Sunday, February 8, 2015

In gratitude

…for warm clothing.

…for the humor provided by the painfully obvious.
…for 8-10 more inches of snow in the next two days.

…for beautiful bridges I've admired my whole time here.
 …for the weather holding off long enough for my friend to fly to her interview.

…for frozen waterfalls.
 …for community.

…for blue sky.
 …for reminders to keep the faith when it feels like I'm fighting a losing battle.

…for pristine snow.
 …for constant learning about myself.

…for time to just hang out and chat with beloved studio friends.
 …for unexpected connections.

…for vitamin C during flu season.
 …for sitting on the kitchen floor chatting for hours.

…for inside jokes about fruit fly sex (housemate's genetics lab).
…for ice cream even in winter.

Monday, February 2, 2015

In need of silence

Evidence of my current disorganized state

It has been a crazy few days and promises to continue that way for the next week. While all the things that are making my life incredibly busy are good things; work, getting new projects underway, making new friends and getting together with old treasured ones. I wish I could say I take it all in my stride and am impervious to stress, frustration, and emotional exhaustion. However that would be a lie. Emotional exhaustion is the big one for me right now since I selfishly hoard my energy close and thus being a worse friend.

My schedule for this week

I know I am out of balance when I don't even have time to address my basic needs like cooking and when I can't remember when I last showered. I've been scarfing sandwiches and maybe had a shower on Sunday, but I'd have to double check. I need to find a moment, or several moments, to replenish my soul. Moments of silence. Moments of nesting while the snow blows. Moments of wonder. Moments of delight. Moments to remember who I am and why I do what I do.

The beautiful snowstorm we're having

Now to find moments to indulge in a warm cup of tea and some quiet contemplation. I invite you to join me.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Happy hippy child: Air drying clothes indoors

First of all, sorry for the mostly empty drying rack, I only thought to write about writing this post after I put my clothes away.

Right now here in the Northeast it is cold, like really cold. Not as cold as other places for sure, but definitely enough that the heat is on all the time, so why not make it do double duty? At first I was on the fence about air drying versus putting my clothes in the dryer, would they dry as fast? Was it really saving energy if I had to turn my heater up? Would my clothes feel all crinkly? Despite these misgivings I gave it a shot anyway. I was joyfully surprised, my clothes were dry in less than a day and they were not as soft as coming out of the dryer, but not uncomfortable either. I still don't know for sure if it counts as eco friendly if I have to turn my heat up a bit, but I'm going to go with yes because I get two services for roughly the same amount of energy. And if my room has to be a sauna for a few hours there are worse things in life.

In gratitude...

…for project teammates that join me in my crazy ideas.
…for cozy places.

…for winter sunshine.
 …for rediscovering my love of dance.

…for plans in motion.
…for four legged visitors.

…for heating that works.
…for the smell of baking.

…for housemates that make sugar on snow.
 …for kitchen laughter.

…for the beauty of nature.
…for phone calls from home.

 …for ingenuity.
 …for caffeine.

…for the chance to get outside.
…for unexpected encounters.

…for winter safety measures.
…for my beautiful sunshine yellow co-op.

…for learning new things about an old topic.
 …for the promise of warmer weather.

…for the amazing women I live with.
…for mosey-iers (people who are interested in joining our co-op next year) that show up even during a snow storm.

…for frozen lakes.
…for the constant chance to begin again.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

In gratitude

… for moments of quiet.
… for my goofy girl whom I miss already.

… for the opportunity to get a world class education.

… for still occasionally having my Mom read aloud to my brother and I.

… for really funny physics books.
… for cafes where I'm on a first name basis with half the staff.

… for the opportunity to visit home.
… for the option to advance my own goals.

… for fuzzy housemates.
… for friends who struggle with the same challenges I do.

… for nourishing food.
… for the moments of overwhelming joy when I realize how much freedom I have in my life.

… for good weather.
… for advisors that will help me figure out the conflicts in my schedule.

… for the rhythms of life.
… for how much better life goes when we acknowledge those life rhythms.

…  for Saturday morning antics.
… for fuzzy beasties.

Friday, January 16, 2015

A clean happy hippy child

I had a semi-hippy upbringing. I would run around barefoot all summer (maybe spring and fall too), I helped Mom with her organic garden and we composted and such. Not a hardcore hippie upbringing, but enough to teach me the value of not wasting or demolishing natural resources. However, in my teenage years I started backsliding, getting caught up in consumerism and frankly being a bit lazy.

I heard recently some valuable words that reminded me of the importance of living lightly on the land. Pope Francis essentially said that disrespecting the planet and it's occupants is tantamount to disrespecting God, because God created all things. Now you can replace the word god with whatever deity you please to make it meaningful to yourself but the message is the same, the heavy handed way of living is hurting our relationship with our creator (again feel free to substitute your own beliefs, maybe Mother Earth is your creator, not my business to tell you what to believe), and damaging our spiritual selves. I had never really thought about it that way, but it makes sense to me. I feel more grounded and happy when I make things for myself and know they aren't hurting anyone or anything else.

To that end I have started using homemade shampoo and conditioner. I actually tried it for most of my time in Europe when I had to find more heavy things to get rid of and my friend recommended I share her haircare stuff. I agreed and I'm glad I did, it was much lighter and got the job done just as well. It also made my blonde tresses a bit lighter which I don't mind at all. :) I stopped using it when I came home since I didn't have to worry about carrying heavy weight around, but after hearing Pope Francis' point of view I changed my mind.

Here is the very simple recipe:
For shampoo use 1 heaping TBLS of baking soda dissolved in 3 oz of water. Kim taught me to put the baking soda in a 3 oz container right before my shower then add shower water to make it liquid. It's easier to carry and much nicer than dumping cold water on your head. Let that sit while you do all your other shower things, then rinse it out at the end.

For conditioner use a spray bottle of apple cider vinegar and spritz your hair top and bottom when you get out of the shower. You'll smell a bit pungent for half an hour or so after your show then the smell goes away. If you can't stand that then spritz in the shower and wash the vinegar out.

The other part of this system is the soft bristle brush. Brush your hair on all sides for a total of 100 strokes. That spreads the oils on your scalp out for more equal coverage on your hair and allowing the baking soda to get down to the roots. You can do this again whenever your hair looks a bit greasy, but not bad enough for a shower.

Because most shampoos strip too much oil from your hair it will probably take a few showers to start feeling really clean. Your scalp needs time to realize it doesn't need to produce so much oil.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

In gratitude

One of my favorite blogs right now is Hullabaloo Homestead, and the author has this great thing of posting some things she's grateful for. I think that is a wonderful idea, so I decided to follow her example.

…for silly Mom's making bread.

… for job hunt buddies.

…for computers and kitties.

 … sleeping in with the dogs.

…for fresh homemade bread.

…for "my" mountain that can be seen anywhere in the city on a clear day.

 …for warming tea.

 … for cuddly puppies with pretty eyes.

 …for naughty cats that happily sleep where they aren't supposed to.

… for each day being an opportunity to start again.