Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Homesick

Well, it is Tuesday, and I have been away from home and my guy for just over a week. I miss home. I miss him.
This always happens on a Tuesday - Mars day - so it isn't really a surprise.

I called last night, a little weepy, and his reply, "It's five o clock, you probably have low blood sugar. Go eat something!"

Such a romantic that guy.

Actually he is a romantic, just not when I have low blood sugar. Then he is just practical.

I like that about him.

I am a Libra - read up and down, here and there. He is a Taurus - read steady. I am a melancholic. He is a phlegmatic. We are both introverts, although he has extrovert qualities that are becoming more evident as the years go by. I trust that it will all work out. He plans so that it will all work out. We both trust our intuition although his spidey sense is much stronger than mine, especially where our children are involved.

I love talking to him on the phone when I am out of town. He has the most wonderful voice, and I do kinda melt when I hear him on the phone. Even after thirty-eight years.

So, tonight I will go to bed missing him, but know that I will be home in a week, and Tuesdays are just like that.

Plus I am going for a long swim, and that will help too.

Sigh.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Liebster Award :)

Liebster Blog Award

I received a wonderful compliment on my blog a few days ago – a nomination for the Liebster Blog Award and I am delighted to accept!


Thank you to LupeyLoops for nominating me. Please go to her blog to see more of the history of this award.


As an award winner you must:

Acknowledge and accept the Liebster Award by leaving a comment on the blog where you were nominated.

Copy and paste the Liebster Award medal (logo) onto your own blog.

Link back to the blogger who awarded you and give thanks.

Answer the questions put to you by the person who nominated you. Okay. Here goes:

1. Why do you keep a blog?
I keep a blog as a way of sorting out my thoughts as I navigate this thing called life. It started as a way to connect with my daughter when she went across the country to go to university, but it has become much more. I hope to inspire people and connect with others in the blogging world. I am a writer and a poet and this blog gives me a chance to get my work 'out there'

2. How did you decide upon your blog name?
At the time I began my blog I was living with a diagnosis of chronic leukemia, and I was following a daily yoga practise to deal with various stressors in my life. In yoga breath is so important and in my life I often have to remind myself to breathe slowly and deeply when struggling with depression or anxiety.

3. What is/are your favourite creative pursuit(s)* or hobbies?
Ah, good, an easy question. I love to knit and swim, and lately I have begun learning to spin on a beautiful vintage spinning wheel. Of course blogging is also a daily creative outlet.

4. How has technology affected your creative pursuit(s) and hobbies?
Social media has given my blog much more exposure through facebook, ravelry, twitter and blogher. I have a couple of apps I use for knitting, and I use a fitness app for tracking my swimming progress. I have been so many amazing people through Ravelry, a an on-line knitting/crocheting community, Facebook and the Blogosphere.

5. What has been your favourite creative project so far?
I made a fairisle sweater a number of years ago, and currently I am making a sock-yarn blanket that I love. I think they are all my favourites when I am knitting them. But truthfully my two children are my absolute favourite creative projects.

6. What are your favourite colours?
purples, greens, blues, reds

7. What are your favourite clothes?
Another easy one - jeans and t-shirts

8. What's your preference: indoor or outdoor?
I love to be outside all day when I am camping. When it is stormy and rainy I love to be inside

9. What are your current reads?
Blogs, blogs, and more blogs

10. If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be?
I think, right now, I would like to meet my foster child in Senegal. I have been a foster parent through Plan Canada with this family for about twenty five years.

11. What are your plans for 2015?
I would like to travel in my camper in the south-western United States for a few months. I would like to decide, finally, whether to move, or stay in our little house.


On your blog nominate and link to your 5 favourite blogs that you enjoy but have a small readership (say less than 200)

List your questions for your Liebster Award nominees on your blog.

Inform your nominees by leaving a comment on their blogs.

With the power invested in me, as a Liebster Award Winner, my nominations are …
(in no particular order):

Le Blog Itinerant
Wendy on the Rock
North of 49
Diary of an Intuitive
Carole Reid Artist

I love so many blogs, please check out my reading list to the left of this post.....some are too popular to qualify to be nominated, and some post infrequently, but if they are on my reading list I LOVE them. Just sayin'!


My 11 questions for my Liebster nominees are:

1. Who is the audience you write for on your blog?

2. How did you decide upon your blog name?

3. What are your hobbies and/or creative pursuits?

4. How has technology affected your creative pursuit(s) and hobbies?

5. What is your current job (or if retired, what are you retired from)?

6. Where is somewhere new that you would like to travel?

7. Would you describe yourself as an introvert or an extrovert?

8. What movie(s) have you watched over and over again?

9. What book(s) have you read more than once?

10. What would you like to go back and tell your ten year old self?

11. What is something you would like to learn to do in the future?

Here is how I would answer my own questions:

I would love to travel to Africa. I am an introvert, who has watch Dirty Dancing and Say Anything many many many times. I have read Man-O-War, The Abandoned, and Mr. God this is Anna, many many many times. I want to be fluent in a second language and I would tell my ten year old self that you will become a good writer, despite what your Grade Four teacher told you. That, and messy cursive hand-writing and a weird pen-grip is not going to define your life after-all.

Who do I write for?

Anyone that cares to listen!


Your Kitchen - Our Love

I miss your kitchen
The smell of ivory soap
The tiny ice-box
The tidiness of it all

I miss watching you make tea
warming the pot
setting out the mugs
the golden crocheted tea cozy

I miss sitting across from you
talking of this and that
leafing through magazines
doing the jumble puzzle

I miss your laugh
the twinkle in your eyes
the colour of your hair
The way you loved me

I miss it all
and I am glad
I have forgotten
all the things you forgot

and only remember
what you always remembered
That you loved me
and I loved you

written for my Aunt Georgina
1922-2008
although Alzheimer's took her from me far too soon

Saturday, November 22, 2014

socks as a memory tool

I have been away from home for the past week, and packed six pairs of hand knit socks for the journey. I joked with my friend that Westjet better not lose my luggage because these socks are dear to me and no amount of money could ever replace them.

As I have dressed every morning this week each pair of socks evokes a memory.

The Roosimine socks, my latest pair, remind me of my spinning group because they were the first to see them finished.






My Dazzle them from Behind socks remind me of a new friend because a) she gifted me the wool to make them, and b) she talked me into Tour de Sock this year which is where the pattern came from,

My Starflower socks remind me of my son because I bought the yarn in Skagway after visiting him for three weeks in the Yukon, and they are the colour of the mountain ridges that surrounded his home.

My Euclid socks remind me of my sister because I knit them while in her company this past summer on her little island.

My Double-knit socks remind me of the new friends I met in Tour de Sock as we encouraged each other through this tricky pattern.

My Night and Day socks also remind me of my son because the pattern was inspired by the 24 hour days in summer and the 24 hour nights in winter in the Yukon.










So even when I am far away from my friends and loved ones, they are always close to my heart.

And my feet.

Friday, November 21, 2014

A bird in the hand - a parable for our times

I heard a story at a school assembly many years ago.

A sly young man approached an elder and said, "I know you have wisdom and know all things. I hold in my hands, behind my back, a small bird. Tell me, wise one, is the bird alive or dead?"

The wise master knew that he was being set up and so he thought very deeply for some time.

He knew if he said dead, the young man would bring his cupped hands forward and release the bird alive.

If he said the bird was alive, the young man, with his hands hidden behind his back, could quickly crush the bird and produce it dead.

The elder finally responded, "The bird is as you will it. It is either alive or dead. In your hands you hold its fate."

This story was told to a group of students entering high school. The parable being, high school will be what you make it.

To me, it has become more.

There are those who will want to win at all costs. If you succeed they will credit themselves. If you fail they will lay the blame squarely on your shoulders.

As the saying goes if you think you can do something, or think you can not do something, you will be right.

Thoughts are powerful things. Thoughts create reality. Every time we think poorly of someone we are attaching negative energy to them. If enough bad energy comes our way it can make us sick. I know. This happened to me many years ago and a wise friend told me I needed to take up a spiritual or meditative practice to protect myself, to shield myself, to heal myself. I went back to church. It helped.

The Dalai Lama has made two statements that I often reflect on:

1) What do we live for if it is not to make life less difficult for each other.

2) Without the human community, one single human being cannot survive.

Each one of us can make a difference in the lives of others. We can think positively about them and support them in their journey. We can make their life less difficult. We can.

We can begin with our thoughts.

I am reminded of a story about a school teacher who came to teach the gifted class. As expected her students performed very well on the end of year testing.

Only one problem.

The student records had been incorrectly filed and she had actually been given the class that was considered unteachable.

She had no doubts they would succeed. And they did.

Thoughts made manifest.

The fate of that bird is in your hand. What you believe will come to pass. And often, when something good, or bad, happens to an individual it is because another individual has influenced the outcome.

So the Dalai Lama is right. Our own human existence is so dependent on the help of others.

We can strive to be clever, like the young man in the story above, but we could also strive to be kind.

I remember teaching a lesson about the hebrew peoples to a grade three class many years ago. In the lesson I brought the idea that there are four kinds of people in the world.

Those who are clever, and unkind.
Those who are ignorant, and unkind.
Those who are clever, and kind.
Those who are ignorant, and kind.

Something to think about.

What if we all were just kinder to one another.

To ourselves.

What if?






Thursday, November 20, 2014

Grade Four

Grade Four

Rosy cheeks
Mismatched socks
missing laces
dreaded locks

Sweater torn
zipper stuck
smelly lunchbox
just my luck

forgotten homework
books galore
borrow carry?
times by four

story to write
games to play
friends to see
day by day,




Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Community

I have been thinking a lot this week about community. The community of family, neighbourhood, school, work, and, of course, the community of the world we live in. Today. In 2014.

Community has always been important to me, and yet, I have often not felt a part of community. In my early work situations I often felt like the odd-woman out, as if I was swimming up-stream.

I think I found my first true community when I became involved with La Leche League in my early thirties. I was actually thirty-three, an age, I believe, is a profound age for many individuals. It was the age that Jesus was when he was crucified, and for many a pivotal point in their own biographies.

It took me many years to find my true vocation, as a Waldorf teacher, and to find my true community within the school where I taught, and the waldorf education movement in general.

I now have found community within a knitting group, and I am beginning to find community in a spinning group as well.

It has taken me well into the second half of my life (if I am blessed enough to live to one-hundred), to truly find myself in community.

It has made all the difference in my mental health.

There are still places I am striving to find true community, and sometimes it is found within the relationship of myself to only one other person. As Jesus said, "For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst."

I also believe that when people gather the archangels find our meetings fascinating and come to witness the actions and interactions of the group. I keep this in mind when participating in large groups where issues may cause tension and friction between individuals.

Far be it from me to piss of archangel Michael!

And of course, you, dear reader. This social media has given me a great community that I wrote about earlier this month.

I do feel the support of this community.

We can't do it alone.

We do need the angels to help us.

We do need to feel that our presence in our family, our neighbourhood, our school, our world makes a difference.

And we need to believe that the presence of others in our community makes a difference too.

That is why I love this quote by Rudolf Steiner:

“A healthy social life is found only, when in the mirror of each soul the whole community finds its reflection, and when in the whole community the virtue of each one is living”.

And, when I look at society this way, I can see why some communities, some societies, some people have so much struggle and why there is so much unhealthy social interaction in our world.

Our world. Our community.

We can do better.

I know we can.