Friday five(ish): yarn

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Coming back from vacation, I immediately set out to take advantage of my new-found motivation and start purging. I’ve done this before, but my binges end as quickly as they start. I just get burnt out and overwhelmed.

I want to document a bit the things I remove from my home. Is that weird? I think documenting might help to give me a good picture over time of how far I’ve come. I’m the type that likes seeing it on paper, with the final numbers tallied up.

I think the easiest thing to do is 5 items at a time, not only to make it easier on Goodwill drop offs (I’m much more likely to put one bag or a few items in my car to take than when I have a large amount at once to haul around) but also because a few things at a time prevents me from having melt downs over parting with them. 5 things seems small, at least for now. Slow and steady wins the race, yes?

First up: yarn. I have 4 skeins pictured, though I’ve removed 5 total so one isn’t pictured. These four came into work with me on Wednesday and were given to coworkers who can use them. They’re all leftover full balls from old projects except for that pink wool, which I received in a secret santa exchange one year. I could have held onto them and made something – hats, gloves, baby sweaters… But I’m trying to be honest with myself and realistic. I don’t need another hat, and gloves in these won’t match my coats. Baby sweaters are always fun to knit, but I’d rather pick out something special for that particular baby rather than just using something in my stash because it’s there.

The 5th skein not pictured went to the Goodwill.

I have no idea how long I’ll attempt to keep this up. I imagine at some point either ridding myself of 5 items will become more difficult, or I’ll end up at a point where I’m satisfied with that I’ve downsized and stop. We’ll see, I guess.

Easing back into routine

chicago1 chicago2 chicago3 chicago4 chicago5 chicago6 chicago7 chicago8 chicago9 chicago10 chicago12 chicago13We arrived home yesterday, much to my relief. By Saturday I was getting home sick and missing the baby, to the point where that night I packed as much as I could so we’d have less to do Sunday, and then Sunday morning we were up and out of the apartment by 9am. When we arrived homeI unpacked, did the week’s laundry, and soaked up all the snuggles I could get from the Little Mr. Today we’re easing back into our routine and I’m trying to prep my lunches for the week so I’m not tempted to eat out to make up for all the eating out we did over the last week.

Tomorrow it’s back to the daily grind. A little sad, but for the best. Routines are my favorite and while it was nice to have a break from routine it’s also nice to be able to go back to them with a fresh attitude so I can adjust them as needed.

 

More than a vacation

hermoine-socksI had a lot of anxiety about this trip. I’ve never been to Chicago. I’ve never really been to a big city like this. Let alone the fact that I was going to be on my own for a large part of it while the husband is in a conference. We rarely traveled as a kid. I remember at one point we went to the Mall of America and my mom freaking out while my dad was driving as we drove through Chicago because my mom doesn’t deal well with traffic or big cities. So I suppose I had a lot of that anxiety transferred over to me. It didn’t help that, when my parents found out about this trip, I was told “Chicago isn’t a good place to be right now” – even at 30 years old my parents think I shouldn’t be off doing something on my own without… a man, I guess.

Anyway. I’ve been on my own both Wednesday and now today. I’ll be mostly on my own again tomorrow, though I get to travel the red line north to see my old high school friend. I’m happy to report that I haven’t yet been mugged, attacked, stolen from, etc. I’ve seen some things, and I’ve done some shopping. I got coffee at a shop on Michigan Avenue and sat on the patio and knit and watched the world go by. I sat this morning and knit at the Daley Plaza while watching people shop the local farmer’s market. I’ve been mostly unbothered by anyone. I feel like I’m just another Chicagoan, even though I’m not. Which is, really, kind of a big deal considering I’m a woman from a smallish town who rarely travels.

This trip, I’ve discovered, has been more than a vacation. Sure, it’s about seeing and experiencing new things, but it’s really been a lot more than that for me. It’s been a learning experience. I’m re-learning how to be on my own, something I haven’t had to be for many years. I used to be incredibly independent, but at some point – probably after years of being married – I lost that ability.

There’s also something about being away from all your things. I packed for the week with essentials: some clothes, toiletries, and knitting. The apartment we’re renting is very minimalist. The whole thing has me rethinking my entire life – just how much stuff do I need? How many clothes, how many shoes, how many decorative things, how many cooking utensils, etc do I really even need? I’ve constantly dreamed of being more of a minimalist and I feel like this week has given me the chance to live it more than I’ve had a chance to before. Do I really need all the things that I own? How often do I use it? Is it really worth spending the time to clean it, clean around it, organize it, etc? And how much of that time is being taken away from my time interacting with my environment – being out in the world rather than hiding at home from it?

Beyond seeing and doing new things, this trip has me completely re-evaluating my entire life.

 

Spring-ish

spring2015-2 spring2015-3 spring2015-1 garden-spring-cleanup chives rhubarbSpring has come and gone, it seems. We had lovely spring-like temps and rain and then suddenly the furnace was turned on around here and we’ve been hitting 85+ degrees. And, of course, our air conditioner broke. Trying to suffer through the heat with a baby is not fun at all.

I managed to capture the glory of our weeping crab apple tree at peak, which I rarely remember to do until it’s too late. The blooms lasted all of a few days before all the petals blew off in the wind, and now we’re back to just a plain ol’ tree. But for those few days it was the most beautiful thing in our yard. I need to remember to look for flowering things that will stagger our garden blooms. It’s sad to watch something fade and not have anything left to replace it.

The husband started cleaning up the garden in preparation for planting. We haven’t yet planted it – that was supposed to be today but it’s just too darn hot. Maybe tomorrow I’ll pop the tomatoes in the ground before it rains. The chives are blooming and going to waste – I didn’t realize they’d come back year to year until last year or so, and now that I know that I just haven’t really made the time to find out what to do with them to preserve and then use them. It doesn’t make sense to dry them or anything if we’re not going to use them. I might just have to rip them out and gift them to someone else. We certainly don’t need 4 patches of them. Or I suppose I could just move them and mix them into the landscape elsewhere. Kind of mix and match edibles with non-edibles. My rhubarb apparently hung on from last year. I’m not sure how, and it’s severely behind on growth – it shouldn’t be that tiny in May. But it’s there. I need to make a better effort to keep those stupid morning glory vines from choking it out.

I think my clematis is dead-dead. There’s no growth on it, either. I’m not sure if it’s the harsh winter that did it or the fact that I kept forgetting to water it. So it looks like I’ll be buying more of that to re-plant this year. I really do want this lovely trellis of vines growing up the side of the patio, that way I don’t have to look at the neighbor’s house when I hang out back there. I don’t mind living in the city, but I’m not the biggest fan of how close we are to the neighbors. Nor am I thrilled by the fact that our yard is impossible to fence in. It is what it is, though, and I still love my house despite the faults. I just have to be a bit more creative with the landscaping to make it the cozy back yard I want it to be.

 

Watercolors (handmade wardrobe #2)

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Please forgive the office bathroom selfie. I’m afraid I’ll never get a photo of it, otherwise.

Another Sorbetto. This one was cut without the pleat but angled out to the hips to keep some width there. It’s a bit baggy still but comfortable and the voile fabric is light weight (i found it at JoAnn’s!) I might make yet another one and leave the width off the hips. They’re addicting, that’s for sure!