A Tidy Morning Person

...and other crazy things.

Yesterday, a dear friend commented that my car was "so clean"!  I almost fainted, which would have been bad since I was the driver.  Never in a million years would I have imagined that someone else would perceive me as clean, neat and/or tidy.  'Organized' is beyond even my wildest dreams.  It's almost as radical as thinking that I will someday be able to consistently wake up at 6am without dire struggle.

I have been all these things at some point.  In 10th grade, my room was sterile.  In Thailand, I sprung from my bed at 5am without an alarm.  I know it's not impossible, it just feels neither likely nor desirable right now.

Since I am currently working against my nature for the greater good, I have taken to cheating with large amounts of caffeine and systematically purging my house of excessive belongings.  Working under the theory that having less stuff means less things to clean, I strive to keep only the basics.  I sleep when the desire hits me, which, unfortunately, isn't in the evenings.  I try to plow through my days the best I can and hope that whatever it is I'm looking at (what looks to me like a lazy, slobby mess) is at the very least, enjoyable.

*I'm almost certain this didn't make any sense - I got four hours of sleep and can barely see through the stacks of papers and dishes to where my computer is hiding.


Preservation Society

pretty little pantry staples

The other day I hit the kitchen (with the fury of a thousand suns).  I love the deep sense of accomplishment I get after jamming out

  • 3 gallons of applesauce - complete with canning a portion of it
  • a dozen muffins
  • sauerkraut
  • 6 salad-in-a-jars
  • 1 pint of yogurt
  • protein bars
  • kombucha
  • AND dinner for the evening

fermented cabbage anyone?

What I don't love is doing the dishes afterward.


Old Thoughts on New Items

Last night my husband confessed to me that he wants an entirely new wardrobe.  He dreams of getting rid of all his clothes and starting fresh.  This, I was told, would be "awesome".

Probing deeper into his thought process, I discovered this:
  1. He views his clothes as being "ratty" and most don't fit well enough
  2. He was only talking about work clothes (not Tshirts and athletic wear - although I've heard him muse about getting new pairs of board shorts lately also)
  3. He's not talking about shoes, socks, underwear or accessories (although, again, he's also asked for those items in the recent past)
  4. He has no idea how he wants to procure these items - ie. whether/where he wants them to buy new or used.

Mr A wears his clothes like a champ (most of his dress shirts have been with him longer than I have) and he isn't opposed to second hand items.  He has a pretty definitive idea of what he likes and doesn't (a definable style).  I'm not exactly against the idea of him clearing out his closet and starting over - in fact, I think it shows a healthy and admirable detachment from his possessions.  However, I have a few concerns.
  1. First red flag was this sentence: "I've been working hard and once I graduate, I think I deserve it.  You know, to reward myself."  Umm...emotional fulfillment via consumerism?
  2. My husband has zero patience when it comes to shopping.  He would probably just hit the first department store and stock up.  This will naturally result in low-quality or not-quite-right impulse purchases and we would be back to square one within 3 months.
  3. His definition of 'ratty' is slightly contrived.  Pilling on the side seam of slacks that you wear to work every other day?  Totally normal (and fixable with a shaving razor).  

I also think he deserves to own and wear clothes he likes.  Moving forward with this idea, since we still have several months before graduation, I am going to try and get him to nail down exactly what he wants.  "4 new slacks and 8 new shirts" just isn't going to cut it.  I want to know what color, what style, what size.  I think if I know exactly what he is looking for, then I can help connect him to the clothes he really wants, rather than what is on display at Macys the day he goes shopping.  I can also try to find as many of them as possible second hand.  Being a good wife, I don't want to impose my beliefs on my husband...in such an obvious way. 

During our conversation Mr A made a joking reference to the fact that, if it were up to me, his work pants would be patched until they fell apart then turned into a quilt.  Damn right.


Brand New Sweatshirt aka Saturday Guilt Bomb

This weekend we went to a carnival (for lack of a better word) at Nāwahi - the school Kaika will be attending next year.  Seeing the campus was amazing  (for lack of a more accurate word).  The school itself merits a separate post, which I hope to get around to later this week.

One motivation for driving 2 hours to Puna was the chance to scoop up some second hand school uniforms at the school's rummage sale.  Unfortunately, I was only able to find one lowly PE shirt in just barely acceptable condition.  Major bummer.  Totally desperate, I also checked the local thrift stores on our way out of town, but all to no avail.

It's not so much a matter of saving money - though that is a welcome result - as it is a matter of knowing there are perfectly useful school polo shirts out there.  It's the thrill of the hunt combined with the righteous victory of finding something which already exists rather than create more demand for the exact same object by scooping it up new.  This is an exercise in patience.

An exercise I failed!  Faced with the overwhelming joy of being at the school, coupled with the stinging disappointment of not finding unis at the rummage sale, I broke down and bought a (100% optional) school jacket.  New.  And it wasn't cheap.

I justified this clearly impulsive purchase by reasoning that I had a good Ebay week, more than covering the cost.  The money goes to support the school.  I bought a larger size than necessary.  And Koa can use it, too.  I almost never buy him brand new things.  Black and red is Mr A's fav color combo...clearly, the excuses can go on forever!

gale force winds have led me to use the dryer this week - the highlight of their day was rolling around in hot laundry.
Unfortunately, someone always ends up getting hurt!


Reuse Repurpose DIY Crafty Sunday

Today I finished up some crafts that have been lurking around my house since time immemorial.  Feels so good to finally check them off the (never ending) list.

First up was this sweatshirt upcycle request from my mom.  I recently bought an entire bag of fugly denim bottoms at the thrift store thinking I would use them to border a quilt.  Mr A voted no (he thinks its too stiff for a blanket), so a pair of Liz Claiborne capris became the backing for this pillow instead.
Trust me, the world is a better, more beautiful place with these pants out of circulation.

a close up of the carnage

 Next up is a throw rug made from the same pair of mom jeans and the bane of my existence aka Grandma O's orange car coat.

This hooded, belted, fresh-in-from-hunting jacket was crocheted by my father's mother.  She passed away when I was young and a precious few of her crafted projects remain.  So, here is this rare gem, a family heirloom, a piece of our history.  This coat was, in fact, made FOR MY MOTHER.  I used to wear it in high school but had left it at their house during my post-collegiate moves.  My mom, for whatever reason (hopefully in a moment of temporary insanity) allowed my sister to cut the sleeves off to make...wait for it...LEGWARMERS for a costume.  *frustrated head shake*  I was pretty upset about the whole thing.

A while back my mom sent me the scarred remains of the orange car coat.  Why?  So my irritation could be rekindled every time I set eyes upon it?  So I can continue to conclude that my family doesn't really value the blood, sweat, and tears that I put into my crafts either?  What was she thinking?  Apparently, she hoped I could make something out of it.  I seriously considered just throwing it away because looking at it was simply too painful.

However, I buckled down today and made a small throw mat.  Might go nicely in a bathroom or kitchen or even the boys room.  For now, its under the piano pedals.  I'm don't exactly have an eye for decorating, but I think we can find a use for this.  The bright orange crochet shells make me smile and remind me I am part of a tradition of crafty women.  Mission accomplished.

 And, finally, I am almost finished with my new Kindle case.  This was a large hooded sweater in its previous life.  Some felting, a leather button and a few hand embroidered flowers later - TADA!  I love the delicate, homey look of embroidery - can't wait to make a sampler for the bathroom wall ;)
I still have to sew the buttonhole but, for the most part, its done.


Nāwahi - A Video About Hawaiian Medium Education

This is a video about the school Kaika will attend next year (his school is technically 'under' this one, since the main campus is in Hilo - but he will be visiting there once a month or so).  I can't seem to figure out how to hook Vimeo media to Blogger so I'll just throw a link up.  Sorry so unprofesh.

No ʻAneʻi Ko Kākou Ola