Sunday, July 28, 2013

28 June :: placeholder

I'm here. .. this is just moving week. Prior to that, I took about a week and a half OFF the internet. a much, much needed break. have you ever tried that? i'm proof it can be done.

Really enjoyed my wedding shower and we got some really awesome, useful gifts. Hope to share soon, along with pics of the new place once it's put together a bit more. Also had a short visit in CT where I saw my best friends/bridesmaids.

I'm actually sitting and knitting right now and listening to a knitting podcast, haven't treated myself to anything but moving boxes (and fighting with a stubborn couch) for three days, so i won't stay here long. Nothing's cooking, we've entered we're tired let's get cheap lunch mode. Tonight's dinner was Subway. I've learned that this is just what happens during moving week.

Thanks to all who have been reading, now might be a good time to leave a comment and introduce yourself. I'll resume regular posting soon. I post more now that I've pretty much eliminated facebook and stay off comment forums for news items and have stopped looking up every random thing that pops in my brain.

Hope you have a good week. We'll be all moved by next weekend. I'm craving some homemade pizza, a visit to the now-closer farmer's market for basil and tomatoes (pesto!!), and swimming at the Y which has been neglected for a while due to trading it for daily four-mile-plus walks (I've lost 12 pounds in two months) and all the busy-ness of summer traveling. We have one more trip to NJ I think but I'm home-based through August, so glad, must start prepping the schoolroom and that's a big task.



Thursday, July 18, 2013

please consider helping a wonderful blog friend in need.

I am looking for my blog readers who knit/crochet to come out of the woodwork for a moment. Would you be interested in knitting some comfort-type items for a dear blog friend who is going through a terrible time right now? She is a wonderful, selfless, strong, loving, independent single mom raising two special needs children. Right now the costs for all she's facing are overwhelming. There is a fundraising page, but if you can't donate monetarily (I often can't either!), please consider using your talents and maybe your scrap yarn to cobble together a prayer shawl ... a child's hat (she has a girl and boy about 8-10 years old). I will group items together and send them once I have an address. Please email me if you are interested. You can reach me at or leave a comment with your e-mail info and intent to participate.

Thanks .... blessings.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Simple Woman's Daybook


Outside my window... the windows are covered because the oppressive heat was getting in. I'm enjoying the softer, filtered light, it's the eve of my cycle and I'm not feeling so well.

I am thinking... that I'm so happy there's a pot of pinto beans simmering on the stove. They will be frozen and used as needed. 

I am thankful... for a summer of simplicity and taking all the time I need learning how to live in frugal skin.

In the kitchen... already mentioned the beans, but i just did some dishes and it's tidy and organized. I love our cozy kitchen. most important room in the house!

I am wearing... tank top and workout pants, never changed from this morning's walk although usually i like to. again, eve of my cycle ... 

I am creating... a knitted hat, a wedding shawl (haven't cast on yet but will very soon), my "easy" shawl (panoramic shawl from coastal knits on ravelry), a more intentional, slow, direct, simplified life

I am going... to finally color my hair tonight and highlight it tomorrow using a kit i found so  I will look and feel fresh for my wedding shower this weekend

I am wondering... which dress of mine to wear to said shower

I am reading... mainly David Copperfield. It's a GREAT read, but VERY long and intimidating in that way. I'm also reading snippets of Advanced Montessori Method and I'm almost totally finished with her Education for Life. After those books I'll probably read the memoir "Truck", and there's a book about money and women's emotions coming to me from Paperback swap, and I'll probably read book 3 of the Percy Jackson YA series, and I'll definitely choose something "new" from my collection that I haven't picked up yet. Yep, always reading. Not enough, actually. Seems to have taken a back seat to knitting these days. 

I am hoping... to make it through this month alive budget-wise

I am looking forward to... three days in Connecticut (craving a fresh lobster roll from the shoreline) and meeting up with my bridesmaids for dinner and a chat, and my wedding shower at my favorite Indian restaurant

I am learning... how to be patient and make the best use of my time, and learning to find a balance between work and play in the home

Around the house.. really soaking up our final days of peacefulness before we start tearing things apart (gently, i hope, at least on my end) to move. always hard for me.

I am pondering... whether or not i should home-make the trader joe's caramel cashew cookies john loves, but i'm pretty sure i will at some point, and make them better

One of my favorite things... listening to knitting/crafting podcasts or the Splendid Table and knitting with really soft yarn

A few plans for the rest of the week: going through old boxes tomorrow (been putting this off big-time), watching Hell's Kitchen and eating tacos with John, calling the restaurant to reserve for our rehearsal dinner, blueberry festival and new yarn shop friday, traveling to new jersey saturday for dinner with my mom and future MIL (this is john's bachelor party day), wedding shower sunday and driving with my parents back to CT 

A peek into my day... the house is quiet, john's on his computer, the dog is sleeping, i'm mostly tucked into my chair reading blogs and listening to podcasts, drinking tea, working on my knitting now and then, trying to wait a couple more hours to heat some leftover chili for dinner.

July 17 :: please try to help

just spreading the word for a very loving, deserving, inspiring single mom of two special needs children. please, please find the means in your heart and budget to support her as you can. thank you.

fundraising page here

in other news, today is a very low energy day (female business) ... just knitting, fighting off a headache, laying low. we did get a good half hour's walk despite my body's resistance and awful humidity. i have to remember that on these days, just reserving energy is enough. isn't it funny how the days seem to balance each other (when I look at all I accomplished yesterday). I'll probably send some necessary e-mails, but I think I'll put off organizing some extra boxes pre-move ... till tomorrow. universe give me the wherewithal to do it! I want to have fun at the regional blueberry festival Friday without its shadow.

hope you all are well.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

16 July :: just one day

after a rough night of sleep and getting up uncharacteristically late (9:15 a.m.) .... it didn't turn out so bad, afterall. the day had a nice, slow, undulation to it.

local organic blueberries with coconut milk and sugar. very new england way to eat them. to this i added a fried egg and 2 veggie sausage patties and, of course, my french press coffee in one of my favorite mugs. followed this up with a 45-minute walk with John. That was good. But boy, is it humid out there this week. 

John went for a ride, and I got to prepping dinner :: veggie chili with sweet potatoes and black beans I'd made previously and frozen. 

Then I got a hankering to bake. So, I made these raspberry scones again from Babycakes. This particular recipe uses organic spelt flour, but most of the recipes in the book are vegan AND gluten free. I tend to like that. These are sweetened with the raspberries, of course, and with agave nectar. The fat is coconut oil. And this time I drizzled honey on the top after they came out of the oven. heavenly, i tell you. and what a pretty batter they make! a lovely afternoon snack! why can't americans have tea time too ;-) I had one and froze the rest for future breakfasts. 

why, yes, i do love being barefoot in the kitchen! preferably with a vintage apron on.

Once all the kitchen work was done, I repotted most of the plants and they seem much happier now. I love to see plants perk up! To the far left are two tiny containers of very sad-looking mint I picked up for free at the organic market here on the Shore. They smell SO good! I hope I can keep it going. I hear mint grows like a weed when it's healthy! I definitely hope to pick up some discounted houseplants for our new house, too. It's so wonderful having plants around to enjoy and care for. 

That about sums up my day aside from reading from Simple Abundance, researching about freezing homemade food and starting the day with yoga, updating this blog, revisiting and revising my monthly budget, washing and folding laundry, printing recipes from the now-closed online vegan workshop, and walking the dog. I think I'll excuse myself for the evening while getting some chocolate from my freezer stash, making a cuppa (tea) and heading upstairs for some knitting and a podcast. I'm still plowing through David Copperfield, too. 

Busy, full, simple days. I didn't spend a dime. Well, I donated to a good cause, but that's it. 

Simplicity and abundance -- soulmates. 



Monday, July 15, 2013

15 July :: spent, literally, and happy to be home

taco salad, one of my favorite go-to meals. cheap, healthy and comes together quickly. tastes great too!

Home, you have become my sanctuary. I am so grateful for that gift I gave myself by creating it. Yes, we do create our home spaces. They are more than just beds and bathrooms and a microwave. So, so much more. In fact, we had a walk around our new one today, empty and full of promise. I promise not to clutter it. I also promise, if I get permission, to paint one space in particular ... should have taken photos. I'll try to get some for you while the house is still empty as it's a beautiful shell of an old home ... also been meaning to take along a camera on my near-daily walks so that's on the list too. Thanks for being patient while photos are few. Actually, I like taking fewer photos. They're not drool-worthy edits on a DSL (is that what those fancy non point and shoots are called?) but they're the best I can make them without spending unneccessary time trying to perfectly edit an imperfect life ... ya know?

So, today, payday ... I am proud of myself -- having halved the usual monthly grocery budget, I came in just $44 over. At first I was upset, then saw how far I'd come in one food shopping cycle. If we are eating pasta/butter/parm the last week, who cares? I'm amazed how much less we need than what we were used to. I went to Target, and stayed on list too (personal care and dog stuff). I realize that within the budget, I can revise a few line items to reflect this change and not feel suffocated or short. I put a few singles into the change jar by my bed, what was left from the bridge toll. I did not buy coffee. I did not buy breakfast or lunch. I'm making dinner at home. I survived without getting food on the go, even turned down my brain's idea for an energy bar. I'm so tired that we'll probably have pasta, veggie ground beef, and sauce with parm and garlic and seasoning. Actually, that sounds gourmet!

Hope you're enjoying a simple week. We are happy to report that we met with the owner of our wedding site and she is happy about our much-scaled down plan. We decided to do a taco bar with homemade sangria, and beer, at our house in lieu of a formal reception! The tents and dance floor company alone wanted THOUSANDS on top of what we already paid to rent the place (this was our biggest expense and we absolutely don't regret it, but it's all we had left after my car debacles). We're also skipping a formal caterer and getting the ingredients for stuff ourselves and having an excellent friend and her teen daughters do a lot of the heavy lifting. The thing I'm realizing about having a wedding is you could go crazy forever with cutesy little crafty ideas for decor and gifts but in the end that's what birthdays and Christmas are for, too. Letting go, that's where the real joy lies, I'm sure of it. At some point I'll sit down and figure all that out and go have fun at the craft store. And someday I'll get to have a blast planning all my bridesmaids' weddings! I will live vicarioiusly, but we just should not compare.  In the end, the focus should be on the bride and groom making the ultimate commitment in front of loved ones, and having a grand old party afterward. We feel sure we can deliver on the feel good!!

I'm off for podcasts and knitting. Tired after this long day out, we all deserve to put our feet up for an hour or two at least each day!



Sunday, July 14, 2013

14 July :: on the eve of payday

homemade berry scones. these were delicious, and i'd love to make a couple of batches to freeze for breakfasts. from the Babycakes cookbook.

my baby 

amazing pineapple-banana smoothie with raw cashews and some other yummy stuff

it's done! 

casting on for the same hat in a much softer yarn. still reading snippets from this wonderful book daily.
i am confident that, going forward, i will be able to maintain what i've been not-so-voluntarily practing over the past couple of weeks. going out yesterday just to refill our water bottles, drop off recycling, and go for a swim at the Y felt like a huge treat. it was more than enough to make me feel like i had a great day, but i had three more walks to add to that. each day, i feel a little less resistance. i'm sure there will be setbacks, but i will deal with them as they arise. 

i wanted to share something from that book with you today. by the way, the rest of my day looks to be spent mainly knitting, along with hopefully a swim at the beach. i never did go the other day. it's been weirdly cloudy here lately, a bit too off for swimming for my liking. 

anyway, here it is :: 

do the best you can, whatever arises

be at peace with yourself

find a job you enjoy

live in simple conditions; housing, food, clothing; get rid of clutter

contact nature every day; feel the earth under your feet

take physical exercise through hard work; through gardening or walking

don't worry; live one day at a time

share something every day with someone else; if you live alone, write someone; give something away; help someone else somehow

take time to wonder at life and the world; see some humor in life where you can

observe the one life in all things

be kind to the creatures

this week for me:: grocery shopping. going through extra stuff to declutter and prep to move to the new house (we can start moving stuff in tomorrow). going to a blueberry festival. wedding shower thrown by my future MIL in New Jersey at my favorite Indian restaurant. And, in between, moving slowly and with intent. one intention :: begin a short daily home yoga practice to work out some longstanding kinks in my body. i resist this. it's time to let go and do it for my health. 

wishing you a peaceful week ahead. try spreading out those "to do" lists over the course of a week, or even two. it's just amazing what does NOT need to be done all in one day. very freeing, too.

Friday, July 12, 2013

12 july :: wanting only for strength

I am ashamed to report that I spent three hours trolling the Internet today. However, it's been a gloomy, rainy day and just prior John and I took over an hour's walk...very good exercise. I also spent a few quiet moments with my french press coffee and the Simple Abundance book I pictured here recently. But I need more strength to act out my purpose ... leaving only minimal traces of myself on the Internet (like here) and staying off forums and commenting amongst random folk (news web sites, ongoing events). I find those places to be shadowy and unfriendly no matter how unlike that you are towards others. I can honestly see why teens turn to the Internet for validation and when they don't get it, it's soul-crushing. Really, it's also a safety issue. So many nuts out there. I need to find a passing, third-party interest in most of what's out there (simple living blogs excepted!) ... I'm still trying to find my long attention span ... oh, technology how you've ruined me. But, I feel, in ways that are temporary. You really don't HAVE to have a twitter. read news sites every day. expose yourself to negative (this doesn't mean ignoring the reality it's out there) things. WASTE TIME you could be LIVING by interacting with a virtual interface. It's there for the taking. We just have to turn our backs and say NO. I'm getting there ... but boy does it take strength to fight. How invasive it has become. 

So, after observing how I felt after all that needless surfing, I took these pictures after lunch (leftover taco stuff in a bowl, yumm-o) to remind myself of my intentions toward a simple life :: enjoying a candle and a cup of ginger tea with honey by my chair, where I will listen to a podcast or some peaceful music and knit a spell. Looks to be clearing up a bit outside, if it gets sunny I may throw all caution to the wind, grab my bathing suit, and go down to the water ;-) 

I hate feeling lazy, even on vacation. Do any of you struggle with wide-open expanses of time when you aren't used to them? Overall, I've been pleased that being broke and starting from scratch budget wise (officially not until Monday, when I'm paid) has kept me in (I'm going to be totally honest and say it does feel forced, SOME moments, but thankfully not most ... yay, my heart's in the right place!) and forced me to take an even closer look at myself and my priorities. I still feel fairly certain that were it not for said circumstance, I'd probably be having pastry in a coffee shop or kayaking then out for lunch, or antique "browsing" or ... well, you get it. I really would like to continue this voluntary non-spending simplicity after I get paid, not that there's any real wiggle room beyond a super-strict budget. I really, really would like to get used to the habit of being home and loving it most of the time. having it be enough. i keep reminding myself that new habits are foreign and feel uncomfortable. but change is often that way, then change becomes real growth. 

I will travel across the Chesapeake Bay for groceries Monday but I plan on packing a sandwich for lunch. I've also found some ingenius ways to avoid Whole Foods Market completely. This will save a TON of money, and a little gas, and a lot of time. Just -- Target and Trader Joe's and they are right next to each other. Score. It's amazing by the way, when you start with a master grocery list (ours is always HUUUUGE) and pare it down oh, say, twice more, what you REALLY need in a month. The list is much, much smaller. Will be interesting to see how my new, unforgiving, cash budget handles it. I can buy other items as needed, but if there is leftover I think it will go towards savings or debt. Probably savings, which is beyond sad right now. 

So, yeah ... later today I think I can cobble all the ingredients together to make raspberry scones. :-) super happy about that. i've been feeling the baking bug lately. We can freeze a few for easy breakfasts. 

So, I'm off to my knitting needles and keeping my eye on the window for any signs of a letup for beachgoing weather. I've never been an all-day beach person but a good hour or two for air, exercise, swim, and change of scenery -- all free -- have always been happy times to me. 

Hope some of my Facebook friends follow here after I leave that site. I really like many of them :-) 

love and light, 


Thursday, July 11, 2013

11 July :: busy day at home

I spent my time constructively with maybe a 20 minute sleepy loll on the bed with the dog after lunch .... ;-)

Here is some of what I did today. The bedroom is finally finished and looks so airy and like a spa retreat ... just about in time for us to move to the marsh house lol! yes as of august 1 we are moving half an hour up the road to be closer to work. our rent and gas bills are going to be decreased drastically so i can't complain too much. the two houses are both older homes and are totally different. but i truly feel like home is whatever you make of it inside, no matter where it is.

Oh yeah, pictures ::

knitting while listening to podcasts -- have you heard of go listen ... now!! especially if you love british accents.

homemade hummus for lunch. this is from the ayurvedic cookbook and is really spicy, thick, and GOOD.

a little time outside, eating, journaling, reading, admiring trees

finally tackled the last of the painting as a rain shower moved in and the room got dark. it was very zen, and i had celtic music on pandora and a kiss from my sweetie to keep me company. i paint in an old shirt and underwear so i don't ruin anything ;-)

ahhh spa. that pink gave me headaches for the whole time we lived here. i think the new renters should be very happy with it! i'm jealous! lol 

i admired the neighbor's pretty flowers after the rain

so all in all, it's been very nice and relaxing today. this morning, i made a delicious fried egg and veggie sausage sandwich on gluten free bread from the freezer (i had a thought that this would be an easy way to get GF breadcrumbs, just process what you need in the FP rather than buy a special package that sits) and the dog and i enjoyed a walk on the beach, watching the little waves roll in. after painting i made a simple smoothie for john and i as a snack, it was just frozen banana, sunflower seed butter, pumpkin pie spice, a little of each (maca, flaxseed, vanilla whey protein), mixed with water.

a couple more hours knitting on what i call my easy shawl (panoramic stole on ravelry), then i'll prep grass-fed beef tacos (we LOVE tacos obsessively in this household, they are cheap, easy and delicious, what's not to love??) and we're going to watch a movie to wind down our day.

i could get used to this kind of slow, intentional life. i think the small moments of boredom would eventually pass. i journaled about cutting down my hours to part-time at some point over the next decade of my life. i'm not ready yet, and that's okay. but i truly,  truly am just not built for the five-day workweek long term. as a country i believe (right down to the very youngest) that we overwork ourselves and have very little time left for personal and family enrichment. priorities are on things, and expensive, unnecessary $$$ experiences and activities outside the home. we look forward to the day we settle in a community where there are things we can do outside the home by ourselves, even with children, that don't mean we have to sacrifice our desire to live a frugal life and fill up every spare moment with a schedule. i struggle with this even as a montessori teacher working a five-day a week job. it's a job i love, but it's all-consuming over a five-day period, eight hours a day. i wish our society would change in that way overall. everyone's just too stressed, and before we know it we are in hopeless debt, sick, and just stressed and too old to care anymore. i am not trying to be negative here. i just kind of want off that mousewheel. i want to work, but not overly so if possible. guess i still have some time to figure it out, but finances of course come first.

i am loving life without facebook. haven't deleted it yet, but i've banned myself from posting status updates and reading the feed for more than five minutes at a time. proud to say it's working. with time it will become a habit. this space can be more detailed and personal.

i think tomorrow i will write a few letters to good friends. that's long been on my list. i am slowly, slowly learning that it's okay to spread a "to do" list out over many days and call them intentions. there is really almost nothing that's so urgent it can't wait a few days to be dealt with. it's not laziness. it's just creating a balance to my days.

be well, friends. see you soon. xo

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

10 July :: blog list cleanup!

I did it ... a nice neat blog list of the most inspiring blogs I read. Is your blog still there? Say hello! Also I think there's room for a few ... and i mean, a FEW ... new simple/frugal living minded blogs similar to the style of the blogs I read currently ... not chock full of ads and page craziness mind you. go ahead and recommend!

i started my morning reading a book about simple living, and knitting .... just need to find something great and inspirational to listen to! looking forward to some time at the gym and a relaxing day today.

may you feel peace today.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

9 July :: committed to new habits

i'm one of those people who likes to think she keeps evolving as she ages.

today was a hard day for both John and I as we each took a look at our current finances. but it will only be impossible for five more days for me, when there is a clean slate to work with.

i'll tell you the truth :: i am NOT looking forward to a very tight budget (i mean, almost NO wiggle room, if that). but i am through -- dare we say, FED. UP. with all the negative and physically stressful (perhaps the scariest) feelings that have come from living paycheck to paycheck for far too many years, and the only person who is ever going to change the cycle is ME. i firmly believe that escaping money management woes (including not sticking to a budget, and being afraid to look your bank balance in the eye on any given day) is truly akin to quitting smoking. drinking. breaking away from an abusive relationship (this last one, i think yes -- with my money). it. is. HARD. it's a total shift in mindset, but what it's taken me a few years to learn is, it MUST be PAIRED with action. and now, i am ready to act.

this space is my soapbox. this space is where i get strong. this space is where i hold myself accountable to living my own authentic life, not what's "out there" and 99 percent of people think is appropriate just because they've never thought of another way.

i caught up on an old blog i used to read today. this woman is a loving soul, a mother and wife who truly lives her values and spreads goodness to others. i was truly inspired. she is not perfect, but she's ever-evolving. i feel so grateful to her today. immediately after doing that, i went offline, picked up some knitting, and just felt grateful for the companionship of my dog and the sun and the soft yarn in my hands.
i adore books like these ... 
after a bit of trouble getting started, john and i wound up spending the second half of his birthday money on a fairly frugal mini trip a bit north up the road. we had a good conversation along the drive. we had lunch at a thai place that had a peaceful, simple environment to eat in, and realized how much money we were saving by drinking water and avoiding the same dishes at dinner prices. (hmm the occasional meal out might just become lunch instead of dinner! why not?) then, we browsed a locally-owned bookshop where i used a gift card to purchase the book you see above. i bought a plain coffee (i avoid overpriced "umbrella" coffee drinks) for $1.75. I realize this is one of the small, simple treats I'm always going to allow myself.

it was enough. now we're home, which i've made a happy, cozy space where we WANT to be and rarely feel restless.

something is happening in me, i'm losing that desire to feel "caught up" in the second-to-second play by play of our fast-paced world. what happened in egypt? are those two murderous teenagers going to jail for life for killing their best friend? how about that plane crash? to mindlessly scroll the facebook feed. i listen to podcasts and hear how connected people are to several media at once (blog, FB, twitter, tumbler, flickr, reddit, and the list goes on ...) and it makes my head spin. how to keep so many personas in addition to the offline world we all must inhabit? how often do you meet someone these days who says, "Are you on Facebook? I'll just add you!" Might as well be death to the budding friendship.

You know what I want to do? Cook. Knit. Read. Take long walks and spend quality time with my fiance and my dog. Learn a new skill. Feel like I can breathe and be at peace in my spirit. Content with what I have. Secure financially.

It. is. hard. to break the mold, but all it takes is one small determined, hard-to-make step in front of the other. I long for the time when I had a terribly long attention span and could spend a whole afternoon wrapped up in one novel. I plod the path in backward fashion, and the farther I get from the almighty hurry the safer I feel. It's certainly NOT the path of least resistance, but ever hear that to go forward on a new path, you often must go back? Yeah. Food for thought. Free your mind, and the rest shall follow.

Here are some pictures I took this morning, feeling grateful. Friends, soon this will be my ONLY online place (aside from keeping a record of projects I want to accomplish on Ravelry). I love the Internet, but only as a tool to support the simple, enlightened way I want to live. A recipe here, an inspiring podcast or how-to knitting video there. Do we really need to Google EVERYTHING or can we just wonder sometimes, let it go. We certainly don't need constant barrages of negative news hampering our various levels of health. But lest I shall go on ... let me just let these images BE. I'm so excited to document my ever-evolving life, both for myself and for the possible help toward bettering someone else's.

friends, in whatever way works for you, BE WELL within yourself. we can only do it once.

love and light,


Monday, July 8, 2013

8 July :: simplifying further, and then some

I believe I've spoken briefly here about phasing out Facebook from my life (hopefully by summer's end!) as a gradual process. Well, I want to talk about doing something similar in blog land, namely ....

no. more. Soulemama.

of course, i do not mean this personally. in fact, i ooze oodles of warm fuzzies and dream the most romantic, happy dreams while browsing her page (though it has far less depth than in previous years, which i do miss). but you know what? i feel intimidated by hers, and blogs like hers. i want the untouched photos, the unromantic side of life, the sink full of dirty dishes and a floor that hasn't been swept in a month sometimes. i want to feel inspired to action, i want to know someone's struggle to get where they're going. i don't want to read "perfect life" blogs.

so. as soon as blogger lets me do it, I'm cutting down my righthand sidebar there to blogs which serve me, and not merely my imaginary, flyaway fancies. because i think you can have your cake and eat it, too, with blogs that are a bit more down to earth. this list will probably go through a couple revisions, but i love the idea of just jumping in and making a start.

do you ever want to simplify your blog reading lists? also means less time spent online, and while i love the internet, too much of anything, especially the internet, is a detriment to all i hope and dream to get done off of it.

blessings and light,

k ~ xo

Sunday, July 7, 2013

7 July :: actually being bored

all the pictures here are from my recent trip to kentucky.
I haven't felt that since summers when I was a kid. It was a tough moment to have sneaking up on me yesterday. A short walk helped me through that strange restless energy.

And this morning, eating a bowl of fresh fruit and reading my $5 book on simplicity, I was challenged to see it in a positive light. Change, at first, feels like upheaval. Your "self" resists it. I'm pretty sure that's what was going on.

Today, I spent three hours playing with yarn. And before that, I baked a breakfast bread from scratch. I have absolutely no agenda for the rest of the day other than making veggie burgers later.

It's odd, this first-ever work-free summer. I'm trying to soak in the moments and realize that this ultimate slowdown is really healthy for me, especially as I strive to be gentle on myself in making more radical changes (basically sticking to a strict budget, and resisting the ever-present urge to acquire just one more yarn skein, book, shirt, cute whatsit on Etsy, or go out to eat "just this once, since it's been a while"). The words low-cost (or free!), high experience keep returning to me. We really have so much to do to keep us occupied.

One of my biggest challenges, spending less time in front of a screen. Has been working like a charm but it's like any addict's high wearing off. There's a bit of obsessive thinking about "what's going on online" and itching to get the laptop on my .. .well, lap. :-(  So, I indulge, but set strict time limits for myself for that activity.

The only thing we might do this week is drive to a local bookstore (i have a gift card) and have lunch, rather than dinner, at a thai place we like (lunch being less expensive). I've been pretty well satiated with YMCA swimming, long walks, spending an hour or two on the beach here and there, reading, knitting, and keeping semi-active in the kitchen.

I have a feeling that by the time September rolls around, I'll be glad there was a long stretch of doing nothing. Hope you haven't forgotten those days of your childhood, either. They are still accessible. We kind of just have to remove a lot of what the technology revolution has done to us and allow ourselves to have long stretches of attention again, and an ability to feel "bored" once in a while. I like to see it was a doorway to change and growth and happiness.

blessings and light,


Thursday, July 4, 2013

4 July :: giving birth to new realities during this reflection on independence

I was just thinking about what it is I do and so I thought I'd post a few pictures I haven't shared yet. Tomorrow will allow me some space to visit my cleared-up prepared environment and envision how I'd like it to looks this year. I am so excited for a new year with new energy. I really needed that long vacation away.

It was so good in other ways, too. So much ... inner. Listening and heeding what my "self" was saying to me.

We've made some real progress with realistically planning our wedding now that we've removed the stars (and dollar signs) from our eyes. It will definitely be uniquely "us." No one tells you how weddings seem to not come together in a real, tangible way until nearly the 11th hour and that it's OKAY. To just have faith. I will share here as the time gets closer. It's really so exciting.

I've decided to look things in the eye and just go after what I want. I'm talking about living frugally, but it turns out I didn't mean just finances. I meant living a lifestyle surrounded with things and experiences that are meaningful, and that includes a LOT of really. slowing down. Escaping the modern day "needs" and trappings to be constantly plugged-in and connected -- case in point, lady on the beach the other day tracking a thunderstorm on her IPhone thing when you could clearly see the dark (and very beautiful, actually) clouds rolling in across the water. I have decided to gradually and completely eliminate my Facebook page. I'm more detailed on the blog, and I stay more connected to others living similar lifestyles via my blog. I noticed that when I cleared up my Facebook feed, it just kept coming back to haunt me. Ads, "suggestions", mindless, needless time suckers all. Also, I'm not a blog every day or even read blog every day type. I like to "store them up" and read in depth, at leisure, when I have a good couple of rainy or slow hours free. It's kind of like curling up with a good book! And so inspiring in a way Facebook has just never been for me. So, goodbye. I'm simplifying.

It also means not constantly watching the clock as I run through my day. Of course, easier in summer. It means not planning my agenda more than very loosely so that others' ideas can enrich me too. Or so I can just BE without having to fill it all up all the time. I think we forget how to just BE. we're so busy like hamsters on a wheel, always trying to entertain ourselves. But really, you'd be amazed how much longer a day feels when you eliminate the clock, the constant cell phone checking (although I've never done that, I can't even find my phone half the time and it's always always on silent), the hours online, the television. I watch about an hour or two in a week, always with John, and it's a targeted show we've decided to watch, not channel surfing. In our new house, I have convinced him to keep the TV out of the common living space downstairs.

I've also taken, a habit I started while away (and which often includes John now! yay!) -- a four to five mile walk outdoors each day, usually in the morning. Takes an hour to an hour and a half. I don't need to go into the benefits, but I'm experiencing all of them. How wonderful. No headphones, just quiet reflection or dreaming or conversation. I'm going to resume swimming laps again this weekend, too. The weights are quiet for now, but I'm sure they'll be picked up again when the time feels right.

I've let go of cooking for the summer. I mean, little things like bean salads and hummus and tacos and smoothies, yeah that's where we are. Cheaper grocery bill while still eating healthy.

I hope that some of this might help you, too, to reflect on how you REALLY want to live your life. I am in the middle of breaking some of these things we've been conditioned to think we need to have heavy doses of (shopping, screens) and it's not easy. But we only get one shot at this.

Here's to wishing you peace in the every day. I'm off to knit and listen to a Splendid Table episode, and music.