Spring plans

I used to have posts about the things I would like to change or implement in my life. The majority of the time they did work really well and I have implemented them in my life. I do not think I have done this for some time. So let’s roll again 🙂

1. Eat at least 10 food that I have not eaten in the last one week. I keep eating the same things over and over; apple, tomato, onion, herbs, milk, yogurt, beans, cheese, and eggs are the regularly consumed food. While they are more or less healthy, I am afraid I am missing the opportunity to benefit from other veggies/fruits/dry food. In the past whenever I recognized this, I aimed every week to purchase and eat at least 6 different things that I have not eaten within the last week. This time I would like to increase this to 10 so that I can challenge myself (always fun!).

2. Consume the pantry food that are older than a year. I know what they are; rice, bulghur, and wild rice. I am not into rice that much, but I can make an effort to consume more of it. I will get creative with the others. It will be great to use them up so that I can get fresh ones 🙂

3. Thrift shop for blouses and shirts for a renewed wardrobe this Spring :).  I want to budget 50 bucks to keep visiting the thrift stores and buy blouses and shirts. I am happy with my latest purchases and I have been meaning to renew my shirts for some time (many of them have been in use for at least one year). Change is always good and I am discovering that certain styles are fitting me well. It is exciting 🙂

4. Declutter the wardrobe. After I purchase new tops, I want to remove from my wardrobe those that I do not wish to wear; some can be modified (I hope I can make this with my sewing machine),  donate (those that are in good shape), or dump (those that are old and battered). Since this has been a wish of mine for so long, I think it will feel awesome 🙂

5. Clean the yard and plant veggies/seeds. I do not know how the previous owners managed, but the yard is uneven which requires me to fix it. Also there are broken glass bottle and plate pieces everywhere. I cleaned quite a bit in the past but this year I want to do a better job. I also want to grow herbs and other veggies. Spring is almost here, so I can be busy working at the yard the next few months.

6. Lose another 10 pounds. I managed to lose 15 pounds in Fall. I gained 5 pounds back but I am still keen about losing a little bit more of fat. I know morning walks from home to office as well as eating lots of raw veggies and not eating after 8 pm coincided with my weight loss. So I am interested in replicating these behavior and hope that I can lose another 10 pounds 🙂

7. Drink more tea and reduce coffee consumption. I increased my coffee consumption too much. This coincided with me having my weekend breakfast at home rather than at a cafe. I drink around 6 cups of coffee per day now, which does not sound good to me. I do not experience physiological problems like palpitations, but nothing of too much can be good. So from tomorrow on I will focus on drinking 3 cups of coffee per day at most. The rest of the time I can drink tea. Good plan 🙂

8. Get a new hobby or activity that I do not usually do. Whether it is a sitting meditation or hiking the trails, I do not know.  I have read somewhere about “nature bathing” or something like that. Basically it means sitting in a park or around trees, and exposing our body and mind to the natural beauty and freshness around us. I am looking forward to finding a park and doing this this summer.

9. Surprise myself :). I would like to surprise myself by doing things that I would not normally do. I believe this would help me break my routine habits, or see things differently. No idea how I could do this but having it in the list means I will revisit the idea time to time. Who knows maybe I could come up with something interesting 🙂

10. Sew. I could not focus on sewing yet……. I have the machine, notions and fabric, so all I need is a new project that will help me get excited. Ideas?

on thrift stores, spring, and gardening

I continue to be excited after the thrift store treasure I hunted yesterday 🙂

I keep thinking; is it becoming more of a normal for me to shop at thrift stores? 

There are two thrift/donation stores at walking distance that I seem to visit frequently only lately. I am not comfortable with the idea of buying shoes, undies, trousers/shorts, sleep wear, or any other personal items (like towels or bed linens),  but shirts, blouses, jackets, sewing notions/fabrics, and books are okay.

I still seem to be reluctant “to be seen shopping at these stores” (talking about social pressure that I need to deal with in my own mind…) and to buy things that will give me an urge of “cleaning intensely’ before use. No offense meant to anyone with the latter point – I know it is just a personal thing; realistically any of the items at this stores can be cleaned and used, and I have not heard of a case that a serious harm occurred because of an item purchased from a thrift store. In contrast, in terms of limiting waste, recycling, reusing, and protecting not only the natural resources but also the unfortunate and poor, I am clear that it is the most responsible thing to do. Also, the variety is much better than any store we have around here and prices are very, very reasonable. I have not passed that “cleaning” stuff just yet. Anyways.

I was thinking; then why did I not do that before and shop at thrift stores?  

I have no answer to that, other than the fact that I think it just fits my current budget and life-style much better than before and I do see an additional personal benefit in terms of the excitement of browsing the stores (there is always something new), finding something that I can really like (and I mean that – the three blouses I purchased lately are incredibly exciting for me to have and wear), and the ability to purchase them without breaking my current lean spending plans (three blouses cost me 13 bucks so far….).

When was the last time I was so excited about something that cost me so little?

You got it.

——————————

It is a kind of gray and rainy day. Nevertheless, I enjoyed a short walk in the morning. The winter has been hard on us but nature is awakening with trees getting greener and the air feeling a little bit more fresh, more Springy… I am really excited about walking becoming so easy and second nature to me. 

Nature GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I want to do better with my yard this Spring. I would love to have a herb garden and some nice flowers. We will see how it goes, but today I am proud to say that I planted 6 potato which had sprouted in my kitchen. My mom advised me to cut them in 2 or 4 and plant in the yard 5-10 cm below the surface. I have done this and i hope that I will see them grow into more potatoes 🙂 I have also planted the roots of fresh mint that I had purchased this week. I really would love them to survive and thrive – so far I was only able to grow mint and peas in the last 3 years…..

Let’s cross the fingers my friends 🙂

Potatoes GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

gifs by:https://giphy.com/gifs/flowers-spring-6vg3kRY0Jk3Go;https://giphy.com/gifs/tmi0F8ojXMvvO

Excitement

Excitement…

Excitement is an integral part of life, is it not?

I feel much better and energized when I am excited about something. Maybe it is my saving and budgeting efforts. Maybe getting stuff on sale with really good deals. Maybe it is baking a great bread and making plans for the next ones. Maybe it is walking in the mornings or finding a great book every once a while. Maybe it is accomplishing something at work, working efficiently, and getting good news/recognition. Maybe it is the nice weather and awakening of the nature with the coming of Spring. Maybe it is the coming vacation to be spent with my family. Maybe it is blogging and knowing that I am a part of a meaningful, informative, and supportive community.

Whatever it is, I increasingly realize that excitement is a good thing for me.

My budget has always excited me, occupied my mind with its ups and downs, and with its progressive and nowadays stable nature. To tell you the truth now that I am spending much less than before, and know and apply saving strategies that work for me, I am not as excited about it as before. OK….

Books still excite me, but I have got used to be on shopping ban for them and the fact that I have many books at home to be read, including the GRMM’s A Song of Ice and Fire, I am not really excited by the idea of buying books. The only book I can buy is about how to make bread – that is all. And I guess I will wait till my vacation to buy one or two.

Work has been exciting today as I could work efficiently and with less than regular distraction. I am moving a good project and that feels good. Also, my colleague from yesterday and I interacted quite positively today, which removes any stress about our potential conflict. All to be grateful for and yes I am excited about these.

I do not wish to walk in the mornings nowadays and I am okay with this. I know when I feel so, I will walk. I am not pressuring myself and I kind of take it as it happens. I am also excited about this lack of pressure and comfort I provide to myself.

Spring, of course, is amazing and I continue to be excited about it. I gave water this evening too to the seeds that I planted at the weekend. I also am happy to see my rosemary is looking considerably healthier that the weekend, thanks to watering it every morning. i am excited about this, too.

I am yet to feel excited about my vacation as I am more focused on finishing things at work prior to leaving. I usually start feeling excitement the day of my travel – I cannot wait for that. there is something awesome about leaving everything behind and taking a break to focus on what is important in my personal life for a change.

I am excited about trying breads, yet I develop that fear of running out of ideas or recipes to try. I know this is not a realistic fear as I am sure there are tons of recipes out there. But, I guess what this tells me is that I like to figure things out, try and experiment. Once I figure things out, then they are not that interesting anymore. So I constantly come up with new plans – like making my own pasta (which I will try some other time). I am also excited about the prospect of purchasing cookie sheets, dough scrapper, and a nice mixing bowl.

Luckily, I get to search for and identify the items on sale each week by checking three store in my close vicinity – that excitement is thus permanent.

I realized that anticipation seems to be a common theme in my bread-making, planted seeds, work, and budget adventures. An interesting driver of excitement.

I realized that once I got something integrated in my life, like my budget, I am not that excited any more.

I realized that some of my excitements are temporary, such as Spring and my rosemary.

I realized that maybe that is why I need to keep look for other activities/things/hobbies to keep myself excited.

Oh well..

Nonetheless, I would like to remind myself that I have time and resources such as internet – I can figure them out.

Who knows what they will be and how they will change my life. Now this idea is exciting!

🙂

The Spring is here

This week is feeling like a real Spring 🙂

It is warm, sunny, and more importantly we are aware that the Spring is here because of the May 24 long weekend 🙂

There is something about this long weekend that tells everyone that things have changed; you can see everyone in their yards planting. I start my grass cutting adventure in this weekend. I also plant seeds.

Today I cut the grass and it made me tired as usual 🙂 quite an exercise – I should be grateful but honestly my arms are aching 🙂

Today I also started to think about what exactly to plant this year. Last time I planted around 50 bulbs, 8 of which had grown but could not give flowers. I checked them today and there was no sign of growing this year. I hope though they will show up. I really would like that.

Last year I had planted seeds for a number of herbs; parsley, mint, basel, oregano… None had germinated….. which is frustrating. I really would love to have some herbs in my yard. I had mint last year; I had stuck the stems of fresh mints I had purchased from the store and they actually grew and made me happy. Do you think they will show up this year? They say mint is quite a versatile plant. I hope the roots are still there and healthy.

I decided to try the herb seeds this year again. I now have some parsley seeds getting ready for tomorrow – I heard somewhere to put the seeds in water a day or so before planting to help them germinate. I am trying it today and tomorrow I hope to have parsley, basil, and some mint seeds to relocate into my yard 🙂

Exciting times 🙂

Welcome Spring!

yard update

Okay – the spider-plant like one I planted in the yard completely turned white the next day; I am pretty sure it is not happy; destination = unknown.

But I am seeing at last two different types of small plants; one with delicate yellow flowers and the other with a long headings just showing up at the parts of yard I paid little attention so far. No idea what both are – but I am excited that they are there. This also tells me that they either did not germinate or were too young to show themselves last year.

Alternatively, maybe, just maybe, I am looking at the yard in a little bit more detail this spring. As a matter of fact I believe that is a highly probable possibility; last year my primary interest was to cut the grass (for the first time) without puking (not joking) :).

One of the onions is doing okay but the other two I am not sure. I will see.

I am so anxious to see the seeds (herbs and flowers) coming out. It is only been six days since I planted them, so cannot expect them to show up today or tomorrow. But I am so looking forward to the day I will first meet with them. This is of course possible if the soil and the shade/sunlight conditions are right. I am imagining that one morning I will see many tiny stalks coming out of the soil, like a little army of herbs/plants. And then they will grow, get strong, and conquer the piece of land they have under their leaves. 🙂

random thoughts

It is Sunday and beautiful.

It is a little bit foggy and chilly today yet, we are, those who have been longing for the spring for so long, still hanging in there 🙂

Where I am, this weekend (the Victoria day long weekend) is considered to be the first week of spring (yes, unfortunately we get long winters…). Many of my neighbours were out this weekend, tending their yards and planting stuff.

Cool.

This year is my first time planting plants/seeds and taking care of my yard a little bit (removing clutter; I found another spoon today while digging, in addition to broken glass and china pieces. What is up with these? was this yard a garbage dump?!!). I remove the stuff as much as I can. But I am afraid if I dig deeper, I can find more interesting stuff. 🙂

Ok, so what have I done in my yard today? well, I worked on one part of the yard, which I plan to plant garlic, onion, and potato. I will have to work a little bit better at that place – there are too many rocks and plant roots. Cannot plant anything there yet.

I also worked on another small part and managed to plant seeds of three different flowers. These seeds were given to me by my mom and I cherish them a lot. Will they please, please, and please germinate, bloom, and show themselves sometime?

I planted my first onion (yay!) on a pot outside. When I went thru my onions in the kitchen, I noticed two more onions that were a little bit softer; I planted them too. Mom says garlic and onion do not need to be planted too deep. That is what I have done. Knowing my usual carelessness and the cold climate here, as usual I am hoping for a miracle 🙂

I also planted three small plants, which were indoors since winter. I really love them and I do hope they will survive in the yard. Especially those long ones – imagining how they will dance with the wind makes my heart warm. I should go and get some more.

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