Joined

I’m running out of stuff to do and have been feeling restless lately. Like I need to find something I can get into. I’ve pretty much reached the bottom of the barrel of YouTube and Netflix. Most days, I just have something on for the background noise and can’t be bothered to pay attention. The fish tank is pretty self-contained. The plants don’t like being over-tended. So I joined a gym. Maybe this will help me kill some time and provide something stimulating.

Again with the shopping hobby. In preparation for this new endeavor, I got a water bottle (lost the old one).

These headbands. (I’ve used them for a while now and they’re only ok. They have to be clipped on to stay, otherwise, they slide off.)
Savvy Coconut Headbands
And a locker lock.
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Fountain Pen Hobbyist

Speaking of shopping hobbies, I met a fellow fountain pen enthusiast at the same training class. He was using a Lamy 2000 and when I asked him about it, he offered to let me try it, which I did. It was nice but probably heavier than I prefer. It has the heft of the Pilot Metropolitan. He also had the Monteverde OneTouch Stylus Tool Pen. It’s like the nerd’s version of a pocket knife. A fountain pen with a touchscreen stylus, a ruler with 4 measuring scales, a level, and mini screwdrivers (flat head and Philips). Today he brought in his 1943 Parker Vacumatic which looked almost like mine but his was longer. I should have brought my 1946 Debutante. I think his was the Major. I asked him about notebooks and paper and he said he was currently using the Moleskine which wasn’t very good and had bleed through. I will take that as a steer clear. He was also using another pen today that had a greenish marbling design. It was kind of big and fat. I wish I’d asked him what it was. It’s kinda’ neat to meet a fountain pen fool in real life. They exist!

Hobby

I went to a training class at work today and by way of introducing ourselves, they asked participants to talk about a hobby.  I racked my brain for something better to say than just watching YouTube and Netflix which is probably how I spend 90% of my free time.  It’s as valid a way to pass time as anything else, but doesn’t seem hobby-like.   I ended up sharing that I enjoy cooking and doing yoga.

Then I came home to a couple of packages I’d just ordered.  One item was this new watercolor set.  I discovered some watercolor hobbyists on YouTube and decided to dabble in this.  When I was a kid, I took watercolor lessons and even though I didn’t really have the patience for art (and I still don’t), I enjoyed studying objects to try to put them on paper.  And I love color!
Grumbacher
I’m not sure how long this interest will last – for 5 minutes or longer term.  So maybe my other hobby is really just shopping for my maybe-hobbies.

Gotta catch ’em all

It’s a jungle in here already! But whenever I see plants that I don’t have, I want a cutting to propagate! Lately I’ve gathered a lot of cuttings. I don’t know where to put them all yet but I’m so excited. I now have plants to fill my empty pots. (I always have extra pots for just in case.)

Here’s the rundown of my new Pokemon:
Begonia of some sort
Begonia ("Tea Rose" maybe)
It’s different from the current begonia I have. The new one has thicker, fuzzy, almost succulent-like leaves with no variagation. It grows short and squatty. The one I have grows long and tall, has thin, smooth polka-dot patterned leaves. The leaves are smaller too on this new one. Maybe 5-6″ instead of 11″ or so on my old one. Maybe after if blooms I’ll be able to better identify this variety.

Philodendron Silver
Philodendron Silver
Beautiful variegation on the leaves.

Micans Philodendron
Micans Philodendron
Almost a purply dark green color with some velvety fuzz. I now have 4 varieties of philodendrons. The other two are Philodendron Scandens (Heartleaf) and Philodendron grazielae (brighter green leaves that are almost succulent-like with thicker firmer stems).

English Ivy
English Ivy?
At least I think it’s an English Ivy.

Purple Passion
Purple Passion
I’ve killed one of these before. I left it in water to just grow in a vase. It needs to be potted eventually.

Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreen) Silver Bay –
Aglaonema (Silver Bay?)
Again, I’m relying on Google pictures to help me identify this thing. I’m not totally sure it’s a Silver Bay but I’m quite sure it’s an aglaonema. And this is my third variety of Chinese Evergreen. I love the different leaf variegation on each one. They are beautiful plants and so easy to care for and propagate.

Update to the update on the mattress

A month or so ago I decided to flip the mattress. After writing this not-so-positive review on the Savvy Rest, I finally decided to try to fix the situation. The mattress was sort of a beast to flip. You definitely can’t do it alone because it is very pliable. After flipping it, we even had to open up the mattress and adjust the 2 side by side layers of latex because they were bunching up in the middle. After some wrangling, this mattress is finally what I want! Because the firm side doesn’t sink in as much, you don’t feel the crack in the middle. And it is so nice and supportive to sleep in. It’s perfect!! I am now loving this bed. LOVE!! The firm latex is supportive without the hard/harsh pressure points on your joints or bones. When before, I was kind of regretting not returning the bed (I really wanted to, but the thought of wrangling all these latex layers back into the box was not worth it to me), now I only wish I’d flipped this sooner. Still, we’ve got many more years left in this bed so better now than later. I take the last opinion back – I would get this bed (or one like it) again. I like it better than the standard innerspring, memory foam (the worst!), and air beds (like Sleep Number). The great thing about latex is, you only feel the first 2 or 3 inches of latex. Because they give you 3 different layers of latex, each about 3 inches thick what ever layer you’re directly on top of is the only one you feel. Now I see why the sales guy advised me to get one of each degree of firmness. That way, it’s totally customizable. Don’t worry about what are on the bottom 2 layers, as long as the one in direct contact with you is the firmness you like, you won’t really notice the other two. They’re just there for added thickness.

Another Fountain Pen-Friendly Journal

I ordered this journal with the teapot and the PaperBlanks. I’ve been wanting to try this notoriously-popular-amongst-the-fountain-pen-community Clairfontaine paper.

It’s 90 grams per square meter (gsm) which I believe is pretty standard for fountain pen paper; cloth binding, sewn with linen thread. For comparison, I believe standard notebook paper’s gsm is in the 60s. The lines are wide-ruled, like the Paperblanks. I write medium-sized so it suits me just fine.
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The cover is just a thicker paper, maybe card stock, and is soft. I’m perfectly fine with that. More than fine. As long as the paper in it is good, I don’t care too much about the covers because I use these books as journals that stay home.

L.L. Bean Haul

Next stop on my shopping rampage – L.L. Bean. I have been eyeing their Boat and Tote bags for a few years at least. I never got one before this because I always had a current work tote I was using. Even now, I have a perfectly functioning tote that’s been very easy to use and sturdy. So I have no reason to get a Boat & Tote. Except remember the thing about the Kraken? Yeah. I got me 2 totes. One is the medium sized Casco Bay Boat and Tote, in Moonlight Blue, which has pockets and compartments built in it, but is open-top.
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The other is a large sized, long handled Zip-Top Boat and Tote in Peony.
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To give you a sense of how they fit, size-wise:

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In deciding whether to go with the large or medium, I found a YouTube video of a lady who ordered a large to use as a commuter bag, like me. She said it was too big and she exchanged it for the medium. So I went with the medium and it’s perfect. This Casco Bay Boat & Tote didn’t have the option to have longer handles but this is the length I’d go with anyway. I can wear it on the shoulder or straight down holding the handle in my hand and it won’t drag.

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The large is quite big. Too big as a daily commuter bag. However, it’s very handy as a weekender bag or even just to haul more items to and from work if I have more stuff to carry on certain days. The long handle makes it very comfortable to wear because it makes the bag come right at my elbow. On the other hand, if I just carry it in my hand at the handle, the bag touches the ground, by a pretty big margin.

I also got a pair of kids’ capri pants that I figure I can wear to the gym. (I haven’t seen as many good workout pants at the Goodwill store.) They’re cotton and look perfect for yoga without the premium that yoga pants garner.
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The bags are American made. Yay, L.L. Bean! The pants however, China.

So is this it? Maybe now I can put away the Kraken.

More shopping

So shopping is one of those things for me where once I start, I keep on going. It’s a bit problematic for my goal to cut back on shopping. Since my satisfying trips to the Goodwill store, I’ve been on an online shopping rampage of sorts perpetuating my hunger to shop.

I got me a little teapot – short, stout, and pretty small but effective.
Hario Teapot
I wanted something I could brew loose leaf teas in and this is what I got. The wire mesh strainer of this teapot is made in China. I think all tea brewing contraptions are made in China, from what I could find. The entire set however is from Japan. I’ve already been using this multiple times a week, but I can see myself using it even more during the winter. It makes individual (for me) portions of tea.

Then I got me some new journals. I’m down to one that I’m currently writing in so I wanted to get some backups and I wanted them to be fountain pen friendly. My current journal isn’t made with a known fountain pen friendly paper but it’s actually pretty good. No bleed through, ghosting, or feathering. I found out about Paperblanks from some fountain pen website or YouTube video and I want to try it. So I got 4.
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These are midi sized (7×5″) which I find to be on the small side. I wouldn’t get them again. I also got a Clairefontaine journal with a soft cover and fabric binding (8×6″).

This is just the beginning. I’ve released the Kraken!

A little addicted

When I decided to curtail my shopping, I got a little hoardy with the last-clothes-I-was-ever-going-to-own! If this is it, then I’m keeping everything – even if there’s a big gaping hole where the sun shouldn’t shine. But then, after I discovered the wonders of the Thrift/Goodwill Store, things have eased up a bit. Well, I haven’t tossed my holey pants yet because they’re still good house pants, but now I feel like I don’t have to put my second tier clothing into my work lineup anymore. Y’know, stuff that is work appropriate, but it’s a little more worn out looking and faded than I’d like to look at work. I wear it anyway because of the last-clothes-I’ll-ever-have mentality, but now, I can finally retire them to weekend lounge wear or even donate it.

This is my haul from the third Goodwill store. Don’t go to a Goodwill store looking for anything specific. Just go in with an open mind and you get what you find. Although one thing they generally always seem to have aside from clothes are nice plates, mugs, and glasses. I should also mention that every store I’ve visited seems to have different pricing, but all within a dollar or so. Today, there was a 25% off everything sale at the location I shopped. I found some really nice work pants with lining (not from China)! I took a day off work in the middle of the week to shop here and surprisingly, there were other people shopping there too in the middle of the day. Granted, most were retirees but some were middle aged.
Goodwill Finds
This entire haul was $44. It’s my biggest purchase at a Goodwill store yet.
4 pairs of work pants, 1 cardigan, 2 tops, 3 pairs of gym/yoga pants.

Since I had the entire day off work and I was on my own, I spent a good 2 or 3 hours there. Itch scratched. Monster fed and wide awake.

Nice Cream

I’ve known about using frozen bananas to make (n)ice cream for a long long time, even before I stopped eating dairy. The first time I heard about it was on a TV show where Jerry Seinfeld’s wife said this is how she makes healthy treats for their kids. I filed it away in my brain but never made it because I’m not a big fan of ice cream anyway. And why have frozen bananas when I could just get store bought?

People, this is not your average ice cream. It’s better.

First, I recommend using organic bananas.
Ripe bananas
Let them ripen until they have spots.

Freeze the bananas: Wash and remove the stem and end, leaving the rest of the banana peel on.
Frozen bananas
Cut into quarters, then freeze them.

In a blender, add almond or some other dairy-free milk, the frozen bananas, and an avocado if you want it extra creamy and rich.
Frozen bananas and plant milk

For flavoring, I’ve had good luck with cocoa powder (use a lot! Then add more), cinnamon (a little), and liqueur (optional) and peanut butter.
Nice Cream
The cocoa powder and peanut butter are essential in my opinion.

Blend it up then put it in a bowl and freeze it again.
Nice Cream
Now you have nice cream. It reminds me of Chunky Monkey.