Thursday, April 02, 2015

Needlepoint Mania



I have not really mentioned my new obsession here, but my friends and family have seen me stitch up a storm. I'm not making my own clothes, but I have gone back to needlepointing.  Needlepointing is something I did in high school. I wasn't very good, nor did I really finish any one project, but my mom was happy that I picked up a "domestic art" that I could do pretty much anywhere.

Fast forward a few decades later and I have nearly completed one of my high school projects - a needlepoint pillow sampler in a lovely pale pink. I've also finished two other tapestries and am now struggling loving my new project which uses a 18 mesh canvas and cotton thread.

The truth is that the more I needlepoint, the less I look at my phone. I also seem to be eating less because you can't really eat or drink with a canvas in your lap. I like the fact that for the most part, I'm working on portable projects and that they are good conversation starters.  

It is great for me because TH is also doing some needlepoint, so she's okay with me dragging her to needlepoint stores wherever we travel. 

My favorite thing to make - pillows.  I estimate that I'll have completed six of holiday accent pillows. I can't believe I've become that person.






Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Step by step, goal by goal


Happy April.

I have set goals the last two months and will continue to do the same for this month. I'm not into setting huge goals but little ones that build upon each other.

February I focused on tracking my sleep using my fitbit. I continue to do the same thing in March and hopefully for ever. In March, I tracked (for the most part) what I spent money on and it was very interesting. I've been super lucky to never have to budget and given my current job situation, I thought it might not be a bad idea to consider trying it and seeing where it takes me.

This month I'm focusing on writing daily and trying to capture what I eat in some sort of written form. I'm also adding some new stuff to my work out mix including swimming and barre. I thought about running, but that will have to wait until I can find a good sports bra.

My other goal is to start using the new Story Corps app to get my parents talking about their life in Iran and what it was like for them when they first came to the US. Whenever my mom tells the tale, I start crying and I want my niece and nephew to realize what their GaGa and GrandPa did to make a better life their kids.

I started this project a while ago, but am excited that there is an easier way to do this now.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Marching On




Yay.  February is over. 

I hate February. This year has been especially trying from a trying to keep myself up and happy point of view, but I made it.

The sun and early (very) spring has been a great help. 

What does all of this early spring mean for the late spring and summer? As a gardener, I'm delighted and scared that the summer will be long and dry. I'm scrambling to figure out what to plant and how to mitigate for any long dry spells.  I'm also using some of my newly acquired spare time to work in the garden to clear away debris, mulch like heck, decimate weeds and pull out the things that I do not love in the garden.

While I can't control the weather, I can control to some extent what I cultivate and want to make it the best year we've had in a while. 

I've been reading a lot about organization, decluttering and productivity and trying to apply some of these principles to my life at home, but also to the garden and how I approach this craft.  

My biggest concern is not getting so in the weeds (HA), that I lose the big picture view of what the garden means and how it functions.

More on this later.

March is moving forward - this is my favorite month of the year - it is our New Year and that makes me happy.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

How to not be a wall flower

To be blogged www.floraandflying.blogspot.com

I listen to the radio in the car when running errands, this is not helping me to get through my goal of listening to my whole iTunes collection sometime this year.  I think I have something like 35 days of music.

I typically listen to the local NPR station and was fortunate enough to get to  listen in on the Gardening Panel a few years ago.  The subject of hellebores came up and how to grow them. I have to admit, I listened closely.  At one time in my life, the hellebore was my holy grail plant. I thought only expert gardeners could grow them, they were mysterious and so gorgeous.  They are one of the first things to bloom in the early winter garden and if you are lucky, their gorgeous seed pods will see you through until June.  They are both delicate and hard as nails depending on the kind you have growing in your garden.  Some of the more fleshy varieties, such as the Corsican hellebore  (Helleborus argutifolius) look down right alien depending on the size and placement in the garden.  I suppose it is partially due to the climate in Corsica and CAM metabolism, but let's not go down the plant photorespiration cycles of my misspent youth.  

The more delicate forms (Hellebore niger) Christmas Rose and these are the kind I and many other gardeners cherish.  They flower stalks pop up in early January (or earlier) and wow you with amazing displays of flowers ranging from clear whites to dark purples with all sorts of strange crossings that occur. They emerge right when we are starting to lose hope that anything will emerge from our damp soil.  These hellebores are not difficult to grow, just find a few smallish plants you like at your local plant sale, put them in the ground in a location with partial shade and remember to water while they get established. 

Here's the thing about hellebores - they older varieties of Hellebore niger are really really shy plants -with flower stalks full of gorgeous flowers that spend most of their lives looking down at their feet.  In order to take in their beauty, you have to lift up their chins and give them a good look.   They remind me of someone who just can't seem to get it together and summon the courage to say "HELLLLLOOOO WORLD" look at/to me."


It takes an persistent person to keep lifting up these flowers to see their beauty and qualities.  The other option is to cut the flowers off and float them in a dish of water to get a good look.  In both cases, you see all the beauty, variation and details of the hellebore.

The newer hybrids that are being bred for their lovely flowers that tilt upwards to reach the sky or look you right in the eye. Pow. There is nothing shy about these beauties.  While the ones I have seen seem to lack some of the delicate grace of the Hellebore Niger, they still are lookers that last for months. 

I realize that there is something  aloof about not showing off your colors, spots or petal count.  I wonder if this is such a good way to go on the world - remaining quiet and retiring and letting others capture the glory, the spotlight, the credit, when you may have spots, color or some other feature that deserves attention

It might not be such a bad idea to start breeding in new habits into your life.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Sunday

My wicked cold remains wicked, but at least it is now just in my nose. I'm not sure that is good or bad. I am going to offer my seat opponent a nice chocolate bar and some hand sanitizer for having to sit next to me for eight hours. I'm also going in search of a nice sinus pressure reliever for my flight. That should be fun!

Friends, wash your hands religiously, drink lots of fluids, get lots of sleep and never don't touch your eyes with your fingers, especially after taking public transport. I have managed to stay healthy more months if not nearly a year by doing these things,  but something out there caught me off guard this time and I'm going to fight to keep myself well for the rest of the year.

Sunday, you were awesome, what I saw of you after I stayed in bed until the last possible moment before my check out time.





Saturday, February 07, 2015

Saturday

I ate a lot of lemon cake today 

I read a lot. 

Slurped noodles and did nothing. 

I highly recommend it.