January 09, 2020

Catching Up

Well, I certainly didn't mean for that to happen. I blinked and here I am two months later. Two months full of celebrations, get togethers, cooking, cleaning, catching my breath and starting again. Did I tell you I got Invisalign? I got Invisalign! I'm almost 3 months in but I have maybe another 18 to go! I'm very pleased so far.

November is a bit of a blur other than Thanksgiving and I felt a wee bit pouty that it fell so late in the month thus cutting my Christmas season short. I have a plan to avoid that next year. I mean who says I have to live by the calendar?! I think partially because the season was shorter, but also because I'm getting into a groove of not committing myself to every single thing people expect of me, I spent a lot of December following my creative whims. I chose not to do Christmas cards, lots of baking and big parties and I was particular about what went on the calendar, saying no to things that I really didn't want to do which left more time for yes to things I did want to do. It's such a simple concept so I'm not so sure why its taken me almost half a century to figure this out. Learn from my mistakes now that I'm so very wise. ;)

Instead I created with abandon, went to movies, travelled to a friend's house for her crafty party, went out for meals, did some antiquing, had some adventures, did a bit of nest fluffing, had a small New Years Eve party and generally enjoyed the season.

Oh and I turned 49 (!) with a scone cake (because it's low in sugar which I've cut WAY back on) baked by my  best guy. My 4 girls (2 born to me, 2 unofficially adopted by me) took me to our local cat cafe to celebrate and I very accidentally and unadvisedly adopted a 10 month old kitten. The chillest most affectionate kitten I've ever met. Because it turns out she was sick. And now she is all better and lets just say there is no peace in the valley yet again and I'm wondering how I could have done this to myself now when the pup is just getting to a happy place. So, this is Mouse. A squeaky, little pip of a thing. And she hasn't let me hold her like that in at least a week. Sad face.

This one is not impressed with the new addition, Clover pup is fascinated and won't stop chasing her which is behavior we had finally conquered between her and Winnie. I do think we're making progress but I welcome any kitten tips in particular about claws, which are a new thing in this house, as I can't seem to get her interested in the 1,027 scratching mats and posts I've bought since apparently none of them comes close to comparing to my rugs. Also, any tips on not pushing my clock off the nightstand and playing with it in the middle of the night or pushing my beloved vintage deer figurine off the dresser and smashing it. I can't believe I fell for the 'ol bait and switch. My saving grace is that she is at least at the end of the most kittenish of days and I'm hopeful when things settle down in the house and there isn't an atmosphere of hissing, slapping and chasing, that she will be the cuddly, sweet thing that she first presented herself to be. In the meantime, I've been up since 4:30 this morning which pretty much tells you everything you need to know about my current life situation. However, on a positive note this is the first morning I've let her out of my room first thing, preferring to enjoy my early morning tea and knitting in peace, and there has been nary a sound...not a hiss, meow or crash. Progress!

Far too soon the big day came and I found myself with a lap full of art supplies and creatively inspiring gifts and then it was time to take down all of the cheer and pack it away. Only I couldn't quite bring myself to pack it all away so a few bits remain in an attempt to make sure we maintain a certain level of cozy around here just in case winter ever decides to show back up. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Luckily Christmas is admissible in the studio 365 days a year. In fact the time from Christmas Eve to now has been so full, that I have felt a little like I missed out on fully immersing myself in the season.  To make up for that, after Emmy goes back to school Sunday,  I'm taking a week long Jencation...or a Sacred WEEK. I have plans to cook and clean as little as possible instead focusing my energy on having an extra week of Christmas.

I plan to have all the twinkle lights on, watch the Christmas movies I missed (pretty much all of them), listen to festive music and make as many Christmas crafty things as I can. And then maybe I'll feel ready to move on to what's next. Or maybe I will continue to live in my bubble and listen to festive music and make Christmas things all year! Who cares? If it makes me happy, why not!

I have big making plans for this new year. New hobbies to try, new classes to take, techniques to learn. I've challenged myself to a no spend winter which, so far I have failed at to the tune of about $100 in craft supplies, patterns and classes. But that came out of Christmas money so I say it doesn't really count. I want to focus this year on using what I already have- knitting out of stash, sewing out of stash, making projects from the plentiful amount of kits I already own, excluding the new purchase which was a completely new to me craft because obviously I need new hobbies! And also it seems I just found a loophole.

And isn't creating with friends the most magical thing in the world? Or rather, isn't spending your time with like minded people, so encouraging and soul filling? I have much to be grateful for.

So in honor of one of my favorite sayings "Begin as you mean to go on." I have started my year off fully immersed in all things creative, filling my head, heart and soul with inspiration and ideas. I have made exactly zero resolutions, but wrote a mission statement to guide me for the year. I'm full of excitement and anticipation about what lies ahead. Oh and did I tell you we (JUST THE 2 OF US) are going to England this spring? We're going to England this spring! Life is good and I spend a good portion of my time wondering what I did to deserve it!

November 08, 2019

Full Days, Happy Heart

I feel like we've packed a lot of living into the last couple of weeks. I'm honestly surprised at the passing speed of the days, weeks and months. I thought life as an empty nester would be more quiet than it actually is. I still haven't found my footing really. It will take as long as it takes and that's just fine.

I'm finding time to cross some longstanding WIPS off of my to do list. This sweater is much too cute to ditch because of a little hole so I decided to mend it.

I thought paying homage to moths was a good way to put good karma into the world so that I might be spared that particular nightmare in my life. I'm happy enough with how it came out and I have several more mending projects waiting to be done. There is something that makes me feel so virtuous when giving something a second life. I love mending and making do. Well sometimes (my kitchen) I can't stand it much longer!

The weather has been quite chilly off and on here which has me wanting to cook and bake. I don't really eat much sugar these days so bread feels like a nice way to express that part of myself. I have baked 5 loaves in the last week and half which means lots of sharing. I've never known anyone to turn down freshly baked bread. I really want to delve deeper into this subject and am considering going down the sourdough rabbit hole so if anyone has bread cookbook recommendations, I'd love to hear them.

 I also recently made fresh ricotta for the first time ever. It's incredible. In fact looking at these pictures has me feeling hungry and thinking I will need to find a way to use the rest of this with tonights dinner. Speaking of which, cooking for 2 takes practice. I'm starting to get better about the amounts I cook but I find that I don't really need to plan a meal for every day as there are still more leftovers than I anticipate. We do eat them for lunches but even so...it's too much food and I try to avoid wasting it. I do feel more like trying new recipes these days. I don't know if that is because we like most everything or maybe because since I don't really need to cook every night, it's more fun to put more effort into cooking fewer meals.

Last Sunday it warmed up enough for me to accompany my love on the outdoor course at his archery club. It was a gorgeous day and I loved getting to capture him in his element. Archery is his golf (or knitting) and he does it as often as he can. It made my heart happy to see how much it meant to him to share this with me. I love him more with each passing year. With each, wrinkle and grey hair. With each challenge that we are confronted with. I never could have imagined when we were first married, nearly 20 years ago, how much more I would love him now.

If you are looking for something lovely to watch this weekend, I recommend these two movies:  The Bookshop and This Beautiful Fantastic. No gritty reboots, superheroes or explosions to be found in either of them. Wishing you all a beautiful, cozy, creative autumn weekend.