Friday, December 31, 2010

a word

lots of folk around the Land of Blog are declaring their 'word' for 2011. i've no idea where i first read of this practice, but now it seems a popular alternative to those much-maligned Resolutions (insert ominous music here).

i've never been a fan of New Year celebrations. no idea why. i think partly it was the obligation to go out on New Year's Eve and get stupid. i may have mentioned my hermitish inclinations...those aren't new.

so of course, i never made Resolutions either...they just got lumped in with all the foolishness and i opted out on principle. i also had a fairly good grasp on the fact that i'd likely be setting myself up for failure. which isn't meant to sound as self-defeating as it's just a side-effect of Perfectionism -- "Set lofty goals that will be extraordinarily difficult to achieve, and then self-flagellate mercilessly when the inevitable falling-short occurs." OR "Set lofty goals that will be extraordinarily difficult to achieve and then avoid trying altogether for fear of aforementioned falling-short/failure."

happily, i am now a recovering Perfectionist. it's been almost a year now since my last fit of Perfectionism. it really does get easier. ;)

i skipped doing my 'word' last year....perhaps i had some inner knowledge that 2010 was going to KICK MY ASS so i didn't bother. mind you, i also wasn't really blogging much at the turn of 2009 so that might have had something to do with it. which, is something worth thinking about in and of itself.

so yeah, 2010 has been a corker. personally and familialy (new word) it has been a rollercoaster ride of extremes. some incredible highs and some really awful lows. {note: i don't do retrospectives either}. so i'm really, really hoping that 2011 is going to be a kinder, gentler year. according to what i've read about The Year of the should be a welcome breather from the trials of the Tiger.

i think, even globally, 2010 has been one of huge shifts. and of course there's all that 2012 malarky floating about.....(cue the third apocalypse in my memory)...i'm more inclined to align myself with the school of thought that has it representing a spiritual/cultural shift rather than the planet going supernova...and i think the undercurrents of that are already beginning.

but, i wax philosophical. i also digress. you've all probably scrolled down looking for my damn word...:)

so here it is......


1.To promise or pledge one's self; to enter into an obligation; to become bound; to warrant. [1913 Webster]
2. To embark in a business; to take a part; to employ or involve one's self; to devote attention and effort; to enlist; as, to engage in controversy. [1913 Webster]
3. to occupy attention of....absorb, capture, attract, catch, hold [2004, Oxford]
4. To enter into conflict; to join battle; as, the armies engaged in a general battle. [1913 Webster]
5. (Mach.) To be in gear, as two cogwheels working together. [1913 Webster]

i had thought of a different word first...and now i can't even remember what it was...and then this one popped into my head and i knew it was The One.

i have this tendency to drift in the mind wanders off and staying Present is not a natural tendency for me so this is enough of a challenge and i'm very interested to see where it will take me. i still feel i have a lot of soul-work to do (hence #5) and i have some little seeds of ideas that will cover #2...and of course, #1 is the whole point of adopting a word-mantra for the year.

oh - and i'll share again my mom's superstition about new year's day -- howsoever you spend that day, will set the tone for the whole year -- laundry or housework, no arguments, no be sure to get that all out today and spend tomorrow following your bliss :)

so long, 2010 -- i hereby release you and all your woes to the wild  wind.....

many blessings everyone -- i hope 2011 brings you much love, laughter and Light...


ps. and if the Universe loves me, the Jane Austen movie marathon will be on PBS again tonight as it was last year -- BEST new years' eve EVER {i know, right? i'm a total nerd} :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

how it was

it was...

busy. really busy. okay, maybe not so busy by regular-people standards...but for us slightly-hermity, difficult-transitiony, move-through-life-at-our-own-Zen-pacey type people...well, let's just say we are very glad it's over for another year. we paid our last visit yesterday and it was most enjoyable....but yes, it's over. *phew*

medieval knight costume from Grandma L.

he's very difficult to photograph when he's "in character"
oh, and he's actually a pirate, not a Knight...(he's workshopping new material)

there were more than a few declarations of this being "the BEST Christmas EVER!!" from the Shiny Ones...Savannah was orbiting the Earth several times in delight over her gifts. there was clear evidence of people really getting her this year....thoughtful choices that pleased her to no end, because being understood, i am discovering,  is very, very important to her. but then again, don't we all like to feel understood?

relaxing between social obligations...colouring book and 'Beezus and Ramona' on audio-CD

and speaking of being Beloved, B knocked me three miles sideways and made me cry with his so-very-thoughtful gifts. we hadn't planned on really exchanging gifts this year - -money  has been tight and we wanted to channel our available funds into gifts for the children -- but he (and his trusty sidekick, Savannah) got his hands on a flyer from an arts-supply store that i'd dreamily doodled hearts around things i'd loved to have had and made a couple of my wishes come true.

 i know, right?

it wasn't so much the paints or the canvasses or the artist pencils, as it was me feeling well and truly loved. this journey of mine back into art and creativity has been a rocky one -- i've wrestled with the Shoulds and the Shouldn'ts of Motherhood vs. Creativity (finally realizing that is doesn't have to be a versus thing at all --- i know, you're thinking "Duh!"-- but hey, i had baggage..) and to have my heart's desire not only accepted, but supported and encouraged by my Dearest can understand the happy sobbing. 

and then there were the shrieks of delight and the fierce hugs of the girl-child who only wanted a Nintendo DS but ended up with the DSi XL -- (yeah, i didn't know the difference either) and quietly corrects anyone who calls it just a DS (and yup, that one made me cry too!) and Sebastian hugging every new item close to his chest and proclaiming 'thank you VERY much' to the air...


relaxing with a new book (no, she doesn't need glasses, she's hiding from the camera)

yes, i do believe it was the BEST Christmas EVER!

not a lot, but certainly enough.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

the solstice was...

camera refusing to use flash=blurry photos

rather tiring.

there were/are odd energies flying about, methinks, and i found the whole experience rather exhausting. i was awake and restless during the eclipse but unable to actually see it. so added to my series of restless nights, i'm thoroughly knackered.

but, there was...

a new scarf for Sebastian and a new wooly hat for B

a framed painting of mine for Savannah....

and books of paper airplane design and science experiments; a sticker books and a colouring book

Beauty and the Beast and Earth and The Silver Stallion...

and warmth and candle-light and a lovely roast chicken dinner.

but probably the best present of all was Savannah regaining her confidence on the back of a patient spotted pony named Lucy. she was grinning from ear-to-ear throughout the whole lesson and it confirmed for me that we did the right thing to move her to this much more nurturing and Real place.

and so...we're almost at Christmas. it's sort of hurry-up-and-wait at this point...a tiny bit of wrapping left, some nibbles to prepare for our Christmas Eve soiree tomorrow...but mostly i've shut down the busy-factory and encouraging kindness to ourselves.

wishing you all the very best of the season...much laughter, Light and joy...i'll see you all on the other side ;)


Sunday, December 19, 2010


where has the time gone?

my current outlet for stress...origami is highly addictive (no scrap of paper is safe)


"peace serpents"  (a Savannah original-concept)

running in with tidbits about deer stampedes



on the phone to Laiba in Pakistan




meltdowns and hysteria (sometimes even the children)

secrets in the cupboard

headaches and sore tummies

'the christians and the pagans' ;)



cleaning (not even close to being done that yet)


knitting (all major projects finished...wooot!)

new movies

a solar system

Black Beauty audio-CD

.....and lots of deep breaths and cuddles.

it's truly difficult to hang onto peaceful life at this time of year.  desperately i'd like to cocoon us in a fortress of solitude...but at the same time, we enjoy (mostly) the hustle and bustle of family and going and doing....


i'm not one for retrospectives and cringe at the thought of 'resolutions'.... but i am ruminating on some intentions for aspect of which i've started over here.. it struck me as a most delightful project and one i intend to continue on past the month of January.

but for's one day to the next until Xmas....and i don't mind admitting, i'll be glad when it's all over. ;)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

sunday musings

(something to listen to you while you visit)

a strange week...not entirely wonderful, not entirely horrific either.  (my Nanna is getting better...gaining strength daily...many thanks for your assorted kindnesses)

so it's been a week of reflection, of counted blessings and deeper thought on what this time of year really means for us.  it's also been a week of arguing and fighting and tears and temper and cuddles and proclamations of love.

handmade history hanging on our beautiful tree

yep. we've about covered it all.

Bashy's Solstice gift...a mini-version of B's scarf from last year

some of it i'll blame on (my)hormones...some of it i'll blame on the stresses that come with this season (and they do come, no matter how hard we try to maintain that state of inner peace and Presence)....some of it i'll blame on me not keeping all of the important stuff in perspective....and helping my Shinies do the same.

but let us not dwell on that which we cannot change. instead, we're moving forward, with new perspectives and new delights.

a gift from distant Devon....handmade JOY!

it's a rainy Sunday morning. i got up extra early so that i could hit the 24-hour Wal-Mart to finish up a few odds and ends of shopping...stocking stuffers for extended family and whatnot.  (may i just mention how much i loathe that place?). i stopped in to get the newspaper and coffee for my Beloved B....just so he wouldn't have to go out in the drizzle when he woke up (that's just how much i *heart* him) and i'm sitting here with the tree lights twinkling in the early grey light, sipping my coffee and sinking deep into the peace.

the fruits of Savannah's and Auntie B's baking labours -- choccie-dipped cherry mice!

i know, right? :)

i wish i could articulate the swirling of thoughts and emotion in my head and heart. i wish i could share how blessed i feel to have a warm house and food on our table -- i know we don't have a lot, but we surely have enough.

it's been a difficult year -- financially and emotionally -- but i feel happier in all things than i remember ever feeling.  perhaps it's the whittling down....the simplifying....the realizing of what truly matters.

life is good. really good.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

tuesday and wednesday

full days this last while.....knitting, crafting, writing, playing, baking.....

our gift tag making evolved into Chrimbly card making. we don't *do* cards, as such -- but we thought we'd whip up a few for our immediate family members.

Sebastian *reads* me the crocodile story while i'm working in the kitchen....

taking up more or less permanent residence on the table....

makin' lava cakes...(yep, from A Box)

oh, yeah...they were realllllly goooooood!

in happy news - the car is back....complete with a new (to us) starter -- for much less than we'd dreaded imagined. we are soooo thankful for that.

in not-so-happy-but-then-happy-news -- my Nanna was taken to hospital today. i got a call at work from my dad -- she'd been admitted because of severe dehydration. she'd had tummy bug since Monday and wasn't drinking enough fluids to counteract the diarrhea she was experiencing. i'd spoken to my Gramps about that just last night...about how important it was for her to drink.  three bags of IV fluids, blood tests and an x-ray later and she was sent home. phew! so she's on the mend....and we are EXTREMELY thankful for that! it was a very worrying day. any thoughts/prayers/candles/wishes for her continued good health would be very much appreciated. :)

and as such...i'm utterly exhausted....time for a cup of tea and a bit of quiet reading.

remember to hug your loved ones extra tight....

Monday, December 6, 2010

december 5 (a retrospective)

from the Countdown to Chrimbly...

make home-made gift tags!

and so we did. recycling the vast collection of old holiday cards that i've been hoarding saving for a wonderful purpose...

the during:

the end-result:

'twas most satisfying.....

in other news...i'm knitting 'til my eyes cross and my hands seize into knots. our noble steed decided it just wanted a day-and-a-half rest and decided to start yesterday afternoon right after B had called CAA to arrange a tow.  perhaps it just wanted to trundle to the mechanic on it's own speed....

now it's fingers and toes crossed for Nothing Major and Fairly Inexpensive...which of course is laughable because trips to the mechanic are both Major and Expensive by default.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

soundtrack sunday....

he's gone from us now...but his message is timeless....

~wishing you peace~

Saturday, December 4, 2010

december 4

day 4 of our Countdown to Chrimbly....

use up the Blockbuster gift cards from last year -- movies and snacks = movie night!!

alas, our faithful steed - ye olde automobile - having battled courageously on these last weeks with a dodgy distributor cap, decided that it had done it's part and now needs mechanical attention.  (it always packs it in on a weekend) which meant a very cold bike ride to work for me this morning (i'm too cheap to take the bus unless the weather is horrific) and no trip to the movie store.

but we had just borrowed Santa Paws from Nanna so we watched that instead. we made a lovely roast pork dinner with mashed potatoes and gravy and green beans and pretended we were snowed in.

i'll refrain from a review -- suffice it to say, Savannah LOVED it and we must be more lenient in our tastes when it comes to holiday fare ;).  it was cute. cheesy, but cute.  ahem. i'm a "It's a Wonderful Life" and (the original) "Miracle on 34th Street" fan, myself -- and of course "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" and "The Muppet Family Christmas" are also huge favourites....

how about you? what are your holiday favourites?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

catching up...

somehow, December arrived when i wasn't looking...the fact that it fell on a Wednesday (the day i work all day) probably had something to do with it's stealthy approach.


contrary to my usual policy of 'nothing remotely Chrimbly-ish until December 1st'- the very fact it fell on a Wednesday meant Savannah's well-argued point won out and we got some of the decorations out on Tuesday...

we also have a policy of preferring handmade decorations to those store-bought -- so the old crafted masterpieces are placed first....if there's any room left, a few other choice pieces get some air-time.

Savannah is the Queen of Decorating....she spontaneously crafts all December long and we are festooned with new brilliance almost daily. she's even decorated around Tyler's bean-bag.

i was also caught napping with our Countdown to Chrimbly....although it didn't really matter because the first order of business was decorating the house. (check)

we usually don't get our tree until much closer to Solstice but Savannah is lobbying hard to get it a little earlier -- i see her  point -- there were hardly any left when we went last year and we ended up with a darling Charlie Brown i met her halfway and we'll go next weekend.

and our pile of craft to-do's is looming ominously large...i think i over-estimated both my skill and speed at knitting....

but other than that -- i'm resolved to a no-stress holiday season...i REFUSE to be sucked into any sort of high drama or consumerist agitation. OH..which reminds me, sort of -- postal JOY the other day when the hand-puppets i ordered for Sebastian from here arrived.....they are FANTASTIC (he's gonna love 'em) -- i strive to give as much in the way of hand-made items...and if i can't make it myself, i'm happy to support those who do.

sorta balances out the over-packaged, plasticky, crap they'll never play with....oh? did i say that out loud?

water flowing around the rocks....

this rambling, barely coherent post brought to you by the mama who's been awake since 2am with the (almost-new)moon-buzzing boy-child....*sigh*

ps. i'm working myself up to telling the tale of one of my all-at-once best and worst parenting moments...