Tuesday Things

I was talking to my counselor a few weeks ago about how I was worried my depression was returning with a vengeance. “I feel myself cocooning”, I said. “I just want to snuggle up and read and knit and be.” She cocked her head at me and said, “Are you sure that’s depression? Your voice sounds happy when you describe those things. Those things sound like good things.” As usual, she was right. It’s not so much my depression as my introversion recommending a pillow fort and a nap. Between a need for a little more quiet in this crazy world and the birthday promise I made myself, I got rid of {almost} all my social media until January. I say almost because I’m in the midst of planning a kitchen remodel and that’s basically why Pinterest was invented. I also am still logging any books read on goodreads. But instagram, snapchat, twitter, and the Facebook? So blissfully quiet.

Knitting: I’m working on my November socks. I gave up on doing the score board scarf because it’s not a good year and I don’t need to document that. I have a few Christmas gifts planned, but I’m not sure I’ll be getting around to all of them. (I can promise I won’t.) I have a couple new favorite yarns from here and here but I’m trying really, really hard only to buy things that I know will make it into Christmas presents and not my stash. (Boo!)

Reading: Still on the Orchardist. Because I’ve been working on knitting (and embroidering) some Christmas presents, there’s not a lot of reading going on. I got a chapter in the other night. It’s still beautifully written but the story hasn’t been remarkable as of yet.

Watching: Not a whole lot. Part of my whole cocooning thing has been just sitting in quiet and knitting at night and just letting my thoughts wander. Or chatting with Jesse while I work. It’s been kind of nice. I did watch a couple of episodes of This is Us based on everyone’s recommendation. Reminds me of Parenthood. It’s great for when I’m feeling sappy, otherwise it feels…obviously manipulative?

Cooking: So I promised that if my chicken/apple cider/mustard/rice dish turned out well I’d share the recipe and I’m going to have to do that. I feel like I have to make it again though so I have a picture to post with it as well. But in the meantime this is one of the recipes I used as an inspiration and it’s very, very good without any doctoring at all. Especially the rice. I also made the quinoa and black bean salad from here and it was very good. Kids were less enamored, but I had left overs for lunch which I don’t usually do.

In other news: have you heard about hygge? It fits right in with the whole cocooning and simple pleasures thing I was talking about and I can’t wait to tackle this list of ways to hygge my winter. Just reading that list filled me with the undefinable (in English, anyway) feeling I think they describe.

What’s new with you? I want to hear about what you are making, reading, cooking, thinking.

And if you reside in the U.S. and haven’t already, don’t forget to vote.

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  • I had started writing this comment yesterday evening, but then got distracted by the election. I confess I’m reeling at the outcome. And I’d say more, but I know it’s not my place, so I’ll leave it at that.

    ———–

    I love how positive this post feels, Kate — there’s a quiet sense of contentment that comes through with your words, and this makes me very very happy for you.

    I’m so impressed that you’re only one month away from completing your year long one-pair-of-socks-a-month challenge! I’m still on socks, too. I did get a Regia gauge swatch knit and washed and it softened up quite a bit. I “wore” the swatch (tucked into the leg of my sock) all that day and it didn’t irritate me in the least, so I think it’ll be a good yarn. When I was knitting it up I noticed that it really felt like it was a sturdy yarn. The owner of my local shop says Regia guarantees its yarn will hold up as socks for 10 years, which I thought was pretty impressive! I wish you had a closer yarn store, Kate — it must be hard to have to buy most of your yarn online; yarn-choosing is such a tactile thing!

    Hygge is very close in meaning to the Dutch term gezelligheid, which is something I’ve been trying to cultivate *forever*. I loved reading the list you linked to — and I smiled at the fact that it was written by a Minnesotan, because holy moly yes do they EVER know how to appreciate winter in Minnesota! (WAY more so than my native Alberta (which is a bit odd, considering Alberta is more northerly than MN, but maybe that has to do with MN being settled by Scandinavian immigrants (hello hygge!) and Alberta being settled by immigrants who hailed from slightly less northerly climes?))

    I haven’t been watching any shows either. Thanks for the warning on This Is Us: I cannot stand “obviously manipulative”! (Which is why I will never again read a Jodi Picoult novel!) My husband and I did watch Leonardo DiCaprio’s Before the Flood documentary the other day. Which made me want to hunker down and do EVERY SINGLE THING I possibly can to save this beautiful planet for our children. I’ve been listening to a lot of radio these days, and I want to take a page from your book and check out some BBC programming. And reading: I finished Atonement (LOVED, but the ending kinda broke my heart), and just picked up Brideshead Revisited from the library yesterday.

    I too, have been working hard at cooking healthy meals. I confess it’s harder to do now that it’s just the three of us, but I keep reminding myself how important it is, which helps me simply get on with it and keep at it.

    • Thank you so much for your comment. I wish I had that peace and contentment today. I need it. I’m grieving. I’m in shock. I can’t make the jump from what I thought our country looked like to the actual reality of our country. Please don’t feel you have to censor your comments. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing them in the comment section, you can always email them to me. As I wrote in my post today, we’re having a funeral and we need all the support of fellow mourners we can get.

      As to the your comments regarding the post: I loved Atonement when I read it, but the ending destroyed me. Even kind of ruined the book a bit for me which was the point, but…I can’t watch the Before The Flood documentary. I looked at it the other day and then reminded myself how unbelievably thin-skinned I feel and turned away.

      And I do think there is something to be said about Wisconsin and Minnesota’s Scandinavian heritage having something to do with our love of winter. Michigan seems like more of a mix to me, but (as I’m sure I’ve told you before) where I grew up wasn’t nearly as cold but was so snowy and I loved that as a child. I’m keeping the phrase, “No bad weather, just bad clothing.” forever.

      Glad to hear that your Regia turned out well! I’ve heard such good things about it and I have some in my stash that I keep meaning to make into a socks for Jesse. Next year.

      Sending hugs, well wishes, and love. I think the whole world needs a little bit more of that today.

    • Marian, I want to echo Kate on this: You have every right to speak to this election. Given the role the US plays in the world, this wasn’t just our election. If I were you, I think I’d be even more angry than I am. You, too, will be influenced by the outcome of this, and you didn’t even get a say in it. If the economy crashes, if war erupts, if he takes us backward (not that we could even be said to be forward, in any real way) on climate change, that impacts the whole world, not just us. I am so embarrassed and ashamed of my country today. We went so very, very low, in spite of our First Lady’s urging to go high.

      • Thank you for this, Rita. FWIW, those of us on the outside looking carefully in will take note of the fact that (as of now at least) Clinton won the popular vote, and that people are taking to the streets to protest. Most of us do know not to tar all Americans with the same brush. As well, there were plenty of Canadians who were Trump supporters, and many who are quite happy he won. (They’re probably the minority, but still…) In other words, this upswing in hate etc is not just an American problem and there are many of us in Canada who worry it’s only a matter of time before this attitude/movement comes north.

        Yes, I’m extremely worried about what this will mean for our Canadian economy and for the climate. Our government is in the process of putting in carbon taxes and if Trump tears up the Paris climate agreement we either have to go it alone (and likely lose jobs as companies move south) or abandon it as well. The window is closing for us to solve this issue; I’m in despair that Trump believes climate change is a hoax.

        I also worry greatly that his misogynistic rhetoric will embolden his core base, those white males who feel “left behind”. Women have worked so hard to try to get a message of “yes means yes” across to men … and now THIS?! I am truly disgusted that women voted for this man. Were they not thinking of their daughters and what sort of “social climate” might result from all this?

        • I’m sad to say, in my discussion with friends and family votes for Trump fell into 3 categories:

          1) Hatred of Hillary Clinton and/or establishment politicians
          2) Blatant racism and misogyny
          3) Individuals who want to see him appoint Supreme Court judges that will reverse Roe v. Wade and marriage decisions because of their religious beliefs.

          I think it’s important to note 1) Hillary DID win the popular vote and 2) In many of the swing states she quite likely WOULD have won if weren’t for disgruntled third party voters (FL, MI, WI) which would have had her winning the electoral college. I also think Bill Maher had a point in his last show. During the Bush Jr, McCain, and Romney campaigns the left blasted them as really terrible monsters instead of honorable men with different politics s so when it came time to REALLY cry wolf, a lot of conservatives weren’t willing to listen.

          Is the result still horrible? Absolutely. Do I hope that there will be some reasonable Republicans in Congress who at least attempt to put a bridle on him? Yes. Do I think we have a lot to do as a society to protect and raise up marginalized populations? Absolutely. But as Rita mentioned, it’s galvanizing. We CAN do something about this, even if it isn’t the result we wanted.

        • A Canadian FB friend (in BC) posted yesterday about hate-acts happening there and a local candidate who is Trump-like (though a woman). Her point was that Canada is not immune from this either. (So much for all us flooding north, eh?) I’m becoming aware that this is a global problem. There’s work to do. Let’s do it!

  • I had not heard about hygge. It has been so long since I’ve experienced it. I miss it so, so much.

    I like hearing about all your quiet, introverted doings. I am reading a children’s book you might want to share with your daughter. Not sure–she might be too young. But I’m thinking you would like it. It’s called Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand. It is about a girl struggling with anxiety (though she doesn’t seem to know that’s what she’s got). And secrets, and family, and adventure, and being a writer. I haven’t finished it yet, but it’s the kind of book I would have torn through as a kid.

    I like This Is Us. It is sappy. I like the sappy. I am in the mood for sappy. (Is sappy a hybrid of sad-happy?) I’ve also been watching Parenthood, which I never watched before. The first few episodes I didn’t even like, but I kept watching because I wanted to embroider and I was too lazy to find something else to occupy my mind. And then I got sucked in, somehow. Even though it is sappy, and not in a way I tend to like. I guess I don’t like the characters as much as on This Is Us. I hated the way the conflicts were all neatly resolved at the end of the first season. I feel like it’s family porn–an idealized version of big, noisy family life that I know isn’t very real but that I’ve always longed for. Having only one disabled sibling who never married or had kids, I would have had to marry into such a family. And I didn’t. You know, the kind of family where all the aunts and uncles show up for the kid’s baseball game, and they all gather around a fire or barbecue at the end of the episode and laugh and hang out while the camera pans over them and sappy music plays and you can see that at the end of the day, they’ve got something really wonderful. So, I keep that in mind as I watch.

    Off to go read your other post about the election…

    • Once I get finished with The Orchardist, I’m going to read that one. It definitely sounds like something that would interest Violet (adventure and writing are both up her alley and the anxiety part might speak to her too!) so I’ll have to give it a look and see if she’s ready for it or if I should hold off a bit.

      I never thought about sappy being a combo of sad-happy, but I think you might be on to something there. (I love etymology – A Way with Words is one of my favorite NPR radio shows!)

      And I wish you hygge, in whatever way you can find it this year. Our tired souls need some cozy, simple pleasures.

      • I’m going to look for “Some Kind of Happiness” too — it sounds like a wonderful right-up-my-alley kind of read.

        And this other lover-of-etymology also loves “sappy = sad-happy” 🙂 . (And also wants to second Kate’s wish for you to find some hygge this year, Rita.)