The Science Of Waking Up

Love this idea. Hate time and clocks anyway, and mornings are the worst. It would totally be worth a bit of extra attention to local time if productivity and health improved.

The Dish

Maria Konnikova presents research into “sleep inertia” – the reason why we’re all so miserable in the morning – and what can be done about it:

When [neuroscientist Kenneth] Wright asked a group of young adults to embark on a weeklong camping trip, he discovered a striking pattern: before the week was out, the negative sleep patterns that he’d previously observed disappeared. In the days leading up to the trip, he had noted that the subjects’ bodies would begin releasing the sleep hormone melatonin about two hours prior to sleep, around 10:30 P.M. A decrease in the hormone, on the other hand, took place after wake-up, around 8 A.M. After the camping trip, those patterns had changed significantly. Now the melatonin levels increased around sunset—and decreased just after sunrise, an average of fifty minutes before wake-up time. In other words, not only did the time outside, in the absence of artificial…

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What happened to November?

Words Per Day To Finish On Time: 8,354

Days Remaining: 5
Well, at this rate I will have to do twelve-hour days to finish on time. Haven’t given up yet, and there is still Nephele’s December writing challenge to go! Because there is no telling if I’ll have a finished work even if I do complete Nanowrimo this year. This thing is sort of wandering all over the place, and tbh, it’s kind of a long, funny story. So we will see.

Also, my Pandora at-work playlist is a great help.

The Historical Sew Fortnightly: Challenge “Underneath it All”

Once upon a time in a forest long ago and nearly as long forgotten, I made historical garments for museums and historic sites, and pretty much lived as a middling-class woman raising her rather large family. 20674_221909331793_8102148_n

Recently I’ve become aware of a group called The Historical Sew Forthnightly, which is “a group to celebrate historical costuming, share our historical sewing triumphs, ask questions, share interesting links and information, and MOST OF ALL, post about the themed historical sewing challenges that we are working towards every fortnight.” Awesome. This is exactly how I shall pick up my long-neglected sewing projects again.

The latest challenge issued is to sew a lovely undergarment. I am in dire need of a new set of stays, my white muslin petticoats are in tatters, and I don’t have nearly enough shifts. What to do? Although the stays are probably the highest on my to-do list, my fingers long to put together neat, orderly squares into a nice new shift. I love the felled-french seaming intrinsic to this garment’s construction. I shall begin forthwith – or as soon as I can lay hands on my linen stash.


One Down and Taking it for the Team

These things have had my attention lately:

1. Concussions and American Football – we should really care about this. A lot.

2. Meniere’s Disease – ugh. So much not fun.

3. Placemaking – all things cool and imaginative

4. Pinterest – nothing more need be said

5. Starting Over – because even old landscapes evolve

This woman makes me laugh out loud sometimes. That is all.

High School Football Team 1925 


Dominique Browning shares a bit of insight on the pleasures of taking the opportunity to create something beautiful out of what once was thought to be ruined: she embroiders dragonflies in the moth holes of woolen garments. A week or so earlier she had noted the beauty inherent in the crack of an eggshell, even though the crack may render the egg useless for its originally intended purpose. It may turn out to be okay for something else entirely, but we can only see that if we step back or look away for a moment. She tells us, sometimes we spend too much time trying to mend things that have gone awry, sometimes things are irreparably shattered and need to be let go. Salvage may be a wonderful thing, or it may be too much effort better spent elsewhere. Only sometimes it is hard to know which way to go.

I like stitching, watching threads and fibers come together until something lovely takes shape under my fingers. I think because of this, it takes me longer to get to the point where I want to put it down and walk away. My inclination is to stick to the work, persevere, soldier on. You never know when you’ll be glad you did.

Then again, calm down, rest easy, and do what you like. It’s only life, after all.

In Every Wood, In Every Spring

I sit beside the fire and think of all that I have seen,
of meadow-flowers and butterflies in summers that have been;
Of yellow leaves and gossamer in autumns that there were,
with morning mist and silver sun and wind upon my hair.
I sit beside the fire and think of how the world will be
when winter comes without a spring that I shall ever see.

For still there are so many things that I have never seen:
in every wood in every spring there is a different green.
I sit beside the fire and think of people long ago,
and people who will see a world that I shall never know.
But all the while I sit and think of times there were before,
I listen for returning feet and voices at the door.

J. R. R. Tolkien

willow wren

Image from Wildlife Snapshots, Willow Wren