Sunday, January 4, 2015

Moving into the Year

Tomorrow I meet the first of my new classes, and I'm almost ready to put this winter break behind me and take up the rhythm of the year again. We've had a quiet few days settling in with our sad news and adjusting to our new status as the oldest generation in the family (although between us, we do still have two uncles and two aunts, late 70s to early 90s),

This morning, I took my new TomTom cardio GPS watch out for my first Long Slow Distance run of the year. 20 kilometres in rather nasty conditions of wind and rain, and now I've settled in for one last long afternoon by the fire, turkey sandwiches, tea, and books at the ready, one eye still looking backwards at 2014, the other urging me into this new year, the year of my retirement.

Rounding out 2014, I've posted my Reading List for the year over on my sadly neglected Book Blog. Developing this blog more fully is one of my goals for post-retirement. My goal for the meantime is to accept the reality that I can only maintain it while I'm working full-time. Indeed, accepting my imperfections is a significant goal for me overall, but more about that later.

Because I never feel entirely happy about a post without photos, I'll look back to 2014 again and share a photo of the Baby Blanket I knit for the new grandchild expected next month. You saw it in an earlier, nascent form here; when I gave it to my son and daughter-in-law the week before Christmas, it looked like this
 In a few more weeks, I hope to see it wrapped around a new grandchild (as I was thrilled to see another baby blanket I knit last year wrapped around a brand new granddaughter). . . .
 I must say, I found the knitting of it very soothing, such a simple stitch, the garter stitch, but knit up in such an honest, plain yarn (SandnesGarn Superwash Smart) in simple, nearly primary colours.

  Speaking of Simple Comforts, I've almost finished another post for later this week, with a recipe for a Simple but Delicious Seafood Chowder. I made it last week for a friend, a few days before New Year's, and I served it with an equally Simple, equally Delicious bread that I made up that afternoon, followed by a -- yes, you got it, Simple and/but Delicious dessert. So I'll be back with that soon for you. Meanwhile, any comments you have are very welcome, as you must know. Are you getting traction on the new year yet? Still sorting the lessons you learned in the old one? Or does the whole year-changing business seem a bit too arbitrary to make a fuss over?

18 comments:

  1. What a lovely blanket! I keep joking that all I want is another three hours in each day, and I want them when everyone else is asleep so I can read, write, think. I'm not ready (financially or mentally) to retire yet, but I can't imagine being bored once I eventually do. There are just so many things I want to do!

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    1. Three hours a day would almost do the trick, yes! No, I don't imagine I'll be bored either. . . it will take me years just to get halfway down the list of things I want to do.

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  2. I am getting traction with soup making and with beginning to meet with my French student/friend this week. Today was the second anniversary of my father's death so Maman and I went to church and to lunch. This year she was sadder than last because she felt more alone. Your blanket is beautiful. You must really enjoy knitting. I made a leek soup from a WW cookbook.I have been sorting my baskets of cookbooks ready to give some away. I have to agree with une femme:the best time is the time before anyone else is awake. Time for reading, writing and thinking is perfect.

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    1. That's so good that you're able to give your mother solace like that. And good that she's slowly adjusting to her single life and not feeling as lonely..

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  3. Traction in my life is now measured on progress updating my house and its furnishings. So, yes, I think traction. And we were eating a simply delicious version of fish soup here too. Life is pretty good, in time.

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    1. It is, isn't it? Worth pausing occasionally to notice (which we could better do if we had those three hours daily that Sue's looking for . . )

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  4. Strange - I've just finished making soup, too. I have a vegetarian/nearly vegan son, so I made pasta fagioli, a good and simple (!) recipe that I make about once a week. I'm determined to get more exercise in 2015. I went to a Pilates class this afternoon and then walked on the treadmill.

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    1. Soup is really just what we want after the rich foods of end-of-year. I came home to turkey soup today, and it was just perfect!

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  5. Hello Mater, lovely blanket - almost like a Hudson's Bay blanket.

    We had a great party last night - two families decided not to come, understandable, but we were happy that the rest showed up. Funnily enough, we ended up in 3 distinct groups, the kids downstairs, the men at one end of the living room and the women around the dining table! We mostly know each other from school and Scouts and I think some had not seen one another for quite some time, so it was nice to be the catalyst for those lovely chats. The last guests left at around 1 am - just as the bylaw man was putting a parking ticket on their car because they were in the way of the snow plough. Oops! We offered to pay half, but they wouldn't accept it - we'll have to try and slip them a bottle of wine some time!

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    1. You're right, Patricia. It's deliberately patterned after those Hudson's Bay point blankets. So glad your party went well -- now you'll really feel your new place is home. It's ages since I've been out or even had people here until 1 -- you must have been serving up some good times (too bad your bylaw officer couldn't get into the spirit!)

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  6. Love that blanket in the familiar Hudson's Bay pattern which I also love. Please feel free to post any and all "simple but delicious" recipes; I need all the help I can get! And as for 2015...the year of your retirement...as a colleague said to me as I embarked on my last year of teaching, "Enjoy every minute of it!"

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    1. Your colleague is wise, and thanks for passing that advice along. I'm really determined to see the good side, to soak up all that I love about my work, in this last year. Suspect I'll let that determination slide occasionally and grumbling may happen, but it will be mitigated by my awareness of the ticking clock. . .

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  7. Traction. This is such a good word. I think I am getting traction on the New Year, and I hope that I can maintain it in a balanced way, although historically this has always been my struggle.

    Beautiful blanket. Now I must be off to see your reading list, not that I have been good at either reading or maintaining either notes or a list.

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    1. Some of us are hoping you'll get traction on your blog-writing again, but meanwhile, it's great to see you here. Sounds as if you have quite a bit in store for the New Year -- pacing and balance are key, right?

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  8. I had a real up my spine thrill reading words, "the year of my retirement". Am certain you will make a richly creative time of both this last work year and the transition into more choice and freedom.

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    1. I'll admit that I'm getting increasingly impatient for that free space, although I'm not ready to wish this year away. But so much else I want to do!

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    2. What a beautiful, strong blanket for a new little life. I too like the Hudson Bay stripes. As for traction in the New Year, I seem to live on slicks, sliding from one thing to the next. My mantra for the year: Occupy Your Space.

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    3. I love this -- Occupy Your Space. I'm going to hike over to your blog now to see if you've written a post about this. If not, I'll be watching to see if you do. Happy New Year!

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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