Tuesday, October 21, 2014

2 Months ago today

Two months ago today I left Mississippi to move to Reno.  I drove in the car for 4 days straight with just my kitty cats and my music and my audiobooks...and I made it here and have grown so much in the past two months that I hardly recognize myself from who I was back then.

I'm so much more confident.  I know that I can manage things and do them and even if I don't like them getting them done is so much better than not.  I am fearful sometimes, but that's not lack of confidence, it's more lack of planning or strategies.

I'm so much more grateful.  I know that I have things in my life that are wonderful.  Even though I've been mostly alone for the past 2 months, I've been able to read, and weave, and knit, and crochet and see amazing sunsets and play with beautiful yarn and meet some pretty amazing people.

And you know who one of those people I've met is?


Surprising isn't it?

I'm funny and smart and kind and really a pretty neat person to be around.  I'm talented and creative and fun.  I make people laugh and I really do not care about whether things are perfect or not (this surprises me...).

I really like myself, and that's a pretty cool thing to accomplish.  44 years, 2 months, ever.  However you manage it, finding yourself, loving yourself...it's the pathway.  To wherever you want to go.


Today's pictures are a set...and a progression in the act of vulnerability.  I present to you Pearl's Belly.

Friday, October 17, 2014

What's Friday for the rest of you...

...is "Tuesday" for me.  I started my work week yesterday and will work through Monday.  I don't mind, really, but it IS a tad odd being so off of the rest of the world's schedule.

In some ways it's good, though.  Like going to the grocery store, or taking time on my days off to do things like get driver's license or mail stuff.

Mind you I still haven't gotten my driver's license, but I'm going to some day...not likely this Tuesday as I already have overcommitted, and next week I'm going to Mississippi for three days so it won't happen then, so maybe I'll do it for my birthday in November. that sounds good doesn't it?

I had the opportunity to work in retail today and found it to be wonderful.  There's a retreat going on in Tahoe this weekend and many of the ladies made a pilgrimage to Jimmy Beans to shop in the "real store" and then, if they were lucky, take a tour of the warehouse.  I just love it when people walk in the warehouse.  They always look up, then look out, then say "wow."



One of the really amazing things about living alone is that there aren't any rules of common behavior.  For instance, if I want to drink wine out of coffee cup who's to tell me that it's not ok.  No one because I've decided that it's totally ok to drink wine out of a coffee cup.

And then one day I found this coffee cup on line and it arrived in the mail at the same exact time as my 2 skeins of yarn club yarn.  What a happy day that was...sometime last week.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A spectacular sunset...and retrospective

Tonight I went outside for the sunset.  I sat on the curb at the edge of our parking lot and just allowed myself to be mesmerized.

It was truly beautiful.  Not as stunning as the sunset yesterday which looked like the clouds erupted from the mountain and were flowing over my head, but still...that gorgeous glow in the middle was red red.

Takes my breath away.

And makes me realize that I've come a long long way in the 3 months since the "bomb dropped" and my world shattered.

I found beauty...remember that it was my path to healing... and it comes to me for free every day.

And you know what?  Within beauty resides love.  Or maybe within love resides beauty.

I can't help but see this beauty and love what I've become.  Love who I have always been.  Love what decisions I've made and the mistakes I've made.  My imperfections, flaws, inconsistencies...those are beautiful and lovable too.

I can't help but see this beauty and be thankful that I'm ABLE to see the beauty.  That I didn't let myself get poisoned and drug under by the dark (it was there, it was calling to me, and I told it to go the hell away).

I can't help but see this beauty and not be calm and know that I'm on the right path and that I just need to trust.

I won't worry about tomorrow, but I WILL make a date with myself to get out and see the sunset at 6:15 because that, my friends, is the greatest show on earth.

Saturday, October 11, 2014


That's about how many steps I took today.  I'm exhausted.

But this was the sunrise that I saw when I went into the retail store to pick up something.  What a special treat.

Now, I'm off to knit some more on that gorgeous shawl.  And fall asleep fairly soon even though it's only 7:30 because...that's how I roll these days.

Friday, October 10, 2014


It's fine and good to think about how to improve your life or your situation or whatever needs improving, but until you take action it's just potential...and while potential can be good, results are better.

Today I put into action some of the things I'm learning about functioning healthily...primarily I reminded myself on a very regular basis that I really love my job and I love talking to people on the phone AND I enjoy moving around all day.  I reminded myself also that I'm only one person and I can't answer the phone AND pull yarn out of a box.  I reminded myself when I messed up something that I'm still learning...and that there are complicated processes and when I forget a step and someone tells me they're just letting me know...not criticizing me.  Apologizing for making a mistake doesn't need to happen.  Just put it into my head what I didn't do correctly and fix it for next time.

And you know what?  I had an awesome day.  One lady from Oklahoma who I talked to last week about the French Can Can shawl called to ask about something else, and that was cool because she was excited to talk to me...we shared progress on our shawls.  Another sent an email saying that she really enjoyed my assistance picking out her colors for the Kaffe Fasset MKAL (and oh my I can't wait to see these come to life!)...and in between all these wonderful kudos, I got to handle yarn, help people make decisions about the next projects they want to do, talk to my coworkers and walk almost 5 miles.

It was a glorious day...and now I'm home, weaving and knitting and playing with the kitties.

I really do truly believe this place is magical!


Today's picture is of that French Can Can shawl.  I started the border last night and would have kept going but darn if I wasn't tired.  I'm off to it right now.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Today I went for a walk, shopped, and cooked

It may sound trivial, going for a walk, shopping and cooking.  It's what people all over the world do everyday, but it felt amazing to go for a walk, go shopping and cook some soup (the rest of it will be cooked in a bit...some chicken with brussel sprouts and butternut squash (couldn't find pre-chopped sweet potatoes and I don't have a proper knife for cutting something as significant as a sweet potato)....and maybe some strawberry pasta for a treat if I feel like it...which I think I probably will.

The walk...let me tell you about the walk.  Hidden Valley Regional Park is just down the street from my work and I pass the sign for it on a regular basis, so I decided this morning that I was going to get up and go, so I did.  I didn't go on any major hike because I don't have proper boots, and in the lot where I parked there was  a ranger showing off a "pet" rattle snake...I got the message and stayed in the well-tended areas.  I sat on a boulder and stared out into the mountains.  It's just so gorgeous here.

The little white buildings in the middle of the picture are downtown Reno.  I live just off of the picture on the right side--or to the north.  It's just so gorgeous.  I love all the blues in the sky out here.  It reminds me of that scene in Girl with a Pearl Earring where she's asked to describe the clouds and the painter says, "no, really describe all the colors you see" and it isn't just grey but white and blue and green and gold.  that's the sky here.  I think this picture does such a good job of showing how it is really ombre...from pale pale blue to deep...it really does look like that.  It's magical.

I'm so overcome everytime I look at the sky here.  I have never been one to cry easily but I do now...I know it's all the turmoil I've been through, all the loss, all the change and just overwhelming differences.  And today I could see that some of them (those changes and differences) are good and I'm going to sparkle out here.

And that's pretty magical, too.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


Once you're all tied on it's time to start weaving.  The process of weaving involves throwing the shuttle back and forth and beating the weft into place.  It requires tightening of the warp threads and stamina.  You "tromp" a treadle to lift the shed in a pattern.  In the process the weft threads go under some threads and over other threads and once beat into place create a solid cloth with durability and beauty.

There are so many places to go with the weaving analogy, but today I'm going to focus on beating and tightening because that's where I am...maybe tomorrow I'll dig a little deeper.

The process of "beating" the weft sounds so violent, but it really isn't.  You don't beat hard because if you do you'll end up with a really tight fabric that won't be good for much--maybe a rug, but that's debatable.  You can actually "beat" really softly and create light diaphanous fabric...something that has more air to it than heft.  I like to do this with scarves. I challenge myself to beat softly and evenly and see if I can do it...create beauty and structure.

I'm trying to do that with my life right now.  I'm beating all the pieces into place...not violently but in order to create structure.  I'm not beating hard as that would mean there would be places that wouldn't look right, that would feel uncomfortable and wouldn't function properly in the finished me.  So, I'm being gentle but even and working on getting something that has structure and boundaries and beauty in the end.

And tightening the warp...well...without a tight warp your end woven fabric would look shabby at best and may not work at all if it's truly awful.  The warp has to be retensioned every several beats early in a project.  This takes out the looseness that inevitably happens when you're winding on and creates a fabric that is even throughout the entire length.  It's important to keep retensioning even when you feel like you've over tightened already.  You don't want to go crazy and break the warp threads, but if you pay attention, the fabric will tell you what's tight enough and you'll get a fabric that is even throughout and truly wonderful.

In my life I liken this retensioning the warp to holding myself responsible.  For all things--taking care of myself, being vulnerable, learning this process of being healthy (mentally and physically), going easy on myself (not tightening too much and breaking my threads!), but also trying to maintain some structure underneath that will look good throughout the whole length of me--staying true to myself in other words.

The warp threads of our life are the ones that we have throughout the whole part of being us.  They're the ones that make up our core values and if we take care of them, keep them lined up, properly tensioned and carefully tended, we'll create a fabric that will be recognizable throughout despite different weft threads we weave in.  And the beauty that is us is truly unique because of it.