return of the summer quilt

Thanks for the kind words friends.  Today was a better day.  I gave a colorful lecture on the beginning of the Sunni-Shiite split.  But that’s not what this post is about.  Last week I got an unexpected call from the machine quilter that my quilt was finished.  So David and I went to pick it up on Friday.  Here are two shots:

Front:

Back:

The Season is Upon Us

our table as a still life photo

Ranunculus season is here.  I first discovered this flower when planning my wedding.  Martha Stewart’s wedding magazine included some incredible bouquets of ranunculus and I fell in love.  Sadly, the Ranunculus season ends in May, three months before my wedding.  So it wasn’t meant to be, but each year around February and March, I keep my eyes open at the grocery, mostly Trader Joe’s for these little beauties.  And this week it finally happened.

What-up Paycheck

Last week something incredible happened, really a lot of incredible things happened, but this one was a first…

I GOT PAID!!!!

It was my first real paycheck from a real job that took out adult things like health insurance, dental insurance, and money for a 401K.  What did I do, what any self-respecting formerly poor student does, go shopping.  Nothing major, just a cute dress for teaching.  After 25 years of either paying to live or barely making minimum wage, I felt a little like a millionaire.

Last night, I did the budget and reality set in slightly, but it is nice to get paid.  And it’s even nicer to know that in a few weeks, another pay check will come.  I could really start to like this whole working thing…

The Fleeting Joy of a Cold Shower

Many days the ritual shower is no big deal.  You get up, you shower, you go about your day.  Sometimes, when you’ve feeling a little crazy, you may take two showers, be a bit of a rebel.  While most showers are but a blip on the radar, some showers really stick with you.  Up until today, there were two:

  1. It was easily 100 degrees outside on a hot August day.  Some would call it the dog days of summer.  I was at Westminster Woods summer camp and had just finished playing a 3-on-3 basketball tournament.  Red, hot, and sweaty, my greatest joy was stepping into an ice cold shower.
  2. Ten days, six boats, one groover, and no shower.  It was Outward Bound in the Florida Everglades.  The blessed shower happened at a camp site washroom.  Dirty floors, cold water…it was a little like heaven on earth.

This week’s worth of showers may soon join the list.  After two days where the low at night is 80 degrees and there is no air conditioning, not even a window unit, in sight, my only solace is stepping into that ice cold shower for a few minutes of relief.  I’m telling you even drying off with a towel after wards feels hot.  I cannot wait for this heat wave to pass or for our trip to Canada with our over-priced rooms with air-conditioning to arrive, which ever comes first.

In other news, the Maltese Shawl and I have finally made amends.  After an excruciating hour of ripping back two rows and mending my work, I’m off and running, perhaps mall-walking is a better image of my pace…Since my goal is to finish the shawl before school starts at the beginning of September, I’ve added a new feature to the blog.  On the right, you will notice a countdown on the number of lace sections to go before I’m finished.  There are 88 sections of 6 rows a sections and then the boarder to go.  To finish on time, I’ll have to knit 3 sections a day, which is a lot to ask given my current pace, but I’m optimistic that as I get more comfortable with the pattern things will move more quickly.  Here’s to hoping.

bloom where you are planted

bright and beautiful coleus

As many of you know, for the summer David and I are living in temporary housing.  While this has proved frustrating on some fronts (i.e. no internet, no cable, no AC), it also has a couple real perks that I will miss when we move back into an apartment.  The first is an awesome screened in porch.  I really love spending my mornings reading for class in a bug-free zone.  The second major perk to staying in a house is having a yard.  We finally have a place for our plants to grow.  And they are thriving.  Check out my Coleus that I planted as a little seed in a grow kits that David found on kid’s woot.

honeysuckle flutes

We also have been blessed by the remnants of a previous tenant’s garden.  It feels like our own little secret garden.  At first glance the house appears slightly overgrown with weeds as tall as the porch.  Then out of this tangle of weeds pops a yellow or red or orange flower and it makes my day just a little brighter.  There were hardly any flowers when I left to visit Kansas, but when I returned there were flowers aplenty.  It felt a little like the house was welcoming me home.

the bold and the beautiful

the lemon drop of flowers