43.

  1. Stay cigarette free. (Over one year and counting!).
  2. Finish the Chicago embroidery project.
  3. Have the embroidered cities framed and hung.
  4. Fill a box of socks for me (with at least three different patterns).
  5. Knit a sweater.
  6. Organize the photos I have printed.
  7. Practice unapologetic self-confidence.
  8. Reframe my mom’s graduation picture.
  9. Hang pictures in upstairs hallway.
  10. Get a mole screen.
  11. Get a mammogram.
  12. Tend the garden.
  13. Go to Michigan.
  14. Take a one week family vacation, just the four of us.
  15. Go on a one-on-one weekend with each of my kiddos.
  16. Take a one week vacation for myself.
  17. Get a (paying) job.
  18. Floss.
  19. Complete the bathroom remodel.
  20. Host Champsgiving-Thanksgiving.
  21. Keep practicing manicure skills.
  22. Complete a 100 day project.
  23. Reach my goal for the 2021 goodreads reading challenge.
  24. Fill a sketchbook with creative messes.
  25. Celebrate mistakes (mine and others).
  26. Switch my office/Violet’s bedroom.
  27. Take a downhill skiing lesson.
  28. Do a kitchen cupboard/cabinet purge.
  29. Go to a theater performance.
  30. Return the dining room-school room back to a dining room (but with a bar cart full of games/puzzles).
  31. Buy myself a pretty pair of not drugstore/gas station/Target sunglasses.
  32. Take impeccable care of my skin.
  33. Try something new in knitting. (Bobbles?)
  34. Cultivate a comfortable, welcoming home.
  35. Establish (at least) every-other week dates with Jesse.
  36. Purge/Recycle excess technology.
  37. Update the family recipe box/binder.
  38. Get at least a silver (15 active days) in my monthly activity challenge every month.
  39. Zero pop.
  40. Put together/refine the home maintenance binder & checklists.
  41. Celebrate my people.
  42. Learn how to use the boat/backup the trailer with proficiency.
  43. Relish everyday accomplishments.

Birthday posts from 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 42. (I guess I was too busy celebrating 41.)

Tuesday Things

It’s spring. Turtles in crazy numbers warm themselves on fallen logs. My crab apples have flowered and lost their flowers. I relished the mornings of sitting on my porch drinking coffee and listening to it HUM with bees. We started the garden. The seeds and a few of the starts are in, but we have a few more yet to arrive. This year we’re doing nasturtium, broccoli, bush beans, beets, radish, a whole bunch of different peppers, lettuce, spinach, pumpkin, melon, peas and carrots. I also am experimenting with some hanging basket strawberries.

I think I’m meant to live on a little farm. When I was very young (before I turned four), my mom and dad had a little hobby farm that they were fixing up. According to my mom the barn was in better condition than the house when they bought it, but my Grandpa was a brick mason and carpenter and my dad worked for a lumber yard, and I come from people who have never been afraid of hard work. Everyone pitched in and made it a lovely little home. I still drive by it when I’m home and think that if I could pick anywhere in the world to live, I’d buy that little white house where a wooden baby swing once hung from the laundry line posts. The bathroom had these little wooden shutters with white knobs on the bottom of the interior window – very of the era – and one of my first memories is playing with them and enjoying the changing angles of the light. Is it silly that a home I’ve lived in for less than a tenth of my life (and of a tenth where memories are more likely stories I’ve heard than actual memories) is also the one I look at the most fondly? If so, I’m silly.

Speaking of, I’m (hopefully) heading to Michigan yet this week to see my grandmother who managed to beat a really horrible bout of COVID but spent a month in the hospital and is now in a rehabilitation facility. The building itself is in quarantine, so I can’t actually go in to visit her, but I’ll see her through a window and talk on the phone. It isn’t perfect but it’s better than being a whole state away. I’m hoping I’ll be able to see her in her own home later this summer yet.

Abram finished his track season last week. I even managed to get one picture (just the one) from the season. It’s been really fun to watch him. He kept working, and bringing down his time, and running his race. I’m so proud of him.

Okay, on to things.

Reading: Finished The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow, and What Comes After by JoAnne Thompkins. Currently reading The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah. For my birthday, Jesse and I are heading out of town to a cabin that has no cable or wifi, so I’m hoping that I’ll get lots of books read.

Knitting: Still working on Jesse’s friend’s sock. Just started the foot of the first one. I’ve been switching it up with some dishcloth knitting.

Watching: Violet and I watched Moxie on Netflix this last week. It may have been a little too heavy handed for me, but the message was good, but we both appreciated all the representation and enjoyed it. I’m still watching The Handsmaid’s Tale. It’s really, really dark and not all family friendly which keeps me from binging which is good.

Making: I rejoined Instagram. I think I’m going to try and do a one photo a day project. Maybe. I may also delete my account in a month. I don’t know. I make no promises. Still working (too slowly) on my Chicago cross stitch project. I’ve been thinking of trying to find a new theme. The company that made mine no longer makes or supports their WordPress themes but I can’t seem to find anything I like. In the meantime, I just played with some fonts and I’m going to be adding some color to the black and white of it all. I may break some things. Please be patient. Also: I need to get back into the habit of cooking. Any good quick and easy dinner suggestions?

And that’s about all! What’s new with you? What are you -ing?

Tuesday Things

Thunder is rumbling. Trees are budding out. Over the weekend we started to get our garden beds ready and talked about when and how we are going to plant. We added two grow bags instead of the three additional beds we had talked of adding. This summer is already shaping up to be busier. Violet is taking her first two high school classes, and Abram has some sport camps.

Abram has started soccer and track. I think you have to be a special kind of person to enjoy watching a track meet. Especially if your kid is one or two event kid. I love a track meet. My mom keeps telling me to take pictures but every time he comes around the track (he runs the mile mostly), I forget my phone/camera and can only cheer him on and marvel at how he just keeps his pace. I hope to remember before the end of the season.

This month, I did my first full grocery run (we’ve been using pick up or delivery with the occasional quick run in for a thing or two) in over a year. And my second. Ran into an acquaintance at Target. I’m out of small talk practice and it feels strange. I’m ready for hugs and long conversations over brunch, but not ready to give up the smaller circle and quiet. I doubt I’ll ever get back into the habit of wearing makeup or underwire bras again. Everything feels a little surreal. Talked with some friends and agreed that languishing is a good word. We’ve lived through that. Are still living through it. Rita talked about the all of it all much more eloquently so I’m going to point you in that direction and mostly just share my things.

Watching: I started watching The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu. I read the book ages ago and knew it might not be the best choice for my mental health, but I wanted something dark and harsh. Lately, I find light hearted, cotton candy escapism grating. I don’t know how else to say it. I know I’ll crave it again (for example, I am beyond excited by the second season of Ted Lasso), but for now, I’m 100% invested in this horrible twisted show. Every episode has made me uncomfortable, a few have made me cry, and for all the terror and discomfort, the thread that makes it a dystopian fantasy is so thin. I can’t seem to turn away. (It makes me think about a conversation about the age appropriateness of The Hunger Games. One of my friends said that what made many adults feel like the appropriate age limit was higher was us thinking “This could actually happen” where as younger kids read it as complete fiction.). On the positive side, I can only grab episodes occasionally as my kids’ bedtimes move later and mine move earlier and it is very much a mature audience show. In family television viewing, Violet and I have been watching episodes of the most recent America’s Next Top Model will hopefully watch the last episode yet this week. Abram and Violet have also introduced me to Gravity Falls which, in my opinion, is golden.

Reading: I finished Boys and Sex by Peggy Orenstein (hard but important), The Gambler (the third in the Wedding Pact series I’ve mentioned). A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum (so good that I cried in multiple places and wish I had a book club to discuss it), The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins (unserious good). I’m currently reading The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow and am still listening to The Promised Land by Obama. (It was definitely a bang for your buck buy at almost 30 hours). Creating the family reading time has been so good for me getting back into the reading swing of things. (Though since track and soccer have started it’s not every night as much as it used to be!)

Knitting: I finished a pair of socks for Abram. And died a little inside when I realized I was using the same sock blockers for his as I do for mine. Now I’m knitting on a pair for me (the yarn is Safety Dance from one of my favorite dyers) and then I promised a friend of Jesse’s a pair. I keep telling myself I’m going to do some knitting that isn’t socks this year but I haven’t exactly figured out when as soon I’ll be heading into Christmas sock time.

Making: I’ve finally started Chicago. It about a year each to finish NYC and Washington D.C. Maybe I can speed that up a little bit this time around. (I keep thinking of Marian saying “A thread a night” and I’m trying to do at least a thread every couple.) Our new favorite dinner. I also tried adding chicken feet to my usual chicken stock routine and you guys, I hate that’s it’s true, but it’s absolutely true. If you make homemade stock, you need to find a place where you can get them. (I get mine from a local farmer pre-peeled because I don’t want to deal with dirty chicken feet. I have a line.)

So that’s me as we head into May. (Kinda hard to believe that April is over this week!) What’s new with you? What are your -ings?