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!


Melanie said...

Good morning, Jen! It's so good to see a new post from you. You probably don't realize this, but you inspire me in many ways. I love your ability to say no to the things that don't serve you and yes to what you *really* want to do. I have cut back on holiday obligations as far as cookie baking, excessive decorating and sending out too many cards, but I still overdid it this year as far as parties (four were just way too much for me) and feeling obligated to bake cookies for my SILs at the last minute because my husband mentioned it. And then feeling resentful while doing so and even more resentful because I never even received a thank you. Sooo...we live and learn, right? Next year NO baking at all and definitely only 1-2 parties.

You also inspire me to create more. To just get my stuff out and do it. I spend too much time on housework (I like everything just so), but I do have to make a lot of meals because we don't eat prepared or fast foods, plus my hubby has to take all his meals to work. Sometimes with all the day-to-day busyness and errands and all this other stuff, it's hard to find a balance between work and fun. Right now I'm in the middle of car shopping, couch shopping, and planning our trip to CA in March. If you have any tips on how to balance all of this life stuff with spending time creating, I'd love to hear it!

And, so exciting that you're going to England in the spring! Do tell us more about that, too.


Yvonne from North Carolina said...

England! Woo hoo! How lovely for you both. Loved reading your early morning blog. I don't understand how life can be so busy and fly by so fast, even when I really try to live in the moment. Wish I lived close enough to be included in your crafty fun. As always, your blog gives me true joy just reading it, my friend. Looking forward to 2020 for us all.

Patricia McMullen said...

This is my first time reading your blog. It was such a pleasure!

I, too, said no to a number of things this Christmas season and it was hard for some to hear, but was a joy to have time.

Fyi - just put the tree away today. Just had to have a few more days.

Debbie - MountainMama said...

Wow, England in the spring - that sounds heavenly!!!!! I do love your posts, Jen, and I'm glad you have spent so much time creating, creating, creating....what you love so much. Welcome to sweet spunky Mouse! My sweetie recently adopted (rescued) a sweet angel of a kitty - she's about a year old, black with big green eyes and a fluffy tail, and the sweetest kitty in the universe! She's Luna, and I adore her. Hopefully Mouse will calm down soon and peace will reign in the cottage once more.

Vikki said...

I've missed seeing a new post on your blog--glad you're back. Your plan for 2020 sounds great. Just keep doing You.

Melanie said...

PS - In my rush this morning, I totally forgot to comment about Mouse! First of all, thank you for adopting. She is SO precious. With her claws, keep them trimmed and keep on trying to teach her how to use the scratching posts. Neither of my cats like the "pads". I now keep a triangular scratching post (it's made of corrugated cardboard - I get it on Amazon) by the corner of my couch and the cats love it. There's also a built-in scratching post on the cat tree and Clementine uses that, but not Monkey. The cats do sometimes scratch my rugs, but not often. And they haven't damaged them in any way by doing so, so it's all good. Oh - you might want to try sprinkling cat nip on the scratching pads to see if that tempts her to use them.

As for knocking things off shelves and breaking them, welcome to kittenhood. ;-) Monkey was a verrry naughty kitten and loved to especially knock plants off shelves and tables.


Kim said...

Going to England!!!! Oh, my word! That sounds absolutely lovely!!!!! So happy for you.

I am considering retiring June 1 and long to have time to craft, garden, create. You are sort of a role model for me in enjoying life. So, please keep up the blogging when you can and please have a cup of tea with Miss Marple while you are there in England. Can't wait to hear all about it.

Angie Berry ~ A Vintage Journey said...

I've been gone way longer than a couple of months, lol! But yes... the short amount of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas was crazy this year. And for the first time ever in my 50 years of life, I actually decorated for Christmas before Thanksgiving {gasp} lol! I asked my husband if he was okay with it... he replied that I was the one with the hangup about it. Huh... didn't realize that, ha! Anyway, it was nice to enjoy Christmas a little longer this year. I took my Christmas down last week but out came the snowmen and I'm still listening to Christmas songs here. So you're in good company. Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas time truly enjoying the season... that's what it's all about.

Enjoy England this spring, sounds lovely! Have a delightful weekend~

Blondie's Journal said...

Looks like you are taking everything in stride, Jen, and I think that helps us rejoice in the small things. Crafting is something you love and I know from experience in making cards, it can run up a bill. Still, it's all essential.

I don't have cats but I love hearing about their behavior. Often quirky compared to dogs and just as lovable!

England!!! How I envy you! What a fantastic thing to look forward to! Can't wait for you to share. Take lots of pics!

Jane x

danube66 said...

I loved reading your post - so happy and upbeat, in a very natural and truthful way. Look forward to seeing and hearing about your crafty adventures!
And good luck with the kitty! Most of them do settle down...after a while. ;-)

Marilyn McLeod @ Pink Paper Cottage said...

Loved your post and to hear about the new kitty. We have two rescue kitties... one is 4 now and the other 3.. and they STILL can cause havoc in the house! They scratch on everything, though we've pretty much curtailed it now to an old loveseat we keep in the living room that belongs to THEM. No one even sits on it.. it is the cat couch.. it sits in front of the window so they all love to lay up on the top back and look out the window. The older girl has taken to now peeing on everything! She's marking her territory I've read.. and I spray peppermint oil (diluted in water) where she has gone (and I've cleaned) and in every other spot I can think of, and it seems to have stopped that quite a bit. They don't even use any scratching posts or boxes or anything.. love the carpet (it's old anyway) but if we got new carpeting, don't know what I'd do! As far as knocking things off.. I just keep things put back to keep things from getting broken. The female loves to jump up (really high) on things, so I have to keep those surfaces free of "stuff". She is already 4-1/2 and still gets into mischief - sorry to give you that news! They claw to give off their scent.. and like to put their scent on everything so I don't know if there is any solution, other than spraying the peppermint oil. It works somewhat. Good luck. The positives are that they are so loving and cuddly (and spoiled).. and they do bring us much pleasure and contentment. I'm glad ours are outdoor cats also, so if they are being naughty, I can shoo them all outside! Marilyn

mrsrobinson said...

Yay for exciting holiday plans! And I love your intention to continue Christmas - I'm definitely still catching up with festive films and tv. Sadly no advice for kitty correction - Miss Ethel, though no longer a kitten, will scratch nothing except the sofa, forever jumps up in the kitchen and manages to nudge any much loved objects of all surfaces. Sigh. Spraying lemon oil on things you don't want a little to scratch is meant to work, so could be worth a try. Maybe Miss Ethel just has an impaired sense of smell...

Coco Rose Diaries said...

Ohhhhhhhh your kitten is adorable! Your posts are always so inspiring Jen! Have the most fantastic time time in England. There really are some beautiful places to visit. xxxx

Andrea Charles said...

"There is always so much freshness to your writing dear Jen. Thank you so much for being such an inspiration to many readers like me. It was lovely to read a post after long about all that has happened in the times you were away. The pictures of your christmas decors, the cake, your birthday, your new addition to the family, etc., are so amazing.