Archive for January, 2024

My blue mountains

January 29, 2024 @ 10:26 am | Filed under:

This morning’s sunrise was one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. I went outside in the chill air to watch the colors seep across the sky—and really, it wasn’t that chilly. After our recent ice storms & bitter cold, it felt almost balmy. I thought about taking a walk but I’d just made cocoa. So instead, I went upstairs and sipped as the streaks of rose and gold stretched out above the blue mountains.

Those mountains: they mean so much to me. In our first years in Portland, after I recovered from radiation treatment, I used to walk a two-mile loop almost every day—a route that took me directly past our current home, though I couldn’t have guessed that lay in our future. I would turn at what is now our actual corner—admiring what are now my own apple trees as I passed—and head toward a park several blocks away, because it had a gorgeous view of the mountains.

In parts of our neighborhood you can glimpse Mount Saint Helens, whom Scott adores beyond reason. (I say “whom” because she is absolutely a personality.) She’s awe-inspiring and quite lovely, but my own favorite mountain in the dog-park view was one of the low peaks in a blue range to the northeast, across the Columbia River. I grew up in Aurora, Colorado, where the Rockies are always in sight—and so often, they too were a deep violet blue. Later, I lived in Virginia at the feet of the Blue Ridge—the hills that gave this blog (birthed in that house) its first and best color scheme.

My two oldest girls, so very young then, standing the the dusk looking across a green field at the deepening blue mountains. Photo by my father.

So I’m deeply grateful that these now-familiar, perfectly blue mountains are part of my daily view. A week ago they were snow-capped. Now only specks of white remain. Beyond the sharply peaked rooves of Northeast Portland is that delicious ridge of deep blue under a pale sky.

Favorite day, favorite planner

January 1, 2024 @ 1:34 pm | Filed under:

Happy New Year! I began the year with a longish post over at Substack

Against a background of clouds, text reads: 'A certain vibrant emptiness' - Hello to my favorite day of the year

—and then popped into my email to discover an announcement from my friend (and favorite maker of papery goods) Lesley Austin of Small Meadow Press. She has created a 2024 digital planner, lovely as all her creations are. I bought it immediately and I can report that it is a delight. I uploaded it to both my iPad (in Goodnotes) and my beloooooved Supernote e-ink notebook, about which I can’t rave enough, and Lesley’s digital daybook looks beautiful in both. I appreciate that she includes a few different layouts for the weekly and daily pages. If you’re looking for something to get your year off to a gentle start, you should take a look.

(Ha! That sounds like a sponsored post but it isn’t. I’m just a longtime & very enthusiastic customer. I first encountered Lesley’s work at a homeschooling convention in Richmond aaaages ago & her stationery had me at hello. The friendship came later, and was a happy perk!)