CELEBRATION: Involving coffee, Zentangle, and pork dumplings

Away with the deadlines! It’s time for a break!

I know you thought you were going to find out about my quilting agenda today. And I really do have that post started, but something really different and fun happened today, and I just had to take a break from our regularly scheduled program and share some of it with you.

Wednesday afternoons are usually a time when Dante comes over about 3:30 in the afternoon. She helps me with whatever stuff I need help with, normally related to preparing teaching materials, sorting papers, or occasionally something more fun. Then she has dinner with us before she returns back to her dorm.

Before she arrived today, I had made some good progress on the deadline I’m working on. I wanted to get some feedback from her about it. And afterwards, we headed to a local coffee shop. Normally, we take work to do, but today, it was like–WHO NEEDS WORK?  We need a break! I knew I could finish the last little bit of the project in the morning before the office opened, and the other projects would be better served by having a chance to recharge my batteries. It didn’t hurt that I got an email and had a bit of good news. I was ready for something new and different. Luckily, so was Dante. We took some art supplies, and headed out.

10530768_10202456215468170_2235054169176470936_nWhen we got to the shop, the owner was leaving to deliver a few drinks, so we went and got a table first. I was in a festive mood–very unusual for the last few weeks, but I attributed it to the company and the nice email. We decided to order something real special. “How special?” you ask. Well, I ordered a coffee, caramel smoothie, and Dante ordered an Oreo smoothie. Now, THAT’s special!

The picture at the left shows our drinks and our Zentangle supplies and the beginnings of our two Zentangles. I learned about Zentangle last summer when I was in New Mexico, and I’ve done some of it since I’ve been back in Taiwan. This relaxing art form has no mistakes and requires no real art background. Dante had never done it, but I showed her the basics, and she was off and running drawing. You can find out about it here.

I really enjoy Zentangling because it involves small repetitive movements and little thinking. You don’t over plan it. You make small decisions about which design element to use in each section and then you just fill the space with that element over and over. So relaxing, a great way to de-stress (or to celebrate)! Interestingly, this was the first time I ever used colored pens in this process. While I liked the way it turned out, I wasn’t sure about it while I was actually doing it. I also found that the colors led me to do more thinking than I would normally do while I’m making a card.

We had planned to stop at the dumpling shop next door to get dumplings and and some hot and sour soup to take home for dinner, but the shop owners had taken the day off. We walked an extra block and ended up in the market area where we found another source for our dumplings. We brought our food home and enjoyed some traditional Taiwanese dinner.

Afterwards, Dante helped us locate some dog beds online, as Dave hasn’t found what he’s looking for in the local stores. Eureka! He found one that would work, and at a good price to boot. Dante did the ordering in Chinese, and we will be able to pick it up at the 7-11 near us in a few days.

We also did a little fabric sorting, partly because of something that is related to my quilting agenda. So, we’ve come full circle, and maybe tomorrow we’ll get to that quilting agenda. In the meantime, take a look at the Zentangles we did today.

What a great way to spend a few hours. I feel much better. And tomorrow will be a more productive day because of it.

What kinds of breaks recharge your batteries? Feel free to share below or write your own post and link here to tell me about it.  I’m already looking forward to my next break.  🙂