Sunday, March 24, 2013

on the needles

a special, semi-secret project. once i get past the stockinette, it's really going to challenge me!

the yarn is madeline tosh superwash merino, in case you are interested. very pleasant to knit with.

also working on a scarf and a second prayer shawl and some other stuff i haven't cast on for yet.... a knitter's life is scattered in many directions, for sure!

returning to a whole :: 24 March

seven and a half months in, finally feel comfortable in this room (i'm sitting at that desk now, yes, with a chair lol). it's a wonder to me and very telling that we put everything but ourselves first, and it's only when we physically and mentally notice how much we've taxed ourselves that we focus on self-care. 

i'm trying currently to tweak my diet to an optimal one for the way my 33-year-old body works. it's not as resilient as in the previous decade. i know i'm also more in tune with the way i work, too, so that can be why i tend to notice changes more. all this focus in the press and on other blogs regarding wheat and gluten, i've been wondering does it affect my health too? So I'm really cutting down on the wheat to see. I want to eat more "clean," so much less emphasis for me on processed soy meats, corn, dairy. i've noticed that i have more sustained energy and feel "clearer" all around when i eat a diet rich in WHOLE foods -- basically produce, legumes, and non-wheat grains like quinoa, oats actually work for me too (i know there can be controversy there). also, drinking tons upon tons of water and switching from coffee to green tea for weekday mornings. sugar has never been a problem for me, or salt (although i do crave cheese and chips a lot), so the afore-mentioned should be all i need for now. i'm also re-committing to vegetarianism after a year off experimenting with other ways to eat. i won't go into detail. it's just what's "right" to me for so many intimate reasons. 

i bought some watercolors and supplies yesterday, along with a very nice work lamp to reduce eye strain while crafting or knitting. i'm hoping the watercolors become a nice way to unwind after a long day at work. 

i'm going to spend most of the rest of the day painting, watercoloring, writing a letter to a friend (Ari!!), and menu planning for the week ahead. we'll probably do slow-cooker chili again with sweet potatoes and beans.... i might take a hot bath later, too. we'll try some organic brown rice pasta with organic spaghetti sauce, leftover fake sausage, and mushrooms for dinner. 

by the way, here's a great smoothie i've been enjoying lately: 

one frozen banana
1/2 c each non-dairy milk and water
a few sprinkles of cinnamon
a bit of honey or maple syrup
1-2 tbsp chocolate hemp protein powder
a few small kale leaves
1-2 tbsp peanut butter or sunflower seed butter

here is some pretty pyrex i picked up this week (on sale!):

technically enamelware lol ... can't wait to make a casserole in this beauty!

i can't love milk glass enough!

hoping your week is calm and has some "me" time to it. essential as breath. for sure. 



Saturday, March 16, 2013

split personality :: 16 March

recently knitted/finished prayer shawl for someone in newtown, ct
i have a split personality.

i work full-time as a montessori teacher.

i work part-time as a feminist homemaker. i love to cook, bake, wash dishes, keep up with the laundry and sweeping. basically i love to create a cozy, uncluttered space to truly regenerate and be creative, such as with my knitting. i'm happy to have a week off which I will spend mostly at home, getting my usual spunk and energy and passion back for the work i do, which when i'm on my game doesn't feel like work, it feels like a calling.

dresser top

current projects at home include finally finishing with painting the bedroom
continued decluttering and stashing away of just a few more things

i recently spent some time centering myself around my deepest priorities, making sure i've had more true relaxation and winding-down time to myself despite wanting to achieve the ultimate balance of happiness between my work outside the home and my work within the home. i do know that a continued commitment to exercise and eating very well and getting enough sleep are vital to my health and happiness. i've been really yearning to incorporate yoga again, i go a few months without it and i truly feel suffering and there is some real pain due to not breathing correctly and constantly stretching and keeping myself limber and in good posture. also, increased anxiety. so. i've got to see about remedying that. it's fallen off my radar and that is really not good. i know i should do what i can at home, but it's always been harder for me than a class. right now my geographical location is very, very challenging...

i've decided to finally bite the bullet and conquer the fear of my sewing machine so this summer i'm going to jump in and take some lessons so i have a lot of time to practice my new skills.

i have a goal of drinking green tea only on weekdays and  having all the nice hot coffee i want on weekends. ah, that green tea is glorious stuff for prana. coffee in moderation has its health benefits, too, i truly believe.

turning the computer off before 8 pm each day is doing marvelous things for quality of life.

the other day, i baked and froze some wonderful banana-chocolate chip bread. my time in the kitchen always winds down after march and through april, but i'm hoping my slow-cooker will become useful this spring as we warm up for good around here. i've been wondering how to buy some commonly-used items at the regular grocery store that might be just under my food elitism ideal, or eating simple meals that use basic, healthy, but cheap ingredients (like lentils), that's my frugal self kicking into gear again after a month of somewhat ridiculous spending.

i think i'm going to go make some tea and play with yarn. john's gone off for a drive and it seems to be a good day for knitting.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

a bit hard :: 10 March

Things are feeling a bit difficult right now.

In the middle of a two week parent-teacher conferences stretch, and there are always those who think our job is just SO easy. um, it's not. i pulled a bunch of 12-hour days last week.

Finding out that my car is at the stage of major repairs. As in, almost the number one might put down on a new one. So, I went to see if I qualified for a loan but turns out at 33 I still need mommy and daddy to co-sign. UM. Also, who can afford a $375/mo payment on top of living expenses and school loans and a credit card consolidation loan? For four years? That did not go well. I still haven't decided what to do (besides having a massive nervous breakdown for a good hour last night, leaving my eyes feeling sting-y and puffy today), I guess I'll wait until Wednesday when I have to bring it in for a more specific diagnosis. It needed two new front tires immediately. Then I had the tire salesman passively-aggressively berate ME for not having kept up with the maintenance over the years (not true). It was a long, hard Saturday after a long, hard week. Then I got to fill out tax returns for four states (don't ever do that much moving in one year again, self). What a mess. I did get a refund, bet you can guess where that's going. :-(

We had a lovely breakfast this morning at a new place (to us) in town, but John has been struggling with job issues of his own so Sundays have had a pall over them now for several months.

On the bright side, the sun is shining and it's actually a bit warm-ish so a walk by the bay might be in order. So might trying out my new slow-cooker and baking banana-chocolate chip bread. So might knitting. The rest can work itself out as the week drags on. The next one is vacation, though with all the car expenses it might be a true STAY-cation. Sigh.

We'll be okay, I just again was reminded how very hard it is for this generation (I'm 33) to be adult. Credit score, to me, is like an SAT test. Some people are good at test-taking, but it's never a measure of someone's true intelligence. Anyway I won't go into my rant again, I got that out yesterday. Just ... home, car, baby, dog even -- i kept saying over and over, "I just can't do it."

The good news is my frugal mindset is back. I can't seem to figure out the trick to sticking with it. I guess we just keep getting up, dusting off our bottoms, and getting back to it. I would like to see my savings account stay in the black. That is all.

I also just checked my free annual credit report, and got some good (for me). I am JUST on the verge of entering the "fair" category again. Just a few more points to go.

Anyway, about all I have to say for now. Just going to try to keep living with intention, enjoying the moments as much as possible, and trying, trying, to make good habits stick. and perspective, perspective. it could AL-ways be worse. always.


Saturday, March 2, 2013

2 March :: things we learn from our partners

banana oat blender pancakes. flour free.
He's been my model for really, truly relaxing at home. Something I realize I've never been good at, sitting down. He thinks it's my backhanded compliment, a "nice" way to call him lazy. But I truly don't mean that. He really truly knows how to just sit and do the things he enjoys. Granted, that's usually reading history books, doing crosswords or playing some shooting fruit game on his Ipod, watching movies on the Kindle or TV, or playing video games. While I'm usually biddying about the house. Washing dishes, folding laundry, cooking or baking, sweeping, fluffing the nest so we say. And don't get me wrong, i LOVE doing those things. But you know? There's something to be said for letting it all go sometimes and taking a stretch of hours just to knit (did that for two last weekend). Or really get into a novel, not just the paragraph you try to get through just before dropping off to sleep at night. I get into that mode of "how much can i fit into this day off?" Um, isn't that what we dreamy "homemakers" who actually work full-time outside the home do in our weekday planners ALL the time? So I'll make to-do lists that seemingly stretch on forever, and I'm so excited when I've woken up early and can try to make it through the list. But often, it's the leisure time that feels crammed in or just not gotten to at all. Meanwhile, I'm flurrying about, and he's just been in one place. I don't think I could do it like him. I'm a doer by nature. It's part of what makes me happy. But less planning on the weekends has actually made them feel longer. I'm figuring out time in the week to "sneak in" things I'd rather not be doing on a Saturday. So I go across the bay for groceries on a Friday night. I've definitely felt like we've had more just snuggle on the couch time lately. Without my mind racing. We have a new Friday night tradition of ordering pizza and watching TV. We love it. I realize that things don't have to be super-planned, all the time. I just like setting and then acting on the intention to not only nurture myself, but in the process, to nurture our relationship, as well.

Anyway, what do you learn from your partner that you are grateful for?