Lilies & Lace

I planted two Stargazer Lily plants in the garden back in mid-June and I was sure they would bloom while I was gone..but they waited!

Stargazers bloom on August 27th!

Stargazers bloom on August 27th

Two flowers opened with the sun today.  I am loving their vibrant colors.

Ready for more blooms

Ready for more blooms

Since arriving home and unpacking my Icelandic goodies I am most excited about my new paper yarn from Finland.   Continue reading

The Will to Grow

So we started out with this:

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A thin patch of grass that mostly gets run over as we pull in and out of the driveway and some wooden boxes with rhubarb and horseradish.

A week later we ended up with this:

Ready to Settle In

All the plants ready to settle in

From this distance it doesn’t look like much, you can see our stone work, the 2 tiers we leveled, the stone fill so graciously given by our neighbor, and hints of greenery.  But you can’t see all the little plants and their new growth that, despite all odds, is happening.

Like this transplanted fern sending up hopeful new shoots, even though we moved it when it was 3 feet tall.

New Fiddleheads Emerging

New Fiddleheads Emerging

Or the wild iris & columbine, plucked from two totally different ecosystems, managing to bloom, side by side.

Eyak River Iris & Wild Columbine

Eyak River Iris & Wild Columbine

Or this Yarrow that seems to be taking root and hardly shows any stress from the move.

Yarrow in the Garden

Yarrow in the Garden

The poppies continue to bloom and I’ve noticed some Queen of India nasturtiums poking their heads out of the ground.  It’s inspiring to me, their tenacity, their will to grow, even when they’re whole life has been uprooted. Pun intended.

Icelandic Poppies...sometimes orange and sometimes yellow

Icelandic Poppies…sometimes orange and sometimes yellow

The chocolate lilies and the river beauty didn’t handle the move so well, so I’ve cut them back, we’ll have to wait for next year to see if they return.

I’m excited to see the Cosmos and especially the Lilies when they put out their blooms

Lillies & Ferns

Lillies & Ferns

And now I’ve got my heart set on adding more flowers, my wish list includes: bleeding heart, foxglove, ranunculus, primula, bearded iris, tulips, lupine, delphinium and those gigantic orange poppies.  We’ve seeded some columbine, lupine, poppies and delphinium, giving them a head start for next year.  But others I’ll be hoping to gather from friends’ perennial gardens and gracious neighbors.  It’s fun for the garden to grow with stories of connection to people and relationships as well as with bold indomitable color.

Weekly Love #4

A week of gratitudes, one per day

Sea Otter in Prince William Sound

Sea Otter in Prince William Sound

So I’m trying something different this week, a pause midweek to reflect  while the days and moments are fresh.

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Saturday

Late in the evening, after a summer get-together, my mom & I made our way home.  Walking through the neighborhoods in the cool breeze and soft sunlight of 9 pm on solstice.  Still a few hours of daylight left and only a short bit left of her visit.  We stayed up late looking at her current knit project, an Astrid sweater that had gone a little off track.  We did some  unknitting and then she began again.  It felt good to be able to offer help, to know what to do to and to stay up late knitting with my mom.  Heath came home and snapped a few photos on her last night in Cordova.

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Sunday

Moments of love…the best one today was the full engulfing love of my husband, Heath.  After we dropped my mom off at the airport I stiffly sat close to the window, with my face turned away, trying to cry silently. The pain of separation, loss, distance…missing.

My husband lifted the center console in our truck, pulled me close and kept his arm there snugly the whole way home.  What a reassurance of understanding, compassion and love.

On the River with the Fuji Instax

Later that day…On the River with the Fuji Instax

Monday

I received a profound email that left me with much to ponder.  I was grateful to make my way up the ski hill alone and sink into the solitude available.  I had time to feel, time to process, to write.  My aloneness was only interrupted by two juvenile eagles playing on the currents of the wind.

Often we’ll see bald eagles flying here, but rarely do I see two flying in tandem.  You could see them both surrender to the wind,  the push of the currents dictating their movements more than their own volition.  It was spell binding.

Tuesday

I took an unexpected dip in the lake again Tuesday night, this is something I will always treasure, no matter how many times I find myself swimming, especially at 61.5 degrees North latitude.

I also watched one of the Secret Sweater Society members start to fall in love with her yarn.  It made me grin to see that new love blooming….she just might become a knitter yet.  Isn’t that the basis?  A covetous lust for color, softness and creation.

Snow Capped Yarns...colors in process

Snow Capped Yarns…colors in process

Wednesday

My garden’s desire for life.

New fiddleheads emerging on the transplanted ferns!

New fiddleheads emerging on the transplanted ferns!

Thursday

I’m grateful for the feeling of space, three large days ahead to dive into projects and creations.  To explore, to sit with myself, to catch up and write.

Friday

So that brings us to today:

Rain on the Nasturtiums

Rain on the Nasturtiums

I’m grateful for a good rain.  Our first in a few weeks.  It feels refreshing and cool and allows me to guiltlessly sink into some creative projects indoors.

If you want to join in this exercise of gratitude and pause, please do! Instructions are right here.

Weekly Love #3

A week of gratitudes, one per day

Icelandic Poppies & a Shooting Star

Icelandic Poppies & a Shooting Star

I’ve noticed that being busy is not exactly conducive to being grateful.  It’s been a full week, with my mom visiting and us trying to tackle some big projects.  Overall I am extremely grateful for her help, for her willingness to travel across the continent and spend her free time lending me a hand,  I’m grateful for the ability to take a little time off of work and focus on our house and for some good weather to work outside.  But when I try to pause and reflect on individual moments, much of the week feels like a blur.  Case in point, three of us just spent a good 15 minutes trying to recall what we even did on Monday after work.  Maybe next week I can move a little slower and take a little more time to pause and be grateful in the moment.

But better late than never..here is my week of gratitudes, a little blurry in reflection but there, none the less:

Wild Iris in the Garden

Wild Iris in the Garden

Saturday

Saturday night found my mom and myself volunteering at a community fundraising dinner along with some friends and other community members.  It’s a big bash to raise money for the Prince William Sound Science Center.  It was a full night that kept us on our toes, but it felt good to be able to help out in a way that is useful and needed.

Copper River Nouveau Registration

Copper River Nouveau Registration

Sunday

We attacked the lawn.  What once was our strip of lawn is now the beginnings of a perennial flower bed.  I’ve never cared much about flowers in the past, but this year it has hit me like a sickness.  I am constantly doting over our pots and baskets of flowers and sprouts seeing if they grown an inch or if the bud is starting to open, even if I just looked at it 10 minutes prior.  And for whatever reason MORE seems better, so I’ve overindulged in annuals and I decided I wanted some perennials to increase my flower potential….what, they come back every year!

So, with the help of my mom, we ripped up the grass, leveled the dirt, tiered it with stones and planted some flowers.  One thing that really tickled me about the process was that we picked up the stones from someone in town who was only too happy for us to take them off their hands.  And then once we had dug up the sod, a friend of ours picked up the squares of grass to patch their yard.  It’s really neat when one person’s trash really is another person’s treasure…or at least exactly what they need at that moment.

It’s still in progress, here’s a glimpse of where we’ve got to so far:

Garden Beginnings

Garden Beginnings

Monday

Grateful for a good summer read.  I finished Still Points North, by Leigh Newman, an engrossing memoir about her Alaskan childhood, her family breaking and an honest look at how she made sense of it all.  It’s the second book I’ve read recently that is written largely from the perspective of a young child.  Hers was an uplifting story of her circuitous search for finding a peaceful place in herself. (By the way, my other recent read was The Cat’s Table, by Michael Ondatje, also excellent!)

Tuesday

I just have to mention the glorious weather we’ve been having…our town had a record breaking heat wave..hitting 90 degrees!  This has resulted in collective excitement and town wide summertime fun..you can see some more photos here on Cordova Buzz.  Apparently most of the state was enjoying the sun, a very rare thing for stormy Alaska.  NASA captured this image of nearly the entire state…cloud free!

Rare Cloud Free Alaska

Rare Cloud Free Alaska

Wednesday

I was grateful to get into the lake. Of course this was probably the coolest night yet, but a friend and I still got in for a swim, so refreshing…baptism by water.  I love swimming in fresh water in the summer and to be honest it just doesn’t happen that much when the temperature hovers in the 50’s.  But I hope to take advantage of these warmer temps this summer and come home with a wet towel more often.

This little lake excursion was followed by a lovely evening with my mom, we enjoyed dinner out and some crafting time at  The Net Loft, a well earned break after all that digging and planting.

Thursday

I’m grateful for wildflowers and enough wild space that we could harvest some for the garden.  Now we have irises and chocolate lilies!

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Friday

So that brings us to today:

I’m grateful for a good night of sleep, a morning spent working on new design details for Snow Capped Yarns, a slow afternoon helping my mom pick out new yarn at The Net Loft and some quiet time at home…a little more restful compared with the past week.  And…I got a new table cloth…oh yes in case you were wondering, it does have flowers all over it:  bright orange-red poppies amidst some turquoise, white and yellow blooms.  It sure adds a little color and bright to our dining room…and brings more flowers inside.

Dwarf Dogwood transplanted into the Garden

Dwarf Dogwood transplanted into the Garden

If you want to join in this exercise of gratitude and pause, please do! Instructions are right here.