Sunday, January 27, 2013

27 January :: finding sunny corners and dusting out the cobwebs

Here's what I've been seeing lately in these slow days of winter::

homemade granola, courtesy of my friend Heather

homemade black beans, to freeze, the green things are bay leaves

just some pretty onions, we use a ton here

catching and appreciating winter light, despite its glare

always, my reminder! 

seeing this calms me

fresh flowers are a year-round treat i build into the grocery budget

a challenging project for my needles, won't start it till i finish some other projects already in progress!

how can i resist this??

it's pink, looks cozy and is just oh-so-sweet!

i think this is from my old apartment in NJ. But I still love it. Green grannies are this granny's favorite!

our first snow, here in VA ... about 2 inches by the end. it was pretty while it lasted.

a nightly tradition for me (and sometimes john)
We're here, in the middle of winter. There are some things on my mind. The upcoming trip to Florida (by train, yay!!) in mid-February for a Montessori conference, and keeping March a simple month of no extras (the train was an unexpected personal expense, I had the money for it but I'd like to keep the small savings I've built going fairly strong, and I do think it's good practice just to SETTLE IN for a good long while, March has five weekends and really what else is there to do in March on the eastern seaboard?). It will be a great time for a rest and for getting lots of projects done (we're talking yarn!) and books read. Sleeping, staying healthy, too.

It's been a quiet Sunday here. I spent 7 and a half hours completely screen free and it was so productive, AND relaxing. I did some pleasure reading of various cookbooks and craft books, picked out the new knitting project you see above, cooked up homemade granola and black beans, washed laundry and dishes, swept, reorganized the dining room in advance of our Decluttering Day next Saturday (more on that in a minute!), went to the gym, knitted, made a post-workout smoothie. Before Downton Abbey later, I plan on making a huge taco salad for lunches for the week, cooking an Indian dish for dinner, sending a couple quick e-mails (we are confirmed on our ceremony and reception sites!!), looking up new practical life ideas for the classroom, preparing my tasting bottles for the classroom, and reading my novel. It's amazing what less screen time will do for your soul (and your engagement with REAL life! Try it! So freeing.). I know that setting limits for myself is key. What can I say, I'm old-fashioned? The Internet and screens have their place. And, for me, they're very minimal. I only have two, a "dumb" cell phone and a laptop. I like that the laptop is NOT super portable. I like thinking about just knitting and reading and sleeping and window watching on the train.

So, next Saturday, yes. Getting to clean out the bedroom, the kitchen, the closet area in John's room which has a bunch of my stuff. Attacking the "piles" that just build up and then sit around collecting dust and aggrvating my "need open space!" mind. Anything that doesn't get used regularly is out. Donated or trashed (hopefully mostly donated). I declutter once or twice each year and it always feels great. There is a lot I love about this house but it also has its problems, we might move toward the end of the summer, just up the road (and closer to my job), it's always nice to move with less. I love the mind space that being super organized and uncluttered brings. Are you like that, too?

Deciding that spring break should just blend better with March's theme of simplicity and rest. Sewing classes will wait until summer, when there is more time to practice. I do plan on spending a day or to traveling to an antiques place in New Jersey that has an entire ROOM full of vintage pyrex (gasp ... ALL with LIDS!!). I am allowing myself to spend $100. Then I'll have dinner with John's mom. Other than that, I have no real plans. And why should I, really? After all, I have my huge trip in June out West (to NC/KY), and my mini-honeymoon in October (Nova Scotia).

This is the first winter in a few years I've had the real pleasure to slow down and just "be" most of the time. As much as there is that we absolutely don't like about the Eastern Shore, it's definitely afforded me this necessary type of time, an ability to save money, and a good long stretch for John and I to really develop our still-new (just a little over a year) relationship, work out the major kinks and stuff. Plus, the wildlife is world class and full of surprises. I kind of like the hover place.

blessings and light,


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