Sunday's Creative Spirit

Oatmeal - It's What's for Breakfast
I used to blog a lot. Lately I've come back to it. It feels good to use my creative juices and share ideas, thoughts and beliefs. And to multitask. I'm writing this in my living room between trips to the kitchen - and the front porch, where Diego is soaking in the vitamin D.

I'm writing this on a beautiful - in fact, almost perfect - Sunday morning. My family is all upstairs sleeping despite the sounds of mixing, chopping and pre-heating, with beep-beeps chirping from my oven. I am trying a recipe I found on pinterest. This is the second time in a week that I'm creating something inspired by this online bulletin board. Where was pinterest when I was a stay-at-home Mom with time to cook, bake and otherwise create? Ah, progress. When I retired there will be an app or other yet-to-be-dreamed solution to make a commute more fun.

Last Sunday was almost perfect - the only thing missing was my family. I woke on Long Beach Island and started the day with beach yoga. There's no beach yoga right now - but there is coffee. The kind I make for myself - hot, fresh, with a hint of cinnamon and cardamom, which give it a taste of fall. Tomorrow morning I'll pour myself the leftovers over ice as I run to the train. I'm already looking forward to it (the coffee more than the train).

Baby's Ready for Bonding with Daddy
Lately when I do blog - or speak to people in person - it tends to be a venting session on what is stressful in my life. But have I focused on what's going well? Not lately. It might not be in my nature - as Gloria and George's daughter, stress and drama may be embedded in my DNA - but I am focusing more on simplifying. As I mentioned, I had signed up for the Wineglass Marathon in October, but I decided to defer. Now when I see the countdown - currently 34 Days, 23 Hours, 23 Minutes and 9 seconds (when I checked a few seconds ago) - I don't get panicked. I don't get excited either. It's ok. 2016 here I come! That's not necessarily "going well" but running for the love of it, without the pressure of a deadline, is a step in the right direction. I've also rediscovered the fact that I have an hour for lunch. Almost every day last week I spent time taking advantage of Lower Manhattan. Running along the Hudson, biking near Battery Park and walking from City Hall almost to the West Village.

But back to Sunday. It's now 9 am. I've taken my "To Go Baked Oatmeal" out of the oven, impatiently waiting for it to cool. When I tested the concoction before placing it into the oven. I found it to be too sweet - so if you are copying me, I'd suggest cutting the brown sugar by at least half - I ran out of brown sugar and only used 3/4 cup. The apple sauce and fruit give it plenty of sweetness. I also used coconut oil instead of the canola (?) in the recipe. Finally, since I had it out, I added a pinch of cardamom. To counteract the sweetness, I'm planning to "serve it" (to myself) with plain yogurt. The aroma is lovely. Can I actually wait until it cools enough to prevent third degree burns on my tongue??

Shower Gift
Yesterday was also a chance to test my creativity under pressure. Weeks ago I was invited to a colleague's baby shower. At 45 it isn't often that my friends are having babies - luckily most of my colleagues are a bit younger.  I don't know the mother-to-be very well, but from my few encounters I think we'd be good friends given the opportunity. S is warm and intelligent and artistic. G (my colleague) has the nickname Webbie around the office - although Wiki would work, too. He knows so much, and probably 30 times a day I find myself interrupting him with a, "G---?" Not only does he give me an answer, he jumps out of his seat and comes over to my cube to provide assistance. Often he ends with, "Let me try to do it (for you)." Taking from my to do list and adding to his own is really kind. It sometimes means that he'll stay late to finish something that was on my plate. So I am grateful for the opportunity to do something nice for him and his growing family.

Anyway, I knit the football hat - also found on Pinterest - for G and S's shower baby shower. The hat was finished on Tuesday, save for the lines. Those proved a challenge - and give it a homemade look, instead of the "did you buy this??" I was hoping for. The pressure was on - let's just say I couldn't actually wrap the gift until I got to New York because I was sewing in the ends on the train, even as the train pulled tunnel into Penn Station. Last minute... indeed. But I love it. So much, that I've cast on a similar hat - in the same yarn. Instead of a football, it's got hearts. This time, it's for a friend (who actually is my age) having a baby next month. Anyone else having a baby? I'll happily make another.

But for now it's a beautiful Sunday and I'm going to milk every second of it. This time, with my family. They are stirring now. Guess that means it's time for me to get dressed and seize the day!

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