Sometimes Mondays

. . . are about as Monday as they come.  

Mondays that don't go as planned.  With a power-blip and a printer that won't print and a router that needs a re-start and an unexpected visitor and a slower-than-expected software update.  You know.  A Monday kind of Monday. 

But.  Tomorrow is Tuesday.  And that means . . . 


I know I don't really need to remind any of you . . .   but I will anyway.


A Little Friday Adventure

By the time you read this, I'll be off on a little adventure.  I'll be on my way to Chicago to attend the SOFA (Sculptural Objects Functional Art and Design) exhibition.  It looks to be fabulous!  


I've got nothing for you today . . . except this pumpkin down the road.  I drive by it every day, and it always catches my eye.  (I think I need to draw it.)


Enjoy the weekend -- and I'll tell you all about SOFA next week.


Three Things That Bug

It's November.  The month of gratitude.  So I'm just going to get this out of my system this morning . . . so I can begin the month with a clean slate.


Today . . . three things that bug me:

1 -- We had lots of very adorable and very polite children "trick-or-treat" us at our door last night.  (My Halloween candy strategy is demonstrated above:  purchase candy kids like, but that I won't eat.  Win-Win.)  But.  There were far too many that grabbed their candy and walked away . . . without so much as an acknowledgement or thank you.  (And several of them leaped off our rock wall, which although tempting and fun for kids, makes Tom a bit of a curmudgeon.)  I wanted to take the candy back from the rude kids, but by then of coure, they were already leaping from our wall. . . So.  That bugs me.

2 -- I got an email from someone who wants something I have.  She wanted to set up a time today or tomorrow to make an exchange with me, and said that she could shift her schedule (and I quote) "in any way possible to make this happen."  So I sent back an email, outlining my schedule and suggesting a few options for her.  Her response?  "I guess we'll have to set something up next week then."  What happened to shifting her schedule "in any way possible to make this happen?"  So.  That bugs me.

3 -- I remain perplexed by my inability to comment simply and easily on some (but not all!) Blogger blogs.  When I try to leave a comment "signed in with my Google account", there are a few Blogger blogs that don't seem to recognize that I AM, in fact and definitely, already signed in with my Google account.  (Because I AM signed in with my Google account.)  Nothing I do seems to "fix" this.  In fact, Blogger is now suggesting that it would be more convenient for me to "sign in with my Google account" when I comment.  (No. Kidding.)  But, of course, I AM signed in with my Google account.  (And I have discovered that it is impossible to "sign in with your Google account" when you are already signed in with your Google account.)  So.  If I have left a comment on your Blogger blog signed in with my blog address and not my email address, please know that I really love you and your blog.  Because before I can leave that comment, I need to "prove I'm not a robot" in several mind-numbing ways before I can leave the comment.  (I can click on fire hydrants, motorcycles, hills and mountains, and crosswalks with my eyes closed.)  (Because "I'm not a robot.")  Anyway.  If any of you have a solution or suggestion to my issue, please let me know.  (This never happens on Blogger blogs that have a separate pop-up window for comments, by the way.  On these blogs, apparently I AM logged into my Google account.)  So.  That bugs me.

Okay.  I feel better now!  On to November -- the month of gratitude.  With a clean slate.

(Anything you want to get off your chest today?)


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

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?