Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Now Is the Summer of My Content...

Ok, so I butcher Shakespeare.  But the way my throat (and head) have been feeling lately, I need to lash out somewhere.  With only four finals to take this week, I will soon be putting this semester to bed.


And looking forward to three months off before I start a really FULL semester of classes again, I have started making my list of things I want to do over the warmer months.  I dare not call it summer, as spring is just springing here.  

So, with the sun coming up on my 'vacation' time, here are some of my plans.


1.  Take time to write more.
2.  Gardening at Tizer Gardens
3.  Outside time at the park with Kayden
4.  Catching up on my "Joy" quilt
5.  Bags for Savvy
6.  Finishing up some knitting projects
7.  Curtains for Kayden's room

I really, really want to start another BIG knitting project and I haven't come close to finishing things I already have.  I am getting the shakes because I haven't bought yarn or fabric since the first of the year!  I have the yarn for the "World" afghan and it has been on my list of do-to's for years.  But not sure I want to do the color changes.  Then Rowan yarns is having a mystery knit-a-long using worsted weight yarn.  I can use what I have and do that.  Right now it's blocks of one color.  Who knows...

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Nothing to "Grouse" About

So last Saturday, I was so excited, I had won a 'lottery' to use the grouse blind at Benton Lake Wildlife Management Area to watch them do their mating dance.  The whole week before the weather had turned spring-like....in the 60's, beautiful.  Saturday...cold, in the high 20's, windy (20-30 mph) and rain/snow.  I gave forth a huge sigh.  Of course, this doesn't set well when I had to leave Helena at 3:30 am in order to be there an hour before sunrise so I wouldn't disturb the grouse.

Several people were willing to go with me until their heard the 3:30 am departure time.  Light-weights!  But still I soldiered on.


Yep, this is the culprit I went to see.  The Sharp-Tailed Grouse.  The males perform this mating dance and they do it in one spot where they gather, called a 'lek'.  So my cold ass was planted in the blind on the lek at 530 am Saturday morning.  The blind cut out most of the wind, but it was still colder than all get out, grey and damp and overcast and drizzly and then snowy.


About 40 grouse and an hour after sunrise, even the grouse decided it was too cold to turn up their tail feathers and dance around.



As I drove around the loop at Benton Lake I did manage to see a lot of different water fowl, including some Tundra Swans (that's not one above).  And a hawk, which flushed a flock of grouse.  


So all of this brings me to a point which really has nothing to do with grouse, but life in general, my life in particular.

Lately, I have been feeling less than optimistic in my outlook.  There are some issues with Lady K which need to be resolved, which really has me down.  And I feel like I haven't had a chance to be 'creative' with fibers.  And no writing getting done.  It just seems like a lot of work moving and cleaning and packing and unpacking and disorganization, leaving me feeling bitchy and crabby and yucky.

Then I stopped and realized this isn't totally the case.  I have been creative.  Granted it has all been in relationship to school homework, but the old mind has been clicking over.  I have even knitted a couple of cotton dishcloths for the new kitchen.  So I started counting my blessings:

Lady K with us for the week
Lady K's health improved 100% in a couple of days
Walked to the library and back for Books and Babe on Monday
Saw 9-10 deer in the cemetery resting during our walk
Invited 2 people to go on hike in a couple of weeks
Was complimented by a co-worker on my interaction with one of the people I invited on the hike
Fixed a batch of Artisan Bread in 5-Minutes a Day
Baked 2 loaves of bread in the past couple of days
Got my new glasses and they are finally correct
Hung up 2 sets of curtains and several pictures
Knitted 2 and started on the third cotton dishcloth
Started on final projects in 2 of my classes
Selected classes for next fall (VERY full load)
Baked a cake and shared it during monthly staff meeting
Volunteered at Tizer Gardens for the summer
Spent 3 hours on my hands and knees, weeding flower beds
Brought home a container with strawberries in it
Wrote an article for the local newspaper on helping out a Girl Scout Troop with hiking badge
Went on a hike and helped out a troop earn their hiking badge
Brought home some pussy willow that is blooming.

So I really have nothing to 'grouse' about.  I really have been doing things that bring me joy and creativity.  I just need to be looking 'up' rather than 'down' more.

Oh, and would I do the grouse blind again?  You bet!