Vacation!

Hello, dear readers. It is Thursday, and this blog post is late, because I am on vacation, and what is time? I hope you’re all hanging in there with everything that’s going on in the world right now.

I have mostly unplugged this week. The friend who was going to be coming into town ended up not being able to make it, so it’s been lots of quiet family time at home, which, frankly, was really what I needed. I’ve played some video games, I started knitting a new sweater, I’ve been doing a decent job of not thinking too much about work or school. Tonight, I’m doing a home sleep study, so that’ll be interesting but will hopefully lead to some helpful insights to help improve my relationship to sleep.

I don’t have much else to write about this week, but I will leave you with these photos of Nova being very confused about why the yarn ball wasn’t for her:

Knitting Progress

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to another Thursday. I hope you’re all safe and warm and well. The weather here in the Midwest was particularly wild last night – a friend in Kansas heard reports of tennis-ball-sized hail in her county, we were under a tornado watch here in St. Paul, there was a ton of wind damage across several states…also, it was so warm yesterday I took the dog out in a t-shirt, and this morning the windchill was in the single digits Fahrenheit. My body and brain both struggle with large temperature and barometric pressure changes, so it’s been a day. Thankfully, we are safe, and while the dog was disappointed by the disappearance of the snow in yesterday’s heat wave, we should be getting a bit more today.

Other than wild weather, it’s been a pretty nondescript week. I did finish a sweater, which I’m really pleased with:

I love when a finished project looks like it did in my head!

I started this sweater back in May, didn’t work on it much for a lot of the summer, finished the body back in October, and then blew through the sleeves in four days earlier this week. I also knit a hat for my littlest nephew last week. This is the most knitting I’ve done in quite a while.

Other than that, I don’t have too much else to report. My first regular session with my new therapist went really well; we’re not meeting this week because she’s traveling, but I have a good feeling that this will be very helpful (it already has been). I’ll leave you with the requisite Nova photos from this week:

Resting

Hello, dear readers! I’m a little late posting this today because I have been taking the last couple of days off from work – I got my second dose of the Covid vaccine on Tuesday afternoon, and I wanted to give myself time to recover. So far I’ve been mostly okay – tired, a little feverish here and there, and about 24 hours after getting the shot, the joints in that arm started hurting really bad. But Tylenol and sleep seems to be helping, and I’d much rather be dealing with the vaccine side-effects than the actual disease.

It’s been a busy couple of weeks (more on that soon, hopefully), but things are good. I’ve been using this time off to catch up on some knitting. I finished a stuffed friend for my older nephew, and am slowly chipping away at a blanket for the younger one. (I’ve also been playing a bit of Animal Crossing lately to get myself off my phone/computer screens, which has been fun.)

I’m going to keep this one brief – time for me to have some coffee and make some breakfast now that I’m finally up and moving about. Tomorrow I’m getting color added to my new tattoo, and I am very excited about that! (And very thankful I don’t feel worse post-vaccine, so it should actually be manageable.)

Moving Madness

This blog is going up a little later in the day than usual – last week, I was super on top of things and had the post written Wednesday evening. This week, not so much. But hey, at least I wrote something!

We’re getting closer and closer to Song School, which means we’re closer and closer to moving. I am overwhelmed, but also really proud of how much we’ve managed to get done so far. Over the weekend, we went through our knitting stuff, which was the biggest and most daunting of things on our project list. We now have multiple ten-gallon tubs of yarn and knitting accessories that will not be moving with us. We’re still figuring out what WILL happen with all of it, but at least step one is done. I feel so much better about my yarn stash now. I’m letting go of a lot of beautiful things, but they’re a lot of beautiful things that I wasn’t realistically going to knit. Now they can go on to someone else who can appreciate them. (Fellow knitters: we were assisted in this process by the StashFit workbook. It was super helpful and I feel like now I have a better idea of what I actually use, which informed the culling and will also inform any future purchases, meaning my stash feels like it’s not going to balloon out of control again anytime soon.)

This week we’re shifting from sorting to packing. Friday we’ll be packing for Song School (which is still a couple of weeks away, but that way we don’t risk losing track of anything we’ll need for our trip). Saturday the moving boxes arrive. I feel a little bit guilty that if anyone tries to schedule a showing of our current apartment between now and when we move, they’ll be faced with walls of boxes, but…it is what it is.

My goal is to have things packed/settled enough by the time we leave for Song School that I can actually be present for the trip and not preoccupied with everything left to do at home. I think it’s an achievable goal, but it’s going to be challenging. It would be challenging enough on its own, but add the unpredictability of my chronic pain stuff and both of our mental health issues and…yeah. Fingers crossed that bodies and brains cooperate and we’re able to have a productive week!

Music and Mending

Our apartment is in a bit of chaos right now. We’re doing the KonMari thing and going through all of our stuff before we move. We made huge progress over the weekend – there’s a steadily growing pile under our dining room table of stuff that’s not going to move with us. I’m proud of the work we’ve done so far.

One of the things we decided when we went through clothes was that we wanted to mend as many things from our (rather sizable) mending pile as we could before we move, so we’re starting out in our new space with usable stuff. So I’ve been slowly chipping away at my share of the mending this week. I’m kind of making it up as I go, but so far I’ve made good progress:

So far, I’ve fixed two holes on the outside of the pocket of my favorite jacket, replaced a broken button on a pair of shorts, fixed a failing seam on a favorite bow tie, darned my favorite fingerless gloves, and fixed two holes in my favorite work shirt. I’ve never done much by way of mending aside from sewing buttons back into things, so it’s been a series of adventures and learning experiences!

The other kind of bananas thing we’re doing while prepping to move is a songwriting challenge called 50/90. The goal of the challenge is to write 50 songs in the 90 days between July 4 and October 1. So far we’re both on track to complete the challenge…I have more faith in my partner’s ability to see it through than mine, but it’s a fun thing to try! At the time that I’m writing this, I’ve gotten four new songs out in the last week, so that feels good.

Small Smiles

Hello, dear readers – I’m back! I took the last two weeks off because of some weirdness with the site that still isn’t resolved, really, but if I take any more time off I’ll be thoroughly out of the habit of blogging, so here we are.

I haven’t had a particularly eventful few weeks, either, so I haven’t felt like I have a lot to write about. This weekend is going to involve a solo road trip, so details on that will follow next week, I’m sure.

In the absence of profound thoughts, here are some things that have made me smile recently:

  • I’ve gotten a fair bit of knitting done lately, and only about a third of it has been for me, which is unusual. I’m working on a hat for a friend, and I knit a little vest and a stuffed spider for our friends’ baby. (The adults all agreed the spider was cute, but it scared the baby…oops!) I had so much fun making the spider that I made another one for my arachnophobic self:

I think she looks like Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon.

  • The details of my first ever work trip out of state are being finalized, and I’m more excited than I thought I’d be. I’ll be in DC in mid-May for a few days. I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to get away from the conference and see the city, but I haven’t been to DC since I was in high school, so I’m looking forward to it.
  • The D&D group I’ve been in for a bit over a year now just had our last big session over the weekend – one of our players is moving out of the country. It’s sad to know that we’re not continuing with these characters we’ve gotten to know and love (although we’ll still have the occasional one-shot game, I’m sure), but the whole experience of this game has been so great. We all meshed really well and could play off each other and consistently took the story in interesting directions. I love nerds.

Like I said, solo road trip this weekend (for reasons I’ll explain next week), so I’m sure next week I’ll have stories to tell. Meanwhile, what’s been making you smile lately, friends?

I’m sitting on the bus on my way to work Thursday morning, and I am not really sure what to write about. It hasn’t been a terribly eventful week. Truthfully, I’ve been dealing with a lot of pain and trying to navigate that reality. But there have been some bright spots, too. For example:

  • Friday night we had a chance to knit with a couple of friends for the first time in a while. I finished a pair of socks that I’d started two years ago, so that felt like an accomplishment.
  • Sunday night was the class showcase for the songwriting class I was in in January and February. I am always so impressed by the work that comes out of those songwriting classes, and that community is something truly special. I am grateful to be a part of it.
  • Last night I started taking a banjo class, and I am very excited about it. The instructor is a friend and an excellent teacher, and the class promises to be a lot of fun.

Creativity Abounds

I am dashing this post off on Thursday morning before I really dig into my work day. I am working from home today (I’ve been dealing with a lot of body/joint pain as the weather shifts, and it’s been exhausting, so I’m giving myself a little break from major activity, and I hear the internet at work is spotty, so I will probably get more done here than I would there, anyway), and am currently enjoying the morning sunlight and the glow of the Christmas lights we have strung around our living room windows. It’s peaceful.

The past week has highlighted how much I love being creative. Here are three ways that’s shown up:

  1. Last Thursday, while I was volunteering in the library area at the Old Town School of Folk Music, I finally finished the sweater I’d started working on over a year ago.  A couple of weeks before I’d been panicking a bit, because I wanted to get it done by Christmas, and I was in what felt like a bit of a black hole with the knitting – I’d knit and knit and knit and it didn’t seem to get any larger. Suddenly, though, it was done, and I got it sewn together, and it fits like a dream and it’s the most successful sweater I’ve ever made. I’m so excited to show it off at Christmas (and I’ve worn it a couple of other times already). Now that I finally have that project off the needles, I feel a little lost as to what I want to cast on for my next big thing. In the meantime I’ve started a new pair of fingerless gloves to replace some that got a hole torn in them last winter (I’m going to repair the torn ones, but I want a non-patched pair, too).
  2. On Saturday, my partner and I attended a songwriting workshop with one of our favorite teachers at the Old Town School, Sue Demel. (Sue is just one of my favorite people, period.) In the workshop, we went over a chapter from Italo Calvino’s Six Memos for the Next Millennium, the chapter on “Multiplicity,” and Sue talked us through how we could use Calvino’s insights to improve our writing. We did a bunch of writing exercises in the workshop, and each left with at least one verse. After the workshop, I was once again volunteering in the school’s resource center, and I got a chance to work more on my lyrics. I managed to get I think four verses and a chorus worth of lyrics out before the end of my shift. I haven’t had a chance to go back and finish it yet, but I’m excited about the unexpected places it’s been taking me.
  3. On Sunday, I got together with my D&D group for the first time in a couple of months. I hadn’t fully realized how much I missed these friends and our shenanigans until we were playing together again. I love collaborative storytelling so damn much, and I’m glad to have people in my life who are just as into it as I am.

Low Key

It’s been a pretty laid-back week. I feel like I don’t have a lot to talk about. But here’s a quick list of a few things I’m grateful for or excited about right now:

  1. Knitting. I am a few hours of work away from being done with the sweater I’ve been working on. I’m hoping to have it done by the end of the weekend. It’s going to be gorgeous.
  2. Good food. My partner and I didn’t do a traditional Thanksgiving feast last week, but that’s not to say we didn’t cook! I think we counted eleven different dishes between Thursday and Sunday. Highlights that we’ve been enjoying all week: slow cooker carnitas, kharcho (a Georgian beef and rice stew), and about three gallons of borsch. We also had steaks cooked in our cast iron skillet one night to celebrate our anniversary, with a couple of hot dish sides. We’ve been eating well, for sure!
  3. Music. I’ve been reminded many times recently how much I love my Old Town School of Folk Music community. Also, my partner and I are both playing sets at an acoustic show on Monday, and I’m very excited for that.
  4. Nerdy friends. Earlier this week some friends and I resumed a DnD game we’d had to put on hold a couple months ago. It’s been so fun to dive back into the world we’re creating together!
  5. Snow. It may be a pain in the ass sometimes, but it sure is pretty.

That’s it for this week. I’d love to hear from you! What are some things you’re excited about right now?

Days Off and Happy Thoughts

This might be my favorite time of year. Not only do I love fall in general (apple cider! sweater weather! pretty trees!), but it’s also when a lot of major Jewish holidays happen, which, since I work for a Jewish agency, means I get a bunch of extra days off. This week, we had Monday and Tuesday off for Rosh Hashanah. I thoroughly enjoyed my days off. Here is a list of some other happy things from the past week:

  • Friends. On Saturday, my partner and I got breakfast with a friend in the neighborhood, which is something of a weekend tradition and time I really treasure. That afternoon, we went to a lovely, low-key baby shower for a couple of friends, and it was so fun to celebrate them and their little-one-to-be.
  • Self-care. I also got a much-needed haircut on Saturday, and bought myself a new book that I’m enjoying quite a bit (The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin). It always surprises me how much a good haircut can improve how I feel in my body.
  • Music. Sometime in the spring I started attending services at a Unitarian Universalist church semi-regularly, and now I’ve joined their choir (jury is still out on whether I’m going to actually become a member of the church). Sunday was the first service I joined them for. I haven’t been in a choir since high school, and since I also haven’t played much piano since then, my sight-reading skills have slipped somewhat. But I’m managing okay at keeping up with the rest of our tiny tenor section, and I’m having fun with it.
  • Knitting. I got SO MUCH KNITTING done on my days off. I am almost done with the second sleeve of the sweater I started last September. Once I finish that, it’s just the front left. I am so excited to be able to wear this sweater, and it felt good to really dig into my knitting again – I think I knit more in the past week than I’ve knit in the past five months combined.
  • Self-indulgent shopping. I bought myself some new work pants in fun colors, because I really didn’t love what I had. I also had a minor manic moment last week and ordered a pair of Fluevog boots. They arrived yesterday, and I am completely smitten. They’re exactly what I wanted. It feels a little silly to be this excited about shoes, but they’re pretty awesome shoes:

    New boots!