Flowers and Hammocks

There are three things I especially love about my house… the first is my hammock.  When I moved into my house at the end of July it used to sit in my living room.  After getting furniture though, I moved it downstairs where it lived with my roommates all winter.  About a month ago I decided that it should go outside.  Now that the weather is nicer I’ve been trying to lay in it.  Sometimes after work I’ll forget-I’m usually so busy cooking and cleaning, gardening, and just general house-stuff.  The other afternoon after work, though, I decided to enjoy a nice cold ginger perry and lay in the hammock.  I left my phone inside and just enjoyed.

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The second thing I love is my yard.  So, today with a little free time I planted and trimmed.  I couldn’t get a good shot of it in the light, but I planted two bleeding hearts.  Before that I had to trim back a stupid thorny bush that I don’t like.  Eventually I hope to get rid of it, but it looks decent enough where it is, so for now I’ll just keep it trimmed enough so that it is out of my way.  I also weeded back a wine that chokes out a rose-bush.  Last year my mom noticed that a baby rose bush was buried beneath a thick vine, so earlier in the spring I unearthed it and trained it along my fence.  Today I weeded and trained it a little more.  There are so many little buds on it!

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I also noticed two flowers blooming!  The peony opened, and it’s gorgeous!

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Also the rose bush on the arbor in my front yard is starting to bloom.  It’s funny because I took pictures just yesterday, and none were blooming at all.  It’s funny how fast things can just open up!

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Lastly, I really love the view in my kitchen.  I have a huuuuuge widow in there that gets perfect light.  The light is really what sold me when we looked at this property.  Everything is always to beautiful in the kitchen when I take pictures.  Of course when I have hand-picked flowers from my amazing mom, it’s not too hard.

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Aren’t they gorgeous?  Her garden is phenomenal.  The amount of work that goes into it is insane, and I am always so pleased she she gives me some of the beauty that comes from it.

My Beautiful Yard

There are only 4 more weeks until I am 100% on summer break from teaching.  I can’t believe it’s so close!  I finish up at North Star a week early, which is exciting because it means that I can sleep in for my last week at Galileo.  I am really looking forward to the days though, so I can start to really focus on my yarn and house.  There is so much to do, but I find myself without a lot of time to accomplish everything I want/need to.  Between my two teaching jobs and working at the gym part time, I haven’t really gotten to enjoy everything and get dirty.  It has been wonderful, though, seeing all the things that have started to pop up in my yard!

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The lilies of the valley are beautiful, and surrounded by iris’ that have yet to bloom.  You can see around my little tree stump some random bulbs that I can’t wait to produce flowers.  The pile of rocks was short lived-by boyfriend and I went on a little adventure the other week to collect them for the yard.  I need so many more, and so I expect a good amount of my summer will be spent exploring BLM land and brining back trunk loads filled with rocks (it’s legal-I looked it up!).  These went directly to lining some of the already established landscaping, and then around my brand new cherry tree!

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I still need to put mulch around it, but it’s already so happy!  I have to put fences around everything new I plant, because the dogs like to rough-house in the yard and don’t really understand not to run over new plants.  I don’t mind though, all the cages look find so far, and the plants are doing beautifully.  Some of them are even getting ready to bloom, or making little babies!  I planted two peony plants, and only one is making flowers right now, but I think the other will in time!

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I also planted a row of lilies (one is even already making a baby!), strawberries in a planter, and my roommate made me a new garden bed!  I took apart the old one, turned it into one bed instead of two (halved it), and moved it over beneath the lilac trees.

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I think I will plant herbs in the small one, and then veggies in the big one.  I still need to get more ‘dirt’ for the planters though, and then I need to enclose them so the dog don’t lay in them.  Hopefully I’ll have time next week to finish filling them, and then next week I plan on planting after work!  I’m so excited!

I say this every time, but I’m also excited about starting to blog again.  I’d love to keep documenting the process of renovating my yard, but also some of the art I’ve been working on.  I’ve been doing a lot of painting lately, and someday I’ll set up my ceramics studio in the garage.  It’s just so hard when there is so much planting to be done.  Soon, though.  Soon I will be off for the summer, and even though it will be a busy summer, it will be calmer than the school year.  There are so many changes happening right now, but all those are a story for another day!

The Little Things

I have been trying to take more pictures with my ‘fancy’ camera, something that fell by the wayside in the last year.  It’s amazing the quality, I always forget how much better it is with my camera versus my Samsung.  Which isn’t to say the Samsung isn’t great-it really is-but nothing beats a Nikon DSLR.  So I’ve been carrying it around more, and started to take pictures of things I want to remember.

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Like how I visit my dad everyday for lunch (we teach at the same school) and get to see why the kids love his class so much more than mine.  It’s because they are building robots (and because he is great).  I don’t blame them.

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Or the paintings I’ve been working on.  I’ve been trying to do more watercolor, since it’s one of my weakest areas.  I’ve been improving, but have a long way to go.  Right now I’m working on a series about dreams and nature.

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I also still love taking pictures of my knitting.  There is something so magnetic to me about the stitch definition of good knitting, the way the fabric lays, and vibrant colors.  The care taken to make such utilitarian products that will be loved and used and probably at some point lost…

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I’ve been trying to be better about taking pictures in my classroom, too.  I love stumbling upon old photos of my students and their work, especially since this is my third year at my school with the same students, so I get to see their progress over the years.  It’s so much fun.  It’s also honestly rewarding to see their growth, to know I helped cultivate that.

Morning

I took today off of my morning job teaching because I’ve been feeling like I’m on the verge of sickness, lately.  I was always taught that it’s better to catch it early than to suffer through a full-blown sickness, so here I am.  I sleep an extra four hours, and made myself leftovers for breakfast.

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Leftover dessert, at least.  It has cherries in it, so it’s healthy, right?

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I used this recipe for a sweet cherry crumble, and even though I accidentally poured in too much liquid into the pan, it still turned out delicious.  I also had to use vanilla extract instead of almond, because I don’t have any almond extract.  One of these days I really need to make a list of all the spices in my cabinet and stock what I don’t have.  Spices are just so expensive…

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Anyways.  I also made myself a French Press coffee, a luxury I save for weekends and days where I don’t have to go to work early.  I sit down (usually with some knitting, but this morning with my computer) for an hour or two and just relax and think in my kitchen.  I arrange my things on the table for a photograph (usually to post on instagram, but now many for this blog). I make my French Press and Le Creuset talk to each other.

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I enjoy the view of the street from my house.  I take a little pride in how much I’ve accomplished in the last year, of how pretty my house is.  I remember that I need to water my rosemary, so that I don’t kill it (again).  Look how good it’s doing!  I’m thinking about planting some basil from seed, next.  In another hour I’ll go take a shower, do my dishes, and then head off to teach in the afternoon.  Later I’ll have dinner with my boyfriend and his friends.  It’s a good life, starting today with a wonderful, relaxing morning.

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Watercolor and Wolves

This year I started to watercolor a little.  My high school students really seemed interested in it, and spent over a month experimenting and working on rough drafts before starting their final project.  As a result I needed to spend the time developing my skills in watercolor, which had been seriously lacking.

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At one point in time watercolor was definitely my least favorite medium, but like with many things, as my skills improved so did my attitude about the medium.

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Now I spend my spare time creating watercolors and experimenting.  Next year we will do another watercolor unit, and I look forward to having a lot more knowledge to share with my students.

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I’m working on a dreaming series.  This is the first of many to come.