Monday, March 2, 2015

Doing it All is for Amateurs

I had some emails and Rav PMs after the last podcast and I answered them all. But then I saw people at Stitches West, and I decided to answer it here, because everyone keeps asking: How is this working? How are you DOING IT ALL? I mean, I'm working and homeschooling the boys and going to school myself, then there's the health stuff and the regular house and family life things that go into just plain living- how is it all coming together?

The answer is: The "Doing it All" myth is for amateurs, and I know at this point in my life that it's just not possible. And I'm totally okay with that.

There are a lot of factors that make this work. I'll talk about many of them in a moment, but you have to know before this post really gets going that there is one secret weapon. One BIG thing that pulls together all the little details.

Little things first:

1) This is not a long term situation. Knowing that makes all the difference in my psyche. This one semester is really tough schedule wise, but after this everything about our schedule gets a little looser and knowing that life is only like this through the first week of May is a short term projection I can deal with.

2) We are schooling on a way alternative schedule. Math, latin, grammar and all the other school things are being covered in the appropriate amount of hours, just not like a normal school schedule and not at all like we used to do it. Saturdays have become a bigger school day for us and Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday are like "maintenance" days. They have a selection of their work to get done on their own in the morning and then I check it all with them after I'm finished with my work or school. School may go all the way to the end of June to finish our hours, but that's fine too.

3) My creative time has been slimmed down in a way, but I'm cranking through some things during class. Knitting while listening to lecture really helps me keep my focus- I know that may not be true for some people, but keeping my hands busy lets my brain concentrate on what I'm hearing. I'm going to call it a side effect of listening to many audiobooks while knitting and doing housework over the past several years.

4) I am more organized than I was before. I went back to a paper planner so that as I think of tasks that need to be completed I can dump it into the correct day on the planner to make sure it gets done and free up my brain space for what is right in front of me. Homework assignments, readings, work -related projects, kid stuff- it all goes into the planner and I'm doing really well with this system. I look through the week's worth of things to do on Sundays to get myself organized for the week, and my florescent pink planner is the workhorse of this semester's schedule. 

5) Taking care of my body is more important than ever before. Between the schedule and the autoimmune disease sleep is the most specific priority and I am making sure that happens every single night. I don't include inflammatory foods in my diet and I'm making sure to get my steps in every day (which is super easy now that I leave the house more frequently- working from home has it's perks, but incidental exercise isn't one of them).

But I told you earlier- it really all comes down to one BIG secret weapon.

See, back when I was first considering the whole "Back to School" thing, I looked at the math of the situation and threw my hands in the air. There was no way it was possible. And thinking about all the back and forth of the situation was dizzying. It seemed right to say no, and I did. It was my husband who looked at it all, and promised me that he would help make it work, and he has been true to his word.

He helps the boys with their math lessons and supervises the evening madness of dinner and showers and bedtimes on the nights I'm working late or escape to a knit night. He finishes laundry I started earlier in the day, and makes sure the kids help around the house. Really, he's the reason I can even do this at all.

I have family (most specifically my mom) who are willing to help out on a regular basis by watching kids and getting them to trampoline or gymnastics or whatever when I have class or doctor's appointments.

It's all about support.

I had to let go of a few things too. The dishes are not always done, I'm *always* behind on laundry, and "free time" is spent plate balancing- what needs attention right now so that nothing crashes into a firey explosion? But I'm not the only one plate balancing- Brian is right here with me, asking what he can take over, taking the kids to the park for an hour or two so I can take a quiz online, all amidst his own work and commitments.

So there may not be really cool craft projects (my kids are kind of awesome at making up their own anyway) and not as many field trips. There may not even be a garden this year (Okay, there will probably be one, but it will be small. Miniscule. Probably.) But, it's a thing. A thing for just right now to get me to somewhere I need to go, and it's going to be a good place.

If only I can pass Anatomy and Physiology. That would be great.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Midnight Fiber and Fabric Podcast Episode 26: A Delicate Ballet

I finished the Lookin’ Jadey socksHermione’s Everyday Socks and the Long Mitt Envy fingerless gloves. I also cast on NEON vanilla socks 

Cable love: Rocky Coast Cardigan by Hannah Fettig, Baroque by Janice Kang, and Zombie ViXen by Susan Claudino.

I set some fiber-y goals for the new year and tried out some new needles over the past several weeks, including HiyaHiya Sharps, Knitter's Pride Nova Platina and Chiaogoo RED.

We've been reading: 

Ellie's Favorites: (age 2) Moo Baa La La La by Sandra Boynton and Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney 

The boys: (ages 7 and 9)  
My Side of theMountain by Jean Craighead George
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl 
SarahPlain and Tall by Patricia McLachlan 
Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes

My reading: 

Drums ofAutumn by Diana Gabaldon
The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell 
The Pale Horseman by Bernard Cornwell
The History of the Ancient World by Susan Wise Bauer 

I will be heading to Stitches West February 19-22 and would love to meet up with you! 

You can join in on the podcast conversation on:

Monday, January 19, 2015

After Quiet

Funny thing about being quiet for such a long time. There is so much to say, but it's hard to get it out. It all seems inadequate after a long absence, so let's start with the basic thing:

Sometimes media is so loud that I can't hear anything else. It rattles around in my brain along with the chores that need done and the grocery list and my work in the studio and time with my family...and I lose track of all the things I want and need to do in the middle of the noise. So I take a break and get my head right and come back better for the absence.

So here I am. Back from the absence, hopefully with more to say.

A little backtracking and a "where we are now" so that tomorrow we move forward:

1. Influenza A hit Ellie over Christmas break and she's finally back to normal. She had to go in to get IV fluids,which was one of the saddest things I've ever had to do with one of my kids, but she bounced back tremendously the next day and even more the next day. Definitely the right decision, but hard on all of us at the time. Thankful that no one else in the family was infected.

2. I have not been well these last several weeks because of the autoimmune thing. That has certainly influenced the lack of wordage in this space. Sorry about that, but the best thing I can do during a big flare is stay warm and sleep a lot. (Check and check.)

3. I have been knitting, but not as much as I would like to and not anything of exceeding interest or difficulty. Mostly socks, because they are beautiful and easily repeatable. My sock yarn stash may have grown in the last several weeks.

4. I started 2 college classes last week. I have not been to college in... a long time. I'm really loving how the professors post their notes on blackboard and I can just print them off before class. Seriously. My messed up hands are super appreciative of not having to write for an hour straight and hope I got it all. Studying? I'm still figuring that one out. Like I said- college and me haven't been a thing for a long time.

The things is, one really crazy semester of school and work and homeschooling is going to set me up for something awesome next fall, so I'm doing my best with crazy right now and spending all the other minutes sleeping. Really. Ask my kids. And my husband. I'm not the most graceful sleeper, but I am a frequent one.

As for this space...

Another episode of the podcast is coming. I don't like to make promises on my time right now, but hoping for next week.

I've been interviewing different needle brands for sock knitting and have a new and surprising (to me) favorite, so organizing that information for you too. And pictures... there is a camera deficiency at our house after Ellie "retired" the most recent camera. So it's cell pictures, which are.... fine. Hoping to remedy the camera situation soon.

If you want to find me in other spaces, I'm most active on Instagram and Twitter at the moment, but check in on  RavelryPinterest, and Facebook from time to time too.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Midnight Fiber and Fabric Podcast, Episode 25: Heel Connoisseur

 This week I've been working on Hitofude and Hermione’s Everyday Socks out of a colorway by Nerd Girl Yarn. I’ve also been cutting fabric for pajamas for all of the kids. 

I love the amazing bath, body, and baby things at and just restocked our cabinets.

We are preparing for the holiday season- I'd love to know some of your traditions and favorite winter things. Please share on the Episode 25 Thread on Ravelry.

I'm working on learning new sock heels and mention Sock Architectureby Lara Neel.

I picked up Hiya Hiya Sharps and Knitter’s Pride Nova Platina needles to try out this week.

Events: I will be heading to Stitches West February 19-22.

You can join in on the podcast conversation on:

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Midnight Fiber and Fabric Podcast, Episode 24: Bizarre Circle of Conversation

Lots of Halloween sewing for this year, mostly for Ender's archer ensemble:

Knitting: World Series Socks, Hitofude, 5-1 Mittens, Flax

Winter Wear KAL: Let's knit together on some items for this winter- anything winter related can be connected to this KAL! 

Join in by tagging your work with #winterwearKAL on Instagram and Twitter or on the Ravelry thread for the KAL.

Craftsy class: Handknit Knitting Design with Shirley Paden. Can you visualize what the written pattern will become before you have knit it? I'd love to know about how you see your knitting.

On the Nightstand: Life of Pi by Yann MartelHistory of the Ancient World by Susan Wise Bauer, Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

Events: Stitches West February 19-22

You can join in on the podcast conversation on:

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