A Simple Seaside Spring Break

IMG_1595 IMG_1604 IMG_1605 IMG_1607 IMG_1616 IMG_1626 IMG_1628 IMG_1633 IMG_1650 IMG_1653 IMG_1659 IMG_1672 IMG_1674It’s tough to get back in the habit of blogging once you’ve broken it. But I’m going to try get things going once more. After all things are blooming and growing and that’s motivation, certainly. (I do try and keep up on facebook and instagram, if you’d like to follow me there)

We took to the sea for spring break. We haven’t taken a vacation for a year, so this was much welcome. As I’ve talked about before, we travel light. Though it’s only a few hours drive, it’s nice to bring as little as we can get by with. Scott and I share one small carry on, the kids get their own kid-sized back packs to fill. I brought one book, one knitting project and one sketch book. Having few choices in what to wear and what to do really make this annual vacation so very relaxing for us.

Someone asked me what we do while we’re up there. My answer was, ‘Not much!’ We walked down to the beach, we watched the storms come in, I read Wild from cover to cover (a really good book – a little intense to read at this point in my life, but I still very much recommend it.), I knit. We played board games, we went for rainy walks along the bluffs. We built things out of driftwood.

Having few choices, seeing few people, withdrawing from media is such a needed break for me. Though we live on a quiet street in the country on the outskirts of a slow town, there is a certain busyness in working and raising three kids that makes it hard to focus and listen to what’s really going on.

And then I came home to see this Hungarian Blue poppy blooming! I’ve been so eager to see how it looked when it bloomed and it exceeded my expectations! Gorgeous! These flowers aren’t lasting long, just a few days until they drop their petals and form the most incredible seed pod. More pictures soon. Because I will make it a priority to be back here again soon.

March in the Garden | Flowering Success

IMG_9453 IMG_9456 IMG_9459 IMG_9463 IMG_9468 IMG_9478 IMG_9479 IMG_9528 IMG_9533 IMG_9535 IMG_9536 IMG_9541 Since there appears to be no March showers to bring April flowers, the plants have decided to make their big show early. There are flowers everywhere. From wild tiny purple flowers in freshly mowed fields, to neglected rose shrubs, to carefully pruned lilacs and promises of blooms from nurtured fall planted seedlings.

Eleven years ago I planted sweet peas and breadseed poppies with great success and have been trying to recreate that ever since. The one big hangup these past years was that three babies arrived taking center stage in my attention. This is the first growing season where I haven’t had to constantly follow a little one around. All three of them run in a pack outside now without needing my constant supervision. So I was able to spend my energy towards planting snapdragons, sweet peas, poppies and echinacea late last summer and they are all growing and thriving in their new raised beds. This is the best round of sweet peas I’ve ever grown, just look at the size of those leaves! I can’t wait until they bloom.

The secret of my success so far was in putting agribond over the beds in fall until the seedlings got large enough that the birds and bugs couldn’t do much damage. I also watered them throughout the winter with diluted sheep manure tea. Yum.

Those raised beds have been a tremendous success for us. I’m so very glad Scott built those because we’ve been able to get back into our groove of gardening success.

Sprouting in trays waiting to be planted are summer zinnas and marigolds.

How are things growing in your neck of the woods?

Knitting and Reading : : Life Lessons

IMG_9510 My goodness. I made a sort of a new years resolution that I wasn’t going to knit any sweaters this year. I typically like a long, constant project like a sweater. This year was going to be different. This year I wanted to play around with textures and new stitches that I hadn’t tried before. This year I was going to knit smaller, faster working projects. This year was to be dedicated to using up all those single skeins of lonely yarn sitting in my stash basket.  And so this year began and I cast on for this beautiful little hat full of texture.

Now what I hadn’t learned back six weeks ago, is that in order to knit small projects, you must always be one step ahead of yourself. Because a hat can be finished in a few days (or less) you need your next project all ready to go. Choosing the next project for me is a long process involving much obsessing on ravelry and trips to the yarn store which is far enough away that I must make an afternoon of it. It takes me many days to choose a new project. This space between projects, it can be an enjoyable process or it can be a hinderance when you least expect it.

Because when you finish a beautiful, quick little hat one day, and the very next day your mother suddenly passes away, you are left to grieve without that one comfort you depend upon in your daily life, knitting. And that is where I was left exactly one month ago today. Sitting with a finished hat, in the ER, my soul filling with the most horrible sorrow imaginable, and nothing to knit. Nothing. It may sound strange to admit how lost I felt without something to knit during a time of grieving, but there you have it. When you are left without your constant daily habit during a time when your most constant of constants has left this world, you are left feeling completely lost and ungrounded.

It’s taken me this full month to even want to think about finding a new project. And it’s taken me this full month to find my voice here again. In this month I’ve learned something. Well, honestly I’ve learned a lot of things, but this truth is relevant to this space. I’ve learned that I am a knitter of sweaters. I am a knitter who likes the commitment of long term projects. Hats, mittens and smaller projects can be thrown into the mix, but I need that reliable large project to return to at days end.

My very last post was a photo of a chalkboard that I keep on my mantle with the quote, ‘Enjoy this Life.’ written on it. Garrison Keillor said that at the end of one of this Prairie Home Companion stories last year and it’s stuck with me. My mom was the first to comment saying, ‘Amen!’, she died just four days later. I couldn’t think of a better post to have sitting front and center for the last month.

Enjoy this life. Amen!
(cardigan: Fairwind. reading: strangely enough was reading Diane Keaton’s ‘Then Again‘ her autobiography twisting together the tales of her own life along with her mothers life and death. good enough book if you are a Diane Keaton fan, but not a must read.)


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