august 7: turning the page

August 7, 2017 @ 7:00 pm | Filed under:
early bird

The early bird gets breakfast in Mom’s studio…


The calendar says we’ve been here 3 1/2 weeks, but in some ways today feels like the Beginning. A new tide, I guess. The first page of Chapter 1, after an action-packed Prologue. We arrived on July 13th and spent a few days waiting for the moving truck. Then it was a blur of unpacking—surgery—recovery—arrival of my younger kids and my parents—follow-up appointments—recovery, still—a work day in Salem—and finally, the mustering of enough brain power to finish writing the September issue of The Arrow, which I turned in last night.

It sounds overwhelming when I write it out like that, but the truth is, next to my surgery, the recovery time has been the hardest part. I loathed the mental fog brought on by pain meds. I’m not a patient patient.

I hardly knew what to turn to first, this morning. Our readaloud, neglected these past six weeks? The unpacked boxes in the basement? The garden store, for a few of the pollinator plants I require for peace of mind? Eventually, I decided on a walk with the younger kids. The rest of the family has explored a lot more of the new neighborhood than I have. We walked down our long street and across several short blocks and back up the long block a few streets over, and on the third corner of the rectangle we met some neighbors, including this rather fabulously coiffed chick.

Disco Chick

Her name? Is Disco.

After lunch, I retired to my studio to work for a bit. Work feels good right now. I’m at the beginning of some new projects—and you know how beginnings thrill me. And for balance, there are some old, ongoing tasks to take back up—calm, steady work, as comfortable as picking up a scarf you started knitting ages ago.

My sketchbook sat idle for weeks, but I returned to it once or twice last week and am itching to resume the daily habit. Perhaps I’ll do a spell of nature journaling as we get acquainted with all this new flora.


I spent the first hour of my work time making lists.

—A list of clerical chores that need doing (phone calls, insurance paperwork, and so forth);

—A list of houseworky things to do or assign;

—A list of little fun tasks like making labels for the storage drawers in my studio, or setting up research files for the New Project;

—A short list of things we need to get for the new house (chiefly: a vacuum…we had no carpets in the old place!); and

—A list of work-related tasks that need attention this week.

There’s a big juicy High Tide list to be made, too, but that wants more time than the hour I’d allotted for the joys of listmaking. Anyway, High Tide lists are best developed Here in the Bonny Glen. 😉


It stays light so late here!

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11 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Penelope says:

    I wondered if you’ve sketching … i hope you’re able to bring that back to the fore … the recovery zone can be tough going. Be gentle with yourself. Fill the well. Times like these, do the most necessary and joy-filled things.

    {{hugs & prayers}}

  2. Penny says:

    What a wonderful, hopeful post. Your joyful anticipation of your Portland life is glorious.

    Even though I’m still away from home… I might have to track down list-making materials….

    Also, Your studio is awesome.

    Sorry for the disjointed comment. So glad you’re well!!

  3. tee+d says:

    The studio is such a lovely, bright and peaceful place! And, since the ducks were quacking as they flew by at about 3 a.m., my enthusiasm for a chicken just now is a bit lower than before, but a chicken like Disco… we could work with that!

    (There’s nothing I can do about the ducks; literally over the back garden wall, there’s an inlet of the slough, and we have ducks, geese, some kind of swimming rodent… all kinds of excitement.)

  4. Susan says:

    I’m glad to hear that y’all are settling in and that your surgery went well.

    That chicken looks just like our late Lovey Lee, a White Crested Black Polish who was such a dear kooky bird.

  5. Karen Edmisten says:

    Godson + Studio = Delight

  6. Lisa says:

    Take the nature walk. Sketch. Read aloud. Dream. Rest a little more. Give yourself permission to recover fully. The rest will take care of itself.

    You’re doing this amazingly well.

  7. maria says:

    That adorable face! 🙂

    That hysterical face! 😀

    Walks are good. Sketching is good. Good for the mind and soul!

  8. Michael says:

    I just caught up with the recent entries on your blog and want you to know Camille and I are praying for your recovery. We started reading your blog when our eldest was in first grade, and we just dropped him off at Wyoming Catholic College. Thank you for the years of inspiration and encouragement related to homeschooling and parenting.

  9. Susanne Barrett says:

    Your studio looks so peaceful! And congratulations on getting The Arrow done! I did my fair share of Arrows and Boomerangs early in my time at Brave Writer. I love the new format and additions to the now plain-jane oldies I once wrote. 😉

    Enjoy settling in, and I’m glad that the pain med fog is gone–that fog makes it so difficult to work and to simply enjoy life.

    Susanne, left behind in San Diego 😉