About Me

Life is learning. Life is change. Life is good. Life doesn't have to cost a lot. I want to make my life greener, healthier, and thriftier. And I want to enjoy doing it!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Very Dull Week

This past week has been mostly a big heap of blah.  I'm just now starting to get over a virus of some kind that's been making the rounds ... no single symptom by itself was overwhelming, but added all together they made for a pretty miserable few days.  Runny nose, sinus headache, sore throat, upset stomach, and general achiness.  I did manage to get to work every day, but by noon Friday I'd had enough and came home ... and was glad I could finish up the day's reports etc from here and pass them along to be sent out; I don't like to dump my share of the workload on someone else if I can possibly avoid it.  Practically nothing got done at home, though  -  at least not by me  -  by the time I got home every day I could barely find the energy to eat before I fell over.

J catered a big party on Saturday, and apparently it was a great success.  I'm very pleased for her  -  she's worked extremely hard at this whole chef thing, and it's good to see it starting to pay off.  It's her passion, and we're proud as can be of her determination and her successes.

Apart from the above, about all I've managed this week is a couple of loads of laundry and the daily dishwashing.

Maybe next weekend I'll have something interesting to say.  For the moment, I'm going to go eat some of Big Guy's excellent corned beef and cabbage (and onions and carrots and parsnips and potatoes).

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Weekend Reflections

Today is Ostara, the Spring Equinox.  The sun is shining, birds are chirping on the clothesline, buds are coming out on the trees, and the rhubarb actually survived the winter.

It feels like a good day to reflect on where I've been, where I am now and how I got here, and where I want to be and how to get there.

Spring  -  a traditional time for new beginnings of every kind.  A good time to take a look at what my goals were when I started blogging, and decide what worked, what didn't, and what new goals might be more appropriate.

Goal  -  get another job. 

DONE!!!  And I couldn't be happier with it!

Goal  -  quit smoking. 

No success there yet  -  I have cut down some, though, and I feel myself getting closer to actually being ready to quit.

Goal  -  lose weight. 

A little success, but I think it's time to stop focusing on the numbers on the scale, and put the energy into an overall pattern of living a healthier life.  Yes, I know, that would include giving up smoking.  But it also includes things I'm ready to do now.  Giving up "junk" food / empty-calorie-laden snacks, and walking more instead of jumping in the car.  That will be much easier now that winter is pretty much over.  Walking with my shopping cart to do all the errands didn't have much appeal when the weather choices were icy cold rain, icy cold windy rain, below-zero windy slush ...

Goal  -  de-clutter the house and keep it that way.  

Progress is being made, but so slowly it's hard to see without referring back to my "before" pictures.  There are days when I want to pile everyone else's junk in the middle of the yard and tell them to deal with it without just scattering it randomly back in the house.  There are days when I firmly believe that the house won't look the way I'd like it to until J moves out and Big Guy dies.  But every now and then there's a day when someone actually agrees with me that something can go, or pitches in and cleans a little of their mess themselves.  Those are days I treasure, rare as they are.

Goal  -  use what I already have to expand / improve my wardrobe. 

That's going very slowly, due to constrains of time and available working space.  The "improve" part is moving along nicely ... this week I weeded more clothes, and have two more bags of donations to drop off.  I've decided that it doesn't matter how much I like a garment  -  if it doesn't go with at least three other things I own, I'm not keeping it.

For office wear, I'm down to a base of slacks and jackets in neutral colours  -  greys, black, dark blues, and creams/tans/khaki.  Shoes?  Three pairs black, one pair navy, one pair tan.  Maybe later this year I'll throw some dark forest green or bitter-chocolate brown into the mix.  This neutral base will give me a lot more leeway in choosing colours and patterns for tops and accessories ... I'm all about scarves, actually; I have them in all kinds of fabrics, patterns, colours, sizes, and textures!  Now I'm looking forward to making myself lots of nice sweaters, shells, tanks, and tunics to coordinate with the neutrals.

My current sweater project fits so perfectly into this plan that I must confess I've even done a little gloating about it!  It's a longish tunic-y style pullover in shades of cream, charcoal, dusty pale blue, and cafe-au-lait that will look great with every pair of office slacks I have.  It'll look great with jeans.  It'll look great under a blazer or by itself.  And by this time next week, it'll be finished  -  last night I got the shoulder seams sewn up and the neckband knitted on, which just leaves the sleeves and side seams.  I can't wait to post a picture of it!

Goal  -  to spend less time just watching television and more time actually doing things.

This one shouldn't be that difficult.  These days there are fewer programs I actually enjoy enough that I'd miss them if they disappeared.  I need to get back into the habit of not sitting down in front of the television without something to occupy my hands, whether it's a knitting/sewing/craft project, or mending, or laundry to fold.  Or maybe put some music on, instead of the television, when all I really need is background noise.

Goal  -  get the basement cleaned out so we can start putting in the family room we've been talking about for years.

This is going very slowly  -  in fact, it's almost at a standstill right now.  I'm breaking it down into " mini-goals", for lack of a better word.  First, I want to get all of my own stuff out ... except for the big steel rack holding all the canning jars and gear, and the boxes of home-canned food.  Technically, the canning stuff is all mine  -  but in actual usage it's for the whole family's benefit, like the freezer.

I've been working with J  -  when she can spare the time  -  to get all of her stuff out, whether it's organized into bins in the attic, donated, or whatever.

What I'm aiming for is the day when Big Guy once again claims that he can't do anything in the basement yet because "there's too much crap in the way."  I will smile sweetly and reply in dulcet tones, "Yes, dear, and all of it is yours."

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Woeful Wednesday

It hasn't been a good week so far.

I've tried three times to start the next knitting project, and every time I've ripped it out and started over.  It's especially annoying because I bought the yarn and the pattern together; according to the pattern, this is exactly the yarn I'm supposed to be using.  But I think there must be an error somewhere, because it is absolutely, physically impossible to get the specified gauge when I swatch with the specified needle size.  I had to go up from 5mm to 6.5mm needles to get gauge, and the knitted swatch was horrible  -  all loose and holey and it just will not do.  At all.  Maybe I'll write to the company and ask them about that.  Every other pattern I've used from this particular book worked beautifully even when I substituted different yarns.  It's a mystery.

Yesterday at work, we found out that a friend and former co-worker (at the company we all used to work for) had died that morning, after a long and painful battle with cancer.  It's just not fair!  He was quite a bit younger than I, had young children, and was about to be married again.  Yes, I know that bad things happen to good people ... and it hurts every time.

I can't seem to find the time, or the energy, to finish my sweater.  All the pieces have been blocked out, ready to put together ... and there they sit.  I don't know what it is  -  maybe that it's been cold and rainy and gloomy for what seems like forever  -  but lately, once I get home from work I don't want to do anything but just sit and vegetate.  I need some sunshine, dammit!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Plans vs. Life

Ever notice how much more gets done on the weekend when you "wing it" than when you make a to-do list?  That's how things seem to work for us, anyway. Yes, there are things that must be done daily, or weekly  -  but almost none of them (apart from feeding the animals) are things that can't wait a day.  The world won't come to an end if I don't get the bathroom cleaned until tomorrow.

I've found that we actually get a lot more done just by looking around for things that need doing and that fit the day's mood/weather/available time.  For instance, Big Guy was saying yesterday that he wanted to spend this afternoon tidying up the workshop ... but it's not raining after all, so he's currently up a ladder pruning the apple tree instead.  I had planned to do my laundry this afternoon ... but J needs laundry done more than I do, so she's in the laundry room and I'm here.  I've started cleaning up my workroom so I'll have room to set up the ironing board to block out all my sweater pieces before I assemble the finished sweater.  So far I've filled half a recycling bin, two wastebaskets, and two bags of donations.  And found my book catalogue notebook and added the stack of new books, which are now neatly in the shelves instead of piled on the desk.


And life interferes with plans once again.  ::sigh::  E and I had planned to meet for coffee around lunch time today ... but her daughter had her transit pass, and J had mine, and Big Guy had my car ... so we'll meet at the train station after work one evening this week and come here for coffee instead.  Probably on Friday, so I can give her a lift home on my way to Mom's for our regular movie night.