Lifting Weights and Mid-day Crashes

The Artist and I hit the weights together yesterday.  He is naturally really muscular and strong, and can lift quite a bit, and in order to get a good workout, he has to lift pretty heavy.  Me on the other hand, I consider myself reasonably strong, and enjoy a challenge.  I love it when I can increase the weight on something.  But I do have the muscle definition the Artist has.  So we are lifting together, and nearing the end.  We are sweaty, exhausted, tired, and struggling to get a fresh breathe of air in the sticky, hot weight room.  The air in there is so heavy, its gross.  And earlier, I had bicycled to the Athletic Complex, it is a good distance with large hills, to attend day 2 of a self-defence course I am taking.  Day 2 was a little bit of “lecture”, but mostly learning moves and practicing them, and practicing them with the instructors holding pillowy cushions while you punch.  I have done kickboxing before, group fitness, drop in style, punching and kicking the air to music.  This class was 3 hours but it was a slow pace as we were learning technique, but actually punching hard and having your punch have contact with something is down right exhausting.  I was dozing on the Artist’s shoulder before we went to the gym.  I can’t believe I even made it there let alone lifted weights.

So we are nearing the end of our workout, doing biceps.  I am quite sweaty, but the Artist is clearly sweating and is very uncomfortable.  I am deliriously exhausted and tired, and I get the giggles.  And I am a giggly person even when I am not tired.

Artist: (As he finishes a set) Do we still have triceps after this?

Me: Yep.

Artist: F@#k.

Me: (laughing) Next time we should bring a water bottle with some gatorade in it to drink while working out.

Artist: Next time, lets bring the camping chairs, so we can sit down.

Me: (laughing)

Artist: And a beer.  And a hotdog.

Me: (laughing embarrassingly hard)

Artist: (as he finishes another set) And a puke bucket.

Me: (laughing so hard there are tears)

Artist: (gasping for air) And an oxygen mask.

Me: (laughter is not uncontrollable)

We finish up and head home.  And in good timing because my muscles had had enough.  Anything further and fainting would have been a possibility haha!  The Artist makes a delicious protein shake, and we always find ourselves coming back to life with every gulp.

A bit later, I made the Artist a big sandwich.  Ham, lettuce, tomato, banana peppers, black pepper, mayo, mustard, and “sub sauce” on a ciabatta.  There is no sub sauce here in Subways.  Crazy, right?  I don’t order it, but the Artist loves it, and it is like the most popular sauce.  So he tries to make it at home, or buys an oil/vinegar/herbs salad dressing.   He loved it.  He said it as better then Subway, his mouth was tingling for another one.  Heck yes.  I make good, hearty sandwiches.  Probably because I love sandwiches myself.  But, the key here is that my sandwiches are hot.  I guess I should say I love hot sandwiches.  And I don’t like deli meat, I like regular meat that I cooked ahead of time.  And I don’t like a normal loaf of bread, unless it is grilled cheese, I like french bread, ciabatta, baguette, buns, and it can be whole wheat, grainy, white, anything.  I like “fancy” sandwiches, most importantly, hot ones.  Or sometimes grilled like a panini.  Mmmmm.  If there wasn’t leftovers in the fridge I would be grilling one right now.

I don’t have any photos for this post, because I don’t bring a camera to the gym, and believe me, you wouldn’t want to see photos of that anyways, haha.  So use your imaginations.

Today shall bring: a community BBQ down the street, some baking maybe? suggestions?, and resting to recharge the batteries for next week.  Yesterday was crazy, and I was so tired I was dozing on the couch by 6pm.  I attributed it to the days events causing physical exhaustion.  But today, I crashed in the late afternoon and have felt very lethargic.  Like I have brain fog, and feel like a zombie.  But for no particular reason.  I got plenty of sleep, it felt good to sleep in this morning, I had enough to eat and it was good, healthy foods, so I don’t know.  Maybe I am fighting a cold, or coming down with something?  Maybe I didn’t get enough water?  Maybe I have low vitamin B12?  But of course, the first thing that comes to mind is that my thyroid medication isn’t doing it’s job.  If you read a previous post of mine: https://emilyandherartist.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/under-active-thyroid/ you will see why I worry.  I just started a higher dosage of medication, so I worry when I get that mid-day crash of intense fatigue.  However, trying to stay positive, these crashes have been happening less and less often.  Even if my crazy day yesterday wasn’t caused by physical exertion, but by my thyroid, 2 days out of the week is a lots better then 7.  And at least I wake up refreshed instead of exhausted.  Hopefully the next while will be better, and the mid-day crashes get even less frequent.  I would love to go to the doctor in December and have nice looking blood test results 🙂  Cross your fingers and think positive thoughts for me!

Nice thing I have done for the Artist: Make him a glorious-better-then-Subway sandwich, tell him how much I love his crazy long hair and beard, and how much it suits his personality.

Nice thing the Artist has done for me: Make me a protein shake when I am too weak to do so myself even though he is just as tired, helped me with dinner telling me it is always more fun when we cook together (awww!), and then served me.

Happiness is contagious.

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Nice Things

I mentioned when I first started this blog that I was going to make an effort to always mentioned something nice I have done for the Artist, and something he has done for me.  Whether it is for “no reason” or not.  I think I have been slacking lately, so I am going to post a few things to catch up a little.

The other day, we had a very nice, peaceful, morning.  We started out my doing funny faces, mostly the Artist was, in our pyjamas, lounging on the couches in our living room, coffee in hand for the Artist.  I would say an emotion like happy, angry, surprised etc. and he would make a face…but it was always the opposite of what I said.  The Artist is really good at making facial expressions, he has amazing control of his facial muscles.  We were laughing our pants off.  Then we got talking about art, and moving, and our future in general.  We have really great conversations.  All the time.  Every day.

Nice things I have done for the Artist: I made him his morning coffee, a huge sandwich with loads of toppings (all his favourites) for lunch, and cleaned up a little and did the dishes.  Having a relatively clean house and dishes done makes for less stress.  I find I get stressed more easily if there is too much clutter and mess around me.  And same for the Artist.  And he is always appreciative of my efforts, and feels less stressed as well.

Nice things I have done for the Artist in the past little while, other then cleaning, and laundry: making his morning coffee, making him big breakfasts with eggs and all the extras, baking one of his favourite types of cookies, getting a favour from a friend to pick up some doughnuts from a place she drives by, because I know how much he likes them.  Packing him snacks for when he goes to school.  Talking with him about his art, and art in general.  Going with him to his studio later one night because he wanted my company, and how could I resist those big blue eyes? 😉

Nice things the Artist has done for me: Drop me off where I needed to go.  Cooking dinner with me tonight. Last night, as I was laying on his shoulder/chest while falling asleep, and his arm was around me, he rubbed my back until I fell asleep.

Nice things the Artist has done for me in the last little while: Cooking dinner.  Rubbing my back, as mentioned above, often.  Letting me choose a movie to watch.  Carrying most of the groceries into the house, and all the heavy stuff.  Being so appreciative of the housework I do when he is busy with school, and showering me with gratitude and affection.  Finding me a pair of new sunglasses for $1.50 and helping me pick out the style.

Happiness is contagious ❤

Workout

I consider myself to be reasonably healthy and fit.  I consider myself one who works out fairly often.  I consider myself as being reasonably strong.  I ride my bicycle to and from each workout.  I enjoy challenging exercises and pushing myself hard.  I enjoy that “high” after a good workout.

This however, was so out of league.  Did I miss the memo that this cardio class is for hard core athletes only?  What you are about to read is the honest truth of my experience.

I have been to lots of cardio classes, zumba, kickboxing, and general cardio that involved aerobics, steps, etc. and enjoy them all.  I started out in pretty rough shape, but I have improved a lot since.  I needed some cardio, so I tried this new class being offered right before the yoga class I normally go to.  these classes are drop-in style.  Only 6 of us were at the class, and the other 5 girls were insanely fit, muscular, and had been involved in athletics at least in high school (not sure if they are still doing it now in university or not).

As most of you know, I have been struggling in the intense heat that has been in St. Louis all summer.  So the first sign that this class may not be for me was that we were starting outside.  It was a sunny, hot day.  Yes, the crazy hot days are getting less and less frequent, but this day was quite warm and the sun was blazing.  No one grabbed water bottles or anything, and since I was new, I followed suit.  So we started running around this little path of sidewalk at the campus (I workout on the campus where the Artist goes to school).  I definitely should have brought my sunglasses out.  And my water.  And a towel.  I kept up with group for the first lap, and we had to go again.  Then backwards.  Then backwards again.  Try running backwards with my crazy flat arches and feet that don’t bend properly, and you get shin splints.  I get shin splints often because of this, but running backwards does it in about 2 minutes.  And yes, there were ledges to the sidewalk and I tripped.  I didn’t wipe out though, phew.  Eventually I had to take walking breaks, I am not a runner, I don’t know how to run properly, I look insane when I run, and I just overall suck at it, along with having no interest in it.  So everyone laps me, and finishes, and starts doing walking lunges around this little loop.  Again, I am last.  And so far behind the rest they are all waiting for me at the end.  So girls, if you by chance stumble upon this- I swear, I was trying my very best to keep up!

Then we go inside. FInally, air conditioning and some fans.  My water bottle, and a towel to wipe my sweaty, bright red face.  When I hear that that was the warm up, I think my eyes widened quite noticeably.  We did burpies, planks, lunges with weights, jumping lunges, side lunges with weights, squats, sit ups with a partner passing a pilates ball, and lots more that I can’t remember.  My lungs were burning for air, I couldn’t ever seem to catch a minute to catch my breath, no matter how much water I drank I felt like my throat was so dry it was going to crack.  Finally, a 2 minute break.  Time for water, yay!  And I find my towel because I am soaked in sweat.

Back outside.  Oh gosh.  Running.  Again.  Then we did Indian running where you jog in single file and the person at the back sprints to the front.  When we were told to do another lap, I couldn’t.  I had to stop.  It was either be embarrassed and stop, or faint.  Even then I couldn’t catch my breathe before we were back inside doing all the same lovely things.  I had to modify some of the moves to fit my abilities and needs.  Obviously I was the only one to do this.

Crap, I ran out of water.  Ugh, and I need a new towel, this one is saturated.  Good thing they had a fresh stack.

As we put our weights and balls away I could feel my muscles quivering.  As I put the equipment on the shelf, not only could I feel my muscles quivering, I could see them.  My arms were shaking as I placed the ball on the shelf.  I couldn’t make it to the floor to sit down for yoga, which was right after, and found myself “plopping” down on my mat.  Thankfully, this yoga class is a regular I have been going to, and there was no way I could ride my bike home at this point, and at least the deep stretching this particular class offers might help my muscles.

I needed a bathroom break from all the water I drank.  As I got up, there was a perfect butt imprint formed by sweat on my mat.  You could even see the creases from my pants.  Good thing they were black.  As I went into the bathroom, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.  Ew.  There are not enough words to describe my sweaty, red, face.  You know when you are swimming, and hop out to use the bathroom, that feeling of pulling your bottoms down and then back up again?  All wet and yucky?  That is what it felt like.  That is how much I was sweating.  How could one even produce that much liquid?  While sitting on the toilet, I noticed sweat running down my shins.  Yes, my shins.  As I was washing my hands, I noticed in the mirror the huge rings of sweat around my armpits, and on my back.  The collar of my t-shirt was drenched.

I headed back to my yoga mat, and realized I had to take my shoes off.  Uh-oh.  My feet probably smell really bad.  So I leave my socks on for a bit so I can cool off and stop sweating a little first.  Someone asked me if I worked out before the yoga class.  Ha.  What gave it away?  I am surprised there weren’t crunchy white salt stains on my clothes.  So I responded by saying yes, I did the class before yoga, and that if anyone smells something strange, it because I have been pouring with sweat for the last hour, and I apologize.  Looking back, I was in a state of delirium.  Especially based on what happens next.

This yoga class focuses on deep stretches and lots of floor poses.  I have been going regularly for awhile now.  But my muscles are so weak and tired and shaky, I was having trouble holding the poses for a long time, and was toppling over often.  Then the giggles started, and for no particular reason.  Probably because I was also getting hungry for dinner.  It wasn’t long before my stomach was rumbling too.  My giggling was getting out of control, and others started giggling too.  I am going to pretend they were giggling with me, and not at me, haha.  Luckily, the teacher likes to encourage us to smile and laugh his jokes while practising, but also having a time and place for meditation and concentration.  So at least he got a chuckle out it.  Normally, I am not so disruptive.  But, when you try not to laugh, it makes it worse and you laugh harder.  I had tears coming out of my eyes I was so out of control delirious.  At this point, delirious from the previous class, but now from hunger too.

I come home and flop down on the bed.  Exhaustion hits even harder.  Taking a shower is a necessity, but feels like too much work at this point.  And remember I had to ride my bike home.  After I eat and shower, you would think I went straight to sleep.  But I winded down with watch DVDs of Arrested Development and calling my mom.  I told my mom this story and she is like, “what if you were filmed and put on the internet?”….no, they would need our permission first.  And she says, “no like someone walking, like a pedestrian, used their phone when you were outside and filmed the crazy girl lagging behind the group, and they put it on YouTube?”

Oh crap.  I feel like that is a realistic possibility.  The Artist said the based on my recap, I will end up on the Ellen Show if someone posted it on YouTube.  Ha.

Then I proceeded to watch Arrested Development and after we turned the TV off, I got the giggles again.  The Artist and I laid in bed quoting Buster and giggling until like 2am.  And I had to get up early.

And the worst part is, like I said at the beginning, I consider myself a reasonably fit, strong person.

The next morning, my quads were so sore, I could hardly walk.  And I had to get up early, and my day went several hours longer then it was scheduled to.  And since I normally don’t bring a lunch because I get home around lunch time, I was famished.  What a day.

But oh well.  That class, was definitely not for me.

I feel like I am prone to awkward, embarrassing, crazy situations.

Lets see what today brings! 😉

Cous Cous Taboule, Chocolate Pretzels, and Granola.

Yesterday, the Artist had a big day getting lots of readings and a paper finished for today.  He was hitting the books hard.  So I made him a big breakfast burrito with 3 eggs, cheddar, onion, and loads of salsa, a side of grapes, and coffee.  For lunch I made the most amazing raviolis ever.  They are from Costco, and are filled with different cheeses, and are surprisingly lower in fat then you would think, and really high in protein.  So I made those with a basil pesto sauce, and added a little hint if spice with red pepper flakes.  So delicious, I wish I took a photo.  But I will be making them again very soon because they are so good, and will be sure to photograph.  I also like to do a tomato sauce on these as well.  And I made a fresh veggie assortment on the side.  For dinner, I tried a new recipe- the taboule salad recipe on the back of the cous cous box.  It was SO good.  I will definitely be making that again.  After I cooked and fluffed the cous cous, I added a drizzle of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and finely chopped onion, green pepper, and tomato.  Lastly, I look some fresh mint leaves from our mini herb garden and chopped them up and added that as well.  Amazing.  I wish I made a huge batch to have for leftovers.  I also made roasted pork with carrots and onions, and edamamme.

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Since the Artist still had work to do, and was well fed and ready to get it done, I settled in for a little guilty pleasure time.  I made extra dark chocolate covered pretzels, grabbed my new-to-me magazines (the library has a magazine donation bin, and they are free to take, so I frequently take advantage, they are sometimes only 1 month old, and sometimes they are several years old, but none the less, I enjoy reading them!), the Power Rangers movie, and my snuggly bear to cuddle with.  The Artist encourages these guilty pleasure times for me, because he knows I will enjoy the “horrible” movie, and then he doesn’t have to watch it 😉 haha.  But when the urge is strong, he will watch anything with me ❤

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Here is another sample of what a guilty pleasure night might look like, diet coke, plantain chips, Scream, and corn puffs.

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Last week I was feeling crummy, my allergies were bothering me and giving me a sinus headache.  The pressure above my eyes and near my cheeks was terrible.  So on this rainy Sunday I watched The Tommyknockers with the Artist and enjoyed some Alphaghetti.  I used to only like the brand name kind, but now I prefer the kind from No Frills that my parents so kindly brought down the last time they visited.  The Goofy Movie inspired this.

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On a healthier note, I made some super healthy granola.  It was not super crunchy like granola, but it was mildly crunchy.  I didn’t want to add any sugar, and that is probably what makes the difference.  I just used all natural, organic, no salt added peanut butter, a spoonful of honey, whole rolled oats, Grape Nuts cereal, chopped, raw almonds, and ground flax.  I mixed it until it was crumbly and baked it.  It is super high in fibre, healthy fats including omega 3, and packs quite a bit of protein.  All the while have very little sugar and isn’t too high in carbs but is a reasonable amount.  I had it for breakfast with milk today and half a banana, and it was delicious.

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Clearly, we love food.  I am undecided on dinner tonight, I am unthawing chicken breast, and thinking of something yummy to do with it.  We don’t have any tomato for our favourite Orzo dish, which is what I really want to make.

I would love suggestions/recipes/ideas! 😀

And Update of Us with Food, Love, and Life

Going through recent photos on the camera, I didn’t know what to focus on for this post.  So I am writing to give an update on what we are doing, cooking, and getting into.

Firstly- I love hot sandwiches.  With some nice bread versus your regular loaf, and with real meat versus processed deli style meat.  I could eat them for every meal.  We recently had pulled pork sandwiches, and today I had a whole grain sub bun with roasted chicken, provolone, spinach, onions, green peppers and a sprinkle of black pepper.  All toasted and delicious.  Which reminded me of the stellar sandwiches I whipped up the other for the Artist and I.  We had some chicken breast and buns to use up, to I sliced the chicken and created these, of which the Artist made several “mmm” sounds and closing his eyes in gesture of how amazing they were.  I could have eaten 2.  I sliced the baked chicken breast and threw it in a pan with some pesto (super easy, just basil, olive oil, parmesan, garlic, and I think some super finely chopped walnuts, and salt and pepper), and some chopped onions.  While that was warming, I cut up some red pepper slices and grilled them on our stove top grill.  When the peppers got a bit of char on them, I set them aside, and placed ciabatta buns on the grill, with some low fat mozzarella on them.  I know, I know- white buns are not healthy.  But this is just such a good sandwich I couldn’t resist, and I eat bread on a very rare basis so eating this bun once in a awhile is a super delicious treat.  Then I topped the ciabattas with the pesto/chicken/onion mixture, and loaded it on, using a fork to squish as much as I could on there, added the grilled red pepper slices, and put the top of the bun on.  And voila- best sandwich ever.

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Seriously.  Best. Sandwich. Ever.

Secondly- I love strawberry-kiwi flavoured things, so I thought using strawberries and kiwis to make some DIY popsicles was genius.  Haha, wrong.  It is not the same.  At all.  There are millions of seeds first of all, which is the worst part.  And the flavour is so tangy and gross, so I tried sweetening it with honeydew melon.  Did not work.  And the whole idea behind my popsicles is that it is 100% made with fruit, (not including my protein popsicles, those have yogurt and protein powder too) so I didn’t want to add sugar or anything.  So, I had already made them and didn’t want it to go to waste so I froze and am just eating them anyways.

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Thirdly- I made some sweets the other day.  S’mores in a bar form (mainly because I only had graham cracker crumbs and not the actual cracker) and peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.  The s’mores bars are just graham crumbs and a bit of melted butter for the bottom, baked for a few minutes, them add chocolate and marshmellows to the top and bake until the marshmellows get golden.  Cool, refrigerate, cut and serve.  Exactly as a “real” s’mores, but with a makeshift graham crust.  They were yummy.  The cookies were also delicious, and I made these also because the Artist doesn’t really like s’mores or toasted marshmellows.  However, when camping for real, he is a pro at making them over the fire.  All the treats and none of the work!  So the cookies.  It is 1 cup of peanut butter, 1/2 cup of white sugar, and 1 egg.  That’s it.  So they are a bit healthy because there isn’t added fats from oils or added carbs from flour etc. it is just the sugar that is the only unhealthy ingredient.  And I used all natural organic PB, where there is only 1 ingredient listed on the label: peanuts.  Not even any salt.  I also added some chucks of unsalted peanuts, and some very dark chocolate chips.  And I mean very dark.  When I say dark chocolate, assume a minimum of 60% cocoa.  Last time was 90%, and I usually aim for 70%.  That way there is very little sugar, and it has some fibre and antioxidants, and of course tastes amazing.  So they weren’t “healthy” cookies, but “healthier” then normal, and they were quite exquisite.  The Artist loved them.

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And finally, fourthly- I had been wanted to watch the mini-series The Tommyknockers based on the Stephen King novel for awhile now, so the Artist and I committed our Friday afternoon to watching it, because it is pretty long.  Friday was a lazy day.  It was overcast and raining all day.  So we enjoyed some time lounging together and catching up.  Then I see this:

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And take a second look.  Yep.  That’s the Artist’s coffee mug from this morning.  I don’t drink coffee so it has to be his.  Obviously, the best place for is on the floor near the front door where we keep our shoes.  Come on.  Hahaha!  What a character.  I am guessing that when he was standing near there, had a sudden compulsion to move a painting, make a mark, take a photo of a shadow or shape, or something along those lines and set his mug there for a second, forgot about it, and then we probably went on a hunt to locate it at some point, as we do this often.  Sometimes I find it on the TV, in the bathroom, on the floor, on my dresser, on the window sill, or on the bookshelf.  Actually, the bookshelf is a common “dumping” spot for him.  Because it is clearly the best place for small cardboard paintings and an Xacto-knife.

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I think we are the best match, because this kind of thing doesn’t bother me.  In fact, I love it.  I love seeing these crazy things because they always put a smile on my face.  It is always so funny, and the Artist always has something hilarious to say about it or some insane story for accompaniment.  And when he is in that zone, that “arting” zone, I can sense it.  I can feel it, I can see it, and I love it.  Seeing him in his niche like that warms my heart every time.  He is oblivious to his surroundings and he is focused on the task at hand.  It is like the vibes he is giving off are so happy and positive, it just puts me in a good mood to see him like this for even just a minute or two.  It is so hard to describe, I am not doing it justice here.  What the Artist has, the talent, the wisdom, the passion, and the obsession, is not something that can be learned, taught, or acquired.  It just “is”.  It runs in his blood, and is a part of his bones.  It is who he is, and I wouldn’t change a thing ❤  It is something that has always been within him that he has become aware of and worked hard at unleashing it’s full potential.  And others who have this talent, this gift, gravitate to him, because they too, can see it and feel it, and are in the process of unearthing their own.

The other day he was in one of these zones really intensely, and I captured a photo.  To most people, it won’t look like anything too special, but to me, it is a moment of such genius and passion in the air.

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He stands like this, or sometimes sits, and just looks.  Looks and thinks.  Thinks and looks.  He spends a lot of time doing this, sort of like “charging his battery”.  And then all of a sudden a ton of paintings will explode out of him, often of which have little or nothing to do with what he was thinking or looking at.  He is very much an intuitive artist, making marks and gestures with what feels good viscerally, and what he just thinks would look good, versus having a plan.

I try my best to support this in him, and help him to bring it out.  If I can take some of the weight off his plate so he can have time to paint, I will.  And when the time comes and I need some help with my plate of things, and it comes often, he helps me too.

He has said to me in various conversations, things along the lines of:

“I have never been able to be myself so much and so often until I met you.”

“You allow me to be my insane, crazy self and love me for who I am.  And look how far it has taken me.”

“I am so glad I found you, you are the best thing that has ever happened to me.”

I feel flattered every time.  Yet, I feel the exact same way about him.  Even the little things like how everyone in high school listened to country radio stations, and I always had Rock95 on blasting tunes from the The Rolling Stones, or Elton John, and I sort of hid and didn’t talk about it.  Any SCI classmates reading, I do not like country 😉  Or when I would laugh at the most hilarious facial expression that lasted for 2 seconds in a movie, but no one else saw it or thought it was funny, and I was in tears from laughing so hard.  The littlest things can now explode out of me, and the Artist encourages it.  Not only encourages, but spits back equally crazy things in my direction.

Happiness is contagious.

T-shirt Art and Orzo

As I am watching Melrose Place, the series from the 90s not the newer one, the Artist gets up from doing his readings for school and starts puttering around.  I continue to watch my show on the computer with headphones, because I don’t have the DVDs and the computer is so quiet, headphones are needed to hear better.  I guess I could have hooked up speakers, but come on, that is just way to much hassle and avoiding any unnecessary movements are key to beat this heat.  Besides, I disturb the Artist much less this way.  Then I see him look like he is trying to talk to me, so I take my headphones out.  He is holding up a shirt, asking me how on earth it is made because this particular t-shirt does not have seams down the sides.  We conclude, that neither of us have any idea.  This shirt was from the pile of clothes that are too small, have holes, or are otherwise unwearable, and are used for rags, fabric for sewing, or whatever else we devise.

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Having lived with the Artist since before we were even dating, I didn’t think anything of this.  I continued to watch my show and hear the faint sounds of rustling and bustling in the distance.  When the episode is over, I see this on the floor beside me:

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Funny looking on the left side eh?  And then I see the scissors nearby, and immediately knew what he had done- began a masterpiece.  Earlier, he had wanted to buy some blue camping tarp, just the cheap stuff at Walmart for one of his pieces, but said that the colours sucked and didn’t get any.  Clearly, this was the colour he was after.  So I go in to the other room to find the Artist smiling proud, in front of this:

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He is arranging and rearranging the fabric pieces on canvas to decide how and where to attach them.

How can I do anything but smile at this?  Instead of donating the old shirts, he insisted on keeping them, as he does with everything else, because you never know when you might need them.  I have quickly learned that yes, they will actually get used.  Even old cans, pop bottles, cardboard, etc. gets used in his art.  What talent.  And I love finding his shenanigans and then hearing the story of they came to be.  It is always hilarious, yet impressive.

Then we go about our days.  I go to yoga and the Artist goes to an evening class.  I get home around 7pm and immediately re-heat some left overs of this delicious dish:

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Orzo, baked chicken, tomatoes, olives (for the Artist, I pick them out- yuck), onions, and a mediterranean inspired seasoning with balsamic.  It is absolutely delicious, one of our favourite dishes ever.  It is a take on a dish that friends made us when they had us over for dinner, and we have been experimenting with it ever since.  You know who you are, so if you are reading- THANKS 😀  I hope there is enough left for lunch later.  Then I jump in the shower, and the Artist comes home and heats himself up a serving, it is not about 8pm.  After catching up on how our days went, we decided to watch House, because we just borrowed the DVDs from the library and were anxious to see what happened to the Dr. in rehab.

Me: I am kind of hungry, like I could eat again.

The Artist: I am f*#@ing starving.

Me: (laughs)

The Artist: You know when you are hungry and you could be handed any option of all your favourite things, but nothing seems satisfying?  Like you have no craving or desire?

Me: Ya, that is the worst.  I have been wanting Ruffles brand All Dressed flavoured chips for so long, but no where seems to have them.  Anywhere.  (so to any American readers, are there Ruffles All Dressed flavoured chips in St. Louis, or in America in general or is it a Canadian thing?)

The Artist: Actually, my one thing that I could never turn down and enjoy no matter what, are Tim Bits.

Me: They have to be actual Tim Bits from Tim Horton’s right?

The Artist: Yes, sour cream glazed or old fashioned glazed.  F$#k.  Lets drive to Michigan, they have Tim Horton’s right?  Nothing else will suffice right now. (closes his eyes and lets out a huge sigh of yearning)

So we continue to watch House, and cuddle up to go to bed.

I can’t help but come to the conclusion that we are always hungry, eating, or preparing food.  Always.  Maybe we have big appetites?  Or maybe because we lose our minds if we get hungry?  Or maybe because we just love cooking and eating?  All of the above?  Whatever it is, I love to cook, especially when we get to do it together, and I love to eat.  I guess I am fortunate to have these interests and enjoy them, because I get to enjoy preparing foods and get to eat healthy, home cooked meals often 🙂

Live, Love, Laugh, Eat

As we are eating our sandwiches for dinner, I watch the Artist and think about how much he has changed in the last few minutes.  When he goes to “the bad place” from hunger, you can tell.  He gets quiet, easily frustrated, his eyes appear like they are difficult to hold open, he can’t make a decision, he appears to be on the verge of curling up into the fetal position and crying, bursting through the window to scream like a mad man down the street, or chew off his own arm.  Then as he eats, you can see him come back to life with every bite.

One of our favourite sandwiches: pulled pork, which goes excellent with corn on the cob, and peach-orange-mango popsicles (I don’t like mango, but the Artist had frozen some so I thought I would try hiding it in these, it worked!).

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Me: You know how you get all crazy when you’re hungry and then as you eat you are a whole knew person, like you come back to life?

The Artist: (as he inhales his sandwich) Ya.

Me: Is it the same when I get hungry and go to “the bad place”?

The Artist: (stops eating, eyes widen, and pauses…) It is almost worse for you!

Me: (Bursts out laughing)

The Artist: You get worse, you get really frustrated and it is like tunnel vision.  You can only see what the immediate need is, beyond that is unimportant……and with sleeping too.

Me: (stil laughing)

The Artist: And for various other, really specific things.  For example, on a rainy day, you NEED to cuddle and watch TV, whatever you are craving at the time, and it is usually something bad or a kids movie.

Me: I guess we are want-what-we-want-when-we-want-it kind of people.

The Artist: I am an Artist, and that is why I can’t work at a regular job.

This is bang-on-100% true.

This is us.

Why bother fretting about getting the vacuuming done when it is a gorgeous day outside?  Seize to moment and go outside and enjoy the weather.  Vacuum later that night, or tomorrow, it won’t go anywhere.  Or why not embrace an urge to go to the zoo, the park, or get ingredients to bake a cake, instead of sticking to the original plan of organizing closets or cupboards?  In our household, “life” is the priority.  Especially over things like housework, dishes, and other day to day things.  Every day is not like this, I don’t live in filth and eat junk all the time because I am too busy out and about.  Because usually, a day will call for, or an urge will come up, for me to put up my hair, turn on the radio, and  clean ’til the cows come home.  And the same goes for cooking nice meals, preparing things from scratch to freeze for later, etc.  It all gets done in good time, and doing it when I really, really want to, when I have a craving to do it, makes it all the more enjoyable.  Versus, the opposite- staying inside when you want to be out enjoying the sunshine just to do dishes.  Because, more then likely, the next day, I will want to clean up the kitchen so I can bake some goodies.

Embrace your urges.  Because you may not necessarily always be able to.  Kids.  Career.  New home.  Family.  Etc.  I may not always be able to enjoy TV on rainy days because I will be looking after kids, or working at a job.  I may not always be able to decide on whim to bake a cake, because I have to take the baby to doctor or get called in to work (and no, I am not pregnant nor are we “trying”, nor do I work, this is all hypothetical!).  So embracing it now is important to me, because this freedom may not always exist.

Saying that we are want-what-we-want-when-we-want-it kind of people doesn’t sound so bad now, does it?  In fact, I am proud of our lifestyle.  Life is precious.  And yes, I worry, and I stress, but it comes less and less often.  All I have to do is go back to these thoughts, and remember.  It is a great coping strategy.

Today, I embraced the cooler temperatures and did some housework so I wouldn’t get all hot and sweaty.  I wanted to lay on the couch and read an article from TIME magazine, so I did that with my breakfast.  I felt and urge to write a blog post, so here it is.  I am excited to go to a zumba session later and ride my bike to get there, I can’t wait.  I feel like cooking something nice for dinner, so I will!

Ever feel like doing nothing?  Don’t.  Ever feel like being super productive?  Go ahead.  Ever feeling nostalgic and want to catch up with old friends about old times?  Do it.  You never know when a time might come that you are no longer able to.

Embrace each moment as they come.

Enjoy the little things.

Be happy.

Happiness is contagious.