What’s Up 2016?

Monkeys & Legos

Ah, hello Day 2 of the New Year! Or are you no longer new now that you are 2 days old? No matter.  I am still feeling the brand new optimism that comes from the arrival of a new year.

Lists and plans are still a thing of the future today.  I’ve got time and I will get down to business when I’m good and ready.  Today I am working on my first project of the new year and cooking my Mom a batch of my Dad’s spaghetti sauce.  It feels auspicious that I am doing both these things on the second day of the year.

The holidays always remind me of my Dad.  We would wait for all our favorite Christmas specials to come on TV after dinner. Hurry! Charlie Brown Christmas is starting! Now it’s all on demand, but back then we had to make sure we were planted in front of the TV on the proper channel or we’d miss out.  There was something special about not being able to pause or rewind our favorite specials.  You had to be present both physically and emotionally.  I kind of miss those days.  But mostly, I miss my Dad.  He passed away in 2009 and sometimes I almost forget he won’t answer the phone when I call or give me a whiskery kiss and tell me not to take any “wooden nickels.” But I keep him alive making his spaghetti sauce.  He taught me his “recipe” many years ago and I almost never cook it, choosing the speedy cheater method I’ve developed over years of college and young professional life rather than the low and slow day long approach his recipe requires.  A couple years ago I didn’t know what to give my Mom for Mother’s Day, so I decided to dig out my handwritten recipe from the cooking lesson Dad gave me so many years ago, and I made her a batch.  My Mom, notoriously hard to please with gifts, practically shed a tear.  You’d think I’d delivered the moon and stars. Today, I’m giving that gift again.  But really, it’s a gift for both of us. We both get to start the year with my Dad.

As for the socks, they’re auspicious too. I knit a pair of Cookie A’s Monkey socks a couple years ago and really enjoyed both the process and the result.  My plan (as yet fully unrevealed) for 2016 is to knit a lot of socks.  That’s all I’m really committing to you see: a lot. No specific number, no limiting myself to only socks this year….. why stress? But more on that later.  Anyway, back to the Monkey thing.  The pattern I cast on for is a version of the Monkey socks, but toe-up and purl-less.  It’s called Los Monos Locos and has been in my queue since April 2011 (!). Though I loved the Monkey pattern and really want a pair for myself, I thought it would be more fun to work on my queue at the same time I work on my sock problem er, goals.  So I cast on and guess what I discovered while surreptitiously slurping photos for my Ravelry project page?  The Chinese Astrology Year of the Monkey begins in February.

How’s that for auspicious?



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.