Dec 182018

Had gone to bed early and woke up around 5.20. I was okay with that.

Did write morning pages, then worked on the novel!!! (Yes, this warrants three exclamation marks.) Funny, how my mood was so much better after that. I had to trick myself by saying that I just needed to look at it for ten minutes, maybe write a sentence or two. Then I went on to write 1,200 words in 27 minutes. Duh.

Then there was breakfast with the boy who was up really early:

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Somehow I only got around to taking a picture after having eaten half a slice, oops.

There was cake for breakfast because it was the boy’s birthday. He turned sixteen already. All growed up. Well, almost. He mostly got money and a Slipknot t-shirt that he loves. I kept thinking that I should have given him a book or an ebook reader but he is still using my old Kindle keyboard and doesn’t really need one.

The money will mostly go towards speakers for his computer because he is listening to music a lot.

Then I knitted, my husband showed up for breakfast, we talked, there were dishes and then we both went running:

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I did a slow, lazy 5k. It was pretty cold (and I think that’s what made me extra-slow) but very agreeable.

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Then my husband and I made pizza without quarreling. In fact, we have managed to cook together without fighting for ten days in a row now. Seems that our conversation two weeks ago really changed something. Huh. Only took 24 years.

Since we went out for lunch last Friday all the makings for pizza were still in the fridge. My husband had had plans to make pork cutlets with potatoes and Brussels sprouts but I found that a little cruel for the boy’s birthday. One, he doesn’t eat meat and two, the one thing he dislikes eating are Brussels sprouts. Pizza was a much better idea:

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Ours had tuna and anchovies and capers and the boy’s had fresh mushrooms.

Then I spent some more time watching productivity videos for writers on Youtube while knitting. I have to say that super-bulky yarn goes rather quickly. I have finished about ten centimeters of the cardigan’s body and one sleeve up to the yoke already.

Then there was a shower and more dishes and some planning for next year, and very little teaching.

Then we celebrated by watching more Star Trek while I spun, after we opened a bottle of champagne:

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I managed to write a few more words and to go to bed on time.

Today there will be more writing (I hope), I’ll go to the health food store and the optician, teach some students, plan some more, do strength training for a bit and go to bed early again.

My life is just so exciting!

Dec 172018

It felt a bit unfair when after going to bed at 9.30 I was wide awake around 4 am. I did try to get some more sleep and my Fitbit thinks I did sleep after that but my Fitbit also thinks that I was still sleeping at a time when I sitting in bed with the lights on and reading.

I did mange to write morning pages and not stay in bed for too long.

No writing in the morning. (Spoiler: no writing later as well.)

I did start the first sleeve for the Owligan because I want to find out how much yarn the sleeves will take. So the body is just sitting there right now while I’m doing the sleeves. And the I ripped the stockinette part back in the evening because I manage to knit the whole thing way too tight.

I did talk with my husband about how bad I feel for not having reaching my goals for 2018. That conversation was actually helpful for a change and we found that we aren’t as different concerning planning than we like to think.

Then I did half an hour of yoga while my husband reheated the leftover lasagna on the wood stove and made red beet salad.

We had an extremely early lunch (which suited me perfectly) and the boy got back home right before then. He was rather tired from not sleeping at all. That’s definitely not recommended and he reacts to sleep deprivation as badly as I do.

Lunch was very good. Not quite as good as fresh but way less work:

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Then I was totally expecting another afternoon slump but having lunch early was rather helpful in that regard. So at the time when I’m usually just sitting there, unable to do anything productive, I found myself folding laundry, hanging up a load and starting another one. And then I did the dishes.

I finally managed to make myself wrap the Christmas presents. All of them. Which took me thirty minutes in total. Five minutes per present. Yes, I measured that. I want to know for next year. Maybe that won’t make me dread it so much.

Then I actually managed to pack the two packages I needed to send out before Christmas, print out labels and get them to a place where they will get mailed some time tomorrow. Phew. Doing all that, including finding boxes, took another 50 minutes.

I also wrote an email that I had on my list. I started trying ‚rapid logging‘ according to the bullet journal method (I really like the book but the website is pretty neat and helpful as well). Which means not only making a to do-list but also jotting everything down that’s in your head right now. Yesterday’s list got pretty long.

Then I asked the boy if he wanted to watch Star Trek early and he was game. We ended up seeing two excellent episodes. I did spin my advent calendar fiber and restarted the sleeve, this time knitting more loosely.

Then it was time to plan out my week, defrost the boy’s birthday cake and get myself to bed early.

Today is the boy’s 16th birthday. It is also just a regular school day, so not a lot of celebration today. There will probably be homemade pizza for lunch. I’m hoping we’ll get that ready in time for his lunch break.

Dec 162018

Let’s just not talk about writing, okay?

I woke up from the alarm, managed to roll out of bed almost on time, had breakfast, watched some youtube videos (yeah, no idea what is happening) and when my husband showed up for his breakfast I started a new cardigan. After carefully measuring all the various gauge swatches I decided to go with the yarn held double and the 8 mm needles after all.

Knitting something that chunky is, um, challenging. But there was no way I was getting row gauge without holding the yarn double and I ended up almost on gauge. Did not get stitch gauge but with what I got size one should fit me in the end.

I also decided to try to keep track on how many hours will go into that cardigan, just because I’m curious. I might run out of yarn before finishing the thing, so that will be exciting. (I have plans to knit the body up to a certain point, then finish the sleeves, and then guesstimate on how much yarn the yoke will need in order to decide how long to make the cardigan.

Then I went running:

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It was way more lovely than it looks. I’m still in lazy mode, apparently and couldn’t be bothered to run a lot, so there was quite a bit of walking and I only did 5k.

I met my husband just before my halfway point and expected him to be home way earlier than me but when I had turned around I saw him standing there talking to a woman we often meet. She walks her dog at the same time that we run.

It turned out that they had been talking about running shoes, and specifically barefoot shoes (my husband was showing off his winter running shoes) and she had told him, „There is this woman I meet often who is wearing Vibram Five Fingers. She is nice.”

To which my husband replied, „Oh yes, I know her, that’s my wife!“ (Which implies that he thinks I’m nice too, doesn’t it?”

We all stood around a talked a bit before heading back home. My husband always meets people on his runs and talks to them often whereas I only nod and smile while passing them, earbuds firmly in.

I was pretty moved by the fact that she thought I was nice. Even though we never talked before. I’m still expecting people to not like me unless I make an effort. And even then.

I guess several decades of being an outsider and bullied (two things that often go together) have left a mark.

My husband and I ran together for about three minutes or so before I started walking again and saw him take off in the distance.

Back home we worked on the lasagna.

Now, my husband had already made the bolognese sauce on Thursday which was a crucial step, and then we just worked as fast as we could while talking and cutting things. Turns out we are able to cook lasagna without fighting after all.

After the big meltdown of last week we found out that my tactic of only ever sitting at the table cutting things and waiting for instructions in order to not be in his way was not helping, and that if I think as if I were cooking the whole dish (even if I’m only helping) and if I don’t restrict myself to only ever leaving the kitchen bench when my husband is not in the room really helps in a) making the cooking faster, b) making my husband less confused, and c) not making him feel like all the responsibility lays on him.

Another first was that I did not waffle endlessly on how to put the lasagna together. Usually I can’t decide if I should start with bolognese or béchamel and then my husband always insists on adding fried eggplant (which the boy and I could do without easily) and then I always forget to add it.

I told my husband he needed to praise me for not waffling and for not forgetting the eggplant and he said, „See, that is what happens if you just start.“ Yeah. I had to disappoint him. What I did was take a moment to think the whole lasagna through before starting. I made a plan. I would start with bolognese because the béchamel needs to be on the top but if there were a lot of béchamel I would start with that instead.

Least stressful lasagna ever. And really, really tasty:

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The wine was wonderful as well. The day before we went to the nice wine shop after lunch and chose a few bottles. Because we’re trying to cut back on spending we have been getting a lot of cheap wine lately. Which is alright for everyday use but the expensive wine is just a lot better.

And then I went into an extended Saturday afternoon slump. I have a nice, fat to do-list that sits there still unchecked.

One reason was that the boy was preparing for his poker night with friends. He wanted my advice on what to take and he needed money to buy sweets and a birthday card and then he needed my advice on what to write on that birthday card (though I have to say that his idea about what to put on there was much better than mine), and then when I had finally psyched myself up to either do the dishes or take a shower at around 3 pm he showed up saying, „I’m taking a shower now.“ Which meant I could do nothing but watch more videos, of course.

I finally managed to take my shower at around 5 pm, then spun the advent calendar fiber (more videos, I’m in full „learn all about goal setting and planning the next year“-mode), then changed to watching the „Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat“-documentary some more because my husband was done with watching ski jumping and then my husband and I dealt with the epic pile of dirty dishes from lunch.

On the bright side there is still enough lasagna left that we are all set for lunch today.

Here’s a bad picture of my fiber:

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The lighting in that room is awful and yes, there are clothes lying on the floor. My husband and I don’t always agree on what to do with running clothes afterwards.

I tried writing a bit but felt completely stuck and exhausted. I guess I might need some more sleep before attempting writing again.

So. Today I will do everything I didn’t do yesterday, of course. Which includes wrapping presents (it’s getting ridiculous and stressful by now) and writing and baking cookies (I hope) and maybe even yoga.

The boy will come home at some point and then just conk out because he deals with sleep deprivation about as gracefully as I do. There might be some watching of Star Trek and there will definitely be more spinning. I thought that I would have to ply the first part of the fiber this weekend but then I remembered that I own two more of the lace bobbins which means I can leave plying until I have finished all the spinning.

It seems that not writing fiction makes for wordy blog posts. And now I don’t know if I should apologize for that or not.

Dec 152018

And no, I did not get everything done on my list. Still tired, so I guess that’s okay.

I woke up super-early and wrote my morning pages, then lounged in bed, made breakfast, helped the boy get ready for school, meditated for 7 1/2 minutes (got too impatient for the ten I had set my timer for), read and learned some more about using GIMP to make book covers. Only afterwards did it occur to me that I had completely forgotten to actual do the projects suggested in the course for the past four segments or so. Guess what I’ll be doing over the weekend?

My husband got up and we talked and I knitted some more gauge swatches for a possible Owligan:

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Following the pattern I should hold the yarn double but that gives me either a fabric that’s way too stiff for my liking or something that’s nowhere near gauge. If I use the yarn without doubling it I am much closer to stitch gauge but really far away from row gauge (as per usual). Now that can be compensated for but doing so for the yoke might be a little complicated. Though, on the other hand, I often find myself needing more rows than specified in the pattern and since my upper body is quite short that usually works out fine.

Interestingly I had the exact same row gauge with three sizes of needles. I washed the swatches and will see how gauge changes after that. I need to wait for them to dry first.

Then I did the customary cursory Friday cleaning. I even tried vacuuming cobwebs from the bedroom ceiling (I keep only seeing them when I’m not cleaning and while I’m cleaning they are much harder to detect, might have to do with the light in there in the mornings.) but they were sticking to the walls like crazy. So. The house is cleaner than before, not deep cleaned in any way.

Then the boy came home from school early and we went to the Greek restaurant that my husband frequents every other week:

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The food might have been blurry but it was good (that one was mine).

My husband’s:

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The boy’s:

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The waiter kept asking the boy if he wanted a beer instead of his soda but he politely declined. (He could have had one since we were with him but he doesn’t like beer. Or wine.) On Monday he will be old enough to walk into a bar and buy beer or wine on his own. Which means – and that’s a big plus – come Monday I can send him to get beer for us. Ha!

Then I taught a few students and then the sleep deprivation hit me. I had wanted to wrap Christmas presents but didn’t. The boy and I did some strength training, though, so that was good.

Then we watched some Star Trek and I had a hard time finding the way to bed because I was so low on energy. Also, my husband remarked that I was sounding like I had a stuffed nose again. Oops. There might also have been some sneezing in the morning. I just hope I won’t get sick again.

Today there will be running and lasagna and the boy is invited to a poker night thing at a friend’s house where they will refrain from sleep and eat too many sweets and I will have to watch Netflix without him for a change. I might start plying the advent calendar because I won’t be able to get it all on the bobbins I’m using right now.

I might write again, maybe. I also might start a sweater, I don’t know.

Dec 142018

So I woke up from the alarm because I went to bed way too late.

Decided that morning pages were more important than fiction writing in that particular moment because of family drama and Christmas panic. Breakfast and such and then I decided that there was not enough time to write but instead I worked a little on the book cover design course.

My husband had breakfast and we talked a lot about all the fighting and drama. It’s always rather interesting how different things look from the other side. We cleared quite a few things up and family drama dissipated.

Then I went to get that package from yesterday, decided to go to the nearer grocery store that’s not as big and, of course, didn’t get everything I needed.

Came home to lunch in progress and managed to help a little. Very yummy lunch, no fighting:

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I voted against an extra chicken curry because of more work.

Then the boy and I went off to the dermatologist while my dear husband did the dishes. The doctor told us, „I already told you everything the last time.“ The boy is supposed to just use his cortisone cream indefinitely, as long as twice a week is enough. It would be best to use it on two days following each other like Saturday and Sunday and then taking five days off. Apparently that won’t make his skin all weird and callus-y.

We were out of there in just fifteen minutes or so which made all of my worrying about being able to teach my first student of the day completely unnecessary. My husband had agreed to open the door and teach him if necessary, nonetheless.

Since we still had time left the boy and I went to get some of the stuff I couldn’t find at the first grocery store of the day. I have to say, the really big one is still the best one for me because the choice of things like organic capers or olives was severely restricted in the other shops. And finding the right yoghurt can pose an interesting challenge as well.

We went t the pharmacy for a new cream prescription for the boy, this time with added fat. Before I also bought some extra milk so that he can finally do some milk and olive oil-baths for his hands. My mother got that tip from her dermatologist’s assistant and it sounds totally reasonable to me. The boy is a little reluctant to plunk his hands into food but I’m thinking that milk and olive oil will work rather well.

When he was a baby (and already had skin problems) we used to bathe him in lukewarm water with a glug of olive oil. He did smell a little like salad but his skin was much better. For him we could basically throw most of the regular baby care products out because they made him break out in a rash. Poor thing.

I’m afraid he’s coming after me in that regard. (Okay, he’s like me in many areas, shush.)

I came home in time to have a little break before work, even, and then I taught a student or two, and then the boy and I started spinning my advent calendar fiber because I was so tired all day that I knew I didn’t want to spin all of it late at night. Taught some more, and then spun the rest while watching a video on „How to make 2019 your best writing year yet“ and the replay on a book cover design webinar.

The webinar was okay-ish, I did learn some stuff but it turns out that I’m having opinions already about this topic and the webinar host and I wear not on the same page at all. (I also might have looked up one or two of the books he showed in the webinar and might have found one that was gorgeous but not doing a proper job of selling that book. Funny, how that book’s ranking in the online store was not very high. And even though the first in the series had come out in 2015 there was no second in the series yet. As I said, gorgeous and unusual but not making you want to read the book.)

Of course, all of this doesn’t mean I’m ready to design a good cover yet, I mean, I just spent fifteen minutes this morning not understanding why I couldn’t move my text layer around…

That’s one of my main things at the moment, time and again I’m learning that knowing and doing are two separate things. And that webinar host is so much better than me in the actual design, it isn’t even funny.

While I was still teaching and when I was spinning my husband and the boy had a deep and involved discussion in the kitchen. I’m really happy that they are spending that much time together. I think it was about spirituality and philosophy and the scientific method in general or something similar. I didn’t stay because I didn’t want to disturb a rare moment of father and son bonding (even if they were disagreeing heavily). It is rather sweet to see how much the boy sets his faith on science. Not that I think that is wrong, Just, there is so much we can’t touch with science yet…

I downloaded the second book in the „Vampire Knitting Club“-series, just in case I needed to start that one while the wifi was down during the night. You know how it goes.

I did not write any fiction because I was just too exhausted and tired but I did manage to get ready for bed and turn the lights out on time at least.

Today there will be the weekly sloppy cleaning of the house, and the changing of the sheets, and the going to the Greek restaurant for lunch because the boy gets out of school early. Then I will teach only very few students because two did cancel already, and then I will hopefully manage to wrap all the Christmas presents and get the packages ready to be dropped in the mail.

Oh, and this morning (I totally forgot) my mother-in-law came downstairs very determined that she wanted a pacemaker right now and was off to her doctor. Her blood pressure – which is generally too high – is going up and down like crazy and she also had a rather incredibly low pulse the last two days.

It seems her doctor talked down again. I think she underestimates the stress she is under right now because of Christmas preparations. I can totally understand that she is confused and scared, though. The doctor explained to her what is happening, but unfortunately she didn’t listen properly because she was convinced that she wouldn’t understand it anyways. Which is a little unfair. I really would have liked to hear that explanation so I’m less baffled and confused (and so would my husband and the boy). Alas, all we know is that he gave her extra meds and thinks that things are somewhat under control.


And then the weekend ahead. The only things planned are baking cookies and maybe – just maybe – recording the special English episode of the podcast.

Sorry for this being so long (1236 words). There seems to be quite a few things on my mind.

Dec 132018

And this is why it’s a bad idea to take your feelings too serious.

As I said I did watch that video „Plan your 2019 writing schedule“ and that got me thinking about my goals and how I keep expecting myself to write about three times as much as I actually do and how that in turn makes me feel lousy. And so I spontaneously decided to cut my goal in half (something that came recommended in the book „Finish“ by Jon Acuff as well) and just aim for finishing the novel-in-progress until the end of January.

And lo and behold I did write again almost first thing in the morning. And it was fun.

I did wake up form the alarm because with talking to my husband and journaling and then being too tired to get ready for bed I turned the lights out around 11. Which made me somewhat tired all day. Funny that.

Still, I did write for 22 minutes before getting out of bed, then breakfast and the usual.

My husband went running pretty early and I stayed behind in case the mailman brought the expected package(s). I really loved that time alone at home and spent it reading and planning a new knitting project and just doing free-flowing project stuff. Ha!

When I went running afterwards it was already really late so I used that as an excuse to only run 3.2 k. The weather was lovely if muddy:

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I came back, took a shower and helped to make lunch. My husband even thought of making a double batch of sauce for the lasagna he has planned to make soon:

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Just when I came back from the shower my husband was livid. The mailman had pulled up in front of our house, my husband had waited for him to ring the bell, and then the big yellow truck just went off again. There was a slip in the mailbox. „We were unable to deliver your package in person, please get it from the post office.“ Now, my husband had basically been standing next to the door at the point that they were „unable to deliver“, my mother-in-law was home and he hadn’t rang upstairs either, and our door bell was working properly (we checked). Now I will have to walk to the post office today and stand in line for ages just because that mailman didn’t see fit to ring our bell. Not good.

Then I worked on the book cover design workshop a bit. I find GIMP really hard to grasp, not intuitive at all. But I’ll get there. I keep running into issues like, „Okay, I’ll just grab that text layer and move it over a bit. Wait a minute, why isn’t that working? How does one grab a text layer? Why can’t I move it?“ And then I get to look up how to do it. Which is why it’s important to actually try doing things instead of just nodding along to the video.

Then there wasn’t enough time left to do the lunch dishes. Pity.

I taught a few students and then found that my husband was in the kitchen doing that huge mount of dishes. At least I got to help drying them. Then another student.

Then I watched the replay of a mediocre webinar on book cover design but hey, you can always learn something. I just did it while spinning my advent calendar fiber. Oh, and that knitting project I was planning? It did start with yarn that I already have but that yarn is probably not enough for the Owligan I want to make. So now I’m contemplating spinning for it. Of course. It should go quickly because the yarn is super bulky but I’m not quite sure I can spin that thick. We’ll see.

Then the usual journaling and reading (started a new book yesterday, „The Vampire Knitting Club“, I really love it so far) and then to bed.

Today will be pretty exciting with a big grocery run, and the fetching of the package and then, right after lunch, the boy and I will have another appointment with the dermatologist. Which is a very good things because his fingertips are raw and sore again. The treatment is working but only as long as he applies the cortisol cream. Which is not a longterm solution.

So, please cross your fingers that the doctor can help him and also that the appointment ends early enough that I can be back home in time to teach my first student of the day. If the appointment runs late (it’s at 2.30 and my first student is at 4 with only a 15-minute walk in between) my husband has agreed to start teaching him instead of me. It’s a guitar student, so that will help.

Yeah, then teaching until 7 pm and some spinning.

Dec 122018

Woke up at 5.30 again and wrote morning pages. I feel that that basically is the sum of everything I got done but that’s not really true.

Did not write at all but thought a lot about goals and how much time I need to do what I want to and where to fit that into my life and such. Long conversation about the topic with my husband who thinks that this kind of planning and thinking is a waste of time and that the only way to get anything done is to just do it.

I tried to explain to him that if I could just do the things I want to do without thinking I wouldn’t have a problem at all. So yes, I do think that his method works, only I don’t think it works for me. Also, I do have a few rather involved projects and I feel like I do need a road map for those.

Just that morning I had sat down to find out how much time it would take for me to finish the novel-in-progress until the end of the year, and learn all I want about book cover design.

Well, the good news is that the two book cover design classes and the one book I want to get through will ‚only‘ take half an hour each day. The bad news is that the novel would require 1 1/2 hours each day. I do know that I have that kind of time. But. Experience tells me that it is highly unlikely that I’ll spend that much time on writing each and every day. Bummer.

After doing the dishes and such I went to the health food store. When I came back at noon I helped with making lunch. I had bought some ground veal a couple of weeks before (frozen, don’t worry) and my husband wanted to make meat loaf with mushrooms and creme sauce. Potatoes would have been nice but we ran out, and we didn’t have the orecchiette he would have wanted so he decided to make polenta. And then make fried polenta balls from it.

Yeah, we did eat somewhat late. But it was pretty good. Turns out that polenta just disintegrates in the frying pan (should have cooked that the day before) but adding some flour to the outside did help:

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And that was basically it with the day. I did manage to do the dishes right away because my first student called in sick, then I taught all the students until 6, did forty minutes of strength training with the boy, and then it was time for my goal-setting webinar.

The webinar was on zoom which I heartily dislike, and there seemed to be the expectation of lively participation. We were supposed to be on video and audio and answer questions all the time.

I wanted to use the time for spinning my advent calendar and I was already peopled out for the day so I left after ten minutes and went to youtube to finish watching a video on goal setting. I really liked that one, by the way.

Spun my fiber, talked to the boy a bit, then my husband was finally done with teaching for the day and wanted to talk about his day a bit.

Then I started writing this.

I had had high hopes of doing some fiction writing after that but it was already 9 pm, I was really tired and so I just cleaned off my makeup and went to bed.

At least I didn’t feel as low in the evening as I did in the morning, so that’s a win.

Today there will be running and hopefully some potato-buying at the farmer’s market (depends a little on the weather because a big sack of potatoes requires the bike trailer and you don’t want to pull a bike trailer through the snow) and quite a bit of teaching.

There is another webinar, this time about finances for women again but I think I’ll skip that and watch something else while spinning. Probably that cooking show.

Dec 112018

Well, nothing drastic.

Since I had gone to bed around 9.30 I woke up at 5.30. There is still some sleep debt but it’s a good beginning.

Rolled myself out of bed in time to make breakfast and then hold the boy’s hand because he was scared of his impending German test. We tried making sense of his teacher’s handouts together. I have to say that learning from specific examples is all good and well but giving the students a structure or formula to refer back to might also be a good idea. Especially for someone like the boy who – just like both his parents – does better going from abstract to concrete when learning things.

I mean, how else are you supposed to know what’s important and what isn’t? What part of the whole thing is only relevant for this particular example but not in general?

And I would say that maybe it’s the boy’s own fault for not listening properly if I hadn’t heard that teacher explain something to a classroom full of parents more than a year ago. The whole room went, „Huh? So I get what she told us but what are we now supposed to do with this information?”

One woman was brave enough to raise her hand and ask, „So, you want us to tell our children to do X, then?”

Teacher talks, basically saying the exact same thing as before, everybody shuts up. We still have no idea what we were supposed to do.

I told the boy that story again yesterday and he said, „Now you know how we keep feeling all the time.”

Since I was so angry at myself for not really writing last week I decided to change that. Again. And then someone on revelry mentioned Gretchen Rubin’s four tendencies. I took her test and ended up being a rebel this time. When someone tells me what to do I don’t want to. Even if that someone is me.

So I started thinking about what I could do about it. Clearly, telling myself to buckle down and work hard regardless was no use. My inner toddler (or teenager) would just come back at me saying, „Try to make me,“ and laugh. That’s a really infuriating reaction, especially aimed at oneself.

I do have a bit of experience in making people do things, though, that’s a big part of my job. I realized that what I really needed was for writing to be fun. So that’s my big goal for the week, make writing fun and then do it. It’s just a mind game but it did work because I couldn’t wait to get started with writing after breakfast and was slightly disappointed when my husband showed up.

Of course, while I really wanted to write more throughout the day I didn’t really. First there was housework and then running (very pleasurable run in rather cold rain):

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And then there was the cooking, we made parsnip stew (which is not the same as parsley root I learned today):

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Doesn’t look like much but tasted marvelous. Especially since the weather was cold and wet. Very satisfying.

Then more dishes and some laundry, a little practice, some office stuff, starting to watch yet another video on how to set goals for the next year (yeah, I’ll never learn) then teaching, making the boy play piano and then we sat down to enjoy ‚Doctor Who‘:

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While spinning. The only drop of sadness in that was that that was the last episode for this season. But there will be a New Year’s episode, so that’s something to look forward to.

Since I wasn’t done with the spinning fiber after that I watched a little more of the „Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat“-documentary. I totally love it (and am reading the book, did I mention that?). The only drawback is that that always makes me eat later.

Then I wrote a little more, not quite enough and went to bed before ten.

Today there will be shopping at the health food store and strength training and all the usual and quite a bit of teaching. And a goal setting webinar. No, I’m not kidding. Also, this is a different one. I thought I could use that time for spinning.

Dec 102018

Note to self: you never manage to work on your writing on trains ever, please remember in the future.

All in all the day was rather pleasant. I woke up at six, had a leisurely morning, then breakfast, more leisure, some dishes, getting ready for the spinning meeting including packing and making tea.

I had leftover Spätzle and lentils for lunch at 11.20 and left soon after.

The day was rainy and gray but I only got a little damp on my way there. I didn’t quite travel all the way to the Alps but almost. Very nice and rural.IMG 2047

Somehow this looked much better in real life.

I walked about twenty minutes to where the spinning meeting was and met a lot of people I hadn’t seen in ages. I started spinning the fiber I carded last week. Seem I didn’t do a very good job with the carding, it is a bit bumpy to spin. I guess I’ll need more carding practice.

I left early because I wanted to be back home until seven, got heavily rained upon while walking back to the station, and spent my trip back slightly damp everywhere. That feeling always takes me back to my teenage years where I had to wait for buses in the rain for hours or ride my bike in the rain or walk in the rain. Basically where I lived as a teenager there are more rainy days per year than dry ones.

Every time I start to feel the same as then, though, I realized that nowadays I have shoes that keep my feet dry and a much better coat. The rain never made it all through. Which is much better. Also these days about half of what I wear is made from actual wool which still keeps you warm even when it’s wet.

On my way home I bought some potato chips and chocolate bars. Then the boy and I watched the episode of ‚Deep Space Nine‘ that we didn’t watch through the day before.

Today will be just a regular Monday. You know the drill. And maybe I will even manage to get myself back to writing. I decided that my goal for this week is to make writing fun again.

Dec 092018

I’m actually okay with it, though.

I had turned my alarm off because I had gone to bed too late but I still woke up at 5.30. Wrote my morning pages and then my day basically derailed. No fiction writing. It’s always a mistake to take a day off because it makes getting back to it somewhat harder. And it makes me more prone to binge-eat. Funny that.

I lounged in bed while reading the internet until past seven. Made breakfast, didn’t meditate because it was too late already. Did watch a bit of that book cover design course. Didn’t learn much.

My husband got up and I started knitting a fingerless mitten for him. Spent most of the morning knitting that only to find out that I didn’t have enough yarn after all. I did finish the one mitten, weighed it and found that I only had 15 grams of yarn left for a second mitten. Which would have needed 25. Nope. So I ripped it all back.

My husband commented that he just couldn’t understand how I could cooly rip that back after all that work and I heard myself saying, „Well, it was only two hours worth of work.“ Apparently two hours are a lot.

I felt really stressed out because there were so many things I wanted to do so I decided not to go for a run. Also, it was really windy and I am always a little wary of running through the woods when it’s windy. I keep being afraid of being hit by a tree or something. And I will walk a lot today so it was totally reasonable to change things around and do yoga yesterday.

Only the I didn’t do yoga at all. I sat at the kitchen table reading and eating cheese instead. Not quite the same as exercise.

I started reading three new books at once (always a bad idea, by the way). I decided that I couldn’t live without „Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat“ and declared it a Christmas present from my parents, and started both the new „Planeswalker“ book by Chloe Adler and „Diamond Fire“ by Ilona Andrews.

Then I helped to make lunch. We had chili because I had bought avocados but then we forgot all about the guacamole we had wanted to make and I only made it at the last minute. It turned out that the avocados really had been ready to eat the day I bought them. Unfortunately by yesterday I had to throw half of them away. Sad.

But the big thing was the cooking of the rice. My husband went for his run about an hour later than usual so he asked me to start cooking the rice while he was still out. Since I basically never cook I said, „Remind me again how much water I need to add?“ And he said, 1 1/2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice. So far, so good.

Then he went on to put the rice into a pot and closed the lid and said, „I’ve added the rice and the salt already.”

Half an hour later I put that pot on the wood stove without looking inside. I folded laundry and started another load in the basement and soaked a shawl for blocking and then there was a point where, in the back of my mind, I started wondering why I couldn’t hear the water for the rice starting to boil. „Oh, my husband is right, it does take forever for water to boil on the wood stove,“ I thought.

Then I decided to lift the lid to look at the rice. My husband frowns on looking inside the pot while cooking rice because that makes the water evaporate and then the rice can become too dry.

Well, turned out this rice was really, really dry. As in there was no water in that pot at all. When I opened the pot there was that lovely, toasty, slightly burnt smell coming out and when I stirred the rice there was quite a bit of it looking rather brown already.

First, I put some water in. Then I stirred some more. Then I decided that this wasn’t working, drained the rice, threw it all away and started a new batch of rice.

See, that is how we end up fighting all the time while cooking.

I asked my husband for information and he decided to start preparing the rice to help me. Since the lid was on the pot I assumed that the pot was ready to go on the stove. But. He even told me that he had added the rice and the salt. Nothing else. I was the one assuming that he just hadn’t mentioned the water. Even though the water was what I had asked him about.

So. He tried to be nice and help me, I made an assumption that seemed utterly logical and inevitable to me and in the end things went very, very wrong.

I didn’t mention the spoiled rice, by the way. When he came back he assumed that the burnt smell came from water boiling over. If that had happened when he was at home he would have been livid. And yes, I should have checked the contents of the pot before putting it on the stove. But really, who would have thought that he wouldn’t add water? Why? That is one of the things that we will never comprehend about the other.

I keep thinking that the person who starts something should also finish it or say something like, „Remember that you’ll still need to add the water before cooking this.”

He thinks that just starting something is already great and wonderful and that, of course, everybody should keep track of everything.

Lunch was still pretty good, shame that we had to throw a cup of rice and an avocado away:

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Then I fell into the usual Saturday slump. At least I used that lethargy to watch some more of that book cover course. Though I have to say I should have skipped the last two chapters. I already knew everything in them. Not the fault of the instructor, by the way, it’s just that I have learned a thing or two by working with Photoshop Elements for a few years.

Then I tried getting out of the slump. Around 4 pm I finally managed to tear myself away from the screen, removed my nail polish, took a shower and gave myself a pedicure. In between I carded the fiber I want to spin today:

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And then it was time to watch Star Trek with the boy. We had to stop the episode of ‚Voyager‘ constantly to verify some historic facts and such, as you do, and so it was already pretty late when we started the second episode.

Then I had finished my advent calendar fiber for the day, and since I won’t have time to spin today’s portion tonight I decided to break the rules for once and spin today’s portion a day early.

The boy decided to go to bed instead of watching „Deep Space Nine“ so I started watching „Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat“ on Netflix instead.

Then it was rather late, I hurriedly got ready for bed and turned the lights out a little too late. Again. And no fiction writing.

Today there will be writing – at least I really hope so – and I will have lunch extremely early, like around 11.15 and then before noon I will leave for the Saint Nicolas spinning meeting. I already charged all my electronic devices and both my bluetooth keyboards because I am really determined to spend my time on the train writing.

Wish me luck.