oh the places I go

Welcome to Monday. No, I don’t care if you still have your receipt, you can’t get a refund. Buck up, little camper, here we go again…

Tao Silk Scarf – not using silk, maybe alpaca?

This is the “personal” project that I’m working on most right now. The pattern was free from Jimmy Beans Wool and is pretty straightforward; just a 4 row repeat. I’m using a ball of unknown laceweight yarn from my stash. I suspect it started life as “naked” alpaca from KnitPicks that I dyed myself about a thousand years ago but I don’t honestly remember. It’s pretty, it’s easy, and it makes me happy.

Other things that are making me happy include making a few more holiday gifts over the weekend, getting connected with a local knitters group that will happily take the hats and scarves I’ve been making and donate them to their chosen charity this year (I just need to get all of the ends woven in), and Lancelot. I mean honestly, what’s not to be happy about with a partner who gets what “partner” actually means.

Another thing that makes me happy is being a student, and I realized last week that it’s been too long since I wore that hat. I am not at all interested in another degree right now – for one thing I don’t think I can afford it in terms of my mental health. The university I work for covers some tuition costs if you attend one of the system schools, so that would help if I did decide to pursue a program there again, but mentally and emotionally I know that I don’t have what it would it would take to do justice to another full-on graduate degree. Not right now at least.

Instead I’m going to do a professional certificate program, all online and from the comfort of home, and I should be done in about a month. All for $50 and it comes very highly recommended. I’m excited about this. I really am someone who thrives on learning new things.

Goals update

Y’all probably know by now that I set myself some goals every year. I do not believe in the whole “new year’s resolution” thing, but I do believe in pushing myself to do new things and try to do some old things even better. The list for 2022 was (comments for each in brackets):

  • No new yarn (I have only bought yarn once, for a very specific project that was commissioned by a friend)
  • Learn a new knitting skill (I’ve finally learned how to knit with two colors!)
  • Complete at least one creative project every month (so far August was my slowest month with only 7 projects)
  • Learn a new craft skill (I’ve learned several new techniques for beading and jewelry making)
  • Try at least two new recipes every month (we’ve tried far more than this and loved 99% of them)
  • Plant and maintain a vegetable garden (we had tomatoes, two kinds of peppers, strawberries, and assorted herbs growing on the deck; I’ve started clearing space in the existing flower beds to accommodate a proper garden next year)
  • Lose 50lbs (this is the goal that I’ve struggled with the most and haven’t made any real progress with)

I’ve already been working on my goals for 2023, mostly so that I can be prepared. I’m 99.999% confident these are set now:

  • No new craft supplies (unless I manage to completely deplete my stashes of stuff)
  • Finish all of my kits (beading, knitting, etc. including the ones I’ve put together for knitting projects)
  • Read at least 4 books
  • Establish and maintain habits/routines for exercising
  • Complete at least 5 creative projects each month (anything creative counts – drawing, knitting, jewelry, LEGO, etc)
  • No new clothes unless I need new underwear or bras
  • No new shoes
  • Lose 50lbs
  • Post on my blog at least once per week
  • Learn how to bake bread from scratch
  • Earn at least one professional certificate
  • Learn at least one new craft skill

I think those should be both challenging yet absolutely attainable. And, in an effort to be able to tell when I’ve finished all of the kits I have, I’ve started taking an inventory of everything I have in the house. That’s been a great exercise because I’m uncovering things that I had completely forgotten about. It’s like shopping without spending any money.

I’ve considered going back to doing goals on a weekly basis; not quite sure about that yet. I will say I feel there’s a lot to be said for it in terms of keeping accountable. For now, it’s Monday and it’s time to see where today takes us.

Eric and Froggy are trying to hide from Monday, unsuccessfully

quiet whispers

I haven’t been writing much because, quite frankly, I don’t feel like I’ve got much to say. There’s so much going on right now in this country and everyone seems to be screaming about how they’re right, and I just don’t like trying to have to talk over people, ever.

I’ve also been keeping to a fairly quiet lifestyle right now. We go out some, but not much. This weekend we went out with some friends, but that isn’t a regular thing right now. I actually have even stepped outside since we got home from dinner last night and it’s now after lunch here. It’s not all that uncommon for me to not to leave the house for several days, sometimes if I do it’s just to water plants on the back deck.

So what am I doing? I’m cooking, knitting, making jewelry, and doing LEGO kits. I’ve actually completed two holiday gifts already and have plans for several more. I’m still working to “bust” my yarn stash by not purchasing any new yarn and I’m doing very well with that. I purchased and knit Romi Hill’s “Autonomy” pattern last week with a lovely skein of olive-y green Koigu I found in my cupboard.

Garth kitty is doing well with his asthma treatments. We’ve reached a point where I can just hold him while Lancelot administers the medicine; we don’t have to wrap him in a towel like a kitty burrito anymore. I’m sure it doesn’t hurt that he gets his lysine gel after the inhaler, which he thinks is a treat.

“Autonomy” in progress

updates worth sharing

Hi y’all, remember me? Life continues to be mostly in a groove for me, but I decided it was time to break out of that briefly to share an update. You know, just in case there’s actually still any humans that still read this.

First and foremost I wanted to give y’all an update on a few of my goals for this year.

1 – I have not purchased any yarn in 2022; that was the first goal on the list.
2 – I am working on a stranded knitting project (a lace-ish scarf) with two colors. This is definitely a new knitting skill.
3 – I’ve been completing MANY projects every month, so far a total of 94 since Jan 1. Included in that is 20 hats and scarves that will be donated to a homeless shelter.
4 – Recipes; this is maybe my biggest success. We try new stuff just about every week. It’s been wonderful.
5 – I have two tomato plants, two different hot peppers, strawberries, sweet mint, catnip, basil, and cilantro all growing out on the deck. I also have potatoes planted along the fence.
6 – Yeah, weight loss. This is the one goal that’s not moving forward yet. Yet.

In other exciting news, Garth has been diagnosed with asthma and will be (hopefully) starting an inhaler soon. Lancelot has also been re-diagnosed with asthma so I’m figuring we’ll have a little daddy/kitty “puff, puff, pass” action soon.

In news that I find exciting but in a less medical sort of way, I’ve been working more with seed beads and making interesting looking earrings.

Brick stitch around a metal form with key charms

I’ve decided I really like this method because it can get really wild and intricate or, like these, I can use different size beads in the same/similar color for a very delicate look. And they aren’t anywhere near as complicated to make as they look.

And now for the elephant in the room.

The decisions a woman has to make surrounding a pregnancy, planned or otherwise, are some of the intimate decisions she will ever have to make. And they are HER decisions to make – not her husband’s, not her boyfriend’s, not her father’s, not her rapist’s, not her abuser’s.

HER decisions.

The only other person who should be involved is a qualified medical professional, and that is it.

How I feel about abortion should never figure into the decisions another woman makes. It’s not for me to say what is “right” for another woman in that situation. What I feel is “right” for me is quite likely different if the man responsible for the pregnancy is my partner than if it were a random stranger, the result of an assault or just a poor decision on my part, it doesn’t matter.

Pro-choice, to me, is saying that I respect your right to make the decisions you think are best for your own body. I honor your agency as a human to do what is “right” for you, however you define “right.” This does not apply solely to reproductive rights but rather for any medical decision. Again, this is MY stance.

2 down, 10 to go

I didn’t necessarily plan it this way but hey, it’s the end of February! I am not too disappointed that I haven’t been posting super regularly because it’s been because I’ve been involved with doing other things, like life. And adulting. Generally I would say that “life” is much more enjoyable than “adulting,” but not always. But I digress.

Ignore the black lines

I managed to get back to the glass studio this past weekend and had a delightful time. That flower thing will be a “pretty” that sits in a frame on a table. It was fun to make, especially now that I’ve figured out how to work with the glass and work around my hands not wanting to cooperate all the time.

Dinner last night! Red lentils and chicken thighs

Lancelot and I have been cooking together, pretty much every night, and it’s wonderful. We’ve decided it’s probably time to start getting to work on my whole “lose 50lbs by the end of the year” thing so I’m opting for even more health recipes. Never a bad thing really.

I am also happy to report that this month I completed no fewer than 13 creative projects, and that makes me very happy indeed.

an interesting thing happened on the way to the symposium…

It’s odd, well maybe not, but I think it is. I’ve essentially quit Facebook. I still have an account but I don’t have the app on my phone, it doesn’t come up on my work computer at all, and I just don’t check it anymore. Once in a great while Lancelot will tell me about something, usually dealing with our new niece or with a close friend, and I’ll go out there just to see that single thing. But that’s it.

I’ve realized that this has freed up a remarkable about of time for other things. Like knitting. Like watching shows I enjoy. Like talking to my husband.

I am still posting photos on Instagram, and I keep up with a few people that way. But I’ve decided that I’d really rather talk to the people I care about and spend less time just randomly on the internet.

The one real downside to that is I’m spending less time with my personal laptop turned on and so less time reading blogs, and less time writing here. These are trade-offs I supposed.

I feel like an update is in order, so here goes…

I am still knitting and making progress, which is good. We’ve been working on trying new recipes and it’s been more like once a week as opposed to every other week. And I’m still working on various Lego kits that continue to arrive. I think today I’m going to make some tulips and sunflowers. The next “big” kit is a typewriter.

One of our favorite meals for Meatless Monday is Tofu and Black Bean nachos

2021 in review

Hey y’all! Nope, not dead yet. I’ve just been busy and haven’t taken time to write in a really long time. I’ve been knitting, cooking, spending time with my friends, and today I finished a rather large Lego-type project.

The secret holiday gift for Miz M
I hated the mohair shawl I was making so I ripped it out and have started a new project with the yarn
I played with jewelry one day
That’s the most recent brick build, a giant swallowtail butterfly

I’m also working on a lace cowl (that doesn’t have beads) and another charity scarf. I stay pretty damn busy these days. And having Lancelot home makes it even more enjoyable.

I’m not a “new year’s resolution” kind of person, they seem destined to fail right from the start. I do, however, like to set goals for myself for the coming year. These are what I set for last year…

  • I will work to incorporate more physical activity into my routine by using the treadmill, ultimately getting to 30min/day, 5x/week
  • I will learn a new creative skill (I have kits here already for quilling and chain maille)
  • I will continue to explore vegetarian dishes and strive to include a meatless dinner at least 1x/week – Meatless Monday is a thing at our house
  • I will learn at least one new Indian recipeI will finish all of the fiber projects that are currently in progress
  • I will continue to work on my health issues by being more mindful of what I eat and drink

I feel like I did really well with some of those, completed them even, but not everything. So for 2022 I’m planning to…

• No new yarn (unless I somehow manage to use everything I have in the house)
• Learn a new knitting skill
• Complete at least one project every month – doesn’t have to be knitting, just something creative
• Learn a new craft skill (like actually use the chain maille or quilling kits)
• Try at least two new recipes every month
• Plant and maintain a vegetable garden
• Lose 50lbs

We’ll see how it goes. I have already kind of started by picking out yarns to go with patterns and putting them in project bags in my office closet. Hopefully that helps.

Hoping you’re all safe and having a wonderful holiday season. Be good to each other.