This post was inspired by a blogging adventure called Scattered Life Collective by Cynthia Lee. It’s a great series and I hope that you will check out the rest of the participants and perhaps even join us!
current time: 5:42 AM. Monday morning. I am trying to get back into the habit of blogging regularly again and mornings are my best time. My daughter will be up soon and things will get lively around here, but for now it is quiet and dark. LATER: 9:08 AM on Friday, Nov. 21st. Coming back to complete this post. It’s Friday, my favorite day of the week! My “Amy Day”. We should all have that! I was just thinking this morning what a delight it is to have this day that I don’t have to work! A day where I get to focus on things that are very important to me, like this blog and my writing of my book, my own copy of the Tao Te Ching.
on the menu: Lighter fare. A few weeks ago, I started doing some menu planning (as I wrote about in my last “Scattered Life Collective” post). It worked great, except for the fact that the meals that we have loved over the years are very heavy meals. We used to eat heavily and now we are trying to eat lighter. So this week, I have a couple of soups on the menu. A spicy chicken soup and pea soup – one of our favorites. There are other things, too, but the soups will help us to feel a bit lighter this week. The spicy chicken soup has lots of ginger to make it spicy. It is very light with a chicken stock broth and a few veggies. The pea soup is thick and wonderful – we make plenty as it is usually better the next day. Tonight I will be making my sister’s recipe for sugar free granola bars, where I substitute brown rice syrup for the maple syrup. They are like my candy when eating no sugar. (They are also breakfast at work many days!)
out the window: snow. I know that I need to accept winter, but I am having a hard time with it this year. A friend of mine got these things that you put on your shoes or boots that make them grippy in the ice. I am thinking of getting a pair of those so that I can walk better in the icy weather. Then I could maybe still walk to work. It has been at least a week since I have been able to walk to work and it is hard. It’s also been very cold outside. Yesterday the wind chill was 4 degrees below zero. That kind of cold is usually not seen until January around here. Snow is not usually seen until December either, so winter is early and harsh this year. Last year, it was brutal so we were not expecting it to be brutal again this year. It usually switches off, it seems. LATER: Today is Friday. The photo below was taken last Tuesday. Yikes. It’s mid-November, people! Well, at least we didn’t get dumped with SEVEN feet of snow like they did in NY. Sheesh! That is when you just light a fire in the fireplace, or pull up a YouTube video of a fireplace, and just chill indoors with a good book and a big blanket. Maybe even a glass of wine to help you cope with the shoveling. Oh, and I did order myself a pair of those cleats for my boots. I’m excited. It is supposed to get up to 32 degrees today, so later I am going to walk down to the coffee shop and do some writing. Woohoo!
reading: My sister recommended a book called Fat Chance, about this couple that is participating in a radio show weight loss challenge in England, I believe. It’s funny. Since Eric and I are trying to lose weight, it is kinda fun to read about others doing it too. We are doing it more naturally, by incorporating life changes but they are trying all kinds of stuff to make the weight come off fast for the competition. I am still at the beginning, but it seems like it will be a good read.
LATER: Still reading Fat Chance. It’s good stuff. Funny. I am probably 1/3 through that one at the moment. Although, being the raven that I am, I was attracted to yet ANOTHER book called The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho. This book is taking precedence currently because it is a library book. But there is no way that I could possibly finish it in three weeks, so I have put it on my Christmas list and I am hoping that my daughter is going to get it for me. I have read The Alchemist by him and adored it (it is one of my favorite books), so I got this other one at the library. This is part of my Spanish practice too, because I got both the English version and the Spanish version and am reading them together, paragraph by paragraph. First, I read the Spanish paragraph, then I read the English one to see how much of it I caught. Then I read the Spanish paragraph again and fill in the words. I love it because he writes so exquisitely and I get to absorb it in little tiny bites, like I do with my little squares of dark chocolate. I am only on the first few pages, and I am once again in love with his writing. My Spanish isn’t good enough yet that I can appreciate how exquisitely he writes in Spanish. He is Brazilian, so I imagine it must be good, but I can barely order coffee in Spanish yet so I just wouldn’t know.
Eric gets annoyed when I don’t finish books. He is the type of person that reads one book, cover to cover – ALWAYS. To me, he is a bit obsessive compulsive like that but it is one of the things that I adore about him. I have been reading a lot more lately, so I do have several books unfinished. Currently, that list includes The Wilder Life, which I doubt I will ever pick up again with so many delightful OTHER books on my shelf. That was the one I mentioned in an earlier post about a woman obsessed with Laura Ingalls Wilder. I wanted the book because I thought that she was going to go into a project where she lived like a pioneer, but as far as I got, she never did. The other unfinished book I recently put down was The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat, Pray, Love fame. I mentioned that one in a older post too. I may pick it up again someday, but not yet. Just too much cool stuff waiting for me!
pandora: My daughter and I are still listening to the Top Hits channel on Pandora. Katy Perry is a love to love/hate kinda gal. I must admit that she is growing on me, no matter how much her lyrics turn me off. I also love Pitbull. Both have a good sound going on. Some of Pitbull’s lyrics are not for the younger set, but the tunes are just so catchy.
audible: Still working through Pimsleur Spanish. I am not even halfway through it, so it could take years to get through it at this rate. I occasionally take a break and listen to Unstuff Your Life too. Sometimes I will listen while I am working, but it is hard to do that with the Spanish as that requires my full attention. LATER: Yesterday, I started listening to You’re It by Alan Watts. Ohhhh, good stuff!! I love him. So many great books, so little time!!
watching: Eric and I found a new television series called No Boundaries. It is about this group of individuals who are put out on a nature adventure. They are making their way from Seattle, WA, to somewhere deep in the Arctic Circle in Canada. It’s a cool series because, unlike other reality elimination-type shows, this one encourages them to work together as a team and boots off anyone who schemes and backstabs. Love it! They are hiking, biking, kayaking through nature during most of the shows and are clearly bonding very well as a team so the eliminations are especially difficult. It is also different in that the team has to vote on a new leader each show and that leader alone gets to decide who gets eliminated. A good series worth watching.
good things: here’s a list:
- YakTrax. AKA “my cleats” for my boots. Winter just got do-able! I hate walking on ice and these cleats give me the ability to walk on ice without fear of falling. Since I first heard of them last week, I ordered myself a pair (they are supposed to arrive today!) and I have talked with several people who have them and just love them.
- Super soft blankets. So here’s the back story… we went up to Eric’s parent’s place a month or so ago and his mom had this amazingly soft blanket. We all fought over it all weekend. (“We” being the three of us – me, Eric and Tatia. His parents are a bit too dignified to do such a thing, but we definitely are not.) So when we got home, I decided that I was going to buy one. It is scrumptious. Now just Eric and I get to fight over it at night.
- Yoga. Although I am not the best student, I do so love yoga. Especially the hot stuff. My goal for this year is to go deeper with it, to develop a regular practice of a series of postures. At CorePower Yoga, where I go, they offer an online subscription to videos and I am considering it. Although each teacher does their own unique sets, they have the same basic postures and I would like to be able to get more flexibility with mine.
around and about:
Here are some fun things I discovered online this last few weeks…
My Conversations with the Universe. If Julie Masters is a new blogger, I can’t wait to see what she comes up with five or ten years from now. Whoa. She knocked it out of the park with this post on her new blog. She brings a whole new meaning to prayer.
Embarrassing Stories Monday. This one was a fun one – a collection of embarrassing stories. I haven’t had a chance to really dig into it to see how Kate runs it, but it seems to be just stories that were sent to her and then she posts them. Funny stuff. Do you have an embarrassing story that you want to share? Send me a link if you post one and I will go and read it!
Journals. Journals seems to be a quiet theme for me this week as I came across Deborah Weber’s Journal Post and got jealous. Jealous is maybe a strong word with negative connotations but it didn’t feel negative. Just loving her journals and wanting to be able to say that I have done lots and lots of art journals (but I haven’t.) Then Arwen piped in and I thought of her lovely zentangles. I also pinned some journalling stuff and zentangle stuff. I do have a journal for this year. I wrote about it in this post. Recently, a friend was over and she was looking at my journal. I felt a longing to do art. It’s been a virtual drought this year when it comes to art. Last time I worked on my journal was last March! Sheesh. Time to get on it.
Louis Weltzer/Tao Tuesdays. I just have to give a shout out today to Louis Weltzer. Like me, he has been deep diving into the Tao Te Ching for over a year and his take on this amazing little book is nothing short of remarkable. In this recent post, Louis and I got into a great discussion about how we perceive mankind and why this is so. It was a fun chat, as they always are with Louis.
OK, peeps. I am just going to STOP here. I could go all day yammering on about my week. But now it’s your turn! Tell me what you’ve been up to this week!