Sunday, July 20, 2014

where have I been?

Picking strawberries...

with the help of other people's children.

Going on walks.

And more walks...

Hanging out at the beach.

Watching the sun set.

Attempting to hike, only to be foiled by snow.

Exploring Box Canyon instead.

And a much more local hike.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

summer, so far



Summer has just begun - both in the astronomical sense, and in the school-year sense. Sometimes school doesn't get out until after the solstice, but this year we ended on the 19th, just in time. Of course this year saw me packing up my room, the science supply room, and helping my coworker pack up her room - and it all had to be finished before the 21st. We're moving to a new building and our former building is getting retrofitted and remodeled. Busy times.

So far, this summer (all four days of it) I've managed to...
:: begin a knitting project
:: make a batch of sun tea, which I am enjoying mixed with lemonade
:: eat the first ripe grape tomato from my garden
:: clean out and organize our storage, which was becoming a frightening place
:: finish my book (The Passion of Mary Magdalen by Elizabeth Cunningham)
:: organize and put away the few boxes of things I brought home from my classroom
:: get together with friends to watch the final Game of Thrones episode
:: get sucked in to a new show, Orphan Black, with Joe

Sometimes I worry that I'll "waste" my short summer break. I worry that I'll look back on my summer, and wonder what happened. Autumn comes quicker than I'd like, and even though it's my favorite season, it's often full of work-related stress and busyness. 

So here's to squeezing every drop of summer goodness before work starts up again. 

Pacific Northwest bucket list

There are many things I'd like to experience while I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I've been here for about 10 years, but I don't feel that I've taken full advantage of the opportunities around me. I'm making this bucket list as inspiration.

Museums
  • Seattle Art Museum - it's been years since we've been
  • Burke Museum
  • EMP / Sci-Fi Museum Joe & I enjoyed a membership this past year, and we've seen many fascinating exhibits including Icons of Science Fiction, Horror, Game of Thrones, Battlestar Galactica, Stargate
  • Pacific Science Center I've taken students, and Joe & I have gone on our own. We saw the traveling exhibit with Lucy's bones when it was there.
Hikes
Other

Sunday, June 22, 2014

checking in: celebrate the seasons

We're halfway through 2014, and I need to check in on the goals I set for myself. I decided I wanted to work on three things this year: go outside, simplify inside, and celebrate the seasons. I intended to set mini-goals and check in monthly. For January, February, March and April that system worked pretty well, but once May hit it all fell apart. As a public school teacher, this makes complete sense. May is when state testing, science fair, modified schedules (thanks to state testing), evaluations, and general spring fever hit all at the same time. It's like tax season for accountants.

So, in the interest of personal accountability, I need to check in with myself. Here we go...


In January Joe and I finished our Game of Thrones inspired snowflake art, but it didn't make it up on the walls until May. In February I finished a quilt for my nephew, March saw me dying spring eggs, and in April I learned embroidery.

Now that summer is fast approaching, I want to work on berry jams, berry shrubs and my small garden.

I realized after beginning that most of my seasonal celebrations center around autumn and winter. Autumn is my favorite season and there are many things I do to celebrate the turn towards colder and darker days. This year, after my big job change, I struggled to have the time and/or energy to do those simple things that bring me so much joy, and so I set this goal as a way of making sure that didn't happen again. I hope this coming autumn finds me making applesauce, visiting the fair, diving back into soup recipes, knitting and wearing sweaters, listening to Muse, decorating with changing leaves, eating pumpkin, and everything else that helps me savor autumn.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

summer 2014

Inside
* make jam
* make shrubs (the drink, not the plant)
* thrifting
* kitchen cabinet purge

Outside
* pick strawberries
* pick raspberries
* pick blueberries
* camping
* hiking at Mt. Rainier
* hiking at Mt. St. Helens (ape caves?)
* canoeing / kayaking
* beach walks
* eat outside

Eats & Drinks
* blueberry boy bait
* strawberry summer cake
* applesauce donuts
* homemade popsicles
* shrub concoctions

Friday, June 20, 2014

checking in: go outside

We're halfway through 2014, and I need to check in on the goals I set for myself. I decided I wanted to work on three things this year: go outside, simplify inside, and celebrate the seasons. I intended to set mini-goals and check in monthly. For January, February, March and April that system worked pretty well, but once May hit it all fell apart. As a public school teacher, this makes complete sense. May is when state testing, science fair, modified schedules (thanks to state testing), evaluations, and general spring fever hit all at the same time. It's like tax season for accountants.

So, in the interest of personal accountability, I need to check in with myself. Here we go...


I walked to and from the bus stop in January, went with my school's ski bus as a chaperone in February, and in late March I started a somewhat weekly walking ritual with my friend Kristi. We have plans to continue our weekly walks this summer, possibly even twice a week.

I struggled with getting outside in the winter, and in retrospect I probably should have started this change in spring or summer. Starting in winter was just silly. Who wants to go outside when it's pouring rain, chilly, and gray? Maybe it's okay to spend much more time outside in the short span of time when the weather is beautiful (here in Seattle that's roughly June through September) and focus on other ways of keeping my body healthy during the gray months.




Monday, May 26, 2014

gardening in 2014



One entire wall of my classroom is composed of windows. It happens to be the south-facing wall. My coworker and I took full advantage of that fact this spring and started seeds on the window sills.


I took my seedlings home for spring break, thinking that they needed to get into the ground. Also, I wouldn't be around school to water them. It seemed like a good plan. But life got in the way and I wasn't able to plant them for awhile.


Today I finally finished putting everything into the ground. My tomato starts went into pots so that I can drag them around this summer to take full advantage of the sunlight.


Last year I did strict square-foot gardening. This year I am experimenting. One bed still follows square-foot gardening rules, to a point. The other bed doesn't have the guides in place and is a bit of a hodge-podge.


Last year I planted a pumpkin plant that sprawled all over the side yard. All of the pumpkins rotted before they were big enough to harvest. I saw a photo online that involved using tomato cages with squash plants. I'll give it a try this year.