Sunday, April 14, 2013

I just wanted to say hello

Hello! If you can believe it, we had more snow this weekend. Friday, my bus driver made converstaion by asking me if I was ready for another 20 cm. Yesterday morning, I was bundled up in my imitation Uggs, parka, cowl, wool socks, and mittens. Snow was still falling today when I woke up at 5:30, but now, 12 hours later, I've just come in from my first tiny bike ride of the year. Things are melting fast, especially on the roads.

Tim made lentil curry and coriander rice, and I made a salad with cucumber, yogurt, garlic, and dill. After supper I slipped outside, pulled my heavy green cruiser out of the garage, put air in the tires, pulled her over the remnants of a drift in the driveway, and hopped on. It's still too slushy, sandy, and salty to ride Annalena. My green bike's pedals are smaller and less grippy; I can't fully extend my legs when I push down on them. The handlebars are so wide that I steer like I am playing Mario Kart.

I'm always surprised by how much I change every winter. Every spring, I find myself timid on the roads once again, running out of breath more quickly than I remembered, forgetting what I do in the face of an oncoming car in a residential street, self-conscious about how my bum looks when I stand up to pedal. Within weeks I'll be cycling in traffic again. I'll be on a racing bike, in far less clothing. My winter self can hardly believe it.

Tonight I have two British medieval morality plays to read for Tuesday--my second-last final exam. Tim and I are making strawberry ice cream. The grocery stores here are already trotting out fresh strawberries, though they hardly taste on their own and need sugar. It's a false, forced seasonality I don't love--it's somehow un-Canadian, at least for this province where we all know winter still hasn't finished with us--but we got four pounds free last week.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Resolutions in March

- learn to make my own happiness (because it is not Tim's job, and because circumstances will not always be peachy)
This month, this has meant reading quite a lot on emotional eating, giving myself permission to stop eating food I'm not enjoying, buying a bracelet, sleeping when I'm tired, showering in the middle of the afternoon, baking myself a birthday cake, having little conversations with the Simps, buying tulips, starting Guns, Germs, and Steel in the middle of the semester. 

- complete one wearable sewn garment (hello brown paisley dress)

- master fair isle knitting (in order to make things such as this)
Finally! Progress. This is a Kate Davies cowl pattern called 'Hazelhurst'.

- remove makeup every night (this has never, ever been a habit--now that flossing is down, it's time)
I would say I'm at something like 60%?

- reach goal weight once and for all (140 pounds)
See first item above.

- pay back money owed Tim (so very close)

- pay off student loan (not so close)

- repair book cubes (damaged in the move last spring)

- further improve backyard (especially firepit, but also hope for fruit trees, removal of gravel, chopping of hoary huge evergreen)

- write something (anything) every day (this should be at the top of the list)

- learn more about math and computing (calculus, number theory, Python)

- publish in at least one magazine (which means submitting)
The Blue Hour came out with their first print edition, and were kind enough to include my poem from January.

- give excellent presents (better than last year)

- apply for at least one "real" job (something outside the service industry, something challenging, something that utilizes my skills)

- properly repair bathroom ceiling and baseboards (and begin to learn about renovating a house)
We have a plan. Now to buy supplies.

- play the violin again (Vivaldi's "Winter")

- learn more about baking bread (to begin: read the lovely book Laura got me for Christmas)
Rye sourdough is proving a challenge. I have a live starter, but my first two loaves did not rise well. I bought some whole rye flour, since I suspect that part of the problem is the dark rye I've been using. We'll have another go this weekend. 

- get a tattoo (at last at last)
Progress here too. Now to scrounge up several hundred dollars. Tips.

- put more of myself into relationships (especially that relationship with one Tim Put)

- use my nice things (and remember that I have many)
It was jam our friends made last summer (thanks Mel and Jessie!), my own chocolate mint tea, marzipan which had been sitting in the freezer for a year, cloth napkins from Emily, Christmas shower gel, a hand-wound clock unearthed from the "keepsake" box and set ticking.

- make and repair more, and buy better and less (I need a darning egg)
The keepsake box contained another clock, an Alice in Wonderland clock my parents gave me when I wasn't even a year old. The battery-powered mechanism wasn't working, so Tim ordered me another one, and new clock hands. They arrived today. Also, five years later, we ordered a  Blendtec.  No more semi-disposable 30-dollar affairs.