Monday, November 15, 2021

A Few Days Away From Home

This week Jason and I had the rare opportunity to get away for a few days sans offspring. We traveled south to the Shenandoah and stayed in a little cabin (without wifi!) tucked in the woods. A lot of our time was spent lounging about, reading and playing with the various ways to make coffee and tea in our rental house. We discovered that we really do need an automatic milk frother, but definitely do not need an espresso machine. Also, these mugs from Ikea are stupid and no one should buy them. Thankfully, Jason went out to the dollar store to buy us some actual mugs that didn't burn our hands off, because there was no way I was spending two days in a mountain cabin without a proper mug.

This gas stove proved quite useful for holding a coffee pot and teapot at the proper temperature.

We spent the afternoon at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home. I love a good historic home, but this one was a tad small. The gardens though, oh, the gardens! It was fun to pick out the fellow plant people: you could recognize us crouched down, smelling a plant or cradling tiny produce in our hands. Imagine my joy when I found out that the gardeners here had fallen prey to snake gourds as well. Oh, you think they will be a novelty to amuse and delight your friends, but then they take over like the vegetable reptiles they truly are! Watch out. 

Jason has taken up photography in the past few years, which has made my job easier since I can just steal his photos upon occasion. The below are all his.

We had the most gorgeous fall day in the history of gorgeous fall days. The air was the perfect temperature, the sky blue, the leaves in all shades of yellow, orange, and red, and just but a subtle breeze. The ride back home the next day was magical, and makes me want to return to the mountains every fall from here on out. 

Back home, the neighboring field has been mowed, cover crop planted, and the leaves have started falling from the trees. I went for a walk this morning and wished I had brought a hat. I put the last of the spring bulbs in this weekend (90 daffodils to add to about 450 tulips), and the fall gardening is nearly done. It's only 2-3 months before I have to start seeds, not leaving too much time for rest before the next flower season is upon us. In the meantime, I will be huddled under my blanket on the couch, reading, watching literally anything (I am not picky about my TV) on Netflix or YouTube, thinking about painting but not actually doing it, and drinking any dessert-flavored tea I can find.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

On Blogging, and Some Flowers

Hello hello! Recently I've been seeing many posts on Instagram about how the video-centric changes and algorithm have changed what used to be a fun place into a stressful, ad-riddled experience. I couldn't agree more. I'm not sure when Instagram decided I only wanted to see videos of people making weird faces and pointing at words, but I certainly don't. What I do want to do is spy on people - yep, I want to see pictures of the inside of your house, what you're knitting and making, and what sorts of tea you are drinking. I use Feedly to read blogs, but I wish there was a better platform where it was easier to interact (many sites require special log-ins to comment). Tech person, invent this please! I recently put 20-minute-per-day timers on Instagram and Facebook, and it has been marvelous. If you have a blog, please let me know so I can read your lovely words.

I remember the days when I used to post a lot of knitting projects, and while I'm still knitting, I don't take the time to actually go outside and take photos of my WIPs. Most of the time I'm huddled into my cozy, dark couch-cave, and everything looks like a grainy blob. Perhaps now that flower season has come to an end, I will endeavor to actually photograph my knitting. Stay tuned, on the edges of your seats, to see if that will happen!

I don't get to walk every single morning these days, since I have the daycare run once again. After that apparently I am expected to be at work (how annoying). The light and the colors are beautiful these days, however, and I'm always happy to get outside. 

Cora has been wanting to go to Sugarloaf Mountain for several weeks, after the day she looked out the car window and noticed there was a mountain hanging out in the distance. She had many questions about how one climbs a mountain (I think she expected ropes) and asked every day when she could go. I finally took her and Mary and let them "climb" (walk up) the mountain which is technically a monadnock. Us and about 1000 other people. Despite the fact that she fell down many times, she cheerfully chattered the entire way, informing every person we passed that "I AM CLIMBING A MOUNTAIN!" (She is 3, for new readers.)

I grew some red sunflowers, aren't they cool? I planted them at the last minute toward the end of August, and I wasn't sure if they would bloom. Most of them did, but several fell victim to a windy storm. I definitely won't plant that late next year, but it was a fun experiment.


Once I came to accept that I wasn't really going to go back to the office (apparently it is opening in January, but R.I.P. my personal cubicle), I re-arranged my office. I have a spiffy standing desk and a shelf with some stuff on it. Stuff! There are plenty of plants, art books, Frieda Kahlo, and a notable absence of coworkers who do annoying things like talk. I particularly enjoy turning off my camera during meetings and rolling my eyes dramatically.