Boo, October.

Snippets of life lately. Messy rooms, unmade beds, little things that tug at my heart strings. The sign up there that says Katie’s Room? I spent an afternoon in my grandpa’s shop and he helped me make it when I was young. It’s battered, made of scrap wood, and painted in colors that make me shake my head today, but I’ve carried it with me from one move to another and always found a place for it. I miss my mom’s parents. (My dad’s mom is still around and sharing her wisdom and spirit.)

The last few days have been decidedly fall. Late mornings, early evenings, gray, windy, rainy. October. I have a love/hate relationship with October. Mostly hate. I don’t care what L.M. Montgomery says.

I’ve been working tirelessly on socks. I don’t know how many pairs I will manage to finish before Christmas, but I’m hoping at least one or two more (I currently have six some of which were supposed to presents for other things, but eh). Then I’ll tackle some mittens. I did wet swatch Jesse’s sweater and that’s ready for me to start, but I’m a little intimidated by the pattern. I’ll be learning a few new skills which I’m excited about, but I don’t know if I’m ready to tackle that just yet.

Less television (though I’m watching and enjoying the final season of Scandal) and more listening to Spotify and the Ani DiFranco of my 20’s. The Ani DiFranco definitely says something about my headspace lately. I keep thinking that I should find some good podcasts, but haven’t. Any interesting ones to share? (Nothing too terribly newsy or depressing, please.)

I need to pick up my camera more.

I’ve been writing a ton. I don’t know how much of any will make it here.

I finally found a calendar system that works so well for us. We use the telephone calendar for appointments (everyone has their own color) and I have a Leuchtturm notebook for lists and what not. I still look at my Filofax longingly. I mean, there is what works and what I wish worked, but I have to admit the electronic calendar is just more practical for our family.

I recently read, Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies which was a recommendation from Andy Cohen’s Instagram account. It was a melancholy gray October day and I needed a good cry. I didn’t love the writing, in fact, I kind of hated parts, but it fit the bill. When Breath Becomes Air is on my nightstand too, but I’m worried that one may be more than my depressed October heart can handle. I’m about halfway through Thinking in Pictures but I may just have to give up. I feel like an asshole saying that it’s choppy and repetitive and grating, but it is. (I’m an asshole.)

And that’s me. How are things are you corner of the world/interwebs?

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  • Hi Kate 🙂 .
    I love the clock story…
    But I’m in total agreement with L.M. Montgomery: thank goodness I live in a place with proper Octobers. It’s rainy and cool and I’m so grateful to be done with summer and heat waves!

    I’m socks, socks, socks, too. What are the new skills you need for Jesse’s sweater?

    The only non-newsy, non-depressing podcast I’ve been listening to is Harry Potter and the Sacred Text. (I know I’ve mentioned this one to you before, so I’m just a bit hesitant to mention it again, because maybe you’ve tried it and hated it?) I absolutely love this podcast and recommended it to my daughter this summer, who also (surprisingly, she said) loved it as well. (They have a new “About” page this season, which includes, among other things, the statement “Because reading fiction doesn’t help us escape the world, it helps us live in it” — which gets a resounding YES! from me.)
    On the subject of books, I’m planning on hitting publish on a blog post tonight, which includes a list of books I’ve been reading…

    • I know I’m a bit odd in the October department (as is evidenced by my comment section) but the season switch just hits me hard for some reason. I’d love to be an October lover and I do love the colors and the days where the sun shines. It’s the gray and the short days that seem to do a number on me. (I always break out my sun lamp early in October, but I’m not using it right now because I’ve been having difficulty sleeping and I think that would add to the problem more than help.)

      For Jesse’s sweater, I need to learn wrap and turn short rows. I don’t know if I do short rows wrong on my socks (I just followed the directions in Ann Budd’s book) but every time I’ve been asked to do them anywhere else they have some sort of secret method (wrap and turn, twin stitch, yarnover, etc.) so I tend to avoid patterns with short rows. I also have to kitchener sleeves to the sweater in the round. I’m pretty comfortable with kitchener, but I’ve only had to do it one other time in the round and I ended up doing it wrong and putting a permanent twist in my cowl which wouldn’t really work for a sweater sleeve. I know it will be like all other knitting things I’ve learned – extremely frustrating and difficult until I’ve done it a few times and then I’ll wonder why I thought it was so hard. (I think of how increases and decreases used to scare me.)

      Thank you for mentioning the podcast again, Marian, because I didn’t remember it and now I can put it in my notebook and look it up for when I want one! Looking forward to reading your post on what you’ve been reading!

  • Well, we may not be the kindred spirits I always thought we were: I love October. It might be my favorite month. By October we’ve settled back into school, but it’s still new enough that people are feeling hopeful and energetic and not ground down. And it’s so pretty! I even love when the rain returns. It means I can be all cozy inside.

    I just finished Claire Messud’s The Burning Girl. Not exactly a fun time, but a good book. And I don’t know why you’d be an asshole for finding a book lacking. A book needs to stand on its own merits, or lack of them.

    I hope more of your writing makes it in here.

    • I completely get why people love Octobers and I wish the switch didn’t hit me so hard because I really do love aspects of it, but I just get walloped for some reason.

      As for “Thinking in Pictures”, I feel…intolerant? Dismissive? Perhaps I feel like what she has to say has value, but that I get tangled up in the delivery and that leaves me frustrated (which interestingly enough, parallels some of her description of how those with autism may feel at times). One of the things I’ve liked about the books you’ve picked, is that I’ve had some very visceral reactions to some of the material (milk and honey and Cameron Post both come to mind) that required me to stop and wonder why I felt the way I did.

      I’m hoping to move some of the writing to here too. It’s a lot more personal which tends to trip me up, but I think I’d like to start sharing those thoughts again too.

  • I adore October, but if you don’t, you don’t. I have When Breath Becomes Air in my TBR pile, too. I agree about the subject matter. I’ll have to be in the right mood before I tackle it. I like the Sorta Awesome podcast. It’s light, but not insipid. The co-hosts are a hoot– smart women with great attitudes.

    • Hi Ally–
      We haven’t met (but apparently I’m highjacking Kate’s comment section today) but wanted to say that I love Megan Tietz, one of the Sorta Awesome co-hosts. I used to follow her blog (back when she was doing that) and I agree with you–smart, kind woman. I haven’t listened (not a podcast person), but I’m guessing it is, well, Sorta Awesome.

    • I think you mentioned that podcast in one of your blog posts!! I remember making a mental note, but I’m glad you left a comment with the suggestion because now I can add it my notebook. Light but not insipid is exactly what I’m looking for these days. If you get around to When Breath Becomes Air before me, you’ll have to let me know what you think!