Today is one of those days where I feel truly content with life. I am currently sitting on the couch watching wave after wave of gentle rain come into Oakland from over the bay. I love grey rainy days. I suppose I would be better fit for the Pacific Northwest because of this, but I think overall the sun is better for my mood. Too many rainy days like this in a row, and I get incredibly brooding and down to match the weather. I am reveling in these later than normal storms this season, and I am also thankful for the water. It will be appreciated later this summer when we get into our usual pattern of months without rain.
I bought myself these lilacs yesterday during my busy day out. Nothing speaks of spring to me quite like lilacs. I have a close association with their scent and spring, especially when their perfume and the smells of fresh rain mix. We had lilac bushes at our house where I grew up, and the best lilacs were a huge tree that had gone wild on the neighbor's yard behind our house. Mr. Hahn was not someone you wanted to cross, as he was a "get off my lawn" type of adult. As a child he scared me, but I always would try to creep close to his wild lilac bush that had turned into a tree. When I could, I would steal smells from the tree, but I would never dare take any of the flowers. I would, however beg my mom to cut me some off our little bushes. It was quite sad when the trees were taken out of the yard to be replaced by some other landscaping when I was a teen. That is why, when I saw these at a flower stand in the city yesterday I simply had to have them. I have been sitting next to them to be enveloped in their perfume. It brings me such wonderful happy thoughts and memories.
Yesterday I also broke out of the normal routine and started my exercise program again. I am back to square one. I ran and walked, but mostly walked, the stairs in the building. I am not sure how many times I went up and down, but it felt like a lot. I was going for time and did a whopping total of ten minutes. It is a pathetic start, but it is a start. I am hoping to add a minute or two tomorrow. Today I am going to do some yoga. My calves probably could not take stairs again today. I need some deep stretching.
I then headed into the city for a fun lunch with Dan. Then I was off to buy myself an opaque projector. I have always wanted one of these for those situations when you get a pattern in a book that needs to be enlarged. For all of those fun occasions, I have had to either try to enlarge it by hand or head off to the copy shop. While at the copy shops, I usually spent most of my time frustrated that I could not get the enlarger to work well. You would think after my short teaching career I would be good at this skill, but I am horrible. The opaque projector is supposed to fix all of these problems. I am going to try it out today since it is so nice and dark due to the rainstorms. I want to copy the Kaleidoscope Apron that was posted to Etsy's Storque a while ago. Luckily I waited to work on this project because in going back to that posting I found out there were pattern and direction problems with the copy supplied. If you are interested, the corrections can be found Lark Book's corrections page. Now I will hopefully be able to get the projector working and in correct ratios to enlarge the pattern the 400% necessary.
I also made cookies yesterday. Sweets are my definite downfall, and I have just come to the decision that I cannot cut them out, so I need to add exercise instead. These were a wonderfully rich cookie, so I don't need much of them to get my fill. Hopefully this makes them last. If you are looking for the recipe, it can be found at Martha Stewart's website They are called rocky ledge bars, and they really remind me of rocky road ice cream in cookie form. Definitely a delight for those with a sweet tooth.
In news of the balcony garden, my whining about wanting more new plants to show up must have worked. There are a ton of radish shoots that have pushed through. I also have spotted a beet shoot and a few red sails lettuce shoots. The green onions, pansies, and herbs that I planted have yet to do anything. I am going to try both patience and pleading again. I am not sure what worked last time, but I would like to think my anticipation somehow spurred Mother Nature into giving me some more instant gratification. Well off to enjoy this rainy day with some pattern copying, sewing, and tea!