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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Stress & Hot Springs: A Birthday Story

The holiday weekend was a quiet one around here.  Mostly by choice.  Stress doesn't play fair with most people, but for me it can knock me out cold.  I've been haunted pretty regularly lately by headaches so I took this weekend to unwind.  This agenda of mine did not make everyone happy (ie certain family members took it a little personally), but at the end of the weekend I was headache free so it was worth it.

Christmas is quickly followed by the holiest of days, my birthday, and I was determined not to let myself get all worked about that either.  Which is a quite a feat for me.  I have what some people might refer to as "Birthday Issues."  Being so close to Christmas I spent most my childhood birthdays in a car traveling north from the relatives.  Even if we hadn't been traveling most other people were, so birthday parties were out of the question.  Then there is always the joys of the joint gift.  "This is your Christmas and birthday gift."  Sigh....okay, I'm done whining.  I'm an adult now, or posing as one pretty seamlessly these days so it's up to me to make myself feel special.  So I thought really hard about what I would want to do for me on my birthday.

What kinds of things make me happy?

  • Nature
  • Massages
  • Being Warm
  • Pretty much anything new age or hippiesque (urban dictionary & I both agree this is a word)
  • Kitties
  • Yummy Food
Hence, my plan to take myself to Stewart Mineral Hot Springs was born.  I got all the info and asked for Monday, the day before my birthday off, because they are closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the winter.  It all fell into place and I even gained a travel buddy.  My mom thought it was a fantastic idea and invited herself.  Which seems fitting since she's the one who did all the work on my original birthday anyway.

So Monday, I met up with my beautiful and absolutely hysterical friend Beth for lunch before she flew back home to San Diego.  I miss her already. Then said goodbye to both my sisters, Bri Cherie and Randie Leah before they headed north to Portland.  My mom and I got on the road to head north as well, to a lovely little town called Weed (note the sarcasm).  It was a quick drive and the weather wasn't all that bad.  I basically knit the whole way there, whoa maybe I am getting old.  Anyway, we got there and checked in and then gave ourselves a little tour of the property.  I heard there was a gazebo located over the mouth of the hot springs and I wanted to see it.  We finally found it upstream, but because of the weather all we could see under the glass was condensation.  There was however a little altar that had been started by guests in the gazebo, which I thought was cool.

On our way back we saw some people emerge from the bath house and one brave woman leaped into the creek in only her birthday suit.  I shivered for her, nothing could possibly make me jump into that icy water.

We got to the bath house and changed and headed into the sauna.  I love saunas!  I seriously want one in my house one day.  As my mom put it "It's just feels like Redding in the summer."  I think this may explain one reason we moved north so many years ago.  We relaxed in there until they came and got us for our massages.  My massage was in a little room that looked out over the creek.  It was a beautiful view and the massage itself was very relaxing.  I nearly fell asleep when she started massaging my face.  Of course that meant it was nearly over.  Why can't massages last forever?

After that I went inside to take my mineral bath.  They actually pump the water from the hot springs into little private rooms with bathtubs.  When I went inside to wait for my room, I  saw a lady sitting there with Tarot cards.  I asked for a reading and long story short it was exactly what I needed.  I know not everyone is down with the Tarot, but they have come through for me so many times I've stopped being skeptical.

I was floating on cloud nine by this time and I seriously didn't feel my feet touch the floor as I made my way to the little room with my name on the door.  The room was big enough to hold a the long vintage claw foot tub and  a little chair.  The size didn't matter this was my room for the hour, all mine.   I slipped into the hot sulfury water and sighed.  I almost just made sulfur sound romantic and soothing didn't I?  Well, in a way it was.  It was part of the experience, just like all the naked people wrapped in sheets, or the fire blazing in the wood-stove in the lobby or the the fluffy kitty roaming the halls.  It was all so life affirming in a way.  Okay before I get too off track and sentimental, back to the story.  

I sunk into my bath and just focused on breathing.  What I didn't know at the time was apparently there was a system that some people used: 10 minutes in the tub and 10 minutes in the sauna.  While I was slipping into a zen like coma, my mom had been told of this system and was trying it out.  My time was up  way too fast and apparently I was the last one still locked in my room, cause they had to come and get me.  When I found my mom she had embraced this experience more than I had anticipated and was heading down to the creek to jump in.  She wanted me to join her, but I know crazy when I see it and headed to the shower line instead.  Me and my birthday suit were staying nice and warm. She didn't jump in, apparently ankle deep was enough experience for the day.  "It's like the Sacramento river, only worse" was her description of the snow melt.  We showered, got dressed, talked to the resident kitty, and sat by the fire before leaving the serenity of the springs.

On the drive down to Mt Shasta I think I said "I am so happy!" close to twenty times.  I felt completely refreshed and rejuvenated.  We stopped at The Goat Tavern for a quick dinner before we headed back to Redding.  I ate there on my birthday last year with an amazing friend of mine and this year the food was even better.  I had a lightly seared ahi tuna sandwich with some sort of wasabi sauce on ciabatta bread.  I was in food heaven!  It put me in just the right spirits to make the rainy drive back home to reality to finish out the holiday season.  In fact, I almost felt like maybe I had evened the score with my old enemy stress, well, for the time being anyway.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter Solstice 2010

I've been excited and nervous for the winter solstice this year.  I felt like I was waiting for something to happen, as if the darkest day of the year was holding some kind of secret.  If it was, I haven't figured it out yet. 

It was a very good day though.  I got to sleep in and go to work late and even managed to get out of work early.  I went straight to a massage appointment with my favorite massage therapist, Tammi.  She was able to really get my back to settle down, my bolts from my scoliosis surgery have been bothering me a lot lately.  After emerging from her office I drove home in a state of relaxed bliss and had a great dinner and fresh baked cookies.  The only downfall of the whole night was not being able to see the full moon because of all the cloud cover and rain.

Speaking of rain, we have been getting quite a bit of lately.  Strangely enough I haven't been minding the weather or the short days.  Normally, they make me miserable.  I think it might be all the vitamin D I've been popping lately, but either way I've almost been enjoying it.  Lying in bed listening to it beat down on the roof is really calming.  Which helps with all this nervous excitement I've been having about this day and basically everyone that follows.  

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Falling All Over Again

Just got back from Portland, Oregon last night.  It has me wondering about what makes someplace home.  How did I fall in love with this city at first sight, when I knew nothing about her?  How did I just instantly know I would end up there one day when I first drove into the city one cold night in 2003?  It feels at times she loves me nearly as much as I love her.  Did she align the stars to bring us together?  Granted it was not an easy road to get me there and keep me there for over 4 years, but worth every step.

When I returned to my hometown in California last year brokenhearted after one of the biggest losses of my life, I truly believed I'd never go back.  It seemed Portland was closed to me, she no longer called me the way she used to.  I thought she too was through with me, perhaps all our bridges were burned.  It took me a while, but I was coming to terms with that.

Then I drove into the city one dark cold night last week and there she was sparkling under a pink cloudy sky and it took my breath away.  I fell head over heels all over again and in the blink of an eye I was fantasizing about drinking coffee while watching the rain fall and taking long walks on cool foggy mornings and the smell of the northwest soil as I planted a garden.  She was calling me home again.

Now I am back in California again.  The weather is fantastic, Fall it seems is on hold for a while longer.  My life is here.  My parents, my job, my best friend, my history is here.  Am I ready to pack up all my sundresses and trade them in for endless seasons of boots and scarves?

I don't have any answers tonight.  I am torn between so many choices and the lives they could lead me to.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Inspiration Strikes or Will be Striking (Soon I Hope)

A lot of time has passed since my last post and I don't want to go into all the mundane changes that has taken places, but a quick wrap up is due.  My job has been in limbo for a few months nearly lost it and now I'm actually working more than ever, not even sure how that happened.  My Etsy shop is on hiatus, due to the job situation, the lack of studio space, and most unfortunately it seems the muses have abandoned me for the moment.  Although, I have an inkling they may be returning soon, that tingling frantic solitary kind of energy that accompanies them seems to be haunting me again.  I have moved living situations twice now,both have been great, but my current one is giving me lots of time to think and ponder, which is perhaps why the muses are returning, who knows, the muses can never be fully understood.

Anyway, life is good.  Quiet, verging on silent, but good.  Although, the quiet is going to be short lived I fear.  This next few months is going to be busy.  I am heading to Portland this week with my Mama to see my sisters and my wonderful girlfriends.  At the end of the month, I am heading down south to Newport to visit my beautiful cousin for All Hallows Eve, my very favorite holiday.  The in November I am going on vacation to Maui.  I'm a lucky girl, and I'm going to work on being a productive girl to and get back to work on some projects I've forsaken.  

*Picture courtesy of

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Portland in the Spring!

My city in the springtime.  A picture can't explain how much I love this place!!!!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

1st Boat Trip of 2010

The lake is full and the weather is beautiful.  That means one thing to my friend Ron, time to take the boat out.  So that's what we did.  The boys wake boarded in the freezing water like crazies.  Lacey and I tried to make up for lost time and absorb as much vitamin D as possible.  It was a great afternoon.  If my math is correct, the last time I was out on the lake was 6 months ago.  Has it really been that long?  Wow! Time to go swim suit shopping and get a spray tan! 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Hello Shasta!

Stopped at a vista point to take a picture of Mt Shasta and say hello to the Lemurians!

Willow Moon

The Celtic year is made of of 13 months which are based on the 13 full moons.  Each month is named after a tree.  We are currently in the Celtic Tree Month of Willow, it ends on May 12th.  This last full moon was called the Willow Moon and is also referred to as the Moon of Balance. The willow has traditionally been connected to the moon because of their relation to water, cycles, and the feminine.  The willow is a tree of dreaming and enchantment. It has been said that "the moon owns the willow." The willow puts us in touch with our deep emotions & allows us to express, own, and release them.

Photo by Triple Tree Photography

Packing for Portland!

It's after midnight and I should be in bed, but I'm too excited.  I'm going to visit my city tomorrow.  My rainy cloudy cold city, I must be crazy to want to leave the warmth of Redding to visit a place where the high is going to be 65 over the next week....I mean come on it was in the 80s here yesterday.  Oh well, it will just give me an excuse to eat a lot of cupcakes, voodoo doughnuts, and drink martinis to keep myself warm.  Ya, ya, I know, like I really need an excuse to do any of those things.  Okay, I'm going to finish my glass of wine and start packing.  Oregon you better be ready for a redhead with a tan.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Lilacs in Bloom

My favorite lilac bush. Lila, bloomed!  Isn't she pretty?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Harvey the Carrot

This is Harvey the Carrot.  He deserved a name, because he was the very first carrot I've ever grown that doesn't look like a scary little mutant human with arms and legs (think Harry Potter and the mandrake roots).  There may be a handful of you who are thinking "no, Willow, I remember an amazingly straight carrot you grew two summers ago."  I feel I must tell you truth.  I stole that carrot out of the plot next to mine, because it's owner was on an extended trip to South America for several months.  Yes, it is true, I'm a carrot thief.  I also stole her onions to make salsa. 

Anyway, this new carrot, which I actually did grow all on my own was supposed to be ready in 3 months, but because of my awesome gardening skills it took a year.  How did I do this, you want to know?  I have absolutely no idea. 

I was so excited about this straight carrot I carried him around with me all day and even put him into a vase of water until everyone had fully appreciated my momentous achievement.  Then I ate Harvey.  He tasted like dirt. 

Whole Earth Festival

Last weekend my mom and I went to the Whole Earth Festival.  There were great booths on eco-friendly companies and information how to green up your life.  I didn't take any pictures of the booths, ya, that kind of skipped my mind.  I took pictures of a weird sculpture I liked and some pretty poppies next to one of the booths.

The most exciting part of the day, by far, was giving blood.  I love giving blood.  I think it's great to help others, but that's not the real reason I love donating.  I actually enjoy the blood giving process.  The phlebotomists (blood takers) are so appreciative of you.  What can I say, I'm a sucker for people who like me.  I like the nervous feeling before they stick you with the needle, it makes me feel alive.  I even like watching the bag fill with blood, it is amazing to think we can lose that much and be fine.  Then afterward they feed you and sometimes give you gifts.  What's not to like?

After I was done with the blood people my mom and I went and got strawberry shortcake from the Gaia Hotel booth.  It was delicious.  I forgot to take a picture of that too. 

It was a great day and I'm really glad that Redding is making an effort to be more green and get everyone involved. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Old Diesel Horse Bridge

The spring storms have been incredible lately.  One minute there is thunder and lightning and the next the sun is shining.  Just as you start to think "oh, the sun!" it starts pouring again.  So when I drove past the Old Diesel Horse Bridge earlier this evening and the skies were clear I decided to take a few pictures.  I literally parked and ran (okay, fine walked really fast) to the bridge,   before another rain burst decided to soak me.  The view was amazing, it was totally worth it. 

Even the birds seemed to be psyched that the rain had ceased.  They were out in droves....or flocks...I guess would be more accurate.  You can see them in the second picture.  They are all the little black specs in the sky.

This bridge is also one of my favorite places in town.  I used to cut class my senior year of high school and come to this bridge to think.  During the salmon season I'd watch the fish come here to die, which is kind of depressing, but amazing too.  In that circle of life kind of way.

After a moment of reflection I looked up and saw the clouds gathering again and decided it was time to go, before spring proved herself wild and unpredictable once again.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Windy Moon

The March full moon is known as the Windy Moon to both the Celts and the Cherokee. I think that is quite appropriate since there is currently a wind advisory in effect until 11pm tonight. It has been so cloudy here I doubt if we'll even be able to see the full moon tomorrow.

Other traditonal names that came up during my search was Worm Moon, which although doesn't sound very pretty makes sense. This is the time of year the ground begins to thaw or soften and worms are able to burrow out of the ground. Here in Redding not much freezes, ever. In fact I know someone who already has their tomato plants in the ground. I'm not that brave or motivated, so I'll take the more traditional route. I read recently, that the Native Americans in this region waited to plant when the snow began to melt in the nearby mt ranges. I actually think they mentioned a specific mountain, but I can't remember.

Anyway, back to the full moon. I love the moon and the full moon is definitely my favorite phase and perhaps not so coincidentally, also when I seem to be in the best mood, according to some people(you know who you are). Although, I think I'm pretty pleasant most the time. This is the point at which you nod agreeably. Have a wonderful Full Moon, hopefully, she will show her snowy face for at least a moment or two tomorrow.

Photo by Ole Begemann

Saturday, March 27, 2010

New Wine Charms!

Just created a new section at WillowLily Creations: Wine Charms. I listed my first item in this section. Thrilling right? Ya, we are just evolving all over the place around here. Mostly, in good ways. No extra toes or anything yet. Although, that wouldn't be all bad, just another place to put more jewelry. There is no such thing as too many toe rings. Okay, so maybe I've had a few glasses of wine to celebrate the new wine charms. Can you blame me?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

250 Facebook Fans!!!!!

Still trying to reach my goal of 250 facebook fans by Today! There will be a 25% OFF sale in the WillowLily Etsy Shop this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. So help me out and become a fan or be super amazing and suggest the fan page to your friends. Have an incredible day!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

One Year Ago Today

Today, is kinda a big day for's an anniversary of a very huge change in my life. One year ago today I moved from my beloved city of Portland back home to Redding. Even though it was one of the saddest and most hopeless times in my life, it ended up being one of the most positive changes I have ever made. I would never wish the way I felt those first few months on my worst enemy, but I'm a better person for it. Thank you to everyone who has been in my life over the last year. I can't express enough gratitude to all those who believed in me when I did not believe in myself.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Trying Tuesday (Beware this is long!)

I've been in a funk all day, and if I'm really being honest, the last few weeks. Today, for whatever reason, I really hit a breaking point. I just could not, would not go any further and I seriously got in bed and refused to get out for hours. When I finally did get out of bed I went and laid in the hammock in the backyard, which is basically just an outside bed, so I'm not sure it even counts. Being outside helped some. Tonight after a meltdown at dinner and then chewing both my sisters and my mom's ears off I finally put myself back to bed. I'm no one's favorite person right now, I know this for a fact.

Part of me doesn't even think I should be writing this here at all, but it's my blog and I can write about what I want. Maybe, just maybe, I can help someone else. Somehow, I stumbled onto an old Oregon friends myspace page (ya, I know I don't really use my account anymore either). She had this list of things to create a happy life. Coincidence? Ya, I don't believe in coincidence either. I read it and it really encouraged me, I'm not as far off track as I thought, but I definitely have some things to work on.

Here's the list:

1) Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

2) When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

3) Follow the three R’s:
a) Respect for self
b) Respect for others
c) Responsibility for all your actions

4) Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

5) Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.

6) Don’t let a little dispute injure a great relationship.

7) When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

8) Spend some time alone every day.

9) Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.

10) Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

11) Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.

12) A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.

13) In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.

14) Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.

15) Be gentle with the earth.

16) Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.

17 )Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.

18) Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

19) Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Goat Book on Etsy

What a wonderful question! I'm pretty sure everyone loves goats. Goats are just so cute and funny. Yes, I said goats are funny, what you never heard one tell a joke? They are hysterical.

Anyway, I stumbled across these adorable books made by BridgetFarmerBooks. The entire book is sketches of goats, obviously I love it! I want to start sketching goats, but that would take an ability to draw and that's not my strong suit. So I guess I'll just have to be content admiring the sketches of others.

Bridget also has another shop on Etsy BridgetFarmerPrints where she sells her prints. She has a lot of pictures of birds, but yes, she has prints of goats too. So go check her out.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wine Charms

I've been playing with the idea of wine charms for a while now. These were the first batch I made. I was just going for fun colors, but now that I think about it, they would be great for spring cocktail parties. I'm using beads, stones, and pearls. Look for these in the coming weeks at WillowLily Creations

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sunday, March 7, 2010

New Suncatcher

Some time last year I bought a light green prism with the intention to create a chain or wire for it to hang from so I could put it in my window. Well, while I was in a cleaning frenzy other day I stumbled upon it. Since the sun is returning, I figured it was a good time to finish it so I could finally hang it in my bedroom window. Also, working on a new project sounded like a lot more fun than cleaning. Using copper chain and hammered copper wire I made this. So now it's up to the sun to do his part. Which you can see from this picture he's on strike, but I'm hoping any day now he'll be peaking through the clouds again.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Organizing my Studio

This is what my studio table usually looks like. Yes, I know it's horrible. In my defense, creativity often happens in the midst of chaos. I think most creative people would agree. If this isn't actually true, I don't want to know. I am perfectly happy living in denial.

Anyway, it dawned on me the other day that I actually have no room to create. This is a problem. So I set out to create some space, which is much easier said than done. I didn't throw out a ton, but I did get rid of a few things, mainly I just reorganized. There were stones and small metal findings everywhere. Not to mention my rather large collection of drift wood. I've never even used drift wood for a project, but I keep collecting it for some reason. One of these days I'll have an epiphany and I'll know exactly how I'm supposed to use it.

I've still got some work to do, but it's looking a lot better. I actually have some room to lay out some new ideas. After all that hard work I deserve a glass of wine.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Tulip Trees are Blooming!

I think this is the most beautiful tulip tree in town. It's right around the corner from my step-sister's house. I snapped this picture earlier this week right before the storm hit and it started pouring. I haven't been back to visit it, but I hope it still has some flowers left.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Buying Basil

I mentioned in a previous blog Getting My Green Thumb Ready for Spring that I was going to be getting a seed list ready for the garden. I will eventually, but I want to start my basil seeds right now. I've been waiting all winter for fresh garden basil, and I am sick of being patient. Okay, patient may not be the right word. I am a lot of things, but patient I am not. With my impatience building, I went to the hardware/garden store in search of basil today. I bought 4 different kinds, I thought that was a good start. I can't wait to get them into the ground. The sooner this whole process gets started, the sooner I will have fresh pesto on my pasta, toast, eggs, etc... Grow basil grow, I'm waiting!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Missing My Moon Maidens

As the full moon approaches, I can't help but think about how my last Moon Party was a year ago, how did the time fly like that? Every full moon a group of ladies would get together to celebrate. It was different every time. We met for happy hour, made bath salts, set intentions, took walks, made meals, or sat out in the garden. What mattered was the getting together, the celebration of the passing of time. Luna (the moon's latin name) is an ancient time keeper. I have to stop myself right now, before I launch into a lecture about the ties between women and the moon dating back to the stone age. If you do want to know more about that, contact me. I'll seriously be over the moon about having someone to talk to about it (pun intended).

The point I'm really trying to get to is, I miss my moon maidens. Since I moved back home I usually celebrate by myself, but every once in a while I get a phone call or a text that says "Did you see the moon?" and I know I'm not the only one looking into the night sky and it's as if we are all together again.

Friday, February 26, 2010

New Dancing Squiggles in Copper

These are some new little cute earrings I will be posting on my Etsy site Willowlily this week. I am not settled on a name for them yet. I was thinking Dancing Squiggles. Yes, seriously, that's all I came up with. Any other ideas?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I'm a Street in Portland!

My lovely, sister, Bunni took this picture and sent it to me the other day! It made me so happy!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Spring Cleaning Begins!

I woke up a few mornings ago after a really stressful dream, which although I would love to go into detail about, trust me I would, for your sake I won't. The basic premise was that I was completely overwhelmed by the state of my room and my life. So when I woke up, I sat up and looked around my room and it dawned on me 'I don't really need most of this stuff.' Here's the thing, while most people get more organized as they get older, I've been steadily getting messier and more disorganized. I actually used to be very neat. It seems that the more I allow myself to be creative and express myself artistically, the more cluttered I become. Perhaps, these things have nothing to do with each other, but I kind of think they do. My creativity is pretty much the center of my life right now and I'm verging on slob status. I don't say that loosely. It is very hard for me to admit I've allowed my life to get this out of control. It just feels like other things have become more important. It's just more important to have access to three different journals and at least one or two laptops while I lie in bed. I mean what if I wake up in the middle of the night and have a genius idea? If I put all these things away I might miss out on tearing through my whole bed to find the right journal and then not being able to come up with a pen....okay, fine. I'm not fooling anyone, my messiness is not helping me at all, there is really no excuse. I am going to start purging and organizing. I don't need all this stuff holding me down. So tonight I am going to gather up all the journals, this could take a while I have a slight addiction, and organize them in a special drawer. Tomorrow morning I am going to go through all my make-up and beauty products. No point keeping things I haven't used in over a year.

Once I tackle my room, I might even dare take on the studio. My heart just started to have palpitations. It's so hard to get rid of anything in the studio, because I never know when I might need it one day. I need all the rocks I brought home from the coast and the hawk feather I found walking through the woods and that broken chain, well, one day I'm going to turn it into a masterpiece. I'm not allowed to think about the studio, yet. It's day will come. Right now I'm staying focused on my room.

Perhaps, after I finish all that I might think about purging some people in my life too. If you don't make me happy, I will put you in the give away pile and donate you to charity (if only it was that easy). So everyone better be on their best behavior, it's time to clean some house!

Getting My Green Thumb Ready for Spring

Been thinking about the garden again lately. It's nearly time for my favorite part of gardening. I love love love starting seeds. Something about the little seeds turning into little plants turns me into a 5 year old all over again. Even though I already know it will happen I'm still incredibly excited to watch the process happen every year. Unfortunately, I'm not so thrilled to do most of the other gardening things. Weeding is boring. Watering one or two times a day is time consuming. Even harvesting doesn't do much for me. I'm pretty much just addicted to the first part, but because I get attached to the plants I force myself to do other the other stuff. Before I even can start doing all that I really need to get the garden ready. I've heard of this thing called winterizing your garden, but I've never actually done it. Apparently, it's important.

This is round two for my Redding garden and this year is going to be even better than the last (not that that will be hard)! In the next week or two I am going to get my seed list complete and get the garden all prepped. It just needs to stop raining so I can venture outside. I really want to grow a lot more than last year. I want my garden to look like the garden in this picture, green and wild. I don't know if that is realistic, but that's what I'm shooting for.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Evening Glass of Wine & a History Lesson

Today was a long rainy day. The kind of day you really wish you didn't have to get out of bed and you actually run through your list of excuses for missing work and ponder how wrong it would be to use them. I actually thought to myself, 'when was the last time I called in with a migraine?' Despite all my efforts the responsible adult in me forced to get out of bed and face the day. The stubborn teenager in me did win one battle this morning. She refused to put on a dress in this weather, what's the point of looking nice when the rain is going to ruin it anyway. Her logic made sense and I let her dress me in jeans and wear my hair straight. So after soaking myself in the rain, sitting behind a computer screen all day, and standing in line at the post office I decided I was due a glass of wine when I got home from work.

I poured myself a glass of shiraz which tasted a little old, so instead of waste it I told my step-dad I poured it just for him. I didn't have t0 drink the foul stuff and he thinks I'm sweet and thoughtful, it's a win-win. After digging through the wine fridge I found the Ukrainian wine my friend, V gave to my parents. I mixed the dry red with the dessert wine and it was perfect. Who knew those Ukrainians made such good wine? I knew they made great vodka, a girlfriend of mine in college always had a freezer stocked with it from her Ukrainian boyfriend. Honestly, I had never really imagined vineyards in the Ukraine. Then again I haven't really spent a lot of time thinking about the Ukraine. I just looked it up, apparently, by the 4th century BC a wine culture already existed in what is now the Ukraine. I guess I have some history and traveling to catch up on. Which are perfect things to think about while I pour myself another glass of wine and listen to the rain.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Women's Weekend

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend a women's retreat this weekend with my lovely mama. The retreat was about 'loving well.' In essence being able to love anybody through anything, which is a pretty tough topic. Especially, when you think about really being able to love ANYBODY....yep, that person who drives you absolutely crazy is included. It is definitely a lesson I'm currently in the thick of, so I just tried to soak it up as much as I could.

Throughout the entire retreat I was very drawn to a beautiful hupah (chuppah) on stage. We were told by the coordinators that a hupah is a traditional Jewish wedding canopy. According to wikipedia, "The chuppah represents a Jewish home symbolized by the cloth canopy and the four poles." Just as a chuppah is open on all four sides as is one's home open for hospitality. I think this is a wonderful tradition and as if the retreat wasn't informational enough, I got a chance to learn about a Jewish wedding tradition. I'd say that's a pretty good weekend. I'm figure this gives me leeway to sleep all day tomorrow and be totally unproductive.

Friday, February 19, 2010

If My Goals Don't Work Out, Atleast I'll Have Goats

My last blog was about goals, but after reading the headline, my mom, though I wrote "Look Mom, I have Goats!" This didn't seem strange to her, in part because she expects me to say random things and also because she knows how much I love goats. I don't know exactly why I love them so much. Maybe because I am a Capricorn and our symbol is the goat or when I was really little my mom used to take me to a garden center that had goats and I used to let them suck on the hem of my dress. For whatever reason I have been dreaming about having goats for as long as I can remember. I love all goats, but pygmy goats are just ridiculously cute. There legs are so short they barely have knees, I don't know why I find this adorable, but I do. They make the perfect addition to my future lavender farm. I am really hoping to be that eccentric hippie lady with all the crazy jewelry living on her own organic farm, who shears her own alpacas and makes cheese from the milk her herd of pygmy goats produce.

Speaking of Alpacas, I LOVE them! They are so awesome. I just discovered there are a few alpaca farms nearby and I will be visiting them as soon as the weather gets a little nicer. I've heard alpacas dance under the full moon. This may or may not be true, either way I am fully choosing to believe it. The first time I met an alpaca was at a fair over 15 years ago and I just fell in love. While most young girls were planning their weddings, I was fantasizing about having an alpaca farm. A wedding is one day of your life, an alpaca farm is forever.

I'm not entirely sure what my obsession with farming is all about. I grew up in suburbia. We never even had a vegetable garden growing up. Maybe it was that Little House on the Prairie book series I used to be obsessed with. Quite honestly, I really don't know if I could handle farm life. I hate getting up early. I never scheduled a class in college before noon. Even though I love to travel I refuse to book a flight before 10:30 am. I also hate feces, not that many people really like it. I'm just starting to wonder if all my farm dreams are wildly unrealistic. I also never imagined building a website or sitting behind a computer all day for a job, especially since I never learned to type correctly, but I do that. So perhaps having a farm other than my one on farmville (facebook) is still a possibility for the future. I mean for the record, I am an awesome cyberspace farmer and that has to count for something.

Worse case scenario, I can always move to Seattle, WA, where pygmy goats are legal to own as house pets.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Look Mom, I Have Goals!

Tonight was our second Redding Handmade meeting, which is basically a group of incredibly talented Etsy people (basically women, but I'm saying people just in case a man wants to join. I would encourage males to join, especially if you are good looking, intelligent and love redheads). Anyway, our topic tonight was goal setting, you can check it out at the Redding Handmade Blog. This topic is very close to my heart. I love to set goals; goals I rarely keep. I'm a list maker by nature and when I find myself frustrated, bored, or avoiding my responsibilities I sit down and make a new goal list. I make a lot of lists and I do my best to make sure no one ever sees them. God forbid anybody hold me accountable, that would just take all the joy out of making the list, losing the list, and then rediscovering it two months later only to realize I can only cross off 'take shower'. So in the spirit of change I thought I would share my two goals related to my etsy shop and this blog.

My Goals:

  • I will have 100 items in my WillowLily shop by March 30th
  • I will write at least 5 blogs a week for the rest of the years starting before the 28th of February
I'm sure you are thinking these are relatively simple goals. Consider that I only have 22 items in my shop right now and I usually write about 5 blogs a month. This is going to take some serious focus. Which is my new mantra: I am focused and driven. I'm going to say it a few hundred more times and see if my brain buys it.

A special Thanks to Chrystalyn, the creator and organizer of Redding Handmade, and also one of the most organized people I've ever met. If I ever grow up I hope I turn out like her :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Aphrodite Rose Quartz and Copper Earrings

These love inspired earrings will be included in the basket of goodies we will be raffling off at the Redding Handmade Open House this Saturday. Stop by Sweet Spot on Hilltop drive to enter the raffle and meet some the wonderful Etsy people here in Redding, CA. For more info on these lovely little earrings check out WillowLily Creations.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Happy Imbolc!

A friend (Hey Ian!) reminded me today that it was Imbolc. A Celtic and neopagan holiday celebrating the first signs of spring. It falls between the winter solstice and spring equinox in the northern hemisphere. No matter your beliefs it's nice to take a moment to notice the passing of time and watch as the seasons change. Spring gets closer every day.
Happy Imbolc everyone!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Heart Day Special!

Valentine's Sale
January 13- Febuary 13
10-45% Off Select Pieces

Because all the women in your life deserve a gift that is not only beautiful but meaningful too.
Remember shipping is always free in the US.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Change of Plans

Change can be a very good or a very stressful thing. In this case it is a very good thing. I was getting ready to pack my bags and move when an intervention of sorts took place. A very good friend of mine made me sit down and fully look at my plan or lack there of. I didn't want to at all! I did a very complicated dance of avoidance and even threw in some tricky denial steps, and yet when all was said and done he was right. It wasn't time for me to move. I was dragging a horse to water and splashing water in its face and saying "look how much it's drinking!" Ya...sorry for the horrible metaphors today.

So I sat down and listened, not so much because I wanted to, but because I had made a promise to myself last year that I would truly listen to people when they gave me advice. I didn't have to follow it, but I really had to listen and ask myself if it was true for me. Surprisingly, everything he said was true for me. It actually made a lot more sense than my so called plan. I went home and slept on the idea of staying and then decided I should consult the toughest judges of all, my parents(they aren't really that tough, I have to say this because they might read this). I told them everyting my friend said and they nodded in agreement the whole time. Was I the only one who thought my plan was genius? So just to verify, I called my sister. She said she'd known for a while I wasn't ready, she was just waiting for me to figure it out too. Well, I took all this info and sat with it for a while. When I thought about staying and really putting my focus into the things I love I felt like this huge weight was lifted off me. That's when I knew it was the right decision.

So, Redding, hasn't seen the last of me yet. I better unpack my bags and put away the sunscreen. I'm trapped in paradise for a little longer. I really should be more upset about this.

Oh and if anyone asks why I'm not going to Arizona yet, just tell them I couldn't get FAFSA until the fall. That's my story, I expect you to back me up.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Last of the Lavender Wands

I just sold my last two lavender wands, I am out until next season. I have mixed feelings about it. I'm happy, I was able to find happy homes for all of them, but I'm sad I can't make more until lavender season this summer. The thought of making more wands is exciting. I love separating the lavender and weaving the ribbon through the stalks. It is all very soothing. The smell of lavender just kind of envelopes you when you are working with the stalks, bending them and shaping them.

Thank you to everyone who purchased them this season. Hope you can stop by the shop when the next batch are done.