Thursday, April 30, 2020

Three Ways to Pass the Days

Well friends, we've made it to the end of April. It seemed to be a very fast month for me, especially in comparison to the glacial pace of March, but I suppose a large part of that has been all of us adjusting to our routines. Rainbow has school online and assignments to complete, and the past few weeks, they've added "lunch" (a special Zoom session with just a few kids and a teacher), "recess" (unscheduled class Zoom sessions), and even sessions with the specialist (e.g, art, music, library) teachers. She still has her moments, and she's still spending more time in front of screens than I'd like, but she seems to be doing better now that she has of a structure to her day and more opportunities to connect with her friends.

I've also settled into a new schedule of sorts. I've been able to adjust my wake-up time to be a bit later now that my commute to work onlyinvolves walking up a flight of steps to my bedroom, and that also means I've had more time in the morning to enjoy my coffee and catch up on blogs and email. I've been working through lunch most days so that I can take my break at the end of the day, and that when I go out for a run or a walk as the weather allows. I've also been showering before dinner rather than when I wake up in the morning, and I've fully embraced the makeup-free, wild hair look. On the rare occasion that I've put on makeup or blown my hair dry, it feels like a treat.

Today I'm joining Carole and friends to talk about three things that are getting me through these strange days. There is my job, of course, but things are strange there, too, and even when I'm busy, work is only a temporary distraction.

1. Fibery things
My knitting mojo is still here, and I've been working diligently on my shawl design sample just about every evening. I can see progress -- the end is in sight now. I'm also finding a lot of joy in working on Rainbow's crochet blanket for at least 15 minutes a day as part of the 100 Day Project. It's been and excellent project during conference calls, which I have several times a week now. Yesterday I joined in the second color of Felici.

The colors are a little loud for me, at least mixed all together like this, but Rainbow likes them, and that makes me happy. I certainly feel good about using up the stash.

I also finished a pair of socks for her earlier in the week that had been on the needles a while and which I'd kind of forgotten about. It wasn't much effort to finish them up in the end.

These were knit toe up using the Fish Lips Kiss Heel template, though I worked the heel a bit differently, using garter stitch and actual wraps and turns, just to try something different. The yarn is Fibernymph Dye Works Bounce in the colorway Gimme Some Sugar (Cookies), which came in the last shipment of Lisa's Just Desserts club last year. It came with a matching mini skein, which I used for the heels and toes at Rainbow's request. I didn't ask her if she wanted the stripes to match until I was starting the second sock, and though I wound off some yarn to get to the same color in the stripe sequence that I'd started the first sock with, it was sheer luck that the stripes matched up so perfectly.

As you've no doubt seen, I've also been doing a ton of spinning, mainly because my "office" is my spinning corner in my bedroom, where I have my comfy chair set up in the corner with my wheel in front of it and my laptop sitting on the end of the radiator next to me. I have found that I'm able to spin while reading a Kindle book in addition to the usual things I do while spinning (watching a podcast or something else online or listening to sometime).

2. Exercise
My job is very sedentary -- I sit at a desk most of the day -- but I live close enough to my office that I've almost always walked to work, which means I was used to getting two 15-20-minute walks a day. Now that I'm working from home, I definitely miss those walks, so I've been making a point to try to exercise every day if I can (the weather doesn't always cooperate with me). I've been running a lot and yesterday officially hit 60 miles for the month, so I'm feeling pretty good about that. But getting fresh air and seeing other people out and about has been just as uplifting as the endorphins, so I feel extra good about making it a priority.

3. Reading
Several weeks ago I was having trouble focusing on books, but I think the key to getting my focus back was reading something really excellent, and my recent finishes did the trick. I haven't gotten a bingo yet on my card, but I'm definitely filling up more spaces.

Right now I'm in that wonderful yet horrible position where I'm reading two books I'm really enjoying -- one on Kindle, one on audiobook -- and am frustrated that I can't enjoy both at the same time. The Kindle book is Apeirogon, which came highly recommended by Kat and is really unlike any book I've read. I'm not even halfway through and can already tell that it's going to be a 4- or 5-star book for me. The audiobook is Mary Beth Keane's Ask Again, Yes, which I picked from available audiobooks from the library when I was looking for something new to listen to while running. Though I didn't love Fever when we read it for our virtual book club, I did enjoy Keane's writing and had heard good things about her most recent book. I'm almost a third of the way through it and am really enjoying it as well.

So now you know how I've been getting through these pandemic days, and I'd love to hear what you're doing to keep you sane and calm and healthy.


  1. Oh my goodness! I LOVE those socks! The colors are so spring/summery and cheerful and whether on purpose or not, you did an excellent job of matching the stripes.

  2. It sounds like you are making a real effort to pass the days in productive and happy ways - and succeeding! I LOVE those socks, and I also really enjoyed Ask Again, Yes. I'm waiting (im)patiently for Apeirogon and hope I have the focus to read it when it's my turn. I've been passing the days recently reading poetry and it's been wonderful!

  3. It's wild to me how different Keane's two books are...Fever and Ask. I actually double-checked author photos, I was so struck by the difference! I loved Fever, maybe b/c hist fic is my favorite genre. I enjoyed Ask Again, Yes, as well. I read it right after Little Fires Everywhere, and I think possibly because of some similarities, including book cover colors, they will forever be fused in my brain!
    Loving Rainbow's blanket. I always get a burst of energy when I switch colors (ior even stitches, depending). Enjoy!

  4. The socks are fabulous and Rainbow's blanket is so fun - I am crocheting again too (for the first time in approx 45 years - lol).

  5. I love the socks!! I saw them pop up on ravelry, and they are so colourful!! I love them. The blanket WILL be super brigt, but it looks so happy, and I can imagine that it's fun working on, especially during phonecalls! (Do you use a headset for those?)

    I read quite a lot this month, too, still have to go through "Only Human", the last book of the "Sleeping Giants" Trilogy - and I bought a new book by T.C. Boyle on Tuesday!! I'm also looking forward to start that one.

  6. I'm doing a lot of the same things you are ... and since I don't have work, I'm connecting more with friends (Zoom, FaceTime, Zoom, FT, ... repeat). I'm also spending a bit more time on Instagram. (just a bit!)

  7. I LOVE those socks - gorgeous stripes! I'm trying to work exercise into my day. I just hate it so much. :(

    Yay for finding a reading groove! It makes a big difference when we're able to find comfort in the things that brought us joy BEFORE this stay-at-home life, I think. It almost starts to feel somewhat normal.

    Have a great weekend!

  8. I love to see all the bright colors in your stitching, Sarah! I bet they bring some joy every time you pick them up. :-)

  9. Those socks! I am envious of Rainbow - they are perfect! :)

    I can't wait to talk with you about Apeirogon!

  10. I love the projects for Rainbow - socks and a bright blanket. They look joyful. You are a wise wonderful Mom to let her pick the colors she loves. I am doing the same things you are: reading some although that seems to be a challenge these days, knitting and mending, and getting outdoors for a walk or to work in the yard. In order to make cooking dinner more soothing, I have been playing music in the kitchen.