Tag Archives: Christmas

Yule Merriment

I just wanted to share our Yule Celebrations (Solstice/longest night). Being pagan from Christian families, we celebrate both holidays.

We don’t buy presents twice over, and in fact I collect them all year long as I have a few dollars to spare here and there. However, we do split them into more than one night of gift opening for kids enjoyment, and also to draw out the suspense and excitement.

Because of my mom’s creativity growing up, and her thrifty skills, I’ve gotten very creative making a few dollars look like an abundant spread. Plus, I learned long ago that dollar store bags and tissue paper make gifts look much larger.

It all adds to the view and feeling of a prosperous holiday season, which in turn gets kids very happy and excited (and a little naggy).

Finally, we always save a few gifts and the stockings, so that Santa can visit us too. This year a client suggested we use the ash from our fireplace to make boot tracks where Santa would drop the gifts and enjoy a cookie. I loved the idea so much we’re totally doing it, and I’ve made several fires to make sure we’d have plenty of ash. It’ll be a mess to clean up later but totally worth it.

I just watched “Polar Express” with my two littles and I think it’s just what we needed to spark some more magic in our home and family. Playing Santa for my kiddos will stir their magical creativity for sure.

Nathan and Anya even made gluten free vegan cookies for Santa. Shortbread and peanut butter carob chip cookies- yum! Ian and Katie helped with the peanut butter cookies. Now he’s working on gluten free pumpkin doughnuts. Double yum!

Anyways, I’ll put pictures in a clump below.

May you have a magical holiday season and enjoy abundant gift giving. May your children appreciate all their gifts no matter how much resources it took to compile. May you know you always have enough and that your gifting choices are perfectly chosen. May you feel confident in your holiday preparations. And above all, may the Magic of this season fill your hearts and inspire great things in all those you love and care for. May we all feel our connection to the divine goodness this holiday season. May you know you are loved and cared for.

Om Shanti

Creative relief.

Still no new home.

 Cats dwindled down to 3 again. One, sick from old age, was euthanized to prevent pain and suffering. Being she was having difficulty seeing, showing signs of kitty dementia, and when she tried sitting, couldn’t actually fully sit (kitty hip dysplasia) and be comfortable. We knew she was miserable. Our hearts went out to her as we helped her find a path back to god.  Salem our older male disappeared outdoors and after 2 months of searching and examining found similar stray cats we’ve given up. Social media gave us hopeful leads, but alas none were Salem.

The  2 others never took to being indoor kitties and were rehomed to a farm cat rescue where they’ll be happy as clams and well fed  in their preferred environment. 

That leaves Buddy and Missy (the brother & sister kittens) and Priss (my old fat calico). 

Buddy & Missy cuddling ( they’re the same age at about a year old, but Buddy has gotten much bigger and stockier). They are so adorable!:

The only recent cute shot of Priss I have, she was thoroughly enjoying lap snuggle with Anya.:

 

For the holidays, we have one tiny undecorated table top tree out, and so far Anya is the only one to have gifts, having gotten to use all the Walmart gift cards to buy new clothes.

So, Monday when I had my first actual day off in ages, I decided to be creative. $40 in supplies (including raw balsa wood boxes) and hours of work later, I made 2 beautiful portable altar boxes and a set of mini elemental candle holders. 

The idea was spawned from a borrowed set. The friend that helped me gain insight into my connection with the boy had loaned me hers knowing I’m never home for meditative space anymore. After almost 2 months of using hers it was time to get creative and make my own. Nathan got a box of his own as a gift.

It was much needed creative relief, and yielded beautiful results that I know at least that I’ll use.

The mess I made of our bedroom trying to work in tight quarters:

The green box left of buddy is the borrowed inspiration:

Nathan’s box with his favorite motif on the top:

inside:

outside top:

My box, Inside:

My box outside(s):

& the tiny candle holders:

I even got tiny statues of Ganesh and Shiva for both boxes. I want Kali ones too, but haven’t found those yet.

Being creative literally is not only enjoyable for me, but helps clear my head completely. I lose time, and don’t eat- not because I’m starving myself, but because my brain doesn’t even think about getting hungry. I don’t watch the clock, and I’m always surprised at how much time has passed. It in and of itself, it is often meaningful and meditative giving my brain a much needed tiny, tiny vacation. When all is done and my brain returns to “reality”, I get starvingly hungry very quick and then crash from fatigue. This instance was no different and was welcomed acknowledgement of my creative mini vacation from life.

I do have to confess that the insides are decoupaged papers, and the outside circular patterns were stencils that I then repainted over to cleanup edges. I could have done them manually, but it would have taken even more time to sketch out the designs and paint them completely from scratch. It’s something that I chose not to rush, knowing it was my only chance to complete the project anytime soon. Besides that I love the look of the metallic paints, and I’m super  grateful that I had beautiful custom altar boxes for the two of us by Yule. They’re perfectly appropriate.

The only little one left, that I need to find at least one gift for, is Ian. In theory that’s the easy one.

As much as I’d love to get gaggles of goodies, I simply can’t bear to cram anything else into our current situation. So gifts will wait for the New Year and a new home (& I foresee new organizational furniture first too). Besides I still want to get those beds I’ve had my eye on for ages. We’re all over sharing bed space with a tossing, turning toddler.

Beyond that, I got to play Santa for a friend that needed the emotional relief, if not the actual financial relief. I had great fun, and it felt really good to do something significantly good  for someone else. I’m very appreciative of that and hope that my future holds the ability to do a lot more of that.

Otherwise, I just keep trucking. Day after day, work and more work. I’ve worked 32 out of the last 35 days, and the only 2 days off in the near future are Christmas Day  and January 2nd. This schedule is already old, but until the divine manifests whatever it’s been trying to tell me about, it’s pretty much my only option.

 I’m grateful for the work and the income it provides, but I’ve had many conversations with thin air about how it’s not really my ideal, far from it in fact. 

I really hope that whatever is gestating in the ethers brings relief and moves me much closer to my ideal. I’m hoping the messages I’m getting about Valentine’s Day time frame (including my birthday) are clues of that something good, but I simply don’t know. Just that February is important somehow. Looking forward to better days.

Caring too much.

I’ve been running long & hard for weeks.

This week I struggle with caring too much on several topics.

There’s what used to be my favorite building, failing to pay me for months and months and when I finally was done asking nicely they literally looked for reasons to weasel out of payment. I had to involve corporate which not only ate hours of my sleep compiling everything from my side for the corporate office, but also irritated me and made me anxious. I hate having to get pushy and vocal with people, but I will when necessary. It emotionally sucked because this was a building that was my longest standing contract of nearly 5 years, having been my favorite for 3 of those. I even recommended the building to a client at another decent building, and kicked myself later when things changed for the worse. 

I felt my recommendation was based on genuine good standing interactions and after the family moved the person there, everything changed and was not what I told the family. I apologized profusely to that family, explaining that I didn’t know the changes were coming, but the damage was done. He was dieing and they felt they couldn’t risk moving him again. I felt the changes that caused misgivings reflected poorly on me because I gave the family my word that it was a good facility. I am now wary of recommending any facility for fear of that happening again. Yet I’m most angry that I was put in that position, and they still don’t want to pay me for work I already did. I fulfilled my obligations in full, on time, and with extras I didn’t charge for. I didn’t even charge them interest or late fees for nonpayment. I took one for the team and they can’t even pay basic compensation. It’s really gotten under my skin.

Another thing I’m working through is how to process insults from residents. The residents are protected legally and staff have very strict and rigid ways we are allowed to interact. I think on some level the residents know this because they seem to frequently get verbally abusive of me, and really anything or anyone they don’t like. I’m not used, to not being the favorite person, like when I’m doing massage. Yet we’re supposed to treat them as if we are visitors in their home, but there are no protections for our treatment short of a resident being physically abusive to employees. In two and a half months I’ve been sworn at numerous times, and one resident in particular seems bent on insulting me as many ways as she can think of. I’m just supposed to smile and keep moving. Everything gets blamed on dementia, but I suspect that the one woman knows very well she’s insulting me, as she has very mild symptoms of the disease otherwise. Because of that knowledge there have been several times I’ve hid to cry, and several evenings I’ve left work hating the world to spend the rest of my waking hours convincing myself it’s not that bad.

It still doesn’t help that I’m not getting enough sunlight, and still frequently missing my exercise and sleep (especially with the payment battle). All of this as the holiday season is getting into full swing and we’re still not moved.

I find I am fighting the urge to beat up on myself about all these, yet more perceived failures. Fighting depression with everything I’ve got. Losing frequently when no-one is looking.

Today I resorted to playing a Louise Hay video on YouTube for daily devotional, more for myself than them, but I have to say I hoped it sunk into the one lady’s head even just a little. If you’d like a little pick-up, watch it here. I know it was a good reminder for me and I’m going to refocus some of my mental energy on her suggestions. I was already familiar with them, but have lapsed on my practice for quite some time. It can’t hurt, yet another tool for finding some happy in what sometimes seems like a very dismal world.

May you all be buoyant and find your happy this holiday season.

 I will be working on my holiday, Yule, but will have my parent’s (and much of America’s) holiday, Christmas, off.  Hopefully we’ll be moved with enough time to actually get some decorations up before either holiday. Pretty things always help me perk up some. Getting moved and finding some level of “normal” would help too.