Sunday, January 26, 2014

catch up

one more photo of Mom's gloves before they went into the mail
What's New?
I finally managed to get thank-you cards in the mail (one month late, I know), and package up mom's new gloves. I also found a birthday card I bought for my dad a few months ago (his birthday was at the end of December). I decided to send it anyway in the hopes that it'll bring a smile to his face.

In other news, I strongly feel that dishes and laundry are having babies without my consent (not together - a dish/laundry hybrid would be terrifying!). Every time I feel like I'm caught up with either dishes or laundry I turn around and find more. This is one of those problems that I used to think everyone else in the world had solved, but I have a sneaking suspicion that I may not be alone in this.

Currently Reading
  • A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin - I am very much enjoying re-reading this book. I feel like I appreciate the details so much more the second time around.

On the Needles
My honey cowl is indeed turning out to be the perfect bus knit - simple, easy to remember pattern, and easy to start and stop suddenly. I also picked up my blanket project and started the second quarter panel.

Looking Forward To:
  1. going skiing with students as a chaperone for the ski bus program

Sunday, January 19, 2014

the bad and the good

when times are tough, cute kitties help
What's New?
January has been a bit of a doozy so far. I wasn't sure if I wanted to write about it here, since I try to keep this space positive, but it's been on my mind constantly. On the 6th there were two traffic accidents in my extended family. My brother was rear-ended resulting in no serious injuries thankfully, but his car is totaled. Health-wise my brother is going to be fine, but having to unexpectedly replace a car is stressful. On the same day my uncle was hit by an unlicensed and uninsured driver while he was on his motorcycle and he is still in the hospital in stable but critical condition. There is a fund set up online to help pay for his medical bills since the other driver does not have insurance. In the first two days they've raised over $6,000!

On a more positive note I'm working on my January goals, and trying to find something that makes me happy each day. Work is still extremely busy and full of meetings, so I'm trying to practice mindfulness daily so I don't get overwhelmed with the demands and stress of my job.

Currently Reading
  • A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin - finished this re-read last night
  • A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin

On the Needles
I've finished the last couple details on Mom's fingerless gloves and soon they'll be in the mail! Next up is a honey cowl for me. I started it last night and I think this will be the perfect bus knit - a simple and mindless pattern on circular needles that I can easily work on even through all the bumps and distractions of a bus commute.

Mom's gloves, finished!
Looking Forward To:
  1. playing board games with some new friends

Friday, January 10, 2014

fresh start

What's New?
This past week was back to work for both of us. It was very hard to adjust to 5am wake-up again, but we managed. It helps to have breakfasts and lunches ready the night before, and the coffee maker full of water and grounds (thanks Mom for the mini Keurig machine!). We've fallen into a routine where breakfast is either bagel and egg sandwiches or breakfast muffins and hard-boiled eggs. This week was the latter, so the evening prep consisted of me peeling two eggs the night before so my tired brain and fumbling fingers didn't have to attempt that task at 5am.

I've also resumed my monthly pen-pal duties. Christmas 2012 I sewed a letter-writing pouch for my nephew and filled it with pre-stamped and pre-addressed envelopes and "special" paper. Daniel and I have been pen-pals ever since. In the fall I kept forgetting when it was my turn, so I've added a calendar reminder to help me out. I also pre-addressed and stamped some postcards so they are ready to go.

Currently Reading
  • A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin (re-reading on my Kindle and enjoying the fact that I can highlight and add notes - I'm still trying to figure out some of the prophecies from the House of the Undying)

On the Needles
I've almost finished the first glove for Mom. I'm learning how to add a picot edge while knitting in the round, so it's slower going than most glove patterns. But it's always good to learn a new knitting skill.

I bought a blanket kit in November and I've just finished the first quarter panel. I think I'll set that project aside for a bit while I finish Mom's gloves and start my honey cowl.

Looking Forward To:
  1. going on a tour of the temporary building my school will move into this summer for the next two years while our new-new building is finished

Sunday, January 5, 2014

my winter break

I was able to enjoy a little bit of Seattle snow, before it melted away. We had a 2-hour late schedule the last day of school before break, along with an already-planned 1-hour early dismissal. Classes were short, to say the least.

I waited too long to decorate the wreath, so Joe did this one night. I think it suits us. 

On Christmas Eve I decided that we didn't have enough decorations, so I quickly made some simple flags out of scrap fabric and ribbon. Those lights are set on a timer so that during the work-week they come on in the early morning while we are getting ready, and then come on again in the evening while we are home. That little bit of extra light helps, especially in the dark of winter.

Speaking of extra light, I found every excuse to light candles.

And since this strand wasn't being used (it usually goes on the wreath), I found a way to enjoy them.

We, of course, made our traditional gingerbread cut-out cookies. Our cookie cutters are far from traditional, though. This year we also had gingerbread ninjas and superheroes.

And tomorrow I'm back to work!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

January goals

My goals for 2014 are pretty simple: go outside, simplify inside, and celebrate the seasons.

I know that, like many, I often start with exciting goals at the beginning of the year, and then after a few months my excitement wanes. I think that keeping my goals simple will let me see how to best accomplish them each month. I plan on tracking my progress in this space, as a way of keeping myself accountable.

In January I hope to:
  • take a walk each week (even when it's cold)
    • 1/18/14 - This one is proving harder than I thought. It's just so gross outside (cold, rainy, air advisories, etc) that I can't bring myself to go for a walk. However, I am doing a lot of walking outside due to the fact that I take the bus. So I'm going to report on that. The first week back I took the bus 4/5 days, the second week 3/5 days. The days I drove were due to early morning meetings. This next week I expect to take the bus 3/4 days.
  • clean out the ottoman
    • 1/4/13 - I now have two bags to donate to Goodwill, and those fancy embroidered pillowcases from Far-Far's are in the laundry so that they will actually be used.
  • finish our Game of Thrones house sigil snowflake project
    • 1/18/14 - We have all of the snowflakes cut except for the Tully one (we're modifying the design). We still need to attach them to the backing pieces and decide how to display them.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

this past year


 I found myself, as people often do, ruminating about 2013 and thinking wistfully about 2014. What did 2013 mean for me? What do I want 2014 to bring? Looking through my posts, reading through my journal (so sparse! I need to write more) and remembering brought me this short, but full list.

In 2013 I...
  • got over my fears and agreed to take on a student-teacher
  • became pen-pals with my 5 year-old (now 6!) nephew
  • hiked the ape caves
  • changed schools
  • spent a week at Mt Rainier learning about volcanoes
  • learned the joys and frustrations of commuting by bus

While that seems rather short, I know there was also gardening, jam-making, cooking, baking, berry-picking, book reading, knitting and much more.

So, what do I wish for 2014? A little more of the same, really. I want to continue to write to my nephew. I want to hike. When spring comes I will revive my garden. Summer will bring berries, jam and baking. I want to simplify and de-clutter (that seems an ongoing challenge). I want to continue to knit, and I think my focus this year will be using up scraps from other projects (this helps with simplifying and de-cluttering, so win-win). And through this all I want to see more of my friends.