This post is loo-oong overdue, but I wanted to share with you guys some of my super fun finds from my recent trip to the Alameda Flea Market.
This flea market is super fun, but I do have two tips:
2. don't try to see the whole thing
My girlfriends and I stayed for a couple of hours, and by the end, we had seen about 25% of the booths and were exhausted! Exhausted, yet super thrilled with everything we found!
This is actually a wooden cake stand which I LOVE. I walked away and the immediately circled back and was so relieved to see that it was still there.
PS. Hi friends! I'm back from my accidental blogging hiatus. I missed you too!
PPS. Yes, I am still loving the long-necked creatures. And, yes, this is what happens when you spend 2 hours looking at everything on etsy listed with the keyword "giraffe."
It was as if the Universe really, really wanted me to prove the point made in my earlier post that one would no longer be intimidated by cooking if they spent some time watching me in the kitchen.
I should have my own tv show.
Here's the thing: I love cooking, I love crafting, I love all things creative. But I'm not one of those people who is just naturally good at these things. For me, cutting a straight line would be about as easy as reading Goethe in German. Virtually impossible.
It's really easy to be intimidated when it comes to this stuff. I grew up watching Martha Stewart and her effortless grace. Let's face it, I am not a person in possession of effortless grace. I read amazing creative people's blogs and see beautiful things people make. And it seems so very easy. But when I try to do these things? There's a lot of effort and usually some cursing. But I still get it done; the getting it done is what keeps me going. And, really, isn't there a certain beauty in the struggle?
Which gets me back to being on tv. I really do think that if more people, people who are intimidated to try things because they know that they won't be able to do it as well, or as effortlessly, or as quickly or tidily as Martha, could see people like me doing things, the intimidation would be gone. GONE. Because there is nothing intimidating in my method.
Case in point: On Monday, I decided to make bread. From scratch. With yeast and everything. I've been thinking about making my own bread since we returned from France, and when we were in Arizona, I found a copy of The Tassajara Bread Book among Tim's things. I took it as a sign that the time for bread was now.
Folks, this was bread-making 101. I read all of the instructions first, since I'm nothing if not a good student. Step One: mix a bunch of stuff with the yeast and wait 30 minutes. Done. After half an hour, I went to add the flour. But, oops, I forgot, I didn't have any flour. In the car, to the store, back home 15 minutes later, whole wheat flour in hand. I don't think this is what those Tassajara folks had in mind.
But I kept on. I owned that bread. Messily. Flour everywhere. Next time, I'll take pictures. Although I might lose some of my glamour and mystique when y'all realize how very messy I can be.
Then I waited while the dough went through it's first rise. A looong time, since it was too cool in my kitchen (thanks Bay Area summer!) for the dough to rise quickly. So long, in fact, that I completely forgot upon returning to the dough to add the salt and oil that I had decided to cut the recipe in half. Oops. I remembered right after adding said oil and salt, but it was too late. The dough had started enveloping the glob, like a big salt-and-oil-eating monster. Oops.
I laughed. As I was blotting salty oil out of my pretty dough, I laughed. As I attempted to scoop oily, doughy salt out of the mouth of the dough monster, I laughed. Because making bread is fun. Even when you mess it up.
And you know what? In the end, even though I didn't knead according to directions, even though I cut the dough in half for the loaves way too early and then had to pinch it back together, even though I realized at the very end of the process that my lovely mixer has a dough hook and everything could have been way easier, the bread turned out beautifully. It tastes like bread. Good bread. Bread without chemicals and preservatives and high fructose corn syrup. Just bread. Made from my hands.
Of course I trashed the kitchen in the process. Tim shook his head and chuckled when he came home. Which again brings me back to having a show, to really just help everyone else out. To take some of the mystery out of all of this. To make it okay to struggle, to not do things exactly right, but to do it anyway.
I suppose I should invest in a Flip video camera...look out, youtube, here I come!
Well, friends, here we are in August. This seems like a good time to take stock of things, see how much, if any, progress has been made on those brand-new-year-things-are-gonna-change-goals I made back in January, which, right now, seems so far away.
I've been feeling a little disconnected from my dreams lately. I've had so many changes, so many possibilities, so many options that sometimes it's easy to be overwhelmed and take on too much and lose focus on what I really want. Which is why this reunion with my dreams is so crucial right now.
Here's where I stand with the dreams of Dream Big in 2009 fame:
- Train for and complete a 150 mile/2-day bike ride -- in progress!
- Compete in and win the Amazing Race (with Tim, the best teammate ever, of course!) -- I need to check on this one. I know we missed the spring application deadline, but I'm on it for the next round.
- Travel to Paris in the spring -- done! woot!
- Begin training to become a Life Coach -- on hold.
- Begin training to become a Pilates instructor -- on hold.
- Earn income by creating and selling my own paper crafts on Etsy -- in progress! My plan is to have the etsy shop open in a couple of months. There will be much celebration on the blog when it's up!
- Begin the process of writing a children's book with my BFF, Laura -- in progress, although Laura may not realize it :)
- Have an article published -- I'm amending this one slightly. I think it should read, Submit an article to be published. This one hasn't happened yet, but I still have a few more months.
As I was thinking about this post, this poem flashed into my head. It seems fitting.
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
-- Langston Hughes
Do you have any goals for 2009 that need revisiting? I think we could all use a gentle nudge (or swift kick) in the right direction every now and then.
My first thought: OMG, I would be mortified. It's not that I don't get stuff done throughout my day. I do. I am busy and productive and blahblahblah, but I also have this amazing ability to piddle my day away doing not much at all. I don't even watch TV, but between my Google Reader, Facebook, and Twitter, there's a lot out there online to waste the day away with.
The ironic thing about this is that I have so many things I WANT to do, plans I WANT to complete. I have more stuff to work on now that I ever have before. Projects and ideas that I'm excited about. That I can't wait to get started on. But, somehow I keep finding myself not quite having enough time to get it all going, to get that ball rolling.
After recovering from my supreme embarrassment of the thought of you guys watching a video of me waste my day away, I decided to take on my procrastination head-on. I empowered myself to stop being embarrassed and actually fix it. Wow! What a concept!
Therefore, my online time is going to be cut severely back. I'm going to refocus on things I want to get done and actually start taking action. I'm going to walk away from the computer and actually start living my life. Balance is needed, and I'm going to find it.
Later this week, I'll also be revisiting my Dream Big in 2009 plan. But for now, let me ask you: if your typical day was being recorded, what would we see? Is there anything you would change about how you're living your life? Anything besides making sure your hair was always brushed and your lips glossed?
I've been listening to A LOT of Avett Brothers these days. Between painting the kitchen and the road trip to Phoenix, they've been playing pretty much playing nonstop on my ipod.
Here they are performing one of my favorites, "St. Joseph's," live from a gondola in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Beautiful.
We sat at Lake Junaluska
And cried over where we would wed
If it’s this place or any other
It’s not where I am…it’s who I’m with
-The Avett Brothers
I really love that sentiment: It's not where I am, it's who I'm with.
PS. Phoenix hit 119 degrees today. Yes, it really is that hot. And, yes, I do realize that some people live here all the time.