Decorations this year consist of a $10 Charlie Brown tree with two short stands of C9 bulbs. There is not a nativity or ornament in sight. Even the stockings are packed away. At least inside. Outside we still have our usual festive lights, (real)* garlands, and porch pots. It’s just hard to bring anything out when it’s certain to be covered in a layer of dust in less than a few hours. I am trying (hard) not to be a person who complains while remodeling, but I’m stumbling a bit. It’s been months of noise, mess, and pushed back timelines. We’ve reached a point where things we put in off site storage are very much wanted (needed?), and our on-site storage is cluttered with system overflow (one bedroom and one bath for four people = overflowing systems), Christmas presents, and things that will be needed to finish the remodel. I’m stretching my tolerance for chaos.
In other “home” news, I did update my theme. My old one was no longer being supported and started getting buggy. Please be patient with me as I try and make some changes to make it feel a little more like “me”.
Let’s talk things:
Reading: I’ll Show Myself Out: Essays on Midlife and Motherhood by Jessi Klein (★★★★★), This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub (★★★★★), A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson (unrated because I couldn’t decide).
Watching: Gossip Girl v.2 (HBO), Real Housewives (Potomac, Salt Lake City), Spirited (Apple TV+) – I thought this was really cute, Wednesday with Violet (Netflix) – I’m also really liking this, the last season Dead to Me (Netflix), Abbott Elementary (Hulu), Reservation Dogs (Hulu)
Knitting: I finished this scarf, a pair of socks, started another pair of socks and have been working on this blanket. (I purchased a couple of yarn advent calendars with my birthday money and I’m absolutely loving adding my two squares every day.) On the knit list is another one of these baby blankets, some of these stars, and maybe even one of these. Alicia Paulson has me wanting to knit up one of these hats too. (I have no idea how she manages to get as much done as she does. And her pictures are always my favorite.)
Making: Fleece tie blankets for a local drive. Actually, I’m mostly just reminding people who will not be named to pick up behind themselves and helping with the lining up of fabrics. In a dinner rut. Feel free to send recipe suggestions.
Listening: My Spotify Wrapped contained one song – ONE SONG – that was mine. Motherhood, man. The kicker is that each of my kids have their own Spotify accounts under our family plan. It’s just my phone is the default in the car and at home when we’re streaming music. I think I need to listen to more music when the kids aren’t home.
That’s me. What’s new in your world?
*(Real) garland is a joke brought about by a video of me, age 12, playing with our silver tinsel garland like a boa while talking about how so-and-so had REAL garland. When asked by my parents what real garland was, my response was “I don’t know, but so-and-so has it.” (So-and-so was one of my best friends and rival for most of my childhood. I am not sharing her name because she doesn’t have an online presence.)
I’m always so glad to see a post from you in my inbox, but my goodness, I wish you had better news to share about your renovations. Months of chaos would make me more than just stumble a bit. I really hope things improve soon.
Your blanket is coming along so well! And I’m frankly amazed at how many other knitting projects you’ve managed to get done. I imagine, though, that the knitting is perhaps helping you cope with the renovations. Sometimes I think knitting is the only thing keeping me (more or less) sane. I recently made a couple of gingerbread men tree ornaments for my daughter and my older son’s GF, and I’m nearly done a pair of mittens for my youngest son’s GF. I’m also working on a hat, a sweater, and a pair of socks. (I’ve usually only got two things on the go at once, so this is a bit too chaotic for me. I’ll be glad when things get finished.)
The book of essays on midlife and motherhood sounds like something I’d enjoy reading. (Unless, of course, it contains everything I’d like to have written myself, in which case I’ll dissolve in envy.) Have you started Wintering? It’s got great reviews, but I admit that for me it was a DNF. Right now I’m reading Love and Fury by Samantha Silva, which is quite good although hard to read at times because of the subject matter. I did also just finish re-reading A Christmas Carol.
I laughed at the REAL garland story. It’s lovely that you now get the real stuff too, at least outdoors.
Wishing you all the best for the holiday season, Kate.
It’s so good to hear from you! It sounds like you are busy knitting away for the holiday as well. I’m surprised at all the projects you have going, but ’tis the season. Those gingerbread men sound adorable – what a great gift idea!
I’m always impressed with your stack of reads. I haven’t started Wintering. When putting my books away, I realized that I had already purchased a copy so it must not have grabbed me. (The new copy has found it’s place in my library sale donate box with an admonishment to look at my TBR pile before purchasing next time!). As for the midlife and motherhood book. I loved it, but also wish I would have found it when I was younger. The author’s midlife corresponds with new motherhood and so much of what she wrote 29 year old me could relate to, but 44 year old, raising teenager me less so.
As for the remodel, part of why I’m so itchy for it to get done is that we’re getting close (ish). I appreciate your empathy on the upheaval because I’m sure you understand and yes, the knitting is absolutely helping keep me sane.
I hope you have a wonderful season!! I love hearing from you! Hope you and yours are all doing well. xo.
I think you are more than entitled to be gritchy (or Grinchy) about having to holiday in the midst of renovations. It’s been a long time for you, and this homebody would be really struggling if it were me. I like home to be calm and soothing–which means everything in its place. I hope it wraps up soon.
I just finished listening to This Time Tomorrow, and I’ve liked a few other of Straub’s books. I think she’s definitely improved over time. Her earlier work is not as satisfying. I currently have a backseat full of books waiting to go to the library, many of them not really read. I’m about ready to start figuring out why I can’t seem to read anything much any more.
We’ve just started Wednesday, which I think we might like? Verdict is out. But at least it’s something. I finished Tell Me Lies and felt a little gross for having done so, but I’ll watch the next season, yes I will. Love Abbott, but that’s the only thing I look forward to. I miss This Is Us. I started the first episode of the new season of Dead to Me, but it’s not grabbing me. Honestly, nothing is–so I think it’s me, not them.
I’m so impressed with your prolific knitting! And yeah, how does Alicia Paulson do that? I have not been making/finishing much of anything. Somehow it’s been taking all I’ve got to attend to a bunch of health things, and it’s getting to me. I hope I can find some balance soon.
Sending wishes for speedy and uneventful renovations. We just got a bill for a new roof that is 2K more than originally quoted. Bah humbug to that!
Bah humbug, indeed!! The roof is the least sexy way to spend a ton of money but also a worthy investment.
I agree the first episodes of Dead to Me were clunky but the season improved as it went on. Let me know what you think of Wednesday. I loved it and loved Christina Ricci!! Haven’t finished Tell Me Lies. Maybe I’ll get caught up on that this week but there are lots of Hallmarkesque Christmas movies to watch!!
I just can’t read like I used to – I’m not as fast or committed as I used to be. So you aren’t alone. I can’t do audio book though – I just can’t. I can’t do podcasts either. I want to be the kind of person that likes them, but I don’t and am beginning to accept that I’m a trashy television person instead.
Your most recent blog post sounded so charming and lovely but I know that managing chronic conditions can oftenfeel overwhelming. I have faith you WILL find your balance.
So good to hear from you as always!
I will give Dead to Me another try. I really loved the first season, and if you say the current one gets better, I’m sure it will. You’ve gotten me to give a fair number of things a second chance, and I’ve always been glad I did it. As for Hallmarkesque movies, I can recommend The People We Hate at the Wedding (Netflix or Hulu, not sure which).
I know you’re very familiar with the phenomenon of both/and, which is how life is for me lately. Last weekend *was* charming and lovely *and* I’m tired of working hard to manage my stuff. (Two appointments today. Yay.) I’m so grateful for the good. Gives me motivation to keep working at the hard.
Looking forward to seeing what you do with your blog design. I’ve been thinking about getting off WordPress for a long time, but I can’t get excited about a deep dive into technical stuff. So I plunk along with my slowly deteriorating back end. (Hmm…that’s literal for the blog, not a metaphor for (ahem) other things!)
Your back end comment made me chuckle. I don’t ever think about using a different platform – though I’ve been loving reading things on Substack lately. (I’ve purchased a few fun subscriptions.)
I watched People You Hate at the Wedding and really liked it! Thank you for the recommendation.
I do understand both/and. Hang in there. I know it’s a lot but I hope it bears fruit soon for you.
Yes! to Substack. I’ve been thinking about moving there, just because my blog is so much more about words than anything else. I’ve also looked at Squarespace (which Cane now recommends). It looks a lot better/easier than WordPress. But it’s just not a priority for me right now, so I keep plugging along with my not-entirely functional site. Some day… 🙂
Ally Bean says
You’ve been busy, busy. I feel like a slug compared to you, but I’m a happy slug so there’s that. I remember seeing the movie Heartburn, but have never read the novel. I need to finish Dead to Me. I liked the first two seasons so much I cannot bring myself to watch this last one because it’ll be all over. That reasoning might make sense.
Will watch with interest to see what you decide to do with your blog design. Today I went to change something with my WP template and found a note telling me I had a “legacy widget.” WTH is that– and how is it going to screw me up?
I’ve never even knew there was a Heartburn movie. I guess I’ll have to see if I can’t find it to watch after I finish reading!
Good luck with your legacy widget! Tech changes are so fun.