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.