Finding Joy

I posted on Friday about the juggling act in my life and how I’m trying to fight a case of bitterness that seems to want to settle in. (Thank you for your comments – either online or via text or in person. Last week was a bad week. Hormones are partly to blame. This week isn’t shaping up to be a good week either. I blame the news.)

Jesse and I went away for a weekend and it gave me some time to think and reflect and plan. I also made myself a list of things that are working for me (so I need to incorporate more) and things that aren’t (and need to jettisoned).

What I need to get rid of:

Facebook. I reactivated my account for about five hours last week. Within minutes, I was regretting my decision. I hoped it would get better. It didn’t and I deactivated it again. 1. I don’t need to know the politics of casual acquaintances (and they don’t need to know mine).  2. I don’t need someone’s dramatic reaction to an already dramatic event.

Screens at night. I’m finding that there are lot better ways to unwind and I’m much better about going to bed at a decent time when I’m not binge watching something. Music and podcasts while knitting or reading a book or writing have been better for my sleep routine.

Other people’s problems. I am ridiculously porous when it comes to other people and I need to develop some boundaries. It’s one thing to listen to a friend and show support. It’s another thing to allow myself to be a punching bag or take on the responsibility of solving whatever problem is brought to me.

 

Things I need more of:

Reading. I love it. I will always love it. I’m working on Rita’s reading dangerously list, though I’m not perfectly on schedule (I haven’t managed to finish September’s book yet) but I’m enjoying how they’ve made me think. I’m sticking to newspapers and light reads otherwise. It’s a good balance of stretching my brain and escapism.

Knitting. I have a pattern and yarn for Jesse’s sweater. A pattern and yarn for mine. I’m working on a pair of socks right now and I’m trying to teach myself how to do the Norwegian purl.

Making my bed. I get up. I throw the covers back to air it out while I get ready and then I make it. It just feels good.

Daydreaming/journaling. It helps to sit down with a pen and paper and just..write. Lists, plans, dreams, thoughts, feelings. It’s been awhile since I’ve just thrown it all at a piece of paper and it feels good.

Eating better. I’ve been meal planning and trying to stick with food that isn’t overly processed. I love a good can of tomatoes and frozen veggies and there isn’t a grocery run that goes by where I’m not throwing in a box of triscuits and summer sausage BUT I’m trying to focus on the food that makes me feel better overall.

Going to bed. I’m working on a new night routine that as the kids are brush their teeth in their bathroom, I’m washing my face and putting on my pajamas in my room. It’s restful.

Masks. I’ve always loved a good mask. I’m trying to make time to do at least one a week for myself. My two favorites are Farmacy Honey Potion (I got a sample of this and I’ve used it 3 times. Once it’s gone, I’m going to have to get a full sized jar. I love it.) and Youth to the People Superfood (This one smells exactly like my favorite green breakfast smoothie – no lie – but I’ll be reordering it.)

Quality interactions. By nature, I’m a bit of an introvert but I also tend to get mopey if I go for too long without some meaningful friend time. I need to make sure to schedule the small meet-ups that feed my soul.

Taking classes. I recently started a 4 week photography workshop because I haven’t been picking up my camera as much as I’d like and I want to get back into the habit of using it. I’m toying with the idea of taking a Spanish class starting in January. I don’t know if this will eventually lead me back to full time school work and a career, or if it will lead to more hobbyist classes.

* * * *

I know this isn’t my typical Tuesday Things post. But the usual knitting, reading, watching thing doesn’t really apply this week. How about you? What’s on your plate this week?

SaveSave

SaveSave

Bobbledibits

What started as a desire to organize a drawer, turned into a full on organizational mission. We’re currently in the “things get worse before they get better” part of the project, but by the end of the weekend, I’m hoping the room is will be less Monica’s closet and more a craft space/office that Jesse can use without fear of upsetting one of my creative endeavors.

I quit Facebook (again). It’s been so good for me. SO. GOOD.

I’ve been knitting. Violet and Abram’s sweaters are officially done. Ends woven in, blocked, buttons. Fully complete. I need to get some pictures of them though. I’m really happy with how Abram’s turned out, but I wish I would have gone down a needle size on the yoke of Violet’s.  I did a swatch, but was lazy and didn’t block it and I should have because it stretched quite a bit. I picked a pattern and the yarn for Jesse’s and I’m currently swatching which I will wet block because I learn from my mistakes. I LOVE the yarn. It feels exactly what a good wool sweater should feel like and I think it will be perfect. I doubt I’ll get it done in time for the 2018 cut off I set for myself, but I’m going to try.

I’ve also been working on some woven beaded bracelets. Getting my loom set up for the first time was difficult and it is a little fiddly, but it’s breaking up the knitting.

I watched this season of Game of Thrones. I’m going to reserve judgment until the final season is finished next year.  More light-hearted: I started watching Younger because someone on my instagram said it was their favorite and while the marketing is truly awful, the show is good fun. I’m only a few episodes in, but I agree with that assessment. I haven’t been watching much else. Jesse got me a little bluetooth speaker that I can take from room to room so I’ve mostly been listening to acoustic and folk music on spotify while I knit or weave beads. I like having the television off. My brain already feels like it’s regaining brain cells after a 4 year run of watching any and every single show recommended to me.

I’ve been cooking at home again. I made a simple crostini bar the other night. I prepped a small chicken salad and a small tuna/white bean salad the night before using what we had in the fridge and then the day of, I cut up a baguette, brushed on some olive oil and garlic and toasted it in the oven until it was nice and crunchy. Put it on the table with a bowl of arugula and a veggie tray. Yesterday, I made a pork shoulder in the crock pot which will be tacos tonight and some hash or sandwiches later in the week. I also have this chicken recipe on the agenda with roasted veggies instead of green beans. And I’m making this pesto (we’re getting more arugula from the CSA Thursday and I can’t keep up!!) to dip crispy smashed potatoes in later this week.

So that’s me! What’s new with you?

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Spinning a Bit

This summer has been full on go basically since school got out and I’ve loved every minute of it.

We’ve had a wedding.

I’ve hosted my sisters, their significant others, and a niece and nephew at the cabin for the days after the wedding but before the 4th of July.

I’ve packed my son for his first “mini-week” camp excursion. I drop him off tonight. I’m a bit nervous, but he’s wanted to go ever since V came home last year and he’s sharing a cabin with some buddies from school. So…we’re giving it a try.

We’re also celebrating Violet’s birthday with her classmates today because I’m a real whiz at scheduling things.

We’ll celebrate Violet’s actual birthday on Saturday with family (after I pick Abram up from camp), and then Violet is off for her own week of camp on Sunday. Her birthday present is a bedroom redo (paint, wallpaper, new light fixture, closet organizer) so I’ll be working on that the week she’s gone.

Knitting: I finished two pairs of socks that were gifts due in June. I finally got them blocked and ready for giving this week. I’d usually feel terrible about this, but I’m hoping the recipients understand.

Watching: I finished watching The Office and powered through the fourth season of Orphan Black.

Reading: I’m behind. I have the Miseducation of Cameron Post on the bedside table, but I haven’t actually gotten around to reading it. Or much of anything else.

Cooking: I made this beet salad with the beets and arugula we got from our CSA. It was a little futsy but I could have eaten the whole thing (and pretty much did because everyone else was claiming they didn’t like beets). For my first time attempting anything with beets, I was pretty impressed. I also managed to clean (with the help of Abram) a bunch of gooseberries, red and black currants (also from the CSA) because I was going to make a crumble with them, but after spending over an hour de-stemming and top-n-tailing, I just kind of lost steam. They’re in the fridge if I can get up the energy. I’d hate to waste them, but, eh. I also made this chicken/tomato/pasta dish one night. I had leftover basil (again from the CSA) but not much else fresh. Thankfully, I had some chicken in the freezer, pasta in the cupboard, and I just used canned tomatoes. It turned out well enough that the kids have asked for it again. And I’ve made a few quick and dirty stir-frys. Basically, I’m trying REALLY hard to use up the CSA produce (except for the kale. I’m completely fine donating the kale.) because a few years ago I felt like I wasted almost all of it.

So I have lots of other bits and bobs and goals and projects I’m working on and I’ll have to get around to sharing them at some point, but it might not be until September when things slow down, if they slow down. Hope all is well with you! What have you been watching, reading, making?

SaveSave

SaveSave

Another Tuesday Post

I am exhausted. In that emotionally, social kind of way that happens when life is good, and full, and busy but a day lying on the couch reading a good book or bingeing on a show sounds a little bit like heaven. Since I’ve seen you last: we celebrated my birthday, another birthday over Memorial Day weekend, hosted a wedding shower for my future sister-in-law, attended a birthday party on the other side of the state. This weekend we’ll be celebrating two family birthdays AND Father’s Day. School has been let out (we celebrated with a night at the pool with friends) and kids have started their activities (yoga and tennis for Violet, golf and tennis for Abram). I’ve broken a finger cleaning the washing machine (because you never break your finger doing something brag-worthy like helping build houses with Habitat for Humanity or rock climbing some mountain. Granted, I’d have to DO those things, to break a finger doing them, so it’s washing machine injuries for me.) And we’ve pretty much filled our schedule until mid-July at which point, I’m going to pony up to the pool and not leave until school starts. So…here’s my breakdown:

Knitting: Socks. I have a few other projects on the needles and I’ll get to them just as soon as I finish the pair of socks. Knitting with a broken finger is kind of a pain. I tried switching my yarn holding hand. Didn’t help.

Reading: Warriors. Blame Violet. She loves that I’m hooked. I love that they’re quick. Not a huge fan of the reading them poolside though. Need suggestions for good summer (light) reads that weren’t written for elementary aged kiddos.

Watching: 30 Rock and Star Trek TNG. Jesse and I used to order pizza and watch Next Generation marathons when we were first married. It’s the only Star Trek series I’ve ever watched so I don’t claim trekkie status, but I do enjoy them. 30 Rock is new to me but I’m enjoying it.

Making: We’ve gotten so much lettuce from our CSA so far this year. There are nights were I literally just rip off pieces of head lettuce, dip them in dressing and talk about how hip we are with our hand salads. And yes, I took a picture of one of the heads of lettuce because I got four heads that week and every single one of them was beautiful. And I don’t care how silly it makes me sound. It was.

In other news I was conned into baking banana bread by children. They asked for bananas at the grocery store and when they started to get overripe,  I asked why they weren’t eating them. Violet said, “Oh, we were just waiting for you to make banana bread.” So we made banana bread.

So that’s me. How about you? What’s new? Making, cooking, doing, reading, watching, thinking about anything you’d like to share? Catch me up!

SaveSave

SaveSave

A Good Week

I don’t know if it’s getting older, or if it’s the politics of today, or some combination of both, but my tolerance for bullshit has reached an all time low. As has my threshold of caring about what other’s think of me.

Knitting: I finished one pair of socks and started another. I also got to work on *drumroll please* a Christmas gift. I haven’t finished Abram’s sweater and I *still* need to get buttons for Violet’s, but I figured May is a perfect time to start knitting up Christmas gifts.

Reading: Salt: A World History and more Warriors books for Violet. I’m really trying to find a book that will capture the heart and mind of a second grade boy who has slipped from LOVING reading into HATING it (this year has been hard on all of us and we’re all ready for summer vacation). Any and all suggestions would be appreciated and please don’t be one of those people who say that maybe he’s just grown out of it.

Watching: Do not laugh. I’ve been watching Dawson’s Creek. It’s horrible. Eye rolling, oh dear lord why am I watching this horrible and yet…I’m watching it. I missed it when it came out, I know that Joey ends up choosing Pacey (He bought her a wall. Eye roll, sigh.). I know Jen ends up dying (because of course). It’s everything a trite teeny bopper television show needs. Quick, grown up dialogue. The usual angsty topics. Homosexuality. Love triangles. Bookworm girl next store. Sexy blonde. Basically, Buffy the Vampire Slayer without the cool monsters. (I actually really like Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

Cooking: We’ve been getting a lot of salad greens from the CSA (it’s early, so it’s basically herbs and greens) and my new favorite lunch is a soft boiled or poached egg on toast with arugula. I feel like that officially makes me a hipster blogger. I finally bought some glass food storage containers and it’s been absolute magic for the meal plan/prep. I don’t know if it’s because everything looks so pretty and stacked and organized in the fridge or what, but I love them and because I love them, I use them and it’s the great cycle that keeps my prep game strong. I am a dork.

Other random snippets from this weekend:

Violet and Abram made my Mother’s Day truly special. I didn’t have to deal with a single argument, they did everything I asked the first time, they gave me hugs and kisses and adorable handmade gifts, and then let me do pretty much whatever it is I wanted. (Is that not every mother’s dream?) We’re all back to normal now though lest I get too comfortable.

Violet finished up her participation in Girls on the Run by participating in a 5K with her uncle. She said she got frustrated because she wanted to run the whole thing but because she was in the last wave had a hard time getting out ahead of those who had decided to walk it. She had a great time though and I’m really grateful to my brother for being her buddy because I was pretty sure I couldn’t have managed it (next year though…)

So…what’s new with you? Cooking, making, watching, reading? Any suggestions?

SaveSave

Tuesday Things: Good Stuff

So Abram basically owned this weekend.  A soccer game (no pictures), a baseball game, the birthday party of some friends (no pictures), a lost tooth and his First Communion where I didn’t take enough pictures because 1- he was over it and 2- I was feeling flustered by the parents of 46 kids all trying to take pictures at the exact same time and needed to get out of there. Thankfully, the service itself was less hectic. It was wonderful watching my son take part in Holy Communion for the first time and his whispered thoughts when we got back to the pew (“Mom, I just drank alcohol!!! The body was waaaaay better.”) made me smile.

In other news, I have no news. Zero.

I haven’t been watching much in the way of television.

I haven’t been knitting much.

I still haven’t gotten buttons for Violet’s sweater (I’ve resigned myself to the fact that by the time I get them she’ll be too big for it.)

I have been reading, but mostly Warriors books because that’s pretty much all Violet reads right now and I wanted to see what the fuss was all about (and because I figure if I read them, I could figure out what she likes and try and get her to branch out a little bit).

I took a two week vacation from Facebook and have been back for a week and am ready to take another.

I’m focusing a lot on the day to day things in my life. Brushing hair. Packing school bags. Chatting with friends. Folding clothes. Making dinners. Playing games. Saying yes when Abram asks me if I want to shoot hoops (despite being completely horrible at it). Snuggling in. Thinking about the goals I’m going to set for my 39th year. Taking baths. Going to bed early. Sleeping in late. Accepting that I might not be changing the whole of the world (I might not even be doing much at all) but loving the tiny place I inhabit. Searching for peace amidst the chaos and madness because I’m tired of feeling chaotic and mad.

What’s new in your world? Watching, reading, cooking, making anything good?

Tuesday Things

It’s definitely spring in Wisconsin. We were 70 degrees this weekend and have snow on the ground this morning. Someone should have known better and not packed up all the winter gear (yours truly). But I still had it close at hand so there’s that. (It’ll just need to be rewashed before being packed up again so I’m kicking myself a bit.)

Jesse and I were supposed to go out of town this weekend but V ended up feeling really poorly (falling asleep in the car on the way home from school and then being super snuggly – both sure signs). She never developed anything other than swollen glands and a nasty fever, but we stayed home to be safe. Managed to take advantage of the sunshiney warm day and washed every window. They were in desperate need.

Knitting: I’ve been having a little soreness in the wrist so I haven’t been doing much in the way of knitting. I frogged a pair of socks I’ve been working on because they ended up looking like they were going to be too big for the intended recipient. I’ve cast on again and have managed to almost finish the cuff. Still looking for buttons for V’s sweater. It’s on my list this week. I’m doing it. Otherwise she’ll outgrow it before I even get a chance to give it to her.

Reading: I started reading The Zookeepers Wife and ordered a few more books. This month’s Reading Dangerously book is The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. I have it in my purse for those read on the go moments, but I haven’t managed to catch any of them yet. Baseball and soccer practice start this week though, so I’m sure that’s about to change.

Watching: I watched the Louis C.K. comedy special on Netflix. Laughed out loud twice. Cringed a lot more. I like his comedy because he makes me think. I feel like I have a lot on my list and I know I’ve been watching things, but nothing really earth shattering to report.

Cooking: This week is largely brought to you by Cooking Light. We’re also trying a new thing where each kids gets to pick one weekly dinner every other week. This week is Violet’s week. She asked for hamburgers on the grill, baked beans, and a salad. (I can tell she’s thinking summer). Also on the menu is this fish nuggets recipe and shrimp paella. I’m really trying to make an effort to do more food prep either the day of grocery shopping, or the day after. I’m noticing a lot more gets eaten when it’s grab and go.  This blog has been so inspiring to me – both in terms of getting back into the kitchen and being more intentional with caring for me, my family, and my kiddos.

How are things with you? What’s on your list of reading, watching, making, doing? Find any new sources of inspiration lately?

Tuesday Things

Arizona is gorgeous. Our Tuesday-Friday trip was perfect for some hiking, swimming, horseback riding and a very cool museum visit. Poor Jesse had to work, but the kids and I enjoyed our adventures immensely.

We also had some experiences that left me musing about privilege, environmental issues (seriously, how many golf courses do you need in a desert?!?), and trying to find the balance between enjoying life/worrying and speaking to issues/not being annoying. For all the thinking I’ve done, I have zero answers and an uneasy squishy squashy feeling that makes me jealous of all the people who somehow don’t find themselves troubled with these kind of things. (Sort of. I don’t actually want to be someone who doesn’t trouble themselves with troubling things. I just would like a break from my brain always finding troubling things to muse over.)

So with that uplifting start…

Knitting: I’m still working on Abram’s sweater. And I still need to find buttons for Violet’s sweater. (It’s one of those jobs I just dread – too many choices!! – so I keep putting it off).  I got a pair of socks for Abram on and off the needles and another pair about 1/3 of the way finished.

Reading: The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf. I’m still not finished, but almost. I’ve dog-eared about 35-40 pages because something has jumped out at me. I’m finding so many parallels to my own fundamentalist Christian upbringing. I also picked up The Zookeeper’s Wife while at the airport because I want to read it before the movie comes out.

Watching: Grace and Frankie on Netflix. It’s my favorite. (Let’s not talk about how well I’m doing on my Lenten sacrifices.)

What’s new with you? What are you thinking/doing/reading/watching/making/cooking?

 

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?

Tuesday Things

cabin-snow

This last weekend Jesse and I headed up to the cabin for a bit of a “before the madness of the season hits us” pow-wow. We did some Christmas shopping, had a very nice dinner with my brother and his fiancée, relaxed, and worked out our plan for the season. Saturday the ground was still green and I was complaining about how I felt we were never going to have winter (I like winter. I especially like SNOW in winter.) and then I woke up to this above pretty picture on Sunday. It’s just not Christmas to me without snow.

Knitting: socks, scarves, mittens. Because this time of year isn’t busy enough with holiday stress or the kitchen remodel plans we’re making, I thought it would be a good idea to start some last minute handmade gifts.

Watching: I watched a few episodes of The Crown based on Marian’s recommendation and I’ll add my recommendation to that as well. I didn’t watch anything this weekend though I did spend a lot of time listening to The Hamilton Mixtape. I preordered awhile ago and have been loving the early releases. Now that the whole thing is out I can’t stop raving about it. I’ve become positively obsessed (in part because Jesse and I ordered tickets to see it in NYC for our 15th wedding anniversary and I don’t know how I’m going to wait until August).

Reading: Nothing. I’ll resume that again after Christmas.

Cooking: This week I’ll be making a few “fancy retro” dishes for a Mad-Men-esque themed Christmas celebration. So I’ve been scoping out recipes here, here, here. I’m so excited; I may have even bought a dress for the occasion.

What’s new and exciting in your world? Making, reading, watching or listening to anything you’d like to share?

Tuesday Things

christmas

Isn’t it funny how some time with a good friend can absolutely change your mood? We’ve been gray and drizzly and it’s getting dark at 4:30 which is just a recipe for me to feel cranky and blah. Yesterday, I met a friend for breakfast and now I feel as if the sun is shining despite it still being gray and drizzly. Some people are just good for the soul. I hope you have some of those people around you during this crazy holiday season!

Knitting: Well, I finished my November socks and proceeded to a pair of mittens over the weekend. I love the pattern and recommend it if you are looking for one. I found some lovely yarn from Knitted Wit on etsy and I’m so glad I ordered more than one skein. I love it.

Watching: I’ve been curling up with holiday favorites: The Sound of Music (I drive Jesse crazy as I sing along with the whole movie), Home Alone, and the first Harry Potter (it just FEELS like it should be a Christmas movie even though I know it isn’t) and knitting away. Do you have holiday favorites? I think Charlie Brown is next.

Reading: Absolutely nothing. Have anything to recommend?

Cooking: I made this stuffing (or one close to it, anyway) and this cranberry jello salad  for Thanksgiving. Otherwise the only thing I’m doing in the kitchen is dreaming about remodeling. I need to get back into the habit of cooking.

Tuesday Things: I Am Grateful

cranberrysaucesocksCelebrating the kids’ Thanksgiving Mass/feast with some hand knit socks in the cranberry sauce colorway.

Knitting: I’m working on my November socks still. I had my first one done quite early in the month. Then I got sidetracked. Then I started cruising a long on my second one and now…I’m going to need to sit down and get to work this weekend! Especially, if I’m going to be giving any knitted gifts this year (I have yet to give a hank of yarn with a tag saying what it will someday become, but I’m not ruling that out for this year!)

Watching: I ordered the second season of Outlander. It’s still steamy but didn’t seem quite as much so as last season (no complaints, just an observation). The show has now caught up to where I left off reading. I can’t decide if I want to read to find out what happens or just watch. (I loved the beginnings and endings of the books I read, but found many parts in the middle to be just SLOGS.) The new season of The Affair has started and the first episode was amazing. I like this show a lot. I watched a few episodes of The Divorce. I liked the first two and then just…eh.

Reading: I lost my copy of The Orchardist. I took it away with me on a weekend adventure and proceeded to set it down somewhere. Violet asked me to read the book The Scavengers by Michael Perry because her teacher is doing it as a read-a-loud so I said I would. I liked it. I like Michael Perry. In part because he writes about areas I know and it makes me feel like I’m in on the joke. This one skewed young. I liked the premise/theme but it certainly wasn’t the best post-apocolyptic story I’ve read. (2.5 stars)

Cooking: Lots and lots of things that go in the crockpot. I used to think those people who couldn’t manage to sit down as a family for dinner were crazy. I mean…just sit down for dinner. But this year, I’ve definitely had to eat my words. With activities, work schedules, and kids who need a 7:30 bedtime, we’ve definitely had nights where I eat with one child, leave it on warm and head off to an activity, only to have Jesse come home with the other and eat together. Any quick meals you can recommend? Soups and stews are especially good as it’s FINALLY starting to feel like November around here. (Maybe snow tonight/tomorrow. Fingers crossed!!!)

Finally, if you happen to be celebrating Thanksgiving this year (and even if you aren’t), I hope your week is filled with family, food, and friendship. Thanksgiving is always my favorite and lately it’s being usurped by that brighter and flashier (and more consumer focused) Christmas. And I love the Christmas season but I’m sad that our holiday of gratitude is being taken over (in particular this year), when I think we all could use the reminder to open our hearts and hearths to our neighbors (in particular, the ones who are different from us) and share the many gifts we’ve been given. Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving. XOXO.

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.

Tuesday Things

soup is on, baby
The start of something fall-ish and delish.

I love a good long fall and this year’s has been beautiful. Unseasonably warm and sunny well into October, I have no complaints. But that doesn’t mean I’m not ready for the dip in temperatures and the rain that is headed our way, I’ve been feeling snuggly and cozy (and a bit hermit-y too). I love when the weather catches up to my mood.

Knitting: October socks. Started off strong, got the cuff and half of the leg done on the second one and just puttered out. I’m two games behind on my scoreboard scarf. It’s fall and I should feel like knitting, but I don’t.

Watching: Chuck. I absolutely loved it (I laughed aloud almost every episode because it truly speaks to the nerd in me – especially when I was “smart” enough to catch whatever reference they were making) but I watched all the seasons in a record pace (Netflix is threatening to take it off in November) and now I’m sick of television. Hello, run on sentence. Anyway, I haven’t been watching anything (this could explain the knitting, thing) but have been listening to podcasts. Do you have any you recommend? Nothing heavy.

Reading: I just finished reading “Clan of the Cave Bear” based on my TV guru’s recommendation. She’s good with book recommendations too. I don’t know that I’m interested in the series (I skimmed the preview chapter at the end of the book) but I did enjoy the first one. I’m currently reading “The Orchardist” on Rita‘s recommendation. I started it, then set it down, and then started it over and it’s caught my attention. I don’t feel the need to power through it but it is beautifully written and I would recommend it. I also read “Today Will Be Different” by Maria Semple (the author of “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?”). I liked it, didn’t love it. Quick read.  (The reading could also explain the knitting. Someday, I will have to learn how to do both at the same time!!)

Cooking: It is officially fall and I want the comfort food that comes with it! Tonight is chicken noodle soup. Earlier this week it was chili. Later this week, I’m combining and tweaking a couple of recipes for an apple cider, chicken, pecan rice dish that I think sounds wonderful. I’ll share if it turns out as good as I hope.

What are you  making, reading, watching, cooking? Anything exciting and new with you?

Tuesday Things

shutterstock_113683702

Okay, so all last week I was going crazy because any time I tried to update my blog from my laptop, it would show up on my laptop but not anywhere else. And anytime I updated my blog from another computer it would show up all over the internet, but not on my laptop. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with my laptop and I was frustrated beyond belief with my new host (they didn’t become my new host by choice, my previous host sold off their “small client” business to this new host) because they couldn’t seem to help me figure out the problem and my site speed was stupid slow.

So I found a new host.

And in the process of transferring to my new home, solved the problem that my old host’s tech service couldn’t. The LAST time I transferred hosts (willingly), they asked me to point my laptop at a specific server to make sure my site was up and running correctly. I had never cleared that command so I was pulling from the server of the company who dumped me and not my adopted server. Now it’s all fixed. But I still switched hosts. Their customer service sucked.

All that crazy computer mumbo jumbo to say…isn’t it awesome when there is this puzzle and you kind of have an idea about how to solve it but nothing you try works and then BLAMMO…problem solved? I love that.

Knitting: Scoreboard scarf (I had to add a lot of yellow because we lost to the Vikings and I’m mad about that) and socks (not fast enough, I’m only done with the cuff and 10 rows of the leg and I need to get moving!).

Sewing: My quilt! I can’t believe it. I’ve pieced together 8 of the 16 rows and it’s turning out pretty well.

Cooking: Nothing.

Reading: Still Madame Bovary. I’m on the fence. Maybe because I absolutely hate how horribly and selfishly she behaves, but also because I relate to her in ways that make me uncomfortable.

38 in 38 update: I’m off FB for my holiday hiatus. I left a little early because I want to keep liking the people I like despite politics. It adds some time to my 2 month goal, but I’m happy with that.

Finally: I’m having a minor little surgery on my sinuses tomorrow so any good wishes, prayers, or thoughts you want to send my way will be appreciated. The whole thing is pretty cool. I never thought “up your nose with a rubber hose” would be a good thing, but I’m so ready to feel better. (And those around me regularly are too because I’m a baby about being sick.)

Catch me up on you? Anything exciting? What are you tackling this week?

Tuesday Wednesday Things

quote

I meant to sit down and type up my usual Tuesday blurb yesterday, but I’ve been swamped. See: this hilarious post my friend sent me. (BTW: I’m in a complete love affair with my people lately. I’ve been a hot mess for months and I have no idea how they tolerate me, but they do. )

Speaking of being a hot mess. I’ve been dealing with a crazy sinus infection pretty much since the end of June. Prednisone, antibiotics, steroid nasal sprays, neti pot. There’s nothing that hasn’t been thrown at this thing. I finally had the opportunity to sit down with an ENT yesterday and relief is in sight.

I sent my Abram’s backpack to school today using a taxi delivery service. Yes, yes I did. We were running around crazy this morning, he forgot it, I had meetings and appointments all morning. It cost $10 and it was the best $10 I’ve spent in a really long time.

I finished my first September sock. And cast-on for the scoreboard scarf. I know the pattern is for a cowl, but then I’d have to do a provisional cast on and kitchner, and I just wanted something I could knit while watching the game.

I haven’t done any reading.

Netflix released the last season of Blacklist so I’ve watched a few episodes of that. I love James Spader. I don’t even care.

I haven’t been cooking much either. I conglomerated a couple google recipes to make a chicken and wild rice soup in the crock pot. It tasted great but ended up more sludge then soup. I put it in the big soup pot with more chicken broth to thin it out a little bit but it never did end up looking very pretty. Violet said it was great as long as you closed your eyes while eating it. (Love her.) I’m hoping once this sinus issue is resolved (in the next two or so weeks), I’ll be back to feeling more get-up-and-go in the kitchen. In the mean time, we’re all enjoying peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

P.S.
I’m having some issues with photos not uploading to my host, so until I can get that resolved, please be patient with that ugly blue question mark photo. Hopefully, it will be resolved soon.

Officially the Unofficial End of Summer

DSC_0116

DSC_0289

DSC_0186

DSC_0189

DSC_0180

DSC_0209

DSC_0212

DSC_0221

DSC_0226

DSC_0262

DSC_0250

DSC_0306

We had a lovely Labor Day weekend. The kids swam. We had fires both inside and out (that black and white picture of Abram and Jesse lighting the fire is one of my favorite pictures from this weekend), ate lots of s’mores and other good food. I knit a little (my September socks) but watched zero Netflix. Abram and Grandpa dug worms for fishing, Violet proceeded to set them free because they were “innocent and shouldn’t have to die”, we later used the can to scoop three baby mice out of the boat. We found the nest (see a life jacket of Violet’s) and Jesse says he found the mother and got her out of the boat too, but I don’t believe him. Just thinking about it gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Two random Violet comments I want to remember: While discussing the freeing of the worms, Jesse’s dad mentioned that those worms are going to head back and talk about the great Violet who saved them. “Grandpa, they don’t know my name!”.

And when we heard an owl (a great horned owl if my google comparison of owl screeches is correct) one night: “He’s warning those mice we set free that if they aren’t careful, they’re gonna be dinner.”

I updated my Lightroom a few weeks ago and ever since then any pictures I try to post on the blog show so much more grain then they do on any of my software (or the couple of prints I’ve ordered) so I need to figure it out because it’s gross. The last thing I need is another processing step, but I hate posting pictures that look crappy when I know for certain they do not actually look crappy.

I haven’t cooked much of anything though I did make a broccoli slaw for the weekend because it’s my absolute summer favorite. It’s simple to make – a bag of broccoli slaw, a small head of broccoli cut into small pieces, sunflower seeds, raisins, peanuts, red onion, and some crumbled bacon (if you aren’t a veggie). For the dressing I put a 1/2 cup mayo, 1/2 cup greek yogurt, 1/4 cup sugar (or a little less), and 2T vinegar in a Mason Jar and shake the crap out of it. When it’s good and blended, I pour it over the salad. If you make it ahead of time, put the dressing on right before you serve it. It gets soggy otherwise. We also made some chicken salad – a perfect addition to our last lunch of the summer cabin season.

Tell me what’s new with you this week? Any good recipes, knitting patterns, books, or television shows on your radar?

Almost There

backtoschool

Soccer practices have started. The school open house is tomorrow evening followed by the first day on Thursday. We are ready. My plan for art projects and field trips and soaking up every single moment never came to fruition. I heard more than a few “I’m bored” and “Can we plllllllleeeeeeaaaaasssseeeeeee watch iPads?” but I embraced my 70’s momma mojo and reminded them that only boring people get bored and if they couldn’t find something that didn’t involve a screen, I had plenty on my own to-do list and was willing to share. Question: Do your children think that the length of the time they use to say the word please is directly proportional to the likelihood you’ll lose your mind and give in? Just mine?

Knitting: August socks finished. I wanted something quick and simple not in the same gauge as socks (to give my poor hands a rest) so pulled some KnitPicks “Dishie” out the stash for some dishcloths. Managed to whip up four for the new cabin and now am working on a pair of Rose City Rollers for Violet to make up for the pair I never did manage to get finished for her birthday (and have to frog because the one I finished is too small).

Knitflixing: I’m not the only one! I finished Stranger Things. Watched the first few episodes of Mr. Robot. Listened to a few podcasts. I’ve been waiting for Jesse to be less busy so that I could watch the new season of Chef’s Table with him (we both LOVED last season) but he hasn’t been in the mood for tv in the evenings so I’ve been on my own.

Reading: Finished Wurthering Heights  {★ ★ ★ ★ ☆} and started on Madam Bovary. I fell asleep within the first two pages so that doesn’t bode well.

In the Kitchen:  Made our family favorite black bean, sweet potato quesadillas the other day. They are so good. I can’t recommend them enough. If you ever have left over roasted sweet potato, this is a great way to use it!! Even my pickiest eater enjoys them. (We just roast the sweet potato specifically for them because we love them). I also made some of this dijon chicken one evening. We’d been invited out but I had already thawed chicken breasts so I dug this recipe, cooked them up and put them back in the fridge to use as leftovers. (I’m really trying to waste less in the kitchen). Jesse had some warmed up over rice and I had it with a romaine and shredded carrot salad.

What’s new with you? Any good recipes to recommend? Or recipe/cooking blogs? I’m trying to get back into the swing of cooking.

The Countdown Has Begun

quote

I’m loving this quote right now. We’ve been looking at to-do lists and saying “someday” or “when we get our plan in place” or “when we decide about…” and I’m over it. So this little mantra of mine (for the last two weeks anyway) and a general case of I-might-as-well are getting things done.

We are only a little over a week from school starting. Next week Wednesday, we will be meeting new teachers and putting school supplies in desks. Thursday, I will be dropping them off for their first day. Piano and dance lessons will start. Soccer’s fall season will resume. We will be busy. We are ready, but also wishing for a few more weeks of sunny days at the park or pool.  We are actively soaking up the lazy summer goodness while adjusting to school sleep schedules.

Knitting: I’m still working on those August socks. I just haven’t felt like knitting. I should have them done over a week ago and all I have left is one heel on one sock. I just can’t make myself.

Reading: I’m rereading Wurthering Heights. I collect these beautiful Coralie Bickford-Smith hardcover Penguin classics and I try to keep my purchases to books I’ve either read or books I’d like to read, but then I just set them on my shelves so they “look pretty”. I’m trying to remedy that by actually taking them out and using them. Because used books are prettier. Also the characters in this book are terrible. TERRIBLE.

Watching: I watched the second season of “Pushing Daisies” and enjoyed the whole show (though it really didn’t end the way I wanted). Next up was the movie “Seeking a Friend for the End of The World” which was so darkly funny. I laughed aloud often but I don’t know if other people will find it is comical as I did? Finally, I watched the first two episodes of “Stranger Things”. I was a little nervous because it’s labeled as “horror” and I’m such a wimp about reading or watching anything even slightly horrific. I’m too prone to the heebie jeebies and nightmares. In the first five minutes, I was sure there was absolutely no way I was going to be able to handle it, but it’s very well paced. The minute I start getting too creeped out, I’ll turn it off and find some comedy.

In my kitchen: I don’t know if it’s that we’ve had cooler temperatures lately or if it’s my need to try and eat healthier, but I’ve been in the kitchen a lot lately.  I made these pistachio bites but I think next time I’m going to try making them with almond butter instead of emulsified dates to cut down on the sugar. We’ve also been loving this fresh rainbow salsa. We eat it with chips but yesterday I threw it over a grilled chicken breast and it was a super delicious way to add some veggies.

I’m also attempting my first quilt. I’m terrified. I spent over 3 hours getting the fabric laid out last night and I’m already certain that when I made my stacks again I screwed up the order so I’m going to have to check each individual row. I’m hoping to start actually sewing it once the kids are back at school but if I can get my August socks done yet in the next day or two, I may work on that instead.

What’s new with you?

Tuesday Things

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who messaged me, commented, sent me recipes for lemons on pinterest, offered me a hug and a listening ear. I appreciate all of you. I suck at uncertainty and yet, I’m in an uncertain place trying to figure my way forward (or even what direction is forward). Your kindness, thoughts, prayers, recipes mean a great deal. Moving on…

tuesdaythings

I just finished a 5 day burst of prednisone for an allergy issue. Because Jesse is a smart man, he took the kids to the cabin for the weekend and left me to my own devices (see: side effects include crankiness). The additional side effects of not being able to sleep or sit still may have something to do with all that I managed to get accomplished the last few days but who am I to look a chemically induced mania gift horse in the mouth? Yay, organization!

Watching: Pushing Daisies. I bought it off iTunes because my most trusted television advisor recommended it. It’s one of those shows that I feel you could watch again and again and again and keep finding new layers of awesome. It’s funny, sweet, poignant and clever. Basically, it’s perfect knitting television and I love it.

Knitting: I’m working on my August pair of socks for my Desert Vista Dyeworks Monthly Sock Club. I’m trying afterthought heels for the second time. I’ve finished one sock (without the heel) so far and I’m almost done with the toe on the second. I might actually get done in time this month to knit something besides socks for a bit. Though exactly what, I haven’t decided. And then…there’s only four months to go.

In other knitting news, I’m going on sock yarn diet. I had it all packed away from when we had the new flooring put in and while unpacking and organizing it, I realized that I have enough to make socks (and shawls and hats and all sorts of yarn goodies) for months if not years. Why does there have to be so many amazing dyers and yarn shops out there?!?

Reading: I was reading Frankenstein but I managed to misplace it just as it was getting good. I know it’s around – in a car, in one of the many totes we take from here to there, hiding under a piece of furniture but I haven’t felt a whole lot like reading since we got back from Michigan. I reread Little Women because I knew I had read it but remembered nothing about it and was kind of surprised. It just felt …trite? preachy? I don’t know. Two and a half stars. I also read The Hypnotists Love Story because Liane Moriarty is usually good for a beachy, poolside, summer read. It was good, not great, not even close to my favorite (Big Little Lies). The best I’ve read recently is Brown Girl Dreaming. I’m starting to think that I either need to read YA/Junior Fiction or classics. I’m really struggling with finding anything else these days.

What are you watching, reading, working on in your corner of the world?

Tuesday Things

icecream

I’m beginning to think Abram is some sort of Monopoly genius. My dad played a six hour game against him while we were gone and Abram won. I would chalk it up to grandparents being grandparents except I’ve played two games against him recently and he’s straight up whomped me both times.

Yesterday, I walked outside to find Violet rollerblading while reading a book. I didn’t know whether to be proud of her industriousness or shake my head at her lack of safety consciousness.

Still knitting. My colorway for the DVD club this month is called Monopoly Money (it’s a theme this month). I think I should be able to get them finished. I started watching “The Real Housewives of New York City” from the beginning while I was trying to power through my graduation gift socks and I’m now on season 3. The first two seasons weren’t bad. This season is just vicious and I don’t know if I can handle it. I’m so thin skinned, I just want to yell at everyone to get along already.

In other television news, I watched the first season of Outlander. Season 2 isn’t any where I can buy it yet (unless I want to move to Australia) so I’m impatiently waiting. I wasn’t crazy about the books (started great, had great cliff hanger endings, lots of blah, blah, blah in the middle) so I stopped either on the second or third in the series (I can’t remember which) but the show is good. To the best of my limited memory, it follows the books relatively closely. Fair warning, it can be a bit…graphic. Jesse doesn’t watch it but he did say to a friend, “Every time I walk through while she’s watching someone is either being tortured or having sex”. (Bad timing, there are some very sweet and interesting plot progressions that have nothing to do with either.) As I said, it follows the books. And there was a scene with full frontal male nudity so viewer beware if that’s not your thing.

Hoping to jumpstart some interest in my camera, I decided to rent a lens I’ve been eyeing and try it out. I’m supposed to receive it Thursday and I can’t wait!! (I also hope I don’t fall in love with it because to buy it is $$$$$$$)

We’re horrible at composting. We have a rotating composter that has two bins. One is basically dry twigs and the other is sludge. And when I put more greens in the dry and more dry in the sludge, they just reverse. I figure eventually it will figure itself out. Or I’ll have a really expensive and stinky garbage bin that I get to haul away. Any tips?

Any book recommendations? I just finished “What She Knew” and really wasn’t a fan.

Tuesday Things

DSC_0259Knitting: I finished my May socks. Colorway: Desert Vista Dyeworks Cranberry Sauce

I haven’t decided yet what color I’m going to use for June. I’m thinking either the Monopoly Money or Strawberry Shortcake colorway. But I have a couple of hush, hush projects to finish before I start them, so it’s going to be a rush in June.

(Re)Reading – Carry On by Rainbow Rowell.  I needed something fun and light for the cabin weekend so I grabbed this.

Watching: Bloodline. I’m only a couple of episodes in so I can’t decide if it’s as good as least season.

We have the season’s last baseball game tonight and two final soccer games this weekend. The kids’ last day of school is Thursday and after two crazy months of activities and end of the year madness, I’m ready for a few lazy days at the pool.

What are you looking forward to this week.

Tuesday Things

(Late night Edition)

sprinkles

Yesterday, I took a whole bunch of cold medicine (I’ve had this nasty summer cold), packed a bag, and went on an overnight adventure with some friends to see Beyonce. It was an exciting night. The tickets were in a great location but 10 minutes before she was supposed to take the stage they started evacuating the stadium because of a lightning. Thankfully, the weather decided to cooperate and the concert only had a late start. The show was amazing. It was definitely a good way to kick off being 38 (even if I was a bit of a lump and headed straight back to the hotel room for cough syrup and sleep).

It’s been awhile since I’ve written one of these so I have a lot to catch up on.

Reading: The last few weeks I’ve been devouring books.  I really should just do a separate post because I think I’ve read about 4 or 5 different things worth recommending but I recently just finished Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. I picked it up because of Jules’ recommendation and while I wouldn’t necessarily rate it as highly (I felt it was a little too predictable), I thought it was some pretty great reading.

Knitting: Socks. Always. And I’m also picking up some minis because I’m going to make a sock yarn blanket with my left over yarn but I need some solids and tonals to break up my plethora of self striping.

Watching: The Office (American version) because I never did and everyone in my family loves it and peer pressure. Bloodline’s second season comes out on Friday and I know I’ll be busy with Memorial Day plans, but I’m planning on watching it starting Monday night.  And this season of Game of Thrones. Last season was awful. This season is definitely an improvement, but still not as good as some of the earlier ones.

Thinking: I just can’t believe the presidential election this cycle. I’m completely dumbfounded. And I can’t decide if I’m angrier with the Democrats or the Republicans for making me vote for Hillary Clinton. (Though I keep hoping for some amazing new development because it can’t be any more shocking than Trump being a party’s presumptive nominee.)

What’s going on in your corner of the world? Doing, watching, reading anything cool?

Tuesday Things: Burning Love

Post-1-6

Post-3-3

Post-4-3

Post-5-3

Post-6-3

Knitting: I’m still knitting away at socks for The Second Annual Unofficial DVD Sock Club which is probably what I’ll be doing all year. This month I’m using the Slinky colorway to make a pair for Jesse. I just finished the first one and you can see what the yarn looks like here if you’re interested (but it isn’t all pretty and blocked).

Reading: A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby. I had this book sitting on my bookshelf for years and then I donated it and then I bought it again and then it sat on my shelf again before I picked it up on a whim. I’m about halfway through and for a subject matter as dark as suicide, it’s a rather light hearted read. I don’t know why I donated the original copy, but I’m grateful it found it’s way back into my life.

Eating: Burning Love Mashed Potatoes. They’re magic. Next time I’ll either cut the bacon smaller or cook it beforehand and crumble it up because my onions and mushrooms were well and truly done way before my bacon but it definitely hit the spot on a drizzly Monday evening.  (I’ll also be sure to use Yukon golds and add some garlic to the potatoes).

Watching: I finished watching Alias, started watching House of Cards (I hate myself for how much I love Frank and Claire and how badly I want to see them succeed), and am waiting impatiently for season 3 of Orphan Black to come on Amazon Prime. (It took me awhile to get on the Amazon Prime bandwagon, but now that I’m on, I doubt I’ll ever get off.) It sounds like I’ve been watching television a lot more than I actually have.  As a matter of fact, Monday was the first time I watched anything in almost a week (whoop-dee-doo) and I needed to watch something because I was falling behind on my socks.

We’ve been working on some house projects (picking out new flooring for the bedrooms upstairs) and getting our ducks in a row for summer activities (already!) and somehow the days seem to disappear before they even start. I keep wishing there was a way to slow it all down. Adding insult to injury: Jess and I have been looking at getting a new (to us) car and talking about how it could very well be the car Violet uses when she gets her license. Just this weekend I was sitting next to a baby thinking, “It was just yesterday that I used to brunch with Violet.”  HOW?!? Anyway…all that to say since there isn’t a way to slow it all down, I’ve been soaking it up along with the early spring.  Throwing the football with Abram, sitting on the porch knitting with Violet (she’s just starting to learn and I LOVE it), tromping through the muddy woods after dinner listening to them play on their walkie talkies.  My heart is happy.

Tuesday Things

Warning:  This post has no theme and is basically just a bunch of non sequiturs about the random bits of life here lately.  It does not thoughtfully discuss important issues or concerns and in fact, contains no life changing information at any point.  But then, that shouldn’t be a surprise, because this isn’t that kind of blog.  Happy Tuesday!!

DSC_1816

My sister and nephew came to visit me last weekend.  I forgot how adorable and busy toddlers can be.  And I miss my sister.

I finished my first shawl.  Except for blocking.  I still have two projects to finish to make my August knitting goals.

School supply and clothes shopping?  Done and done.  It feels so good.  (Also:  I love school uniforms.  Sooooo many cute clothes out there, I know I’d blow our budget if I wasn’t looking at just khakis and polos.)

We bought a piano.  My mom’s friend posted it on Facebook and a whole lot of craziness ensued, but it’s here and it’s tuned (it took two times to get it in pitch) and it’s beautiful and I love it.  Now I just need to buy myself some sheet music and set up lessons for the kids.  It feels wonderful to have a musical instrument in the house again.

I only have one interior wall on the whole main floor that will fit a piano.  One.  I think that is what they call an open floor plan.

Today I had to bite the bullet and rearrange my dining room around the piano.  I don’t know if it’s going to work.  I do know that I’d rather have a piano than a dining room table I use 10 times a year so we’ll see.

I haven’t been using my camera or updating my “family yearbook” as much as a should.

I think I need some house plants.  I’m a bit of a black thumb but my house gets beautiful light.  Any suggestions for easy plants to get me started?  Where do you even FIND indoor plants??

The other day I decided I should purge something but I really wasn’t in the mood for the work (and it was HOT).  So I deleted all my pinterest boards and started over.  It was very cathartic actually.  I’ve since created five boards, four of which have to do with crafting, and two of those which have to do with knitting.  I know my passions.

And that is the hodge-podge of things going on in my life at the moment.

Tuesday Things

Post-1-8

My favorite set of sock needles snapped (which is what happens when you sit on them, bend them, and then bend them back a few too many times) so I’m waiting for a new set to arrive and while I wait I’m keeping busy knitting up a sweater for me and a shawl that I had shoved away because I was annoyed with it.  I’m no longer annoyed and in fact have modified it some and really like how it’s turning out.

Because I’ve been trying not to watch hours upon hours of television each day (don’t ask me how that’s going) I decided to start watching knitting podcasts because that’s completely different and I’m absolutely loving them.  I’m slightly tempted to try one myself.  Maybe.  If I don’t get completely weirded out by the idea of me talking in a room by myself to the computer.

Anyway, for those of you knitters out there…I thought I’d share some of my favorites.  If you have one not on my list, I hope you’ll share it.

Junkyarn

A Homespun House

Of Course She Knits

Milkshed

Diary of a Yarn Snob

And despite my plan to give up the television, I’ve been watching two shows.  (I blame my friend, Kristi.) Orphan Black and Ray Donovan.  I’m only three episodes into the first season of Orphan Black because it’s ridiculously intense and I can’t watch more than one at a time.  I started the second season of Ray Donovan but I’m not feeling it as much as I was in season one.  I think the whole bad guy with the heart of gold thing just isn’t holding up for me.

I’ve also been doing some reading, not as much as I should, but I can’t knit and read at the same time.  I should probably just do a separate post but I’ll mention a couple of them.  I finally read another off my list of books to read in 2014.  I really wanted to like “I am Malala” because I think she as a person is amazing, but I really had a hard time with the book.  It seemed disjointed and was hard for me to follow.  Of the others, the two I five-starred are “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” and “Ender’s Game”.  Sci-fi/fantasy was NOT my thing when I was younger (and I’m still kind of “eh” about it all) but I really did enjoy this one.  “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” is about mental illness and the timing of when I finished sucked and it just hit me kind of hard.  I think I need some light reading now so I ordered “Prep” by Curtis Sittenfeld.  I enjoyed her “American Wife” and my friend told me she had read Prep and enjoyed it, so that’s next on my list.  Any good (light) books you can recommend?

And in garden experiment news:  I ended up with five radishes and one full grown green bean (I have lots of baby beans so hopefully they grow up) and a ridiculous amount of weeds.  We didn’t stake things out so I didn’t even touch the garden for about three weeks because I didn’t want to pull anything that might be a plant and now the weeds are crazed. And I accidentally weeded out my onions because they got added in willy-nilly so I didn’t know what they were until it was too late.   Eh, the radishes and green bean tasted delicious, so I’m calling it a win.  And we’ll do better next year.

So that’s us.  Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday Things

Baby squirrels are not afraid of people.  Or dogs.  Or just about anything.   If you follow me on instagram you may have noticed a video and picture of these two babies taking a nap on the stairs (badly in need of some paint) to our deck.  Molly didn’t even know what to do with herself.  I carried them to a pile of brush out back (the wildlife lady said I could with bare hands, but that’s all kinds of nuts, so I used an old dishrag and scrubbed my hands like Lady Macbeth afteward) and eventually they scampered back to mom and the nest.

Which thankfully wasn’t in the tree that toppled over during our first thunderstorm of the season and the only damage was to some plantings that will either come back or are pretty easily replaced.  All kinds of counting my blessings this week.

I haven’t been knitting.  I don’t know if it’s the warm weather or just general burn out or the fact I haven’t watched much television in the last week (probably that one) but I just haven’t felt like picking up the needles.

I finished One Plus One by JoJo Moyes this week.  It wasn’t nearly as good as Me Before You but I wasn’t expecting it to be either.  My mom and I had a good long discussion about the goodreads rating system because we’re nerds like that.  I struggle because not all four star books are created equally, you know?  The four stars rating I give The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway is not the same four stars I give Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner.  They’re both four stars…just different.  I’m sure that’s what the whole “review” part is for but writing reviews on goodreads for some people is a great big deal while mine are one or two sentence fragments that would be such a disappointment to Mr. Barrett (my 7th grade Language Arts teacher who was a total tyrant in a good way) but doing more sounds a whole lot like 7th grade Language Arts and  I shouldn’t be required to do book reports to denote the difference between Ernest Hemingway and Jennifer Weiner so that I know that you know that I know there IS a difference.  Anyway…random.  (Do you ever read these posts and think…jeez, I can’t imagine living in her head?  Yeah, me either.  Also, Mr. Barrett would NOT have approved of this paragraph. Or this blog post. Or probably this blog.)

In other randomness, I’m obsessed with this Japanese cat game on my phone.  As I don’t know Japanese, I found a website that gave general instructions but it’s pretty self explanatory.  Now every couple of hours or so, I’m checking to see which of my cartoon cats are visiting, how many fish I’ve earned from my visitors, and if I need to put out new food or some different toys.  (See:  I’m a seven year old girl.)

Happy Tuesday!  What are you up to this week?

Tuesday Things

I’ve been following this etsy shop for at least a year.  I always tell myself that I’m going to get one of these lovely terrariums and then…I don’t.  Someone told me it’s next to impossible to kill an air plant, but if it can be killed, I will kill it.
On the Needles:  Socks.  
Off the Needles:  Socks.
It’s just a revolving door of socks.
Watching: Really haven’t watched a whole lot this week.  Scandal because I had to find out if Jake really died.  I started watching Silicon Valley because I feel like I have to get my money’s worth out of my HBO subscription.  I’m finding this season to be just “eh”.
Reading:  “One Plus One” by JoJo Moyes.  I’m not even 100 pages in so I can’t really say how I feel yet.  I AM excited that Jules is starting the book club up again.  All The Light We Can Not See has been on my list so this will finally be the push.
What’s new with you this week?  

Tuesday Things

I saw this quote on pinterest the other day and had to share it.  I can’t remember which very smart person once told me that if your always the hero in your own story, you aren’t reading it right, but this quote made me think of that.  We all have a little distortion in our lenses.

On & Off the Needles:  Absolutely nothing new.  I just haven’t much felt like picking it up.  I did ultimately decide against the stitch-a-long.  It’s an adorable sampler but it isn’t a need and I have so many other projects I really should be focusing on so…

Watching: Chef (a movie on Netflix).  There’s definitely language but it’s a cute movie.  Game of Thrones – my interest started waning at this point in the books and the last two episodes have seemed rather slow for me.  I’m not sure how I’m going to feel moving forward.  Scandal.  OH MY WORD.  Nashville – just tie it up and be done already.

Reading:  This is Where We Live by Janelle Brown (I didn’t dislike this book, but I didn’t like it either), Let’s Pretend This Never Happened:  A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Larson (I laughed audibly in a couple of places but I think there is some repeats from her blog.)

I can’t tell you enough how grateful I am to be done with Sunday’s celebratory lunch.  It’s ridiculous but I always get a bit nervy when I’m having people over – even when those people are family and friends I’ve known forever.

In other news, soccer is starting.  And it snowed today.  I love April in the Midwest.  We’ve had 80° temps and below freezing temps and I just cross my fingers and hope I’m sending our kids in the right clothing for the day.  There have been plenty of days playing basketball in the driveway and riding bikes and puttering in the yard.  We’ve also had a few days snuggled up under blankets watching movies or playing board games.  Kids are magic when they are 7 and 5 and life has been simply good  – like fresh baked bread warm from the oven and salted butter.

Now I’m going to go warm up my tea and read a bit before it’s time to pick up the kids.  What are you looking forward to this week?

Edited to add:  I just found this Rebel Wilson quotes as motivational posters.  The one with body lotion/weighing herself.  SO TRUE!!

Tuesday Things

I saw this amazing sampler ages ago and told myself once a kit was put together I would buy it.  Then I made a budget and decided I would be very, very smart about spending on craft things.  (I have some ornaments I ordered last summer from Alicia’s shop that I still haven’t made.)  Then Ginny had to go and host a stitch-a-long.  I’m so torn.  It’s adorable…but very, very, very intricate and involved and I don’t have babies who NEED an A-B-C sampler…but it’s adorable and I could stitch with other ladies too!  

Off the Needles:  Not a thing (which is another reason I’m trying really hard to not buy that super cute sampler).  Though I am almost finished with Abram’s second sock.  I was so worried about second sock syndrome (it’s a real problem) but I almost compete with myself on the second sock because I know how many more rows I need to go so I may forgo the whole two at a time thing.  
On the Needles:  Abram’s socks.  A pretty shawl.  The beginnings of a sweater for next fall.
Reading: I just finished reading We are Water by Wally Lamb.  Eh.  It’s awfully long.  If you read it and figure out the whole symbolism of the sharks (Is it symbolism? He mentions it so often I feel like it must be, but I don’t get it.) could you let me know what he’s trying to say.
Watching:  HBO NOW.   The amount of happiness I felt at being able to watch the Game of Thrones premiere kind of terrifies me.  I also watched last year’s season of GIRLS.  My favorite season so far but there were some definite shield your eyes moments (especially in the first five minutes of the first episode).  I’m ready for them to tie Nashville up with a little bow (I hear this is the last season), Revenge is kind of eh, and I can’t decide week to week if I want to keep watching Scandal.  (Looking at my television list – and that’s not even all – makes me want to hang my head in shame.  READ A BOOK, Kate!)
Other than that, I’m busy getting ready for Violet’s First Communion this weekend (I love seeing how excited she is about her faith) and watching this Northern Flicker aerate my yard.  (Spending all that time off my foot has turned me into a regular bird watcher).  I’m also working on some garden plans.  I have no idea what I’m doing but I think it would be fun.  Do you garden?  Any references for veggies?  I need something simple so I don’t get overwhelmed and decide against it.

Tuesday Things

You may have heard about my love of stickers?  Well, last a fall a blog I love posted about a sticker subscription service, and I loved the idea and bookmarked it and then promptly forgot about it.  Then about a month ago, I met a mom for coffee who is actually friends with the creator of this company, and I was reminded.  So today, I headed over to Pipsticks and ordered a subscription using a coupon code from their Facebook page.  While I was there, I started looking around at the fun printables and ideas they had on their site and I LOVE this idea.  Sticker reward charts are a big deal in this house right now.  So…anyway, more talk of stickers.  If you have kids (or happen to be like me – a seven year old at heart), you should look into it.  I’m surprised at how reasonable the prices are for 15 sheets of cute, cute stickers.

 In other news:  Go Badgers.   It was sad watching them lose yesterday, but I had a great time watching them play and was so impressed with them as a team.  I remember going to games at The Field House as a student (I’m old) and can’t imagine how thrilling it would be to actually be there to see “Frank the Tank” play in person (I have to admit, I have a bit of a crush).
On the needles:  A shawl and a pair of socks.
Off the needles:  Nothing.  I haven’t been knitting much of anything lately because I’ve been…
Reading:  Defending Jacob, The Orphan Train, Counting by 7s,  and Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging (Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, #1).  I gave up on Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy a little over half-way through.  Maybe I’ll come back to it – I just felt the whole thing was kind of discombobulated and over my head.
Watching:  Scandal and Nashville.  Mad Men is starting up again and I’m impatiently waiting for HBO Now to come online so I can be ready for Game of Thrones.
I’ve also been heading to this Cross-Fit gym a couple of times a week for the last couple weeks.  I’m absolutely loving it (which is quite a surprise) because it feels so much like playing did as a kid (though I don’t remember ever being sore after a day on the playground).  I also LOVE that there aren’t mirrors everywhere.  The last thing I want to see when I’m working hard is my fat sweaty tomato face.  The trainer I have is also extremely helpful and encouraging.   I made one of my really good friends promise to bop me upside the head of I started talking workouts and Crossfit all the time so hopefully I won’t get too annoying (and if I do, I welcome you virtually bopping me upside the head as well)  Also, I can promise you…never, ever, ever will there be any discussion of me going paleo.
So that’s me.  Happy Tuesday!  Are you looking forward to anything this week?

Tuesday Things

Off the needles:  Nada.  I finished my nephew’s socks last week and haven’t finished a project yet.
On the needles:  A pair of socks for Abram.  I managed to lose the tag for the yarn which makes me crazy because it’s my favorite sock yarn to date.  It has a little bit of a cashmere and is so smooshy.  I’m also working on another Henslowe.
Reading: I need to finish Tinker Tailor Solider Spy.  In fact, it’s on my list of things to do tonight.
Watching:  Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.  Tina Fey is a genius.  I’m also watching The Forsyte Saga.  I asked my mom if she had watched this show because I thought it would be something she liked and she was “No.  I’ll have to see if I can get it from the library.”  and a day later was “Have you seen the show where this woman marries this man she doesn’t love and the man has red hair and he builds her a house” and I was “Yeah, that’s The Forsyte Saga.” but I don’t know why I’m watching it.  I’m not particularly fond of any of the characters.  I have noticed however that the BBC and Game of Thrones has some serious overlap with casting. 
I’ve basically accomplished nothing this week (but the theory that the BBC and GoT share a casting company/person).  I’m blaming Spring Break.

Tuesday Things

Off the Needles:  I have about ten rows and then I’ll have finished my nephew’s socks.
On the Needles:  Easy Folded Poncho in Rowan Felted Tweed colorway Treacle (a really pretty plum with flecks of brown and and blue) with a couple stripes of Ancient (a mid-range gray)
Reading:  Still reading Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy.  It’s slow going.  After this I’m either reading Orphan Train or Counting by Sevens.
Watching:  I think Scandal may have gone a little too dark for me after last week.  I’m still loving The Mindy Project and just started watching the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix.  This last one is both the most hilarious and sad show I’ve ever seen.  (Not like break your heart sad, more like that’s a sad commentary on our culture sad).
Song of the Week (Abram’s current favorite.  Also:  eh, to the video):

Now I’m off to celebrate some Spring Break fun!

Tuesday Things

I had two cups of coffee today while at breakfast with a friend and I’m buzzing like a bee.  I don’t know how people drink this stuff regularly.  I’m so amped up I can’t even get anything accomplished because I just keep spinning in circles.  Laundry, dishes, prep dinner, write a blog post, take the dog for a walk.  Fits and stops.  I’ve gotten up three times just in the process of writing this paragraph.   I need a nap.

Off the Needles: Purl Bee’s Fluted Cowl 
On the Needles:  I’m still working on the Go Vikings socks for my nephew.  And I’m trying to figure out my next project.  I got some gorgeous yarn from my Tanis Yarn Club this month that I’m thinking of making into this hat.  I actually made Anne’s sweater from this book and there are so many other great patterns in it I want to try as well.

Reading:  Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy by John Le Carre – I’m just starting to understand the story.  I’ve never really delved into the world of spy novels, but from what I understand this is the holy grail.

Watching:  I’ve only had a chance to watch an hour so far this week and I spent it on Scandal.  It was well spent.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.  And you don’t need to kiss me, but I really am Irish.

Tuesday Things

Off the needles:  Rayures (with a twist)
On the needles: Socks in Lorna’s Laces Go Vikings (which goes to show you how much I love the recipient and as soon as they’re done I’m cleansing my palette), I’m also finishing up the Purl Bee Fluted Cowl hopefully this week.  (Just in time for spring).
Read: Good in Bed and Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner.  Looking for another book suggestion.
Watching: All the usuals.  Nashville and Scandal.  The Mindy Project is my newest love.  I just started watching season 2.  I’m gearing up for Game of Thrones in April.  So glad HBO decided to offer subscription service without the cable.  I was going to have to visit my brother’s stinky boy apartment otherwise.
It appears as if we are approaching spring.  I’m leery being that it’s March, but we’ve had just GORGEOUS days with melted snow and mud and sunshine and sidewalk chalk.  
And I’m still trying to get this whole domain/blog thing figured out.  Hopefully, I’ll have it all situated by tomorrow.  Either way, I’ve learned my lesson and I’m working with someone to help design/move me back to WordPress.  Thanks for being patient and trying to find me where ever I am.
Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday Things (late)

On the needles: I’m still working away at Purl Bee’s Fluted Cowl.  I also cast on for some socks. 
Off the needles: Nothing, but I’m reaching the deadline on my Rayures so it will be done by Saturday.
(re)Reading: Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner
Watching: The Mindy Project and House of Cards.  I’m feeling kinda of “eh” about the new season but The Mindy Project has me laughing.  
You know when God (or the universe, or life, or whatever you happen to believe) wants you to get a message and it just keeps popping up all over the place?  I’m quite positive that is happening here. First there was this post in my FB feed (also, the new “save” feature on FB? So genius).  Then I fell down the internet rabbit hole while looking for a dress and stumbled on the Already Pretty and The Militant Baker (warning: language) blogs.  Add to that my book choice for the week (I received the sequel as a gift and completely forgot the first one, so I’m having to reread) and I’m getting SLAMMED with the body acceptance message.  I have lots of thoughts (enough that I’m sure I’ll devote a blog post to it sooner or later) and no defined conclusions, but you know something is going on when you keep stumbling into the same message.  Also:  I know I’ve linked to this already but it’s my inspiration on days when I don’t want to work out.   

Tuesday Things

On the needles: Fluted Cowl by Purl Bee in Super Soft Merino, Timeless Navy

Off the needles: Darn Knit Kinetic Cowl in Misti Alpaca Chunky, Blue Bell

(re)Reading: The Secret Garden (I love these Puffin Classic covers almost as much as my Penguin Clothbound Classics.)

(re)Watching: Game of Thrones – getting ready for the next season

I’m thinking of ordering this so that I can have it finished in time for this year’s Advent season.

I had the most amazing meyer lemon cheesecake on Saturday night.  I’m almost positive the graham cracker crust was made from Golden Grahams cereal.  I wish I knew how to recreate it but it’s probably good I don’t.

It’s 29° and sunny.  I went out and stomped around with Molly and threw her ball around.  Instant mood boost.  Cold is coming back tonight, but it was a lovely break.

Happy Tuesday!  What are you enjoying this week?

Fat Tuesday Things

If you’re going to celebrate Fat Tuesday, I think the best way is with some amazing Polish pastry.  I’m glad paczki really only make an appearance before Lent because so good.
I’m really struggling with how I want to observe Lent this year.  Last year I decided I would go gluten free (fail), the year before that I swore off sugar (fail), and the year before that I said I’d pray the rosary every day (fail).  Basically, it’s really good the salvation of mankind isn’t dependent on me resisting the devil in the desert.  One of the things I keep coming back to is taking this time to really focus on living my life in His service but that seems so…open ended?  Hard?  Something I should already be doing?  
Maybe TV?  I just can’t seem to get into this season of The Walking Dead. It’s getting gorier and gorier and holding my interest less and less.  I’ve been out since they killed off Beth and no one else sounds too impressed with it either, so I’m just staying gone. However, I can not wait for House of Cards to start.  I don’t think I’ve ever liked such a horrible person so much.  Nashville:  Last week’s episode seemed to slow the pace down but I got in a bit of a twist over some trivial information.  If Scarlett’s blood type was AB there is no way that her mom could be O so she couldn’t have been a match for Deacon.  Didn’t these writers pass high school Biology?!?  (And yes, I realize how nerdy I sound getting all up in arms over a night time soap opera’s plot inconsistency with biology).
Yeah, I should probably give up TV.
Since it is “FAT” Tuesday, this was a good reminder that being thin doesn’t equal happy (or sad).  I sometimes forget that being a size 6 (oh how I want to be a size 6 again) isn’t a magic cure all.  Eating well and regular exercise help with my mood and I need to consider my health but the number on the scale (or on my dress tag) shouldn’t decide whether or not I’m happy.
Speaking of exercise and health, I set my UP band “sedentary timer” to 30 minutes during the 9am-5pm hours of the day.  If it goes off, I make myself do 25 burpees.  I hate burpees.  So I tend to keep a very close eye on the clock.  If it’s getting close – I get up and get a glass of water from the kitchen.  I’m drinking my water AND getting steps AND avoiding burpees.  It’s a giant win.
On a light-hearted note:  Cheese or Font?  It’s not quite as easy as one would suppose.
So…how’s your week?  Are you ready for winter to be over too?