So here we are: almost mid July already. The rich, lush green of early summer has given way to golds and purples and pinks. Painterly flowers, too - I've currently got a vase of sunflowers in the window (and the petals above are from a collapsed bunch of peonies, still beautiful after they finally gave up the ghost).
We've been out and about an awful lot lately. Two or three walks each day on a weekend is pretty routine, particularly when it's dry. Joe wakes very early indeed so those days are long.
But I've had time to think about other things, this blog in particular. It's not the first time I've questioned where I'm going with it. Not that I need to be going anywhere with it, but realistically something has to give. In between caring for Joe, looking after the house, family commitments, a very modest social life, my writing for Creative Countryside and trying to grow a small business - which entails a lot of work - it feels as though Mitenska is becoming increasingly sidelined.
That makes me feel bad. I'm struggling to get around to reading other blogs, too. Again: bad.
You see, in the four-and-a-half years I've been writing this blog, over the course of 436 posts, I've met some really wonderful people. Some I've had the joy of meeting in person, others I've got to know through their own blogs and through commenting. It really is a community on here.
People have helped me out in so many ways: practically, with technical issues. Emotionally too. Back in December 2012 Joe was just three months old. I've written my fair share of angst-ridden posts (and received lots of support from readers and fellow bloggers).
During this time I've moved house three times, had a few health worries, lost my grandmother and seen my brother struggle to cope after the death of his partner. Of course, the biggest - and toughest - event was my mum being diagnosed with cancer in 2014, and her passing away that September.
There have been bittersweet experiences and many milestones, such as Joe starting preschool and, last year, actual school. A few weeks ago I wandered around my parent's house (their home for over twenty years) for the last time before it was sold.
And I've shared so many good things here too. Holidays, family memories, adventures. Starting my own business after rediscovering my love of drawing and painting. Learning how to create prints. Documenting little details: where we've walked, what's growing, what we've been eating and reading and making.
So, what next?
A lot, as it happens. I'm going to be blogging over at Frond & Feather. I may keep my Mitenska Instagram account as a place I can still record our little goings-on around here. I'm busy working on my business: not just painting, drawing and printmaking but everything else that goes with it. Social media updates, planning, marketing.
We're putting the house up for sale at the end of August for a big move north of the border. It's a huge leap but we'll do it somehow.
And Mitenska is actually metamorphosising. It'll be taking an entirely new form, something I've wanted to do for a very long time. One lesson I've learned during these past four years: life's short and can take unexpected turns. So I'm now doing things rather than just dreaming about them.
Thank you for reading and commenting. I really appreciate it and have loved 'meeting' you all.
I can still be found on Pinterest, Twitter, my other Instagram account, Facebook, Creative Countryside and, of course, at Frond & Feather.