Sunday, January 25, 2009

Happy Sunday Afternoon

Today I found nirvana. Well, maybe not exactly nirvana, but pretty darned close. Excellent quilt fabric, good yarn, and a store in an old mill...what's not to love? It's a good thing they had no chocolate, or I never would have left.

It's the Franklin Mill Store, which I pass by twice a day on my new commuter rail line. I went expecting yarn only, and was happily surprised to find Amy Butler fabrics as well as great batiks. I actually refrained from buying any yarn, but only because I was trying to keep to a $20 budget and the fabric was just too tempting. The only downside was, the store didn't have a lot of quarter cuts, which is what I generally buy for art projects. I don't know if they just don't carry much of them, or if they were just running low. Regardless, I got one yard of a beautiful yellow, purple and teal batik print, which is so amazing I want to eat it, and then one of the few packages of quarter yards that I could find, which had six batiks in purples and blues. The main purchase is now draped over my sewing table, and I want to make about six different things with it RIGHT NOW. I should have bought more...but at $9.50 a yard, I couldn't justify buying more without a concrete project in mind.

I did not forage into the Amy Butler bolts, considering it dangerous territory. I also didn't pay a whole lot of attention to the other fabrics they carry, because I was too busy salivating over the batiks. Really high quality batiks can be hard to find, and I'm overjoyed to have a place fairly close by that carries them. Now, all I need is MORE TIME to make stuff...and this week will be a BEAR - I have two huge deadlines.  I must keep reminding myself that it's never as bad as I think it will be...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Love A Day Off (Monday Miscellany)

1) My weekend plans of having my friends all here totally got trounced by yesterday's snowstorm. I'm bummed about this, but that's what I get for trying to plan anything in January.
2) Since I had stocked up on groceries (anticipating company), I went ahead and actually cooked something -- a bastardization of Moosewood's Peruvian Quinoa Stew. I use yellow squash instead of zucchini, and throw in ground turkey. Instead of eating it on quinoa (or rice, or couscous) I eat it with tortilla chips, kind of like a really chunky dip, because otherwise it would be a relatively healthy thing to eat. My point, though, is that I can actually cook when I make my mind up to do it.
3) At the suggestion of my 8-year old niece, I have drastically cut back on the consumption of carbonated beverages, and my stomach feels 90% better. I'm sure my health insurance company would be thrilled to know that they just shelled out oodles of money for a CT scan when really, I just had to lay off the Diet Pepsi and carbonated Poland Spring water. And I'm sure my doctor would be thrilled to know that she was out-diagnosed by an 8-year old, although to be fair the 8-year old was well aware that I start the day with Diet Pepsi. And to some extent I feel a little idiotic about it all, like "why didn't I think of that?", except that I've been drinking Diet Pepsi for breakfast since...oh geez, 1995??? (And, the pain is not completely gone, so it may be that the soda was just exacerbating something else.)
4) I spent this morning hand quilting, which is difficult when the cat wants to sit on the quilt in progress. He's been exceptionally grumpy the past few days, and I'm not sure what his problem is.
5) I just discovered that Netflix has meditation and yoga DVD's. How did I miss this?
6) I am simultaneously totally unmotivated this afternoon and feeling immense pressure to GO DO SOMETHING, since I've been cooped up in the house since about 4 pm on Saturday. None of my options seem compelling enough to actually make me want to change into non-pajama-type clothing, though. And I'm already bemoaning the fact that I don't get another day off from work until February. I really miss having lots of vacation...
7) I think Bush looks just as relieved as the rest of us.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Day In Pictures

Woke up to this...

Spent the afternoon sharing the couch with this...

And finally, after what seemed like an eternity, I finished my Noro scarf...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Baby Steps

Home from work today (ice storm), I made a list of all the challenges I am facing and what I am doing about them. Oddly, after I finished writing the list I was surprised to see that I am actually taking action on each of them. For every challenge, there has been at least one concrete step that I have taken over the past couple of months to address it. I'm not sure why this surprised me - I guess because I feel like I've just been sitting around moping and whining about things. Obviously, there's a lot more I can and should do, and not everything I do is going to turn out well - but I feel like I am in fact trying, and that should count for something.

I think it's all so overwhelming because there is SO MUCH that I am trying to work out and deal with. My car had issues, which I finally dealt with this past weekend. A health issue, which will hopefully be resolved (one way or the other...) on Friday. A punishing commute. Wanting to do creative work and all the typical issues that surround that wish - fear of not being good enough, not knowing how to do it, not knowing how I would pay my bills. Trying to meet someone but simply not feeling any spark with anyone new. Knowing I am in all likelihood going to have to move sometime this summer, and being totally unsure of where I want to go.

When I left Maine, just over a year ago, I wanted to shake my life up. Boy, did I succeed in that. Some days, I feel like I've been turned inside out and skinned alive, and the process of turning myself right-side again is even more painful. But I keep reading Haven Kimmel's book "She Got Up Off The Couch", about her mother's journey from being an obese, poor stay-at-home mom with a totally unsupportive husband, to putting herself through college and becoming a teacher. It's a reminder that we are actually capable of changing our own lives, if we can just figure out how to get out of our own way long enough to DO something, baby steps included. This can be figured out.

However. Directions or divine intervention would still be appreciated.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Requisite Annual Navel Gazing

2008 was the year of the sock. I'm not sure what all else I accomplished, really, except knit socks. Leaving NYC wasn't exactly what I would call an accomplishment; in fact it still feels like a big fat failure, particularly since this Boston thing hasn't been exactly sunshine and roses either. I did write a fair amount, and did meet my one goal of submitting an essay to a magazine. The act of putting a piece of my work out in the world was oddly liberating.

I gave up on New Year's resolutions years ago, but goals...goals are another story. I realized recently that since finishing grad school, I really haven't had any goals for myself, other than falling in love and having a baby. The problem with those goals is, they kind of require someone else. Further complicating things is my recent realization that having someone to come home to is incredibly good for me, and now that my company has gone I am feeling that void quite acutely. Not really sure what to do about that...the cat is all well and good, but I'd prefer human company that talks back and doesn't shed on my black wool pea coat.

But I've also realized that I've really let my female friendships slide in the past couple of years, and that is actually something I can try to fix...starting with having friends over in a few weeks to knit and sew and whatever all else they want to do. A small start there.

Other than that, my goals are much less concrete. More writing. More art projects. More photography. Less whining in general.

And, y'know, if a few pounds disappear along the way, I won't complain.