Saturday, August 31, 2002
People Who Help
Today I am thankful for people who help us in our life journeys.
For Police and Law Enforcement Officers who answer our emergency calls, and not-so-emergency calls, and come ready to help us. I appreciate that our local Sheriff never makes us feel stupid for our complaints (mostly about loose dogs or trespassing teens), but instead listens patiently and readily offers assistance. I am in awe of officers' ability to remain diplomatic at all times. Just like National Park Rangers, police officers give me a feeling of truth, justice, and the American way when I speak with them. I'm so grateful they chose to go into their line of work, and are willing to do whatever is necessary to protect us all, whether from simple annoyances or true dangers.
For Veterinarians who care for our companions and are able to decipher, without conversation, what is bothering our dear friends. For their compassion and patience and guidance when it comes to say goodbye to a loved pet. For their willingness to continue in their profession despite bites, scratches, and the pain of seeing ill-cared-for animals (I had to stop working for a vet because I couldn't handle that. It must be so hard for them and I appreciate their enduring it!)
For Mental Health Professionals who are there to support us when we have endured a traumatic event or life change, or when we just don't feel like ourselves. I am so grateful for physicians and therapists who help us to understand that they are there for us, (no stigma attached, no explanation necessary) when we need someone to talk to, some anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medication to see us through a rough patch, or a safe place to turn. Mental illness should be viewed with the same respect as physical illness, but it often isn't, probably because we most fear what we don't understand, and it is a hard thing to comprehend. Mental illness can occur in anyone's life, at any time, and for large or small reasons. I am grateful for the professionals working to let the public know that it is OK to ask for help, even if you're just having trouble sleeping or are snapping at your family more than usual. I am grateful for their guidance and help in my own life.
For True Friends who are not afraid to tell you the truth about your own behavior, yet who don't get upset if you don't follow their advice. For those friends who nurture you, yet also push you to be better and achieve more. I am grateful that I have several true friends (some of whom I've yet to meet in person!) whom I can count on at any given moment to show me what I'm not seeing about my own actions or growth, and who applaud me when I do well. I love you guys!
I'm grateful for people who help us today. Please take a moment to call or write a person who helps you, and let them know they're appreciated... we're giving our Sheriff a big box of cookies today!
What I'm Up To Today
- Still working on the sleeve of the gray sweater.
- Watching an interesting and funny DVD called "State And Main" which was written by David Mamet and is quite good.
- Tidied up this morning, going to dry some laundry in the sun.
- Diffusing Grapefruit, Cedarwood and Cypress essential oils to freshen up the indoors. Nice fall smell.
- Noticing the crispy, brown leaves falling (already!) from the Hawthorn tree.
- Noticed the lovely, foggy moonlight last night as I took the dogs out before bedtime. Spooky!
- Had a yummy breakfast of Canadian bacon and pierogies and good Ceylon tea.
- Tonight will have a pinyon fire in the firepit/grill thingie on the driveway.
- Tomorrow will go to the last polo game (the last one of the season is actually next Sunday, but that's the date of the fateful pizza party!) We found out we scheduled the pizza party right during the first Green Bay Packers game, so it will actually be a miracle if anyone, including Jeff, shows up!
Have a wonderful holiday weekend! Get out and enjoy it!
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Friday, August 30, 2002
Things That Are Tough Enough
Back in July, in the middle of intense heat and during a dry spell, I received 100 daylilies I'd ordered from Bloomingfields Farm, an organic daylily and sheep farm:
B loomingfields �Farm� is a small family farm in northwestern Connecticut, in Climate Zone 5. Right from the beginning, in 1969, Daylilies were the specialty, but there have always been other farm activities which contribute to the internal economy and long-term sustainability of the farm.
Lee Bristol, a biologist, has always treated the farmland with special concern and respect. The crops have been grown organically since 1980.
Among Daylily growers in America, the farm is one of only a handful committed to organic growing methods.
Diana Bristol, an artist, combines her Daylily work with painting and kitchen gardening. She also saves a little time to spin and weave wool from her small flock of sheep.
All five children have worked at the farm with the Daylilies in a variety of ways over the years. Many other young people too, have worked several hours a week, each helping to grow our fine flowers in tune with the rhythms of the farm.
I wanted the bulbs because we have a split-rail fence, the tall grass beneath which my husband does not like to trim. This develops into an eyesore by the end of summer. Although I appreciate native plants in the back yard, I don't think they look so wonderful from the street when compared to all our neighbors' neatly-trimmed properties. I figured that planting a bunch of bulbs which would eventually spread, and which would cover any weedy plants under the fence, was a good compromise with Jeff.
This is what they were supposed to look like:
The Roadside Daylily bulbs arrived packed in a box, which I left, unopened, on my kitchen counter for a week. When I opened it, a note said that the bulbs should be planted as soon as possible after arrival. Ooops... When I opened them, they were little and shriveled, like mummified beets that had been left in the refrigerator crisper for six months.
Jeff has a tendency to ignore his "Honeydew" list, and my command to "Plant 100 Lily Bulbs" met with either forgetfulness or sheer avoidance. It was up to me. Now, I am not the strongest person in the world, so just taking a shovel, digging a "c" in the ground with the tip of it, mashing a bulb into that cut, and then stomping on the wedge of earth to replace it is my idea of gardening. Doing this 100 times, sweat dripping off the end of my nose, was a major feat for me, and I spent the rest of the day in a cool, dark room, hoping for rain.
Little did I know that I'd picked a drought in which to plant these lilies. I tried to bring a wheelbarrow of water over to them, as they were yards away from our hose, but one trip (with more water sloshing out than making it to a single plant) was all I could even attempt. I left the wheelbarrow where it was, muttering expletives as I returned to my cool, dark room to reflect once again on my gardening folly.
"You're on your own," I said to the bulbs the next day as I looked for any signs of life, figuring that I'd just wasted the money I'd spent on them.
Several weeks went by. Still no rain. Hot, hot, hot. No sprouts, of course. I gave up hope.
Well, I am pleased to report that, almost two months later, every single one of those darned bulbs has sprouted and most are already about 8-12 inches tall! Many have even survived being clipped off by my husband who'd forgotten I'd planted them by the culverts when he was cutting the grass. I am hopeful they will bloom next year or the year after and will eventually look like this:
I am pleased to recommend Bloomingfields Farm Daylilies to other black thumb gardeners like me! Here is their guarantee:
Our Daylilies will grow in your garden. If not, �we will send free replacements, or refund your money.
Of course I would never have taken them up on that guarantee, the faults in planting and lack of care obviously being mine, but I can see why they do provide it - these bulbs are indestructible!
Isn't it nice when things are tough enough to make it, even without nurturing or care? Isn't there some kind of magic in just sticking something in the ground, doing absolutely nothing for it, and having it thrive and reach for the sun? Just goes to show you that, at the end of the day, it isn't really about us and what we can do; we aren't always in control of everything, and sometimes we just gotta' plant something and have faith that Mother Nature will do the rest... whether with bulbs, or with our Life Path.
I hope you will bloom where you are planted today!
What I'm Up To...
- Broke my No-More-Atorium and ordered 16 ounces of fiber, in two colors, from Grafton Fibers' sale, with the excuse that it was up to me to help the Diaks make the mortgage on their new farm. I love to help out! Two Swans will also be making the journey.
- Still working on sleeve number one of the gray cable sweater and it is coming along very nicely. I want to rush so that when my fiber arrives I will be able to give myself permission to spin it... but I will try to take my time and be mindful of, and enjoy, the process. I have been very good at sticking to my "one project at a time" rule (wish I was as good on my diet!) and I can definitely feel a change in my perception of my productivity.
Because of the flecked color of the yarn, the cables on the sleeves aren't quite as defined as I'd like; I do think that making this sweater in a solid Brown Sheep's NatureSpun (I think that's what I have in my stash) would be interesting. I swore no more sweaters, and having just made this in gray, it would be silly to make another in gray, too... but I really think this is going to be my favorite sweater, so you never know! Another might just work its way into my wardrobe!
- Have been renting travel videos lately, mainly of Scandinavian countries, and am enjoying watching them with Jeff before bedtime. They are so relaxing and interesting. The segments on the history and culture and handicrafts of the various countries are giving me inspiration for my fiberarts. Last night we watched one on Finland and I so want to go on a reindeer safari in Lapland some day! Their ethnic costumes are so bright, with wonderful primary-colored trims around the necks and sleeves... great inspiration for future knits. And I love smorgasboards!
- Am trying to focus on having some relaxing hours after so many visits to the vet last week, so many trips in to help Jeff drop off and pick up his cycle for its tune-up, so much laundry after Jeff got back home from Toronto. My days have been used up by medicating and keeping a close eye on pets, and driving to and fro on frustratingly busy highways. I need a quiet, meditative day... I can feel my body telling me so. Time to focus on meditation and relaxation, gentle exercise, and lots of liquids and rest.
- I checked out "Tasha Tudor's Heirloom Crafts" from the library and this is just the read I need - not an instruction manual, but a photographic description of all the slow, painstaking, primitive, beautiful work that she does. As I told Linda on the phone last night, "I bet Tasha Tudor has a whole crew of personal assistants and set dressers getting this stuff set up for the photo shoot," because I don't know how a little old lady could possibly really live like that without going utterly mad! But what a gorgeous, relaxing book... information on making candles and butter, spinning and dyeing wool, and photos of the adorable corgis and goats on the farm. So sweet and cheerful! Think I need this one as a keeper...
- Am saying prayers and lighting candles for my friend Tracy who is preparing to say goodbye to a cherished pet and for my friend Kary who is focusing on her life's direction... and I'm reminded of Buddhist monks who spend their days praying for all of us to be relieved of our suffering. Thank you, little bald Buddhist monks!
Thank you for visiting, and I hope you will have a peaceful day.
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Thursday, August 29, 2002
A Different View
What do you think this is?
Looks like a little bit of knitted lace perhaps, or a leaded glass window maybe? It's pretty, isn't it? I'll come back to it later.
Here is a photo of the "miracle oak" I told you about in our little meadow. Can you imagine how the acorn came to land where it did, much less how the oak survived being lawn-mowed for so many years before being allowed to grow?
Behind the oak and to the right is where we've planted native prairie seeds. We hope to restore this entire area to native Wisconsin prairie someday. It is a slow process, but worth the effort as there is very little natural prairie left in the United States. Every little patch helps! Some people might think our yard is weedy, but we look at it with a different view, and see the beauty in the plants that Nature intended to be here. (We do weed out foreign and invasive species. Rather, Jeff does!)
Here is a photo of one of only three kinds of dye plants that survived my black thumb this year. I think I planted about fifteen!
The brilliant colors of this coreopsis (I think!) make up for nothing else sprouting. Some people might think that this one plant in my garden is rather useless, but I take a different view. I don't care if it doesn't send up new plants next year. I don't even care that I can't harvest it this year to use for dye, just in case it wants to send up new plants next year. I only care that it exists and I get to see it each time I look out my back window. Isn't that color magnificent?
I had to brave attacking cicadas to go out and get those photos for you today. They must be angry about yesterday... that cicada that fell on my head was not actually dead when it did so, as it made a LOUD noise right next to my ear, but as I flung my hair around and screamed, it landed on the hood of my car with a giant "THUNK" and I think that may have killed it.
Later on, Jeff found it in the driveway. "What did you do to this poor cicada?" he asked.
"Poor CICADA? What about poor ME?!"
Jeff obviously takes a different view of cicadas than normal people.
The cicada was reverently picked up and brought in to be laid on our mantelpiece, along with our usual assortement of butterfly wings, acorns, stones, and shed bird feathers. (I got up in the middle of the night and put a cup over it, in case it came back to life to attack me while I slept!)
Well, news travels fast in the cicada world, because today when I tried to get out and enjoy the beautiful, sunny, breezy weather, I was litterally attacked and chased by them! I made my way towards the house, arms windmilling about my head, and collapsed on the couch with a cold washcloth pressed to my forehead.
"But my friends need to see some photos, after that loooooong text entry yesterday!" I thought. I donned my trusty Klaudette cap, grabbed my camera, and snuck back out to get these shots, avoiding passing under any trees. I made it back in without incident, thank goodness!
And I'm so thankful I went out, because as I came back over the deck, the following view presented itself.
Val holds bone against window.
It is a different view than I would have seen had I not made the effort to get pictures for you. I haven't been able to stop smiling since.
Well, here is a different view of that first photo I showed you today:
Yup, it is that evil, now dead, cicada. It is a really ugly thing on the whole, but if I take a different view and look at one part of it (the wing) it is something of infinite beauty.
I am hopeful that I can learn to take a different view of people I'm having difficulty with. I think that if I look at little bits of them, maybe I will be able to find and appreciate their special beauty, too.
I know I have done many things in my life that I wouldn't want people to see as "me". I would want them to look hard and see the "me" on the inside, not the me seen when I reacted out of fear or anger or jealousy or suspicion or just nastiness.
I think maybe I only consider cicadas ugly because I am so fearful of them. And after all, they're only little bugs; I could do them much more harm than they could do to me (and apparently, I did!) Maybe I only consider some other people's behavior ugly because I am afraid of it. But their negative behavior is so small compared to my keeping peace in my heart, that it doesn't stand a chance. I can accomplish more with my love than they can with their hate (or fear of me, perhaps...)
So I will take a different view, and be brave, and keep my eyes open to see others' inner beauty... or at least I won't let others make me squint so that I miss my view of the rest of the world.
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Wednesday, August 28, 2002
- The fact that my neighbors had their windows closed, and there were no little kids on the street, when a cicada fell out of a tree and onto my head this afternoon. The fact that it was dead didn't exactly help, but I'm thankful that at least it didn't grab onto my hair!
- For getting out on my bike tonight and doing five miles. I don't ride when Jeff is away, as, if I get hit by a car, who will feed the dogs? (My warped mind works like that!) I'm especially thankful I rode through a very quiet subdivision still being developed and went to the end of the cul-de-sac, where I got within about twenty feet of a heron in a little pond! We just stared at each other for a few minutes until he flew gracefully off. What a treat!
- That the vet was able to squeeze us in immediately this morning so that she could take a look at Fi's abscess, which popped up again late yesterday (the ER vet said it could wait until this morning). Fi is on atibiotics and is doing well. I love having vets that really care about our "family."
- That Jeff made me a veggie juice tonight for energy and is now cooking homemade Chinese for me, so I will be able to use my puffer fish chopstick rest! Significant others that cook, when one doesn't like to or can't, are really something to be thankful for!
- I am thankful that I still feel good, but not "martyr-like," about inviting my mother and Jeff's parents and grandfather and his girlfriend to my pizza party, especially since I realized last night that I can have my feelings but that doesn't mean I have to share them with others. I can be an observer and, rather than disclosing viewpoints that I feel may be criticized or not respected, I can keep them to myself (and have some juicy things to share with you guys afterwards!)
I received this in an e-mail today and I hope it will touch you the way it touched me. It may not be true, but isn't there some amount of truth in all parables?
Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. When I arrived at 2:30 a.m.,
the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window.
Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait
a minute, then drive away.
But, I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their
only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always
went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I
reasoned to myself.
So I walked to the door and knocked. "Just a minute", answered a frail,
elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.
After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80's stood before
me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on
it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie.
By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one
had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There
were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In
the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.
"Would you carry my bag out to the car?" she said. I took the suitcase to
the cab, then returned to assist the woman.
She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me
for my kindness.
"It's nothing", I told her. "I just try to treat my passengers the way I
would want my mother treated".
"Oh, you're such a good boy", she said.
When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, then asked, "Could you drive
"It's not the shortest way," I answered quickly.
"Oh, I don't mind," she said. "I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice".
I looked in the rearview mirror. Her eyes were glistening.
"I don't have any family left," she continued. "The doctor says I don't have
I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. "What route would you like me
to take?" I asked.
For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the
building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through
the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were
newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had
once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.
Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner
and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.
As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, "I'm
tired. Let's go now."
We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building,
a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.
Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were
solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been
I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was
already seated in a wheelchair.
"How much do I owe you?" she asked, reaching into her purse. "Nothing," I
"You have to make a living," she answered.
"There are other passengers," I responded. Almost without thinking, I bent
and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.
"You gave an old woman a little moment of joy," she said. "Thank you."
I squeezed her hand, then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a
door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.
I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly, lost in
thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk.
What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to
end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once,
then driven away?
On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in
my life. We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great
moments. But great moments often catch us unaware--beautifully wrapped in
what others may consider a small one.
PEOPLE MAY NOT REMEMBER EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID, OR WHAT YOU SAID, BUT THEY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL.
Send this on to all your friends. You won't get any big surprise in 10 days
if you send it to ten people. But, you might help make the world a little
kinder and more compassionate by sending it on.
Tomorrow, I am going to really think about how I interact with people. I hope you will be conscious of how you do, too!
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Tuesday, August 27, 2002
More Luck And Materialism
I had some more good luck today!
A gladiolus I'd planted maybe two or three years ago, which was not supposed to be hardy, somehow sprouted up while I wasn't looking. It is the only one that made it out of about a dozen (which never bloomed the first year, being planted in a very shady place.) I don't even remember noticing it there last year.
Well, today it bloomed, and isn't it lovely?
Maybe the chipmunks planted this for me, too!
I'm thankful that Jeff arrived home safely from Toronto today. I'm thankful Midwest Express employees did not strike as planned, so that he could arrive on time.
I'm thankful today was organic veggie box day, and that he drove in to get the veggies with me, so that the box did not explode in the parking lot with me trying to carry it alone, as it did two weeks ago! Tomatoes everywhere, in the rain!
And I'm thankful there were surplus leeks for us in the "extras" bin. I love leeks!
While we were in town we stopped at our natural foods co-op, so that Jeff could get additional organic veggies to make us juice and to make more corn soup. (I finally ate his corn soup, and it is really good!)
Anyway, at the shop they have a great little Asian section with dishes and chopsticks and stuff. And look what I found...
I love chopstick rests. I have several, all blue but all different shapes, for whenever we pick up sushi or Jeff makes a stir fry. I'm not all that adept with chopsticks, but I think they really add to the character of a meal and the "culture" of it... arranging attractive place settings, and taking care in laying out a meal are ways of expressing appreciation for the abundance of food and the artistic expression of the cook.
Well, when it comes to chopstick rests, this puffer fish takes the cake! He is the cutest chopstick rest I have ever seen and I just started cracking up in the store when I laid eyes on him. He had to come home with me!
Which brings me to some thoughts on materialism.
I have decided that, for me, the following is true:
I am being materialistic in buying something if...
- I am buying it just because someone I envy has it.
- It is something I already have but it doesn't have a "use"... i.e., another lipstick. How many lipsticks does one really need, anyway? How often do I even put on lipstick?
- I am buying it out of stress, anger, or sorrow and I will not feel better afterwards but worse.
- I am buying it because I sort of want something like it but this was all I could find.
- I think that somehow it will make me prettier.
I am not being materialistic in buying something if...
- It makes me laugh out loud when I see it and will continue to bring me joy.
- I am so amazed at its beauty that the hair on the back of my neck stands up.
- Even though I have other similar things like it (spindles, chopstick holders), it is unique and will be used and appreciated.
- It will be used to produce something beyond itself: spindles, fiber, yarn, patterns all contribute to my creative expression (good for the soul!)
- It will be used to produce something for others (see above - good for the heart!)
- The opinions of others do not affect my choice to purchase it.
- I am buying it out of stress, anger or sorrow but it is something that will help heal me and bring me peace (not a lipstick, but a book of poetry or a tape on getting along with others).
- It is a small indulgence that will lift my spirits and therefore help me to "be there" for others in my life. We can't nurture others when we aren't getting nurtured!
- I think that having it in my life will make me a better person, inside.
- It is expensive, but it is exactly what I have been looking for.
- I have wanted it for more than 24 hours... preferably for at least a month.
I think it is, for me, an ungrateful practice to "guilt myself out" about purchasing things. Money comes in and goes out... it ebbs and flows like the sea, and the Provider always sees to our needs.
When money is ebbing out from me, it is flowing on to enrich someone else - hopefully an organic farmer, or the members of our food co-op, or a talented writer or musician or artist or massage therapist... hopefully not a plastics manufacturer. Again, mindfulness, this time in purchasing.
And as my friend Kary reminds me, the President says we have to help the economy!
I believe that if I follow William Morris' advice to have nothing in my home that I do not find beautiful or necessary, and if I continue to pass along those items I no longer use and to donate a percentage of what flows in to charities, then there is no need to feel guilty for spending money on myself once in a while... as long as I'm not buying cruddy junk, and as long as my credit card can be paid off each month!
"If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it:
Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."
~ William Morris
Setting A Good Example
In making out the invitations for Jeff's family for my pizza party and expecting them to forget their differences and attend, it occurred to me that I was being quite hypocritical because I had not spoken to my own parents for quite some time. This did not sit well in my gut.
As I wrote previously, my mother has recently attempted to contact me (though she has provided no evidence that she has changed her unacceptable behaviors or attitude in any way). And I wrote that I'd decided to continue not to see her.
Upon further reflection, I believe that, in certain situations, I could deal with her the way she is. Maybe not "embrace" her personality, as Linda would say, but at least "tolerate" it. I am, after all, expecting all of Jeff's family to do that, as if it were an easy thing. So after discussing it with Jeff, and considering that a very public party with friends and Jeff's family there, I could deal with my mom for a set period of time, and as an experiment.
It is, after all, easier than dealing with the emotional trauma of her continued attempts at guilting me and my sisters into seeing her. She isn't going to change, nor (in her mental state) would she understand any of my arguments or my feelings about our relationship. In other words, explaining to her why I don't want to see her, why she is not healthy for me, is like telling a dog how the space shuttle works; the capacity to grasp the concept just isn't there.
I decided that anything I expected of Jeff's parents (who are not getting along with Jeff's grandfather and his girlfriend), I should be willing to do myself (or should not ask it of them).
I decided that just because I do not have a need or desire to see my mother, perhaps I can do some good in her life by fulfilling a (rather late) need of hers to share time with a daughter (if I am careful).
I decided that not much harm can occur in public (I hope).
I decided that I must test the strength of my character, my ability to "be peace" and not let others "lead me in" or "push my buttons", because without testing what I'm trying to work on in myself, I won't know how I'm progressing.
I decided to balance thinking of others with thinking about myself, and see whether I'm on the edge, or the center, of the teeter-totter. If it doesn't work, at least I gave it a test run before the family pressures of the holiday season, and so will know my limitations and can have a game plan ready (such as, "Thank you so much for the holiday invitation, but we're taking the dogs and renting a cabin in South Dakota for Christmas, sorry!")
I hope that today you will find the strength you need to get through a difficult time; that you will find something that brightens your day and is a small indulgence you can afford; or that you will find a free surprise and beauty where you least expect it!
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Monday, August 26, 2002
I upgraded my TagBoard... please leave juicy messages! There's lots of room now!
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Today, I had the best luck, shopping and in other areas of my life. I'm so glad I went ahead and put on something other than sweats and braved the mall, because I had terrific luck!
- I needed some of Clinique's Superpowder Double Face Makeup powder (great if you have blotchy skin, like I do), and when I arrived at Marshall Field's, the telltale line indicated I had timed it just right for bonus week! Whoopee! And lucky me, the shades of the freebies are just perfect. On top of that I got a really nice lady who knew instantly which powder shade was right for me (I always just guess) and she was absolutely right.
- Feeling lucky, I took the escalator downstairs, and sure enough there was a sale on raspberry Godiva cookies - perfect for Grandpa, a certified chocolate addict! (I will not open them, I will not open them, I will not open them...)
- I made a quick stop at the Franklin-Covey store where I was informed that the planner refill I needed wouldn't be available for a little while, as it only comes out twice a year, unlike all the others. "But would you like us to call you when it arrives?" Why, yes, I would, you nice, helpful Franklin-Covey man! I love salespeople who go the extra mile! That will save me an unnecessary drive all the way into town to check for it. How nice!
(Note to Kary, Tracy and Theresa: I'm getting the "Simplicity" version!)
The generic planner I'm using now just isn't the same. You get what you pay for, I believe, and I really like the Franklin-Covey version. I may not have that much going on in my life, but I am more effective in terms of self-care and health, productivity around the house and with crafts, and in being mindful, when I have an organizer that focuses on those things. I am a strong believer in the "First Things First" Covey life management and goal-setting style... which, I believe, is why I can remain somewhat "vital" despite my limitations.
All you friends with your own businesses - the Franklin-Covey system is the way to get things done and still keep your sanity!
Oooo, and I see they have a free stress assessment at their site... questionnaire, anyone? I just took it and it provided some really good insight! (Good thing, as my therapist is on vacation until October!) Looks like I have some work to do... the tips should be quite helpful. A couple were: "Get massage therapy on a regular basis," (I can do that!) and "Write five things you're grateful for each day in a gratitude journal." Well, that one was easy! That quiz was another stroke of luck today!
- Next it was off to pick up a few picnic-y things for Jeff's arrival from Toronto tomorrow. I found some beautiful English cheese with port swirled through it, and a fantastic lime, turkey and artichoke salad, plus beautiful loaf of multigrain bread. And yippee, at the sushi bar, they had made my favorite "Boston roll" - an inside-out California roll with little, orange fish eggs on the outside. Yum! Memo to self: sushi and a Starbuck's mocha do not go well together.
I thought of the neatest gift idea for a knitter today. If you get a little box of Godiva truffles, they usually give you a nice, medium-sized, gold Godiva carry bag. Then go to your favorite LYS and get a lovely skein of a kid mohair, or cashmere, or fine wool yarn... in a dark, chocolate brown color! Add some Brittany needles, toss it all in the Godiva bag with a simple scarf pattern, and what a wonderful indulgence for someone special!
The Rest Of The Evening...
Jeff will be home tomorrow (thank goodness!) so tonight I will be watching the rest of my "girlie" rental DVDs and knitting on the gray cable sweater's sleeves. I started one this morning, and it is, as my dear Kary would say, "EZ-PZ!" No cable needle required - just a couple of twisted ribs here and there (easy enough to knit into the second stitch, then the first stitch, then slip them both off.)
I was good and got a nice raw veggie salad from the deli and that will be my supper, with a ton of mineral water to compensate for that Starbuck's visit (love that FruitWater and VitaminWater! I never could drink water before this stuff, and now I drink at least 40 ounces a day and I can tell a major difference in my health.)
Well, so much for not being materialistic, right you guys? At least I didn't get more than what I needed, I got it on sale, and I got out of the house which is important for my mind and body.
Here is to a very lucky day! I hope you had some good fortune as well!
I would like to thank you for tagging me and letting me know you visit my Blog. It helps me tremendously to find the positive in my life when I know that others will be checking for it, too! I think I'm going to splurge on the upgraded Tagger so that you all can share more of your experiences with me... I love to read about what's going on in your lives! You all are so motivated and positive - I'm glad you're my friends!
And I'm sorry this entry is so long... it was another beautiful, late-summer day here in Wisconsin, and it gave me some really good energy!
Stasia Permalink | Archives
Sunday, August 25, 2002
Today I am thankful...
- That I finished the front of the gray cable sweater, and am now ready to start the sleeves! This feels wonderful!
- For yummy English tea with milk. Such a comforting thing. There is a quote in the (very strange but good) film The Shipping News that goes something like, "Tea's a good drink. It'll make you feel better." That is so true, no matter what ails you!
- That the young oak tree in our meadow survived being mowed down for years (before we got here and allowed our prairie to grow) and that it is now about sixteen feet tall!
I have no idea where the acorn that sprouted it came from, yet I also spotted another young oak near our path! To me it is a true miracle that they both somehow arrived here, actually took root, and then survived regular scalpings from the former owner's lawnmower.
I adore oak trees and I hope that 100 years from now, someone will appreciate that we let them grow.
- For wooly bear caterpillars, a sure sign that fall is on its way. I saw the first black and brown one today on the trail. They have to be the cutest insects in the world!
- For Chester, my good watchdog, who barks when things go bump in the night. It makes me feel safe to have him here, even if he can be The Wild Dog Of Borneo sometimes.
- For a glorious, breezy, sunny day with HUGE poofy white clouds. It was so gorgeous that I just had to get in my car and drive past the nearby lakes, and through woods, and even by a llama farm!
Unfortunately that drive culminated in a visit to KFC, but I am thankful I only had a sandwich and not the family-of-four meal!
I am thankful that I feel so guilty for confessing to you that I've been eating junk that it might make a difference in my eating habits this week! We can only hope...
- That my friend Linda is settled in her new home with her kids again.
- That my dog Tori's eye and tooth surgeries went perfectly this week and that today she was back to her old self, pouncing at Valentine to get him to play with her. He obliged, as always.
- That I may have Jeff's family members convinced to stop feuding long enough to attend my birthday pizza party (coordinated in the hopes that it might be a good opportunity for them to "play nice").
Sometimes I wish we lived at the turn of the century, when people who didn't particularly like each other could still put on a civil show in public. There is a lot to be said for having good manners in awkward situations... it gives people a common ground of acceptable behavior, so that disagreements don't escalate so easily.
I am thankful that I know the boundaries of how much I can be involved in such problems; that I can use my birthday as an opportunity for them to make peace; and that if they choose not to, I have the wisdom to take a step back from the situation and let them do as they will. Sometimes you have to know when to just do nothing, and go on enjoying your own life, even if others are missing the sun, the moon, and the stars shining on them.
- That today I caught CBS News Sunday Morning and got to see clips from the new film, "Possession". I am re-reading A.S. Byatt's book (for the third time - it is a difficult book) and am looking forward to seeing the film.
They also showed some moose with a sweet baby moose in their ending video segment. I love moose (the flag I have up this week on the house has a moose on it!) and it was a wonderful, peaceful sight to see them happily grazing with their huge moosey lips in the lake. Don'tcha' just love moose lips?
What an interesting show - I think I will have to make watching it a regular habit!
I had a lot to be thankful for today. I hope you did, too!
Theresa, I have given up hoping that your indigo vat is ever going to be something to be thankful for, though!
You have a great week, full of productive moments and awareness of things to be thankful for!
Stasia Permalink | Archives
Welcome To Stasia's Blog
Stasia is a knitter, spinner, weaver, writer, reader, and musician from Wisconsin, USA.
Join her here as she journals about beauty in nature, the joys of fibery pursuits, special people and pets, and great places to shop. It's her hope you'll leave spiritually inspired and creatively motivated. Thanks for visiting!
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