming… and they are stunning. My expectation was low… but the bulbs did their thing… and extraordinarily bloomed!

AND…when we arrived home on Saturday afternoon, I saw hummingbirds visiting those glorious blooms! I am holding hope for the remaining bulbs I planted… if they only do half as good as the current bloomers, I will be happy!

This month I should set some intentions. But if the only thing I accomplish this month will be to assemble my 100 Day Project into a book, I will be happy!

 

The video above (my backyard birdsong included!!) shows all twenty pages in the order I did them. Today I will make my “cover and last” pages and begin thinking about the order I want them in! The Book is the only tangible thing on my list this month because I think that the real work of this project is about to begin! (And maybe if the rain stops, I can begin the Great Sweater Wash this month as well!)

But I will be savoring lots of intangible things as well… like glorious May days, backyard birding (a pair of robins have “selected” our hedge for their nest and it currently holds one egg), and savoring every moment of this amazing month!

I also have quite a bit of “catch up” to do! I have missed you all and will make my way through what you have been up to! I will also catch you up on some highlights from our vacation… there were some amazing things! And, I have an April update with my word as well!

See you all back here tomorrow with that word update! Happy Monday!

 

Hello, April! | 4.1.24

Hello, April! | 4.1.24

April is a reminder that life is a beautiful, ever-renewing cycle.— E.E. Cummings

I woke this morning to the sound of raindrops on the windows… but it was not the windy, cold rain of March, it was a gentle, warm rain that smelled like spring! I welcomed this gentle rain with open arms… my garden needs the water! The birds loved it as well! The birdsong was a  joyous cacophony! There were a plethora of robins in the yards we ambled past… all intent on finding the fattest worm!

A part of me is sort of shocked at turning the page to April this morning… how is this possible? The days are just flying by at a pace I’d like to slow down a bit!

The well eaten crocus bulbs I planted last fall had a lesson for me yesterday… there was a bloom! A good reminder that no matter how many times you are cut down to the ground… don’t give up! Yes, it is a small flower… small but so beautiful. And the bee who came while I took the photo also thought this small blossom had much to offer!

Gotta love a bee photo bombing!

I do have the tiniest bit of a list for April…

  • I know there will still be plenty of “sweater days” this month, but I am going to start the Great Sweater Wash this month! Starting with the ‘wooliest’ sweaters… You know which ones! Those wintry sweaters that will be too warm even for a chilly April day! Washing one or two sweaters at a time will be much easier than doing the lot all at once!
  • Pull out my gardening notes from last year to refresh my memory about what worked and what did not work in my patio containers!
  • Get April’s stitching set up pronto!! (I did not have this on any list last month… sigh) AND set up May’s stitching before May 1st!
  • Finally… a bit of a deep clean of the cold cellar… it has some things that moved in there when we moved in 10+ years ago, but have not seen the light of day since then! I think it is safe to say they are not needed and so they need to go!

A short list that will take some determination to finish!

What about you? What do you hope to accomplish this month!

Hello, March | 3.1.24

Hello, March | 3.1.24

March came in that winter like the meekest and mildest of lambs, bringing days that were crisp and golden and tingling, each followed by a frosty pink twilight which gradually lost itself in an elfland of moonshine. ― L.M. Montgomery

L.M. Montgomery’s quote above seems quite perfect for this morning… everything is covered in a frost and my breath is visible as I walk. But the skies are clear, the sun rose with a gorgeous rosy golden glow… and the temperature is supposed to rise into the 50’s today!

February roared to a close this week, literally… raging winds that blew out the mild weather we had and reminded me that, yes… it is still winter! Still. Sigh.

But March brings the “light at the end of the tunnel” closer and closer. My morning walks are full of light… beautiful light. Well at least for a few more days until we turn the clocks ahead on the 10th, then I will have lighter nighttime walks as I wait for the morning light to catch up again.

I had such great hopes for a spring with a plethora of blooming daffodils, crocus, alliums, and tulips but most of those hopes have been dashed… or rather eaten. Yes, every last crocus that had come up has been eaten entirely… every.last.one. And the few tulips that had begun to sprout have been shredded by the damned squirrels. And whatever was eating those tender allium shoots… keeps eating them as they valiantly continue to grow. I planted an abundance (30 or so) of “daffodils for naturalizing” and not a single one has sprouted. The only daffodils that have grown are the ones I planted near the living room window. So March Disappointment is absolutely A. Thing.

The snowdrops though… they started blooming last month and they are still going strong! One day last month, I sat in the sunshine on the porch step soaking in the warmth and watched bees dancing around those tender blooms. So maybe I just need to order a LOT more snowdrop bulbs!!

I have thought about the things I want to accomplish this month… but I don’t really have any spectacular things to put on a list.

I *need* to pull out a few “warm weather” things in my closet (a few are pulled out but maybe a few more… I really don’t like the “mixed wardrobe closet” at all. It just feels like chaos… because it is a bit chaotic!)

I have an eye doctor appointment this month and a meeting with the audiologist about hearing aids.

So there you have my March… I am hopeful that my disappointments will wane and that there will be good things that overtake them!

What about you? What do you hope your March holds?

** Photo by Polina Kovaleva

Welcome February | 2.5.24

Welcome February | 2.5.24

The Polar Intuit of northwest Greenland, the northernmost people, call February ‘seqinniaq’, “the month when the sun appears. ― Fred Bruemmer

Yes, February brings lengthening days and in Pittsburgh, we will gain an additional 66 minutes of daylight this month! Woot! If that does not lighten one’s spirit, I don’t know what will!

So what do I want to accomplish this month? Or what do I want to try? I have a few ideas that have been rattling around my head… some for a very long time. Maybe this is the month to set them loose and see where they go!

Of course, there will be February Stitching. I am really enjoying this addition to my morning routine. It is quiet, inspiring, and after the long days of January… it very much feels like a ritual now. I begin thinking about what I might stitch each day as I brew my coffee.

February circles

There is one other new-ish thing I have added to my year… a reimagined gratitude journal. I have tried and failed so many times at a “gratitude list” journal. But this year, I wanted some of my time to be focused on gratitude and late last year I had a bit of a gratitude epiphany. I wondered if having a bit of a gratitude conversation with myself… not a list, but something more thought-provoking… and yes, self-conversational… that’s a thing, at least for me! Anyways, my hope is that I will be able to go back and read my conversations on bleak days where gratitude seems impossible… and find a bit of gratitude from the past to hold on to! I began quietly in January… I wrote just eleven entries but those eleven conversations… well, they were powerful… thought provoking… and they have lingered with me well past the writing! I hope that February builds on those eleven days and takes off in a good way!.

Finally… this month I want to spend some time de-cluttering/re-organizing my kitchen cupboards. We have limited space in the kitchen and a fewseveral… most cupboards that have things in them that are never, ever used. Those things need to find new homes and usher in a reclamation/reorganization of space. But… I have been thinking about this for a long time and this month I am going to implement my ideas! And maybe I will no longer have to lug things up and down from the basement!

A small list… a small(ish) month… but these are big intentions!

What about you? What do you hope February holds?

Hello, January | 2024

Hello, January | 2024

Begin as you mean to go on… Charles Spurgeon

Here we are one week into the new year. I spent some of last week tucking away Christmas… a bit of a melancholic activity. But I also like the feeling of reclaimed space to start the new year… which helps to balance the sadness of packing the tree away.

I also spent some time contemplating the year… I got my calendar all set for the month. I always feel so organized by doing this and perhaps this year that feeling will linger!

And I spent some time comtemplating Carole’s idea of slowing down a bit in January.

And with those thoughts in mind, here is what I want my January to hold!

  • More poetry… I have three books from the library and I am excited to immerse myself in them!
  • More slow stitching… I have unearthed the appliqué project from last year. I began a new year-long “free stitch” project as well, I am using this project with my morning coffee and journal time… it is fitting in well!
  • More handknit socks… so I cast on my first pair on Friday using Carole’s Picot Edge Sock pattern… and have made incredible progress just knitting at night while we watch TV! (I might even have the first sock done by Wednesday!!)
  • More spinning… so I have “reactivated” a reminder for two afternoons a week. I am hoping the reminder to “sit and spin” will help this become a habit!

This is an ambitious list for someone who wants a slow January… but I am mindful that the activities here are all slow… and that they will inherently slow me down so I can savor January days!

What about you? What are you saying hello to this month?

Photo by Jill Wellington

Hello, December | 2023

Hello, December | 2023

December’s wintery breath is already clouding the pond, frosting the pane, obscuring summer’s memory. ― John Geddes

Hello dear December… I feel both that it took you no time and a long time to arrive. And I find that is much of what you are about… holding two opposing thoughts together at the same time.

Cold is synonymous with December and those balmy summer nights seem like another lifetime ago. I do love the hushed stillness of a dark winter night. And though Sherman’s evening walk might be colder… the delight of all the twinkling lights of December in the neighbors yards makes our evening stroll one I very much look forward to! Granted, the noisy whir of the motors powering the “blow up” decorations overpowers the quiet, I still appreciate the neighborly efforts that make for a very festive walk.

But I do have some things that I both need and want to accomplish this month:

  1. Knit a few more wee Gnome Ornaments.They are a fun and easy knit… so their completion is not daunting and entirely doable this month.
  2. My December Mystery Gnome… the last clue always comes on the 24th… and I look forward to the way Sarah helps me ease toward that day!
  3. Swatch for a vest for Steve. I found a pattern which might be the backwards way to go about this… but he is so picky about clothes that finding one he likes was the biggest hurdle. I have the yarn, now I just need to “make it work”… which I am confident I can as long as I am close!
  4. Test drive a new schedule for The Making of the Sourdough Bread… I am testing out the new schedule this weekend, so hopefully my “time” math works for a Sunday morning bake!
  5. Paint… my class has started and I have my first lesson “masked” and ready to go. It is the ONLY thing on my list today! Yes, I am nervous! Haha

And I think that is MORE than enough for any December! What about you? What are you hoping to accomplish this month?

Have a great weekend, everyone! See you all back here on Monday!

**Photo by Jonathan Borba

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