Saturday, January 28, 2012

January has been full of up and down days. I'm having trouble getting into the swing of things. 'To do' lists largely remain undone. But I am a fan of the list, so here's a list of things I'm liking this week that are worth sharing:

  • This interview with artist and illustrator Lisa Congdon.
  • This chocolate bar. Avoiding refined sugar is a great excuse to sample different dark chocolate bars. This Camino bar is currently my favourite.
  • The Hunger Games. I've only read the first book and I'm eagerly awaiting the second one from the library. It's been a while since I read any YA (I read a lot when I worked at the bookstore). This is a smart book with a strong female protagonist. I'm even sort of looking forward to the movie.
  • Opinionated, a podcast from Samhita Mukhopadhyay and Amanda Marcotte.
  • Nuts to You almond butter. Slightly spendy, but even better than peanut butter. I'm going to try it in this soon.
Have a great weekend.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Catching Up


I'm slowly working my way through a backlog of film that needs to be scanned. These are from Thanksgiving weekend. Somewhere in the pile are a couple of rolls from July. Like I said, catching up.

The last months, year really, have felt like I'm always playing catch up. A 'to do' list that's a mile long and always growing. Never quite feeling present, mind always racing for what's next. Then I get completely overwhelmed. And usually fall asleep. I'm working on finding energy again. It's a slow process.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

12 Goals for 2012

I'm a sucker for an excuse for a fresh start, but I'm useless at resolutions. In many ways, the dark of winter seems like the worst possible time to give up or start anew. But, like I said, I find something hopeful in a new year, especially after one that was difficult. And, I'm a sucker for a list. So, I've come up with 12 goals for 2012. (That worked itself out nicely, didn't it.)

  1. Buy more (Canadian) music. Between youtube, podcasts, and streaming music on CBCR3, I haven't been buying as much music as I used to. But there are so many artists that I love, especially youngish Canadian musicians. Going to make it a priority to buy more music. 
  2. Read 24 books. This was a goal for last year as well, and I maxed out at 20, but some of those were quite long, so I think I can hit 24 this year. (I see some people doing 50. At one point that would have been no problem for me, I'm a fast reader, but knitting kind of gets in the way of that.) 
  3. Sew more. I don't think my sewing machine made it out of the case at all in 2011. I've been meaning to get back to it for ages now. I'm thinking I'd like to sew two pieces of clothing for myself. 
  4. Knit 3 sweaters for myself. Fairly self-explanatory. My ravlery queue is a mile long so I've got lots to choose from. 
  5. Deepen yoga practise. I've been doing yoga regularly again for the past four months. It's time to branch out from the DVDs, change it up and create my own programs, maybe finally tackle the 8 weeks of yoga program
  6. Send more mail, encourage friends and family to do the same. Letters, postcards, notes, little gifts. 
  7. Buy more local and handmade. We've got a nice little farmers market here that operates seven months out of the year. I need to go there more. 
  8. Write more. Here at least once a week. 
  9. Plan more meals. I've been doing this a lot the past month or so as the naturopath put me on a restricted diet. I'm almost through the month, but I definitely want to keep planning meals. It's a lot of work, but really helps with better eating. Ideally, I'd like to be able to take a day or evening, even, to make mulitple meals that can be refrigerated or frozen for meals throughout the week. 
  10. Bake more, buy less candy. I've got a sweet tooth. I never thought I'd get through the month with no sugar, but it wasn't as bad as I thought. (The no bread, mushrooms, or potatoes on the other hand...) So, the sweet tooth. It's still there and I need to work at eating less pure sugar. Misguided as it may be, I think that if I bake more and eat less candy this may solve the problem a little. A cookie versus a whole bag of sour patch kids. That has to be more nutritious, right? Going to give vegan baking a try, too. 
  11. Clear out the clutter. I've been trying to do this for months and months. It's slow going. But it's really time. I've got messes all over the house. Most of the kitchen table is covered with my stuff. 
  12. Save money. This is difficult to do when paying off a sizeable student loan, but I'm going to try to sock away a few dollars here and there.

What are your plans for 2012?

Sunday, January 01, 2012

happy new year

Sunday, November 06, 2011


I shared this on twitter, but it's so beautiful that I thought I'd put it here as well.

Short film by Liberty Smith and Sophie Windsor Clive. More information on their website.

Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

february, the other f word

It's 7:30 on Sunday morning and I've been up for two hours. Drinking tea and catching up on my google reader feeds. Wrapped in wool, trying to get/stay warm.

I've started a handful of posts in the past week or so, all about how sick I am of winter, about how I've had enough of the snow and the cold, about how annoyed and anxious I feel these days. But those posts have all been abandoned, because I can't even finish writing them without getting sick of myself.

Needless to say, winter is starting to take its toll. There's so much pretty -- freshly fallen snow, striking sunsets -- but I'm having difficulty getting over myself long enough to appreciate any of it. I've got ideas rolling around in my head, but am having trouble with the follow through.

A few weeks ago, I started a major clean out of my apartment. I decided that over the coming weeks (and months, if necessary), I would go through each room, each nook and cranny, clearing and cleaning out, organizing. I made a valiant start (it was going as I'd planned) and somewhere along the line I got sidetracked. Now I'm surrounded by piles and piles of ... stuff. Which, of course, the cat sees as perfect mischief making material, much to my annoyance. So, I need to get back on track with that. I think that working my way through all the clutter will help settle my brain a little.

Also, I feel like I spend so much time online between twitter, flickr, ravelry, google reader, and now pinterest (which I love, but can lead you down the rabbit hole). In many ways, these online spaces have kept me relatively sane the past few years, but recently I'm feeling overwhelmed rather than inspired, more often than not. Instead of knitting, taking photos, sewing, or reading a book, I'm only making my to do/knit/read list longer. At the same time, I'm completely intimidated by all the talented people out there, and often think to myself that I'll never take photos as beautiful as X, knit as well as Y, or write like Z. It's a vicious cycle I tell ya. So, hand in hand with the organization of my physical space is the realignment of my virtual space. Trying to figure out a way to enjoy all of these great platforms without getting lost in them. We'll see how that goes -- I have a feeling that it might be more difficult than the work of getting my apartment straightened away.

Well, it's past eight now, and it's time to get the day properly started (though the sleeping cat on my lap might disagree). I think I've talked myself into diving back into the cleaning, so today might just be productive.

Friday, December 24, 2010

happy holidays

For me, a huge part of the holidays is about the tree. I can do without the stress that's often a huge part of the season, and I can take or leave many of the other traditions, but there has to be a tree. A balsam fir to be precise.

When we were kids, our whole family would trek out to my uncle's tree lot in the woods and pick out and chop down our trees. This process could take a while. Finding the perfect tree for three or four families can be a challenge. Especially when there's a foot of snow on the ground. But it was also more fun that way. Afterwards, we would go back to my aunt and uncle's house for hot chocolate. Some of my best and favourite childhood memories are from those annual trips to the woods late November or early December to pick out the tree.

As years went by, as the tree selection diminished and as everyone was more dispersed, the annual trek to the woods just wasn't possible. This year, for the first time in recent years, I was happy to get out to the woods in early November to pick out a tree.

When December gets a bit too stressful, as it always does, I like to sit with only the glow from the lights on the tree. And, for a few minutes at least, all seems right with the world.

Oh, and it smells divine.


Happy Holidays if you celebrate. Hope you have a safe and peaceful week.