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November 2018

October 2018

The WHY of It

This year, I chose the word FOCUS as my "one little word."  

It's been a very good word for me.  Although I haven't done even "one little prompt" from the official program, I have been thinking about focus (both in general and my own, in particular) all the time.  I've readjusted my focus, changed lenses, re-focused, taken a broader view, zoomed in . . . you name it, if it has to do with focusing, I've done it.  Or thought about it.  


Something I've discovered in my "focusing" work this year . . . is that I make better decisions when I take the time to ask myself one simple question:  WHY?

If I can build in a . . . pause . . . between the thought (of doing something, buying something, committing to something, quitting something) and my action, I can focus on what it is, exactly, that I'm doing (or undoing, or getting myself into).  By being intentional about really understanding my motives, I can make better decisions for myself.

So when I'm considering taking on a new commitment, or stepping away from an existing commitment, or making a purchase, I ask myself WHY, and then I listen to my answers.  

If I end up with more than one or two reasons that make sense to me (I really want to spend more time with that group of people, for example, or I have wanted to learn more about [insert topic here] for a long time, or I really need to replace my black cardigan), then I'm more confident that I'm making a decision close to my heart.

If, however, the only reasons I can come up for doing something seem superficial or guilt-driven (a lot of other people are doing it, for example, or I have a coupon, or I probably SHOULD do it), then I know I really need to let it go.

Simple, right?  I know.
(But somehow it took me 59 years to get to this discovery, so maybe it'll be news to you, too?

And my point in all this?

Now you'll understand why I've decided not to participate in NaBloPoMo this year.  (I asked myself WHY, and all I got was:  I've always done it.)  (So . . . nope.)  (Because FOCUS).

That's the WHY of it.



Sometimes Mondays

. . . look pretty bleak.  

Sad and discouraging, even.  
Sometimes Mondays . . . (borrowing the words from The Carpenters) always get me down.  
And especially after a weekend . . . after a week . . . like we've just had.

But, then.

But, then.  I walk into my living room and see this outside my window.


It is my larch tree.  Glowing!  Exuding magic and stunning color.  Right there in my garden.

This incredible tree - a larch - is a conifer.  But it is a deciduous conifer.  Which means it will lose all of its needles once this stunning, golden display of today is finished.  It will look absolutely dead all winter long.  But in the spring?  Lovely, soft green needles will sprout from its branches once again.

This incredible tree is reminding me that the garden . . . is a place for hope.

And I really need that reminder today.

It seems that Sometimes Mondays . . . are really about finding hope.  
Keep looking, my friends.

“If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream.”
                   --- Martin Luther King Jr.



Ending the Week on A Good (paid off) Note

I had planned a Friday Fish Wrap post for today, but my week has been rather discombobulated (nothing bad, just . . . life) and I don't have the time or energy for that kind of post today.


I do have some good news to share.

Earlier this week, Tom and I got a letter in the mail . . . 


with this . . . 


so we did this . . . 


Good news in a discombobulated week.

Now . . . let the weekend begin.



Up North . . . But Different

Yesterday, I piled the dogs in the car and headed up to our little cabin . . . where we met Tom (already up there) to finish up a few shutting-down-for-the-season tasks.


Same lake.  Same view.  But different.


Same deck rail.  Same trees.  But different.

Here are three things that are REALLY different about being up north in the fall:


1 - The docks and boats are out of the water for the winter.


2 - I'm wearing the hand knits both outside and inside.


3 - And . . . I'm wearing socks and shoes!  (Truth be told, I had my flip flops on when I was getting in the car.  And then I thought about all the sh*% Tom would give me if I showed up at the cabin - where it wasn't even 40 degrees F - in my flip flops . . . and opted for shoes.)  (It was the right choice.)

It's lovely to be up here in the fall.  But very different!  


Be sure to head over to Carole's today for more Three on Thursday posts.



Happy Legs

When the weather cools down, I pretty much live in leggings and tunics.  (The stretchier, the better!)  I sew tunics for myself all the time, but I've never sewn a pair of leggings before . . .

until last weekend!


These awesome and most comfortable leggings (maroon with white polka dots FTW!) are made from Sonya Phillips' Pants No. 2 pattern.  A snap to sew (no serger necessary), super clear directions, a great fit, and . . . $3.97 for the fabric.


My legs?


VERY happy!


I've decided to knit for Christmas this year, so while there is no unraveling going on, there is also no knitting I can show.  But you can check out what others have been "raveling" over at Kat's!


Sometimes Mondays

. . . look like cleaning up.


I spent much of my weekend outside, in my garden, clearing things up and preparing my garden beds for the winter.  It's a bittersweet time, but so very nice to be out.

More to do out there today.

How about you?  What's your Monday looking like?


It's cold.  The leaves are falling.  
(But I'm still wearing my flip-flops.)  
(Strangers feel like it's okay to comment on my footwear choice these days.)  
(Like. . . it's none of your business, dude.)


Anyway . . . it's Friday.  So, let's TGIF.

T - Thinking about . . . what to knit next.  I finished my Tegna sweater well over a week ago now, and I haven't cast on for anything yet.  I have several ideas in mind (like this or this or this) (or, now, this), but I'm also considering knitting a few Christmas gifts this year.  Decisions, decisions.

G - Grateful for . . . our plans for a quiet weekend at home.  It's been busy lately, and I'm ready for a no-commitments kind of weekend.

I - Inspired by . . . my copy of the new book Mending Matters by Katrina Rodabaugh.  It's a beautiful book full of all kinds of lovely images (who could imagine that mending could be so incredibly lovely?) and handy mending techniques that look so very cool.  It makes me want to go rip up my jeans, just so I can mend them.

F - Fun . . . I love walking in my neighborhood in the fall.  I love watching the leaves change -- but I especially appreciate some of the very clever - and very fun - ways my neighbors decorate for the season.  JoJo and I were quite surprised to see this near the sidewalk earlier this week.  Definitely fun!


So . . . what's your TGIF situation today?

Garden Whimsy . . . Fall Edition

I like to do a little decorating out in the garden for fall.  Not much.  Nothing elaborate.  Mostly just . . . 


1 - Changing out my containers, adding some mums, and throwing in a few pumpkins.  (With trusty old "Skelly-man" for seasonal interest.)


2 -- Having fun with pumpkins.  I especially like using the pumpkins with unusual shapes and colors.  (That's a real pumpkin on the bottom, topped with a pottery decoration that just happened to fit on top.)


3 - And bringing out the old, familiar favorites.  (Skelly-man, above, and this pumpkin face have been part of my fall garden décor for 15 years now.)

It's fun to bring a little whimsy to the garden in the fall!

How about you?  Do you decorate outside for fall?


To see more Three on Thursday posts, be sure to pop in over at Carole's today!


Knit a Harvest

"But there's a full moon rising
Let's go dancing in the light
We know where the music's playing
Let's go out and feel the night"
                -- Neil Young, Harvest Moon


So.  This year, I've been having WAY too much fun putting together monthly "care packages" for my adult children.  Usually, I organize each little package around a "theme" of some sort (which makes it easier to put them together, y'know?).  For October, I went with a "harvest" theme, and featured pumpkin stuff:  a pumpkin carving kit, pumpkin chocolates, and these . . .


Adorable knitted pumpkins!  

Simple and quick to make -- and a big hit on the receiving end.  (Ravelry details here.)

There's still time to knit yourself a harvest this fall.  (Just sayin.')


Be sure to visit Kat today, to see what's . . . unraveling!