Between the steady rain for the last 3 days, and the 2 days of heavy fog before that, I have not seen the sun since Friday. It is also disgustingly cold. Sadly, this is pretty typical for mid-winter around here. For someone whose mood is as dependent on the weather as me, it’s easy to fall into a steady state of “blah”. How do I combat it?
1. I wear as much sparkle and shine as I can get away with while still looking like a reasonably respectable professional. Sometimes that means hiding a bit of sparkle under a tamer cardigan or dress.
2. I wear lots of deep, saturated colors in a semi-deliberate attempt to counter the dark and grey outside. Bonus points if I can combine the rich colors with some shiny.
3. I wear the warmest, softest, most decadent clothes I own – this is where being a knitter comes in handy. The warm and fuzzy against my bare skin is a little tactile treat that almost replaces the warm sun on my bare skin.
4. I work out like a madman. This is partly because the workout itself boosts my mood, but also partly because it leaves more room for the comfort foods that also boost my mood. Bread and soup, anyone?
What do you do to keep the “blahs” at bay?
It took me a few days to get the blog post together, but I did complete my Sky Scarf on the 31st. It is awesome! It really did serve its purpose of making me more mindful of the weather (and noticing how much it really does affect my mood) and serves as a nifty souvenir of 2012. It turned out really super long:
But luckily I intended to connect the end and wear it as a big, showy cowl. As an added bonus, I get to look at a much larger proportion of the stripey goodness all the time.
I’ve worn it out in public twice now, and raised surprisingly little interest. There was one fellow knitter (apparently) among the parents dropping their kids off at work who latched on right away to the fact that I’d probably made it, but most people haven’t even looked twice at it, let alone commented. It seems off for a cowl (infinity scarf?) this massive and colorful, with such irregularly placed stripes and beads. I’m sure happy with it though!
Normal is a weird concept. Like how we have a certain neighbor in the complex behind us who has a medical emergency pretty much any time the weather’s awful, without fail. So when an ambulance and a firetruck showed up to that building mid-Sandy, that was normal.
God bless those emergency workers, though.
The kids playing in the flood waters downtown within minutes of the rain ending? Also totally normal.
Photo courtesy of Tracy Woodward via the Washington Post.
Then there are the things that people try to return to normal after a major event, but don’t quite make it. For instance, we were back in school yesterday, but the kids were so wired there was probably not a speck of learning done. Or the fact that within hours crews were clearing away the tree in the through-way out of our parking lot,
but that giant chunk of the sidewalk the root ball took out and the sad hole in the treeline where the behemoth used to live? Definitely not quite normal.
Then there’s the stuff that’s totally not normal at all. For some involved in this storm that’s a really sad thing, but for me? It just means I got a ridiculous amount spun and dyed on Tuesday while I had no where else to go (or could go). Now what to do with this thick and thin mess?
I made this!
Still here, unscathed and fully powered! I think part of the reason we’ve been lucky so far is because we are so darn used to flooding in this town. We are all prepared.
Picture by Monique Lyons via Patch.com
Other places have not been so lucky. My aunt an hour and a half east of here has had more than 3 inches of rain already, and her power has been off and on since 11 last night. Believe it or not, the western (mountainous) side of the state is under blizzard watches. Lots of “snowicane” jokes from my colleagues out there. Pretty much everything in the area has shut down today and preemptively for tomorrow too. It seems a little odd while I’m sitting here warm and well lit, and the outside looks like this:
The leaves are pretty much gone now.
It is indeed blowing out there.
But while plenty’s been blown about, and there are some trees starting to fall, nothing’s been majorly damaged here. Inside, I’m working happily on this,
I have high hopes for this one.
and my biggest worry is that there’s a hurricane outside and I have exactly this many rain beads left for my Sky Scarf:
There were some big storms last night and this time they actually brought cool air with them. You know, like they’re supposed to. Oh my goodness I feel like a new woman. The forecast high for today is only 86 (30 C) and while that’s only slightly below normal for this time of year, after the heat wave we’ve had it sounds like the most balmy, deliciously comfortable weather ever.
Carnaby in progress – I forgot how fast patterns go when I don’t have to do all the math myself.
In fact, it’s so nice that I actually took my knitting outside for a bit this morning. Bliss! I love the way the air smells after a good rain; I can almost forget that I live in the city. It’s also nice that my Sky Scarf finally has a break in all the blue (that sounds like an odd thing to be happy about, I know). It seems like the weather has broken all over the U.S., because my cousin out west says the fires are finally about under control there and people are beginning to pick up the pieces.
On the other hand, the peppers loved all the hot and dry the last couple weeks, so despite the best efforts of that surprise derecho we had, they are looking bushy and strong and I’m starting to get some baby peppers!! Can not wait to start eating those!
As an aside, my parents actually missed out on most of the heat with a well-timed vacation to Alaska. They brought me back what has to be the most unique souvenir I’ve ever seen – a crochet hook made of moose bone. I feel like it needs an extra special project to christen it. Any suggestions?
It appears to be an L hook. Quite large.
How did I forget humor as stress-relief?! I’m a teacher!
Especially working in a classroom with such a diversity of languages, and dealing with teenagers, there are constant opportunities for hilarity on any given day. Today a kid popped into my room unannounced during my lunch and asked for a paperclip. Kids pop into my room unannounced frequently, generally just looking for some friendly conversation, but today I was foolish enough to ask why he needed a paperclip. He replied, with a completely straight face, “Actually, I might need a few. [Math teacher] says I need to stick to my work more”. He then clipped his finger to a sheet of paper.
I think part of the reason I found this so fall-out-of-my-seat funny is because I finished a project for the first time in forever yesterday. That little bit of accomplishment seems to have been a good antidote to my frustrations at work.
Puzzled, pattern by Brittany Wilson
The momma-to-be’s office baby shower was today, and her three year old immediately claimed it as his own. Not exactly the way either of us planned it!
Then, after work, I ran my personal fastest time ever…because we were actively running from this cloud:
We might have made it too, if I hadn’t doubled over giggling every time the thunder rolled. I know tomorrow the stupid at work will continue like normal, and maybe tomorrow I’ll be just as stressed as yesterday, but for whatever reason today was different. Today, I had fun.
Spring has sprung! Around here, that means plenty of flowers and luscious greens. Unfortunately, it also means rain.
This is the kind of rain I don’t mind though. In winter, I hate the cold, cold rain with a fiery passion. Well, as much fiery passion as that much dark and dreary will allow. Warm-month rain is different though. The mild, gentle rains of spring and steamy, explosive storms of summer seem happier and more friendly, somehow. Maybe it’s the knowledge that when it’s over, there will be warm, glorious sun on my shoulders. Maybe it’s the knowledge that all this rain feeds the lovely dogwood and magnolias, or that the alternating rain and hot sun leads to fat, juicy berries come summer. But whatever it is, I love warm month rain.
Warm, spring rain is what inspired my latest design – the aptly named “April Showers“.
I think the rain-like streaks of the body and the bright, sunny daisies at the end do a good job of emulating Spring in Virginia. When the rain here gets just a little too chilly and winter-like, I can wrap this shawl tight around my shoulders and it’s like wrapping myself in a little bit of Spring. I love it!