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Friday, May 31, 2013

a new normal.

sunrise, from my porch, last Monday
...the day after the wedding Marc asked what I was going to do "now that you have all that extra time?" I quickly responded "get back to know...cook...and do laundry." I gave that same response for the next few days (note that I have since cooked once and that was with Sara when she and Katie & Rob joined us for dinner Monday night, but the laundry is all done) and since most of the other people who asked were fellow knitters, I added in that I also planned more knitting, more time at the shop and really getting the prayer shawl ministry off the ground at church.
Sara & Katie, after Monday's dinner
But what I've come to realize this past week is that I'm not sure what "normal" looks like anymore. The past nine months have brought so many changes (a new house, a move, half marathon training and a running group, a wedding) that the normal I knew...just isn't anymore. So what will the new normal look like?

First, my knitting. I finished a scarf and a sweater this past week and hope to finish a shawl today or tomorrow.  Not bad from a production standpoint (never mind that those projects were all started two months ago), but two of them are just knitting (a stockinette sweater in the round and a garter stitch shawl) and the third is plain stockinette. The next project in my queue was the Churchmouse Folded Poncho - basically a big stockinette rectangle. Note the "was"...yep, no longer. Instead, I'm going to knit an allover lace tunic and a square shawl with a cool slipped stitch texture and fringe. (not to mention the linen stitch scarf and a new mystery shawl for upcoming KALs). I've started a pair of socks; for the record, I haven't knitted a pair of socks since December 2011 when I knit a pair for Marc and I haven't knitted a pair on my size 1 dpn's since 2010. I also started a lap robe for the shawl ministry. I hope to get back to a mix of social (easy) and challenging, but with fewer sweaters, more accessories and more for others. oh and socks, too.
FO #1 - the Bias Scarf
FO #2 - My Perfect Sweater
And the shop. I quit working on the shop floor last October, but I'm still writing the shop's blog and maintaining our Pinterest boards and Twitter. I also teach three classes there each week. I'm still trying to get the hang of keeping up with everything that's going on there - new yarn, new faces, etc. - and on the knitting front in general. I'd like to shift the blog to be more community focused (what we're knitting, meet our staff and our customers) and start providing project suggestions in a newsletter format, maybe bi-weekly...while still keeping it a (very much) part time job!

On the home front. I'm finally in a good place keeping up with the house (especially because I found a wonderful green cleaning service to help with the dusting which I really dislike) and really, laundry/etc for two people isn't hard. I am absolutely enjoying the house, especially the screened porch. It faces east so I have a lovely view of the sunrise and it's sheltered from the afternoon sun. However, I'm struggling still with the cooking, or really the lack thereof. Marc is home for dinner only two to three nights a week and I hate cooking for myself. But my old diet of popcorn, cheese and carrots had to go; not only to fuel the running (I'm averaging about 20 miles a week), but also to keep my cholesterol in check (bad genetics and I'm not ready for drugs). I'm about five weeks into a high fiber, low/no cholesterol diet that's mostly fruits and vegetables, whole grains and nuts. I even switched to almond milk for my coffee and cereal. That was actually pretty easy; I still miss the cheese (and the daily popcorn)!

Exercise. I'm running three to four days a week and taking a few pilates/yoga classes at the Y. Last week I added in two four-mile walks with Holly - our first since I could remember - and realized how much I'd missed them. I think she missed them, too. So I'm trying to get in one a week. Which is great time for...

on my phone, last Friday
...Reading/Listening. For last Friday's walk, I tried out a new-to-me podcast called Books on the Nightstand. Oh my. I listened to two episodes and immediately came home to 1. subscribe and download more episodes; 2. subscribe to two more bookish podcasts - New Yorker Fiction and BBC4 Books and Authors; and 3. add two books to my Goodreads queue (The Woman Upstairs and A Constellation of Vital Phenomena). I've since listened to at least 20 hours of those podcasts and added quite a few more books to my queue/samples to my Kindle. Of course that's not really reading, although the New Yorker podcast is short stories, but it's smart talk about reading and books and I'm loving all of it. Also, I joined in the Craftlit read along for Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair; I'm listening to Susan Duerdan's Audible recording and it's excellent. I'm finally now past page 100 of the Art of Power (and realized I probably should've listened to that one, too, instead of reading!) So...more books.

Project Life is still around. I made a huge push before the wedding to get caught up - and I got close. I'm still missing three weeks from March and the three weeks since "just before the wedding" to now. Marc's going to Asia next month and I will get caught up for good then. ...and stay that way! I'm printing my photos here and that helps a lot.

One Little Word. It's been three months since I put anything into my album, but I'm definitely thinking about Grace and my monthly intentions. Hopefully I'll get back on track with the class in June...

...and with this blog. I have missed sharing the bits and pieces here. Hopefully I'll get back to a post or two (or three) each week. We'll see. I think just getting started is the hardest part. and now I've done that!

Thanks for staying with me!  Happy Weekend!

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Blogger margene said...

Listening while knitting, exercising, or even doing housework, is such a pleasure. It's multitasking at its finest. Books on the Nightstand and New Yorker Fiction are two of my favorite podcasts. I'll check out BBC4, too.
Your sweater looks "perfect", so easy to wear and it looks great on you.

Friday, 31 May, 2013  
Blogger Carole said...

I think your new normal sounds wonderful. I'm not much into podcasts and the last thing I need is a longer list of books to read! I love the sound of your screen porch and wish I could join you there for knitting and a glass of wine.

Saturday, 01 June, 2013  
Blogger Honoré said...

I know exactly what you mean - every word of trying to ID a 'new normal' and I don't have any of the challenges/changes you've had these past 9 months ...enjoy your longer walks and knitting and welcome back. Gonna check out your podcasts...sound like a great source. TBC


Saturday, 01 June, 2013  
Blogger Debbie said...

Walking is my favorite exercise and this time of year is perfect weather for walking. Your screened porch sounds lovely for knitting, reading & wine sipping!

Saturday, 01 June, 2013  
Blogger Beth said...

Yes, I think there really isn't a normal anymore. Life changes so quickly that we get used to one thing and then something else pops up (or goes away). Maybe that keeps us on our toes and keeps us young?

Monday, 03 June, 2013  
Blogger Patty said...

Mary your knitting is spectacular! It's interesting, the little changes in routine. Things that fade away and a new joy that replaces it. I'm running a bit more too but do love my walks. Nice to see you Mary!

Tuesday, 04 June, 2013  
Blogger Kym said...

It takes a long time to sink back into a "normal" routine when life has been so full of adventure! Be gentle with yourself as you recover your "regular" life. Sounds like you're finding your stride again!

Friday, 07 June, 2013  
Blogger Lydia said...

my new normal officially begins on August 17 until then who knows, also i think it's going to be too hot this summer to do much of anything!

Thursday, 13 June, 2013  

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