Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Does anybody know what time it is??

I am referencing the Chicago tune, not that stupid show with Tim Allen from the 90's.

I have been reading some guides to help improve my writing skills and thus far I have been irritated and disappointed that I simply have not found the time to dedicate myself to it. I'm lucky if I manage to get a one-page journal entry put down every three days or so. It makes me feel like I am completely unable to properly prioritize. Working my job is, strangely enough, not a priority to me, but getting out of debt is one of our highest priorities, and thus, the conundrum.

Two days until July 1, and so I've been sitting at the computer, pulling up my share of the monthly bills, getting them scheduled and budgeted. I feel proud that we paid off 3 small debts last week, and proud that my individual debts are decreasing. One student loan is going to be under $3000 soon. I owe less than $7000 on my car now. We owe less than $2000 on a credit card that almost had $10,000 on it 3 years ago. I am proud of our efforts, but it's discouraging to have to set aside my passions in order to continue working on these goals.

I've been reading "If You Want To Write" by Brenda Ueland, which has been a beautiful read, but sadly, I fear I' haven't had the time to do any actual writing. It's been more like "I want to write, but I barely have the time to read!" I love her imagery and the way she reminds me that really, there is nothing wrong with ME. It's the rest of the world that simply cannot understand where I am thinking from. It's hard being a right-brained person in a society dominated by left-brained pragmatists who value productivity over creativity.

It is now about 8:22 in the morning, and I am due in at work in 2 hours. I will commence my usual morning routine at this point, showering, makeup, dressing, trying to fit in a load of laundry or wash a few dishes before I leave for the day. All the while, my right brain is begging me to call in sick (which I won't do, and never do), sit in the chair for awhile with everything silent in the house and wait for something beautiful to flow from mind to pen and paper. Then maybe drive downtown to that empty coffee bar and see how much they are leasing it for. Then go to a farm, or an orchard somewhere, and breathe in the smells of fresh fruits and earth. 

When my thoughts are full of these things, it's no wonder I'm a total failure by the world's standards.

Fortunately, I don't listen to the world. I value what God has created in me. :) 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Quote of the Day - 2011 version

Today it was Sharon, who is 8 years old, who gave me this bit of wisdom.

Sharon: That's 5098 things that I've forgotten about piano lessons.

Me: Only 5098?

Sharon: Well, that's 5,098 IMPORTANT things that I forgot. I only remember the unimportant things you tell me.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Cars 2

Alex and I went to see Cars 2 last night.

At the very beginning, there is a big scene on some very rough water. I leaned over to Alex and said, "Huh. Looks like the Bering Sea doesn't it?" We are Deadliest Catch fans.

Suddenly, a crabbing boat appeared on the scene. It was the Northwestern! With a face! And who else voiced the Northwestern, but Captain Sig Hansen! We laughed and laughed.

It was the best part of the movie. :)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

We Have Food!


That's what I hope to say when our economy goes belly-up, the America dollar plunges to worthless and no one can afford food anymore. Or maybe I was listening to a doomsday prophet again. I shouldn't do that.

Anyway, I've been working pretty hard on the pantry and emergency food storage. I'm kinda proud! I think right now, we could probably live for a week on what's in our pantry. It will be better after this growing season. Now what we really, really need is a chest freezer. Everyone in my family had one. It's a critical piece of food storage equipment and we really need to make the investment.

I cored and sliced 8 flippin' quarts of strawberries! Good Lord, when that was over, my hands were frozen, numb and stained red, but I have 2 big bags in the freezer and one in the fridge. (One that is now half empty because I used half of it to bake a pie tonight.

I bought 3 pounds of rhubarb at the market last week, and also used about half of it to bake pie tonight. The other half I sliced up and stuck in the freezer. Vegetarian Times had a 5 recipes to try with rhubarb in the May/June issue. There has to be a use for it besides pie! Alex won't touch it of course, so it will be up to me to give the ol' college try.

Tonight I choked down a pork chop, again, and decided that I am probably heading back to my vegetarian diet. It's hard to eat in my house. Alex, my sweet hubs, is deathly allergic to poultry, so we never eat chicken or turkey. Unfortunately, he is also a picky eater, so he won't touch a veggie with a ten foot pole. (Pretty sure I've mentioned this predicament once or twice before.) But he will willingly eat carrots, when prepared right, corn, potatoes, bell peppers when served with stir fry, and celery (but only raw with peanut butter). He has occasionally been willing to try other things, but by and large, he turns up his nose and frowns at my kitchen adventures when asked to taste-test. I'm not really sure if I am craving my vegetarian ways again because the garden has been so mouth watering, or if I am truly tired of eating meat, but either way, I'm collecting my vegger recipes together and getting ready to plunge into meatlessness soon.

A few updates from the garden:

The corn is almost waist high due to more excessive rainfall. (My waist, not a normal human's waist. So the corn is about 2 and a half feet tall.) I've only actually watered my garden once this year. The rest of the time, it has rained and then I have been sure to mulch with grass clippings to keep the moisture in.

I am going to go out and dig for a few new potatoes tomorrow. No, I really just cannot wait, its THAT urgent. :) I will leave the rest for a main crop, but I think since I have 7 plants and all will produce about 10 pounds of potatoes, we'll be okay this winter minus a few.

It's been chilly again all week. The summer solstice seemed to mock us here in Northern Indiana. My tomatoes, while flowering, have stalled in their growth again. I really need four or five good hot, humid days in a row to get the growth restarted and the fruiting process going.

Got the opportunity to hand-pollinate the zucchini this morning. Hooray for plant sex! (ROFLOL) 3 zucchini plants, all flowering, only one with actual fruit, but that fruit looks like they will be real winners.

I planted a new variety of cucumber a few days ago - a pickling gherkin. I have never liked dill pickles in my life, but strangely, I will eat sweet gherkins, so that's what I'm going to go with. I also planted some large-podded shelling peas, and I planted a LOT of them. I am really hoping for several pounds of shelled peas in the freezer for the winter.

The green beans are still small and weak. This is so strange to me because beans are supposed to be so simple to grow! I have successfully grown amazing things in this garden and the easiest veggie of all is giving me trouble?? Where is the justice?

The garden will eventually be completely overtaken with several kinds of squash vines. Yes, I am aware that I 'could' go and pull them out and I will do so eventually. But right now seeing the gorgeous green leaves makes me smile. I simply cannot bring myself to pulling them out. I purposely planted the zucchini and the pattypan squash. But the pumpkins and the gourds were not intentional and they are getting quite out of hand.

I am experimenting with a type of melon. I planted the seeds - quite late I might add - and I am more or less hoping for the best. If our growing season extends into October, as it sometimes does, I will probably have a few melons. But I am not wagering any money on having prize winning melons this summer. But wait until next year....

I will have a handful of ripe red raspberries in about a week.

My sunflowers are being devoured by earwigs. Time to break out the diazanon - which is a repulsive, but effective way to get rid of them.

I pulled a carrot out of the dirt two days ago. It was still a little short, but a perfect shade of orange and quite sweet, with just the right amount of bite.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dehydrator Saves The Day!

Once again, on my day off, I have been as productive as possible. Lots of laundry loads, dishes washed, floors vacuumed and many, many errands run, all before lunch! Time to treat myself!

I've been planning on buying a food dehydrator for a very long time. My mom had one, but we didn't use it very often when I was growing up. I got one today with my Bed Bath and Beyond 20% off coupon, and I am so excited about the stuff I am going to make with it.

Today I just started simple. My garden is chock full of flowering and leafy herbs right now, so I went out with my cute little basket and gathered handfulls of chamomile flowers, dill leaves, oregano and lavender. By summer's end, I will be drying all matter of things - carrots and peas for soups, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, corn for popping, fruit for cereal, herbs for tea, and meat for jerky. I may even try my hand at fruit leather!

So here are a few pics of what I've been up to. Updates throughout the summer as I get more experimental!

Growing Happiness

Take a deep breath with me, exhale slowly, smile and imagine everywhere you look there is food growing at marvelous paces. That has been my morning thus far. Happy. Peaceful. Full of growth.

I now have two places where I am utterly happy. The first is my beautiful garden.

The second....wait for it, cuz it's CRAZY...... is our church. When did that happen?! I don't know, and if you knew me during my teenage and college years, you remember that I hated church. I used to barf on purpose to get out of going to the church I went to as a kid. But now, I find peace in the walls of our sanctuary, beauty in the stained glass and the vaulted ceiling and rest in the presence of the Holy Spirit being there. And that is the difference. The church I went to as a youth had.....issues. The one we are in now has God - the real God. :)

Last week I finally went to the farmer's market to get strawberries. We've had a bad season for strawberries. It snowed until May for example. Our local UPick went out of business. Fortunately we live near the Indiana/Michigan border, and there are plenty of Michigan farmers willing to share their harvest. I bought a 'flat' which is about 8 pints and brought them home. Today, finally, I will be able to finish slicing and freezing them. Some for jam, some for just eating with sugar and cottage cheese, and some are also going to be made into strawberry-rhubarb pie for a beach party we'll be attending this weekend.

Today I have a massive to-do list, and yet, here I sit at the computer. It's my day off for the week, and I LOVE my days off. I get to do those things at home that I love to do. Cook, garden, crochet booties and fulfill orders from the Etsy shop , fill pages of blank journal with thoughts and ideas and rest up. Well, I did get the floors vacuumed, the sheets washed, the dishes washed and the bathrooms cleaned. From here on out it's just errand upon errand. And that's okay! Some of those errands include trips to friends' houses to drop off the tomato and pumpkin plants that I have excessive amounts of.  (Did you want a few??)

Did I mention that I have a little over 40 tomato plants and about 400 pumpkin and gourd starts?

I'm going out to finally purchase the food dehydrator that I promised myself 2 years ago when I started canning and preserving. Today's plan is to harvest chamomile and dill and get them dried and sealed up for later use. Especially the cham. That has been a staple in my tea chest for some time now.

Oh! Before I forget, Alex and I have accomplished something financially that we are quite proud of! We paid off 3 small credit cards! All were carrying balances between $100 and $400 - and we knocked them out. One more credit card to pay off for us, and we will officially be out of credit card debt. Then it's on to student loans. :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Trash Pile

There is a little section of my garden that I refer to as the trash pile. It is the area under a bradford pear tree (I hate this tree - it shades prime real estate, has stinky flowers in the spring and drops nasty little fruits all over the patio every fall) where I let the weeds grow rampant and where I pile up all the 'trash' at the end of the growing season.

It's not really a compost pile because I have a compost pile on the other side of the yard. This is just the place where I dump stuff. And I usually find treasures here when the new growing season starts. This year is no different than any other year.

The Trash Pile is currently home to 7 chamomile plants, mountains of catnip, and a few stray tomatoes. Truth be told, I have tomato plants popping up in such large quantities that I am giving them away to friends and family members. They have been showing up in such random places that I wonder why I bothered saving seeds from them at all.

I stepped on a thorn tonight and also ran another thorn into my thumb. Yes I know that there are things called shoes and gloves, but honestly, I just love to feel the dirt under my feet and in my hands. Even as I am typing this, I am still pretty well covered in mud.

I've been thinking about renting the church kitchen and having a 'canning' party later this season. Lord knows I'm going to have more tomatoes than I will know what to do with! As we get further into the year, I feel more strongly about preparing and helping others prepare for times to come. Maybe it's the fact that I cannot buy groceries for $50 a week anymore. ($87 this week - and I tried to get only sale items.) Maybe it's the dire economic predictions, the political scene and the state of our country in general. I don't know. But it's on my heart to prepapre and help others know how to prepare. Plus - canning in a group could be a LOT of fun.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Creative Inventory - Last Question

What time of day are you most receptive to inspiration?

I wish I had a definitive answer to this question. I wish I could say every morning I wake up with a fresh batch of ideas that came upon me in the places between my dreams.

But the truth is that I don't think I'm ever very receptive to inspiration. When it comes, it is usually haphazard and at an inconvenient moment in the day. I don't get a lot of time to just sit alone with my thoughts and allow them to flow. Even now, I am frantically trying to put together a sentance before I need to go to the post office and ship some packages and after that, go work at the bank for a few hours. If I did wake up with a good idea this morning, it is long forgotten in the rush of the morning. If I chance upon it later tonight, it will probably disappear into the exhausted folds of my gray matter while I'm falling asleep.

Part of my goal in drawing out this creative inventory is to discover when, where and how my muse reaches me. I am proud that I have gone through each question honestly and with my heart laid open like a book. I recognize that I need specific times and specific places. I realize that I am messy, disorganized and lopsided in my creative life. It's time for me to set these things right. I don't believe I'll ever fully reach my dream of becoming a full time 'artist' if I can't get the creative side of me in order.

There is probably more to be said, but the post office is waiting, and so is work at the bank.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Creative Inventory Part 8

What has been your greatest creative hurdle thus far?

Easily, my greatest creative hurdle is finishing what I start. This is even evident in the fact that I 'started' this blogging the answers to these questions, and it's been 4 days since the last time I posted. Not on purpose - I just have never had a really good drive to complete anything.

Starting projects is fun and new. It's enticing. The elements are sitting in various pieces all around the table and looking at each other, wondering how they will fit together. But once the project gets underway, it loses it's novelty and after awhile, especially if it doesn't turn out the way I intended, I will stop working on it. The poor project becomes just another of my unfinished pieces in a box. And I have a LOT of unfinished dresses and other sewing projects. A LOT of unfinished stories in Word files on the computer. A LOT of half-done paintings.

Finishing - staying interested to the end - it my greatest hurdle. It's also the reason I believe I need a partner to keep me accountable. I just haven't found the right partner yet. But I know he/she is out there!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Savory Leek Soup - Straight From The Garden

This morning was one of serious productivity. I had the grass mowed before 8:30 this morning and just now I dug up all of the onions and most of the leeks. The leeks were an interesting experiment for me from last year. They have been in my yard for almost a year now and I believe they struggled to grow almost as much as I struggled to lift them from the dirt. I unknowingly sowed their seeds in an area with heavy clay very close to the topsoil. The poor roots had nothing helping them achieve their fullest potential.

Though my leeks never got more than a half inch in diameter, they still had a fine flavor and sweet onionish fragrance. My plan all along for these babies was to make them into a savory leek soup with potatoes and freeze them for a day in the future winter when I can warm it up and think fondly back to this hundred degree, 100% humidity day in early June, when my deepest cares were simply the abundance coming out of the garden.

So this is the recipe. It would have been smart to take some pictures, but alas, I didn't think about that today. I just had digging and cooking on my mind.

Savory Leek and Potato Soup

6-8 small leeks (white and light green parts only), chopped
5 medium potatoes, boiled and mashed with a spoon
salt, pepper
two pinches of dried basil, or 4 fresh leaves chopped
3 cloves of fresh garlic
2 tablespoons butter
One can of vegetable broth (16 ounces)

In a saucepan, saute the leeks and garlic in butter until crisp tender.

After boiled and mashing the potatoes, add the broth to them and bring to a boil. 
Add leeks and garlic. Boil, stirring continuously. Mixture will be lumpy.
Season with salt, pepper and basil to taste.
Once the soup mixture is heated thoroughly, transfer the mixture to the food processor in batches and process until thick and smooth. Add milk if desired, to make the soup creamier and thinner.
Enjoy immediately, or put in freezer containers to enjoy at a later time! Especially delicious in a bread bowl, sprinkled with fresh cheese. :)

Creative Inventory Q&A Part 7

Does nature influence your creativity? How so?

In a word, yes.

But this sounds very similar to the question about whether or not there is a certain element that draws me.

I am a Taurus, and Earth-sign, and one that is definitely influenced by nature. Sometimes I am exasperating to others because I simply must stop in the middle of whatever it is I am doing to go and examine those roses over there, or the leaves of that tree, or the texture of those rocks. I am often compelled by Nature to stop and take in the beauty all around me.

I am always stunned by the amazing detail that is in the Earth. It's one of the things that leads me to believe in a Creator God and not just billions of years of accidental explosions - although I do have elements of the theory of evolution that I believe whole-heartedly. I just don't believe that it all came from nothing and will some day all return to nothing. (Call me crazy, it helps me feel like I have hope and a purpose on this waterball of a planet we call home.)

Side tangent - sort of. Often Christian ministers will remind their flocks that God is their Father, and the perfect father; the one who nurtures, and loves unconditionally and never fails, so unlike many earthly fathers, especially in our modern society. But I always had trouble finding God to be a heavenly Father because, well, my father was about as close to perfect as can be. I love my Daddy, and I don't think he has ever let me down yet. He isn't God, but he was unselfish and supportive through our entire upbringing. It's hard to replace that earthly father with God if you don't really have a reason to. It was at this point that I started identifying God as more of an Artist and source of true inspiration for me. Now of course, I recognize all the elements of Christian faith, but it was when I began to seek God for a facet of His personality that I could actually identify with, that I began to have a real relationship with him. God does fill gaps in our lives - He just doesn't fill the same gaps in everybody's lives.

Nature brings me  to my knees in wonder. Just as an example of how I draw inspiration, I will mention that I've always been a bit of a collector and still to this day I have a collection of stones and seeds and dried flowers lined up on my kitchen windowsill. The different textures, colors and patterns have incited different landscapes in my stories, specific details in my paintings and probably most importantly, make me smile during the day.

I thank God for the beauty and detail of his marvelous Art Project. Nothing brings greater joy to this artist's soul than knowing that He made it to help draw my best ideas out of me.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Creative Inventory Pt. 6

"Do you have any creative rituals?"

This concept confused me. I have never had any creative rituals, and it struck me that I almost go about my creativity rather willy-nilly, simply starting and stopping whenever I feel like it and giving up on ideas that don't come out right the first time. It seems like an extraordinarily self-defeating way to work. After all, one of my greatest inspirations, Ludwig van Beethoven, couldn't work unless he dumped buckets of water over his head. There must be something to this 'ritual' thing that has never presented itself to me before.

So I am going to attempt to invent some creative rituals to help my ideas blossom and my drive to complete my work grow stronger.

Anybody know how to invent rituals? I do not.

What I hope to do is begin with the things that I know lead me into inspiration. Certain pieces of music will probably be listened to before I begin to write, and I will probably walk through the garden, enjoying my beautiful flowers and plants for a few minutes to help focus my mind. (Unless that doesn't work and instead, I begin to work in the garden.) I will try to get out of the house for at least a little bit every day, and I am going to experiment with whether creating before work, or after work is the best time of day for me.

And I'm going to be reading. Doing lots and lots of reading. I have already begun, and there are several more books on the way that I hope will help me fine-tune my skills.

I am curious to know if there are any tasks or rituals that anyone else out there might find useful? What drives your inspiration or brings out your best ideas?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Creative Inventory Part 5

What activates your creative energy? What deactivates it?

I don't think I can even list all the things that get me in the mood to create!! I am inspired always by beautiful things. Now wait, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so what can I possibly mean by that? I guess it's more complicated than simply "I am inspired by beauty".

Remember how I said I have a natural talent for seeing the possible? It goes along with that. I am inspired by blank canvasses. A raw, uncut piece of fabric. A huge open stretch of land that has nothing growing on it yet. Entire days where I have nothing that has to be done! (I can't wait for Wednesday, my day off this week!) A basket-full of balls and skeins of yarn that haven't been woven into anything yet.

Sunny days inspire my Earthiness and pull me out-of-doors into the sunshine to dig in the dirt, to design gardens of flowers and vegetables and fruits and to adore the beauty of Creation.

Stormy days bring out my 'hand-made' creativity. All things fine arts are produced on stormy days - new dresses, new crochet designs, new tales of haunted house, pirates, and best friends, new drawings and worst of all - encourage me to redecorate a room of the house. (This occasionally gets me into trouble.)

Days that are in between stormy and sunny make me want to play the piano for hours and sing. Cloudy days don't give a lot of leniency for sitting around, nor do they make me want to coax seedlings to grow taller, and so my heart begins to sing the blahs away.

BUT I begin to feel drained when the project has carried on for too long. This is my creative downfall and why I am so terrible at follow-through. I begin projects with gusto, anxious to bring the thoughts in my head into reality. Once they begin to take much longer than I originally planned - especially sewing projects if they must be ripped apart and resewn - I begin to lose my creative spark toward that project and it will become just another statistic in my pile of things unfinished. When something no longer stimulates my eye for the possible, I lose interest, and, often, move on to the next stimulus. This is something that makes me believe that I need a partner to work with - someone to hold my nose to the grindstone.

Deadlines are especially effective for me. If I promised to deliver something the next day, you can bet I will pull an all-niter to finish it!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Moment of Thought

Today a poor bird flew into our picture window, broke his neck, fluttered to the porch floor, closed his eyes and died..

And yet somehow, the Holy Spirit used this to bring to mind a Bible verse that seems to be just for me.

Matthew 6:26

"Consider the birds of the air; for they do not sow, nor do they reap, or stow away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them (and provides care for them). Are you (precious children) not even more valuable (to your Heavenly Father) than they are?"

Grand Re-Re-Opening

It's official! L.Peek Designs is re-opening tomorrow morning!

It's actually open right now, with one single listing - a pair of orange Baby Chucks. :) But tomorrow I will begin the relistings and while I will not be crocheting full time like I was prior to March 1st, I will be devoting a good portion of time to maintaining the shop.

I'm really excited about this. This is one of my true loves so it's going to be wonderful to get going again.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Creative Inventory Part 4

4 When and where do you create? When and where do you wish to create?

I actually do not have a specific time or place to work out my creative musings, and I am beginning to think that I might be more productive if I did. My work tends to travel around the house, depending on when and where I feel like coming to rest. That's the problem with knitting and crocheting I guess - it's portable. It may start life in the living room because I'm watching TV, but then I might migrate to the music room or the dining room or even the backyard. Maybe my 'where' is just simply 'Home'. My sewing room, our extra bedroom, used to be my 'place' but now it's become more of a storage closet in the last few months, housing anything that I can't find a place for in the rest of the house.

As for time, this is probably an issue that I need to resolve. I do not have good time management skills at all - not even remotely good ones. It might take me half an hour to get one room vacuumed because I will get distracted somewhere in the middle of it and start doing something else. I do not have a set time for creativity. Whenever I am not at work, not teaching piano lessons, not cleaning the house and not caring for my husband's needs. Sometimes I get an entire day to be creative. Sometimes I don't have a single moment's peace. Most of the time I am lucky to get half an hour before bed in the evening and it's when I'm tired, my thoughts are going into hibernation for the night and Alex is trying to force me into watching television with him becase that's how he winds down. I have never had a set time for creativity to flow.

Another problem I have with the 'time' aspect of creativity is simply that I don't really have the support. Now, before you think my husband is squelching my creativity, please understand that if he didn't keep me on track with things, I would be a complete mental case. I would be a hoarder, the city would forclose on my house, and I would probably never bathe. This is because if I don't have someone reminding me to care for things, one task at a time, I get into obsessive grooves that I don't come out of. I could literally spend an entire week doing a certain set of projects and never do anything else that week except pee. I often forget to eat during the day if I'm working on something. There could be a small list of chores and I will convince myself that they will take care of themselves because 'I'm busy creating something dammit all!' I do not have a healthy mental state when it comes to living life like a normal person should. When Alex comes home and sees that I've literally done nothing but sit on the couch all day with a crochet hook in hand, he gets annoyed and starts forcing me into finishing the tasks I should have worked on during the day. Now do I get upset and annoyed with this? Absolutely. But I need it. I am very co-dependent in these regards. Does my creativity suffer? I think so. I think my opportunities for inspiration are already few and far between, and when my husband comes home after a long day at work to find out that his wife has more or less failed to hold up her end of the bargain, he doesn't really feel like supporting my hare-brained ideas. He's also terribly practical to my terribly 'out-there' way of thinking. They do say opposites attract.

BTW, my husband is an AMAZING guitarist, so if I have portrayed him as not being a creative type, it's incorrect. His musical genius surpasses most - he just channels it differently. He has logic and practicality to his advantage. I..... do not.

Since I will begin a lighter work schedule next week, I am going to start establishing my creative times and getting the routine into a set schedule. I am hoping to establish 3 times per week where I can simply sit down and produce ideas and work on projects. I have to work this out with Alex, but I think in the long run it will be a great advantage to both of us.

And as for the migrating projects, I don't think that's likely to die as quickly as it should, but we DID start cleaning out the sewing room again.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Creative Inventory Q&A Part 3

3. What elements (water, wood, fire, etc.) draw you toward them?

I won't get all New Agey on you with this one for the sakes of those folks who only believe you can be inspired by God and not His Creation, but let's be practical for a minute. Elements of nature exist, and certain people are drawn to different elements in different ways. Let's meet somewhere in the middle and say that you can draw inspiration out of things that are elements of God's Creation. I find God to be the original Artist, and that is where I find His presence.

I was born on May 6, which means that I'm a Taurus in the astrological chart. It's an Earth symbol. Guess what? I am absolutely drawn to the earth. Not all Taurus's are, but I am. It's what prompts me to dig in the dirt, plant seeds and sit back and watch them grow. I love the smell of the earth, especially after a good storm. The rise of mountains, the cracks of riverbeds and canyonlands, the lush colors of wild places - whether they be open field, rainforests and jungles, or painted deserts - the beauty of the Earth inspires me.

I am also drawn to water, but in a lesser degree. I love to see the ocean, and the colors and fascinating oddities of the creatures that live beneath the sea always amaze me. But when it comes right down to it, I think the thing I have the most healthy fear for in the world is probably dangerous water. I'm not a hydophobe by any stretch of the word, but you likely won't find me on a ship during a storm, and my experiences white water rafting were terrifying enough that I probably will never do it again. I do not wish to die by drowning - the thought of it scares me more than most other types of death.

I am not really drawn to fire, air, wood, or metal in any way. I don't need candles burning, or open windows to draw inspiration. I can usually find what I need by walking through the park or sitting in the grass for awhile.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Creative Inventory Q&A Part 2

The second question in the creative inventory challenge in the book 12 Secrets is one that I don't really like to answer. I'm not sure why because who doesn't like to talk about their talents and abilities? Me, I guess.

2. What natural talents do you have?

It's difficult for me to produce a 'natural' talent. I have them, to be sure. God gives beautiful talents and abilities to everyone who is willing to open their eyes to them. But I wasn't BORN knowing how to play the piano, or paint a mural, or crochet a dozen pairs of baby booties. Those talents were acquired through someone teaching me - patiently. (I'm difficult to teach. I'm left-handed, right-brained, and stubborn.) I think my natural talent comes in my ability to see the possible. I have an eye for color and for sorting and combining. You can see this talent in my home - my fireplace mantle is always changing because I will find things to display in different sizes, shapes, colors and textures. I have a knack for seeing potential in found objects. I always have a finished product in my head - but never in my hand. That makes me laugh, but is also kind of sad. When I worked at the fabric store, I would walk through the apparel department and pull out the different prints and textures and already have a finished dress in my head before I could even measure the yardage to see if there was enough available to make the dress.

Possibility and Potential.

Those are my natural talents.