Right now

:: we just came in from our very first bbq this year (so much later than usual). It was still a bit cold, but oh so good to be able to sit and eat and enjoy outside again

A full basket

I sometimes feel like I’m hardly ever knitting anymore. It’s always the spare moments, in the morning, late at night. Not hours and hours like I used to. My hands still don’t allow that and I’m trying not to multitask when I relax.
Still, I did, finally, finish my very last scraps last week. A few minutes before my birthday started that is. And then my wonderful husband said that he was taking me to the yarn shop (a real one, also a first for me – I usually buy my yarn at thrift shops or in cheap textile shops) to buy some yarn for my birthday. Isn’t he great? The only condition was that I choose yarn to make myself something. So I went for this wonderful yarn, to knit myself a cardigan. You can see what I choose here (fourth picture), it’s a combination of wool, silk and viscose in a nice neutral color (so I can wear it with lots of things).

One of the reasons he wanted me to make something for me, was that I have been knitting for Knit-a-Square for months and months now. When I decided that I wouldn’t allow myself to buy any new yarn until I finished everything I had, I knew most of it would be hats and squares. Cause that’s what scraps can be used best for (and because I like knitting hats). I just threw everything I finished into a basket in my bedroom, so I didn’t have the faintest idea how much I really knit. Until I took stock last Friday.

Oh. Well. Seems like I have been knitting after all.  There were fourteen hats (four of which you’ve already seen), fourteen squares and a cuddle. In all kinds of strange color combinations, since that’s what you get when you buy scraps from the thriftshop.

My next project for KAS will be in bright colors. I already saw some affordable great colored yarn in the yarn shop. But that will have to wait. Since I’m trying to slow down, I want to work on one project at a time, instead of buying lots and lots of yarn for all the projects wandering around in my mind.
Guess I’ll have to visit that yarn shop next time with only a limited amount of cash and leave my cards home. Cause I’ve never seen so much beautiful yarn in my life…

In my (vegetable) garden

I seriously considered skipping the vegetable garden all together this year. I have been ill, busy and exhausted and my garden looked like this:

 Yeah, I know. It’s embarrassing. But I got my act together. I decided to go work outside in the garden despite the cold and the rain for fifteen minutes a day. Not much, but at least I would be trying to get something done.
Well, that worked. I started Wednesday, doubled my time (since it felt good and it wasn’t raining) and after half an hour I already emptied the two front beds.

On Tuesday I did the back bed and on Friday I started working on pulling weeds by the shed (but I was a bad blogger and forgot to take pictures).

On Saturday Theo got into the game. Together we finished the raised beds (pulling the smaller weeds and adding soil) and weeded out a big chunk of the rest of the garden. We decided to dig up the part at the stairs (bottom right in the pictures)  and fill it with fresh gravel. And now  our garden looks like this:

How’s that for a good before-and-after? Well, actually it’s not really an after yet. We’ve still got lots to do in the garden. But at least it was ready for sowing and planting.
I sowed spinach, endives, broccoli, cauliflower, sweetcorn, radish, lettuce, carrots and kale. Since I can’t start seedlings inside the house, I have to wait until I can sow outside, so there is nothing to see yet. But I got myself a kickstart and bought four little lettuce seedlings.

I usually buy tomato plants and got some big ones this year (hoping those tomatoes will grow and get red sooner than last year). Since the raised bed I want to put them in is not finished yet, I planted them in a container.

The chives came back all by themselves, like they do each year (even though they are in a container)

But I never expected the strawberries to start growing again too. They’re even blooming already!

Now if only I can find the ripe berries before the birds do…

{this moment}

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. ~ soulemama

Right now

Right now I am…

:: trying so very hard to accept these days (weeks?) of rain
:: thinking how much fun it would be to open doors and windows and to just walk outside and hang laundry and… oh well
:: drying up – again – from a quick trip outside to the mailbox
:: hoping we do get that nice, hot summer I keep telling myself and my family we will get (that would be only fair, wouldn’t it?
:: telling my self to stop going on and on about this rain 😉
:: almost ready redesigning my Dutch blog and website and anxious to start spicing up this new place of mine
:: challenging myself to get out into the garden at least fifteen minutes each day and just pull weeds (stay tuned for that, I even took some very shame inducing before photos)

Plan B

I was trying to write a deep and meaningful blogpost. I even took pictures to go with it. But then I realized I was trying too hard. I was uninspired and what I wrote was just not something people would like to read.
So I deleted it and decided to leave you with a picture of our cat showing his latest preferred sleeping position (when he does this we yell: play death! goooooood cat!).

The ride

Yep, I did it. I split the blog. I really tried to stick with it, but that bilingual thing was not working for me at all. I seem to have a split personality, blogging in English is definitely different for me than blogging in Dutch. I felt limited in my choice of subjects to post about (since my Dutch blog is associated with me being a writer) and the layout, having to put pictures between the two languages instead of where ever I wanted them, didn’t work for me either. Anyway, I finally picked up the pieces, found myself a new blog name and went for it. Don’t worry, nothing got lost, I copied the bilingual posts and the comments and cut off the Dutch part. I’m also trying to recover some of my older posts on deleted English blogs, but that will take some time. For now I’m just glad to be here.

Lately I have been thinking about progress and result a lot. I seem to be stuck in deadlines and goals.

Of course deadlines come with the territory when you’re a published author, but where’s the fun when the only thing you can think about is when the story needs to be finished? I used to be eager to reconnect with my characters when I started up my laptop in the morning, but now the only thing I can think about now is finishing it on time. Not a good thing and seriously causing writer’s block.
And when I finally finish one book, there’s always another waiting to be written finished.

I’m currently knitting through my stash, promising myself a bit of yarn shopping when the last scraps are gone. Should be fun. But I find myself trying to get it done before a set date. That date keeps changing, since I just don’t have that much time to knit anymore. Or maybe I don’t make that much time anymore, since having a deadline takes all the fun out of it. Wasn’t knitting supposed to be fun? And what will happen when I buy new yarn? Will it be all about finishing the new stash too? I guess it will.

I set dates for lots of things. Cleaning the house, get the garden back into shape, paint, reorganize. It’s all about the result, so the process is wearing me out. Often the result – if when I finally reach my goals – is less than satisfying and when it is, it’s not for very long. You know, because a house that’s lived in doesn’t stay clean and weeds keep growing. The list of things to be done or redone is endless and it’s always in the back of my mind.

I don’t want to spent my life trying to catch up with my ever changing goals.
So, I’m going to stop deadlining myself (I know that’s not a verb, but I like the sound of it) and I’m trying to get serious about enjoying the ride. Hence the name of this blog.

p.s. one of the things that inspired me to think this through is this post