If ever there was a Monday . . . okay Tuesday . . . that calls for a fresh start, a new chapter, sharpened pencils and a brand new notebook . . . it's the Tuesday after Labor Day, y'know?
Let's get those first-MondayTuesday-in-September engines revvvvving!
Sometimes, on Mondays (or Tuesdays!), I share random things that have caught my eye recently. Interesting articles, factoids, and inspiration for the most part. Things that might help get your day started in a revved-up kind of way.
Let's start things off with a quote . . .
"Great things are done by a series of small things brought together."
--- Vincent Van Gogh
Every week, I find a quote for myself and I write it in my planner . . . right at the top where I am reminded of it every day. This week, I'm hoping these words from Vincent can help me to remember that every little bit helps. I may not be able to fix the world, but maybe I can fix something in my own little corner of the world. I may not be able to complete a big task, but maybe I can make progress by taking a few small bites. That's what I'm hoping for this week.
I know this might sound kinda crazy, with my love of gardens and flowers and all, but during the summer, I rarely cut flowers to bring inside! I do sometimes, but not very often often. I think . . . it's because I spend so much time outside in the summer, surrounded by flowering containers on my patio, or maybe because I have lovely garden views from every window in my house during the spring and summer. As my garden goes dormant for the season, though, I start bringing more flowers inside -- from my garden when I can, but also from flower shops or nurseries or the grocery store, too.
When I do cut (or buy) flowers to bring inside, I want them to last as long as possible. I found this article with tips about keeping cut flowers fresh longer. Basically, there are 5 things to remember:
- Change the water in your container every two days.
- Give the stems a fresh cut - on an angle - when you change the water.
- Clean your vase before adding flowers.
- Keep your flowers cool. (Not in direct sunlight; not near a heat vent)
- Remove most of the leaves before putting the stems in water.
The article also includes for a list of flowers that last the longest when cut for a bouquet.
How about you? What are your favorite flowers to enjoy inside? And do you have any tips for keeping them looking fresh?
I'm always on the lookout for news that makes me feel good. Here's something I heard recently, and I though you might enjoy it, too. It's a quick, 4-minute listen from NPR about Sister Doris, a 72-year old Franciscan nun who claims to be the "world's last nun brewmeister."
You can click in to read the story and see more photos, or you can opt to listen to the 4-minute broadcast. Either way, it's a delightful story about a Bavarian beer-making nun.
I love to sit and knit . . . and just let my mind wander. I've never seen this as a "problem" at all, and in fact, I think it's a great way to center myself -- kind of like a moving meditation of sorts. Well, here's a little article that actually encourages mind-wandering, linking such healthy thinking with happiness.
The article, which appeared in The New York Times Magazine a couple of weeks ago, suggests that we try to "facilitate unconstrained thinking by engaging in an easy, repetitive activity like walking" (or, I might add . . . knitting!). Research shows that "freely moving thoughts" increase the alpha waves in our frontal cortexes, an area of the brain associated with creative problem solving. In our culture - where productivity and efficiency are so highly valued - researchers are finding that creating the space to . . . just think . . . is a good way to replenish you; to feed your soul.
I've shared some of Ann Wood's charming patterns and designs here before, I know. I just love her whimsical style! Last week, she released a new free pattern and tutorial over on her blog.
Wouldn't it be fun to stitch up a basketful of happy cats? Check out Ann's blog for all the details, materials, pattern -- and plenty of inspiration.
Lastly, here's a little reminder for you: Our Read With Us book discussion is coming up a week from today - Tuesday, September 14. Bonny and Carole and I will be posting discussion questions on our blogs next Tuesday, and we'll be hosting a book group Zoom meet-up later in the evening (7:00 pm Eastern time). I hope you'll be able to join in! (There's still time to read the book. It's a fast read. . . ) To make a reservation for the Zoom, just comment here -- or send an email to me (email address in sidebar), Carole, or Bonny.
And with that, we're OFF!
Here's to a great week for all of us.
Happy September, everyone.