Posted by: katjorgensen | June 18, 2014

Sam

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted any pictures of my sweet cat Sam.  He’s now 8 months old.  And quite the handsome guy.

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Here he is today out on the sunporch where he spends most of his time.  He doesn’t seem to mind the heat like I do.

 

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He quickly became bored with me snapping his picture.  I could hear the “Someone, anyone, please take that camera away from her” unspoken by him.  He has a very expressive face and I tend to read his thoughts by his expressions.

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Told you he got bored.  Here he is pretending if he shuts his eyes, I’ll go away.  Check out his gorgeous tail.  He’s classified as a medium haired cat, but that tail of his is definitely long-haired.  You should see it when he gets frightened.  It gets about as big around as his body.

I ended the torture of taking his picture when he rolled over and begged me to rub his tummy.  He knows how to work me.

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Posted by: katjorgensen | March 12, 2014

Now I Can Play

The taxes are in the mail!!!  I know I shouldn’t be this happy about it, but I am!  It feels like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders.  Now I can play.

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I think we should all be able to play.  Play keeps us young.  I find too many adults do not know  to play.  Thankfully, they are not knitters or writers.  Creative types seem to have that built-in sense of what it means to let go and play.

I’m trying to encourage Sam the cat to retain as much of his “kitty-ness” as he can.  We have regular play times together.  And we both enjoy it.

Yes, as adults, we all have responsibilities and I’m not suggesting you ignore those.  But I do hope you will approach your life and each day with a playful attitude.

This week, I’m had a bad case of casting on new projects.  We wont’ discuss just how many things I’ve got in the works.  But it’s a lot.

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Maybe I’ll use some of my Rhinebeck haul.  Or maybe something totally new.  It’s fun to think of what’s next in the line up.  It’s fun just to look at the yarns.  Sam may play a little too much if I don’t put the yarns away.  He’s pretty good about it though for a kitten.

I’m also thinking of a few garden projects if we ever get consistently warm weather.  Might have to call in Michael to help me with that.  What he planted last year is for the most part thriving.

So what plans do you have for spring and what are you doing to play?

Whatever you do I hope you have FUN.

Kat

Posted by: katjorgensen | March 1, 2014

New Ideas

This week I worked on taxes.  Now that’s a left brain task.  We all know I’m strongly right-brained.  It was NOT fun.  However, thanks to my dad, I do have some mathematical skills.  Not mad math skills like he has, but I do have enough to get me through business math without a problem.  It’s just not FUN.

When I was 5, I got my first book of chess.  To this day I can play a very decent game of chess, but I don’t enjoy it.  My first book on math came that same year.  I think it was called “I Love Numbers” or some similar title.  I did not love numbers.  Instead of reading that book, I’d curl up on my grandfather’s lap and listen to his stories.  He was always good for a few good stories.  And I think that’s when my love of story-telling came into being.

So it didn’t surprise me too much as I plowed through my taxes this week that my mind drifted to story ideas.  And boy did I come up with a fun new series idea.  I’ve had tons of fun this week working on characters and plotting.  I’m hoping I can do a rough draft on this one fairly quickly.

Now this doesn’t mean that Becca and the River City Mystery series will be put on the shelf.  Not at all.  I’m still working on Becca and the gang.  But I have new excitement and energy around this latest series idea and I’m going to run with it.

It’s sort of like casting on for knitting.  I love bright, shiny new objects – whether it’s a knitting project or writing project.

Do you have a bright, shiny new object in your life this week?  I hope so.  We need new things in order to keep us interested and to help us grow.

Kat

Posted by: katjorgensen | February 15, 2014

Legend Status

For years I’ve wanted to have a yarn named after me.  I know, it’s a crazy idea.  But it’s what I wanted.

Back in 2008 when I got back into knitting seriously, I used to joke with Jorgie about this dream of mine.  Jorgie was never one to step on a dream, and he told me I should go for it.  Only I didn’t know how to go about it.  So I continued to buy my luxury yarns and enjoy knitting.

Last year my favorite online yarn shop, The Loopy Ewe, announced they would do color ways for some of their best clients.  I never thought I’d make it, but I did.  The owner of TLE, Sheri Berger, notified me late last year that I was getting a color way named after me and I’d be a Loopy Legend.

Now Jorgie would have gotten a real kick out of that, because he used to tease me that I was a legend in my own mind.  Funny boy.  He loved word plays.  And he’d make me laugh every time with this one.

Sheri asked me to send her a picture of something that meant something to me for the dyer’s inspiration.  I selected a shot of the Outer Banks of North Carolina because it’s where Jorgie and I had our happiest vacation times with family.  We loved going down there and soaking up the sun, enjoying the waves and just being with the ones we love.

Thursday I got the first glimpse of my yarn.  It’s gorgeous!!!  More than I could have hoped for.

And sweet Sheri named it after both Jorgie and me.  That meant so very much to me.  So here it is.  Kat and Jorgie’s Outer Banks.  Photo courtesy of The Loopy Ewe.  I know my darling Jorgie is smiling down on me and enjoying this with me.  I may have ordered a few skeins.  How could I not?

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Posted by: katjorgensen | February 7, 2014

New Day, New Month

So it’s February already.  A twelfth of the year has gone by.  I’ve got a lot of things that I want to accomplish this year.

Last year I managed to read 111 books.  It was a hard year and when I was feeling low or not up to being around others, I’d read.  I was hoping for 100 books read, but I got on a roll and exceeded my goal.  This year I’m hoping for a solid 52 books.  A book a week.

Currently I’m reading The Goldfinch.  It’s long, but I’ve truly enjoyed the time I’ve spent with it.  As a writer, I’m always impressed by a good read and Ms. Tartt delivers in this compelling book.

Another goal is to write regularly.  I realized that I needed to do some replotting on the work in progress and got a spiffy new notebook and a fast pen and I’ve spent the weekend playing with my characters and asking them all sorts of questions.  I’m always amazed at what they reveal to me.  So I’m well on my way to knowing what happens in this book (it had been so long since I plotted it and I’d lost the notes, that I wasn’t sure what was going on).  I have to take a firm hand with some of the characters or they will run away with the story and make it their own.

Since knitting is my stress-reliever, I want to get a handle on the gazillion projects I have either in progress or in the planning stage.  I’ve found I do really well if I knit monogamously.  Things end up getting finished.  Like the Zinfandel shawl I posted in my last entry.

Sam continues to grow and do new things every day.  He’s such a good kitty.  His latest thing is to hunker down in the  sink and pop up at me when I walk into the bathroom.  He thinks it’s hilarious.  4 a.m. in the morning with eyes barely open – not so much on my part.  But I’m trying to be a good sport.

So Sam and I are both learning and growing with each new day and new month.

What are you up to this month?  What are your plans for this year?

I hope we’re all successful with our plans.

Kat

Posted by: katjorgensen | January 27, 2014

A Year Between Posts

I cannot believe it’s been a year between blog posts.  But if I’m honest with myself, last year and the time since I lost my beloved husband Jorgie has passed in a complete blur.  I have very little memories of the time other than a pervasive time of sadness.

I’m a huge Downton Abbey fan and watching it this season has allowed me to recognize many of my grief behaviors through the show’s characters, especially Mary who lost her dear husband Matthew and Matthew’s mother Isobel Crawley.  The writer has done an amazing job of tapping into grief and showing what it is to lose someone you love so deeply.

I was especially taken by the line that was something like, “With great love there comes great misery for the one left behind.”  So very true.  I haven’t just been sad in my grief.  I’ve been miserable.

But I was lucky to have been married to my Jorgie and to have shared so many wonderful times together and to be loved as so few people are in this life.

I have spent a lot of time knitting this past year.  I completed the most intricate shawl I think i’ve even made.  It’s Zinfandel by Anne Hanson.  Here’s a picture of it.Image

In December I adopted a kitten from a rescue organization.  He’s an absolute love.  His name is Sam and he’s a black kitten with a bit of tabby stripes and hairy ears.  I’m still not sure who adopted whom.

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I’m hopeful that Sam can brighten my life and I can brighten his.  He sure has livened mine up.

I’ve been doing some plotting on book 3 in my River City Mystery series.  When Jorgie died I was in the process of editing the second book to add humor.  I’m still struggling with this and not ready to attack the rest of the edits.  So I’m trying to have some fun with just the joy of writing again.  The creative process.  And hopefully book 3, “Your Lights Are Out” will allow me to regain the joy in something I love to do.

I’m still seeing a grief therapist and I do not know how I would have made it through these months without her wisdom.  She tells me that grief work is hard work.  I’ve learned that she is spot on.

And one last thing – the Mary Crawley character on Downton Abbey says that her Matthew fills her mind and she is not ready to let him go.  I think that pretty well sums up how I feel about my Jorgie.  The business of living without him is indeed difficult.  But I am forging ahead.

I wish each of you peace and happiness.

Kat

Posted by: katjorgensen | January 10, 2013

Wedding Bells

On June 2nd of 2012, wedding bells rang out loud and clear for my dear son, Michael and his lovely finance Jenna.

We traveled from Richmond to the mountains of Virginia for the outdoor ceremony.  The night before the wedding, we had all kinds of state-wide tornado warnings.  But the day of the wedding could not have been more beautiful.  Blue skies, reasonable temperatures and low humidity.

Michael is an incredible musician.  He calmed his pre-wedding jitters by playing his flute for the guests.

We hadn’t seen Jenna yet, but I’m sure she heard Michael serenading everyone.

Michael and I had a few minutes before the wedding to talk and hug.

Not long after, Jenna walked down from her parents’ house alone and met Michael, who waited for her about a third of the way down to where the rest of us were gathered.  He dropped to one knee and kissed her hand.  That brought tears to my eyes.  I was so busy wiping my eyes that I don’t have a picture of that moment, but this was taken a few minutes later.

They had a long walk together to get to us.  My son, always the clown, had to let out his enthusiasm.  This was so much like he was when he was five.  You can’t tell how happy he was, can you?

The wedding service was beautiful.  Warm, rich in blessings and wise in advice.

Jenna was simply radiant.  And Michael was so handsome – but then I am prejudiced where he’s concerned.

The kids got to relax a bit after the ceremony before we started on the brunch.

Michael isn’t smiling in this shot, but I think that’s because he was glaring at me and my camera.  lol.

The reception tent was filled with wildflowers from Jenna’s family’s property.  Jenna, Michael and her friends really worked to make the decorations and the wedding atmosphere perfect.

And here’s my beloved, Jorgen, hugging me after the wedding.  This day and this picture are all the more precious to me since I lost my darling husband to cancer on October 10th.  It was our last family outing before he became ill.

Michael and Jenna asked me to be one of the people toasting them.  I don’t remember the whole toast, but I did wish for them to have a long, happy married life and to stay as happy as they were on their wedding day. It worked for me.

This last picture might be my favorite from the whole wedding since they look so very happy.

It was an amazing day.  I wish them much love and happiness.  Always.

Posted by: katjorgensen | July 30, 2012

What doesn’t kill you ma…

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Talk about your dog days of summer.  This summer has been nothing short of scorching!  I’ve tried hunkering down inside the house as much as possible.  So what have I been doing?  A little bit of everything.  And a lot of writing related things.

I’m still working on the second book in my mystery series.  : (

Lesson learned: never say when a book will be out until it has been edited and proofed and is ready to go.

I was naive enough to believe that I’d write two books in the series this year.  Life intruded.  And it didn’t happen.  I put all kinds of pressure on myself to produce this book before it was ready.

Even though I was reasonably happy with the book, the editor wasn’t entirely.  She knew I was capable of putting out a stronger book.  And that’s what I’m doing.  Fixing it to be the best it can be.

Lesson learned:  Hang in there to produce your best product and retain your readership.  A book not up to par can turn off readers.  We work hard enough to entertain in the first place.  Don’t do less than your absolute best.

Part of the “problem” – if you can call it that – with this book is that I was facing some life issues when I wrote the first part of the book.  Nothing serious, but just enough to mess with my muse.  Evidently my voice went into hiding for the first 75 pages or so.  But then, it reappeared and as the editor said, my writing sparkled.  So now I’m trying to put that sparkle into the first 75 pages.  To do that, I had to slash those pages, start the story in a different place and now I have to weave in storylines to go with that revised beginning.

Lesson learned:  Protect my voice. Don’t let life take the joy out of my writing.  And that’s a huge lesson to learn.  Life is hard enough without losing your joy in anything that you do.

I pride myself in trying to stay upbeat in all kinds of situations.  And I can usually do it.  But I couldn’t fool my inner voice.  She took all of my stress and ran with it.

Bottom line:  The book will be done when it’s done.  I’m not even speculating when that will be.  It is what it is.  And I’m hoping the third book, which is plotted out and ready to be written, will be patient with me while I revise the 2nd book.

Posted by: katjorgensen | April 15, 2012

Road Trip

On Tuesday nights you can usually find me knitting with my local knitting peeps.  They are a fun-loving bunch of women.  I’ve been a part of the group for about a year, but these ladies have been together for quite a long time.  In fact, I used to see them knit at a local bookstore.  They were having so much fun, they inspired me to pick up my needles and start knitting again. Little did I know that I would one day become a member of their group.

Every now and then the knitters decide to take a road trip.  In March, we got train tickets to Alexandria to visit Fibre Space – an awesome yarn store in Northern Virginia.

The night before we left, I was so excited I could not sleep.  Now that’s excited!  It’s kind of like when you were little and your parents told you that Santa wouldn’t come if you didn’t go to bed and get some sleep.  Only as an adult, I knew the train would come and go without me.  So I was up bright and early and at the station by 7:30 a.m.

Our train was on time, but the trip north was slow as there was a tree on the track and had to be removed.

Our group staked out the dining car – not for the food, but because we could get tables and spread out and KNIT.

Here are 3 of our party of 9. From left to right that’s Nancy, Mary and Cathy.

And here’s Jo, Linda and Issy (you can’t see dear Issy, she’s behind Linda).  All are busy knitting as the train is picking up speed.

And here are my table companions on the ride up – Janice and Renny.  Everytime I tried to get a good picture of them, something would happen.

The further north in Virgina we got, the more the wooded landscape gave way to water views.  Before we knew it, we were in Alexandria and on our way by foot over bricks and cobblestones to Old Town where Fibre Space is located.

This is what greeted us as we entered the store.  I was running all over trying to get the layout fixed in my head.  And I was in sensory overload.  Even though I’d brought a list to keep me focused, with all of the lovely yarns it was hard to keep to the list.

There was yarn in every nook and cranny.  And wonderfully comfortable sofas, chairs and even a cushy window seat to sit and regroup and refocus.  That’s Renny taking a moment to decide what she’s going to buy.

 Here’s Janice and Mary enjoying that window seat.  Janice was very focused on her knitting.

I finally managed to snap a picture of Issy.  That’s Linda and Issy.  I have no idea what they’re discussing, but they always have lots of information to share.  And they are excellent knitters.  I’m always in awe of what they produce.

Here’s the yarn that Issy helped me pick out for a Color Affection Shawl.  It’s Neighborhood Fiber Company fingering, and I love it.  I’m in love with blue and that dark skein on the right appealed to me straight-away.  The lavender on the left popped out second with Issy’s help and while I was still floundering around in the blues, Issy picked out the pink – which I never would have.  But I love it.  I think this will make a great shawl that will serve me well.

I also selected some Loft and a pattern for it – Sakura by Leila Raabe for Brooklyn Tweed.

I’ve already wound one skein. LOL.  The color is a plum and is breathtaking.  I almost didn’t get it, but one of my peeps who will not be named (Janice) was a prime enabler on this purchase.

The last skeins I bought, I have no idea what I’ll make.  They were blue and so pretty I couldn’t resist.  Also Neighborhood Fiber Company – one of my new favorite yarns.

Aren’t they drool-worthy?  I’m thinking a lovely shawl – probably by Anne Hanson, my favorite designer.   Her Knitspot patterns are my go-to patterns for socks, shawls, mitts, sweaters.  You name it.  She’s brilliant.

After lunch, we strolled around Old Town and I snapped a few more pictures.

Charming city.  Lovely buildings.  Quaint shops.  Fun, fun day.

All too soon we had to race back to the train station to hop the Richmond bound train home.  But we’re planning on making this an annual event.  Good times.  Good memories.  Great friends.

Posted by: katjorgensen | April 1, 2012

What Have I Been Up To Lately?

Wow, I just checked my blog and realized that I didn’t post at all in March.  So what have I been doing?

I’ve been writing.  A lot.  The book is coming along, and I’m pleased with it so far.

In each book I write, I learn something new either about writing or about myself.  This time it’s a little of both.

The book I’m working on is the second in the River City Mystery series, Your Time is Up.  Since I thought I knew the characters, I went ahead and worked diligently on plot.  But it seems I didn’t know the characters as well as I thought.  They had some ideas of their own.

Already they have stopped me from killing off the intended murder victim.  And they were right!  The book is much stronger with this character alive – at least alive on the page.  I tend to talk about my characters like they are real people, because they kind of are to me.  Some interesting plot twists and turns have been created by their decision.

I also am learning a lot more about book 3 – Your Lights are Out – as I write this book.  The characters will say to me, “That’s really cute.  Save it for book 3.  It’ll work better there.” So I have notes galore on things to incorporate in future books.

And the main thing I’m learning is to trust that inner writer’s voice.  Life – especially a writer’s life – is so much easier when you stop swimming against the tide and just float.

I still have a lot more floating to do before I can call this book finished.  But instead of the backstroke, I’m definitely doing a nice dog paddle toward the end.

So have any of you discovered that it’s much easier to float than fight?

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