This Friday off, I made a trip to Mill Creek to visit Main Street Yarn . George and his cold joined me, and our first stop was at Central Market for lunch. I was also looking for salt cod to try a recipe from the Saveur authentic Italian cookbook (and I found it, complete with a chef to talk to me about how to prepare it). George spent time in the University Book Store while I checked out the yarn store - in short order I found all the needles I was looking for, and a Mac&Me pattern for an alpaca ruffle scarf I think is simple and beautiful. At home, I worked in the yard until it was dark, then checked the drying progress of my pink variagated socks and my teddy bear top-down sweater - I had blocked them together before shopping. What to do next? Which takes me back to how I started today.
My mind percolates with such a variety of ideas that there are days I am nearly paralyzed into inactivity just trying to decide. I want to knit and read, I need to get to the gym for a workout, I like to talk and spend time with my friends, and the house needs cleaning. I want to cook wonderful, healthy foods, I want to take Maverick for a walk, I want to complete several sewing projects, I love reading my friends' blogs, and want to keep my posting more regular... and so on. The good news is that it's such a gift to have these choices - reading A Thousand Splendid Suns reminded me of my good fortune to just be born an American. The challenge for me is organizing my time to approach my own fulfillment and give the maximum joy to my dog, friends and family in the process. The things I most often give up are sleep and time for peaceful reflection - it can really be a vicious cycle, so I want to improve every day.
So next in knitting I have begun the alpaca ruffle scarf using the vintage yarn Laurie gave me in return for knitting cashmere wristlets for her. Also, I have cast on the Ferals Fair Isle challenge tam, and while the color chart reading is a new lesson for me, I'm cautiously optimistic about making the April 1 completion date. I'm determined to complete my Forest Canopy shawl before Madrona, and in Rebecca's class on Thursday, I'm planning to use my swatches to calculate the sizing for my Silky Wool top-down pullover sweater. And I can't imagine not having some socks in the works, so tonight I'll decide which yarn and pattern I'll begin.
In books, I just finished Laurie King's "With Child" (action taking place partly in the Seattle area) reading it while I worked out on the eliptical and while riding on the bus, and her "Touchstone" at home. Sarah Waters' "The Night Watch" is in my car on CD so I can listen while I drive, and after completing Ian McEwan's "Amsterdam", I've begun ordering other previous Booker Prize winners from the library. I'll begin the first winner tomorrow: "Something to Answer For."
In photography, I've finally opened a Flickr account and have been mulling which photos to add. A basic digital photography course through North Seattle Community College Continuing Education exposed a few new things about my camera - I've already begun to use a couple of features I hadn't known how to access. A 2008 promise to myself is to take computer courses on a regular basis to keep up with the rest of the world.
Meanwhile, I'm not giving up on finding balance combining my love of reading, knitting, and photography with my love of a clean and serene home filled with good, healthy homecooked food, friends & family, and a happy, healthy self and dog. Oh yes, and applying myself at my job during those 80 hours each two weeks.