Wednesday, December 22, 2010

2011 Goals

Last week Alycia from the The Curious Pug post 30 Goals before her 30th Birthday which made me jump start my thinking on the goals I would have for 2011.. having past 30 already... despite the challenges imposed on having to wait on a liver for my son and life kind of being put on hold because you wait for that phone call.. its still important to have goals me thinks... and I think these goals will keep everything in perspective for me.. motivation I don't lack.. its managing it that could be challenging as I don't know when we are heading to Pittsburgh for the surgery... anyway.. I still want to set some goals.. some big .. some little.. some in-between that...some really important.. some just because


1. find work as a therapist
recently (3 months ago) graduating with an MS in Mental Health.. I really want to work...

2. blog more
just because I like to write.... and I actually have a few things to say.. haha

3. volunteer my time to an organization
 because it feels good to help others

4. More awareness work for Urea Cycle Disorder
create more soaps representing the foundation... hand out fliers.. post stuff... etc

5. start reading again... for fun...
haven't read a book for fun in 3 years... text books can burn you out a bit

6. Do more business related things...
this may require a bit more organization on my part...but not sure how fond I am of a schedule
 
7. move my studio from home to the Flying Pig Art Center
in hopes of being able to get some wood burning done..home seems too distracting

8. learn some basic spanish
just to learn another language... its good for the career

9. learn to be more patient
stop the road rage

10. go camping
make a day/weekend of it..aware this may not happen in 2011 because of Lennon's needs

11.increase social events for business and pleasure 
again a bit challenging but will have to work that out...

12. start editing my second book
 
13. revamp my first book
like umm edit... elaborate... add on... who knows..

14. redo the garden
and hope for a better season.. like more rain

15. figure out what to do with my hair!
its a damn mess... I leave it long.. it gets curly cues on the bottom...flat on top looking awful.. it would have totally worked in the 60's and 70's though

16. get a tattoo of the trooper
umm I am a big Iron Maiden fan ^_^ this would be #7 lol

17. Get a head start on next years hats...and other wintery items... 
my crochet work has done really well and I want to do MORE

18. Become a foster parent
its been a life long goal...maybe even adopt a few..

18. Increase Business
need to find a way that works for me though I am pretty happy with 2010
2011 will be better.. YES! I belief it will!


Monday, December 13, 2010

Mondel Krantz

"Mondel Krantz" Or German Almond Cake Recipe
(As made by Frau Schmidt)

1 pint sweet milk
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 yeast cake, or 1 cup yeast
1/3 cup butter
2 tablespoons rock candy
1 orange
2 tablespoons chopped almonds
Flour enough

Set to rise early in the morning. To the scalded milk, when lukewarm, add the yeast and flour enough to make a batter, cover, set to rise until light, near the range, which will take several hours.

Then add the sugar, butter and eggs beaten to a cream, grated rind and juice of orange, a couple tablespoons finely chopped almonds, and add enough flour to make a soft dough, as stiff as can be stirred with a spoon; set to rise again, and when light, divide the dough in two portions, from which you form two wreaths.

Roll half the dough in three long strips on the floured bake-board with the hands, then braid them together. Place a large coffee cup or bowl inverted on the centre of a large, round or oval, well-greased pan, lay the wreath around the bowl. The bowl in the centre of the pan prevents the dough from running together and forming a cake.

Brush the top of the wreath with a little milk, containing teaspoon of sugar; over the top of the wreath, stick blanched, well-dried almonds, and strew thickly with crushed rock candy or very coarse sugar.

Let rise until light, then bake. This makes two quite large wreaths.

The Professor's wife, Frau Schmidt, told Mary when she gave her this recipe, this almond wreath was always served at the breakfast table on Christmas morning at the home of her parents in Germany, and was always baked by her mother, who gave her this German Christmas recipe, and it was found on the breakfast table of Frau Schmidt Christmas morning just as regularly.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Crescent or Kipferl Cookies

Depending prefer depends on what you'd call them... Half-Moon, Crescent or Vanilla Kipferl...  this are a delicious holiday cookie, simple to make and fun to eat...

Vanilla Kipferl
Ingredients
  • 2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 7/8 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups ground almonds

Directions

  1. * To Make Your Own Vanilla Sugar: Place 1 1/2 to 2 cups of sugar and place in pint jar. Put a clean vanilla bean in the jar, cover and shake well. Let stand for a few days, shaking the jar occasionally, before using the sugar. As you use the sugar, replace with fresh sugar.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the salt and the flour. Cut in the butter or margarine, and mix in with your hands.
  3. Add the confectioners' sugar, the egg, the vanilla sugar, and the ground almonds to the flour mixture. Place the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  4. Divide the dough into several parts. Make rolls that are approximately 1 inch thick. Cut the rolls into 1 inch pieces, and bend the pieces into the shape of a semicircle ( just like a croissant). Place the kipferl on a baking tray, and leave them in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) for 10 to 15 minutes. When done, remove kipferl carefully from the tray.
  6. While still warm, dip the kipferl in a mixture of confectioners' sugar and vanilla sugar.

Weihnachts Market in Frankfurt

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Lebkuchen

One of the best things I remember is Lebkuchen... its like... hmm Gingerbread... but not ... its vastly different in my opinion. We also have different types of cookies such as covered in chocolate.. oh yumm it seems to be more airy rather than a dense type of cookie...
Can usually only be found at Markets and Carnivals


 

 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups honey
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup candied mixed fruit
  • 1 tablespoon light sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Directions

  1. Spray bottom and sides of a 10 x15 inch glass pan with a non-stick spray. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (170 degrees C).
  2. In a 2 cup glass measuring cup, heat the honey and 1/3 cup sugar in a microwave for 1 minute. Pour this mixture into a medium mixing bowl.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add to the honey mixture. Stir well.
  4. Add and mix in by hand the candied fruit, oil, and spices.
  5. Add 1 1/2 to 2 cups more flour. Knead dough to mix (dough will be stiff). Spread into pan. Bake for 20 minutes until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Cut into squares. May be frosted with sugar glaze or eaten plain. Best if stored for 2 weeks. 

Here are some other links that could be useful:
Can be found at World Market!


Sunday, December 5, 2010

St. Nicholas

Lieber guter Weihnachtsmann,
sieh mich nicht so böse an.
Stecke deine Rute ein,
will auch immer artig sein.

In Germany, Nikolaus is usually celebrated on a small scale. Many children put a boot called Nikolaus-Stiefel (Nikolaus boot) outside the front door on the night of 5 December to 6 December. In many European Countries he is related to surviving legends of the saint, and particularly his reputation as a bringer of gifts.


St. Nicholas fills the boot with gifts and sweets, and at the same time checks up on the children to see if they were good, polite and helpful the last year. If they were not, they will have a tree branch (Rute) in their boots instead.

At times sometimes a person disguised Nikolaus would visits the children at school or in their homes and asks them if they have been good (sometimes ostensibly checking his golden book for their record), handing out presents on a per-behaviour basis. Growing up we would recite poems or play an instrument as a sign of appreciation, gratitude and yes we have been oh so good... what have you brought us?



For more on his history go toSt. Nicholas Center


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Der Tannenbaum (Christmas Tree)

It's custom that the tree is put up and decorated on Christmas Eve, but some may put it up during Advent season.  Decorations may include tinsel, glass balls or straw ornaments and sweets. A star or an angel tops the Tannenbaum, often accompanied with a nativity scene close to the tree.

There are some mixed history information all over the net... Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom has a version if you are interested in Pagan Holiday History...another source had this to say:

Some families perhaps collect the presents under the tree... but we didn't receive presents nor saw presents until Christmas Eve that I will explain in a later post. Some families still use real candles though we used fake ones growing up.

The first known Christmas tree was set up in 1419 in Freiburg by the town bakers, who decorated the tree with fruits, nuts, and baked goods, which the children were allowed to remove and eat on New Year's Day. The town guilds and associations first brought evergreens inside their guild houses and decorated them with apples and sweets. Candles were eventually added to the decorations. Already since the Middle Ages, ordinary Germans had been bringing yew, juniper, mistletoe, holly, evergreen boughs - any plant that maintained its green color through the lifeless and dreary winter months - into their homes.

The Tannenbaum is taken down on New Year's Day or on January 6th, Three King's Day, at which time the children can ransack the tree for the sweets and treats that decorated it. Still today I am ready to take that tree down once its all over.. ^_^ and yes by New Years its gone...

Friday, December 3, 2010

Gluehwein Recipe

As the days get colder.. and one walks around the market...getting into the christmas spirit... you will see a lot of people enjoy Gluehwein. It is a tasty mulled-wine and our signature drink at Christmas markets across Germany and it warms you from the inside out!

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon red wine
  • 8 (3 inch) cinnamon sticks
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 orange, sliced into rounds

Directions

  1. Pour the wine into a large pot and set over medium heat. Let it warm up until steam rises from the surface, but do not allow it to boil. Add the cinnamon sticks, cloves, lemon juice and sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Float the orange slices on the surface. Warm over medium heat for another 5 minutes, being careful not to let it come to a boil. Remove from the heat and let stand for 1 hour.
  2. Pour through a colander to remove to oranges and spices. Serve hot, or refrigerate and reheat gently just before serving in mugs.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

German Christmas Tradition

I've been in the U.S. since 1993 but every Christmas I find myself reminiscing over the holidays back home. The Christmas Market with Gluehwein und Lebkuchen... geschenke fuer alle... so I decided that the next we weeks I will share tidpits of German Christmas Tradition... starting with Advent..

Advent, Advent ...ein Lichtlein brennt
erst eins, dann zwei, dann drei, dann vier
dann steht das Christkind vor der Tür.

 It's one of those things that as children we new that the first advent meant St. Nicholas and Christmas would be coming. The German Christmas season officially begins with the first Sunday of Advent. It's the time for baking holiday cookies... and Stollen, the oldest known German Christmas treat. Stollen...its hard to explain..its not fruit cake.. its so much more.. while it does carry fruit bits.. it doesn't even compare... 

Then comes the  Advent wreath (Adventskranz) which has four candles, one of which is lit on each of the four Sundays preceding Christmas. The time is spend with the family reading Christmas stories, reciting music... I used to play the recorder and keyboard and would practice Christmas songs. We'd eat the cookies we had backed.. 

According to Vistawide.com (2010), "the Advent wreath has been attributed religious and elemental significance. The tradition of a ring of light existed among the Germanic tribes many centuries before the celebration of Advent. It is believed that fewer candles were lit with each progressive lighting to represent the shortening of the days until the solstice, at which time the Julfest celebrated the return of light."

We'd also have our "Advent calendar (Adventskalender) which is a German invention that was originally designed to involve children in the festivities leading up to Christmas. It's a calendars are usually made of cardboard and have 24 small windows or flaps, one of which is opened on each day leading up to Christmas" (Vistawide.com, 2010)

 One a side note... growing up in Germany.. we celebrated Christmas Eve - not Christmas Morning.. some thing that I still do for my children and for traditional purposes I suppose. In a way it works out.. my kids get to have Christmas with me Christmas Eve.. while having Christmas with their dad Christmas morning.. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Crochet Hats in the Buzzworthy Fashion & Beauty Section in the Woman's issue of the daily Progress

This morning I find myself.. no I find pictures of my hats on Page 13 on the Woman's Issue (Charlottesville Woman) of The Daily Progress.. it not only highlights the hats, but talks about the other things that I do including the soaps in which a portion is donated to the National Urea Cycle Foundation.. about the blog I maintain about Lennon...where to find my creations Utopia, the market when in season.. and soon at the Flying Pig Art Center right here in Scottsville.. professionally I am on a climb and a thrill.. I am in love making the hats for folks..inspired by the requests I receive.. even if I have never made a Hippo Hat or a Pig Hat before.. I will figure it out.. my children keep me motivated... I am grateful

You can find the article here:    Creative Headwear by Scottsville Woman

Monday, November 29, 2010

Day Twenty-Nine - Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.

I need to be more verbal about my needs and wants.. and not merely accept hidden rules just because that is what the other person feels, thinks or views. That's all I have to say on this.. otherwise this may turn into a REALLY long post.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day Twenty-Eight - What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?

If I were able to get pregnant - I'd carry it...but when Lennon was born I made the decision that after the birth of 4 boys ..a plethora of miscarriages that I would stop right then and there.. and I don't regret it.. I am ok with the decision of not having anymore children... but if I were...I'd keep it...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Day Twenty-Seven - What’s the best thing going for you right now?

Hmm not to sound conceited.. but me? LOL I am heading into a new business venture with some new awesome friends and business partners..over at the Flying Pig Art Center... the crochet hats... are rocking this town...and knowing where my passion is (or isn't)...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Day Twenty-Six - Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?

Yea..when I was younger (way younger before the social worker...before my kids) .. being in foster care had is drawback.. the rejection ... the bullying because you're parents didn't want you...didn't love you...or couldn't.. I'll never know the truth or the reality of it.. and that's ok... but it was devastating...going to school feeling like a reject... and then being taunted because I didn't have "real" parents... and yet they were my real parents.. despite the troubles..and I may not agree now with what happened and how things were... but it was the times.. the era... my childhood...and because of that I am who I am today... and for that I am thankful.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Day Twenty-Five - The reason you believe you’re still alive today.

The reason I am still alive today is because of one social worker who believed in me. One person who told me I was smart and I could accomplish anything I intended too. I am also alive today because of my beautiful children.. or should I say handsome (they are all boys)... my kids rock...they keep me grounded...connected...

I am alive - because I want to live... I refuse to give up...give in...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day Twenty-Four - Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs.

Breath - Three Days Grace
Cher - Strong Enough
All that Remains - Believe in Nothing
Carly Simon - You're so vein
Toby Keith - Talk about me

These are just a few that come to mind and I chose them because I feel irrelevant, less important, smothered to the point of the inability to breath. Any conversation I have turns to you - always. There is nothing I can talk about that you don't have an experience with - no point in my life where I can feel important in your eyes because you need to feel more important. You're so vein that you think every emotion, feeling and mood has anything and everything to do with you. Like I am not allowed to be impacted by anyone or anything else. Yet, when I explain anything... its wrong.. it doesn't make sense.. and no matter.. neither of us are changing.. you'll continue with this... and I... who knows...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day Twenty-Three - Something you wish you had done in your life.

This goes back to the regret thing - which I seriously try not to do... it also goes with the its not too late to fulfill your dream. It may have taken some time but I now I have the business I wanted and I have the degree that I wanted. This of course doesn't mean it ends here..I am building on those original dreams..moving mountains one pebble at a time...advocacy is in my future... I already do this but I am thinking on a bigger scale..

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day Twenty-Two - Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.

My youngest son has taught me to live with no regrets. Life is to short to live with what-if's and should haves or shouldn't haves. It is much easier to take those experiences - turn them into lesson's and move forward. Living in the past hasn't done me (or anyone else I know) any good. I've taken some of those experiences and written them in my book ... they have changed my outlook on life without changing more core. Experiences allow for growth - the continuous evolving of our inner-selves. If we don't grow - we stay stuck and are unable to move forward. At the same time - the experiences have taught me to think harder (and longer) about the next move (like a chess game).

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day Twenty-One (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?

 Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?

Go find that best friend and be there... no fight is worth not caring. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day Twenty - Your views on drugs and alcohol.

Having had a difficult history with drugs and alcohol .. its one of those things .. that well we all need to be aware of. We should take care of ourselves and our body .. but I still like to go out and have a few beers (or whatever the mood strikes me) now and again. I gave up shots - I am not in it for being blistering drunk where I can't remember the next morning what I did or didn't do. Hated those days... tho they were fun at the time.

As a mental health person I get the addiction aspect and we do need to know and have some keen self-awareness. It helps if we know our parents and their drinking habits. One of the things that I became aware off during my studies in mental health is that when children have alcoholic parents - these children don't want to be like their parents and go to the opposite extreme, and there children go back to the other (which is drinking). We should be living somewhere in the middle - knowing the damage drugs and alcohol can do - knowing that wine in some moderation can be health beneficial. It isn't all bad, seriously!

That's all I got to say about that..for now...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Day Nineteen- What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?

Wouldn't this just open up a can of worms? I think so. What do I think about religion.. hmm well I have one... some of us do .. and some of us don't. Religion is a broad aspect and we do or don't belief in something. Some kind of higher power and religious denominations have different names for that higher power. There is a beauty of being individuals - of the ability to choose what and who as well as how we belief in that higher power- whatever this may mean to you. There is a beauty in believing in the magic of nature - the continuous circle of life (and death) that surrounds us, but even in death beauty can be found.

In my core, I belief that Religion is a tree and that all denominations are mere branches of this seed that started this tree. One day we may be able to be as harmonious as a tree - living together - part as a unit - like the tree.

You asked about politics.. I think its sad that we don't know who to belief. That we have (and allow) the ad campaigns that can get so messy to make this other candidate look dirty. What happen to looking out for the people of this country? Seriously, I am not against helping others and other nations, but what about your own? I grew up in a socialized health care system and while I don't know if that would work here or not, I do think that something needs to change for the people who can't afford the crazy insane insurance rates. Or even the (legal) immigrants that live here, pay taxes here.

that's all I got for today

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day Eighteen - Your views on gay marriage.

Accept them already!

This is 2010 - an era in which we we thrive for acceptance, equality, less hate, less discrimination and so forth.

Not that difficult to accept - why fight it because in the end I belief it will happen... history repeats...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day Seventeen - A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.

This is a difficult one to answer because since finishing school in September I haven't picked up another book to ready. I had been reading text books for 3 years and as I am thinking about this now I guess I did open my mind to some possibilities but I can't say I changed my view on this.

Addiction - Disease Model or not?

The Disease Model deems that with this thought that it is a lifelong disease involving biologic and environmental sources. Further, it inclines that within this model - addiction is hereditary (genetically linked). However, it seems it requires an environmental type of trigger (trauma).

Perhaps there is some truth in this and the fact that some people don't become addicts (despite the genetic link and/or trauma) is that they are stronger people? They are the extreme opposite of their parents (Caretaker)?

Only part of me seems to accept this while the other part of me says.. umm no so maybe I haven't changed my view fully and am still sitting on the fence...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day Sixteen - Someone or something you definitely could live without.

A messy house I can live without a messy house. This isn't an easy feat with 6 people calling his home and its perhaps more clutter than mess - and then it isn't really clutter - its just that the house is too small for a 6 people and a business - I need a basement - or an added section or a studio or somewhere where I can keep all this stuff that is essential for my creating of things.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day Fifteen - Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.

Somethings: My Coffee - oh how I cant live without my coffee

                                         and

My friggen computer.. I tried.. I tried so hard.. I am addicted to this thing

Someone: Other than my kids in my life - I can't think of anyone else - I might feel a period of grief or loss when someone is removed from my life - but I can live without them - just one of those things about me..

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day Fourteen - A hero that has let you down. (letter)

I wrote about this in my book. A betrayal or several of them - betrayal from my parents, foster parents, others and mostly myself. It is something I have already done - though a letter to my dad is still in holding - it is still something I am processing. There are something in our life that are difficult to let go, even when we should because it holds us back, hinders us from growth and becoming more and more the person we should be. We are influenced early on by the people that surround us and as we move the the motions of loving and hating our parents its a battle. The battle of - you are my dad - I should love you and the battle of the rational mind that says, you don't have to love him or like him. I thank you dad for meeting my mom, creating me and not being willing to take the responsibility of raising me. I thank you for instilling fear into me - for allowing me to learn the lesson of hugging my child(ren), of loving them, for making me understand the kind of parent I want to do. By far  I am not perfect and made my mistakes but because of you (or partially because of you) I was given the brain to make decisions - how to correct my own mistakes as i was going through the motions of parenthood. As my youngest son is struggling with his health, there was a time I wanted you in his life but this question today reflected to me, why? Why do I want you in my life when you have given nothing but hurt to me? Well ok with the exception of having participated in giving me life? I am ok, I don't think of you often anymore or at least not as much as I used to. I am ok with that. While you have let me down in the past - I will no longer allow it to take control or be a ruling factor in my life and in the person that I am today or tomorrow or any other future date.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day Thirteen - A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days.

The answer should be in a form of a letter.. and perhaps would require more than one post - one in each decade? One for each day in which I thought I can't do it anymore.

I have gotten through days with the likes of Iron Maiden, Cher, Blue October, The Beatles, Motley Crue, Poison, Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace, Garth Brooks, Chris LeDoux, Herbert Groenemeyer, Nena, Hoobastank and Incubus and so many more..

Music - is a healing form of art. It pumps you up - it lets you cry. The lyrics speaking to our hearts because they describe exactly how we feel at one time or another. We listen to the music when we break up with one we shared a life with. We listen to music when we had a crappy day at work to cheer us up. We listen to music to make us belief again... dear musicians... thank you for what you do - you allow us to life in your music, experience our sorrows as you experience yours - your words pick us up when we are down and make a shitty day a better one...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Day Twelve - Something you never get compliments on.

Never?

This seems to me that this question would indicate that I place a lot of value on what other people think. While at the same time acknowledging that being recognized in some capacity  is an important human element as it somehow in our brain waves connects with our self-esteem.

I don't have an answer and this too seems odd, no? I don't know... perhaps I will think of something later?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day Eleven - Something people seem to compliment you the most on.

Could be a tie between strength and talent. I often hear that people don't know how I do it. Do what, you ask? Well, having a special needs child who is awaiting another (the third) liver transplant, raising other children, being in a relationship and run a business... that's what. And to me this isn't enough? I should be out there helping people, make their own lifes better and richer (and not with money).. I should be a foster parent to make another child's future better than their past... but ha I am no super-woman.. but my strength seems to be in the winning lead with "you are so talented" in close second. Well, I thank you for your compliment!!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day Ten - Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.

Again - there are a select few that I could have done without - but it is through my mistakes, their actions, and actions of my own that I have learned to grow - and what not to repeat in the future. Live with no regret (often easier said then done) but I am attempting it. Wishing not to know someone - well I might as well wish I wasn't born - but that doesn't reflect me or who I am. I am who I am because of the people early in my life - and I am who I am due to my own actions and thoughtful reflections.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day Nine - Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.

This is a bit of a difficult one as I have met some people who left impressions in my heart and I am alright not being in contact with them. Then there are the people who I reconnected with .. don't you just love facebook? Like really.. come on.. don't you want to reconnect with people who bullied you? Who took advantage of you? Who broke your heart? Who lifted you up? Who gave you that shoulder?

Honestly, I have no person that I recall that I didn't want to let go and that just drifted, well ok perhaps one..one person who I think about often that even shares my DNA. We talked briefly in 2001 and then lost touch. He's my brother.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Day Eight - Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.

It would be easy to blame others who may have participate of this kind of treatment - but that also means I was a willing participant. We are (often) our own worst enemy - when we should be our own best friend. Yes, there have been days and moments in life where I made my own life hell (or at least miserable enough to perhaps resemble a dark place) and I have treated myself pretty badly at times.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day Seven - Someone who has made your life worth living for.

Me! No but seriously.. the biggest cliche answer would be my kids - each having taught me different lessons - each of them having given me different headaches - each of them having given me happiness. Each of them being so different and in a quirky way the same.

My oldest (18) ten-feet tall and bullet proof, who often thinks he knows better than I do (or any other adult for that matter) who in the end has a good heart and a decent head on his shoulders who allows me to acknowledge that I did something right. He has taught me love and what it means to be a child.

My 2nd oldest (16) who I barely know but taught me early on the kind of strength I hold and that unconditional love means to look out what is best for him and to not be self-fish in the matter of the heart. The child whose intellect amazes me with ambition high enough to resemble me in some ways.

My third (12) who has taught me what it means to laugh and even be a little crazy sometimes. Who is comfortable in his own skin despite the fact that red-heads still get picked on. Who can joke one second and flare with anger the next (yes I am the mother of a Red-headed Aries ).

My fourth (7) who taught me what it means to live, what it means not to give up (EVER). It's not been an easy road - but a road I wouldn't change for the world.

Me! Yes I have made my own life worth living for. If it wasn't for me, then I wouldn't have met my boys. I wouldn't have learned the lessons given - and I wouldn't be in a place to help others.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Day Six - Something you hope you never have to do.

This one warrants no thought. As my son is waiting on another transplant (liver) I hope that he will make it through the surgery. It is hard not to remember what he (we) underwent the last time we did this, and while I am more prepared now - it doesn't change the risk and the facts of this life-saving surgery and the state of his medical condition. I will not spell out what I hope to never have to do - because I find this is probably more than self-explanatory at least in my mind (if-you-don't-wish-it-don't-write-it-kind-of-thinking).

Friday, November 5, 2010

Day Five - Something you hope to do in your life.

I'm a woman full of dreams and goals and I am happy that some of them have come together for me. For one - yes I have earned (one) of the degrees I wanted and two - wanted a craft store - and while it may not be the traditional craft store I envisioned 16 years ago - its good enough for me (technology is a beautiful thing- really it is well ok until it goes kaputt). And there are still some things I have left to accomplish - such as the ongoing debate of eventually going back to school (what are you nuts? Seriously?) and well becoming a foster parent (oh yes I am crazy!).

I remember having that one social worker that believed in me and it only takes one person that can affect/effect and change someones life.  I want to be that kind of person to make an impact on another. I think my children have learned some lessons - they have certainly taught me some and if I can share a life and give love to another child - yes!

When I gave birth to my youngest (who is now 7) I decided that I no longer will or want to bear children (4 kids and I was done for). It is a decision I don't regret but I do have the longing and wanting to be a foster mom - it is on the goal list once said youngest has pulled through the next surgery in waiting.. I will in deed make a difference and make someone's life so much better

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day Four - Something you have to forgive someone for.

I reflect on this and go.. wow.. hmm ok... and then there it was I knew who I needed to forgive - but it is utterly personal but it is a cleansing of the mind and soul for me  and gosh yet so utterly personal.

I do forgive you for hurting me- disrespecting me because you have given me something so much better. You have given me lessons I wouldn't have learned had it not been for your action. I used to think of you often, at first but as time moved on and learned about life (love, strength, what it means to be humble and more) you slowly went away. Occasionally I give you a thought - wondering why I am not angry or should I say angrier - but then I remember the gift you have given me - this beautiful gift - I forgive you.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day Three - Something you have to forgive yourself for.

Forgiving myself seemed weird or even incomprehensible to me at some point but as the years went on - I learned - I grew - even matured in some ways and I knew it meant that forgiving ourselves is at times perhaps the hardest thing we will ever do. There are definitely some things in life that I am not proud of and perhaps need to forgive myself and there are some decisions I have made (and not regretted thus it warrants no forgiving - perhaps at least not to myself). 

One of the things I forgive myself for is living too long in the shadow of my upbringing and for the lack of belief in myself for too long. It's easy to get wrapped up, play the victim, blame others for your own short-comings perhaps. Yes, I'm a foster child - so what? It's part of who I am sure - in part it defined some aspects of who I am - but it doesn't mean I need to live in the shadow where negativity lingers. I forgive myself for not living sooner.

I don't know if it was my book (I was able to publish and that brought forth healing) or my children teaching me to love - teaching me to live. Perhaps facing the challenges of life and death in my son's life has allowed me to live. It certainly has allowed me to no longer live in the shadow of my parents or foster parents - I forgive myself blaming them for my own shortcomings for so long (oh shock - I'm not perfect oh well ^_^).

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Opportunity awaits you


Flying Pig Art Center is trying to save the arts in Scottsville. 
The gallery will be changing to an all handmade art and craft vendor center for artists of all types, featuring vendor spaces for as little as $30.00, welcoming even the smallest crafter. The projected grand re-opening date is Dec 4th.  The Flying Pig Art Center is proud to offer the community a place to support local artists and buy American!

ARTIST AND CRAFT VENDORS NEEDED

A wonderful opportunity to display and sell your item. Scottsville is a small town in the horseshoe bend of the James River close to the Blue Ridge Mountains.

FLYING PIG ART CENTER,  561 VALLEY ST.,  SCOTTSVILLE, VA

* 434-996-7388 *

Find us on FACEBOOK

 
VENDOR SPACES STARTING AS LOW AS $30/MONTH  UP TO $125/MONTH
 *NO COMMISSON TAKEN*
*STUDIO SPACE AVAILABLE FOR $150.00

*GRAND OPENING ON DEC. 4TH 2010
*HOLIDAY MARKET DEC. 16TH-23RD
*MOVE IN DATE IS NOV. 28TH

Day Two - Something you love about yourself.

It's interesting to me that there was a time that I couldn't even answer this one. Yea really, I was pretty messed up back then. But now there are many things I love about myself.. and shouldn't we love ourselves? I mean really care just a little bit more - acknowledge our own being - we do this daily with our loved ones.
Anyway, one of the things I love about myself is my creative talent. My creativity has not only provided with means of therapy and healing but a means of survival. When I acknowledged that working full time out of the home wouldn't or couldn't happen due to my sons medical condition, I needed to find something. Something that could keep me busy, kill time, and well bring in some money so that we shall be able to eat, perhaps even pay some bills.

With that I also love that I often will look for possibilities and opportunities rather than focus so much no the negative - yes when one do closes another one opens - one just has to belief and look. My creative talent and my thinking have provided me with some good tools and set a fire in my heart. I believe in the handmade movement - and I am loving the fact I am part of it .. as I love creating and was giving the ability to do so.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Day One - Something you hate about yourself.

We all have things  we don't like about ourselves or even hate, seems natural right? We also have the power to change it.. anyway.. something that I hate about myself is needing/wanting to take on too much. It's not that I don't know how to say no - because I do - but I often think I can do it all. It's also a pride thing perhaps, its the lack of reaching out for help (especially when I may need it the most). I think it goes back to the days where the only person I could trust, count and lean on is ... well myself. I never bothered wanting someone else's help in matters.. I am smart.. I can figure it out. However, reality is that occasionally we do need others.. we need their wisdom, their shoulders, their hugs and their love and the emotional support and at times, we may even need a little bit of financial support. I think over the years, especially with my son's health and life at times in jeopardy I've learned to ask for emotional support, and while there is a financial struggle more often then not.. that is hard. I don't ask for help - I can do it - I can figure it out.. but the fact that I have a difficult time doesn't surprise me - but it is still something I am not very fond of when it comes to one of the things I hate about myself. And yet - I have a mind that allows me to figure it all out - but I must learn to ask when it seems difficult to reach in any capacity (emotionally or financially). Asking for help is not a sign of weakness - perhaps its more of a sign of strength - acknowledging that sometimes we just can't do on our own - acknowledging we are humans with (some) limitations.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

30 Days of Truth

This morning, I was reading a post from another blogger... a mom who lost a son and gain a son... she writes very powerfully.. its one of those brutally honest and tear jerking writers The Redneck Mommy. From there I went onto another blog... and read... yea I didn't get enough junk email..sigh but Don't Take the Repeats has a little something going on... 30 days of truth.. sometimes we do need to be a little bit more honest with ourselves.. get to the core of who we are... remember who we are or discover who we are... the list is below if you wanted to do 30 days of truth for yourself... happy discovering.

Day 01 Something you hate about yourself.
Day 02 Something you love about yourself.
Day 03 Something you have to forgive yourself for.
Day 04 Something you have to forgive someone for.
Day 05 Something you hope to do in your life.
Day 06 Something you hope you never have to do.
Day 07 Someone who has made your life worth living for.
Day 08 Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.
Day 09 Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10 Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
Day 11  Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12  Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13  A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14 A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15 Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16 Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17  A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18 Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19 What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20 Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21  (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22 Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23 Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24 Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25 The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26 Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27 What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28 What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29 Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30 A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Scottsville Mom Works to Cure Son’s Disorder

A few weeks ago I was interviewed by Wendy Edwards for an article about why I do what I do. You may read this article here Scottsville Mom Works to Cure Son’s Disorder. It is tremendously important that people know about this.. not too long ago I shared an article on facebook about a young man who died on a protein overdose. 20 year old athlete.. doing the athlete thing - protein protein protein... for some of the people this is a silent killer.. silent? For some the instinct of not liking a certain food may be the hidden disguise of an underlying medical condition. I write about my son's journey here .

When I started the bath & body venture and wanting to give back I decided that the National Urea Cycle Disorder Foundation would be it. They advocate for research and the families impacted by them. The article indicates PKU testing can now be used in order to determine if there is an underlying metabolic genetic disorder, it doesn't have to be a Urea Cycle Disorder - it could be PKU itself or some other from of a disorder. Families impacted deal with a medication regimen, a heavy modified diet - in Lennon's case: protein restriction. Now realize that most anything has some form of protein and it all must be calculated out. In many cases individuals require a special formula to supplement so they still get the amino acids we need to be healthy .. to grow. If I can help find a cure or support a family affected with this disorder to cover medical costs or anything else they may need - well then I have done what I set out to do. I've been blessed and while our journey is far from over, I am glad I have a way of helping someone else.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

More Animal Hats

So orders are coming in for these awesome animal hats..even new requests..like "can you make a kangaroo?" hmm that one will take some thinking, playing with yarn and see what we can do. In the mean time check out my deer hat!Doesn't it just look awesome? The antlers are stuffed with some fiberfill to keep them up.. but gosh now imagine a red nose? Can you say Rudolph? It needs a warning label to not wear into the woods during hunting season for sure, though I don't know if it would have enough points .. or does it?

I also created what was intended to be a dinosaur more something out of the move Lilo and Stitch... imagine if Stitch were green with spikes.. yeap it would totally fly as that. Its got what I call alien eyes and a full set of teeth.. but its uber-cute.. hmm thinking a stitch hat isn't too far from the making.. in blue with ears in stead of spikes... works for me.. and then we have the plain dinosaur... no eyes.. no nose.. no teeth just spikes... but still cute or awesome nonetheless.


I will be adding more hats such as Panda, Cat, Beaver, Monkey, Mouse, Bat, Rabbit, Skunk, Squirrel (kinks to be worked out on this) and whatever else I can come up with. These are now being offered on my website for all size from infant to adult!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Happy Birthday John Lennon



Today would have been his 70th Birthday and I can't fathom the things he could have and would have accomplished if his life hadn't been cut short. I named my son after him and I do think that he was one of the greatest people that have ever walked this planet.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Animal Hat Collection

I was inspired to create some animal hats from patterns that I purchased and won from Inner Hooker and they are taking of like a wildfire in the forest. I had to make some changes to adjust the size for adults and add some faces for a more three dimensional look.

I made the Raccoon Hat for a friend and the next morning he had several orders ready for me in addition to posting pics on facebook and receiving more orders.

So I have been feverishly working on them and am slowly closing the cap.
Hats that I am pretty good at already and have figured out are:

Raccoon                   
Fox                         
Frog
Bear
Owl

Dinosaurs
 Others that will be in the works are:

Deer - actually on order but I am trying to figure out the antlers
Wolf (not too different from the fox)
Coyote (not too different from the fox)
Rabbit
Bird (not sure what kind yet)
Panda
Mouse
Skunk
 The color choice is yours though "natural" will mean the colors they are in real life or close to it. Other than that you have a choice of what you want your hat to look like. An owl in magenta or blue? Dinosaur in purple and yellow? You pick!! It takes me a couple hours to make one - sometime more - sometimes less - depending what else I got going on!

They are $18 each and will fit teen/adults. I can also make infants and toddlers if you like even though these ones seen are for adults.
 Once I am done with the orders I will add them to the website with appropriate attributes so that everyone can own one or more. This can be a bit tricky because I want you to be able to pick the colors you want and there are sooo many color choices to pick from. It's your hat - you wear it - I will just be happy to create it for you!
 Also not in the animal hat line - Mohawk hats (support your favorite team!!) or just because Mohawks rock!

The Mohawk hat will totally rock out at any ball game or at a concert... also coming soon are anarchy hats - yes I know I'm a hippie who grew up in the middle of the 80's and some of that stuck with me.. wait isn't there something about being against the establishment and doesn't anarchy match that in some capacity? Ok yes, I am rambling back to the hats. I am filling orders and am able to create 2-3 hats a day. Fingers need to rest, online communication must occur, children must be parented and so on...
Anyway as I am working on orders and am accepting orders I want people to be aware that  my son is awaiting a liver transplant. This means that when you order I will work on it but when the call comes I will be going to Pittsburgh with him. Be assured that yarn and hook to follow - and that I will be picking up working on orders. I don't know if I will work on any of them while he is in surgery or if this will wait until I know he's has made it into recovery and then to his room and so forth. So I do ask you will be patient with me during this time. I try to get this orders done and filled as quickly as I can!!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Hard Work and now you can be part of it too!!


I have been adding some of the items that didn't sell at the event.. but I must tell you that out of over 20 hats I don't have that many left. Hats are really the thing that people are into isn't it? Well and baby items, though I don't think baby items ever go out of style.. I have few more pictures that I need to retrieve from my camera and then I will be adding them as well .. probably tomorrow.. I tried to crochet some today but came to the clear realization that even I must take a break and just relax for a minute.. burn out.. no one wants it and rarely do I see people getting their warning signs.. I was burned out from crochet for a long time (5 years.. its a long time) and when doilies and afghans really seemed to be the thing.. now that I am a stay at home mom due to my son's medical and other special needs I have more time.. and feeling more inspired.. he does this for me.. its the ground work that helps me take him out..spend some money on him.. pay the electric bill so we have power for his feeding pump.. to pay for vitamins because the insurance doesn't cover it.. find the special foods with less protein.. yes I am inspired by him to create to help us and him..

This bunting is almost ready and will fit a newborn infant.. (the dolls is about infant size 18 inches long). It mere needs some more buttons before I can add it to the store front.. but isn't it just too cute? I think so.. and I am not having anymore babies ^_^ but I still like creating items and looking at items...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Prepping for the next event

 October 2 - pending rain - its Old Farm Day in Palmyra. I had a good time and day last year and am looking forward to this year again. Of course it leaves me scrambling a little for some additional inventory. I got soaps covered.. I am definitely good in that department.. whew... I am doing a lot of crocheting as I am learning what the folks around me like.. I've been testing things out at the local market and I think I have found that people are fascinated with.. so here are some pictures of the things I will have with me!

This Baby Cocoon is so cuddly soft .. omg.. you will not believe it.. I first looked at this yarn.. thinking what the heck am I going to do with that.. it really didn't look the way it feels... and then I touched it... started using it ..and omg.. fleece move over..lol its definitely super soft.. perfect for that newborn baby!
 Wash Cloth.. Puppet? How about both! Kids have a wonderful imagination and this will allow them to nurture it! Someone told me once that imagination = intelligence.. well daggone it.. let them imagine eh! The cotton  is an awesome material to use for those items.. though it can take some time to dry its reusable.. throw in the washer/dryer and its ready to go again.. yep eco friendly for sure
Hats! I love hats don't you? Small hats, big hats, cute hats, fluffy hats, soft hats,durable hats.. and on and one.. I am still working on some more of the hats...for small and large. We are heading into the cooler season and need to think about protection our brains.. our body from the cold.. keep your head and feet warm!

Just a few of things of what I have done.. now times this by 4 perhaps and that might be the quantity I have worked on in 4 days.. nothing like a deadline!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

For my Girly Girls ~ An Artfire Collectino


Friday, September 17, 2010

Our local Farmer's Market - continued

Momma Mia's Jewelry - a mother and daughter team - though most often you find Denise (the mom) at our local market. I love the creative flow that happens here.. from NEW key chain bracelets... to super cute anklets.. Denise is constantly working.. and creating..and having fun!
Denise is always open to take custom/special orders.. she makes the colors happening for you..the length ... the beads.. the everything.. you will look dashing in one of her creations.

So if you happen to miss you her on a Saturday you can find Momma Mia's Jewelry on Facebook right here: Momma Mia's Jewelry look through her photo album.. check out her creations..

But I do hope that one the Saturday you decide to be there.. that Momma Mia's Jewelry will be there too so you can utter the ooohhs and aaaahs she so well deserves.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I've been working ..I've been thinking while I'm working..

I don't know if you noticed but I know also have a direct link to our Bath & Body line on its own domain Hippie's Bath and Body. I had been toying with the idea of separating all Bath & Body items away from Hippie's Creations, but would it make sense to have it available on both websites? After all I promote handmade items and all my creations are therefore handmade. If you have any feedback on this, I am listening!

In the mean time while I am contemplating this I have been creating. Don't these cupcakes look good? With the help of Bramble Berry and the blog that is kept I was able to use the awesome tutorial on frosting.. I created this.. it doesn't have all of what they used in my frosting.. but I definitely like it. So I have been creating the Blackberry Jam Cupcakes (seen in the picture above) as well as some chocolate fudge cupcakes... I have caught the cupcake bug. I have a few more that I am currently working on that I hope to have ready by this weekend for when its time to go set up at the Scottsville Farmer's Market. I am amazed of what you can do with glycerin soap. Look out for more future glycerin items in my items. These are currently available on my Bath & Body website

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Our local Farmer's Market - continued

Every other week you will meet the ladies Alex and Sherry from Potluck Farms. These ladies are wonderful and hardworking in their venture of getting their herbal farm totally rocking!

Alex writes that it is her dream of making Pot Luck Herbs a successful venture. Quoting Alex:  "My goal is to live a peaceful country life and be my own boss at our beautiful Buckingham County, Virginia farm. The future of this country lies in the hands of environmentally responsible small entrepreneurs. I aspire to be one."

They really do have some fantabulous herbs.. who knew that herbs aren't for smoking anymore? Their basil is awesome... their lavender rocks.. but that is not all.. they also have herbal vinegars  in which a sprig of rosemary and such is placed in the bottle.. oh and check out those headbands! They are super cool!


One of the newest and coolest things at Potluck herbs are shoe-freshers.. small hand sewn little sachets you place right in your stinking.. or not so stinking shoe. We all know someone or maybe ourselves in which we have feet that can't handle the leather or pleather of shoes because it makes our feet sweat... and then our shoes...well don't smell so good anymore. Plop them right into your shoes when you get home.. and the next morning you will have fresh smelling shoes and feet.. and how knows what the herbal healing does... we all are aware that herbs are just really good for our bodies in some capacity. 

So the next time you come to the Scottsville Farmer's Market.. I do belief they will be there the 18th of September (but don't quote me.. haha) seek these ladies out.. Sherry and Alex... ask them about their herbs.. ask them questions... they do know their stuff and could tell you what goes good with the next meal you might be planning.