This is my first time really doing this kind of embroidery, so I’m learning as I go. When I started working on this butterfly, I stuck with the instructions and the pattern and tried to fill in some of the thicker lines. It looks … kind of clumsy. When I did the right side, it wasn’t perfect but I took what I’d learned, mixed it with my own sense of what would work, and came out with a result I’m much more pleased with.
Making mistakes is undoubtedly part of the learning process. But I’m also a perfectionist. As my career coach has helped me see, I’m often reluctant to take something on — even something I’m capable of — if I’m not sure I can execute it well. But that’s not always possible. And you can’t always redo your first attempt. So in an effort to practice accepting my mistakes, I’m going to let that butterfly stay just as it is. It’s a bit of my history, evidence of the work I’ve put in to get where I am.
This is a tale of two lava cakes. One that was cooked just right, in a ramekin with just the right amount of butter and cocoa powder to let it slip out when it was done. And the other that stuck to the ramekin and fell apart into a cakey, gooey mess.
But the moral of the story is that it doesn’t matter. Whether the lava cake is intact or in pieces, it still tastes amazing. 🙂
Many people nowadays live in a series of interiors—home, car, gym, office, shops—disconnected from each other. On foot everything stays connected, for while walking one occupies the spaces between those interiors in the same way one occupies those interiors. One lives in the whole world rather than in interiors built up against it.
When cooking is not just a daily necessity for survival, but an activity you actually enjoy, you can end up days like this one. Cooking chipotle tofu for lunch (with fresh guacamole!), having soup and salad with locally made sausages for dinner, and a just-because pear tarte tatin for dessert. Noms!
We started playing Hunt a Killer, an episodic detective puzzle game gifted by my brother and sister-in-law. Intriguing! And even better to know that the story will continue to unfold over the next six months.
I remember rifling through my mom’s basket of essential oils as a kid. I couldn’t tell you all the things we used them for, but the tactile memory of handling the tiny bottles and twisting of the caps to get a sniff is very much still with me.
I’m not sure why it took me so long to get oils of my own. Maybe because I know how much each milliliter is worth. Maybe because I couldn’t decide what scents to start with. Maybe because I didn’t think I could replace that basket from my childhood.
But I finally did get a handful of bottles, and tonight I mixed eucalyptus and lavender with a bowlful of rice to refill my homemade heating pad. It needs to sit a while and absorb the oils, but I can’t wait to sew it back up and try it out.
Earlier this week my home internet wasn’t working, and I had to decide where to work instead. I considered a coworking space in the area, but their hours are limited to standard business hours and I didn’t want to organize myself (and my commute!) to that schedule. I also thought about walking to one of several comfortable coffee shops nearby.
But right before settling down to work, I had to run a book back to the library — and I realized that my library has wifi and numerous tables to sit at. As it turns out, they also have a very nice view of the river:
At the Manchester Art Gallery this summer I encountered an exhibition called And Breathe…. Part of the gallery’s Mindful Museum campaign, this exhibition invites you to sit and listen to guided meditations as you look at the paintings.
One of the meditations led me to look around a painting clockwise, taking in the colors, textures, and other characteristics without judgment. Another encouraged me to slow down and notice small details. By the end of the visit, I was looking at the paintings in new ways — enjoying the experience of seeing without worrying about what I was meant to see.
Vocabulary has always been my weak point with languages. My Spanish vocabulary was once extensive from years of studying, reading, and conversation, but even though my grammatical knowledge is as strong as ever I now find it hard to pinpoint the words I’m looking for. In learning Farsi, I find myself itching to have more conversation but held back by the limited number of concepts I know how to express.
So I dusted off the Memrise app and have been spending my evenings reviewing all the languages I once knew (Spanish, Catalan, German, Japanese) and expanding my Farsi vocabulary. I could do this all day. 😊
This kitty likes to come around our garden from time to time, and I’ll watch it from inside, but for the first time today I encountered it while I was out working in the garden myself. I startled it at first as I came around the house, but it quickly decided I was ok and came to say hello.