4 Awesome Things About Today

Today was crazy busy. The kind of busy that is generally reserved for summer, when everyone is excited to be outside and it isn’t dark all of the time and the world isn’t covered in snow. Four really nice things happened today, and I’ve decided to tell you about them (and not just because upon reflection yesterday’s post was a tad cryptic).

1. I took a long walk alone. I went out and walked for an hour or so and cleared my head. It felt amazing.

2. John built a sledding hill/fox den for the kids in the backyard. We have a flat yard. He built a tall hill so the kids can sled. The kids are happier when they play outside. I’m happier when they play outside too.

3. We took the kids to the circus. The Shrine Circus is in town. Ivy’s dad is a Shriner and was kind enough to send us tickets. Audrey was enthralled. Elliot was excited until he got too tired. It was fun to see them see them take it all in. There was an act that involved camels, so Elliot was happy. Audrey got to meet a unicorn, which thrilled her and confused her (why do they say it is real? Unicorns are imaginary.) John and I were uncomfortable with the tiger act, and the kids were not impressed. Both kids told us the tigers weren’t even mean to the lady. Apparently to be a good large cat act you need to attack the trainer.

4. Ivy came over to knit tonight. I cannot explain how much I needed that. Knitting. Talking. Wine. Cheese. These are exactly what I needed. I’m so lucky to have a friend like her.

Next week will be a good week. I can feel it. I think February is going to be a good month for Blogville. Can you feel it too?


The past two days have been hard. Several things have happened that have just worn me down. Reading other blogs this week made me realize I’m not alone in my late January blues. I appreciate you all.

Karen posted a Self-Care Quiz over on her blog, and I thought I would answer it on my blog. Feel free to chime in via comments or on your blog. It is a short quiz that is good for reflection.

  • Do you practice self-care? Is it a term you use or is it a foreign concept?
  • How do you practice self-care in a physical way? Do you put make up on or get your hair done? Maybe get a massage? Go for a run?
  • How do you practice self-care in a mental way? Do you meditate? Do you pray? Do you sit quietly and empty your mind?
  • Do you consider time alone to be self-care? Or time with family? Or time with friends?

I do practice self-care, but I rarely use the term. I generally call it “me time” and involves time spent doing what I want.

I practice self-care in a physical way by walking at least 10,000 steps every day. I also make time to get in the woods to hike at least a few times a month. I do not put on make up or get my hair done, as that is not relaxing to me.

I practice self-care in a mental way by knitting at least a little bit every day. I feel better when I meditate, but that is something that I easily fall out of the habit of and forget to do. I journal a bit each night, and on perfect days I spend time in bed putting my thoughts together in the morning before I roll out of bed.

I consider time alone to be self-care. I spend Sunday mornings watching podcasts and drinking coffee alone in my room and it is f*cking magical. Time with my friends is also self-care: knitting with Ivy, walking with Jess, Hiking with JoAnna, camping with Kirsten, going fabric shopping with Claire, etc. Spending time with my friends is a lot like therapy, if I am spending one on one time with them. If I’m with more of them it is still a great time, but is not as therapeutic for me.

I would love to hear your thoughts on self-care.

WIP Wednesday

My shawl is still here. I’m still working on it. I only finished an inch this week, as my knitting that I need to think about was devoted to the memory mitts. I hope to get more done on it this week. I’m not allowing myself to cast on a new fun project until I finish this.

I finished John’s first sock and cast on the second. I’m hoping to get the ribbing of the second sock done tomorrow at swim lessons.

I hope you are enjoying your knitting this week.

Memory Mitts

Last year my friend lost both of her parents in less than two months. I’ve been thinking about her and her pain a lot lately, especially as we are getting close to the anniversary of the death of her father. I decided to make her a pair of fingerless mitts to honor the memory of her parents.

I used the Grace Handwarmers pattern by EweKnit Toronto. I liked using the pattern because it was free, well written, and her dad was the pastor at Grace Methodist. I used my bullet journal to sketch out charts that reminded me of her parents. Her mom was a musician, so I used music notes for her mitt. I would have preferred to knit a violin, but I didn’t think I could make it work. Her dad often said “Bless your heart” so I knit that into her dad’s mitt.

The dark brown yarn is handspun from the farmers market in Lawrence, KS. The light brown is yarn my friend brought me from her trip to Scotland last year. Both yarns are undyed.

This was the project I had scheduled for February, so I’ve added a brioche cowl to the schedule for next month. Have you been knitting much lately?

In Praise of Gear

It is another cold day here. We have a windchill of -14 F (-25 C). I just got back from a four mile walk. Outside. I was warm and comfortable the entire time, thanks to winter gear.

I thought I would share what I wear to walk when it is very cold out. I used to stay inside when it was this cold, but I’ve found I’m a much happier person if I get fresh air every day.

When it is below 10 degrees F I wear wool socks and good winter boots. I don’t wear cute winter boots, as I have not found a pair warm enough. I have a long down coat with a hood. I only zip the coat, I find I get too hot if I snap it. I wear a running base layer from back when I used to run. I wear fleece lined jeans (under $30 at any farm store) tucked into my boots. If you don’t tuck your jeans in you will regret it when the cold air hits your calves.

The hardest parts for me to keep warm are my head and hands. I wear Head technical gloves from Costco under mittens. The gloves are windproof and allow me to change podcasts without totally exposing my hands. I wear mittens my friend Jess knit for me (OK, I told her I was going to steal them and she gave them to me. I regret nothing). If it is about 10 degrees I only wear the mittens.

On my head I start with a headband. It might seem silly, as I cover my head with a hat, but if I don’t put it back before I start my hair falls into my eyes and I have to take off my hat and mittens to adjust it. I wear a light hat (a worsted hat would be too hot), my sockhead cowl, and my hood. It feels excessive, but when it feels like -14 out I need excessive to stay warm.

Do you get outside in horrible weather? What do you wear?