35 years ago today.

Everyone knows the first song played on MTV when it launched 35 years ago today. But did you know this one was the second? Well, now you do. You’re welcome.

And here’s another tidbit: the lead singer for the Buggles? Trevor Horn. Yep, that Trevor Horn.

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July 13, 1985

Today is the 31st anniversary of LiveAid. I know I have talked about this before: I was glued to my TV for the whole concert and somehow even years later, this event embodied 80s music for me. Sure there were artists that didn’t play for a variety of reasons: Springsteen and the E Street Band, Prince, Tears for Fears, Michael Jackson, Foreigner, Eurythmics, Van Halen, and Depeche Mode. But the energy that was sustained for that day is still palpable when you watch the videos.

Here’s one of my favorite clips from the day – a day which fell just over the exact middle of my favorite decade.

Catch up time!

So what’s going on, peeps? Actually I’m mostly up-to-date on my blog reads, it’s just this blog that is still hanging out in March 2016.

It’s all been good stuff for the most part on this end: work is a little complicated right now since I’m training someone. But let’s see what’s happened since we chatted last.

1. I got a tattoo! The CatMan and people at work call me “Queen” – I thought it was high time to make that official. It’s been two weeks now, and the peeling and itching have subsided. My little blue ‘jewel’ didn’t take too well, but overall I’m pleased with how it turned out. 20160613_135655

2. Also in this picture, you can see my nails are looking a bit longer than they have in the past. I was so tired of them flaking and splitting, so I had gel tips done in April. The tips have long grown out, but I continue to have a “dry” manicure with builder gel, then polish every few weeks. I am very pleased with how my nails are growing and holding up to daily wear and tear. Nope, I’m not going to be dragon lady long, but having nails that extend past the end of my fingertips makes me very happy indeed (and yes, I’m wearing SPF 50 when I have them done. My goal is to find a salon that uses LED lamps, but in my corner of New England, that might be a while.)

3. We’re moving! Ok, it’s just to the apartment across the hall, but there are some great perks. We will have two bathrooms (*insert happy heart eye emojis here*), the apartment is on one floor (currently we are on two floors), and the apartment has been renovated recently. We will also have windows facing the lake which means a great cross breeze (right now, our second floor doesn’t have that feature, which means things get toasty fast upstairs). In September, we will have lived in this building for 20 years, so I’m looking forward to some new, updated features and a bit of a smaller space to clean and decorate.

4. Crafting has been keeping the blog company in the back seat. I am knitting: still working on the blanket for Rexie and also a wrap based on this pattern –

Ropedance by Mairlynd (Melanie Berg) Picture via Ravelry

         Ropedance by Mairlynd (Melanie Berg)                                      Picture via Ravelry

5. I celebrated my 1-year yoga anniversary in May. Still enjoying it: my favorite is the weekly yin class. Being able to just relax deeply in a few poses for a whole hour is actually quite revitalizing.

6. I finally went through all my Pinterest boards (using some of the tips found in this blog post), deleting stuff and re-categorizing the boards I already had. Oddly cathartic and I’m enjoying my “Konmari”-d account.

So life keeps on keeping on here. My goal is to move the blog back to the passenger seat so we can go on this ride together. I promise to stop for bathroom breaks and Starbucks iced vanilla lattes. 

 

 

All the blankets

Recently Mason-Dixon Knitting had a giveaway (nope, didn’t win that one) and they asked their readers to comment about blankets we had knit.  That question sent me down the rabbit hole of my archives where I unearthed photographic proof of my blanket production.

My first blanket (1) was for my grandmother when she went into a nursing home. The yarn was alpaca and was knit with one strand of burgundy and one strand of pink held together. It was just shy of twin-sized and very cozy – just what I wanted it to be to keep her warm without a lot of weight.
GH finished

It was quite a few years later when I knit my second blanket (2). This one was for the CattyAbode and it was a scalloped lace pattern knit in an acrylic blend. This one was all about the color blocking.
scallops

After that one, I quickly knit up a seed stitch baby blanket (3) for friends who were having a little boy. I couldn’t resist putting a pink border on one edge – Dad was into camo/hunting/the outdoors, and I wanted Mom to have a little relief from all the green and brown she was destined to live with.
Eliblkt

I was starting to amass quite a few partial skeins and saw this pattern which I thought would be a perfect way to stashbust. My father is constantly cold (I think there are 3 weeks in July where he doesn’t wear long johns), so he became the recipient of this blanket(4).
dads-blanket

And then Rexie’s impending arrival was announced so I stashbusted all my sock yarn to make a car seat/stroller blankie (5).
bblankie

All this reminiscing made my fingers itch to start another big ol’ rectangle! So I’m doing a little mash-up: I’ve got a twin-sized (#1), acrylic blend (#2), seed stitch (#3), random stripe (#4) blanket on the needles for Miss Rexie ( #5). Pictures to come soon!

Winter comfort

Here are two items – though small – are making a huge difference in my comfort levels this winter.

The CatMan has been having some sinus issues, so he wanted to try a humidifier. We had a cool mist one a few years ago and it never seemed to do the trick, plus it was a hassle to deal with the filter. So this time around, I went with a warm mist, filterless system. It’s relatively quiet (except for the occasional gurgle) and pretty unobtrusive. So much so I didn’t think it was doing much, until I didn’t use it for two nights when the CatMan was away. After getting up with sinus headaches for those two mornings, I’m a believer!

humidifier

Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier photo via Target.

The second item is strictly for me: a new pair of slippers! So comfy and warm without being foot-stifling (and yes that’s totally a word!)

moccasin

Clover Moccasin Slippers photo via Target

Getting comfortable: The Hall

Some of you have been readers long enough to remember what our hall used to look like. And how we attacked one of its many eyesores. Then we transformed a bookcase into a closet. And that’s where it ended.
bottom of stepsI went as far as purchasing trim and paint to redo this staircase. The stuff is somewhere in the house.
staircase
But I’m wondering if something else needs to be done or rearranged to make the hall a little more welcoming. Here’s a not-to-scale layout: unfortunately, the cat litter area needs to stay where it is. Should I change the bookcase arrangement to wall hooks and a small dresser? Should I finish the steps first and then re-look at the situation? Thoughts?
hallway layout

Word for the year – 2016

…is Comfort
comfort
As a noun:
1. a state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint (ease, relaxation, repose, tranquility, contentment)
2. the easing or alleviation of a person’s feelings of ease or distress (consolation, solace, sympathy)
As a verb:
1. to improve mood or restore a sense of well-being

Over the past few weeks as I have been thinking about this year’s word, “comfort” would continue to pop up. I pushed it aside, thinking “Does this mean I’m just going to lounge around eating buttered toast and drinking hot chocolate?” (Which, it turns out, is not just my family’s comfort treat!) But the word would not leave me alone so I explored the concept a bit more.  As I’ve done in the past, I viewed the definition of the word through the lenses of my life. Physical comfort for me means continuing my yoga classes, getting new glasses – I know my prescription has changed, modifying my diet to alleviate systemic distress, and working toward a healthier weight. 

On the mental side, my comfort comes when I’m using systems and disciplines to keep me focused. I know habits such as maintaining my bullet journal, having a night-time ritual, and restarting a daily devotional and meditative time have given me a positive structure on which to build my days. Through 2016, I want to look into other habits to incorporate into that structure.

Emotionally, I want my relationships with family and friends to be comforting – giving comfort as well as receiving. I am still working out what that will look like on an individual level.

On the home front, I’m taking the pressure off myself. I’m the poster child for letting “perfect be the enemy of the good.” I’m going to follow Jen’s lead and let my home focus be on “comfort” – small projects that will enhance our day-to-day living.

So this is my jumping-off point. Did any of you pick a word for 2016?

Just in time for Halloween!

I just discovered very clever and funny comic strip called “Erma” by Brandon Santiago. I am not a fan of the horror genre in movies and TV, but “Erma” is more about “what would the child of a horror character and a human look like and act like?” including going to school, getting a pet, and having a babysitter. And some of it is incredibly sweet (and others incredibly ghoulishly funny.) Here’s Erma exchanging Valentines with her crush.

http://brandontheoutcast.tumblr.com/image/110945175048

Erma “Heart to Heart” via the website linked above.