November 6, 2012

Recalibrating

Anguished Lion

I love this anguished lion statue, seen at Hatley Castle on my recent trip to Victoria, BC. The human eyes, the mouth gaping open, could it be more dramatic?

When I return from an unplanned blogging break, I feel I need to recap everything that happened since my last post. Besides working much to much this summer, my monthly music goal totally fell apart, I knit a couple things that I really hate and I didn’t even blog about it. How’s that for anguished confessions of a guilty blogger?

With snow coming down, this is a time for closure and looking forward to the beauty of winter. This weekend I dug up my zinnias and cosmos, replacing them with spring bulbs and poppy seeds. It was a wonderful summer of gardening successes, even with the hardships of draught.

Today I voted, marking the end of a perpetual barrage of political angst that has gone on for years. This is it, the final day. Tonight the results will come in and we can all move on. Holiday food and winter vacations can take over the space I’ve devoted to indignation and concern.

On Friday, the Department of Energy is coming for tea. I’ve been joking that Dr. Chu is coming to chat with me about physics. In reality, it is an insulation inspection, to see how the federal dollars were spent on our modest home. The final step in our Green Madison journey.

It feels good to blog. Why did I wait so long?

May 29, 2012

A weekend of roses

White Rose

For Memorial Day weekend, SB and I headed to the windy city for a mini-break. Since visiting the Morton Arboretum last summer, I’ve had my eye on the Chicago Botanic Gardens, on the north side of the city. I’d heard that because of their proximity to the lake, they have a special microclimate, allowing plants 1 or 2 zone warmer to thrive.

This spring has been so strange, I’m not sure I really noticed that the gardens were much ahead of my gardens at home, but there was plenty to be inspired by in their highly sculpted landscape. I now need poppies, after seeing a whole field of icelandic poppies in full bloom. Also, we need to train some climbing roses on geometric trellises, to decorate our yet to be built fence. I’m already looking forward to returning to the Botanic Gardens later in the summer.

Last week we put in a new garden along the side of the garage and planted our herb garden. As I laid the seeds in the ground, I thought about how optimistic the act of gardening can be. It is all about the belief in the future potential of these little seeds. After visiting the Botanic Gardens, I was thinking about how gardening is also about dreaming of colors, shapes, textures and smells. Gardening, a future fantasy for all the senses.

Speaking of the future, on Sunday, we had a planned surprise visit to one of my favorite gardening friends, Rosey Cheeks, to celebrate the soon-to-be birth of her second child. I cut it very close with my blanket gift, sewing in the ends on the car ride to Chicago. The honeycomb blanket had a photo shoot in the botanic gardens before starting its journey with Rosey and family.

May 9, 2012

From Coast to Coast and Home Again

Cold and Rainy

I’m tired. In the past month I’ve been on Atlantic and Pacific waters, I spent thirty hours volunteering for the film festival and every other weekend has been filled with house projects and even an emergency shopping trip to Chicago. As I head into summer, there is just so much to do, it has been hard to find the balance between work, travel, projects and the rest and relaxation I actually need. On top of all that I’ve been battling some frustrating stomach issues, which just make eating a chore and totally contributes to my overall tiredness. Finally, I’ve decided that I’m done taking allergy medicine. I’m just going to soldier through this summer without any help, but already, waking up with a nose like a faucet every morning is such a drag.

Whine, whine, whine. This is all very tiring. Here are a couple things I’ve been enjoying recently.

We’ve been working our way through the documentary series Craft in America. It has really made me think about how one medium can really speak to you and another just carries no interest and to wonder how you discover those mediums that most resonate with you. I think trying lots of different craft forms is key.

One of the artists featured is a couple here in southern Wisconsin. They make amazing natural fiber baskets and jewelry. I’ve been pining after their necklaces and leaving the page open for SB to see. Loeber + Look.

I’ve also been reading a lot about bike commuting and I’m sold. Bike commuting looks fantastic! The irony is that I don’t have any commute, so I guess the message is partially lost on me. Check out this short video on bike commuting in Portland. A very nice, low budget documentary.

April 17, 2012

At five years

New Hats

The traditional gift for the fifth wedding anniversary is something made of wood. All the gifts of the first five years relate to setting-up the home, from paper to linens to wood, they represent the basic materials of domestic life. According to the self-help books, the first five years are the cornerstone to a successful, life-long marriage. This may be true, but for us, it is more about the everyday and less about milestones and gifts.

On our anniversary day this year, we painted our garage and went to a roller-derby tournament, treating the day like any other Saturday. Granted, we had just returned from a week vacation in San Francisco, where we sailed in the bay, bought new hats and enjoyed some leisurely travel adventures. The idea of our anniversary was a background note to living our life together. It worked out well that we could travel, sail and spend time with friends, all activities mentioned in our wedding vows, but this was more coincidence than good planning.

If nothing else, our anniversary this year reminded me that life is good and that I’m looking forward to many more days turning into years.

March 21, 2012

Nine

Nine Buttons

Nine years ago today, I started blogging. In those many years I’ve ebbed and flowed with my words and images, sometimes feeling more inspired than others. One thing that has remained constant is how blogging has given me a reason to write, goaded and stretched and reminded me of the art of composing words. When I started, blogging was so trendy, so cutting-edge, now it is seen by many as washed-up, too wordy and something undertaken by women with cats. Others have moved on to twitter or tumblr or even solely facebook.

The beauty of my personal blog is that it lives on my domain, on a site I created and designed. It isn’t hosted by a company that wants to sell ads to my friends. There is no hidden agenda of commerce here. I create and own the content, the site, the space and I keep it open for anyone who wants to stop in. I guess that is a little old-school.

After all these years, I continue to be surprised and flattered when various friends mention something from these pages. It is a true compliment to have readers. Thank you.

2012 Music Count
March: Caravan of Thieves and David Wax Museum at High Noon
March Bonus: Bela Fleck and the Flecktones at Wisconsin Union Theater
February: Ghost Town Council at High Noon
January: Polica at High Noon, part of the FRZN Festival

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