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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

As Time Goes By

This view overlooks Napa Valley, California. My very best soul sister lover friend treated me to a stay at Harbin Hot Springs up in the mountains. It was a wonderfully powerful healing event. I felt the culmination of being blessed more deeply on this holiday than ever before.

It is good to close 2014. I have lived it fully. Didn't miss a beat. Felt into every moment. And if you have ever felt a moment, second by second, you know how long it was.

I've returned to work this month - December 8th. I am working 40 hours over the weekend. I still keep the girls Monday - Friday evenings. Their mother has picked up the holiday day shifts, so we have even more time to experience each other.

I am thankful for the four months I had at home. I'd like to say I spent those months cleaning and clearing my house, but mostly I played with the girls and crocheted. That's what I like to do. I look around at the mess and clutter and think, well, you have days to get to this. Nah, better not tire yourself out. I need my strength to chase the two year old and attend the constant chatter of the seven year old.

Honestly, we are going to sort something on New Years Day. I bought new books and crafts for the girls. We have to let go of the old to make space for the new. Maybe I will add painting the kitchen to my list of Promises to Myself. Or, I can just skip that lie. That paint has been waiting for years to hit the wall.

Tonight we got out the glitter and glue. I pulled down some journals I picked up earlier this year, and the girls decorated the covers of their 2015 Promises Journal. Since I see them daily during the week,  we can begin a habit of writing together.

This year was good to and for me. Even in the places where things didn't go as I would have planned, they worked out perfectly. What more can I ask for?

Be in Love...

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Untold Blessings

I am in the midst of life changes again. Thankfully, I enjoyed over four months at home hanging out with my grand-daughters through the summer and fall.

We had fun inside and out, playing, gardening, crafting, and lots of videos. The seven year old has a smart phone and takes every opportunity to press record. There are plenty with my hand blocking my shaking head.

Over at my creative blog, I posted the crochet hats I collected in bags, piles and baskets. I bought another mannequin head and some glass globes to help them keep shape. I rented a booth at the local flea market and displayed them for sale, but in the end only net $2.50.

Before I left town on November 7th, I donated the bulk of what I had left. I carried a dozen or so pieces thinking I could sale them at the Berkeley Flea Market. That didn't work so well, either. I left those items with my friends and daughter in the city to pass on. I really didn't matter. I had already reaped abundantly beyond that which I sowed.

My friend bought my plane fare round trip. My son financed transportation to the airport. My daughter always provides a home for me in the city. (Priceless) My friend treated me to a trip to Napa Valley and up into the mountains for Harbin Hot Springs. Hours of luxuriating in therapeutic waters, a private room with access to a dedicated pool. A fabulous dinner.

If I an sold every hat I made for my asking price, I would not have covered the cost of my birthday celebration. And there is no price for love.

I'm 50! 5!

Keep giving. When you feel like you don't have enough, give more.

Only love...

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Living the Life You Dream

This is a photo of me from years ago. September 2011. I was vacationing in Arizona on one of the hottest days of that year. The mercury hit 113° in the shade. This was the second vacation that year. The first in North Carolina - sweet and mild.

My friend drove to a monastery/retreat center and we explored the grounds and buildings. It was both fun and educational. More than that, I loved sharing time with my friend.

Even as I type this post, I can't believe it has been that long. We haven't spoken since, but that is outside the point of this post. Just two months after this vacation, I quit my job. November 11, 2011. This month is the fourth anniversary of that decision. It was one of the best decisions I have made in my life.

Before I left my full time job, I researched people who had decided to leave the idea of working full-time and living clearer, closer, and within their dreams. I read plenty of clogs about young people making similar choices, but wanted to connect with those nearer 50 years old, with children, families and mortgages.

There are a plethora of blogs and sites dedicated to living well with less, saving and managing money, alternative earning opportunities. Still, I didn't find what really met my needs, so I started writing, counting down the days, and designing a plan to make my move.

I am leaving on vacation in three days. I have been home from my last job since August 1, 2014. Before I travel, here is a recap of how I managed to live the life of my dreams.

I do go back to work. When I work, I maintain my budget to live well below my means. I believe to have more, we must give more. I live by the principle - give first, save next, spend last. I work and therefore deserve to have pleasure from the effort I expend. I budget for my luxuries as well as my needs.

This year, I am excited to sort living on a budget while in San Francisco. At home, I get by with $25/week for groceries and have no need for transportation beyond driving my car two or three days a week. I will be there two weeks. During that time I will travel to East Bay a few times to visit friends and to Northern California for my birthday. While away, I will post on both my adventure and how the budgeting goes.

You can live the life of your dreams, whatever that looks like. If you ask, I will believe with you.

Travel safely.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Turn of the Wheel

I crochet every day. Usually, I wait until evening and the girls are in bed, but lately, I have been behind the wire with projects to complete. I finished a corner to corner blanket for the now seven year old, added a slouchy hat and booties to the set. The baby had a blanket made for her, so I added a hat and booties as well.

That's a set of wrist warmers I am reworking. I have piles of projects that after I finished, I didn't like. So, I frog them (unravel) and create something new. That particular yarn is lavender scented cotton. A pleasure to work with and wear.

Over at All Acts of Love, I posted some hats I made. After that, I posted them for sale on Craigslist and then took them to a local flea market to sell. No hits from Craigslist. Just logged in at the flea market and only one hat sold so far. I have to collect all my wares Friday. I only bought a month rental. I sold five hats to a friend. I sent six and asked to be paid for the extra. Still waiting for the last payment... Next week I am heading west for my annual vacation and birthday celebration. I will carry what is left with me to sell there. I love the Ashby Flea Market and the booth rental is only $30 for the day.

I've been home since July 30. I officially left my job August 1st. Just eleven days shy of my two years and almost six weeks longer than I wanted to be there. Updating my Linked In profile I saw all the jobs I had listed. There are probably a dozen more I could add. I'm not sure what to do next. I have a lot of skills, but an extremely low tolerance for bullshit. And no, I fail at faking it. The moment I realize I need to go, I shape my plan. Every second I remain at a job past my pleasure is for the sole purpose of leaving. I do love going home.

I love it here! Love it.

I spend my days tending the girls. The elder is in first grade and the other runs rampant until I wrestle her down for a nap. When I can't understand her request, I say, "Show me." She says, "Run. Run. Run." and takes off. She's a wild one and I am exhausted too much of the time.

I have given up planning what's next, as in the big picture. I am open to the adventure. For November, I will begin my next novel, go on vacation, celebrate my birthday with a dear friend in Northern California (naked in a hot spring), hang out in San Francisco, and return home refreshed. Oh, and I have jury duty the week I return home.

I will turn 55 years old. There is no way I could have planned or imagined my life thus far. Things are pretty good. I am blessed and I share my being blessed with my family and friends.

You, be blessed, too.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What's On My Mind

I've been writing. Lots. Because I am strongly opinionated and I want to put it out there. I joined a writing community that is suppose to offer some profit for the process, but that hasn't worked out for me. I have been there a year. However, while I am not making money for my topics, my followers are writing on the same subjects, after I post, and making a mint. I decided to skip posting there tonight.

I've been crocheting all year. I usually stop for the summer because the yarn is too hard to handle with sweaty fingers. This year, I was working in air conditioning through June and we had a mild summer. I've been completing hats in hopes of selling them this fall. (Check out All Acts of Love)

Oh, I quit my job - again. No belaboring the point. It sucked and I was done. We had a REALLY bad day and I was allowed to walk away. Thank you.

So, do what you love and the money will follow, right? I have the girls, now almost 7 years old. She reminds me daily that when fall comes it will be her birthday; and the two year old. There is no word for the destructive nature of this child. At any given moment she is either a monkey or a feline - cat or lion. You will find her climbing, reaching and jumping or crawling along the floor. I am busy...
Wrist warmers and mug hugger    

On my right hand is a new wrist warmer made from an earlier version. I have had great fun frogging past projects and starting anew. This is a lavender scented cotton yarn. It smells wonderful as you work it. I also have aloe vera. I had forgotten all about them. The baby pulled out the winter hats and gloves and I found them inside. Lots to give away as I had quite a new stock already. Plus we have so many purchased hats.

This hat is a rework of the elder girl's spring bonnet. It looks much better for fall anyway.

And just for fun, I went to visit my friend and she showed us videos of nail art. I forgot to take a photo of the girls' fingernails after they were done. We sponge painted them green over a base of pink. Cute. For me that is too much work and waste. Here are my nails courtesy of OPI Liquid Sand.
The nice thing about Liquid Sand is that if it chips, just spackle some more on.

Thanks for still reading and checking back. I plan to write more regularly as I sort out staying near home, going on vacation, writing a novel in November and turning 55. Woo-hoo!

Make today a great day!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Let it go!

July has been fraught with miserable moments. I took a new position that I knew was horrible going in. No matter how much I gave, the situation continued to deteriorate. The system which employed me is invested in the bottom line and therefore willing to sacrifice the safety and well-being of its employees. That's what happens to the wage slaves. There are more waiting in the wings.

I always intended to quit. I agreed to go because I thought I could help until things shifted, and then move on. Now, one month into the process, I exit on a sour note.

"Always leaving them wanting more." That was my motto. Not this time. My distress and angst over this situation left me vulnerable to misinterpretation and attack. Well, there you go. Or rather there I go.

So, I now have that which I most deeply desired - freedom from that job position. Yes, I was planning to leave the agency as well. Got that too. It's the sickening feeling when you don't get to walk out on your own terms. Perhaps I should have imagined the how along with the what. Me, my deepest desire was to be at home. Here I am!

Uncomfortable situations help us know that it is time -
  • To take a nap
  • To disengage
  • To stop calling
  • To accept that our effort is not helping
  • To let go
We are not giving up or desires or our passions when we walk away from situations or circumstances that no longer serve us. We are opening to new possibilities.

I haven't signed that form that says I quit my job, yet. But I am where I choose to be today.

Before I knew how bad it was going to get today, I was listening to this video. When I heard the accusations, I was thankful for the understanding - All that I draw to myself is for my highest growth and evolution. (This is not from the video, but on the same tone.)

Still on the path.

Step one.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Beautiful, Useful, or Loved

The idea to post began with the motion that I live outside of most boxes. True, if one were inclined, I could be trapped by my physical attributes, but they do not define who I am or how I live.

My days are occupied with the care of a twenty month old live wire. Too many days she skips her nap and may lie down for less than an hour. I am busy.

In the who am I realm, I answer that I am GG, tending my babies seven days a week, when I am not at work. I read, crochet, chant, garden, cook, and sort of clean.

I am a writer who does not write. I have exhausted my stories. Or perhaps I have tired of them. Or better yet, they have reached their emotional conclusions.

Days filled with laughter and snot - allergies - are more than enough. Even my current job has lost its thrill. I relax into the opportunities of this Gemini New Moon. This is the perfect time to set new intentions and allow them to flourish in the growing lunar light.

Yesterday, I was reminded that while control is an illusion, I can assess the affect of the decisions I make.

Does it bring me joy?
Is my life increased, expanded, enhanced? Or, am I contracted?
Is this (item) beautiful, useful, or loved?
Have I assigned non-existent value to this item or relationship?

In the dark of the moon, we reassess our priorities, releasing what no longer serves us. We can choose to be open and receptive to the playful nature of each moment and relish in joy.

Bright blessings as we traverse the dark.

Heads up... Mercury Retrograde June 7th.

My gentle space amidst the noise.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Shopping Savvy!

This has been a busy year. Since everyone has a weather related story, I will skip that and merely share that I have a whole bunch too.

However, this year I am working at a job I love. I got a promotion, which I used to buy more yarn and whiskey. Last week I bought Ezra Brooks - Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey. Light, smooth and delicious. I hope even my non-whiskey drinking friends will enjoy a taste.

Today's deal comes from iHerb. They have free shipping for $20 or more. I have been a long time customer, off and on. There are other sites I love as well, but free shipping is a hook for me. I keep a list of the things I need to replace when the funds arrive, then watch for bargains. While Lucky Vitamin has great prices as well, $5.95 shipping (though a flat fee) means a real price adjustment. In fact, I have been buying my chia seeds at the grocery for a dollar more per pound - no shipping.
That's my total cost today. It pays to shop around.

Here's a link to save up to $10 more if you are a first time customer -

That's a 3D butterfly I made for fun. Wrist warmers last night and a thread scarf I need to get at. I have decided that I will make my friend wrist warmers for her birthday.

One more bit...remember to check your receipts. I shopped at a big box store. In a hurry, I raced out and home. When I checked my receipt, I had paid more that the posted amounts on 7/10 items. I returned to the store for a $6.01 difference. What happens to people who buy dozens of items?

Time to winter sow...

Monday, February 10, 2014

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Thank G!d for yarn and whiskey!

Sitting in the full moon light, I wander back through the last two weeks. In the new moon we draw our intentions. The full moon symbolizes the attainment of desires. This has been a rough row to hoe.

It seems one thing after another has drawn my attention from the promises I make to myself. The frigid weather caused the water pipes to freeze. Then they burst. I wake at 3:30 in the morning and fish the filling from my back molar out. I'm rolling down the street on a short errand and my car conks out. I get it towed to the dealer. It starts right up. They check it the next day, same thing.

No worries. No point. I got yarn, new patterns, and a new bottle of whiskey - two in fact.

I patched the hole that was spewing water, turned it on, filled the washer, then noticed the pressure was low. I turned off the faucets and could hear unseen water spraying. Oh goody! Start over.

New year. New Beginnings. Start over. Start over. Start over. Just like crochet. Sometimes I get into a pattern and find it just isn't what I expected. I unravel and begin again. By now, I am quite comfortable with the do-over. Sitting with a nip on the side helps too.


I remember this blog. Carry it in my heart. Post less.I spend more time with yarn and grands these days. Still working part-time, of course, drinking, and even made a journey to San Francisco and up north to my family of origin. I'll keep thinking. Hope you will keep reading.

I write here, also - - Dragonflies1113

Leave a comment, I'll get back to you.