No Lesson in Life More Worth Learning

And there I sat at the tender edge of summer’s ebb, knitting needles in hand, eyes glancing often to the rolling growl of approaching storms, wistfully smiling as my mind moved towards the simple wave of an old friend’s hand. I had been walking down the little driveway to the post box to check the mail when a smart little red car raced by, purple haired woman at the wheel, waving gleefully at me. It was Mendi, whom I had just become reacquainted. I text her quickly to thank her for the drive-by wave, to which she responded, “Whenever I go by your apartment I wave…. :)”

I had not seen Mendi in nearly 15 years, but thought of her often. It was Mendi who drove me to the monastery. It was Mendi that showed me that art could be found everywhere. It was Mendi’s collection of books on kundalini meditation, numerology, and prophets that smell of gardenias that I coveted. It was the smell of Nag Champa in her house that made me feel like it was home. It was Mendi that fed me coffee and baked potatoes we bought at the 24 hour Winn-Dixie…..us, and every REAL transgender in town shopping at 2am (it was the only time they could go without fear of being beat up back then). Mendi was the first to see my writing, see something of value in it, and promote me. It was Mendi that held me one very challenging day in an October long since past. She found me crying. The “why” I was crying is of no concern. The warmth with which she embraced me is, as she said under her breath, “I know it hurts….” is what I remember. Mendi was a very impressive imprint of me during on young and impressionable 20’s. She was the sort that said with the loving pat on the back of my hand, “you’re being foolish.” In many ways, it Mendi was a surrogate aunt, a kind woman who saw a misguided kid with promise and shifted him towards a different path. I owe much to Mendi.

Fast forward a thousand hours of life slipping and gaining, cut out the 15 years of silence between us: as my knitting needles raced, my mind slowed to remembrance of older days. I was grateful to see Mendi again not long ago. She bought a copy of my book, followed my address, and knocked on my door (she only lived 2 blocks away). Now, this won’t be one of those moments where you say, “…and we picked up where we left off.” Heavens, no. A decade and a half, and dearly departed friends, pain and joy had come our way. We were not the same people. However, that beauty I found in her was still ever present. She was still just as vibrant as ever….and still purple haired🙂 We had a wonderful meeting. And the one thing I was clear on was this: she was still my friend. She was still teaching me so much about myself. Knitting needles in hand, and losing days as quickly as they come as we get older, I felt that my life would never be lonely should I always remember that there are people that love me no matter how horrible I had been. (And I was pretty horrible in my 20’s). Those friendships, those people we rarely get to see, nor speak to, but feel in our hearts are always deeply praying for us, are once in a lifetime moments.

I don’t get to see her often, we text rarely, but….and this is the beautiful part that had me come to this strange new 21st century machine to remind of something that is so archaic: I see that little red car driven by a purple haired darling…and I smile🙂

They’re not on your radar, they’re not constantly posting on a Facebook feed, and they don’t Instagram what they ate for dinner….but, some of the best people you know angelically protect from a distance, quietly shielding you with brightness and love….and a simple wave from afar to let you know they’re still there.

Next time you pick up your knitting….recall an old friend, think of their impact on your life. Let your needles speak through stitches, speak to them through your purls, and let your heart remember once in a lifetime people….

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A Shift in Pastels

IMG_2787With someone edging it’s way out, I found it rather fitting that I’m reaching into the brighter colored yarns in my stash. I have to confess that it isn’t because I want to revel in the season and let it linger a little longer. Hell no! I’m ready for summer to push on out! Go! Bring on Fall! I’m ready for crisp air, cinnamon scented pine cones, and dusk properly starting at dinner time. So, I’m going through my yarn, finding all of the bright, summer inducing yarn, and whipping up bears with it. I’m also just about finished with all of my “made to order” bears and I’m looking forward to seeing that list get shorter and shorter as the days pass. Now, this bear was made up with this interesting variegation of pastels. And it’s kinda funny that when I see pastels, my mind races back to the 80’s. I just keep seeing in my mind “Miami Vice” and people wearing upturned collared, pastel peach polo shirts with pastel baby blue sweaters draped over their shoulders. Ahhh, the 80’s….They weren’t such a bad time. But, the more I looked at this bear, the more I also saw a newborn’s nursery, complete with bright sunlight and colors that invoke innocent joy and squeaky giggles. Sat proudly on a shelf in the corner of the room, he adds a decorative touch to the room. However, this little bear waits eagerly for the day when the tot in the crib is able to crawl over with purpose to grab the little bear and give him a squeeze. If you’d like this little bear, click here.  He’s ready to ship with a signed card by me. But, hurry! There is only one.

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What the Little Wildflower Said…

IMG_2781Back in March, Phillip and I found a packet of wildflower seeds at Big Lots. Marked down to a dollar for 2,000 seeds, we couldn’t resist. Within just a few weeks, the little hints of green were pushing through the soil, and within a month, a bounty of brilliant leaves were beaming towards the sun…..then it all stopped. No blossoms, no buds, no nothing. They just sat there, lazily gobbling up raindrops, silently sleeping through the rays of a bright day. This morning, some seven months later, I finally spied the fruits of our endeavors. One lovely little flower was proudly standing as a bold regent, ready to enjoy the fragrant air, ready to praise with petal and prayer the life around it. That flower could not have come at a more poetic time.

After so long of feeling ill, of being in pain, of watching myself slowly wither, the last two weeks have been a reminiscent of that little flower’s fortitude. It never gave up, it never stopped growing, but rather, kept pushing itself harder and harder into the sunlight. I cannot tell you how much better I have felt, how different everything seems when your body falls back into harmony. I’m no longer on medication, my energy is soaring (as a matter of fact, I jump out of bed at 5am, ready to see the day, ready to greet the sun), my skin even feels different, my eyes are back to wide, my smile has returned (not a grin, mind you, but a slight tilt of the lips that screams of quiet contentment). And in a matter of weeks, I’ll have my new teeth…and I imagine there will be no stopping me then🙂

I’ve spent the last two weeks shying from social media, from interaction of any sort, really. I wanted to make sure I spent that time in gratitude. I light my prayer candle and give thanks that the pain is gone, that I feel good again. In my own sort of contemplative and hermetic nature, I wanted to spend time alone with my God, to thank Him, and to be quiet in that presence. But, it was also important for me to dwell in prayer on the idea of what that little flower brought to fruition today: that struggling, hard work, perseverance and faith will always result in beauty.

Despite technology trying to force us into an “on demand” world, life and it’s enjoyments are born of long term determination. The things in life that give us the greatest attachment to the real world are those things that take time to cultivate, to work at, or work through, to struggle with, or to build for. Successes (which are subjective to your own pursuits) that come quickly, vanish just as fast. But, those things that are tenderly cultivated for so long, take so much longer to fade away into memory. Patience yields a harvest. It’s that simple. Frantic attempts to get something quickly, bears only anxiety and fear. Just think of where we were just a few years ago….think, then, of how far we have come. And I (and anyone who should read this blog) should always remember to be grateful for what we have accomplished, rather than petulant about what we have yet to achieve. Those things will happen in time. My knitting is off the charts at the moment, and my next book (my children’s book) is nearly finished. One might set the tone here and say, “This is the start of something marvelous…,” to which I would have to respond kindly, “the moment we began this journey was the start of something miraculous.”😉

I’ll be writing more, but just wanted to quickly check in and tell you how much I’ve missed you.

I love you all, and hope you are well!

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A Little Diane Fossey in Georgetown

IMG_2777This is another quick bear using Nanostitch Lab’s yarn. Again, they don’t use traditional color wheel names for their yarn, for instance this beautiful variegated grey is called “Diane Fossey.” Made of super wash wool, measures about 12″ from head to toe, ready to ship with  a signed card by yours truly. It’s been a lovely grey Sunday, full of big bowls of tomato soup and RAIN. Lot’s of grey rain, so I was anxious to tie in this little guy with today’s mood. if you’d like to snag this bear, and he’s looking for JUST the right home, mind you, just click here.

IMG_2778Now, this guy isn’t done, but he will be tomorrow, but figured since I was blogging this evening, I’d go ahead and list him. He’s made with super wash merino wool from Neighborhood Fiber Co. in a smashing blue they call “Georgetown.” If you you’d like him, his available here. (I just looked over my shoulder and asked, “What else should I say?”) What else is there? Life has been pretty sweet this week, as you could see from my previous post. Hopefully, you’re all doing well yourselves. I promise to write more in the coming week. Peace!

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That’s Not GREEN, That’s Jane Colden!

IMG_2775My friend Jennifer sent me an awesome stash with new yarn from a small company I had never heard of before. I LOVE playing with new yarn. There is something beautifully intimate about handling and working with yarn you’ve never used before. If it’s from a smaller company, you get to feel the craftsmanship, the care, the finesse of the yarn artist. This yarn from Nanostitch Lab felt like artistry in my hands. The glide through the needles like the soft touch of a brush as it smooths oil on canvas; the brazen coloring of the skeins like the striking first ray of light on a finished painting. REALLY loved this yarn. What’s cool is that the name’s of the skeins don’t have traditional color names, but this particular collection I received had people’s names. For instance, this color was called “Jane Colden.”

Now, on a personal note. Again, I apologize for not writing more lately. This last week has been truly wonderful. I haven’t felt this good in a very long time. My color is coming back, my eyes look wider and brighter, my energy is on the rise (Hell, I’m writing this blog at 5am), and my appetite is starting to return. Ok, so it’s a timid diet of cottage cheese and egg salad, but I’m eating MORE of it, rather than just a spoonful or two for dinner. I’m now eating entire tubs of it throughout the day. I’m taking advantage of all this and knitting my little butt off. My teeth extractions should take place in about 2 weeks (once the molds of my current teeth return), and I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to it. Because I’m feeling physically better, my optimism is higher, and my knitting production is getting faster and better. So, my silence has been for a good reason🙂 Be sure to check out Nanostitch Lab, and grab my bear, if you can! He’s an AWESOME shade of…..Jane Colden. He’s ready to ship with a signed card by me. Click here to snag him.

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Sundays in Resting Pose

IMG_2770I rather like it when Sundays are grey and rainy. Sundays were made that way. I’m working from bed again today. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but before it was out of necessity. I was forced into bed. But, I had to keep working. However, I’ve actually come to enjoy it. My body is more relaxed. My frame isn’t so squished. Can you imagine all the hours I was spending knitting in a desk chair, slumped in front of a desk? It didn’t help matters. Here, I get to have my new set up. Knitting basket in the bed with me, (notice Mario on the other side?) and a small table to my right to keep my coffee cup. I’ve become more productive in this set up. What makes it even greater is that it’s raining today and I think deep in our hearts, most knitters love rainy weather. We like to prop up our feet, show of our hand knit socks, grab a hot cup of something, and get busy with the needles. It’s cozy, it’s homey, it’s warming. Throw on something to binge watch and projects are finished in no time. I’ve been watching “I, Claudius.” Awesome. However, while sitting here, I was thinking about goals, how important it is to wake up every morning with something to accomplish. Yes, today I have to finish two bears that were ordered. Perfect. But, I also want to sell 5 books. NEED to sell 5 books. It may not seem like a lot to many, but if I can be working here, and my books are being sold, then our income should stay ok. The less hours Phillip gets, the more I have to sell, and selling teddy bears everyday won’t get us back on track. I have older orders that need to be filled. Books. It has to be books. And it’s not just that we need to money, it’s that I truly do want to do more than survive. I want to thrive. I want to take care of my little family. So, that’s my mission for today. Sell 5 copies of my book TODAY. It’s also rather economical. At 5 copies, I get a discount from the printer, which means I get a few more dollars per copy. If I sell more, that’s even better! But, 5 is a nice goal to start with.🙂 So, if you haven’t read it yet, click here to grab a copy. Or even if you have, grab one for a friend!

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Saturdays in a Reclining Blue

IMG_2758I’m thankful to have Phillip home today. He usually works Saturdays. But, they gave him the day off (we think the restaurant he works for is having money problems). But! We’re not dismayed. We get to spend the day together, being crafty, and using our talents to keep the income flowing. He’ll be working on some of his “Strange Friends” while we find old movies to watch on television. We have antennae TV, not as old school as having rabbit eared wires topped with tin foil, but still fun. You’ll be amazed at the crazy things you find searching through channels. Old Dr. Who’s from the 70’s, bad comedies from the 80’s. Latin soap operas with shirtless, hunky men and busty women that slap them….

Anyhow, I finished another of one of my series of blue bears. I really loved this new yarn. I’ll explain more about it later, and how I received it, and where to find it, but for the moment, I wanted to go ahead and list him as Phillip has finally crashed and taken a nap. I’m hoping he’s been sold by the time he wakes so that I can spend the rest of Saturday with him. If all goes according to plan, We’ll pay the electric, then play cards, watch the Saturday Brit-Coms on PBS, have some great pea soup I made, and recline for a while. Just the two of us on the floor in front of our antiquated television🙂 These are the times where you look back and remember how happy you were with so much. We may not have much, but we certainly have each other.

If you’d like to snag him (the little bear, not Phillip), click here. 

If you appreciate this blog and would like for it continue, please donate. Every single bit helps, and we sure could use your help. Thank you!.