Sunday, February 22, 2009

a quiet sunday, finally.

Hi, everyone.

well, i seem to have mostly climbed out of that little funk i was in for the last two weeks ... though i think my body is in the margins of what all the kids have been slammed with at school -- many of them have actual flu, mine is just a little stuffyness and dryness and headache and sore throat. i feel fine otherwise.

so ... last time i posted, i actually had written a full-blown post, but my computer kicked me off the Internet before I had the chance to at least "autosave" as blogger calls it (i normally love that feature!). i've had some problems with it lately, but i do now have it at home, yay! i'll have to see what i can do soon about the technical difficulties.

so, what to say about lately? i haven't been quite in the element i'd settled on for quite a while ... instead, loads of running around to the shops (a very nice two trips to the fair trade store here, and a local hardware store where they were very helpful, might i add, and i felt like i was a little kid in there again, as back in the 80's trips to these kinds of places were always made with dad) .... but also tons of money spending. i kept telling myself (and others at the shops, who i swear were wondering just how a young person like me was blowing money like this in the economy we're in) ... that i was spending money now so i wouldn't have to later. i mean, your home (okay, apartment in my case) needs to be outfitted well enough to be comfortable to be the place where you spend much of your time, if you're someone who lives frugally and simply. and mine just wasn't, entirely. now, with a new living room, pretty much (paint, furniture, lights, the works) and a new sofa upstairs and some creative rearranging of rugs, it's really got just about *everything* it needs to be warm and cozy and a place where not only i can hang out and craft/cook/read/do homework/relax .... it's also a place i can feel comfortable inviting people over too! i just felt that making an initial investment was a smart thing to do while i had the money .... still, i didn't like spending any of it. but i have plenty of money left over and will use it wisely (or almost not at all, hopefully!) in the future. if i'm going to be in this apartment two more years, or even one more, i want it to truly feel like home, not just a place to crash.

with all that said, i'm ready to stop the running now and settle back down into march, a month i want to make as quiet as possible for myself, mainly because i have lots of graduate work and reading to get done. February wasn't supposed to be crazy, but somehow it wound up that way.

things i currently have going (and i'll post some knitting pictures soon): knitting a surprise gift for a friend, knitting another hat or two, finishing a scarf, making a few dishcloths ... reading Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin, which so far is fabulous ... luckily my freezer is pretty full of food that i managed to cook up toward the end of this crazy week, and my candle party was canceled, so i have a ton of food (today i'll make up hummus, guacamole, deviled eggs) already ... i may try to craft a menu plan, regardless, although it looks like i'll have to do less cooking this week due to the overflow. maybe this also means i can bake bread, which i haven't done in quite a while. Also, as of March 1, i am signed up in a monthly autodebit program at my yoga studio, which means i'll be trying to go at least twice a week. i went this past wednesday, on a much-needed mental health day from school, and it was very incredibly satisfying. all parts of me have really really missed and needed yoga. i am slightly disappointed in myself because i very much wanted to go this morning to a three-hour special meditation/kundalini yoga/chanting session there, but .... well, i just couldn't make my body get up at 4 a.m. so ... next time. but yoga will soon be a regular part of my life again, that and hopefully my walks ... i can't wait!

in order to continue being the healthiest i can be, i'm really focusing on taking the right vitamins. currently, i take a prenatal vitamin, an extra 100iu Vitamin E, 500mg extra/day of Vitamin C (until winter's over), and a Calcium/Magnesium supplement. For the Calcium, between the supp. and the prenatal i'm getting about 60 percent of my recommended daily value. i figure soy foods and leafies etc. make up the rest. i'm happy with that. i'm not sure how i like the prenatals yet, i've just switched over from a kids' vitamin to it, so ... we'll see. so far, no problems.

i'm also trying to have a diet that's loosely vegan. i'm not one of those people that wants to ask about ingredients in every single thing everywhere i go throughout life ... (i.e. stuff in breads, sauces, etc.) .... so what i do is just eat mainly fruits, veggies, whole grains, seeds, nuts, soy products, seitan, etc. .... i avoid buying cheese or getting it on my food when i'm out, but sometimes i can't resist the samples bins at Whole Foods -- i LOVE cheese ... but i know i'm better off without it. i truly think that, and not wanting to have to ask what's in my food everywhere i go out to eat (and we all do, from time to time), and sushi, which i occasionally imbibe in -- those are the only things that keep me from crossing the vegetarian into vegan line. ah. so be it! i know i eat a very healthy diet, though admittedly it is sometimes hard to cross over entirely to -- cooking from scratch requires foresight, energy, and determination, but how rewarding on a lazy/unwell day to open the freezer and have your very own insta-meal that wasn't made in a lab and won't be warmed in a microwave. It's a new paradigm, that's all. I think I've managed pretty well, overall.

I'm so happy i became a vegetarian. i never realized it until fairly well into it, but meat (AND processed foods) had been making my body lethargic, wobbly (i.e. cellulite, of which i virtually have none now, it disappeared!), my skin bad. i also ... and i swear this is because of diet ... had relatively conservative/narrow political/world views and well ... now i couldn't be more opposite of that! i feel, more than two years into this choice, like a veil has been lifted from my eyes, that now i can truly see what's around me. like i've woken up from a long, bad dream, and here i am ... able and willing to help fix these messes that we're in. i really believe, as the macrobiotic culture does, that food, like everything else, is comprised of yin and yang elements, and that we should strive to achieve balance with it always. food can also create "sludge" within both your body and mind ... this i also truly believe. so why create sludge when you can have clarity?

i can't think of too much else to blog about right now, so this might be a good point to insert my knitting projects. i hope you all have a very enjoyable and relaxing sunday ... it's certainly what i'm planning on!!

dropped some stitches at the bottom, but i can redo that by the next hat, hopefully!

secret projects?

here's me goofing off.

more pictures of my "new" living room ... and upstairs.

good Spanish vegetable dish i've cooked up lately, called tumbet. i need to get posting some of the stuff i've been cooking .... and the recipes!


karen <3


  1. Wow, the living room looks great!

    I need to eat healthier. I'm a vegetarian and don't eat a lot of cheese, but I don't know how to cook so I end up eating frozen food a lot. Or eating out. Or worse - microwavable food! Bad, bad habits.

    Maybe when I get my own place I'll be more motivated...

  2. Your living room looks lovely! I love the painting in front of the fire!

  3. hi dear!

    you sound great! and your living room *looks* great! so happy you are back on the wellness path.. and doing it your way. :)

    it's really heartening that others feel happier, healthier, and more awakened going vegetarian. :) honestly i feel that way, myself, but for some reason feel so puzzled that so many people see it as such a sacrifice! (of what? garbage? misery?) though i can't claim vegan, myself.. that takes a special amount of daily awareness & dedication that i can't say i do - but "mostly".. and that's really damn good, i'd say. =) you're awesome..!


  4. You're place looks very cozy! I did something similar today, went on a little spending spree for things to brighten up the place... I felt pretty guilty because most of the time I only spend money on groceries and things for the business, but every now and then consumerism grabs me by the ponytail. Luckily, I did manage to keep to things that are relatively useful... cloth napkins, some trivets for plants and a vintage soap dish. I still felt like I was being a bad kid in a toy store. But every now and then it's not such a horrible thing. I do believe it is important to have an environment that feels alive and inspiring. It really can change your outlook.

    Your knitting projects look great!

    I'm so happy that you've come to love and embrace the vegetarian life style. It really helped change the way I think about everything too. It really opened up a wall in me that has allowed me to re-evaluate the way I look at everything... and to continuously be pushing that wall back further to try to get at some sort of truth.

  5. hi karen,

    So glad you are feeling better. We all go through periods like that and it's not fun that's for sure. Your living room is looking great and I so agree you may need to spend a bit of money to create a place you want to spend time. As you said in the end you'll save money by not going out all the time.
    I look forward to seeing more of your recipes. That spanish veggie dish looks yum.


  6. beautiful knitting! and beautiful (and cozy!) apartment. you are, as always, such an inspiration. love you <3