On Wednesday I said that I felt like Alice falling down the rabbit hole; I still feel like everything is just floating past me and I can’t get a grip on where I am in the space/time continuum. The first week of July is nearly in the books! Matthew’s vacation week is winding down and the first week of our third year of Blackberry Bluff School will be upon us in no time. What? How?! I’m thankful for these Friday posts – they remind me to look for the joy in every moment, take stock of what’s happening right now, and give me a little snapshot to look back on when things get tough. This week was especially beautiful so it’s going to be a great reminder of some good times.
We’ve had another week of perfect weather. It was a bit muggy last Saturday, but leveled out Sunday and the rest of the week has been so comfortable. We even had a rainy day on Tuesday, but I don’t remember humidity being a problem. And it gave us an opportunity to knock off a few inside projects that have been bugging me, so it worked in my favor. I’ve spent a ton of time in the garden this week and feel good about the amount of weeds removed from my front herb and vegetable beds. They are nowhere near perfect and this year’s goal of having “beautifully tended gardens” has totally gone out the window. Maybe next year?
I love this stage of the bergamot – the little dumplings open up and then the strangest petals start crawling out. They won’t look this spindly for long and I’ll share pictures once they’re fully bloomed because they’re quite pretty in their full glory. The bees and hummingbirds love the flowers, which is the whole reason we planted the bergamot 3-4 years ago. We’ve found that it spreads like crazy and now we have little bergamot patches all over the yard. Totally fine with us and we’re relieved that we don’t live in an area with a homeowner’s association. We’d never survive such a thing.
The yard has become a toad haven. I think a nest must have hatched somewhere because we are absolutely crawling with baby toads about the size of my pinkie nail. We keep catching them and putting them in the garden because I’m obsessed with a toad garden. I adore toads and am pleased that Bryce seems to enjoy them as much as I do. He doesn’t hesitate to scoop up a frog or toad of any size.
I have been knitting! My notebook tells me that I haven’t worked on this sweater since mid-May. Yikes! It makes sense though – my knitting time has been eaten up by gardening time, which is just fine, but I have missed sitting with my needles. I realized last week that summer was going to fly by and I really want a new sweater to slip on when the mornings and evenings start cooling down. I’d love to be able to throw on this DRK Everyday Sweater that’s being knit up in KnitPicks Wool of the Andes. It will be super cute under the overalls that I bought last summer. I don’t know how often I’ll be able to work on it in the next month or so, but I’ll make progress even if I knit just a couple of days a week. I was very thankful that I decided to check off steps on the pattern as I completed them… that’s not something I typically do and always end up getting totally lost when I return to a project after a while.
Other things that have brought me joy:
- I finished watching the last two episodes of Stranger Things that were released on July 1st. Friends. The show is incredible. I cannot wait until the fifth and final season is released sometime in mid-2024.
- I had a very quiet Fourth of July. Matthew took Bryce and Bronwyn out for fireworks (and of course I was nervous about their safety after the news of the day), while Colton and I stayed home. Colton doesn’t like waiting, crowds, loud noises, or bright lights so a fireworks show is totally not his jam. I sorta feel the same way so was very happy to stay home. After he went up for bed, I made some popcorn and settled in on the couch with my knitting and Atlantic Crossing.
- And my five year notebook tells me that I stayed home with Colton last year too, and settled in with knitting and World on Fire. I am so predictable. And both Fourth of Julys were lovely.
- Did you see that Anne Bogel shared a way to identify plants and flowers with just your iphone? I have been using this feature like crazy since I discovered it last Friday and have found it to be fairly accurate. Not perfect, but good enough. How fun!
Before I turned to today’s post, I saw that former Prime Minister Abe was shot. Now I see that he has died. I don’t know enough about Japanese politics to have an educated opinion about him, but I am feeling downtrodden by the news. And the news of all the gun violence in the last few days, weeks, months, years, decades.
Writing these posts are hard because I don’t want to ignore all of the hurt and sadness that’s happening constantly around the world. And yet – I feel certain that solemnly finding joy in the midst of All Of This is… dare I say it? The purpose of our lives? To have a spirit full of happiness and gratitude despite what is happening around us? I know it is easy for me to say – I live a relatively privileged, healthy, and full life. I’m thinking of Brené Brown’s research right now – how people who are the most resilient are those who live wholeheartedly — which includes allowing ourselves to experience joy despite what’s being thrown at us.
So I hope that, despite it all, you’re able to find a little beauty and joy this weekend. I am hoping to capitalize on Matthew’s last few days of vacation and dig into the garden some more. I’m also hoping for some time with my knitting needles, earbuds full of audiobooks, and a little bit more Atlantic Crossing. I hope this weekend is exactly what you need.
The Bergamot flower is such an interesting thing — and I’m glad you’ve told us what it is, because my first thought when I opened this post was “What IS that?!” I think it’s such a wonderful thing when there are plants that are nice to look at and attract pollinators; it’s why I’ve encouraged a large patch of Russian sage to grow along our driveway (and even transplanted some into our backyard) that was originally on the other side of the driveway fence — the bees love it! And thanks for sharing that plant ID trick, because I have been thinking about downloading an app to do that but like this method much better.
I’d watched the first episode of the new season of Stranger Things with my husband and then told him I didn’t think I could watch anymore so he could watch the rest on his own, but everyone has been talking about how good it is, so I started watching again — and you’re right, it’s really good! I’m not such a big fan of horror/gore, but I can handle this, I think.
I’m loving your flowers (not so much the spider!!). I don’t think I’ve every seen bergamot – very, very pretty. Silly cat on the frig – our son’s cat, Talbot, used to like to climb into the frig whenever it was opened! I think it’s very important to embrace all things that bring us joy – particularly when the world is such a mess! Have a lovely weekend Katie.
How is it that I never knew that bergamot was also called bee balm! I have bee balm/bergamot! Oh boy. You truly do learn something new every day… even the slowest of us! HA 🙂
Have a great weekend, Katie!
Oh stop! I always call it bergamot because I love how the word sounds. 🙂 I hope yours is blooming and bringing in the bees!
Enjoy your weekend 🙂
I keep hearing Stranger Things is a really good series. I tried the first episode awhile back and couldn’t get into it. But I have been told that it can take a few episodes to really get into it. So I have been contemplating giving it another try once my hubby and I finish our re-watch of Smallville (which we will finish tonight).
The first season does take a while to get into it because they’re building this whole new world. I think the whole series is a ton of fun and full of 80s nostalgia. Let me know if you give it another try!
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I talked to my hubby last night about it. I told him I would watch the first few episodes and see how it goes and let him know since he wasn’t a fan of it either when we watched the first episode. He was good with that. LOL We have some other things we’ve had on the list to watch. So we’re going to go ahead and watch the new season of Raising Dion together while I try out Stranger Things. 🙂
Oh yay! Please let me know if you decide to continue watching it!!
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Wonderful flower pictures. Yes its important to find joy where you can. My gardener chaps have been back this week to put in a new fence post which was blowing down and start work repairing the Summer house roof. It’s really hot today so I shall outside except when I watch Wimbledon and do knitting.
Thank you Cathy. I’m so happy to see all the progress in your garden – so much work is getting done! I hope you enjoy the Wimbledon matches. I was disappointed that Nadal had to withdraw!
It’s so important to find joy in every moment. Even when the world is crashing, we need it for our own health and well-being. This is why I love your blog!
Thank you, Nicole! And I totally agree with you about finding joy in our lives despite it all. I think it’s our purpose in life!
I just wrote a bit about finding and celebrating joyful things in my latest post so once again we are on the same wavelength. I believe it gives us strength to keep doing good things for others and the world!
I just deadheaded my bee balm since my blooms are spent; hoping that they will re-bloom! I’ll let you know.
I cannot wait to hear if the deadheading works. I’ve never done that and just let them all keel over to the ground. But the possibility of more blooms is intriguing! And I’m very happy to be on the same wavelength as you, Laila. We’ll keep looking for joy together!
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I’ll let you know if I get more blooms!
So I’ve been reading Civil to Strangers and am enjoying it immensely! I am usually wary of unpublished/incomplete novels or fragments but these are very good, I think. I’m on the Spy Nobel now. I loved the Home Front novel and wish she had completed it! Where are you in the book?
You are so far ahead of me! I am literally just 50 pages in 😬
No worries! Don’t stress! I’ve had a lot of time on my hands the past few days, lol.
I’m glad you’re getting a chance to read! I keep sitting down with a book and getting pulled away. Maybe next week will be better for me?? I’m so glad you’re enjoying it though — I have loved the first 50 pages!!!
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