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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Welcome Everything.....Push away nothing.........

Welcome everything and push away nothing is a mantra that a spiritual teacher of mine said to me. It sounds fairly straight forward and quite easy....until you think about what that actually means. Welcome everything. Every bad feeling, every unsure thought, every piece of sadness and grief........everything....welcome it ALL. Don't push away anything.......don't say....."no I am not going to feel this right now.......rather.Welcome.everything.push.away.nothing.

Who has time for that? We all should. We all need to allow the feelings and emotions that waft through us to be acknowledged. It doesn't mean that we "wallow" in them. Meditation requires us to focus on the present moment. Often I find the "monkey mind" where my thoughts are jumping around from thought to thought. As we learn to control our thoughts we realize that it isn't that we don't THINK these thoughts, but rather, allow them to come and then to go. Similar to a screen door to the mind. The thoughts come, we acknowledge them and then allow them to go on through the screen.

So, my father died 3 weeks ago. I am doing very well with my grief. I am allowing it to be present when it needs to be. I am feeling the significance of the loss. What is complicating this for me is the nature of some of the remaining relationships.

For the majority of my life there is someone that has hurt me. I now need to make a decision if I will continue to have a relationship with this person. There is a part of me that believes this is a no brainer....certainly it is time to end the cyclical process of hurt and forgiveness...........and another part of me that is simply confused by other thoughts.

I need a safe place to vocalize everything to help myself come to some conclusion that is the right thing to do. These thoughts and feelings about this situation are heavy and they don't just breeze through the screen door....they settle in my mind and don't allow me to sort them out..........they just sit on top of my chest, so I feel a bit like I am suffocating...........this of course makes me want to push them away.........yet I need to Welcome everything and push away nothing...........


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Ticking on

I am happy that I can say that I have not lost my father yet. He continues to fight this battle between life and death. I can only imagine how difficult this battle is for him on the inside, working for every single breath. Knowing that he is not afraid to die, that is not why he is fighting.....he has a vision of where he is going and is excited to be there when the time is right. He just doesn't believe that it is his time.....so even though his lungs are failing, his heart is failing, his kidney has failed......he keeps on ticking. There is a large part of me that does not want to see him suffer and wants him to move on to the better place he is going to. But this small part of me is very happy to have my dad still here.....that I can still say that my father is not dead. Although he hasn't been able to kiss me or hug me, or tell me that he loves me...he is still here. I do selfishly hope I get those one more time.......

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Confessions of a daughter about ot lose her father..........

I am one of 8 people that my father has called his children for the last 43 years. There are 7 of us left and all total 55 and that doesn't count those who are part of the family but just not married in yet. On top of that, he is one of 8 children himself.....and that family numbers into the hundreds. Moreover, he is one of the most loved members of our family. Thus....this man who lays dying in the bed next to me has streams of people coming to see him......and all I want is to be here with him.....alone....Selfish beyond measure, no question. However, given the fact that this is the man that loves me like no one else could ever love me......not too surprising. I at least recognize this selfishness and I am not pushing anyone out of the door! It is a silent selfishness......and I pray it is not visible to anyone else here as they all deserve to be here and feel the unselfish soul of this giant of a man.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Suffering

A insightful teacher of mine shared this on his facebook tonight. I needed to read this:


Suffering is exacerbated by avoidance. The effort to avoid no matter how normal or natural simply doesn’t work. Even if you think you’re successful—look more closely, you will realize your not. There is the dread of the sufferings return. There is the way we carry the unacknowledged, undigested suffering in the body.
Our avoidance and attempts at false self-protection cause us to live in a small dark corner of our life. We imagine there is nothing we can do about our suffering and so we slip into a numbing paralysis.
But there is a sense of possibility and even ease that emerges when we realize that we have a capacity to bear witness …to turn toward what we have tried to avoid.
When we breathe and just let it be there. Not defending ourselves against it. Not trying to talk ourselves out of it. Not trying to figure out strategies to fix it… we allow the suffering space. Anything we give space to can move. It is free to open, to unfold, to revel its true causes. Often in allowing, we discover a point of stillness, even peacefulness—right in the middle of the suffering. 
Frank Ostaseski
This place that I am in, the colliding of the daughter in me and the hospice professional, is really me attempting to avoid suffering. I have said tonight "I need to be on top of this to get my dad through this, then I can cry" The truth is I just don't want to feel the pain of losing my father. I don't want to suffer that experience. I think it is time to sit in meditation and be with the present even if the present is something I think I wish to avoid.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Vertigo

If you have never experienced vertigo, count yourself lucky! I have had a dizzy spell before.....trust me when I say that vertigo is much more than a dizzy spell. The world spins....even when you are laying in bed with your eyes closed. This sensation logically leads to nausea and when lasting long enough you become diaphoretic (sweat like a pig). I have had 3 episodes of this in the last few weeks. The first one I was seen by a doctor and he said I had fluid behind my eardrums. He called this a viral infection in my ears and gave me zofran (for nausea) and antivert (to help with the dizziness). The second time was during yoga. (yes, it ruined a yoga session....that did not make me happy). The third time was today. My boss was around (he is a nurse practitioner) and he took my blood pressure, which was high (it is typically low). I am finished with my audit here in Illinois so I could have driven back to Michigan. Needless to say, when the world is spinning, I probably shouldn't drive. So I am in the hotel hoping to be well enough to get back to Michigan tomorrow. I will go to work at my Grand Rapids office for a bit then go to see my father who will be coming home from the hospital and signing up with Hospice care. I want him to feel as good as he can and to live as long as he can and I know that hospice can help him do that. It has been a stressful week and really....it is only half over! :)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Can't quite put my finger on it.........

Life is incredibly cyclical. A more crude way to put it.....same shit, different day. I remind myself that each day I learn and grow. If I think back to who I was when I was 18, I can see the maturity and the growth. Yet, I can also see the same little girl. Quirky, awkward, and often confused. I think that is part of what life is about, learning to deal with those quirky parts of you that seem to tag along all through life. Today I am tired of the learning process. Tired of this awkward part of me that feels lost and confused. I really just want to reach this calm peacefuly moment of self appreciation and love. It isn't that I don't have those moments now, it is more that I think that by this point there shouldn't be moments of the SAME awkward confusion. At least give me something new to deal with! :) Oh boy....Lets not put that out into the universe! Ok. Those words were begging to be spoken and this is the only place I had to do it. Now that I got that off my chest, hopefully some of this negative vibe will flee and peace will settle in. Perhaps even a good cry.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Bead Soup Blog Party Reveal Day

Welcome to the 8th Bead Soup Blog Party Reveal Post! I had Chandra as my partner. You can click on the link to see her blog and her reveal. Now, to remind you of what she sent to me......

Chandra certainly was generous in the amount that she sent for me to work with! Basically 3 color pallettes. It was so sweet on she had them wrapped in the dragonfly tissue paper. I fully enjoyed that and the music paper that was the envelope! Now.....what to do.......


First I tackled the Wire Wrapped Cabachon....


I had some natural fresh water pearls that were large and not completly round. I loved them, but just had not found a way to use them. I also wanted a necklace that sat a bit higher when I wore it. So I decided that Memory wire was my ticket. I added some glass pearls in the back and silver from my stash to acent it with a silver flower charm hanging from the focal piece. I like it :)
 Now for some of the other beads in that color scheme......
I had the memory wire out and I just kept going with it.....Pink and purple together is a favorite of mine....adding some of my silver stash to some silver colored beads that chandra sent I created this lovely bracelet! At the ends I added a charm to dangle. I love the purple and pink together in this piece!
Now...on to the Green!


Green hands down is my favorite color. The 4 tile beads that Chandra sent are just lovely. As you can see...I just kept grabbing the memory wire. I actually never use it and I have a lot of it! So it was fun to see what I could create with it. I added some rondelle beads from my stash to complete this bracelet. Again at the ends I used some silver colored charms that Chandra sent me (we both sent each other dragon fly charms!) The one dragon fly here I think was the clasp however it didn't have the other piece to use it as a clasp...so this is how I used the clasp....as a charm! :)

More...YES...there is more! Another bracelet.......

Chandra sent a very pretty Lampwork bead so I added some silver from my stash and grabbed that memory wire again! Added some of the pearl like beads Chandra sent I created this very sweet blue bracelet. Ok....ONE more to share!

Yes, just a little more memory wire for the bracelet! However the necklace I strung with some glass pearls that I had and then the lovely stone like beads that Chandra sent and the very pretty focal that she so lovingly wire wrapped for me! Coral IS the color this season and this is a very pretty group! I also wanted some matching earrings!
 There you have it! There were some additional pieces, so there is actually more that I can create! I am playing around to see if I want to take anything apart and try something else.....It is challenging to get pieces that you are not familiar working with and creating something with them. It also is LOADS of fun! Thank you Chandra for sharing with me! Also a shout out to Lori Anderson who is the host of this wonderful party!

Please be sure and check out the MANY other participants and see what they did with their items! The full list is HERE

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Soup Ingredients

My partner has recieved her soup ingredients, so it is safe for me to share some photos of what I sent her!

Focal Lampwork Bead by Kim of BluffRoad Glass!

Clasp By Metal Me This!


Carnelian and Onyx Gemstones and plenty of silver!

I didn't realize how terrible my photos were! I can't wait to see what Chandra makes with it!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Time of Change, or at least the preparation for it

Yesterday I picked up my Kiln from the glass shop that I had it stored at when I attempted to melt glass there. It is covered with dust and cobwebs and the element has fallen down inside. I have no idea yet if it will even work for me. It is a Glass Hive Kiln though and I know if I call Mike and Pam that they will help me to get it in working order again. As Spring comes to our lovely State I plan to get my studio set up in our garage so I have that creative outlet back again.

Next, I have lost 85 pounds and have stopped losing. I need to lose a bit more, so I need to ramp up my exercise program and evaluate my nutrition. I am choosing Yoga as my main form of exercise. Anyone who has pariticipated in Yoga knows the benefits it has for strengthening and toning your body. It also is excellent for your mind and soul. I have a DVD and a yoga mat I can take with me to work each week and on the weekend I am planning to go to a studio on Saturdays to get to participate with a group.

My dissertation. I have been on Medical Leave for the last 2 semesters. I will officially begin again in the Fall, however between now and September I have a lot of work to accomplish. No doubt that I need to hire a dissertation coach. I need to finish this off in 2 semesters so that I can graduate next spring. This is imperative.

There is much to accomplish in the course of the next few months. My focus will need to be diligent as I move through all of this. It is time for me to take care of these things and move forward in my life. Thus, I am putting it in writing here on my blog. When I write something out, I live it. It is like I am putting it out to the universe, or saying a prayer. If you have come here and read this, if you think of it, I  would be grateful for your thoughts and prayers for me this year as I move through these important milestones of my life. Thank you for reading and may your life be full of peace and Joy.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Soup is on!

MY SOUP ARRIVED!!!

5 groupings lovingly wrapped in dragonfly tissue paper!

OH MY!! 3 different soups!

I LOVE green, it is the color of life and these are simply stunning! 2 cabs and a stone, I think I will be trying my hand at wire wrapping!

A purple collection with a gorgeous cab that Chandra wire wrapped for me!

A pink collection with a gorgeous stone that Chandra also did a beautiful job of wire wrapping!

Lovely pearl beads and silver charms and toggles to create something lovely!


I love this cab, it is just gorgeous!

This stone is beautiful and Chandra's wire work is amazing!


My oh my! How much fun will I be having over the next few weeks creating something with the ingredients of this soup! Be sure and stop back to find out! Thank you Chandra for such a generous and lovely soup!


Meet My Bead Soup Partner - Chandra

Oh, I am so excited! My Bead Soup partner is a beautiful soul! Her Blog Juniper Goods shows her beautiful creative work. You can really see the beauty in her soul when you look at her prismatic Lotus' and her giving heart with what she did on her Birthday . I heard of this Random Act of Kindness Birthday about 6 months ago and I though for my birthday this year that I would do this as well, so it was wonderful to read about someone doing this. I have appreciated Buddha and his teachings for 7 years now and found meditation to be healing to my mind and soul. Chandra is a teacher of meditation! Could it be that the universe brought us together to share with each other? I believe so! I do hope that she loves what I sent and I know that I will love what she sends to me. I can't wait to see what she makes with her soup and I am excited to show what I make with my soup!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Getting ready to ship!

Ok, I couldn't resist! This is my soup that I am planning to ship to Chandra! Yes, I am aware that you can't see anything! HA! She gets to see it first! It MAY change once I have a chance to talk to her, but for now, I am thinking she will like the ingrediants to this soup!


I have a Partner!

Woohoo! So I have been paired with another artist for the Bead Soup Blog Party! I am really excited because she is an incredible lady! I can't wait to chat with her through email. I think we have a lot in common! Chandra is her name and this is her blog Chandra's Blog . She has some mad talent for certain! So now once we connect and chat a bit, we will send each other components to make something lovely and then we will reveal it on each of our blog. Stay tuned! :)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Organized Home Week 1-4 - Kitchen

Items that were on the counter, now on the steps to be put where they belong
Ok, so I was serious when I suggested that we get organized earlier! I spent a good portion of today getting weeks 1-4 completed. Weeks 5-8 are going to be easy and I may do them yet tonight, then I will actually be caught up!, the only reason that this is possible is that I recently had organized my cupboards, so the basics were recently purged all I needed to do was wipe them out and get a few drawers organized. I am the type that if I am going to organize something, I must also clean while I am at it. So I am going to add cleaning each of these areas to the process if it isn't already included. First I tackled the pantry. My husband had tossed LOTS of grocery sacks on the floor. I had an extra tupperware cereal container, so I put them in there individually and left the top "popped" open so he can just grab one. Not a new idea for certain, but I thought it was fairly smart to use what I had on hand, rather than writing down that I needed to buy something for them! I moved on to the counters and inside of cupboards and of course the fridge and freezer. Now it is time to go put away things that I determined don't belong in the kitchen. I could have shown more photos, but I am sure you get the point. Hopefully I can get weeks 5-8 completed tonight so that next weekend I will be doing what is on the list for the first week of March! Stay clean and organized!
Pantry, organized!
Tupperware for the plastic grocery sacks



Let's Get Organized!

52 Week Organized Home Challenge

Indeed! I was blog hopping this morning and ran across this challenge to get your home organized in 52 weeks. I am slighlty OCD about my living space. I also work at a job that keeps me away from my living space Monday through Friday. (yes, I live in a hotel!) My husband keeps the home front running......but he is a boy......and most boys don't clean like most girls do.....sorry I know this is a sterotype, however it is acuarate when it comes to my situation! I think this challenge may even help him see the importance of keeping things neat and tidy but also organized! Yes, it is long past the first week of the year. I acutally will attempt to get up to speed and be on top of the challenges so that I am on track to do them in the appropriate time frame, however that means double duty for a few weeks. I think it is doable, but I won't kill myself doing it either. So if you wish to join me, here is where I found the information Home Storage Solutions I acutally should also provide the original blog that I found this site from, a fellow jewelry maker Polka Dots and Paisley Let the games begin!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Bead Soup!

So I joined the Bead Soup Blog Party (you can see more about it on the badge over there --->

I am excited. I just purchased the "clasp" that I hope to send my partner. I have lots of ideas for focals. Some that I have here and some that I would purchase. I am not sure what style my partner has yet and we are supposed to send something that is a bit different than their style, so I am waiting! I like this exchange because we get to keep what we make from what I partner sent us. So it is fun to put a soup together because it is like putting together a wonderful gift for someone, knowing that they get to use their own creativity to make it come to life! Then how exciting that you also get the same in return and it will be something that is different than your style and you get to use your own creative energy to make something that you get to keep! This is a blog party and so I am a little nervous, as this really has been my private little place and I do much more on here than just post about my creative fun. The upside is that it will push me to post more about my creative fun! :)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Peeling Away the Layers

To sound cliche', Life is a Journey. Each experience building upon another. There are those "ah ha" moments, although I feel that they simply are moments of realization that only become part of who you are through the practice of what you learned in those "ah ha" moments. Thus, as each experience builds on the last, we become like an onion......layer upon layer.
I beleive that in my years of living this life I thought that there would be some magical "ah ha" moment that would simply "fix" me and I would be this "perfect" being. I spent many years searching for that. My "ah ha" moment this week has been that there is no magical "ah ha" moment that will "fix" me. Moreover, I am not "broken", (and so the title of my blog, be OK with who you are, even if you want to change.) rather.....I learn new concepts each and every day and this learning is layered one on top of the other fitting together almost like a jigsaw puzzle, only not as neat and simple. Only when we practice and work with each layer, do we truly incorporate that as part of our being. I have added additional layers over the last few weeks. It is daunting to be mindful of these newly discovered layers and practice them so they become part of my soul. I am encouraged and thankful that I have found these new layers and welcome the opportunity to practice them and make them part of my soul. Much Love to you all as you walk this journey called life and remember........you are not broken either, you simply are a work of art in progress......a beautiful work of art......Peace.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Hit Continue....instead of quit

Some days I eye the quit button and just want to hit it and say...."I quit"!!! Not my job, but life....everything. Instead I hit continue. Keep going.....keep on keeping on. I travel Monday through Friday for my job. This means that I am in my car......a LOT! So I have taken up audio books. Before that I had every sports radio stationed programed in my car. Now, I am listening to books that I have not had time to read. I am loving it. Curently I am listening to Eat, Pray, Love. If you have read the book and not heard the audio version, I highly recommend that you listen to it. The author herself is the narrator and the words flow so effortlessly out of her mouth. The various languages that she uses have the most beautiful sound.
That being said. I am incredibly sad as I listen to this book. I am not sure why. There is a part of me that wonders if I am simply envious that she was able to live abroad for a year, doing nearly exactly what my soul would love to do. Or is it possible that I resonate with everything she is communicating in this book. I have not determined what is causing the saddness, moreover I am continuing to listen to this book even though I feel my heart growing heavier with every word. I beleive there is a spiritual crisis occuring. I must allow the work that my heart and soul require to be accomplished, although hitting the quit button seems a much easier route.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

We Killed a Tree *super sad face*

This past weekend a tree company came knocking on our door. They were in the neighborhood doing work (I had seen them) and wanted to know if we wanted the dead branches on our trees trimmed for half price. (being the dead of winter and all (with 4 feet of snow on the ground). I showed SOME interest, afterall, we are surrounded by trees (protected waterlands on the Huron River) We can't touch the trees in our "backyard" due to the protected waterlands, however our front yard we are able to. We have 2 really UGLY trees (Maybe Lindens?) and 1 gorgeous old Oak tree. We did a lot of landscaping around this beautiful tree. Actually, when we moved into our home we discovered that carpenter ants had taken up residence in our garage. We found a nest or two and our garage header was half eaten away. So it wasn't a huge stretch when the tree man looked at our oak tree and said...."Oh My God! that tree is infested with carpenter ants and it is hollowed out, that thing is going to fall any second". I asked how much it would cost to take down this tree. He gave me a price and I said there really isn't a way I can pay for that right now but that I would discuss it with my husband. We discussed it and after inspecting the tree ourselves came to the conclusion that indeed it was infested with ants and it needed to come down. My husband was more distraught by this than I was. Partly due to the money, however more due to losing the tree. Afterall, it WAS a gorgeous beautiful living tree! Before I finish this story...here are some photos:



First our backyard and the river. Lovely view (we have since stained the deck) The walkway to the river is raised to about the tree level! Then our work around our lovely oak tree. This was acutally the first year, we did more last year around it. I just can't find those photos. Then...........
 Our beautiful tree just yesterday Morning.......
 You can see the bark is missing about half way up.....

 Oh....nice....the tree service trimming the Linden trees nicked our power line with the chain saw....did not bother to tell us and thought that black electrical tape would work just fine????!!!

 This Orange cone is protecting our pine tree we planted 2 years ago, we didn't want to lose that!
 This man was fearless! I would never be able to do that job! I was anxious just watching him climb it!
 Here is where we saw a "crack" thinking this thing was going to come tumbling down any second....
 Nice repair job....NOT!
 The aftermath.....and I have no idea what to do with the wood.......ugh!
Here is the final kicker......that tree was NOT hollowed out by ants! This piece if you look close is the one that had the "crack"......that tree MAY have needed to come down some day......but it certainly was in no danger of coming down "any second". Our hearts are so sad.......:(

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Jewelry I have made!

In Honor of the Bead Soup Blog Party that I just signed up for, I thought it may be nice to share some photos of jewelry that I recently have created.













The bracelet is my ultimate favorite. Chunky mismatched gemstones. Lampwork beads include some that Sonya Husko made, some Jill Symons, and Andrea G. made and the last one I made at a class. I wanted to update my profile photo, so you have that as well...the last one is a full shot and you can see 2 of my 3 Chihuly pieces in the background! I am off to have a frank discussion with my primary care physician on his NON availability to me when I need prescription refills (GRRR). Also sad news today as our lovely oak tree is coming down as it has been hollowed out by carpenter ants! WHO KNEW!!?? I will post more on that later, with photos! Peace and Love to you all.