Welcome to the final Currently post of this year. I know. Where did the year go?
Time flies. It’s up to you to be the navigator. — Robert Orban
Good advice, and some advice I have been following closely this year – I am the navigator of my days – the “filler of my minutes”… Let’s see what I am finding to fill those minutes, shall we?
Even though November has decided to revisit early summer this week…tomorrow will be in the upper 70’s and Steve is threatening to turn on the AC again. Sigh. However, I know that cold weather is hanging on the doorstep and as such, my desire to cook all the cold weather foods is burning inside me! This week I made a huge pot of chicken soup, chocked full of carrots, celery, and yes… chicken. I also picked up some Vital Wheat Gluten to try my hand at this whole wheat bread recipe, which I will be baking later today! And next week I have plans to do more baking…pumpkin bread anyone?
I am savoring the latest Masterpiece Mystery – The Magpie Murders. I have watched one and really enjoyed it. I hope to catch myself up with it as my Gnome Knitting companion. Ha! I also watched the latest Shetland series on Britbox… the farewell to DI Jimmy Perez. It was bittersweet, but I hope they have plans to continue something with Tosh and Sandy. It is not quite the same as the books, but they are based on Ann Cleeves books. And can we just talk about the scenery for a moment? It is stunning. Speaking of stunning… I discovered a BBC Scotland show, Landward (also on Britbox.) It is a little glimpse into life in Scotland with a heavy take on farming and nature.
Last night, I began Gnome Eleven and purchased the December Mystery Gnome… and I have begun thinking about yarn colors (the mystery gnome needs 5 colors!) I am not purchasing yarn but rather will be peeking into my yarn leftover bag if I need to add something different than what I have used thus far this year! And my new Gnome… well, I am thinking it will be a she… so no beard, but I am seeing some curly locks! And she has a handspun sweater… so I know she is crafty. I am wondering if I could take a wee button and a bit of a broken dpn and make her a little drop spindle! The Gnome Knitting has been such a fun project this year… and I am thinking about what to do next year that will inspire whimsy and creativity! I also have been enamored of all the in-process Pressed Flowers I have seen on IG. I am not jumping on the knitting bandwagon to make a cardigan, but I am rekindling my plans for a rectangle shawl version. I am at the *thinking about yarns* stage… and wondering what I might couple with some handspun that I have.
While we were in Erie, we walked… a lot. On all sorts of terrain… and lots of uneven terrain. And each day I began to notice that my left hip was progressively more painful than the day before. And by the end of our time in Erie, me trying to walk in the morning would be comical and if I was not in so much pain, I’d surely have laughed at how I looked hobbling around. The intense pain has subsided (although the stairs are still a bitch) but I am making an appointment to go see my doctor to discuss what might be the problem. And I am long overdue for an eye check… but oof, do I need one. So it is on my list to make an appointment, pronto! And after that… I need to address my hearing (or lack thereof) issue. Getting old is not for the faint of heart!
While I have not been stressing about it, I am concerned about what our nation will look like after Tuesday’s elections and what all that will mean for democracy as I have known it. I have voted and I have encouraged everyone I speak with to vote. (I mostly don’t care who you vote for as long as that candidate is living in a fact-based reality…) It does make me so angry that there is a very loud faction of people in America who are racist as all get out… and they are not even ashamed of it at all. And all this not so subtle fanning of the flames of violence… well, I just don’t know how we pull back from that but I hope there are more voters that are concerned about voting for candidates who live in a fact-based reality than not. And I really hope that all the poll workers working next week are safe.
And with that, I leave you. Have a great weekend and I will be back on Monday!
The start of July came and went… and despite me placing a notification in my electronic calendar, I entirely missed the notification reminding me that July brings another “Currently” post. Thankfully, Carole gently reminded me this week with her timely post on her current world!
So while this post is a bit late… July is practically over… how about a peek into what my world looks like! So get something to drink and let me tell you what has been going on around here!
Contemplating: Change… in so many things. One thing that has a big change happening wis the On Being podcast, which I was a faithful listener! It is changing… no longer a weekly venture for Ms. Tippet, but when it returns in the fall it will be different… but still centered around mind-opening conversation. But for the summer… Krista is bring us The Summer of Pause. And I must tell you… it is the perfect pairing for my word this month. I have been focused on filling my days with the simple, and what is simpler than to take a pause. This quote struck a deep cord and I have written it in several places as a reminder to myself…
When we pause, allow a gap and breathe deeply, we can experience instant refreshment. Suddenly, we slow down, look out, and there’s the world. — Pema Chödrön
Allowing a gap is a beautiful thing… and I am really loving it! So while change can be a struggle… I am such a creature of habit… there is something good about change as well. This focus on simplicity has allowed me to spend some time in the gap… pausing… relishing the simple… and in the process appreciated what all this has done for my mental health! Less reactions to stress. Better sleep… such better sleep. Feeling better about myself. Small wins with an immense impact!
Learning: I have completed my first watercolor lesson. And I have learned so much. I watched the video and took many notes. I then got my paper ready and started the video again… and started trying the new techniques I was learning. I can be very self-critical… and I see many mistakes. Too wet…. too much paint… not enough paint…. too dry. But I am counting a win that I can identify my challenges and will submit my homework for welcome critique. And I will keep practicing… I can tell you all this… time just flies when I am painting. It is a welcome pause in my day!
Starting at the very beginning…
Listening: Some weeks ago, I read that Heather McGhee was going to do a podcast and the first episodes dropped this week. It is called The Sum of Us and is available on Spotify. I have listened to the first two episodes and have enjoyed them tremendously. If you liked her book by the same name, you will love the podcast. Heather is traveling across the country and talking to people… something I think she does incredibly well. It is very different from the normal listening I do… it is not like listening to an audiobook and it is very different from a poetry podcast. A welcome change in my listening rotation!
In My Backyard: Recently I shared that “our” regular bunny pair had made a nest near our patio. In fact, she made her nest in a “Tomato Bag” that I had recently pulled out the tomato plant that was not doing well, but I neglected to empty the bag of the dirt and put it away… because lazy – or perhaps lucky?? Serendipitous most certainly because it was just so much fun watching them care for the wee little bunnies. Anyways, last Sunday was Baby Bunny Move Out Day, and we watched the littles (there were 4 of them) trying to figure out how they were going to get out of the bag! We watched them all day as they hopped around… peering over the edge and wondering which might be the first out. The daddy bunny was in the yard, watching them closely… patiently waiting. Sadly, we did not see The Great Escape and by morning the nest was empty. Sigh. We have gotten glimpses of them around the yard several times though! Sometimes it is the simplest little things that bring the greatest joy… and those little bunnies certainly brought so much joy!
Joni Jamming: On my bucket list is to someday be in person at the Newport Folk Festival… someday. However, the surprise visit of Joni Mitchell to this year’s fest has had me wishing I had been there and I have been Joni Jamming ever since. The only word that comes to my mind is miraculous… and tonights happy hour is gonna be all Joni!
Some of my all time favorites: Both Sides Now, Just Like This Train, and Big Yellow Taxi…
Over-done: As in the never ending heat. I try so hard not to waste the season I am in wishing for the next season to get here.. but gosh! This heat has done me in… I am really ready for it to be over. There is little joy in sitting outside in 90+ degree temps trying to be comfortable… so we have spent far too many days indoors with the AC blasting. I am ready for a break… although, all this heat (with very little rain) means that Steve has not had to mow the yard in weeks… so there’s that. But still… I am longing for 70-ish degree days that I can have the AC off and the windows all open!
And there you have it, gentle readers… a slice of my current life! Have a great weekend and I will see you all back here on Monday!
I am wondering how on earth I am welcoming April… no fooling! This year seems to be moving at a pace slightly faster than warp speed… sigh.
However, my Blog Calendar tells me that today is the day for my Currently Check In! I am excited to be documenting my year in this way. This feels better to me than the monthly review… which, for me, felt like Blog Overkill. For me it feels better to check-in with a current list that allows me to see what I am doing now and where I was with the hope of perhaps holding myself accountable for things that “fall off my radar” for whatever reason.
Decreasing: Stashes… of all sorts. I spent some time at the end of March going through my “Yarn Closet”… reorganizing and, yes, removing a good portion of The Stash. It felt good. I also went through some “unpacked boxes” left overs from my move from Michigan almost 10 years ago…Yeah, I should have just tossed those boxes but I went through them. Thanks to one of those boxes I have a new set of pjs and I will soon have another pair completed! But most of the stuff I unearthed is gone… or is waiting to be donated. Some time ago I started a box for each of my kids and then promptly (conveniently?) forgot about them. But those boxes are back on my radar and I am going to spend this quarter working on getting them filled (which I hope will empty more boxes!)
Increasing: Play Time! Thanks to Karen Abend’s Sketchbook Revival, I have been spending some time each day practicing not being perfect. Playing. Coloring outside the lines. Trying new things. Contemplating creativity. And it has been so much fun! This is a thing that I want to keep on doing… because it is such a great release! Because it is so much fun! And because I am inspiring myself.
Anticipating: Spring. Really. Mother Nature has teased us with some hints of spring but I fear that we are going to go from Winter to Summer… wham, bam. Boo, because I like the in-between seasons… spring and fall. A gradual easing into what is coming next…but I might need to disavow myself of that wish this year. Sigh. Instead, I am looking forward to April Poetryand an April Trip to Erie… things that I can be sure of! Ha! And speaking of April Poetry – you will find Kym, Bonny, Sarah, and myself sharing our love of poetry on Thursday’s this month!
Meanwhile, in the oven: Yes, I am still mixing up a “Tub of Dough” roughly every 20 days…and baking baguettes, boules, and lots of pizza! I just love the ease and simplicity of 5-Minute Bread… This was absolutely one of the best things I am continuing from the start of the year. I hope to figure out focaccia this quarter…I have a recipe, I just need to make the time to make the recipe!
The Bandwagon Knitting Ban: Yes, that is right… In January I jumped on the bandwagon to knit a Musselburgh Hat… and… it was a failure on a number of levels. First… my yarn was too fine… so my hat might have fit a shrunken head. Second… Bandwagon Knitting. Yeah, sometimes it works… but, for me, it has not worked for a long time. I end up with a thing I won’t use or wear. So yep, I have A Bandwagon Knitting Ban… for the foreseeable future.
Projects for Success: This idea really resonates with me. But what is it… well, for me, it is making things I love…and wear often….again. Sort of like a Uniform Wardrobe…pieces that wear and play well with the other wardrobe staples. In that frame of mind… I started another Tegna, this time with a warm weather yarn. I also want to knit another Fall/Winter Marsa Alum. (Ravelry Link) I also plan on sewing another Esme Tunic… in a summery linen. I am also contemplating knitting another Ranunculus, (Ravelry Link) most likely not out of linen yarn this time… but I don’t have any idea on what yarn I want to use, but I am thinking about it… lots.
Reading: My reading life is so much better this year. I stopped reading for a “number” and started reading more spur of the moment reads. These little changes have really inspired me! And the books I am reading are staying with me longer… which might be the best change ever. Sometimes small changes make a huge difference in the quality of ones life. That is certainly true for me and reading this year!
And there you have a snapshot of my currents… Have a great weekend everyone and I will see you all back here on Monday!