Thursday, March 30, 2017

Common Ground

This T shirt has become one of my favorite shirts these days.  First off my husband bought it for me when we visited Maine a couple of years ago and attended the fair.  I remember this fair (much much smaller) when I was a child and loved it then.  I wanted to bring my boys to see the fair.  So different from what you would expect at a Maine fair.  I just loved it, I want to go every year, although that isn't really possible with all of the other trips we want to make, but you get the picture.  It is wonderful to be around so many like minded people.  Love the whole environment.

But it is also my favorite shirt for other reasons.  It serves as a reminder to me that we all do share common ground.  Not only the ground we walk on, but the community in which we live and the world around us. When we take the time to talk to each other, we will find that we have more in common that we thought, and finding that common ground gives us a place to start to build a relationship.  I have always found the idea of seeking out the common ground to be true, in my family, in my community and with complete strangers. You all know what an introvert I am, so talking to strangers is difficult, but when you can find that common ground, it makes conversations that much easier.

I think we all need to remember common ground, as we go about our day.  In difficult situations as well as the easy ones. Relate to people, build a relationship.  Even if it is a relationship that will only last the five minutes we are together, make it real, make that connection, find that common ground.

Have a great day all!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Getting Back to Meditation

I am getting back to my meditation practice. Over the years I have gone months on and off with meditation. It seems like when I am feeling busy in my life, meditation is the first thing I cut out.  Which, ironically is the last thing I should cut out.  It is a peaceful time of emptying my mind and just being in the moment in my space. The same thing used to happen with any form of exercise, which is meditative for me as well.  But as soon as I feel busy, exercise used to be the first thing I would eliminate.  I made the promise to myself about exercise and have kept that promise for over three years now.  So I am ready to make the same promise to myself about meditation.  I mean when I think of all the excuses, there really is NO excuse I can think of to not take even five minutes for myself in meditation.  So that is my promise, five minutes, at least.

I have been back meditating now for three days, and even five minutes is hard.  And I remember this feeling before, that "newbie" feeling, when all of a sudden, when you are still, every thought you have ever had seems to find its way to the surface and demand your attention.  I bring myself back to my breath and let the thought float away like a leaf on a stream.  Not sure where I picked up that visualization but it helps, to visualize your thought as a leaf that floats down from a tree to the surface of a stream and is carried away.  It helps to clear my mind, making it easier to come back to my breath.  But man, right now there are just a lot of leaves in there. I know it will get better, and it will be easier to find that empty space.

I have always enjoyed meditation.  ESPECIALLY when life is busy, to clear it all away and just breath, even for a few minutes.

If you have never meditated before it is pretty simple.  Here is a great link with easy steps to start.

I hope you enjoy your meditation practice and find it useful!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Sitting Bear Mountain Hike

This was actually a pretty easy hike, we hiked from Gingercake Acres up to Sitting Bear Mountain.  Great views all around.  Couple of great overnight camp sites that I will remember for warmer weather.  This is a hike Jackson wanted to do as he wanted to hike all the mountains in the area.  We had already done Shortoff Mtn, and Table Rock, Hawksbill and I can't remember if there are any more right in this area, but this was the last of them for Jackson.  Great couple of hours on Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Knitted Hood Pattern

This is one I made for my son, Phillip, for Christmas this past year.  And yes, I am just now getting around to getting the pattern out of my journal and up on my blog.

 He really likes this and has requested a second hood, so I will be making another soon (well maybe by next winter).

Size 7 circular needles (for most people this will end up being a size 9 as I knit loose)
Stitch markers
Tape measure
2 skeins of Madelinetosh  Tosh Vintage the color I used is Oscuro (300 yards is what I used in total in case you go with a different yarn)

Gauge: 9 st = 2 inches, 12 rows = 2 inches (although the row gauge really isn't important)

K = Knit
P = Purl
K2tog = Knit two together
SSK = Slip Slip Knit
st = stitches

Cast on 100 stitches, place marker and begin knitting in the round.
Row 1: K1, P1 around
Row 2: K
Repeat rows 1 and 2 for 1 3/4 inches ending with row 2

Knit every round now for a total of 4 inches from beginning of work.

Now we stop knitting in the round and work back and forth.

Row 1: P
Row 2: K2tog, knit to the last 2 st, SSK the last 2 st (total decrease 2 st)
Repeat rows 1 and 2 until you have 86 st on your needle, ending with row 2.
Row 3: P
Row 4: K
Repeat rows 3 and 4 until you have a total of 16 inches, including the beginning ribbing.
Cut yarn leaving about a 3 foot tail.  Divide stitches 43 stitches on each end of the circular needle.  Kitchener stitch the top closed using the two ends of your circular needle (43 st each end).  I hope that makes sense.

Now you will see the basic form, the ribbing you started with is the neck.  The face opening is a basic shape that rolls in right now.

Pick up 96 st evenly spaced around the face opening.  Start under the chin at the bottom of the opening. Place marker and begin knitting in the round.
Row 1: K1, P1 repeat around
Row 2: K
Repeat rows 1 and 2 for 1 3/4 inches.  End with row 2. Bind off loosely, work in ends.