Sunday, December 28, 2014

Building...

The beginning of our spawn village

So after visiting with family and festivities we played Minecraft.  This world will have a spawn town of sorts and we have all been taking some time to make it more realistic with municipal areas.  Yesterday I built the tree park.  I am actually quite proud of it.  The interlocking motif has a fountain in the center and trees of every kind surrounding it.  There are flowers and it is very lovely IMHO.  

The big thing was I had to flatten and then re-terrace a hill, a large and boring job to some.  But I really like the mindless chopping and clearing and then re-terracing.   





Here is a closer-to-the-ground shot of the tree park.  It is really lovely at night with all the glowstone. 



Here is my sister's teleport hub.  It is amazing!  I love the roof and the stones she used.  It is so bright and lovely at night too with all that glowstone.


As I mentioned, we have been taking our time.  My hubby has built roads and bridges so each place is accessible.  This oak house is my house.  I had always wanted to build a house with different hight roofs and it really intimated me.   But I really like the way my house came out.  I have a little cottage garden around the sides and my sister built me a fishing pier like hers.  Her house is behind mine and it is adorable...of course.  :)

I have no witty things to say today.  This has been a lovely holiday that where we have just relaxed and had fun.  I hope that you have done the same.

Bright Blessings to you and yours in this season of light,
Ruinwen
:)

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Good Night



So I'm going to share something that is kinda personal to me.  For years I've had trouble sleeping in the same room as my husband because he snores.  We have tried everything.  Earplugs made my inner ear troubles echo like a train was running through my head and they made me a bit woozy.  We got two white noise machines that allowed me to stay in there half of the night but as soon as he got bad it would break through the white noise. He has tried supplements and herbs; medicines and everything under the sun.  I have tried everything from herbal remedies to a shot of sherry (this was very infrequent as I don't drink more then a glass of wine now and then these days).

In short, I love being with my husband and look forward to that special feeling I get as he holds me at night.  It frustrated me to have to move in the middle of the night and my sleep suffered greatly.  But we kept trying to find some magic combination of something that would allow us to make it through the night together.


Over the last few months I have been working with Sleepio, an app that helps you understand your sleep and find ways to improve it.  There was a whole section on outside noises, including snoring, and how they affect your sleep.  Sleepio explained how over years and years by trying to avoid the snoring, I've created a reaction to the snoring and that was part of the problem.


My sleep coach taught me a piece of the puzzle that I hadn't even understood; I was projecting this inability to sleep.  Since I knew the minute I heard the snoring I would have to move I was all set up to do so.  Over the years I had put out clothes and water and stuff to bring over to the other room.  I always make my bed up that night so it would be ready for me with the covers pulled back.  I was creating a habit of moving every night and reinforcing it by my actions.


So slowly over the course of a month I stopped doing all those things to prepare for my moving.  I created a stronger "want" to stay under the warm covers with my loving husband then to move into the cold air and to try and find all those things.  I made the getting out of bed the frustrating part and one morning I found that I was still there and it was a wonderful feeling to be warm and snuggly with my husband.


That was step one because even though I had fought my way back to sleep through the snoring; I still felt wasted that morning...like I had fought a huge battle.  I kept telling myself that I was making strides and I needed to keep up the work.


Step two was to choose not to be affected by his snoring.  I started off the night as I did my nightly reiki saying a dialogue of me the next day happy and totally unaffected by any sounds in the night.  I projected me already making it through the night until I was done with my reiki and then curled up with my husband and was shocked when I woke up in his arms the next morning.  This time I was well rested and I knew that his snoring hadn't woken me up.


Now some nights I would make it through and then others I would not.  But this was better then never making it through.  I continued to use the new tools that I had created to help me but something was still needing to be changed and that was me.


The sound of snoring would set off an emotional response in me.  If I heard it out of context, it would still cause some serious anger, frustration and other negative emotions to arise...my sleep coach said these had to change if I was truly going to get a good night's sleep.


I needed to take my negative feelings about snoring out of the equation.  Little by little I needed to make a new pavlovian response to the sound of snoring.  So every time I heard snoring I began to relax.  


I would tighten my muscles up in one area of my body and this would be my old feelings about snoring; angry, unchanging and negative and then I would release that area of my body and say relax as I did so and this would be my new feeling...relaxing, serenity and good deep sleep.  I kept this up for another month.  In the beginning I would have to wake up enough to focus on the relaxing but now my body just sort of does it as I hear the snoring and the next thing I know I am waking up really rested.  Now the snoring actually relaxes me as I no longer have a negative emotional tie to it and that is fantastic!


It wasn't easy to get here.  It took months of dedicationworking with my surroundings and the support of my loving family...but I did it!  Last month I was actually able to make it through the entire night every night. When my hubby rolled over and I was still there he was so happy because that is what he has wanted all this time for us.


So I found you really can change things...you have to do it slowly and it takes time and everyone's situation is different.  But if you can change just one thing at a time and let that change sink in then the next change is a little easier until the moment when you realize that you have done it.  You have really changed your life.


In Minecraft survival you start out with nothing.  You have no food and no shelter.  The monsters will eat you at night and life is really challenging when you are starting out.  But as you gain tools and supplies, things change. Slowly you start to feel that you are going to be okay and you can tell you are getting stronger.  The monsters aren't as dangerous and most times you can avoid them.  You keep getting stronger and you grow crops and have collect animals.  Now you don't have to worry about food so much.  Each achievement makes you stronger and you grow as a character.


Gaming teaches me about life and life teaches me about gaming.  In all these games you start with nothing and create a world where you get stronger and stronger and that totally works in real life too.  The gaming is easier then the actual real world where you have to change up everything and really make an effort but the truth is that you can do anything if you really break it down and work on it and believe in yourself and the process.


Bright Blessings and a Happy Yule to those that celebrate,

Ruinwen
:)

P.S.  The above pic is two half-linen stitch infinity cowls.  This one is my Holda pattern: I wanted to show how different yarns really change the effect of the cowl.  I love the rainbow one it reminds me of an Egyptian neck piece.  And I still love the winter one with the grey on white.  It is such a fun stitch!  :)






Sunday, December 14, 2014

Reflections


I took this photo from our room in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in DC.  My DH is having his annual company shindig and we are staying the lap of luxury.  We are having a blast and the food is wonderful; they have a gluten free menu and I've really enjoyed trying some new things.

I usually find all these things that I want to change when coming to wonderful hotel like this.  In truth it was the Mandarin three years ago that helped us to solidify what kind of shower setup we wanted. Last year I fell in love with the bed we had because it was soft and I fell into it like a cloud, which in turn helped us to look outside of the box for a new bed.

But this year we have the new bathroom and I really appreciate the ADA height in our toilet...especially in the middle of the night.  Our bed is a thing of absolute relaxation built to our specific needs.  The thing is while this hotel is amazing and we have this beautiful suite and you could live in our bathroom...but I love my house more.  I appreciate the way we built it together and every time I look at our counter top I remember that my son picked it out.  I love the way my house feels like a home again and how very thankful and blessed I truly am.

Life is really what you decide it is.  Each day you make a choice how you are going to see the moments that string together.

Tonight I will dress like a princess but in truth I can feel like that in jeans and a warm sweater.  I feel special every day because of the people that I am blessed to have in my life, the talents I am blessed with and all the amazingness that life has to offer.

My son said to me the other day that he didn't know what to ask for when people asked him what he wanted for Yule because he is really blessed.  He has everything he wants.  He then gave me a big hug and talked about getting gifts for poor kids that don't have a way to afford gifts for the holidays.

There was a story they told in church about the pastor wanting the community to collect money for a needy family for the holidays.  This one family sat down and even though they lived pay check to pay check, they worked out how each of them could make a little money by doing chores for others. The family agreed that the father and mother could work a little overtime and the kids would help around the house.  I don't remember all the particulars but all the family even the little ones collected money by doing various things.  In their heart was the idea of helping someone else and how beautiful it would be for a family in need to be able to have a good holiday season this year.

The family was so proud that they were able to do this wonderful thing for another.  They all had to work a little harder then usual but they proudly offered the money to the pastor and he looked at them quizzically.  "We were collecting for you," he said softly, "We know that you wear the same outfit on Sunday and are just making ends meet."

The family was confused.  "Money is a necessary thing, yes," the father explained to the pastor, "But we have good jobs and our children go to school.  Right now they may not have a lot but we have each other and in that we are richer then most."

The pastor got tears in his eyes at the generous and beautiful heart of this family.  He saw that they were living the words of God in every moment of their lives.  What he had seen was lack had been through his understanding of the word; but in reality this family was blessed and prosperous beyond measure.

From our family to yours, may the blessings of the season bring you joy, prosperity, love and light,

Ruinwen
:)

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Just Checking In


Santa was posing in ESO the other day so I had to get a pic.  My dark elf is pretty shy, so she is the one behind Santa with the red hair.  :)

This week I have nothing really to show you - although I did make a beautiful cowl for my Secret Snowflake and she seemed to really like it.

I've been working on me and how I see the world but that really isn't something that is easy to explain without believing in the Laws of Attraction and Equivalent Exchange.

I've been writing character sketches each day and it feels good to write again.  It is something I have always enjoyed.  So, I'm not sure how you write a character but mine talk to me and I write them the way they present themselves.  I've had these characters in my head for what seems like a life time now and I never knew that they had partial color blindness.  Maybe it isn't something they share a lot or maybe it is such a part of them that they forget that others are different.

I was trying to understand that part of them this week from a writing perspective.  I was trying to find a way to duplicate what they see so that I could understand them a little better.  Here is how my main character might see.  The first shot is without any filters.  The second shot is with a red-weak filter and the third is with a red-blind filter.




As you can see, how this character sees would change the world he lives in.  What challenges does he face on a daily basis that I take for granted and he had to learn to overcome?  How would he decorate his room?  Would it be garish to me because he used colors he could see...that were pleasing to him? How does it help or hinder his job?

It is all perspective.  Life is shaped by how you see it.  That view can be changed by others if you choose to believe their truths over your own; which then becomes your true life view.  Or you can take your truth and change it to whatever you want it to be.  Is that easy?  Not always...sometimes...no...yes.  

All I know is that is what I've been working on.  POV.  How I see the world...or should I say how I choose to see the world.  And in this season of the light being reborn in different ways all over the world; I choose to let in and embrace that warm and fuzzy glow of goodness and hope that is the calling card of this season and share it with as many people as I can.

Hugs!

Happy crafting,
Ruinwen
:)




Sunday, November 30, 2014

A Perfect Day




"Everything in life can be nourishing. Everything can bless us, but we've got to be there for the blessing to occur. Being present with quality is a decision we are invited to make each day."
-- MacRina Wiederkehr

Thanksgiving was perfect.  It wasn't stressful like other years; there was a subtle shift that made it a moment to treasure instead of a hurried crazy mess of hungry people waiting for a turkey.  

It started with a snow storm.  It actually was quite beautiful and the roads stayed mostly clean while the trees and grass were covered.  I was able to get my yummy smoked turkey with no trouble at all and my sister got here before I even got home from work on Wednesday.

After doing some chores, we began the cooking.  It usually takes us about 2 hours to get the casseroles prepared for baking the next day.  This year we were able to do all of the flavors we consider traditional while staying gluten and dairy free.  It was amazing to me how good everything was!

I should have taken a picture of all of it.  We had a yummy smoked turkey, sausage stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, spinach savoy, drunken sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin bread.  Everyone loved everything.  The flavors were like when Mom made them and everything stayed happy in my tummy.  

We chilled after doing the dishes and watched a movie.  Then there was more clean up and lots of Minecraft.  Sis and I built this little island for getting leather.  All the design is Sis.  Her architectural skills kicked in and she was having a ball just creating some beautiful coordinating pens, a house and an enchanting room.

Our island leather farm and enchanting house


We started this little endeavor because when we upgraded to 1.8 we lost all of our achievements. We both needed to get the enchanting achievements and last time we traded for the bookcases from the village for days before we got enough to build a really nice enchanting nook.

Ahh Serenity
My Sis had wanted to travel somewhere new, so after many days walking on water I found the above scene.  I knew that I wanted to explore the caves in that mountain and look at all the coal...but what I love is the flowing waterfalls...so serene.  

Two scenes from the same window in my Mesa House

One of my big things in this game is every house I have has to have windows.  In most survival scenarios I have windows before I have a door.  :)  One of the things I love about Minecraft is the beauty of the world.  My family knows this...each of us have that thing that is important to us and we all try to honor each other's little nuances that make the game special.  Mine is windows.

Windows allow us to see the world; sometimes we see things from a different perspective that help us to appreciate them more.  Windows also open up and let the light in.  Both are ideal to appreciating the beauty that is around us.  

I think what made Thanksgiving different this year was that I opened myself up and let the light in.  I tried to look at everything from a different point of view and not judge what I saw with my perceptions or preconceived notions.  I really tried not to stress about how everything would come out and focused on enjoying the cooking and creating a beautiful tapestry of a meal, that as a whole became something even more beautiful.  Instead of focusing on what I couldn't eat anymore, I opened up a door of possibilities of things I could use to substitute with.  But most of all I had a little mantra that I said until I believed it, "I intend for Thanksgiving to be wonderful."  ...and it was.  :)

Blessings to you and yours, this day and every day,

Ruinwen
:)


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Finding Balance


Here is another shot in my diamond world Shiny.  I couldn't decide on the title for this post: Fire and Ice or Temperance.  Having diamonds in abundance makes so many things easier, like weapons or armor are no big deal.  I could build a house of the things and probably will at some point...just because I can.

But Lapis, for example, is so rare, I have only found 23 of them so far.  So if I want to enchant all that beautiful diamond stuff, then I need to find some more.  Redstone is really hard to find as well. I've traded my diamonds for everything else.

This was just an experiment to play with the sliders and stuff but in reality I have offset the whole natural order of Minecraft.  Changing things up can be fun but there is always a price to the delicate balance that runs through the Universe.

I've been trying to change things up in my life as well.  My symbolic "diamonds" have taken over a bit and I'm trying once again to balance work, career, knitting, being a wife, being a good friend, housework, bills, being a good mother, taking care of myself and my gaming.

This cold snap has sapped my energy.  And when I say cold...I mean there was ice on the ground the other day.  Fall was here and then, it suddenly was not.  The shift was abrupt and none of us were ready for our Winter to begin...now.

Winter is the time when I take and clean out my stores and look within.  That is why there is this big holiday in the middle of it...so people remember to find the light in themselves and others.  For many the loss of actual light causes depression and despondency.  I'm someone who gets up with the light so I really dislike getting up in the dark and going to work.  My body rebells instead of greeting the day...I just kind of stumble into it...and I just hate being cold.

So sometimes I find it really hard to greet the day with joy in my heart at this time of year.  But the Goddess is on top of things and for the twinge in my back, I now have heated seats.  For my morning blur, my DH makes me a hot breakfast with coffee to boot...I love that man more each day.
(insert heart here).  When I feel the darkness downers, my son is there to give me a hug and that my friends is the greatest blessing of all.  When you have a loving family and wonderful friends imagining joy is not a struggle at all.  I just think of my happy thought and soon I am soaring through my day.

So as the days get shorter and colder I am reminded that I indeed have a wonderful life and am so blessed.

This year we are attempting a full gluten free, dairy free and citrus free Thanksgiving.  The BBQ joint in town is smoking our turkey for us...my mouth is watering just thinking about it.  We are making all our traditional dishes with a twist and I'm even attempting pumpkin pie.  I'm hoping it all tastes close to what we remembered.

We made the gluten free stuffing and gravy last year and you couldn't tell that it was GF.  Everything was really good and everyone liked it.  So I am hoping to add the other dishes back to our holiday that are harder without dairy to make.  I'll let you know how it works out.

But it's not the food that is the big thing...it is the family around the table.  And even though some are missing, and some are in heaven...they are all here and a part of our lives.  They are all special gifts that we are blessed to have in our lives.

So, from our family to yours...have a safe and beautiful Thanksgiving with those that are precious to you,

Hugs!
Ruinwen
:)

Sunday, November 16, 2014




So I was fooling around yesterday in creative and built a little house out of the different forms of Prismarine and Quartz.  Sis wants to build a little seaside villa type deal in our family world and I was playing around with the way that the blocks can go together.

Please forgive my field of lava and the pig spawners in the background.  Everyone was coming up to my door and I made the lava field to discourage any solicitors.  This is my working world where I can try out anything.

If you could see in the other direction you would see a roller coaster of sorts, a beacon, a zillion pigs from trying to figure out how to make a spawner, a working skeleton spawner, the start of a tree and tons of other things that I was trying out here before wasting blocks in survival.

This is one of the things I really love about Minecraft.  You can make a creative world and try out anything.  All the blocks are there for you to use and the monsters don't hurt you.  Of course you can change over to a creative world at anytime in your play but this is a flat world that was made just to create.





So here is my bedroom in my little house.  I really like it.  I had fun building my little seaside house that is surrounded by lava.



I know it is a bit hard to see, but here is my new avatar in Minecraft.  I spent a good 2 hours working on her.  

I made my first avatar at dinner with my son and I didn't really understand what I was doing.  This time I took my time and created something that had some meaning to me, and I'm pretty happy with her.

Shift to knitting...

On my day off I went through every pattern that I had started designing in one way or another and made a kind of triage plan for them.  The ones that already have been branded are first, then the ones that I made a pattern for, then the ones with pictures and finally the ones that might only be an idea jotted down somewhere.

I started off with Holda.  This is a half-linen stitch infinity scarf, with a bind off in pattern.  The winter tones fit in perfectly with the snow and ice storm we got this week.  

The goal of this lengthy project is to get my patterns from their various states of being to Ravelry.  

I have also decided to create a sister to Holda; it will be the same exact pattern except using linen stitch.

Holda

Not yet named linen stitch


The two stitches, while close in nature are both very distinctively different.  They both look woven but half-linen stitch is more rustic while the pure linen stitch is smooth to the touch and more like a fabric.  Both stitches show off a variegated yarn and bring out it's inner beauty and they both add texture to the fabric that is intriguing.  It is hard to not see how each stitch can bring something new and exciting to one's knitting; which is why I made two patterns, both named for Goddesses of weaving.

Back to Minecraft for a sec.  (yes, this is how I talk, it's the Aries in me, I can never focus on one thing)  :)

This week on my day off, I not only made a new avatar and created a triage sheet for my knitting, I also created a diamond world.  I tweaked the settings to spawn diamonds like dirt on the levels where they could be found.  This was an experiment in playing with the settings; I had no idea what would really happen.

OMG DIAMONDS!!!!
I treated this world like an other survival world and I found myself in a biome I have never started in before; the savanna.  My savanna starting place was right next to a chasm which it took me all week to get into since I needed to build a house first and plant and harvest food and all that normal stuff.

But it is glorious.  I'm like a little kid when I find a hole in the earth.  Maybe it reminds me of me and Dad going to places where they were building to show me the beautiful stones that were hiding under the soil.  I remember him showing me quartz for the first time and how it sparkled in the sun.  I remember being obsessed with stones after that.  They don't even have to be gems or anything; anything can be beautiful.

Later when I took metaphysical classes I found out how important simple quartz can be to so many aspects of healing, cleansing, charging, protection...really you name it and it is the stone that will guide you through it.

I still love stones; my altar is proof of that.  I love the windows and rainbows that you can find in them.  I love the colors and shapes.  I love the way their energy feels as it mingles with mine.

So maybe I take a little of that into Minecraft with me.  And every time I find a vein of iron or spy some red stone it is like being that child again and seeing quartz for the first time with my Dad. Regardless of the reason, I really like caving in Minecraft and turning a sock heel...no story behind that one except I really like it and I have no focus today.

Happy crafting,
Ruinwen
:)