but there are still things i want to work on that are for my own development and just enjoyment: i don't want to be too demanding on myself because i'll be experiencing a bunch of new stuff and even though i'll have time off work, i'll still be quite busy i'm sure.
this year, i want to read more. and i would like to remember what it felt to be an English lit scholar with actual thoughts and opinions about what i was reading. so i have decided to start by giving my attention to the 1001 books you should read before you die list. or whatever the hell it is. i don't even know who compiled it or decided upon the titles. there are some I will never read. but there are a number on there that i do want to read. so i'll stick to those. i've already begun. i'm reading Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy. i joined a reading group on Ravelry of all places. and that's the novel they're doing. works for me. i always wanted to read this one. I'm not going to expect myself to read 52 books in 52 weeks. that's simply not realistic for me. I'll aim for 30 books and hope I go over. ;) I may explore audiobooks this year. that way I can knit while I read/listen. if so, then maybe i will do more than 30 since it's sort of cheating.
speaking of knitting.... this year, i will not buy new yarn until i've used up most of the yarn i have already accumulated over the past 2 years. i got back my knitting mojo in December, with a baby blanket, some gifts for my god-child, and i've now resurrected a sweater i had abandoned much earlier. i made Ysolda's Elijah stuffed elephant and am going to make another for my baby. such a cute pattern. it was my first time making a toy, and it was really fun to do. also I have an idea for a mobile made of various small knitted and stuffed shapes. right now my knit-meter for 2012 is 0, but I hope to get the meters way up there, I'm thinking 8000 minimum. also regarding knitting. i have a few patterns in my brain that i need to write out and/or develop. my Treads pattern has gone over pretty good, since i posted it for free a year and a half or so ago. So, maybe i'll foray into the world of knit design, and who knows maybe i'll charge something this time, if i think it's worth it.
also this year, i want to work on my cooking. i'm a decent cook, when i take the time, which is not very often. i'm going to be a mom, and i want to make sure i can provide some good quality meals. fortunately Neil is a great cook, but he doesn't do it enough, so we'll work on this one together. By the end of the year, I'd like to have 10 good sort of go-to recipes. they don't have to be fancy or complicated. just wholesome goodness that i know will be good for family meals, that I can come back to again and again, maybe learn by heart.
that's all for now.
I feel sort of like I am interloping here. How does this work again? The echo is very loud.
Hmph. I should come back, until I feel I belong here again. It's been quite a while.
Funny how all the little things in your life suddenly have more importance when you blog them. There's a special charm in that. A love for the little things, for the moments, for the breaths.
But I have a big thing to blog about. Well, it's big to me. I'm pregnant. Neil and I are expecting a baby in early April. :)
This morning at 6:30 am I trudged off to the bus stop. It's been a long time since I've ridden the bus to work. I soon remembered why i disliked it. No seats, standing most of the way, rudeness, bad smells, some dude listening to I hate everybody and the little baby jesus too music, blaring through his headphones. hopefully the commute home will be a little less uncomfortable.
Back to work with me.
I finished knitting my Austin Hoodie cardigan (pattern by Connie Chang Chinchio). It took me forever, because I took a break from knitting over the summer and because it's made with fingering yarn. Now I have to get to work on some gift projects.
Last night I went to a candle party that my friend was holding. It was fun. Neil and her husband went downstairs to play a video game and I munched on treats and sort of socialized. I'm rather shy around strangers, but the fact that wine was involved really helped. Also had some quality time with my good friend, A..., to brush up. My god baby was asleep when I got there, so A and I snuck up to watch her sleep. Gosh she sleeps so heavily, so serenely. It was a beautiful moment, that words can't accurately convey.
Here's a snap of knitted cardigan, and of my new hair cut.
Over the summer, I was Neil's driver instructor as he drove around with a big fat "L" on the car. 3 or 4 nights per week, i was beholden to going for hour long drives with him. at first it was fun, but after a while, it got super annoying. But I guess relationships come with these sort of things. And now, he owes me big. I should remind him of that regularly. Last week he took his exam and got his "N". now he can take the car out on his own without me. Hurray! Suddenly I have much more free time. It's so nice. People think it's weird that he didn't get his license before this, but he never needed it. Still it's a lot nicer that he has it now.
I have lost 23 lbs since August. I'm still working on losing more. I'm going to get my haircut tomorrow. it's a mess. i just want to cut it really short, make it all go away, start fresh.
Also, Neil and I are going to have our bathroom renovated. I'm a little wary of the process and of the bills. but it needs doing badly. it's 30 years old. the pieces are sage green. the sink and tub have chips in them. the floor is loose linoleum. so basically the whole thing will be gutted and replaced: tub, toilet, sink, vanity, floor, mirror, lighting. We are getting the lighting moved from the ceiling to the wall over the mirror. we're also getting the ugly ancient medicine cabinet thing taken out and the wall re-plastered or whatever it's called. also we are having the door replaced by a pocket door, to free up some space. and while we have the guys in doing their thing, we're also having our kitchen counter replaced. the one we have now was painted navy blue by the previous owners, and the paint has rubbed off in areas, so it's a mess. I can't wait to have all of this done. it will be sooooo nice, five years we've lived in this place, and all we've improved is the flooring.. it will definitely be an enormous annoyance while it's going on. there will be a night when we are without a toilet for example. and a day or two without the ability to shower. so it will be like camping but indoors. hopefully though, we'll manage okay. One thing for sure, it will be a fantastic investment.
We went for a 22 k bikeride last night, it was great. A big portion of it, is riding in a bike lane beside traffic. I think I'm getting more comfortable with it. Such a strange sensation to have cars rushing at your back, but I much prefer a bike lane to none when it comes to roads. There were a number of tough hills on this ride. Three of which came in the latter half of the trip. I made it up most of them feeling strong, but one of them was super tough and even in my highest gear I couldn't make it all the way. Sherbrooke Street, my new nemesis. By the end of this summer, I will conquer that damn hill. i will ride all the way up it and it will be easy.
This weekend we'll bike to Stanley Park. I am currently keeping track of my cycling training here. It helps me feel accomplished and like I'm building towards my goal.
I'm going to have to face the fact that I can't eat whatever I want whenever I want pretty soon... I am making a bit of effort but since I just ate a donut, I know I need to work on this next.
All this biking, i've been neglecting my knitting, but I'm steadily working on the Austin Hoodie. I have to block the body and then I can begin the sleeves. There seems to be much debate over the best way to pick up stitches for the sleeves, as there is a lot of holeyness going on. I'm hoping mine won't look too terrible.
Mon. July 5 : Cycling: 9 k, 40 mins (usual route up to Edmonds area)
Tues, July 6: Cycling: 22k, 1 hr 20 mins. (Lakes/Central Valley Greenway)
Wed, July 7: Cycling 9 k, 40 mins (usual route)
Fri, July 9: Cycling 9k, 38 mins (usual route)
Sat, July 10: "Start it up" workout video
Sun, July 11: Cycling 64k, 3.5 hrs, (Steveston, took Westminster Hwy route back)
Wed, July 15: Cycling 9k, 38 mins (usual route)
Sat, July 17: Cycling 22 k, 1 hr 10 mins (Central Valley Greenway, Lakes)
Sun. July 18: Cycling 9 k, 32 mins (usual route)
Mon. July 19: Cycling 23.7 k, (Central Valley Greenway, Lakes) 1 hr 20 mins
Wed, July 21: Cycling 9k, didn't time, (usual route)
Sat. July 24: Cycling 23 k,(Central Valley Greenway, Lakes) 1 hr 19 mins
Sun, July 25: Cycling 66.3 k, Central Valley Greenway, Stanley Park . 3 hrs 45 mins.
Thurs, July 29: Cycliing 9k, 32 mins: usual route
Sunday, Aug 1: Cycling 64 k: Steveston
Thursday, Aug 5: Cycling 22 k, 1 hr 19 mins (Central Valley Greenway, Lakes)
Wednesday, Aug 11, 2010: Cycling 9.6 k, 32 mins (usual route)(really pushed hard)
Saturday, Aug 20, 2010: Cycling 9.6 k, 31 mins (getting stronger)
It seems impossible to me now.
But I know, this is just what I need. Something to push myself for. Something to train for. Something to get in the best physical condition I can for. It's also good timing because next year I turn 35. And for my latter thirties, I really want to be in control of my weight and my health, as much as I can be. I'd love to be in the best shape of my life, when I'm entering my forties. So I'm stoked!
This weekend Neil and I rode our bicycles to Steveston. It was a total of 67 kms there and back, mostly flat though, thank goodness It was so much fun. My quads started to burn about 1.5 hrs in. Going home, we met two uphills near the end of our journey. One being the Queensborough bridge, and the other being a hill near where we live. The bridge was steady but I was huffing and puffing, by the time i was approaching the last hill, I honestly didn't know if I'd make it. But I thought my chances of walking up the hill would be even harder at that point, legs were like jello, so I kept going. I love that. I love when you think you've reached your limit, and you still push through. It's such a high when you do it. I think it's my new addiction. The whole journey took us over 5 hours. We stayed in Steveston for an hour. When I got home I showered and then fell asleep, my thighs were sore all night and the next day. lol. but after a day, they were fine. So we have some work to do to be Kelowna-ready. I have a lot of weight to lose, muscle to gain, training to do.
This is going to be a very long journey indeed. The actual trip itself will be the reward. It's the time and effort up to the actual bicycle trip that will be the true journey. It's going to be a year or so. It will be hard. I know it.. I think I'm going to have to really push myself, really look within. I hope that I can do it.