Wednesday, July 30, 2008

pedal on...

here's the new site in case you wanna visit...
katiemae days

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Still hoopin'...

but i've got a new blog...katiemae days. More soon on the new location...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Time to Press Play again...

After months of holding the pause button on writing, I woke up very early this morning after not so many hours of sleep to write. I almost started to say there is alot on my mind but I think what it is, is there is not. Like many I am sure, I am reading "A New Earth Awakening to Your Life Purpose" by Eckhart Tolle. Truthfully, it is hard for me to put into words how deeply this book is resonating with me.

To share a bit about it, here is the synopsis from the back cover of "A New Earth". I could not say it better so here it is:"The Power of Now", Eckhart Tolle expands on these powerful ideas (of showing readers how to discover the freedom and joy of a life lived in the now"to show how transcending our ego-based state of consciousness is not only essential to personal happiness but the key to ending conflict and suffering throughout the world. Tolle describes how our attachment to ego creates the dysfunction that is anger, jealousy, and unhappiness, and shows readers how to awake to a new state of consciousness and follow the path to a truly fulfilling existence.
When I woke this morning, I was aware of all sorts of thoughts running through my mind oh about the day, and whatever else sort of flitted through my mind's field. Then I took myself right to my own breath and noticed how the thoughts left. And at that moment I was in the Now, in the present moment and really this is all that matters. I started this blog back in October thinking about how I can learn to be more in the present moment and how the hoola hoop for me was perhaps the beginning of learning how come to the present. I hadn't yet picked up this book but I'd done alot of thinking about how to I help teach myself how to stop living in all these forecasted thoughts about what hasn't happened and about what already has happened that perhaps wasn't so pleasant and learn to let go of this and just be in the moment of right Now. Being. Just being. I absolutely love this to write it, say it be it. This for me means not being anything or anyone just being with myself in the very moment of right now. By no means is this selfish or self-centered. I think more than ever for me being in the moment is helping me to be far more present with my girl and my partner. Instead of thinking or waiting on the next moment, I am just right here. For my parenting, this feels incredibly empowering. To be nothing other then in the present moment. Now, what's real is this is a journey for me and the practice of being in the Now is coming in moments. I can feel and sense a peace and calm. This is not yet where I am always but even to have glimpses of what this can feel like is exhilerating.

Last night, I had the opportunity to really catch myself in one of those times of getting lost in my own thoughts. I was home with Hoopin Girl listening to one of our favorite CDs "Yogoman Burning Band". I was cooking dinner and just trying to focus on that. My thoughts though sent me reeling on the fact that today(now yesterday) was the day my husband would find out whether or not he would get a particular job that he has been temporarily in for this past year. I could sense all the thoughts come barreling in wondering why he wasn't home yet, why he hadn't picked up his office phone, did he get the job or not, what would we do if he didn't, if he did? The I sat there watching Hoopin Girl dancing and I picked up another Tolle book my friend had just left for me the night before and opened to a random page on how we can get to the Now. I sat there and read a few lines and I suppose accepted that I was reeling in these thoughts and slowly perhaps some of these thoughts dissipated. I pushed myself to look up at Hoopin Girl and get to Now by picking her up and dancing with her. I held her tight and danced to our favorite songs and just focused on that very time with her, those very moments.
Soon, he walked through the door. I could feel his sadness and see it on his face. He did not get the job. I was so sorry, that's what I said. Hoopin Girl hugged her Papa hard and loved him up. I did the same. And tried to say nothing but just let him be. My usual mode of operandi is to jump in and try and save the day, cheer him up, fix what's wrong. But I know that is not for me to do. All I did say was this is what it is. Not getting this job is a big disappointment but that's all it is. The truth is there is no attachment of getting this job or not getting the job that is tied to who he really is. He has a gift for what he does and that is his to share perhaps not in this place next year but in some other. I started to understand that there is nothing more for me to figure out. Not even the why not him, why not us. None of those questions really matter in this very moment. When the time comes, if he wants to learn more about why he didn't get this job, then he can but it just seems to me thinking and guessing about all the "whys" and "what ifs" is not what is at the heart of this very moment or that moment in time, nor does it matter at this moment in time. Being quiet and being there for him and fully present are what matters.

At this point, Hoopin Girl is awake and I'm going to go be with her. She is telling me she's ready to be hang out as she is perched atop my shoulders.

There's my start to writing again.
Have a sweet day.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Knit a row. Purl a row. Knit a Row. Purl.....

I signed up for a basic knitting course with a couple great women friends of mine. I have learned to knit and purl at various times throughout the years and have even knit a few wearables. Scarves for holiday gifts and a sweet little hat for Hoopingirl for which she designed the color scheme.
I do really love to knit at times during the year. I'm particularly drawn to knitting in the fall and winter seasons. Something about drinking tea and knitting feels warm and nourishing to me especially when mixed with a good visit. Today I met my great friend at our local Food Coop and we helped each other with the ole purl stitch. I've always learned to throw in my knit and purl and in this class we are learning to pick. Already I loved the term because when I hear pick I think of Bluegrass music and though I play no instrument that requires a pick--it is in one of my dreams to learn to play the fiddle someday or bass perhaps. In this pick method though, the action is much quieter and I like it. Knitting this new way came along fairly quickly but the purl well that's felt a little awkward so far. The awkwardness is a good thing I'm convinced. The awkwardness is a challenge. I've come to learn that I like this kind of challenge . I want to keep at it until it feels natural. For now, so mindful. so conscious. Not yet relaxing. Yet its ok. It feels good to be learning something new.

But the time, the hour away from work sitting with my dear friend all cozy in our sweaters knitting and visiting and laughing was rich. I told her this is my vision that I will have this time away from a routine job--two hours to do this to do something so delicious to feel a little of that freedom. I can see the design of the day--taking Hoopingirl to school for a shorter day than now, me writing, working and taking time out to nourish myself. Spending more time with my Girl. The rhythm seems good.

When I sat there last week in the first class metting, I realized how energized I felt just being out learning something new. On my own. I'd not scheduled any regular recreational activity for myself since Hoopingirl was born. The reasons ah well that's a big subject on finding balance between working and being a mama and not wanting to take time away from my mama time with Hoopingirl. The balance is challenging. I have worked full-time to provide for our family as the Papa has been in school for the last two years redirecting his own career. I leave work and I want to be with my Girl. And in that precious time after work and until her bedtime, there is still the need to find balance and time for myself. There has been great pull not to because I've not wanted to take time away from her. I am trying to grasp and learn how important it is that I do take some regular time away in order to re-energize and nurture myself for myself, for my family. I definitely take time for myself but let's say it has not been any sort of regularly scheduled anything more like a here and there and a I better schedule it a week ahead of time kind of thing. This is my own doing and my own responsibility I realize that more and more.
The balance though is shifting. Now our priority is to create a way for me to work less away from home. I am taking steps to create time for myself and it is true the more I do that even 15 minutes or 30 minutes, I am far more refreshed to be a much more conscious, mindful and present parent. This involves such a shift in thinking at least on my part. The internal dialog of quieting my mind of any guilt. Nourish yourself. Nourish the Girl. Nourish the Family. Slow Down. Relax. This is a new way of thinking. Awkward at first. I will practice and slowly it will feel more natural. On we go. Knit a Row. Purl A Row. Knit a Row. Purl...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

fall in the air. soup on the stove.

I love the feeling of fall in the air. Digging for sweaters and corduroy pants. Getting back to knitting. Cooking. I'm not so much a by the book recipe gal but I definitely like to leaf through my collection search given ingredients online and go from there. For me its intuition and improvisation that lead to most night's dinners. The fun for me is in making something out of whatever we happen to have around. Or in going to the store and putting together a meal based on an inkling of what I want dinner to look like, taste like. Yesterday, I felt the crispness of fall. And knew it was time for a pot of soup. Improvisation from there. Local, natural pork, fresh beets and their greens, spinach, white beans, tomato and penne. Hearty and super filling and warm. On the side, a little bowl of crisp apples with some sharp local cheddar. The night was sweet. Family time at the table. Taking photos of food is brand new to me and clearly I have a ways to go. But since this is a journey in daily life and a journey in getting my creativity flowing here's a little pic of the soup. No matter how it looks here, the taste was what I imagined it would be. Hoopingirl and her Papa ate if up.

And on knitting, I signed up for a class. Taking it with two of my good pals. I am excited because its been ages since I've taken any sort of class just for me. I know how to knit a little and have even made a scarf or two or three and one hat. I know so little though about patterns and fixing dropped stitches and well I thought what better way to dig into knitting this fall then to learn something more about it. Dreaming of making hoopingirl a vest.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Working on the Dream

So it hit me hard once again today. I want to work part-time! Yes I do. I need to say it aloud and write this down alot to put it out there. Walk the earth and say it loud! Riding the balance of being a Mom and wanting to spend time, precious time with my Hoopingirl and knowing I have the responsibility to bring home the bacon is precarious at times. I work to provide for my girl and I have to coach the part of me who is missing so much spending at least several more hours a week with my girl of that very fact. Would I feel it so precarious if I loved the work I was doing more? I don't know. For now, I go to work, I do the job, I leave. Mind you, this is one of the few times in my life I have felt this way about work. I have always invested so much of myself in my job because I loved the work. The fact that days pass so quickly and knowing I have spent each week so many hours away from my girl in a place that does not nurture my soul or where I do not feel like I'm making a meaningful contribution to the community at large well its a lot to think about some days and believe me I do. Let's just say some mornings it just isn't my first choice to walk out the door to a job that is just ok. I talk us both through it on days when Hoopingirl isn't quite ready for me to leave. I remind us both, though mainly myself I know well, why I work, for our home, for the clothes we wear, for the fun we have, so that her dad could go to school for the last two years and get on the road himself toward something he loves to do. I am grateful yes I really am that I have work so that I can take care of us. But it is time to work in new ways! Getting on the road to changing my work scene is a big part of why I am writing. I am working on creating a new vision for work and life balance and bringing it to the light of day.

I know what I want work to feel like and I'm getting so much closer to knowing what I want it to look like. I know what has most meaning to me. Being there for my girl, my family, being there for myself in doing work I love, work that is just a natural part of who I am. I do have some very practical tasks at hand, that is to come up with real numbers of what I must bring in dollar-wise. I can taste it, perhaps a little more balance day to day, more time to spend with my Hoopingirl and more time carved out for me, the me working on the dream to start my own business.

I know I can make this happen. This being working part-time doing something I enjoy or hey even love again. I know that feeling of doing work I love and really in the work world there's not much better. Where work doesn't feel like work but rather an extension of who we are. Where time flies. Where we shine internally and externally because we are doing what we love. And to be around other people who feel the same. The energy is contagious. I've had the honor to have several jobs where I have felt this. Teaching and counseling adults in career transition and designing websites for various projects. Two of my favorite work experiences. Yes, so different in some ways but there are deep parallels in that they gave me the chance for creativity, autonomy, fluidity, and freedom to experiment with ideas. Work in this time and place was far from routine and repetitious. Working with people who cared

I talk about it more and more because by talking about it I gather ideas and input.
And now I put it out in Blogville. There is far more to explore here.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

On Getting to the Board

So, the Bulletin Board. I remember being so jazzed about these corkboard tiles. I left them at the foot of the stairs for the latter part of the week and finally on Saturday I made the giant next step of bringing them upstairs to my office/guestroom. And there they sat for the next few days while I made the choice to do other things like go camping on a whim with my family.

We are fortunate to live in a magnificent area close to mountains, rivers, lakes and ocean among other natural wonders. We had a leisurely saturday, slow and easy. We decided midday that we wanted to go camping, car-camping. By 3, after saying goodbye to my dear friends moving to the mid-west and packing up whatever we thought could be important for one night in the woods, Hoopingirl, her daddio and I headed out to find a campsite. Somewhere. We drove north just about an hour into Canada to find a lake. This would be great. Swimming, roasting corn and turkey-dogs over the fire, hooping, a late night beer from a can while sitting around the fire talking after our girl went to bed, watching the flames, all cozy in warm sweaters--what could be better.

Yes, in the states and in Canada this 3 day weekend is one of the busiest but for us, I think we just trusted something would turn up. We had no reservations and as we came upon our destination which we more or less decided upon on the drive, the 4 major campsites in the area we chose were FULL. There it was in huge letters: FULL. Well, I thought who cares, we'll swim, picnic, find an adventure and drive back home if we can't find a place to sleep. Daddio though said "nah let's ask, there's gotta be something." We drove up to the ranger station and sure enough the Ranger said "well yah, we have 1 left". Couldn't believe it. Off we went to site # 74 and set up camp.

Though I've sure not got out camping much lately, everytime I get out and do it I think about how much I love it. Car-camping is like luxury camping to me. All the comforts of home practically. Air beds in the van, good food, bottles of wine if you want it, hoola hoops and balls, books you name it, pillows, everything is game. Of course this trip we may have forgotten forks and plates but we did remember our toothbrushes. While car-camping is luxury, I love backpacking too, bringing the essentials on your back. Sleeping bag, tent, therm-r-rest, cards, yummy food where you get to be perhaps more innovative with less, tarp and rope, water-purifier, matches and more that's in my camping box I know I'm forgetting. What I always loved about backpacking was making camp with what you have. I thought about how long it has been since I've taken a backpack trip--almost 5 years to the date. Here comes a new goal! Get back out there with a pack on.

Anyway, back to site # 74. We all sat around the fire, cooked our corn and turkey-dogs and felt full. After putting Hoopingirl to bed, we did put another log or few on the fire and talked, sipping our beer--not canned this time but it still met my vision of the camp-scene. I dozed off in front of the fire so warm and relaxed. We were slugs plain and simple and it felt so great. We woke up to a short sprinkle that passed quickly. I thought though this was a great excuse to stay in the van and sleep. More. We played games with Hoopingirl or alternated I suppose while each one of us got to take a little bit more of a nap. Hoopingirl gave us massages that were among the best around using her body. This time away for the 3 of us felt good and easy. Just being in the moment. Not talking about what we need to get done or what didn't get done. None of that. We spent that day, after finally crawling out the van and packing up, meandering along back roads through beautiful lush, green farmland where dramatic snow covered peaks rise high. Though the day was overcast, the views were so beautiful still.

We took Hoopingirl on a short hike to Bridal Veil Falls. She was having fun using the camera, snapping me and Daddio along with caterpillers crawling along, the stream, moss-covered trees. I'll post these pics soon. She had fun finding her way along the path and hiking higher. This too marks an inspiration and goal to get hiking a lot more like I used to only how with Hoopingirl.

One hour and who knows how many miles away; we got away for 24 hours and it was so good. The rest of the weekend was fun too but I could feel my to-do list surfacing by Monday afternoon. With the help of a design-star pal, we hung the cork tiles--using a level and all. I was impressed with her precision and with me for going this more well-planned route to hanging something on the wall. My normal routine would be to eyeball whatever it is and paste it on up. Well I was proud. We made a nice design with the tiles. I have to say though today the day after hanging the 8 tiles, I had some doubts about the quality of the tiles and that dreadful doublesided tape you're given use to paste them up. Would it peel my beautiful latte-colored walls? I came home and the tiles were already falling off the walls. I returned them all, got my money back and was so grateful for that. Decided that I would save the 15$ and just use that big bulletin board that I found for free. Warped and all. I could look past the warp to save some money. This huge bulletin board is now up on my wall and it looks great. I have posted a few pieces up so far; a design idea for my desk space and some other reminders and to dos. Its how I want it though big, a board I can stand before and put up my dreams big. On to the next task.