September 30, 2008

In Between Trapeze Bars

**Sorry about the 'alien speak' - I have fixed the oops and you should be able to read this post now**

No I have not started circus training, although that would be crazy fun wouldn't it?! I did stumble upon a piece of paper that a former colleague (the first teacher I worked with, a man named Jim who I truly admire) printed off and passed my way many years ago. I think he may have given it to me when I was just beginning to contemplate going back to school to work on my degree, or maybe it was was when I began talking marriage... or maybe... well you'll get the point when you read the words for yourself in just a minute.

I remember vividly reading The Fear of Transformation this for the first time and nodding my head thinking just how accurate it was. I haven't looked at if for years and do not remember when I stuffed it into the space next to my CPU but just a moment ago I tipped a pile of CDs over and while grumbling about having to stick my hand into the unknown I found it once again.
It's a little bit long but worth the read.

Fear of Transformation
From The Essene Book of Days

Sometimes I feel that my life is a series of trapeze swings. I'm either hanging on to a trapeze bar swinging along or, for a few moments in my life, I'm hurtling across space in between trapeze bars.

Most of the time, I spend my life hanging on for dear life to my trapeze-bar-of-the-moment. It carries me along a certain steady rate of swing and I have the feeling that I'm in control of my life. I know most of the right questions and even some of the right answers. But once in a while, as I'm merrily (or not so merrily) swinging along. I look ahead of me into the distance, and what do I see? I see another trapeze bar swinging toward me. It's empty, and I know, in that place that knows, that this new trapeze bar has my name on it. It is my next step, my growth, my aliveness going to get me. In my heart-of-hearts I know that for me to grow, I must release my grip on the present, well known bar to move to the new one.

Each time it happens to me, I hope (no, I pray) that I won't have to grab the new one. But in my knowing place I know that I must totally release my grasp on my old bar, and for some moment in time hurtle across space before I can grab onto the new bar. Each time I am filled with terror. It doesn't matter that in all my previous hurtles across the void of unknowing, I have always made it. Each time I am afraid I will miss, that I will be crushed on the unseen rocks in the bottomless chasm between the bars. But I do it anyways. Perhaps this is the essence of what the mystics call the faith experience. No guarantees, no net, no insurance policy, but you do it anyways because somehow, to keep hanging onto that old bar is no longer on the list of alternatives. And so for an eternity that can last a microsecond or a thousand lifetimes, I soar across the dark void of "the past is gong, the future is not yet here." It's called transition. I have come to believe that it is the only place that real change occurs. I mean real change, not the pseudo-change that only lasts until the next time my old buttons get punched.

I have noticed that, in our culture, this transition zone is looked upon as a "no-thing", a no-place between places. Sure the old trapeze-bar was real, and that new one coming towards me, I hope that's real too. But the void in between? That's just a scary, confusing, disorienting "nowhere" that must be gotten through as fast as possible. What a waste! I have a sneaking suspicion that the transition zone is the only real thing, and the bars are illusions we dream up to avoid, where the real change, the real growth occurs for us. Whether or not my hunch is true, it remains that the transition zones in our lives are incredibly rich places. They should be honoured, even savored. Yes, with all the pain and fear and feelings of being out-of-control that can (but not necessarily) accompany transitions, they are still the most alive, most growth-filled, passionate, expansive moments in our lives.

And so, transformation of fear may have nothing to do with making fear go away, but rather with giving ourselves permission to "hang-out" in the transition between trapeze bars. Transforming our need to grab that new bar, any bar, is allowing ourselves to dwell in the only place where change really happens. It can be terrifying. It can also be enlightening, in the true sense of the word. Hurtling through the void, we just may learn how to fly.
What do you think?
I think it's funny that I found it today because I'm in between bars right now but finally instead of feeling the intense stress, discomfort and confusion I felt the last time I was in between bars (a 3 year gap filled with full-time work and full-time school) I have given myself "permission to 'hang-out'" and it truly is enlightening... I think I just might be learning to fly.

September 28, 2008

This is: Show Off Time!

What a fun choice for the "This is..." theme this week! Thanks to Katie over at May the Cloth Be With You for the selection.

What to choose?!!

Well since I started school a month ago I have been reminded of just how unbelievably fabulous my wedding & engagement rings are (lots of lovely compliments have been tossed my way thanks to those rings) so I'm going to show them off to the rest of the world here!

If you're struggling to see them just click on the pic and it should blow up on your screen (as in enlarge, not explode - no need to shield your eyes).

Yes Mike does have impeccable taste... he chose me didn't he?
I guess I'm showing off more than my rings by using this photo. I'm showing off my incredible husband, fabulous wedding dress and stunning location too! Yay for weddings in Mexico!

What do you want to show off this week?

September 22, 2008

Bad Turned Good

I arrived home from a long day at school and opened a bill that nearly caused me vomit. It's not that it was unexpected, it's just that the money that I had planned to pay this particularly painful credit card off with has been held by a certain government agency (no names mentioned) for the last month and I was pretty much convinced that they were going to decide against giving me the money. Long story short, I hopped online to check the status of my moolah after groaning over the bill and hallelujah!! What are the chances that today happens to be the day that they finally deposited the money in my bank account?! Honestly, what the? Needless to say I am one happy woman.

It gets better.

When it comes to material things in this world money is certainly high on the top of my list of wonderful things. Take a moment to think this through before you judge!! I didn't say it was number one on my list of important things in life, I said MATERIAL things and in order to gain material goods you generally need money. Second on my list of material fabulousness is food. Technically this would be number one but without the moolah I wouldn't be eating much.

Where was I going with this? Oh yeah, me going from near barfage to happy happy.
Mike is away all this week on business which leaves me eating on my own. I have no problem eating alone but lately since I don't get home until late and then have a pile of homework to complete it seems that every time I have had an alone meal I end up eating Kraft Dinner. Don't get me wrong, I love KD, it brings back waves of pleasant childhood memories but eating it more than once every couple weeks is not acceptable. I like to savor it and don't want to ruin the experience by overindulging. Point being, I wanted to avoid KD this week so on the way home from school (pre-near vomiting bill opening) I stopped at Zehrs to pick up a few quick meals.
Oh... my... GOD. Someone told me ages ago to try the President's Choice Thai Green Curry Shrimp meal but I didn't listen. What the hell is wrong with me?! I have found my new favourite thing.
In just 6 minutes (5 minute cooking, 1 minute sitting) I had some of the best green curry ever! I loooooooooove green curry, it's one of my top three Thai dishes so imagine my delight in finding the easiest meal on earth in just my flavor! Amazing! Is it low calorie? Not at all but neither is Kraft Dinner so there.

A great start to my week, let's just hope this luck continues.

September 21, 2008

This is...

This is what I want to be when I grow up.

A teacher!! I'll be all grown up next May assuming all goes well this year. The next thing I want to be is a mom of course. Hopefully I'll be as amazing at that job as my own mom is.

September 16, 2008

Fab Find: Slouch Boots for Baby!

Seriously, are these not the cutest little boots you've ever seen?! I'm in love with them and wish they were big enough for me. I've visited MiaJoie's Etsy shop at least a dozen times in the last few days to admire these sweet little things. Too cute!

September 14, 2008

This is...

This is what I do with a spare 10 minutes.

70%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?
Now that I"m back in school full-time I struggle to find time to do much more than textbook reading but blogging (reading more than writing lately) is still part of my daily routine.

Working on Gingham Skies is my main focus following school but I've been struggling to find time to do anything more than ship products in the last two weeks. Hopefully I can hop on the sewing machine at some point this week, I miss threading my needle.

Thanks to Hoppo Bumpo for this weeks "This is..." theme.

September 10, 2008

Taking a Five Minute Breather

Wow! I'm nearly at the end of my third week of school and I have yet to post about it. My Bachelor of Education program is excellent; it's only the second year that it has been running so there are still kinks to be worked out but overall I'm really happy with the program.

It's crazy intense and very different from what I have heard about other Bach. of Ed. programs, this I'm glad of. I am totally overwhelmed but managing not to stress - which in itself is a miracle - I think my three years of full-time work and full-time studies was excellent preparation for this program. I'm very happy that I didn't plan to work regular hours while in school this year because there is just no way I could have handled it.

My professors are excellent, they are all retired teachers and/or principals, who absolutely love teaching and want nothing more than to help me and my 67 classmates become the best educators we can possibly be.

I have met some fabulous people in my classes and I have little doubt that after this year I will have gained some new lifelong friends. How great is that?

My placement for the year is in a local Catholic school. I'll spend the first couple months with in a grade 3/4 split, then a few in a grade 5 class and my final stint will be split between a 2/3 and a grade 1 class. This is my dream schedule, exactly what I had hoped for, so I'm really excited about my practicum. Don't get me wrong, I'm full of nerves and actually "scared" would be a fair descriptor, but it's a good nervous if there is such a thing.

Speaking of school, I need to get back to the books so this is a short and sweet update on the life of Jaime.

September 6, 2008

A New Favourite

If you haven't already read the book Snow Flower and the Secret Fan you need to. Once you get started you'll have a hard time putting this novel down so be sure you have time to spare when you begin. Foot-binding, arranged marriages and the secret written women's language called nu shu are just a few of the reasons this book is worth your time. Not only will you learn a thing or two about rural Chinese culture in the 19th century but you'll fall in love with Lily and Snow Flower, two young girls who are laotong ("old sames"), as you follow them throughout their lives. This fabulous find is now on my list of best reads.

September 2, 2008

Pearly Whites!

I mentioned a few weeks back that I was given the opportunity to try out Whitening Listerine strips and I had promised to post a week later to let you know what I thought... Whoops! A few weeks have gone already and I nearly forgot to follow-up but here I am, better late than never.

I give the Whitening Listerine strips two thumbs up. Would I recommend them? Sure! Would I use them again myself? Probably not. If I didn't have caps then yes I would use them but since I do I can only apply them on my bottom teeth and those guys are never visible. That being said if I ever have replacement caps put on my top chompers I will definitely consider the strips to brighten my bottom teeth.

If you tend to cover your mouth when you laugh or smile because of stained teeth definitely give Whitening Listerine strips a shot!

My Canadian readers can snag some free samples and coupons for the strips by visiting this link.

Socked in the Face

The long weekend has come to an end and it certainly was not a dull couple of days. For the first time in a very long time I managed to have two late nights in a row and survived to tell the tale; Mike did too but just barely. Let me explain.

Friday night at 1130pm we decided to drive to a nearby city to bowl. Apparently our local bowling alleys are not open past 11pm; why that is I just don't understand. Isn't bowling the happening thing to do these days? Okay so maybe it's not but we had a blast. I've never been ten pin bowling so my first attempt ended up looking (and sounding) more like a shot-put toss than a roll; the second ball nearly took me with it. I finally figured out that there are different weighted balls and then I was on fire. I'm pleased to say that I won one game and Mike won the other two; our competitive pal lost all three. It would be rude to laugh about that so I won't (aloud).

Saturday is when the excitement took place. Mike is an electronic music junkie and DJ's whenever he has the opportunity; he hasn't played out in quite some time so we were both really looking forward to his set. The bar we were at is a bit sketchy inside but has a great patio so I figured it would be a decent night; sure enough a pile of our friends showed up (including a few we haven't seen in a long time) and a fabulous night was had by all. Mike played an amazing set that had the entire place bouncing . The night came to an end and that's when our adventure began.

All of our friends left the bar at about 1:45 am; we left shortly after at 2am after Mike packed up all his gear. Mike and I headed out of the bar and started across the small parking lot located off to the side of the building. As we were walking I noticed three young guys walking towards us, they were talking and laughing, as were Mike and I. Without any warning one of the punks ran at Mike and slugged him in the face. WHAT THE HELL?!

I've witnessed some pretty bizarre things in my life but this definitely finds a place at the top of my list. Mike hadn't even noticed the guys walking towards us, they hadn't been in the bar we came out of, we've never seen them before in our lives. It was a total random act of violence.

Mike managed to stay on his feet, he stumbled and settled himself up against a car to gain his wits while the three little punks sauntered off. Needless to say I freaked out after the slugging. I called the little thug the nastiest things I could think of on the spot and screamed for the people in front of the bar to call the cops (which they did and believe it or not: 911 was busy). All of my yelling managed to attract cops from a street over eventually but of course the guys were gone by then.

The positive in the scenario is that the little bastard used his fist rather than a knife and thankfully none of our friends were nearby because no doubt it would have turned into something much worse if more people had gotten involved. Then again it's unlikely that the little bugger would have had the nerve to hit Mike if others were nearby; I'm certain he was an easy target because of the fact that he had a heavy record bag thrown over his body and a woman at his side.

Mike's okay, he has a nasty bruised fat lip and a sore throat but other than that he's fine. We are both still in shock for obvious reasons.

I wish karma would send me a postcard with a picture of the little beater after she pays him a visit - no doubt he'll get what he's given a few times over and he'll deserve no sympathy. This world of ours is certainly a crazy place.

September 1, 2008

Minky in Pinkie

I know I've been slacking in the post department lately; I'll try to start posting over here a little more often.

I added a new goodie to the shop today. She needs a little girl to keep her company...

For more pictures of the Minky in Pinkie pop over here. I can't get enough of minky!! It's definitely one of the best textures on earth.