Rebellious spinning

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Today a friend of mine on G+ shared this: Spinning in Cowgirl Boots – Homespuns and the American Revolution.

In an act of rebellion, women took to their spinning wheels, their knitting needles, and their looms. If you were a Patriot, you wore homemade clothes from homespun yarn.

You know, this is something I can really get behind. I don’t really attend any kind of 4th of July BBQ or anything and I rarely make a big deal out of the holiday, though now that we have the kid I feel like I should step up my game a bit. But spinning and knitting? Yeah, I’m down with that. Can we just trade out the usual over-the-top patriotism of the 4th of July with more of a low-key BBQ and spin/knit-in? Because I will gladly scrub my house and buy a bunch of burgers and steaks to feed everyone if that’s the kid of celebration we’re going to have.

Anyway.

Tour de France starts tomorrow, which means Tour de Fleece starts as well. I wasn’t sure if I was going to even participate this year – I haven’t spun anything since last year before the baby. But, with part of my “look for happiness in the little things” idea from yesterday, I decided I need to do it. The weather is nice, and I always love being out on the patio, so it’s a perfect excuse to do both after the baby goes to bed and take some time to do something that makes me happy.

I won’t be able to spin every day, nor am I spinning my traditional thin yarn, but it’s spinning and making and creating, which is something I’ve been needing to do more. I decided to start a bit early and go ahead and spin a bit. The fiber is Malabrigo Nube, and it’s what I picked up on my annual yarn shopping trip this year. I’m using my lace flyer but I’m trying to spin it thicker than usual so it a. doesn’t take a year to finish and b. will be something thicker to knit up that also won’t take a year to finish. I’m hoping the lace flyer will help keep the twist nice and bouncy once I ply it up. I’m not sure what I’m planning yet to knit it into – probably a hat. Not that I need more hats. Maybe I’ll pair it with some stash yarn for a baby cardigan or something? I figure if I knit up a few things here and there in different sizes then I’ll have some gift knits in the future and won’t have to stress over not being able to get something knit up in time.

Or, maybe (most likely, really), it’ll just sit in a plastic bin with the other hand spun until I get around to deciding what to make out of it.

On the eve of my 31st.

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Despite my best efforts, I got all soul-searching again this year as I got closer to my birthday. I always try to ignore that feeling, and it always hits me no matter how hard I try to avoid it. This year is no exception.

This last year has been rough, to say the least. If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, I’m sure you notice it, too (hell, how can you not notice it when I have these times where I just need to vent and put my feelings out there?). I’m not always the best at knowing what to say so sometimes I try to think on it only to not respond at all. But to those of you who have reached out – thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I can’t pretend that those days are behind me and that better days are ahead – because I don’t know if that’s even true. But I’m still getting up and going to work every day, so that’s good. And I haven’t run away from home yet, so that’s also good.

I’ve been trying to think about this next year. Ways I can be happier, mostly – things I can do for myself and my family to make life just… better. A lot of the things I’ve come up with are things I’ve struggled regularly with in general, but I think I’ve reached a tipping point where it all might “stick” if I do it now while I’m feeling the need for a change.

Over this next year I will…

Attempt to give up Facebook for good. I say attempt because I’ve never had much luck before. But more and more, lately, I’ve realized that instead of it being a support system it just makes me feel worse. And I’m tired of subbing “friends” for real, true friendship.

Supplement Facebook with interacting more directly with my real friends. Emailing them or messaging them or just something other than watching what they post up for the world to see. Because friendship is give and take and I can’t take if I’m not giving. And if I’m not putting my whole self out there, what are the odds that my friends aren’t doing the same thing?

Look for happiness in the little things again. It’s becoming far too easy to be bogged down in unhappiness lately, and I’m not really stopping to appreciate things the way I used to. So maybe if I start trying to look for it, the tables will turn and it’ll become a regular occurrence again like it used to be.

Keep downsizing my possessions. Because I still love every bit of that Chicago trip and how little I managed to survive on for a week.

Tomorrow, a new year starts. And I’m going to do my damnedest to make it count and make it better. Starting with my annual birthday cake baking tradition. Because cake makes everything better.

Book club and the unexpected patio

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Friday night I attended my first book club. My dear friend has been talking about it for a while, and she’s constantly telling me “you need to come with me” so I can meet other people. More specifically, other local moms. I think it’s her way of trying to make me feel less alone in my struggles while also trying to get me out of the house so I can get a break from life. And since I always say I want to read more, and since I’m trying to find ways to sneak in time for myself (as much as I hate them, I’ve taken to reading ebooks on my phone since I can do that while the baby naps on me), I decided to buy the book (The Girl on the Train) and read it and attend the discussion.

We met at a local place I haven’t been to before. It’s a pub/grill next to the courthouse, and all of the sandwiches are named cutesy names related to the courts/jail. I really hate to admit it, but we’re horrible about not eating at the “local” places. Our town is full of chain restaurants, so you’d think we’d make a point to support the local places more, but we’re just not good at it. We forget about them. Or, as is the case with this place, because it doubles as a bar and a lot of the downtown bars are gross, we just ignore it and go on thinking it’s bad like the rest of them. I’m happy to report that I was severely mistaken, and that this place is quite lovely. There wasn’t much seating inside, and we had a group of 6, so we were set up outside under a tent on the patio. It was rainy and drizzly and fairly cool for a late June evening, but it was perfect. Absolutely perfect. And this view? Surely it doesn’t rival that of those I know others have in their towns, but this patio felt quite cute as far as outdoor patios downtown go.

Book club itself was ok. Things are always awkward when you’re the new kid at something. The book was just okay for me, too, so it wasn’t anything I was really thrilled to discuss. But it was a nice change, and nice to get to go hang out with some new people. The next book we’re reading is Holly Madison’s tell-all on the Playboy Mansion, which I’m probably a bit too excited about. The Girls Next Door was my guilty pleasure for years. I bought it and have it on my phone, I just need to finish the book I’m already reading, first (Cinder).

If I had all the time in the world…

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I’d hang out at the courthouses to cheer on all of those who are getting married today because of the latest decision.

I’d knit each one a wedding gift, because that’s what knitters do.

I’d be a voice of love and support to drown out those who spew hate.

Happy happy day, friends. It has been a battle long fought and long deserved.

Let’s talk CrossFit

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I drank the KoolAid. I had to do something – anything – to help myself. Exercise has always helped my depression. My husband likes to give me shit about how I can work out and come home happy whereas he just feels sick. I don’t like meds, and anyway I need to make sure I’m taking care of myself even if I were forced to take them.

Two weeks ago I started a foundations class at a local CrossFit gym. It’s a beginner course – for two weeks you go Monday/Wednesday/Friday to learn the basics before you can jump into a regular class. I’ve been getting one-on-one training from a coach (which isn’t the usual, so I feel super special about it) to make sure my form is right so I’m not getting hurt.

Despite it only being the starter class, I’m hooked. I can tell you that I can deadlift at least 75lbs. Back squat at 70lbs (probably more, but I didn’t push it much that night). Overhead press 55lbs. I suck at hanging from a bar and jumping rope (but I’m not 10 anymore so I’m not surprised). I rocked 20″ box jumps last night despite the trainer saying all his starters get put on the 15″ box. I sweat harder than I’ve sweat in any other workout, but I leave feeling accomplished and proud of myself. I’m finding on my rest days that I’m thinking about my next gym day and how I can’t wait to get back in there and exhaust myself (I can’t say that for any other workout I’ve don’t except for running). The muscle soreness makes picking up the baby hard, but it’s a constant reminder of how hard I worked.

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I had my first proper class last night. My workout of the day (WOD) was scaled 50% and it still made me want to pass out. I was dripping with sweat and having a hard time catching my breath. It was by far the hardest workout I’ve had in a LONG time. Possibly ever, seeing how I’ve never been athletic. I was completely exhausted in the best and worst kind of way.

I’m not going to get all exercise blog here. I’m never going to be the person who tries to run a blog and turn it into money, sponsorships, etc. That’s not who I am. And also, let’s face one important fact: I like to stuff food in my face. So the likelihood of my body ever looking like that of a crossfit goddess is slim. (Side note: one of my favorite blogs lately is Fat CrossFitter.) But there is probably going to be a bit more workout talk here and less… complaining (hopefully). Unless it’s complaining about how I’m sore and suck at my pull ups.