December 21, 2011

Winter Solstice

As we reach the longest night/shortest day of the year Yule is here. Tonight's dark will very soon give way to the light and the days will begin to lengthen once more. We will have all our lights out and reflect on the dark inner time of year before starting to light candles one by one to symbolise the return of the light. I hope your Yule and Winter Solstice brings you peace and a renewal of energy as the light returns once more.
Mr Mog went to hospital Monday and I'm afraid his PSA is up once more, only .3 but none the less the third month of it rising. After both Mr Mog and I told them how he still feels good within himself they have decided not to change treatment this time. He has to go back in 6 weeks and if the PSA has risen at all then a full body scan and a change of treatment dependent on the scan results.We know that chemo is inevitable but the longer it can be delayed the better as to be honest after chemo I don't think there are any other options except palliative care.
Mr Mog is a determined b***ar and if he or I have our way it won't be needed just yet. After all it is 7 months since the 12-18 months left diagnosis was given and he has not started chemo which is fantastic.
I think I was more upset, or showed it more, than Mr M did when they said the PSA score, but you know you have to put it behind you and look forward. Otherwise you wouldn't live but just exist.

We decorated the tree when we got home from hospital ready for Yule and after tomorrow we will look forward to Christmas with good friends and family. After that there is New Year then ? who knows but there will be something else to plan and look forward to.

I am only human(VBG) so I know that my positive face may slip but I can put it back.

And Mr Mog? He is frustrated because of the damp days preventing his fettling the outdoor railway. Otherwise he is the same old moggie.
We had a day with friends yesterday dyeing and eating, chatting and generally having fun. That helps.

And you?

December 19, 2011

Finally, the winner

I have been very remiss and I apologise. I did say I would choose the winner of the shawl giveaway on the 8th December.
There has been a lot going on chez Moggies so I have been distracted. Add in that today is oncology day for Mr Mog and it may help explain. So sorry about the delay and without further ado the winner is:-



Very Lazy Daisy:)
can you contact me with your address please? if you comment and leave your email address I won't publish the comment but will be able to contact you.

So what have we been up to this past few weeks? Looking back not a lot but lots going on. It took around 5 weeks for the viral infection to finally leave but of course having 2 lots of antibiotics, 2 lots of steroids and a steroid inhaler left its mark on my body. I've had lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and lots of live yogurt to combat it.

Mr Mog has been busy reorganising his railway both in and out of his shed. He has been waiting for several weeks now for a couple of dry days to paint the outside line area and relay the lines. Unfortunately I don't think we have had a day without rain for over a month. He is quite frustrated by it as you can imagine.

He is keeping well as far as we can tell although the Oncologist will prove or disprove that this lunchtime.  We try not to worry about his visits although being human the night before and the actual day are always a little fraught.
The spinning still continues to hold us both in thrall and there is something very relaxing about sitting spinning as dusk falls with good music on the player.
I've been making shawls, nothing new there then:)
But I seem to be being drawn to the dark side of shawl knitting, very reluctantly but firmly.

First I thought I'd maybe like to try lace weight. Talk about shock horror. This from the person who said she would NEVER knit finer that 4ply.
Don't ask me why I want to go finer, I suspect it is just the challenge but who knows. I didn't have any lace weight yarn in the house but some friends thought they better encourage the path diversion and forced a skein of lace yarn on to me. They were just a tad too late however as when the urge came I just had to start knitting there and then. I searched the stash and found some Crystal Palace kid merino, very fine and slightly haloed. Probably as it is a mix of nylon, merino and mohair. As you may or may not know I've always had a love affair with mohair.
So the yarn is fine and very soft. I'm only on my second ball of it, they are 25g balls. The shawl is nearly finished. I did my own pattern for it and there will be pictures soon I promise.

BUT
not content with lace knitting I have gone a wee bit further. I also wanted to try beading.
I've threaded around 200 beads onto another ball of the yarn and intend to do the border with occasional beads.
Am I foolish? Most probably, I mean to say why try two new ideas at the same time and both of them challenging?
But there you go I suspect it may only be an occasional foray into the dark side but who knows? The muse calls and I follow her beacon wherever it takes me.

Yule or Winter Solstice is very nearly on us and we are putting up a tree and some sparkles this afternoon after the hospital. Have all our candles ready for the moment of dark turning into light. A time when we put out all the lights then start to light candles one by one to honour the return of the Sun King and the lighter days. What are you doing?

I had a few great ideas for painting Dorothea and I did as they suggested. Thank you:)
 I telephoned our local garage and asked if they could help me with the spraying. I mentioned that I intended to take Dorothea to various wool festivals to display the shawls etc we have on sale for the Air Ambulance fund raising.
 They very kindly took on the task of spraying her and doesn't she look great? The colour is a platinum silver and perfect for displaying shawls.
 Mr Mog thought she needed some lights for Yule and she has the latest shawl to keep her warm.



The shawl is Dragonfly wings free pattern on Ravelry and the yarn is Posh Hannah.

Phew think that is the update so far. I'll let you know how Mr mog gets on at the hospital.

November 29, 2011

Yule giveaway

I decided to do a giveaway for Yule to celebrate the turn of the wheel. You will find the item further down this post:)
I decided to pass Minerva, my shop model, on to a new home as she was a little too large for the craft room and too heavy when she needed moving. I obviously still needed something to display the shawls on so I decided to go for something a little more dainty.
Meet Dorothea. Why Dorothea? That is what she said she is called and who am I to argue with that?

 I didn't like the duck egg blue or the black areas where the paint had rubbed off so the paints came out. I think this will be a very slow project and goodness knows how I will get the inside part painted. All ideas gratefully received. I'm starting with purple as a base coat then will add various Lumiere metallics and irridescents. Then finally a sparkle.
 As you can see there is rather a long way to go yet.

I seem to be a little better thankfully. I had a chest X-ray on Friday, results tomorrow. The infection appears to be gone but I still have a very wheezy,tight chest. Possibly the asthma lingering rather than leaving with the infection which it usually does.
The doctor  didn't know why I was still ill hence the X-ray. I'm hoping this may be the end of infections for the Winter.
Mr Mog succumbed to it as well, after all it seemed unfair to keep it to myself, he also is getting over it now.

So Yule or Winter Solstice. The shortest day, longest night of the year. A time to celebrate the turn of the wheel as it heads towards the light half of the year . I recently finished a new shawl and as the colours remind me of Holly I thought it might be a good gift for someone. It is quite a large shawl and very warm. The yarn is Zauberball 4ply so it isn't too heavy despite the size.
 If you would like to be considered for the giveaway please leave a comment. I'll choose the winner on the 8th December which will hopefully give time for the shawl to get to you before Yule
 I haven't shown any spinning lately have I?  This first one is oatmeal BFL dyed in the copper colour way by Freyalyn I love her dyeing she has a great eye for colour. There are 590yards here and it weighs 104g
 This is merino silk from the Threshing Barn There are 475yards and 117g here.
I seem to have a bit of a thing for merino silk at the moment. I've some of Freyalyns copper in Merino silk waiting to be spun up. There is merino silk on Tilly Traveller and Merino silk on the Victoria also.


November 20, 2011

Still here

Sorry it has been quiet, I am still here. Mr Mog is doing well and his energy levels are a little better. He had a flu jab 2 weeks ago when I did and it made him a little off for a few days but he is a lot better now. I sadly am not. As you may or may not know we always have flu jabs because of my chest problems. Normally we get away with a sore arm and that is it. Last year we didn't and it laid us both low for a week. This year was much worse. I started to become ill around 2 hours after the injection and by evening was very bad. I rang the doctors next day to be told by the triage nurse it was a coincidence, give it a few days you will be ok. Next day Saturday we had to ring emergency doctor, I eded up with antibiotics. Tuesday much worse Mr Mog had to call in doctor, he asked for home visit was told ok if triage nurse says, she will ring back. Two three hours later the nurse rang and kindly allowed that we could have home visit. Doctor gave me new inhaler and steroids. Friday antibiotics finished. Steroids due to finish next day and no better. Doctor appointment after triage nurse assessed,more antibiotics more steroids. Still minimal sleep each night. I have to go back Tuesday for chest X-ray if no better. I had a little better day yesterday but then bad night and today is worse if anything. It would appear that I may have caught a viral infection as well as the effects of the flu Injection. Very very long time since I have ever felt as ill. Poor Mr Mog is shattered as of course he is doing everything and I am keeping him awake every night. So how are you?

November 07, 2011

Long ago memories



I woke this morning with long ago memories and 2 songs.
A little background first, bear with me.
When a  very small child I first contracted my health problems. I spent many a time in hospital from a baby and had quite a lot of operations.


It was decided that a spell of convalescence and a change of air might help. I lived in a small village near a mill town so not a really bad place health wise. However at the age of seven I was sent to the Lake District, Cumberland as it then was, to a school for delicate children. 
As an aside I went back many years later to see what it looked like and it was then a school for maladjusted children. It wasn't when I was there though:)
 Can you imagine what it was like in the late 50s being sent at such an age to a strange place? Not coming home for holidays? I stayed there for nearly 2 years.
 My 2 uncles who were lorry drivers came to see me often and that was wonderful. My dad came once on his moped as he didn't drive, I think that was all. I didn't recognise him and didn't want to see this strange man who had arrived. I can remember making my self sick so I could finish the visit early. I never saw my mum until I went home after the almost 2 years I was there. By then she had had 2 more children so from having 3 brothers and sisters I now had 5.
 Once I got used to the castle I loved it, I loved the woodlands that the castle was situated in and spent lots of time out there. My bedroom was a shared small dormitory in one of the turrets.  We had wonderful staff and I found myself at the top of the class in our school. The teachers there instilled my love of reading and creating. I can remember weaving a scarf for my nanny, orange and vivid turquoise and she wore it:) I spent a fair bit of time in bed with various ailments but books and crafts  helped take me away from the pain and discomfort.
 When it came time to go home I cried, I wanted to stay there. The local doctor used to take me home to play with his children and one of the nurses and the main teacher ( Nurse Walker and Miss Crawford I think? ) were very kind and helped make the place not so frightening.
 I can remember that it was for 7-11 year olds and the Cumbrian air was supposed to be beneficial for rheumatic fever, asthma and other ailments. As to that I don't really know but I think it certainly instilled a love of the Lake District that has never left me.
 It seemed strange going home, it wasn't my home and there were more people in it which made it crowded as we were exceedingly poor and lived in a 2 bedroom house with no electricity. My grandsons find it amusing that we had gas lighting, an outside loo that also housed a pig in between our necessary visits and if you got up in the night to go to the toilet and played the torch light on the living room walls they were crawling with cockroaches. My dad didn't work, he never did much in all the time I knew him. My mum went to work in between pregnancies but there wasn't much money.
So what were the songs?

I presume the other children taught them me, I certainly didn't make them up.

I had rheumatic fever, I had it very bad
They wrapped me in a blanket and put me in a van
The van was very shaky it nearly threw me out
and when I got to Broughton Towers I heard the kiddies shout
"Mummy , daddy take me home
from this convalescent home
I've been here a year or two and all I want is to be with you
In comes the doctor, Doctor Brown
asking questions all around.
Are you better?
Are you worse?
If you're worse I'll call the nurse
In comes the nurse with a red hot poultice
slaps it on and takes no notice
Ow said the patient that's too hot
Oh said the nurse I'm sure its not

That is all I can remember of that one
And the second one?

There is a happy land far far away
Where we get bread and jam three times a day
Fish and chips you never see
dirty black beetles in your tea
but they are gradually
fading away
fading away

October 18, 2011

Wollmeise giveaway

I am giving away another 2 skeins of wollmeise. I started a shawl test knit for a girl on Ravelry in a skein of turquoise/green WM and it is awful:( Feels like cotton, very splitty yarn and not nice at all to knit with. Now searching round to find a NICE semi solid for the test knit. I need between 420 and 460 yards so most of my sock yarn skeins are too short.
But if you want the  splitty, cottony (VBG) WM leave a comment. I'll draw winners Friday

October 16, 2011

Sometimes

Sometimes I wonder where the time goes. The days speed by and I see the moon go from new to full and back to new in what seems an instant.
We are still here as you can see. I think we are filling the days while we can. Not from a pessimistic point of view  oh no indeed we try to never be pessimistic but always looking forward with optimism. Trying and mostly managing:)but winter is a coming and the days will be colder darker and more condusive to inside pursuits.

 We had a week in Cumbria a short while ago and it coincided with the heat wave. Who knew that October would have nights too hot to sleep? 26 degrees at 5pm is a change after the wet and cold we experienced before our holiday.

 There were stunning views from the living room windows

 Every day bar one was very hot and sunny
 We enjoyed just pootling around Cumbria, visiting good friends and meandering around the various passes




 It was so different to the last time we were up there just a few months previously
 shorter days, earlier sunsets

 Lots of dragon's breath to be seen most days
 We saw this Herdwick the day it finally rained and we went over Honister Pass. Mr Mog stopped the car and I snapped 2 very quick pictures. I was really pleased when we put them on the computer and I saw how this one turned out.
 Lots of Green Men faces to be seen amidst the leaves
 The many pictures of the lone tree are for our friends Sue and Neil who also stayed on this site back in June
 The lake you see is Bassenthwaite



 I took lots of pictures on our travels, this is a very small selection:)
 Mr Mog is doing well, his next oncology appointment is tomorrow morning so fingers crossed for that please.
Sorry I've not blogged much. I do have a post in the making from our visit to Farfield Mill the other day

September 23, 2011



Still we have the pull of Equinox around us. Equinox seems to spread further each year. Some celebrate on 21st, some 22nd and quite a lot today:) Thank you BW.
We have a painting of a Rumi quote executed by a very talented  friend of mine Pixie Sue. Her website is Inspired by Script. I saw a similar piece at Sue's house when we visited and fell in love with it. She very kindly made one for us



 Not sure if you can see but there are subtle sparkles on it that glisten as you move near. I have this hung in the bedroom with a hare hanging underneath. This was one of Karen's pieces at Moonlight and Hares
Let the moving waters calm down reflects a large part of my inner journeying . To calm the busy mind, to let MY self free. We all have internal chatter. Our minds try to fill any blank moments with inconsequentialities. Shopping lists, "do I need this, that ?What about?" 
When we sit and meditate or even just quieten the chatter for a moment it feels so different.

It is very hard to do.
We have to work on it. Each time we manage a little longer with a silent mind. Many meditation teachers tell us to simply acknowledge the thought that rises to the surface  and then let it go.
Eventually our busy mind knows  that at certain times it has to stay silent. This inner peace, inner space allows us time to just be.
No agenda often, but just a period of calm and inner reflection in a busy life.
It helps so much. I find it renews, it also empties the dross allowing room for beauty, for the place I am on the wheel or path of the year.

The morning pages I do are another way of emptying the mind when I wake each day.
Letting out the worries or even quite often creating pages that lead to a blog post. It is a discipline I enjoy. I don't write everyday but when I do I am glad I've done so.

I will leave you with this quote one of my friends posted today. Seems apt for Autumn Equinox and my ramblings this past week.

Honour the past. Live in the present. Look to the future.

Wollmeise /Alpaca giveaway Winners

So many lovely comments and ideas on my giveaway. I decided to frog the shawl and thereby give 2 people a full skein of Wollmeise rather than both skeins to one.
With no further ado the winners are:-
Pink Wollmeise Shortstix
Blue Wollmeise Bex
Alpaca washed fleece Claire.

Can you all message me your addresses please and I can send these off. Keep an eye out there will be another giveaway soon and yes it may involve WM:)

September 22, 2011

Equinox

Equinox already and the year is flying by fast.
Seems only yesterday it was Spring Equinox and now Autumn is here

 Everywhere I look the colours have changed. The food available on the market has also changed.there is far more home grown fruit and veg to be seen. It is far easier to eat locally not globally. There are lots of different apples and plums.
 The last of the summer's tomatoes at a bargain price. We have turned 12 pounds of local tomatoes into soup this past week and frozen it to give us a taste of Summer throughout Winter's dark days.
 An easy recipe that doesn't tax brain or strength. Roast tomatoes with garlic cloves still in the skin. Add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or syrup and a slug of oil. When they start to caramelise and release their juice they are ready. Gently cook a diced onion, stick of celery and a carrot with a little oil or butter. When they are softened combine everything in a liquidiser with a couple of jar peppers from Lidl and a handful of basil leaves.Removing the garlic skin first. When cool freeze. The peppers from Lidl have a sweet/sour taste and lift the soup.
We also have blackberries sitting in the freezer ready to turn into fools or crumble. Will they fool us when we are eating Autumn harvest at midwinter? Probably not but sweet none the less.
At times like these I am glad that I am pagan. Not witch or shaman or heathen even.
But Pagan. Pagan for me means living the wheel of the year.Its highs and lows and  turns from dark to light and back once more. Not just giving it lip service.
I am glad of the moons influence on my moods and emotions, the suns also.
Some people seem to play at Paganism. I'm a witch, a shaman or this that and the other. They love the trappings, the spells, the rituals.the candles and incense. The trappings are all to them.
But, Know thyself. This is part of my belief, my creed if you like.
My path is a journey through who and what I am. Making sense of it, working with my strengths and weaknesses.
Yes there is ritual, candles and smells. But as part of honouring the wheel, the Lord and Lady in all their aspects. It isn't something I can pick up and drop as the mood takes me.
It is who and what I am every day, all day.
The first time I realised the path I was on I didn't think of where it would take me or that it is a lifetimes work. Even beyond.
When I accepted this road I accepted all of it. Not snippets or moments of it.
I can't turn off the path I chose and most of the time I wouldn't want to.
But we are human after all and sometimes I rail at what befalls.
Sometimes I think there is no easy answer.
We can't pick and chose the bits to enjoy or to live. A spell here, a potion there.
Its all or nothing, warts and all.
And I am glad for all its meanderings.
It is who and what I am, who I want to be.
I do this for me, not to make friends or influence people.
Not to get rich or any such foolishness
But to be me

September 21, 2011

Equinox greetings


Blessings of Mabon to you, may your harvest be a good one and may the things you let go bring space for new.

Autumn is well and truly on us now, cold damp mornings and the light nights are gone. Last night we needed lights on at 7pm.

at one time the thought of Winter used to fill me with despair. The loss of the light and the warmth.
Eventually I realised how beneficial the dark half of the year was. A time to take stock, to appreciate the harvest received from the years efforts. We need the dark half of the year for balance.
There are days mind when I long for the sun and the heat of summer. When everything aches and even standing is wearisome there are thoughts of summer days.
There are several Autumn poems I love.
This first from William Blake:-
To Autumn

O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stained
With the blood of the grape, pass not,
but sit
Beneath my shady roof, there thou may'st rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe;
And all the daughters of the year shall dance,
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.
 
and the well known one from John Keats:-

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.
                                 

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.


Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, -
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
 

After Apple Picking

by Robert Frost

My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still.
And there's a barrel that I didn't fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn't pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples; I am drowsing off.
I cannot shake the shimmer from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the water-trough,
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and reappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
And I keep hearing from the cellar-bin
That rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking; I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall,
For all
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised, or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap
As of no worth.
One can see what will trouble
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it's like his
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
Or just some human sleep.
An Autumn Greeting
"Come," said the Wind to the Leaves one day.
"Come over the meadow and we will play.
Put on your dresses of red and gold.
For summer is gone and the days grow cold
The colour and mood of the garden is changing now also. The Acer's leaves glow red in the sunshine and even at dusk have an otherworldly look to them
I have a ritual for Autumn Equinox. I use it as a time to let go of unwanted stuff. Not just physical but spiritually. I let go and send it on its way.

This is a mixed harvest this year, not all good but even the bad or negative things will have a positive side. We learn from and progress from all aspects of our life. Sometimes we wonder why it happens but there has to be a reason.
As part of my ritual I send out positive energy to the world to be used where the Goddess sees fit.
I wish you all you wish yourself. Remember if you send out positivity you receive it back. But the balance of life states that this applies to negativity also. Be careful what you wish for.