Whoa! What a week I have had!!! Woke up Monday morning to a note that a friend's mom had passed after a struggle with cancer. I posted a small tribute to her previously. The next email was from another friend who had moved to Texas. She had, we thought, successfully battled breast cancer a few years ago. She was in the hospital and had been told that there was cancer in her liver, lungs and bones. I immediately sent out a call to all the Reiki practitioners, healers and witches to send healing and energy. Latest note, she is home and the prognosis, with chemo, etc. looks good. X! Monday evening Mike received a call; his mother's cousin, whom he had seen the week before, had passed away! He was quite elderly, but still getting around and seemed to be well. Good grief, I think I've had enough.
I have suffered from anxiety since childhood and these sorts of events - normal life, I know - always knock me down. Luckily for me, being the big girl I am, I bounce pretty easily! Still, it has been a difficult week and thanks to close friends, my darling Mike (the man has the patience of a saint!) and Reiki, meditation, etc., I'm hanging in there. Still, I'm feeling a bit like I want to run away to some magical place where I don't have to deal with my feelings. Oh ho, you say - me too! Not a good idea. But... life goes on, anxiety passes. After all, I'm a mermaid - I ride that wave and get along.
In other news, happier news, I have been keeping busy - stitching, reading, cooking, working at the crystal shop. Those crystals certainly take care of me! The energy of the shop is soothing, peaceful, healing. And, of course, there is my friend and boss, Sandy, and co-worker, Lucky, who can talk one through anything. Thank goodness for friends and a great husband.
A couple of weeks ago Mike and I drove upstate to visit a friend who was visiting her boyfriend - they are both 81 and had dated in high school, but married others, lost them and found each other again! We had a great visit and they took us to a strawberry farm where I bought a mess of berries - strawberry time in Florida - and made some jam.
Now, for me, jam making has become a sort of Zen-like meditative experience, I love doing it and it leaves me with this wonderful feeling. I mean, just looking at the beautifully colored jars - ahhhh! And, of course, the results are always good, but this batch - DELICIOUS! I'm not sure there will be any left for Christmas gifts!
One of the Small Fancies from Practical Blackwork, Acorns, along with Quaker Samplings III by Ellen Chester. I've also been stitching on, but no photo, Witch and Salem Remembered by The Primitive Needle among other bits.
I participated in the River of Stones project during January. I sent in five stones and one was accepted and posted to the Handful of Stones blog on February 8th. One of the five not accepted, actually my favorite, was about stitching:
Silver needle, threads soft, bright
My hand dances gently this way then that
Jewels appear on ivory linen
A task of infinite pleasure
copyright E A Kaufman 2011
Read and reading some books, as usual: Recommended by one of the Austen blogs I follow, Syrie James' Nocturne, which was good but not as good as her other two books, The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen and Dracula, My Love, which I recently read. I very much enjoyed India Black by Carol Karr, a mystery about a Victorian madam (yes, that kind of madam!) blackmailed into assisting Her Majesty's government in retrieving some important diplomatic documents from the French. Mystery writer Vicki Lane (a very favorite author) describes the novel as... "a kind of Fanny Hill meets Nancy Drew - through a world Dickens would have known." I agree and am hoping to read more adventures of India and her handsome spy sidekick.
I also discovered, at my local library, The Coffeehouse Mysteries by Cleo Coyle. Holiday Grind was a light and enjoyable mystery. I'm going to read the others in this series. Cleo is the pen name for Alice Kimberly and her husband. Alice writes the Haunted Bookshop Mysteries, which are fun to read - if murder and mayhem can be fun and Alice achieves that!
So, right now I am embroiled in the antics of caterers Bernie & Libby Simmons as they try to solve the murder of Anabel Cobert in A Catered Birthday Party by Isis Crawford. This is another series I will be reading. Both of these series include lots of recipes, and I'm talking really good recipes, just like the Hannah Swenson Mysteries - recently read Cream Puff Murder and was as fascinated by the recipes as the story! For chocoholics, the Chocoholic Mysteries by JoAnna Carl, packed with chocolate trivia as well as a good mystery - most recent read, the Chocolate Pirate Plot. This mystery reading goes on while working on my Elizabeth Gaskell challenge.
All of this reading, cooking and stitching was squeezed in with the usual potion brewing, spell casting, tarot reading and ritual work of a witch. As you can read, I've been busy and all that busyness makes dealing with the other stuff a bit easier. The pleasures of needle and thread, books, cooking and home...