Sunday, October 10, 2010

the details of daily life

happiness is in your mind
i absolutely loved reading this quote on the happiness project site this morning:
“The secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.”
-- William Morris
i completely agree with this sentiment.

happiness lies in
folding clean laundry with music playing in the background
immersing myself in studying + learning
being outside in the autumn sun
preparing meals for myself and loved ones
helping others in need (yes, happiness can even lie within a trip to the ER to see a consult on a sunday morning)
connecting with family and friends

in other words . . . life is what you make of it.

(upon perusing the comments of gretchen rubin's post, i also learned that mr. morris said, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” seems like quite a smart man! if he were alive today, i bet he would dig zen habits.)

i was telling my sister rebecca about my plans to go (mostly) UNPLUGGED next week. she didn't think it sounded all that challenging, but i compared it to her going a week without knitting or crocheting, and then she got it! she actually came over so that i could do a mini-photo shoot of her latest creations. i am so incredibly impressed at her talent in this arena.

scarf, served sushi-roll style

modeling her own cropped cardi in a beautiful ultraviolet hue

showing off this georgeous golden topper

impressive! i have no comparable craft/hobby, unless you count quasi-compulsive listmaking or this website. i could not knit or crochet (too spatially challenging -- my head hurts just thinking about it) for the life of me, but i think i could get into something like bookmaking or scrapbooking.

are you crafty? and if so, what is your medium of choice? i'm curious how many others have a hobby like this one!



workout: 10 miles, average 9:20/mi (estimate), with 4 stops to answer pages. whatever -- i actually don't care about the stats. i was out there, while on call! and i had a great time. i'll take what i can get.

dinner with my sister: after the photo shoot, rebecca and took on a second project -- real simple's pork cutlets with spicy noodles. except i decided to make this one tempeh cutlets with spicy noodles instead! while i am not a vegetarian, i consider myself a conscious omnivore and real simple's menu is more meat heavy than i prefer. this substitute ended up working out very nicely!

here's the real simple tablescape . . .

and our creation. served with buckwheat soba noodles and sautéed tatsoi with garlic on the side (sort of like baby bok choy).

this needed an extra dousing with tamari, but was tasty! a drizzle of sriracha would have improved it even further, but alas -- we are out.

i had a hankering for some kind of homemade dessert after this, and we (well, mostly my sister) whipped up these mini apple crisps.

we loosely (very loosely) used this recipe as a guide, and added pecans and raisins to the topping mixture. the little ramekins baked while i answered the world's most drawn out diabetes call, and it was a lovely sweet ending that would been even lovelier a la mode if we had had ice cream or whipping cream in the house!

board prep report: i actually ended up staying up late (okay, late for ME = 11:30 pm) making flashcards of various syndromes and doing 20 PREP questions. very unlike me, but i'm glad i did it.


  1. Your sister's knits are beautiful! I'm a knitter too, and I actually find it really relaxing and meditative. I'm also a super-organizer like yourself and to me, knitting fits in really well with that. It's basically just different combinations of two stitches (knit and purl) and more complicated patterns are charted to make it easier. You might like it if you tried it!

  2. I knew I should have added bok choy when I made this! I finished making it and I wondered where the veggies were. When you answer pages on your run (great job btw) do you take your cell with you? & do you stay on the treadmill if you're on call?

  3. katie: i seriously have weird spatial issues and the mere thought of dealing with an amorphous ball of yarn and having to keep straight where i was in a project gives me palpitations :) but i admire you and my sister because i think it's such a cool skill.

    michelle: i sign my pager out to my phone, and then run with the phone. i used to just use the treadmill but with this gorgeous weather i'd rather go outside even if it means answering calls by the side of the trail (which i did on 4 occasions yesterday AM!)

  4. Wow, your sis is talented! I wish I could knit but I've never learned and suspect it would be hard for me too due to the spatial challenges.

    I like to paint but that has fallen increasingly by the wayside with this whole med school thing.

    And I totally agree about finding happiness in the little details of life--school is so much more enjoyable when I don't try to have a lot going on outside of it to "make myself happy" and instead just immerse myself in studying and staying organized.

  5. Anonymous1:37 PM

    i crochet a bit but i'm nowhere near as talented as your sister! i envy people like her. i'm assuming she doesn't even have to really pay attention when she does it either. whenever i sit down to crochet my undivided attention needs to be on the task at hand!

  6. atilla1:48 PM

    dessert looks good

  7. I am quite crafy.
    I knit, crochet, draw, paint, model in 3d (on the computer), write, and pretty much everything.

    I love to create :D

  8. I can crochet, but definitely not as well as your sister. I make simple afghans while watching college football.

  9. Sarah, your food photography is gorgeous. I've tried taking shots of meals I cooked before, and it always looks so unappetizing. I'm feeling inspired to try some new recipes now.

    Also, I love the cropped cardigan your sister made. Does she sell the things she makes or is it just a hobby?

  10. "i have no comparable craft/hobby"--Don't you consider cooking and (especially) baking a craft?
    L, da

  11. rebecca8:38 AM

    sis here to answer your questions =)

    marathonmaidon: i DO actually have to pay attention to the pattern, if it's detailed. i'm actually a new knitter as of about 6 months ago (took to it very naturally though, since i've been crocheting forever)

    mich: i don't sell anything, as the money earned wouldn't pay off... these things take many, many hours (and the yarn is not cheap). i do enjoy making gifts though. luckily i've been able to make a little bit of money teaching crochet.