Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Innocence lost

This is not a happy, cheerful post. But it's true.

Somewhere during our evening of watching Netflix, eating dinner, and doing our evening chores, the words came out, "I think that X stole my childhood." Now, "X" is a person who was in our lives for a long time. I won't tell their name because it doesn't matter. But the story matters. It matters to me and to my children. Because, after hearing about the things that happened, I can't help but agree. Days when I was at work for hours and the person was supposed to be "dad" to my kids ended up being days when my kids fended for themselves and got yelled at for making too much noise. Days when my children were supposed to feel safe in their home they were, instead, grabbed by the ear and dragged down the hallway to pick up a candy wrapper. When my kids enjoyed a walk home from school that included laughter and running around, they were shamed with a photograph because their coats weren't buttoned up. The person who was supposed to care for them each day while I worked to pay the bills secluded themselves in a room and played Freecell until it was nearly time for me to get home.

Some of you might wonder why I put up with it. Why I stayed for so long. Now, after time to think and to reflect on the past, I wonder that, too. Part of it was that I felt obligated to stay while they worked through their issues. Part of me didn't feel it was right to leave someone who didn't seem to be able take care of themselves. And a big part of me held onto hope that things were going to get better.

They did. And didn't.

After a while, my kids gave up hope of having someone to be their Dad. Sure, this person gave them advice and was a good sounding board when there was trouble, but there was little emotional support. My kids thought that they weren't supposed to cause trouble in the household so they stayed quiet about how they felt. At some of these times I was working full-time and going to school full-time. At other points I was working two jobs and rarely got to see my kids, but I trusted that they were being well taken care of. At other points I was working from 4:30 am to 7-8:00pm. My kids thought that I had enough to deal with and didn't want to bother me.

Why am I bringing this up now? Because of the words that my daughter said to me on a quiet Monday evening. They cut me deeply because I knew that they were true. The joyful laughter that once filled their childhood had faded just as clearly as the colors in winter. The surety that they once had in the world around them turned into cynicism and anger. And I was there and did nothing about it.

Yes, my hours were crazy sometimes, but in reality, I should have noticed a lot sooner. And now I can only apologize for the loss of childhood innocence that they now feel. I could keep going with what I "should have" done, but it will do no good now. Instead, I will keep doing my best to let them know that I didn't mean for that to happen. And to let them know that I love them with all of my heart. And I hope that they will rise above this and be better people than the other adults in their lives.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

10 Questions answered

I love reading my friend's blog be.love.love since I find her writing very inspirational. Well, I checked it out this morning and she posted 10 questions that she had read from her love's blog who had gotten 10 questions from her cousin's blog (this is starting to sound a little like the house that Jack built). I decided to continue the fun a little further and added some questions of my own at the end for you to answer and share.

I think this is a fun way for you to get to know me a little better and, I hope, to get to know you better, too.

1. What moment from your life always makes you smile when you remember it?
There are several moments that I can think of and most of them revolve around my children. As a child there were more pleasant memories during the time that we lived in Tennessee than just about any other time in my life. Running around the yard with Maggie, the kid that was born on Mother's Day and had to be bottle-fed in the house; rolling down the hill in the front yard with my siblings; watching the rain sheeting across the windows. As an adult, not counting the moments with my children, there were several, too: the morning I watched the morning break as I sat on a beach in Mexico; a quiet night in my first apartment when my children slept upstairs and I lay on the living room floor just listening to music; the moment my idea of traveling grew from just a spark in my heart and became a plan in my head.
2. What are three words to describe who you are (not what you do)?
Only three? Spiritual, intelligent, happy. There are a lot of other things, too, but the question only calls for three.
3. What movie or tv-series could you watch over + over?
Lord of the Rings. My family used to watch it each year, but there were times when I'd watch the trilogy alone at other times. I can't think of any TV show that really held my interest enough to watch again and again.
4. What song would be the soundtrack to your life?
Throughout most of my life there has been an overriding theme and I think that Carole King's "A Quiet Place to Live" pretty much sums it all up.
5. Who is the most memorable/interesting person that you have met in 2014, and why?
I haven't met very many people this year and most of the interesting people that I have met in Asheville were actually from last year when we first arrived or shortly afterward. I think I would have to say it was my neighbors. When I first arrived at the new address, this lovely young couple greeted me, welcomed me to the neighborhood and showed genuine interest in the things that I did, some of the knowledge I had, and pretty much made me feel very welcome. They have since moved, but I will always remember them fondly.
6. You’ve been given a month to travel! Where are you going to go?
I would head to Scotland and England, make a stop in Isle of Man, then end up in Ireland. For Scotland, I would like to wander around the country for a little bit. Not the cities, but the areas where few people visit. In England I would visit the Glastonbury Tor and a few other places. Isle of Man is where one of my friends lives and I would love to see her and her family. And last, Ireland. Here, too, I would like to visit the places few people visit.
7. What websites do you visit every day?
Ravelry, Facebook, Tso.co, some of the blogs I follow, and Weather Underground.
8. What is your nighttime routine?
After shutting off the computer I check the doors and windows (not as often in the winter since we don't open them) and make sure all the blinds are closed. I'll get a glass of water, set up the French Press and refill the water jug. Brushing my teeth comes next along with the usual bathroom stuff, then I hug Brianna good night, tell Aurora that it's time for bed (yes, this is necessary since she "loses" me if she doesn't see me leave the room), and I turn off the lights. Once I'm in my bed I will sit with my back against the wall and listen to a meditative track while I practice conscious breathing. I find that I tend to sleep more soundly when I do this. Once the track is finished, I sleep.
9. What is your favorite space in your home? Describe it!
My favorite space is my bedroom. Since I moved my desk to the living room, my room has become a sanctuary of sorts. The only electronics I have in there is my iPod since it has music on it, but I don't connect to the internet in there anymore. I have a water mister in the corner, potted plants by the window, several candles and crystals places around the room, and my bookshelf. I can look out the windows to the trees in the back and, during warm weather, I can sit there and listen to the birds singing to each other.
10. What are you longing for?
I am longing for the time when I am able to climb into my motor home and drive to the next town. And the next. I know that it will not be an easy thing running the business while living in such a small space. Nor will it be easy to stay on a very strict budget while doing so (coffee with knitting friends will be written into the budget!), and I think there will be times when I might find myself lonely. But over all, I think it will be a wonderful experience and I'm hoping to share it with everyone through my blog.
 And now my questions to you, if you should choose to do this. You can share your answers on any page you would like. Your blog, your Facebook or other social media I look forward to seeing what you post.

  1. What is your favorite time of the day and why?
  2. What foods really feed your soul?
  3. When did you feel most comfortable in your own skin?
  4. What is your favorite childhood memory?
  5. When did you last have a hearty laugh and what was it from?
  6. What is your favorite scent or fragrance and why?
  7. What is one of your greatest passions?
  8. What pets do you have?
  9. Describe your dream vacation.
  10. If you could step back into another time in history, when would it be and why?
Have fun!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Colder mornings

What a beautiful morning! Yesterday, too. Both mornings I headed out to work and saw fog settling on the mountain. Even though it was pretty cold and the leaves are falling off the trees, I thought it was a wonderful way to start my day. This morning I headed out while the temperature was hovering around 22F and the car was still shivery. But I was wrapped well in my sweater & coat with a hand-knitted shawl tucked around me (this one was a gift from Kelsey Leib, a really cool artist). There was a soft grey haze over everything and I knew that I would find a delicate frost over everything if I got out of the car for a little bit.

I can't help but laugh at how I learned about layering my clothes, not as a child (because I didn't really live in cold places for most of it), but as an adult during my second winter in Ohio. It's one of those lessons that I'll probably use for the rest of my life, including when I'm on the road.

December 14, 2013
I have the house to myself this weekend and I'm looking forward to getting a lot done for the shops. A new shipment of yarn arrived late yesterday evening and I plan to get quite a bit of it dyed up with some really awesome colors running around my head as well as finish up another Krydda kit (you can check out the details on the KAL on Ravelry or Facebook) that didn't quite turn out the way I wanted. For The Raven's Cauldron, I'll be continuing some embroidery, a few more candles, and I've got a great idea for a Tarot wrap. I'm guessing that someone already created a pattern for it, so I'll look around first to see what I find. I will also be writing more in my story On The Wind. I haven't written much over the last few days and I'm looking forward to getting back to it. Also, I'm hoping to get another post written about my take on the Chakras and their animal correlations. If you're interested in the first one, take a look at The Raven's Cauldron blog.

And somewhere in the midst of all of that, I'm also hoping to watch a movie and relax while knitting. I do hope that you all have a wonderful weekend and are finding a lot of reasons to smile today.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Meditations and embroidery

As the sun rose this morning and I finished getting ready for work I looked over at the comforter draped over the ironing board. The thought crossed my mind that it will soon be filled with more decorative embroidery and I'll have a very unique bedspread. That led me to think about the lack of decorations in my life over the last several years.

Many years ago I added some sort of adornment to all I had. Radio, mirrors, picture frames, washing machine... and I painted my clothing, added embellishments to the plants and the kids clothes, tie-dyed almost anything I could fit into the sink. There was color and uniqueness in all that I had. Over the years, as I tried to "tone it down" and be less "garish", I stopped doing these things. Now, understand that I don't blame the person who said those things, but with every harsh word and every raised eyebrow at my flamboyance, I felt a little more diminished. Now, of course, I think that I should have fought back more. But that's not quite it, either. After all, that person wasn't specifically asking that I change, I only felt that they disapproved of what I did.

Now that part of my life is behind me and I can look toward the future. Each day we are given the opportunity to be who we want to be. Me? I want to have decorated things. I want my clothing to be a little more flamboyant than they have been. I want to paint the world with my own creations and the creations of others. And so, I will keep decorating the things that I have.

A good friend of mine was helping me with this design. You see, I wanted to show the Chakra colors, but I wanted more than just the usual emblems. While I was meditating the other day, several creatures came to mind along with their symbolic connection to the Chakras. This is what resulted from the meditation, talking with my friend, and some research:

Raven: messenger of the spirit world, magick, shape-shifting, creation, mysticism, change in consciousness
Crown Chakra: higher intuition, channeling, and the connection with Divine Consciousness

Owl: wisdom, intuition, see beyond the veil of deception, hidden potential, seeing beyond masks Third Eye Chakra: ability to see the unseen, hear what is not being said, the place of intuition, knowing, and dreaming.

Wolf: sharp intelligence, deep connection with instincts, true expression of yourself, sharing of greater truths
Throat Chakra: ability to communicate and express ourselves, the way we express ourselves in the world

Deer: grace, gentleness, innocence, trust, love, compassion, serenity
Heart Chakra: where our true self resides, the love that we are, loving oneself, loving the world around us.

Cougar: leadership, power, intention, responsibility, coming into your power
Solar Plexus Chakra: personal power, self-confidence, mental clarity, and the ability to shine our light

Horse: sexual energy, driving force, appetite for life, vitality, balance of work and pleasure, birth and death
Sacral Chakra: reproduction and creativity, awareness of appetites, fertility, creation

Bear: strength confidence, grounding forces, healing, abundance
Root Chakra: grounding, strength, courage, stability, survival, abundance

I know that some of you might not feel these correlations are accurate, and I'd love to hear your take on it all. Others might look at this and just think that I've lost my mind.That's okay, sometimes I think I have, too.

I hope you all have a fabulous day!

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Happy Saturday

This morning I woke a bit before 5am and really felt alive. I am so grateful that I've finally recovered enough to wake that way. I know that I still need to take extra good care of myself, but it is wonderful to see the progress.

Raven still in the hoop.
Yesterday I was meditating (I try to do that before getting up for the day) and I got this really cool idea for a banner. I'm not going to go into full explanation yet since I'm still working out the details, but it's essentially various animals that have special meaning. Since I don't want to use up any fabric while I'm getting it all figured out, I decided to put the designs on my comforter. So far, I'm liking what I see. The first block is a Raven and right now the Owl is nearly finished. I don't know that I'll get all seven animals onto the comforter before I go to bed tonight, but I'll certainly have a good start.

As I finish up some more items for the new shop (while the dye pot is steaming in the kitchen), I can't help bit think about how my life has changed from last year to this. Even with some of the more challenging parts, I feel that life has really begun to glow more. And this time the glow isn't because of my kids (as it has been for so long), it's just because of how wonderful life is. I have some pretty fantastic friends who really know how to make me smile. My kids are fabulous. My good health is increasing. And the sun is shining.

I have so much more to share but, I also have so much to do. I truly hope you are all having a wonder-filled day!

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Novels and night times

I started my story over again. I had debated with myself about whether to try a different one or just totally restart the old one, I've decided to start the old one again since the amount of research needed for the new one is not something I'm ready to tackle at this moment. It's interesting to see the difference in the writing style from last year to now . Last year I was in the middle of trying to keep my life from falling apart and the words I wrote then have a forced cheerfulness to them. I had hoped that editing the novel would make it a little less... strained... but after looking it over, I decided that it needed a new start.

So, new year, new novel (same story), and a new title. While I am still the Hippie's Daughter, it's not all of who I am. The story isn't focused on my mother, but it does include the way that she influenced so much of my life. On the Wind has begun! I have a lot to catch up since I didn't start until yesterday , but I think I can do it this time. After all, I'm not under nearly as much stress or strain as a year ago.

For those of you who don't know; I had bacterial pneumonia a year ago. It was pretty bad and was compounded with my heart issue (mitral valve is a little wonky), the stress of not finding a job, and the feeling that my relationship was falling to pieces. But this year? I have a job that pays the rent, I'm about to open a new shop, the current shop is doing well, and I'm happily single. 

In other news, I am now the proud owner of Morrigan's Nest and The Raven's Cauldron (not yet built, but the domain is mine). The Nest is for the preparations for getting myself onto the road while The Cauldron will be updates and such for the new shop. Great things are coming up! Granted, the motor home won't be for a couple years, but I'm really looking forward to meeting with people.

We had snow over the weekend and it was beautiful. Brianna's hibiscus "tree" still had blooms on it and I was able to get a picture of one with snow. Now that the flowers in the same pot have pretty much died off from the cold, I will be able to bring it indoors for the winter. I think it will be nice to transplant the other plants I have into the same pot so that they take up far less room and, if it goes well, I'll be able to bring the whole thing with me when I head out. In the meantime, I'm happy for the cooler weather since it means that I get to wear more of my hand-knits.

Our neighbor knocked on the door last night to let us know that the "neighborhood bear" was making his rounds through the yards. I was pretty excited about it and grabbed a sweatshirt to stand out there in the hopes of a glimpse. Sadly, he didn't come back, but it was nice standing out there and chatting with the neighbor anyway. The moon was bright enough to light everything up and it reminded me of other times when I stood outside with only its light to see by. For the first time in a while, I wasn't saddened by those thoughts. Instead, I was happy for the moment, for the possible bear sighting, for the peace I felt.

I hope you all are having a wonder-filled day!