Thursday, August 29, 2013

8 Good Things

Oh em gee. I blew right past this post yesterday! It's the first week of classes at my college, and I'm trying to plan a wedding. You get it, I'm sure. That's also the reason for no photos (again). 

1. A really great ESL class this semester. I can feel it! It's just a much better vibe than the section I taught in the spring, which was kind of a disaster. 

2. Being able to take Zumba from my favorite instructor again, even if it's only once or twice a week. My schedule is not quite so wonky this semester.

3. Walking to work. It's nice to get my thoughts together. I usually get to campus early anyway, but thinking while moving is a good experience. The walk home is a different story unfortunately. 

4. Naps. Need I say more?

5. Running into former students. I love it when I walk across campus and get to say hello to several people along the way. It makes me feel important :) Although I'm a big proponent of year-round schooling, it makes me a little sad to think that there would be no more back-to-school feelings in the fall like this.

6. Compliments! Multiple people have told me I look thinner (again, I don't think it's weight but my posture, but I'm happy either way), and everyone likes my shoes these days. 

7. A baby! Not mine. She's my niece (or technically, my fiance's niece), and she was born last week. I'm not sure I've ever seen a baby just 12 hours old before. She has tons of hair. 

8. Getting a new credit card with a lower interest rate. Although I'm trying not to rely on the credit card at all, I realized that I've been paying a really high interest rate. That's just silly when there are so many other options available. I finally got that worked out. I think there's a post in my future regarding credit cards...

What's new with you guys?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

8 Good Things

I'm sick. I've been sick for nearly a week now. I took Airborne from day one, but a couple days ago, I got hit hard. So, I'm not really thinking too straight and haven't been particularly grateful the last several days. But here we go anyway--I mean, that's the point of having a regular posting schedule, right? I have to break through the hard times with something good. 

1. Coworkers filling in for me at the store so I can get over this bug.

2. Making some progress on a felted bag for my sister (sick day = lots of time to knit).  I'm excited about the colors. If it felts well (you never really know how it'll turn out until it does), I think I'll like it better than my own bag!

3. This Non-Planner Datebook. For now, I'm just linking to it because I like it, but I haven't bought it yet. It looks like something I'd like. Or something I'd buy and not use and give as a gift :) In general, I love little notebooks and notepads for list-making and journaling.

4. Similarly, this annual workbook. Since it's August, it seems a bit late to start it, but I'm considering modifying it to be a teacher/career workbook since I live my life in semesters anyway.

5. I continue liking this recipe for artisan bread. I made another batch recently to take to a friend's dinner party. You can experiment with different types of flour easily enough, and I like having more crust with several small loaves.

6. This basket made from old t-shirts. I'm in progress with something resembling this. Right now, I have one long braid. Photos to come once I assemble it!

7. My pair of Merrell Crush Gloves. I went a little shoe happy a few weeks ago to help deal with my ongoing plantar fasciitis, but this pair is my favorite. My feet feel great in them, and everyone loves the bright yellow color. I bought mine on clearance from REI, but the new Crush Glove colors are even better! 

8. Discovering I'm not the only one who feels compelled to sit on the floor. I'm exploring some options for helping me work and create stuff on the floor without killing my back. More on this later, but I'm actually really excited about giving into this not-so-odd habit of mine. 

What are you guys up to lately? What's good? 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

8 Good Things

1. Knitting lots! I finished up two cowls. One is a linen stitch (stash-busting) cowl and the other was a simple pattern made with yarn I got from a yarn swap with my knitting group a couple weeks ago. I'm also just about finished with a chunky scarf that's also made with yarn I got for free from friends and from the swap. Free yarn is awesome! Now it's time to get started on my sister's felted bag with all that green yarn. 

2. My friends making it safely to Maryland a few days ago. I'm happy their cross-country road trip went smoothly. Now I'm working on a housewarming gift for them. 

3. Ginger tea drink. I add hot water to some ground ginger, cinnamon, and cloves and a slice of lemon and honey for a hot drink that soothes and heals. It's officially "summer" in Monterey, which means it's chilly except between the hours of 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. when the sun decides to come out for a bit. 

4. Making friends with the couple I buy peaches and nectarines from at the farmers market. They're pleasant but quiet, unlike the pushy people at a competing stand, and I think their produce lasts longer, so I always go to them. I guess they've noticed. On Sunday, the woman eagerly greeted me and asked if I spoke Spanish. We proceeded to have an awkward, choppy conversation about my age and marital status, my side job at the nut store, and the history of Mexico. 

5. This awesome knotted neck thing. I haven't made it, but it's on my list!

6. Good samaritans. While carting a bunch of boxes of nuts from the stockroom to the store today, I dumped a couple boxes into the street smack dab in the middle of a busy intersection. Three people came to help me and save me from even greater embarrassment. 

7. Homemade pita chips. The photo above is before they baked (I hope that's obvious). They didn't last long after that.

8. My new jeans. I broke down and bought my first skinny jeans. People say I look cute in them. So be it. I haven't bought much clothing for myself in the past several months, so this was a little treat. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Keeping Busy v. Making Stuff

Tomorrow, I'll post some photos of recent projects that I'm happy with (or happy to be done with anyway), but I thought I'd take a second to talk about, well, making stuff. 

I'm trying to make a shift in my life from constantly keeping busy--or feeling like I should--to using my time to create something of value.

On the surface, those two things are very similar. They're about using time productively, but keeping busy is often a way to avoid more challenging and rewarding tasks. Just look at how tidy your work space or home becomes when you have something to do that you want to avoid. 

I used to think cleaning my home, buying groceries, clothes shopping, and sprucing up the house with new stuff was a good way to spend my time. Even now, I tend to feel good only when I can list several things that I accomplished each day. And certainly, items need to be checked off lists, but in hindsight, it often seems like I'm running in circles.  

Instead, I'm trying to be a kid again. I want to use my time to make things, learn, and invent. I remind myself that it doesn't have to be the world's greatest ... whatever. It just needs to feel good to do it. In the end, while I might not have a long list of accomplishments for the day (being creative is time intensive), I do have something to show for my time. The bonus is that I get to put my personal touch on things; my life has more me in it, in other words. 

So, what have you made lately? How do you spend your creative energy?