6/30: closing out the month with good things

June went by quickly (oh so quickly), and I'm a bit sad about that.  But the last day of the month was filled with little goodnesses:

- Reading a novel over breakfast (and realizing how much more interested in it I am when I'm not reading it only right before I go to sleep).

- Sweeping the house while listening to an audio version of another novel.  Watching Tilde watch me sweeping.

- Playing with Tilde once the sweeping was done.

- Getting things ready to weigh Emma, and seeing him jump down from Chris' lap (a place he doesn't usually voluntarily vacate) to come over and be weighed completely willingly.

- Finding almost exactly what I needed at a store.

- Meeting my own self-imposed deadline for a project.

- Trying a new restaurant for dinner with Chris (and enjoying it).

- Getting to go kayaking (thanks to no threat of thunderstorms)!

- Laughing with our neighbors once I get back to the dock from kayaking because, it turns out, they tried the same new restaurant for dinner this evening themselves, just an hour after us.

- Talking with my brother on the phone.

6/29: cookies for breakfast

I tell myself it's okay to eat cookies for breakfast because these particular cookies have lentils, oatmeal, and walnuts in them.

6/28: afternoon on the road

The afternoon started with us dropping off some cookies I had made yesterday at a friend's house.  It felt good to share.  And then we continued driving until we got to new-to-us roads.  As we drove through the Ozark National Forest in Conway and Van Buren counties, I got out of the jeep to take a picture:

6/27: on the way

I was driving to my office this evening to do a little work when no one else would be around; it turned out to be an ineffective plan, since some office equipment didn't cooperate with my hopes.  But I saw a rainbow as I was driving to campus, and I pulled over to take a picture.  I only had my least-good camera with me, but it still feels lucky to catch a rainbow in any way.

6/26: super-quick reply

I've been in little contact with students or colleagues for awhile, what with sabbatical blending into the summer.  Today, however, I needed to get in touch with a student to ask if she'd work with me next year, advising the first-year students.  She's abroad right now, so I wasn't even sure she'd be checking her email.  But she was, and she wrote back to me within an hour or less, and very enthusiastically--a good and welcome reminder of the very good parts of my job that I'll be glad to reconnect with when fall rolls around.

6/25: solo

When I lived in Los Angeles, it wasn't odd for people to go to movies alone, and I like that in cities it's generally considered within the range of "normal" for people to go to movie theatres or restaurants by themselves.  In my now-less-urban existence, I can tell that people think it's unusual when I do those things on my own.  But today I didn't mind, and I was glad I went to a matinee.

6/24: tea-time

Afternoon tea and conversation with a friend, ending with somewhat of a plan to get together again soon!

6/23: getting into work

A slow start to the day, but in the late afternoon and into the evening I've made good progress on one of my summer projects.  It's been one of those nice spells when work doesn't feel like work.

6/22: early glimpse

Seeing a colorful sunrise through the windows and appreciating it--but then also being able to fall back to sleep.

6/21: moveable holiday

One day each June we make a "Moon and June" cake, inspired by a poem by Christina Rossetti.  Today was this year's day.  It's been 22 years since our first "Moon and June" cake, so I'm counting not only the cake but also the tenacity of our personal custom as good things! 

6/20: three

...deer nibbling in front of our house early this evening.  Two of them had fuzzy antlers.

6/19: delayed, but home

Our flight from Denver to Little Rock on the evening of the 18th was delayed twice (because of airline issues) and then cancelled (due to weather).  By the time the cancellation was announced, many (many!) other flights had also been cancelled, so there were no hotel rooms available within 25 miles of the airport.  Like plenty of other folks we spent the night in the airport, and we were lucky to get re-routed on a flight leaving first thing in the morning.  Our luggage was on a different flight, but--luckily again--it arrived in Little Rock half an hour after we did.  Everything worked fine--even spending the night in the airport wasn't disastrous, just uncomfortable and unrestful--but it was still stressful and exhausting.  Finally getting home and knowing that the next bed I'll be sleeping in (and soon!) will be my own are definitely good things.

6/18: rainy day activities

Our plane didn't leave Great Falls until the late afternoon, so we had some bonus time in the city.  It was too rainy to do much outdoors, but we enjoyed two great exhibits at the Paris Gibson Museum, had coffee and macarons at Crooked Tree Coffee and Cakes, and then played boardgames and drank bear at Bowser Brewing Co.  A low-key way to wrap up a good vacation.

6/17: decisions (one quick, one not so quick)

It was raining this morning so we couldn't go hiking; we drove to Fort Benton instead.  Once we got there, we didn't feel like staying and visiting the museums.  We decided on the spur of the moment to drive a little further to find Maria's River, which was supposedly nearby, and which Meriwether Lewis named after his cousin.  When we found Maria's River we also found Decision Point, where Lewis, Clark, and their company camped for 10 days while deciding which direction to go. 

Looking west from Decision Point at Maria's River:

Looking east from Decision Point:

It was raining the whole time we were at Decision Point, but it was wonderful to be there.  (And I was grateful for my waterproof camera.)

6/16: unexpected

Recent weather reports made us anticipate rain today, but it was dry until the late afternoon.

We took the wrong trailhead, so we didn't see what we had planned.  But we got to see this instead, which was probably better:

When it did finally rain, this owl didn't seem to mind the wet.  Chris made sure that I didn't miss seeing (and photographing) it as we drove by.

Back in town, we decided on a lark to eat at a place that brewed its own beer.  It was some of the best beer and one of the best sandwiches I've ever had.

6/15: old habits after a hiatus

Chris and I used to go hiking and exploring more often than we have in recent years.  Today it felt like we picked up the thread of those earlier times.

6/14: in montana

Looking down at one of the falls in Great Falls:

And enjoying the big, big sky:

6/13: playing

...with the cats indoors and with a neighborhood dog outdoors.

6/12: art history

I've been enjoying Thierry de Duve's series of essays in Artforum.  He's doing a genealogical analysis of Duchamp's 1917 Fountain, prompting a reconsideration of the standard way it's been interpreted since the 1960s.  Very cool.

6/11: gentle and cool

Gentle light.  Cool air.  A break from the rain so I could go kayaking, and almost no one else was around.  A good evening on the lake.

6/10: early bird

I woke up earlier than usual today (naturally, not because of an alarm clock), and in the extra hours I got a lot done, setting the stage for a steadily productive and evenly cheerful day.

6/9: matinee hooky

A rainy afternoon, so Chris suggested we stay in and watch a movie.  I threw my mental list of tasks out the mental window.

6/8: giving it a try

Last Sunday I posted about taking some photos instead of just thinking about it.  Today's post is in a similar vein:  I have long wanted to give marbling paper a try, and I finally did.  The marbled paper I ended up with isn't very good, and I'm not sure I'll want to use up as much paper as it would take to experiment my way toward satisfactory results--but, as with last week's photos, I count it a good thing to have moved something from the idea column to the reality column.

6/7: opening

The lilies at the bottom of our driveway.

6/6: there & back

A morning drive to Altus, an afternoon spent with a friend, and the drive back before dinner.  Even the electricity going out in the pub for an hour or so during a rainstorm didn't dampen the occasion.

6/5: literal & lovely

I saw a roadrunner running on the road.

I finished listening to Tom's Midnight Garden (marvellous!) by Philippa Pearce.

6/4: new

Some new ideas for one of my summer projects.

Inspiration for new salads via a story I heard on public radio.

New sunset-on-water views because I kayaked on a not-customary-for-me part of the lake.

6/3: artforum

During the seemingly unstopping press of the past 18 months my issues of Artforum piled up.  Before I left for Pennsylvania I made a literal pile of them on the floor of my home office, and I'm going to page through them gradually over the summer.  Today the paging began, and it was a pleasure to look at color and shape.  Oh, and line and texture, too.

6/2: two boats

An unexpected change (i.e., break) in the rainy forecast meant that I could go kayaking near sunset.  After I finished, Chris and I went out with a neighbor in his motor boat to finish watching the sunset and enjoy the coming of night on the lake.

6/1: not just imagining it

I've been driving by an amazing stand of Queen Anne's Lace daily, and I keep thinking about pulling off the road and taking pictures of it before it disappears.  It's near a freeway overpass, so neither convenient nor private (I don't like to take pictures when other people can watch me--a serious limitation).  But today I decided to park nearby the overpass and try to get some photos.  It wasn't a great experience:  I didn't like people in the passing cars seeing me, the noise was significant and steady, and the traffic created more wind than I would have guessed so the flowers wouldn't stay still enough for me to photograph them well.  Nevertheless, I did it rather than just think about doing it.  That's something, and I'm going to count it as something good.