Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Bit by Bit and Piece by Piece...

...just about sums up my approach to cleaning the house. 

Yes, I know. It's only Hubby and me. And 3 large hairy beasts (the dogs, a/k/a "The Girls"). And the occasional Kid who comes back. But only for a visit. 

Except now, Kid #2 is moving and is "temporarily storing" some stuff in our already-overflowing basement. 

Kid #1 has already informed me that, upon our demise, he's putting a large dumpster out in the front yard and sticking a "For Sale As Is" sign in the yard. Lest you think he's joking? He's not. And please - don't misunderstand. We're hardly in the category of "hoarders." It's not as clean as my mother or grandmother would want it, but it's not "Let's call the health department" bad. 

So today, after a couple hours at work, I tackled my Aunt Mary's sewing machine, a cabinet model that used to be the table for Arlo the now-dead canary. He moved from Aunt Mary's to the front window daily. So I also did his front window table. I also dusted the bookshelf and rearranged some stuff, dusted pictures, and lit a candle for a friend's daughter who's having surgery. 

The stuff on the sewing machine has been disbursed to various other locations, including the back room. Which, of course, is where Kid #2 is storing MORE of his stuff... (sigh).

Rocks in My Head...

So I went to the gem/rock show this weekend. As I may NOT have mentioned -- in my new job, my office is next to the X-ray room. Now, I'm not superstitious. But I don't want to glow; nor do I want to wear a lead apron all day! 

There are some rocks and crystals which, because of their properties, do protect against EMF. So I went looking. I bought a few pendants, and I have some to set on my desk. As you can see, I have a nice haul here. I had already had a bunch of tumbled amethyst. But I added a few nice ones to my stash. 

Crystals and stones are used in alternative healing, as meditation devices, and there are even people who "infuse essential oils with the power of crystals." Now, that's a step too far for me. My Young Living Essential Oils are pure enough, thanks!

The Rock Guy said to me, "Oh, there's black tourmaline (I knew that one), and hematite (ditto), and then there's shungite - the hottest thing out of Russia."

You mean aside from Nectarine Nemesis and his kid?? No, seriously - I had heard of the properties of shungite, and I found a few really pretty examples, so I got them. As far as EMF protection, the kyanite is also on the same order and it comes in a couple of different colors. I love black stones, and I love clear quartz. I also found a nice chunk of Iolite, a "water stone." 

I also couldn't pass up the lovely jade rock, nor the tumbled and ever-so-slightly faceted garnet. 

I did buy 2 rough stones for meditation, to put by my little Buddha. So, right in front of Buddha, on the left, is a cluster of citrine. Right - the November birthstone that's usually depicted as (so says Hubby) "urine yellow." It can actually range from nearly clear to a deep brown. This, even though it's hard to see, is a rich orange/rust. He couldn't believe it. And next to that is a rough green opal. 

On either side are the rocks from Lake Michigan. They're similar to the kinds of rocks we'll be painting at the studio for our "Yoga and Peace Rocks" workshop. I got a little bit of a head start on that with a painting project (see below). What I like about one of the rocks here is that, even though you can't see it - on the rock at the farthest left point? There's a heart-shaped lighter area. That was one I spotted right away and couldn't wait to grab it up and bring it home. I don't even care about the geological properties. I just think it's really neat. 

Peace Rocks...

I don't know if you've noticed them in your area, but around here, we're seeing "peace rocks" or "kindness rocks" around the trails. There's a local organization that's coordinating painting dates and you take your rocks home after they've sprayed them - and drop them where you want to. Usually, it's on the trails so someone else can find them and take the word or words to heart. And then they pass them on. 

Naive? Maybe. But it brings a smile to your face, and Heaven knows we can use more of that. And who knows? Kindness ripples. It's gotta start somewhere. 

So in August, we're going to hold a workshop. I'll lead the students in a short yoga practice (just some really basic stretches), a Metta meditation - which is lovingkindness, and then we set up to paint. Renee and Joy will bring both shale-type rocks and river rocks. And some will be pre-painted with a base color, so that all we need to do is use permanent markers and/or paints to write or draw what we want on them. They have a little "short affirmations" book that you can use to draw some quotes from, and obviously - small rocks, so small quotes! 

One of my students says she's already found a rock. She picked it up and placed it somewhere else. 

That's the idea. Simple. Perhaps incredibly naive, given what's going on in the world and especially in this country. But we have to make ourselves more mindful. We have to make ourselves more civil. One representative in Illinois is proposing "National Civility Day."

Oy... Everyone: news flash.... Be a nice human. That should cover it. 


I have twice been given orchid plants. One is in the studio, and it's having a bit of a rough go. I may have to move it, because it might be too warm where it is. This one is the one I had in my old office. I just repotted it today. I had to buy the orchid mix online because all we get around here is the soil - and I prefer to pot them in bark. I stick a couple ice cubes in there about once a week or so, and then we're good to go. I know that some folks put them on a large tray with pea gravel and keep it wet - "constant humidity" they say. In my experience, it doesn't matter one way or the other. It's mostly temperature, remembering to water it and having good growing medium. 

So this one is sitting on Aunt Mary's sewing chest, because the instructions recommended letting it be in a little less light for a few days. We'll see how this goes. But it looks lovely, doesn't it? 

This is really 2 pots in one. Each are stand-alone, but I noticed that the darker brown plastic one, which has holes in the bottom, fit nicely inside the copper-ish one, which is advertised as an "orchid pot." But with no drain holes. Together, though - they make one very nice container. As I recall, this is a white one. The stalk, though you can't see it, has another shoot on the end of it. We'll see if it blooms again. The one in the studio did re-bloom, so I wonder if it needs fresh bark. I'll be bringing it home and hopefully getting it freshened up. Maybe that'll give it a boost. Need to dig out Orchids for Dummies to see what's going on.


So you see it's a heel, and you see the gusset there. I'm liking it. Just a few more rows till I can just whip along on the foot. 

I haven't done anything with the sweater, which is fine right now. It's going to move along quickly - at least this body section. The sleeves may be interesting, but I don't know. It's been a long, long time since I did sleeves, especially set-in sleeves. These are also 3/4 length. And I'm the queen of short arms - so Heaven only knows what I'll have to do to finagle them. They "bell" out with the lace, so I'd prefer to keep them at the 3/4 length. 

I've been drooling over some shawls and shawlettes. I have some lovely sock yarn - fingering weight - that I really don't want to use for socks. I have a mulberry silk blend that - really -- I do not want to stick in a shoe! It's in an amethyst color-way with shades of blue, so if I do this right, and can find both a simple + complex enough pattern? Beautiful biggish scarf/shawlette thingie. I'd like to find something solid bodied, with a lace edge because I'm afraid that if the yarn flows like I think it will, the lace will muddle the color, or the other way round. It'll be too busy. 

For what I paid for the yarn, I want it to be the star of the show. I have 3 of those skeins (different colors and different dyers) - just so gorgeous that you don't want to make a pair of, let's face it, "disposable" items like socks. 

I also want to do a little "medicine bag" for my other loose stones. I'm going to see if I have more of Sonda's blue/white hand-dyed. I did a hat with that, even though it was fingering-weight (socks). It's a very light hat, and not suitable for heavy winter weather. But it's a nice one for Fall and early winter. I made a mala bag out of some of the leftover, and I think I may have enough for a medicine bag for the stones. 


As always, re-reading the classics! So I was griping about Murder on the Church Council. And the ending was not cool. I mean, it made sense. But it was like, read-read-read, story-story-story and then, "Oh my God, we have to END this sucker" and BOOM! Denoument and over. What??

And seriously, as crazy as it may seem, the typos and inconsistencies bothered my enjoyment(?) of the book. 

So in between reading a book on the Episcopal Church, I started re-reading To Kill a Mockingbird. I want to see how they sanitized the movie. If you read it, Go Set A Watchman, the "missing" Harper Lee book, had Atticus as quite the racist. And that was purportedly the first draft of Mockingbird. And the movie? 

Well, Gregory Peck. Even though he was an incredibly versatile actor, I wonder if he wanted to be best-known for a role in which he was a virulent racist? 

I don't know, but much like Hitchcock's Suspicion - they changed the original ending because Cary Grant couldn't be seen as a villain. The original ending was purported to have had him killing off Joan Fontaine. But the ending was changed by studio bosses. 

I read that Cary Grant REALLY wanted to kill off Joan Fontaine, because he was tired of "always" being the good guy. But the studio didn't want to mess with his pristine reputation as the hero. 

And I don't know - maybe Gregory Peck said, "Let me do this - I have the chops and I need to do it." Maybe - it could happen - he said, "No, let's clean this up a bit." I haven't seen anything to lead me to believe anything either way. It's just a thought because I know that the book is never like the movie. 

But I have a theory. Everyone should re-read the things they read in high school English class, when they've got some living and some years behind them. That's the only way really (unless you were born an English teacher) to really appreciate what you read when you were a teenager. Even if you loved them the first time - read them again. 

You'll have a whole new experience when you do. 

Random Picture...

Where I went for the rock painting project was at a park. I had some time, since I had put the wrong time on my calendar and I was a whole hour early. It was ok - I had a book, though I wish I had brought my knitting! So I read and I sat. Turns out that I was in the wrong section of the park anyway, which I figured out about 10 minutes before it was supposed to start.

I found them. But in the meantime, I got this shot of the little lake there. People were fishing, and some folks were walking around the path. I have no idea what kind of fish are in there, though I suspect perch. 

It was a pleasant evening for nearly-August. Actually, it was nippy! At least for us in summer. The breeze ruffled the water, and the willow tree was skimming the surface. 

I didn't see any little fishes breaking the surface, but that's ok. I was more intent on framing a decent shot in the fading light. I only had my phone with me, so this is the best I could do. 

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