Thursday, January 29, 2009

ice storms and Indian food

Hey, all ... greetings from the Ice Storm Capital of the United States! We have FOUR days off this week due to the badness that is severe winter weather. i can't complain, though i do have a slight sniffly/stuffy cold thing that's somewhat unpleasant ... i've spent the time watching movies, seeing very nearby friends, cooking, knitting, reading, coffeehousing ... etc. Though I'm still amazed at how guilty we've been conditioned to feel over doing *nothing*. I'll admit, it's an art I haven't yet mastered. I'm constantly thinking about where I can go to spend my money, even in fun. Last night I took myself out to the local pizza joint, which has great but tres expensive pies .. and while it was nice to sit there in the dim decor and enjoy the slices with caesar salad and beer, once the initial full-tummy buzz and walking home in the pretty snow turning into nightfall buzz wore off, i felt depleted ... of cash i could be saving for something like a house. once more, i've failed. i'm not trying hard enough. i'm trying not to kick myself for it, though, it's not the attitude that will eventually help me to become more comfortable in my own skin, more comfortable living slowly, more comfortable doing *nothing* while nothing is actually so much!! -- cleaning, tidying, cooking, crafting, the business of what really are the basic elements of life, after all. I'm two-thirds of the way into an incredible book called Eat, Pray, Love that's been keeping me relatively more grounded ... along these same lines, I'm going to read Three Cups of Tea next. Along with my required Montessori reading, of course. I still don't feel quite balanced, a bit overly Yin even though I've enjoyed many a Yang (warm, salty) meal lately. Perhaps a B complex vitamin with dinner tonight and some gentle yoga on video is just what the doctor ordered. The rest of my day until that point consists of browsing the independent bookstore (there is a small gift for someone dear in my heart that I want to purchase, as he seems on the verge of a necessary spiritual journey), the fair trade shop (though this is in line with doing my living room up so it's capturing and holding real, positive chi energy, unlike the cold draftiness and starkness it presents to me now, very unhealthy), the library for documentaries/dvds. All the walking and fresh air (i doubt i could get out of my unplowed driveway if i wanted to) is good for my heart and soul, no doubt ... but that slight bit of too much Yin remains and I am still restless. Part of this restlessness comes from knowing I'm ready, once again, to share my life with an equal partner, and having several points of light blinking at me from under snow-laden boughs, but nothing that shines like a beacon my way. Sometimes I feel I'm just filling the days, waiting ... waiting ... and I don't need advice to love myself, I do, fully, and I've grown and all that ... we all feel this way. And I know that this, too, shall pass. If you sit still long enough, it all does pass. So ... I solider on.

This post has certainly taken a turn toward the philosophical! well, on that note, let's turn the tide a bit and I'll share with you the amazing recipe that's been providing me with some much-needed Yang energy on these oft-bleak looking days of winter:

Saag Aloo (the original recipe is not vegan, but i made it that way)

1 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
i did all my mincing/chopping in my new food processor, it's a miracle!)
1 tbsp FRESH ginger root, minced
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp oil (i used peanut)
1 lb (16 oz) chopped spinach (i used organic frozen)
1 cup water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup plain soy yogurt
1/4 cup vanilla or plain soy milk (i used vanilla)

tip: DON'T deviate at all from this recipe, I've already tweaked it to perfection!!

here's what to do:
Saute onions in oil till translucent. Add garlic, ginger and spices and saute another 2-3 minutes.

Add spinach, water and salt and simmer 15 min (i went a little higher than a simmer cause i used a big pot) over low(er) heat.

Puree in food processor (or blender, i guess)

Return puree to pan. Simmer 10 min.

Stir in yogurt and simmer briefly (I think I did 5 more min).

Add cream, stir, and serve piping hot!! You will love it.

Let me show you some more of what's going on around here. Hope you're all well. I think I'm just feeling a little of later winter's low energy/loneliness/lethargy. I'll be fine, just need good sleep, hot tea, and the mindset to push through and realize that "nothing" is really all the essential work i need to be doing. peace, peace, dear friends.

i forgot to take a picture tuesday night, so here is wednesday morning from my bedroom window. i can almost see santa claus! lol

wednesday afternoon

wednesday night (i did NOT drive!! note the pizza, i'd just walked home and decided to clean off my car), the ice was almost an inch thick on the windows i swear!

today (thursday morning), from my bathroom window. note icicles.

this afternoon

we'll talk soon. <3

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

my life, in picture.

So I kind of borrowed this idea from Heather over at Beauty that Moves. ... just because I've felt a little more like pictures lately than words. Of course, my pictures aren't nearly as nice ... but it kind of shows you what I've been up to lately ... which, of course, is settling back into life here in Louisville. In the two weeks I've been back, I've already met new people, gotten to know others better than before, cooked delicious food (Saag Aloo is my new favorite, I'll post the recipe sometime, and let me say i *love* my new food processor!), and had amazing yoga. Things are pretty good, though they will get busier. I've signed on to tutor one of my student's sisters twice a week, and I'm getting into the home party candle business. And Feb. and March will be spent largely on working on Montessori graduate work, i.e. creating albums which will be the guide to how my eventual classroom will be set up. Today was a snow day, as you will see from the pictures ...

... hope you all are well, and DOING in your life to make it simpler yet richer. much, much richer. and you all know i'm not talking money. i'm doing my best, and part of it might just mean blogging through pictures sometimes so I can have more time for my hands to be busy cooking (i spent FOUR delicious hours in the kitchen sunday!!), knitting, etc.

Saturday morning:

Saturday afternoon

Saturday night

Sunday morning

Sunday afternoon, late

Sunday evening (spy the saag aloo? mmmmm heaven in a bowl.)

Monday morning

Monday afternoon

Monday evening

Tuesday morning (snow day!!!)

Tuesday afternoon (as i publish this post)

and before i let you go, how can i forget that amazing day just past, January 20, 2009? need i say more? nah, let the pictures explain it.

what's cool about Louisville:

Unitarian Universalist celebration!(that's john gage to the far left, sarah, singing Woody Guthrie)

Waldorf and Montessori teachers for President Obama:

and kids, too!!



Thursday, January 15, 2009

quick one

just a quick post to let you know i've arrived home safely despite the weather (NASTY cold snap here now!) ... unfortunately, i'm already headed back out, though this time West not East for a midwinter seminar related to my montessori training. i'm not happy about it but i'll try to make the best and pay for nothing beyond hotel, gas, and basic food needs. i have little to no money until my paycheck and next student loan installment. that's where i'm going to seriously kickstart my new, debt-free (aside from the student loans, but that's ok) life. by not accumulating new debt, except in emergencies. we'll see how it goes. it is NOT easy transitioning to "the simple life" but i try. it's not the motivation that rhonda recently talked about that i need, it's the ACTION. the actual DOING of what's inspired me. sometimes i think i sit on my butt too much. meaning, i dream and dream but when it comes to actual doing i get lazy. again, i think it's just training yourself to think and LIVE, REALLY LIVE, inside a new paradigm.

i will post more when life settles here a bit more. i'll be back in louisville for four whole months before going back to missouri for my 8 weeks of summer training. BLAHHH. i console myself with the fact that the next summer's only a month. ditto the fourth summer. and then ... maybe a real trip! ; )

i'm pretty tired. gonna go home and pack.

peace and happy weekend. catch you later,


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Sandwiches and phones.

two notes before I forget, someone on Rhonda's blog was lamenting that she still used plastic wrap for her kids' lunches. Not anymore, dear. I advise all of you, even those who just want to be "greener" with their own lunch, to visit this link. Also, Klean Kanteen makes great reusable drink bottles for adults and children, alike.

Second note: I'm super annoyed that I apparently have to wait until the end of August to switch my cell phone provider. If I bow out early, I'll be charged $175. I'm so glad the provider I'm switching to is a no-contract plan. And I'll be saving at least $30/month.

That's all for now. Oh, and one last thing ... can anyone provide me with good links/reading resources for homeschooling children? I'd like to learn more ... but ... oh, please don't take offense here, as I know this applies to some of my dear blog friends ... but I'm not looking to learn about homeschooling with a religious bent. More like ... from the bent of progressive nature-oriented (but non-religious, spiritual is ok) homeschool-minded folk. thanks in advance, and again did NOT mean to offend anyone. Just trying to get some information, is all. thanks a million!

be well,


New Year's of Intention.

hello, all.

i feel so so far out of my normal routine that i'm really craving getting back to it. i've become lost after a short while without it. life is so different here; more rushed, more urban, more suburban, ultra-commercialist and ultra-capitalist and ruder people ... ugh. i don't understand why people stay in central CT, sometimes ... i could live on the state's outer reaches but that central part kills me. it just doesn't have the lifestyle things i've gotten so used to in KY ... great sense of community, thriving local shops and neighborhoods ... farmer's markets ... i've eaten more or less my usual diet, but despite being able to be temporarily saved by whole foods i miss my local health food shops, and of course this market every Saturday. but alas, one more weekend of ravelry with the world's Best Friends and I'll be back in my cozy hamlet.

I wanted to share my New Year's "intentions," quickly, while I wait for my parents to pick me up for dinner. That's right, intentions. Somehow gentler than resolutions. Attempts to try my best, but not at forcing myself to succeed, for that's just setting up for failure. There is one more intention on this list ... but I don't feel comfortable sharing it. It's not a bad thing, you know how that goes sometimes, though.

1. Get yoga membership and go once or twice a week, at least. (There is a nice school not far from my apartment)

2. Stick with new home party candle business for one year and use extra cash toward house down payment and yoga fees (My first party will be Jan. 31 for friends)

3. Do more farm and/or garden work slash food-oriented volunteering and leadership. (This means getting more involved with Holly, a friend/biodynamic farmer, and some of her friends, and at the farm program I volunteer for, and at Earthsave Louisville, and lord knows what else I'll encounter out there this year. and maybe growing some more of my own stuff with what limited physical-space-wise ability i have)

4. Go more VEGAN, with a conscious/consistent emphasis on whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables. Engage in RECIPES!! (should be easier with my new food processor! my main diet downfall now is CHEESE)

5. Become more of a morning person, not rushing out the door each morning. I find that two extra hours is perfect, but I'll have to work up to that. I've wanted this for years, but have never made actual lasting effort towards it.

6. Send each of my best friends a knitted item/local care package by year's end (in lieu of having not given them christmas gifts this year)

7. Knit for charity, at least once.

8. Become lots closer to two KY friends.

9. Read SIX non-Montessori books by New Year's (I'm already 1/3 of the way through Elizabeth Gilbert's amazing Eat, Pray, Love!!)

10. Walk or swim at least a few times a week

11. Send a letter/card to my adopted soldier once a week, and at least 1 package/month

12. Finish Montessori albums and obtain album copies (this is graduate work that I've taken five months off from ....gah.....)

13. STILL be debt-free (credit cards) by New Year's (technically I'm waiting for my second student loan installment to be really debt free, but expect this change in weeks, then i just have to make it last, excepting emergencies of course)

14. Exercise GREAT spending control -- NO new clothes or books, and as far as food "out" goes, order apps. or sides or smalls except on very special occasions (i.e. my upcoming 30th birthday sushi blowout!!).

15. Practice more present-moment mindfulness and proper breathing.

Larger goals include saving enough money to buy a home (meaning to put a huge down payment on it, hopefully 10 percent, especially because my credit is less than sparkling the last few years).

Also I want to be one of those people very possibly living at home by the time I'm in my early forties, with enough saved up to live on.

I want to give myself a travel gift for when i finish my master's degree in two year's, and my montessori training in one. Ireland, perhaps ....

.... we shall see what I can do. I wasn't able to think of a word for this year .... I'll have to get back to you on that. But intentions, I like. Intentions, I can do. Shoot, maybe that's my word, after all. *Intention.* Still, i prefer something a little stronger. any ideas?

looking forward to coming home, sprucing things up a bit, and throwing myself back into the *real* life i love so much, despite having had this life-break. i have to cut myself some slack, though. I think that Heather from Beauty that Moves is right, we need these times where we step away, so to speak (even if, in my case, it means basically throwing everything i've built up in ky away for a while, to see long-missed friends and places), to give us the tools to hit the ground running when we're ready for our return. and boy ... do i feel more ready than ever!!

home, here i come!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

a day out

i made some new year's "intentions" last night, but i'm not quite ready to share them with you until they've sunk in a bit more. today was a nice day out with friends in new haven, CT. very cold here. my regular posting will resume soon.