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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  • I’m amazed you managed to get a coherent post up with everything you’ve got going on, Kate!! (Selfishly, I’m glad, because I do so like to keep up with your goings-on πŸ™‚ . But please don’t even give a second thought to comments elsewhere. Seriously.)

    Oh my gosh, I LOVE the portraits you had commissioned! The artist truly captured your kids, didn’t she?!
    I also love the photo of A. reading — I occasionally think of him when I’m shelving in the library, and wonder if you ever *did* manage to get him reading again; I’m so glad to see you did and he is!

    I know what you mean about feeling both happy and sad to NOT be doing the whole shebang on Thursday — it’s a heckuva lot of work, and yet it IS quite something to actually manage to do it all…

    I hear you on the YA/middle readers. I’m currently reading Howl’s Moving Castle, and it’s reminded me of why I love kids’ books so much. I think my next read will be Coraline.

    Good luck with the knitting, Kate. I’m trying to decide whether I should join you in stressful gift knitting — my 19-year-old son is bringing his girlfriend home for Christmas and he just told me she likes hats and scarves and mitts and socks … and now I’m trying to work out whether that means I should be knitting something from that list, or if I can just be buying something from that list… (At least the Ravenclaw sweater ornament is done; I just have to put my son’s initial on the front in duplicate stitch.)

    Happy Thanksgiving, Kate πŸ™‚ .
    xo Marian

    • I can’t tell you how happy I was to stumble upon him reading while we finished getting ready that morning. He’ll still say he doesn’t like it, but he peppers the book orders with circles (enough that I have to make him narrow down his choices) and then reads what I get him, so I’m thinking we may have turned the corner. It helps that his teacher this year doesn’t care WHAT he reads so much as that he’s reading. Last year was a very, very tough year. This year has been SO much better.

      Speaking of reading and kids’ books, I LOVED Coraline. Neil Gaiman again. He actually used to (still does?) have a home near here. I’m amazed at how many great local authors we have in our area. A group has recently opened a writers’ retreat with different workshops throughout the year and I’ve jokingly talked about trying my hand at one. I don’t know if I really consider myself a WRITER, but I do think it would be a great experience.

      As for the girlfriend’s list, I think it would be perfectly acceptable to buy something off the list if you don’t have time to actually knit something. I know I love hand knitted gifts but I also appreciate them because I know the time and effort that goes into making something like that being a knitter myself which is why I tend to give my knitterly gifts to people who knit or have attempted knitting. πŸ™‚

      Thank you for the Thanksgiving well wishes. I’m so excited to spend a few days with my family playing games and catching up.

      • I’m completely with A’s teacher — let kids read *whatever*, just so long as they’re reading. My youngest went through a very long phase of just reading comics and graphic novels (Calvin and Hobbes, Bone, Far Side); this summer we finally found a couple of series that he was happy to sit and read (independently, as opposed to me reading aloud to him). I LOVE seeing kids totally engrossed in a book πŸ™‚ . (And I’m so glad to hear this year is going better for your son than last year’s did.)

        It would be so cool to go to a writers’ retreat … !!

        (And yes, your comment IS in spam! Sorry about that – I don’t know why that sometimes happens, but it’s so frustrating to take the time to write a comment, especially when you’re swamped, and then to have it disappear! I’ll reply this morning πŸ™‚ .)

        • I agree!! Especially when they are young!! How else do we teach them to love reading if we don’t give them the chance to find things they love?? The list that you and Rita shared early this year has been especially helpful and now that he’s found some books that he likes, he’s more willing to try other books as well.

  • I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one playing perpetual catch-up. πŸ™‚

    I hope you had a Thanksgiving as lovely as the portraits of your children. I think you can probably never go wrong with art as a present for yourself. I would like to bring more of that into my life.

    You are reminding me that I want to read The Graveyard Book. I just finished a YA novel–Grit by Gilian French. It is all the things you said–fast-paced, layered, interesting story, and characters you care for, despite them being deeply flawed. (That’s pretty much a description of my favorite humans.) It’s too old for Violet, but you might like it. Although, if (like me) you are feeling ragey about predatory men, be warned that it will likely only increase those feelings.

    I am still working on the kitchen towels I began embroidering in early October. I’m pleased with them, but dang. The going is s.l.o.w.

    Hope you are making headway on Christmas. I sat down at the computer last night to do some Christmas shopping, and I ended up with a coat (for me), 2 books (for me), some Christmas lights (not really needed but wanted–by me), a sweater for Cane that is not a Christmas gift (because he was sitting next to me and I decided it was a make-up gift for the one that I never followed through on last year), and 1 small gift for my daughter. Clearly, I am not doing this right. I think Saturday might be my shopping day.

    Hope all is well this week–