Thursday, November 28, 2013

Gratitude

     It is the wee hours of Thanksgiving morning.  I'm sipping my first cup of coffee and catching up on blogs and such.  Soon I will make my way to the kitchen to putter, cook, create and pack up my lotions and potions for the Spirit of Giving: Holiday Marketplace on Saturday.  It is my first fair and I have my table set up in the "dining room" as a dry run to make sure I have everything.  And I ponder what I am grateful for.
     Each morning I wake up grateful to be alive.  My simple prayer to the universe is thank you.  I find living with a grateful heart makes me happy, grounded and hopeful.  It also helps when those energy vampires attack - we all have at least one of those people in our lives.  But, I digress.  This year I have a gratitude jar.  I've filled it with colorful slips of paper with items that spark gratitude in me.  I put notes in it from my niece and nephew.  The card from the flowers one of my clients sent me just because they appreciate me.
     This year is a quiet day of celebration.  My parents have migrated South for the winter.  Their pilgrimage two months earlier than in the past.   My hubby is in the middle of his work week so he will be sleeping most of the day (he works nights) and joining us for dinner as usual.  Youngest is the only child at home.  Three for a special meal.  We discussed over dinner a few weeks back what we would like to eat.  Turkey was sent packing.  The Thanksgiving I had for my parents before they left was enough turkey for my family. I'll miss the leftover meat for sandwiches but....  So the menu this year is

  • Bacon wrapped pork loin
  • roasted potatoes
  • roasted, mashed butternut squash
  • Creamy Brussels sprouts
  • Sausage Dressing
  • Maple Pecan Pie
  • Pumpkin Pie


Oh, and my hubby and daughter said I could make a pie for myself as well.  Mighty big of them  I think we have plenty for three.  And I'm thinking bacon, pork sandwiches will be great leftovers.
     I am grateful my parents are healthy, can travel at will, have a great social network and friends to enjoy the holiday with.  I am grateful for my mother and father-in-love.  They are very supportive and kind.  We have had some growing pains in the past but they seem to be behind us.  I am grateful that my children are healthy and following their dreams. I am grateful for youngest's hugs and eyerolls.  I am grateful for my loving, supportive hubby.  He still rocks my world after all these years.  I am grateful for amazing, crazy, creative, inspiring friends.  I am grateful for my clients who make going to work enjoyable.  I am grateful to have a job that pays me enough to live the life I want. I am grateful for my new business. I am grateful that I am in a position that I can help others with my time, prayers and donations. I am truly blessed and am so grateful for all the things in my life.
   

Saturday, November 16, 2013

What I've Learned from Pinterest

     I started slowly on pinterest.  I liked seeing what my friends were interested in and looking at all the pictures.  I made a few categories to pin to and it grew from there.  A few minutes here and there just scrolling through images calms me down and ignites my creative fires.
     I have discovered that I really like iron work as part of my home decor.  I kind of knew that before but now....  I discovered that I have an obsession with cool doors and so do a lot of others.  I never knew so many creative ways to incorporate spirals.  Cool quotes, and wicked quotes abound.  I'm not really into pinning recipes.  That struck me as odd.  I really, REALLY, love to cook and have a huge cookbook collection but do I really need one more recipe?  Well, yeah but now it is as an inspiration or flavor profile.  As a result I weeded out my cookbooks and have a huge pile to donate.
     I am awed at creative ways to organize and decorate.  I am soothed by beautiful artwork.  I realized that I could find free cross stitch patterns.  I made a "sign" for my kitchen and a birth announcement cross stitch for a friend.  I've always took patterns and added my own spin - adding or deleting as I saw fit so now I have so much to work with.

     I am prepping for my first craft fair.  I've been making products to sell for months now.  And through pinterest I found great ways to display my wares, marketing tools, tips for craft fairs, and new product ideas.  As a result I've combined new scents for soaps, created several new lip balms and a cuticle salve.  I think I may be ready.
     I have dabbled a little with art journaling.  An amazing friend and teacher introduced me to the idea a while ago.  I'm am far to self conscious with art to go all out so, I tend to pull back.  I took one of her intro to Heart Journaling classes and was so inspired I started again.  She let me know I had the freedom to "mess" up.  I could paint over, collage over it or learn from it.  And then I looked on pinterest - holy art journal inspiration.
     OK, sometimes I do need to set a timer or I could get lost but, I know I have benefited from most of my time on the addictive site.  

Monday, November 4, 2013

Blog Blast for Peace

 
  Today is the day that bloggers all over the globe blog about peace.  I've been thinking a lot about what I would write.  What does peace mean to me?  I had to start with deep, deep gratitude for growing up in a family, in a neighborhood a community that was safe and nurturing.  I can still call on those neighbors and refer to them as aunts and uncles.  With that foundation I was able to grow and stretch and be who I am today.  I am happy with where I am at physically, mentally and spiritually.  I am happy with the journey I am on.
     Yet for many in this world they do not have this luxury.  I try but cannot wrap my head around many of the atrocities in this world, in this country, in this town.  My heart hurts for so many reasons when I contemplate all that is happening outside of my little bubble.  And I am overwhelmed by all that I cannot do to help.  So i bring it back in.  I can be that safe foundation for my children.  I can touch the lives of those around me.  Like the stone tossed on still waters my actions can ripple out into the world.  I can pray. I can take action.  I can love. And even in these imperfect gestures, because after all I am human, I believe I can make a difference.
     I remember when I was young and I would see the signs saying "Make love not war."  I thought they were great.  I thought they were about sex.  Everything at that time was about sex.  I was born in part to seal the deal that my dad would not be drafted to go to Vietnam.  He was a little too old, he was married and now had a baby.  It was later in life that the true words of that sign sunk in.  Love in all its forms.  You do not need to like someone to love them.  Having children really drives that point home.  Some days I do not like my kids but I love them any way.  I love them through the growing up, the rebelling, the doubts, the trials and errors.  I love them because they are children trying to find their way in this world.  And I believe this has made a difference.  I know that love made a difference in my life.
     But what about loving your enemies or that annoying person at work.  I'm really working on that.  And if not love at least compassion.  And some days the most compassionate thing I can do is shut up and walk away.
     So peace for me is a circle of love, compassion and trying to make a difference one small gesture at a time.  And if we can agree to disagree slowly peace will ripple out over coming the hate and the fear.

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