Friday, August 21, 2009

Gathering Earth Energy.

i love the evening light my living room gets.

And harnessing it.

So what happened night before last? Well, I was just going to pull out some clothes so I could host a clothing swap in the near future with friends .... and lo and behold, before I knew what had happened I had "destroyed" my entire upstairs!! Piles of stuff everywhere ... I eliminated a dresser entirely (giving it to someone who needed it), and broke a bookshelf, then figured that was for the better. When I came to, I was in the middle of moving furniture like a mad woman on a mission! I went to bed that night with things half done, spending 8 hours on a project I'd given myself a 2-hour time limit on ... I didn't even eat dinner! I guess when you need the energy to move, to freshen, these things just happen of their own accord.

anyway, luckily the pile is HUGE (and i STILL have too many clothes ... unbelievable ... because that bothers me for many reasons beyond lack of storage space ... i'm planning to just take a handful of things i *really* like when i do host the swap). here is most of it:

Yesterday, I took a break from the first week of school and the room and went out for dinner at the end of my boyfriend's street to this new place called The Swan Dive ... it's literally a dive bar, but ... get THIS ... they serve ONLY vegetarian and vegan bar food! I was beyond impressed with how delicious it was ... see pictures below. It was sweet of J.T. to treat me to this amazing food. It's right at the end of his street, he's lucky! I'll be back there, for sure.

here's a tour of the deliciousness:

wait, here's us waiting to eat .. .lol

vegan crab rangoon things with HOT sweet and sour sauce.

this shot shows my yummy non-beer-drinker's apricot wheat beer.

j.t.'s appetizer was a spinach and cheese quesadilla. YUM.

j.t.'s dinner was a vegetarian french dip sandwich. Soooooo good.

mine was a vegan rueben. O.M.G. I could have inhaled three more sandwiches. Both dinners also came with the cutest. pickle. ever.

i don't really like ketchup (especially normally HFCS-laden Heinz), but was glad for the restaurant's attention to detail here:



Tonight ... I am in a very good mood. Firstly, because I made a trip out to Whole Foods, and only spent $34. I stuck to the menu plan I crafted before I went out, and only picked up a couple of *extras* I knew I'd use. I was *so* proud that I planned to spend $30, and was *so* close (mainly I needed dish soap that was about $4 ... haven't quite figured out my own that works for me yet). I also was loving this new 99 cent reusable bag I'd gotten (much bigger than the normal ones, and this was purchased the other day at the *regular* grocery store, where I picked up cat food, some (!!!) organic broccoli, and an organic avocado, also organic canned tomatoes and garbanzos.

my old (and i still use it!) food carting method (i also bring my lunch to school in it)

the new bag ... huge!! (and doesn't have the grocery store's name plastered all over it, and yes, it's upside down lol)

Anyway, my trip to Whole Foods ... as you can see, quite a spread! Hopefully I won't need to return there for two more weeks. That's going to be my plan for that place, because it's a bit farther out than I'd like and well ... it's not exactly much less worse than one of the other behomoths .... but you've heard that shpeal before. Now I just need a few things at the farmer's market tomorrow morning.

The Whole Foods spread:

in more detail (the cheese is local and i rarely buy cheese, what a treat!):

I came home and made some guacamole for dinner ...




... before finishing up the upstairs (which looks *amazing* ... will take pics soon, I completely forgot!), which gave me an idea: "no-fuel fridays!" how about guacamole for dinner, or, as Heather over at Beauty that Moves (see sidebar link) does, POPCORN? only problem would be heating my vegan butter ... but i can go without that, at $5/box. Just a sprinkle of sea salt, I think.

Also on the subject of groceries, I've decided to go entirely cash-only on them; I'll take it out each month when I'm paid and try to budget well for each week. I'm not sure yet what I'll do with any leftover cash, but I'll figure out something.

My other special days I'm planning:

Lights-free Mondays, beginning AFTER the first week of full days of school (I am *not* adding things that week!). I figure I'll be the most tired on this day (though by Tuesday night I'm generally "tireder") ... so bed early after some candlelight reading or knitting will likely be most welcome.

No-spending Sundays: in line with my reclaiming this as a day of rest

Car-free (what day?) Got the lightbulb idea today to bike part of the route to avoid waiting for a bus transfer; the bus takes bikes in front.

I forgot to take my menu plan here to the coffeehouse to share with you, but here's a picture of it. I can remember this: tofu yellow curry in coconut milk over jasmine rice, a peach pie, vegan pizza with soy chorizo, rice and refried bean enchiladas with cheddar cheese and homemade enchilada sauce, Frugal Trenches' kitchen sink soup with lentils, tomatoes, pepper, and sweet potatoes, Amish white bread, and egg salad with vegenaise. For the rest you'll have to squint ;)

The composting is going well. Does anyone have strategies for dealing with fruit flies until I walk up the street to dump the thing? (if you're wondering why there are so many whole tomatoes, i got a windfall from someone i babysit for and some of them started to rot after just a few days in the fridge .. however i saved about 7 large ones, too, and will use them to make homemade pasta sauce this weekend ... also the corn is from a really old bag in my freezer. i just can't figure out how to freeze veggies without the burn happening ... i feel i've tried everything)

And ... finally ... I have somewhat possibly exciting news!! My downstairs neighbor is planning to move in about two months. I am thinking of renting her apartment, which is a small living room, bedroom, bathroom, and galley kitchen. The reasons I've come up with:

it's in my budget (though it will force me to really stick to it for once, this is a not a bad thing considering how badly i want to be good with money/improve my credit)

avoids a bad neighbor downstairs

potentially extends my planned 2-year stay there to three

same landlord, just a key change and a change to the utilities deposit

this is what i'd do: the bedroom would be a sewing room/knitting/crafts/guest bed. it's tiny, but perfect for a working space. it gets the morning sun, and i'd paint it a soft teal color.

the living room would be SOLELY a yoga space. it has a fireplace. for the work room, i could heat it with a space heater so i pretty much would never be turning on the heat in this apartment.

more storage: specifically for clothes/kitchenware, lol!! (not that I plan on acquiring more ... just spreading it out better!!)

perhaps the galley kitchen could be a place I wind up doing some canning once I learn how. Rather than mussing up my own. It would also be great to use the kitchen cabinets for a stockpile of such, and other, items!

i can store my bicycle down there, so it's more conducive to me riding it (it currently gathers dust due to it being a pain in the arse to haul it down two flights of stairs)

i would move one of my three cats permanently down there. for cleanliness/sanity.

she'd leave me her huge stash of firewood.

what do you all think? should i do this?

And lastly ... I potentially have a house-renting situation *just* down the street from me in my old best friend's house a couple of years out -- let me just say : chooks, raised beds, back yard, front yard, tons of inside rooms and space, working antique gas stove, and porch!! Keep your fingers crossed for me. I have two other friends living there now. The place has great energy. we shall see ... we shall see!!

hope you all have a great weekend. I'm so excited for the farmer's market tomorrow. I'm going to a different one than usual, it's one I haven't been to in a very long time and I probably won't run into everyone I know, but I feel the need to give it a shot. We'll see how it goes!!

and just for fun ...

vintage dress

vintage apron over vintage dress

hobbit pot!

have a good weekend, everyone. much love.


  1. Wow!! You've really economized in such a way that you can have the space - and possible home, and so SOON! And $35 at Whole Foods is a STEAL!

    Whereabouts does J.T. live that the cool new place opened up? Glad to see more new vegan / vegetarian options!

    AND.. I absolutely adore your pictures!! The old-fashioned love story feel of it, in sepia..

  2. LOL I thought I saw my name there ;)

    What a wonderful post Karen. I adore your photographs and your life filled with riches. It sure does look like a beautiful one!