What Does Enough Look Like?

The Car Guy retired permanently a few years ago. He thought we’d have enough money and he knew his body and brain were no longer interested in the work routine.  I sort of retired when he did, though my career as a stay-at-home domestic ‘manager’, wasn’t one I could just walk away from. (Well, I could ‘walk away’, but that would probably mean I was either dead, or The Car Guy had decided to replace me with a younger ‘manager’…)

I used to have some ‘staff’, but they left home many years ago – so I turned to The Car Guy. Turns out he was willing to take on the evening sustenance routine and culinary procurement duties – but he balked at any task that involved removal of foreign substances from hard and soft surfaces. His foodie help was great, but it still left me many hours and tasks short of a leisurely retirement.

That led me to ask and answer my own Retirement Question – what does Enough look like? What is the intersect between dirty enough and clean enough? Enough stuff or too much stuff? Enough or not enough exercise? Enough or too much news? Enough or not enough…

I don’t have all the answers yet, but regular rounds of rightsizing – belongings, tasks, routines, etc  – has given me the mental energy to carve out more free time and be more creative.

Which leads me to a new craft I started in November. Scrumbles  (Freeform Crochet). Apparently Scrumble is the word that describes a small crochet ‘patch’. When the patches are all joined together, they are called… I don’t know, maybe Many Scrumbles?

This was my first Scrumble. I started this one on the car trip we took last fall from Alberta to Arizona. Three days of sitting in a car, in the silence that comes when the other person in the car is not a talker… I call it “Snails lost in a Flower Garden”

Going on a trip. Need about 4 skeins of yarn. I’ve packed 152 just to be safe.
– thecrochetcafe –

Ta da! Crocheting is a bit like being a magician… you mumble to yourself and waggle a stick around and no one else has a clue how you did it!
– crochetnow uk –

This Scrumble took exactly  one ball of yarn. It was one of those yarns that changes colour every few yards or so. I wonder how they dye it so it turns out like that. I call it “Snails and Pacman with Octopus Tentacles”.

This is where the enough aspect comes in. It is hard to know when the Scrumble is done because there is no pattern. You just make stuff up as you go along and unless you run out of wool, like I did on this Scrumble, it is hard to know when it is finished.

Marry the one who gives you the same feeling you have when you enter the yarn store.
– hooked –

I should learn to crochet something I’ll actually use… like a martini!
– Maxine.com –

This is my third Scrumble. I call it “Denizens of the Coral Reef”.  I knew it was done when I found a new ball of yarn that I liked a lot and it didn’t fit with the colours of this Scrumble. A quick finish to this Scrumble and I moved on to the next.

Yes I’m Bilingual – I speak fluent Crochet! Ch6, DTRC in base of ch 6, SC in next cluster. Repeat from * around, join with sl st to first st.
– Author Unknown –

Crocheter’s Hourly Rate:
$20/hr minimum
$30/hr if it requires black yarn
$40/hr if you require it by tomorrow
$80/hr if there is no pattern
$90/hr if your example photo was knitted.
– Author Unknown –

What Say You – Have you asked, and answered, your questions of “What does enough look like”?

35 thoughts on “What Does Enough Look Like?

    • ‘Can you afford to retire’ is such a highly personal question with no single right answer!
      Do try scrumbling! If you know the basics of how to crochet, you are well on your way.

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    • I can’t think of any way to make a mistake – though I have to admit I’ve ripped it back a ways if I was working in the round and didn’t increase often enough to keep the whole thing more of less flat… but not flat is okay too.

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  1. A fun post about ‘enough’ … a question I ask myself on a regular basis. The answer is still eluding me.

    Crocheting is something that I’ve never grasped, although I can do some basic knitting. The language of knitting/crocheting patterns though? That still has me completely baffled. The scrumbles look like fun – especially the coral reef.

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    • Scrumbles are done by knitters too – and some people mix knitting and crochet scrumbles together. As for the language – since you aren’t using a pattern, you just need to know some basic stitches. You improvise with those.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the idea of scrumbles; I’ll have to give them a try. I haven’t crocheted in many, many years but I’m always looking for something to keep myself occupied (so I don’t have to do housework!) The idea of “enough” was one we struggled with before my husband retired (would we have “enough” money, “enough” activities to keep him out of my hair, “enough” patience to both be in one place 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?), and again when we moved (how many books are “enough”? how much furniture is “enough”? how much miscellaneous stuff is “enough”?) I second-guess myself every time I’m in the mall (do I need more of this or that or do I already have “enough”?) or the grocery store (do I already have “enough” in the cupboard / fridge / freezer or should I buy more?) I think the biggest issue these days is the sheer volume of “stuff” available; its like we’re being told all the time that we NEVER have “enough” of anything! The only thing I’m convinced I will never have “enough” of is time!

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    • We thought about many of those questions before The Car Guy retired. When he had his heart attack, many of those questions were answered!
      I agree – there is so much stuff available. I think it was the book “Living the Simple Life: A Guide to Scaling Down and Enjoying More” (or a book like that) that gave me some ideas on checks and balances.

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  3. I have loved crochet since i was a boy. I got to be very good at it. I could hit that wooden ball through the double wicket and hit the post with no problem. Oh wait……that was croquet. Never mind.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I knew Ruth would enjoy reading about this Margy. She enjoys making creative things and I was sure she would like to try Scrumbles. I passed the book angel origami posts to another blogger who collects angels and discovered her husband had bought her one many years ago and it sits on her home piano (she was a music major in school and still plays piano at church).

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  4. Hi Margy. I am the blogger that Linda shared this post with. I love this post and the idea of scrumbles! As a crocheter I sometimes start crocheting with no plan in mind – I always thought I was crazy but maybe not. I’m now following your blog and look forward to reading more.

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  5. I have never tried a scrumble…..I love how they look but what does one do with them when the scrumble tells you it is finished?
    I also give a shout out to Al who probably has the best comment in this bunch of commenters. Laughed like crazy about his knowing how to crochet…..

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    • Good question. I simply tacked each one on the wall with very small gold colored nails. In essence, I’m building a Scrumble Collage on my wall. Since each one is less than 12X12 inches, they won’t take up much room.
      I had a good laugh too when I saw Al’s comment. He is a remarkable wit.

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  6. These scrumbles are amazing and your names for each one are just as wonderful! My stress level tells me when I have too much or not enough of something. If I monitor and honor my stress meter, I usually fair ok.

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    • Thanks for your comments, Sheila.

      I wish I had an accurate stress meter! I usually don’t know I’m stressed until something ‘breaks’. Then my Doctor listens to my tale, and says, “And how well is that working out for you…” Then I know I have misjudged how well I was handling things.

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      • Yes, I have been there before too. I’m pretty hypervigelant about my stress levels because they trigger my chronic migraine, so that’s probably why I am so good at it now after dealing with that condition for the last 10 years.

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  7. I’ve not heard of this craft before and I’m intrigued. Your scrumbles have a lovely abstract/floral look to them.
    At first I thought it was a version of crewel embroidery and I wondered how you found enough time for that!

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    • This craft is quite portable, which makes it perfect for long road trips! There is no pattern, so it is easy to pick up where you left off – you don’t have to try to figure out where you were.

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  8. Pingback: Red Hatters At the Berry Farm | Amusives - Fueled by Carrot Cake

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