Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Monday, August 26, 2013

A Grace Note.

...last week was hard. It started with a head cold that kept me in bed for more than a day, and then progressed through Marc's second shoulder surgery in four years and a second cancelled contract on our old house. By the end of the week, I only completed about half of the items on a relatively short and easy to-do list. And I thought a lot about grace.

Grace isn't about feeling sorry for myself, or letting a bad mood keep me in my pajamas, un-showered.  It's also not about having to be perfect.

Grace is about seeing the good while I acknowledge the bad. It's thinking about others more than myself. And mostly, it's about being a better me.

I was there for Marc. We have a 3rd contract on the house. I took a few long walks with Holly and enjoyed the slower pace. Blue skies and a fall-like chill in the early morning air didn't hurt either. Not perfection, but grace.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Happy Birthday!

...to my mom, who celebrates her big SEVEN-FIVE today! Since our family won't be getting together until October for the party, I'm sharing our group photo from her 65th back in 2003.
(left to right) - Lydia, Steve, Sara, me, Andrew, Marc, PJ, Polly (the birthday girl), Roy, Paula, Karen, Ron, Jillian, Katie
and Wow, ten years makes quite a difference with all the grandkids*! Here they are last Christmas.
(left to right) - Jillian, Sara, Paula, Katie, PJ, Andrew
They have now all graduated high school and the two youngest have/will be starting college this month. (not to mention that the oldest is now married!)

Happy Birthday, Mother! Best wishes on your BIG day -  we are all very much looking forward to celebrating with you ... soon!  xo - M.

*ahem, ten years also makes a big difference for the rest of us...honestly, I think we're doing great, but I don't have another group photo to prove my point!


Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Grace Note.



...my sweet friend Rella giving Holly one last snuggle as we said a long good-bye last week-end. Rella moved to Las Vegas this week for reasons that are full of grace and a strong reminder that family ties cannot be broken. I treasure her friendship and the love and laughter she shared with me and Holly. And who knows, this might just be the reason I've been waiting for...to finally see Las Vegas!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Currently Loving.

A Beautiful Mess. I purchased this app last month, thanks to the Big Picture Phone Photography class. It's easy and fun to use.
my Stats from Goodreads, with a bit of Beautiful Mess applied
Goodreads. It's where I keep track of everything I want to read and everything I've read and my first stop for recommendations. I guess it's kind of like Ravelry for readers, isn't it? (except there's a real app for my iPad and iPhone!)

♥ Reading (and listening). 20 books year-to-date for 2013 is a far cry from where I was back in January when I hadn't read anything for months. Love how many 4 and 5-star books I've added to my shelves - 14 in total (and even though a few are re-reads, I've savored them anew). I finished American Gods (a full cast recording to commemorate the book's 10th anniversary) on Sunday; it was so good I haven't wanted to start anything else (of course today is only Tuesday and I'm sure I'll have something else picked out in a day or two!)

♥ Short stories. I need to do a proper post to share more about this little project. Since I started it last month, I've read 29 stories in at least a dozen different books and on-line publications. Honestly, I'm kind of obsessed!

♥ Coffee with almond milk and a half packet of splenda, over ice. Funny how that last cup of lukewarm coffee from the 5am pot doesn't really seem like leftovers when it's ice cold (on purpose).

♥ Finishing (knitting) projects. I didn't have any FOs from the end of June through the beginning of last week. And in those ten days, I've finished a sweater and a scarf (modeled shots soon, I hope) and I have four more projects on my needles that I'm cautiously optimistic I'll finish before the month is over.

♥ and thinking about what to knit next. (for sure Boxy, and maybe Flourishing or Intertwine or the Churro Top?) Pleasantly surprised those three "maybe" projects all use yarn from my stash!

♥ House of Cards on Netflix (on my iPad). I know Kevin Spacey's South Carolina accent leaves a lot to be desired, but his character is so interesting - complex, likable, unlikable, unpredictable all at once - and I adore Robin Wright.

♥ My iPad. I bought it last summer to help with my classes - easy access to patterns, and Ravelry and IMDb and Goodreads and Google (all of which we regularly refer to during class). Until recently, that's really all I used it for. Whoa, was I missing out! (I still wish it were easier to blog from here - I know I'll have to put the finishing touches on this post from my laptop, but at least the words are easy to get down and that's a good start).

♥ The running group at the Y. Hard to believe it's been five months since I joined up for a twice weekly mid-distance run. I've made friends (a few of them even knit, but most don't, and I have yet to mix this group with my knitting friends...fall is coming, though :-) and learned to enjoy the easy company of a run filled with conversation about any and everything you could imagine. Seriously nothing is off limits when you're on a run. Seriously. Nothing!

♥ Summer. finally maybe it's here? School started yesterday, but for me, I'm giving it at least until Labor Day. Heat, humidity, sunshine, fresh tomatoes with basil, chilled white wine, sandals...I think I probably need a trashy book, too!

What are you loving right now?

Friday, August 9, 2013

Grace Note(s).

...despite the silence here about this year's one little word, grace is still very much in the forefront of my thoughts, and occasionally my actions! The monthly exercises in Ali's class continue to both challenge and inspire me; this blog post grew directly from our July activity and this quotation I shared back in January.

In July, we wrote our word on post-it notes and then used those notes to prompt actions, record thoughts, inspire, whatever. I made seven grace notes and stuck them on my desk. Yes, grace notes - literally! 

For one week last month, I used those notes to journal daily about grace. Thoughts, actions, sounds, sights, words, dreams...I was amazed how easy it was to fill up the seven notes. I'm not using post-it notes anymore; rather, on a weekly basis I thought I'd share my grace note here.

finally some blue sky...on our walk this morning
Sam beside me and the songs of unseen birds make me look up and around, make me notice the patches of blue sky between the dense branches. Maybe this is what grace is, the unseen sounds that make you look up.  I think it's why we are here, to see as many chips of blue sky as we can bear.
-Anne Lamott, Plan B
(and a huge thank you to my dear friend Sandy for sending these words my way!)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Ten on Tuesday. Briefly Stated.


...Carole's prompt this week is more like a challenge: how would I describe myself in an interview...in only ten words. Here goes:

1. energetic

2. optimistic

3. problem-solver

4. responsible

5. creative 

6. focused

7. compassionate

8. organized

9. curious

10. fun 

Looking forward to reading more ten-word resumes! 
click here to join the Ten on Tuesday fun!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Hello August.

fresh | august 4, 2013
...I have mixed feelings about you this year. Because it's the first August since 1992 that I'm not getting one of my children off to school. Yes, Sara is still in school (this is her last year of college), but, since she moved out last summer, I have no real part in "back to school". We're still at least weeks away from Fall but I'll always think of this month as the start of a new season. Time to clean out, make new goals and move forward.

Time for a fresh start.