data obsession

The first week of the year passed uneventfully. I returned to work after having 12 days off (my first vacation) and settling into new routines. I have started reading in earnest and I now have 5 books in progress. I have never really been able to focus on one all that much- unless it’s an absolutely engrossing novel!

One thing I stared in the First Week was a temperature blanket. I have been wanting to crochet an afghan for a long time. Essentially- you work a blanket row by row, and the row color corresponds to the daily temperature. My blanket pattern I chose is Apache Tears. While my “tears” are not as long as the ones featured in the pattern (I am one row shorter) I still think the effect will be similar.

My color range & color names:

Temperature Range Color Yarn Brand
0 deg & Below  Pale Plum Red Heart Super Saver
1 deg – 15 deg  Medium Purple Red Heart Super Saver
16 deg – 30 deg  Lavender Red Heart Super Saver
31 deg – 45 deg Light Periwinkle Red Heart Super Saver
46 deg – 60 deg Aruba Sea Red Heart Super Saver
61 deg – 75 deg Turqua Red Heart Super Saver
76 deg – 90 deg Jade Red Heart Super Saver
91 deg & Higher Cool Blue Ombre Caron One Pound

I don’t have any good progress pictures yet- I hope to share one with you in a few days. I have been keeping track of my temperatures and colors in my Traveler’s Notebook weekly planner. It’s been a lot of fun to have a project I have to collect data for. I hope to put everything into a big Excel sheet so I can do some basic math with it to figure out the statistics of temperatures and colors for the year… maybe that is too much, but it’s the scientist in me!

Do you have any big year-long data-based projects like this? I’m also keeping track of my pages read this year in Goodreads and a big Excel sheet… are there others out there like me?

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a year of enlightenment

Happy New Year, readers! I hope you were able to celebrate in the ways that you wished. I greeted the Year from the comfort of my own home, by playing card games with my family.

Today, as I dwell on what the Year will contain, I wanted to share with you my Word for 2019 and my 2019 Resolution.

My Word for 2019: Enlighten

My 2019 Resolution: Read 31,000+ pages without buying a single book.

Last year, I challenged myself to complete a senbazuru. I completed my challenge on Sunday, December 30. The project was definitely hard- I battled procrastination and lack of motivation throughout most of the year, but I managed to finish everything on time. While I did not fold my last crane with a particular wish in mind, the peace and happiness I feel due to the completion of the project is more than enough.

This year, I wanted a reading goal, as I thoroughly enjoyed my 2017 Resolution, which was read 100 books. The most I have ever read in one year was right around 30,000 pages, back in 2015. I have come close, but not quite reached the 31,000 pages mark.

I also wanted to have another facet to this project: no buying any books in 2019. I spend a lot of money on books that I read and subsequently donate. Thanks to my job, I have access to a gigantic library, where I can loan any book imaginable. Additionally, I have become a steady patron of my local county library. While I do not have any hard facts or statistics about the subject, I feel that loaning books from the library is better for the environment. Two worthy reasons for going on a book ban: saving money & helping the environment.

My Word for 2019 simply felt right. It came to me this morning, as I was waking up. I want to live with more enlightenment in my life. For a long time, I have experienced growth without development. To me, enlighten will symbolize the development of mind and spirit in my post-college life.

Since I have shared my 2019 Word and Resolution, if you care to share yours, leave a comment! I will stay accountable for my goals on this blog. Again, I hope you have had a Happy New Year, and I wish you all the best for 2019!

winter days

I hope you have had a happy Christmas, and an enlightening Winter Solstice.

These last few weeks have been busy due to holiday preparations. Some days I felt like I was moving a million miles an hour. Every second of it was worth the while- my holiday break has been wonderful. I haven’t ever had a real holiday break before, even while in college. Getting some time to slow down and breathe has been rejuvenating. I have been reading plenty and working on wrapping up a big project.

On January 1, I began to fold senbazuru – 1,000 paper cranes. If I finish all of them by December 31, I will be granted a wish. While I have experienced long bouts of procrastination, I have continued on with my efforts. I have 360 left to fold, and still no idea what I will wish for. I don’t know if I would wish for anything, and if the ancients deem me happiness and eternal good luck, I would consider myself very blessed indeed.

the beginning of something new

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Every time I dream, I see rabbits dancing in soft snow, then they all go home to their burrows to sleep under homemade quilts. For breakfast, they sip mugs of tea and munch on a stroopwafel. Then, they go about their little rabbity days, living quietly in the forest. I envy the dream-rabbits most days, but on others, I know that one of the dream-rabbits is me.

I have been blessed with the opportunity to start over. I started my new job on October 1st, and I adore everything about it. My body and mind feel refreshed after five years of student life. Since I work a “typical” 40-hour work week, I feel that I have more time than ever to live a life. I am crafting, writing, and reading more. The last few weeks have felt clumsy, as if I’m learning to walk again. Words aren’t flowing as they did before college, and my stitches are untidy- but I am trying. It’s as if I’m rescuing myself from a raging sea with an inflatable raft and an oar.

Blogging, podcasting, and sharing on Instagram reach out to me in a new way. I have been thinking about my old blog from high-school and this blog a lot. I have missed having a platform to discuss books, crafting, writing, and life.  While looking through the archives of my high-school blog, I couldn’t help but smile and remember all of the days I had spent happily writing and sharing my thoughts and projects. Now that I’m older, I read blogs that are more about “this is my life and what interests me” rather than themed blogs or magazine-style blogs.

I will begin here anew, too. I want to make this place my little rabbit-burrow, a comfortable place to visit and read. Please, make yourself a cup of tea and stay a while. I may not have much to say yet, but make yourself at home. You will always be welcome here.

a dedication

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
   Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
   With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
   And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
      To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
   With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
      For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
   Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
   Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
   Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
      Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
   Steady thy laden head across a brook;
   Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
      Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.
Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they?
   Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
   And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
   Among the river sallows, borne aloft
      Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
   Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
   The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
      And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
-John Keats, To Autumn
Growing up, I always felt that this poem was dedicated to me. I adored it in its entirety, every gorgeous word and flowing stanza twirled in my life as falling leaves do. Keats was the writer that introduced me to poetry and the ensuing obsession- years later- for the written word.
For a long time, I have wanted to write. It was always hanging at the end of internet biographies- Autumn: geologist, reader, writer. However, I kept my words to myself in journals, diaries, and occasional anonymous postings on the internet. Here is my place to share. It is time to bring the things I have written out of their hiding places and into the light of day.