Saturday, March 12, 2016

Holding On

Spring is eeking in as it does in that some sunny days/some rainy days sort of way.  Gentle crocuses are raising their heads, and daffodils, which always reassure me that the darkest days are past.  Mostly my hand and wrist hurts every day, though the muscles in my arm and the shoulder aren't so bad.  It is still hard to type or write or knit or even sit in one place.  Pain distracts me from full enjoyment of most things.  I'm trying not to get pulled down, but it is difficult.  I put on a bright face, but it is a little bit false.
Last night I had a dream that I was dying.  "Goodbye green earth," I thought.  My last thoughts. And then I stopped that dream as I dreamt it and went back to another thread, thinking to myself 'no, no--not that--I don't want to be dying.'
The sun passes through clouds and the shadows shift on the bed covers which lay rumpled in lazy folds.  It's a delicious sight.  The camilla is heavy with blooms outside the window.  The tree-like hydrangea, wrongly placed because I didn't realize it was that kind of hydrangea, is full of tiny green knots, promises of blossoms this year.  I awaken to bird song, the mockingbird, the cardinal.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Sweet and Sour

Look at those amazing donuts!  They come from a place called Sublime Donuts, and they are truly sublime.  The stars are filled with orange cream that has just enough tartness to make your mouth water right before you taste it.  The strawberry and cream hearts are full of fresh cut strawberries.  The chocolatey one here is actually my son's favorite--s'more.  That's a toasted marshmallow filling in the hole.

This was the happy beginning of the week--flowers and sweet treats! Then came the procedure to crack the scar tissue on my shoulder.  On Tuesday my arm was floppy like a cartoon of a boneless arm.  I've been on some pain killers and am working to stretch my arm so I can keep my newfound range of motion.  No knitting or crocheting.  In fact, typing this is beginning to hurt.
But I have high hopes that next week at this time I will be much better.

Here's a picture of our winter sky.  The light was pretty captivating and I ran outside to try to capture it, but was a little late so it isn't quite as dramatic as I witnessed.  Still, though.

Saturday, February 6, 2016


Do you have a room like this in your house?  A room where you keep the vacuum cleaner and the ironing board and maybe a clothes hanger (I call mine a stendi panni because I got it in Italy and first used it there--one of those lands without tumble dryers)?  It's the place for muddy boots until there is time to clean them and other drippy stuff like a towel used to dry off the dog.

Some people have closets for this stuff.  But I live in a small, built during the war house, when the closets were narrow and few.

Once I lived in a quite luxurious apartment with three bathrooms.  One was right by the front door.  It became the catch-all room for the baby stroller, an emergency tool box, an electric fan, mop and pail, etc. That room.

Long ago my husband made paintings on a huge wooden pallets.  The paintings used to decorate a spacious home furnishing store, but the store closed and our home is way too small for this kind of heavy art work.  So, where to put them?

The dog has gotten weird lately and wants to hide in cramped places--closets, under the bed or desk, between a table and the wall.  So, we brought out her crate again and covered it so it has a cave sort of hide-y hole feel about it.  It works.  She loves it, but where to put it?

Then, there are the citrus trees my husband insists on raising.  The winter here is just a tad too cold for them really, so in the winter they have to be brought in. And, where to put them?

Once I had a exercise bike in here.  No room now!
The citrus trees are blooming.  The air in the house smells thickly sweet like candle or plastic some days.  Poor trees calling for bees. But I don't feel that bad.  No way am I going to start an indoor hive, haha!  Really, you have to draw the line somewhere.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Rabbits and Knitting Zen

Unfortunately, I have been suffering from frozen shoulder.  This means a constant low to moderate pain  in my whole arm that hinders me all day every day, and occasional electric like zaps of debilitating pain.  So terrible.  Worse yet, I had this before in the opposite arm some years ago.  Some people never get this--and here I am with it twice!!  It is amazing all the little things we do every day that involve our shoulder muscles.--But enough on the complaints.

Today was warm, though mostly overcast, and I gave the rabbit hutch a nice clean-out. After skipping the chore last weekend because of snow and freezing temps (hard to believe now), it was ready.  Then I sat out and knitted while my little bunnies frolicked in the yard.  (I can't leave them out alone, even with a cover on the run.  The hawks here pay no mind to covers). I am working on a long plain-ish sweater jacket that is reminding me of a dog bed right now (!).  Funny how knitting is Zen like.  I was able to forget my pain for awhile and think straight and not worry.

I worry because I am going to have my arm manipulated and will miss school for a few days.  I worry about the procedure and what I will have to leave to occupy my wily students so they don't drive a sub out of his/her mind. Honestly, I don't know which of these worries me more!

It was good to be outdoors today, even though the yard is the usual winter mess.  No daffodils yet, and the camilla blossoms are all singed from blooming early and then freezing, but I'm okay with that.  Winter here is brief and I don't mind it.

A few weeks ago, I made a new pair of fingerless mitts.  I've decided I really like making mitts.  They are a little challenging and they finish up quickly.  These were made using self-striping yarn like these
on Ravelry.  I ran out of yarn right at the last picot hem and didn't have enough for the second the thumb (the purply-blue one).  I mean, honestly!  Luckily, I had something that matched enough to finish the task.  They don't look too bad.--And certainly are more fun to look at than my dog-bed sweater-jack! Hahah!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Poetry Out Loud

Well, not so bleak now.

In school, the students are reciting poems, which always lifts my spirits.  Sure some of them stagger through one. word. at. a. time. But most have a feel for the words and images even though I can usually tell that in spots they have no idea what they are talking about (and who really, fully, ever understands all of the everything in a poem anyway?)  Some surprise me with their choices of olden day poems full of "thou" and "hast" and "woe."  And some surprise me with the little gems of poems they've found (they have to use a database for this, but it is stuffed full and wonderful).

I am always glad that they have these little bits of verse rolling around in their heads at least for the few days they are forced to recite. And I imagine that someday they may be like me, pulling up a few lines here and there out of the back pocket of their brains, puzzling over the words and the moment that brought the words out of hiding.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Bleak Post

The year ended with a ka-billion papers graded and loose ends to tie up.  The holidays came and stretched out lazily and then school was back in and everyone was out of the rhythm of getting up at 5 and pledging allegiance at 7:10.
There are two times a year I ask myself if I can really keep doing this.  One is in October when all of the optimism of a brand new start to a brand new school year leaks out and the flaccid balloon of reality sits in my lap. (This year 205 kids were mine to track and try to teach.  Most of whom have very dire home situations and operate on a level far, far below grade level, though they are unaware of that in the way they are unaware of so many things).  And the other time of year is early to mid-January.  Something about new year, new start causes me to take stock and what I end up with is a kind of quiet despair that sends me out poking around for other jobs.
I think about things I need to do to keep my spirit alive.
Like read,
and knit
and laugh,
and write.
(And the writing seems to be the loser always because it demands a focus and attention that gets siphoned away in lesson planning and assessing.)
But--somehow spring comes along and my energy renews.  I feel then, that I am doing the small wise thing, however difficult and unglamorous.  The necessary thing.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving Outdoors

Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day.  We delayed our big family feast until today, so yesterday we went off to find a woodsy place to hike and picnic.  I loved the opportunity to use this new (to me) picnic basket!

I don't think anyone ever used it before actually.  When I went to pack it, I had to take out a little brochure about the artisan who made it by hand, etc.  I love to make up a simple fancy food picnic. You know, things like dates stuffed with parmesan cheese and roasted chicken and asparagus salad from an uptown deli.  And boy!  Were we ready to eat it by the time our hike was finished.

The hike was rolling hills and lots of trees and a little edge of lake. It never really felt that we were truly away from civilization.  I get that feeling a lot hiking in Georgia.  I know it is because I grew up out west where the vistas are immense.  Out there, the landscape swallows you.  Here, everything feels conquered.  Like where you are walking is just the left over scrap of something that hasn't been built on yet, like you can turn a corner and run into a road or someone's house or a shopping plaza.
Maybe this had something to do with why we walked farther than we planned and then had to walk so far back.  Maybe I was thinking that we weren't there yet--like we were going to get into the "real" wilderness soon if we just walked a little further.  What a strange illusion.

All in all, it was a lovely day and wonderful to walk and talk and breathe.