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8 of 52

In which I freely admit to skipping a week because I was reorganizing my room pursuant to the removal of a huge corner cabinet and that was more important than letting you know there was minimal progress on my other goals.  I’ve been finishing that reorganization and cleaning this week, so there still hasn’t been much progress.

But I am getting back on track:  I knit yesterday and brought that third scarf to 1/5 done.  I still aim for a March finish.  I also unearthed the February books and will get back to them after I publish this post and make the chicken salad for this week’s lunches.  I read extra in January, so I am still good for the year, but I am sure Sarah is waiting on my March selection, which I cannot in good conscience give her until I finish her February book.  But heads up, it will be A Wrinkle in Time, so I can see the movie with the book fresh in my head.

Speaking of movies, I saw Black Panther last weekend. It was entertaining, but I was unimpressed with the sociological message behind it. Or maybe the lack of same. There were vibrant Black characters, which I was glad to see, but viewed through my social work lens the conflict between the “good and peaceful” king and his “violent and bad” challenger just didn’t work. It tasted like a rehashing of the argument about whether marginalized peoples should protest quietly/peacefully or angrily/forcefully. The crisp, grammatical English spoken by the king juxtaposed against the more sloppy enunciation of the challenger was also frustrating.  It may be my own white ignorance, but I think the movie played to stereotypes of some white folk’s ideas of acceptable Blackness versus unacceptable Blackness. UGH! You can do better, Hollywood.  You need to do better.  Show us more strong Black characters without the Uncle Tom’s Cabin overlay.  The little scene after the credits started did a bit to alleviate my concerns, but how many people saw that? Our family was almost alone in the theater when that happened, but we never leave until the lights come up–most people scurry as soon as the credits start.

Yeah, I know that’s a controversial thing I said up there. Hate if you gotta hate, but keep it civil.

The other thing I spent time mulling this week was Aristotle’s quote: It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. I was am troubled by how many people I know who cannot do this. Won’t do this. Whichever, effect is the same.

In other entertainment news, we have new soundbars, one in my room and one in the living room.  They improve the television and music experience 167%. As the CNET review for the Vizio SB3621n-E8 said, “Just buy this.”

6 of 52

In which we say TaDa!

Now, I realize this one is not quite as impressive, being a mere 8.5 feet, but here is my Fourth Doctor Scarf. Go me.

I’m a bit ahead of my knitting schedule, so I need to figure out what is going to happen next. Now, I’m a list maker by nature, and a social worker by profession. I know that I know that I know that what gets measured gets attained. With that in mind, I made this hobby tracking page for my BuJo in December:

You will see I had to cross out “weekend” because we had an area-wide snow day this week and I used it to knit. Also, I’m in a different relational space now and some of my weekends will be filled with fun stuff that doesn’t include crafting of any kind. (The boxes, empty and with dots, just indicate the 10th such action, so I don’t have to count by ones over and over.)

So here’s the deal, I can’t decide if I want to think of the year in quarters or sixths. Finishing my scarf so early in February brings this to the fore because it affects how I allocate my remaining craft days in February and possibly into March. So naturally, I’m talking it out on the blog.

Sixths makes it easier to track the one ofs, but quarters is best for everything else. I’m leaning toward quarters, and will probably take a couple days to consider this while I catch up on my reading. I know the chart says I’m ahead on that, but the book on my right which hasn’t been touched for four days assures me otherwise.

I’m guessing I’ll knit during the week and do other projects on the weekend for a couple of weeks. Well three weeks if we include next weekend which is one of the “fun stuff that doesn’t include crafting” I previously mentioned. Yeah, okay. By quarters. Take a couple of evenings to read, pick up the last Fourth Doctor Scarf midweek, and do a different hobby the weekend of the 24th. Thanks guys, you’ve been very helpful. I knew I could count on you!

1 of 52

So. Here I am, with a goal of 52 posts in 2018. There is no way I am going to try to bring you all up to speed on the last however many months it’s been. We’ll just start with current stories, the first of which has old antecedents. Last Christmas (that would be 2016) I gave out six knitting coupons “for a hand knitted item of your choice.” And one of the recipients said “Anything?” And I said “Sure,” because I love him and am also naïve. And then he said “a Fourth Doctor Scarf.” And then a second recipient changed her mind, and said she wanted that, too, but not full size. And then I said, “Well, I’ve been meaning to knit one for myself anyway, so three Fourth Doctor scarves it is!” Then I had a thyroid flare which aggravated my carpal tunnel to the point that I could not knit for about 10 months. But here, at long last, is the first of three Fourth Doctor scarves approaching the finish line. This one is full size. I’m 1492 rows in, a bit less than 600 rows to go.  Goal for the year: 12 finished pieces, six for others and six for me.  General craftiness goal:  At least 30 minutes on five of seven days.

Look at me go:  SMART goals in my personal life.  You’d almost think I write a lot of treatment plans or something.  Like a Social Worker.

This is what I am reading.  I bought two copies of this book, one for me and one for Sarah.  We’re trying again to start a long distance book club, since she’s moved back to North Carolina, and this book looked fun.   And it is!  I’m sure she’s finished by now because she reads much faster than I do.  I’ve finally accepted that I just don’t have the liberty to sit for hours and read on a regular basis, so I have cut my reading goal to an achievable 12 books this year.  A long way for my 50+ days, but more realistic.  Again, I aim for 30 minutes a day on five of seven days.

And this was the highlight of the week!  We attended the Midwinter Night’s Dream Masquerade Ball last night.  Here I am dancing, dressed as Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.  I somehow managed to lose about 5 pounds between the time my dress was fitted on Wednesday morning and putting it on for the party Saturday night.  No lie.   Not complaining, mind you, but it is a bit of a seamstress’s nightmare.

Oh, I said we:  Here I am with The Mad Hatter, The Queen of Hearts, and The Cheshire Cat.

23. Snowpacolypse 2016 Day Two

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Saturday 11:55 am.

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Also, time to begin working on the scrapbooking.

13. Bitch Kitty Repair Kit

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Errykitty gets to eat.  Errykitty gets to use the box.  Nokitty has to play Hot Lava 24/7.

8. Because Tea

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Ya’ll. So tired. I contemplated going to bed, but the nightly tea ritual. So I’m not in bed yet. But soon.

In truth, I am trying to garner up the energy to tackle that closet one more time. I made a plan at work that I think will help me both weed out more things I don’t use and better organize what is left. But I pretty much have to take everything out and put it on the bed. And I’m tired, in case I didn’t mention it. I’m going to want my bed long before I would be through with the project. Unless this is magic tea.

I just want to reach in there and get dressed for the day quickly and efficiently. I mean, I know what I wear to work, right? Always a solid shirt and a print skirt. Occasionally a dress. Why don’t I already have that stuff on one side, with the shoes I wear to work underneath? Why do I paw through my dress shirts every. damn. work. day. to get to my solid knits? Yeah, I don’t know either. But I do know when I went in there to start the process, I eliminated three more things off the bat. And half a dozen more are iffy.

So, I’m excited to do that. But I am not going to bury my bed at 7pm, when bedtime is 8. Nope. Gonna finish this tea, wash my face, and slip between the sheets. Maybe tomorrow morning.

7. This Year’s Mission

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For years, plenty of them, my younger girls have been asking when I was going to make their scrapbooks. And my older kids have been asking when was I going to finish their scrapbooks. I finally have an answer: 2016.

This pile (plus two more bins tucked into a closet) is roughly 30 years worth of memorabilia, minus the 5-6 years in the middle which I’ve completed. Oh, and I quit developing pictures when digital got big, so there will be more.

Here’s the rub: I haven’t had a dedicated scrapping space since I left Topeka in 2000. I made one today. I’m not sure the children will be entirely happy with me, because I claimed the dining room table to make this happen. And I have to be able to leave things on it. Scrapping isn’t something I can do in 10 minutes and clean up and take back out for 10 minutes again later. I need the pictures, the papers, the books, the mats, the tape runner, the page protectors, the pens, the, the, the literally at my fingertips.

So. We’ll be eating our meals Japanese style, seated on the floor around a coffee table in front of the glass wall to the balcony for the duration. Not a great solution, but a solution. I want to get these stories down before I get dementia. My memory is sketchy enough as it is.

In other news, I cleaned the living room today. I have a guest coming this weekend. I’ve promised to spend next Tuesday with my daughter. I can tackle the bathrooms and kitchen next Thursday. Then Marscon the next weekend. That means I can start scrapping on the 18th (if I’m off for the holiday and I am pretty sure I am) or the 19th. The first thing I have to do is look at all this stuff and see what I actually have. It’s been moved and removed so many times that all I have now is a great big jumbled up mess of memories.

5. Quit Lying

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This morning, I did some digital purging. Then I started on my clothes again. Another ten percent gone, and the closet is still full. And then I did the bookshelves again, another five percent of those gone. Plus a slew of unread magazines. I now have empty shelf space. How crazy is that?

I’m embarrassed to admit that if it weren’t for the pile of crap in the living room corner waiting to be hauled off to Goodwill/The Bookthing, you’d never know I’d been purging. You certainly wouldn’t be able to tell by looking in my closet or at the shelves. Clearly there is more to do. But. Progress has been made.

You know I have said for years that I want to live in a tiny cabin one day. And that I am frustrated by the amount of stuff in my house; that I don’t want my things to come between me and life; that I’m tired of being owned by possessions. So if you are wondering what this is: this is making my actions line up with my stated priorities. It’s time to either do that, or quit lying to myself about what I want.