Monday, October 26, 2015

One Year Ago; 4 Months Ago; Joy and Happiness

So, one year ago tomorrow I will have been "officially" divorced for 1 year.  While the date will always be in my head (dates do that...they stay there), I don't feel sad or regret or hurt or anything really.  Just another day with a slightly significant meaning.  A measuring point if you will.  Last year:


  • I was still very confused alone and scared
  • I hadn't faced the worst of my demons
  • I hadn't discovered, truly, what a wonderful person I am
  • I was getting by day by day (sometimes moment by moment)
  • I was just waking up to discover that I love life and that things are truly beautiful and wonderful.
This year:

  • I feel strong and capable
  • I feel very much a part of a group of people
  • I have found love again
  • I look forward to a future of joy and happiness.
I stop every now and then and think about the really big conversations that David and I had before we separated.  I kept pointing out that I didn't feel that we were embracing life, that we weren't happy.  That we didn't find joy in moments and didn't appreciate who we were individually as well as as a couple.

So the fact that I can see a future of joy and happiness, well, that's pretty wonderful and makes me so proud and content.  I appreciate who I am individually  I appreciate who Bill is individually.. I am learning to appreciate who Bill and I are as a couple (we're still very new together and that appreciation happens at funny times and moments...it's very special).

Tomorrow marks 4 months since we went on our first date.  That amazes me in so many ways.  I feel so complete in this relationship that I can hardly believe it's really only been 4 months--hasn't it been a lifetime?  And that makes me happy.  And then there's the moment of realizing that it's ONLY been 4 months and that means that there are so many more months to come.  And that makes me happy.

Joy and Happiness...those were the two things I wanted so much in my "past life."  I didn't realize they weren't attainable in those circumstances.  Too much was out of whack.  Too much had to be "righted" to make it happen.Too much had to change..

What I see in my current life is a level of stability I've never really experienced before.  I've worked very hard at naming my needs, of knowing what I want from life, and planning on how to get there. I'm very satisfied with my work.  I have a wonderful group of friends.  It's really amazing what I have accomplished this year.

Joy and Happiness are part of my life and will be.  It's as simple as that.  

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Random thoughts on reading, knitting, watching tv, coloring, being sick

I'm funny when I get sick.  I live in denial until I can't deny it anymore.  Sunday I just felt tired--you know it was because Saturday was an intensely physical day at work (it was, but honestly no more than usual).  I took a nap on Sunday...I never take naps unless I'm sick or getting sick. Clue #1.  Monday I woke up with a very very sore throat.  I took a look at it in the mirror...it wasn't terribly swollen or red, no need to go to dr.  Folks at work had had a cold recently.  Probably nothing major. I was fighting it off.

Still I was super tired.  Went to grocery store and then came home and took a new allergy pill--because that's what the sore throat was about...allergies.  Then I took another nap and by bedtime admitted that I was getting sick.

I didn't got to work yesterday.  In fact, I didn't do much but sit on the couch and try to breathe.  Being sick sucks big-time.  (and yes I took another nap yesterday).

I didn't go to work today, but I am feeling MUCH better...hopefully the last of this little bug is gone and Bill won't catch it

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I decided to put away the book I wasn't enjoying overly much and start a new one by an author who I know I love...and I love it.  It's so wonderful and good and it feels really right to be reading.

----

Apparently when I'm sick I want to start projects.  In the process of finding room for all of Bill's things in this tiny apartment I discovered the project bag with my mom's Mother's Day gift that wasn't and never will be finished.  I hated knitting with the yarn, though I love the yarn, but I couldn't bear to rip it out at the time.  I ripped it out yesterday.  I started crocheting with it.  It's lovely crocheted.  Lighter than air.  soft and so beautiful.  I'm so glad I ripped that out.

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Fraternal socks are so cool.  I'm almost finished with my white/grey pair and went through all of my sock scraps and pulled out the ones that have enough weight to make more fraternal pairs.  Deciding on the patterns will be the toughest part.  Maybe.

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I've been watching TV with Bill.  Just watching.  Not knitting, not playing games and kind of paying attention to the TV.  Actually watching shows and enjoying just hanging out.  I know you'll probably find this weird,but I don't think I've ever done that before.  Just sat and watched and enjoyed being entertained.

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Last year before the bomb dropped I got really into "adult coloring books."   The only one I had at the time was the Secret Garden and it was just divine.  I think I've shared a couple of finished projects.

Since then adult coloring has taken on a pretty big place in the world.  I see ads on Facebook about the serenity gained when coloring.  I love it because of that very reason.  It calms by brain and body and allows me to see little bits of things and how they fill into the big whole. Plus I get to finish something really pretty in the end.

I got the Enchanted Forest (same artist as Secret Garden) in the mail last week. I want to color them all right now.  But of course I picked out the most most complicated (2 dragons surrounded by a gated entrance) which is 8 pages total coloring...right before I got sick.  It's a bit daunting to me today.  But I think this lovely offers some sollace...and I'll lovely working on another one like her, or maybe the Christmas trees that just came it...that could be fun too...


Monday, October 19, 2015

Slowly coming back together

The past couple of months has seen me really scattered.  I'm blowing with the wind, doing what I want, loving life...loving...just being happy.

Work is still going well, Bill is going great.  The kitties are happy. I'm happy.

What more can be said.

But I am starting to slowly settle.  I feel the pieces of me coming back together and getting in the right places.  I feel confident and comfortable.

Happy.

I've even started reading a book--only a couple of chapters so far and I decided I didn't like it so I'm going to move on because I've learned to trust my instincts on things.

And I've also needed a bit of a knitting challenge...don't get me wrong, garter stitch is amazing, but something to dig my teeth into, knit and think and count and look at the beauty of as it comes together.  Now THAT is pretty cool...

First sock of a fraternal pair (I'm using the same pattern, but different colors of yarn):

The color is more true in the last picture though it is a bit washed out by the flash.

Pattern: Crocus Vernus Socks from Knitter's Curiosity Cabinet.  (I've decided I'm knitting my way through all of Hammerstien's books).

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Hard at work

I went to therapy today.  I've been going to therapy almost every week for the past year and a few months.  Since David left.  Since I discovered that finding myself and becoming strong were really important things for the remainder of my life.

I've worked very hard at it...this self-discovery.  This learning to take care of myself business.  This...how do I say it...establishing and enforcing my boundaries.

I slip every now and then.  Just last week (on Monday) I had a really rough day.  A day where I faced lots of fears.  Wondering what the heck I'm doing, what have I been doing, what business do I have doing the things that I am doing.

Was I crazy to move all the way to Nevada?  What prompted that?  (other than the obvious).

Why did I leave a field of work that I knew and was comfortable with?

Why did I go so far away from my known support network of family and friends?

Why did I decide to start dating when things were going really well for "just me"?

What the heck was I doing deciding to be in a committed relationship with another person?

How on earth was I going to recover if/when things went south with any of these decisions I'd made?

So, I cried, and I panicked (a lot actually) and I thought and I faced those fears and I realized a few things.

1.  Every decision that I've made has been made for a reason and I'm following through (maybe muddling through) to the best of my ability.
2.  Facing the fears for what they are (fears, nothing more) is strengthening.
3.  And my guy is a really wonderful guy...and that's a really wonderful thing to have.

I eventually calmed down last week.  I managed to gain some stability though I felt rather weak and fragile for a few days.  But I knew, deep in my soul, this soul that has been working hard to get healthy, that I'm in a good place, just where I need to be, and that everything will work out as it should.

Because, when you have those fears, those panic moments.  The thing you do is feel it, give it its head, then say "what's the worst that can happen" and "how will I deal with the worst when it happens"...

All the work that I've done this year has led me to this moment.  This moment when I could face the awful and realize that if it did happen (whatever the awful might be) I'll feel sad, I'll be hurt, but I'll get up and move on because I know how.

How's that for empowerment?


Monday, October 12, 2015

Genius

One of the many benefits of working for a yarn store is being in the midst of genius.  I work very closely with one of those geniuses on a daily basis--Rachel Unraveled.

I just finished the Ripple Effect Shawl and I have to tell you that the design, the pattern, everything about it is pure genius.  I started in 9/21 and realized pretty quickly that I was reading the pattern wrong, so I started over...then couldn't stop until I was finished knitting it.  I'm going to go block it here in a few minutes.  It's gorgeous, the yarn I chose was perfect.  I loved the knitting of it, and I highly recommend you go buy this pattern and some  yarn and make yourself happy  basking in the pure genius of it all.






Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Grammar Lessons

So, this morning as I was slowly waking up and making myself cogent enough to go to work...I had a thought...a thought about grammar and sentence construction and how something as simple as a conjunction and a little bit of punctuation can completely change the meaning of...well...everything.

Back in grad school we called this rhetorical grammar.  I thought it was an amazingly powerful thing and taught it to all of my freshmen too...because we really should think about the power of our words and how we construct them and what meanings they convey to others.

So, the profound thought went like this:

The old me felt that "I am special because someone loves me."
The new me feels that "I am special; therefore, someone loves me."

Because.  Therefore.  Two simple words, to seemingly simple sentences, but oh, the differences that they make in not only the meaning but how I feel about my life and relationships.

So, let's discuss because first.  Because is an important word. It conveys a causal relationship, usually the latter bringing about the former.  Not: "I am special"...but I am special because something happens to make me special.  In my former way of thinking I could only be special because someone loved me.  The syntax of that simple sentence (and I'm using that in the literal, grammatical way: simple versus compound) conveys that one can't exist without the other.  The word because in this example is a subordinating conjunction that introduces the clause "someone loves me."  The subordinating function of the word creates an idea that the main sentence can't exist without the clause. While we may be tempted to think of the "because someone loves me" part of the original sentence to be less important (or subordinate) to the meaning, it actually is more important to the meaning of the sentence because it defines exactly how I become special--only in the presence of someone who loves me.

Now, let's move on to therefore.  Therefore is one of my favorite conjunctions.  Again, it conveys motion, causal relationships, but it is different because it is a coordinating conjunction.  Its function in a sentence (the way I've used it, Therefore has multiple meanings and grammatical abilities) is to coordinate.  To make evident that both pieces of the sentence have equal importance.  In this case I'm making a compound sentence but the use of the semi-colon creates a balance, but it also creates a connection.  I could have written.  "I am special.  Therefore, someone loves me." but that would have had a different implication.  The "I am special" part is solitary--standing along.  It means something all by itself because it's contained within its neat grammatical package.  Put that semi-colon in there, though, and the two sentences become merged into one.  Their meaning becomes blended.  They must exist together as a single idea...being special and being loved become harmonious pieces to a whole thought and way of thinking.

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I hope I didn't boggle your mind with my grammar lesson.  It's been very important for me to think through this.  To put into words and the rhetoric of my former and current lives.  To make sense of, though language, something that has been gnawing at my brain for a long time--this past year...this summer in particular.

When I was married I existed through my husband.  He was the defining person of my life and the way I thought and thought about myself.  If he believed something should happen, then I made sure that it happened.  It didn't matter if I liked it or wanted it...it happened because the central driving force of our relationship determined it should be that way.

I was special, until I wasn't.  And that was a hard lesson to work though.  How could I become special ever again? How could I become defined as someone worthy when the one person who defined my specialness no longer thought I was special?  How did I learn to exist beyond what I had been?  How did I become special?

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This lesson has been a hard one to learn.  To understand that I'm special because I am.  And in realizing my worth and power I can open myself up to truly being loved and appreciated.  As hard as it has been to learn, and as hard as it is some days to remember, it is the driving force of my life right now.  It's the reason I could date again.  It's the reason I could pick myself up and redefine who I am and what I do.  It's the reason, plain and simple, that I am happy.

I'm special.

Simple sentence.  Powerful discovery.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Settling in

Things really went wonky in my world after I got back from my big trip (the one to Europe...remember?). I  decided to start dating and darn if that didn't take off in a way I'd never expected.

I'm not complaining...not at all...I'm incredibly happy...I just figured there would be lots of practice along the way before I decided to stick with one person and figure the rest out.

It's good.  And I think we're settling into a routine and pattern of things.  Which I like because I've really missed knitting.

And I haven't been knitting because I've been unsettled.  (again not bad, just not settled).  I've felt antsy and when I do have time I haven't had the focus or ability to "settle" on one project...

...as a result I've started about 15 projects in the past 2 months, finished none, and made precious little progress on those that I did start.  I've run out of knitting needles, tips and cords, and have decided that I'm not buying more because I've let things get out of hand...

So I decided today after I woke up (slept late, it was wonderful) that I was going to finish some things.

First up on the finishing agenda is the Knit Night Shawl I started last week, or the week before, or whenever that was. It's so lovely and the yarn is so pretty (beautifully dyed...just gorgeous)...and there's promise of some nip in the air and it would be wonderful to wear a new shawl to work in a week or so.

Can you believe it's almost September already?  September, for me, is going to be dedicated to settling in.


My picture today is of a lovely sunset a couple of weeks ago. It wasn't one of the brilliant ones where the sky turns neon and the clouds burst with glory. It was just a gentle turning of color, ombre if you will.  The magpies and I settled in to view it and it was wondrous.  Tonight promises to be the same.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Saturday, one year ago

Well, one year ago Saturday I will have worked at Jimmy Beans for one whole year.  In that time I've learned to pull yarn, find yarn, pack yarn, ship yarn, count yarn, talk to customers on the phone, email customers, receive yarn, input yarn into the system, put really cool attributes into our database, conduct different kinds of audits, work with an amazing group of people.

I've met new people, been amazed by customers, felt so welcomed and part of this wonderful family that is Jimmy Beans.

I have found the space and time to look deep into myself and learn who I am and what I want from life.

I've made some wonderful friends.

I've gained some serious levels of confidence.

I'm happy in a way I've never been happy before.

When I look at that scared me that started at Jimmy Beans Saturday one year ago...I see a woman who was afraid of men, afraid to talk to someone, afraid to do much of anything but not having much choice.  A woman who dug in deep and said to herself that she mattered enough to do the hard stuff and get right.  A woman who learned that hardest of lessons (at least for me!) that you can't give of yourself until you truly love yourself and once you truly love yourself, the gifts are endless...and the gifts come back in multiples.

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And something I've done a lot of this past year is start projects.  The latest on my needles is a shawl from Curls using our microbrew called Knit Night (by Sweet Fiber and it's amazing!)


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

So much...

There is so much in my life right now...so much happiness and gladness and contentment.  So much wonder and satisfaction.  So much pride and confidence.  Just so much.

And traveling to a new city with my new "getting out there friend" (we'll go ahead and call him Bill)...well that, too, was so much fun!

We drove to San Francisco on Saturday after I got off work, stopping for a few hands of Apples to Apples with Bill's friends and then drove into SF that night.

The next day we went to the Exploratorium where we built a cool Rue Goldberg marble track:

And then ate at Bubba Gump:

And then we met Ellen!


And let me just pause here and say that this was so cool.  Ellen and I have been following each other's blogs for years.  We know so much about each other and have never met...so it was was SO COOL to meet up with someone who I knew but didn't know.  It was like really old-time friends getting together.  Instant fun and conversation...and yeah, we had a few drinks too and bought some chocolate.

And she and Bill even had lots to talk about seeing that they work in the same industry.  Awesome day.

On Monday we slept late...heavenly...and then went to Golden Gate Park where I got us totally lost but we finally found the Botanical Gardens and saw some really cool plants:


And finally...the whole main reason I wanted to go to SF...to see the Golden Gate Bridge in all its glory.  How amazing!


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So, dear friends...my life is so much right now.  So much of so many wonderful and amazing things that it leaves me in wonder and deeply satisfied.  

Life is very very good.

Monday, August 24, 2015

It's been almost a year and this place is home

I moved into my apartment on August 25th last year.  Arriving in Reno at the tail end of the day on the after what felt like hell driving from Las Vegas...it isn't that long of a drive but it felt like it took the life out of me.

Anyway, I got here on the 25th last year, moved my few possessions into the apartment, did a little shopping for the necessities and crashed on my air mattress.

Then the next day I got all my boxes that had been shipped to JBW and after rolling them up the stairs by myself began the arduous task of unpacking and settling in by myself.

I spent so much time by myself this past year.  I went to work and I came home and I knitted and I wove and I watched TV and I played with the cats and I learned a good deal about who I am and what I like and got the confidence that had been sucked out of me from years in a bad relationship.

I learned that I can and do expect certain things from people...and myself of course.

I learned that I can be very happy by myself.

I learned that I can cook decent food.

I learned that I can drive in big cities without getting nervous.

I learned that I can face my fears and gobble them up and find something on the other side that looks like gorgeousness and happiness and wondrousness.

I learned, and this is a biggie, that I can love again.  That I can make myself vulnerable and precious to another person and trust that they won't hurt me.

And...I've learned that Reno is home.  We went to San Francisco this weekend (pics tomorrow, I promise) and had the best time.  But driving into the outskirts of the city, I knew I was home and it felt good...it only took me a year.

OK...one quick photo of the trip.  The Golden Gate Bridge while driving over it.


Monday, August 17, 2015

Devil is in the details--and thoughts on being happy

I saw the cover photo for the Interweave Crochet Scene and knew that I had to make that sweater.  It's gorgeous.  Lovely...and just the right amount of challenge to be something other than the garter stitch that I've been knitting.

Plus crochet is so much faster than knitting so I knew I'd have this beauty finished in no time flat, relatively speaking.

I picked out my yarn--new color from Shibui called Tango.  Such a rich red and perfect in every way.  Bought it and brought it home.  No second thoughts.

Erika came over that night for "knit night" and I even swatched. Much to my dismay I messed up, but once I realize I'd messed up I was at a point that I knew the pattern and felt confident that my gauge was going to be ok...couldn't measure it because I'd messed up.  It was complicated, so just trust me on this one.  The drape of the fabric was nice...besides I was impatient to get going.

So I ripped out the swatch and started the little shoulder pieces and crocheted it.  Then I started the second shoulder piece, joined the two together and made the front bit.  I was a tad concerned that it was as short as it was but I figured that the lace would block out a bit so I would be ok.

Then as I got to the next bit of instructions I realized that I didn't know which was the right side or the wrong side of the fabric.  This was rather important as I needed to start on the "right shoulder" to start the back bits...but I didn't know which shoulder was the "right" one.

So I brought it in to work and showed it to Erika and she said, "this one's the right side because it's prettier"...no better options available, I marked it and went to work. (work, work, not crochet)

About 30 minutes into work I realized something horrible.

I'd picked out and crocheted with the entirely wrong yarn.  Right color, wrong yarn.  I couldn't believe my mistake so I checked the pattern, then I checked inventory...I'd mis-pulled the yarn.  And I'd even started crocheting with it...spent a lot of time with it actually and never even once realized my mistake.

That is until I was in some Zen moment entering invoices and realized what had happened.

I was heart broken.  What to do???

Initially I decided that since I like the fabric I'd continue with the wrong yarn, but after thinking on it over night I realized that was a terrible error and brought back the wrong yarn, made the appropriate exchange and brought home the right yarn...and today I started crocheting with it.

Man, what a difference the right yarn makes.  I was seriously thinking that that original yarn was awfully futzy.  Now I know...it was and for a reason.

Here's my mistake.  I'm almost to this point with the right yarn.  Pics later...


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At therapy last week I mentioned that I haven't been writing on the blog much and that I think that's pretty telling.  I'm still ridiculously happy with my new man...I'm still ridiculously happy with my job and with life.  It feels like everything is just going along so wonderfully.

And I'm incredibly busy and have had hardly any time to stop and really think about things.  So writing for the blog hasn't been something I've been doing.

I could see it going something like this:

Monday--very happy
Tuesday--still crazy happy
Wednesday--loving life
Thursday--Fun time planned for the weekend

you get the drift.  It's amazing.  I honestly feel like I came through the fire.

Which is pretty interesting considering I wrote this in February:


In the beginning there was me

Me. Alone. Lonely. Shattered.
Humiliated. Unbelieving.

Relieved.

Hopeful.

The passion burned so hot.  It scorched the outer layer that had protected me for so many years and left me naked and exposed.

It burned the falseness away and exposed you for what you are. A hateful cruel man who could only be satisfied with ownership, mastery, control.

The outer layer fertilized and germinated the kernel that is me...the heat broke open the shell.  The light allowed me to shine forth.

The residual heat kept me warm and glowing and allowed my roots to dig deep, hold tight, open up, stretch out.  My leaves reached to the sky and my soul was lifted.

My faith made me strong, kept me going, let me become the me that is here for you.

You. Who sees my soul and are amazed, in wonder, impressed.  The you who nourishes me with your faith. The you who gives me the gift of your love.  The you who notices the me that has come through the fire.

The me that is the beginning.

Me.  Alone.  Together.
Happy. Proud.
Knowing.

Relieved.

Hopeful.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

That place where you go

...when you go somewhere new.

I don't really know how to describe the place that I've gone.

It's so very different than any place I've been before.  It's comfortable and affirming and wonderful.

It's amazing and creative.

It's a place that now that I'm there I never want to leave.

It's a place that has provided a foundation for growth and astounding creativity.

It's a place where patience exists.

It's a place where I'm incredibly happy.  More happy than I knew possible and definitely happier than I've ever been before.

(and you know what's even better???)

I'm here in this amazing place with an amazing person by my side.

A person who has shown me that slowing down is a good thing, and that laughing and playing and being silly are part of life.  A person who has made me feel cherished and special and so very happy to be in the place where I am because I was able to find him.

A person who has taught me what patience really is and what beautiful things can come when that patience is nurtured.

A person who has helped me to understand that being in the moment is a gift. That sometimes all one needs is to be in the moment.

And that, my dear friends, is the place where I've gone.  And where I hope to be for a long time :)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

I can't seem to keep up these days!

I'm about to head out on my next big adventure.  Cross country drive to Texas to see my family as well as to pick up some things that I left at Mom's last summer.  I'm driving out with the girls and back with a childhood friend.  So different than my experience last year which was just me.

Me and only me.

My life has gotten to be one big friendly adventure lately.  Friends at work.  Friends to hang out with.  A "getting out there" friend who keeps me busy most nights and weekends.  Friends to text.  Friends to talk to on the phone.

I feel bad for neglecting my virtual friends.  I love you guys...you've been with me through thick and thin this year and rooted me on and held me up and all the other stuff that I've needed this year.

Thank you.

The things I want to tell you  but just haven't had time:
1.  St. Petersburg was truly an amazing city.  In so many ways.  It was beautiful, the people were friendly and so warm, the weather was gorgeous, the history was shocking and educational...and so so much more.  The blog post I want to write next about SP was how colorful it was.  One day I'll get it out.
2.  I thought I was happy before I started dating.  And truthfully I was happy.  But I'm so much more happy...I didn't think it was possible.  Life is indeed good.
3.  The ups and downs of recovery have been real...and sometimes real hard.  This week I had a therapy session that was "intense."  Things were said and admitted that needed to be said and admitted, but it left me washed up.  Drained.  And off kilter.  Yesterday was a rough day, but I had a good cry and I felt better and today was an awesome day.
4.  I've been at JBW for almost a year now and I still love my job and the people that I work with and the customers and all the other things that go along with working in a large on-line retail yarn store.  I love being the inventory goddess...and I love being in a job where I can laugh and tease and thoroughly enjoy myself every day.  it's truly a gift and a blessing.  I know this because I have lived the opposite of that and to love your work is something spectacular.
5.  I'm not knitting or crocheting like I want to be...something's going to have to give, but choosing what to give is so very very hard :)

And finally the thing that I'm going to tell you about my next adventure.  On Sunday the girls and I are driving to Las Vegas and then the next day we're going to the Grand Canyon and then the next day we're going to Sedona and then the next day we're driving to Amarillo and the next day we're going to go see the Palo Duro Canyon and drive to my mother's.  We're going to stay there a couple of days and hopefully spend some time with my brothers and my mother.  I want to go through the things I left with her and load up my car to bring the things home...mail out what can be mailed.  Send stuff to the girls.

Then a childhood friend is meeting me and we are driving to Amarillo, Flagstaff and Reno.  We'll spend the day in Reno/Tahoe and then she goes home and my real life (which is amazing) starts back up again.

Oh, and one other thing I haven't been able to tell you because I've been so busy getting out there:  I've organized the studio.  I'm ready to weave again.  I have projects lined up (and Kathy since you like bags, keep your eyes peeled!).  That's what's happening when my real life resumes in 2 weeks.

For now I'll leave you with a picture of Pearl "hiding" in the paper at the back of the loom.


Monday, July 20, 2015

The language of letting go

The book of daily meditations I've been reading for the past year is called The Language of Letting Go. It's a codependent's guide to learning to live life, love, accept the uncontrollable and become happy.  Every morning (or most mornings since I'm only in "November" and did start reading it 1 year ago) I read the daily thought and try to think about how it applies to my life and what I can do to focus on that one thing that day.

It's been so amazingly helpful in so many ways:
1.  I know that I can really only focus on improving myself one little bit at a time
2.  I know that it's ok to only focus on improving myself one little bit at a time
3.  Some things take lots of practice and lots of reminders and lots of "getting back to it"...
4.  Being able to see the beauty in the world takes a complete willingness to let go of control...of the NEED to control...and just let me tell you that that is incredibly frightening
5.  Facing my past is necessary for healing and forgiveness...but I don't have to face all days at once.
6.  I'm going to have some days that are better than others...some setbacks if you will
7.  Did I mention that letting go of the need to control, because it's central to getting all the rest of this done.

And as I begin to explore the possibility of a new relationship (yes, it's to that...apparently I just "got out there") I can see how much FUN it is to just BE in the relationship.  I'm laughing and smiling and being silly...and it's amazing.  I've never had this kind of fun before.  It was always so serious, so goal driven, so "purposeful."

I'm still incredibly skittish.  I still have moments when breathing is really difficult.  I have lots of moments when I'm questioning whether what I'm experiencing is really real or just something I want it to be because I want it to be.

Letting go of control.  Letting go of the past.  Letting go of so many things...hatred, fear, barricades.   It is the kind of empowerment that control can never have...control is based on fear and the "lack of" is always out there and threatening.  The letting go creates the opportunity for beauty and love to flourish.

(that platform that I jumped off of last year got just another little higher and a bunch more frightening, but I'm taking a deep breath and seeing just how much stronger my wings are...because let me tell you that the view from up here is definitely breathtaking!)

This is me last year...just a couple of days after David left.  I was on my way to go see the girls and had just gotten my hair done.  Somehow I still managed to smile for my selfie.  You can't see my red eyes behind those cool glasses, but when I look at this picture I see such a lost girl.  One who has no idea what she's about to do but who's ready to do it.  One who somehow, despite all the pain and fear, trusted herself and her higher power to get the work done to make what seemed impossible happen.

And here I am today.  Right this minute as I type this entry, not touched up or filtered.  The me today...she's gorgeous, confident and proud.  She's also scared, skittish and yet still ready to see what other beautiful and amazing things she can experience.

Letting go did not mean losing anything.  I let go and everything that was special and important in my life flourished, most importantly myself.   And the things that I was holding onto that were holding me down.  I don't miss them.  Not one teeny weeny bit.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Amazing

Amazing is light, brightness, bigness, all things beautiful.  Amazing is good, wonderful, loving.  Amazing is powerful.  Amazing is going beyond the normal.  Amazing is being more than what you (or others) thought possible.  Amazing is more than A+.

I couldn't even begin to tell you the number of times people have used that word to describe me in the past year.  Amazing.

The simple fact that someone would use that word to describe me is, in itself, pretty amazing.  It makes me feel...well...amazing.  Strong, capable, unique...and as if I've done something amazing.

It's a wonderful feeling.  Something that makes me very very happy.

Friends have said it, family members have said it...my virtual friends have said it (thanks y'all!)

To hear it from the lips of my "getting out there friend"...well "amazing" doesn't even begin to describe how it made me feel.

Friday, July 3, 2015

I think I've mentioned this before...

...when I play, I play hard.  

I throw myself into the play and have a grand old time.  I laugh and giggle and tell silly jokes.  I crack myself up and laugh some more (because really I GET my sense of humor like no one else).

I abandon myself to the moment.  It's pure joy to play.

Which is why I like to play, and try to play, as much as I possibly can.

Games are fun, talking with people is fun, cracking jokes, being sarcastic...doing things with yarn...it's all fun.  Play.  Joyful abandon.

And I've been playing hard.  

And I'm really unbelievably tired.  

And yet, I have a gorgeous shawl on the needles that I've neglected for "getting out there" play...and tonight that's what I want to do (because my "getting out there" friend is out of town for the weekend).  Sleep...it's not play.  Sleep interferes with play.  One cannot play and sleep at the same time.

So my brain says, "it's no bother, you can sleep in a couple of days.  Today you must play."

It's really bad, this urge to play, to abandon myself to the moment.  To feel all the joy.  I want it all and I want it all right now.

Sleep will definitely come later.

Monday, June 29, 2015

My brain is so full!

Last night my getting out there friend came over for dinner and games.

We played lots of games...dominoes (5 point and chicken foot), Blockus, some card game with words that I can't remember...we talked and showed each other pictures of our travels and family.  We discussed places we should go on a Sunday.

The cats loved him.  Even Zora, who came begging for attention on multiple occasions and only slapped him once and that was provoked...he pushed his luck just a little... (I honestly don't think he "gets it" how special that is! Zora, not immediately hating on somebody...ha!)

Oh, and we watched the beautiful sunset from my balcony...it's really nice watching the sunset with another person.

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And my brain is so full of all of this.  In the interest of chronicling finding the beauty and recovering from a really awful situation and learning to take care of myself...I want to talk about this...this faith in the higher power...this letting go of the need to control.

When I left for my trip I said that I knew this was going to be a journey TO myself.  I would find something while I was there that I didn't know existed about myself.  I found my beauty on that trip.  I found an ability to be comfortable around people and let down my prickly defenses so that others, strangers, could affirm my beauty and interact with me as well.

When I arrived in Zurich and got to my hotel room and was so very very tired, I rested for a bit before going to walk around my neighborhood and to the overlook of the city.  I talked to my HP a bit and told him that I thought I was ready to interact with men on a deeper relationship level, but that I needed to do so safely.  That it was time for me to start looking for those nice guys that were out there...that I'd really appreciate some help in that direction.

SO...at the airport waiting area the next day the MOST BEAUTIFUL man I'd ever seen sat down across from me and I gawked at him because how could I not.  He made eye contact with me and smiled and I smiled back and thought "Ok..HP...let him sit next to me please"...and guess what.  When I got on the plane he was across the aisle from me.  Helped me with my bags, talked to me some, slept some, flirted some, helped me with my bags some more and then we got to the states and he went on the rest of his journey and I went on the rest of mine.  I didn't even get his name.

And I realized that beautiful Swiss man was put there to ease my mind about all of this.  HP has my back.  HP will provide for me what I need when I need it...just the THING that I need and nothing more.

So, as I get back out there and the first date I have is with a super nice guy who totally respects my boundaries, let me set the pace, is polite, smart, funny and plays a mean game of whatever game we're playing...(oh and he doesn't mind (too much) losing.)...well...HP...you're the bomb!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Um, wow...

I had such a good time last night...there's more tonight.  Getting out there was terrifying, but worth it once I got over the terror of it all.

How wonderful is that.

And the heat broke a little today.  We have cloud cover and it just hasn't gotten quite so hot.  This is a good thing.

And today was the first of my weekend.  How great to not only have a day to clean the apartment but to actually feel like it (I was sick the last two weekends!)

And I'm starting a new shawl today.  With Mer-Mama by Fable Fibers.  Imagine When by Joji Locatelli is the design.  Let's all sigh together.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Lies we tell ourselves

(I promise to return to St. Petersburg in a couple of days...but first there are other things to talk about!)

First, we tell ourselves lies all the time.  We try to convince ourselves that we're happy when we're not or that we like things that we don't.  Often we tell ourselves these lies so that we can fit in or survive or get by.

You know the lie I told myself for years?  That I loved the variety of weather that I experienced in the places I lived.  Tornadoes, hurricanes, rocking thunderstorms.  They brought excitement and variety to life.  You were a survivor and it was cool!  That if I lived someplace like California or Hawaii I'd get bored with the weather.  All that sunshine would surely make one crazy right?

SO WRONG.  Lies, I tell you!

Beautiful weather, sunshiny days, blue blue skies?  They make my soul happy.

Plus, I get to see sunsets like this on top of it?  Man, I'm in heaven!

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Other news...I'm about to embark on a big step of recovery. I'm "getting out there" y'all.  I don't want to share too much information about this because I don't know the person well enough to know how they'd feel to know that they might be part of a blog...but I'm getting out there and meeting people and talking to boys...and I'm so excited and nervous and really unbelievably happy.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Bleh

I caught a nasty bugger of a cold and am just now beginning to think clearly.  My voice is gone, though, and if I try to talk too much I start coughing.  So, it's loads of fun being me right now!

I desperately want to get you guys back to St. Petersburg and all the amazing and wonderful experiences that I had there.  But that'll have to wait for tomorrow...because tonight, dear ones, I'm going to bed early and hoping for a full night's sleep.  Because I look like someone punched me right in the eyes, and that's just ain't pretty!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

A year ago today

One year ago today I worked my last day in higher education.  I'd quit a job I was miserable doing to pursue my dream of working in the textile industry.  If you go back and read my posts from June 2014 you'll see that I had no idea what that meant, what exactly I'd be doing, but that I was going to London to have a vacation and then when I got home I'd start figuring things out.

Like so many of life's adventures, I had no idea that the path that opened up to me would open up to me and that I would be able to embrace it and love it and be so amazingly fulfilled doing it.

I've thought of the divorce as so many things.  It was necessary, I see that now.  It was more painful than anything I'd ever experienced.  It was heartbreaking. And honestly, I never saw it coming.

And as I approach the year anniversary of our last days together when we were supposedly celebrating a 25 year life together I can't help but be a bit melancholy...

And yet...

I go to work and I'm more fulfilled than I've ever been before.  I get to work with the nicest people.  I get to help the nicest people buy yarn and make things either for themselves or for someone they care about.

I've even started germinating design ideas in an environment that truly supports that...

And I'm doing all of this in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

The me of one year ago today wouldn't have dared to dream of working at Jimmy Beans Wool.  This me would have been too scared, too stuck.  I would have believed that I couldn't do it because of so many different reasons, so many different excuses...

And yet...

Somehow when my world was ripped in two working at Jimmy Beans Wool was the first targeted thought I had for taking care of myself.

If I ever doubt the presence of a divine spirit guiding my life, I remember that moment when I decided to write that e-mail and I know more than I know anything else that someone out there really wanted me to do this.  To be here.

To learn to love myself and be free and love life.


Monday, June 15, 2015

St. Petersburg was Gilded

And I mean gilded.  Gold leaf (or paint?) EVERYWHERE.  On domes, inside buildings, inside churches.  The more gold the better.

When we went to Catherine's Palace, they told us that the statues on the outside of the palace were gilded.  Today they're painted a golden color (not metallic, though) and the result was not quite right.

Rooms in the palaces were gilded.  Huge urns filled inlaid tables--these urns were made of malachite or amber or jade.  They were amazing.

In Catherine's Palace there was a room made entirely of amber.  Walls, ceiling, art in frames.  It fairly glowed and was so lovely.  The original room was actually "lost" during WWII...the Russians say the Germans took it, I think it was probably destroyed by a bomb (amber doesn't deal well with heat, so if they "hid" it somewhere and it got hot...bye-bye lovely amber room).

The floors were inlaid to match the plastering detail of the ceilings in the Hermitage.  It was amazing to look up, then down, then back up again.

Just a little history about SP.  It was built by Peter the Great because he fell in love with Europe and wanted a capital to impress and compete with those of Europe...so he filled in a swamp, built canals to keep the river waters under control and then built gorgeous over-the-top buildings all over the city.  It looks very European.  Kind of a mix between Paris and Venice to my eye.  But clean (not like Venice) and colorful (not like Paris).

Peter fell in love with Catherine who was a serving girl and ended up marrying her.  They had a daughter Elizabeth.  Elizabeth was betrothed to Louis XIV, but he rejected her eventually because her mama wasn't blue-blooded and Elizabeth never seemed to get over it.  So, she went over the top and created gilded everything that she could.  She added onto palaces, acquired art, built buildings for the art (Catherine helped her out with that, though she did like quieter calmer looking spaces).  The story goes that Elizabeth never wore a dress twice.  Amazing to think about.

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On a personal note, I'm more on a "regular" schedule in that I'm now working Tuesday to Saturday.  It was weird being off yesterday and knowing that most other people were also off...and today, to go to the grocery when no one else was there...kind of cool.

Now, if you have some good suggestions for gluten free sponge cake I'm DYING for some strawberry shortcake.  I bought the strawberries and whipped cream, but NEED the sponge cake.  I may need to make a trip to the GF bakery or to Whole Foods tomorrow...

Sunday, June 14, 2015

St. Petersburg was big

Well...everything in SP seemed big.  Big buildings, big people, big portions of food.  It was the bigness of things that was my first impression.

We rode the train in from Helsinki, which was an interesting experience by itself.  There were 4 hours and a border crossing so we had to get stamped by the Finnish border patrol and then assessed by the Russian border and customs control.  One of the things I "expected" about Russia was to be intimidated by the people with governmental authority.  I don't know if they train it or select it, but intimidation is (in my opinion) the method of controlling the masses.  I found that both on the train and at the airport, once we were past the security controls, it was relaxed, vibrant and alive.

So, riding the train in, we saw the big communist block apartment complexes.  I've been to big cities before, in Europe and America...never have I seen such large square masses of apartment complexes, such large edifices...such sad sad circumstances for passing your life.

The tour company that organized our walk on our final day in SP also does one inside these large apartment complexes. I wish we'd been able to take one of those. I would have found it fascinating...because as I found with everything in SP...once I got past my initial shock of how "different" things were I found how wonderful they are.

We went to palaces (Hermitage, Peterhof, St. Catherines), churches (Peter and Paul's, Church on the Spilled Blood, some Lutheran church who's name I don't remember, and St. Isaac's), restaurants, boat rides, bus rides, and just walked around.  Things are simply big.  The palaces and churches were built, you guess it, to intimidate.  I felt it upon entering these places for the first time.

In fact, when we went out to Peterhof, I'd already seen the Hermitage, Peter and Paul's, Church on the Spilled Blood...and I knew the moment I stepped through the entrance gate to the park WHY the revolution occurred.  People simply no longer could stand such grandeur being flaunted in their faces.  I felt it again in St. Isaac's...it made sense why religion was not allowed during communism.

And, for someone who has always felt larger than she should be...being in Russia made me feel on the smaller side.  People are grown bigger there. They are taller, larger, and occupy more space.  Unlike other cities in Europe the restaurants aren't tightly packed...there was breathing room, space to sit and talk with your friends.  Still it maintained an atmosphere of coziness.

I loved SP for so many reasons, which I'll go into more in the next posts...but its bigness was something that I didn't expect and don't think I adequately describe.  Just like a photograph can never really capture the size of things, my words can't adequately convey the size of things and that you know as a person walking around (tourist, citizen, government official I presume) that the bigness is intentional.  It's sending a message of just what Russia can do and how it can do it.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

St. Petersburg was wow!

I have so much to say about SP.  I want to save it for a time when I'm not so tired...

As I mentioned earlier this week, I came home to 80s and it quickly went up to the 90s.  It's not air conditioned in the warehouse and today I made almost 13000 steps.  In that heat...when not being acclimated to it.

But today is my "Friday" so hopefully tomorrow I can put some words together that will somehow capture the Wow that I felt at every moment in SP.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Thoughts on getting healthy (a little break from thoughts on travel...)

As loyal readers know, I've spent a lot of time and energy during this past year focusing on getting healthy, feeling good about myself, finding beauty, and learning to live alone and take care of myself.

I think I've done a pretty good job.


A few things I've come to understand:

  • Getting healthy does not mean never feeling bad or making a bad decision or doing something wrong.  Getting healthy DOES mean that whenever I do feel bad or do something hurtful or make a bad decision, I recognize that behavior and do something to fix it.
  • Getting healthy means feeling angry when appropriate.  This one is still a little hard for me.  Yesterday I had a pretty difficult situation and I was angry.  Instead of expressing it right away I shut down.  I got anxious.  I felt bad.  (see the first bullet...I talked myself through it and ended up today singing and really enjoying myself)
  • Getting healthy means that you see the positive in things.  Not in a forced way but just in general.
  • Getting healthy means that you don't need to hang around people who are not good for you.  There may be situation in which is is impossible to avoid people who are bad for you...but you need to be able to recognize that, interact with them only as much as necessary and move on.
  • Getting healthy means that you have a major positive influence on people around you.  As humans we draw energy from each other.  If it's positive energy, the vibes in the room become happy and good...and overall things "go up"...Negative energy drives itself into an icky spiral.  Stay away from negative people if you want to get healthy.
  • Getting healthy comes with responsibility.  To yourself, to those around you, to your job...but mostly to yourself.  Getting healthy to someone like myself feels selfish sometimes, but it's necessary to be self-focused to be healthy.
  • Getting healthy means that people will pay attention to you...they will find inspiration from you (remember that responsibility I mentioned just above!)...they root for you...
  • Getting healthy means that people really like to be around you.
Most importantly for me, getting healthy has meant that I am completely comfortable in my own skin.  It feels really good to be healthy and to take care of myself.

AND...finally...getting healthy involves learning, and to learn one must take chances.  I'm taking chances...I'm not ready yet to share what they are, but trust me...I'm taking chances and I don't feel the least bit anxious about it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Thoughts on Hellsinki

Hellsinki is a lovely city.  We walked around and saw some churches, shopping districts, parks, and lots of water.  Because Hellsinki is made up of several hundred islands, there are bridges and waterways everywhere.

I have to say that the city didn't wow me like the others that we visited though.  It felt kind of "flat" though I don't really mean that.  It just wasn't as "wow" as the others and our local tour guide was "eh"...

That said, I did have a lovely time in Hellsinki but I don't see much need to return.

Though seeing the ice breaker boats was enough to make me realize that I'm not hardy enough to live there :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Thoughts on Tallin

Well...I absolutely loved Tallin.  I want to move there, except for the whole "really cold in winter" thing.  But other than that I think I'd love it.  Love the people, the culture, the atmosphere, the city.  It was simply, purely charming.

What did I do in Tallin?  Walked around.  That's it.  I did some shopping, hung out with the tour group, got over jet lag, but mostly just walked around.

And around every corner, up every stair case, inside each alleyway, I was once again reminded of how wonderful European cities can be.  How much fun the people, and how interesting it is to see different ways of living.

Tallin, well Estonia in general, has been under the rule of other countries for most of its existence.  The Russians, then the Finns, then the Russians again.  In 1991 Tallin was finally independent through a series of demonstrations called the Singing Revolution.  Russia pulled out, other countries began to recognize them as independent, and Tallin as a city and the capital began the hard work of reenergizing itself.

Much of the medieval part of the city is still in tact and well preserved.  The alley ways that can only be walked, the areas that are laid out for parks, the steep inclines, the sudden squares.  Churches abound.  Little amber shops and souvenir places around every corner.

And still, in all of that, there's a charm and a pleasantness that make it Estonian.

Being a crafter, knitter in particular, I'm very interested in the folk traditions of the hand-made goods.  I wish I'd had many more days to gain my bearings a little better and explore a bit deeper.

But as it was, I was left with a strong desire to return, to live, to prosper in this tiny country on the Baltic Sea.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Home again


This beautiful sunset welcomed me home last night.  I slept, I woke up, went grocery shopping, and then went to pick up the kitties who are so very happy to be home.

Report is that the kitties did well...though Zora is a bit of a "snob"...so Sheila says.  Anyway, they did fine, ate and did all their business and got out of their cage when it was their turn.  Pearl was lovey dovey (no surprise there).  I'm very happy to have found the boarding place...They'll be staying again at the end of July when I go on a driving trip to Texas to get my things.

When I left Reno it was chilly--50s raining.  I spent 2 weeks in chilly, sunny weather...and came home...to 80s!  Sunshine!  Gorgeous clouds in the sky.

Work resumes tomorrow and with it, hopefully, a more normal schedule.  I'll have a few more thoughts on my travels.  It truly was an amazing trip and I'm so glad that I took it.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

St. Petersburg

A short review of one of the most amazing cities in the world.  If you've ever thought of going to SP get there, explore, take a guided tour, and meet some Russian people.

It was spectacular.  Not enough room in a single post to show pics, so I'll put them through out the next few days.  Today's pics are the things that made my breath catch.  Also so much mental processing to do...so many lessons learned...

I'm in Austin, TX, now, waiting for the 23rd Thornton Thimblers Quilt Bee to get underway, so I should have regular data access.


Friday, May 29, 2015

A short reflection while waiting on the train

So, the trip is half over.  Tallin and Helsinki have been toured...it's the morning that we are leaving for St. Petersburg and I have an hour to stop and think and reflect and consider this "journey to" that I wrote about last week.

(I'm having an amazing time, btw.  Tallin is a magical city.  I want to move there I think...gotta figure out how to get JBW set up in Estonia!)

Anyway, the journey to the new me:

Things  I know to be true:  I'm more relaxed while traveling than ever before, I'm confident, I like being with people, and I like being by myself.  While i know that home is something I'll get back to I've hardly given it a thought.  Even the kitties who I know are safe and secure and well cared for.

While some of these observations may not seem surprising, they are for me.  In my relationship with the ex I always took on the emotional burdens.  If he was stressed, I acted it out.  If he was angry, I acted it out...you get the picture.  I find that being me by myself is pretty nice.  I'm not having to worry about his behaviors, I'm not acting out his discomfort and I'm not filtering his social faux pas.  It's been amazing, to just go and see and not judge.  Amazing.

Things that surprised me: you remember that beauty that I knew I'd have to find in all of this mess..the divorce and quitting my job and moving across the country and settling into my new life?    You remember that I knew there was beauty there and that I would have to keep searching for it because I didn't want to become bitter and awful and ugly during this whole process.

Well...I found it...and it's right here...in me...I'm beautiful. Inside and out.  In all ways.  And it makes me so profoundly happy that I've comes to tears several times on this trip.  This beauty thing has always been something difficult for me to accept about myself.  Mom used to tell me that I was so pretty and I'd respond that she had to think that because she was my mom...that she thought it didn't make it real.  David used to tell me...but for reasons I'm slowly uncovering I never believed it from him either.

The truth of that is that I wasn't ready to see it.  I didn't have the strength to own my beauty and know that it could be appreciated by others and they not use it for their own purposes.  I denied the beauty in order to protect myself.

I've worked hard to discover beauty this year.  I found it in a place I wasn't expecting.  I fully expected that I would see art, or architecture or history that would bring to the forefront that beauty...and I could learn to create that in my own version of art...I didn't, honestly, expect to find it quite so close to home (so to speak).

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So this morning I will head out to see a city that I've always wanted to go to.  Where all kinds of things collide and in a culture and history that I know little about but still feel connected to in some way.  I'm excited because I believe that this second part of my journey will bring me even closer to the beauty within me.  Through the experiences coming up over the next 4 days I'll learn to appreciate and things about myself that I've always struggled with.

Beauty.  It's empowering.


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Monday, May 25, 2015

Tallin, Estonia day 1

Met up with the tour group this evening after traveling for 23 hours and then going for a walk around the old area of the city.  Some inspirational photos from today! Hugs all!  More when my brain is actually functioning!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

And now I'm all nestled, snug in my bed...

...or soon to be since I have a crazy early departure in the morning.

And I have to give a HUGE shoutout to my friend Rachel who is getting out of her bed at 4 am to take me to the airport.  That's love.  I can feel it.

I'm all packed up.  Two backpacks for two weeks...lots and lots and lots of knitting (pics as I progress I promise)...and so much enthusiasm and excitement I don't even know where to begin.

I'm so excited and yet so sleepy...so that's good...because I've got a grueling day tomorrow.

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Because I know you're curious:  The kitties are settled in at the Cozy Cattery.  They have their beds and some toys and other kitty friends to keep them company.  I dropped them off and paid and was shuttled out the door.  I felt a little like a mama dropping her babies off at day care for the first time.  I remember that hustle to the door...the subtle "shove" and no option to look back and make sure they're settling in ok.

I know they'll settle in ok, even Zora who is usually such a snit in public.  I know this because the other cats there were ok and they'll send the appropriate vibes out to my girls to chill, enjoy the view and get to know what it's like being around other kitties.

The Cattery lets the kitties out of their cages for at least an hour each day if they want to come.  I think that's really awesome.  They'll get to run around and see the birds and look at the other kitties if they're curious.  It's going to be great for them, I just know it.

But I sure have missed them tonight.  It's just been me getting all my stuff packed up...and I have to tell you that it's kinda sad packing up my suitcase and not having to drag the cat out one.more.time. :)

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Tomorrow will be airports and knitting and reading all day and at some point on Monday I'll arrive in Tallin, Estonia, and begin my amazing adventure.  I'll post pics, I promise.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Thoughts on travel, staying at home, being satisfied, etc.

I love to travel.  I love to get out and see the world.  I love driving in the country and I love walking around big cities.  I love busses, planes, trains...I love going to folk museums, seeing crafty things, art museums.

I love eating food I've never seen before.  I love trying to talk to people who grew up speaking a different language than I did and interacting with people who grew up with different value systems.

I love seeing the world and learning from it and feeling more a part of things.

I love bringing little bits of those amazing places I visit home with me...pictures, niblets of food, memories, tshirts.

I love breathing the air and feeling the sunshine and the rain.

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I remember a conversation I had with my dad many years ago.  He didn't understand why I wanted to travel and go so much. Live so many different places.  He said he was perfectly happy at home and worried that I wouldn't ever find happiness in my home.

I told him travel for me wasn't trying to find a different home but just seeing and learning about things that I couldn't see and learn from my living room.

I love my home.  I love the home where I live and the home where I grew up.  I love the other homes where I raised my babies and grew into a different kind of adult than I was when I started.

 I love that home roots us, gives us a place to "go home to." To belong and feel safe.  Home provides that centripetal force that allows us to experience all those things that we do when we travel.  All the "foreign" things that could have the potential to really set us off our rockers.  But because we are grounded in something we call home, we have the ability to explore, learn, and maybe change too.  Bring those "foreign" things home and help our home grow into something stronger than it was before.

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Being satisfied in my home, the one I'm living in now, has created an amazing freedom of spirit with which I'm approaching this upcoming trip.  I am so excited about leaving and a little sad about leaving.  I've hardly taken the time to plan and prepare for this trip...not because I'm not excited but because I'm so satisfied being where I am that the trip doesn't carry the weight of being that thing my dad feared travel was for me.

Before the divorce I never would have admitted, even thought, that I wasn't happy in my home.  It was a place of refuge and comfort for me.  But I now realize it was also a place of confinement and profound dissatisfaction.  That former home, the one I left only a short 10 months ago, had, in so many ways, begun to imprison me, keep me from developing and growing and exploring.

And all the time, I wanted to get out, see things, do things.

The me now?  I'm so soul satisfied that travel means something even bigger and better and brighter than it did before.  It isn't my "escape from" but my "journey to"...

and the thought of that "journey to"...to a me that hasn't existed before.  To a me that I don't even know yet.  That's so cool and I can't wait for THAT part of my trip.


Sunday, May 17, 2015

I successfully started a project! And thoughts on travel

Yea me!  I started a Pi Shawl (Elizabeth Zimmerman's "Pithy instructions") last night.  I'm using the Madelinetosh Tasty Tosh color of the month--Strawberry Rhubarb Pie--for my Pi Shawl. (snicker!)

Isn't it lovely?

Those are the Marblz double points in size 6.  I've since switched to the interchangeable needle set and will knit away on this at some point during my trip. (I love those needles and not just because they're pretty)  The Pi Shawl is what EZ recommends for trip knitting...it's easy, pretty mindless, and fairly well contained.  So I'm after it.

And you know what else is wonderful?  I started the project and...then put it in a bag so that it'll be ready to work on when I'm on my trip.  Isn't that forsightful of me not to get it almost finished before I leave???

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SO...in one week I'll be flying across the pond to visit three cities in three countries that I've never been to before.  I'm going to be touring with a group of people I've never met and it's going to be an amazing experience.

I'm finding my prepping for travel compared to how I've always prepped for travel to be rather interesting.  I have a one night lay over in Zurich, for instance.  I just realized last night that I don't have a hotel.  So I booked that.

I realized yesterday that I hadn't yet gotten my data plan for international usage...done.

I have some clothes, but not many.  i haven't even thought about what I'm going to pack in any significant wary.

I just realized that looking at the weather would be nice (high/low temps, that sort of thing).

The fact that I'm not on the schedule that was just put out at work sort of "brought home" how quickly this trip is happening.

Before?  I had countdowns, hotels planned, more clothes bought than I could possibly wear, data plans lined out, food purchased, restaurants in the area of the hotels scouted out.  Everything planned.  Now I'm just coasting along and while I'm excited I'm also living my life right now.  It's fabulous.  And I'm super happy...

Friday, May 15, 2015

So, what do we crafters do when it's time to go traveling?

...plan our travel knitting/crafting of course!

I've spent more time pulling more yarn from my stash over the past week and a half than I have doing much of anything else.

And you know what else I do?

I start the project, just a little bit.  I do this because sometimes I don't like the results I'm getting and realize I need a new project.  Nothing worse than being on a trip and not having access to Ravelry to download new patterns.

I also do this so I don't have to deal with the pain of casting on while being distracted by travel responsibilities.

Now, travel knitting, for me, must be easy but interesting.

Small and portable.

Pretty enough to make me keep going.

And wearable once I'm done without the major need for blocking.

Because..

I BELIEVE I will finish all 17 projects that I bring with me.

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and you know what's funny?  I've already finished the first of my travel knitting and I haven't even left Reno yet.  Dork.  Pics tomorrow...it's drying now, but it's gorgeousness!


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

So...what do I do when I go missing?

I was kind of shocked to get on here and realize that the last time I wrote was LAST Tuesday!

I miss you guys, truly I do.  I have so many things to talk about and share...and I don't know how I let time slip away from me.

So, I thought today I'd tell you what I'm doing instead of blogging.


  • knitting and lots of it--I have to get ready for my trip and that means planning all the trip knitting! 
  • thinking about my trip
  • going out with friends
  • cooking food and cleaning my kitchen
  • shopping for my trip
  • looking for a new apartment
  • thinking of new and exciting and awesome things to do at work (have I mentioned lately how happy I am to be working in a place that encourages and praises creative endeavors)
  • thinking--about a lot of things but mostly about how happy I am that I've made a life for myself
  • wondering--about a lot of things but mostly about how blind I was to how unhappy I was
  • taking stock--of all the things around me: life, friends, hobbies, clothes, beautiful scenery
  • watching murder mysteries while knitting (oh, I mentioned knitting already didn't I???)
I've been a bit pensive and anxious too.  I'm starting to take risks...put myself out there, so to speak...but my creativity is sparking back.  I'm coming up with fun things to do--at work and at home.  I'm looking at life from my creative lens and I'm really getting excited about what can happen and what I can do...and it's fun and scary at the same time.

...And I realized on the way to work yesterday that one thing that I've been holding back from --dating--ain't going to be easy no matter how "ready" I think I am or am not.  It's one of those things that I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and do at some point....

But not just yet.  I'm not quite ready.  I want to but I'm not up for the risk. I'm interested but I'm also scared.  I also realize that I've bitten that bullet a bunch of times over the past few months and am honestly ready for a break.  I want to coast for a little while. No pressure (from within or without), living without fear, being happy.

I can deal with that.

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Today's picture is of Zora in her new bed.  The place where I'm boarding the kitties while I'm on my trip encourages you to bring a bed, so I got one for them today.  She took right to it...in fact I may never see her out of it except when food is proffered.


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The beauty of the place that I live

There is a beauty in the place that I live

A simple beauty that stuns me
A beauty that makes my breath catch
A beauty that amazes me

A beauty that reminds me that not every place is beautiful
A beauty that reminds me that where I came from was not beautiful
A beauty that lets me know that who I am is always (and always has been beautiful)

A beauty that makes me appreciate neutral
A beauty that lives in neutral colors, neutrality of position, neither high nor low, dark nor light
A beauty that is common--all around me

All I have to do is open my eyes to see the beauty
All I have to do is close my eyes and be ok with the things that are past, over, done with
All I had to do was open my heart to the beauty

Because the beauty of now
stuns me
makes my breath catch
amazes me.


Sunday, May 3, 2015

One of the perils of living alone

Last night as I was prepping dinner I sliced into my left thumb.  It hurt.  I don't deal well with my own blood.  I didn't faint, but I wanted to throw a big hissy fit and have someone take care of me.

I wanted someone to feel sorry for me.

I wanted someone to finish making my dinner.  I was hungry on top of panicked...and I had to get that big old knife back out and finish chopping Brussel sprouts and cut up some pickles and mix up the hamburgers.

And then wash up all those dirty dishes.

It wasn't fun being me all alone in my apartment for the first time.

Especially after supper and all the drama was over and I realized that I wasn't able to knit on the Agave socks...could barely manage garter stitch for my Hitchhiker shawl.  Crochet was out of the question. I knew needlepoint would be too.

And I had hours to kill before bedtime.

And I was all alone with no one to distract me or feel sorry for me.

It was a trying night, but I came through it.

No picture today in honor of my sliced thumb.