Thursday, June 7

Not wasting the youth on the young

Sweeping moments.
I'm all about those.
Writing, thinking, savoring those expansive moments that overwhelm me.
In this way, I am savoring what is left of my "youth," my young life.
Finding parking in a city, discovering new drinks, new hideouts.
Eating pastries every other day for meals, wine every night, and youtube on the monitor.
Long work days, and weekends of sleeping in -
This is how I savor my moments, my youth wearing thin.

Tuesday, May 29

What I have learned...

Seriously, just GO DO something. If you think you should be doing something, just GO. You'll be tired, you'll want to stay in bed. But the bed will be there, the internet will be there when you get back (if when you get back, you care about looking at it at all).

If you have a gut feeling, don't ignore it. It may turn out that you were slightly over-reacting, but if you weren't- you won't regret it.

Schools don't teach you everything. Neither do parents. The hardest lessons you will learn will be from your peers and your heroes and in the most unexpected of places.

Luckily, our family does kick ass, and will always be there for you.

Seek out your own spirituality.

Brush daily and floss (a lot).

Embrace nature. There are only small bits of it left. Listen, be still, and absorb.

Mixing beer and liquor. Just, don't.

Find an active pursuit you love, and do it 3 or more times a week. The youngest looking people I know all have this in common. (Skiing, skateboarding, yoga, karate/martial arts [just not the punching in your face kind.].)

"the more I see, the less I know" But that doesn't have to stop you from trying to know more, to see more.

Travel, travel, travel.

Talk to people. It gets easier, but you never know who you will meet.



Friday, May 18

Tzu Chi day

As a volunteer, you tend to do a lot of random things. I volunteer for Friends of the Urban Forest, and signed up to sit at a table to answer questions for a few hours. It turned into something a bit more elaborate then I had pictured....

Here is the table! No one else volunteered so it was just me. It was my first time doing this, but, whatever. I got this!

The woman who was the contact for my organization was really nice.  She mentioned, "Oh, we want to have you as part of the ceremony, we will just introduce you!" Oh, geez, well, if I was going to be part of the ceremony, I wish I had known! I was just wearing jeans! Oh well, I'll just nod in thanks when she mentions me. That's cool.

Annnnd, the ceremony ended up being about 1.5 hours. The ceremony was given in English and then repeated in Cantonese at the same time. Then everyone watching had a chance to participate in the 3 step, Buddha Bathing ceremony. (Bow with palms together, bow again and place fingers in the scented water, bow a third time and receive a flower.) And the name introducing? "We would like to welcome our guests of honor! Senator so-and-so! City council member blah-de-blah! Friends of the Urban Forest, Em-A-Lee!"

Uhh...what?? I know trees are awesome, but whoa. Thanks.  There was a woman with me who works with the County Environment Department who was in the same position. We just were totally NOT expecting it and kinda just went with the flow.

It was very beautiful though.
(Buddha statues, bowl of water, flowers)

 It also happened to get really sunny as we were watching. Me, the whitest white girl there, got burned. 

And then, after we had finished the ceremony (which was actually quite lovely, world peace, honoring your mother and parents) they provided a lunch!! How awesome! (That egg by the way? Amazing. They boiled it, peeled it, then cooked it again in a soy sauce marinade!)

All in all, an awesome Sunday. There were a few other things going on that I had to miss. But it turned into a lovely day in a lovely place, with some awesome people.

Thursday, May 17


The sewing machine has been used. And it is good.

I think I need some new needles, because sewing this eyelet fabric got a bit dicey at times (whaa? why is this pulling..??). Anyway, I attempted to take photos. But again, I'm a crafting night owl apparently.

I followed the tutorial from Design Sponge. It was a nice little instructional for a pseudo beginner!

 After (nervously) cutting, iron the hems.

Sew, sew, sew.

Measure twice! This is for the bottom hem, 5 inches.

Somehow, on the bottom hem I ended up with uneven sides. It was all ironed out before hand, how does this happen?? I ended up just kinda fudging the sewing to make them look like they lined up!

 Top hem for the tension rod! I used a 2.5 inch hem. The sides of this hem ended up perfectly matched. I was baffled. Yet carried on....

The end! The cute little eyelet curtain in my cute little blue bathroom. 

It ended up being just a tad too short. I have plenty of fabric left, so I can remake it. It doesn't really bother me, so I probably won't!  I do feel all ambitious now, and I really want to make something for my niece. She spends a lot of time outside, yet is in that weird princess phase. There is a tutorial I came across for a skirt with shorts underneath! Can't wait to go shopping for a cute patterned fabric for her!

Sunday, May 6

Apples to Oranges

As promised, here is the battle station in action:

Two computer screens, and a fancy desktop way in the back corner there that lets off a lot of pretty light shows. And an executive chair. If we're home, he's here.  :o)

A a consequence of our fabulous CSA we have been getting, we have had apples and oranges sitting around begging to be used up. For some reason, we can't keep up with eating them before another round comes. The Boy mentions: "hey, you should find something to use up these apples." But I know there are also a ton of citrus in there. I think, gee- I'll just google something.

Yeah. The FEW recipes I find that involve both apples and oranges seem overly weird (shortening in quick bread?). So, I start inventing my own. I just purchased a kitchen scale for these as well. Using the book, Ratio, I concocted the delicious:

Apples to Oranges Muffin
6 oz. AP flour
2 oz. whole wheat flour
1 t. salt
1.5 t. baking powder
.5 t. baking soda
zest from 2 oranges
1.5 t. cinnamon (might want to add a touch of ground cloves if you have any)
 4 oz. orange juice
6 oz of grated apple
4 oz melted butter (1 stick)
2 large eggs
.5 t. vanilla

Oven at 350.
Combine Dry.
Combine Wet.
Mix wet with dry until just combined. 
Spoon into 12 muffin cups. ( I added toasted pecans to the top of half because I like the texture/crunch.)
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a paring knife inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean (as per Michael Ruhlman).

And they are GREAT. The Boy likes them too! Yay!!  I love the concept behind this book - that baking is all a matter of getting the ratios right, and then you can invent to your hearts desire. Not gunna lie, totally turned on by the fact that I have a kitchen scale and I can invent tons of weird new flavors of cakes and muffins and breads. If that makes me wrong, then I don't wanna be right.


Friday, May 4

Sucessful challenges

My, these look awesome: Bags from Menswear from Oh Happy Day....

I would love to make these as gifts this year, but I need more practice.

I started to work on my curtain project - Just a simple curtain to put up in the bathroom just to get my straight-line sewing skills down. But, after I had ironed my fabric, I got to setting my up new to me machine. And I ran into an issue. ....2 hours later and a phone call to my awesome mother and skype to try and figure out the problem....the bobbin was wrong. the one empty bobbin that came with the machine (from craigslist) happened to be the incorrect TYPE of bobbin. So the machine kept "spitting" it out. And inexperienced me, had followed all the directions and I just knew I had installed it correctly, couldn't figure out why IT WOULDN'T THREAD.

Mother to the rescue "well, is it the right kind of bobbin? If it is wrong, then it wont work in the machine." Lo, and behold - the bobbins were different. As soon as I used the other kind - poof! sewing abilities abound. But by that time it was a Sunday evening and I needed to finish up some work before the week started.

Believe me - now that I have the machine figured out, once this *&$^# work week is over, I will be in front of that lovely, old-school Kenmore, working my brain around something artistic.

Monday, April 16

Crisis Mode

It always seems to happen when I am suddenly struck with a seemingly insurmountable amount of work.

First - I get that tight pit of my stomach feeling: "Oh, crap - for real?"
Second - Panic: "What the hell, there is no way."
Third - Fear: "I'm going to get fired/People are going to see my messy house"
Fourth - Hopelessness: "Akjgaskjgnkajn ::crying::"
Fifth - Resignation: "Oh well, this job sucks anyway, guess I'll do what I can/Oh well, if it's messy, its not filthy."
Sixth - Crazy productive. Thank goodness it's been ending up this way.

Of course this means I don't get much rest. Or relaxation.

On of my best friends from high school and her girlfriend are coming to visit me in 2 days. And I honestly do not feel my house is acceptable for them to stay in for a week. Almost, but not really. The Boy got a bunch of new equipment for his lair (AKA: his battle station/desk [I should totally post a picture of it. It's breathtaking.]) and my boxes from work shipping me equipment are taking OVER. I did manage to get new towels, keep my kitchen in a manageable order, and go grocery shopping for this week. But I also did work about 12 hours too. No exercise. :o/

I'm so so so excited to see them, but super worried because of the amount of work I have/deadlines to meet, I won't be able to relax and enjoy spending time with them. It's my goal to get caught up enough to spend all weekend with them.

Oh yeah, I'm also taking the California Lead Certification exam the day I'm picking my friends. Which cost the company $212 bucks. If I fail, I have to pay it all again, and they don't offer it in my area again for another 3 months. Joy.

So, I am making lists and drinking tea and depending on the comfort of these tasks to keep me on track. It will all work out. It will all work out. It will all work out.