Saturday, January 30, 2010

Going Rogue....

I've been a fan of the Rogue sweater for awhile now. It is in first contention for my next "for me" sweater.

I mentioned the other day that nothing cheers me up quite like a fabulous new knitting project...and I've decided it's Rogue or nothing. I even have the yarn...using up stash is sort of like not starting something new...right? The only problem is that I don't have the pattern.

I made a deal with myself that I would only buy patterns with the money that I made selling patterns, and since the only pattern I currently have available is the Golden Harvest Skull chart...which is a whopping $1.50 on Ravelry...I don't get to spend a lot of money on patterns.

But maybe some of you are Golden Harvest fans and want to knit some funky skully wear featuring the logo of our venerable breakfast establishment? If I sell five charts then I can download the Rogue pattern and I'll be halfway to my dream sweater....

Ragnar...what is the internet for, if not shameless self promotion and begging?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The healing power of....

Yesterday was not a wonderful day. Several incidents in the morning, a fight that wasn't a fight with Manimal and the flooding of the bathroom floor...which was entirely my fault and therefore doubly irritating, conspired to put me in a foul mood for the rest of th day.

A slight digression: a note for the partners of postpartum, sleep deprived, nursing (and therefore weirdly hormonal) women. You never know when there is a hidden subtext so it is best to fake an interest in everything that comes out of your partners mouth. Here is an example:

"We are out of milk."

With a "normal" person this would be a simple declarative statement, with the slight possibility of a passive aggressive "so you should get some while you're out." With the PPSDN (see above) this could mean ANYTHING, here are just a few possibilities:

"Milk is full of unnatural and dangerous chemicals, I am poisoning my precious babies by even allowing it in the house."

"I am going to have to go to the store to buy more milk, do you have ANY idea how long it takes to go shopping with a baby and a toddler?"

"You should volunteer to clean the refrigerator. If you really cared I wouldn't have to ask."

"I am covered in spit up, haven't brushed my hair in three days, smell like dirty diapers and have been wearing the same pair of sweat pants for as long as I can remember so you had better tell me that I am beautiful RIGHT NOW or I will start crying."

The best response to anything said by a PPSDN is: "You are right, you are wonderful, and I am lucky to have such a beautiful, smart, and compassionate mother for my children." This may not make any contextual sense, but it will distract her long enough for you to change the subject to something less dangerous. The attention span of a PPSDN is approximately 32 seconds. You can also wave something made of or covered in chocolate under her nose.

Digression over, that wasn't even what I planned on writing when I sat down.

What I wanted to share is that during my crabby day the thought that kept reoccurring was: "I need a wonderful new knitting project to distract me from how grouchy I am."

Does that mean that I am a knit-a-holic? Do I need to go to some sort of 12 step meeting where they will teach me to control my knitting urges? Or does it mean that yarn has amazing healing powers?

Ragnar...totally rational and completely in control.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ragnarson blogs....

Guest post today...Ode to a dumptruck, as transcribed by Ragnarson's Mommy....

Dirt dirt dirty dirt, I'm going to dump it right out. *beep beep beep* There's dirt in this dumptruck, there's garbage in this dumptruck and it dumps it out. Poong. It dumped it out. Look there's garbage, whoa this is the right place. Right in the right place, poong. I'm carrying these to the there,


Poong. They are right there. Where's the dumptruck? There it is. Monk-da-da-bunk-da-snap. Snap crocodile snap anybody, and he go in the dump truck, dump dump, bung bung, da bung. And the dumptruck scoops it out and it dumps it out, and it likes to go in there and he gorrrrged!!! Dump all the gook, a-gadoog, all da gook, all da gook all the gooog all a bit. And here in the dumptruck. Want all the goobie geek. SNAP! All the goo. SNAP! All up. Don't let go of my turtle, hang on to my turtle. SNAP! Push. Mommy's going too. Poppy's going too. All the goo, the garbage. He's out of his, his, his...I'll dump ALL of them.

(crash, crash, whack whack whack whack)

Ragnarson....I got ALL the GOOOK!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Dinner....again? Didn't we have dinner yesterday?

What is the average number of items on a restaurant menu? 15? 20? 50? I don't know why it is that when I eat out I order the same thing over and over again, but I feel compulsive about making sure my family doesn't get "bored" with the meals I cook them. As if anyone could get bored with good home-cookin', I mean seriously.
I am, at heart, a disorganized person...a disorganized person who wants to change! How I long for tidy counter tops, and neat organized I know that this is never going to happen. I aspire to be one of those people who always has ingredients on hand, and isn't sending her kids out to buy milk from the convenience store half-way through mixing up a batch of pancakes. I picture myself happily making up menus from my decoupaged folder of tried and true recipes, forgetting that I don't decoupage, or use recipes, or in fact cook anything that requires more than one pot.

My version of menu planning is a combination of looking to see what is going bad in the refrigerator, and what we are over stocked on in the pantry, and then filling in the gaps by creating a shopping list on which I will probably forget to include several key ingredients like "onions" or "potatoes." I write what I'm planning on cooking on the right side of the shopping list, and a list of what we are out of on the left side, hoping that having my "menu" in front of me will trigger a sudden "ah-ha! If we are going to eat chicken quesadillas, I better get some chicken" moment before I'm checked out and on my way home. Then when I get home the shopping list goes on the fridge and at 5:30 when I realize I had better either make dinner or call the pizza guys I look at "menu" to see what I should be cooking. When all the meals are crossed off I have to make a new list. This sort of works. When I remember to do it.

So the "menu" for the next two weeks looks like this (yes there are only 8 things here, I make them eat leftovers! I know, cruel and unusual no?):

Tuna Melts
Tofu Pot Pie (my family's hands-down favorite food, and just about the only thing I make that requires multiple pots)
Greens and Coconut Milk (which will take on either an asian or indian flavor depending on my mood at the moment of conception)
Cauliflower Mac & Cheese
TVP Chili
Peanut Noodles
Chicken Soup
Fried Rice

Which is just about what my menu always looks like. Sauce on Noodles, Stew/Sauce on Rice/Grains, Things sandwiched in bread/tortillas and toasted. YAWN.

So...what is your "fall back" recipe? What do you cook over and over again because they'll always eat it, and it still tastes good after the 300th time? Lately I think my "oh hell, it's way past when I should have started making dinner" fall back is fried rice. It's as quick as stir fry, but keeps better for reheating and has the added bonus that Ragnarson will actually occasionally eat some of it.

Ragnar...I love my rice cooker.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Knitting? No really, I do that sometimes...

I am trying to whittle away at a few of the more doable items on my list of good intentions for 2010. Today's project is getting the knitting projects in order with a view towards (drum roll, trumpets, choir of angels) BECOMING A MONOGAMOUS KNITTER. Seriously. I so admire people who know how many needles they own, because other than the set that is in their current project they are all resting neatly in their needle case. I am not one of those people. I recently found out that I own three identical size 8, 24" circular needles. I was actually about to buy another set when I thought to myself "waaaaaait a minute, this seems really familiar."

I knit a lot. Not nearly as much as I used to, but if there is a minute of time when I am not holding a baby, folding laundry or cooking something, I am probably knitting. And I knit pretty fast. Not Greek fast (only Woven Art regulars will know what I mean by that) but fast enough that I should be able to finish a few things now and then. But when you knit for 20 minutes at a time on 20 different projects all that "progress" is spread so thin that finishing something is a miraculous once in a blue moon experience. I actually start smaller projects so that I can finish something because the larger projects are taking too long...and I'm sure you can all tell where that is going.

I won't bother to list my "currents" here since I don't have pictures taken of them, and descriptions of half finished knitwear is...yeah. Dull. That's a future post.

Rather I want to point you towards the biggest offender in my "enabling" bookmarks collection. Is it Ravelry? where you can see thousands, nay millions of projects by other knitters to covet and inspire? No. Is it Knitty, or Twist? Those lovely on-line knit magazines full of great advice and fabulous free or affordable patterns? No. It is a relatively boring, unpretentious little site that enables you to create actual size graph paper based on your swatches. This is like crack to me. I am a color-a-holic. I love charting out little thingies (okay, skulls) to incorporate into future knitwear, and once I have the chart, then I REALLY REALLY want to see how it knits up.

So...what are you waiting for? Swatch and play! Aside from being invaluable when you want to, say, knit skull and crossbones into your kid's underwear, actual size graph paper is also very useful for figuring out decreases, on a sleeve for instance, when you don't want to do any math.

Ragnar...with skulls on it?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

So here's the thing...

(this picture has nothing to do with anything, it's just a cute picture)

I am sitting in my "nursing chair" with the obligatory boppy pillow (how did women breastfeed before boppy? I scoffed at them while I was pregnant with Ragnarson the Elder and after about two days of building unstable piles of pillows I demanded that Manimal go forth and aquire "one of those nursing pillow things that I said were so stupid"). Ragnarbaby is propped up on one arm, spitting up all over my shirt sleeve repeatedly (I'll wait until he's empty and change, no point in washing TWO shirts when I could just let him soil this one more throughly). Ragnarson the Elder is working on spreading his toys throughout the house even more throughly, pausing now and then to repeatedly punch the buttons on the noisy toys. This makes a sort of crash-crash-rattle-BLAST OFF-BLAST OFF-crash-thunk-rattle-HEYAH! WATCHA-crash white noise which is basically the background music of my life. He likes to mix it up a bit by throwing spectacular tempertantrums every 20 minutes or so.

This is primarily what I do all day. It does not make particularly engaging blog-fodder.

I thought about photographing Ragnarbaby's spit-up blobs and crafting a funny post about divining the future through baby vomit...but realized that unless you spend all day covered in it, you might find looking at photos of baby vomit...well, yucky.

I thought about posting all of the stuff that Ragnarson says to me on a daily basis, but realized that a long list of basically boring quotes was probably only amusing to me, and possibly Ragnarson's Grandparents.

I thought about pretending that I'm still an artist and posting pictures of the new studio, but then realized that a picture of a pile of still-packed boxes was about as interesting as...see? I can't think of something that it's less interesting than.

I could catalog my small victories: "Left the house this morning!" "Made coffee before the baby started screaming." "Got the dishwasher unloaded within 24 hours" but realized that after a few of those my life would start to sound REALLY pathetic.

I'm not unhappy to be staying home with my fact I feel tremendously blessed. The "fun" parts of parenting, get pretty repetative and schmultzy after a few retellings though, all those little moments staring at your kids...the, holy crap, HUMAN BEINGS, that you MADE with your own body (and how crazy is that?), and the little miracles as they figure out all the skills that will make them into grown-ups one day...which I still don't believe by the way. And blogging about the unfun, and therefore potentially funny parts of parenting, the messes, the screaming, the unending bodily fluids, just sounds so whiny after awhile.

So what's a mother of two supposed to do with this little corner of cyberspace that she's carved out for herself? I have no idea. I'll still try to figure it out, of course, but the fact is that I write this thing for both of us, for me, and for you. What are you looking for when you stop by the old "DP?" Inspiration? Instruction? Entertainment? What level of baby vomit can you stomach? How many times can I use the word "miracle" before you permanently remove me from your bloglines feed? More knitting? More cute baby pictures? Help me figure this out, oh you, the audience.

Ragnar...has a sleeping baby on her lap. AWwwww.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Like a steel trap.

Back when Ragnarson the First was a bitty baby I posted something about all the subliminal messages he was absorbing on account of the fact that his mother favored Irish Drinking songs over more traditional "rock-a-bye" lullabies. Happily he still thinks that "Moonshine" refers to the moon in the sky, and not the white lighting, but he does have a tendancy to babble "tooraloolalay." There was also that incident when he chased our former roommate around yelling "watch him DIE! watch him DIE!" She was decidedly freaked out until I explained that he was singing Johnny Cash.

The things that really seem to stick with him though, are phrases from storybooks. Since I'm the one usually reading the books, I can mostly identify the source, but for other people it seems that he randomly spouts very articulate, but completely nonsensical phrases. Where the Wild Things Are is the source of several favorites. He has adopted Ash's basket as a boat and insists that he is sailing away in his wolf suit. We are also big fans of Skippyjon Jones, which causes him to stop and yell suddenly "I am a Chihuahua!!!"

I think the oddest is from a "Five Little Monkeys" book, wherein the Monkey sibs are teasing a crocodile. At the end their mother tells them "Never tease a crocodile, it's not nice, and it's dangerous."

Now whenever Ragnarson has reason to use the phrase "It's not nice!" he follows it up with "and it DANGEROUS." This makes living with him seem very perilous. Putting his toys away? IT'S DANGEROUS! Taking him out of the bath before he's done? IT'S DANGEROUS!

Ragnar...always tells her babies not to play with guns.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Something new...

Astute readers probably picked up on the fact that there's a new crew member on the good ship Ragnar. Admittedly it's a little confusing, especially when I refer to them as Ragnarsons Older and Younger, since they look exactly a like. Apparently Manimal's and my genes only combine in one way. New baby wears all of Ragnarson's hand-me-downs, as well, and both of his parents have had to ask if a certain baby picture is of the former or the later. Mostly we are able to tell them apart because one of them is running around, screaming at the top of his lungs, causing as much mayhem as possible, and the other is quietly nursing, sleeping or (when he's feeling really wild) eliminating. My sons could not possibly have more different temperments.
For the first month of his life, Ragnarson the Newest could be seen hanging out in this basket, usually on the kitchen counter, mostly sleeping. This terrified me at first. After raising Ragnarson, I felt that "Sleeping like a Baby" was some sort of cruel and ironic joke, thought up by the same people who wrote things like "many babies are soothed by rides in the car." Turns out, though, that some small humans are able to maintain a restful state for hours at a time, and I am thankful daily that mine is one of them.

Ragnarbaby is so chill in fact that I find myself "losing" him and having moments of intense panic when I can't remember where I left him. The answer so far has been "upstairs in bed," "in his swing," "with his sister," and once, notably "in my arms." Hopefully it will never be "at the library," or "at the checkout counter at the grocery store."

Ragnar...mother of two (sometimes three)

PS Is anyone else not surprised that blogger works for crap with chrome? Specifically the photo editing part of blogger....sheesh.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

And then there was 2010.

For some reason I have more faith in odd numbered years. I don't know much about numerology, so feel free to enlighten me but I feel like the best years are the prime numbered years, maybe because there's such a limited number of them. 2010 just seems WAY too factorable to me. So I'm not placing too much stock in it as a banner year for...anything. I mean, aside from the fact that it'll be the first year of life for Ragnarson the Younger, and that is just plain miraculous whichever why you slice it.

Anyway, in anticipation of a highly mediocre year, I give you: Ragnar's best intentions for 2010...with some repeats from 2009, which will probably bleed over into 2011 (and that is going to be a good year my friends! a prime, and containing one of my favorite numbers 11 which is half of the lucky number 22).

1. Remember that your children are CHILDREN, cut them some slack, woman.
2. Organize the crafting supplies so that they are no longer in danger of swallowing the house. Just because it's a horizontal surface that doesn't give me a license to pile yarn upon it.
3. Follow Michael Pallon's simple rule about eating: Eat Food, Not too Much, Mostly Plants. I will be concentrating a lot on that middle one: not too much!
4. Do as much shopping as possible at the Lansing City Market, which is a walkable 2.5 miles from my house.
5. Write Petoh's birth story.
6. Write Ash's birthstory.
7. Work in the studio.
8. Keep track of knitting and sewing projects, with an eye towards finishing things and not starting new projects until others are finished.
9. Strength train.
10. Finish the Red/Orange spinning project.
11. Eat locally...Michigan is my local and doesn't that make me lucky.
12. Make To Do Lists. Somehow I seem to get a lot more done when I can put an efficient little check mark next to something.
13. Take the kids to plays or concerts, or cultural somethings or other.
14. Work with Abby, Katie and Brian on the knitted stuff into clay project.
15. Also the quilt blocks into tiles project.
16. Landscape the least plant some grass or something.
17. Write an artist's statement and resume.
18. Get the Viking Hat Pattern edited and ready for distribution on Ravelry.
19. Make soap.
20. Teach a class.
21. Take a class.
22. Find out about selling things at the farmer's market.
23. Make a chore schedule.
24. Go camping.
25. Make computer time more constructive. Updating facebook status and playing solitaire, not constructive. Updating blog (assuming it's a real update and not a glorified facebook status) and editing knitting patterns, constructive.
26. Commit to cloth diapers. I've gotten a little lax about using cloth, since we keep a packet of disposables around for nighttime (and when we are running errands and when I'm too lazy to wash diapers, or worse yet when I'm too lazy to take the clean diapers out of the laundry's a vicious cycle).
27. Make clothes for the kids.
28. Make or acquire some dress up clothes (the imaginative kind, not the formal wear kind) for Pete.
29. Get involved with some of the amazing stuff Lansing has to offer.
30. Knit a sweater for myself. I finished my first "for me" sweater last year. It's boxy and not that flattering, and made from itchy wool (handspun!) but I LOVE it and I wear it everyday. I think knitting one sweater for myself every year is a great goal. Rogue, I'm looking at you.
31. Bind books.
32. Edit the toy collection with an eye towards imaginative play, and less banging.
33. Keep up with laundry, both mine and the boys.
34. Alternatively transport. Walk, Bike, Bus and only as a last resort Minivan.
35. Become a babe. This is my amusing way of saying "get in shape." Somehow it's more motivating to say that I worked on becoming a babe, than that I remembered to exercise.
36. Get rid of clothes I don't wear.
37. Cook with Ragnarson. Ever since the day I came downstairs to find him elbow deep in flour and broken eggs, I've been meaning to compile some "easy" recipes to make with him. Banana bread and guacamole have lots of smashing.
38. Etsy store...everything, banner, name inventory. Sheesh.
39. Go to spinning guild meetings. This means babysitters.
40. Preserve food. I am looking for a dehydrator if anyone has one gathering dust in their closet.
41. Reupholster the dining room chairs.
42. Weave.
43. Write. There was a time when this space was used for witty little essays instead of lame excuses about why I wasn't writing in it. I'm not promising to blog more but I'm acknowledging that I miss doing some more "conscious" writing. Facebook, you have made me lazy.
44. Trillium Gallery...Kalle will sell my stuff, if I get her stuff, so I have no excuses.
45. Get something ready for entry into Art Prize
46. Plan crafts to do with Ragnarson, Play-doh, watercolor, etc.
47. Make an effort to get out of the house.
48. Ween Ragnarson off of Youtube. We don't have a television, but somehow I've fallen into the trap of letting my kid sit in front of the idiot box. It's harder to make supper with a toddler underfoot yes, but I'm getting sick of listening to "I want TV" temper tantrums.
49. Be deliberate about acquiring new things, clothes especially. I would like to stop supporting a disposable culture.
50. Edit the photos on Flickr, there is a lot of crap that can just be deleted and a lot of new photos that haven't been uploaded.
51. Encourage Ragnarson the Younger to nap in the carrier as opposed to on my lap. When he sleeps in the carrier, I get work done, when he sleeps on my lap, I watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer reruns on Hulu.
52. Get better at taking photos of my work, process, completed objects. The whole sheebang. Exploit Kat's generous offer of help.
53. Tackle the toy storage problem. This will probably require making or buying some sort of shelf system.
54. Make a cover for the duvet so that it doesn't get all funky like our last...several.
55. Grow some houseplants. We need more oxygen in here.
56. Post projects on Ravelry, Craftster and Instructables. A curved piecing tutorial would probably be a good place to start.
57. Enroll Ragnarson in some sort of active class or activity like swimming or gymnastics.
58. Eat less sugary crap. Quality Dairy donuts, I'm looking at you.
59. Experiment with new grains in cooking. Rice, I like you, but you are starting to get boring.
60. Read longer, more complicated stories to Ragnarson.
61. Defeat clutter.
62. Sew curtains for the house.
63. Hike a half marathon.
64. Be more active in seeking "finishing" work (I sew people's sweaters together for them) and more timely about returning the work that I take on.
65. Use the Postal Service for more than paying bills. Doesn't everyone love to get mail? Send birthday cards.
66. Salad, it tastes good. Eat more of it.
67. Dye.
68. Refresh my knowledge of accounting. I think keeping a ledger for home and for Manimal's business would go a long way towards sorting out our money problems.
69. Brush. Floss. Seriously.
70. Barter with my artist friends. I'd like to have more work on my walls by the people I love.
71. Use an apron.
72. Invite people over for dinner. I'm specifically thinking of other couples with children, since I'd like Manimal to get to know the parents of some of Ragnarson's friends.
73. Make a "kitchen inventory" shopping list. What do we like to have on hand. What are we out of? Where do we buy it? I think this will cut down on impulse buying.
74. Make "parents night out" a priority.
75. Schedule some "unschooling" time with Ragnarson.
76. Work on self promotion.
77. Make a realistic and complete household budget.
78. Stick to the budget. This is going to require some help from Manimal, but I think he's on board.
79. Make time to "play" with Rat Girl. I spend too much time utilizing the "free babysitter" aspect of living with a 12 year old, and not enough on "having fun."
80. Sew clothes for myself. I have some nice wool that wants to become a skirt, I'll start there.
81. Write a children's story.
82. Sketch.
83. Find a place to garden. I am getting very frustrated with the community garden, because the poaching is out of control.
84. Stencil something.
85. Gaze adoringly at my babies.
86. Build a wood oven in the backyard.
87. Drink wine.
88. Have a girls' night out.
89. Start to rebuild the book collection. It was decimated during the remodel.
90. Go to the dentist for a cleaning.
91. Start or join a knitting group.
92. Make a quilt for one of the beds in the house, maybe Ragnarson's so we can have our quilt back.
93. Make a dressform...assuming that my size stabilizes at some point. There was really no point in pursuing this last year, since I was PREGNANT. I did ask Nancy once if I could host a T-shirt and Duck tape party at the shop and she was (at that point) unopposed to the idea. I'll have to make her cookies and ask again. Kyle: I'm totally taking you up on your offer of help.
94. Go to the beach.
95. Etch some glassware.
96. Knit from stash. Documenting stash on Ravelry should help with this.
97. Set up a mail program such as outlook, so that my website email actually gets checked.
98. Limit brain rotting activities, such as watching television on the computer and reading crappy novels.
99. Find some new things to cook, middle eastern maybe?
100. Make ice cream.

2009 wrap up...

Let us make no mention of the fact that I have not posted here in almost five months.


Instead I want to revisit the list of unresolved good intentions that I posted last year around this time. This will be interesting, since I haven't read it since I wrote it over a year ago...

1. Smile at people, and make eye contact. Hmmm....I think I meant in the general sense of when you meet someone on the street. I can't really evaluate this myself,*** three stars on this one.2. Participate. Again, in the general sense of getting involved in the community. This year I participated in the community garden project, the Hunter Park Gardrenhouse, the Old Town Artist's Underground, and the creation of a human being. Actually not that much stuff considering what Lansing has to offer. **
3. Become a monogamous knitter.
I could rationalize, describing each new project that I started before finishing the last one, but honesty requires that I admit to EPIC FAILURE on this one. No Stars!
4. Grow food instead of plants.
I didn't grow much, but I did grow onions, cabbage and beans in the community garden and kale, turnips, brocolli and other tasty greens in the garden house so **** four stars.
5. Take myself seriously. I think I meant artistically. Thinking back over the year I didn't start any new projects so big fail on this one too.6. Work in the studio at least once a week, even if that means going in for an hour and puttering around, accomplishing nothing. Before Ragnarson the Younger was born I did pretty well at this, although I didn't work on anything artistic, I did work. *** three stars
7. Organize.
There was a window of about thirty seconds when I felt that I had my studio pretty well organized, but that didn't last through the latest move. My house is definitely not organized. * one star
8. Get better at making things out of wood.
big fail on this one.
9. Take a class in something.
I think I took Melissa Leapman's design class this year, so ***** FIVE STARS!10. Spin I used my time at the Old Town Underground for spinning, and made good headway on the red/orange five ply that has been following me around. I also experimented with Navajo Plying, so I'm giving myself ***** FIVE STARS on this one as well, even though there weren't many HOURS of spinning involved.
11. Reupholster the "dining room" chairs.
12. Publish at least 4 new knitting designs.
13. Submit at least 1 design for publication.
14. Do not allow the new house to fill up with junk.
Although Manimal will perhaps disagree, I think we've done pretty well on this one. The junk we already had isn't very organized, due to lack of closet hardware (shelves, rods etc.) but we haven't acquired that much NEW junk. **** Four stars.
15. Build 2x4 shelves for the studio.
16. Keep the
Etsy store up to date. FAIL17. Knit a sweater for myself. FIVE STARS. I finally finished the free wool sweater and I wear it literally everyday. *****
18. Build a light box to facilitate the taking of better pictures of artwork and crafts.
19. Get excited about things.
I think this was commentary on my habit of not getting emotionally involved in things due to the potential for disappointment. Having kids pretty much cures you of not being emotionally involved, so yes. *** three stars
20. Sew curtains.
21. Read something by Jane Austen.
I read Pride and Prejudice, and quite liked it. I can see why her books translate so well into movies, because she writes A LOT of dialog. I also read Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights (neither by Austen)
22. Post a project on
Instructables. FAIL
23. Stop using
Ragnarson as an excuse for why I can't get anything done.
No, now I use both children equally. FAIL
24. Make a chore schedule.
25. Economize.
We did do a lot of work making budgets this year, and also got into the habit of saving our receipts. We haven't solved our financial woes by a long shot, but we've made a start on finding out what the problem areas are. ***three stars.
26. Visit someone in a far away place.
The marathon of matrimony means I get *****FIVE STARS for this one.
27. Eat less pork.
HA. Big fail on this one. I bought half a pig from a local
farmer, and our financial stress means that we've been heavily relying on the deep freeze for protein. We've been eating A LOT of pig lately. But it's local, sustainable pig, nothing, still a big FAIL.
28. Eat more lamb and goat.
We did eat more lamb this year, and I sourced some local places for goat, but basically we couldn't afford it. * one star
29. Brush and Floss.
I definitely did this more than year before last, but my dental hygiene is still sadly lacking. *one star
30. Build a wood oven in the backyard.
31. Whittle.
32. Make a
33. Send postcards to people instead of emailing them when I'm just writing to say "hi."
34. Stop eating candy at work.
FAIL, but come on, I wasn't pregnant when I
wrote this list.
35. Use my datebook.
Totally fell of the datebook wagon about four months in to the year. I have realized I am not a datebook person, although I love them, and I really want to be.
36. Do laundry before I completely run out of clothes.
37. Make some artist trading cards.
38. Go to the dentist.
39. Compost.
I did set up a vermiculture bin in our kitchen. I don't have a lot of worms though, so I only feed them about once a month. They seem to be happy and thriving though. ** two stars
40. Read less crappy chic-lit.
I upgraded to LESS crappy chic lit... ** two stars
41. Sing.
FIVE STARS Pete has weened, but requires about 20 minutes of singing
to go to sleep, twice a day. *****
42. Socialize.
Coffee club yes, other people, not so much. ** two stars
43. Use up yarn.
I did knit some charity hats but I acquired the bad habit of buying sweaters at yardsales and unraveling them so I'm definitely UP on yarn.
44. Sew clothes that I will wear.
FAIL, although I made Pete lots of cute pants.
45. Send birthday cards.
46. Buy music.
47. Write a story.
48. Recycle
Eh, half a star, I didn't NOT recycle, but I didn't make a big effort either.
49. Ride my bike
Didn't count on getting pregnant, but I did get a couple months in before getting too round. * one star
50. Do not knit things that are not on "the list."
51. Make something out of clay.
FAIL52. Wear color. If by color you mean "maternity clothes" then yes, I wore color. ** two stars.
53. Enter at least one quilt show.
54. Be a better friend.
Another rather nebulous one. I did deepen my friendships with a couple of my "mommy" friends so I think I can claim *** three stars on this one.
55. Do not delay making phone calls.
56. Use
Ravelry as a tool, not a distraction.
I didn't "ravel" much this year, and I did have about $15 worth of pattern sales, so *** three stars.
57. Take Rat Girl to a play.
58. Go to Wednesday night knitting group...once in awhile.
How about once? * one star
59. Follow through.
If this refers to finishing things that I started then * one star
60. Bake bread.
For quite awhile I baked a lot of bread, then I got round, then I
got a newborn, and bread has not been made in quite awhile. ** two stars
61. Design my next tattoo.
I have to decide on my next tattoo, because the one that I know I want can't be finished until I'm done having children, as it's a representation of our family. FAIL
62. Work in the Gardenhouse, at least once a month.
For awhile I was pretty good about this, now that they've changed the program I haven't been so involved. ** two stars
63. Keep a better record of knitting projects.
64. Eat at home.
We fell off the wagon for a bit there right before and right after Ragnarson the Younger was born, but really, how could we not have. I think we've done a pretty good job of this. Having the CSA produce in the fridge helps a lot. **** four stars.65. Strength train. HA, big FAIL. Unless you count carrying a newborn around.
66. Work on the yard.
Ragnarson and I had a pretty good game of piling up sticks in the back yard, which actually resulted in a net improvement, also I gathered many walnuts for dye. * one star
67. Earn money.
Pretty close to a FAIL, but half a star for effort.
68. Be less judgemental.
Maybe it's the hormones but I feel like I've done pretty well by this, *** three stars.
69. Work with K and B on quilt tile designs.
70. Plan meals in advance.
I did this for a couple of months and it seemed to make a big difference * one star
71. Take vitamins.
I'm much better than I have been in the past ** two stars72. Cut back on caffeine. All over on this one, cut back completely, then let it creep back, then cut off again around Ragnarson the Youngers due date, and then decided that since they want me to take blood pressure meds anyway that there was no point in not indulging. I am pretty far off the wagon. I see the wagon disappearing over a distant hill. FAIL
73. Make deliberate decorating decisions on the house.
**** Four stars
74. Replace plastic food storage containers.
75. Preserve food for winter.
Considering that my garden wasn't that productive, I did pretty well by this. One whole shelf of the pantry (which has HUGE shelves for a pantry) was filled with pizza sauce, jam, apple sauce and apple butter, tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Pretty good considering how pregnant I was during canning season. ***** FIVE STARS76. Get fresh air. We wore out a jogging stroller, admittedly it was a cheap crappy jogging stroller, but that's pretty good. *** three stars.
77. Make soap.
78. Go to art shows.
I think I was referring to gallery shows. I went to a few at Woven Art, but that's sort of inevitable when you work someplace. Over all FAIL
79. Subscribe to a magazine.
80. Cultivate patience.
FAIL, I really need to work on this one. I have a hard time not taking Ragnarson's Two Year old, New Sibling Jealousy antics personally.
81. Make halloween costumes for the family.
82. Buy in bulk.
If you count half a pig as bulk, then yes. *** three stars
83. Teach a quilting class.
FAIL84. Tell people that I love them. Hmmm...have I told you that I loved you lately? I tell my family that I love them, but I haven't broken through the nuclear ring to the outside world. * one star
85. Approach local galleries about showing my work.
86. Don't worry about what other people think.
When you walk around either leaking breastmilk, or covered in spit up and toddler goo...or all three! it's not really possible to worry about what other people think. *** three stars
87. Use reuseable shopping bags.
We have a lot of reuseable shopping bags and they do get used, just not everytime. *** three stars
88. Explore "found objects" in my quilts.
May have mentioned: no quilting at all this year. FAIL
89. Repaint Ragnarson's blocks.
Got rid of them instead, FAIL.90. Reject guilt. Not possible, goes with mothering I think. FAIL
91. Sew fabric produce bags.
92. Sketch.
93. Ask for help.
Rather nebulous. I asked a lot of help from poor Rat Girl, and I am encouraging Ragnarson to help with things like picking up his toys and loading the washing machine. * one star
94. Invite people over.
We have had a few people over since moving back into the "new" house. ** two stars.
95. Read a non-fiction book.
I read a few. I read "Animal Vegitable Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver, a good read that validates everything I alreay believe about eating locally. I also read "How to Pick a Peach." which is another good food
industry myth buster.
96. Go camping.
Again I say, I wasn't pregnant when I wrote this list. FAIL
97. Sew in the third dimension. I did make a few geometric pillows for Ragnarson and gifts for friends, but that's not what I had in mind when I wrote this. * one star
98. Swim in one of the great lakes. FAIL. We did get out to a Lake Michigan Beach, but it was in November, and there was NO swimming from me.
99. Forage.
I did look for some mushrooms and I was all set to try milkweed pods, but somehow missed the optimum harvest. I foraged blackberries, but that's about it.
100. Listen to myself.
Listen to this, self: make your "resolutions" for 2010 more concrete and achievable. * one star.

Okay, so quick tally: FAIL 51. Which indicates some level of success on the other 49. Considering that the major thing I did last year, and am still doing, is build a human being and that wasn't on the list I'm going to count an almost 50% semi-success rate as pretty darn good.

Oh, and here's a cute picture of my baby:

And, no, I didn't just paste up an old picture of Ragnarson, they just look EXACTLY the same...aside from the new version is brown haired and blue eyed.

Ragnar...hey! I blogged, how about that.