Thoughts on Winter…in April

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I’m blessed to work with some funny & clever people. Always a good thing but especially helpful when it’s April 2nd and another round of “icy mix followed by plowable snow” is headed your way. (Yep, any and all motivation to leave the house is much needed.)

And just to be clear: I had nothing to do with creating this video — despite the fact that it features knitting, ice skating, and a dog in a sweater that looks an awful lot like Violet.

FO Parade: Dishcloths & Dishtowels

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In case it wasn’t clear in my earlier Finishing Frenzy post, September was one INTENSE month at work. What’s a gal to do when comfort knitting is in order? Dishcloths, of course!

And nice ones at that, since I had lots of well-marinated cotton left over from baby projects for Izzy and a Log Cabin Blanket knit years ago for my sister and brother-in-law.

The only problem? Shrinkage even in tepid water. (Insert obligatory nod to George Costanza.) Never mind that, let’s just revel in the before photos…

dishcloths 2

Patterns: Ballband Dishcloth by Pisgah Yarn
& Slip Stitch Dishtowels by Purl Soho
Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Cotton

dish towel and clothsAs for the end result… Well, they served their stress-busting needs so there’s that. Plus, there’s no shortage of spills to wipe up at our house — big and tiny.

Onward.

Life Part 2: Where We’re Headed

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By this time next week, we’ll be on the road. Destination? Well, here’s a photographic hint.

Mosquito repellent and a book of dog sweater patterns…. Yep, Minnesota! After 3+ years in Albuquerque, we’re headed home. This time, though, the “little CRV that could” will have three pet carriers. May the travel gods of animal spirits smile (or at least not frown) on us.

It’s been a spring of tough decisions (and, as you may have noticed, miles and miles of comfort garter stitching). Thing is, despite a good job (the one that brought us to NM) and some of the best friends Izzy and I could ever hope to make, we belong in Minnesota. (I’ll spare the laundry list of family/personal reasons.) By April, I knew it was time to say goodbye.

We’re excited, not to mention relieved happy that our well-loved home in Linden Hills awaits us. A nice reminder that sometimes the universe has a good reason for dropping obstacles (bad real estate markets, property management struggles) on our path — and that even without those obstacles, the path is always winding.

Those Last 3 Months (and 2 FOs)

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Why the long radio silence? Here goes…as quickly as I can.

Shortly after the year started, I found out that the woman who owns the house we were renting in ABQ wanted to put it on the market. Couldn’t blame her as I was coming to a similar conclusion about the house I was renting out in Minneapolis. But where and when to go?

Perhaps it was because my 46th birthday was nearing, kicking me into what I hope is the second half of my life—hey, I come from some hearty Scandinavian-Irish stock with many a 90+ birthday celebrated, so it’s not irrationally optimistic. Perhaps it was because when I started looking around at the piles of crap lovely stuff that had followed us across the country on our Westward moves, I started to feel like a Hoarders intervention could be on the horizon. And perhaps—no, most definitely—because the past few years had redefined intense.

And so the Great Downsizing Dream was born. A small, cozy place with less space and objects to clean. Pre-baked landscaping with the beauty that I, frankly, lack the patience or skill for. Maintenance and repairs in someone else’s hands, and checkbook. A downsized, yet upsized, life.

In other words, step off the moving sidewalk before you’re catapulted face first.

A lovely apartment was found. The first of dozens of Goodwill trips were made. A spring break moving “vacation” was planned. (The kid would eventually forgive me—the new place had a pool!) I was a woman determined and in control; I would live in 1/2 the space with 1/3 the stuff. With God as my witness, life would be clutter-free!

And then work got crazy in a way that I can’t describe, mostly because I’ve so thoroughly blocked it. The planned-for vacation time got cut short. The remaining charitable trips were replaced with a frantic call for a junk van. Seriously. Here’s the photographic evidence.

 

Fast forward 2 months to today, with work back to it’s “normal” pace and the apartment finally losing that warehouse veneer. My knitting needles are once again in action. There’s the dish towel that started this post to christen the new kitchen. And a scarf that, while blocked back at the house and worn several times in February, didn’t get photographed until it was unpacked in April.

 

More later…I’ve still got some unpacking to do. And a house in Minneapolis to sell.