With this smoothie…

This smoothie is not pretty. It is not artfully staged, no filters have been applied, no lighting was adjusted. The backdrop is my own house, in all of its natural glory. I improvised, and it doesn’t even really taste good.

This smoothie is my re-dedication to myself. A moment of re-commitment to my health and well-being. No, it is not pretty or sexy, it is not even delicious or indulgent. At least not indulgent in a naughty way. I struggle frequently with staying on a healthy track, at least to my mind. Many people comment about how I appear to lead a healthy lifestyle, and to their impression of what they see, they would be correct. Admittedly, I probably am more healthy that your average American, maybe more healthy than many in the affluently developed world are. Though I will point out, it is always a practice, health and wellness, not perfection. You may have heard this before, or this may be new to you, but this is the truth; daily habits and intentions that you refine over infinite time is what it is about, not the image you have of yourself at the end. Inevitably, along the way, that image will continue to change, and your ability to embrace that change, to repeatedly return to the practice, is what will lead you on a path that will ultimately lead you to a fulfilling life.

So with this smoothie, I say that I will continue to work on my practice. I will follow the path my practice takes, and do the work that is necessary.

That’s a lot to put on a smoothie.

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A return

Well hello there. It’s been some time. I know, I should have written before this… there are so many excuses I could give. Really, I guess it was mostly that I had other priorities. Plus, I think I was struggling to make this a craft-centric site when I am more than that. I want to expand my writing, so I shall. I am also going to work on the aesthetics of this space, change around the appearance and design, so for the next bit be prepared for things to get chaotic at times. I think it will end up being a great thing when all is said and done.

I am not going back to fix the pictures before this post. Someone hacked in here and it took some doing to get the content restored, but I am not looking back, only forward.

Three years has been long enough.

Bows

I found a new craft that I love! (Still crocheting my little afghan, just taking breaks to be addicted other things as well). I found a cool recycled bow tutorial, and it looked simple. So I tried it out.

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I made my bow using this tutorial. The first one was a little wonky, and I learned a bit about shaping the strips and arranging the loops. So my second one was even better!

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This was so easy, I’m thinking about adding these to the “Ecologically Friendly Holiday Crafts” I do with my ecology classes each year at this time.

Hooked

Dear Jess,

I think I’m addicted. I don’t think we need to stage an intervention yet, but if you understand the force of my attraction, there may need be one in the future. I’m just warning you…

I have not been doing much crafting per se, (baking for the holidays) but this weekend with the impending snowstorm we got, I felt the need to cast on for an afghan which is to be gifted to a friend. I had decided on the yarn (stash), method (crochet for speed), and pattern a while ago. So I sat down and did the maths, did a small (like 10 stitches) swatch to try out the pattern, then cast on and away I went.

Now Jess, I knew that crochet was fast. I didn’t know how fast. I also totally expected to get frustrated with my lack of skilz as a hooker (hah!) and the yarn I was using being fussy. But no, not so. Even Davis mentioned that maybe I should do this type of ‘knitting’ (forgive him, he’s a muggle) because it goes so much faster than my usual. Even with baby care, cleaning, holiday baking, snow removal, I feel like I am zooming! The yarn itself is hiding all of my mistakes modifications, and isn’t that fussy at all. It doesn’t hurt that it is bulky weight yarn on a K hook either.

And the colors! I used this random stripe generator, and I love how the color changes make me feel! The speed just makes it even better because before I can even think of being bored, it’s time to switch to a new color. Some of these colors you look at and think that they have no business being together. But in this fashion, it makes it seem elegant. Wait until it is finished!!

I now have visions swimming in my head of many of these projects in a variety of variations as gifts for others. I even want one for myself! Maybe one for the bed in our bedroom, and Riley will want her own, plus one for when she grows to her ‘big girl’ bed. Also I could make these supper quick as baby gifts!

Because this… this is like crack. 48 hours, this is what I have…

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*Sigh*

Let it Snow

We are getting hit with a ton of snow around these parts. Nice to be snowed in with my hubby and baby and not have to worry about anyone going anywhere! Even if we did have to miss the holiday parties this weekend…

I was discussing with a coworker on Friday about the insanity that was most likely occurring in stores. I began to wonder. Why do people rush to buy toilet paper, bread, and milk? Anyone know the significance of these items? Why not other things? Have I been unknowingly outside of the norm by buying toilet paper in bulk, instead of one roll at a time? And how many meals can you make with milk and bread? Won’t you get rickets or scurvy or something if you don’t get other things, like actual food?

Anyway, I hope you are enjoying your weekend, wherever you are!

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Soul Searching

“I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life” – Maya Angelou

I’m not sure where I read this quote recently, as I can barely keep track of which socks I’ve worn, whether I sent that email or not, or if I took a shower in the past few days. But I have been thinking about it almost non-stop since this weekend. (If you posted this on your blog recently, then let me know, because I like to give credit where due.)

I want a great life for myself and my family. One that I envy other people the time to create for themselves. I want to slow down, savor those precious moments that are fleeting and hard to catch with the fast pace that most of us set for ourselves these days. I want to give all of myself to my daughter, to watch her grow and experience the world for the first time through her eyes. I want to make my house even more of a home than it already is, to focus on the details that make it so. I want to spend more time interacting with people rather than preparing for the next activity. All of the things that I value in life I want to bring to the fore, and shed those activities and events that are superfluous, that are the small things in life I can do without.

At the same time, I am a high school teacher. I encourage and inspire (or would like to think I do) on a daily basis. Whether my students realize it or not, every day I listen to them and do what is in my power to help them out. And as much as these children need help or are worthy of my time and energy no matter who they are or what background they come from, they are not my children.

That thought hurts, because they are awesome in so many ways. I want to continue to teach, yet teaching takes up so much of my time and energy, I have been spreading myself thin both at work and at home. I have long ago left behind the time where the stress motivates me to do as much as I can when I can to accomplish what needs to be done, where I am endowed with superhuman powers to make sure that everyone’s needs are fulfilled, including mine. I am now in the realm of feeling inept in all that I am doing, feeling brain dead and physically tired, and I am letting things bother me that would have rolled off my back not that long ago. I am a perfectionist in my work, whether in my family, my career, or my personal life. Yet I feel I am not doing a good job in any part of my life right now. Don’t get me wrong, I am a good mother, a good teacher, and a good wife, but I am not doing a complete job, the job I know I am capable of and that I want to be exemplary of my efforts. I have also passed the point at which I cut out all that is irrelevant and unnecessary, leaving only the key core of what needs to be accomplished. It still isn’t enough. I am surprised that I have not come down with a severe illness yet since I have been pushing myself so hard.

So now it is time for tough decisions. How much longer can I hold on, to see my obligations through? What am I truly capable of, and which values do I need to uphold while I slough off those that I just cannot physically and mentally maintain?

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And Crafting Commences

I made something! Finished! It feels great!

I made baby pants, which unfortunately do not fit my baby

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But fortunately they will probably fit someone else’s, so will probably work well as a gift!

I was afraid I made them too short in the waist and legs, so I didn’t do a great job hemming them. Plus, as my serger does not have a pedal or electric cord, I have raw seams that will fray. But no fear. I have altered the pattern to 6mo sizing, and will be making Riley some shortly. Although she won’t be in them for long.

I have also started some mittens for her, which I have already ripped out about 6 times, since I finally figured out my plan then realized I didn’t have enough yarn to make a set.

Hopefully more crafting in the near future! And maybe I can track down serger parts!

Something to Look Forward to…

I am very busy. As you might guess, being that I’m still a fairly new mom. I can barely believe that my girlie will be 6th months soon! Times are flying, I’m trying to savor every moment.

I have been making lots of baby food. Pumpkin, squashes, applesauce, swiss chard, and more all getting cooked and pureed and frozen into cubes. Making baby food is so easy, and it smells (and probably tastes!) way better than the stuff that comes in a can. Plus, I can make so much more variety, so she doesn’t eat a sum total of five foods for the first 6 months! She loves food too, don’t you dare run out either or she will scream bloody murder!

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Isn’t she cute?

Thanks to all of the people who have older children and keep writing on your blogs! For the few times I can read them, they make me feel secure in the fact that some day I will have more time for what I want. At least you all make it seem that way!

Long Time Away

Hello all of my blog-readers who might still be out there! I am still alive, I did not perish from fatigue!

First my computer broke, and it took like a month to fix. By that point I had lost so much sleep and was so busy with everything else that I didn’t have time to blog. (I really don’t have time now!) So here I am, and I will try to blog again in the near future, but believe me it might be another week.

In the knitting realm, not much is happening. I have been knitting on the same stripy baby pants, only about 3 inches from completion. I did sit down to stitch on it the other day, and realized that not only had my cats chewed through the working yarn, but they had chewed a small hole in the fabric as well! Luckily it was on the side of the pants and small, I think I did an ok job at fixing it.

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For my cousin I made some thank you cards to send to her in addition to other baby gifts. I like the ones with the stamps vertically the best.

I have also sewn a small amount, a bib or two, cut out a few patterns, and made baby food. Making baby food is easy! Plus, I get lots of fresh, organic veggies from my mom’s garden so I have plenty of cheap, good food for the baby.

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Speaking of the baby, did you ever see anyone so cute?! I didn’t think so!

This Face

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If asked, what age would you say this face would be? Today was my birthday, and it was a milestone! I don’t really feel older, just different, and that has to do more with having a baby than the birthday.

We went to an Indian restaurant for dinner, and it was good. There were many family peeps there, and Riley even dressed up to celebrate. She was happy about the dress, just not about me taking her picture. (I think she is getting tired of the camera)

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I received a great new (SHARP!) set of kitchen knives from Davis (I only asked for a great chef’s knife, and I got a whole set!), some cool jewelry from my sister and grandparents, and a gift certificate to the Loopy Ewe from the in-laws! (What would you spend it on? It is hard deciding, I have about $200 worth of stuff in my cart, and I have to narrow it down) Riley gave me hugs and kisses!

Happy Birthday to all of my fellow Leo’s, hope you had a good one!