Category Archives: randomocity

New Year, Still Here

Welcome, 2018. It’s the New Year and I’m still here. I celebrated a peaceful holiday season with friends, waved to my family (as is our custom), and ended by going to bed early on New Year’s Eve. I got my holiday cards sent – late for 2017 and late for 2016, when I originally bought the cards, but sent none the less.

I just finished listening to my friend Christa’s annual New Year’s Mix Tape. Not on New Year’s Eve, as was the plan, but I’ve listened to it. I have some new favorites I need to track down for my own collection, as always happens. Bonus: One of the songs knocked me out of the rut is was in because of the Monday-est Monday that ever Monday-ed on Wednesday. (below, because I shouldn’t be the only one with this in my head.)

The test knit I’m working on is A) Overdue, and B) moving slower than molasses in January (which seems appropriate), so at least some things never change. It’s the bobbles. I need two hours to do bobble rows. I never get two hours to sit and knit during the week. I swear, I’m never letting me convince myself that I can knit to a schedule with my crazy life ever again.

The weather is freaky cold, which has driven me into the gym for exercise, along with all the resolutioners. Hopefully they’ll get calmed down to a schedule I can work with soon, so I’m not stuck struggling to find room on the track, too.

This weekend I plan to sit down with my calendar and my hoped activities and see what’s actually realistic to get done. Mostly, though, just doing a drive by wave at the blog. Welcome, 2018. I’m still here.

A Push for More Creativity

In what I can only call the most optimistic and perhaps naive assessment of my so-called free time at this, the most holiday filled time of the year, I thought “wouldn’t it be a wonderful to blog daily in December?”

You can stop laughing any time now.

Obviously, I was like a child in a candy store: my blogger eyes were bigger than my blogger stomach (assuming stomach as a metaphor for time to both create in a crafting sense and in a writing sense.) We’re not going to discuss where I carved out the time for drafting this post. Let’s just say that I have begun to feel like there is only one room in the house where I can get privacy with my thoughts this holiday season.

It’s not that nothing creative is happening. The color gamp potholder (above) is an example of of what I have been doing with my time. I am trying finish up a test knit, too.

It’s just more a case of better organizing the time I have for maximum success. What are my priorities? How do I work to achieve the goal I set for myself myself? Where can I find a little extra time that is actually being wasted?

Can I use my time more effectively? Do I really have to resort to drafting blog posts in the “meditation room?”

That’s going to be my focus in 2018.

What I did on the first day of NaNoNotMo

  1. Worked late at the day job
  2. Took a picture for Day 2 of the 7 Day black and white photo challenge.
  3. Made dinner.
  4. Cleaned out the refrigerator because today is garbage day.
  5. Started organizing my closet for winter.
  6. Read.
  7. Worked on a story I’ve got going.
  8. Worked on a blog post (not this one).
  9. Played RIFT because it’s Autumn Harvest and I need a new necklace.

What I didn’t do on the first day of NaNoNotMo

  1. Feel bad because I didn’t make the word count for my novel.

Nanowrimo 2017: Pass

Normally, I’d be announcing that I’m working on a novel for Nanowrimo today. I’m not. This is my official announcement that I’m passing on Nanowrimo 2017.

I have every other priority on the planet every other day of the year. I’m busier in November than pretty much the rest of the year. Why would trying to write 50K in the 30 busiest days of my year change that?

I don’t want to make excuses for not writing on my Nanowrimo project any more. I don’t want the pressure of trying hit that number in November, prioritizing my actual November priorities and then feeling guilty because I didn’t complete the goal. I don’t want to feel like a failure for not writing a novel in a month when November is the beginning of the holiday season and I have more going on this year than any other.

I start training for a 5K run in February. I’ve done a number of 5K walks. Running is the next natural progression. I’m not really sure about this running thing. I’m trying to be open minded about it, but running has never really been my forte. Be that as it may, I have too many friends who run now and I’m tired of being left behind to watch the stuff.

I have a test knit to finish. For that matter, I have a test knit to start. The swatch with the first yarn I tried was horrible. I just haven’t made it down to toss the stash. For that matter, I really need to sort the stash and donate things I’m not going to actually use. It’s time to be realistic and let some things go.

The day job has deadlines looming that will likely lead to long hours in the office. It’s started gnawing at the back of my brain. How can I make all these things at the day job fit into the timeline presented.

The laundry doesn’t do itself. The dog doesn’t walk herself. The dog doesn’t do the laundry. The dog is a slacker.

The roommate (not a slacker) and the dog (total slacker)

There are holiday gatherings to plan. Thanksgiving dinner looks like it’s happening here. Christmas dinner may also happen here, too.

Mostly though, I’m tired. I have a bone deep weariness lingering from my surgery. Maybe it’s still anemia. I’ve got a full two months of iron pill prescription to consume.

The math is pretty simple here. Something has to give. I only have so much time an energy and I need for some of that time and energy for taking care of myself.

Taking Stock: October 2017

I got this from Pip at Meet me at Mike’s:

Making: I’m still working on my crochet infinity scarf.

Very close to finishing this scarf.

Cooking: Crockpot red beans and rice. I started from this recipe and this recipe, substituted smoked jalapeno kielbasa for the Andouille sausage and added some tomatoes from the garden. Yum.

Drinking: Aldi’s Grapefruit Sparling water.

Reading: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Wanting: Mostly for the belly saga to be over. I’m very close now. I doubt that I’ll be able to get packing material into the wound by Friday of this week. Enough time to get the test knit I volunteered for cast on this week.

Looking: At my empty garden. It’s so melancholy and yet beautiful in its own way.

Playing: Lots of Jazz lately. I’ve been listening to KCCK in the afternoon. It’s very soothing.

Deciding: What yarn to wind for my test knit shawl.

Wishing: For about three extra days worth of time in the week.

Enjoying: Lying under the covers in my warm bed in the morning when my bedroom is still chilly.

Waiting: For Nanowrimo to start. I’ve failed the last 10 years. This year I have a better plan.

Liking: Moth & The Flame. All of their stuff I’ve heard, really, but this one is my favorite.

Wondering: Where this year has gone.

Loving: Sunday night game nights with the gang and alternately Friday night veg night with the roommate.

Pondering: The changes I can make in my spending and saving habits to build more personal financial security for the future.

Considering: Taking a month off of surfing Facebook clickbait. It’s Nanowrimo and I should be writing.

Buying: As little as possible. The holidays are coming up and that means nothing but necessities and additions to the Amazon Wishlist.

Watching: Next in line is Stranger Things. Santa Clarita Diet. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and Wonder Woman on home video.

Hoping: Please don’t let Thor: Ragnarok be as boring as the other two Thor movies. There. I said it. I find the god of thunder’s movies deadly dull and I adore Only Lovers Left Alive.

Marvelling: at the number of Thor trailers. I can’t escape it. Also, Thor is Marvel, so there’s that.

Cringing: Kevin Spacey. OMG. Why?

Needing: Mittens to go with my dress coat. I should cast some on after I finish my test knit.

Questioning: Should I Kondo my closet again? I have clothing creep, due in part to living in a region with seasons, but in part because I haven’t been as diligent with the clothing plan as I should be.

Smelling: Dry fallen leaves. It’s one of my favorite autumn smells, second only to campfire smoke.

Wearing: Actual pants! After a summer of nothing but tights, french terry capris, and running shorts because of my surgery, it’s very nice to be able to put on a pair of jeans or trousers.

Following: Politics.  How do we get off this island?

Noticing: The older I get, the earlier I have to pull out my fleecy slippers to combat the cold in my bones.

Knowing: The holidays are coming. They’re not looming. There’s not a lot of pressure during the holiday season when you have no children.

Thinking: I’ve been thinking about disembodied hands and alien hand syndrome recently. They appear in horror movies, mostly as malevolent forces, and yet Thing from the Addams Family also falls into disembodied hand monster category, but he’s helpful.

Admiring: People who can wear glasses and look natural in them. I’m not even sure I like my glasses. They don’t actually feel natural to me.

Sorting: All the advertising emails I get. I’m unsubscribing where I’m able and filtering straight to trash where I cant.

Getting: Massages again. Finally. My fibro has been acting up fiercely and I’ve needed a massage since I came home from the hospital. Since I can finally lay on my belly without it hurting, I got one last week.

Bookmarking: Recipes in  Michael Symon’s 5 in 5 For Every Season. The Roommate brought it home on Saturday and there are some tasty looking things in there. Literal bookmarks! (well, mostly random pieces of paper stuck in the book.

Coveting: Bellies that don’t look like someone’s toddler drew straight down the middle of them with a Sumi brush and earthworm purplish brown ink.

Disliking: My skin on my belly is so torn up and delicate from the tape. I have landing strips I tape to in order to keep my wound covered, and I’m still getting tears in my skin.

Opening: Too many browser windows all the time. It’s no wonder I feel overwhelmed so often.

Giggling: With the roommate over Santa Clarita Diet. It’s so wrong and it’s so funny.

Feeling: Melancholy. It’s the time of year. It’s so dark in the morning. Daylight Savings Time ends on Sunday and that’s none too soon for me.

Snacking: Kiwi fruit. I cannot say enough good things about this yummy fruit. More vitamin c than oranges. More potassium than bananas. High in fiber.

Hearing: The heat kick on to bring the house up to morning temperatures before my alarm goes off. There’s something about knowing you’ve still got a few minutes of snuggle under the covers time before you have to face another day.

And I had such a streak going, too

A list of things that have changed since I last posted:

  • The Bellysucker 9000 has been returned to its place of origin.
  • I’m doing small daily bandage changes at home.
  • I don’t have to see the wound care doctor (or any doctor at all) for two whole weeks.

A list of things that are mostly the same since I last posted:

  • I need to write more.
  • I need to knit more.
  • Laundry and housework should happen on a more regular schedule.

I took out the garden on Saturday. I always feel a little melancholy when I take out the garden for the end of the year. No more truly fresh vegetables on my table. The last of summer has faded completely and the barren ground that marks the raised beds of my garden space says more about the reality of the coming winter than any amount of fallen leaves blanketing the grass which has not quite given up it’s green.

The yard compost bin is completely full now. For the moment, yard work is done. The city contractors will take it away to the giant compost pile they run at the waste facility. Once that’s complete, we’ll start the cycle of raking leaves. Some will go to cover my empty garden beds, becoming mulch and helping feed next year’s garden, but most will go into the yardy, to be taken away and composted elsewhere and perhaps help someone else’s garden.

But this year? This year is all but gone and there’s so little time left to make anything of it.

I have not yet awoken to frost on the ground or ice in the street, but those things are not far around the corner. It’s hard to think of them yet. Halloween isn’t until Tuesday and then Thanksgiving will be all but upon us.

We’re hosting the festivities again this year. I enjoy the cooking and the planning. I know I’ll make brussel sprouts with bacon and we’ll probably spatchcock a turkey, because that worked out so nicely when we did it the first time. It’s a little awkward to carve, but it cooks so evenly and everyone agreed it came out moist and tender with almost no work on my part.

I still have a little time to think about the meal. I have less time to think about how I still might make something of this year. It seems like life itself gets in the way of the living of it. Places to go. People to meet. Things to do. Bills to pay. Promises to keep. Miles to go before I sleep.

No wonder I’m so tired.

I have a plan though. It’s a clever plan called: figuring out where the hours go now and putting them to better use. That, however, is a plan for Monday, as this is being written late on Sunday.

To be this feisty when I am old

I’d planned to write my blog post over lunch today at the day job, but I think I’m going to be too busy for that. Here is an article from my breakfast reading which inspired me instead.

I aspire to be this feisty when I am old.

Ten More Days

On Friday they measured (and then remeasured) my healing progress. I healed 1.5 cm over the course of the last week. The wound care doctor asked me if I’d like to have the Vac off once I run out of supplies.

Yes, please. Very much so.

As of today, that will be 10 days from now. Maybe sooner if I get lucky.

Yesterday started out dreary. Ms. Roommate and I took out Sophie-dog for a walk. I snapped a picture just before the first mist started falling. We turned around shortly after this as the rain kept getting heavier. I tucked the Bellysucker 9000 into my rain coat to keep it dry and we got back to the car damp, but no worse for wear as the clouds opened up and the real rain begain.

We skipped the Tweed Ride. Temperatures didn’t get much above 50 and the rain barely let up all day long. Watching the traffic go by as we at lunch at a favorite local restaurant, Ms. Roommate remarked that the day could be worse: We could be on a Tweed ride.

That became the theme of Saturday: This is great because we’re still not on a tweed ride.

When we decided that maybe trying to ride bikes with a medical device and the accompanying tubing wasn’t a great plan, I understood the wisdom of making the choice. It still disappointed me to have to make the choice. I enjoy biking and this whole summer has been something of a bust for me on that front.

Saturday I felt extremely happy we’d decided not to go on the ride. Riding in wool in the rain sounds like a recipe for misery to me. Imagining the prospect as cold rain came down with more and more force made the prospect even less appealing.

We wandered through Aldi, which was packed. I still wasn’t on a Tweed Ride.

I got a cup of hot tea and watched rain fall through the windows. I wasn’t watching it fall around me on a Tweed Ride.

I logged up my computer and played some Rift. I still wasn’t on a tweed ride.

I put a heating pad on my back because it felt a little twingey. Still not a tweed ride.

Ate a nice dinner with Ms. Roommate with steak and mushrooms, sweet potatoes, and a glass of wine. Warm. Dry. Only a known number of days left lugging the Bellysucker 9000 with me. Also not on a Tweed Ride.

Now with extended Monday feeling

I have systematically broken every nail this week (and it’s only Tuesday).

I have blisters under the adhesive of my wound vac bandage (vac change is tomorrow morning).

Every project I want to start at home with yarn has a critical piece missing like no orange yarn that feels “just right” for a candy corn shawl and no red yarn for a Wonder Woman Shawl.

Time to recalibrate

Can’t fix the nails. They’re gone. Back to square one with that.

At least tomorrow is bandage day. I’m going to talk to the Wound Care Doctor and see if there’s something different we can do to protect my skin. Wednesday morning is going to be a tough morning no matter what we decide to do.

The Wonder Woman shawl seems like it’s on hold for a while unless I think about doing it in shades of gold and brown instead of red and yellow. I’m okay with putting it on a shelf for the time being. I rewatched Wonder Woman over the weekend and I really feel I’m more of an Etta Candy than a Wonder Woman. (Meaning, I get three scenes in the whole film, but I steal them when I’m there.)

Likewise, maybe I should rethink the seasonal shawl. I was looking at the harvest colors in my stash and I kept thinking “Indian corn,” either like the candy corn with brown on the end instead of yellow or like the the beautiful ears of maize that are becoming endangered crops.

I am left with questions. Are we allowed to call the candy Indian corn? Is that culturally insensitve? Should I call the corn “flint corn” instead of “Indian corn” even though all I mean is the beautiful multi-colored corn grown by indigenous people and not specifically “flint corn” vs “dent corn,” which is a different distinction entirely? Am I the only person who thinks about these things?

Either way, going with a white, dark orange, and brown color scheme might be less “Halloween season” and more generally wearable throughout the year. White, orange, and yellow screams “Halloween season” to me, even if it doesn’t to anyone else, so I know I’ll be likely to reserve it for that instead of just wearing and enjoying it.

With a bit of luck, this extended Monday feeling will fade before it extends into Wednesday. Hey, a person can hope, right?

More from the harvest

Bell peppers and three different varieties of tomatoes from my garden.

Aren’t they pretty? They tasted as good as they look. I made a ragout of onions, green peppers, tomatoes, spinach, and northern beans spiced with ginger and rosemary and served it on a sweet potato. It sounds a little odd, but it was very tasty.