Daily Haiku

I am a regular listener of Gretchen Rubin's Happier podcast.  Each week, Gretchen and her sister Elizabeth share stories and suggestions about the little things we can do to bring more happiness into our outlooks and our lives.

A couple of weeks ago, Gretchen and Elizabeth talked about writing a daily haiku in their "Try this at Home" segment.  By writing a daily haiku - a super simple and accessible type of poetry - you can focus your attention on some little segment of your day, bringing a bit of mindful attention and happiness into your life.

This idea resonated with me -- and I decided to give it a try.  I've challenged myself to write a daily haiku during the month of June -- and it's been so much fun, I decided to share a few.

(A haiku is a 3-line poem following a specific formula:  Line 1 - 5 syllables; Line 2 - 7 syllables; Line 3 - 5 syllables.  The lines seldom rhyme.)

June 1


Sunrise over lake
Coffee steaming in my cup
Bird joy all around

June 3


Cloudy, grey morning
Makes me want to sit and knit
While sipping coffee

June 7


So fast down the hill
Not even pedaling . . . but
Uphill coming home


Turns out daily haiku is a really fun exercise!  Give it a try and see for yourself.


Unraveled . . . Tales of Stitching and Reading

These days, most of my "creative time" is spent out in the garden (and my fingernails really show it . . .), but I still try to find time to stitch every day.

IMG_6886 2

No unraveling this week.  (At least, not of the knitting or stitching variety.  In the garden, though?  I have a MAJOR unraveling going on, but I'll save that for another blog post.)  

The Colorwash Scarf continues to be a joy to knit, and it's growing quickly.  I'm hoping to be finished before Kirsten Kapur releases the first clue (June 15) for this year's Through the Loops Mystery Shawl -- but I'll have to knit quickly.  Because . . . 

See that sort of mustard-y green pile of fabric underneath?  Well.  That's my basic Alabama Chanin Factory Dress . . . and it's hogging most of my stitching time these days.

As for reading, in the ears I've got David Sedaris' newest book, Theft by Finding (audiobook-read-by-the-author, if you're following along with Summer Book Bingo).  In print, I'm reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (biography).  Earlier this week I finished The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane (borrowed).  

How about YOU?  What are you reading and unraveling this week?


Today's post is part of Kat's Unraveled group.  Click here to see more posts about stitching and reading.


Perspective from a Shoebox

Tom has been going through shoeboxes of photos and clippings and . . . stuff . . . that he's been carting around and storing in closets ever since we've been together.

I can't believe some of the stuff he has squirreled away in his shoeboxes!  Amazing things.  Newspaper clippings from high school races.  Race programs.  School papers.  Every single issue of his high school newspaper!  Certificates.  Ribbons.  Prizes and awards.  Things printed with that purple ink of ditto machines.

Seriously.  The stuff time capsules are made of.  

He's sorting through things and tossing most of it.  But, along the way, we're enjoying all these treasures from the past.

Back when he looked like this . . . 

Scan 2 7


Let's go back to the time of this photo.


Tom was a senior in high school.  A runner - cross country and track.  Also a good student with a great sense of humor and a penchant for satire.

We found this paper (among many) in one of his boxes . . . brittle now, and faded by years of storage.


He can't exactly remember why he wrote this particular paper.  Maybe a class assignment?  Maybe a submission for the school paper?  Maybe just inspired by . . . current events of the day.  Whatever the reason, though, it's fun to read -- and especially because while it was written in 1975, it resonates today.  (In a way I'm sure 1975-Tom would never imagined.)

I thought you all  might enjoy reading it, too, so here it is -- Tom's unnamed article from 1975:

In the beginning God created heaven and earth, the United States of America, Washington D.C., baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolets.  The government was without form and void, and the spirit of '76 was moving over the face of the land.  And God said, "Let there be government."  And from the anarchy rose a government of the people, for the people, and by the people.  And God separated the executive branch from the judicial branch and the legistlative branch, and the house from the senate, and all of that he separated from the church.  And God saw that it was good.

And the Lord said, "Let the govenment put forth a constitution yielding laws and amendments according to their own kind.  And let there be taxes, a budget, and the C.I.A."  And it was so.

And God said, Let the earth bring forth living creatures."  And God made the birds and the beasts and the fishes of the seas, and bugs, and the common American.  After all, somebody had to pay the taxes.

And finally the Lord made politicians, Republican and Democrat he made them, good, bad, and ugly he made them.  With gleaming white teeth, receding hairlines, and non-tiring tongues he made them.  And God blessed them saying, "Be fruitful and multiply, fill and subdue the government."

And God gave the politicians dominion over the birds and the beasts and the fish of the sea and the bugs and the common American.  The Lord also gave him executive privilege and tax shelters.  And after hearing the campaign speeches, the Lord voted that it was all good.

And on the next day, seeing it was the 4th of July, the Lord rested and had a barbecue and afterwards shot fireworks.  And the Lord blessed that day saying, "Thou shalt not campaign on the Sabbath day."

And things went just dandy for almost 200 years excpet for a few wars, assassinations, riots, depressions, etc. nothing too unusual.

Now the president was more subtle than any other politician.  And he said to the other republicans, "Did the Lord say that we should not bug the other party's campaign meetings lest we die?"  And they said, "Yes, mister president."  And the president said, "Pardon me, but I beg to differ.  We will not die, but get me re-elected."  

And so the republicans bugged the other party's campaign meetings, and they won the election.  But then someone blew the whistle and told the Lord.  And the Lord made the president resign and banished him to some dreaded place in California.  And he cursed the politicians saying, "Graft and corruption shall fill your lives, and the people will trust you no more."

                                                                                                Tom Mulhern, 1975


We laughed when we read it -- this reminder that the more things change, the more things stay the same.  (And now . . . back to the shoeboxes!)



"Whether we and our politicians know it or not,
Nature is party to all our deals and decisions,
and she has more votes, a longer memory,
and a sterner sense of justice than we do."
                            --- Wendell Berry


Get outside, my friends.  

Find a path and follow it.  Spend some time in a garden.  Look up at the sky.  Breathe the fresh air.  Listen to the water.  

Connect with your environment.

Hey, June!

Tom and I are up north for a few days, and I can't imagine a better place to welcome June.


June . . . is probably my favorite month (although, really, all the summer months are pretty great).  


Hey, June!  Welcome.


Bring on the sunshine.

Watch my garden pop.

Listen to the bird song.

Play outside.

Keep moving - but sit back some, too.

Breathe in the summer!


Bring it!


Today's post is part of Think Write Thursday.  To read what everyone else has to say about June, click here.  And to sign up to receive the weekly prompts, click here.

Love Don't Come Easy

Here's a little soundtrack for today's post.

You can't hurry love;
No you just have to wait.


You've got to trust it, give it time;
No matter how long it takes.


Love don't come easy;
it's a game of give and take!

So, yeah.  Sometimes projects drag on for months . . . maybe even for a whole year.  It sure feels good when you finish them, though.  

You just can't hurry love!

(Ravelry details here.)


Today's post is part of Kat's Unraveled group. Click here to see what everyone else is knitting and reading!

Right Now . . . May 2017

Well.  May.  My goodness . . . you went fast.

In fact, you may have just set the speed-month record!



Just. Like. That.


Here's what's happening for me . . . right now.

Watching - Having recently finished watching the latest seasons of both Grace & Frankie and Call the Midwife, I'm sort of at a loss.  Maybe I'll try the new Twin Peaks?  (Tom and I were big fans of the original . . . almost 30 years ago.)  Maybe Anne with an E?  (I've heard it's worth watching.)  Maybe I'll just watch the weeds grow in my garden instead?  (Because that's quite a show, let me tell you.)

Gardening - This is the time of year where everything just . . . pops!  All the blooms.  All the chores.  All the weeds.  All. Of. It.  And all at the same time!  It's joyous and wonderful and beautiful and exhausting.  May is a busy month -- but gardening is what makes my May schedule go all helter-skelter.  Because I could spend all-day-every-day out in the garden -- and still not be caught up with all the gardening chores!  I am not complaining.  Just busy out there.


Reading - Book Bingo!  Game on!  Last week, I mentioned that I had just started reading The Lonely Hearts Hotel.  Well.  Let me tell you . . . the reviews call it an "adult fairy tale."  And they DO mean "adult."  As in . . . X-rated.  (Just a warning, folks.)  Now, I'm no literary prude, but this one?  Hmmm.  Not to my taste.  I'll finish it (because Bingo) - but it's just a bit . . . on the too-much side for me.  (Any Bingo squares for X-rated books, Mary???)  On a more positive note, I'm listening to The Dark Circle by Linda Grant (on the short list for the Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction) and loving it!  If you're looking for something to fill the "historical fiction" square on your Bingo card, or even the "set in more than one time period" square, this might be the book for you!  Next up for me: Storm in a Teacup (for that elusive "non-fiction about science" square).

Stitching - I'm happily knitting away on my Colorwash Scarf -- a project that reminds me that knitting is magical and full of pleasure.  I also just cut out an Alabama Chanin dress.  It's going to be very basic (no stenciling) - but still interesting in that altogether Alabama Chanin way.


Drinking - My new favorite summer drink:  The Michigan Mule.  Loosely based on the Moscow Mule (vodka, ginger beer, lime), my Michigan version features Vernor's, Michigan-made whiskey, and lime.  (The whiskey is sometimes substituted with cherry-flavored vodka, although I've not tried that version yet.)  It's FAB.  (And for those of you not from Michigan . . . Vernor's is a very strong ginger ale made in Detroit and popular throughout the state -- but not really available anywhere else.)

Humming - This one has been buzzing around in my head for several days now.  (Like a ceiling can't hold us . . . )

Delighted by - Being able to spend so much time outside.  The weather seems to finally be turning more to . . . summer.  I'm loving long walks with the dogs and plenty of time to garden; sitting in the swing in my pergola and having drinks on the patio.  We're coming up on my favorite season of the year -- and I love it!

Grateful for - Even when life is easy and things are going smoothly, you still need support sometimes, y'know?  I'm grateful for friends stepping in - just when I need them most!


Gold Star - It feels like I really got off-track this month, schedule-wise.  I just had a lot of "seasonal" and "special" things that came up in May - all at once (from the annual Master Gardener plant sale to Erin's lovely visit).  Sometimes, I feel bad for getting "behind" on my schedule.  But.  This month, I'm trying to let it go and enjoy the variability of LIFE.  Being flexible is part of maintaining BALANCE, after all.  The fact the I've gotten through this busy month without a breakdown definitely deserves a Gold Star!

Looking Forward - to a summer I can sink my teeth into!  Time up north, relaxing on the patio, hosting a party, riding my bike, a nice vacation, puttering around in the garden -- and just kicking back.  I'm ready!

How about YOU?  What's happening for you . . . right now?


In the Bag

Until a couple of years ago, I had kind of a Thing . . . for bags.  Handbags.  Totebags.  Wallets.  Clutches.  I had quite a collection . . . far too many to use, truth be told.  (I actually started hanging some of my favorites on doorknobs -- as "art objects.")  (Because I think I was taken more by their design than their function.)

And then . . . I discovered the Marie Kondo method (Kon-Mari for those in the know), and discovered that most of those bags just . . . didn't bring me joy.  They're gone now.  Seriously.  Gone.

And replaced by the completely unattractive yet highly functional Baggalini Everywhere Bagg.


Yes.  For two solid years now, THIS bag has been my only bag.  (I do actually have it in two colors -- black for the cold months and blue for the warmer ones.  Same bag.  Different colors.)

Although I thought I might die from bag-boredom early on, I can now say that this bag is the perfect bag for me!  Every. Day.

It has functional pockets --- that I actually use.  For my phone, for my lip gloss, for my bullet journal, for my cheaters, for my umbrella.  There is ample storage for those times I want to bring my iPad or a small knitting project along.  Everything fits.  Everything has it's place.  Shoot . . . there's even a hook for my keys.  And - maybe best of all - I can throw the bag in the washing machine and freshen it up if I need to.

It's time for me to switch out my bag . . . from the black version to the blue version.  Perfect timing for this week's Think Write Thursday topic!  Want to see what I keep in there?


Let's see . . . 

We have my wallet (which doubles as a clutch if I don't want to haul the entire bag around -- it even has room for my phone), my grocery-list-memo-pad, my horribly hideous umbrella (I'm really hard on umbrellas; this is a free-with-purchase umbrella that came with some random totebag along the way), cheaters pair #1, bullet journal, wet wipes (just in case), my quick-sketch pad and pencil, some Imodium (because you need to be prepared, y'know), Altoids, spare hearing aid batteries, tissues, a decent pen, keys, hand lotion, lipgloss, and my phone.  (I just realized my cheaters pair #2 missed the photo . . . because they were on my head.  But they belong in the bag too -- right in the handy side zip pocket, perfect for cheaters or sunglasses.)  That's pretty much it for me.  I like to travel light . . . but also be prepared.  

And, with that . . . I've switched over to my warm-weather blue version of the Everywhere Bagg! 


How about YOU?  What's in YOUR bag?


Today's post is part of Think Write Thursday.  To see what other bloggers are carrying in THEIR bags, click here.  And to sign up to receive weekly prompts, click here.