New Baskets!

Here they are, finally.

Gray and White Vessel Lid OnGray and White Vessel Lid OffGray and White SmallWhite and Gray SmallWhite and Gray LargeFloral and Check Vessel Lid OnFloral and Check Vessel Lid OffFloral and Check SmallFloral and Check LargeWhite and Purple Vessel Lid OnWhite and Purple Vessel Lid OffWhite and Purple SmallWhite and Purple Large

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A little hint about the new work

Here’s a little hint about what I’ve been up to.  I am about to start writing chapter four.  That’s all the hint for now.

In other news, I am going blind.  I can still see well enough to get around and do some kinds of work, but I had to take a medical leave of absence from the muggle job while I find out if I am a candidate for cataract removal surgery.  Because of all of my sensitivities, I am very concerned that I might not be able to tolerate the artificial lenses they would need to put in my eyes after removing my natural ones, and also the antibiotics they would have to put in my eyes for the procedure.  So I may end up losing the muggle job after all.  I am unable to see what’s on my screen well enough to be able to do my job.

On the positive side, this has freed up enough time for me to be able to complete a lot of things that really needed to get done.  The baskets, for instance.  I am now ready to photograph them and put them up for sale.  So yay for that.  I just hope I’ll be able to finish writing the book (remember the three chapters?) before I won’t be able to see what I’m typing any more.  The only information I’ll give about the book right now is that it involves an 11 year old girl and a lot of really cool hand tools.  And a magical friend.

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Update and a new phase

The new series of baskets is almost finished.  All that’s left is to put the knobs on the vessel lids, take pictures, and put them all up on Etsy.  It took a lot longer than I’d anticipated because I developed a new method that I think is much better after I’d already completed about half of the series, so after a few months of work, I ended up starting two of the color schemes over from scratch.  And this past fall, Hurricane Florence made landfall right on top of our little city.  We evacuated to the beautiful mountains in the western part of our state and waited.  It was a long wait.  The whole area had become an island due to massive flooding, and there was no way to get home.  We finally did return before the authorities said it was safe to do so.  Others who had safely made the trip were posting their routes online.

We were incredibly lucky.  When we evacuated, Florence was projected to be a category four storm when it landed on top of us.  That was why we left.  Who knows whether or not our house could remain standing through such high winds?  And our neighborhood, which is in an area that is not at risk for flooding, suddenly became at risk for flooding.  When we left, we had no idea whether or not we would even still have a house when we returned.  I decided I was not going to be one of the people who evacuates and comes back to find that everything they valued had been lost or destroyed.  So I packed our cargo van with as much of the things that are important to us as I could.  I brought most of our clothes, our pictures, computers, my sewing machine and serger, and all of the baskets I had completed, along with all the supplies I needed to make a lot more.  If I was going to lose my house and my job, there was no reason I needed to lose my ability to make some cash by making baskets.

Our evacuation was perfection manifested.  I mentioned to people that we were going to be evacuating.  Suddenly we had offers of accommodations during our time away from home.  Someone I’d never even met offered to let us use some of his extra hotel bonus points while we were on the road.  Then an old friend who lives in the mountains invited us to stay with her until it was safe to go back.  The only expenses we incurred were gas and incidentals (and thank-you gifts).

The stay in the mountains was lovely.  It really was just what I needed at that point in time.  There were lots of open windows with a lovely breeze blowing through them at all times, and one spot in the kitchen where I could sit and soak in the amazing view while enjoying the clean mountain air.  After many months of being made sick by the polluted air here in our town, that was just the thing my body needed.

When I found out there was a major hurricane headed our way, on a very deep level, I knew it was a life-changing event.  I had no way of knowing what kinds of changes it would bring, but I knew nothing would ever be the same for me after the storm.  And I knew deep down that it was going to be good change in the long run.  As our experience unfolded, this was made more and more plain to me at every turn.

We returned to minimal damage (I say minimal, even though we need a new roof, because so many homes were completely destroyed).  A lot of the shingles were missing from the roof, but there was no leakage inside the house.  No windows were broken.  Our house was not flooded.  There is still a lot of disaster recovery because we have to get a new roof, with all of the bureaucracy required for insurance and other disaster assistance, and we had lost wages because of the evacuation.  Infrastructure damage prevented me from doing the muggle job for three months, which was a big hit on our finances, and required a lot of red tape to mitigate.  I was very pleased about not being tied a desk and phone for hours each day during that time.  I needed to focus my energies on disaster recovery.

Our little city was a very changed place when we got back.  There was debris everywhere: building debris, debris from trees and other vegetation, destroyed belongings piled up by the side of the roads waiting to be collected.  Many people were still living without power.  Most people had a rumpled , sweaty, weary, and somewhat dazed look, and nobody cared.  Independent contractors who were involved with the disaster recovery were encamped in the parking lots of stores and shopping centers, with their semi tractor-trailers, marquee tents, RVs, spotlights, and massive generators belching out carbon monoxide into the hot and humid air.  Many stores were still not open for business, or had reduced hours.  Shelves were empty in a lot of the stores that were already open.  At the Walmart, independent contractors were brought in to fill the store back up with merchandise.  Everything in freezers and coolers had been destroyed because the power was out for more than a week, and it took two or three months to get them filled back up again.  A lot of people were desperately looking for food.  We stocked up as much as we could in the mountains and brought it back with us so we wouldn’t take food from people here who so badly needed it.  People who were living without power, or who had even lost their homes had returned to work.  Everyone looked like they were traumatized and in shock.  I felt both a little bad and also greatly relieved that I had evacuated and spared myself the worst of what they went through.  But there has never been a moment when I questioned my decision to go.  That was the right decision for me, and I’m very glad I did it.

Some of the counties near us were completely devastated.  Four months later, many people are still living in tents, with all of their possessions still piled up along the side of the road waiting to be collected.  People are still being evicted from apartment complexes because the storm caused problems with mold.  Many of them have limited resources and no place to go.

I’m back at the muggle job again and more ready than ever to move on to other things as soon as I am able.  Those three months brought into sharp focus the degree to which I don’t find that sort of work to be nurturing to my spirit.  While I was unable to work, I thought maybe that was the way in which this storm was going to change my life.  I thought I would certainly lose my job.  But my team lead at work really wanted me back.  She worked very hard to make it possible for me to keep my job.  And shortly before the final deadline for me to return to work, AT&T representatives showed up at our house and told us that our neighborhood now has fiber optic internet.  Since the infrastructure damage that was preventing me from working was causing problems with our internet’s consistency of service, and fiber optic would correct that, I knew that I wasn’t meant to lose my job and I signed us up for the fiber optic.  One day before I was going to lose my job, I was able to return.

I was extremely disappointed about that, but I know that when I am presented with an opportunity, if I don’t take it, I just end up making things more difficult for myself in the long run.  Things are happening for a reason.  I don’t like to question the reason.  I just go with the flow and the reason makes itself clear to me over time.    One of the blessings that came with not doing the muggle job for three months was having time to reconnect with the inner world that is my real home.  It’s my own little universe, and it’s my favorite place to be.  While being connected to my little world, I was able to explore a lot of ideas that I can bring back into the material world with me and use them to create my path forward.  Upon reflection, I think that is the aspect of the storm that is a life-changer for me.  The work for me now is to make the time and space to connect with my own little universe and manifest in the physical world what I find there.  So that is what I am working on now.  Once I have the knobs attached to the vessel lids and my baskets up for sale on Etsy, I’m going to put the baskets in the background for a while and do this work.  I think I will wait and not reveal the nature of the work until I have more of it brought into the physical, but I am thinking of the process as being a sort of gestation and birthing.

Update on the throat:  I am now able to eat almost everything I was able to eat before I had the accident with the broccoli.  I feel confident that the Reiki was a big part of the healing, along with following the guidance I received while doing the Reiki.  I have started doing Reiki on myself again, and I think it is helping a lot with my other processes.  Updates to follow on that.

The view of the mountains from my friend’s amazing kitchen:

Ela's Kitchen Window


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New Basket

This is a basket I completed a few months ago.  It’s my first vessel.  I really like the vessel concept and I plan to make a lot of these.  Since making this basket, I have been working on a series of baskets all in the same color scheme, but in different sizes and shapes.  I’m also very pleased with the concept of making a collection like this.  I still need to add the handles to the tops of the vessel lids, and then take photos.  I’ll post those when I have them

.Basket With Lid 3Basket With LidBasket With Lid 2

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Celebration of Food (Yay)

In the last month or two I have been able to start eating foods that I haven’t been able to eat since I had my accident with the broccoli in 2011.  I can now eat salads!  I really missed salads.  I can’t eat raw carrots yet, but I can eat lettuce, and carrots that have been sauteed and caramelized, and peas if I take the skins off, and raw zucchini, and marinated tofu, and cooked green beans, all of which make a very nice salad.  And I can eat rice.  I really missed rice as well.  I don’t have to run any of these things through a strainer, and I don’t have to cook the crap out of pasta.  I can eat it al dente.  I can eat beans now, too.  And peeled apples and pears, and bananas, and raisins.  So the world of food has opened up for me quite a bit.  I guess it’s hard to imagine what it would be like to not be able to eat anything but mush, and very soft foods, so it’s also probably difficult to imagine what it’s like to be able to eat foods that probably seem very mundane for the first time in seven years, but it’s absolutely amazing.

Maybe it’s the Reiki that’s doing it.  Maybe it’s a combination of that and reducing the amount of acid I consume, particularly close to bedtime.  I got some information from one of the guides I work with while doing Reiki about needing to reduce my acid intake.  So I stopped drinking orange juice entirely.  I used to drink orange juice mixed with soy milk as a vehicle for my crushed vitamin pills shortly before bed.  Probably the orange juice was sitting in my throat, coating it with acid while I was sleeping.  Now I use apple juice instead.

I haven’t done any full Reiki sessions on myself in a while (story about that in a future post), but I set up a Reiki box in which I have a permanent Reiki request, so maybe that’s been helping.

Whatever it is that’s helping my throat heal, I’m just profoundly thankful that it is healing.  My body was really starting to suffer from the lack of adequate nutrition.  It’s starting to feel a lot more healthy now.  Yay!

Now the challenge is to find a way to stop gaining weight from all of the fun I’m having with food.  It’s a challenge I can live with.

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Fall Outdoor Garden Update

The cucumbers did splendidly.  Until Hurricanes Irma and Jose kicked up some stiff winds here in this part of the world.  I was growing them upright on some wire supports, and the winds knocked those over, somewhat uprooting the cucumber plants.  They never recovered from that, so they are finished with their growing season.  I got some very lovely cucumbers from them, though.

The tomato plants are still growing, and there are now a few small tomatoes on the plants.  No sign of leaf footed bugs yet, and maybe they won’t find these plants, but I have about a dozen yards of netting to cover the plants with in case they do show up.  Some different kinds of caterpillars and worms denuded the tomato plants’ foliage quite a bit, but I started going out there at night after dark and I was able to pick them off and transfer them to a patch of weeds where I thought they might be happy, and the tomato plants have recovered nicely.  Container gardening seems to be my best option at this time.  I can grow my plants in a location where they will not be as stressed out by the intense midday sun during the hottest part of the summer, and I can cover the plants with netting if I have to.  In previous years, the tomato plants suffered from a lot of fungal and viral infections because of the incredibly high nighttime humidity.  This hasn’t happened yet with these tomato plants, even though I started growing them in July.  I don’t know if it’s because they are less stressed out where they are or because it hasn’t been as humid this year as in previous years.  But I will be ready with plastic to cover next year’s plants at nighttime if I have to.

The Asclepias (milkweed) was also severely denuded by critters (not monarch caterpillars, however), but some of it survived.  I wasn’t too aggressive about protecting it this year because I didn’t expect it to blossom in time for the monarch caterpillars anyway. Next year it will probably not have too many predators until the monarchs show up and I’m growing it for them, anyway, so they can eat it all they want.

I was re-reading some of the original posts I wrote when I first started this blog.  I had in mind to have a Perelandra type of garden that would employ the same kinds of co-creative dynamics that are used there.  At the time there were many things that needed to be factored in that I hadn’t anticipated.  For one thing, I don’t have enough control over what happens with the energies here.  I’m not the only person who lives here, and the other person who lives here has a vastly different energy dynamic than what is needed for the kind of balance a garden of this type requires.  And with the kind of co-creative gardening they use at Perelandra, the crop is not the most important thing.  The garden is.  And sometimes the needs of the garden required sacrificing the crop.  That wasn’t possible for me.  My husband could not accommodate the idea of not getting maximum use from the plants that I invested money, time, and energy into growing.

And now he has taken on the property as his project, which thrills me to no end, but I am not the one making decisions about what is going to happen, and my husband is not the sort of person who would consider consulting with nature about what to do next, so I’m just going to have to do my best to advocate for nature as much as I can, and then work to achieve healing and  balance through other means.  The Genesa crystal will help a lot with that, and I will probably use Reiki to heal this property and the nature that exists here.  I think we can achieve balance.  But I guess it’s not truly co-creative if one of the entities who lives here (my husband) is not included in the energy dynamic or the decision making process.  So it is going to have to be a kind of balance that includes the paradigm within which my husband lives.  I feel that the result will still be very beautiful and magical in its own way.

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As if my time wasn’t already in short supply… I’ve added another thing to my already full schedule.  A while back someone suggested that I investigate Reiki as a possible way of treating some of my health problems.  He was saying that he’d seen some very impressive results from that healing method.  I considered it but since I don’t have a lot of resources for that sort of thing, I put it on a back burner for the time being.  A few weeks ago one of my friends shared a “memory” in Facebook from a couple of years ago.  It was a link to Udemy, which is an online platform for taking courses in a lot of different subjects.  This particular link was to a Reiki course, Level I, Level II, and Master Level, all in one course.  And Udemy had it on sale for a limited time for only $10.  How could I refuse?  I took it as a clear sign that I was intended to learn Reiki.  Not too long before that, I also had asked for the perfect work for me.  I feel that making beautiful things is perfect work for me, but alone, it isn’t going to be paying the bills any time soon.  I was hoping to be able to add another revenue stream that could make it possible for me to quit the muggle job and spend all of my working hours doing things I love to do.  And then this course fell in my lap. I took it as an answer to my request.

I am still taking the course, but I have received my Level I, Level II and Master Level attunements, and I have been working just on myself so far.  I’m going to continue working mostly on myself, and on people close to me if they request it, until I feel I can charge for my services with the confidence that it is actually helping people.  I feel that if I can make a difference in my own health, then I can help other people as well. But I won’t start a practice until I see results with my own health issues.  In the Reiki tradition there are five principles.  One of the five is this:  Just for today, I will do my work honestly.  That is a very important principle to me, so I intend to be true to it.

When I am in the sitting spot, near the Genesa crystal, I can feel a most beautiful healing energy flowing through my body.  When I do Reiki self-treatments, I feel something very similar.  This gives me some optimism that what I am doing is helping me.  I sure hope so.  Being able to move forward in health and abundance would be a blessing.

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