The Past Week

cherryblossomsThis past week was my last week as an undergraduate student. It came upon me much more suddenly than I expected. Spending so much time in denial really took its toll- I am now facing three exams and then bang! I graduate. Nuts, really. I have been in college for the past five years of my life. So much has happened, so much has changed and yet, sometimes I feel like I’m the same person. Or, honestly, more myself.

crabappleIn the past week, I noticed the flowers more than ever. I take a daily walk around campus, but at home, I noticed the crabapple trees budding. Today they are in full bloom (alas, rain) but less than a week ago, the trees had these beautiful rhodochrosite pink blossoms. How deep into geology do you have to start describing things in mineral colors? Five years, in fact. Wait until you try to describe how hard something is without a Mohs Hardness Kit handy.

Ravensburg1Ravensburg2In an ongoing mission to visit more Pennsylvania State Parks, I visited Ravensburg State Park with my best friend this past week. I want to know more about PA State Parks- my state has a large collection of free state parks and I want to visit them all. I will make a page and start recording my visits here. So many of them are very small (such as Ravensburg State Park) and tucked out-of-the-way, that they receive few visitors throughout the year. Most of them feature geologically or historically interesting locations, and I think you would appreciate them.

IMG-0583The thing I did today was to create a TBR Jar. My university hosts an AAUW Booksale, and I picked up more than a few new books to read. Already I had ten/fifteen waiting for me to read, but I am often at the behest of my uncharitable reading muse and never actually reading any of them. My usual habit it so have one long-term book (currently Middlemarch) and one short-term book (Tess of D’Urbervilles) and I wanted a way to shake up my reading without going and buying a new book. Inside the jar is a little slip of paper with a title on it, and when I am finished with my short-term book, I will select a new one at random. I hope it works out, especially since I have another (and much larger) AAUW booksale to attend this coming weekend.

It’s very funny to me how a week can either drag or fly by. I hope to have another post for you next Sunday, and then to continue with daily posting once I am finished with college. One needs a post-graduation hobby, after all.


Summer 2018 Bucket List


  • Host an outdoor tea party
  • Make ice cream
  • Make a rag rug
  • Visit Fallingwater
  • Visit Kinzua Bridge State Park
  • Crochet a market bag
  • Sew a dresser runner
  • Knit a winter hat
  • Kayak at Black Moshannon State Park
  • Visit a beach
  • Fix a fountain pen
  • Start learning German or Korean
  • Find 15 geocaches
  • Go to Woodward Caverns
  • Visit Crystal Cave Park
  • Make a new bird feeder
  • Hike Rickett’s Glen
  • Go to a baseball game
  • Go to an Art Festival
  • Submit a craft for the Grange Fair
  • Tie-Dye t-shirts
  • Make a picnic blanket
  • Go to a paint ‘n sip
  • Make a wind chime
  • Go to a U-Pick berry farm
  • Visit Archibald Pothole State Park
  • Go to the PA Renaissance Faire
  • Go to a Fly-In
  • Make bath bombs
  • Organize my stamp collection
  • Hike the Turkey Trot Trail
  • Stargaze at Cherry Springs State Park
  • Visit a botanical garden

Tidying up August


Of course, at the end of the first week of the Fall semester, I am sick. Rather dreadfully so- I am not usually the kind of person to be sick. Illness of any kind does not become me. And so, I lie here in my little warm and quiet room watching The Great British Baking Show, sipping Gatorade, and thinking about how handsome Paul Hollywood is. Oh- and maybe some reading. If I can tear my eyes away from Black Forest Gateau for a quick minute.

In August, I managed to read nine books. I was aiming for ten, but the new semester quickly derailed me from my plans. I enjoyed East of Eden the most, followed by Far From the Madding Crowd and Swan. I reviewed Blackberry WineSwan, and The Phantom of the Opera this past month. Other books that I read were The Four AgreementsThe Things They CarriedThe Sea, and In the Clearing. While I did read some of them out of duty to my Currently Reading list, others I whipped through from sheer enjoyment.


Star Trek: Voyager was my most watched show in August. I love all things Star Trek, and I hope to finish the series in September. Then I will move on to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. My favorite character on Voyager really is a three-way tie between Commander Chakotay, Ensign Harry Kim, and Lieutenant Tuvok. This trailer I found on Youtube really is nothing like the actual show- but it is full of 90s tackiness that I can’t help but love.

I have two goals for September: read at least five books, and finish one of my WIP projects. I have several books on my Currently Reading shelf that I could finish in a few days, and then two projects that I could finish within hours. Now, if my body would cooperate…



In the last few days I have not done very much reading. In the midst of summer’s end there have been many changes. All these changes were made in effort for life to become simpler during my last year in undergraduate study. Somehow, life become more complicated. I am sure everything will iron out after the first week back to school.

Coping with these sorts of changes is hard. To balance everything out, I have been knitting. I enjoy simple, nearly mindless projects that are made with quality materials. I haven’t had any “exciting” knitting in nearly three years, since I crocheted a beret for a best friend’s birthday. My current project is a Sockhead hat, which I have dubbed Brambleberry. The yarn is nearly the same color as the wine I have been drinking with my nightly Star Trek episode.

I always reach for simple projects. While I have always wanted to knit fantastically lacy and beaded projects, I never have the kind of attention needed. I enjoy knitting as something to keep my hands busy when my mind is otherwise occupied. However, after I have finished the current projects tucked away in my cedar chest, I have the perfect yarns to make a striped Hitchhiker… which is, after all, merely garter stitch!

Last Wednesday, my family and I attended a picnic hosted in Duck Run. The property had many gorgeous rose beds, and I think if I were left to my own devices, I would have had the entire bottle of Zinfandel and photographed the roses all night. Some pictures didn’t turn out (the aforementioned wine is to blame) but the picture above did. They are similar to the roses that grow near our porch at home, just pink rather than red.

Later on this week, I will be sharing all the books I have read this month. I am working on finishing Leavings: Poems by Wendell Berry. I hope I have time to read this coming week- but I have large class breaks that are just perfect for a chapter or two.

a dedication

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
   Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
   With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
   And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
      To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
   With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
      For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
   Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
   Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
   Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
      Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
   Steady thy laden head across a brook;
   Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
      Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.
Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they?
   Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
   And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
   Among the river sallows, borne aloft
      Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
   Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
   The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
      And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
-John Keats, To Autumn


Growing up, I always felt that this poem was dedicated to me. I adored it in its entirety, every gorgeous word and flowing stanza twirled in my life as falling leaves do. Keats was the writer that introduced me to poetry and the ensuing obsession- years later- for the written word.


For a long time, I have wanted to write. It was always hanging at the end of internet biographies- Autumn: geologist, reader, writer. However, I kept my words to myself in journals, diaries, and occasional anonymous postings on the internet. Here is my place to share. It is time to bring the things I have written out of their hiding places and into the light of day.