"Noah was a brave man to sail in a wooden boat with two termites." - Anonymous

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ready, Set...

So, three pages later, I have the Freedom List for our upstairs and main floor. I have yet to do the basement, and am, really, quite dreading it. Downstairs is where the boys' toys are. Downstairs is where the storage room is (shudder). Downstairs is the laundry room.

But, it needs to be done.

Certain events are in motion, and barring a really bad meeting next Wednesday, those events will kick into high gear. I'd like to be semi-prepared.

And if not, some of it still needs to be done. We, apparently, are really bad at getting rid of things. And it's not just physical clutter, it's the mental clutter that goes along with all the little things that need to get done around a house. That towel bar that needs replacing, the curtain that needs to be re-hung, those pants that need mending. It all takes up a little part of the mind until it's done, nagging you, yet consistently put off. Easy things that never seem to be addressed.

It's frustrating, and I'm tired of it. We're always tired at the end of the week. I'm not complaining or making excuses. Everyone is in the same boat. It's how we choose to deal with it that makes a difference, and obviously in our house, something is not working. We need to address that, make the change, and give it a solid shot. Otherwise we're back where we started.

Frustrated by all of it.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

WOYNW - Spring in Canmore

All this snow is really getting me down, so I wanted to make something that reminded me of spring.

On the weekend, I was going to make some socks, with a lovely yarn that's all blue, green, and yellow, and so lovely and bright, and cheery looking. But, when I got home from the yarn shop, I noticed one of the needles I needed had slipped out of the package somewhere between there and home. Short one needle, and not able to get back until later in the week.

So, instead I pulled this lovely yarn out of the stash, and pulled one the Three Sisters scarf patterns out of my binder, and cast on. There's been a couple of rough starts, but it's coming along, and it's looking lovely. Before I wound the yarn, I wasn't expecting this beautiful dark green patch. It had been hiding from me. I love the colours though, they really do make me think of springtime in the mountains, when everything is bright and new.

Pattern: Three Sisters #3. Yarn: SpunShine Fibers

Head on over to Kerry's blog Knit, Scrap & Sew to see what's on other knitter's needles.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Freedom List - It Begins

I knew this would be a long process when I first thought about doing it.

I'm a list girl. I make lists for everything. Sometimes my lists are a little overwhelming, and therefore get conveniently forgotten. Sometimes they morph and change as my needs do. Sometimes they are simple, and it's easy to knock items off, and they're done. For a while I tried to not make as many lists, then I flaked on my walking friend three days in a row because I kept forgetting various pieces of gear.

Last night I started my Freedom List. (It even says that across the top of the page). This list will be many pages long. Some items will be easy and quick, and will get crossed off with ease. Others will take longer, and may require some more planning.

I'm not in this alone. Hubs doesn't know it yet, but my Freedom List is partly the family's Freedom List. There will be items where all of us need to pitch in. If our plans for the summer are to come to fruition, everyone has a part to play in that. For practicality, I even tried to think of a central place in our home, where I could hang the list, and we could all see it, and it would be a great visual reminder. I couldn't think of anywhere convenient I would put it, and still want to invite people over for supper. This is a reason I'm not a fan of open concept homes.

This list will take many days to create, and it will never truly be finished, as more will be added as we go along. In the beginning it may be frustrating, because we will be adding more than we're crossing off.

But, there will be a time when the list is growing less than it is shrinking. And when that time comes, if I can take the time to recognize it, there will be a big sigh of relief from me.

Last night I started. I started in our youngest son's bedroom. He's only been around for 3.5 years. Since he pretty much uses his room for just sleeping, I didn't think there would be a lot to do. And, I guess, there's really not. Only seven or eight items were on the list when I walked out.

Tonight, I tackle the master bedroom. If I can find my way out from underneath all the paper that will be created, I will report back in a couple of days.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wednesdays are for Knitting

Well, not just Wednesdays. But, I wanted to have a regular place to record my progress, and what better than a specific day? It also gives me a chance to practice my photography.

So, what went down recently?

Mum's birthday scarf,  just in time for their trip down south. She bought this lovely yarn at a mini-mill in PEI in the fall. There's enough left that I'm looking at slouchy beret patterns to match.

Mum modeling her scarf. Pattern: Old Shale Scarf. Yarn: Belfast Mini Mills

Getting a head start on birthday presents this year, I knit this scarf for my eldest brother-in-law. It should be perfect for our cold Calgary winters. The yarn is 100% wool from Iceland. So rustic there was the odd small piece of hay in the yarn. A super-fast knit though, I started it just over 3 weeks ago, and just need to sew in the ends.

I call this 'Scarf on a Table'. Pattern: Staggered Rib Scarf. Yarn: Istex Alafoss Lopi

And finally, what's currently on the needles, is this fantastic lace scarf by Janine Le Cras. I love the look of her shawls, and this is the first one I am attempting. It can be slow going, but that orange life-line is a godsend. The yarn is a dream to work with...I would love to get my hands on some of their sock yarn.

Wow, it's really impossible to tell what the finished project will look like. Pattern: 10 in 2010 Shawl. Yarn: Handmaiden

You know, I started a cardigan for hubs back in June? It's really hard to work on. I've heard that about sweaters. So much knitting, so long to see the results. I will pick it up again. Perhaps this week, since I'm down to only a couple unfinished projects. Perhaps Friday, since he's going out...

Monday, February 7, 2011

Day 30 - Some Progress

So, today is officially Day 30 of my decluttering journey. While I never got off the boat, there were some days I was barely hanging on. Those small victories included making sure the daily paper made it into the recycle bin by bedtime, and keeping on top of all the drawings that the boys bring home with them.

Some larger victories included cleaning out my inbox on my home computer, transferring my files from two, not very handy boxes to a real filing cabinet, and getting the shelf food storage organized (thanks sweetie!)

The next step? How do I move from a 30-day journey to a period of intense house clearing? Well, one of my tools will be my Freedom List as Paula would call it, but if you go to her next post, you'll see it's about more than just a physical to-do list, it's about emotional and mental to-do's as well. My freedom list will range from the small (mend my son's jeans) to the large (clean out the storage room).

We went and looked at a house yesterday with our realtor. We're not at the buying point yet, we still have to go through all the other stuff first, like talking to the bank, getting our house ready, and selling it (this is one point I will not move on). But, we've set the process in motion.

Much of the next few months for us will be focused around decluttering our physical space and (for me, anyway) getting past the emotional attachment to this space. We brought both boys home to this house. We've been here for eight years (I've never lived in a house much longer than eight years). Right now I know it's time to pass it on and let someone else build their memories in it. But when the time comes for that to actually happen, I need to remember that and believe it.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Awww, Nuts!

Have you seen this?

What do you think?

Do you want to know what I think? (If your answer is "no", then you can stop reading) If you do, thank you in advance.

The first thought that went through my head was "Really?" (Please remember that I live in Canada, and while we have been getting worse, we are still nowhere near as litigious as the States.)

I had many other thoughts, and now that I've had a day, I can't remember what order they came in. Sorry.

They went something like these: (though not necessarily in this order)

  • Did this lady fail high school chemistry?
  • Did this lady fail high school biology?
  • Can she read?
  • They do have nutrition labels in the States, right?
  • Companies have been using that "...part of a healthy breakfast..." line for eons. It doesn't mean their product is the most healthy part of said breakfast.
  • I love Nutella.
  • Especially smeared on a fresh crepe while I'm walking along the Seine by the Eiffel Tower.
  • My boys don't like Nutella on crepes. My boys don't like crepes.
  • How could they be mine?
  • Did she notice that sugar was the first ingredient?

I don't know about you, but in high school I learned about the difference between calories and Calories. I learned the chemical formulas for fructose, glucose, sucrose, etc., the chemical formulas for the breakdown of those sugars. And I learned how to calculate the amount of calories (energy) that could come from a measure of sucrose during metabolism.

My Mum taught me how to read nutrition labels (thanks Mum!) She taught me that ingredients are listed in order of amount, from greatest to least. I learned later how companies break up sugar content with different ingredients, thereby scattering them around the ingredient list.

Mum also taught me that once I had a healthy breakfast I could eat whatever I wanted. (She hates that I tell people this, and insists I have taken it out of context)

She also taught me to take responsibility for my actions.

If I choose to stuff my face with Nutella every morning, that's my choice. (I don't, by the way) But don't turn around and complain if I've gained weight in the process or suffered a myriad of health problems because of that choice.

And certainly don't sue the company.

I mean really...it's like suing the makers of Gushers because the amount of liquid they show kids covered in on their commercials is not the amount that's actually inside the little candy.

/end rant