In my backyard | 8.25.23

In my backyard | 8.25.23

Learning to be still, to really be still and let life happen – that stillness becomes a radiance. — Morgan Freeman

In August I savored the stillness… the bird song has slowed. Gone is the territorial songs marking nesting territories so it seems that the birds, as well, welcome some quietude to their day. Late August is not completely silent though… the cicada drone is an ever-present hum.

This month I delighted in a wee hummingbird who has marked the feeders as her own. Watching her chase off other hummingbirds was a bit like watching a quidditch match… and just as fun!

Though the humidity kept me indoors most afternoons, I did manage a few times to do some porch stitching. But indoors or out, I have welcomed this quiet practice into my day. I now can get 2 squares done in an hour and set up my squares for the next day. I have found a rhythm to my stitching… and I have discovered that I prefer using some wee pins to baste the piece down versus doing so with a needle and thread. I am getting much better and using my milliner’s needle to turn the edge under as well… and my corners have improved dramatically! But still… I don’t feel any urge to increase my speed… I am savoring the quiet time with just a needle and thread in my hands. Slow, quiet making is the perfect sweet spot.

I have also been loving every bite of my tomatoes… and I am making notes on what worked and what I can tweak for next year. One thing I could not count on this year were a helpful army of bees to pollinate my tomatoes. Sadly, I have noted a sharp decline in the bee population… it makes my heart sore and I have mourned their absence. In their absence, I have become a master pollinator…but I much prefer the visiting bees so my plans include a “Cosmo Hedge” with hopes of enticing more bees, however many, back to my yard.

The days are now markedly shorter and my garden is looking… spent… tired… more than ready for a break. I still have some yarrow blooming, but soon that will be at an end as well. I have some iris to dig up and divide and that is my plan for September. But my brain has been thinking of spring… I have the Mother Lode of Bulbs coming and so I will have a busy autumn getting them all tucked in for a winter’s nap!

All in all… the stillness of August did have an incredible radiance to it. This might have been the best August yet… and I will continue to savor the final days of it!

Happy Friday, all and I will see you back on Monday with an update on my word!

Welcome August | 8.7.23

Welcome August | 8.7.23

August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time.
Sylvia Plath

I am hopeful for some August rain…we need it in Western PA. August… my least favorite month of the summer. My garden is… less than lovely at this point. It is a sad and forlorn place however, my butterfly bush has just begun to put on a show and I am grateful for the blooms!

But still… August means the end of so many things. The daylight is receding, the garden gets worse not better, and cooler nights begin to creep in.

So how to I set myself on the path to enjoying August? That is my challenge for this month and I have a plan that I think will help me!

  • Morning coffee and meditation on the porch will continue throughout the month. I love starting my day this way and I need to soak up as much of the outside that I can!
  • I am going to add in an afternoon porch time with some hand stitching – either appliqué squares or temperature circles… it will be a nice break from my usual routine.
  • I am going to get some spring bulbs ordered so I can plant them later this year. I am excited about this but don’t really have any idea where to look (online) so if you all have suggestions… I’d love it!  Leave your suggestions in the comments (and thank you!)
  • And finally… one generally sucky project, but one that is in dire need of completion. I am going to sort though the plastic “leftover” containers that have overtaken an entire cupboard. Out go the things that don’t have lids and lids that don’t have bottoms! And perhaps a bit of reordering will move them back to their corner of a drawer so I can get a cupboard back!

So welcome August, let’s do this!



Sometimes Monday | 8.1.22

Sometimes Monday | 8.1.22

Welcomes August.

So, August… how should I fill your days?

Of course, painting. I am just having so much fun. I have no expectation for the results… outside of learning new things! This is delightfully freeing! My inner perfection demon has been curiously silent!

Some sewing… not just talking about it. I have almost finished the cutting… so let the sewing begin!

And this weekend I re-organized my spinning and I even did some spinning this weekend! I am looking forward to more spinning this month. I have a SQ of fiber that I really want to make into yarn so I can knit a sweater with it! So I have a a good bit of spinning to do this month! Stay tuned for a little surprise update later this week on the spinning front!

As you can see, I have many ideas of what I’d like August to hold… but then I saw this on IG from Emily P. Freeman and I stopped dead in my tracks when I got to this bit:

I love this so much, I wrote this in my journal this morning. And so my list and… change?

While I wait for what August will bring… poetry. Because, of course, always poetry! I have been working through two poetry books this summer but this poem by Derek Walcott has spurred an urge to fill my August days with him. I leave you with some beautiful Walcott imagery to fill your Monday. See you all back here on Wednesday!

Midsummer, Tobago

by Derek Walcott 

Broad sun-stoned beaches.

White heat.
A green river.

A bridge,
scorched yellow palms

from the summer-sleeping house
drowsing through August.

Days I have held,
days I have lost,

days that outgrow, like daughters,
my harbouring arms.

from “Sea Grapes,” 1976, published by Jonathan Cape. 

Looking Back | August 2019

Looking Back | August 2019

August, die she must
The autumn winds blow chilly and cold.
April Come She Will, Simon and Garfunkel

If you asked me what I accomplished in August my response would be, ‘not much’. But as I look at these images, it seems I accomplished more than I realized!

There was so much making… pies and jams, sewing, and always knitting! Plus, hours in the gardens (although if you saw them today you’d be doubtful of that!)

Vegetable Garden Productivity was stunningly awful. I never had more tomatoes than I could use and not enough to preserve any for future use. The only tomato plants that had any success at all were the Oxhearts – and even that was a manageable production. As for my flower beds – alas, the deer ravaged them multiple times this month…sigh.

The biggest changes were in light and skies – those August skies were less blue but rather filled with interesting clouds! And, as the August days drew to a close, we felt the first inklings of the change of seasons. Cooler breezes paired with cooler days and nights that  required another blanket on the bed and a sweater for my morning garden excursions.

The video this month was so much fun! There was so much butterfly footage! Including “Butterfly Skirmishes” – which look like a gentle, swirling, fluttering dance…those Swallowtail’s are very territorial, it seems!

And with that, August memories are tucked away.

What about you? What is your favorite August memory?

P.S. If you want to knit a hat or two for Asylum Seekers in NorthEast Asylum Cities – all details about a KAL are here!

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