Friday, December 30, 2011

Crocheted Shawl

OK so I have finished all the holiday gifts for this year, and decided to make something for myself.  It is an easy crochet, although the directions were a little confusing in places.  I muddled through and made this cute shawl. You can see from the first picture that I ran out of the deep purple yarn, so finished it up with black.  Was just trying to use up parts of skeins I had in my stash, and didn't want to spend more money on yarn for this project.  So we will call it an eclectic use of color  ;-)

The pattern is a ravelry download, you do have to be a ravelry member to download the pattern, but registration in ravelry is free and I find so many patterns on this site!

Here is the pattern page!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday Afghans

I really need to catch up on my blogging.  I want to post about our Samhain feast, but that will have to wait for another day.  I wanted to post pics of the Afghans I made this year.  I made them for friends of mine, but have been waiting until they all have received them first, before I posted on my blog.  I will also post links to the patterns.

This one is called a Granny Ripple, because it is a ripple pattern using a granny square technique.  I found this pattern on ravelry, so click here for this pattern.

This is a corner to corner afghan, I hadn't done one of those before.  That pattern is found by clicking here.

The wave afghan.  LOVE IT!  Also loved the deep, saturated colors.  This one is also a free ravelry download found here.

This afghan also uses a granny square type of technique.  Love the colors of this one too, the recipients favorite colors.  In the picture the bright stripe might look a little yellow, but it is a green color.  Sorry folks, can't find the pattern for this right now, and don't have a lot of time to look.  If I run across it, I promise to post it later!

This one is my favorite as it was all new technique for me, so I learned a lot.  It is a thick, heavy afghan, all single crochet intarsia, which I had never done before.  I found some of the symbols of this afghan on this blog, If you look around her chart page you will see the blocks I used.  I made up the letter squares myself.  I would love to do more intarsia in the future.  I tried so many different techniques to crochet the squares together, but didn't like any of them, so I ended up sewing the squares together (my least favorite technique).  That part was a challenge for me.  :-)

Hope you enjoyed seeing my Holiday projects, and try a pattern or two yourself!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Flowering Christmas Cactus

This plant always amazes me, the flowers are just so rich with color, simply awesome.  I think I have posted about this very plant before, it was a gift from a friend a few years back.  I re-potted the plant this past spring.  I hesitated to re-pot because I generally have little success with "indoor" plants, LOL.  But it was outgrowing the plastic pot it was in, so I took the chance, and it is thriving!  I think she loves her new place.  Isn't she beautiful!

Thanks Jen!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Soul of Nature Candles

While I was attending the South East Women's Herbal Conference in Black Mountain, I met Arlene Bailey, just briefly.  She spoke at a session on candle making and had a booth selling her candles.  What amazing candles.  They are fragrant, but not overpowering, and BURN BEAUTIFULLY!  I have not had a candle burn so completely before, no drips at all, just a very clean burn.  I enjoyed her session and hearing about the care and attention to detail she puts into every candle.  We talked just a little about her candles while I was "shopping".

This is her web site, and it doesn't even mention candles.  But it is very interesting, and I am considering going to one of her November classes, just have to make time in my schedule!  So check her out!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Birthday Scarf

I needed a couple of birthday presents for friends and so I decided to make scarves.  The weather was turning a bit chilly, and it just seemed like a nice, handmade present.  They turned out SO cute.  I may have to make one for myself.  I found the pattern on this page.  The picture on the site is no longer visible but the pattern is still there below where the picture box is.   It was easy to follow, quick to crochet, and could adapt to any yarn.  Of course a nice thick yarn makes for a nice and cozy scarf.

Here is picture of the scarves, and a close up so you can see the flower-ish pattern.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Weekend at the Southeast Women's Herbal Conference

This past weekend I attended the Southeast Women's Herbal Conference, and had a wonderful time.  The women that coordinate were gracious enough to allow me to attend on a work scholarship, and for that I am so grateful.  Back years ago when my boys were much younger I gathered herbs and prepared my oils, and tinctures, used them in our everyday lives, made different infusions for my morning cup.  But over the years as we have become busier with homeschool activities, and friends I have put that on the back burner.  Always meaning to "get back to it one day".  This weekend just reawakened that interest.  For several years now I have intended to make my own medicine wheel/garden.  I even purchased a couple of books, as examples of how others have done this.  But never seemed to have the time.  This year I really want to make that a reality.  Maybe even just picking the spot and starting to prepare the soil, just a start but in the right direction!

I make time for homeschool activities, and conference "stuff", I make time to garden, cook most things from scratch, preserve food, raise laying hens and broilers.  I need to make time for my herbal interests as well.  As one speaker this weekend put it, just one herb at a time.

The conference truly had something for everyone.  And staying off site, I did not feel like I 'missed' anything.  I found the speakers to be approachable, knowledgeable, and insightful.  I would encourage anyone interested in alternative therapies, especially herbs, to attend.  I know I will be going back again next year.  Of course I am just in love with Camp Rockmont, the scenery there is breathtaking.  I will be back again in about two weeks for the Fall FLT Gathering, so will have another chance to take in that beauty!

Here are a couple of pics of the scenery.  And one of this wonderful mug I bought at the conference.  With, as usual, my morning cuppa chai inside!

Don't you just love how the sun sparkles through that weeping willow tree!

This picture is looking down toward the lake and the boat house.  And up across the mountains.

OK isn't she just too beautiful!  And holds a LOT of chai!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Trip to the Beach and SOOC shot

This past week we went to the coast.  Not just the beach, because anyone with any knowledge of what the ocean is like, knows that all water is NOT the same.  A lake is not even close to the equivalent of the coast, the ocean, that salty air!  Gotta love it!  Having grown up on the coast, I can't go a year without at least one trip to the ocean.  So this past week, our family and a few other families made the yearly trip.  What a wonderfully relaxing, joy-filled, invigorating week it was.  And this is my favorite shot for the week.  I took this on our very first morning, up at my usual 6:00 wake up hour.  :-)  It is Straight Out Of the Camera, no alterations.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Back to School

I never realized how little parents of public school children know about the laws regarding schooling.  As a homeschool mom, I know the homeschool laws inside and out, I know how it is regulated, by what General Statute, what agency oversees homeschooling, who works in that agency, and how to contact them.  If I have questions I ask.

When I was at the dentist with my son a few weeks back, the hygienist had finished cleaning his teeth and we were waiting for the dentist to come in and do an exam.  She asked Phillip about homeschooling a bit, then turned to me to chat.  She asked what grades the boys were in, so I explained that Dallen, my oldest, is not of compulsory age anymore so he is not in school, he has "technically" graduated.  She was surprised by that and asked about it, since he is only 17.  Her thought was that you had to be in school until you were 18.

Well, no, in North Carolina compulsory attendance is from age 7 until 16, so the day Dallen turned 16 he could "graduate" from homeschool.  She was shocked that the minimum age was 7, thought every kid had to start preschool at 4.  Well,, preschool is not a requirement, even for public school children.  AND you do not have to enroll your child in any school, public, private or homeschool, until they reach the age of 7.  Now I don't know much more about public school law, as the laws regulating public school are different from homeschool, but compulsory age applies to all children in NC.

She was also surprised that when a child turns 16 they do not have to attend school.  So I did clear that up a bit....unless they want a driver's permit they have to be enrolled in school somewhere or have a diploma showing graduation.  But if the driver's permit is not an issue, attendance is optional after they turn 16.

So why don't public school parents know the law?  Are the schools trusted to be abiding by the law?  And should these public school parents put that much trust in the public schools?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

New Lake James Swim Area

This post is for all my friends joining me at Lake James on Tuesday, and anyone else that would like to join us.

I had not been to the new swimming area, so today, after a hike with the family, we took a short "self guided" tour, and I hope I can answer your questions.

First off it is about 4 miles from the old swim area.  For me coming west on I-40, I take exit 94 and approach Lake James that way.  I come out onto 126 off of Benfield's Landing Road.  Instead of taking a left to the old swimming area, take a right and it is just up 126 a bit on the right.  There is a lot of parking space, much more than at the old area.  And a large changing room concession stand.  I didn't go into the changing rooms but from the size of the building it HAS to be bigger, LOL.

You get to the beach area by going through this building.  The beach area is much bigger.  Much larger swim area.

This picture is 1/2 the swimming area.  To the left of the swimming area is a path that leads to the picnic tables.  As with the other swim area, the tables each have a grill and some are near the water, although there is no swimming by the picnic tables.  Easy to walk to the swim area and back to the tables.

In the picture above I am just a bit down the path, you can see a few picnic tables to the right, the beach to the left.  I didn't get a great shot, but didn't want the people at the picnic tables to think I was a stalker, LOL.

They also rent canoes here.  You can see the canoes in the picture above, to the left.  Further down just a bit is a large picnic shelter they said we could use if it was not reserved, and, as of today, it was not rented.  But I think if we get a couple of tables near the water and bring a few camp chairs it will be nice.  Below you can see a pic of a couple of the tables to the right, near the water. I am facing with my back to the beach taking this.

This is a pic of the picnic shelter.

 Picture above is near the end of the pathway looking back toward the beach, you can see it isn't far at all.  There is also a walk way from the end of the picnic table path back up the parking lot.  The picture below is back up at the parking lot, you can see the picnic shelter from the parking lot side, and in the distance just a bit you can see the changing area, concession stands.

 And another set of bathrooms down at the end, the bathrooms are in the picture above.  The last two pictures I just took one picture toward the picnic shelter and turned around and took one toward the bathrooms so you could see the distance a bit.

Hope that helps you see what the area is like, the water looked wonderful, I can't wait!  The directions on the web site are correct but if you click on the "google" tab for directions, that will take you to the old swim area.

You are looking for the Paddy's Creek Area of Lake James State Park and the signs do say "Paddy's Creek Area".   There will be no Lifeguard on Tuesday, and the swim area is free that day.  Parking is free.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I wanted to take a minute to share my gratitude.  As a birthday gift a friend gave me this beautiful journal.  Now I am not one to write in a journal much, I take notes, make my numerous "todo" lists, but actually sit down and write my thoughts out on paper, no.  But this one is just so beautiful, it begs to have something profound written on its pages.  Although I don't really have anything earth moving to write, I am using it as my gratitude journal.  And I am doing pretty well keeping up, generally writing at least 4-5 times a week.  Amazing all I am thankful for!

So for today I am thankful for:
~Friends I can count on, that support me, accept me for exactly who I am
~My boys and their sweet words
~My slow cooker, that has been a time saver for me
~A bountiful garden that feeds me body and soul
~A wonderful conference finished for yet another year!

I am so grateful and so blessed.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

One Day Trip to the Beach

Wow what a trip!  It started by me casually mentioning to a friend that I had thought about just taking the boys to the beach for a day, but was trying to decide if it would work.  Drive the 5 1/2 hours to the beach, to stay for just a few hours and turn around and drive home.  But I really needed to be on the coast, even if it was only a few hours, just to see and smell and feel the ocean, that deep blue, with a gentle breeze, play in the sand, jump waves, forget about all the conference details.  For just a day!

Well she thought it was a wonderful idea, we actually stayed overnight just one night.  So it was a lot of driving, but we had so much fun.  I did not get online, did not bring my computer, and only used my phone to call Jackson and say good night!  It was too short, I didn't want to leave, and when I saw dishes lined up down the counter, I wanted to go back.  :-)  I did get some great pictures!  Here are just a few.

Monday, June 20, 2011

They Are Following Me

It's not really paranoia if they are really following me...right?!  Well I was at the pet store today, and it felt like this mother and child were following me.  I was in such a rush to get in and get out, get home, back to my little bubble.  I parked right beside their car, not on purpose...really...I had no idea.  But I smiled as I got out of my car and immediately this mom started talking to the boy, about 3 maybe.  "Be good in here, don't touch anything, if you start whining we are leaving, we can't stay here long, don't touch anything."  YES she was repeating herself and she didn't seem to shut up.  So maybe she was just preparing the child for the pet store.  Maybe there have been bad experiences here before, heck I don't know.  I was just thinking let me get in and get what I need so I don't have to listen to this anymore. 

I head for the crickets.  We have two tarantulas that need crickets.  Anyway there was that mother and child, looking at the fish.  And still she was warning this boy "I said don't tough anything, look at the fish, I said look at the fish, here (drags him by the arm), remember we can't stay long, you have to behave, be good or we have to leave, no whining....."  Was it ever going to stop.  I wonder what the boy is hearing in his own head, is he hearing the Charlie Brown's Teacher's voice. Wah Wah, Wah Wah Wah Wah.  Does he hear this all the time everywhere they go until he drowns her out with something nice in his head, maybe a nice tune playing.  So I headed off to get dog food. And to find a decent dog brush.  We have a husky that is shedding bunnies around the house.  And when I turn the aisle to look at brushes, there they are again.  "Don't touch the cats they will bite you, don't touch anything, be good, we can only stay a minute, behave and don't touch the cats or we have to leave now..." 

It was just not ending, and I was wondering why the Universe had put them in my path CONTINUOUSLY at this store.  I mean the store is large, it isn't a small pet store.  So I head to the register, there is the mother and child, he was trying to see the dogs being groomed, on his tip toes, through the window.  And mom was still droning on, I was even starting to tune her out, LOL. 

I need to start making a point to write about the wonderful parents I see every day.  They are out there, I SEE THEM!  So that is my goal, to make a point to notice the great parents!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Heart Garland

I wanted to show a cute, easy, little project I made a week or so ago.  To see the pattern CLICK HERE.  I will say that I did not follow the pattern exactly.  I used a bunch of different sock yarns I had around, and I also used a #2 crochet hook.  In between the hearts I only crocheted, I think, 20 chains or so.  The spacing on the site just looked so far apart.  When I finished I took a damp cloth and ironed them using a medium heat, just to flatten them out a bit. 

But this turned out really cute, and I added it to a birthday gift as a neat wrapping, something you could hang up around the house or on your solstice tree.  Maybe I will do these and wrap them around some lights for next year's winter solstice lights.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Wonderful Trip Around the Sun

It's my birthday, I am 45 today!  And loving each and every day!  I helped celebrate a wonderful friend's birthday last week, and a woman asked her how many trips around the sun this made.  Oh that phrase, I love it.  It is just such a wonderful way to think about my birthday...Trips Around the SUN!  It just feels so connected to the earth, the universe and everything!  So humbling as well, my birthday in the scheme of things.  I had other things I wanted to write about today, but this took over.  I have had some amazing trips around the sun!  Another friend sent me the Jimmy Buffett video today!  LOVE IT!  Love Jimmy Buffett.  One of only a few artists that my boys and I enjoy listening to together.  Actually I guess we have more than a few singers that cross the generational lines, LOL. 

So for anyone sharing my birthday today, have another wonderful TRIP AROUND THE SUN!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Breaking Down Barriers through online GAMING

Yes you read it right! Gaming!  And my two sons are right in there gaming with the rest.  It is their passion.  They love playing games, modifying games, developing gaming plots, creating 3-D graphics, game design etc.  And we have never limited their access to gaming or their screen time, contrary to more popular parenting philosophies. 

Here is a wonderful article about gaming, the Internet and how it brings people together.  One quote I think embodies the sentiment is:

“I believe that the Internet and gaming, especially those with social media components, can bring people together,” Esra’a Al Shafei, Director of the Bahrain-based MidEast Youth, an international student media group that promotes dialogue and understanding, told The Media Line. “I grew up in a relatively closed society, but there are no boundaries on the Internet like there are in real life, making it much easier to cross cultural and political boundaries and to create meaningful connections.”

Meaningful connections....Say it again MEANINGFUL CONNECTIONS.

To read the complete article just CLICK HERE


OK so not time yet, but I am working on Christmas and solstice gifts now.  I am not one for procrastination.  I like to be done ahead of time, no rushing at the last minute.  I enjoy thinking about the person and picking out things I think they will enjoy, or making things that fit their personality.  I love knitting socks, and matching up colors with people.  :-)  This is what I have been working on this month (well last month really...May).  I finished up two pair of socks that had been in the works but I didn't have enough yarn on hand, and even had enough time left to knit another two pair!!  Whoo hooo!!  I can see the list getting smaller!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Signs of Spring

Well actually maybe it should say "signs of summer" as that is how hot it has been here the last few days.  What a crazy spring we have had.  Hot one day then cold the next, and weeks of rain and more rain.  We have had four limbs blown down in storms this spring, that is four more than all the years we have lived here up to this point.  So we spent the weekend cutting up wood and chipping up branches.  Will be nice this winter, when the weather is chilly. 

But the last couple of weeks have brought the blossoming of so many flowers here, and I love flowers.  I need to take more pictures of the flowers here.  But the azaleas have bloomed (not my favorite flower), and the magnolia is blooming now.  LOVE the smell of the magnolia blossom! 

But here are a couple of pictures of our hydrangea, the one right outside our front door.  The hydrangea stands for friendship, devotion and understanding.  What a lovely thought! 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I took a picture of Jackson this morning.  Long story short, a reconnected with a friend from high school and wanted to e mail her pics of the family.  I didn't have a great picture of Jackson.  I have one of him and the boys but all are dressed for snow boarding and you can't even see their faces.  I have one from the beach but he is surfing (or trying anyway) so he isn't looking at the camera, and really all you can see is the ever thinning spot on the top of his head, not his face. 

So this morning I took a nice picture of Jackson and thought I would share it.  You can also see the new color on our dining room walls.  That was a process, all 4 of us had a different idea of the color we wanted in the dining room, so after many samples we all agreed on this shade of yellow, and it is beautiful, especially with the early morning sun beaming in. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mornings and Scattered Thoughts

Wow! It's been over a month since I have posted here.  I love blogging but lately there has been so much going on that I have been very much caught up in the moment.  I also LOVE getting caught up like that, but sometimes it feels like a tornado, catching me in its swirling and twirling.  I find times when I need to slow down and hunker down within. 

I am feeling a little sad today, just kind of blah (is that a feeling..?).  And I am sitting here thinking of the things I enjoy.  These quiet mornings, two boys still sleeping soundly.  I have pictures of what mornings generally look like here at the house.  And that is what I reflect on, when days seem sad, the joy of the day, the blessings of our mini-farm, the centered-ness I find in family and friends.  I miss my brothers, that live so far away, I don't get to see them often enough.  I miss the ocean that calls me daily, I really need to take a vacation, inhale that salt air, that cleanses every pore of my being, refreshes, awakens, rejuvenates me. 

But here are the mornings, here is what, in the absence of a vacation, invigorates me on a daily basis:

Friday, March 25, 2011

"Everything is going to be OK"

Do you have an "everything is going to be OK" person in your life.  I think we all do at one point or another.  That person that you can turn to, that will just tell you "everything is going to be OK".  Even if they don't know the situation, they just know that everything will work out like it is supposed to, and in the end "everything will be OK".  My mom was that person in my life.  No matter what, or where I was, I could just turn to her and she would rub my back or run her finger through my hair and tell me everything was going to be OK.  From peers teasing me in school, to life all seemed so important, and in some cases I didn't know what to do, in others I did know what to do and was just nervous.  But my mom knew how to tell me it would be OK and I would believe it.

I am that person for our family, for Jackson and the boys.  I am the comforter, the person they turn to, that will help if needed and always tell them it will all work out, it will be OK.  But for the longest time after my mother crossed over, I didn't have that person in my life.  Jackson is just not the "touchy-feely" type, he can say the words but not convincingly, and I know he feels uncomfortable saying it, so I don't ask.  But I have other people to turn to.

I have a few close friends, all different, and each relationship different.  But one person in my life is my "everything is going to be OK" person.  I don't even think she knows that she is *this* for me.  But when I go to her with something I need to talk about, she will always makes me feel like "everything is going to be OK".  I am a very positive person, and I know (from my mother) that everything will work out exactly as it is supposed to be.  But sometimes it is just nice to feel it from the outside as well as the inside.  The way this friend touches my hair, bring me comfort (maybe because that is how my mother used to comfort me).  She doesn't even know she is doing it.  But if she walks by me and just touches my hair it brings back so many wonderful feelings, just a real feeling of comfort in the moment.  She is my "everything is going to be OK" person.  And I am so grateful she is in my life!  The Universe will provide!

I hope you all have one of those people in your life, to tell you that "everything will be OK."

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring Equinox

What a lovely day this is shaping up to be.  There is still a chill in the air but I can hear the roosters crowing and the birds chirping.  In the silence that is a Sunday morning in the South, I can hear the water rushing over the waterfall, and smell that crisp air.  Today we celebrate Ostara, the beginning of spring, the rejuvenation of the earth as it comes back to life after the dormancy of winter. 

We will color eggs and hunt eggs, spend a few moments in our family circle and meditate, to take this special time to meaningfully reconnect with each other and Mother Earth.  We will write down our hopes and dreams for the season and plant them in our garden, so they may grow and flourish with the bounty that is our garden, that which will provide nourishment for our bodies and food for our souls.  What a wonderful day, what a joyful day. 

And after such a magnificent full moon last night.  We had our full moon circle, and then lounged in the hot tub soaking sore muscles, that worked hard during the day, watching and filling up on that bright, powerful moon. 

The beauty of each moment. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

More Meditation

The Chopra Center offers different 21 day meditations.  And this one seemed really interesting.  It is the 2011 winter 21 day meditation, and I am just starting today.  So I wanted to share this link with you.  This is a quote from the page: "The 21-day Meditation Challenge starts with small steps and gently progresses to longer meditations, then eases back down. We will explore many different types of meditation along the way. The optimum length and frequency for a meditation practice is 30 minutes, twice each day, but we’ll begin with a few minutes at first and work our way up to more extended meditations."

I really enjoyed today's meditation.  It was back to basics, being aware and present in the moment, so important.  And it lasted only a minute or two.  And then setting your intention.  I think this is always important, to actually set my intention, but in a busy life, sometimes it is the last thing I do, when it should be the first.  Maybe I will try starting each day with that, just setting my intention.  I mean how can the universe provide if I, myself, don't even know what it is I am looking for, in the most basic sense. 

So join me if you like, on this 21 day meditation journey. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

21 Day Chakra Cleanse ~ Day 9

So today I am back to morning meditation.  It just fits so well into my day.  The boys and I are "slow" to start in the mornings, especially in winter.  It is colder in the house, we snuggle by the fire, usually I am up alone for an hour or so, have breakfast, just wake up slowly.  So this is a good time for me to take time to meditate. 

This morning we were focusing on the Sacral Chakra, with special attention paid to the emotional/mental aspects of the chakra:

The second chakra is about friendliness, creativity, sexuality, emotions and intuition on the gut level. It's influenced by how emotions were expressed or repressed during childhood. The sexual center for women.
Nothing exciting with this mornings meditation, which is just how I like it.  Nice relaxing, calm and peaceful.  Focusing on my second chakra.  I am learning more and more to respond to my intuition.  A little difficult as I was always told as a child what to do, when, and not to talk back, just do as I was told.  So I was never encouraged to honor that intuition.  But I have learned over the years that my gut response is a good one, and not to ignore intuition.  But I have made tremendous strides with this, and am encouraging my children to think things through, listen to that intuition talking to them.  It's all good. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

21 Day Chakra Cleanse~Day 8

OK so we are now going back through the chakras focusing on the mental/emotional aspects of the chakra.  If you want to join in and be able to comment with the group please feel free, you just need to join Heal Thyself

The meditation went well, my focus kept coming back to my family, I have always been a "family" person, family means so much to me, my immediate family, my children, husband, brothers, as well as more extended family and family that I have chosen.  Family isn't just traditional, I believe that we choose our family, those that nurture our spirits, add to our sense of being, joy, community.  And I have so many "chosen" family members.  

So that is what I focused on, my feeling of security, the sense of community, groundedness, well being.  Such a joy to think about, really brings me back to my center, makes everything else slip away.  What a lovely, grounding meditation today. 

"The Base or Root Chakra located at the very bottom of the spine, the Root Chakra governs issues around physical self-preservation. These issues include survival, security and safety."
Taken from this wonderful site.

Side Tracked by Rudeness

I did my chakra cleanse yesterday, focus on the crown chakra, color violet.  But was continually distracted by thoughts that kept creeping in my brain.  I have thought about this for a couple of days now and need to get it out there and release it.

Why is it OK for people to tell you what they think you are doing wrong, what you need to change and in a rude way on top of it all, when not even asked.

I have pretty much cut myself off of the national unschooling lists.  Really I don't enjoy that kind of dialogue.  I prefer more intimate groups, living my life, being in a community of like minds, sharing our ideas, passions, stories, watching our children grow and mature.  That is my setting, where I feel most comfortable.  I am on a statewide unschooling list, and know many of the unschoolers on the list, IRL.  I am on a couple of state wide homeschooling lists as well.  Always enjoy meeting new people.  And I tend to be one to meet you on an equal playing field, I feel that we all do things differently where homeschooling is concerned, but we have so much in common as well.  Kind of "to each his own", sort of thinking.

A couple of days ago, I was specifically asked on one of the more general homeschooling lists, what we did for unschooling.  Not an uncommon question at all, I am used to that and answer by sharing what the boys and I are "into" these days.  Well another mom, not the one asking the question, chimed in with a LONG e mail. She was replying to my e mail so mine showed up underneath her response.  This woman said how she has a schedule and courses for her daughter because she did not want to limit her daughters options later in life with her parental choices now, or non choices.  Yes she used that word (non choices).  Of course implying that our unschooling is completely thoughtless.  She went on to say that her daughter wants to go to college and yes SHE knows unschoolers go to college, but her daughter wants to go to a prestigious college.  Again implying that unschoolers or more to the point, my boys, will never go to any sort of "real" college.  Her e mail went on and on, and no she did not use my name.  And I don't even know her other than this post.  But, since I was the only unschooler asked and the only unschooler to respond and she was replying to my e mail, it was obvious who she was responding to. 

I just didn't even have the energy to respond to her.  I wanted to crawl back into my bubbly of joy.  I didn't tell her that my boys haven't even mentioned college, but if they ever do, I have the confidence that they will be able to achieve whatever it is they set their minds to.  I didn't go on to tell her that our choice to unschool was very thoughtFULL.  I didn't go on to poke holes in her theory, or explain my beliefs about unschooling.  What would be the point. 

But why did she even feel the need to respond that way at all.  I mean I didn't.  I didn't say anything about the more school at home crowd, as I know it is a homeschool list and a lot of those on it are more school at home.  I just explained what we do in our home.  Why don't people feel that being a great example of what they are doing and how they are living is the best way to "tell" someone the benefits of that philosophy.  Why do some feel that they need to try to tear holes in what you are doing, point out why they feel it is wrong for anyone and everyone, and will lead most assuredly to Hell, if I even believed in Hell in the first place. 

Does this mom believe that by answering one person's question, everyone on that list will all of a sudden start unschooling, come on we live in the south.  LOL. 

I will continue to share our unschooling lives, will continue to ignore those that are rude, and thoughtless.  I will simply be the example of how we live, and let our joy stand for itself.  Let people continue to ask questions, and answer in the only way I have the energy to sharing our unschooling lives, by letting people look for themselves at works for us. 

OK maybe now I can get back on track with my chakra meditation, let it go and let it be. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

21 Day Chakra Cleanse~Day 6

Today was a fairly busy day but always time to meditate.  It energizes me, relaxes me, centers me and is just such a positive part of my day that even a few minute meditation is important.  So today is day 6 of the Chakra cleanse, the third eye:

"The Third Eye Chakra, located just above the centre point between the eyebrows. It spins extremely fast, and is associated with the colour Indigo. It is the centre of visual, psychic and intuitive perception, and its’ attributes are clairvoyance, memory, dreams and vision. So we are now in the realms of the intangible."

Taken from this web site.

This was a very easy meditation, I find the darker colors easier to focus on and the third eye just seems like a natural focus of attention.  Giving thanks to my pituitary gland, giving thanks to insight, instincts, hunches, dreams etc.  Feeling the indigo color swirling around me, around the room, enveloping all that I love.  Just a wonderful part of the day.  Some days I feel like I could sit and meditation for hours. 

21 Day Chakra Cleanse Day 5

I actually did my daily meditation late last night, well late for me around 9:00.  So am posting about it this morning.  Our focus was the fifth chakra, the throat area.

BLUE relates to the THROAT chakra which is in the throat of the human body.

The related organs to the throat chakra are the throat and lungs.

The endocrine gland is the thyroid gland.
Taken from this web site.

At this point the meditations are fairly easy, I proceed with my normal meditation and give a few minutes of special attention to the specific area. So for yesterday I focused on the color blue, and sending healing energy to my throat area, recognizing all that it does for me. Seeing the circling blue color around my through and then through my body and out into the universe. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

21 Day Chakra Cleanse~Day 4

Today is the heart chakra.  I wasn't sure I was going to make it today, long night last night makes for a sleepy Saturday.  But I did, it was about 5:00 in the evening but I made it.  Took a few minutes after we cut some more firewood, to sit.  Just sit and relax, close my eyes and picture the heart, my heart.  For anyone not familiar with the heart chakra here is a little info:

"Located near the center of the breastbone or sternum, this chakra represents higher consciousness and love. The Heart chakra is associated with the heart, thymus gland, lower lung and circulatory system.

The heart chakra acts as the balance point for all the chakras. It governs our relationships and how we interact with other people. A balanced heart chakra is expressed in acceptance of self and others, personal values and ethics, following one's unique direction in life.

The color associated with the heart chakra is Green. Green symbolizes harmony, creativity, health, abundance and nature. It is the combining of yellow (soul) and blue (spirit). Green, nature's color, offers new energy and revitalizes tired nerves."

Taken from the Emily Gems site.

Took the time to thank my heart for carrying my body, providing the rhythm of my life.  I could easily visualize the green light enveloping my heart and my heart chakra, strengthening me.

A short meditation today. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

21 Day Chakra Cleanse: Day 3

Oh plenty of sleep last night, the puppies are back on track, and so am I.

Today we are focusing on the third chakra, the solar plexus chakra. Sometimes I have trouble following a challenge, either it takes too much time and I just can't fit it into EVERY day, or it is too complex, requiring too much preparation.  But this challenge is proving to be really easy.  It fits into my morning meditation nicely, and the good thing about meditation is all you have to do is "sit".  I love that phrase "Don't just do something....sit there."  So opposite of how we, as a society, are programmed.  Refreshing.

So I did more of a formal relaxation meditation today, focusing on my breathing for a few minutes, that giving each part of my body attention, breathing through any tension, focusing on relaxing...releasing tension with each breath.  The I began focusing on the solar plexus chakra.  Again for those that are unfamiliar:

"Located midway between the rib cage and the navel, this is the sense of identity. The Solar plexus chakra is associated with the pancreas, liver, gall bladder, spleen, digestive system and nervous system.

The color associated with the solar plexus chakra is Yellow. Yellow is the symbol of the mind, intellect, high intelligence and wisdom. It is a positive magnetic vibration that acts as an equalizer for irritable conditions of the nervous system. The solar plexus is the organizing brain of the nervous system and as such, is an important power center that should be kept in a perfect equilibrium.

All the yellow stones - topaz, citrine, yellow zircon, amber - are used with the solar plexus chakra."
Taken from this Solar Plexus Chakra page
So I focused on the color yellow, and if that color started to slip from my mind, I simply opened my eyes and looked at the fire in the stove, a nice yellow, warm fire.  There is more to that meditation if you want to join in just join Heal Thyself.
Once I finished my solar plexus chakra cleaning, I then went back through all the parts of my body, slowly focusing attention to each part, and ended by picturing myself standing at the beach grounded to the earth.
Very nice and relaxing today.  I love my morning meditations.