2017 – A New Year With Moving Forward, Not Resolutions.

Life moves.  Time happens.

Nothing we do can stop that.  What we do can cause the self to rotate in a small circle while life moves around us, time continues to flow, and it can feel as if we’re stuck.

I’ve been oddly acutely aware that a lot of things have been floating in the ether around my little rotation, that I just haven’t been able to reach in the last handful of months, possibly stretching to close to a year.  I won’t say they’re things I’ve lost, like I might have in the past, but they’ve just been a bit out of reach.

Admittedly, there are a lot of factors that have gone into this, as with other stages of my life where I’ve dealt with similar.  On some days, when I reflect on these things, it feels like I go through more patches of this nebulous state of being more and more than I get to experience the clearer state of being.  That is a realization that often is extremely disheartening and overwhelming.

There have been a lot of habits that have formed because of this emotional, physical, mental and psychological fog that I keep experiencing that stems from hormonal shifts, depression and anxiety.  These are things that I am going to try to be far more proactive in recognizing, communicating about, and getting support during than I have before.  I want to find the rope that I can use to pull me forward, up and out, and in one, good direction instead of allowing myself to fall into a rotation of “safety blanket” behaviors that weren’t necessarily “bad”, but allowed me to remain in a place of false security.

So many people talk about resolutions around the turn of one year into the next.  Some people refuse at all to have resolutions, and I’ve been in both of those camps.

I wouldn’t say I’m still in the latter camp.  I feel like I’m somewhere in between.  I’m not focusing on some kind of hard line list of things I want to attempt to live up to.  I’m also not bucking the entire idea that I need to try to force new changes in the new year simply because it’s a new year and it’s a “thing” to at least SAY I’m going to be making X change and Y change and Z change.  I also feel like if I were to sit here and list a bunch of things for everyone to see, it cheapens the intent, and causes far too much self-imposed anxiety and overwhelm over attempting to adhere explicitly and rigidly to these things, especially publicly.

On one hand, I feel like it’s a more personal thing, a sometimes more private thing.  And on the other, sometimes it takes bringing those close to you “into the know” in order to get the kind of support and help one might need in the process.  I also believe that it should be more free flowing, less rigid, and subject to adjustment and change where necessary without the guilt and assumption of failure that is too often applied.

While I don’t want to have a list, I actually do have something one could easily call a list.  At times, when I allow my brain to really start engaging again, I do have a somewhat sick love for semantics. 🙂

There are areas, categories perhaps, that I want to focus on, to work on, to really engage in again to try to create that forward motion I’m looking for.  I am struggling with whether or not to create a visual representation of sorts in order to keep myself reminded, to keep my self more aware, to allow myself to have that poke to stop, breathe, look inward, and to communicate.  I worry about such a thing becoming that hard line list of things, and if I don’t find obvious success, that it’s just another failure.

I have found that this tends to be one of my bigger issues… I think too much and often when I’m not out of my fog, it’s far to easy to let the invasive, negative thoughts in and to talk myself out of one thing that is the better thing, and into something else that isn’t going to push me forward.

This is a new year for all of us.  We all can choose to do things in whatever way we want.  That is the beautiful thing.

I’m going to make lots of choices.  I can only hope I’ll make more choices that are forward moving than I have been.

 

 

 

First Day of Pre School

So, today was Zoe’s first day of Pre School.

Breathes out slowly.

It was a bit hard to sleep last night.

It was harder on me to leave her there than it was for her.

She had a great time, she behaved, and they seem to be charmed by her.  I didn’t really do much more than stare at the clock the whole time before going to pick her up.

Tomorrow might be a bit more productive as I start adjusting.

Goodness, it was a serious “next step” realization in this whole adulting and parenting thing when I was packing her first lunch for school last night.

Here’s to the start of a long next stage of our lives.

The Boys Will Play… Meat, meat, and more meat.

So, as some of you know, James and Kirk started a “stalker blog” as Kirk calls it.  We’ve (mostly they) have been cooking out of the Heritage Cookbook from Sean Brock and his current tenure with Husk here in Charleston, SC., and out in Nashville, TN.

Over time, the plan is to try cooking every single recipe in the book, and blog about each one.  I’m not entirely sure just exactly how many we’ve done.  You can check out their blog here:  Ox and Brock.

Last Friday was the Low Country Boil, which was also the start of preparations for this upcoming Saturday, which will be Heritage’s whole pig roast.  We requested that attendees brought some tidbits.  The big thing was for people to being cinder blocks for the building of a place to roast the pig.  It’s still in the building stage, but it’s certainly progressing.

Of course, I had completely stressed myself out with not just my normal every day stuff, but deep cleaning the majority of our house, decorating for Halloween, and also tending to my Etsy shop.  The idea of that many people being here was certainly not something I was looking forward to because of my anxiety, and thankfully James, Kirk, Kari and those closest to us here were pretty darned understanding and very supportive in getting me through.

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Looks good, doesn’t it?  It was.  It was so, so good.  And the first three batches were completely demolished in no time flat.  Quite a bit of the last batch was leftover, which I’m in the process of turning into (sans all prawn and shrimp) a smooth potato soup with corn and sausage.

Now, it is Wednesday, I’m calmer than I was last week, despite the looming whole pig roast on Saturday.  I’m honestly a bit worried about the weather, it’s been cloudy and rainy every day since Sunday, at least.  And the projections for the weekend haven’t looked good the last handful of days, but it’s starting to look a little better.  For their sake, at least.  And…my yard. It already retains quite a bit of water regularly, despite being a bit elevated from the yard behind our property.  Hopefully things won’t get too torn up.

I’m definitely thinking this time around we’re going to possibly also ask people to bring any tent-like things just in case.  We only have the one, and even if it’s sunny, it’ll be nice to have some extra shade.

Rain or shine, though, this this is happening.  I’ll certainly be interesting to see what happens!

Pretty, Shiny Things!

When I take breaks from yarn, I sometimes make pretty, shiny things!

Check them out in my shop!

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Oh!  And I finally set up my adjustable dress form!  Isn’t it awesome?

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Craft Office Progress!

So, I made some progress on the office late in the week.

It’s still very, VERY rough (don’t judge) seeing as I’m still pulling all my stuff out of the random hiding places around the house.  Oh, and out of boxes from the move, almost a year ago.  (Again, don’t judge.  I already am.)

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Some small progress once I really started digging through my jewelry making stuff.  It’s just a starting point, though.  The desk itself needs some work to look a little less haggard, but it’ll get the job done for the time being.  The desk will largely be used for beading, jewelry and whatnot to start off, because I can crochet pretty much anywhere.  😀

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As you can see, my bookshelf has been taken over.  This as well is just a starting point.  Though, I have to admit I like being able to actually SEE all (ok, you got me, some…maybe most) of my yarn without digging.  I still have a couple stashes I have yet to dig out.  And who knows, I might even have more in the boxes of craft stuff that have barely been broken in to.

What isn’t pictured is the metal shelving and clear plastic bins that James had gotten for me for the spare room’s closet in our last house.  That’s in the closet in the office.  That also needs to be sorted through.  I’m definitely just tossing little tidbits from years ago that I probably shouldn’t have held onto in the first place.  And old projects.  I need to not have the weight of those hanging around.  Starting with an actual office, a craft space, I want to feel less weighed down by the things I was doing years ago, and all the unfinished projects.  What gets tossed, gets tossed.  Other things will either be handed down to Zoe for crafting (appropriately, of course), or donated.

That closet is a pretty decent standard size, so at least there is plenty of room.  The shelving takes up probably a little over half the width, and with the two blue bins emptied of yarn, there is quite a bit of space now.  Those bins will probably go toward my other love, Halloween.  😀  There is also a shelf running the entire width above my head which now houses a random collection of pillow bases, fiber fill, currently unused purses, costumes and halloween decor.  I really do need to getting those pillows used.

Looking forward to some ideas on how to better utilize the space, but…one thing at a time.

I’m still lacking an office chair, which we’ve not needed since the last time we were in South Carolina.  But, seeing as it’s going to be a shared office, I’m thinking one chair most of the time will be perfectly fine.  A rolly one, of course.  For the time being I have confiscated one of the dining room chairs.  Not like we need the 4th chair most of the time, there are only three of us.  Which reminds me, those 4 chairs are from the small dining table.  Now that we’ve got a proper sized dining room, we’ve dug up the full sized table, which can tightly fit 10 people, comfortably fit 8, and spaciously fit 6.  But alas, we only have 4 chairs.  That’s a project for another day.

Brewing Bodacious Beers

Well, not me.  I’ve done very little of the heavy lifting on this project, as it’s more of the guys’ projects.  But the results are pretty tasty!  And one might say that the tasting is the most important part!  I do, at least.

Our friends Kirk and Kari (the ones we stayed with before buying this house) are quite the craft beer fans, and we’ve certainly become more so while hanging out with those two knuckleheads.  Kirk decided to dust off his old brewing set much to James’ excitement and rather quickly they had two brewed and bottled.  We’re up to four kinds of beer now, and a batch of wine.  (Yep!  You can get kits that are basically the wine equivalent of a hamburger helper kit and make it at home! It’s a powder mix.)

So far, this is what we’ve got, in order.

IPA – India Pale Ale  – What is IPA?  Check out The Official Site of IPA Bottled and fully drinkable for quite some time now.

Russian Imperial Stout – What is a Russian Imperial Stout?  Check out the Guide to Beer at Total Wine & More Bottled and taking it’s time in the carbonation process, but it’s getting there.  We’re hopeful.

Belgian Tripel – What is a Belgian Tripel? Check out All About Beer Magazine for their detailed explanation. – Bottled, but we haven’t yet cracked one open to gauge it’s readiness.  Though, there is one in the fridge which we’ll probably tap into tomorrow.

Honey Rye Ale – What is a Honey Rye Ale? This one is fun, and super tasty!  Different in it’s brewing method, check out this great article Brewing With Rye: Tips From The Pros over on Brew Your Own Magazine’s website.  We cracked a test bottle open today, this was our most recent concoction as far as the beers go.  It’s been bottled for a little over a week now and is doing great.  Already fantastically carbonated and the taste is lovely and smooth.  Though, it probably could use just a shade more time to really settle in.

The issue now is finding people to drink it!  It’s too much for just two people!  We’ve had to scrounge up pop-top bottles wherever we can so we don’t have to go buying cases of new ones, and we’ve even gotten donations from a friend of Kirk’s who owns a little craft spot just up the road from us.  So, instead of getting sent to a recycle center, we recycle them!  But with Kirk and Kari off galavanting up north, most of it is just kind of sitting around.  I feel like there might some hosting in our future.  Perhaps a beer tasting or two to get some feedback and move us onto a new style!

We could certainly use that as an excuse to try out some more Sean Brock recipes to go along with the beers!  Those guys do love to cook, and Kari and I love to taste!

Obligatory Catch-Up Post

Well, as anyone who has been following me for long enough already knows, I am horrible at posting on any kind of regular basis.

A quick catch-up since the last post:  She’s back into the swing of being pretty darned compliant with nap times and bed times.  It’s certainly quite nice.  And her potty training is getting better as well.  She’s still having some issues with recognizing and vocalizing when she has to poop, but she hasn’t had a pee accident in ages.

We’ve had some busier than normal times in the past month, lots of little visits with friends and family.  A dear friend of ours moved back down to the area from up north and he came to stay with us a couple times before we went to stay the weekend at his new place to help with the absolutely massive yard he now has.  James had a ball using Clint’s new 0-turn radius mower.  Zoe had a blast riding in his lap.  Between the front and back yards surrounding the house, it’s probably a good 2-3 acres, and he got to mow most of the front.  It’s absolutely beautiful up there.

We also got a visit from one of James’ sisters, Shaunacee and our adorable nephew whose facial expressions rival Zoe’s.  It was really nice to have so many visits.  Got to have some awesome sis-time as well and brought her out and popped her karaoke cherry.  Corruption: One song at a time.  😀

I’m now recuperating (read: hermiting aside from karaoke) from traveling two days back down the coast from spending about a week up in CT and surrounding areas to see my family.  It was quite lovely to have all three of us kids and respective loved ones all in the same place at the same time.  We all managed to overlap our visits with Mom & Dad.  It’s been quite a while since that’s happened with us being 3000 miles away until last November, my oldest brother and his family being in Texas, and the other being up in Massachusetts.

Meeting the newest addition to the family (well, human addition at least) was awesome.  We celebrated her 1st birthday while we were there, a bit early.  She is just the cutest little bundle of awesome.  Her older brother has absolutely sprouted into a 6.5 year old bean pole who still has seemingly boundless energy.  A few of us were a bit apprehensive how the meeting of the cousins would go, but within a couple minutes at the airport, Zoe and Fran were two peas in a very bouncy pod.  They were practically inseparable.  And being around an older kid for a little while was very good for her, since last week, her sentence structure when speaking and her communication of ideas has just bloomed.  Her potty training has also taken some steps forward, after seeing (well, not literally) another kid going by themselves and washing their hands by themselves.  She now does both, on the full size toilet with the stool.  She even moves it herself to wash her hands and demands to do it herself.  Though, we are still having some poop issues from time to time, but at least it’s progress.

Our newest non-human addition to the family is an absolutely gorgeous tri-color collie named Moya that Mom & Dad got 3 months ago.  I have the feeling she’s going to be quite a bit larger than the tri-color we had when I was growing up.  I would say her current size at 6 months is rather close to Brandy’s full grown size, just not as heavy.  Her coat is absolutely beautiful, mostly black with a white mane, white legs and feet, pink pads and a hint of tan on her muzzle and underneath.  She has the sleek head structure of the “Lassie” style collie, and looks like she’s certainly going to have the stature.  One of the more adorable things about her is her rather cat-like behaviors.  She adores cuddling, and will circle you and rub up against you like a cat, she climbs up on the couch with my Mom and tries to get up on her shoulders, nipping at her hair.  It’s quite amusing, to say the least.

All in all, a bit overwhelming but has left me in a better mood overall than I’ve been in a while.  Gotta love that introvert need to hermit after that kind of thing.