Monday, April 29, 2013

29 april :: sadness

we had to put her down today. 

needless to say, we went out for mexican food (and a strong drink) immediately afterward. of course, the gym did not happen. frugality did not happen. and i realized, as i walked the door later, that it was okay. this kind of thing qualifies for a quick step off the wagon. i realized, i still want to be frugal, not to worry. 

but at the time, making my fiance not cry for half an hour after he'd been dealing alone with the vet while i was at work, well you just can't put a price on that. 

we will feel sad for a few days, but think we'll be okay. as i told john, we'll always have kitties around. we just need some time. 

i simplified the blog design a bit. it feels better for the stage of life i'm at, paring down to the essential things of comfort, necessity, and beauty that make for a happy self and home. 

i really want to bake something just spectacular. stressful times always put me in that mode. might just pass like a craving, which is good. tomorrow i attempt again to get back to the gym after 11 days off. the cold is practically gone. thank you, immune system, melatonin, and vitamin D. 

on the upside, it was a great day at school. working in bedroom slippers makes a world of difference. thank goodness for montessori schools. 


Sunday, April 28, 2013

28 april :: just checking in

Just checking in to say that I made it Monday-Thursday last week without going to the coffeeshop.

On Saturday, we took a short drive/day trip to Williamsburg and poked around. I made us a lunch and put it into some enamelware and we saved money that way. I also made us dinner that night.

I followed a menu plan all week for dinners. We did have takeout pizza Friday, which we always do. This will probably carry us through the warmer months but it would be nice to start doing homemade pizza again in the fall. It's been a long time. We also feel good about supporting a local business by ordering the pizza. It's really the unhealthiest thing I eat all week. Not a bad deal.

I took a very short walk today to return library books and realized I was tempted to treat us to dinner at the pub. I then thought to myself, if you don't just put your foot down at some point, this cycle will just keep happening. Treating yourself out of misery might be the American way (I'm definitely prey to it), but it ISN'T the answer. Not to how we'll pay for our wedding, not to how I could potentially stay home more to care for a baby in the future, or to how we'll buy a home, or a car, or whatever life brings us. We wound up having a decent homemade meal of quinoa, veggies, tofu, and a homemade curry sauce.

So yeah, it was a good week despite being sick with a nasty cold that kept me home one day. I started putting extra change into the coin jars again, along with a few dollar bills. We decided to drastically cut our guest list for the wedding and make it very intimate (I'm hoping others can make my shower weekend in early October!). I'm awaiting my tax refund and posted an item online to sell.

Today I cleaned out some spaces in my home, which always clears my mind, too. I sat and knitted. I sat and read blogs. Soon, I'll sit and read my new novel before bed. I've already made a get-back-to-the-gym schedule for the week. Schedules work. I don't overschedule, but I DO make time to pencil in the things that balance me.

Tomorrow night, tacos with veggie beef :-)

Balance and simplicity. That's the way.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

24 april :: sick

on day 3 of a nasty head cold today, so i finally stayed home from school. took a homeopathic cough remedy containing melatonin and finally slept ... nearly 12 hours altogether (with two brief wake-ups where i needed to make tea, try to neti-pot, try to blow my nose, etc). today is the first day i don't feel achy and like i can't get comfortable. hoping to be back at it, gently, tomorrow. 

isn't it funny how our perspective tends to shift when we are laid down by illness? we are kinder to our partners, their simple thoughtfulness shines and is appreciated more, and we are reminded of the things that we truly want to focus on in our lives. 

while walking the dog this morning to give John a break, I found $4 scattered on the beach. I'm going to save it. saving is a theme I've been trying to succeed with for some time now. unfortunately, just when we got our wedding fund in place my car decided to let everything go at once. i've now spent a bit over $2,000 on getting it repaired over the last two months. just prior to that, I had some traveling expenses that ate up a large chunk of what i'd started to save. in light of these things, and John being currently unemployed, we are deciding to scale back the number of guests we invite to our special day, making it much more intimate but still an event to recall very fondly. 

at times like these, i always return to a menu plan and try to pack a cooler with food for outings (we are planning a trip to historic williamsburg va, 2 hours away, on saturday, to just explore and get out of the house, depending how i feel by then). i remember that i have plenty of books and yarn and watercolors, and a jigsaw puzzle, on hand. i have a gym membership that's auto-debited each month. we have shows we watch from time to time on john's netflix account. i have relatively healthy ways to keep busy and enjoy my downtime. 

when i don't menu plan and remember that i already have plenty, that's when stress tries to dictate what i will do, whether it's eating out or "needing" new clothes/books/what have you. one of my intentions for the month of may (and beyond, of course) is to cut out any non-essential spending and to take full advantage of the things that comprise how i spend my downtime. 

i think that when setbacks like what we've been going through occur, the positive they bring is an opportunity to reaffirm intentions, refocus on making them happen, and embracing the moments as they occur and enjoying them for what they are. the savings will get built up again.

thanks for listening. xo

Sunday, April 21, 2013

21 April :: burdened

Burdened by::

two months of seemingly nonstop spending, much of it on business travel and major car repairs and all the associated costs that stress at work (good stress mostly, but still) brings:: convenience food purchases, impulse buys, etc.

i have not been happy about the seemingly endless drain on money i'd just started saving, and that parents had given us as gifts.

i have really struggled with not having friends around to help with wedding planning. and not having any friend/family model to draw inspiration/know-how from. my friends are all busy with their own lives which is lovely. i'm just feeling so adrift here.

we are also planning potentially a big move this summer to the "big city" of virginia beach so john can find work for the next year. this will make my commute over an hour. however the benefits seem to far outweigh that although the commute will cost a pretty penny. after some insane car trouble and a sick pet, we are realizing how wonderful it will feel to live in a place that actually has readily available services. i won't have to spend seven hours on a saturday, for example, driving over an hour each way just to go to a few stores. but moving ... oh man, are we ever sick of that. we have a plan though. it will just take a while to hatch :-)

i feel like i'm kind of in "hold on tight" mode. it's a little nauseating. it's very uncertain. but we have each other. and i've adjusted accordingly. we now have a freezer full of good, healthy, unprocessed "convenience" foods because there are just lots of factors right now that aren't amenable to home-cooked meals each night. one must do what works for one's family at any given time. i have let this go and just made things easier for us to the best of my current ability.

i also created this:: my fiance does NOT know about it. not that there's any reason to keep it secret, but i just feel guilty about the whole thing as it was mostly my car that caused the trouble and MY job that caused us to live in a place where jobs for professionals are almost nil. so please don't go broadcasting the link on facebook, please please. but it's there if maybe it could get passed along secretly, email to email or something. or not.

i'm going to make the rest of this day about tea, and yarn, and taking deep breaths.

and maybe reading my blog list for inspiration.

i'm going to really dig deep within myself to right my world a bit. i know, given this past week's events, that things could always be worse. i know i can let a lot go that i stubbornly hold onto, including ideas and notions that just won't work no matter how much i want them to. it all goes back to simplify/balance, i believe those are intentions i created for myself even before the new year. time to bring them up and reflect upon and act on them.

blessings and light,


Saturday, April 13, 2013

slowing down :: 13 april

wow, life got away from me for a while there.

work got really busy. the kitchen and house and my own personal mental well-being got neglected and i barely noticed until i FELT it.

this weekend is a three-day one. and ... shocker ... i have NO to-do list. at ALL. just a general idea of FLOW. it feels good, and necessary. ironically john is suggesting a date. a lot. okay. he's probably right. i love him. definitely the better half.

the last two months, really, have been a whirlwind carousel. car stuff. wedding stuff. school-related stuff (and my first AMI consultation, which was rocky-feeling to me, but we did pass muster). not NEARLY enough time in the home, where I find great balance. On the needles. In novels. I did commit pretty seriously to working out again, which feels awesome. Eating has not gone as well because planning went out the window. That's gonna come back, and it's gonna get simpler now that it's spring. Quinoa salads and such.

I don't want to get too complicated, in keeping with the theme I set for myself on purpose this weekend. But I did want to pop in. This place is sacred to me. I will share some pictures with you. Then I will go out onto my front porch and knit for a while in the sun in my hippie dress.

sending the world my blessings. hope your weekend's a peaceful one, too. we all need to chuck the lists sometimes.

just casting on. it's actually a lot bigger now and i've gotten into the gorgeous netting.