Category Archives: Knitting

Invisible Me

Invisible me.jpg

So the last time I posted anything to my blog, I was a different person. I was making some choices within my life that would affect the next decade(s). I had filed for divorce, I moved to the Big Island of Hawaii, I detached myself from a life I had known since I was twenty, (i’m almost 45 now), and I focused on myself. I began a transition into starting over. I had no house. I had no savings. But I had freedom to make any decision about my life going forward. It was SO strange. It still is at times actually.

In detaching myself from material things, I also weeded through my garden of acquaintances, friends and possibly enemies. I narrowed my support circle to just a handful of loving friends. I focused on using Facebook as an avenue to share articles about health, eating organic and loving oneself. On Pinterest, I focused on my hobbies, animals, knitting and self love. And Instagram, I focused on my creative side. I posted photos of my fermenting, jamming and of the little things in my day that brought the most amount of happiness like sunsets, sunrises and hot toddies on a cold night.

I recently moved back to the Bay Area and enrolled in college. I am now focusing on my second career, becoming a Nutritionist with a focus in Community Health. Being back in school, among bright eyed twenty somethings has been very humbling! Yet, I feel a connection with them as we all have something to learn from one another. This week is finals week and I am feeling overwhelmed. And anxious. And highly emotional which then transcends into self doubt, unfortunately. Up to this point have I made the best decisions for myself? Is going back to school the right thing to do? Moving back to the mainland the best step for me?

I recently attended a woman’s creative workshop that focused on becoming more in touch with your inner queen. Amazing photographer, Stacy del Rosa took the photo of me above. This is what she said about the picture, “When I see this photo of you, I see a woman in love with her own becoming. A woman who keeps a sacred message just for her inside her crown. A woman who is willing to see the whole of herself and love all of it with compassion and kindness.” I was speechless when I received this picture. Her words couldn’t be more true.  At times when I feel that I can’t do this new life, I look beyond the self doubt and realize I am loving who I am becoming. I can do this!

I continue on with an open heart and an open mind

xoxo

 

 

 

Namaste

20130615-142530.jpg

This is AMMA. I met her a couple weeks ago. Awhile back I was on the interwebs and came across a place called the AMMA center near where I live. I sometimes would take the road that the center was off of and at times, traffic would be creeping for miles while cars would be turning into a driveway that winded up the hills of San Ramon.

I saw that AMMA herself was planning her Summer USA tour and I just knew I had to go. Now I admit I am spiritual however not really religious. I have tried Catholicism, Presbyterianism, Baptist, Christian and while I felt comfortable in all the church services I knew that I could not commit to just one. I really didn’t know why, but that it was a commitment I was ready for yet.

I read about AMMA and learned that she has spent her whole life embracing people. Hugging folks. That was her philosophy. I have always said HUG IT OUT. In fact my belief is that when I come across people who are in a bad mood or generally nasty, they should have been hugged more as a child. Hugs are magical in my book. They make you relax. They comfort. They bring people together physically and emotionally. They spread love. They release endorphins! If people hugged more the world WOULD be a better place in my opinion.
In AMMAs life, at a very young age, despite cast and poverty, she hugged people who she thought needed it. She has accomplished so much in her life by embracing others. She is devoted to humanitarian life all over the world.

My husband, son and I left early to the AMMA Center.
I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had no idea who was going however I assumed lots of people would attend. When we arrived only 50 people were in line. We were briefed to take our shoes off before entering the temple. We would be seated and there would be a meditation session before AMMA began her embraces.

As we entered the Temple, we lined up and were escorted to the front of the room. On the alter, or stage, people were preparing the platform where AMMA was to be seated. They were decorating with flowers and setting up the microphones.
I turned around and realized the 50 people who entered earlier multiplied and now the entire Temple was full of a few hundred people. We luckily were seated in the second row from the front.

I asked the woman next to me if she had ever seen AMMA before. She shared that she had not and wasn’t even sure if she was ready. She told me she had a hard time accepting hugs. I assured her it everything would be alright as I wrapped my arm around her shoulders and gave her a quick hug.

Finally it was our family’s turn. I felt anticipation as we walked closer to the stage. It seemed like controlled chaos. There were helpers telling people waiting to come forward, to kneel, to stand, to hand over their offerings, to sit on a stool, to walk over to the side, to stay. Once the three of us were in front of AMMA she grabbed Joshua and embraced him. She began to chant, then touched my husband. She kissed Joshua on the cheek, and then I was told by one of her helpers that she was going to be giving us a family blessing. She fed us each a sweet, I was to kneel infront of her. As I kneeled she began to chant Ma Ma Ma Ma…I rush of emotion came over me as she embraced me and kissed both cheeks. My troubles disappeared and I felt content and most vividly I felt love. She smiled at me and smiled at my family and said another blessing for our family. Her smell was intoxicating. Rose. It remained on our clothes for awhile afterward. We were given another sweet wrapped in rose petals. We moved to the side of the stage and watched AMMA continue her embraces. As I watched I realized she knew what each person needed that day. Some people needed consoling, some needed to feel her love and some needed to be in her presence. It was a remarkable experience.

AMMA changed me and as a family we shared a moment we would never forget.
Namaste’

20130617-211236.jpg

30 Days is kind of the same as 90 Days

Awhile ago, actually 90 days ago I set forth to knit a sweater in 30 days. I have been wanting to knit an Icelandic style sweater called a lopapeysa, for some time and was in a rut. I came across a TEDtalk by Matt Cutts.
Knitting a sweater in the round, with such detail of patterns always scared me a bit. I found some confidence in the message from Matt Cutts and decided to give the lopi sweater a try.
It was a good project to try. I used a pattern by Védís Jónsdóttir on Ravelry.
I chose neutral colors since I wasn’t actually sure who I would be making the sweater for. I used Lion Brand fishermans yarn in oatmeal for the body, and found the rest of the yarn in my stash.
I blocked the sweater today.

20130511-233917.jpg

I find that by dampening the sweater and blocking it flat is the easiest way to block. I read an article once that blocking makes a handmade item into a professional looking item. It relaxes the stitches and helps it hold its shape overtime. I highly recommend taking the extra few days to finish your knitted goodies by blocking them.

20130511-234201.jpg

In this picture, you can see the yarn pattern puckering in areas. That’s because the sweater wasn’t blocked yet…blocking remedies the puckering…
Something magical happened when I pulled the sweater over my head, it became mine! All the while, keeping track of every stitch, making sure I’m following the color ways just as the pattern read, I was creating a new sweater that I’ll treasure for a long time.

I challenge you to mix life up a bit and try a new skill, it’s an awesome feeling when you realize that you can just do it…you just got to take the first step…or stitch.

This little light of mine…

I have been watching Tedtalks lately. Ken Robinson is someone I have been intrigued with from his talks on education killing children’s creativity, I often think of how my life would be if I was encouraged to dance or knit or make things instead of focus on a general curriculum. Would I be teaching dance instead of teaching product knowledge to a bunch of twenty somethings who are waiting for their next break…would I be onstage entertaining audiences with my moves instead of being onstage waiting for the next customer to entertain.
While my parents encouraged us to go to school, follow the teachers directions, none of our talents were encouraged and developed. My older brother who was always drawing would often come home with a note from his teacher saying he was caught drawing again instead of focusing on his math lesson.
I wonder if he ever thinks what his life would look like if those skills were nurtured at an early age. Fortunately his drawing skills are now being used at the architecture firm he works at, creating plans and models.

Here is Ken Robinson talking about education.Ken Robinson

If you are a parent, aunt, uncle or lucky enough to be an educator, take a moment to watch his talk. We can make a difference in this world. Encourage children’s creativity to help them shine!

Earth Day is Everyday

Can you believe it’s almost May!
Seriously where does the time go? I feel as if I haven’t really made the best of the year yet.

I have been spending the mornings before work weeding, planting and watering. The birds are out and the dachshunds are begging for some overgrown kale. Its peaceful. It helps set the tone of the day.

20130424-214950.jpg

20130424-214957.jpg

Last week I had a migraine for days. I admit I am a huge baby when it comes to headaches. Chop my finger off I’m ok, but a headache? I just can’t cope. I felt exhausted by Friday.Saturday night we celebrated my moms birthday at one of our favorite restaurants. I ate a spinach salad and later that night I had a huge allergy attack. I just can’t be sure of ever eating out I suppose. Whenever I have an attack, the next day I’m fatigued and my stomach is sore. I drink fluids but I stay away from eating for most of the day. I know it’s not healthy but really it allows my gut to rest.

This week I have given up eating out, at all costs. I have focused on eating raw. It’s been somewhat of an easy adjustment. By Tuesday I was making green smoothies with my kale. Amazingly, I have had consistent energy throughout the day too. I do make sure I eat breakfast, lunch, an afternoon snack and a light dinner.

20130424-220410.jpg

For this smoothie, I whirled in my blender…a cup of frozen berries
1 inch of ginger
Large sprig of fresh parsley and cilantro
Half banana
Cup of fresh pineapple
Handful of fresh kale
I looked at different recipes online however all used juice or yogurt. I used 1/2 cup of water instead. I wanted the smoothie to be light and not too sweet.

For this smoothie…
Half peeled chopped cucumber
1 inch ginger
Sprig of parsley and cilantro
I also added fresh lemon verbena because I grow it…
Handful of kale
Half of banana
1/2 cup liquid, I used H2O
Squeeze lime to taste

Experiment with what’s on hand. I almost added a jalapeño to the green smoothie but refrained. Maybe for tomorrow’s breakfast…try different combinations and favors. Have fun with it!

20130424-221041.jpg

I put tomatoes and marigolds in the ground this week too. The weather in the Bay Area has been between 72-85 degrees. It’s been lovely really.
I used one compost bin worth of freshly grown dirt. It smells great and full of red wrigglers too!
The tomatoes will love the richly nutrient compost I’m sure!

20130424-221729.jpg

20130424-221737.jpg

These small actions of growing my own food, and eating clean makes me feel good about my life. It’s easy to plant lettuce in pots or even a tomato plant. If everyone grew something they ate, they would feel better mentally, eat healthier and be happier. I’m on my way to a healthier lifestyle and a more happier life too.

New Chapter take 2

I began this entry on April 16 and finally got around to finishing today…
Yesterday morning I had fresh thoughts of a new entry. My husband began his internship at the hospital yesterday. It is quite a change from the white collar office job he had for the past 10 years, but strangely as we get wiser, happiness is the goal in life. And working in an office just wasn’t doing that for him anymore. He wanted to help people, make a difference and be happy. He definitely is happier now 🙂

20130422-144426.jpg

On a gardening note, I invited a couple friends over last weekend to enjoy the celebration of my husbands new job. I have been holding out on pulling beets and carrots until the perfect occasion. Although the temptation was strong to pull at times, I’m happy I waited. The veggies were beautiful and tasted amazing after being roasted with garlic, and new potatoes.

20130422-144943.jpg

20130422-144950.jpg

20130422-145001.jpg

I also pulled out all the arugula that went to seed the past couple weeks. They grew 6 feet tall! Amazing and at this size…BITTER and SPICY!

20130422-145343.jpg

Happy Monday everyone! Here’s a little love(ly) rose to start your week off positive…stop and smell the roses…

20130422-145507.jpg

Humdinger of a Day or Happy Last Day of Winter

20130319-220756.jpg
Howie left ,Joey right

I was looking forward to my day off. My husband and I planned on getting chores done and preparing for our sons visit back home next week for Spring Break. Today began with a serious of routine doctors appointments. I had not had an annual in a few years and my husband had to follow up on his vaccinations for his new job. After my appointment I met my husband in the waiting room who surprisingly was being taken care of by two nurses checking his vitals and serving him apple juice. After being poked he stood up, felt light headed and almost blacked out. After two hours of being monitored by nurses and his doctor he was released since he felt a bit better. I drove home and we were greeted by our 2 darling dachshunds Joey and Howie. Well actually one was sick as a dog. There were piles of vomit everywhere. Once we realized which one it was, we cleaned up the mess and took Joey outside for some fresh air. He continued to get sick from both ends. This alarmed us because Joey has had some health issues and been on medicine for an autoimmune disease the past year. He was lethargic. Not his chipper self.
The disease attacks the good blood cells in the joints causing severe arthritis. We are fortunate that we live close enough to UCDavis who treats Joey for the disease.
We took Joey to the emergency where he was admitted right away. The vet determined it was just a bacteria infection. Phew! No relapse of his autoimmune disease!

We all went back home. I felt exhausted. Do you ever think your day is going to be one way and turns out to be a humdinger? Today definitely was that day.
After 6 hours of various medical attention and advice, there was only one thing that I know would make us feel better. For the dogs, warm rice and for the humans, homemade chicken soup.
Lately with my IBS attacks, I make a big pot of homemade chicken stock to use for our weekly meals. It helps keep my gut happy and healthy.

20130319-220917.jpg
Gluten Free Chicken Soup

As I relax tonight I am grateful that the day went the way it did. It made me think how life is short. I shouldn’t take my health for granted or my family’s for that matter.

When I checked the mail today I received a package from Juniper Moon Farms.It was my Fall 2012 shares. Perfect timing, on the last day of Winter.

20130319-220958.jpg

20130319-221025.jpg
My shares are from these sweet sheep 🙂