Poems Fit Perfectly in Pockets

I always have a poem in my pocket. In a small notebook I keep in my purse, the notebook that keeps my to do lists and grocery lists, I will copy a poem--one that is small enough to fit on one page and which speaks to me on that day. I have a couple of shelves of poetry, but the books I pick up most often are Mary Oliver's, as I know many of you do, too. 

The book I have been reading from most often this spring is A Thousand Mornings. Since I am a morning person, the poems speak to my heart. It was hard to chose only one from the book, but I bring you....

An Old Story

Sleep comes a little while. Then I wake
in the valley of midnight or three a.m. 
to the first fragrances of spring

which is coming, all by itself, no matter what. 
My heart says, what you thought you have you do not have.
My body says, will this pounding ever stop?

My heart says: there, there, be a good student.
My body says: let me up and out, I want to fondle
those soft white flowers, open in the night. 

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Thank you, Kym, for reminding me to participate today!

Poem in Your Pocket day, by the Academy of American Poets 


Daily Sound Track

Peararchway

Swimming out of the fog to bring you the 10 Albums I Love, brought to you by Carole's Ten on Tuesday. I have these 10 albums on my iPod (as well as many others I love). Several of them are also in my car and I listen ALL the way through almost every time I listen.

John Coltrane - Love Supreme

Miles Davis - Kind of Blue (or Sketches of Spain)

Bob Dylan - Blonde on Blonde

Gary Clark Jr. - The Story of Sunny Boy Slim

Joni Mitchell - Blue

Van Morrison - Moondance

Beethoven's Op 133

Aretha Franklin - Aretha's 30 Greatest Hits

Bob Marley - Legend

Let it Bleed - Rolling Stones

Santana - Santana

What's on your list of favorite albums?


Get Out

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As spring warms the air, the flowers start to bloom, and the days grow longer, I love to be outdoors soaking in the warmth of the sun and feeling it on my face.

1. Garden: Watching the garden come awake, the garlic comes first, then potatoes make an appearance. It's time to plant peas, carrots, beets, radish and lettuce. Soon we'll be able to make freshly cut salad.

2. Walk: Early in the season I enjoy walking to the garden as there isn't much to carry home. Later in the season I'll wish for a wagon to haul the harvest home. Maybe that's something I should look into.

3. Picnic: We enjoy eating out of doors, whether the patio or an impromptu gathering at the garden. Going up one of the nearby canyons and finding an open picnic spot is another fun way to spend an evening. The birds will serenade us all through dinner.

4. Read (or Knit) (or Sew): Sitting on the patio with a good book while the wind chimes tinkle and the clouds roll by, is my idea of heaven.

5. Visit: While in the garden we visit with other gardeners and, at home, we'll visit with our neighbors. When friends come for a visit we'll serve drinks on the patio and revel in the fresh air after being cooped up in the house all winter. Yay, spring!

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6. Watch the sunset: Sometimes we'll drive out to the Great Salt Lake, or find a place to view from a higher vantage point, but often we walk to the school yard next door, which gives us a full view of the changing sky.

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7. Watch the sunrise: I step out my back door and watch the sky turn from pink to gold. It's easy, if I get out at just the right moment.

8. Drive through the canyons: The canyons are minutes from our door and I love the drive up any one of them just for the fun of it. I know Big Cottonwood like the back of my hand and love the twists and turns, the beautiful sights of rising peaks, and rushing waters of the stream below.

Crocus

9. Watch spring awaken the earth: The crocus have been coming up in waves. Wave one came through a couple of weeks ago and wave two is happening now. I have white blossoms with purple bases, lavender blossoms, and pale yellow blossoms that look so delicate and sweet. I hadn't realized I'd planted so many and I'm very pleased to see they are so lovely.

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10. Just be: One of my favorite things to do is look up into the blue sky, watch clouds come and go, or the jets and their contrails float by. The best time to be outdoors is now before the heat of summer and while the sun is bearable and enjoyable. One day may offer snow, rain and chill, but the next day could be warm and glorious. Take time to enjoy the sampling of all mother nature has to offer. 

 Ten on Tuesday brought to you by the inimitable Carole


Weekending After Another Break

This is where I say, life has had a way of getting "in the way". I had to look at the calendar to see what I'd been up to, as the past week has been a a whirlwind. Suffice it to say, the week was full of busy fun. I'm not great at remembering to take pictures and I'm not great at chronicling my life for the blog, but there was a jazz concert, an afternoon at the movies to see a special production of As You Like It by Shakespeare, and a evenings out with girlfriends. There was even a little time with Smith. It was a great week! And then, it was the weekend!

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After work Friday, I set off for a much needed haircut. I thought I'd share this photo is of "my mountain" from the shop, which is just a few miles south of where I live. The day was beautiful, but because there was a  northerly breeze, it was cooler than it appeared. I was more than ready for a haircut and asked how long it had been. They told me less than 4 weeks! My usual is 5 weeks. But, then she then they said hair grows more quickly in the spring than in the winter. Did you know? Do you know it is spring? I am here to attest it is so. 

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As you can see the apricots are in bloom and this week a winter storm is forecast for 2-4 inches of snow in the valley! In the 5-6 years we've been in the garden we have never had a single apricot. This year is true to form. At least I had a few minutes to commune with the beautiful blossoms. 

I have not had much time (or much inclination) to do any sort of crafting. I have a sock on the needles and a sweater, too. I have not put a stitch into my Alabama Chanin T-shirt, but I have been reading, spending a lot of time with friends, and generally enjoying a life is as it should be! 


Welcome Spring!

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The garden near our front door is dotted with crocus of white, orange, lavender and purple. Last fall we planted over 100 bulbs and their coming up in small bunches, dependent on the amount of sunlight they receive. Some have barely started to peek though the ground and others have already come and gone. This little patch of white and lavender is my favorite, so far. The first day of spring was sunny, but the warm winds forecast of a coming storm. It's hard not to begrudge the cold temperatures, but we are in need of more snowpack and the ground could use a drink. The tug of war between winter and spring will g back and forth for awhile, but spring will win in the long run.

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Smith under-the-stairs greenhouse has been put to use the last few weeks. The tomato starts are looking particularly good! They'll be ready to put in the ground by the time planting season is here. I can't wait for the garden to start producing deliciousness for our table. Root vegetables are already in the ground (radishes, beets, carrots) and spinach has been planted, too. The only thing we have to loose is a few seeds, so the gamble of gardening has begun! 


So Many Years

Over the years I've taken many knitting classes, several from Nancy Bush, who is our resident guru of all things folk, especially all things Estonian. Nancy taught me to knit socks (cr. 1995), lace, colorwork, and anything folk oriented. She brought in other designers, such as Elizabeth Zimmerman (I missed that class) and Sally Melville. Wooly West was a fabulous shop and we Salt Lake knitters were very fortunate as Nancy brought the world of knitting to our feet. 

This weekend our local Knitter's Guild sponsored classes from the inimitable Nancy Bush and I was fortunate enough to take the Estonian Lace Sampler and a Roositud class. I took the same classes many years ago (maybe 15ish years), but enjoyed them just as much this time around, maybe more. 

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The classes were a birthday present to myself, as today is (are you ready for this,  my 66th birthday. Also, over a dozen years ago I started this blog, so this day holds a double celebration. My life changed the day I hit publish for the first time (2550 posts and 72,000 comments later) and I cannot tell you how fortunate I am to have so many dear friend, near and far, seen and imaginary, as I do today. You have all made my life better, richer, broader, and more dear. Thank you, friends. 


Sky Watching

24827187204_eefbf1ccb3_oThe one thing you can count on around here is the sky is going to put on a great show. This is the sunset a week ago last Tuesday, which turned out to be the perfect photo to play around with on the Waterlogue app. Since inversion season passed the sky has mostly been blue, but we've had a few small storms move through.

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Monday morning a fog bank moved through just as I was leaving for work. The drive was a little challenging, but the mood created by the fog was quite unusual. Within the hour, the sun was high enough in the sky to clear the fog away. The rest of the day was clear, the blue sky highlighting the newly white mountains.

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 Yesterday, just as Smith was leaving for work he turned back to tell me the sky was afire. I went out in my nightclothes and stood in the cold to snap a few photos of the golden, spectacular, sunrise. 

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When I'm not watching the sky, you might be surprised to know, I am knitting a sock. My sock drawer is in imminent danger of becoming devoid of hand knit socks. I may not be able to keep up with attrition, but my plan is to do what I can to replenish the waters of what has become a drought of sock knitting. Needles this small are not friendly to my arthritic hands and I can only knit a few hours a week. However, I'm determined and have made good progress. I love the red/gray/black stripy-ness of this sock yarn, Biscotti and Cie's, Loopy Herman. 

Happy Weekend, my friends. I have a three day-er ahead! Yay me! 


Warmth of Wood

Since today is a Ten on Tuesday day, and I have a few cherished objects made of wood, I thought it might be time to make an appearance and share the most special pieces with you. 

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1. As a child, I played with the jewelry my mother kept inside this box. Most of her jewelry was costume quality, which meant she didn't mind if we played with them, but only if we asked permission.

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2. The Japanese table in my living room is the only piece of furniture I care for and would save in the case of a fire. The minute I saw this table I knew I wanted to have it in my life. I've never felt that way again about any other household furnishing.

3. The Japanese box atop the Japanese table, holds a special place in my heart, because Smith and I bought on a trip we took to Seattle (many, many years ago).

4. My rocking chair belies the comment I made in #2. I care very much about my chair, although it can no longer be used as a place to sit.

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5. This box, handcrafted by a dear friend, is one of the most beautiful pieces of woodwork I've ever owned. The photograph does not show its true beauty or charm.

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6. I have several Shaker boxes which I bought with the intent of stitching the lining and etui to adorn the inside. This is the only box I completed before my interests turned to other pursuits.

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7. This African spice bowl was given to us by a dearly departed friend. I keep a few little treasures inside, but mostly, I'm sad to say, it only gathers dust.

8.  I have a multitude of elaborate, handcrafted spindles I no longer use. Each one is unique and simply elegant, a piece of art even though it sits on a shelf.

9. Plus, I own a Schacht 40th Anniversary spinning wheel, which also never use. I keep it dusted and think about using it from time to time, but the act of spinning never calls. 

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10. Long ago a friend asked me to stitch a newborn baby's name on a christening gown. He repaid me with this gift of a Navajo weaving fork, which is more dear to me because of who it is from than it is for its price.

Each item on this list hold a very special place in my life, many marking special occasions or events. I feel very fortunate to have each and every one of them, as well as the memories they invoke. 

 


Make Me Happy Ten

Carole asks, 10 of Your Favorite Things Right Now 

Alabama Chanin T - I've almost stitched all the leaves on the front of my beautiful T-shirt.

Plain Ol' Gray - She's coming alone nicely (albeit slowly).

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Love notes - Smith leaves me a love (sticky) note nearly every day. Yes, I know how fortunate I am.

Fountain pens and the fun colors of ink I collect. Bonus, hot Pink!, Hydrangea blue, and Black Roses.

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Sumo citrus - This is the strangest citrus I've seen in awhile.

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Neko Atsume - I've never played a  game on my phone, but this one only requires one to feed the cats and occasionally spend some "fish" for new toys. Bonus, the cats leave you "fish" when they visit. Double bonus, they bring you cute little mementos.

Weather - Not too cold, not too hot, light snow, full sun, cloud play...it's all been happening over the last few days and it's likely to continue.

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Tiny crocus leaves coming up in my garden. The last minute bulbs we planted last November survived! I can't wait to see which color reveals itself first. I wonder if I'll see any snowdrops this year.

Mark Bittman cookbook-Sunday night I followed one of the simple recipes and made a beet/carrot dish with Moroccan spices. It was delicious. Bonus, the carrots were freshly picked from the garden, as they're a vegetable that winters over well.

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Other knitters at the hair salon! She was knitting strips of color. We had little chance to speak, but she was more than happy to allow a picture. 

 Do you have a favorite thing of the moment? 


Reading Harder

One of the books on the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge is a Non-Super Hero comic book. Since comic books are not my forte, I consulted a friend who knows the genre well. She lead me in the direction of Kaoru Mori, and in particular, A Bride's Story.

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I picked up a copy from my local library last night (yay, libraries!) and had read it, start to finished, within the hour. The story is told with illustrations, often a dozen per page, and each drawing is beautifully detailed,  the story well told. Since it is Manga, the book is read back to front and each page is read "backwards".  The story has been serialized and there are 8 books, I'm told. I have the next one on order at the library, as I am now a comic book/manga fan.

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That's Plain Ol' Gray in the background of the picture above. She's coming along without there being any banging. I'm slow, but steady, and POG will see the light of day as a full blown sweater some day soon. I'm very pleased with the way she looks and plan to keep up a pace, maybe, see her finished by months end.