Friday, November 29, 2013

Holiday

The holiday was very quiet around here. The littles were with their dad's family, so I was able to spend time with my older girls and putter around the house. The holidays were also a bit hard without the little ones here, and as any newly-divorced person could tell you, holidays bring up feelings of grief. I've been writing a lot about my marriage. My writing gets pretty intense but I'm determined to take my healing in my own hands and honor the process. This in and of itself feels like a radical act, for people in our culture rarely honor the process. You are routinely encouraged to "just let go". I'm going to completely let go, and have made great gulping strides in my progress, but I'm still taking time to sift through. My hope is that this leads me to greater self-awareness, acceptance, and empathy. It all takes time and I'm willing to do it. In fact, I signed up for it. A very beloved thing to me died...my dream of family, along with a certain loss of innocence. I refuse to somehow diminish that.

But, being single has its definite perks.

Making my own place has been fun. The cats, as you can see, are big helpers.













I have rituals in the kitchen: homemade chai, hand-ground coffee, candles. Homemade bouillon and curry paste are staples. Lots of brown rice.
In my studio, I am slowly getting back to work. I got a console at the ReStore for $10, which called for a rearranging. Here is my tidied studio:




Not a very good picture of tools but don't you love tools and art supplies? Oh the possibilities!

My Facebook Gift Giving Guide

Man, I have a wealth of friends on Facebook who do really wonderful things. You can actually buy their things, which would make extra special Christmas gifts.
First one is this book.


There are also kits available and she is local to Louisville. Wonderful gift for someone who has everything.
If you've ever wanted to buy something exquisite and unique, handwoven is the way to go. Check out the beauty HERE.
Books for crafters:

The Knitted Slipper Book










Quilt Essential

And there's the art of Josh Johnson. He also wrote a children's book, The Spindletons. My kids loved it:
http://joshrabbit.tumblr.com/

Dane Waters is a talented local musician, found here.

If you want to snatch up some art really quickly, go HERE tomorrow. Buy or Burn art show featuring Joshua Huettig.

Oh, and don't forget that the Waldorf School will be holding a holiday bazaar next weekend! 10-2 and yours truly will be there.
Happy Holidays!

::::UPDATE::::I KNEW I forgot someone important!!!! Lesli at Studio Burke! You gotta check her out!


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wandering

One day last week found us wandering our neighborhood. We met a new neighbor, Rusty, who has a greywater system and chicken coops and a free source of wood chips. He also pointed us to a neighbor who keeps bees. I was thrilled to have kindreds nearby. And I got a tip on how to wrangle honeysuckle vine.
I love the surprises one gets while wandering. Our yard is just big enough to provide plenty to do and see while we are roaming...trees to climb, this is where to put a tire swing, this is where our garden beds will go, this part of the yard is narrow, tug tug another honeysuckle vine.
My knitting seems to be like that too. I love the projects where I can just wander and shape something at will, sans pattern.
I'm working on a sweater for the big boy (almost 5!) I don't have a pattern...it's a simple top-down raglan style with a placket. Lots of garter stitch in Manos.
And for my ten-year-old girl. I cast on for a Granny Smith. I know it's a beginner pattern but it's on 10s and will be great for the holidays. The yarn is my plant-dyed organic merino and my camera didnt' quite capture the color.

Speaking of holidays, I also got this book and I'm trying to figure out what to make and for whom. Here is the trailer for it:
Coolest video ever.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Messy Life



My fabulous realtor got me this as a housewarming gift. It is a good reminder for me to find meaning in the struggle. Because let's face it, life is messy. Sometimes it is messier than at other times.  As much as I'd like to keep my divorce/legal activities separate from the rest of my life, it just doesn't happen so easily. I try to keep my balance. The holidays are nearly here and so I'm trying to find my footing, get organized, plan some fun and social time, and keep up with laundry. The legal stuff does affect my hope. I so badly want to see the good in people and I don't want to give up.
Many people are counting their blessings right now on account of Thanksgiving. I am grateful, I really am, but sometimes I just want to grumble. 7 months no child support and a resistant ex, our mama rabbit ran away with 2 of her bunny babies and now the remaining two managed to escape too and it feels like I am in some sort of twilight zone with angora rabbits right now, my smaller children will be gone for Thanksgiving, the cats regularly shred toilet paper and then we have none, I'm stressed and not sleeping. I worry about money, obsess over rabbits, miss my kids.
But on the bright side, there is food in the pantry, the van is running well, my older girls will visit me for Thanksgiving and I will visit with my mom and stepdad, the piano is in tune, I made nearly 50 jars of hand balm that need labels and are to sell, I have been surrounded by so much love, I've started teaching voice lessons again, and I'm not too depressed to knit.
Finding equilibrium comes slowly. I suppose it takes awhile to re-route your rhythm after a particularly messy divorce. I haven't devoted much of my time to artistic pursuits, despite the fact that those things are so healing. Sometimes a soulful triage is called for: firstly, make sure the kids are ok and have what they need, secondly, survive (therapy, second jobs) third, rely on others and accept their support and fourth, have fun.
Through all this, I'm learning greater self-acceptance. It's ok to have a blog that talks about the good and the bad. It's ok to go through rough patches. It's ok to have a blog post without pictures. It's ok to have a life that celebrates the beauty of imperfection.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Backyard

November has come in snappy, windy splendor here in Kentucky. I'm finally feeling a bit settled into my new place. The most I've done is paint, a little plumbing, and install a sink. The list of things that need to be done is long and calls for some creative budgeting.
One of the things that drew me to this house is the land. I'm in the city and I have half an acre. When I first got here at the end of August, the back yard looked like this:

Honeysuckle vines covered most of the land. I never knew how therapeutic cutting, pulling, digging, and sawing could be. There is so much your mind works through while your limbs are of good, hard use. This is the dreaming phase, where I look at the empty beehives and see them repaired and set up in a proper bee yard. I see a shed for the bunnies. I see a place for the dye garden, flowers everywhere, a huge vegetable garden, a garden space just for feeding the bunnies and a garden for Serena. There are beds to prepare and fences to build. We have deer here and all manner of other critters that would enjoy a vegetable garden as much as I do.
But right now, this is what I am looking at:
 It's going to be harder than I thought. It's going to take some re-forming of dreams. I don't know how I am going to prepare this soil and this little area, so damaged by the honeysuckle vines. Chemicals are out...maybe goats?
In the meantime, I'll dig up what I can and look to control the rest over the next few years until it is gone. And I'll pray my soon to come garden beds aren't affected.
In the meantime, there is the lovely November light to enjoy.


Look what those darned honeysuckles have done to the trees!