I got my first dog - a cockapoo named Trixie - in 1974, and she was my constant companion until her death in 1981. We got Trixie shortly after my brother Clark died, and she went with me everywhere. Later in life, I knew that I wanted my daughters to grow up with dogs in their lives, so we brought home Livvie from a family that had a litter of Labrador Retrievers. But our next dog, Lucy (on the right in the photo), was our first official "rescue" and traveled to us from Alabama. She's a Lab/beagle mix - a beagleador - and is pretty content to pass most days curled up in a tiny ball right next to you. Sadie, with the lovely pointy ears, was adopted from Last Chance Ranch in Quakertown, PA. Truly, she wasn't the dog we were looking for (it's too long of a story), but she's exactly the dog that we needed. She's a great friend for Lucy and keeps her anxiety at a lower level and will happily troop about the neighborhood on a three-mile walk. I think because Trixie was a black dog I am partial to that color. Plus it doesn't show up as much on my dark clothes.
Every year, I undertake a year-long project that usually has to do with photography. For two years, I have completed a One Second Everyday project in which you take a video - just one second - and then you mash it together in a video. In 2017, I stopped for some reason, and it made me sad not having the ability to look back on the year, so I started it up again this year. For me, I enjoy seeing how the year has progressed, and it does remind me that despite the issues that surround us, there is a lot for me to be happy and grateful about. And, yes, ending a sentence with a preposition is purely a stylistic choice - the person who deemed it "inappropriate" simply did not like to do so #TheMoreYouKnow
When I was little, most of our traveling was to visit family, and while there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, I really wanted to visit those far-off places that you read about in books. Ages and ages ago - maybe when I was in the 5th grade? - I read about the black sand beaches on Iceland's coast, and getting to see them in person when we visited Vik was a dream come true. I'm grateful that a trip from the East Coast is only about five hours by plane (and that we've been able to visit Iceland now three times - once in the summer and near-24 hours of daylight and twice in the winter with near-24 hours of darkness). Traveling is something I don't think I can ever tire of. If I weren't a teacher, I would love to travel or plan other people's travel for them.
Reading - I couldn't tell you when I learned how to read or even about my life without reading because it has always been there. But I could tell you exactly when I fell in love with Neil Gaiman: when I read The Graveyard Book. It's not every book written for children or that has won the Newbery that begins with a triple homicide AND makes you ugly cry at the end, but The Graveyard Book is THAT book. I cared so deeply about Bod Owens and his graveyard family that I started to wonder what happened to him. Lucky for me, Mr. Gaiman is accessible to his fans via Twitter, and one night after hearing him speak in Philadelphia, I asked him that. His tweet back? He thinks that Bod is doing well and exploring the world he lives in. Good enough for me! Oh, one more thing about Neil Gaiman. He is a gifted writer for both adults and children. That is truly a talent as many authors excel at one but not the other. He is one of the very cherished few who writes well for all age groups.
I am a knitter and have been one for about 15 years now. But if you ask my knitting guru, the lovely owner of Mountain Knits and Pearls, she will tell you that she didn't think I would stick with it. When I took my first class, all I did was complain. However, I have learned over time that I complain about everything that I enjoy because that is how I process things. Do I finish everything I start? Goodness, NO! Do I have way too much yarn? Why, YES, yes I do. The Dude sweater pattern is one that I plan on knitting for Mr. Greenwood, but part of knitting is the distractability because there is always some nicer, softer yarn to try first. I'll get around to this one :) But for now, there is quiviet and yak and silk and merino and yarn from the Faroe Islands and so many other patterns to tackle. I usually have at least three projects going at once and residing on the cube next to coveted spot on the couch. They vary in complexity because sometimes I want to read and knit, which requires an easier pattern. Currently, I have the Elder Tree shawl, a candle flame scarf, and an Icelandic lace shawl - that one is not for reading!