Yesterday at church I heard a poem about a lighthouse. It reminded me of one of my favorite books by Rosemary Wells, The Island Light. I adore this little children's story. As I reflected on the book I was reminded of how much I love the spiritual symbolism of lighthouses. Although I don't yet have the reference for the poem I heard, I found a wonderful poem by Henry Wadswoth Longfellow. See the link below. It's long, but worth it even if you only read the first few verses. http://www.poetryloverspage.com/poets/longfellow/seaside_and_fireside_lighthouse.html
It's past Christmas and not yet the new year. Packages have been opened, admired, and laid aside for placement after the holidays. My suitcase from a family trip sits in my bedroom, waiting to be put away. The dining room table is covered with containers of leftover goodies and pieces of a gingerbread house that was never built. In the corner of the living room stands the stale Christmas tree, dead needles accumulating on it's skirt. Christmas CDs and mail are stacked up in the kitchen, and the refrigerator is in serious need of a purge.
My head is swimming in family, Les Miserables the movie (recently seen), needed changes in 2013 and what to teach my Primary class at church this afternoon since the manual is out of lessons. Worries are starting to pile up in my head (a not so good activity of mine). Hmmmm-got to check and see when my son returns to school...will he make all his connections....I miss my sister....the house will be depressing this winter....how will I manage my feelings...I miss my viola, got to start practicing again tomorrow....and blah blah blah!!!!
The few days in the middle of the holidays are often like this for me. It seems like I am neither here nor there, just transitioning. I'm in the middle rather then at the end or beginning.
Being in the middle is fuzzy. The excitement of the beginning is gone and the end seems distant. It's the time when the urge to procrastinate is the greatest. The time to take a break from whatever journey we are on.
I feel like Tootles. When my oldest was young I often read him the story of Tootles, a locomotive in training. He was taught the rule "Stay on the rails no matter what!". He got off one day to play in the meadow, and learned the importance of following the rules. Getting off the rails was a bad plan!
My life right now feels more like a break at the Roundhouse than a rail trip. Maybe it's supposed to be that...a time to recharge for January 2013. Maybe I didn't wander off the rails, but perhaps I'm at the end of the trip and in the middle of recharging for the next one. In any case, I need to prepare for the New Year. To move ahead out of the middle.
I don't make New Year's Resolutions for various reasons, but I think I will this year. They will not be called resolutions. They will be a rather short list of goals/plans that I will calender to be revisited throughout the year. That should help keep me moving ahead when I need to, especially in the middle of the year!
I have a confession to make. I am feeling very cranky this Christmas. I don't want to decorate, cooking is a chore, I don't want Christmas music, and I am often feeling out of sorts. Just plain cranky and grumpy at times. Like Mr. Crabby Appleton (anyone remember Kaptain Kangaroo?) or the Grumpus Under the Rug. That's me.
Maybe it's a reaction to the difficult November election and Sandy Hook. Maybe it's the stresses of this season. Maybe it's because my hubby and I are empty nesters and all I want to do is run away and have an adventure. Maybe it's all of these. Guess I feel kind of like my photo above. Ugh.
Nobody ever told me that when your children are gone from home you will want to start life over. I always thought you missed your children and pined away for them, and that you needed to find other meaningful things to do with your life (especially SAH moms). Well, I feel like I have been let out of JAIL!! The funny thing is, I never felt I was in a jail. Weird, huh?
One of my sons and his friend are here for Christmas break from college, and I'm glad to see them, but I still feel like taking off with my hubby and going on an adventure. I have a serious case of "ants in my pants", so to speak. And the feeling is very powerful at times. I didn't know I could still feel this way about something at my age. I want to go exploring, see new towns, roam the plains and do some hiking!!
So I try to step up to my responsibilities, be good, make music, and generally go through the motions of what I am supposed to be doing. But my heart is often wandering elsewhere, wondering what the future will bring.
Today I deactivated my Facebook site. The reasons are many. I hope to open it again in the future, with some changes allowing me more control. I'm also hoping to open a Hittyhatty Facebook page...but right now I am behind. It will probably happen next year at the rate I am going !
Must write about this! I just voted, and it was the most wonderful voting experience I have ever had. I will venture to call the experience sweet. I feel so happy and excited...I don't quite understand this since it is not my normal state of being (I'm a worrier). Wow!
It was sweet for several reasons, one of which I will share. Whether Romney wins or not, I have lived to see a good Latter-day Saint be nominated for the presidency of the United States, and I had the opportunity to vote for him, taking many factors into consideration beyond his membership in the Mormon church. I feel very good about my decision, REALLY good!!
Last night I attended my first political rally (my ears are not happy about it...). It was for Paul Ryan. I have been very impressed with him. I was also impressed with the well-behaved crowd that was there. The people around me seemed like good people. One funny observation....there were lots of tall people there! Odd, huh?! I am tall myself, and not used to being only average height. Had to go up on my tip-toes a few times. Ha!
Well, enough. Go vote!
I needed a good laugh (and I need some sleep...that's next). So....off to one of my fave YouTube videos. This one always cracks me up. Somehow it disappeared on my Facebook site, so I'm putting it here! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2jdvTvcOgE
I have made it a point not to blog about the upcoming election, but I feel that I must share this article about Mitt Romney. I am so tired of feeling manipulated by our press, which seems to me to be quite biased in favor of Pres. Obama.
This article shares a true story. It's a long read, but very enlightening. http://www.ldsmag.com/1/11648/article/1/page-1
This morning I saw them again-that little flock of bluebirds I saw last week. So beautiful on such a gorgeous morning! I recalled seeing two full rainbows in the last month, and optimistic feelings at times about my future. To me these events are what is referred to as "tender mercies of the Lord"; little things that have special meaning to me and seem like personal gifts from God.
In the past few months I have been pondering happiness and free agency (free agency being the power to choose). Some of us have struggles with our moods and attitudes, myself being one of them. In the past I have often felt powerless to pull myself out of a funk or to disconnect from negative thoughts. My little roller coaster continues, but the climbs and descents are smaller and shorter. This has enabled me to get a better picture of what is going on, and I am getting more control. I see progress, and I figure that if I can see it, I must be getting better.
I think all of this is closely tied to faith in God and true principles. If we believe and do what is right, things work out. A lot of the details "mattereth not" (my new mantra).
Another concept I have been thinking about is contention. Contention could take up a large post and then some, but today I just want to mention that it is destructive. It can trigger anxiety, anger, negativity, nasty criticism, judgmentalism, and more. It feeds on itself. It can be explosive. Reacting to contention or becoming part of it takes away inner peace, and can even disrupt events. It sucks our faith dry. Sucks it right out of us. It is very bad, and a very "big deal". It is a negative energy source.
On the other hand, true unity is a positive energy source which is more intense and powerful than contention. For me, an interesting comparison is the difference between nuclear fission (contention) and fusion--unity (I'm not a scientist...hope this makes sense).
Oneness with God is the ultimate unity, I think. For me that means feeling the influence of the Holy Ghost. The more I can do that and the more I want it, the less desire for contention I have, and the more peace and love toward others I can feel. It means focusing more and more on uplifting thoughts and less on contentious ideas and events. It means less worrying. It means choosing peace and having faith.
I am redoing some photographs and listing new items in my Hitty Hatty shop. One of the new items is a bag made out of recycled fabrics. The diamond patterned fabric below is from a felted wool sweater; the red lining is recycled wool. The pieces were fused together before the bag was sewn, giving it structure. I used my own pattern.
The brown bag is cut from another felted wool sweater. I added wool leaf applique to both sides. It is SO cozy and soft! It is what I would call a Hobo bag...no lining, no stiffness. I think it could double as a kind of hand muff on a cold day...a cozy place for hands to warm up! I did not use a pattern for this bag. I will be listing it this week...check my shop for bag sizes.
My mother loved birds and passed her enjoyment of them to me. When I was young I received a large picture book of birds, which I spent a lot of time perusing. I loved nature hikes in school, and became pretty knowledgeable about basic birds.
One of my favorites always eluded me. The bluebird. I have never seen one I could identify. Until this morning, while on a parkway walk (and I didn't bring my camera....!!!).
While walking the dog I spied a beautiful blue color to my left; it was a bird. It perched in a crabapple tree, and I walked a bit closer. It was still. I could hardly believe my eyes...it looked like a classic eastern bluebird. And then I saw that there was not one, but a small flock, males and females! They seemed to be paired up. They remained long enough for me to listen and get a good look. So sweet and so pretty!!
When I got home I did some research on the computer to verify what I saw, and they were definitely eastern bluebirds. While reading I found some wonderful stories/symbolism about these birds. My favorite is native American. I have included a link below; go to the section "bluebird symbolism in America" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluebird_of_happiness
A few weeks ago I took some pictures of the rainbow below. It was one of the most beautiful I have seen. I watched it develop into a complete bow, with a faint double above.
The colors intensified as I watched! It was gorgeous. Wish the photo had been able to capture it!
It's finally done! I have changed the name of my Etsy shop from Dashees Garden to Hitty Hatty. Check it out to see my new banner/avatar and profile "about" section! I LOVE my new banner, which was purchased from an Etsy shop called CuriousCrowCreative.
In the next few weeks I will be making more changes, including adding some new items. Life has been pretty crazy lately....hopefully things will slow down and I can get back to this blog!!http://www.etsy.com/shop/HittyHatty?ref=pr_shop_more
Right now my life is transitioning. As we help one of my sons and his friend prepare to go off to BYU-ID, I am aware that all my family is transitioning right now. My husband and I will soon be empty nesters, my oldest is job hunting and just moved his little family, and my youngest is in the Provo MTC learning Russian for a major change of life in October, when he goes on an LDS Mission. Both my husband and I have work challenges right now, with possible changes of one kind or another in the future. I guess it's a bit crazy and stressful at times.
I keep reminding myself that I need to look forward with faith. So far I'm faring pretty well, but I expect to crash after the boys leave home. Busy, busy...I must keep busy! Move ahead...push forward! My composition of life is in a development section right now, and lots of musical material is being played with; inversions, extensions, unexpected pairings, etc., with a few moments of silence. For dramatic effect, or to breathe?! Soon it will come to a climax. Will the climax be traumatic, joyful, a relief....what? And then life goes on.
So I try to connect spiritually and hold on. Right now life is a fast ride through new territory....a lot for this aging woman!! I do not know what I would do without the spiritual guidance I have felt....that still, small voice (feeling) that stabilizes, comforts, and directs me at times. I have experiences many "small" miracles.
Next week I should have some quiet time...one of those silences. Hopefully I will be able to initiate some changes, including my Etsy shop!
I really like this video by Igudesman and Joo. I think what they are really saying is that classical musicians are too uptight....yes, I understand. We need to be loosened up. And so we have Igudesman and Joo.....
Seems I just can't get going on this blog lately.....too distracted!! Lots of transitions in my life. Speaking of transitions- I am going to change the name of my Etsy shop. I have been cogitating on this for a few months, and this week I decided to do it. Today I purchased a new banner/avatar/etc. through Etsy...I am excited!! When I get the shop changes made I will post them. Dashees Garden will be no more!! No more stuffed lamb avatar!! Good-bye Dashee...hello to something that I think will reflect the content of my shop but be a bit updated.
This really isn't a musing post. I have been out of town with my family, and I am posting a few photos from our trip.
We spent a few days in Rexburg, ID for the college graduation of my oldest son and his wife. While there we toured BYU-ID (Brigham Young Univ, Idaho); I have posted photos from their student-run gardens. They were so lovely!
Apple trees in the center of the garden
One more posting from a different garden....this flower grew in the garden of my son and his wife. My grand daughter is so beautiful!!
Guess it's been a while since I have written one of these posts!!
Today I am sharing a link for newbees to classical music. While browsing the Naxos.com site I found a section on education which has everything from how to listen to a live classical concert to a brief history of classical music. There is a section on instruments of the orchestra which even includes how to pronounce a few of their names (the ones that usually are a mystery to the novice...such as viola!!).
I think the education section is also a nice place for musicians to quickly review basics. Sometimes we need that! http://www.naxos.com/education/introduction.asp
It's Dashees Garden day, but I think I will also do an oil post. I have more time as I am under the weather with some bug.
I love wintergreen oil (Doterra). It's good for bone problems. I'm prone to shin splints if I don't walk/stretch regularly, and last week I began to get one in my left leg. I have learned that therapeutic grade essential oils work best when applied immediately or soon after a condition arises, so I began applying wintergreen oil, twice a day, as I have in the past. Always works. It is healing nicely. And wintergreen has a bonus...it smells great!
Do you know the song There's a Hole in my Bucket ? I was reminded of it a few weeks ago during my morning walk. While listening to my IPOD, the Billy Joel song A Thousand Years came on. Joel uses this tune in his song. As I heard it I felt impressed that I had a hole in my bucket. I thought about this for a while, and I guess it's true.
I suppose all of us get holes in our buckets. We become drained physically, emotionally, spiritually, you name it. It just happens sometimes, despite our best intentions.
There are many ways to repair the holes, depending on what caused them. My hole was emotional and spiritual, and I knew that I needed to improve personal scripture study and prayer. I needed to be more diligent and/or organized in my daily work. And so on. But it was like pulling teeth to do so!
I think the hole is finally disappearing, in response to three things in particular. First, better scripture study. For me that means more, and with focus. Second, gratitude. Gratitude seems to soften the heart; it prepares us to receive communications from heaven. This is a BIG one! Last, a little help for chemical imbalance...DoTerra's Balance oil. Seems to keep me from getting too wacko, as I call my moodier self. I had forgotten. SO my hole is on the mend......maybe I can get back to blogging more!!
I teach 8-9 year old children at church, and I had a fun experience today. When the senior Primary met (all children ages 7-11), they were asked make a thankful list. To do so, we were each given a sheet that had a list of word prompts associated with our five senses, such as see and hear. We were asked to write one favorite for each. This was supposed to help the children come up with ideas and feel thankful.
I participated with them and found it to be an enlightening experience. Very simple but revealing! I decided to post a few of my responses to the what I like to hear other than music (a no-brainer for me). Super loves in italics. Water...waves, fountains, waterfalls
Catbirds...and any similar bird Finches, orioles, and the rose-breasted grosbeak...and cardinals
Owls, especially in winter
Fans at night I adore the sound of wind blowing through pine trees.
Thunder...the milder booms.
The crunch of fall leaves while walking
Certain speaking voices (my husband has a great one)
Soothing, hypnotic voice (I love to listen to Martha Stewart teach)
Pastoral oboe music when my stomach hurts
Elly Ameling's recordings
Stringed instruments (like my viola) The sound of the word "Crisco". Just love that word when it is said slowly. Weird, I know.
Leaves rustling in the wind.......especially cottonwood trees. Reminds me of the lake.
The sound made by pebbles hitting a lake, or fish jumping out.
Motorboats in the distance
Bagpipes (love them!!)
The sound of a campfire...or fire in a fireplace
Guess that's enough for now. It does help me feel grateful! Try it!
I love the linens used in these two pieces of hoop art. I played around with the inside hoop until I found positions I liked; then I attached the hoop snugly. The fabric outside the hoop was trimmed to about 1/2" and glued to the inside of the hoop. I used Arlene's Clear Gel Tacky Glue; it dries quickly and leaves no visible residue. It's not too messy. It can be purchased in sample size if you want to try it!
The hoop in the first photo is about 3 1/4" wide; the bottom one is about 4 1/4" wide (diameter).
I thought about embroidering a one word message on the smaller one but I like it plain.
I have been playing with some vintage patchwork that I found years ago in a house we bought. The former owner's wife had sewn several Grandma's flower garden pieces by hand but they were never made into a quilt. I have been arranging them into hoop art. The ones below are not finished.
The trees in this photograph remind me of the scary trees in Disney movies--the ones that reach out and try to grab you (click to enlarge pic)! I didn't really notice this until I got home and looked at the picture; when I was on the path I was focused on the view ahead. I wanted to see where the path went, and I wanted to be in the mountains!
Faith involves moving forward, not just pondering and waiting for the path to clear. Sometimes that is necessary, but often we need to start walking down the path, and as we do, the way becomes clear. We often find that fears that hold us back are only in our heads.
Something light this week...another You tube video. This is one featuring The Piano Guys, a piano/cello duo out of SLC. I really enjoy some of their arrangements. The link below is an arrangement of Adele's Rolling in the Deep. Enjoy! http://youtu.be/lUjWJSnGVB0
Sometimes I love my age. My mind and body are settling down, and one of the perks is that I can see more of the big picture. I'm beginning to see the forest rather than the trees, and occasionally I catch a glimpse of what is beyond the edge of the woods.
Many will say that there is nothing beyond this forest of life. Perhaps no one taught them about any other place, or maybe they don't care. Some just don't believe it exists.
Our personal beliefs and attitudes can not determine what lies beyond the forest, just as they have no effect on absolute truths. Assuming the existence of such, God is either real or imagined, and our opinion does not effect which is true.
If He is real, what we think effects our relationship with God. In light of this, it behooves each of us to learn about God and to keep an open mind during the process. How to go about this...well, the same way we learn about other things. We go to a good source, read, listen, study, and follow any suggested process to expedite our search. It seems to me that this is the only way to find answers to our questions, and this is what Scriptures teach. This is part of exercising faith.
Guess this is heavy stuff for a Tuesday morning....so what triggered this? Sometimes I get really tired of cynical attitudes. I think cynacism is cyanide.....poison for our minds/spirits. We take it in a little bit at a time, often in daily doses from the news, well-meaning friends, schools, businesses, work, families, and more. It's often disguised in a sophisticated package, full of intellect, education, beauty, and charisma. In small doses the effect is subtle, and we don't recognize it as poison. Pretty soon we become infected with the same cynacism.
What can we do? I believe part of the remedy is learning about God and living in accordance with His suggestions for a happy life. It means exercising trust and faith in the Lord. We must fill our minds/spirits with a search for Him. This will provide a way out... a light in which the poison will be revealed, a powerful antidote!
More hoop art that I finished during our trip... The coral piece is made from vintage trim and linen. The blue hoops are embellished fragments of some decorator fabric I have at home. Sizes of the hoops are about 3" and 4".