♥ Stargate Universe (The ONLY decent Stargate series)
♥ Finding my lost camera
♥ The squirrel ransom I received in the mail (I know who you are, and I highly suggest ensuring the safety of said squirrel... You DON'T want to mess with squirrel karma...)
I'm just trying to get through until August without obsessing too much about school. It's difficult for me to hurry up and then wait. I don't want to lose the momentum that I've built up, and unfortunately, there's nothing else to do on that front at this moment.
What I should be doing is enjoying the summer for what it is. I'll be busier than I'm used to soon enough, and this would be an excellent time to just sit back and appreciate the sun and the trees and the flowers.
My Mom is in town, and if I could kidnap her and keep her all year long, I would. Yesterday, I took the whole day off, and we went to breakfast, to the zoo, and to dinner. Some of the highlights were pancakes, sea lions, and lorikeets. And there was the majestic hornbill that flew to a perch above my head...so close that my heart may have skipped a beat. And miniature antelope, and laughter, and margaritas, and more laughter, and Mexican food, and heartfelt conversation. I haven't had that wonderful of a day in a long, long time.
Little things that brought me joy
Sunshine and barbecue ♥ registering for classes ♥ fresh tomato and basil pizza ♥ the scent of lilacs ♥ reassuring words from friends
Turning the yellow car into a rubber duck - My husband's MR2 is bright yellow, and what do you do with a blindingly yellow car? You paint it up like a rubber ducky, and you drive around catching smiles, of course!
Getting my assessment out of the way - I scored perfectly in writing and reading. but as expected, I didn't do very well in math. I'm okay with that. I'm just glad the assessment has been completed. It was an unchecked item on a list, and it was causing me stress. There are many other unchecked items, but small victories are worth celebrating.
Registering to go back to school - The idea of going back to school has been in the back of my mind for quite a while, but life always seems to get in the way. I've finally decided that it just can't wait any longer. I'm 34 years old, and I've always had a belief that success, for me, is tied to my level of education.
I've been to school twice before, and while I've done exceedingly well in most of my classes, I've never completed my studies...mainly because I tend to choose my path based on romantic notions, and then I get scared when I hear others talking about impracticality, lack of jobs, etc.
This time, I'm approaching school with a level of maturity that I didn't have before, and while I may not have the energy that I had the first time around, I do have the desire. I don't yet know exactly what I'm going to study, but I have some time to work on my core classes before I have to declare a major. I'm exploring the idea of a major in social work with a minor in Spanish language. There are so many different directions that I could take with that focus of study, and they all contribute to society in an altruistic way. That's important to me.
As Mahatma Gandhi said, "Be the change you want to see in the world."
Little things that brought me joy
Trying out geocaching. ♥ A high school graduation party for a lovely girl who is soon beginning an amazing adventure in the heart of New York City ♥ Finishing my summer inspired collage♥ Seeing my good friends share their product on television (I'm proud of you both!) ♥CDC zombie apocalypse preparedness advice. Good job to those who realize that entertainment CAN be used to present information effectively. ♥ Masterpiece Mystery's Sherlock. I usually dislike modern adaptations, but this one worked very well. ♥ Riding in the car with the T-tops off ♥ Doting on my super dogs ♥ My cilantro seedlings are out of control!
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins ♥ Taking the Myers-Briggs test (INFJ) ♥Fever Ray♥ Our Cilantro seedlings are growing like mad ♥ Nag Champa ♥ Receiving artwork handmade by Annie♥ Delica Seed Beads ♥ Collaging with color
And that's all I've got this week. I've been too busy doing work things to pay attention to the world outside the office. Ebb and flow, ebb and flow, ebb and flow...
We took Christoph's Mom to the Denver Botanic Gardens and to lunch. There are a large number of flowers in bloom, and the colors and scents are breathtaking. I'd like to go back on a less busy day and just laze around in the Japanese Garden, which is one of my favorites. It's aesthetically appealing and peaceful, and I like to watch the koi.
After the gardens, we went to lunch at Racine's, and I had the Ahi Salad Niçoise which was delicious once I picked out the anchovies... The conversation was good, and everyone had a good time.
Our seedlings are starting to sprout. I'm most excited about the cilantro, because if we grow it successfully, it means lots of homemade salsa. ♥
Little things that brought me joy
Wandering through the park with my camera ♥Galore by Michael Crummey ♥Watching quirky movies with Christoph ♥ Fresh strawberries ♥ Spring rain
A few of the blogs that I read participate in "Things I love Thursday," and I like the concept of taking the time to appreciate the good things in life.
So without further adieu, here's my TiLT list for the week. (We'll see if I can actually manage to make this a weekly event. I'm not promising anything, as I'm fantastic at neglecting this space...)
Things that made me happy this week
Coffee with old friends - There's nothing like reconnecting with kindred spirits that you haven't seen in ages. I went to Common Grounds with two friends (J & J) that I've known since Junior High School but haven't seen in more than ten and fifteen years, respectively. They're now engaged, and it feels good to know that they're doing well. It was a comfortable reunion without any of the awkwardness that sometimes happens when large periods of time have passed between meetings. I still feel the same, easy connection that I always have with these two individuals, and I hope we'll meet again in the near future.
Urban Apartment Gardening - Christoph and I are trying our hand at growing some herbs and vegetables in our apartment. We don't have a balcony, so we're limited in the types of plants that we can grow, but it feels good to make the effort. We planted two varieties of strawberries, chocolate mint, lettuce basil, chives, and swiss chard. We're also trying to seed English thyme, dotted mint, and cilantro. I expect that some of these plants will flourish, but I'm worried that the basil and the strawberries may not do as well. From what I understand, most basil needs full sunlight, and we have an east facing exposure which limits the amount of light that we get. It could be worse, but it could be much better. We do have some grow lights, but it's just not the same as unadulterated sunlight.
Little things that brought me joy
Starting a 101 in a 1001 list ♥ new Chuck Taylors ♥ dogs, dogs, dogs ♥ A refrigerator full of in season fruits and vegetables ♥ receiving the book Inside of a Dog as a gift ♥ Guided by Voices ♥ shopping for new dishes with Christoph ♥ reading about animal assisted therapy ♥ working on a spring inspired digital collage ♥ The "rosehips winestained lips" playlist on my ipod (which I think I've actually had on rotation for nearly a year)
My goal this week has been to meditate each morning for ten minutes. It seems like such a short amount of time. I thought, "no problem."
I'm amazed at how often my mind wanders, usually to negative things in the past or scenarios in the future that sometimes don't even belong to me. I re-live conversations, complete my work ten times over, and stress about situations that haven't even happened. It's no small wonder that my "now" feels chaotic. In my mind, it really is!
My desire is to become a more mindful person who lives in and enjoys the moment while it's happening. Someone who realizes that now is always the time to make life better, because yesterday is gone, and tomorrow doesn't exist until you're actually there.
It's easy to identify, but being an anxiety ridden stress fiend makes the journey a bit more difficult. I'll continue my ten minutes of meditation each morning and take it one day at a time, I guess.
No kidding. The lovely people living in the apartment across from the laundry room decided that it was a good idea to cook a bunch of food and leave it unattended.
Christoph went downstairs to put in a load of laundry, and the smoke detector was going off and smoke was pouring from beneath the neighbor's door. No one was home, so Christoph called the management, and the fire department came with four trucks and successfully put out the fire. Thank you fire department!
Now the building wreaks of smoke, and we're all a little bit freaked out, but at least everyone is unharmed.
Even so...this is another reason to move into my own home. I just don't trust my neighbors.
My goal for 2011 is to buy a small house that I can call my own. I've been working towards this goal for quite some time, but now I have a solid timeline for achieving my goal...loan application in March, contract in April/May, closing by the time that my lease is up at the end of June.
This is a scary step for me, and I need to remind myself often of the reasons that I want to take this big-girl step even though it will add significant responsibility to my life.
Reason #1 - My least favorite domestic chore is laundry. The amount of anxiety that it causes is ridiculous considering that it's a fairly passive activity. Thing is...the laundry room is on the lower level of the apartment building, and, to get there, I have to make my way past an area that's often filled with doggie landmines left by the disabled man in 1B. He's a lonely man, and he has a pug to keep him company. Unfortunately, pugs are notoriously difficult to train, and he doesn't have the mobility or stamina to take on the proper care and feeding of any breed of dog, let alone a hyperactive pug puppy. I'm not a big meanie. I understand his need for companionship, and when I find the messes, I quietly clean them up and go on about my business, but this is not the environment where I want to live.
Once, I get to the laundry room, the chances of actually getting a load into the washing machine are slim. Sometimes, I have to wait all day before I can get access to the washing machine, and if the person ahead of me is like many people in the building, I'll have to wait ages for them to remove their laundry from the dryer when the cycle is complete. I'm not above taking their stuff out and putting it on top of the Dryer when they leave it there for hours, but I hate using that tactic, because laundry is kind of a personal thing. I don't want strangers touching my intimate wear, and I sure as hell don't want to touch someone else's skid-stained underoos. Eww... (and no, I'm not kidding. I've seen it before.)
Add the fact that the laundry room is always filthy and filled with spiders, and I think I've made a pretty clear case for not wanting to do my laundry each week.
What I do want is:
My own washer/dryer with energy star ratings.
To be able to get up in the morning and do laundry in my underwear or naked!
To do laundry on MY timeline, day or night
To recycle my gray water instead of dumping it down the drain
I don't think that's too much to ask, and so I'm going to make it happen come hell or high water.
This is a delightful memoir about the path to urban homesteading and greater sustainability. Jenna Woginrich is both charming and amusing as she tells about her beginning and continued efforts as a hobby farmer.
This is not a how-to book (although it's generously packed full of information and resources) as much as it's an inspirational piece explaining all of the things that can go wrong (and right!) when you're learning how to reconnect with your pioneer roots.
The chapters are broken down by subject matter, and Jenna covers the keeping of chickens, gardening, beekeeping, country cooking, antiquing, making clothing, working house dogs, angora rabbits for shearing, and Appalachian music.
Highly recommended as a beginning piece for people who are interested in pursuing a more sustainable lifestyle.
My annual list of books read throughout the year. Sadly, I didn't have as much time to read this year, but I did consume some truly wonderful books.
The Martha Rules: 10 Essentials for Achieving Success as You Start, Grow, or Manage a Business - Martha Stewart(This was an odd choice for me, but it was interesting. Martha Stewart is clever and highly driven. Lots of good business advice here.)
Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut
Tethered - Amy MacKinnon
The Year of the Flood - Margaret Atwood(Margaret Atwood could write the phone book, and I'd read it.)
Infidel - Ayaan Hirsi Ali(Eye opening book written by an amazing woman. Everyone should read this book.)
The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals - Michael Pollan(Another great book. Well written and informative)
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn(Rough, but worthwhile)
The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine - Somaly Mam (Somaly Mam is another amazing woman. Thank you to Celeste for introducing me to her story)
The Robber Bride - Margaret Atwood
Dangerous Angels: The Weetzie Bat Books - Francesca Lia Block(I want to BE Weetzie)