Thursday, December 30, 2010


That's all they are, not resolutions.


make yoga/meditation/readings a daily practice
walk or hike at least 20 minutes/day
sleep 8 hours/night
once a month, read Dr. Montessori
mindfulness toward complaining and negativity

maybe: a weekend away at snug hollow b&b, or go home for thanksgiving, or a spring weekend in chicago!

thurs. night stitch and bitch
make a knitted baby sweater
sewing: devote 2 hours/week to it
start a vegetable garden
online time: one day for blogs, one hour/day for all .. and TWO DAYS OFF the computer altogether!
save $1,500. if i get there, go for $3,000.
one-week of summer camp with Blair (hosting one)
collect and make "xmas" gifts all year (and send!)

maybe: swimming, join the Y, spend part of the summer helping at a horse stable

write one letter/send one package each month
participate in the postcard project
do an ongoing sponsor to charity
collect pennies for peace and donate the sum:
do something with a friend at least once every two weeks (avoid total introversion!)

maybe: volunteer at the fair trade shop in town

well, friends, that's about it and i've already started in on them, in part with an invigorating 2.5 mile/40 minute walk today, and a two-hour session at stitch and bitch. what are yours?

happy new year!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

elving and such.

gifts for the girlfriends.

well, i'm finally back home in connecticut after a two-day travel delay due to a nasty little ice storm we got hit with in louisville. there is no snow here, i can't believe it! i am so happy that solstice happened and now the days will get longer! somehow makes the rest of winter much more bearable.

here's what i did to kill time in louisville before getting on my bus to chicago, where i caught the train east.

drank and snacked at the new euro pub called the holy grale. great stuff!

amazing vegan breakfast!

enjoyed the "snow"

ate vegan cupcakes!

i've been busy "elving" here, as amanda soule would say. haven't wrapped any gifts yet, but i have been knitting my fingers off (for two hours last night while watching the original Miracle on 34th Street, yay!) and picking up last minute stocking stuffers (mostly candy), making peppermint bark for friends, and cooking with a ton of veggies and eating a ton of fruit. it's nice to be on vacation!

i'll be here until next monday, and then i'll train home again. the train was so romantic and old-fashioned...just up my alley. here are some pictures from amtrak.

merry christmas to you all! i will try and post some pics soon of what it looks like around here. the wrapping paper is soon to fly, which makes me glad i simplified this year -- much less of it to do! i love love LOVE simple, frugal christmas, and only hope it becomes more so as the years go on!

off to a girls' night gathering with very old (well, not actually old, lol!), dear friends. wine and snacky stuff. should be cozy! and, of course, the knitting is coming, too.

i'm also crafting my annual new year's intentions, and i'll be comparing them with last year's list. stay posted!

love and light to all of you, and happy solstice!! soon enough i'll be back to the classroom, renewed and ready for the second half of the year! yes, i'm reading them heidi in the afternoons!


Monday, December 13, 2010

out breath.

Tonight, as I was flitting about like a bird getting this and that small detail accomplished, I very briefly looked up, and SAW around me. And I realized, with the tiniest moment of flooding relief, that all was so very close to perfect. That things were lovely, 99 percent of them, just as they stand, because I work so diligently on a daily basis to make them so. A nice feeling to have before you go on a trip.

I'm completely packed and ready, save for a few snacks yet to make up on Wednesday night, and a couple things from the shower to throw in the bag. Suitcase, vintage carryon, laptop case. That's it! Nice and streamlined this year. I can't wait to take my big trip on the train. I love the train. This train ride is 18 hours long. I did it last year and it was great. So much nicer, and cheaper, than flying, who cares if flying time is much shorter (2 hours)?

I can't wait to revisit New England. The first weekend back are planned: a friend's art booth at a charity event, a surprise (hhmmmmm?) from a friend, a Christmas party, and a day in New York City! Oh NYC how I love and miss you.

For now, a very old and dear friend to me is visiting for the next two days. So, two nights on the town are in order.

There are just two days left of school, as well.

I'll leave you with some pictures of the last-minute stuff.

tonight's dinner, spinach "saag aloo" over white rice....YUM!!!!

this elf has been super busy knitting. two sessions at home today and one at a coffeeshop. this will be a hat for a cousin i'm pretty sure does not read this blog ....

this will probably be my breakfast tomorrow....

testing out the soup for the teacher's potluck lunch tomorrow ... vegan golden lentil

snacks! vegan jerky!

taking a little breath

and, of course, vegan chocolate chip cookies for my guest!

tomorrow is school, home for dinner, yin yoga class (haven't been in a studio for a couple weeks now, missing it!!), airport to pick up guest.

namaste! love and light!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

snow, food, and simplicity, continued. (edited Monday to add pics)

vegan daiya cheddar bake, a staple menu item in my kitchen

simplicity has been ruling my life lately. erm, and food. lots of food!

here are a few pictures so you can see what i've been up to.

naked burritos with sweet potatoes and pinto beans

it's currently snowing here. very pretty, and hoping for a school closing tomorrow so i can finish packing for my big trip home to connecticut by train! (we DID get a day off today!! yippee!!)

a green pepper and tomato pizza on homemade crust is waiting for the oven, once a from-scratch zucchini bread comes out. (bith came out amazing! i added chopped pecans to the bread and it was a GREAT idea!)

earlier today i made a huge yummy pot of chili and had two big bowls.

for breakfast i made the best oatmeal ever: with bananas, ground flaxseeds, toasted almonds (thanks milton for the heads up on almonds, i've slipped back into a temporary - hope! - vegetarian phase for the time being), peanut butter, maple syrup, vegan butter, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon.

i attended a clothing swap this afternoon and feel like i came away with a new wardrobe::free! this is really the best way to get new clothes. i got dresses, sweaters, skirts, even a pair of shoes! and socks! and a scarf! and TWO pairs of jeans!!!

i bought falafel, onion rings, grape leaves and french fries last night and shouldn't have. it was warm and cozy and dinner spent with fine company. breakfast was much the same: a place that serves locally-raised eggs. i had the rancheras, with a side of hash browns and fruit. OHHHH yummy.

food seems to be front and center lately! :-)

tomorrow night, making golden lentil soup for a school teachers' potluck tuesday, and chocolate chip cookies for a guest. (i will do both of these today!! snow day!!)

i'm knitting my way through christmas presents, and finally finished the gift for my orphan baby in china

(sorry FT for sending so darned late, better late than never though, right?). i did not make the pig, it came from the local fair trade shop.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

the absolute joy of frugality, experienced!

vegan golden lentil soup. SOOOOO good!

i can't believe how often it is that i discover new things about myself.

for example, the fact that i'm pretty sure i want to start my own business of sorts (more of this as it develops!), and get out of the full-time working world, hopefully for good!

and the fact that living frugally has lately given me some real "high" points -- I mean, literally a proud any of you frugalistas out there ever feel the same way?

tonight i actually braved the - gasp! - "real" grocery store, not the "whole paycheck" chain i love so much (but not for the prices...)

and for just THIRTY-FOUR dollars - $34! - i was able to score nearly two weeks' worth of groceries! compare: to me spending at least $50/week previously. So dude I just saved at least $70! Seventy bucks!! i was giddy with my purchases for at least an hour after returning home. not to mention that in the same plaza, i was able to buy a large cheese pizza from little caesar's for just $5! (been craving a bit of animal protein here and there lately. i'm not totally veganized yet. hey, i'm honest.) oh and the $34 would have been about $27 if I hadn't needed cat food and if there hadn't been a large bag of perfectly good organic gala apples on sale for $1.99. And my budget wants to be $15/week! I am SO proud of myself!

the store isn't that bad, though it does take a bit more navigating (and settling) than the frou frou places i love so dearly. for my money's worth, i got several cans of organic beans and tomatoes, a large bag of enriched white rice (which i hardly ever eat, but have been craving qdoba-style "naked burritos" lately), two organic pears, four yellow onions, two avocados, four roma tomatoes, two containers of organic veggie broth, the cat food, a large bag of edamame, the apples, and a container of tahini.

dinner yesterday, quinoa-spinach-pecan-sesame seed salad with homemade dressing (sesame oil, apple cider vinegar, tahini, agave, tamari)

tonight's dinner was wonderful after some chopping and reheating in the oven on a pizza stone:

wonderful can be simple.

this week i plan on making my staple vegan cheddar pasta bake, a pot of golden lentil soup (this recipe is an amazing easy godsend, recipe soon if you desire), naked burritos (rice, black or pinto beans, guacamole, shredded chard, and baked sweet potato chunks) ... easy, simple, but very healthy and filling. and .... FRUGAL!

hey i think i'm getting the hang of this here! i'm so happy i decided to go for my grocery bill. i'm working on saving $20-30/month on the cell phone bill, too. i considered getting rid of it altogether in favor of a land line, but i hear they are just as expensive if not more so than some bare-bones cell phone plans. so ... we'll see.

what a lovely sunday i've had. a nice brisk walk in the cold, near-empty park (my favorite time to go), and a couple of hours at a coffeeshop with a drink called red miele (red bush tea, honey, cinnamon and soy milk). knitting, grey's anatomy, blogging, and just lounging around in a constructive way.

cherokee park, this part of it is known as "dog hill"

quills coffeeshop. where i had the most delicious locally-produced vegan chocolate/almond bark

the rest of this week involves:

an interview of a new student
teaching a friend how to knit
a potluck
yoga class
stitch and bitch
a clothing swap
hashing out potential summer plans with a like-minded friend, in advance of possibly starting my own ... business! i have no idea what i'm doing here and it will probably take me two years or more to get there. but ... i'm determined to be my own boss and to make my life easier by working less...while still doing fulfilling work and paying the bills. again ... more on this as it develops, which i hope it will!

i hope that all of you have a lovely week.

love and light,


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

just a few thoughts.

current storefront for Why Louisville, on Bardstown Road here in Louisville

ending online time before 9 p.m. daily (exceptions made for knitting patterns and recipes!) is a healthy recipe for a healthy mind and healthy eyes.

popcorn on the stove can solve most daily whole grain deficiencies.

daily walks are a must, grit the teeth into the cold weather and just go with it. your heart is begging you to go! :-)

school nights, bed around 10:30 is best.

thursday night stitch and bitch until 9 p.m. is essential, both for knitting productivity and for feeling the comfort of being around others.

friday night pizzas must resume. homemade, of course. with summer's pesto coming out of the freezer for the occasion.

out-loud, calm meditations on how life is really not so bad and will get even better:: best done unplanned, as you walk into your tiny, neat, cozy, lamplit craft studio (as yet relatively unused due to the fact that winter will soon ... is now ... render-[ing] the unheated space virtually unusable), and sink down against the wall, feeling at home and at peace with things, if only just for a few golden moments

realizing you don't HAVE to spend money on your 10-day sojourn home on anything other than basics is nice.

realizing you can make vegan peppermint bark in CT, that's nice, too.

being able to fit all your christmas presents for the whole family into your suitcase instead of spending $ to send them home ahead of time b/c you have so much: priceless

being contemplated at both a local bakery and a local health foods store for a part-time job after new year's! feels good!

living simply and frugally, with just what you need and no more (although maybe enough for a midwinter clothing/item "naked lady" swap ... hmm...)feels pretty good on this cold, contemplative night.

the best winter pajamas are old leggings, wool hiking socks, a vintage nightgown, and a very soft white sweater.