7

484 Days

That’s 1 year 3 months and 29 days to be exact.  That’s also how long I’ve been “working” on my Day Zero Project (101 things in 1001 days).  I say working with those little quotey bits around it because being a new mom means that you are never really doing anything for yourself anymore.  Not that I’m complaining, just sayin’ ;)  But since I am almost to the halfway point on my list of stuff to accomplish, I figure it’s about time I do a little inventory of my progress and see what I can start working towards next.  Besides, I’m feeling really lame about the fact that I used to post 2-3 times a week and I’m lucky if I can write 2-3 times a month now.  So, I’m squeezing this one in to fill my quota.
 
One of my goals was to try to cook 10 new things during my 1001 days of self-improvement.  I haven’t been very good about keeping track of my progress in this arena so I know that I’ve cooked more than I’m accounting for, but for all intensive purposes, I’m over halfway to my goal with 6 new recipes under my apron.  Maybe I’m just subconsciously refusing to acknowledge some of the utter atrocities against gastronomy that have come out of my kitchen in the last couple months and that’s why I didn’t account for them.  When a magazine comments that “this is best skillet lasagna we’ve ever tasted” you kinda tend to believe them.  But I can tell you, it’s not.  Don’t cook it.  Don’t believe the hype.  I’m a Virgo and I have never had a single difficulty following a recipe to the letter.  But I was really beginning to wonder what the crap was going on.  Did I lose my cooking skillz?  ‘Cause that’s the one Domestic Diva thing (besides laundry) that I really can do. If I don’t have that, then sheesh, I got nothin’.
 
I finally had success last weekend with the Baked Shrimp Curry shown below which scored a solid 8.5 from R. Darling.  I think I mentioned before that 9 is the highest something can rate unless it’s served naked ;)  He ranked it a half point below perfect only because he thought it could be tweaked a little.  I agreed.  But an 8.5 was a welcome relief after the resounding 4’s I’d been getting up to that point.  Maybe it’s just the push I need to keep trying.
 

Baked Shrimp Curry


 
Things completed to date:

  1. February 2, 2010 – Grew a munchkin :)
  2. March 9, 2010 – Finally replaced the crappy paper shade over our “bonus” window in our bedroom with beautiful wood blinds.
  3. November 24, 2010 – Knit Mom her Pirate Fake-Isle Earflap Hat (finally!)
  4. January 22, 2011 – Renewed my Library Card

 
Wow. That’s kind of depressing that I’ve only finished 4 things on my list!  But here’s the list of stuff I’m currently working on:

  1. Put $50 or more each month into our savings account.  I started this in January 2010 and was doing pretty well until Knittymunchkin showed up so early.  Since then I’ve been able to do it most months, but there were a few months that were pretty tight with the fundage, so I had to skip a couple.  But we had a great tax refund this year and I’m hoping to get back on track with this soon.
  2. Organize our closet.  I recently spent over $100 at The Container Store on stuff to help get our closet more organized.  This is definitely a work in progress since we really need to put some effort into decluttering first, but I’m working on all of that all over the house.  Kinda crazy how I have to spend money to get myself more organized though.  Don’t know how much I like that idea, but if it works, I’m all for it.  I’m sick and tired of my mess.
  3. Buy an advent calendar with drawers or cubbies for the baby (future holiday traditions).  I’m sort of changing this one a little and have decided to knit him Smitten as an alternative.  I’ve made maybe 3 mittens so far and I really need to get my butt in gear if I’m going to finish this for him in time for this Christmas.  I was thinking 2 mini-mittens each month would be no big deal and would get me to my goal on time, but now I’m realizing I am totally not sticking to that timeline so I’d better get on it.
  4. Finally put all our photos in a photo album where they belong.  Weeeeellll, I was working on this really heavily before Knittymunchkin (are you sensing a theme here?) but haven’t done any work since.  And I’ve got a lot to do since I have to go as far back as our honeymoon (in 2004!) to get things in order, nevermind all the baby photos I have not even glanced at, much less printed out.  Le sigh.
  5. Try 10 new recipes.  As you saw above, I’m getting there!  6 down, 4 to go.
  6. Knit 5 things from IK (or Knitscene).  I’ve knit 2 things: Chameleon Scarf and Oscilloscope Shawl.  So, we’re getting there.  The good thing is, I love most of the stuff from IK and Knitscene so it shouldn’t be too much trouble to complete this eventually.
  7. Knit a Baby Surprise Jacket.  I’m such a finishing slacker.  This is totally done.  It just needs buttons!  And I’m pretty sure it won’t fit him anymore.  Bad Mommy :(
  8. Whittle my UFO’s down to zero, or 3 minimum.  I’ve finished 3 of the original 10.  We’ll get there.  I think the next UFO I’ll tackle after I finish Momo and the Subway Hat, is my secrety squirrel test knit socks that really aren’t secrety anymore.  Now that I’ll be attending Sock Summit, I’ve got me a fever!  And the only prescription is more socks!
  9. Whittle my stash down to half.  O.k.  So I’m totally slacking on this one too, but I am getting better at not buying so much yarn (at least until Sock Summit, ha ha) and I’m working as much as I can from stash.  It’s a great feeling to know I didn’t have to buy yarn to complete something.  Though I’ll probably never make this goal, the fact is, I get satisfaction just from making the effort and sometimes that’s just as important as actually meeting the goal.
  10. Knit a sweater in pieces.  I actually started a project in pieces quite a while ago for an SKC KAL, but never finished knitting the pieces.  I took a seaming class recently (March 25, 2011) at my LYS to gain a little confidence with the technique and seamed a little bit of my sweater.  It wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought (I pretty much knew the basics, but didn’t realize I did) and now I feel a bit better about the whole thing.  I hope to finish this sweater before too long and once it’s done, hopefully I’ll have the confidence to try another and with each one, get a little less intimidated with seamed construction.

 
And that’s a snapshot of the last 484 days.  Man, do I have some work to do!

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8

Growing

Though I woke to a blanket of snow the morning before yesterday, I sense the quickening of spring in the air around me.  I hear it in the song of birds returned, smell it on the softening breeze, and feel it in the sun upon my face.  The time for growth is soon at hand.
 
Knittymunchkin has most certainly felt it too.  He is walking like a professional and exploring his world from the moment he wakes, until the last minutes of the day, snuggled in my arms before bedtime.  He has learned his first word (“Mama”) and I think my heart might explode every time I hear him say it.
 

My sweet little man!


 
Renewed interest in my garden has swelled up from somewhere deep inside of me.  After an entire season of neglect, I have a lot of work ahead of me to get things back in order.  R. Darling insisted on buying me the composter I kept looking at, and keeps encouraging me to give it a try as I waffle over whether it was a good decision or not.  Growing up with a mother who composted the “cheap” way, I got a little grossed out by the piles of food waste that littered the yard in various locations throughout the years.  Though I couldn’t deny my mom knew what she was doing, I always felt there must be a better, i.e. cleaner, way to do the whole thing.  Lucky for me, composting is back in vogue and there are lots of options.  Perhaps next year we’ll put in the raised beds for vegetables that I’ve been wanting for a while and with a little work maybe the dahlias I’ve been craving too.  But for now, I’ve started some zinnia and poppy seeds in my upstairs bathroom window and I can’t wait to see them blooming this summer.
 

Birth of a zinnia


 
Perhaps you’ve noticed the array of socks being added to my Ravelry queue lately.  Maybe it was finally finishing my Jaywalkers, the fact that I’ll be attending Sock Summit 2011 this summer (are you going too? let me know!), or the fact that I still have 15 lbs. to lose and just cannot justify knitting a sweater for a weight I don’t want to be, but whatever it is, I have sock fever!  Good thing I’ve got a stash that’s fit to burst with fingering yarns.  I’m thinking a pair of Leyburn socks in Hazel Knits’ Cami Chic or perhaps the it’s time to jump on the Monkey Sock bandwagon.
 

Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in "Cami Chic"


 
I decided it is also about time I take the leap into the unknown and put some effort into a dream I’ve had for many years now.  I’m going to start with something small and manageable and enter this writing contest.  I am, of course, fraught with fears.  What if no one wants to hear my life story?  Do I have a life story worth sharing?  What do I write about?  What if I suck?  What if I don’t win?  But worse:  what if I never even try?  I feel the opportunities to achieve what I want in my life becoming fewer and fewer as the years pass me by.  As Yoda would say, “Do or do not.  There is no try.”
 
So you see, I’m growing too.