Saturday, October 4, 2014

Updates

Life has been crazy busy! I haven't been posting but I really need to start doing this again, for my sanity's sake. Bear with me as I dust off some of my writing and perhaps share even some of my crochet as well as other inspirations. My word for 2014 was Nourish and I definitely need to nourish more of my soul so I don't get stagnant.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Blessed with Great Friends

Anyone who knows me, knows I don't like to spend very much time on the phone but tonight a friend I haven't talked to in a long while called and I spent basically an hour on the phone. Sometimes I think God just brings people back in your life at certain times to teach you and point out the very lessons that you are struggling to face.

He said, "Dana, you've had a rough year or so. You've had so much going on in your life with your kids and your job - that you have merely existed rather than lived. That just isn't you, nor is it healthy. You've focused all of your time, attention, money and emotions on everyone else but yourself. You push people away because you don't want to "burden" people with your life but you aren't a burden to us. I don't want you to get down the road 5 years from now, have everyone you've helped have moved on and you have lost out on the things and relationships that would have made life better for yourself along the way. You have to start letting people in. You need to take some time, figure out the direction you want to see your life headed - then focus on getting it for yourself. It's okay to focus on you, to take care of you too - in fact, it is necessary."

Just in awe that I am blessed to have such great friends to look out for me. Thanks for the reminder.



Thursday, January 9, 2014

52 Lists - Week Two: List Your Greatest Comforts

I stumbled upon a blog (Moorea Seal) that is completing 52 Lists for 2014. Each week you get a new prompt for your list. I like the idea so thought I'd join in!

Week Two: List Your Greatest Comforts
  • Hugs - they just feed my soul
  • Comfy Soft Pajamas
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Tomato Soup
  • Homemade Quilts by my grandmother and mother
  • Music of all kinds
  • When a guy leans back against you as he drapes one arm over your leg while riding on the back of a bike
  • Shawls
  • Creating things of beauty whether that be crochet or other crafts
  • The scream of "NANA!" from my grandbabies
  • The warmth of the sun upon my skin along with a cool gentle breeze
  • Listening to my mother sing
  • Piping Hot Coffee
  • Resting my head on a man's chest while in his arms, listening to his heart beat
  • Giggles of little kids
  • The smile of a vet when thanking him/her for their service
  • When the house smells amazing from a home-cooked meal
  • Warm fuzzy socks
  • Prayer and Faith in God
  • Laying in a dark room watching the Christmas tree lights blink
  • Big huge trees
  • A long soak in a big huge bubble bath
  • Getting my nails done
  • When someone else washes and brushes my hair
  • When a man places his hand on the small of my back to lead me
  • Knowing all of my kids are safe
  • Snuggling under blankets
  • Curling up with a good book
  • Sitting on a pier watching and listening to the waves


What's on your list?



Sunday, January 5, 2014

Claiming my blog for Bloglovin'

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Saturday, January 4, 2014

52 Lists - Week One: List the Words that Touch Your Soul

I stumbled upon a blog (Moorea Seal) that is completing 52 Lists for 2014. Each week you get a new prompt for your list. I like the idea so thought I'd join in!

Week One: List the Words that Touch Your Soul

  • freedom
  • serenity
  • serendipity
  • family
  • friendship
  • beauty
  • comfort
  • loyalty
  • country
  • patriotism
  • mountains
  • land
  • trees
  • flowers
  • hummingbirds
  • morning glories
  • sunflowers
  • sharing
  • volunteering
  • reflection
  • peace
  • nourish
  • space
  • breathe
  • Nana
  • mother
  • growth
  • create
  • forest
  • fields
  • traditions
  • history
  • ancestory
  • children
  • animals
  • rain


What's on your list?



Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Nourishing myself by...

...getting all 130 squares of my granny rose garden afghan joined.

This is part of my Yarny Madness - 2013 Year of Projects. The only rule was: You must choose ONE pattern or project just for YOU! We all do things for everyone else and often times don't ever get around to doing that one project you really love. So let this year, 2013, be the year you bless yourself. It is vowing to complete that one project that you've always wanted to do but never made time for like a Wooleater Blanket, Daisies in a Sea of Blue, Military Afghan,etc.

For me, it was my rose garden. It isn't complete yet as I still need to weave in the ends as well as add a border.




Tuesday, December 31, 2013

One Word - 2014


When I chose "Breathe" for my word last year, I had no idea that the Universe would take that as a personal challenge to see just how many situations I could endure that would require me to remain calm and breathe while my stress meter was pegged.

There are studies that evaluate the most stressful events in life and how stress can affect your health. I took a quick test to see where mine has been, based on the past 12 months, using the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale.

The Score Interpretations of the test were:
  • If you score 300+: You have a high or very high risk of becoming ill in the near future.
  • If you score 150-299: You have a moderate to high chance of becoming ill in the near future.
  • If you score less than 150: You have only a low to moderate chance of becoming ill in the near future.
My score for 2013? 449

I am depleted. Parts of me are running on empty, others on literally fumes, yet I've still trudged on. I'm not saying my life has been any more stressful or hectic than anyone elses. I'm just speaking about my own individual experience.

My focus for 2014 is to work on things that NOURISH me - things that recharge my batteries, fill my soul up until it bubbles over, reduces my stress and allows me to be the person I want to be. I need to nourish all parts of my life whether they be physical, mental, intellectual, emotional, social, occupational or spiritual. I'm not talking monumental changes, though if some of those occur in positive ways, that will be ok too. I need to replenish so that I can continue to handle all the curve balls life throws my way.  So forgive me if I seem to pause and retreat from time to time in 2014 - it just means I'm regaining my footing. :)

My word for 2014:

NOURISH: To give the substance required to live, grow and/or remain fit and healthy; to encourage or strengthen a feeling or idea; to help something to grow or develop.




Monday, December 30, 2013

One Word of Focus for 2014

Got your Word yet?!?! It's almost that time!! Every year instead of Resolutions, I choose one word as my year's theme. Last year my word was Cultivate - it was a great year of growth. This year I chose the word Breathe and oh boy has the universe provided me with a ton of tests to teach me how to do that very thing!! Now I'm in search of my word for 2014. Won't you please join me this year? What will your one word be for the New Year - 2014?




Sunday, December 29, 2013

As 2013 Ends...

This year has been filled with incredible peaks and hellish valleys and yet through it all I've worked to maintain my faith, my hope and have learned to breathe. I thank God for all that he has provided. Everything hasn't gone as expected. Life has and will continue to throw me curve balls but I'm learning to just let it all roll off.  It has been a journey but it has also been lessons learned. For now, I'm just going to be grateful for the small positive
  • My mom had surgery at then end of 2012, so I went to help take care of her and didn't return until January 2013.
  • Got a new tattoo - Breathe, Believe, Focus Hummingbird
  • Continued to make and give away scarves on my travels - warms my heart to think things I've made are giving hugs out in the world
  • Attended Recognition Night where Sierra got a Certificate of Merit
  • Became a grandma on January 11 with the birth of Theia Lyn Costantini, my little TLC
  • Took a roadtrip to Arizona - had a great time, stayed in a Spaceship Motel, got to see a giant metal snake and dinosaur, rode lidless on the back of a bike and got to eat Cracker Barrel for a taste of home
  • Got promoted at work - YAY!
  • My eldest son got married April 20th and our family welcomed in Tiffany and her children so I am now grandma to 5!
  • Took a gardening class with Jennie
  • My friend Jay McFarling lost his battle with ALS so now I simply hug my friend Jennie to let her know she is never alone. That's what friends do for each other!
  • Took Sierra to her first PBR event
  • Got named one of the 50 Best Moms in San Diego - still just floors me but makes me smile
  • Helped host the National Armed Forces FreedomRide for Southern California
  • My eldest daughter had her senior prom - gorgeous pink mermaid dress
  • Attended banquets for Mikaela for Avid and watched her get the recognition she deserved for all her hard work, along with scholarships
  • Took painting classes at Paint 'N Vineyard alone and with Jennie (Sunflowers and Sea Window)
  • My apartment had leaks from the ceiling of every bathroom and the kitchen - all at the same time! 
  • My co-workers, friends and family made me feel special on my birthday - Mikaela took me to see my first 3D IMax movie
  • Got my youngest daughter some help as she struggles with some issues so that she too can learn to breathe
  • My eldest daughter graduated from High School
  • Watched in awe as Sierra learned to sew her first quilt top with my mom
  • My brother got so sick that I flew back to TN for a month to help care for him and watched his heart stop which terrified me and my mom.  He miraculously recovered from it all after staying in the hospital for 2 months
  • My memaw had a heartattack but came through it all ok
  • My eldest daughter moved to Long Beach into an apartment with her boyfriend and left for college
  • More water leaks in my apartment 
  • Picked up beading again to see if I could do it still
  • Received a Sunflower and Hummingbird Yarn Bowl!
  • Learned how to Needle Tat 
  • One of the items I've made got featured on Ravelry
  • Found a wonderful sangria at a local restaurant and the waiter gave me the recipe :) Yay me!
  • Blew a headgasket on my car :( Poor Bessie just isn't going to make it any more but she's being donated
  • Bought a new car - love it! Hello Izzy2!
  • Got a new apartment - love it too!  No more leaks!
  • Had a birthday party for Sierra at Shogun Restaurant - I loved watching her with her friends
  • Painted ceramics with Sierra
  • Moved!!!
  • Faced one of my largest fears on the planet...dentists! I had massive amounts of work done all at once. Now I need to schedule another visit to get my permanent crowns in
  • My youngest daughter made our first home cooked meal in our new place - chili! :)
  • Discovered turnip greens and okra in my local grocery store - OMG so happy
  • Traveled to OK, CO, MI, TN and lots of CA - I traveled over 42,197 miles in 2013 not counting train rides and cars. Whew!
  • Stayed in a beautiful Victorian B&B in Colorado
  • Got told my position is being eliminated and I'll need a new job in 2014
  • Lost the silver yarn skein and cross from my necklace - was gifted with replacements from the wonderful lady who made my original ones
  • Met Bev Vilardofsky in person :)  Always good to meet friends
  • Made Christmas ornaments with my grandbabies - snowmen fingerprints
  • Won a quilt from the Buckeye Military Families Quilt Raffle - YAY!!
  • Attended Wreaths Across America with Jennie, delivered Jason's wreath and stuffed stockings for wounded warrior wives and their kiddos
  • Got to spend Christmas Eve with all four of my kids and all five of my grandbabies. Don't know when that'll happen again!
  • Beginning to learn to knit
  • Got the most amazing gifts for Christmas! My daughter gave me a framed oil pastels painting she made and my mom gave me a swift & yarn baller!  Heaven!
  • Candy Cane Lane with my girls, Tyler and his mom!  Dinner and coffee! Awesome night!
  • Shipped my youngest son off to Chicago to hang out with friends for a vacation he so desperately needs
  • Came down with the crappiest cold that my son obviously shared with me before he left for Chicago
  • Crocheted like a fiend all year long and hopefully will finish my garden blanket by 1/1/2014.
Through all the ups and downs, the one thing I've learned to do consistently is...BREATHE!




Thursday, May 24, 2012

Memorial Day - Those gone and their memories

I often think that those who have left us find ways to remind us they are still around. I don't really believe in coincidences so when things tend to repeat and a pattern develops, I try to listen to it. Two such things have happened to me recently.

(1) The first happened this past weekend on the SoCal National Armed Forces FreedomRide. I really wanted to ride on a bike for this event but I didn't have anyone I could really ride with. Instead I worked the event table to help riders get set up, pay their entrance fees, sign their waivers, etc. So this young guy comes up, super polite and asks me about the fees, etc. He fills out his form, pays his fee and walks away. I noticed that he had a passanger so I mentioned to Jennie that I didn't have a waiver for her. Jennie goes over and talks to them, both come up and she signs his form. He's all set. My attention moved to helping others and I didn't think another thing about it. 

Sunny asks me if I've asked someone to ride with them. I tell him no so he tells me to go ask Gator. Now if you know me, you know that I can get really shy when it comes to myself (I can talk to anyone about donating, etc for the troops without hesitation though! LOL) so I'm kind of half walking in that direction when Jennie loops her arm into mine and marches me over to ask for a ride. Thankfully Gator agreed. 

I've gotten my gear on, I start to get on his bike when I look over at the young man from earlier. The hoodie of his jacket is covering the picture on the back of his shirt but I knew immediately who it was. I said, "Oh my God, you have Jason on your shirt!" He looks up and says, "Yes m'am, do you know Jason?" I explained to him how Jason went to school with my sons, all of their friends, how I had gone to Jason's funeral (In fact I have a camo wreath on the back of my front door that says US Marines - Hill on it). I immediately hug him. Fig tells me how he's doing the ride in Jason's honor and how Jason was his brother in arms - they served together and how he couldn't get back for Jason's service. Had Gator not agreed, I'd not have seen that shirt. Turns out we all spend the whole day together, laughing, having a great time and we end the day by holding up Fig's shirt with Jason on it, telling everyone in the VFW about Jason and taking a picture of the group of us. Jason deployed to Afghanistan in April 2011 from Camp Pendleton. Lance Cpl. Jason D. Hill, 20, died Saturday, June 11, 2011, in combat with the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force. 


(2) The second comes in three parts. On Sunday, as we are coming back from the FreedomRide, Sunny calls Jay McFarling, Jaybird. I just smile to myself because that was my grandfather's CB handle. My grandfather, J.V. Hood, was a Seabee in WWII. He passed away in 2008 and I didn't get to go home for the service. That still pains me. For you to understand how much I loved him, you'd have to know that I was the only granddaughter for 12 years. When I was little, my parents moved across Memphis and I had a fit because I thought I'd never see Granddaddy again. They had to take me back over to prove it wasn't far. LOL! 

So the second part comes when Ken, who I'd met at the FreedomRide, posts that his birthday is June 2nd. I told him that my grandfather's birthday was the 1st,  my father's was the 2nd and mine's the 6th so we often celebrated our bdays together. Once again I find myself smiling at the memories.

The final piece happened last night. I forget what I was doing but my son says something and uses the word Jaybird. I just paused then told him about how that keeps coming up and reminds me so much of Granddaddy.







Sunday, April 15, 2012

Dana's Flowers


Dana's Flowers
F Hook - Worsted Weight Yarn


Flower Center:
Ch 4, sl st to 1st Ch to make a loop
Ch 2
12 HDC in center loop
Sl St to top of Ch 2
Finish off

Flower Petals:
Cast on 2nd color in top of any hdc
*[Ch 3, dc, trc, ch 3 sl st to 2nd ch from hook, trc, dc, hdc, sl st] in same space*
Skip next hdc, sl st to next st
Repeat from * to * 5 more times for a total of 6 petals
Finish off



Friday, December 30, 2011

One Word of Focus for 2012

"Words have set whole nations in motion…Give me the right word and the right accent and I will move the world." ~ Joseph Conrad

So I love to roam the net in search of new and creative ideas. The other day I landed on Stephanie Ackerman's page, Homegrown Hospitality, where she was talking about how she selects just one word for each year as her focus. I loved this idea. While reading about Stephanie's past words, the word CULTIVATE from her post just leapt out and grabbed hold of me.

For 2012, I'm going to cultivate my world!

Per the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, cultivate means:
  • to prepare or prepare and use for the raising of crops; also
  • to loosen or break up the soil about
  • to foster the growth of
  • culture (the act of process of cultivating living material in prepared nutrient)
  • to improve by labor, care or study: refine further, encourage to seek the society of : make friends with
Synonyms: absorb, adopt, embrace, take in, take on, gain, get, obtain, reach, foster, nourish, nurture, promote, encourage, further, perfect, produce, tend, raise, gather, glean, harvest, reap

There are many things I hope to cultivate this year:
  • Peace: A sense of peace, inner peace, a place of peace
  • Friendships
  • Relationships: Both business and personal - family, co-workers, acquaintances
  • Creativity: Whether it be writing, drawing, crafts, etc
  • Spirituality: Need to feed my soul
  • Discipline: It takes discipline to make changes
  • Dreams: Time to reach for some of them
  • Habits: Need to refine some habits and add some new good ones
  • Compassion: Empathy for others, help through volunteering still
  • Joy


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

This Holiday Season


As all of you prepare for the upcoming holidays, I hope that you will pause and honestly take a few moments to be grateful for those who are in or have been in your life along with all of the precious moments that go into it.

Be thankful for those who have come into your world and taught you how to love in ways you never dreamed of from the amazing unconditional love of a pet or a child to your family and friends to the stranger whose life you have touched in some way.

Be thankful for those friends whom have made you laugh so hard you cried, those who have cried along with you during times of trouble and those who knew how to support you without saying a word.

Be thankful for those who make your life difficult because they teach you about yourself, whether you wanted that lesson or not. Learn to admit your own faults and perhaps be thankful for the opportunity to apologize to anyone whom you may have offended or hurt along your own path. You never know if you'll ever get another chance.

Be grateful for the family that you have. Sure they have their faults, no one is perfect. Learn to put some of the everyday pride and bullshit aside long enough to let them know that while you may not always agree with them, you feel blessed to have a family.

Be grateful for the sun that shines down, the rains that pour, the rushing winds and piles of snow because each brings their own version of beauty into your world. Each day brings with it the opportunity to build new relationships, new friendships and memories so learn to cherish each moment. Stop rushing through your world and pause to enjoy the here and now for this moment won't ever be back again.

Take a moment to remember those whom have touched your life but are no longer with you. Perhaps light a candle, whisper a prayer, offer a flower to the ocean or find some way of commemorating the fact that they have touched your life in some way.

Stop worrying about who is going to get what for whom or if you'll be able give them the latest or greatest gadget or gizmo this holiday. Instead, please give them the gift of memories to carry with them when times are difficult. Take the time to call them, visit them, write them a letter or an email. Go have a cup of coffee or share a meal together. Interact with one another. Those moments will be the gifts they cherish the most.

Please realize that each day is such a precious gift and you are blessed with each moment so don't squander it. Reach out to one another and bring some true meaning back to Thanksgiving and Christmas this holiday season.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Are you a master or a victim?

“If it's never our fault, we can't take responsibility for it. If we can't take responsibility for it, we'll always be its victim.” ~ Richard Bach

Are you a master of your life or do you play the victim? Bad things happen to all of us. Some of us experience much worse things than others but what we do about it is what separates us into masters or victims.

For a victim, everything is happening to them, instead of through them. Looking in the mirror is difficult and it is easier to blame everyone and everything else. If you look in the mirror, you may have to realize that you are choosing to be or remain the victim. Yes, you have chosen to be the victim. No, I’m not saying that you have chosen to have bad or horrible things to happen to you. You do, however, continue to choose to let an act, circumstance, agency or condition to control you.

Indeed there are times when it is appropriate to feel like a victim. Something has happened that caused you to experience a loss, injury or death. You have to mourn it, grieve it. In fact, it is completely healthy to experience all of the emotions so that you can heal from it. The problem is when we become so comfortable being the victim, avoiding working through those emotions and enjoying the attention of others that we hold our lives hostage and blame others for it. How many of us know someone who blames their current life/addictions/situation on their childhood, their ex-spouse, their past abuse, etc?

Often times when you talk to those who are victims to their past, you assume that the events they are speaking of happened practically yesterday. However after you’ve gotten to know them, you realize it may have happened 10+ years ago and you have to wonder why they haven’t been able to move past it – they are stuck!

To give up your victimhood means having to take responsibility for your life - this very moment. It means you have to let go of your safety net. Let go of drugs, alcohol or any other emotional addictions that you use to numb, lessen or avoid the pain. Facing all of it is scary but you can do it!

You have to claim your pain - own it. Don’t allow it to shame or control you but rather allow yourself to recognize it for what it is. Then just like a beginning swimmer - you have let go of the edge and learn how to swim through the emotions rather than letting your life drown in them.

Reclaim the power you have given over to memories, to someone or something that keeps you a victim and takes away from your energy. Why are you letting them have that control? Get the negative self-talk out of your head! You are worthy! The only person you are penalizing is yourself.

To quote Jillian Michaels,
“Today I want you to ask yourself this one question: why not you? Why not you to do something for work that you love? Why not you to have a healthy body? Why not you to have healthy love? Why not you to be, have, or do anything you have ever dreamed?! We are so quick to think others are more deserving over ourselves. The truth is that we are all deserving so WHY NOT YOU?!”

Take back the power! My youngest daughter learned of a rape of a woman and became so terrified that she was constantly checking and locking windows and doors. I kept reassuring her that she was safe but one night she finally burst into tears and told me, “if you get raped, you die”. I tried to reassure her that rape did not always mean death. In true, pre-teen fashion she practically yelled, “How do you know!?” I calmly told her, “Because I’ve been raped and yet here I am – so no, that is not true.” She immediately began apologizing for my past. I explained to her that she didn’t harm me so she wasn’t responsible and didn’t need to apologize. A friend of mine was completely floored that I’d share such a story with my daughter. I explained that by not talking about it would be like saying I had done something to be ashamed of and would give power back to that person. I’m not willing to do that plus I didn’t want my daughter to grow up believing wrong information. I have freed myself of those victim chains by being able to talk about it and I wanted her to know that the woman had no reason to be ashamed either. Lord knows I carried that burden around for years, long enough for the both of us. You have to let it go.

Why is someone else more deserving than you? You might see people around you that you assume aren’t “damaged goods”, as you may call yourself, so they are more worthy in your mind. You don’t always know their story. Everyone has their own ghosts and demons to conquer. Your past does not define who you are. It is a component that shapes your life but you get to decide – Are you a master or a victim?


Monday, October 10, 2011

Day 83: Gratitude

Gratitude:
  • Holiday Traffic: I love it when there is a holiday that only the government actually observes because it eliminates so much traffic!
  • Learning new things: Someone is absent from work so I am picking up part of those duties. For the first time in a long time, I'm learning something and feeling like I'm contributing to the overall productivity of the team.
  • Party Invitations: Gotta love it when you can design birthday party invitations that get your kid so excited! YAY!
  • Ice: When playing around with the girls at the dinner table and you shift your foot under the table, they might think you are playing, forget your foot is hurt and will stomp on it a few times while giggling madly. The look on their faces when they realized I just stopped breathing - yeah they probably will remember it next time. Yeah, ice is a good thing!