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The cake costs… WHAT?

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Today is a wedding planning post.  I am so sorry to have to drag you into this.  Though I have never dreamed of having a wedding, my gender makes me the one that has to do all the work within the constructs that my sigfig sets as his priorities.  Don’t worry, it isn’t as sexist as it sounds.

I am the organizer, which means that I am the one who manages time.  Even on my birthday I end up doing a lot of the party prep because he will forget to plan things and then will rush off to the store an hour before guests arrive and the house is still a mess.  It is OK, part of loving someone is accepting their faults.  My hyper-obsessive time management is also a fault.  We balance each other out.

SO- the cake.  I was actually really excited about the cake because I love sweets and I love pretty things.  An awesome wedding cake is the perfect marriage (ha ha) of these things.  I am allergic to milk, so I began my search early.  I found three bakeries in Honolulu who will make me a dairy free, but not vegan, cake.  Awesome right?  Ha!  I should have looked into how much these things cost first.

I have friends who are pastry chefs, and I respect the amount of time and effort that goes into making a wedding cake.  It sounds like a very stressful endeavor.  These are not just cakes, they are symbols of our culture and works of art.

The cakes have been consistently quoted at $700.  If a work of art costs $700, I think that I would like to keep it long term.  I told my sigfig “Do you have any idea the shoes I could get for $700?”  He didn’t get it.  That’s cool.  Actually, I would like to take that $700 and go to the Georgetown Art Attack.  I would rather spend it on art for my wall than art for my belly.  That is all.

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Resentment

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I am getting married next June.  My husband to be and I have been together for 6 years.  We even own a house.  Yet marriage is putting all sorts of pressures on me that I didn’t expect and I am freaking out.

I have these goals, such as to get a Phd, travel the world, and work on a few naturalist expeditions.  Marriage, I realize, is not exactly the same path that I thought I was on, and yet I continue forward.

I continue forward because I love him and I want him to be a part of my life, and I a part of his.  The main stress is around the simple fact that I am a woman.  If we want to have children, then they have to come from me.  I don’t see how this matches up with my goals.  Making and having children is hardly cohesive with hiking the forests of Congo.

It makes me kick myself.  I should have pushed myself harder when I was younger.  I should be halfway through my Phd by now.  I know that this isn’t realistic.  The path that my life has taken would not have happened sooner.  I didn’t know when I was younger what I would become passionate about.  It developed with age.  Not that my 28 years are that long.

My fiancé, whom I will from here on out refer to as my sig-fig because it’s easier to type and less pretentious,  says that I am lucky to know what drives me, because many people go their whole lives without finding their purpose.

I have a passion for learning, for problem solving and for living life.  I also love the natural world.  I am an avid gardener, and I can lie on my stomach in a field watching birds and bugs for hours.  I have had the opportunity to work with monkeys, and it was the most fulfilling thing that I have ever done in my life.

Then there is this fear, that if I don’t have children while I can, I will regret it.  That I will become old and resentful, with a life full of drive and passion that somehow seems empty.  My sig-fig says that the reason we should have children is because we love to have a full house.  We will always have a guest room or two for company, and we are our happiest when we are entertaining or just sitting with other people.  It’s true, we love people.

Where does this leave me? Resentful of the fact that only women can bare children because I don’t know what this does to my dreams.  It tempers them I suppose.  I have always lived my life with the anxiety that time is flying by and there is so much left to experience in the fleeting moments.

Terrariums!

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I am on a pre-terrarium kick right now.  The reason that it isn’t an actual terrarium kick is because I haven’t built one yet.  I am just looking at lots and lots of pictures.

The idea started when I was brainstorming ideas for my naturalist wedding in Hawaii.  What could be prettier and more suiting to the theme than a terrarium representing a different animal kingdom on each table?  Then there could be little terrariums made inside glass Christmas ornaments hanging around from different places.  Succulents would be very easy to use, but I wonder if they would spread like those in my garden.  I saw so many beautiful centerpieces using this idea, that I realize it is hardly novel, but I am excited about it nonetheless.

 

 

Tutorials I found

Hipster Home Lightbulb Terrarium

Glass Christmas Ball Terrarium

A beginners guide

Another beginners guide with lots of pictures

 

 

 

 

 

The business of hardly working

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My hours have been cut back severely at work, because I work for a small start-up that is being audited.  It’s not that the work isn’t there, it is just that the budget for a project coordinators isn’t.  This leaves me with hours of time every day to look for a new job, work on my house, and plan my wedding.

It’s amazing because I think that I am more busy now than I was when I was working full time, and I am certainly more exhausted at the end of every day.  Today I painted trim, which meant that I had to lug this huge metal ladder around my house.  Curse my girly muscles!  The trim is now green.  Beautiful green.  Well, the trim on the front of the house is.  Because I am not earning an income of any worth, I am also in charge of all domestic duties.  After a long day working on the house, I get to make dinner.  Then I get to clean the kitchen.  It makes me feel like I should go on a hunger strike, but that’s not fair.  I have respect for women who manage a house and have children.

My house project

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I don’t know if anyone else has ever been inspired by those TLC shows where someone takes a crappy house and makes it look amazing in a few days?  I was! Newsflash: It doesn’t work like that in real life.

Three years ago my partner and I decided to purchase a home.  We shopped around and narrowed it down to a house that hadn’t been updated since it was built in the 1940’s, with a huge yard in a nice neighborhood, or a relatively new row house in an OK neighborhood without much of a yard at all.  We chose the old house, and we are still remodeling.

So far we have:

  • Gutted the kitchen to bare bones.  Replaced and updated everything. Even the drywall is new.
  • Replaced all the wiring.
  • Chipped all the old paint from the living room and repainted.
  • Replaced all the old plumbing except the line that comes in from the street.
  • Refinished the floors
  • Gutted the basement and removed all the faux wood paneling
  • Added a vegetable garden and taken out some old trees
  • Replaced two windows
  • Gutted and remodeled one bedroom (there are two)
  • Fixed the heat pump, moved the furnace

We did all this while I was pulling in very little money as a full time student.  Remodeling is very expensive, even when you do it yourself.

We still need to finish the basement including the bathroom down there, remodel the upstairs bathroom, wire in lights in the nearly finished bedroom and the hallway, finish the master bedroom, and replace 7 windows and a door.  I feel like we are almost halfway done.

Over the past few days I have been working to winterize the house.  I have been looking for a job every morning and working on the house every afternoon.  I thought that I would just peel off places where the old paint was coming apart and prime and paint all the trim.  I also thought that it would take one or two days.  Well, it’s Wednesday now and I am still working.  I discovered that the old window frames are disintegrating.  I touch spots with my scraper and pieces actually crumble away.  Well, until I get a job I can’t afford to buy all new windows, so I suppose it will have to wait.  I’ll just prime over the top.  Luckily, a lot of what is crumbling is glazing.

The nice thing is that I do appreciate hard work.  It keeps me from being too bored and being nervous about my extreme lack of employment.  I’ll post some after pictures in a few days when I complete this project.

 

 

 

What it is to be me

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I consider myself a feminist. Perhaps humanist is a more appropriate term. Despite our differences in certain interests and physical abilities, I believe that men and women need to be treated equally and afforded the same opportunities. I am mellow, but equality is a hot button with me.

Coming to terms with my classic manners, my interests in home arts such as sewing, knitting, gardening and cooking, and my feminists beliefs confuse people. Why can’t I be a feminist and girly at the same time.

I have blogged in the past and had a very hard time keeping up with it. This is to feature my daily activities, my projects, and my thoughts. I doubt that you will find it interesting, but I need a place to organize myself.

I am also struggling with planning a wedding. That will probably slip into here as well.