Monday, December 21, 2015

Hanging in there...

There have been a lot of small changes over the last several months and most of them are fantastic. A new printer (the old one stopped printing the colors properly, but it was also nearly 10 years old), new friends, a new son-in-law, a new daughter-in-law (not legalized), more focus, more silver hair (and a little purple, too), more organization, and a better grasp of where I'm heading.

On this Solstice Eve, I can't help but think about where I've been for each of the last few years. Last year I opened The Raven's Cauldron, the year before that I was still recovering from pneumonia while deciding what to do about a heartbreak. The year before that I was ignoring a sinking feeling in my stomach when I caught someone in a lie. And now, I am the mother of two adult children, working on my own dreams and goals without someone telling me "someday" or "we're almost there" or any other such nonsense. And, even though my life isn't where I'd like it to be just yet, I am happier than I've been in a very, very long time. And that is what is important.

As you go about your day, I hope you find reasons to smile, to laugh, to love.

Blessings.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

What is it worth to you?

Maya Angelou Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet
https://www.flickr.com/photos/pictoquotes/16253287305
I've been ignoring this blog for a while for several reasons. One, and the most simple one, is work. I'm getting used to this schedule and physical demand and many other things. There are some really cool people there and a few others that are less than stellar, but that's par for the course at any job.

Another reason is that I've not really had a lot of nice things to say and it's usually best to remain silent during those times. When you are bombarded with bigotry, narrow-mindedness, and other negative situations, it's hard to remain positive.

But I feel a lot more calm today and want to ask you all a question. You don't have to answer me specifically, but I'd like you to think about it. Chances are, though, if you read my blog at all, you're one of the ones who don't qualify for the question.

What is your hate worth to you? Is it worth losing good friends? Is it worth losing your child/children? What about your grandchildren? Is it worth being filled with cortisol and spike your blood sugars? Is it worth the constant negative attitude toward the world?

I ask this for a few personal concerns that I've had over the last several months, but let me focus first on the public ones. There are politicians and media outlets that seems to thrive on hate-mongering. They fuel that "us against them" attitude and do their best to stir up more animosity. To what end? Why are so many people listening to those who only strive to make us hate each other? Why do they hang onto the words of someone who shouts about welfare and immigrants and many other issues when what we need to focus on is that we're all in this together and this whole country (and planet, really) is in dire need of compassion and intelligence.

And now the personal stuff -

I have a dear friend who is slowly building up to telling their family about changes in their life. The family is likely to stop talking to them and will probably disown my friend. Of course, I still have the hope that, if the parents watched their child grow to adulthood, that these parents will still continue loving this person. Is a person's hatred over a different lifestyle worth losing their child and all that the future holds?

Another concern is for my future grandchildren. My daughter is with a young man who treats her with respect, makes her laugh, doesn't let her put herself down, and much more. Even Anthony likes this young man and he's a hard person to please. Do I give one iota of thought to the color of this young man's skin? Nope. Well, I take it back, I've given some thought to wondering if my herbal salve would help his scrapes and such heal in a way that he won't have such visible scars since he seems to scar so easily. That's about it. But I know of at least one family member who is against that relationship. Every chance they get, they have something passively negative to say. Until recently these comments were mere hints, but one statement about not wanting this young man to be the father of my grandchildren made me stop in my tracks. I didn't know what to say then and I don't know what to say now. But I can't help wonder: Is a person's hatred over someone's skin color worth losing the family members involved?

When I hear people say things like, "What is this world coming to?" I know that many of them are thinking about some of the changes that have recently come about regarding marriage equality, healthcare reform, and other things along these lines. What I think when I hear that question, though, is of the hatred of one person toward a group of people, or an idea, or even scientific fact. If we all become separatists and so filled with fear that every "them" is against us, then truly, What is this world coming to?

Back to my original question - What is your hate worth to you?

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Gathering steam

As I get used to the new job and the new schedule, I realize that I've begun to lose some of the stress that had been so pervasive while I was working in the office. No longer are my shoulders pulling inward as I walk into the building, no more do I dread getting a text that might be asking me to do the impossible. Yes, the current job is physically demanding, but it feels really good, too.

My fundraiser is nearly over and there are still spaces available for the self-striping yarn club as well as other goodies. If you're interested, please check it out and share with your friends.

The cats seem to have settled in very nicely here, even with the limited space. I made sure to give them a lot of places to hide and to climb and I've checked to make sure that their climbing spots are stable (Aurora does have a tendency to fall if anything is even slightly wobbly). There are still things that I want to be able to do for them, like one of those cool towers, but it will have to wait until I save up more money.

I have rearranged things several times so far and am still not quite happy with the flow of the room. One plan that is in the works is a loft bed with shelves. After talking it over with my dad, I feel confident that I can build my own loft bed with the tools that I have. He pointed out things that I could do to make sure everything is stable and I'm hoping to start construction within the next 2 weeks. That will open up more floor space for me and will also give me more places to store my business supplies (because it's no fun having to open cardboard boxes to get to the shipping labels and envelopes). I can't wait to show you guys pictures!

There is a new baby in my small family! Anthony's sweetheart gave birth to a little girl and she's one of the sweetest babies I've ever seen. Even though the technical term is "step-dad", Anthony's the kind of man who leaves the "step" part in the dust. I am so very proud of him and his decision. My tiny Triforce family has facets growing on two sides now. Between Brianna bringing one person in and Anthony bringing 3 people in, it feels pretty darn special!

My kids... oh, how I miss them sometimes! They are both doing well and I'm hoping that I'll be able to see them before long. In the meantime, there are already 2 care packages planned out for them.

I have a lot more to write, but today is mostly my resting day so I want to end this now with a blessing for joy to you all.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Breathing space


As I filled the tank of my car this morning, I noticed something unusual on the bricks beside me and took a closer look as soon as I returned the nozzle to the pump. I had never seen a moth like this before and I couldn't help but stop long enough to take a picture. This is a Giant Leopard Moth and they aren't normally in town. Of course, I looked up the metaphysical meanings of both Moth and Leopard and found some interesting information about them both. I can't really say how much of it pertains to me, but it's something I'll be thinking about over the next few days.

In the meantime... I'm mostly settled into my new place. This one is one of the old motor courts that were so prevalent in the 50s (this one was built in 1953). My apartment/room is in really good condition and, even though everything looks nearly new, I'm not certain that it isn't the original fixtures. The handles on the metal desk look authentic to me, but they aren't nearly as worn as I'd expect. The bathroom tiles are soft mint and baby blue, but they look vibrant instead of washed out. The wooden floors have been stained with a dark cherry finish and is mostly smooth, with just a few small gouges here and there. I am sure that the cats are happy to be back in the same place as me and all three of them have taken to sleeping on the bed now. Serephina caught a cold while she was in the Humane Society, then Aurora got it a week after we got moved in, but they are both much better at this point. Lyra didn't even get the sniffles.

I have almost all of my own things moved in at this point and I'm certain that I'll be able to empty the storage unit by the end of this month. It's crowded, of course, but as time goes on, I'll get a few more shelves and such to keep everything more organized. I'll even look into the bins that fit under beds so that I can use that space, too. I'm looking at this small space as practice for getting myself used to an RV. I've already learned a lot about how I want things to be laid out as well as making sure that I have enough spaces for the cats to hide, nap, or play.

My fundraiser is still going for another month and, if you know anyone interested in purchasing some embroidered items or memberships in a self-striping yarn club, please send them my direction. I'll be adding a few more things this weekend, too, so check back later to see what's new.

I want to write a lot more this morning, but I am a little tired from waking early the last several days. I do hope that you are all having a wonderful day!

Monday, June 08, 2015

Upside down, but hanging in there...

Whew! What a ride this last 2 weeks has been! Everything went a lot haywire and for a little bit of time I truly felt that nothing would be right for a long, long time. But I have a place to sleep, the cats are safe, and my stuff is in storage, I'm still moving to a new place, but it's a different new place and it will be ready on Saturday. I don't really want to go into a lot of details, so I'll just say that there was a breach in contract, a really unstable person, and a lot of scrabbling to keep the pieces from falling to the ground. Now things are almost done and it will be alright. The people who came together to help me out are fantastic and there is no way I could hug them enough for the help they've given. A huge shout out to J & J for helping with the physical task of moving my stuff out of the apartment, into the mobile home, out of the mobile home, and into the storage. Another one to C, who has opened her home to me. To the Asheville Humane Society for providing my cats a safe place to sleep until my apartment is ready. And, to another J, who made me smile with a simple invitation to hang out at the pool. These people are super awesome. Also to The Mobile Mechanic for replacing the rotors and pads on my car (holy moly, they were terrible!).



In the middle of all of this, I started my fundraiser! I'm really excited by the perks that I'm offering to you all and I'll be adding a few more with time. I'll be spending this weekend getting things settled in the new place (for those who know anything about Asheville, it's on Merrimon Ave and is walking distance to Trader Joe's, GreenLife, and lots more) and after that I'll be working my fingers off to get new items into the Perks list for you.

If you have a moment, please check it out and share it with your friends. I can't wait to come out and see you guys!


Monday, May 25, 2015

Almost done

There it is. Almost everything that I own is in the corner of my apartment living room. I will admit that it struck me for a moment, just how small of a space that really is, but after a little while (and a few lovely words from friends), I'm actually pretty happy about it. You see, all that stuff is important in one way or another. Nothing in that corner is a frivolous item or just something to collect dust. When I look at it that way, this corner is overflowing with greatness.

That's not to say that some of it will still find new homes before I move, but in the meantime, it's all being used.

Thursday is the "big day" of getting everything transferred to my temporary place in Leicester. I'll get to do the walk-through on Friday morning and will spend the rest of Friday getting settled a little bit. After that, I'll likely chill out with the cats and get some much-needed rest. While knitting, of course.

On another note, do you know what day this is? Will you have a moment of silence today in remembrance of all who have died? I am so very lucky that I have not lost anyone during a war and I know that I cherish that knowledge more than I can express. But I do know people who aren't so lucky. People I love have lost friends and brothers-in-arms. My heart goes out to them on a regular basis, but even more so on this day. so, if you're having a cookout or family gathering or anything like that, please take a moment and remember why the day is special.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Emptiness isn't sadness

As I continue to clean out boxes and closets I keep coming across things that I've not laid eyes on since I left Ohio. My loom, for example, has been in a box safe & sound, while my life continued having its chaos and quiet. I'll be keeping it because I know that I will return to weaving in the next year and will certainly do so once I'm on the road.

I also came across a folder of maps. My first reaction was to throw them all away without looking at them, but I took the time to study each one and, in my mind's eye, drive the routes that were drawn out. It made me smile to think about how I needed these hand-drawn maps to get around to places when I first moved to Ohio. Most of my driving before then had been pretty straight-forward and in a place that I'd pretty much grown up with. But Ohio! The roads separated, then connected somewhere else, they curved and made odd jogs to the side and I was more nervous about getting lost than I'd ever been in the desert. So I looked over the pages and smiled with the memories of that time in my life. Then I put them into the recycling bin with just a slight twinge of sadness that I'll not have those kinds of things in my life again. But it wasn't a regretful sadness. Instead it was the kind that you feel when you've moved on into the next part of your life. And the empty space inside feels more like peace than sorrow.

Yellow Iris
I've released so many things lately, both physically and emotionally, and it feels almost as if I can feel the layers falling away as the bright new blossom emerges. And, while I have no idea what the future holds for me, I do know that I will face it with as much grace as I can, with as many smiles as I can, and with as much hope as I can.

For now, I am still packing and cleaning and getting ready to move. I know that it seems like I've been doing this forever, but it's good to take my time for once, going through things with an eye toward how it will fit into my life on the road, and how I will use it. Little by little I'm getting all of my belongings into a smaller and smaller space. At this point, I could fit all of my furniture and boxes into the living room and still have space to walk around comfortably (not counting the kitchen stuff like the washer & dryer). It's a good start.

I hope that you all have a lovely weekend and are filled with a peaceful heart.


Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Learning...

I've discovered that I'm now in a learning phase. Learning not to turn to Brianna when I have something to share with her, learning that I have to remind myself to eat at mealtime, learning that the house feels different when I sleep at night. I'm also learning that I need to take the time to work through this and not just blast past it. Of course there are going to be changes. Of course there are going to be moments when I miss my kids so much that my heart breaks from it. But there will also be moments when I go out for tea with a friend and talk about Airstreams and motor homes. There will be times when I take an early shower and plop down to read and knit for the remainder of the evening. There will be times of great peace.

Brianna is discovering her own identity as an adult. My wish for her is that she holds onto the best part of herself no matter what. My wish for her is that she finds a gentler path than me. My wish for her is that she always has a ready smile.

Anthony is rediscovering parts of himself that were lost in that far away desert. My wish for him is that he finds peace in his soul. My wish for him is that he regains that laughter that was so prevalent in the years past. My wish for him is that he discovers that he has always been wonderful.

My next step is the move to Leicester. There are still so many things to take care of before it happens, but I think it will be just fine. After all, the next big adventure awaits, right?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

More preparations

Sometimes it feels as if the whole world turned upside down and I'm still hanging onto the roots. Then it rights itself and I'm still up in the leaves. Even so, progress is being made.

I posted recently on Morrigan's Nest (Hesitations) and not long afterward, a friend posted about Arrows. You might look at these and wonder what they have to do with each other, but I found myself ready to move forward and chafing under the need to hold still, to be pulled back until the string is truly taut enough to send me straight and true to my goal. But I know that the preparation is a crucial necessity before I let go. and so, I keep on preparing. For Brianna's move, for my move (the first one alone since I was 17), for the fund-raising event, for Tour de Sock, for everything. 

Another friend reminded me that it's important to also be in the moment. That is something that I'd been getting pretty good at, then it sort of fell by the wayside with all the other things going on. And so, I create spaces of time throughout the day where I just focus on the day. What I'm doing and what I'm thinking. And I remind myself that the time I have at this moment, during these changes, is all the time I have.

I hope you are all doing well and remembering to focus on your present moments.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Afraid? Okay, sure...

I watched the video this morning of Walter Scott's death. I'm sure most of you have already seen it, but I tend to avoid these videos because they bring me down so much. I cannot even begin to express how my heart breaks for his family (and all the families of people wrongfully killed). I am also sad for all the police who are really good people and got into that career as a way of making a difference in the world because they are lumped in with the "bad cops" perception.

One thought that keeps running through my head, though... due to some of the things that have happened in my life, I have a tiny undercurrent of being afraid for my safety every day. Yes, I said every day. It doesn't matter if I'm going to the grocery store, heading out to work, or even staying at home. It's always there. Now, please keep in mind, that the fear doesn't reach the point where I feel it necessary to carry my pistol with me every waking moment, nor does it stop me from being polite and even friendly to people I come across throughout the day. But it does keep me in a state of awareness of those around me and how my actions could be perceived by others.

Why am I saying this? Because when someone says that they feared for their life in a situation where a guy is clearly in no way being threatening to them, it pisses me off. An unarmed person can be a threat, I recognize this all too well, but the guy was complying until he started to run away. How is your life being threatened by someone who is several yards away from you and still running? The guy who filmed the whole thing said that he was afraid and, in my opinion, is rightfully so. But the guy with the gun? With the bullet-proof vest? With authority on his side? No, I just don't see how you can honestly say that you feared for your life.

Now, does my opinion change anything in this world? Nope, not one bit. And I know that I have a lot of the 'white privilege" that many have spoken about. I also know that I'm not comfortable being quiet about these things, even if my voice doesn't help to make things better.