Thursday, December 31, 2009


It is a scary thing to realize my dreams and then say them outloud. Most people think I am good at that - but lately, I feel like my long-term goals and total desires have been overshadowed by feeling good in my day to day life. Exercising daily has been enough to satisfy me. But I am realizing that I need to stand outside and YELL MY DREAMS OUTLOUD - as scary as it is to admit what I want and then be held accountable.

But it's worth it now. I want it so much. I need this to come true. I am going to write it down everywhere I can. I am going to spend 10 minutes a day at LEAST working towards it - I am going to apply what I learned about fitness and nutrition to -


I want it. I will have it.

It will be mine. Oh yes, it will be mine.

Monday, December 28, 2009

stuff n stuff

toooday, had crazy dreams, woke up and went to the gym with adam. he went to work from there, I did 25 minutes of biking and 20 of elliptical and then walked home. made ww smoothie, did a little bit of laundry. swasthi came over and we went to return all of my xmas gifts - went to joanne's, ross, wallmart and the mall, where we succumbed to the sampling of wetzel's and split a cinnamon pretzel. Back home now, laundry in dryer, chicken in oven. Going to do dishes, make lunches for the next few days, and fold laundry, then get my stuff ready to go to R's (a supported living client) for my shift tonight. Stuff I need to get ready includes: phone charger, new Sparkpeople book (!!!), toothbrush, razor, clothes for work tomorrow.

Go straight from R's to work in the morning (my shift is tonight 10pm til tomorrow 8am). Maybe exchange costco gift on lunch break and buy dogfood. Work, go home, get sleep/work stuff ready, go to gym at 8pm, head to R's for 2nd shift at 9pm. Go to work in the morning from there.

Adam and Chris are going snowboarding over New Years, so today when I said goodbye to Adam at the gym is the last time I'll see him til the new year! Augh. Sad. I am feeling co-dependent. Trying to decide the best way to celebrate my solitary new years. Have Office marathon? Eat Thai food? Start a new quilting project and spread it out all over the living room?

There were 88gajillion people at the gym today. I wish they had preferred treadmill seating for those of us who are NOT on a new years resolution kick that will only last three weeks. harumph.

According to my self-weigh in today, I've lost my holiday weight. We shall see!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

foudn the camera cord!

I have photos!!! I found the cord to the camera, finally. :) Here we have the last few months in photographic form...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Walk for Independence!!!

For those of you who don't know, I work with adults with developmental disabilities at a fantastic non-profit in Orange County, CA. One of my big projects this year is putting on our FIRST Walk for Independence. The date is set for January 17th, in Huntington Beach.

This is MY baby project, and the success of it is hugely important to me, not just for my own accomplishment, but for the people I work with. We recently bought a building, and hold many of our events and meetings here, and this building - despite the fact that we work with people with disabilities - does not have an elevator. We are more than a little ashamed of this, and are trying very hard to rectify it - hence the fundraiser Walk event!

I recently was able to get most of the food for our walkers/volunteers donated by Mobile Taco Grill, but we still need to pay $260.00 for materials. I am trying to get this entire food cost donated. This means that I have a personal goal of raising $260.00 for the event.

I figure, I've got over 300 friends, right? ;) If everyone donated just ONE dollar, I could accomplish my goal! That's why you're getting this message. Please help! I figure everyone can afford a dollar!

If you can help me with my goal, you can send check/cash to Roya Sorooshian at Project Independence, 3505 Cadillac Ave. Suite O-103, Costa Mesa, CA 92626.

If you can donate more than 1 dollar, I would, of course, hugely appreciate that! Also - if you are interested in registering or volunteering for the event, please go to

THANK YOU for reading this message and for your consideration. I really appreciate it.

You can donate directly using paypal here:

Friday, December 18, 2009

ooooooofta. Getting that awful shaking-sore-throat-red-eyed feeling of sickness coming 'round the corner. Drinking TONS of water, took vitamins, but - blech. Half the office went home early today with headaches. There are only 3 of us left here. Thinking that maybe I can call it an early day too.

I hate to break my exercise streak even though I feel so bad. Luckily today is my long bike ride day, so I can sit and pedal and read Emily of New Moon or listen to Harry Potter.

After work, then the gym, I am going home, making some sort of dinner (taco salad?) grabbing clothes, project, pillow, blanket, and heading to Frank's to stay with one of our clients for the night. My shift is from 10pm-8am. Tomorrow morning on my way home I will stop at the gym and do 16 minutes of running and 10 on the elliptical. Again, if I need to take it easy and walk for three minutes between every two minutes of running, I will.

Then there's the YA holiday party, and the Walton's holiday party - both of which I would love to go to, and both of which I am hoping I don't feel too awful for. I also haven't spent ANY time with my fiance this week, and as he has to work on will greatly depend on him.

Today I went on a little rant at a coworker about how much I love my home. It's nice to feel peaceful. I haven't experienced much of that in my life. Peace. Calm. Contentedness.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

marriage and xmas and stuff

It's been so cold here lately, I've been finding myself just *tired* and worn out from it. Craving somewhere warm. I want sunshine that toasts and bakes and gets down to my boooonnees. Our bathroom door doesn't close all the way, so showers are chilly. the next free day Adam and I both have I need to remember to get him to help me fix it.

My ring is still sparkly, and I want to get back into the wedding-planning rush, but everyone is consumed with finals and Christmas. I supppppose I can wait until after xmas, when I will go buy tons of twinkle lights and gold ribbon, and start collecting. I will feel calmer when we have a date set.

I have been exercising a lot this week - feels good. Yesterday was the 4th day in a row. I went online and found a Sprint Triathlon training schedule, and am following that. So every day I do a minimum of 20 minutes of varying amounts of swimming, running, and biking. To meet my goal of 600 fitness minutes this month, I am also adding in random 10 minutes on the elliptical here and there. Today I am going to do 16 minutes of running, 11 minutes of elliptical, and then my interval-walking, which will equal about 16 minutes also. This bumps me up to 45 minutes which gets me 2 activity points for weight watchers instead of just 1 if I left it at 44. ;o)

Defrosting ground beef, tonight I'll make taco salad. Made enchiladas two ways this week. Trying to get better at normal-everyday cooking, rather than huge-production meals like I usually do. Also trying to make a whole week's worth of meals using the same flavor-profile so I can use the same ingredients.... so I don't buy a bunch of cilantro, use it once, and waste it, for example.

Juno is my favorite thing on this planet right now. She is so freaking beautiful that I can just stare at her for hours. I gave her a very thorough bath last week and now she is all clean and fluffy and soft and fantastic. Adam's been working super late this week, and falls asleep on the couch so he doesn't wake me up, and so Juno's been jumping up into bed with me. She's been so good - hasn't destroyed anything for weeks! She sure seems like she's growing up all of a sudden. Man I love that dog.

Adam's job is going really well, though it feels like I haven't seen him in weeks. He's right at the point where he is both getting off probation and getting qualified to be on his own at the park. It's an exciting week for him.

I bought all of my Christmas presents online this year - SUCH a good idea. I love not having to go shopping. I'm excited about them too, and I'm just waiting for this to start arriving so I can start the wrapping! Adam has to work this Christmas, so we are doing our thing Christmas Eve, and will see if his aunt is available for breakfast that morning. I'm going to at least stop by his aunt's house on Christmas, because we didn't go to Thanksgiving since he had to work, and now that we're engaged, I feel different now...I can go to his family's celebration in my own right, not just attached to him. I am really enjoying these subtle little changes in my role as we plan on getting married.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

random bits of catching up

It has been a little while since posting on here - I haven't exercised once. :P I am blaming the weather! It's SO cold, and SO rainy, and I just DO NOT want to leave my bed or my couch or my fantastic old worn out gray comforter that Adam had on his bed when we first met so it reminds me of him in the most comforting ways. I am going for comfort foods, and I am not cooking as much, and I am not doing as much laundry as I kind of need to keep up with my work days, and it's too cold to shave my legs because the bathroom door is kind of broken and doesn't close all the way and the guys leave the toilet seat up and it bothers me because of how much this cliche bothers me, and I have my wedding dress and one of my two veils in my closet, it's so long that it takes up most of my shoe space, so my shoes have invaded adam's portion of the closet, I vacuumed our living room 3 times in the last 4 days, and there is still dog hair, we bought our christmas tree today at Lowes, I bought clay on friday but haven't had time to play with it, I took over Adam's netflix with about 86 movie requests, I've been listening to an excessive amount of Leann Womack, I walk into things frequently due to the fact that I can't stop looking at my beautiful, beautiful, beautiful diamond ring.

On the wedding front, I've been making our website (almost ready for the public, but not quite), trying on my dress and showing it off to any relative who will let me, and been enjoying the hell out of talking to Adam about our wedding, our marriage, our finances, our house, our christmas ornaments, etc. (All the important stuff, you understand.) Now, maybe it will hit me soon - but so far, wedding planning has not been the horrible stressful thing people have led me to believe it would be. So far, it's been incredibly fun. I am going to have the ceremony in my parent's backyard, and the reception in mine - it's going to be incredibly SMALL, my flowers will be delphiniums, larkspurs, and other purple and yellow wildflowers, I have 5 bridesmaids, I already have my dress and all I need are shoes, Adam's got his groomsmen, I think I want them to wear dandelions, I will rent a dancefloor, serve champagne, get a few outdoor heaters, and some round tables. I know what the cake should look like, I want japanese paper lanterns, and.......yup. I know the feeling I want to evoke, I know my personal priorities and Adam's priorities. More and more this wedding is feeling like OURS, which is good - it's fun making these series of small decisions and see how they shape the overall atmosphere. I spend a few minutes a day doing wedding stuff, but mostly I am just waiting for the after Christmas sales so I can buy a zillion twinkle lights.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I'm getting married!

I'm engaged! Yesterday on my 25th birthday, Adam surprised me by taking me to Top Chef Michael Voltaggio's restaurant in Pasadena - where he proposed on the patio between the first 7 courses and dessert. :)


Friday, November 13, 2009

she feeds you tea and oranges that come all the way from china

Cookbooks at the weight watchers meeting today were 1/2 naturally I bought two of them. They're so pretty, I can't decide what I want to cook first. I need some serious grocery shopping time today - in the 9 days I was gone and the 4 I've been sick for, the contents of our fridge have dwindled down to a little bit of non-fat milk, 12 containers of laughing cow cheese, and aloe vera. Time for shopping!

Tonight I think I will make 3 ww recipes - 1: Winter squash soup with butternut squash, onions, carrots and parsnips, 2: lamb kabobs with mushrooms and red peppers, and 3: balsamic vinegar chicken. I will also be buying salad stuff to go with it - and maybe it's time for some new rice as well.

I don't feel as awful as I did, but I still feel run down. I would like to go home and go to sleeeeep. 14 days til the Turkey Trot, so I need to start training for a 5k all over again too. My house is CLEAN and wonderful - trying so hard not to leave those piles. I made curtains which makes a HUGE difference in the livability of the living room/kitchen. Today I have a very small pile of dishes to do, some light maintained-dusting, and I will clean the kitchen floor. It doesn't feel like Friday, it feels like Monday, since I haven't been to work all week - and I keep forgetting that I have the weekend! I have no idea what I am going to do this weekend, none, at all.

Watched Say Anything on VHS last night with Adam - remembered how much I adore John Cusack - especially young John Cusack, but really, all John Cusack. Had weird dreams of crooked fathers and Adam buying multicolored suits. Woke up before my alarm this morning, and despite taking time out to fold a whole load of laundry, was 15 minutes early to work.

WW meeting we talked about forming new traditions, especially activity based ones, around the holidays. Will remember this Thanksgiving to get up and MOVE. I would like to lose this extra 5 pounds in the next 2 weeks. I think I can, I really think I can - I just need to stick to my food/exercise. Today I had ww oatmeal for breakfast (2 pts), and a subway salad with olive oil/chicken (5 points). I am full feeling - with many, many points left for the day.

Got out one of my Alaskan cross-stitch patterns yesterday too - looking forward to working on that later tonight when I am done with dishes/cooking/etc. I want my house. I want my home. I am super-nesting-girl right now. When did I turn so agoraphobic? There is nothing nicer to me than my own living room.

Yesterday I drank tea while eating tangerines from my tree singing leonard cohen to myself, giggling quietly with satisfaction. I have it. It is mine!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

the fascinating saga of a sick-at-home person..

Have been going around this morning trying to clean up the little piles that collect when you are sick - the stacks of books and glasses by the bed, the little bits of trash from the immune-c packets, the knitting needles and skeins of yarn left by the couch where I abandon them after 2 minutes of interest... and in cleaning up this clutter I am realizing how dusty my house is. Doing every bit of laundry, including sheets, blankets and dishcloths, organizing dresser and computer desk, eating honey-nut cheerios with a chopped up fuji apple on top of it and way too much splenda, Bonnie Raitt playing on pandora. Above our windows we have the hardware already installed for curtains - maybe that would be a good project for today.

Adam works late tonight. We fell asleep reading Twilight aloud to each other last night. It's like reading the Boxcar Children all over again - very compelled by the story/characters, but DAMMIT I wish a better writer had thought of it. Maybe JK Rowling can do a re-write.

We had another installation in our series of Talking-About-Raising-Kids last night, only this one was a little grittier. This morning he said he'd had anxiety dreams about showing up at the Dodd house nekked. Let's interpret that one, shall we? I wonder why he is stressing this so much right now - I would like to have kids in the next 5 years, but it's another 5 years even after that before he needs to worry about school options, and by that time he'll KNOW his kid and it won't be an issue. I wonder why it's all coming up this week.

I had a moment of weakness that wasn't a big deal last night but I wasn't proud of, either. I am trying very hard to not do what we have coined "throwing attitude around" - in that it's a)an ugly face/expression, b)very self-defeating, c)makes me feel small-souled, d)adam hates it. It comes out in many situations, and after every single one if I stop and think, I can see how it would have been SO MUCH BETTER if I had just paused and-changed one little reaction. I've been doing better and better, and last night I woke up at a weird time and Adam was watching something on TV I didn't want to watch and I was just plain CRANKY and I picked on him for that reason - and I hate that as I am doing something, the smarter, calmer, not-cranky part of me is thinking "Roya, whatcha doing? You know that that is not the way to get what you want" but I ignore that part of me. Like I said - not the end of the world, just frustrating for me on my path to perfection (harharhar) when I CHOOSE the meaner option.

Anyways - I have one more load of dishes, a couple loads of laundry, and some dusting to do. Then fabric hunt, curtains, photos at karate, and making lunches for tomorrow. All to the tune of old recorded Gilmore Girls, I'm sure.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

home home home

Sitting in my robe at 10am listening to Patty Griffith and Allison Kraus on pandora, drinking cold english breakfast tea that I took from the resort in florida out of the "candy cane" striped ceramic cup that I made. My feet are cold, I am congested, watching my puppy pick up the sprinkler attachment and shake it in her teeth outside. I picked the first tangerine from our satsuma tree this morning while I was on the phone telling my boss I couldn't come in today, and I am waiting for Adam to wake up so we can share it.

Read all of Sandra's and Heidi's posts that I missed while I was gone, wondering what I am going to make for breakfast, wanting to go around and clean and knit and go for walks wearing scarves and the earrings I bought from the food court in Orlando, thinking about how I am content to sit here and listen to music and do not much else while I know Adam is in the other room, even though he is sleeping, but as soon as he leaves for work I will be feeling restless and sitting still will not be enough for me.

Yesterday we talked and talked about where we want to live, the children we will have, the lives we want to lead, unschooling and family. I feel buoyant today, despite the cough and cold. The robe I am wearing is incredibly soft, pink, bulky - his Aunt gave it to me for Christmas last year. I bought Adam's sister and my sisters the same souvenir n the Bahamas and that is important to me, somehow. Talking about giving Juno a last name, he suggested his - the name his dad uses for all of his shepherds. Thinking about the fantastic combination of families, if, when...

Gained 5 pounds over this vacation. Remembering that I have the tools to fix that, quickly. Getting back to my planning, my preparation. I have laundry in the garage to move along, and today I will cook the onion and fennel with white wine, under red pepper chicken, orange and green lentils, and broccoli. The Patty Griffith song that just came on is called "Florida" - good timing. I have bulbs to plant and green beans to string up. Rommel is laying in a stripe of sunshine in the backyard between the two citrus trees occasionally snapping at flies that are interrupting his nap.

I love my house, my home, Adam, the dogs, the fish, the ceramic dishes, the trees, the music, the gifts, the blogs, the yarn, the cleaning, the feeding. I am looking forward to a slow day with more Eva Cassidy playing, going from room to room and *touching* everything.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

getting ready to leave for florida/bahamas!

My tooth infection was drained the last time I went to the dentist, and temporarily filled. The temporary filling proved just that, and has been missing for a few days now. I can't stop playing with it, making little sucking noises on the the hollowed-out-tooth. I am sure everyone around me is tremendously grateful, but every *once* in a while, it hurts in a weird hollow-achy-echoing sort of way, and so I keep messing with it...not that I want to hurt, but I have to keep testing it. Stupid intermittent reinforcement.

Anyways, I decided not to even call the dentist until I get back from my trip, because it's bearable now. I just don't eat on that side. My trip! My trip! I am leaving bright and early early early on Saturday morning! My mom is dropping me off at the office at 6:30am, where I commence Being In Charge of 40 people - 32 of whom have developmental disabilities. We fly to Orlando, stay at the Caribbean Beach Resort, go to Disney's Magic Kingdom for 5 days, then board a cruise ship and head out to the islands of Nassau and Castaway Cay - where I will be swimming with dolphins, para-sailing, and peering through glass bottom boats. We fly back on November 8th.

I am not quite comprehending that we are leaving the day after tomorrow. I'm still a little dazed. All organized - mostly - but disbelieving.

Today's so-strong-it-almost-knocked-me-over realization was how much I was going to miss Adam and my puppy dog. I had a fantastic morning with Adam today - it's nice when he doesn't have to work super early AND he wakes up while I'm still home. Last night I stayed up past my bedtime watching the movie Defiance - Adam begggged to put it on, and then fell asleep before the plot twisted even a little bit. It is not the type of movie I would normally choose for myself - I have a hard time watching anything emotional - rather, I have a hard time *choosing* to watch anything that makes me feel beyond light and fluffy. I am emotional enough - when I watch movies, I want to relax, not cry. However - I am usually *glad* when I watch emotionally-deep movies, because, let's face it, they're better quality than Dude, Where's My car? So anyways - I stayed up really, really late watching a lot of Jewish people die horrific deaths.

Anyways. Adam. Juno. My beautiful beautiful puppy dog and my amazing amazing man. Many mornings when I wake up, Adam and Juno are both still sleeping - Juno usually wakes up but doesn't move much - just follows me with brown eyes while I'm getting ready. Adam looks so good in our green sheets and blankets - secretly one of the reasons I picked out that color. I have a very hard time leaving the dogs and boy in the morning - when it's cold out and there is this wonderful October sunshine and I just want to stay in bed, one hand petting Juno, watching Adam's freakishly long eyelashes.

Too mushy for you? Sorry. I am all mush today. I am currently impressed with his ability and desire to always *improve* himself. The two of us being who we are butt heads in certain areas pretty damn frequently, but all the upset is worth it when I tell him something is important to me and I can SEE the work and effort he has put into understanding my needs more. It's an amazing feeling. I am feeling so lucky.

He won't be home when I get home tonight - so I am going to stop at the gym first with Tulip - I am going to walk for 5 minutes on the treadmill, run for 12, walk for 5 more, then do 38 minutes on the bike. That will cover what I was supposed to do yesterday, and what I am supposed to do today, with a few minutes extra to count towards my goal of 500 fitness minutes this month. I currently am at 365 add up that, and I will need to do 75 minutes tomorrow to hit my goal!!!!

After the gym, I'll go home and put two butternut squash in the oven, and cook the lentils I bought today - I splurged on red AND green lentils, just to make a prettier plate. I have tracked my food fantastically well for the last week - and hope the scale will show it tomorrow at my weight watchers meeting. Even if it doesn't - because I seem to have a 1 week lag reaction time - I'll feel good about knowing I did it for a whole week. I plan on continuing it on my trip - I will be taking ww oatmeal and a bunch of fruit and other food with me to avoid crap.

I also want to take Juno for a walk tonight, and continue the packing process. I miss Adam already. My pirate costume is fantastic. Yay thriftstores.

I think that is all for now. I am all sorts of mixed feelings right now!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

video and website

I am really, really, really excited about my company finally embracing social networking sites in connection to the Walk for Independence! This is a video that we have ALL had our hands in (see if you can count the number of times I say I'm walking) - staff and clients have all contributed to this wonderful little video. Please go take a look, forward it to friends, send it to everyone you know!

Walk for Independence Video

If this encourages you to register, you can do so by going to This Website.

Monday, October 19, 2009


today I am feeling very grateful to my mommy. It's amazing how well a person can know another, and I definitely know that no one knows me as well as she does. Phew. It's a relief, actually, to be able to just SPOUT and have her not only understand what I'm saying, but be able to dig to the real meaning underneath.

Thinking about joy and choices today, and of using every little choice to move in a more joyful direction. Every choice I have - given the situation, which is the better choice?

I want this to become a habit.

Today I will be working til 2:00, then opening the house up from it's bug-bombing, then going to the dentist, then -something- that makes me happy or satisfied. Or maybe even just laying on my mom's couch recovering from the dentist. We'll see!

Friday, October 16, 2009


next time I'm frustrated with my job, I would like to remember that right now, my work includes deciding whether or not I want to swim with dolphins or go parasailing on my cruise to the bahamas.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

adam xmas

I am trying to track down a christmas present for Adam that I found in Vegas - he's been looking for this particular thing for EVER and ever and ever, and I found it on a day where I didn't have my wallet. Soooo I spent several hours of detective work, calling and googling, and nobody could tell me the name of the kiosk on fremont street that I found it at! So then I called the security department for downtown vegas, who knew the name of it, and I googled some more, found it's parent company, talked to the warehouse, who gave me another number, who gave me another number - and I have finally got in contact with Lupe - who went to the kiosk today to find it for me.

Unfortunately, it's not the same thing that I wanted. Hoowwwever, I do have a picture of what I want on my phone, so I just sent that to her, and she thinks they can make me a custom one. AHHHH. This is crazy. And he is so not going to appreciate the work. ;)

Woke up sick, feeling a little better as the day goes on. It's still gray and great out there - I brought some tea and hot chocolate with me to work...I figure if I can't curl up on my couch drinking it at home, I can at least have some here.

Okay. Back to work.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I heard a choir singing....

It rained last night. I walked out into the world this morning, stepped in a puddle, and looked up in surprise. Everything was sparkly. Listened to Tori Amos and Etta James and am fighting a weird surface melancholy, coupled with some deep gladness in the changing season. It is just - I do not spend the majority of my days doing what makes me really, really, really happy. I am tired of a lack of time. I was spoiled by unschooling, I guess - used to hours and hours and hours to delve into projects. I hadn't had a chance to knit yesterday so I stayed up 30 minutes later than I meant to, just so I could do a few rows. I don't like squeezing in things that make me happy like that.

I have a messy house again. Sunday a bunch of people came over to watch football, and it is now trashed. I had homework last night, class tonight, a meeting tomorrow night, class the night after that, and plans with my aunt the day after that. I am frustrated all over the place by a lack of order, cleanliness, and, once again, TIME.

There is definitely the possibility that I am getting sick right now, which I am sure accounts for a lot of the dragging feeling. Right now I would like to wear my orange pj pants, my dad's old heidelberg sweatshirt, and curl up on the couch with my knitting, some tazo tea, and adam's old grungy gray bedspread.

if I continue to feel this sick, I will ask paul if I can leave class early. I think that's a good idea.

I am about 1/4 of the way done with the right front on my slouchy cardigan - I finished the back. It's FUN FUN FUN to knit, but I am going to need more of this yarn.

I made a sale on etsy yesterday! Goodbye big chunky green beanie! You were fun!

......more later.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

not interesting even a little

I have not had the chance to catch up on sleep yet, and I don't know when that's actually going to happen. Holy heavyeyelids batman, I can't take it for that much longer.

Today - I neeeeed to run, I am running a 5k on saturday and have NOT trained. Ack. So running a must. I have class at 6. I need to make lunches. I need to do the dishes and dust. I also wrote a bunch of notes for my sweetheart and I want to hide them in all his clothes and stuff.

tired. bored. time to go now. more later, perhaps.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

the park, elks lodge, and a clean house

Sneezing today - it just sort of occurred to me that my eyes are kind of sensitive and my throat hurts a little. Time to guzzle some water.

I had the strangest workday today - met two of my interns at HB Central Park at the location where we are doing the Walk for Independence on Jan. 17th (contact me to register!!!). I got excited for the Walk all over again - it's such a great park. That's where Adam, myself, and our friends usually go to play disc golf. It's where Adam and I used to go running at 2am, when the coyotes would come out and alternately play with/want to eat Rommel. It's got lakes, playgrounds, disc golf, dog park, picnic areas, Shipley Nature center (where I worked, actually, for a few months), and across Golden West the park continues with more lakes, willow trees, the best library ever, and a humongous and fairly new Sports Complex. It's a fantastic park.

Anyways, we stayed there for a while, and designated where we are going to have everything, then I came back to the office, did about 30 minutes of work, and then it was time to rush out to the Santa Ana Elks lodge to meet with one of the parents of my clients. She is arranging it so that we can use their ballroom for free for our holiday party - so we got a tour of the place, and it was just...a whole other world. First off, you have to use your membership card to even get through the door. She showed us the ballroom, a smaller banquet room - and the meeting room. Seats set up for 400 people, with this odd podium thing in the middle for their "Exalted Ruler" (so not joking. How do I get that job title?) Then she walked us past the lounge - a dozen or so older men drinking and smoking at 11am on a Wednesday - and then into the restaurant. She knew everyone in there, of course, both diners and staff. She treated us to lunch and told us all about what else the Elks do, how to become an Elk, etc. Have I mentioned, it's a whole other world?

There is something awfully appealing about it, though - I don't know if you know how many members Elks lodges have all over the US, or how much money they raise and donate - but you can't DO the kind of philanthropic things they do without the huge amount of sheer power that comes from that many members. I was a little awed. I loved being in Girl Scouts, I can totally see why people join sororities, there is also something about being a member of a club - you know, one where you have to use your card to get through the door - that I can understand wanting to have a part in. Apparently Elks only let women join as recently as TEN years ago. In their newsletter, the Exalted Ruler and Lead Knight (yeeessss) sign their statements "Fraternally," and "With Brotherly Love."

So we did the schmoozing thing for a few hours - finished it off with some chocolate pudding from the buffet, and now I'm back here. I have 2 hours left, and a bunch of stuff to do, but my head is spinning - and part of it is from my day, and part of it is from whatever is making me sneeze.

Adam cleaned so much of the house yesterday it's amazing, and I need to keep it that way. He put away a bunch of things that were stacked up in annoying places, and although I didn't think it looked that cluttered before, without them, it looks so much better. He cleaned up the yard, washed both dogs, washed my car, did laundry, and started dishes. I hereby VOW TO NEVER PUT ANYTHING DOWN IN THE WRONG PLACE EVER AGAIN. I heard once that clutter is always formed by not putting something away right away, and the reason you don't put it away right away is to avoid making a decision. Well, I am a Decision Maker! It's what I'm good at! So here I go.

Also - with the base of the house clean like this, I can see how to go the next step and make it *pretty* - which is really what I want to spend my time doing. So I not only am going to not put anything down without putting it away ever again, but I am going to do one extra cleaning thing a day to keep it looking so sparkling.

Yes I am. I like my house like this.

Okay. Time to go do Very Important Things now.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

heavy, heavy eyelids

So. So. So. tired.

It looks so wonderful outside, from the window-wall of my office (I am incredibly lucky: two whole walls of my office are floor to ceiling windows) - bright and crisp, sunny and coollld. I would like to go home and clean. I need to vacuum and clean the kitchen. I know it seems like I spend my whole life cleaning, but I'm such a messy person that it never STAYS clean. I do dishes and then cook and then wham, everythings back to how it was again. I hate that! I want to clean and cook and knit and sew and do all that stuff and not have messes at the end of it. I want to be able to build on the cleanliness of my house and make it pretty - but I feel like I only ever have time to keep the clutter barely reigned in. This is what happens when you work full time, are taking a class, and have actual interests.

Last night I closed myself off in the bathroom and painted until 11:30. Why the bathroom, you ask? Best lighting. Today I woke up tired. I worked 14 hours yesterday.

I did a bunch of knitting on my lunch break - I have about 4 more inches left for the back of the Slouchy Cardigan, then I can start the front! Yeehaw. It took 2 skeins for the back - so I think I will probably need 5 more skeins at least. I think I have 3 left. I will need to find more of this yarn!

Today my brilliant plan, stop at home realllly quickly and get my parking pass/gym membership, go to class, stop at the gym on the way home from class, get home and bake chicken and make red beans and rice. Then sleep. A lot.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

sunday sunday sunday

Just cleaned up the garden - staked up the tomatoes better, got rid of dead cucumbers and marigolds, made a trellis and planted two rows of peas on either side of it...cut down all the seeded basil, hung the green ones to dry, and sorted out the seeds of the dried ones to save for the spring! Wondering what I want to plant next....

The weather really has been changing, and although I spent the whole time in a tank top, now that I am sitting still there is a breeze and I'm a little chilly. This morning I was downright cold. Yippee!

I am about 60% done with the back of my Slouchy Cardigan that I am making - it's a pattern from The Knit Cafe book. It /looks/ like pretty much the perfect sweater, and I really love the yarn I am using (a deep bergundy "raspberry" light alpaca). Tonight I am planning on fending off the Sunday night desperation with something yummy smelling in the oven, curling up in a blanket I've crocheted, and working on that sweater.

In the meantime, however, I am going to go finish up the laundry, then go for a walk/run in the neighborhood while listening to Harry Potter on tape.

Last night I hung out at Alex's with him and some friends - 3 of them I've known since I was leeeetle. We sat outside by the bonfire and laughed hysterically as we played the most intellectually snobby version of the alphabet game, and the most random and entertaining version of the Name Game. Three cheers for good old fashioned fun. ;)

Tonight's dinner I think will be: Hungry Girl chicken pot pie - and, maybe another kind of pie for dessert. Mmmm.

Friday, October 2, 2009

pictures from class, adam

Yesterday was a pretty darn good day - I did a LOT of work crammed into the regular number of hours, which always makes me feel good. I also did a presentation at CalOptima, and I do love speaking about PI because I believe in the mission of our company so strongly. It's very rejuvenating to tell a group of interested outsides the good parts about us.

After work I headed to my painting class - it's coming along... it's due Tuesday, which means I have some serious work to put into it over the weekend.

Today I have a bunch of excellent work to do in preparation for the Steering Committee Meeting, making the next newsletter, and preparing for the cruise to the Bahamas we are going on at the end of the month.

Time to get going. Tonight after work I hang out with Roxana, and then hopefully make it back home in time to make some lunch for A for tomorrow. I need to spend some good old fashioned TIME with my boyfriend. Sometimes the schedule we have, where he comes home after I should already be asleep - is very frustrating. I got really cranky last night because he woke me up when he got home, but he was asleep when I left this morning - so if we don't wake each other up, we don't really talk for 4 days at a time. No bueno. Maybe I should get him flowers and candy. ;) It's hard for me to balance the practical necessity of SLEEP with the just-as-legitimate-need for Adam time. Hrmph. I am glad it's nearly the weekend!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

it's sooo close!

So the day after I posted about craving fall, I could *feel* it. It's almost there. It felt so good to curl up in my blanket when I got into bed, and while I was walking from my car to class, I thought I might be a little more comfortable with a sweatshirt on. I got home from work early, and so Adam and I went for a walk through the neighborhood with the Big Dog. I have a hard time not being 5 years old when I walk through my neighborhood. Bear in mind, this is the neighborhood I WAS 5 years old in - I lived there from age 0-18, lived in Wisconsin for 6 months, then came back. Then I lived in Signal Hill/Seal Beach/Long Beach for about 1 year while I was 21/22, then moved back there, went to Alaska for 4 months when I was 23, came back there for a few months, then Adam and I moved to Huntington Beach where we lived for about a year, and now we are back in Los Alamitos, one street over from my parent's house, where I grew up.

It is fantastic, let me tell you. I skip through the streets, I know where the cracks are, I know which houses I like to walk by and which I don't (there is a gray house on our street where the 'witch' lives and a house with a weird ornate gated front patio that I always pictured Jayne Mansfield's cult from Witch Baby to live in and so I never walked by since I didn't want to be snatched by sugar-coma'd crazies), I used to pretend that the very clean, square blue house was the house that Jane went to in Half Magic when she stopped being a part of their family... I've actually been inside many of the houses in that tract - when I was little all of my friends were from there. I'd even been inside the house we're living in before - I knew the landlords when I was younger. There has been a lot of remodeling in the neighborhood - the houses are definitely getting bigger, and there are two boats in two driveways, and yes, some of the sidewalk cracks have been fixed. But for the most part it's the same. I can remember walking the same streets and feeling driven to desperation with the need to get OUT, thinking that I lived somewhere like Edward Scissorhands, and how could I keep surviving somewhere like that? Now I am back, and I love it. One more piece of evidence that I am no longer 14 years old.

Annnnyways, Adam and I took Rommel and went for a walk, and I skipped and grinned and Adam smiled to see me goofy and we talked to the people in their front yards and smelled the smells and pointed out features of houses that we liked and then I got back and went to class and then went to Sprouts (my new favorite grocery store), and then came home and cooked, a lot!

I made stir fry and soup, so of course I am now craving enchiladas. I've been insanely hungry today.

painting class again

This is the still life that I've set up for my painting class, with my in progress painting next to it! Obviously there are differences. Let's start with that center brown needing to be darker, and the bottom blue needing to be grayer, and the right purple needing more magenta, and you know, for me to work on all of it. But the first step in these paintings is just to cover the canvas with paint, and then make "a series of corrections," which, as Paul says, is really all painting is.

If I have time, I'm going to do a second one, and back up a lot so that the whole set up is smaller on the canvas. I am torn between just starting over already, actually. We shall see. But anyways, it's fun seeing the two side by side. :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

time for fall to get here for real!

I've been reading things my friends have been writing all over the US about how it feels like fall, autumn is finally here, etc. I am suffering seasonal jealousy! The mornings are foggier and cooler, and it's not hot at night now, but that's about it. It's still pretty darn warm during the day. I am knitting scarves and hats like crazy, hoping to inspire the weather to change for me!!!

When the weather changes, I go into apple-mode, for lack of a better phrase. I want to go out in gloves and sweaters and pick apples, and then I want to bake things with apples, and have everything smell like apples and cinnamon. It gets tied into other things too - I want to quilt, and crochet blankets, and write in a handbound journal, and make my own gifts, and decorate and nest, nest, nest.

But there's something phony about that feeling when I can go outside in flipflops and it's appropriate footwear.

During the fall, I want to be midwestern. Or from Idylwild. Either one. :)

I want to sit inside while it's cold outside, plan my spring garden, knit warm things for people I love, bake bread, and make my home as warm as possible.

This weekend was fantastic. I can't for the life of me remember what I did on Saturday, but Sunday we had friends over that we hadn't seen for about 3 years. Football started at 10am, so I woke up early and did some housework, and then they came bearing breakfast burritos. We watched the game - well, they watched the game, I crocheted. I've been crocheting baby sweaters like crazy. Found a free pattern on ravelry that takes me about 2 hours from start to finish, and I love it. I figure I can start stockpiling now, so when I am ready to have kids, they'll have a whole wardrobe! So I crocheted while Adam, Chris, David, Joe and Tina watched the game. J and T left, and Steve came over around lunch time. I heated up the pea soup I'd made from scratch, and made grilled cheese sandwiches for everybody. I had Top Chef flashes as I plated more than 1 meal. It made me giggle the whole time. I love feeding people. I played some bejeweled, then got out the box of bisque I have had in the closet for a YEAR. I dug out an underglaze pencil and went to town on my "Possible Life Series" cups which I'd posted on here about a year ago. We went and got food from Katella Deli at some point, played Beatles Rock Band in between the football games, I gave Juno a bath and spent some quality time playing with my puppy, I got out some fabric and started sewing a skirt, and then watched Dexter, Entourage, and Californication with the guys.

Good, good, good, good, good, good day.

I am living off of the glow from that day, hoping it carries me through the whole work week. Yesterday was a full day of work, meetings, presentations, and an A2A event. I got home around 11pm, and worked on my painting assignment for a little while, then fell asleep watching Adventureland with Adam. This morning we woke up early enough for a little quality time, and here I am at work again. I am taking a brief break from closing spreadsheets, refunding client's money, and putting together a press packet for the Walk for Independence. Tonight I have painting class - I am unclear about what we were supposed to have DONE for the assignment, and what we're going to be working on in class, so that makes me a little nervous, but oh well.

The objects I've picked out so far are a bunch of different ceramics, different skeins of yarn, and a cowboy hat. I am having hard time with the first painting, becuase he doesn't want us to create depth, and I HATE forcing myself not to make the image more interesting. But I bought big canvas board yesterday, and I'm really excited to do something larger than 8 x 11!!!

Tomorrow I work, and then my dad and I have a date to do Couch to 5k. Thursday I work and have painting, and Friday I work and then I'm going down to UCI to have dinner/exercise/tv show watching with Roxana.

And then it's the weekend. Wonderful, wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

painting class is getting deeper ;)

I've been taking a Fundamentals of Painting class for about 1 month now. It's twice a week, for 3 hours each week. I've really been enjoying it. We started with drawing - charcoal on paper, using objects (mostly spheres and cylinders) that had been spraypainted white. After doing that once, we moved on to painting them - but again, with just white and black paint and white objects. We did that for a while, adding objects with increased complexity and dimension, and then did the same thing but in raw sienna. We added fabric, which increased the difficulty by a LOT. Last week we started with COLOR! Instructor (Paul) would set up two still life settings - one with oranges and blues, and one with greens and reds. Adding color was like jumping off of a building into a whole new swimming pool. Oh MAN do I love color. The blue/orange combo is especially pleasing to me.

For the most part our paintings have been 20-40 minutes in length. He purposefully stops us from going further with them. He says the hardest part of painting is starting a painting, so he wants to get us over that. Also, he wants to keep us wanting to do more, and it is frustrating when he tells us to stop, switch still lives, and start again. Last night he let us work on one painting for the full time and it was a very different experience. We really got to dive in to it more than we had before.

Tomorrow we are not painting, but going to a gallery opening in hollywood. This is the kind of assignment that makes me grumble and not want to go, but I know that once I get there I'll be glad I went. It'll be really good for most of the kids (yes, I say KIDS, because they're BABIES) to get exposure to any sort of painting at all that isn't as famous as the Mona Lisa.

Tuesday we are to - well, here is the assignment:

Consumer Goods Still Life: Establishing Visual Rhythym and a Limited Sense of Depth

Most of us regularly buy various consumer products. These products might be staples such as milk, soap, socks, and light bulbs. Or they might be products we choose to indulge in more than is strictly necessary, such as gourmet chocolates, t-shirts, cd's, hats. For this exercise, make a list of consumer goods which hold a special fascination with you - items you regularly buy, or want to buy as well as objects you simply enjoy looking at.

After you have finished the list, circle two products which hold an especially strong attraction for you. For each, write a paragraph or two exploring what that product means to you adn why you like to buy examples. Does teh item appeal to you visually, emotionally, intellectually, or sensually, or in some combination of these and other ways? What do you think your interest in the product says about you?

Make two paintings featuring multiple examples of one type of consumer product, like cakes in Wayne Thiebaud's paintings. The product may be one you wrote about in teh first part of the project. Both paintings can be made on gessoed paper or canvas panels, approximately 20 x 15. Use a large or medium flat brush to establish the general shapes first. Work from the general to the specific.

Painting 1 (exploring rhythym): Depict objects in plane parallel to the picture plane. Start by placing objects on a shelf or shelves, or attaching the objects to a wall. As you arrange the objects prior to painting them, experiement with varioius ways of spacing and orienting them in order to enhance a sense of visual rhythym. Try movin gthe objects into highly ordered regular arrangements as well as relatively informal and irregular arrangements. Try arranging the objects based on patterns of darks and lights, or by size and shape. Make a series of thumbnail sketches, then, from these choices, paint the composition that most effectively establishes a sense of visual rhythym.

Painting 2 (a first look at creating depth): Arrange and then depic the objects so that they appear to recede back from the picture plane. Portray depth in two ways. First, where they are aligned, opague objects in front will shield the view of ojects deeper in space. And, secondly, the cotnrast of values will be reduced in teh distance. (The reduction on contrast means that darks appear less dark while lights appear less light)

my objects

yarn, yarn, yarn, yarn
new journals, journals and notebooks and ledgers in general
certain ceramisc
granny squares
wooden handles on those bags
kitchen appliances - like salad spinners,
lots and lots of vessels
some shoes
anything orange
purple eyeshadow
little bottles of wine/champagne
potted herbs
certain flowers at the grocery store
thin asparagus
pens, crayons, markers, sharpies, etc.
big chunky wooden earrings

we shall see, we shall see. I will have to go on a foraging trip through my house to find these. I know I like series and groups of things - I like a whole wall full of yarn, a whole shelf full of the same style of books, a whole cupboard full of spice jars, etc. I would love to combine the consumer aspect of this assignment with the visual.... looking forward to a painting assignment that goes beyond what you see in front of you!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


today's plan:
work til 4:30
go to Painting class 6-9
stop at gym on way home, do just a mere 1/2 hour of treadmill, walk, run, whatever combo, just do it (9:15-10pm)
then at home, cook pasta and spaghetti sauce with garden tomato gunk
make tofu shirataki for me, pack up the other stuff for adam
freeze the rest of the meat(10-11ish)

go to sleep!

Tomorrow's plan (Wednesday)

work - walk on lunch break
dentist appt. at 4
if I feel okay, do laundry, dishes, plant cilantro
if I don't, it's okay. Put together lunches and play bejewelled and knit.

walk on lunch
gym after painting
make lunches

nothing terribly exciting at th emoment. Just need to get back into working out.

money and budgeting

For 7 months now (since March) I have been tracking my expenditures obsessively. I have a system - I keep receipts for about a week, then sit down with my bank acct. webpage open, and my ledger in front of me, and I write down the ammounts and the balances. Then, I open up my handy spreadsheet that I got from Sparkpeople, and I then break down each receipt into categories. For example, I might spend $50.00 at Vons, but I write down if I spent it on snacks, drinks, fresh fruit, meat, spices, etc. I do this for a whole month, and then open up spreadsheet page #2, copy and paste the month's line items, and then sort by category. I then make it pretty so I can go down the list and see exactly how much I spent on what category. Then I open spreadsheet page #3, which is Months-Side-by-Side. This is so I can see trends over the months in my spending, by categories. I have a column where I find out the averages, and that's what I base my budget on. For example, if I end up spending 200 during December for gifts, but I don't spend any the rest of the time, then I am trying to spread out that 200 over a year, so I fit the average in my monthly budget.

My first few months it was a success for me to a) just track everything. It was not an easy habit to get into. After tracking, I was able to see that I was spending way more money than I wanted to on a few clear categories - eating out, for example. I think that first month I tracked I spent nealy $175.00 on eating out. The next month it was much easier to just be conscious of that, and I cut it down to about $70.00. Now I have a $30.00 limit for eating out each month,and I can usually stick inside of that.

This month I am now concerned with saving money - and that I can't seem to do that. So I have taken every one of my averaged categories, and made a whole new page where I figured out my ideal spending budget for each thing, I put that at the top of a chart, and as I spend, I can subtract to find out how much less I have for the month. Kind of the same idea as when I used to budget by putting actual cash in envelopes - that way if I ran out of one, I had to literally borrow from another. I was a very visual person. In any case, so now I have my list! I just have to stick with it. And hope that no emergency happens, because I don't really have an emergency contingency plan yet. Ack.

So my categories and budgeted amount per month are
Art Supplies: 15.00
Clothes: 40.00
Dinner Out: 20.00
Fitness: 5.00
For Adam: 25.00
Groceries: 300.00
Household: 60.00
Hygeine: 12.00
Lunch out: 30.00
Medical: 50.00
Pets: 40.00
Recreation: 30.00
Rent: 733.00
Savings: 300.00
Student Loan: 53.00
Vehicle: 290.00
Garden: 10.00
Gifts: 20.00
School: 40.00

I would so love to have a separate bank account for each category. But I suppose I'll just have to be smart enough to do it all on paper and keep track of it. This month I am doing pretty well - I blew 30 dollars extra on clothes at the beggining of the month, so I've had to borrow from some other categories, and I have to pay off my root canal - which I am able to do just a little at a time.

My other project is to sell things I make, of course. It was so much fun to do that at the Good Vibrations Conference, but now I need another publicity boost. ;)

Anyways, if you have a different way of budgeting, let me know. I am always trying to make my system better.

I'm just so very tired of being broke. I feel anxious without savings. I like having a plan.

Friday, September 18, 2009

beautiful useables and my family


My entire family was at the conference in San Diego - my dad was very excited about helping me sell my handmade items at the family fair. He was also very obsessed with those picture frames...

I really loved selling my pieces at the GV conference because a) I love unschoolers, b) I loved how excited the kids got over fuzzy things, and c) I loved how interested they were in HOW I made them.

It was definitely one of the highlights of my weekend.
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Thursday, September 17, 2009

projects projects projects!

I started more of the coin purses - I do things in stages, so first I crocheted about 8 supersized rectangles, and then felted them all, and then last night spent some time needle felting. I am going to need more wool yarn soon. I am running out. Used up all of the brilliant green and purple, have no more black... it's pretty much down to baby blue now. Time for some yarn shopping.

Went to Stuart's for a director's meeting of a new venture, which I will post about more later, I believe. We will be starting 2 LLC's - Adventures to Grow, and Adventures to Go - the Grow one aimed at youth, the Go one aimed at adults. I am very excited about this. Stuart did a good job getting his "dream team" assembled, and this could be really good. If nothing else, we had David, Salvador, Adam, Stuart and I in the same place at the same time since we graduated 2 years ago. I was grinning the biggest grin the whole time.

Have some sort of virus taking over my face. Skin hurts.

Thinking that I should help my little sister move to UCI at some point. She's going to be experiencing what was one of the coolest things in MY life, and she gets to do it even more hardcore (yay campus housing) and I have been sort of ignoring it.

Have had nothing but golden days since Adam and I had our official Golden Day. I am so pleased with us. It's incredibly easy to be so unabashadly in love.

In painting class we started using color last night. It was wonderful. Tonight we do more. I enjoy those 6 hours a week a whole lot.

Need to cook and clean today/tomorrow. The kitchen is disgusting. I tried stewing a bunch of my garden tomatoes and so there is tomatoe blood and guts all over. I need to grocery shop to cook lunches and in order to cook I need to do dishes... I just need a full day of chores to make my brain feel relaxed in my house again. I'm starting to accrue all those little piles of "I'll put them away later" and I hate that.

So this is me, right now. Lots of projects, not as much time. Feeling physically not to hot, but mentally good. Stuart's project was necessary for me. I really needed to feel excited about something new.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Are you sasha?

Home from the Good Vibrations Unschooling Conference in San Diego - actually, got home about 10pm last night, and am up and at work on this MondayMondayMonday. Eating 0 pt. Barley and veggie soup from a paper cup, because I spent some quality time with the boyfriend last night instead of preparing for the week.

The conference was fantastic, I have to say. It was incredibly pleasant - with enough structure that there was always something to do, but tons of time where I felt like I could just sit and hang out. I worked on knitting, I sold a lot of my pieces (every one of my coin purses got sold - I have to make more!) and laugh and laugh and laugh.

I went to one of Sandra's talks, one of my mom's, the contradancing funshop and... that's pretty much it. I went to bed early on Saturday so that I could get up and speak coherently on Sunday morning, and I was fairly pleased with the result of my talk. I think I got across all the big points I wanted to make. Next time I am getting recorded, however, I need to remember to speak the questions into the mic before I answer. Beginner's mistake. Whoops.

Some of the highlights for me included hanging out with Kirby and Marty til 4am on Friday night, hanging out with my dad at lunch, during the USC game, and during my mom's talk, the Sasha dance, talking about the things I made to the people I sold them to, meeting an unschooling mom who offered me land in Ecuador, and meeting Andy - my new favorite 6 year old.

As always, I wish unschooling conferences never had to end. But I really, truly missed Adam by Sunday night. If he had only been able to be there, I would have been content to stay forever and ever. When I got home, he was waiting for me and we sat on the couch and had a great conversation about homeschooling our kids and his weekend and my weekend and - it was fantastic.

I want to go to the irvine fine arts center on Saturday to do some ceramics. I'd also like to start some more coin purses. I also have about 3 hats I am in the middle of knitting. I think I am not going to take a lunch today and leave half an hour early so I can get home early. Work seems like a tiresome interruption after this weekend. I'm a little frustrated with my day-to-day right now.

Friday, August 21, 2009

stuff n stuff

wanting comfort food - sweet potato fries are in the oven, but it's not fast enough. have eaten two 100 cal packs of chips so far. In various forms of pain, wish I weren't. Listening to Harry Potter on my ipod, downloading P90X exercise videos. Will do laundry, dishes, housecleaning at some point today. Right now, want to walk gingerly and drink beer. Will go visit the garden. Want to hang dry my laundry for some reason. Wonder if I have strong enough yarn? Maybe I will work on finishing Kim's baby blanket. The bulk of it is done.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

these are a few of my favorite things

The things that are important to me!!! We have relationships in general, and mine with Adam to be specific, food, good food, community food, potluck food shared with friends in my backyard, ceramics, esp the process of it, and ideas and journaling, my garden and self-sustainability, my dog and myself hanging outdoors together, sparkpeople and the idea of goal setting, exercise, nutrition and meeting challenges, my job, my work, and the people I do it for, textile arts, heritage arts, yarn yarn yarn, the dogs and camping, my family all gathered together, and friends, singing, being goofy, and marina, specifically.

Friday, August 14, 2009

today I ate a cucumber from my garden. yum yum yum.

have a pretty damn bad headache. Please do not develop into a migraine. Please.

After work, appt. the Roxana's show.

Tomorrow, Santa Barbara til Monday!

Very excited. Very glad to be traveling. Very glad to be traveling with people who want to relax.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Ack! Again, I got very little sleep. This time it was mostly for good reason though - Adam came home, brought me a treat, and we stayed up late watching a movie. Then, of course, I was too tired to sleep. Or something, however that works.

Today I have a doctor's appt, and I have all my gym stuff with me, so I will go from the doc to the gym, and feel GOOD about that. I haven't exercised since Monday. It is time!

I've got about 8 inches of Kim's baby blanket crocheted! I'm enjoying crocheting it. It's weird how sometimes the most rote, never-changing thing is the most satisfying. I'm enjoying the sameness of this stitch over and over and over again, and the volumn of fabric that it is creating.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

big deep breath

The last few days have been absolutely exhausting in an emotional sort of way, which feels like it's crossing over into physical. I got home from work today and just couldn't keep my head up, so I went to bed. I slept for a few hours, so now it's 9:30pm, and I'm strangely groggy. I am thinking I will find an old comforting movie and go to bed again soon. I was supposed to do a 2 mile run, but if I go to bed before 10, I could get up before 7am and do the run in the morning.

I've spent a lot of my evening tonight looking at the Good Vibrations conference website - where I will be speaking at in September. I'm suddenly aching for a good unschooling conference. My mom and sister went to the HSC Conference this last weekend, and it was so odd to hear them talk about it... my first boyfriend was Josh Engle, and his youngest brother (there are 4 of them) is just about my youngest sister's age - and he and his parents still go to the conference also. My mom/sister stopped at their house on the way home, just like we used to when I was going to the hsc conference, and it's just so funny to see that little echo in their experience. I could get ridiculously nostalgic for HSC conferences, but I just don't have the energy for that right now.

However, I do have the energy to say that I am who I am because of conferences like HSC, Live and Learn, Good Vibrations, etc. I am who I am because of groups of unschoolers getting together and taking over hotels so that even those drab pigeon wall colors and carpets end up looking like peacocks and birds of paradise flowers. I am who I am because I had pink hair for most of my teens, and so did most of my friends. Because we had people piles, hugged and cuddled a /lot/. Because we had talent shows, because we wrote poetry on our pants, because we spent so much time online waiting for that one weekend.

I miss being so tapped in to the unschooling world. I saw a new HSC magazine at my mom's house and missed knowing every person who was writing for it. I'm giving a talk about being a grown unschooler and I am suddenly feeling like I should be reversing the talk - asking the audience how I can stay as connected as possible when I am working full time every single day and I don't have kids of my own.

When I exhausted the Good Vibrations webpage, I moved on to Sandra's. I hit "randomize me" and found my mom's page of writing. Then I spent a fair amount of time reading my mommy's articles about unschooling and parenting. It's so funny - some of the articles she wrote many years ago, but they still apply. She's a smart cookie, my mama. She wrote articles on soothing frustrated children, and as recently as yesterday I had wandered into her house looking for soothing, and yup, she followed her own advice.

"my heart is a teacup with hairline cracks" says Witch Baby, and I feel not exactly that way, but more like I am very small, sitting on the edge of one. Either way I lean, I fall. I'm not good at this balancing act. I don't know which direction I want to go. So I am just going to sit here, for the time being. Hoping that it's just those two choices and that the third isn't that the cup is going to crumble under me.

I don't think I am as maudlin as that sound. I think that's part of growing up. I was very upset yesterday and made a list "what would a grown up do?" Yes, part of it involved crying to my mother, but other parts involved making appointments, trying to go to sleep early, and going to work and doing my job.

I have one zucchini that grows larger every day. I have 1 small pickling cucumber and one loooonng japanese cuke. I have a few small jalapenos, and probably upwards of 70 green tomatoes. The eggplant has blossoms, so do the honeydew. The basil has gone to seed. I am saving up money to buy wood for a new, and deeper, box. I'd like to have potatoes, garlic, onions. Maybe a whole box just for melons and squash.

The remainder of tonight and tomorrow will need to be rejuvenate-Roya day. I am in need of some gentle loving-thyself. Exercising in the morning will be a good start.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

photos from the backyard

My puppy n me

My garden. It's getting huuuuge. Tomatoes, jalapanos, marigolds, white eggplant, chives, cucumbers, zucchini, basil, rosemary.

My puppy dog is getting so big...

I have a tank full of chylids, a bloodthirsty boyfriend and roommate - this is the two of them ridiculously and giddily excited about feeding small fish to slightly larger fish.

grapefruit, lemons and cucumber from my yard/garden



1 western alternative bagel (success story: put in freezer so it didn't go bad like all the rest of my bread)
1 wedge laughing cow (success story: bought in bulk at costco)
3 slices turkey bacon (success story: bought in bulk, 3 slices only 2 pts!)
3 tablespoons egg beaters (success story: scrambled eggs in one minute in the microwave? yeehaw)
1 small cucumber (success story: picked from MY GARDEN!)
dash of tapatio

5 points. and yummy. and yay.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Adam

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tired morning, yummy grapes

Made some progress with my goals yesterday! Daniel came over and set up my computer again, which is wonderful - now I have a place that is MINE that I can upload etsy photos, etc. I also started crocheting the bases for two coin purses - I crochet them with wool, then felt them, needle felt on top of them, then sew in a liner and zipper and voila! I also crocheted 1 bowl to felt, and made the front and back squares for 1 and a half new bags.

Yesterday I also made pesto from the basil in the garden - I blended basil, olive oil, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper - then I realized I'd kind of over salted it, so my solution? cucumbers! I put about half a cucumber in the pesto and it not only mellows it out, but tastes good too. I also made some cornmeal chicken, noodles, and chicken with olive oil - the idea of that was I was going to put it into the pesto, but as it is frequently with me, once I smelled it cooking it grossed me out and I wanted nothing to do with it.

This morning was annoying with barking dogs, a car blocking me in, and missing my alarm - but I am trying to remember the good part: going out to the backyard and picking grapes for breakfast. Yum yum yum.

Anyhow, that's my current update. I have a weight watchers meeting this afternoon - and I think I am going to take a NAP when I get home!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I have been wanting to revamp my etsy shop for some time - so today I've been poking around the shop a little bit, cleaning up some things. I'm not quite ready to make a whole new banner or anything - I do like the one I have, and it's going to have to wait until I decide which of my pieces I'd really like to focus on.

Today I put some of my older pieces into a SALE section - with the hopes that if those get sold, I will bring out the new items!!! So go check out my shop and look at the sales! (If I do say so myself, they are awesome sales. $15 for a crocheted handbag that usually goes for $25, for example...)

Today for the first time in weeks I don't have anywhere I HAVE to be tonight, and Adam will be working, so I can putter around on my own. I'd like to take Juno for a jog, tackle laundry and dishes, make pesto with the basil from my garden, water the garden and grass, straighten up the house, breath the smell of tomato plants, set up my computer, upload photos of marina's wedding, and get out my etsy sale pieces, organize and take new photos of them.

I've heard people say that something that makes an etsy shop successful is having it narrowed down to one item or type of item. That shops that focus on Aprons, for example, do better than shops that sell aprons and beanies and socks and necklaces. In my small amount of research, it does seem that the shops that do really well at least have a common theme or material in all of their pieces. I am debating what I want to focus on, then. I really do love my crocheted handbags, and I am thinking that between those, the felted bowls, and coin purses, that would make an excellent shop. Maybe somewhere down the line I can open another shop to sell ceramics and magnets, etc.

So anyhoo - I am excited about etsy again, and am looking forward to when my sister's boyfriend can come over and set my computer up in the office, with Adam and Chris' computers, where I can look out into the backyard and the lemon tree while I fool around on etsy.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

4th of july photos

hello world!

Today I am in wedding mode! I have so much to do for Marina's wedding... it's time it's time! I wish I lived closer... this trying to figure out what to get now and what to get then is annoying.

Today my goal is to
1. Finish the shower favors, this involves
a. finish the ribboning
b. buying the c's and attaching the l's
c. printing the l's

2. Decide on a design for the bparty favors, start those

3. Get paper for the shower B, sketch design

Wednesday I will have very little time, and then Thursday, Ethan visits and I will do stuff like get my dress, get presents, work on TS, etc.

Sorry for the lack of details, but I'm not sure if Marina actually reads this thing. ;)

This is my garden as of the 4th of July! As of today, the zucchini's actually have blossoms!!! Yay! Very pleased.

this is my amazing jumping dog. Juno gets AIR. It's amazing. Also in the photo is roommate, Chris.

We borrowed the ping pong table from my folks, spent 2 hours setting it up, and here I am...getting whomped royally by my father. He's a ping pong master. I think he beat everyone that day.

Some of the potluck food, including an amazing homemade Apple pie. YUM YUM YUM YUM YUM.

Chris and Marco playing the bean bag game. This game is awesome. Marco brings it everywhere, and it never fails to be a hit. Also, I never fail to suck spectacularly at it. It's truly a remarkable phenomenon how bad I am at throwing a damn bean bag.

Boggle turned out to be a big hit for the night, also. Roxana, obviously, kicked some serious butt. My cousin Becky wins points for persistence. I think Alex and Glen get runners ups. I, of course, did not have the attention span to sit and play for any length of time. We also played blokus, which I won, every time, thank you very much.

We had a bonfire once it got dark, here we have my Cousin Zac and his wife, Abi, sitting around the fire.

We sat in the front yard and watched the fireworks. Rommel didn't like the noise, so he got up and went inside. We found him in the office where we had really loud music playing. Juno looked up once, then put her head down and closed her eyes. I thought she was sleeping, except every time there was a bang, her ears twitched in that direction.Behind us there was a kid that said "wowowowowWOW" every time a firework went off.

The 4th of July was awesome. Everything in my life is awesome, except for the headaches. Since I want everything to be awesome, I will finally make a doctor's appt. sheesh.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Hello my fine feathered friends! Today in the life of Roya...

I am exceptionally content and happy with my life at the moment. I had a huge potluck with friends and family for the 4th of July in my new and beautiful house/backyard, and it filled me with such joy that it has sustained until today! Also, Adam is happy with his job, his schedule, and his life, and so together we have just been a happy little couple which is such a nice change from the police-academy-just-holding-it-together couple we had been for the last 6 months. We've both had the time to remember that we love each other, to laugh at each other's jokes, and to appreciate the hell out of one another. Last night we went to see the Hangover, very funny, totally worth seeing, and SUCH a nice date night.

I had grapes from my yard for lunch today, I started puppy training with Juno on was tiring and discouraging at the time, but I am filled with new-found resolve today. I'm going to Step tonight, I'm going to ride my bike to karate tomorrow, I'm going to the circus on Wednesday, Ethan is visiting on Thursday... the week is flying! I have also officially taken the time off work for Marina's wedding, so that's a relief. haha.

I have the loveliest of houses, gardens, dogs, boyfriends, roommates, family, friends, jobs, and lives. Today is a happy day. I even worked on the striped kneesocks! I made doctor's and dentists appointments, grocery lists... good combo of catching up and fun. And it will continue!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

my garden, dogs and backyard

Thursday, June 18, 2009

square foot gardening

I've been doing some gardening research, and I think for my first gardening experience in the new house, I'll be doing Square Foot Gardening. Easy to handle, compact, and high crop yield! Sounds good to me.

My dad already has seedlings for me, and all I'll need is a 4' x 4' box, and the compost/mulch/vermiculite mix. Oh, and a grid for the top. But I can use string until I find something better, at least for the time being.

I'm so bored with being at work today. 40 more minutes. I want to go home. I'm also sleepy, and just....done with being here. I want to go home and MOVE!

moving and gardening!

Sitting here in my office after reading Heidi's blog is always difficult for me. Her blog is very inspiring - I want to go knit, raise animals, work in my garden, sew a skirt... it's hard to sit here making plan after plan and not be able to go out right now and do it.

I love my job, but I really, really, really wish I could stay at home. I have so much I want to do.

Today after work I'll stop at the dry cleaners, then go home and load up a carload of stuff QUICK style. My friend Grande offered to loan me his minivan, which would make each trip more effective than using my Yaris. So if I can do that, I will.

The dirt in the backyard is really tough and dry, and I think I need to make raised beds for my garden. So today I'll also start looking for free wood...I have a hammer and nails, what else do I need? :P

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I go back and forth between awesome and productive and frustrated and ineffective. I need to stop depending so much on Adam's moods to dictate which direction I go. Marina made some comment before about remembering that I am not in charge of his emotions, and I need to remember that too! I get used to him caring about all the little details, and then I get frustrated when I tell him things that yes - might be way too much detail for most people, but empirically speaking he's wanted to know them - and then he doesn't want to hear it. Grr.

Oh well. Wrote it down, done now. And cable is getting hooked up no matter how frustrating it is for whoever. ;)

We got the keys to the new place last night! I have moved in one carload of stuff, and have another carload with me now to take. I would like to have everything possible moved by Saturday, so that Saturday I can spend working on the garden while I wait for the cable guy. Sunday we'll hopefully get the big stuff moved, so that we can spend the next week cleaning out the old place.

I love moving. And it's a crazy pain. Also, Adam and I will now have a roommate, which will be wonderful (Chris is superb) but add an unknown-for-me element. We shall see!

I haven't picked up knitting in weeks, it feels like. I've been busy.

I went camping in the Sierra Nevada's last weekend - take a look at my blog at for a photographed account of that. Also my facebook has all the photos too.

Adam also graduated the police academy...woohoo!

I am not coherant right now, I keep thinking of things I need to do. So that's all for now.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

recap of my week

We still haven't heard confirmation from the landlords about when we can actually get the key. I'm really frustrated. We can't exactly start packing til we know when we can move, since we'll just be sitting amidst boxes and boxes. I packed up *some* stuff anyway...took photos off the wall, magnets off the fridge, and packed up my toiletries. I'm proud: I am getting rid of a ton of stuff, too.

Tomorrow is Adam's graduation - which means today they are doing the Pride Run - they wear their class shirts and go for a minimum of 8.5 miles. Yeesh. Then they have a class bbq, and then have "graduation practice" whatever that means. I can't believe the academy is almost done. It seems too good to be true. I hope I'm not laboring under the misconception that I'll get my boyfriend back...he seems to think that the next 6 months of probation at work will be harder. But holy cow, I don't see how that can be. At least it won't be the same kind of hard for me - the academy was all consuming and there were 60 other people to be consumed with. At work, he'll be the new guy, but it'll still be a regular *JOB* - not a lifestyle that I am locked out of.

So tomorrow I'm either driving up with Chris or my mom to Pasadena to be the proudest girlfriend ever. I got him a gift - a pair of Smith and Wesson cuffs, with his name and the date engraved. I hope he likes them. He was talking about how much he needed a second pair of cuffs, and I figured it'd be a nice way to commerorate the occasion too. Useful AND sentimental! Score!

In other non-cop related news I've been trying to go to a bunch of group classes at the gym this week - my goal was 4 different classes: step, spin, aqua and turbo kickboxing. However, I only made it to two different ones: turbokickboxing and step. I did attempt to go to spin, but they were full! Aqua I didn't go to because my elbow was hurt and I didn't want to push it. However, I liked both TKB and Step a lot and I'm going back to the Step class today.

I'm done with 1 of Rosie's striped kneesocks, and have about 4 stripes done on the 2nd one, and then lost steam. I've got to get that back out again at some point. They're not really difficult, and they're actually really fun to knit. I just put it in my art supply room, and then the entrance to that room keeps getting stacked high with boxes and junk and it's actually physically hard to get in there! heehee. So I should make a foraging expedition and get them out.

I've been feeling like I'm getting sick for the past week, and I was so glad to be in bed by 9:30pm last night. I don't feel better today, but I don't feel worse either, which is good.

That's all from me, for now. I wish we had the go ahead on the house!