Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!



May you and yours be blessed in the coming year.
Ruinwen
:)

Sorry for the short post. But I have not missed a post the entire year and starting now would be unthinkable. Bright blessings everyone.

Friday, December 24, 2010

I Believe...



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.

Dear Editor—
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 O’Hanlon

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.

Bright blessings,
Ruinwen
:)

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Flurry of Thought



Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths, or the turning inwards in prayer for five short minutes.

-- Etty Hillesum


As I write this snow is falling, plows are running, people are shoveling and children are hoping there will be no school tomorrow.


I've always loved the quiet beauty of snowflakes. It is said that no two are alike...how amazing is that?


I had an enlightening meditative bath last night...and like the snow outside...one thought gave way to another...and another until I was immersed in a contemplative storm.


I was so relaxed that afterwards I fell right asleep and I was humming to myself when I woke up.


I love moments like that...that change us and somehow make everything seem new and shinning.


I keep waiting for the stress of the holidays to hit me...but instead I keep feeling more empowered. I've finished shopping. I only have two more breads to make and then my baking will be done. The wrapping is almost done. I've already made desert for Yule dinner. I got out Holiday cards. I've sent gifts to all those I can't see right now. So, on the whole I am good.


Maybe...just maybe I'm getting more organized every year.


I mean I know there is no tree and little decorations but really the holiday is not about that...it is about light being returned to the world. And that light is reborn in each of us. So this holiday to me is about family and celebrating that light within each of us that we all share.


I honor the place in you in which the entire Universe dwells, I honor the place in you which is of Love, of Integrity, of Wisdom and of Peace. When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, we are One.

Namaste


For those that celebrate I wish you a Blessed Yule. May the light of the season be reborn in your hearts.

Bright Blessings,

Ruinwen

:)



Friday, December 10, 2010

I'm Dreaming of a Stressless Yule

You never will be the person you can be if pressure, tension and discipline are taken out of your life.

-- James G. Bilkey


Can you believe it? The two cats can actually eat next to each other without hissing or spitting. This doesn't mean that Widdershins is happy that Shadow is her brother. There still lots of tension between them and all of it is coming from her.


That which does not kill us makes us stronger. Nietzsche


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.


*sigh*


I wish you all a wonderful weekend,

Ruinwen

:)



Friday, December 03, 2010

1 + 1 = 4




"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.

I hope you all have a beautiful weekend.
Ruinwen
:)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Turkey Day!

Happy Thanksgiving!



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.
Ruinwen
:)

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Mooving Experience



"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!
Ruinwen
:)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Trials and Tribulations of 4th Grade


We've been getting to know our newest family member and it is hard not to fall in love with him.








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!
Ruinwen
:)

Friday, November 05, 2010

Shadow



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.

Baby steps...

I hope everyone has a happy weekend!
Ruinwen
:)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween / Happy Samhain!


there is a haunted house in town
where all the walls are tumbling down
where the cobwebs hang and the window shutters bang
and all the creatures gather round
…where the bats and cats and witches keep their skeletons in stitches as they sip their spider cider in the haunted house….
they’re there, they’re there they’re really there
watch out be careful and beware
oh beware
don’t you trick or treat or you’re the one they’ll eat
when the moon shines on the haunted house.

Sis...this is just for you... because we both know all these little ditties from camp and school. And we burst into song all the time. Love the Siiiister!

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!

Ruinwen
:)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Time Out

"There is a harmony
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

I don't know where this month went...or this week for that matter.

My son has been working on a project and that has taken most of our free time this week.

I feel so lost. There is a week until Halloween and I have no decorations adorning our house. There is a week until Samhain and I have not written new goals that I wish to achieve in the coming year.

But really is this anything new for me?

I used to be very organized. I used to never miss a full moon or changing of the season without taking some time to celebrate. Now my life is so full of the day-to-day stuff that I feel it is really unbalanced.

I miss the smell of frankincense, myrrh and dragon's blood. Ritual has always been very important to my life. I keep hoping there will be more time for it But let's face it; during the week that just cannot happen.

Time is a commodity that I just don't have during the week. The only way I can squeeze in a little more is to stay up past my 8:00 p.m. bedtime...like I am now.

But then I'm dragging in the morning...and that means I'm pushing myself the whole day...and that is just bad.

I know that I'm not alone. I see those I care about dancing their daily grind until they can hardly keep their eyes open...these stress inducing lives make little time for just being...instead there is always somewhere to be.

I can't do anything about the endless dance that is Monday through Friday. It is what it is. I know that I'm not the only one who leaves their work only to stop here and there before finally making it home. And home does not mean that one can rest...it only means it is time for a new set of goals and rituals...until finally our bodies say, "ENOUGH!" and we drop from exhaustion.

What I am learning is that the weekends can not follow the week's example. There must be times of rest followed by moments of sheer joy. It cannot be all about catching up on everything that one couldn't cram into the week.

What I am finding is that by taking some time for myself I'm not as frazzled. When Monday rolls around I can face it without dread. All the little changes that I've made seem to be working.

I'm finding when it gets to be too much during the week I can take a breath and see beyond it.

I realize that I have not shown much crafting pictures...but I am medias res and will soon hopefully bear some fibery fruit that I can photograph.

I wish everyone a blessed weekend with plenty of spaces in-between everything else to cultivate joy and harmony.

Ruinwen
:)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Starting From Scratch

Diagonal Baby Blanket
To be happy at home is the result of all ambition.
Samuel Johnson

Last week I was sick with a horrible head cold and my husband picked up the slack and helped me do all the things I was too weak to do. This week he is the one who is ailing and I'm doing my best to compensate and help him out.

Relationships are all about give and take and hopefully keeping the balance towards the middle so no one person feels they have to do it all alone.

I've been mentioning how I wanted to rethink the store and I'm happy to say that after a meeting of the three of us I was able to order some new yarn from Knitpicks for each of my items. One of our goals is to make my items cost lower. I'm happy to say that I think we can do this for some of the items...not so sure about the others. But one step at a time.

I've been thinking about the reason I started this store so many years ago...and more then showcasing everyone's individual talent it was about making a better life for me and all involved. But the financial side of it never really came to pass and it would frustrate me...but then I was never really good at the whole math thing.

Even now when I dream of winning a million dollars the first thing I would do is buy my BIL and his kids a house, the second would be to buy a house for a friend of mine who needs it...I'd give to various charities and then hopefully have a third left over to pay off our house and bills...maybe a little would be left over for a vacation.

The point is one of the things that makes me happiest is to know that those I love are happy and safe. So usually any headway we make is countered by our need to give back to those who are less fortunate.

I've tried to be better about it over the years and I make sure money is automatically taken out of my account for me. The say that you should pay yourself first...pay your bills first...take care of your own house first. So I do.

The store is a different matter. It is a big anomalous blob of questions for me. How does one get paid for their time that they put into an object? How can you make things that are cost effective in a rural country market where people don't want to pay more then $5 for anything? What the heck to people actually want when it comes to my products?

I really couldn't answer any of these questions so I just started from scratch. In changing the yarn I need to see how each piece will behave and find out if it will work. Being affordable and nice texture is also very important to me. I will never make something out of a yarn I don't like to help with costs. That is against the fiber of my very being...pun intended.

My sister also put forth that the items I make should not be something that one picks up and says, "Hey I could make this." The better thing to hear is, "Oh, I could make this but it would take so much effort...and this is a really good price for this kind of work."

So, I'm trying to shift to patterns that are of my making and not very common. It gives me great joy when someone tries to figure out what I did to create something. :D I had so many people finger my diagonal crochet blanket and not be able to figure it out...heh it made me feel like I had stumbled on this big secret...which is actually really easy once you know the trick.

So all these ideas are going into my new line of products. And I will spend the Winter trying to make them all work for a decent price with nice yarns.

Every show we have made back our site fee but wouldn't be absolutely wonderful if we could not only pay for our material...but make a little profit? (GASP) I'm getting giddy thinking about it.

I hope everyone has a beautiful Fall weekend!
Ruinwen
:)

Note: A pic of a past diagonal crochet blanket. This one we donated to the Great Dane Rescue Society...but it was a personal favorite because it was alpaca and soft heathered wool.

Friday, October 08, 2010

The Sound of Silence

"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!

Happy crafting,

Ruinwen

:)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

One of Those Days


"The responsibility for both present and future is in our own hands. If we live right today, then tomorrow has to be right."
Eknath Easwaran


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.

It is easy on days like today to cry, "woe is me" and just give up to the despair that seems right around the corner. But I won't. I can't let that feeling of hopelessness take hold again in my life.

So I take a moment to breathe and look at the trees turning outside the window. I take a minute to count my blessings and that turns into quite a long contemplation. The "fog" is still with me but the negative feelings have passed.

As Hannah Montana sings,
Everybody makes mistakes
Everybody has those days
Everybody knows what, what? I'm talkin? 'bout
Everybody gets that way

A simple song with a powerful message because somewhere across the globe or down the street someone else's day has started off on the wrong foot and they are feeling just like me. I send them some love and light and ask the Goddess to send them a messenger of hope so they won't become lost in a moment of confusion and doubt.

It's so much easier to let the negative feelings swallow you alive then to fight them. And sometimes you get so tired arguing with your inner being that it just seems easier to just give in.

But that is not me...and not today.

I did an entire chakra reboot using the Reiki symbol for past life regression. It can change the way the events effected you at the time...so in essence you can change the past.

Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly upon our own point of view.
Obi-Wan, Star Wars

History is written by the conquers...and that doesn't necessarily mean that is the truth. Why then can't we "rewrite" the way that events shaped our lives? If our truth is based upon our point of view, then what if our view was to shift 180 degrees?

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."

The Buddha then speaks the following verse:
O how they cling and wrangle, some who claim
For preacher and monk the honored name!
For, quarreling, each to his view they cling.
Such folk see only one side of a thing.

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,

Ruinwen

:)

Friday, September 24, 2010

I Welcome In The Fall

Happy Autumnal Equinox...Happy Mabon...Happy Second Harvest!

Normally at this time of year I feel defeated on one hand by all I didn't get done over the Summer and giddy on the other at all the blessings I have in my life.

I think I will skip the defeated emotions and move on to the giddy.

I am surrounded by wonderful people. I am blessed to know so many beautiful souls...some only through words and pictures on a screen...but all of them enrich my life in so many ways.

My home, though over-crowded at times, is so beautiful now with her coat of paint and accessories to match. I feel this great sense of peace surrounded by all that purple. lol

I took a hiatus from my projects this summer and worked on charity blankets and then stuff for Mom. I did at least a row every day even during the hottest... driest summer ever...and got quite a lot done.

I got to watch my little boy start taking on more responsibility and become eager to be more. We took time to play since our time is limited by academics during the school year...and as a family we had a lot of fun.

DH as always is my rock. He always takes on life's challenges with enthusiasm and gusto. It was wonderful having so much time with him and watch him really enjoy making the miters for our baseboard...ya know men and power-tools. lol

It really was a wonderfully productive and fun summer. :)

But now it is Fall. And Fall to me is all about vivid hues...tantalizing tastes...and magic.

Every year the squirrels leave me a perfect acorn that I keep on the altar until the next year to remind me that even the mighty oak starts as a small acorn. Everything for that oak to be is in that little acorn. Just like in all of us is great potential to be so much more if we choose.

Squirrels also teach us to gather up tools and supplies for the cold days ahead. So it is time for me to decide what things I want to work on this Winter.

When I finish this lapghan for Mom I want to get back to Dianna. And I already have the yarn for that project...so I'm good to go.

I figure there is no sense in making this huge list. I started the Summer vowing to work on WIPs...and I got quite a few done...and then things changed and I worked on other projects. I think it is better to give myself the whole Winter to finish one thing then make a long list.

And right now at the start of Fall; I'm not exactly sure where I want my path to go in the season of ice and dare I even say it...snow. So I'm going to meditate on what I need to squirrel away for the cold's Winter's days.

This weekend I made this awesome simple dish which you could change up anyway you want.

Take a piece of sausage for each person - we used Bratwursts...they were not overpowering yet had a nice flavor. Take an apple for each person - We used red delicious...which I do not recommend...we are going to try it again with a granny smith...I think that will be much better.
1 tbs thyme
1 tsp pepper to taste
2 tbs real maple syrup
1/2 cup rice per person - but it could be any grain like quinoa or bulgar

Cook the sausage...and make rice.

Take the apples and de-core them. DH wants to try them without skin this time but it is up to you if you skin them...and cut them into bite sized pieces.

If you want use the pan you cooked the sausage in after pouring off the oil...or use a tbs of olive oil in a new pan.

Put in the apples, thyme and pepper. Let the apples cook for five minutes then drizzle in the maple syrup.

Let that cook until the apples are tender. Keep stirring because that sugar will burn if left unattended.

When the apples are cooked. Add the sausage and rice and stir to coat. Let the whole thing meld for another five minutes and serve. Enjoy!

I've really been trying to make one thing a weekend from scratch. I love to cook. My parents always made food into a celebration and I enjoy a good meal that has a lot of parts and dances on your tongue.

Here is the recipe I made for our knitting group. I love mushrooms and this came out delish.

Mushrooms stuffed with Sage Pesto

1 - Cup fresh sage leaves
1 - Cup fresh parsley leaves
4 - Cloves garlic
1/3 - Cup, plus 2 teaspoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 - Teaspoon salt
1/2 - Cup olive oil
1 - Cup walnuts
1 - Cup browned bread crumbs
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Twenty 2 1/2 inch mushrooms, cleaned and stemmed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F

Put the sage, parsley, garlic, 1/3 cup of the cheese and salt in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until combined. Gradually add the oil. Finally, add the walnuts and pulse until they are minced.

While you are pulsing the sage pesto brown the crumbs. This will take a long time and you cannot stop stirring them for long. If you want to add a bit of butter to help them brown; add it first and let it melt to liquid then add the crumbs stirring to coat as many as possible. You want them a deep brown. Take them out of the pan as soon as they are done so they can start cooling.

Transfer the pesto mixture to a bowl and stir in the bread crumbs. Season with pepper and check the salt. The filling should be quite pungent as the mushrooms will absorb a lot of flavor. If the mixture is dry and crumbly, add a little water.

Brush the pan with oil and the top of each mushroom around the cap with oil.

Fill the mushrooms caps with the sage pesto and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan. Arrange the mushroom caps on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: If you have leftover filling you can use it to crust chicken, fish or steak. We tried it with chicken and it was delish.

Now I'm hungry. lol

Have a beautiful weekend blessed by the spirit of harvest and thanksgiving.

Ruinwen

:)