Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Things That Made Me Happy in January
1. Barack Hussein Obama. I am no longer cynical, I am hopeful. Our new president has such an overwhelming task ahead; I do not know if any person could be up to the challenges but I do know that I have such confidence in this intelligent, well-spoken, thoughtful man and today I am very proud, once again, to be an American. Stay informed Here and Here.
2. Coffee in bed. This weekend was a long one for my husband and I (looove academia), so we took turns making coffee in our French Press, preparing a tray, and bringing it upstairs. Sometimes we'd eat cookies, too.
3. Coffee in the shower. My sleep patterns changed recently and I found myself waking up really really early. My husband and I have been working out after work for ever, but we were becoming increasingly frustrated with its impact on our down time. We'd rush home, ravenous, but no! first to the gym! Once home, we'd end up eating dinner too late to enjoy it, shower quickly, then it would be time for bed.
In the past, working out in the morning wasn't logistically feasible, with four people vying for our one shower. Also, I resisted rising any earlier than necessary, especially on a work day. But now that my sons have moved on, and I was waking up so early anyway, I thought, why not? So now we set our alarm for 4:45 am. The key is not to think about it. If you ponder, the second after the alarm, "What if I stayed in bed today and worked out tomorrow instead?" you're dead. Once I pull on my sweats and am outside scraping ice off the windshield in the frigid, dark, morning, it's too late. My path is chosen.
One of my colleagues at University of Southern California, a morning runner, came into work one morning complaining about the mess she had made when she dropped her coffee cup in the shower. We all made fun of her--who takes their coffee in the shower?--but now that I am a morning runner too I have seen the light. I prepare the coffee maker the night before, and when we step in the door, back from the gym, it's about finished brewing. I head to the shower and my darling husband brings me fresh-ground, freshly made coffee. He has to choose the cup carefully because it must fit on the windowsill, just adjacent to the shower stall!
4. My new coat and hat. For Christmas, my husband gave me this beautiful J.Crew Lady Day coat in sea salt (creamy white, really--lined in Thinsulate). A few days later we found the cloche at Urban Outfitters. I still need a faux fur muffler, I think, to really complete the look. And I always carry a Shout wipe with me, although I recently tried it on a minor stain and the wipe caused a more noticeable mark than the dirt scuff itself. Wah!
5. Knitting and reading books about knitting, sewing, etc. I'm a novice, but this month I taught myself how to knit cables and fix dropped stitches (sort of). And I'm about finished with a beautiful scarf made of cashmere and wool filaments that is the color of the Nantucket hydrangeas. Last week I went to the local knitting shop over lunch. There's a table around which ladies sit and knit, so my friend and I brought our knitting and worked on our projects a bit. I tried to watch all the seasoned knitters in order to break the bad habits I had developed by teaching myself knitting in a vacuum. I also spent an unreasonable amount of money on yarn for two new projects from Louisa Harding's beautiful book Knitting Little Luxuries.
There's only so much time in the day, though, and thus often I prefer reading about crafting rather than actually doing it. I'm actually--or I used to be--a very good sewer, but it's still fun to look through books of basic sewing projects such as Seams to Me, Stitched in Time, and Amy Butler's In Stitches, and I can't wait until this book comes out in February. Knitting-wise, although God knows when I will knit through the yarn I purchased last week, I'm about to order this book from Amazon; wouldn't it be lovely to knit Anthropologie-like sweaters for oneself?