Friday, May 31, 2013

Something new.

It turns out that our early morning arising is not a fluke but a thing, an actual thing, which we are repeating daily. Or I am, anyway. This morning, for instance, I awoke at about 6.

In case you're wondering, this does not go hand in hand with going to bed earlier. Not at all! No, last night, I went to bed at midnight and read for a few minutes before falling asleep.

This morning at breakfast, my daughter suggested that within a week I'd be back to normal. Maybe so. I'm kind of enjoying the quiet, the stillness, the freshness of these early hours. This morning, I got up and wrote a little, then took Bruiser for a walk.

I'm loving the light at the beginning of the day and at the end, when the everything seems to glow green and yellow. I'm taking more than one walk, and I love that. So if my sleep readjusts to a more habitual pattern, fine. But if I keep waking up early, fine, too. Better than fine.

So that's the update on The Summer Sleep Project. What's that? What other projects are happening this summer?

2. The Cooking Project, wherein I renew my love of and acquaintance with the making of dinner out of actual ingredients.

3. The Walking Project, wherein I walk several times a day, to give my cardiovascular system something to write home about, to commune with my dog, to let my brain do its synaptic business, to calm my soul.

4. The Writing Project(s). There are many.

5. The Gardening Project. I have big plans. Like, so big that they will require the assistance of able-bodied men, such as my youngest son and upon occasion the Historian. Also, I may not be being realistic. Shh, I'm going to plant delphiniums!

6. The Push-the-Reset-Button Project. In which I will shed my Indispensable Man complex and with it my many (over)commitments. (This also may not be realistic. Check my stress levels in August to see.)

7. The Just Enjoy It Project. Can this be a project? We shall see.

The Writing Project(s) update: today I am writing a Fourteen Hour Sonnet. Check the specs out here.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


I heard the historian rustling around this morning at 5:30 a.m. I got up when I heard him go out the front door. I stood there in my nightgown as he picked up the paper from the driveway. It was light, the sky was gray. The whole yard--our meadow--was in bloom.

We got back in to the SLC last night around 10:30. We had been up, more or less--if you count the hours shoved into a coach seat on a transatlantic flight as "up"--for a little more than twenty four hours. I slept most of the flight from Dallas-Ft. Worth to SLC, but that was about it. So it was a little strange to be up at 5:30. Continuing our fine household tradition of not ever quite enough sleep, I guess.

All last night I dreamed about children, my own and my children's children, and rivers.

We've both unpacked. I'm on the last load of laundry. I have sent the first message of what, I'm sure, will be the many it will take to resolve an insurance issue, which we put off until we got home. My son kept everything in good shape while we were gone. Bruiser came in to say hello this morning and heaved a sigh as he settled in between us on the bed.

I am glad to be home. I wish I were still there.

I am downloading the pictures and paying some bills and considering some sandals and preparing to buy food and go to Target.

Hello, everyone. I'm looking forward to seeing you. But first I hope I manage a nap.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Two stone circles and a castle.

We drove around Aberdeenshire today in search of two stone circles. We found both, tucked back in working farms. Because we had a hard time finding the second, we stopped at a nearby castle.


Let me just add that the words "nearby castle" still thrill me quite a bit. Okay, a lot. As do the words "Bronze Age," which apply to the second, harder-to-find stone circle, the standing stone one, with sheep going their sheep-y way the next field over.

At Sunhoney Farm.

Stone fence to the left, barbed wire to the right.
Just set back in a grove of trees.
This is a tiny family chapel at Drum Castle.
Looking through the window to see the stained glass from the inside.
The sheep are all, "standing stone circle, nbd."


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Alnwick gardens (cherry orchard)

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There's one garden at Alnwick--a cherry orchard--that felt like a stroke of luck to me, to be there at that moment. The ornamental cherries were in bloom, and they had been under planted with pink tulips. It was a total swoon.

More Alnwick gardens

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More Alnwick gardens, a set on Flickr.

On our way back north, we decided to stop at Alnwick, where there is both a castle dating back to the 13th century and a beautiful garden. We saw both, but spent most of our time in the gardens. This is some of it.

Alnwick Castle

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Alnwick Castle, a set on Flickr.
The last part of our north England swing.


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