Category Archives: Life

New Year, New Moleskine

But the convergence of the date and the new book is a coincidence.

Being sick in bed for four days straight and sick in a recliner for four more is bad enough, but to have to miss the annual family ski trip in Vail? What? There are no words! 

Two of these span roughly two years of use, one was filled in a year, and the fourth was a three week trip to Italy.
On day five of my fun-sucking illness I felt a little better and optimistically decided to make a list of things to do while home alone. (Ha! I’ve done none of them!) My Moleskine was filled but there was, of course, one in reserve, sitting right next to the stack of used ones.  
Ooh la la, brand new and waiting for me.
I opened the new one by writing the start date on the inside cover; we’ll see how long it takes to fill it with the epherma of my life. The task now is to look through the one that is being retired and transfer any relevant information. A quick look and I find: 
  • Contact information for people I’ve met.
  • Yardage amounts for sewing and knitting projects I want to make.
  • Verizon renewal dates for all our cell phones. This is more important than you might think, for some of us.
  • Books and movies recommended by friends.
  • Project ideas.
These journals are multipurpose, serving as planner, list repository, record keeper, and visual journal. Glue sticks are my friends, as you’ll see.

Obviously, I love paper and find a way to use markers and pens and pencils as well as all the technology in my daily life. I am equally attached to my ipad and the fact that I can access Remember the Milk from my phone, ipad, computer, and ipod. So yes, I had that flight information on my phone, but it was also there in the book when I needed to refer to it and it will be there as a record of that trip in years to come. 
Leonard Cohen needs no caption.
Hastily sketched dimensions for kitchen window curtains.
Sometimes I combine electronic planning and my Moleskine. I like it.
These pages are the result of one of those times when there is so much on my mind I have to force myself not to think until I can get to a pen and paper and let my thoughts flow, so I don’t lose anything.
I love keeping things like this last-minute map my stepfather drew of the Piazza del Populo in Ascoli Piceno, Italy, so we could identfiy the places he knew as a child growing up there.
A list for customs
A few years ago at Stitches, a huge knitting event, I had checked my felted tote bag and it was admired by my fellow knitters. One woman asked the attendant to tuck this note into the bag for me. How fun! It lives in the back pocket of the journal.
Pretty wraps from a very thoughtful present from my daughter, glued into a page, along with her note.
A cable pattern, written out while in the car because the chart was just too big to handle in the front seat.
It’s been fun flipping through the books and sharing a few pages with the blog. Moleskine journals come in all sorts of configurations and their website is worth exploring. It’s also interesting to check out what other people do with theirs, and you can spend a long break surfing around that subject!

Looks like fun…

If you are attending the Brandywine Wallace Boutique sale this weekend, here’s a raffle ticket for you!

Nice Try

Monday. Wake up and think, Hey…I think I have a nice long day of sewing and listening to an audiobook. Make coffee, turn on laptop, start remembering things to do…

Maybe not.

Photo source: hipsters-in-space

Wandering Hospital Corridors

I’ve walked past this room few times this morning on various errands while visiting someone here at the hospital. Past these two elderly men, roommates wearing matching hospital gowns, sharing a bathroom, a nurse, and a privacy curtain.¬†

One man sits on a chair at the foot of the bed, long legs crossed, hands clasped around his knees. Bedroom slippers. His back is ramrod straight and a shock of grey hair stands at attention on his head. He is elegantly attentive. He spoke, during my first pass, about a Memorial Day service he (saw on television? attended?) found beautiful and patriotic. Flags lined the walks as far as you could see.

His roommate, sitting up on the bed with legs dangling off the edge, is wearing hospital-issue booties with nonstick soles. He is bald and a little stooped, with both hands planted firmly at his sides, using the mattress for support. As I pour a coffee at the  hostess cart outside their room, he is describing how he is able to do his laundry somewhere upstairs (apartment? bathroom sink?) thus avoiding the steep stairs. He keeps things picked up and fends for himself. 

This wing is a step down from critical care, monitoring patients as they recover from serious somethings or prepare for major surgery. I am enchanted by these two, who are for the moment disregarding this and chatting with civility about everyday things, creating for themselves a few dignified minutes of normalcy and comfort.


If you watch this, you are going to want to do it…

Moleskine News!

In a fun day of shopping with DD and, for part of the day, with DS2, we managed to buy a lot of birthday presents for June people.  I can’t put up pictures because some of those June Birthday People read this blog, but I can, however, share the excitement of a new line of Moleskine journals – “Passions” journals. I bought a “Recipe” journal today – and it has stickers!

AND, for all you Moleskine fans, have you been to their website?? You can use templates to download and print extra pages, import your calendar and print it out to use in your Moleskine, or even…wait for it…design your own pages – with images – and print. 

Customize your Moleskine. Print extra pages. I can hardly stand it.

Graduation and Funeral

A blog post without pictures, for me, is unusual but I will try to be brief.

Yesterday was a study in contrasts for me, and I was constantly aware of it and mentally flipping back and forth between what I was doing with my husband and children, and what another part of my family was doing.

My stepfather, who I love dearly, lost his mother, Concetta, a few days ago. She was 89 and lived a good, healthy life that took her from a village in Italy to Philadelphia. I only saw her sporadically but enjoyed her broad smile and fantastic cooking, and she appreciated that I also cook, and do many things by hand. 

The funeral was held yesterday, which meant my mother and stepfather couldn’t attend my daughter’s college graduation, and we could not attend the funeral. The two events happened simultaneously and I was vividly aware that while we were assembling at the Dell on campus, my brother and parents were in church. I couldn’t help reflecting on Concetta’s path as on this day my daughter’s feet were placed on hers in a tangible, intentional way. Everything about the ceremony I was attending – the families coming together, the prayers,the processions, the flowers, the sadness of an ending mixed with the hope for a beginning – echoed what was happening a few hours away, and the shadow of a funeral took place in my mind the entire time.

This is not to say that I was distracted by grief or focused on the funeral; I simply could not shake the feeling that I was living in a split screen movie scene. We were the actors on the stage yesterday, and I felt it most powerfully.

Whew! That was close.

Enough said.


Too funny, really. Since the carpets have all been cleaned in the bedrooms, DS2 hasn’t really “reassembled” his room. I went in to wake him this morning and walked into this contraption, built because his nightstand is not back in its place. 

Telephone charger tied around the headboard…..

 Linked to another bit of wire tied to the ceiling fan pull…..

So that one need only reach out and pull the cords to turn off the light.

There you go – a little bit of ingenuity to get around having to clean your room. Love that boy. Yes, those are Sponge Bob sheets. Never too old for SB.