Monday, October 31, 2011


I intended to post this morning, but I fell asleep instead.  Does it count as a nap if it's twenty-five minutes after you first got up?  Or is that just sleeping in?

Oh well, at least I got my homework done.

Have a fun and happy halloween!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Three Things

I am grateful for...

...little terriers who just can't bear to be alone when it thunders (and stopping at my parents' house just long enough to keep her company during the storm)...

Source: via Jennifer on Pinterest

...discovering that if you click the "history" category on Pinterest, it's basically a collection of nineties memories (with a healthy dose of eighties nostalgia, but I'm a bit young for most of it).  It's too bad that I'm too old for Book It!, because I got a lot of pizza as a kid, especially during my chapter-book-a-day phase...

Source: via Tina on Pinterest

...and I am grateful for (and really enjoying) apple pie for breakfast.  It's a tiny indulgence and a tiny slice, but oh so tasty with hot coffee to accompany it.  

But even more than these little things, I have something a bit bigger to be grateful for: my grandfather took his first steps with a prosthesis yesterday, and he will be bringing it home and start learning to walk again next week!  This is the biggest move towards finally being independent since the accident he was in over two years ago (which I briefly wrote about this summer).  

So what is making you smile today?  What are you grateful for?  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I'll tell you how the sun rose

I’ll tell you how the Sun rose –
A ribbon at a time –
The steeples swam in Amethyst
The news, like Squirrels, ran –
The Hills untied their Bonnets –
The Bobolinks – begun –
Then I said softly to myself –
“That must have been the Sun”!
But how he set – I know not –
There seemed a purple stile
That little Yellow boys and girls
Were climbing all the while –
Till when they reached the other side –
A Dominie in Gray –
Put gently up the evening Bars –
And led the flock away –
Emily Dickinson, Fr 204

The colors weren't the same this morning.  The sky was clear, the blue less mixed, the pinks and golds a little more hidden.  I'd lament not taking my camera out yesterday, but I realize that even if I'd come back in, grabbed my camera, and gone out to try to capture the beauty of the sunrise with a few more megapixels, I may not have caught it.  That's the thing about nature--it's transient, always shifting and changing and moving into whatever's next.  

So I'm happy with what I caught today: a hint of color at the horizon, and the roses before the dew had time to dry.

More details about this poem and about Dickinson's work in general can be found here

Monday, October 24, 2011


Guys, I'm not a morning person, not in the slightest.  We've had to wake by seven every morning for over a week and my body is not too keen on being disturbed an hour to two hours earlier than usual.

But I've got a new thought for myself: stop bemoaning the mornings you get up early, tired, stiff, and make your way to the window or outside to catch the sun's first foray above the tree line.

Autumnal sunrises are exceptionally beautiful.  And it's not just the sun that's lovely--it's the entire sky, cast in ephemeral golden-pink amidst its usual blues and grays.

I used to know the beauty you find when you wake early, three years ago, in the semester that I had eight o'clock classes every day and woke at four-thirty for work every Saturday.  Since the summer, though, in luxuriating in my later-starting mornings, I've missed a lot of sunrises.  I don't know if catching a few more will motivate me to get out of my warm bed as winter makes its slow approach and the dawn air has a distinct frosty bite, but at least I know something lovely awaits me on those mornings that the alarm sounds all too soon.

Tomorrow I might walk to the end of the cul-de-sac, my little point-and-shoot instead of my cell phone in hand, and capture a few more moments of the day's beginning, this time without houses in them...have a lovely morning, and keep looking for beauty.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Three Things

Lately, I've been practicing gratitude more consciously.  I'll tell you more about it next week.  Today, I'm going to share three things that I am grateful for, rather than three things I'd love to have. 

I love...

...crisp fall mornings and hot coffee...

...light tumbling over buildings and color-changing trees...

...and remembering this daily task. 

Have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Story

I am looking for a story to tell.  I feel like I have one in me, but the words aren't there and it's not ready to be told.

Yet I want to tell a story, and I am looking for one.  I hope it will be my own and that my own will be worth telling, but I'm not really sure yet.

In one of my courses, we talked about the nature of the novel, what really happens, what's important, and some theorists who posited that the digressions are actual the substance of the novel.  It's not the ending, necessarily, but the getting there.  That seems the kind of story I want to tell, one where the end goal is really a final digression, and all the little extra diversions along the way are where the substance is found.  It also seems the kind of story I want my life to tell.

Have you heard any good tales lately?  Do you have one to tell?

Lovely collage by this lovely lady found here.  

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Smiling Victorian

Most photos from the Victorian era are formal, with stoic expressions that look as if one is trying to contain all emotion, whether positive or negative, behind a tensed face.  The reasons given are various: photos were an expensive and formal event, photos were taken postmortem, people were unhappy, it took so long for the image to be captured that maintaining a smile was difficult and get the idea.  Basically, smiling was unacceptable and difficult*.  That's quite a blanket statement to lay across an entire era, and apparently it's not entirely true.

Enter The Smiling Victorian.  An old friend of mine share a link that led me to this group on Flickr that collects Edwardian and Victorian photographs with smiling subjects.  Even a slight smile will do, so long as one does not look entirely drab.

Ambrotype without the frame

Just to remind you

Tintype Trio

I especially love the number of images I found of sisters together, smiling of course, apparently happy to be with each other.  Most of the writing from the Victorian and Edwardian eras that I've encountered is something much less than happy, so I am happy to come across something that shows that at least a few people--women in particular, if you go through the set--were smiling, at least long enough for a photo, and that really is something.

*Of course, most people know and acknowledge that this isn't completely true, but it's an idea that pops up quite frequently.

Perhaps you'll be as intrigued by this one and that one as I am.  There must be a story involved, but do you think we'll ever be able to know it?  Maybe I'll invent it.  I've been looking for a good story to write.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Happy Weekend

Source: via Katie on Pinterest

Lately, I've been in the mood for Over the Rhine.  Maybe it's because my husband has been in Cincinnati all week for work, or maybe because so much of the Drunkard's Prayer album complements changing seasons so well, but I keep putting the CD on in when I'm in the car.  This print, by lovesugar, was inspired by one of my favorite songs from that album (and I love every song on that album).  I'd love to hang it somewhere in the house we don't yet have, surrounded by black and white pictures of us and the people we love.  Doesn't that sound perfect?

Have a happy weekend!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


While walking out of the grocery store last night, I spotted an ad on the ground in the parking lot.  It had some surprisingly good words, so I took them and stuck them on a picture.

I didn't read the rest because I didn't want to know what it was for--it had one of those fill-out-and-reply forms on it, and I feared it would be for something concrete and definitely mundane.  I also wonder if maybe someone else would see it and grab onto that thought for a moment.  

At this moment, I'm not sure what dreams I want to reach for.  A few of them are vying for my reach, but I'm actually pretty content with the moment I'm living in, between specific dreams while still always reaching for an intangible, ineffable dream of the way my life will be, regardless of its details.  This simple contentment with the present is something I should always dream of and reach for.

That's my photo but I don't remember taking it.  I found it between other photos planned for something two years ago.  I believe it was a happy accident.  I know finding it amongst the few pictures still on my laptop was.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Quick Smile

It's lovely around here in the fall.

It's perfect weather for digging holes next to the house...

...and spending the next day bumming around because you are so completely exhausted.

It's rough being a dog.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Three Things

It's all about the blue.  Occasionally I have little deviations to yellow or green, but I always come back to blue.  I blame my mother and the blues that have always filled my family's home--cobalt glasses, a blue and ivory kitchen, and a collection of blue-splattered stoneware.

Last time I wrote about the color blue and my little love for it (and aqua hues, too), I got some really cool comments.  I especially liked the thought Kim shared: blue is a reliable and trustworthy color.  It's friendly, it's comfortable, and it's calm.  I've recently discovered a love for navy that has finally returned four years after I work an unflattering box-pleated navy skirt with a polo for the last time.  Navy has everything I love about blues in general, but adds a little bit more class.

I think I need a blue, actually, I think I need another blue dress, a pair of navy tights, and the right short of shoes (but I don't know what that would be.  Thoughts?).

Source: via Katie on Pinterest

Source: via Katie on Pinterest

Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy your weekend!  My husband is getting home tomorrow night and we're spending the weekend house/dog sitting for my parents...and studying.  I have fall break on Monday and Tuesday and Cory is heading out of town for job training, so you might actually hear from me. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Source: via Katie on Pinterest

Life is a constant series of renegotiations of self and perspective.  Perhaps those should be plural--selves and perspectives, really.  We go through different selves, different perspectives on the world and our experience of it.  We cycle from one thing to the next, sometimes forward, sometimes backward, always moving.

It's times like right now that I feel it most, when I am trying to negotiate who I am becoming at the same time that I discover I am not becoming who I once thought I would be by now.  It's not a bad thing; it's just the interplay of personal growth and environmental changes.  It is simply what is.

I know I'm being obtuse in a way, but I don't have much to say that I haven't already said before, which you could read if you clicked those links...

Things are changing here.  We've moved from the in-between stage to our new life, the one where my husband has a really great job and I keep hitting the books and we go forward until we tumble into a new routine.

I don't yet know if this blog is going to go with us.  I keep feeling the change, coming with the color of the leaves and the sliding temperatures and the curiously rainy fall we're having, but I don't know yet what it means.

I do know that it's Wednesday and this is the first time I've been able to sit at my laptop and type a few words for you since last week.  Would you still stop by if I only wrote once a week?