Apr 102018

That was a day where I made excellent use of Monday-energy.

Falling back into routine is great, I went running, and taught my students, and worked on the novel, and decided to make a t-shirt, and glued the pattern pieces together and cut everything out.

When the poor boy came home on his lunch break lunch wasn’t ready yet. My husband and I had both forgotten that he comes home earlier on Mondays. So I gave him a sandwich, and he had his warm meal at night.

Teaching was fun, I have my energy back. Well, most of it.

I didn’t quite write as much as I wanted but I did sift through one of the big heaps on the bedroom dressers, gave away two sweaters and a pair of shoes, and I helped my husband with teaching admin, looking through his bank statement to see if all the students had paid. They all had, and now this task is done for the month. He keeps procrastinating about it while I do the same thing at least twice a month.

On the other hand I had been looking at the pile of dust and dirt on the bottom of the hallway closet for months, and when my husband came to put his hiking boots away he took one look at the mess and went off to fetch the vacuum. Which led me to finally getting rid of the pair of winter shoes I haven’t worn in about ten years. This year I finally got new ones so I don’t have to keep them just in case.

Today will be another long day with a long to-do-list. It can’t really be helped. Since I’ll be away Friday evening and all Saturday I have to make sure to get everything important done beforehand.

So there will be the going to the health food store, and the writing, and the music, and the teaching, and the cutting out of fabric, and maybe a little tax preparation. Or maybe not.

Apr 092018

Not a bad day, not the best either.

I actually started writing before lunchtime so that was a win.

Lunch at my mother-in-law’s was very good but she forgot that my husband and I can’t have onions. Oops. We were there for two hours or so.

Then I went and procrastinated a bit before writing some more. I sang and I played the piano. Then I tried to make myself start with the dress I want to sew but unfortunately the boy needed my help with some homework again. So, you see, it wasn’t me, I just didn’t have a chance. (Never mind the hour I wasted beforehand.)

I’m almost finished with the second sleeve for my Carbeth cardigan.

My husband is turning more lawn into veggie beds. This time it’s for the potatoes again.

I’m laughing at myself because I used to think that I wasn’t an anxious person. Until I realized that all of that organizational and planning stuff I do is because I am, in fact, anxious.

I’ll be going to a sewing blogger meeting in Augsburg next weekend. I looked up trains weeks before. And put them in my calendar. And thought about what to wear. And then I got the confirmation e-mail with all the addresses and times. And looked up more trains, and looked up the locations on google maps, and today I pulled out the list of attending bloggers and looked them all up.

Yeah. Not anxious at all. Funny. At least I won’t stay home because I’m feeling uncomfortable.

Oh, and today I found out that I’m no longer getting an email when someone leaves a comment. That’s why I haven’t been replying to them. I just didn’t know.

No idea what’s wrong, the settings are fine. I’ll try to remember to check more often, and I hope I’ll catch everybody’s comment. Sorry, I had no idea.

And tomorrow there will be running, and then teaching and in between making music and writing some more and knitting. Sounds good to me.

Apr 062018

So I got up a little late, had breakfast and went on my first run in ages. It was harder than before but made me happy nonetheless. I did forget to take a picture while out so here is one of my feet in running socks on my bedroom rug:

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I made lunch for the boy and me. I have really become a bad cook because I never do it anymore. It still tasted okay. Then I waited for the piano tuner to come so he could install the display under the piano keyboard, and then I found myself waiting for my husband all afternoon. Even though I knew he wouldn’t be here before five.

So I bought a new book and read it for hours and didn’t get much done. I don’t like this.

Husband came home around six, we had dinner and talked. His trip was about as much fun as mine. The weather was worse than here and he had a fight with his friend.

There were only 160 words written but I went to bed early-ish.

Today I will have my yearly ob/gyn checkup. When I called yesterday to make an appointment and renew my prescriptions they told me I could come in this morning. Since getting there takes about 45 minutes I’m happy to only make one trip but it will throw today’s plans off.

There might be cleaning, or there might not. There should be the recording of the podcast. I didn’t do it yesterday because I was so busy waiting. There should also definitely be writing.

Apr 052018

Well, I did do some things, of course. I sat around most of the day, ate all.the.things and hit refresh on ravelry. I took a shower, and the boy and I went out for sushi for lunch.

I taught my one student and afterwards the boy and I sat down in front of TV, watching Netflix while eating potato chips and gummy bears.

The end.

Not the most productive of days but I guess I did need a day off. I definitely did not need that many gummy bears. It’s time to go back to eating low-fructose, this kind of binging makes me feel horrible. Even if I do it because I feel bad and want to feel better. Bad move. Every time.

Today there will be running (yes, I will do it – no really) and the cooking of lunch, and probably the recording of the podcast, and maybe the piano tuner will come and install that final really small sliver of wood, and my husband will be back from Italy.

Maybe I should schedule the piano tuner, do some test recordings for the podcast, and do the actual recording tomorrow when there is no danger of all the people ringing the doorbell all the time.

There is lots to do. As always. Laundry and dishes and exercise and such.

I really should write a lot today as well. I hope the habit of not writing will go away. And the habit of constantly eating things that don’t agree with me. In my head the two are linked as well.

It is a little tiring to have to relearn good habits all the time. I’d rather be someone who changes their behavior and has it stick. Alas, that has never happened to me.

So once more into the breach.

Apr 042018

Being home is just the best.

Travel yesterday went very well. I’m glad that I took an earlier bus and train because of the construction but traveling for eleven hours is a long day. Sitting around at train stations waiting for an hour is not the most fun thing to do either.

For once I did not set an alarm and managed to sleep in. Until 7.15. Ahem.

I will need a little time to process the trip.

Today I want to have as regular a day as I can manage.

There might be running, and teaching of one student, and laundry, and lots of watching Star Trek in the evening, and not much else, I guess.

Tomorrow my husband will be back, at least that’s what the boy told me.

The boy was very happy here, being mostly alone for two days. He did have lunch with his grandmother every day, though.

I just spent four days waiting, being talked at and being bored.

I managed to write two days but everything deteriorated in the past two days. Writing on trains is hard because there are always people talking. I have no idea how people write in cafes, I find it impossible.

Getting food that does not contain too much fructose for me while traveling is nearly impossible. Maybe I should have lived on fries.

My mother was already speaking of my visit next year. Humpf.

Maybe I’ll just stay in bed today and do nothing. I’m pooped.

Apr 032018

So another rather lazy and chatty day with my parents.

The big thing for the day was going out for lunch. The food was amazing, veal cutlet with mushrooms and croquettes, some soup before and chocolate pudding afterwards.

I chose to walk back because otherwise I would have spent the whole day sitting. Half an hour walking was really nice.

Then there was more chatting and TV (at the same time) and cake and tea and more food and then my father asked, „So, when are you making that Hefezopf? When I told him that I had decided not to he informed me that it has been decades since he last had some. So I got up from the sofa and made some:

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Today I will be going home. There is construction work on the tracks so instead of taking a train (and then another and another and another). I will have to take a bus, and then a train and then hopefully reach the one I was supposed to take in the first place.

I will have to leave an hour early. After a good hard look at the train and bus schedule I decided to leave an hour earlier than that, even, so that when one of the buses or trains is late (which they will probably be) I will still catch the original trains. My ticket was pretty cheap but I am bound to take certain trains. Because of the construction there should be a way around that but the fast train that I’ll take from Hannover to Munich is always really, really crowded so I’d like to be able to take advantage of my reservation.

Also I’m supposed to arrive at home around 9.30 pm and that’s late enough.

Yesterday, the boy sent me a message asking, „So, when you will be home today?”

Um, not yesterday. Today. In the evening.

Leaving two hours earlier will mean getting out of here earlier. So that’s good. It also means traveling for ten hours instead of eight which is not quite that good. But I already picked out a burger chain to have lunch in along the way.

So I’m really hoping everything will go smoothly, and that I won’t die of boredom halfway home.

I have knitting and reading and podcasts and spinning, so I should be fine.

Apr 022018


Well, nothing noteworthy.

I’m still at my parents’ and I didn’t take a single picture so far. I should remedy that today.

Yesterday I woke up early after going to bed way too late. Bad combination, that.

I managed to write 250 words (and that was it for the day). I set up my bullet journal for April and made some rather delusional goals for the month as usual.

Then I went over to my parents’ and spent the day listening to my father ranting about various things. I still said no to a lot of food but am starting to cave earlier. I’m guessing a two-pound weight gain for the four days. Sounds about right.

We went to my favorite aunt’s in the afternoon for „coffee and cake“. It’s a German thing and about as traditional as British teatime. The cake was excellent. And as usual, I didn’t drink any coffee. Everybody seems to think that I’m a health nut so I got an extra helping of vegetables for lunch (not the best thing for a person who is fructose-intolerant) and got offered green tea in the afternoon (can’t stand the stuff, and don’t drink caffeine after noon – maybe I am a bit of a health nut).

I did manage to extricate myself and walk all the way back on my own which was bliss. Managed to walk all of 5,000 steps today.

And I am really starting to look forward to going running again. I guess I’m over that cold now. I hope.

Today there will be the usual sitting around while people around me talk about stuff I find boring for.a few hours, then we will go out for lunch, then more of the same.

I just found out that there will be construction on the train tracks when I had planned to go back, and that will mean having to take a bus instead of the train and completely changing my plans. If everything goes well that will add an hour to my trip.

My mother offered to drive me to a different train station but that would mean she’d have to drive for an hour instead of me sitting on a bus for half an hour. I think me sitting on a bus is more reasonable. I’d rather have taken the train as planned but that’s not to be.

I’m a little torn between being happy about writing anything at all while traveling, and being angry at myself for not writing thousands of words. Also, I’m starting to miss making music, and today I have regretted not bringing my ukulele.

At home, my husband should have left for Italy which means the boy is home alone now. Well, almost, because my mother-in-law is still at home, and I’m guessing the two will be checking in with each other, and she’ll feed him at least one big meal every day.

Only two more days and one more night, and then I’ll be back home again.

You think I could just click my heels? Pretty please?

Apr 012018

Can you believe it? 200 days of daily blogging. Yeah.

And as I had hoped this daily blogging thing has made blogging more fun again. The only thing I miss is writing long rambling posts about one topic. But they might come back in the future.

And I keep reminding me when I whine about not writing enough that every day I am indeed writing about five hundred words here. That is something. It doesn’t count towards gaining mastery in writing, though, because it’s not really deliberate practice. More like jamming around.

So the travel to my parents went very well. All the trains were on time and not as crowded as usual. I guess most people who were visiting family over Easter traveled the day before.

I didn’t take any snacks after all which made me hungry for most of the train ride. Do you have that too, that the minute you start traveling you want to eat? I’m not quite sure if that’s because there’s nothing to distract and not much to do, or if it’s because travel makes hungry. My father once told me, „You’re like your grandmother. The minute the car left our street she started unpacking the sandwiches.“ Well, not yesterday.

I did have a huge portion of Asian noodles for lunch, so that was good. And I bought a new hair tie.

I have decided to keep my hair up all the time while around my parents because my mother hates it when my hair is long. Now she will know that I have it long but not how long and it doesn’t flow all over the place. This is just one of the weird things I do to try and keep my mother pleased. Which she never is, by the way. It’s one of those relationships.

The weather is nicer than predicted, so that is good. I only got rained on once today, and that was right in the morning when walking to the train station. I carried my damp gloves around in my pocket all day, and they are drying right next to me as I type this.

The train ride was not as productive as planned (and yes, I should stop making these plans). Even though I was sitting in the quiet zone there was a group of people going to a Christening, and I can now tell you most of the life story of one of them. And the other one who is working on her PhD in art history. I really need to get myself noise-canceling headphones. But I think I’d feel weird not hearing what’s going on around me. It might make me more productive and less irritated, though.

I did write 500 words on the train, each one harder than the last. Fun! That’s what you get if you don’t write for several days.

I also had to rip back most of the knitting I did on the train because I hadn’t looked at the instructions properly. It said, „knit to marker two, then knit 58 stitches, wrap and turn“ I knitted 58 stitches and started the wrap and turn and ended up with a rather lopsided object. Then I spent another hour knitting back. Also fun. But now I’m back on track.

I have to say that I only want to knit the Carbeth cardigan right now but that one is at home. I didn’t feel like lugging around 500 grams of bulky yarn.

Deciding to put my clothes and toiletries (and the spare yarn) into the messenger bag, and everything I needed on the train into the backpack was a great decision. All the heavy things were in the backpack. I put the messenger bag up on the luggage rack and had the backpack at my feet. With tea (I ended up taking mint tea after all), and water, and knitting, and the laptop, and the notebook, and the tissues, and the almonds, and the chocolate all right there.

I think the next time I travel I’ll try to make do with just the backpack. If I put my mind to it I could probably travel with a purse but that would severely limit the knitting and spinning I could take. And sitting on a train without knitting is just sad.

I deleted another book from my e-reader. I started reading „The Perfect Fit“ because it sounded interesting, and an author I follow has read it and liked it. I kept reading and yelling at the book in my head, and thinking, „Why is this scene in the book? This doesn’t actually do anything.“ And so I decided that life is too short for books like that and just didn’t finish it. That makes it three books I didn’t finish this month which is a new record.

It also shows that people are more invested in a book if they actually paid for it.

The good thing about it is that now I have a free spot in my KU library so I can read the next Chloe Adler novel when it comes out on Monday. Ha!

And I didn’t bake anything after all. My husband already reminded me that when you mention things in front of my mother she keeps feeling like she is the one who has to do them. So when I tell her that I spun some yarn she feels bad because if she had to spin she’d hate it. And so we decided on not baking. Because if I bake she gets exhausted, or something. (No, that was not said out loud.)

When I left after dinner I took a bottle of beer with me, as one does, and she said, „I did put two glass bottles in the fridge but there is beer in plastic bottles too.“ And I was, like, so what? „Well, the glass bottles are so heavy. You wouldn’t want to carry those back to your hotel.“ Um, when I left home this morning I was carrying a thermos full of tea and a full stainless steel water bottle with me. I left the thermos at your house. Also, I used to lug about twenty more kilos around on my body. Carrying a bottle of beer in my backpack will be perfectly fine. Geez.

Today there will be writing before breakfast, I hope. (My mother said, „Well, I’m usually up around eight and have breakfast between 8.30 and 9. But you can totally sleep in if you want.“ We agreed on nine for breakfast and I thought, „Yeah! That means I have a little more than two hours for writing and meditation and reading and relaxing before I need to go over to them.”

I might be a little hungry by breakfast time, though.

Mar 312018

I have to say that I’m cheating a bit, I’m writing this the night before to get posted today because I have to catch a train before eight.

Yesterday I had planned all kind of things out but instead of cleaning in the morning I wandered around tidying the house and finding things I needed to take with me. Like tissues, and shampoo, and I wound the yarn I wanted to take, and measured the gauge swatch, and decided on a size to knit, and put a big fat note in the pattern that I will have to recalculate everything to do with length because I didn’t get gauge.

It’s funny, the pattern said to hang the swatch for a few days weighted. Well, turns out the springy merino I’ve spun doesn’t grow in length at all. Of course the pattern is meant to be made from something like silk or alpaca, so this is all my own fault. Fortunately I am the proud owner of an app that let’s me calculate the changes easily.

There were penne arrabbiata for lunch. Only without penne because we were out (that pesky shopping list again) but girandole were almost as good.

Then I procrastinated about writing for a bit, as one does, then I started cleaning, and then I wanted to make the Hefezopf but it turned out we were completely out of yeast. Oops. I had bought everything else, and when I went grocery shopping there was still fresh yeast in the fridge. Which turned out to be bad some time during the week. But that’s not a problem because we always have dry yeast. Unless someone uses the last one and doesn’t put it on the grocery list. Oops.

Well. We can survive Easter without it. Probably. I texted my mom and asked her to get the ingredients for the Zopf and made a copy of the recipe. So I guess I’ll spend tonight baking at my parents house.

I will have a pretty tight schedule in the morning to get out of the house in time. And then I’ll spend eight hours on trains and one hour at the station in Hannover. We always plan it like that in case the train is a little late. Eight minutes for changing trains can be a little stressful. Plus there is this Asian place right in the station that has amazing food. That will be my lunch today. I’m really looking forward to that.

It’s all very exciting. And yes, I know that it’s just a trip to my parents where I’ve been dozens of times before. (Not the house I grew up in.) But we’re talking about the woman who almost gets an anxiety attack when she has to go to the grocery store. And yet I do love to travel.

I’m still waffling if I should pack everything into the daypack but it would be.a tight fit. And having a purse might be a plus. I am changing things around, though, I’m not taking the ukulele for once, and I’m packing my clothes and toiletries into the messenger bad that is my purse and everything I need on the train into the backpack. That stuff is much heavier so it’s nicer to carry on my back.

Mar 302018

A thoroughly unproductive day and not really in a fun way.

I did start the Carbeth cardigan in the morning, so that was good.

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Piano tuner was late, as usual, and it was his son coming, not himself. The son thought he was here for tuning my piano. Didn’t know he should install the LifeSaver in the piano. So he went back to the shop and fetched it. Got it installed and even vacuumed behind the piano but couldn’t attach the LEDs to the underside of the keyboard. So he said he’d be back in the afternoon between four and five.

There was a very Bavarian lunch of potato salad and Leberkäs, and then a bit of a break while knitting, and then I realized that I had to stay in the kitchen to wait for him because I didn’t know if he knew that there’s a second doorbell for the annex.

So I waited. And checked instagram, as one does. All afternoon.

He turned up at 4.30, found that the wooden thingy he had made needed something different, worked on it with his cordless drill for a bit and then – broke it.

He’ll come back later some other time. He said that he was sorry about six times or so. I tried to tell him that I know how these things go, it’s perfectly normal that there are complications, no big deal. The LifeSaver works, it’s just the LED-thing hanging in thin air.

Then it was almost time for dinner.

And then the boy texted that he would be late. And I waited for the boy. And for my husband who was outside trying to fix the greenhouse. The panels keep falling off which is a pain. And without the panels the greenhouse isn’t much use.

So my husband and I had dinner rather late, and then I waited for the boy to show up. He was pretty happy that his internship was over. He learned a ton and did actual useful work and even got a bit of money as a bonus.

Then the boy and I watched some TV, and then it was way too late to do the dishes and then I went to bed a little late.

Today there will be the cleaning of the house and the packing and the baking of the Hefezopf and the winding of the yarn and the being nervous because of travel and a shower in the evening because I won’t rush out the house at 7.35 with wet hair.

So, lots to do. Not quite the right mood for writing, I guess, but we’ll see.