Trying Some Self Care… Again

Well, I’m at it once more. Trying to start a workout routine. I’ve been in too much pain and feeling really weak. My anxiety has been leaving me flat and tired way too often. It’s time to make a change. Again. So, I’m trying a new approach and maybe even a bit of my own advice.

I have three sets of goals for each day. My highest goal is am and pm workout with yoga and afternoon stretching. My middle goal is am and pm short strengthening and stretching yoga with some afternoon stretching. My lowest goal is am, pm, and afternoon minimal yoga.

The main goal is to encourage myself to do what I can each day. The point is to move more and reacquaint myself with myself again.

Yesterday was day one and I met my top goals for the morning and the afternoon, but fell asleep without any evening stretching. Although I did some bicycling after dinner. I even drank the right amount of water. This morning I woke up feeling really good. It’s been a while since my anxiety wasn’t the first thing to greet me in the morning. And it’s been staying soft all morning.

Motivating myself has been easier today and the little voice that tells me to quit my workout early lost to the one that knows I can do that last set. We’ll see how the rest of the day goes, but so far I’m proud of myself.

Knitting Away Anxiety

Today was spent choking on my anxiety. There were things I wanted to do. Projects I wanted to make progress on. A lawn that needs mowed. A house that needs cleaned.

I tried to just rest and not let all my to-do’s swallow me, but I wasn’t very successful. I played Sims on my phone, drank coffee, and felt myself being slowly nibbled away by all the scary thoughts in my head.

I finally picked up my needles and began to stitch the tension out. I weaved in loose ends as I counted the minutes until pick-up time. Slowly, the pressure on my chest eased. The fear in my gut simmered instead of roiled. As the evening approached my anxiety quieted down and I found some rest.

Motivated to Cook!

These are the two latest magazines in my recipe collection. They are chalk full of amazing ideas and I’ve made a couple meals so far, even if they become something fairly different in my kitchen.

Cut up sweet potato tossed with oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Then baked for about half an hour or so.

Tonight we’re having cheese topped black bean burgers with sweet potatoes and rice with veggies. It feels really good to be cooking real meals again. My body was so happy we managed a decent workout today (30 minutes of upper body weights). I’m hoping to get in some yoga before bed.

Chopped bell pepper and broccoli with corn sautéed with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and parsley.

My regularly scheduled massage is tomorrow and the consistency of my appointments has been really helpful too. I’m trying to find my balance again.

Pouch chicken broth rice. Quick and easy. The bean burgers are Morning Star, topped with white cheddar.

The kids have been pretty happy with the meals, but we’re all retraining our tastebuds a bit. There has definitely been too many sugary treats lately.

Waffle Iron Inspiration

When it comes to cooking at home, I have been really uninspired for a while. Meal planning has not been successful. Grocery shopping has been off the chore list. Our diet has been crap.

So I bought some recipe magazines filled with things I’ll actually make. My mom visited and is great at setting the house to right, so we can actually see surfaces again. My oldest loves doing dishes. All perfect for getting back on track.

Tonight I made waffle iron omelettes. While I cooked bacon in the oven, I mixed pre-made potato hash with oil and seasoning and heated some spinach on the stove. Then I layered the potatoes, egg mix, spinach, cheddar cheese, bacon, and topped it with more potatoes in the waffle iron and ta dah!

Those magazines gave me some great ideas. I got a good meal plan put together and some real grocery shopping done. Maybe I’ll even get into a more consistent workout schedule too.

Starting Over

This turned out to be the rough draft. It’s going to be a nice, loose fitting, sort of T-shirt style Spring sweater. I’m having a lot of fun with the stitches and figuring it out as I go.

These are stitches I’ve never done before. Mesh and dropstitch, but they’re not completely foreign concepts. The mesh just took me a few rounds to get used to and, now that I’ve gotten a good look at the dropstitch pattern I was using, I can write it out the way I’d prefer to do it.

I also got a good look at the size this was and, wow. That was going to be a lot bigger than I was aiming for. So, as frustrating as it can be to start over, it was clearly the right choice. The hours spent knitting this were totally worth it. Now, to begin again.

Spring Break

The kids are off of school for a week and I am off of work, as well. With the way life has been, we’re taking this time to sit back and do nothing. I was hoping for lots of hikes and bike rides, but the temperature dropped (yet again), with gusting rain, so indoors we stay.

Naturally, this means I’m knitting as much as I can. My oldest’s cardigan in Claret acrylic yarn has officially been started. These cables are such a joy to knit and I am so glad I spent all that time writing everything out! It makes for some very relaxing knit sessions.

Even so, I still get pretty restless. I’ve tried to be a monogamous knitter. I’ve tried to even stick to just two projects with maybe a third as back-up. So, while I have a project at work ‘just in case’ (which has come in handy), a scarf that I’ve had to keep ripping out because I only have one skein of it and don’t want to mix it with anything so have to keep rethinking my design, this cabled adventure, and a couple unmentionables, I started another sweater for myself.

I bought these yarns a year or so ago when I was getting really into shawls. But what I really want is a loose and light sweater for cool, warm days. My hyperactive brain set about finding all the pieces from magazines and books and wrote out an outline from those. I cast on and here we go.

It’s currently just my oldest and me at home. She’s on a cleaning spree and I’m feeling my yarn calling. Now, if only I could find something to watch…

Bridgerton and Then Dinosaurs

After watching the second season of Bridgerton I read The Duke and I. I definitely prefer the book to the show, but I do love the show! The colors, the sets, the costumes, the music! They tell so much of the story without saying a word. I love that it’s grounded in historical society, but with elements that give the tale it’s own reality.

The book binding is bent in many places. It traveled with me everywhere, just in case I had a few moments somewhere. I’m grateful to have seen the show first so I could use those images while I read and keep track of all the characters. Although, there are fewer main characters in the book.

The author’s personal story at the end was fun too. I totally forgot about the Sweet Dreams series, which I definitely read a few of in my youth. Oh, the comfort of a happy ending romance.

Now, I’m diving into Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs. So far, I’m really enjoying it. The great interconnectedness of the universe. The play of the cosmos that is happening all around us. I never thought of myself as much of a science nerd, but I’m exactly that. I’m an oddball who is achingly curious about the world around me. I want to understand both the big picture and the fine details of it all. The more I find out I don’t know, the more excited I get exploring.

Truth is, I’ve never much enjoyed science enthusiasts talking about science. What I was exposed to was often dull and tedious. Scratching the surface was fun. Bill Nye, and kids books on everything, classroom experiments,… Those were wonderful introductions to ideas and disciplines, but whenever I tried to dig deeper, the obstacles became many. It may have been due to being a scatterbrained female growing up during the token woman era. I wasn’t masculine enough for science, nor was I female enough. And I had too many other interests consuming my time and energy to get too hung up on it.

So this title caught my eye about a year ago and I started reading the introduction. This, I thought, this is the kind of enthusiasm I’m talking about. The kind I saw glimmers of in my high school teachers when they covered their favorite topics. The sort of giddiness my college friends exuded when talking about their studies, or when getting ready for an experiment they designed. (Come to think of it, pretty much all of my friends in college were science majors, while I was literature/linguistics and sociology). The same enthusiasm I find with colleagues when we talk about the overlapping elements of science and metaphysics in touch healing (massage therapy and energy work).

So I’m tickled with delight by the multidimensional concepts of this book. Lisa Randall has put her joy and curiosity into it and emphasizes all the different, seemingly unrelated, events and people that came before and came together to lead to this book.

One For My Oldest

As I’m knitting myself a new slouch hat, I’m mapping out a sweater for my oldest. It’s going to be the same as my freshly finished plum one, but with cables she chose, and slightly smaller. At eleven, she’s almost as tall as me and likes things baggy/loose, so I’m sure this will fit her. I am also positive I have enough yarn.

I wrote down the ones she liked and then figured out which ones would work together. Figured out where they would all sit and then applied it to the sweater pattern. Then I began to hand write the pattern so everything is all in one place.

I’m currently working my way through writing out the increase rows. It makes it easier to knit when all the hard work is done ahead. For almost three days now, I’ve been flipping through the pages of the book, using an index card for a symbol key and a chart guide. Once all the increases are done being written out and the sleeve sectioning happens, I’ll write each chart in my shorthand into the same notebook and use the master guide for reference. And of course a master tally sheet, so each cable is kept track of.

Top-Down Knit Sweaters by Corrina Ferguson. Her patterns are well written and I have been able to easily adapt different stitch patterns to suit my tastes. Great book!

My master guide. I often stack the rows to easily see each garment section, and even darken the m’s that mark these breaks so I don’t mix them up with the m’s for the cable sections. I will also be using white markers for the yoke sections, and green and purple for the cables. Maybe blue, too.

Plum Sweater Done!

It’s done! Almost a year in the making. It’s so cozy and I’m so glad I added pockets!

The right pocket is a bit wonky. The left came out pretty good. I’ll make sure to use the after-thought pocket method next time. No sewing!

I used small buttons for the collar so I can keep my neck warm. Then I used larger ones for the rest. I love these wood buttons and I really love the decoratively cut one.

I forgot why I made it so long. I like long jackets, but I would have made it an inch or two shorter. I remembered that I had to add a different knot to the front to keep it even with the back. Then I remembered the cables on the back determined the length!

And, of course, now that this is done, I’m making a matching hat and fingerless mittens to go with it. I’m going to keep them simple.

I’m also writing up a similar jacket for my oldest. She picked some cables and I’m patching it all together on paper.

Happy knitting!

Enjoying the Rain

We have had yet another set back. My husband got the news he was being laid off with less than a dozen others this week. This is the second time in two years he’s been laid off because he was the last hired when the chops came. He’s got a back-up job, but it’s just an income. Not a career. Not his career.

So we went for a hike. A walk in the woods, really. As we drove, the rain sort of drizzled down and we began to wonder if we would be rained out. We parked at a trail and got our sweatshirts on. The girls seemed excited to get wet.

I love the colors of rainy days. I love navigating the root systems beneath our feet. I love watching our girls walking together, looking out for each other. Making up games together.

These woods seem to have a lot of trees that begin their journey together and form a strong base. They grow up and away from each other, but are always connected by their roots; their base.

It made me think about the kind of roots my kids will have. That they do have. How they are each so unique and yet, obviously, family. We may be going a little crazy these days. Too much time together. But I’m trying to soak up every moment. I can see their paths branching away from us soon. These moments won’t happen as often in a few more years. And I am grateful for these ‘roots’ moments.