Tuesday Things

I can’t believe today is the last day of February. I know it’s a short month and all but I blinked and it was gone.  My checklist of things to get done this month is woefully unchecked (so much for my word of the year) but we had 60° weather in February so getting outside and soaking up the faux spring took priority. The warm temperatures were quickly followed by a return to winter with 12 inches of snow so getting out an enjoying the winter was important too (because it’s still warmer than usual for February).

This weekend I went to the movies to see Hidden Figures (very good) and then watched the Oscars (wow, that Best Picture ending…). I wanted to see if my all time favorite ended up winning an EGOT. (He didn’t.) I haven’t seen 90% of the movies that were up for awards so it was mostly about all the pretty dresses. Emma Stone and Viola Davis wore my favorites.

Knitting: Still need to get buttons for Violet’s sweater (see that whole nothing getting checked off my list thing) but Abram’s sweater is coming along quite nicely. I’m 3/4 of the way done with body and then just have the sleeves to go. I’m really liking how it’s knitting up and the yarn is so sproingy and soft.  There is quite a bit of variation in the yarn as I go along so I’m having to alternate skeins which isn’t my favorite, but it’s worth it.

Reading: I haven’t read anything since we last chatted. I’m going to be reading The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf this month and I have The Underground Railroad and the first book of The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place in my Amazon cart, I just haven’t pulled the trigger.

Watching: I found Suits on Prime which Marian has mentioned a few times and have enjoyed what I’ve watched so far. It’s quick and funny. It’s that kind of puffy drama that’s fun but not devastating. I also started Big Little Lies on HBO and I know I’m going to get sucked in. Which brings me to my Lenten sacrifice.

As you may know, tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and we Catholics kind of make a big deal about Lent. I haven’t always been the best about observing this season (I can’t tell you how many times I’m mid-bite into some tasty meat when I think, “Oh crap, it’s Friday.”) but this year I’m tackling something that has become a bit of a surprise problem for me. I’m giving up “screen time”.  I’m still kind of surprised at how much of sacrifice this is going to be for me (As a kid, my mom never once grounded me from the television and when I asked her about it she said, “It wouldn’t have been a punishment, you never watched anything.”) But I’ve found myself staying up later than I’d like (and MUCH later than I should) to see what happened on the most recent episode of Scandal (and Billions and Big Little Lies and so on). In true Mardi Gras fashion, I’m going to binge watch the crap out of some shows tonight and then turn it off and focus on the things that REALLY deserve my focus.  Should be an interesting Lenten journey!

So…what’s new with you? What have you been watching, reading, cooking, making, etc, etc?

Tuesday Things

Happy Valentine’s Day!!! I know it’s a controversial but I LOVE conversation hearts. The chalky sweet artificial thing gets me every single time.

On to random news:

Knitflixing: Violet’s sweater is off the needles. We need to pick out buttons and I need to block it. I may pull a few rows out of the sleeves and use a stretchier bind off. The sleeves puff a little and she felt they were a little too tight at the bottom. I have a pair of socks on the needles (love the yarn) and I started Abram’s sweater and was just starting the sleeve increases, but then I got sucked into The People vs OJ Simpson and made a big old mess of it and couldn’t figure out how to fix it, so I frogged it last night and will pick it up again when I can find something less engrossing. (I only remember bits and pieces from when the trial was actually was going on. I was in high school and far more concerned with whether my English paper was going to get an A or if my crush liked me back.)

Reading: I finished The Book of Unknown Americans. I liked the story and felt that it was powerful, but the writing felt too simplistic. I didn’t know if it was because of the age she was writing for (though some of the language made me question that) or if it was because she was trying to highlight the English as a second language aspect (I have some long winded reasons for why I think that wasn’t the case). Or if there is something happening I just don’t get it. I think that is going to be something I struggle with this year as I read these.  I don’t feel qualified to critique because I feel like I must be missing some cultural knowledge that a Hispanic immigrant (or just a person more open minded and astute) might bring to the page which makes the book richer and deeper despite it falling flat for me? I need something else to finish out the month. Anything you recommend?

Cooking: I’m back on the wagon in the kitchen though the fare has been quick and easy and nothing worth reporting. Recipes? Favorite cookbooks? I feel like I need to add some new into my life.

How are things in your corner of the world? What are you making, doing, reading, watching?

Tuesday Things

I’m here! I’m here! I’m actually posting. January has been an absolute whirlwind. Besides the political craziness (which is all I’m going to say about that today), we’ve had our own little go around with crazy and I’m not going to say anything about that either. I’m simply going to say that today I realized I hadn’t posted a Tuesday Things for all of January, and decided that I needed to get on this blog and share some random, daily life tidbits. So here I am.

Last weekend, Jesse and I went away to celebrate having met 17 years ago (any excuse for a date). We ate so many oysters. And I ate a giant lobster that I didn’t share at all and drank a glass of champagne that came in it’s own adorable little bottle so it wouldn’t lose it’s bubbles. (That mini champagne bottle…made my whole month. I’m ridiculous) Other things in our little world:

Knitting: Worsted weight yarn knits up so much faster than sock yarn. I mean…so.much.faster. I’ve almost finished Violet’s Bulle sweater. I have to get the sleeves finished, block it, and add some buttons but I’m almost done. I thought it’d take me at least a couple months. I love the color which I can’t remember (and, of course, I didn’t bother saving a ball band) but I can tell you it’s a tealish Cascade 220 Heather.  I’ve also been knitting a color bias block wrap. I knit one up for my sister a few years back for Christmas and loved it, so I thought I’d knit another one up. Next up is a sweater for Abram (I have the yarn and pattern picked already) and a 3 color cashmere cowl (I’ve had the yarn sitting around for months, I need to get it finished!!)

Reading: Just finished Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty which was on loan from a friend. It was a pretty standard, predictable, quick read but was quick and light which I needed. I finished Hamilton which I enjoyed immensely. I used to read so much more nonfiction before children. Maybe this was just the umph I needed to get me reading that again. I’m also going to participating in Rita’s Year of Reading Dangerously.

Watching: Not a whole lot. I have quite a few things on my Netflix and Hulu list, but haven’t been really checking anything off. I did watch the Netflix documentary 13 and have been watching an episode of The West Wing here and there. Oh and the BBC’s Sherlock!!! I watched the first three seasons on Netflix and LOVED IT. Dark but also very funny. I finally see what people are saying about Benedict Cumberbatch. I did not understand the appeal until seeing him as Sherlock but now? Total crush. (Okay, so I HAVE watched a lot, but it’s been a month!!)

Cooking: All kinds of comfort foods. Casseroles, chili, chicken and noodles, and so many scrambled eggs. With running from thing to thing and needing a quick dinner, it’s the one thing everyone in the family will eat without any complaint ever.

What are you cooking, watching, reading, making?

Picking a Word

It goes without saying 2016 sucked for a good many people. I don’t think you can be on FB for more than 20 minutes without seeing some meme lambasting this last year. But while it was awful for all of those reasons, it was also just a hard year for me personally as well. When I picked the word “calm” for 2016, I was envisioning systems and routines and habits that kept us all from running around like crazy people.

I didn’t imagine that it would come to mean being able to grocery shop, and laugh over coffee with friends, and make dinner, and snuggle my children while simultaneously feeling bereft and grateful. I didn’t know that it was humanly possible to feel both overwhelming joy and complete brokenness at the same time, but this year…I could. I don’t know if the people nearest to me would say I’ve been “calm”, but I’ve certainly never dealt with this much emotional upheaval and maintained any level of composure before this year.  Hokey or not, I’m going to go ahead and say my word certainly helped in 2016, even if it didn’t in the way I most thought it would.

So in October, when a word kept popping up (the way things prone to do when the universe or God or life is trying to tell you something), I started thinking. And listening. And when it came time to start thinking about resolutions and goals and plans for 2017 and the word came up again (and then one more time), I thought it might be time to claim it.

Discipline.

More accurately, self-discipline.
(def: noun: the ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses; the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it.)

I’m a great dreamer. I’m an okay implementor. I’m a HORRIBLE sustainer (which is one of the reasons I married a man who is a complete and total work horse. That man can put his head down and plow through with such blind determination, I get exhausted just thinking about it.) If only life could consist of picking a project, starting a goal, and two weeks later saying, “Nope. I’m going to tackle that other goal over there instead.” (and then repeating the process again and again and again). I’d win awards. I’m the absolute BEST at setting a goal.

And absolutely terrible about reaching most of them.

So…it’s time to change that and do what’s best for me, even when I don’t want to do. Even when I feel like being lazy. Even when I feel like I can break my personal rule “just this once”. Even when I’ve earned a break.

The plan is to do some small things (health, budget, home maintenance) that will hopefully (over time) make some big changes. The plan is to plow forward and hopefully through whatever 2017 throws my way. I’m going to work really hard anyway.

And I’m going to knit each of the kids a sweater. (Because it can’t ALL be about work.)

I hope you’ll tell me what you are looking forward to this year. And what your word or resolution is (if you have one of those). Thanks for being here, friends!!