Sunday, November 8, 2015

that Ren Fair weekend

This was the annual Ren Fair weekend. Since I'm not as active in the SCA as I used to be, I don't feel compelled to go, generally. And then there are the memories, and it isn't like that anymore. Except there are people there that I like to say hi to. I also like to see the wares. The artisans bring their wares from all over, and then they are all over the park. Beautiful stuff. Kitchy stuff. Kettle corn (at least two vendors this year - and no lines?!?) The henna booth. Wish I had time for one. So pretty.

We took a quick tour around the park. They've made some improvements! More restrooms at various locations around the park. Looked like some of the picnic tables had been redone as well. The dragon wasn't in the pond this year though - seemed to be in "dry dock" - installed beside the pond.There seemed to be more food vendors this year, but the fudge people were no-where in sight. Sigh. Not that I needed fudge anyway, but memories.

We got some Christmas shopping done, and Ron got his birthday present. Only a month late, but stuff, you guys, stuff has been going on. Stuff. Anyway, he got to pick it out himself, which makes him happy.

There were stuffed dragons, too. We have gotten some each year we've found them there. Raine and Ron picked one out each. There were only about ten to choose from by the time we got there. None of them were calling my name on this trip. I got some Dragon Lady art instead. Cute!

So, for a quick trip around the park, we had a good couple of hours in some nice fall weather. Not a bad way to spend some time on a Sunday.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

inspirations and motivations

This is a post about me. It may LOOK like a post about my brother, Carl, but really, it's about me. Carl had weight loss surgery about a year and a half ago. He took that opportunity for what it was and really has changed a lot of things about his life in the past 18 or so months. Yes, he lost a lot of weight, but that isn't all he's done. Even weight loss surgery isn't magic, it's a handle on a process, and by grabbing that handle, and going through that process he has found some empowerment that I don't think he had before. And, while I find his weight loss to be inspirational, I find the empowerment that he found to be even more so.

First of all, Carl went into the surgery with his eyes open, and his research done. He read up on what he could, and talked to anyone he know who had the surgery. He talked to his doctor - and listened to him as well. The surgery came at a physical cost. Carl go a flu early on, and couldn't eat. He could barely keep hydrated. He lost weight, but he also lost strength. Frankly I worried about him during this time. But, he got through it.

A couple months later, he got involved in a wellness program through his work, and went to some meetings, and they provided some fitness trackers and suggested some goals. That seemed to be the opportunity he needed at the time he needed it. Then fitness became a priority. Health, not just weight loss. He was walking, and walking. Soon he got himself a bike, and I can't tell you how many people have mentioned seeing Carl riding around town on that bike. He doesn't go fast, but he goes. And goes. He mentioned to me something that he learned through this process. Exercising regularly is a selfish activity, he said. You have to be willing to put yourself, and your health first. Before your friends or family that might want to claim your time. He's right, you know. Plus I think many of us are so trained not to be our own priority, that that become quite the epiphany.
Carl when his bike was new

I'm still working on that. Being willing to put myself first enough to make walking my own priority. It's very easy for me to depend on Carl walking and going walking with me. He - by the way - is happy enough for willing company to come walk with me several times a week. I am aware that I need to internalize my priority of exercising so that I will manage it with or without him. I've gotten myself some help in the form of a young dog - not too big - that enjoys going walking with me. My pace isn't fast - like Carl on his bike - I'm just happy to be moving. My neighborhood route is about a mile, and has a pretty good uphill stretch, and I push my way up it.

I can see benefits, and feel them even more, but exercise is - in and of itself - never going to be a fun activity. That will never be my intrinsic payoff, sadly.  I do like to reap the benefits as I have seen and tasted the detriments that lack of it holds. I am still trying to follow Carl's lead and get to that "selfish" empowerment.

No, I don't think weight loss surgery is for me. That kind of weight loss is definitely changing habits, and practicing new behaviors, and I have made progress on that in the past couple of years. For me, I think it is about that journey, and I hope I can learn enough from the positive and negative results of others to finally learn those lessons for myself. I can say that I have definitely been inspired by Carl. Thanks, brother!

Carl, more recently.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

welcome back, on writing

I like words. I use them, and I hope that mostly I use them well. Intentionally. Meaning I use the words I intend to use. I have a good number at my disposal, and have been known to be liberal with them. Verbally, and in writing. So poetry comes at no surprise, right?

What better way to get back into the blogging effort that with a poem? This one owes inspiration to one of my co-workers and friends. He is a poet. It's what he does, and who he is. It is his passion. So when he told us a story of a family camping disaster, I expected him to follow up with, "...and here's the poem I wrote about it." He was too busy to go there, but the incident turned and turned in my brain. I thought it NEEDED to be a poem. The story started suggesting imagery and phrases which I eventually wrote down, then arranged and rearranged and edited and I may continue to do so, who knows...

At any rate, here is the poem as it stands now...

Camp Warfare

what a poet knows of warfare
isn’t limited to the struggle
of bringing wife and child

so many things start
with nature
inspirations while
looking up at the Milky Way

after dinner over a campfire  
millions of stars, across the sky
that plummet to earth as lead
with only flimsy tent walls to break their fall

dark stillness broken by
the wilds of exuberance and ammunition
not wolf calls or hoot owls in your
nylon ripstop fantasies

betrayed, she makes the
hunched run to the car
protecting your baby with her body
stars fall like fear

there is a wild dash of packing
no neat folding
no checking to see if those socks are dry
punch it into the trunk and sort it out later

his truck accelerates, then spins
throwing dirt and bullets
and profanity at the sky
are there screams?

Oh, God, Oh God,
Oh, God dammit!
bullets care no more than stars
who is below them

by Dina Honeycutt, please do not reprint without permission.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

go to the fair

This weekend was the fair. It was hot and dusty and we arrived on the last day. I walked through the quilts, and the N gauge railroad displays. I went through the Exhibit hall. What do you know? There were some familiar items!

This is live dragon vs. bone dragon by Raine
Yes, she won a blue ribbon. She was pretty thrilled with it! Her friend's mom challenged her son and Raine to each draw something to enter. She herself entered some photography and some vegetables from their garden. I was inspired to enter the bunny who's dress I have been working on off and on.

This bunny dress
I got a best of lot, and a $15 dollar prize. Not bad.

Every year, I seem to come back to the feelings of nostalgia for the fairs of my youth. Going to the melodramas that the high school drama classes would set up between the quonset huts FULL of various exhibits. Roaming through the travel trailers on display (one of my favorite things) and climbing aboard the tractors. All these home based crafts are just not practiced like they used to be, or if someone is competeing it isn't at the fair. Why not, though? Why?

I wish I knew what to do to promote that competition a little more, to help inspire crafters and artists to get involved again. Hey you guys, GO TO THE FAIR!!!

Friday, August 22, 2014

thoughts on a young life lost

It happens. If you are a teacher long enough, one of your students - or former students - dies. We got word today that one of our graduates from last year was killed in a car wreck on his way to start college. Those are all the details I have, and as devestating as that is in itself for his family, I hope the circumstances are not worse for them.

I've been a teacher for a good while, now. With experience, I've found that ALL my students hold the potential for a bright future. They go places, and they do things. Awesome things. It has taught me to value them more, even though that potential may not be showing through when I meet them in class. The young man we lost glowed with that potential, though. He wasn't popular, nor did he care to be. He was, however, confident, and he seemed to always have a smile on his face. He read. and he read. and he read. He was a student aide in the library, of all the perfect places. And he graduated.

I got to watch him cross the stage, and wave at his family, and start the rest of his journey through life, with all that shiny potential radiating through that smile. So now, I grieve. For this student who I taught, and talked with, and greeted on my way into the building. I'm sad for his family, and the loss of their child. Memories of his childhood, and hopes for the adult that was promised. I'm sad for this loss of potential. Because we need it.

Go in peace young one.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

road trip!

One of my favorite things is a road trip. We took one this past weekend. On Friday, we drove up to Los Alamos (I don't remember ever being there). On Saturday, we took the scenic drive, and saw some beautiful scenery.

trees, stumps, greenery and VIEW!
battleship rock
We drove, and toured and even got rained on a bit. I was hoping to spot some wildlife, but was kind of disappointed. Even though there were watch for elk signs everywhere, we spotted none. Had to make do with some prairie dogs.

on the look-out
We had a lovely time in the free range trees, and the cooler temperatures, even if it was for only a short time.

more view... oh and I can't leave out Raine, can I?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Busy Summer not Sewing

Summer is moving right along and me with it. I got a few I don't want to do anything days in, but have had a hard time feeling like I'm accomplishing anything for the past week or so. Well, I've been accomplishing helping out my brother, who had surgery, and is recovering very nicely, thank you. He still can't drive again yet (but soon) and needs rides places, and - although he doesn't really need it - checking in on. Well, really he needs a little company, so I check in.

Still, there is sewing I would like to get into the works the next week or so, and then blog about it when I do!  I've got some sewing for me, of course, to get ready for school. To do some of it, I really need and want to get through the serger craftsy class I bought.  I want to do more with my serger than just sew basic serged seams. I want to do those too, but MORE!  I have several knit items I want to put together, and need to do some adjusting of the settings to get them right. Not difficult really, just time. I also have some shirts to make for me, my brother (Happy Birthday presents, so I better get on the ball) and a couple things to finish up for Raine. There are some crafting projects on the calendar for SCA, and I need to get some more in the upcoming months as well. The ones so far were fun! I also really, really want to try some beadwork. Bead weaving/sewing. I'm pretty excited about it.

Here's to getting some sewing done!