Sunday, January 3, 2010

Ooh Look! A Shiny New Year!

We weren't very fond of 2009. It didn't go well for us, and there were some losses and disappointments that just weren't much fun, so we were more than happy to usher it out the door on Thursday night. Welcome 2010!

I'm not a big one for lots of New Year's resolutions. I used to promise myself all sorts of drastic changes and of course most of the time it would all be too much. They would then fall by the wayside within months, if not sooner. So instead I am planning smaller goals in hopes that a more moderate approach will allow me to actually reach them and develop some new good habits.

Plan #1: Instead of embarking on major (and exhausting) projects, try chipping away at tasks a little at a time. Get into the habit of doing a little every day rather than wearing myself down in a monumental burst of effort. This applies to housework, creative projects, job hunting, whatever.

Ok, well I kind of missed the boat on that one for my first finished object of 2010 - I made a mini version of Clapotis in 2.5 days - not exactly 'chipping away' there, but it was fun. The yarn is Manos de Uruguay Silk Blend, which was a birthday gift from Bogie. Lovely stuff - great to knit. It grows like crazy - after soaking it was at least a foot longer than the original knit length, if not more. Good thing it wasn't a sweater!

As you can see, the extra length is fine, even on a short girl like me.

Now that I finished that speed-knitting project, I am working on reducing my pile of UFOs. I have two pairs of socks, 3 scarves, a sweater, a Lady Eleanor wrap and a top to finish - along with a couple of pieces that need to be frogged and the yarn reclaimed. I've joined the UFO Smackdown 2010 group on Facebook, and if I can complete (or frog) one item per month this year, I'll be done with everything by 2011. Of course, I have some new things I want to knit as well, so I'm pretty sure I'll still have a UFO pile at the end of the year - but perhaps not the same UFO pile. One recent Christmas purchase that has been tempting me to cast on is this:

That's eight skeins of Rowan Felted Tweed in the Cinnamon color way; enough for a sweater. It's a DK weight and shows off cables beautifully. Any suggestions for it? I definitely want to use it for a cardigan, but otherwise haven't committed to anything. If you have any ideas let me know.

Plan #2: Get out and play. I tend to feel an obligation on weekends to stay home and take care of the house. Brian spends most of his time building his business. Consequently we've been working our butts off for the past few years and not indulging in a whole lot of fun together. We plan to get off the couch this year and enjoy ourselves more.

The first thing we did toward this goal was to get rid of cable TV. Not just downgrade - it is gone. This was mostly a financial decision - even though we didn't have premium channels or HD, our cable/internet bill was ridiculous, and by eliminating the cable TV portion we'll be saving over $100 a month. We've still got our Netflix membership (Yay for the Roku box) and there's always Hulu for when I need my Glee fix! However, I'm really looking forward to spending more time doing more knitting, reading, and stuff that I sometimes put aside in favor of NCIS re-runs (I hope Mark Harmon isn't too disappointed that I'll no longer be watching him every day).

We took another step toward more fun on Saturday when we spent the afternoon at Sunol Regional Wilderness. It's not far away but it feels very isolated and it's just beautiful. We took the dogs with us as they need to get out and have fun too.

It's one of the few areas where you are allowed to let your dog off leash, so once we were away from the main parking area we let them free. Trouble, who is completely nose-driven, took some nice deep sniffs of something on the ground then took off like a freakin' shot through the underbrush and across a running stream. We weren't too worried by this but we did need to keep an eye on her so we ended up doing some pretty serious bush-wacking to keep up with her. Miele helped too, and as a result had her first experience with water that wasn't a bath. She did great - still hasn't figured out that puppies can float so she avoided the deeper spots but she did splash around and seemed to enjoy it.

There is cattle in the area so as we got closer to a potential bovine encounter, we got Trouble back on her leash and headed up the hills. Miele got to stay off leash as she was timid enough to want to stay close by.

The color in these shots isn't quite right - the rocks here were actually quite blue! I'm not sure of the mineral content but the blue combined with the orange lichen was positively garish.

These are a little farther away but the color is a bit more accurate:

It's gorgeous out there. There are some steep grades but the climb wasn't all that difficult. We'll probably return some time to do some of the more challenging trails, and possibly to see how well the dogs take to camping out.

Finally, Plan #3: Develop better sleeping habits. Getting lots of exercise helps with that. Here's Miele, demonstrating how it's done.

She's good at it.


BerkeleyBecca said...

Those are all great goals for the new year. Fingers crossed for 2010 to be happier and more serene than 2009.

Cookie said...

Wonderful list!

Thank goodness it was only a cow that the doggies found. o.0


beany said...

sounds like you know what direction to go in - tho i can't cut the cable cord myself. happy 2010.

Big Alice said...

Happy new year!

AlisonH said...

Oh wow. Now I wanna go. I've only ever driven past Sunol. (I know--what a waste.)