Mar 252015

I am still thinking about habits, and how I want my daily life to be and such. Because the things I do every day (or almost every day) matter much more than the things I only do once in a while. So I want my daily life to reflect the things that are important to me.

Of course I’m working on all.the.things at once. As usual. At the beginning of January I decided that going to bed on time and getting enough sleep would be the main habit to focus on. It went rather well for some time, and then it didn’t and right now it’s hit or miss. It does become more complicated through the fact that I often don’t sleep well even if I managed to get to bed on time. So there are related habits surrounding this one. „No screens one hour before bed“ is one, dealing with things that make me anxious on time so that I am less tense, getting back into the habit of meditating ten minutes a day, not drinking too much tea right before bed.

The more I think about it the longer the list gets. Which, of course, doesn’t help.

The other main thing has been exercise (and I know I wrote about this before). Exercising six times a week takes quite a bit of time. Pare that with trying to get nine hours of straight sleep every night, and there is not all that much free time left. When I do it I feel so much better that it’s definitely worth it but still – part of me resents the fact that I get less time to play.

One habit that I want to break is to spend every free moment glued to the computer or tablet screen. I really enjoy ravelry, and iPad games, and reading blogs but when I do it for more than an hour or so per day I start feeling bad. Because when I do these things I can’t do the other things that are important like practicing the piano or working on my novel.

Though I have to say I have been quite good with the “working on my novel“-part. The last few weeks I have managed to work on it for something between thirty and sixty minutes every morning after breakfast. More often it was thirty minutes but then progress is good. Even if it’s slow.

I know there are people reading this who think I should just relax, and not stress myself out so much. But a) I am not stressing myself, I just try to live the life I want to live, and b) I really don’t think I’ll be content with a life where I just did my job, did my chores, and otherwise lean back and watch TV or something.

This is not about being productive all day long, it is just about looking back on the last year or so thinking, „Do I feel good about how I spent my time and energy? Is this the life I want to live?”

And then to change my habits accordingly.

Mar 172015
  • After the big guests/performance/music-upheaval at the end of February I though things would be back to normal by now.
  • They are but it seems that normal contains more things to do and to think about than I like.
  • When I talk to people and try to explain why there is so much stuff I never can remember what exactly is so much. That’s because it’ s a long string of small things, not one or two big things.
  • My husband, by the way, is already working on the next big project. He is planning something for February 2017, and is up to his neck in planning, and playing songs, and deciding on equipment. No, I don’t quite understand it as well.
  • I, on the other hand, am furiously working on finally completing my first novel. Revision is a bitch but I can see the light on the end of the tunnel. I had hoped to have it finished in two weeks but by now that looks rather unlikely.
  • I am also working on getting all the things I want to do crammed in every day. Exercise, housework, knitting, spinning, blogging, learning French, playing computer games, reading, spending time with my family, it doesn’t always work out.
  • As usual for every day that I get it right there are two or three where I drop the ball. I haven’t managed to clean the house in weeks despite doing some cleaning every Friday. Then I decided to do a little each day, did that twice, and that was that.
  • Today I go and get myself a new pair of glasses. Since I now need progressives, and since I am really nearsighted they will cost a fortune. In fact I have been saving money for about a year now just for these. It is a little disheartening.
  • But then I am really looking forward to being able to read again. Playing piano from sheet music has become rather unpleasant what with me looking at ever more fuzzy notes.
  • I did not forget about wanting to post here once a week, really, only somehow I didn’t manage during the last few weeks.
  • And finally I actually enrolled in a free class about blogging a few weeks ago. Guess what, I already knew all of what I was taught there. Seems that if you do a thing for nine years you end up knowing something about it after all.
  • On a brighter note it looks as if it will be spring here soon. That doesn’t mean there won’t be freezing nights anymore, or snow (there is a reason why planting time here starts in May) but today one can go outside without winter coat, without a hat and mittens. I like it.


Mar 102015

Gestrickt habe ich:

  • gerippte Stinos für meinen Mann aus Hundertwasser-Wolle: fertigRingelstinos
  • ein zweiter Hitchhiker für meinen Mann: auch fertighitchhiker gruen
  • Striped Polwarth/Merino Shirt: Angefangen, zur Runde geschlossen

Gesponnen habe ich:

  • grünes Merino, insgesamt 132 Gramm fertig
  • braunes Merino von Ashford auf der Bosworth Mini
Genäht habe ich:
  • hier noch Fotos vom ProbekleidProbekleidProbekleid 2
  • das AuftrittskleidBeat-KleidBeat-Kleid1

Erwähnt wurde:


Feb 132015

Gestrickt habe ich:

  • Hyrule Warriors Scarf: fertig und heiß geliebt
  • gerippte Stinos für meinen Mann aus Hundertwasser-Wolle: beim zweiten Socken bin ich kurz vor dem Zwickel (der vor der Ferse kommt)

Gesponnen habe ich:

  • grünes Merino, beide Spulen voll, etwas mehr als 100 Gramm, das meiste davon ist auch verzwirnt
  • braunes Merino von Ashford auf der Bosworth Mini
Genäht habe ich:
  • das Probekleid für das Auftrittskleid ist so weit fertig, dass ich sehen kann, was ich noch verbessern muss

Erwähnt wurde:


Feb 112015

Nine years ago today I started blogging in earnest. Actually using the space I had made for myself on the internet. I don’t know what I would have thought about the fact that I would still be doing this nine years later then.

I do know that my life was both very different, and very much the same as now. In that first official post I wrote:

You’d think that having your preschooler finally in kindergarten would make live easier on the music front, but for now we’re living in constant upheaval. But then, there’s nothing special about this. The whole family is thriving on drama. ‘Though recently we started trying to calm things down. (And we’re almost as successful as this wording.)

Yep, that was the time my son started going to kindergarten. And like many mothers that was the time when I started having just a little more time to myself.

Mind you, I have never been one to forget all about myself and my own life but actually doing something about it is much easier when you have a few hours a week to yourself. When playing the piano doesn’t mean doing it while your toddler bangs on the keys right along, and when meditating doesn’t mean having a squirming child on your lap.

These days I don’t write much about my son. He is very much his own person now, and while he is still rather important to my life there is more of a sense of his life over there, and my life over here. Much of my schedule and quite a few of my obligations are determined by his life but I don’t have to micro-manage him anymore, and there are moments when he is actually helping. Like yesterday when I called for Chinese takeout, and he was the one getting it, or like last Friday when we made the deal that if he helped with the dishes there would be time enough to watch “Star Trek” together.

Interestingly I still don’t manage to play the piano every day but then I have picked up both guitar and ukulele since starting this blog. Not to forget writing fiction. And all sorts of crafts like spinning and weaving. No wonder I often feel like I can’t do everything I want.

In the last year I have not posted as often as I wanted, and at times I thought about quitting. About not doing the blog anymore like so many other bloggers that have started out with me, just post on ravelry, and continue doing the podcast. But then I still like reading blogs, and I feel that writing here is good for me. And there do seem to be people reading.

So you might have noticed that I have been trying to update once a week since the beginning of the year. I like having a schedule, it makes me a little less lazy.

I have no idea how long this will go on but I raise my glass to nine years of writing, and reading, and you, my lovely readers being part of this.

Thanks a lot for listening which was extemely important to me when I sat here, all alone with a small child trying to make new friends and failing. If it hadn’t been for the internet, for you, my life would have been much, much worse.

Thanks again.


Feb 062015

So I've been thinking about what problem I have with this setting goals thing. I really do want to change things for the better only I might have to find a better way.

Just living my life like I did the past few years won't do because there are things I want to change to become happier and healthier. Just willing myself doesn't work, that one I know for sure.

I also don't like to be told what to do, not even by myself. So in a way I have to trick myself into change.

And then I also realized that what I want is not so much about reaching some arbitrary goal but it's about changing what I do on a daily basis. You can even see it in the way I formulated my goals. “Make music for at least ten minutes a day for at least fives tiems a week.” is not really a goal. It is a habit in disguise.

What I want in my life longterm are things like a daily habit of playing music, a writing habit, an exercise habit, and a daily tidying and cleaning habit.

To me it's not really about the big goal in the future. I vividly remember sitting in a Munich jazz club years ago thinking, “In five years I want to stand up there on stage with my own band.” And then my life changed and I changed, and suddenly playing that kind of gig didn't really appeal to me anymore.

But what hasn't changed since then is that making some kind of music, and singing in particular are really important for my wellbeing. So that's what I'm currently working on. Creating new habits that make me happy, or at least feel better in the long run.

True to form I am of course working on everything at once but my main focus since the beginning of January has been on going to sleep on time. And yes, I know I've been whining about this for decades, and I tried and failed, and tried and failed but weirdly enough at the moment I actually seem to get better at it.

It's not that I have slept my nine hours straight every night this month but I have slept at least eight and often a little more most nights.

This often means I can't watch DVDs at night,or do something for me but I found that being rested throughout the day, and having a bit more energy is totally worth it.

So I'm changing my life one habit at a time, and I really hope this will continue working.


Jan 312015

Gestrickt habe ich:

  • Hyrule Warriors Scarf: zugenäht, es fehlen noch Fransen
  • grauer Merino-Pulli für meinen Mann: fertig, wird fleißig getragen
  • Socks with a Twist: die Ferse des zweiten Sockens ist gerade zum zweiten Mal fertig geworden
  • Möbius-Halswärmer aus handgesponnener Merino: war schon fast fertig, die Wolle hat nicht gereicht
  • gerippte Stillos für meinen Mann aus Hundertwasser-Wolle: gerade angefangen

Gehäkelt habe ich:

Gesponnen habe ich:

  • graues Merino für einen Pulli für meinen Mann: alles fertig
  • grünes Merino, 1 1/2 Spulen voll
  • olivgrünes Polwarte von Spinning Martha auf der Bosworth Mini
  • lila Polwarth von Spinning Martha auf der Bosworth Mini
  • braunes Ashford Merino auf der Bosworth Mini
Gestickt habe ich:
Gewoben habe ich:
  • ein bisschen an meinem zweiten Brettchenweb-Projekt


Erwähnt wurde:



Jan 212015

About two weeks ago when revising the novel of doom (and yes, I’m still not done after fifteen months) I read one of those “Oh no, everything is going downhill we’re doomed”-scenes that are mandatory in urban fantasy novels and found I had unwillingly inserted something funny.

Now the thing is while I think I am rather funny in person (not always on purpose), and while people have told me my podcast is funny (can’t imagine why) I was really sure that in my fiction there was no fun at all.

But then I was. All Buffy-like in the middle of an important and major fighting scene. Wham. Funny and ironic. Sarcastic even.

Decades ago I went to a music education congress in Cologne, and a guy said to me that he thought I was British. First because of my clothes (which I still don’t quite understand but I tried to dress as elegant and businesslike as I could), and second because of my sense of humor. It seems that sarcasm is something I do without thinking. I even met a friend in college who said he liked my sarcasm. I, of course, didn’t really know what he was talking about.

So it seems that Germans think that I have a British sense of humour. While I just think that I had to do something to lift myself above the dreary existence that is daily life in Eastern Westphalia. No,. despite what my husband thinks that is not a joke. There is a tiny bit of Westphalia that got chopped off some time ago, and now it is separate. Though united with “Lippe” (don’t ask me what that is in English) which nowadays is shortened to the unfortunate acronym OWL (for “Ostwestfalen-Lippe”). Of course Lippe is an abomination because people are all catholic there. ::shudder::

Oh wait. I was talking about being funny.

So.I never quite know how that works. Sometimes I say something that I think is common knowledge, and not unusual at all, and someone will think that’s the funniest thing. Sometimes I’m making a really good joke but nobody laughs, and there’s this really awkward silence. So I really never know.

I do know that I like to hear myself talking, and I always laugh at my own jokes but I also know that you’re not supposed to. If I were a real, sincere, artist person I wouldn’t love listening to my own podcast. I wouldn’t chuckle at every pitiful joke.

I’m sorry, I can’t help it.

On the other hand I then think that maybe it’s a good thing I like hanging out with myself. I know one shouldn’t, a worthy person would be all humble, and “Oh, you’re so much nicer than I am.” And yes, most people are indeed nicer than me, still I’d love to hang out with myself all the time. The fun I could have! I could talk about the books I’ve read, and the projects I’m working on forever without boring myself. Brilliant! I could watch “Doctor Who” with myself, and we’d both sitting there, spinning along with a big grin of pleasure on our faces, and then we’d both drink the same beer and love it. I could have real conversations about everything that I find fascinating without my listener’s eyes glazing over which is a definite plus. (Try to talk to your 12-yo. son about your current spinning project, and you’ll see what I mean.)

Still. I’d love to be able to write something funny on purpose. Usually when people find me funny I’m just being myself.

And sometimes I think that I’m living in the wrong country, and that I would be happier in Britain. Well, at least I would know why I’d feel like a stranger there.

The thing is that I never really can tell if I just made a joke or not.

What about you. Can you be funny on purpose? Do you even want to?


Jan 142015

It turns out that ITunes doesn’t like it when I put two audio files in one post, and only downloads the first one so this is the post for part two. (You can find part one here.)

Jan 102015

The episode turned out so long that I had to divide it in two. So there is an episode 50a, and an episode 50b which can be found in the next post here. Enjoy!





  • dish towels
  • leftover sock yarn blanket part two


Everything else I talked about can be found in the show notes to the respective episodes which you can find by looking in the „podcast“ category of the blog.