Monthly Archives: January 2016

Top Ten Tuesday – Book Based Brilliant Gifts

Some great finds here! I do believe I know what I’ll be getting for hubby for our 10th anniversary now…

Top Ten Tuesday is a booky-themed blog event organised by The Broke and The Bookish. This week on Top Ten Tuesday is a free week and I was inspired to do something a little different. Here are some amazing book-based things from across the internet for the avid readers in your life! (Also known as a not-so-cleverly-disguised wish […]

http://astitchtoscratch.com/2016/01/26/top-ten-tuesday-book-based-brilliant-gifts/

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A Sense of Urgency

In case you hadn’t noticed, things have been hard for me lately. The grind of daily life is bringing me down and my depression is flaring up something fierce. Something has to give.

So we’re moving.

It’s not 100% (but it probably is) but we are going to move into the house next door to my in-laws (it belongs to my grandmother-in-law who is now in a nursing home and loves the idea of having family in there).

In the country.

In about 12 weeks.

I grew up in the country (albeit a very different part) and swore I’d never go back. But I’m sick of the struggle. I’m sick of the loneliness. I’m sick of the noise. I’m sick of the rats and cockroaches!

I’m kind of terrified of living amongst country folk again – but then it’s not like I get to go out and make the most of Sydney anyway. Plus, country life has clearly changed in the two decades I’ve been gone (hello Internet!) so hopefully I won’t be trading surrounded-by-people-yet-lonely for actual-isolation. Plus it’s only a 3-hour drive on a well-maintained, scenic highway away, making weekend trips a possibility.

The clincher for me is the grandparents next door though. They’ll help my husband feel more socially connected and be extra hands to help with the girls. I may actually be able to carve out time for myself regularly and help the whole family achieve more balance and joy.

I just hope there will be enough of a life for me to enjoy there, with people I can actually relate to…

Anyway, before that can happen we need to get rid of at least 50-60% of our stuff (more if possible). We’ll be moving into a slightly smaller house that already has quite a lot of furniture and supplies we can use there, and we would love to keep moving costs down. I need to marshal all the resources and techniques I’ve been dabbling with since I started blogging and Get. It. Done.

Now.

*meep*

This is stupid

The kids are stupid. I’m stupid. It’s all stupid.

Nuclear families are stupid.

We’re not meant to raise families in isolated little bubbles like this. We evolved to live in tribal groups, with many adults and older kids to share the burden of keeping young children fed and healthily stimulated, the living quarters in good order, and the parents socially connected and happy.

You would think in a big city like Sydney I could gather a tribe around me, but no. Everyone is too caught up in treading water with their own insane rent/mortgages and living costs to match. Everyone has jobs to keep up with and their kids in care and activity programs and family spread all over the goddamn place.

Plus, chances are as soon as you do make quality local friends they end up having to move further out – or leave Sydney altogether – because they just can’t afford it anymore.

I’m so over it. I would love so much to have friends within a one block radius who I could meet up with spontaneously. Some people do manage it but I just cannot catch a break. I either make friends who live locally but aren’t interested in a friendship that close or I make good friends I have to schlep a few suburbs over to see (which becomes a real barrier when you can’t drive!).

Our Christmas break down the south coast was so lovely, with the in-laws right there to chat with and distract the children (long story short: we were staying in the house next door to them, with a gate in the back fence to go back and forth through. It was awesome). Plus we only had a fraction of our stuff with us, which was obviously very freeing.

I was seriously tempted to just stay there.

I grew up in the country and have never wanted to return, but Sydney is just not much fun unless you’re child-free and wealthy. I’m sick of the struggle.

Not sure what that really means for us though, since hubby won’t find as good a job anywhere else and we have WAY too much stuff to make moving anything but an anxiety-riddled nightmare, but I had to vent. It’s hot and boring and my kids are listless and cranky. I tried taking them out but they were so awful to each other that I had to take them home again. I want out of here!!

In other news, despite my best intentions I only managed to clear out 2/16 boxes before hubby went back to work this week; my house is a pigsty again; I’ve successfully been getting healthier and losing waist circumference (which I’m so proud of) – but that’s stalled the last couple days thanks to a mix of depression and heat; I’ve managed to re-crochet 12 of the rows of my table topper that I had to unravel; I’ve been getting some editing work through a friend and LOVE IT; I’ve been posting one thing I’m grateful for each day on my Twitter account (@meg_mediocre); my 7yo has gone seriously nocturnal again and I am NOT looking forward to school going back in a few weeks – but then we’ve been so slovenly and disorganised this break that I’m no longer sure homeschooling is a viable alternative. Not sure what to do there…

So, hits and misses in the world of Meg. Here’s hoping the hits keep on coming.

*sob*

In the spirit of my 2016 resolution to finish things I’ve started, I got out a lace table-topper I’ve been plugging away at on and off for about 6 years or so now. I initially intended it to be a 120th present for my parents: their birthdays are about a year apart so they picked a date at the midway point between their 60th birthdays to have a combined 120th. It was pretty awesome.

It was also just over 5 years ago.

The cloth will eventually look like this: 

 
It’s super pretty filet lace using a 0.75mm hook. Each row takes about half an hour and I managed to do 3 of them today.

When I laid out what I’d done to take it all in it looked like this: 

 
Pretty satisfying stuff! Except…

If you look closely you will see that the tension goes a bit screwy just after the halfway point. 

 
Because I’ve gone months (and occasionally a year) between picking it up to do a row or two at a time I never really noticed exactly how much tighter my tension got at that point.

I stretched and jiggled it a bit, but there really isn’t enough give there to block it into a perfect square. As a result, the pattern is smaller from the edge of the heart onwards.  

 
Where my thumb is on the top layer should match up with the larger mesh two rows below.

I weighed my options, took a deep breath – and unraveled 22 rows.

That’s 11 hours of work.

Just under a quarter of the central design.

It took almost an hour just to unravel it and wind up the thread.

I’ve had to do something similar before, when my cat discovered the work in progress and did as a cat is wont to do and played with the ball of yarn, trashing 14 rows of crochet in the process. I’d be finally onto the border by now without these two stuff-ups!

Still, if I’d left it as it was, it would never sit straight and I would consequently never want to use it.

So now here I am back at row 57, rather than row 79: 

 
Siiiiiiiiiiiiigh…