Monday, January 10, 2011

Happiness Project, Monday of Week 2

Well, it was a Monday today, but not a bad Monday.  We had our Kindergartener's in the Computer Lab and I got quite a bit more benchmark testing done.  I went grocery shopping after work, picked up a prescription, unloaded groceries and put them away, made a meatloaf and baked potato dinner and changed out the dishwasher.

I downloaded a chapter of a book I saw mentioned by Kelly P. from Knit Picks onto my Kindle.  The premise of the book is making some sort of craft item every day for a year.  Kelly was asking how the idea of the book might be transferred to knitting or spinning.  Easy, I thought, just knit every day.  So, knit I have.

This is what I've been knitting on this evening. 
This was an unexpected project.  My friend asked me for a little help with a scarf she was knitting.  I looked over her scarf, and I was having a bit of trouble figuring out exactly what was happening on her project.  I knew that she had ripped out this project a few times (fifteen, to be exact) and was getting a bit frustrated with it. I decided that I needed to try knitting the lace pattern to see if I could identify the problem.   I went into my stash and found this relatively inexpensive yarn and started the pattern.  I was surprised to find that I really enjoy this simple lace pattern, and I was liking the yarn way more than I thought I would.  I figured out my friend's issue with her scarf, and decided to keep going with my own.  I've knit on it for three evenings now, and I'm still really loving it.  I love the reversability of the lace and the way this yarn drapes, yet has a rustic feel to it.  The pattern is the Spectrum Scarf  by Eunny Jung from Interweave Knits. The yarn is Lion Brand's Fisherman's Wool in the oatmeal color. This is a great "carry-along" project that fits nicely into my bag.
Here's a close up of the lace pattern.  It's basically just a K1P1 rib with a yarn over between each rib.  I like it! Thanks, Doreen, and I still think you should finish your scarf with the Bavarian Twist Stitch!

The motivational quote of the day:

Just remember, the only people who don't make mistakes are those who aren't doing anything.
~Tim W. Welborn

This quote speaks to me because I often feel "stuck" because I'm afraid to make mistakes.  I have crafting materials that I've had for years because I'm afraid to use them and mess them up. I need to remember this quote to try to get past this and give myself permission to make mistakes.

Be grateful and see the beauty in each day!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Happiness Project, Week 1

Well, the first full week of January, and the first full week of my New Year's Resolution of blogging every day has come and gone.  Nope, I didn't even make it past day 2 before the resolution was broken.  However; I don't feel that the intent of the resolution was broken. Perhaps I just need to tweak the wording a bit, or maybe week two will be better.  Here's what happened:

Last week was extremely busy around the old homestead.  I had something going on every single evening that took up free moments.  They were the kinds of events that made blogging very difficult, like having guests sitting in my living room, or being away from home and computer. 

The intent of the resolution was to work on my personal Happiness Project in 2011, and to that intent, it has been a successful week.  The fact that I am in the process of reading Gretchen Rubin's book; receiving her tweets, Facebook posts, and such; has very much kept my Happiness Project on my mind.  I am taking my motivational quote directly off The Happiness Project web site today because it pertains to exactly that which I am discussing:

“If you look at a thing, the very fact of your looking changes it…if you think about yourself, that very fact changes you.”

~ Robert Penn Warren
So the very fact that I am reading about Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project every day, and thinking about my own Project daily has caused me to already notice some changes in my outlook.  My post today will highlight some things I've found in the past few days that make me happy.
Starting my day with a lovely mug of herbal tea is a great pleasure.  I love all the things in this photo.  The teapot was a gift from my son and daughter-in-law for my birthday a couple of months ago.  I love everything about it.  The size is perfect for a cup and a half of my favorite tea. It keeps it piping hot, and it is the kind of stoneware that I adore.  The stoneware mug is one of five that I have.  They are different colors, but they are my favorite cups.  The sugar-free Torani caramel flavoring is my sweetner and is one of my favorite flavors.  The Twinings Winter Spice tea is a recent find, and I fear was a seasonal flavor.  Camomille teas are my favorites, and this one is blended with apple, cardamom and cloves. It is subtle yet flavorful and calming. The caramel goes perfectly with the hint of apple.  Celestial Seasonings also has an apple/camomille tea which I really like.
This photo highlights three things that make me happy.  It has been a very cold week, the kind of cold that makes a person just want to hunker down and get cozy.  That's exactly what I did on Saturday morning.  While enjoying my stoneware cup of Winter Spice tea, I was snug and warm in my fleecy lounge pants.  They are pink with Tweety Birds on them, which make me smile.  I kept my feet warm with SmartWool socks. SmartWool socks or handmade wool socks are my absolute favorite. There is just no comparison to cotton when you slip on a pair of comfy wool socks.  And the third thing that makes me happy in this picture is enjoying my new Kindle that I received from HubBub for Christmas.  The page that is showing is from The Happiness Project book, and the chapter that is about blogging. Gretchen's resolution, and mine.
 Having a salad for lunch usually makes me happy.  It makes me feel like I am eating a lunch that is good for me.  The extended crunching time makes me feel like I'm eating a lot of food. This particular salad makes me happy because it reminds me of my daughter.  It is her recipe; baby spinach, very veggie mix, grape tomatoes, dried cranberries, and unsalted peanuts.  I added cucumbers (which I like) and dressed it with a light Italian dressing.  It was delicious and reminded me of my daughter.
As much as it pains me to admit it, I love diet pop. I know it is terrible for me, so I limit my intake to an average of 1-2 cans per day.  This is my favorite cola. It has 0 calories, 0 carbs, and 0 sodium. I'm not sure what it has besides some nasty artificial sweetner that sometimes gives me an asthma attack, but I love it nonetheless. I like it over a big glass of ice, and I sometimes put a wedge of lemon in it. Somehow, limiting myself to a can or two a day makes the moment when I take my first sip a time of happiness for me.
Nice yarn and knitting most definitely make me happy.  This particular yarn really made me smile because of the connection to our last name.  The spelling is different, but pronounciation is the same.  It also makes me think of Linus who is Charley Brown and Snoopy's buddy.  When I am stressed out, or life throws some bumps into my road, knitting always makes me feel happier.  This ball of Linus was going into a new pair of mittens to keep my hands warm in this cold weather.
And here they are! The mittens that I began a week ago are finished, in spite of my busy week.  The are warm and fit my hands perfectly. The are a nice match for my red with black trim winter jacket.  FO's (Finished Objects in the world of knitters) always make me happy!

I am looking forward to the second week of my personal Happiness Project.  I'm not sure exactly what will happen, but I do realize that just having the intent of having a happy week seems to make a difference.

Be grateful and see the beauty in each day!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Adios Christmas

In spite of starting the day with a migraine, which put me back into bed for 3 1/2 hours, it was a productive day.  HubBub got the laundry and vacuuming done. We put away the Christmas decorations and put the house back into order.  I watched Brett Farvre's last day on an NFL field in another painful loss.  The Packers pulled out a victory over the Bears and put themselves in the playoffs. I transferred the Christmas pictures from the camera into the computer.  Here's my favorite picture from Christmas
Although there were many fun pictures from our Christmas, it seems that the shots with Penny in are always the cutest.
Here is the inspirational quote of the day:
Happiness is where we find it,
but rarely where we seek it.
~J. Petit Senn
I think this quote is appropriate as I undertake my Happiness Project.  It is important to remember that if you believe you are happy, the chances are that you will be happy.  We tend to think the grass is always greener elsewhere, and happiness lies just beyond our grasp.  If we change our perspective and believe that happiness exists right where we are, that will be where it is found.

Since I find happiness whenever I am creating, I will close with a couple of pictures of the wristers that I completed yesterday.

And here is the mitten that I started to knit this evening.  It's COLD out!
We're back to work tomorrow!  The holiday break flew by...

Be grateful and see the beauty in each day!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New Year, A New Start

Welcome, 2011!
It seems that every year I start with ambitious New Year's resolutions, and every year they fall by the wayside.  Often within the first week of going back to work.  In preparation for this year's resolutions, I have been reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
on my new Christmas Kindle.  ( I love my Kindle. )  Ms. Rubin offers many suggestions for making and keeping resolutions which should make your new year a happy one.  I am only about one-third of the way through her book, but I am making a commitment here to my first resolution for 2011.  Ms. Rubin and Julia Cameron in The Artist's Way
 both suggest that I should be keeping a daily journal.  This seems like a goal which is both achievable and pleasant.  I like writing, and I like posting to my blog, and that leads me to a reasonable first resolution.  Ms. Rubin suggests that participants should limit themselves to a single sentence per day, therefore; that is my resolution :

"One sentence per day in my blog."

That said, I really enjoy writing in my blog, Ms. Cameron suggests three handwritten pages per day, and I imagine that once I sit down with the computer, I may end up writing more than one sentence.  Additionally, I hope to research and incorporate a motivational or inspirational quote into my blog posts several times per week. These quotes are only intended to give my spirit a lift and perhaps to make a daily writing assignment more palatable. Here is the quote I have chosen for today, New Year's Day 2011:

When the world says, "Give up,"
Hope whispers, "Give it one more try."
~Author Unknown

I thought this quote was apropos because of my history of making resolutions and failing to keep them.  Here I am, giving it one more try.

Be grateful and see the beauty in each day!