Stationary Drifting


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Oh Geez: Another Pre-Birthday Update & once again considering a return to blogging

I’m back….again

I experimented briefly with another blog space, which was basically just me nerding out about picking names and designs and writing nothing. In the end leaving Stationary Drifting just doesn’t make sense to me. I have it tattoo’d on me for christsake.

It seems like it’s time for my semi-yearly check in, and a lot has changed.

Superficially, my hair got shorter


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and I continued to confuse the world about my gender. I do what I want and define nothing okay? It’s easier for everyone that way.

I got a new job & took a mini vacation (Niagara Falls)


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Pictured: M & I represented as finger puppets won at an arcade & the less impressive falls but the less misty one so dry enough to take photos of.

I don’t think I want to rate the importance of changes in my life, but man has this one ever made a big difference. I think I had been underestimating just how important my work is to me, and just how much a shitty job can drag me down (& let’s not talk about the effects of a shitty paying job in an expensive city). I moved back into the field I’ve been working in for years (women & youth, violence prevention, capacity building), got a boost in title (I’m a manager now!), am working nationally again, and am working for a pretty big deal (in my world) organization. I gotta say I love it. It feels so good to go into work every day and feel pumped about it. Some days I find myself procrastinating on leaving work at the end of the day because I’m enjoying myself so much, which is ridiculous and obviously I have to stop doing that but it says a lot.

Honestly the last time I felt this way about a job was about 7 years ago, which means about 7 years of just getting by/surviving/keeping my head down or being unemployed. Not a good time. It has only been a month by my spirits have lifted significantly.

I quit school & feel SO much calmer about life


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Pictured: Lake Ontario from the train, Kawartha Area, College St Clouds, Lake Tasso

Although it was not a decision I came to lightly, I do not regret it for a second. I love being a grad school drop-out, and I love that I no longer feel so fucking terrible about myself and my inability to get it done. I had moved past the point of wanting to get or do a master’s a long time ago and was pushing through because of some sense of duty or fear. It took me a long time to finally decide and many tears were shed but I haven’t looked back. Not once.

M & I have been together 4 years


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Pictured: M @ Allen Gardens this spring, the 2 of us before a night out & first day of summer on the streetcar

See what I mean about not ranking these updates? Because obviously this is a giant one. 2 years married and 4 years together. We have hit a new stride, one that is a lot more honest and comfortable. I really think it has taken me this long to relax and believe that she is sticking around. I think its also taken this long to figure out how to communicate with each other. Which is not to say that its perfect all the time but jesus, its light-years better than 4 years ago. I feel incredibly happy and lucky to be in love with her. Our life together is quiet, happy and mutually supportive, which is the best ever basically.

My G’ma passed away & I have a lot of feelings


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Pictured: my G’ma in her late 20ies & tiny snap dragons living in a construction site

I feel all sorts of ways about this and I have put away processing this for a time that I feel stronger. My Grandma meant a lot to me and was also a very complicated woman. She was essentially my only grandparent (my mom’s mom not really being a big presence in my life and my grandfathers gone before I remember them). Her passing was both something to grieve and feel relief over. Dementia is a truly terrible thing and I don’t think anyone, particularly her, wanted to see how far it could get. Her endings gave me some inkling of the nature of the human spirit, and how love and humour can transcend seriously dark places. At the same time her decline was so painful and so humbling. She wasn’t perfect or easy, she has a past that continues to affect all the generations of her offspring but she was fierce, smart, loyal, independent and creative. She followed her dreams to a fault and has inspired the lot of us in doing the same.

We got a cat – She has a Salvador Dali mustache & about 9 names


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She is an absolute monster of a chatty, meow bag, who wakes me up way too early in the morning and is pretty damn finicky about her litterbox for a shelter cat. She a sweet little mustachioed biter and a much loved pain in the ass. I took a sick day back in April and while M & I were wandering around the neighbourhood in search of quiet places to peek at we walked by the SPCA at the end of our block. We had both been staunchly avoiding going in since we arrived in Toronto and I warned as we walked in that we would probably be walking out with an animal. Which is what we did. We were thinking a dog but after a short while in the really sad, really loud dog kennel part we walked up into the quiet haven of the cat kennels and decided that maybe this was better for us. M picked the cat out, and as soon as I saw her mustache I was in love. We did think about it, for an hour or so while we bought groceries, but our hearts were stolen and they still are. Running list of names (both official and none official) used include, in order: Soda, Little Butt, Smoo/Smooboo, Rooster, Now Now, Lola Spinx, Duckie, also Fluff Face and Cat/Chat (pronounced Shat).

I’m quitting smoking…again & got stitches from washing the dishes


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Pictured: My hand in January after an early morning dish washing accident, a full day’s work, only to go straight to the hospital afterwards to get 3 stitches. That said, the TeleHealth in Ontario is excellent. Also pictured is me feeling joyous, not knowing that another go at quitting is in my near future.

I’m writing this down even though its barely been 24hrs since I quit. I find that writing it down makes it more official. I was in the shower the other day, reflecting as I do, about my upcoming 32nd birthday and I came to the conclusion that I didn’t want to be a smoker anymore. It has been officially 10 years, and I don’t even really enjoy it anymore though it does have its purposes. I think I’m ready.

I should probably be more accurate and say that WE are quitting smoking. My poor M is currently sadly in bed sleeping off some hard feelings. She is/was a far heavier smoker than me so this hits a lot harder. It helps that we are quitting together because I’ve tried to quit on my own while she smokes and it fucking sucks. It also makes my thirst and cravings for sweet things seem pretty pale in comparison to my suffering wife. I have really high hopes for her quitting, higher than my own I think. She is the toughest person I know and I think if she can make it through this we both will kick this forever. I’m trying not to fuss over her too much because obviously that’s annoying so I’m writing it here that I’m SO PROUD she made it 24hrs!!

I flirted with starting my own business & took no good, relevant photos about it


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Pictured: the cat doing what she does best & me in Cabbagetown looking smug

Back in the spring when I thought I was going to die if I had to work any longer at my old job I got a kick in the pants from M, my brother and sister-in-law to start selling my apothecary line. I was all set up to write a business plan, I had a mentor, a volunteer designer and everything when I got my new job and bailed on the whole plan. I don’t really know what I’m going to do with that plan now, I still want it, but I’m so happy at my new job that I don’t know anymore…Owning my own business is expensive and scarey and uncertain, and oh so attractive. I’m new at my job so who knows, maybe the decision will be easier later. We’ll see…

So what next? Now that summer is over…


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Pictured: Elora Beach, Ukrainian Church Graffiti @ Trinity-Bellwoods, Cabbagetown House Dreams & Lido Pimienta at the
In Honour Festival
(Aug)

I took a short read through my past posts before starting to write this and almost all my posts talked about looking for, searching, wondering about happiness. I think more than anything those posts, along with my silence on this blog, have really highlighted just how incredibly depressed I’ve been for the past xx years. Maybe it was Saturn Returns, some big life changes, closing out my 20ies and starting my 30ies, struggling to find my place in the world, and feeling pretty damn knocked around but its been a helluva slog through hard times this past while. I’m not making any promises that I’m in a better place but I am feeling lighter and more hopeful than I have in a long ass time and I’m hopeful that this means I am rounding a healthier corner.

My biggest preoccupation these days is figuring out what my hobbies are again. Years of beating myself up over school and being broke as shit has erased what I used to do to entertain myself. It’s fall so I’m going to start knitting again, I’m going to spend some serious time working on my apothecary stuff again, maybe I’ll blog more, I want to take a perfume making course, and learn how to make terrariums, this house needs some love because I’ve pretty much been ignoring that I live here, I need to make some friends god damn it. Friends would help a lot…

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even plant friends


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.


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Craft Projects for Fall

As it gets colder I start wanting to work with fabrics again. I also really get into staying home more and chilling out with a good movie and making something. Its like I’m easing myself into winter and the dark, snowy days that leave me feeling quiet and homebody-like. Though I’m not the hugest fan of winter, I am excited for making things again (like finishing Corrie’s bday present).

Ever since I got my full time job I’ve had zero time on my hands. This week alone I’ve had meetings before and after work pretty much every day. So I’ve been leaving the house by 8:30-9am and getting home around 9:30-10pm. That doesn’t leave me a lot of time for seeing my husband, eating or decompressing (and writing my thesis) let alone making anything so I’ve picked a few crafts I want to do this fall that are relatively quick but still really nice.

[click on the blue links or on the pictures to get to the original sites with instructions]

Bed Pockets

from a case of the mundays {click photo to go to blog}

I have too much stuff on my bedside table. Books I’ve been wanting to read, sleeping socks, ear plugs, mouth guard, whatever it is I feel necessary to hoard by my bedside. M has an equal if not greater amount of stuff by his bed. While we both need to learn the beauty of less equaling more, I still want to make these to free up some surface space and tuck away the things that don’t need to be in plain sight. We’re planning on switching the office and the bedroom this month so maybe I’ll make them from our new space.

Bracelets

(gold tube & macrame)

from honestly WTF {click photo for link to blog post instructions}

 

same deal. From Honestly WTF & click photo

Honestly WTF has great bracelet tutorials, none of which I’ve ever made but many of which I’ve put up on my pinterest. Sidebar: I saw a thing the other day that said pinterest was a place for virtual hoarders and I was all “no, I totally do my pinterest stuff!”. I’ve since come to accept the fact that that meme was mostly right though. I mean, its not completely useless, I’ve made a few of the recipes that I pinned, and posted a few of the things from my ‘like’ board here. But I mostly pin things that I would LIKE to do, not things that I have the time, money or skill to do. I’m being self-deprecating here but whatever, its late and I’m tired.

MOVING ON.

I’ve gotten into flattish bracelets this year (have I ever mentioned how much bracelets with any weight or rigidity annoy me?). It started when I when on a friendship bracelet making kick when M and I decided to get married and couldn’t afford engagement rings. We joked that the friendship bracelets would be that thing so I made us some. The joke stuck around though because I’ve never taken mine off.  I’ve recently had some desire to stack my wrists with bracelets and these seem like reasonable, one-episode-of-dexter-a-night kind of projects.

Tie-Dyed Leggings

Martha Stewart. Click photo

Been wanting to get into tie-dying, and have been curious about the whole legging as pants phenomenon that I’ve eschewed for so long. While I would never wear them as pants, MAYBE with a long shirt or short dress…..god, what have I become? I give you Martha Stewart tie-dye legging instructions, the 20 year old me would be horrified. The 30year old me is both intrigued and slightly uncomfortable. In another 10 years maybe I’ll be voting Conservative. JUST KIDDING. I would never go that far.

Woven Sweatshirt

HA! fooled you. This one doesn’t have a link because for some reason the website doesn’t work anymore. You’ll just have to enjoy this pinterest photo

The site linked from pinterest for this photo isn’t working anymore so I’m just going to give you this picture, tell you its from pups-paris.com and hope that that’s enough. I like the idea of dressing up a sweatshirt. That way I can continue to wear sweatshirts AND look like I care about my appearance. Win-Win right? I mean, I guess unless I wear it with leggings as pants. I’m going to have to improvise this pattern but it doesn’t look to difficult. If I manage to pull it off I’ll post my own tutorial about it. Now to find a good, plain sweater that is cheap enough that I feel fine about cutting it up and experimenting on.

I should also work on a knitting project. I do like knitting projects…

 


Small Things Project: Day 62 (sept 22)

So today it feels like fall, its rainy and grey and cooling off. I’m happy I got to sleep in and fuck around most of the day. I got to have brunch with my boo and spend some time watching dexter, doing some photoshop stuff for coming posts, and send some emails. Its been just over a week and I am already r.e.a.l.l.y missing the amount of time I used to have to myself to do things like cook and blog and whatever else. I miss home. Now that its fall I want to start knitting/crafting again so maybe I need to get that going. Its funny because now that I’m out all day during the week I’ve become even more of a home body. Like I need to soak up the time I have now that I have it. I’m trying to push myself to do more things though, this life needs to be more involved.

So yeah, happy for cool fall days and for time at home.

// I made a SMP logo and am testing it out to see if I like it in the posts, trying to style up the text a bit for when I don’t have photos ///


New Blog Categories

I’m rearranging my site (again). I’ve been thinking for a while that I should move it over to wordpress.org so that I have more/all control over how this place is set up, how it looks and be able to add some plug-ins that I would be pumped about having. I just can’t decide if its worth the work and money to do that. This is not exactly a site that generates a lot of readership (hi dad), and it doesn’t really have any kind of a concise theme, plus I’m a bit off and on about it….BUT, I do want to turn it into the kind of blog that I would be proud to show off my ranting on, and I like the idea of owning the stationarydrifting url. I’m really into other peoples blogs and blogging in general so I’ve been wanting to ‘upgrade’ as it were to play with the mid-leagues. I don’t know, thinking of a pro/con list right now, and maybe need to spend some real time thinking about what I want to do with this corner of the web before investing all this time and energy. It is worth it to make me work it?

/// I realize that Missy Elliott is not even remotely talking about the same thing ///

ANYWAY, that was all a very random way of setting up the fact that I wanted to say a little thing about how I have rearranged and updated my categories (again).

SO without further ado I give you:

About – wherein you can find some basics about me, my sketchy plan for stationary drifting (for now), and how to find me on other social media sites. Minus the book of faces and twitter because I still feel pretty private about those ones.

Write/Say – which is where I post my rants (stationary drift), my project where I try and write something good every day to maintain a certain balance and gratitude in my life and try and avoid getting depressed at times (small things project), and where I post things that are exciting me mostly stuff I want enough to take off my pinterest boards and make a big deal about in the hopes that someone who might be looking for a present for me would take notice, or just to highlight for myself ({wishlist}). Occasionally I write things worth saying in public, but mostly I just write things I want to get off my chest.

Make/Do – this category is where you can see some things I do beside ranting and/or complaining on the internet. I post pictures, reviews, and recipes of food I’ve tried making lately, mostly baked goods because let’s be honest that’s what I like to eat more than anything else in the world (eating). I also have a category about my brief/failed attempt at a cleanse this spring, I’m leaving it up there partially because I want to inspire myself to try again and partially because there’s some good information in it. Also, its the one link on my blog that draws continual attention, usually from pinterest (spring cleanse). I put all my posts about the crafting I do and remember to post about, from sewing to knitting to otherwise diy’ing my house up so that it looks like I have some sort of a life (making). ANDDD, if you know me you know that I’m pretty into alternative medicines, especially herbal remedies and home make body and cleaning products. I’m starting to get more into making stuff at home so whenever I do something new or learning something new it will go up here, remember that I’m no expert though so don’t take what I say as medical advice. Its a bit skimpy at the moment but trust, it will get bigger (healing).

Look/See – I.love.photography. So expect to see more of this than anything else under this category. I have 5 cameras and my phone which I use to take pictures nearly all the time. Most of my cameras are film so whenever I develop my latest roll or have some quality polaroids I post them kind of en masse. This is a section of the site I really want to grow to encompass my real love of taking pictures (photography). I know that this is kind of sounding like a failed project theme but I took a bit of a blogging break over this summer while I got married and found a job, I really want to get back to the photography project my brother and I were doing. I have a goal this year of challenging myself to see the world through a lens differently (52 themes). Last but (kind of) not least, I’ve been feeling like my personal style could use some updating now that I’m about to finish my MA, and married and am weeks away from my 30th birthday. I’m not really a genderqueer punk-y kid anymore but unfortunately my clothes don’t really reflect that. So I’m setting myself a whole category to document clothes I like, thrift, see, outfits I try, etc. I’m not going to pretend I have the ability to have a style section or that I have really any interest in making this into a style blog but hey, if you’re interested in talking or reading about the style of an almost 30, queer, hard femme, and how to make that work this is the category to look under (reluctant style ///under construction///).

Okay, so that’s that. Check back and tell me what you think, if you’re actually there. Comment if you feel so inclined, its nice to have something other than spam comments every now and then. And please do share your thoughts about free hosting vs. self-directed blogs. I really am trying to figure out what to do.


enjoying small routines

I’ve really started to enjoy things like cleaning the house, cooking, grocery shopping, etc. I love the small routines of taking care of myself and my living environment. Something I would have been horrified at hearing myself say a couple of years ago. I realize that its helpful that I don’t work 9-5 mon/fri and so my time is flexible. Minus the fact that I live pretty frugally with such a small budget, I really appreciate my lifestyle and my ability to go grocery shopping, or do laundry in the middle of the day when I have the place to myself.

I’m also happy that I’ve found so much enjoyment of solitude. I never thought that being alone would be something I would like so much. I’ve always been a bit of an introvert, not much of one but enough to require some alone time to regenerate every day. I used to go a bit crazy if I spend too much time alone, and I still do a little bit, but my length of time that I can spend alone has gotten a lot longer. I’m not going to lie, I love hanging out with Marseau all of the time but sometimes I look forward to a quiet few hours alone in the house when he’s gone. When I get to cook, watch tv, knit, blog, etc without having to talk to anyone for hours. Its kind of glorious and so different for me.

With the exception of Marseau, who is different than all my other living situations, this is the first time I’ve ever lived on my own. I went from living with family to living with roommates and usually living with a lot of roommates. I always really enjoyed those times. How busy and unpredictable the house could be. I still love spontaneous hang outs and house parties but I also love going home to my house, where its clean and my fridge is stocked with food I like and know how to cook. I love the quiet of it. The simplicity and how good it feels to make a home mine.

Sometimes when I think back on who I am I’m shocked at how much I’ve changed. I don’t know what has spurred this. It feels like it came on really fast but I guess in some ways it was just a process of getting older. Its interesting to look at the routines I love so much these days and know that the old me would have thought that I was boring and a sell out to the lifestyle I used to be fully committed to. And maybe I am boring and a sell out but I’m happy this way, I find enjoyment in what I do just like I did then. And while its a lot quieter, a lot less outwardly political, a lot less punk rock I still feel like my fundamental beliefs are there. I just express them with different hobbies. I think I’m also a lot more physically healthy than I used to be.

I still hate doing laundry though….


Knitting: Lace Shawl

Lace attempt #2!

I used the Haruni Shawl Pattern off Ravelry. I used Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine wool in an off white colour (as you can see below), which I think is a fingering weight. I’m bad and wool weights…

close of the final shawl

The first was for Corrie, a much belated birthday present this fall, I really loved knitting her’s so I decided to give it another go and make one from my mom for xmas. That didn’t really work out because my brother went and got married by surprise. I didn’t have the time to knit it that I was planning over the holidays. So I gave my mom the wool and pattern in a box and promised to knit it for her this winter. Which is what I did. It was ready to send to her for her birthday. Two birds, one stone.

I loved knitting it, it was so complicated and therefore kept my interest. Occasionally I was annoyed that I had to pay such close attention to the pattern and couldn’t just relax into the rhythm of knitting. As it got bigger though and I got used to the pattern that part got easier. As far as I’m aware I only made one mistake (mistakes are super visible in lace I learned), it wasn’t that bad and is hard to find in the pattern anyway (thankfully). I would say this pattern is easy as long as you have experience knitting and know how to knit stitches together, etc. I’m really happy with it, I was almost sad to send it away!

knitting away at it one night

It knit up surprisingly fast for such small needles and wool. I didn’t work at it constantly but I would say it was done in under a month. I highly suggest using a row counter, I would have been totally lost if I hadn’t.

shawl leaf pattern pre blocking

 

 

shawl leaf pattern pre blocking

It was pretty small before I blocked it. I would have been worried if I hadn’t tried this before. Luckily the beauty of lace is that it is supposed to be stretched way out so its possible to see the gaps and therefore look more like lace.

pre blocked whole shawl

Generally I block on my couch. The back is big enough to stretch a shawl out on, its made of a nylon material so it doesn’t absorb a lot of moisture, and my house is small so I’m using a relatively small amount of space. I also haven’t knitted enough lace in my life to justify investing in fancier blocking equipment. I just wet down the wool, squeeze (not wring) it out, and stretch it along the back of the couch using regular knitting pins to hold it. It can be time consuming because I have to put a lot of pins in to hold it but I just put on a podcast and go to work. I like walking by it as it dries and admiring the pattern.

I generally block on my couch. Apologies for the fuzzy photo, its dark in my living room

The shawl blocked out pretty big. It goes from my shoulders to almost my butt at the bottom point. I think it will be perfect for my mom for spring to wear with her spring/summer dresses. It gets cool in Calgary at night, even in the summer, so its always nice to have something to wrap around you.

the shawl from my shoulders to butt. I think it looks awesome with my leather jacket by the way. Also why does the bottom of my hair and neck look so weird in this picture?

 

 

 

 


Eating: Marseau Makes Meat (& cheese)

Marseau and I have come to an unspoken understanding about making food. I made big things occasionally (big meals, baked goods, soups to be frozen) and some staples (humus, bread) and he makes the in between meals. The delicious every day lunches and dinners. I like this set up a lot because it means that we eat well every day and have lots of yummy treats and snack foods. Plus it plays on our strengths, particularly mine of having bursts of energy around big projects and then sinking into cooking apathy. The decision on both our parts to stop eating out so much and start eating good, well-balance, homemade foods has been a good one. I feel a lot healthier, I eat better and more often, we save money, I feel nice and home-y when there is something delicious smelling cooking/baking away in the kitchen.

Sometimes we reverse our method though and Marseau cooks a huge meal. The kind that leaves me in a food coma and feeling so good. That guy can cook his ass off and knows his way around the spice shelf like no one I’ve met before.

Here are some of my favourites from the past little while.

The Stay-Home Date:

Pepperoni, spinach, hot peppers and cheeeeeese.

cheezy goodness

One day the other week we decided to have a stay home date. The kind where we make a delicious meal, drink some wine from the SAQ not the dep, and converse, maybe watch a movie on netflix in bed. A cozy night where we glory in the fact that we now live together. On this nights menu was homemade pizza. We took a stroll on over to Milano’s (the Italian grocery store in the neighbourhood) and got ourselves some of their pre-made pizza dough and some fresh sliced pepperoni that is so delicious it melts in the mouth. Living on the edge of Little Italy has its perks. Coupling that with spinach from the market and Silvie’s homemade pickled hot peppers we were on a pizza roll. It baked up so delicious and greasy, Marseau was adorable and insisted on serving me every slice I went back for and seasoning it himself with oregano and other good spices.

The Soul Food Night:

Featuring fried chicken, mac n’ cheese, garlic butter string beans and biscuits (that we didn’t eat because I eff’d them up)

one of the only shots I got because I was too busy eating. nom.

Marseau was missing the food back home in Philly, as well as the rest of home, so late one Friday night we decided to do up a soul food feast. Marseau was in charge of the fried chicken (breast not wings because I don’t like wings and he loves me that much), and the mac’ n cheese. I had the beans and the biscuits. Besides the small fire in the oven we caused when the oven and pan decided they couldn’t handle all the amazing mac n’ cheese deliciousness going on, Marseau cooked his ass off and prepped one helluva meal. I, on the other hand, didn’t really keep up my end of the bargain. I tried a new recipe from one of my healthy cookbooks for the biscuits (note to self: never try and make healthy biscuits again) which were too dense, barely rose and not buttery enough. Also as a result of the above mentioned small oven fire I had to take my dough over to our neighbour Jackie’s house to bake them and then proceeded to burn the bottoms of every single one. Total biscuit fail. Marseau doesn’t trust that I can make good biscuits now and I’m determined to prove that normally I make delicious ones (I made another batch this week that received a B grade. What a jerk)! On the up side Jackie joined us for the feast and we all laid around comatose for a good while after that. The beans were good too by the way, really garlic and butter-y just how I like them. Too garlicy for Marseau though, and I left him to cook them while I left to burn the hell out of the biscuits. Like I said, I really didn’t hold up my end of the deal on this dinner. I like to think I was a good conversationalist during it though…

I took almost no photos because I was too busy cooking and then eating. We had barely any leftovers, and what we jealously guarded from other people (no guests!) still only lasted one day.

Upside: we’re thinking of holding Soul Food Sundays as a fundraiser for our wedding! Must perfect biscuit recipe soon….

Burgers for the hell of it:

Cheeseburger (cheese INSIDE the burger) with maple glazed caramelized onions, chips and salsa, beer

caramelized onions are our new favourite garnish for everything

I don’t think we had a reason to make this big meal besides the fact that we were both craving protein and had the desire to eat our faces off (again). We were trying to pretend we were excited to make some sort of healthy rice and bean with veggies dish but as soon as Marseau proposed burgers I was down.

Marseau did up these thick, delicious burgers with lots of spice and (like the genius he is) put the cheese INSIDE the meat so that when they fried up the cheese melted ON THE INSIDE! I never thought of doing that, its crazy good. He also started a now household obsession for caramelized onions. These ones were a maple glazed version that added an amazing, sweet-ish tang to the spicey burger. Topped with lettuce, tomato, spicy mustard and the mayo/ketchup staples these monsters hit the spot like no other. They were so big though that it was hard to eat the chips and salad that went along with them.

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I’m stupid lucky to have this wonderful guy and amazing cook in my life, though I’m pretty sure he’s trying to fatten me up. With food like this though I’m more than happy to let him!

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I have some other food related posts coming up since I’ve been baking up a storm lately. Also a couple of knitting/craft ones. I’ve been really behind on my Small Things and 52 Themes projects so I’m going to try and catch up with those this week. Maybe I’ll do a personal post or something different soon too…I don’t know, my enthusiasm for blogging wanes slightly when I have a lot of work to do. These days I’m marking a ridiculous amount of undergrad papers and I feel like all my brain cells are being stolen. That said I do really like this space to write so keep checking back. I’ll have more rambling and hopefully somewhat interesting posts up here soon.


Small Things Project: Days 28 to 33

Day 28: (March 13)

some of the toppings

Today I am happy for long conversations with important people in my life. For breakfast with Corrie where we let our words carry us around ideas, dreams, thoughts and plans. For skyping with Jared, who always makes me laugh, whose perspective on the big picture is sibling close, who reminds me of the millions of fascinating things there are to do in the world. For Marseau who reminds me that there is still millions of things we can learn about each other, and how exciting that is, for his infinite interest in what I have to say and his ability to capture my attention forever.

I’m happy for the stay at home date M and I had tonight. Where we made pizza from (almost) scratch, drank a bottle of wine, and I baked a new thing. Peanut chocolate bars that we didn’t eat because we were too full. I loved that M wanted to cut me every new piece and season it perfectly for me, and I wanted to bake him sweet things and tell him sweet things.

I’m excited about Jared’s pictures from 52 Themes this week. They were way better than mine and made me laugh a bunch. It’s given me motivation to think out this week’s theme more intentionally and have some I’m really excited about for my post next Monday.

day 29: (march 14)

Today I’m happy for dinner and long, complicated conversations with friends that I really get and who really get me. I’m happy for the ways in which we challenge each other to push our understandings and how we do that with love.

I’m happy for a quiet night with the bed to myself and I’m happy that M will be coming home to get into bed with me later, when he’s done his night out.

I’m happy for starting to make concrete marriage plans after months of keeping it quiet and not knowing if we’ll be able to afford it.

Today I’m happy for very big news! Marseau and I are finally able to announce the news that we’re getting married!!!

Day 30: (march 16)

Today I’m happy for soul food night and a new full sized fridge! No more bar fridge whoooo!

Day 31: (march 17)

Today I’m happy for the spring air coming through my open windows. I’m happy to the late sun now that daylight savings has passed.

fading tulips mean spring is here

Day 32: (march 19)

Sun! Tshirts! Open windows! Warm breeze! Spring has come very early this year and though I never want to encourage global warming I can’t say I’m sad about it. I got to wander the market in a tshirt, picking up fresh food for our new fridge. Then I’m heading home to throw open the windows, dream about gardening, and do some cooking. Can’t get much more happy than that.

Day 33: (march 21)

I made the most awesome present for Felicia to celebrate her 30th birthday last night and so I’m spending the day being excited to give it to her. I also finished my mom’s shawl and blocked it yesterday in time to sent it for her birthday. It’s blocked to my couch right now and I’m loving checking it out in all it’s lacey glory whenever I walk by.

I’m happy that the warm weather is continuing (26 Celsius!) and I can air out the apartment after long winter months.

market ice cream and shorts. Different kind of march


Small Things Project: Day 22 through 27

Day 22: (Feb 28)

Today I am happy for a reason to wake up early. Most days I feel like it doesn’t matter what time I get up to anyone but me. But today I had work to do in the morning before some school meetings. I feel a helluva lot better when I get up and out of bed at a reasonable time. I managed to make coffee, a delicious smoothie and bake bread on top of getting some work done. How’s that for productive? Eat that winter blues.

I’m also happy that I have a thesis related meeting today. I’ve been feeling bad about how little I’ve been getting done on it recently, what with my natural procrastination, TA’ing and the work contract I had. Its good to feel like I’m getting it back in motion.

I’m happy that its sunny out and the snow is melting again.

I’m excited to work on this photo project that Jared and I have, 52 Themes. I will be posting our new week’s worth of photos every Monday.

I’m excited that people are still reading the blog! I check the stats so much and it makes me really happy. Thanks anonymous people!

Day23: (feb 29)

Happy leap day!

I’m happy today that I’m continuing my trend of getting up early and that I managed to get so much done this morning. I’m pushing through the winter blues that make me want to stay in bed forever and forcing myself out of it in order to be productive. Painful tax related call, out of the way, possible fridge purchase on the horizon. I cannot wait to have a full sized fridge again. 8 months with a bar sized fridge isn’t fun, even if I pretend that trying to put groceries away is a game I call Fridge Tetris.

I’m happy that I have friends, like Marty that have such good perspectives on life and that they (she) are willing to have me sprawl out on their (her) couch dramatically in order to detail my latest conundrums. I’m really very lucky that I have friends that like me enough to put up with my “little black cloud” moods and try and help me figure out the mysteries of life.

I’m happy I’m on a project finishing spree and I really hope that it extends over to my thesis. Spring 2012 is going to be all about finishing what I started. I just decided that now.

Day 24: (march 3)

Oh man, I missed a couple of days. I guess that means I was out living life instead of writing. Which is a good thing.

Today, though, I’m spending a quiet night at home and I’m happy for that. For the internet, my knitting and a bed all to myself.

lace shawl for my mom

I’m also happy I got to spend some time with my friends’ tiny dogs, they are loud mouths but they are also cuddly and loving. I’m also glad that I was able to help them out, I feel like my friends give so much to me I like the chance to give back whenever I can.

I’m happy that M is taking a couple of days to go meet up with some friends in Toronto. He has given so much up to come to be here with me that I’m happy he got this opportunity. I know my friends are so important to me, I want to be able to support him in seeing his friends whenever possible. Even though he’s going to be gone for almost 3 days and I’m going to miss him so much.

I’m happy that I got to have a fun night out dancing last night. Its funny how I crave that less and less. Its also funny to see how my body reacts to it. Having a good night out makes my spirits so much higher but my body can’t handle it that often anymore. I’m so tired today the idea of going out again is not even an option.

Day 25: (march 5)

Phew I’ve been slack this week. And this time its not because I’ve been busy. Well, not out of the house busy, my hands have just been otherwise occupied since I’ve been knitting away at my mom’s lace shawl.

Today I’m happy that my boyfriend is coming home from TO finally. I’ve missed his cute face.

I’m happy that I had a productive day. Though I am tired and wish I didn’t have a meeting tonight on top of it all, I’m glad that I had a lot to do.

I’m looking forward to some promising job opportunities that will hopefully clear up this money drought of ours and give us a chance to make some real plans. I’m terrible at living in limbo, unable to make any kinds of decisions so here’s hoping that a job pulls through and will make it possible to make some dreams reality.

I’m excited about my new plants. The tulips are opening and they are red! And the tiny wishing tree,  or “Tree of Enchantment” as the tag says, is just waiting for wishes to be tied into its branches. Wishes that will hopefully turn into reality soon! I think I might get a money tree too. I need all the help I can get!

Day 26: (March 7)

Today I’m happy that it feels like spring finally, I went outside and got some kitcheny things to make cooking that much better! (including a small pot like the one that I said I wanted the other week. What? I got it at a good price!)

I’m excited that I feel motivation to do my research again. This is partially because I just applied for a job I think I have a chance at and am now freaking out a bit about how I’ll work full time and write. Whatever the reason though, I’m glad I’m feeling the burn a bit.

I’m happy that my new tulip plant is flowering and that its still (kinda) light out after 6pm. Spring is coming! I can’t waaaaait.

Day 27: (March 12)

The past week of small things was really up and down. I was not feeling committed to my blog apparently. Oh well, I refuse to beat myself up about a project that is really just for me so here is day 27, 5 days after day 26.

Today I am so so grateful for the spring weather. For making it through the shittiest time of the year, when its so grey and there are far too many layers of clothing to be worn. I’m happy that I can sit at my desk in a tshirt with the windows open and the sweet spring air coming in. I’m happy to be wearing canvas sneakers and my jean jacket. I love the looks on peoples’ faces as they shake off the months of grey slush and how we meet eyes on the street, everyone smiling at each other.

I’m happy for the cheque that came in the mail today, and how that signals the end of a very stressful contract. Also, how it provided M and I the chance to buy a couple of luxury items, new shoes, new jeans. I’m happy to be wearing a pair of unpatched pants. My first in almost a year. It feels good to have a moment of not counting pennies. Along the same lines, I’m happy for the work that has come into our lives and the potential for more. I’m really looking forward to the day that we can move from this very uncertain limbo and start to make real future plans. Plans that we can do more than dream about.

But mostly I’m just happy for spring.