Madness

The last few weeks have been a complete whirlwind. Thanksgiving was wonderful. We celebrated at my parent’s new home with everyone bringing a little something to the table. On Friday we went to Chicago where we swam in a hotel pool, ate good food, took a carriage ride, and watched the musical every single one of us love and know by heart. I spent more time watching Violet and Abram as they watched it than the musical itself. They were entranced.

Since we’ve been back, I’ve had my head down working on Christmas presents and getting ready to completely redo our first floor. I know I’ve mentioned it but without much detail and to be honest, I’m so overwhelmed at the thought of all the moving parts that I’m not going to talk much about it now. Suffice it to say, I’ve been picking light fixtures, faucets, sinks, cabinet fronts, flooring, countertops, etc. etc. We’re getting to the part where things are getting really, really real and I’m trying to also finish up the making of Christmas presents and the wrapping of Christmas presents and all the other madness that goes into this time of year and I kind of want to crawl in a hole and hibernate until it’s all over. Except I can’t.

So…Knitflixing: Just finishing up a few Christmas presents while watching some Doctor Who. Matt Smith is growing on me which is good because I also binged the second season of The Crown and he’s in that as well. I’ve also curled up with a few Christmas movies.

Reading: I did finish Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond. It was quite interesting and gave me pause. I don’t know that I really found any answers (despite his putting forward some suggestions), but it was definitely worth reading. I also read One for Sorrow by Mary Downing Hahn which was a Violet recommendation. She was up way too late reading it (so she could finish) and it’s really hard to chastise her when I turned around and did the same thing when she gave it to me. When I looked up the author, I got a little chuckle. Around Violet’s age, I spent the night at a house where there was a girl just a few years older than me and being bookish, I raided her bookshelf and found a spooky book that I couldn’t put down. (And that was my introduction to liking spooky books despite having an overactive imagination and no business reading anything even slightly chilling.) Turns out, same author. Now I’m browsing used bookstores (both online and off) because I think I’d like to start collecting some of my favorites – with the covers that originally caught my eye.  In other book news, I currently have Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine on my nightstand (thank you for the recommendation, ladies) but I haven’t had a chance to open it yet. I’m hoping this weekend I’ll get a little bit of time to do it.

Listening to: Spotify Christmas playlists. This one and this one but I do skip some of the songs. (I’m looking at you Baby, It’s Cold Outside)

I haven’t been cooking much of anything. I feel like I should be utilizing my kitchen while I still can, but we’ve just been so busy! Sandwiches and grocery store deli meals have been on rotation. Spaghetti is also a pretty regular feature.  For my family’s Christmas potluck we’ll be doing shrimp cocktail and my grandmother’s ramake recipe. For Christmas morning I’m making this casserole.

So that’s wonderful, crazy, overwhelmed, happy me. How is the holiday shaping up for you? I hope it’s fully of very merry and bright!!!

SaveSave

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.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

It’s Tuesday. These are my Things.

 

On Friday, Violet had a playground accident and broke her wrist. She’ll be in a splint at least until Friday when the orthopedist will take new x-rays and decide if she needs a cast and for how long. She’ll probably be missing most of her swim season so she’s disappointed, but taking it well. “At least it’s not my writing hand, Mom, because then I’d really go crazy”. She fantastic, tough, and brave. I’m lucky to be her mom.

Knitflixing: I’ve been watching The Great British Baking Show. My mother-in-law introduced the show to us this summer and some new episodes have been released. Violet and Abram also enjoy it so it’s something I can watch with them while I work on one project or another.  Currently that’s a simple seed stitch scarf in some beautiful merino/cashmere yarn. So soft and squishy. I’m using the charcoal/onyx helix colorway and the variation in color is very, very subtle. I also have the yarn for a new pair of socks wound and ready to go so I’ll probably be alternating those two projects with an embroidery project.

Reading: I finished As Brave as You which was a book recommendation from Violet. I love sharing books and book recommendations with V. Granted, she seems to read fewer of my recommendations that I read of hers. She’s a voracious reader, but she’s also much pickier than I am. I just started Every Kind of Wanting and I’m reserving final judgment, but I’m enjoying it. I’m about seven books away from my reading goal from 2017, so I’ll need to decide if I want to read or finish Christmas presents. Every year this time I wish I could listen to books or read and craft at the same time (there are actually people who can do that!!!) but I can’t.

Thinking about: Urgent vs. important. Being intentional with my time, my physical and mental energy. What and who matter most to me. What I want things to look like a year from now, a month from now, a week from now. What will get me there. What needs to be jettisoned. Purpose and plan. And a lot of home remodeling decisions.

Listening to: Some favorite Spotify playlists lately include: Autumn Acoustic, The Unrequited Mixtape (the Lucinda Williams’ song on this is in my top 5 of all time), Have a Great Day (this last one makes cleaning my house so much more enjoyable).

So that’s us. How are things in your corner of the world?

Tuesday Things

We had snow. It didn’t stick, but it was lovely and I was a bit like a child in my delight. I’m a firm believer that if it’s gray and cold, snow makes it worth it. Our Halloween was frosty. About a half an hour before it was done our neighborhood was pretty much quiet. I gave two teenagers the remainder of our candy (they were appropriately thankful) and then went in and took a long hot bath. Violet went as “Queen of the Cats” which is basically a cat costume with a tiara and a lot of jewelry. It’s perfect for her. Abram was a magician at school but traded in the hat and wand for fangs and blood for trick or treating.

I’ve been “Knitflixing” Doctor Who while completing two pairs of socks and one mitten for the month of October. I’m hoping to get the second mitten finished tonight. I sat down and made a list of handmade gifts and as long as I don’t get sidetracked I think I should be able to accomplish all of them. Maybe. I’ll definitely have to consider my priorities. Do we really need clean clothes? Dinner?

I have lots of thoughts on Doctor Who. I watched the 9th and 10th doctors and have just started watching the 11th. I’m told he will become my favorite but I don’t see how anyone could usurp David Tennant. I’m only a few episodes in though so I’ll reserve final judgement for a bit.

In other news…I haven’t much in the way of news.

I haven’t been using my camera as much as I would like.

I’ve been writing and doodling a lot. (Ordered a new notebook. Bright Pink this time.)

I’m working on Christmas lists and trying to get my shopping done. (I missed my all gifts purchased by Halloween goal, so I’m trying to finish by Thanksgiving. The crafting I’ll take right up to the end. Nerd emoji here.)

We went to the kids’ school fundraiser with friends. It was a really nice night. I tend to get very mushy after nights like that because I’m lucky to be surrounded by fun, kind, interesting people. It’s even better when I get to call them friends.

I’m trying to write an actual post (and not just a Tuesday update) but I’m struggling to do justice to my thoughts and now my laptop is in the shop so I can’t promise when I’m actually going to get around to posting that.

And that’s me. What are you up to this week?

SaveSave

SaveSave