Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Just Breathe


Breath is the link between the inner and outer worlds.
- Alice Christensen

You know how when you start something there is sometimes that moment in which you inwardly shriek in terror at the Herculean task you have accepted? At the moment of inception there is such a great doubt that you can ever complete such a monumental undertaking?

I must say when we started cleaning Dad’s house a year and a half ago, I really didn’t think that this day would ever come. I tried to imagine it and stay true to the plan but in my head I had my doubts.

Last week we used our vacation to clean the house and move my Father to the same assisted living as my Mother. This gigantic task could not have been completed without the support and strong muscles of my soul mate and best friend. DH has been a miracle to me throughout this entire process…as he always is. I am very blessed.

My sister who has been through the whole process, mourned with me and Dad as we moved him out of his home. Sis was amazing at helping us do what needed to be done and being able to fill in the gaps as we went. She helped set up Dad at AL when I was too tired to move and helped make the move a smooth one. The God and Goddess have blessed me by giving me such a wonderful sister.

I was also incredibly blessed that my BF and her whole family (much to their dismay) helped us most of the week. Without her, I’m sure Dad would have never made it up here. She used her first week of summer vacation to help me move…there is no greater love then that.

My nephew also lent us a hand and made a huge difference to the time in which it took to get the truck loaded on the last day. My knitting friend came to help us when we were ready to drop and she made unloading go so much easier that we all got a second wind and could finish the job.

Nana and Pop Pop watched my son for the week and that too was a blessing since we basically left in the morning and crawled into bed each night exhausted. It was nice to know he was having fun with people he loves.

Another knitting friend covered for me on our square project. She updated and answered e-mails and that really meant so much to me.

My support system is awesome. I am so blessed! When I needed help, everyone was there. And I can never thank you all enough. From the nice lady at Starbucks who saves me almond toffee nut bars to the nice lady learning to make drinks that poured me my mudslide on Friday night…and everyone in between…May the God and Goddess bless you all.

Having good friends is like having oxygen suddenly when you were struggling to breathe a moment before. It lightens your soul and somehow makes it all easier to bear.

I went to visit Dad and he wasn’t there so I tried again yesterday and caught him before he went out again. It was such a joy to see him so happy. As much as I know he misses the house and his old life, I can see that he is settling into this one. He has new people to tell his stories and show his pictures. There are many Vets there so he feels right at home. He is with his “beautiful girl” (that’s what he has been calling Mom the past few days) again and the loneliness of being apart from her is gone from him.

You know that commercial with the lines like…one moving truck for 4 days…one 10 foot dumpster…a year and a half of toting stuff back to our home. Dad smiling in his new room...PRICELESS. To see Dad happy makes the aches go away and it all falls into place. I am so happy and thankful…and blessed.

Last week is a blur…but I’m slowly cleaning up and finding where I was. I haven’t really been crafting much. But that is okay.

For now I’m just going to take the time to breathe and reconnect.

Bright blessings,
Ruinwen
:)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Holes


Obsidian, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

Most of our obstacles would melt away if, instead of cowering before them, we should make up our minds to walk boldly through them.
-- Orison Swett Marden

I don’t know if I’ve told you before how terrified I am of death; which is so ironic since my name means “reaper”. But I am. I’m always afraid that this is it and wow, haven’t I really messed up this one chance that I’ve been given to make something wonderful of the time I’ve been given?

I believe in reincarnation and other worlds and so much other stuff that I take on faith. It seems stupid to be afraid of death when in my heart I believe we go on in some form or fashion. But I am.
When Obsidian died in our arms a week ago there was no fear or hesitation. My son and I watched vigil for the 15 minutes between us finding him unable to move and the moment he left us for his next life.

My son the old soul that he is asked the God and Goddess, “All I ask is in his next life may he find a family that loved him as much as we did.”

I believe in my heart he will.

My life seems to be developing holes in it as of late. When my LYS closed it formed a little yellow hole in our town. I couldn’t just stop by and see friends or sit and knit for a little with people I cared about. It still feels weird to see the building without the sign…like something isn’t quite right in my world.

Obsidian passing created a huge hole in my heart and in our home. I am happy that he hardly suffered, the steroids kept him going to the very end. We spoiled and loved him to his last breath. When he died he was surrounded by people who loved him and always will. But I miss him fiercely.

I realize that it has been over a month since I posted and that too seemed like a hole I just couldn’t fill. How can I sum up my feelings in a sentence or two and create colorful antidotes when the words just won’t flow?

But in the world of circles and cycles after each death comes a rebirth and I feel it is time to try and find my place again and leave the holes open to welcome in new things. Nothing is forgotten but time lessens the pain a bit each day and there is still so much to do I can’t stop for long.

I’ve missed your blogs and I’m out of touch but give me a few and I will find my way back.

Not all who wander are lost.
Tolkien

Bright blessings,
Ruinwen
:)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bittersweet



Chaos results when the world changes faster than people.
-Anon

I have so many emotions running through me at this moment that I feel adrift on a sea of confliction. I have been trying as of late, to kept the chaos swirling around me instead of through me. It seems I’m failing.

The doing for everyone is easy. I can organize, clean, plan and scheme. It is the deep intense feeling that is causing my routines to skip a beat here and there; thus throwing off order in my universe.

I really don’t know what to do about it except change faster then the flux around me. There is no way to do that with all my tendrils of emotion being dragged and scattered on the four winds. Lately I feel less then whole and I just don’t know how to repair me.

On one hand I have the most wonderful friends who threw me a super birthday and I could gush about it seven ways to Sunday because it was that good. All my friends…virtual or otherwise…rock. I’m blessed to have you all in my life. And I’m sorry that I’ve been ignoring blogs and such. I’ve barely been keeping up with e-mail but I’ve gleaned enough love to know that you all have sent well wishes and prayers and they all mean so much. I am thankful for each and every one of you. :)

Then there is the other hand...the one that I usually can put to the back of my head for a time and smile and be the Ruinwen you know. In the beginning of this blog I just posted projects and knitting and then I got to know you and you encouraged me to let more and more of myself show. I found a place I could talk, vent, examine, pose questions or just share what was on my mind…and it gave me a great joy to do so.

But lately I find little time for crafting…though I squeeze every ounce of time out of my Friday night at Starbucks with the girls. The things that balanced me and kept me sane seem so few and far between. I hate that when I come to this blog I sound so needy…so lost. It is not a me that I’m used to dealing with and I still reread these words and wonder who this person is that I’m becoming?

Can I be this rock that everyone thinks I am? Even rocks will erode with enough elements beating against them. How can one stay strong for everyone and yet whole for themselves?

Until I find out the answers to those questions I’m just muddling through the best that I can.

Obsidan has cancer as we suspected and the vet has no idea how much longer he will be with us. Right now the mass cells have not invaded his organs and you wouldn’t know from his constant demands that there is anything wrong with him. We are spoiling and loving him as much as possible and will continue to do so until the very end.

This was my Mother’s last holiday at home. She can’t make it up the steps anymore. She won’t walk or do anything to strengthen her body and now it is ceasing to work for her. With her short term memory gone life is very frustrating for her and she is terribly unhappy. She keeps telling me that she lived too long. It breaks my heart.

Dad confided in me that he no longer cares about getting up and getting dressed in the morning. I can see the depression settling in and a familiar pattern taking place but seem helpless to stop it. On the one hand he wants us to clean the house and the other it is killing him to see everything disappear. There is no happy middle ground. He wants to be with Mom but not in AL. He hasn’t made appointments for the doctor and is just letting it all go.

I realized this weekend that my role was going to increase as I know that I need to step in and take over this whole thing with Dad. He needs to get out of that house and be in a place where people can help him…he needs to be with Mom. I need to make this happen. So I took off a week (my only vacation) and DH and I will clean with Sis and possibly a few friends. I will get a truck and get everything out of there that needs to go. I will make sure the house is empty if that is what it takes so that Dad will come up here.

I don’t know if I told you about my son. He is having trouble keeping up in school and DH and I have been working with him as much as possible in the afternoons on everything from Math (which I am terrible at), Science and English. We have all been working very hard to bring him back up to grade level or beyond. And I feel that it is finally paying off. He has only missed one word on his spelling in the past six weeks now. He is reading better and can identify more words. It is a joy to see his confidence climb and all this hard work is so worth it.

Another change to our household is my BIL finally got his divorce and will keep sole custody of the kids. My ex-SIL gets them every other weekend and Tuesday nights for dinner and a bunch of holidays and things. Where as this is the normal progression for a separated family. These are the first visits unsupervised and it has us all a little leery.

At the same time it gives my BIL some time to do things that need to be done. He is such an amazing Dad but everybody needs some down time and he gets so little of that. This will be the first weekend without them in so long I know it will be a hard one for him. He is all about his kids. The whole thing is very bittersweet.

So that is the long and short of what is going on. Thank you for wrapping me in your thoughts and sending prayers…everything you do or say means so much to me. Again, I apologize for not being on the computer so much. I feel horrible about it but I’m doing the best I can.

All my love and light,

Ruinwen
:)

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Borrowed Time


Obsidian, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

A Cat's Prayer

Now I lay me down to sleep,
The king-size bed is soft and deep...
I sleep right in the center groove
My human can hardly move!

I've trapped her legs, she's tucked in tight
And here is where I pass the night
No one disturbs me or dares intrude
Till morning comes and "I want food!"

I sneak up slowly to begin
My nibbles on my human's chin.
She wakes up quickly, I have sharp teeth -
And my claws I will unsheath

For the morning's here and it's time to play
I always seem to get my way.
So thank you Lord for giving me
This human person that I see.

The one who hugs me and holds me tight
And sacrifices her bed at night.

-Author Unknown

I want to share all the amazing things I accomplished this weekend but I feel like a fraud. I cleaned and gardened to keep my mind busy. I was afraid if I stopped moving the tears would fall and never stop.

My beloved Obsidian is very sick. I don’t know how much longer he will be with us.

We spent the weekend letting him do all the things he loved. He basked in the sun as I gardened and cleaned the garage. We fed him his favorite foods and one of us was always with him giving him love and lots of petting.

My poor purry furry has been living on borrowed time for a while now.

There was one month that seems so long ago now where my Mother was hospitalized and almost died. My Father on visiting her fell and we found out he had blood on his brain. He was hospitalized and almost died.

At home Obsidian was being treated for cancer; it was only luck that we found it in time. Widdershins our other cat had an infected uterus and if it had burst would have died.

All four beings that I love dearly had a horrible brush with death and all survived and recovered. It was nothing short of a miracle…an amazing blessing. I am so thankful for all the extra time that I’ve been given with my parents and my kitties.

But it seems my sweet Obsidian is fighting a battle with a powerful enemy and he may not grace our house much longer. We have at least a week before the tests come back to spend with him. I’m thankful that I can tell him how much he means to me. I will miss him so much. We all will.

So please pray for my sweet fluffy guy that he doesn’t suffer or feel any pain. I want his last days to be full of hugs, treats, sunbeams and the knowledge that he is truly loved.

If I’m MIA on blogs and such…I hope you can understand.

Have a happy Passover, Easter or whatever Spring rebirth holiday you celebrate. :)

All my love and light,
Ruinwen
:)

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Knittin' Chicks To Close Their Doors


My LYS, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

My beloved LYS has been struggling for a while now to keep afloat. At the end of April Knittin' Chicks will close their doors forever. :(

I have so many happy memories of my LYS and the people that made it special. If not for Dalia and her shop I would not be the knitter that I am today. If not for the friends I made at that marble table I would not know what community really is.

Everything has to go and this includes all the books, bins, computer, needles and of course the yarn.

I wish Dalia the best on the next leg of her journey and thank her for the wonderful LYS which will always hold a special place in my heart.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Choices

Spring Is Really Here!

Just because we increase the speed of information doesn't mean we can increase the speed of decisions. Pondering, reflecting and ruminating are undervalued skills in our culture.
-- Dale Dauten


Chances are if you read this then you are computer literate. You may be downloading a pattern, while IMing a friend, during which you are uploading pictures to your favorite site and at the same time you are stopping here to read my blog. *waves, “Hi”*

Computers are wonderful tools when they work and they create a terrible void when they don’t. Luckily they are good multitaskers since they generate the need to be in more then one place at once.

When you click with your mouse each press of the button is a choice. It seems so easy to make pick a preference when it comes to surfing the web. When you like something you download it and try it, if you don’t well that is okay because most trials are free.

If life was like the computer you could hit undo when you do something really stupid or go back to three days before you did something stupid. You could erase, edit and spell-check your words before they fell streaming out of your mouth. And best of all choices would be easy to make.

I’m horrible at making choices. I always have been. Either I’m impulsive and latch on to something without thinking it through or I have to research every detail before I decide. Both paths lead me to question my choice.

In Bach Essences there is a remedy for that: cerato. This is Dr. Bach’s description of people who could benefit from cerato, “Those who have not sufficient confidence in themselves to make their own decisions. They constantly seek advice from others, and are often misguided.”
- taken from The Twelve Healers and Other Remedies

Yep that’s me. I’ve worked over the years to be happy with my choices but at the core I am not a good decider. Case in point, we have these traveling scarves we are doing in our group and I have to decide what to add to each section. Sometimes it is too much to choose and stick to that choice so I bring it in and take a popular opinion vote at group. I really lack faith in my own judgment especially when it comes to something for someone else.

At the same time I believe that getting other people involved in what I’m doing enforces community. I like a little bit of everyone in the projects I do…it makes them mean more. Truly that is a beautiful thing to weave my friendships into my stitches and feel their love and support in my project.

My  Beautiful Birthday HatSurprise package

I felt the love yesterday when I received my beautiful surprise birthday package from Birdsong! She created this beautiful hat for me and I love everything about it! The flower is perfect the color is my favorite…everything about this is a treasure! She included a cotton washcloth for my spiritual baths and it is so nubbly. All from her talented fingers…I am so blessed to have such wonderful people in my life! Finally there was a little tin of lip balm to keep my lips happy. That will go straight into my knitting bag. What a thoughtful and sweet gift. Thank you Birdsong! :)

Another gift I received was from my sweet sister. I had been reading a book about tarot and they mentioned this amazing deck that was dedicated to the creatures of all countries…and I fell in love. I agonized about getting another deck. Was I just making another hasty decision that I would regret later? Was it really calling to me? Did I really need another deck?

I kept coming back to this deck over and over until my sister offered to buy it for me. This is one decision that I’m really happy with. I love the rich drawings that depict creatures and beings from all over the globe. The cards really speak to me and I enjoyed my reading last night. Thank you again sis! :)

My Own Socks

I needed to turn a heel and cast on a pair of socks with this beautiful Spirit Trail Fiberworks sock yarn from knitnana. Thank you knitnana! :) This was another surprise gift from a while ago and I’ve been waiting until I had time to actually make a pair of socks for me. And you know what? I will never have time to make a pair of socks for me with all that is going on…so I just cast them on. I think it was a superb decision. I’m in love with this yarn and the colorway is just gorgeous!

Another decision that I’m very happy I waited on was the planting of seeds. Last night it went below freezing and we had frost on the cars. It is hard to wait for the right day and the precise weather conditions. I’m chomping at the bit to plant and have new life and yummy herbal goodness.

I guess I can see that all my choices do not turn into regrets. I will also concede that maybe I have more faith in my abilities then I allow myself to admit. I never have someone proof my blog before I send it and even though I agonize over hitting that “publish” button…I do it.

Baby steps…

If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice
Rush, Freewill

Just maybe it doesn’t matter how you choose. Sometimes a second opinion is a smart option. There are other times when to do nothing is the only path that can be taken. In the end the choice is yours and yours alone. Choose well.

Have a great day!

Happy crafting!

Ruinwen
:)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Happiness Is...

Celebrating My Birthday

... we can no longer afford to throw away even one ‘unimportant’ day by not noticing the wonder of it all. We have to be willing to discover and then appreciate the authentic moments of happiness available to all of us every day.
-- Sarah Ban Breathnach

What makes a day unimportant? Every day that we take a breath upon this beautiful Earth and spend another moment with our family and friends is precious. Each night before bed I am thankful for at least three specific moments during that day…I can never stop at three.

There are so many things that can so easily be taken for granted. During this economic crisis maybe we can see how blessed we are much clearer then before. I can see how chaos is everywhere and many of my friends are over burdened with hardships that are slowly breaking them.

I’ve always believed you do what you can and the rest takes care of itself for good or bad. One person can only handle so much…but with a few good friends you can do almost anything.

A kind word can bolster your soul. A helping hand can save you a time. A loving gesture can uplift your entire day. A good friend is a treasure beyond worth or measure.

My life is filled with chaos but my friends balance it out and in the end I think that makes all the difference. This weekend my BF and our families celebrated my birthday way early because there won’t be time for it later. We had a Twilight / Vampire / Fondue night that was out of this world. Have you ever tried chocolate fondue on bread? OMG that was delish!

The simplest things are so precious and I will hold this celebration in my heart for a long time. Sometimes that is all you need to get through the “other” stuff. One happy memory can last forever if you cherish it.

Right now it is all about the memories. We are cleaning the house in order to put it on the market. We have a date now: in July the house I grew up in will no longer be mine. My tree Fred that I planted in 1976 will belong to another. But I have the memory of making sure that fragile little sapling was kept wet all day. I wrapped him in damp paper towels and the water made all my homework run, but he survived. Now Fred towers above our soon-to-be-old-house and it makes me smile whenever I see him.

It is time to let go and I can do that with only a few tears because the thing that makes a house a home is the people in it and with Mom at AL…it feels strangely empty even now.

They believe something happened with Mom like a mini-stroke or something that wiped out her short term memory. But with the thought of Dad moving in actually on the horizon she seems happier. I also think the sun being stronger has a lot to do with it also.

I would say that it is actually warm here but I’d be lying. But that didn’t stop my crocuses. They keep pushing though because in adversity life goes on.

I finished another feather and fan scarf this weekend. I liked the “rose garden” feel to this one. If I can’t plant yet I’m going to bring in as much color as I can.

I’ve gotten the pattern together for my circle scarf and since I can only work on it when there is peace in the house…I haven’t started yet. lol

I had a silly little happy dance moment this weekend. I got up and went to Wal*mart when it opened so I could get Pokemon Platinum and they had this collectors game for the same price. This is a birthday present from my Dad and I can’t open it yet but it made me happy just the same. :)

I had such a wonderful weekend full of family, friends and unexpected blessings I just can’t stop smiling. :)

I wish the same happiness for all of you.

Happy crafting,

Ruinwen
:)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Spiritual Side

Crocus

Spirituality is the sacred center out of which all life comes, including Mondays and Tuesdays and rainy Saturday afternoons in all their mundane and glorious detail. ... The spiritual journey is the soul's life commingling with ordinary life.
-- Christina Baldwin

This is the time of year when everything is in flux. You can feel the creative energy building as Winter prepares to withdraw for another year and Spring starts to bud and blossom. It seems to me like the earth around me is sighing as the first warm rays hit her face.

Every season has its beauty but Spring and Autumn are my favorites. I love the amazing colors that suddenly burst out all over the land. Dull landscapes are suddenly dotted with hues of every color as life begins anew.

There is something so magical when plants just burst forth out of nothingness. It is with this love of nature that I’m planting my garden. To me a garden is sacred. Each plant brings with it a different blessing, a diverse way to heal and a special individual beauty that shines through as it grows.

Air, fire, water and earth all come together to create something amazing from a single seed. In that tiny seed is everything that particular plant needs to develop to its full potential.

So I wait until the nights are no longer too cold for new seedlings to survive and plot and plan my little garden. I’m trying my hand at some new plants this time around and keeping the ones I can’t live without. I’ve been without a garden for too long.

I’ve been lovingly talking to my seeds of nasturtium, dill, basil, oregano, tomato, lavender, marjoram, parsley, thyme, rosemary and paprika all through winter. I want them to know how beloved they are to me and how much I’ve missed my garden.

I always had a garden up until the year I became pregnant with my son and due to complications they forbade me to play in the dirt. Then the box where all my beloved herbs lived was poisoned with termite bait traps and spraying. It hurt me deep inside when they put the toxic death on my beautiful plants after asking them not to.

With the droughts and water bans we couldn’t keep a garden alive. But last year I’d had enough with all of it and bought a system that keeps water in a reservoir so that even in a drought the plants would survive. Unfortunately, I couldn’t afford it until late in the Summer and with all the family changes just didn’t get the seeds in the ground in time.

But this year I’m ready. I’ve got planters, seeds and a burning need to see things grow and thrive. I want fresh herbs to awaken dishes with flavor and vitality. I can’t wait to make my own paprika from these special pepper plants. I’m so excited to bite into a fresh home grown tomato and feel the elements alive in its juices. I just can’t wait.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****
Water Science

Here is a photo of my son doing a science experiment. For his own amusement he wanted to try this little test of the powers air pressure. So we filled a glass with water to the very top and then placed an index card over the opening and turned the glass over. Voila, the index card stayed and no water came out. The whole experiment was even patient with me taking the picture and continued to hold as my son posed with it. I’d never seen this done so I thought it was pretty neat.

Such a simple mundane moment filled with magic. I think most of life is like that if you know where to look.

Today is one of those very foggy mornings where everything is just a little fey. Fog is powerful because it mixes mind with emotion and brings the two in balance. It helps you to see clearly. Or going the other direction it can hide things…distort things so that they are not as they seem at all. I guess how you perceive it is up to you. Like most of life.

We had a little sign on the fridge that I made when I was little, “Be happy you have a house to do chores around.” When you distinguish that doing chores is not drudgery but honoring a structure that provides you with shelter and maybe a nice tax break, you begin to see things differently.

I will admit I rarely have time to clean the house from top to bottom but it is hard for me to sleep when I’ve seen a dirty kitchen sink before bed. I like to see that stainless steel sparkle. I like to honor my kitchen where so many wonderful meals are prepared, teas are created, herbs are used and my family gathers to refuel.

My sister always jokes with me that I can find the spiritual side to anything…but that is because I’m quite sure everything has a spiritual side to begin with…if one takes the time to look.

May your week be full of magic and happiness as spring comes back to the world and blesses us all.

Happy crafting,

Ruinwen
:)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!






Irish luck's proverbial,
It never fails, they say,
And that's the kind I'm wishin' you,
With all my heart today
And faith, that's not the half of it,
I wish you fun and laughter
Good friends and health and happiness
Today and ever after.

Irish Blessing

Monday, March 09, 2009

Circle Back



A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.
- Anonymous

True friendship isn’t about being there when it is convenient: it’s about being there when its not.
- Anonymous

The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.
-Elisabeth Foley

Those of you who know me are aware that I love Pokemon and I always have. I went to an event this weekend where you get a Pokemon through Nintendo Wi-Fi and I had a really weird thing happen.

I tried to let go my Biberal, which is like a large beaver, because I needed room. And...let me say I hate to do this...I really hate it. But I had no room in any of my boxes!

He would not go. The screen came up and said, "Biberal came back. Was he worried about you?" WTF Sis was there and saw it too...my Pokemon was worried about me?

Over the years I’ve let go Pokemon before I reset a game thinking it was better to have them in the wild when I wiped it clean…okay silly but I’m terribly sentimental. I’ve never, ever had one refuse to go. Never. And he wouldn’t go because he was worried about me? As silly as this may sound I got all teary in the middle of Toy ‘R Us and didn’t know what to do.

This little piece of code actually thought that the time we had spent time together warranted an actual friendship between us. It boggled my mind.

I’m going to rename him Namaste because he helped me see the beauty of love, kindness and friendship in a way that really touched me.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

If you think about it friends are so amazing. I mean real friends who don’t judge you or care that you can’t function without coffee. Friends who you can gush on about something in a video game or book and their eyes don’t glaze over. Friends who don’t crush your dreams no matter how crazy they might seem, and who after you fail never say, “I told you so.”

I’m blessed to have friends like that.

I strive to be a friend like that too.

One of my special gifts is to be sympathetic to someone’s deepest needs. Sometimes that is just an ear to listen, other times they require one of my skills and once and a while this necessity may take on some physical form. If I can, I will help in any form possible. It is just my nature. I love to be friendly and once in a while it gets me in trouble.

The cross quarter to this trait of trustfulness is naivetĂ©. I am totally stuck on stupid at times to how someone is using me for their own ends. I’ve always been like this. I once took another woman’s hand just ‘cuz I couldn’t take the sad look on her face. I was very young and terrified my Mother to pieces. I just wanted to help.

When I was in elementary school I’d buy these cute little erasers for kids with my hard earned allowance and I thought they liked me but it turned out when I had no more money…my new “friends” acted like they didn’t know me.

High school it was my SAO favors, in my twenties it was my rockin’ parties, in my thirties it was free massages…and I never seem to learn.

But I think I’m beginning to catch on.

As I work with energy more and more I can feel someone who is sucking me dry to further their own ends vs someone who needs me at this point and time in their lives. A lot of my friends may have seriously screwed up lives right now but when I send energy to them I feel it circle back because they care about me too. I don’t intend for it to come back and I really don’t expect anything in return but with real friendship it always circles back.

It took me 40 years to learn this and the being that brought it home and made it stick was a Pokemon. Life is an amazing thing when you are paying attention. lol

Like I said before, I am blessed to have wonderful friends…amazing men and women who walk with me and have never left me alone…rare people who accept me for who I am no matter how crazy that may be. I am proud to call them friends.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****
Beautiful stitch markers

Life is full of circles and all of them don’t run smooth. But everything gives way to something else as it flows into its next stage of being. Everything means something and that meaning can shift from person to person from moment to moment.

When I look with spirit vision in my meditations I see three distinct paths of fate that could be chosen in a situation. I cannot see my own paths they are blurry and full of haze. Kind of like if I take my glasses off in the physical world…everything is one big blur.

So this weekend the crystal clarity that came to me regarding my path and the people on it was shocking to me. I was working on a friendship scarf putting my love and warmth into it as I knit and the blinders that I’ve been wearing came off and I could “see” very clearly.

You could say the love I put into the stitches filled up the person I was creating it for and spilled back into me…coming full circle. This feeling of buoyancy…being lifted from the moment and into another…was so physically powerful that for a moment I seemed to be everywhere.

I could hear my son playing with his Nana. A masculine laugh bounced through the house as my husband joked with his brother. Patiently my nephew was teaching Pop Pop how to play a video game. The birds sang as they too could feel that this was a special day full of beauty and unexpected warmth. My niece was happily singing to her I-Pod. All around the neighborhood the kids were playing and for a moment I was surrounded with this immense beautiful energy of happiness and family.

I have a book about a mouse named Frederick who puts away colors and words for the winter days that are white and cold. I too put all these wonderful emotions into each stitch so that one day when the wearer of the scarf needs these things they will flow out and envelop and bless her as they did me.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

I’m still working on my feather and fan scarf and hope to finish it this weekend. I’m still working on the design for my hood / scarf and hope to get back to that later this month. I’m almost done with a crochet blanket for the Assisted Living project. And as I finish these three things I’m starting the circle again with something new. A friend and I are creating a beautiful pattern together to commemorate a First Communion.

Life folds back against itself in an endless dance, there is no beginning and there is no end; there is only now.

May your now be full of happiness and beautiful things.

Happy crafting,

Ruinwen
:)

BTW: Those wonderful stitch markers are from Nana Sadie Rose's Etsy shop. Aren't they lovely?

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Doesn't Add Up

Feather and Fan Scarf

It is while trying to get everything straight in my head that I get confused.
-- Mary Virginia Micka

We did our taxes this weekend and while separately all the lines and numbers make sense to me…put it all together and it screws with my poor brain. I have to double and triple check each entry until a day has passed before I end up with that magic number.

I’ve told you before that I’m not good with numbers. I seriously struggle with anything numerical and I’m always second guessing myself. That said I always used to do our taxes by hand because I wanted to prove to myself that I could handle it. After weeks of fixing errors and coming up with correction after correction I would feel pretty proud to have everything add up right.

I like it when everything adds up right. I wish life would make sense like that because last week I kept feeling that I was coming up totally short. I don’t understand my soon-not-to-be SIL. She went to the school, which is not allowed without a supervisor to see / take the kids. My nephew was screaming bloody murder not to let her get to him. Real healthy relationship there. Then she comes to our house to see them and thinks she’s being cute giving DH the bird while he witnesses the should-never-have-happened visit.

The kids put on a show so she wouldn’t cause a scene and have to see their Daddy cry again. I resisted the urge to throw her off my property so it wouldn’t cause a scene and make my BIL cry again. BIL has been through more then enough. And to me the whole of it just doesn’t add up. If you wrote it up on paper it just wouldn’t ever equate to the harm she has done to the kids and my BIL…not to mention the repercussions that she is having on our family as well.

See it doesn’t add up.

I did overcome my negative voice last week when I finished my slip stitch blanket and gifted it on Friday. Not only did I get to hold the sweet love that it was going to but I got to spend time with her Mother, Sister and Grandmother…and that was such a blessing to see them all again.

Meet up was wonderful as per usual and I finished a whole sock. DH wore though his house socks and I was happy to make more. I finished the 2nd on Sunday. The girls made 15 more squares for the 7 X 7 Charity project and we met our first goal. So I’ve doubled the original goal and we are still going strong. All these wonderful women in my life are such a blessing!

Feather and Fan ScarfMy son took this picture

So after finishing the socks and the rattling of my chain in the same breath…I took a step back and decided to make a feather and fan scarf with sock yarn. We’ve been doing a feather and fan traveling scarf with our group where we all knit a section and add our personal energy and creative talent to this project. I love the pattern, it is very relaxing. So yesterday amid the blizzard like conditions I started a new feather and fan scarf just to relax and unwind a bit before continuing onto my scarf / hood pattern.

A wonderful day off playing with the kids + being home with DH + working on a beautiful feather and fan scarf + BIL making an incredibly wonderful dinner for us + having the chores all done from the weekend + watching BIL and kids all smile = the perfect day

That’s an equation that adds up. :)

Happy crafting,

Ruinwen
:)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ignoring My Inner Critic








The future is not some place we are going, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made. And the activity of making them changes both the maker and their destination.
-- John Schaar

I’ve been working on the slip stitch baby blanket with a new purpose. I’m getting together with a knitting friend who I haven’t seen in a while this week and I want to give this blanket to her new grand daughter. Suddenly, one side of the border is complete…just like that.

I even ran into a snag where I wouldn’t have enough of the green to finish the project so I decided to make a split border that is still symmetrical in both colors.

But at that moment when I realized the green would be short I felt “it”. I could perceive that shift in energy where a part of me was saying, “Put it away for later when you can afford more yarn.” I pmed a good Ravelry friend and together we decided the two colors would be fine. I asked DH and he agreed. That “feeling” instantly left me as the energy redirected itself back into finishing this project.

This blanket could have suffered if I had caved into that inner critic that is quick to want me to give up. But I chose not to listen.

I’ve always felt it is so terribly annoying to have one inner voice of guidance and support and one of pessimism and erosion. But over the years I’ve learned that the emotion that flows with each voice is totally attuned to its motives. That is how I tell if it is my higher self or my inner critic is talking.

Have you ever noticed if you own a Garmin or one of those talking GPS guidance systems that her voice actually seems to change as you ignore her instructions? In the end I can hear the anger in her voice as she says, “RECALULATING,” as I continue to make my own path.

My negative voice is the same way. When it doesn’t get its way it stomps and yells as it has a temper tantrum and starts getting mean. “Not having enough yarn” morphs into “You can’t get this done on time, why are you even trying?”

But you know what? There is so much chaos around me that I can’t control that this negative voice only serves to enrage me.

Many times one negative comment at the wrong time can tear us down or it can empower us. I choose to be empowered.

I’m tired of listening to that negative voice that says I “can’t” do something. We really don’t like the word “can’t” in our house. Can’t is usually a cop out. It is giving up without even trying.

I’m sorry, I’m a gamer and “can’t “just doesn’t cut it. DH and I have spent endless hours trying to one thing in a game. We don’t give up. Sometimes we move on to another area of the game and come back after gaining a little experience but we don’t give up.

So this voice telling me I can’t get this blanket done by Friday just really upsets me. I’m the master of my destiny not this voice. Where does this voice get off telling me what I can and can’t do anyway…and why am I listening?

Ah yes, that is the crux of it all. Why am I listening? I have free will just like everyone else.

But most of my life I’ve spent listening to that negative voice. I’ve let it tear me down and associated myself with its view of me. No more. Really I’m done…I abjure you negative little voice. As of this moment you do not exist for me.

You can stomp your feet and recalculate my life as much as you want but I choose to make my own path where I see fit. You no longer have any power over me. So mote it be.

***** ***** ***** ***** ******




Chances are if you are reading this blog you are part of a community. And I’m not just talking about the one you live in…I’m talking about the one that lives in you.

Our Friday night knitting group is like a balm for my soul. I look forward to it with a child’s wide eyed delight. I don’t know when trying to fit it in to the calendar turned into “this is what I do on Friday…end of story.” But it has…and I love it.

All these beautiful women live in my heart and I am so blessed to know each and every one of them. Together we are making something truly inspirational.

These squares are but a few of the wonderful creations that have already been crafted by these generous women. They are to become blankets and lapghans for the Assisted Living in our community. What started as an idea over coffee has turned into something wonderful. This project continues to grow and transform as each woman adds something of her personal essence to its process.

I am blessed to be a part of this community and call these brilliant women friends.

***** ***** ***** ***** ******

After the blanket my next WIP to work on will be a reversible hooded scarf / hood combo I’ve been designing for a while. I’ve got the basics laid out but haven’t had the time to try out the pattern yet. So that will be where I concentrate my completion energy next. Simultaneously I will be starting the process of creating my Ostra bag for this year.

Every year as spring arrives I decide what spiritual seeds I want to plant and grow and I bring focus to them through color and herbal correspondences. This year I am doing more then that since my goal for Spirit is to plant a garden. So my “seeds” are actually potential plants just waiting for the right combination of factors to come into being.

Last year I bought the containers but never had the time or energy to focus on using them. This year I am ready to have herbs again. I miss them so much! I have felt this longing to go out and snip a sprig to put in a soup or when someone is ailing I feel this need to make some fresh tea…but my herbs were gone.

This year I’m going to fill this aching need to work with the Earth and watch as the elements come together and create new life. I’m going to make tinctures, poultices, compotes, bouquet de garnis, sauces, teas and add beautiful fragrance and flavor to my dishes. Mmmmmmmm.

I wish you all a blessed week of creating your dreams in all you do. :)

Bright blessings,
Ruinwen
:)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Circumstance

Change is created by those whose imaginations are bigger than their circumstances.

-- Unknown source

I often think the circumstances for a project to make it to completion is not that different from a seed growing into a flower. There has to be some alchemical formula that allows us to take matter and turn it into something else.



What keeps us knitting on one project from beginning to end while others we stash away for another day? There has to be some spark that keeps us interested and focused on completing our project.





You have seen this blanket before (and as my sister said, “Is that the same one you were working on two years ago?) and most unfortunately certainly will see again.



What makes this blanket so hard to finish? It is not the fact that it is a blanket and bigger then a normal project because I’ve finished blankets in a weekend. The stitch doesn’t bore me I like the slipping and the interweaving of color. What circumstance…what magical formula…am I missing in order to complete this blanket?



I’ve been meditating on this quandary this week because my knitting isn’t the only thing to suffer from this missing equation in my little world. My life seems balanced by the things I have to make time to do and the things I can never seem to fit in.





Last week I made two items that I was very proud of for two very dear friends on their birthdays. There seemed to be no struggle, no problem to stop me in either of these projects and they were completed faster then I had projected. One was a short row wash cloth and the other Who. Both had challenges and were fun to knit. But previously I had made that wash cloth and it had taken almost a week to complete and this time I finished in two days.





It boggles the mind. Now this wasn’t a happy go lucky week with a lot of free time either. Nothing was different with the time I had to complete these projects…so what made them flow…like water through my fingers to their completion?



One thing I did note was that with Who I used double points the whole time. I actually adore dpns where many years ago I used to fear them. And that is when it hit me…I’ve grown as a knitter. I will try almost anything instead of shying away from it like I used to…that does not include steeking, that still scares the willies out of me.



But I digress. I think that maybe one of the elements of finishing a project is what you carry with you. I’m not talking your cable needle, stitch markers and life-line (though those can be very useful), I’m talking about the skills you have as a knitter. You may not be aware that if you are up to mindless knitting on a project…congrats…that’s a skill. A new knitter will look at you in awe as you knit and talk at the same time without missing a stitch.



I’ve picked many projects out of my skill-set and then set them aside because I’ve ripped too many times or I am just so frustrated that knitting is impossible. But then a year later I may go back and say, “Why did I have trouble with this?” Then again the pattern may be wrong and the skills necessary for the project seem to be rewriting and designing and new way to knit the piece. Its all in the circumstance…and each project has different pluses and minuses that add or detract to it being completed.



But in the end it is me that is the final component to a project being completed. I think from now on if I decide to give up on a project I’m going to list why on a piece of paper so that in the future I can understand my reasons and see if I have overcome them yet.



For now this blanket will travel with me. I really want to get it done. I’m not going to set it aside again.



Since this year started I’ve finished everything new I started and steadily worked on past WIPs. My meditation showed me that in each thing I create is a little of my energy just waiting for me to reconnect with it. As I finish old projects I can feel what circumstance was greater then my creativity and caused me to stop. I can see that I have grown from that moment when I gave up on a particular project and that I myself have become part of the creative equation.



Bright blessings,

Happy crafting,
Ruinwen
:)

I almost forgot…Birdsong won the Blogiversary Contest and her gift package will be winging its way to her! Congrats Birdsong! :)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy Blogiversary!





















The Stillness of Winter


I remember a time
When the icy crust
Of Bridgit lay upon
The land like a
Crystalline calling
Of things to be.
Meditate with me now
On hues of ivory
Blessed by a grip
Of relentless indifference.
Invite the stillness
Within the quickened
Rhythm of your pulsing heart.
Feel your mind solidify
With each passing thought.
Allow the chilled air
To penetrate the deepest
Concealed places of your essence.
Tolerate your body losing
Its warmth to the unfeeling
Handshake of Winter.
Become numb in the tranquility
And experience in your core
The essence of being.



************************************************************************************

Today I've been blogging for 4 years! Can you believe it?

The winter winds are whipping through here with the power of a freight train. But those snows are from years past. I just felt I owed it to Winter which is not anywhere near done even though yesterday was sunny and warm...it was just a lull.

So in honor of the groundhog being right and a wonderful 4 years of blogging...I'm having a contest. Leave a comment in this post and on Sunday I will have my son draw names out a hat for some goody yet to be determined...but it will be nice.

Thank you to all of you who have made blogging a wonderful experience. I've made so many friends and learned so many things. Blogging has truly blessed my life because of all of you! :)

In love and light,
Ruinwen
:)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

When the World is Quiet

Sock yarnSock Yarn

Only in quiet waters things mirror themselves undistorted. Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world.

-- Hans Margolius

There was a moment last week when it had snowed and the kids were playing, the TV was going and people were talking and I stepped outside and it was quiet. Absolutely silent. While I love the sounds of a house well loved and family abounding…the stillness was awe inspiring.

I’ve been able to recall that moment when everything gets crazy and find serenity within the chaos…which if you know me…is the sig I use on my e-mail. For years I’ve used that sig but it was only this previous week where I could really say I understood what it meant.

Serenity is not freedom from the storm but peace within the storm.

This led me to want to knit a spiritual circle scarf. I’ve done this with jewelry before but never knitting. I have the most beautiful Alchemy sanctuary in all the elemental colors. So I’m working on a mantra for each element to weave into the stitches.

But after inquiring how others bless their spiritual works it seems most people tend to bless them when they are done. They do not feel that they can knit and keep a mantra in focus at the same time. One person on Ravelry stated that her offering could only inspire one to swear like a sailor for that is the only mantra she maintained during the working of the project.

Which is fine. Everyone has their own path. But I would like to knit this scarf in mindful meditation from beginning to end.

There is an anime character I love named Belldandy. Besides being the nicest, sweetest, kindest woman imaginable, she knits. In one episode she knits a sweater for her love and in each stitch she puts her feelings. When he wears this sweater she wants him to know how deeply she cares about him. The sentiments of love and devotion are imbued into the yarn. The sweater is a symbol of her deep bond with her love.

That is how I want to knit. I figure if I can cultivate that moment of stillness in my heart and then add my devotion and respect for each element then I can truly create a wondrous circle scarf. I know that each time I use it I will feel the presence of the elements.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Last week we bid a tearful farewell to my Uncle. He was a beautiful person who gave to his community and loved his family. I really didn’t know him and it saddens me. My son wanted to go to his funeral. I told him that it was okay for him not to go because it would be long service and my Uncle would be happy he was enjoying the beautiful day. My son said, “Mommy I’m sorry I didn’t know him. I think that I should start getting to know all the people in my life better before their gone and I never get the chance.” *sniff*

My Mother has never really gotten along with her sister and she kept us from associating with that side of the family as much as possible. I’m not sure what causes these chasms but I know that it divided our family. Even so there was a place of honor for my Mom by her sister at the funeral. Unfortunately, she was unable to attend. My Aunt seemed to miss her sister in this time when family should mean everything and I wondered what could cause a family to split so?

We never really got the full deets. I think it had to do with love. But I never understood the whole mess. And now with Mom being so confused, I’m not sure we ever will. *sigh*

I’m not really sure about a lot of things. My SIL had her car repoed at 1 something in the morning and thought we should know. She seemed surprised after 5 months of missing car payments they’d be upset and take action. Just like the income taxes last year…she found it incredulous that they didn’t get more back on their taxes but ignored the fact that if you do not pay the mortgage then you cannot get the interest income back in your taxes. *hello*

Maybe it is just me. But I stand within this ball of revolving chaos that surrounds me and I just don’t get people. I mean I never claim to be perfect and I’ve done very stupid things. I’ve been in debt and gotten in trouble. I’ve been so broke that having Mac & Cheese once a week was an event worth celebrating since all my other meals were Ramen Noodle soup. I’ve been at the end of my rope and I’ve drowned my sorrows in a bottle. But you learn and go on and it may take some time but isn’t that what it is all about…you learn and go on.

And when you are standing in the silence it is all about you. There is no one to blame for your sight is clear. You can see how each decision contributes to the whole of the tapestry that is your life. You can forgive yourself for your mistakes and see that they are much like an error in knitting; only you know they are there. When you look in the quiet waters of the soul and you see the reflection of your true self do you know her/him?

I didn’t. Most of my life I have loved myself but I haven’t really known who I am. Maybe that isn’t really true. What I mean to say is that I had negative connotations that connected me to those times that I told you about above where you learn and go on. I learned to stay connected to them so I could blame myself for my mistakes. Blame is so much easier then acceptance.

In the crystalline pools of my soul I met my true self and I hugged her. I feel different…full of light and buoyant. I feel like I took a step towards something so big that the ramifications of this moment are still cascading through me…maybe they always will. I know that there will be many more trips to the pool and each one will bring a new understanding as each layer of my true self is revealed.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****
Heart Scarf

Finally I would like to show you my heart scarf that has been on the needles forever and I just don’t know why. The pattern is mine, the knit is easy. I love this scarf. The way the colors dance and merge is just beautiful to me. I combined Cascade 200 with Trendsetter and I’ve been so happy with the results. This scarf will be my red heart giveaway that we participate in every year at Fair. I hope it finds someone who loves it as much as I do.

To you and yours may love abound as Valentine’s Day draws near. I send all my dear friends a *hug and a smile*

Happy crafting,

Bright blessings,
Ruinwen
:)

I've Been Deemed Creative

Breien nominated me for a Blogger Award. Thank you so much. I'm really honored! You should check out her blog. She really does knit in her sleep...her Fair Isle is amazing too! :)

Now it is my turn to nominate 7 people for a Blogger Award, as the rules are... and I copy:
The official rules are as follows:

1. Copy the award to your site
2. Link to the person from whom you received the award
3. Nominate 7 other bloggers
4. Link to those on your blog
5. Leave a message on the blogs you nominated.

Here are my 7.

1. Knitnana - not only is she an amazing person but she is an awe inspiring creatrix. She makes the most beautiful bags I have ever seen IMHO and knits the most delicate of lace. She strives each day to save a little of our planet and is one of the sweetest people know.

2. All Things Heather - not only is she a super mom but she always throws herself into her crafts with all her heart and soul. I've seen her steek at 2 am, make beautiful mosaics and she IMHO is the best dyer of merino that I know.

3. Pixie Purls - is an amazing new designer that really cares about the things she creates. I am always amazed by her tenacity and beautiful spirit.

4. Marnie Talks - She is a wonderful designer that pays attention to all the small details. Her patterns are pure magic. But what I love the most about Marnie is her zest for life and living each day with all her heart and soul.

5. The Woolen Rabbit - is another amazing yarn goddess. She spins and dyes the most beautiful yarn. She paints her world with beautiful hues that can banish away the darkest of winter's days.

6. My Poetic Path - this beautiful woman paints in words that inspire and uplift. Her poems touch your soul and her kindness shines through every letter. She is a pure gem.

7. A View from Sierra County - demonstrates a life well lived. She is one with nature and her gentle spirit is a respite when one's soul is weary. She is an avid knitter, spinner and lady of many talents.

There that is my 7. If I could I would cut and paste everyone I know because all of you are wonderful creative people...each in your own special way.

*hugs, love and light*
Ruinwen

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Happy Imbolic / Candlemas / Groundhog Day

Everything is made of light; everything is alive. The Great Mystery of life has little to do with intelligence. The universe is not an intellectual process. The intellect is helpful; but our hearts are the wiser part of ourselves.
-- Mellen-Thomas Benedict

I finished the Sister's shawl and my Hemlock and they both came out different then I wanted. The Sister's shawl I bound off way too tight but the multicolor edge was beautiful. Yet when I wear the shawl it wraps lovingly around my like it was made for me. The Hemlock...I have no idea what happened but it wraps lovingly around my lap. It was made to be a lapghan...so maybe these two knits decided to adopt me. They are both beautiful regardless of how they wear. And that is two finished objects in a weekend...that is a *pat* on the back even if they aren't up to my idea of perfect.


I really can’t look at these to FOs with anything but gratitude. Really the shawl doesn’t pucker and the bind off doesn’t look tight when it is on. Maybe it wouldn’t wear so well if the bind off had been looser. Right now it holds me in a sweet acrylic hug and since this is a knitted representation of my “sisters” then that is a powerfully beautiful thing.
The Hemlock is still stunning. I have no idea if the thick cotton was the wrong choice or if I had have gone up a needle size would have made a difference. As I was making it I thought about how nice it would be to have something to wrap up in that was pretty. I thought about the green and beautiful nature feel of the cotton and I think it just bonded with me.

So these two FOs are mine. I think they chose me. I believe many times the yarn doesn’t want to be what we are urging it into and it makes a project impossible to continue. But I’ve never had a project decide that what it wants…is to be with me. I am impossibly humbled by both these projects. Punxsutawney Phil has said in Groundhogese that we are to have six more weeks of winter. (You might want to check your current groundhog as there is one for most regions in the US and Canada)

Winter to me, is the time that you either use the things you gathered over the previous year or a time to draw deep within. The Norse rune Isa (ice) means introspection. When things are frozen you can look at them from all sides. Water is emotion…when you freeze your feelings you can see them from a different point of view. Isa holds the key to how we internalize things.

Last week I had a tough time getting my head and heart to agree. But I believe that after thinking about it and talking to wonderfully supportive friends and family I’ve come to an understanding. Any emotion can be heartfelt. And my anger came straight from my soul. When I “froze” that moment for introspection I came to see that my turning my back on my SIL was for my family’s highest good as well as my own.

When you block someone from sending you e-mail they can’t send e-mail to your address and you don’t see them if they do. When you abjure someone unfortunately there is no magic button to keep them from meddling in your life especially when there are children involved. You see them devastating someone you care about and want to do something, but you can’t.

I don’t want my anger towards this situation that continues to revolve around my happy home to control me. Yoda said, “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” I don’t want “hate” to become a way of life for me.

Imbolic / Candlemas was Sunday and I created a day full of meaning, love and fun for all that I could. In the morning I hung with friends after pouring salt into the carpets. Salt grounds negativity and brings harmony. I smudged my room with dragon’s blood. I just love the smell but it gets rid of negative forces too.

I am so blessed to have so many friends and I feel like I just connected with another wonderful person on Sunday. And then our house was overrun with children from all over the place.

Over the years we have tried to make “kid friendly” rituals for the holidays followed by a big feast. We decorate a sheep with flowers filled with hopes and dreams for the growing season to come. Our feast consisted of Stromboli and cream of potato soup. I’ve come to realize that a feast is any time that we come together as a family to celebrate something special. I’ve stopped trying so hard and just letting the moments flow. I’ve learned a lot about flow from the kids…they are wise teachers.

So my heart tells me that my SIL does not control my actions. Anger is not a way of life for me. My heart is full of love and light just like it always has been. And for once…my head agrees.

Bight blessings! May the seeds that you plant by your thoughts and dreams manifest into glorious fruit.

Ruinwen
:)

P.S. They have given a year for the lead law stuff to get hammered out so hopefully they will find a way to enforce the law without stifling crafters on limited budgets.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

YIN / YANG



"Most of our obstacles would melt away if, instead of cowering before them, we should make up our minds to walk boldly through them."
-- Orison Swett Marden

I have been feeling under attack as of late by more outside forces then I could handle at the same time and I lost my focus. I let those people and things control me and that has to stop. No one has permission to have power over me.

I’m usually the voice of reason…the peace at any price pacifist who works with everyone to bring harmony about. But at my core I’m an Aries ruled by the planet Mars. That is two warrior Gods that live and breathe in me and when I hit the point of no return…watch out.

No one…and I mean no one threatens my family in any shape or form. And my soon to be (not soon enough) SIL called protective services saying her children were living in filth and squalor. They summoned my child from class to talk to protective services without him knowing why he was being called. They came to our house and ran though a list of empty accusations that were all unfounded and proved as false by protective services.

What was proven was exactly as we said as it was stated in court when my BIL got custody of the children. My MIL and FIL built each of the children and my BIL their own rooms out of our bottom basement level. They have their own bathroom. My FIL even wired each of the rooms on their own switch system. Not to mention we love the kids and enjoy having our new extended family. Our house may be chaotic with three kids running around playing but it is full of love and family. The kids are safe, clean, warm and well fed.

Have you ever seen a Klingon abjuration ceremony? They all turn their back on the outcast member and for all practical purposes that person no longer exists to them. She no longer exists to me.

I do not understand hurting others and causing pain as an objective for self worth. I do not understand how lying and breaking the law makes you a good person. I do not understand her manipulative mind and how the things she does makes sense. So I turn my back on her. I don’t want her energy…I’m tired of her presence hurting my family and those I care about. I abjure her.

This doesn’t mean I wish her harm or want anything bad to happen to her. I just want her out of my life. I pray her to her highest good and hope she can make peace with all she has done. I’m not judging her deeds…I am saying I don’t understand her choices and at this point I really don’t care to.

I’m sorry if I sound contrary to my happy usual self. I’m sorry if you don’t agree with my choice. I’m sorry if I sound like a b*tch. Everyone has a breaking point and I’ve reached mine. I’m done.

*DEEP BREATH*
















This weekend I began a wonderful plan. Starbucks has this new drive to give 5 hours to your community. I am spearheading a Knit 5 Squares project for our entire town. I figured 5 squares should about equal 5 hours of service for everyone. DH and I will put the squares together. We are going to donate them to the Assisted Livings and Community Living Centers in our town. I already have 20 people in…that is 100 squares…I’m really excited about this idea of giving back.

Giving back to the place you live is always a win/win. If you bolster where you live then you only help yourself. You keep your town in business and bring in prosperity as a whole to your area. Twice a week I stop at a wonderful Italian Deli and get salad or sandwiches. I pick up little odds and ends for cooking and feel good about buying from one of our Main Street stores.

A few years ago our Main Street had a huge fire. It was devastating to our town and the economy of this area. This tragedy almost killed the town. But much like the Whos in a Grinch Who Stole Christmas we banded together and joined hands and saw what was at the heart of all of us…love…community…kindness…compassion. People gave time, money and services to those in need. A few of the businesses didn’t survive but most did.

I got to know most of those businesses and their owners by name. They stopped being just places to me and I saw them as people with families and dreams…just like me.

Some say the fire though a horrible tragedy was the best thing to happen to the town because it brought the people together into a common purpose. Remember after 9/11 how everyone was nicer and full of compassion and then things went back to normal? I refuse to go back to normal. I refuse to take anyone for granted and includes the people that take my trash and the sweet lad that can’t hit my driveway with a paper.

Having a blog has brought a community to me that I never would have found on my own. Ravelry has opened a world to me of wonderful crafters and beautiful people. In my own town I have found a group of knitters which have all become such wonderful friends. That is why blending my talent with helping the community while sharing this experience with people I care about and admire is such a wonderful opportunity for me.

And so you have it Yin and Yang. This post is about extremes and contradictions and in the end about being human. I’m really not a mean person. I take spiders outside instead of killing them. I cry at anything touching including commercials. I can find spirituality in anything. And I still have a lot of growing to do. But if you’ve ever seen a Mother bear with her cubs…never come between me and those I love. ‘Nuff said.

Happy Crafting,
Ruinwen
:)

Picture 1: My son with the 220 scarf in a Namaste pose
Picture 2: My niece modeling the 220 scarf
Picture 3: Obsidian and Widdershins sharing each other's space (a rare occurrence)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sisters









"One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star."

-- Nietzsche



This post is going to be all over the place. My mind is like a closet that needs cleaning today.

I’ve been holding my friends close lately…in my heart…never far from my thoughts. So many of you are being affected by the state of the world it makes my heart ache. …poor economy, financial trouble, layoffs, husbands…brothers…sons at war, illness of self or those you love…

I just want to send you all a big ****hug****

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

I ask the air to keep hope alive when the dark night of the soul sets in. I ask fire to keep the will strong so that the impossible is never out of reach. I ask water that connects us all heart to heart that the love that we have for our families and friends be an endless well that uplifts and supports us. I ask the Earth for Her forgiveness and to continue to give us a home where we can live and love and create a better day. I ask the God to watch over my friends and keep them safe. I ask the Goddess to care for them and provide them with what they need. So mote it be.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Have you heard about this CPSIA? After Feb 10th you will no longer be able to sell or donate any item that has not been tested. So if you are a loving charity giving sweetheart…get those items in now because after the 10th they will be considered “a heath hazard.” I know this law is well meaning but it is just well…not. This two edged sword that protects our children will kill so many small businesses that can not pay the testing fees that it makes me cry thinking about it. The charities that are shutting down their children’s divisions because they can’t afford the testing…just turns my stomach.

I was fingering the little hat they gave me for my son…who was such a miracle to us…some loving soul hand knit that for him. Someone like you…the dear readers of my blog who are so giving…

I mean truly how can the yarn companies which are in as much trouble as everyone else even afford the testing? *shakes head*

So no children’s items this spring…all my items will have a disclaimer, “Not for children 12 or under,” on them. Better to be safe then sorry. “rolls eyes”

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

People seemed to like my writing…that was nice. I’m waiting on the judging to find out if he deems me a writer with talent. Regardless…it was a fun experience.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****











My Vanna project has given me nothing but trouble and I ripped over and over before I figured out something that works. I still can’t show you more then the sneak peak above...but I named it Sisters.

I have a sister by birth who is the best. We are totally night and day from each other but somewhere in the middle we come together and are really tight. We make time to hang with each other each week because we love each other’s company. We finish each other’s sentences and break into song together. She always shows me a new and different way to look at things. Even in my darkest moments she can constantly make me smile. When I face life’s hardest hurdles she is always there to hold my hand. I love her plain and simple. She is an amazing, talented, smart woman who I am blessed to call family.

Then I have a sister who is not related but she’s stuck by me through thick and thicker. Again we really have differing views on most everything but it doesn’t matter. We are joined at the heart and have been for years. She’s always been there when I didn’t have a clue where to go next. She always listens to me and my crazy stories and is someone I can really count on. My love and respect for her is huge. She is an extraordinary mother, a super smart teacher and able to fix anything with parts. I am blessed to have her as a friend and she and her family was adopted into ours years ago.

So my project is to honor these two special women. It stopped being about the contest as much as what as I wanted to say. In this crazy world where who knows what will happen next, it is comforting to me to know such beautiful, vibrant beings who are not only my sisters but also my best friends. I am truly blessed.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

For all of your well wishes and prayers and good thoughts…thank you. Every one of you means so much to me and one day I’ll design something to commemorate the beauty of community.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Mom moved into her new digs this weekend. I like her new room it is homey and has a nice view of the woods. She was really optimistic and happy and then went back to being depressed and confused. My horoscope prepared me for that so I was okay…I even told DH before we left to see her that I had a feeling it was talking about Mom. Wish I’d been wrong but what can you do?

Moving took most of the weekend and the rest was filled with deep intellectual discussions about BSG and the season opener. Don’t worry I won’t discuss all that here but WOW…that was an intense episode.

My goals are simple for this week…do not promise anything I cannot handle, soak in bath for at least an hour and if Sisters is not done by Sunday night at 8:00 p.m.…let the contest go. I love it regardless of what is done with it and that is all that matters.

*warm hugs* and bright blessings,
Ruinwen
:)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Focus

Heyoka and Snow Cat

"Only one thing has to change for us to know happiness in our lives: where we focus our attention."
-- Greg Anderson

I pulled my shoulder out this weekend and the pain was excruciating but I fought it because it was my dear sister’s birthday. I was able to do all that needed to be done because my focus was on others not me.

Needless to say as soon as I hit the pillow the pain became my focus and I did not sleep. There wasn’t a position that made my shoulder even feel remotely better. It was a long night.

I took Monday off and kept heat on it all day while taking flexoril. I didn’t do anything that might hurt it. No knitting…no writing…no cleaning…no anything. This left me with a lot of time to think.

In spiritual terms this injury was with my right arm…my giving arm. With the left we take in and the right we give out. So I guess this is my body’s way of saying I’ve been spreading myself too thin?

All weekend I’d been feeling pretty off and I thought I’d been good when I stayed home instead of going to the pool party. I slept the entire time. I didn’t stay up late and I really tried to get some rest this weekend. I didn’t overbook any day and tried to spread all the stuff we had to do out. So it really didn’t make any sense to me.

Until I heard coyote laughing…it could have been the 3 extra shots they put in my frap through my drug induced, sleep deprived haze but I know I heard that furry trickster who just happens to be one of my totems yucking it up big time.

The joke was on me. My heyoka was ROLFing while I tried desperately to figure out what the heck was so darn funny.

Did you ever see the Cartoon with Joker and Harlequin where she has Batman strung up over a tank of piranha?

Joker’s like, “What’s so funny about that?”

And she replies, “If you turn upside down all their little faces have smiles on them.”

And he in turn says, “If you have to explain it to me then it is not funny.”

That whole train of thought made my heyoka stop laughing. He actually started pouting and promptly disappeared.

After a moment of silence another guide of mine popped into my head, “You shouldn’t tease him like that.”

“Me,” I exclaim angrily, “He shouldn’t play so many games.”

“You know that is his nature. He was just trying to teach you about yours.”

“I still don’t get it.”

“Hon you spent the whole week out of focus with your new prescription yet you managed to conquer every obstacle that came your way. This weekend you balanced taking care of you with the needs of your family. You’ve spent the last few months learning what helps to keep you happy and centered and you’ve worked each day to make sure you focus on those things.”

I waited for him to give me an answer to this plaguing question in my head. What did all this mean? I knew he would make me understand this life lesson and clear up any doubt that was in my head with his next statement.

He cleared his throat, “The lesson is that you shouldn’t reach two feet over your head for something that is really heavy. Next time use a step ladder.”

I could hear coyote laughing again and this time I joined him.

Ruinwen
:)