Sadness and Sunshine

I’m going to say the first part swiftly and without elaboration. I think it will make it easier.

Aurora died at the beginning of April. Her health had declined rapidly and, even though I knew it was coming, it hit me really, really hard.

There. I did it. Yes, it’s been over a month, but I miss her terribly most days. She brought so much laughter to my life and there were so many things that I did because of her that every day has been an effort not to cry. Everything from announcing that I’m “doing foil” so that she could go hide (she was afraid of the sound) to the immediate purry-meow whenever I opened a bag of cheese… all of these things I now do without my blue-eyed sweetheart. I have never had a more loving animal in all of my life and I think I’ll miss her for a very long time.

01In other news, Ofelia is completely recovered from her spaying surgery and has even been taking naps with the other cats. She has her favorite toy and, while she will occasionally play with something else, she gets a little sad when she can’t find the purple mouse. Usually it’s found under a table or a blanket because that’s where she put it and promptly forgot. We shaved most of Lyra’s fur recently to help her stay cool during the hotter days and she seems a lot more comfortable. She still “bosses” us around if we’re up past our normal bedtimes, but mostly she seems to be enjoying her golden years (she’s now 12). Serephina has been sleeping by my side lately instead of at my knees and I can’t help but wonder if it’s her way of letting me know that she cares about me.

Plans for the motor home are coming along nicely. I’m hesitant to say much about it right now since things have gone awry in the past, but I’ve been researching solar panels, battery banks, water filters, solar ovens, and so much more. There have been days when my brain is so crammed with the numbers of amp hours, watts, battery percentage, sun percentage, and how they all mesh together to give me a semi-comfortable existence that I can imagine the numbers oozing out of my ears. But, it’s all stuff I need to know before I connect everything up.

I’ve been able to start walking again and have been able to keep my goal of one mile per day with 2 days break. This morning I slowly ran one hundred meters. I know that it doesn’t seem like very much and, compared to a 5k or a marathon, it’s just a drop in the bucket. But it’s a start. I’ve brought most of my health issues under control, though there is still the prospect of surgery, but I’ll cross that bridge when I’ve no other options. The good thing is that I’m back on my feet. And I intend to stay there, even though there are regular naps along the way.

It’s beautiful most mornings and I’m able to step out onto the porch and watch the sun rise. There is a slight scent of rosemary and lavender from the plants I have out there and I usually run my fingers through the leaves to make the scent stronger before I head back inside to start my workday. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to figure out how to take them with me when I leave, even though I know that neither of them like living in pots.

I’d like to write more, but I also want to knit a little today and I’ve not been able to just yet. So, I’ll sign off and send out lots of love to you all.

Stabilization

Another long while before I’m able to come in here and share my thouMossghts with you all. There are so many changes since I last posted! I’m not even sure where to start, but let’s see where the train of thought takes us, shall we?

This morning I had the desire to listen to some music that I’d not listened to since I lived in Phoenix. Lorrie Morgan, Tim McGraw, Juice Newton, and more. So I created a Pandora station with the thought that I’d get it out of my system and go back to the tunes that have been coming from my speakers lately. Instead, I find myself singing along to nearly every song that has played so far. The memories are no longer haunting, but are filled with smiles and goodness instead. I’ve come a long way from that young woman who was so excited to head east into a new life, a new dream. Do I miss her sometimes? Yes, I certainly do. The naiveté, the belief in goodness, and the softer edges. But I like who I am now. Sure, there are sharper corners and I have seen some displays of hatred that shattered my rose-colored glasses, but there is a deep core of energy and strength that I didn’t know that I could use.

I’ve learned a lot about myself over these years and the most uplifting thing is that I am still growing and changing and becoming more Me. I have been enjoying more days of feeling positive and hopeful about the future and that is a really good thing. I can believe that there will be a bright tomorrow for me and the ones I love.

Updates:

  • New kitten in the house. Ofelia is a runty female with mostly white fur and calico ears & tail. She’s going in for her surgery in the next month or so. The other cats are tolerant of her and have even taken a few naps near her.
  • The Tarot Workshop is coming along nicely and I’m coming up with new ideas each week. When I release it publicly I think it will be pretty good.
  • I’ve teamed up with a designer and she’s been wonderful to work with. You should check out some of her patterns at Designs by Mesha.
  • I’ve been without coffee for about 6 weeks, I think. It was a smooth transition to tea, but I’m missing that flavor so I’ll likely pick up some quality decaf or something.
  • I’ve learned how to pair several things through bluetooth as well as tethering my tablet to use for my internet. These are things that will come in handy when I hit the road.
  • Knitting and listening to books is still how I spend my free time and I’ve found a lot of time to think about the deeper lessons in my life.
  • My fatigue levels aren’t as bad as when I moved here even though I do still need a nap every couple days.

That’s about it for now. I’m sending out positive thoughts to you all!

A quiet morning

01 As the sky begins to lighten, I think about the way the last half of 2016 has gone for many of us. And I think about myself, too.

There were days, weeks even, when I thought that I’d give up my dreams of heading out onto the highways and visiting with all the people I’ve come to know over the years. I could feel myself giving up home of actually being able to make this into a reality anytime soon. After all, my failing health, slow sales, and so many other things were adding to the weight that I was carrying and it all felt to be too much.

That’s not true, though. There are more and more days when I know that I’ll be standing in the Acadia National Park or the Tonto National Monument Park, and I’ll be able to share those adventures with all of you. There are even more days when I remember how many people believe in me and those thoughts life me out of my doubt more than anything.

Today is Christmas and I am wondering where I’ll be next year. Will I be with the kids? Will I be on a mountain or a desert mesa? Will I have lights in the RV? So many unknowns out there and all of them with the potential for adventure and joy and wonder.

I wish you all the very best for the remainder of this year, and the best blessings possible for the next.

Determination

IMG_1206I’ve come onto this page several times to write this post, but each time, the words wouldn’t come and I would sit here looking at the screen and wondering how to phrase the things that were in my heart without sounding as if I’m falling apart or giving up. From the outside, it was really a small thing that happened to cause this withdrawal. But from the inside? Oh, how that shook me up!

There was a financial setback. Nothing major, I won’t be destitute or anything close to that, but it hurt my heart deeply when I realized that it will be another year before I can buy the motor home. I had moments when I questioned whether or not I should even keep trying. Moments when I thought I was making a huge mistake in dedicating so much energy into this foolish endeavor that it was affecting my health. Moments when I would ask myself if it would simply be better if I gave up this dream and figured out something else. And, I hate to admit this, I still have those dark moments while I am trying to fall asleep.

However, I have spoken with a few people who are close to me and they remind me that they are cheering me on, that they want to see me succeed in this dream, that they are looking forward to hearing more stories about my travels. I have people who believe in me and care that I’m working to get through this rough patch. I cannot ever express how much that has meant to me over the last few weeks. Their words have held me up when I feel ready to fall. Their love has helped me get out of bed each morning and continue putting one foot in front of the other. Their cheering has kept me from slipping into the sadness that wants to take all of the dreams away. Interestingly enough, I have met only a very small handful of these people, but they are now a part of my life and will continue to be so.

I look around this room that I’m renting and wondering if there is even more that I can cull from it. There isn’t, really. Perhaps a book here, or a bit of yarn there, but I’ve already stripped away so many of the “normal” trappings, that there is little left. I look over my budget and try to find more ways to increase what I’m saving instead of spending, but there is very little wiggle room in these numbers anymore. So I look inward. What, of myself, can I remove for a better life? And that opens a whole new realm of possibilities. Fears, doubts, the old voices who tell me that I’m not quite good enough to have what I want, the anxiety, the history of not quite reaching my goals, the self-sabotage of my own health (more on that much later), and even the weariness that I experience more often than I’d like to admit. But I can do this and I know that no one will hold me back anymore. No one to pour concrete on my wings.

I will continue with my plans to reach my goal. And, with any luck, there won’t be any setbacks to try to stop me.

I hope you all have a beautifully blessed day.

Destination

02Throughout the month I have been thinking about my chosen word for this year (Apparate) and how I can apply it to each day. This past week, I’ve chosen to focus solely on the Destination. In the simplest terms, I think about how the things I do each day would be handled in such a small space. In what ways would I conserve water even more than I do now? Would I prepare food differently? What about washing dishes? Clothes? Planting veggies?

Right now, as many of us do, I rinse my dishes after use then wash them when I have a day’s worth. I wash them in a small Rubbermaid bin and rinse them under running water. That’s a lot of water, even if I have it just above a trickle, but I’m not entirely comfortable rinsing them in a second tub of clean water because I know that the water will be more soapy as I rinse the last dish. I do know that I could collect the rinse water and use it for watering my plants, but that’s still only a tiny solution since I don’t water daily. Since the water will have a trace of dish soap, it wouldn’t be a good medium for dyeing yarn, either. Washing clothes? Perhaps.

I’m still using the laundry room here, but also have a bucket and (new) plunger for when I wash my non-work clothes and my hand-knit socks. I also have a Laundry Alternative Spin Dryer and that really makes a huge difference in the length of drying time. For the most part, I’m fine with washing my clothing by hand (except the work clothes), so I think that part is set.

I’ve also been spending some time reading articles and watching videos on various repairs that might be needed. Replacing a roof is certainly not something that I want to do, but I know that I would be able to. That goes for a lot of other repairs that could come up. This is one area that I am forever grateful to my parents because they involved me in household and vehicle repairs.

As I continue to set money aside and build up stock for the shops, I also think about the people I’ll be visiting. There are so many out there who I want to sit down with and talk about whatever comes up, knit a few rows, spin a couple ounces, or whatever else we feel like doing. There are some who have shown support and faith in me throughout the years and I am looking forward to hugging them in person and telling them how very important they are to me. While seeing the country is a great thing, it is the people who will make this all the more amazing.

Apparition

 

20110430202858!Snape_Apparate

 

“One must be completely determined to reach one’s destination, and move without haste, but with deliberation.”

~J.K. Rowling

As the year finally comes to an end, I can’t help but to look around and see how far I’ve come as well as how far I have to go. And the thoughts become a chaotic tangle of threads while I sit here. My morning has been filled with the clearing of projects that will be the final fundraiser items (not counting the striping yarn club since that is ongoing), making notes of what must still be culled from my possessions, and how to organize my life and shops so that they run more smoothly. During the last couple weeks, one word has continued to ring in my heart and I’ve decided that it will be the word of the year for me.

Apparate. Yes, it’s a made up word by one of my favorite people, but it also symbolizes everything I have planned. “According to Wilkie Twycross, Ministry of Magic official and Apparition Instructor, one has but to recall The Three D’s: Destination, Determination and Deliberation.” (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling)

Let’s break that down by pieces, shall we?

Destination: I know the destination may seem a bit hazy, but it’s really not. My destination is to buy a used home on wheels (a motor home is the best choice for my intents) that doesn’t need a lot of repairs and to travel around to visit my loved ones and the people who have become great friends through Ravelry and Facebook. Part of that Destination is the attend fiber shows and festivals, to stop in coffee shops and knit with my customers and others who I call ‘fiberly’ (which is a combination of fiber+family), and to see places that I’ve never had the chance to see or only barely remember from childhood. Part of the Destination is to share pictures of dyeing yarn out in the woods or deserts or plains, blogging about the walks I take in the wild and the inspiration that stems from that, and to bring you all with me so that you can share this adventure. Part of the Destination includes teaching the new puppy (who will be adopted shortly before I leave, I hope) various tricks and good manners, perhaps allowing the cats to come outside on harnesses, and to do all the things I need to do to remain healthy (I am still striving to avoid any cardiovascular surgeries). The Destination includes moving every couple weeks to a new location fewer than 300 miles from the old location. For example, I might be in Sandusky, Ohio for the winter holidays then travel to Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia for a couple weeks. The Destination is fluid, but also certain.

Determination: I will admit that some of my Determination faded during this last couple of months when the work schedule became one of stress and pressure. Longer days of physical activity wore me out and left me needing so much more sleep than I thought possible. Arriving at work at 2 o’clock in the morning and staying there until around 10:30 put a strain on my physical reserves that I’d not thought possible. Adding the hours at home trying to keep the shops from folding increased that strain. And so, the determination faltered just a bit. Now, however, I can see that I really need to stay focused and clear on my Destination. The Determination has increased ten-fold and I have tightened my budget, planned out some changes for the shops, and am letting go of more things that will have no place in that Destination. I’ve mapped out a daily schedule that will allow me time at the ‘day job’ as well as give me plenty of time to work on the shops, physical movement (I’m focusing on yoga right now since it’s gentle), and still give me a full night of sleep.

Deliberation: Now comes the harder part. So many of my decisions have been mostly on a whim and with little forethought. Granted, many of those worked out for the best (like starting to dye yarn), but a few of them caused me to land face first in the mud and having trouble getting back up (like moving to Asheville). But I must move forward.

According to Merriam Webster:

definition of deliberation
1: the act of deliberating
2 : a discussion and consideration by a group of persons (as a jury or legislature) of the reasons for and against a measure
3: the quality or state of being deliberate

I am currently in the third definition of being deliberate. Every decision I make must be a deliberate one. Do I buy this coffee pot or that one? Should I replace the toaster oven now when they are on sale or wait until it breaks down? Will this dresser really work or should I think about simple shelves for my clothing and business supplies? Even things as small as which earrings I’m wearing that day has become deliberate since it causes me to think about the jewelry I still own but haven’t worn in years. Will I take it with me or cull it along with the countless t-shirts I still have in the drawers?

When it’s time for me to take that big step of making the purchase of an RV, I want to be sure that I’ve planned everything I need to plan and avoid any possibility of splinching (for those unfamiliar with that term please go here). While a mild ‘splinch’ could be something as small as not realizing that the sink needs a new faucet, it could also be as huge as the entire roof leaks and will cost hundreds of dollars to repair.  And so, my Deliberation must be thorough.

As the sunlight begins to make its way to my windows, I want you all to know that I am looking forward to meeting as many of you as I can.

An overdue update

Happy September! I can’t believe that it’s been so long since I posted anything. Time really has a way of getting away from you, doesn’t it?

Skipping ahead a little, I’ll say this: I’m not living where I thought I’d be, but this place is better in many ways. The first being that I’m actually in town instead of out in the country. Yes, the country would be more soothing, but also more difficult to get to places I need to get to. Like the fabric store and work. It has also allowed me a way of “practicing” living in a tiny space since it’s a one-room apartment. Yep, that’s right, one room, plus a bathroom. The bathroom is pretty roomy, which surprised me a little, but the main room is a little over 200 square feet and I’ve learned how important sturdy shelves are. I now have 3 sets of the kind of shelf most people would put into their garage and I’m loving them. I set the shelves to the height I need to hold my things (printer, computer, yarn bins, etc.) and have attached a couple bolts to the sides to hang my project bags from. Later, I’ll decorate the shelves to be a little less “industrial” looking, but for now, they are great. I also now have a small freezer so that I can make meals and put the leftovers away for future meals. When I first moved in, I couldn’t do this because the fridge is very small (imagine a larger dorm-size unit).

I also changed jobs. I know that the office job was a very easy one, but I sat in front of a computer all day and I knew something had to change. So I started looking for the most physically demanding jobs I could find (that still paid decently) and am now working as a Flow Team member at one of the local Targets. Holy smoke, it’s physical! But I can now say that I can sling a 48 pound box from the conveyor to a pallet without straining myself. Why would I do this? Well, I’ll be out there on the road and want to make sure my body is capable of handling anything necessary. By working strenuously several hours a day, I know that I can easily deal with the necessities. Hauling wood, lifting several gallons of water, even traipsing through the woods for hours… all these things are going to happen and, with my newly added strength, I know I can do it.

As the season shifts into autumn, I’m reminded that on the 27th, the day and night will be the same length and we will begin the darker time of the year. My goal is to use as much of this season to get the shops filled with wonderful items for you all and to keep planning out the things needed for a life on the road.

For now, I will leave you with this design I worked on yesterday:

A wee Gryffindor owl, ready for autumn!
A wee Gryffindor owl, ready for autumn!

I’m hoping to get the remaining Hogwarts house colors done today. It’s a pretty intense design (over 45k stitches), but it really was too adorable not to make. The project bags I’ll be making will have one of the House colors as the liner for a little added fun.

May you have a day filled with beauty, fun, and love.