It’s been a while and I’ve been kicking around ideas for new posts, but I’m not there yet.  

As I’ve been continuing to settle into my new life with free nights and weekends and occasional paid time off, I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with myself.

I have bursts of productivity with cross stitch projects:

A birthday present for a friend with a quote from The Handmaid’s Tale, saying “Don’t Let The Bastards Grind You Down”

A Gilmore Girls quote for my sissykin for Christmas

Gifts for my team at my summer costume job

Don’t ask.

I also made a Human Santapede patch for this Ugly Christmas Sweater party which went over quite well
Which then prompted a friend to ask about a regular Human Centipede patch for his motorcycle jacket

Which then sent me down the rabbit hole of making freestyle feminist patches

I haven’t done anything in a while now with my needlework, but I’ve really been wanting to.  I have a huge folder of ideas on my phone and I just need to figure out which one to do next!   I tend to get immobilized by indecision.  That’s really something I’ve got to work on!


The way I’ve been feeling lately, the above sentiment may be the winner.

Or turning this into something cross-stitchy but that seems like a lot of work right now…
Something else I’ve been re-discovering is my love for the game of Scrabble.  I grew up playing it with my mom, aunt, and grandma, and later with one of my best friends.  I’m reminded of it every once in a while when I go home and play a game with my long-time friends, but otherwise, it wasn’t a part of my life for some time.  (But I did list it on my OkCupid profile, because I’ve wanted to have a partner who could keep up with me in that game.)

When my boyfriend mentioned he plays online Scrabble with his mom, I got excited!  He warned me that he’s pretty good, and I was thrilled to have a challenge.  Be careful what you ask for, folks.  Out of my 100+ friends who use the app, he’s miles ahead as the person with the top scores.  He can spot those 7 letter words with computer-like analysis.  His brain is a brilliant freak of nature.  But I started playing with him.  I was quite rusty at first, but as I’ve gotten back into the groove, I’ve managed to beat him a handful of times through honest means!  The last time I was with his family, his mom was lamenting how she can never beat him anymore and I commented, “I’m glad it’s not just me!” 


He only beats me by 200+ points SOMETIMES nowadays.
Another thing I’ve begun to enjoy with my boyfriend is woodworking.  I worked in the scene shop for my undergrad theatre department for one semester freshman year and I can build a mean IKEA bookshelf, but I’m still pretty new to the subject.

My boyfriend is a pretty accomplished woodworker who has made some stunning pieces.  Most recently, he made a crib for his friends’ new baby.


He even hand-carved the celestial medallions!   

I helped him make the first cuts, making a huge piece of walnut into the legs.  I witnessed the entire process, and assisted when I could.  So much sanding!   So much finishing!  

My mom runs a soap making business (Lavish Handcrafted…it’s amazing!  Check it out!) and she requested we make her some soap dishes, modifying a design she’s had in the past.  Over a couple weekends, we made 70 pine soap dishes!  


It was a little project, but something with which I was able to develop my skills and learn how to use the saws and belt sander and router and such.  

But my favorite thing of all is assisting him as he learns the art of milling logs into lumber.  

I assisted him this March on his first endeavor, cutting a pear log he rescued after a huge storm.  


He created a wooden “sled” that we would screw the log to, and it would glide along his bandsaw and cut parallel pieces.


And we ended up with some beautiful, if a bit un-uniform boards!

The entire process was fascinating to me, and I was itching for another opportunity to try it again.

Over the summer, he lucked into some huge 8 foot Beech and Holly logs.  But it was clear that his system needed an upgrade. Catching a 4 foot log off the edge of a bandsaw was heavy enough. There was no way I could support a 200 pound Beech log! 


His brilliant brain came up with a set of infeed/outfeed tables with ball bearings over which the sled would slide.  


And, barring a little bit of blade wobbling, it worked beautifully for the Holly!


The final pass left this piece of modern art!

We cut all of the Holly last weekend and it is now set up to dry for at least the next year before it can be used 

The Beech is even larger, so this weekend was spent making improvements. We added more width and another row of ball bearings to the infeed/outfeed tables and made the sled longer.  


We haven’t quite finished the improvements and are anxious to cut the three big Beech logs, but we want to make sure it’s done right!  Next weekend!
I’ve also been learning to cook more, especially plant-based/vegan meals.  I got an Instant Pot, which is a total game changer!  (I’ll have to write a post on that at some point…) Sometimes it’s just hard to find the motivation to make a mess in my tiny apartment. 

Buuuuuuutttt…

My main problem is that I can be such a lazy bedslug.  I can easily find myself on my phone playing stupid games or on social media for hours.  Or get sucked down a Netflix hole.   I feel guilty that I’m wasting my time and life and also, it’s woefully sedentary.  

My boyfriend and I keep talking about how we need to get outside more often, and hopefully we actually will now that it’s no longer 90 degrees.  

I should just go out for evening walks around my neighborhood, but I always feel so weird walking alone. 


^ another cross stitch prompt…
And I keep talking about going to the gym I have access to thanks to my job. But, see above image.  
I’ve fallen kind of behind on my blogging and writing, but I really need to get back into it.  I need more prompts.

I have, however, been keeping a list of ideas for short stories that I’ve come up with, thanks to my super weird dreams and conversations with friends. 

Prompts: 

-A dystopian world in which birth control is outlawed and so people fashion copper pennies into IUDs.  

– A dystopian world in which impoverished parents, in order to make some money, can get their child’s brain programmed to “switch” at pre-programmed intervals so they will start speaking an advertisement, with visuals projecting from their foreheads.  (Yep. This was a dream I had.  Welcome to my brain.)

– I just wrote “breeding Americans to be eaten.” Well, that’s chilling. 

– Last night, I dreamt that I was part of the re-enactment of a “haunting” in which a mother was bathing her baby daughter and I had some sort of out of body flashback to the baby that drowned in a bathtub and I could see it from the baby’s point of view underwater, looking up into her Mom’s face as she drowned.   I mean…what?!

Those should happen.  I’ll make it a thing.  Don’t steal them. TMTMTM 

But if you are interested in reading a short story I wrote a few years ago, you should check out The Waiting Girl.  
I’m still on the lookout for more hobbies, now that I have an actual life.  But I guess I’ll start by figuring out my next cross stitch project!

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