Photo: This month came in like a Lion, and we’re leaving it with a day spent with lambs. Our favorite farm has little lambs and kids and they are just too cute. The boys totally understood that they were babies and adorable… my heart just grew give times today. What a great way to end the month, and to get me thinking about sprint.
I’m late writing this post, Dear Reader, because I had to be outside! First, I had to take pictures of different elements of my sizable yard so as to share with you on Monday. Second, I had to get the boys out of the house to breathe some freaking fresh air and not fight over stupid toy trains (I swear I’m going to donate every single train in this house to charity). Third, our favorite little farm here in MetroWest has had more than a few deliveries from Mr. Stork over the last few weeks, and we just had to go and see the animal babies. Cutest. Thing. Ever. I’m so excited that we can resume our weekly visits now that the winter has finally relented.
I’m feeling really accomplished on this last Friday of March, Reader. This was a thoughtful and busy month. Because so much went right this month, and because the birds are singing outside of my window, I’m feeling really optimistic about April!
Around the house, I’m happy to say, there is not a single unpacked box in sight. This was the month to really put it all away, though The Husband and I realized that we neglected to take some things out (like our books! We have no elegant place to put them!). This says a lot about how much we love our Kindles, frankly, but it also says a lot about our space. We just don’t really have a great place for a standing bookshelf at the moment. I told The Husband that he should build some bookshelves for the living room and he started talking about gravity and weight and I tuned him out. Obviously people in the world have bookshelves that attach to the wall. He’s an engineer. Shouldn’t he be able to make this happen?
We accomplished a few things while we were unpacking the last remnants of our belongings. First, we established a functional and nice office!
For the first time in an age, I have my full desk set up complete with office chair and foot stool! I used to blog from my kitchen table and would get up with a stiff back (poor me!) and now I get to sit back with my wireless keyboard and junk and just type away. Yes, I admit that I’m dainty and need a blanket, pillow and footstool so as to be comfortable for writing and blogging. Listen, thinking and typing is hard work! The best part of having the full desk is that I now have room to scrapbook again. I have all of my pens and paper and photos and stuff and the ROOM and light to do it.
We were also able to procure some gravel for the main fishtank in the living room and, thanks to my carpenter who was very kind to give it, we have a new little fishtank for the boys in their room!
Now that I feel like we are fully in the house (and since we’ve made our first mortgage payment, so I don’t feel like they are going to boot us out of this joint any day now), I think that I’m ready to begin the process of taking on a DIY project. I’ll have a big post on that on Monday, because I need some feedback again!
In the personal improvement category, I’m happy to say that I did a lot this month. Aside from learning how to bake brioche, I finally mastered my curried chicken recipe (The Husband and boys don’t like curry, but it’s my favorite dish) and I finally found an appreciation (and good recipe) for kale. I also learned just how much I love and appreciate my cast iron skillet (I cook exclusively in cast iron. You should too!) resulting in some pretty fantastic meals. I also learned how to make my own yellow rice (no saffron for it, unfortunately. That’ll be a purchase for another time) and I have a new found love for turmeric. I’ve been sneaking it into everything I can get away with. It’s kind of amazing.
I am also very proud to write that I’m a knitter. Here’s proof!
I have been knitting every day for a month, learning different stitches. These are my ribbing–I worked on 1×1 ribbing last week, and this week, it’s 2×2. I’m a whiz at garter and stockinette stitch, and next week, I plan to try my hand at basketweave. Now that I’ve found my gauge and I think I know how to read it (I think), and I know how to read a pattern (I think), I’m going to think about taking on a real and actual project next month!
I’m not going to lie, there is going to be a lot vying for my attention next month, because I’ve also been doing a lot of reading this month. I haven’t been able to find a work of fiction to hold my attention, but I’ve been reading a lot of stuff just to expand my skills and stretch my brain. These are what have been on my nightstand for the last three weeks:
The gardening book was a housewarming gift that came along with a very generous gift certificate to a local gardening center and a seed catalog. I’ll explain more on Monday. The hand-quilting is a book that I’ve had for a while but haven’t really had the time to absorb. Knitting over these passed few weeks have made me miss embroidery and “regular” sewing, so finding this among my office stuff was a real treat. I have my sewing machine, and Lord do I loathe it. I much prefer the satisfaction of stitching by hand. I’m not sure that I’ll start something out of this book during this half of the year, but maybe I’ll spend some of my anticipated free-time in the Fall doing some quilting… Gotta read up on the technique first!
And I’m sure that you are wondering what that means for my writing and that worthy challenge that I made for myself last year. Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten, though I’m still quite nervous about it! I have been up every weekday for the last 3 weeks no later than 6am to write (I’ve been averaging 5:45). I get at least good hour of writing in before the coffeemaker starts up at 7 and my “true” day begins. I’ve been writing a short story for my writing group, a genre piece that I probably won’t share with you, but that has been a lot of fun to write and that I hope to submit to a market soon. The draft that I’ve written is clocking in at 8300 words, and will probably end up in the 9000 word range before I’m done. I’ve learned a lot about structure and character development and world building, and those new lessons have spurred even more inspiration for a larger project. I have been keeping a log of how many words I’m writing during the week (fiction and blogging) and I’m hovering around 10,000 words. I hope to improve that to 15,000 words a week next month.
I am quite unconvinced that I’ll be publishing a novel on my 30th birthday. 6 months out, I have a great idea and a better outline, but words need to be written and that’s just the start of the process. I’m not ready to say die yet, though, as there are few things in life I hate more than to fail… So I’m telling you that I’m plugging away (but you see me starting to lower expectations, right??). This year has been full of surprises, so who knows what will happen between now and September?
Maybe I shouldn’t spend my last 6 months of youth at a keyboard? Maybe I should go jump out of a plane or something? Or get a tattoo? Or dye my hair red? Bungee jump?
…none of those things are gonna happen….
Maybe I’ll adopt a cat?
(Without my husband knowing?)
(I can do that, right?)
I hope that your March was full of accomplishments and revelations, reader. A quarter of the year is over already, but the best parts are still to come. There is so much to look forward to, so much to expect and yet so many surprises awaiting us. I’m excited to keep sharing with you and learning from you. I’m so grateful for your time and fellowship. And to the many of you who read my faith post and commented and thought about my problem, again I say thank you. I also learned something from that: I enjoy writing about my faith and I should share it more. I’m abolishing my rule about not writing about it, though I promise that I won’t do it arbitrarily. My faith is an important part of me and I’m learning that when I share, I grow. Thank you for teaching me that, readers!
I hope that the air in your nostrils has that heavy scent of thawing earth, and maybe teases of the perfume of blooming flowers. I hope that color has come back to the view outside of your window, be it in the brighter dress of the people walking by or the first bursts of the early spring bloom. I hope that geese call down to you as they fly north-bound overhead, and that birds of all sizes serenade you during your weekend adventures. I hope you’ll opt for a bright pastry with floral notes or tea or coffee in a bright-colored mug. I hope a cheerful voice will greet you from a crowd of strangers or a gentle touch will surprise you in a serene moment. I hope that someone tells you that they love you in all sincerity this weekend, and that you echo the sentiment in return. No matter what, be joyful and warm.
Until Monday, take care.