it’s very nice being off the world!

solitude, so restorative
solitude, so restorative

Usually when I’m “off the world” it’s because I’m on the other side of the world, on vacation. But last Friday, when I finished work for the day, I stepped off all by myself. And it was wonderful. I wasn’t completely off the world, of course. I got a wonderful haircut Saturday afternoon (if you’re in Austin, this is the place — go see Natalie. Best haircut I have ever gotten, ever.). I talked to Marnie on Saturday, as usual; I had a bunch of back and forth with Katie; Lynn called and Cyndi called with good news.

Otherwise, it was just me alone in my house. The weather was kind of glum, needing to rain but it just wouldn’t, so I was happy to stay indoors. I kept the television off — usually it’s background noise, but it marks the time in such a fast way. Half-hour gone. Half-hour gone. Half-hour gone. Day, gone. I made a few playlists of quiet music for those times music would be good, but I spent a lot of time in silence. Boy did I need that.

One thing I wanted to do was get my house clean. It was all brand new when I moved in so it was shiny and unspoiled, and while I’ve kept it clean and neat I haven’t really done deep cleaning. So Friday I hunkered down and got the whole house clean. By the time I was finished, it was late to make dinner so I had a glass of wine and some cheese and crackers. A nice finish to a busy day. Over the weekend, though,  I made some REALLY good food, boy:

Miso and Soba Noodle Soup with Roasted Sriracha Tofu and Shiitake Mushrooms
Miso and Soba Noodle Soup with Roasted Sriracha Tofu and Shiitake Mushrooms

Here’s the recipe for the soup; it’s very simple, but a lot of steps. ALL WORTH IT. That was my Saturday supper. Sunday morning I got up and made my dinner because it needed to spend the day getting all married and flavorful. At the last minute I added the avocados.

Black Bean Salad with Corn, Red Peppers and Avocado in a Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette
Black Bean Salad with Corn, Red Peppers and Avocado in a Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette

Holy cow did that have a lot of flavor. There’s a bit of cayenne in the salad (I added twice as much as the recipe called for). Here’s the recipe — just wonderful, and simple. The most complicated part was boiling the corn and cutting it off the cob.

I wrote a lot. I read a lot. I made things. I meditated. I did some yoga. I took a long hot bath with lavender salts. I made some little floor blankets and bibs for Oliver, since I loved doing that kind of machine quilting for his giant quilt. I ordered the little foot I needed for my machine and I was off to the races.

quilting in progress
quilting in progress
finished stack of baby goodies
finished stack of baby goodies

And then last night, as my weekend retreat at home drew to an end, I lit the fire, made a pot of tea, pulled out Gracie’s quilt which is unfinished, and watched Top of the Lake on Netflix. I’d been uneasy about finishing her quilt for a lot of reasons, but after talking to Katie and Trey I suddenly understood that I did need and want to finish it. And sitting there in the quiet, after my beautiful weekend, it all made sense to me in a deep way. I quilted her name into the quilt, and it felt like my way of saying goodbye to her and leaving some of my own beauty and love for her in the world. It’s my way of loving Gracie after being fully ready for our sweet Oliver, whose arrival is imminent.

handquilting, still and always my favorite handwork
hand quilting, still and always my favorite handwork

I heartily recommend taking a weekend just for yourself. Yours will look very different from mine. I feel like a new person as this busy week gets off to its start. Happy Monday, everyone. xo

4 thoughts on “it’s very nice being off the world!”

  1. Sounds like heaven! I’m booking my own trip now. And the food looks fabulous. I am going to try both of those recipes. So glad it was lovely.

    1. It was a heavenly time — and those are two of the best recipes I have ever tried. I’ll be making them both again and again and again. Leftovers for me and my happy mouth tonight. 🙂 xoxoxo

  2. Aww-w-w-w. Bless your heart for sewing Grace’s name into that quilt and saying good bye. xoxo

    1. I’m so glad it came to me, and I’m glad I had spots left to do it. I made teeny tiny stitches there. It was very emotional but also wonderful. Soon now, very very soon, the Big O will be here to fill us up with great joy. xoxo

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