Monday, July 26, 2010

a perfect day.

they don't happen very often. today was one of them.

slept in till noon

peanut butter and honey sandwiches, peaches, nectarine, blackberries, oranges prepared and packed

hour drive through pure beauty, fields of corn out of louisville

hours in beautiful clifty falls state park, hiking, waterfalls, kissing bridges, toads, anne shirley moments, playground silliness.

carryout pizza for dinner from a great local place. spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, garlic.

heavenly, heavenly day.

see for yourself what the woods were like. there were two along on this day, but you only see one for now ... :-)

yesterday was lovely, too. great live music by friends, and a wonderful session with my vegetarian club/book club friends. wonderful rice and bean dish, and vegan cookie, here. now i want to just cook and eat rice and beans this week. i might. fills you for hours with sustained energy.

friday night. more pizza, this time homemade with this amazing incredible cheese, and the movies for inception, popcorn, and vitamin water. i'm developing a bit of a vitamin water addiction. my favorites are the orange one and revive (the purple one).

i am calm again. i am centered and ready for a week of productivity, both in the classroom and on the moving front.

hope you all have a wonderful week.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

topsy turvy, and the goal for strength, peace, balance.

things are going better around here. my sleeping schedule is still really off. but there are some good things keeping me sane, if not eternally busy.

i am busy moving to yet another apartment (my house sold) ... and working on phase two of my new classroom, having pretty much finished the big clean out/set up. the fact that both these things are happening concurrently is difficult.

i am turning to centering, grounding things: cleaning out TONS of clutter and furniture I don't need simply by selling it/giving to Goodwill (we're talking three huge boxes full of clothes, books, DVDs, random other assorted knick knack stuff I don't need, extra dishes, etc., TWO couches, a lamp with shelves, a nightstand, my TV set and DVD player, TV stand, two suitcases ... you get the idea. it's a LOT.)

i am moving into a much smaller apartment that will be temporary (8 months max) on my way to hopefully something much more permanent. it's very close to the park i love to walk in, though, and much closer to work. and i like that by its very nature it will make my life more simple. this is the most decluttering i've ever done, and i feel, for the first time in my life, finally able to LET GO of all the stuff. What's important, I have really just what I need and not much more: clothes, a bed, knitting and sewing supplies, yoga mat, books, my laptop, cooking necessities. It will be a true sanctuary that maybe I'll decorate throughout with plants, flowers, other things from nature.

I have turned to cooking, also to balance. Right now i'm in the process (despite the sweltering KY heat, but it is cooler nights) of cooking a homemade (crust and sauce) vegan pizza: vegan mozzarella, peppers, and onions.

I have gone to the yoga studio two nights in a row. It helps to even out the rollercoaster, surreal feelings that come with moving. among other things that are going on in my life right now. nothing to worry about, just ... stressful stuff.

I've knitted a gift for a friend, it just needs to be sewn up the seam and have a ribbon added. It's hard to knit right now ... I just don't feel like it in the summer. Hoping this may change as I look for restful activities.

A girl's night tomorrow, and hopefully lunch with another girlfriend on Thursday. really lacking in girl time right now. This will hopefully provide some balance, too.

Taking it easy, trying to roll with both the punches and the good times, sleep well, eat enough (haven't wanted to eat all summer, product of the heat), keep true to myself and not overextend. Each minute as it comes, mostly.

Trying to stick to a vegan diet (isn't hard for me at this point, yay!!). my body feels so clean and strong when I eat vegan. and i mean a whole-foods/unprocessed diet without refined grains, too. mainly i've been doing tons of all the beautiful local fruit and veg i find around here, some bok choy from california, tofu (i eat this like meat eaters are supposed to eat meat, as a side dish), quinoa, soy "chicken" nuggets, Amy's "burgers", soy or coconut yogurt, nuts, seeds, cutting down on all oils, and well ... that's about it. you know how cooking goes in summer, for the most part.

I do hope to get at least four or five complete "vacation" feeling days, though, in the month before school starts up again. You know ... reading, long walks, beer or dinner with friends. I want a real vacation. Maybe next year.

I froze some peppers from the farmer's market today. I'm wondering, between the strawberries I froze a couple months ago, and these, how i'm going to fit anything else in my freezer. i'll be happy come wintertime to have local produce on hand, though. i've achieved my small goal of trying to preserve stuff. it's not too hard. i'm determined to get some sundried tomatoes in jars, too. more on that, maybe when the moving dust settles.

My basil and chard have been faithful plants all summer, so I'll do those again next year, and more of each. I'd like to add herbs at some point, and maybe another vegetable.

Can't wait to read your beautiful blogs to feel some more peace. Headache ... maybe some legs up the wall before bed, too.

tomorrow, mid-week farmer's market. contemplating a peach-blackberry cobbler. or maybe ... more of what you see below :-)



Thursday, July 15, 2010

Simple woman's daybook.

Outside my window... life rolls on as usual under the beautiful, hot Kentucky sun.

I am thinking...that love is huge.

I am thankful for... my parents and wonderful grandparents

I am praying for.... R., C., V., L., Melissa's friend's nephew, all those in the world who are hungry and lonely, missing children, myself so I may have inner peace

From the kitchen... Red quinoa with tofu, black beans, tomatoes, carrot, squash mixed in vegenaise and lemon ruice. later, a vegan pizza with peppers and onions

I am wearing... white tank top and skirt with a blue flower pattern

I am creating...knitted gifts of love for friends having precious little ones

I am going... to the laundromat.

I am reading... The China Study. It cemented me on eating vegan for life.

I am hoping... that things will work themselves out despite being hard in the beginning.

I am hearing... the air conditioner and some beautiful African music i just had on.

Around the house... quiet, reflective silence

One of my favorite things... practicing asanas and pranayama, mindful breathing and silent meditation

A few plans for the week end...... yard sale, coffee with a friend, long walks, yoga time

Here is picture for thought I am sharing... a wide open expanse of beach, the waves crashing and rolling, crashing and rolling, no two oceans ever the same, in a forever flow of life, death, creation. there is true perfection in nature.

some reflection.

It's amazing how a few days in your life can become so very weighty in so short a span of time. Oh, everything is fine, but I've been privy to some things that are difficult to wrap my head around. I do accept them, but I'm feeling overwhelmed by their enormity and so I've needed to take a step back into myself. Sit, literally, in my bedroom chair for several hours straight. Cook.

I haven't slept for two nights straight, at all, which is not like me at all. I've never had a problem with sleep a day in my life. Catching some dozing hours in the early morning and getting nothing at all productive all the day long. My stress levels are high, some from sad things entrusted to my care, many others from good things not allowing my brain to rest for nigh a minute. I try to give my cares up to the universe and see what flows from all of it.

I am an introvert by nature though many who know me find this hard to believe, but I draw my best strength from being alone. It allows me the time to process the overload of sensory information.

I don't know why I am posting this here. This is my sort of happy-go-lucky space. But when we receive reminders of reality staring us in the face, are we to just pretend they don't exist? Of course not. I think of the yoga sutras: allow it in, acknowledge its presence, accept it...let it go. Or that saying, god grant me the serenity to accept the things that i cannot change, to change the things i can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Horrible things have happened to several people i know, whether they are close to me, merely acquainted, or whether we don't know each other at all. I know this is a byproduct of all our lives at some point. I feel that I bear their burden especially weightily these last few days, and I have a couple of my own.

My life is in another transitional phase, and while it's largely so good, it's still a bit painful to move in a direction that's so different from the one I've gotten fairly used to. The unacknowledged fear, no doubt, is contributing to the strange way I feel. Fear of what's to come. I know what I need to do, I need to let it flow through me, and release it, and come into the calm aftermath of its presence.

There is someone new in my life who means a lot to me. Older friends are also taking on new importance. So many shifts, so many winds blowing this tree to and fro. it's just all a bit dizzying. my roots are strong, but it's hard to hold onto all my beautiful leaves and blossoms. it's hard to go where they go, to follow the changes to the new place where they'll land.

this is what happens when you go 24 hours without sleep, i guess. i will try to breathe. i will do more asana (tomorrow afternoon, in fact). i will sit in quiet meditation and observe all that comes up and breathe, accept, accept, let go. i know that love is what will remain. the divine is me, and i am divine, and to be divine is to be love. love is powerful and it lifts us up out of the uncertainty, it soothes fear like a mama's hand to her baby's head.

if you've read this far, thank you. it's an introspective day, a much-needed day to slow it all down, retreat from loved ones temporarily, and just listen to myself. i hope that by tomorrow morning i will have slept long and well and things will start to feel a little more real and a little less surreal.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

high summer is nigh

i can't seem to find my uploader-cable, or else i'd have more recent "back home" pics to share with you ... soon, my friends, soon. in the meantime, don't you just love that entryway? that's the school where i did my montessori training at for the past three summers. it's so open and airy. lots of natural light. very montessori to the core!

today was one of those perfect summer days. hot but not too much humidity, not a cloud in the sky. did a 5-mile walk in the park, and came home to a huge bowl of local blackberries and blueberries and soy yogurt and flaxseeds. and soon, to a spot of knitting. this week, i intend to return to the park and lay for hours on a blanket with my new love, soaking up the warmth and smells and sounds of summer. ahhhhhh.

news on the apartment front. i know my last post was all about how i wanted to stay, but all along i had a feeling i'd be fooled into thinking that temporarily. sure enough, i feel i'm being forced out by the realtor. the serendipitious part to this, however, is that the last people to see the place are thinking of making an offer on it. this would be .... well, "whatever" business to me, but for two things: the guy's sister is one of my friends' best friends, and we got to talking while he was in there with his wife looking at my place: she owns a condo that she's wanting to rent, and it's right ON the park i just mentioned! and 10 minutes or so closer to my work. and it's cheaper than what i pay now. if her brother and his wife get the place, i'll have to move b/c they were talking about converting the whole place to a one-family dwelling so, things are as they are meant to be. i'll likely be moving sometime before the end of this summer, downsizing to a one-bedroom but the good news is a place to myself ... AND all three cats! there is a little patio for my cats, and i can control the heat in winter. all that's left is to see it ....

about my classroom. after a week straight of cleaning a mess so bad you couldn't see the floor, it's now almost ready for my first summer interview this coming friday. i couldn't be happier about the progress i'm making. now to just order materials through the office that i need, and make the ones i can't order. just a month until school begins again, i can't believe it! my own classroom!

hopefully a few entirely lazy days like today are in store before the routine creeps up on me again. or nights like last night: homemade cold vegan pesto pasta with local summer veg and a wonderful free performance of Shakespeare in the Park, Richard III style.

enjoy your week!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

a positive feeling.

so ....

i've been thinking ....

that i love my apartment. i have been in love with it since the first time i laid eyes on it. yes, love at first sight.

if you've been following the blog, you'll know there have been some recent issues involving the apartment vs. new realtor vs. neighbors trying to sell that i reacted to quite strongly with, "well, i guess i have to move." but i really don't want that to be the case.

what i want is for the house to sell and fall into new (hopefully better) hands. that way, it won't need to be shown anymore and i can relax a bit more. at best, they won't hate my houseplants and leaving things out on the patio to dry in the sun (umm yeah, can you believe it?).

i've been casually looking at apartments, but not finding any in neighborhoods i want to be in. the ones i am finding are too expensive, or are less expensive but lacking some vital component.

so i have a plan ....

if my landlord will allow it, i'm going to take on a roommate for the second bedroom, thus cutting my rent in half. if that doesn't work, i'm going to spend a little money (money i would have paid movers) and get it turned into a permanent guest room that can be for rent as a sublet, meaning i can take on renters at whim. this is even more money than i would save by just downsizing to a smaller apartment.

i also have plans to get rid of even more STUFF (i love that sparse, zen-look to a space) and tweak my living and dining rooms to give me a crafting space, maybe a yoga space. i don't know. it's just thoughts at this point.

but i'm excited. saving more money will mean more money to spend on improvements to make the space great (and keep landlords happy).

it will also mean i can keep all 3 of my lovely cats. it's a tough, tough world out there for renters with cats.

perhaps in three years i will have enough money to buy and won't need to worry about the cats finding a home, too...or worse, giving them up to other homes.

i am excited about investing the time to make the place even more amazing than it is now.

i hope this plan will be successful.

in other news ...

this is my first full day back in Louisville, and it's been great. Lots of simply lounging about, and a great little block party on my walking court with live music. some knitting, some blog reading, some book reading, some unpacking. and planning, always planning ;-)

my friend who has a garden plot (not sure if i ever mentioned it)to share is ready for me to get my hands in the dirt! i'm excited because this is VERY close to my apartment and i don't have the space to garden here (save for my rogue basil and swiss chard plants, tee hee hee).

i'm dating a new guy who made me homemade carrot soup last night that tasted like it came from a restaurant. boy, is he awesome. am i a lucky girl or what?

i'll be back in the yoga studio and the classroom this week. two intense passions of mine. i can't wait.

happy 4th to you! i'll be eating grilled veggie burgers and watching fireworks.