September 20, 2017

Domestic Bliss

It's early morning now and the house is still asleep. The crickets continue to make their music, the sky is just beginning to wake up and I sit here, in my corner, a single lamp lighting the downstairs, making my plan for my day. I've been giving my morning routine a makeover and I'm enjoying the benefits.

Lately I've been happily working in the studio organizing and cleaning, paring down to just the things I really love. Of course, it always gets worse before it gets better but somehow in this room that is just fun.  It is such a luxury to have a space of my own and one I never take for granted.

There is something about having a fresh slate that has me feeling more creative than ever. I'm clearing the clutter from my brain as I clear it from the room. The downside of having a Sacred Day though, is that I have a hard time giving myself time in this room on ordinary days and I'm realizing that I need to change that.

I'm starting to get back to a more regular cooking and cleaning schedule. It feels so good to feel like I have some control in my day to day life again. This recipe, given to me from my sweet neighbor Helen, was one of my favorites of the summer.  Just chop large tomatoes or prick cherry tomatoes and cover the bottom of a 13x9 dish, add salt and pepper to taste, add cubed Brie, garlic and chopped basil and cover with 1 cup of olive oil and toss. Let sit for about an hour. I put mine in the oven for about 10 minutes at 350 to soften my tomatoes and cheese and then added cooked pasta and chicken sausage and tossed, topped with parmesan cheese and served with a warm, crusty baguette. My favorite meals have no true recipe. It really is about using all of my senses when I cook.

When I'm not cooking, I'm assembling dinner. It's our favorite to have on Friday nights this time of year. It always tastes best when eaten on the porch and enjoyed with a glass of red wine.

As for cleaning, well I still have limitations which can be frustrating but I do what I can and get help with the rest. I'd rather spend my time hand washing knit socks and pressing linens than cleaning floors and showers. I wonder if I can get a doctors note indicating it should be that way?

I have really been enjoying picking up my camera again to capture the small, simple, moments that continue to be my favorites. I'm getting back to my old life and rediscovering my old passions and joys.

I'm making lists and plans and dreaming of new adventures. We are in the middle of a very unwelcome (by me, anyway) heatwave here after a very mild August and an early September autumnal chill that had me daydreaming about all things fall: You've Got Mail and When Sally Met Harry, reading Mitford books, watching Charlie Brown movies, making soup and bread, baking all of the pumpkin things I can and of course new fall inspired knitting projects.

If you're looking for me, I'll likely be right here having a tidy and a good sort and sitting down to relax with a good book or crafty project. I kind of like you, September.

September 01, 2017

Turning the Page

Today is a brand new day. It is a day full of promise and hope, strength and optimism. I am filled with the joy of new starts, new seasons, new chapters. That all of this should happen at the beginning of autumn seems fitting.

I woke up this morning to a chill in the air, cool breezes and a refreshed spirit. I have Vivaldi's Seasons playing on a loop (for some reason it is my autumn anthem), I am wearing a cozy sweater, hand knit socks, burning a special chai scented candle that I've been saving for this day and my tea is slowly steeping. I have big plans to spend the day doing more sorting and organizing in my studio so that my creative spirit can be as invigorated as the rest of me feels. I have a big date with a hot guy tonight and we are even doing the unthinkable and leaving the Village for dinner.

It has been five months since I was excited to begin a new month. If I had known then what would be required of me to get to the other side, I'm not sure I'd have thought I could survive. But that's life really, isn't it? We never know what's just around the bend, just as we never really know our strength and ability to bear it. But now I think I do in fact know, I'm starting to get an inkling of just what I'm made of and it's empowering.

Today I am excited to close that chapter and begin this new one and while I'm happy to move on there are lessons I'm taking forward with me as they are too important to leave behind. I am not the same person I was. I fought that for awhile. I remember weeping into my man's chest as he held me and saying I didn't want this to change me. At the time my only thought was that this might make me sad, bitter or fearful. That now seems so silly to me as I now know there was something better waiting for me. I feel none of those things I had feared but instead feel an even deeper sense of gratitude and appreciation and I have finally waved goodbye to my lifelong friend, fear. I'm as astounded as anyone and I do so hope that is a friendship that will never be rekindled.

I am now cancer free. My surgeries are all done. My pathology reports were great. I'm healing well, emotionally and physically. I have every intention of being on this earth so long that people get tired of me. For some people that has probably already happened. ;) I have every intention of living my life for today and not living my days in fear as that serves no purpose. I have every intention of remembering every day what is important in life and it is not having the cleanest house, the most impressive things, Instagram perfect lives, followers, the biggest bank account or thigh gaps. For me the important things are my people, life experiences, creativity and home.  May I always remember these lessons.

So now I make plans, throwing caution to the wind, dreaming of a lifetime of new adventures with an unbridled excitement for today and the days to come.