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May 2017

June 2017

More Daily Haiku

I'm still having fun with my daily haiku thing.  It's a challenge, sure . . . but it's a great way to think about the day and what's happening around me.  And I'm especially enjoying pairing my daily haiku with a daily photo.  Here are a few of my recent favorites.

June 13


Lily pads rising
Reaching up to the surface
Dragonflies cheer

June 14


Out in the distance
Lightning flash, thunder rumbles
Heading home

June 20

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Coffee, time to think
Day unfolding, emerging
Ready to begin

June 21


Lingering daylight
Warm summer night, you and me
Sipping wine outside


Have a great weekend.  
(I hope it's full of poetry.)

My Uniform

I have a uniform I wear pretty much every day (or . . . as often as I can get away with it).  

In the cold months, it revolves around yoga pants; in the warm months, shorts.  In other words, my uniform is all about comfort and ease.  (With some snazzy earrings thrown in for pizazz.) 

Here's my summer uniform.



1 -- Rather loose and comfy linen shorts.  Good for gardening, walking the dogs, and just sitting around.  Perfectly serviceable for a quick trip to the grocery store or meeting up with a friend.  (Best of all?  Nearly any t-shirt will match.)

2 -- Flip flops.  Because if I have to wear shoes, flip flops are my go-to.

3 -- My red peace sign earrings.  I picked these up at an art fair just days after the election last November, and I have worn them most every day since.  I like 'em -- and they just give me some . . . well . . . peace.

Simple.  Comfortable.  Easy.

(You can see that I'm also wearing a new scrape on my knee from my latest biking mishap.  Actually, I'm always wearing a scrape or scratch or bruise of some sort from something in the garden or my bike or just tripping over things in the garage.  Livin' on the edge. . . that's me!)

How about you?  What do you wear for comfort and ease?


Today's post is part of Think Write Thursday.  To see more posts, click here -- and to sign up to receive the weekly prompts, click here.




After finishing my Colorwash Scarf, I've got nothin' on the needles!  (Yet.)

But I am finishing up my Alabama Chanin Factory Dress.  (Which I hope to wear to our Solstice Party on Friday night; it fits like a dream -- and I'm already plotting to make another!)


I'm reading Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life by Helen Czerski.  (Yeah.  I have that "Non-fiction about science" square in Summer Book Bingo.)  It's interesting, but I'm going to have to pick up the pace -- because it's due back at the library next Tuesday.

How about you?  What are you stitching and reading?


Today's post is part of Kat's Unraveled -- a weekly update of what we're stitching (or not) and reading.  To read more Unraveled posts, click here.

You Really Know How to Dance

(Set the tone . . . click here for today's soundtrack.)

Hey!  Uh huh huh!
Hey!  Uh huh huh!

What I like about you, you hold me tight. . .


Tell me I'm the only one, wanna come over tonight


Keep whispering in my ear,
Tell me all the things that I wanna hear, cuz that's true
It's what I like about you!

So.  Yeah.  I finished something -- and I really liked knitting it.  It was the perfect mix for me . . . great design, fun yarn, stripes, and an oh-so-easy rhythmic pattern.

That's what I like about you!

(Ravelry details here.)

Bloomin' Friday

Most mornings, I start the day with a walk around my garden.  Sometimes with a cup of coffee, sometimes with a bowl of cereal, sometimes with my camera.  And always with the dogs!


It's good to start the day with flowers, I think . . . but walking around in my garden each morning also helps me figure out my daily gardening to-do list.  (Which, by the way, is NEVER finished.)

Since it's Friday, I thought y'all might want to come along and see what's going on in my garden today!

While there are a few things in bloom -- this clematis (one of the oldest plants in my garden), for example . . . 


my garden - as a whole - is in a kind of bloom-lull right now.  When I design my gardens, I work hard to have something (and often lots of somethings) in bloom from the very earliest days of spring to the very latest days of fall.  Generally, I've done a good job at that -- and you can see that there are some things in bloom today.  But . . . there are definitely a few peaks in the blooming throughout the summer.  (You should've seen it last week!  EVERYTHING was bursting with color and bloom!)

We're about to hit another peak bloom time -- probably next week, or so.  Lots of things are on the verge of blooming.  See?

My oak leaf hydrangeas are just starting to pop.  By next week, they should be quite showy!


There are little allium flowers just ready to pop open all over my garden.  They'll just kind of hover there . . . in their purple-y-pink-y way . . . above the foliage in the shade.


And out in my butterfly garden, by next week I imagine the bright orange of butterfly weed (a form of milkweed especially preferred by the Monarch butterfly) will be hard to miss!


When I walk my garden each day, I keep mental track of what's blooming, what's finished, and what's likely to be in bloom next.  

On my walks, I also figure out where I need to focus my weeding and deadheading efforts for the day (it's a constant game of Whack-a-Mole in my garden!) . . . 


and I check out the ponds each day to see if the filters are clogged (or if anything has fallen in during the night) . . . 


I water my annuals and re-fill my birdbaths . . . 


My walks always show me what's "wrong" with my garden -- what needs tending or fixing or adjusting.  But they usually also show me what's "right."  (Or, at least, "right" . . . right now.)


Which is really why I garden in the first place!

Enjoy the weekend!




A Special Guest with a Special Mission

A few weeks ago, an old friend put out an announcement on Facebook:  a young man from New Jersey was setting off on a 3200-mile trek across the country to raise money and awareness for . . . water.  His journey was going to take him right across Michigan -- and he was looking for places to stop and shelter along the way.  Including . . . Kalamazoo.

No brainer, right?

Mission close to my heart.

Young man my own son's age.

Empty guest room.

Sign me up to support him!

James arrived last night.  Tired and hot from a long day's journey -- but bubbling with enthusiasm and energy.


It was a delight to spend a few hours with James -- learning about his mission and background.  He's an amazing young man!  He has chosen to backpack across the country carrying 10 gallons of water (that's 90 pounds!) in support of (mostly) women and children around the world who must walk far distances each day for their water.  James planned his route to include areas in the US with water insecurity issues -- and he spent several days in Flint, Michigan last week, learning about the Flint water crisis and volunteering with various organizations there.

James hopes to raise $75,000 during his trek.  All funds he raises will go to repairing broken wells in the Mara region of Tanzania (where James has done work in the past), as well as providing training for well maintenance.

Find out more about James and his journey here.  You can also follow his progress on Twitter or Facebook.  And, if you can, please consider a donation in support of his mission.  

It was truly a delight to connect with James.  He gives me HOPE for the future (something we can all use there days), and I am so pleased we got the chance to meet him.

And now . . . he's off!  Watch for him out on the roads this summer as he heads west . . . for water.



Up North: On the Trail

Last week, Tom got a new bike.  While we were at the bike shop, I picked up a copy of this handy little magazine:


This guide includes maps and detailed descriptions of bike trails all over the state.  And, right there in the bike shop, I randomly opened up the guide and it happened to be page 70 . . . the Pere Marquette State Trail . . . which is very, very close to our cottage up north.  (And we never even knew it was there.)

So we brought our bikes with us this trip, and decided to check out the newly-discovered trail.

We went yesterday - between rainstorms, just assuming we'd get rained on.  (We didn't.)


We rode a little over 12 miles, fighting deer flies and avoiding lots of caterpillars on the trail.  Other than that, though . . . it was just Tom and I . . . through woods and and tiny towns on an old CSX rail bed.  We crossed a few bridges and rode past wetlands (marl bogs) that, ultimately, feed into the Pere Marquette River (a truly lovely river famous for its trout fishing; the river is the reason we have a cottage up north in the first place).


(This is a memorable location.  It was here that I stopped to take pictures, forgot my foot was still clipped into my pedal, collapsed with my bike, got a major foot cramp -- because foot still clipped in pedal, and accidentally popped Tom under the chin as he was helping me untangle myself.  A lovely moment in married-people bike riding, as you can imagine.)  (The view was nice, though.)


It was a great ride -- and good exercise, too.  (Because surprising uphill section.)  We'll definitely do it again -- and plan to explore other parts of the trail as the summer unfolds.


Best of all?  The trail begins/ends right behind Jones Ice Cream -- one of our favorite places to visit in town.


YUM!  A perfect ending to our biking adventure up north.

Bloomin' Friday

I have a little herb garden.  It's right off my patio, which is right off my kitchen . . . which is a super handy place to have frest herbs.


It really doesn't look like much now, but it will fill out and grow into its space.


In fact, before long, I'll have plenty of my favorite herbs to snip for cooking or for drying and preserving.


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I love having fresh herbs right outside my kitchen door.  It's one of my favorite things in my garden!


Enjoy the weekend!