I Have WAY Too Many Interests

This was a really good weekend.  The past couple have been, and for that I am thankful.  I already posted about Friday and most of Saturday, so I won’t bore you with repeating myself (I am like my father…I can re-tell the same story a thousand times).  Saturday evening was a girls night out at Red Star in Town Center.  It was low key and a good time.  We left around midnight when it started getting loud.  Oh the days where I didn’t go out until after 11pm…now I want to be home and in bed by then!
Sunday was a good day too.  I went to Organic Depot in VA Beach, and guess what…they had Tofurkeys!!!  I cannot express how excited that made me!  I’ve been looking for weeks.  I even went to Amazon.com, and they were out of stock.  I seriously thought they went out of business or something.  And the funny thing is, I went out there to get a few other staples…nutritional yeast (it imparts an almost cheesy quality to my foods), Ezekiel bread, and a few other items I can only get at the hippie stores.  And lo and behold…I’m browsing the freezer section and they have them!  I’m nearly giddy as I call D and tell him. 
After Organic Depot, I went to Sam’s Club, and then to the library.  I’m about halfway through the 2nd Belgariad book, Queen of Prophecy.  Since there are 5 books, I wanted to get to the library and check out the audio books before I finish my current one.  Of course, they only have books 3 and 5, so I’ll have to reserve book 4 online.  That’s okay though, I’m good for another 15 hrs of listening or so.
After the library, I stopped home to drop off all the stuff I bought, and to grab M and R and take them to the gym so I could do my Fitlinxx routine.  D planned to take A driving (and running MORE errands!).  They went to Michael’s (the craft store) and then to the mall.  A is hoping to find a seasonal job, if they’ll hire 15 year olds. 
After I got home, I started making dinner for D and the kids.  I made them fish, baked potatoes, and mixed steamed veggies.  My dinner though, I started when I woke up in the morning.  I have a fuzzy logic rice cooker that has a timer on it.  It makes so much more than rice – though it does that fabulously.  It also makes cakes, soups, porridge’s (like oatmeal, etc), and apparently, I can make beans in it too!  I made the following recipe, though I skipped the Dulse flakes since I didn’t have any (it’s a seaweed substitute for salt) Black-Eyed Peas and Sweet Potato.  The woman who writes this blog is someone I follow on Twitter.  It’s also the month of vegan food blogging (called MoFo…month of food…), and she’s one of the MoFo bloggers.  I saw this recipe and thought it would be really cool to try.  It was so cool, and so tasty.  I served it on a couple of corn tortillas, and only 250 calories later, had an amazing and filling dinner.  With some red wine of course! 
Today I woke up, took a shower, and made some pancakes for breakfast (always a favorite).  I made lunches for the kids, D, and I , and was off to work.  All my meetings today went well, though I didn’t get much done because of them.  I’m just glad it’s a short week due to the holidays. 
After work, M and I went for a run, and then I crafted for a bit before making dinner.  They had steak, pasta, and green beans.  I had more black eyed peas, sweet potato, and avocado tacos!  And red wine of course!
Right before I went to the Outer Banks with M last weekend, I was reading my VegNews magazine.  There was an interesting article in it about how one of the unintended benefits of the down economy is that more people are gardening, canning, knitting, etc – people are making things.  They’re getting creative and frugal, and that’s a really good thing.
Of course, this got me thinking about my own desire to “make” things!  I started crocheting a blanket SIX years ago that I never finished.  It’s been 3/4 of the way done, sitting in a zipped up bag in my closet for SIX years!  My mom taught me the basic single crochet stitch when I was a kid.  Many years ago, I bought an incredible book called Crocheting In Plain English that is so easy to follow, even I could use it.  On the drive back from NC, I decided that I was going to get that blanket out of my closet and finish it up.  Before I can finish this story, I have to explain something if you’ve never read my blog before.  My youngest daughter R (who is 7) is severely allergic to both peanuts and tree nuts.  We found out the hard way (like most people do), after she ate a peanut butter cookie while at the soccer game of my eldest daughter A.  R was 4 at the time.  We have a zero tolerance policy for any and all nuts in the house, and to be honest, I don’t ever eat them anymore.  It’s irrational, but I’m “mad” at them for the harm they can cause my little girl.  Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled blog…I got home, went up to the closet, and grabbed this bag that I haven’t opened up in years.  I sit on the couch, and start pulling out this nearly finished blanket (it’s burgundy, off white, and green), thinking if I get it finished, it would make a lovely Christmas gift.  As I’m reaching in and grabbing everything, I see a very large bag of opened mixed nuts lying in the bottom.  I freaked out, packed it all back up, and immediately took it out to the trash.  That’s how long it’s been since I’ve even opened this thing up.
Of course, I still have this burning desire to “make” something.  So…I grab A (she’s the artist, after all), and we head to Michael’s!  My entire goal was to buy some yarn, some new crocheting hooks, and maybe a pattern or two.  I walk in, and am immediately distracted by the Christmas stuff!  I had mentioned to D that I really wanted to decorate this year (normally we’re quite the minimalists), and nearly keeled over at all the things I could “make”.  I saw all these raw materials for making wreaths etc, that I decided I really needed to.  Of course, I didn’t know where to start, so I took some pictures with my phone of some finished projects hanging on the walls…and proceeded to buy fake flowers, plain green wreathes, and beads.  After wandering for about a half hour randomly throwing things in my cart, I finally make it to the yarn aisles.  After another half hour of feeling overwhelmed by yarns, and needles, and patterns, and hooks, I find a simple pattern for a scarf, grab some new crochet hooks, some pretty yarn of green, cream, and white, and make my way to the front of the store.  All told, I only spent $30, and I felt good about that!
  R and my first attempt at making our own wreath!  I’m thinking I need to buy some lights, and then it’ll rock.
  My eldest daughter A.  She’s the artist and has taken quite a bit to sewing.  She made this stuffed bunny on Saturday out of a pair-less sock she found.  He’s wearing a monocle.  That’s cool.
I decided last week that I really want to learn how to knit.  I saw a TON of cool patterns at the store, but they all involved needing that skill.  I tried teaching myself many years ago and failed miserably.  I follow several crafty people on Twitter, and after announcing I wanted to learn, got many replies and emails on websites with videos, beginner books, etc.  From everything I could tell on my research, knitting is much more versatile that crocheting can be (though it’s fun and seems to involve less need for coordination – which is always a concern for me).
When I went to the library yesterday, I picked up several knitting books.  While I was at the gym, D and A went to Michael’s specifically to get me some knitting needles and yarn to play with.  Today, I started to learn to knit!  I sat in front of my computer watching the instructional videos, reading the book, looking at the pictures, and eventually getting the hang of a couple of stitches.  What was funny is that M – who is 13 – walked into the room, asked me what I was doing (I told him I was knitting), and proceeded to chant “knit one, purl two”.  I’m not sure how he even knew what that was, since I just learned the purl stitch this afternoon.
  Cats decide they want attention when THEY want attention.  It matters not what you want.  They tend to want the most attention when they realize you are busy doing something other than trying to gain their affections.  This is my cat – Bumble – who is sitting ON my instructional book and trying to eat my knitting needle.
  This is Bumble batting at the end of the needle and trying again to devour it.
  When I removed her from the desk where I was busy trying to learn my new hobby, she decided that attacking the yarn would interrupt my endeavors.  She eventually grabbed it and ran off – tangling herself up in it in the process.  Her name is Bumble after all…she has almost as bad coordination as I do.
  This is R showing off the scarf I made for her.  This was a crochet project that I finished yesterday.
So here I am with an ever expanding field of interests…cooking, running, yoga, baking (no, it’s not the same thing as cooking), gardening (which I haven’t done, but feel the need to), canning (though I need a new canner), crocheting, knitting, rock climbing (did it once, loved it, but no clue how to go about pursing this particular interest), wanting to do a triathlon, crafting, volunteering, learning foreign languages (don’t ask), reading, meditating (haven’t done it, but would love to learn), traveling (don’t do much of that, but want to)….you get the idea.  Too many things excite me, that it’s tough to focus on any of them.  I have come to the conclusion that I need to become independently wealthy so I can do nothing but pursue my interests.  In the mean time, I’ll just keep working, exploring, and loving everything.  I guess there are worse things than that.

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I am a 45 yo busy career single mom and doctoral student attempting to find her inner athlete, be a gluten-free(ish) vegan, and find a way to balance it all without going crazy! I love to cook, read, run, box, do yoga, dance, travel, and learn as many new things as I can - which often gets me in trouble.... I am passionate about life in general, and if I didn't write about it, I'd probably implode.

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