Friday, October 29, 2010

the weekend

After this weekend, I'm really going to try very hard to have weekends reserved for relaxing and doing nice things and not being too busy.

This weekend, I will:

--carve pumpkins (Rachel's home to visit with us, yay!)
--have a bonfire in the cold
--go out to breakfast
--attend a one-year-old birthday party (already!)
--hurry to work
--hurry home from work and put on a costume
--go to a Halloween party
--do something fallish on Sunday morning (is apple picking done with?!)
--say goodbye to Rachel
--hurry back to work
--come home and be disappointed that the weekend's already over.

Those are lots of good things, yes, but I'll be happy when weekends don't include sixteen hours of work. Yikes.

Hope yours is more quiet than mine! See you all on Monday with lots of good pictures :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


packing fabric

Today, I consolidated my many boxes of fabric to make room for Rachel who'll be visiting again this week. I might have slightly taken over her bedroom since she's moved out, so it was a long overdue task. I packed up summer clothes and moved them to the attic, too.

Tomorrow, I plan not to leave home all morning before work, staying in my pajamas and drinking tea and altering dresses and wrapping birthday presents.

The rest of the week can get busy and hectic and packed full of things to do.

But tomorrow, it won't.

a dapple of my weekend

Very late, but this is how my weekend went:

something funnyamidst our nightpumpkin seeds, roastedvegetables, choppedwavingleaf trailbranches

It also included pumpkin carving, drinking pumpkin spice ale, starting some new sewing projects, working a bit, crocheting a lot, and practicing to stand up for myself.

A very fruitful weekend, indeed.

Now, to prepare for the busy week ahead--birthday gift shopping, sister visits, preparations for a Halloween party, and finally figuring out my costume.....

Have a lovely Tuesday!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


the pond

I've been told my great-grandmother came to this very pond every morning as well, years and years ago.

I've been told she'd sit on a bench on the opposite bank, built especially for her purpose.

I've been told she'd do nothing but sit and watch the water, and probably the blue herons and geese and leaves falling, too.

I imagine this pond as her refuge, a medium of transport from her husband and her children and the sound of automobiles.

I imagine her daily resolution to walk each morning through trees and unruly branches and across streams and brooks, leaving her house and nagging worries behind.

I imagine her sitting across the still waters, looking through time and seeing me sitting on the opposite bank in pine needles with pen and paper and camera, imagining her.

The bench is now gone, probably by the hands of nature and men and forgotten memories, but I imagine it as if it stood yesterday.

Yes, I know Alma believed in change and worthiness and greatness for her daughters.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

boston, and a visit to mary oliver

Okay, well, it wasn't exactly a visit to Mary Oliver, but it was quite close enough.

A poetry reading and book signing at Wellesley College inspired a full-day trip to Boston today. I had it all planned out--snacks for the car, a fully-charged iPod, directions to parking, a fabulous blogger to meet. Then it just turned into one of those days where things just don't jive, where one bad turn of luck leads to another and another and you begin to think you should just give up while you're not too far behind. I got confused about how much time I had in Boston and didn't get to have a blogger meet-up, got lost in the car (at one point my GPS took me straight through a parking garage like it was just another road to drive along), got lost on foot, didn't load the audio walking tour of the Boston Public Garden onto my iPod properly, waited too long for a slow waitress and had to leave the restaurant with just a take-out sandwich instead, then had to eat it with stale bread, got lost in the car again, couldn't find Wellesley campus chapel, parked in the wrong place and had to walk an extra 20 minutes when I was already late, got stuck in a bad seat way in back, and then, at the very end of my night, found myself holding back tears as I tried to tell a campus cop that I thought my car was missing from the parking garage.

Yeah, I know. I almost turned around thirty minutes in.

But I'm glad I didn't. If only for the poetry reading, the trip was the best idea I've had all week. All month, even. But really--I didn't get that lost, the weather wasn't as cold as I expected (even though I wore tights under my jeans and brought an extra coat in case), found a $12 dress in a thrift store on Charles Street, made it to the poetry reading just in time to purchase a book, spied an empty single seat right up front at the very last second, and ended up finding my car in the parking garage after all (I think the day was just too much--it was just one level lower than I thought it was and I made it out before I had to explain anything to the campus cop who was already looking at me like I was the craziest girl he'd ever seen).

on the wayAlign Center

The drive through Massachusetts was absolutely gorgeous, too. I think I'm going to cry when all this fall foliage is done with and the trees are bare and lonely again.

public gardenpublic gardenpublic garden

Abbie was sweet enough to email me recommendations of sights to see during my few hours in Boston. Claiming that the Boston Public Garden was a must-see was such a favor. Wandering amidst ponds and geese and willow trees was the perfect way to spend an afternoon.

churchyard "pumpkin patch"

Seeing Wellesley was fun, too. Not only is it such a quintessential New England town, the campus in autumn made my heart hurt. This "pumpkin patch" on the front lawn of a local church (there were literally hundreds of pumpkins!) totally sold me.

And then there was Mary. Oh my, my, MY. Call me a dork, but the place was filled with plenty of other dorks too, so I don't feel so bad. Even though I was only introduced to her poetry a few months ago on the recommendation of a friend, I've fallen for her. Seeing her tonight was like seeing a celebrity. Only way better.

She has cropped gray hair and wore a black turtleneck and walked slowly and spoke so carefully. If she had allowed photos, I'd have taken a hundred, but she asked us not to and, well, I'll do just about anything Mary Oliver asks me to so I sadly don't have any proof. She said things like, "We are all poets in the great river of poetry," and "Beauty gives you an ache to be worthy," and called herself "a beast given the gift of imagination." She read countless poems and slipped in witty remarks in between, reading a few that haven't even been published or read before. Listening to a poet read their poems in the way they intended them to be heard seems like the greatest way to explore poetry, I've decided. She read one of my very favorite poems, Wild Geese, second only to my great favorite (which she sadly didn't recite). When she read that one, I think I even cried a little. When she finished, and everyone stood and began applauding, clapping my hands together for her didn't seem nearly enough. Right before I left, standing two feet in front of her as she carefully drew her name in my book, I was speechless.

Funny, what a few well-chosen-and-strung-together words can do for a soul.

Until next time, Mary.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

woods walk

Speaking of morning rituals, I've discovered a recent admiration for walking through the woods, first thing (you know, on the days when I'm not up at 3:30am, that is).

When I was homeschooled as a kid, we'd always start our days this way with our old dog, and I think it programmed my cells to just like it. It's so refreshing to take those few minutes in the morning in peace, even now.

On yesterday's walk, I snapped some photos as I went and turned them into a (very)mini video. I guess I'll have to settle for this on days when I don't get outside!

woods walk from Ruth Writes on Vimeo.

Monday, October 18, 2010

a dapple of my weekend

pumpkinsover the farmsunsetcloudskalebird housesbrussel sproutsorganicsbluesbeer tastingfree beer heredahliascoventry cemeterycreepy-eyed cowthe pumpkin patchthe pumpkin patch

You know what makes me happy about these photos? Not one of them was taken indoors. I think I spent more time outside this weekend than I have all season. And I enjoyed it thoroughly--I couldn't put my camera down. Every time I snapped the lens cap back on, another scene unveiled itself that I just couldn't let pass. I'm thoroughly satisfied.

This weekend was spent meeting up with friends for some well-deserved drinks, working a bit, taking a much-needed nap (I don't nap nearly enough, I decided), seeing a friend's band perform on Saturday night (at which I forgot my camera!), sleeping in on Sunday, going back to the Coventry Farmers' Market for the Blues and Brews Festival, picking some pumpkins at the local farm, eating tacos, and ended with watching first a scary movie, and then When Harry Met Sally to even my mood (what is it about that movie that seems to autumn-y to me?)

As sad as I am about it being Monday, this week will finally be a normal 40-hour work week, so I hope to catch up on life in general (and maybe even get a full day off!)

Here's to a happy week!

Friday, October 15, 2010

the scenic route

Some days, even though it always makes me late, I prefer to take the long way to work, around the boring main road and busy intersections and construction. It suits me much better to be a few minutes behind schedule and drive lazily amidst lakes and stone walls and foliage and meadows.

And then, I stop and take pictures and make myself just a little bit later. Oops.

the scenic routethe scenic routethe scenic routethe scenic routethe scenic route

Thursday, October 14, 2010

a baby photo shoot

Some looks into a just-for-fun mini photo shoot I did earlier this week with Lauren's sweet little cousin:

ethan 7ethan 6ethan 5ethan 4ethan 3ethan 2

Isn't he precious?

And our impromptu photo shoot has led to a real gig, for him and his brother later this month. Hurray!

morning rituals

These days, waking at 4am and either working all day long or bizarrely getting out by 9am or finding unexpected time off before 1pm has really thrown me for a loop. Luckily, I've realized one savior of my sanity is taking the time to have something for breakfast. And smoothies are my newest morning ritual.

morning smoothie

It's not really cooking, but it's not really inhaling a Larabar in the car, either. Taking the time to choose my ingredients and getting it to the right consistency and then sitting down with it (wonders!) just makes my soul happy. I've been including in mine:

A couple pinches of flax seeds,
A cup or two of spinach leaves,
A spoonful of plain Greek yogurt,
A cup of frozen berries,
A banana, and
A splash of rice milk.

Of course, there are a million other variations I can't wait to try.....

Do you have any cherished morning rituals?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

supportive decisions

lone pumpkin

Over the weekend, I saw an old friend I hadn't seen in months. As we chatted over margaritas, she lamented the fact that she's still living at home after college with a not-so-perfect job, and has been for over a year now, watching friend after friend leave town.

But you know, she told me, I've decided I might as well start doing things now while I have extra money and extra time.

I nodded in agreement. And then this next part delighted me.

I've begun taking piano lessons,
she said. Even though I've never played a day in my life, and I've never been good with musical instruments, I'm learning. I go once a week after work, and I'm actually loving it.

How revolutionary! To some, it may sound simple, but to me--I couldn't have been more incredulous and affirmative.

Yes! Do things you love! Now! While you have the opportunities!

I had already been toying with this radical idea, but Maria's words provided solid ground. I learned there are other people in this world making supportive decisions for themselves in many ways. Self-indulgent ones, at that.

Why can't I be one of them?

Another Anne Lamott quote comes to mind:

“It may help to remember this great line of Geneen Roth’s: that awareness is learning to keep yourself company. And then learn to be more compassionate company, as if you were somebody you are fond of and wish to encourage. I doubt that you would read a close friend’s early efforts and, in his or her presence, roll your eyes and snicker. I doubt that you would pantomime sticking your finger down your throat. I think you might say something along the lines of, ‘Good for you. We can work out some of the problems later, but for now, full steam ahead!’”

My birthday is coming up in a few weeks, and I think that may be the perfect day to put this new principle into action.....

what it is i've been doing

in the sun

I wish I could answer.

No, I suppose I've been working and sleeping a little and catching up on How I Met Your Mother reruns and reading (Anne Lamott and The Organic Cook's Bible and Yoga Journal) and speed-crocheting the second half of a long-overdue blanket and taking photos of sunshine on red leaves and doing Sunday's crossword puzzle in bed and drinking lots, and lots, of lattes.

I suppose I've been feeling overwhelmed and unsure and sort of angry and all topsy-turvy-like. But mixed up in there has been some contentment and intrigue and clarity, too.

Slowly, but surely.

Some words of Anne Lamott have rung true with me for the past few days, and I can't help but share them here (thanks to Lecia for the inspiration). This woman's sentiments have seemingly come straight from my own heart--I think they're the best thing I've stumbled upon in a long time.

"Every single one of us at birth is given an emotional acre all our own. You get one, your awful Uncle Phil gets one, I get one, Tricia Nixon gets one, everyone gets one. And as long as you don’t hurt anyone, you really get to do with your acre as you please. You can plant fruit trees or flowers or alphabetized rows of vegetables, or nothing at all. If you want your acre to look like a giant garage sale, or an auto-wrecking yard, that what you get to do with it. There’s a fence around your acre, though, with a gate, and if people keep coming onto your land and sliming it or trying to get you to do what they think is right, you get to ask them to leave. And they have to go, because this is your acre."

Sunday, October 10, 2010

a dapple of my weekend

I've been so consumed with attempting and trying and struggling to relax, that I've no energy for words. Sometimes there are so many things in my head, there's just no present space for blogging. Just some photos (although some are from earlier in the week that I never blogged), instead.

feet upblancheapple butterready to runat the gamein the dugoutkey limespumpkindying hydrangeas, spiderwebin the sunup the sledding-hillleaves in the sun