Musings…

You may have noticed a distinct drop off in the rate of postings over here.  It’s because I’ve started a new venture.  I haven’t decided what to do with this blog just yet – I’m going to keep it around for a while until I decide.  Until then you can find me more regularly over at:

The Corner of Knit and Tea

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2013: Year in Review

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?

I spun the yarn, designed and knit my own sweater.  I took a Zumba class.  I went to Yarn School.  We took my niece and nephew to Florida and went on a gator boat ride.  We rode the Amtrak to Chicago.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?


These were my resolutions for 2013:

* Enjoy my time with my husband.

* Get moving. I seriously lacked in the fitness and self care department this year.

* Be more deliberate with my money and my time. Make time for the important things, clear away the junk that isn’t worth the effort.

I definitely enjoyed time with Wes this year even if we didn’t get in a vacation for the two of us.  The second I did in fits in and starts. I took some Zumba classes at the beginning of the year and then towards the end of the year I started jogging on the treadmill. I could certainly improve my efforts there.

As to the third, I think I did a fair to middling job. I did do some cleaning, I did get rid of things that are just taking up space. I haven’t been as deliberate with my money as I would like to be.

As for resolutions for the coming year, I’m just not sure yet. I may have to take it as it comes.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?


My sister had a beautiful baby girl, my niece Roxy. I got to meet her just a few weeks ago and I’m smitten.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Luckily not this year.

5. What countries did you visit?

None.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

I’ve said it two years running, but a vacation would be nice. Somewhere just the two of us.

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Sadly this year it’s mostly the tragic days that hold sway. April 15 – the Boston marathon bombing.  May 20 – the Moore, Oklahoma tornado.  On the other hand, October 31st is now not only Halloween, but my niece’s birthday!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?


This year I think surviving the year was key. Nothing terrible happened, but at times it was a hard slog. I’ll be happy to greet 2014!

9. What was your biggest failure?

Definitely the no exercising thing. I actually got into a good little groove in October/November, but the holidays came and I lost it. Will be trying to find it in the new year!

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Other than the house of plagues over Christmas week, we were pretty healthy this year.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My favorite thing this year was actually something I bought for Wes. For our anniversary I bought him a pair of Bose Noise Canceling Headphones. I thought they’d come in handy for him at work in the cubicle farm. He has loved them and I have loved watching him enjoy them.

12. Where did most of your money go?

Have you seen my yarn and fiber room?

13. What did you get really excited about?

Knitting all sorts of baby things for baby Roxy!

14. What song will always remind you of 2013?

Brave by Sara Bareilles and Royals by Lourde (and the amazing Pentatonix cover),

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:


– happier or sadder? Happier.
– thinner or fatter? About the same.
– richer or poorer? About the same.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?


I wish I’d spent more time outdoors, taking photos and enjoying it.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?


As always, I wish I spent less time worrying and anxious. It doesn’t change the outcome of things so I want to be a little more go with the flow.

18. How did you spend Christmas?

Sadly, Christmas was kind of a mess this year. Wes got the flu, I got a cold and we basically skipped the whole thing in favor of napping feverishly on the couch. We did get each other a few movies, which provided good entertainment.

19. What was your favorite TV program?

As a couple, we’re still diehard fans of the Big Bang Theory. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t excited about the next season Downton Abbey.  I was absolutely hooked on Orange is the New Black. I discovered Parenthood on Netflix this year and am tearing through it.  And just when I’d almost given up on The Good Wife it became electric this season.

20. What were your favorite books of the year?

I discovered a new series this year – Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock books and read them like candy. I was fascinated by The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro. Other notables include Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five, Andrea Kane’s The Girl Who Disappeared Twice and Cheryl Strayed’s Wild.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?


This year I concentrated on collecting songs with a good beat for exercising. So far my list includes: Linkin Park (Numb, What I’ve Done), Avicii (Wake me Up), Rihanna (We Found Love), Maroon 5 (Payphone) and Puddle of Mudd (American Psycho).

22. What were your favorite films of the year?

We saw very few movies in the theatre this year. I watch Hugo on Netflix and loved it.  I’m hoping to catch up on the Oscar nominees in the next few months.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

We went for our annual dinner at Piropos.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

I can’t think of any one thing. I suppose I’m just ready for the new year.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

About the same as always. Towards the end of the year I did gravitate towards tunics, leggings, boots and legwarmers. So comfortable!

26. What kept you sane?

My wonderful husband. My knitting and spinning, and my Wednesday night knitting group. It’s cliched, but I’ve seen these women every week for the better part of the last five years. We go through life together, exchange recipes and book reviews, knitting patterns and yarn. And there’s always laughter.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.


This year wasn’t terribly fair or enjoyable, but we survived it. Now it’s time to focus on getting healthier and enjoying the new year.

Thirty four.

I thought maybe I’d post something witty over the weekend, to celebrate my thirty-fourth birthday, but who am I kidding? This site hasn’t been witty for a while. Mostly it’s just a collection of crafty stuff.

Did I say crafty stuff? This is what 34 looks like with crafty stuff.

The hat is new (the pattern is “Rikke”) and I love it despite the fact that it was in the 90’s this weekend and clearly inappropriate weather for a wool hat.

Other than knitting and spinning, I got to go see the touring production of Jersey Boys for my birthday and then have a delightfully delicious dinner at my favorite Kansas City eatery, Piropos.

Yesterday I ran all kinds of errands and came home and got cracking on getting my spinning and weaving shop ready for the Creative Hand Craft Show this November where I hope to be selling my wares for the first time. I ordered new business cards this morning and I need to get treadling!  My favorite photo from the shoot yesterday? A rainbow of handspun:

And finally, just for a little extra excitement, we spent last night hunkered down in the basement listening to the tornado sirens. There were two tornadoes that touched down in Olathe, two houses caught fire after being struck by lightening, quarter sized hail pelted the area, and we’re still under flash flood watch. Who knew 34 would be such an exciting year?

525,600 minutes

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes,
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Moments so dear.
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

– Rent, “Seasons of Love”

One year ago today my brother in law left us forever. There are so many moments from this past year that I wish I could capture for him. I’m still so sad and angry that he has missed this year of life, and all the ones to come.

We just spent a week with his children.  His beautiful fearless daughter who is already a young woman with his daring spirit.  His charming rambunctious son who would melt your heart even as he’s putting one over on you. They are surviving and thriving, but I know they have missed him every minute of this year.

My mother in law is hands down the strongest woman I know, and has weathered this year with grace. I can’t even imagine how hard it must be for her.  And Wes, I know he has felt this loss keenly, and I feel so badly that there is nothing I can do to make it better for him.

We will always miss him, but I can only hope that the next 525,600 minutes will give us more moments to cherish and fewer of pain.

A word.

A few days ago I read this post, written by someone I knew back when I lived in Los Angeles. It’s been percolating in my brain for the past several days.  I don’t know if I need a necklace, or a charm or talisman, but as a thought exercise I wondered if I could find a good word for myself in 2012.

Last night, as we laid in bed in the dark, Wes and I talked about what resolutions we might make for this new year. Neither of us came to any real conclusions, but at some point I talked about that One Little Word and Wes agreed that I could use a mantra.

And so I’ve spent the last 24 hours deep in thought. I want to find a word that I will be able to use all year. I want it to be a word that is positive, that gives me a plan of action. A word that I can use as a theme in the new year to improve myself, to bring joy to my life and to the lives of those around me.  And I know that when I find that word I will know it; I’ll get that feeling in the pit of my stomach and KNOW it is right.

I’m still thinking, and looking, and occasionally checking the thesaurus. I’ll share my word as soon as I stumble upon it.

What’s your word?

2011: Year in Review

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?

I learned to weave. We planted a garden in our yard, with mixed success. I explored Kansas and posted for 31 days straight. I fell in love with electronic books and had a renewed affair with local libraries. I opened my own craft shop. I survived things I never thought I could survive.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?


I don’t know if I wrote any resolutions for 2011. Looking back on the blog it doesn’t appear that I did.

My resolutions for 2012:

* Cherish the time I spend with my friends and family.

* Whip my debt into shape.

* Knit and spin from the stash and stop buying like it’s going out of style.

* Read more.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?


A friend from California had a baby boy and I knit a handspun baby surprise jacket. A local friend had a beautiful baby girl and I dyed some yarn with Koolaid and knit a beautiful baby blanket.

It looks like 2012 is going to be a banner year for babies. I already have half a dozen baby gifts lined up to knit!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Yes. Our world was shaken this year when we lost my brother in law James. We will never be the same again.

5. What countries did you visit?

None.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

A vacation. We couldn’t get away this year.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

April 17, 2011, the day my brother in law died.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?


This year our family went through one of the toughest things a family can ever go through. And in these cases families can either splinter, or come together and become closer than ever. I’m proud to say that we have done the latter.

And I suppose I should also count finishing our wedding afghan (around our 3rd anniversary!).

9. What was your biggest failure?

Have you seen my craft room? We could talk about my out of control spending or the lack of organization. And no one ever accused me of keeping my house spotless or cooking well.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nothing that I can think of. And we went an entire year without a trip to the ER!

11. What was the best thing you bought?

For us, a Canon T3i camera – it’s been so much fun for us both to learn how to use it and become better photographers. For Wes, a remote controlled helicopter. He LOVES that thing. For me, I’m grooving on my Kindle Fire.

12. Where did most of your money go?

The mortgage, paying off the new siding on the house. I’m sure it will come as no surprise to you at all that my discretionary “fun money” went to yarn and fiber.

13. What did you get really excited about?

Belinda visiting for a few days this fall. Getting to go home for Thanksgiving. Reading books and getting to discuss them with my knitting group. Buying some new dresses for a wedding in the spring.

14. What song will always remind you of 2011?

Adele’s Rolling in the Deep.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:


– happier or sadder? About the same.
– thinner or fatter? About the same.
– richer or poorer? About the same.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?


I wish we’d spent more time out of doors, working in our yard and adventuring.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?


I wish I’d spent less time worrying: worrying about money, about how things were going to turn out and just lived in the moment.

18. How did you spend Christmas?

We had our first Christmas in our house. We got a live tree (which will soon be planted in the yard) and stockings and spent the whole weekend in the house playing games, cooking and enjoying each other’s company. I wouldn’t change anything.

19. What was your favorite TV program?

As a couple, our favorite is easily Big Bang Theory. This year I was mostly disappointed that the series that I have been following were less compelling: The Good Wife, Castle and even Bones just didn’t measure up. We still love NCIS and I confess that I fell in love with watching Friday Night Lights on Netflix. The weirdest watch of the year has to be American Horror Story.

20. What were your favorite books of the year?

The Help was hands down my favorite. Others are here.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?


Listening to our local band, Flannigan’s Right Hook.  Not music, but rediscovering NPR and listening to it on the way to and from work every day.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?

We didn’t spend much time in the theatres this year. We managed to see the final Harry Potter. At home the highlights were The King’s Speech, Black Swan and, surprisingly, The Hangover.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

We went for our annual dinner at Piropos. We took my mother in law and her boyfriend with us, and celebrated my 33rd year.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Having us all together at the end of the year.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?

Hah. I normally mock myself as “what not to wear.” Of course this year I could say it’s the year of the handknit sweater, eh?

26. What kept you sane?

Wes. My fabulous family and group of friends, both online and local. My knitting/book group. My crafting.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.


Always cherish every moment you can with those around you. Keep them close to your heart because you never know what is around the corner.

So that happened…

Around our house last night:

Me: Stick a fork in me, I’m done! I finished 11 sweaters in 2011!

Him: Well you got that one in just under the wire, didn’t you?

Me: Holy shitballs I knit 11 sweaters in 2011!

Why yes, yes I did.

1. Vestpa, 2. Jeweled 3. The Amazing Technicolor Dream Sweater, 4. Blue Morpho Surprise, 5. Channel, 6. Staying Warm at Camp, 7. Rosy Retro Redux, 8. Idlewood, 9. Rocky Coast, 10. Rusty, 11. Lobstah

May I never be so silly as to try that again.

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