Dec 19, 2012

Blanketing Newtown in Love

Hey there, Sharon of Three Irish Girls fame has started a Facebook page and Ravelry group called Knitters for Newton. She has made two unique indie dyed color ways, Love Wins and The Giving Tree. Through sales of the yarn, 20% is donation, and direct donations, she is gathering $10,000 to help those devastated by the events at Sandy Hook Elementary. She is also organising a group blanket drive with the idea of delivering the blankets in a few months when the media's attention has faded. I plan to help by making some squares and helping with the seaming together of them. I might budget some space and money for yarn. The Love Wins is a lovely soft rainbow that would make a nice remembrance shawl. The Giving Tree is brown, green, grey, and white, the colors of Sandy Hook's school colors and mascot, the eagle. It would make a nice, sweater for K. We often ask ourselves how can I help? I'm just one person. Through a multitude of small simple acts of kindness and love, the families of Newton will know they are blanketed with love from a nation of compassionate compatriots. Hopefully, the blankets will serve as reminders that love does win that life does give. We just don't always understand why or how at the moment, or even later. Please lift the families up in your prayers, if you pray, and in your thoughts with love and kindness if you don't. Thank you for reading. Jen

Dec 9, 2012

Bootstraps

I can easily wallow in my troubles. That won't do any good. I need to find a way to focus my thoughts and energy on something other than my disability. So, how do I do that? Get involved with real folks. I have few offline friends, and few who live nearby. I need to change that. How? Going places and lingering to get to know folks. I liked going to the knitting circle at the library on Thursdays. I also want to get involved in the monthly writers group there too. Get active. I need to move more. I am very sedentary and my body doesn't like me doing that. Walking is easy. I just need to do it. There's a treadmill in my garage. I need to get back into using it. Complete projects. I have a works in progress list that's really long. I have started working through it, frogging projects or completing them as time goes by. Read more. I have a stack of books from the library that would have taken me a week or week and a half pre meningitis. I still haven't finished the slenderest book and am nearing the return to library three week mark. I can read it's just harder for me b/c of eye strain leading to headaches easier and for some reason I'm slower at it. I have to reread more to get what's been communicated. Write more. I like writing. That's why I have a blog. :-) I have gotten away from writing for a while, but need to get back into it. I've been writing some knitting patterns, published one, and am on the way to working on another. It's been a while since I was this excited about anything.

Nov 21, 2012

Forgiveness is an act of the will

In other news, I checked out 10 books from the library yesterday, four on writing by writers, four on brains (non zombie, Neuroscience stuff), one whose title *Bearing Witness* could go either way, oh yeah, that's the wife's story of her dealing with hubby's brain injury, and Erika Knight's *Men's Knits*. I remember reading the introduction to Ek's book prior to last night, so I must have checked it out before...oh well, still good ideas for Ha grid. Here's got a different style than the three brothers and my dad do, so this helps with holiday knitting. Though I'm well on my way to Christmas goodies for them all. I'm going to be working on writing more and more structured, story development, characterizations, and all the other things that make for good story crafting. I have ideas tilting around me so fluidly, that I'm amazed at their transience and their frequency. So, I'm listening to the muse. I'm also still trying figure out the neuroscience stuff that happened to me, so I'm looking for ides to write through on my path to figuring things out. I'm tired of having this burden. But, it is what it is. Knowledge is power and if I can just figure things out about my brain, I can get a handle on it. But what if I never do? Figure it out I mean? Where does that leave me? My faith says to offer up my sufferings. That phrase always confused me. Now, I'm learning it's about accepting what is here and knowing that others have it much worse than me, so if in some way my suffering helps those who are imprisoned for being female or someone else in a harsh situation then I gladly suffer this pain and heartache. I was praying the Rosary for the girls imprisoned and treated horridly in Syria, from a BBC news report about a month ago, and feeling this connection to the girls, offering my suffering to ease their tormented lives, when a small voice stopped me in the Our Father and asked could I forgive the tormentors 'as they trespassed against' the girls. This scared me out of bed. I scrambled to where K was and shared this thunderous question with her. She asked me "Can you?" She didn't think I was crazy, thank goodness! I learned forgiveness is an act of the will. Emotions will follow, but you can choose how you feel about something.

something's not right! eReaders and acess with a hint of classism

Ereaders will be the wave of the future for the information age. But, only for those who can afford access to that privileged age, place. For the rest of humanity books, hard back blocks and paperback books, will be, if literate, their only access to information after a day of back breaking work. Do I have access? Yes, but I'm also aware of how little others who don't even have access to physical books because of their gender or being poor have to look towards in living a hard life each day. Knowledge is the last class ism divide. Well, maybe not last, butt certainly, one of the class divisions in this world. The rich want stupid, uneducated workers. The poor know the power of knowledge, but not always how to get there.

Nov 3, 2012

Vote! Migraines and Political Action

A few weeks ago, I received a call from the Marriage Equality folks here in Maine. They wanted to know if I was interested in helping visit folks, reminding them of Tuesday, November 6, 2012, election day and ballot measures. Question one is whether to allow same sex folks to be able to legally marry here in Maine. A yes vote means my partner and I can get married. Well, I really wanted to tell the guy on the line that of course I'd help, just name the date and time, instead I backed out of that opportunity. He offered other options for involvement, and rather than string him along, I leveled with him. "I can't plan that far in advance as my health doesn't allow it. I get migraines. Often. Multiple per week. I'd really like to be able to help with what we are trying to do here, but I just can't." Thankfully, he understood. Today, a nice guy came to our home and reminded me of the vote and the polling place. I got to thinking it was good I hadn't volunteered as I do have a bad migraine today. I wished there was something I could do. Then, the migraine got worse, so I had to deal with that for a while. During lunch, I was talking about the call from a few weeks ago, today's visit from the young man, and bemoaning the migraines. Then, I realized I could do one thing. I have this blog. I can write to all of you, dear readers, and ask that you vote. I would be insanely happy to have you vote as I will, but that's not reality. I just want you to vote. Even if you vote against my ideals in every way, vote. Exercise your American right to vote. My dad gave a large portion of his life and psyche to protect and affirm our rights as Americans and voting is the lynch pin that those rights rest on.. so, get to your polling place next Tuesday and vote!

Oct 8, 2012

What does God want from You?

If you are like most people,you don't know the answer to the question. If you are me, I know a few things that are part of the answer. I know he wants me to love him, read his letters to us, and go to church to listen to masses of his life and lessons for us on a daily basis. Do i do that? Not as often as I would like to see happen. I only do some of these things, and only very intermittently. I'm not a good Christian, but I am a good person. I'm human, dealing with health and physical ailments that limit my abilities to attend religious functions at a set time weekly/daily. God wants us to listen to him in prayerful silence, listen to him while reading the bible, reflecting our love for him back to him. God wants to hear how we frame our experience, how we think of our days and hours. God knows what he's given us, but not how we frame them. He might be sending us what he thinks is a really cool blessing, but we only see the bird pooh, so he needs to send one who can show us the splendor of the birds in flight. He wants us to gather with other like minded individuals and praise him, study the scriptures, and pray to him in a group setting. The group setting gives power to our prayers and amplifies our voices in the streets of heaven. The shared mystical experience gives more meaning to us and our experiences of god.

Sep 3, 2012

Migraine Poem

Glitter sparkles before my eyes, Butterflies in my tummy, This is gonna be a big one! Ouch, please take it away.

Aug 25, 2012

Mermaid Tail for 18" Doll











 

Materials
Bernat Baby Coordinates, Funny Print used for model, 42 grams, 120 yards
US size 6 needle, 4.0 mm
Small crochet hook for seaming
Yarn needle for weaving in ends

Notes
Work flat.
The first and last stitches of each row are worked in stockinet, knit on right side rows and purl on wrong side rows.

For the directions please see the pattern page on Ravelry.

Aug 8, 2012

Sweaters for Twins



These projects were started during the London Olympics 2012. I watched loads of swimming, gymnastics, and track n field events while knitting these sweaters. The sweaters are destined for two little ones to wear on their way home from the hospital in late fall.

The country blue color was already in my stash, which isn't very big. I've been trying to work from stash exclusively as that helps to create space for more fun yarns. I didn't have a cream or mushroom color in stash. Oh, no! What to do but go shopping of course! Michael's Impeccable in Soft Taupe is an excellent Mushroom color and in Heather is an excellent cream color. {I'm not paid by Michael's or anything, just like their yarns.}

Back home to knit during the Olympics and the Ravellenic Games. There was a hallabaloo over Ravelry using the name Ravelympics for their imaginary points only, international, Olympics timed and themed events. The hallabaloo started with a cease and desist letter from the US Olympic Committee who said Ravelry was infringing on their right to the Olympic franchise. Anywho,  these sweaters medaled in the Baby Dressage and Sweater Triathlon events.

I'm also into Harry Potter and participate in the Harry Potter Knit/Crochet House Cup. These sweaters earned thirty points for Quidditch, which just happens to be the Ravellenic Games. I'm doing a few other projects and hope to get a few bonuses for all my hard work. 

Anyways, I just wanted to share this with all of you and hope you have a grand day or night,as the case may be.

Aug 4, 2012

Chickfila hullabaloo

So, this Chickfila hullabaloo has made me sick on a few different levels. First, the owner of Chickfila, gives his money to groups that try to force LGBT folks into conversion therapy, which has been shown to be harmful by the APA. So that makes me sick. Both Christians and LGBT folks, some of which are the same people, are polarizing into groups that say the other hates them based on unfounded re
asons. God made me. God made me lesbian. God loves me. God loves my wife. Marriage equality would only give us the legal/civil rights associated with marriage. It has nothing to do with the holy matrimonial definition of another person's marriage. How can what happens in my relationship have any bearing on your relationship? I really don't understand that one. If you have an answer, please post it. I'm really curious.

Jul 19, 2012

Poem for Today

Dragonflies humming about my car all day today!
A delicious treat for all the hard work in the past.
Life is turning better.
Strawberry shortcake and baked chicken for Sunday’s supper!

Jul 14, 2012

Psycho Babble

"Therapeutic action may be related to ability to inhibit polysynaptic responses and block post-tetanic potentiation."
"Inhibits voltage-sensitive sodium and calcium channels, stabilizing the neuronal membrane and modulating calcium-dependent presynaptic release of excitatory amino acids; may also have dopaminergic effects."
What the heck do those two quotes mean you may be asking yourself? And, what is Jen doing now?

Well, my friends, I've recently become interested in a couple of medications for epilepsy, a pet area of psychological study for me. I looked them up in my handy 2004 Lippincott's Nursing Drug Guide, by Amy M. Karch (link to Amazon's page for the book).  The above two quotes are the therapeutic action descriptions from the descriptions of the two medications.

Inhibit polysynaptic responses, well, since a synaptic response is just the response in the synaptic gap between two different brain cells, also known as, neurons, I would hazard a guess that the polysynaptic responses are the responses in multiple synaptic gaps. Inhibition of synaptic responses just means that the response doesn't happen in the synaptic gaps where this medication's molecules are present in the brain.

Block post-tetanic potentiation, the post-tetanic potentiation can be translated as the activity in the receptive neuron after stimulation by repetitive (tetanic) pulses from the originating neuron, which changes the ability of the receptive neuron to intake various chemicals, which in turns leads to various actions on a gross and fine motor level eventually. By blocking the potentiation, the ability of the receptive neuron to intake various chemicals, after the originating neuron sends repetitive pulses of electricity, this medication stops whatever action would eventually come from the accumulation of neurons firing like this into an action.

So, the first medication stops the receiving neuron from getting messages in two different ways.

The second medication also works on the electrical currents in the brain, but the interesting part of this medication is the last part, the afterthought.

Dopaminergic effects, this medication may also activate the brain's reward system. This medication rewards the patient for taking it. The dopamine pathway is the reason we like decadent food, sex, drugs, and alcohol. Now, I'm not advocating taking illicit drugs or abusing prescription drugs. But, those behaviors are rewarding because the brain likes the sensations, and logic doesn't stand a chance against the dopamine pathway. That's why this is definitely where an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.

My mom at my age had smoked for a while, many years. I have never smoked a pack of cigarettes. My dopamine pathway isn't tied up in smoking at all. If I had a dream where I woke thinking I smelt smoke, I'd think I was in the presence of a fire. My mom, though, might wake thinking something like, "Man! That was a really good cigarette!" Then, when her logic kicks in and she remembers that she no longer smokes, the thoughts and dream could cause distress and feelings of regret or anger. All because her dopamine pathway was tied up with smoking for more years than not in her life at this point.

I have a weight problem. Technically, I'm obese, but I don't dwell on that fact. I do like good food, though. I'm trying to change my dopamine pathway to feel rewarded by fruit salad without a sweet dressing or exercising. Most of the time I'm okay about my progress. Weekly weigh-ins show that I lose more than I gain, though I'm working on getting the gained part lower. My dopamine pathway has been tied up with sugar and sweets since my mother's milk gave me some sweetness with the protein and other good things. That's thirty-seven years I'm trying to change. I don't dwell on that, or I'd be overwhelmed.

Anyways, I thought you'd get a kick out of the psycho babble of the technical psychological stuff I'm interested in and what the meaning is in lives I know a little something about. Have a grand day/night, as the case may be.

Jun 28, 2012

Boundaries

Boundaries. Where do you end and I begin? When does today end and tomorrow arrive? I've been pondering these and similar questions lately.

 A friend was bugged by a blade of grass on my shoe after I had walked across a recently mowed field. He wanted to brush it away. I called him on it when he did, as I didn't notice, nor think he'd do that, before he did. He said, "Boundaries?" "Yep," I replied, and returned to reading my book.

I wanted to return to normal as quickly as possible, but someone had touched me unawares and uninvited. This was not a good thing as Ms. Stewart would say. I felt my skin crawling, looking down, I didn't see any ants or spiders or bugs of any kind. Just unblemished, pink skin.

I remembered other times I'd been touched unawares and uninvited. I was a teenager on the school bus and others were teasing me, tugging on bits and bobs. I was younger and in scrapes with neighboring kids, getting bloody knees and noses.

But, today, it was sunny. I was in my front yard. A friend was bugged by a blade of grass on my shoe. "Sorry," he said. I realized, I was okay and he was okay and it was just a blade of grass. I honestly was able to say, "Apology accepted."

We moved on with the rest of our day.

Jun 24, 2012

Weekly wrap up, 6/24/12

Well, I didn't actually end up going to the TOPS meeting, my head was hurting too much for that. So, I stayed home and rested in the coolness of the ac K had installed in our kitchen window. That helped with the headache as did the medicine.

I haven't taken pics of the stitch markers yet, but have started on some project bags.

Going to go outside for a bit and knit on the hexipuffs. They are fun projects that work up fast and give a sense of accomplishment a lot like granny squares do.

Later, K and I will take our house guest to dinner at a restaurant that serves everything for less than $5 a dish. That'll be a nice break from dishes and house work for us.

I have a head cold that has morphed into a throat cold and lots of coughing. Hopefully the coughing is under control at the restaurant tonight.

That's all for now folks, looking forward to a more involved knitting week with the cold passing out of my system.

What's your week been like?

Jun 20, 2012

POTD, Plan Of The Day

In no particular order,

  • TOPS meeting, take minutes and participate, share about tracking food being too tedious for now what with all that is going on, and with the headaches out of control, I want to control this by not tracking calories, carbohydrates, and exchanges.
  • Continue to eat in a way that is healthy, balanced, but also allows me to eat what I want, not just what's a good choice.
  • Finish reading Mark chapter 9, I think, and record my thoughts on it
  • dishes, laundry and other housework
  • rest my head as I'll be taking migraine medicine, but not till later as I want it strongest in my system when at the meeting tonight
  • hang out with K and a friend
  • knit more hexipuffs, fun little hexagons knit from straight edge to straight edge
  • maybe make some hexipuffs with fun designs
  • pics and posting of stitch markers
  • play with making more stitch markers, they're fun and addicting to make

Jun 19, 2012

Weekly Wrap up, June 19, 2012

Hey there, everyone,

I am in the midst of a bad migraine. So, short and sweet is the order of the day! I have had delish meals prepared by one of the best people I know. We've been hosting a gentleman in our home off and on, this will continue through the summer. I'm knitting and crocheting up a storm. And, the pain is getting worse, so I'll sign off for now.

Keep praying and positive thoughts coming my way,
Jen

Jun 3, 2012

Weekly Update, June 3, 2012

I had been thinking on letting the Etsy shop die a slow death. Then, I got a new medication and realized $2.8 isn't too much to relist all items in the shop.

I've test knitted a shawl and a baby sweater. The shawl is Heliades on Ravelry. The baby sweater is Callippe. They are both beautiful in their own ways. I really connected with the Heliades while knitting it sitting on the dock of the bay of Sebago Lake in Standish, Maine, last week.



The wisps of fog and the back and forth nature of the short rows made me feel like the fog was entangled in my knitting. The pine trees lining the lake also reminded me of the popular trees in the shawl's design. I felt like the short rows were waves floating across the lake from one shore to the other mist enshrouded, distant shore.



The baby sweater is reminding me of the weather as I'm using a grey heather for the body and a bright grassy green for the trim. The grey heather is like the rainy clouds and grey weather we have been having. The green is brilliant like grass in shadowy light from the clouds.

There is no pic of the baby sweater yet. Once there is one, it will be loaded to here.

I am also awaiting responses from the disability folks, both insurance and federal folks. I've received word that the former company's insurance requires another 45 day extension to make their decision. I don't have a choice to say, "No, I want an answer now." I feel if I were to respond that way then they'd reply, "Okay, no, you don't receive anything." So, I wait.

I've been knitting and crocheting as a way to release my tension and need for control. The baby sweater taught me to hold my yarn loosely and not worry when the strands tangled on each other, for I was always able to untangle the three yarn ends I was using. This also taught me to loosen up in life and not try to control things so much. We'll see how long that will last.

I have decided to upload the things I make to the shop to see if others like them enough to purchase them. Hopefully, I'll be making things others find useful and well made enough so as to purchase them from me. We'll see how that goes.

I am also getting used to the new medicine. It puts me to sleep for a few days. I expect that to return when the dose is increased every seven days over the course of four weeks. This new medication is supposed to prevent migraines and push them further apart. It has a strange effect on my glands producing more than they should, but I should also lose about ten pounds from the medication. Since I'm trying to lose weight, that side effect is not unwelcome.  We'll see how it goes.

I have been praying the World Rosary for the Mission Fields. This is a version of the rosary where each decade of Hail Marys is said on behalf of a different portion of the world, Africa, The Pacific Islands, Europe, the Americas, and Asia. I sometimes also say a rosary for the souls in Purgatory and for those here on Earth. I figure that while my body doesn't always do as I'd like, I can still pray with God about the world, his people, and my place in the world. We'll see how that goes.

Well, this is getting long and for my first update, I just wanted to touch base on a few subjects of most importance to me now. If you would like to know more about any of the topics in this post, or if you would like to know more about a topic not covered here/today, please leave a comment so that I can continue the conversation with you.

May 21, 2012

Knitting Projects

I'm test knitting a shawl and a baby sweater. I have plans to knit a business card holder like NaturallyKnitty on Ravelry did for her DADA class in the HPKCHC group on there. I have a shawl going that's called the Lizzie Benette Shawl, which I'm doing in Vanna's Galmour, color Bronze. I'm calling that project Austen in Bronze, appropriately enough.

Pics I need to take are of the baby booties and hat. Then, I can send them off to Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, my home state. Though, if you've only spent maybe a month or less in a place, can you really call it home?

I'm also going to send the baby sweater test knit there.

I wish I could link to some of these projects. Oh well, on the test knits, I can't until they are released for the public, which isn't till June on either project. I'll take pics, just not upload them till the patterns go live.

So, my to do list for crafting,
  •  Make more spiral scrubbies, K really liked using one of the ones I made yesterday to wash the dishes!
  • Test Knit the Shawl edition
  • Test knit the Baby sweater edition
  • Business Card Holder
  • Pics of baby hat and booties
  • Blog about the generousity of other knitters and crocheters
  • post pics of my spindle and when I have yarn ready to use, that too
  • post pic of the yarn from knittingnearsided and the projects it's become, which part of it is the baby hat and booties, :)

Here's the spindle and fiber and stuff it came with,



And, here's the yarn and goodies from knittingnearsided,


 If it's hard to read the bookmark is my favorite quote from the Bible, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, Phillipians 4:13! She didn't even know that when she sent the package, all she knew was I was having a hard time coping with all the troubles with insurances and disabilities folks and trying to heal too!

Thank you to all who have helped me on this journey!

Apr 12, 2012

HPKCHC fun!

I am so excited to announce that for the upcoming term at Harry Potter Knit/Crochet House Cup, I will be on the blogging staff! Squeee! I am honored that they choose to allow me onto the blogging staff.

I'm going to be an incoming First Year. I have been a Not Quite First Year student in the Cup. All of the players like the fantasy of being an Hogwarts student combined with a very real love of their particular fancy for fiber in various forms and colors.

All of the playing takes place in Ravelry. Rav is an online forum similar to Facebook for those who love fibers, knitting, crocheting, weaving, and dyeing, and spinning. Rav is also full of folks who are enjoying their hobbies and livlihood with others in a fun way.

I can't wait for the start of the new term. Each term runs for three months with a break month between terms. April, August, December are the break months. This is a fun game, and I'm so happy that we get to play in it.

Mar 24, 2012

Open House @ Engine, Afterparty

I don't know if you ever did this, but one of the weekly church groups I was in used to hang out together after the Sunday evening service. The group called this the after glow. I'm calling this post the after party since the open house today was a blast!

Everyone who was presenting showed up on time and any mishaps were quickly dealt with. The other crafters were as follows,

ARDUINO 101 with Tim Karu
CLAY with Cathie Cantara
SCULPTURE with Cheryl Lichwell
BOOKBINDING with Kate Gerwig and Justine Bald
PRINTMAKING with Nora Tryon
ENAMELING with Kate Cathey

My middle brother, Bill, would have loved seeing Tim Karu's work. Bill makes his own computers and Tim's work involved using computer parts to make art. Some of the pieces looked like airports from an eagle eye view, while others look like futuristic space ships.

Cathie Cantara and Cheryl Lichwell were near each other as you continued around the circle. Cathie's work was shown on a potter's wheel, while Cheryl had blocks of clay on a tripod about eye height and did portraits of various models throughout the event. Engine's own young friend got her portrait done.

Nora Tyron and Kate Cathey made up the next part of the circle. Nora worked on printmaking with paints, balloons, and baby shirts. She also displayed some very cool prints with pretty colored skies from the print making process, which she then used what looked like India ink to draw trees on. Those pieces were just wonderful. Kate explained the difference between enamel and ceramic glazes. Enamel glazes are applying to metal surfaces, while ceramic glazes are applied to clay bases. She uses a fixative to hold the finely ground glass onto the vessels she had for display purposes. Enamels, and ceramics for that matter, require firing in a kiln to become permanent.

Finally in the circle was Kate Gerwig and Justine Bald with their bookmaking supplies and samples. This table was hopping from the moment they set up shop till it was time to leave. They had lovely examples of homemade books and different types of binding samples.
Before I left for the Open House, I had put a project in my purple office tote, and wouldn't you know it, the hook wasn't in the project. I didn't realize that till I got to Engine and was pulling the project out and looking for the hook. So, I took a few steps back in time, borrowed a pencil to improvise a hook, and explained to folks that this is how crocheting and knitting got their starts as just folks playing with strings using sticks. I ended up with a square foot sized granny square out of the time there with that improvised hook. :)

I was set up near the front entrance with projects spread out on a large, black, leather ottoman and a card table. I had business cards for the taking on both surfaces. Folks lingered most over the socks, stitch markers, and scarves, as well as the brightly colored items. Lots of compliments were received on color sense and on fineness of workmanship. :) Next post will include pics from my phone that I've yet to download.

As many of you are aware, I have been healing from a bad brain infection this past September. While I had a blast at the Open House, I also noticed myself developing a headache and becoming distracted/sensitized to the noises of folks having fun. I was managing to smile and engage with folks, but also happy that I was off to one side in a way. I wasn't in the middle of the noise making part. That was a relief.

I spoke for a long while with Jim Emerson, Treasurer of Engine's Board of Directors, and he serves on the Biddeford School Board. He is a very kind listener and got likely more than he bargained for when he sat down to chat with me about my projects. He asked if I was doing this part-time or full-time and that lead to a discussion of the headaches, migraines, and anatomy involved in meningitis.

He also asked for the story of how I can to be a knitter/crocheter. I shared the story my mom told me long ago about my being fascinated by watching her make a yellow loop stitch crocheted layette for my middle brother. Mom asked the physical therapist who was working with us to help my fine motor control skills improve about learning to crochet as an adjunct therapy at home. The therapist was ecstatic with that idea. From how mom tells the story, the therapist went on to implement that idea with her other patients.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you. Enjoy! Don’t forget to Subscribe to my RSS feed!

Mar 17, 2012

Open House @Engine

I'm going to be a participant in the Open House happening next week @Engine in Biddeford, Maine, across the street from the MacArthur Library and the BSB parking lot.

The Open House is on next Saturday, March 24, from 9a.m. to 1p.m. You can see, handle, and purchase knit and crochet items from me there.

I would love to meet you in person there. Feel free to let me know you saw me online. There may be a surprise if you do!!

I love collecting business cards, so bring yours for a random drawing. I will contact the winner with their surprise, and post pics on here. So, be looking forward to that post.

Other crafters will be there as well, including but not limited to,

ARDUINO 101 with Tim Karu
CLAY with Cathie Cantara
SCULPTURE with Cheryl Lichwell
BOOKBINDING with Kate Gerwig and Justine Bald
PRINTMAKING with Nora Tryon
ENAMELING with Kate Cathey

The Engine can be found at 265 Main Street, Biddeford. Phone number: [207] 229 3560 and website: FeedtheEngine.org Hours of operation are Tues-Fri Noon-6p, and Sat 9a-12p.

Looking forward to meeting you all there!!

Mar 9, 2012

Inspiration, or why I do what I do

Inspiration can come from anywhere. But, where does it really come from? For me, it comes from how I want to play with the materials that day, the weather, and what the prompt is for the project. Recently, I started playing along in the Harry Potter Knit/Crochet House Cup on Ravelry, a Facebook for yarn crafters.

The Cup has classes based on the subjects in the Harry Potter books. Transfiguration is about changing the yarn in some way. Arithmancy can be about tessellations or other magical mathematics. Astronomy is about interpreting the celestial ceiling in yarn crafts. Herbology is about cables and patterns where the stitches resemble vines twisting around each other. Charms is about lace, lace, and more lace. Muggle Studies is about the magical communities interpretation of muggle devices and holidays. Care of Magical Creatures has involved studying creatures on desolate islands that have five feet or centaurs or other magical critters. History of Magic is interpreting the magical family trees in yarn and other magical historical things in yarn too. Potions is either studying a particular potion ingredient or the effects of a potion on others.

The classes have prompts to be worked on during the month. You are usually given a choice of 2-4 ways to complete projects for a particular class. The stories that the professors come up with to introduce the topic of the class are simply amazing. You really should check out the House Cup on Ravelry. One of the prompts had been about the idea of minitures and what would you need if you took an age reversing potion, what kind of items would your miniature self need to be able to survive. That was a neat story with lots of baby sweaters and doll sized projects, some of the doll sweaters for sale in my shop were featured in the Cup.

The Cup is a lot of fun, and a source of inspiration. I read all the class prompt stories. Then, I make at least one item for the classes. I am also working on what's called an OWL...in my case, it's a sweater for myself. I just have sleeves and neckline to finish. Today is the eighth of the month and I have until the thirty-first to submit that class and the OWL. I'm maintaining one class per month, sometimes more, so that I can be sorted this term. I would have been sorted for this term. I figured the headaches would give me pauses from knitting, so I asked to not be sorted after I had submitted my application. Anyways, the Sorting Hat was very accommodating and didn't have a fit when I asked to be unSorted.

This time around, next month, I plan to be Sorted, but am keeping the House name secret!

Mar 4, 2012

Have you ever...

Have you ever thought about just how precarious your life is? Have you ever thought how close to the brink of financial ruin you are? Just because you can't work? I have and it's not pretty, folks.

I haven't been able to work for months now. Food stamps keep me in food. But, creditors and bills don't accept food stamps even if they could. Stores that sell ink for making your own business cards to include in your shops packages, don't take EBT cards either. Your shop isn't selling anything yet, and you wonder if it ever will. The wolf's at the door and you don't know where to turn.

Your mom offers some money, not even quite 100, and you feel so indebted to her, that you can't ever imagine paying her back. So, she calls it a gift. You think of the wolf and know he knows your size.

You can't afford stock in Kleenex because you can't afford them to catch your tears of frustration and hopelessness. You use generic everything, not just because you hate paying for others' advertising, but because you can't afford the name brand things. There's no room to cut back because you were raised lean and already have cut back. You think of the wolf and know he knows your home.

Have you ever received money from a family member and thought to pay it back because you imagine just how tight their life is? They haven't said it is a loan. But, you know your grandma can't afford her insurance copays, yet she's sent you 100. You think of the wolf and know he knows your thoughts.

That wolf is knocking on the door. The deadbolt is the only thing keeping him from slitting your throat. You control the deadbolt, but the wolf knows you. He knows the leanness of your soul and plays his violin in that key. He wants you to turn the deadbolt, to just give up. He knows it's only a matter of time before you do turn the deadbolt. He knows you fear the outside world. He entices you with his sorrowful violin.

But, is he real? I don't know, but he knows.

Feb 21, 2012

Appendicitis

I am very happy to be celebrating my birthday this year. I was admitted to the hospital late Sunday evening. The doctors in the ER at SMMC are amazing. I was given a physical test, then a cat scan, then my appendix was removed. I stayed in the hospital overnight so they could observe me.

I was so shocked when told I have appendicitis that I asked the doctor if I was dreaming because of the three morphine shots they gave me. Unforgivably, this was no dream. I then said something surprising while the doctor started to discuss the next steps. I don't know what he really was talking about at that time and told him I needed a moment to adjust to this new reality. A year ago, I wouldn't have stopped him. I'm proud of being assertive.

This is a bad bacterial infection. The meningitis is connected only because the meds for it reduce my immune system. One of my brothers asked if the meningitis and appendicitis were connected. The meds for the one increased my risk for anything. Appendicitis germs were able to get me first. I think I need to see about ways to improve my immune system.

This was also my third hospitalization for anything related to the meningitis. I am very sore and tired, so going to sign off for now. Feel free to ask any questions, and I'll do my best to answer them.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you. Enjoy! Don’t forget to Subscribe to my RSS feed!

Feb 9, 2012

Traditional Thursdays

The recent media frenzy, which I guess I'm adding to, around the court ruling that prop8 isn't right has been crazy. I see other Catholic and Christian bloggers commenting on this topic. They have been using some very harsh language.

I've always viewed harsh language as too strong and immature for myself. Swearing does not add anything to my impression of others. In fact, cursing is what will make you lose respect in my eyes. I've worked in a variety of professional jobs. The language in each office and field location have only used appropriate language.

When you intentionally use foul language, you only show how uncreative you can be. I disagree with the heartbreak over the failure of prop8. I am celebrating the success of the view that marriage is more inclusive than just the strictly narrow view of just a heterosexual couple. I would love to be able to marry my sweetie. Right now, the law is against us being able to do that. Civil unions in Vermont and Massachusetts marriages not withstanding, marriage is still a privilege for my brothers but not me.

I have been married to a man before. That relationship was not healthy and ended in divorce. I learned my sexual orientation through that process. I believed the idea of saving your sexuality for marriage. I never expected to find that my sexuality was different than that of others I knew.

Growing up on military bases, no one would ever talk positively about gays and lesbians. There were no examples. This was pre-Ellen's show where she came out. This was back in the day of the original Star Trek being in reruns and the Star Trek Next Generation on television. There weren't any role models of sexuality other than heterosexual that I saw.

All conversation in high school was vaguely negative about gays and lesbians. Matthew Shepard was not to die for another five years. That's the kind of environment I, and many others, grew up in. Even after coming to terms with my own sexuality, I didn't let too many people know. I wanted to stay safe as my mom put it. I didn't go many places after dark except to go to and from work.

Even at work, I was not immune from crass treatment by others. A few winters ago, I was working the late second shift at a major retailer. My car was park near the building and was in view of the doors and cameras. One night, I went out to my car and got it cleared of snow. Got in to wait for the heater to warm up before leaving. Started the windshield wipers as it was snowing and melting on the front window. That's when I realized someone had done something to my window wipers. I got out, walked over to the passenger side. A dirty condom was covering the tip of the wiper.

I was suddenly enraged, angry, scared, and disgusted all at once. I used a pen to lift it off the wiper. Took it into the store. Dumped it in the trash. Asked my coworkers to call over the night manager. He looked at it was sickened too. He looked at the tapes of the night near my car. He said there was nothing that was discernible on the tapes and nothing that could legally be done. I'm still not sure of whether he did or didn't look at the tapes.

Later that winter, I was let go from that job as the winter hours were reduced after Christmas. I also had stood up for a lady customer who was told she couldn't go in the women's restroom because she was a man. This was someone with a marine haircut, but very obviously a woman from the front. I emailed store management about the rudeness of the employee. I asked if there was some kind of sensitivity training that all employees could take. I didn't let it go. Less than three weeks later, I was let go because of the Christmas rush being over.

That particular retailer didn't want me to go to the hospital when I burned my arm on the air compressor that had a short in the wiring. I told the highest ranking member of management that I was going to report the injury. He said I couldn't and refused to allow me to go to the hospital. I was accosted by my manager and another manager and told it would cost $14,000 if I went to the hospital. I have no idea where they got that number. But, it didn't lead me to not go to the hospital.

The ER staff thought it was bad enough that they gave me some Vicodin then and a script to get more later. When I told yet another manager I had been to the ER, she asked what they did. I told her that they gave me medicine and did basic first aid. She looked at me weirdly and implied that I just wanted the pain medication. It wasn't fair working for that employer.

Now, I'm healing and trying to get to a day with no headaches at all. I'm not sure if that is possible. The doctor said some people have langer than twelve months of pain from getting meningitis. That sometimes the pain can last till fifteen to eighteen months after contracting the disease. That is not encouraging news!

At least I know now and can try to work towards getting the headaches controlled. Currently, I'm on a month of extended medical leave from my job. If I am not able to go back to work at the end of this month, then I will be let go. I really hope that I'll feel much better by the end of the month. I'm not confident, but am hopeful. I mean its only twenty days. I doubt there'll be a big change in twenty days.

Miracles do happen. I am alive, and that is a miracle. I love God, family, and friends, including myself. Love is a miracle. I could have passed away in September, but like my mom, I'm a fighter for my health. I also have had a ton of people praying for me. Perhaps, my being sick is drawing them closer to God and Jesus. I hope that is the case. I can't change being sick, but I can hope that others are deepening their relationships with each other and with God.

Anyways, this has been one wacky post. Started with homosexuality and prop8, went through some tough times at a work location, and winded its way through religion to the end. I look forward to seeing what the future holds, even though I may also be scared of what it can hold. But, I can't influence the future so why be afraid or worried about it, huh?

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you. Enjoy! Don’t forget to Subscribe to my RSS feed!

Feb 8, 2012

Wednesday Wowzer!

So, I totally love puzzles and would like to start having a weekly puzzle. I'm thinking of something like Google's scavenger hunt, but weekly not daily.

Wednesday WowzerQuestion: Who was the first person to use Pavlovian conditioning? I will give you a hint, it wasn't Pavlov.
Answer to be posted next Wednesday, that means you have all week to figure it out. And, to qualify for the prize you must leave a comment to this post.

Feb 7, 2012

Brain Power Update




Picture can be found @ http://www.pbs.org/wnet/brain/

Been feeling a bit better. I saw the doctor recently and learned that there are two types of medications for headaches, abortive and preventative. All the pain medications are abortive, and able to cause rebound headaches. Preventative medications space the headaches out so I have more days that are noticing but able to function, as opposed to being on my back in pain.

The preventative medications take time, but the doc could tell mine was already working, as a side-effect of it is extreme thirst. If I don't have something to drink every five to ten minutes, I'm parched like I've been in the desert for a month. So, at least my drinking water like air showed him my body was getting used to the new medication they had put me on while in the hospital.

He mentioned migraines, and I asked him to clarify the difference between migraines and regular headaches. He noted that with migraines the pain is on one side of the head, flashes of light could happen, nausea, and that a cold, dark room and sleeping it off is what usually gets rid of them.

The meningitis has left scaring and inflammation in my lining of brain and spinal cord. This scaring and inflammation is the base from which headaches grow. Migraines growing in that kind of environment don't go away on their own. And, they are more frequent because of the damage done to the meninges.

I let him know that I was having one currently. He wanted to know how frequent they had been prior to the meningitis. Usually, I had had one about every three months. Now, I have had two within two weeks. Before, I would sleep them off, waking in the morning a little sore but a lot better, take a couple of Advil, and they were gone. Now, as he put it, I don't have that luxury. Instead he's put me on a targeted migraine medicine. It's the first time I've been on one.

It knocked me out last night. We had company over for game night. I had to excuse myself at 7 so I could go to bed. I wish it hadn't done that, but can't control that, so won't worry about it. Everyone was fine and the company stayed for about an hour after I went to bed.

I tried praying the Rosary as I do before sleeping. I only got about a fourth of the way before I started dozing off and not making sense. I think I was praying for hamburgers to see Morticia at one point. Anyways, I figured God understands and knows what's going on, so I put the prayer beads away and slept through to this morning.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you. Enjoy! Don’t forget to Subscribe to my RSS feed!

Tuesdays Etsy Shop Update

I have been working on the publicity side of the shop this week. That being said, I haven't had time to upload more items. I plan to do that when the weather is sunnier and my head isn't hurting so from these migraines. The weather needs to improve, so I can have good light for the photos. My head needs to improve so I can bend over while arranging the items for the photo shoot.

If you would like to interview me, please leave a comment and I'll get back to you. I am always looking into books on how to grow your business and improve your experience as an entrepreneur. I am also always looking for folks who want to have hand knits customized to their liking.

I like how the Etsy shop has an option for requesting custom projects. I like to know the things like size of the recipient, inches or centimeters work. I like to know the colors you are interested in. I like to know what shapes are best for the recipient. If it is a sweater I'll want to know how long from armpits to desired length, neck to desired length, width between shoulders, length of arm to wrist or desired length, neck/head circumference, and what kind of neck shaping, eg crew neck, v-neck, turtle neck, mock turtle, scooped (how deep?), square neck ....

The list of possible questions could go on forever. About the customization process, I would ask questions based on the initial information you were to give me. A lot would depend on what you had said, and what I'll need to make the sweater, as well as how easy it is for you to get measurements. I have built sweaters based on general sizing before and on actual sizing. The actual sized ones are able to fit better, and less likely to be given away after one or two wearings.

If the sweater is going to be for a person who is, as we say, a little larger, or a lot larger, then there are a few special measurements that are needed. Since body compositions vary, I would need to know where the bigger parts are. So, for the waist circumference, I would need to know the measurement from each front and back of the person. The side seam of a pair of jeans works well for this. Then, just measure around the front to the other side seam, record that number and repeat for the back. If the chest is where the larger part is the concept is the same.

These are just a few considerations when creating a custom knit sweater. I like my sweaters to be about 10-12 inches from armpit to waist. I like when they hit mid-hip. Sweaters also grow in length once they are complete. I'm never sure just how much they grow, as each would depend on the stitches and yarn used. That's why I usually go with the minimum number if given a range. Overtime it should even out to the longer number, depending again on how much it grows.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you. Enjoy! Don’t forget to Subscribe to my RSS feed!

Feb 3, 2012

Traditional Thursday, a day late

Yesterday, I had a really bad headache. It started Wednesday night and is still with me. I don't want to dissappoint you readers, so please know I was thinking of you all. I often pray that you have good days and acceptance of what comes your way that is not changeable.

I prayed those same thoughts for myself yesterday. I also felt drawn to reading my Bible. I have a really thick Bible, and didn't feel like lugging it from the living room to my bed where I am still camped out. So, I grabbed my iPod touch off of the clock on my nightstand.

One of the apps I have on there is YouVersion's Bible app. I have a few others on there too, but You Version's is in the tray at the bottom of the screen. Anyways, I entered the app, looked at my progress on various reading plans I participate in, and eventually made my way to the actual Bible.

It opened to 2Corinthians, chapter one, verse one. I read and was amazed at what I was reading. The beginning of this book is about why God allows suffering, and let me tell ya, I was suffering. To quote from my big Bible, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God of all encouragement, who encourages us in our every affliction, so that we may be able to encourage those who are in any affliction with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God. For as Christ's sufferings overflow to us, so through Christ does our encouragement also overflow. If we are afflicted, it is for your encouragement and salvation; if we are encouraged, it is for your encouragement, which enables you to endure the same sufferings we suffer. Our hope for you is firm, for we know that as you share in the sufferings, you also share in the encouragement."

I was awestruck by the reading fitting so well with my current situation. I had been wondering why it has to hurt so much to heal from meningitis. Here was my answer, to be able to encourage others going through chronic pain and debilitating illnesses. This mental attitude adjustment doesn't lessen the pain I feel, but it does give me a sense of the purpose for the pain, other than my body telling me something isn't right.

After K got home from work, I shared with her how I got to the verses in question. Then, I read aloud the passage from Scripture. She had been listening, while also playing on the Internet. As I began to read the above passage, she slowly turned around and stared at me with a look of incredulity. She asked if the iPod had gone there on its own or had I searched for encouragement. I hadn't searched at all. Then, we talked about how amazing God is and how we do occasionally get answers to prayers. She then asked me who I knew that could use some encouragement. I rattled off about ten names immediately. She suggested praying for them and whatever life situations they are going through. So, that's what I've been doing this morning.


For those with inquiring minds, the list I rattled off was my folks, brothers, their associated partners, past and present, my neice, g-ma, and two sisters from where I worked. That's only a small list of those I could pray for, but it is the list I came up with and have been praying over.


Also, at this time of great pain in head, soft gentle voices and music are soothing. I have been catching up on some of the podcasts I haven't listened to since getting sick in September. One that has been particularly helpful is Among Women by Pat Gohn. The first one I listened to was called Bearers of the Good News about Catholic evangilization. There were two parts to that podcast. Then, Pat did a podcast called, What I love about the Rosary. She shared my comments on there, so it was neat to get to hear that. Her voice is very soothing, and there is a little bit of soft music when she transitions sections of the podcast.


Each podcast starts with a short monologue introducing the topic for that podcast and how the featured saint relates to the interview portion. This is followed by a 'Blessed are They're section on the featured woman saint. This is followed by an interview with a Catholic woman who works in media usually, sometimes academia, and sometimes new media. Then, there are the 'What I love about the ...' podcasts which each have a unique format.


The 'What I love about the Rosary' podcast had Pat reciting the Rosary and comments from audience members either read by Pat if they were submitted that way, or played from the recording Pat had received from the listener. My comments on the Rosary were that I love it because the Rosary brought me to the Catholic church. I had been searching for a while of different ways to come back to God. Mary and her Rosary were safe ways for me to reintroduce myself to God and Jesus. I had been angry at God for a long time because he allowed me to get married and divorced. Why not just skip that and stay single? Anyways, I eventually realized that God allowed that to happen because he gives us each free will and that I wasn't really angry with God. I still wanted to connect with God through the female and that meant Mary and the Rosary.

Feb 1, 2012

Wednesdays What's on the hooks and needles?

Today, I have a few projects on the hooks and needles. There's the crochet blanket for the Ravelry group, Bundles of Joy. Then, the sweater I'm working on for my OWL (Ordinary Wizarding Levels) in Divination, subset is Astrology, for the Harry Potter Knit/Crochet House Cup. There's also the sweaters I'm making for 18-inch dolls, like the American Girl dolls, to sell in my shop. If that all sounds like Greek to you, it is just knitting and crocheting.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you. Enjoy!Don’t forget to Subscribe to my RSS feed!

Jan 31, 2012

Tuesdays Etsy Shop Update

This weekend I added more items to the shop. I really liked the beads I played with while making the stitch markers. The 18-inch doll sweater melted in my fingers like butter. I still haven't decided on whether to post the owl book thong, which may end up going to my g-ma.


If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you. Enjoy!Don’t forget to Subscribe to my RSS feed!

Jan 30, 2012

Monday Manic News

What's new in the world? Well, for me, taxation of myself and my customers. I have figured out what to do to be able to collect sales tax and how that works. Yay! I also found out that all the tracking of income and expenses occurs on the federal forms, so nothing new to do with the state income taxes. I also found out how and where to register my business.

I have made some stitch marker sets and a couple of book thongs that will be going in the shop. I have yet to take pictures. The items were finished around 11 p.m. last night, so no daylight for nice pictures.

I realized that making the stitch markers and book thongs was really easy. I love the colors I chose for the thong parts and the pendants on each of the book thongs. My favorite is the silvery purple braided thong with the owl pendant.

I may send that one to my grandma instead of placing it in the shop. Grandma collects owls and really likes to read her Bible. One can never have too many book thongs!

Also, new this week, I am embarking on adding cables to my project for the Harry Potter Knit/Crochet House Cup on Ravelry. The sweater has columns of light purple over a base of dusty purple. The columns are braided, which has been enough to work on so far. But, I needed a way of bringing the columns to a nice finish near the top. So, I've started bringing the columns together through the use of cabling them towards the middle of each section. Eventually, there will be only one column continuing to each shoulder.

Anyways, that about wraps up this issue of the Monday Manic News. What's new in your neck of the woods?

Jan 29, 2012

Sunday Lectionary Stop

Today is the fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time. I still get a kick out of understanding what that means. The readings for today are from Deuteronomy, First Corinthians, and Mark.

Deuteronomy 18, 15-20~ The Lord will raise a prophet from among the Israelites as a leader for the people. This prophet represents Messianic foreshadowing of Jesus. However, the passage also shows God's insistence on being the only god of the Israelites. God will cause any prophet who bears false witness to God's commands to die. To die is to be cut off, ostracized from company, separate from God's love.

I Corinthians 7, 23-35~ Paul is writing to the Corinthians to encourage them to serve the Lord without distractions. Paul states that both men and women are distracted and divided when married. marriage makes a person focus on the here-and-now, while non-marriage is a state of focus on the Lords. Paul emphasizes that is is he who is telling the Corinthians this, not the Lord. I can see this in my own life. When I was much younger, I loved God with all my hear. As I grew older, I gave my heart to others. I became distracted from God for a long time. Now, I am turning back to Him in continual cycles of conversion.

Mark 1, 21-28~ Jesus teaches at a synagogue on the Sabbath and commands an unclean spirit to leave a man, which it does. The unclean spirit recognized Jesus as the "Holy One of God." Jesus is recognized by the people as a teacher with authority (a prophet) unlike their scribes. Both the unclean spirit and the people of Capernaum know that Jesus has power and recognize his strength to command them.

Synthesis and Conclusions~
Today's passages reflect on the Prophetic power of God and Love of God. By being unmarried and, therefore, free to focus all life's energy on God, we are able to see God and love Him fully. God wants us to love him completely. That desire for a complete love is what powers the idea of false prophets dying. Jesus recognized and loves the man with the unclean spirit. By freeing the man of the unclean spirit, Jesus shows his love for the man. Jesus also shows his strength in that process.

What do you think?

Jan 28, 2012

Saturday Weekly Wrap Up

I'm sitting at my desk, coffee cup to the right, lunch to the left. Outside I can hear the buzz of a neighbor's saw as he is cutting wood for a home improvement project. Bright, gorgeous sunlight is flooding the front room.

From this vantage point, I look back on this week. The week started with me in the hospital until Tuesday. I am surprised at how much has changed since Sunday. I have a better understanding of headaches, rebound headaches, and the meninges. I am astounded at how knowledge of bodily processes can mediate some of the pain. I also have watched a documentary called, The Science of Healing, which talked about exercise, diet, music, visual stimulation, and deep breathing as ways to fix what ails us in this time and that of the ancient Greeks.

Following in their example, the lead researcher in the documentary explores her own experiences with contracting inflammatory arthritis in her knees just after her mother's funeral. She visits a Greek island with some neighbors and finds herself walking the hills and playing in the fresh sea air. While there, her arthritis goes into remission. When she returns home, it comes back. Intrigued, she starts to change her life to reflect the life she lived on the island. She adds walking and swimming to her life, follows a Mediterranean diet, and practices breathing exercises. As she undergoes these lifestyle changes, the arthritis again goes into remission.

That documentary got me thinking about my own life. I have twice been in the hospital because of meningitis. I almost died in September. That is becoming more real to me as each day passes. God didn't want to take me hen, so there must be a purpose for my continued life here. I don't know what that purpose entails. I know that it will draw others closer to God through my example and attitude. I have been thinking a lot about the choices we make each day.

I was craving chocolate last night. The only chocolate in the house was chocolate chips in an inaccessible cupboard and hot chocolate powder in envelopes. Neither was what I really wanted. I wanted a big, crispy chocolate bar. I thought about getting in the car and driving to the grocery store. But, I stopped myself for two reasons. One, it was after 10 p.m. and I wasn't sure the store would be open. And, two, I realized that it was a craving. I wouldn't gain anything by going to get the chocolate bar. I also realized that I really wanted the crunchy aspect of the chocolate bar. So, I ate an apple instead. My body is much happier, and by extension so am I, with my eating the apple and not heavy chocolate.

Does this mean I will always choose the apple over the chocolate? No, it just means in that one instance I made a conscious choice to change my destiny. It will take the accumulation of many such choices to see any difference on the scale in my bathroom. But, that doesn't matter. In the now of last night, I chose health. That is what matters. I know that my purpose involves choosing health. Otherwise, I'd have been gone in September.

What do you think your purpose is? If you know me, what do you think my purpose is?
If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you. Enjoy!Don’t forget to Subscribe to my RSS feed!

Jan 27, 2012

Fun Friday

For this week's Fun Friday, I thought you might like to see how I relax with my crafting on Ravelry. This is a Facebook of sorts for crafters who work with yarns, knitting, crochetting, weaving, and spinning.

One of the forums I really enjoy is the Harry Potter Knit/Crochet House Cup (HPKCHC). They have created a virtual world where we get to craft to prompts related to lots of different prompts like those one might see in the classes at Hogwarts. This forum allows me the opportunity to engage in some imagination, craft with yarn, and have a social outlet. The orompts and tangents the discussions go off in always lead to learning something new each time I go online, and sometimes even challenge me. There is a lot of excitement and good-natured competitiveness with this group.

Another forum I really enjoy is the Bundles of Joy group. They craft things for all ages, though mostly babies and children for those living on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, USA. This is one of the coldest spots in the lower 48 and one of the poorest areas in my country. So, far, I've been working on a crocheted blanket for the group. They are full of folks who don't stress about making things and cheer each other on to completing various projects for the people on the reservation.

A third group I'm involved with on Ravelry is the For Our Vets group. This group makes items for the vets in VA hospitals and nursing homes. This month we are doing a craft-a-long of making to totes for the vets. The type of thing changes monthly.

Anyways, that's my bit of fun on Ravelry. If you're in there look into some of these groups. And, remember, crafting is supposed to be fun!!

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you. Enjoy!Don’t forget to Subscribe to my RSS feed!

Jan 26, 2012

Inside my shop

My shop is centered in my living room of my small home in the woods of Maine. I have a green, wing backed chair that I love knitting in while listening to movies on NetFlix or music on Pandora. Beside the chair is a wooden bookcase from a diy-finish it yourself store. It holds my idea books, sketches, supplies, and some yarn. I also house my lotions for the dry winter months there. I have a tuffet, though not a muffet, which has three legs with brown high heels as its base.

The room is square and there are windows to the south letting in wonderful light throughout the day. I have a chaise lounge as part of my couch, a metal and glass coffee table inherited from my partner's mother. I did etch it with a solution to add frosted lines and squares tying in with the modern esthetic of the piece. On the coffee table, sits q wooden tray also from the same mother's home. The tray holds a white wicker basket that holds the various remotes for a modern home.

There's a glider rocker in the corner by the television. I don't use the television much because of the headsches, but it is there for when we want to watch it. Beside the glider rocker is a stand that hss two wide and long shelves with three smaller shelves above. A lamp with a jungle leaf for the base sits on top of this stand.

Then, there's the desk, with all of its wires and electronics. We use a dining room chair as the desk chair. It is covered in a ripple stitch afghan that we picked up along the way. The floors are light hardwood and feel great under hand knit socks. The walls are an icy blue, which is not too cold even in the Maine winter.

This has been a little peek into my design studio amd home. What does your dream crsfting space look like?

Traditional Thursdays

Beginning with this week in January, 2012, I plan to post my ramblings about the three traditional subjects of this blog: God, Homosexuality, and Crafting/Knitting. Please feel free to reply with questions, either here or through Twitter, @cathseeker.

Recently, I was in the hospital with severe pain from debilitating headaches. Going to the Emergency Department and saying I need help was a hard choice, but a good choice. Telling humans things are beyond my ability to cope is some times easier than telling God. I have a higher standard for what God allows of me than what others expect of me. This is a silly thing to do to myself. God understands my situation better than anyone can, including myself.

God isn't worried about the individual details of the tapestry that is my life in a way. He is more interested in the big picture and where I end up eventually. Heaven is a possibility for me as well as for everyone one else, but so is Hell. These are real places. I cannot see or touch them, but neither can I see or touch the surface of the moon, but I believe it to be solid and dusty. Heaven is the full embodiment of connection with the Triune God, while Hell is the complete and utter opposite. To have one, the other must exist, at least on our plane of existence.

Heaven and Hell are like a knit stitch. One side is knit, the other side is purl. You can't have one without having the other. I'm not blaming one stitch or the other either. I'm a left-handed knitter, so I pick my stitches and find purls just as easy as knit stitches. My right-handed knitter friends don't necessarily have that same luxury. They carry the yarn in the right hand, so they throw their stitches and change the yarn position with more steps than us pickers do. I like the efficient and deft little movements of my fingers when working with my knitting.

I like that I can while away the hours with little noise and not end up with too bad of a headache. The meningitis from September is following me around like a bad penny. I call it my constant companion, probably always will as it is a part of me, now. I had been re-hospitalized for the pain from a headache that I'm still having that's been going on since Wednesday, a week and a day ago.

The doctors adjusted my medications, but the strongest thing they told me was that I have to wait out the headaches. Though, they did give me strong pain relievers for severe pain, changed a sleeping medication, and incorporated other medications. The strong pain relievers have a tendency for abuse, so I am being cautious about using them.

The hospital staff and nurses were great with including my partner. They recognized her positive effect on my health and the strength our relationship gives each of us. The nurses also reminded me that my partner would be able to help me get through the changes going on with work. I have been on Family Medical Leave Act for most of the 12 weeks allowed, and it doesn't make business sense to hold my job any longer. My employer is working with me to find a different position that I may be able to work with, but there is no guarantee of that going through.

As a shop owner through Etsy, I understand the business case for not holding my job. The business deserves someone who can be at work, interacting with clients and staff, and fulfilling all work duties of a lead staff. At this time, that is not myself. This is not a personal reflection on me or the work place. Both my employer and I are trying to find a way to keep me employed and yet get the job done too.

I have learned that my job title is not who I am through this process of doing what is good from a business standpoint. I am also learning patience through this process of healing. I have learned that I am able to go through drastic changes and not think of the changes as a catastrophe. This is just a change, an opportunity to find some other way of working.

What about you? How do you react to changes at work or in your health?

Jan 15, 2012

I just opened a new Etsy shop!

New Etsy Shop!!

Feel free to come on over and peruse the shop. I have just started unpacking and will continue to add new items throughout the week. Once everything is situated I will add new items weekly.

This has been a dream for a long time. I can't believe it is happening so fast. And, it's so easy!!