Sep 242018

I slept and slept and slept, I think I even dozed a little after six.

So I slightly late breakfast at 7.30 and some knitting, talking to my husband, the boy was up on time for once which was a nice surprise, then dishes and such and I did some yoga. First time in ages and it did me a load of good. I have had hip and back pain again lately and it feels like the yoga helped with that.

Then an easy lunch of gemelli bolognese with a big salad:

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Then dishes again, and some laundry. I sang and then, instead of sewing or writing, I finished watching a video that I have been watching in bits and pieces all week. I did spin a little while watching it so that was good.

Then I started packing my father’s birthday present, I inked one of my fountain pens, then it was time for watching Star Trek.

I did write but only in the evening. I do prefer doing it in the morning but for that I need to finish breakfast early enough.

Today there will be running and sewing and teaching. Just a normal Monday. I hope.

Sep 232018

So I knew I wouldn’t get a lot done yesterday with the whole „sleeping only for 4 1/2 hours“-thing. But for that things went really great.

I am a little more hopeful at the moment. And I think it’s totally due to two things. One: I am brushing my teeth right around dinnertime which prevents my nightly binge-eating (plus there is no chocolate in the house at all) and two: I wrote for three days in a row. For only 25 minutes but it’s making all the difference.

Also I have been adopting the policy of just moving the needle a bit all the time. I don’t just sit around reading and knitting when I feel low on energy but I realize that I’m low on energy and ask myself, „What small thing can I do that will make a difference  in the right direction now?“ And do it.

The drying rack is completely empty for the first time in weeks. Clean dishes get put away. Bills get paid. The clothes on the chair in the bedroom get hung up. And all of a sudden I have a little more energy than before. Huh.

Of course, I already knew this. And I am a bit afraid that I’ll crash and burn again but I am also taking long breaks and I’m reading a lot. Not quite as much as before, thought. And I’m totally okay with that.

So. I woke up super-early and thought about a comment someone made the day before, as you do when you wake up to early and can’t fall asleep again. And all of a sudden I was flooded with ideas about my own life and things I want to learn and change and do. (Yep, hopeless optimist, that’s me.)

I got up only half an hour later than usual and had a lovely, lone breakfast but then there was no time to write before my husband was getting up.

We had a nice talk and I decided that my new ‚work glasses‘ were bothering me enough that I’d go to the optician again to talk about it. I was sure that something had gone wrong with my prescription. I did the dishes, changed into jeans and went there.

I totally expected the place to be packed but they actually did have time for me and it turned out that no, there was nothing wrong with my prescription, it was just that I am so used to my old work glasses that allow me to read the time from across the kitchen now. I couldn’t have done that three years ago when I got them. So I need to just get used to my new glasses. The optician also suggested that I wanted to wear my old work glasses while teaching but I’m not sure. I tried playing the piano with those yesterday afternoon and I wasn’t happy either.

Seems I need a little patience.

I came back, went running rather slowly, trying out a pace that wouldn’t make my hip hurt and the app didn’t give me cues for changing from running to walking and back, again. I think I won’t use it anymore. I am thinking about starting the half-marathon training yet again (third time is the charm, or so they say) and just do the first week over and over and over until I feel that it’s easy. I don’t have a specific date for running a half-marathon, I just want t flexible running practice that will make me fitter over time. Also, being able to run 21k sounds really, really cool. Running pictures:

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It’s starting to look and feel like fall here. I even had to wear a jacket. It did turn out to be too warm halfway through. Which was also when I met my husband going in the other direction. He was complaining that he should have worn a wool hat because his ears were cold. It is rather funny because when he runs (about twice as fast as me) he wears a ton of clothing while I’m wearing less clothes than indoors and the minute we return home he sheds all layers while I sit in the corner, shivering, wearing all the wool head to toe.

Then I took a shower, cut my own bangs for the very first time in my life (they don’t really look different and I think I need to cut some more on one side), and helped making lunch. We were late, as usual on Saturdays. The mood in the kitchen might have been a little tense:

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This is a picture of my last bite of fried zucchini blossom. I was so hungry that I forgot to take a picture. Second course was feijoada again:

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I love eating beans and rice, especially when it’s cold outside. Well, cooler at least.

We did the dishes together, then I went to my studio (no lounging in the kitchen after lunch is the new rule), published the podcast, sang a little, read quite a bit of the internet and played the piano a little. I even practiced. I’m learning Bach’s prelude in C major from the „Wohltemperiertes Klavier“ by heart again. Or maybe for the first time, I’m not sure.

Then came the point in the day where I felt all smug because my to-do list was almost done for the day and it was only early afternoon. The two things left on the agenda were writing and sewing and I realized that I was just too tired to do anything serious. So I decided to do a little spinning (move the needle on a long project) and continue watching a video that someone recommended and that I have been inching through all week. I keep thinking that there will be something worthwhile in there but so far there wasn’t. So I found myself suddenly listening to the video while reading revelry (bad habit) and then there were dance videos on youtube. Oops.

The boy and I watched one episode of Star Trek TNG while I was crocheting on his blanket (cozy and warm) and I had decided to not watch the webinar live because I had seen another one on the same topic half a year before. I might watch the replay at some point because – as I said before – Jessica Abel is really phenomenal and has helped me a lot but I didn’t think I needed to sit there the minute it was recorded.

Then I started writing this post and by then I was really, really tired.

So I wrote some new words on the story-in-progress and went to bed early.

Today will be another semi-lazy day, yoga would be fabulous and writing and music and sewing would be the cherry on top.

Yesterday also showed me again how much an evening off can throw me off kilter. If it weren’t for the #100daysofwriting-challenge and my renewed dedication to get things done this would have been a totally lost day. Which would have made me feel awful instead of tired and enthusiastic. Yes, you can be both at the same time. And that’s okay. Just make sure that you don’t stay tired for long.

Sep 222018

Und hier ist wieder eine neue Folge:

Gestrickt habe ich:

  • Brown Cria: fertig, nur eine Tasche muss noch angenäht werdenIMG 1785
  • Vanilla is the New Black für meinen Mann: erster Socken fertig, zweiter angefangenIMG 1787
  • Wolkig-Cowl: weiterIMG 1786
  • Crazy Tee: wenige Reihen weiterIMG 1793

Gehäkelt habe ich:

  • Decke für meinen Sohn: ein ganzes Stück weiterIMG 1788
Gesponnen habe ich:
  •  Weinrotes Merino: etwas weiter  IMG 1792

Projekt Kleiderschrank:

  • Kew Kleid: angefangen zu nähen (insert Kermit flail)

Außerdem dachte ich, ein paar Fotos von den Kurzwaren, über die ich gesprochen habe, wären auch nicht schlecht:

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Erwähnt wurde:

Sep 212018

That was a rather busy and somewhat exhausting day. But very good.

I woke up from the alarm at six, tried to make myself write first thing and failed. But I did get up on time, made breakfast and helped the boy get ready. He had a school excursion to the German Aerospace Center near us, so he had to leave a little earlier than usual in order to catch a train.

I meditated and read „The Daily Stoic“. Today’s contemplation wasn’t bad but it showed that the author can’t be a dancer. Pity. (The quote said that life is not like dancing but rather like wrestling and if you look at it like Marc Aurel that’s true but Ryan Holiday’s commentary – while still insightful – was missing the point slightly.

And then I set a timer for 25 minutes and wrote some new words on the story in progress. And decided to participate in the „100 days of writing“-challenge. It’s nothing big, just showing up every day, a hundred days in a row and write for twenty minutes. I think editing and such counts as well. I’m hoping that that will help me to get my butt in the chair more regularly.

Screenshot 2018 09 20 Susanne  freejazzmama  Instagram Fotos und  Videos

I was really happy I did that because when my husband came over for breakfast he had one of those notes from his mother that derailed our plans for the morning. It said that his aunt might come over around ten with her car to help us get the hedge trimmings and such carted to the recycling place. His mother had known about this for a few days but only realized that my husband had to do most of the work because his mother is still not back to form and his aunt is having back problems.

So he got ready and waited.

Meanwhile I did the dishes and got ready to go to the optician. There I tested my new ‚work glasses‘ and ordered a sunglass clip. Since they needed one of my frames for shaping the clip’s glasses I left my new glasses with them again and went grocery shopping. Which went well but I forgot some things.

Back home it turned out that there had been no car but my husband had a tentative appointment with his aunt again for 3 pm. Or 5 pm. One or the other.

He had planned to make filled eggplant for days but with all the back and forth with the optician I had no time to help cook.

So I went back to the optician, got my new glasses, the sunglass clip, and a pair of contact lenses to try out, then went to another supermarket and came home. By then it was time for lunch but food was far from ready.

So we cooked together, and we both made huge mistakes because we really needed a break.

The food was wonderful, though, and delicious:

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Then it was pretty late and I did regret not doing all the podcast prep the days before. I thought I had a lot of time in the afternoon since my first student had re-scheduled.

So I put on makeup and prepared the podcast and then recorded it and I finished just in time for my first student of the day.

Then more teaching, the boy decided that he didn’t want a lesson but only a quick practice because he was fried too.

Again I brushed my teeth right after work and changed into my pajamas. That really helps to prevent binge-eating. Even though it is a little weird to get ready for bed at 7 pm.

I did my daily drawing and went to bed early again.

Today, there will be the usual Friday cleaning and then I will go and buy Weißwürste and Brezn for lunch because tonight my husband and I are invited to have dinner at a restaurant with some friends of his. I’m really looking forward to it, also to the 8k bike ride there and back.

I’m hoping to get the podcast ready for publication this afternoon as well so that it can go live tomorrow.

I’m rather busy at the moment but I’m liking it because things seem to move forward.

Sep 202018

But the hectic of school starting is still ongoing.

Students want their lessons re-scheduled and the boy has excursions and a ton of stuff to buy and extra books and workbooks and then he started discussing his prospects for all kinds of extra certifications he might be able to get and test for over the next three years.

And one of these years he will learn that bombarding me with details that include lots of numbers makes my head hurt.

I woke up early yesterday and for once managed to make myself write for ten minutes before getting up. Phew.

My mood immediately brightened. Which shouldn’t be a surprise but of course it was.

I started to weave the ends in on the Cria cardigan. I still have to sew one pocket lining shut, block it and get buttons but then it will done.

I did the dishes and such and then went running. I had decided to stop the half-marathon training yet again and go back to the transitioning from 5k to 10k training which meant that I spent my run mostly fiddling with the settings on my phone. A program of running ten minutes and walking 1 minute several times doesn’t really work when you don’t know if you should run or walk at any given moment.

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So I didn’t quite finish what I set out to do. I’m not sure how to proceed, maybe I will restart the half-marathon program again and just repeat each week until I manage to actually run the distance specified. We’ll see.

Lunch was mashed potatoes, peas and carrots and wieners:

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Then I talked to the boy and did dishes and made some music and pulled out the sewing machine, taught a student, sewed a bit, taught some more, talked some more with the boy (note to self, put in your calendar for next year that the boy will need extra time for talking through school stuff when school starts), started writing this post, read a little and went to bed early.

No spinning. But I did my daily drawing (that isn’t that daily) in the morning. Otherwise that wouldn’t have happened.


Today I will go grocery shopping, get my new glasses from the optician, go to the health food store again because the boy ran out of vegetarian spread and didn’t put it on the grocery list in time, record the podcast, teach a few students and do some other things as well.

I have a list. So I know what to do.

Sep 192018

I don’t quite know what happened there but there really was no time at all.

I woke up early and didn’t write again. But I did look at the short story that I’m working on, promptly despaired and closed it again. I started formatting the novel, just to see how it’s done and – lo and behold – this will be a lot of work. I should first read it again and iron out the mistakes, though.

I finished knitting a sock for my husband after breakfast and then he came along with a pretty new shirt that had caught on something in the greenhouse. I knew that I could mend it, but not invisibly. And then he said that would be great but he’d love it if it wouldn’t sit in a pile for the next three years.

So I mended it right away:

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Yes, that is the mended shirt. And the color isn’t quite right but my husband was happy with it. It does look less glaring from afar:

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Also, it’s in the back. And since I had the mending stuff all out I also mended my favorite running socks:

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I wanted to also sew a button to another shirt of my husband’s but I couldn’t find the button in the big pile of things on top of the fridge.

Then I started a new sock, as one does.

Then I went out to the bakery and the health food store and we decided to make salad Niçoise again because we loved it so much the last time, and then, right in the middle of frantic cooking we found that we were all out of mustard. So I went to the nearest supermarket to get more. It was totally worth it.

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After lunch I did the dishes and hung up some laundry and then the boy came home from school. There was a lot to discuss and he needed to get all his school supplies still.

I finished everything just in time to do a quick singing warm-up before my first two students. Some time in between I shot off an email to my doctor to renew the prescription for my thyroid medication.

More teaching. Afterwards the boy practiced piano and there was more talking about school supplies. And then my husband told us about a music video he had watched the day before and so we ended up sitting down in his studio watching music videos on youtube for some time. The poor boy was pretty hungry at that point but we all enjoyed it.

And then I wrote another email and such and was right in time for yet another webinar. The monthly Orna Ross one. I keep returning so I must be getting something out of them.

After that I only had time to brush my teeth, write in my journal and that was that.

And what have we learned from this?

If you want to get any writing done? Do it in the morning. Preferably first thing. Because then if anything unexpected happens you still will have written.

So today. I will of course write first thing, and then there will be running and only a few students. I had hoped for some sewing to happen yesterday after lunch, 90 minutes should have allowed for that but actually they didn’t.

But. Today will, of course, be much better.

I hope.

Sep 182018

And again I didn’t really write first thing in the morning, and – funny enough – that meant not a lot of writing got done throughout the day.

Instead I lounged in bed reading the internet for an hour before getting up. I’m not quite sure if that’s the best use of my time in the morning.

Breakfast, then meditation, started writing, got stuck after 23 words, decided to start a new document for the second novel in the current series and transfer character sheets and settings, and then my husband was up.

We went running pretty early, and the weather was really nice:

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It was just beautiful out there, hence the many pictures. I hope you don’t mind.

Running was fun but again rather slow. And my hip is bothering me again so I’m debating running not as far and only three times a week. I really don’t need the hip pain back. I thought that my change in gait and the stretches that I do made the pain go away but right now that’s not working. We’ll see.

Then my husband started cooking so early that I didn’t even get to help. Well, he usually cooks three different Indian things at once and this time it was only rice and dal:

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It was really delicious. Pro tip: if you have breakfast early and don’t snack between meals lunch tastes much better. Works every time. When I explained it to a friend I said that it’s like when your hiking in the mountains and you’re eating your lunch up on the peak. Food never tastes better. And she replied with; „Best boiled egg of my life!“ from the bottom of her heart.

Somewhere in there I had gotten an email about what was wrong with the file for the sign that I wanted to have printed and so, after doing the dishes, I set out to wrangle the print-monster again. And I was victorious. Soon there will be a sign on our fence announcing our services to the world. Especially that part of the world that is walking their elementary school children to school and back every day along our house.

Then I taught some students and wrote some emails, and somewhere in between I did some phone calls.

The boy had things to discuss (we’re still in the ‚sign this‘ and ‚I need money for that‘-phase of the new school year) and then he plays the piano and I took care of putting some frozen buns in the oven because we were out of bread, and then we did a little strength training, and then I found that my husband had done a load of laundry and that I had to hang it up and then I was rather done with the day.

So, while I did not practice all my instruments and only wrote 23 words I’m still pretty pleased with the day.

I wrote in my journal and made a list for today and contemplated my drawing exercise.

And then I went to bed rather early.

Today is Tuesday and Tuesday means that I’ll go to the health food store. Since we’re completely out of bread a visit to the bakery will be on the agenda as well. Quite a bit of teaching, some writing and music, and then the monthly Orna Ross webinar.

Who knows, maybe there will even be time for a little sewing…

Sep 172018

I woke up at six, lounged around in bed for an hour, had breakfast and lounged around some more.

I was cranky because I didn’t do anything the day before and was afraid this day would end up the same. When my husband showed up for his breakfast I whined at him for about two hours how I hate it that I always slip back into old, bad habits (and sometimes new, bad habits) even after doing well for two years or so.

And this is irritating for him as well. He gets all fired up for his weekend where he can devote time and energy to things he can’t get to during the week and there I am sitting like an unmoving blob on the kitchen bench, getting crankier and crankier. Also fatter and fatter.

Well, there isn’t much you can do when you’re in the grip of a binge eating attack, or when you just can’t make yourself do the thing that you really, really want to do, only not now.

So I thought back to the time when I managed to lose all that weight. And I realized that, while I had an epiphany that started the whole thing, what got me through the whole process was looking at what worked and what didn’t and then tweaking little things here and there.

I also started downloading books about self-sabotage and looking at coaching options, as one does.

So, together we came up with a plan. The big slump always happens in the afternoon, right after lunch. I tell myself that I get a nice half-hour break and the next thing I know it’s 5 pm and I’m still sitting there, feeling horrible.

I’m also thinking about energy and energy-management a lot and I’m actually not sure that I need all these breaks. I definitely don’t need a 3 1/2 hour break after lunch.

After that I felt so energized and motivated that I folded a load of laundry and put it away immediately. And then I helped to make lunch (tagliatelle bolognese, fried zucchini and salad (zucchini and salad from the yard):

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So today after lunch I did the dishes right away and then I took my computer and such and went to my studio. Where I sat down and did my singing warm-up and my piano exercises right away.

At that time my husband is taking a nap in the next room but he assured me that my music didn’t disturb him. I put the damper on the piano. I also happen to know that he really hates the piano exercises, so saying that he didn’t mind was rather sweet. It’s about the same as me saying that I don’t mind him playing drums right under my bed right before I turn out the lights at night…

After the music I started watching a lecture online while spinning that merino I’ve been procrastinating about for months now. The lecture wasn’t quite what I’m needing right now so then I pulled my sewing machine out of the closet. Another thing I’ve been procrastinating for, um, months now:

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Yes, the kitchen is really that gloomy in the afternoon. I mended a pair of leggings that I’m using as pajama bottoms and a dress. And then I finally started sewing the Kew dress. I really love the fabric and I adore the pattern but I’m afraid it won’t fit. For one it will be too small. Though maybe it won’t be. Because after two hours of sewing I got this:

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It might just work if I make the seam allowances narrower on the skirt. And maybe out the buttons right at the edge. And next time I will measure myself and the pattern before cutting out the pieces. Sure.

So that left me very pleased.

Then it was time for dinner and Star Trek (well, only Star Trek for me plus beer and crochet). The boy and I watched two excellent episodes. Then I went back to the kitchen, did the dishes and – very important – did not sit down and left the kitchen immediately. Because my husband has told me repeatedly that if he were sitting in the kitchen all evening he would be eating all the things too. Really, binge-eating is no fun even thought it always feels like it should while you’re doing it.

And sitting in bed at that time doesn’t really work either, I fall half asleep and then still have to get ready for bed later and have a crick in my neck. And go for a bit of cheese again.

So the new plan was to not sit down in the kitchen but go back to my studio to prepare this blog post, write a  little and write in my journal.

And that’s what I did.

I keep forgetting about the power of small tweaks. Now we just need to see if they will work again tonight.

Today is Monday which means running and all the usual and teaching quite a bit. Including the student who couldn’t figure out our new garden gate and went back home on Thursday. Poor thing. We have now started to leave the gate open with a brick to prevent anyone from closing it while we’re teaching. The old gate had a knob on the outside that could be turned but the new one only has a handle on the inside.

I am starting to feel a little hope for positive change.

Wish me luck.

Sep 162018

Well, not really because I didn’t really try to fight it.

I slept in until 6.30, lounged around in bed for an hour and then started doing all the dishes from the day before. Had breakfast, talked with my husband, did dishes again, cut my husband’s hair, reprimanded the boy for getting up at eleven, went running for a short (but not quick) 5k:

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Came back and helped to make lunch. Since we were starting late we decided to have just appetizers so there were fried zucchini blossoms filled with cream cheese (and a lot of other stuff, I mean we’re talking about my husband cooking) and some bresaola:

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Then my husband and I realized that we knew nothing about futurism or expressionism so we had to look it up on wikipedia and when we looked up again it was 3 pm.

I then sat down to read and eat all.the.chocolate (Literally. Of the two bars that I had bought at the beginning of the week there was half a bar left and now there is none. The boy has a separate stash of chocolate.) When I looked up again from my computer it was 5 pm and the lunch dishes were still sitting there on the counter. Oops.

Of course I had hoped to do something productive with the day but I have to say I rather enjoyed sitting around doing nothing. I’m just hoping to spend today a little differently.

I read some more until it was time for watching Star Trek with the boy, then hung up some laundry. My husband was kind enough to do the dishes.

Today I will do mostly nothing with a bit of fun and productivity thrown in. I want to make music and write and set up my bullet journal for the week.

I also want to try out if I have more energy when I do more. I usually find that that is the case, up to a certain point. A point that I almost never reach, by the way. But we’ll see.

Sep 152018

I woke up from the alarm and lounged around in bed for half an hour. I really want to get back to the habit of writing first thing in the day.

Made breakfast, talked with the boy, was disturbed by my husband while meditating.

Did the weekly cleaning and changed the sheets on my bed, made pizza and was a little frantic because the pizza dough was way too soft. I think I put in too much water the night before.

Took a shower.

Put some more flour into the pizza dough but it was still too soft and there were holes in it through and through.

The pizza turned out fine in the end, though:

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Very tasty.

Then I spent some time ordering the sign for our music business but got an error message. ::Clue sad face:: I will have to deal with that next week or so.

Because of the sign ordering screw-up I did not do the dishes, also there was a load of laundry to hang up. I got that done just in time to get ready for teaching.

Taught four students in a row and was fried. I need to get used to teaching again, it seems.

Then the boy practiced piano and made himself some sandwiches for dinner, and we watched some very good Star Trek.

Afterwards my husband and I opened some champagne (it did end up over half the kitchen but not by design) to celebrate the finishing of my novel and the finishing of his guitar recordings. I don’t know if any of you remember his music blog but there actually might be some new posts in the near future. (That blog consisted only of an error message for months but it is up and running again. I’ll put up a link as soon as there is something to see and hear there.)

And then I had to do the dishes and I had planned to start writing a new story. I almost let exhaustion win but then decided to start the story and do the dishes this morning. Not ideal but I wasn’t up for half an hour of dishwashing, ten minutes of writing seemed much more doable.

Today there will be the running, and the cutting of my husband’s hair, and the writing, and the music, and the pulling out the sewing machine first time in months.