Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Forgive me blogger, for I have sinned. It's been several weeks since my last post.

The sailing class was 100% pure and complete heaven. The Wooden Boat School is an impeccable operation.

I left with even more knowledge and confidence than I'd hoped. Consider me hooked on this sailing "thing." And it's not just because I'm having serious escape fantasies as the book deadline looms closer and closer. I really do love the lure of being free on the water, using your wits to charm the wind into doing what you want it to do. (Or letting it charm you? That's more likely the case.)

The class was also an extremely helpful (and humbling) bit of insight into how people must feel when they come to the KR Retreat for the first time. Butterflies, nervousness, yet excitement as you let go of your daily grind and surrender to a few days of self-indulgent learning and inner pampering. At someone else's hands. It was just the lesson I needed before opening up registration for the 2006 retreat.

hello Julia

Back home, the garden has entered its second and near-final flush. The newest and most welcome addition this year is a beautiful yellow rose, aptly named after my culinary heroine Julia Child.

Welcome, Julia.


In another corner we have some echinacea preparing to turn a rosy pink and beckon all nearby butterflies.

beautiful garden bed

Mid-July is when my favorite mixed bed starts to bloom in front of the barn. I always dreamed of having a rambling farmhouse with squeaky doors and lace curtains and hollyhocks out front, and slowly but surely that dream is becoming a reality.

But wait! Wait just a minute! I forgot the other exciting garden news: the much-labored sweet peas made it. I have a whole row of beautiful, intoxicatingly fragrant blooms that just keep coming and coming. Aphids be damned (with the help of soapy water spray). Sorry the picture's so big, but I just couldn't help myself.

hello sweet pea

On the social front, the summer family visitors have come. My 10-year-old niece immediately asked me to teach her how to knit. I did, and then we sat there, quietly chatting and knitting. A lovely moment. Within just a few days she has created enough square and rectangular cozies to cover every object in the house.

I like knowing I'm sharing a healthy coping mechanism with her. She may not remember it in two weeks, but perhaps some day, when life gets stressful, she may wander past a yarn store and remember her kooky aunt and go inside the shop for a refresher.


rho said...

YES!!!! I knew you would love it -- we used to have a hobicat and during the winter - if it gets cold enough and long enough here -- we love ice boating ...

Mary said...

The sweet peas are just lovely. You sure make me want to take a Maine vacation!

And how cool that you taught your niece to knit -- you've now become a part of her history and her heritage! When she's an adult, she'll tell people that, "My Aunt Clara taught me to knit". And people will ask in reverent whispers that we currently reserve for the likes of Elizabeth Zimmerman, "You mean, your aunt is THE Clara of Knitter's Review? Wow...." ;-)

Roo-Bee-Faye said...

I love coneflowers, as we call them ;), and yours are looking lovely! I have always had trouble growing sweet peas, not sure why. The plants never grew very big and died before blooming. Your photographs this week are beautiful! FYI~I share your squeaky farmhouse dream!

Jane said...

Who knew a picture of a rose could bring tears to my eyes? They're all beautiful. And the promise contained in the echinacea -- very sweet! Thank you for the treat.

My niece who wants to knit is bringing her "tangled mess of yarn" this weekend. She never gives up, and I'm so pleased. Can I make sense of 400 yds of slippery bamboo yarn, though? We'll see!

Clara said...

Rho: Yes, I am hooked! Mary: I suspect it'd be more like, "I had this weird aunt who was always knitting..." and the shopkeeper will mumble, "mmm-hmmmmm," as they do when they hear something for the umpteenth time. Roo-Bee-Faye: The secret to sweet peas is to plant EARLY. Mine went in April 15th, which is very early for Maine. And Jane: I'm moved that Julia brought tears to your eyes. It's truly the most beautiful rose I've ever grown, a great tribute to the real Julia.

Laura said...

Clara, your pictures are so life like and gorgeous! Julia is pure perfection, congrats to you!

What a lucky girl your neice is having YOU to teach her knitting and trust me, she'll remember long into her future. :)

Martha said...

Girly girl,
In my humble opinion, all your relatives are lucky to call you a relative!
And I bet that your niece will think of you as her cool aunt.
The flower "fotos" are gorgeous (oh yes, your niece will think of you as that too) & the rose is divine.

Cindy said...

I did a search for bloggers from Maine and found you- I have family up there, in Gouldsboro and Winter Harbor. We used to go there sometimes in the summer as kids to see my grandfather (George Potter). I grew up, got married and had kids and did not visit Maine for 20 years but when we did and I caught that first scent of sea air I felt like I was coming home. Anyway, I marked your blog so I can come back again and again...