I am…Feb. 8, 2014

  1. I am very glad two new friends came over to join me for my craft Saturday. It did mean I missed some alone time, but I will survive. I’ll get some on Monday, since I am back to working at home.
  2. I am very ready for a shower.
  3. I am glad I did not exercise yesterday, as my ankle needed a break. Today it has been noticeably better. Now, should I go do the stationary bike?
  4. I am reading the Honor Harrington novels. It’s a re-read, so I’m skipping the boring and/or repetitive parts.
  5. I am winding a warp and then warping the loom for a class next weekend.
  6. I am looking forward to Italy. Only 11 days until I leave.
  7. I am slightly stressed by all the prep work that needs to be done at work.
  8. I am pleased by how the class is going, however.
  9. I am missing being able to watch the Olympics. It’s annoying that I have to have cable to watch it (or else have an antenna, which I have not yet installed).
  10. I am frustrated by the roofer’s extreme slowness.

Thinking about

Outside my window: cold and dark, but hopefully this weekend will live up to the weather report and warm up a bit.

I am thinking: of a jumble of things in my mind. It’s time to do a review of todos.

I am thankful: that last weekend went well.

In the kitchen: I am eating lots of raw vegetables, but I think it is time to make a bean and grain salad.

I am wearing: my nightclothes of sweats and long-sleeved tshirt.

I am listening to: Celtic-style rock music. I think it’s time to switch to the instrumental, soothing stuff.

I am going: to bed soon.

I am hoping: that the roofing contractor finally listens to what I am saying.

I am looking forward to: going to Italy next month!

I am wondering: how I can manage some time just to stay home.

I am learning: more about how to manipulate computer video files.

I am praying: for a friend of the family and his wife, who suffers from dementia.

On my Ipod: knitting podcasts and lots of Celtic-style music

I am reading: Bastion / Mercedes Lackey

I am pondering: what to focus on this weekend. I know one thing will be prepping the warp for the weaving class in two weeks.

A quote for today: “speaking the truth in love”

A verse for today: That’s where the quote comes from: Ephesian 4:15. It’s a good reminder to speak kindly and make charitable assumptions of speech.

One of my favorite things: reading, curled up in my lounge chair.

A peek into my day: Tense from work, because the computers was so slow. Usually that’s not the problem, but today it felt like it, because I needed it to work faster.

Word of the year 2014

Hey, I’ve been remembering to write 2014! Now watch, next time I need it, I will write 2013.

I’ve done the word of the year idea for the last two.

2012: rest

2013: (self-)discipline

It’s been interesting. This year, I think it will be…

2014: learn

January 3, 2014 NOW

time: 8:39 am
location: Home

drinking: water. Just finished my coffee, now I’m on water.

eating: Nothing right now. Had yogurt with strawberry syrup for breakfast.
watching: Nothing.
feeling: Steeling myself to get through a work day. I’ve got a book to read.
loving: The bright sunlight reflecting off the snow.

thinking: I hope for a better year. 2013 wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t the best year ever either.

making: Socks, a sweater, a dress, etc. I’m always making things.
wanting: Another staycation. I’d like some uninterrupted time to read and make things.
needing: Quiet time at home. Exercise.
reading: The bitter kingdom by Rae Carson. As well as a variety of other books.
enjoying: Celtic music
avoiding: Recording the videos I need for work. I’ll get to it, but I don’t think they are my best work, and just recording the videos is really the basic thing.
wishing: Wishing I had time to focus on my most basic work task. I’ve been doing other stuff for so long that I miss it.
hoping: That this year my family will continue to hold together. It’s been a year since Mom died now, and we’ve done pretty well. But it will take ongoing effort.
missing: Mom. still.

Craft goals for 2014

  1. Finish the Shelter sweater
  2. Quilt, bind, and label the big Follow your dreams quilt
  3. Sew knit clothing – go into more detail with that one.
  4. Couture dress to be finished
  5. Do old dress muslin
  6. Baby quilt or two
  7. Weave more dishcloths and handtowels. Weave regularly.
    1. After the kitchen, do some stuff for the bathroom .
  8. Knit brother sweater
  9. Knit handspun sweater
  10. Spinning study maintenance
  11. Spinning more fall colors to go with orange yarn
  12. Knit a batch of hats, for me and to sell.

Doesn’t include scrapbooking, but that’s not a fiber craft. Maintenance there will be satisfactory.

Hmm, no embroidery included. I think that means that this year it will continue to take a back seat.

Right now 12 November 2013

time: 10:10 am
location: at work
drinking: water
eating: just finished yogurt with strawberry
watching: Arrow, and Miss Fisher’s murder mysteries
feeling: unable to concentrate
loving: reading
thinking: about gifts for Thanxmas
making: a cowl, socks, shawl, dress, quilt
wanting: I don’t know what
needing: time with family
reading: Phryne Fisher, same as the television shows
enjoying: the beauty of the fall
avoiding: working on the online teaching I have to do
wishing: to not feel rushed
hoping: it’s a good holiday
missing: Mom

Roundup 2013 October

What special or unusual event occurred?
Well, the government shut down. Being a Federal employee, I ended up with 16 days of staycation. It was a highly interesting experience. I enjoyed the home time, though at first I found it confusing.
What were my accomplishments this month?
I quilted a baby quilt to give later in the month. I also employed the staycation time somewhat usefully, while packing in plenty of rest time.
What were my disappointments this month?
I was distinctly delayed in getting some work done. This threw me off when I finally got back to work. It was difficult to get back in work mode for pretty much all of October, between furlough, vacation time, and consequent slowness to getting back into thinking in work mode.
What books/music/shows did I enjoy this month?
  • J.D. Robb kick
    • Treachery in death
    • Salvation in death
    • Survivor in death
    • Indulgence in death
    • Celebrity in death
    • Origin in death
    • Memory in death
    • Born in death
    • Innocent in death
    • Promises in death
  • by Nalini Singh
    • Wild invitation
    • Angel’s blood
    • Archangel’s kiss
    • Archangel’s blade
    • Archangel’s legion
    • Tangle of need
  • Redoubt by Mercedes Lackey
  • Bastion by Mercedes Lackey
  • Five little pigs by Agatha Christie (in Sigil)
  • The last boyfriend by Nora Roberts
  • The perfect hope by Nora Roberts
  • The mentalist
  • Skyfall
  • The Avengers
  • Murder at the vicarage
  • Sleeping murder
  • Nemesis
  • The A-team
  • Campion, season 2
  • Mansfield Park, two different versions
What crafts did I work on this month (not what I finished, but what did I work on)?
  • Baby quilt — started and finished in less than a month
  • Summerweight sweater — we’re getting close
  • Socks #29
  • Couture dress
  • Baby kimono #7 and #8
What fun things did I do with my family, friends, or by myself?
I was actually able to attend some daytime Bible studies with friends that ordinarily would never be possible, due to the shut down.
I also visited my brother and his family.
What gifts did I give and/or receive?
I received the gift of time.
What special or unusual purchases did I make?
Well, I tried to get maintenance done on the house, but delays kept happening.
What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
Allergies, allergies, allergies.
Anything else noteworthy to include?
Well, the HVAC man was supposed to come and follow up on my heater maintenance, and he called to say he could not come because of the highly unexpected death of his wife. Having experienced that myself last year, I had nothing to offer but sympathy and patience.
On the other hand, he pointed out a problem that I need to get fixed — a weird leak of some sort around the hot water heater pipe in my roof. Good thing I now know about it.
The roof guy is taking forever a while to respond. But I am also raising things that are getting added by the homeowner’s association and the HVAC guy, so I must possess my soul in patience.
What rest did I achieve this month?
I actually was pretty well rested, all things considered. But it’s a constant effort to do and redo.

Moving slow

It started, I think, with the Slow Food movement. It then moved on to lots of others things in the craft world. I’m not sure where else it is found specifically, but I generally find that the concept is around just in the general culture in the US right now.

Occasionally, I find it annoying, because I think some people misunderstand the point. On some of the quilt podcasts I enjoy, for example, Pam of Hip to be a Square keeps joking that she doesn’t really get into it, because she produces quilts and other projects regularly, at a fairly fast pace. Now, to me – and I have no idea if the general understanding of the slow movement is in agreement with this or its my own idea – but the actual speed of production has nothing to do with whether or not you are participating in the Slow movement. Because actual production speed is not the point, whether fast or slow. The difference is in the attitude.

No matter what speed you are producing at, I want to know:

  1. are you enjoying yourself?
  2. do you feel pressured to produce without much creativity?
  3. are you doing this because you want to or because you are “required” to?
  4. do you have sufficient time – I don’t care how MUCH time – to make the things you want to make and still immerse yourself in the process? To be creative?
  5. do you like the end product?

There are other questions you could ask and other ways you could phrase these. They are just a sampling of the questions that go along with it. But the fundamental point is the same: your attitude towards what you produce is what makes it a reflection of the slow movement or not. You and I could both be quilting for the same amount of time, you could make five quilts while I just made one, but if we both enjoyed the process thoroughly, then we did it plenty slow.

Staycation

Well, it finally happened…the government shut down, and since I work for the government, I am now not working. It’s an unplanned, unpaid staycation. I’ve always dreamed of a staycation – though not one that was unpaid – but never had the leave time to take it without giving up something else. So there has been a positive aspect to it. What? Well, I have enjoyed some time off, with lots of reading and relaxing. And, well, finally getting the chance to confirm what I’ve always suspected: I wouldn’t be able to enjoy unending leisure time for much more than a week. I’m starting to get busy.

We’re starting the second week of this shut down, and I am finally establishing a bit more of a routine and working out how to achieve my goals, which is to use this time properly. So I have been getting busy. I’ve been slow to do this, I think, for two reasons: one, I did want some rest; and two, not having any sense of how long this thing is going to last makes it hard to plan my activities. To a certain extent, I have to plan day to day, while still balancing my enjoyment of time alone with the need for some social interaction. I may be an introvert, but that doesn’t mean I don’t also enjoy people.

Last week, I mostly rested and relaxed, with intervals of doing chores like cleaning and cooking. This week I have planned a bit more. I have a list of things I would like to get done. I want to:

  • do a good bit of scrapbooking
  • make a baby quilt for a baby shower at the end of October (piecing all done, quilt sandwiched and ready to go)
  • maybe work on purple leftovers quilt? or quilt on the big quilt that is ready to be quilted?
  • work on the couture dress
  • set up my loom for weaving with the warp that is currently wound
  • catch up on my spinning study
  • as well as spin some on the brown Romney
  • install the SSD in my old laptop, and get Linux Ubuntu installed
  • kill weeds, then pull weeds
  • scan a lot of old paperwork so I can get rid of it and/or organize it
  • get rid of some furniture and other items at the thrift store or via Craislist and/or Freecycle

And of course, enjoy myself with reading a lot. And maintaining my regular schedule of eating right, exercising regularly, Bible study, and reaching out to some friends for visits, especially some that I haven’t seen in a while.

I have a feeling I won’t get it all done, but I’ll give it my best try.

Ten books I want to read

Sometimes Carole’s Ten on a Tuesday are easy, sometimes they are hard. This one is actually right in the middle, because really, only ten books I want to read? I read way too much. But we’ll give it a try.

  1. Beowulf by Seamus Haney – although actually I want to listen to it, not read it on paper
  2. On Walden Pond by Henry David Thoreau. I wonder if listening to it would work better?
  3. Archangel’s legion by Nalini Singh – well, whatever comes out next, I guess.
  4. Thankless in death by J.D. Robb – or whatever else is most recent. I really like this series, even if the individual books don’t live up to my expectations.
  5. 1636: the Devil’s opera by Eric Flint and David Carrico – whatever else is most recent in this series
  6. The long ships by Frans Gunnar Bengtsson. I read a fascinating review that struck me as equal parts funny and interesting.
  7. Cobbled Court quilt books by Marie Bostwick, both the main series and the related books. Oddly enough, I’ve only read one, but I liked it. I just haven’t gotten around to them.
  8. Eat, pray, love – curiosity mostly
  9. Patricia Briggs books – whatever is next to come out. I have read all of hers (I think, because not sure about the oldest stuff), currently buy them as they come out, and re-read them regularly. (Night broken in March 2014)
  10. Ilona Andrews books – once again whatever is next to come out. I like the Kate Daniels series best, but have read almost everything else she(and he) have written.

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