After an upbeat start to the year, this month was a hot mess. My job did a substantial layoff with no warning on Feb. 1, and the stress and higher workload that resulted from losing one third of my team dragged everything else down. We had to get the car’s exhaust system fixed, not cheap. I ordered a monitor for my home office, which the delivery company immediately lost track of. And somebody stole my bike out of the driveway.
I may have been doing a bit of stress eating. Thank goodness for hikes.
Things did recover in the final few days of the month. The dust is settling at work, and somewhat ironically I have gotten a promotion and raise out of the whole thing, which will compensate for the car expenses. My monitor showed up after three weeks in limbo, and I should have done this years ago; I like my little MacBook, but having the extra screen real estate is going to make a huge difference when I’m working. A friend of mine has a bike she isn’t using and is willing to pass along to me. So while not much got done in February, I am hopeful that this phase will be passing soon.
Writing – City of Salt is at 21k and change. I sold one copy of Prometheus Skein.
Knitting – I quickly found that I am not up to knitting anything with charts right now, given all that’s been going on, and frogged the blanket. Am working on a nice, easy scarf instead, with the alpaca yarn I picked up a couple of months ago. I also bought some teeny DPNs and started a sock. Those have been on my “to learn” list for a long time. Hopefully I will get at least one of the pair done in March.
Reading – Even this was a struggle; I’ve been so tired by the end of almost every day, I did not get through my stack this month.
- Book club – Prairie Fires. I found this bio of Laura Ingalls Wilder surprisingly gripping, and whipped through it only a few days.
- Graphic novels – Heartstopper Vol 1. A Valentine’s Day pick; it was cute but not that interesting to me.
- Books about food – The Food of France. This is where I was stuck most of the month. It was interesting, but also repetitive–every region has its soups and stews and game animals and alarming-to-Americans uses of organ meats from animals like geese and sheep. And wine, obviously. It was an okay read, but the parts I enjoyed most were the landscape and history notes, which I can probably find better sources for.
- Creativity – Picture This. An odd, odd book reflecting Barry’s improvisational art style and her thoughtful curiosity about how we create characters and stories (when does a line become a face?). I don’t necessarily like how her work looks, but I love her approach to it and the questions she asks.
- Classics – A Tale of Two Cities. I will almost certainly not finish this one this month. I haven’t read this since high school, and am interested to see how my reading has changed.
- Non-project – I also read One Corpse Too Many, the second Brother Cadfael mystery. These books are just so nice? Aside from the murders, obviously.
Creative Practice – After a few days of dithering about this month’s pick, I got back on Duolingo and started Irish, for no particular reason other than I’ve always been curious about it, and that’s what this monthly project is supposed to be for. I haven’t gotten very far, and the spelling is definitely a challenge, but it’s been interesting to give it a try. I haven’t decided yet whether I’ll try to keep up with this or some other language going forward.
And that’s about it for the month. The winter has been incredibly mild but also on the wet side, and this last week has seen belated gifts of snow and ice that make getting outside a challenge. I’ll be ordering seeds for the garden soon.