February?

Hi Everyone,

How has your week been? My week has been as erratic as the weather here in North Carolina. It has been a week filled with ups and downs, surprises (not necessarily of the good kind), laughter, tears, stress, sadness, dread, hopefulness. You name it, I’ve had it this week. It has matched the February weather here spot on. Yesterday was 77 degrees, a week ago we were busting ice so the animals had water. Today it was 63 at 6 am and will be falling into the 20’s tonight. I’m hoping the weather levels out as well as life. I’m not sure I can get through another week like this one.

In case you are dealing with life in all its crazy forms as well, I just want to remind you to find some time each day to give yourself a physical and mental break. My tag line on this blog is “adventures in creative living.” Sometimes you have to get creative to just hold on to the roller coaster. You probably don’t have hours, but even 15 minutes can do a world of good.

I recently started giving myself 1 hour a day, morning or evening, to do regular artwork. There is so much on my plate right now that I found there was some resentment starting to bubble up. That is not good for me or those who have to live with me. I managed four of the five days this work week. I finished my commission and delivered it yesterday! This is a birthday present to the Mother of these three gentlemen. She had a similar portrait done of them when they were young and they are giving her this one of them as grown men. 


I have started a new drawing and as usual keep my knitting with me when I’m in a waiting situation. Several of my evenings this week have found me mentally, physically and emotionally drained. Too tired to read, knit or draw, I escaped to YouTube and watched art tutorials or American Pickers. Whatever it takes to give yourself a break. Well, there are some things it’s better to avoid when you are stressed so choose wisely. 

Find something you enjoy and preferably something that gets you into a creative flow and takes your mind off life for awhile. Music, games, sewing, gardening, playing with your goofy dog. Something to make time stand still and let your heart and mind rest and recover. 

I have about six boxes of stuff to clean out today. I was about 108 items short of my January goal. No lack of stuff just a lack of time. This week as I jump into another round of the minimalist challenge I need to clean out 46 items so far for February. Right now (before breaking into three unopened boxes) I have exactly 100 items either being donated or trashed. I found an entire box of socks that belonged to my son and D. had a big box in our closet. I estimate that neither of them will need new socks for the next 10 years! Sock hoarders!

Wishing you a peaceful week.

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Merry Christmas 

Hi Everyone,


I am taking a much needed vacation this week to make sure Christmas happens around here. 

For those of you who celebrate it, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and for all of you I hope your week is joyful and peaceful. 

Christel

We are not unique…

Paris

It happened again.  A brutal attack on innocent people.   Actually it has happened several times in just the past couple of weeks.  I keep trying to find a way to emotionally respond to these horrific events without subsuming to fear.  That is exactly what THEY want.

This time I was settled in with my three dearest friends from college in a mountain cabin for our semi-annual escape.  If only we could escape completely.  Without wi-fi, our computers or cable we came close, but those blasted smart phones let the world invade with the news.

To be honest, we acknowledged it happened, but we didn’t discuss it.  I’m sure in their hearts, like mine, there was sadness and anger, but we needed to focus on each other right then.  One of my friends had not been with us for about 12 years.  We needed to live in that moment together.

I would love to hear how other people handle these events.  My reaction is often to “circle the wagons” (if you happen to not know U.S. history that term comes from the wagon trains going West making a circle to contain the women, children, livestock, etc. and be in a defensible position against attack).  I want to gather those close to me and know that they are ok.  Evidently I am not the only one.  In the past year I have noticed that people who have been important to me over the years, but for whatever reasons, have drifted away are suddenly showing back up.  I have been looking for a couple of people that I lost touch with over the years as well.

The sense of having no control may be the most maddening part of this modern life.  Maybe that is too selfish.  When I put it in perspective, somewhere on this earth during every age in time, people have felt this way.  This is not new.  Barbarians have invaded,  armies have attacked, religions have killed in the name of God or gods over all the centuries.  This is our time and we must deal just like they had to.

Someone should have written a self-help, how-to book long ago.

I just wrote that sentence then had a “duh” moment.   For those of us who are of the Jewish or Christian faith, we do have a self-help, how-to book.  The Old Testament  or Torah is full of battles, invasions and faith in brutal times.  The New Testament has 365 “do not fear” passages.  I will admit that is easier said than done.  It does underscore the fact that fighting fear is a daily battle sometimes and has been for a very long time.

For now I will continue to cherish and love those around me, concentrate on the work that needs to be done, be thankful for the beauty of this earth, the everyday blessings and pray for safety, peace and comfort for those directly affected by the horrors of this world and the rest of us as well.

Next week is Thanksgiving here.  I doubt there will be an actual post written, but I wish you a wonderful week.  May it be peaceful and full of love and laughter.  Pie.  May you enjoy lots of pie as well!

 

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