2010 sounds like a good number, it sounds even, smooth, reasonable-I like it. And so I look forward to the new year. I look forward to exploring with my blog getting a little more personal opening up a bit. I am taking the Stephanie Lee online journaling class starting Jan. 11 and hope to explore writing a little more. I am also going to push my boundaries with Nina Bagley come Feb. at Artful Journey. She will be teaching some of her jewelry techniques there. I am not so thrilled about that but really want to spend three days with her, and feel privileged to get to do so. That is how I start my new year and the rest will follow. I am open to possibilities and adventure be it big or small. I wish you all the best for 2010 and hope we all stay in touch through the new year.
Simplicity the instance of being simple 2. freedom from complexity or intricacy 3. absence of luxury, pretentiousness or ornament 4. freedom from deceit or guile. I wonder how simple a life I truly live. I say I enjoy the simple things but what do I really mean by that? I look around my studio and it is anything but simple there are things all over. I am surrounded by much. They are things that are beautiful to me and bring me joy. I wonder how my life would be without them? I am lucky in that I don't have to do without them but just wonder the question about true simplicity. I am not brave enough to make a pledge to not buy anything "new" during the next year but it is an interesting thought to ponder. Living an open honest life free of guile and deceit makes sleeping at night much easier and something I've been working on. First you must be honest with yourself and sometimes that is hard. Simplicity a good word to think on as the new year approaches.
With the year winding down it creates an urge to reflect and think of the past. I've spent much quiet time the past few days rereading old journals, rereading my blog and reflecting on how my life has changed in the past few years. 2008 was a year of great growth. 2009 was a year of recharging. I don't do resolutions, I've always broken them in the past and I feel like a failure. But I would like to set some goals for myself and 2010 seems like a good year to give back a little of what I've been given. I'm not sure how that will play itself out but I want to live a more open life to be more giving. I've said before that I'm a private person but I also think that spells selfish person, I am jealous of my time. It is scary to think of giving to others and having them "take over" your life. I'll need to learn about boundaries. As I said I have no idea how this will play out but it is time to step up to the plate and give back. I am ready to grow to stretch to reach out,touch and be touched no matter how scary it may be.
The day after Christmas and still no creature is stirring not even a dog-I hear snores coming from the living room. I spent a quiet and relatively peaceful day yesterday. Others close to me are not so lucky this year and I feel their pain. A marriage falling apart, a breaking heart and all one can do is listen. Times like this are always distressful but at the holidays seem so much more so. Gratitude was a word that I thought long and hard about yesterday-my husband giving a gift I thought was inappropriate. Talking about pain and loss made my upset about a gift seem minor indeed. Knowing I am loved is a gift in itself and one that I cherish especially this year.
Christmas greetings from the Lilylovekin home. It has taken until nearly Christmas eve for the spirit of the holidays to over take me and so it has. Gifts are wrapped and under the tree, a turkey is defrosting in the fridge and the carols have started to be played. I have my blogging friends to thank for part of this change in attitude, your kind comments and Christmasy post have helped me. In fact 2009 has been such a much better year because of my blog and I have all of you to thank for that. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season. I look forward to the new year and spending time with you.
Seeing all the snow that the east coast has received over the past few days has brought back memories of long ago. I grew up in Michigan where winters were cold, snowy, and long. Living in northern California we have days of rain and grey skies but no magical white snow, you have to travel to the mountains for that. I am homesick for snow. But have to settle grey overcast days of rain and mist. The quiet, misty feel of a foggy walk. No crisp bone chilling cold but soft, damp moist rainy shivers. Walking down a deserted highway with threads of clouds weaving their way between the trees it feels as if you are being followed by ghosts. That if you were to turn around quickly you would catch someone following you. It is unsettling and makes you trip along alittle quicker thankful for the birds who keep you company. I've been thinking of ghosts this Christmas the ghosts of Christmas past-my husband says I spend too much time thinking of that past and things I can do nothing about. I like to think of it as honoring events and people that you have loved. My mother in law died on a dark rainy Christmas day and part of my Christmas will always be spent sitting beside her holding her hand as she took her last breath and left this world. It doesn't stop me from loving the present it only helps me hold it closer and know that every day is precious and should be treasured.
I decorate my tree with glass ornaments, mainly Christopher Radkos-collecting them over the years at after Christmas sales. I am crazy in love over the little bird ornaments with feathers as tails that clip on the tree branches, I have them in lots of colors all over my tree. This year with my down and out holiday spirit I got about 10 ornaments on the tree and I stopped. It looks rather sad but it is the best that is going to happen this year and I'll try again next. My aunts annual goodie package arrived in the mail today. Yeah now we get to eat all the treats that remind me of the holidays. Thanks Aunt Barb!!! I'm going to quit worrying about the holiday spirit and just accept that this is a quiet year for me. Next year will be different I don't know how but I know it will be. I'll try to stop the frustration I feel at my self and just enjoy the peaceful quiet place I am in. Hope you all are surviving these last crazy few days before Christmas.
Thick fog was in the air as my husband and I walked along a closed highway road. Fog horns cried their lonely melancholy song in the distance. And the birdsong kept us company up close. There was much chirping and singing amongst the birds today. It was a cool but not cold walk. Colors were muted and the woods is finally asleep for the winter. Greys, browns, rusts, tans, and varied shades of tired green fill the landscape. The air was heavy and our muted footsteps were silenced as soon as they landed on the ground. I start back to work after a period of time off. Getting in touch with nature is always good for my soul.
As it has been rainy and cold these past few days I've spent much time sitting beside a pellet burning stove we have in our basement. It brings back memories of winters past-the creaks and groans of the stove, the smells of the burning pellets. Memories of healing from a difficult and painful time in my life but now that I am on the other side I would not trade for anything. Because through the darkness I found a place of peace. Sitting in the dark yesterday I thought about Christmas and what it was really all about. Although I do not have a lot of gifts to give this year and do not have many parties to attend I am full of love. And that is what the Christmas spirit is all about-love for yourself and your fellow man. Without the pain of the past I would not have learned about love and would have been an empty shell. I hope your holiday season is full of love.
It is a wet day in the Lilylovekin home. Wet soggy dogs are afoot. The walk was called short and there is much restlessness and pacing going on. I am hunting down grandmas Christmas cookie recipes. Baking was suggested as a way to invoke the Christmas spirit and today seems like a good day to try it. I have few family traditions but my grandmas baking always stands out in my mind. I have an aunt who every year sends us a container full of the traditional goodies. It is always eagerly anticipated and quickly devoured. Between periods of rain I found colors in the yard that reminded me of Christmas. I have so much to be thankful for this holiday season and as these rainy days are upon us it seems like I have another to add to my list. The patches my husband applied to our leaky roof seem to be holding!!! There are no water spots coming through on the living room ceiling.
I got to spend part of my day with a friend "crafting" and visiting. She was suppose to be at an outdoor art show selling her Monster dolls, but it is rainy and cold here so she stayed home. This was lucky for me because I got to visit with her and even was given a doll! They are so cute and charming, each come with their own little tag and tell a tale about the doll. If you are looking for a Christmas gift you should check out her Esty store, she has them for sale there. I must say that this year I am having trouble getting into the Christmas spirit. It is not that I am a scrooge, it is just that is does not feel like Christmas at all. Maybe that is what happens as one gets older, but I hate to think that I've lost the ability to feel "magic". Its just that everyday feels just like the next and nothing seems special. The secret might be that I have to make it happen and that I can't wait for it to happen to me.
The rain has come as promised and this is good because we need the water. I've been playing with my camera trying to figure out how to take a decent picture indoors without a flash so far no luck. The dogs are tired of running away from me and I am tired of chasing them around for that perfect picture. I read on a blog somewhere about a woman having her blog printed into a book, it sounds like kind of a neat idea. I copied down the site Blog2print-check it out. I think of my blog as a journal and it might be nice to have a permanent record of it. They copy your photos, comments and everything. I've been busy today puttering around my studio moving piles of projects from one location to another. Its a good way to keep moving and feel one is being productive. My mind is still in that grey soft zone.
Cozy, grey, soft days of December. The sun never fully rises in the sky and so it seems that nothing ever fully awakens. That is how I feel-locked away in my warm studio away from the outside world. I'm feeling better today, drinking tea and up and about. Although that is not too far. My mind feels slow and sluggish as if it is in hibernation. I am much more aware of the little things and can spend much time studying a necklace given as a gift, or a leaf floating on a frozen lake, discovering a spark plug among my garden stones. Before I realize it the day is past and the sleepy sun is setting in the west, getting dark at 4pm and it seems like it never got daylight. I'm enjoying this time of rest and relaxing with it knowing that it will pass just like the seasons and that soon I'll feel energized and full of life.
It is biting cold in this part of the country. We even woke up to snow on our local mountain top on Monday morning and though that happens occasionally in the winter one knows it is cold when it does. At my house I am only lucky enough to be able to have to scrap frost off of my windshield in the early morning and watch my garden take is last gasp of breath and die a quick death from frost bite. I stayed home from work today fighting the flu bug, with a nonestop headache and low grade fever. This afternoon I left my sick bed to wander the yard and witnessed the destruction of the cold of the past few days. No fluffy white magical covering of white. Just brown and black wet leaves, withered grapes on the vine brown and rotting. Your fingers go numb as you touch the dead flower heads and once you come inside they tingle to life with little electric shocks. I found ice inside my watering containers. The fresh air and cold took my mind off my headache so right now I'm feeling a little better. The long days of winter are upon us, my garden is taking it's rightful nap and though I am sad to see it so dismal looking, I still found beauty and know that spring will be here soon.
An overcast cool day. Visiting with a friend, sipping tea by the glow of a candle. Good conversation that warms your soul and makes you forget it is cold outside. I feel so fortunate to have a friend who I can share my deep and darkest secrets. It seems like no matter what I share she accepts me and never acts shocked or dismayed. We've known each other nearly 20 years through good and bad times and I can't imagine life without her. I know that no matter what I need or when I need it I could give her a call and she would be there. There is a deep sense of security and comfort that comes from having a friend as good as that in your life. I feel so blessed and so thankful that I was able to spend part of my day with her. I have spent this weekend doing nothing, resting up for the busy work week ahead. I hope you all have a good week.
I've become obsessed with old dresses, the lace, trim, buttons, and fabric. If it is torn or worn this is just fine and makes it more interesting. This started with a wedding dress my sister won on ebay and that we cut up for the old satin material. It was frayed and nearly falling apart but sewed up so beautifully when I added it to the old purse I've been making. Well last week end I won an old edwardian dress on ebay. It is gorgeous and I love it. Right now I have it hanging up in my studio, but someday when I have the courage I will cut it up and use it in my fabric art pieces. Today has been a quiet day recovering from the past work week, getting ready for the next. I hope you are all having a good week end.
Well for the first time in many weeks I worked my full hours for the week. My legs are letting me know but they are happy because they don't have to get up in the morning. I am sitting in my studio near the heater with a cup of warm tea. Tonight I am tired and have rather black thoughts. When I've been able to think these past few days my thoughts have often gone to the conversations of the past week end with my family women folk. We spent much time talking about feelings and trusting your feelings. I realize I hardly know my own feelings let alone trust that they are real or not. I usually rely on the people closest to me to determine how I "feel", if they are happy I am happy. I really want this to change as scary as it might be and how it might rock the boat. I want to start owning and declaring my feelings, believing in them. I'm not sure how to go about this but tomorrow when I am less tired it won't feel so scary.
I've been away on a whirl wind trip. Two long days of driving sandwiching three days of none stop activity. Black Friday was spent shopping but not in the crowded malls, my sister and I went to a bead store-Beads Galore one of our favorite places. It was having a 40% off sale and we had a lot of fun. I have two aunts who live in Scottsdale that I am close to and Sat. and Sunday I got to visit with each of them. It was so nice to connect with family and women. I miss that living so far away. My mother had over done getting ready for our visit and was feeling under the weather. She had to take a lot of pain medicine that made her sleep. Towards the end of the visit she was feeling better and was able to get up for my birthday dinner. I did not get to "craft" as much as I had planned but I visited and connected and left with much food for thought. I feel as if I have a new journey ahead of me. As I said it was good to visit with women and bounce ideas and feelings around getting fresh looks at things. I will see where this all takes me and keep you posted.
The eve before a holiday and that festive feel is in the air. Penny-Penny and Lily got baths they are going to visit grandma! I do not have to be back to work until next Wednesday so we have decided to drive to Scottsdale and visit my mom. It is a 12 hour drive but will be worth it, to get to visit with her, my sister and many other relatives who live there. I also get to celebrate my birthday when I am down there. I have so much to be thankful for this year that my heart feels like it could bust wide open. I am still reeling from the miracle of my moms situation. That alone counts high on the thankfulness meter. All in all my life is very good and I have no complaints, my thanks are too many to list. I hope you all are finding things to be thankful for regardless of your situation and that you have a day full of love and joy. Happy Thanksgiving.
Do you believe in miracles? Well I do but they always have happened to someone else and not to me. Today that all changed. My mothers kidney tumor has disappeared! She has a stent in to drain the urine for 10 days and rest the kidney and will have a recheck at that time. But the Dr. could find nothing to biopsy or examine. He called it a miracle and could not believe it himself. It is funny because I've been praying, not for my mother to be healed but for her to be brave and not to have to hurt to much. I've been praying for me to be strong for her and to be able to be there for her and my family.I did not know how my prayers would be answered but I never thought like this. It is amazing how the grace of the universe works. Tonight we are having our Thanksgiving turkey (we will be on the road Thursday) and I will have something to be especially thankful for. Again my thanks goes out to all my blogger friends who I get so much support from through difficult times, thank you so very much.
As many of you read my sisters blog you know that my mother is having some bladder problems. My aunt works for the dr. who is taking care of my mother and I have some inside information. My mother has a mass on one of her kidneys and will need to have part or all of it removed. It is not known if it is cancer or not but either way it requires a major surgery in the next couple of weeks. I have these wonderful charms made by Nina Bagley with inspiring words. Not of my own choice but of necessity I'm being made to take a leap of faith-I'm going to have to trust others with my mom. I have to have faith in the expertise of others that their decisions and choices will be correct, because I don't know better. Daring myself to give up control and not be afraid. These are some lessons I need to learn-to let go with grace and dignity. Thank you for all you kind words of support, they are greatly appreciated.
I love the line from a current song on the radio "we are all just one phone call from our knees". I've had one of those phone calls just once in my life and it has left me terrified of the phone when it rings in the wee hours of the morning. Answering that call opened up a world of loss and grief like I had never imagined and taught me at a young age that life is precious and finite. As I've gotten older I've experienced more loss but never as piercing or sharp as that call so long ago in the dark morning hours. This weekend has been filled with phone calls trying to gather information, or instill a sense of calm, or just letting someone know they are loved. Life that can be running along so smoothly one moment can be so disrupted and changed in just seconds. All it takes is the message at the other end of the phone line. Loss becomes such a frequent visitor as one gets older it is hard to accept it graciously or willingly and not to fight like a mad woman not giving an inch. I don't want to give up the life I know, to have the ones I love hurt and change, and yet I must accept that change is part of life and look for the good in what the change brings.
I am readjusting my attitude after my visit with my sister. It is interesting to have an outsider come into your home and "see" how you live. The habits and routines that seem so normal to you can sometimes be bizarre or crazy to someone else. My husband is a fanatic about the heat. Basically I live in a cold house. It is battle that is too big to fight and one that I have given up on. Well when my sister came the battle resumed. I wanted a warm home for my sister, after all she lives in Scottsdale and is use to the heat. After several "heated" discussions it was discovered that my husband dislikes using our furnace but does not mind a space heater. I am currently sitting in my studio beside the warmth of a little space heater. The rest of the house is freezing but I am nice and warm in my studio where it counts! By the way Penny-Penny is feeling better although she needs to be on antibiotics for 1 month and may require surgery.
I put my sister on a plane at 4:30 this afternoon and I feel lonely this evening. There is an empty chair at the dinning room table that for the past three days has been held down by my sister. When I came home from the airport I sat and beaded for a while but eventually not feeling the joy I put it down. I know this is just a temporary reaction because I am very excited about the project that I started when she was here and am full of ideas on how to continue with it. But the whirl wind that is my sister and her creative energy is gone and it leaves an empty place in my heart. Still I am thankful for the surprise visit and the inspiration she brought, and I know I get to see her again at Thanksgiving. I am showing photos of what I've been working on, click on the photo to enlarge it and see details.