There is no Three On Thursday post this week, friends. I could not bring myself to write last night. To focus on good things feels tone deaf. To focus on bad things feels premature. I need a little time to process all that has happened.
My knitting production amped up somewhat over the last few months and I have a backlog of finished things to show you. Some of the backlog was created because I was busy telling you other things or taking a blog vacation but some was due to gift knitting.
That’s right, friends, I said gift knitting. If you’ve been around long enough you know that I do not knit for Christmas. And yet this year, with an empty social calendar and plenty of evenings and weekends at home, I did actually knit a few gifts for very special friends. First up? A scarf for my bestie, Jo-Ann. (I feel the need to clarify, I am actually fortunate enough to have two besties. There is Jo-Ann, my in-town late-in-life bestie. And there is Doreen, my original bestie. The OG Bestie, if you will.)
Now back to the scarf.
The pattern is Ashae by Elizabeth Howard.
The pattern is simple but engaging and perfect for one skein of a really lovely yarn like this one. It’s great to work on while watching TV or listening to a podcast or audiobook, something I’ve spent a fair amount of time doing the last little while.
Jo-Ann came over a day or so before Christmas and we had a socially distant gift exchange, complete with masks and outside. I told her this scarf was meant to be a hug from me, one she could wrap herself in whenever she needed one since I can’t give her a real one these days. I hope it warms her neck as much as it warmed my heart to make it for her.
Turns out this Christmas gift knitting is kind of cool.
The week after Christmas is one of my favorite weeks of the year. I love that the hustle and bustle of the holiday is over (even though this year there was neither a hustle nor a bustle). I love that the to-do lists are done, the food is prepared and hopefully there are leftovers, and all that’s left is to snuggle up and watch stuff on TV, maybe read some books, definitely do some knitting. I try and keep my goals for this little interlude very low. I don’t create lists or goals, I just allow each day to unfold in a natural sort of way.
This year I did have a couple of things I wanted to accomplish other than my usual daily habits. One was to sort out the floor of our bedroom closet as it had gotten quite messy over the last little while. I got this done last week with some help from Dale, mostly in the form of him standing behind me while I sat on the floor and hauled stuff out and handed it back to him. He placed it all on the bed and I went through it, clearing out some things, putting other things back where they belong, and hanging up a few odds and ends. My biggest problem is a giant bag of hand knit socks. Even though I love to knit them I just don’t wear them much anymore. They are too thick for most of my shoes and I also don’t have enough drawer space for all of them. They are still in the bag . . . ahem . . . but this weekend I plan to sort through them, keep my favorites, and offer the others up to Hannah.
The other thing I wanted to get done was to mend some jeans. I have 2 or 3 pairs where the . . . upper thigh area . . . has worn right through. I think it’s a consequence of the stretchy fabric that most jeans are made of these days because Jessica was recently complaining to me about the same problem. Unlike the closet, I didn’t get to the jeans. My plan was to spend some time with the sewing machine yesterday (a bonus day off I decided to treat mysel to) but I was sidetracked. It was a legitimate sidetrack, too.
We had to have our WiFi router replaced. It’s been iffy for ages but at the end of last week it really started crapping out a lot. I’d have to unplug it and plug it back in and sometimes we could connect again and sometimes we couldn’t. As a consequence, the Nest thermostat would go offline. Alexa would disconnect and be kind of bitchy about it, frankly. And, horror of horrors, Netflix was unavailable. I made an appointment with xFinity and the technician came out yesterday morning. He literally called our old router a dinosaur and said he hadn’t seen that model in a home for at least 6 or 7 years. He quickly replaced it and reminded me several times that I would have to update all of our devices with the new WiFi name and password.
Yep. No problem. I deal with technology all the time. I’ve got this.
Do you know how many WiFi things we have? There’s the 3 televisions, the 3 laptops, the iPad, the iPhones, the Peloton (I know, I know, I still haven’t told you about that), the 4 Alexas, and ALL of the damn WiFi plugs. 17 WiFI plugs to be exact. You see, our Christmas lights are all plugged into WiFi so that Alexa can turn them all on and all off every day. No more running through the house unscrewing bulbs every night at bedtime. It’s lovely. But they all had to be reconfigured for the new network.
It took a long time.
And that’s why I didn’t get to mend my jeans on Christmas vacation.
Finally, because every blog post needs a picture, I present this shot of my darling on Christmas morning as he was about to head next door and deliver a plate of Swedish goodies to his dad. Please to note the matching mask and flannel pants.
Stand back, girls, he’s all mine. (And I wouldn’t want it any other way!)
The problem with taking the week after Christmas off (although I did pop in on Thursday and Friday) is that you miss blogging about all those end of the year things. The reflections and thoughts. The challenges made and missed. So today, in the interest of staying current while also moving ahead, I’m going to do a little recap.
- First, I’m showing you my Instagram Top 9. That’s it up there. My most popular picture was the one of Dale right after he got home from the hospital, asleep on the couch with Jackie’s giraffe. His storm trooper boot ranked high, as well, as did lobster rolls on his birthday. It was quite a year and I must say I’m very glad the photo of all 4 of our kids together made the top nine because that was definitely a highlight of 2020 for me despite the reason for the gathering.
- Second, I’m telling you that I listened to 18,048 minutes of music on Spotify. Is that a lot? It seems like a lot to me but I don’t really have anything to compare it to. The song I listened to the most was The Weight by The Band. That didn’t surprise me, it’s a favorite of mine and Dale’s. Also in the top 5: Perfect by Ed Sheeran, Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine Show, February Seven by The Avett Brothers, and Coal Miner’s Daughter by Loretta Lynn. The last song on the list was How Far I’ll Go from Moana. I’d like to blame Jackie for that one but it’s all me. It’s an eclectic list with everything from Beyonce to Coldplay to Lady Gaga to Dolly Parton. It’s also heavily influenced by the amount of music I listen to when I’m with Dale. I’m going to make a point to expand our musical horizons this year if I can.
- Finally, I’m sharing that I met my Good Reads challenge and finished 75 books in 2020. I made it by the skin of my teeth this time, finishing book #75 on New Year’s Eve Day. Whew! I’ve blogged about books all year and I’ll update you on the ones I’ve finished since my last update, but for a quick recap, those 75 books equaled 23,249 pages. The shortest book was Grief Is the Thing With Feathers by Max Porter at 114 pages and the longest was Cape Cod by William Martin at 713 pages. The average number of pages per book was 309. You can see all the stats and titles I read by clicking on My Year In Books
Hmmm. A list of 3 things. Maybe I should have saved this for Thursday? Too late, it’s done and I don’t have the gumption after so many days off to come up with a different topic for today.
Happy first Monday in 2021, friends!
We interrupt our regularly scheduled Eye Candy Friday post to bring you an announcement.
My word for 2021 is create. I will be sharing more about how I came to choose this word and how I hope to explore it over the course of the year in the days to come. For now, though, I will just say Happy New Year, let’s create the energy to make it a good one!