June 30, 2009

The last day for a challenge

I've been working on Hélène Socks by Tuulia Salmela these two month. It's a challenge, to say the least. I'm doing this for a May challenge at Sock Knitters Anonymous group on Ravelry, means, I cast on between 5/1/09 and 5/31/09, to complete adult size pair before 6/30/09 (all the date in EST).
The pattern is very intricate, and I had somewhat busy days. I'm having fun knitting them, but the progress is rather slow.

Now, I have only one toe to go and it's the last day. Can I make it? Or, do I want to make it in the first place?

I do. And yes, I can.

Gotta run.

June 09, 2009

10 %

On the second&last day of a weekend trip to onsen, in the big outside bath tub stretching out my arms, I had that usual mixed thoughts.  
  • It was a good trip - good food, nice room, fun family time together and quiet time alone.
  • Where did my sock knitting mojo go?  I ended up knitting 40 cm of garter stitch scarf.
  • It's OK. variegated + double stranded + garter stitch = therapeutic. Was true with cotton yarn.
  • Ah, good minimalism beauty.  Just me, and bath tub.  Even though it seems like a huge illusion that one can live in a room like ryokan (hotel), can I tidy up my house a little better?
  • Oh, I got to do a bigger laundry tomorrow.
  • Oh, big grocery shopping today.
  • Yeah, I want to try cooking pork like yesterday's dinner.  Just steamed on cabbage leaves?  Salt and, pepper?
  • Ah, foot bath.  Can I  have one at home?  Will a couple of ordinary pails work?
Mind bogglers. 

I love&enjoy staying at hotels, visiting and staying at families, seeing or eating local specialties, but that doesn't make me write "interested; travel" on my "profile" page.  I, basically, don't like traveling.  Travel itself is fun, but I usually overwhelmed by getting ready and wrapping up.
I have a love/hate feeling with those almost lifelessly tidied rooms.  I love them, but it reminds me that I am seriously challenged in keeping a tidy, clean house.  At home, I constantly step on laundries, catalogues and paper bags.  I am afraid my daughter has already picked up my bad habit because I constantly step on her toys, too.  I hate myself telling my daughter to watch her steps, instead of cleaning the floor.

What is my problem?  I do have a big clean-up day from time to time.  What happens is I get tired and throw out the work 50-to-80% completed.  It looks a little better, and I talk myself into being satisfied.  Then, the same "decay process" starts right after that.  I try to keep the stuff go back to where it belongs, but hey, who can do it perfectly?

While I was in the hot (really hot) tub, thinking about going home later in the day and feeling sort of depressed, I suddenly remembered what Brian Wansink said in his book, "Mindless Eating".

"People want to eat the same amount as the day before.  If you eat 30% more than the day before, you'll feel heavy. And you'll feel guilty.  If you eat 30% less, you notice it.  You'll feel hungry.  And want to eat more to compensate the loss.  When you want to achieve a success on diet, keep the change in less than 10%.  Doing so, you will not notice the hunger.  Eating better becomes your habit."
(No, it doesn't go exactly as this.  I don't remember word by word and I got that book from Audible that I can't reach it for reference so easily. )

My point is, I got an idea that this concept may be true to the endless household work as well as appetite.  Like belly fat, untidiness piles up day by day, without noticing that I'm a little lazier than yesterday.  Or, like eating only 1000 kcal a day, I'll notice how "too good" I am if I do a big clean-up one morning, that I'll spoil myself to say OK to the second DVD of the afternoon. 

Can I do a little, less than 10%, better/more housework every day?  

It may be my another clever excuse for not doing a big clean-up.  But I believe (hope, wish, whatever) it's worth trying.  Last night, I made a new file on Clover Diary.  It's titled "10%".  I'll keep track on my "plus" or "minus" of what I did outside everyday shopping, cooking, laundry.

Yesterday's "10%"; Getting flowers and fill abandoned empty pots.  Starting rug project on huge needles with used clothes.
Today's ; Cleaning the corner of bath room, to de-mold.  
Small step, but I'm going forward.