Tuesday, January 12, 2010

ten things

Got the inspiration for this post from Lolly and decided to give it a try.

1. I am prone to insomnia, and have always been a little protective of my sleep; I get headachy and a bit crazy really quickly, upon sleep deprivation. My summer and entire early fall was affected by irregular sleep patterns, and I'm only just now getting back on trac. This year, in 2010, I am making a serious effort to get 7.5 hours per night. I'm about a week into Project Z, as I'm calling it, and it's going well, except for having to fight the temptation to stay up watching late night tv, and hanging out with my husband, who remains a confirmed night owl. I'm following the experiment going on over at Mason-Dixon Knitting, as Ann tries the same thing. Mostly I'm noticing that I DO have more energy in the morning, I haven't had a migraine in a week, and that I'm waking up several times a night and remembering dreams; I must be awakening upon the end of REM cycles? Going to bed early is complicated, though, and involves some planning. Last night, I totally thought I'd blown it, because I got sucked into watching a show on tv about Hoarding, and didn't go to bed til 11. So I re-set my alarm for 7am, and got roughly a good night's sleep... oh yeah, my computer isn't allowed to be in the bedroom after 8pm. I am usually (if a week's worth of sleep practice can be counted as usual) on my bed by 9:45, now.

2. I am fascinated by, and a little afraid of colorwork, in knitting. My knitting resolution this year (besides that monogamy thing) is to try to knit some colorwork. I've got Fake Isle and
Selbu Modern queued up to try, later this winter, and hope to cut my colorwork teeth on some cute hats. My knitting group is kicking around the idea of doing a colorwork knit along in the coming months.

3. I'm a bit of a phone phobe, and would rather email than call people. The huge exception to this rule is with my sister. We text some, but talk a couple times a week; long rambling conversations that usually take place when we're multitasking. Of late, we've been discussing knitting, a lot, and domestic challenges. Last night's random ramble took place in the grocery store, as I was desperately searching for Boboli crusts. Probably I would have been more efficient at finding them, had I not been involved in this babbling on the phone.

4. I adore cooked greens. Seriously, my favorite food, and I think the frequency of them in my diet compensates, somehow, for some of the sugar, animal fats and alcohol that also appear in there. Bitter greens just make me happy. Stir-fried with garlic and red pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice or mojo sauce, tossed in pasta, scrambled into eggs...yum. I think I might have weirded my family out a wee bit, when I served them on Christmas day. I've got a huge bag of collards in the fridge as we speak, just waiting to be cooked up with some black-eyed peas and cornbread. I'd say it's my Southern heritage coming out, but I didn't really grow up eating them in any huge amount, but it is definitely a passion in my kitchen.

5. After years of owning dogs (nearly 12!) and my readers know what a fervent dog geek I am, I have to say, I don't care for dog parks. Part of it is having a dog who is stressed out and snarky with other dogs his size, and who frankly regards little dogs as prey items, but another part of it is just that I see too many irresponsible owners, fights happening (or waiting to happen) and they are not for me, nor my dogs, both of whom went to dog parks regularly, in their time. I occasionally will take Ella, who enjoys a walk-through and meeting and greeting other dogs, though she does not play with them, usually, and still obsesses over frisbees more than her own species. I have also used them to work with Cricket on training issues, just outside their perimeter, or even in the park on a longline, but by and large, I avoid them.

6. I love thrift shopping, but dislike the smell of the thrift store. My finds get immediately washed and rinsed with a liberal dose of lavender oil, upon arrival home. I have not done as much thrifting in Atlanta as I would have liked to, thus far, and need to rectify that situation. Maybe today...

7. Yoga has made me more conscientious about pedicures, even if I give them to myself. The time spent looking at my feet has made me appreciate a nicely polished toenail. In decidedly non-yogic fashion, a topic of conversation in my current yoga class, these days, is comparing various toenail polishes. I didn't start it, honestly. Not sure what B.K.S. Iyengar would have to say about it.

8. Ella sleeps in our bed with us, but she always, always waits for us to give the "go hup" command to jump up on the bed. Cricket doesn't sleep in the bed at night, though he is allowed to lounge on the bed until bedtime. He's too big, is a complete space hog, snores loudly, and his presence provokes too much middle-of-the-night growling and grumbling, and watchdogginess from the cranky Ella who needs her beauty sleep. He cheerfully goes to his crate after the last trip outside, and is rewarded with a biscuit. I grew up sleeping with dogs in the bed, so it seems a normal thing.

9. What started me on the path to knitting, was the purely emotional purchase of a big bag of old knitting needles, at a yard sale in Davis, CA. My friends' housemate was moving to back Denmark and he was getting rid of all his stuff. I was perusing through the tables of his worldly goods, and saw that he was selling his deceased mother's knitting supplies. Mostly needles, and a few skeins of yarn. It made me really sad to think that this part of her legacy in life was just going to some stranger... though I didn't know her. The needles were the old Susan Bates colored aluminum straight needles, in different sizes, and I was thrilled by how pretty they were. The yarn was nondescript, acrylic mostly, with a ball of grey wool. I bought it all for about a dollar, and promptly stashed it off in my house, not to be touched for 3 years or so. Later, my friend Nora and I decided we'd teach ourselves to knit. I broke out the needles; big long pink #8's, and the ball of dark grey wool, which reminded me of Ella's fur so much that I used to pretend that it had been spun from her clippings. I don't use those needles much anymore; I prefer my Denise circulars, or the Lantern Moon straights, so I passed some of them on to my sis, when she was teaching herself to knit. I kept the dpns, though, and the stitch holders, and sometimes think of that Danish lady who used them so long ago to knit her son's sweaters.

10. In 5th grade, I had a kind of mean teacher. I used to ask a lot of questions about what we were going to do next, why things were the way they were, how things worked, etc. One day, she said "Kim, you're really nosy." in front of the class. I was only a little embarrassed, because I'd heard from my grandma that being nosy was kind of rude, and I knew I DID ask a lot of questions... but later, at a parent-teacher conference, she told my mom that I was "really inquisitive" and spun it out as kind of a neutral thing, if not a downright good trait. I never liked her much and felt sorry for her daughter, who was my age, for having to deal with such a snappish mom. A wall of orchids at the Atlanta Botanical Garden (the botgard, as we call it) which has a big orchid show going on at the moment.


The Mama said...

Love your "10 Things" post!!!

I, too, am a bit phone-phobic. The only person I ever talk to at length is my brother who is going to Ireland next year.

P.S. Dogs on the bed ARE totally normal. No one should ever be led to believe otherwise.

Acornbud said...

Enjoyed reading up on you. I was introduced to "greens" in Kentucky and I really love them, too.

Lolly said...

Oooh, so many things to say! A great list and I feel that I got to learn so much about you!

Many good wishes and sleep-filled nights to you - your Project Z sounds like a very noble task. I am pretty convinced that every adult I know is severely sleep-deprived and that is a major part of the healthcare crisis in our country... interestingly enough, I know that some certain poses in yoga are supposed to assist with insomnia...

I don't like phones either. I don't really make an exception for my family members either. I would much rather email or just see them in person when possible.

And YES! greens are amazing. LOVE collards. I make green smoothies all the time with copious amounts of kale and beets greens, as well as spinach and watercress. Collards are one of my comfort foods though - sauteed lightly with some garlic... omg, so good.

Mokihana said...

What an interesting post! I'm so glad to know more about you!