Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Walt Witman Kind of Morning

It is a gorgeous morning. Yes, it is overcast and gray and you can just feel that it is going to snow soon.

But it is also absolutely still, and just the right kind of crisp is in the air. It is quiet, and slow. No one seems to be in much of a hurry, not even the weird, non-hibernating, campus squirrels.

The sunrise was intensely beautiful. I have talked with three people in the office, one a professor and our department head, one a staffer, and one a custodian. Everyone mentioned the spectacular sunrise and asked, reverently, if I had seen it. It was one of those kind of sunrises.

I feel fortified. Strengthened by the knowledge that all of us have something in common: we all started our day grateful for the divine earth.

It is going to be a good day.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Five

1. Last night, as A. and I were walking to the house in the dark, I misjudged the end of a snowdrift and flung myself into it, face first with no attempt to soften the landing on my part, in true slap-stick, spazz-out style. I thought it the perfect and most appropriate end to the day.

2. I pointed out the snow drift to A. this morning, and he said, "Why yes, I can tell your face landed there, your knees there, and your hands there. Your keys are still there." Good thing I pointed out my clumsiness to A. or else my keys would have been buried in snow until June. I had no idea I'd dropped them.

3. I am meeting with The Thesis Committee next week (it only took a month to herd them all into the same room at the same time!) to go over my progress. I am both excited and horrified. That sounds about right.


4. In more ridiculousness, I find knitting on two single-pointed needles much more difficult/annoying that using five double-pointed needs. What the hell?

5. I have nothing planned this weekend but some housework and loads of Thesis Time. As my plans already have me bored, why don't you tell me what you will be up to? Let me live vicariously through you, please!

Happy Friday to you!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I am at home.

It is 11:09 a.m. on a Thursday. A work day.

I have not had a relaxing morning.

I have been digging my car out. My wee Civic that I managed to get stuck in a minuscule yet determined snow drift as I tried to drive down the lane from the house this morning. I have been digging and digging, in work clothes (and work socks and shoes!), I have shoved my floor mats under my tires, I've tried everything I can by myself.

I am stuck.

The part that is most frustrating, aside from my work clothes clinging to my sticky, sweaty body and my once-styled hair plastered around my head, is that I have a therapy appointment in one hour. That I think I am going to have to cancel.

I had to cancel last week, too, due to snow/vehicle/stranded issues.

I feel horrible, and really totally pathetic. I worry that my therapist either thinks that I am so incompetent as to not be able to leave my house, or that I am bailing on therapy. I am not bailing on therapy, so....


Fucking winter and my inability to deal with it.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Artemisia's Homemade Hot Chocolate

When I posted this a few days ago, I doubled the recipe, but forgot to double the amount of milk. Below is the updated version.

I thought I would post this as I look out the window and is it blustery and blizzarding and my feet keep kicking my humungo snow boots I have stored under my desk.

Stay warm, everyone!

Artemisia's Homemade Hot Chocolate
1/2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate, plus more if you want it really chocolately,
2 tsps instant coffee crystals
1/2 tsp cinnamon
healthy dash of red chile powder
tiny splash of vanilla
2 cups milk

  1. Heat half the milk and all of the chocolate, stirring until thoroughly melted and incorporated. (I found it combines much smoother if you heat it in 30 second intervals in the microwave, stirring between intervals.)
  2. Once combined, add the other ingredients, stir until combined. Add the other half of the milk. This should cool it down enough to enjoy immediately!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Year!

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. We were able to make it to A.'s folks place for Christmas and were there with four nieces and nephews as they waited for Santa. So! Fun! Kids really do make the holidays magical, don't they? It was so nice to be there with everyone; we are only able to get together like that once a year, if we are fortunate.


Together, A. and I rung in the new year rather quietly. We played a game of Monopoly, a few rounds of Norwegian Whist, and watched a movie. We dozed off before midnight but had set an alarm so we could wish each other a happy new year at midnight. It was just right.


A. and I are still working on our goals for the new year, collectively as a family and individually. Some family goals are to pay of the credit card, go on "dates" more often, and learn cribbage.

Some of my individual goals are to defend my thesis this spring. I don't see that as a problem, actually. I know it will happen. I want to learn three new skills this year. They can be whatever, just as long as they are new to me. Sewing? Archery? Running? Making pasta from scratch?

Getting serious about prioritizing fitness into our health goals crosses over as both a family and individual goal. A. is much better about this than I am; he usually gets to the gym at least three times a week as it is. He wants to make it at least six times.

Me? I am going to continue yoga, but with more dedication and focus. And.... I am going to try and take up running again. My best friend,JelBel , has been running quite regularly for a few years now, and it does so much good for her, both physically and mentally. And also, um, I am totally inspired by Tess and Sundry. I mean, really, really inspired. So, thanks ladies!

I got over being nervous about being TOTALLY CLUELESS and went in to a fancy-pants running store. Actually, it was great. It was a good store, and the sales lady was just happy to help me get started running. No one made me feel like a dunce for not already being a marathoner. Whew!

I walked on a treadmill and had my lower half video taped. I didn't run, as I had just had wings and a beer for lunch. (I am totally on the right track, yes!?) Turns out, I land perfectly on my feet - who knew? It sure doesn't feel like it is natural and proper, but hey. Maybe I will just get used to flailing around.

I tried on four pairs of running shoes, and finally settled on some Nikes. I think they are the kind that can plug into an iPod and give you running info. Of course, I am not going to spring for that stuff now and I have a shuffle that is incompatible, anyway. But! They are comfy! And I bought them specifically to start running.

I am trying them out tonight! I am also going to try running ON A TREADMILL. Oh, dear Lord, keep be from getting sucked under the contraption, please. A runner friend of mine thought I might avoid shinsplints this go 'round if I ran on the treadmill, rather than the indoor track. So, I am going to give it a shot. My plan is to start very humbly. Five minutes of walking, one minute of running. And gradually reverse those ratios.

"Start running" is the rather vague goal. The concrete goal is to run in one legit 5K within the year.

Want to know a couple of my long-term fitness goals? Ultimately, I want the ability to do the following yoga poses:

How awesome is this? It may not look like much at first glance, but man, it blows my mind. First, I am so inflexible that to achieve this pose will be super. Second, you are totally standing straight up and are totally upside down. That has to mess with your mind and balance. Also, this pose should require loads of lower back and core strength, which I will someday be delighted to know of which I am capable.  And I can't imagine how wonderfully tension in my shoulders and neck would just flow right out of my body and into the earth while in this pose.

This pose demonstrates to me what I want my yoga practice to be.

Next, I want to accomplish this pose, because it will mean that I have gradually built up a tremendous about of strength and bad-assery:

And speaking of bad-assery, someday I will do a set of one-armed pull ups. I don't have a photo of this, as a google image search for this brings up pictures of bulgy muscly men doing chin ups with midgets on their backs. Not my thing.

So! What goals have you made?