Where there is a will there is a way

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Monday, July 17, 2017

A few projects this year

Sock Monkey for Brooklyn - posted June 19 on my FB page "Nonnie's Cool Ideas"

Such a sweet, artistic girl - Brooklyn - oldest of 4 soon to be 5 (one of the students in the class I am a teacher aide). Nervous to move away to Chch. Made her a travelling companion.  I also made the monkey a really cute print backpack with a rose ornament attached to zipper as a pull (Troy designed it with me).

Purple Bird (small knitted) for Montana - May 1

For Montana - for coming a long way with learning (and because she's a little monkey).  A very cute and precocious little girl at the school I work at.  Also learning how to make small toys - with smaller needles - like the fantail and other native animal finger puppets you can buy at the Auckland Zoo.

Cosy Purple Scarf with Blue Pockets for Chantal - May 1

Chantal - for being kind to Cory and helping him make friends.  (First friend and social inroad for autistic boy I work with, he has awkward social skills but Chantal responded with love.)  Now Cory has many friends.

Seal (prey item) for Troy's Orca - April 15

Finally got round to making tiny seals for Troy's Orca to eat.  First attempt at teeny animals.  Learned to use smaller needles!

Dreamcatcher for Mikayla - March 14

Mikayla is studying marine biology in Vancouver, Canada (my friend's daughter).

Metal web (real spiderweb pattern), leather strips holding a glass orb with knitted leaves holding it.

The web holds the Earth...precious life in balance

Purple Dolphin Friend for Troy's Blue Dolphin - February 9

I asked Troy if she wanted me to knit her a cool little bag for her device with this wool she had chosen (they take them to school) to give her good energy as she is starting Intermediate at a new school (Grade 7!).
She said No I don't need one, but could you make my little blue dolphin a friend? She had the little dolphin toy in her bag. I made it in one evening -
Then I realised the advantages of making tiny toys - I can make more little friends for kids more quickly.
Then I made her dolphin named Galaxy a little bag out of a cloth sample (they are real easy to lose too!)
Then I tried to make a tiny seal for the firsg time as prey for her Orca toy I had made awhile ago (killer whale, has an opwn mouth and red lining bag inside so it can eat.).
But that my first go turned decidedly turtle like...
Sorry Troy channelling someone else...

I gave the turtle to Mikayla - with her dreamcatcher.

Earth hoodie and Seal person for Arwyn

I have been working on this little jumper (sweater) for awhile - jumpers take wayyy longer than toys. And I do find freestyling easier than following patterns.
Many stages I had to reknit a few times until I got it right. After hood and arm tops I had enough of any future direction and just knit straight down, blending towards green from blue.
Ocean to forest. For a 4 year old (so very oversize for the baby I knitted it for but she looks chunky so will grow into it soon!)
For Lena McCuaig's baby Arwyn in Canada. Her people are nature artistic people so thought they would appreciate the meaning though colour-work got a bit stiff!
So Earth hoodie.

Amazing infographic on carbon impact

from article here:


Sunday, May 28, 2017

Dream about missiles

When I awoke this morning, my head was full of dreams.

The last one was the most disturbing - and is the one I am sharing here.

I arrived back at my family home, the Jones home.  There were open gardens everywhere with seeds and good foods planted in long furrows in black soil.  I saw a closeup of the beautiful seeds in their groove in the soil, full of life.  Shane was there, planting.  My father was working in the gardens as well, on the other side - there was of a low barrier which ran along the centre of the gardens.   It had a roof or canopy overtop.  There were many rectangular gardens full of soil.

Partly obscured by the barrier wall, I saw two objects which we could not plant.  I could not figure out what to do with them.  They did not belong in the soil.  They did not belong anywhere.  When I held one of them straight up that was closest to me, on the right of the wall, I could see by its shape it was a deadly missile.  It was almost as tall almost as me.  It looked like a long pole with an angular shaped spade at the end, all of a grey manmade material.  It was an unnatural shaft that did not belong in the ground.  The other one looked like a space rocket or shuttle.

I wanted to ask my Dad about it, but he got angry at me for mentioning this.  I then got upset and asked why I was always in trouble for mentioning something that was truly there - was just speaking of it.  My mother explained he would be angry at anyone that mentioned it, not just me.  There was also a big feeling of his work around him at this time - his work with early computers.  When he was angry - I could see one of the garden plots was hollow and full of disks, computer things.

It was like a secret - this deadly power that did not belong anywhere.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Zero waste meat shopping - also the European and oldschool way

Feeling so much better now I am following changes I had made earlier and then weakened from during my tired professional mom phase.

Invested in good glass containers too - so these are reusable and very hardy, also won't get stained by meat blood etc - sterilisable.  The lids are a hardy plastic.  These are called Luminarc Keep N Box, from the Warehouse (NZ).   Smaller ones $8 larger $12.  We keep it simple by using these containers only for meat.  

The wonderful idea is to go to a butchers shop (or meat counter in a grocery store where they use a scale) and refill these reusable containers INSTEAD of throwing out polystyrene meat package every single time we consume meat.  Sams Butchery is happy to tare the scale to zero with containers on and bingo sorted.

Then put into freezer.

for more ideas

Friday, November 25, 2016

Lifegiver - and the power of time

I wanted to post on the subject of working as a parent long ago - but something kept me from doing it.  I wanted to post a photo of a totally exhausted looking mom, black under the eyes - but I am glad I have had the full circle of the experience before sharing it.

When I first started working full-time, with two children, then 8 and 10, I first experienced the thrill of first fear of the challenge, then happiness at success when I did well.  At first I had a lot of stored energy and "hunger" (as they say in MMA).  I gave all my time and energy to my work to make sure I succeeded.  I felt great relief after years of looking for a "proper" job that I was fulfilling my potential after years of education and temporary jobs, building up my skills from home.  For the first time I was providing my own financial contribution to the family.  And, I was growing very quickly in the area of my future dreams (illustration).

But as time went on, I experienced some extreme tiredness at times - when you are working 110%  work and also at home to cook dinner (starting at 7pm) and keeping up with housework on the weekend - and then the guilt creeping in...

At first I did do it all, and well, but eventually my family relationships started to take strain as I spent all available time either at work.  My husband, the most independent one came last.  Definitely no time for friends and helping out in the community.  My family's home in time became more and more dingy and dark, with no Lifegiver giving it new spirit.

I discovered what being time-poor and financially better off was really like - not very glamorous.  Like having a great meal before you, but with no time to eat it.  Wasteful.  I bought quicker, more packaging intense foods (before I had spent heaps of time buying lower packaging / locally sourced food as possible  (e.g. bringing my own containers to whole food stores, my own containers to a butcher who can fill and weigh instead of buying meat in polystyrene trays at the grocery store).  Now that there was little time I sailed past the grocery store on the way home,  grabbing a few expensive things in a rush.  In those moments the needs of my family's survival in that time-poor environment broke my resolve to live better for the future.

I learned for the first time why many families don't take the time to think and make choices that preserve the environment.  Even when you are educated and aware, having no time (being in survival mode) wears you out so you just can't.

No energy to swim against the current, to find new paths - as I always had.  Energy to think..energy to fight.

I am so glad I know this now - the most difficult challenge of all - the choice of balance between making money for your family, and raising one.

In the end, in short - I took a vacation to see family, gathered energy and came back resolved to change my situation before I got worn down again.  I negotiated a more family friendly workweek (only had that courage as I was willing to take any job that allowed me to have more and time with family - even if it was a demotion).

To my surprise my work was accommodating.  I was then able to return my family to a healthy and fun balance when I was able to put my energy back into it (and my husband and I both had a newfound respect for the role of a mother in a family - Lifegiver, I call it).

I also realised the importance of time in people's choices of whether to spend their energy on conserving environment - whether they went out of their way to make new patterns, or to become more aware.  In a way a society which keeps people really busy protects itself from change - people don't have time to think - or grow gardens!  Or whatever...

Life works in mysterious ways. Although I will always feel sadness over any missed time sharing my children's magic childhood years - I am glad I have learned a key hurdle to people being able to make choices beyond everyday survival.  That is, to live in a way, which is (I think a very powerful word - which cannot be overused), sustainably...  for people to really fight for change - in their habits, in our choices, for our society to change we must first fight for balance and space to do so.

Two days ago with mischief I brought two little reusable containers to Sam's Butcher in Silverdale, and as the lady weighed the meat in them and I avoided buying two polystyrene (styrofoam) containers - my heart was ever so light.

These various interactions are small, but they are everyone - and everywhere.

I sincerely wish everyone luck in fighting for some of that golden precious time - life giving space.