Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Month of May

Whew! What a busy month -- May has flown by!

May is always a very busy month at work as we prepare for reunion. The past two weekends have been busy and fun. It was great getting to meet all the volunteers I have only talked with on the phone.

Earlier this month, before all the craziness started, Seth and I did a giant spring clean. We keep our house very very tidy in general and clean weekly, so things usually look good, but it's always a smart idea to do a review and clean of everything in the house.

Our weekly clean consists of: cleaning the kitchen (counters, roaster, microwave, and fridge), bathroom (including tub maybe every other week or once a month), dusting, and vacuuming (including under the furniture and doing the baseboards every other week or once a month). I always clean the main floor and second floor. I probably vacuum the basement every other week, but it gets dusted less frequently.

We set a weekend aside for our spring clean. On Saturday, we cleaned out all the closets: linen, pantry closet, under-stair storage, and office. Here's a sampling of the re-organized space.

I was quite pleased to be able to get my linen closet looking pretty nice without purchasing any storage solutions. This is pure organization (plus some tidy folding) and 100% free.

We also got rid of a lot of stuff in our office closet, which is kind of a catch-all. It's much neater (and sparser now).

The second day of our spring cleaning weekend, we did our normal weekly clean with additional time spent on cleaning the ceilings and walls. We included the basement in our cleaning. When we finished, everything looked amazing. Such a clean house with such neat spaces. I am so thrilled.

On another note, last night, I finished the falling leaves shawl that Seth got me the yarn and pattern for as a Valentine's Day gift. How lovely!

As you can tell from the slightly curling edges, I still need to block it. I have not done any blocking before. I am wondering if it will work to just iron it on the steam setting. The yarn is merino/tencel. Has anyone tried ironing to block before? Did it work?

In my other free time, I've been doing a lot of running. I've been increasing my mileage using the 10K Trainer Pro app I got on sale for $0.99. I've been running with it for around a month and a half now both using the treadmill at the gym and outside. I am having good success. When I started, I was only able to run 5K. Now I am up to 8.5K (same as a bit over 5 miles). I have around three weeks left of the program. I would love to find a 5K or 10K to run in when I am done. I am not super fast, but it would be fun just to run in a race.

I've been running mostly in my Nike+ Runs. These are the first Nike Free Runs (which I got at an outlet), and they are without a doubt my favorite shoes I have ever run in. I like using the Nike+, a small insert in my shoe that syncs with an app on my iPhone, to track my mileage. The shoe is so comfortable and minimalist -- just what I love! Since I have wider feet, I also appreciate that there is a little extra room in the toe-box.

Based on my love of my Nike Free Runs, I purchased a pair of Nike Free 3.0s. The 3.0 is their most minimalist shoe. The second pair of Nike's was to replace my old Vibrams, which I use at the gym. (I have two sets of shoes because the gym doesn't want you to wear outdoor shoes on the machines. Plus I don't want to have to bring shoes back and forth from the gym to home every day.)

It looks like my Nike 3.0s are not quite as wide in the toe-box, but they are breaking in nicely. I think they are going to work out quite well. The only minus is that they don't have a spot for my Nike+ sensor. I think this is fine for me since the treadmill at the gym tells me how far I am going, but this would be a minus for someone exercising outside. These shoes also seem to have more arch support than the Nike Free Runs. They are definitely very flexible feeling on the foot. 

As many people know, Amherst was home to Emily Dickinson. Her house is about two miles away from mine in the center of town on Main Street. 

Driving by a few weeks ago, I notices something interesting. All up and down Main Street from the Women's Club to the fountain downtown there are white houses with quotations from Emily Dickinson on them.

Here's a picture of the couple of the houses near the Emily Dickinson / Robert Frost statues.

Here's another house in front of the Evergreens, Emily Dickinson's brother house, right next door to Emily's home, The Homestead.

Very cool! Minor research found that this exhibit is called the Little White House Project: "Dwell in Possibility." It consists of 40 white houses with quotations from Emily Dickinson all up and down Main Street. It was created in 2011 by a student at Deerfield Academy. Quite brilliant!