I’m beginning to wonder if I need to join Bloggers Anonymous: Hello, my name is Marian and it’s been 6 weeks since my last post.

What the heck have I been doing?

In no particular order, I’ve been:


We’re back to winter weather.


I’m attempting to sew clothing; it’s not going swimmingly.


A fascinating read!


The second sock. The pattern is a slightly modified version of “Hermione’s Everyday Socks”.


This may one day turn into a shoe cupboard. We’ll see; the boys are threatening mutiny and claim this cupboard does more to clutter up the foyer than a dozen shoes scattered haphazardly on the doormat.


This is a “rescued from the curb” library cart. (Yes, it”s upside down — the wheels need cleaning). I don’t know yet where it will go or what it will be used for; all I know is that I couldn’t let it go to the dump.


Lots of hours spent at the school library.


Of the unpaid Dear Sir and/or Madam, Please will you consider me for your job/grant/scholarship variety. I am my children’s editor.


I may be just a bit obsessed with braided rugs; this is the 6th one I’m making.


Now that Downton Abbey and Mr. Selfridge have been exhausted, we’ve turned to The Paradise. I am a British period piece whore. (Gosh, I hope my daughter doesn’t read this post).


Our daughter will be staying in her university city this summer. And our 17 year old son (not pictured, because he wasn’t born yet) will join her in the fall.


A post on clothing and sewing, which is leading to far too much Ruminating and Questioning, which I will not bog you down with.

I hope you’ll tell me what you’ve been “—ing” in the comments 🙂 .

13 thoughts on “—ing

  1. I love these kind of posts and I’m so glad you decided to share. It’s always nice to catch up with you! 🙂

    We’re in very much the same boat weather-wise. Some days it’s quite spring, other days we are ice and snow covered. I’m beginning to feel over it even though I know it was mild and I have no room to complain.

    I really enjoy Bill Bryson, though I haven’t heard of this one before. I haven’t been reading much lately (too much knitting) but I’m falling behind on my reading challenge, so I should pick something up and start.

    I can’t wait to see/hear more about your sewing adventures. My machine came back from the repair shop just as we were taking apart our office/my craft space to have the flooring replaced and we’ve got about three weeks before it all gets put back together again. Interestingly, I only used it a few times all of last year but once I sent it out the projects seemed to add up. I may just have to bite the bullet and use my kitchen table so I can get my bedroom curtains finished.

    I LOVE those socks. Hermoine’s Everyday Socks pattern is on my list but I think they need a very pretty tonal and all I seem to have is self-striping these days! Also: have you heard about the sock yarn/cozy memories blanket? I’ve started putting mini’s together and I think I’m going to start one. It’s a good way to use up all my sock yarn scraps!

    And I LOVE period British drama. (I think we’ve talked about our knitting, British drama, family game love commonalities).

    Hope to hear more from you soon!


    1. Thank you, Kate 🙂 . These sort of posts kind of remind me of Show and Tell, and even as a child I was always more comfortable being on the receiving/audience end, rather than on the presenting end — and this part of my nature has clearly followed me into adulthood and blogs/blogging: I absolutely love to see and hear about what others are doing, but have been reticent to do this on my own blog. There’s a big part of me that thinks, Well, I’ve already talked about the stuff that I “set out” to talk about (crap-free book fair, plastic shopping bags, food waste, etc) so maybe it’s time to just … stop? (Sorry, that’s the Ruminating and Questioning coming out 😉 ).

      It’s always a bit of a debate with me: once my youngest is in bed, should I read or should I knit? I REALLY want to produce socks in a timely fashion, but I also REALLY want to read more! And Netflix eats into both those activities because, unless it’s really basic knitting, I can’t knit and watch. Have you ever tried audiobooks, Kate? I borrowed the audio version of Bryson’s book from the library several months ago, thinking that was the solution, but it didn’t work for me! I’d be knitting and trying to pay attention to the recording and all of a sudden I’d realize I’d zoned out and I’d think, Wait, what did he just say?

      I love those sock yarn memory blankets! (I’m assuming you mean the ones which are mitre-square constructed, with no joining of individual squares at the end required?). I have a lot more actual socks to knit, though, before I have enough scraps to make one of those! (Although I do know one can start ANYTIME, and just add on as you go … meaning it could be a YEARS (!) long project!). I hope you do a post about it, if you do decide to start one 🙂 .

      Now I have to be envious of you, too, for having a dedicated craft space 😉 . My machines are set up on the dining room table (I share it with my 17 year-old, who studies there), with my ironing board “spilling over” into the front room office/living room, all of the mess visible from the front door. (Not that I really care what others think as they come to the door, but still…).

      Love chatting with you, Kate 🙂 .


  2. I’ve been slowly accumulating supplies for projects….I have bought fabric for curtains, fabric for recovering lampshades, a canvas for a piece I’d like to make. If only I could find some time to sit down and actually do these projects.

    Weather here (southern CA) has been just lovely, it is my favorite time of year. Not too hot, not too cold, jeans and longsleeves and sandals weather. (Ahem. Don’t hate me.)

    I’ve had my sister visiting and babysitting so the Mister and I could have a night out in LA (yay!) and I’ve had a planned trip to the East Coast canceled. (Boo.) I’m planning a vacation to the Grand Canyon in June that will mean driving 8 hours with my prone-to-frequent-barfing daughter. (Pray for us.)


    1. I can’t wait to see your curtains and lampshade, Lisa! If I recall correctly, you’re like me in that you don’t have a dedicated spot for leaving your sewing machine set up permanently, which does make projects like these a bit more difficult. I find I have to almost be in the right “mood” to leave it set up in the dining room (knowing the place will be a mess for awhile) and once I get past that bit of a mental hurdle, then it’s at least all ready for when I DO get the opportunity and/or find the motivation to get started.

      I won’t hate you for your weather (I actually don’t mind the cold at all; I just find it a bit depressing when it’s accompanied by days of clouds, but today there’s frost on the roofs and a skiff of snow on the ground and the sky is beautifully blue and it’s just SO lovely 🙂 ) but I may just have to hate you a little bit 😉 for your company/babysitter! We moved away from family right after our daughter was born and my husband and I have RARELY had evenings out (ahem, because we could never be like “normal people” and hire a babysitter (I need a “rolls eyes” emoticon)). I hope you and the Mister had a fantastic time, Lisa.

      I absolutely HATE long car drives with kids, so will definitely wish you well — here’s hoping it’s a vomit-free experience!!


  3. Well, selfishly I hope you don’t stop writing here, Marian, because I really enjoy your voice! Love reading these sorts of glimpse-into-the-life posts. (Though I too often feel self-conscious when I publish them. I think: who could possibly be interested in these minutiae? But hey guess what — we are a nosy species!)

    Some random thoughts:
    -It was cool to get a glimpse of that favorite bowl that you wrote about earlier — still in near-daily use/action.
    -I’m sorry the sewing isn’t going well! Mine hasn’t been either and all the slogging without feeling like I’m getting closer to success does sap my motivation to continue.
    -I really want to read your post about clothing and sewing though. Hurry up! Chop-chop! (Kidding about the pressure, but i really am interested in your thoughts.)
    -Have you read Witold Rybczyinski’s “Home”? Very similar title to Bryson’s and somewhat similar idea…but you might appreciate the Rybczynski as well. It’s very well done and he basically argues that the Dutch invented family/home life as we know it. 😉
    -Your men are wrong about the shoes in the entryway. You are correct. Proceed with the cabinet!
    -I can’t wait to see what you do with the library cart!
    -We have been shelving too…trying to organize/weed through/tidy my daughter’s books. (This, too, involves a big dose of Magic Treehouse.) In fact, I had better go get on that…


    1. “…we are a nosy species!” — Oh, this is SO true, Sarah! I am positively fascinated with how people live and how they keep their homes, right down to the minutiae (so don’t you stop writing your blog either!) 🙂 . I went over to Goodreads and took a look at Rybczyinski’s book, and that’s definitely one I’m going to want to read; thank you for thinking of it and recommending it!

      It IS really hard to keep going with sewing clothing when nothing seems to be going well! I wish you had better news to share about your own sewing. I’m not entirely sure my upcoming clothing/sewing post will be widely applicable, which is likely why it’s taking so long to get right. (As in, if you thought socks with sandals was bad form, you ain’t seen nothing yet 😉 … which is a roundabout way of saying I’m still not sure if I can actually be brave enough to show you the extent of my wardrobe faux pas.)

      We made some headway with the shoe cabinet today, and I finally got those library cart wheels cleaned! Progress is very satisfying 🙂 . I hope you managed to get your daughter’s books tidied, and speaking of books, I’m also hoping you’re making progress with your goal of reading a book a month! I’d love to know your thoughts on Harry Potter, which if I recall correctly, was April’s choice?


  4. I loved At Home! I’m especially glad that he included the tale of Fonthill Abbey, which I remembered from architectural history class.

    What I’ve been doing is ending my job (now down to 10 hours/week until May 31, as there’s one grant remaining) and going through the emotional work as well as the paperwork of concluding my 17 years with a 29-year longitudinal research study, while simultaneously trying to believe that I can somehow find another job (this seems much less plausible than it should) and trying to catch up on all the things that I let slide when I was finishing the full-time part of my work and, before that, recovering from surgery. It’s been a very stressful year so far. I thought that with fewer working hours I’d be able to get out of crisis mode, but it doesn’t seem to be happening yet. Maybe after I get my tax return done?


    1. You had recommended At Home to me quite some time ago, and you were right — it’s a fantastic read, and so well-written 🙂 (if at times disconcerting! — I was VERY glad to get past the part about mice and rats!).

      I’m sorry to hear you’ve been having a stressful year, ‘Becca … I can only imagine the emotions you’d be going through as you wind up work you’ve been doing for 17 years. I don’t know if this will help you (or indeed, if you actually *need* any help) … but when we moved away from Minnesota I wanted to somehow counter the sadness my kids were feeling at leaving the only home they had ever known (our oldest was 3 when we moved there, and our youngest was born there), so I phrased it not as a “loss” but instead told them that we had been really, really fortunate to have had the opportunity to live there for as long as we did, and that it was time for a new adventure. I really hope you’re able to look back on the past 17 years of your work with positivity (to feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to work there, in other words), and to be optimistic about the future as well. I wish you all the best in finding a new position, ‘Becca!


  5. Well, I think the commentary shows that you can’t stop writing. 🙂 We would all miss you too much.

    I just want to chime in that I love these kinds of posts, too. (Maybe I should write some….)

    I’m so glad you’ve pointed me to another period piece show. (We can form an online chapter of British Period Piece Whores Anonymous.) And I want to see the clothes you’ve been making. I, too, would not have been able to leave the library cart. (Need an anonymous group for those who can’t leave abandoned furniture where they found it.) I would love to know more about the braiding–I’ve always wanted to make such a rug. I have some I inherited that my great-grandmother made. I’d like to learn how to do this. As for Mr. Bryson, that was a book I really wanted to like/read, but I didn’t and so I didn’t. Not sure why?

    And, finally, I am so sorry that your weather is still so…white. And frozen. I hope you will get a proper spring and don’t just go from freezing to blazing heat.

    So nice to hear from you.


    1. Thank you for your very kind words, Rita 🙂 . The feeling is mutual, as I’m sure you already know.

      I’m so glad I was of assistance to another British Period Piece Whore! (But we don’t actually need the “Anonymous” part, do we? / starts breathing into a paper bag to prevent hyperventilation / ). I have YET ANOTHER to recommend — the TV was barely cold ( 😉 ) when The Paradise ended and we moved on to North and South. We initially thought North and South must be an American civil war series, but NO! it’s actually North and South England! It’s set during the industrial revolution and was SO good…it’s just such a pity it’s only a four part mini-series 😦 .

      I am definitely planning to do a post on braided rugs (spoiler: they’re actually very easy, and way less time-consuming than one would expect), but oh my this post on clothing … I kinda wish I had never mentioned it …

      Our weather is no longer white (although we did have a BLIZZARD on Sunday!) and the temperatures are very spring-like and pleasant. We do get very hot and humid here during the summer, unfortunately, so I definitely don’t want to skip over spring!

      I hope all is well with you, Rita …


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