Saturday, January 31, 2009

Etsy Bitsy

Thought: Hold on to your dreams until they come true.
Thought: Take it a step at a time.

Today I launched my Etsy shop, "Sincerely, Alex" here.

I have wanted to open my own shop/sell my crafts somewhere in some way since I taught myself to sew two years ago. It was never the right time or I thought I didn't have enough items made and I went back to school. It was just never the right time.

Recently, I stopped being a nanny. I had a lot of time over winter break to craft. Though the middle of my week is full, I have Monday and Friday off. I've met lots of Etsy Sellers on Twitter. My Brainy and Beautiful blog following has grown. It just seems like everything has fallen into place and it is the right time.

I've put myself out there. Now I'll just wait and see what happens.

Sweet Saturday

Woke up to my Love cuddling close to me and our cat resting on my stomach.
Made bed.
Caught up with blogs.
Activated Etsy store.
Took photos of Etsy items and posted the items on Etsy.
Took husband to go pick up his car from being serviced.
Dropped husband off.
Filled up the car's gas tank.
Drove to Burlington (20 minute drive)and returned books to Borders.
Drove to Waltham (25 minute drive) and dropped donations at the Thrift Store.
Looked for furniture (for our laundry area) at the Thrift Store with no luck.
Drove to Newton (25 minute drive) to do groceries at Trader Joe's.
Drove home (20 minutes).
Put groceries away.
Made chicken pot pie.
Washed and put away dishes.
Washed and put away laundry.
Had dinner.
Watched Life on Mars.
Watched Kinsey (better than I expected).
Played cards.
Quick Wii workout.
I plan to finally finish Powerscopes (deadline Monday)tonight and get to bed.

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Kid in Me

Thought: Laugh loudly and heartily at least once a day, preferably with others.
Thought: Do at least one spontaneous, silly thing once a day.
Thought: Adults should get a minimum of twenty minutes of play time once a day.

Today was a nice balance of productivity and fun.

The fun occurred at my friend Irma's house. She and I and her sister-in-law, Tara, had lunch, watched the movie Duck Soup, and went for a leisurely walk.

Lunch was a treat for the senses. Irma made a nice salad with avocado and vinegar, butternut squash soup flavored with curry spices, and homemade whole wheat bread. Amazing!

Warming and filling for the body.

I had never seen a Marx Brothers movie before. Irma and Tara grew up on them. I told them I had always, since watching the Gilmore Girl's episode with the Marx Brothers movie party, wanted to see Duck Soup. So, we watched it and laughed until we cried.

Warming and filling for the soul.

Then we went for a walk. We took photos. We slogged through knee high snow to swing on the swing set at the park. We fell in the snow helping each other up and giggled while shaking snow out of everywhere.

Warming and filling for the heart.

My inner child was wide awake.

Which got me to thinking, kids have playtime and, I think are generally happier and more care-free than most adults. Playrooms in every work place and a mandatory 20 minutes of playtime built into the work day would be good for everyone.

What do you think? What would/do you do for playtime once a day?

Finally Friday

Woke up to kitty purring against my stomach and husband rubbing my back.
Got up.
Had cereal while making husband's lunch
Made the bed.
Washed and put away dishes.
Went in the shower.
Started the dishwasher.
Off to drop off husband's car for service and bring him to work.
Drop husband at work.
Go to Michaels to pick up some crafting supplies.
Go to Borders and realize I forgot the books I need to return at home.
Stay at Borders and begin reading and making notes on the book I need to read for school by 2/18.
Go to Starbucks for a hot passion fruit tea and computer time for sketching out my paper due on 2/10.
Go to Staples for page protectors and find awesome blank postcards on sale for 5.00 for a pack of 100.
Go to Irma's for lunch, Marx Brothers movie Duck Soup, and a photo taking walk.
Pick husband up from work.
Make and clean up from dinner.
Put away all dishes.
Catch up on blogs.
Now I plan to do a final push on the Powerscopes and email the final product to Becca at Teen Voices. When I finish that, a quick Wii Workout, maybe some t.v. and bed.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Library Literacy

Idea: Library of Television
Idea: Library of Discarded Books and/or Library of Little Known Authors.

Tonight I stopped at the library looking for books about the history of television, info. on specific T.V. shows (mostly from the 1980's), and biographies of television stars to find photos I could scan and use for an article in Teen Voices. There was nothing. Yes, I know the Library of Congress has a Motion Picture and Television Reading Room, but they charge you for images and they take 3-6 weeks to get the image to you. Not helpful. Plus, it isn't somewhere everyone can go when they are looking for something and I don't think they have anything on Kelly Bundy of Married With Children fame, at least not according to the search I did on their website. So, we need a Library of Television that is housed in a building, but also makes images and other materials available on-line for free. Aren't all libraries supposed to be free?

When I was looking for books about 80's teen stars and shows, I was told by the librarians that once materials aren't relevant to the children they are "discarded". Well, where do they go? I don't know and they didn't seem to know either, but I think all these discarded books should be collected and put in one physical place. Any duplicates received by the Library of Discarded books can be sold and the profits divided equally between the library who sent the book and the Library of Discarded books or something like that.

That led my wandering mind to the idea of a Library of Little Known Authors. I often pick up books on the clearance rack or tucked in a musty corner of an overflowing used bookstore. They are usually rather obscure and are some of the books I have most enjoyed. More people should have the pleasure.

Teen Voices Thursday

Today I was up early and raring to go.
I made the bed, did dishes, had breakfast with my husband, took a shower, made husband's lunch.
I gathered my things together and headed out the door with my husband who so kindly drove me to the bus stop so I didn't have to slip and slide all the way there.
I worked on my homework on the bus ride to Harvard T-Station and hopped the red line to Teen Voices.
I arrived at 8:40, nearly an hour early, but people were here to let me in.
I caught up on email, checked blog, and started work on the Powerscopes for the Online February Issue of Teen Voices.
Becca, Editor and Chief of Teen Voices, asked me to find high resolution (1MB or higher) images for an article on teens on T.V. Easier said than done.
5:00 I headed home. 6:00 I got off the bus and walked to the library which is on my way home. They did not have any books that were helpful in my quest for photos for Teen Voices. I walked the rest of the way home.
At home I talked to my friend Tanya while preparing dinner.
Husband came home and we had dinner.
The rest of tonight we plan to chill out and read together. I have to do some reading for school. I also need to work on writing Powerscopes for Teen Voices, but that may have to wait until tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Stay Dry

Idea: Rain boots that zipper down the side and a plastic/rubber flap over the zipper. If not a zipper, snaps up the side instead.

It is hard to get in and out of rain boots without getting your hands wet and getting water everywhere. Zippers or snaps would make everything easier while still keeping the feet and legs protected and dry.

Snowy Today

Woke up to snow and closed schools which meant no volunteering at Perkins School for the Blind. Husband made me a nice bowl of pomegranate blueberry cereal. I made husband's lunch and sent him off to work.

With all this unexpected free time, I attacked the house and all those little odds and ends.
Washed dishes.
Put a load of laundry in the wash.
Made soup of vegis, beans and lentils.
Made the bed.
Swept the floors.
Swiffered the bathroom floor.
Dusted the whole house.
Tried to bring the pre-compost out to composter, but composter was frozen shut.
Put the washed laundry on the drying rack and in the dryer.
Call school to find out where class is this evening.
Fold and put away dry laundry.
Clean front hall closet. Select items to give to Thrift Store.
Email Melis with directions to Kick *ss Cupcakes.
Catch up with email
49 minute Wii Fit workout
Off to school

Getting to school was a wet and wild adventure.
I walked to the bus through ice, snow, slush, rain, and freezing rain, fording puddles up past my ankles. Once at Harvard Station, I caught the red line to Porter Square. From Porter I walked to the book store to buy my school books. Putting the books safely inside my most waterproof bag, I began my eight block walk to school. Again, all types of precipitation and crazy puddles, lakes, really.

Safely in the classroom, I put my hat and coat an bag by the heater to dry. Couldn't do anything about my soaked through boots and jeans. Class was amazing. Then the eight block walk to Harvard Station which was slightly less treacherous than the walk from Porter to class. Hopped the bus home and husband picked me up from the bus stop and drove me home.

At home we hung up all our wet stuff and changed into pj's. Husband put jeans in the dryer for a go around. I assembled a dinner of leftovers and washed the empty containers. Dryer finished up and I put away jeans.

I plan to do some Teen Voices work (write powerscopes, brainstorm Girl Talk) and get to bed after a really good day's work.

Yahoo for Yesterday

Woke up and made husband's lunch.
Washed dishes.
Folded and put away laundry.
Ironed the one item in the laundry that needed it.
Made bed.
Went to 10:00 Dr.'s appointment.
Came home.
Put away dishes.
Gathered items I needed for my day at Teen Voices.
Walked to the bus stop talking to my friend Irma. Called Timothy 1st, left message.
Took the bus and subway to Teen Voices.
Arrived at Teen Voices at 12:30
Edited a story on how the media portrays Christians.
Came home.
Called Melissa to confirm plans.
Made dinner.
Washed and put away dinner dishes.
Quick Wii Fit workout.
Catch up on blogs.
Cuddle with husband.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Little Birdy Told Me

Thought: Take notice of the little things.
Thought: Be gentle with yourself and others.
Thought: Tread lightly. Don't forget to look down.
Thought: Singing sweetens even the most mundane moments.
Thought: Friends are one of life's greatest benefits.

Three little birdies taught me all of, remind me of all of these things today.

I was standing at the bus stop on a busy road today. I was on the phone with a friend, pretty oblivious to my surroundings. Then I heard chirp chirping, but saw no birds above. They were below, standing beside me talking to each other, singing songs. One little guy kept slipping a bit on the ice, but his two friends were right beside him, propping him up. I just fell in love with those little birdies. They gave me my little dose of magic in the every day.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Trying Today

Today was a busy one. I managed to meet a lot of my goals and get a lot of things done.

I woke up and made my husbands lunch. While I made his lunch, he renewed my Flickr account. When he was safely off to work, I did some free-writing. I also edited and tweaked some recently written work.

I took a shower and headed out on errands.

First stop, school where I went to the bookstore to see what books I need for the semester. It was a mob scene with a ridiculous line wrapping around the store. I saw the books I need for my literature class and wrote down titles so I could try and pick them up cheaper on Amazon. I had no desire to wait in line at the book store.

Then I stopped by the Continuing Ed. office for some information on the summer Writer's Conference which I plan to apply to.

Done at school, my plan was to go to Burlington, MA (about a 20 minute ride) to do all of my errands in a pretty contained area. On my way there I realized that I had forgotten the books and the dress I needed to return. Change of plans.

Quick thinking, I hopped off the highway in Waltham where we used to live. It is just a town over from where we live now. I stopped at CVS and Petco to get those errands done. Then I stopped at home for the dress I needed to return and continued on to the Old Navy at Arsenal Mall in Watertown. I'll go to Burlington to return the books and pick up the crafting items I need at Michaels on Friday.

At home I put away the dishes in the drying rack, sliced and baked sweet potatoes, boiled the remaining sweet potatoes for mashing, and cooked sausage for my husband. I ran the dishwasher, put away the dishes that were in the drying rack, and washed the dishes I had created. I neatened up the odds and ends left in the living room from my morning writing extravaganza.

I talked to my sister-in-law to set up a Wednesday night dinner and cupcake date, left a voice mail message for my brother, and talked to my mom. I left a voice mail message for my friend Irma to see if she would like to meet up with me on Friday while I am on errands in Burlington since she lives nearby.

Husband came home. We had dinner.

I looked at buying school books on Amazon. Surprisingly more expensive than the school bookstore. I will go early to class on Wednesday to pick up the books.

The dishwasher finished and I put the dishes away and loaded up the dinner dishes.

Then it was quick Wii Fit workout and blogging fun.

Phew. This blog is already boosting my productivity big time!

Seeking Shoes

Idea: Make shoes for women with Lymphedema and other foot swelling issues. Since women with Lymphedema can't wear shoes with any cut-outs, peep toe, etc., have a base that is thin'ish' while still being firm (unlike compression stockings) and provides compression while also blending in with the skin. Build cute shoes around that base. Since Lymphedema often appears in teenagers and many people are living with the disease, there is a market for this.

This is an idea I have had for a long time. I am taking steps to make it a reality.

I have been living with Lymphedema, an incurable disease, in my legs and feet since I was 16 (11 years). I always have trouble with finding shoes that fit and meet all the requirements (must provide ample support and go up to at least the ankle, no cut-outs, no sandals, no Birkenstocks, etc.). In the winter I can wear boots which is easy enough. Summer and Spring is when it gets tough. I usually just buy fashionable, fancy looking sneakers. It is a hassle though. I have had to provide my employer with a medical note saying I have to wear sneakers. It is difficult to find appropriate footwear for formal events. Also, sometimes I just want to feel like a girl and a pair of cute shoes would go a long way in getting me there.

I am currently doing research and getting materials together to some day send out to companies and doctors who can help me make this dream a reality. It would be even more wonderful if a cure is found rendering this idea obsolete.

To learn more about Lymphedema and/or donate money to research for a cure, visit the National Lymphedema Network here.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Slow start this morning, but once I was awake I was off and running.

Up at 11 a.m.

10 minute shower.

15 minutes to dress, gather things, and get out the door.

The husband and I had tickets to the 1:00 Boston Celtics game. We live not far from the city, but we still had to drive to a local parking lot, catch the bus, and transfer to the subway (red line to green line) riding two different trains before arriving at the T.D. BankNorth Garden. Celtics crushed the Mavericks!

After the game we had a late lunch/early dinner at Grezzo, an amazing organic vegan raw food restaurant in Boston's North End and just a seven minute walk from the Celtics game. It was an incredible meal. Even my omnivore husband said so. The staff were warm, welcoming, and eager to answer questions about the food and how it is prepared. The atmosphere is soothing, too. Usually we talk to each other nearly non-stop at meals, but the layers of flavor were intoxicating. We just silently savored each morsel. No doubt, we will be going back.

When we returned home I headed out to do the grocery shopping.

An hour later I was home and doing dishes, washing the stove top, and folding and putting away the laundry.

Settling in on the couch is one of my favorite things. I brought my pen and stationary with me, though, and prepared M's postcard and the Luistro's thank you note for mailing tomorrow.

Now I am off to write poetry and read a bit of Ophelia Speaks before bed.

I think this constitutes a good start.

Sunrise Surprise

Thought: If you are looking for magic, just turn around.

My husband and I have two cars, but only one assigned parking space. Winter parking bans insist he park his car across the street in the school parking lot every night November through April. The catch: One of us must get up and move the car back onto the street at 6:30 every morning. Usually my husband does it since he has to get up for work anyway. Recently, I decided I would be the one to move the car on Saturdays and Sundays since my husband works so hard all week long.

I am not at peace with the cold weather or the wee morning hours, but I'm trying to embrace it. Saturday morning was o.k. since I'd been up with insomnia all night long and was pretty much numb to everything, but this morning I was wide awake and feeling it. It was dark and frigid. On my walk to the car I was blind to everything but the cold and the sidewalk leading me to the car. As I fumbled to unlock the doors I asked myself why it was that I agreed to get up early on the weekend and shuffle through the cold in my pj's and slippers to move this silly vehicle. As I turned the car out of the parking lot, I saw the answer that I had my back to the whole time. A flaming red sky. The whole world clear and still and colorless against a magnificent scarlet backdrop. A gift. No more complaining.

Column to the Right

I have lots to do. Some sort of organization and prioritization is necessary.

In the column to the right are my lists.
Important Dates.

Astericks indicate completed tasks.

Many lists are longer than they appear. In order not to overwhelm myself, I chose to show only a few items on the less urgent lists. As I complete tasks, the visible items will change.

I'll be posting about my doings daily.

Getting Started

My life is feeling scattered.
I have a whiteboard full of To-Do's.
Thoughts come and go, too oft forgotten.
I need a place where they will not be erased or misplaced.

Tonight I found Oren Lavie's song, Her Morning Elegance.
I'm in love.
This blog is named after a line in the chorus.
"And she fights for her life as she goes in a store with a thought she has caught by a thread..."

That's me.
Catching thoughts by a thread and making webs in the days ahead.
All the while leaving space for spontaneity and simple pleasures.
Lofty expectations.