A List for January

 

Here are some random thoughts from January.

  1. Everything that is required of me right now is basically the opposite of my skill set.
  2. If I manage to make it through the next few months with my marriage, my sanity, and the majority of my friendships intact, I’ve basically won at life.
  3. I’m bouncing between procrastination, overwhelm, and squashing my to do list.
  4. While procrastinating, I’m Knitflixing dishrags, socks, and watching the BBC/Masterpiece Theater Victoria and Vikings (I think from the history channel) from Amazon Prime.
  5. For someone who is NOT a keeper of stuff, I really have way too much stuff.
  6. I think it would be really lovely to sell off every earthly possession, buy an Airstream, and just spend a year trekking around North America with Jesse and the kids.
  7. Or have a hobby farm.
  8. But only if I had someone to help take care of the hobby farm. (Because there is a gaping hole between the person that I would love to be and the person I actually am and that gaping hole is made up of laziness and a distaste for physical labor/discomfort).
  9. If the world is really going to hell in a hand basket, this is going to be my guide for how to deal with it.
  10. Discomfort = growth. Growth = good.
  11. All of the problems I’m facing right now are GOOD problems.
  12. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.
  13. What other people think of me is none of my business.
  14. I want to write again. Not just lists and Tuesday Things but actual writing. It may not be for awhile though.
  15. Once this remodel is done, I’m going to get back into the habit of creating art and cooking with my kids. I’m missing it.
  16. Days with inches and inches of snow and warm winter temperatures are some of my favorite.
  17. Houseplants can actually kind of become like pets.
  18. Down comforters in January are basically a requirement.
  19. It’s always fun to see your kids find a passion and then work toward it despite setbacks.
  20. When the list gets too long and everything is swirling – taking a nap is magic.

2018

I didn’t set a resolution.

I didn’t give myself a word.

I didn’t make a list of books I want to read or projects I want to knit or goals I want to accomplish.

2018 is not going to be that kind of year.

It’s going to be big and full and messy and hard and wonderful and I’m not at all ready for it to start, but it’s here already anyway.

Our house is going to undergo a major renovation.

I’m going to turn 40.

Violet is going to “graduate” from elementary school.

(I’m not sure which of those last two is going to be the hardest for me, but based on my internal feelings as I typed them, it’s the latter.)

And I’m going to squeeze every last moment of joy out of it that I can.

Happy 2018!!!

Madness

The last few weeks have been a complete whirlwind. Thanksgiving was wonderful. We celebrated at my parent’s new home with everyone bringing a little something to the table. On Friday we went to Chicago where we swam in a hotel pool, ate good food, took a carriage ride, and watched the musical every single one of us love and know by heart. I spent more time watching Violet and Abram as they watched it than the musical itself. They were entranced.

Since we’ve been back, I’ve had my head down working on Christmas presents and getting ready to completely redo our first floor. I know I’ve mentioned it but without much detail and to be honest, I’m so overwhelmed at the thought of all the moving parts that I’m not going to talk much about it now. Suffice it to say, I’ve been picking light fixtures, faucets, sinks, cabinet fronts, flooring, countertops, etc. etc. We’re getting to the part where things are getting really, really real and I’m trying to also finish up the making of Christmas presents and the wrapping of Christmas presents and all the other madness that goes into this time of year and I kind of want to crawl in a hole and hibernate until it’s all over. Except I can’t.

So…Knitflixing: Just finishing up a few Christmas presents while watching some Doctor Who. Matt Smith is growing on me which is good because I also binged the second season of The Crown and he’s in that as well. I’ve also curled up with a few Christmas movies.

Reading: I did finish Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond. It was quite interesting and gave me pause. I don’t know that I really found any answers (despite his putting forward some suggestions), but it was definitely worth reading. I also read One for Sorrow by Mary Downing Hahn which was a Violet recommendation. She was up way too late reading it (so she could finish) and it’s really hard to chastise her when I turned around and did the same thing when she gave it to me. When I looked up the author, I got a little chuckle. Around Violet’s age, I spent the night at a house where there was a girl just a few years older than me and being bookish, I raided her bookshelf and found a spooky book that I couldn’t put down. (And that was my introduction to liking spooky books despite having an overactive imagination and no business reading anything even slightly chilling.) Turns out, same author. Now I’m browsing used bookstores (both online and off) because I think I’d like to start collecting some of my favorites – with the covers that originally caught my eye.  In other book news, I currently have Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine on my nightstand (thank you for the recommendation, ladies) but I haven’t had a chance to open it yet. I’m hoping this weekend I’ll get a little bit of time to do it.

Listening to: Spotify Christmas playlists. This one and this one but I do skip some of the songs. (I’m looking at you Baby, It’s Cold Outside)

I haven’t been cooking much of anything. I feel like I should be utilizing my kitchen while I still can, but we’ve just been so busy! Sandwiches and grocery store deli meals have been on rotation. Spaghetti is also a pretty regular feature.  For my family’s Christmas potluck we’ll be doing shrimp cocktail and my grandmother’s ramake recipe. For Christmas morning I’m making this casserole.

So that’s wonderful, crazy, overwhelmed, happy me. How is the holiday shaping up for you? I hope it’s fully of very merry and bright!!!

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Crazy, Good and Tuesday

On Thursday we’ll celebrate Thanksgiving. I’m a bit in a panic. I’m usually done with most of my Christmas shopping by now. I am not even close. I usually have a good handle on the handmade gift situation. Again, not even close. I’m neck deep in remodel decisions, our December is filled to the brim with holly jolly and I need a nap. I’ve deFacebooked (again) for the season and am trying to put things in the right priority and take time for self care, but I think I’m just going to have to embrace the tired, get carried away with the bustle, and crash in January.

Knitflixing: I have a pair of socks blocking and another ready to be blocked. I’m working on a scarf but it’s taking forever. It’s soft and simple to knit and it’ll be beautiful when it’s done, but it’s a little more time consuming than this season allows. I have a more socks on the to do list and an embroidery project, but something will have to give. I just don’t know what yet. The Doctor, the TARDIS, and his traveling companions have been keeping me company. I’m currently on Matt Smith’s second season and I’m finding that I *do* like him, just not as much as David Tennant. I’ve also been watching This Is Us. It’s schmaltzy but it does it well.

In the kitchen: I made cornbread today for Thursday’s dressing. I use a loaf of French bread, a ciabatta loaf, and a skillet of cornbread. Cut them into 1″ cubes and leave them on wax paper to dry for 24-48 hours. I’m making the broth tomorrow and then I’ll put it all together on Thursday. It’s the only thing I’m responsible for which has me feeling both happy and sad. I love doing the whole big thing, but I’m already feeling overwhelmed and behind this year so less on my plate is a good thing.

Reading: I just finished The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and it was great. I very rarely read something by him that isn’t. I also finished Every Kind of Wanting. It started strong but by the end I was sick of every single character except one. IYA and junior fiction might be where I focus my attention. The themes are accessible but layered, the characters are interesting and the stories tend to be fast moving, and very rarely do I want to throw a book across the room. I have Evicted on my next to be read pile as a book recommendation. It’s been awhile since I’ve really delved into non-fiction and I’m three books away from my book goal for the year and I don’t want to get bogged down. (Again, it may be something that needs to give.)

Those two little portraits up there are my Christmas present to myself. This summer I found an artist who was looking to take some commissions and I loved her work so I signed up to have my two done in October. They just arrived this week and I absolutely love them. She did such an amazing job capturing their little personalities. The flora is inspired by the pine, birch, fern, and lily up at the cabin.

That’s me. Scattered and stressed but good. What have you been reading, making, working on? I owe a few of you blog comments, I owe a bunch of people return texts and phone calls, but I’ll have to play catch up in a week or two. Or January. For those of you celebrating Thanksgiving this week, I hope it’s happy. For those who aren’t, I hope it’s happy. XOXO.

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