I'm taking a break from work, not from this blog, although my lack of posts in the last couple weeks sure makes it look that way. And I'm not just on a coffee break while I write this blog entry. I'm talking about a real break. The contract I was working on for over 5 years ended last Friday...successfully, I might add. There isn't other work for me right now and that's ok because I can really use a break. I'm hoping I can have a few months off, nothing more than that and I really hope nothing comes up too soon...like next week or something. I have a gazillion things I want to do in addition to recharging my mental self.
My first week of non-work has been quite busy. Actually I'm using up vacation hours, so I'm not really unemployed yet.
Monday I drove my husband to the airport and stopped by the hardware store afterward. In addition to some grass seed/fertilizer/mulch mix which I plan to use to fix the bare spots in the front yard (plain 'ole grass seed didn't seem to work), I bought a beach chair that was on sale since it's post-season. I hope to spend some time with my feet in the sand, hearing waves crash and the seagulls laugh, smelling the salty air, and relaxing with a book, my knitting, or just watching the ocean. I did get to the beach this week but I didn't get to use my chair - more on that later. Monday night I went to my knitting guild meeting and learned how to read cables (and cable charts) from Cookie A.
Tuesday I stayed at home and it was insightful. I don't believe I've ever taken a vacation day where I just stayed home by myself. An entire day without going anywhere, where I wasn't sick or working from home. It felt odd and I wasn't sure what to do with myself (despite the gazillion things I want to do). That night I dreamed that I found a new contract I was eager to work on. Off work for two days and I'm already dreaming about going back. Pathetic, I know. It was a productive day though. I did a bit of cleaning and some laundry - I've decided that unless I'm out of the house all day I'm going to spend an hour cleaning or fixing something in the house. It'll be fine if the hour turns into a bigger project because sometimes I just need to get started, but if all I can manage is an hour, that'll be fine too. I didn't want to overdo it on Tuesday so after about an hour of cleaning I rewarded myself by sitting down to finish a sweater I've been wanting to get to. I only had to sew up two side seams but it was tedious work and I of course wanted it perfect. The rest of the day was "wasted" on the computer playing games (guilt-free solitaire!), reading blogs, and just surfing.
Wednesday spinnity and I went to San Francisco to the Legion of Honor Museum to see the Women Impressionists Exhibit. The exhibit features works by Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, Eva Gonzalès, and Marie Bracquemond. I really enjoyed seeing their paintings and getting a peek at how they viewed the world around them. My favorite style of painting is actually the realism of Flemish 16th century artists, such as Bruegel, but I do enjoy the mood conveyed by Impressionistic art. I'm always amazed at how a few brush strokes can look like paint smears up close but step back and you see so much more, even more than the image the paint is replicating.
Wednesday night was a knitting meetup and I finally had something for "show and tell" - the sweater I finished on Tuesday. I took pictures of it (Bonita, from Rowan magazine #41) this morning and will post them soon...I promise. I'm just too tired tonight to mess with photos and write anything about the sweater or the knitting.
I'm tired because today (Thursday) I drove all over the place to visit yarn stores as part of the Peninsula to Pier LYS Shop Hop. No, I don't need more yarn and yes, it was impossible not to buy any, but I figured that since I wasn't working and it was a nice day, I should give it a go. The idea is to visit each of the 19 shops and get a "passport" book stamped at each store. As an incentive, there's a drawing for a grand prize of $500 if you get all the stamps. While that would be nice to win, I must be practical and look at it more as an incentive to visit stores I have not been to and probably woudn't visit because I have shops closer to me. So today I set my course for the stores located south of here in Carmel, Pacific Grove and Santa Cruz. I did the hop on my own partly because I was on a mission to try to do all 19 stores today and tomorrow and partly because I just wanted some alone time (but not alone in the house) to go and do whatever I please. And I had fun! In Pacific Grove I ate my lunch at a picnic table with a gorgeous view of the ocean and drove the twisty windy road through the redwood trees to visit a store in Felton. I took the long way back via Highway 1 so that I could savor the late afternoon sun over the ocean. I managed to squeeze in three more stores by closing time. Actually the last one was a few minutes after. I saw there were other shoppers (hoppers, actually) in the store and even though the sign said "closed" the door wasn't locked and they happily stamped my book and chatted with me about yarn. Knitters and yarn store owners are, with very few exceptions I've found, very nice people.
On Friday I hope to run around and visit the remaining 10 stores. Fortunately all of them are much closer. I also know where they all are because I've been to all of them before. Another good thing is that because they're closer, I won't feel like I have to buy the gorgeous yarn I see because I know that if I really want it I can get back to the store without driving a great distance. Maybe I'll leave the credit cards at home just to be safe.