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
:)