Stationary Drifting


1 Comment

Weekend Roundup: Feb 23/24

This weekend was incredibly quiet. It was snowy and grey and neither Mars or I were particularly interested in leaving our bed let alone the house.

snow alleywinter groceries

I did a little baking, making a variation of these dulce de leche chocolate banana muffins minus the chocolate but plusing some very liquid vanilla buttercream. With some a couple muffiin/cupcakes and a cup of my absolute favorite cream earl grey tea with honey and milk I spent most of Saturday reading the archives of my new favourite blog Pencil Box. I came across Katie’s blog through some references from other blogs I read and its really so wonderful. Her writing is so lovely and real, I really want to enjoy things like she does. Her photography is pretty incredible as well, I’m already trying out new photo editing techniques based on her advice. I highly recommend reading her blog for a sweet insight into life as a artistic mom of 2 in Ohio.

tea and muffins

We spent all day Sunday at our next door neighbour and good friend Jackie’s house. We were supposed to only do brunch but brunch went from eating, to doing nails, to Mars braiding Jackie’s hair to dinner. It was a nice vacation from our winter homebody-ing.

I don’t have any pictures of that day but I made crepes and thought I would share my recipe which came from a mix of advice from friends and my dad’s method. My base recipe is 1cup of flour, 1cup of milk (or water), 1 egg, 1 teaspoon of almond extract. Whisk until well blended and refrigerate for at least 30mins. Pour a small amount of batter onto a grease pan and tilt to spread the batter around as thin as possible. I use a cast iron pan and butter, or an oil (I use olive or coconut). Cook on one side until it doesn’t look raw then flip to cook the other side. Makes about 8 or 9 crepes. Serve with whatever toppings you like. This sunday we made a strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, raspberry syrup by cooking down frozen berries with maple syrup. Mixed that with yogurt and some dulce de leche and we had a really good sweet brunch. For savoury, I really like scrambled eggs, bacon and cheese wrapped in crepes with maple syrup on top.

Hope you had a nice weekend and are beating the winter doldrums.

 


2013: the post in which I state my resolutions

I think I was kind of trying to avoid writing a post on new years resolutions, etc. For no particular reason other than the fact that it seemed to be required of bloggers (am I a blogger now?), and a bit cliche for this time of the year. I guess I do like to have personal time capsules though, hence the existence of this blog in the first place. After reading a few bloggers talk about looking at their resolutions from last year and comment on them I got a hankering to be able to do that myself. So here’s my plan for this year, no particular order, mostly to look back at in approximately 353 days and see how it worked out.

1. Finish my thesis

This is a really big one. I know that my thesis has made an appearance in the complaining part of this blog many a time. Its been dragging on a long time and is getting to the point of being more of a myth in my life than a reality. I’m tired of feeling embarrassed and apologetic every time someone asks me about it. I really want to have it done and over with so I can prove to myself that I am capable of such tasks and and to be able to move on with my life. The thesis is holding me back from starting other things I care about learning because I can’t really imagine, or justify to others, starting anything new with this still sitting there. So to do this I’m going to have to 9-5 this shit. No more flexible time, no more excuses, just all work all the time until I’m done. It will feel so good to move on and I’m going to use the yearning for that feeling to drive me.

2. Find a good job

Finding a job has been a helluva chore. Its been over a year that I’ve been applying, going to interviews, feeling rejected, and starting again. My goal for this year is to make the changes that need to be made in order to find work, which will include really thinking about whether Montreal is the place for this to happen. I’ve been applying to work in other places but maybe I need to make the big move to change up the formula and hopefully find something that works. This requires a lot of thinking and planning since I don’t exactly have the income to up and move to a more expensive city (thinking Toronto), and obviously this decision also affects M so its got to work for him too. Whatever it is, something is not working in my application process and I need to evaluate that. This goal is related to the above goal in a lot of ways, not the least of which because both are making me feel stuck and also probably that getting my thesis done and graduating will help the job hunt. Its also related to moving my life and my new little family’s life and goals forward. So its back to the regular job hunt for me. To do this I’m going to get back to regularly searching for and applying to jobs. I’m going to make it my begin the morning routine, over coffee and breakfast (which I will also be getting better at), before working on my thesis.

3. Drink more water

In the past I’ve gone for more of a general “get healthy” goal. I’m not ditching that because let’s be honest, I’m way too young to not take care of myself. This year though I’m going to put down a more specific goal of making sure I drink a lot more water every day. Like the full recommended daily amount. Its not a hard goal but its a habit I want to form and it will take some conscious intention to get it started. I’m going to follow the Mayo Clinic’s advice because they seem legit and are usually not too extreme in their recommendations. They say that the average woman in a temperate climate should drink 9 liters a day so I’m going to aim for that. 9-10 big glasses or my water bottle a day should do the trick. I want to start each day with water before anything else and move from there. Luckily I drink a lot of water when sitting at a desk, mostly out of fidgety boredom, so this should work perfectly with my above plans.

4. Start a Cdn political analysis blog/podcast

This one is going to be on pause until the Thesis is done because frankly I’m not sure I can handle more writing, other than blogging, on top of that but I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time. Hence the Department of Analysis blog I keep but don’t write on these days. I follow a lot of grassroots political blogs and podcasts and really enjoy the perspective. My complaint about this though is that all of them are American, and while I appreciate the updates on what’s going on there I want to publicize what’s going on here too. The idea is not to be a journalist so I won’t be going out to follow stories, that’s not my goal. What I want to do is be a pundit of sorts and do commentary on events, news and politics in Canada to try and up the conversations happening about the situation here. The US affects our politics but we have plenty of our own that needs to be discussed. I’m going to aim for a late spring launch on this. If I can get others involved then great but if not I’m still going to do it.

5. Start a small Apothecary

I’ve been into herbal and holistic healthcare for a long time now. I think my first foray into it was when I got Bell’s Palsy (8 years ago?) and doctors told me that they didn’t know anything to ease the symptoms or speed recovery but that some people had good results from acupuncture. Luckily at that time I was still covered under my dad’s awesome teacher’s insurance and I was able to get acupuncture 3x/week for months free. It worked, was relaxing and most importantly I had (what I’m told is) a remarkable recovery. I still seek out acupuncture when I need it these days, though I don’t have coverage for it so its a lot less often. From there I got myself a naturopath and started using herbal remedies to make myself healthier and my obsession has only grown. Nowadays I treat just about everything with herbs (unless I’m really sick) and have gotten into making toiletries. I know make my own deodorant, cream and lip balm and am learning to make more. I’ve been researching lots of recipes (and even classes) but for now I think I can start a small apothecary making non-internal products and selling them around town. So this winter is for learning, and when the thesis is done I will launch!

6. Make a budget and stick to it

Classic resolution and one that I make almost every year. Its a bit comical to try and make a budget for such a small amount of money but at the same time SO necessary. This budget is going to focus on watching what we spend and paying down debt so that when we eventually have good jobs and more income we know where our money goes and hopefully have a cleaner slate to work with, and better credit. Eventually we will want to do things like buy cars and maybe a somewhere to live. Or at least travel. Money sucks when you don’t have it. So a budget has been made for this year, mapping out the real expenses we have and prioritizing the important things, including a (very small) budget line for entertainment. Now we just have to make sure we stay on track.

7. Read more books

My degree has killed my ability to sit and read for fun. I feel guilty when I’m not reading academic stuff so I haven’t really. I got a mini kobo for xmas this year and some bookstore gift certificates and I had no idea what to buy! This is so weird for me, I used to be such a big reader. This is somewhat related to the next resolution. Don’t get me wrong, I read, a lot. I have a solid 29 blogs and news agencies that I check at least once a day (thank you flipboard), not to mention the many articles, postings, rants and commentaries that also make up my daily reading. I love reading and I love learning, I acknowledge that I’ve turned more towards emerging and grassroots/popular learning in the form of new media academics and I like it. I get challenged a lot from it and it inspires a lot of discussion in my home. I miss reading for fun though, and reading fiction. Anyway, I finished reading Fun Home last week and am partway through Alison Bechdel’s new book, Are You My Mother?. Next up is Barbara Kingsolver’s, Flight Behavior on my new kobo. Then maybe something by Zadie Smith? I don’t know yet. The plan is to read at least 30 books for fun this year (idea from blackandwhiteandlovedallover). 30 is not much but it seems reasonable in the face of the stack of books I have to read to finish my damn degree.

8. Use less screens

This is another reason why I haven’t been reading enough. I have a million screens that I can look at in all places. My computer, tablet, smart phone, and (now) ereader makes is virtually (pun intended) impossible to avoid looking at a screen. I can sit in front of the computer all day, or peruse the www on my tablet in bed or while traveling (I even use it for knitting patterns!), the phone works for small spaces like the metro or bus or if I don’t have the tablet with me. The ereader for when my eyes feel like falling out of my head from starting at screens too long. So, with the health of my eyes in mind I’m going to make sure I spend a significant amount of time not looking at screens a day. Whether that’s reading (ereader doesn’t count, its nice on the eyes), knitting, hanging out with friends, cooking or whatever I’m going to make an effort.

9. Go somewhere new

Phew, this post is getting really long. Its taken me almost 2 weeks to write!

This is a fun one, a lot of these goals feel kinda heavy….I’m a wanderlust at heart. I’ve been in Montreal for 5 and a half years and its closing in on the longest I’ve lived anywhere, including places I lived as a child (Calgary was 7 years). My parents move(d) a lot, I’ve moved a LOT. There was the period of time between 19-24 I moved cities, if not countries, every 4 months. I like being nomadic, I get excited by new places. I have come to enjoy the benefits of being somewhere a while, which mostly have to do with knowing people for a long time, but I still need new places in my life to keep things fresh. So my goal for this year is to go to at least one new place. It doesn’t have to be far, it just has to be somewhere I’ve never been before.

10. “Renovate” the apartment

I’ve been living in this little apartment for almost 2 years, and now officially over 1 year with M. When I originally set up and painted the place it worked really well for me. We made a few changes to fit M in when they moved here but other than moving one or two pieces of furniture and clearing out a closet and a few drawers for them to use there haven’t really been any changes made to the place. Its in desperate need of an update and a shuffling to make ‘my’ place ‘ours’. My goal for this year is to declutter, paint, recover and buy with M to make our house ours. We’re exploring ways to cover the terrible linoleum in the kitchen & bathroom. Suggestions welcome. Changing a rental apartment is an interesting dance between wanting a good space and not investing a lot into a place we’ll move out of and leave behind.


1 Comment

Small Things Project: Day 66 (oct 3)

Today I’m happy that I got up early enough to have breakfast, make coffee and get to work on time. When I manage to do that I feel good about myself, like I’m handling my life well. The key factor in being about to do that was the fact that I managed a semi-reasonable bed time last night. Which also makes me feel good because, 1. I’m getting close to enough sleep & 2. I have some will power.

I’m also happy I managed to get 3 meals into myself today. One thing that really stuck out for me in my session with Sara was just how many meals I skip. I’m trying to take her advice to worry less about what I eat in this moment and more about making sure I do eat. She thinks it will help with my general lack of energy, I think that she’s probably right. So I’m happy that happened.

What else? I had another, really good thing to talk about but I lost it when I decided to click off the page and lost my whole post. Having to re-write it made me forget….

Let’s just say that I’m happy for a short meeting tonight so I could get home at a reasonable time. And for finding $20 on the street (which I kept because I didn’t see the person it came from). I also found a fancy samsung phone, which I didn’t keep because I have a smart phone too that that shit is back karma (& not many people can afford to replace those expensive devices off contract). I called a few people in the guy’s contacts and then he called me back on his own phone. He was so relieved that he tried to give me $$ for it, which I didn’t take (see above). I think he wanted to hug me but I was late for the aforementioned meeting so I told him not to worry about it. He told me I had great karma, which I’m hoping he’s right about. I could use some good karma in my life these days. I got plans that need some karmic love. Sooooooo, happy?


Small Things Project: Day 60 (sept 18)

So.sleepy.

Adjusting to the new work schedule is tough. I’ve been pretty proud of myself for waking up on time, making myself breakfast and sometimes lunch, when M doesn’t. I’ve been pretty on the ball energy-wise at work, keeping up with my work and staying focused. By the time I get home though…so tired. Evenings feel really short, I feel like by the time I get home, chill for a minute and then eat its already time to start getting ready for bed. Actually, it just feels that way. Its only 9pm but I swear my body wants me to go to bed IMMEDIATELY. Too bad though body, I need some at home time too. Here’s hoping that soon I start to adjust to this new schedule and can start being productive in the evening too. I still got that damn thesis to write.

Today I’m happy that I got some serious work done. My new co-worker and I spent the day writing a funding pitch that is pretty awesome, not going to lie. I’m also happy for my fellow funding coordinator. She is pretty awesome and we’re having lots of fun working together.

I also have been getting better at making sure I have fruits and veggies to eat every day. I started making my fruit smoothies in the morning again, and had a really delicious sprout and tuna salad. Its been a slow start but I’m happy to be starting to get into it.