Right now. . .

I am savoring time with my brother.

I want to create.

I am anticipating a gorgeous and rejuvenating fall season.

I am planning handmade Christmas gifts.

I know I am blessed.

I am bidding farewell to my summer garden and absorbing lessons learned.

I am praying for peace for those I love.

I am feeling the call to write and write big.

I am ready for big change.

 

Away

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Last weekend we got away. It was a little getaway, but “away” is key here. It was only a two-hour trek and it was only for one night, but I am always amazed at how such a little bit of time can rejuvenate you.

Nashville is just about two hours south of here. Lots to do. Lots to see. Good food. But what we seem to enjoy most is good thrifting. So, that’s how we began our day, thrifting. I had been looking forward to some good food, but sadly, our recommendations didn’t pan out and it was less than stellar. . . that is until Jeni’s Artisan Ice Cream saved the day. Alas, what can’t ice cream right?

Perks from the hotel, a nice large room, a hearty breakfast. . . it wrapped up our short little trip. We came home with a trunk full of finds, a grateful heart for some time alone and a lesson learned when it comes to reservations.

As for the rest of our week, it’s been peaceful. I’ve been fighting off a bug, which seems to have slowed me down a bit. That’s not a bad thing, afterall, to slow down a little. The summer garden is coming to an end. My carrots are still growing. I couldn’t resist pulling a few as I thinned them.

And there has been some television watching and some knitting. I’ve talked a good game about painting, but have yet to dip the brush into a bucket of paint. I’m hopeful the fact my painting brother is still in town will motivate me.

I’m pondering a trip to visit family. I can’t seem to nail down a date, but I find myself missing those Asheville folk so very much.

Summer

photoSummer is coming to an end. We all knew it would. And frankly I typically am very ready to bid farewell to hot, steamy days, mosquitoes, grass mowing and cat hair shedding.

As I’ve gotten older (yes, I just played the age card), I’ve come to appreciate summer. Fresh vegetables, eating outside, festivals and music in the park. It’s all good stuff.

Couple that good stuff with a very, very mild summer overall . . and well, I am going to miss the summer of 2014.

We’ve had time on the porch. We’ve ventured far and wide for indoor and outdoor music. I’ve had my share of iced tea, fried green tomatoes and fresh squash. It’s been good, very good.

Fall awaits and soon my “to do list” will contain a whole new set of things to accomplish. Cleaning the porch will fall off my radar. I won’t need to venture out to pick fresh basil. I won’t be cutting flowers back in the beds. I’ll be making chili, renting movies and pulling out the crockpot.

Each season brings its own delights. Fall will deliver a chance to wear warm sweaters, drink hot tea and add a few blankets to the bed. We’ll be raking leaves instead of mowing. We won’t be cursing mosquitoes, but will miss open windows.

And we’ll talk of the delights of the season past.

Alas, summer is almost over. . . but fall awaits.

OK

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Lately I seem to be reminding myself that it’s ok to do this, ok to feel this way or ok to say this or that.

It is ok, isn’t it?

Recently I announced to a close friend that I simply don’t like someone. I literally  marched up to her and said, “I don’t like (this guy).” Suddenly I felt a little lighter. It was ok that I didn’t like him. I don’t necessarily have to explain it. I don’t have to offer up a debate. I don’t like him. I have plenty of reasons, but the bottom line is that he’s not a member of my tribe. That’s that.

Since that time I’ve tried to back out of it, primarily for fear of how I will seem to others, being all crass and not liking this really unlikeable person. I even broke that quiet rule and offered up a few excuses.

And why do I do that? Offer excuses for my feelings, my likes, my desires and my actions. It’s one thing if my actions hurt you, cause you harm or distress, but when they don’t, it’s ok. It’s ok not to like this guy. It’s ok.

I spend a lot of time apologizing for who I am. I suspect I am not alone in this. How often do you say, “I’m sorry” or “Just sayin'”? Or offer up an excuse when there really isn’t a need for one.

I would love to try to stop this madness. Perhaps it’s one little step. I don’t like him and you can’t make me.

 

Flown

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And it’s August. . . summer has literally flown by and I find myself a little in awe of not only how quickly it has gone, but all that we’ve done in the past few months.

My niece and nephew, en route from North Carolina to California, shared most of their summer with us. We spent our time celebrating 7th birthdays, teaching her to knit, sorting bottle caps, “wallering” each other and generally enjoying the luxury of having family in close proximity.

My brother was in as well and I must confess that I became spoiled to having him nearby. It wasn’t just the fact that he painted our kitchen and dining room for us (as well as picking out the colors), but probably most importantly that we had time, not enough of it, to catch up, chat, hang out and get to know each other all over again. It’s a treat we just don’t get in my quick visits to Asheville.

In the midst of their visit, we held our annual family and friends get-together at my folks’ house, which included the entire family: my middle brother, his wife and their two adorable daughters. . . . along with my college-going nephew. A wonderful, wonderful surprise and a truly memorable occasion to have all of us together, sharing memories, catching up and hanging out. I like to hang out, as you can tell.

In between all of that, my boss and mentor of 14 years retired, leaving a huge hole in my work life. I’m still absorbing the change, but trying to concentrate on the blessing afforded to me from her.

Oh, and then there was an amazing Sarah McLachlan show at the Ryman. Beautiful venue, amazing voice, intimate show. . . it was memorable.

Fandom Fest Comic Con in Louisville kicked off our August, much to the pleasure of Cynical. A fun time, but sadly, not enough time to hang out with family and friends in the area. Promises of rain checks will have to suffice.

I am hopeful August will bring more painting, more home improvements, additional sweet corn and our first fried green tomatoes of the season.

Random (Summer)

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I must confess that as I became an adult, I began to dread summer. Long gone were leisurely days of sunning, reading, swimming and sweet corn. Instead, summer began to mean yard mowing, hot temperatures, and a lot of work.

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I’m not sure when things turned around for me. Perhaps it was sweet corn that first convinced me that summers had some redeeming qualities outside of sweet, sweeping grass clippings and buzzing mosquitos. Maybe it was when I planted a garden, and saw (literally) the fruits of my labors. Or it could be that sweet, wonderful screened-in porch, shielding me from the sun and protecting me from the pesky mosquitos. Or, it could be the peach cobbler.

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For whatever reason, I welcome summer. A while ago I gave up wearing skirts and shorts, for a very, very silly reason: I think my legs are chubby and unattractive. For a girl that hates to be hot, that doesn’t make much sense, does it?

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I rediscovered my love for skirts this summer. . . the comfort, the coolness, the ease. And I’ve braved shorts several times. These simple, simple little changes have honestly made summer, well, obviously more comfortable and freed me from the heat just a tad. Simple and silly as it seems, the small things do change perspective.

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Summer, you’ve become welcomed at our house, just remember to bring along sweet corn, peaches, a cool breeze or two and some friends to sit on the porch with us.

Weekend

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We just wrapped up a glorious three-day weekend. I know what we did, but I can’t remember when we did it. The days flowed beautifully together as the weather was fantastic and we had the perfect blend of busy and down times.

The sweet, sweet breeze on the 4th of July reminded me of the year we moved into our house. We’d selected that house partially due to its screened-in porch, but honestly didn’t anticipate using it much initially as we were getting the keys the first week in July. Well, the summer surprised us. It was incredibly mild and comfortable, spoiling us with the ability to leave the doors from the porch open, along with windows around the house. Sweet summer smells, access to another whole (outside) room and cooling breezes. . . it was marvelous. The summers to follow weren’t quite as inviting, but we still loved the porch.

Over our holiday weekend, we were once again able to let summer in. It’s amazing to me how refreshing it is to “air out the house”.

Between reading time on the porch, playing with two adorable kids, running errands, checking-in on a traveling friend’s cat and generally soaking up the ability to linger, I did see some fireworks, get my first taste of this season’s sweet corn and do a little knitting. Somewhere in there, we spent time with family, made a peach/blueberry cobbler and organized bottle caps.