Thursday, September 4, 2014

Projects

Summer is definitely out, though we still get an occasionally bright, beautiful but chilly day, so I'm into autumn mode. There are a lot of big jobs still to do in the garden like shredding the cuttings from the summer and cutting logs, but soon those will be dwindling. Apple picking season will soon be here, though our trees have barely produced after last year's bounty. The wet, cooler weather means the kids are happy to stay at home rather than go away at the weekend.

I haven't harvested for a week and this is what I found. I'm tempt to go pick up the windfalls off my neighbours as they're having a good season. 
My baby is almost a year old and is growing up way too fast. She will play for short intervals on her own. She's my last, so I'm looking for things to fill a baby-sized gap. I need a project or two I've decided.

Not that I have a lot of time. Anything I want to do has to fit in the pockets of time that Pudding allows when she sleeps. Which is still totally hit-or-miss. Some days naps are for the weak. Others she'll sleep for 3 hours. 

Sandwiched in between therapy sessions, making dinner and other food (damn that giving up processed food thing, everything takes twice as long now), the drop-offs and pick-ups of school and nursery (damn Finnish schools and their 4 hour days). And somewhere I have to get the day-to-day cleaning done, the mountain of laundry at least under control and other tiny things that take up so much time when piled up. 

I still want and need a few hours to myself. I have the evening once the kids go to bed, though Pudding does wake from time to time still. I never seem to get as much done as I'd like then as I'm so tired. But not tired enough to give in and go to bed, so we watch telly or go online. Not very productive, but it's about all my brain can handle at that time. 

I signed up for a Finnish class with childcare and one of Foo's therapists changed a session so I could no longer fit it into my schedule. I looked into volunteering and Pudding's current unreliability due to teeth and breastfeeding means I can't commit to anything right now. I know I need to start thinking about what I'm going to do when Pudding goes to nursery, but honestly nothing feels right, just now. I'm floating and directionless.

I've been taking on less impressive projects, something small that can be done at home or in waiting rooms and in short bursts. I considered sorting my house and life out as I've mentioned before I'm not always the most organised. 

I considered this website as inspiration, but realised my 'morning routine' involved running full tilt for an hour first thing, getting the kids fed, dressed and sorted for school and nursery and then jumping into the shower and eating a quick bowl of cereal before dragging us all in 3 or 4 different directions. And let's not even get into the 'dressing to make yourself feel great'. My clothes are the last thing on my mind, if they're clean when I put them on full points to me, because they never stay that way. Her plan didn't really work, but I did like the idea of a 'Goals List' and decluttering. So I have a list, I did some gutting of kids' clothes this weekend and took 2.5 bags to the recycling point. As a result Pudding has now moved from baby to toddler clothes. I'm hoping I can do a little job like that once a week. The toy boxes so need to be done, but that's a mountain I'm not ready for yet. 

I've embraced autumn: the apples, cooler weather. I've made applesauce, I've started knitting and crocheting again. I found a big lovely chunky yarn I've been working with. I bought it for this children's cowl pattern which a friend happened to have a copy of. I started to make it but didn't like the bright orange wool for the fox, so set out to find something else I could make with it. After a lot of research online I found this cardi which is crocheted and is basically all one piece which makes it very quick and easy to do. Considering how bad I am at making clothes by knitting or crochet, that's a bonus. The wool I had was much chunkier than the one recommended so I bodged it by guessing that my wool was twice as heavy as the one in the pattern, so cut all the numbers in half and made some 'by eye' adjustments. Not for me the gauge thing, you think I'd learn. But it turned out pretty good this time, though my photo is poor. She wouldn't stand still. 


Then I decided I didn't like the 3/4 length sleeves and wanted it to last longer than this autumn so made the bottom longer as well. My model seems to like how it turned out. The buttons are leaf-shaped keeping with the autumnal theme. 


I bought some gray yarn to make the cowl as a cat instead of a fox as Bump likes cats more, so used that to make the adjustments. I'm over half way done with the cowl, so will post photos when that's finished. 

My other project is writing. I'm desperately trying to get back into writing something other than this blog, both poetry and fiction. It's amazing how rusty I've gotten, even with just sitting down and writing much less the mechanics of it all. I used to write everywhere, all the time. Now I have to force myself. It's like a muscle, it will come back, if I can keep exercising it.  

So I'm sitting at home with a head cold, a sleeping baby and my laptop opened to a poem, some fiction I'm playing with, the pattern for the cowl and this blog. Clothes are in the drier and I've made a start at dinner. I'll need to pick Mouse up in just over an hour, help him with his homework and snack and then pick up the middle Weans an hour and a half after that. 

I might get one of my projects done today, I might not. Every step moves me closer and gives me moments of my own, things I enjoy doing that are basically for me. I can buy applesauce or cardigans, I can not bother with memory books for the kids or a blog. But they are calming in the midst of routines, structures and other people's needs. 

Well, until I mess up with knitting and then I'm pulling rows and my hair out. Or I burn the jam - 3 litres of it. I wanted to cry. 

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