February 26th, day 26 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. Our administrator suggests the topic of a day in the life of..YOU! He makes it sound exciting and since it is what I do anyways, I will carry on. It is my genre. My life does not seem exciting to me. I am bored though I am interested in many things. Can this be possible. This last stretch of February is for the birds. I’ve said this of other months also.
Today is March 1, 2021. As you can see I have bombed out of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I could not stretch myself to the finish line. I gave in to binging on Netflix. It was on a good series, Shetland. I fell in love with the characters, the Shetland Islands, Scotland and the stories of Ann Cleeve. I was hooked and could not help myself. Every day, after lunch and after my afternoon cross country ski, I would plop myself in front of my iMac with a cup of tea and a slice of Swedish thin bread. It was my matinee hour. It was ALL very addicting.
All that binging has made me feel very terrible because there was no possible end to it. That is until I came to the end of Season 3. That’s it. No more seasons of Shetland on Netflix Canada anyways. Now I’m in front of my keyboard with just a cup of tea, trying to tap away the angst of my withdrawal. I’ve still kept up with the100dayproject. I’m still sewing a logcabin quilt square a day. I have 30 squares now. I have also finished my cross stitch of Jesus I started many years ago. My fingers weren’t idle while watching Shetland. They were busy weaving in and out of those little squares. I can feel good about that.
I am happy, too, that I’ve kept up with the daily cross country skiing. Exercise and the great outdoors are good addictions. Otherwise, I don’t know what shape my head would be in. We went out to the Wildwood Golf Course this afternoon. I set my timer for a 20 minute ski out and then 20 minutes to get back. Having a set time gave me a sense of security that I can make it back to the parking lot.
I’m glad that I can wrap up the end of February and the Ultimate Blog Challenge with a final post, even if I’m a day late. I hate leaving things unfinished. It’s as if I don’t care and have given up. It is always good to care and give a damn. Things can get better. They can’t if we don’t care.
I woke up to another frigid morning, even . colder than yesterday – 38 degrees Celsius. The cold doesn’t really bother me that much. I feel more alert and physically better, especially if it is sunny as it has been. I had an early start and completed my Log Cabin quilt square for the100dayproject before breakfast. I did it my old way in one hour. I tried to improve my time yesterday by figuring out the measurement of each piece and cutting them before sewing. It took twice as long. I learned something by trying a different method. I found that even though I measured very carefully, most of my pieces were off. It was a good thing that they were too long, instead of short.
I whiled the rest of the morning away basking in the sunshine. I don’t have to be doing something all the time. Nothing can be good for body and soul. It can help creativity. It can sharpen and/or add to my skills. I cut 11/2 strips in the afternoon. My supply is dwindling. I changed the blade on my rotary cutter. I think I’m still using the same one that came with it. What a change it made! I hardly use much pressure and it sliced through cloth like butter. Why did I wait so long? I do have 2 extras I bought long time ago. I think I hate waste and being extravagant. I was reluctant cutting up the cloths, too. It feels like I’m wasting again. I felt like I should be saving them for a rainy day.
I’m learning much more than quilting and sewing doing these challenges. I’m a hoarder, not in the sense that my house is jam packed with no space to move. I’m the kind who saves the good china, linen, and clothes for special occasions, but then forget to when the time comes. I make do with less rather than more. It probably have to do with the times and how I grew up. We were immigrants and poor in the beginning. We were never hungry and I never thought we were poor. That is until my sister mentioned it. When I asked my mother, she said: Of course we were poor! We lived on rice and dried anchovies.
Saving for a rainy day has become a habit, long past the need to. It is not bad but rather a good thing. I have a large stash of sewing supplies on hand in this Covid time. I don’t have to run off to the store for this or that. Sometimes I can overcome my ‘make do’ habit. I bought myself a Bernina 790 sewing and embroidery machine. I was feeling my rainy day had come and I better get serious, be kind to myself and really live my life.
It’s a chilly day 6 of February and the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I woke up to a -33 Celsius outside and a -24.7 Celsius in our solar passive greenhouse. The cold killed all our outdoor solar motion sensor lights. I hope they come back when it’s warmer. Yesterday, the cold drained the battery on my iPhone. It lasted till I finished my ski. I was able to time my 2 laps around the park. The sun is bright and sunning. It’s warmed a degree outside and it is considerably warmer in the greenhouse, a balmy -6.3 degrees Celsius. I will probably have to wait till March to plant in there.
I’ve nixed the idea of skiing today. I do want to go but it would be a stupid idea with a windchill of -41 degrees Celsius. I have this addictive nature but I can stop. I’m sipping my tea and tapping a few words. I have dough bubbling and rising in the kitchen. It is spilling over. I have to run and tend to it.
So much for organization. I’m back but it is bedtime. Too late to go into the details of the bread making. Perhaps that’s a post for another day. All my bread is tucked in their bags and in the fridge/freezer. I was perhaps over zealous with my baking. I did my usual 6 loaves of whole wheat and 2 loaves of sourdough. It’s a good way of warming the house on a bitterly cold day. I also want to make good use of the oven, baking the sourdough right after the whole wheat comes out. Right after that, I slide in a tray of egg shells to dry them and crushing them after for the garden.
The bread making was no problem. That part was enjoyable. It was the cleaning up and putting away that’s really draining. I hung in there till it was all done. I admit I was feeling a bit testy at the end. But all is well. A glass of wine with supper, a hot shower,a movie and popcorn smoothed my ruffled feathers. I even managed to do my Log Cabin square for the100dayproject. Now I’m finished for the day.
Here I am on Day 3 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I am struggling already. I have to wisen up and listen to my body. I’ve been working it too hard lately with my daily ski and altering and sewing projects. My right hand is sore, numb and tingling at times. It’s probably from gripping the seam ripper too much. No more ripping and sewing heavy material for awhile. I can use one or two rest days a week from skiing. I will not rust from lack of activity.
I will keep going with the Ultimate Blog Challenge and the100dayproject. I really like Anne Lamott’s advice in her book Bird by Bird. It really is a manual for writing and life. When I get overwhelmed by any thing/project I think about her One-Inch Frame. I write/work within that frame until it is done, then I move to the next inch. I tap out a word/idea, sentence, paragraph. I’m building an idea/sentence/paragrah at a time. At the end I will have a blog post. If I write a few more posts, it could lead to a chapter. Chapters can add up to a book. I don’t have that aspiration. But who knows?
I work at my Log Cabin quilt squares the same way. Each square has 17 components. The project was actually started a few years ago. I had some 1 1/2 strips cut up but that was as far as I got. They’ve been patiently waiting for me all this time. I am not an experienced quilter but I have taken a beginner’s class a long time ago. I have lots of material and all the tools. The Log Cabin square begins by sewing two 1-inch squares together. They are 1 and 2 in the photo. Then I sew on 3. The strips are not cut to size except the first 2. I cut up two 1 1/2 inch lengths, allowing for 1/4inch hem allowances. Then I sew on 3 and cut off the excess length. Each seam is pressed before going on the next. There’s no rushing. Patience, Precision and Care. It settles my brain. It’s good for me.