Unexpected gifts

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I went dumpster diving last night. I love dumpster diving, and Christmas Eve is a great day to go, because stores are throwing out a lot. Even things that otherwise might get donated or saved one more day will be tossed, because it’s the holiday and it’s hard to save things that extra day.

We hit two Aldis, one Trader Joe’s, a Pier One, and a Panera. There were a few other places we drove around, but those were where we had success. Our haul included 3 bags of Halos mandarins, one bag of organic Trader Joes’s oranges, half a bag of Trader Joe’s tangerines, a bag of limes, about a dozen bell peppers, two packages of organic Trader Joe’s vine-on tomatoes, a package of baby carrots, two loaves of Aldi white bread, a bag of Aldi rolls, a package of flatbread crackers and two loaves of bread from Panera, and, bizarrely, a sort of painting/mosaic wall hanging from Pier One. The food is easily worth $75-$100,depending on what Panera charges for bread(I have no idea), and the wall hanging retails for $170.
This is why I dumpster dive….it would kill my weekly food budget to buy half of that food, and now I have it. When I got home and cleaned all of it, I did have throw out a lime and a few oranges and peppers. This morning I looked over it again and had to toss a few tomatoes, but still, overall it was a great haul. I can’t eat the bread, but my roommate can, and she can freeze it, so might not have to buy bread for weeks. Yesterday, in preparation for today and out of concern that I wouldn’t eat enough produce during my long weekend, I bout a bag of halos at the store for full price, $5.99. Dumpster diving gives you perspective. And of course, dumpster diving on Christmas Eve gives its own spin to the holiday. And I would much rather be bonding with my roommate over food than buying her unnecessary, expensive gifts.

A Christmas, of sorts

Christmas isn’t a very important holiday to me these days. As far as gift giving goes, I would much prefer to by the things I need when I need them, and I’m on the side of “we don’t need all of this anyway!”, so not getting a lot of gifts from friends and family isn’t a problem for me. Some of my family have sent me cards or even gift cards, which is wonderful, and my parents sent me cookies and dog treats, which was really cute and thoughtful, but that’s all I really need. And I’m not very close to any family, so I don’t have anyone to go see- I’m hoping to spend some time with some friends in January, but for now everyone is pretty busy.
I’m instead very excited to spend the next few days getting things done. Today I did yoga, went ice skating, and cleaned- all good things for me. I plan on spending the next few days doing more if that, especially cleaning, organizing, setting aside things to sell or give away, sending out resumes and job applications, going to as much yoga as I have time for, making lists and plans for the new year, and just really getting ready for a great and productive 2015. In other words, trying to take this holiday season, which so many of us allow to stress us out and make us broke, and turning it into my kind of holiday, the one where I actually do my chores and then have time to walk my dog.
On that note, I just had a birthday, so I’m really trying to get past the “this is not where I thought I would be” and instead get more done. Maybe I’m finally old enough to take things seriously, but not too seriously, if that makes sense.

My very fancy Christmas Eve dinner- sushi Wednesday is best Wednesday.

My very fancy Christmas Eve dinner- sushi Wednesday is best Wednesday.

 

Goals

November is never long enough to get everything done that I want to. I always imagine that I’m going to have time to write every day, knit every day, exercise regularly, and actually remember to do all of the other things I need to do.

But, well, I tried. I tried blogging every day even though my life isn’t very inteesting, at least not to me.
I tried writing every day, although sometimes I didn’t write any more than I put in my blog post. And I managed to knit about 75% of a sweater, two sleeve cuffs, one sleeve of a bulky sweater, a headband, and 1 1/2 mittens.

I also didn’t finish my novel, but that’s probably not a big surprise. I mean, if I set goals for myself that were actually achievable, my life would probably be pretty boring, I would also feel good about myself all the time, and can you imagine how boring that would be?

Exactly, pretty boring,

Running out

onestly, I’m running out of things to write about every. Day. I don’t know how people who routinely blog every day do it. I don’t have that much to write about. I can tell you the yoga moves that felt best today- tree was good, reverse plank wasn’t terrible, although I wish I could take a class soon where they wanted to do flower pose or an easy inversion that I can actually do- and I can tell you about knitting. As in, I did some. I also tried cleaning my room and kept getting bored, so I have to keep going tomorrow. And my paycheck came through, followed by several overdraft fees. And I walked my dog around the block a couple times. That’s the sum total of most of my day.

And while writing in my blog every day feels rewarding because it makes me set aside time to work on writing, and means that I spend more time and more words than I otherwise probably would it still isn’t a replacement for yet another failed novel (although I wrote every day, just not enough words). It also doesn’t make up for my messy room or forgetfulness.
I used to read more, which fave me more to write about. I follow politics but don’t really Mille to write about them unless something is so big and so unavoidable I have to write, even if the end result is being more annoyed even thsn I was before. But at least I keep writing, and at least someone out there keeps reading, so that gives me something to think about and work toward.

Mittens

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I’ve never actually knitted myself a full pair of mittens before. I’ve made fingerless ones and I’ve made my roommate mittens, but I’ve never made myself mittens. Today, then, I decided to change that.

My hands were cold.

Also, I went to Joann Fabrics to try to get more yarn for my bulky sweater, and of course, they didn’t have the right shade. I started it out of Wheat, which is almost exactly the same as Oatmeal, but different enough… Also, as any knitter knows, you can’t just switch up. even if no one else noticed, I would know, and that would drive me crazy.

This pattern is called Cruiser, and I chose it because it was free and made for size 6 needles and worsted weight, and that was what I had. I’m using some of the Rowan pure wool for my sweater, a contrast color that I wouldn’t need the whole skein of anyway. I’m pretty sure this one is “really red”. Which it is, so it fits… And I feel good about getting them done this weekend, so I can wear them starting next week.

While it was of course Black Friday, I spent very little of it shopping. Instead I knitted, cleaned the bathroom, did a load of laundry, ran to the grocery store for soda and orange juice, knitted some more, and took the dogs out about five times. And, of course, went to yoga this morning. My downward dogs were pretty good today, my tree pose was solid, my twists sucked. But there’s always tomorrow. As some of the teachers I’ve had so far have been so good at reminding us, it’s called a practice. You don’t have to be great at everything every day. Honestly that kind of attitude is one of the things about it that I find the most refreshing. It doesn’t matter if I feel cranky or fat or tired, I showed up and I tried. It’s the opposite of a competitive sport.

Speaking of yoga, though, I did order some yoga pants online from athleta today. There was a sale, and I need some bottoms specifically for yoga since I’m trying to get going as much as possible. Here’s hoping they fit me when they get here.

Semi-thankful

for the last few years, holidays in general have been kind of weird to me, and thanksgiving is no exception. I’m not in school anymore, so the time off isn’t as exciting. And I don’t live at home, so the idea of a special meal isn’t automatic. And if I want to do anything else on a holiday, like go out or go to a movie or do a run or go on vacation or whatever, I have to get myself there myself and make it work. And most of the time in recent years, I haven’t had the money or time or willpower to do much of any of those things. I don’t go home for holidays, much too the surprised of people I meet. Of course, a big part of it is money, although to be honest I also find traveling during holiday seasons, when everyone else is traveling, to be way too stressful to be worth it (sorry family). This year I didn’t even have the cash to register for a 5K on thanksgiving, and it was also super cold this morning, so it’s not likely I would have followed through anyway, really. I learned that when I did a coupe colder weather events last year. It’s easy to justify yourself right out of even finishing.

So today? I started knitting a headband, because I wanted a cute hair accessory. I went to the gym and did a yoga class- the YMCA is apparently open on thanksgiving, and to be honest I am very thankful, because it’s a great service to have access to on thanksgiving, much more important for them to be open than, say, target.
Then my roommate and I went to whole foods, since she had forgotten the dee sugar. I hated having to go into a store on thanksgiving, although at least I didn’t buy anything and I got to see some of the people I worked with there, so that was nice.
Then it was home for her to finish her whipped cream, and I went to her grandmother’s. It’s always nice, for the melt part, to have someone else’s family to see when you can’t see your own. Although it’s also easy to feel out of the loop. They’re not your family and you don’t share the history, so everything either has to be explained to you or just floats over your head.
The was plenty to eat at least, although I had way too many carbs. Not like that’s a surprise for a vegetarian at thanksgiving, although there was at least some good gluten free stuff.

Intesting side note to think about, last thanksgiving was the day I stopped eating wheat. Nearly a year ago. For the most part I feel better, and don’t miss it, so I think that’s something else to be thankful for. My stomach problems are almost totally under control, and while It might make me sound like a clueless and stupid hipster, I can’t help but feel like my diet change is part of why. Although I do need to get back on track, which I will do for the rest of the year at leat.

I signed up for the YMCA healthy holiday challenge, which is good because it’s a way for me to chart myself for the rest of the year. Maybe I can even keep going into the new year. I plan to a t least log my. Running and other workouts. It’s something a,to of successful athletes do but tThat I have never tried.

Overall I’m thankful. I’m mostly healthy. I have a job. I have a roommate who I get along with nearly all the time and, of course, an adorable dog who I feel I’m making progress with every day (she actually played with a toy today!). Of course I have things to improve, but I also feel right now like I have the tools in my skill set to make those improvements. We’ll find out, I guess.

Finishing all the things.

I left my second sleeve at work today. It was the last day before a long weekend, lots of stress, and then they told us they were closing early- and In my efforts to Get ready to go…it did not make it into my bag. I realized this when I was more than halfway to the YMCA, of course, with no chance to go back. Add this to not having my credit card so I couldn’t buy a hostess gift for my roommate’s grandmother for thanksgiving, although she told me I shouldn’t, so whatever…and I still haven’t gotten paid for last week, thanks to a combination of me, my supervisor, and someone in the universe’s payroll office.

Overall, just a really discombobulating afternoon.

But, well, now I have time to finish all the things. All the things I need to finish, and haven’t. If it still adds up to Two sweaters total by the end of the month, I’ll call that success.

First up is my three movies sweater. I’m hard at work on it, although it may go out of the running again because I am about to completely run out of yarn.
After that I know there’s a few other accessories I need to finish, and probably even space for another sweater to work on, it really depends on how much other cleaning and crap can get done in the meantime. I took Monday off as well, In the hope for a long weekend and lots of them to clean and knit.

Good thing I have plenty of help.
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