Thursday, May 30, 2013

a perfect moment at a time

I feel like writing simply feels so joyful and ripe. Nik is recovered enough from her flu that she accompanied me on my dog walking walk today. It's hard to see her unwell. She's so active and has been entirely healthy for two years, and this flu has been a sad, sad flu. BUT...the up and about Nik'l I saw today has sparked my temporarily put-to-rest travel bug, and I am feeling all ants in the pants to go away again. We had been planning on seeing Gettysburg, and then camping in MD, a first for us both. New places to see and experience together! Let the planning commence!!
I also created something new today! It's a gift though, and as I've no idea if its recipient looks at this blog, I won't be posting any images of it. felt really wonderful to make something where once there was just a box of matches. And to wrap it up and get it set to ship tomorrow! The giving of a gift is so joy making  in itself.
I'm feeling grateful, and today held many little treasures, so I'll end this entry with a small list of..

*waking up to Bijou's mewing 'now? nowww? nnowwwww?' and letting her in for a morning snuggle
*A perfectly toasted multi grain bagel, lots of butter
*Seeing Nik'l up and dressed and energetic
*being greeted by Ruth, my great dane friend
*laughing with my bff on the phone, and making happy time-together plans
*touching base with a friend who is far away, and feeling happier for it
*my brother butch and the beautiful cupboards he painted
*hearing bird song, feeling warm breezes, and watching the summer light change as evening sets in
*feeling utterly content in this moment

And realizing that in each moment of this day, even when I felt cranky, there was perfection....

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

the difference between making and creating

I wrote awhile back about the woman on etsy who began making my bridesmaid boxes. I struggled deeply with my belief that she was taking sales from me. I worked through my anger and fear by creating new designs, and improving my own items. Which felt good. I put all of my energy into this, trying to set myself apart from her and to compete with her for sales. For months, I've been doing this. But a few nights ago I had this thought..."When did I stop 'creating' and settle for 'making'?" I haven't created anything in ages. The thing that sets me apart from this woman is my creativity. The bridesmaid invitation boxes are lovely, and I value the connections I make through them, but anyone can make them. My collages, shadowboxes and cards, however, are entirely unique because they are expressions of me! I had lost sight of my joy and my values. Of creating things that I love. When I'm creating, I feel excited. I am full of energy and enthusiasm and ideas. For too long I have focused on making, and competing.
So in my heart, I let the bridesmaid boxes go. I still offer them, I still make them, and I still value the connections and wage I make with them. But my primary focus has shifted back into creating. The thrill that has come along with this internal shift has been amazing! I am full of ideas and a huge burst of energy. The irony is that the day after I let the bridesmaid boxes go, I sold 10 of them.:) Funny how releasing something works.
And so, I am learning how to make tiny books and will create wee small shadowboxes with their very own stories. And I will encapsulate unicorn energy and curiosity and wonder in containers of all shapes and sizes. I will dream and create and share. And I will not need to compete. Because I will simply Be, and no one else can touch that.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

An ABC horror story

I had no idea that this is where this story would go. I thought it was going to be a fairy tale!

 Abilene knew to never enter the forest, regardless of the time of day or who she was with. Bernard, her older brothers best friend, had done it on a dare one day, and had been missing for nearly 9 years. Carefree as her childhood was, the shadow of danger hung over it like a veil. Danger, lurking in the tree line. Edging ever closer to her own back yard. Father told her stories from his own youth, and of the friend who, like Bernard, disappeared one day.
Gravel crunched under Abilene's tires as she rode her bike one hot, still summer day. Her hair clung to her neck and dust rose into the air to settle on her skin, making little muddy rivulets of sweat on her face. Ivy had begun to creep out of the forest to climb the jungle gym on the outskirts of town. Jump ropes and jacks lay forgotten, having been abandoned hastily when rumor spread that the forest had claimed a child who was only near and not in it. Kicking at rocks as she walked, head down, Abilene tried hard not to look into the shadows. Longing filled her, and she imagined herself bravely running straight into those forbidden woods. Maybe she would be the one to liberate all of those long lost children.  
Night fell softly in the fragrant way that hot summer nights fall. Overhead the street lights began to flicker, calling Abilene home to supper, and a bath and cool, clean sheets. Perched on a tree limb at the edge of the woods, a bird called out a haunting and lovely song. Queerly shaped and large, it sang again and though it sounded lovely Abilene felt the hair on her neck and arms rise in response. Retreating a few steps, she stared at the bird until her eyes ached and played tricks on her. She knew, as surely as she knew her own name, that this was the unknowable fear, the taker of children, the danger she had heard tell of her entire life. The bird dropped awkwardly from its perch, and began a lumbering shuffle toward her. Uttering a cry of revulsion, Abilene bent, feeling for rocks, unable to look away from the bird and its slow approach. Vulture body, hunched and huge, a scarred and ancient face, a ragged beak. Witches, Abilene knew, were kind and and gentle and lived close to nature; this was no witch. X's of puckered flesh covered its eyes, but Abilene could feel it seeing her. "You'll hear my name and lose your own" the bird sang to her, "lose your mind and never go home". "Zeeenabrahaaavvnaaaaa", the name came sweetly from its twisted beak and slid through the fragrant night air, and it was the last thing Abilene ever heard.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

642 things to write about...#1

Annie woke gently, and stretched in the pre dawn light. Birds were just beginning to serenade the morning outside her window. Carefully, she lifted the edge of the curtain and peered out. Daylight's slow approach turned the sky into a seamless piece of ombre silk. Everything was still, and her world, in that moment, felt like the pause between breathes, poised, silent. Faraway, she could hear the crowing of a single rooster, boisterous and joyful. Gershwin appeared at the end of Annie's bed in that silent way that cats suddenly appear. He mewed and mrowed and butted his head against her chin, purring his good morning to her.
In the kitchen, they moved about their routines with purpose. Jumping to the top of the refrigerator, Gershwin oversaw Annie's breakfast preparations from the corner of his eye as he went about his morning grooming. Knife in hand, she sliced her bagel as she spoke softly to Gershwin. "Life is full of so much possibility", she explained to him, "and not a thing to be napped through". Maybe, thought Gershwin, maybe not. Not that he was opposed to being awake, mind you. Often he was up for hours on end playing and patrolling the house. People simply lacked the ability to relish a good cat nap, he figured. Quiet and stillness seemed unattainable to them, except at night which as any cat knew was the very best time to stalk shadows. Reaching a paw out to pat Annie's hair as she walked by, Gershwin felt sorry for his person. She was such a slave to her humanity.Today he would bird watch,and he would sleep in beams of sunlight between eating and playing and sleeping some more. Underneath the porch, he knew, was a family of mice whom he would kill come evening. Virtually every moment of his day held purpose. "We need groceries, and I need to go to the dry cleaners" Annie prattled on. X-ray vision couldn't show Gershwin a clearer picture of her inner workings. Yawning extravagantly, he turned his back on her and thought " and I have at least 4 naps to fit in before lunch". Zzzzzzzzzzzz.

This was FUN! The assignment was to tell a story in which each sentence begins with a letter of the alphabet, moving sequentially..A,B,C, etc.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Shampoo Free...Still!

It's been nearly a year since I decided to go Shampoo Free. Here's a bit of background as to how I came to it.
A few years ago I began struggling with dandruff for the first time ever. I started using a dandruff shampoo, and thus began my weekly cycle...Wash hair, which then gets fluffy and frizzy, scalp feels itchy. Two days or so later, oily hair, itchy scalp. Wash. Itch. Repeat. I got pretty fed up, and at about the same time, my love read about sodium laurel sulphate, which is in most soaps and shampoos...and engine de-greasers, floor cleaners, and car wash soaps. Scary, toxic stuff.
This new knowledge Thoroughly freaked me out. I eat organic, yet I was bathing in toxins? No thank you. So I started to look into alternatives. I searched the internet, hoping to find some organic shampoo, but what I found instead was the 'No 'poo movement'. And I was thrilled. The theory was simple. Our bodies regulate themselves just fine. This includes our scalps ability to produce enough oil to maintain it's own health. When we shampoo with a chemical like SLS it strips our scalp Entirely of oil, which then causes our scalp to over produce in order to compensate. Going shampoo free allows our scalp to regulate itself, and the results are beautiful.
Here is my original blog entry from that time..
It's been almost an entire year! I've learned a lot by reading about others experiences, but mainly through trial and error.
Here's where I am today...I began to boil my water after realizing that it's 'hard water' and may have been the original cause of my dandruff(!). I add baking soda while the water is still hot but no longer boiling. There's a fun volcanic reaction, after which I have a silky, slippery feeling water/baking powder solution. I put the mixture into a reusable water bottle with a pop top. I just shake it up to wash my hair. I rinse with faucet water, but I always re rinse with a boiled water (cooled down of course!!) and lemon mixture. I massage that into my scalp, let it sit a few minutes and then give it one more rinse with boiled and cooled water. I tried using apple cider vinegar as a conditioning rinse for awhile. People swear by it but I couldn't stand the smell. It pretty much disappears after your hair dries, but if I went go to yoga, and my head got hot or started to sweat, I emanated salad scents. Not so appealing.
Here is my hair now...
Obviously, I've also spent the year letting it grow! I am itch and dandruff free. I've also managed to switch to soap, deodorant, makeup, and toothpaste which are all SLS, paraben, and phthlates FREE.

I highly encourage you to make the leap! The first few weeks was a rough transition, but beyond that it's been amazing. Read a lot, try things, ask questions, and be willing to be greasy for awhile!