Whew

What a whirlwind the past few weeks have been–working a lot, but then taking a week off to join my parents in New York for my brother’s graduation, and then diving right back into work and house-sitting for mole-killing cats immediately upon my return.  It’s all been wonderful of course.

So, New York is clearly the most intriguing part of the above paragraph (for those of you who know where I live: resort rural, quiet, small, mountainous and classic-ly wide open).  In short, New York was quite a change, but a very welcome one.  Matt accompanied me on the trip and it was so nice to have someone to travel with.  I’ve become so accustomed to dealing with everything myself, and sitting for hours reading or talking on my cell phone.  There was a certain comfort involved in my singular traveling style, but also so nice to have a companion this time (in short someone to voice all of my ridiculous concerns too, thus displacing my travel stress–thanks Matt).

In the city we spent the majority of time walking around and exploring (aka wearing ourselves out).  We toured a few galleries in Chelsea, several small bookstores and one very large one (the Strand), ate a lot of wonderful food, walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, visited a friend of mine working at the Met, walked around Central Park, and spent a lot of time enjoying each other’s company.

It was a wonderful trip, and for probably the first time–I wasn’t entirely ready to leave…..but once back in Idaho amongst the mountains I was quite happy.  It’s always nice to come home, and especially when home is so beautiful.

I’ll post some pictures when I next remember to bring my camera along….

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The joys of trying to save some money

I’ve realized that the most money I spend on anything every month is food.  Now, this is good as opposed to spending more money on clothes, gas, entertainment, etc.  However, I’ve been completely out of control–buying spices, strange ingredients I will only use once, bags of different types of flour and oat of which I only need half a cup.  Last week I resolved to actually go through my cupboards and eat what food I have before going out and buying more (the exception being that I have continued buying some fresh fruit, orange juice and yogurt–my staples).

Unfortunately for my apartment I also decided to undertake a massive spring cleaning at the same time.  For me, cleaning involves pulling out every single object from every single space, cleaning that space, and then reorganizing the objects.  This can be a bad process when I then become too lazy or lose focus and fail to actually clean up my mess.

So, this is the state of my small apartment at the moment: in the living room there are four piles: stuff to give to the charity thrift store, stuff to try and sell to a consignment shop, stuff to return to various friends, and stuff that will eventually go into one of the other piles.  Also, I have been working on a book art project for a class that I’ve been taking, so another quarter of the living room holds this crafty mess.

In the poor kitchen there are cans and various food products all over the counter, and piles of recyclables and trash on the floor.

When the place is already so messy I have no reason to tidy or dust or vacuum.  Oh, and I’ve been out of dishwasher detergent, so there are small mountains of dishes to be hand washed piling up in every corner.

Yes, it is disgusting, but I have been saving some money eating lima beans and carrots for lunch, pasta and homemade pesto for dinner (normal anyway), making granola out of the various oats and nuts that have been sitting in cupboards for months, mixing frozen fruit with my yogurt, and remembering for once to eat food before it goes bad.  It’s amazing how simple it is to use what you have (and to get rid of what needs to go), but it’s also amazingly difficult to bring these projects to completion.  That’s my next project.