I get up every morning late, still groggy, and make myself the promise that I will go to bed at a reasonable hour. Coffee, porch sitting, some time in the garden, walks, maybe some yoga, hollering for kids to please get off screens and get outside already, bed making, knitting, running cold hose water over my feet, reading, Catan or Skip-Bo or rummy or Sequence, music, nagging at children to pick up their rooms, put away their laundry, and not leave dishes all over the house, wondering if we’re going to homeschool next year and promising myself I’ll look into it tomorrow, laundry (always laundry) and feeding hungry children (always hungry), dishes, making phone calls, writing letters, spending too much time on my own screen, browsing real estate listings and wondering about different lives in different places, pleading with my kids (and myself) just get outside and DO SOMETHING, picking up, putting away, watching a show or listening to a podcast. Whatever promise I made myself in the morning, I do not go to bed at reasonable hour.
I cry. Some days I set a timer and sob and sob and sob and sob until it dings. And then I dry my eyes and get back to it. The tears remind me I am still soft. I am still paying attention. The timer reminds me I don’t have time to wallow – there is too much that needs to be done.
I hold to my middle name as if it is both prophecy and gift. I used to tease my mother that she probably wished she could change it – such a misnomer for the serious, stubborn thing I was (still am). Now, I see that joy is also a serious, stubborn thing. I find it in the fiercely funny retort of my daughter, or the way my son curls himself into the side of me when he needs comfort, confident it can be found there. It’s in creating or crafting or sitting on the porch with a friend. It’s in the actions after the timer dings.
Reading: I have so many books on the TBR pile but the one I’m currently reading (The Guest Book by Sarah Blake) has been slow going for me. It’s good enough that I’m invested in seeing how it ends, but I’m really struggling with one character. I just don’t like her. I think that’s intentional, but I wanted to like her. (For all my talk about not liking one dimensional characters, I don’t like the complexity of this one. At all.)
Watching: I’ve been watching Lucifer on Netflix. I mostly like it? I don’t know. I wouldn’t recommend it. I just don’t feel like watching anything substantive and it’s quippy. Artemis Fowl (Disney+) and Lenox Hill (Netflix) have been recommended. My whole family is waiting for July 3 for the cast recording of Hamilton on Disney+ (I’m so grateful for my friend who gave it to me as a lovely birthday present.)
Knitting: I finished a pair of Hermione’s Everyday Socks and am almost finished with the first of a pair of Evergreen Socks. Speaking of knitting, I’m not quite sure what to make of Ravelry’s new look? I do like the brightness of it, but it’s going to take me a bit to get used to, I think. Once the socks are done, I’m going to start on this scarf, or these socks, or this sheep. Decisions, decisions. I need to make a list of projects for Christmas and get to work.
Making: My plan is to try English muffins this week. I have all the ingredients and I want to do it, so I think I just need to be brave. LOTS of house projects – the first being a master list of house projects. AND Jesse and I came up with a new handy dandy idea about how our family is going to handle house cleaning/chore stuff so I have things to do with that as well. (I love making a new system.)
Please, please, please tell me what is new with you and what you are -ing? I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy and WEARING YOUR MASKS.
Kari Wagner Hoban says
Oh man, now I wish we had Disney +!!
Funny story, Mike and I settled down on Sunday night to watch something on Netflix and I said, “OH! My friend Katie said that Unsolved Mysteries is on Netflix!!” Went searching for it and couldn’t find it anywhere.
So I went back to your blog post and saw it didn’t start until July. DOH. I thought you’d get a kick out of that.
Awww. I kinda feel bad. The good news is July is tomorrow so there is that. 😉
My friend gave me a subscription for my birthday because I love LMM maybe even more than you love John Hughes.
I’ve been watching That 70’s Show. Kitty and Red make me so happy.
This is such a lovely post, Kate—both the words and the photos. Your garden is growing so nicely, and I love those socks you’re knitting!
I’m just home from the grocery store where I was relieved to see that most people were wearing masks. I had been worried that with our falling caseload people would get complacent (I’ve been watching what’s happening in so many US states and I’m fearful that it’s going to unfold the same way here).
Reading: I’m almost done Dangerous Liaisons although I paused midway so I could read Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None.
Knitting: I finished a pair of socks for my husband and right away cast on another pair, exactly the same. I’m waiting on yarn for my sweater. (I ordered it from my LYS but don’t know when it’ll come in.)
Watching: I finished Atypical (loved it). My son and I got through Star Trek TNG and are now watching Star Trek Deep Space Nine.
Baking: I went through a rhubarb-muffin-making craze a few weeks ago when my rhubarb plant was producing, but since then have really slowed down on the baking. My daughter’s sourdough starter offspring is in my fridge, and I do now regret asking for it. As much as I love sourdough bread, I’m also feeling a bit overwhelmed at having yet another thing to tend.
Gardening: I’m trying my best to keep on top of the weeds in the veggie garden this year. I’m also trying to do a better job of monitoring the kale for caterpillars. (My 15-year-old son has taken a sudden interest in gardening (outdoors and in), which has been both helpful and heartwarming.)
I hope you have a good week, Kate! 🙂
Thank you, Marian!! I’m having so much in the garden. It’s actually surprised me. We are talking about adding a few slightly larger boxes in a different part of the yard next year. I’m already looking forward to seed catalogs!! I think it would be even more fun if one of my kids enjoyed it!!
Do you like Deep Space Nine? I’ve only ever watched TNG.
Are you doing the sweater you told me before? I can’t remember the pattern but I remember thinking it was really lovely!!
Hope you’re having a good week, Marian!!
And Then There Were None was the first (and last) Agatha Christie I ever read. I was in middle school and it was over my head. I think I should try again.
Ha! Can I you tell I was typing and editing my comment on my phone? ?
That’s so lovely that you’re already looking forward to seed catalogues 🙂 . We expanded our veggie garden this year—I dug up some perennials that were overgrown and messy and planted some kale and tomato plants instead. My husband would like to get rid of our backyard “lawn” entirely (the quotation marks around the word lawn should be a clue as to why he wants to do this) and replace it with either more raised beds for veggies or some native plantings of shrubs and perennials. This may be next year’s project…
Yes—the sweater is the one I told you about before: Whippet (long).
DS9 isn’t quite as good as TNG or Voyager (which is my favourite), but it’s still enjoyable.
I’m pretty sure I also tried reading And Then There Were None in Grade 9. It was over my head too (most things were, back then). I recently read that we’re *all* reading more, and the thing we’re all mostly reading is mysteries. I’ve only read two Agatha Christies so far, but I did buy quite a few for my 15-year-old son, who whipped through them in no time flat. After I finish Dangerous Liaisons, I’m going to read Death on the Nile.
Ha!! I like your plans for next year. That sounds lovely!
I read the thing about mysteries too! And it was funny because I’ve noticed in the last couple of years, I’ve really gotten back into them and it’s been YEARS. I wonder why that might be?
Hope you have a lovely weekend! Happy belated Canada Day!
Ally Bean says
Your photos are beautiful and I enjoy seeing them. I know what you mean about feeling groggy. I’m not springing out of bed like I normally would in summer. I haven’t read much of anything lately but have been on a mission to organize my twitter account and who I follow in blogland. I want to be more selective in both areas, instead of being bombarded with tweets and posts. My current motto is ‘less is more’ when it comes to me, people, and social media.
I think we all need the extra sleep. Dealing with all that’s going on is EXHAUSTING. I think your less is more approach
*is the way to go.
I love seeing the breads that you baked, Kate! Looks delicious!! Are those snow peas? Tomato is very nice. And absolutely love the yarn selection of the socks! Crying (me too…)
Watching: Local, National and CNN News. I only buy basic TV Cable. Virus is really spreading outrageously fast in my county. Yes, I were a mask, practice social distances, and mostly stay home full time with only leaving my home on an absolutely must task not a pleasure outing.
Hanging: Curtain rods and stain glass.
Cooking: YAY Yesterday, my electric range was finally delivered! It was back ordered three times.
Resting: A lot of resting!!!
Crossing my fingers on your new system for house chores!!!
I’m so glad you got your range!! And that you have curtain rods and stained glass up. How wonderful to be just a little more settled.
We have both sugar snap and snow.
Stay safe, TD!! Sending you healthy vibes!
I absolutely love that you are enjoying the raised bed garden and I hope that you will keep sending pictures of them as it grows. I did a 8’ x 10’ raised bed garden in the mid-1985s… for many years. I enjoyed it so. It makes me feel happy to watch your veggie garden grow as well as your enthusiasm about it!
There is something about digging into the soil that soothed my soul and the creativity of work with earth as the medium to create art! All is a wonderful endeavor!!
I have reached the age that my body no longer is able to do such work, so I now can rest and enjoy the beauty of other’s gardens. Both veggie, flowers, bushes, trees and even lawns.
A neighbor two houses down uses his front street area to plant a mix of veggies, roses. and perennials. It’s beautiful. He says he does it for making Gumbo! (Of course!)
My gardening here consists of me taking photos around my property and researching to identify the trees, bushes and all. I feel like a nut doing this, but I’m curious and want to learn.
Btw: it’s a full moon Saturday evening with two visible planets. I am a son lover and moon gazer! How about you?
*sun lover – moon gazer. It seems that I love nature (with one exception- I do not like any bugs!)
I’m a nature lover as well. When I was a kid we lived in the middle of nowhere and had hardly any light pollution. I loved star gazing!! It’s quite bright at night where we are now.
Your neighbors garden sounds LOVELY. And I don’t think you sound like a nut taking pictures to identify the plant life surrounding you. I would probably do the same!
I hired an aborist today who actually was able to tell me the names of these growing things here. And I was completely wrong with my identifiying by photos!
I hired him to trim shape the oaks in front yard which have not been done for years which will allow the morning sun to grow the st Agustin instead of current weeds. He has will also remove two stumps which I quizzed him…and he was correct… so I knew he knows!!!
It’s difficult in my area to really get an educated person.
Yeah, I understand the lights glowing that eliminates so much star gazing! I’m now in an inner “old” city area that this particular street has NO street lights (which was a surprise!)
It’s a sweetness; an old 1940s of people who have lived here all of their lives. And that in itself is hard to process! No street lights!
Either way I hope that you are at least able to watch the full moon this Saturday evening.
“Joy is also a serious, stubborn thing.” If I could summon the energy to do anything creative, I’d embroider that on a pillow or something.
I have been serious and stubborn my whole life.
I understand this sentiment. I am trying (and mostly failing) to be stubborn about joy.
Keep fighting the good fight.
(Also, I just checked out The Guest Book yesterday, before reading your post. Not grabbing me so far, but nothing really is these days.)
I’m a little over a 1/4 of the way into it. I’m not sure how I feel about it. Mostly I just want to finish it so I can find something else. (I like it enough that I want to know how to finish it.)
I may steal your idea about embroidering that on a pillow. I think the *trying* (even if you’re not as successful as you like) about joy is maybe the most important part? Honestly, you’ve helped me with this a great deal. I would be much less capable if it weren’t for you teaching me both/and. 🙂
I hope you have a good weekend, Rita.
I’m giving the book a chance. I was listening to an audiobook that was so gruesome I had to stop listening, and I was glad to see that I could have such a response.
Both/and is kind of a life-saver, isn’t it?
I hope you have a good weekend, too. Not feeling very celebratory, and hate the fireworks. But have a few things I’m looking forward to. Both/and. Both/and.