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Monday, March 24, 2014

March Mission Accomplished

My New Year's Resolution for March was to create a Christmas Card mailing list. It's the kind of mindless fun sort of job I enjoy - but it's really so mindless it was hard to make myself sit down and actually create it. Then suddenly I realized it was almost April and I hadn't begun. And so. Sunday morning I sat down with the huge stack of old cards, envelopes, and the crusty Rolodex and began to type.


I haven't decided what I want to do for April - though we have HVAC guys coming early next month to put in a ductless heat pump. Mitsubishi ElectricMitsubishi ElectricMitsubishi ElectricFour Mitsubishi Hyper-Heat Ductless Units, in fact. Here's what they look like.


So it might behoove me to clean out the corner in the spare room that is heaped with yarn bins, fiber tubs, laundry baskets full of family photos, a spinning wheel, a chair and several bags of unfinished knitting projects. That might be my April Resolution - or better yet - putting it all back in useful and accessible order might be the real resolution.  Sigh. Sounds like werk to me. 

A more fun resolution might be 

So now it's discourse between head and heart - or conscious and subconscious - or Left Brain and Right Brain. Either way - I will probably do at least some of both. And with that TheQueen will bid March adieu with this fascinating photo of the sun's reflection in a pool of water.  Juno is intrigued. Or is it Callie?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Happy New Year and Knitting Too

Time for those New Year's Resolutions.

Huh? What's that? It's March? Well? So? Who says you can't make resolutions as the world is beginning to emerge from the misery that was the past 2 months? Heck. It was all TheQueen could do to put on shoes and go to work every day. There wasn't anything left to help her Make Plans for Better Times.

But that was then and this is now. This morning I woke up with this old Lovin' Spoonfull song playing in my head. Something about the light, the angle of the sun, the sounds outdoors, seems to have magically opened up the cobwebby windows in my head and I can see clearly enough to actually make plans. But in thinking about those plans it dawned on me that, this year, at least, I don't want to plan too far forward. Perhaps it's because, to quote Susan Miller from AstrologyZone, "Mars has been tearing through my earned income sector since December 7, and it seems I've needed to spend it as fast as it has been coming in." No duh after a heart attack at Christmas just in time to wipe out the deductible of 2013 and suck up the 2014 allotment. And things Financial don't look any better in April when: "Next month, we will have two very hard eclipses, April 15 and 29. The one that will affect you more will be the one April 15, and it will affect the source of your income." Ouch!

Oh well. C'est la vie - et c'est l'argent. Guess I won't buy any frivolous stuff for a while. Thank goodness I don't need any new clothes, either. Mental note to self "Do Not Look At Elann dot Com's March Specials".

Anyway - back to the New Year's Resolutions and planning ahead and all that stuff. It dawned on me that I don't really feel like tracking down and tackling any Big Things this year. What I have is a whole bunch of little tidying up things that need to be done, in no particular order.  So for the rest of this Has To Get Better year, I plan to tackle one small tidying-up chore a month. One irritating bit of sloppiness in my life will be eliminated.  One corner of messiness will be made into a retreat of serene and pleasurable organization. 

And No. I'm not assigning all 10 of them right now. I will pick one each month - the one who's completion would make me happiest right now. And Right Now that chore is to update the address book. We have a hideous rolo-dex that ThePrince wants to keep but I'm going to take that, the bag of Christmas cards with envelopes, and the drawer stuffed with Other Correspondence, and create my very own database. Yes. Yes. I know how to do this. I even think it's fun - it's such a Virgo thing to enjoy - like filling out forms. Just thinking about being able to print address labels for Christmas Cards makes me happy. 

Creativity? Where is the creativity in TheCastle? Well - there actually has been some and there's quite a lot more up ahead because, in fact, some of my Other Messy Corners involve Drawing and Knitting, Prayer and Writing. In the darkest days of late January I picked up a copy of Knitters Magazine and fell deeply in love with Fiona Ellis' pink cabled sweater. (Shush. Do NOT ask me about my oatmeal Aran sweater. We aren't ready to talk about that yet.)

You can see it on the web page - with the number 58 beside it - that's the page number where you'll find it in the magazine. I love and admire Ms. Ellis SO much. I feel blessed to have taken a class from her and have longed to knit at least one of her designs ... which is a rare desire for TheQueen, who tends to only knit stuff she's made up herself. Of course, with finances hijacked by Mars and, even in the wretched month of January, the budding desire to tidy up the clutter in TheCastle, I didn't want to buy any new yarn. Diving into the stash, though, I found a bag of, now discontinued, Louisa Harding Jasmine - in this pretty coral color. It's a blend of cotton, bamboo, silk and polyester and there is probably only enough to knit this sweater with short sleeves - but it knits to gauge and will make the best warm weather sweater to throw on in chilly air conditioned offices come this summer. 

In an effort to cheer up his deeply depressed queen, ThePrince has been reading Tolkien out loud and this has proved to be a wonderful project to knit while listening. I almost never knit flat pieces but I'm following the directions on this project. Slow going,  a little sloppy with guttered purl rows, but I'm okay with it and definitely not in any hurry. Here is what I've done so far.

And here's where I'm going to end up. (back view) I'm just about ready to start the decreases and to knit that little flourish of a cable at the top.

There has also been drawing - for pencils and pens have called out to me in a sad lament. Well - they did a few weeks ago and I responded.  Though creaky - my hands are starting to feel more confident with each day's practice. Yes. Lots of faerie stuff - and we can just pretend it's inspired by Tolkien. If there is more to say later - it will be said. 

Mostly it's just fun. 

So. That's the state of things here in TheCastle. TheQueen is moving forward into 2014 at last, with a lighter heart and sunnier outlook than the cold drear of January would have predicted. It is now Tomorrow - and we are all At Tara.