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Monday, May 31, 2004

Witches Weekly - May 27, 2004

Altar/Shrines



Do you have an altar/shrine?

Yes, though it's rather discombobulated right now during remodeling. It's in my room on top of a dresser. Actually, the whole dresser could be construed as my altar.

If you do, what objects do you have placed on it and are any of them homemade or natural objects (ex: feathers, rocks, crystals)?

Wow, many, MANY objects. First, the centerpiece of my altar has a beautiful wolf fountain. In the basin of the fountain, in addition to the river rocks, I've added various crystals and stones that I've found along my path. I also have a homemade deer antler wand that I decorated in leather and beads. My pride and joy (besides the fountain), are 6 lovely selenite wands of various lengths and purposes, as well as a selenite charge plate for all my magickal items. Of course, the typical salt, candles, and other accoutroments are also present.

If you don't, (you can answer this if you do have one as well) do you have an area where you focus on your spirituality?

Most of the time I'm alone in my room when I meditate/focus/spellcast. It's tough, considering I'm living with my folks who don't really know about my chosen path... nor do they really understand it. They know I have a talent/gift with animals, but they don't know how far that gift really reaches. Since I mostly work alone, I guess that would be where it is done.

How do you feel when you are settled at your altar/shrine (or area)?

Empowered and humble all at once.


Lucky 7

Today I took a test-drive for my interviews this week. The first one to Tarrytown/Hawthorne and the second to CT. The one in Tarrytown... I've got to get that job! It's only about a 15-20 minute drive! Of course, the one to CT took about an hour. Keep in mind that I drove (today) on a holiday, so traffic was minimal, but even so, I want that job in Tarrytown.... that's the interview for tomorrow morning.

I'm a bit nervous, but only because I always get that way before an interview. I think I'm feeling it a "bit" more because it's been 5 months since I got laid off, and this is the first interview I've been able to get. Of course, add to that my pressing need for money and of COURSE I'm nervous. *grin* I'm sure I'll do fine... after all, I can only answer their questions honestly and succinctly and be myself.

"I" know that I do good work, I just need for them to give me the chance to prove it to "them".

On a knitting note... I've finished washing and packing about half of the 60 blankets for critter knit. I'm planning on washing, packing, and finally shipping out the package later this week. Which reminds me, I still have to fill out my raffle tickets and include them, not to mention I want to write a little note to the gals about the blankets. I wish I was able to see their faces when they open the huge box and see all those blankets.

I still have no idea what I should start for my next project, but I DO know that I want it to be a shawl. I took another gander through Folk Shawls and just can't decide. I haven't seen any comments in my blog, so I wonder if anyone even reads this thing. If you do, and you are a knitter... suggest away.... please! *smile*

On a spiritual note... I saw another red-tail while I was driving to CT. It's not the mated pair and offspring I saw around my home, but it WAS significant.... so..... I'm preparing for an animal rite to see what it has to impart to me. I'll be doing that this weekend. I also think the number is significant too..... 7 total hawks... lucky number. Hopefully this will imbue some luck into my interviews this week... I hope so.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Preparing for an Animal Rite

No, not "right" as in animals HAVING rights. "Rite" as in aligning myself with a specific animal/totem to get a more focused aspect of what is needed (or not needed) in my life.

Today is the second day in a row where I've seen the three red-tailed hawks. The mated pair and their offspring. They are speaking to me... telling me I need to listen, and if I see them tomorrow (third day in a row), I will need to PAY ATTENTION!

So, I refreshed my memory in what is needed when perfoming any animal rite. Ted Andrew's book is a jewel. The following is an abbreviated seciton that deals specifically with preparing for animal rites:

"A successful rite--whether it is to connect with Nature/animals or any other purpose--will focus and improve your memory.... Usually within three to seven days you will get a tangible confirmation that it has fulfilled its purpose or is in the process of doing so.

There are several preliminary considerations necessary before beginning any work with your spirit totem:

1. Learn as much about your animal a possible
2. Know the purpose of your ritual or meditation
3. Keep your animal rites and meditations simple
4. Make preparations beforehand
5. Use music and drumming to enhance the connection
6. Use movement to help establish the link with your animal
7. Keep props and tools simple"

If I perform this ritual alone, I usually wind up doing all 7 things, including using my beautiful djembe with it's deep resonant "Dum", and yes, depending on the animal I will imitate it's movements to the best of my ability. As for props and tools.... my drum, a decorated deer antler, salt, water, and if I feel like it, a candle.

If I perform it where others can hear or are in close proximity, I tend not to use the drum and forgo the movements.

Some special reminders that I believe are key:

1. The animals (and their energies) with whom you work are all found within you. You are the microcosm. All energies within the universe live within you.

2. The animals and the energies associated with them will express themselves through you and in your life. By meditating and using animal rites to align with them, you become the focused point of manifestation. Be assured that if you meditate and create rites to connect with the animals, you will experience their energies somewhere in your life.

3. There will be some trial and error in developing the relationship with the animal and its energies. As with any relationship, there will be boundaries. Just recognizing your power animal does not mean it will be effective to use in every avenue of your life.

4. Preparation is always the key. Familiarize yourself completely with the animal, its symbols, qualities, and energies. Learn its myths and its lore, and keep an open mind. If you find that the energy is uncomfortable or too intense, break the connection. Remember that you are establishing a relationship, and in any relationship everyone involved has to learn the boundaries of the others.

5. As you connect to one aspect of Nature, you automatically open to others. As you connect with one animal, others will show up within your life, making themselves known. It reminds us that all things, all animals and all humans are connected.

"I see blankets...."

I feel like I should have been in a spoof of the movie "The Sixth Sense" because instead of seeing dead people... I see CRITTER BLANKETS! The official end-all, no more, these puppies are finished, count is.... drumroll please....

60

Yayyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!

I am, however, officiall DONE knitting or crocheting square blankets (or even round ones). I'm starting to swatch in my sleep! I've resigned myself to this... there is no turning back... it's time, friends, to move on with my life. *grin*

I'm now officially back in the swing of other projects. First, I've cast on for a simple garter stitch shawl for donation to Standing Rock. I've already got about 2/3 of a box filled for them, but got sidetracked with the critter knit.

I'm also ready to consider a little selfish project... one of the shawls from the book Folk Shawls. The only problem is... I can't decide which one to do first! I also don't know which yarn I should use. I have some Angel Hair, and some other finer weight yarns to choose from... nothing especially fancy, but nicer than Red Heart. If anyone has done one of the shawls from this book... suggestions, please!

I also have some oddball skeins of some higher end yarns that were donated. I'm going to use these to make up some scarves and hats for Standing Rock, but that project is on a brief hiatus until the weather starts getting nippier.

I do want to make a super cool shawl to wear to
New York Renaissance Faire (assuming that I get one of the jobs and can afford it), but I'm not sure what to make. Any suggestions here? It could be a free pattern online, or something from Folk Shawls or A Gathering of Lace, so please suggest away!

I am officially OUT OF YARN (except for a few skeins that were originally set aside for the projects I mentioned above), so if anyone, anywhere has oddballs or stash they'd like to unload / get rid of... please consider sending me an email and I'll gladly take them off your hands. As it stands right now (sans job), I won't be able to do any knitting or crocheting for a while.

Well, I'm off to wash all the critter blankets before sending them out. I'll probably pack them up tomorrow or Monday. I'll finally be mailing them out next week! I might be able to have some photos in the near future... don't know yet, but I'll try. :)

Triple C blanket


(The Triple C blanket - other blankets are overlapping the bottom in the photo, but the edging is the same all around)

Why "Triple C"? Well, when making up this blanket, I used some left over odd skeins of Red Heart in 1. Dark Brown 2. Rust and 3. Cornmeal. When I used them all together, the blanket reminded me of a Calico cat, so the name that came to mind was "Calico Critter Cuddle". Since that particular name tied my tongue up in knots, the "Triple C" blanket was born.

Materials:

Red Heart yarn in Dark Brown, Rust, and Cornmeal (or use whatever colors you wish).
Size J hook (gauge not important, so use smaller if you prefer)
Tapestry needle to weave in ends

Special stitches: Spike double crochet (Sdc) = work dc over ch sp by inserting hook into top of next row BELOW (or base chain)

Work 1 row each in colors A, B, and C throughout.

NOTE: You do not have to end off every color change if you don't want to. Just leave the end trailing, and pick it up when it's needed next. HOWEVER, you will need to occasionally untangle your skeins to make crocheting easier. If you want to end off, be my guest, I just didn't want to have to weave in all those ends. :)

Begin by chaining a multiple of 6 sts + 3 (and add another 2 sts for base chain)... I chained a total of 71 sts to start

Row 1: Skip 3 ch (count as 1 dc), 1 dc into each of next 2 ch, *ch 3, skip 3 ch, 1 dc into ech of next 3 ch; rep from * to end, turn.

Row 2: *ch 3, skip 3 sts, 1 Sdc over each of next 3 sts; rep from * to last 3 sts, ch 2, skip 2 sts, sl st into top of turning ch, turn.

Row 3: ch 3 (count as 1 Sdc), skip 1 st, 1 Sdc over each of next 2 sts, *ch 3, skip 3 sts, 1 Sdc over each of next 3 sts; rep from * to end, turn.

REPEAT 2nd and 3rd rows to desired length.

I did a total of 52 rows.

At this point, you could finish off and single crochet around the entire piece.

Round 1: With color A (Cornmeal), 3 sc in last st made (beginning corner), sc across last row, 3 sc in corner, 2 sc in every other end row (remember that every other row has a "hidden" row of just chains), 3 sc in next corner, sc across unused loops of starting chain, 3 sc in next corner, 2 sc in every other end row, and join with sl st to 1st sc.

Rounds 2 & 3: ch 3, 3 dc in next sc (corner), *dc across, 3 dc in corner sc*, repeat from * to * twice, then dc across last side, sl st in 3rd ch. Finish off

Rounds 4-7: With color B (Rust), follow pattern as for Rounds 2 & 3. Finish off

Rounds 5-12: With color C (Dark Brown), follow pattern as for Rounds 2 & 3. DO NOT FINISH OFF.....

Reverses sc around entire piece for a more decorative (and sturdier) edge.

That's it! If you find a typo, or something isn't working for you, please email me and I'll be happy to help.

Friday, May 28, 2004

Full Moons in 2004

FULL MOON IN 2004

Wolf Moon: Jan 7
Snow Moon: Feb 6
Worm Moon: Mar 6
Pink Moon: Apr 5
Flower Moon: May 4
Strawberry Moon: June 2
Buck Moon: July 2
Sturgeon Moon: July 31
Barley Moon: Aug 29
Harvest Moon: Sept 28
Hunter's Moon: Oct 27
Beaver Moon: Nov 26
Cold Moon: Dec 26

When it rains, it pours...

I got a call today from the first recruiter about the position in Tarrytown (closer to home). Not only is the facility still interested in me, they're actually interested in me for a higher position and one that has the opportunity to go from temp to perm! The "a" position is only for a temp contract, no possiblity of going perm, and it would probably only last 3-5 months. The "b" position would be as a Research Associate. Both positions within this company would pay the same rate (through the placement agency), however, if they decided to hire me permanently, I could negotiate a higher wage. Also, it's a hell of alot closer to home... less wear on an aging car, and less GAS!

The position in CT would pay about $3.50 more an hour... nothing to sneeze at or blow off. However, it is strictly temporary, possibly lasting about 3-8 months, though I've been told anything's possible. They just are unwilling to list it as a temp to perm position. It would also take me about 3 times longer to get there.

I have the interview for the one near me on Tuesday, and the one in CT on Wednesday.

I'm pretty sure that if I'm offered a position from both of them that I will take the lesser paying one because it's closer to home, and because it has a possibilty of permanance. ALSO, that particular company was just granted a shit-load of funding, so I know there won't be any bullshit "corporate restructering" happening anytime soon.

But damn! Two interviews in one week after 5 months of nothing! I'm stoked!!!!

I also spoke to a friend of mine who still works for a company I was let go from due to "attitude". In short, the incompetent department manager was more interested in getting as many PhD's on his team as possible, rather than hiring someone (me) to do the actual WORK. I found out that he wound up getting fired for incompetence! I also found out that for six weeks after I left, not a single study was done because no one knew what the hell to do, the PhD's that were hired didn't want to set up and run the studies because it was "beneath" them, and the place literally fell apart. I had to take some sadistic glee in hearing that. She also told me that the one supervisor that I worked closely with (and who had stabbed me in the back while I was there) was "very regretful" that he had done what he did... ah well.... suffer!!!! MWAHAHAHHAHAHAHAH

The position I left most recently was an honest corporate restructuring, however they decided to keep on another incompetent because they were paying him less. He wound up being fired for sexual harrassment... CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?! I had a good laugh at that one, considering the one he was "playing around with" was the Vice President's daughter and she welcomed the attention. Guess mommy peeked around a corner when she shouldn't have. That place is falling apart too. Talked to a friend there today and EVERYONE is looking for new jobs because the V.P. is literally driving that company into the ground. She lets her daughters pad their time sheets and she's insisting that the company is NOT going to move to CT. Of course, the people higher up than she is have already decided, and have started making changes, to move in AUGUST. Again, some sadistic glee at the thought that all this started after they let me go. Not to toot my own horn, but I was raised with a great work ethic, and they didn't appreciate it... they were only concerned with the bottom dollar... no way to run a multi-million dollar company.... production and results are what count. So ha-ha.

Ok, I'm done with the smugness for now. I'm just glad Karma acted so quickly.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Guns and Roses

No, not the band. I'm referring to the implementation of using a high-powered rifle, maybe an uzi, to wipe out the son-of-a-bitch DEER that ate ALL MY ROSES LAST NIGHT!!!! Now, I've written before how I've been waiting....... patiently...... for my rose buds to "pop" open. Well, they were (and I stress the word "were") HUGE and ready to pop. That is, until last night, when a four-legged, horned marauder entered the yard and scarfed EVERY SINGLE BLOOM off the bush. Do you THINK I was PISSED!?!? Ooooooo, I'm so mad that I could spit fire... in fact, I did just that, and swore my revenge on the culprit!

Ok, before people reading this start to think of contacting some wacko organization like PETA or ALF.... relax. I'm not going to kill the deer, I'm not going to hurt the deer, I'm not even going to curse the deer... so relax!

I am, however, going to repel the deer so it won't bother my roses and my mother's new shrubs anymore. Damn, though, I was pissed this morning.

I did see three red-tailed hawks flying/circling overhead this afternoon when I was out on the porch with my folks. They were amazing... graceful, HUGE, and so close I could see them looking around for a tasty snack.

It so happens that Red-tail is one of my Primary Trinity, so it was with great happiness that I saw this mated pair and their offspring. Since writing about what Red-tail hawk can mean symbolically is just too darn long for a blog entry, I suggest reading Ted Andrew's "Animal Speak", or searching the web for "red tail hawk + totems" to read up on them.... very interesting, and quite a gift, personally.

I've nearly finished the last-minute baby blanket for mom to give as a gift to her friend's son. It really came out beautifully and I absolutely love the pattern, though I could do without all the picot edging. I've also received a donation in the mail today of a small box of yarn! So, I will be knitting up a couple more blankets for critter-knit, even though I said I was done. Well, they need them, and I'm just so happy to have some yarn to play with!

I'm already a little nervous about my interview next week. In one respect, I really hope I get offered the temp position so I can start paying my bills again, but in another regard, I really don't want to commute all that way... especially since gas prices have gone up so high they will be significantly cutting into the higher pay rate. Of course, logic and necessity will win out, and I'll take it if it's offered.

Reminds me... I have to make a run to Staples and spend money I don't have on some resume' paper so I can bring a copy with me to the interview.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Things are looking up...

I didn't want to write anything before now because I didn't want to jinx it, but yesterday I had a telephone interview with a research company about a temporary position they have open. The temporary contract would be for a minimum of 3 months, but I've already been told that the project will go well beyond the initial 3 months. The pay would be great, and it's within an hour's commute, which is fine. Well, the placement agent with whom I'm doing this through called me back today and told me that the company wanted to schedule an in-person interview with me on Wednesday next week!!!!!

I'm so excited! It means I'll be able to start paying my bills with larger payments, rather than the penny-pinching minimums I've been doing since losing my job in January! Considering my one credit card already dropped my credit line from $25,000.00 down to $9,000.00 because I've been unemployed. Yeah, they did that.

NOT that I will ever need a 25K credit line, but still... I thought it was kind of cheesy to do. I had spoken to them about dropping my finance rate, considering I was never late and had been a "customer" of theirs for over 10 years. They had no problem dropping the rate from 19.98% down to 9.99%, which was GREAT! (and I recommed everyone call their credit card company and see if you can negotiate a lower APR.... the worst that can happen is that you remain where you are... no loss to you at all) However, because I let it slip that I was unemployed, they lowered my credit line... the excuse being that since I didn't have any substantial income (they didn't consider unemployment insurance as income), that I shouldn't have such a high credit line. I told them that that was fine.... I didn't need 25K anyway, but I also let them know that I thought it was rather cheesy of them to do that, considering that I had never, EVER, charged that much in my LIFE! I also told them I was a little peeved at their decision, considering that I had never had a late payment, and that this was not the first time I had been unemployed. However, I accepted their terms anyway. What I didn't tell them is that as soon as I pay off the damn debt, their card is being shipped back to them in bits!!!! I am NEVER getting this deep in debt ever again, once I dig myself out, of course. I'VE LEARNED MY LESSON!!!!!

My only "splurge" (once the entire debt is paid off), will be to finally purchase (IN CASH ONLY) some high-end yarns for my knitting projects. I've never had the opportunity to work with ANY of these novelty yarns, and I'm dying to try them!

Right now I'm knitting a baby blanket as a gift for one of my mother's friend's sons. It's really cute... white square with two ruffles all around... one in white and one in lilac. I wish I had a scanner to take a pic and post it. Okay, the second "splurge" will be for a new computer... this one is over 12 years old and just can't handle it anymore.

I've also managed to complete another 2 blankets for critter knit.... bringing the grand total to 55! I'm done, that's it, no more knitting for critter knit right now... I'm beginning to go into a coma from all the mindless knitting... time for something a little more challenging!

I guess the little sparrow that landed on my windowsill really was a lucky totem to get right now. Thank you little one, you've restored my confidence that with the right attitude, anything is possible.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Drumroll please.....

I've finally reached my personal goal of blankets to knit/crochet for the Critter Knitathon.... drumroll please....

53

And it's only the end of May! Though the "end date" for donations has been set by critterknit at July 31st, I've set my own end date for June 15th.... this will allow me plenty of time to get the blankets mailed out and for them to receive them. I'm so pleased to have accomplished this!

Things have not been going well for me since January... loss of job (and hence, income), back-up funds running low (and almost out), no interviews (and I've been looking), and almost running out of yarn!
So, this really is an exciting achievement for me personally. To me, it means that nothing is outside of my grasp, and that with diligence, patience, and fortitude, I can accomplish anything!

A few weeks back, a sparrow landed on my window sill for a few seconds. I was amazed, first, that it could fit on such a narrow ledge (ha-ha), but also that it was right there.... right in my window.... so close. Well, I didn't realize that a new totem had made it's presence known... I just dismissed it as a "cute thing that happened". Imagine my surprise when I read in Ted Andrews book "Animal Speak" the following:

"KEYNOTE: Awakening and Triumph of Common Nobility

Its ability to multiply and assert itself in spite of predation reflects the idea that nobility of the common person is inherently strong. For those who have a sparrow as a totem, look about you. Are you allowing others to take your dignity? Have you forgotten your own self-worth? Have you begun to think that you would always be under the heel of some tyrant--human or social? The sparrow will show you how to survive. It will awaken within you a new sense of dignity and self-worth, helping you to triumph in spite of outer circumstances.

The song sparrow is very symbolic of this. It has three spots in the form of an inverted triangle on its throat and breast. Ther is a dark spot on each side of its throat and a heavy spot in the middle of the breast. This reflects a drawing down of evergy to awaken the heart and throat centers. It is the assertion of will to bring out the inherent dignity so it can sing forth in your life. This is what the sparrow can teach."

Amazing, isn't it? It really would have been really depressing if I had missed the sign entirely... I'm glad I didn't. Hey, there may still be hope for me yet!

I figure with another two-three weeks of knitting I should be able to make another 10-12 blankets. I'll post the total once mid-June comes around. To be honest, once the critter knit is over, I'll be glad to get back to making some shawls for my Native American donations.... I'm getting sick of knitting/crocheting squares! *grin*

Friday, May 21, 2004

Contemplation

Well, I figured out yet another thing I've been neglecting in my personal journey of late..... meditating. I've been so wrapped up in the problems I've been experiencing, that I've neglected to perform the one simple task that (used to) help me focus and be able to move on to the next step in solving the problem(s).

It's funny how we seem to forget even the smallest, simplest things that we know help ourselves, and wind up reverting back to the more typical human condition... worrying about... whatever.

Well, I drew my sacred circle and began to meditate... not really wanting or hoping one of my guides would contact me, but rather focusing on the basics of seperating the different problems I'm having and then trying to focus on potential solutions to one or two. Basically, it boils down to I need to be even more diligent in trying to focus on getting employed, even if it means changing careers. Though I did not see any animal guides in my meditation, I did SMELL one.... skunk. (and no, there were no skunks in the yard)

Skunk usually signifies a "change in scent"... a possible positive motivation. I need to change my scent... I need to focus more on attaining the postion I can truly excel in, rather than settling for one that merely pays the bills. Granted, I need money, there is no doubt about that. And considering all the funds I have lent to people in the past, and consequently which have not been paid back, amounts to about $10,000.00 total, I realize that money is still a big motivater for me. (Hey, it can't all change overnight)

Anyway, Skunk is also a totem that teaches how to give respect, expect respect, and demand respect.... all of which I have neglected over the years. Which explains my work history. I haven't had the self-respect, and consequently, I haven't had the greatest respect for others.

Well, it's a start at finding my way out of the forest and back onto the path.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

I've forgotten

For those of you that actually know me, you already know how I take my dreams and meditations to heart and try to incorporate the messages I receive into actual fruition. For those that don't personally know me, here's the skimmed down version. Within the path of eclectic pagan venues, I've focuse mainly on Native American Shamanism. Within the shamanistic journey, I've relied heavily on animal magick... specifically, deciphering what messages are coming to me through what animal is making it's presence known. Each animal represents, or can represent, something that is either positive or negative about my life. It can also infer, through researching it's habits, what something in the near future may hold.

Well, last night I dreamed. I knew that it was an important dream. But here's the crook.... I didn't remember what it was in the morning. Now, most people will say... "Hey, very few people will remember a dream." Well, not me. I worked very hard to get to the point of practice that I'm at in shamanism, including learning lucid dreaming techniques so that I would remember if an animal guide came to me with a message. Makes sense, right? Well, last night I THINK I dreamed of a groundhog, and more importantly, he was confering some important wisdom to me. The problem? I CAN'T REMEMBER! I've let myself go wayyyyyy too much.

I've let the fact that I have been unemployed since January, have $13,000.00 in debt, no social life to speak of, and everything else influence me to such a negative degree that I am almost back where I started in my personal journey! This is not good, nor can it continue.

To pick one of the aspects of Groundhog that I think is being portrayed... hibernation. Viewed in a positive light, hibernation is "death without dying". From Ted Andrews book "Animal Speak":

"Hibernation has always had great significance to it. It symbolized death without dying. Some societies used methods to induce these states as a symbolic ritual of death and rebirth. Thus hibernation reflected a time of initiation. Winter is the season of power, for that is when the groundhog reveals and uses its most effective medicine---hibernation.
It is also a symbol of opening fully to the dreamtime, the heavy winter sleep, allowing the individual to use the dreamtime more powerfully. Those with a ground-hog totem will find that ther will be increasing ability to develop lucid dreaming---especially during the winter. Any time groundhog shows up, the clarity and power of altered states will be amplified. Dreams will become more significant."

This has me elated, and worried at the same time. I honestly believe that groundhog showed itself in some respects, as the reversed. In other words, not necessarily to tell me that I will use dreamtime more powerfully, but rather that I've lost, or at least severely diminished, the power I DID have. I also believe that I have been "hibernating" too much, and groundhog is somehow trying to convey to me to "get off my ass and MOVE!" In the positive venue, I'm happy that my totems haven't all deserted me, considering the degree to which I've been ignoring them.

So, groundhog, thank you for the swift kick in the ass.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Another winner of a day!

Today was absotively and posolutely GORGEOUS!!!! Mom needed to replace to shrubs that died over the winter, and thankfully they were guaranteed by Frank's for a year. We wound up getting two gorgeous shrubs that are filled with tiny white blossoms. We also picked up a beautiful red peony to replace the mums that died. The soil in our yard sucks big time, and we constantly have to "refurbish" it... hence the reason some plants died. And yet, the roses LOVE the soil! I've got enough buds on the stems of all of them to start my own "rose girl business" at faire!


Dad has wound up growing mutant cutworms in the garden... they're as big as quarters and just as thick around! Cutworms are those little white wormy looking grubs that wind themselves around the stalk of a small plant and "cut" them off to feed. They usually live on the surface, hence the reason most people plant their tomatos with cups or newspaper tubes around the bases. Well, when my father was turning over the garden to prepare for planting, he found MUTANT NINJA CUTWORMS!!! But here's a trick. If you have cutworm problems, halve some grapefruits, take out all the insides (scrape them clean), and place them in the garden with the outer rind in the ground, so that the edge of the halve is even with the planting bed. Do this in the evening. By morning, the cutworms, for some unknown reason, will be in the "cups" and you can get rid of them! It's really amazing!

I will have no problems making my personal goal of 50 blankets for the Critter Knitathon. I just completed number 41 a little while ago! Of course, once I complete the blankets, I will have an extremely small amount of yarn left to continue my charity donations to Native Americans and seniors. So, anyone who might know someone who is trying to de-stash themselves.... let me know, and give them my email!

I'll be calling the placement agency yet again tomorrow.... hopefully I'll be able to speak with the person I spoke to before this time. I'll be telling them to start looking into other clients they may have... even for a little less than what I'm asking for. I can't wait on the one client to make up their mind.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Nasty Knitters

It still amazes me how nasty some people can be, but when it comes from a fellow knitter, it's just that much more deplorable.

Many people were posting (on a LJ community) that they had oddballs they didn't know what to do with, or were going to "discard". Being the crafty / charitable / unemployed person I am, I posted that I would be happy to take anything anyone didn't know what to do with... strictly for my charity donations. I figured fellow knitters would be thrilled to decrease their stashes of things they couldn't use, and I'd be happy creating donations for homeless, Native Americans, animal shelters, seniors, etc.

I couldn't believe the negative responses from some in the community! One accused me of "beggin" for freebies, saying that I was out of line. EXCUSE ME?! What the hell is so out of line about providing a place for something that someone else wants to get rid of??? Two people responded very nicely, and I even got an email from another one willing to donate her extra stash yarn!

To that nasty knitter.... grow up! Maybe you're well off, or comfortable enough in finances to be able to do whatever you like, even if it includes charity knitting. Some of us aren't, and because we still want to GIVE as much as we can, we ask for some help in doing so. It's not a crime, it's not debasing, and it harms no one. If you can't (or more likely, won't) donate something that you may have excess of (or can't use)... then don't post! There's no reason to be mean and high-and-mighty to someone who only wishes to do some good.

*Whew* that felt good!

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Gorgeous day!

What a wonderfully gorgeous day it was today... even with the thunderstorm that came through! I checked the roses that I planted for mom last Mother's Day, and they're budding up a storm! I can't wait to see them in full bloom!

We got 5 white azealas(sp) to add to the landscaping in the back yard... beautiful, full plants that will look great against the red cedar mulch.

I re-counted my blankets for donation to the Critter-knitathon and I miscounted! I only have 34, not 35 *grumble, moan*. Ah well, guess I'll just have to make up some more this week. I've stopped knitting them for now, and I'm crocheting the next ones. I love being able to do both! The knitting needles were causing my hands to kind of "cramp" in their postion, so I figure if I switch off, there shouldn't be any further problems. And because I'm making them up with double strands, they're coming along quick and thick. I made a couple out of wool.... granted, not super-washable like the acrylic ones, but cats LOVE wool so I figured... what the heck! I think, though, that once I wash them, they're going to be felted. They state "handwashing" on the tag, but that would be a problem in a shelter. We'll see how they turn out.

No news on the job front... still looking and still waiting to see what the placement agencies find. I'm getting discouraged... I was hoping to be working by now.

Unless I get a job.... and damn quick... there will likely be NO ren-faire for me this year. I can't even afford the gas to visit my friends, let alone a trip to Tuxedo. Oy, now I'm REALLY depressed.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Migraines are the worst

Not much knitting (or other) content since yesterday... I've been plagued by migraines all day yesterday, and so far for today.

I'm hoping to complete another 5 (at least) blankets for the critter-knitathon within the next couple of days, all depending on the migraines, of course.

I'm having problems with my hit-counter for some reason. Yet another thing I need to check into... geesh.

Hopefully, I'll be able to add some more links in the next couple of days.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Oy vey, blogger again

Well, it seems blogger has made some changes yet again... so, I had to take out the import comments feature, and hopefully I've adjusted the right settings to allow me to use bloggers comment's feature... we'll see.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Great charity scarf pattern

Materials:
Red Heart W.W. yarn 8 oz skein (or any w.w. yarn)
Size 9 needles circular
tapestry needle

Gauge: not really important

This pattern is one that I came up with when I needed a really non-lacey scarf for donations to charity, and something that could still be light-weight, but warm.

Cast on 100 sts in knit (or more for a really long scarf; scarf is knit sideways)
Row 1: purl across
Row 2: knit across
Row 3: *knit across
Row 4: purl across
Row 5: knit across*

Repeat * * for pattern and continue for desired width of scarf

You should get a "ribbed" effect length-wise and yes, it will tend to "scrunch".

Add fringe to the short sides if desired... I leave my without fringe.


Friday, May 07, 2004

It's happening!

Yes! I've tweaked this blog to the point where I'm getting major satisfaction! I absolutely LOVE the wolf image I found... awesome!!!!

I tried creating a second "sidebar" so that I could possibly arrange this site a bit better, but I didn't know how. I tried "guessing", but that didn't work (obviously). If anyone knows how to do this, please... email me and let me know.

Not much going on today, except that I knitted another 3 blankets for critter-knit. (Geesh, I've got to send out the ones that I've completed... I think around 35 now, but I'm not sure) I also disposed of my old t.v. and and extra computer monitor at a disposal program at FDR park. It was so cool, I didn't even need to get out of the car.... there were people there to do it! Unfortunately, it only happens 2 or 3 times a year, but damn, it's well worth it, especially since my town doesn't pick up that kind of stuff anymore.

Tomorrow I intend to call the placement agency again and find out what's happening with that one position they submitted me for. If they give me the same answer of " we're waiting on the client " I think I'm going to tell them to find something else.... even if it's just in the interim of waiting to hear back from this client.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Feel free to comment!

Whooo hoooo! I've added a "comments" html to my blog! For someone who doesn't know html, I'm feeling pretty damn spiffy!

Some progress..

I finally had to settle for tweaking the html code to adjust the top margins so that the dang banner didn't overlap the rest of my wolf and entries. I had tried using a banner blocker code, and though it blocked (covered) the blue blogger logo and stuff, it didn't cover the stupid google ad banner. I don't know why, and I got fed up trying. This is a work in progress... I still have to add more links and blogs I read, and I want to tweak the color scheme. I'm thinking a black background with maybe red type or something.

Finally figured out templates!

Oooooo, just love the template I downloaded. The only problem is the google ad attached to the blogger ads... it overlays the picture of the wolf. :( Still adding blogs that I read, and soon will start adding links, but overall I'm really pleased with the template.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

AH-HA!

Oooooo, this little devil! Damned if when I posted the last post, the dang links aligned themselves within the border! Arguhhhhhhh, if I had known that to begin with, I wouldn't have wasted all that dang time trying to figure out the html code! Oh, that justs frosts my cookie!

still working on it

Hi everyone, I'm still working on formatting my blog the way I want it to look. I'm currently having problems with the links/bloglinks splitting up, so I'm trying to figure out how to extend the border down. For someone who has miniscule html knowledge... (can you say "none"), it's becoming aggravating, to say the least. Hopefully, it will work out soon.