Today We Marched

womens-march-flag

Today I went to the Women’s March in Des Moines, and it was awesome. The crowd was so passionate and enthusiastic. There was also a feeling of commonality and camaraderie unlike anything I’ve ever felt outside of a Pride Parade.

We left early this morning and headed to Des Moines in a dense fog, and the closer we got the more pink “pussy” hats we saw in the cars alongside us. Groups of two and three and five women were at the rest stop. An older woman in a pink pussy hat stopped to pose with a younger woman at the entrance to the restroom. And then we watched as she went and got in the car with her husband. They were on their way just as we were.

The excitement was palpable from the minute we stepped out of the car onto the soggy street. We followed a family with three young children up the hill to the Capital building, and I just kept thinking how they were learning so early to stand up for their rights. As we got closer to the crowd gathered listening to the opening speech I felt like I was back in grad school. I had my backpack on and was surrounded by hundreds of people who felt just like I do. There was anger on some of the signs I saw in the crowd, but there was also a lot of support and hope there too.

womens-march-hands-off

We learned chants and call and response and set off to march around the capital building. There were so many people there that I think the end of the line was just leaving as the beginning was coming back. There was an estimated 26,000 people in attendance. More than twice as many as expected.

womens-march-crowd
This was after we had made it back around to where the speeches were setting up, and we were completely surrounded by a sea of marchers. 

It has been a long and exhilarating day, and I’m not doing justice to how amazing this experience was. One of the speakers was an 88 year old woman, and there were tiny babies. All of those people were there because they agree that Predator in Chief is unfit. He and his administration of inexperienced, biased billionaires are a farce that will do a lot of harm. But we’re not going to just accept it as the status quo. We’re going to protest and demonstrate and march and talk to our legislatures. One of the biggest themes that I saw in the signs today is that we will not be silent. This march and the original D.C. march and all of the other marches around the globe sent an important message today. For the first time in months I have hope. It’s going to be rough. The damage has already started with important sections disappearing ogg of whitehouse.gov. But the attitude today was not that we were there to prove our point and then to just stop making the effort. This was just the beginning. I have a feeling that I’m going to learn a lot about about organizing and marching and protesting and direct action in the next four years.

I hope anyone reading this can find a way to participate. Even if it’s just keeping yourself informed and making phone calls to your representatives. Or showing your support online. This is a marathon and not a sprint.

I’m exhausted from the long day, and it is entirely possible that this post is a rambling mess as I’m not going to take the time to proofread it. But I’m still holding on to that feeling of hope. We can be the change. We have to be.

womens-march-selfie

 

Minimalism?

Minimalism. I recently watched a documentary about minimalism on Netflix. It’s called, “Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things.” And it made me realize that I am not a minimalist. (Also, side note: I felt like the documentary as a whole was full of privileged white men talking about how they quit their six figure jobs and sold all their expensive stuff, while completely unaware of how their economic and racial privilege actually allowed them to do this. That’s just my opinion. You should watch the documentary yourself and then come back and we can talk about it. Seriously.)

So, anyways. I’m not a minimalist. I don’t want to live in a bare apartment with one chair and only five shirts. I know this is a simplification (pun intended) of what the minimalist lifestyle actually is, and that it will mean different things to different people. That said, however, I want to use my version of minimalism to de-clutter and organize my life. But I don’t feel comfortable calling myself a minimalist. (Wow, I’ve said that word a lot in just two paragraphs.) So, I’m not going to label this new effort of mine, other than to say that the end goal is a clutter-free and organized space. And less stuff. But not no stuff. So..

I’m about to show you a picture that I’m not proud of. I’m embarrassed that I allow myself to clutter in the way that I do. It’s a character flaw that I’m working on. It’s also tied fairly directly to my depression, and how well I’m handling it. But I’m not saying that as an excuse. So, here we go. My shame:

clutter

Okay, stop looking at it. Scroll so it’s off your screen.

This is my house after the holidays. I did a lot of craft projects for Christmas including making an entire quilt in the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. But the crafting supplies appear to have exploded all over part of the living room and dining room. I also have a terrible habit of leaving clothes everywhere. But there it is. The before, if you will.

I’m planning on moving within the next few months to a smaller place, and I need to downsize, organize, and prioritize. A lot of ize-ing. And today begins the process. I spent all day yesterday watching A Series of Unfortunate Events on Netflix, and so I have absolutely no excuse as to why I shouldn’t make a ton of progress today (other than the fact that I’m blogging about it instead of actually doing it…). I’m going to post a New Years Resolutions blog post in a few days which will explain more of my 2017 goals and thoughts, but this is part of it. A lifestyle change, and not just a clean-up. (I have a lot of mixed feelings about resolutions.)

Okay, I’ve gotta get to work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Temperature Afghan, Because I Live on the Edge

If you haven’t already guessed, I’m making a temperature afghan, because that’s a thing I do now. Crochet. I feel compelled to make fun of it, weirdly. Oh, yes, I crochet, because I am a nerd. But, yes, I am a nerd, and I’m comfortable with that label. Also, if anyone ever tries to tell you that crocheting or knitting is super easy, just ignore their lies. I learned to knit a couple of years ago, and was never particularly great at it, but I enjoy taking something that seems so small (yarn) and making it into something big and useful (the blanket, obvs).

So, what’s a temperature afghan you ask. Well, it’s a thing I saw on Facebook a few months ago where you make a color key where each different color represents a range of temperatures. Each day I take the high from my weather app and then crochet one line in that color. So by the end of the year I should have 365 rows. The color charts I kept finding didn’t accurately represent Iowa weather, so I made my own chart. Please see the very professional and polished example below:

temp-afghan-chart
Very Professional and Polished Temperature Afghan Chart

As the weather changes I’ll need to buy more colors, but Iowa is going to be pretty solidly within the colors I already have for a while. If I were doing the “real feel” I would need a ton of purple, but so far the high hasn’t been below zero yet.

So far it’s going well. I’ve managed to do one row a day for five days (I haven’t done today’s row yet). I’m a little nervous that once the weather starts to get nicer, you know, in May, that I won’t make time to do a row every day and I’m going to have to try and catch up occasionally. But, we’ll see. Here’s what I have so far:

temp-afghan-beginning

My mom has assured me that it will become less curly once I get more rows on, so I’m not letting it bother me yet. My mom learned to crochet from her mom, and so it’s a nice tradition that I’ve wanted to learn for a while now. And some day I aspire to learn more than just the single crochet stitch.

Today’s row will be “Jade” since the high for Cedar Rapids was 9 degrees fahrenheit. It’s the lighter blue color that the last two rows have been. Also, I’ve been sick for the last couple of days, and today I napped from 3:30-5:30. Laying down when it was full daylight and waking up when it was mostly dark was backwards and somewhat disorienting.  Today I’m grateful for sick leave at work.