It was a full week and next week will be more of the same so today I am just taking a deep breath and planning on spending some time today knitting on my Marsa Alam, because I don’t think there will be many knitting moments this weekend – the yard is fairly screaming for some attention and the Yard Work Fairies have yet to show up, darn it all!
But all that aside, it was such a good week!
Thinking about –
Gardening… it is that time of the year! I stumbled across this article about a garden that is still thriving…six decades after the death of the gardener! This makes me think about my yard and garden beds in different ways – ways that are more long term and lasting. I am also reminded of our visit last year to Fallingwater and all the rhododendrons that were planted all over the grounds – the forethought of this truly impacts the beauty of the grounds today. Gardening with purpose is something I always want to do, but I don’t always achieve that. These are good reminders as we begin a new season.
Grateful for –
My library. Truly. It is a place beyond measure. A place to gather with friends, a place for stirring conversation, a place with unending books ready to take you away…and this morning I saw this! This sparks all kinds of joy inside me! I am adding “nurturer of crafting” to the list of things my library does!
Inspired by –
Courtney, as always – and the timeliness of her messages. How does she know? Her words of wisdom about how to deal with being busy – even too busy – are just what I needed this week. I have been thinking about the things I spend my time on – and have been paring some things back. At first these things were hard to “give up” – but after a couple of days I found I did not miss the constant scrolling I was doing on IG – I check it, but only at the end of the day. Am I missing things? Yes, I am quite certain I am. But if you don’t know you are missing something, are you really missing it? I am also not spending hours each day “surfing the net” with much the same results – at first, it was so hard to get up and walk away from my pc! But like the IG phenomenon, after a few days it was not hard to get up at all. In fact, each day it is easier and some mornings I have had to make myself go and sit at the pc! What am I doing with all this extra time? Well, for one thing – my meditation time has really improved since cutting back on my screen time! And that is absolutely inspiring!
This weekend Steve and I are heading into the “wilds” of our yard to tame the overgrown bushes. Is this going to be fun – oh, hell no! But!! I am going into it with the following mindset – I am going to be quiet no matter how much Steve yells (and he will be yelling, oh my! lol) I am going to be patient no matter how much I want to be doing something else – my mantra will be, “this too shall pass”, and I am going to be cheerful even when I don’t want to be (because it is hard to yell at a cheerful person right?) Wish me luck!!
And, there you have it! I wish you all a wonderful weekend – full of every little thing you want! See you all back here next week!
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?
Mary had asked about my garden, so I thought I would share with you what works for us… or what we hope works for us! I do not have ground that would give me what Bonny has in her yard. The soil here is very poor and extremely rocky – as in there are more rocks than dirt.
So, we first started out with cedar 4×4 beds and this year we moved those beds and replaced them with Smart Pots. We have 2 sizes: 2 – Big Bag Bed which is 50″ across and 5 – 7 gallon pots. These are working extremely well, thus far.
The raspberries have all but taken over the back bed and they don’t seem to mind the poor soil quality. We planted peppers in a third of this bed (the only remaining original bed from our first year of gardening. I replenish the soil each spring, but the peppers are not doing well at all this year. I am hoping the boost of nitrogen we gave them over the weekend, a measured bit of watering, and a bit of shade to allow them to recover without having to bake all day in this heat wave we are having will help them perk up a bit soon! We have 3 different kinds of peppers – Poblano, Jalapeno, and Cubanelle.
I have 4 zucchini plants in the smaller bags and 1 bush cucumber. Both are thriving in the bags, and I have LOTS of baby zucchini growing!
Tomatoes and beans share the larger bag beds, and I have an incredible variety this year. My neighbor gave us a variety of plants he seeded: Romanescos, Striped Germans, and Bumble Bees which I planted in one of the bag beds. He also gave us San Marzanos and Beefsteaks (which I planted in the old cedar beds which are now outside the “deer-free zone”). We also have a trio of Cherry Sweet 100s that share a bed with a Mortgage Lifter, an Oxheart, and a Sun Gold. I interspersed beans in between the tomatoes in the large bag beds.
Surprisingly, I found several tomato plants growing under the rose bush that must have seeded from last year’s cherry tomatoes. I have transplanted them into the “outside” beds and they are doing quite well!
An offspring of last years crop!
I also have a dozen each of red and yellow onions – I have yet to have success with onions, but they are growing well in the “outside” beds and the deer have thus have touched nothing in those beds, fingers crossed that continues!
The rhubarb seems to have done well in moving, and I got one new rhubarb plant this spring.
If you think you don’t have space – I highly recommend the 7 gallon pots! They are sturdy, and the zucchini and cucumber are happy as can be in them! The big beds take more dirt than you imagine they will, but in a tight space it is nice to have a round object versus a 4×4 square. This bed holds just as much as the square, but it is much easier to move around!
There you have a little view at my garden.
Planning and planting brought much joy this month, as did seeing the fruits of past years labors.
And, now joyful anticipation has settled in.
Reading: After being on the wait list for eons at the library for the second Tana French book, I got the loveliest email late yesterday that it is now available. So, I downloaded it this morning and will start reading it today! I also was stunned to get an email this morning that a book suggestion from Mary for my Book Bingo list came in also. Gah! I have not downloaded it yet… But I did add a few more books to my summer book bingo list. I basically have mapped out my summer reading and I could not be happier. I shared Book Bingo with some friends at church on Sunday and I was thrilled to get an email yesterday filled with excitement about book choices!
Watching: Not much, really. I finally caught up with Call the Midwife and Homefires on PBS. There are things I want to watch, but have no burning desire to sit down and watch them. I had been an avid watcher of The Leftovers on HBO, but this final season has been a huge disappointment. So much so, I am not certain I will finish watching it. Perhaps a plan of 60 minutes in the morning riding the stationary bike and watching something on Netflix or Amazon Prime will accomplish two things at once? Stay tuned!
Listening: My audible book library is chocked full of good things to listen to and all of them are on my summer reading list. I am slowing down on Moby Dick to finish it on Memorial Weekend (and thus giving me my first square!)
Knitting: It seems like every year about this time, Knitting Ennui strikes. I am restless and not much interested in any of the projects I have going. It is indeed a sad state of affairs. However, last night I might have found the cure…I got some yarn to sample from Love Knitting – a lovely cotton from Sweden “MillaMia” and they sent three colors. Hmmm, a method to their madness? I have never knit any creatures so I was unsure how much I would like it. But, I cast on Alex the Mouse to test out the yarn and the pattern last night. So far, so good! I also have finally (almost) finished half of a pair of socks for Steve. I will be finalizing my summer knitting projects today and will share my list tomorrow. Stay tuned!
Eating: All the asparagus, really – all of it! Janoski’s shared yesterday that this is about the end of it. Will there be more next week? I do not know, but they can keep these amazing strawberries coming, please! They also had the most gorgeous Swiss Chard yesterday. The eating is so good in my neighborhood right now!
Loving: So many things!
- To start out – the weather, although we had a couple of days in the 90’s, for the most part it has been the perfect spring.
- Next up, the variety in my garden this year – we have 10 different varieties of tomatoes, 3 varieties of peppers, beans, some kind of squash (thanks to no plant labeling but they are either zucchini or summer squash) cucumbers (thanks to a happy accident at the greenhouse) and we added in a new variety of rhubarb this year! In the perennial beds, we added in some new plants this year as well; all of the deer resistant variety. So far, so good! Although the bunnies are making quick work of the cone flowers and they also love the leaves on the lilies! All this gardening makes me so happy!
- Last, but certainly not least: my stitching! I could not be happier than I am in the few moments I spend each day stitching. I have also been watching Vicki and Kym stitch such beautiful Alabama Chanin garments. I am absolutely intrigued. Perhaps over the summer I will stitch up one of these and see how it turns out and I bet Steve has an old tee shirt I can use!
And, finally: Selling LipSense… and loving it. If there is something you’d like, message me and I will be glad to help you! (Also, I have been using their skin care for over a month now and if you want to hear about the changes it has made, I would be thrilled to share with you!)
That is what is currently my world. What’s in your world right now?