Friday, December 31, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
I believe in Santa Claus. I always have…and I always will.
Faith can be defined as “belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.”
To me he is a magical spirit that descends once a year to remind us all of how blessed we are. He comes down the chimney, the heart of our home, to answer the deepest wish in each person’s heart the best that he can.
For physical things he has helpers that he whispers to that arrange for a special gift…you may know one of them.
He follows the law of Karma and each person gets back what they themselves have given to others throughout the year.
I get goosebumps every year when NORAD says that he is one state down. The tradition in our house is to get to bed quick as soon as he’s over PA. Milk, cookies and carrots are put out for our guests as an offering of thanks for another year with loved ones and all the amazing blessings that we have been given.
Thank you Santa Claus for the family gathered here…they are the greatest blessing…the most wonderful treasure that I could ask for. Thank you for my readers; many who are now dear friends…please extend your love and light to them as well and grant them each a special beautiful holiday wish.
So mote it be.
I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?
Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.
No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.
Happy Holidays! Whatever you celebrate may your heart be full of joy and happiness.
Friday, December 17, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
I wonder if that is the whole point of all this rushing around and trying to make it through the season with our minds intact. Just maybe when our day of light rolls around and all the gifts are wrapped...the meal is set before us and the house is as good as it will get...we can stop and say "we survived another year."
And hopefully all that rushing around and creating enough stress to make one question their sanity will allow us a shining moment with family and friends that makes everything worthwhile.
But right now it is hard to see that the light that is soon to be reborn whether in the sky, through burning oil or lying in a manger; is deep within us. We all contain a miracle just waiting to to birthed into existence. But right now there are presents to be bought and decorations that won't hang themselves. And let us not forget those pesky cards that must be adressed and written.
This year I have tried to give up my recent holiday tradition of taking on too much, spending way too much money and stressing myself beyond what my poor body and mind can handle.
This year I did my shopping early, planned meals way ahead of time, and I hope to decorate this weekend. At least my Samhain pillow will get swapped for an angel one...Hey it's the effort right?
We won't attempt a tree...not even a small one. There just isn't space and Shadow would total it on the days we aren't here. But if you have one could you please do something for me? One of my silly little favorite things to do during the holidays is to turn the lights off and watch the patterns that the blinking lights make on the ceiling. I really miss that.
I will miss going to my parents and all the wonderful things that took for granted; cookies, putting up the tree, Mom's eggnog...anything cooked by Mom...Dad's roasts...I even miss going to Mass with Dad.
It is my turn now to make the memories that my son will hopefully fondly one day remember.
I wish you all a wonderful weekend,
Friday, December 03, 2010
"Believe it can be done. When you believe something can be done, really believe, your mind will find the ways to do it. Believing a solution paves the way to solution."
-- Dr. David Schwartz
I have admitted in the past that Math problems boggle my mind at times. People doubt the validity of that statement since I knit. And in knitting sometimes you have to use Math *gasp* to figure out gauge or resize a project. Actually, since I started knitting I find I use Math more then I ever did.
So you can understand my frustration at these words in my pattern.
Keep decreasing until you have 20 stitches on the needle.
Row 1: Bind off 20 stitches and purl 6 stitches (you should now have six stitches)
Ummm…okay?!? Where did those 6 stitches come from?
I left the knitting over night to see if some magical knitting elves would find my missing 6 stitches and leave them for me…but that didn’t work out so well and I ripped the whole mess out not knowing where to go from there.
And I’m over it.
New day, new pattern…I actually read this one first to make sure it makes a modicum of sense before diving into it and finding that the errata is above and beyond my skill of knowing where to go next. This is why I make a lot of my patterns from scratch. It is so much easier to follow the ramblings in my head then someone else’s. But making up a pattern takes time and that is something that I’m short on.
But back to my point. Always read the pattern all the way through. I constantly say this to all my students; so why I thought that the Fates would allow me to slip by without having my own words bite me is just plain folly on my part.
And that is what I get for trying to cut corners…sigh.
So, I’m going into this new pattern with my eyes open and hopefully next week I will have something to show for it.
Friday, November 26, 2010
Shadow climbed into the Coke Zero box and he loved it in there. Isn't it great how cats can find happiness in the simplest things? There is a lesson there no? :)
I decided yesterday that I was giving up.
I have been struggling with the chaos around me for so long that has been eating me alive. I have so much anger over things that I cannot control that I struggle with pretending to be happy half the time. By some miracle I am staying healthy though I show many classic signs of stress disorders. And I just couldn't juggle everything anymore.
I closed my eyes and surrendered it all to the God and Goddess. I opened my heart and gave them all my struggles and troubles. I confessed that my way was not working and I was open to change. I was tired of looking through the eyes of anger and prayed to see through the eyes of love. I opened myself up and affirmed that I was ready for a miracle...a change in perception. I am willing to change...I have to change.
And I felt this overwhelming peace settle over me. Even now I feel different. Whenever my mind starts back on it's old path of negativity; I hear this gentle admonishment to center me again.
There is this weight that is gone today. Giving over everything to the Divine is a balm for my soul.
I'm not a total Pollyanna...I know that I will still struggle...but now I know in my heart that I wil be okay.
I wish you all Bright Blessings and full bellies.
Friday, November 19, 2010
"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength while loving someone deeply gives you courage."
-- Lao Tzu
We've been making small changes over the year to eat better and take better care of ourselves. This weekend we went to our local free range, cruelty free farm. We watched animals roaming everywhere, healthy and carefree and I knew that this was a perfect fit with the lifestyle that we are trying to create.
On Sunday we had fresh eggs scrambled with some raw delicious milk and cooked in a dash of fresh butter. My son thought they were the best eggs he had ever eaten. I cooked up some amazing sausage and bacon and we had a farm fresh meal that was good to the last bite.
We were taught that red meat is bad for you but in truth it depends on a whole bunch of factors. Most grass-fed cattle are leaner than feedlot beef, lacking marbling, which lowers the fat content and caloric level of the meat. Meat from grass-fed cattle also have higher levels of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) and the Omega-3 fatty acids ALA, EPA, and DHA.
Grass fed meat has a better Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acid ratio. It is important to eat these fatty acids in as close to a 1 to 1 ratio as possible.
The fat from cattle raised on green grass has much higher concentrations of vitamin K2. Studies of K2 have suggested it is extremely potent for lowering arterial calcifications, which in turn lowers the risk of heart disease.
Grass fed cattle are also healthier overall. Studies have shown that grass fed beef is virtually free of pathogenic E. coli bacteria. Factory farmed cattle are fed grains rather than grasses, and this changes in acidity of their digestive tracts. The acidity increase promotes the pathogenic strains of E. coli.
My sister really hit it on the head when we were talking about real food. Real food makes not only fills your tummy but it makes you feel good.
This week I've been eating cheese made from raw goats milk. I put it on my Italian salad along with olives and pomegranate seeds. I'm in love with this colder weather salad.
For a year now I've been lactose intolerant so imagine my surprise and elation when I can have cheeses made from raw milk...not to mention I actually had milk and didn't suffer at all.
Needless to say I could gush about all the delicious things we bought at great length. We've signed up with South Mountain Creamery and I believe it is a change for the better for all of us.
I wish you all a wonderful weekend!
Friday, November 12, 2010
Our little girl is having some trouble adjusting to Shadow; but we caught them like this.
We have a lot of homework tonight and it took DH and I about an hour to work out what front end estimating is. These new terms are foreign and last night we read the wrong entry...told him the wrong thing...and he got it wrong.
The next thing that we tried to wrap our minds around were compatible numbers. Here is my favorite definition. What are compatible numbers? Compatible numbers are numbers that look nice or friendly with each other when we do mental calculation to estimate a product, but especially a division problem
So, here we are working with "nice or friendly numbers" and it makes me want to do something easier like steeking...jk...but seriously...
So I'm going to cut this short even though I wanted to tell you that this weekend we are going to a free range farm. They let you feed the calves and I thought my son would really like that. I wanted to share with you how we are trying to eat more whole foods and less processed crap...even if it takes longer to make and spoils quicker.
I also wanted to share with you that I've been working on a new scarf design for Vixenpath. But all that will have to wait since there is still much Math to conquer tonight. Goddess please help me.
Have a great weekend!
Friday, November 05, 2010
This is Shadow our newest family member. My son fell in love with him the minute he saw his ad on the web. We went to the shelter that weekend and filled out all the paperwork and last night we brought home our sweet little kitty. He is a 5 month old male with tons of energy and a lot of pursonality.
The socialization of Widdershins and Shadow is moving slowly. She won't even go up to the level that Shadow is on...and that is where her food is. I know these things take time and we are letting the cats take this whole thing at their own pace.
Shadow is adorable even if he is a bit nippy right now. He never learned to play with others so this is all new to him. The toy we got him seems to be helping with that.
He has the softest black fur with just a hint of white. I'm already in love...nips and all. :)
This is the layette set my sis asked me to make sitting on top of my son's trick or treat bag...they went so well together I thought it would make a good shot. :)
As my DH always does he has changes planned for each piece which I will spend the next month figuring out. These booties were seamed and he wants me to make the feather-and-fan cuffs with my sock pattern...which should be totally doable. Next he suggested a eyelet band in the bonnet to match the cuffs of the socks...again doable without too much fuss. Finally we are scaling down the blanket to fit a carrier...and that just takes figuring out how may repeats are needed. So hopefully these changes can be easily made so that this can be a set at Spring Fling 2011.
I hope everyone has a happy weekend!
Friday, October 29, 2010
Have you ever woke up and felt like a totally different person?
When I woke up on Sunday...I felt vibrant and full of light. I'm not sure really why. We spent Saturday with friends at the local farm doing all kinds of Fall things; surviving the corn maze, burying my son in the corn pit, petting farm animals, jumping on a big pillow, picking pumpkins and drinking cider and eating pumpkin pie. It was a great day. The weather was perfect.
On Sunday I decided we should decorate for the season. We haven't done that in a while because of trying to keep the peace between the families. After talking to my BIL I realized that I give in too easily to other's demands in lieu of my own. My peace-at-any-price attitude is most times the wrong action to take.
So Sunday I woke up did my FB stuff then started the new Sunday ritual of doing something spiritual for an hour. I ended up doing a tarot reading which more or less told me that I was on the right track.
Why is it so hard to do something good for ourselves; yet we are so quick to act for others?
After my reading I got out the decorations and with help from my son and DH we had quite a good time making the house all spooky for All Hallows Eve.
It felt good to do something so ridiculously simple.
I wish you and yours a blessed All Hallows Eve...and if you celebrate...Happy Samhain!
Thursday, October 21, 2010
In autumn, and a lustre in its sky,
Which through the summer is not heard or seen,
As if it could not be, as if it had not been!"
- Percy Bysshe Shelley
Friday, October 15, 2010
Friday, October 08, 2010
"Only when one is connected to one's own core is one connected to others... And, for me, the core, the inner spring, can best be re-found through solitude."
-- Anne Morrow Lindbergh
This last weekend was Fall Fest and solitude is not the word I would use to describe it. Due to a drain problem the kids area was moved into our craft and food area and there were a cacophony of generators whirring away near us. There was a train "toot tooting" all the live long day that started driving me bonkers about 4:00 pm each day. And there were sweet lovable Great Danes next to us that woofed so low and deep it would startle me from my thoughts.
But somehow within that din of white noise, children, trains and dogs I found the answers I've been seeking in some difficult soul searching questions.
So my silence is not one that is devoid of noise...it is rather a place within the heart beat of life itself. It is in the mighty roar of the ocean that I can truly find peace...or during a thundering rainstorm that my answers come. And since neither of those were handy the Universe threw together a recipe of sound that I could retreat into for a moment in time.
I must say it was a great weekend. The weather held out and it was just cold enough that people needed some knitwear. DH, sis and I had a great time...as always...crafting and talking. We got locked out of our house...but that was okay too because we went out to eat and sat outside in the sunshine and enjoyed the night and really good food. We came away from the Fest with some great ideas and hopefully they will bear fruit.
I've recommitted myself to our store. I have a mission before next show to really streamline some ideas and to create some new options. As a family, we are going to have meetings once a month and see where everyone is and use them for crafting days where we catch up on stock. My personal goal is to create one item per week.
I think if we really committed ourselves...we could do really well with the store. The thing is we want to keep the balance we have now of friends and family. We spend so much time during the week on homework or just fighting to keep up with the daily stuff; that the weekends are really precious to us. We don't want to lose that down time because it is so necessary to us and our sanity.
My sister made me a little sanity bag that I love. It has a pinch of all kinds of good things in it and life is really like that. You don't need a lot...but you do need a bit of each of them to stay sane...love...kindness...compassion...fun....happiness...family...friends...in our case gaming...a little spice to change things up or to accent what you have...and voila...my sanity in a nutshell.
Hugs to all of you!
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
"The responsibility for both present and future is in our own hands. If we live right today, then tomorrow has to be right."
I'm having one of those incredibly bad days where from the moment you wake up everything feels off. I keep trying to say things and it is like I have to recall the stuff from my brain to be able to form thoughts. I keep doing things wrong and then have to redo them...usually more then once. I feel like I'm in this fog and can't focus enough to get out. It is very frustrating.
A king has the blind men of the capital brought to the palace, where an elephant is brought in and they are asked to describe it.
"When the blind men had each felt a part of the elephant, the king went to each of them and said to each: 'Well, blind man, have you seen the elephant? Tell me, what sort of thing is an elephant?"
The men assert the elephant is either like a pot (the blind man who felt the elephants' head), a winnowing basket (ear), a plowshare (tusk), a plow (trunk), a granary (body), a pillar (foot), a mortar (back), a pestle (tail) or a brush (tip of the tail).
The men cannot agree with one another and come to blows over the question of what it is like and their dispute delights the king. The Buddha ends the story by comparing the six blind men to preachers and scholars who are blind and ignorant and hold to their own views: "Just so are these preachers and scholars holding various views blind and unseeing.... In their ignorance they are by nature quarrelsome, wrangling, and disputatious, each maintaining reality is thus and thus."
So in this vein of thought I have been taking my past and turning it this way and that and looking at if from a different view. I've found that most of my thinking around certain events is indeed "one-sided". With that insight I am able to go back and look at things from outside myself and see them in a different light.
It is a slow process wrought with emotion and sometimes the feelings rise up to choke me...but I push them back down into the past and remind myself that these are the shadows of things that have been. They can not hold me in the present unless I let them.
Last Saturday was another of those days where nothing was working. I was trying to bead a leaf and failing at every turn. But after four hours I finally had something I was happy with. I've written down the pattern so I can do it again. I'm glad I kept up with it and didn't give up when I really, really wanted to.
I'm still plugging away on the blanket. I'm on my 4th color now. It is mindless zen kind of knitting that can be done anywhere. It is nice to have a project like that once and a while. It is nice not to think of counting or charting for this project. I think my mind needed the break.
I hope you all enjoy the first weekend of October.
Bright blessings and happy crafting,