Day Two

Don’t call it a resolution. It’s more of an experiment.

I’ve decided to give intermittent fasting another try, and to make it just a little more challenging, I’ve also decided that January is going to be a dry month. Guess it’s the roaring twenties all over again with my own little return to the days of prohibition.

I wouldn’t say I drink too much, but I will admit that there are times when I have more servings in a week than what doctors would consider “drinking in moderation.” It’s just become a habit to have a drink before going to bed, sometimes two, and almost always a couple when we go out.

I’m doing both of these together for several reasons:

  1. Sleep better.
  2. Save some money.
  3. Think more clearly.
  4. Feel better.
  5. Lose a little weight.

But mostly, I hope to give my body a system re-boot. Give it a chance to recover from the indulgences of the last two months, or really the last couple of years.

infused-water
More infused water coming soon (but only between 12 and 8 pm)!

There will be days and nights when I will be tempted to give up on one or both of these challenges. My husband is a musician, which means late nights in bars and restaurants. If I go with him, I will be ordering water or a soda, and only water after 8 pm. Sometimes it might be easier to stay home with a nice cup of tea.

So far, so good. I didn’t sleep well last night but that was probably because of the coffee I had with dinner. Tonight it will be chamomile tea. I will try to write more often this month and let you guys know how it’s going. My first real test will be Saturday night when we go to a local brewery where the band is playing. I should be a cheap date, though!

Learn more about Dry January.

What is intermittent fasting?

 

Meh (or a look back at 2019)

Remember when I claimed to be back at this whole blogging thing? Three posts in one year doesn’t make for a prolific blogging year, does it?

I had good intentions, but I’ve spent the last three months with balls of yarn on my lap, a hook in my hand, and my head down as I tried to complete what I thought was an impossible challenge: five afghans by Christmas. I started in September and finished the last one a week before Christmas. Yes, I’m patting myself on the back. Then for bonus points I added one mini (baby!) blanket to the mix and finished that just two days before Christmas. 🙂

As I was preparing to wrap these up I thought about the times I had to re-start, pull out rows of work to start over, bring in new yarn, wait patiently (mostly) for new yarn to arrive so I could continue working, or adapt the pattern when I ran into trouble. They’re not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. You can see the flaws if you look even just a little more closely. Sounds a lot like life, doesn’t it?

It’s been an up and down year for me. There were plenty of good times and I made some new friends. Got plenty of stuff done at work. Listened to a whole lot of Beatles music. But overall: meh. I wish I’d done more. I always wish I’d taken more pictures. Written more. Stretched my (creative and literal) muscles further. I could have set bigger goals for myself.

This morning I was listening to a song from one of my favorite Christmas albums ever, Abriendo Puertas by Gloria Estefan, and the lyrics of the title song reached out to me:

y vamos abriendo puertas,
y vamos cerrando heridas.
porque en el año que llega
vamos a vivir la vida.
y vamos abriendo puertas,
y vamos cerrando heridas.
pasito a paso en la senda
vamos a hallar la salida.

and we are opening doors,
and we are closing wounds.
because in the year that arrives
let’s live our life.
and we are opening doors,
and we are closing wounds.
step by step on the path
let’s find the exit.

What am I looking for in 2020? I’m hoping to let some wounds heal and close for good. I’m going to see what’s behind doors number two and three and maybe four and five. I would like to get a little perspective, take a break maybe. See what’s out there. Keep learning and figure out how not to write in cliches. Wish me luck. Again.

What are your goals for 2020?

I’m Back!(?)

Well, it’s probably too soon to tell. This is just my first day of a two-week vacation after all. You know what they say about good intentions. Could be another couple months until my next blog post, but we’ll see.

I’ve made myself a list of vacation projects and that in itself is probably not a good start to a vacation. But if I don’t make a list (who doesn’t love lists?) I will waste away the time doing nothing but surfing on my phone.

And on the subject of surfing, I was thinking the other day about how I go from one hobby to another, not really sticking with one long enough to really master it. Remember my paella manifesto? Or my pottery lessons? If you don’t it’s because I never really stuck to either of these long enough for anyone, not even me, to see what that was all about. Is this because of a short attention span? Do I get bored easily? Maybe a little of both.

Because like I said earlier I really do like making lists, here are just some of the activities I’ve tried:

  • photography
  • playing guitar
  • youth sports photography
  • journaling (Morning Pages)
  • bullet journaling
  • blogging
  • making paella
  • pottery
  • crocheting
  • reading
  • Yoga
  • Zumba
  • gardening
  • and the latest, baking

relic cameraSome of these have stuck around longer than others. Photography, of course, is one activity that is not so much a hobby but a way of looking at the world around me. I will always have a camera (although the one on my phone gets used regularly since it’s always with me) and I do pick it up now and then.

 

I love to cook, but the quest to perfect the paella is now just a desire to enjoy a good seafood dish every now and then. Now I’m thinking more sweet than savory. I’ve never baked much that didn’t involve a convenient box mix, but from the first episode of The Great British Baking Show that I stumbled upon while browsing Netflix, I was hooked. I’ve watched almost all of them now and my Pinterest board for “Breads, Sweets, and other Treats” keeps growing.

Crocheting was fun as well as challenging. It seems to be more of a fall and winter activity but I’ve put it on my list for the next two weeks because I would like to crochet some Christmas gifts this year.

depth

Pottery was fun too though. I should take another class. I’ve never been to formal yoga class but I’ve found a YouTube channel I like and whenever I feel the need I pull up one of Adriene’s videos and stretch the kinks out. Zumba is still a weekly activity and I would love to do it more than once a week regularly.

I watched a video a couple weeks ago about how to “Create an Amazing Life” and one suggestion was to be a lifelong learner. Try different things. Acquire new skills. So that’s what I’m doing. I’m trying to have an amazing life by trying new things and seeing what sticks.

How about you? Is there anything you’ve tried that you’d like to get back to? What new hobby are you into? Maybe there’s something else I need to add to my list!

 

The Sunday Post: A little bit of everything

It’s a beautiful Sunday here in Virginia. It’s also pretty quiet in my little corner of the world as I’m home alone while Doug is out prospecting with a band mate. They’re looking for new places to gig and most likely enjoying a cold beer or two while taking in the magnificent weather. We have to enjoy these days when we can because you never know what Mother Nature will present us with the next day. She’s pretty finicky, that one.

That leaves me with plenty of time to do whatever I please. Which can be quite a dilemma for me. I have a book to finish before I can start the new Harlan Coban thriller that’s just arrived. I’ve gone to the grocery store and I’m ready for my next foray into my not-quite-abandoned paella quest but I don’t want to start cooking too early. In the meantime I could do some yoga, go for a walk, get back to that book, I can write, work with my camera some more. Decisions, decisions!

What usually happens in these cases is that I waste a whole lot of time going from one thing to the next without fully committing to any one thing.

Sigh.

I decided I’m going to do a short yoga practice before I start cooking.

I’ll read after dinner.

So I guess that means that for now I write or work on my photography skills? Maybe both?

I’ve compromised with a little bit of PhotoShop practice. I’m still a beginner with PhotoShop because I used Aperture for my photo editing until it went away. So today I decided to try a couple filters on a couple of my newer photos.

The first photo was already beautiful without doing anything to it, because these guitars are gorgeous on their own and the afternoon sun gave them a lovely, golden glow. I thought the stained glass filter might be cool here.

stained-glass-guitars
Stained glass filter

This shot of a bowl full of marbles seemed like a logical candidate for the spherical effect.

marblesphere
Sphere effect

Tomorrow I get to play with a new lens and a wireless remote! I’m hoping to get a few good shots at the band’s next show on Saturday (The Acoustic Onion’s 60’s party at Castiglia’s) and hopefully some video and I know the light won’t be great so I need to study and prepare. All tips appreciated! Wish me luck!

 

 

 

Hello, old friend

img_9296It’s been a long time since I last spent much time with you, my friend. I’m afraid I’ve been uninspired. The events (or in some cases the anticipation of events that never happened) have robbed me of any motivation to do more; be more.

But I’m going to try.  The camera’s out of the bag. I’m not expecting to suddenly find inspiration around the next corner, but I’m definitely not going to just stumble over it.

As a start, here are a couple of shots from the last time I tried to do anything creative with my trusty camera. It’s a shot of our dear friend and luthier extraordinaire, Thom Schiff, in the back corner of his workshop. I don’t think he always works in the dark, but he does tend to do his best work in the late night hours.

Hopefully it won’t be another year before you hear from me again.

Sweet Temptations

Saying “no” to these sweet temptations is not easy at our local donut shops. Picking out a dozen to bring in to work is hard enough but then picking just one to indulge yourself with is almost impossible. Almost.

Sweet Temptations