Bonne Année

Happy New Year.



Welcome to 2018.

So, I spent the month of December fighting off one germ after another…as did the rest of my household…so if you still haven’t gotten our Christmas card…many apologies…seriously, we were sick. I did the best I could under the circumstances, but I admit, if I could have mailed anything out on Christmas Day…it would have still gone out a day later…that’s how things were around here.

Other than prompts, I did not post very much in December. One reason…sick…but another reason was and is…I needed the time to rest. I have a lot of plans for 2018…which I will reveal in time here…but I needed the space and the time to ground into things.

Which brings me to my word of the year for 2018. I’ve known it since October…but I fought it until past Thanksgiving because I don’t like the way it initially sounds to my ear. I had to sit with it and delve into it to really want to allow it to enter into my psyche and into my world.

Settle in.

That’s my ‘word’ of the year.

When I was investigating and planning for 2018, ‘settle in’ came up pretty quickly. I don’t like the word ‘settle’. I don’t want to settle. I have spent a great deal of my life settling for less than I wanted in many arenas. The idea that I ‘should’ spend 2018 ‘settling’ grated on my nerves. It made me angry. I refused to look at it. I refused to accept it. I moved past that and tried to find other words…and nothing came. So I went on through the other things I was doing. At one point, I simply stopped thinking about, stopped fighting about it, stopped growling about it…and I did more work around things and let it go.

Settle in came back, again and again. Eventually, with a great deal of extraneous context, I started to allow settle in…in.

Settling in is NOT about settling for less. It is about…sinking into my world, into my life. Putting down roots. Drawing into the depths of me once again.

For eight years now, maybe, give or take, I have been held enthrall to the rites of fertility. I have had miscarriages. I have had my now five-year-old little golden child. I lost a child after we had our 5yo. I am still in grieving. However, with a newborn, into toddler, in the midst of my grief, in the midst of a chronic illness that became triggered and escalated during all the other things going on…I had to let go of keeping house, for the most part, and allow my teenager and partner to take over things. I am not saying I didn’t do anything, but what I did was vastly different from what I used to do. Now, I am slowly getting back into my homekeeping once again.

Uhm, let’s just say, not blaming my partner here, because we both trusted the teen-ager, even though we should have known better, or checked up on her more vigorously, I am in shock by how terrible things are. We have a basement—we have wooden shelves in the basement—this is where we keep party supplies, Easter décor, Halloween décor, Christmas decor—you get the idea…for Halloween in 2017—we were unable to find all of the boxes of decoration (it is our favorite time of year here)…for Christmas, we could not find even more boxes…half of the things that are my traditional pieces to have out…we have no clue where they are. Am I talking 2 and 3 inch big decorations? No. I am talking a 2ft tall cloth Santa mounted on wood so he stands alone. I am talking an 18-inch tall soft snowman that is our advent calendar. I am talking a roughly 18-inch tall Christmas tree made of dowelling and cloth and lace. Why are these things lost? Because we trusted the now 16yo to take boxes downstairs and put them away, unaided. She was 15 when we last trusted her to do this…and now…seriously…we can’t figure out where they are or what she did…and neither can she.

So, one thing that settling in (before I go off on a tirade about the teenager) this year will be for me is reclaiming my Domesticity. That means, filing through things, one space at a time. I will be purging, organizing, clearing, creating…taking this domicile from House to Home, to the best of my ability, as slowly as I need to go, based on my health and other circumstances.

For me it also means…settling into me once again…through pregnancy and grief and illness, I have lost my muchness..I need to get that back. That for me means art, reading, writing, knitting, poetry, walking…silence…rest…Yoga…delving into the Core that is me…and that Core does depend upon my environment being clean and clear, as much as possible…so again back to the Domesticity being regained and held…it means cooking again…it means sewing again…it means…more sleep…more stretching…more of what makes me me…and all of this with the rest of my family, especially my 5yo, holding on …and helping as much as they can.

This year, D (5yo) will be learning to read and write—he tells me – and everyone else – this…and not just because we are offering him an allowance of $1 a week to do so…although I am sure that is helping…math he can be quite clear on…especially when we are in a store and he wants to buy something…so we shall be settling in deeper into his education.

He has also agreed to work through LifeBook 2018 with me, especially after he heard there will be Yoga lessons. He loves Yoga. We’ll see if he takes to the art part as much as he used to when he was smaller. And this will be a settling in of our relationship, broadening it to a deeper level—which is always welcome.

So, there you go…my word of the year: Settle In…I haven’t made art around this word yet, beyond some initial sketching…so I will be posting that soon…erm…soon-ish….


Update and Check-In

This November has been … a transitory time for me. There are a lot of new things going on in our life here. We have a weekly set appointment on Mondays that has thrown my whole schedule off. Mondays before this appointment used to be my time to recalibrate and figure out what my week would be, recharge and destress after the weekend, get myself together…and now…it’s just busy for me. And a busy Monday, after a busy weekend, leads into a busy Tuesday…which means that I don’t get the downtime I am used to until Wednesday…and by Wednesday I am already worrying about Friday…and that leads me into the weekend worry…so this loop is taking me some time to find the space to settle in and find the space where I have the time to stop and breathe and let go of all the pent-up stuff before taking on the on-coming worry.

It’s something I am actively working with and working on…but, it’s a process.

However, as I work through these steps…and as I work on getting my work together…and preparing for the coming year…I tend to let things go when I can’t actually manage things. You may be thinking, how hard is it to sit down and type up some quotes for Friday—and I am telling you that it truly is. There is more to things than you realize…and I do what I can within the confines of my physical limitations at the moment. Honoring myself and my body right now is by far more important to me than forcing myself to create or be online…no matter how much I want to…but I am trying to try…so don’t lose heart.

I also want to talk about my word of the year for 2017: Reclaim. And yes, I had to look it up again to be sure what it was.

My year pretty much stopped, work-wise, creation-wise, in April, wasn’t it? I had my year planned out and then…everything stopped. Even though I had the best of intentions for jumping back on that pony and gettin’ goin’ again—it hasn’t happened…not the way it was supposed to. But, I needed the time off.

Have I re-accessed everything? Have I changed my path or my goals? No. I needed the time to figure out where I am now, where I want to be, what steps needed to be taken to move forward in the direction I want to move. I needed to take that time to reclaim the internal workings of who and what I am, to remember why I am here and why I do what I do. I needed time to cast off everyone else’s expectations and assumptions. I needed to stop doing things the way the “experts” say to do things. I needed to stop keeping up with the Joneses…because that’s never been who I am and I hate that – but when working to rebuild my business, that’s what I thought I should be doing, because that was what everyone was saying I should do.

So, the time off has been productive in some ways…and in others…the guilt piles up. Guilt piles up. Stacks of papers needing to be filed pile up. Magazines pile up. Books pile up. And fine, yes, the laundry piles up because I seriously hate to fold laundry…but at least I do get it done in a semi-timely manner because the guilt of seeing it just sitting there drives me nuts.

October this year was eye-opening for me. There came many shifts, many that I did not expect. I found some correlations and some coincidences that seemed cosmically lined up and linked for me. I found my way through. Finding my way is the easy part…making my way through…that’s the difficult part. That’s how I get stuck being five years into a two-year plan, again.

November is usually my downtime emotionally, spiritually, mentally—which is sort of funny with NaNoWriMo running every year…but how long has it been since I won at NaNo? 2010? I don’t think I finished with 2011’s novel. And I don’t think I have really tried since then either. This year, I found NaKniSweMo…knitting a sweater in a month…and I love that…that feels good…that feels far more like what I need right now…that meditative creation of something that I will actually be wearing. It’s a weaving closed these open wounds, these deep holes, in my life where the things I once loved so dearly and needed to have to stay sane vanished into…and that feels amazing.

So, yes, overall, I would say I have spent this year Reclaiming…and next year’s word has already come to me and is easing into my process even now, as Samhain marks the New Year on the Celtic Calendar…so moves the ancient flows within my DNA…

I will put up the remaining For Your Inspiration Friday quotes…I will simply move forward, not backward.

Thank you for following along on this journey with me.

Mid-Year Check-In With My Word Of The Year


A few times this year, I have had to stop and figure out what I had chosen as my word of the year, figure out where I had written it down, figure out, again, why I had chosen that word—or why it had chosen me…

My word for 2017 is, of course (if you’ve been reading along all this time), is Reclaim.

I actually thought it was a different word…deepen…but then again, I think the two are related.  they compliment one another.

Being sick so much of this year has given me all too much time to reflect on a great number of things.

I reached an epiphany in my online art classes—I have seriously had enough of them. I don’t particularly care for the communities which surround such things—at least not the ones I have seen—and I am by no means pointing to one particular person or group and saying, you suck, because I am not. I simply do not enjoy the feeling of some of these groups, even when they are couched in terms professing love and acceptance and compassion…because nearly every time I run into that well where someone is basically saying to someone, me or anyone else, I like what you did, but…and then the tear down begins—and some of these people have made an art form out of being loving and supportive, caring and nurturing, while being back stabbing passive-aggressive beasts…which is one reason that no matter how hard I try to want to take more art classes, in person and/or online…every time I try—I get fed up and I want something else. I have even tried free classes, free whatevers…and I basically balk at every one because something there does not feel genuine to me, it does not feel authentic to me.

Please note—before you get your panties in a wad—this is how I feel. These are my feelings, my words and my perspective. It has nothing to do with anyone else except me. So thank you for understanding.

Does this mean I am giving up art? No way. I love my paint. I love my pens, my pencils, my markers. I have discovered that all is not what it is cracked up to be compared to online classes versus what I can learn on my own. I have gone to an art gallery and been mesmerized. I have borrowed my daughter’s books on manga and I have been tantalized. I have fallen into stories of late where pictures are again being painted on the inside of my eyes. And I have again (and again and again and again, over and over, throughout the years) come back to that advice that I have been taught that says—who cares what anyone else is doing? Play with it and see what you come up with. And so I am.

It’s an interesting space to be in…since I have a ton of sketches I have done in the past two years that I still need to paint out—and I do fully intend to do so…i was actually working in that direction when I got so sick this last time. But there will be changes being made…slowly I am certain…but they are coming.

One thing that kept coming back up while I was sick was how much I have missed my knitting. I have several UFOs sitting around. (A UFO is an UnFinished Object, in knitter’s speak) Sheesh, I have been waiting to finish this one top-down sweater for something like two years now. I haven’t touched it in two years, except to move the bag out of the way now and then. But, while I was so sick that I couldn’t move, I started ogling yarn porn…which consists of lots of time on ravelry, digging around, adding projects to my queue that I want to do some day. It also made me think about the stack of knitting patterns that I have had written back in 2007…and yes, they are still sitting here. I think I have only test-knit two o the patterns. It struck me that 1 I am insane enough to actually want to knit a wedding ring shawl – you know, a huge shawl that is so light and knit from such thread-like yarn, incredibly intricate in design, and yet it can be pulled through a wedding ring…yep…and I am not that much of a lace knitter really…charts are difficult for me to follow…2 I want to test knit as many of those original patterns as I can and get them up for sale. One particular project is about a particular shawl and I have most of the work for an actual study course leading up to the creation of a shawl—a workshop, not a knitter’s workshop per se, but more of a spiritual quest—and that is where I seem to want to be heading.

It’s not about the knitting. It’s not about the painting. It’s about the intention, the heart and soul, the love, the connection to Self and to the Divine…and that is the basis of my work, of my life…

Because as I have sat here, with the herd of what I call (thanks to Firestarter by Stephen King) my migraine migrant herd of bellowing stallions—all of them centered in the middle of my face, tearing around in my sinus cavities, ripping things to shreds with sharp pointy lava-made hooves, pondering things—for nigh on a month, ya’ll– it struck me that I had somewhere along the line lost my grip on what I hold dear and holy—which first of all starts with Home as Sanctuary…having relied on people while the youngest was a baby…and relied upon them more once I had then gotten sick and then depressed after…things happened…and that depression has been a hard thing to shake…I know I am not done dealing with that … but I have finally reached a space where I am able to deal with it instead of being laid out and laid low by it…which means I can start working, however slowly (especially at this very moment with this constant croup attack ongoing) I may go, to take back all of the tasks that I have been unable and/or unwilling to do—minus the chores of the teen-ager/s, because I am not about to deny them the ability and the responsibility of being responsible and of pitching in to help out to make this an actual family and not just a bunch of people who happen to live in the same house at the moment.

Something else that has come back into the spotlight of my heart is…my writing. And that feels good. Not to mention, now there is a new element to things. The artwork. I lack the skill, I lack the ability to draw the exact same face/person/creature exactly the same time after time, so don’t expect anything as prosaic as a comic (my oldest has expressed an interest in such though…so keep an eye out for that…), but I can feel something coming. Some of the old spark that I used to have when I worked with Heather Blakey and the SoulFood Cafe.

Now that SFC is no longer  running, although all the prompts remain up for those who are interested, the idea of doing a journey, of using the format of the Hero’s Journey, or perhaps now the Heroine’s Journey because it feels more authentic to me in my space now, to create something along those lines, in that tradition…I can see it happening. What am I saying? It is happening. I have my first selection written up—I just have to type it up and post it. (That’s a spoiler alert for you.)

The things that mean the most to me are coming back into play…and it feels good to stretch out my broken tattered wings again and to feel the warm winds of the summer stroking them. The sunshine and the moonlight gently bring health back, filling in the broken places. The breeze carelessly rushing by, knocking loose the cobwebs and the detritus that have for so long held me back. The rag has been taken from my eyes and even though I am still blinking in the harshness of the rediscovered light, I am starting to see once more. I am heading towards that Light, the Flame that is my Heart, the Divine Light within…and that is where I shine.

And yes, I am more than willing to share that light as I move forward and have more to share.

Thank you for coming along on this journey with me.

Word Of The Year Check-In


I have certain check-points written down in my daily planner…my planner is more for recording what I did and to keep track of appointments than to have a set schedule for any and everything…schedules and I do not always get along, for any number of reasons.

April 1 had a big note of WORD OF THE YEAR CHECK-IN.

I actually had to stop and think…what was my word again…and when it hit me (deepen), I actually laughed because even though I haven’t given the word much thought, it is exactly what I have been doing all of this year.

I am deepening my connection, my relationship and my commitment to myself.  With my health issues, instead of fighting all the time, instead of pushing my stuff, my needs, my pain, aside for the well-being of others…and to circumvent toddler tantrums…I have started to take stands and to move forward…and amazingly enough…

Taking that moment to scoop up the clots of dog and cat fur that congregate like living little dust bunnies in every corner and along the edges of every wall in the house and tossing them into the trash…so satisfying.

Making sure that at least one day a week on the week-end the entire family gets outside together and walks their booties off…even if that means going to the Eyeball Park (Laumeier Park–there’s a huge eyeball statue that both boys love) and hitting every single Poke stop there is to hit, twice–has reaped huge benefits for me physically.

During the week, I have made more time, when it is warm enough, to go outside…and take the small boy with me and let him loose.  Sometimes, like today, that means we step outside and watch it rain from the safety of the carport and/or front porch.

I am stepping away from 1 social media — which I have been very clear about this entire year.  I am on instagram, but mostly for family.  I am on pinterest, but it’s for me…and most of my stuff is on private boards, except for the stuff that belongs to the family and/or me.

I do not spend a great deal of time online anymore.  I am back to knitting.  Last night, my daughter brought home Lauren Graham’s latest book, Talking As Fast As I Can.  Guess what?  I read the whole thing last night.

That is my plan…getting back to being me…which includes knitting more, reading more, writing more…and since the small one is not so small (he’ll be five in August), I figure it’s time I started pushing the whole school thing a bit harder…going up against a hard-headed second-generation Scotsman…oh, yippee skippy.  So, getting him into things can be a lot of give and a lot of take…finding his groove isn’t always easy…but I recognize his mind and I know, once he gets going, all I need to do is feed the monster of his curiosity and let him follow that where he will…and that makes me SO happy…

One thing that happened in March is I started journalling again…I haven’t actually done all that much of that since this past October, so it made me feel so happy again when I picked up the pen and started writing…and that leads into me writing fiction again…and that feels even better…

I am also embarking on a huge spring cleaning effort in the house and of the house…we have new plants and trees planted outside.  I have been purging all sorts of things…and have plans for more purging…I have started to rearrange things.  There is more to rearrange.

This month we start painting.  One wall at a time.  Seriously–one wall at a time.  All the marker and crayon gets removed.  The smaller boy has promised not to color on any of the new paint (fingers crossed he sticks to that…) and in the moving of things during the painting process…more stuff will go…more stuff will be moved…

Is this a lot?  Nope.  I still have so many spoons per day to use…and sometimes I wake up thinking I have five spoons and find out I only have one…so I am not holding myself to any hard-core schedule.  One thing, one day, at a time.  That’s my motto for this project.

But then again…I think that holds for every day.



2017: My Word Of The Year

I have had my word of the year since October.  I wasn’t really casting around for one yet back then, but this one word kept coming up.  Reclaim.  Reclaim.  Reclaim.

So, I let it keep coming at me for a few days.  Let it drift through my brain, my dreams, and I knew…it was the right word for me this coming year.

A reclamation.

I could go into a great many details, give you lots of stories and tidbits that prove I have totally lost myself–but I think I am going to let that lie and not air every little detail.  It’s difficult enough to admit that I have lost so much of myself.

Let us see where this year takes us, shall we?

The Final Word Of The Year 2016 Check-In


My challenge and my inspiration for 2016 was to Deepen…

To deepen everything…my experiences, my connections, my knowledge, my commitments…

I did not set out specific challenges or activities in which to do this, but the Universe did provide ample opportunities to do so…

I feel that I have lived and embodied this word this year, through unconscious actions and activity, if by nothing else.

I am looking forward to using what I have learned and gathered in this year as we move forward into the coming year.

Word Of The Year Check-In


Deepen.  This is my word for this year.  Every time I stop to think about how this word is working in my life this year, I am awed by the changes that are going on.

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I do not think of my word of the year every day.  Not even every week.  In fact, months can go by before I stop and think, hey, look how this coincides with my word of the year…

This is August.  The third quarter of the year.  How is Deepen working on me right now?

Such amazing changes and shifts have been happening.

A new website in the works.  Updates to the family website happening.  Changes to the way I am working with and on my blog.  Changes at home, slow but sure, cleaning and catching up with … going on five years of things waiting for me to recover from pregnancy and have the facilities and faculties to take care of things myself.  My health is improving.  My work itself is changing, deepening, with things lining up in ways they haven’t in many many a moon.

I think the most exciting things I can say are…I am coming back to me again…not a reclaiming, because I am not the person I was.  I am not the person I was two years, not five years ago, not seven years ago, not ten years ago.  I am the same, but I am different.  Sometimes it is strange for me to stop and think about how I am again (still) heading in the same direction–but with different energies, different ideas about the same things, different focus, a different center, a different foundation.  This also sheds the same light on the other shift, in my work.

For six years now, I have had my NaNo2010 novel sitting there waiting for me–and I know what I want to do with it–I simply haven’t known how to do that.  Now I have a much clearer idea of what to do and how to do it.  If I can make this work, I have a book…literally, so many patterns, of knitting patterns that I wrote and created in 2007– and this is something I have longed to test knit and put out into the world.  Although since I created all the patterns, my idea on publishing has shifted to wanted to publish one pattern at a time.  Most of those patterns are shawl patterns, because I was in no way prepared in 2007 to create hat patterns, which lately has been something I genuinely like and appreciate–even if I have trouble knitting hats around here at the moment.  I need to test knit the patterns as they stand now.

It’s also an evolving thing with my art.  I keep saying I want to unlearn what I have learned in my classes, but it is not that I regret the classes I’ve taken or plan to take.  What I need to do, I have come to realize, is let go of the — rules that I accept as law–and I am in no way accusing any teacher I have had at any level of saying this is the only way this can be done–but for whatever reason things get stuck in my head and it becomes–this is the only way this can be done.  I hadn’t realized until recently that I haven’t been painting or working in my art journal as much, because all the fun has gone away.  I couldn’t do this like that because it’s not the ‘right way’…I couldn’t do that because it’s not the ‘right way’.  So I am working on … doing things my own way rather than the ‘right way’.

I also want to start working on different techniques, for different things.  I don’t want to start talking about what I am doing, or what I am planning to do.  However, I do plan on making more books, binding my own books…and perhaps I will be making them to sell.  Which is not anything I ever thought I might do.  But the idea of it does feel pretty good.  We’ll have to see.

I am a bit excited about the making and binding of books though.  My oldest son is actually excited about me making him his very own book for his upcoming thirteenth birthday.  A special request: a red book with red pages.  Red is his favorite color.  My daughter has several books that I’ve made over the past couple of years.  My youngest…well, he has plenty of other things right now.  When he is older, I know he’ll get his share as well.

It does feel so good to have my feet firmly back on my own solid foundation though.  That is something I have been missing for…such a very long time now.  I couldn’t actually pinpoint how long it’s been so long.  Decades.

There is so much going on, so many changes, inside and out.  I am excited to see where things go for the rest of this year.