Tuesday Things

It’s spring. Turtles in crazy numbers warm themselves on fallen logs. My crab apples have flowered and lost their flowers. I relished the mornings of sitting on my porch drinking coffee and listening to it HUM with bees. We started the garden. The seeds and a few of the starts are in, but we have a few more yet to arrive. This year we’re doing nasturtium, broccoli, bush beans, beets, radish, a whole bunch of different peppers, lettuce, spinach, pumpkin, melon, peas and carrots. I also am experimenting with some hanging basket strawberries.

I think I’m meant to live on a little farm. When I was very young (before I turned four), my mom and dad had a little hobby farm that they were fixing up. According to my mom the barn was in better condition than the house when they bought it, but my Grandpa was a brick mason and carpenter and my dad worked for a lumber yard, and I come from people who have never been afraid of hard work. Everyone pitched in and made it a lovely little home. I still drive by it when I’m home and think that if I could pick anywhere in the world to live, I’d buy that little white house where a wooden baby swing once hung from the laundry line posts. The bathroom had these little wooden shutters with white knobs on the bottom of the interior window – very of the era – and one of my first memories is playing with them and enjoying the changing angles of the light. Is it silly that a home I’ve lived in for less than a tenth of my life (and of a tenth where memories are more likely stories I’ve heard than actual memories) is also the one I look at the most fondly? If so, I’m silly.

Speaking of, I’m (hopefully) heading to Michigan yet this week to see my grandmother who managed to beat a really horrible bout of COVID but spent a month in the hospital and is now in a rehabilitation facility. The building itself is in quarantine, so I can’t actually go in to visit her, but I’ll see her through a window and talk on the phone. It isn’t perfect but it’s better than being a whole state away. I’m hoping I’ll be able to see her in her own home later this summer yet.

Abram finished his track season last week. I even managed to get one picture (just the one) from the season. It’s been really fun to watch him. He kept working, and bringing down his time, and running his race. I’m so proud of him.

Okay, on to things.

Reading: Finished The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow, and What Comes After by JoAnne Thompkins. Currently reading The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah. For my birthday, Jesse and I are heading out of town to a cabin that has no cable or wifi, so I’m hoping that I’ll get lots of books read.

Knitting: Still working on Jesse’s friend’s sock. Just started the foot of the first one. I’ve been switching it up with some dishcloth knitting.

Watching: Violet and I watched Moxie on Netflix this last week. It may have been a little too heavy handed for me, but the message was good, but we both appreciated all the representation and enjoyed it. I’m still watching The Handsmaid’s Tale. It’s really, really dark and not all family friendly which keeps me from binging which is good.

Making: I rejoined Instagram. I think I’m going to try and do a one photo a day project. Maybe. I may also delete my account in a month. I don’t know. I make no promises. Still working (too slowly) on my Chicago cross stitch project. I’ve been thinking of trying to find a new theme. The company that made mine no longer makes or supports their WordPress themes but I can’t seem to find anything I like. In the meantime, I just played with some fonts and I’m going to be adding some color to the black and white of it all. I may break some things. Please be patient. Also: I need to get back into the habit of cooking. Any good quick and easy dinner suggestions?

And that’s about all! What’s new with you? What are you -ing?

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  • The first thing I noticed about the cross-stitch was the “bean.” Love.
    I am a sucker for a visit to the nursery in the spring. I think I was meant to live on a farm as well. I come from a long line of farmers, so it’s in my blood. My yard is tiny and full of trees, so figuring out a garden seems difficult. But each year I want to plant all the lettuces. This year, I planted parsley I bought at Trader Joe’s and it felt like a start.

    I’m glad you’re back on Instagram, but I understand how you feel about social media. I had two comments that left me feeling icky for the past few months. I haven’t been wanting to post anything.

    • I’m so sorry you had that happen, Kari, and understand how it could leave you not wanting to post.

      I’ll be interested to see what else you recognize as I move along the city. 🙂

  • Kate,
    There is so much here I want to respond to. This multiple states away thing is the pits! So glad your grandmother has pulled through thus far and that you’ll be able to get closer to her. Not seeing my parents for more than a year was so hard; I can only imagine how it would have been if they’d become sick during that time.

    First, I love that picture of Vi in the nursery. Visually there’s all that color, and the lines, and her eyes and dark clothing; it’s just really striking and interesting. But more than that, it feels like a perfect metaphor for this moment in time, as we emerge from the pandemic. There’s all this riotous color and blooming, but at the center is a lingering sober darkness. Her mask and earrings seem symbolic: We have a desire to enter back into color, and we’re taking baby steps there, but we’re still in shadow. Just a cool pic, on different levels.

    As for your feelings about farming and home: I think you should really listen to what you’re feeling and thinking. It’s not silly at all. It’s you giving yourself information about who you are and want to be. I might be feeling this way because I’ve been reading Martha Beck’s The Way of Integrity (which I’m trying not to discount just because some of her endorsers are people whose seeming obliviousness to privilege makes me cringe), so I’ve been thinking a lot about how we know things and what weight to give them. I’m wrestling with such questions myself. After the last two school years, I know I am going to make some changes to my work life–I’m just not entirely sure yet of what they will be. But I don’t want to waste the knowledge and opportunity that have been part of the pandemic. There’s a door open right now, and I want to walk through it before “normal” resumes and closes it.

    I am (selfishly) so glad to see you on Instagram. It’s about the only social media I’m doing, and so far it’s a good place for me. I like your idea of the photo a day; I did that in November and appreciated how it helped me notice things to be grateful for.

    As for -ings (other than those already mentioned), I really want/need some light audiobook listens. I keep trying and abandoning those in the rom-com vein (too slick and smart and poorly written), but I recently enjoyed Sophie Cousens’ This Time Next Year. Cane and I just finished Cheerleader Generation on Hulu. It lagged a bit in the middle for us and too much seemed staged, but there was a core of it that was kind of fascinating. Not much time for the kind of -ings that your post is full of. As I scrolled through the photos, I thought: I want a life full of these things. I know that these are only snapshots of yours, and that you have as much challenge (or more) than any of the rest of us, but there was something that appeals to my core. I’m determined to have more making of all kinds in my future. Thanks for the info/inspo!

    • Your comments have me thinking all the things!

      I love your comments on my picture of Violet at the garden center. It was taken as a bit of a joke because in the aisle next to use there were three “influencers” doing a whole shoot (with outfit changes and multiple cameras) but I did end up loving how it turned out. I can see why you’ve published poetry – you’re great at seeing metaphor.

      Your thoughts on The Way of Integrity have me thinking I need to add it to my TBR pile. Jesse and I have been talking a lot about how we can make our lives reflect our values (I think the pandemic gave us time to really consider this) and it’s caused some subtle and not so subtle shifts in our home this year. And I like the idea of cementing some of the desirable habits of pandemic before our new normal routines are set. I’m not sure what that looks like for me either, but I want to try.

  • Happy Birthday Kate!!! Wishing you a wonderful adventure at the cabin retreat!

    It’s very nice to see a post from you today. The first pic of all those turtles sunbathing is my favorite. I did not see them on my tiny screen so it was helpful that you mentioned them. I went back to look at them using the “magnifying glass” tool. I am a turtle lover. As a child I would go down to the creeks to search for box turtles to bring home as an outdoor pet. I would feed it lettuce and create play scape home for them in our backyard.

    It’s not silly at all to think of buying your childhood house. I too had a dream that one day I would buy the house that I grew up in my middle and high school years. My parents sold it after I graduated from high school and left home for university in another city. And they move further outside of the suburbs to a very tiny town which is no longer tiny. We never really know where the future will take us. Life is full of adventure and surprises!

    -ing Pivoting from my safe zone home. My first car drive went to the doctor’s office for refill med, required an in person visit. I learned too what all this body pain that I developed during the past two years is and started treatment of a new med for me. It’s not a curable illness; it’s another disease (hereditary most likely) added to my health list. Med might benefit pain management with a lot of self care techniques.

    -ing Watching less news and replacing with more fetching play time with Yorkie (as part of Doctor’s prescription to this new disease that I’m learning to adjust pain management of my life).

    -ing Reading (FINALLY) I picked up my Ruth Ware book Turn of the Key. It’s a mystery. So far I’m enjoying the suspense and curiosity of the story.

    -ing Pivoting from projects. I have to complete the kitchen cabinets and dining area project which is almost done. All outdoor projects are complete. Pivoting from projects and creating projects to: Simple living within as it is.

    There was a time when my father said to me as he aged that he didn’t want another project! I had no idea what he meant by that statement. But I do now as I have aged. I don’t want another project!!!

    Enjoy your 43rd, my pen pal friend!!!

    • Thank you for the birthday wishes, TD.

      I’m so sorry to hear that you’re dealing with pain/health issues, but it does sound like you’re doing what you need to do to take care of yourself and for that I am happy!

      I haven’t ever been at the point where I don’t want another project ever, but I’ve definitely been at a point where I need a break from them. And it sounds like you’ve had A LOT of them this year so I can see why you would feel that you don’t want another!

      I love turtles too! Except for giant snappers. They scare me. When I zoomed in on that picture I counted close to 50!! That makes my heart so happy!

      • That must have been such a delight to see 50 turtles as you did that day!!!

        They have an early morning baby hatched sea turtles release here every so often. About 30 -75 are released together. It’s so much fun to see!! There is a woman who has dedicated her entire life rescuing the eggs that the sea turtles lay in the sand dunes so they make it back to sea. They were almost extinct, but she impacted the sea turtles life’s. She also rescues the stunned sea turtles when the sea gets to cold for them to survive and then releases them when the sea turtle is well.

        I’m responding to the new med quite well. So no pain sometimes is really a great day. And you are correct, the past two years has been an incredible accomplishment of multiple projects simultaneously. I think that a break from a project list will improve my mood swings. And there is a beach and a bay front for Yorkie and me to explore fun experiences of life!