Friday, December 31, 2010

Loosely Coherent Thoughts on the End of One Year and the Beginning of Another

 I sit here on my couch, lights off, but a candle and Christmas lights glowing. I just finished my last yoga practice of 2010. I did Yoga for Stamina by Rodney Yee (a lot of my videos are Rodney Yee- I really like the way his sequences flow). As I stood in tree pose, I tried to make it extra strong- hoping that strength will carry over into 2011.

There are so many good things that happened in this decade, many happy things which make me feel truly blessed. There are also those things that, although I don't spend a lot of time dwelling on them anymore, I will be happy to leave behind. I am looking forward to what the next decade has to offer.

One thing I am really happy about is that in the last six months I have really made strides toward actively being the person I want to be. There are many components to that statement- I have mentioned some of them here- and I think my two Months Of Yoga in November and December really helped solidify those positive changes, bring them all together, and keep them moving forward. Even the last two weeks have produced more personal evolution towards the positive. I am grateful.

I had sort of a bummer morning, but I am feeling much better now. I think I needed to get the crying out so that I could release the negative and usher in the New Year focusing on the joy. There's really so much more Joy than Blah, but it's so easy to become bogged down in Blahville. I'm glad I cried my way out in time to enjoy the rest of the day. :)

This New Year, I am not making a resolution, but I am making a statement that I will continue my six days of yoga practice per week. It has been so very beneficial and I would be doing myself a disservice by letting it fall to the wayside or by being 'too busy'. With two months down, I would like to complete a year.  Not a year from tomorrow, but a year from when I started this journey which was November 1st. That's why its not really a new year's resolution, but more of a resolution to continue. To continue to practice the positive and life affirming changes that I've begun to implement; and to continue shedding things that aren't productive or beneficial to me anymore.

On this last day of 2010- both the year and the decade- I wish you joy, blessings, and peace. May your next year be better than the last, and your next decade be the best thus far.

Thanks for reading, I hope you continue to do so.

Best wishes for the New Year,


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Life Smells Like a Rose When I'm in Tree Pose

For Christmas, I got three new yoga DVDs, which is fantastic since I'm doing yoga six days a week. The three others I had were getting a little tired. I still love them, but it will be nice to have variety. Two of the ones I requested I owned long ago, but which have since disappeared or are too scratched to play. It was one of these I did today- Yoga for Stamina with Rodney Yee. Since I lost my old copy, its been awhile since I did this practice, and it was so great to do it again. It was like hanging out with an old friend.

Two of the things I love most about it is that it includes bow pose and tree pose, which my other practices don't include. (I know I could do them on my own...but...I don't.) I love tree pose. Even though at the moment, I can only lift my one leg to the knee of the anchoring leg, it was still great to be in this pose. I know that eventually my bent leg will move up higher, and that will be cool, but I'm not in a rush. It was good to just be back in this pose. I will have to look up what this pose is good for- I'll get back to you on that. Maybe I love it so much because my body needs it. (Note to self: Look up Tree Pose)

Its really nice to have new practices and I don't know if it was the practice, or the Joy essential oil blend I had dabbed on my temples before I started (thanks dad!), or both- but I feel super relaxed and re-focused now.

Yay for Yoga!

Monday, December 27, 2010

If I Can Do It...

For any of you out there that think that yoga is just for flexible, skinny, single people with lots of time and money, I would like to tell you otherwise. I am none of those things, but for two months I've had a very successful renewal of my yoga practice from long ago.

First: Flexibility

Flexible I AM NOT. I never have been. For example, in college I was in my dorm room stretching as far as I could go, when my roommate came in. "What are you doing?" she asked. "Stretching." I said.

She LAUGHED at me. "You can't even tell!" That was in college. When I was supposedly young and supple. Yeah, things haven't improved in that area as I've aged. You don't need to be bend-y. Just bend as far as you can. The benefits will still be there.

Second: Skinny

Lets just say sometimes my belly schlub gets in the way. We'll leave it at that.

Third: Time

I have very little time for my practice, but since I committed to my 'Month of Yoga' in November, I had to MAKE time. Every day. Most days that meant rolling out my mat in the living room, next to the dogs, kid, and Little People Farm and Zoo sets and taking the time to practice. Here's a visual for you. This is from directly after today's practice:

Dog one wants to help!

Dog two wants to help!

The Little People Animals want to help!

Is it pretty? Not really the adjective I'd use. Is it peaceful, well...I've realized that peace comes from your MIND.

Take today for example. I'm sitting on my mat, trying to bend forward as far as my lack of flexibility allows, and the Sweet Baboo figures out that if he blows on the back of my neck, it makes a fantastic fart noise. That's right. There I am, trying to do a relaxing yoga sequence, and my son is making snotty fart noises on the back of my neck. Peace comes from your MIND.

Yesterday, this same kid decides that when I'm doing relaxation pose at the very end of my practice, it would be hilarious to stick his finger in my belly button. So, first of all, I am distracted by the fact that he can stick his finger ALL THE WAY into my belly button. Like, so it disappears (See point #2). Second, I have some one's finger stuck to the hilt into my belly button. Peace comes from your MIND.

Fourth: Money

I ain't got much. Funny how kids and pets suck all the extra funds out of you. This means that I can't really get to a 'real' yoga studio and practice very much. I have videos. I do one of them everyday. Do you need a lot of them? Not really. When I first started my practice way back when I was a poor grad student...I only had one Rodney Yee video with two 20 minute practices on it. (I also had to walk to school uphill both ways.) I did one of these two everyday for months. Did it get a little boring? Sometimes, but the benefits were so great- even with just one video, that I kept it up. I'm glad I did.

I still have that video. I still use it. Thankfully now I have a few more, but you don't need a lot. There's also a lot of resources on the web. Look for don't need a lot of money.

So if you're interested in yoga but held back by various worries or concerns, don't worry!  I am the perfect non-flexible, non-skinny, non-rich, non-time having example. So if I can do it, you can definitely do it.

The benefits are so, so worth it.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Holiday Reflections

It's the day after Christmas and I sit in my over sized chair with my dogs, watching the snow and the football game. I'm happy and content. I had a wonderful holiday relaxing with family and friends- it was so fun to see the Sweet Baboo open his gifts and then spend the day playing with them.

I was really happy with the gifts I got everyone- I didn't overspend, but got things I really thought each individual would like. Some of them I made, some of them gave back to indigenous artisans in their country of origin, and some were from regular ol' stores. I was a good balance.

Of course, not overspending is a learning process and which this year required a drive to four different stores with a toddler in tow to return things I went overboard with. Doh! Granted, that part was a pain, but the end result was that I got that money back, and that I didn't give people a bunch of 'extras' that weren't really necessary, and didn't add to anything. The gifts I did end up giving were well thought out and appreciated and that made me happy. Maybe next year I can do that without visits to various return counters. Ha! Goals, I got 'em.

I hope you all out there in your own homes, with your own families, after your own holidays, are feeling content and peaceful as well.

Here's to a happy end of 2010.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I need to stop being an apologist when it comes to my creative output.

Most of the time, I am painting, drawing or writing for Myself- and Myself thinks the products from that creativity are awesome in every way. No problem there. However, more and more frequently, I am commissioned to do something for someone else and am therefore getting paid for that creativity either by someone buying the finished product, or by someone commissioning something. That is when the ugly horns of Low Self Esteem attach themselves to my head and refuse to budge.

I am not, in general, a person for whom low self esteem is a problem. Not since I got out of college, became comfortable in my own skin, stopped caring what everyone else thought, and started realizing that, well...I like myself. So why is it that when I paint something for myself, I think its great; but when someone else is paying for it, I feel like its not good enough, or I feel the need to apologize for it in some way. Sometimes, the price I think my time is worth starts getting lower and lower in my head until if I let it go, I would be paying them to take the finished product.

Why do I feel like its good enough for me, but not good enough for someone else to spend money on.

All of this makes setting a price difficult for me. "I mean, just because you spent three hours of your time on it, doesn't mean that someone would want to pay what you feel your time is worth", my Head says, "because what if it doesn't look like you spent that much time on it" or "What if the finished product isn't exactly what they had in mind when they commissioned it?"

My time is important to me. At this stage in my life, if I'm working on a project for someone, most of the time I'm doing it at the expense of time with my son or family. This is a beneficial trade off- because my creative life is important and nurtures my soul- so I'm not begrudging that at all. I'm just saying that my time comes at a price, and I should honor that price by charging accordingly.

I paint well. Things look like what I intend them to be, and the finished products are quality. I should honor that by charging accordingly.

Not by overcharging, but by charging what's fair, and most of all- by giving the finished product its due respect in my own mind.

I'm reading a book right now, that I got years ago, but recently rediscovered. Its called Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of The Wild Woman Archetype by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. I will discuss it more in a book post, but she has a chapter devoted to the discussion of creativity that is especially relevant to this issue of undervaluing one's creative life. I will probably read this one chapter again and again- hoping that the ideas will sink in replace the current negative revolving thought patterns, ones that undervalue the products of my creativity and pick at imagined artistic faults. 

Here's to running with the wolves. 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Beauty In The Simple

Today has been the kind of day that I would describe as delicious. Deliciously cosy and calm, yet rejuvenating in it's simplicity. I spent the afternoon helping my aunt roll out balls of cheese and shaking a bag filled with paprika and chili power to coat them. We put them in little plastic gift bags festooned with snowmen and fastened them with colorful twisty ties. I helped unload the dishwasher, load it again, and measure out ingredients for cookies.

She gives these cheese balls out as gifts every Christmas, and it used to be my uncle's job to help; but since he died two years ago I make sure to help. Nothing seems lonelier to me than doing something festive alone after being used to having the company of someone you love, so I like to help her. Plus, I enjoy it. This is my special aunt, the one I feel closest to. 

We laughed, talked, and just were. Sitting in the comfort of a warm kitchen, one that hasn't changed much since my childhood, enjoying the easy company and shared history of another woman, helped to maintain the holiday spirit I've had going since Thanksgiving- just what I needed before the coming week's festivities. 

After the cheese balls (which are completely wonderful by the way), I came home, full of holiday spirit and warm fuzzies, opened a can of soup and sat and watched You've Got Mail, which is one of my favorites. I worked on pillows I'm making for family, and enjoyed time on the couch with my husband and our dogs.

It was a wonderful and blessed day.

I hope that your holidays, which ever one (or ones) you may celebrate, contain at least one day like this. Simple- yet oh so wonderful.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Lessons from Yoga: Be Present

Today I had a life/yoga moment. Well two of them. One when I gave myself some advice and then again when I realized that what I was trying to do in my yoga practice is exactly what I was telling myself to do in life. Did that make sense? No you say?

Ok then, let me 'splain.

First, background: I am not fond of the 'going home' process. I never have been. I love the fact that my day is over and I get to go home, but I don't like all the things I have to do to get there. Like drive home, and walk up the sidewalk, and put my coat away. Stupid- I know- but for some reason I have always been this way. These things don't bother me on non-work its work day specific.

Now that I have the Sweet Baboo, I add all the things that precede picking him up from daycare to that list. Again, I love the fact that I get to see him and take him home, I just don't like the things leading up to getting him there. Walking up the steps to his provider's house. Putting on his coat. Putting him in the car seat. I realize this is weird. I accept it.

Well, where yoga comes in, is that I don't dislike any of these actions as I'm doing them. I dislike them when I think of them before they occur- at 4:30 when I'm getting ready to get up from my desk and leave for the day. So today, I said to myself:

"Self, you don't have to do all these things right now. You only have to put on your coat and walk to your car. That's it. That's all you have to do right now. The way you can not get overwhelmed by "all the things you have to do" in order to get home and relax, is to only think about the step you're engaging in right NOW. Notice, dear Self, that I put "all the things you have to do" in quotes because "all the things" is a bit of an exaggeration on your part. I mean 'walking up the sidewalk'? That's being a bit dramatic is it not?"

I have done this kind of thinking before, but I sometimes forget, and it was good to remind myself. I mean, walking up the sidewalk? That is not a problem, and its not like when I'm facing the sidewalk I'm all "oh my goodness, I can not believe I have to walk this right now." Obviously it's not the steps themselves, but when I think about them at 4:30 when I'm still at work and they are standing between me and the inside of my house, that's the problem.

So when I was doing my yoga today, I found myself doing the same kind of thing: "ugg, I still have 15 minutes left" or "aw man, I still have those two hard poses to go". I realize that part of the problem is that I've done the videos I have so many times that I anticipate what's left, but that shouldn't matter, because each pose should stand alone. Yes, yoga poses flow from one to another, but each one should be valued and concentrated on while its being done. My problem comes when I am not present in the pose I'm doing at that moment. Once I started concentrating on the moment, I stopped anticipating future discomfort, and enjoyed where I was.

That's exactly how it works in my life. I enjoy the drive to daycare. I listen to the radio, I may or may not embarrass myself by singing along so people next to me at the stop light can see me, I look at the pretty colors in the sunset. It's only when I take it as one of many steps, instead of on its own, that it causes anxiety and 'blahness'.

Don't let the anticipation of future blah (which most likely will not even occur) cause the present moment to be blah. At the risk of being cliche, each moment is precious, I should savor them individually as much as I can!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Month of Yoga- Complete!

I completed a month of yoga! Six days a week for the entire month. I did whatever routine I felt like I needed at the time- sometimes it was my hard core (well, hard core for me...hardish coreish let's say) Rodney Yee Yoga for Strength video. Sometimes it was my half hardish-coreish/half relaxy-stretchy Baron Baptiste Yoga for Athletes video. Sometimes it was my mellow-out AM Yoga video. Sometimes it was realizing that I need more than three videos if I'm going to practice yoga six days a week. :) 

I feel good. I haven't weighed myself, I haven't been worried about what I'm eating (as long as I continue working to eat as vegan as I can), and my clothes fit good enough and that's good enough for me!

So...I think I want this to continue, and since my Month of Yoga has been a success:

I'm going to do another one!

December!  Another Month of Yoga!

 My yoga road continues...


Namaste my friends. NAMASTE.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thankgiving!

Farm Sanctuary sent the profile of my sponsored turkey! Meet Harley!  He lives at Farm Sanctuary's California shelter, he was rescued from a factory farm, he's spirited and playful, and his favorite foods are pumpkins and yams!

Happy Thanksgiving Harley!

And Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! :)


Hope and Harley

Monday, November 22, 2010

10 In the Rest of 2010 Update: I Adopted a Turkey!

I can cross the first thing off my Ten (in the Rest of) 2010 List! I adopted a Turkey through Farm Sanctuary's Adopt-A-Turkey Project. The below turkey is Daphne, but I don't know which turkey my sponsorship will go towards. You can choose your turkey, but I wanted my sponsorship to go toward the turkey who needs it most (maybe one of them didn't get as much love, and I can't have a turkey feeling sad and not as loved!) so chose the "pick for me option". I'll let you know which turkey I got when I get the e-certificate from Farm Sanctuary.

I do think Daphne's the cutest though. Shhhhh, don't tell the other turkeys...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ten Things to Do In (The Rest Of) 2010

There are some things I want to do before the close of 2010, so instead of letting the end of the year just zoom by like it usually does, I thought I'd put them into a list and blog on them as they occur.  This gives me something to blog about as well as helps me complete my list. WIN WIN!

So here's the list (brought to you by my friend here, Mr. Guinness Guy In A Kilt):

  • Send (and actually mail) ALL the Christmas Cards I intended to in the first place
  • Adopt a Turkey from Farm Sanctuary
  • Read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • Make a Victorian Christmas...something
  • Write one post a week to finish up the year at The Queen's Scullery
  • Make a pillow for my mom
  • Help Cameron make a Christmas present for his godmother and my aunt
  • Bring my plants inside before they freeze to death
  • Finish reading Black Beauty 
    And last but certainly not least...


      I know, I know! I'm a party a minute! Try to contain your excitement while waiting for the posts on my list completion!

      Sunday, November 14, 2010

      Update: Month O' Yoga

      The Month of Yoga is going well. I've practiced six days a week for the last two weeks, and it's definitely helping me both mentally and physically. Physically, it's making me feel more balanced in my body. I can already see a tremendous difference in my strength and flexibility from when I started November 1st. It's also made me feel more comfortable in my skin. I feel happy that I'm doing something good for me, and the feeling of strength and relaxation stays with me through the day.

      To help nurture the positive body-friendly feelings and to not give negative thoughts room to grow, I have made a conscious decision not to weigh myself during this time. (Sorry, boring weight discussion is about to follow, I apologize in advance.)

      Usually I weigh myself every few days (I know, I know...), but it's not so much to see if I'm losing weight (I'm for the most part good where I am), but to make sure I'm not gaining anything significant.  Catch problems before they occur and make changes when only small ones are necessary, that kind of thing.

      I feel that's a relatively healthy mindset and one that usually works for me. Until this the other day.  After making solid progress into my Month of Yoga,  I weighed myself as usual, but this time I found myself getting discouraged by what I saw (which was essentially, nothing). why would this be I wonder...?

      So to find out, I had a brief conversation with Myself. It went as follows:

      Me: "Self, why the discouragement?"

      Self: "Well, since I'm doing yoga (which is exercise dontcha know) six days a week, I figured I could at the same time, lose those last ten pounds of baby weight still sticking around. You know, kill two birds with one stone, if you will."

      Me: "Well, Self, first of all, we don't want to kill birds- we want to improve the health of our Body Mind. Losing weight isn't the point and if stepping on the scale minimizes the good feelings gained by our yoga practice, then we need to step off the scale and let it collect dust until the end of the month. Capiche?"

      Self: "Eh, ok. I don't really like that scale anyhow. It's sort of a bummer."

      So yes, no scale for me and Self this month. I'm doing the Month of Yoga for its holistic benefits. Losing weight, although it would be welcome (those last ten pounds are pesky), is not why I'm doing this- and if numbers on the scale lessen the joy of accomplishing my goal for the month, then they ain't worth knowing about.

      So there. 

      Sunday, October 31, 2010

      Nothing Holds a Candle to the Texas Panhandle

      I am still reading The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl, which gets even better as I read. It's full of phrases like "the height of sloth", which I love. Since I'm still reading that and don't have more to write about it at the moment, I wanted to talk about a book I read before I started my Read Through the Centuries Project. I loved it (and think you should read it too). 

      That Old Ace in the Hole by Annie Proulx.

      This is not a book I would pick up on my own. The only reason I started reading it at all is that I had read most of the books on the shelves and wasn't in the mood for the others- and it was the only one left.  I'm almost positive that I didn't up pick this book and bring it home, it was most likely a free book picked up by my husband at The Book Thing in Baltimore (which is the best idea ever by the way, every city should have one of these!). I don't think I would ever look twice at this book if conditions weren't completely perfect for me to do so- conditions like having nothing else to read.


      Was I wrong. I loved this book. I even used the word delicious to describe it and I don't throw that word around willy nilly when it comes to books. A book can't just be 'good' or even 'really good' to be called delicious. I have to relish reading it and not want it to end. This was one of those books. I won't do a plot summary, I don't do them well and I find them boring to write- it's easier and less painful for both of us for you to find the summary online- but briefly:

      That Old Ace in the Hole is about young man named Bob Dollar who travels from Colorado to take up residence and scout for hog farm sites in the Texas panhandle town of Woolybucket. (Woolybucket!)

      That doesn't sound like a book that would be called delicious, I know!  but the characters that fill the pages and the quietly witty observations made by the main character make it so. I would read 50 pages and feel that both nothing and everything had happened. Proulx did her research and beyond the plot and quirky characters, there is an obvious appreciation of an under appreciated area and the people living there. There is also a subtle environmental message I enjoyed, but mostly it's the characters.  I will definitely read this book again. There are very few books I reread, but this is one of them.

      Thursday, October 28, 2010


      I did yoga today. I haven't done yoga in what feels like forever. It's probably only been months, but in yoga time, that might as well be forever. It felt great. I have not been feeling so great. It helped.

      I don't know why I haven't done yoga in so long, when it really does benefit me a ton. It seems like the more I need to do something- yoga, eating better, doing something creative- the more apathetic and the more excuses I develop. I need to clean the counters, I need to check my email, I need to pack my lunch, I need to make dinner, I need to take a shower before I make dinner. All things that are necessary at one time or another, but usually not necessary for me to do right then. Instead of yoga or art or writing, which help my sanity so much in times of stress, I choose counter cleaning and dishwasher loading.

      I need to do that less. I need to paint, write, and do yoga more. I'll try to get those scales balanced.

      Friday, October 15, 2010

      And sometimes...there's a puddle of Cat Pee

      Today was one of those days.

      It all started with a puddle of cat pee. That puddle of cat pee taught me a lesson. A lesson that I'm going to share with you. Because YOU are one of my lucky readers. You may be my only reader. So listen up.

      It started with my husband waking up and heading to work at 6:45. Since it's my day off, I hoped that I had some more time to sleep before the Sweet Baboo woke up. (Last week he was getting back teeth and he was waking up at 5:50am, crying bloody murder, and then refusing to go back to sleep.) This particular morning he slept until 7:20 or so, which was good, but he woke up crying, which was bad. He usually wakes up with contented babbling, which means I have time to go downstairs, let the dogs out, fix my coffee, and basically do things that are easier to do with two hands. However, if he's crying, I just go downstairs, let the dogs out, grab his morning bottle (he takes cups during the day, but he's not a morning person and is too grouchy to deal with them in the morning- which as a non-morning person myself, I totally get) and take it upstairs for him.

      Well, looking back, he was probably my first indication of how this day was going to go- because by the time I got his bottle...he had stopped crying and started sounding a lot more content. Hmmm. Ok. He doesn't EVER do that. He's either crying until you get him, or happy, or happy and then crying if you don't get him in a timely enough manner (which, isn't saying that he's impatient, its saying that I'm really slow). He's rarely, I dare say never, crying to happy again with no outside intervention.

      Well ok, that was good. Taking that as a good sign and a welcome reprieve, I took the 'happy time' to make coffee, straighten up downstairs, and get dressed. I even put make up on. I function much better for the rest of the day if I at least get my hair and face presentable first thing in the morning. I don't know why. It makes the rest of the day much less of an ordeal. I don't know. I'm weird.

      So anyhow, I was actually up, productive, and dressed by 8:30, which was so awesome to me. Plus after feeling most of the week like Bloaty MacFatpants, I was happy to find that I felt good in my clothes.

      I'm going to fast forward a bit, since I feel I'm losing you over the mundane details of my morning, and as you may be my only reader, I don't wish to lose you.  Stay with me, man! Stay with me! 

      Ok, so I had gotten the Baboo up, we were both sitting downstairs watching The Cat in the Hat. I with my coffee and laptop and he with his carrot muffin and banana.

      That's when I smelled it.

      Cat pee.

      I tried to ignore it, to tell myself that my nose was making it up. Now, telling myself that my nose is making it up isn't totally off base, I have a Super Spidey sense of smell and when you pair that with overwhelming paranoia over having the House That Smells Like Pets, you get someone who frequently smells phantom pet odors.

      This, alas, was no phantom.

      Apparently I had left the basement door closed last night (which I am SO careful about leaving open for her) and poor Kitty had no where to do her thang. So she chose the carpet. Right in front of the couch.  Argh.

      So I cleaned it up, went about my biz and then, right as I was about to leave the house, I saw another, much bigger puddle on the living room chair. Double Argh. (Please note, I was not arghing over poor kitty. I was 100% arghing over me forgetting to leave the door open for her.)

      As I cleaned up the stinky puddle, it threatened to become The Thing That Wrecked The Day, which was utterly unnecessary. I mean, I had been given extra Happy Baby Time that I didn't think I was going to get at 7am, I was dressed (no small feat), I thought I looked relatively attractive, I was wearing my NEW super duper fun argyle hoodie, and I was on my way to have lunch with a favorite cousin. That does not a Sucky Day make. However, because I Am Who I Am, I was about to make it a sucky day over some cat pee.

      But then I learned a lesson.

      A Lesson From Cat Pee.

      The lesson I learned is that there is always a puddle of cat pee some place if you look for it. Or smell for it (which I often do, because I'm That Guy). Its just how life goes. There might even be TWO puddles (which as it turned out today, there was). But, if you look in other directions, there are so many other things that are NOT cat pee and that are so much more worthy to base the quality of one's day on. (Yes, sentence ending with a preposition. Sue me.)

      Things like:

      A kid that makes you smile.
      A beautiful fall day.
      The nice cat that made the puddle who's been a good companion for 8 years.
      The nice dogs that also make puddles but who have been good companions and sources of smiles for 9 and 8 years.
      Having a house to keep us warm and dry.
      Millions of other things that may not make our whole day, but that make up moments of it, over and and over and over.

      As I'm rereading this, it is sounding really trite and cliche, but I'm not trying to be. I realize these things have been said a million times in a million different ways, and my lesson is not a new one; but how often do we actually put the lesson into practice? How often do we let the cat pee wreck all, or at least part, or our day?  Cat pee, in the grand scheme of this life, is not one of those things that matter. Not even a little. I constantly make it matter. Like when I am tired at the end of the day and have more still to do and then I go to put a dirty dish in the dishwasher and...gasp...its full! Of clean dishes! That have to be put away! Before I can put this dirty dish in there! OH NOOOOOOO!

      Yup. That's usually how it goes for me. I'm trying to not be that way. I'm trying to be the kind of person that says "Oh, ok, the dishes are clean. Good. Clean dishes." How hard is that? Not very I guess, but it sure is hard for me!

      I don't know if I'll ever be the "Good. Clean dishes." kind of person completely. I think there always might be an "OH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" before the "Good. Clean dishes." but I'm working on it. I think as long as I get to the "Good. Clean dishes." part eventually- before it ruins my day, that I'll be doing ok.

      So. That was my lesson learned from Cat Pee. That there will always be puddles of cat pee in any given day, but that you just clean it up as best you can, flip the cushion over, and move on with the more happy aspects of daily living; which, much like cat pee, can be found if you look for them.

      In other words...

      Always Look On the Non-Cat Pee Side of Life.

      The End.

      Thursday, October 14, 2010

      Poe Poe...and I don't mean the Fuzz

      I am reading a new book! Its not part of the Reading Through the Centuries Project (that sounds so official and important, no? "The *insert Public Radio voice here* Reading Through the Centuries Project"), because I'm still on Black Beauty. Since I'm using that one as part of my posts over at The Queen's Scullery, I am taking my time to dissect it. However, I read before bed every night, and I quickly found that I had to stop using that time for Black Beauty reading- I would read a chapter, turn the light out, and then sit there awake thinking of all the things I need to incorporate into posts about Victorian horsemanship. After two nights of that, I decided that a new book was needed for before bed time. It's wind down time, not wind up time if ya know what I'm sayin'.

      So, new Bed Time book. I had this one in my collection, and I started reading it months ago, but then got distracted with something else. Well I'm glad did, because although it was written in the current era, this one is a perfect companion to my study of Victorian stuff. 

      The Poe Shadow, by Matthew Pearl. I don't know why I wasn't so into it before, because its really good. I guess I'm really mood based when it comes to books- sometimes a book won't hold my attention and I'll get distracted by something else, but then a few months later I'll have some different frame of reference and then I'll be totally into it. That's what happened with this one.

      Poe Shadow is really well written, and it's written in the style of books written in the time it was set (1849-1850's), which makes it really fun to read while doing the Victorian stuff. The fact that it's set in Baltimore is of course an added bonus, since I live here.

      The basic premise is that the main character, Quentin, sees the sad little funeral of Edgar A. Poe and becomes obsessed with finding out why Poe died and pulling Poe's much maligned name out of the proverbial gutter.

      I'm only halfway through it, but I'm finding myself staying up later and later reading. Check it out if you have any interest in Poe or that time period, or just enjoy a good book, I don't think you'll be disappointed!

      Saturday, October 2, 2010

      Black Beauty 
      I'm actually really enjoying Black Beauty, but in a much more intellectual way than I did when I originally read it- probably because I'm not 12. When I first started rereading, my initial reaction was along the lines of "oh...this is a mistake", because the sentences are really short and so I started to think there was a reason I read it when I was 12.  It comes off a little like a kids book at first. But I persevered, because I was all bundled up in bed, and putting it down would have required not reading at all, or going to the basement to find a new book, or reading the Scarlet Letter; and I wasn't really feeling any of those options.

      I'm glad I kept going, because its proving really interesting to reread at twice the age I was originally (ok fine...I'm being a little generous on the twice). It has the reputation as a children's book, I suppose because it's about horses (and maybe because of the short sentences), but it wasn't written as such, and it's actually really ahead of its time in regard to discussion of animal welfare issues.

      I'm only up to about page fifty- I haven't had much reading time lately- but I'm actually going to use it as the basis of a little research on Victorian era horsemanship over at The Queen's Scullery.  If you're interested in a more analytical look at the book and its social commentary on animal welfare in the Victorian era, or in any other aspects of Victorian culture (like keeping bees or cooking whole rabbits), The Queen's Scullery is all about it.  

      Over here I will be continuing with my book project and with more trivial observations about life in general. :)

      Wednesday, September 29, 2010

      Reading Through Two Centuries

      Since the whole husband's job/probably moving thing has things in limbo, and because I didn't get the job I thought I was going to have this fall, and because I'm feeling sort of 'on hold'- I am really excited about the project that I came up with for myself yesterday.

      To read a book written in every decade since 1800. (I might go earlier than that, but I haven't decided yet).

      This really isn't too much of a stretch for me. I have a degree in history, and I love to read. I'm kind of surprised I didn't think of it before. It was sort of by accident that I came up with it at all (and I realize that this isn't really a new or original idea by any stretch- but its new to me) :).

      We have tons of books in the house, but most are still packed in boxes in the basement. When we moved the last time, I realized that we would probably be moving again in a year or two, and books are time consuming to pack and unpack. So we unpacked a box or two of books that we hadn't read and our favorites, put those on the shelves, and left the rest in the basement waiting for when we end up somewhere more permanent.

      This has been fine for the most part because I haven't needed any of them. UNTIL we got Jane Eyre on NetFlix and I became obsessed with it. I knew the story line, but had never read/seen it. LOVED IT. Wanted to read it. Knew I had a copy in the basement boxes. Went downstairs to find it.

      Couldn't find it.

      At least in the few boxes that were accessible without moving a bunch of heavy crap. However, I DID find the Scarlet Letter, Black Beauty, and some Jane Austens. All of which I've read, but not for awhile. Then, because I'm a nerd, I was looking up when those books were written- and that's when I said to myself: 'Self, you should read a book for every decade. That would be fun.' :)

      I will probably try to read books I haven't read before for the most part, but I don't mind rereading things I don't feel that I truly appreciated the first time. Like the Scarlet Letter. I read that in high school. I will probably try that one again.

      The opening book will be Black Beauty. I read it a million years ago and would like to read it again, and most importantly...I already have it and it doesn't require buying or borrowing or getting in the car.

      So, Black Beauty it will be. I'm on page 27.

      Thursday, September 23, 2010


      The title of this post refers to stuff that will be happening within the next ten months or so. We might be moving...anywhere! the end of spring 2011. My husband's current position is only a five year position so he has begun the process to find a permanent tenured position elsewhere. Since its academic (he's a scientist), its a year long process. He will be applying soon then hopefully in the winter he will be asked for interviews, and then- fingers crossed- he will get some offers in the spring, and then...we could be moving!
      I say Could Be, but it is really Most Likely since there isn't too much open here.

      I used to find this prospect really unappealing. I have lived here my whole life, my family is here, my friends are here, I LIKE it here. the past few months, I've changed my thinking and now I'm pretty excited.
      We could be anywhere from North Carolina, Boston, Seattle, Dallas, Michigan...


      As it gets closer and I have an idea of where we are going to be, I might see if any of you live in (or are really familiar with) the location that looks to be the final destination, and then pick your brain for some tips on places to go and things to do. So be prepared. :)

      Tuesday, September 21, 2010


      So, sometimes laziness and procrastination pay off.

      During the spring, I planted some impatiens in an old sink basin and put it out front (you can sort of see it in the right hand corner of that picture). That sink was such an awesome find in my dad's greenhouse. Its a (slightly rusty) cobalt blue and, because its a sink basin, it has drainage out of the bottom and is perfect for planting. I thought it was perfect and very Baltimore. We put all kinds of crap in our front yards.

      Anyhow, when I was planting the flowers, I used some old potting soil that I had never put away from when I used it last year and which had been sitting to the side of the porch all winter and spring. (Not putting the soil away, my first little bit o' Laziness and Procrastination. I procrastinated so long that it was back to planting season.) The soil worked fine, the plants have prospered nicely, and grew all summer long.

      Well, towards the end of summer, I noticed a vine growing in the corner of the planter. I watched it grow as I walked by it daily, always saying to myself that I should pull it out the next time I walked by (the "Next Time" see, more Procrastination). Well, I never DID pull that silly vine out, and one day when I walked by I looked closer and saw that there was an orange flower at the end. Now...I think...that the vine...that I didn't pull out because I'm a lazy a PUMPKIN VINE!!!

      This all makes perfect sense, because also last year, right by where I left the potting soil to sit all winter, I also left our fall pumpkins to rot and go back into the soil all Circle of Life like. So....the pumpkin seeds must have migrated towards the bag of soil (which had a huge hole in the bottom), so that when I then used it to plant the flowers...I also planted...PUMPKINS!!!!

      (Unless they aren't pumpkin vines...but I think they are...?)

      After planting the impatiens, I used the rest of the soil to go around the hostas I have in front, so now I see that I have multiple vines!

      So excited! I will give you updates on any actual pumpkin production. How cool would that be?!

      So the moral to this story, is that sometimes...Procrastination Works Out. :)

      Monday, September 20, 2010

      Initiative. I gots it.

      Update!....I've actually been doing what I said I was going to do (this isn't a regular occurrence for me when I set goals for myself). Since I didn't get the teaching job, I've really been working to start getting my small side business up and going. I've painted several shirts and have received four orders already!  (From friends and family, but STILL, that's where it starts right?)

      Here is some stuff I've done already.

      This is an outfit I painted for a friend to give to a one year old for her birthday.

      Detail of the birdhouse on the leg:

      Below is a shirt I painted for my son to wear. I picked the maple leaf as a nod to his half Canadian heritage and it says Fall because I'm so excited for it!


      This is one I painted for my neice.


      So anyway, I've actually had some follow through lately. Let's hope I keep it up! I think it will though, I've really been enjoying it! :)

      To close, here a picture of one of the designs in action. To practice the birds in the first design, I painted them on an old blank onsie from Walmart that the Baboo had in his collection. Here is is wearing it!

      Friday, September 17, 2010


      I don't think its TECHNICALLY fall yet, but maybe it is, what day is the first day of fall? I could Google that right now- hold on...ok, it said the first official day of fall is September 22nd, so I suppose its not officially fall yet. In my world however, the first day of fall is September 1st, so...HAPPY FALL everyone!

      I love fall. The crisp air (which unfortunately in Baltimore, can be allusive until November. We might be lucky this year though, its been promisingly cool this week.) The colors, the pumpkins, the leaves, the cider, the seasonal beverages at Starbucks...I love it.

      I picked myself up some mums at Giant last week, as well as a sunflower in a pot. (The picture on the left is not the Giant of course. It would be awesome if my neighborhood supermarket looked like that! That's a picture from the pumpkin patch a few years ago). I got a yellow one and a rust colored one and they are out front making me happy. On a side note, I walked to Giant instead of taking the car. I packed the Baboo into the stroller, which is conveniently outfitted with a large basket underneath the seat (and cup holders, it also has cupholders- my favorite feature) and we rolled along to the store. It was nice to not use the car, and it was also nice to have a walk. My neighborhood is pretty cute, so I've been trying to walk more and get my fill of the near by domestic cuteness.

      Anyway, I wanted to wish everyone a happy fall! I hope you are enjoying it!  What is your favorite fall activity?

      Wednesday, August 18, 2010

      More of the Same but Different

      Where have I been? Mostly in job limbo. For four months. I applied to return to my former career as a high school history teacher in my city school system at the beginning of May. In June I got hired by a school I was excited about. Then for two months after that the school worked hard to process me through the system's HR in the midst of a hiring freeze. I found out yesterday they were not successful.

      Ah well. Thankfully I still have a boss who didn't want to see me leave and a job that I don't hate. I like where I work, but the pay is awful and barely worth the money I spend on daycare in order to go there everyday. On the other hand, the benefits are good, I've been there for four years, I like the work environment, and in this economy, the pay may not be great, but it IS pay.

      So, I will continue on there and then see where things go next year.

      Either way, the limbo was sort of good. I was able to examine my life and since things were so uncertain, figure out what things were important and what I wanted this year to look like (even though I'm not teaching, I do work at a college, so my brain considers 'years' to go from September to September, not January to January).

      What I found is that I want this year to be more creative. I had started looking into selling things on Etsy, and did a few projects for friends which I really enjoyed back before I started the new job process. So now that I won't be focused on lesson planning and the other things that come along with teaching, I want to concentrate on creativity in all aspects of my life. Come to think of it...this sounds a lot like a post I wrote before I entered job limbo four months ago. Maybe I should have cut out the middle man and just gone with the creative life, but I think I needed all of this drama to get focused.

      So anyway. Hopefully today will be the start of a new and more focused creative life for me. (Finally. I never make ANYTHING simple...) Its so easy for me to get sidetracked though (and lazy, if I'm being honest), so I am glad that I feel much 'onward and upward' than I have in the past.

      We'll see. Cross your fingers and send good energy my way. :)

      I've also missed my blog friends. Even though I don't know you all in person, I enjoy reading what you write (I have kept up with my google reader and Twitter, so I hadn't totally fallen off the face of the earth) and I do consider you friends of sorts. I guess that's whats sort of weird but cool about the internet. So I look forward to being back and being a more active participant. Thanks to those who are still reading this!


      Sunday, May 9, 2010

      Happy Mother's Day!

      Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there!

      Enjoy your day! :)

      Saturday, April 24, 2010

      What would Paula Deen do?

      To continue with my Paula Deen posting:

      Today I was supposed to go to the first birthday party of one of my friend's kids, but my own almost one year old was too sick to go (without me being officially labeled the Bad Mother Who Brings a Snotty Coughing Baby to Another Baby's Birthday Party) and my husband had to work. So I wasn't able to go and was bummed about that. I don't have too many things in my planner, and this was something that had been there for several weeks.

      So...I was rattling around the house wondering what to do with myself with no money and a sick kid, when I thought:

      What would Paula Deen do?!

      My conclusion was that Paula Deen would make a bangin' dinner for herself. Not that an awesome dinner makes up for not going to the party that I was looking forward to, but the process of cooking was therapeutic and filled the day with something productive but creative (as opposed to

      So I put the kid in his exersaucer and he nommed on toast while I made apple/carrot/cranberry muffins, balsamic vinegar glazed portobello mushrooms, garlic mashed potatoes, and sauteed green beans. The mushrooms are from Vegan with a Vengeance and from my post-preparation tasting I  can attest to the fact that...they taste AWESOME. Its all sitting in casserole dishes in the fridge, the dishes are in the dishwasher, and tonight dinner is all made!

      Thanks for my inspiration on a bummer day, Paula Deen; I hope I did ya proud. :)

      Monday, April 19, 2010

      Best Dishes from Her Family Ta Yers

      You know who I love? Paula Deen. I am a fan of the Food Network in general, but there are some people I don't watch at all and some who I watch all the time. Paula Deen is one of those that I watch all the time, but the thing that makes her different from the others is that I don't watch her for the food, because most of the stuff she makes, I never would. (I can't get too much further from aspiring vegan than Paula Deen) :) I watch her because doing so soothes me and she makes me smile.

      She's on at 6pm, which is after I've gotten home, washed the bottles and lunch stuff brought home from the day, taken a shower, and am sitting on the couch playing with The Sweet Baboo. Right then, when I'm all clean and am trying to forget that I was at work all day, Paula Deen's great Southern accent (y'all) chatting about the preparation of yummy looking comfort food is just what the doctor ordered.

      Although, perhaps not the cardiologist. :)

      I wonder if she's on Twitter...

      Sunday, April 18, 2010

      Lazy Sunday

      I love Sundays. My husband works six days a week, so Sundays are the day when we all get to hang out together. I do all my house chores before Sunday so that on Sunday I don't have anything annoying to do. Like laundry.

      Our only plan today is to go to Costco to exchange a box of diapers that are a size too small. Luckly I noticed before we opened the box, so it should be an easy exchange. Then we have an entire delicious day of NOTHING.

      Sunday mornings are my favorite. I get to have a relaxed cup of coffee. Write a blog. Watch HGTV. Get caught up on my Google Reader.

      Wow, I sound boring, but I'm ok with that, because boring makes me happy. :)

      Monday, April 12, 2010


      Remember this?

      I was able to work on it yesterday so that it looks a little better. Observe:

      Better no?

      I also removed the piles of leaves, so now the front "yard" is a blank slate ready for my perennial inspiration. :)

      Sunday, April 11, 2010

      Holy Overdue Book Fees Batman!

      I have recently renewed my relationship with the public libraries of my youth. My husband and I have instituted a regular read in bed time every night, and as a result I'm actually finishing books at a decent speed, and my budget can't keep up in terms of buying new books. I had kind of forgotten about libraries- when I was young I was a total library rat and whipped through piles of books from elementary school through high school, but after graduating from college and getting a job, the public library and I parted ways.

      Until now.

      I'm having so much fun going and getting as many books as I want- FOR FREE!- but unknown to me, my dear library system has changed a little since our relationship of old. I have always kind of sucked at getting books back on time (or doing anything on time for that matter), but in the past it didn't really matter THAT much because what would it cost...a buck or two? Not a problem.

      So when my pile of books from last months trip to the library became a little overdue, I wasn't too concerned and didn't feel the necessary sense of urgency to get myself to the library to drop them off. But yesterday I had some time, so off I went. I entered the library, wandered around, chose a new pile of books to replace the ones I wanted to return. When I was finished, I took my little self and bag of readables up to the counter, smiling at the librarian and saying: "Hi, I need to check out this pile, and return this pile, and pay my fees." The librarian began doing whatever librarians do to return books, and then she turns to me and says:

      "That will be $17.50."


      I tried not to look surprised, because I didn't want to reveal the fact that I hadn't been to the library regularly since the overdue fee was $.10, but inside I sobbed as I handed over a much cherished twenty dollar bill. And then sobbed even more when she handed me my TWO DOLLARS AND FIFTY CENTS change from my TWENTY DOLLAR BILL.


      So now the little receipt they give you that has the books you took out listed with their due dates is taped on the front of the refrigerator. Lest I pay more than the $17.50 that I've already paid for my privilege to read free books.

      Saturday, April 10, 2010

      Another Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

      Well, yesterday after writing a blog in the morning, it set the tone for a really nice day. Even though I wasn't writing anything exciting, just the act of making time to write something made me feel like I was taking control of my creativity and drove out the feeling that I am being pushed along without having time to do things that nurture me. So even after just a small amount of writing, it made my whole day better- which is sort of weird to me, but I'm not going to argue with it, I'm going to try to learn my lesson and make time for creativity. Even five minutes.

      Moving on.

      Today is another beautiful day and since I don't really have anything plans, I think I'm going to take the opportunity to play in the dirt (or prepare things for future playing in the dirt.) I am really excited because this week the hostas I planted last year (which I got cheap off of craigslist- LOVE craigslist) are coming up again! My front "yard" is just a small plot of mulch that my landlord put down before we moved in. I wanted to do more with it last year, but because of the fact that for most of the spring/early summer I was either pregnant or recovering from a C-section, it didn't get done, which was disappointing. I did get the hostas thrown into the dirt, but that's about it. So I'm REALLY excited that they took, and I'm really excited to plant more things this year.

      My current plan is to use an old blue sink basin that I saw in my dad's greenhouse last week to plant some impatiens or some other annual, and then plant perennials in the rest of the space. I like plants that come back every year. Less work (and money) for me.

      I think the sink basin will look cool. Hopefully my neighbors across the street will think so too, they're the sort to call my landlord and complain if anything doesn't jive with their sense of lawn propriety. I think they all need other hobbies besides getting their panties in a wad over what everyone else is doing, but whatever. :)

      So, to document my is the "before". You can see the hostas peeking through and some unsightly piles of leaves from when I raked the other day. Flowers forthcoming.

      Whee for spring!

      Oh...and the porch. The porch will probably be my first project, because....


      Friday, April 9, 2010

      SPRING! :)

      Spring is here! Its been a little hot for my liking this week, like we moved from blizzard to heat wave, but I'm definitely ready for the warmer weather and the flowers. It rained last night, so today is a more reasonable 60 degrees or so. I've been doing 'eh' since I last wrote. I added a day at work due to budget reasons and its really sapping my energy and creativity. I feel like if I'm not at work, I'm doing laundry, making dinner, washing bottles, and basically trying to keep my house from being condemned by the sanitation department. Which makes me tired and bummed because I feel like I don't have the time to do the things that nourish my being. Mostly because I feel like doing those things is a privilege and I shouldn't be doing them when the carpet needs vacuuming. That and being creative sometimes feels like work when I don't feel like I have anything to create. I'm basically tapped out of energy and ideas.

      But...who needs ideas. Writing a blog doesn't require ideas- talk about nothing! :)

      The good news is that it doesn't take much to lift my spirits, and even writing a blog post makes me feel like I did something creative and it has the added benefits of making me feel connected to a community of people doing the same thing. Even thought I haven't written my own blog lately, I have been religiously reading others thanks to my handy dandy Google reader. Its usually what I'm doing when I take a break from my seemingly mundane work existence.

      So basically, I've still been here, but I just haven't felt like I have had anything to say so haven't been posting or even commenting much. I'm going to try to do that more (which I've said a THOUSAND TIMES), but since its an easy way for me to tap into my creative side and feel connected, I really need to make the effort- its a big payoff for a small time commitment.

      I've tried a million times to make a "theme" to my writing so that I'll post more, but it never works. NEVER. So for my own mental health, I'm going to try to post more, but it might not be interesting. :) Mostly because I don't feel like life at the moment is very interesting. Not BAD at all, with the exception of my soul sucking place of employment, but just not what I feel like people would want to read about. So...fair warning to those still checking up on this blog over here.

      Saturday, February 13, 2010

      Sluggish Snow Induced Sloth

      It's been a while since I've written. Things have been busy around here- there's the SNOW for one thing, and the family has had a revolving cold that just seems to circulate from person to person and then back again, 0h and work has been a little weird. My life is sort of in one of those Never Never Lands where it seems to be changing from what it was but the final destination of the change hasn't been revealed yet. Not that life changes ever result in a "final final" destination (depending on your life after death beliefs anyhow) but usually changes result in a directed state of cruising towards something tangible. (Or something). Anyway, changes needed to be made- not that anything was BAD per se, but some (mostly work) things have become a little stale- so I'm working on that...but life hasn't revealed what my future 'state of cruising' will be.

      One thing I HAVE been fairly focused with has been food. I still haven't eaten meat since the new year, which has been an accomplishment I'm proud of. (Well...outside that one tuna sandwich. Damn you Tuna Steve!) Even when I've been at other people's homes I've managed to eat the non-meat items while politely leaving the meat ones where they are. My biggest issue with being vegetarian is not being impolite in the face of someone's hospitality. Don't want to be "any trouble". I know that plenty of vegetarians and vegans are able to make this work on a daily basis, but its something I struggle with, and making it almost a month and a half is a big deal for me.

      That being said, the past week or two have been a little junky food wise. I haven't eaten completely horribly, and a year or so ago I probably would have considered how I've eaten to be pretty healthy, but my body was starting to run really smoothly and I can definitely feel the difference in the past two weeks. Much more sluggish and- TMI alert- decidedly bloated. Wah wahhhhhh. :) I think it's been all the snow. Being stuck in the house for 4 days definitely doesn't do much for keeping one from the kitchen- in fact, I made cupcakes at 9am one morning just...
      'cause. I am trying to lose baby weight, and have lost all but 10 lbs (I gained a LOT of weight so only having 10 lbs to go is major). BUT... before this week, I had lost all but seven pounds, and I definitely don't like going backwards on that account. (Although it could be pounds of muscle that I added from all the shoveling out of my car...TWICE. In case you didn't notice the rear view mirror poking out in the picture to the right, that's my car halfway through the first storm this past weekend. I think I'll consider shoveling muscles to be the reason behind the weight gain and move on.) :)

      On the other hand, the time stuck in the house was great for trying new recipes. My husband and I are usually super busy during the week- he usually doesn't get home before 6:30 and we go to bed at 9 (please keep all comments about how sad that bedtime is to yourselves thank you very much) so dinner is usually functional and "git 'r done" and not so much exploratory. So during the snowstorm, we tried some new recipes and even had a leisurely brunch one morning (which never happens except on Christmas morning), and that was really fun. My mom got me a book of easy and quick Indian recipes last month, so we made several from that. Definitely tasty!!!

      So, in light of my sluggish and slightly off the healthy food wagon self, I am going to make a small, and I think achievable goal of consciously eating more raw foods (lots of raw or lightly cooked fruits and vegetables) and not so much of the processed and more ingredient laden concoctions for a week. (Ingredient laden meaning those foods with lots of unpronounceable ingredients, not ingredients in recipes.) And to help me with this goal, I am going to try to be accountable by posting everyday for one week straight (or at least posting something ABOUT everyday, sometimes I might post about Monday on Tuesday, as well as posting about Tuesday on Tuesday due to time issues, but in the end, I will have eight posts about eight days of eating healthier).

      I already have several recipes picked out from Choosing Raw and am planning a trip to the store tomorrow to hunt and gather all those super duper healthy veggies, I go!

      Onward Sluggish Soldier, onward!

      Monday, January 18, 2010


      It's the new year and I've been trying to think about what it is that I did last year that I liked and what I would like to continue doing so that those things can become automatic and part of my whole lifestyle in the future. One of those things is vegetarian eating with an emphasis on more vegan food. I have been doing great eating vegan at home thanks to my Vegan with a Vengeance and Vegan Comfort Food cookbooks, as well as several food blogs including Vegan Crunk and Vegan Dad. So far this year, with the exception of one tuna sandwich, I have not eaten any meat, and I'm trying to continue with that- one meal at a time.

      I have been trying to recycle more, both with "trash" going out back for recycling pick up and also by repurposing things that aren't necessarily trash- like glass sauce jars. I even just remembered to put some paper bags by the door for when I go to the grocery store later today. Woohoo! :-)

      I am slowly getting stuff together to sell on Etsy. I paint and have been trying to make other things as well and I would like to develop that into a successful side business- to both help support my family, as well as my favorite animal rescue. I've never done anything like Etsy before, but I am slowly putting my site together and trying to make a go of it. My shop is still pretty rough, but it's getting there. I am slowly adding descriptions and items.

      Other than the things I've mentioned, my OVERALL goal this year is to be frugal. Babies are crazy expensive, so to keep some of the OTHER things I love in my life- like my five rescued animals- I need to cut back and find ways for me and my family to save money. Not eating meat and cooking for myself is DEFINITELY helping, but I know there are more things I can do to help save. The Mindful Merchant is one of my inspirations- she seems to be genetically thrifty and provides great inspiration and tips. I'm not naturally frugal, but I'm making a go of it and so far I think I've been doing a great job. Coupon clipping and all!

      So, this year, as always thanks for reading and may 2010 be the best year yet for all of us!