Bless the Beasts and the UFOs

It is snowing. It was supposed to be a storm which was downgraded to a few inches, but just the promise has events cancelling all over town. I got home from the dentist with H and L before it started in earnest. Naturally, upon our arrival both Sheila (dog) and Ollie (cat) wanted to go out.

Sheila seemed to change her mind, and Ollie went out. He scratched at the door to come in (he can open our storm door), and Sheila promptly went out. I sat down at the computer, and Sheila barked to come in. I let her in, sat down at the computer, and Ollie whined to go out again. Clearly, he believes that the weather can change on a dime. I think he knows something important about climate change, but he’s not telling. I sat down at the computer and he started to scratch to come in. I opened the door, and he was gone.

“Ollie?” I said. He came around the corner and trotted inside. Now Sheila’s at the door looking glum. She can wait.

As for the UFOs–no, don’t make me a tinfoil hat yet. In KnitterSpeak, a UFO is an UnFinished Object. It’s the single sock still on the needles, the armless sweater stuffed in a bag, the last pair of mittens in the gift pile for numerous niece and nephews. It’s the half-finished shawl, the abandoned Christmas stocking, the unsewn afghan squares, the baby blanket that just needs to have the ends woven in and to be blocked. (That last one is one of mine.) (Oh yeah, the Christmas stocking, too. I can’t find it.)

There are methods for dealing with knitting UFOs. One is to make a pile of all UFOs and knit one’s way through them with clenched teeth and super-human willpower. Another is to gather them all together and pick out the one’s one thinks have a prayer of being finished. The hopeless cases can get frogged (KnitterSpeak for undoing or ripping out knitting–think “rip it. rip it. rip it.”) and the yarn and needles can be returned to their respective stashes to await another project.

A third way is to stare glumly at the heap of semi-demi garments for a while, then cram them all into one bag or box in hopes that their proximity will lead them to complete each other. Immediately after stowing the storage item in the farthest reach of the house, one must cast on a new project to cover the gash in the universe made by the concealment of the UFOs.

I think that this will be the Year of Finished Objects. I will keep finish one thing before beginning another. Actually, I usually have a portable project and a not-so-portable project going, and I guess the hoodie for H is still portable. I don’t know if I’ll get to my personal UFOs, but I’ll be sure to record any progress here. I have a sweater which is top down with stranded color at the neck and I stopped working on it for some reason. I’m afraid it’s because I dropped stitches and I didn’t want to deal with it. I’m not going to worry about it now, but I will finish it. Sometime. I think.

Oh. Sheila wants to go out.


For the time being

“But, for the time being, here we all are,
Back in the moderate Aristotelian city
Of darning and the Eight-Fifteen, where Euclid’s geometry
And Newton’s mechanics would account for our experience,
And the kitchen table exists because I scrub it.”

From For the Time Being: A Christmas Oratorio by W.H. Auden

I always start the new year with a lot of good intentions, so many over the years that I qualify for the position of foreman on Hell’s road repair crew. I can’t hold up to strict expectations, I suppose. I overdo it, or I fall into a trap where I paralyze myself by thinking too much about it. Start counting calories, and all I obsess about is food, for example. I know from experience with food diaries in the past that when I eat normally, I don’t exceed 2000 calories. I just have to be conscious of when and why I eat. I have to be mindful.

So this year, I suppose, might be the year of living mindfully. Even that’s a little too über-cosmic for my taste, but that’s the closest I can get. Maybe it would be better to call it the year of living. That is to say, the year when I participate, not sit on the sidelines. The year where I speak my mind rather than think about it. The year when I do, not think about doing. I’ve been leading up to this sort of thing for a while, and that’s my reason for restarting this blog, which is not going to be focused on any one thing but rather be a reflection of the facets of my living.

This sounds very high-minded, still. But I want to be seen as a thoughtful, mindful person who keeps her promises (the secret of which, of course, is not to promise every thing) and who is a “can do” kind of person. I want to feel as if I’m really living, not just watching others live. I want to get things done. The only way the kitchen table will exist if I take care of it.