Thursday, December 27, 2018

52 hats :: 41 - 47 ~ I give up








I know, I know. I'm so close... But 5 hats in 4 days... Well, it is possible, if I could spend all my time knitting. And that's the problem. There's so much else I need to do.
So I decided to officially declare this challenge failed. It was fun, but I don't think I'll ever do something like this again. If there's one thing I learned this year it's that setting big goals like these for a whole year is just not realistic. I had all these ideas about getting creative, writing and selling patterns, setting up an Etsy shop and growing my knitting blog. But life got in the way in every way it could. This was an extremely ridiculous year of course, but I don't think life will get any calmers soon, so no more challenges for me next year.

I think setting (and sharing) monthly goals could be fun, but I'm not even sure I'll be able to do that. Not in January, that's for sure. We'll (probably - still no real dates set) be emptying out the house in the few days we've got left before we leave to Curaçao again. I also promised my parents to handle the catering for my father's birthday on the 5th., meaning I'll be cooking and baking for 25 people a few days before we leave (I know, bad timing, but this was one of those things that I couldn't say no to). And then, once we're back on the island, we'll continue our search for that beautiful affordable home of our dreams and hopefully be moving into it.

So I think for 2019 I'll just be choosing a simple bigger project like a shawl, a cowl or a scarf (or maybe even a blanket?) that I can pick up when I feel like knitting and put everything else on the back burner for a while.

So what does a pile of 45 hats (I gave 2 away for Christmas) look like?


And spread out:


I think I'll bring them to that birthday for my family to chose the ones they like. The rest of them will be sent off to charity.
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Monday, December 24, 2018

Merry Christmas!



I was planning to write a long blog post, but I ran out of time so this will have to do for now ;-)
Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!
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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Yarn along :: knitting and reading



Knitting: halfway another hat. I've made a hat with this yarn before and I love it as much as I did the first time (that's why I'm going so fast, I guess). It seems my knitting mojo is back. I'm determined to finish the hat challenge despite the two-month hiatus. It may be silly, but it keeps my mind off other things, so that's good ;-)

Reading: I've read a lot of simple feelgood novels lately and I loved it. But then I read on twitter that some book bloggers were going to read War and peace by Tolstoj. That's one of those books that you always hear about (mostly how hard it is to read), but I never read it. So I decided to download it and read a few chapters to see if I would join them. Well, it's actually not that hard to read. I'm about two thirds in now (page 810 of 1270) and I'm still going strong. Even though some parts (mostly those about the battles) are boring, the main characters are interesting enough to keep reading. 

This makes me wonder... are there more of these classics that I should give a try? I've been meaning to reread Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre for ages but never did (I read them for school) and I have never read Lord of the Rings, Pride & Prejudice or One flew over the cuckoo's nest. And those are just a few that pop into my mind, there must be a lot more. Maybe I should make a list and challenge myself to read some of them next year.

Linking up with Yarn Along on Small Things
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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

52 hats :: 40 - a simple beanie




So, last night I finished my first hat in two months. It felt good. Like I found back a part of myself that I lost along the way. I'm not sure if this means I'm back to it, but I'm extremely happy about this simple little beanie.

Things are still unclear here. We're back in Holland now and I have mixed feelings about that. Glad to see the girls and my parents again, not feeling at home in my own house.
The house is still for sale, but there is a chance that a contract will be signed this week. Finally. The buyers want to be sure they can buy an adjoining piece of land, but that's something we can't control, so it's been a waiting game for six weeks now.
We've been trying to buy a house on Curaçao, but none of the houses we liked worked out, so when we return in January, we'll still be renting the tiny apartment. We are determined to find a real home soon though.

T.'s health is not too bad, though the cold and wet weather here are already wearing him out. I can't stop worrying about him, but part of that is my problem (anxiety), not his. Well, I hope it is.

Anyway, I cast on another hat and will be knitting to soothe my nerves. And maybe to finish the challenge. Who knows?
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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Trying something different


 So, it finally hit me (again). I just cannot do it all.
What does all mean, you ask?
A little list:
- paid work (bookkeeping, editing, writing press releases)
- semi-paid work (writing books and trying to build a group of faithful readers on my Dutch Writers blog/newsletters)
- keeping the house clean (our Curacao apartment is small, but there's still a lot to do. And I've been doing all laundry by hand, that takes a lot of time too (that's going to change, my washing machine will be delivered tomorrow!!!)
- being a wife, mother and daughter (spending time to talk to my family)
- grow my other Dutch blog (a lifestyle blog)
- grow or at least keep up with this blog (mostly knitting and personal blog, but oh, the ideas I have to grow it into something more)
- buy a house on Curacao and fix it up
- build apartments to rent out to people on holiday here (meaning more cleaning and bookkeeping tasks)
- knit or do other creative stuff
- read books (can't do without)
- read blogs (just for fun, but also to grow those blogs)
- take pictures (because I love that and I'd like to get better at it and maybe even be a pro someday)
- go to the beach and relax every once in a while.

And I'm sure I'm missing a few things here.
I'm feeling a little overwhelmed.
So I decided to set priorities and maybe change things up.

I was thinking I don't want to lose this blog because I love the feeling of sharing my life with a friendly community and for sharing pictures. And then it dawned on me: maybe I'd take that part to Instagram for a while? I think I'll still write bigger posts every now and then (when I finish some hats maybe), but it could be easier to just snap a picture, add a few words and share that. I'm not really sure if it'll work (I'm not that into social media), but I'm going to try.

I found some of the people commenting here on Instagram, but not all of you. If you'd like to follow me there: I'm @maggie_notastation

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Monday, October 29, 2018

A real 'Curaçao' weekend

Sometimes our weekends here are very boring. Enjoyable, but not much to talk about afterwards. Just relaxing, driving around, not doing much.
Last weekend though... Not boring at all.
We started with our (almost) daily swim at Daaibooi Beach. I remembered to bring my camera this time.



Then we went home to take a shower (and admire some flowers).


We usually go to Mambo beach on Friday evenings (told you, kind of boring) but this time we went to Blue Bay Happy Hour, to meet some friends and to meet some of their friends.
One of them was a dinosaur.


That was such a fun evening! We were invited to join them at the beach the next day. So on Saturday we packed our cooler (with beer for T. and water for me), grabbed some snacks and off we went. To Kas Abou Beach.


Can you guess where some of our new friends come from? Let me zoom in a bit on their floaties.


Yep, that's an American Eagle. The other one is a Trump floatie. We stayed the whole afternoon. Swimming, talking, snacking. Loved it.

On Sunday we went to a Food Festival, but next time we'll try it for dinner, not for lunch. It was really hot and not very populated.


The burrito we had (first time we tried one!) was very good though. And the hot dog we had a few hours later wasn't too bad either.



We drove around the island for a while and then we headed home, but on our way home, we remembered that Kokomo beach has a familystyle Happy Hour on Sundays, with a rock band playing. One of the things we really miss on this island is good music, so we decided to check it out.


The music was great, so we stayed until they stopped playing. And we got to watch a perfect sunset too.



Also, this happened. Found a shop that carried (some) knitting needles and cotton yarn.


So now I'm knitting myself some potholders, because I actually need them. But I guess I'd even knit something I don't need, just because I'm so happy to be knitting again.

How was your weekend?
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Thursday, October 25, 2018

Three on Thursday :: it's raining again

Well, actually, not today. But it has been raining a lot. The forecasts don't talk about 'minor flooding in the usual places' anymore. They just say there will be showers. Lots of showers.
Maybe that's because the flooding isn't minor anymore (it's still not really out of the ordinary though).



Also, showers can be very beautiful if they pass you by (an hour later one went straight over our heads).


linking up with Carole Knits' Three on Thursday
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Thursday, October 18, 2018

Three on Thursday :: street art




Street art is a really big thing here. There are even guided tours that take you to places you wouldn't be able to find on your own. I want to take one of those tours someday, but for now I'm just taking pictures wherever I find these paintings.

linking up with Carole Knits' Three on Thursday
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Monday, October 15, 2018

Right now






Right now I am...

:: so happy to be on Curaçao again
:: finally (after 5 days) feeling synched with local time. My jetlag was serious this time!
:: enjoying our first sunny day. It rained an awful lot these past few days.
:: smiling when I think about the forecasters that told us to expect some 'minor flooding in the usual locations on the island'. Typically Caribean relaxed way of coping with things that cannot be changed.
:: laughing at ourselves because we fell in and out of love with a 300-year-old monumental building (second and third picture) within two days of arrival. We looked at it, loved it instantly and started dreaming about all the possibilities. And then we found out how much bureaucracy we'd have to deal with... Hmn. Nope.
:: smiling because on Saturday we found another, much more realistic dream home
:: keeping my fingers crossed that we will be able to buy it (need to sell the Dutch house, officially move to Curaçao and get a mortgage approval before we can put an offer in)
:: having mixed feelings about jumping in so quickly. But oh, it's such a beautiful house! (last picture)
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Monday, October 8, 2018

52 hats :: 35 - 39

I've been going back and forth between doing one post for each hat, because that's what I've done sofar, but these hats aren't the most creative. I just don't have that much to tell about them.
So maybe this is a better way to catch up on the hat making. Most of these were made some time ago. The last one took almost four weeks and I started a new one, but I just don't pick it up enough to make any progress. Oh well... that's life, I guess.

Anyway, on to the hats:

# 35 - Green Slouch (again... I had lots of this yarn). I knit this one during my husband's surgery.



# 36 : Soulemama's pattern again. The second hat I knit on surgery day.



# 36 : simple hat, great yarn.



# 38:  same hat, same yarn, different color



# 39: real, rustic wool. Love this hat, but it wasn't easy to knit with. This one took me four weeks to finish...





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Monday, October 1, 2018

Catching up








The house has been officially on the market for a week now. We (and our realtor too) expected a lot of viewings in the first week, but we were wrong about that. The first viewing will be next Saturday. Maybe more people will come that day since it's 'Open House Day' (meaning a lot of houses for sale are open to visit without making an appointment). We'll see. It's a bit disappointing, but we keep telling ourselves that we need just one buyer.

My days are busy, editing jobs, keeping the house as clean and organized as possible, preparing for our trip to Curaçao. I try to savor the moments in this house, enjoy the last time those purple flowers will be mine, stop to admire the sunsets that are so beautiful this time of year. We've both got mixed feelings about it. We're ready for the change, but since it's going so slow our farewells are longer and more painful than we anticipated. We lived here longer than in any other house (in our 28 years of marriage, this is our fifth house and we've lived here for 14 years) and we love it so.
But now that the weather is changing, T.'s coughing gets worse again and that is a good reminder of why we're doing this. His heart condition is more or less under control, so we are grateful for that.

I've been doing a lot of thinking about how I use my time. There are so many things I want to do. I need more hours in a day and more days in a week. Or maybe I just need to prioritize. So, even though I'd like to participate in blogtober and post every day, I think I'm going to do a weekly catching up post. I may take time to prepare some hat posts, I have some catching up to do on that too.

I'm not sure if and how I will continue with the 52 hat challenge. My notes tell me the hat I'm working on is #39, so I'm not far behind, but I won't be able to knit on Curaçao since we plan to travel with carry-ons only and I don't have needles there. Should have left them behind on our last trip, but didn't. And even though I planned to be way ahead before we left, I have hardly done any knitting these days. Oh well, it's just for fun, isn't it? (I have to keep telling myself that, I tend to get too serious about these things)

One of the reasons that I haven't done much knitting is because I've been reading a lot. I discovered Susan Colleen Browne and love her books, so I've been reading them all. Her memoirs (Little Farm in the Foothills and Little Farm Homegrown) are fun to read. She and her husband moved to the country to live simpler and start a little farm. The fact that they're close to our age and that she's a writer too made her story even more relatable for me. But I also like her fiction, a series of mostly romantic books and stories, set in a small Irish village. (If you like to try these books, the first one is available as a free download on Amazon.)

linking up with Jeannie Gray Knits' Makers' Monday and Small Things' Yarn Along
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