Sunday, November 24, 2013

Finding Compassion

"Once you understand that everyone, everywhere is operating from a place of fear, you know what to do: just encourage."

~ Karen Maezen Miller

The hardest part of all this, of dealing with the drama on my husband's side of the family, is deferring judgment. I'm a hard person. I have set ideas about how people should operate, and there's a streak of weakness in this storyline that causes me to be judgmental. It's much harder to render usable ideas, or rather, to be a useful person whose opinions are heard, from that mental place.

I've been carrying or wearing my mala beads lately. They are a reminder to be present, to be patient. Now, they will remind me to encourage too, to be the positive voice.

I abhor self-pity. It's a byproduct of depression; I do understand that. But there are always ways to fight depression and to improve your situation, if only you are strong enough. I have trouble understanding people who aren't strong enough to do that. Are family members then charged with doing it for them? I resist that. How will that person ever cope on their own without other people's help? At any age (except young childhood), I resist this. And I'm not talking about my age...the people in this scenario are mid-60s and late-30s.

This Thanksgiving and Christmas will be tests. Ultimately, I try to just celebrate the holidays. Thanksgiving is self-explanatory. Christmas is another animal; I'm leaning Les and I toward exchanging gifts at Yule, so that our holiday is separate from the Christian movements we have to make for family.

But in the midst of the Christmas celebrating, they want to do an intervention of sorts. I cringe at the timing, and pray I'll be taking my niece for a long walk around the neighborhood, or hitting a playground with her, because I know nothing from this "talk" will change anything until the parties involved are actually ready to make the necessary changes. A clearing of the air needs to happen, but it also smacks of futility, and I have real trouble with that.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I'm fairly certain the only way I'm going to survive the holidays without becoming emotionally unspooled is via better time management and organization.

Pretty sure everyone feels that way about the holidays at one time or another.

It mainly has to do with family drama that I would like to choose not to subscribe to. I think that with a little meditation and positive energy, I may be able to avoid it the way I want to; but I need to start practicing now.


I went on an interview today. Pretty sure it helped me realize a couple of things. I can't be objective about the impression I delivered to the individuals with whom I was interviewing, but I can recognize that there's nothing wrong with feeling like I work better from home than in an office. If I am lucky enough to get the position, I will certainly step up and brush off my people skills. We need the cash, and I can certainly use the experience. But I also recognize that it's completely OK if I don't get it, and that I do have the intelligence and motivation necessary to improve my situation, without necessarily going back into an office. There are stories out there I can write about. I have ideas that could become book proposals. I even have it in me to self-publish, if I don't want to bother with rejections.

I have a voice. I'm still shaping it, wondering how the heck to take all the thoughts in my head and whittle them down to focused topics, but it's there.


Check out Melanie's Gym and Dark Meadow for the latest on those rooms in my psyche. And when you have a moment, send some prayers out into the universe for some very special people. One is a personal friend who is struggling with COPD. The other is a friend of my sister's, who is going through rather horrific, life-threatening complications from pneumonia and childbirth.

My friend with the COPD is in her 70s. My sister's friend is maybe 30.

I guess it's always going to be natural to take life a little bit for granted, until your world is rocked by your own health failures or the failures of those close to you. But it's no less shocking either way. As I mention in Melanie's Gym, I'm achy this evening and while I don't think it's gall bladder-related, it's still a very loud wake-up call ringing in my head about the changes I still have to make, to obtain more improved health. While I've been a little complacent this week about diet and exercise, a woman who had to deliver early because of the flu, gave birth to a beautiful little girl who's doing well. She then had breathing issues that could not be improved, so they life-flighted her to UAB where she has been fighting for her life ever since. The baby was their 6th IVF treatment.

I'm a pagan, so I rage against a god that gives us these kinds of tests. But I also believe in the power of prayer, mainly because it's the only thing to do in situations like these. I'm not a doctor, I don't even know the family. But I can get down on my knees, literally or figuratively, and pray to whatever universal entity is out there, to please let this woman live, so she may know motherhood and continue the beautiful life she has with her husband.

Image from here.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Yea, definitely...

Weekly posts are totally doable here. I'm busy as heck these days.

We hosted Lil Sisinlaw and her significant other last weekend. We hit Craggy Gardens, cooked a decent meal. It's becoming easier to put in the effort on a decent meal, when the alternative means spending money we really shouldn't. Again, not exactly mind-blowing stuff, just takes effort.

Thanksgiving and the holidays loom. I'm into the sticks and string these days, actually working on small knitted items that can go in people's bags. The crazy thing is I'm starting far enough ahead where these projects may actually reach completion.

We got the lightest of flurries yesterday afternoon. The windows stay closed now, and I'm anticipating the plants will go outside less. Really wish I had the room for larger hoophouse materials. It's motivating.

Check out the latest posts at Melanie's Gym and Dark Meadow...

Have a good week, y'all!

Image from here.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Weekly post?

Definitely going to try to embrace farmer's hours in the near future, because this daylight-savings-time-ending thing is just too weird. Usually I could care less about springing forward or falling back, except for the pinch of inconvenience it brings with clocks and such, which isn't even that bad anymore because everything's so automated to change on its own now. But for some reason, this week's newfound darkness by 6PMish has me sleepy and out of sorts, and desperate for more TIME.

Part of it is work's fault, as I was locked out of the system yesterday, the sites dripped in there like molasses today, and we may have family visiting this week, so my desire to cram as much work in as possible is butting up against these obstacles...all of which have nothing to do with how many hours of daylight there are, since none of this activity takes place out of doors....but still.....

It does get me thinking about time management, and what I desire to accomplish in a given "day." Truth be told, I'm not doing nearly enough to follow my heart while bringing in dough, and reading folks like Shannon (my latest obsession), Amanda, and that little powerhouse, Jenna, I get angry with myself a bit, because I know deep-down the only difference between them and me is organization. And I don't even have the excuse of having kids or farm animals to wrangle! That shit's gotta change, because I really do love this life we're creating here, and don't want to have to go back to any kind of office job unless it's plum in my field and the employees fart rainbows.

So with that in mind, I'm going to try my damnedest to limit the posts here to once a week for the foreseeable future, because my time babbling on here to an unsuspecting public could be better used writing articles, drafting book proposals, exploring the pros and cons of self-publishing vs. shipping it off for rejection, and hand-making as many holiday presents as possible for our also-unsuspecting family members.

Wish me luck, try not to miss me too much ;)

Have a great week, y'all!

Image from here.

Friday, November 01, 2013


The Hubs hates getting his picture taken, so posing is almost
never in the cards, but I just love this outfit...the knee-high moccasin boots, color coordination up top, and hat with tails handmade by yours truly. We were driving through a section of Great Smoky Mountain National Park, taking pictures and drinking in all the beauty. Even got to see a herd of elk!

Seriously, where'd this week go and how do I get it back? Better yet, how do I find the energy to eat right when eating wrong makes me so rundown...

Such a learning experience. I keep saying that, and then I let something verboten slip in, like last night's few pieces of Halloween candy, and my inflammation is up around my midsection and I'm dragging my ass.

Whining about that nonsense should be reserved for Melanie's Gym, so I'll shut up. It's just frustrating though, going from a complete glutton and hedonist to someone who has to CAREFULLY choose their meals. Lot of emotional and physical hurdles to cross.

No trick or treaters this year :( I should've expected it, I mean, Weaverville is a town of about 3,000 people and we live smack in the middle of a main drag, so of course parents are going to want to hit actual neighborhoods. I was hoping being next to the trailer park (one of the nicer ones) would help, but no dice. So we have leftover candy, which I will happily keep my grubby paws off of now and let Hubs inhale instead.

Halloween made me ache for a child this year.

Weather was epically Halloweenie yesterday: cool, overcast, and blustery. It was awesome!

Have a great weekend, y'all!


Editor's postscript: you guys were saved from some serious (likely long-winded) introspection this morning. I learned after writing this post, that a colleague, who I knew well enough to consider a friend, passed away this week from complications from the flu and other respiratory ailments. Only 28 years old. How do you die in your sleep at the age of 28???

I'm not close enough to the office or the situation to know the complete circumstances, but it definitely gets you thinking.....did he not understand the severity of his condition? did male ego or finances play a part in him not going to the doctor as his condition worsened? I have a real problem with the reasoning of "it was just his time..."...I save that BS for random car accidents and natural disasters. But it does punctuate how painfully tenuous our time on this earth is, how nothing should stand in the way of our health. Hug your loved ones, folks.