The 27 year old undergrad.

It has been a busy, stressful summer.  I started classes the day after moving into our new apartment and we still aren’t completely unpacked and set up.  We have been frequently thrift shops looking for furniture, but haven’t had any luck.  Things are slowly coming together back up in the great white north!

My summer semester was definitely hard, it is such a shock going from the working world back into school full time.  But I made it, and with decent grades.  The biggest shock of all, however, was the fact that I am at a completely different life stage them most of my classmates.  Being a 27 year old in undergrad classes, I am 8 years older then some of my peers.  Although that really isn’t much when you consider one’s lifespan, it is quite a difference in what “phase” of life is happening.

I am 27, will be celebrating my 6th wedding anniversary with the Artist at the end of this month, I have lived on my own and with the Artist for many years and in turn have many bills to pay, and my favourite pass times include reading, watching films, listening to CBC radio, cooking (well, I am the assistant- the Artist is the actual cook!), relaxing while listening to our record collection, getting crafty, and powerlifting.  Through conversation with other students around campus, it seems, as it should when you are 19, that going to bars and hanging out with friends are what the kids are doing these days.  I wish I was saying that I was declining invitations to go out to the bar because I just wanted to go home and relax, but it must be obvious that I am an old lady.  Either that, or I come across as an unapproachable person.  Its probably both.  Chandler from Friends articulates it perfectly…

Chandler Bing

I also feel like I am one of the last people to be fit the “starving student” archetype.  I feel like I am surrounded by people who can afford all kinds of travelling and vacations, Mac laptops to bring to class for note taking, take-out food whenever they want, and no problems paying tuition or rent.  Meanwhile, I am doing my laundry in my bathtub, using the campus food bank, sharing a laptop with the Artist (we need a computer equally for our own livelihoods) as well as a cell phone, and taking notes in class with a notebook that my parents bought for me and a pen I took from their  house.  I filled that notebook completely, so lets hope they buy me a new one for the upcoming term, LOL.  I also have no idea how I will be paying my tuition that is due at then end of this month, not to mention bills, and I continuously sew together the same few clothing items that keep gaining new holes or tears.

It is all very weird, being in undergrad classes at 27.  When I was 19, I thought for sure that at 27 I would have the best job that ever existed and been done school with a prestigious degree(s) and have my dream home and life all figured out.  Well, I have come to the conclusion that you never really figure life out.  It is an ongoing journey with changing goals and aspirations along the way- so you might as well enjoy things, one day at a time.

Today I enjoyed bacon, egg and veggie scramble, and hash browns for lunch.  I enjoyed grocery shopping and still having about $10 left over for any other food needs that might arise this week.  I am going to workout later with the Artist, and despite my current sciatic pain, I will enjoy that too.  I will enjoy watching the Olympics tonight snuggled up with my love, and I will enjoy how beautifully gloomy and rainy it is this afternoon.

To see more photos of me enjoying the simple things in life, check me out on instagram @capitaineflash

As much as I would LOVE to travel and take a vacation, not have to worry about how I will pay tuition, or go shopping for new clothes and shoes whenever I feel like, I am sharing my life with someone who makes me smile and laugh every day, who shows me unconditional love, supports me, and inspires me….and that is more important than anything.

Suddenly, the mangled and torn insoles of my shoes seem so insignificant ❤

Latest Knitting Project

When I was in high school, I learned how to knit.  I didn’t really do it much, just sort of learned how, and that was that.  When we were living in Toronto, I picked it up again.  But, this time, I did it more often.  I still knit, but it comes in phases.  I will go through a phase where I knit a lot- while watching TV, in bed, etc. and phases where I am busier and don’t make too much progress.  I was trying on winter headbands in Target, and seeing how goofy I looked.  But in the Artist’s words, I looked “good-goofy”.  But to stay on our tight budget, I decided to use the yarn I already had at home to try and make one.  I don’t have any knitting in the round needles, so I had to knit normally and attach the ends.  I chose the stockinette stitch, which is K1-P1 and repeat.  It is not totally free of mistakes, but the Artist’s says that is better, because it is wabi-sabi- the beauty in flaws and imperfections.  I always loved the “shabby-chic” style, and old furniture, and vintage things.  Always.  The best I could articulate it was that I liked things that had a story.  But, as I said in my last post, the Artist is amazing with words, in all aspects you could possibly think of.  His art involves a lot of the concepts of wabi-sabi, and when he first told me about it, it clicked- that is the perspective I take on things.  That is why I love the old, the worn, and the vintage.  I see the beauty in it, where it’s previous owner may not have.  Just one of the many ways, my life has been so enriched by the wisdom, talents, and artworks of my Artist.

Here is my headband 🙂

DSCN1049 DSCN1116

 

I am pleased with my creation.  I think I might make more.  The key is to find good deals on yarn, so you pay significantly less then if buy it in the store.

I l ove knitting with “big” yarn and large needles.  Not for aesthetic appeal, I mean, it looks good and everything, but I use these for visceral reasons.  When I am knitting with big yarn and large needles, it is addicting.  Sometimes I can’t stop.  It just feels good, and satisfying.  Smaller yarn and needles are fine, and I have used them, but I don’t get addicted to my project and it takes forever to complete.

Some nice things the Artist has done for me: picked up all the movies that were being held for me at the library, because he knew I was anxious to watch some of them, made homemade wings and homemade pizza recently because he knows I love his cooking, and talked with me and supported me and calmed me when I got a little overwhelmed about the million dollar question I keep getting asked, “what are you guys going to do after he graduates?”.  I started looking into options, and quickly got overwhelmed.  But, he repeated our mantra.  One person says, “but, no matter what….” and the other person who is upset about whatever, say, “….we always have each other”.  Because really, no matter what happens, we will have each other and that is the most important thing.  We will figure it al out at some point.

Some nice things I have done for the Artist: made him the General Tso’s chicken he had been craving, printed several copies of his assignment because I knew he was running late and feeling rushed, and I agreed to watch a movie of his choice- because the “Artist-movies” as I like to call them, are usually strange, hard to follow, or really absurd and hard to watch, haha.  But I know he is craving something like that, some guilty pleasure time because he has been working so hard.

Doing nice things for each other, makes all the difference in life.  Every day, we are showing each other that we care and are thinking of the other.  That sparks a continuous circle of giving, thoughtfulness, and support.

Happiness, really is, contagious.

Movies, Food, and Love

The Artist and I had 4 glorious nights in a row of evening movie dates and good food at home.  He is really busy for about half the week with class and stuff, and then the weekends are filled with painting and doing other related things, and we also do our errands and shopping, and fitting in something fun together.  Evening 1 consisted of Halloween and Halloween II with candy, chips, and chocolate.  Evening 2 consisted of National Treasure and homemade chicken wings with raw veggies.  Evening 3 consisted of National Treasure 2 and homemade thin crust pizza and a side salad.  And evening 4, consisted of baked chicken and orzo with mediterranean inspired flavours, and a side salad, while watching The Office, an episode we were craving to see.  We snuggled under a big comforter on the couch and only had our side table lamp on- which gives the best soft lighting.  Perfect for together time.

DSCN1059

Homemade dough by the Artist, homemade sauce by me, low fat mozzarella, and oregano sprinkled on top. To keep it healthy, I have a protein shake on the side and some veggies.

DSCN1061

Look at those nice arms 😉

DSCN1064

Homemade dough by the Artist, homemade sauce by my, low fat mozzarella, grilled red peppers, slices of baked chicken breast, basil pesto dollops, and a bit of tiny diced tomatoes. Having a shake and veggies to keep it balanced! Also, we make 1 batch of dough, and the Artist cuts it in half to make these 2 pizzas, each the size of a baking sheet. It is super thin, and hard to stretch, but it works. We liked the thin and crispy crust for these dishes, and it keeps the carbs lower.

DSCN1063

DSCN1052

Homemade chicken wings with a slightly spicy buffalo sauce. The main ingredient in the sauce be Frank’s hot sauce. Not breaded and baked keeps them healthier them if you went to a restaurant, and cooking them so they are nice and crispy and falling off the bone is delicious!

DSCN0902

My currant favourite side salad; arugula and maybe some romaine, mixed veggies, fresh lemon juice, and a bit of an olive oil-herb-vinegar dressing.

DSCN0488

Mediterranean style chicken with orzo.

The Artist and I were in the kitchen together making these meals, which is one of my favourite things to do together.  Seriously.  Cooking together brings out really great quality time together, great conversation, jokes, giggling; the works.  And the Artist is such an amazing cook, and we both love eating delicious food, see how it is just perfect?  We also have great heart-to-hearts when dining in at a fast food place like McDonald’s, and end up sitting there talking for an hour.  Or right before we go to sleep, while laying bed, or while we are getting ready to go somewhere.  The Artist has a really absurd sense of humour, as do I, and a lot of people don’t always get his jokes or antics.

The Artist: (after saying something crazy about having chicken bits all over his hands) See, you get my jokes.

Me: Not only do I get them…

The Artist: (excitedly interrupting) Not only do you get them, you do them too!

Me: (smiling) I know, I love it.  Not only do I get your jokes, I love them.  I yearn for them.  If we haven’t seen or talked to one another all day, especially since we don’t have cell phones, I find myself craving some Artist-style jokes, humour, gestures, and general silliness.

We get one another.  Like crazy.  I have never felt so understood by someone else before.  And it was the Artist who helped me find the words for that, he is amazing with words.  He told me that he has never be able to be himself so much until he met me, that I allow him to be him.  That we bring out the most potential in one another.  And that I bring out the best version of himself.  I had been feeling this way, but couldn’t put it into words.  He nailed it.  As always.  He is so good with words, in every sense.  He is poetic in every aspect of his life.  He can articulate things like you wouldn’t believe.  His vocabulary will blown your mind.  He loves to read poetry and finds it amusing- seeing the humour in words.  He then uses that an ammunition for his own word humour, fuelling his crazy sense of humour.  I use word humour as well, the Artist brings it out in me.  And sometimes I let little things slip when I am out or talking with someone else, forgetting that is the incorrect way of saying something and that it is not just me and the Artist being goofy at home.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I love life.

Happiness is contagious.