Welcome! This is the third installment of my new weekly (Friday) series called “What are You Working On?”!
You can find out more about this challenge here or if you are interested in joining us, you can share photos with us on Instagram (#whatareyouworkingon) or join our Tao Te Ching Daily FB group for future prompts to remind you to share your week with us! Add your post to the Mr. Linky section at the bottom of this post if you want to add a link to your blog. Please be sure and check back and COMMENT on others in the challenge!
Each week, I will offer a list of categories and what I am working on in each category. Other participants may have different categories to describe their own interests and projects. I hope you will join us!
What am I working on? Here are some things…
I went to visit my sister last weekend, so there isn’t a lot to report this week overall. One thing I can mention is that we made some fake succulents and it was really fun. They turned out cute. I was between knitting projects so I just started another hat. I am building a collection of them to sell next winter.
Although I can’t say that I have done a lot on my home this week (yet), I am planning to get busy on my kitchen this weekend. This is a project that has been way overdue. Now that Spring is here, I can actually start working on it and MOVE FORWARD. My plan is to start on the cabinets. I need to remove the ancient paint and try and save the hinges, if possible. I don’t have new cabinet pulls yet, but once I start removing the paint, I will start shopping. I have shopped a bit but I feel I need to decide on a wall color before I can buy the pulls, just in case I decide to buy colored ones.
The cabinets are the hardest part of this job that is left. Over the last few years, I have replaced the countertop, tiled the backsplash (all by myself!) and painted inside the cabinets. I also bought all new appliances, so you would think it was “almost done”. It is, but I have been dragging my feet on completing it so it is time to get started again.
My theme for the kitchen is BIRDS, so when I got together with my sister this weekend, we went a little BIRD CRAZY. I bought several little bird statues for the clear glass shelves that I am going to add to my kitchen window.I also got a white peacock statue. Do you like it?
My idea is to have some herb plants on glass shelves in the window and have a branch that looks like it comes out of the cabinet to display a few cute little birds on. I might make some with sculpy and put them on there. Then I actually FOUND this cast iron branch. It was kismet, so of course I had to buy it! Now I have to finish painting the cabinets just so I can hang my branch. This is how my crazy mind works.
When I was looking at the succulents with my sister, I could not help but notice this little guy…
It is SUCH an ugly little plant, but it is SO COOL! It is called a lithop. So rare that my autocorrect didn’t even recognize that as a word! haha. Oh! So I found this really cool YouTube video to show you what I mean..
Their flowers are really cool too. Here is a video of a flower blooming on a lithop…
Besides discovering the lithops (above), I am also still working on my Spanish. I suppose that I will be working on that for a very long time! I listened to a few lessons this week. As I was driving to Madison last week, I decided to practice my Spanish by naming things around me and got stuck a few times. I was thinking perhaps it might be good to put sticky notes on things around the house and try and talk about them in Spanish. Maybe that will motivate Eric as well. My Google Translate app is really good if I want to know a word – I just speak a word into my phone and it says the Spanish equivalent back to me. It’s pretty cool like that. I really just need to converse more.
I am still working on my cooking skills. After making the chicken soup and seeing how tender it was when I made it like that, I decided to revamp my Creamy Cajun Chicken recipe and make it with better chicken and better noodles. So I boiled the chicken in some broth for 20 minutes to cook it and then used that same broth to make my noodles. I thought it was the best Cajun Chicken I’ve made yet. Tatia and I were the only two to eat it since Eric was gone that evening, but it was good enough that Tatia wanted seconds. (To be fair, it IS her favorite dish so she probably would have wanted seconds no matter how well I cooked it.)
I’ve been reading The Conscious Parent for our book club that starts in May (2015) and this book is great for reminding us that our daily lives are a constant opportunity for spiritual practice. With this book, the focus is on living as consciously as possible for our children.
All of us have moments of being aware of ourselves and moments of being unconscious and just going through the motions in life. It is part of being human. Parenting is perhaps the most likely place to be unconscious because it is all about dealing with our unconscious patterns of the past. Our children bring up so much. They remind us of our own childhood but now we are on the other side of it. Dr. Shefali Tsabary, author of The Conscious Parent, helps us to become aware of our choices as we parent. She helps us to see that what we want for our children often hinders them from figuring out what they want for themselves. I think that I have done a pretty OK job of parenting my daughter, but this book has opened my eyes to more things I could learn.
So part of my own spiritual practice this week has been to just be aware of how I interact with my daughter. Am I hindering her with my own expectations? Am I encouraging her to please me with the language that I use with her? I’ve been a pleaser much of my life and so this book is having me take a deeper look at my own patterns of pleasing others. One thing she stresses very much in this book is that parent’s need to take ownership of their own stuff. Anything that you are strongly encouraging in your children is probably something that you either highly value or something that you’ve messed up with. Either way, it is your stuff and isn’t necessarily about your children at all. We imprint our own desires and issues onto our children and we need to become aware of this in order to help them find their own desires and work through their own issues.
If you are a parent and would like to join me, the group is free. I think it will be fun. We are meeting up over at GoodReads.com. The group is called Conscious Living Book Group. (I originally named it Tao Te Ching Book Study but changed the title because it isn’t really about studying the Tao Te Ching. It’s more general than that.)
When I was at my sister’s house last weekend, my brother-in-law was telling me about a book that he is reading called VB6 by Mark Bittman. The idea of this is to eat no meat or dairy before your evening meal and stay away from processed foods. I mostly stay away from processed foods and eating vegan is something that I enjoy anyways so this appealed to me. I have been pretty good about exercising regularly and eating less sugar, but my weight loss has stalled now for months. My weight is OK. I am not fat, but I could lose just a few more pounds to be at my healthiest.
My sister also told me about a website & app called SuperBetter. Below is an awesome video explaining the reason behind the game. (NOTE: The best part starts around the 6 minute mark so stick around for that). We are allies on there and I would LOVE to be allies with any of you if you want to play along! One thing I learned from this is that I am already doing an amazing job with these things. Yes, I have things like my kitchen that I get stuck on, but generally I do a lot to make my life healthy and happy. Yeah, ME!
I did get a bit more rest this week. My body was super tired this week and I had a little bout of something which is our body’s way of telling us it is time to REST. So I took a day this week and slept a lot and I felt much better. I’ve been playing a bit of online poker which is fun and I also have started playing Duolingo again to practice my Spanish. For playing, I like to play games like SuperBetter and Duolingo because they work out my brain at the same time. Why not?
As for watching, our family started a new series this week called The Newsroom on HBO. We signed up for HBO Now on Apple TV and this has given us access to all of the HBO shows. Eric wanted it to watch Game of Thrones. The Newsroom is a really good series about a news reporter who is stuck in a rut because he spent too many years placating to the majority and what they “wanted” to hear and his honest reporting of the news suffered because of it. It’s a good series. You can watch an important scene from the pilot here if you are curious about what it is about.
Well, that is my week in a nutshell. How was yours? Please tell us what you are up to with the #whatareyouworkingon hashtag on Instagram or Facebook! Or add your blog link below and write about your latest project!