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

:)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Authentic Success

“No set goal achieved satisfies. Success only breeds a new goal. The golden apple devoured has seeds. It is endless.”

--Bette Davis

Taken from Simple Abundance - A Daybook of Comfort and Joy; by Sarah Ban Breathnach

Authentic success is having time enough to pursue personal pursuits that bring you pleasure, time enough to make the loving gestures for your family you long to do, time enough to care for your home, tend your garden, nurture your soul. Authentic success is never having to tell yourself or those you love "maybe next year." Authentic success is knowing that if today were your last day of earth, you could leave without regret. Authentic success is feeling focused and serene when you work, not fragmented. It's knowing that you've done the best that you possibly can, no matter what circumstances you faced; it's knowing in your soul that the best you can do is all you can do, and that the best you can do is always enough.

Authentic success is accepting your limitations, making peace with your past, and reveling in your passions so that your future may unfold according to a Divine Plan. It's discovering and calling forth your gifts and offering them to the world to help heal its ravaged heart. It's making a difference in other lives and believing that if you can do that for just one person each day, through a smile, a shared laugh, a caress, a kind word, or a helping hand, blessed are you among women.

Authentic success is not just money in the bank but a contented heart and peace of mind. Its earning what you feel you deserve for the work you do and knowing that you're worth it. Authentic success is paying your bills with ease,taking care of all your needs and the needs of those you love, indulging wants, and having enough left over to save and share. Authentic success is not about accumulating but letting go, because all you have is all you truly need. Authentic success is feeling good about who you are ,appreciating where you've been, celebrating your achievements, and honoring the point where being is as important as doing. It's the steady pursuit of a dream. It's realizing that no matter how much time it takes for a dream to come true in the physical world, no day is ever wasted. It's valuing inner, as well as outer, labor - both your won and others'. It's elevating labor to a craft and craft to an art by bestowing Love on ever task you undertake.

Authentic success is knowing how simply abundant your live is exactly as it is today. Authentic success is being so grateful for the many blessings bestowed on you and yours that you can share your portion with others.

Authentic success is living each day with a heart overflowing.

As I read this I realize that it sounds like something I would write...like something that I already believe...that I try to embody every day.

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Right now I'm working on a lapghan for Mom. Hers is old and fraying. I'm making it out of Vanna in green hues. Nothing fancy or she won't use it. Garter on the edges and stockinette in between. I did slip the first stitch of the row so there is a lovely little border edge...hope that doesn't equate to fancy in her book. lol

So one of the things I always dread is buying clothes that are the wrong size. The last few years I bought mediums thinking they would fit and then I'd be shattered when they didn't. I'm happy to say I bought two tops that fit great and even might be a little roomy. *happy dance*

Another thing that brings me great joy is my Roomba. That little technological cleaning marvel is a treasure. When I hear it running I know that it is saving me hours of vacuuming...and that is no small thing.

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Mom update: Her surgery went well. She thanks everyone for their prayers and well wishes. She will have a catheter for a month but that has actually made her happier. I'm really hoping that her appetite comes back as well. Thanks again for all your wonderful vibes...I believe they help immensely!

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So all in all...my life is a success. I am blessed in so many ways...and that is my greatest truth.

Have a beautiful weekend,

Ruinwen

:)

Note: Notice my new avatar...isn't she absolutely beautiful!?! She was penned and inked by the talented Lock-of-Hyrule. I am so blessed to be surrounded by amazing talented people. I am so in love with my new Fey lass. And she looks a lot like me when I was younger and had red hair down to my butt...minus the big red shroom on my head! lol

Friday, September 10, 2010

Fear of Success

IMG_3173

"The world would have you agree with its dismal dream of limitation. But the light would have you soar like the eagle of your sacred visions."

-- Alan Cohen

Here is the new prayer shawl. I think it came out nicely. Mom seems to like it.

She is having surgery today. Thank you everyone for your prayers and good thoughts; I know they make such a big difference!

This week I have felt…slightly off. I don’t know it if is because the sun no longer wakes me up in the morning…or if that day off really confused my inner clock…but I feel very scattered this week.

I watch all these people that surround me who are successful and run businesses and I wonder, “Why can’t I do that?” I have the foundation…but lack the energy to actually get somewhere. Our Esty page sadly never got up this year…and that is a shame since we have so many wonderful things in stock.

Fall Fest is around the corner and I’ve done nothing for it but order new receipt books with our name on them. Whoo hoo! I feel like a total and utter failure sometimes. The Goddess gives me all these talents to try and change our lives and I just shuffle my feet.

After every Fair we always have all these splendid ideas and most of them never come to pass.

DH and I have this precarious balance of not doing too much to threaten what we have and not doing too little that we don’t have stock for the Fairs. I think this mentality hurts us at least in our business…we never risk.

We don’t do this to have a second income though one day we would like to be in a place where this could happen. DH has always been afraid of becoming too successful and not having enough stock. He never wants our demand to outweigh our ability to create.

So where does that leave us?

I asked the Goddess what my next step should be. If maybe I’m just being impatient for no reason. Maybe…just maybe I’m right where I should be and when the time is right then everything will fall into place.

The Goddess answered in that beautiful voice of love and compassion that has gotten me through so much this year, “Socks. Start with socks and all the rest will follow.”

…okay.

…socks it is then. :D

Have a wonderful weekend.

Ruinwen

:)

Friday, September 03, 2010

Goals

"Man is made or unmade by himself. In the armory of thought he forges the weapons by which he destroys himself. He also fashions the tools with which he builds for himself heavenly mansions of joy and strength and peace."
-- James Allen

It is September and I'm trying not to be discouraged by what I didn't accomplish this year. I didn't really write down any concrete goals for this year except the ones that I made last Samhain.

  • Create one thing that is mine.
  • Motivate my body to a healthy weight.
  • Flow serenity into all aspects of my being.
  • Nurture my physical body.
  • Illumine my soul through happiness.

The "create one thing that is mine" goal is hard to define. I thought it would be a pattern or something I worked months on to bring into being; but I was wrong. My soul had this idea for years now that our cats should have a place to rest and be honored and this Summer we brought that into being as you saw in a past post. This little kitty nook gives me great joy every day as I pass through it's gates and it truly blesses our house with those feline friends whose friendships we will love and cherish for eternity.

IMG_3169

The second goal I accomplished early in the Summer and have managed to find a groove that has made it pretty effortless to stay at goal weight.

Serenity is a hard mistress to come by but I strive to find her each day if only for five minutes. I have been doing a morning and night meditation to at least begin and end the day on a note of contemplation and reflection. So I at least feel that I have made great strives in working towards this goal.

Okay this goal has been hard. Over this last year I've become lactose intolerant and it has done all sorts of funky stuff to me that has really been quite depressing. But over the Summer DH has been really helping me through it by buying products that are lactose free and quite delish. So at least I've been learning to not look at it like a bad thing...which for an Italian who lived and breathed cheese it is quite an adjustment.

I must say I am happy. I am blessed. Yes, there is chaos around me and things I cannot control and the outcomes of these things...leaves me troubled and upset...but at my core I am joyful...and very happy.

So as these goals go...I think I did really well.

I've changed the way I look at my goals. Every day I pick three things to accomplish and if it is not on my list of three things I do not allow myself to be upset by not completing it.

This was a hard mindset to come by and I still struggle with all the things on the sidelines that are being ignored; but on the whole this process works pretty well for me.

IMG_3166

In that vein...one of my ongoing goals has been to remake this prayer shawl. This time I used Encore colorspun. I like this yarn. It has good stitch definition and is squishy with a nice drape. I ended up using the same pattern because I really liked it.

My son also picked out a bunch of shades of green for a new lap robe for Mom. I will start on that next when the shawl is done.

Usually I had three projects on the needles at a time but I've been focusing on one at a time realizing that splitting my focus only hurt me in the long run. One project always got pushed to the back of the queue and I ended up neglecting it.

I can tell you that my tank went everywhere with me all Summer and I never even took it out until the last week when I decided I was going to finish it.

So I've tried to really understand the ways I do things this Summer and recreate my goals around this new knowledge.

IMG_3163

I wanted to share these awesome earrings that a friend made for me. I love them! Look at how beautiful her wire work is! And she sent me a knitting journal too! Such wonderful treasures! I have already worn the earrings and gotten lots of compliments! And the knitting book is the perfect place to tuck away ideas for later projects...all kept safe in one place. Thanks again! :)

I'm looking forward to the three-day-weekend to just chill. I have simple goals that can be achieved while watching movies or playing games and my son has asked to do both. I just want to finish this prayer shawl to gift on Monday to Mom when we bring them some yummy food, wash everything (including beds and towels) and make something with Italian sausage.

I should be able to do that. :D

May you all have a blessed and safe weekend,

Ruinwen

:)