Mise En Place — Word Of The Year Check-In

 

Mise en place…to prepare everything, as in the foodservice industry, to have all the little things ready to go before dinner service so that you don’t have to stop in the middle of anything and chop up various whatevers that may be needed…For me, mise en place has been my word of the year… the year is moving onwards, shooting forward, wanting to come to a close…and what have I accomplished this year?

I have meant to have so much more interaction with my blog here this year, with my writing, with everything…and between flare-ups, sickness, running back and forth to appointments…I feel as if not much has been accomplished…

I sat down the other day and I thought about it.  I have accomplished quite a bit this year.  Most of these things have been internal, spiritual, mental…and there have been some physical manifestations as well…

Big changes are in the works in the New Year.  This blog you are reading right now…it’s may just disappear in its entirety at year’s end. Alyce, as I affectionately call this blog, has been active in one form or another, since April 2015.  She served her purpose for me, for my family, brilliantly…but I have outgrown her and need a new…I want to say, pasture in which to graze, a new forest in which to run, a new ocean in which to swim.

It is difficult to say Alyce has been a mask for me, when so much has been revealed here…but …things are changing and shifting for me.  On so many levels.  To lay Alyce down and leave her by the roadside seems more like taking off a mask and moving forward without wearing one.  The way I explain the current changes I am undergoing is I am still on the same Journey, heading towards the same Place, but I am taking a different Path to get there.

I will reveal the New Path in the coming days…I still have a great deal of work to do.  I just began work on a new blog…I have storefronts to set up…many many things to do…and I am not going to push myself.  I have several chronic issues I deal with.  Among all the other things I do.  Pushing myself means a flare and means delays…and that will drive me nuts, which will cause the flare to worsen…so I am going to be as sanguine as possible about things and let things come as they shall.

The foundations have been laid…and I am going to move forward.  That is where my current year, and my current mindset, is at the moment.

Thank you for following along on this journey.

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2019 Word Of The Year Reveal

2018 was the Year of Settling In…and now at the very end of the year, as I look back, I think it may have meant more along the lines of settle in because this year is going to be a BUMPY ride…and it surely has…and I am not quite sure how much it is settling down for 2019, but, I think the worst of it is behind us (knock on wood).

For 2019 comes another ‘word set’ rather than a single word.  Also, as I did last year, I struggled with this one and tried to force it into every single—any single—other direction I could push it—and it refused…

And so…my Word Of the Year for 2019 is…Mise En Place…

According to Wikipedia, it means “putting in place” or “everything in its place”…and that, above all else, is exactly what I need and what I have longed for for quite a time now.

Wish me luck, because I am not entirely sure how things will be put in their place this year—although I must say—I am very much looking forward to it happening…and staying that way…

2018 Word of The Year Recap

My word for 2018 has been “settle in’.  Little did I realize that December would be the month that really kicks in for me settling in to things.  New diagnosis’s.  New medications.  I feel as if I have even fewer spoons than usual.  I am used to waking up to perhaps five spoons a day—and lately it feels more like I wake up to one spoon days, every day.  I am napping more, which, yes, can partly be blamed on new medications…but I also feel as if there are other things happening as well that I am not quite conscious of yet.

It’s been a big year.  My oldest moved out on her own.  We are slowly taking back the house—after trusting her to help and do since I was pregnant with my youngest—there is a lot to go through, discover, throw away—and thankfully, a lot we can (and do) donate as well.

I spent a year with Lifebook again this year, trying to see if that would re-ignite some of my artwork—and all it did was remind me that I don’t want to follow other people—I want to do my own thing—Karen Campbell and her free videos have been far more instructive and heart-opening than Lifebook has been.  Please do keep in mind—I am not saying anything negative about Lifebook in any way—I have simply come to understood (again) that it isn’t for me—my Path lies elsewhere.

It’s cold outside here, so I can relax into baking again.  I am on a sourdough mission, for some reason.  I am enjoying it.  I didn’t realize that health benefits of sourdough when I started (you may want to look into that)…and last night I baked three loaves of sourdough bread –chocolate (yes, as in bread with chocolate all through it), a raisin walnut cinnamon bread (which I had for breakfast, oh YUM), and a regular plain old white loaf…my youngest is LOVING this bread, which is amazing…

I am painting.  I am drawing.  I am playing with watercolors.  I am making/binding books/journals.  I am knitting again.  I am crocheting, when the mood strikes.  I am writing again—slow but steadily…my ink doth flow…

It’s been a long year, full of blood and guts, way too much time in hospitals, way too many tests, not enough sleep, and now tons of sleep…not enough room and now creating and maintaining that room—that space.

I am not yet feeling Me again, but I am a heck of a lot closer now than I was a year ago.

Where are you at with this year?

Word Of The Year Check-In

It’s October.  Not my usual ‘scheduled’ time to discuss my word of the year.  To remind you, this year, “settle in” chose me.  However, it’s October.  Samhain is my New Year…and Autumn is when I start to feel alive again in the year…and start getting antsy about getting things done and planning for next year.

Planning for next year looks a bit different this year, because I have learned a great deal from simply being this year and not so much doing.  I’ve also spent more time in doctor’s offices and hospital waiting rooms – for myself, not for someone else—this year than … perhaps the rest of my life combined…many things are going on.

And yet…I am settling in…settling in to my body…with whom I have not had a decent conversation since the first ‘official’ miscarriage more than eight years ago.  I am settling in to the house, even though I am not physically able to do as much as I want to do as fast as I want to do things to dismantle the chaos that has accumulated during the past years when I had to rely on others (a teen-ager) to help pick up the slack because I was sick/unable to do so…and trust me when I say, relying on said teen-ager, not the greatest thing.  We are all learning that…as if we didn’t know…as she now has a place of her own and my husband and I are doing the things she used to do (or was supposed to do) and finding…things are much easier now.

This – and the epiphany that I no longer have to hide my stuff to make sure it will be there when I want/need it—has lead to …layers being pulled back.  Armor being dismantled.  Battle lines being erased.  An ease rising up and settling in, all on its own.  Who knew?

I’ve also reached a different space in my art, settling more into me, what makes me feel better, what makes me feel good.  It’s a good space…and learning to be me, to do me, rather than to rely on what I have learned—it’s not easy…but I am getting there.

It’s an interesting feeling…the housework, the artwork, the work of being me…it’s almost as if I have been a seed for so very long…and now I am pushing up through the layers of detritus, stripping away the unessential, and turning towards the Sun—or in my case, the Moon…it’s a good feeling.

I do get tense; I do get anxious; I do get worried—I want to DO more…and I simply am not physically able to do so…and that level of patience … well, I am still working on it.

It will be interesting to see what word envelopes my coming year…especially since my Bird Guide has already appeared in full feather…(more on that later)…

I know my next year will look vastly different than this year, and the years before it.  The core of my focus has shifted.  Not necessarily changed per se…but shifted.  I have long said, same journey, different path…and that is what it feels like.  I am still heading towards the same end, but now, I’m taking different paths.  Maybe even heading in alternative directions.

All I can say at the moment is this whole process, while not always comfortable, does feel good at the end of the day.

How is your year going?

 

Word Of The Year Check-In

It’s August.  Time for another word of the year check-in here.

I have to admit–it has felt so good to pull back from everything.  To not worry about blogging, or writing, or much of anything else.  Add into it this is my year of health issues…and that pulling back and resting has meant the world to me.

My word of the year is : Settle In.

It’s been a year.

I’ve had surgery…and that has come with a new learning to be in my body and to work with my body on different levels.

I am settling into this house…and what’s in it…and as I am able, I am slowly moving things out…and not replacing them…it’s an old lesson that I am learning again…

I am settling into a rhythm for school and appointments, knitting and crocheting, medication, food, books…and art.

I was going to show you some of the new work that I have been doing, because lately, the most obvious place I am changing is in my art journal…but the scanner has decided it will talk to no computer and no person (at least none that are currently awake) and I rarely post finished pieces on Instagram…so here are the beginnings of a few pieces I have done recently:

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WIP Putting some paint down #getmessyartjournal

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WIP last look until morning #getmessyartjournal

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WIP. ..what I do when I'm scared… #getmessyartjournal

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It was about here when it hit me that this journal was going to be about more than the Get Messy Season of Seasons…that’s when I decided that this is my journal for me…a whole other realm of Grimoire…this is something else entirely…

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WIP. ..

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WIP #getmessyartjournal #getmessyhabit

A post shared by Tabitha Low (@tabitha_j_low) on

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WIP #getmessyartjournal #getmessyhabit

A post shared by Tabitha Low (@tabitha_j_low) on

 

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WIP #getmessyhabit #getmessyartjournal

A post shared by Tabitha Low (@tabitha_j_low) on

You might be thinking that this doesn’t have a lot to do with ‘settling in’–but it does.  I am settling in to my bones, into my place of power, into my soul…and this work is what is breaking up an entirely new level within me…and if that isn’t settling in to my own self…I don’t know what else is…

I have a long way to go, I know–but this is the first time this year where I genuinely feel as if I am finally moving forward and slowly starting to find my footing again–I may not have that footing yet, but it is coming.

Word Of The Year Check-In

**Please note: there are NO affiliate links in this post.

{As an aside: the girl above has green eyes on the page–I never paint girls with blue eyes.  It’s one of my quirks.}

 

My word for the year is: settle in.

To paraphrase about four different online dictionary resources: to arrange oneself and one’s belongings so as to be comfortable.

Usually, this seems to be used in reference to moving into a new home or new job or something else that is ‘new’.

None of that ‘new’ is happening here, yet, and we have no such deadline for it to happen.  Things will shift in those arenas when the time is right…we know this.

However, after surgery and now in recovery, I feel like I have a new … way to be.  I am morphing once again.  It’s the same old me, doing the same old stuff, but doing it in different ways–and having more faith in myself.

For instance, if you have visited this site before, you will notice a lot of changes have happened in the past few days.  There are now a great many more pages–and a lesser amount of links.

I had a month of time on my hands before the surgery took place.  During this time, since I was nervous and worried and down-right panicky, I worked through some things, looked at many things, pushed to see where I felt good about going, pushed to see what my heart genuinely wanted…

One thing I have had on my to-do list for a while now is… read more.  Since I am a random reader, except for kids books, these days, I set myself a goal of reading a book a month for the year.  Before surgery–I devoured a whole bunch of books.  I have already reached my goal…and I have been reading since I was released, as soon as my eyes were able to focus clearly and my head was clear enough to comprehend what I was reading.

Another thing is knitting more.  I will have to tell you the story of Duncan’s first adult baby surprise jacket.  I still have to fix it, because I was on pain meds when I cast on and I read the pattern wrong–which isn’t so bad except when you are working with big yarn and big needles…I marked the decrease at stitch 57 and it should have been at stitch 50 or 52–and with this, every 2 stitches equals an inch…so I have to be creative to finish off the one sleeve that is way too narrow because of that mistake.

For the first time in years, I am also designing knitwear again.  Nothing fancy at the moment,  Right now it’s just a simple garter stitch hat.  But I know more is coming, because I have been writing more as well…

And writing is another thing that cropped up and kept cropping up.  I took a medicinal poetry class to get my mojo back.  I am writing poetry again.  Although I have a new way of looking at it…one that didn’t occur to me until I was re-working and editing a poem…I wrote the poem out, the version of it that I liked but knew needed more work…on a piece of watercolor paper…and then I painted over it.

I’m not finished working through either yet…but every time I looked at the painted sheet, I see shapes that want to come out….and I hear pieces of the poetry those shapes want to bring out with them…

I am also working on writing more fiction…and non-fiction as well.

Something that hit me with this last Full Moon was the need to simplify things in all areas of my life.  One thing that has bothered me for a while that I wasn’t sure how to deal with was the family website (now defunct).  I felt I had a responsibility to the family to keep it up and running…but with everything else going on…it had become too much of a hassle…and too much like a repository, instead of something new and vibrant and useful.

This site is where I dedicate most of my time (usually) and this is where I want everything to be, all in one place.  This is where I have pulled everything, work, home, you name it.

I still have a lot to do.

It was brought to my attention this weekend that the PayPal click here to buy linky things did not work–they didn’t take you to a shopping cart with PayPal–they did nothing at all…so, I had to pull them…until I figure this issue out, email me if you are interested in something and I will send you an invoice.  Since I have to do things slowly and rest a great deal in between, it may be a while before I get this issue resolved.  I, frankly, am in no rush, because I have other plans up my sleeve as well.

It’s a start and right now that is the more important thing to me.

Home is home…there’s not much I can do right now since I am on light duty.  I am not even allowed to exercise beyond a little bit of walking at the moment.  I do what I can…and I release the rest to someone else to handle.

I am sleeping more, resting more, being more comfortable when I rest–instead of worrying about things I haven’t done or haven’t completed.

I feel an intense amount of joy the The Raven Journey is spruced up and now available again.  Since the manuscript does not lend itself to e-book formatting…I have to content myself with the knowledge that one day I will have this printed out as a textbook and I will teach the material within its pages.

I have more settling into my body, with her new scars and new purpose, to do yet, but much of that is dependent upon taking the time to heal now and not overdoing things so that once I am given the all clear…I can move forward with grace and compassion.

Until next time…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bonne Année

Happy New Year.

Hello.

Felicitations.

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….