Saturday, December 31, 2011

soaking and loose ends

Soaking mohair.
Resolutions are a waste of time. I much prefer sorting through what needs to be finished out at the end of the year.  I'm not talking about dealing with fiscal organization or clearing out closets. Usually, I'm taking care of my own stuff. Set spun and plied fibers, finish those little knitting projects (now I am without a knitting project so I need to find one ASAP or I'll be a lost person this New Years Eve), fish for a direction on a painting lingering on the easel.

Before folks show up for an all-nighter overnight, Bennie and I are spending time at the dining table doing a little SoulCollage® and enjoying bottomless cups of tea. Also I have a spread on the desk gleaned from the Gaian Tarot to ponder at a quiet moment.

My New Year reading.
Life is good, life is a blessing. There is much gratitude at the turning of this year. May you find joy in the coming New Year.

Friday, December 30, 2011

meditating with terror

Falls by the dam.
As I was heading out for my usual constitutional, I felt the woods tugging at me to spend time with the rocks and trees. I heeded the call and turned down the dam road. It's an old road that was probably constructed, not only to get materials down to build the dam that created the lake, but also to meet up with a hiking path across the lake and further up the mountain. When this community was originally put together, it was done with consideration and care and lots of rules. The original driving roads were lined with boulders and stones, just wide enough for two cars. The old dam road and the hiking path across the lake were built with the same kind of care (but have since fallen into deep disrepair due to lack of maintenance). Most of the homes here were once summer homes and the landowner of that time wanted to replicate hiking trails found in Austria and Germany. Well, that's my best guess without research. I've heard Europeans do like hiking trails in the mountains ~ but I could be wrong.

First, I had the Cannon with me and figured it would be great to chronicle the sights digitally, but the batteries gave me problems. After the first shot at the dam and dead batteries, I tromped back to the house ~ greatly annoyed ~ to switch cameras. Once loaded and back on the path, I settled into Slow Time walking and Paying Attention. Yes, lots of photos and then I had a nifty thought: Why not meditate for 10 minutes in the woods by the rushing falls? I'd skipped the Early Morning Med seeing Dirk off to work and then went on to making tea. I had a timer with me via a cell phone. 10 minutes. In the woods. By the falls. I could do that standing on my head.

I chose a rocky outcrop that overlooked the falls to sit, taking photos of interesting beings along the way. I noticed animal scat, a few days old, but present nonetheless. Someone else came by and left a note, not only for relief but also to mark territory. I ignored the note and sat in for my 10 minutes of meditation. Feeling grounded and settled in, I gave attention to breath and mindfulness of body. Then I began to feel . . . vulnerable. I tried to ignore the feeling of something feral stalking behind me, but it returned vividly and repeatedly with yellow eyes, sharp teeth and fur.

Intellectually, I knew I was safe. It's rare to see much wild life in broad daylight unless it's ill. I've gone by the general rule that they want as little to do with humans as possible, so they pretty much leave the premises when they hear some two-legged stomping around. However, when the terror of vulnerability comes up, there's little reasoning with it. I was out of my usual mediation environment. Unprotected by the usual walls. Exposed to elements and wild life. And 10 minutes is an eternity to the ego deathly afraid of dying . . . in the woods . . . alone . . . despite the lovely location and intentions.

Here was the trick: I had to step back from the terror. It became the mediation. What is this feeling about? Is there a real danger? How is the land speaking to me? Am I sensing this fear because I'm meant to? Because I've infringed on a coyote's space, ignoring the scat? Physically and energetically, the coyote created a boundary. Clearly, I crossed it. Sitting in meditation brought up the energy and intention of that boundary ~ to feel fear, to keep away. At that realization, in stepping back, I felt like Mr. Spock and thought, Fascinating!

Before my 10 minutes were up though, I did look behind and around me. My ego was doing some strong prodding that couldn't seem to be ignored so I succumbed. The moment I turned my attention back to meditation, the timer sounded. Ego breathed a huge sigh of relief, but another part of me was exhilarated at having sensed some message from the environment ~ even though fearful. And, nothing for nothing, I survived.
More rushing water.


The old dam road.

Leaves under ice.

Ice ferns.

At the dam.

Ironwood.

Any portal in the storm.

Tumbling through the woods.

A little closer, my dear.

And yet again.

The rock I sat on. They look bruised and beaten.

More of the same rock.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

love the blocks

The Top 10 Ways I Keep From Being Creative In the Studio:

Ten ~ Spend time in the kitchen.

Nine ~ Clean the litter boxes. Thoroughly.

Eight ~ Remove holiday decorations and pack them away.

Seven ~ Do the laundry.

Six ~ Call friends and family.

Five ~ Watch X-Files with Bennie.

Four ~ Look for eggs.

Three ~ Stack newspapers for recycling or burning.

Two ~ Eat.

One ~ Write a blog post.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

pierogie of guilt, day 2

The hat helps to release my Inner Aurochs.
It bothered me that the first batch of pierogie weren't so great. I figure it had to be the dough. First, I want it thinner. Bennie suggested I make this second batch with the smaller cutter/press. Luckily, I've got plenty of filling.

So, today's creativity: playing with dough. Again.
Bennie in touch with her Inner Zim and recovering
from strep, thank you.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

pierogie of guilt

Sounds like a title for a new Cake album, doesn't it?

I'm kinda takin' the Fifth here on the pierogie story. Suffice it to say, I owed a relative pierogie that were left in our home, unattended and without proper notice about NOT eating them. It is the very first time I've ever made pierogie. (Let's see how many times I can write 'pierogie' in one paragraph, shall we?) A recipe was found here, but I sought the advice of a good friend (a brilliant friend, actually) who linked me another recipe from All Recipes and gave me a link to these adorable items. The dough press set came xmas eve. With a recipe in mind and the set, I'd been good to go since yesterday. I just didn't have the gumption up until this afternoon.

So. They are done and cooling safely on the counter with a stern note to all they are not to be eaten. First criticism: the dough should have been rolled out a little thinner. Also, I may have added just a little too much flour. If nothing else, perhaps this culinary fumbling will be accepted as a gesture of good will and pierogie toward all men . . . or women.

In the meantime, in case anyone hasn't noticed, xmas is over. My internal xmas switch is flipped OFF once the 26th of December clocks in. The singing of Jingle Bells or Deck the Halls is likely to have me shredding the nearest unsuspecting inflated holiday figure within an inch of recognition. The sight of the needle-dropping tree in our living room sends me into apoplexy over the vacuuming involved with a ten foot high specimen. It all needs to be gone by January 6th, Twelfth Night. That generally means I'm the one systematically dismantling the xmas decorating gear.

Monday, December 26, 2011

of random xmas shots

Carving the ham, by golly!
It all goes in the blink of an eye, but here's a few images of the new xmas past. Today is rife with leftovers and avoiding certain shopping centers.
A little xmas joy.

Everyone is a child again at xmas.

Waiting for the next gift.

Checking it out.

More checking.

Opening . . .

Very happy.

More checking it out.

A cell phone and the tree.

Tom and a pile.

Yay, more tree!

Ah, setting it all up!

Opening with a corn cob pipe. It's serious business.

Yes. Checking it out. With a corn cob pipe.

Crystal looking for her gift.

All done.

Quiet conversation.

Opening presents again?

Don't shake that, Jim!

Getting to work.

Okay! So I forgot I wrapped wine!

Pop awaiting the ham dinner.

Loaded and ready to go.
Darth has taken the day off from knocking more things
off the desk.

Ian and a cool pen.

Red bow and cool hat.

Enjoying the show.

Now we both have cool hats.

Ian is ready for gaming.

Yeah, I got an axe! How cool is that?

Fi with my cool hat.

Ian and Liam came up with a nifty idea for trying out the
baseball net.

TP at xmas ~ unheard of!

And ya gotta have a rousing round of Scrabble to top
off a fine evening.