Friday, August 27, 2010

life lately, in pictures.

mmm vegan sorbet and vintage dresses (that's me lol)

tonight is homemade pizza night and i also happen to be going to see Eat, Pray, Love.

while I'm waiting for things to begin, here are some pictures from lately. enjoy! have a blessed and beautiful weekend, dear blog world friends!

from the community garden my friend just got a plot in! and i'm going to help him with it!!

from the farmer's market ...

from the kitchen ...

more later! xo

Thursday, August 19, 2010

eating at home, part two

more leftovers, jazzed up. the second photo is the one i was too tired to post last night. i was craving a Qdoba burrito like crazy tonight, but i didn't do it ... i just put my hands to work and in less than 20 minutes a very good pasta dish was born. and sure enough, as soon as it hit my blood sugar, i forgot all about that burrito. here's to more money for cat food! ah, frugality .... :-)

i did a 15-minute tidy after I ate. I actually set the oven timer on myself to make myself do it. i like to be tidy even when i'm feeling exhausted from a long day at school. this helps.

i'm not used to being on a schedule yet. it's very difficult to wake up in the morning, and get to bed at a reasonable hour at night. i did get almost seven and a half hours of sleep.

the children are wearing me out, but overall it's been a fun week. i still have a ton of material-making after school hours, which is not so fun. well, it is, just ... so very time-consuming. the beginning of the year is always stressful, and now that i'm head teacher and in charge of every little detail ... yikes! somehow, i'll get through. it's a lot, though. whew, boy, is it. A. LOT.

hoping to get some classroom fish this weekend.
make a pizza.
sew a little.
take a hike or picnic in the woods or park.
clean a few junky piles around here.
go to the state fair (this may be more realistic next week).
bake some bread and enjoy a communal dinner.
listen to my boyfriend's band play.
hear the first part of the bhagavad gita.
get groceries.
read more Crime and Punishment.

here are some pictures from my friend Bess and I's "pesto party" on Tuesday afternoon. We are going to have another one soon...she has tons of basil growing in her garden! I am jealous!

Soon, I'm off to my friend's garden plot he wants help with, and then on to a friend's house for a short while to see her photos from her recent trip to africa.

hope you're having a lovely winding-down to your week! i can see the horizon! :-)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

simple woman's daybook.

Outside my window... the crickets are chirping.

I am thinking... about how the rest of the school year is going to go.

I am thankful for... my self-discipline.

From the learning rooms... many, many new lessons!

From the kitchen... just leftovers from the freezer today.

I am wearing... gray skirt, tank top-style shirt with green leaves and pleated front.

I am creating... space in my too-full brain ... somehow. probably by getting off the computer, which eats up far too much of my time.

I am going... to bed in a bit to say "to hell with the details, i'm going to get immersed in crime and punishment!"

I am reading... lol ... Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

I am hoping... that he can do it, and that it means good things for us.

I am hearing... the central air and the crickets.

Around the house... a leaky tub faucet, one more pile of junk to still sort through, clean children's snack dishes, some knitting needles waiting patiently for itchy fingers. a sewing machine mad from lack of use.

A few plans for the rest of the week: garden plot visiting, looking at my friend's photos from her trip to africa, community bread baking and meal, bhagavad gita reading at my yoga studio, homemade pizza, teaching my class how to walk on the line, a new type of meeting to attend, sewing, knitting, tidying up, a little shopping for groceries and classroom necessities, laundry, dinner with a friend, a picnic or a hike, perhaps.

eating at home

it's not always glamorous or the most tasty, and sometimes, like tonight, it's freezer food ... leftover homemade soup and trader joe's masala burgers doctored up with some bragg's and hot sauce. paired with local tomatoes from a friend's mom's garden.

but 20 minutes later, when my belly didn't feel hungry anymore, it didn't care what i had eaten or where it came from.

if you've been reading my blog for a while, you know i have a penchant for eating out. however, most of the time i'm so starved i scarf it and don't enjoy it, anyway. perhaps i should get into the habit of eating before i go out, a large meal, then enjoying just a drink and an appetizer. would save money, too.

this is definitely a year for saving some money.

just some random thoughts i felt needed to be written down. my head's been spinning with them lately, and my pen-in-hand, hand-on-keyboard can hardly keep up. now, i wonder what that's all about, but i often get this way as the calendar approaches fall. a time for new beginnings, i guess.

anyway, even when i have to "force" myself to eat at home, even when eating out would be quicker/cheaper/easier/nicer, i'm often so very glad i did.

i do have a picture of what my dinner looked like earlier but i am too tired to find my uploader cable and post it. sorry.

Monday, August 16, 2010

cloth napkin rolls

I'm going to attempt this over the fall/winter! Great idea for a gift! Along with an Elizabeth Zimmermann sweater (hopefully Feburary baby sweater!)

tips in advance are always appreciated. i'm finally going to branch out in knitting from scarves and hats (though those are still on deck for christmas, etc. .. lol). i'm shelving socks for a bit after a disaster with some very expensive yarn ..... but i'll get back there eventually, too.

anyone have any good, relatively easy knee-high socks patterns to share? i'd like to work on the magic loop technique, specifically.

the crickets have been driving me crazy here. side note. oh, well. all too soon, the glorious sounds of summer will be gone ... it already went dark so quickly on my walk tonight!

the first day of school!

today was a great first day! Twelve new souls to love dearly. They tore the room up quite a bit, but they sat well in group, they love to sing, and they loved the balance beam I set up for them! It'll take six weeks or so to get them normalized (a Montessori term meaning, concentrating on work and happy, in a nutshell ... shh...Montessori cannot be nutshelled by its very nature!)

I love them so!!! I wore a very teachery strawberry wrap skirt from a vintage store here, and my hair in a french twist. I did swap red heels for red crocs, and then red crocs for my "inside" shoes ... moccasins from target!

many things turned around for me today, i got a lovely letter and locally-crafted (in CT, my home state!) soap from one of my best friends, things have turned a positive corner for someone i love who i was very worried about, i got $21 from coinstar at the grocery store, i learned i was nearly a victim of a $$ scam and do NOT owe anyone in India $600 (ugh), and i got my salary info for this year. read: :-)

I also talked to my parents, and made a delicious throw-together dinner of sauteed tofu, peppers, onions, and summer squash with soy sauce and tahini, paired with homemade french fries coated in olive oil and sea salt from a leftover local red potato.

thanks to my classroom assistant for a lovely non-vegan frozen blended caffeinated monstrously delicious thing from a local coffeeshop as a treat for the first day! i don't generally condone food treats (you should see my classroom snack can only imagine lol even though i'm not all evil, i will have organic cheese cutting as a practical life work) ... but this was ... fabulous. it had whipped cream, even!! i probably won't eat another one forever, but man ... thanks!!

here's to 4 more days of learning the rules ... hee hee ... and to lower temps (the
80's are "cool" here) allowing for much more pleasant 2.5-mile walks in the park. where i'm going very soon to enjoy the day's last light!

if you are able, please make a donation to the Central Asia Institute, which surely will make a donation to the victims of recent horrible flooding in Pakistan. it's a great organization, started by Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea and one of my personal heroes, to build schools, mainly for girls, in remote village areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

I've been wanting to research how to take better blog photos ... and be less lazy about the ones I take. I've just been craving more readers lately, I guess!

In the meantime, I'll keep the sewing machine and knitting needles going, and the book pages turning. So far, I love Crime and Punishment!

Happy week.

k. <3

Sunday, August 15, 2010

lemons ...

Sometimes, life throws you a juggle, and your job is to keep it up.

In the midst of some things that are very new to me and not entirely easy, I use my kitchen and other homebody-type things to keep me grounded. Well, that and a fair amount of meditation, the best that i know how.

recently-finished newborn hat for a friend

a favorite quick meal, fried tofu and steamed bok choy mixed with tahini, lemon juice, salt, pepper, balsamic, sesame seeds, and a few sprays of bragg's. i eat this several times a week for dinner.

my dinner last night, at the lovely monthly earthsave potluck (which is all vegetarian)

Next Saturday begins a very special 8-week reading of the Bhagavad Gita at my yoga studio, by the way. I'm hoping this will be transformative. I'm actually seriously looking to establish a regular meditative practice in addition to regular yoga sessions.

by the way, half of the tomatoes were too charred to use after 4 hours. my oven is horrific, and is being replaced this month. i'll just have to keep a closer watch next time...luckily tomato season will last a week or two more here!

I often wish this blog were more generalized so maybe I'd attract more readers, but then it wouldn't truly be mine, would it? I think the best simple living journals are not only the ones with the best photographs where it looks like the clouds never, the very very best ones are the ones where you share a piece of your soul and we see how you fit it into the puzzle of the intentional life you are trying, bit by bit, to create.

i love all of you that read this space, and could use your words right now if you are up to it. please, send a friend here, too. the more, the merrier.

tomorrow is the first day of school!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

picture pages.

from my sweetie, they are surprise lilies <3

mmmmm pesto made from local basil. my version is vegan, and includes garlic, nutritional yeast, olive oil, walnuts, salt and pepper.

recently-finished hat for a friend's coming newborn ... next up is the 3 to 6 month old version. i'll be making another set in white with blue ribbon for another pregnant friend. tis the season of baby-makin'. i'm jealous!

i'm exhausted but wanted to upload some pictures. i can't believe i just survived my first-ever new parent meeting! i am both terrified and thrilled to walk down this new road::Montessori primary directress! Must reread a chapter or two of The Absorbent Mind this weekend ... and get the rest of this post-moving mess in order so I can have some Zen in my evenings.

in the midst of all this, i am trying to frantically sew cloths for some of the polishing works in my classroom, begin the bones of a happiness project like Gretchen Rubin's, read Crime and Punishment, and make pints upon pints of basil pesto and sundried tomatoes to put by for the winter. an introvert who's never happy unless she's buzzing with activity ... ummmm okay. ;-)

i can't wait for the more-settledness of fall. i truly plan on having a "lazy" fall and winter ... i've been a whirlwind of "community action" for far too long now. despite my love of involvement, it's time for some serious brunch on Sunday-park picnic-woods hike-sewing-knitting-reading time. i'll still do my earthsave potluck and vegetarian club meetings ... but as far as getting to every. single. event. no. i'm finally feeling less like a tourist here ... although i'd be lying if i said i didn't have a constantly running list of all the amazing things this state and city offers that i still want to try!

i do have another agenda for summer 2011 in new england .. which includes the ocean, and some drives up to maine (acadia!!), vermont, hopefully some pick-yer-own fruit excursions ..... and lots of train rides. i miss you, new england. badly. i'm really considering a future summer home there if several current (and amazing!) circumstances keep me in lovely louisville, kentucky ....

i'm excited about:: homemade pizza fridays (this friday it'll be squash and pepper pesto pizza with daiya), a *real* hair appointment at a *real* hair salon, the movie eat, pray, love, and a romantic ;-) labor day weekend in chicago (chocolate tower french toast at bongo room, here i come!!).

love and light,


the classroom!! here is the reading corner. i'm starting the year focused on mammals and other living things that is the theme you see in the bookshelves and the wall.

just a part of my language area in-progress. so much work ...

here's the room all set up for parent orientation night, with chairs around the ellipse. those windows will have curtain valances on them soon, made from an old thrifted sheet. these windows let in so much natural light. i love it.

practical life, a bright, happy area i love. you can just see my van gogh print of the almond tree on the pretty green wall.

wish this didn't come out blurry ... do you spy my little house book? and "poems to read to the very young" ... and classroom job cards ... and "louisville a to z."

Saturday, August 7, 2010

slowing down.

stove-popped with olive oil and sea salt! love that vintage pyrex bowl i found ...

homemade vegan sunday brunch, thanks to the cookbook Vegan with a Vengeance. yes, that's brunch for two you see! :-)
on the menu:: blueberry pancakes, tempeh bacon, herb-roasted potatoes, fresh peaches and blackberries (local!) with coconut milk yogurt, coffee mixed with mexican hot chocolate and fennel seeds (thanks for the last one, sarah k!)

gosh, it's been such a busy set of three summers, culminating of course with my graduation and certification as an AMI-trained Montessori primary teacher this July.

this summer, in particular, has felt very hectic, what with starting a classroom up from scratch and moving in the same month.

i'm looking forward to a fall of unhurried weekends, sewing and knitting of Christmas gifts. I want a weekend of relaxing, yoga, and good food in Chicago with my new sweetie. I want picnics in the park and hikes. I want to read more of the books on my very full "to read" bookshelf that's sitting in my bedroom.

one of the best things about moving to a much smaller place has been the elimination of STUFF. boxes upon boxes. furniture. knick knacks. et cetera. Now just one last pile to go through, and undoubtedly more stuff will hit the curb. I have really just what I need, a knitting corner, a place to sew, and a dedicated space for my yoga mat. I'm good, thanks.

for the first time in my life, i do not own a television set. i love this.

now that moving is done, i've been focusing on doing what i do best: cooking! vegan pizzas, peach cobbler, and yummy grain salads with beans and raw farmer's market veg have all been making an appearance. tomorrow i plan on making a midsummer corn chowder, from the cookbook Veganomicon.

i have one more week until school starts. can't believe how fast it's flown. hence, the plans for a very relaxed fall season. which is good, 'cause it's one of my very favorites. bring it on, please.

in the meantime, here is some eye candy for you.

rain sprinkles on our city's free monthly music festival

Vegan picnics! (thanks to Carrie for the delicious TLT's! -- tempeh lettuce tomato with vegenaise)

vegan picnics, followed by rainbows

i then re-created the TLT's at home, they were so good ...

peach cobbler from local peaches

pizza, from scratch

new corners i love.

my first attempts!