Cabin Fever

Sneaux-magedon date 9, January, Twenty Fourteen.  We’ve found ourselves in an alternate vortex where Christmas Vacations never end, and the crew is growing weary…

Let’s recap.  Week one, I was in intense pain running around, with a huge inflamed cyst on my leg, trying to get ready for Christmas, and last minute company, which all ended up with a trip to the ER.

Week two.  Christmas.  Post Op.  Lots of pain killers.  Company.  All last minute shopping.  No drinky treats because of said meds.  HELL.

Week Three.  New Years.  Cold.  Kids gone wild.  Meds wearing off.  Car broken down.  Sneaux-magedon approaches.

Week Four.  SNEAUXMAGEDON STRIKES.  Just about got in a fist fight at the store.  Made it home, and haven’t been able to leave since.  Brains are oozing, the world is frozen.  And I can’t eat one more damn sandwich, or watch the Croods one more flipping time.  Someone refill my flippen meds from week one PLEASE.

As I look out my window, and my vision is blurred by freezing rain, and more falling snow, I can’t help but wonder if we’ll ever make it back to sanity in one piece, or if we are doomed forever to live in this harsh realm of frozen hell forever… and I want nachos now.  Snow plows should totally deliver mexican food.

To be continued………………………………..

Good Riddance 2013

It’s that time of year when the bloglands are filled with resolutions, and plans to do this and not that, and goals, and promises, and sweet little recaps of the closing year.

Normally I’d be cranking out my master list of 101 things I would like to consider tackling in the next 365 days… but this year I need a change.

A HUGE change.  We’re talking ginormous.  Godzilla times a million big.  Because last year chewed me up, and then threw me away with the bath water.  Cold bathwater, up the creek too, between a rock and a hard spot.

I’m sure there were some good parts dangled in front of me last year.  Like a visit from a dear friend.  My 60th sale on Etsy.  Getting a cell phone that actually worked.  But the bad parts trumped the good.  And then were topped with even more bad sprinkles just to keep it lively.  Like loosing my FIL, and while trying to make plans to make it up to him, flinging hot oil onto my contact lens.

Or like right before Christmas, being excited to have almost all of the shopping done.  And having my shop doing somewhat well.  And then having a cyst flare up to the size of a golf ball, then having the husband’s company CANCEL Christmas bonuses (Hey! If any of you are looking for any last-minute gift ideas for me, I have one. I’d like Frank Shirley, my boss, right here tonight. I want him brought from his happy holiday slumber over there on Melody Lane with all the other rich people and I want him brought right here, with a big ribbon on his head, and I want to look him straight in the eye and I want to tell him what a cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, dickless, hopeless, heartless, fat-ass, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey shit he is! Hallelujah! Holy shit! Where’s the Tylenol?), while your oven is deader than a doorknob, then your door knob breaks, in the lock position, then your husband’s car needs over $500.00 worth of work, then you go to the ER where they knock you out with oddles of drugs, and company is on the way, and just announces they will be staying for Christmas.  (Where do you think you’re going? Nobody’s leaving. Nobody’s walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We’re all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We’re gonna press on, and we’re gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he’s gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse.)

Last year needs to choke and die a slow and painful death.  And it best not leave any of its baggage with this year.  Or I’ll be learning how to blog with my arms tied behind me in a spiffy white coat.  How I wish I was joking.

So my plans and goals for 2014?  In general, to buckle down, to burn last year’s calendar, and to pray for the best.  After all, the best laid plans can blow up in your face, and things can always get worse (and probably will), tomorrow may not ever be.

We have to live, knowing, that today is where we are supposed to be.  Right here in the now, that’s our purpose.  And that’s my goal.

So 2013, Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?

No?

Fine.  I’ll just go back to knitting, and watching Christmas Vacation for the millionth time.  ;)

 

Masterpiece

tangle

Life. We’ve heard it before, it’s not about the finished work, but the individual strokes that created the finished piece. That doesn’t make things easier to swallow. Because sometimes you have to see the finished piece, so you know where to lay that first drop of ink.

There has to be a vision, somewhere, somehow, to get you moving in the first place. Especially when life locks your soul up in a cold, dark basement. It’s the chicken and the egg. What comes first? Movement or direction? Doing or being inspired? Some days it’s neither, some days it’s both. Like moving a huge piece of furniture, where you ease it forward, moving one corner forward at a time. Doing. Living. Doing. Living.

sketch

And it’s all so exhausting.  The pushing and the pulling.  The constant reminders of mortality.  The mistakes.  The blemishes.  The still having so much to learn, and do.  And the overwhelming need to have a fresh, new, blank canvas to start all over again.  Because if I only knew what I know now…

zen

Had I known…

Perhaps I wouldn’t have cared so much about the masterpiece.

Maybe I would have held onto those scrap pieces of time.  Those scribbles in my life…

Maybe I wouldn’t have left so many blank pages lying around.

Yet it’s the masterpiece that drags me back up off the floor.  The need to get somewhere better than here, better than the now.  My blessing and my curse.  The delicate lines drawn by the fragile lives, and tear stained water colors.  The need to make this life beautiful once again, not in spite of the hurt, but because of it.  To always remember.

And to accept the here, right now, is where I’m supposed to be.  Today is my Masterpiece.

art

~Tangled~

tangled

Tangled.

This is not where she was supposed to be.

Shaken.

There was no where else to go.

Stunned.

She kept moving forward.

Aching.

Her heart pounded in her ears.

Alone.

She had been abandoned.

Crowded.

She could barely breath.

Strangely.

She dared the pain.

Confidently.

She let a grin escape her lips.

Proud.

She would take it on.

~Emily

Putting the Hands Back in Handmade

purpleyarn
There’s headlines floating all over the interwebs right now on how Sellers on Etsy are protesting their latest change of policies. I’m betting 50% of my readers are saying, “What’s Etsy?” 45% are probably asking, “What policy change?” And the last group is packing up their profiles from Etsy and moving on.

Let’s start at what I once knew. Etsy was the place for all things handmade, vintage, or supplies to make handmade. An online community where I could go and buy fantastic supplies to make a knitted sweater, then turn around and sell said sweater, then take those profits and buy that vintage birdcage that I had always wanted. The American dream gone global, sort of speak.

But there were/are problems in the Etsy world. You had people reselling junk that was neither vintage, handmade, nor a supply. You had people selling things they never even touched, known as drop shipping. The problems kept growing, and growing, and growing. Drop in the word, “bubble necklace” in an Etsy search, and you’ll get a great example.

To fast forward to the latest issue over in Etsy world, and you have the Ceo stepping up in a town hall meeting to announce that Etsy sellers may now hire out to get their goods made, and they may also use drop shipping. In short I could technically send my knitted scarf design to China (no offense any oriental readers), hire a sweatshop to make hundreds of them, and have them ship the scarfs directly to you… never again having to touch them myself, while still calling my shop Handmade. I’d like to go on and on about the other problems this causes, the treatment of sellers, and so forth… but I’d like to keep this post somewhat short, as I actually DO have HANDMADE SCARVES to HAND KNIT, and those take time, lots of precious time. ;)

Now we’re at the downfall of this announcement for Etsy. Mass-produced versus handmade, and the Etsy name getting more tarnished than the senate. Those sellers who can afford to leave the venue are, they’re taking off to sites like Zibbet.com, Tictail.com, Indiemade, and more. Those of us who can’t afford to leave are left without the clout those big stores carried, and are running into customer after customer who want Ebay deals. Then there’s the buyers who can’t find homemade/handmade goods were they used to be the forefront. You have buyers unknowingly buying from mass producers. And buyers who are just simply turned off from the whole deal.

And it’s all a catch 22. To get a large company like Etsy to hear you, you have to hit them in the wallet. BUT that means hurting the hundreds of TRUE handmade, vintage, and supply shops who have been working their butts off to build their shops, and have been following every rule since day one. So I’m not asking you to leave Etsy off your shopping list this holiday season. I’m asking you to leave cheap, imported, mass produced JUNK off your list, and to buy handmade! When shopping on Etsy do a search of the item you’re wanting to buy in a new window/tab. If you see the same image in multiple shops, it’s probably mass produced. If you see a price that’s too good to be true, it’s not handmade. If the shop has 5,000 listings, and 10,000 sales, and 100 of each item in stock… yeah, it’s not handmade. (that one is different for supplies, they can pump out huge numbers) And even when you run into a shop on Etsy offering an IPhone for a super great deal, DON’T BUY IT!!! Go to Ebay for your deals, don’t encourage the Etsy CEO’s to ruin handmade businesses anymore! (Etsy makes a profit on every listing a shop owner lists, AND a profit on every item we sell)

When in doubt, ask if something is real. Many of us true Handmade “artist” on Etsy have connections to every kind of maker out there, if you can’t tell if it’s real or mass-produced, we’d all be happy to figure it out for you.

Make a real change in our economy and help support the little guys. It makes a huge difference when you do!

~Emily (You can start by checking out my shop at http://www.whitegoatranch.etsy.com ;)

This Broken Heart

I’ve been told that we’re supposed to grow from pain. Learn from the past, forgive, grow stronger, gain wisdom and character. Take to our faith in troubled times, and embrace it.

There’s truth in those beliefs. We’re always growing, moving, and changing. Even when we dig in our heels, and hide under the covers. Because you can’t stop life, even when you’re broken, even when your caught in bliss.

If only there was a way to dump out all of the emotions life forces out onto a table and sort them all out. “Here. Here is my pile of what I am mad about. Here’s the stack of happy thoughts. Over there is my sad. There’s a basket of things I need to forgive. There’s the box of what I wish to be forgiven for.” Clear cut, simplified, and sort-able. manageable. Instead of the jumble mix of jealousy, hurt, anger, fear, happiness and so forth that flies back and forth like a dust storm.

Because life keeps moving, and there’s little time to fully embrace each emotion and handle them properly. It’s saying goodbye to one family member who you knew would soon be parting from this earth, to having another one taken without warning before you hung your funeral dress back up in the closet, the awkward heels still in your car. It’s the dying inside while you’re rushing another family member off to the ER, while keeping the kids busy and quiet in the waiting room. Topped off with another family member coming back into your life, that you might not be ready for, because are you still mad, hurt, angry, scared, or morning them? All the while just trying to save every dime to keep your home, and gas in your car.

If only life would just provide time to breathe.

There’s so much to think about, to feel, to deal with. There’s so many words to say. But when you know others are hurting so much worse, you can’t risk that one lonely minute in which you might lose control and fall apart 100%. Because life demands you keep moving.

Oh but this tiny little broken heart is tired of this age of loss it has found itself in. And it’s mad at the mess one family had created. It’s desperate to see one soul once again, even for a moment to say good-bye. It wants to move on, it wants to be ticked, and it wants hurt. And it wants others to let it just be. Alone, hidden, trembling, until it’s too tired to weep anymore. Then maybe it can move on, and deal with the million other demands put in front of it. Maybe then it can love despite the past without judgement. Maybe.

Yet life waits for no one, not even this broken heart.

~Emily

I Sorta Almost Died

I almost died this weekend. No joke.

If you ask my husband, he’ll tell ya that you can’t “almost” die. God either takes you, or he doesn’t. And since we weren’t tempting death, we just had a “lucky experience.” I think he’s in denial.

It was just your average Saturday around here. The kids were exhausted from the night before, so they were inside watching cartoons. The husband and I were out walking around…

The new baby goat was looking all cute, so we went over towards her, and we started chatting about this and that. An average summer storm was brewing out in the distance, you could feel the incoming cool breeze, but the clouds were still far off in the horizon, and thunder was not yet audible.

And then…

Have you ever taken a blanket out of the dryer, fleece blankets are the worst, you take it out, and it has so much static charge, it’s clinging to itself for dear life? Then you give it a good shake. The static pops and crackles as you disrupt it, raising your hairs, and charging the air around you…

THAT. The air crackled and popped, like someone was shaking out the largest fleece blanket ever, quickly followed by BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. Insert in one of those milliseconds, bright lights, and my heart jumping all the way to Miami.

Death and I were feet away from becoming beasties.

Okay so maybe not feet away, I don’t actually know the exact spot the lightening hit. But from the ringing in my ears, the static in my hair, and my muscles that so did not want to relax, it was close enough, thank you very much. Scientifically, they say that sound happens within a 100 feet or less. Still too close.

As for the weather? After that strike we cautiously rushed inside (didn’t want to show mother nature any weakness of course), and saw nothing more, for ten minutes. Then, then it started to storm, and the nice weather man rushed on tv warning of deadly lightening. Thanks. Thanks a lot. *grumbles*

Moral of the story: You only almost get hit by lightening on sunny days. ;)

And The Greatest is This

Toodle

Religious views always differ from person to person. Always.

The idea of faith never changes.  Faith is Believing.  Christian, Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, Muslim, Cherokee or voodoo… it all takes faith, believing, trusting in something other than yourself.

To not have a religious view or faith in someone other than yourself still requires a faith.  A faith of yourself, a trust that you are right.  Life takes faith.

1 Corinthians 13

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have no love, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails.  But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.

For we know in part and we prophesy in part.

But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face.  Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

And now abide faith, hope, love these three; but the greatest of these is love. 

Life takes love.

Mark 12: 31

And the second, like it, is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  There is no other commandment greater than these.

Faith, Hope, Love.  It’s all we got.

Faith is not about which pastor you follow, which books you read, or how many lines of scripture you can rattle off.  Religion is not about being perfect or about being better than another.  It’s about faith, hope and love.  It’s about living your faith, showing it through you actions and leaving the judging to the one who is truly in charge.

We hope to inspire, hope to change, hope to grow.

We love with all we have, and have the faith that we shall be loved back.

And the greatest is Love.

 

{This is an oldy from a different blog I used to have, but seems extremely relevant today, so much so that I couldn’t find one part that I wanted to edit}

True Story

It was a dark, damp, creepy morning.  Braving the elements I crept outside, giving my all, to make sure my faithful canines were well taken care of.  My Belgian Malinois on one side, my Australian Cattle dog on my other side.  Carefully we made our way down to their yards, cautiously keeping our eyes peeled for any sign of trouble.

Quickly it leapt from the shadows, some mysterious creature, with fangs a foot long, dripping with crimson.  I could tell it wanted my precious four-footed friends, and I was prepared to stop it.

I leapt towards it, as it snarled at me, grabbing it’s gnarly, slimy fur in my fingers.  I pulled and pushed, as it slashed at me with its dagger like claws.  I punched, and jabbed, as it fought back.

My canines faithfully snapped at the horrific creature, as it fought me with all its might.  But I commanded them to stay back out of harm’s way.  The creature pounced on top of me, crashing me to the ground, its rancid drool, hanging dangerously close to my face.  I closed my eyes, preparing to deal it one last brutal blow.  And with all my might I shoved my fist deep into it’s gut, sending the rabid creature screaming into the woods.

{I swear that’s what happened yesterday.  Honest to gawd and such.  That’s why my leg is all black and blue.  That’s why I can’t move any muscle in my entire body.  Honest.  Because we all know my husband’s lovely dog is so well-trained that he would never run after a damn shadow and knock me into the air, to land square on my back.   Ugh.}

The end.

 

~Free Stuffs~

I’m in the middle of stepping up my “goods” on Etsy.  By stepping up I mean my arms are falling off from working on full sized blankets, cable knitted scarves, and snazzy things that take lots of work.  And all of this takes oddles of time.

While I’m taking oddles of time to make all of these detailed, anal retentive type objects, I’m working away in the mornings on basic items to fill my shop.  Because you can’t sell things if there’s nothing to sell, and yada yada yada.

And this is where the Free Stuffs come in.  While all this madness is going on I need to still consider promotions, getting my name out there and stuffs.  ‘Cept between everything else I seem to be running out of “free” time in which to promote.  So I’m turning to you, and waving free stuffs in front of your nose.  ;)

I have these:

headband

 

That are getting ready to enter my shop soon.  They are 100% cotton, hand knit, workout/yoga headbands.  Less than 2 inches wide, these are more like the nylon ones you’d buy at the store, than the big thick ear warmers you normally see.  The cotton is gentle on hair, and absorbs sweat, while fully washable.  The cinch part can go on the top of your head, or at the back of your head, depending on your tastes.

I’m looking for a few bloggers who’d like to try one out in the color of their choice, then blog them up, and possibly (possibly meaning reviews and blogging them up with no giveaway is fine too) give one away to their readers.  You don’t personally need to pick one out for you!  It can be for your daughter, grand daughter, whomever.

If you’d like more information please feel free to contact me at jemily383 (at) gmail (dot) com.

Thanks!  *hurries back to work*