Made With Love

Okay, okay, so even though I am emotionally there, like in my last post, I will be just fine.  I am not sure why we always like to feel sorry for ourselves.  I would be the first one to tell you, if you are feeling sorry for yourself, take your eyes off yourself and look around.  There is always someone who has it much worse.  In fact, I can't even begin to count how many times I have said it, or thought it. 

I have decided to give myself a worthy way to do just such the thing.  I am crocheting baby blankets, and heart shaped pillows.  I also am working on a blanket for a purpose yet to be mentioned, because I don't want to talk about it yet, but it will have a special purpose.  I want to give the heart pillows to those who are going through a rough time, whether it is the loss of a loved one, or just needing a heart to snuggle, that is what I intend to do with them. The baby blankets are to have on hand, for the many young families I know that are having babies!  I have made 3 baby blankets thus far, and it has only been a week since I started.  It is great to have something to do when I endure watching television.  I received a ton of yarn from a couple of people, and have enough to make quite a few awesome little blankets.  I will get them pictured and posted here in a day or two.  That is my weakness, is the photo side of blogging.  I will get better at it though.  Hang in there to see them! 

I kind of got the idea to create my own little trade mark, so I am doing it with hearts.  Each little blanket will have a small crocheted heart somewhere on it, and then of course the heart pillows.  Kind of my made with love symbol, or my signature mark. 

I am excited about it.  Perhaps I will be remembered by some, as the lady who gave small comforts with her hearts.  I don't know.  I just know I need to take some of my focus off of my own wo's and focus them on others.  Giving my TIME to help others is one of my TIME goals and focus of this year, 2018. 

I have also decided, I do need a little time to myself, to do something for myself, and so I have designated Wednesday evenings this year to take that TIME for me, doing what I love to do.  I am heading to the Library each Wednesday for a couple of hours.  Whether I read a novel, work on my own writings, read a book just to learn something, or even just write on one of my blogs, I will be taking a couple of hours once a week, TIME just for me.  My sanity break!  I really, really, and focused on getting some of my own writing and things done this year as well, which will kick my business into high gear, fingers crossed!!

I look forward to the many things I get to make and share with others this year, and I look forward to expanding my knowledge.  Honestly, the library is one of my favorite places to just be.  And of course, Walk The Creek will be my place to share all my learnings and journeys this year. 

Now, I am a little bit more excited about the year ahead facing me.  I am driven by goals.  Remember my main goal / word for this year is TIME.  TIME to do not only what I love, but what will benefit others.  TIME for me, is the one that I am super excited about, because it really is in scarce amounts as of....... well......... forever.  I never do it.  This year, I am doing it!

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I Am There

Life falls apart.  It really does.  Some days, it is all we can do to get through.  Some days, our prayers to Someone much larger than us, are simply thus:  "Help me get through one more day today, please."  I am there. 

I know I shouldn't be there, but I keenly feel like my life is spiraling.  I am there.  I just need to get through one day at a time, and maybe some day soon, I can get through two days at a time.  I am there. 

I had really hoped that by now in my life, things would have smoothed out just a bit.  I have walked up and down this same old creek many times, the same old trial, the same old rocks and rapids, and I am there again. What do I do?  I get through one day at a time. 

Yes, this is my place to rant, where nobody can hear me, or see me.  It is all mine - my Walk The Creek.  It is my creek, my place to be, say, and do what I want.  I feel sad today.  I feel very much alone.  I wonder sometimes if my prayers are answered - yet I know they are.  I am there.

I feel like my toe is stuck under a rock, with the icy cold water rushing over my foot.  The rock is sharp and cutting.  It is too heavy to move myself.  Thank goodness the water is only knee deep, or I would be in serious trouble.  Thank goodness there isn't a tide, for it is just a creek.  I know at the end of each day, I will be alive, but it still hurts.  I am still stuck without knowing how to get out.  I am there.

I put a smile on my face, as I can.  Sometimes I just need to be alone - because I can't smile.  I know people around me, love me, but sometimes I don't care.  I am there.

Yes it sounds depressing, and serious, and I guess it is.  I know I will get through, because I have many, many times before - one day at a time.  One prayer at a time.  One shove of that rock.  One more step on the next slimy rock.  One more fight against that rapid.  One more....   I am there. 

Yes, I am there.  I will survive, but it hurts, and I question why, and I wonder if it will ever change, and I sigh...........  I am there. 

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Well, I have decided my word for this year, 2018, is TIME!   

My goal, and yes I really only have one, but it encompasses many, is this.....

I want to take the TIME
what I KNOW
and to DO
what I LOVE 
to DO.

You see, it is really all about the TIME.  I am "that" person, who let's the urgent run my life.  I drop everything to do what needs to be done in the urgent moment.  I drop everything when I get interrupted, only to get back to it eventually - sometimes days later.  I can be in the middle of working on a blog post, or writing in my book, or reading a book, when something comes up and I stop.  Seriously, sometimes it is days later when I get the time to get back to doing whatever it was.  

Don't get me wrong here, because they are all good things.  It is just the fact I feel like I am not in control, everyone and everything else controls my TIME, and I don't love that!  That is the beginning of my goal, is to control my own TIME, not let others control it for me, and yes, that probably means I have to get up at 5:30 again each morning just to have that extra couple of hours to myself.  It is in those quiet hours of the morning, when nobody else is moving, that my brain works best, and I am most productive.  TIME.

Every time you tear a leaf off a calendar, you present a new place for ideas and progress.  Charles Kettering.

Part two - PRACTICE - is a big part of my goal.  I learn many things, and have a ton of knowledge of things, like preparedness, languages, etc.  One thing I have learned, through my job, is when I PRACTICE something, I get better at it.  We have a little Spanish guy in our class, and it has given me a great opportunity to speak and understand Spanish.  Thus, my Spanish has improved and it has given me more encouragement to study, speak, and PRACTICE in general.  This, is something I need to do in all areas of my life: preparedness, writing, blogging, languages, crocheting, etc.  I can push myself and PRACTICE to get better!

Don't only practice your art, but force your way into it's secrets; art deserves that, for it and knowledge can raise man to the Divine.  Ludwig Van Beethoven

Knowledge is a wonderful thing.  In fact, it is one of the things I am most passionate about, learning new things.  I KNOW a lot of things, but one of the things I KNOW the most, is that I always have more to learn.  I love going to the library, and that will be a more important part of my study habits in 2018.  I KNOW I want to KNOW more.  One of my favorite quotes of all TIME........

I spent 3 days a week for 10 years educating myself in the public library, and it's better than college.  People should educate themselves - you can get a complete education for no money.  After 10 years, I'd read every book in the library and I'd written a thousand stories.  Ray Bradbury.

The library is definitely high on my priority list this year - 2018!

DO takes TIME, to DO the things I want to DO, it will take TIME, and PRACTICE.  

DO it now.  Sometimes later becomes never!  Anonymous

To DO what I LOVE to DO, is the key.  It will take TIME.  I have TIME.

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Well, once again, Christmas has come and gone.  I get all grumpy before because of the stress it causes.  I hate spending the money on things, just because we are supposed to give presents.  There has to be a better way.  I am happy how it all turns out, and I love spending the time with my family.  I love the excitement I see in them.  I love making the memories with them.  I love the once a year family photo we manage to wrestle in when we are all together!  I am spoiled by my kiddos, they are so thoughtful.  And yet, through it all, why does it make me feel so negative?  I gotta work on this for 2018 and figure it out, because many years later, after I started Walk The Creek, for this very reason, I still haven't figured it out. 

Christmas' come and go, and we make memories, and we have fun, but I still feel it.  I don't get it.  My good friend read this poem about Christmas, in a talk she gave at a church meeting, and I want to share it here.  Perhaps it sums it up just a bit....


See Mother, see mother laugh. Mother is happy.
Mother is happy about Christmas.
Mother has many plans. Mother has many plans for Christmas.
Mother is organized. Mother smiles all the time.
Funny, funny mother.

See Mother. See mother smile. Mother is happy.
The shopping is done. See the children watch TV. Watch children, watch.
See the children change their minds.
See them ask Santa for different toys.
Look. Look. Mother is not smiling.
Funny, funny mother.

See mother. See mother sew.
Mother will make dresses.
Mother will make robes.
Mother will make shirts.
See mother put the zipper in wrong.
See mother sew the dress on the wrong side.
See mother cut the skirt to short.
See mother put the material away until January.
Look. Look, see mother take a tranquilizer.
Funny, funny mother.

See mother. See mother buy raisins and nuts.
See mother buy candied pineapple and powdered sugar.
See mother buy flour, and dates, and pecans, and brown sugar, and
Bananas, and spices and vanilla.
Look. Look. Mother is mixing everything together.
See the children press out cookies
See the flour on their elbows.
See the cookies burn. See the cakes fall.
See the children pull taffy. See mother pull her hair.
See mother clean the kitchen with the garden hose.
Funny, funny mother.

See mother. See mother wrap presents. See mother look for the end on the tape roll.
See mother bite her finger nails.
See mother go. See mother go to the store 12 times in one hour.
Go mother go. See mother go faster. Run mother run.
See mother trim the tree. See mother have a party. See mother make pop corn.
See mother wash the walls. See mother scrub the rug.
See mother tear up her organized plan.
See mother forget a gift for Uncle Harry. See mother get hives.
Go mother go. See the far away look in mother's eyes.
Mother has become disorganized. Mother has become dis-oriented.
Funny, funny mother.

It is finally Christmas morning. See the happy family.
See father smile. Father is happy. Smile father smile.
Father loves the fruit cake. Father loves the Christmas pudding.
Father loves all his new neckties.
Look. Look. See the happy children. See the children's toys.
Santa was very good to the children. The children will remember this Christmas.

See mother. Mother is slumped in a chair. Mother is crying uncontrollably.
Mother does not look well. Mother has ugly dark circles under her blood shot eyes.

Everyone helps mother to her bed.
See mother sleep quietly under her heavy medication.
See mother smile.
Funny, funny mother.

Humorous yes, but sometimes I can't help feel like we do it to ourselves, to create this perfect atmosphere, the perfect picture, and in the end, it doesn't matter.  It all comes together and three days later it is over, taken down, and life goes on.  Memories are created is all we can hope for!!

What will 2018 bring?  Will it bring success?  Will it bring more trials?  What is in store?  2017 has been a challenging year in many regards.  I am glad it is over, and with cautious anticipation, I look forward to a new year to make a difference. Somewhere out there, I can muster up the courage to move forward.

I have plans, but again, am cautious, because life often gets in the way of the plans we make, and it takes us in different directions.  Don't get me wrong, I love my job, but I really hope for success in some of the other areas I struggle to bring forward.  My blogs, my books, my ambitions for my herbal products,  are all a part of what I hope to succeed, but each year, time keeps me from them.  Focus is something I have a hard time with.  Learning to say no is also up there on the list of difficult tasks. 


And definitely time out for camping and connecting with nature!

2018 will bring adventures, without a doubt, perhaps I can steer them to be good ones.  God bless us all in our adventures of 2018........

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Streams, rivers, and creeks, are the great sculptors of land, moving the rocks, the land,  eroding, transporting, changing courses, shaping and fine tuning the rocks and land masses into beautiful works of art.  

Similar to our own lives, it takes years of trials, challenges, pain, happiness, and moulding our lives into the people we are today, and the people we are to become.  Sometimes we have to be weathered a little bit more.  Sometimes we have to go through different trials which shape us into who we should be.

Sometimes when creek beds get eroded too much, and there is a possibility of collapse or destruction, we move in and restore them, reclaim them.  We do whatever is necessary to restore the natural state and function of the stream, in order to support the biodiversity, management and landscape.  

It is always important to keep the habitat healthy, to keep all of the different life forms happy.  There are many diverse species that depend on the healthy ecosystem a creek has to offer.  

Sometimes we also have to go in and improve the water ways.  We attempt to improve the water quality, the flow of the stream, the dams and so forth.  It is all a part of keeping the water flow healthy, so it can do it's job.

Again, similar in our own lives, often when we are weathered down, and about to collapse or
break apart, it is time for someone, including ourselves, to step in and take drastic measures to prevent ourselves from complete collapse. There are people in our lives who depend on us.  There is a complete ecosystem around us, and if we fail, it has ripple effects often far beyond that which we can see or understand.

We go through trials that shape us, mould us, and help us to grow.  I know sometimes these trials are horrible.  I often look at the world around, and am horrified at what I see, and that is only what is on the surface.  I know there are people suffering in silence everywhere.  Abuse, depression, poverty, disease, and so many other things are rampant in the world, and go unnoticed.  People suffer in silence.

I guarantee you are going through something.  Whether you personally, or someone you love.  I am here to tell you that you can rise above.  You can conquer this, and you can grow from it, enough even to stand up and make a change, make a difference in your own life, and quite possibility in the lives of others.  Will it be easy to do?  Honestly, not likely, but it will be worth it. If you are struggling with something, ask yourself this question.  What are my options?  There are always options.  We need to find those options and sort through them to be successful.  

Hopefully, Walking Your Creek, will help you do just that. 

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What's Your Word?

I totally love reading stories with brilliant wisdom!  Stories like Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.  Stories like 20 Wishes by Debbie Macomber. Stories like We Bought A Zoo, and Second Hand Lions.  They are all really great stories within themselves, but they offer such a great sense of wisdom.

They are stories that I love to read, but I either have to stop and write thoughts and quotes down as I am reading, or I read once just for the love of the book, and then a second time to get the thoughts and ideas I want down on paper.  Is that crazy?  Maybe, but do I care if it is crazy?  Nope!  I love to read, and I love quotes.  I love inspiration, and I love others inspiration that feeds into my own!

For example in Eat Pray Love - well let's just say I totally loved the book.  I can picture myself being this person, if life had turned out differently for me!  I could totally do what she did!  I loved it.  I loved the concept of finding a word that represents who you are -

"Maybe you're a woman in search of her word" 

and I often think - maybe I am a woman in search of my own word.  It isn't what I do for a living, or what I think of myself, but who I am.  What represents me?  If I can find my own word, then will I find who I am?  Will I find me?  I think that as time moves and we grow with it, perhaps the word we use to describe ourselves may change, but there has got to be one word, that is me, regardless of how much time changes who we are.  My word?  I haven't figured that out yet, but I am working on it.

Another example in 20 Wishes by Debbie Macomber, is a book about figuring out what you want most in life and setting goals / wishes that they may come true.   A group of ladies meet, and agree each to set their own set of 20 wishes.  Through their own experiences they find out that wishes can really come true, and often it isn't in the way you would expect it.  It leaves you with the desire to set your own 20 wishes, and see what happens.  It's really about starting over again, and making life better.  I really enjoyed it, and ended with a renewed desire to be "that" person who started over and succeeded. One of Debbie's quotes I love the best is:

“Be an encourager. Scatter sunshine. Who knows whose life you might touch with something as simple as a kind word.”

We Bought A Zoo:  I never read the book, but I totally loved the movie!  One of my all time favorite quotes and philosophies of life has come from this - by Benjamin Mee -

“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.” 

Isn't that just perfect!!!  I have used this many times in my life when I have felt unsure, or like something might not be worth it, and it has gotten me through!  I totally love it!  

In Letters to Juliet“Claire: Dear Claire, "What" and "If" are two words as non-threatening as words can be. But put them together side-by-side and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life: What if? What if? What if? I don't know how your story ended but if what you felt then was true love, then it's never too late. If it was true then, why wouldn't it be true now? You need only the courage to follow your heart. I don't know what a love like Juliet's feels like - love to leave loved ones for, love to cross oceans for but I'd like to believe if I ever were to feel it, that I will have the courage to seize it. And, Claire, if you didn't, I hope one day that you will. All my love, Juliet”
Lise Friedman
Have you ever asked yourself "what if?"  Those two words can be the toughest two words a person can ever utter, but the most profound as well.  I loved this story and what it stands for.  Those of us in life who are wondering the "what if's".

And finally - in the movie Second Hand Lions - again I have never read a book, but have watched the show many, many times, and I love it.  When Uncle Hub is giving the talk about what every boy needs to know to be a man, he says - 

"Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most. That people are basically good; that honor, courage, and virtue mean everything; that power and money, money and power mean nothing; that good always triumphs over evil; and I want you to remember this, that love... true love never dies. You remember that, boy. You remember that. Doesn't matter if it's true or not. You see, a man should believe in those things, because those are the things worth believing in."

 I have said, and felt, on many occasions, that perhaps "so and so" needs to have this talk delivered to them.  Oh, how I love to find good messages in movies, books, and even songs.  There is just so much in life that is crap, we need to be able to see the good, pick it out from the piles of "stuff", and feed our souls happiness.  Wisdom can be found in goodness, and I love it!

On that note, there are stories within our own lives that contain brilliant wisdom as well.   Stories where we learn and grow.  Don't forget to write down the quotes and examples that contain brilliant wisdom from these stories, for they are ever as much a part of who we are, as the stories we read and learn from.  Stories from the lives of our loved ones, or stories from our daily experiences.  Quotes from our own lives can be just as memorable as a quote from a movie or a book.  Never overlook your life experiences and words as minimal for they are the most important ones YOU can learn from. 

Here is my question - What if, you wrote down your 20 wishes, and took that 20 seconds of insane courage, to find what you believe in, then moved forward 20 seconds at a time, would you be able to find your word, who you are, and what life means to you?  What if you did that?  What if something great came of it?  What if it gave you meaning in life? What if it shared a little bit of you, to create something better?  What if it found your true love?  What if it found YOU?  What if?

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Christmas - Ohhhh

But seriously - we are creeping up on Christmas - less than 2 months away, and I again can feel the anxiety starting to build.  It is there in the pit of my stomach, making me not want to do Christmas again.  Why do I do that?  I remember all those years ago that I started this blog, it was just before Christmas, I was having anxiety attacks and feeling really depressed about Christmas.  I started Walk the Creek to help me talk my way through the Christmas anxiety, and to give myself an outlet.  Crazy how I am coming round to that again, some ten years later. 

Someone at work mentions how many Saturdays til Christmas; someone on Facebook has the nerve to post how excited they are for how many days til Christmas; someone in my house has the audacity to start watching Christmas movies, and ask where the Christmas tree is going to go this year; someone else has the audacity to ask what we do for Christmas every year, and I just want to say "survive", but I politely go on to tell them our weak traditions, hoping they will sound great!  Yes that is where I am at right now.  I start thinking of the list of things I want to do, or need to do, and the list of gifts I think they all might want or need, and pit in my stomach starts punching me from the inside out.  Why????  I really don't know.

I think each year that I want to buy less, or stress less, or focus more on the true meaning, but then as it comes closer, I start to think, I still need to buy everyone something, I still want to give them memory making opportunities, and I stress again.  Oh I don't love it at all...........

What am I going to do this year to make it different?  I have no freakin idea!  Stay tuned and see how it all turns out!.......

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