Wednesday, December 30, 2009

One more year

It's that time of year to review and reflect on the past year and look ahead to the next one.

Let's see how I did for 2009 and what I plan to do for 2010:

1. Blog more often - In 2008 I had 67 posts and in 2009 I posted about half that: 33 (counting this one). I didn't have any sewing content and only a little knitting content to talk about so most of my posts were about the renovations we did on the house and my travel. I am going to try to blog more about my textile projects next year, since that is the intent of this blog. There are some knitting projects in process that I should photograph and share, and I hope to get back to sewing and share those projects as well.

2. Lose weight. I should just take this one off the list! I actually did make an earnest attempt in October and lost two pounds (woohoo)...and then I quickly gained it back eating yummy food in France. At least I am eating a little healthier. Last summer we started getting a weekly delivery of a vegetable/fruit box, so now I'm eating more salads and greens and fruit than before. I do need to exercise though, which I will try to do next year. 

3. Embrace my hobbies. Knitting, travel and photography (while traveling) were about the only hobbies I embraced. I guess home renovation is on the list too but in a different sense than it used to be. We used to do all of the work ourselves but now we don't have the time. But we do have the money so we put some of it into the local economy and hired a contractor to do the labor. I still did the design work, which is the part of renovation I like the most. I do hope to get back into sewing in 2010. My sewing area has been buried under a pile of stuff, mostly sewing related stuff, but it can't be put away until the renovations are complete. The bedroom where I set up my cutting table is next on the list for demo and redo so it's going to be a few months until I can sew again. I do have a custom-built pattern cabinet and bookshelf to show off, I just need to take the pictures and post them.

4. Think before I buy. I'm doing pretty well with this one and expect to continue next year. At the beginning of last year I did a major closet clean out, which was a good thing considering that we did a major closet redo as part of the renovations and everything had to come out anyway. I donated a lot of clothing and realized that much of it was barely worn. Some clothes no longer fit but even when they did fit I don't think I wore them enough to justify the purchase or a place in the closet. I decided that I needed to be more critical when buying (or making) clothes and I've been doing that. When I bought clothes for my new job I was very picky. It made it harder to shop but it was worth it. I also am very critical when I buy other stuff. More than a few times I found myself in a store, holding an item in my hand and really being honest with myself about why I wanted to buy it and if I was really going to use it or if I just wanted to buy something. Watching the show Hoarders on A&E also helps curtail the urge to buy more stuff. Believe me.

5. Find the good in my work. I have a job again and it is good. Sometimes I don't want to go to work, and I remember with a bit of nostalgia about the 3-4 months of unemployed "playtime" I enjoyed last year, but there really is good in my work. First, I'm fulfilling a critical need with my customer, which makes me feel very useful. Second, the retirement accounts are getting a nice boost. Third, the extra income let us renovate the house, travel to Japan, and enjoy life. As they can't buy happiness, but it sure helps.

6. Nurture relationships. Same as last year - I think I did ok but can do better, especially with family. I call my mom every Sunday but don't talk much with my siblings. But I did call my sisters on Christmas Day and we had nice chats. (Hi D! Now that I know you follow my blog!)

I know 2009 has been a difficult year for many people, especially for those without jobs. I know we're fortunate but it wasn't just luck that got us here. Our parents valued education, which in my opinion is a solid foundation for so much in life. Also, my DH loves me but he also respects me, trusts me, and is a true partner and we have built a good life together. So on that happy note, I wish you all a great new year and hope you are all fortunate in your lives!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Home again

Felix insists that I not leave again.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Travel photos

I've posted a bunch of photos over at flickr. I went to Nice on Sunday and Genoa on Saturday (those pictures will be posted soon). I took lots of photos but these are some of my favorites. Enjoy.

Click here to go to my flickr page.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Still no sunny pictures from Cannes to share

We had two sunny days this week but I spent them inside learning about satellite stuff and by the time we were through for the day, it was dark. Today it rained but the forecast for "le weekend" is partly cloudy. So maybe I'll have more cloudy pictures of Cannes, and perhaps Nice, to share.

My sore throat turned into a cold. Bleh. I'm sniffling and snuffling and taking cold medicine with the instructions in French. I can understand enough French to determine how much to take and when and that it's ok for me to take it because I'm older than 15.

Apparently the stuff works because I had renewed energy this evening and decided to go out, even in the rainy weather. I went to the Monoprix to look for sewing pattern magazines but they only had Burda and one rather dog-earred Fait Main, which I decided wasn't worth the 5.5 euros (about $8.30). I did pick up a superb Burda special knitting issue on socks. I briefly looked at it in the store but now that I've flipped through every page I think it was definitely 6 euro well spent. It's a bargain for what you get. These are not simple socks.

Burda Tricot

The magazine has instructions for 30 socks, representative of 20 different European countries. Each one is quite intricate and gorgeous and I want to make all of them. Well, except for the tacky one with the Eiffel Tower intrasia! Yes, the instructions are in French, but they all have charts and I have a knitting instruction book in French, so I think I can figure it out.

A sample of the socks

To my knitting friends out there, let me know if you want me to see if I can pick up another copy. I can't promise, since I bought the only copy at Monoprix and I only have this weekend and one Saturday to shop. And remember, the magazine is entirely in French. But let me know if you want me to try.