The 27 year old undergrad.

It has been a busy, stressful summer.  I started classes the day after moving into our new Toronto 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.

Workout, Arena Fries, and Gratitude

I went to kickboxing for the first time since the spring.  The drop-in group classes I go to don’t run from mid-May until September. They are on the campus of the Artist’s school, so no one is around to make it worth running the classes I guess.  Wow.  It was intense.  But in a good way (not like that other class I posted about, haha).  Normally, if I was doing weights, I would do it right before this class.  I like to do weights with the Artist, it is just a fun thing to do together- and of course I like seeing him flex his muscles 😉  Occasionally, our schedules don’t match exactly, so I just do the weights after.

Big mistake.

I came home from kickboxing expecting to leave immediately for the gym.  The Artist wasn’t home yet, and it was a little over an hour before he came home and we left.  As you can imagine, waiting that long after intense kickboxing, was not a good idea.  I crashed.  If I used the momentum and went right away I would have been ok, but I didn’t, and was just exhausting.  I thought, “I will just take it easy”.  Ha!  Even taking it easy made me feel like I could throw up.  I have never felt so close to throwing up from exercise….ever.  Actually, I very rarely feel even a hint of it.

So we lace up our shoes and head out.  On the way there, I was thinking about parking…during weekdays meters are free after 6pm, and it was 6:30pm.  However, there are limited spaces for that.  Other parking is for permits only.  We do not have a permit.

Me: Maybe all the meter spaces will be full, and we won’t be able to park, and just have to go home.

Artist: I hope that happens.

*We pull into the campus.

Artist: The spaces must be full, look at this, it is like a zoo in here.

Me: I don’t know, maybe they will all be open, with our luck.

Artist: They can’t be, I hope they’re not.

Me: (laughing)

Sure enough, there were 2 spaces open.  We park, and go in.  First stop- bench press.  By the way, the gym is packed, hot, sticky, and loud at this hour.  Ugh.

Me: (after 1 set) Soooo….home?

Artist: (laughing) Why are we here again?

Me: (laughing) I’m only half serious.

Artist: Lets just go home, and hit the drive-thru on the way.

Me: (laughing)

Artist: I will do one more set, but I may not be able to do 12 reps.

Me: Want me to spot you a little so you can do the full 12?

Artist: No, it’s not worth it.  I just want to do this so I can go home and stuff my face.

Me: (laughing embarrassingly hard, people are staring)

We continue, and move through each exercise.  When we get home we have a protein shake, a shower, some dinner, and watch Arrested Development.

I am deliriously exhausted, so Buster is extra funny.

On the way home from the gym, the Artist was talking about how much he wants arena fries.  For all of you from Creemore and the area, you know exactly what I am talking about.  Fries from the Creemore arena are the best arena fries.  Yes, other arenas have the crispy coated ones which are amazing, but all in all, I have always thought Creemore had the best fries.  The Artist refers to arena fries as fries in the little box with the little wooden fork, with lots of ketchup from the big pump dispenser, and vinegar.  I do not like ketchup, so for me, arena fries are with salt and vinegar, and of course the little box and wooden fork….or the skinny plastic red ones.  There is also poutine.  Creemore arena poutine is one of the best poutines.  I love real cheese curds, but mozzarella is good too.  What I am most picky about is that the gravy is “fake beef gravy”.  Which means from a can or a powder, and not chicken gravy either.  And of course, eaten with the little wooden fork.  Now that I think of it, the Creemore arena has the best canteen ever.  The best chicken fingers, fries, poutine, everything, are there.  I always remember my parents working in there on Saturday mornings when I was skating, and making me a grilled cheese sandwich for breakfast- and paying for it 😉  And making it just the way I like it- white loaf of bread, plain butter, and 2 slices of Kraft singles.  This is very specific, because I try to healthify it and choose cheaper items, such as garlic butter, whole wheat bread, “real” cheese or a blend of cheeses, etc.  These options are all yummy, but sometimes, the mood just calls for the original.

So to any of my Creemore readers, if you have photos of “Creemore Arena Food”, I would love to have them to add to this post 🙂

Now onto nice things we have done for eachother……I am making us dinner tonight, and helped the Artist get all of his errands done today (he hates doing paperwork stuff, making calls, etc…..but really, who actually likes it?).  I went with him, helped him, and rubbed his back afterwards.  The Artist told me how much he loves going through our photos because it makes him happy looking back on our lives, and how much fun we have together.  We truly have had a great life together so far.  When I told him I would make dinner for when he gets home, he said he never expects a dinner to be ready, so don’t worry if I don’t get to it, because I have my own things to do.  And how he always appreciates me.  When I am able, I do as much as I can in terms of cooking, cleaning, etc. especially when the Artist is super busy or has late classes. The fact that I never feel expected to do any of this, and always get showered with gratitude and affection afterwards, makes me not mind it all.  And when I am super busy, in school, working or whatever, the Artist does the cooking and stuff.

So men, the secret to women is not to expect them to cook and clean, especially if they are home all day, because when they feel expected to do these things, it is a whole new ball game.  This is how resentment is born.  And it doesn’t matter whether or not you actually expect these things, if a woman feels expected to do certain things, then verbalize and show her that you don’t.  And being appreciative of dinner, clean clothes, etc. and verbalizing this to them, makes all the difference.  When the Artist takes 2 minutes to cuddle me from behind while I am cleaning up or doing dishes after dinner, whispers loving words and thank you’s in my ear, and we have a little 2 minute snuggle, it is so nice.  Even though I know he appreciates it, hearing it, and him showing me his thankfulness, makes a big difference.  I never feel like I am being taken for granted or expected to fulfil a certain role or duties.  And even though he has a long night ahead of him writing a big assignment due in the morning, taking those 2 minutes to hug me from behind while I am cleaning up and tickle me or kiss me or whatever and thank me, makes a huge difference.

So, ladies, what do you think on this?  I would love to hear comments 🙂

The little things in life.

Happiness is contagious ❤

Home Studio and Dining Room Swap

The Artist has been really busy making lots of art.  He is in this creative mood, that sometimes he forgets “normal” things.  But, who is to say what is normal?  For him, this is normal.  It is his normal.  Everyone has their own version.  I took a few photos as I saw some funny events around the house after the Artist left for campus.

Clearly, the best place to paint is the front entryway.

DSCN0524

Who needs a tool box when you have the bathroom sink?

DSCN0526

Gotta play the harmonica right before leaving the house and grabbing your keys- of course.

DSCN0527

The bookshelf serves as a better place for a coffee mug then the coffee table- obviously.

DSCN0528

What better place for a cup of water-colour muck?

DSCN0529

 

Our dining room used to be this room:

DSCN0540

No wonder he has rock hard quads….

 

Until the Artist decided the room he had for a “home studio” was too small and got too cold in the winter.  So we talked about switching the rooms.  I thought it was a great idea, because our table and chairs was so small it left the room empty and wasted space.  And the little “home studio” would be a great cozy dining room and we even put up a sheet, like so:

DSCN0530

 

Isn’t that so cozy looking?

 

DSCN0006

 

Candles and plants are a good touch.  It still needs some work.  I need to fashion something to put our record player on so we can listen to music in there.

 

DSCN0069

It is like a cozy little nook.  I love it.

DSCN0532

 

And even better because now the Artist has more space for art making.  We did this back at the beginning of summer, the Artist was cleaning out his old space and asked me what I thought about making this the dining room now that it was all empty.  I had been thinking about it anyways because I knew the Artist needed more painting space and our dining room looked kind of silly with such a small table in there.  It was a great decision 🙂

And now, the Artist is clearly booming with creativity.

DSCN0539

 

Look at it all.  I love seeing this sight.  And now, it seemed to have encouraged the Artist to be in this zone, his niche, much more frequently.  He never really leaves it, but this brings it out to the forefront.  I love seeing him sit in the middle of this and just explode with passion and talent, it warms my heart so much.  And I love seeing paintings all over the floor, sewing machine supplies and pieces of thread everywhere, coffee in strange places, tools spread all over the house, books everywhere you could possibly imagine, and drawings in every nook and cranny.

I love it.  Just love it.

I wouldn’t have it any other way ❤

I am having a hard time finding the words and the right way to describe why I love this so much, because I think a lot of women would find the scattered items frustrating.  I know my mother would, haha 😉  I would like to note, that he always cleans up after he is done with something, or contains it so I can vacuum or whatever 🙂  Perhaps, it is just him being him, and that’s why I love it?

Happiness is contagious.

 

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 ❤