Tuesday Things

I think I need to get my big camera out just so I start taking some horizontal pictures. I don’t know what it is, but I only ever take vertical shots with my phone.

We’re settling into 2020. My office is a disaster. My to do list is too long. I picked up some bad habits while coping with holiday stress and both my house and my head feel very messy and resistant to order. I also feel very…content and happy and loved. So there’s that.

Knitting: I’m kind of stuck with Jesse’s sweater so I have one sleeve complete but nothing else and I can’t bring myself to tear it out and I can’t bring myself to keep going so…socks. I did a quick and dirty yarn/project inventory and am trying to balance out the big projects with socks for the year. My piles make it clear that I think I have more knitting time and knit faster than I actually do.

Watching: Jesse and I watched Ozark on Netflix. I really liked the cast and the story but it gave me really weird dreams and was just dark and disturbing. I know I won’t watch the new season when it comes out. I’m thinking of cancelling my Netflix and HBO subscription. I cancelled Hulu last year and haven’t missed it and really want fewer screen hours.

Reading: I didn’t read nearly enough toward the end of 2019. I enjoyed Make Time by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky and found that when I incorporated some of their ideas I like them but I have a hard time sticking to them. I’m currently reading Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel while Get a Life, Chloe Brown, The Water Dancer, and Topics of Conversation (all BOTM picks) are on my TBR pile. Try as I might, I’ve never been a “listen to a book” reader, but I want to make more of an effort with that this year to cut down on screen watching while knitting. Do any of you have audible? Do you like it?

Making: I’m *almost* done with my Washington D.C. cross stitch. Finally. It’s been over a year but considering how much I’ve picked it up and put it down, I’m forgiving myself. I want to do three and have them framed for our guest room. I can’t decide between Chicago (a place I’ve been) and San Francisco (a cooler pattern and a place I’d love to go). I also committed to a year long workbook to creatively journal the year and have been playing with paints and watercolors and markers. Basically, I’m making lots of bad art (which is better than no art). I’d like to get back into the kitchen and try my hand at bread again (my first couple attempts weren’t pretty but I bought a book on it that is very exact and scientific and I think will help me get some basics down). I guess with a word like practice for 2020, I just want to make all kinds of stuff.

How about you? What are you making, reading, watching, and doing?

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  • Love the photo of your dog, Kate—what soulful eyes!
    Also love that sock yarn! What’s been the trouble with Jesse’s sweater? Just second thoughts, or are you running into technical issues? I’m currently knitting socks for my youngest son. I had nearly reached the heel flap when it occurred to me that merely increasing the length of the heel flap on a woman’s size *might* not be enough for this 14-year-old’s nearly man-sized feet…so yes, I had to rip it all out and start fresh. Argh.

    How are you liking Station Eleven? I read it a couple of years ago (I think) and although there were a couple of characters and plot lines that I felt could have used more development, it’s a story that has really stuck with me and colours the way I view things. I’m currently reading The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë as well as Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport, which I just picked up from the library yesterday.

    Regarding television and Netflix and screen time, I hear you! I’m also trying to watch less. The last few evenings, I’ve determinedly NOT turned the TV on, and have either read or knit while listening to the radio. That being said, you might be interested in reading this (or in listening to the actual interview—the link for that is found within this link): https://www.cbc.ca/radio/how-literature-history-and-streaming-s-on-demand-culture-shaped-the-new-golden-age-of-tv-1.5399889
    In a nutshell: television series are the new novels. So maybe we shouldn’t feel SO bad about watching TV while knitting?

    • Our dog really is a honey.

      The yarn is from must stash yarn but I can’t remember the color way. That shop is a favorite for indie dyed self striping yarn.

      Jesse’s sweater is an issue with not comprehending a bit of the pattern, not feeling comfortable moving forward until I talk to a more knowledgable knittery friend about the pattern and now that I have that figured, it being so long since I’ve worked on it I have no idea what size needles I used to get gauge because I know it isn’t what was recommended but I can’t remember if I was down one size or two. Ugh. I’m sorry to hear about your socks.

      Please let me know what you think of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. It’s on my bookcase but I haven’t actually read it yet. As for Station Eleven, I’m really liking it. I’m about halfway through now and I’m trying to figure out time to get back to it before this weekend (which is looking unlikely.)

      Finally (sorry for this disjointed reply, I’m toward the end of my “using my brain” day) I’m excited to look at that link and listen to the interview!! Thank you so much for sharing it. I like that idea.

  • I loved Station Eleven! Picked it up accidentally a few years ago. Maybe it is one to revisit? I have trouble finding things I want to read. I’m currently reading a YA novel by Laura Ruby–Thirteen Doors Wolves Behind Them All. Haven’t gotten very far, but I really liked her first book (Bone Gap), and I’m still with this one. I like the narrator. I’m also reading The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald (which was made into a movie not long ago. I’m interested in that because of the author’s career. Also reading books about entrepreneurship and listening to The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. Loved her first book, but this one really isn’t working well as an audiobook.

    Sometime in the last year I began listening to audiobooks in the car because I couldn’t stand listening to NPR any more (am really really limiting my amount and sources for news) and I hate the DJ’s stupid prattle on the music stations. I’m having trouble finding books I really like. The narrators either make or break it. I do have Audible, and what I like a lot about them is that if I don’t like a book I can return it and not lose any credits. I have some plan where I buy a credit a month for about $16. Most books cost more than $20, so that works out for me. When a book/reader clicks for me, I really like them. I can recommend some to you, if you’d like. Or maybe I should write my own post about that…

    As for TV, I really wanted to like Ozark, and I did for the first few episodes (interesting premise and actors I like), but…yeah. Dark. I didn’t like the characters, and I really don’t have enough time left in this lifetime to spend it with people I don’t like. Even fictional ones. I’ve been living in Mrs. Maisel land, so that tells you what my kind of happy place is these days: gorgeous costumes, period interiors, snappy banter, light, a little raunchy.

    I’m loving your intention of practice, and I’ve been thinking about it. I’m working on sleep. I keep reading about how important it is to everything, and I want to make good sleep a higher priority. I’ve struggled with it for years. But I really want to make more bad art. These two things are in conflict, because once I finish everything I need to do in a day, there isn’t much room left for bad art or other kinds of creative pursuits, especially if I want to give myself the opportunity to get enough sleep.

    So nice to see you here. I was running all over the district yesterday so I didn’t see it until today. This makes my lunch a happy place, too.

    • Both you and Marian have read it and I hadn’t even heard about it before last month! I’m with you on struggling to find things to read lately. I’m very much enjoying Station Eleven. I don’t know if it justifies a reread, but I’m glad I’m reading it!

      It’s funny that you mention not listening to the news. I just disconnected my satellite radio and have found myself listening to NPR when not listening to my Spotify and now I remember why I stopped! I subscribed the The NY Times a few years back and I’ve decided one newspaper, once a week is the perfect amount of news in the perfect format for me.

      I love Mrs. Maisel. I need to sit down for the third season (you can’t go wrong with “gorgeous costumes, period interiors, snappy banter, light, a little raunchy” We need more shows like that!!)

      And…please, please, please send out your audible recommendations whether here or in your own post. I’m not a huge fan of being read to so trying someone’s favorites seems like a better way to dip my toe in than just picking something willy nilly!!

      • OK, I’ll do a post. 🙂
        I like season 3 of Maisel. Maybe not as much as earlier seasons (I’m also re-watching #1 right now, so I can watch with Cane), but it’s still doing it for me.

        • Yay! Thank you!!

          You’re saying the same thing a friend of mine said about the third season which is why I haven’t been in a rush. I do love it though!

  • making: banana bread, the easiest tea bread to make
    reading: Britt-Marie Was Here, a light novel that seems right for January
    watching: Doc Martin, which I didn’t like at first but am now hooked because the dry British humor and the scenic vistas make me smile
    doing: starting to research landscape design because summer 2019 did in many of our bushes and perennials

    The only thing I know about audible is that in theory it *seems* like it’d be a good thing. Maybe…

    • I have some bananas that will have to become bread this weekend since no one is eating them!

      I want to hear what you think of Britt-Marie. I enjoyed it!

      My mom loves Doc Martin and has been trying to get me to watch it, but I haven’t.

      Sorry to hear about your landscaping, being done in, but I think the researching new sounds like a fun project!! Hope you’re finding it so!

  • 2020 My Word for this Year: Independently

    Change the word “alone, single, by myself” to “independent, or independently”. Come from the internal confidence of strength.

    I think my word for 2020 will be: independently. My property that I own in full, solely went from for sale in ten days to options period for ten days and yesterday is now pending to close in two weeks… all work made possible by all women!!!

    So today I appreciate all the courageous women who came before us who fought for women’s rights to own our own land!

    Making: A new chapter in my journey at 60 of what that phase of life means with my dear 7 year old Yorkie; life changes. Making a new chapter!

    Reading: I’m in together middle of The Long Call by Ann Cleeves. I’m enjoying! Easy reading, a detective type — who, what…try to solve it. Fun!

    Watching: I recorded several shows, but only watched the full season of Grays Anatomy which I have not missed one episode since day one, back in … 2004. Yikes!

    Audiobooks: I’ve mentioned my love of them! I started listening by audio cds when I traveled across states driving long days in the late 1990s. And continue to purchase by cd that I can play in my car or at home.
    I love the imagination and visual creation that I see in my mind as I listen.

    Kate, I do not find it the same as a person “reading” to me (although that is quite an intimate experience if you are so lucky to have someone to offer such a gift.) I find an audiobook a very different experience then my own reading too.

    I hope you try a few different types. They are unfortunately expensive, but a unique experience if you are able to be alone in the quiet of your imagination.

    I absolutely an envious of that colorful Christmas tree!

    • Congrats on the sale of your property! I love your word and how you are choosing to frame your thoughts!

      I appreciate your take on audiobooks. I know I’ve tried before, but I haven’t enjoyed it. Perhaps if I don’t compare it to “reading” but consider it a different activity all together I’ll feel differently!

      Isn’t that tree adorable? I bought it two or three years ago on sale for $15. My daughter claimed it this year and put it in her room.

      Hope your 2020 is off to a great start, TD!!

      • I love that your daughter claimed the colorful tree and placed it in her room!!

        I remember a 4 foot silver tinsel tree from my childhood (yonger than six) that my mom decorated with giant gold round mirror glass balls. And if I ever find one in an antique shop, I’m going to claim it!!!

        Funny, simple things that we remember holding dear to our hearts. Best to creating new memories with your family this 2020!